Sunday, August 1, 2010

What I’m reading

1. The new Lloyd Jones novel, Hand Me Down World, which will be published in November. It is brilliant.

2. The Sunday Star-Times story on happiness and how to get there. It is good, and so is this interview at the excellent Five Books with Jonathan Haidt on the same subject.

3. On the other hand, the SST’s foreign coverage – the equivalent of one full page, must have been done on Friday. The lead story is about Chelsea Clinton’s wedding – does anyone in New Zealand really care? – and there is a much smaller story about the Australian election campaign saying that Labor and the Coalition are level-pegging. Wrong. The latest Herald/Nielsen poll came out on Saturday with the Coalition on 52% on two-party-preferred basis and Labor on 48%:
This represents a 6 percentage point two-party swing against the government since the last Herald poll a week ago, and a 4.7 point two-party swing against the government since the last election.
The weird thing is that the SST is published by Fairfax, which publishes the Age and the Sydney Morning Herald, but the SST story was from the Guardian. Yes, the one in England. You’d think Fairfax’s New Zealand staff would occasionally glance at Fairfax’s Australian papers.

4. BK Drinkwater is back blogging. Good.

5. And so is Chris Bourke. At least, that’s what he promises.

6. The Fundy Post is in fine form here.

7. Home Paddock has a crack at Andrew Little and his hat collection.

8. The Periodic Table of Swearing. Click on the image to enlarge to a readable size.

9. Some words I didn’t know (everything apart from philtrum, to be honest), some of them useful. I am glad to make the acquaintance of glabella.

10. Christina Lau at Princeton University Press describes the development of the book cover for Australian economist John Quiggin’s new book Zombie Economics: how dead ideas still walk among us. (Via Crooked Timber.)

11. Finally, Chad Taylor has a fascinating post about Brian Clemens, the writer behind The Avengers – you know, Steed, Mrs Peel, Honor Blackman. I haven’t seen his Hammer Horror movie Dr Jekyll & Sister Hyde (Chad calls it “pleasantly disquieting”) but now I really want to.


homepaddock said...

You're glad to make the acquaintance of glabella?

I'm thrilled to meet boondoggling.

Little Tinker said...

I knew about 11 of them. Liked "monkey's wedding".
"Boondoggling" has been standard US slang for at least 40 years - might even have been WWII military slang.

Lik-pot I recognised as the Dutch Likkepot - in Dutch, every digit has its own name. I forget most of them but the middle finger is Lange Jan, and the ring finger is Ringeling.I've just recalled, the little finger is Kleine Ding. That just leaves the thumb - what?

Stephen Stratford said...

Actually come to think of it I did know boondoggle, but honestly none of the others. I do hope they are all real. I mean, this story was in the Sun...

Chad Taylor said...

That movie is monster good. No matter what anyone says about Hammer, they know how to begin and end a story.