Monthly Archives: May 2020

May books

Only 18 books this month, as the absence of my usual commute hits my reading habits… Non-fiction: 5 (YTD 26) The Hunt for Vulcan: …And How Albert Einstein Destroyed a Planet, Discovered Relativity, and Deciphered the Universe, by Thomas Levenson … Continue reading

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My tweets

Sat, 12:56: RT @GordonFbpe: @Lifelandlady This is what Vote Leave promised in 2016… https://t.co/gsvJXoSooK Sat, 14:23: The Sting https://t.co/Ul8zMFmrbD Sat, 14:48: RT @simongerman600: Looks like Belarus successfully solved the Crimea problem on maps. Some might say this is a #badgeographyjoke … Continue reading

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The Sting

The Sting won the Oscar for Best Picture of 1973, and picked up another six – Best Director (George Roy Hill), Best Writing, Original Screenplay (David S. Ward), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Costume Design, Best Film Editing and Best … Continue reading

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My tweets

Fri, 12:56: The Apollo Mission That Nearly Ended With a Mutiny in Space https://t.co/CHufacjiVz None of the Apollo 7 astronauts flew in space again… Fri, 13:32: Started Cycle with #cyclemeter at 13:32, on a new route, see https://t.co/Zb8jMgkmM2, Cyclemeter will … Continue reading

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August 2006 books

We started August 2006 in Northern Ireland as usual (heaven knows if it will be possible this year), and I attended MeCon 9 in Belfast where the guests included Ian McDonald, Hal Duncan, Ken MacLeod, Leah Moore, and John Reppion. … Continue reading

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My tweets

Thu, 12:56: Dominic Cummings’ name blocked by Twitter anti-porn filters https://t.co/y6yXwqIbsj LOL!!! Thu, 16:05: David Tennant and Tom Baker will star together in new Doctor Who story https://t.co/UW2eBz9K35 OMG Thu, 16:58: APCO Worldwide is looking for a great Public Affairs … Continue reading

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Thursday reading

Current The Complete Secret Army: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Classic TV Drama Series by Andy Priestner Our Mutual Friend, by Charles Dickens The Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obreht Last books finished A border too far: the Ilemi … Continue reading

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My tweets

Wed, 12:56: Important on where Brexit is. (Or isn’t.) https://t.co/Q0aijUCG9g Wed, 16:05: In a first, Twitter adds fact-check labels to Trump tweets on voting fraud https://t.co/ox2lJD4gEV Not before time. Wed, 16:34: I had been following @realDonaldTrump out of general interest, … Continue reading

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Arthur C. Clarke’s Venus Prime 1: Breaking the Strain, by Paul Preuss

Second paragraph of third chapter: She’d garnered valuable information from the Snark before–in that split second when it had paused, hovering motionless inches above the ground, computing new coordinates–she’d jumped clear and sent it on its unprotected way. Precisely where … Continue reading

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My tweets

Tue, 12:56: Aww, thank you! https://t.co/dKLG83jI8P Tue, 16:05: RT @ivanabacik: Two years on from the 8th amendment referendum, my reflections from decades of pro-choice campaigning. #RepealMemories #R… Tue, 18:26: Seventy days of lockdown, and Dominic Cummings https://t.co/mw7YxXfEln Tue, 18:42: Started … Continue reading

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The Accident, by Ismail Kadarë

Second paragraph of third chapter: There was no way of knowing why the state of Serbia and Montenegro should take an interest in the accident, but it soon became clear that this country had kept the two victims under surveillance … Continue reading

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Seventy days of lockdown, and Dominic Cummings

"It's not that I don't like it, Yuri. It's just not exactly snappy is it?" https://t.co/C2in0hxV2E — John Bull (@garius) May 26, 2020 Ten weeks ago today, the Brussels St Patrick's Day reception was due to take place in the … Continue reading

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My tweets

Mon, 12:56: RT @SonerCagaptay: Turkey’s influence explained in one word: Bayram belt vs. Eid belt With @NicholasDanfort https://t.co/uZf0PQBq0d Mon, 13:02: “Healing – Hope” Statue by Willy Peters at the Heilig Hart (Sacred Heart) hospital in Leuven. https://t.co/T8SkVqGWyx Mon, 16:05: RT … Continue reading

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Roger of Hereford’s Judicial Astrology: England’s First Astrology Book?, by Chris Mitchell

For reasons which will swiftly become obvious, I am quoting the first paragraph of the third chapter rather than the second which is my usual practice: As discussed in Chapter One, the last analysis of Roger’s Judicial Astrology was Nicholas … Continue reading

