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Alex’s Adventures in Numberland

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Popular maths and science books are both an indulgence an diversion
for me. I’m kinda A-Level standard and curious in this field, and it’s
a combination of imagination, certainty and underdog triumph that
appeals.

The real pleasure in this book is found in the insights Alex
highlights. He skilfully avoids either showing off or
over-simplifying, and instead respects the reader whilst allowing his
enthusiasm and wonder to shine through.

Lord of the Flies

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Seeing me reading this, a friend joked “are you re-sitting your GCSE English?”

I guess it is a book associated with school, but I never read it
there, and it’s one of those that I always thought I should.

Quite enjoyable and easy to see why it appeals to people of that age.
It did remind me of the TV series Lost, and indeed they refer to the
competing camp as The Others at one point.

“Did you know” that the Lord of the Flies is what Beelzebub translates as?

Conference Troll

I have an idea for a comedy vehicle, which I have neither the front nor the inclination to do myself. It's called Conference Troll.

It's based on the shared horror of the business conference – those cathedrals of pity that take place up and down the halls and venues of our land every day. The school assembly chair layout, the supersized PowerPoint and the uncomfortable suits exposed under spotlights. 

It seems to me that these are rarely useful for the attendees, but merely revenue machines for the organisers and a personal job advert for the speakers.

My favourite moment of horror is the Q&A session. That bit where pimped-up ballboys scurry up and down the aisles with microphones so people can ask questions. And this is the bit that needs trolling.

I envisage someone asking "Borat meets the Office" style questions. Said with a straight face, these would be Brass Eye ridiculous, yet scrape through the credibility test. I see a series of these uploaded to youtube, puncturing the dreadful solemnity of these moments and providing fleeting moments of levity for the captives present.

(File under #catharsis)

100 things you needn’t do before you die

I hate those "40 things before you're 40" lists. Whose life are you suppose to be living?

I think there's a book to be had called "100 things you needn't do before you die". The anti-guide to what you don't have to do. 

It's just as valid to aspire to staying in bed listening to the cricket than to paraglide up Mont Bollocks.