Monthly Archives: October 2020

Chariots of Fire

Chariots of Fire won the Oscar for Best Picture of 1981, and also three others, Best Original Screenplay (Colin Welland), Best Costume Design and Best Original Score. Raiders of the Lost Ark, which also won that year’s Hugo, won five … Continue reading

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My tweets

Fri, 12:56: Kirsty Williams’s retirement is a blow and a missed opportunity for the Liberal Democrats https://t.co/DOohtDTECf Report from Wales. Fri, 13:13: RT @ZaurShiriyev: 1/25 Already a month has passed since the beginning of the war. No matter how many … Continue reading

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WHOOOOniversaries 31 October: Planet of Giants #1, K9 #1, Zygon Invasion

A third of the way through the year, and although these posts don't get a lot of feedback, I'm enjoying them for myself which is the main thing. i) births and deaths 31 October 1922: birth of Talfryn Thomas, who … Continue reading

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September 2008 books

September 2008 was the start of our new lives as Belgian citizens, a mere five months after applying. In other family news, my sister C had her baby daughter S, still my youngest relative on that side of the family. … Continue reading

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My tweets

Thu, 12:56: The EU’s €140M ‘zombie committee’ faces pressure to reform https://t.co/UC3jBk5P4P Why does the EESC still exist? Other EU institutions are very diligent about outreach to stakeholders these days. Thu, 14:25: The first five Amber books, by Roger Zelazny … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 30 October: Myth Makers #3, Deadly Assassin #1, Wedding of Sarah Jane Smith #2

i) births and deaths 30 October 1978: death of Brian Hayles, writer of The Celestial Toymaker (First Doctor, 1966), The Smugglers (First Doctor, 1966), The Ice Warriors (Second Doctor, 1968), The Seeds of Death (Second Doctor, 1969), The Curse of … Continue reading

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Thursday reading

Current Titus Groan, by Mervyn Peake Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values, by Robert M. Pirsig Ash: A Secret History, by Mary Gentle For the Love of God, Marie!, by Jade Sarson Last books finished … Continue reading

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My tweets

Wed, 12:56: Missed this announcement! Hooray! https://t.co/FtWzXdrRNf Wed, 13:03: RT @Glasgowin2024: Join us on 10th November for Tiffani Angus (@tiffaniangus) in conversation about her new novel Threading the Labyrinth (… Wed, 14:45: Around the World in Eighty Days, by Jules … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 29 October: the First Doctor regenerates (also Gareth Thomas, Nigel Havers)

i) births and deaths 29 October 1935: birth of Michael Jayston, who played the Valeyard in 1986. 29 October 2010: death of Mervyn Haisman, co-author of The Abominable Snowmen, The Web of Fear and (uncredited) The Dominators (all Second Doctor, … Continue reading

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Short genealogical note on Frederic Whyte’s parents

Just so I don’t lose it, a note on the genealogy of the writer Frederic Whyte (1867-1941), who was both my first cousin thrice removed and my second cousin twice removed, both links via his father. It turns out that … Continue reading

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Complexity: The Emerging Science at the Edge of Order and Chaos, by M. Mitchell Waldrop

Second paragraph of third chapter: It was about time. By that point Cowan and his colleagues had begun to hire a small cadre of staffers for the institute, thanks to operating funds that were beginning to trickle in from sources … Continue reading

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My tweets

Tue, 12:41: RT @Tom_deWaal: 1 A month now since the new #Karabakh conflict started. It’s still escalating. A human tragedy, a regional crisis and a war… Tue, 12:56: RT @Tom_deWaal: Thank you to @foreignaffairs for the chance to go deeper … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 28 October: Ian Marter, Matt Smith, Abomble Snowmen #5, Stones of Blood #1, Arachnids

i) births and deaths 28 October 1944, 28 October 1986: birth and death of Ian Marter, who played companion Harry Sullivan in 1974-5, and also wrote nine Target novelisations. 28 October 1982: birth of Matt Smith, an actor who I … Continue reading

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Survivants, tomes 3-5, by Leo

Second frame from third page of tome 3: Hakim: Stop, Selkert! Manon doesn't like the spotlight. You'll make her blush. Selkert: Apologies! But you can be proud of what you have done. Second frame from third page of tome 4: … Continue reading

