With Voices Out of Nowhere Put On Specially By The Children For A Lark

From the Guardian’s Photo Blog:

A child held by his father cries as he holds an umbrella in the snow at the Shanghai Railway Station in Shanghai, China. Million of Chinese are expected to cramp onto China’s train network in the coming weeks to return home for the Chinese Lunar New Year. Photograph: Eugene Hoshiko/AP

I think we can all say that this week has made us feel a little like this little kid looks, right…?

Blame Canada

From the Guardian’s Photo Blog:

More dog news: Duma, a seven-year-old Jack Russell terrier, rides a wakeboard pulled by a remote controlled boat operated by her owner Cliff Bode, of Chicago, while practicing for the Vancouver International boat show in Vancouver, British Columbia, last night. Photograph: Darryl Dyck/AP

There is no good reason in the world to make this poor dog do this.

Some Kind of Mixture, Some Kind of Gold

From the Guardian’s Photo Blog:

A NASA image of cosmic clouds and stellar winds featuring LL Orionis, interacting with the Orion Nebula flow. Adrift in Orion’s stellar nursery and still in its formative years, variable star LL Orionis produces a wind more energetic than the wind from our own middle-aged Sun. Photograph: NASA/ESA/Hubble Heritage Team

Just think: We’re all living on a tiny blue marble in the middle of things like this.

Recently Read, Prose (2/4/13)

I keep going back and forth about whether or not to include this book on the list; on the one hand, there’s a chunk of prose in there, but on the other, it’s essentially an art book with commentary. Feel free to make your own decisions, dear reader. I’m also convinced that there’s at least one book that I’ve read in the last month that I’m forgetting, which is just another reminder that I should really make lists of this kind of thing in future.

Nonetheless; you can tell from the Mike Carey books that I’m on the lookout for more light/decompressing reading material. Carey’s “Felix Castor” series of supernatural noir fit the bill – I finished the last two off in three days, all told, they were so easy to get through – but they’re done, now, and I’m off looking for the next thing, whatever that might be. Of the three non-fiction books, Extra Virginity proved to be a particular let down, with the author seeming more interested in establishing his bona fides than actually writing a compelling book, but both Hedy’s Folly and Boss Rove were solid reads. The latter made me want to find out more about the Valerie Plame affair, but I’m shying away from reading the memoirs of anyone actually involved for some reason…

I’ve Seen Enough To Want To Try and Change Things

From the Guardian’s Photo Blog:

Fireworks are lit at the crematorium to mark the beginning of the cremation of the remains of Cambodia’s late King Norodom Sihanouk, near the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. Photograph: Nicolas Asfouri/AFP/Getty Images

There’s something wonderfully celebratory about this whole thing. “We’re cremating someone! Time for fireworks!” I feel as if there are lessons I could learn from this attitude to death, and apply them to my general attitude to life.

You May Think That, But I Couldn’t Possibly Comment

My big Wired post for the day was this review of House of Cards, the new Netflix-only TV show that was released today. I’m unsure whether I really am happy with it; I feel like I rushed it in order to make deadline, and there are thoughts that I’m not sure I necessarily explained properly (or even explored properly). Nonetheless, there was something… thrilling, almost, in long-form review-writing like that. It’s opportunities for things like that make writing for Wired particularly exciting, and I hope I get to do more of it, to be honest.