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April 13th; Saturday. In search of my mended shirts, get to Aranka's in the next village kindly driven by Bela around 11am. We find neither Aranka the seamstress nor her dog Dumpling, even though we are within her Saturday opening hours. Her husband says I might find her on Monday. Seems that shark skin is actually made of teeth. Also, animals "know" which herbs to heal themselves with.

April 12th; Friday. Drive out with Robin into the Great Plain after dark.
April 11th; Thursday. Since 1980, the EU has steadily shrunk as a share of the world economy, even as it got more members.

April 10th; Wednesday. Further Dr Moreau news from one of our contributors: human genes make monkeys brighter.
April 9th; Tuesday. Claims that sexual roles are socially learned during childhood now even more dented. Brain scans show that girls' and boys' brains work differently even in the womb before birth.

April 8th; Monday. Another climatologist says global warming is spin.
April 7th; Sunday. Finish British historian Norman Stone's book about the last 200 years of Magyar history, 'Hungary: A Short History'. Now to write the review for the Salisbury Review. It's readable and packed with events. Stone confirmed to me last year over a beer that he had indeed, as Mehmet once told me, learned Hungarian from a cellmate. That was during a brief prison spell in the communist 1970s for trying to smuggle a girl out over the border in his car boot. In this history Stone keeps the narrative pace going. In just a couple of places he moves so fast the prose is puzzling, but in general he holds all the narrative threads together adroitly. He takes the beleagured country's story from roughly 1800 to about 2015. Though mainly a Turkish history specialist and despite being scathing with some of the nation's sillier political figures over the last 21 difficult decades, Stone clearly still has faith in the Magyars.

April 6th; Saturday. As I've predicted for years, WiFi-blocking home decor is now a thing: anti-WiFi paint. Oh, and self-healing concrete.
April 5th; Friday. Finish the book I bought yesterday on a whim, 'Whatever', a translation into English of Houellebecq's first novel. Entertaining, if bleak, and laughed out loud a lot more often than the other book of his I read a few years back. This, his first, is frankly autobiographical. I wondered if this version had parts cut out? That's because I remember a complaint in an article from a former colleague muttering that Houellebecq didn't even change the posters on the wall of an office of someone in the book modelled on him - and there were no posters on any walls in this copy. A slightly odd edition by a firm called "Serpent's Tail", the translator from the French, Paul Hammond, doesn't get a mention, not even in small print. The story, about an endlessly irritated 30-year-old computer technician touring small towns across France teaching Agriculture Ministry employees a new data system in around 1990, wonderfully captures the nihilism of office work. He also has an ear for the dishonest way people talk in offices, the cultish feel of information technology, the desperate sadness of some people's sex lives, and the drab flatness of European daily life. An achievement, given all that, that it's as funny as it is. If he only had one novel in him, this close-to-life story is probably it.

April 4th; Thursday. I don't think I'd be thrilled to learn my music repelled insects.
April 3rd; Wednesday. The Republic of Ireland (which left the British Commonwealth some years back) has now joined the club of French-speaking countries.

April 2nd; Tuesday. More claims that vegans risk mental illness.
April 1st; Monday. April Fools' Day, so here's background on one special hoax.

March 31st; Sunday. A moment to reflect on treason: Whitehall agin Brexit.
March 30th; Saturday. Woman's mutant gene gives her superpowers over pain.

March 29th; Friday. Euroweasels delay today's planned exit from EU in move of very doubtful legality (to put it kindly). Becoming increasingly clear from Parliament that most most of Britain's MPs don't understand law, economics, history, or politics.
Meanwhile, out here in the real world, today's highlight was the lesson with Lorand. He told me how as a country boy of 5 or 6, his grandfather would take him by the hand at night on his farm and take him down to the sty the night before a pig-killing to say goodbye to the pig. He would scratch the backs of his porkers every night, but these special nights he would explain to the one doomed animal how beautiful and fat he was, how much they appreciated him, and how grateful his family were to be able to eat him on the morrow.
March 28th; Thursday. Wistful echoey club tune Maybe from Kettenkarussell. Hoping love might last for ever now counts as fleeting poignant wish.

March 27th; Wednesday. Got to stop saying "cyclist": another evil word. Turns out people can sense magnetic fields though, so that's nice.
March 26th; Tuesday. Obviously bogus "backstop" story coming apart. Created with the help of Major & Blair to sabotage Brexit.

