Monthly Archives: December 2004

December Books 9) The Radiant Seas

9) The Radiant Seas, by Catherine Asaro A couple of months back I reported here that award-winning author Catherine Asaro, pained at my dissing her works on my website, had sent me three of her novels to try and make … Continue reading

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December Books 8) Berlin: City of Stones

8) Berlin: City of Stones, Jason Lutes This is another from the Time list of 25 must-read graphic novels. Once again, fantastic. Very much in the Will Eisner tradition, following a set of characters through a richly imagined historical background; … Continue reading

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Dead Trees 2004

Discovered that I had done this meme a year ago

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More reading resolutions for 2005: sf / comics

52 books have won the Hugo award for Best Novel. I’ve read 49 of them; that just leaves Foundation’s Edge by Isaac Asimov, The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge, and The Wanderer by Fritz Leiber. I already have the … Continue reading

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Tsunami donations

Mainly for my Belgian readers: I recommend having a look at Oxfam Solidarity, specifically their special South-East Asian tsunami fund. Because of the ludicrous Belgian tax system, every euro you give to charity here is multiplied up five or six … Continue reading

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Books to read, 2005

  was kind enough to write an enthusiastic entry about my bookreading habits. Actually I discovered a few months ago that one of my favourite authors set himself a reading schedule, and resolved then to try and do so myself.In addition … Continue reading

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BHHRG

A few weeks back I blogged a compilation of what others had written about the British Helsinki Human Rights group. The compiler of the Transition Trends blog responded, “BHHRG is a joke organisation. Why the Guardian has any time for … Continue reading

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Seen recently

Tentative WorldCon program includes the cryptic comment “poss lose VanderMeer to appease Cox” – tell us more!!! triggers a discussion of Niall Ferguson. From – Fellowship 9/11 – description is great but the humour doesn’t quite live up to the … Continue reading

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The accident-prone biographer

“While journeying in [Graham Greene’s] footsteps, [Norman]Sherry contracted gangrene of the intestine in Panama, tropical diabetes in Liberia, and went temporarily blind after a car accident in the UK. A mugging in Liberia caused him permanent ear damage. So worried … Continue reading

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Orthography note

Most impressed with ‘s use of special characters in her journal: Đŗąğŏŋŧŗąþ Ħåş Łőşŧ ħęř mĭŋđ Đ – I think in this case Croatian/Bosnian and Vietnamese rather than Icelandic. ŗ – Latvian ą – Polish and Lithuanian ğ – Turkish … Continue reading

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December Books 7) Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell

7) Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, by Susanna Clarke Due to its weight, I found it physically difficult to pick this book up. Due to its plot, I found it very difficult to put down. Here we have bits of … Continue reading

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Definitive guide…

…to the blogosphere’s coverage of the tsunami disaster, at BoingBoing.

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Tsunami round-up

The scale of devastation is staggering. (from a blogger in Sri Lanka) Roundups of various reports and links to other blogs from Jeff Jarvis, Joe Gandelman and Tim Blair. (via Instapundit)

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The Krankies sing “Star Man” by David Bowie

Here. Thanks (if that is the word) to , who in turn thanks . (If you don’t know who the Krankies are, explains.)

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Personality test

Global Personality Test Results Stability (59%) moderately high which suggests you are relaxed, calm, secure, and optimistic. Orderliness (35%) moderately low which suggests you are, at times, overly flexible, improvised, and fun seeking at the expense of reliability, work ethic, … Continue reading

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I’m not a monarchist, but…

Christmas messages (excerpted): King Albert II of the Belgians (original Dutch) (original French): The cause of many of the conflicts which infest the world is generally to be found in the non-recognition of the ethnic or religious or cultural identity … Continue reading

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Google print!

All exciting! My book is readable on Google Print!

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Bowling for Columbine

Watched this last night, having picked it up on DVD for only €9 the other day. Gripping and fascinating, yet a little unsatisying. Yes, Moore makes a good case that there’s something odd about the high level of violence in … Continue reading

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Trust metric

Every so often a meme goes round of someone who’s got the latest tool to analyse livejournal users who are not on your friends but perhaps might be. I’ve just spent a half-hour (while supervising Brisget in the bath in … Continue reading

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December books 6) The Silmarillion

6) The Silmarillion, by J.R.R. Tolkien This is one of the long books I’ve been struggling through over the last few weeks. Funny to come back to it, twenty years after I first read it, now that The Lord of … Continue reading

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December books 5) The Uncyclopedia

5) The Uncyclopedia, by Gideon Haigh A perfectly chosen Christmas gift from my sister; lots of trivia that nobody ever wanted to know, including such joys as a complete list of US Vice-Presidents, eight fictional movie moguls featured in the … Continue reading

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Hmm, after lunch

For the last few years I’ve cooked a chunk of wild boar for Christmas dinner. Alas, when I went shopping for it yesterday all I could find was boar medallions. But at least it takes less preparation; I easily found … Continue reading

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Moldova update

For keen potential election observers – the parliamentary elections in Moldova have just been called for 6 March, a few weeks earlier than I had expected. Get your applications in now (or when you get back from Ukraine).

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For those of you who celebrate it –

– happy Christmas! Anne and F have gone out to church and I’m here with the girls, neither of whom is really able to appreciate Christmas, but F is excited enough for all three. My present is the complete extended … Continue reading

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Anna and the King

I happened to catch this Jodie Foster / Chow Yun-Fat film on TV this evening. It’s very long but also very beautiful to look at. (Who would have thought that you could do a tasteful execution scene?) Of course it’s … Continue reading

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More morbidity

King James II of Scotland, on 3 August 1460 Abel P Upshur, US Secretary of State, on 28 February 1844 Thomas Gilmer, US Secretary of the Navy, also on 28 February 1844 …all killed by exploding cannons belonging to their … Continue reading

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New game

Explanation here. Thanks as usual to tnh.

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Linguistic note

I asked my Slovenian assistant to have a go at translating an article in Bulgarian for me. She balked at first because it was in the wrong alphabet, but I persuaded her that if she transcribed it longhand, and as … Continue reading

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What’s on the T-shirt?

What’s on the T-shirt, several of you ask (though not , who has one of his own). Answer: it’s Dream, from Neil Gaiman’s classic series Sandman, which I was reading for the first time in December last year. I really … Continue reading

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New userpic

This is me at the Golubac fortress on the Danube, on the Serbian side of the river (Romania on the other side), taken in July.

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