Zadie in Rome

Zadie Smith in the NYRB

I was in mourning and it was winter, and the city was all stone and diagonal rain to me. I had no sense at all of it being a green place. I walked past the Spanish Steps into the wind without wondering where they led. [link]

When Autumn Came by Faiz Ahmed Faiz

translated by Naomi Lazard

This is the way that autumn came to the trees:
it stripped them down to the skin,
left their ebony bodies naked.
It shook out their hearts, the yellow leaves,
scattered them over the ground.
Anyone could trample them out of shape
undisturbed by a single moan of protest.

The birds that herald dreams
were exiled from their song,
each voice torn out of its throat.
They dropped into the dust
even before the hunter strung his bow. [link]

Zombies are dead meat. They wouldn’t last a month in the wild.

Over at BoingBoingNational Wildlife Federation naturalist David Mizejewski explains how nature would easily deal with a Zombie outbreak. Click through to see the cool and disturbing videos from this and other parts of the argument. The biggest threat to zombies are large numbers of small animals that eat corpses:

Dermestid flesh-eating beetles are easy to raise in captivity and only feed on (un)dead flesh, so they pose no harm to the living. Survivors of a zombie apocalypse could raise these beetles by the millions, and drop them onto zombies to do their work. It might take a few weeks per zombie, but they’d get the job done… Flies produce millions of grotesque larvae in no time at all. There would be no way for zombies to escape these flying insects—or avoid being engulfed utterly by writhing, insatiable maggots. [link]

For 35 years, the US government has used a non-existent Mexican law to deny citizenship

Via AJA:

One man’s protracted battle with the Department of Homeland Security exposed an error in the department’s use of Mexican law that denied U.S. citizenship to individuals. Authorities repeatedly blocked the citizenship bids of Sigifredo Saldana Iracheta (pictured below with his wife), citing “Article 314” of the Mexican Constitution, which they said required his out of wedlock birth to be “legitimated” under Mexican law. Saldana undertook a series of court challenges that ultimately revealed no such provision exists in the Mexican Constitution.

The government’s use of this fictitious law extends back to 1978. Since immigration cases are not open to the public, no one can determine how many times “Article 314” has been cited. [link]