Reading Wednesday 24/05

May. 24th, 2017 12:37 pm
liv: Bookshelf labelled: Caution. Hungry bookworm (bookies)
[personal profile] liv
Recently read: The hundred trillion stories in your head, a bio of Ramón y Cajal by Benjamin Ehrlich. (Contains some detail of Ramón y Cajal's rather grim childhood.)

Currently reading: Ninefox Gambit by Yoon Ha Lee. Partly because it's Hugo nominated, and partly because [personal profile] jack was excited to talk about it so I've borrowed his copy. I'm halfway through and enjoying it a lot; it's a bit like a somewhat grimmer version of Leckie's Ancillary books. It has too much gory detail of war and torture for my preferences but it's also a really engaging story.

Up next: Quite possibly Too Like the Lightning by Ada Palmer, since I'd like to read at least the Hugo novels in time for Worldcon.

Synecdoche vs Metonymy

May. 24th, 2017 10:23 am
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
In a manful effort to remember which is which, I looked these words up *again*.

It looks like, "synecdoche" means using a part to represent the whole, eg. "how many heads" in a herd of cattle, or "how many bums" in a theatre, or "nice wheels" referring to a whole car. But is also used for the reverse, using a whole to represent a part, eg. "what does Brussels think" referring to the European parliament.

I couldn't tell why the second meaning was included, but secondarily, if the first meaning came first, and then people started using it both ways round, or something else. Nor if only the first meaning is "correct" and the second is a mistake, or if both are equally accepted.

Apparently "metonymy" means "using a closely related concept to represent a thing". Eg. using "suits" for "lawyers" or "businesspeople", or "the pen is mightier than the sword" to mean "the written word is mightier than force of arms".

So the real difference between "synecdoche" and "metonymy" is different history and connotations, which I don't really understand. But in terms of literal meaning, the only difference is "using a part to represent the whole" vs "using one concept to represent another".

But, obviously, human pattern matching means if you mostly use synecdoche in the "part for a whole" sense, then the most common use of metonymy is "whole for a part", even if it could be used for other things.

Can anyone fill in the gaps here?
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
the list )

10: a song that makes you sad.

My uncle had this song at his funeral. I gather Lemmy maybe did too? but my uncle died first, and besides, he was a good uncle. To give some idea of his personality, he demanded Fire by Arthur Brown for the end, when the curtains close. He fixed things, and he took life lightly, and the world is a better place for having had him in it.

I give you Jollity Farm by the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band

Hamilton-adjacent shows

May. 23rd, 2017 02:11 pm
rmc28: Rachel standing in front of the entrance to the London Eye pier (Default)
[personal profile] rmc28
There are two things coming up I want to see, and would like to encourage friends to come see with me. I'm not quite at "buy a ticket to something fun" today, but I'd like to get there.  Please comment / message / email me if you're interested in coming too, ideally by this weekend.

Show one:
The Southwark Playhouse is putting on Working, a musical with songs by "Craig Carnelia, Micki Grant, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mary Rodgers & Susan Birkenhead, Stephen Schwartz and James Taylor". So obviously Lin-Manuel's contribution is among lots of other people's, but the musical blurb itself sounds interesting: based on a book of "interviews with the American workforce" and "a strikingly dynamic and contemporary look at what it is to work and what it is to be a musical".  Also I like the theatre's access information page which seems a better effort than most and would therefore like to Turn Up And Support This Kind Of Thing.

I'm looking at going to the 3pm show on Saturday 10th June.  This is both my least-busy Saturday during the run, and immediately after my exams.  Tickets £25 / £20.


Show two:
There is a touring professional production of Bring It On, the cheerleader musical, which I saw a local amateur production of recently. I am considering either:
  • 2:30pm show on Saturday 23rd September, at the Milton Keynes Theatre
  • 2:30pm show on Saturday 14th October, at the New Wimbledon Theatre
Both of them are do-able as a day trip from Cambridge by public transport.  I lean slightly toward the Wimbledon one because that's by train not coach, but I could be persuadable to either.  (Both is probably overambitious).  Tickets are between £43 and £57.50, plus a transaction fee (because of course there is).


