Tag Archives: book

The MacDurnan Gospels (marginal note)

Tuesday 21st June 2022, 10.15am (day 3,953)

MacDurnan Gospels, 21/6/22

The page of text you see here was enscribed some 1,150 years ago, in the later part of the 9th century AD. This is a page from the MacDurnan Gospels, created in Ireland and now held in the library of Lambeth Palace in London. What you see here are the originators of the idea of a cross-reference: this must be a passage from the gospel of John, because here, the scribe has noted that the same events are also recounted in Matthew, Mark and Luke (listed from the top down).

It’s to look at, and be taught about, beautiful things like this that I am in London this week and this was certainly a good place to start the day. Michelle Brown, whose fingers you see here, is such an expert on this time and subject that listening to her is like being immersed in a river of learning: we’re coming up every so often for breath but it’s no hardship to get back in afterwards, and I was actually disappointed when the day ended at 5pm. And it’s been a while since I could say that about certain other aspects of my job.

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Outdoor reading companion

Monday 2nd August 2021, 3.40pm (day 3,630)

Reading fly, 2/8/21

You wait ages for a small insect and then two turn up in consecutive days. This fly hung around for a while; clearly it has an interest in Ted Nelson’s Literary Machines this afternoon. As did I.

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A good book

Wednesday 15th July 2020, 7.05pm (day 3,247)

Kes, 15/7/20

Started my time off with as low key a day as could be managed, even by recent standards.  Felt like picking up a good book, which this is, very much so: even if not a very long one. If you’ve never read this, you really should.  Pictured also in the foreground, the reading glasses that I now need to make sense of it.

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Joe in the school library

Wednesday 31st January 2018, 4.45pm (day 2,351)

Joe in library, 31/1/18

When I started doing this blog on 26/8/2011 Joe was nine years, five months and twenty-two days old. His first appearance was a few days in, sat in the Railway and looking really very small. Not any more. I guess he hasn’t reached his complete adult form yet, he is not fifteen for a few weeks, but he cannot be far off. This is his ninety-ninth appearance on the blog. Doubtless I will find good reason to mark the next one.

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Thursday 4th January 2018, 2.15pm (day 2,324)

Thesis, 4/1/18

With the whole of 2018 so far having been afflicted with grim, grey weather, there has been little motivation to go out in it; in fact in the last three days I’ve only left the house once, for about two hours last night. There’s work to be done, I might as well get on with it. It doesn’t make for gripping photography, I realise that, but I’ll do my best.

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A battered old favourite

Saturday 30th January 2016, 6.50pm (day 1,619)

Cuckoo's Nest, 30/1/16

Finally made it home, 24 hours behind schedule, and just before landing finished this for the umpteenth time. I know pretty much exactly when I bought this book — April 1989 at a gas station in Pennsylvania. As you can see, it’s certainly seen some attention since then. And rightly so; in my opinion it’s definitely one of the greatest novels ever written. If you’ve never read it, you really should.

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My book (finally)

Sunday 28th September 2014, 2.10pm (day 1,130)

My book, 28/9/14

Awaiting me on my return from Norway yesterday were some author’s copies of my book, this being the one I wrote while on sabbatical between January and August last year, including my time in Australia. So here it is, finally, a physical object rather than just an abstract concept. If you’re into discussions of the political theory of information, you should buy it 🙂

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A spot to read

Tuesday 27th May 2014, 2.50pm (day 1,006)

Afternoon reading, 27/5/14

Well, one can read just about wherever one likes, so yes, that is a pint also close at hand. Seasoned Drew followers will probably recognise the location of this shot.

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The ‘Development of Educational Technology’ class

Monday 15th October 2012, 1.50pm (day 417)

DET class, 15/10/12

Seeing as I seemed to spend most of the day teaching in one way or another it seems appropriate to use a picture of a class to encapsulate the day.

The three students in the foreground are Chinese and Korean, the book they are looking at is in Arabic. I could give away my pedagogical secrets and tell you why, but then I’d have to kill you. (Or you could just enroll on my degree, of course.)

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Machiavelli, 1550 edition

Wednesday 3rd October 2012, 12.25pm (day 405)

Machiavelli, 3/10/12

Could have posted more pictures of glorious autumn colours here in Trondheim but I did that yesterday, and this book has personal significance.

I got to know the work of Machiavelli when I studied for my PhD in Politics back in the latter years of the 1990s. As part of my work here I was taken (with several others) round the special collections of the Gunnerus Library at NTNU and here am being shown an edition of Machiavelli’s complete works from 1550 (hence the M D L at the bottom of the page), published while he was still alive and in extraordinarily good condition. The book may well become largely obsolete as an active information medium over the next 20 years but the tactile and visual appeal of them, particularly old ones, will never go away.

Incidentally only those who haven’t actually read him think that M. was a fascist. Actually he was the man who reintroduced Greek ideas of democracy into the Middle Ages and basically founded the whole political wing of the Enlightenment. He said quite clearly that a populace would always, collectively, take better decisions than a prince or tyrant acting alone and driven only by their own mind. He’s right. Someone tell David Cameron (see the comment made exactly one year ago today, which I feel as strongly now as I did then).

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