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Died on this day in 1698 aged 68 Elector Ernest of Brunswick-Luneburg(my toy,wikipedia). Ernest married his second cousin once removed Sophia and was the father of George I (Sophia's mother Elizabeth, the Winter Queen, was the daughter of James I&VI hence George's claim to the throne after Anne died with no living children). Sophia's father was Elector Palatine.

Born on this day in 1378 Louis III, Elector Palatine(my toy,wikipedia). Louis III was another Elector Palatine, but from a rather earlier... he married Blanche, the daughter of Henry IV.

"Elector" means that the person got to vote in elections for the Holy Roman Emperor. The County Palatine of the Rhine is in German Pfalzgrafschaft bei Rhein from which I have no idea how we get to "Palatine" ... it existed from 1085 to 1803, although not always the same place. Looking at the map on wikipedia it seems to have been non-contiguous, which is a bit odd and leaves me feeling that I really don't understand German history or geography.
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Random thought on the news: in NI there is a problem with people not having water, because the water-company employees are on a work-to-rule. It strikes me as very odd that the water-company is so short-staffed that it is reliant on the good-will (and overtime-working) of its employees to manage to provide even a basic service!
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Died on this day in 1901 aged 81 Queen Victoria of UK(my toy,wikipedia). Married her first cousin, Albert, and the niece of the previous King (who had no children). The wikipedia page unaccountably lacks an "in popular culture" section but I rather enjoyed the film "Young Victoria".

Born on this day in 1397 to King Charles VI of France and Isabeau of Bavaria Louis(my toy,wikipedia). Dauphin of France, like three of his brothers, his younger brother managed to live long enough to be King. Louis was a really very popular name.
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Died on this day in 1900 aged 62 Duke Francis of Teck(my toy,wikipedia). Father in law of George V. Francis's father was the Duke of Wurtemburg, but couldn't inherit because his father's marriage was "morganatic" which is basically the notion that if a Duke does marries a commoner this is a BAD THING and his children can't be Dukes; this seems to have been A Thing on and off, in various places, I guess depending on the whims of whoever was in charge when the couple married?

Born on this day in 1338 to King John II of France and Bonne of Bohemia, King Charles V of France(my toy,wikipedia). Not all Kings of France were called Louis, many of them wore Charles... (kings of France lacking something in the imagination department?). Charles V was mostly at war with the English - the French? at war with the English? Never! ;-p

Incidentally, this toy is a database thingy, so is amenable to being asked questions wikipedia isn't. So if you want to know what Charles V *did* then you read wikipedia, but I can tell you which of the people-in-my-database are his 5th cousins (it is, lamentably, inevitably, incomplete)... for instance I have this fun list of people who married their cousins http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~naath/spouses-related.html (incomplete, obviously). The website doesn't let users type arbitrary SQL at the database (OBVIOUSLY) but I can ask it questions you might have.
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Died on this day in 1936 aged 70 King George V of the UK(my toy,wikipedia). King George married Mary of Teck (his 2nd cousin once removed; although they are different generations they were born only two years apart), who had previously been engaged to his older brother (who had died before they could marry); royals have a habit of this it seems. George changed the name of the royal family to Windsor to be less German.

Born on this day in 1292 to King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia and Judith of Hapsburg Elizabeth of Bohemia(my toy,wikipedia). Her grand-daughter married Richard II. Bohemia is (mostly) now the Czech Republic, having previous been part of the Holy Roman and Austro-Hungarian Empires.
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Died on this day in 1601 aged 63 Henry Herbert(my toy,wikipedia). A nephew of Catherine Parr he was briefly married to Catherine Grey (sister of Jane).

Born on this day in 1544 to King Henry II of France and Catherine de'Medici King, Francis II of France(my toy,wikipedia). Husband of Mary, Queen of Scots and briefly King of France, Francis died young and childless and was succeeded by a younger brother.
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Died on this day in 1919 aged 13 Prince John of the United Kingdom(my toy,wikipedia). Prince John had epilepsy and maybe autism, and he was largely hidden from view by the family. The film "The Lost Prince" is quite good iirc, I watched it some time ago.