Also, I'm looking longingly at an amateur production of In The Heights in Birmingham 14-15 July, but as I'm running a child's birthday party on 16th July I don't think it's going to happen.

(yes, I am mildly obsessive about Seeing All The Things related to Lin-Manuel Miranda, but I also kind of like the idea of aspiring to a lifestyle of travelling the country seeing musicals ...)

Jew-ish

May. 23rd, 2017 01:45 pm
liv: In English: My fandom is text obsessed / In Hebrew: These are the words (words)
[personal profile] liv
This weekend I went to another Jewish-Muslim interfaith event. I was not exactly the main target audience, which was mainly people whose actual job is religious education. I did get to meet some Somali Bravanese Muslims, an ethnic minority from Somalia via Kenya whom I hadn't encountered before.

Anyway we had some very interesting discussions, including around the use of language. Some of the Muslim participants said they didn't like what I had thought of as an otherwise neutral older spelling, Moslem. They said they associate that spelling and pronunciation with people like Donald Trump, and I can see that people who haven't bothered to update their language might well be assumed to be hostile. I don't particularly need to change my own language choices since I have been using the modern spelling anyway, but it's useful to note.

Then of course the conversation turned to the Jewish side, and the somewhat fraught issue of what we should be called. is 'Jew' a slur? )
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
the list )

In the light of last night's/this morning's news, I'm moving straight on to 'Song that makes you happy'. I nearly added this as a second song to 'makes you want to dance' but I figured that's related to happiness. So, I hope it brings you cheer.

The Dragonfly by Clutch

(no subject)

May. 23rd, 2017 09:34 am
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
thelist )
A song about drugs or alcohol.

This is absolutely as close to the drug itself as I ever want to get. Heroin by Lou Reed & The Velvet Underground.

Cambridge North

May. 22nd, 2017 04:53 pm
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
We went to visit the new north cambridge station, and had a lovely trip to Ely. I hadn't realised we'd actually got to the opening so it was a pleasant surprise.

Overall, it looked really nice, clean, modern, a little artistic, if it works out practically I'd really enjoy using it.

In many ways well provided, like having a lift fairly central and not buried off somewhere, despite a few flaws.

There were some nice touches, like mains and usb charge points in the waiting room, although I did feel, if you're going to add any, why add only four, why not put them round the room? And why not put them next to a shelf?

I wasn't sure quite what trains I was hoping for, there aren't the ones Liv and ghoti had hoped would exist, and for now the connections seem annoyingly inconsistent, but any trains at all from North Cambridge is really nice. I think as I get used to having it available I will find it's really handy; ambling there on the bike puts a train trip in the "why not" category not the "sigh, I suppose so" category even if it doesn't save that much time overall.

My biggest worry was that it would instantly become as busy as the old station, taking a lot of the traffic from north cambridge, and making chesterton into more london commuter belt, and not be able to handle that traffic, but other people seem to think that wouldn't happen. Presumably there is *some* plan for expansion if necessary by people who know (there is still something to be built next to the station judging by the empty lot).

Blogiversary

May. 22nd, 2017 04:08 pm
liv: Stylised sheep with blue, purple, pink horizontal stripes, and teacup brand, dreams of Dreamwidth (_support)
[personal profile] liv
I note in passing that it's 14 years to the day since I started this blog, 6 years on LJ and 8 years on DW. That's a lot of writing and a lot of conversations. I've made just over 2000 posts in 14 years, and I think the average length is only a little under a thousand words, so somewhere between 1.5 and 2 million words and that's not even counting comments. I was really not expecting either the site or my interest in blogging to last as long as 14 years, but I'm really glad you're all still here.

