mtbc: maze N (blue-white)
[personal profile] mtbc
Following on from my recent journal entry about increased divisions between Republicans and Democrats I continued investigating and stumbled upon discussion of Edward Luce's The Retreat of Western Liberalism. One of many things I enjoyed about living in the US is well-stocked libraries but since returning to Britain I am back to being surprised if the local library does stock a book rather than if it does not. I certainly do not have the money to be buying them myself: the book I read on the airplane back from Michigan was a creased, yellowed paperback that I had picked up in a charity shop. (An annoying thing about book clubs is that they typically choose recent books available only as new hardbacks rather than used paperbacks.) I have four library systems within reach: our local one in Perth and Kinross, the Dundee city one with branches within an easy walk of work, then the Angus one to the north-east and the Kingdom of Fife's south of the Firth of Tay: none of them appear to offer Luce's book.

Now I hear of Jon Snow (not of Westeros, but available on YouTube nonetheless), in delivering yesterday's James MacTaggart Memorial Lecture in Edinburgh, speaking of an increasingly fractured Britain and a terrible divide as one can easily be disconnected from the lives of others; he also spoke of fake news stories (i.e. lies) posing a vast threat to democracy. I do not think that here in Britain we yet have such a deep division among mainstream sources of news but it is nonetheless interesting to compare these local themes with my thoughts on American politics and there may be lessons to be learned.

an avalanche of ducks

Aug. 24th, 2017 11:06 am
mizkit: (Default)
[personal profile] mizkit

I’ve had this to-do list for…ever. Forever. Very little of it is the fun kind of to-do, which for me is YAY WRITE A WHOLE NEW BOOK YAY THIS IS MY FAVOURITE PART. It’s all the other stuff. It’s edits and copyedits and guilting over unwritten short stories

(I was going to really try to focus on writing…I was going to say ‘good’, but I write good enough short stories. But twisty, deep ones, perhaps. I want to add that to my skill set. So I was going to try focusing on learning how to write those. And then I realized I’ve got so much else actually *due* that it would be moronic to try to add that to my plate. It’s probably mostly a reaction to admiring people who win Hugos or sell short stories independently, anyway, and sort of vaguely wishing I was Like Them, and I usually get over that. Even if I really would like to be able to write more independent, clever, intelligent short stories. I’ll stop being parenthetical now and try to get back to the point.)

and all the little details of self publishing that I haven’t, for one reason or another, managed to hand off to Ted, and anyway, I usually have a Thinks To Do list but this has been my Nibbled To Death By Ducks list, and I’m about two years behind on all of it. Which is a lot of catching up to do.

But I am THIS CLOSE to being caught up/done with TWO projects, and it’s starting to be a Big Psychological Relief.

I’m finalized-cover-art away from launching BEWITCHING BENEDICT, my adorkable magic-free Regency romance, and I’m copy-edits-and-book-layout away from delivering REDEEMER to my insanely patient backers, toward whom I feel so much guilt I want to cry every time I think about it. Those projects are almost done, and, just…*weeps* It’ll be such a relief to have those out.

And although the To Do list just…keeps…going…on…after that, I’m…I’m trying not to think that far ahead, honestly. I’m trying to just keep one project at a time in mind. If I think about it all I despair. Right now I just gotta get through Nibbled To Death.

September’s Nibbled To Death project is writing KISS OF ANGELS, which absolutely has to be done in September so I can get it into a general release launch in December (Patreon supporters will get it the instant it’s finished). I’m trying pretty desperately here to get myself into a quarterly release schedule, BUT I CANNOT THINK ABOUT THAT RIGHT NOW IT WILL LEAD TO DESPAIR

But once KISS OF ANGELS and three or four short stories are done, I’m…done, I think, with Nibbled To Death By Ducks. And that will be so. nice. *weeps*

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by Nick Fletcher

Sterling in focus again as 0.3% growth is confirmed

Here is our GDP story, focusing on the weak consumer spending figures. Richard Partington reports:

Spending by British consumers is growing at the weakest rate in almost three years, as households squeezed by rising prices tighten their belts.

Household spending growth slowed to 0.1% in the three months to June, the Office for National Statistics said, the slowest rate of quarterly growth since the final three months of 2014. Business investment in the British economy showed no growth at all in the second quarter.

Related: UK consumer spending is growing at weakest rate in nearly three years

Guardian economics writer Phillip Inman says the lack of an export surge in the latest GDP figures to counter higher priced imports has left Britain with a trade problem:

A significant depreciation of sterling in the wake of the Brexit vote was expected to boost exports. It has a little, but not enough to offset the extra cost from more expensive raw materials.

It means that the latest figures for second quarter GDP show that net trade was zero, putting a drag on GDP growth. And it has dragged since sterling first began to depreciate at the end of 2015.

Continue reading...
[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by Rob Davies

Gambling Commission report finds more than 2 million people are addicted to gambling or at risk of developing a problem

The number of problem gamblers in the UK has risen to more than 400,000, according to an update by industry regulator, the Gambling Commission, which warns that more needs to be done to tackle the problem.

