1) Sign of the times: poison oak, the gears of a perpetual spending machine, and a handful of smallpox vaccination scars.
2) Just talking about guns can get you into trouble.
3) Jack Cafferty is bewitched by Michelle Obama; Andrea Harris reaches for the barf bag (you got an extra one, Andrea?)
4) Dr. Gupta drops out as Surgeon General nominee (H/T: Coalition of the Swilling). I suspect he found out that he would have to dress up like an admiral in the navy of Kaiser Wilhelm II.
5) They say it's futile to try to polish a turd, but Queen Elizabeth gives it the old college try.
6) True story. A guy who works for me coaches a kids' basketball team. He has an FBI baseball-style cap that he got somewhere, and he wore it to practice one day. The next day, the family of one of the kids on the team packed up and moved back to the Dominican Republic.
7) Important update to this week's Paco's Library selection: I meant to include this information in the weekly book review, but forgot. You may also be interested in the Facts on File publication, The Atlas of the Crusades, edited by another top scholar, Jonathan Riley-Smith. This book is also a general history, and includes many full-color maps, photographs and illustrations.
8) And now a word from our sponsor...