Monthly Archives: October 2011


“A civet is a catlike mammal found mostly in tropical Asia and Africa. Territorial creatures, civets mark their turf with scent from a small gland near … their backside. The stuff smells like unadulterated butt–it’s one of the stinkiest substances in the world. … It’s also in some of the world’s finest perfumes.”

–“Beastly Odor.” Wired 19.11 (Nov. 2011): 24.


“We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best hope of earth.”

–Abraham Lincoln. “Annual Message to Congress.” Dec. 1862.


“The others cheerfully accepted this explanation–though Skelbrooke, who had been pale a moment before, now turned faintly pink.”

–Teresa Edgerton. Gobin Moon: Book I of Mask and Dagger. Lulu/Moonfleet Press: 2011. [New edition, with minor changes and additions to original 1991 edition published by Daw.] Quote on page 119.


“Archaeology is often seen as providing ‘forensic’ proof for the theories of historians. No amount of text-criticism can compare with tangible evidence unearthed from a boggy trench.”

–Christopher Gidlow. The Reign of Arthur: From History to Legend. Gloucestershire: Sutton Publishing, 2004. Quote on page 235.


“‘What made me love Emerson Lake and Pamer were two things,’ says Styx’s Dennis DeYoung. ‘I loved the fact that a keyboard player could be looked at as a guitar player. But beyond that, it was “Lucky Man.” Because “Lucky Man” is almost like an English Renaissance song, and it’s a great song, whether the synthesizer sweep is in it or not. So, the cake was the song, the synthesizer was the frosting.'”

–Will Romano. Mountains Come Out of the Sky: The Illustrated History of Prog Rock. Milwaukee: Backbeat Books, 2010. Quote on page 50.


“The journey forges on as the shadows deepen. Armed with a new commander and a fortified sense of purpose, Babylon 5 continues its often perilous but always vital peace mission among the five competing races that inhabit it, each variously comprised of diplomats, smugglers, terrorists and dreamers.”

–Back blurb on the boxed set of DVDs of the Complete Second Season of Babylon 5.


“What Dimon [Jamie Dimon, the chairman of JPMorgan Chase] did not say is that having been supported through the crisis by billions of dollars in TARP aid from American taxpayers, and another $1.2 trillion in emergency loans from the Fed, the largest banks are bigger today than they were before the crisis–way too big to fail–and that many of them are generating even fatter profits. At Dimon’s $2 trillion JPMorgan Chase–which rewarded Dimon’s performance last year with pay estimated at $20.8 million and $17 million in restricted stock and options–revenues hit $27.4 billion, with a profit of $5.4 billion in the second quarter of 2011 alone.”

–Suzanna Andrews. “The Woman Who Knew Too Much.” Vanity Fair November 2011: 184-189, 229-231. Quote on page 187.


“Rusted fencing surrounded the cracked and faded blacktop court. Somebody had gone to the trouble to push or sweep the piles of litter to the fence line where broken glass glittered like lost diamonds.”

–J.D. Robb. Treachery in Death. New York: Berkley Books, 2011. Quote on page 10.


“Careful studies of how women feel as they go about their daily activities show that they are less happy when taking care of their children than when eating, exercising, shopping, napping, or watching television. Indeed, looking after the kids appears to be only slightly more pleasant than doing housework.”

–Daniel Gilbert. Stumbling on Happiness. New York: Vintage Books, 2006. Quote on page 221.


“Economists and psychologists have spent decades studying the relationship between wealth and happiness, and they have generally concluded that wealth increases human happiness when it lifts people out of abject poverty and into the middle class but that it does little to increase happiness thereafter. Americans who earn $50,000 per year are much happier than those who earn $10,000 per year, but Americans who earn $5 million per year are not much happier than those who earn $100,000 per year.”

–Daniel Gilbert. Stumbling on Happiness. New York: Vintage Books, 2006. Quote on page 217.