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Moz'sQuiff last won the day on December 8 2013

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  1. Not a reader of the books here so no complaints as to deviations that didn't work as I'm not really aware of them. Thought it was generally a really good episode but there were a few things with the Bran and co section that didn't work for me. Jojen just lies there letting a skelezombie stab him? Seemed a little silly to me. And they've reached some people who apparently knew they were coming and have the power to easily destroy the creatures under the ice/snow but somehow these people weren't waiting at the entrance to warn and help them thus preventing Jojen's death. They couldn't even put up a sign saying 'watch out for the zombies under the snow; best to run over here'. Also don't get the love for Missandei above. She's played by an incredibly wooden actress and doesn't strike me as particularly mindblowing to look at. Unfortunately I knew all the major deaths that were going to happen this series (lesson learned: don't read the comments underneath GoT teaser videos); this episode would have hit me harder if I'd gone in blind. (Also my comma key is broken so apologies for run-on sentences.)
  2. I liked Breaking Bad a lot, but I wouldn't put it up there with The Wire. The Wire was a great show, Breaking Bad was pretty good. I can understand people being a bit underwhelmed in some ways by the finale. It did seem like some dark secret about Rust's past or some involvement with Marty's daughter could emerge. Especially due to a line I remember Marty saying about him taking his eye off the ball with regards to his family, and it all being right under his nose the whole time. To me that implied that something about his daughter was going to lead them to the cult. It also seemed like Rust had, if not a volte-face, something of a change of heart at the end ('If you ask me, the light's winning'), which I didn't feel fit with his character. If he'd raged that he almost had his consciousness obliterated like he'd wanted for years, but medical intervention robbed him of that, I would've been on board more. It seemed like he may have been hinting at something like that, but it lost me with the 'light' line. Some of the things not being fully explored or spelled out I'm not too bothered about. I like a little something for the viewer to chew on at the end. It seems people here are assuming that Rust seeing that starry void at the end was just a hallucination. If I'm right in thinking that, I'd argue the show can be viewed either way. It could well be the case that the killer/cult were involved with or channeling some malignant extra-dimensional force, and what Rust saw tied in with that. I mean, it was in the 'King's' 'throne room', for lack of a better term. Surely that was the reasoning behind having Rust see it, and not Marty, so that it's open to interpretation whether it was real or a delusion. Also, fuck yeah True Detective could be a great book. It was heavily influenced by a few weird fiction writers, notably Thomas Ligotti (one of my favourite writers), but others too. It's mentioned in the interview the TD writer did with the Wall Street Journal blog.
  3. Sure, I know what his argument is with regards to mycotoxins and functioning at an optimal level. I'm just saying that some of the studies he cites on his website to back up what he says about mycotoxins in coffee appear to have nothing to do with mycotoxins in coffee. That and the nutritional yeast/cancer thing make me think he's not a reliable analyser and disseminator of scientific information. I'm not criticising the diet image itself, I just wanted to voice my suspicion of Dave Asprey once I saw the word Bulletproof. I've watched the Dr Patrick podcast, and it was interesting for sure. Funnily enough, speaking of Dave Asprey -- towards the end of that podcast Rogan basically throws him under the bus and distances himself quite heavily from him. He also says that one of his friends (from memory, Tait Fletcher?) had some Bulletproof coffee analysed and found low levels of mycotoxins in it, and that he (JR) had some high street coffee (Starbucks, something from Whole Foods), Bulletproof and another coffee (Caveman coffee) tested, and all came back negative for mycotoxins. So there may be something fishy about the whole Bulletproof = mycotoxin free, other coffees = not argument. People do say it tastes nice though, and I don't doubt that. Anyway, there was a recent JRE episode with Louis Theroux, which was a pretty good one. Check that one out too!
