Update 5

Yes, it’s time once more for a quick set of updates.

Geez, six hundred posts have gone past so quickly. Once more I just have to say thank you to everyone who has linked to the website, posted comments, shared interesting facts, sent supportive emails, or just read and enjoyed what I have written.

1. A note to subscribers

The last few weeks have seen quite a few new email subscribers. Welcome! If you find a daily feed to be a bit too much, you can switch to a weekly digest – seven days’ worth of posts in one email. The “manage subscriptions” link at the bottom of each email lets you choose the frequency that suits you best.

2. Updates on previous topics

Queen’s duck – apparently comedy writer jargon has an equivalent term: the lightning rod.

Peninsula no more – still no progress on Saudi Arabia’s plan to turn Qatar into an island, but the president of Turkey has been talking about turning Istanbul into an island the same way. 

Switching sides – Gareth E. reminds me that Samoa recently switched the direction of traffic too, the first such switch in decades.

The end of the tower – Arthur C. Clarke wrote an excellent short story about a similar apocalyptic destiny. It has one of the best final lines in sci-fi.

Da Vinci and Machiavelli steal a river; emperor auction – apparently buying your way to power and trying to steal a river are not uncommon in Italy.

3. The wee one

The upcoming arrival mentioned in Update 4 has in fact now arrived and is happy, healthy, and adorable. I haven’t missed any days yet, but we’ll see how things go once I go back to work tomorrow!

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