back to article Three Men in a Tardis

Significant anniversaries bunch together like buses. Three are assaulting me simultaneously, give or take a month or two. Two are personal. This writer has now been churning out "Stob" columns for 25 years, and has also recently racked up twice that figure on her personal chronological odometer. But I am here to mark yet …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.

To say nothing of the dog

... is a rather funny time travel novel by Connie Willis .. which has nothing to do with Dr. Who, but should not go unmentioned in a thread like this :)

3
0
Silver badge

Re: To say nothing of the dog

Agreed, it's quite funny, which makes it a bit of a relief from her other time travel stories, which while excellent are, shall we say, on the sad side. Doomsday Book and To Say Nothing of the Dog make nice companion pieces.

Now that the holidays are coming up, perhaps it's time to dig DB out again...

1
0

wonderful derogatory term

"Morlock-botherer".

all we need are some real time travellers to use it on in a disparaging manner.

2
0
Silver badge
Headmaster

Do I get a biscuit ...

when I saw the (full) title: "Three Men in A Boat (to say nothing of the dog)" I immediately recalled "Montmorency"

0
0
Bronze badge

Pedant.

I hereby deny the existence of sub-unity ordinal numbers (I can't believe no-one else did it before me, bloody pedants, probably re-reading the whole article in triplicate before posting their objections).

3
0
Alien

Re: Pedant.

Makes you the zero-th denier, doesn't it?

1
0

Odin the Wanderer

Sounds more like Wotan/Odin in his earthly disguise as the Wanderer.

He was also supposed not to meddle, but of course, did. Not that it always had the intended consequences...

Perhaps all those Norse Gods are really Time Lords?

2
1

"sub-unity ordinal numbers"

Isaac Asimov was allowed the Zeroth Law Of Robotics, so you are in good company.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: "sub-unity ordinal numbers"

There is a Zeroth Law of thermodynamics:

"If, of three bodies, A, B, and C, A and B are separately in equilibrium with C, then A and B are in equilibrium with each other."

The Elements of Classical Thermodynamics, by Prof A. B. Pippard.

1
0

Re: "sub-unity ordinal numbers"

ah, Pippard. He always loved it, when a plan came together.

oh, no, that was Peppard.

0
0

I would complain if you didn't start at zeroth.

Starting counting at 0 is a perfectly good thing to do. If only historians had done it.

3
0

Re: I would complain if you didn't start at zeroth.

"One of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that, lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful termination of their C programs."

-- Robert Firth

But there is, quite separately, the question of how to number elements of an array:

"Should array indices start at 0 or 1? My ecumenical compromise of 0.5

was rejected without, I thought, proper consideration."

-- Stan Kelly-Bootle

7
0
Gold badge

Re: I would complain if you didn't start at zeroth.

"One of the main causes of the fall of the Roman Empire was that, lacking zero, they had no way to indicate successful termination of their C programs."

Co-incidentally, "zero" is also the number of notable mathematicians produced in the entire 200-year history of Rome/Byzantium.

Unless you count the murder of Archimedes, in which case their tally is probably -1.

4
0
Bronze badge

notable mathematicians of Rome/Byzantium

Ken, Claudius Ptolemy was a Roman citizen. Diophantus was another mathematician in Roman Alexandria. Nichomachus was from Roman Syria, but his Art of Arithmetic is lost to us. Boëthius, unlike those previously mentioned, spoke Latin rather than Greek, but he is better remembered for his philosophical works than for his mathematical works.

2
0
Gold badge

Re: notable mathematicians of Rome/Byzantium

Greece, Egypt, Syria ... but only Roman by conquest and the ruling culture regarded mathematics as something for slaves to do whilst they sorted the design of some seige machinery. In at least some of the cultures they conquered, mathematics was a higher calling and practised by the nobs.

Ramanujan lived in what was then part of the British Empire, but I wouldn't call him British.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: notable mathematicians of Rome/Byzantium

That's Aye, Ayeaye and Ayeayeaye, aye?

