Monthly Archives: August 2011

On the antiquity of Presidents

As I continue my reading of Tudor history in Ireland, it suddenly occurred to me that the designation of various Englishmen as ‘Presidents’ of Munster and Connacht during the reign of Elizabeth I must be one of the earliest examples of … Continue reading

Comments Off on On the antiquity of Presidents

August Books

non-fiction 11 (YTD 46) Full House, by Stephen Jay Gould The Plot Against Pepys, by James Long and Ben Long Primate Robinson, 1709-94, by A.P.W. Malcolmson The End of the Peer Show? ed. Alexandra Fitzpatrick A Reader’s Companion to A … Continue reading

Comments Off on August Books

Delicious LiveJournal Links for 8-31-2011

Andrew Stroehlein: Lessons from a Decade of Conflict Ten years on, Osama bin Laden’s caliphatist dream is not one step closer to being realised, and his nihilist vision of Islam never gained support from anything more than a miniscule fringe … Continue reading

Comments Off on Delicious LiveJournal Links for 8-31-2011

August Books 31) Lichaamstaal Wordt Banaal /When Body Language Goes Bad, by Scott Adams

I found I had acquired this Dilbert collection translated into Dutch for some reason. As per usual, variations between the surreal, the banal and the bleakly plausible from the world of work. I particularly liked the one about two guys … Continue reading

Comments Off on August Books 31) Lichaamstaal Wordt Banaal /When Body Language Goes Bad, by Scott Adams

Baked trout with orange and coriander

Ingredients: 4 fresh rainbow trout, emptied, 180-240 g each Salt and pepper to taste Adequate amount of vegetable oil 80 ml fresh orange juice 30 ml fresh lemon juice 30 ml fresh coriander, chopped zest of one or two oranges … Continue reading

Comments Off on Baked trout with orange and coriander

Delicious LiveJournal Links for 8-29-2011

AS Byatt tells Edinburgh audience why she loves reading Terry Pratchett | Books | The Guardian speaking at the Edinburgh international book festival, AS Byatt has declared Terry Pratchett her hero, for having "caused more people to read books than … Continue reading

1 Comment

August Books 30) The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

One of my rereads of classic sf, the story of a very near future America which has been taken over by a sexually repressive theocracy, told by a woman who is being kept as a breeding slave by one of … Continue reading

Comments Off on August Books 30) The Handmaid’s Tale, by Margaret Atwood

Delicious LiveJournal Links for 8-28-2011

The full scope of the ‘climate-change’ conspiracy | slacktivist A conspiracy promoting lies about something as vast, global and pervasive as the climate would have to be as vast, global and pervasive as the climate itself. (tags: climatechange)

Comments Off on Delicious LiveJournal Links for 8-28-2011

August Books 29) Trace Memory, by David Llewellyn

I am still not up to date with the current Torchwood but making up for it with the original run of novels, of which this sadly isn’t one of the better examples – somewhat clunky prose in places, and the … Continue reading

Comments Off on August Books 29) Trace Memory, by David Llewellyn

August Books 28) Uncle Tom’s Cabin, by Harriet Beecher Stowe

This is a very effective narrative, written by a white Northern Christian woman for white Northern Christian women, and pushing all the buttons – the slaves are devout, their owners are not; the system operates to break up slave families … Continue reading

1 Comment

August Books 26-27) CBT and NLP

Two pop psychology books I picked up the other day out of curiosity, from a series with the unwieldy name -> Introducing – The Practical Guides: Big Ideas For Real Life which also includes volumes on child psychology, sport psychology … Continue reading

1 Comment

Delicious LiveJournal Links for 8-27-2011

Jason O Mahony » Blog Archive » 5 things that scare the crap out of me about US politics. 1. The presence of hate in politics. 2. Money matters too much. 3. Refusing to even listen to the other guy. … Continue reading

Comments Off on Delicious LiveJournal Links for 8-27-2011

Pronouncing “chair” and “charity”

(Inspired by Chapter 19 of The Handmaid’s Tale: “I sit in the chair and think about the word chair. It can also mean the leader of a meeting. It can also mean a mode of execution. It is the first … Continue reading

Comments Off on Pronouncing “chair” and “charity”

Delicious LiveJournal Links for 8-26-2011

Case closed: “Climategate” was manufactured | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine A couple of the report conclusions are worth pointing out: We found no basis to conclude that the [Climategate] emails were evidence of research misconduct or that they pointed … Continue reading

1 Comment

Rewatching Who, 1963-1996

So, now that I have finished, what do I think of it all? Those who don’t know or don’t especially like Doctor Who may well query why a middle-aged analyst of international politics should devote any time at all to … Continue reading

