Monthly Archives: September 2011

My tweets

Sun, 13:05: Banks and the bezzle — Crooked Timber http://t.co/JnpLXy7F John Quiggin asks why so few bankers have been prosecuted. Sun, 13:33: Gibbon Chapter LXIII: The East in the early 14th century http://j.mp/pSLCrL Sun, 15:46: September Books 17) Storm Harvest, … Continue reading

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September Books 18) Constantinople, by Philip Mansel

My friend Yalçın Vehit recommended this book to me a couple of years ago, and he was absolutely right; it is a fascinating history of a fascinating city. After the first chapter, which describes the immediate aftermath of its conquest … Continue reading

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The Doomsday Quatrain, House of Blue Fire

Having whined last week about the recent “Lost Stories” of the Seventh Doctor released by Big Finish, I’m glad to report that this month’s two plays in the regular sequence, both featuring the Seventh Doctor with no companions, are a … Continue reading

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Pasta and houmous/hummus/حمّص sauce

You may spell it hummus, you may spell it houmous, you may spell it حمّص; but somehow I had not thought of using it as the base for a pasta sauce before. Normally I like to cook a thick cheese … Continue reading

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September Books 17) Storm Harvest, by Robert Perry and Mike Tucker

A Seventh Doctor novel set between Survival and the start of the New Adventures, following sequentially from Matrix by the same authors. Having just listened to the Big Finish “Lost Stories” set in the same chronological gap, I am struck … Continue reading

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Gibbon Chapter LXIII: The East in the early 14th century

A short chapter, in which the restored Byzantine empire staggers on, the emperors buffeted internally by the Church and externally by the militant and powerful trader cities of Genoa and Venice. Notes on meditation and a couple of points of … Continue reading

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My tweets

Sat, 20:43: Wikipedia translates “Henricus Mirabilis” as “Henry the Admirable”, but Gibbon calls him “Henry the Wonderful” – I prefer Gibbon! #fb Sat, 20:51: And Henry the Wonderful’s father-in-law was Albert the Degenerate. The mind boggles. #fb Sat, 21:27: Social … Continue reading

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My tweets

Fri, 16:49: Fantastic concert by Craobh Rua! (@ Northern Ireland Executive office) http://t.co/kMC3u3vh Fri, 18:55: And now we have Gerry on the uileann pipes! (@ Northern Ireland Executive office) http://t.co/G4ojoxqH Fri, 20:18: Why is bus still here, 10 mins after … Continue reading

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UARS re-entry

I've woken up and am following the re-entry of the UARS satellite via the wonders of the internet. On this channel I can see it over the Pacific Ocean, in the vicinity of New Zealand; this picture shows its last … Continue reading

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Links

Birthday surprise"I've had this well of excitement and anxiety. I'm terrible – TERRIBLE – at keeping secrets and more than once I'd had to stop myself from spilling it all out. Once or twice I've had to blatantly lie, which … Continue reading

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Links

Rethinking Privacy and Publicty on Social Media"The hyperbolic statements center around the idea that digital content is immortal and searchable by millions of others. While (mostly) true, it should also be noted that the vast majority of all digital content … Continue reading

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More links

Israel and America on the Wrong Side of History – Gareth Evans – Project Syndicate Mysterious paper sculptures – Weirdness in Edinburgh libraries. The Beauty of The Kalevala – The great Finnish epic. Victorian Visions of the Year 2000 Hugo … Continue reading

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Boundary Commission for Northern Ireland – my input

Northern Ireland Boundary Commission proposals 2011 – observations by Nicholas Whyte 0. Introduction I maintain the Northern Ireland elections website at http://www.ark.ac.uk/elections, the most substantial archive of electoral information regarding the region available anywhere. Although I have not resided in … Continue reading

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September Books 16) The Way Through The Woods, by Una McCormack

A good, spooky Who story, one that you could easily imagine being an episode from the current series – indeed, it has a number of plot similarities with The Girl Who Waited which I suppose is coincidental. The actual plot, … Continue reading

