Goodbye, Mr Cooke

by Tom on March 30, 2004

I wrote what I wanted to say about Alistair Cooke when he announced, not very long ago, that he didn’t feel he could continue to write his ‘Letter from America’ any more.

Well, (to steal a favourite Cooke sentence-opener), AC died today, so the ‘Letter’ really is done forever, and there’s no hope of a reprise.

[click to continue…]

The Full Lineout

by Kieran Healy on March 30, 2004

ct-lineout Having John and Belle join us brings the CT roster to 15, which means we are now available for rugby matches against “similarly-sized”: “group”: “blogs”: Bring ’em on, I say. As you can see to the right, our front row is easily amongst the best in the world. Hooker “John Quiggin”: is complemented by English hard-man “Bertram”: and Welsh terror “Davies”: Flankers “Weatherson”: and new acquisition “Holbo”: combine to ensure mobility amongst the forwards, while second-rows “Farrell”: (H) and “Barlow”: are big enough to catch anything thrown at them in the lineout. Number 8 “Man-Mountain Micah” “Schwartzman”: anchors the forward line. Scrum-half “Farrell”: (M) provides the crucial link between the heavy-hitting forwards and the nimbler back line. At out-half, “Runnacles”: is equally well-able to run with the ball or kick for possession deep in opposition territory. Centers “Hargittai”: and “Waring”: are quick on the break while wingers “Brighouse”: and “Mandle”: create havoc with the slower defences of other blogs. Finally “Healy”: at full back is perhaps the only question mark in an otherwise impeccable line-up.

And in case anyone’s wondering, rugby-team size seems to be optimal. Despite appearances to the contrary, and unlike the State or the Market (depending on your temperament), CT has no inbuilt tendency to expand indefinitely until it takes over every aspect of life.

When recipes attack

by Henry Farrell on March 30, 2004

From “Southern Living Magazine”:,13676,605096,00.html


Click here for more information.

Please DO NOT USE the Icebox Rolls recipe that appeared on p. 154 of the April 2004 issue of Southern Living. Combining the water and shortening as described in the recipe may cause the mixture to ignite, is extremely dangerous, and could result in fire and safety hazards. DO NOT USE this recipe. For the corrected recipe, click here. It will also be reprinted in the May 2004 issue. If you have any questions, please call 1-888-836-9327.

(found via “Jessa Crispin”:

Welcome to John and Belle

by John Q on March 30, 2004

I’m pleased to announce that John Holbo and Belle Waring have joined our group and will be posting regularly on Crooked Timber from now on. John and Belle are famous for the catchphrase “and a pony!”, but apart from that I’m not going to attempt to summarise them.

Like me, and some other members of the group, they’ll be maintaining their own excellent blog as well.

big girl’s blouse

by John Holbo on March 30, 2004

Is this thing on? OK this question is really more of a digression. The Poor Man’s proposed Bush reelection ad raised a lot of hackles … and a lot of questions. Specifically, I have long known that the English – perhaps all denizens of Great Britain and (some) former British colonies? – use the phrase ‘big girl’s blouse’ in a derogatory manner. But I don’t know how to pronounce it. I don’t know where the stress should fall. Presumably on the element that makes the item of apparel self-evidently bad. But I am afraid my moral intuitions fail me on this point. Is it bad to be a girl, or a BIG girl (hence the blouse is only bad by metonymic association); or is it bad to be a blouse, or a BIG blouse, or a big GIRL’S blouse, or a BIG GIRL’S blouse, or all of these at once? (In which case the stress would naturally fall evenly on all three elements?)

It all just goes to show that English is a tonal language. All answers should be formulated, likewise, as digressions.

UPDATE: Woah. I posted this thing after Kieran and Quiggin posted theirs, but here it is underneath. That’s time zones for you, I guess.