anobium

anobium

105p

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2 days ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +6 points

Also, this definitely torpedoes that weird theory I was holding that there are like… eight grags. Okay, that sentence earlier in the book had to refer to Ardent’s closest dwarfs, or else this would all look way different.

I think this is the flipside of Bashfulsson's reminder that not all grags are on Ardent's side: not all of the people on Ardent's side are grags. There's probably like, eight grags in charge, and then the people who go out and do most of the dirty work for them are other kinds of dwarf.

In other news, Youtube has started recommending other thrillers involving trains, including The Lady Vanishes and Benedict Cumberbatch reading a story about Sherlock Holmes solving a mystery on a train.

5 days ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +4 points

As I understand it, the historically accepted case is that Churchill knew the Germans were planning a major bombing raid on England, and when, but not where, because the target was referred to in the intercepted messages by an arbitrary code name that Britain's code-breakers had no way of cracking.

But of course the point is that people want to believe stories like this even when they're not true.

6 days ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +5 points

(spoilers, this book) Vs V erpnyy pbeerpgyl jurer guvf vf tbvat, vg'f vagrerfgvat gung gur orruvir zrgncube tvirf gur aneengbe na bccbeghavgl gb fnl gung jung gur qjneirf arrq vf n arj dhrra.

1 week ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +6 points

The bit about Sir Harry insisting on good meals and good beds for the teams building the railway made me think: Good for him, and lucky for them; people working on intercontinental railway tracks have not always been treated so well.

1 week ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +6 points

The bit about the toy replica of Sir Harry King, Railway Magnate making him look fat is probably a reference to the railway boss from Thomas the Tank Engine and Friends, who is generally referred to as the Fat Controller.

I am never sure whether Constable Boney is a deliberate reference, but there is a famous series of Australian detective novels featuring a police inspector who is always referred to by the nickname Boney, which he acquired because he was once found as a baby teething on a biography of Napoleon Bonaparte. He is of mixed descent, with an Aboriginal mother and a white European father, and his position standing between the worlds of his two heritages is a recurring theme, which maybe fits with Constable Boney standing between the world of the goblins and the world of the humans, but if there's anything that pins it specifically I don't remember it.

1 week ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +7 points

The bit about one of the local railway companies falling behind because they chose to space their tracks a different width apart: In the early days of railways, a lot of railway networks only covered a small area and used whatever track gauge suited them. Then as the various networks began to spread out and meet up with each other, that became an issue if two neighboring railways didn't have compatible gauges, so that rolling stock from one line couldn't easily (or at all) transfer to the other. Various methods were attempted to deal with the issue, including laying a third rail along the track so it could accommodate two different carriage widths, bulding the carriages so that they could be lifted right off their wheels at the point where the networks met and placed on a new set of wheels on the other track, and in one memorable case persuading an entire railway network to relay the westmost rail on the entire length of their track three inches further east.

1 week ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +8 points

entente cordiale = cordial agreement, and when spoken with capital letters usually refers to England and France settling their differences in the early 20th century, in much the way the railway seems to be encouraging Ankh-Morpork and Quirm to do.

However, "cordial" can also mean a type of drink, and from context it may be that meaning being used when the book mentions there being plenty of entente cordiale at the grand opening of the Quirm line.

2 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +1 points

I'm not sure what this is in reference to?

2 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +9 points

The joke about the golem horse operating on "NagNav" feels a bit dated now, or at least not as topical as in the days when having a SatNav system in your car was a big deal.

"If you cut me, do I not bleed" is, as has been annotated before, from Shylock's famous cri de cœur in "The Merchant of Venice", where he points out that his discriminated-against people are people too. It's sometimes forgotten these days that Shylock's version also ends up at the sentiment "and if you do, I'll bleeding cut you too", although he's more poetic about it and takes a bit longer to get there.

"Maybe It's a Big Horse, I'm Morporkian":

[youtube Ln3sidFtIAU http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln3sidFtIAU youtube]

2 weeks ago @ Mark Reads - Mark Reads 'Raising St... · 0 replies · +5 points

Moist is living on top of the world and can stand to be taken down a few pegs. While goblins as a whole have already had their legs cut out from under them (sometimes very literally) and need to cling to whatever scraps of pride they can muster.

Well put.