nineveh_uk: Cover illustration for "Strong Poison" in pulp fiction style with vampish Harriet. (Strong Poison)
2017-06-26 07:32 pm

Spoilers, sweetie

Some recent media viewing

Versailles

It's absolute tosh, but it's fun tosh. There's a 10 minute section after each episode in which they tell you which bits are actually vaguely connected to reality, and which aren't. For someone with very little knowledge of the history of the period it manages to be quite educational. I certainly had no idea that in 1672 the Dutch Prime Minister was set upon by a mob in The Hague who not only killed, but possibly ate parts of him.

On another note, Wikipedia led me to this portrait of Louis XIV showing an early example of the contorted breasts and bum figure so beloved of bad film posters and novel covers.

My Cousin Rachel

Did Daphne de Maurier have an ill-advised affair with someone she met at a continental holiday resort? It would explain a lot. I enjoyed this very much, and finally found out the ending having somehow managed to avoid spoilers for about 20 years since I heard the first half as a radio play. I should like to read the book; the film maintained the ambiguity well, but I wonder how much the story relies for its depth on a certain interiority that is hard to maintain on film, but I can imagine being there in a novel.

Doctor Who

I've enjoyed this series very much in a low-key kind of way. I've really enjoyed Capaldi, and Peal Mackie is excellent as Bill. It's been nice to have a companion with no particular mystery or backstory to her, just someone going round the galaxy having adventures with the Doctor, and Mackie portrays a combination of cheerful friendliness and curiosity that works very well. Not to mention added fun from Michelle Gomez as the Master.

Read more... )
nineveh_uk: picture of an elk (elk)
2017-06-17 08:58 am

Stephen King weeps that he didn't think of it first

Too good not to share widely: Mainer attacked by rabid raccoon drowns it in puddle.

HOPE, Maine — While jogging on a familiar, overgrown, wooded trail near her home on a recent warm afternoon, Rachel Borch thought to herself, “what a beautiful day.”

Little did she know she was about to be attacked by a rabid raccoon she would end up killing with her bare hands.


Seriously, this has to be read.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
2017-06-15 11:05 pm

Have we got a government yet?

This needs one of those webpages that just says "No".

All week I have been meaning to do a politics post and getting distracted by watching the news all evening. Tonight I managed to switch it off for a bit, but only to make a cake for work tomorrow*. Politics post will have to wait until tomorrow. We probably won't have a government yet, Theresa May will be continuing to demonstrate why she was, on their terms, a success as Conservative Home Secretary**, did OK to start with as PM as long as she didn't have to answer questions, and then failed so much in an election campaign, the DUP [insert rant here] will continue to demonstrate how much the LibDems failed in coalition negotiations, and more awful news will continue to come out about the catastrophic fire at Glenfell Tower. The details of that will also need another post. On the political front, when the Daily Mail has telephoto lens images of May not meeting the public and video of Corbyn doing a walkabout and hugging people, you know that the optics, as they say, are not good for the PM.

*Lemon drizzle. It needs to cook another 10 minutes and then I need to put the blasted drizzle on it and then I need to wait for it to cool so I can take it out. I am out of practice at baking. It doesn't help that I was doing it by the light of an anglepoise lamp on the other side of the room because the lighting circuit fuse blew yesterday evening. The electician is supposed to be turning up tomorrow. At least it is nearly midsummer.

**Being constitutionally incapable of recognising that something is a bad idea and changing tack, overseeing catastrophe by pretending there is no problem, and and being unable to communicate with people as human beings is a really good combination if you're a Tory Home Sec with the goal of survival.
nineveh_uk: Photo of Rondvassbu in winter (rondvassbu)
2017-05-31 07:41 am

The best sports news of 2017

Edinburgh is going to host a ski race! Not until February 2020, but nonetheless, Edinburgh is going to host a cross-country world cup ski race. This aforementioned bid has been successful, and it's hosting the first stage of a tour that will then to go Sweden and Norway. As you can imagine, I am quite excited.

