Monthly Archives: December 2013

2013 books poll

The traditional end-of-year poll of books read. There is not a complete agreement with the tallies in my end-of-year books post, but it’s near enough. (Rumour has it that you can also fill in the poll with Twitter or Facebook … Continue reading

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Books of 2012 and 2013

Looking back, I discovered that I never did a proper books roundup of 2012, unlike in previous years (2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005). Well, there’s plenty of time to put that right. So here are my picks of … Continue reading

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December Books

Non-Fiction 3 (2013 total 46) Tardis Eruditorum vol 4: Tom Baker and the Hinchcliffe Years, by Philip Sandifer Information is Beautiful, by David McCandless Stuff I've Been Reading, by Nick Hornby Fiction (non-sf) 5 (2013 total 44) Eyeless in Gaza, … Continue reading

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December Books 22) The Next Generation, vol. I, by John Francis Maguire

I’ll write this up in full next year when I read volumes II and III; just to note for now that it is a political novel written by an Irish MP in 1871, set twenty years in the future (ie … Continue reading

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December Books 21) Stuff I’ve Been Reading, by Nick Hornby

I was unaware of the existence of The Believer, the magazine for which Nick Hornby writes a regular book review column, but I may have to give it a go (I also find the Charles Burns covers very attractive). This … Continue reading

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December Books 20) The Devils (aka The Possessed) by Fyodor Dostoevsky

I found this a bit of a slog, to be honest. An awful lot of time is spent setting up the bourgeois country town whose peace is destroyed by a few men who turn to revolutionary violence for no particularly … Continue reading

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What should I read in 2014?

As in previous years, I found your votes very helpful in thinning out my unread shelf this year, and I would once again very much appreciate your advice on what books to read next, by filling in this poll. (I … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 31-12-2013

The Blood Telegram US complicity in the 1971 Bangladesh genocide.(tags: usa bangladesh pakistan )

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Links I found interesting for 30-12-2013

Food banks: cowardly coalition can’t face the truth about them The British government’s successful war on the poor.(tags: ukpolitics ) A visual history of the Apollo missions All the moon-landing photographs online.(tags: space photos ) A Deadly Mix in Benghazi … Continue reading

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Nostalgia: Vision On and UTV – the music of Wayne Hill

Those of us of a certain age who grew up in the UK will vividly remember the music played to accompany the gallery of viewers’ submissions for the kids’ art programme Vision On, which ran from 1964 to 1976. The … Continue reading

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Foursquare visualisation (f-locked though not especially sensitive)

Those of you (not very many) who are Foursquare users: they have a lovely animation now of all your past check-ins over at https://foursquare.com/timemachine, slightly marred by advertising for the Samsung Galaxy. At the end it gives you a downloadable … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 29-12-2013

An open letter to the citizens of Bulgaria and Romania From @TheEconomist: “You’re welcome.”(tags: ukpolitics migration bulgaria romania ) Internet Archive puts classic 70s and 80s games online For @MarioFannio.(tags: internet ) How To Backup Your Facebook Data In 5 … Continue reading

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My 2013 on Facebook

Facebook is loathsomely opaque when it comes to retrieving information about any discussions you've been involved with. But they are featuring a "Year in Review" app which delivers supposedly your 20 top posts from 2013, mine being as follows: The … Continue reading

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My most commented posts of 2013 (aka the slow death of Livejournal)

Well, the slow death of lj appears to have accelerated this year. I admit I am conscious myself of posting less – work has had its intense moments, Facebook and Twitter are becoming preferred channels for my stray political and … Continue reading

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December Books 19) Information is Beautiful, by David McCandless

First of my Christmas books, a nice present from , compiling David McCandless’s personal favourites from the infographics he has posted at http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/ which I have glanced at from time to time in the past, and will now start reading … Continue reading

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December Books 18) Tardis Eruditorum vol 4: Tom Baker and the Hinchcliffe Years, by Philip Sandifer

