Monthly Archives: February 2017

February Books

Non-fiction: 2 (YTD 7) THEN: Science Fiction Fandom in the U.K., 1930-1980, by Rob Hansen Based On The Popular TV Serial, by Paul Smith Fiction (non-sf): 1 (YTD 4) To Lie with Lions, by Dorothy Dunnett sf (non-Who): 6 (YTD … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 28-02-2017

Theresa May’s Brexit trade bluff The UK’s weak position. @BraithewaiteUKUN is quoted.(tags: eu ukpolitics brexit ) The old British tactic of divide and rule in Europe will not work for Brexit negotiations When you announce you’re leaving, you lose leverage.(tags: … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 27-02-2017

My Friend, The Russian Ambassador Lovely obituary by former US ambassador @SamanthaJPower.(tags: death russia uspolitics diplomacy ) To the Commonwealth, “Global Britain” sounds like nostalgia for something else Deaf to history and blind to economics.(tags: brexit ukpolitics ) The Martin … Continue reading

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Sunday reading

Current Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (a chapter a month) Based On The Popular TV Serial, by Paul Smith Occupy Me, by Tricia Sullivan A Suitable Boy, by Vikram Seth Last books finished To Lie with Lions, by … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 26-02-2017

Future Shocked Why Judge Dredd is relevant – well worth reading.(tags: comics ukpolitics uspolitics ) Was The Macra Terror shown in a New Zealand school in 1974? Fascinating detective work.(tags: newzealand doctorwho ) The worst mission statement of all time … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 25-02-2017

Hating Comic Sans is Ableist The subtleties of fonts.(tags: fonts disability ) What Is Incivility Costing You? It doesn’t do any harm to be nice.(tags: psychology )

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Interesting Links for 24-02-2017

Behind the scenes at the Swedish troll factory How we are being spun.(tags: Russia sweden Internet ) Brexit and Europe: A new entente @AndrewDuffEU calls for a transitional supervisory authority to oversee the process.(tags: eu brexit ukpolitics ) On the … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 23-02-2017

Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds Beware your own mindset!(tags: psychology ) GOP congressman worries about terrorists using bales of marijuana to smuggle nukes into the U.S. Wow.(tags: uspolitics ) Oxford distances itself from Trump favourite Malloch @FT putting the … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 22-02-2017

Are There More Trees on Earth Than There Are Stars in the Milky Way? Actually, yes, as it turns out.(tags: mathematics biology astronomy ) Inside the Secret World of Russia’s Cold War Mapmakers Fascinating piece (from 2015)(tags: Russia Maps ) … Continue reading

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Goodreads/LibraryThing stats: Nebula Award shortlist (and Norton Award)

It's that time of year. Once again, I've run the Nebula Best Novel finalists (and the Norton finalists) through LibraryThing and Goodreads to see how widely they are owned by those on each system. Nebulas first. Goodreads LibraryThing owners av … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 21-02-2017

Gill Howie obituary I had completely missed that she died four years ago. What a shame. #fb(tags: death ) All you need to know how to influence the EU in one easy chart Plus a few extra points.(tags: eu lobbying … Continue reading

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#AE17 South Belfast: DUP second seat most vulnerable

We finish this tour of the Northern Ireland constituencies with South Belfast, where I grew up. It elected two Unionists in 2016 with 36.1% of first preferences, two Nationalists with 34.2%, one Alliance with 16.4% and one Green with 9.6%. … Continue reading

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#AE17 East Belfast: DUP third seat most likely to go

East Belfast elected four Unionists in 2016 with 56.7% of first preferences, and Alliance got the remaining two starting with 28.7%. The Nationalist vote was 2.9%. 2016 result DUP 13,643 (36.7%, -7.3%) 3 seats UUP 4,142 (11.1%, +1.4%) 1 seat … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 20-02-2017

Top orchestra quits Britain over Brexit migration clampdown #takingbackcontrol by kicking out foreign musicians.(tags: ukpolitics music eu brexit ) The Pence Gambit How the Trump presidency might end.(tags: uspolitics ) Reconstruction: The full incredible story behind Russia’s deadly plot to … Continue reading

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Sunday reading

Current Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (a chapter a month) To Lie with Lions, by Dorothy Dunnett Bernice Summerfield and the Doomsday Manuscript, by Justin Richards Last books finished THEN: Science Fiction Fandom in the U.K., 1930-1980, by … Continue reading

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#AE17 North Belfast: very difficult to call, perhaps SDLP worst placed?