Unsurprisingly, there's not a lot of news on it in English, but I'm amused that translated press release includes my anticipated virtuous comment about getting more countries involved. It should be brilliant, I just hope it doesn't pour with rain. It wouldn't be a problem for the snow, but it would make spectating a lot less fun.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
2017-05-21 09:58 pm

The Teselecta is basically Roko's basilisk (Doctor Who ficlet)

The silver lining of having a cold is that I have finally managed to start watching this series of Doctor Who (haven't seen the last two episodes, no spoilers please). I'm enjoying it quite a lot, but I did spend the first episode imagining what it would be like to be the Head of Department in a department with the Doctor in it...

------

'We're supposed to have an agreement. I give you an office, a lecture slot, and an admittedly modest salary. In return, you teach what you like with no questions asked, and give me four REF-able articles. Four 4* REF-able outputs that I can actually submit, unlike the ones you emailed me last week.'

'What's wrong with them?'

'They're on medieval Armenian poetry and we're the philosophy department.'

'Where's your imagination? I'm sure you can find a use for them. They're very good articles.'

'I know , I had them read by someone who can actually read Armenian. She said that they were the best work she'd seen in her career, and incidentally wherever did you find that new manuscript?

'I know that you don't like the REF, Doctor. Most of your colleagues don't like it either. As the person who has to deal with everybody else not liking it, I inevitably hate it. But until you give me four articles in a subject relevant to an existing University department or, if you prefer, invent time travel and stop it happening in the first place, I shall continue to nag you to ensure that you adhere to the terms of our agreement. Here's a list of departments. Four outputs, or time travel, Doctor, it's up to you.'

[worp worp]

'Of course we can add medieval Armenian poetry to the lecture list next year. Now if you could just remember that I will need your entry for the Great University Bake-Off Biscuit Challenge by Friday that would be great.'

-----

Meanwhile in the real-life department of Be Careful What You Wish For Studies, this gem from the Wikipedia article on the RAE:

The committee received submissions of research statements from 37 subject areas ("cost centres") within Universities, along with five selected research outputs.

[...]

A subsequent research assessment was conducted in 1989 under the name "research selectivity exercise" by the Universities Funding Council. Responding to the complaint of the Universities that they weren't allowed submit their "full strength," Swinnerton-Dyer allowed the submission of two research outputs per every member of staff.


And so the madness began.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
2017-05-18 10:00 pm

FLAMES! FLAMES! on the side of my face (and unfortunately top, bottom, and inside as well)

If this is another cold I am going to scream. Three days! I had three days cold-free after the last one (which started on 23 March) finally seemed like it might have ended. Honestly, did I offend the God of Rhinoviruses in a past life?
nineveh_uk: picture of an elk (elk)
2017-05-06 02:33 pm

Wolves in Denmark!

Definitely the most exciting story of the week: male wolves have previously been seen in Denmark, a young female has definitely moved in. In the Guardian.

From from a researcher: “People were very surprised when wolves first appeared in Denmark but they are highly mobile and are just as adaptable to cultural landscapes as foxes are. The only problem historically is that we killed them.”

As many of the younger wolves, including Ms Jutland 2016, are migrating from Germany, no doubt this will turn up in the Daily Mail soon as "Nazi Wolves Overrun Europe".
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
2017-05-04 07:48 pm

I failed to appreciate the 1990s as they deserved

I really did. I have just discovered the official video to I Would Do Anything for Love, which looks like it is the most expensive Phantom of the Opera fanvid ever made*. It features a falling chandelier, oodles of candles, and a miserable, deformed, and hooded bloke who skulks around in the shadows waiting for a woman who appears inexplicably interested in him.**

I would have unironically adored it in 1993, had I known that it existed.



*With make-up rather like Buffy's vampires.

**Christine Daaé at least had the excuse of free singing lessons offering a rather better career, not to mention the mind games.
nineveh_uk: picture of an elk (elk)
2017-04-28 07:45 am

Do you wanna watch some reindeer?

LOTS of reindeer*, migrating from winter to summer pastures on NRK's latest snow TV. After a slow start when they weren't very interested in moving, they are finally on the march, though even this involves a lot of time standing around eating. Reindeer moss cannot be very nutritious, even for reindeer. Technically these are semi-domesticated reindeer, and the ones belonging to the Sara family. Mostly the soundtrack is reindeer walking or eating, or snowscooters, but occasionally there is Sami pop music.

