Elvis Costello, the former Declan McManus, turned 56 yesterday, and while many find his music inscrutable, there's something titanic about his sheer musical output. His next record arriving in November will be his 30th major release; he's written hundreds of songs, including dozens for other singers that are often truer to their own voice than what they compose. Output rarely equals greatness, and even Costello himself has admitted to slowing down releases to keep from bankrupting poor completists. The desire to express more with less took some commenters toward the haiku today, but it was commenter jakebonz who managed to sum the torrent of questions spurred by tales of North Korean automobiles and the decadence of Western culture into a spare turn of phrase:

'ring times?


[Flickr via Burns!]