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Category Archives: Literature

The shipping news

The IT explosion has led to a dramatic increase in the casual use of TLA’s (three letter acronyms) and neologisms.  One of which is “shipping” — postulating a relationship between two fictional characters (typically from a TV series) which is not an explicit part of the story. A lot of fanfic (fiction written by fans) is […]

In other writing news…

This announcement comes via the UK magazine The Skeptic: Special announcement: we have a new legal column, which will be contributed by Geoff Whelan of GMSS and QEDcon, and Helen Dale of skepticlawyer.com.au. Geoff kicks off this issue with thoughts on the legal practicalities of prosecuting psychics. The Skeptic is a magazine of the traditional […]

‘By Heart, not Rote’: some observations on geeks and geekiness

Chrissie Amphlett and the Divinyls provided a decent chunk of the soundtrack to my young life; reports of her early death (aged 53) hit me in the childhood memories, hard, much like the arrest of Rolf Harris, or pictures of Berliners crawling over the remains of the Wall. I have, by saying those things, disclosed […]

Bilbo baggage

The further back you can look, the further forward you are likely to see. Winston Churchill. With the release of the first film of The Hobbit trilogy, An Unexpected Journey, the blogosphere is rife with Middle Earth allusions. My favourite is Frances Woolley’s wonderful post (with some great comments) The Macroeconomics of Middle Earth, though […]

'Do you have trouble with reading, writing, and numbers?'

There have been many campaigns, over the years, to improve literacy in Australia (and in other developed nations, too). It is well known that even with universal, compulsory education, a percentage of young people finish their schooling and really struggle with reading and writing. Finding ways to address this is a common and worthy cause […]

MCMXIV

Those long uneven lines Standing as patiently As if they were stretched outside The Oval or Villa Park, The crowns of hats, the sun On moustached archaic faces Grinning as if it were all An August Bank Holiday lark; And the shut shops, the bleached Established names on the sunblinds, The farthings and sovereigns, And […]

For I will consider my cat Jeoffry

For I will consider my Cat Jeoffry. For he is the servant of the Living God duly and daily serving him. For at the first glance of the glory of God in the East he worships in his way. For is this done by wreathing his body seven times round with elegant quickness. For then […]

Tony Abbott is a Spanker

Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has admitted he’s not only a reader of “mummy porn”, the steamy sub-genre of literature featuring descriptions of sex scenes, he has a preferred author. Mr Abbott told the Sydney Triple M breakfast show The Grill Team, that he had read both The Bride Stripped Bare by Australian author Nikki […]

Fifty Shades of Meh

SL and I must be en rapport because we’ve both jumped on the Fifty Shades of Grey bandwagon at the same time: her earlier comments are here. The common thread is that neither of us are impressed, and neither of us likes bad writing. The difference with my review is that I broke my resolution […]

You’re not all that. You’re really not.

The other day, Pavlov’s Cat drew my attention to this piece on why bullies bully, particularly in schools. The tl;dr version? Telling kids that they’re all that produces narcissistic, entitled little monsters who think the world owes them a living. Contrary to the mythology, bullies have high self-esteem, not the opposite. Well well well (three […]