Born on this day in 1602 to King James VI of Scotland & I of England and Anne of Denmark Robert(my toy,wikipedia). Robert did not live long, only a few months :(
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Died on this day in 1991 aged 87 King Olav V of Norway(my toy,wikipedia). Grandson of Edward VII, Olav was a very popular King in Norway, and also an Army Officer and later Chief of Defence. He married his first cousin, in 1929.

Born on this day in 1517 to Thomas Grey and Margaret Wotton Henry Grey(my toy,wikipedia). Father of Lady Jane Grey (briefly Queen of England). Thomas and his wife were 2nd cousins, both being descended from Elizabeth Woodville, Thomas by her first husband Sir John Grey, Frances by her second King Edward IV.
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Died on this day in 1373 aged 31 Humphrey de Bohun(my toy,wikipedia). Father of Mary, wife of Henry IV; a descendant of Edward I. His wife was his third cousin, they had only daughters who managed to inherit his estates (which would normally have gone to a more distant relative in the absence of sons).

Born on this day in 1409 to King Louis II of Naples and Yolande of Aragon King Rene I of Naples(my toy,wikipedia). Father of Margaret of Anjou. Titular King of a lot of places, but doesn't seem to have been *actually in charge* of most of them.
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Died on this day in 1669 aged 0 Henrietta(my toy,wikipedia). Born the day previously.

Born on this day in 1776 to Prince William Prince and Maria Walpole, William(my toy,wikipedia). He married his cousin Princess Mary, with whom he had no children.
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Died on this day in 1772 aged 48 Princess Mary of Great Britain(my toy,wikipedia). Daughter of George II she married the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel, they had 4 sons but the marriage was not happy and she went to live in Denmark with her nieces; I guess "leaving to live somewhere else" was less scandalous than actually getting a divorce.

Born on this day in 1273 to King Henry I of Navarre and Blanche of Artois Queen Joan I of Navarre(my toy,wikipedia). Joan was Queen regnant of Navarre, but never actually went there and left it all to governors; she was also Queen consort of France and her son Louis was King of both France and Navarre. Her daughter married Edward II of England.
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Died on this day in 1401 aged 8 Charles(my toy,wikipedia). Son of the King of France, one of 4 siblings to die young.

Born on this day in 1794 to Prince Augustus and Lady Augusta Murray Augustus d'Este(my toy,wikipedia). His sister was an Augusta too, and there were only the two of them. Again with the serious lack of names! His father was the son of George III, he married secretly and without permission of the king so the marriage was annulled, and their children illegitimate. Apparently George III was rather cross that his brothers went off and married women who they happened to like whilst he had had to have an arranged marriage for dynastic porpoises and so he passed http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Marriages_Act_1772 which is still in force although it seems that it is in the process of being Done Away With except for the first 6 people in the line of succession; I'm not quite sure why anyone finds it reasonable to suppose that the Queen telling Prince Harry who he may or may not marry is sensible, or indeed in line with the ECHR... let alone some umpteenth cousin somewhere in Germany!
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Died on this day in 1321 aged 66 Marie of Brabant(my toy,wikipedia). Queen consort of France and mother of Edward I's wife, as the 2nd wife of the King she was not the mother of the next King of France. She had married the Philip when she was 20, which is an improvement on Philip's first wife who was 14... Young marriages were not especially common at the time, but were quite common amongst royalty and the nobility.

Born on this day in 156 Duke Charles I of Savoy(my toy,wikipedia). He married one of the daughters of Philip II of Spain, who was the husband of Mary I; she (the wife) was his 2nd cousin. He was the only child of his parents, and had 10 children with his wife; this range of number-of-children is not especially unusual.

witterings about fertility rates; inc miscarriage, infertility, infant and maternal mortality and other sad and triggery things )
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Died on this day in 1372 aged 61 Eleanor of Lancaster(my toy,wikipedia). 5th daughter of the Earl of Lancaster, she was a lady-in-waiting to Queen Philippa of Hainault (wife of Edward III). She had two husbands (it wasn't just men who remarried). She was descended from Henry III and an ancestor of Henry V (but not via the Edwards) which makes her sort of interesting in an "ooh, these bits join up" way.

