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Everything posted by dog-days

  1. Admit I'm tempted. Especially the idea of going in sparkly pink to the Oppenheimer showing, then heading to Barbie in a suit with a cigarette and martini.
  2. So Sunak expects the teachers' pay rises to come out of existing budgets. How on earth will that work? "Good news, kids. Mrs Trelawney has decided not to resign and go work as a private tutor for another year. Also, today we will be learning how to make some delicious, healthy stew from grass cuttings, and Mr Slater from the IT team will be demonstrating how to light a cooking fire the ecological way by using our stock of broken iPads to reflect the sun's light onto last summer's Year 3 art projects."
  3. Starkess, if you do try Tchaikovsky again, you might like Guns of the Dawn – it was the first book I read by him, and is still probably my favourite. I think it's a bit more disciplined than his sci-fi.
  4. Saw Nimona last night. Not familiar with the graphic novel, but really enjoyed it as uncomplicated fun. Highlight was Riz Ahmed's voice-acting and the character design and animations. Lively and expressive without the slightly grating Instagrammy perfection of styles like Arcane. Riz Ahmed's been one of my preferred Doctor Who candidates for years.
  5. Police are currently saying that there's no criminal case to answer. While it sounds as if Huw Edwards's behaviour has been lousy, if it's been so only in his use of dating apps and faithlessness then it was none of the public's business and the Sun should never have run the story. But there are complications: if he's been bullying subordinates and if the accusations of bullying are substantiated and go further than him being a bit grumpy because of broadcast pressures, the BBC needs to act. Unfortunately I suspect that without the huge wave of media attention, the BBC like other big organisations would sweep the allegations under the carpet. if he broke a Covid lockdown to pursue an affair. That was a criminal offence, and is rather worse for him than for others in that he was on TV every night telling the public to stay at home. The context and extent of the kind of abusive/threatening language he's said to have used in his dating app activity is also important. If it was part of an argument with the other party giving as good as they got, that's one thing. If it was extreme and used plausible threats, that's another. From what we know so far, I don't think the Sun should have run the story. If they'd had any sense of ethics or the bomb they were sticking under Edwards's career when he has no legal case to answer, they could have waited, worked with the police, pressured the BBC behind-the-scenes. They've easily got the clout for it. But as we learn more, I expect I may need to revise that opinion. I was sorry to hear it was him because I like him as a journalist and enjoyed the bits of his History of Wales series that I've seen. He also seemed to be one of the few senior journalists left at the BBC who wasn't by instinct a Tory. I'm also sorry that he's been hospitalised and is apparently suffering very much from his mental health troubles. At the same time, plenty of people with depression and anxiety managed not to break lockdown and don't make a habit of bullying those lower down the pecking order.
  6. Perhaps he's just not for you? I don't think anyone's made big claims about Tchaikovsky's originality. Speaking for myself, I don't go to fiction for originality. And if I wanted an in-depth character study I guess I could pick up some experimental literary fiction to fall asleep over to admire. What he does do is create engaging novels and novellas drawing on a variety of influences that retain a kind of zest for existence without pretending that humans are any better than they are.
  7. Ah, crap. Welsh Twitter's going to go crazy, or what's left of it post Musk will.
  8. I can handwave plenty of illogicalities if the writing is strong enough, but the extract you posted sounds as if it was written by robot on a bad day. Lawyers of various stripes can make great genre fiction writers (Sansom was a solicitor, Adrian Tchaikovsky did something related to the law), though not in this case. Thinking back to some of the law students I met while working in a law library, Caldicott may have browbeaten his editor into submission rather than the other way round. Finished A Face like Glass by Frances Hardinge. Deceit, treachery and highly explosive cheeses. When I started, I thought that this book, full of whimsy as the setting was, might be for younger children as opposed to her cross-over YA books I've previously read (The Lie Tree, Deeplight), but the tone became complex quickly, and I ended up liking it just as much if not more than the other two. The setting is an underground city, and the key feature of the people who inhabit it is their lack of facial expression. They have to deliberately acquire expressions, often buying them, with the wealthy members of the court mastering a large range and using them to manipulate and gain power, while the lowest rungs of the working class have just one or two at their disposal. For anyone who has struggled with human social relationships, the book is particularly resonant and powerful. As ever, Hardinge's style is immaculate. The main villains could have done with a little more depth, but that's a pretty minor quibble given how much she packs into one not hugely long book.
