Internet highlights w/c 19th October 2014

25 10 2014

Things that should be common knowledge, but most aren’t

Great church signs!

Using quotes from You’ve Got Mail in online dating

How to trap a cat

Waterstones are now planning on hosting a sleepover after the tourist got locked in

apparently S Club 7 are actually getting back together (for Children In Need)

The Queen has tweeted! – and no, not the @Queen_UK twitter account, amazing as that is!

Northanger Abbey – by Val McDermid

24 10 2014

This book was my first venture into The Austen Project, where 6 current authors have been tasked with updating Jane Austen’s most famous novels. This is actually the second part of the project, with Sense and Sensibility being published by Joanne Trollope first, but this is just the one I grabbed in the supermarket to read!

I’m a great fan of Austen, but in all honesty, I’ve only read two of her books: Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. The rest are on my bookshelf and to-read list! But I’ve seen TV and/or film adaptations of them all, and love the stories that she writes.

The premise of the original is a girl who loves Gothic fiction and gets this a bit twisted with reality, being invited to join family friends in Bath for the season, and then making friends with people who live in Northanger Abbey, which sounds like something out of one of her books…. and I won’t spoil it with further details.

But that’s Austen, and this is someone else! For the most part I really enjoyed this book. In this edition, we have a home schooled girl who is into vampire novels, and her neighbours offer to take her to the Edinburgh Festival, and the plot follows similarly, we end up visiting Northanger Abbey and wondering what secrets lie within.

I think on the whole the updating of the book worked really well (although, as with any of these re-writes, it wouldn’t be anything without the story it was based on of course). That said, some bits really irritated me. There was a little too much mention of facebook, twitter, phone apps, and trying to get on the WiFi. Yes, this is a modern book, but it was a little too frequent and distracted from what was going on. Similarly some references to the Twilight series, which I worry might not be long term enough to last in this.

But what really bothered me, was references to other Jane Austen books she’d read. I think that if you’re going to write a Jane Austen based novel, you should probably assume the characters don’t know about the other ones – it’s not like the original novels references each other! Maybe I’m just being picky, but it bothered me when this happened!

northanger abbey

Internet highlights w/c 12th October 2014

18 10 2014

Police come up with great new use for empty tax disc holders

Santa branding

Where do the birds go when it rains?

People who need to think before they speak

A 45min radio programme about the number e

Science tricks with water

Internet highlights w/c 5th October 2014

11 10 2014

Cast announced for new Dad’s Army film

Tumblr posts to make you totally reevaluate your existance

The sheer enormity of our universe – make sure you scroll the whole way through it

Amazing children’s TV from the 90s (also children’s live goals from the 90s)

People who shouldn’t be allowed to decorate cakes

Animal Farm – by George Orwell

8 10 2014

I never realised how short some of these ‘classics’ are! I am more than willing to work through a load of them at that length! Actually finished this a couple of days ago, but life’s been a bit too hectic to sit down and write it up…

This book actually made me really angry. It just represents a totally unjust society, where the leaders tell the people things are brilliant and that they’re all equal, when really, it couldn’t be more uneven. As the cover of the book says: “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

Sadly it really reminded me of the state of some countries in our world in this present day, I think that’s where my anger really came from. This isn’t just fiction, it’s a reality for so many.

The story is well told though, and the animal parts make it light enough that you don’t completely want to cry, but it just makes some excellent points while it does that.

animal farm

Internet highlights w/c 28th September 2014

4 10 2014

Vicar on Gogglebox says she can’t stand Songs of Praise – and gives good reasoning for it!

A load of teenagers who need to calm down

Some untranslateable, yet massively useful words

University according to the prospectus vs real life