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Dalek prototype

I had a pleasant breakfast with , and Abi over at Pendrift’s the other day, and our hostess mentioned that she had seen what she described as a ‘granddaddy Dalek’ in the Royal Military Museum, ten minutes’ walk from my … Continue reading

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September Books 15) The Sharing Knife: Passage, by Lois McMaster Bujold

Somehow several years have passed since I read the first two books in this series, so a lot more time has passed for me than for the characters. But it is relatively self-contained; our newlywed heroes, Fawn and Dag, travel … Continue reading

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An eighteenth century incident

On the recommendation of Lois McMaster Bujold, I got hold of the autobiography of Davy Crockett, and was stunned by this account of one of his uncles: By the Creeks, my grandfather and grandmother Crockett were both murdered, in their … Continue reading

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Gibbon Chapter LXII: the East in the later thirteenth century

Brief note this time. The Greek successors of the Byzantine empire gradually reincorporate its territory, and engage in an insincere reunification of the Eastern and Western churches.

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September Books 13) British Science Fiction & Fantasy: Twenty Years, Two Surveys

This fascinating volume includes the answers given by 84 writers, mostly British, all in some way sf and fantasy writers, to two questionnaires about sf, circulated in 1989 and 2009. The 1989 survey answers are compiled and edited by Paul … Continue reading

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Irish elections: the Presidency and the SDLP

Two interesting political developments yesterday. The presidential race in the Republic, having lost a lot of its sparkle when David Norris was forced to pull out, and again when Fianna Fáil failed to persuade one of their celebrity options to … Continue reading

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Northern Ireland election site updates: councils and old Westminster elections

The excellent Conal Kelly has sent me updates for the elections in the 26 local councils of Northern ireland: Antrim, Ards, Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Belfast, Carrickfergus, Castlereagh, Coleraine, Cookstown, Craigavon, Derry, Down, Dungannon, Fermanagh, Larne, Limavady, Lisburn, Magherafelt, Moyle, … Continue reading

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Three Doctor Who tales

Tom Baker is back, with another series of five Fourth Doctor audios by Paul Magrs: the new Serpent’s Crest audios follow the Hornet’s Nest and Demon Quest sequences of 2009 and 2010. The first story has some promising elements: rather … Continue reading

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Links

The last two times I posted my Delicious links by hand, Delicious posted them again a couple of hours later. I've turned off Delicious posting once more, though even that has not always been a smooth process ion the past, … Continue reading

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Belgium: directly elected senators to be abolished

The Belgian papers this morning are full of the deal reached last night by politicians on the obscure but complex and painful issue of the partition of Brussels-Halle-Vilvoorde. I was fascinated to read that one of the details is that the directly … Continue reading

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Delicious LiveJournal Links for 9-14-2011

The Pensions myth "there’s a solid argument for spending money while you have it, because deferring gratification now for gratification later on is intrinsically something of a gamble." (tags: economics) The WBN 2012 Top 100 Yet another book list. (tags: … Continue reading

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Balkan reading list

A friend of mine recently asked me for recommendations of books on the Balkans – not textbooks on history or politics, but more interesting stuff, novels for preference. This was my reply. Dear X, When we were on the phone … Continue reading

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Northern Ireland: the new constituency boundaries

Here is my projection of the three most recent election results in Northern Ireland – the 2010 Westminster election, the 2011 Assembly election and the 2011 local council elections – onto the sixteen proposed new constituency boundaries. For each constituency … Continue reading

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Delicious LiveJournal Links for 9-13-2011

SpongeBob 'may impair concentration' What a load of nonsense! (tags: children) BBC News – New Borders, new names? Notes from my radio appearance on Sunday. (tags: northernireland) Five Paradoxes of Peace Operation, by Richard Gowan (PDF) 1)  Military peacekeeping has grown … Continue reading

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Links

SpongeBob ‘may impair concentration’ – What a load of nonsense! New Borders, new names? – Notes from my radio appearance on Sunday (and there is more to come on this). ⁠ Five Paradoxes of Peace Operation, by Richard Gowan (PDF): … Continue reading

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On the radio

Here, now.

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