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My tweets

Sun, 12:56: South Philly judge of elections pleads guilty to stuffing ballot boxes, accepting bribes https://t.co/Efg2WfKlva He… https://t.co/5mZFVtwiDJ Sun, 14:48: Good advice! https://t.co/D1czzoEzia Sun, 15:14: RT @UKLabour: There cannot be one rule for Dominic Cummings and another for the British … Continue reading

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July 2006 books

This is the latest post in a series I started last November, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging which will fall in 2023. Every six-ish days I’ve been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and family … Continue reading

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My tweets

Sat, 12:56: Partition policy deepened by Covid 19 https://t.co/9u4cHRKqX8 @esraaygin looks at how the covert policy of permanen… https://t.co/o67d8N1TIz Sat, 13:51: RT @TobyHadoke: There is, rightly, a chorus of voices singing the praises of @Emily_Rosina who – if you’re a … Continue reading

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Slaughterhouse Five: film and book

Slaughterhouse Five won the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation in 1973, with only three competitors – Silent Running, which I have not seen, and two TV films that I had not even heard of, Between Time and Timbuktu which is … Continue reading

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My tweets

Fri, 12:38: Just noting that the @BSFA winners for Novel, Short Fiction and Non-Fiction were each owned by more LibraryThing an… https://t.co/MYNz2DMhxW Fri, 12:56: The Uncounted Dead https://t.co/3h6nlJOQL6 This is really grim reading, but useful to understand where the statisti… … Continue reading

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Some Saturday etymology: door, forum, forensic, foreign, forest, thyroid, Durbar and Dari

‎“door” is an ancient word. It has cognates in other Germanic languages. Dutch deur; German Tür; Yiddish טיר (tir); Danish/Norwegian dør; Swedish dörr; Gothic (daur); Icelandic/Faroese dyr – this last is plural, and we’ll get back to that. Let’s also … Continue reading

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Black Wine, by Candas Jane Dorsey; “Travels with the Snow Queen”, by Kelly Link

Second paragraph of third chapter of Black Wine: After that it did not struggle, even though its body was still as warm, its feathers as stiff and soft. Horrified at what my intervention had done, I ran away, and never … Continue reading

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I just got my first post-lockdown haircut!

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My tweets

Thu, 12:40: RT @alanbeattie: I’m off work this week and only skim-reading stuff but my top-line conclusion from the UK’s post-Brexit tariff schedule is… Thu, 12:56: Thirty-six Thousand Feet Under the Sea https://t.co/HZxF2WdDaU Long but compelling story of the man … Continue reading

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#LockdowninOudHeverlee 10: A visit to the ponds

One of the benefits of the easing of the lockdown: birdwatching made easier. Also let’s find space for optimism.

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Thursday reading

Current The Complete Secret Army: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Classic TV Drama Series by Andy Priestner Our Mutual Friend, by Charles Dickens The Nightmare Stacks, by Charles Stross The Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obreht Last books finished … Continue reading

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My tweets

Wed, 12:56: RT @thhamilton: The Tory whips’ desire to open up Parliament so that Boris Johnson has his MPs behind him at PMQs will be understandable to… Wed, 16:05: The big questions left hanging by the Liberal Democrats’ 2019 post-mortem … Continue reading

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The Forever War, by Joe Haldeman

Second paragraph of third chapter: The troopship was a converted “cattlewagon” made to carry two hundred colonists and assorted bushes and beasts. Don’t think it was roomy, though, just because there were half that many of us. Most of the … Continue reading

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My tweets

Tue, 12:56: Crooked Timber — Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made https://t.co/k7dY8XraNm Wha… https://t.co/rEuCwJnSl8 Tue, 16:05: RT @DimitarBechev: Disinfection at the Serbian-Ottoman border – courtesy of the Petit Journal. https://t.co/to637mFhMm Tue, 17:11: Europe’s … Continue reading

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A Sacred Cause: The Inter-Congolese Dialogue 2000-2003, by P. E. Winter

Second paragraph of third chapter: One problem with our donors was that several of them were not only financiers of the process but also had interests in its outcome, whether those were pressures from past and potential investors in the … Continue reading

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My tweets

Mon, 12:56: RT @PersianPoetics: Thread: The Orientalizing of Moulana Rumi Many of you may be familiar with the ‘Rumi quotes’ that circulate the intern… Mon, 13:31: RT @hiramjmorgan: @BobbyMcDonagh1 @simoncoveney @pmaceinri @fotoole @BrigidLaffan @davidmcw @SluggerOToole @nwbrux @EamonnMallie Isn’t i… Mon, … Continue reading

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