Monthly Archives: July 2013

July Books

Non-fiction 3 (YTD 22)A Room of One’s Own, by Virginia WoolfShakespeare’s Handwriting: A Study, by Edward Maunde ThompsonKatherine Swynford: The History of a Medieval Mistress, by Jeannette Lucraft Fiction (non-sf) 9 (YTD 23)The Complete Stories of Zora Neale HurstonDead Souls, … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 31-07-2013

Three publications on espionage from the General Intelligence and Security Service of the Netherlands. Worth a read.(tags: spying ) Spain’s Down Syndrome councillor makes history …though many with her condition barred from voting.(tags: disability ) The Most Important Life Lesson … Continue reading

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July Books 21) The Pickwick Papers, by Charles Dickens

‘We want to know, in the first place,’ said Mr. Pickwick, ‘whether you have any reason to be discontented with your present situation.’ ‘Afore I answers that ‘ere question, gen’l’m’n,’ replied Mr. Weller, ‘I should like to know, in the … Continue reading

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The chewing habits of the Beech Marten

Until today, I was blithely unaware of the existence of the beech marten (fouine in French, steenmarter or fluwijn in Dutch). After a conversation with the garage who just serviced my car, I am now aware not only of its … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 29-07-2013

Opposition wins Turkish Cypriot elections #fb Crushing defeat for outgoing government.(tags: cyprus )

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High Street, Belfast

Here are men in tricorn hats And lownecked belles, all full of chat, Blocking the vista to the docks; The loosed-out carts And panniered horse, the dogs At random. It's twenty to four By the public clock. A cloaked rider … Continue reading

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July Books 20) Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie

Poirot was silent a minute. Then he said: “If you will be so good, M. Hardman, assemble everyone here. There are two possible solutions of this case. I want to lay them both before you all.” I had not actually … Continue reading

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July Books 19) Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins

“Sometime in the near future, this war will be resolved. A new leader will be chosen,” says Boggs. I roll my eyes. “Boggs, no one thinks I’m going to be the leader.” “No. They don’t,” he agrees. “But you’ll throw … Continue reading

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July Books 18) Spend Game, by Jonathan Gash

The house lies back from the pavement. Beyond the line of dwellings is a row of gardens. Then the dreadful countryside starts, rolling fields, woods, streams, trees. Really horrible, not an antique shop anywhere. I hate the bloody stuff. I … Continue reading

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July Books 17) The Ripple Effect, by Malorie Blackman

'For you, time is waves on a beach that you dip a toe into. For me it’s a whole ocean, all the way from coast to coast and from the surface to the ocean floor. I feel time in the … Continue reading

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July Books 16) Katherine Swynford: The History of a Medieval Mistress, by Jeannette Lucraft

Was she kind, gentle, warm, blessed with a good sense of humour? This we do not know, beyond the conjecture that her personality must have been of merit to hold Gaunt's attention and love for so long. A fairly short … Continue reading

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July Books 15) Plague of the Cybermen, by Justin Richards

‘Are we faster than them? Are they following?’ Olga demanded. ‘Where are we going? Are we lost? Will we ever get out of these tunnels alive?’ ‘No, probably, not sure, absolutely not, and I hope so.’ What?’ ‘Well – you … Continue reading

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July Books 14) Kiss of the Butterfly, by James Lyon

His impression of Belgrade was one of dirty decay. He choked on the coal smoke, leaded automobile exhaust, cigarettes and diesel fumes, yet admired the awkward mix of graceful neglected old buildings and concrete communist kitsch. Street-corner black market currency … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 27-07-2013

Time to expose UKIP MEPs for what they really are – lazy & unprincipled @RTaylor_MEP speaks out!(tags: eu ukpolitics ) Will the Dutch help Cameron to reform the EU? Er, no.(tags: eu ukpolitics ) Verheugen: Beware an institutional crisis after … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 26-07-2013

Roger Zelazny’s The Chronicles of Amber The reread begins.(tags: zelazny sf ) The Chronicles of Amber: Nine Princes in Amber Volume 1.(tags: zelazny sf ) Taking the train rather than the plane for business travel in Europe: does it work? … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 25-07-2013