Born on this day in 1395 to King Charles VI of France and Isabeau of Bavaria Michelle of Valois(my toy,wikipedia). She married her 2nd cousin the Duke of Burgundy, and didn't have any children.
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Died on this day in 1840 aged 69 Princess Elizabeth of the United Kingdom(my toy,wikipedia). Daughter of George II. She married the Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg, I'm not clear on what a Landgrave is...

Born on this day in 1741 to Frederick Prince of Wales and Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha Princess Elizabeth of Great Britain(my toy,wikipedia). Sister of George III, granddaughter of George II (their father died before George II and thus was never King). This Princess Elizabeth was the niece of the other Princess Elizabeth, apparently in the intervening time the country changed name (from UK to GB), I don't understand why.

Elizabeth clearly a popular name with the house of Hanover.
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Died on this day in 1433 aged 28 William Neville(my toy,wikipedia). There were a lot of Nevilles, I'm not quite sure where this one fits in; they were important during the Wars of the Roses and married into the royal family.

Born on this day in 1455 to Duke Gerhard VII of Julich-Berg and Sophie of Saxe-Lauenberg Duke William IV of Julich-Berg(my toy,wikipedia. Grandfather of Anne of Cleves (the varies duchies got joined up and split apart, which sort of explains how she was "of Cleves" rather than Julich-Berg).
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Died on this day in 1079 aged 70 Adela of France(my toy,wikipedia). Adele was the daughter of the King of France and married the Duke of Normandy, by her second husband (the Count of Flanders) she had 4 children including Matilda, who married King William I of England who was her Adela's first husband's brother's son. So that's like a step-cousin maybe? After her second husband's death Adela became a Nun (and was later made a Saint); she may have chosen the convent out of personal conviction, but maybe not - maybe she just chose it as a safe place to live, away from her family (who may have pestered her to re-marry/give them all her money/etc) it was not an unusual choice for a wealthy widow.

Born on this day in 1864 to King Edward VII of UK and Alexandra of Denmark Prince Albert(my toy,wikipedia). No not *that* Prince Albert... (there really are too many people with the same name). This one was a grandson of Queen Victoria, presumably names for his grandfather; he was the son of Edward VII although he died before his father became King. He was engaged to be married to Mary of Teck, who later went on to marry his younger brother; personally I'd find that a bit weird... but I guess the engagement was a politically motivated one. Some people appear to think he was responsible for the Jack the Ripper murders, I'm not clear on whether that's a reputable opinion or not.
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Died on this day in 1285 aged 57 King Charles I of Naples(my toy,wikipedia). Charles was the son of the King of France and the great-grandson of Henry II. Being a younger son he wasn't going to get to be King of France, he went off and invaded a bunch of places including going on two crusades and conquering Sicily (he was King of *Naples* because apparently Naples was part of Sicily and he got chucked out of the other part, I'm not sure I understand this very clearly)

Born on this day in 1796 to King George IV of UK and Caroline of Brunswick Princess Charlotte of Wales(my toy,wikipedia). Princess Charlotte would have been Queen but alas died in childbirth before she got the chance (childbirth was frequently fatal before modern medicine was widely available - I expect no expense was spared to attend to the health of the King of the UK's only child, but it didn't help).
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Died on this day in 1555 aged 79 Anne Boleyn(my toy,wikipedia). Illustrating one of the Many Annoyances - not *that* Anne Boleyn, but her Aunt - sharing her entire name. (In "reasons you should not try to use 'name' as the primary key in a database" shock). (The most popular such name, so far, is "John Neville")

