televisional thoughts

Jun. 25th, 2017 11:10 pm
nostalgia: (twissy touchy)
[personal profile] nostalgia
oh yeah dr who was pretty great this week, but i am holding back on whether i love it based on how certain plotlines are dealt with next week. i do however have a new appreciation for john simm. i still prefer michelle gomez but lbr she's the best master since delgado so she'd be hard to beat.
bob: (beard)
[personal profile] bob posting in [community profile] flaneurs
Hello,
As is customary I did Flaneurs bus challenge I. (c) from the same stop as before with an unchanging n of 6.
In exciting news I managed to finally cross the river and in fact ended up at Tottenham Hale. I covered about 30 miles on buses on the hottest day of the year. The routemasters were hellish.


* Map
* Google Photos or Flick Photos depending on what you prefer. Includes lots of video.
* Twitter thread


I'm currently uploading the videos to youtube and may make a longer video of them.
Talking of which I often post videos of my bus journeys on my youtube channel
spiralsheep: Einstein writing Time / Space OTP on a blackboard (fridgepunk Time / Space OTP)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
As ever, feel free to skip the commentary and just enjoy the pictures.

I'd never visited Tewkesbury in Gloucestershire before and t'interwebz assured me there was a "Heritage Trail" around the town so I came, I saw, and I flanned. Indeed, I committed June challenge flan II(c) "local council walk" twice over because the same Historic Tewkesbury leaflet also included an Alleyways Trail and as I've never done an official alley tour before I managed to fit that in too. I walked the Heritage Trail first but out of order and breaking off in the middle to extend my walk to a memorable sculpture on the outskirts of town. I then completed the Alleyways Trail backwards but failed to find one alley so I did some of the zig-zags by zagging when I should've zigged and zigging when I should've zagged. The order of the day was 1, 2, 10, 12, 13, 14, 11, 9, 8, 7, 8, [diversion to Margaret's Camp (medieval moated site named for Margaret of Anjou), The Arrivall (sculpture), Bloody Meadow (1471 War of the Roses battlefield)], 5, 6, M, L, 4, 3, K, [couldn't find J], I, H, G, F, 16, 15, E, D, C, A, and lastly B. A less casual navigator than myself could combine both trails in a single walk. The leaflet is unusually well written, with a brief paragraph for various points of interest, and made the walk much more enjoyable. My favourite discoveries were the many odd signs, some historic, some artistic, and some comedic, although it's occasionally difficult for an outsider to determine which signs belong to which categories. I was clueless about whether the several cat themed plaques in the alleys were history or art or both, and which of the Shakespeare family signs were truth or fiction, and whether a railway heritage plaque was in the correct place, but even I recognised that parts of the "history" celebrated on a Victorian obelisk varied between unlikely and impossible, lol. In conclusion: I found Tewkesbury charming, quirky, and not quite what it might seem.

Ye Olde Black Bear Inn was reputedly Gloucestershire's oldest pub... until it closed recently, although Tewkesbury has many other historic pubs in the town centre including a Wetherspoons which combines full disabled access, through the old coaching doors, with ceilings inside so low that tall men have to duck their heads.

01 Ye Olde Black Bear ex-pub on Mythe Road, Tewkesbury 06-17

10 more small images. )

The Arrivall is a monumental sculpture created to commemorate the Battle of Tewkesbury, 1471, one of the decisive battles of the Wars of the Roses, which took place nearby including on the aptly named Bloody Meadow. This half is called Vanquished.

11 The Arrivall, Vanquished, commemorating the Battle of Tewkesbury 1471, 06-17

The Blood is the Life for 25-06-2017

Jun. 25th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

III. (d) in Kraków

Jun. 24th, 2017 11:34 am
squirmelia: (Default)
[personal profile] squirmelia posting in [community profile] flaneurs
I arrived in Kraków on Monday afternoon and decided to do challenge III. (d), take the first left, then the second right, etc. I prefer to use the adaptation of take the first left, then take the first right, etc.

Write up and photos )

The Blood is the Life for 24-06-2017

Jun. 24th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
spiralsheep: Einstein writing Time / Space OTP on a blackboard (fridgepunk Time / Space OTP)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Women in engineering and Cornish Black history: I've mentioned Black people in Kernow (Cornwall) before, such as musician and composer Joseph Emidy, and y'all know my passion for engineering, so here's a combination of both. While in Penwith I visited the excellent Telegraph Museum in Porthcurno and was lucky enough to have a guide who used to work there when it was a telecommunications engineering college for Cable and Wireless (back when the people of the UK all owned a share in that successful nationalised international business). My volunteer museum guide was Black. I only mention this because it's likely that if I didn't then most readers would assume otherwise.