  4. You, sir, are no fruit lover with filth like that coming out of your mouth. The only way I know of telling if a mango is ripe is if the flesh has a bit of give in it when you press down on it. If it's hard then it's unripe, very soft then it's overripe. In my eagerness, I once peeled and attempted to eat an unripened one, so I feel your pain. With what Phil was saying earlier about peach texture - I fucking hate the furriness of a peach. It's one of those things that makes my skin crawl if I even think about it. I can't eat peaches because of it. Has anyone tried guava? I've had guava juice a few times and it's delicious, but I've never tried the fruit. I also learned of an obscure (for me, anyway) fruit recently - the mangosteen. Last time I got my haircut the hairdresser was trying to convince me of its health benefits (saying it practically cured her friend of Crohn's disease), and then started asking me if I had any illnesses, which I thought was crossing a line. I'm not making any claims about health benefits, but I'd like to try the fruit regardless.
  5. ^Hell yes to mango. I haven't been eating enough of that lately. Blueberries are a recent addition to my diet, but only mixed with other fruit, 'cos I find them pretty plain by themselves. Bananas are great, I eat at least one a day. I've also been addicted to avocado for about a year now. Before then I'd never tried one and thought they looked disgusting or uninteresting for some reason, but now I love them. I'm about to go to bed, but I may have more to say on this tomorrow!
  6. Just a couple of things I've seen. I think it was his first appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast, and he said that nutritional yeast causes cancer, and that if you look it up on PubMed you'll find lots of studies saying that. So I did that and couldn't find any. And then I read his Reddit AMA where someone said that to him, and he said he took it from a book called Fungalbionics. So he pretty clearly had just been parroting something he'd never checked himself, and didn't even seem bothered by the fact that what he was saying turned out to not be true. I've also seen him asked about it on his website where he gave the same answer. So it's something that has been highlighted to him more than once. I just went and searched PubMed again, just to double check, and unless my searching and reading comprehension are terrible there are zero studies there on nutritional yeast causing cancer. I also briefly looked into the claims on his website about mycotoxins in relation to his Bulletproof coffee (, and some of the studies he claims are about the toxins that can be found in coffee are actually about the adverse effects of certain drugs (e.g. ciclosporin, adriamycin). As far as I can tell, this has nothing to do with toxins found in coffee. And with his Bulletproof diet (, it's backed up by a number of references. I just recommend checking them to make sure they say what he claims they say, as from the small amount of checking I've done, he seems to have some issues with that. There could well be some reasonable dietary information in there for all I know.
  7. ^I'd be initially skeptical of anything Dave Asprey puts out there. Well, I'd run through all the references/evidence he cites to support his claims with a fine toothcomb before believing anything, as I don't think he always understands what he's talking about.
  8. Finished John Fante's Wait Until Spring, Bandini at the end of 2013, and loved it. Then squeezed Animal Farm in before 2014 began, which I liked, but wasn't crazy about. Felt the same way about 1984, too. I've heard good things about Orwell's non-fiction/reportage, and I'd like to check some of that out in the future. Reading time was hard to come by after then, as I had January exams to revise for, and 5 weeks in the lab for a short research project after that. But now I'm working from home putting together a poster and a write-up, so my head's been back in the books. So I recently finished Genocidal Organ, by Project Itoh. This is a work of Japanese science fiction translated into English, put out by Haikasoru, who mainly publish translated Japanese SF/F/H. Quite an interesting plot: an academic linguist has worked out that there's a grammatical structure to genocide, and then goes round the world causing various countries to descend into barbarism using his findings. A US Special Forces assassin (the narrator) is hunting him down, in a near-future society where the surveillance state sees (nearly) all, developed nations make use of advanced nanotechnology and artificial flesh, and humanity has used nuclear weapons again. It's a good book, but I felt that the style was a little plain, which may be a result of translation. I'd been itching to get back to Bandini, and I'm now speeding through Fante's The Road to Los Angeles, which sees Bandini as a young man who thinks he's smarter and more well-read than everybody else, thinks he's a great writer (though he's yet to really write anything), but has to suffer through menial jobs with and under people he thinks he's above. He's so powerless when it comes to people that he tortures and kills animals to be superior to something. There's a great section where he explores some rocks under a bridge and finds crabs galore down there. After finding throwing rocks at them too arduous, he goes off and buys an air rifle then spends all afternoon under the bridge shooting them, declaring himself their conqueror. (He's also a misogynist, and a racist when the time comes to hurt some Filipinos and Mexicans who laughed at him down at the cannery, despite (or due to) knowing the pain of racial slurs himself. Not that surprising, as it was written in, I think, the 1930s.) The frustration, ego and threats of vengeance against anyone who gets in his way are brilliant. Definitely a new favourite writer of mine.