Born on this day in 1367 to Edward the Black Prince and Countess Joan of Kent King Richard II of England(my toy,wikipedia). Richard followed his grandfather has King, his father having died previous; he had two wives (4th and 3rd cousins of his) but no children; he was ousted by his cousin Henry Bolingbroke (Henry IV) as portrayed by Shakespeare in his play "Richard II" with dubious accuracy. The whole to-do about which of Edward III's descendants got to Be King ended up causing the Wars of the Roses, the arguments about who is most relevantly descended from Edward III rather complicated by many of the parties marrying their cousins (and thus having multiple lines of descent); throughout the whole affair all the claimants were keen to stress how *their* descent from Edward III was "better" than the other lot but really the Crown went to the owner of the Biggest Stick.
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Died on this day in 1827 aged 63 Prince Frederick(my toy,wikipedia). Child of George III and brother of George IV; he would have been King but died before George IV, so William (IV) his younger brother was King instead. His wife Frederika was his cousin (wikipedia knows this but my database doesn't yet) and the daughter of the King of Prussia (there were more German alliances (I think) after we imported Germans to be King...) I remember having at one point a set of siblings who all married a Frederik or a Frederika (I forget who), it seems to have been a popular name in German parts (indeed Frederick's siblings-in-law include two). He had no legitimate children, probably because he didn't much like his wife.

Born on this day in 1209 to King John of England and Isabella of Angouleme Richard(my toy,wikipedia). Richard was Count of Poitou (England was still holding onto much of France); he got himself elected King of Germany, which seems a bit surprising really. He had three wives (not closely related to any of them) and outlived two of them. 5 living children by two of the wives, only 2 survived to adulthood. This is not an unusually low number of children for the age (I might witter more about that at some other time).
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Died on this day in 1066 aged 63 King Edward the Confessor(my toy,wikipedia), he had no children so at this point the succession was somewhat confused. His half-brother Edmund Ironside had previous been defeated by Cnut (who, incidentally married Edward's mother to cement his control of the country) had a son who fled to Hungary as a child, his son Edgar Aetheling was a young man in 1066 with few connections. Harold Godwinson was the brother of the Queen (Edith) (he had *two* wives called Edith, I guess that makes it easy to get the right name ;-p) (I just read a novel about the first one, it was good, it is called "the Handfasted Wife"). Harald Hardrada was King of Norway, apparent there was some agreement involving Harthacnut (son of Cnut, previously King of England also King of Dunmark) and the previous king of Norway (Magnus) from whom Harald had taken Norway (this is all likely barking, really what Harald had was An Army). William, Duke of Normandy, claimed that Edward had promised him the crown after some previous something (also barking, although apparently Harold admitted that this was the case). The succession was solved with FIGHTING rather than blood ties, and Harold got to be King (Edgar gave in easily), defeated Harald at Stamford Bridge, and then lost to William at Hastings. It is nearly 1000 years since Hastings. That is a lot of history. Please, next time you write "1000 years ago" in your fantasy novel remember that *almost everything you know about English history happened in 1000 years* and that "nothing much happened, the same families had the same land and used it in the same way" does not generally hold true for 100 years let alone 1000. Edward was a very pious King but probably not a very *good* King (a good thing but a bad king?).

Born on this day in 1605 to King Christian IV of Denmark and Anne of Brandenburg, Sophie(my toy,wikipedia). Sophie died later the same year (this is distressingly common in previous eras - many many children, even royal children, did not make it to a year let alone adulthood; there was very little that could be done for a wide range of common illnesses even with the riches of a monarch), her aunt married King James I and VI - the English/British and Danish and Norwegian (often they had the same King) royal families have married each other several times (on my TODO list - discover how many daughters/sisters of Danish Kings married English Kings and vice versa; that sounds interesting). Cnut and Emma may have started a trend... (hopefully later marriages had less to do with "I just stole your country" and more to do with at least "you are quite nice and a suitable match" if not "I wuv you a lot") (I've got those two down as "not related" but I reckon they probably are, and I'm missing bits).
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Died on this day in 1437 aged 35: Catherine of Valois (my toy,wikipedia). Wife of Henry V and Owen Tudor, daughter of the King of France and mother and grandmother of Kings of England (by different husbands). (Along with a lot of people in the database descended from Alfred the Great and ancestor of Liz II). She was the 3rd cousin (probably banned at the time) of Henry V, and apparently unrelated to Owen who was descended from people who thought they should be Welsh Kings.

