The Last Day – by Andrew Hunter Murray

1 05 2021

I was fascinated by the concept of this book. The year is 2059, 30 years after the Earth stopped spinning, after gradually slowing down between 2020 and 2029. The plant is now in lock-step with the sun, and so half the world is in cold darkness, half is scorching hot, and life only exists on the border between the two – interesting!

The book is set in the UK, where the sun is low in the sky as if just after dawn – this is one of the things I found hardest to keep straight in my mind, e.g. when the character returned home in an evening, in my head it was dark, and I frequently found myself having to completely reimagine scenes as they would have been!

As the author also happens to be a QI elf, the book explains what caused the rotation of the Earth to slow, some of the more detailed affects that has had, which make it much more satisfying for a logistical brained person like me! Things like: how the first day of The Slow, was only 0.144 seconds longer than the previous day, but how that in itself was enough to collapse GPS systems worldwide, how 15 months into the slow, countries were adding Dead Air to their days to cope with them lengthening, but how England updated Eurotunnel timetables daily, and France weekly, so after a while, there was a crash, and how houses have been adapted to simulate day and night with reflective shutters so people still have a chance to sleep properly.

I have one outstanding niggle, which is why the earth stopped spinning and and the deceleration didn’t continue into starting to spin the other way, but that might just be my lack of understanding – hopefully I will lend it to my dad at some point, and then he can explain it to me!

In all honesty, it’s these bits of the book I found most interesting, how it would all happen, rather than the ‘plot’ which involves Ellen Hopper trying to uncover a secret that the government wants to keep hidden, although that was interesting too, just not what gripped my attention and imagination the most!

Just two quotes to share from this book:

At one point, someone who remembers life before The Stop is talking about it and says “I always think it must have been better to be Cain than Adam,. No memory of paradise.”

And later on, “Everyone says they’re opposite endeavours, politics and science, that one deals with truth and the other with perception.”





Internet highlights – w/c 25th April 2021

1 05 2021
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Internet highlights – w/c 18th April 2021

24 04 2021
Rules people have added to board games to make them more fun. Phrases we use which are now outdated. Read the rest of this entry »




Internet highlights – w/c 11th April 2021

17 04 2021
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Internet highlights – w/c 4th April 2021

10 04 2021
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Such A Fun Age – by Kiley Reid

7 04 2021

I’m a huge sucker for hyped books, I always assume they must be hyped for a reason, so that’s what led me to pick this up.

The book focuses on the relationship between Alix and her babysitter/nanny Emira, and the fallout from an evening where, in a supermarket, Emira is stopped by the security guard as they think she’s kidnapped the white child who she has with her.

Emira is 25, works two part time jobs and is painfully aware that by her next birthday she will come off of her families health insurance, whereas all her friends seem to be doing much better as becoming adults. But she also has a beautiful relationship with the little girl she looks after 3 days a week, and seems to understand her much more than her mother does sometimes.

There were several twists in the book (and so I won’t say much more for fear of spoilers), one or two made me gasp out loud, but one I did see from very early on, which is the only reason I didn’t give it 5 stars to be honest!





Internet highlights – w/c 28th March 2021

3 04 2021
Cute kids who are also stupid. Read the rest of this entry »