Oud-Heverlee natuurwandeling door vier seizoenen A year in the natural world in our home village; lovely.(tags: Belgium ) Twiplomacy World leaders on Twitter(tags: politics twitter ) New EU-Morocco Fisheries Protocol signed today EU conniving in plunder of natural resources from … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 24-07-2013

ATOS lose monopoly on work capability assessments after audit shows up “unacceptable” standards Sane commentary from @caronmlindsay.(tags: ukpolitics disability ) Older, anxious and white: why UKIP are the English Tea Party Not a perfect match, but interesting,(tags: ukpolitics usa ) … Continue reading

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Wednesday reading

Current: Spend Game, by Jonathan Gash The Pickwick Papers, by Charles Dickens Mockingjay, by Suzanne Collins Kraken, by China Mieville Last books finished And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie Fantastic Voyage, by Isaac Asimov [Doctor Who] Plague of … Continue reading

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The next number

in the sequence of pronic numbers which are multiples of increasing powers of ten: 2 20 600 141,000 390,000 87,900,000 11,963,000,000 1 x 2 4 x 5 24 x 25 375 x 376 624 x 625 9.375 x 9.376 109,375 … Continue reading

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A pub evening in Brussels

So there I am, out for drinks with and others; and I realise that the foreign minister of Georgia, and two of her deputy foreign ministers, and their entourage, have all just appeared behind on their way to the bar … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 23-07-2013

@arrroberts reviews Agatha Christie’s best-selling novel "this novel — not to labour the point, but a book *published in 1939* — is precisely about an ingenious though sadistic plot to isolate a number of clever, mostly affluent but *fundamentally wicked* … Continue reading

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Number quiz

What number is next in this list? 220600141,000390,00087,900,000

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The Australian K9 series

I have rather lapsed in writing up my rewatch of New Who, but that doesn't mean I have stopped my episode-a-day routine – I finished off the David Tennant era a month ago, and have spent the last four weeks … Continue reading

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July Books 13) And Then There Were None, by Agatha Christie

Sir Thomas Legge said: “Damn it all, Maine, somebody must have killed 'em.” “That's just our problem, sir.” “Nothing helpful in the doctor's report?” “No, sir.” I'm getting a bit bored with Lovejoy as my bedtime reading and might give … Continue reading

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July Books 12) Fantastic Voyage, by Isaac Asimov

“In principle we can reduce a man to the size of a bacterium, of a virus, of an atom. There is no theoretical limit to the amount of miniaturization. We can shrink an army with all its men and equipment … Continue reading

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July Books 11) Vanishing Point, by Steve Cole

‘You’ve had your child kidnapped by a madman, have you?’ Etty snapped. ‘Oh, yes,’ the Doctor said quietly. He stared off vacantly into space, the memory clearly tugging at him. ‘And I got her out, too.’ ‘Safe?’ ‘And superb.’ He … Continue reading

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Other people’s Hugo votes

It’s much more difficult to find online discussion of the Hugo nominees now than it was ten years ago. That doesn’t mean it’s not happening – I’m sure it is. But I suspect that the gardens of the internet are regaining … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 21-07-2013

Take a closer look at the House of Lords Interesting and largely (but not wholly) sympathetic piece.(tags: house of lords ) The E.U.’s New Guidelines on Israel Are Not a Boycott Daniel Levy (@ecfr) on EU getting it right, for … Continue reading

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July Books 10) The Last Empress, by Anchee Min

It was the spring of 1868 and rain soaked the soil. Blue winter tulips in my garden began to rot. I was thirty-four years old. My nights were filled with the sound of crickets. The smell of incense fluttered over … Continue reading

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2013 Hugos: Best Professional Artist

The deadline is drawing nearer, and it’s time to quickly look through the Hugo nominees in a couple of the other categories. I was struck by how many of the Best Professional Artist pictures were sketches just of sultry individuals … Continue reading

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