Will 2012 be the year they finally rise up against us? A study finds pigeons can do higher math.
David Foster Wallace wrote the best bitter takedown (PDF) of the cruise ship industry ever, but he only had to endure a 7-night vacation. Imagine his horror, then, if he had been forced to spend significant time on The World, a $20,000+/month ship that continuously circumnavigates the world and has permanent passengers in its 165 private residences. For a more detailed glimpse at life on board the ship, check out Anthony Bourdain’s Gourmet piece on his 2003 visit.
Roger Boylan at the Boston Review writes about the flourishing posthumous career of Mark Twain: “…more than 5,000 previously unknown letters of Twain’s have surfaced in the last 50 years. This represents an average of two new letters per week, but still only about one-tenth of the 50,000 or so he is believed to have written.” And at Slate, Craig Fehrman discusses the “brilliant brand management” behind the handling of Twain’s autobiography.
For better or worse, the publication date of Umberto Eco’s final book has been bumped up — originally set for a summertime release, Pepe Satàn Aleppe: Chronicles of a Liquid Society is now due out in Italian this weekend. Check out this Eco essay on how to travel with a salmon.
Variety reports that Universal Pictures has purchased the film rights to Melissa Marr‘s YA fantasy novel Wicked Lovely. Edward Scissorhands screenwriter Caroline Thompson is to adapt the book about a young girl pursued by the king of the fairies. As far as king-of-the-fairies movies go, I’m more interested in what’s happened to the film adaption of Susanna Clarke‘s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, whose film rights were purchased in 2004.