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Everything posted by dog-days

  1. Could maybe start brainwashing him in preparation for future compulsory Studio Ghibli immersion by dressing up as Totoro. So much better than Santa, while also being 3D.
  2. Regeneration by Barker was one of my A-level set texts. Many years on and I still haven't read the rest of the trilogy; not because the first book wasn't good, but because it was perhaps too good at depicting its subject unflinchingly. A great deal of research must have gone into the writing, but it was worn lightly. I have never read Mary Renault. However, fans and even the uninitiated like me might enjoy Daniel Mendelsohn's essay in the New Yorker The American Boy about growing up reading and corresponding with Renault.
  3. Was going to ask what the first-best Latin-American-inspired 3D animated movies is in that case. But then I remembered Coco. I liked but did not love Encanto. Thought it could have done with more sense of hazard/peril.
  4. Duolingo might be helpful for Ukrainian? I don't use it myself, but quite a few of the Welsh learners I know seem to. I was looking up the rates of inflation by European country (the UK somewhere in the middle, though higher than Germany and France, its closest analogues) and saw that Turkey's inflation rate is at a 79.6%. Apparently, Erdogan has been doing the opposite of most countries and slashing interest rates. Will be interesting to see what happens there over the next couple of years.
  5. By the name of [fantasy god moniker of choice], how does he do it? Is he really identical triplets? Also, is my local library service going to buy it?
  6. Ashamed I was glad when he won the leadership contest — I thought with his background as a QC, and being a white middle-aged male in a suit, he might be able to get the Tory-leaning English electorate to vote in a progressive party. It's not even that he has the principles of a jellyfish; he's a politician, I've learned to expect that. It's that he's really bad at having no principles. He doesn't signal ruthlessness and pragmatism by it; he just looks inept and cowardly.
  7. [Snip] just lost a fight against my elderly phone. Quoted/replied when I meant to edit.
  8. Didn't mention it in my initial post since I'm pretty sure the man himself wouldn't have wanted it brought up, but a lot of the denizens of the video games thread will of course remember Warner as the voice of Jon Irenicus in Baldur's Gate 2. Another villain, but such a good one. Michael Billington's recollections of him on stage @TheLastWolf I hope your cricketer is as good as my actor.
  9. Glad it's not just me experiencing memory white-out. I went back to read an old reaction post (ETA - one by @Annara Snow) that mentioned all the characters, and it was a fight to remember who most of them were. Pretty sure I enjoyed S3, though I probably came to it with lower expectations than a lot of you. It was a stylish, atmospheric show, though not one I feel tempted to rewatch. Like a lot of thriller/mystery-type stories, once the cat is out of the bag I don't much care to revisit the lead-up.
  10. David Warner's died. I loved his voice. Was lucky enough to see him act live on stage a couple of times around fifteen years ago after he began his live theatre comeback. Guardian obit. Never met him, but was always left with a positive impression from what I heard. He joined the protests against the Iraq War.
  11. I'll finish listening to it then go check out the evisceration.
  12. Have heard very good things about the latter. I went for The Dawn of Everything after seeing an intriguing review of it on dreamwidth a few months ago, which now, irritatingly, I can't find.
  13. Police arrived at 1am to take away my next door neighbour in the shared house I live in. I woke up when the male policeman said he'd kick the door down if she didn't open it, with a loud enough voice to get through my noise cancelling headphones. She'd apparently been threatening to hurt someone else and/or herself. No problem there - it's just frustrating that when this happens they always bring her back after a day or two instead of leaving her somewhere a long long way away from me. My upstairs neighbours have been having enthusiastic (celebratory?) sex on-and-off since then. More power to them. Couldn't get back to sleep probably because of raised stress hormones or something, and have given up on it. Feeling fine now, but work later today isn't going to be fun. Saving for a deposit is a grand idea, but I often wish I could borrow the TARDIS and jump eight months into the future. ETA: Bugger it, she's back. The one person in the world who isn't a politician that I could wish extradited to North Korea. This post probably sounds deeply heartless to people who haven't lived cheek-by-jowl to her for eight months. I just know that I wasn't on beta blockers when I came here, but I am now.
