Monthly Archives: September 2006

Quiz question

Who is next in this sequence? Gene Kelly Loretta Swit Joan Baez Shirley Bassey James Coburn Brooke Shields That was fast! has supplied the correct answer, Glenda Jackson.

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David Tennant on Who Do You Think You Are

Available here.

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Who Do You Think You Are?

Did anyone happen to tape David Tennant on “Who Do You Think You Are?” last night? Three of my interests converging – genealogy, Irish history and Doctor Who!!! Edited to add: OK, will watch the repeat on Tuesday evening (thanks, … Continue reading

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Feeling better

Am off to work now, feeling much less cold-ridden than yesterday. This is obviously the time of year for colds – I quote Samuel Pepys’ diary entry from 27 September 1663: At night to supper, though with little comfort, I … Continue reading

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September Books 22) The Prince

22) The Prince, by Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli As part of my newly self-inflicted reading programme, this was a merciful relief in that it is a) very short and b) a non-fiction essay about a subject that I am … Continue reading

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September Books 20) The God of Small Things, 21) Beloved

20) The God of Small Things, by Arundhati Roy 21) Beloved, by Toni Morrison Further to my previous post, these two books turned out to be a pretty effective paired reading, though rather morbid if you are lying in bed … Continue reading

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Various things

I’ve been at home feeling flu-ridden since noon yesterday, which explains the peculiar tone of some recent posts. It also means I don’t have the energy to pursue several strange and fascinating links I have seen, noted here for future … Continue reading

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Further to my previous theory…

…some of you may be aware of my thesis that authors born between 1942 and 1951 (inclusive) have won a surprisingly large number of Hugo and Nebula awards. I have done a bit more number-crunching on this question. We know … Continue reading

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A question you had never thought of asking

How many people have got votes in the U.S. electoral college on three or more occasions? The answer is twenty-two: George Washington: 1) Elected President in 1789, with 69 votes of a possible 69 2) Elected President in 1792, with … Continue reading

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September Books 19) Persuasion

19) Persuasion, by Jane Austen Again, driven to read this at last by my posts here and here. It’s a very nice story, of repressed emotions, shallow pretensions, and the tentative process of picking up a relationship after eight years … Continue reading

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September Books 18) The Brothers Karamazov

18) The Brothers Karamazov, by Fyodor Dostoevsky Finally shamed into reading this by this meme, though it was also part of my 2006 reading resolutions. Am I unusual in finding the grand sweeping philosophical monologues about the nature of God … Continue reading

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So, update…

…interview went well. So they are calling in references, and putting it to their Board. (I assume they are not going to ask the Board to approve not offering me the job!) I should hear at the end of next … Continue reading

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The EU’s biggest problem

According to Ari Vatanen MEP: “The biggest problem in the European Union is not unemployment, pollution, low prices for wheat or not even the enlargement – it is the lack of love.” Well, it’s a point of view.

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Correction in the Guardian

“The leader of Kalmykia (a Russian region), Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, claims he was abducted by aliens in 1997, not 1999.”

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Good thoughts please folks…

…job interview tomorrow.

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Note to self:

While I do generally like the new livejournal comment tracking system, I must remember that now I’ve turned off the old system, I no longer get automoatic notification of replies to my comments on other people’s journals, or of comments … Continue reading

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Alternate Britains in Doctor Who, 2006 vs 1970

There are two Doctor Who stories largely set in a more or less contemporary parallel universe, the 1970 Jon Pertwee series “Inferno” and the 2006 David Tennant two-parter “Rise of the Cybermen”/”The Age of Steel”. I rewatched the latter, and … Continue reading

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September Books 17) Kosovo’s Endgame

17) Kosovo’s Endgame: Sovereignty and Stability in the Western Balkans, by Aristotle Tziampiris For the second time time this month I review a book on Kosovo given me by the author. He has done two important things with this book: … Continue reading

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Northern Ireland Secretary: Doctor Who Needed

Yep, Peter Hain says that Northern Ireland needs “a Dr Who-style success”. But it’s not quite what you think…

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September Books 16) Epic

16) Epic, by Conor Kostick I know the author a little and I know the publisher rather better; but what really flagged it up to me was ‘s review, a year and a half ago. It’s a YA novel set … Continue reading

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Language test – the answers

Answers to the World Language Test I posted about earlier. I got three wrong – they are in italics. 1. What immediate family of languages does English belong to? Germanic 2. Which of the following is not a Romance language? … Continue reading

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The Pope and Islam

I first became aware of this issue waiting for my plane at Dulles airport on Friday last week, via the scrolling newbars on CNN. I knew I wasn’t missing much, since with CNN it makes little difference whether or not … Continue reading

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Language Test

Booked the morning off work for a meeting with our financial adviser. He couldn’t make it at the last minute so I can catch up on some other things, including this (via ): Language Scholar You scored a 370 out … Continue reading

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Anyone feel like replying?

I have to go to Greece now. But some of you may feel motivated to reply to this commenter to one of my book reviews (the comment is addressed to the author of the book, who I think is unlikely … Continue reading

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From Pepys’ diary

Poor Sam had a bad night at an inn in Wisbech, with one minor compensation: By and by newes is brought to us that one of our horses is stole out of the stable, which proves my uncle’s, at which … Continue reading

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Anniversary

Today is the 1910th anniversary of the assassination of the Roman emperor Domitian. Intrigued by the astrological features of this event, I wrote a short article about it a while back, and then found someone else had written a longer … Continue reading

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September Books 15) Esprit de Corps

15) Esprit de Corps: Sketches from Diplomatic Life, by Lawrence Durrell Well, when I discovered that Lawrence Durrell had written a book of humorous short stories set in the British Embassy in Belgrade in the early 1950s, I absolutely had … Continue reading

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September Books 14) 31 Days

14) 31 Days: The Crisis That Gave Us the Government We Have Today, by Barry Werth My obsession with Gerald Ford flagged up this book on its publication earlier this year, and I managed to find a half-price review copy … Continue reading

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September Books 13) The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Third Annual Collection

13) The Year’s Best Science Fiction: Twenty-Third Annual Collection, ed. Gardner Dozois This is always the best value for money of the various best-sf-of-the-year collections, if also the most intimidating (I don’t seem to have finished last year’s). Plenty of … Continue reading

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Back on this side

Transatlantic flight finished, now a wait for several hours in Heathrow for the connection back home. Trip report below the cut, but first of all, congratulations to for securing no less than Iain M. Banks for next August’s MeCon in … Continue reading

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