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Leeds: Second Impressions

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There's been almost no rain in Leeds this Sunday, so (after processing another 50 or so pages of the Benkler I'm currently working through) I've used the opportunity to explore town a little more. This is the first day without rain or snow since the start of the week, and the temperature has risen slightly; there was in fact a little sunshine if you looked skywards in the right moment. The evening sky even has a kind of dark bluish tinge, rather than just fading from grey to black.

Leeds certainly is a town on the move - there's plenty of new residential and office development around the river and train line, and good parts of the city centre look like they've been redeveloped reasonably recently. That's not to say that there aren't still plenty of 60s and 70s municipal building monstrosities sprinkled liberally through town, much as they are in so many Western European cities. Leeds University isn't above reproach in that regard either - the iconic and the ugly (and the iconically ugly) are often just a stone's throw apart.

To get out of the cold, I also had a look at Leonardo doing his stuff (including a passable South African accent) in Blood Diamond. A surprisingly powerful movie which through its setting in the late 1990s cleverly avoids having its message derailed by the more recent 'war on terror' overtones; not quite a Babel, but very much worth seeing. Djimon Hounsou steals the show as usual, of course - and it's good to see Arnold Vosloo play a more, er, meaty role than that of revivified mummy.

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