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25 October 2009 @ 11:39 am
My LiveJournal Trick-or-Treat Haul
ottens goes trick-or-treating, dressed up as Karl Marx.
colonel_maxim gives you 13 mauve apple-flavoured gummy bats.
hildekitten gives you 19 red-orange lemon-flavoured gummy bats.
hollow_01 gives you 12 blue chocolate-flavoured wafers.
isee4dimensions gives you 11 yellow chocolate-flavoured pieces of taffy.
lord_k gives you 8 mauve blueberry-flavoured jawbreakers.
mykeamend gives you 8 tan peach-flavoured pieces of taffy.
pimpinett tricks you! You lose 6 pieces of candy!
queenaquabubble tricks you! You lose 47 pieces of candy!
songwthoutwords tricks you! You get a rotten egg.
wowbunnies gives you 7 light yellow watermelon-flavoured pieces of taffy.
ottens ends up with 25 pieces of candy, and a rotten egg.
Go trick-or-treating! Username:
Another fun meme brought to you by rfreebern.
09 September 2009 @ 02:03 am
Up until last year, we had a specialized library with the History Department. Nobody ever used it much though because the main University Library is just across the street and they have more books there, of course. So, today, the History Department Library held a sale: all books for just 2 euros!

I got in a bit late to scavenge any masterpieces but managed to get my hands on five nifty copies nonetheless: British Economic Thought and India, 1600-1858 by William Barber; A Modern History of tanganyika by one John Iliffe, if ever I want to delve further into African colonial history; Rulers of Empire, about the French Colonial Service in Western Africa; Democracy and Empire by a Mr E.J. Feuchtwanger, dealing with British imperial history from 1865 to 1914; and Liberalism & Naval Strategy by Bernard Semmel. Particularly the last volume sounds interesting.
07 September 2009 @ 06:34 am
Why, it's rather been a while, hasn't it? This week marks me going back to college after months of being very unproductive. Here's some of my classes for this semester: "Armed Forces and Society", a small series of lectures inspired by the effects that the Afghan war effort has on Dutch society. It will take a look at how past conflicts have influenced society and how this is happening today in different countries. Should be interesting. "Nations and States in Europe". A comprehensive look at the development of the nationstate with lots of guest lectures from different areas of expertise. "Brazil Global Power". A special course on the political process of Brazil from the nineteenth century onward to global predominance. And "From Sail to Steam" (a bit of an awkward translation, it sounds better in Dutch), a history of Dutch sea power, which, you might know, was mostly based in trade.

Also, I'll be writing my Bachelor essay (for lack of a better term) the next two months. I'm not sure if this works the same in the English-speaking world but over here, one has to conclude the Bachelor degree with a lengthy essay. I've chosen to write about the First Anglo-Afghan War for which I'm currently reading Malcolm Yapp's Strategies of British India. Surprising fact so far: up until the late 1830s, the British had thought about using Iran as buffer against the presumed territorial ambitions of the Russians (who, really, weren't all that into conquering India). Only when the Persians sided with the Russians to invade a little piece of Afghanistan did the British turn their focus to the latter to use to halt Russian expansionism. I haven't decided yet what I'll be focusing on specifically, the actual military endeavour or the diplomatic efforts, or, do as Yapp does, placing the invasion of Afghanistan in the broader perspective of British Middle Eastern policy. That might be slightly too ambitious for the essay though. I'll try and keep you updated!
03 August 2009 @ 04:40 pm
Yes, I'm officially a year older today!
23 July 2009 @ 11:35 am
Yes, that's the twisted thing I almost did in last night's dream. ('seems I'm starting to use this thing only to share subconscious fantasies, eh?) I'm the hero of the tale (as is usual), and I'm in a part of town that's very obviously not the kind of place where a person like me usually goes. I get into a Chinesesque restaurant of sorts where there's take-out and I order from a picture, something that looks the least disgusting.

Then the person behind the counter grins, he captures one of the dogs that's running about the kitchen (apparently, he doesn't care much for hygiene, I say!) and slaughters it with a device that's obviously not invented to do that sort of work. For some reason, I don't want to act surprised, so I patiently wait for my order to be done, I take it, pay, and go out to immediately dispose of the food.

I suppose a particular scene from The Grapes of Wrath, which I'm reading, and which I'm starting to very much dislike (however that thing won a Nobel Price, I don't know), inspired this freakish little fantasy. It's the night before the family sets out to leave for California when they slaughter their two pigs to have plenty of meat for underway. How the pigs turned into dog? Probably because I like dogs better.

