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15 October 2016 @ 07:09 pm
For anyone not already following the Oxford DNB feed, here's a podcast about the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood:
10 October 2016 @ 10:13 pm
So I was gonna try to watch the second ep of that NBC time travel show Timeless (and Paterson Joseph is in it), but in like minute two, the lead character is like, "we accidentally changed something in the past so that now my mom isn't sick anymore and my sister never existed," and the woman who is clearly some sort of higher-up in a time-travel organization goes, "We have your dossier and there's no mention of a sister." !!! Because you changed the bloody timeline, that's your literal JOB, how are you this dumb. I just can't with this.

(Also, why do American shows have such a hard time with not making things set in the past look so cheap and cheesy? Is it because they have to stretch the budget out over more episodes?)

Plus Hayley Atwell is on ABC, on an albeit bland procedural show (Conviction, about investigating criminal convictions), but still, Hayley Atwell.
24 August 2016 @ 05:45 pm
Oh gosh, I like this line: "Schulz knew that shyness has no narrative arc: the shy just have to carry on being shy."

And I love this bit about the Moomins: "But the Moomins themselves are more successful role models for the shy. They like to wander in the forest alone, enjoying its silence and stillness, or to burrow into warm, private spaces. But they sulk and skulk only fleetingly. Mostly they retreat so as to think deeply and make something – a painting, a poem or a boat carved out of bark – as a way of whittling meaning out of a frightening world. Jansson’s lesson is not that shy people should come out of their shells; it is that they should embrace that shyness and put it to artful use."


[One of my favorite childhood books was Comet in Moominland - my mother brought it home in a mixed bag from a library book sale, so it was a while before I realized that there was a series of books involving Moomins! Consequently, Comet is the only one I know well, even though I've read many of the others; for a long time it was the only one I owned, and so the only one I could easily reread. Then, too, something about the…wry doom? pragmatic anxiety? cheerful foreboding? of the book spoke to me as a somewhat anxious child who, for a while (after a science video shown in class with a less than clear timeline), was afraid that the sun was about to turn into a red giant every time it set, and life on earth was therefore over. Seeing the Moomins fear the comet but then survive it was important to me.]

[I also had this great Peanuts anthology that I used to reread all the time; I liked things that were wry and gentle and a little bit melancholy, apparently. At least a part of me did.]
11 August 2016 @ 07:35 am
Kory Stamper, lexicographer for Merriam-Webster and the writer of the Harmless Drudgery blog, has finished her book, and it'll be for sale in May:

I am very excited by this.
03 August 2016 @ 12:26 pm
Possibly relevant to my thoughts and questions about corpus linguistics:

02 August 2016 @ 02:34 pm
Mel Gibson and Sean Penn to play creators of Oxford English Dictionary
28 July 2016 @ 09:30 am
The pictures of Jamie Parker from various productions (including a rather nice one of him and Samuel Barnett in the barrel from Rosencrantz and Guldenstern Are Dead) are delightful.


(What is his face even doing in that one from The History Boys?)
19 July 2016 @ 06:44 pm
…How did I not know that Robert Greene was born in Norwich??? I was looking for information about Norwich's churches, and someone mentioned in passing that he was baptized in St. George's, Tombland. That was one of the churches I visited in 2014! The people there were very nice to the weird American who wanted to know if the angels on the roof beams were original or replacements!

Also, from Wikipedia:

Greene is thought to have attended the Norwich Grammar School, although this cannot be confirmed as enrolment documents for the relevant years are lost.

Well, we all know what THAT means! Time for some anti-Norwichians to start doubting that he actually wrote Friar Bacon and Friar Bungay! I mean, apparently we don't even know who his father is, but the candidates are a saddler and a cordwainer, and everyone knows that boys whose fathers work with leather cannot possibly grow up to be playwrights. And "Bacon" is right there in the title, so...
19 July 2016 @ 02:46 pm
A series of four essays on Little Women, one for each of the March girls:

Incidentally, I always forget how much more familiar I am with the 1994 film than I am with the novel (I did read it two or three times, but it wasn't a favorite - not in the way that The Secret Garden or Charlotte Sometimes was).