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David Grigg
Lived in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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David Grigg

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Holy cow! 6,000 followers! And almost half a million views. I must be doing something right.
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Not bad!

Hope it translates into more sales. You're an excellent writer and deserve ever more audience and income!
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David Grigg

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The Swerve by Stephen Greenblatt

This book is subtitled “How the Renaissance Began”, which is a heck of a stretch. Setting that aside, this is an absolutely fascinating history of the re-discovery in the early 1400s of a long-lost work from antiquity, and about the life and times of its discoverer. Whether this work really helped trigger the Renaissance is another matter, but it certainly contributed.

The work was Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura (“On the Nature of Things”), and it was written some time in the first century BC. Only a very few copies (literally copies which had been made and remade by scribes in monasteries over the centuries) survived until the 15th Century. One of those copies was found by a remarkable man, Poggio Bracciolini. A great deal of The Swerve is about this man and his life, who acted as principal secretary to a series of Popes over a period of 50 years.

Lucretius was a follower of the philosopher Epicurius, who lived two centuries earlier, and his poem De Rerum Natura is perhaps the most beautiful expression of the Epicurian philosophy.
 
Among the many radical thoughts which Lucretius expressed were (as set out by Greenblatt in The Swerve):

* Everything is made of tiny invisible particles.
* These particles are indivisible and eternal.
* The particles are infinite in number but come in a limited number of shapes and sizes.
* All particles are in motion in an infinite void.
* The universe has no creator or designer.
* Nature ceaselessly experiments with different shapes and configurations of animals.
* The universe was not created for humans.
* Humans are not unique. We’re similar to other animals.
* Human society did not begin in a Golden Age from which it has declined, but in a battle for survival.
* There is no afterlife.
* Death is nothing to us, because experience ceases.
* All religions are delusions.

That these ideas are remarkably modern, even though set out more than 2,000 years ago by a Roman citizen, should be obvious. What is also obvious is how shocking and subversive they were to the mediaeval scholars reading them, contradicting the prevailing Judeo-Christian view of the world. That nevertheless these ideas were able to spread and some of them be accepted is perhaps even more remarkable.

There’s much, much more in The Swerve. A really excellent and fascinating book. A candidate for my best read of the year so far, competing with The Vital Question and A God in Ruins.

I’m glad I unearthed it in a second-hand bookshop in Bendigo, at least faintly mirroring the unearthing of De Rerum Natura in the library of a mediaeval monastery by Poggio Bracciolini.
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Thanks for this review. Now all the of your trip candidates are on my ever growing to-read list.
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David Grigg

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Just a reminder about our concert at the Melbourne Town Hall this coming Sunday at 2:30 pm. I'm part of the choir.

Nearly 200 singers, 80-piece orchestra, soloists from Opera Australia; performing Verdi's Requiem , often described as "Verdi's greatest opera".

Should be a fantastic experience. Tickets from starchorale.org/bookings
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You're a lucky one +David Grigg .
Wishing you all the best .
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David Grigg

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As if we didn't know Abbott's true values already. But yes, this confirms it.
 
So Abbott backs the woman who steals $5k, but calls for the resignation of the woman who reports on child sex abuse. Shows us his true values.
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+CHIZARAM NWAIWU She spent $5000 of taxpayers' money on an extravagance which wasn't part of her official duties. And she knew it wasn't justified. 
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David Grigg

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They should turn it off permanently. And I say that as a software developer who used flash for multimedia projects for many years.
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I hate the damn thing.
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David Grigg

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The first ever photograph of a human being. The man shown towards bottom left stood still long enough, while having his shoes shined, to register on the long-exposure photographic plate. (Long exposures were necessary because of the low sensitivity of photographic materials in those days).
 
Questo articolo fa parte delle rubriche: La storia della fotografia Le immagini che hanno fatto la storia. La prima fotografia in cui apparve un essere umano fu realizzata fotografando Boulevard du Temple, a Parigi, nel 1...
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Fantastic and fascinating. Mountains of rock-hard water. A sea of liquid nitrogen covered over with frozen nitrogen pack ice! How science-fictional is that? (Yet I don't think any SF author predicted that Pluto would be anything like this).
 
