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  1. At risk of turning this into another Wheel of Time thread, choose Assassin's Apprentice. Without going into the merits of each (WoT sucks and I hate it), Assassin's Apprentice is part of a larger series of similar size to WoT, but with the distinction of being in discrete trilogies that are easier to take one at a time. Addiionally, if you found Hogfather to be a slog - and I actually kind of agree with you there - WoT has like 4 books in a row that are kind of just filler. And they are each 3x the size of Hogfather.
  2. I finished The Etymologicon, which was disappointing. I don't want to try to ask too much of it, since it is very much made for bathroom-reading. The maximum chapter length of <4 pages suggests that it does not intend to make any conclusion. I mentioned when I started that I enjoyed the light-hearted, breezy witticism of it. Perhaps I made a mistake in trying to ingest something in large chunks that clearly needs a more sparse reading schedule, but what I had identified as light humour soured on me in the first third. The jokes come across as less bantery and more unoriginal and crass. The author isn't totally unlikeable, but again - this is humour best served in small doses. That said, I do think it is an interesting concept as a book - certainly, it's not a bad effort at making a book on etymology accessible to a layperson. Next up, it's time to finally reopen Jane Eyre. I've been putting this off for years following a failed attempt in Uni, but I think I am a more patient reader these days. However, my copy is caked in dust, so I'll probably have to get the allergy tablets out first.
  3. Besides the fact that this comment is obviously conspiratorial nonsense, I was actually quite interested in the reason for this (and it is true, at least in the technical sense). So if anyone was curious: The bill was introduced as and was passed by the Democratic-led House in July 2019. It obviously had nothing to do with Coronavirus. It sat on Mitch McConnell's desk until spring 2020. It passed the Senate under the new title on the 25th of March, 2020. There are 15 amendments to the bill between the 22nd and 25th of March, 2020 - the amendments that actually make it a Coronavirus relief bill. The House agreed to the amendments a few days later, and Trump signed it the same day. I don't really know why Congress make laws in this sort of cobbled-together way, but it's not news that they do. The CARES act is not at all the same law as the one that was introduced in January 2019, it just has the same reference number. Took me more time to write this comment (with quotes!) than it did to Google it. https://www.congress.gov/bill/116th-congress/house-bill/748
  4. The benefits of reintroducing beavers are pretty clearly laid out in the articles cited earlier. I agree that humans reintroducing species does involve risk - that's why this is being called a "successful trial". The result of which is just the regulatory body allowing further applications for similar trial licenses elsewhere in the country. It's not like anybody is ignoring that there are potentially unknown consequences to beaver reintroduction.
  5. Fantastic news! Rewilding and reintroduction is such a niche issue so it's great to see an actual victory for once. Can't believe how much the beaver populationh as grown too, and it's surprising to see the number of sites they are potentially present at. It's not all perfect, as you do have some bullshittery like this: Of course, cull the population rather than moving it to some of the other massive open space in Scotland, or indeed the UK. I would like to see some substantiation of the potential issues relating to migratory fish, but if it's just a case of "anglers want to be able to fish here without beavers", they can fuck off. The article above notes that it improved fish biomass - is there a reason it would be negative for migratory fish. Also, not introduced. Reintroduced. I doubt wolves will come back any time soon. As we can see above, the farming lobby has significant influence and very little incentive to move from the status quo. Although maybe Brexit will have an unforseen impact here. I think Lynx are more feasible, although a fairly recent application was unfortunately rejected. Edit: Gov press release attached https://www.gov.uk/government/news/five-year-beaver-reintroduction-trial-successfully-completed
  6. Hahaha, way to quote a spoiler dude But yeah, it does devolve into not-so-glorified fan fiction in part two. So much for being engaged by the plot. Not too much more to say about it really. I don't feel any more enthusiastic about reading the main series, as I'd thought I might, but I might do so at some point just to wipe the slate clean. I think there is even a Star Wars Prequels reference in there. Next up, a bit of a change of pace for me with The Etymologicon, by Mark Forsythe. I am going to have to create a new Goodreads shelf for this; I haven't read any linguistics since (or, in fact, during) University. Seems like excellent, easy-going fare so far though.
  7. Well, I've gone through the first two acts while sort of doing work this afternoon. While I'd say I'm pleasantly engaged by the plot and setting, the characters and dialogue are...as expected. Part 1 spoilers:
  8. Finished up with Persuasion, by Jane Austen. This was a good read, one of the most plainly enjoyable I've read all year. I don't think I need to say much more than I said in my previous review, except that I think the second half had both both the best parts and some of the less entertaining sections too. I think I'm torn on the ending being written as it is, but I still very much liked reading it and might well read again in the future. I don't think it has quite the wit of Pride and Prejudice (although it's been a while since I've read that), but it definitely has a lot of charm. Next up, all this talk of Harry Potter makes now a good time to finally pick up my copy of The Cursed Child, which has been sitting around since release (still a relative newcomer to the owned-unread pile). I have a horrible suspicion that I'm going to regret reading this.
  9. Thoroughly enjoying Persuasion by Jane Austen. It's steady going, but it is such a comfortable read so far. It's been a while since I read Pride and Prejudice, but this definitely reminds me of it. It feels so articulate. I love the way the paragraphs seem to build up until you get to a particular comment here or there, which seem very modern despite the style. There's a lot that clearly isn't modern, obviously, but it's all the more interesting for that - and serves as a stark contrast to Wuthering Heights, which actually I love even more in hindsight. Side note: It also reminds me of Agatha Christie, albeit a century removed. I finished The Taming of the Shrew, which I didn't enjoy that much in the end. I've skimmed through some of the commentary but it didn't quite do it for me. Ah well. Would still love to see this in performance.
  10. This is the routine I jumped on to. Fair warning, it's a pretty substantial step up from YwA (I did the HOME series right before starting this one). It took me a few weeks to be able to really keep up with the routines, let alone start to try some of the harder poses. I can touch my toes now though. Been for a few runs since my last post. It's good to be back at it, although it is fucking hard work after over a month off. I can still keep sub-5:00/km for 3km, but the 5ks I've done were a challenge. My legs are fine for the most part though, it's my lungs that are really suffering - probably more because of the weather than the time off. Toe hasn't bothered me much really either, which is great. Hopefully I'll be able to get back up to 8-10k in August.
  11. Just finished Mister Roberts by Alexei Sayle. It was alright. Sayle is a comedian so unsurprisingly there are some funny passages, but overall I wouldn't say it was a particularly funny book. The dialogue was mostly bland and sometimes atrocious. As far as Sci-Fi plots go I actually didn't hate it, but I don't think it had more than the ~180 pages in it. Still, that's one that's been on my shelf for a long time. I am just going to finish The Taming of the Shrew as I've not really devoted much time to that yet, but then I'll be picking up Persuasion by Jane Austen.
  12. Hey I said I weighed 72, not born in '72
  13. Thought I'd put in a double post because today is my 100th consecutive day of doing yoga. There are a bunch of improvements I've noticed about my body, but generally I just feel fitter and way more flexible. I can do several poses that were impossible to me before, not least Wheel pose (which it turns out having a haircut really helps with). The only negative thing is that I'm pretty sure breaking my toe has fucked my balance when moving poses - I seem to fall way more now, but am fine with balances only involving the other foot. Today's session was pretty good overall, after a week or so of it not being great.
  14. Well, I never really use my left arm much... Edit: incentive to finally learn one-handed pushups!
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