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My tweets

Mon, 12:11: RT @andrewflood: A few weeks back business interests & their paid media & politicians were saying rather than protect lives we should follo… Mon, 12:47: RT @PuxadinhoTardis: Duas biografias de Doutores que eu muito recomendo: – a do … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 27 October

i) births and deaths 27 October 1923: birth of Peter Bryant, producer of Doctor Who from The Web of Fear (1968) to The Wheel in Space (1969) 27 October 1991: death of Paul Erickson, writer of The Ark (1966) ii) … Continue reading

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Secret Army, Season 1; and book

This post has been a long time brewing. I watched the whole of the 1970s series Secret Army, and the sequel series Kessler, during what we must now call the first lockdown in the summer, and thoroughly enjoyed it. But … Continue reading

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My tweets

Sun, 12:56: Very interesting. (h/t @ChairmanYaffle) https://t.co/Hw6JqoQD5M Sun, 13:45: Vineland, by Thomas Pynchon Sorry, this just doesn’t do it for me. Writing style too convoluted, characters wacky in a rather uninteresting way, plot non-existent. #nwbooks https://t.co/RVcOKksW4u https://t.co/JqABSqZXHV https://t.co/cBuyBXShp4 Sun, 14:20: … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 26 October: Towers #4, Remembrance #4, Death #2, the O.K. Corral

i) births and deaths None that caught my eye. ii) broadcast anniversaries 26 October 1987: broadcast of fourth episode of Paradise Towers, In a final confrontation, both Pex and Kroagnon are killed, and the inhabitants of the Towers look forward … Continue reading

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August 2008 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, 13:25: A Wayfarer in Sweden, by Frederic Whyte An entertaining little book about Sweden, whose author was both my first cousin thrice removed and and my second cousin twice removed. #nwbooks https://t.co/y5joXFVw28 https://t.co/HguwpUvknZ https://t.co/rHTH5EpGh1 Sat, 14:25: The Corrections, by … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 25 October

broadcast anniversaries 25 October 1975: broadcast of first episode of The Pyramids of Mars. The Doctor and Sarah land in the future UNIT headquarters, the Scarman brothers' family home, and encounter robotic mummies and various Egyptian relics. 25 October 1980: … Continue reading

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Ordinary People (1980 film and 1976 book)

Ordinary People won the Oscar for Best Picture of 1980, and won three others, Best Director (Robert Redford), Best Supporting Actor (Timothy Hutton, the youngest ever winner in this category, as Conrad, presented by his co-star) and Best Screenplay Based … Continue reading

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My tweets

Fri, 12:56: No Irish unity referendum for five years because of Brexit – Micheal Martin https://t.co/YevR0sAOoe Not that it’s the Taoiseach’s decision, but it’s a sensible line to take. Fri, 13:19: One of the briefest but most interesting chapters in … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 24 October: Robert Sloman, The Woman Who Lived

i) births and deaths 24 October 2005: death of Robert Sloman, who co-wrote The Dæmons (Third Doctor, 1971), and was credited as sole author of The Time Monster (Third Doctor, 1972), The Green Death (Third Doctor, 1973), and Planet of the Spiders … Continue reading

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220 days of plague

Back in June, I wrote the last in a series of posts about the overall situation, 100 days after the lockdown was imposed in March and as things were gradually lightening up. I was pretty optimistic that we’d seen the … Continue reading

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My tweets

Thu, 12:11: RT @lowflyingrocks: 2020 UL2, 5m-11m in diameter, just passed the Earth at 7km/s, missing by 409,000km. https://t.co/imdwX9XUn7 Thu, 12:25: Babel-17, by Samuel R. Delany I had been expecting something like a half-way point between Zelazny and Dick; in … Continue reading

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Whoniversaries 23 October: Myth Makers #2, Hand of Fear #4, The Mad Woman in the Attic #2

broadcast anniversaries 23 October 1965: broadcast of "Small Prophet, Quick Return", the second episode of the story we now call The Myth Makers. Odysseus demands that the Doctor use his abilities to destroy Troy; Vicki is renamed Cressida by Priam; … Continue reading

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Thursday reading

Current Titus Groan, by Mervyn Peake This Must be the Place, by Maggie O'Farrell Wild Life, by Molly Gloss Last books finished Secret Army Dossier, by John Brason The Tropic of Serpents, by Marie Brennan Ordinary People, by Judith Guest … Continue reading

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My tweets

Wed, 12:56: Sam McBride: What is happening at Stormont over coronavirus restrictions is inept, but also baffling https://t.co/Am1K8VQ7Ta Strange times. Wed, 13:20: RT @pmdfoster: British sausage makers face EU freeze after Brexit – my latest via @FT with ⁦@JudithREvans⁩ …a … Continue reading

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