Born on this day in 1639 Éléonore Desmier d'Olbreuse (my toy,wikipedia) mother of Sophia of Celle, wife of George I. Her daughter was born some years before her marriage but later legitimated.
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I have a New Year's Resolution and a database full of people... (I wonder how long I can keep this up)

Died on this day in 1554 at the age of 18 - Joao (or John) Manuel - (my toy, wikipedia).

Joao was the son of the King of Portugal and the father of a King of Portugal (born after Joao's death) but was not himself King, since he died so young. He married the daughter of Charles V, his double-first cousin (this is usually considered a BAD THING, and NOT ALLOWED, but I guess if you write a nice letter to the pope...).

Born on this day in 1784 to Franz and Augusta, a son Ernest(my toy, wikipedia). Ernest was later Duke of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (Germans had very long place-name titles), and the father of Albert who married Queen Victoria (So far as I know he was not related to his wife, although presumably this is a lie because the royalty of Europe were not exactly known for marrying outside their class)
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I have a project, it's a bit silly, and also a bit unfinished, but Imma share snippits.

Died on this day in 1387 at the age of 54 - King Charles the Second of Navarre (my toy, wikipedia).

Charles was the father of Joan of Navarre, who was Queen of England (married Henry IV, no children); his descendants include Kings of Navarre and France, his ancestors include many Kings of England (as well as other places).

In the 14th century names were apparently scare. His mother was called Joan, his wife was called Joan, he had a daughter called Joan, and at least one grandchild called Joan. Two sisters (yes, two sisters with the same name, yes, they both lived to be adults) and a sister-in-law called Joanna too...

Born on this day in 1511 to Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon a son, Henry (my toy, wikipedia). One of many children born to Catherine who did not survive to see their first birthday (at least two called Henry).
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So the nomination for WoT as *one story* has annoyed many people. I have thoughts, but not good words.

*One friend alleges that a novel-in-a-series is no good if it doesn't make sense stand-alone. There are indeed many series-novels just like this. But I feel strongly that the sort of series that really is *one story* in many volumes has a place in this world, and that it is neither necessary nor desirable for the volumes to *always* make sure that a newcomer can fully understand what is going on. Plus, even if you *could* get something out of the book stand-alone, you certainly won't get all the things that readers of the whole series get out of it (you have less background on all the people).

*The suggestion that it is "unfair" to suppose that voters should read an entire 10,000 page series. I don't really think you have to read the whole thing to get an idea whether it is any good. Start at the start. If you hate it instantly I guess you just hate it; if you love it and can't put it down then yay (you agree with me!) and I don't think you have to get to the end to know that. (I really do recommend you start at the start; because I agree that it is one story, starting in the middle would be like starting a novel in the middle)

*If just the final volume had been nominated in addition to the problems with "does it even make sense" (ish? maybe? there's a fight I guess you could follow it; but there are loads of cameos to tie up loose ends) there is the problem that if you did go "OMG THIS IS THE BEST THING" you have just read the HUGE SPOILER.

*the 'wtf is going on' and the spoiler problems are shared by two of the short-form dramatic nominees this year - if you watch the GoT or Orphan Black episodes that are nominated and not the whole series (in the case of GoT a whole 3 seasons!) then you may find yourself confused about who all these people *are* (perhaps more so for GoT which has a stronger on-going story) and they both contain serious spoilers for the serieses as wholes. (Dr Who doesn't *really* have so much of a season long plot that you can be confused about/spoiled for - but it also isn't that good, and I am tired of the category trying to be "best Dr Who episode". )

*Season 1 of GoT go nominated as a long-form in one piece. This got much less of the whining that the WoT nomination did. Is this because more people like GoT? more people have seen it all already? Or was I just not paying attention to the whining?

*I am of course a HUGE WoT fan. But also in general a big fan of very long form story telling. I like epic fantasy series that come in 10 1,000 page novels; I like TV series that have ongoing plot arcs... I think it is good that such works get recognized as awesome (when they are awesome) and not just dismissed as "too long" or have to be judged one small part at a time. Also I think that if we give more recognition to people who write at a particular length then people will be less likely to write looooooooong things and I will be sad.
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Hugo nominated novels wot I have read :
review-ettes )
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This year I am about 500 pounds richer; which is a bit crap really (most of the money was spent on amusing things like holidays and pizza).

I have run 1600 miles (mostly on treadmills); cycled 2600; and swum 11 1/2.

Visited zero foreign countries, had zero children, lost zero relatives or friends.

I still have the same job and live in the same house.

Bit boring really.
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Yay, I can still pass exams!

I can haz OU degree :- Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Computing and Mathematical Sciences, Upper Second-class Honours (2.1)

Go me!

In general, I found the Maths interesting and challenging and the Computing over concerned with a)tedious buzzword bollocks and b)exam questions requiring hand-writing code. But they've gone and changed all the modules, so maybe that's not really relevant to anyone else; and maybe I'm biased because I was much better at the maths.

Now I do not have things to learn, haz sad.
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I get so much comment spam on DW and so few actual comments than I've turned off commenting for non-DW users. Sorry if you wanted to comment and now can't but UGH SPAM.
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Continued Hugo ballot thoughts; everything that isn't a novel. Short answer - the short fiction is IMO much more interesting.

I guess there may be spoilers for the short fiction, I'm try not to. None for the Dramatic Presentation.

cuts are great )
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I read books...

I have thoughts about books; these thoughts are trying hard not to be spoilers but maybe they are.
Have a cut
books: 2312, Blackout, Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, Redshirts, Throne of the Crescent Moon )
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A thing that has been really annoying me about the horsemeat scandal reporting but is actually only tangentially related.

So, some people came over all "well don't eat this nasty crap then" so some other people came over all "but it's cheap and easy and delicious". Now, I don't dispute "easy"; it certainly is a lot easier to buy a microwave lasagne than to prepare your own. I'm not sure about "cheap"; I've never really thought about it, but certainly compared to other low-effort food options (for instance going out for food). And anyway there whole layers of stuff to do with lack of access to cooking skills, equipment, etc.

But really what's pissing me off is the "delicious" part. It's not that I dispute that some people find this type of food tasty; clearly they do. But I've seen a number of people writing about how these foods are "carefully engineered" to be exactly the sort of thing that most appeals to humans. A view that basically "these foods are super addictive; it is only through sheer willpower that anyone resists them" (and often goes on to insist that people ought to, well, have more willpower - which is a shitty thing to insist; but anyway).

Personally I think this is utter utter bullshit. What these companies have done is not a triumph of food science. It is a triumph of advertising. Of getting into people's heads and saying "this is what food should be"; especially getting to people young.

The thing is that in part because my parents were seriously strict about not having this sort of food; and in part because my current lifestyle is fairly well insulated from a lot of advertising crap; and in HUGE part because I've never lacked money to the point that I've been fretting about the cost of using the oven... well; I've never accustomed myself to eating these types of food, and essentially as a consequence of that I think most of them are simply disgusting. I genuinely would prefer to eat rice and beans. I know most people wouldn't.

I think that the people who write things like "OMG McDonalds makes addictive food we must stop them somehow!" are PART OF THE PROBLEM - they are participating in the advertising campaign that says "this food is addictively delicious".

I think that if "we" want to change the way "people in general" eat the answer has to involve teaching people that the "better" food is delicious, is "normal", etc. etc. And I think we need to get them young. Personally I'm not particularly interested in telling people what they "should" eat; but I would welcome attempts to make healthier food cheaper, and more available so that more people have more actual choice about what they eat, rather than being forced into making the cheapest choice.
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I like this meme; but I'm bad at keeping up with things... but lets see how it goes.

What have you just finished reading?

A Memory of Light and also the Hydrogen Sonata. I wrote about those already.


What are you reading?

"Delusions of Gender" which my brother got me for Christmas off my amazon wishlist; Reamde (Stephenson) and "Unidentified Funny Objects". Yes, I multi-task books. Oh, and I'm re-reading Quicksilver (Stephenson) only rather slowly because the New! Shiny! Books! are much more interesting.