(Was Bangor a Raman fort, aye?) ((Walks off whistling the original tune to the series. Aye aye, really!))

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: notable mathematicians of Rome/Byzantium

"Was Bangor a Raman fort, aye?"

Have to correct you there. According to Clarke, the Ramans never even landed on Earth, let alone build anything there.

1
0
Bronze badge

Re: notable mathematicians of Rome/Byzantium

Ken, I don’t know about Diophantus and Nichomachus, but Claudius Ptolemy and Boëthius were Roman citizens, having the same citizenship rights as that of any Roman citizen who was born behind the Servian Wall.

Did Ramanujan have the same citizenship rights as someone who was born within earshot of Bow Bells? If not, then it would not be a valid comparison.

0
0

Re: I would complain if you didn't start at zeroth.

most people think they did.

0
0
Silver badge
Coat

Re: notable mathematicians of Rome/Byzantium

"According to Clarke, the Ramans never even landed on Earth, let alone build anything there."

True, but they did come in ayeayeaye's

Mines the one with the extra pocket ------------>

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Beards and villains.

JNT is hardly a major villain compared to the truly malign but clean-shaven monster that was Rusty Davies!

0
0

Jerome...

... is the name of my son, and he will be introduced to the society in due time.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Things that make a person feel really old.

There was I, imagining Stob as the ancient crone of the IT world, and, shock horror, I find she is more than ten years younger than me!

An even worse thought is that she is ten years older than me and still the ancient crone of the IT world.

0
0

Colour me impressed

That Ms. Stob knows the correct spelling of the dematerialization sound.

0
0

Re: Colour me impressed

But NOT the correct possessive of HG Wells's surname, so she's back to zero.

1
1
Silver badge
Happy

Verity I say...

Having read that not once, but thrice, I can only opine that I would like some of what you are imbibing.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Dark Season

Dark Season is the precursor to the new Doctor Who series-es. Written by RTD, intended for kids but with dark storylines.

The only thing is it follows more the 'actually having an overarching story' structure rather than the deus ex machina every 45 minutes structure of modern Who.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Dark Season

Thanks for that - I now know that RTD was also responsible for Why Don't You. (Turn off your television set.....)

0
0
Silver badge

Re: Dark Season

That programme stuck with me for years before I once again found out what it was — but I guess the plot line of everybody in a school being given a free computer was an easy sell to a child such as I.

0
0
Bronze badge

Re: Dark Season

RTD was 9 when WDY started.

0
0
Bronze badge
Happy

Wonderful

Another JKJ fan! So few have heard of him. 3MIAB is brilliant writing with believable characters. JKJ was gentler in story line than Saki. Only merkin who comes close is Chic Sale in "The Expert" IMHO. Found the Doctor dull eventually, like Star trek and their idiot Prime Directive, which is also equally ignored. The god in a box story line is too sterotyped, whether the Doc, Wodin/Thor, the crumbling institution run by an old man in Rome or imaginations of the evangelicals in merkinland.

1
0
Silver badge

Re: Wonderful

3MIAB is brilliant writing with believable characters

Jerome's sequel, Three Men on the Bummel, is less successful but also worth a read. The story has some nice moments, and the final chapter is a fascinating meditation on German "character". Besides its entertainingly absurd (if entirely period-appropriate) ethnic essentialism, the piece - written at the turn of the century - contains such gems as:

"The worst that can be said against [Germans] is that they have their failings. They themselves do not know this; they consider themselves perfect, which is foolish of them. They even go so far as to think themselves superior to the Anglo-Saxon: this is incomprehensible. One feels they must be pretending."

Fortunately, that sort of ideology of ethnic superiority never amounted to much in subsequent European history.

1
0

Is it really 25 years since I sat in the office reading .exe?

0
0
Happy

Ah! The glory days of mimic diagrams and Ice Cream Mars Bars!

Did Ms. S. ever manage to eat four in a day?

0
0

Good case, well presented. Off to watch the film myself now :)

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums