Monthly Archives: April 2012

April Books 14) Parallel 59, by Natalie Dallaire and Stephen Cole

This is rather a good Eighth Doctor novel, with the Doctor and the steadily improving Compassion trying to navigate a military regime which is better realised than most of the many such regimes in Who books, while Fitz (who I … Continue reading

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The Selachian Gambit

Another of the recent Big Finish Companion Chronicles, this time reuniting Fraser Hines as Jamie McCrimmon and Anneke Wills as Polly Wright, with Hines doing most of the other voices including the Second Doctor and Jamie. It’s a fairly routine … Continue reading

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April Books 13) X’ed Out, by Charles Burns

I picked this up when I went to the Charles Burns exhibition in Leuven last month, struck by its front cover which is a direct homage to one of Hergé’s Tintin albums, The Shooting Star. The story here is completely … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 30-04-2012

Alias: Ultimate Collection, Book 1 Steve Mollmann reviews one of the best of the DC range.(tags: comics ) Eritrea, the most repressive nation on Earth Good piece. But wrongly states that Eritrea is “between Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia” – no … Continue reading

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April Books 12) The Picture of Dorian Gray, by Oscar Wilde

I seem to be reading a lot less this year; not really sure why this is, perhaps a combination of minor changes to my usual routine along with presbyopia simply making reading less comfortable than it used to be (for … Continue reading

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Ending co-terminosity

One of the less frequently used buzz-words in Northern Irish politics is “co-terminosity”, which is shorthand for the fact that members of the Northern Ireland Assembly are elected from constituencies with the same boundaries as those used for Westminster elections. … Continue reading

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βρεκεκεκὲξ κοὰξ κοάξ – the frog chorus

We were out for a walk in the Kessel-Lo park near Leuven this afternoon, and the frogs were singing in full chorus. You can see them squabbling in this video I took: This is yer actual Marsh Frog, not really … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 29-04-2012

Michelle Alexander on Mass Incarceration and The New Jim Crow The United States imprisons a larger percentage of its black population than South Africa did at the height of apartheid,(tags: usa race ) Sun-Like Star May Have More Planets Than … Continue reading

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April Books 11) First Frontier, by David McIntee

Rather a good Seventh Doctor romp, with Benny and Ace involved with an attempted alien invasion coinciding with the start of the Space Race in late 1957. It felt from the start rather like The Claws of Axos, only done … Continue reading

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April Books 10) The Great Wall of China, by Franz Kafka

One of the Penguin Pockets series, a short set of very short stories, any one of which you would probably identify without much difficulty as by Kafka, with his trademark misanthropy and paranoia. The title piece is ostensibly about China … Continue reading

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Sir Arthur Aston’s widow

Idly browsing through family history the other day, it suddenly clicked with me that the sister of one of my direct ancestors was married to Sir Arthur Aston (1590-1650). Aston was a Royalist soldier during the English Civil War who … Continue reading

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The Anachronauts

Somehow I have got very far behind with recent Big Finish releases, so I am listening to them all again, in continuity order. The Anachronauts, by Simon Guerrier, brings together the fantastic First-Doctor team of Peter Purves and Jean Marsh … Continue reading

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April Books 8) Among Others, by Jo Walton

I must admit that at various points in this novel I wondered how Jo Walton had got inside my head. Her narrator is a teenager in 1979-80, growing up reading Vonnegut, Zelazny, Heinlein and all the classics of science fiction, … Continue reading

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Attack of the Daleks

Young F has been doing some coding, and presented me with this birthday present: http://www.mediafire.com/?vn3e4mp9repcuot Works on Windows XP at least; let me know how you find it with other systems!

