Tolkeeners (you know who you are too) may be interested in my essay on 'Tolkien and Worldbuiding', to be published a little later this month in Peter Hunt's Palgrave Casebook - a sneak preview here (Sadly, it doesn't directly answer any of these questions.)
To make up the Third Thing without which any post is incomplete, how about this article by Claire Walpole in the Huffington Post - a cathartic whinge addressed in the first instance to teachers, but by implication to the policy makers whose off-the-cuff demands they are obliged to put into laborious practice. This will give you the gist:
To all my children's teachers: Please note that each of my children will be bringing a basket full of laundry each day to school. We are covering a unit on self-sufficiency at home. Children will be learning how to sort, fold and put away their clothes. We work on this during the evening, but if they do not finish their work by bedtime, it will need to go to school with them each morning. This is a great opportunity for teachers to reinforce in the classroom, what I as the parent am trying to teach at home. Having to fold laundry with my kids will cause you to cut short or eliminate some planned activities, but the laundry needs to be done. Resist the urge to grab it and do it yourself to speed up the process. It shouldn't take too long, unless you count all the time my kids will procrastinate and complain and tell you how they "hate folding laundry" and how they will never use this skill later on in life, and how you are the meanest teacher ever for making them do their work. In which case, this task could go on for over an hour. Neatness counts, and since we are using the Trailblazers method of folding clothes, please have my kids write an answer to the following question: How you KNOW the laundry is folded?
Enjoy the rest of your day.