Monday, September 29, 2014

The Second Sex Readalong

I went on a yarn crawl at the weekend and met another crocheter that I really clicked with. So I stalked him online (well, I looked at his profile on Ravelry anyway) and found his blog and he's doing a readalong of Le Deuxième Sexe by Simone de Beauvoir.

I'm planning to join in if my blood pressure will let me. I'm going to be putting some of my thoughts in a new blog so as not to overwhelm this one, and I'll also be commenting on Tom's blog; so if you want to see where I'm up to you can do it on my blog or on  his.

You might even want to join in.

What's wrong with personality tests?

The Myers/Briggs personality test is suddenly popular again on FaceBook and it made me think about what bothers me about those sorts of test.
  • I hate dividing people up into categories. At least Myers Briggs gives you 16 and not just the either/or of extrovert/introvert. But still.
  • It's easy to write a single personality description that nearly everyone will see as applying to them, especially if it's nice and general. I think this is because we mostly remember the bits that apply and ignore those that don't.  Tests that do this are meaningless.
  • The worst personality tests divide the world up into bits and then force you into a mould - everyone fits into one or the other personality type by definition. This tells you more about the author of the test than about you.
  • The best personality tests ask you questions, then take your answers and feed them back to you in paraphrased format. So you're getting back what you put in and it feels eerily accurate but it's not actually telling you anything you didn't know. Except that the author's underlying beliefs about how to divide up the world usually end up shining through anyway.
But I have to admit that personality tests can be fun. I think I prefer the ones with colours, or elves, or "which Sherlock villain are you?" because at least they don't take themselves seriously.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Warning: Doctor Who Spoilers

Here's what I thought of the latest episode (aired on 23rd August 2014).

I really prefer sci fi to horror, and this was definitely horror. It wasn't a children's story, either.
  • A sad, lonely, female dinosaur is horribly killed in flames
  • Someone is mugged and his eyes removed
  • A balloon carrying the Doctor is made of human skin
  • The Doctor mugs a tramp (although he thinks better of it and gives up his watch)
  • The Doctor may or may not have pushed a robot to his death
It was too slow and repetitive. How many times do we need to be told
  • That Madame Vastra and Jenny are married?
  • That this Doctor is really the same as the old Doctor?
  • That this Doctor is very, very old (although younger than the first Doctor)?
  • That this Doctor is not Clara's boyfriend?
Plus the "Did he fall or was he pushed?" was laboured. I got it the first time.

But there were some humorous moments, and bits of it were fun. Capaldi is brilliant and given half a chance will make a wonderful Doctor. I hope he's given that chance.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Happy Midsummer with a free book!

Happy Midsummer's Day everyone! And a freebie:

I've just finished reading the Touchstone trilogy and loved it. Book One is free for the Kindle, so although this is only the first third of the story it gives you the chance to decide if it's worth spending the £5.92 to read the whole story. (Hint: it is.)

Cass walks through a wormhole and finds herself in another world, one which is similar to Earth in many ways but with disturbing differences. She has to find a way to survive long enough to find a way home.

It's hard to do justice to this story because it's huge in scope, with so many interesting characters and settings. Luckily book one has a glossary! I was completely engrossed in this other world and felt like I was living with Cass through the events she describes. Some reviewers have complained that the story is slow in parts but I enjoyed the rest periods when things were going well for Cass. Given that the whole of the first third of the story is free, you get a real chance to decide if it's for you.

Happy reading or whatever else you're doing today!

Friday, June 06, 2014


Here is Rufus auditioning unsuccessfully for the role of Ceiling Cat.

(This is Ceiling Cat.)

Here is Rufus playing Hide and Seek.

It's quite a shock when you're on your own in the kitchen making yourself a quiet cup of tea and there is suddenly a noise above your head and there's a cat staring down at you. But cats sleep wherever they want to.

This is Bonnie. At least she is civilised.

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