Print Story A sad tale's best for winter
Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Sat Sep 29, 2018 at 02:25:48 AM EST) Reading, Watching, Theatre, Me, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "October", "The Old Ways", "The Barrow Will Send What it May". Theatre. Watching. Me. Links.


What I'm Reading
October by China Mieville. Account of the Russian Revolution, focussing chapter by chapter on the ten months leading up to October. It's very much a novelists' account, thrillingly written with vivid descriptions of the people and the scenes. Well worth reading, but will annoy any hardline anti-communist types with its enthusiam.

What I'm Reading 2
The Old Ways by Robert Macfarlane. Travelogue where the poet writes about travelling along various ancient routes, mostly walking but with a couple of sailing trips. Beautifully written and insightful.

What I'm Reading 3
The Barrow Will Send What it May Second novella in the Danielle Cain series about an anarchist punk involved with demons. Bit rough round the edges but a good story.

Theatre
Saw The Winter's Tale at the Globe Theatre, which I'd never actually seen or read before. Made the right decision not to read up on it as unusually for Shakespeare it has a reasonable ending. Enjoyed it a lot, though the change of tone from the tragic first half to the comic second half is a bit jolting.

What I'm Watching
Saw The Predator. Pretty much what I expected. Decent tongue-in-cheek update to the classic movie, with a motley crew of soldiers psych-invalided out trying to rescue a child and take on the alien. Pretty good fun but not outstanding or original. Liked the spin it put on the earlier episodes.

What I'm Watching 2
Saw spy thriller Red Sparrow about a famous ballerina who becomes a honeytrap spy. Was a bit disappointed by it: it has a grimdark tone but is a bit too over the top to suspend disbelief for instance the spy sex school and the torturer. Ends up combining the fun of John Le Carré with the plausibility of James Bond.

Me
Was really busy at work with another release, but seems to be getting better now.

Kid seems to have adjusted to school but is a bit bored: they seem to be learning at the level and pace of the least capable kids. E.g. he can count to a hundred and read simple books, but they're teaching them to count to 10 and recognise letters. He seems fairly happy though, gets plenty of playtime and greets the other schoolkids in the supermarket.

Been ramping up the running post-injury, doing plenty of distance again. Had a big plateau for a while but finally managed to get back to running 10km in less than an hour. That feels like a big milestone to me.

Links
Socioeconomics. The time may be right for land-value taxes. 100 policies to end austerity has 6 so far. Teens want online privacy but share publicly.

Random. A Cappella THX Logo Them. Live London Underground train map. Video: Acrobatics in a wind tunnel. The shape of the Nepal flag. Timeline showing the evolution of the churches of Scotland from 1560 including pejorative epithets.

Articles. Science's bullying problem Netherlands cycling culture. Worst bosses from "Ask a Manager". German football clubs have 50+1 rule which is meant to ensure that the majority control of a club remains in the hands of its members. Beatles chords: "a mean of 9 chords, peaking at a maximum of 21 chords for McCartney's 'You Never Give Me Your Money.'"

Politics. The Dark European Stain: article looking at the differences as well as the similarities between modern far-right and original fascism. How democracy died in Hungary.

Sci/Tech. Interview with Voyager scientist Dr Garry E Hunt. Whatever Happened to the Semantic Web? Idle until urgent. TypeScript at Google: "Experienced webdevs show up at Google and it's like visiting an alternative timeline." Video: Inside the browser event loop. Tape storage not going away.

Pics. Classical paintings photoshopped into modern photos.

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A sad tale's best for winter | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)
Books by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #1 Sat Sep 29, 2018 at 12:00:18 PM EST
October: Liked it, but it felt like only half the story.  I'm eagerly awaiting Mike Duncan getting there

Red Sparrow: Supposedly the "Soviet Sex Seduction School" was a real thing.  Will watching it, I had amusing flashbacks to Counterpart, which features something very similar.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

Ugh by ucblockhead (4.00 / 2) #2 Sat Sep 29, 2018 at 12:06:41 PM EST
while watching it.  I've come to rely on post-commenting editing so much on other systems.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
I really like season 1 of Counterpart by lm (4.00 / 1) #3 Sat Sep 29, 2018 at 09:12:57 PM EST
But not as much as The Americans.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
The Americans by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #5 Sat Sep 29, 2018 at 10:18:05 PM EST
On my "to watch" list
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
It's pretty legit by lm (4.00 / 2) #7 Sun Sep 30, 2018 at 07:38:11 AM EST
The guy behind the series, Joe Weisberg, is former CIA. The main characters are a composite of his experiences and stories he's heard from his colleagues. Some of it is anachronistic - there is no evidence from Operation Ghost Stories that the Illegals Program of Russia stretches as far back as the 70s and 80s - and sometimes it feels too busy in that the sheer amount of stuff that the main characters are involved with is too much for just two people to possibly do.

There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
I see what you did there by lm (4.00 / 2) #4 Sat Sep 29, 2018 at 09:16:54 PM EST
"combining the fun of John Le Carré with the plausibility of James Bond"

Oh, snap!

For giggles I used HuSi's search functionality to see what your opinion of Atomic Blonde was. I find lack of a mention about suspension of disbelief on that one a bit amusing.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
Tone by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #6 Sun Sep 30, 2018 at 07:07:49 AM EST
I thought "Atomic Blonde" had a kind of fun tone, rather than grim, lugubrious tone, so there wasn't the same kind of clash.
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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 ]
Typo guv by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #8 Sun Sep 30, 2018 at 07:54:30 AM EST
It's ow democracy died in ungary, innit.

Particularly liked the evolution of churches of Scotland and the typescript blogpost.

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A sad tale's best for winter | 8 comments (8 topical, 0 hidden)