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By TheophileEscargot (Tue Apr 14, 2009 at 01:16:28 PM EST) Reading, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "A Long Way Gone", "How to be Idle". Museums. MLP.


What I'm Reading
A Long Way Gone: The True Story of a Child Soldier by Ishmael Beah. Autobiography of a former child soldier in Sierra Leone. Apparently it was a bestseller in the US: haven't seen much about it here.

Pretty powerful stuff, written in an accessible style. However, I have some niggling doubts about the authenticity of some of the detail. For instance, it seems a bit of a coincidence that after being separated from his parents for months, that they should be attacked by rebels just hours before he was to enter their new village; and that his very first patrol should have a dramatic firefight. Could be just the fallability of memory over timing though.

The sections where he discussed readapting to civilian life feel pretty authentic though. Worth a look.

What I'm Reading 2
How to be Idle by Tom Hodgkinson. Don't think I need any particular help in this, but even at the top of your game there's always room for improvement.

Hodgkinson is one of the founders of the Idler magazine, and presents a systematic guide to the Idler lifestyle. Loosely stuctured around the hours of the day, it gives gentle advice on how best to idle in each situation.

Hodgkinson also rounds up selections of the advice of great Idlers and writers on Idling, from Lao Tzu to Jerome K. Jerome. Also has some interesting items: suggests that even notorious anti-Idler Thomas Edison, while boasting of his four hours sleep per night, enjoyed two three-hour naps per day to make it up.

Well worth a look, if you can be bothered.

Museums
Dropped in at the British Museum, but only for the smaller exhibitions. The splendour of Isfahan has a couple of nice items spilled over from the big Shah Abbas thing: very small though, in the little closet off the Coins room.

Also saw the superb The Intimate Portrait exhibition upstairs. Pastels, sketches and miniature portraits from 1730 to 1830. Really excellent: the portraits are much more charmingly informal than the oils from that period. Also some real cuties there too. And it's free. Check out the highlights.

Web
Signalling benefits of hosting Olympics?

Video. BSG/DS9 credit mashup.

Articles. Stoicism: Seneca's letters online, including On Festivals and Fasting. Behind the Eve online craziness (MeFi)

< That was a little scary. | I have not filed my taxes yet >
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A Long Way Gone by lm (4.00 / 1) #1 Tue Apr 14, 2009 at 03:56:48 PM EST
My chief complaint is that there was no real ending, he just stopped writing. But that's a rather minor complaint. What I really liked about it was the way that Beah managed to put such a human face on so many events. Most people that retold the same anecdotes would have made them cardboard.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
British Museum links by TurboThy (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 03:41:29 AM EST
The Isfahan one is actually a copy of the Intimate Portrait URL.
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Sommerhus til salg, første række til Kattegat.
Should be fixed now [nt] by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #3 Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 12:59:33 PM EST

--
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?
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