March 25th; Monday. EU goes whole distance with ill-conceived copyright law. 15 MEPs now say they were tricked into voting for it by committee-craft jiggerypokery with the voting list.
March 24th; Sunday. Sleep 10 hours. Say goodbye to the Beast In The Bath. Loaded down with attic loot, I'm driven by kind Gyuri across the plain to Lakitelek station, where I savour another pear-flavoured energy drink before the train to Budapest. Cambridge invites Canadian psychology academic Jordan P. for a term. Then its students force it to uninvite him.

March 23rd; Saturday. Sleep 14 hours. Already by midnight last night, the catfish had the bath to itself. Several times in the night I heard the eerie sound of the heavy catfish sploshing right out of and back into the water next door, flipping over perhaps. Truly a beast of the night, straight out of a Hughes poem, prowls around the bath even while taking up half its length. I explore the attic and retrieve several of my items. Kasper arrives and Zeno the Alchemist gives the two boys a lesson in gutting a fish (the one that floated sideways yesterday) showing them the different organs on the smaller kitchen table.
March 22nd; Friday. After a fascinating morning lesson with Lorand at the agency, I drift out on the train to Robin's in the countryside, the 'Alfold' plain. Changing trains at a sunsoaked Kecskemet railway station, I discover an exciting new flavour of Hell energy drink: pear! Meanwhile in London, a march of pro-EU people who want to overturn the exit decision of the 2016 referendum boasts it attracted "over a million" people. In a discussion I guess this in fact means 300,000 to 400,000 people. A specialist crowd-counter agrees with me. Psychic powers, people.
Out in rural Hungary, Bela shows me the bath in the bathroom just off the kitchen. Two large fish are in the cold water. One, about 18 inches long and high, looks extremely unwell if not actually dead, floating sideways in the water like a plate. The other, a a dark grey three-foot catfish boasting handsome 8-inch-long whiskers, is very much alive.

March 21st; Thursday. Some women are going on "birth strike" because they believe in global-warming armageddon.
March 20th; Wednesday. Mad Love (Amour Fou), by Gavinco, more hypnotic & dreamy than wild or passionate, but that's probably the point.

March 19th; Tuesday. Another of those on-and-on-and-on tunes: "Ltj" and Hot Groovy 014. 14th in a series of 999, presumably.
March 18th; Monday. Women start turning into their mothers aged 33, says boffin.

March 17th; Sunday. US army says robot tanks really nothing to worry about.
March 16th; Saturday. A few evenings recently, walking through the shopping plaza that got built in the years I lived nearby, my nostrils detect an odour clearly being piped into the air-conditioning. Something to do with vanilla and burnt caramel, it's so strong at both ends (absent bakeries or food outlets) that it's clearly being put into the air to make people feel appetised and happy to purchase. Or at least ready for some major cake action.

March 15th; Friday. Finish a book kindly lent to me by Paul: 'Fifty Key Medieval Thinkers'. Well-organised, brisk, and with an excellent introductory essay, this handy guide takes the reader through a thousand-year range of thinkers, largely theologians in the Western Church. What is perhaps lost is a little subtlety in explaining their ideas. If the book had given an extra half page on 12 to 15 of the figures, people like Abelard, Duns Scotus, Nicolas de Cusa, it could have been really good. But someone always has a complaint about a compendium like this - never possible to do both breadth and depth.
March 14th; Thursday. At work on Crypto Hill, find a giant inflated number 8 inside the lift. Think last night's birthday party for a partner's daughter was for an 8-year-old until I see the silvery helium-filled 1 lurking in the restaurant later. Here's the IMF on why phasing out cash suits them.

March 13th; Wednesday. US government accidentally sends journalist weird mind-control documents. Meanwhile, interesting lecture from someone who claims he investigated the curious killing of Jo Cox that so nearly swung the 2016 Brexit vote the other way. In other news, crystal meth now social drug of choice in North Korea.
March 12th; Tuesday. Russian ships have vomit-inducing ray-guns? Want one, now.

March 11th; Monday. How French Revolution got the modern death-camp era started.
March 10th; Sunday. New Statesman says that May's supposedly amended 'Withdrawal Agreement' is in fact the earlier document reformatted but with identical text, down to the very last comma. Top humour from the EUnuchs! Estonians now regretting cryptocurrency hub idea.

March 9th; Saturday. Perky sounds of the swinging Orient: Yali Yali by 70s singer Nese Karabocek remixed, and Turkey's dancer Didem, looking sweet in 2011. Note vital quorum of Moustachioed Men in Suits.
March 8th; Friday. Moscow scientists reverse flow of time. Finally.

