Monthly Archives: August 2007

Peculiar geography

From Miles and Wood’s About Time, vol. 3, p. 23, discussing the fictional British space programme: … the logical place for launch and landing would have been as close to the Equator as possible, perhaps British Colombia [sic] or Uganda. … Continue reading

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Ten years back

I slept in an east-facing bedroom in Bosnia, and the late August sun always woke me up far too early in the morning, especially at weekends; I would groggily listen to the BBC World Service to distract me from the … Continue reading

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August Books 13) Darkness Audible

13) Darkness Audible, by Graham Andrews Graham is a well-known figure in Belfast sf circles who actually lives around the corner from where we first lived when we moved to Belgium. This novel is a collection of short stories, most … Continue reading

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Pimping the new Joule

Who’s friended you today? Show me the friends of: as a or script by marnanel

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Bridget latest

cut-n-pasted from Anne’s lj: B is staying at our friendly local long-stay institution (D) until the 9th September. She was admitted for respite last week. The transport problem was solved by an ambulance with three big ambulance men. Then we … Continue reading

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August Books 12) Talkback – The Sixties

12) Talkback: The Unofficial and Unauthorised Doctor Who Interview Book – Volume One: The Sixties, ed. Stephen James Walker 150 pages of interviews with people who had been involved with the making of Doctor Who in the 1960s. Some are … Continue reading

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Doctor Who lore

I reported the other day that I had discovered some further information about the child who supplied the voice for the mad computer Xoanon at the end of episode three of The Face of Evil. Doctor Who lore records that … Continue reading

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Three Doctor Who audios

I’ve been listening to a few of the BBC cds of stories which are also available on video. Why? Because I have more time for audio than video in my day, and I wanted to see if it made much … Continue reading

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Planet of the Spiders, The Mysterious Planet, Attack of the Graske

Planet of the Spiders was Jon Pertwee’s swan-song as the Doctor, back in 1974. Not as bad as some of the other Pertwee stories I have seen, but as with so many of them it is rather spoiled by the … Continue reading

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Why can’t the English teach their children how to speak?

…Norwegians learn Norwegian; the Greeks are taught their Greek. (See here from 2:17 on.) An entry in which may be Taking It All Too Seriously. I have been wondering a bit about this line. Of course, the main reason Lerner … Continue reading

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August Books 11) Preacher [#5]: Dixie Fried

11) Preacher [#5]: Dixie Fried, by Garth Ennis Back to the main narrative of this series of graphic novels, with our heroes in a comparatively tightly plotted narrative arc which takes them to New Orleans. I am enjoying the development … Continue reading

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August Books 7-10) Four books about Europe

7) Not Quite the Diplomat, by Chris Patten8) Missed Chances, by Roy Denman9) Rethinking Europe’s Future, by David P. Calleo10) Why Europe Will Run the 21st Century, by Mark Leonard Four books by four people who I know, more or … Continue reading

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Dental question

À propos of nothing much: How normal is it to have a wisdom tooth operation at the age of 56?

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Why Partition Sucks

By Sumantra Bose. If you want to see more articles as good as this, subscribe to or otherwise to OpenDemocracy‘s feed.

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You can get the most surprising things on eBay

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Reading Meme

What are you reading right now?Just finished four books about the EU which will be the subject of a massive blog entry at the weekend. Meantime, I’m in the middle of Preacher – specifically in the middle of book 5 … Continue reading

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Three short Doctor Who plays

I discovered that I had been missing out on the Doctor Who Monthly CDs issued as companion pieces for the Big Finish sequence of audio plays – I had heard one of them, The Maltese Penguin, but in the wrong … Continue reading

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Who returns?

Well, the current rumour about the guest star in this year’s Children in Need Doctor Who special is very interesting!

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Outrageous!

Dear Jeremy Paxman, Alpha Proximi is not the same as Proxima Centauri. On the other hand, when you have asked a question about chlorides, “potassium” should be an acceptable answer for “potassium chloride”, and when you have asked a question … Continue reading

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Infinity Plus (f-locked entry)

I see Keith Brooke’s latest Facebook status update declares that he is preparing “the last ever infinity plus update.” Sad if true. (This entry friends-locked in case it isn’t.) Keith was the first person to solicit my reviews for an … Continue reading

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The Dæmons, Resurrection of the Daleks, Robot

Three Old Who stories that I’ve been watching. The Dæmons, first shown in 1971, is presumably the only Doctor Who story featuring a character in the title outside the standard 26 letters of the alphabet (plus numbers and punctuation). I’m … Continue reading

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Five from Big Finish

The Rapture: Lots of Who stories begin with the Doctor trying to take his companions to some noted holiday spot to unwind and then ending up somewhere they didn’t expect. This time round, however, they actually arrive in contemporary Ibiza; … Continue reading

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August Books 6) Bel Canto

6) Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett Novel about a hostage crisis in an unnamed Latin American country rather similar to the 1996-97 hostage crisis in Peru (so the second book about Latin America I’ve read this weekend). Actually it’s much … Continue reading

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August Books 5) The Shadows of Eliza Lynch

5) The Shadows of Eliza Lynch: How a Nineteenth-century Irish Courtesan Became the Most Powerful Woman in Paraguay, by Siân Rees I picked this up very cheaply remaindered in Belfast, basically because the only thing I knew about Paraguay was … Continue reading

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Spiritual exercise: pray-as-you-go

After I’d had an exchange on the subject of daily meditation with , one of my relatives on Facebook posted a link to the British Jesuits’ Pray-As-You-Go website, which supplies you with daily meditations for the MP3 player, lasting about … Continue reading

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Follow-up post #2: ‘s question

After people complained that my last numbers quiz was too easy (congrats to and for getting it – and but for a slip of the keyboard), has put forward this counter-challenge: 1111110 12220 321 222 250 110 132 156 He … Continue reading

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Follow-up post #1: ‘s graph

After my earlier musings on the lifespans of the women who have been married to the presidents and vice-presidents of the USA, has had a go at doing a better graphic representation of the data. This is what he came … Continue reading

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U’s favourite music

Little U is four and a half years old. She cannot talk, and doesn’t understand much of what other people say to her, so she often finds the world a frightening place, especially if her big sister B (who also … Continue reading

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Two historical notes

This evening I have had not one but two emails on obscure historical epsiodes, which are worth noting here. Jeffrey Dudgeon got in touch to urge me to read his article in tonight’s Belfast Telegraph about H. Montgomery Hyde, born … Continue reading

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Further update

Thanks, everyone, for your kind words yesterday. It does make a difference. Today has been a lot better, though still some howling at bedtime. I appear to have the honour of being specially chosen to administer carefully measured dots of … Continue reading

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