Pump It Up
Robert Mondavi, the pioneering California winemaker, has died. Famed as an advocate for American viticulture, Mondavi, the godfather of chardonnay, helped transform the Napa Valley from a region best known for its cheap jug wines into a world-class wine destination. He was 94.
Money can't buy me taste: The WSJ fronts a feature on William Topaz McGonagall, a long-dead Englishman known in his day as "the world's worst poet," whose works are enjoying an unexpected renaissance. "Despite his ability to massacre poetic metaphor, his taste for banality, a weak vocabulary and his tortuous rhymes, his popularity has outlived many of his then-respected contemporaries," said an employee of the auction house where 35 of McGonagall's original poems recently sold for $13,200. One fan admires McGonagall's "dogged determination in spite of his obvious lack of talent." There's hope for TP yet!
Justin Peters is Slate’s crime correspondent.