Engineer Oluyemisi Ojo from Nigeria, in Porthcurno, Cornwall, 1973, was the first woman engineering student at this Cable and Wireless college.

Engineer Oluyemisi Ojo from Nigeria, Porthcurno, Cornwall, 1973

Engineering students from Vanuatu, Qatar, and Tonga, in Porthcurno, Cornwall, during the 1980s.

Engineering students from Vanuatu, Qatar, and Tonga in Porthcurno, Cornwall, 1980s

One more small image, and three book reviews. )

• [...]
four steps forward and three back, and yet nothing
remains the same, for the mountains are piled up
and worn down, for the rivers eat into the stone
and the fields blow away and the sea makes sand
[...]

The Blood is the Life for 23-06-2017

Jun. 23rd, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Definitely not standing: Jo Swinson, Jamie Stone, Layla Moran, Tom Brake, Tim Farron, Alistair Carmichael, Norman Lamb
Probably not standing: Stephen Lloyd, Wera Hobhouse, Christine Jardine
Probably standing: Ed Davey
Definitely standing: Vince Cable

You'll note that Norman Lamb has moved from probably standing to definitely not standing. He announced this with rather petulant article in the Grauniad, in which (among other things) he proclaimed the Lib Dems' second referendum policy as toxic. Now I agree, it is toxic. "First we'll negotiate brexit, then we'll set up a referendum, then we'll campaign against the deal we ourselves negotiated!" is an utterly ridiculous policy. The problem is, it was only in the sodding manifesto due to the insistence of people on the rump brexity wing of the party, of which Norman Lamb is definitely one. This was as far as the rest of the party, who just wanted "we will stop brexit" to be the manifesto position, could be dragged. Policy making by committee often comes up with soggy centrist compromises, and often that's a good thing and satisfies most people, but sometimes it's patently rubbish. This time was the latter. What I don't get is Captain Brexit blaming the rest of the party for it. Well, I do. He'd like us to embrace brexit. And that is not going to happen.

Anyway, the rest of the article sticks the boot in to members in various other ways, and alludes to, but doesn't actually acknowledge, the problems autistic people have with the idea of Norman as a leader, and frankly, just makes me glad he's not standing. At least he has the self-knowledge to know he's not right to lead the party as it currently is, even if he declares it in a rather Skinnerian way.

Principal Skinner asks a pertinent question

So the only likely runner at this point undeclared is Ed Davey. And there will be siren idiots voices whispering in his ear, saying:
Don't stand, Ed. Leadership elections are expensive, Ed. They are divisive and set party members up against each other, ed. It'd be easier all round just to crown Vince, Ed. You don't want the hassle, Ed. The party doesn't want the hassle, Ed. Lets just have a coronation, Ed.
To which I say, pish, tosh, bunkum, bollocks, and bullshit.

Yes, leadership elections are divisive, and do set members up against each other, and sometimes even cause resentments. Do you know what's even more divisive, and causes even more resentments? Not letting Lib Dems have democracy. Not letting us scrutinise each candidate and come to a decision on merit. Not having hustings at which we can put questions to candidates and examine their views and records and promises. Imposing a leader on us without us having a say. I can guarantee you that while a leadership election might be divisive, it's nowhere near as divisive as a coronation.

Now, Ed Davey told one of the BBC politics correspondents (I think Norman Smith) the other day that he would declare whether or not he was standing "on Thursday or Friday". He didn't declare yesterday. I'm hoping he declares he's standing today.

And if you'd told me last month I'd be crossing my fingers for Ed Davey to run in a leadership election, I'd have thought you insane in the membrane, crazy insane, got no brain. Just goes to show what a funny old world it is...

The Blood is the Life for 22-06-2017

Jun. 22nd, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Is £70,000 a year rich?

Jun. 21st, 2017 03:35 pm
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Arachnia Janeway)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I think the argument boils down to two things: what you earn, and what you picture in your head as a rich person's lifestyle.