  9. Didn't know Larian had gone for so many different approaches. It sounds to me as if they're spreading themselves too thin and will end up compromising the experience of all three main routes, but the BG3 sample is already hugely popular, so guess I'll wait and see. Option three sounds completely uninteresting to me, but at least it's not compulsory. Option one sounds very Icewind Dale (a bit of a bore). Option two is typical of my favourite games; tends to keep a better balance between freedom and narrative interest.
  10. Me too. Had no idea it was eighteen not sixteen for photos. Media still seems very OTT about it, unless there's worse stuff we don't know about.
  11. Haven't played BG3 yet, but I normally prefer games without a voiced protagonist. It leaves more space for me to imagine what they could be like. I guess once it could also have created more room to add extra dialogue options without the budget considerations of the extra voice acting limiting everything to paladin/cold pragmatist/joker, though I'm not sure how much that would hold true with the AAA games of today. In other news, I'm still playing The Witcher 3. It's been...three months?...since I started. Level 34. I haven't even touched the expansion packs. Still not in love with the writing, but enjoy the exploring and monster killing enough to keep going.
  12. Somehow I had the feeling that might be the case. The total silence in all the usual places I snuffle around for recommendations and the pristine condition of the library books were warnings.
  13. I can't decide whether this recreation of a Pompeian pizza sounds delicious or horrendous. I'm sure it's a question that's going to give me some disturbed nights thinking about it. Though possibly not as disturbed as they would be if I'd eaten the pizza (ingredients include: figs, dates, anchovies, cheese.)
  14. Glad it's good. Been thinking of signing up to Netflix again to watch it.
  15. Read The King's Evil by Andrew Taylor. It's the second in the Marwood and Lovett series set in Restoration London. Started with the second book because my library didn't have the first. Nothing about it was terrible; at the same time, it did feel by-the-numbers. Rather as if someone had told ChatGPT to write a historical detective novel. Everything had a baseline level of competence, but there was a lack of depth, a shallowness to it that made me long for Sansom to take over and do it better.
  16. That does sound brilliant! May check it out myself. I'd like to be prepared for any problems with the spacetime continuum.
  17. Had a look at the UK thread (Twitter-town) in incognito mode and I could still see them.
  18. You're doing well for yourself to have a freezer compartment. I think only the Boss of All Bosses at my organisation has one of them. The mighty giveth, that BFC may distribute the bounty. This could be proof that asset redistribution – taking from the CEOs and sharing with BFC – leads to more effective management.
  19. I must be remembering the library staff room of a university I used to work for. Everyone joked that it hadn't been redecorated since the library was built in the seventies – well, they'd joke, then they'd pause and say actually and look at the grimy brown carpet.
  20. Thought that might be the case. Can they at least promise you comfy armchairs without nicotine stains in the staff room, and space in the fridge?
  21. New Futurama coming next month. Not hugely optimistic, but will definitely watch it.
  22. Writing this late at night by my standards so apologies for incoherence, anyway – I think forming lasting connections of any sort in adulthood is difficult, especially so for the demographic of people in which you and I likely sit. But outside our own experience, there are plenty of stories in the media reflecting this (here's just one of many examples.) This is why I try and join evening-class-type things, where not much is expected beyond that you turn up every week and refrain from setting fire to the classroom. Because social bonds tend to take RL time to develop. In the case of your contact, it's hard to know what was going on with her; it sounds as if she may have had her own issues, which she will need to deal with. But yes, if she wanted further contact, she would have messaged you.
  23. Good luck! Hope they make the correct choice and employ you with multiple perks to keep you happy and motivated. I have a bit of a history of getting the unexpected/less wanted job. As in, I apply for jobs I want with the big organisation whom I'm already working for, and don't get them. But I apply for a job on a whim that is either less suited to me, or is in a somewhat different field, and I'm offered it the next day. I don't know if it's because when I go for a job that I really want and think I'm suited to, the nerves get me in the interview. Or because going for a less obvious choice of job makes me appear more enthusiastic, since I'm not applying for more of the same. The insecure side of me says that it's because no organisation that I work for would want to keep me. Applied for a job last week and didn't even make it to interview, but on balance I'm not disappointed, because my current job is better suited to me and interests me more, even if it has its frustrations. If HR gave me a large pay raise, and would let me work remotely thus closer to my hometown, I wouldn't be looking for another job at all.
  24. I blame the combustion engine. This kind of mistake didn't happen before the spread of motorised transport.
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