The report, the first to cover the whole of the UK since 2010, found that 0.8% of the adult population can be classed as having a gambling problem.

Continue reading...
[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by Richard Partington

Concerns over inpact of incomes squeeze as business investment shows no growth in second quarter

Spending by British consumers is growing at the weakest rate in almost three years, as households squeezed by rising prices tighten their belts.

Household spending growth slowed to 0.1% in the three months to June, the Office for National Statistics said, the slowest rate of quarterly growth since the final three months of 2014. Business investment in the British economy showed no growth at all in the second quarter.

Continue reading...
[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by Stephen Burgen in Barcelona

Spokeswoman confirms contact from Flemish town of Vilvoorde about Abdelbaki Es Satty, who radicalised terror cell that killed 15 people

The Catalan interior ministry has confirmed that it was warned by Belgian authorities in March 2016 about Abdelbaki Es Satty, the imam who radicalised and organised the terror cell that killed 15 people in north-east Spain last week.

Continue reading...
[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by Agence France-Presse in Geneva

Landslide sent mud, rocks and dirt flooding into village of Bondo, near Italian border, and forced evacuation of about 100 people

Eight people, including German, Austrian and Swiss citizens, are missing following a landslide that forced the evacuation of a village in the Swiss Alps, police have said.

“In the region of Val Bondasca, eight people who were there at the time of the landslide have not been found,” the Graubünden cantonal police said in a statement.

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[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by Greg Wood

The best bets and latest news from day two at the Ebor Festival, where there remains cut in the ground after the recent wet weather

The weather forecast is distinctly better for York over the next couple of afternoons, after an opening morning at the Ebor Festival which included a hailstorm and torrential rain for several hours before racing. The racing surface on the Knavesmire takes water a good deal better now than it did nine years ago – when the entire meeting was washed away by an August monsoon – but there is still sure to be some cut in the ground as the second day’s card gets underway at 1.55.

Related: Michael Stoute targets Breeders’ Cup Turf with late developer Ulysses

Continue reading...
[syndicated profile] guardianworldnews_feed

Posted by Ed Aarons

• Ivorian’s agent says French club have no interest in signing player
• Poor relations between Barcelona and PSG blamed for breakdown

Paris Saint-Germain have been accused of attempting to force up the price for Nice’s Jean Michaël Seri after Barcelona pulled out of the race to sign the Ivory Coast midfielder.

Seri, who has also been tracked by several Premier League clubs this summer including Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham, had been expected to complete a €40m (£36m) move to the Camp Nou this week after his representatives agreed a four-year contract with Barça officials. The only sticking point was the structure of the fee, which was dictated by a agreement in the 26-year-old’s contract that stipulated he would be allowed to leave for a fixed price, with Barcelona initially offering to pay €30m up front and the rest in add-ons.

Continue reading...
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Posted by Rowena Mason Deputy political editor

Conservatives received almost £25m between April and June compared with Labour’s £9.5m

British political parties received a record £40m of donations in the three months before the election, with the Conservatives bringing in more than twice as much cash as Labour.

More than half of the money was given to the Conservative party, which raised almost £25mbetween April and June compared with £9.5m for Labour.

Continue reading...

On coronium and nebulium

Aug. 24th, 2017 06:00 pm
fred_mouse: Wooden mouse shape with leather ears and dots for eyes, wrapped in a piece of green blanket (blanket)
[personal profile] fred_mouse
In reading Abraham Merritt's The Moon Pool I have come across reference to coronium and nebulium as possibly being the elements that are causing one or more of the seemingly supernatural events that have occurred. I had not previously been aware of either of these elements, and I wondered what kind of scientific veracity there might be. So, to wikipedia, which tells me that coronium (a.k.a/ newtonium) was identified as a possible element from looking at the coronal spectrum of the sun during a total solar eclipse in 1869, while nebulium was identified as a possible element from the spectrum of the Cat's Eye Nebula in 1864.

In both cases, it turned out that the unusual/unexpected lines on the frequency spectrum* were nothing particularly new. Coronium was identified as a highly ionised iron (Fe13+) in the 1930s, while nebulium was identified as 'doubly ionised oxygen at extremely low density'(1) in the 1920s.

Thus, at the publication of The Moon Pool in 1919, these must have seemed pretty safe bets for unidentifiable elements, given that their theoretical existence had been shown, but no evidence of them yet seen.

* I suspect there is a proper term that I'm not using here, but both spectrograph and spectrogram appear to refer to things other than that which I am attempting to discuss.
(1) the linked wikipedia article credits this to Bowen, I. S. (1927). "The Origin of the Nebulium Spectrum". Nature. 120 (3022): 473. Bibcode:1927Natur.120..473B. doi:10.1038/120473a0

On the day the Vuelta starts 2

Aug. 24th, 2017 10:52 am
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[personal profile] lovingboth
Following on from my thoughts yesterday saw a particularly good article on the Guardian website which, shock, says much the same except better.

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