Apparently some evil imp surreptitiously cracked my skull open without my being aware of it and proceeded to fill it with a hornet’s nest, pop rocks and cola, and a vibrator left on high speed. So while I mewl softly in a darkened corner, here are some things I’ve enjoyed reading recently for your entertainment.

• I have a sinking feeling that many of my friends would like to send me an automated response like this.
• It occurs to me that I lack a good book devoted to Socrates himself. Fortunately, Bettany Hughes has rectified this gross injustice by writing one that will be released on this side of the pond in February, and here’s an excerpt. You may discuss among yourselves which one of you is going to buy it for me.