Nick

Nick

  • Commented on Suspense is the key
    Nor, indeed one as short as "London"....
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    Childs was drafted into the US cryptologic effort during World War I because he was mistaken for someone with a similar name who had published some things on codes and ciphers Shades of Geoffrey Tandy; an expert in cryptogams who...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    There have been several obituaries recently (inevitably) of people who did quite astonishing things in WWII, then settled down to live out an utterly mundane existence. You get three columns of being parachuted behind enemy lines, being interrogated and bluffing...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    Eddie Chapman is an "interesting" character who didn't have the privileged start that so many of these seem to. Some of the same personality traits though. Here's Wikipedia on him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eddie_Chapman but you really need Ben Macintyre's book "Agent Zigzag"...
  • Commented on We'll all go together when we go
    I agree with April_D that the "oops, we didn't realise it was toxic" scenario — particularly linked to fertility — is probably the most likely way we could do this. Otherwise there's that old SF standby of something so completely...
  • Commented on Cytological Utopia and the rapture of the eukaryotes
    All this discussion about NPCs has had me digging frantically for a half-remember quotation from way before the age of simulations and NPCs. I've even resorted to finding a couple of my printed books of quotations and still failed. It's...
  • Commented on Cytological Utopia and the rapture of the eukaryotes
    I quite like the idea that a lot of the oddities of quantum mechanics come from pragmatic decisions in the design of the simulation. So the Planck length is the LSB of the "where is this thing" variable, Planck time...
  • Commented on Cytological Utopia and the rapture of the eukaryotes
    I think this is closely related to the problem I have with the Catholic Church accepting evolution and still claiming there are souls. At some point you have a parent and a child, in all practical ways indistinguishable in qualities,...
  • Commented on 5 Magical Beasts And How To Replace Them With A Shell Script
    There's been some actual scientific research on luck. Here's a summary: http://www.richardwiseman.com/resources/The_Luck_Factor.pdf...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    I'm with you that this is playing with the future of the country to (try to - it won't) sort out an internal party matter. And with how appalling that is. I'm voting in - for all the flaws of...
  • Commented on 5 Magical Beasts And How To Replace Them With A Shell Script
    And, it probably wouldn't be too difficult to develop an app for a smartphone that could detect a fall (sudden change in orientation/movement plus abrupt stop) which would first try to engage the wearer and immediately prepare to call for...
  • Commented on Some notes on world building
    I thought (and various websites (including your Wikipedia link) seem to agree) that there was an English Civil War, but I agree that it's very much part of the whole mess. It's a lot harder to find country specific death...
  • Commented on Some notes on world building
    You don't need conscription. If you're looking for something that would kill more English young men than Scottish or Welsh, just look to the English Civil War. According to this site it killed 3.6% of the population (compared with 2.6%...
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    "Wonder if Greg has worked out that I rarely bother functioning at full capacity here? " So can I just double check this? You post incredibly obscure posts some of which probably make some sense if the reader puts a...
  • Commented on A world-building puzzler
    Putting the phonograph idea to one side, my instincts are about the same as yours; I think you could get, technologically, to about the level of the canals but not the railways. James Brindly was, after all, barely literate by...
  • Commented on An Apology
    We have remarkably flaky electricity in my part of the Midlands, and I've thought a few times about building a backup power supply based on leisure batteries, an inverter and a good trickle charger. I have a canal boat and...
  • Commented on A question about the future of the world wide web
    I actually run a non-professional website that makes some money from adverts. It doesn't bring in anything like enough to live off, but it does at least pay for the costs of running and maintaining the site. I haven't yet...
  • Commented on Second childhood?
    Jesus and Mo. Strips rather than stories....
  • Commented on Aftermath
    My feeling is that the voting public as a whole (which isn't us here, nor even the bulk of people who communicate political stuff on social media) wanted competence in running the country - in particular the economy - above...
  • Commented on Things I would make if I had a 3D printer ...
    NO ONE pours hot metal into rubber. I've seen it done. Tin into silicone rubber. Indeed, I've a nice pair of cufflinks shaped like Cornish engine houses that were made that way (at the place I saw it done)....
  • Commented on Things I would make if I had a 3D printer ...
    I'd make a a set of interchangeable hand grips for the end of the tiller on my canal narrow boat. Instead of a single generic wooden piece, I'd have one made to perfectly match my lightly curled right hand. And...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    I think a lot of it comes from believing their own propaganda. They really thought that cutting benefits in some areas wouldn't lead to them rising in others. And they believed their own headlines about people getting into work without...
  • Commented on Who ordered THAT?!?
    I agree entirely - the "dash for gas" was obviously at the time a stupid way to fritter away a limited and valuable resource and as a consequence, whoever was in charge now was going to find themselves with something...
  • Commented on Some thoughts on turning 50
    I found turning 50 a lot less traumatic than 30. By now I'm reasonably happy with who I am and with what I will or won't achieve in life. You should be too. On the trite slogans, mine are: Decide...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Neptune's Brood
    A perfect opportunity this, as I've just read Neptune's Brood while on holiday and I loved it - preferring it to Saturn's Children (which was fine). One query here - should I take the names of Gould and Dennet as...
  • Commented on Down tools
    That was to my mind one of the most astonishingly "good" parts of the whole story. Everybody: the Clan, the Clan conservatives, the US Government was doing "the Right Thing" for their people. And millions died. History is like that...
  • Commented on Some rambling thoughts on region restrictions
    I disagree with the idea that reading is going out of fashion. When I was in my early teens I read an essay by - I think - Asimov pointing out that reading for pleasure has always been a minority...
  • Commented on Schroedinger's Kingdom: the Scottish Political Singularity Explained
    Probably (with one of two exceptions) one of the most civilised debates I've seen on this contentious issue. I'm troubled by the idea of Scottish Independence. I think of myself fundamentally as British and so, even if only sentimentally, would...
  • Commented on A message from our sponsors
    It strikes me that one of the few sensible uses of DRM could be to produce an equivalent of the signed book. The author adds a witty inscription to the front of the file and it's then locked. Of course...
  • Commented on The myth of heroism
    possibly the most important election campaign I've lived through and We still have a dismaying tendency to think it's all about us, for any value of "it" you care to choose. Does the first refer to the Ukrainian situation, or...
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