  9. What's the new path, dude? Take care.
  10. The reading of good shit continues. Love is the Law by Nick Mamatas is brilliant. If you're into crime or noir fiction at all, and you want to experience something very original and compelling, then check this out. It also had a last minute price decrease, so you can pick it up pretty cheap. After that, I read In the Miso Soup by Ryu Murakami, which was also great. I didn't realise he'd written the novel Audition, on which the film was based. Anyway, it's an unnerving book about a young Japanese tour guide called Kenji, who takes customers round the massage parlours, S&M clubs etc. of Tokyo. It's a few days before New Year's Eve, and he's got an American client called Frank, who Kenji begins to suspect may be behind the recent murder of a Japanese high school girl. Things get fucked up, and Kenji just wants to make it out alive and keep his girlfriend Jun out of harm's way. A lot of questions are raised, with little in the way of answers, but I didn't mind, and I thought it ended beautifully, leaving the reader with a lot to ponder. Also has a lot of information on Japanese culture, which was quite interesting. I'll definitely be checking more stuff out from the lesser-known Murakami. I'm now finally reading my first John Fante - Wait Until Spring, Bandini, the first of the Arturo Bandini series of books. I'm loving it. One of the blurbs on the back cover says. "John Fante knew how to make words sing. When he was on form, he could write sentences that stopped time," and I totally agree. I think it captures the dirty, desperate, joyful ragged business of living perfectly. I'll also be checking out his son, Dan Fante's, writing in the future.
  11. Haha, don't feel bad. When I say recently, I really mean over the last six months or so. I haven't been dedicating enough time to reading either, so I feel your pain. I strongly urge you (and anybody else reading this) to check out Nick's work. I think he's an incredible (and undeservedly unknown) writer. Start with Bullettime would be my recommendation. If money's tight, Love is the Law is currently selling pretty cheap. I'd be interested to know what other people think of his stuff. He also wrote a very funny satirical YA novel called Under My Roof, about a father who builds a small nuclear device, hides it in a garden gnome, and declares his house and garden a sovereign state.
  12. I got into the DT books a few years ago, and yeah, it's a pretty poor ending. I'd say they're still worth reading though, especially if you're interested in King's work; there's some really good stuff in some of them. I read some of his other novels that tied in with the series too while I was going through, like 'Salem's Lot and Insomnia. Insomnia was terrible. Skip it if you're going through King's stuff. It (the novel It) gets tied in at the end, too, but I haven't read that one yet. I've read quite a lot of his work over the years. I picked up one of his recent novels, a crime one called Joyland that came out in June, over the summer. Looking forward to getting to that at some point. Stuff I've read recently: Sensation by Nick Mamatas. Really original novel about a woman (Julia) stung by an irradiated parasitic wasp, which ends up altering her behaviour so that she murders a real estate developer and sparks off a nameless political movement. The brilliant touch of the novel is that it's told through the collective point of view of the species of spider that the wasp species normally preys upon (species that have been at war with each other for a long time, and who are both influencing human society and history) - the spiders try to influence humanity for our own sake and betterment, while the wasps create chaos and destabilisation. The spiders are trying to track Julia down and stop her, and can en masse assume human form (becoming so-called men of indeterminate ethnicity). There's lots of commentary about modern society in it. It sounds mad, and it is, but it's also excellent. Bullettime by Nick Mamatas. I've been reading a lot of Nick's work because a) I like it and I plan to interview him for my university newspaper, so it's part preparation for that. Nick's moved more into crime fiction these days, and this is I guess his transition novel between fantastical fiction and crime/noir fiction. Long story short: Dave Holbrooke, bullied high school student, may carry out a school shooting. I say may, because the novel uses three timelines, where Dave's life turned out differently in each one. And it's narrated by a part of Dave that has been banished to the Ylem by Eris, the Greek goddess of discord, from where he can live out all his possible lives over and over again, but not change them. (Part of Dave is banished by Eris as she wants him to shoot up the school, so banishes the part of him likely to not go along with this). One of the best books I've read in a while. Highly recommended. