The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu ๐Ÿ“š

The Three Body Problem is an unsloved physics problem and the key metaphor through which Cixin Liu’s The Three Body Problem is written.

Liu has written hard-fi and historical fiction, real science recast to tell the stories of two civilisations with immense imaginative leaps.

Dealing in high concepts, zooming between small and large scales and explains well it’s ideas although it helps to have some knowledge of these already. It really is imaginatively one of the most impressive books I have read for a long time. The narrative gathers pace as the book progresses and as beautifully terrifying ideas come to life. Highly recommended. ๐Ÿ“šโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann ๐Ÿ“š

The Non-fiction book Killers of the Flower Moon by David Grann starts with the story of Mollie Burkhart and the brutal murders of her family. Mollie was an Osage Indian and in a weird twist of fate the Osage who were removed from their land and placed on a reservation struck lucky when oil was found there. Luckily the Osage Indians with head rights to the oil suddenly became unbelievably wealthy, or maybe it wasn’t so lucky after all. In the mid 1920’s they were being murdered, shot, poisoned, blown up. Perhaps the richest group of people on the planet were also the most hunted. Mollies two sisters and her mother were murdered. A real life murder mystery and thriller rolled into one. What was going on and how was it nobody had been caught?

The story moves on to J.Edgar Hoover and the formation of the FBI. Hoover sent in a former Texas Ranger Tom White to lead an investigation into the murders. They found their man and the brief fame of the case contributed to the founding of the FBI. The case stands at the crossroads between the american frontier and modern america in many ways. After the case faded from the public imagination and because of the dwindling oil reserves this episode in history was largely forgotten.

The third part of the book is maybe the most hard hitting. From the wiki article I found this quote which sums it up nicely

There is a kick-in-the guts half-twist at the end of the book that gives the work its moral heft and reminds the American people of the great cost of their nationhood. Itโ€™s a twist that owes everything to Grannโ€™s diligence and intelligence as a journalist. It could not have been discovered without what he calls his โ€œresearch odysseyโ€. - David Aaronovich

Grann talks to the relatives in the case and assembles his evidence. The terrible facts of the murder case have perhaps obscured a deeper and uglier truth, that of the murder and subjugation of the whole Osage nation. Perhaps hundreds of other murders were never solved, or even investigated. Grann shines a light on the venal greed of the so called civilised, leaving a deep impression. A must read. ๐Ÿ“šโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

Also I know a Scorsese film is coming this year based on the book. I am greatly looking forward to it. In the mean time you can watch this interview of the author.

The Lost City of Z by David Grann ๐Ÿ“š

A lovely book, at once a biography, a detective story, a piece of travel writing, and maybe also an insight into how we search both for meaning and for things.

Percy Fawcet was an explorer, a real life Indiana Jones at beginning of the 20th Century as Britain’s empire was waning and the area of the world still unexplored was shrinking quickly. Fawcett went search of the last of the unknowns on the map in the Amazon.

In his last adventure he went back into the Amazon to find the Lost city of Z a place he was sure existed against the run of mainstream thought. He was never seen again. The book is a story of what happened before, during and after the expedition and contains a beautiful modern insight from current Archaeologists in the region. A gripping and highly recommended read. ๐Ÿ“šโ˜…โ˜…โ˜…โ˜…

The Bridge

The Bridge

Yearly Theme 2023 - Push

Push is my yearly theme for 2023. Push out a little past my comfort zone I have built up. Maybe expand out my horizons as from last year. But the main thing I want to do is work hard on improving my Finnish language. I want to be in a position by the end of the year to take my YKI intermediate language test. Lets see how I get on….๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ ๐Ÿ“

2022 Yearly Theme Review

OK so I posted My Yearly Theme for 2022 and thought I would briefly reflect on how it’s going! The theme I chose was Consolidate and it broke down into a few key areas of my life;

  • more reading, writing and journaling

  • more quality time with my family

  • learn to type faster

  • work on my Finnish language ๐Ÿ‡ซ๐Ÿ‡ฎ

  • less subscriptions

  • simplify & improve my workflows

  • keep saving (yes)

I will quickly look over how these subcategories are going one by one.

More Reading, Writing and Journaling

Broadly the reading part of this has been going really well. I have added an audible subscription this year so for the first time have been listening to books also. From the writing side of things I have been writing and thinking in Obsidian and following the Obsidian book club. Not much output which I would like to improve. The journalling has been going less well. A little reflection at the end of the day often escapes me but I have been writing about most of the key events which is good enough!

More Quality Time With Family

Broadly speaking also has been good. Holidays and weekends doing some nice things at home. A long summer holiday during which we spent some great time all together.

