Given that it took place in what is now Scotland, we can only assume that it began as a drunken fumble about thirty minutes after pub closing time on a Saturday and ended with both participants rolling over and snoring heavily. In the morning, the female Microbrachius groaned and muttered "Christ, ah wis hammered the… » 10/20/14 2:45pm Today 2:45pm

A real man, such as any of Mr Stephenson's friends, would have cut the bottle open using a 15th-century longsword in a two-handed 'Upper Snake' grip, while wearing forty pounds of authentic plate armor, and having previously soaked themselves to the pauldrons (whatever those are) in the blood of Mongol light horsemen. » 10/15/14 11:04am Wednesday 11:04am

This may not be confined to English. For instance, there's a fairly close equivalent to "I could/couldn't care less" in Italian. There's a common phrase "non me ne frego", which has about the same meaning and force as the English "I don't give a damn." (The reflexive verb 'fregarsi' literally means 'to rub or harm… » 10/14/14 10:32am 10/14/14 10:32am

Worth mentioning that if you've already forked over your $9.99 for Panic's Transmit, then you can get Prompt 2 as part of one of Apple's new bundles, and you only pay the difference between the price of the bundle ($16.99) and the $9.99 you already paid. Prompt 2 then comes in at $7 rather than $9.99.

Look for the… » 10/13/14 2:52pm 10/13/14 2:52pm

Heinlein's later works also included "Friday", which is pretty straightforward. For the record, I disliked "Friday" intensely (that whole love-your-rapist thing skeeved me more than slightly), but it's fairly conventional, just some classic Heinlein themes updated for an '80s readership. So he at least was apparently… » 10/13/14 11:45am 10/13/14 11:45am

I assumed that the whole point of "Blake's 7" is that it's morally ambiguous — at best. I usually explain it to people by saying "It's like 'Star Trek', except that everyone in it is evil and cynical." Avon often makes it explicit: he might be a crook, but Blake is a fanatic and the most dangerous of them all for that… » 10/11/14 6:34pm 10/11/14 6:34pm

"The Dirty Dozen in space" is what happens when a US TV producer sets out to make "Blake's 7" but then the studio tells them that they need to make it bigger and have an ensemble cast. A few more iterations and brainstorming meetings and they'll start calling it the "Filthy Fifty" or the "Heinous Hundred". » 10/09/14 9:01am 10/09/14 9:01am

I seriously question whether anyone taller than 4'6" can assume the brace position in a non-exit-row economy seat these days. I believe airlines make some concession to this fact by suggesting that taller passengers (i.e. anyone who isn't a midget) can rest their heads on the seat in front of them. I've tried this,… » 10/01/14 12:44pm 10/01/14 12:44pm