Print Story I don't know, I've never kippled
Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 02:44:53 AM EST) Reading, Watching, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "The Sky Wept Fire". Watching: "Lucan", "Spring Breakers","Breaking Bad", "The Mechanic". Christmas. Links.


What I'm Reading
The Sky Wept Fire. Poetic war book by journalist Mikhail Eldin embedded within the Chechen resistance to Russian occupation. Makes no pretences at neutrality, Eldin starts off as a politically cynical media and arts journalist with a mild preference for Chechen self-rule, but the violence and repression of the occupation gradually make him a fervent nationalist.

Definitely a good read, provides a gripping and plausible account of life in a guerilla resistance movement. Lots of intriguing details, like the smell of campfire smoke on clothes being a giveaway of a resistance fighter who's been operating in the woods. Also has a pretty horrific account of torture in a prison camp.

Also interesting to see an account written from the Chechen point of view: they seem to be the current go-to Hollywood bad guys: presumably they don't have a very good anti-defamation league. This book has the Chechens always faultlessly well-behaved towards civilians, and the Russians as brutal and corrupt, which doesn't really seem any less believable.

I did find the prose a bit flowery, but that might be the translation from the Russian.

Overall, good account of life as a modern partisan, worth a read if you're interested.

What I'm Watching
Saw the ITV drama Lucan about the disappearing murderous aristocratic. Pretty slow and lugubrious retelling of a fairly familiar story. However it's enlivened by some good performances: Christopher Eccleston as the villainous Lord Aspinall and Rory Kinnear as the weak, out-of-his-depth Lucan. (Saw Kinnear live in Hamlet and he's a great actor.)

What I'm Watching 2
Spring Breakers is a movie about four female college students who get involved in crime on their Easter holidays.

Flashy and entertaining, lots of flash-backs, flash-forwards, pop-video-type sequences and nudity. However while the plot isn't that predictable, it feels a bit inconclusive and unsatisfying. Thought there'd be more of a conclusion for Faith in particular, who just seems to wander off without changing much.

Some see a kind of satire here, but I'm a bit reminded of Leslie Halliwell's comment on "Duck Soup": "The satirical aspects of this film are fascinating but appear to have been unintentional."

What I'm Watching 3
Finally got to the end of Breaking Bad. Really liked the conclusion which seemed neat enough and fitting, especially the final self-revelation I did it for me. After Battlestar Galactica, good to see that some long series can do good conclusions.

I managed to mostly avoid spoilers, though I did have to block keywords like "Walt", "breaking" on my Twitter client. Ironically I still managed to part-spoiler myself by putting on a commentary track, but fortunately it wasn't the actual ending.

What I'm Watching 4
Saw The Mechanic. Decent enough action movie with Jason Statham as an assassin taking on an apprenctice. Reasonable action scenes, some creative murders, and not too sentimental about making the assassin a nice guy. However it's a bit formulaic and the plot a bit daft especially when he randomly spots a key person at an airport at just the right moment. Fairly entertaining, but perfectly missable.

Christmas
Wife and baby weren't really up to travelling so soon after the birth so just had a tiny family Christmas at home. We spent last Christmas with our respective parents so this was actually our first Christmas together.

B did a Polish meal of mushrooms and buckwheat on Christmas Eve, with some German sweets (lebkuckhen etc). Mostly by luck I managed to cobble together a rough attempt at a Christmas dinner: spatchcock poussin for me and brie & tomato tarts for B, accompanied by Yorkshire puddings, steamed sprouts and green beans, roast potatoes, parsnips, carrots and fennel. Chicken and the Yorkshires and the steamed stuff were quite nice: potatoes were edible but not really crispy enough (I struggle to roast them without doing them alongside the meat with animal fat. We had my Mum's homemade Christmas pudding afterwards: surprisingly she liked it enough to had seconds, but seemed to think I'd gone completely insane when I told her I was about to set it on fire, and retreated to the other side of the room.

We opened the presents on Christmas Eve in the German style: as a kid I always envied my German friend for this. I got a load of great books from my wishlist, gave B a pair of gold earrings.

Later we watched the Queen's Speech, the Snowden Speech, and the Snowman.

So, a nice Christmas, but I do miss my parents and siblings, especially with my Dad's progressive illness.

