1. 30 photos of a Chinese sex toy factory (via clusterflock)
2. Harold Bloom reminisces about Auden (birthday today, as was DFW's apparently):
The poet arrived in a frayed, buttonless overcoat, which my wife insisted on mending. His luggage was an attaché case containing a large bottle of gin, a small one of vermouth, a plastic drinking cup, and a sheaf of poems. After being supplied with ice, he requested that I remind him of the amount of his reading fee. A thousand dollars had been the agreed sum, a respectable honorarium more than forty years ago. He shook his head and said that as a prima donna he could not perform, despite the prior arrangement. Charmed by this, I phoned the college master--a good friend--who cursed heartily but doubled the sum when I assured him that the poet was as obdurate as Lady Bracknell in The Importance of Being Earnest. Informed of this yielding, Auden smiled sweetly and was benign and brilliant at dinner, then at the reading, and as he went to bed after we got home.
(A few addenda: i. I should really have a separate tag for this sort of Auden post as opposed to the posts that quote him. ii. A good source for more stories of this kind, seen from a glancing angle, is the Lowell-Bishop correspondence. iii. Bloom is not fond of Auden's work, but has always seemed to me a pretty good judge of the relative merits of different Auden poems; in particular, he correctly rates Letter to Lord Byron and the limestone poem as among A's best. (Re which, see also Anthony Hecht.))
3. From the lardr, animal-specific terms for tails and excrement (unearthed by Calista):
THe tayle of Harte, Bucke, Rowe, or any other Deare, is to be called the Syngle. The Tayle of a Goate, is plain∣ly called his Tayle. The tayle of a Bore, is to be termed his wreath. The tayle of an Hare and Conney, is called their Skut. The tayle of a Foxe is called his Bush, or (as some vse to say) his hollywater sprinkle. The tayle of a Wolfe is to be called his Stearne. Of the rest I haue not read.
See also: animal-specific verbs for slicing-up.
The termes proper for the ordure and naturall excrements of chaces.IT is a thing highly obserued and not here to be omitted, that the ordure of euery beaste of chace & Uenerie hath his proper terme. The reason is, by cause theyr ordure and excrements are one principall marke whereby we know the place of their feede, and their estate. So that a Huntesman in talke or makyng of his reportes shall be often constreyned to rehearse the same. Of an Harte therfore, and of all Deare the ordure is called Fewmets or Fewmishing: Of a Gote, and of an Hare the Crotising or Crot∣tels: Of a Bore the Lesses: Of a Foxe, and all other vermine, The Fyaunts: Of an Otter the Spraynts. And I haue neyther readde nor heard what it is termed of a Wolfe or a Beare: neyther is it greatly materiall.