As Roger Moore’s sequence of Bond Films settled into its increasingly frivolous nature, Sean Connery — who has famously said “Never again” after filming his comeback Bond-movie Diamonds Are Forever — was persuaded to return once more twelve years later.
Never Say Never Again (1983)
This came out in the same year as Octopussy, which I consider the nadir of Moore’s efforts. Tiring of Moore, I watched Never Say Never Again between For Your Eyes Only and Octopussy, and found myself liking it a lot more than I expected to. Connery is clearly too old for role at 53 — but that’s still three years younger than Moore was in his offering of the same year. More importantly, Connery had retained his charisma — if anything, he emits even more of an alpha-male vibe in 1983 than he had in 1971. And that alone makes the film work.
British people have the right to use “satirical, or iconoclastic, or rude comment” and to engage in
“… the expression of unpopular or unfashionable opinion about serious or trivial matters, banter or humour, even if distasteful to some or painful to those subjected to it. We should perhaps add that for those who have the inclination to use Twitter for the purpose, Shakespeare can be quoted unbowdlerised, and with Edgar, at the end of King Lear, they are free to speak not what they ought to say, but what they feel.”
According to Lord Judge, the Lord Chief Justice, in charge of the Twitter Joke Trial.
Could we, as a country, please remember that?
Following on from the mushroom pasta recipe last time, here is a very simple but delicious mushroom soup that I’ve been making a lot recently.
- One large onion
- A good-sized knob of butter
- Plenty of mushrooms — I use one or two complete 250g tubs.
- Flour — maybe about four heaped teaspoons
- About two litres of real chicken stock, simmered from a carcass.
- A dash of cream — maybe 50 ml or so
- Salt and pepper
Sorry it’s been so quiet here recently. I’ve been taken up with writing about the extraordinary exploitative system that is modern academic publishing. I’ve written lots about it over on my other blog, and also a few articles in non-technical outlets:
But if you only read one article about this issue, I have to recommend quantum physicist Scott Aaronson’s review of The Access Principle, which opens with a devastating metaphor. Seriously, go and read it. It’s brilliant. Also, it will make you furious.
I’ve also been tweeting about this issue a lot: follow me on @SauropodMike if you wish.
Sushi photo by Mike Saechang
In the previous post, I mentioned that back in 1995 Fiona and I had been on holiday to Plakias, on the south coast of Crete, and that I painted this picture of the Pension Stella, where we stayed:
Writing that made me nostalgic, so I thought I’d see whether I could find photos on the web. It took a while, because it turns out that its name has changed to Stella Studios, but I found it. And on the Stella Studios web-site, I found this photo, taken from nearly the same place, and presumably the best part of seventeen years later:
Look like that little tree/fern thing has grown pretty impressive!
A colleague (and occasional TRP commenter), Dennis Schafroth, pointed me at a rather good article on Wil Shipley’s blog entitled Success, and Farming vs. Mining. You should read it for yourself, but in summary his point is that a software house — or anything else, really — has a choice to make, and will always make it whether consciously or unconsciously: it can set itself up either as a farmer (slow but continuous productivity) or a miner (explosive, exploitative profit). Specifically, “You can either see founding a company as something you’re doing because you want to produce good software, or you can see it as something you do so you can sell your stock and make a killing and move on.“
(Yes, there is a Danish pun in the traditional Irrelevant Sushi Photo.)
It’s true — when I am not programming, one of my other passions is sauropod dinosaurs, and I’m a part-time palaeontologist. Today, the paper describing the new sauropod Brontomerus came out; I’m the lead author on the international team of three. Read all about it over on my other blog, Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week.
Dammit, what’s the country coming to? As though it weren’t bad enough that SSP UK, through their Pumpkin Cafe brand, didn’t give me the 75p cash refund that they promised, it now seems that the “full investigation” that they promised me is being dragged out. Two weeks after they began this investigation, I haven’t heard a single word from them about it. You have to suspect a cover-up. Continue reading
Brief rant: I am getting heartily sick of the now nearly universal practice of giving operating-system releases both names and numbers, then using either at random. Here’s an example of the kind of thing I mean: I want to download the Calibre e-Book manager for my MacBook, but the download page says “calibre works on OS X Leopard and higher”. But the “About This Mac” dialogue just says “Mac OS X Version 10.5.8″. Is that higher or lower than Leopard? Who knows?
Back some time earlier this decade, I was installing Windows 98 on a school-surplus computer for my boys to play games on. I well remember nearly falling off my chair in shock when, part way through the install, I was presented with this splendidly incoherent message:
Click Finish to continue starting Windows.
(I wish I’d thought to photograph this before continuing the installation, but I am not about to do a new Windows 98 install in 2010 just so I can see the message again.)
I’ve managed to avoid doing Windows installs since then, but according to this comment by someone called Joe, the “finish to continue starting” message was still part of the installation procedure at least as late as Windows XP, and may still be in Windows 7 for all I know.
That’s frightening enough. But imagine my horror when I saw the same message on tsspark’s Flickr page, now appearing as part of Firefox’s add-on upgrade process:
Is this merely funny? Or is it a symptom of something more sinister?