A Thousand Tiny Suns

Footfall beats as resonant drum on arboured paths
Under the ochre dappled green canopy wherein
A magical gallery of pearlescent spider’s webs
Bejewelled with a thousand tiny suns drip
Hypnotic concentric circles beneath the raging falls.

(c) Sept 1997. All Rights Reserved.

The Restaurant Delivery Market 2016 Q1

In October 2015 I wrote about the restaurant delivery market in London and made a few predictions. The market has changed quickly with the most notable changes being as follows:

  • Resto-in (formerly Room Service) pulled out of the UK market in March 2016
  • Dinein ceased trading in mid 2015
  • Deliveroo has expanded globally but is now subject to significant external (shareholder) pressure
  • Jinn is expanding into West London and has a social media differentiator
  • New service providers are launching focused solely on the logistics (delivery) solution

Legion: Skin Deep by Brandon Sanderson

Stephen Leeds, AKA ‘Legion’, is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialised skills.

Here is an excerpt from the book, courtesy of Brandon Sanderson’s website:

“So . . .” Yol said. “I have an issue I might need help with.”

“Finally!” J.C. said. “This had better not involve trying to make people listen to that awful music of his.” He paused. “Actually, if we need a new form of torture . . .”

“Does this job involve a woman named Zen?” I asked.

“Who?” Yol frowned.

“Professional assassin,” I replied. “She was watching me at dinner.”

“Could be wanting a date,” Yol said cheerfully.

I raised an eyebrow.

“Our problem,” Yol said, “might involve some danger, and our rivals are not above hiring such . . . individuals. She’s not working for me though, I promise you that.”

“This job,” I said. “Is it interesting?”

Yol grinned. “I need you to recover a corpse.”

“Oooo . . .” J.C. said.

“Hardly worth our time,” Tobias said.

“There’s more,” Ivy said, studying Yol’s expression.

“What’s the hitch?” I asked Yol.

“It’s not the corpse that is important,” Yol said, leaning in. “It’s what the corpse knows.”

Legion by Brandon Sanderson

Stephen Leeds, AKA ‘Legion’, is a man whose unique mental condition allows him to generate a multitude of personae: hallucinatory entities with a wide variety of personal characteristics and a vast array of highly specialised skills.

As the story begins, Leeds and his ‘aspects’ are drawn into the search for the missing Balubal Razon, inventor of a camera whose astonishing properties could alter our understanding of human history and change the very structure of society. The action ranges from the familiar environs of America to the ancient, divided city of Jerusalem. Along the way, Sanderson touches on a formidable assortment of complex questions: the nature of time, the mysteries of the human mind, the potential uses of technology, and the volatile connection between politics and faith.

Religion Encyclopedia Entry

Causes:

Religion is thought to be a form of Group III: Zoophaginae pandoravirus. The virus itself is thought to be benign, but for the existence of the satellite virus which exists in many, but not all, Homo Sapiens.

Current studies are investigating the theory that variations in the satellite family cause different emergence vectors for religion, i.e. religion exhibits different symptoms in different hosts and these are classified as different strains of religion. The earliest Pan Narrans created names for this in the absence of scientific study such as Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Hinduism, Confucianism, Mysticism, Buddhism, Judaism, or even Jediism (though some say that is going too far).

The pandoravirus or (more likely) the satellite may have arrived on space-borne debris during the holocene or earlier, possibly through events such as the creation of the Rio Cuarto craters. Viruses have long been known to affect the development of life on the planet and we are slowly understanding their role and effect on life, both physically and psychologically. It is possible that different satellite viruses arriving at different times could be the catalyst for the emergence of different strains of religion at different times.

Word Origin: 1150-1200; Middle English religioun (< Old French religion) < Latin religiōn- (stem of religiō) conscientiousness, piety, equivalent to relig (āre) to tie, fasten ( re- re- + ligāre to bind, tie; cf. ligament ) + -iōn- -ion; cf. rely

Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds

Nine hundred thousand years ago, something annihilated the Amarantin civilization just as it was on the verge of discovering space flight. Now one scientist, Dan Sylveste, will stop at nothing to solve the Amarantin riddle before ancient history repeats itself. With no other resources at his disposal, Sylveste forges a dangerous alliance with the cyborg crew of the starship Nostalgia for Infinity. But as he closes in on the secret, a killer closes in on him. Because the Amarantin were destroyed for a reason — and if that reason is uncovered, the universe — and reality itself — could be irrecoverably altered.

The Mystery of the Soul

“Everybody has a soul.” “The soul is immortal.” “Some believe it to come into existence only when the body first takes a breath of life.” “The soul can unite with the divine.” “Everything has a soul.” “Only humans have a soul.”

There are many – sometimes conflicting – beliefs surrounding the soul. But which one is right?