Monday, December 07, 2009

climate change

Oooh, look how topical I am! Politics, climate change...

I've seen some good articles lately, so I thought I'd put up some links in case anyone is interested.

An article from The Economist about debating climate change. I quite like this, it says that while the magazine believes in climate change, it also believes in scientific debate, and scientists with alternative views should not be silenced to support the orthodox view, because that's not what science is about. Sounds reasonable to me!

An article from the SMH basically arguing that Tony Abbot's stance on climate change is inconsistent and untenable, from an politico-economic perspective. I first came across this argument on Jordan's blog (you can find the link to the relevant blog post here) apparently Malcolm Turnbull has expressed similar views. Once again, sounds like a good argument to me. I wonder what the best solution would be?

On a totally unrelated note, I find it ironic that my blog's spell check doesn't recognise 'blog' as a real word.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009


" Mr Abbott said he would work to bring the party together because it's easier to manage a party when they oppose rather than negotiate with the government.
"The best way to unite a political party is to really go after your opponents, which is what I intend to do," he told the Nine Network today."
-Tony Abbott in the SMH

This is the kind of attitude I hate in politics, obstructionist for the sake of it and refusing to co-operate to get anything done. A bad sign for the future?

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

a year in books

I've been composing a blog post in my head about how I don't think Twilight is all that bad for people, even though I agree with most of the criticisms of it, but now that it comes to actually sitting down and writing a blog post I am already bored of my arguments. Feel free to call me out if you disagree with this, and I will outline my thoughts. I was going to include a quote (o.k., more a rough paraphrase) from Fahrenheit 451, which I think is an awesome book, if that helps.

So having said what I won't be talking about, here is what I will be talking about. Seeing as it's December, and 'tis the season, I will be doing a Year in Review- my annual reading list! Since I lost this year's diary and didn't get around to putting up last year's list, this will be the books I read in 2008, but I hope you enjoy all the same.

Great Expectations- Charles Dickens
Mister Pip- Lloyd Jones Kind of appropriate to read next to each other, good books but Mister Pip was fairly harrowing.
White Noise- Don DeLillo Really enjoyed this, have a post about this and Bright Eyes
When the Elephants Dance- Tess UrizeHolthe I chose this book for the whimsical title- it turned out to be about WWII in the Phillipines. Interesting, but again- harrowing.
Halowe'en Party- Agatha Christie Too many harrowing books=a run of Agatha Christie.
Towards Zero- Agatha Christie
Death in the Stocks- Georgette Heyer I was told Georgette Heyer was like Agatha Christie, but in reality nowhere near as good.
They Found Him Dead- Georgette Heyer
Destination Unknown- Agatha Christie
Nemesis- Agatha Christie
Listen- Kate Veitch Did not entirely warm to this...
Independent People- Halldor Laxness Something a little different, the story of Icelandic independence through a small farming family.
On Chesil Beach- Ian McEwan The story of a disastrous wedding night was possibly not the best choice for honeymoon reading, much as I love Ian McEwan's writing.
The Aunt's Story- Patrick White The writing quality of this drew me in and kept me going the whole way.
Arthurian Literature and Society- Stephen Knight Good, at least in the first chapters, but I thought that he undervalued TH White and overvalued 'A Knight in King Arthur's Court'. Made me feel better about not being at uni.
The World According to Clarkson- Jeremy Clarkson
Domina- Paul Doherty
Breath- Tim Winton Disappointing to me, I love a lot of Tim Winton but this did not grab me. Maybe it was too male? I don't know...
The Nine Emotional Lives of Cats- Jeffrey Masson
A Partisan's Daughter- Louis De Berniere This one I liked, although it was so ambiguous.
Persuasion- Jane Austen Very much enjoyed, loved the setting especially.
The Murder of Roger Ackroyd- Agatha Christie Finally read the classic, but guessed the twist.
Murder on the Orient Express- Agatha Christie
Murder in the Mews- Agatha Christie
Hercule Poirot's Christmas- Agatha Christie
One Hundred Years of Solitude- Gabriel Garcia Marquez
The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas- Gertrude Stein It was fun to see the artistic world of Paris in the 1920's in this way, an interesting perspective on a life.
The Whole Story and Other Stories- Ali Smith Well-executed collection of short-stories.
Kafka on the Shore- Haruki Marukami Very weird, loved the Japanese folkloric quest story, was bemused by the incestuous undertones.
Exile's return: A Literary Odyssey of the 1920's- Malcolm Cowley Not quite what I expected, inspired by Phryne Fisher and Gertrude Stein.
Striding Folly- Dorothy L. Sayers Dorothy L. Sayers = Love!
The Mystery of the Blue Train- Agatha Christie
When Will There Be Good News?- Kate Atkinson So darn depressing, though this is a good series with some black-ish humour and generally likeable characters.
Nightbirds on Nantucket- Joan Aiken Finally read these books, after reading a lot of Joan Aiken in my childhood. These are great, alternate history children's adventure. In a way reminiscent of the Philip Pullman Sally Lockhart series (mainly for the waif heroine).
The Stolen Lake- Joan Aiken
The Cuckoo Tree- Joan Aiken
The Castle- Franz Kafka In a word: baffling.
The Corrections- Jonathan Franzen This was amazing. I'd avoided it for years, but that just goes to show that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. I found the characters to be so human, if a little larger than life.
Dido and Pa- Joan Aiken
The Unbearable Lightness of Being- Milan Kundera Sad, but in a lovely way.
The Sunday Philosophy Club- Alexander McCall Smith Light as a feather, with philosophy!
The Comforts of Saturdays- Alexander McCall Smith
Romulus My Father- Raimond Gaita Heartbreaking, but also beautiful. More philosophical than the previous.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society- Mary Ann Shaffer Interesting, unlike what I expected, another facet of WWII- there are no end to the interesting stories that came out of that war. I liked it.
The Man with the Dancing Eyes- Sophie Dahl A picture book of love and New York.
Breakfast at Tiffany's- Truman Capote