Links
Socioeconomics. One Weird Old Trick to Undermine the Patriarchy. The 2015 Dilemma. Although ‘competitiveness’ is often code for lower wages, they don’t deliver it. Crowd behaviour in Apollo Theatre roof collapse. This isn't 'feminism'. It's Islamophobia. The real problem with sex work. Blaming white women. "Less than 1% of the population has ever been in care, but they account for between 15 and 25% of the homeless, 24% of adult prisoners and 70% of sex workers".

Politics. If the Prime Minister wants to change the EU, he has to stop making enemies, The immigration monster, "Britons loathe immigration in principle, but quite like immigrants in practice". Cameron's internet filter goes far beyond porn. Britain's Nazi Punk Scene Is Alive and Limping. Elf lobby blocks Iceland road project. Surveillance: complacency, secrecy: Britain's great vices. UK anti-Muslim hate crime soars. How America’s harshest immigration law failed, via.

Pics. 1990 fashions, via. Popes Francis & Benedict. Shaved guinea pig.

Articles. The Oral History of Sir Mix-a-Lot's Baby Got Back Video. English language if 1066 never happened. Mumsnet does pay-to-play, no it doesn't. Rudyard Kipling was a great American. How the Earthrise photo was made.

Video. The Unhappy Butcher. Contemporary Dance How-To. How to make a paper aeroplane fly forever.

Random. Chief O'Brien at Work webcomic. How to write in Gallifreyan. Monster porn: Amazon Cracks Down On America’s Latest Sex Fantasy. How The Media Will Report The Apocalypse.

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I don't know, I've never kippled | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
that little piggy by misslake (4.00 / 2) #1 Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 10:05:38 AM EST
was born hairless, it wasn't shaved.

they are called "skinny pigs".
http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Skinny_Pig.jpg

Phew by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #2 Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 10:08:41 AM EST
Seemed a bit cruel, unless there was an urgent medical reason to shave the poor thing.
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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 ]
Actually by Oberon (4.00 / 1) #3 Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 01:32:52 PM EST
I think it is a bit cruel to breed them -- I've heard that the hairless ones tend to get injured in scuffles a lot more easily than the furry kind. Plus they get cold, of course, though that's not desperately important for indoor pigs.

How now, mad spirit?
[ Parent ]
Not sure I agree re: knives. by gmd (4.00 / 1) #4 Fri Dec 27, 2013 at 05:05:12 PM EST
Re: "workers taking home blades they used to harvest fruit and vegetables, unaware that carrying them was illegal".

They have had poor legal advice and/or are not aware of their rights. It certainly isn't illegal to carry a knife.

Section 1 of the Prevention of Crime Act 1953 and section 139 of the Criminal Justice Act 1988 respectively provide for offences of having an offensive weapon in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse and having an article with blade or sharply pointed in a public place without lawful authority or good reason.


Pretty sure that 'my job is cutting things' counts as a reasonable excuse and good reason for carrying a knife.

 



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gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
Well by TheophileEscargot (4.00 / 1) #5 Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 02:41:52 AM EST
In theory, it's up to a court to determine what's a good reason to carry a knife.

But in practice, rather than fight the conviction which takes time, I think the farm worker might find it easier to just accept a caution.

Also, if these are arrest statistics, it wouldn't matter if the case was not pursued by the CPS, or if they lost.
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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 ]
Roast potatoes by Herring (4.00 / 1) #6 Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 01:02:17 PM EST
Due to vegetarians in the house, it can be done without meat fat. Parboil until the outside is soft. Add oil, salt, required herbs (thyme rosemary, whatever) put the lid back on and shake the crap out of them so the outsides are fluffed up and oily. Spoon into a pre-heated baking tray and cook hot for 40-50 minutes, tossing occasionally (as you do), or until done. Works best in a fan oven.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
Thanks! by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #7 Sat Dec 28, 2013 at 02:24:50 PM EST
Will try that.
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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 ]
Or you can just by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 07:48:41 AM EST
Put them in a 350F oven for an hour and a quarter.

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

[ Parent ]
Tell ne because I don't know by Herring (2.00 / 0) #9 Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 02:09:29 PM EST
How does it feel to be wrong?

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
I don't know, I've never kippled | 9 comments (9 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback