Internet highlights – w/c 17th September 2017

23 09 2017

Trump in a dress.

Strictly stats!

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Internet highlights – f/c 3rd September 2017

16 09 2017

Aspirin could reverse tooth decay

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Remember, Remember (The fifth of November) – by Judy Parkinson

11 09 2017

I hated history at school, I liked the Victorians and Tudors, probably because of their pretty dresses, but the Romans never stuck, nor did much else.

This is my sort of history book. No article in it is more than 250 words. It opens with a timeline and a list of monarchs, and then from the Roman Invasion around 2000 years ago, up until the end of the Second World War, each significant historical item has one page, and one page only to be explained. It was so easy to read, you could binge or just read a page or two depending what time you had. Bite-sized; perfect.

I’ve had this on my shelf for a while and occasionally used it for reference, but it was great to just read it through over a couple of days (especially having just read some historical fiction and seeing how much of that came up) and get a good overview of the history of my country!

The Constant Princess – by Philippa Gregory

11 09 2017

I aimed to read a load of books on holiday, but I realised that when I was a child I think I got so much reading done on the long car journeys; now it’s me driving, I’ve lost all that reading time!

I’d been thinking about trying a Philippa Gregory book for a while, and always liked the Tudors, so when it came to topping up an Amazon order to get free delivery I tacked this one on my basket.

She’s written so many books, but helpfully has put a suggested reading order together so you get a chronological flow.

Posted by Philippa Gregory on Monday, July 7, 2014

It may look like I’ve started in the middle, but I decided to go for the one about the first of Henry VIII’s wives, Katherine of Aragon. That said, once I was reading it I kinda wished I’d started one book further back on Henry VII’s wife, but I imagine I’d work my way right back if I did that – maybe one day I will!

We start with Catalina age five in Spain to get a bit of background – at this point she’s already betrothed to Henry VII’s oldest son Arthur (Henry VIII’s older brother), and then quite quickly skip forward nine years to her arrival in England for her wedding to the Prince of Wales.

It’s hard to know how much to share without a spoiler alert because this is based on history – we all know that Arthur died before he made it to the throne because we know there was never a Tudor King Arthur! That said, there’s a lot to read about their relationship, and then of course how she ended up to be married to his younger brother later on.

I’d be fascinated to know where the line is between fact and artistic licence in these books. They are said to be very well researched, but how far does that go? Did a very young Prince Henry really walk her down the aisle to Arthur? Probably. Did Henry VII really storm in her bedroom to check she was attractive when she first arrived to marry his son? Who knows! All sorts of questions arise!

I really enjoyed this and can see me at some point working my way through the series, just got lots of other books to get through in the mean time!

Internet highlights – w/c 27th August 2017

2 09 2017

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The Know-It-All by A.J. Jacobs

28 08 2017

So a bloke decides he wants to become more intelligent, and so gets all 33,000 pages of the 2002 edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica and sets out to read them in the space of the year.

Seemed like quite a Gormanesque style of challenge, which I always enjoy, so when my friend picked up on my enjoyment of the idea, she got it for my birthday – perfect!

The book is structured so that you’re always under the subheading of one of the articles he’s decided to tell you about, but often he’ll go off on a tangent, and sometimes a full blown life anecdote.

We learn that he and his wife are struggling to conceive and follow that part of his life, alongside all his attempts to show off his new found knowledge. This includes applying to MENSA, auditioning for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, trying an evening on a college debate teamand even pointing out an error in one of the articles!

He also lists things he thinks you can do to make you more likely to get into the “EB” as he affectionately calls it, things like getting beheaded, being a botanist, etc. He also keeps lists on his computer of ironic facts he discovers, people who married their cousins, all sorts of things.

He spends several hours each morning and evening reading, and so tries out a speed reading course to see if that will help, and later on does admit to skim-reading some of the heftier stuff, though he does pledge to read every word of Q! He also gets to go on a tour of the Britannica office and have a go at editing an article (given his full time job is an editor at a magazine, this is less shocking than it initially sounds!).

It was like reading a short, chatty version of the encyclopaedia – I learnt a few things, not many that will stick (a problem he also found as he went through it!), but interesting at the time. There wasn’t much of a dramatic climax or anything, I thought he might struggle to keep pace, but that didn’t seem to be an issue, but it was fun to just learn and get to know him at the same time. Definitely will try some of his other books!

Internet highlights – w/c 20th August 2017

26 08 2017

Dogs bending the rules.

Best jokes from this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Firemen save pigs, and are presented with them as sausages as a thank you.

Differences between USA and UK food.

Self Esteem Attacks.

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