Learn to Type Faster

I have not really done anything with this. Now and again I do some practice typing but I not managed to make this a habit yet. It is better maybe thats enough for now.

Work on My Finnish Language

I started the year badly in this but took a new course with a new attitude in the Autumn. This is the biggest bugbear I have and its going to be the focus to a greater extent during the rest of the year. Jatka taistelua!

Less Subscriptions & Simplify and Improve Workflow

This is mixed. I have going from wordpress to micro.blog and blot and I am happy. I have saved some money in hosting and have greatly simplified my writing workflow. I have removed a few subscriptions but also added some so I can’t say overall that has gone well. Overall I have not sved money but I have simplified my online life.

Keep Saving

This has gone pretty OK, but this is always provisional.


The Theme Consolidate implies a simplification and a strengthening of the core I think and so if I look at the key theme holistically I am fairly happy with that. I have made some progress and simplified some things allowing me a bit more clarity in my writing and reading goals. These can now continue leaving me to concentrate on a few personal goals in need some attention. ๐Ÿ“

My Microblogvember

Thinking about how hard it might be to get a random word and make something of it I wanted a way to be able to constrain myself and also that would help inspire and challenge me. @challenges

So I chose the subject of Finland, where I live but am not a native. It really helped and hopefully made the sum of the words I posted about add up to something a little more than they would have been individually. So here they all are;

figure feast license admiration exempt echo insight consensus certain minister display suspicion adjust leave aluminium franchise barrel tire novel repeat ice grazed update retain ritual commitment motivation trend fish safety

The Koli Ice Road is one of the longest in Finland at 8km long. For safety the ice must be at least 40 cm (16 in) thick before the road may be opened.

I caught my first fish on lake Saimaa, one of many that day. We went back to the cottage in the evening and ate what we caught washed down with a beer or two.

Finns have a strong relationship with nature. In Finland 72% of the land area is forested and there are about 200,000 lakes. Here too is the trend of loss of biodiversity something we are trying to combat.

RGB (128, 24, 24) The motivation for painting their barns with the red sludge that came out of the Falu copper mine in Sweden was to make the barns look like brick buildings. Now the Punamulta color is the default for barns across much of Europe and N. America.

The Baby Box started in 1937 Finland as part of a commitment to combatting social inequality and poverty, already in 1917 mothers were given 4 weeks of maternity leave. Now other countries have joined in Scotland, Canada and India to name a few.

The key ritual in a Sauna is the pouring of water onto hot stones giving steam or lรถyly

The word has a broader meaning that is difficult to translate โ€“ it refers to the condition, the sense, the feeling of the sauna experience. Originally, it meant “spirit” or “life” YLE News

A great article about Finland’s school system explains well why Finland so often has great a PISA ranking. Something that chimed with me was their willinghness to tweak the system, dispose of things that didn’t work and retain what did.

Human rights in Finland include freedom of speech, religion, association, and assembly. A 2010 update made Finland the first country to incude internet access as a human right.

I feel like I have still only grazed the surface of the Finnish language but as they say here Ei oppi ojaan kaada.

I remember the first time I walked out onto the sea. The ice was piled up on the beach like a broken wave caught in time. The crystals in the air with the light reflecting off the snow was blinding. I could have walked out to any of the islands on the archipelago.

In Finland reading and libraries are a source of pride. One reason why Finnish children easily learn to read is that you pronounce the words like they are written. In English you must spend years repeat reading again and again as words spelt the same are pronounced differently.

Snow arrives in Helsinki โ„๏ธ

Tove Jansson is best known as the creator of the Moomins but for me she was the better writer. The novel The Summer Book is beautiful and catches something about Finland, time and love. ๐Ÿ“š

Ugh I should be reading my new book about Zettelkasten but I am on twitter watching the meltdown like itโ€™s a sport. ๐Ÿ—ƒ

I tire of being told Finland is not part of Scandinavia. Sure technically that’s almost true but most people when they talk about Scandinavia are thinking about culture not geography.

One of Finlands earliest Industries was the production of Tar for waterproofing boats.

But as late as 1875 tar production was 175,000 barrels, many times more than the 50,000-70,000 barrels a year in the 17th century. Via

Between 2011-2016 The Guggenheim Museum tried and failed to set up one of it’s Franchise art galleries in Helsinki. So not quite as successful as McDonalds which first came to Finland in 1984 and currently has 67 Restaurants.

Walking to work this morning there was a bike beside the canal covered in barnacles. Someone must have pulled it up from the canal bed and just left it there.