Wodehouse Quiz

Wooster and Jeeves represent which two social types?

a. Jeeves represents the working class; Wooster represents the idle rentier class. 

b. Wooster represents the parasitical aristocracy; Jeeves represents their also-parasitical lackeys. 

c. Wooster represents the powerless and silly Mikado or Caliph whose power is purely symbolic; Jeeves represents the businesslike Shogun or Sultan who holds all real power. 

d. The ignorant Wooster represents the dominant property-owning moiety of the dominant class; the well-read Jeeves represents the dominated moiety; Wodehouse’s portrait of the relationship is the wishful projection of the dominated intelligentsia.

Published in: on January 21, 2011 at 9:06 pm  Comments (6)  

A happy ending which only The Buddha could bring

She rained tears and made prostrations day and night without ceasing. Three days later, during her worship, she saw an image of the Buddha, who announced to her “Your bridegroom’s lifespan is coming to an end. You need only continue your ardent practice without harboring sorrowful thoughts.” The next day her bridegroom was gored to death by an ox.

Lives of the Nuns, tr. Katherine Ann Tsai (Hawai’i, 1994), pp. 49-50; cited by Mark Edward Lewis on p. 193 of China Between Empires (Harvard, 2009).

Published in: on January 13, 2011 at 6:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sex with Bears

The Canadians are nor more sexy or less sexy than normal people. They're just differently sexy.

“It’s over, now,” she told him. “It’s over. You have to go to your place and I to mine.” She sat up and put her sweater on.

He sat up across from her, rubbing his nose with a paw and looking confused. Then he looked down at himself. She looked as well. Slowly, Majestically his great cock was rising.

It was not like a man’s, tulip-shaped. It was red, pointed, and impressive.

These things always turn out badly, I’ve been told, but people have to learn  for themselves. In Minnesota we have bears but don’t have sex with them, though I suppose that since we play hockey and have taken up curling, bears will be next.

Published in: on December 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm  Comments (1)  


The American politician Fiorello La Guardia was the U.S. consul for Trieste and neighboring areas from 1901 to 1906. James Joyce moved to Trieste in 1904 and stayed for 16 years. La Guardia was partly of Hungarian Jewish descent. Leopold Bloom was partly of Hungarian Jewish descent.


La Guardia was born in Greenwich Village to an Italian lapsed-Catholic father, Achille La Guardia, from Cerignola, and a Triestine mother of Jewish Hungarian origin, Irene Coen Luzzato; he was raised an Episcopalian, despite being confirmed as a Jew by the Halakha, which decides who is a Jew or not. His middle name “Enrico” was changed to “Henry” (the English form of Enrico) when he was a child. He lived in Trieste, his mother’s hometown, after his father was discharged from his bandmaster position in the U.S. Army in 1898.La Guardia served in U.S. consulates in Budapest, Trieste, and Rijeka (1901–1906). Fiorello returned to the U.S. to continue his education at New York University. During this time, he worked for New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children as an interpreter for the U.S. Bureau of Immigration at the Ellis Island immigrant station (1907–1910).


Published in: on December 17, 2010 at 7:38 pm  Leave a Comment  

C6 H10 O5

The cellulose molecule is just a long string of glucose  molecules, but paradoxically, cellulose is an indigestible fiber, whereas glucose is the most easily digestible of all foods. I don’t know how to calculate the number of Big Gulp units in a pair of cotton socks, but it should be easy to do.

There’s no paradox here for cows, however. Not only is the bovine mind blind to paradox, but even intelligent bovids wouldn’t see what the fuss was all about, since cellulose is their primary food. This alleged food / fiber paradox is merely an artifact of our inferior digestive system.

Because cellulose is hard to digest, cows must perform a complicated series of chemical procedures in their enormous gut system.  If cows were genetically modified to live entirely on glucose, they would be more svelte, but I doubt that they’d be any smarter.

Published in: on December 15, 2010 at 6:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Samuel Butler explains relationships

As soon as Jove sees Juno, armed as she for the moment was with all the attractions of Venus, he falls desperately in love with her, and says that she is the only goddess he ever really loved. True there had been the wife of Ixion, and Danae, and Europa and Semele, and Alcmena, and Latona, not to mention herself in days gone by, but he had never loved any of them as he now loved her, in spite of his having been married to her for so many years. What then does she want?

Published in: on September 5, 2010 at 9:28 pm  Leave a Comment  

Wordsworth’s Pretty Polly

If Lucy was the kind of person portrayed in the poem; if Wordsworth murdered her, either by cutting her throat or smothering her, in concert, perhaps, with his friends Southey and Coleridge; and if he had thus found himself released from an engagement which had become irksome to him, or possibly from the threat of an action for breach of contract, there is not a syllable in the poem with which he crowns his crime which is not alive with meaning. On any other supposition, to the general reader it is unintelligible.

(Samuel Butler, Selected Essays, 1927.)

Published in: on September 2, 2010 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  

The Lemur of your ancestor is a jealous Lemur

When you fled to Lemuria, I bet you didn't expect us

Published in: on June 1, 2010 at 9:31 pm  Comments (1)  

Thanks for nothing, Jesus

Struggling against a 20-mph wind under the hot sun, I glanced up and saw a hawk soaring effortlessly fifty feet above. Apparently I’d been recruited into some kind of goddamn parable.

Published in: on June 1, 2010 at 7:57 pm  Comments (2)  

The Present King of England, Scotland and Ireland

Franz Bonaventura Adalbert Maria Herzog von Bayern, King of Bavaria, England, Scotland, and Ireland

Published in: on May 10, 2010 at 3:31 pm  Comments (25)