- A great video from the Guttmacher Institute on the facts about abortion in the United States. That abortion is primary health care for women should be uncontested -- that it remains contested is often the result of the spread of misinformation over facts, which is why interventions like this are so valuable:
- A great little piece in the New York Times about the history of book branding. I'm a geek for little facts about things I love -- hearing that Walt Whitman wrote his own glowing, anonymous reviews warms the cockles of my bibliophile heart.
- Michael Chabon is writing the introduction to Knopf's 50th anniversary edition of The Phantom Tollbooth. When I was a kid, my dad used to read out loud to me and my brother in the evenings; Norton Juster's whip-smart children's classic was one of our all time favourites. Chabon's introduction is excerpted in the New York Review of Books, and well worth the read.
- Ta-Nehisi Coates has become a mainstay of my RSS feed (if the NYT is looking for someone to replace Bob Herbert, I think he'd be an excellent choice. Here he argues that the American Civil War wasn't tragic -- at least, not in the way it is often portrayed.
- Margaret Atwood on tweeting: "So what’s it all about, this Twitter? Is it signaling, like telegraphs? Is it Zen poetry? Is it jokes scribbled on the washroom wall? Is it John Hearts Mary carved on a tree? Let’s just say it’s communication, and communication is something human beings like to do". Speaking of which, Textual Relations is now on Twitter! I don't think I've quite got the hang of this tweeting thing yet, but practice makes perfect, right?
- I'm not usually one for network analysis, but Kieran Healy, writing for Crooked Timber, points out an article in the New Left Review that uses network methods to look at classic literature. That's something I can definitely get behind.
- Critical interventions in Ursula K. LeGuin, including a great short essay by LeGuin herself on American SF and the Other: "I think it's time SF writers—and their readers!—stopped daydreaming about a return to the Age of Queen Victoria, and started thinking about the future. I would like to see the Baboon Ideal replaced by a little human idealism, and some serious consideration of such deeply radical, futuristic concepts as Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity. And remember that about 53% of the Brotherhood of Man is the Sisterhood of Woman."
In the past two weeks I've: finished my grading, submitted my grades, finished a paper, said goodbye to my lovely American friends, and moved to Halifax for the summer. In light of all of that, my blogging brain needs to be rekindled a little. So I'm taking suggestions -- what would you like to see me blog about?