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cogito ergo sum - I think, therefore I do math

cogito ergo sam - I think I shall have some green eggs and ham

cogito ergo sim - I think I'll test this in the lab first

cogito ergo samari - I think I'll slice everyone to bits

cogito ergo ubi sub ubi - I think I'll wear underwear

cogito ergo sumo - ?????

cogito ergo sinatra - I think I'll do it my way

cogito ergo sominex -  I think I need to take a sleeping aid

Book rec: Trade Me

Trade Me by Courtney Milan. I've picked up reading her historicals and I love how she creates these impossible situations  where there is clearly no happy way out... and then finds a happy way out. Her books are about identity - constructed, obscured, denied, given, taken, and won.

Trade Me is an anomaly in that it is a contemporary. It feels like the marketing (at least the cover art) is trying to slot it into 50 Shades of Meh territory, and it isn't that at all.

It should fail on so many levels. Poor little rich boy, overly-driven second generation (does it count as second generation if she came over at the age of 6?) Chinese-American girl. And, God, they are college students, for crying out loud.

And yet. People's problems are their problems, and the struggle to cope only gets undermined by beating yourself up for saying your problems are nothing compared to someone else's.

Highly recommended. Also, best use of the reality of the Internet I think I've ever seen in a novel, and the product launch conference that ends up being the setpiece and climax of the book is priceless.


For all that The Wars of the Roses are hugely popular in historical novels, no one seems to want to devote much time to Henry VI. It's understandable -- any story arc is going to end in a hasty murder of a helpless old man.

So Henry VI in these novels has been schemized into a story prop, a specific one-note character that serves its purpose. However, I argue that the personality and actions of the real person don't fit within that narrow confine, not eve a little bit.

In which I wax long and boring...Collapse )

Weirdest thing I saw today

(Well, techincally yesterday, but its weird enough to count.)

Only the skull and part of a shoulder are visible on Altamura Man. The rest of the body is incorporated into calcite concretions.

Something about the eye sockets in the picture on this article made it look like things were growing OUT of his eyes, but I think that was just an optical illusion.

I still can't quite figure out which row is his teeth, though...
I pity the guy who keeps the Lady Jane Grey site:

"To my absolute gob-smacked astonishment, the document makes the claim that the “real” author of the works of William Shakespeare was none other than Lady Jane Grey! My first reaction was to grab my head in both hands in an effort to keep it from exploding! Thankfully, I succeeded. But my brain is still spinning within my skull. "

I made a classic blunder.

The most famous is "never get involved in a land war in Asia", but only slightly less well-known is "never read the comments on anything posted in the open on the Internet".

(Question, was William Goldman referring to Vietnam, the futility of invading Russia, or something else with that line? Discuss.)

iZombie: Blaine's World

Open discussion on the finale. Spoilers in comments. Tasty, spicy spoilers.

History reading

So, slight update on this list of recent history studies read.

The Axe and the Oath: Ordinary Life in the Middle Ages: I'm giving up on this. I read some outloud to Dianne, and she just boggled at it. I think that it doesn't help that it is translated from the native language, so rhetorical flourishes are either a) not something that translated well or b) a feature of the translation/the fault of the translator. (Or c) both.)

The Third Plantagenet: George, Duke of Clarence, Richard III's Brother:  I finished it. But I'm still griding my teeth over a footnote for "New legends have sprung up after the discovery of Richard III's burial site in Leicester". The footnote says "The search for Richard III began in 2003, but the University of Leicester, which was not formally involved in the project until 2012, now claims sole responsibility for the discovery. This is the first new legend." Well, dear, the archeology team that did the dig is considered to be the one who discovered it, and they did not need to be involved until there was a solid knowledge of where to dig. And I've been following the whole story, and I sincerely doubt they have ever failed to give credit to the people with the historical passion (and obsessive-compulsive zeal) who searched through city records tracking where the property was located and into whose hands it passed. (And yes, sir, your own research into tracking the midocondrial DNA down from Richard's older sister to a living descendant, which you have said many times it was lucky you found because the last purely female-line descendant only had a son... say, did you ever notice that Richard's mother had a LOT of sisters? Who would all have the same mtDNA as Richard (and his sister)? Did it ever occur to you to trace down any of THEIR descendants? Of which, *cough* I am one (mind you, I'm useless for DNA purposes, since I'm not a direct female line descendant, but I mention my descent as a way of pointing out there are a LOT of descendants around there.)

Why yes, yes I have opinions. You're shocked?


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