£70,000 is in the 95th percentile for personal income. This means that if you earn £70,000 you earn more than 94% (or thereabouts) of people. If you're earning more than 94% of your fellow countrymen, you ought to be rich, right? Like, if you're better off than the vast, vast majority of people, you should feel well off, or else how must the poor buggers on less than you feel?

The problem is, of course, that £70,000 doesn't actually buy that much these days. Like, it won't get you a mortgage on a decent house anywhere in the home counties. It won't buy you a new car and a couple of holidays every year after housing costs. It won't pay school fees for your little ones to go to private school once you've paid for housing costs either. £70,000 a year doesn't feel rich; and that's what the problem is.

If you look at the lifestyles our parents had, well, this is what my parents did in the 80s:
  • owned a home
  • bought a new car every two years
  • didn't go on foreign holidays but DID send me to private school
  • were in the pub three nights a week
etc., etc.

Now, I'm not saying they didn't work for that: they did. My dad had two full time jobs (mild mannered biology teacher by day, superchef by night) and my mum worked 9-5 too. They worked bloody hard. But the same amount of work in the same jobs these days would get you, if you were lucky:
  • a rented house that is one of three poky little Barratt boxes built in the back garden of the kind of house your parents owned
  • a second hand banger that you run till it dies, or a bus/rail pass
  • a cheap holiday for now, but only until brexit happens and then we have to pay visa fees and the exchange rate is knackered and oh look we can only afford Butlins
  • Pre-loading because the pubs are so bloody expensive, thank you alcohol duty escalator
Now most of the people I see arguing about this are either saying "£70k is mega rich, you're in the 95th percentile FFS" or "£70k is not that rich when you consider what you can buy" but not many are following both thoughts through.

How bloody scandalous is it that even if you're in the 95th percentile you are still struggling, and you are well worse off than your parents would have been on an equivalent income adjusted for inflation etc.? If 95% of the country is not getting a good enough income, that's a bloody disgrace and somebody ought to do something about it.

Anybody know any politicians?
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
The relevant part (and the reason why I am posting this) will also be made bigger and bolder for those hard of thinking people. I thought I'd post the whole thing again though, just because it's periodically useful to do so.

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spiralsheep: Martha laughing (Martha Laughing)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
- Once upon a time I threatened to post a cap of Funko Four for every fourth Doctor serial....

The Fourth Doctor and Robot

- Sounds more like a fic prompt than a science project: "Why suitcases rock and fall over - puzzle solved". "Scientists crack the problem of why two-wheeled suitcases can rock from side-to-side and turn over". (Source: BBC News online feed.) P.S. In case you're wondering the scientists' solution is, "one should accelerate rather than decelerate to attenuate the amplitude of oscillations", and not "zomg there's an alien in mah luggages!!1!!"

- Saintliness is next to Greavsieness: I earnestly believe that each part of the UK has the patron saint they deserve. You only have to look at what they're most well known for....

Cry God for England and St George: hunter of endangered species, and battler against imaginary wrongs. 'Nuff said.

Scotland (when it's pretending to be one country), St Andrew: martyred on the wrong sort of cross.... *cough cough*

Ireland, St Paddy in the green: fractious with fellow human beings, but doesn't actually like nature either. Be gone all you serpents and gerroff my lawn!

Wales, St David: good at community politics, and an excellent role model for Anglican bishops (which is probably not what this Cymric Catholic intended).

Cornwall, St Piran / St Perran, whatevs, as if he'd care about spelling, lol, and as he's the one you're least likely to be aware of I shall enumerate further:
1. Most famous for the miraculous RE-discovery of tin (no, rly, "rediscovery"), because someone else had already discovered it, obv, and if you're going to claim a miracle then it's best to set the bar low for maximum believability. This is the miracle commemorated in the Cornish flag of a white (tin) cross on a black (hearthstone) background.
2. Could swim, and was kind to wildlife.
3. Miraculously lived to be 200 years old... and then died by falling down a well while drunk (no, RLY). :-D
4. In conclusion, BEST PATRON SAINT EVER in the UK.

[Disclaimer: the preceding ethnic stereotypes have all been tested on persons of the relevant background and agreed to be accurate, although the Scots tended to alternate swearing with laughing and the Welsh contingent tried to force me to admit that I'm secretly "spiritually" Welsh, lol.)

