Monthly Archives: November 2010

Strange names

I’ve just had another facebook friends request from someone with an amusing name. In this case her first name is ‘Nazgul’. Apparently it’s a fairly normal girl’s name in Kyrgyzstan. But I can’t help worrying that the Ringwraiths are on … Continue reading

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Steve Solarz, 1940-2010

I’m sorry to read of the death of Stephen J. Solarz, a former US Congressman who I got to know when he was on the board of the International Crisis Group. He didn’t always get it right – his political … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 30 November: Unearthly Child #2, Invasion #5, Dragonfire #2, Silver Nemesis #2

broadcast anniversaries 30 November 1963: repeat of "An Unearthly Child" and first broadcast of "The Cave of Skulls", the first and second episodes of the story we now call An Unearthly Child. The Tardis has landed on a primitive world … Continue reading

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Delicious LiveJournal Links for 11-30-2010

The Irish Economy » Blog Archive » Migration, the limits of internal devaluation, and the bailout Me old friend Kevin has his analysis (tags: ireland economics) kate_nepveu: warping the minds of the very young "Goodnight Moon", but not as we … Continue reading

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November Books 23) Shakespeare (the illustrated edition), by Bill Bryson

Very pleased with this impulse purchase – remaindered for a fiver in (I think) the University Bookshop in Belfast. I was pretty familiar with most of the material, but Bryson puts it together well and crisply to give a good … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 29 November

i) births and deaths 29 November 1942: birth of Michael Craze, who played Ben Jackson, companion of the First and Second Doctors, in 1966-67. ii) broadcast anniversaries 29 November 1975: broadcast of second episode of The Android Invasion. The Doctor … Continue reading

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Delicious LiveJournal Links for 11-29-2010

BBC – The Devenport Diaries: Your Party or Your Wife? Sitting Green member will not commit to voting for his own party (his wife standing for a different party). (tags: northernireland) Fox Nation readers confuse Onion article with real news … Continue reading

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November Books 23) Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall, by Bill Willingham

An anthology of stories set in Willingham’s world of Fables, interpreting traditional tales and nursery rhymes in his contemporary idiom. The story of Snow White’s revenge is typically inventive; likewise Old King Cole and the three blind mice; and also … Continue reading

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November Books 22) The Cyprus Question and the EU, by Andreas Theophanous

This book was given to me by the author in 2006 (you can see it on top of the pile of papers in front of him in this photograph) and I have been putting off reading it ever since. As … Continue reading

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November Books 21) Placebo Effect, by Gary Russell

Another Eighth Doctor novel, with the Foamasi and Wirrrn (Russell adopts the Ian Marter spelling) competing for attention in subverting a future interplanetary Olympic Games. Russell’s depiction of the Foamasi is competent and his Wirrrn are memorably awful and nearly … Continue reading

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November Books 20) Scott Pilgrim Gets It Together, by Bryan Lee O’Malley

I’ve generally been enjoying these graphic novels about Scott and his battles with his girlfriend’s evil exes, but I thought this one was particularly good: hitting Scott’s angst about commitment to Ramona, working out the depth of his own feelings, … Continue reading

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November Books 19) Utopia, by Thomas More

This was an unexpected pleasure. It’s a very short book, with the framing narrative actually set in Belgium, concerning the wonderful society of Utopia which the main narrator claims to have visited in the coat-tails of Amerigo Vespucci’s explorations of … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 28 November: Karen Gillan, Dalek Invasion of Earth #2

i) births and deaths 28 November 1987: birth of Karen Gillan, who plays Amy Pond in New Who (2010-). Gosh, isn’t she young! ii) broadcast anniversary 28 November 1964: broadcast of “The Daleks”, second episode of the story we now … Continue reading

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November Books 18) Ten Thousand Light-Years From Home, by James Tiptree, Jr.

