allochthonous: (the great outdoors)
STILL NO CONTRACT. But the snow is snowing vigorously and I have high hopes that some of my friends will be having snow days so we can schedule a snowball fight this afternoon. At heart I am still a six-year-old when it comes to the white stuff.

In the meantime, I can't get enough of the #upgoerfive trend on twitter. Inspired by xkcd's Up-Goer Five in which Randal Monroe describes a Saturn V rocket using only the thousand (whoops, ten hundred) most commonly-used words in English, people are now describing what they do using the same ten hundred words. Most interesting are the scientists' (this one by a someone who's researching Titan is great) but it's actually surpisingly difficult even for those of us with slightly more prosaic jobs. Trying to do mine without climate, weather, disaster or sea is tricky, but it does bring a certain clarity (think I used the word "change" enough?).

The world is getting warmer and this means lots of things are changing. Some places are getting hotter and some colder, and some are getting more rain and some less. All these changes can make living in these places harder. I help people work out how they can change the way they live and the way they do things so that they can live in a world where things change more quickly and there may be less food and water. This is sometimes hard because we don't know exactly how and when things will change, but it is important because everyone in the world will feel these changes and will have to learn how to live and do things in a different way.

Anyway, there is a text editor here where you can try your own. Would love to see what people come up with (especially [personal profile] particle_person...).

ETA There's a good collection by scientists here - thinking boxes and space buses abound.
allochthonous: (then you can tell if it's summer)
Aaaand normal summer weather is resumed *ducks hailstones*

I have papers to be writing and malaria tablets to be obtaining and jobs to be applied to, but instead have spent all of this afternoon reading the back archives of Scandinavia and the World, an utterly charming webcomic about, well, just that. Basically it plays on all of the stereotypes Scandanavians have about each other and neighbouring countries (the author is, I believe, Danish) and as few things make me happier than finding out odd ideas Europeans have about each other (especially when they are so much more specific than one's own country's stereotypes: to Brits, all Scandinavians (and Iceland and Finland) are interchangeable socialists and/or vikings who often beat us at football and it is embarrassing), this is perfectly calculated to please me. It is doubly good because last spring I was on a road trip with two Swedes and had language lessons like this practically every day.
allochthonous: (Default)

I have a raft of upcoming deadlines for uni, which I am choosing to ignore by reading lots of fantasy instead. Reading for some reason feels like a more productive form of procrastination that internetting.

I’ve meaning to get round to A Song Of Ice And Fire for ages (based on the Wars of the Roses? Yes please), but their sheer size and my previous experiences with doorstop fantasy (ugh, Robert Jordan) had put me off. This time the advent of the TV series plus the aforementioned deadlines spurred me on, and I’ve now read the first three (I’m saving A Feast For Crows for later as I’ve heard it’s less good, and I need some time to digest the first ones). I have my fingers crossed that Dances With Dragons will be out in July, but given that the manuscript has apparently not been completed, I’m not exactly holding my breath.

Spoilers for A Game of Thrones, A Clash of Kings and A Storm of Swords )

Thus armed with book knowledge, last night I watched the first couple of episodes of Game of Thrones (they appear to have lost an indefinite article somewhere). I was impressed how faithful they stayed to the book, given how much they've necessarily had to condense it. Goodness knows how a viewer who hadn't read the books kept track of all the characters though.

Spoilers for the TV series )

In conclusion: great fun, but needs more direwolf puppies. I'm really glad that it's already been picked up for a second series (although, are they still going to call it Game of Thrones for subsequent series?). Now all I need is for The Borgias to start showing here, and I'll be set for TV for months to come.

95 theses

Jan. 19th, 2011 02:17 pm
allochthonous: (we make the golden journey)
I was reading a thread at io9 wherein commenters were bemoaning the fact that the BBC no longer produces good, original drama. A lone, dissenting voice offered something called "Luther" as an example of quality new programming. Full of excitement, I rushed to google to find out where I could obtain by fair means or foul what must surely be a thrilling miniseries chronicling the life of Martin Luther and his struggles with the church - only to subside in disappointment to discover it was yet another gritty detective drama. Am I the only person who thinks Luther's life would make a brilliant drama? I always think Reformation Europe must have been one of the most fascinating times to have been alive, especially at the beginning when anything seemed possible and the whole continent seemed to burst with new ideas and philosophies and people were setting up communes and inquisitions and proclaiming the end times right left and centre, before everyone got massacred by the armies of the great powers (England actually had a relatively tame Reformation, all things considered. Central Europe had a much more exciting (and brutal) time). Well, it's not too long until 2017, so I suppose we might get some 500th anniversary excitement then.

I am full of satisfaction because I logged onto the NT website at exactly the right minute to pounce on cheap returns for their Twelfth Night tomorrow, which has had amazing reviews and is otherwise completely sold out for the whole run. Unexpected theatre tickets are the best kind.

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