March 7th; Thursday. Surveyor says Welsh border in wrong place since 1880s.
March 6th; Wednesday. 2 intriguing synaesthesia poem/films from Dex.

March 5th; Tuesday. The EU's finest hacks hunt down hidden crimes: Europe's Glass Eel Mafia and its "subtle emergence". "Open get-away cars"!
March 4th; Monday. From beguilingly named early-70s French hippie-commune movie 'Le Mariage Collectif', the wonderfully Moogish 'Sexopolis', pleasantly giddy with mid-60s jazziness.

March 3rd; Sunday. Japanese firm makes headpieces to help terrify your pet. Flynn Effect now reversing, claim IQ-ologists. Research shows women ignored in films.
March 2nd; Saturday. Willie Hutch is an interesting case: lush funk tracks for early-70s blaxploitation films about crime & sleaze bring the best out of him, then he collapses into a career of sentimental slushy ballads once he gets a following. The early photos show a suspicious bitter young man, later on as he grew older a face filled with happiness & gentleness: a real suggestion of the redeeming power of love. Yet the music loses all edge and drama once he doesn't need to write about ghetto violence, money, sex any more. Slick / Theme of The Mack / Mack Man / You Sure Know How to Love Your Man / Mellow Mellow / Out There.

March 1st; Friday. The Register worries about El Trumpo & Huawei.

Recent weblog entries continued:

Who can translate the next 300 words into Korean or Hindi? Contact us and there will be revelry.

Languages dying out each week - who cares?

We do - otherlanguages.org is gradually building a reference resource for over five thousand linguistic minorities and stateless languages worldwide.

Thousands of unique language communities are becoming extinct. Out of the world's five to six thousand languages, we hardly know what we're losing, what literatures, philosophies, ways of thinking, are disappearing right now.


We may soon regret the extinction of thousands of entire linguistic cultures even more than we regret the needless extinction of many animals and plants.

The planet is increasingly dominated by a handful of major-language monocultures like Mandarin Chinese, Hindi, Arabic, Indonesian, Urdu, Spanish, Portuguese, English, Swahili, Russian, Cantonese Chinese, Japanese, Bengali - all beautiful and fascinating languages.

But so are the 5,000 others.

These are groups of people?

Linguistic minorities are communities of ordinary people whose native tongue is not their country's main official language. Swedish speakers in Finland, French speakers in Canada, Hungarian speakers in Slovakia - and hundreds more - are linguistic minorities.

And totally stateless languages are the native languages of some of the world's most intriguing, little-known, cultures. Like the Lapps inside the Arctic Circle, the Sards in Sardinia, Ainus in Japan. Cherokee in the US, Scots Gaelic in Britain, Friesian in the Netherlands, Zulu in South Africa. There are only a couple of hundred recognised sovereign states and territories, so 5,000 languages - more depending on how you count - are the native tongues of linguistically stateless people.

How could I help?

You don't need to learn an endangered language - any more than go to live in the rainforest to help slow its destruction.

A good start is to just tell friends about websites like this.

Broader public interest makes it easier for linguists to raise funds and organise people to learn these languages while there's time.

That's right. There are people who love languages and are happy to learn them on behalf of the rest of us, but they need support, just like zoologists, botanists, or historians.

Fewer languages still sounds good to me

Depends what you think languages are for. They're not just a tool for business. We never said you should learn three or four thousand rare languages - or even one. And which ones we make children learn in school, or whether we should force children to learn languages at all, is another question.

Typical scene in a European city; Chances are, folk here speak some sort of foreign language *5

A century ago - before we understood ecology, and when we cared less about wilderness, most educated people would have laughed at the idea of worrying about plants or animals going extinct. Now we understand how important species diversity is for our own futures, we are more humble, and more worried.

In the same way, linguistic triumphalism by English-speakers who hated studying foreign grammar at school is dangerously ignorant as well as arrogant. Few of us know what we are losing, week by week. How many people realise these languages have scientific value?

Scientific value?

You can think of these languages across the planet as beautiful cathedrals or precious archeological sites we are watching being destroyed. That should be motive enough.

But these five thousand languages may also hold clues to the structure of the human mind. Subtle differences and similarities

Wireless radio can be a great comfort to those unable to leave the textbooks in which they live *6
between languages are helping archeologists and anthropologists to understand what happened in the hundreds of centuries of human history before written history. And that is one of our best chances of understanding how human brains developed over the thousands of centuries leading up to that.