This one really did blow me away. Just a couple of weeks ago I read the Analog 6 anthology from 1968, a rather staid collection of stories in the classic sf mode. Most (though not quite all) of this 1973 … Continue reading

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November Books 17) The Inheritance of Loss, by Kiran Desai

An interesting and well-observed novel about the dislocations of a household caught up in both the 1986 Gorkhaland demonstrations in West Bengal, and the effects of India’s relationship over the decades with both Britain and the US (or, more specifically, … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 27 November

i) births and deaths 27 November 1918: birth of Peter Tuddenham, who was the voice of the computer in Ark in Space (1975), the voice of the Mandragora Helix in The Masque of Mandragora (1976), and the voice of the … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 26 November

i) births and deaths 26 November 1929: birth of William Dysart, who played Alexander McLaren in The Highlanders (1966-67) and Reegan in The Ambassadors of Death (1970). ii) broadcast and webcast anniversaries 26 November 1966: broadcast of fourth episode of … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 25 November

broadcast and webcast anniversaries 25 November 1967: broadcast of third episode of The Ice Warriors. The Ice Warriors injure Jamie and capture Victoria. 25 November 1978: broadcast of first episode of The Androids of Tara. Romana finds the fourth segment … Continue reading

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November Books 16) The Love Letters of Henry VIII

This is a neat and slim little volume, containing the seventeen letters written by Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn in the 1520s which somehow mysteriously found their way to the Vatican archives, where they still remain. None of Anne’s letters … Continue reading

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November Books 14-15) Doctor Who: The Writer’s Tale / Tolkien’s Book of Lost Tales

14) Doctor Who – The Writer’s Tale: The Final Chapter, by Russell T. Davies and Benjamin Cook 15) The Book of Lost Tales I, by J.R.R. Tolkien, edited by Christopher Tolkien Both of these books are about the creative process … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 24 November

broadcast and webcast anniversaries 24 November 1979: broadcast of first episode of Nightmare of Eden. Two spaceships collide coming out of hyperspace; the Doctor, Romana and K9 start to uncover murky doings with the addictive drug vraxoin. 24 November 2008: … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 23 November

Nothing very significant today, is there? Oh, hang on… i) broadcast anniversaries 23 November 1963: broadcast of “An Unearthly Child”, first episode of the story we now cal An Unearthly Child, and the first ever episode of Doctor Who. Teachers … Continue reading

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Stanley Crossick

I didn’t know Stanley Crossick well, but like a lot of us in the Brussels beltway I was very sad to hear of his death at the age of 75 at the weekend. When I first moved here in 1999 … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 22 November

i) births and deaths 22 November 1920: birth of Paul Erickson, author of The Ark (1966). 22 November 2007: death of Verity Lambert, the very first producer of Doctor Who (1963-65). ii) broadcast and webcast anniversaries 22 November 1975: broadcast … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 21 November

i) births and deaths 21 November 1924: birth of Malcolm Hulke, co-author of The Faceless Ones, The War Games and (uncredited) The Ambassadors of Death, sole author of Doctor Who and the Silurians, Colony in Space, The Sea Devils, Frontier … Continue reading

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November Books 12-13) Two novels about Henry VIII’s reign

I'm up to episode 5 of the The Tudors and took the time to get through two blockbusting novels with the same setting, Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall (which covers the 1527-1535 period in the life of Thomas Cromwell) and Philippa … Continue reading

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Upper Bann

My eye was caught by a confident Sinn Féin prediction that the party can win a second seat in Upper Bann next year, with constiruency chairman saying in public what I have heard privately from a couple of SF supporters: … Continue reading

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Differential community turnout in NI, revisited

I have been debating the question of differential turnout in Northern Ireland by email with a correspondent, and this has prompted me to actually do some more analysis, cross-referencing the election results with census data. The results are rather interesting. … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 20 November

i) births and deaths 20 November 1930: birth of Bernard Horsfall, who played Gulliver in The Mind Robber (1968), a Time Lord in The War Games

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Whoniversaries 19 November

i) births and deaths 19 November 1924: birth of William Russell, who played Ian Chesterton from 1963 to 1965 and has done a number of Big Finish plays, including the just released Lost First Doctor stories by Moris Farhi. 19 … Continue reading

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