  14. One Day All This Will Be Yours sounds like crazy fun. I'll move it further up my Tchaikovsky reading list. Every time I think I'm making headway with his back catalogue, he brings something else out, or I hear of one of his off-the-beaten-track novellas. I've started listening to The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by the late David Graeber and David Wengrow. So far so good. I was getting increasingly frustrated that they kept mentioning indigenous sources, and indigenous critiques, but then not specifying them or quoting them at all. However, they have just started to refer to Pierre Biard's account of his interactions with the Mi'kmaq of Acadia/Nova Scotia, and hopefully the trend will continue. There was a brief discussion of how the word 'equality' was used in European languages prior to the Enlightenment with the claim that it was never used politically — it didn't immediately sound wrong, but at the same time, I wish the authors had brought a trained linguist on board to discuss it in more depth. Part of the evidence cited to show how preferable indigenous societies could be as set against those of the European colonisers was that children kidnapped by indigenous groups often chose to stay, or to return to those groups when offered the choice. I'm afraid, being a gloomy person, that this reminded me rather of Gitta Sereny, who before her career as a journalist and writer worked for the United Nations in the difficult business of reuniting 'Aryan' children stolen by the Nazis with their birth families. The children often didn't remember their birth families at all and were distraught. (Note: this isn't me saying that American indigenous societies were like the Nazis, and I'm sure plenty of Europeans chose to stay with the tribes because they were basically fairer, nicer places to be. It was just the particular example of kidnapped children/infants that made me blink a bit.) I'm actually happy to get on board with their overall arguments; their appeal was part of what made me choose to spend my monthly audible credit on the book. Some aspects seem a bit thin at the moment, but then I think the authors are still warming to their subject.
  15. Seen on Twitter. A WW2 map of Ireland to discourage thoughts of invasion: https://twitter.com/135thdegree/status/1550859742414884864?s=20&t=_KmleKUj17-wsn2hP9chgg
  16. I've mostly been finding myself in Scandi "oh god does anyone in this universe ever smile?" Noir territory and checking out mid-episode.
  17. The thin silver lining being that at least after this, Alzheimer's research will hopefully now move in different, more effective directions. Sodding awful though. Shocking that it's taken so long for this to come to light. I was going to say "at least the MMR-autism study fraud was debunked quickly" but then checked, and found it actually took twelve years. The original science.org article by Charles Piller
  18. Season 3 of the Orville has been pretty disappointing. I have this memory of Seasons 1 and 2 being funny with a Lower-Decks-like playfulness, and now I'm wondering if that's just because I watched them at night during the first lockdown when I was drunk. Season 4 of The Dragon Prince is arriving on Netflix in November. Quite hopeful about that.
  19. Finished Children of Ruin by Adrian Tchaikovsky. I didn't realise until Googling it five minutes ago that this was actually the middle-book of a loosely-connected trilogy. The final part is due in November this year. Enjoyed it a lot more than his sci-fi standalone The Doors of Eden, even though it had a similarly wide range of point-of-views. Of particular interest to me was the civilisation of artificially evolved octopuses that seemed to be riffing partly on the idea of what it would be like if Twitter were a race of cephalopods. Tchaikovsky doing sci-fi seems like a more utopia-minded writer than Tchaikovsky doing fantasy. Apparently it's easier for him to imagine genetically-modified/genetically other species working wisely and kindly together than bog-standard humans. No arguments here.
  20. Very droll, BFC! I'm sure Rishi S. is scouting out gigs on the after-dinner speaker circuit and honorary-yet-lucrative positions on company boards at this moment.
  21. Would be quite pleased with a Truss/Sunak deathmatch. What I don't want is for the Tories to end up with a candidate who's been positioned outside Partygate and the general field of corruption and laziness that - even true-blue Conservative voters must have begun to notice by now - is intrinsic to Johnson's Downing Street. Offered a Tory leader who's covered in the same old shit, the electorate might show they have a memory slightly longer than a goldfish and vote for someone else. Preferably Starmer, but I could get behind Larry the Cat as the sneaky outsider candidate. It's a pity that Paul the All-seeing Octopus has long departed this vale of tears, because he really had a lot going for him.* *Next weekend, I'll be leaving a comment on Adrian Tchaikovsky's Children of Ruin in the Lit forum. Until then, any posts from me will skew heavily towards cephalopods.
  22. No, more like the class monitor who takes advantage of his privileges to sell drugs, but who seems so charming and polished that no one can quite believe it of him.
  23. Yeah, I thought that media companies had finally figured out that having a staggered international release was just encouraging pirating, but apparently not. A book I want to read by an author with a wide Anglophone following is coming out three/four months later in the UK than in the USA. Just don't get it.
  24. The UK Government is going to table a motion of no confidence in itself. I don't think they're being as clever as they think they're being.
  25. Couldn't sleep, still can't, and went for an insomniac twenty-minute walk downhill as far as the student pub zone. Everywhere was closed, and the last few patrons, two young men and a woman, were about to head home. Said one of the boys to the other in a ringing voice that carried easily over thirty metres: "I just wanted to take all the chairs away and tell her to sit on my face. Fucking hell, man, she was so hot." If I'm ever dumb enough to buy a flat in an area with nightlife, I hope it has triple glazing.
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