Monthly Archives: August 2008

Bled notes 2

Fourteen panellists, including two women (both academics), discussing recent events in Georgia. As before, it’s a public event, but my notes are not for further distribution. Giorgi Baramidze, deputy prime minister of Georgia: puts Georgian case. Claims that there has … Continue reading

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Notes from Bled

This is a public event, being webstreamed as it happens, but my notes are not for distribution. First session – NB five blokes, one of whom (the moderator) is black, the others being middle-aged European politicians. Janez Jansa (Slovenian Prime … Continue reading

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How things have changed

Back in the old days, the three things you always had to remember to check before you left on a trip were Tickets, Money, Passport. At least 90%, probably more, of the flights I take these days are e-tickets, where … Continue reading

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A bit of a contrast

Last weekend: Discworld. This weekend: Bled.

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August Books 38) Escape Velocity

38) Escape Velocity, by Colin Brake Well, well: a Doctor Who book partly set in Belgium! Aliens, companions and the Doctor wandering round the Grand’ Place, the Atomium, Waterloo and the European quarter (one character practically walks under the windows … Continue reading

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August Books 37) Henry VI Part 1

37) The First Part of King Henry the Sixth, by William Shakespeare So, having finished Proust and the Who novelisations, I have identified another literary project to work on. I had the usual bits of Shakespeare inflicted on me at … Continue reading

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August Books 33-36) The End of the Classic Who novelisations

So, that’s it: after five months of concentration, mostly on the daily commute, I have now read all but one of the Classic Who novelisations (the one exception being an unofficial fan publication which is not available outside certain circles … Continue reading

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August Books 32) The Carhullan Army

32) The Carhullan Army, by Sarah Hall I got this because it won this year’s Tiptree Award, which seems to me to put forward some reasonable challenges to the Hugo/Nebula establishment. I thought it was a very good book. The … Continue reading

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August Books 31) 1690: Battle of the Boyne

31) 1690: Battle of the Boyne, by Pádraig Lenihan Another in the Tempus series of monographs (like Maria Kelly’s Black Death) on Irish history. Lenihan takes the 1 July battle and examines it in depth from military, political and above … Continue reading

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DWCon and disrupted night

A very nice day at Discworld yesterday, mainly for catching up with lj folks, some of them (, , and especially ) for the first time in the flesh; good to also see , , , , , , , … Continue reading

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More than just a Time Lord

The Millennium Elephant on the nature of the Doctor.

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August Books 30) Islands in the Net

30) Islands in the Net, by Bruce Sterling A really good read, set in an early 21st century future but written in 1988. It is of course not intended as a work of prediction, but it’s impossible not to read … Continue reading

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Barack’s Choice

Glad to see (assuming it is confirmed) that Joe Biden has got the nod for the VP slot. If they win, then some of my friends in DC may end up with interesting changes of job…

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August Books 29) Liberal Democracy and Globalisation

29) Liberal Democracy and Globalisation, compiled and edited by Graham Watson MEP and Katharine Durrant A collection of 21 short essays by 23 MEPs of the Liberal group (and two credited research assistants), addressing the subject in the title of … Continue reading

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Season 25, and August Books 26-28

This journey of mine through the years of Old Who is nearly over, with only the four books of Season 26 left to go. I have already written up Resurrection of the Daleks (TV original and novelisation) and the TV … Continue reading

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Labelling

I bought some tarragon leaves from the supermarket yesterday; when I got out the packet to start chopping them up, I noticed that the country of origin was marked as “West Bank”. Does this mean that it is Palestinian tarragon? … Continue reading

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August Books 24-25) The Office

24) The Office: The Scripts: Series 1, by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant 25) The Office: The Scripts: Series 2, by Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant I caught most of the first series of The Office (the BBC original, not … Continue reading

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South Ossetia

Once again, I want to strongly recommend OpenDemocracy, this time for its series of articles on South Ossetia and its consequences. Today’s article is by my good friend Ivan Krastev, arguing inter alia that Russia may be a loser as … Continue reading

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Telecoms package latest

As a result of my activism a few months ago, I have just received a reply from Flemish Socialist MEP Saïd El-Khadroui: Daarnaast zijn er echter inderdaad een aantal amendementen van parlementslid Syed Kamall goedgekeurd vanuit de Commissie Burgerlijke Vrijheden … Continue reading

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August Books 23) The Execution Channel

23) The Execution Channel, by Ken MacLeod A departure from MacLeod’s previous space-opera stamping grounds, this is a thriller set in the present or near future of a slightly alternate earth – Gore was elected in 2000, 9/11 hit Boston, … Continue reading

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August Books 22) Finding Time Again

22) Finding Time Again, by Marcel Proust Well, I’ve done it: finished the final volume of the Penguin set of À la recherche du temps perdu, a year and a half after starting them. Like the previous one, I found … Continue reading

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Season 24, and August Books 18-21

I actually finished watching the last stories of Classic Who a couple of weeks ago, but am only now getting around to writing them up, just as I work through the remaining novelisations. So I’ll start with Season 24. August … Continue reading

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Shakespeare chronology

List of Plays with Estimated Dates (Dates in parentheses indicate the date of first publication only.) 1590 (1598) Henry VI, Part I Stationers’ Register on 25 February 1598. 1590 (1594) Henry VI, Part II 1590 (1595) Henry VI, Part III … Continue reading

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August Books 17) The Faded Sun Trilogy; and the Bechdel test

17) The Faded Sun Trilogy Having rather bounced off both Cherryh’s Hugo winners, Cyteen and Downbelow Station, I’m glad to report that I found the Faded Sun trilogy much easier to get into. She slightly lost me at the climax … Continue reading

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August Books 16) A History of the Black Death in Ireland

16) A History of the Black Death in Ireland, by Maria Kelly Prompted by young F’s fascination with the subject, I bought this from the remainder pile in the University Bookshop in Belfast the other day. Given the extreme paucity … Continue reading

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Look outside!

Well, after all that rain, the skies cleared enough to see the lunar eclipse just now. Do have a look, if you are on the right side of the world.

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William Thomas White, of Knoxville

I spent yesterday doing a bit of research into the sixteenth-century Sir Nicholas White. My researches threw up this surprising biographical note: White, William Thomas, educator; born in Wahala, S.C., May 12, 1859 ; son of Thomas Warren and Margaret … Continue reading

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Apple juice

The carton of apple juice I got from our local supermarket the other day comes from Poland. It’s obviously made for export, as the contents are described thus on the side: Apple drink Яблочный напиток Obuoulių gėrimas Ābolu dzēriens Ябълкоба … Continue reading

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The 20 Books from 20 Years meme

See here for explanation. Bold if you’ve read (all of) them, italicise if you’ve started but not finished (inc some but not all of a series) and strikethrough if you hated them. The Culture Novels, Iain M Banks (starting 1987) … Continue reading

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Food meme

That food meme that’s going round: Bold what you’ve eaten, strike through what you would never eat. 1. Venison 2. Nettle tea 3. Huevos rancheros – not sure, I’ve had a lot of egg variations in New York for breakfast … Continue reading

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