July 24th, 2012

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I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles.

So many fantastic people were born on or around this day. Happy birthday wishes to agentxpndble, arymetore, caster121, and syrcleoftrees! And happy early birthday wishes to ghislainem70, tudorpumpkin, xjenavivex, lizziebelle, zmaddoc, supermusicmad, and wiccagirl24. May all of you enjoy a brilliant day, my dear friends, and a fabulous year to come!

A few quick items:

* I was offline much of yesterday due to a fun series of thunderstorms. I'm catching up now!

* Reason Papers: A Journal of Interdisciplinary Normative Studies has published (online and for free) a very special issue, Imagining Better: Philosophical Issues in Harry Potter, edited by Carrie-Ann Biondi and including essays by some terrific scholars, several of whom I'm glad to call friends as well as colleagues. You don't want to miss these essays if you're a student or fan of Harry Potter. Check out this brilliant issue and/or download it here!

* Speaking of the wonderful agentxpndble, whose birthday is today, she's the mistress of two great websites, including CI5 Addict (for The Professionals) and...

* This month I'm part of a four-person scholarly roundtable dialogue on "Liberty, Commerce, and Literature" featured at Cato Unbound here. The other participants are literary critics Sarah Skwire and Frederick Turner and Heinlein biographer William H. Patterson, Jr.

And last, the new Hobbit video blog. Two words: Beorn's Hall! \o/

"I come from under the hill, and under the hills and over the hills my paths led. And through the air. I am he that walks unseen. I am the clue-finder, the web-cutter, the stinging fly. I was chosen for the lucky number. I am he that buries his friends alive and drowns them and draws them alive again from the water. I came from the end of bag, but no bag went over me. I am the friend of bears and the guest of eagles. I am Ring-winner and Luckwearer; and I am Barrel-rider."
- Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit, J.R.R. Tolkien