Study of the mind and study of language go hand in hand these days. The world's most marginal languages are actually precious jigsaw pieces from an overall picture of who we are and how our species thinks and evolves. Every tiny language adds another brightly-coloured clue to this academic detective story.

Yet researchers have hardly started sifting through this tantalising evidence, and language extinction is washing it away right in front of us.

And worst of all, most people have no idea that there is this fantastic profusion of cultures across our world, let alone that they are in danger of extinction. Even just more people learning that there are still five thousand living languages in the world today (most of us would answer five hundred or fifty) is already a huge help.

We English-speakers hardly notice English - it's like air for us. But every other language is also an atmosphere for an entire cultural world, and each of these worlds has people whose home it is. Each language encapsulates a unique way of talking and thinking about life. Just try some time in a foreign prison, being forced to cope in another language, and you'll realise how much your own language is your identity. That's true for everyone.

Minority languages are a human-rights issue?

One of the most basic.

Dozens of millions of people worldwide suffer persecution from national governments for speaking their mother tongue - in their own motherland.

Many 'ethnic' feuds puzzling to outsiders had as their basis an attempt to destroy a linguistic community. Would the Northern Ireland dispute be quite so bitter if we English had not so nearly stamped out the Irish Gaelic language, for example? Almost nowhere in the world does a language community as small as the few thousand Rheto-Romanic speakers - the fourth official language of Switzerland - get the protection of a national government. Next time you see some Swiss Francs, check both sides of the banknote.

But outside exceptional countries like Switzerland or the Netherlands, speakers of non-official languages have a much less protected experience.

Speakers of minority languages are often seen as a threat by both the governments and the other residents of the countries where they were born, grew up, and try to live ordinary lives.

They experience discrimination in the job and education markets of their homelands, often having no choice but to pursue education in the major language of the host state: a deliberate government policy usually aimed at gradually absorbing them into the majority culture of that country.

Mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow, of course *7

Most governments are privately gleeful each time another small separate culture within their borders is snuffed out by a dwindling population or a deliberately centralising education system.

The United Nations is no help. It is an association of a couple of hundred sovereign states based on exclusive control of territory, almost all of them anxious to smother any distinct group or tradition that in any way might blur or smudge the hard-won borders around those pieces of territory.

The usual approach by sovereign states is to deny their linguistic minorities even exist.


Mark Griffith, site administrator / contact at otherlanguages.org

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*1 image from , with thanks
*2 "Al-Araby" in written Arabic (read more)
*3 "What?" in American Sign Language; image from , with thanks
*4 "Big" in written Chinese  (read more); image from , with thanks
*5 image from , with thanks
*6 image from , with thanks
*7 image from 'B?ume', with thanks to  Bruno P. Kramer, and Franckh-Kosmos Verlag


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reviews: ................. books {...or films here}

