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About dog-days

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  1. I love the original BG - found it relaxing, just exploring huge tracts of wilderness, getting involved in weird sidequests, and enjoying the atmosphere. Either you can go and advance the plot somewhere, or you can amble through a spring meadow with a chew toy in an effort to find a demon's missing dog. But it's not for everyone. BG2 is much more focused and structured. Even the post-Waukeen's Promenade plurality of choice is within the context of the "raise 20 000 GP" quest.
  2. Geraldine James is fantastic. I first saw her on VHS as Sarah Layton in The Jewel in the Crown.
  3. I've spent way too long watching bits of the oaths and affirmations ceremony from the Scottish parliament. It's embarrassing and a bit sweet at the time time. No one is introduced by their party, just their name and constituency, so it's possible to play guessing games. Red tie? Labour. Kilt? SNP. Chuni and plaid? Conservative. The women were way more interesting than the men, in the sense that there was much more differentiation of dress and expression. This year was notable for having someone say their oath in Welsh. (I also heard Arabic and Gaelic, and there were apparently other languages used too.)
  4. I watched Ikiru about eight years ago, and remember how impressive Takashi Shimura was in the central role. Time for a rewatch, I think.
  5. There's something about that in the New Scientist. At least it sounds as if things are, if not exactly under control, then being monitored.
  6. Had my first jab today. It was Pfizer. No side effects yet either. I'm 34, so I think the vaccinations must be going quite well here in Wales. It was funny sitting on socially distanced chairs afterwards with everyone around me looking the same age. That hasn't happened since the last year of undergrad. I wanted to ask - "So who had a tamagotchi? Who collected POGs? Fess up!"
  7. Very. I was sad to see a professor I follow on Twitter come down very strongly on Israel's side with a tone that was - well, it had that kind of ominous note you hear when things have got hopelessly polarised, and even the thoughtful and kind start to sound like demagogues. Frightening. (I would also not have rejoiced to hear such language from the other side.)
  8. Just voted here. Ended up splitting my votes between three different parties - Liberal (for the constituency vote, where more left-leaning parties don't have a hope), Labour (for the top-up candidate), and Plaid (for the police commissioner). Am expecting the masochistic English (of which I am one) to continue to be charmed by Boris's blatant corruption, egotism and incompetence. Such a character! No idea what'll happen on this side of the border.
  9. I read that article earlier today. There aren't really words... And not just because of the sections describing the effects of Covid and the political response, horrible as they are, but also the information, partly new to me, about the extent to which nationalist politicians band together to blame Indian Muslims for their oppression, instead of offering any kind of justice for their suffering at the hands of Hindu extremists.
  10. Yep, you're right. Long time since I read either!
  11. Ovid's awesome. Poeta urbanissimus An internet troll two thousand years before there were internet trolls. It's also worth reading his Ars Amatoria, a collection of ironic love elegies occasionally credited with nuking love elegies as a genre.
  12. No - I think the people who view Walter White as some kind of bald James Bond with a beard are getting his character entirely wrong, or just seeing what they want to see. They maybe over-identify with his character at the start, embracing fully the idea of this neglected genius who's never got the credit he deserves, weighed down by his mean pregnant wife and disabled son, and totally absolve him of any responsibility for his own problems. Plus they tend to ignore his ridiculousness. (I haven't seen BB for years, but I remember a pizza-throwing incident?) I like Walter btw. Just not in the same way as some of his fans!
  13. Pyramids was the first Pratchett I remember. I think I was about seven or eight, and my dad read aloud the passage where Teppic elaborately preps for his final exams before falling over. Funniest thing I'd heard at that age. I read Hogfather a year or two later, and then started working my way through all the Discworld books.
  14. I think they should start Black Panther 2 with his funeral. Rewrites/off-screen indefinitely long vacations to another reality/CGI would just end up feeling cheap and kind of sad. Everyone knows that something awful has happened in reality. The funeral would give a few minutes of catharsis to the audience as well as, from a dramatic point of view, providing a good reason to bring a a large group of characters together. Recasting is the least worse of the other options.
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