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Links I found interesting for 28-04-2012

The Call of Cthulhu – for beginning readers Lovecraft a la Seuss!(tags: ) Wind Map Cool!(tags: weather ) South Sudan wants EU to send troops | European Voice Intermittent clashes since January have in the past month turned into substantial … Continue reading

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45

I was really ill on my last two birthdays, which rather cramped my style; I'm in better health this year, thank god, and therefore able better to express my appreciation for the good wishes people have been sending me over … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 24-04-2012

Scandalous International Hypocrisy on Sudan Blame the victim, not the perpetrator. As usual.(tags: sudan )

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Links I found interesting for 23-04-2012

The War is Dead, Long Live the War (review by John Simpson) “Moderately decent people are out of their depth when they come face to face with the unquestionably wicked, and rarely react with the necessary toughness. 1992 was a … Continue reading

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Space exploration rejected by French voters

Holding a glorious tenth place out of ten candidates in today's presidential election in France is Jacques Cheminade, with support somewhere around a stupendous 0.2% of the total vote, who perhaps coincidentally was the only candidate with an advanced policy on space exploration: … Continue reading

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The wandering hands of Pol Van Den Driessche

Belgium (or at least the part of it that cares about Flemish politics) has been consumed with interested over the last week in the affair of Pol Van Den Driessche, a right-wing politician and former journalist running for mayor of … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 22-04-2012

What does Twitter know about me? My .zip file with 50Mb of data Fascinating.(tags: privacy twitter ) LJarchive Fixed! Hooray!(tags: livejournal ) Why the silence is the real problem. The Belgian political sexual harassment scandal. (In Dutch.)(tags: belgium sexandgenderandsexuality )

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Links I found interesting for 21-04-2012

Who’s Afraid of Greater Luxembourg? – NYTimes.com Not many people, I suspect.(tags: maps eu ) The Western Sahara: forgotten first source of the Arab Spring | Carne Ross | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk (tags: westernsahara ) How “breaking news” … Continue reading

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What I learned in Strasbourg

MEPs’ offices in the southern end of the European Parliament building (the Winston Churchill / Salvador de Madariaga wing) are closer to the completely separate and external Council of Europe building than they are to MEPs’ office at the northern … Continue reading

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April Books 7) Doctor Who: Shada, by Douglas Adams and Gareth Roberts

We’ve waited a long time for this, the lost novelisation of the lost Doctor Who story, brought to life from the final version of Adams’ script by one of the best-placed of the current Who authors. And it is pretty … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 18-04-2012

The Eurozone’s politics according to the Financial Times “In the last two years British newspapers have been promising more or less the same thing to Eurozone citizens: collapse, soon.” Yet it hasn’t happened.(tags: economics euro ukpolitics eu ) What is … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 17-04-2012

The 2012 Arthur C. Clarke Shortlist, Part 1, reviewed by @arrroberts Kinder than me to Bear and Mieville. (Agree on Magary.)(tags: sf ) Afghanistan: an illusion exposed | Carne Ross #fb “We entered Afghanistan and tried to make it comply … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 16-04-2012

Eastercon reports @lizbatty has an impressive collection.(tags: eastercon ) Belgium explained | New Europe Andy Carling: “Brussels calls itself the Capital of Europe and acts like an obscure hamlet.”(tags: belgium )

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April Books 6) The Empire Stops Here, by Philip Parker

A fascinating travelogue around the ruins of the Roman Empire’s frontiers, starting at Hadrian’s Wall and ending at Septem, now the Spanish enclave of Ceuta, which was incidentally also the last Byzantine outpost in North Africa. Parker manages an admirable … Continue reading

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April Books 5) Paradox Lost, by George Mann

I have already snarked about the quality of the prose of this book; apart from that fairly major consideration, my only other objection is that it doesn’t really deliver on the Miltonian reference of the title other than by having … Continue reading

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April Books 4) A History of God, by Karen Armstrong

I’ve had mixed luck with Karen Armstrong’s books, but this is pretty readable; it’s a potted history of theology in the three major monotheistic religions from early Old Testament times to the present day. I’m not an expert in the … Continue reading

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