Monthly Archives: June 2010

June Books 19) The Bloody Sunday Report, Volume I

The admirable decision to post the whole of the report of the Bloody Sunday Inquiry online (first volume in PDF available here) may not actually spur a lot of people to read it, but it has gripped me, and over … Continue reading

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Linkspam for 30-6-2010

Political party to register "within weeks" Dissidents from the Irish Greens to set up their own group. Their disgruntlement with their former party is entirely comprehensible, but unfortunately their command of Irish rather poor; you can have "Fís Nua" or … Continue reading

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World Cup quarter finals

You have until Friday to vote on the results of the quarter-finals – and just to make it interesting, I’ve broadened out the questions a bit.Scores in the 56 matches so far: seven 0-0 draws, including today’s Paraguay-Japan match; six … Continue reading

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Reassuring

As I arrived at a meeting this morning, the keynote speaker, who I hadn’t seen for about three years, greeted me very jovially and told me I was looking very well. Since he is a former surgeon (though better known … Continue reading

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June books

Non-fiction 5 (YTD 31)       + Bloody Sunday Report vol 1 Fiction (non-sf) 2 (YTD 28)   sf (non-Who or comics) 5 (YTD 45)       Doctor Who (non-comics) 4 (YTD 32)         Comics 3 (YTD 8)     5/19 (YTD … Continue reading

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By-election blues

When Derviş Eroğlu was elected President of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in April, he had to resign his seat in the TRNC’s parliament. His daughter Resmiye Canaltay ran as his party’s candidate in the by-election held last Sunday, … Continue reading

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Flanders and Swann’s continuing relevance

We were discussing England’s exit from the World Cup over breakfast, and my wife hit on the reason for Germany’s success: “they practice beforehand, which ruins the fun.”

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Second Round, Second Half

Doing two days at once seemed to work over the weekend, and I’m going out tomorrow night, so here is a poll on the matches for tomorrow and Tuesday: Three of this weekend’s matches had the expected result (sorry, England … Continue reading

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June Books 18) Twilight Whispers, by Barbara Delinsky

This is a throbbing sensual romance about the serving girl who falls in love with the prince, set among America’s East Coast aristocracy, involving also a murder mystery which is resolved by a caring and sensitive police detective who violates … Continue reading

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June Books 17) Lud-In-The-Mist, by Hope Mirrlees

I was inspired to buy this by Farah Mendlesohn’s Rhetorics of Fantasy, which ranks it as a key exemplar of one of the four modes of fantasy story-telling, the ‘liminal’ in which the boundary with the fantastic is hazy and … Continue reading

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Brahms and Ravel on the Vuvuzela

As explained by Helge von Niswandt and colleaguies; non-German-speakers will appreciate the tone of the Terribly Serious Explanation even if you can’t understand it. (From here via Graham.)

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On yer bike

In the name of fitness, I have been vaguely wondering if I should consider getting a bit more use out of my bicycle. (Young F has recently cracked the art of cycling, and now confidently bikes the 5 km to … Continue reading

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World Cup – Round 2 weekend

A bit of a bumper poll – I am travelling over the weekend, so I’m including both Saturday’s and Sunday’s matches, and also inviting you to speculate on what we’ll be looking at this time next week.I’m not going to … Continue reading

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Wold Cup Day 15

Current (and increasingly irrelevant) FIFA rankings: Current FIFA rankings: Brazil 1st, Spain 2nd, Portugal 3rd, Chile 18th, Switzerland 24th, Côte d’Ivoire 17th, Honduras 38th, North Korea 105thToday’s matches included Slovakia’s extraordinary defeat of the title holders, leaving Italy languishing below … Continue reading

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Hugo short stories

Finally, rounding up my reviews of the Hugo written fiction nominees, here is my rating of the candidates for Best Short Story, as before in reverse order of preference. 5) “Bridesicle”, by Will McIntosh, is a very icky story indeed … Continue reading

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Format irritation

I generally read e-books on my Blackberry, converting them from PDF, HTML or word processor format with Mobipocket’s free converter. As mentioned previously, this sometimes proves problematic with PDFs. I hit another such problem reading Peter Watts’ story, “The Island”, … Continue reading

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Hugo novelettes

Here are my votes for the Best Novelette category, in reverse order. 6) “Eros, Philia, Agape” by Rachel Swirsky is, unfortunately, a story about a sexy anthropomorphic robot who decides to find his soul – told from the point of … Continue reading

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The three point rule

Back when I were a lad, you got only two points for winning a game in a group match, and one for a draw. From 1994 onwards, that was changed to three points for a win, and one for a … Continue reading

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Good week for women in politics

Someone pointed out in a locked entry that the same day that Julia Gillard slightly unexpectedly became prime minister of Australia, Iveta Radičová has been asked to form the next government of Slovakia. This is two days after Mari Kiviniemi … Continue reading

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World Cup Day 14

Apologies – I failed to crosspost the poll to yesterday and instead posted it here twice. This would explain why there were only 40 responses rather than the usual 60 or 70. Current FIFA rankings: Netherlands 4th, Italy 5th, Cameroon … Continue reading

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World Cup Day 13

Current FIFA rankings (looking increasingly irrelevant): Germany 6th, England 8th, USA 14th, Serbia 15th, Australia 20th, Slovenia 25th, Algeria 30th, Ghana 32nd Hearty congratulations to , the only person to call all four of today’s matches correctly. I certainly was … Continue reading

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World Cup, Day 13 – your predictions

Current FIFA rankings (looking increasingly irrelevant): Germany 6th, England 8th, USA 14th, Serbia 15th, Australia 20th, Slovenia 25th, Algeria 30th, Ghana 32nd Hearty congratulations to , the only person to call all four of today’s matches correctly. I certainly was … Continue reading

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Doctor Who Rewatch: 09

It’s not so long since I last rewatched The War Games, but it still strikes me as one of the greatest ever Who stories (see also Neil Gaiman’s take). I wrote last time of why I appreciated most of the … Continue reading

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Hugo novellas wrap-up

I’ve written up the other three novella nominees in separate entries, as is my usual practice with books, and now come to the final two. “Palimpsest”, by Charles Stross, didn’t really grab me I’m afraid. It is a tale of … Continue reading

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World Cup Day 12

Current FIFA rankings: Argentina 7th, France 9th, Greece 13th, Uruguay 16th, Mexico 17th, Nigeria 21st, South Korea 47th, South Africa 83rd (but with home advantage for what that is worth). A record 14 people called all three of today’s matches … Continue reading

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World Cup Day 11

Current FIFA rankings: Spain 2nd, Portugal 3rd, Chile 18th, Switzerland 24th, Honduras 38th, North Korea 105th One big surprise in today’s results, one less surprising and one very much as expected. , , and all got three out of three.

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June Books 16) Mother of Plenty, by Colin Greenland

I have got a third of the way through this and still don’t know what is going on, and have forgotten who the characters are, despite having read the two previous books in the series, so I’m putting it away.

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June Books 15) Schlock Mercenary: Longshoreman of the Apocalypse, by Howard Tayler

I rated the previous volume in this series last in my Hugo voting last year, as did the voters, despite it being the only nominee that was made available to all as part of the Hugo voters package. This year … Continue reading

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A dozen Big Finish plays

I’ve finally caught up with the current run of Big Finish audio plays, and have resolved that in future I’m going to do them individually as I listen to them, as I do with books. In the past I had … Continue reading

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On not getting a job

I do a fair bit of recruiting – hiring interns two or three times a year, and occasional involvement in more senior hires – and a couple of thoughts came together for me this week. First of all, if you … Continue reading

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