1. The judge ruled in favor of Cal and its new athletic facility in the tree-sitting case.
2. A federal judge issued a preliminary injunction against Fish and Wildlife's de-listing of wolves. Good.
3. I listened to James Donovan's A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn. First of all, I must admit that when I got this from the library I only saw the "Bighorn" in the title and thought "Oh cool, the story of Chief Joseph [and the Nez Perce]" but alas, I am retarded. ANYWAY, the book, as the title clearly implies, is a reappraisal of George Armstrong Custer's life and career, the battle with Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse of the Sioux at the Battle of the Little Bighorn where ~270 men from the 7th Cavalry, including Custer himself, were killed, and the aftermath. The author's take is that Custer, although sometimes a flamboyant and cocky SOB, was actually not all that bad (he led the first Union cavalry to hold the field against Confederate Jeb Stuart at Gettysburg), and in the battle that took his life, was not outrageously more incompetent than any other officer that day, but it's pretty easy to blame the dead guy, so he ended up with the bum rap. Having only read one book about the incident, I don't hold a strong opinion on the matter, but I'd say the book was well written and seemed to be well researched, so I enjoyed it. But really, the book was only interesting from the standpoint of military strategy. Military blunders that the Nazis made (Dunkirk, bombing London instead of RAF fields, invading Russia) and Russia's mistake of invading Afghanistan are interesting strategically, but they're not interesting emotionally because we're all glad those losses happened. Similarly, I couldn't get excited about efforts to clear Custer's name as a military man, because regardless of whose fault the defeat was, the US Army was deliberately starting a war with Indians that had been peaceful of late so that the Army would have an excuse to open up parts of the Black Hills reservation to settlers because gold had been found nearby, and if the 7th deserved any sympathy, they lost all hope for it with the massacre at Wounded Knee.
Regardless, let's all hope I never have any children, because Crazy Horse had an aunt named They Are Afraid Of Her, and, well, I think that's pretty cool.
4. What's it going to be then, eh? I just read Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, which I loved. I saw the movie a while ago when I watched the entire AFI top 100 list, and I loved that too. It has interesting things to say about violence, free will, and youth--especially if you read a post-1986 printing that has the final chapter that was left out of earlier US editions and the film. I also found that the invented slang was actually rather enjoyable. (Normally I think the invented slang in movies like Heathers or Juno totally doesn't work, but I loved Clockwork's slang from the very first "malenky bit poogly.") For some reason I read a small part of the book with a concordance nearby, and I'd recommend against that; it's a much better experience to let if flow and just pick things up from context.
(HP, as a linguist and big reader, I'm interested if you have anything to say about making up slang like this.)
5. This isn't anything you haven't already heard, but The Dark Knight? Amazing. The only reason I didn't like it is because, well, I have no idea how you top it, so if they do a sequel it will most probably disappoint. The only way to top it would be to have Frank Miller bring his The Dark Knight Returns to the screen. (In case you were unaware, Frank Miller's The Dark Knight Returns and Alan Moore's Watchmen are the two best graphic novels ever. If you have some irrational anti-superhero bias, then try Craig Thompson's Blankets.) A great little unexpected bonus was the premier of the Watchmen trailer, below.