1. US Library To Restrict Books on Sex! screams the headline, and I bet you're thinking "Oh shit, those fucking abstinence-only morons are at it again." You'd be wrong, though. A library member was charged Jan. 22 and jailed for not returning the book that she borrowed last April. So the only restriction is to the not-for-loan section - so that everybody else gets a turn! As Austin Powers would say: Yeah, baby; yeah!
2. In Harry Potter, Molly Weasley asked the kids to de-gnome the garden; but how do you de-gnome an entire city, when you don't even know who's putting them in there? Shadowy forces are clearly at work...
3. I've always thought it was dangerous to provide entertainment that references current events, on the basis that the verdict of history could leave your interpretation looking rather stupid. However, I'm seriously tempted to give a pass to this one: An internet entertainment company has launched an online videogame called Trillion Dollar Bailout which allows players to 'slap' or reward chief executives. Methinks that 'slap' function will be getting quite a few uses, especially among the recently unemployed who have more time to play it...
4. It takes quite a lot to win an acting Oscar after you're dead, it seems: so much so, in fact, that the only two people ever to manage the feat are Australians. The late Australian actor Heath Ledger has won the Oscar for best supporting actor. Ledger, nominated in the best supporting actor category for his performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight, was favourite to win.
Ledger died 13 months ago from an accidental prescription drug overdose aged 28. He is only the second actor to win an Oscar posthumously. Peter Finch, also an Australian, was the first when he was named winner of the best actor for Network in 1977, just three months after dying from a heart attack.
And finally, an amusing excerpt from the chess book I was reading this evening as my virus and spyware killers drove their eager tendrils through my laptop. The book is Winning Chess Strategies by Syrian-born American Grandmaster Yasser Seirawan. Seirawan is discussing the concept of 'hole squares', those from which pieces cannot be driven by the far less valuable pawns. He uses metaphors including "devouring" and "snacking upon" these squares almost as one would capture a piece, and then unleashes the crowning glory:
Why not make use of this tasty hole?
Why not indeed, given that the winning player in his example is well on his way to a successful... er... mating attack.