Catch up

Hey! It's time for that classic genre of blog post, the oh-darn-it's-been-how-long post.

I don't really keep this site for much more than having somewhere to put the odd ramble, but I figured it's probably not a bad idea to do a little catch up.

Had my doctoral viva at the very end of January. It was a really great, if draining experience, lasting something like two and three quarters hours if I remember correctly. Queue lots of nervous looks on the staff and friends casually hanging around waiting to find out if the cork could be popped. My examiners Hans Van Wees and Kate Gilliver were challenging but really supportive, and the chair Maria Fragoulaki positively bubbled over with questions once the proceedings were over and the limitation on her discussing only procedural elements was lifted. I was fortunate to have passed with 'no corrections'. That means that actually I had a week to fix any errors but to be honest I'd already identified and corrected a …

Metroid Zero Mission and genre

I've always liked playing video games but didn't ever really have a lot of them growing up. So the advent and growth of popularity of the term metroidvania didn't really mean much to me. I had Metroid II: Return of Samus on the Game Boy (quite a bit of my exposure to gaming, and especially to Nintendo gaming was in the form of their "withered technology" portables) but frankly found it very difficult as a child and never got very far with it until my recent play through on the original cartridge using my old Game Boy Advance. Oh I'd played modern era Metroid games, I loved the MetroidPrime series on the GameCube/Wii; the first, especially, captured the ethereal, lonely solitude of being the only soul standing among the ruins of past civilisations (although the mega-flies and razor grasses of the average archaeological site poses fewer dangers than the strange fauna and flora of Tallon IV). And I tried more than once to play, but hated, Metroid: Other M on Wi…

A photo essay of completing my thesis


Genocide and the Middle Roman Republic, a free lecture by me

Next month I'm presenting the first of this academic year's Exploring the Past free lecture series hosted by Cardiff University's Continuing and Professional Education in conjunction with the Historical Association. I'm very excited by the opportunity; they get a great mix of people in the audience: professionals, well-informed amateurs, and those who have never learnt about a subject but are always engaged. 
I've pasted some details are pasted below, but the full listing can be seen on the CPE's portal.

On the removal of statues

THIS morning, a friend messaged me to ask my opinion on the issue of the removal of statues from public space. Well, he actually sent me a link to a youtube video and asked my take on it, and like any good academic I didn't watch the argument it made but formed opinions purely in response to its title.My reply to him was that I'd have to blog it, because I don't think that there's an unequivocal solution or explanation to the problem, and that my thoughts weren't suitable to the immediacy of instant messaging.I say problem, because it has increasingly become one of late. Before the violence of Charlottesville, and the subsequent mass removal of statues commemorating US Confederate leaders, there was already increasing consternation about statues in public or quasi-public spaces, in particular statues on university campuses to Old White Dude benefactors who may definitely have built their fortunes on the misery of the trans-Atlantic slave trade. Bristol and other ci…

A hiaku on a broken monitor

Monitor two's failed. I feel a bit betrayed. One screen, how rustic.

A pictorial odyssey through some #FabulaeFaciles

A while ago I ran some tweets with pics from an old copy of F. Ritchies's Fabulae Faciles, a Latin storybook for schoolchildren illustrated by Robinson. I've lazily just embedded the tweets below--enjoy!

This week I'll be tweeting pics each day of Robinson's illustrations from #FabulaeFaciles by F. Ritchie— David Colwill (@majikmutton) April 10, 2017
First of this week's #fabulaefaciles: Perseus saving Andromeda, and a gorgon-petrified Polydectes— David Colwill (@majikmutton) April 10, 2017

Day 2 of #fabulaefaciles. Hercules, boy and man. Hercules likes to strangle things, doesn't like centaurs.— David Colwill (@majikmutton) April 11, 2017
Hercules' Labours cont, shooting Stymphalian birds & about to hold heavens up for Atlas (shown typically w Earth instead)— David Colwill (@majikmutton) April 11, 2017
My absolute favourite from #fabula…