Author Archives: Houyhnhnm

gods and robots, by adrienne mayor

very excited to find this in the london library – a book exploring the anticipations of robots and ai in ancient mythology and literature, especially greek i’d always thought hephaestus’ robot servants were amazing Anyway, the book told me loads … Continue reading

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acqua alta and the abc murders

acqua alta by donna leon there must be few detective stories like this one, with no twist, but it was ok as i recognised some of the places in venice, enjoyed the recent real acqua alta, and the novel ends … Continue reading

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les miserables and die hard

les miserables what is it about les mis? four brilliant tunes, an epic plot rattled through at 200 novel-pages a minute, a series of injustices and pathetic deaths ending in those of the protagonists: the baddy jumping off a bridge, … Continue reading

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a fish called wanda and brief answers to the big questions by stephen hawking

a fish called wanda some great moments, but overall disappointing; (‘sir’) michael palin’s stutter is always a little painful, but it was the (to modern eyes) slow editing which got me – and the sexism – both made it seem … Continue reading

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the song of the sea & bohemian rhapsody

the song of the sea a chunkily animated irish folk-tale cartoon about a lighthouse-keeper, his selkie (seal-mermaid) lover, and their children; set in modern ireland, the story tells of children discovering their parents’, and their own, identities it’s beautiful to … Continue reading

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the ape that understood the universe by steve stewart-williams and the dallas buyers guide

the ape that understood the universe by steve stewart-williams long-windedly and irritatingly covers the ground: first Darwinian natural selection of GENES, taking an explicitly and alternately triumphant and apologetic counter-zeitgeist stance that more of human nature is biological, genetic, than … Continue reading

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they shall not grow old & troilus and cressida

they shall not grow old a project where technical brilliance is the direct explanation of emotional power: peter jackson’s restoration of the imperial war museum’s footage is, more than his shaping of the story and the effect of the oral-history … Continue reading

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