Great photograph captions of our time

“In the cover photograph Chris Andrews has captured the wysteria in full bloom in Cloisters in mid-May. At the far left (back cover) you see the figure of Aaron. Next comes a figure whose identity is mysterious, and then the giant Goliath, followed by the young David with his sling. Next is a hippopotamus carrying her young, followed by the figures of Sobriety and Temperance, with a werewolf (just visible) in the far corner”.

From the Magdalen College Annual Record, 2003, inside front cover.


It seems that my friend Alan is caught up in the Hangingday site. I’d noticed the site, and Dan (see below) had told me he was something to do with the London News Review, but I’d never put the various bits and pieces together. Anyway: even though it’s a commercial outfit, the front page looks enough like a blog to justify a permanent presence over on the blogroll on the righthandside of the page.


I foolishly woke up at 3am this morning to listen to the first Red Sox playoff game over the WEEI Red Sox internet radio network, live from Oakland. When I get up in the middle of the night for a game like this, I want it to be very short and to end in a Sox victory — not to get a twelve-inning game that ends in defeat at around quarter to eight in the morning. So I won’t be trying that one again, at least not for the current Divisional Series. Bugger.

UPDATE: 11.40pm: Damn. Two down.


Dan points out to me a fine correction from today’s Guardian:

The president of a group campaigning for minimal government was misquoted in an article yesterday. Jason Sorens (Free Staters pick New Hampshire to liberate, page 16) said he hoped to create an “autonomous territory”. We printed “autocratic territory”. Apologies.

Sometimes the uncorrected text has a deeper wisdom of its own, of course. Who — apart from Nick Barlow — doubts that Wolves really are the worst team in the Premiership?


Judging from the sound of this report, it won’t be too long before we have a conclave…

Here’s a good description of what goes on at a conclave, from a time when they had them fairly frequently…

The Pope [John XXI] had added a new wing to his palace at Viterbo. It was carelessly built. On 12 May 1277 as he lay sleeping his his new bed-chamber the ceiling collapsed on him. He was terribly hurt and died eight days later… One of Pope John’s few acts had been to revoke the decrees passed at Lyons whiich confined the cardinals, with increasing austerity, till they appointed a successor to the Papacy. At the time of the Pope’s death only eight of the eleven cardinals in the College were near enough to Viterbo to take part in the election. Four of these were Italians and four Frenchmen. They could not agree between themselves. For six months they bickered, till the citizens of Viterbo in exasperation imprisoned them in the papal palace, and at the same time made it clear that they wished for an Italian. The French cardinals gave way. On 25 November 1277 Cardinal John Gaetan Orsini was elected as Pope, with the title of Nicholas III.

From The Sicilian Vespers by Steven Runciman, pp.181-2.


Hmm. Not much posting here recently. That’s sometimes a sign that I’m working too hard, but this week it’s a better pointer to the fact that when I’ve been sat in front of the computer screen over the last few days it has been time spent reading blogs I don’t normally read much by bloggers (Josh Marshall, Kevin Drum, Atrios) to savour the whole Valerie Plame shebang as it unfolds. (The most entertaining posting of all is this one here, from the excellent Daniel Davies).