Until barely two weeks ago, Pluto tantalized humanity for eight decades with mysteries we could only imagine seen as just a point of light or fuzzy blob in the world’s most powerful telescopes. Now the last explored planetary system in our solar system is…
Until barely two weeks ago, Pluto tantalized humanity for eight decades with mysteries we could only imagine seen as just a point of light or fuzzy blob in the world’s most powerful telescopes. Now...
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Oh, I don't have such plans myself. Not my kind of scenario. I just love how the real Solar System has been full of wonderful surprises and how each world is quite different from every other.
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Spot on. Article by a prominent member of the British Conservative Party, slamming Tony Abbott's stance on the environment and the future economic health of Australia.

True conservatives want to preserve our lifestyle and resources and pass them on to future generations.

Tony Abbott is a pseudo-Conservative, a pseudo-Christian and a pseudo-politician.
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Microsoft Corp <MSFT.O> reported a $3.2 billion quarterly net loss, its biggest ever, as the company wrote down its Nokia phone business and demand fell for its Windows operating system.The
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So much of this, about the British Labour Party, applies to our Australian equivalent. Stand up and fight, damn it!
There’s a scene in Band of Brothers, the Second World War series. Lieutenant Ronald Speirs, a fearsome and seemingly fearless soldier finds one of his men – a private who has been cowering in a...
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dennis mclaughlin's profile photoLee Schumacher's profile photoHelen Jones's profile photoTimothy Neemah's profile photo
 
The Labour Party are just a Pink Rinse version of the Tory Party now
..they were NOT elected to sit on their hands...IF they eon't stand up to Cameron we in the SNP will occupy their benches and FIGHT!😈.
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David Grigg

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This is the bit I love the most: asked about the impact of the huge mine on the agricultural environment, Abbott says:

"As all the science tells us, it's not going to have an impact on the water table. "

So when a few scientists paid by a fossil fuel company say something isn't an environmental problem, he believes them. When 99% of climate scientists say climate change is real, oh no, they're all wrong and he'd rather go with his gut feelings.
It can't be fun to be on the receiving end of a blast from Alan Jones.
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He should have got a job as a cherry picker.
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David Grigg

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Finished reading this last night. I've spent quite a while thinking about it once I'd finished. 

Like its predecessor or companion volume Life After Life , it is mostly about the Second World War. This volume concentrates on the experiences of the protagonist Edward (Teddy) Todd as a pilot in Bomber Command. But we are also introduced to the lives and points of view of a number of people who are related to him: his parents, his sister Ursula (the protagonist of Life After Life ), his wife Nancy, his daughter Viola and his grandchildren. The book ranges backward and forward in time, and plays with the idea of alternate histories, though nowhere near the extent with which LIfe After Life does.

Engaging and deeply moving, a meditation on the art of fiction. Beautifully written, like all of Atkinson's work.

The fact that Atkinson is almost exactly my own age means that there are many experiences and references in the book which resonate deeply with me; perhaps less so for younger readers.
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what is the novel all about
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Editor, fiction writer, blogger, software developer, technophile, based in Melbourne, Australia.
Introduction
I live in Australia and I’m a husband, father (and now grandfather), short story writer, multimedia programmer, shareware publisher, one-time SF fan,  one-time fanzine editor, amateur 3D artist, amateur photographer, amateur choral singer… and probably a bunch of other stuff.

I recently returned to writing fiction after a gap of several decades, and it's what I intend to concentrate on from now on in my life. As a big part of this, I'm establishing a new web site called The Narratorium where I and a few others can feature our work.

I write a semi-regular blog on a variety of topics including what I have read and what I think about things. You can find it here.

I'm something of a latter-day Apple fanboy, after years of being a Microsoft adherent. It was the iPod, the iPhone and now the iPad which did the trick. I now do a large proportion of my reading on the iPad. But, on the other hand, I do own some 3000 "dead-tree" books, and I do love a beautifully produced hardcover edition.

I have several works now available in e-book format. These are all available through my web site.

I also now offer services to other authors such as editing, proof-reading, typography and layout for print, and ebook production.

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Previously
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia