Disturbing the Universe

David L Clements, science and science fiction


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Pubs near Mancunicon

In the unlikely event that you’re at Mancunicon but want to get away from the Con and visit some of the local Manchester hostelries, here is a list prepared by a friend in CAMRA.

This list will also work if you’re arriving at the con early or staying late, so the con real ale bar isn’t open.

Near to the Con Hotel Briton’s Protection 50 Great Bridgewater St M1 5LE Traditional Boozer on the CamRA National Inventory http://whatpub.com/pubs/TRA/3223/britons-protection-hotel-manchester
Cask 29 Liverpool Rd M3 4NQ Quality Ale https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cask/154795084548913
Knott Bar 374 Deansgate M3 4LY #Nom, Quality Real Ale & Food http://knottbar.co.uk/
The Wharf 6 Slate Wharf M15 4ST #Nom, Quality Real Ale & Food http://www.brunningandprice.co.uk/thewharf/
Peveril of the Peak 127 Great Bridgwater St M1 5JQ Traditional Boozer on the CamRA National Inventory http://whatpub.com/pubs/TRA/3586/peveril-of-the-peak-manchester
Rain Bar 80 Great Bridgwater St M1 5JG The only J.W.Lees Pub in Mancheser http://www.rain-bar.co.uk/
also with great Architecture City Arms 46-48 Kennedy St M2 4BQ Traditional Boozer on the CamRA National Inventory http://whatpub.com/pubs/TRA/3280/city-arms-manchester
Mr Thomas’ Chop House 52 Cross St M2 7AR #Nom!, CamRA National Inventory http://tomschophouse.com/
Old Wellington 4 Cathedral Gates M3 1SW Moved after IRA bombing http://www.nicholsonspubs.co.uk/restaurants/northwest/theoldwellingtonmanchester
for Local Breweries Ape & Apple 28-30 John Dalton Street M2 6HQ A Holts pub, traditional boozer http://www.joseph-holt.com/pubs/view/ape-and-apple
Castle Hotel 66 Oldham Street M4 1LE A Robinsons pub, often bands in the back room http://thecastlehotel.info/
Grey Horse 80 Portland Street M1 4QX A Hydes pub, traditional boozer http://whatpub.com/pubs/MAS/4242/grey-horse-inn-manchester
Marble Arch 73 Rochdale Road M4 4HY #Nom, Marble brewery tap,  CamRA National Inventory Pub http://www.marblebeers.com/marble-arch/
Micro Bar Arndale Centre Market M4 2HU Boggart brewery tap, a stall in the Arndale market http://boggart-brewery.co.uk/boggart-beer-outlets/
Old Monkey 90 Portland Street M1 4GX A Holts pub, traditional boozer http://www.joseph-holt.com/pubs/view/old-monkey
Smithfield Hotel 37 Swan Street M4 5JZ Blackjack brewery tap http://www.the-smithfield-hotel.co.uk/
Concentrating on Quality Real Ales Angel 6 Angel St M4 4BR #Nom, Quality Real Ale & Food http://theangelmanchester.com/
Bar Fringe 8 Swan St M4 5JN Spot the Rats & the Motorbike… http://whatpub.com/pubs/MAN/9651/bar-fringe-manchester-city-centre
Crescent 18-21 The Crescent M5 4PF Ales & Pub Grub https://www.facebook.com/thecrescentpubsalford/
Crown & Kettle 2 Oldham Road M4 5FE Look at the ceiling… https://www.facebook.com/TheCrownandKettle/
New Oxford 11 Bexley Square M3 6DB Good for beer ticking http://thenewoxford.com/
Salford Arms 146 Chapel St M3 6AF Vegan Night on Tuesdays http://www.salfordarmshotel.co.uk/
Quality Real Ales with Craft Beer Too Font 7-9 New Wakefield St M1 5NP Quality Real & Craft Ales, club in the basement https://thefontbar.wordpress.com/manchester/
Joshua Brooks 106 Princess St M1 6NG Quality Real & Craft Ales, club in the basement http://www.joshuabrooks.co.uk/
Piccadilly Tap Station Approach M1 32GH Quality Real & Craft Ales http://piccadillytap.com/
Port Street Beer House 39-41 Port St M1 2EQ Quality Real & Craft Ales http://www.portstreetbeerhouse.co.uk/
Sandbar 120 Grosvenor Street M1 7HL Quality Real & Craft Ales http://www.sandbarmanchester.co.uk/
Café BeerMoth 40 Spring Gardens M2 1DA Quality Real & Craft Ales http://beermoth.co.uk/
also good for food, #Nom! Molly House 26 Richmond St M1 3NB #Nom!, 100 yds from the Alan Turing Memorial in Sackville Park http://www.themollyhouse.com/
Oast House Spinningfields, Hardman St M3 3AY #Nom! http://theoasthouse.uk.com/
Sam’s Chop House Back Pool Fold M2 1HN #Nom! http://samschophouse.com/
Soup Kitchen 31-33 Spear Street M1 1DF More ales in the basement bar http://soup-kitchen.co.uk/
Tib St. Tavern 74 Tib St M4 1LG #Nom!


