strange_complex: (Penny coin)
I cannot remember the last time I did this, but allow me to recommend to my readers the journal of [livejournal.com profile] maryanndimand.

The author is a US-based former economics professor, and she has set up the account specifically in order to deliver regular bite-sized chunks on basic economic principles over the course of this calendar year. Her rationale is that most people claim to vote on the basis of economic issues, but don't in practice have the understanding of economic principles and reasoning which they need to evaluate politicians' claims in this area critically. She'd like to help with that and I think she's doing a good job.

Obviously if you're reading this, you can simply follow her account here on LJ, but she is also posting the same content to Facebook in public posts marked with the hashtag #2017econ.

Click here if you would like view this entry in light text on a dark background.

strange_complex: (Doctor Caecilius hands)
Before I changed my LJ username, I wondered what this was going to do to the old OpenID presence based on it which I had on Dreamwidth. Nobody knew for sure, so in the end I decided to find out by just doing it and seeing what happened.

I can now report that the answer is that I have lost control of the old OpenID, and have been allocated a completely new profile by Dreamwidth. Even if I try to log in as "purple-pen.livejournal.com", the system interprets me as "strange-complex.livejournal.com". No-one else can get into it either, so it isn't a security risk. It is just an orphan identity which I can no longer access.

That's not particularly troublesome to me, because I didn't have a particularly highly developed Dreamwidth presence anyway. I had used the old OpenID for occasional commenting, a handful of DW users had granted it full access to their journals, and one person had used it to subscribe to my LJ from her DW reading page. I've effectively lost all those connections now, but since there weren't that many of them, I will live.

But obviously for people with a more highly-developed OpenID-based Dreamwidth presence, losing it all because they had changed their LJ name could be a major pain in the ass. So I'm writing this post about it partly so that it can be used as a reference-point for anyone in the future wanting to know what will happen to their OpenID if they rename their livejournal.

I'm also writing this because I am going to need to ask anyone who wants me to be able to see and comment on their friendslocked DW content, or anyone who wants to read my LJ from DW, to re-grant me access to your DW journal or re-subscribe to me as appropriate.

In practice, I think the only DW journals I've ever actually commented on are miss_s_b's and matgb's - and I see that miss_s_b has already updated her access / subscription links, so thank you sweetie! But for the record, these are the other DW users who had previously granted me access to their journals:
  • ashavah
  • dadi
  • gylfinir
  • katsmeat
  • lefaym
  • matgb
  • mia_oia
  • moominlou
  • mother_bones
  • nmg
  • nwhyte
  • swisstone
If those people, or indeed anyone else, want me to have OpenID access to their DW journals, could you please update your permissions? Thanks! :-)

Click here if you would like view this entry in light text on a dark background.

Excess baggage

Thursday, 14 August 2008 11:37
strange_complex: (Leeds Parkinson building)
About a year ago, the University library here at Leeds started selling coloured canvas bags with the word 'Sshhh!' printed on them, for people to carry their library books around in. For the sorts of unfathomable reasons that I suppose usually lie behind such fashion trends, they became a massive hit, quickly selling out and having to be re-ordered in vast numbers. It's unusual to walk across campus without seeing about twenty of them, hanging from people's hands, sitting on desks or lying on the grass in the (rare) sunshine.

Now, the library have set up a website which is charting the travels of these bags across the world as people take them on their summer holidays. They've got to Japan, Finland, the Cayman islands and sub-Saharan Africa. As yet, however, none seem to have been photographed in Belfast, Vienna or Bratislava - all cities which I will be visiting in late August and early September. So today I am going to buy one (in purple, natch), and be sure to photograph it in distinctive local venues when I go.

I am, incidentally, massively behind with LJ, because I have spent far too much time recently doing interesting things or having guests round, and far too little writing about it. Probably the right way to lean, really, but it does mean I won't then have records of the interesting things in the future. So this is me trying to break the ice and get back into the habit.

strange_complex: (Cicero history)
Right. It is time for me to introduce you all to a Great Project. It's the culmination of something which I have been working on since the summer, and which my mother has been working on for over five years now.

