Katie Couric wants to be the new Oprah. She says her upcoming show will model itself after the queen of daytime. Though Couric wasn't big on specifics: "It’s gonna be topical, it’s gonna be live, you know, hopefully it will deal with various issues."

The University of Chicago will publish an Assyrian dictionary. Various scholars worked almost a century to complete the project listing the vocabulary of a language that hasn't been used in more than two millennia. But then, it seems life now isn't so different from life then. A teenager in boarding school wrote to his mother:

From year to year, the clothes of the (young) gentlemen here become better, but you let my clothes get worse. The son of Adad-iddinam, whose father is only an assistant to my father, (has) two new sets of clothes . . . while you fuss even about a single set of clothes for me. In spite of the fact that you bore me and his mother only adopted him, his mother loves him, while you, you do not love me!

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's first -- but unfinished -- novel will be published, over 125 years after it was written. The pre-Sherlock tale has quite a storyline: It's "about a man's reflections on life after he finds himself confined to his room with gout."

The sequel to perhaps the most disgusting film ever made, The Human Centipede, has been banned in the U.K. The film classification board "refused outright to consider reclassification, no matter what edits were made, ruling that the premise and aesthetic of the film were of themselves offensive enough to pose a danger." Director Tom Six has a point when he says, "Give people their own choice to watch it or not. If people can't handle or like my movies they just don't watch them." But he's on less solid ground when he declares, "It is art."

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