| contact: drbenway at priest dot com
| blogging since Oct '01
This is Gordon Osse's blog.
NOTE: Though the comment counter is not working, you can leave comments and I check for them. if you want to leave website info or your name, do so within the textbox, not the signature box, which isn't operative. Thanks.
"He who does not at some time, with definite determination consent to the terribleness of life, or even exalt in it, never takes possession of the inexpressible fullness of the power of our existence."
all faces followers of
All colors, beams of
-- Akhenaton, "Hymn to the Sun"
Opt your children out of Pentagon harassment
WHO I WORK FOR: Mount Hope Wholesale
Wholesale nuts, grains, fruits and spices (and more) shipped from Cottonwood AZ
(Tell them you heard about them on Gordon's blog!)
WHAT I'VE SEEN LATELY:
(r) = re-viewing
God Told Me To (1976, Cohen)
Whispering City (1947, Otsep)
Times and Winds (2006, Erdem)
Dirty Money (Un flic) (1972, Melville)
10th District Court (2004, Depardon)
RFK Must Die: The Assassination of Bobby Kennedy (2007, O'Sullivan)
The Furies (1950, Mann)
In a Lonely Place (1950, Ray)(r)
The Adjuster (1991, Egoyan)(r)
Mad Men The Buddha of Suburbia Intelligence (2006, Haddock) Family Guy
SUGGESTED VIEWING: The Power of Nightmares: The Rise of the Politics of Fear (2004, Curtis) [available for streaming/download here]
The Guardian's Mark Lawson on why (predictably) the new Hollywood film version of Dennis Potter's The Singing Detective is not nearly up to the classic series made for British TV
Though challenging and disturbing -- and long -- this is one of the best series ever made for TV. The DVD does it justice, which is great especially because it never really made it to American television.
Maybe Robert Downey does a good job in the title role -- I can see him in it despite the indelible impression Michael Gambon made -- but the story really needs the 6 hour length, and Jon Amiel (and particularly editors Bill Wright & Sue Wyatt) really set a standard it would be hard to beat.
For anyone interested in how art gets made, the process of turning experience into creation was Potter's metier.
A writer appreciated for her short stories in her Canadian homeland for years, Frances Itani is apparently making big waves internationally now with her first novel Deafening
There's not a single false gesture in Frances Itani's Deafening. Despite its subjects -- war, romance, disability -- it's a story of careful, measured emotion, bleached of all sentimentality.
The heroine, Grania O'Neill, was robbed of her hearing at the age of five by scarlet fever in the early 20th century. Itani narrates her life in a voice imbued with the cadences of the deaf girl's thoughts and sensibilities, a technique that submerges us in Grania's silent but vivid world, a place "divided into things that move and things that don't move."
Maybe because it details the horrors of WWI and Bao Ninh's The Sorrow of War (about the Vietnam war from the perspective of a North Vietnamese soldier, which I'm now reading) is enough about that subject for now. It's very good BTW.
Either way you get great insights into the Japanese character and how it's adjusted (or not) to the challenge of modernity and Western culture.
Buruma's tale differs in its focus on the psychological currents of the times, and on the patterns of behaviour that often determined political developments. Japan's response to its encounter with Western civilization was, as Buruma says, "traumatic". It engendered a clash between the new students of Western ideas and the old Sinocentric modes of thought, and eventually, after a series of homespun theories about "Japanese essence", the deeply blinkered nationalism that led to the savagery of the war. Even those who adopted new ideas were divided; some welcomed them for their own sake, while others saw them as a means to a nationalistic end: once Japan had "learned enough from the barbarians to resist them, the country could safely be closed again".
To identify the remnants of this mentality in modern Japan -- in its stringent visa requirements, for example, or in workplace attitudes to foreigners, who are rarely given any real authority -- is to recognize the relevance of Buruma's book to observable aspects of Japanese life today. It was only in 1999, after years of struggle by numerous foreigners and against the wishes of the National Police Agency, that Japan finally ended its system of fingerprinting all foreign residents. But it still insists on re-entry permits for most foreign residents going abroad, whether on a business trip to South Korea or a weekend break to Guam, entailing more visits to immigration offices and a 3,000 yen (Pounds 15) [or about $28 US] fee each time. This essentially racist tax is never discussed in the media and most Japanese don't know about it.
