Monthly Archives: July 2005

Right, that’s it

Off tomorrow morning to the in-laws in Kidderminster overnight; then to Loughbrickland for three weeks, inrterrupted in my case by five days at WorldCon. F can’t sleep for excitement. I guess he’ll make up for it in the car tomorrow … Continue reading

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Things you learn from Wikipedia

Back in D&D days I was always fascinated by the Fiend Folio’s descriptions of the githyanki, slaadi and githzerai. What twisted mind, I wondered, could have come up with them? It was , according to here. On the internet, you … Continue reading

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Wikipedia: Midleton/Brodrick

Just happened to browse the Wikipedia entry for the Ulster Unionist Party, and caught a reference to one of its founders being the “Earl of Middleton”. Immediately my hackles rose. He wasn’t made an earl until 1920, well after the … Continue reading

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Weird

I have a very modest Amazon assciates thing going from my website – to be honest I haven’t even pimped it nearly as much as I could. Most of the relevant links are to sf books in and out of … Continue reading

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2003 UB313

Well, after the disappointing kicker to yesterday’s discovery of 2003 EL61, that it is not quite as big they thought, here’s another one, “definitely at least as big as Pluto”. So I’ll have to update yesterday’s table: Things smaller than … Continue reading

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Silly things

BBC is showing Independence Day. An almost entirely silly film apart from the one line “Uh… Mr. President. That’s not entirely accurate” and also Brent Spiner playing a role ever so slightly different from Data. One of the Flemish channels … Continue reading

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Friday evening

Well, I didn’t quite manage to finish absolutely everything on my desk before turned up to lure me from my office. But by then I’d been working effectively since 0630, so was very lurable. I have to drop my father-in-law … Continue reading

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2003 EL61

Wow! A new trans-Neptunian object maybe twice the size of Pluto! That would make it the largest object found in the Solar System since Neptune in 1846! Things smaller than Mars but at least as big as Pluto: Name What … Continue reading

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IRA statement

All knowledge is contained in livejournal – this guy had the statement a good half hour before the BBC. The leadership of Óglaigh na hÉireann has formally ordered an end to the armed campaign. This will take effect from 4pm … Continue reading

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Contradictory advice

Dan Savage gets contradictory advice from his readers. (Warning: sexually explicit, not safe for work, also rather funny if you think sex advice columns can be funny.)

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Cultural Traditions – the game

Sent to me by an academic friend in Belfast, who wishes (for now!) to remain anonymous!!!!! Cultural Traditions A game for two to six players Objective of the game: To improve the standing of your Cultural Tradition by (a) increasing … Continue reading

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Homophone corner

So, a colleague mentioned to me casually that actress Sandra Bullock is half Albanian. Really? I mean, I know about the Belushi brothers, John and Jim (whose father came from the same village as independent Albania’s first proper leader Fan … Continue reading

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A drastic method of dealing with spammers

The Russian way.

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Humour test

Everyone’s doing this… the Prankster (47% dark, 30% spontaneous, 16% vulgar) your humor style:CLEAN | COMPLEX | LIGHT Your humor has an intellectual, even conceptual slant to it. You’re not pretentious, but neither are you into what some would call … Continue reading

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How to recognise me at Worldcon

Inspired by , I shall make myself a badge that looks like this:

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An unexpected comeback

According to BBC latest, next season of Doctor Who will see the return of Sarah Jane Smith, played by Elizabeth Sladen! Hat tip to .

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Winding down my expectations

So, the guy who’s setting up his own organisation, which sounded to me like a very attractive alternative to my current employment (see my posts with job hunt tags), has started copying me on his memos to colleagues and potential … Continue reading

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Job advert

This is on my rarely-used filter for those of you based in Ireland: The publisher O’Brien Press is looking for a receptionist for 8-9 months, starting at the beginning of October. Contact: Ivan O’Brien Sales Director, The O’Brien Press Ltd … Continue reading

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July Books 11) The Tough Guide to Fantasy Land

11) The Tough Guide to Fantasy Land, by Diana Wynne Jones. Everyone should rush out and get this. At least, anyone who’s ever enjoyed more than one of the great fantasy series. Diana Wynne Jones is, of course, a superlative … Continue reading

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Historical mystery

The house where I grew up in Belfast was built around 1930 (the post box on the corner was marked “EVIIIR” which ties it down to a particular eleven-month period in 1936). The gates were falling apart with rust when … Continue reading

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Two memes – joy and idiosyncracy

From : List 10 things in a day that give you a moment of joy, and tag five of your friends:My wife My family My daughters asking me to tickle them My son telling me about the latest things he’s … Continue reading

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Party party

Well, we did it. Having been encouraged by to lower my ambitions to reasonable levels, we had about twenty people around yesterday afternoon for beer, wine, juice and snacks. The weather was decent enough to do it in the garden; … Continue reading

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Shevardnadze interview

A fascinating interview with Eduard Shevardnadze, former president of Georgia and former foreign minister of the Soviet Union, here. Fascinating, as much as anything, because of the prejudices revealed by his Russian interviewer: Eduard Ambrosievich, in all honesty, does your … Continue reading

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July Books 10) The Light Ages

10) The Light Ages, by Ian R. MacLeod Hmmm. On the one hand, this is the book that China Miéville’s Iron Council should have been. Complex, interesting characters, a sparsely sketched yet believable social set-up, just the corner of the … Continue reading

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July Books 9) The Knight in the Tiger Skin / ვეფხისტყაოსანი

9) The Knight in the Tiger Skin / ვეფხისტყაოსანი (more usally translated as “The Knight in the Panther’s Skin”), by Shot’ha Rust’hveli / შოთა რუსთაველი (more usually transliterated Shota Rustaveli), translated by Marjory Scott Wardrop with an introduction by Irakly … Continue reading

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Ten characters meme

Ten fictional characters who I would shag: Actually, I found this very difficult after the first three. If the story-line is one of a romance with a happy ending, then I feel I don’t want to interfere in someone else’s … Continue reading

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The next concours, ie the next round of recruitment for the EU’s administrative machinery, has been announced. The job criteria are: A university degree of at least three years’ duration Thorough knowledge of one of the following official languages of … Continue reading

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Stratfor – “London Bombings: OPSEC Errors or Intelligence Failure?”

I’m not always hugely convinced by Stratfor, one of the big names in doing for the commercial sector what we do for governments, but I found this latest piece from them very thought-provoking. (F-locked because it’s their copyright material, and … Continue reading

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Sensible blogging

I’ve been following the latest blogger-getting-fired story with some interest. (If you haven’t seen about this – this is where a columnist for the New York Times read her nanny’s blog and fired the nanny; and then wrote about it … Continue reading

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Aha! I have the Ossetian unicodes!

Ӕ and ӕ are unique to Ossetian. They look just like Æ and æ, but are in Cyrillic. My pictures are here.

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