I still don't have a good way of making an offline archive of DW; the program LJArchive is timing out because, I think, my DW is just too huge, and it doesn't have a way of downloading one bit at a time. Does anyone have any recs?

It's also coming up to the end of my 7th year of working at Keele – I've finished teaching and only have exams to go through before this academic year is over. It's a pretty awesome job in lots of ways. Our senior people like to point out that there have been over a million consultations when patients have been treated by Keele-trained doctors in the ten year history of the medical school, and I've contributed to the education of quite a high proportion of those doctors.

And it's the 20th anniversary, give or take, of my leaving school. I have signed up to attend the reunion next month; I'm not entirely sure that was a good idea, but I am at least somewhat curious to see if I can pick up some gossip from anyone who isn't on Facebook. I don't think anyone is going to be surprised that I'm an academic, that's what everybody was predicting when I was going around convinced I was going into school teaching. But they might well be surprised that I'm married and poly.

Anyway, now I'm going to catch a train from the new exciting local to my house station.

(no subject)

May. 22nd, 2017 09:00 am
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
thelist )

A song to drive to. I don't drive, and we don't have a car, so driving only happens when we want to go somewhere difficult to catch a train to, which is not very many places. Anyway, it's a long trip with children, we play music to make the children happy. And the children's music that we like the best is Go! Go! Go! a band that plays between the programmes on Nickelodeon.

This is Blue Sunshine Day.

Lady Business Post

May. 20th, 2017 04:33 pm
forestofglory: E. H. Shepard drawing of Christopher Robin reading a book to Pooh (Default)
[personal profile] forestofglory
Yesterday a post I co-wrote went up on Lady Business! Its about how to sample the Vorkosigan Saga if you are trying to get feel for the Hugos. Hope you enjoy.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
The list )

I was just saying that I don't tend to do the 'oh, this song!' *cranks volume* thing, then the next day I was listening to Hawkwind and Hassan i Sabbah came on. And I leant over and turned up the volume.

Understanding St Paul

May. 19th, 2017 02:06 pm
wildeabandon: crucifix necklace on a purple background (religion)
[personal profile] wildeabandon
I recently read “Paul: The Misunderstood Apostle” by Karen Armstrong on [personal profile] angelofthenorth’s recommendation, followed by a reread of Meeting God in Paul by Rowan Williams for comparison. Both were good, and left me with a deeper understanding of Paul’s writings, as well as of the context which surrounded it. I felt as though I got more out of the Williams, but that was more because the thing that it was doing was of more interest to me personally, than because it was a better book in general. To me the most marked difference between the two books is that the Armstrong felt like a history book with theological implications, whereas the Williams (based, as it was, on three sermons) was a theology book with historical underpinnings.

One thread that was common to both books was the emphasis on how radical Paul’s teachings were. He often gets characterised as a fuddy duddy conservative, misogynist and homophobic, corrupting Jesus’ message and making it more acceptable to the traditionalists at the time, but actually, in the context of the hierarchical worlds of the Roman Empire and the Jewish religious authorities, his proclamation in Galatians that “There can be neither Jew nor Greek, there can be neither slave nor freeman, there can be neither male nor female -- for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” would have been ground-breaking. Similarly, in Corinthians, where he says “The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does”, this was just common wisdom at the time, but to follow it as he does with “and in the same way, the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does.” would have been shockingly egalitarian. The whole letter to Philemon, in which he exhorts his friend to take his disgraced runaway slave back into his household, but as an equal, was turning the established order of things on its head. The question of how we square this with some other verses where he seems more sexist or pro-slavery is a difficult one, and Williams notes but doesn’t address it. Armstrong makes an argument that some of the other verses were later additions by another writer, and I don’t have sufficient knowledge to assess its robustness.

Both books are short and engagingly written, and both were improved by reading the other at a similar time.