But the dream doesn't end there. After I throw away the dog-food, there's an accident in the streets and a crowd gathers about to watch what is going on without doing anything useful to help the person hurt. I ask whether anyone's called 9-1-1 yet. They all stare at me sheepishly, so I make someone call it and check on the injured person myself. I'm not entirely sure what exactly happened next, but the dream ends with me leaving the scene gloating.
19 July 2009 @ 11:17 am
Another dream!

We start (actually, I start, but I don't want to exclude you from all the fun, you see) looking down on a tall skyscraper (which should have made me wonder in what sort of building I was supposed to be, but as typical in dreams, all seemed perfectly natural) that looks very Art Deco-ish. The tower has a top floor that's glass almost all around with a wide balcony surrounding it.

Zooming in, we find that this is the office of a large company, the president of which rather looks like John Slattery and his secretary is Lara Flynn Boyle. It's morning, the boss is coming into the office, and he's chatting with his secretary (I don't remember what it was about). After Slattery steps into his own office, the secretary is bothered with a young, fat and obnoxious office worker who apparently rather fancies her. She steps onto the balcony, trying to get rid of him, making it more than obvious that she isn't into him. He gets a phone call though on his cell and talks into it for a little while as the secretary looks on. Suddenly she smashes the cellphone out of his hands, and it falls over the edge of the balcony.

In a rather peculiar move, the fat, obnovious office worker climbs over the edge of the balcony to retrieve his cellphone and I can only assume that he fell down after it. The secretary, of course, didn't care much and stepped inside.

Strangely enough, we're no longer in the office at this point but at a lunchroom, also situated in a tower though. Here I come in! I'm having lunch with the president and his secretary. The president's wife and a bunch of younger children are at the next table and they'll soon be brought icecreams. We're talking between the three of us (I'm not sure what my function is with the company, but I seem to be trusted) when the president's oldest son joins us. He's a cute, blond fellow who's apparently in his first year of something (high school? college? I don't know) and he's gotten into reading "bad books" like The Catcher in the Rye (which is a bad book, as everyone knows). His father's none too pleased with this and reminds him that as a young man, he fought for his country in World War II. (We´re evidently in the late-fifties or early-sixties maybe.) The son, understandably, doesn't see how this has anything to do with his reading and gets a little irritated. The secretary, still pissed with that fat, obnoxious admirer of hers (he had a whole bunch of very unclean-looking black hair) isn't about to intervene, it seems, so I do, saying something that's able to satisfy both father and son and we go on to chose what sandwhich we'll have.

That's all, folks!
10 July 2009 @ 10:45 am
Today is Tesla Day! And I'm spamming it everywhere! Be sure to activate your Tesla Coil today. It's the only day in the year when you're actually allowed to use it against intruders!
07 July 2009 @ 11:24 am
I'm not sure how long this has been up yet, but I only learned today that The Willows magazine quit. This is really quite unfortunate for a prominent steampunk publication like that to go out of business. I wish the people who worked on it all the best in the future, and I hope that, perhaps some day, they might be able to revive their magazine in some form.

At the risk of sounding like rather dislikable for mentioning this in the very same message, the Gatehouse Gazette has been downloaded 426 times this week! Huzzah!
28 June 2009 @ 03:15 pm
In response to the discovery of lost Metropolis footage, issue #7 is dedicated to this 1927 classic of silent film and the metropolis in general.

Of course there is a review of the original Metropolis, by Mr Marcius Rauchfuß, as well as an article about the 2001 anime of the same name, by Mr Sigurjón Njálsson. For the latest about what is going on in that other fine city, the Old Smoke called Londontown, we introduce Brigadier Sir Arthur Weirdy-Beardy of The Steampunk Club, while Mr David Townsend is off to farther realms once again, traveling by the Indian Pacific from Perth to Sydney, Australia.

We are also extremely glad to present an exclusive preview of Mr Toby Frost’s upcoming Space Captain Smith novel, Wrath of the Lemming Men!

And it almost goes without saying that this issue features all the columns and features that you might have come to expect from us: Ms Hilde Heyvaert writes her “Steampunk Wardrobe” about ethnic steampunk; Mr Craig B. Daniel dedicates his “Liquor Cabinet” to a story about beer, and Mr Guy Dampier is back with a Quatermass review. More reviews come from Hilde (Unhallowed Necropolis), Mr Trubetskoy (The Court of the Air and Outcry) and Toby Frost (Gormenghast).

Click here to download the issue!
25 June 2009 @ 09:13 pm
The upcoming issue of the Gatehouse Gazette, scheduled for release this weekend, is almost done! Already it counts a lovely twenty pages and a cover artwork by Dusso