What are you going to read next?

Probably Railsea (Mieville) although maybe Ghost Brigades (Scalzi) which I have already; also Legends (the short story collection).
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Bicycle Insurance:

I have my shinyshiny bike insured with cyclecover (http://www.cyclecover.org.uk/) when I recently hit a wall at speed evading a car and thoroughly trashed the frame I claimed on this insurance in a hopeful sort of way. I sent a few emails, filled in a short form (name, policy number, how much are you claiming? why are you claiming it?), photocopied some bank statements, printed some photos & posted all that stuff off and today I have 800 quid in my bank account from them (and I haven't had to pay out for the repair yet; and I got to pick my preferred repair people).

I recommend these insurers as being insurers who actually pay out money in settlement of claims rather than arguing with you about whether they actually agreed to ever pay you any money and as being competent with email communication (I didn't have to phone them). Unfortunately I can't recommend them as being cheap; my insurance policy costs 10% of the cost of the bike annually although I expect this is mostly to do with the high risk of bike thievery in Cambridge.
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More Book!

A Memory of Light; Jordan, Robert & Sanderson, Brandon

HONKING GREAT SPOILERS )
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We went to see the Hobbit. I like it. Beneath the cut are some Hobbity thoughts that may be spoilers

Hobbity thoughts )
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So I've seen a lot of people complaining about some stupid thing about lazy benefits-scroungers with closed curtains and aren't they lazy. People have made many points about, eg, disabled people who need a lot more sleep because of their disability and shift workers who are not benefit claimants but who might be asleep at noon because they were working all night.

But also...

I got up at 0800 this morning and although it was daylight out the daylight was insufficiently good at penetrating the house, so I needed to put the lights on. I don't like having lights on and curtains open (it makes looking in very easy)... so I didn't open the curtains.

So lets say it's a work-day morning and I get up at 0700 (LOL, but lots of people do); it is dark out so I put on a light, scarf down breakfast, pull on clothes, grab bag and head out (turning off the light). Now my curtains are all shut - so I'm still snoozing? no! I'm at work 60 miles away (only reason I can think of for being up at ungodly hour).

In fact I venture to suggest that people with *open* curtains in their houses are the ones who are lazy snoozers-in; like me - I don't actually get up until 0830 on a work day by which time opening the curtains is sufficient to give me the light I need so I open them.

So if I were job-hunting I could get up at 0800 and go out to do job-hunting things; leaving my curtains closed because opening them would be useless... or I could snooze in to 0900 and then get up and open my curtains, and sit around in my living room playing PS2 games.

Also I think that victim-blaming police types think we should keep our lounge curtains closed so thieving types can't see our Valuable Lounge Stuff through the window! And I think closed curtains probably keep the heat in better too (especially when sun isn't shining on the window; which most of the day it is not on ours).

I DO NOT UNDERSTAND THE LOGIC of this "your curtains are closed at 1100 so I will shame you" nonsense. Even if it has slipped your mind that some people work shifts or that many people who are unable to worth through disability are also unable to get up and out in the morning for non-work tasks... Which of course you should not forget! HORRIBLE PEOPLE.
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Fun meme!

What are you currently reading?

Captain Vorpatril's Alliance. Which is hilarious! Oh Ivan. Book many of lots in an ongoing loosely connected set (ummm, there should be a word to distinguish the sort of series that WoT or aSoIaF are (a single story in many volumes) from the sort of series that Discworld and Vorkosigan are (many stories in the same universe with overarching character development) form the sort of series that Darkover is (many stories in the same universe but not really related to each other at all)). Bujold is fabtastic. Science Fiction with the emphasis on the people.

The Eternal Flame. Volume 2 of 3 in Egan's as-yet-unfinished Orthogonal trilogy. I <3 Egan; and this one has DIAGRAMS. It's a bit confusing because the world has a different space-time to ours which has lots of interesting consequences - there are applets on his website to do experiments in strange-space-time. Science Fiction with the emphasis on the science.

