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Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 06:42:17 AM EST) Reading, Listening, Me, MLP, Steam, Theatre (all tags)
Listening: "Modern British Drama". Me. Steam. Web.


Listening
Latest TTC course was Modern British Drama by Peter Saccio. Very short course: only eight 45-minute lectures. Quite selective: he discusses a handful of playwrights, going into one or two of their plays in some detail. Oscar Wilde, Noel Coward, George Bernard Shaw, John Osborne, Samuel Beckett, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Caryl Churchill, David Hare.

American lecturer, a bit US-centric: in such a short course it's annoying that he has to waste precious time explaining who Margaret Thatcher was and such. Still interesting though: he's a very passionate enthusiast as well as well-informed, and a very good communicator. Worth a listen if you're interested in the subject.

Steam
Grabbed a kabocha squash the other day. Quite impressed. Tastes like a proper marrow, but is small enough to provide part of one meal's veg intake. Buying a whole marrow can be somewhat excessive. if you live alone. Also it apparently lasts for ages, which is another big bonus.

Didn't like the skin much though: apparently some people eat it but it seemed a bit dry and papery.

Wondering what other convenient vegetables there are that I'm missing...

Me
Grandmother's taken a turn for the worse. Going down to Bristol again for the day on Monday.

Tuesday: get some currency and some shopping.

Off to Spain on Wednesday. Never got around to booking a Madrid-Barcelona train in advance from the UK agent, (wish they'd take online orders instead of only accepting phone calls in business hours). Kind of stressing over the prospect of getting train/bus/plane tickets when there with my almost non-existent Spanish.

Also haven't booked the hotels yet.

Xmas shopping is more or less completed though due to the magic of Amazon. Decided to get my nephews' presents sent directly to them, though I'm seeing them at my parents' place just before Xmas: don't really want to make them lug the stuff all the way back to Belfast.

Masturbation
Tagged my Shelfari books. I'm sure it must make you go blind if you look through your own tag cloud too much.

Woohoo, the HuSi archive is back! (For now at least) Was really bugging me to have a year's worth of diaries and book reviews unavailable. (Hey Google, look here . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . )

Web
YouTube. Stoned cop's 911 call. Philip Glass animations on Sesame Street. Making armour [MeFi]

Send your future self an email (repeat?)

Economics. Laffer on the Laffer Curve:

I've never said all tax cuts pay for themselves. I never even said Reagan's tax cuts would pay for themselves...

I like Clinton and I like Bush as economic presidents.

Decline of Buffalo:
In general, when cities shrink, poverty isn’t far behind, for two reasons-- one obvious, the other subtler. The obvious reason: urban populations fall because of relocation of industry and drop in labor demand; as jobs vanish, people living in a city get poorer. The subtler reason: declining areas also become magnets for poor people, attracted by cheap housing. This is exactly what happened to Buffalo, whose median home value is just $61,000, far below the state average of $260,000. More than 10 percent of Buffalo’s residents in 2000, it’s worth noting, had moved there since 1995. The influx of the poor reinforces a city’s downward spiral, since it drives up public expenditures while doing little to expand the local tax base.
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Don't Look Back in Anger | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I found spanair by Pasofol (4.00 / 1) #1 Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 10:02:21 AM EST
to be a decent choice for traveling within spain if you can book ahead and dont mind traveling non prime hours.

How much is the train anyway?

€65 by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #2 Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 10:13:30 AM EST
Cheap by UK standards. Would rather get even a slow train than fly, as you get to see a bit of scenery and don't have the hassle of getting to the airports and checking in and so on.

Actually thought about travelling to Spain by train... you can get the Eurostar to Paris and change there. The French strikes put me off though, plus it's mostly at night so you won't see much.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
Laffer interview by Scrymarch (4.00 / 2) #3 Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 05:22:13 PM EST
I was the first chief economist at the OMB. I told my mom, "I just wrote a speech for Nixon, mom. He used it, verbatim. Well, he did make two changes: Everywhere I said 'is' he said 'is not' and everywhere I said 'is not' he said 'is.' But other than that, mom, it was exactly the same speech."


The Political Science Department of the University of Woolloomooloo

Thanks for recommending Devices and Desires by Imperial Mince (4.00 / 1) #4 Sun Dec 09, 2007 at 11:53:20 PM EST
It was good, although when reading the descriptions of Eremian rules it felt like it was being narrated by Patrick Bateman.
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This space reserved for whining like a little bitch and being sanctimonious.
Housing prices by ObviousTroll (4.00 / 1) #5 Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 04:46:40 AM EST
That median price for New York is more upsetting to me than the price for Buffalo housing. If housing in New York has really gotten that expensive, I'm surprised the whole state isn't having more problems.

Update: Heh. I just discovered the "estimated" value of my own home is well over 200k. That's something like a 100% mark up in the past 10 years.

Dang. That's... wow. insane.

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Has anybody seen my clue? I know I had it when I came in here.

You should see the prices in NoVa by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #6 Mon Dec 10, 2007 at 06:01:49 AM EST
Houses that went for 100k 30 years ago go for 750k now.  900 sq ft houses on 1 acre lots go for 1m.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Buffalo article is great by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #7 Tue Dec 11, 2007 at 02:22:51 AM EST
And I broadly agree with it. Some old industrial cities are destined to shrink down to a commercial core and some far-flung suburbs. Let it happen, and turn the inner city into parkland.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

Don't Look Back in Anger | 7 comments (7 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback