August 9, 2005

Advantages of Sleeplessness [Open Thread]

Posted by Arcane Gazebo at August 9, 2005 4:13 PM

Insomnia is striking this week, inexplicably, but at least it's giving me a chance to catch up on my reading.

Richard K. Morgan: Market Forces: [Follow-up] Basically I remained unimpressed by this book. The plot did pick up near the end, but the writing was very plain throughout compared to Morgan's other works. The characters continued to baffle me, and entire thematic elements disappeared unexpectedly. Throughout the book I kept thinking of Chekhov's dictum, which Morgan follows very well when it comes to physical objects (e.g. the baseball bat) but fails to apply to more abstract elements. Anyway, I think a talented director could make a spectacular anime series out of this, but the novel was a bit disappointing.

Now I have finally started the fifth Harry Potter (Order of the Phoenix) and it seems that Harry has become a nasty, moody adolescent with a case of PTSD and some serious self-absorption. Which makes perfect sense given his past experiences. Now if Voldemort doesn't at least make an attempt to turn this guy to the dark side, he should just turn in his supervillain badge. (I confess that my dream is a seventh book in which Harry turns evil and is the primary villain. But this seems unlikely.)

The Lucksmiths: Warmer Corners: This is a pretty solid indie-pop album that reminds me of Belle & Sebastian and (especially with the jangly guitars) Teenage Fanclub. The standout track is "Sunlight in a Jar".

Tags: Books, Music, Open Thread

Want to know what really made my day, besides getting good results, finding some bugs, and getting some actually interesting work done? One of the sections of an early draft of a collaborator's paper is entitled:

"Wang's Expansion of the Thin Wire Kernel"

Wang's Expansion? You can't write comedy that good intentionally.

Posted by: Lemming | August 9, 2005 4:32 PM

I wonder if the result of that expansion is stable under small perturbations...

Posted by: Mason | August 9, 2005 11:17 PM

I recently noticed that links on are showing small, annoying mini "previews" which I find disruptive. Do any of you know how to turn such a feature off at the browser level? (I checked my preferences in Safari and how to do this wasn't apparent to me.)

Posted by: Mason | August 11, 2005 12:56 AM
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