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    Antartica.

    A friend of mine spent 18 months in the Antarctic as a base medic for the British Antarctic Survey. She didn't mention anything about getting teleported anywhere, but she has started to drink heavily and mutter disjointedly about "the crawling chaos" and "the blasphemous city of Kadath beyond...
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    Wuhan Killer Sneeze (thanks Tea)

    From what I've seen, the new NHS app seems to do most of the stuff that everyone said the first one should have done - use the Apple / Google APIs, use a decentralised model, publish the source code for analysis. Fair enough if you're generally anti-smartphone, but at this stage, the ongoing...
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    The dissensus personal defence armoury

    I try to avoid MMA stuff, but I do find the Gracie thing kind of fascinating - like, in the 70s and 80s you've this whole culture of traditional martial arts where no-one actually fights for real much any more, but people are venerated as experts in unarmed combat because they've studied with...
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    The dissensus personal defence armoury

    So for an example, I did Shodokan Aikido for a while at uni. Aikido in general has two features - it doesn't have a competitive element because philosophically it's all about peace and harmony, and it's mostly comprised of fiddly arm and wrist locks and balance-based throws that are really hard...
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    The dissensus personal defence armoury

    Within whatever context it's alleged to work, I guess. I think on some level the question could be whether the body mechanics fundamentally work? We saw a bunch of different Central Asian wrestling styles at a thing in Kyrgyzstan - there were definitely a few that were heavily based on holds on...
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    The dissensus personal defence armoury

    Having done a few odds and ends of martial arts over the years, something I find interesting is that while learning martial arts for self-defense is mostly a terrible idea in terms of cost / benefit - like, realistically the basic cardio-vascular fitness is far more likely to save your life than...
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    The dissensus personal defence armoury

    "My orange box cutter makes the world go round..."
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    Seasonings/spices

    FWIW, pretty much all of my information on this topic comes from Taste by Kate Colquhoun, which is worth a read if you want a load more fascinating titbits like this with a bit of lightweight social history on the side.
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    Seasonings/spices

    Historically it was a running joke on the continent that the English had sixty religious sects but only one sauce: melted butter. Which I think was a middle-class reaction to the perceived decadence and indulgence of the nobility's enthusiasm for French cuisine. "No thank you very much, we are...
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    Seasonings/spices

    AIUI the medieval thing where meats were flavoured with loads of fruit, nuts and spices is a lot like the Victorian enthusiasm for curry, except that in this case it was returning pilgrims and crusaders who'd got hooked on sticking apricots and almonds and cinnamon in stuff while they were in...
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    Dune

    Yes. Maybe more self-consciously literary than Dune or New Sun, kind of reminds me of some of Gene Wolfe's other stuff in that respect, but still rooted in big-world SF with shades of cosmic horror. Very distinctive feeling - generally bleak, sometimes full-on nasty, but also kind of romantic in...
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    Dune

    Kind of feels like it belongs on the same list? Bad trip science fiction.
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    Dune

    Have you read Hyperion?
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    Hipsterdom

    There was a point, maybe in the mid 2000s, where it identified a more-or-less distinctive cultural bloc - like, under 25, low budget, Vice magazine, self-consciously trashy, in the loop on dance music but not committed to any one scene, different dressing-up-box charity shop fashion every week...
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    Hipsterdom

    Honestly, when someone has An Opinion About Hipsters I think less of them. It's like QAnon for broadsheet columnists.
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    Hipsterdom

    You go there because you enjoy the food / coffee / beer / music / whatever. Like, you authentically enjoy it, unlike those fucking hipsters who've only started coming here because it's the latest trendy thing.
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    Hipsterdom

    Someone at work the other day complained that the food places by the station were all "hipster stuff". I got briefly excited, thinking there might be some kind of new-wave bibimbap joint that I'd missed or something, but it turned out that "hipster stuff" to him meant Wasabi, Pret and Café Nero.
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    Hipsterdom

    Yep. It reminds me of the bit in Club Cultures by Sarah Thornton where she points out the elusiveness of the mainstream: every group of clubbers considers a load of clubs that they don't like to be part of some monolithic "mainstream", but people in any given one of those clubs don't see...
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    Rich Tea, I Can't Stop Eating Them!

    Are Rich Tea Biscuits the only foodstuff named after three different Dissensus posters, though?
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    Max/MSP

    In principle I'm quite interested in things that get you away from normal paradigms for thinking about organizing music - piano rolls, keyboards, fretboards, staves etc - and into a world where you're forced to think about stuff differently. But I guess that by this point a lot of these things...
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