Music meme day 4

May. 19th, 2017 09:34 am
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Three-quarters of George Washington's he)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
It just occurred to me that the reason for keeping the whole list in the post might be so I can add links to the relevant posts. So I'll start doing that.

The list, now with linking )

4. A song that reminds you of someone you'd rather forget.

It was the mid 90s when I first became aware of this person. I was sceptical at first, wary of them, so kept my distance. In 1997, however, I was losing some of my scepticism, enough that this song at the time was a sign of hope, of a good future, which was to be dashed over the next decade.

The song, of course, is Things can only get better by D:Ream

Calvary

May. 18th, 2017 10:12 pm
emperor: (Default)
[personal profile] emperor
I'm rubbish at films. I read a review or see a trailer or somesuch, and think "Oh, I should go to see that". But then somehow I never quite get round to it, and then the film's no longer on. One such film was Calvary, which I imagine I saw reviewed in the Church Times or similar. This evening, idly browsing iplayer, I saw it was available (for another 11 days at the time of writing), so thought I'd watch it.

It's a very good film, but deals with a number of difficult themes (clerical abuse, guilt, suicide, sin, forgiveness). The main character, Father James, is a priest as real person rather than the stereotypes that priests in fiction often are, and that makes him believable as well as sympathetic. He's trying to live out his vocation and make sense of it in difficult circumstances. It's a very witty film, as well, quite sharply observed in places, with a number of lines that feel like they're commenting on the film itself.

90 minutes feels quite short for a film these days, and you might find yourself wishing there was more of this film. Well worth your time, but not easy watching.

Fun

May. 18th, 2017 09:51 pm
liv: Table laid with teapot, scones and accoutrements (yum)
[personal profile] liv
Last weekend it was the slightly obscure Jewish festival of Lag b'Omer, mainly celebrated by going out into the woods and having picnics. I was really really pleased when my OSOs and their two younger children, and [livejournal.com profile] fivemack, came up for the weekend to join me!

we crammed a bunch of stuff into two days )

I only have one more day of teaching before the summer. May is always intense, so I'll hope to be a bit more present on DW from next week.
ghoti_mhic_uait: (Default)
[personal profile] ghoti_mhic_uait
I've so far spent the morning reading the Fan Writer Hugo nominations, which is to say, drinking coffee and spluttering with indignation and annoyance a lot. I trust the next thing I read will be happier for me; certainly I like all of the series that I've read, even if, in some cases, I'm not particularly desperate to continue.

Anyway, it is nearly time for my shopping to arrive, and to wake Judith, so have a quick song.

the list )

A song that reminds you of summer. It's set on 15th July, so a fairly obvious choice, but St Swithin's Day by Billy Bragg.

Life things

May. 17th, 2017 10:32 pm
jack: (Default)
[personal profile] jack
Driving to Bar Hill for work has been fine. It took a little adjustment, I kept not wanting to switch to cycling to go out in the evening (and if I come home first I find it very hard to go out again). But it doesn't take long, the traffic is not bad.

Although I'm not looking forward to doing it in the dark again, most is fine, but some of the junctions are a bit offputting.

Since I started working in Bar Hill I've been going to the gym there. I've very slowly got better from where I seemed to be to start with, but the last few weeks haven't improved much. Hopefully if I just keep at it, I will improve in spurts.

I've been keeping up month-by-month goals. Although several months have been more like a todo-list than a goal. I think I'd benefit from some that were even more focused on "just relax". In fact, I realise lots of productivity advice suggested month-by-month tracking of tasks and goals, but "one big one" was the way in that worked for my brain; previous attempts at similar things had me shy off thinking "I have to do everything and I can't".

Work is going ok. I still have many of the problems I've had actually getting progress done, but all *better* than they used to be, and longer periods of productivity. My first few weeks effort to close out distraction entirely failed though, I'm back to alternating work (where I get plenty done if I'm into it), and other faff.

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