Monthly Archives: January 2008

Vote for the commemorative 2-euro coin!

here.

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I hear ya

OK, by popular demand I will do a post about the Lisbon Treaty. Probably at the weekend. In the meantime, feel free to ask me any questions about it in comments here.

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Early Hugo thoughts

Not yet finalised my Hugo nominations, but here are a couple of items I’m likely to include on my list which I haven’t yet seen mentioned by others: Novel: The Children of Húrin, by J.R.R. Tolkien. Indubitably eligible; while some … Continue reading

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January Books 11) An Instance of the Fingerpost

11) An Instance of the Fingerpost, by Iain Pears I’ve been laid low today by a bug I’ve been battling since the weekend, and have resorted to the usual therapy of naps, reading and paracetamol. Finished this excellent book, recommended … Continue reading

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January Books 10) Doon

10) National Lampoon’s Doon, by Ellis Weiner This is the story of Pall Agamemnides, the Kumkwat Haagendazs, known to his followers as Mauve’Bib, and how he used the Freedmenmen of the planet Arruckus to take over the galactic empire by … Continue reading

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More fame

I get about five seconds in the middle of this.

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Monday evening links

Via a kind person in a friends-locked entry where he says very flattering things about me: Before You Know It: free downloads for first steps in dozens of languages. We’ve been playing with this at home for the last few … Continue reading

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January Books 9) Interview with the Vampire

9) Interview with the Vampire, by Anne Rice This book really is the most utter tosh. I can see how it fits in the literary genealogy linking Bram Stoker and Buffy, but Stoker is less pretentious and Buffy is much … Continue reading

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January Books 8) Seven Pillars of Wisdom

8) Seven Pillars of Wisdom, by T.E. Lawrence This is the story of how Lawrence helped the Arabs revolt against the Ottoman Empire in 1917-1918. Its greatest stength is its vivid description of the landscapes of Arabia, Syria and Palestine; … Continue reading

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Postal gaming in the family

Idly googling my ancestors in the hope of getting some genealogical insight is one of my occasional harmless pastimes. I have struck gold for once with this story from the archives of the Correspondence Chess League of America (at least, … Continue reading

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The answer

The answer to yesterday’s question is A9, as rapidly worked out. The numbers are squares in hexadecimal notation; the first three are therefore 1, 4, and 9, followed by 10 (= 16), 19 (= 25), 24 (= 36), 31 (= … Continue reading

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Friday maths question

Having failed yesterday’s maths test, I’m presenting one of my own today. What is the next number in this series? (I’m not giving the first three because that would make it too easy.) (..), (..), (..), 10, 19, 24, 31, … Continue reading

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Which state am I?

You’re Virginia! Part of the old school, you like both historical sites and crazy amusement parks. You like saying the word Commonwealth but couldn’t really explain the concept or how it applies to your life. You like five-sided shapes, five-cent … Continue reading

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Work again

More of my job:

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Persons from Porlock

Our televisual feasting was interrupted twice last night, half-way through the Chinese summit episode of the West Wing by a phone call for Anne, and then again half-way through Torchwood by a phone call for me. Well, the West Wing … Continue reading

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January Books 7) The Rising of the Moon

7) The Rising of the Moon, by Flynn Connolly I started off expecting this book to be just silly – in a future United Ireland where the Catholic Church has taken over, Nuala Dennehy foments a feminist revolution – but … Continue reading

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Interviews on a Sunday night

It’s the return of the interview meme! Some of these questions date from a while back – I have tracked down a number of you to whom I already owe five questions, and will try and deal with those tomorrow. … Continue reading

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Blue flags on LibraryThing

Looking through my reviews on LibraryThing I found to my alarm that seven of them have been flagged as “not a review”. I had no idea that this system was in operation, and no idea until I checked that my … Continue reading

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January Books 6) Endgame in Ireland

6) Endgame in Ireland, by Eamonn Mallie and David McKittrick This is basically a chronological account of the peace process, starting really from the Brighton bomb in 1984 and finishing in the depressing summer of 2001 when everything appeared to … Continue reading

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Doing something interesting with the Cybermen

As ever, I’m a bit behind with my Who-blogging – in particular I want to do a decent write-up of the I, Davros series which I listened to commuting last week – but two of the recent batch had something … Continue reading

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January Books 5) The City of the Dead

5) The City of the Dead, by Lloyd Rose I got this simply because it is the highest-rated Doctor Who novel of any epoch by LibraryThing users, and I wanted a) to assess whether LibraryThing ratings can be considered a … Continue reading

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What I do all day

 

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Free association

In line with my new year resolutions I have been brushing up my Russian, listening to lessons on my MP3 player and muttering the responses to the alarm of my fellow train and passengers. The one problem is, whenever I … Continue reading

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January Books 4) Again, Dangerous Visions

4) Again, Dangerous Visions, edited by Harlan Ellison This is the famous follow-up volume to the even more famous Dangerous Visions, which I read almost exactly three years ago; an anthology of 41 stories, mainly by the leading lights of … Continue reading

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Punchier, pacier, funnier – well, we’ll see

Fish driving a car, Gwen’s line which is the hook. “Bloody Torchwood!” That’s how secret they are! (Line that wasn’t in the trailer!) Actually the fish is not a particularly good actor! Jack’s back. And yes, we missed him. Ianto … Continue reading

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Wingnut attack

So, the season has begun again with the first ad hominem attack of the year, here – WARNING: disturbing image on page. The author of the blog, “Lee Mayr”, appears to be a pseudonym for Anton Koslov, the Russian academic … Continue reading

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Where I was last night

Assisting Mr Stroehlein with the 40 beers at 40 project. Thanks, Andrew!

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The Creature from the Pit, The Keeper of Traken

Two classic stories from the end of the Tom Baker era – the first to be filmed with Lalla Ward playing Romana, and then the first to be filmed after she left. The Creature from the Pit, which I missed … Continue reading

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Nostalgia

Back in the days of my doctorate, the department had an annual Christmas party at which various people would perform sketches. My PhD supervisor and I did two Fry and Laurie sketches in successive years, which was great fun. (script). … Continue reading

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Making things

F has been making things that he got for Christmas. This is half of the fruits of the Doctor Who 3-D Model Making Kit. The rest of it is a Dalek and a Cyberman’s head. Notice that you can see … Continue reading

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