Monthly Archives: July 2010

July Books

Non-Fiction 11 (YTD 41) Hope-In-The-Mist, by Michael Swanwick The Bloody Sunday Report, Vol II The Bloody Sunday Report, Vol III The Bloody Sunday Report, Vol IV A Fortunate Life: The Autobiography of Paddy Ashdown The History of the Decline and … Continue reading

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July Books 21) The Bloody Sunday Report, Vol VIII

We’re in the final stages now, and as with the previous volume, this is a bit of a grab-bag of disparate topics. More than half of this volume is taken up with an overall assessment of the activities of paramilitary … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 31 July

i) births and deaths 31 July 2004: death of Robert James, who played Lesterson in The Power of the Daleks (1966) and the High Priest in The Masque of Mandragora (1976) ii) broadcast anniversaries None. iii) date almost specified in … Continue reading

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Delicious LiveJournal Links for 7-31-2010

SPIEGEL Interview with Craig Venter: 'We Have Learned Nothing from the Genome' – SPIEGEL ONLINE – News – International SPIEGEL: So the Human Genome Project has had very little medical benefits so far? Venter: Close to zero to put it … Continue reading

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Salukes

In local dialect, people often wish each other Salukes on parting. (Stress on the second vowel, which is pronounced like German ΓΌ.) This curious word is a combination of the French salut, which is a slang greeting, with the plural … Continue reading

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Whoniversary 30 July

date almost specified in canon 30 July 1977: Most of episode 1, all of episode 2 and the first part of episode 3 of Image of the Fendahl (1977) appear to be set on this date, for reasons which will … Continue reading

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For the attention of beer fans within range of Portland, Oregon

(if, that is, any are reading this): I see that the Rock Bottom Restaurant and Brewery has released a new beer called Oud Heverlee Belgian Pale Ale – since it is named after my home village, I will be very … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 29 July

date almost specified in canon 29 July 1977: first scenes of Image of the Fendahl (1977) as the hiker meets his doom and the scientists play with their pet skull. (Will give reasons for this dating on Saturday.) date of … Continue reading

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July Books 20) The Highest Science, by Gareth Roberts

This was Gareth Roberts’ first Doctor Who book (in the Virgin New Adventures series), laying the groundwork for a subsequent career that has most recently produced The Lodger (though we have a couple more Sarah Jane Smith stories by him … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 28 July

Births and Deaths 28 July 1946: birth of Kenny McBain, who directed The Horns of Nimon (1979-80). Yeah, slim pickings, I know. We will finish the month with a more interesting trio of dates.

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July Books 19) Doctor Who Annual 1973

I very much enjoyed the 1971 Annual, but there was a gap of two years before the next in the series was published and unfortunately the improvement in quality was not maintained. Most of the stories appear to be by … Continue reading

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July Books 18) The Bloody Sunday Report, Vol. VII

This is the last volume detailing the main series of events on Bloody Sunday, and the longest so far (just slightly ahead of Vol. V by 656 pages to 654). It is divided into three rather different sections. The first … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 27 July

Nothing particularly grabbed me for yesterday’s date. i) births and deaths 27 July 1925: birth of Harry Towb, whose death last year, three days before his 84th birthday, I commemorated at the weekend. ii) broadcast / performance anniversary 27 July … Continue reading

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I do not often think of myself as particularly short

A couple of telling photographs from the current trip. First, me and my colleague T with the Minister and his Undersecretary, who are both just under 2 metres tall: And then, me with (left) the head of their Addis Ababa … Continue reading

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July Books 17) The Sun Also Rises, by Ernest Hemingway

I had almost no expectations or knowledge of this book before I opened it; my only other Hemingway, read and much enjoyed a year ago, was The Old Man and the Sea so I was mildly braced for more tales … Continue reading

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July Books 16) Faust, by Goethe

It really took me ages to grind through this, and I’m not sure that it was worth it. Rather ambitiously I got hold of the Wordsworth edition which includes not only Part I and Part II of Faust, but also … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 25 July

broadcast anniversaries 25 July 1964: broadcast of ‘Kidnap’, the fifth episode of the story we now call The Sensorites. The Doctor, Ian and Susan start to get to the bottom of the mysterious poisonings, but the internal political machinations of … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 24 July

i) births and deaths 24 July 2009: death of Harry Towb, a few days before his 84th birthday. He played Osgood, the lunar controller in episode 1 of The Seeds of Death (Second Doctor, 1969) and McDermott, the old-school plastics … Continue reading

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July Books 15) The Bloody Sunday Report, Volume VI

At 625 numbered pages, this is another very long volume of the Bloody Sunday report – not really because of the number of casualties (eight, compared to seven from each of the previous two volumes) let alone the number of … Continue reading

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Here I am!

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July Books 14) The Stuff of Thought: Language as a Window into Human Nature, by Steven Pinker

I was rather unimpressed by the Pinker book I read last year, but this seemed to be a more coherent assembly of facts and theories relating to linguistics, psychology and philosophy. I’m afraid I still wasn’t gripped by it, but … Continue reading

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ICJ rules on Kosovo

Still trying to get details but it seems that the International Court of Justice has, very sensibly, ruled that Kosovo’s declaration of independence in February 2008 did not violate either general international law, or, more specifically, UN Security Council Resolution … Continue reading

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Doctor Who Rewatch: 10

As with most of the stories of this run, I found myself enjoying The Mind of Evil more this time than previously. Already, the Doctor / UNIT / Jo ensemble feels comfortable and reassuring. It is quite amazing how much … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 22 July

22 July 1937: birth of Adrienne Hill, who played the short-lived Katarina, a companion of the First Doctor, in the last episode of The Myth Makers and the first few episodes of The Daleks’ Master Plan in 1965. 22 July … Continue reading

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Whoniversary 21 July

Posting late because I have been on the road. 21 July 1994: publication of the first of the Virgin Missing Adventures, Paul Cornell’s tale of the Fifth Doctor and vampires, Goth Opera. I won’t normally track publication dates here but … Continue reading

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Situation Vacant

Yet another new series starting from Big Finish, this time with Paul McGann’s Eighth Doctor auditioning four potential new companions in a set-up intended more for comedy than common sense. Not all of the potential companions are exactly who or … Continue reading

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July Books 13) Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens

One of several classic Dickens books which I had not previously read, and which eventually worked to the top of my list. I am sure that it was spell-binding social commentary in 1838, but the character of Oliver seemed to … Continue reading

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I’ve been PNG’ed

For the first time in my life I’ve been refused entry to a country on, as far as I can tell, purely political grounds. Preparing for my fourth trip in eight months to Sudan, I applied as usual for a … Continue reading

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Joanna Kanska recalls “a Very Peculiar Practice”

From the extra tracks of Situation Vacant: “I had a brush with Doctor Who you know… you could say! It was fantastic job, because most of the time I was in bed with Peter [Davison], which was quite nice – … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 20 July

I didn’t forget about this yesterday, just didn’t spot any 19 July anniversaries that appealed. i) births and deaths 20 July 1923: birth of James Bree, who played the Security Chief in The War Games (1969), Nefred the Decider in … Continue reading

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