A German cow named Yvonne escaped her impending trip to a slaughterhouse and soon became a national icon. In the wake of public outcry, officials have called off the search for her. Elsewhere, Lydia Davis is probably regretting that this story broke after she published her bovine chapbook The Cows.
"Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar Wilde, Rudyard Kipling, and Charles Dickens wrote about opium smoking in their novels. But if you read the way they describe opium smoking, without a doubt these people never saw the real thing. It’s laughable…What we see in movies, even to this day, with the obligatory London opium-smoking scene is complete fiction." Interview with a modern-day opium addict.
The New Inquiry's updated site launched over the weekend, and it's currently undergoing a live beta test. They've also just unveiled a bumper crop of new bloggers. One of the site's interesting features is that all of its content is available for sharing and remixing under a creative commons license.
Granta posts Salman Rushdie’s 1984 essay ‘Outside the Whale’ - a response to an essay by George Orwell about the political role of the artist: “If writers leave the business of making pictures of the world to politicians, it will be one of history's great and most abject abdications.”
Adding to the general hand-wringing over the state of the humanities, Lee Siegel contradicts Leon Wieseltier’s lament that fewer college students are majoring in literature by contending that modern literature courses ruin the joy of reading. “For every college professor who made Shakespeare or Lawrence come alive for the lucky few,” he writes, “there were countless others who made the reading of literary masterpieces seem like two hours in the periodontist's chair.” (You can also read a similar argument from a humanities professor in The New Republic.)