The Fourth Doctor, I want to believe

The Blood is the Life for 21-06-2017

Jun. 21st, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Happy Solstice

Jun. 21st, 2017 10:16 am
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Arachnia Janeway)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
... especially to all those of us who fear the filthy day star and can now look forward to inexorably encroaching cool soft darkness for the next 6 whole months :)
miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
... and to nobody's surprise it is Vince Cable.

I like Vince, as a person. I like his stance on bees. I like his dancing.

None of those three things makes him suitable to be leader of the party, though. I mean, yes, he's got long service. And he did that one joke when he was acting leader that one time. But I'd really like something more than that to enthuse about in a potential leader.

Plus, there's all the things that make him unsuitable to be leader:
  • He's not a liberal, he's a technocratic centrist. This is fine if you are (shadow) chancellor; commendable, even. It's not acceptable in the leader. The leader needs to inspire. Technocratic centrism is the opposite of inspirational.

  • His stance on brexit is... at odds with the majority of the party's members and voters is probably the kindest way of putting it, and is already bringing out the "but we must appease the racists! We can't tell people they are wrong!" faction. If he wins, and maintains this stance, I predict a halving of our membership in pretty short order.

  • Tuition fees. OK, so he's not entirely to blame for the policy cock up (all those of us who voted for coalition, myself included, must take out share of that blame) but he is the person responsible for the catastrophic mishandling of the implementation and representation of it, and a big part of the reason Labour, why a party which introduced and then trebled tuition fees, can still point at them like an albatross round our necks.

  • The British Press, bless them, are not known for their nuance and balance. His name will be "Sir Vince Cable, the man who privatised the mail" - whether he wins the leadership or not, tbh.

  • Ten years ago he declared that by his own reckoning, he was too old. I do not believe he has got younger in that time.
All that said? I'll give him a fair hearing at hustings. He'll have his chance to impress me. I just don't see him doing it.

So far, to my knowledge, the field looks like this:

Definitely not standing: Jo Swinson, Jamie Stone, Layla Moran, Tom Brake, Tim Farron, Alistair Carmichael
Probably not standing: Stephen Lloyd, Wera Hobhouse, Christine Jardine
Probably standing: Norman Lamb, Ed Davey
Definitely standing: Vince Cable

If anyone else declares that they are definitely standing I shall go into my reasons further, but based on Ds&Ps, and subject to persuasion at hustings, I expect my ballot to look like this:
  1. RON
  2. Davey
  3. Cable
  4. resigning from the party
  5. Lamb
There has been talk that there might be an online ballot this time, rather than a paper one. If that is the case I shall lobby very hard indeed for it to have at least one free text box for write in candidates and/or voting RON. Voters should be able to express their displeasure at the options on the ballot on any and every ballot, this one included.
tamaranth: me, in the sun (Default)
[personal profile] tamaranth
2017/55: Lord of All Things -- Andreas Eschbach (translated from the German by Samuel Willcocks)
the digested version of a story already squeezed to bursting, a story of Arctic islands, Russian subs, and a steel fortress that fell to dust.


A book of two (unequal) halves: a promising beginning, but the rest is weakly plotted, gruesomely sexist and poorly characterised.

It starts well. Hiroshi is the half-Japanese, half-American son of a cleaning woman. He likes fixing things, and befriends Charlotte -- daughter of the French ambassador -- after fixing a broken doll. spoilers and irritation )
spiralsheep: The cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity (ish icons Curiosity Cures Boredom)
[personal profile] spiralsheep
As ever, feel free to skip the commentary and just enjoy the pictures.

I was lucky enough to be in Torbay again so I committed June challenge flan III(d) first right/second left from the front door of my B&B, and then from the same starting point tried first left/second right. I shall claim I did both out of thoroughness and not because after seven years I still can't remember which way around it's officially supposed to go, lol.

1. First right down the residential street brought me to a six or seven way road junction, which consequently resulted in two choices of second left depending on whether I relied on my visual judgment or the topographical map. Both routes took me past Torre Abbey, pronounced Torr, which was an influential local medieval Abbey then a private house and is now a museum.

1 Torre Abbey, Torbay, Devon 06-17

1a. I then turned second left along the seafront, which I followed for nearly one kilometre until the first opportunity to turn right led me out along the pier and breakwater. There was no second left so I sat on the end of the pier to enjoy the sunset.

2 Sunset from Princess Pier, 1890, Torquay, Devon 06-17

Variation 1b and walk 2. )

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