Neil W

Neil W

  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Martin @785. Not only do I not endorse the fictional C.C.'s suggestion, but when I paid attention to sports in the late 80s and early 90s it seems that the prevailing theory was that one should abstain from sexual activity...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    I have in fact mis-remembered. In the novel Scaramanga is reputed to be "... an insatiable but indiscriminate womanizer who invariably has sexual intercourse shortly before a killing in the belief that it improves his "eye." (N.B. A belief shared...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    I'm more interested in the possibility that James Bond was gay and all the dolly birds were a disinformation operation because of the attitudes of the time. Pretty sure the psychologist's report on Scaramanga in The Man With The Golden...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    You put your passport in the slot & a scanner looks at your face, while you try to look in the correct direction, at a bright panel ( & in mycase with my glasses off & blinking ... ) Yeah,...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    The thing is, I don't think that this would actually save time. It doesn't save you time. It lets the security staff sit in their comfortable offices drinking coffee rather than having to actually interact with you in a polite...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    I know more than one child who owes their existence to biological parents in adjacent rooms and a turkey baster travelling between them....
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    JSBurbidge I have a number of languages (including Latin, Greek, and Anglo-Saxon)... grs1961 Various children of my friends studied Latin at high school back in the 1990s, with the intention of it being taught as a usable and conversable (is...
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    Don't get me wrong, you can't grab (for example) a grad student who is working on 15th century manuscripts (more than 60% Latin from memory) and talk fluently to our Pomepeian centurion who has turned up unexpectedly. But assuming both...
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    Latin's a dead language, and only a handful of people (mostly in the Roman Catholic Church and some university classics programs) speak it with any fluency. A lot of people know Latin words, because it's the underlying vocabulary in much...
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    Amazon is very keen for me to write a review of The Inexplicable Affair of the Mesmerising Russian Nobleman by Neil Willcox. Every time I order copies they send me an email with the header line "Neil Willcox, did 'The...
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    It's fantasy. If you can willingly suspend disbelief to accept fairies and elves and orcs and dragons ... why not suspend it to accept an unchanging empire? 1. We all have different places where our disbelief is strained. 2. "What...
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    As an aside does anyone else ever cringe reading fantasy books where the Empire had been in place for a thousand years with little change, the same family line providing rulers, the Empire's boundaries unchanging, the language ubiquitous and frozen,...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    Why conflict? It's another way of setting up an argument, and it allows the author to prove that the hero's view is the correct one, and have the readers approve and enjoy that "their side wins". I hear you though...
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    True about the precision; the manual suggested that you should spend at least two and a half or even three guineas on your sextant and make sure that all the joints are firm and without slippage. Buying a cheap sextent...
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    For reasearch earlier this year I read an 18th century navigation manual, the sort that's three quarters log and trig and astronomical tables*. I've occasionally wondered if there was a reason 18th century navigators didn't use slide rules. * meanwhile...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    Elderly Cynic @76 WHY do we consider this a death? Can the death be undone? If someone dies and no camera sees it, must it be an open verdict? Greg @77 Sayers has some absolutely fantastic inquests. Modern coroners usually...
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    Essentially, human society in that future has no legal obligation to either the Bugs or Skinnies, and it's still trying to figure out what the moral issues might be. Meanwhile, if the unified Earth has gone a hundred years without...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    I've sat in on a few inquests, something I recommend to anyone interested in what happens after an unexpected death*. Usually the coroner outlines the questions an inquest is supposed to answer: WHO has died WHERE did they die WHEN...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    "So, this book—why's it got to be about a murder?" I think it's helpful for this question to be asked. Books whose answers appear to be: - "It's book six of a series about a homicide detective." - "What else...
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    New MacGyver does have a swiss army knife*. The show sucks because; 1. We saw the best tricks in Original Brand MacGyver and the new one doesn't have anything as good; 2. Having Google in front of you means you...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    I am, of course, unfairly rude to Crane, perhaps because on my last read of the Skylark series I noticed that the last volume was written considerably later than the others, and that mass genocide and enthusiastic eugenicists are (respectively)...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    I could probably come up with something, pick out some ideas from a Jules Verne* novel or similar, awkwardly link them to a contemporary event or development. Though not this week as I have a five year old relative staying....
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Dick Seaton is a good choice, but never forget Marty Crane's Superpower (lots of money). For that matter isn't his skill set essentially the same as Marc C DuQuesne? Whose regime abolished war, crime and unemployment on Earth?...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Cthulhu drives people mad. The mere fragmented memories of the dragon-octopus-god begets nasty cults that conduct unspeakable rites. Surely the best thing for Cthulhu to do is to sleep away the ages until mankind can cope, or is gone. And...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    ... if someone has the power to rapidly stop any fight without loss of life, your first impulse is to speedily nuke that person so that the "damage" ... doesn't spread. This is so wasteful! Instead we need the robot...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Something like this is in Stephen Hunt's novel Secrets of the Fire Sea; one of the plot lines is searching for the God-weapon that can be used to kill a god, and it turns out it's to use the formula...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Hasn't there already been a CCTV case where the defence was simply 'it's not me'? Well I have a friend who's a lawyer and that defence has definitely been tried. Doesn't usually get to court unless they're pretty sure....
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Superman's glasses are made from the windscreen of his Kryptonian space rocket and so make his disguise impenetrable, yes, even to facial recognition, and if someone does penetrate it he uses (sigh) super-hypnosis on them so they forget. I feel...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    The only time I was sick crossing the channel was on a hovercraft. And it was a lovely still day. Might have been the excitement (I was fairly young), or too much sunshine, or the vibration. I've felt nauseous on...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Seriously: What's going to happen to the housing market? If housing prices collapse, are the banks/mortgage holders going to allow their customers to hold mortgages well in excess of the asset value? As long as they're making payments, what's the...
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