2. I have reread The City And The City, am now convinced that it is not supposed to be magic realism - the reader is supposed to believe that there is something 'magical' / 'fantastic' about Breach, but in reality Breach relies on its own myth to make people think it is more powerful and pervasive than it really is - not in a literal 'don't see the fnords' brainwashing sense, but just in a general built up all your life sort of sense. It may be an allegory for ones internal censors etc.
3. Is it safe to look at the news again, yet?
4. Nominate this Dilbert for the Hugo short story http://www.dilbert.com/2013-04-13/ - wasn't that more or less the plot of True Names - a story which, as I have said numerous times, would have been impressively foresighted had it been written about 15 years earlier?
5. I am pleased to see the penguins have returned to If.. but rather disappointed by the strips. I was hoping for Steve Bell and the penguin dancing on Maggie's grave, but maybe he thought that would be in too poor taste. I was actually hoping for it as the entire front page of the Guardian. Also, 'saved us from the SDP'? Talking about fighting old battles.
6. Obviously, the Boston bombing was very freaky, since we were there this time last year for the Marathon - not that it wouldn't have been, anyway, having been to lots of marathons. I understand from t__m__i that our tour guide, Wally, was interviewed on Sky News - hardly surprising from a 'local man killed in nuclear holocaust' style British angle. It was a lovely occasion last year - I didn't actually get to see t__m__i finish as I was stuck on a Green Line tram (not to be confused with the Green Line buses of yesterday, of course :-)) backed up in the tunnel. They are not fast.
7. On my birthday, we had a day trip to Nottingham to have a wander round and go on the trams. The trams are more impressive than the Croydon and Birmingham ones, and seem to be on the roads for far further than Birmingham / Croydon, I could be wrong though. They are building new lines, with the tramline going over the top of Nottingham station - they have build the part that goes as far as the other side of the station. The downside of being on the roads was that, because of road-works / tram-works, we had to get onto a replacement bus for a bit. The staff were very friendly. We of the ROELF (rest of England liberation front) will be backing spending the money being pissed away on the Northern Line extension on tram systems round the country.
As well as going to a vegetarian restaurant we also went down the caves, where there were actors / docents / whatever you want to call them gamely telling us about the caves whilst in character. This seems very un-British to me, but it was done in an adequately low-key fashion so as to not frighten people. The tanner was particularly good.
The centre of Nottingham looks reasonably civic and prosperous, though on a smaller scale than Birmingham as you would expect.
In the car to and from Nottingham we listened to the 5 CD boxed set of the first 5 Everything But The Girl albums, which were a present that I asked for, having read Tracey Thorn's autobiography. The only album I owned already was Worldwide, which is album number 6 and which barely gets a mention in her book. I prefer Worldwide, though that may be because I have listened to it more - I am currently listening to number 5 again to see if that grows on me, which I suspect it will.
Whilst randomly refreshing my phone in the car on the way there (or back?) I saw a Modern Art Oxford 'first person to retweet this wins tickets to a gig' tweet, which I though it was permissible to re-tweet, it being in line with the interests of many here and over there in the land of 140 character disagreements etc. (or as someone said 'it's like group therapy but no-one gets any better'. And I won...
8 ...so we got to see Thomas Truax http://www.thomastruax.com/mothersuperior.html and Ratatosk http://ratatosk.bandcamp.com/
Thematically they were linked by what I, as a lay person, unversed in such things, can only call 'recording oneself and then playing oneself back and accompanying the recordings in real-time, pressing buttons with ones feet to control playback and recording'. I'm sure there's a technical term but technology baffles pissed old fart. It is very impressive. Oh brave new world that has such things in't.
9. Talking of technology baffling pissed old farts, and returning to the subject of 'friends don't let friends use C++' I bring you 'perfect forwarding' http://thbecker.net/articles/rvalue_references/section_07.html - this really knocks Perl 5's 'an object is a reference to a blessed thingy' into a cocked hat. Madness, utter madness.
10. But clearly no-one is going to use Google Go now (even in Google, certainly outside), so what can you do?