Monthly Archives: December 2017

My books of 2017, including a poll

I read 238 books this year, more than last year and about the same as in 2013 and 2007, otherwise lower than usual (full numbers: 212 in 2016, 290 in 2015, 291 in 2014, 237 in 2013, 259 in 2012, … Continue reading

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Sunday and December reading wrap-up

Sunday reading Current The Fall of Hyperion, by Dan Simmons It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis L’Équation Africaine, by Yasmina Khadra Last books finished A History of the Future: Prophets of Progress from H.G. Wells to Isaac Asimov, by … Continue reading

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My tweets

Sat, 12:31: A History of the Future, by Peter J. Bowler https://t.co/M951kALhOB Sat, 12:56: 2017’s Biggest Conspiracy Theories https://t.co/BzVCoq55zz Worth reading. Sat, 15:01: The Life of Emile Zola (1937); Zola And His Times https://t.co/qPSGKG6CjV Sat, 15:45: RT @nickjbarlow: I like … Continue reading

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What to expect in 2018, according to science fiction

As we look forward to 2018, science fiction has already been there. Here are six portrayals of 2018 from books, television and film, imagining the coming year as utopia, dystopia, or something in between. Lauren Beukes’ first novel, Moxyland (2008), … Continue reading

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Democracy and its Deficits, by Ghia Nodia et al

Second paragraph of third section: On the political level, there were two main competing elites. An alternative political elite emerged out of parties and movements that challenged the existing regime on a combination of pro-democracy and strong nationalist agendas. They … Continue reading

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The Life of Emile Zola (1937); Zola And His Times

The Life of Emile Zola won the Academy Award for Outstanding Production in 1938; there were nine other nominees, but I have not heard of any of them. It got nominations in nine other categories and won two, Joseph Schildkraut … Continue reading

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A History of the Future, by Peter J. Bowler

Second paragraph of third chapter: The promoters of applied science assumed that eventually the mechanization of industry would give everyone more leisure time (even if the work involved only boring routines). The dirty and unhealthy factories of the first Industrial … Continue reading

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My tweets

Fri, 12:10: RT @LordRennard: @vincecable @Conservatives @jeremycorbyn @MakeVotesMatter At the last general election it took 27,931 votes to elect an SN… Fri, 12:56: RT @MSmithsonPB: It is bollocks for minsters to suggest that electoral system favours LAB. Now CON main … Continue reading

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Alphabets survey results

Well, it’s interesting to see how far internationalisation has progressed since the last time I did one of these surveys (and indeed the time before). Burmese, with more native speakers than Romanian or Dutch, is once again the poor relation, … Continue reading

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The Autumnlands, Vol. 1: Tooth and Claw, by Kurt Busiek and Benjamin Dewey

Second frame of issue 3: This was flagged up to me last year as being particularly popular among File 770 readers in the run-up to Hugo nominations; when it didn’t appear on the final ballot, I guessed that it might … Continue reading

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Aliénor: La Légende Noire, vols 3 and 4

Second frame of third page of vol 3: Second frame with dialogue on third page of vol 3 (Eleanor, very pregnant, is having a nightmare about her husband’s religious mania): Second frame on third page of vol 4 (Vincenzo Damonte … Continue reading

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My tweets

Thu, 12:56: Jo Johnson’s warning to universities on free speech https://t.co/h6FstU1AUb interesting thoughts from @SarahAB_UK. Thu, 15:57: My year on social media: Facebook https://t.co/htQdsWDJIh Thu, 16:03: My year on social media: Twitter https://t.co/JP43eAjUIx #ge2017 #ae17 #uk #ae17b #eurovision Thu, 16:05: … Continue reading

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My (last?) year on Livejournal

This time last year, I temporarily rage-quit Livejournal for Dreamwidth in the wake of yet another outage. I came back, obviously, but I’m still not very happy with the fact that this place has turned into a desert. I have … Continue reading

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Everfair, by Nisi Shawl

Second paragraph of third chapter: It wasn’t the buildings’ fault. The narrowness of the ways between them, mere corridors, was what annoyed. So obviously outmoded. No room for machinery of any sort. Here was Victoria Street, a modern thoroughfare at … Continue reading

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My year on social media: LinkedIn

I like many things about LinkedIn, but I do not like its content feed. The content is generally great – for professional reading, it’s the best source for me – but organising it as you want, let alone tracking your … Continue reading

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My year on social media: Instagram

