A new word for missing
Does anyone know what has become of Latigo Flint, quickest of quickdraws??
Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above
Does anyone know what has become of Latigo Flint, quickest of quickdraws??
A story that has been fairly big news north of the border, less so in England, is the announcement that following last years's ruling that a total ban on voting by convicted prisoners in elections contravened human rights legislation, a legal challenge might be mounted to May's election for the Scottish Parliament. This might result in delay to the election, or to hefty compensation claims fron Scotland's prison population.
With my liking for bad puns, Buddhism and the music of Shoukichi Kina (especially Hana), I could scarcely resist these creations, found here.
A couple of weeks back, Gary Trudeau ran this Doonesbury strip. What a shocking story, I thought.
"Percy the duck has had a difficult couple of weeks."
This from Overheard In New York.
Following my earlier post on ambiguous headlines, I loved the headline from this story "Psychic arrest uncovers drug ring". I had a vision of Strathclyde Police holding a seance to locate a stash of heroin, or maybe doing that trick with a map and a pendulum.
When the Greens talk about producing energy from biomass somehow I doubt whether this is quite what they have in mind. Though one can't fault the logic.
Having recently read The Diary of Anne Frank as part of my six-books-in-three-months resolution (currently nearly halfway through David Copperfield, thanks for asking) I found this story from the BBC interesting.
If the previous post suggested that I had become complacent about the level of racism in 21st century Britain, this story reminded me that there's still far too much of it about, and some of it is extremely nasty. I remain, however, cautiously optimistic about the British in general.
I've recently been reading Anthony Pople's Cambridge Music Handbook on the Alban Berg Violin Concerto, which Leanne Alexander is performing with Edinburgh Symphony Orchestra in four weeks' time.
However much Tony Blair and John Reid try to stir up paranoia and antipathy concerning Britain's Muslims, and however enthusiastically they are supported in this noble task by such contemptible creatures as the Daily Mail's Melanie Phillips, it will (I believe and hope) be a very long time before anti-Muslim sentiment in Britain reaches the level which anti-Semitic feelings had clearly reached in 1936 Vienna. Mind you, Hitler's policies merely gave the Viennese licence to indulge in feelings which many of them were already harbouring quite openly. In Britain, on the other hand, the public revulsion at the racist abuse recently directed at Shilpa Shetty by Jade Goody and friends on Celebrity Big Brother would seem to suggest that British public attitudes do not yet provide such fertile soil for government-sponsored hatred.
Let's raise a glass with a resounding "Never again!" to continued British resistance to the foul fantasies of Phillips & Co.
Thinking of Youtube reminds me of this guy. I feel a new Winter Olympic event coming on (not too much of a drug problem but just think of the amount of drink the champions would have to get through).
If Blogger hadn't died on me (again) I had intended to post (indeed, I had posted) to the effect that, by the way, the Halle Choir blog had a few more points of interest. First of all, like EKN, it had a "Christmas songs and carols" quiz. Yay!
Also on a musical theme, I found this blog recently. Rather good fun, I thought. I seem to have missed the BBC's mega-performance of Spem In Alium on TV, which is a shame as it's a piece I'm rather partial to. But it's available on DVD, so I could always get that. (Why they called the programme The People's Chorus instead of Spemalot I have no idea, however. Missed an opportunity there, marketing guys.)
The missing clock has returned.
One of the other non-blogging activities I've been engaged in this week is arranging for our string quartet to make its first appearance in public, at the March meeting of Edinburgh Music Club. (Since that earlier post, Elspeth the maths teacher has dropped out and been replaced on viola by Rebecca the psychotherapist.) We shall be playing Minimax - Repertorium für Militärmusik by Paul Hindemith (1895 - 1963), a composer generally known for his rather serious and cerebral compositions. However, Hindemith evidently had a WKD side*, of which Minimax is just one example. Here's a description lifted from a CD review, which seems pretty accurate:
Someone seems to have stolen the EKN clock. And Joe's Las Vegas one as well.
One of the things I've been doing instead of blogging these past few days is a chore of a kind, which is partly pleasant and partly sad. Sad in that it's necessary; pleasant in that it gives me a good deal of satisfaction to think of the hoped-for result. I refer to Amnesty International's Greetings Card campaign, which runs each year through December and January. The idea is to send greetings cards to prisoners of conscience, political prisoners, the families of people who have been caused to "disappear", and the like. In general you are asked to send non-religious cards, so "Season's Greetings", or Happy New Year or whatever is OK, but no cribs or angels. This year I sent a large number of partridges in pear trees (bought very cheaply just after Christmas), blank and with my new year greeting and/or message of support written in. (Note to pedants: not real partridges and trees, obv.)
Sorry I haven't posted for a few days: I've been up to my neck in other things, mostly musical ones. Not playing, so much as sending loads of emails trying to arrange/rearrange/cancel rehearsals, trying to borrow instruments, engage a harpist, etc etc.
Norman Geras prints possibly the worst joke of the decade.
Astute readers of this blog will know that Oliver Kamm and I are not the best of blogging chums (he has accused me elsewhere of "underhand conduct" and "histrionics"). I've been reading his blog, which is a somewhat assorted experience, as his posts seem to range from the barking to the unexceptionable. (Perhaps, like Judith Weiss of Kesher Talk whose posts have a similar compass, Mr Kamm will turn out to be a musical soulmate, maybe with a stash of Gentle Giant albums or a liking for bravura 19th century clarinet showpieces.)