Embed not working, so see link.

ETA: Department of you couldn't make it up: Tate Gallery asks staff to contribute to leaving present for the Director. Of a boat. The weak after stopping the staff canteen discount. Was it meant to be performance art?

* Rangifer tarandus for those interested in cervical disambiguation.
nineveh_uk: Screenshot of Wimsey and Bunter from the 1987 television production. (wimsey and bunter)
2017-04-24 07:09 pm

Fannish meme!

Courtesy of [personal profile] lilliburlero and [personal profile] legionseagle.

Comment with one of my fandoms and I'll tell you:

the character I least understand
interactions I enjoyed the most
the character who scares me the most
the character who is mostly like me
hottest looks character
one thing I dislike about my fave character
one thing I like about my hated character
a quote or scene that haunts me
a death that left me indifferent
a character I wish died but didn’t
my ship that never sailed
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
2017-04-19 08:47 pm

Blood sacrifice

My new cheese grater has exacted its appointed tribute. None can withstand the eternal maw.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
2017-04-13 11:21 am

Long weekend!

• Unanticipated moment at work, walking past a poster for a talk entitled Fanon Transformed? The New Writings. After a moment of slight surprised at the University's finally catching up with the concept of media studies as a legitimate humanities discipline, I realised that it was in fact a talk about philosopher Frantz Fanon, and looks rather interesting so I might actually go to it. But the thought of some of our academics talking about leather pants!Draco remains an amusing one.

• I am off work until Tuesday, hurray! The last week has been rather frustrating; I had a list of things that I wanted to get on with in a week in which fewer people were about, and spent the entire time dealing with urgent things caused by fewer people being about... I left with a paper still to write for first thing on Tuesday. Well, it will just have to be written for second thing on Tuesday.

• My parents are here, which is great. Unfortunately, they aren't supposed to be here, they are supposed to be spending two nights with friends in Dorset before rejoining me tomorrow, but the car developed a fault en route yesterday. It is a Volkswagen diesel. As you can imagine, their degree of unimpressed-ness with VW is fairly stratospheric at the moment.

• Inevitably, the weather has chosen today to finally get cold and cloudy. But Mum and Dad have gone to look at the fritillaries in the water meadows and I am going to the supermarket, to mop the kitchen floor, and then do a bit of writing. Honest.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
2017-04-08 07:51 pm

The opera astronauts strike again!

Or in this case, cosmonauts.*

Why? I really don't get it. There you are, a middle-aged Russian General singing about how your life has been transformed by your new wife, whom you adore, but instead of listening with rapt attention and anguished grief at the one who got away** Bo Skovhus is, quite understandably, staring at the random cosmonaut mannequins on the revolving stage. Given the random ballet dancers, people with sickles and red T-shirts, and vaguely Empire line clad women who are presumably meant to be in a Tolstoy novel, I think that they are meant to be some sort of representatives of Russian culture, but why?

Anyway, it is here:



*Rants about random opera astronauts of the past are here.

**Or rather, the one he didn't care about until she was with someone else, which appears to be the story of Onegin's love life.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
2017-04-06 12:56 pm

Ficlet: Yuri on Ice sex pollen

Sometimes you have what seems like a fun idea for a fic, and then you write the full fic and you realise that it was a fun idea, but it's ability to sustain an actual fic is somewhat limited. Trope subversion is not inherently an interesting subject. So I gave up on the long version and wrote the short one instead.

In which Yuri P is drugged with sex-pollen at a competition and has only one thing on his mind...

Sabotage Read more... )

Also on AO3
nineveh_uk: Photo of Rondvassbu in winter (rondvassbu)
2017-03-14 08:28 pm

The British are coming! (in fourth...)

