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By TheophileEscargot (Sat Jan 30, 2016 at 10:58:01 AM EST) Reading, MLP, Watching (all tags)
Reading: "Hyperbole and a Half", "The Badge". Watching: "Jurassic World". Links.

What I'm Reading
Hyperbole and a Half. Finally got around to reading Allie Brosh's tragicomic illustrated memoir of depression and dogs, based on the blog that was popular a couple of years ago.

Some of it was a familiar from the blog, but there seemed to be some new content there. Worth reading if you liked the blog.

What I'm Reading 2
The Badge by Ashley Topham. Memoir of army life by a soldier who rose to become a Regimental Sergeant Major. Only has a small amount of combat (in the first Gulf War) but gives an interesting insight into army life. Writing is a bit unpolished, but it seems pretty authentic bar a little bit of exaggeration. He's pretty positive about army life but doesn't overlook the elements of bullying and petty politics. Gives a good view into army life from the bottom up.

What I'm Watching
Saw Jurassic World on disc. Pretty much as expected, not superb but solidly entertaining. Wasn't sure at first about the decision to make it an actual sequel not a remake: surely at some point these parks are going to stop attracting visitors? But it actually works quite well as older elements are introduced.

Pics. The Fall of London. Alex Andreev. Girls rifle team, 1925. Servants of the Wankh (about). You Are Dog Now. Imaginary dieselpunk. Boring Dystopia.

Sci/Tech. Signs of Modern Astronomy Seen in Ancient Babylon. Twitter has become secret-handshake software. The Hoppi-Copter. (Slightly exaggerated) limits of the calorie, via.

Articles. "Why the real history of the Peace of Westphalia in 17th-century Europe offers a model for bringing stability to the Middle East". Was Stonehenge a majestic roundhouse?

Random. Why we picture bombs as black balls with a burning wick. Early footage of the B52s. How to win ugly at Monopoly. The Mantis Shrimp.

Politics. College donors threaten to cancel unless Rhodes statue stays. Frances Coppola faces a Twitter mob. New Tory left movement "Compassionate Conservative Caucus" launches. How the Republican establishment learned to shirk responsibility. What Poles and Bulgarians think of Britain:

In Warsaw, few had time for any suggestion that life had been better thirty years ago: "I think we had ration cards! Forget about the old days. I was raised in that system. I wouldn’t like to go back, it’s incomparable. Some say it was better but they have very short memories." But in Sofia our groups had much fonder recollections, or at least impressions, of life under communism. “According to my mother it was just great. They went on holiday twice a year, now it’s once if you’re lucky. It was more secure, less stressful"; "Ordinary people, the working class, used to live much better than they do now."
< Question? | Guardian goes all adequacyesque on its readership >
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Yeah, I don't really get Twitter by priestess (4.00 / 1) #1 Sat Jan 30, 2016 at 02:21:42 PM EST
I find the character limit too constraining and the fact that even Twitter Execs are having to attach text as images to say anything past a subject line is insane.

Seems like the character constraint causes brevity to the point of incoherence and impenetrable codes and protocols. Makes it hard to read too.

Character limit made some sense when it was an SMS app, but surely hardly anyone uses it that way now, and not allowing a text attachment when you do allow a sound or video or image is just weird.
Chat to the virtual me...

yeah, the idea... by gzt (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed Feb 03, 2016 at 05:21:00 PM EST
...was that it fits into an SMS, which i think was kind of the original point of it. i think most people have moved beyond that, though.

[ Parent ]
Dieselpunk... by Metatone (4.00 / 1) #2 Sat Jan 30, 2016 at 05:21:02 PM EST
I rather like the idea, but it seems to mean "Mad Max" to a lot of people, which doesn't quite do it for me...

Not sure why Mad Max counts as Dieselpunk by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #4 Sun Jan 31, 2016 at 09:02:50 AM EST
Except that the first movie was late Seventies so it might count as Fifties-ish to the young folk.
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 ]
I liked Brendan Simms book... by Metatone (4.00 / 1) #3 Sat Jan 30, 2016 at 06:10:46 PM EST
Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy and the comparison with the 30 years war and the "real Westphalian settlement" is illuminating, but I think it misses out one vital destabilising element in the Middle East: oil.

I don't really think there is any resource from the era of the Thirty Years War of comparable strategic importance to various outside powers. This seems to be a big obstacle to creating a new (real) Westphalian settlement in the Middle East.

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