In this manuscript (which, as I have explained – for legal reasons as well as reasons of honour – I intend to seal away from all eyes for more than one hundred years after his death and my own), I shall answer the question which perhaps no one else alive in our time knew to ask – “Did the famous and loveable Charles Dickens plot to murder an innocent person and dissolve away his flesh in a pit of caustic lime and secretly inter what was left of him, mere bones and a skull, in the crypt of an ancient cathedral that was an important part of Dickens’s own childhood? And did Dickens then scheme to scatter the poor victim’s spectacles, rings, stickpins, shirt studs, and pocket watch in the River Thames? And if so, or even if Dickens only dreamed he did these things, what part did a very real phantom named Drood have in the onset of such madness?”

Dan Simmons (in the character of Wilkie Collins), Drood

Album art for Yeasayer’s All Hour Cymbals.


Yeasayer – No Need to Worry
from All Hour Cymbals

Yeasayer has a really weird thing going on. But when they hit, they hit hard. “No Need to Worry” is a great example of this. Very unique sound. Sometimes they fall under the “mystical” category of music along with Gang Gang Dance’s God’s Money and Charalambides’ Our Bed Is Green.

Vocabulary: Fraught With Grammarye Edition

From Burton’s translation of the 1001 Nights.

grammarye: corruption of “grammary” or vice versa. General knowledge or erudition.
nenuphar: the “great white water lily of Europe.” Okay…
blee: complexion.
carnelian: a type of red chalcedony made into jewelry. Was a descriptor for some lady’s lips.
wot: know. Variation of “wit.”
lout: bend or stoop low out of courtesy. (I know what the other lout is)
wassail: to drink someone’s health or revel in general with drink.
sworder: swordsman or fighter.
eyne: archaic plural of “eye.” Really now, you could just say eyes.
hent: to seize or grab.
garth: a courtyard or garden.
syce: a groom or stable boy.
viaticum: supplies for a journey – also when the Eucharist is given to one near death.
gugglet: see guglet > see goglet > a long-necked earthenware container for water or liquid.
dight: to dress or adorn.
limn: to portray or illuminate – originally to literally illuminate.
meseemeth: it seems to me. Obviously… but come on.


Did you ever notice that “broadcast,” when broken down, essentially means to “throw in a wide pattern?” Neither did I. And yet it makes so much sense. Start looking closely at everything about you and you find this sort of thing everywhere.

I put together this little Pleo reel for CrunchGear and TechCrunch. Gotta love the Crosby, Stills, and Nash, right?


…So mighty is their love for flowers,
and such their glory in making honey.

Virgil’s Georgics, book IV (on bees)

…I now found Barnard to be a disembodied spirit, or a fiction, and his inn the dingiest collection of shabby buildings ever squeezed together in a rank corner as a club for Tom-cats.

We entered this haven through a wicket-gate, and were disgorged by an introductory passage into a melancholy little square that looked to me like a flat burying-ground. I thought it had the most dismal trees in it, and the most dismal sparrows, and the most dismal cats, and the most dismal houses (in number half a dozen or so), that I had ever seen. I thought the windows of the sets of chambers into which those houses were divided were in every stage of dilapidated blind and curtain, crippled flower-pot, cracked glass, dusty decay, and miserable makeshift; while To Let, To Let, To Let, glared at me from empty rooms, as if no new wretches ever came there, and the vengeance of the soul of Barnard were being slowly appeased by the gradual suicide of the present occupants and their unholy interment under the gravel. A frowzy mourning of soot and smoke attired this forlorn creation of Barnard, and it had strewn ashes on its head, and was undergoing penance and humiliation as a mere dust-hole. Thus far my sense of sight; while dry rot and wet rot and all the silent rots that rot in neglected roof and cellar,–rot of rat and mouse and bug and coaching-stables near at hand besides–addressed themselves faintly to my sense of smell, and moaned, “Try Barnard’s Mixture.”

Charles Dickens, Great Expectations


Alice Russell – “Two Steps”
from Pot of Gold

When I heard this on the radio, I thought I’d gone back in time. It’s a really solid soul tune with a great horn and rhythm section, and although it could be a little shorter, it’s still a great track. I didn’t feel that the rest of the album lived up to this, though – it’s actually new and other parts of the album are much less soulful. She even does a cover of “Crazy,” a song I detest. But check this one out.