Latest output from the prolific Sandifer’s blog, with a few extra essays and updates included. This is of course my favourite era of Old Who, the run from Robot to Talons of Weng-Chiang, and so I read the book with … Continue reading

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December Books 17) The Father Christmas Letters, by J.R.R. Tolkien

This will never be more than minor Tolkieniana for the completist, but it is awfully pleasing to see how what started as just a couple of short notes to the oldest Tolkien children in 1920 had turned into heavily illustrated … Continue reading

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December Books 16) Le Chat du Rabbin tome 1, by Joann Sfar

This is the first of two volumes compiling Sfar's graphic fiction stories about the Rabbi's Cat, set in pre-independence Algeria, in the local cultural tradition that gave us Jacques Derrida and Bernard-Henri Lévy. The cat (who is the narrator) learns … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 28-12-2013

Romania and Bulgaria: ‘If people go to Britain, of course it’s to contribute’ Confusing the rhetoric with, y’know, facts.(tags: ukpolitics eu migration romania bulgaria ) Why the Web Won’t Be Nirvana How Newsweek got it wrong in 1995.(tags: internet history … Continue reading

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December Books 15) The Truth Commissioner, by David Park

When this book was published in 2008, it must have seemed safely theoretical: the idea of a truth and reconciliation commission for Northern Ireland had never found much favour with any of the political decision-makers, and there was no reason … Continue reading

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December Books 14) The Men Who Sold The World, by Guy Adams

As with last month’s Torchwood book, this is another pre-Miracle Day story which features very few of the previous regular Torchwood team, but instead has Rex Matheson, CIA agent, getting swept up in mysterious goings on which are related to … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 26-12-2013

Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The legacy of the teen heroine @naomialderman reflects.(tags: buffy sf ) Every episode of Paddington, on YouTube You’re welcome.(tags: tv ) Phobos 360 The inner moon of Mars, from all angles.(tags: astronomy )

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Links I found interesting for 25-12-2013

Britain’s Bulgaria-Romania phobia @dimobe dissects the UK rhetoric.(tags: eu ukpolitics romania bulgaria li ) Reading digital sources: a case study in ship’s logs Brilliant analysis of 19th-century sailing!(tags: maps history )

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Links I found interesting for 24-12-2013

Jason O Mahony’s Irish Political Predictions for 2014. (tags: ireland li ) FREE, complete Big Finish Audios by big-finish on SoundCloud Sample of 8 great Doctor Who plays from @bigfinish.(tags: doctorwho audio ) Zeno of Elea: the game (tags: mathematics … Continue reading

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My year on Twitter, by @nwbrux

A picture is worth a thousand words, or at least can graph the impact of 2,845 tweets since my last roundup on 15 December last year. Basically my Tom Baker tweet of five weeks ago has broken all records, with … Continue reading

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Links I found interesting for 23-12-2013

Mobile phone chargers to be standardised under EU law Hooray!(tags: eu ) If the Prime Minister wants to change the EU, he has to stop making enemies …and also wake up to Germany’s real position.(tags: eu ukpolitics ) How Y’all, … Continue reading

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December Books 13) The Popinjay, by Iona McGregor

Five and a half years ago I was reminded of this book’s existence by , and as I was recovering from jetlag at her place last weekend, she kindly lent it to me and I zoomed through it as I … Continue reading

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December Books 12) Looking for Jake and other stories, by China Miéville

I’ve read most of Miéville’s novels, but hadn’t come across much of his short fiction except insofar as it has been nominated for various awards. This was a good set of stories, mostly leaning towards horror, mostly set in contemporary … Continue reading

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December Books 11) City of the Dead, by Lloyd Rose

I’d read this Eighth Doctor Adventure five years ago, before starting my systematic read-through of the sequence, and enjoyed it well enough as effectively a standalone novel; I liked it even more as part of the series, having got to … Continue reading

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It’s Gauda Prime Day

32 years on. Two years ago for the thirtieth anniversary, invoked John Donne.

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