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Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 10:22 pm
As much of the morning prayer as exists (the flower of justice is peace); and in case you weren't aware, if you've pre-ordered Ancillary Mercy you can get Chapters 2 & 3 as a preview. (If you haven't, and if you haven't read chapter 1, that page also contains the place where you sign up for the mailing list to get chapter 1.)

Would folk like a discussion post for chapters 1-3, or to wait until the book comes out?
Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 08:46 pm
Gareth Bale scores a late winner as Wales move to within three points of qualifying for Euro 2016 with victory in Cyprus.
Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 08:52 pm

Posted by Bryan Armen Graham

Second set: Mannarino 4-4 Murray* (*denotes next server)

Three quick points for Mannarino, who’s only lost four points on his serve in this set. But he mixes in a pair of unforced errors and it’s quickly 40-30. A double fault brings it to deuce and Mannarino smacks the ball in frustration across the net, narrowly missing Murray and a linesperson. Then another double fault by Mannarino gives Murray a break-point chance. Bit of a collapse here for Mannarino from 40-0 up. But he bails himself out with his serve: ace, winner, ace. Still on serve in the second.

Second set: *Mannarino 3-4 Murray (*denotes next server)

Ninety minutes in and Murray still looking for a foothold. He answers Mannarino’s love hold with one of his own, punctuating it with a 124mph ace out wide.

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Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 08:52 pm

Posted by Nick Miller

That’ll do from this. Cheers for reading, and we’ll be back tomorrow night with some more qualifying action.

Elsewhere, Iceland are now just a point away from qualifying after an extraordinary 1-0 win over the Netherlands in Amsterdam, a game in which Arjen Robben went off injured in the first half and Bruno Martins Indi was sent off. Here are the scores from the rest of tonight’s qualifiers.

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Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 08:49 pm

Posted by Rob Smyth (then) Tom Bryant(now)

England were let down by their middle order after Jason Roy, Alex Hales and James Taylor gave their side a decent platform only for Australia to win by 59 runs

Well, that’s that. England were let down by their middle order for once, having relied on it throughout the Test series. Roy and Hales were fantastic, Taylor impressed, Morgan, Stokes and Buttler need to have a look at themselves. Moeen, on other hand, deserves a go higher up the order - but it’s hard to see where. At No3 perhaps? But then Root would normally be there. It’s a tricky one.

Starc bowled like a drain in the opening overs of the second innings, but then hauled it back but Cummins was the most impressive of the Australia bowlers. Twenty-two years old, bowling consistently and accurately at 93mph is an exciting prospect indeed. Thanks for reading, see you all for the next one.

Finn goes again, attempting to swing Cummins over the midwicket boundary. He misses again, and the ball thumps into his middle pole. And that’s that: Australia win comprehensively after appearing to be decidedly on the back foot when Roy and Hales were at the crease.

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Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 08:31 pm

Lovely colour footage from the early 1960s of the last days of the passenger service on this West Midlands line.

Tipton Five Ways sounds like a dish that could win you Masterchef.
Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 04:57 pm
We've just got back from Mike's birthday dinner, at The Ambrette, where the food was as lovely as ever (although the slight vagueness to the service that's always present seemed worse than usual on a very quiet Thursday evening). We had been booked in for tomorrow, which is The Actual Day, but Little Red Thing is being taken away in the morning, and Mike's not picking up the new car until Saturday so we thought that tonight was a better bet than taxis both ways.

(Poor Mike: had to be driven home by me, in the LRT, at night. I'm surprised he made it!)

This afternoon, I had my last ultrasound treatment at the hospital. I'd completely forgotten about it until I sat down with my laptop after lunch and noticed the little banner on the screen saying "Hospital in 1 minute". Oops. They fitted me in ok, though, so it wasn't a problem. Just have to go back in six and then twelve months for follow-up tests, now. As I got to the hospital, I started to rain. "Aha!" I thought, "For once it's started raining just as Jo's being walked and I'm not out in it," but Mike said they didn't get any here. Typical.

The swallows have started to gather on the telephone wires, getting ready to head south for the winter. Probably a good plan, as I've a sneaking suspicion we might get a frost this weekend....
Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 04:13 pm
So this happened.

Here's a screen shot:

You can type any email address in there, including ones not your own. Stratford doesn't track IPs so there's no way to tell whom the comments are actually from. I did raise my concerns with a representative and this was the reply I got:

As I mentioned below, we are unable to doing anything further.  
None of our systems were accessed to get your email. Someone went to our Contact Us page and sent us an email, using your email address.  Because your email address is public on your website it is available for anyone to access, so someone made a typo, or perhaps took it from there and used it.
I trust this clarifies.

The suggestion that that a typo was involved is a very bold and courageous hypothesis.

The Festival's comment page is here, if you have suggestions on how they might address this issue. Remember to use your real name and not, say, Mark Twain, Albert Einstein or William Shakespeare (unless of course you're actually named Mark Twain, Albert Einstein or William Shakespeare).
Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 08:22 pm

Posted by Nick Miller

78 mins: Ach, shocking stuff from Bale, shanking a simple, ten-yard pass intended for Taylor on the left wing way out of play. Eeesh.

77 mins: Another foul, this time Makris on Taylor. Still no booking. This ref might have brought a slim volume of poetry out with him instead of his notebook and cards. Hope he recites something in a bit.

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Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 08:21 pm

Posted by Rob Smyth (then) Tom Bryant(now)

Mooen hooks desperately, but top edges and the ball skies up to midwicket. Marsh is under it and takes the catch confidently. The game is very nearly up.

42nd over: England 232-8 (Moeen 17, Wood 7) Target 306 Wood pushes a 90mph Cummins delivery for one, to allow Moeen to just about hook a bouncer aimed sharply at his head for a single. Wood then wears one and runs, but is somewhat surprised to see Cummins sprint past him, pick up, and nearly hurl down the stumps to almost run him out at the bowler’s end. Then …

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Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 08:20 pm

Posted by Bryan Armen Graham

Second set: *Mannarino 0-1 Murray (*denotes next server)

Three quick points by Murray to make it 40-0 before Mannarino crushes a return winner from the forehand side. He’s clearly going for the lines on nearly every point. He then misses badly on a forehand to give Murray the opening game of the second set.

First set: Mannarino 7-5 Murray

Mannarino with a pair of forehand errors followed by a botched overhand and Murray will have triple break point. Mannarino saves the first with an inside-out return winner, then makes it 30-40 with a forehand. A Murray error brings it to deuce and Mannarino’s saved all three! A Mannarino service winner gives him a set point but Murray saves it with a backhand down the line. Finally Mannarino stakes another break and set point. This time he converts it with an overhand smash. Game on.

@BryanAGraham waiting 4 the MMMM(MurrayMidMatchMeltdown)when he loses a few pts & starts screaming at himself, a full shot workout needed

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Thursday, September 3rd, 2015 08:19 pm

Posted by Ellen Brait in New York

Snowden said in Al-Jazeera interview that ordinary government workers would ‘very likely face prosecution’ for sending classified emails over personal server

Edward Snowden has branded as “completely ridiculous” the idea that Hillary Clinton’s personal email server was secure while she was secretary of state.

The National Security Agency whistleblower was speaking in an interview with Al-Jazeera.

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