I'll shortly be going on research leave. For the first half of 2010, I'll be working on a book. As I begin to pile up all the books and articles I need - into truly terrifying stacks that begin to sway when a breeze strikes them - I'm also taking a little time to enjoy myself now the marking and paperwork is subsiding.
I've discovered Hellboy. I like Hellboy. I saw the first film on the plane while flying to a conference in the UK. It was a guilty pleasure. I've just started reading the comics. My favourite so far is the pancakes comic. Someone actually tattooed it on their leg. I don't love it quite that much, but I can applaud the decision! I love the mix of paranormal activity and myth with a little fairy tale thrown in. I love the design of Hellboy too, with his sanded off horns and little legs.
The Dark Horse site for Hellboy at the moment has a rather cheery Christmas theme, too.
Speaking of comics, have a look at the Lovelace and Babbage comics from 2D Goggles if you haven't already (I have linked them earlier). They're brilliant. Lovelace is - in terms of actual history - the daughter of Byron. She's a fascinating math whizz. She inherited her talent from her mother, Annabella, known as "the princess of parallelograms" by Bryon.
One of my favourite entries from 2D Goggles concerns the reality of fashion in their time. Ada doesn't look quite the intrepid mathematician in that get-up.