Finished The Temporal Void by Peter F. Hamilton. Second in the Void Trilogy.
Not quite as good as the first, but still a good fun read. This one has a lot more space devoted to the fantasyish story of the Waterwalker. That was the best part of the first book, but is a bit weaker here: things are a bit too easy for him as he just pulls another superpower out of his arse to solve every problem. On the other hand, Hamilton does start to integrate this with the main plotline a bit. There's some plot progress outside the void, but nothing really galaxy-shattering.
Looking forward to the final volume, "The Evolutionary Void", hopefully out late 2009. If you want to read this trilogy, might be better off waiting for him to finish and then reading it all in one go.
Ought to upgrade my phone really: it's flaking out on me a bit, sometimes struggling to reboot and going silent in calls.
Can't decide though. I do use the web on it quite a bit, and as an MP3 player. So not sure whether to get the dreaded iPhone: not sure if I can be bothered switching providers, or if I'll be able to cope.
Any suggestions for an MP3 playing iPhone? Burned on Nokias after all the problems I've had with the buggy N80.
Considering another winter holiday. Was thinking of Greece. Possible plan: Fly to Heraklion in Crete, check out the museums and the Palace of Minos at Knossos. Fly to Athens, look at Parthenon and the museums there.
However, Istanbul is another possibility. Any thoughts?
Politics. Behind the violent crime stats admission:
At times of economic boom theft rates of all kinds increase, while violence goes down dramatically. During times of recession the opposite occurs as violence decreases and theft rates multiply...Behind the oligarch yacht scandal:
What might their planned response be?..."May I tell the Right Honorable Gentleman that Her Majesty's Government has halved the rate of violent crime in the past six months and that it continues to decline! "
For all the apparent ruthlessness, the media are dancing around the main point. It is not showing what should be at the heart of the affair: a proper sense of outrage at Mandelson, Osborne and Rothschild's belief that the tame oligarchs of a dangerous autocracy are no better or worse than other industrialists.Economics Web
My colleagues are not to blame for pulling punches. London not only offers crony capitalists Michelin-starred restaurants, security guards and discreet bankers. Our authoritarian libel laws also attract the rich. Editors think once, twice, 100 times before crossing them. They know they must contend with libel judges and Law Lords unfit to hold office in an open society because they won't stand up for freedom of speech.
Reading between the lines, you may realise that when reporters talk about 'the aluminium wars' that turned Deripaska into a tycoon in Nineties' Siberia, we do not use 'war' figuratively. Notice, too, how often we say that the State Department revoked Deripaska's visa to enter the US in 2006 and how rarely we explain why.
Academic salaries bar chart.
Using as a natural experiment the Italian pension reforms of the 1990s that suddenly - and substantially - decreased pension prospects for a large group of individuals, the authors find that people with lower pension income prospects as a result of the reforms have significantly higher fertility. The relative increase in the probability of them having a child is above 10%.Recessions no big deal?
The findings support the 'old-age security' theory where children are seen as a source of future financial support for their retired parents, as opposed to the traditional 'consumption' motive which suggests that a reduced pension income should lead to a reduction in parents' consumption and, therefore, fertility.
And recessions don't increase this [job] insecurity much. Indeed - using US evidence - Robert Hall has found that job destruction doesn't increase much at all in recessions. Instead, what happens is that the job creation rate slows down:Marginal Revolution. Where is the credit crunch? There it is. Oh no it isn't. Oh yes it is.
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