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1. Montana's latest blogger is "Prairie Mary," one of the most voracious readers I've ever encountered. Her provocative perspectives are graduating from a variety of listservs to this more public sphere. I'm looking forward to this voice on Western literature.

2. From the Department of Really Bad Book Summaries (thanks to publisherslunch):
Park City Mountain Patrol "first responder" Wayne Johnson's WHITE HEAT: The Extreme Skiing Life [is] about the new generation of intrepid skiers and snowboarders for whom skiing isn't just a sport but a lifestyle.

All those people who built Aspen, Steamboat, Telluride, Sun Valley? They didn't have "lifestyles."

3. The American Spectator summarizes the job so far of Montana governor Brian Schweitzer, in an article that accomplishes two worthwhile aims: demolishing the lame Red State/Blue State divide, and warning Republicans that they're getting out of touch with voters in the Rocky Mountains. But some of the demography could have been more thorough. I take issue with this passage:
[meanwhile in eastern Montana] towns are graying and shrinking in population, as young people move away, schools and businesses close, and farmers go bust, leaving windblown towns full of very old retirees who have lived there their entire lives, and aren't particularly wealthy.

But as this map shows, income fluctuations in Montana aren't really an east/west phenomenon, just an urban/rural one (as they are across the country).

4. Next time a conservative complains about bias in academia, I'm going to send him (or her, but it'll probably be a him) here and here.

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