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February 28, 2013
E. C. Bentley

G. K. Chesterton dedicated his novel The Man Who Was Thursday to his friend Edmund Clerihew Bentley (1875–1956). By fans of detective fiction Bentley is remembered best as the author of Trent’s Last Case (1913), which many consider the first of the modern whodunits. Other people know Bentley because of the poetic form he invented and gave his middle name to, the clerihew.

The clerihew is a four-line poem about (usually) a famous person. The first line contains the...

February 19, 2013

A friend of mine—who will remain unnamed—wrote this comment on a Facebook thread:

“Last night on Coast to Coast AM, Richard C. Hoagland, who studies celestial events, said the confluence of the asteroid passing and the meteor explosion in the Eastern side of the Ural Mountains could not have happened in nature. That the meteor in Russia had to be aimed just right by an intelligence (alien or divine?) to have avoided hitting the hundreds of manmade satellites and to come in at...

February 17, 2013

After some years away from him, I’m back on a Ronald Knox jag. I’ve got several shelves of his books—nearly everything he wrote—and a few nights ago compared what I have to the listing of his works in Evelyn Waugh’s biography of him. Of the few titles I didn’t have, I found some at online book dealers, so three are on their way to me.

One book I hadn’t taken down from the shelves in a long while was Essays in Satire, published in 1930. Two of the essays particularly caught my...

February 12, 2013

Former Los Angeles Police Department officer Christopher Dorner is the most wanted man in America. After declaring war on his former department and allegedly shooting four people, Dorner posted a manifesto online that has some parts that seem newsworthy despite the fact most media...

February 10, 2013

Guns have been much in the news lately. So have silly regulations, which always seem to be in the news, perhaps because of their inscrutability.

A few days ago I read a comment at another blog. The writer was a man who took two of his great-grandchildren on a visit to Wyoming's capital city, Cheyenne. While there they visited a gun show. The man almost bought "a very pretty competition barrel Dan Wesson .357, but that would have meant crossing a state line with, for that state, an '...