Two years ago I posted a clip of a bloke in a predominently white suit beginning the clip in 5th place and going on to win the race a minute later. I can't quite manage that this time round, but I can do a bloke in a white suit entering the clip in 6th place and going to to get fourth, 2.9 seconds of the leader, which is pretty bloody impressive when you're British and the sport is cross-country skiing. Although the Norwegian press swiftly labelled him, only part-sarcastically, as the best Norwegian since he trains there, has a Norwegian club, and is studying at the Univeristy of Trondheim, and pointed out that he beat all the Swedes, too. So congratulations to Andrew Musgrave. The Nordic Ski World Championships greatly cheered my post-holiday week, alas only two weekends left and then I'll have to find something else to iron to.

nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
2017-03-09 07:49 pm

That thicks one's blood with cold

Few things strike terror and fury into my theatre-going heart like the words "In a new version by [...]" on the website/review/flyer of a a play not originally written in English. New translations, great! Don't use the one from 1905. But new versions? I want to see Ibsen, not someone else's supposedly more exiting text.* I suppose on the plus side, that's one less trip to London that I have to make or feel bad about not making.** Maybe next time someone decides to be exciting and original with Ibsen they could just put it on in Norwegian with subtitles.

* Though I would definitely have gone to that Swedish version of Hamlet in which he's a murderer, I speak as a person who has had ample opportunity to see Hamlet.

** If it were cheap and local, I might try it out anyway. But when it involves the train, extra cost, and a late night, nope.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
2017-02-28 07:54 pm

A reflection for Shrove Tuesday

The test pancake is surely one of life's saddest foods.
nineveh_uk: Photo of Rondvassbu in winter (rondvassbu)
2017-02-26 09:54 pm

The other F word

I am home from my skiing holiday, and lo! it was good. The aforementioned course was brilliant. While I would not proclaim myself a champion skater, I was respectable and it was a lot of fun. I'll definitely be doing more of it in future. Also bonus language practice thanks to the tiny group of two German speakers and two English speakers* each of whom knew the other language a bit, but not sufficiently to make either one dominate conversation*. The Alps were spiky and impressive even when the föhn was blasting a hair-dryer at the snow**, and a glass of wine with dinner less than a third of the price of Norway. It was all very easy and restful and I didn't have a cold during it (or, so far, after) for the first time in years.*** I expect next year to revert to where my heart lies, in the high white wilderness of the Norwegian fells, or at least Finland, but for this year the logistically easy and more populous version with shops was definitely what I needed. I managed just enough fitness to make the most of it, though at times it felt very noticeable to me that I had a veneer of energy laid over a pit of absence. But much as ice starts on the top of the water rather than the bottom, the veneer can in time be built into the real thing.

Back to work tomorrow! I feel simultaneously refreshed and reinvigorated for it and terrified of my inbox.

* The coach was Swedish and explained everything twice.

** Except the day it rained. I did my course in the morning, a diligent 3km of practice afterwards, and then went to the 'sauna world' to get rather more pleasantly drenched and hang around in a heated pool outdoors in the rain.

*** I have now not had a cold for about 5-6 weeks. This is amazing, maybe I've finally run out of new ones.
nineveh_uk: Photo of Rondvassbu in winter (rondvassbu)
2017-02-16 09:25 pm

Good idea/bad idea?

I have decided to give structure to my forthcoming holiday by booking myself a course of three mornings of group lessons in cross-country skiing skate technique at the extremely well-regarded school in Seefeld, where I shall be next week.

I am not entirely sure whether this is a brilliant idea that will teach me exciting new skills and be enormous fun, or whether I am completely out of my mind. I am definitely not ideally fit for it, but since at the moment my max distance skating is about 15m, I expect to fall over from technique fail long before my lungs/shoulders/legs give out. We shall see.

Naturally, I have not yet packed.
nineveh_uk: Illustration that looks like Harriet Vane (Harriet)
2017-02-10 07:03 pm

Fic! Round and Golden

More Yuri!!! on Ice fic.

Round and Golden by Nineveh_uk
Chapters: 1
Fandom: Yuri!!! on Ice
Rating: M, CNTW
Relationships: Chris/Victor
Characters: Yakov Feltsman, Victor Nikiforov, Christophe Giacometti

Summary: Victor has won gold at the Turin Olympics, and Yakov should be enjoying a well-earned rest. At least, he would be if Victor and Chris hadn't decided to put Victor's gold medal to some creative use...

A substantial portion of the blame for this fic lies with [personal profile] naraht for egging me on. Also, a bunch of students years ago who decided that what their art show catalogue cover really needed was creative use of ring doughnuts and caused me a busy morning at work.