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About williamjm

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  • Birthday 04/29/1981

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  1. I was thinking that, Wood was showing more composure than half the England top order. Back in the old days touring teams would warm up for the Tests with some first class games which would give them some time in the middle without challenging them too much. I feel like England are giving New Zealand that sort of preparation in advance of the India Test, giving confidence to new players like Conway and Young and allowing Taylor to get into some sort of form. England on the other hand have a lot of problems. If they can bring back Stokes and Buttler that will help a bit (Bracey sadly has had a nightmare in his first two games) and the openers have put in some good performances before this latest innings but number 3 looks like a huge problem and it would helpful if Root's form would improve.
  2. I finished S.A. Chakraborty's The Empire of Gold which I thought was a good conclusion to the Daevabad trilogy. At the start of the book there are a lot of plot threads left to be resolved but I thought the book managed to tie them together well while at the same time providing a number of new revelations (some of which I was expecting and some of which I was not). I did like that although it ends fairly conclusively it's clear that the characters will still face plenty of challenges going forward and there's no suggestion that all of Daevabad's problems have gone away. One of the things the series did well was to show how all the different factions had agendas that made sense to them and how most of horrible things they sometimes did were the result of previous things done to them. This continues in the final book as we learn more about some of the more enigmatic players in the story, although the main villain did lose any subtlety and nuance as the book went along. I think the first two books might have had a better antagonist. I do also like how the characters have developed since the first book, the first one did start of a fairly typical coming-of-age epic fantasy but I find the more mature Nahri of the second and third books to be more interesting. I thought the story arcs of the main characters also came to some good conclusions although some of the supporting characters get a little bit forgotten at times, it might have been interesting to see things from Zaynab's point-of-view, for example. The second book did take place almost entirely in Daevabad itself and venturing beyond that to human Cairo and the djinn community in Ta Ntry did bring something extra to the story. There are a lot of different types of magic being thrown around in this book and I think some of the details of how that all works got a bit confusing at times. Overall, I enjoyed the trilogy a lot, it does sometimes use some familiar epic fantasy tropes but I think the Arabian Nights-inspired setting does bring something new. I don't think any more books in the world are planned at the moment although the edition I read does have a bonus 'alternative epilogue' which could easily have served as the set-up for a possible sequel. Next up I'm going to read Adrian Tchaikovsky's new space opera Shards of Earth, which I've heard good things about.
  3. I think the city almost feels like one of the characters in it, so urban fantasy does seem like a reasonable description. A long time ago @TrackerNeil posted a link to the first chapter of Duchess of the Shallows possibly in the 'boarders writing a novel' thread and I thought it seemed intriguing so I did pick up the book and I enjoyed it. I thought the second and third books improved on the first one and had some interestingly convoluted plotlines although there were times when I think Duchess maybe shouldn't have been trying to multitask quite so much. It did develop a good cast of characters as well. I'd definitely read a fourth book although I haven't heard any news about one.
  4. She does have a novella coming out next month (https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40864002-a-psalm-for-the-wild-built) that is described as the first in a series. I agree that there did seem to be scope for more books in the Wayfarer setting, maybe she will come back to it some day.
  5. That does seem to be a potentially bigger concern with the delayed second dose strategy and the Delta variant, although without the delayed doses there would be more completely unvaccinated people which would also be bad for the Delta variant. There are currently about 12 million of us in the UK who have only had a single dose. That has been mentioned as one of the arguments for delaying the next stage of re-opening, if it was 4 weeks later then that could be about another 8 million people fully vaccinated at current rates. In other news, I thought this story seemed encouraging about suggesting that some vaccine hesitancy can be overcome: (the board's quoting got a bit mixed up here again): https://www.theguardian.com/society/2021/jun/12/most-people-in-uk-initially-opposed-to-covid-vaccine-have-had-jab-study-finds I suspect the picture could also be very different in different countries as well.
  6. Coincidentally I just saw this attempt to make an estimate of what the efficacy might be along with some discussion of the potential limitations of trying to work it out from the available data. We'll have to wait to see whether his estimate does turn out to be accurate.
  7. I was thinking the same, that I don't think it's going to make the slightest difference to me whether it was on the 21st or 4 weeks later since I wasn't planning to do any of the extra things that would be allowed.
  8. He certainly looked more assured than Zack Crawley has so far this year. There were a couple of soft dismissals for him and Conway but they had both played well. New Zealand seem to be unearthing some good batsmen recently. New Zealand could be moving into a strong position here, although there's still more work to do.
  9. It's definitely a lot easier to have 100% survival rate with 30000 people in your trial than with 30 million people in the current real-world experiment. I did have the advantage that I've looked at that table before (I think I posted a link to an earlier version of it previously in this thread). I think it might have been a good idea for PHE to put in some analysis of the data as well as the raw numbers. I think showing the raw data is important but some people do seem to be finding it confusing and panicking even though it doesn't seem particularly alarming.
  10. We do know what proportion of the 33k had been fully vaccinated if you look at the top row of the table you linked to. 1785 out of the 33206 people were fully vaccinated, so about 5%. So it looks like fully vaccinated people make up 44% of the total population, 5% of the infections, 10% of the hospitalisations and 28% of the deaths. I wonder if some of the issue with the deaths might be that there's a small minority in the very unfortunate position of having a weakened immune system due to an underlying health condition that means the vaccine is less effective and at the same time being much more likely to die of Covid due to the same underlying health condition. I agree the effectiveness of the vaccine does still seem to be there overall. Since it's the higher risk groups who have been vaccinated we would be expecting far more deaths from that group than the low risk unvaccinated group if the vaccine wasn't effective.
  11. Patel seemed to be getting some spin on the first day as well, sometimes I don't know what the selectors are thinking. In the end Lawrence managed to stage a bit of a recovery but they still seem on track for a significantly below-par score. After such a long run of low scores it is difficult to see Crawley playing against India unless he does a lot better in the second innings. Bracey also needs to prove his ability with the bat.
  12. The latest (7 days old so there might be new data soon) can be seen on page 12 here: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/991343/Variants_of_Concern_VOC_Technical_Briefing_14.pdf Looking at overnight admissions (seems the most relevant for hospital capacity) 7 out of 137 were fully vaccinated which seems to suggest the vaccines are doing a good job in that regard.
  13. Williamson is obviously a huge loss, even if he didn't do much in the first Test, New Zealand must be hoping he's recovered by the time on the India Test.
  14. I read this a couple of months ago and I did think it was a lot better than the third book.
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