North Belfast is the most divided part of the city, Unionists and Nationalists winning three seats each here in 2016 with 47.7% and 37.1% respectively. 2016 result DUP 12,783 (35.0%, -2.1%) 3 seats UUP 1,972 (5.4%, -2.8%) PUP 1,238 (3.4%) … Continue reading

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#AE17 Upper Bann: UUP most likely to lose.

Upper Bann stretches from the southern shore of Lough Neagh, through Lurgan, Craigavon and Portadown to Banbridge and my ancestral home of Loughbrickland. In 2016 Unionists won four seats with 59.3% of the vote, and Nationalists won two with 34.4%. … Continue reading

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BSFA shortlist

Hooray! More details here. Since I just crunched the numbers for the Clarke submission list, here are the Goodreads/Librarything stats for the BSFA Best Novel shortlist: Goodreads LibraryThing owners av rating owners av rating A Closed and Common Orbit — Becky Chambers … Continue reading

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Goodreads/LibraryThing stats: Clarke submission list

As usual, I've run the books on the Arthur C. Clarke Award submission list through Goodreads and LibraryThing to see how many people have registered copies on each system (NB you have to dig down a level for this on … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 19-02-2017

Brexit: A row over money could derail Brexit talks before they have begun @economist warns.(tags: ukpolitics eu brexit ) The bloodless battle for the moral high ground The Cyprus Mail’s @Coffeeshop1991 on the latest developments.(tags: cyprus )

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#AE17 Fermanagh and South Tyrone: SDLP most vulnerable

Fermanagh and South Tyrone is the south-western corner of Northern Ireland. In 2016, Nationalists and Unionists divided the seats three each, with Nationalists a whisker ahead in votes, 48.4% to 47.9%. 2016 result DUP 15,403 (32.6%, +8.2%) 2 seats UUP … Continue reading

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#AE17 South Antrim: DUP likely to lose a seat

South Antrim unites Antrim town with the western fringes of Newtownabbey, running to the northen and northeastern shores of Lough Neagh. Unionists won four seats here in 2016 with 65.3% of the vote; Nationalists won one with 22.8%; and Alliance … Continue reading

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The top names in my address book

Something a little different for a Saturday morning. I browsed through my address book, looking for the most frequent first names and surnames of people who I know. There were around 3,000 first names and 6,000 surnames altogether (of 7,500 contacts). … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 18-02-2017

Tunisian Security Forces Rock the Vote Enfranchising the military – showed me how little I know about Tunisia.(tags: democracy democratization elections tunisia ) Being an itemised list of disagreements Revisiting Requires Hate.(tags: ) When They Came from Another World @JamesGleick reviews … Continue reading

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#AE17 West Tyrone: SF third seat the most vulnerable

West Tyrone includes the towns of Strabane and Omagh. In 2016, the Nationalist parties won four seats with 53% of the vote and transfers from Nationalist-leaning independents, and Unionists won the other two with 33.5%. 2016 result DUP 8,534 (22.0%, … Continue reading

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#AE17 East Londonderry: Very difficult to call, in the end I think SDLP worst-placed to hang on

East Londonderry includes the towns of Coleraine and Limavady. In 2016, Unionists won four seats with 63.6% of the vote, and Nationalists won the other two with 31.3%. 2016 result DUP 12,674 (36.8%, -0.1%) 3 seats Independents 3,331 (9.7%, +1.2%) … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 17-02-2017

What is vaccine-derived polio? The last stumbling block.(tags: health polio ) Shetland Islands toy with idea of post-Brexit independence #TakingBackControl!!!(tags: Scotland brexit ukpolitics eu ) Cutting down the Lords @chrishanretty: it should be drastically reduced in size. I’d ask, why … Continue reading

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#AE17 Mid Ulster: SF’s third seat the most vulnerable

Perched on the western shore of Lough Neagh, Mid Ulster includes Magherafelt, Cookstown and Coalisland. 61.9% of the vote got Nationalists four MLAs last time, with Unionists winning the other two with 35.2%. 2016 result DUP 7,393 (18.1%, +1.4%) 1 … Continue reading

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#AE17 North Down: DUP have conceded third seat; is that it?

North Down is the wealthy coastal fringe east of Belfast. Unionists won four seats here in 2016 with 63.3% of the vote; the total Nationalist vote was a microscopic 2.3%. Alliance and the Greens won the other two seats with … Continue reading

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Interesting Links for 16-02-2017

Polio then and now: the story of a crippling disease on the verge of worldwide eradication Well told.(tags: health polio ) The Sleeper Walter Jon Williams, @worldcon75 GoH, on Roger Zelazny and Wild Cards.(tags: sf ) 13 things you didn’t … Continue reading

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