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Not too much to say about it, other than I really enjoyed it. An English teacher at school once recommended that I read it, as all I used to read were really trashy horror novels, and I wish I'd taken his advice back then. Not just a story about romance and finding love, which I'd assumed it was, but also mocking the mannerisms and mores of the period. Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 by Hunter S. Thompson. HST's coverage of the 1972 US Presidential campaign for Rolling Stone. The first thing of his that I've read, partly to prepare for the novel I'm currently reading. Pretty enjoyable. Didn't have enough material on Nixon for my liking though. Currently reading: The Damned Highway: Fear and Loathing in Arkham by Brian Keene and Nick Mamatas. H. P. Lovecraft meets Hunter S. Thompson, as dark tentacular forces are behind Nixon's re-election campaign, with HST trying to get the scoop and save the world. Pretty good so far. Nails HST's voice, and I'm a bit of a sucker for Lovecraftian stuff (as long as it's not dreck). A compelling and amusing mixture. Next up: Nick's latest novel, called Love is the Law. 1989 on Long Island, and punk rocker Dawn Seliger has crafted an outsider's life combining the philosophies of Trotskyism and Aleister Crowley's black magic. (Gomez, are you reading this?) One fateful day she finds the dead body of her mentor in both politics and magick shot in the head, seemingly a suicide. But Dawn knows there's more going on than the Long Island cops could ever hope to find, and sets out to find the murderer herself. Really looking forward to reading this. If this sways anyone's opinion, Warren Ellis called it "Absolutely, perversely brilliant...a fucked up piece of work" and Duane Swierczynski said, "Easily the most original mystery of the year, full of big ideas, serious menace, and raw attitude. As Dawn tells us in the first line, she's a fucking genius. Well, so is Mamatas." Check it out! I can't list all the books I've bought over the last few months, but some of them are: Stephen Crane - The Red Badge of Courage. I've heard this is supposed to be a really good war novel. James Joyce - Ulysses. Sort of a life goal to read this at some point, with some kind of reference guide while doing so, as I've heard that's the way to do it. David Goodis - The Blonde on the Street Corner. Not sure how well known Goodis is, but I only recently heard of him, in the context of being an underrated noir writer. Gerald Kersh - Night and the City. Supposedly a classic 'lowlife' account of London in the 1930s. Another writer I've only recently learned about, and apparently a very good one. Martin Amis - Money. One of the big books of the 1980s. Paul Auster - The New York Trilogy. Picked this up when I saw it in a charity shop, due to the word of mouth from boredies in this thread.
  13. Another child palaeontologist wannabe here. That was even before Jurassic Park came out, I think. I was OG. Then I went through a period of wanting to be a writer, and wrote some absolutely awful stuff. Then I got into skateboarding quite a lot, and entertained thoughts of going pro. But I was scared of big stair sets and handrails, so...yeah, left that behind. Which reminds me, I need to get back into skating. Not for career reasons though. Nowadays I'm a Pharmacy student. Going into my fourth (final) year, so a year from now I'll be on the pre-reg year (on the job training, after which you sit an exam, which if passed, means you're a qualified pharmacist). Hopefully I'll be qualifying either in hospital (just sent off my applications, interviews for these are in about 3 weeks), or doing an industry/hospital split year (waiting to hear back from Merck, and about to apply to GSK). So, yeah, that's where I'm at right now. Also writing what I hope will be a novel on the sly.
