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Old 10-27-2015, 08:42 AM   #2776
Sundae
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Just read the excellent We Are a Muslim, Please by Zaiba Malik.
Autobiographical, about growing up in a Pakistani, Muslim family in Bradford in the 70s.
The book is very funny in parts, but it does also include a lot of detail about Islam - some of which I didn't know.

Written in 2010, she includes a polemic against one of the 7 July terrorists (Tube bombing) who it turns out grew up very close to her, albeit at a different time. It brought it all back and made me cry. I was living in Leicester at the time, and pulling a sickie because I'd just had my eyes lasered and they were really hurting. I switched the news on for a bit of background noise, intending to close my eyes, and saw the city I'd once called home being hit harder than the IRA ever managed. I still had friends in London and tried to get hold of many of them, but I couldn't get through. I even checked on the Evil Ex.

Anyway, the book is marvellous. Written with a light touch, the characters engagingly drawn, informative enough to be interesting without being scholarly. And for better or worse she's writing about my part of the world now. I may not know the exact places she writes about in Bradford, as they're housing, but I know a little of Bradford and of course Leeds. She even mentions Otley (yay!) although only as an example of a white-flight destination. Which is reasonable; everyone here is white as ice-cream, except in the Red Pepper, and I think the waiters and chefs there have to roost in the rafters during the day, so as not to scare the locals.

Am 2/3 way through The Mirror World of Melody Black by Gavin Extence. It's very good so far. Without being spoiler-y (unlike the blurb on the dust jacket) the herione suffers from a mental health condition. It's not mine, but there are enough parallels to keep me interested. The author himself has the condition he has written her, so he knows what he's writing about. The story is interesting, but of course we all like reading about ourselves, as UT pointed out
Couldn't help comparing her to myself at various points. FTR she's doing a lot better.
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Old 10-27-2015, 04:24 PM   #2777
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"The Frontiersman: River of Blood" by William W. Johnstone, w/J.A. Johnstone, but seeing as William W. died ~10 years ago, I think they should just go with J.A. as author.

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Old 10-27-2015, 06:14 PM   #2778
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glatt View Post
Finally saw The Martian yesterday. Most excellent. It followed the book pretty closely. I loved it, but the real test was if my wife, who hadn't read the book, also liked it. She did.

So go see it. It's good.
used a credit from Audible for this today based on your review. And some funny quotes I saw
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Old 12-14-2017, 07:14 AM   #2779
Carruthers
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The Red Atlas

I’m currently reading ‘The Red Atlas - How the Soviet Union secretly mapped the World’.
It documents, in considerable detail, the efforts of the Soviet Union to acquire intelligence about potential adversaries and produce maps to be used when the tanks rolled in.

Much of the mapping appears to have been lifted from maps in the public domain, (Ordnance Survey and USGS) guide books, text books, satellite imagery etc.
The authors compare the Soviet maps with those produced nationally and conclude, by date comparison and other means, that some details shown can only have been acquired by ground based observation.
An example of this is the road bridge plotted near the Royal Naval Dockyard at Chatham which has notes on width, construction type and load bearing capacity.
Always helpful if you want to drive an armoured division across.
In the US a number of city plans show not only factories, but the type of goods produced therein and the manufacturer’s name.
The authors note that ‘such detail depended on the presence of somebody on the ground and this may have been more readily accomplished in the United States’. Raise an eyebrow at that statement if you wish!

There is one minor irritation about the book, however. Unfortunately, text can be separated from the map extracts by a number of pages.
If comparing two or three map extracts in association with the text it can be annoying having to continually flip back and forth.
A larger format might have solved that problem to a degree.

The book has had a gestation period so long it would have made an elephant look positively hasty in comparison.
I first signed up for Email notification of its publication well over two years ago.
In fairness, I believe that there were concerns over copyright issues as the Soviet Union appeared to have made wholesale use of Ordnance Survey mapping over many years.
The OS jealously guards its intellectual property as some have found out to their cost.
The authors are British, the publisher is the University of Chicago Press and it’s printed in Canada.
I might be mistaken, but I wonder if there is a degree of risk spreading going on there.

The website for the book is well worth a look as it contains several map samples for cities in both the UK and US.
Here’s a screen grab showing Arlington which might be of interest to glatt.

Name:  Arlington.JPG
Views: 64
Size:  157.4 KB

The maps are zoomable and, in my opinion, well worth a look:

The Red Atlas
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:19 AM   #2780
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That's cool. I love maps.

Soviets aren't the only ones to do this. I know someone employed by the US government who has been on many trips around the world over decades collecting public domain documents locally to help piece together one of these maps for the US. Some of his sources were public domain and some he wouldn't talk about.

He gave me an old Soviet atlas of the US that was going to be thrown away at work. Not much detail, but I had fun looking up the name of my hometown in Russian. For whatever reason, I thought it was neat that the Russians came up with a name to call my little town.
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Old 12-14-2017, 08:21 AM   #2781
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And looking at that map of Arlington is really interesting. It's old and before they put Route 66 through the county. Very interesting to see where the streets used to continue before they were bisected by the highway, and fascinating to see what houses were torn down and roads removed to make room for the highway. That must have been a wild time, dissapearing neighborhoods.
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Old 12-14-2017, 04:06 PM   #2782
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After in dissolution of the Soviet Union, that group emigrated to CA to form Google Earth.
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Old 12-16-2017, 09:17 AM   #2783
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Neat.
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Old 12-18-2017, 01:34 PM   #2784
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce View Post
After in dissolution of the Soviet Union, that group emigrated to CA to form Google Earth.
If they were Russians, shouldn't that be Gogol Earth?

Ya see what I did there? I took the, and then I,...yeah you saw it.
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:07 PM   #2785
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gravdigr View Post
If they were Russians, shouldn't that be Gogol Earth?

Ya see what I did there? I took the, and then I,...yeah you saw it.
Brilliant, Mr G!

You win the thread!
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Old 12-18-2017, 02:10 PM   #2786
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Old 12-20-2017, 01:06 PM   #2787
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Rattlesnake Wells, Wyoming by Wm. W. Johnstone, w/J.A. Johnstone. Idk why they don't just go w/the nephew (J.A.), the uncle (Wm), has been dead for 13 years. I think all his fans are aware of the changeover by now.

Also:

The Mantle, And Other Stories, by Nicholas Gogol.
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