Comments Off on Rewatching Who, 1963-1996

Doctor Who Rewatch: 27

It’s the end! But the moment has been prepared for… In my last post I recanted my previous disdain for Remembrance of the Daleks, and uneasily anticipated that I might have to do the same for Battlefield. And so it … Continue reading

1 Comment

August Books 25) The 2nd Interzone Anthology, edited by John Clute

I think all of the stories in the 1987 collection were new to me. A lot of them seemed to reflect the Zeitgeist of Thatcherism and Cold War – in particular, two memorable pieces by Paul J. McAuley and Lee … Continue reading

1 Comment

Paradise Lost

My non-Who audio listening recently has been a BBC radio dramatization of Milton’s epic poem, in 41 12-minute episodes. It is tough going in places, but probably not as tough as reading the original would be. I found the most … Continue reading

Comments Off on Paradise Lost

Delicious LiveJournal Links for 8-23-2011

CBC News – Jack Layton's last letter to Canadians My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we’ll change the world. (tags: … Continue reading

Comments Off on Delicious LiveJournal Links for 8-23-2011

August Books 24) Jewels of the Sun, by Nora Roberts

I got hold of this because for some reason I had got the impression that it belonged on my list of sf and fantasy books set in Ireland. But apart from a couple of friendly ghosts, this is basically a … Continue reading

Comments Off on August Books 24) Jewels of the Sun, by Nora Roberts

August Books 23) The Naming of the Dead, by Ian Rankin

This is a particularly good book in the Rebus series. Rebus and Siobhan Clarke find themselves investigating an apparent serial killer and a dead junior government minister in the week of the 2005 G8 summit and the 7/7 bomb attacks … Continue reading

Comments Off on August Books 23) The Naming of the Dead, by Ian Rankin

August Books 22) George Herbert – Priest and Poet, by Kenneth Mason

Won’t be much use to those who are not already fans of Herbert; Mason interprets “The Collar”, “Love”, “Aaron” and “The Flower” as at least in part expressing the author’s feelings about being a priest, but I do not know … Continue reading

Comments Off on August Books 22) George Herbert – Priest and Poet, by Kenneth Mason

August Books 21) Early Christian Lives, ed. Carolinne White

Six biographies of important figures in early monatsticism – Athanasius’ life of Anthony, three short biographies by Jerome, Sulpicius Severus’ life of Martin of Tours and Gregory the Great’s life of Benedict. They all live holy lives and perform many … Continue reading

1 Comment

August Books 20) Granuaile: Grace O’Malley – Ireland’s Pirate Queen, by Anne Chambers

A fascinating account of a shadowy historical figure of varying spellings, an exact contemporary of Elizabeth I, who appears to have used her own resources to prey on shipping along the Atlantic seaboard of Ireland; it’s difficult to be sure … Continue reading

Comments Off on August Books 20) Granuaile: Grace O’Malley – Ireland’s Pirate Queen, by Anne Chambers

August Books 19) Timescape, by Gregory Benford

Written in 1980, with storylines set in 1962-63 and 1998, this is a scientists' sf novel, the future 1998 world facing ecological and social catastrophe and its physicists trying to communicate with their predecessors to prevent it from happening. As … Continue reading

Comments Off on August Books 19) Timescape, by Gregory Benford

2011 Hugos – some (not much) analysis

Full stats are here. Best Novel: Blackout/All Clear, Connie Willis (beating Feed, which got the most first preferences, by 24 votes on last count; The Dervish House came fifth, though the honours were fairly evenly divided, third place going to Cryoburn by … Continue reading

Comments Off on 2011 Hugos – some (not much) analysis

Gibbon Chapter LX: The Fourth Crusade

A very good chapter on a tragic and horrible episode, the sack of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusade in 1204, illustrated by lucid narrative and pungent analysis. We haven’t had a chapter relating so closely to a single set of … Continue reading

Comments Off on Gibbon Chapter LX: The Fourth Crusade

August Books 18) Dominion, by Nick Walters

An imaginative combination of the elements which make up a Who story: the Tardis, with Eight, Sam and Fitz, lands in Sweden in 1999, but an unstable wormhole is allowing nasties from a dying dimension through, and the Doctor has … Continue reading

Comments Off on August Books 18) Dominion, by Nick Walters

An old joke, but still a funny one

A man in a hot air balloon over the Belgian countryside realized he was lost. He reduced altitude and spotted a woman below. Descending a bit more he shouted, “Excuse me, can you help? I promised a friend I would … Continue reading

Comments Off on An old joke, but still a funny one

August Books 17) Science & Technology in 19th-Century Ireland, ed Juliana Adelman & Éadaoin Agnew

Nice book of essays, which I read for review elsewhere.

Comments Off on August Books 17) Science & Technology in 19th-Century Ireland, ed Juliana Adelman & Éadaoin Agnew