I love Instagram – it’s the only network I’m on where the default behaviour is to be kind. Add me – I’m @nwbrux there as I am on Twitter – and I’ll probably add you, if I haven’t already. This … Continue reading

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My year on social media: Twitter

I used to be able to get statistics for my most successful Tweets from Crowdbooster, but unfortunately it closed down this year. However, Twitter’s own metrics are pretty fascinating, giving you a dozen different ways of measuring impact. So here, … Continue reading

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My year on social media: Facebook

Working out which are your top Facebook posts is pretty tricky – required massive cutting and pasting, and then some number crunching, and even then I’m not sure of the results. However there is no doubt which of my 2017 … Continue reading

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My tweets

Wed, 16:07: Alphabets survey https://t.co/CkuwhSONOs Wed, 20:48: My Internet Mea Culpa https://t.co/a7zDgcZhqI “I was wrong. We all were.” Thu, 08:17: RT @bbcdoctorwho: Doctor Who returns in the Fall… (also known as Autumn) #DoctorWho https://t.co/8PkI6SJUyI Thu, 10:45: A History Of The … Continue reading

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Alphabets survey

OK, it’s some time since I did one of these properly. (Earlier this week doesn’t count.) Think of this as a sort of audit of internationalisation; this is the word for “Belgium” in most of the world’s scripts. Results in … Continue reading

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Golden Dawn: Het Genootschap van Socrates, by Yves Leclercq and Stéphane Heurteau

Second frame of third page: Open up! Open up! I picked this up very cheap a few years ago – it’s the Dutch translation of the first volume of the two-part bande dessinée series Lautremer, so far the only collaboration … Continue reading

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My tweets

Tue, 12:27: Re-#AnimateEurope, ed. Hans H. Stein https://t.co/GFrCrRrWaM Tue, 12:56: The Byzantine emperor’s trip to London in the winter of 1400–01 https://t.co/jT7yxKgfeB A historical curiosity. Tue, 16:05: Whenever the minority party has had a poll lead of >2% at this … Continue reading

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Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons

Second frame of third chapter: I read this years ago, of course, but read it again this year as part of a Facebook group of friends, some of whom were reading for the first time, taking it at the rate … Continue reading

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Re-#AnimateEurope, ed. Hans H. Stein

Second page of third story (“How to Save the World”, by Štěpánka Jislová): Finishing the year by quickly writing up the books I hadn’t previously got around to – this has lingered a while, the finalists for this year’s comics … Continue reading

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My tweets

Mon, 12:30: A Christmassy poll https://t.co/w83z8SIL71 Mon, 18:28: RT @claytonhickman: YER PROGRAMME’s ON! Mon, 20:48: Married to a Mystery Man https://t.co/mCvmOfBfiq What does any of us really know? Mon, 21:00: A lovely Christmas carol, “How Far Is It To Bethlehem”, … Continue reading

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A Christmassy poll – the answers, with screenshots

So, here are the answers to yesterday’s poll: 1) ክብር ለእግዚአብሔር በአርያም This is Amharic, the main language of Ethiopia. Greg and Pseudomantid were not too far off geographically with Demotic Egyptian and Coptic – but Amharic uses the Ge’ez … Continue reading

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A Christmassy poll

(I think you can log in to do this poll using Facebook, Twitter and Google identities, if you want.) The opening phrase of Luke 2:14 is below in 25 langauges – the full verse for those using the Latin alphabet.

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My tweets

Sun, 12:56: “Even the Greeks know that Utopia is merely another word for nowhere” – by Dr. Maurice Hayes… https://t.co/xeKpGgrQ11 Sun, 20:26: RT @HMRCpressoffice: Regarding the front pages of the @Telegraph in the last two days HMRC objectively applies tax … Continue reading

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Sunday reading

Current The Fall of Hyperion, by Dan Simmons The Story of English in 100 Words, by David Crystal It Can't Happen Here, by Sinclair Lewis Last books finished The World of Yesterday, by Stefan Zweig Brave New Worlds: Dystopian Stories, … Continue reading

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My tweets

Sat, 12:56: The Brexit struggle awaiting Theresa May in 2018, by @jonlis1 https://t.co/mKgI7GM1YS “The defining story of 2018 w… https://t.co/LIBeAIP1gL Sat, 17:17: RT @apcoworldwide: As we look ahead to #NewYear2018, which European #elections should you pay close attention to? Our … Continue reading

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