Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch. is another Dresden Files-ish urban fantasy set in London. This one has a junior police constable discovering magic as he encounters a ghost and is apprenticed to the Metropolitan Police's wizard.
This is the first in the series Liked this one more than the "Matthew Swift" series novel I read recently. This has more humour, and piles on the police jargon to give it a bit of a more modern feel.
Good, fun, worth a read. I'll be looking out for the next volume, "Moon over Soho".
What I'm Reading 2
From Dictatorship to Democracy by Gene Sharp has got a lot of hype lately, as it was allegedly an influence on the Arab Spring. It's a short, simply-written guide to overthrowing a dictatorship, with a lot of thought on how to make sure it's replaced by a democracy rather than another dictatorship.
Quite interesting, but it's written in a very vague and generic way, about the broadest possible strategies. The distinctive things about it are the way it suggests using whatever institutions and groups exist to resist in whatever ways are available. So, rather than direct conflict straightaway it suggests minor acts of resistance and non-cooperation, gradually leading on to full-scale protests. The book emphasizes peaceful resistance in all cases, and strongly discourages violence.
Overall, fairly interesing, but it's a shame the book doesn't have more concrete examples of the actual process.
Saw A Slow Air at the Tricycle theatre. Consists of two alternating monologues from an estranged brother and sister in Scotland, which gradually reveals the backstory along with current events. Very good.
What I'm Watching
The BBC had a reasonable documentary on the Antikythera mechanism, the famous ancient Greek cogwheeled astronomical calculator, explaining what it did and how we know what we do about it.
What I'm Watching 2
Saw the first episode of Channel 4 show Britain's Secret Eaters. Has the kernel of a good idea in there: uses surveillance cameras and private eyes to follow dieters and show the difference between what they actually eat and what they think they eat.
I found this myself when I started losing weight properly, and I know other have had the same experience. It's incredibly easy for your subconcious to overlook snacks and blowouts and make you think you're eating far less than you do. Most people find it pretty shocking when they realise what they actually eat.
Like so many of us, the dieters in the show were convinced they were "medical miracles" who somehow put on weight despite barely eating a thing, and were horrified to the vast meals they actually consumed.
So the show could potentially be useful education if viewers realised they were similar to the participants. Unfortunately the show's format is pretty much like all the other freakshow documentaries which mock oddballs and extreme cases with fake-concern. So I think the viewers are more likely to think "haha, look at those weirdos who don't realise how much they're eating. I however am a medical miracle who puts on weight despite barely eating a thing".
In case you missed it, I got engaged on Saturday night. Very happy about it.
Still looking at moving in together. Girl B may have to leave her current flat sooner than expected, so we're back to looking at renting rather than buying, unless she gets an extension on the lease.
Economics. Does divorce cause longer work hours in the US? The failing economy is the real cause of cheap government borrowing. Would markets rally on Grexit? Don't underestimate German determination to save Euro. Greek primary deficit not that bad?
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