Sherlock Holmes

I’m currently reading The Complete Sherlock Holmes, which I got as an ebook from Amazon, and I have to say that although I’m only halfway through I can already highly recommend it. I expected it to be fairly tough going for some reason, probably because of the era in which it was written, but it’s actually a really easy read and thoroughly compelling.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle manages to bring the characters of Holmes and his sidekick Watson out beautifully, even though he tends to avoid long descriptive passages. Perhaps that’s because we’re fed little titbits of information in each story, or perhaps it’s simply that the characters are so well-known that we already have a good idea of who they are before we even pick up the book.

I confess that a part of me was dreading reading The Hound of the Baskervilles, simply because I’d seen the screen adaptations and somehow doubted that the book would live up to them. Odd, because I almost always prefer the book to the film when it comes to stories. However, I’m delighted to be able to say that the book is, as it should be, much better than any movie or TV version. Read it for yourself and you’ll see.

All in all, I’m thoroughly enjoying the book and would very happily recommend it to anybody.

Homeopathy is Nonsense

A nice little article about tomorrow’s planned protest against companies like Boots selling this snake oil despite stating that they have no evidence that it works.

Homeopathy does not work beyond placebo, it is a menace to public health and a drain on the limited resource of the NHS. It is an 18th century quack medicine consisting of magical rituals practised by deluded, cargo-cult “doctors” that has no place in government thinking, and it should not be endorsed by the registered pharmacists who are at the frontline of public health in the UK.

Hear, hear!

Putting it Into Perspective

NewsBiscuit: Refugees from Congo Civil War ‘more angry about Jonathan Ross and Russell Brand’. Nothing I’ve seen or heard puts the current furore over Ross and Brand into perspective better than this. The prank was stupid and they should have known better but there are more important things happening in the world. Besides, the sheer quantity of coverage of this has become deeply irritating, at least to me. Can we forget this and go and solve some real problems now? It’s not as if there aren’t plenty of them.

A Plethora of Nick Jordans

I know it’s not uncommon for other people to share one’s name but I thought it might be fun to list a few that I’ve been aware of for a while, both real and fictional.

I know there are others, but these are my favourites. Does anyone interesting share your name?

London Skeletons

Tales from beyond the grave

Beneath our feet, stories of the past lie waiting to be told.

Over the last 30 years, the Museum of London has excavated, examined and archived 17,000 skeletons. Now, 26 of them are to go on display at the Wellcome Trust in London.

They each have a story to tell about life in the capital hundreds of years ago.

Truly fascinating stuff. I think I’ll have to go and see them.

Tea Sayings

If a man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.
Japanese Proverb

I came across the above proverb and it made me wonder about other tea-related sayings. A quick search turned up Tea Quotes and Sayings. Tea is a wonderful thing, and it seems that lots of other people agree with me.

Upstairs, Downstairs

Upstairs, downstairs. As Britain’s rich see their wealth grow are we risking a dislocation in society that would surprise our Tudor forefathers?

A nice little article that contrasts the way the super-rich live now with the way that their Tudor counterparts did, especially in their interactions with the less fortunate people who supported them, with some nice references to the re-enactments at Kentwell Hall, which really are worth visiting.

Copyright is Important

Fight for your writes. A nice little article by Zoe Margolis. While it’s highly unlikely that I’ll ever write anything here that anyone else would want to reproduce, I’m fully aware that the copyright for my blog posts rests with me and, if the circumstances arose, I’d be more than willing to enforce it. Having said that, I’d be very pleased and flattered if anyone ever wanted to use my stuff, so my permission, if sought, would almost certainly be given without much hesitation, as it has with a photo of mine on Flickr, for example.

A Quick Plug

I’ve just had my attention drawn to Match It For Pratchett, a website that has been set up in order to raise at least £500,000 for research into Alzheimer’s, the disease that Terry Pratchett was recently diagnosed with a form of. Mr. Pratchett himself has recently given half a million quid for this and, whether you’re a fan or not, I think it’s a very worthwhile cause and I urge you to make a donation of whatever amount you can afford.