Geeky Thursday

I could not resist. In case you cannot read what it says on the cover: A New Zealand sheep farm .. espionage .. and death.

It does not get better than that - except it does: one of the main (human) protagonists is called .. wait for it .. Flossie.

I know I said I was going to read David Mitchell's latest next, but that was before I came across this gem. I actually do not think it will as bad as it looks. Ngaio Marsh was an acclaimed female crime writer of the same ilk as Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. Just don't ask me how to pronounce her first name as I had been reliably informed by a New Zealand friend it was "Nyree" but the internet claims it is "Nie-oh". Huh.

The Nobel Prize in Literature is due to be announced today. Nobody really knows what to expect and I am so far out of the literary buzz loop these days that I won't even offer an opinion. I'm just mildly amused by the number of journalist clinging to whichever name they actually recognise out of the many names bandied about.

In other news, this week I made it to the top of the Glasgow Necropolis for the first time in three years. This is a personal triumph for a number of reasons - but realistically I think I could have done it ages ago. The climb through Mugdock Park was steeper and longer and I managed that without problems. I do not know what held me back from 'scaling' the Necropolis because the ascent is really just a gentle slope. Some things just linger in my head as "insurmountable challenges". Silly, silly Karie.

Finally, if you want to feel stupid, have a go at BBC's Only Connect quiz. It is a Monday night staple here at Casa Bookish and thankfully(?) there is an online version so you can try the 'connecting wall' yourself.

The idea is simple: you get a wall of sixteen clues which you need to sort into four distinct groups. The execution is far less simple because you need to think in all sorts of directions at the same time; clues which may look as though they belong together are simply red herrings. The actual TV quiz is entertaining too and often attracts people quite well-known in their fields. This week saw Geoff Ryman appear (to my Other Half's geeky delight) with Doctor Who writer Paul Cornell (to Stuart's geeky delight).

Enjoy the quiz and do not blame me if you suddenly feel significantly less smart.

Fools Gold

Despite my fears, my hand is slowly getting better. I managed a bit of knitting yesterday before settling down to watch Worried About the Boy, a BBC2 drama about Boy George's pre-fame  life (warmly recommended, particularly if you liked Velvet Goldmine. WATB is not as heady nor anywhere as clever as VG, but it explores similar ground). Completely unrelated, I have decided that this track is going to be the soundtrack to my summer..

The rest of my day is going to be spent doing chores, seeing some friends and hopefully my hand will keep on getting better. Thanks for all the well-wishes!

"Are You Sure It Isn't Just Some Fanboy Thing..?"

I saw this* and then I started missing academia once more and also really, really wanted to move to London. But, you know, life isn't so bad. Thursday I'll be baby-sitting the Old Maiden Aunt studio as Lilith's away, so do pop by West Kilbride if you fancy buying some lovely handpainted yarn and a chat over some tea and knitting. Via John (and presumably everybody else on the interwebs): Buffy Summers meets Edward Cullen.

"It's an example of transformative storytelling serving as a visual critique of Edward's character and generally creepy behavior. Seen through Buffy's eyes some of the more patriarchal gender roles and sexist Hollywood tropes embedded in the Twilight saga are exposed in hilarious ways."

As John says, "..I have a sneaking feeling that a Spike meets Edward Cullen remix would [also] be a thing of beauty and a joy forever."

* I nearly fainted when I saw Jewel Spears Brooker was speaking on “The Fire and the Rose: Eliot and Julian of Norwich”. Phoawr!

Random Is the New Black

april-272We have found more clay pipes by the Forth and Clyde Canal - here is one of the nicest pipes, if not exactly the most intact.. Notice also the rather interesting shards of china in the background. We've identified one piece with the Willow Pattern but the rest remain elusive. Interestingly we've found tiny bits with lettering (be still my beating heart!) and other bits with what looks like fishing huts.

Swine flu has been confirmed around 12 miles from us. I'm expecting an outbreak of panic here which will involve people looting tissue paper, tinned soup, hand soap and cans of lager from our local supermarket. In other words, I'm not worried, although my mother might be once she realises how close I live to Monklands Hospital (i.e. not very close but in the same country). As a Dane I feel obliged to inform you that pork products are perfectly safe to eat. Mmmm, bacon.

Only one random link today: Vidders Talk Back to their Pop-Culture Muses.

"For decades, Americans sat in front of their televisions and watched — just watched — their favorite shows. (..) But one group of fans has interacted with their favorite television shows for more than three decades. Vidders, as they're called, make unauthorized underground videos using clips from the shows. Each vid compiles dozens of clips from various episodes, all set to a song."

To be perfectly honest, I've seen a handful of these fanmade vids and most of them are .. not very good. The formula goes something like this: one plaintative love song - say, Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love". Then take the lyrics and pair with with your fandom of choice  - so, when Leona bleats "Time starts to pass.." you insert pictures of Captain Kirk/the Doctor/Six looking at a watch. Lather, rinse, repeat .. But unsurprisingly there are some mindblowingly good vids out there. This is the best I've seen.

PS. Happy birthday to regular commentator and offline compadre, Darth Ken. I love you, man.