Quicksilver. Volume 1 of 3 of Stephenson's completed Baroque Cycle. The setting is on the border between Historical and Fantasy but a lot of the writing is about scientists doing science, so maybe it's SF :-p This is a re-read and I'm finding it a bit slow. Maybe because the book is heavy.

What did you recently finish reading?

Recently finished re-reading volumes 1-5 of GRRM's unfinished 7? volume Song of Ice and Fire. Which certainly benefited from re-reading to pick up lots of details missed the first time around.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Well that rather depends how long these things take to read... I've got some other stuff in the to-read pile but the book I'm eagerly anticipating with great eagerness in a Memory of Light, volume 14 of 14 in the NOW ACTUALLY FINISHED OMG Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan with some help from Brandon Sanderson.

Yes, I like series :-p
naath: (Default)
Yay, so it is now the last day of November. I did post something for every day, although some posts were... delayed.

So that's cool. Also I like interacting via DW/LJ post; so maybe I will try to keep that up.

Also some knitters declared November to be National Knit a Sweater Month (NaKniSweMo) and I did in fact also knit a sweater! OK, I need to sew the googly eyes on (it's got owls) but I'm wearing it, it is a perfectly functional sweater. Plus I finished a shrug, knit most of a cardigan for baby Snape (I have to do the edging, grrrr, icord edging and the sleeves - baby jumpers are great because babies are tiny), and started a second jumper for me (there's about an inch of that done). Yay knitting.
naath: (Default)
In the news recently: minimum pricing for alcohol. I find I don't have a useful opinion, anyone want to help me form one.
naath: (Default)
Wednesdays are for climbing, which is fun. What is less fun is when your train is cancelled so you get to spend half an hour of what should be climbing time hanging around at the station waiting for the next train.

No driver, apparently...
naath: (Default)
OK so that other post was long and difficult to write. This is an easier post...

My bank wrote to me to say (basically) "in 2010 you withdrew 50 quid from an ATM but didn't take the money and the ATM ate it. We debited you the 50 quid and didn't credit it back; but we just audited our ATM logs - here have 50quid plus 3quid interest".

It sucks that HSBC didn't notice this at the time (I did, but I didn't complain to them because I thought someone else probably took the money; and it was my own stupid rushing-to-catch-a-train fault). But it's good that they did eventually spot and give me my money back.
naath: (Default)
Pizza distracted me from posting yesterday.

This post is about abortion and probably isn't very well argued. I have these thoughts in my head because of this very distressing news story from Ireland. This post might be distressing.

have a cut tag )
naath: (Default)
Today I ran around town in a silly santa outfit. That was very silly.
naath: (Default)
Parkrun is fun; well, and a good reason to get me out of bed on a Saturday morning.

Today I was much faster than last week - I think I have solved the problem though; parkrun requires COFFEE, tea simply doesn't cut it. Allegedly 3degrees out *shiver* but running is nice and warming :)
naath: (Default)
The speed of the naath...

recently (last few months):

Running on a treadmill - averaging 8mph topping out at nearly 10mph mostly 7-13km at a time
Running outdoors - averaging about 7mph. most 5km but some 10-13 miles and 10km as well.
Walking - averaging a little over 3mph. mostly over ~3miles but I can do that most of the day if I break for food at reasonable intervals.
Cycling - averaging a little under 10mph; marginally slower on the old bike than the new. Top speed around 18-20mph. That's a travel-time average for Cambridge commuting rather than a moving average; I guess my moving average is more like 12mph on the shinybike. Averaging ~7mph on the 35miles to Kentwell; including time spent stopped in the pub for food.
Swimming in a pool - averaging 1.25mph. Pretty constant whether I do 1/4, 1/2 or a whole mile.

Onna train - about 60mph? I've not measured the train speed but it does the 60miles to LST in just over an hour (that's including time spent in stations). 106mph on the E* which is probably the fastest train I've been on.

My world goes past pretty slowly compared to people who drive a lot I guess... then again, I see a lot of people in traffic jams on my commute so maybe not.

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