At the root of Japan's neurosis is the unresolved conflict between individualism and its desire to control...
Until recently I was printing out a schedule of the shows my girlfriend's mom watches (mostly syndicated senior stuff like Gunsmoke and Matlock). Every week at least one show was on at different times.
And that's daytime. Primetime is even worse.
I watch few shows of any kind, 24 and King of the Hill being the two I can think of right now. So I wouldn't have noticed myself.
Channels are broadcast over MIT's cable TV network.
The MIT project is called "Library Access to Music," or "LAMP," and here's how it works: Users go to a Web page and "check out" one of 16 cable channels in the MIT system, which they can control for up to 80 minutes. The controller then picks songs from among 3,500 CDs -- all suggested by students in an online survey over the past year -- that Winstein, 22, and Mandel, 20, have compiled.
The music is then pumped into the user's room on that channel and played through a TV, a laptop with an audio jack or external speakers.
Only one person controls each channel at a time, but anyone can listen in. Anyone can also see on another channel what selections are playing and the usernames of the controllers (Winstein acknowledges potential privacy concerns, but there are upsides: He once got a romantic proposition from a user who admired his taste for Stravinsky).
If all 16 channels regularly fill up, MIT could make more available for a few hundred dollars each. Users can listen to, but not store, the music.
The students built the system using part of $25 million grant to MIT from Microsoft Corp., some of which was set aside for student projects.
"We still wanted to do it over the Internet, but MIT's lawyers were not willing to chance that," Winstein said.
?"Yes, it is his business!" said Five. "and I'll tell him -- it was for bringing the cook tulip-roots instead of onions."
???Seven flung down his brush, and had just begun, "Well, of all the unjust things -- -" when his eye chanced to fall upon Alice, as she stood watching them, and he checked himself suddenly: the others
looked round also, and all of them bowed low.
???"Would you tell me," said Alice, a little timidly, "why you are painting those roses?"
???Five and Seven said nothing, but looked at Two. Two began in a low voice, "Why, the fact is, you see, Miss, this here ought to have been a red rose-tree, and we put a white one in by mistake, and if the Queen was to find it out, we should all have our heads cut off, you know. So you see, Miss, we're doing our best, afore she comes, to -- -" At this moment Five, who had been anxiously looking across the garden, called out, "The Queen! The Queen!" and the three gardeners instantly threw themselves flat upon their faces. There was a sound of many footsteps, and Alice looked round, eager to see the Queen.
Peridot (as a vibrational or homeopathic remedy) can apparently be used to remove toxicity if used for a long period, good for liver & eyes, releasing subconscious tension and expanding sight. [Gem Elixirs and Vibrational Healing, Vol. 1]
The notion of Amazon scanning all of its books but allowing users to search only those they own is a clever way around the central barrier to creating a digital archive: Copyrights are distributed among tens of thousands of publishers and authors. But when Manber told Bezos his idea, he found the Amazon founder ready to work on a grander scale. Bezos wanted his customers to be able to search everything.
With persistence, serendipity and plenty of time in a library, I may have found these titles myself. The Amazon archive is dizzying not because it unearths books that would necessarily have languished in obscurity, but because it renders their contents instantly visible in response to a search. It allows quick query revisions, backtracking, and exploration. It provides a new form of map.
"'You're the good guy, and the good guy not only shoots the bad guy, but he shoots him through the head, and 20 lbs. of gray matter fly out the back, and hurrah hurrah.' Then the lights come up. And the repercussions of these actions aren't dramatized. There's something emotionally corrupt about films that celebrate the worst in us."