See, in 1991, my step-grandmother died, and left to my mother an archive of family documents. Amongst them was the last diary of her grandfather - James Fitzjames Fraser West, a Victorian surgeon who worked at Queen's Hospital, Birmingham from 1854-83, and had an extensive private practice of his own. We quickly realised the incredible interest of both diary and archive, and, around the year 2000, my mother started work on a full-scale biography of West. In September of this year, that biography was published, under the title A Victorian Surgeon. A Biography of James Fitzjames Fraser West 1833-83, Birmingham Surgeon.

The diary itself is published in full as an appendix at the end of the biography. But, as a regular reader of [livejournal.com profile] pepysdiary, I knew that it had far greater potential than that. And so I have set up [livejournal.com profile] jamesfraserwest - West's own home in cyberspace, where his final diary will be serialised, complete with pictures and annotations for the people and places mentioned in it, starting from January 2008.

And this is where you come in.

I firmly believe that this diary will be of enormous interest to huge numbers of people. Those who like reading [livejournal.com profile] pepysdiary, for a start. Those who enjoy Victorian history, medical history, or simply like reading other people's journals, to boot. And there are special treats in store, too, for those who like travel writing, since West undertook a month-long excursion around France and Italy with his wife during March and April 1883, visiting historical sites, churches and local hospitals as he did so. (That's my personal favourite bit, and I had a lot of fun helping Mum make sense of West's visits to archaeological sites in Rome and Pompeii while we were transcribing the diary). Just check out the 'taster entries' I have put on the journal's profile page if you want a sense of why this is great reading material.

But, unlike Samuel Pepys, only four months' worth of West's final diary survive. So people really need to know about it now if they're going to get in on the action before it's all over. The boon which I crave from you, then, is this - help me spread the word.

Friend the diary yourself. If you already read [livejournal.com profile] pepysdiary (and if you don't, you should!), I guarantee you will love it. And of course you'll also be ensuring that it gets on a lot of friendsfriends pages in the process! ;-)

Tell your friends. And tell them to tell their friends. Don't hold back - let's get a snowball rolling here. Basically, it would be hard for anyone who is already into blogs and blogging not to enjoy this. So tell them - and point them either here or directly at [livejournal.com profile] jamesfraserwest if you want to tell them why.

And let me know if you think there are any communities besides [livejournal.com profile] history, [livejournal.com profile] 19th_century and [livejournal.com profile] medical_geeks where I could be plugging this.

For any or all of the above, my heartiest thanks and gratitude. I'm really excited about this project, and I think you'll see why when you take a look at what we've put online so far. Help me give it the kick off the ground it deserves, and I'll look forward to sharing the diary entries with you when they start in January!

strange_complex: (Tease me)
Aww, it is Valentine's Day! Le cute. :)

I hope that you have all been checking out the messages on [livejournal.com profile] 021407. Some of you have reason to, y'know! ;)

Edit: now with bonus discussion of the 'relationship' between Valentine's Day and the Lupercalia in the comments!

The power of LJ

Thursday, 7 July 2005 11:20
strange_complex: (C J Cregg)
For those, like me, trying to follow what's going on from an office with no TV or radio: [livejournal.com profile] london_070705


strange_complex: (Default)
I have now rewatched all three of the Harry Potter films. I can highly recommend the DVDs, especially for the numerous cut scenes included on each. Although you do generally have to leap through rather tedious hoops in order to get to see them, especially on the DVD of the first film where they are the reward you get for solving various puzzles. Great for hyperactive kiddies: merely irritating for adult film aficionados.

I have also begun reading The Prisoner of Azkaban, which is the first book in the series that I have not yet read. This, of course, means that I am reading it having already seen the film, so I have a couple of questions in mind which arose from seeing the film, and which I am hoping the book will either answer or, at least, illuminate.

Cuts follow for spoilers and rather excessive length:

Question one: Sirius Black and Azkaban )

Question two: Alan Rickman, J.K. Rowling and Snape's legilimency )

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