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My Summer Holiday

August 25, 2016

I’ve ended up doing a lot of holidaying alone this Summer which has been ok. It would’ve been nice to share some of the days out with other people but equally it meant in the evening I could tuck into some reading!

While I was away I read Half a King and Half the World by Joe Abercrombie. I didn’t realise they were supposed to be YA (not that I especially care now I realise!), the only real difference is that they are noticably less brutal than the First Law trilogy. Anyway, I really enjoyed them, the elf ruins and magic are very clever, I’m looking forward to reading the last one.

I also read Rat Queens vol 3, it’s still fantastic, if you like fantasy (and especially if you like D&D) you should be reading RQ but even if you’re not a huge fantasy fan it’s just damn good. That said it looks like there are all manner of shenanigans going on at the minute and it’s currently on hiatus.

Elsewhere on the comics front I read East of West vol 4 (still love it), Manhattan Projects vol 2 (I struggled with the first volume and did less well with this, I don’t think it’s the comic for me), finally read Black Science vol 1 (it’s soooo pretty! And I enjoyed it, though I don’t feel compelled to grab the next volume).

Right now I’m reading A Darker Shade of Magic on my Kindle, about a third of the way through, and enjoying it quite a bit.

As for my actual holidays I went camping in Pembrokeshire for 3 nights and have variously spent my days looking at old castles, old country houses, old gardens, and old burial chambers.

Pembrokeshire is stunningly beautiful and I highly recommend Dewslake Farm Campsite near Lamphey.

Some Bees I met at Canons Ashby

bees
bumble

Carew Castle

carew

Pentre Ifan

dolmen

One of the oldest and best preserved man made structures in the UK (well, the world too I guess). 5,500 years old. It’s apparently part of a burial chamber, though oddly no bodies have ever been found.

St Govan’s Chapel

govans

This is the view facing out from the chapel in the cliffside.

King’s Quoit

kingsquoit

Not a bad view for grave.

Manorbier Castle

manorbier

The castle is beautiful but it’s more of a lovely wedding venue than a great visitor experience. This photo was pretty cool though.

Lamphey Bishop’s Palace

lamphey

I had the run of this place for a good hour or so one morning. If you like a ruin it’s worth a visit.

A lunchtime companion

sparrow

Belief

November 7, 2014

Jon Stewart was asked about BuzzFeed and Vice the other day, and had this to say:

“I scroll around, but when I look at the internet, I feel the same as when I’m walking through Coney Island,” Stewart told New York magazine. “It’s like carnival barkers, and they all sit out there and go, ‘Come on in here and see a three-legged man!’ So you walk in and it’s a guy with a crutch.”

Buzzfeed responded:

…it suggests that Stewart, like many people in the media industry, confuses what we do with true clickbait. We have admittedly (and at times deliberately) not done a great job of explaining why we have always avoided clickbait at BuzzFeed

The article goes on to talk about how the curiosity gap, the origins of clickbait in television cliffhangers (‘find out after the break’), and defends Buzzfeed’s titles as explanatory rather than the vague clickbait found elsewhere online.

The top comment on the article is a single link: a search of Buzzfeed’s articles looking for the phrase “you won’t believe”. And the list is marvellous.

You won’t believe Snowdonia is in Wales, you won’t believe that two recent pop songs can be mashed up, you won’t believe that fashion can date, that raccoons climb trees, that vader is the Dutch word for father, that Ireland is green, that people can be afraid of things, that food doesn’t require meat to taste nice, that wrestlers wear silly costumes, that bodies of water can freeze in winter, and that lots of people used to watch Friends.

You could probably title it: “You won’t believe the things Buzzfeed thinks you won’t believe“.

Density

March 24, 2010

If the population of the US were to all live in one state at the population density of Brooklyn they would fit into New Hampshire, the fifth smallest state (and home of Jed Bartlet).

neighbourhood

As a take on the theme of Neighbourhood I’m surprised this didn’t win GOOD’s latest infographic competition.

Also to give a bit of context, at the same sort of density the population of England would fit in Suffolk, the Scots would fit on one of the inner Hebrides, the Welsh wouldn’t be far off squeezing into Newport and everyone living on the island of Ireland could move to the Isle of Man and they’d still have room for a park or two.