Swarthmore computing freedom group getting attention, though their site (and this article) is suspiciously offline now, a couple weeks after this item was originally posted [Undernews]
The group, founded by Nelson Pavlovsky '06 and Luke Smith '06, is dedicated to a multitude of issues pertaining to the prevention of the limiting of open culture. This translates into resisting the efforts of the Recording Industry Association of America to sue those who share music files, opposing the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and similar expansion of intellectual property law, spreading the use of Linux and other freeware programs and fighting the plan of Microsoft and the "Trusted Computing Platform Alliance" to put monitoring chips in personal computers.
The new translation by Burton Raffel rocks. Or, more precisely, it's a blast, which is exactly how Raffel (a distinguished professor of humanities at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette who has also dragged Balzac's old warhorse, P?re Goriot, kicking and screaming into the 21st century) has Julien describe his own life: "'If you give me twenty francs,' he says to a visitor while awaiting his trip to the guillotine, 'I'll tell you, in detail, the story of my life. It's a blast.'" Raffel restores to Stendhal the quality that, in the words of V.S. Pritchett, makes "each sentence of his plain prose" read like "a separate shock." [link]
Heard endlessly of Stendahl but never read him. Maybe now I will.
Working in Tyson's studio situation caused Titchner to make a significant departure from Tyson's practice. 'It's led me to be more emollient to individual works. Work flying in and out of the studio without being resolved is depressing. I've become more clingy to my practice.'
Mary Horlock, curator of Titchner's Art Now show and author of a forthcoming publication on Julian Opie, says: 'You can see a creative dialogue between Keith Tyson's work and that of Mark Titchner, but you never know whether that's why they were drawn to work together in the first place - like Julian Opie and Michael Craig-Martin - or whether there's a slight tendency to adapt from each other and that comes out afterwards in the work. It's part of the hidden network that goes on.'
My second point concerns the brutal, unceasing emphasis on testing and marking. It leads to a superficial way of working and a very limited way of responding to it. I recently judged a short story competition run by a charity, and what dismayed me about the entries was they were all superficially bright and competent, correctly spelled and punctuated, and all absolutely lifeless.
They all bore the marks of having been drilled into the children: this is how you open a story; here you need some dialogue; you must have a punchy final paragraph. They would all have scored highly on a test. They were all empty, conventional and worthless.
The things you can test are not actually the most important things. When teachers are under pressure to get so many pupils to such-and-such a point, in order to meet an externally imposed target, they have to do things - for the sake of the school - that might not be things they'd do for the sake of the children.
My last point concerns reading. I recently read through the sections on reading in key stages 1 to 3 of the national literacy strategy, and I was very struck by something about the verbs. I wrote them all down. They included "reinforce", "predict", "check", "discuss", "identify", "categorise", "evaluate", "distinguish", "summarise", "infer", "analyse", "locate"... and so on: 71 different verbs, by my count, for the activities that come under the heading of "reading". And the word "enjoy" didn't appear once.
Ohio State University, in Columbus, is spending $140 million on what its peers enviously refer to as the Taj Mahal, a complex featuring kayaks and canoes, indoor batting cage, massages and a climbing wall big enough for 50 students to scale simultaneously. On the drawing board at the University of Southern Mississippi, in Hattiesburg, are plans for a water park, complete with slides, a meandering river and a wet deck - a flat, moving sheet of water that helps students stay cool while sunbathing.
To finance the boom, universities are borrowing money at an escalating pace. According to Moody's Investors Service, public and private universities issued $12 billion worth of bonds in the first three quarters of 2003, a 22 percent increase from last year and almost three times as much as in the same period in 2000.
But although the older mausoleums tended to be somber and foreboding, the most recent ones are a lot more welcoming, decorative and high-tech. Forest Lawn Memorial-Parks and Mortuaries in Glendale, Calif., is planning a three-story community mausoleum complex in Renaissance style. It will feature a 2,700-crypt mausoleum; a statuary garden; an 800-seat auditorium for religious services, lectures and films; a cafe serving coffee and light sandwiches; a space for exhibitions by local artists; and a museum displaying a permanent exhibit of artwork owned by the cemetery. The crypt area will feature technology that lets visitors press buttons on hand-held devices to retrieve photos, history and even a recorded message from the deceased via computer chips affixed to individual crypts.