  14. Well, it's more than just pulpy fanfiction. It's also a sort of critique of Kerouac himself, and an explanation of how he became an embittered crank in later life. It's pretty short, just under 160 pages. I'd recommend giving it a go, at any rate. If you're interested in writers who influenced Lovecraft, I'd also have people like Arthur Machen, Algernon Blackwood, M R James and Clark Ashton Smith on your radar (if you're not already aware of them). I know I always mention him, but Thomas Ligotti is a brilliant writer of weird fiction, of whom it's been said that he writes material that Lovecraft might write were he alive today. If you can get hold of a short story called The Last Feast of Harlequin, it's a pretty good introduction to his work. Or the novella My Work Is Not Yet Done (which might still be in print). Sure, maybe the insights came from the journey. Doesn't mean the book had to drag, though. I'm trying to make my way through NM's work, as I'm hoping to interview him in the nearish-future. So I'm reading his 2011 novel Sensation at the moment, which is pretty cool. It's about a woman whose behaviour is changed by an irradiated wasp laying its eggs in her, and she ends up becoming politically radical, sparking off a mass-based leaderless political movement, and assassinating a property developer. So far. And I think it's about to get weirder. And it has passages like: I'm loving it.
  15. Been on a bit of a Kerouac kick recently, partly to prepare for reading Move Under Ground by Nick Mamatas. So I read On The Road (which was...okay. I like it when he does long run-on sentences that flower into Catholo-Buddhist ecstacies, but travelling back and forth and back and forth and..across the US? Not so much. Plus I knew someone who was basically a stupid version of Neal Cassady, and I don't know if that's why, but I found Dean Moriarty an annoyance, and couldn't figure out why Sal would bother being friends with him. From my memory of it, I much preferred The Dharma Bums.), Doctor Sax (if the back cover of the book is to be trusted, this was Kerouac's favourite of his books. It's basically a pulp fantasy story mingled with what I assume are recollections of his childhood. It's short and lighthearted, and I didn't find it very interesting.) and Door Wide Open, which is a collection of letters to and from Kerouac and Joyce Johnson to one another. Ti Jean doesn't come across very well in parts Now I'm reading MUG, which is pretty cool, but maybe not as cool as I thought it would be. I suppose it's really only of interest to someone who's into the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft, and knows a little something about Kerouac or the Beats. Kerouac, Cassady and Bill Burroughs are fighting the cult of Cthulhu which is spreading across America. Kerouac's basically an embittered alcoholic, and Cassady has accepted supernatural powers, but his intentions are unknown. From the blurb: 'Together with pistol-packin' junkie William S. Burroughs, Jack and Neal make their way across the continent to face down the murderous Lovecraftian cult that has spread its darkness to the heart of the American Dream. But is Neal along for the ride to help save the world, or does he want to destroy it just so that he'll have an ending for his book?' Also bought some books today. From this sweet used bookshop in a Cardiff shopping arcade, I got: Kurt Vonnegut - Cat's Cradle John Wyndham - The Midwich Cuckoos John Wyndham - Trouble with Lichen Colin Wilson - The Space Vampires (awesome title) Jim Thompson - The Getaway Then I picked these up from a Waterstone's after some browsing: Thomas Ligotti - The Conspiracy Against the Human Race (a piece of philosophical non-fiction by perhaps my favourite living writer, certainly one of them. Not the kind of thing you'd expect to see in a chain bookshop; he's pretty obscure, although apparently Andrew W. K. is a big fan, funnily enough.) John Wyndham - Chocky. I heard a radio play of this when I was a kid, and it was pretty creepy. I'm looking forward to reading it at some point.