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Fly on the Wall

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Grand Divisions

"This ain't no longer just a fight for snake handling. This is a fight for freedom of religion." So said embattled pastor/snake handler Andrew

Hamblin who pleaded not guilty last week in front of a group of supporters wearing red to symbolize their gang affiliation or, as most media outlets described it, the "blood of Christ." Hamblin, pastor of Tabernacle Church of God in LaFollette, Tennessee, and star of the reality show Snake Salvation, is fighting misdemeanor wildlife possession charges for keeping copperheads, rattlesnakes, and other poisonous snakes that pretty much every church-going soul living west of Nashville will reflexively behead with a shovel.

Memphis, England

Anglophenia, a BBC America blog chronicling "British Culture with an American Accent," recently listed "10 Things British About Memphis." A few of the choices make perfect sense, like the Tennessee Shakespeare Company, which is dedicated to staging the works of England's most enduring dead playwright. The Memphis Cricket Club and the Peabody Hotel's afternoon tea are both decidedly British, and the Brooks Museum's Victorian "Crazy Quilt" is a pretty savvy choice. And then there's number eight: the Memphis Geek Club Meet-up, which was chosen because "the group loves and celebrates all things in the Geekdom," including Doctor Who, Lord of the Rings, and Monty Python.

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To Booze

I've never seen the ghost of Elvis on Union Avenue, but I'm pretty sure this is a spirit photo of Joni Mitchell, who turned 70 earlier this month.

Happy birthday, Joni. And well played, Kimbrough!

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