I must say I like the thought of Morrissey either writing or (even better) performing a British Eurovision entry.
I liked this post (from last September) over on The Metaverse. I liked the cartoon, and the point which it was illustrating, and I thought the links were interesting.
Happy birthday (or as happy as it can be when you've been dead for over 104 years) to Swami Vivekananda.
This post, on the other hand, is via Joel.reddit, which is a technology blog moderated by software developer Joel Spolsky. Don't worry too much about the details of the software products mentioned (FogBugz is Spolsky's). The things that struck me were: firstly the description of Korean Hangul script, about which I had had no idea and which seems unbelievably cool, and secondly the moral of the piece, that Boolean two-valued logic isn't always appropriate for modelling realistic, messy, social situations. Robert Anton Wilson would undoubtedly approve.
...and so did this.
A cautionary tale from Dark Roasted Blend, another good miscellany site. Always happy to pass on stuff like this, though my heart will always belong to the wholly unlarcenous practical joker who attacked a Clydesdale Bank ATM (in Rothesay IIRC) with green spray paint and masking tape, such that its screen always appeared to be blank. The engineer called to fit an anti-glare visor rather enjoyed that one.
Cloud has a good piece in which he complains about this post by Oliver Kamm (for a moment I did a double take and thought it was by the German goalkeeper) in response to this article in the Observer. As comments on Mr Kamm's blog are only by email, I sent him the following. His piece was entitled "Caliban's Return", BTW, hence my title.
Oliver Kamm has asked me to point out (both in this post and in the comments boxes here and here which link to it) that he sent his email (the text in red above) without any expectation or indication from me that it would be published, and considers such publication to be bad form. I have apologised to Mr Kamm: normally I would at least have let him know I was planning to quote him, and simply forgot on this occasion. Mr Kamm has accepted my apology.
I suppose my mind was still running on headlines (as per the previous post), so as I hummed my way through some of the tunes from Mary Poppins I recalled the the wonderful headline with which the Daily Record (I think) reported the trouncing of Glasgow Celtic (one of the most prominent football teams in Scotland) in a cup match by the much more lowly Inverness Caledonian ("Caly") Thistle:
In the same issue of the Guardian that had the Terry Jones and Rebecca Front articles, there was this wonderful headline:
A musical colleague emailed me this list. I don't know where she found it so I can't credit it properly, but here it is anyway. Unusually for such bits of musical humour, most of it was new to me. And, oh yes, it's actually pretty funny. Enjoy.
Two good columns in yesterday's Guardian, on pages opposite one another. On one side, Terry Jones (yup, he of "I don't like Spam!" and "He's not the Messiah, he's a very naughty boy!", though these days he mainly writes books on medieval history) on profiteering and waste in the Iraq war.
From the ever-wonderful Wondermark:
Who needs Cindy Sheehan when you have the US Army showing such sensitivity regarding dead combat veterans?
Some links from linkbunnies which seem worth sharing while I put together a proper post. Thanks guys.
Oops - I meant to post this yesterday (Christmas decorations coming down and all that).
Just to remind you all that Kesher Talk is more than just right-wing, anti-Islamic and pro-Israeli ravings, here is a splendid post. And in the comments stream Judith Weiss and I sort of high-five each other, which is nice.
And following America's tremendous success in restoring peace and stability to Iraq after years of, er, peace and stability (but now with death squads instead of sanctions), here comes GWB's next foreign policy fiasco.
I was reading this article about Leonora Carrington in the Guardian earlier today and as soon as Peggy Guggenheim appeared in it I thought of Lisa. She has done a post on it, with a link to a wonderful gallery of Leonora's paintings.
I've said it before and then I said it again: Ariel Sharon wasn't all bad.
Among the long list of reasons why Saddam should not have been executed, here is one I hadn't considered.
When I was posting in the small hours of this morning about my collection of unread (or partly-read) French books, perhaps I should have mentioned the odds and ends in other languages. I have, somewhere, a collection of Italian short stories with parallel English/Italian texts. I have a Dutch translation of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban: a present from my daughter, and all the more cherished because she collects translations of Harry Potter herself and has no Dutch examples (I got her a Polish Half-Blood Prince in Warsaw and I swear she screamed aloud with delight when she opened it). I have a Dutch cowboy comic which I think I plucked from a seat on a metro somewhere. And I have dual English/Latin editions of Virgil's Georgics and Eclogues, and the Odes of Horace (which I'm half-way through right now, reading the odd ode in between other things). Finally, a New Testament in the original Greek, and an Arabic brochure about Yemen.
I found a book challenge meme over on Udge's blog, the idea being that he has picked five books which have been languishing unread on his bookshelf for long periods, and undertakes to read them in the first two months on 2007. That seemed like a good idea to me. Despite my new year resolution to read more books (as opposed to online stuff and newpapers/journals) I feel that five books (given the nature of some of the ones I've picked, and given that I shall undoubtedly be reading other books in between) in two months is maybe a tough target, and six books in three months might be more achievable.
I've just taken my mouse to pieces and discovered that one of the bits of tape on the tracking wheels had mostly come apart, and that bits of it had wrapped themselves around the other wheels, sticky side out, where of course they attracted so much dust that no amount of blowing would ever dislodge it.
...in the Scottish manner. I shall return to work tomorrow to dozens of New Year greetings. At my orchestra and quartet rehearsals next week, the same. A little spooky until you get into the swing of it.