Have I ever told you that my dog Dobbs is a poop-eater? (Apparently, it's a dominance thing. According to dog logic, if you poop and Dobbs eats it, Dobbs wins. This is why (a) you should never make the mistake of thinking dogs are like people, and (b) you should never kiss dogs.) Despite our best efforts to prevent this, sometimes Dobbs eats too much poop, or the wrong kind of poop, and it disagrees with him and causes him to then output his own special brand of recycled poop that Rusty likes to call "Twice Poo."
That's the kind of poop I feel like.
Fortunately, there are other folks out there doing interesting things so that I don't have to.
The Best of Blogs awards
The finalists are up, so haul ass over there to get in your vote for Best Book/Literary Blog. You can vote every single day between now and April 13. There are some worthy contenders, which I should know because I was on the panel that helped pick the finalists. Ideally, by the time the voting is over, your blogroll -- and democracy at large -- will be a better place.
Kimbooktu invention contest
As someone with a big pile of unfolded laundry gathering dust on my bedroom floor, I admire the wherewithal of someone who takes the time to administer a contest. Kimbooktu is challenging readers to design an original book gadget/thingy (pardon my technical jargon), with the winner receiving a gift box full of other cool book gadgets and thingies.
I'll be curious to see the entries in this one. My own invention -- a book that also FOLDS LAUNDRY -- has gotten stalled at the R&D phase.
Where the Wild Things Grow
A landscape designer named Tiggy Salt has recreated the setting for Maurice Sendak's story Where the Wild Things Are for the 2007 Chelsea Flower Show:
Tiggy's vision for the garden combines the familiar with the fantastic - a juxtaposition of cottage garden plants with exotic jungle foliage to capture the moment when the everyday environment of Max's room transforms into his vivid fantasy world...This fills me with awe. It also fills me with guilt about the lone plant in our house -- a defenceless little bonsai -- that we're in the slow process of torturing to death.
[Thanks for the link, Anonymous, wherever you are.]
Emily's reading nook
This project also fills me with awe, but no guilt! Emily took an IKEA room display as a jumping-off point to create her own much cozier reading nook. She also found a nifty way to incorporate floating book shelves into the space.
While it looks like a bit of work (Emily tells me it took a day, including shopping time), it still looks do-able, even to me.
[Thanks for the pics, Emily!]
Britain's 'Gay Lit' experiment
With the goal to stop, or at least reduce, homophobic bullying in schools, the UK has embarked on a bold new endeavour:
No Outsiders is the name of a research project funded by Britain's Economic and Social Research Council that shares the same aim. The project is trying to address sexuality equality in primary schools and the researchers are doing this, in part, by introducing literature with gay themes to children aged four to 11 at 14 U.K. primary schools.Fortunately, conservative Christian groups are on standby to protect humanity's long and storied tradition of intolerance:
The group Christian Voice opposes the concept. It says the British government promotes homosexuality and recently held a vigil outside Parliament as the House of Lords voted to support gay equality legislation.
Stephen Green, the group's national director, believes literature with gay themes is dangerous for children.
"They're trying to say to children that homosexuality is fine, so it's blatant propaganda… I just don't reckon school is the place for that. I just don't want children to be mentally interfered with in this way," he said.
On the other hand, mentally interfering with children to convince them to believe in an invisible patriarchal entity who dictates that you never, ever question authority... well, that's A-OK.