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Measuring the lack of impact of journal papers

Why journal impact factor is a meaningless metric…

In the Dark

I’ve been involved in a depressing discussion on the Astronomers facebook page, part of which was about the widespread use of Journal Impact factors by appointments panels, grant agencies, promotion committees, and so on. It is argue (by some) that younger researchers should be discouraged from publishing in, e.g., the Open Journal of Astrophysics, because it doesn’t have an impact factor and they would therefore be jeopardising their research career. In fact it takes two years for new journal to acquire an impact factor so if you take this advice seriously nobody should ever publish in any new journal.

For the record, I will state that no promotion committee, grant panel or appointment process I’ve ever been involved in has even mentioned impact factors. However, it appears that some do, despite the fact that they are demonstrably worse than useless at measuring the quality of publications. You can…

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Disturbed Universes: short story collection

As I’ve mentioned here several times already, my first short story collection will be released at the UK National SF Convention, Mancunicon, over the Easter weekend.

As we build up to that release various things will happen, the first of which is that today I get to reveal the cover artwork!

image002

I’m particularly proud of that endorsement by Stephen Baxter.

Pre-ordering is not yet available but hopefully will come along in the next week or so. Of course, if you’re coming to Mancunicon, you can get your copy there at the book launch with the added benefit of a signature from the author!


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BSFA Award Long Listed Story Available Here!

I woke to the news (thanks Nicholas!) that my story Long Way Gone, published in the Jan/Feb issue of Analog last year, is on the BSFA Award long list. Since Analog isn’t particularly easy to get in the UK, and since the issue came out some time ago, I’ve decided to put the story up on these web pages so that anybody interested in voting for it, or anyone who hasn’t managed to see it, can read it for free.

It’s available here.

The story has had an interesting mix of reviews, from the unexpectedly good (‘Clements gives a unique take on the old concept of choosing your own destiny and non-conformity that would make Ralph Waldo Emerson proud.’, thanks to Amazing Stories) to the oddness of an anonymous reviewer on Amazon stating that ‘I do not read stories about insane people’). It also elicited my first ever piece of fan email.

So – please read the story, and vote for the BSFA Award shortlist if you’re a member.

And thanks to those whose initial longlist votes helped this story get onto the longlist!

ETA: This story is one of 17 (I think – I’ve lost count!) that will be in Disturbed Universes, my first short story collection, to be published by NewCon Press at Easter 2016 during the UK National SF Convention, Mancunicon.


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Just how mild has this December been?

Over a metre of rain in one month – that’s a lot!

Protons for Breakfast Blog

A great deal of rain has fallen on some parts of the UK this month (December 2015) A great deal of rain has fallen on some parts of the UK this month (December 2015) (Source : BBC)

It’s been exceptionally warm this month.

We will have to wait a day or two for the various agencies to compile their annual reports, but let me précis the results for you:

  • 2015 has been ‘warm’.

And this  warmth has been evident where I live and work, in Teddington.

Analysing the data from my weather station a day early, I have compared my local results with the ‘climate normals’ for nearby Kingston upon Thames.

‘Climate Normals’ are the average values of various meteorological quantities over (typically) 30 year periods, in this case from 1981 to 2010.

Graph showing the 'Climate Normals' for the daily maximum and minimum temperatures for Kingston upon Thames. Also shown are data from my weather station for September, October, November and December. Graph showing the ‘Climate Normals’ for the daily maximum and minimum temperatures for Kingston upon Thames. Also shown are the averaged data from my weather station for September, October, November and December. Click the graph for a larger…

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