April Fools 2021

1 04 2021
After a bit of a damp squib last year, the corporate April fools seem to be back! There are a few notable absences (as well as fewer sites doing their own round-ups), but definitely a much wider selection than last year, and some very good ones too – so here we go! The Guardian reveal plans for a second Suez Canal along the Egypt/Israel border. Edinburgh Zoo had people in costume on their Panda Cam. Volkswagen announced on Tuesday that they were changing their name to Voltswagen:
QI launch an OnlyFacts account for over-18 rated trivia: Jake Humphrey announced a long-form interview with the Queen:
Off Menu Podcast changing hosts: Ant & Dec are changing to Dec & Ant: Ordnance Survey discovered a new Scottish Island: Innocent & Heinz launch Smoup: The Good Roll launch left-handed toilet paper: Dairy Milk with Sweetcorn: ASDA launch Baked Beans mixed with Weetabix: Lego launch “Smart Bricks” that move out the way so you don’t step on them: Wild deodorant launch a sweat scent: Jude’s ice-cream launch a salt and vinegar flavour: Surrey Police announce interactive stab vests:
Subway launch “helping hand” leaving you a free hand to scroll while you eat:
Hot Tea taps in kitchens:
Argos launch a lawnmower that’s also a treadmill:
Birds Eye launch a potato waffle toaster:
Buckingham Palace to become office space:
Happy Beds launch a concrete mattress:
ITV announce a new show, “Dove Island”:
BMW are getting rid of indicators as an “under-utilised feature”:
Andover Police run a competition to win a Get Out Of Jail Free card:
BBC Morning Live got Gethin Jones quacking to improve his workout:
Surrey Road Police share accident after driver was under the influence of Calpol:
Sainsburys launch Free-From Coriander range: Hampshire fire and medical services launch a flower arranging course for if your employees are poor at first aid or fire safety:
Pringles launch lip balms: McDonalds launch new three fries portion:
The Independent says scientists have developed living robots:
The Queen is abdicating and taking a job at Facebook:
Terry’s Chocolate Orange launch lots of other fruits: Digital Camera World announce new solar-powered DSLRs:
Lensology launch X-ray Vision lenses:
Sky Mobile launch a pet tariff:
The grass at Wimbledon Centre Court is turned purple:
Frankie and Benny’s launch a meatball bath bomb:
Walkers launch chocolate Wotsits:
McCain launch upside down potato smileys:
Lipton launch a self-jiggling teabag:
The Baby Club tv show is launching The Grown Up Club: Mike Pilavachi launches Soul Survivor SAGA:
Jeremy Vine gets someone to impersonate him in conversation with Ken Bruce:
England will compete in pink at the Commonwealth games:
Marmite, who normally do excellent entries, just seem to have launched a photoshop competition for where the Marmite lid might land next:

I’m aware that the Twitter and Instagram posts are self explanatory, but I’ve added a brief description before each one, just incase the companies go back and delete them after today.
*UPDATE* – more things either posted since midday or I’ve found them since midday!   Toilets Plus launch the FOMO loo:
  Teletubbies launch their own cryptocurrency:
  Tom Kerridge gives a recipe for mushroom ice-cream:
  Paddington doesn’t like marmalade anymore:
  The Post Office launch a collar to translate pets.
  DuoLingo launch a toilet roll:
Matt Lucas told The One Show he was going to be in Line of Duty:





The Great Divorce – by C.S. Lewis

28 03 2021

I was thinking about what books I should aim to read this year, and having had this set of C.S. Lewis books for several years, I thought I should aim to read at least one each year, and I remember a friend saying how good this one was a long time ago, and at under 150 pages, it seemed like a doable step into “clever” books.

The book is essentially an illustration of Heaven and Hell, expressed in the first person of someone who’s in a grey town, and gets on a bus to a bright country. It feels very much like someone telling you about a weird dream they had, and takes some work to get your head around until they explicitly say what those places represent (around halfway through!), but once that’s happened, it makes a bit more sense!

When he reaches the bright place, everything is so much more solid than those who have arrived, so much so that he describes those from the bus as Ghosts in comparison. There are several stories where Ghosts are met by Solid People who they maybe knew in life, and we see examples of different ways people have lived, which they think are fine and good, but maybe weren’t so much.

Towards the end of the book I think I started to feel out of my depth again, I imagine cleverer people would get more out of it than I did, but certainly I enjoyed it and it gave me plenty to think about from the rest of the book!

A few lines that made me think:

  • “A sum can be put right: but only by going back till you find the error and working it afresh from that pint, never by simply going on. Evil can be undone, but it cannot ‘develop’ into good.”
  • “Once you were a child. Once you knew what inquiry was for. There was a time when you asked questions because you wanted answers, and were glad when you had found them.”
  • “Do not fash yourself with such questions. Ye cannot fully understand the relations of choice and Time until you are beyond both.”
  • “There have been men before now wo got so interested in proving the existence of God that they came to care nothing for God Himself. […] There have bene some who were so occupied in spreading Christianity that they never gave a thought to Christ.”
  • “I am in love. In love, do you understand?”





Internet highlights – w/c 21st March 2021

27 03 2021

A word invented by The Simpsons has been added to the dictionary.
Nurses share the worst baby names they’ve heard.
Things men only learned once they lived with women.


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