1 metrologie historique
2 postmodernism & the other
3 disaster (news on sunday)
4 money unmade (russian barter in the 1990s)
5 the sleepwalkers
6 e
7 the kruschev era
8 the end of science
9 don't you want me?
10 the carpet wars
11 zelator
12 life of thomas more
13 faber book of science
14 gilgamesh
15 out of it
16 guns, germs & steel
17 words & rules
18 figure in the landscape
19 life without genes
20 bede's history of the english
21 the nothing that is
22 zoology
23 journey by moonlight
24 heavenly serbia
25 ratkay endre
26 the handmaid's tale
27 the selective eye
28 a megismerese epitokovei
29 intention
30 thirty nine steps
31 princess
32 the pyramids
33 the etruscans
34 moonchild
35 paradise news
36 culture of time & space 1880 to 1918
37 szimmetria
38 babel orokeben
39 astro-archeology
40 a history of islamic spain
41 high gothic
42 among the believers
43 the renaissance
44 augustine
45 mcvicar
46 atomised
47 tangled wing
48 da vinci code
49 nature via nurture
50 termeszet szamai
51 decline & fall of roman empire
52 practical cheesemaking
53 the sufis
54 fra angelico at san marco
55 the cryptographer
56 they have a word for it
57 szamok valosan innen & tul
58 artistic theory in italy 1450 to 1600
59 darwin's black box
60 indiai ejszaka
61 cleopatra: histories, dreams & distortions
63 what mad pursuit
64 language, the learner & the school
65 writing the romantic comedy
66 the blank slate
67 dougal & the blue cat
68 diego velasquez
69 horse nonsense
70 a certain chemistry
71 deterring democracy
72 textiles
73 thief of time
74 bloodsucking fiends
75 right ho, jeeves
76 generativ grammatika
77 1st time i got paid for it
78 galapagos
79 othello
80 understanding media
81 mysticism
82 short history of french literature
83 best on the market
84 art of seeing
85 culture & imperialism
86 food of the gods
87 arabic-islamic cities
88 the alchemist
89 verbal learning & memory
90 building a successful software business
91 don't make me think!
92 memory
93 the u.s. & the arab world
94 hard times
95 spells for teenage witches
97 the pig that wants to be eaten
98 encyclopaedia of stupidity
99 seventy eight degrees of wisdom: part i
100 beach watching
101 the ancient greeks
102 brainstorms
103 seventy eight degrees of wisdom: part ii
104 utopia
105 technical writing for engineers & scientists
106 alphabet versus goddess
107 writing on drugs
108 news from somewhere
109 isp survival guide
110 petrus hispanus mester logikajabol
111 art of seduction
112 stet
113 penguin by design
114 the sense of being stared at
115 the golden ratio
116 dinamikus emlekezet
117 margins of reality
118 hopjoy was here
119 bump in the night
120 box of delights
121 color atlas of immunology
122 fashionistas
123 pi in the sky
124 a new kind of fool
125 one man's meat
126 greek fire
127 the buddha in daily life
128 beginner's dutch
129 private life of the brain
130 solar ethics
131 pedant in the kitchen
132 knots
133 the planets within
134 encyclopaedia of ancient & mediaeval history
135 consilience
136 the age of scandal
137 fashion: the 20th century
138 the tipping point
139 design literacy
140 the silent partner
141 hamlet
142 1421
143 the 1890s
144 godel's proof
145 rosencrantz & guildenstern are dead
146 beyond reason
147 little book of music theory
148 q-basic
149 alone of all her sex
150 social studies
151 eternal darkness
152 drawn from memory
154 a guide to elegance
155 medea & other plays
156 the future of money
157 cheese
158 grammars of creation
159 aquarian conspiracy
160 the climate crisis
161 true fiction
162 the making of memory
163 why most things fail
164 genetikai abece
165 finding fulfilment
166 genome
167 the broken estate
168 inigo jones
169 flashman & the dragon
170 from bauhaus to our house
171 100 great paintings
172 kis spanyol nyelvtan
173 the historian
174 tomorrow's gold
175 charting made easy
176 life after life
177 spanyol igei vonzatok
178 the eclipse of art
179 fire in the mind
180 the human body
181 out of control
182 possession
183 simplified chinese characters
184 the generation of 1914
185 intellectuals
186 world of late antiquity
187 riddle & knight
188 informacio kultusza
189 napoleon of notting hill
190 secrets: palm-reading
191 meet yourself as you really are
192 cat's abc
193 intro to spanish poetry
194 rise of christian europe
195 philip's guide to electric living
196 sins for father knox
197 celtic twilight
198 myths of love
199 snobbery with violence
200 just like tomorrow
201 7 basic plots
202 experiment with time
203 vile bodies
204 icons & images: 60s
205 fisher king
206 new jerusalem
207 born on a blue day
208 surveillir & punir
209 trial of socrates
210 how to catch fairies
211 conversations on consciousness
212 mind performance hacks
213 conscience of the eye
214 beau brummell
215 evolution
216 the outsider
217 raja yoga
218 rise of political lying
219 occidentalism
220 colossus
221 secret teachings of jesus
222 blue murder
223 nostrodamus the next 50 years
224 homage to catalonia
225 charity ends at home
226 palace of dreams
227 discovering book collecting
228 beyond the outsider
229 the last barrier
230 that hideous strength
231 indian sculpture
232 small world
233 evolution & healing
234 in search of memory
235 campo santo
236 llewellyn's 2007 tarot reader
237 dream of rome
238 why buildings fall down
239 the empty space
240 england made me
241 greek science in antiquity
242 science, a l'usage des non-scientifiques
243 utmutato tarot
243 hunt for zero point
244 william wilberforce
245 viktor schauberger
246 untouchable
247 the vitamin murders
248 straw dogs
249 elizabeth's spymaster
250 the hard life
251 the god delusion
252 the intellectual
253 undercover economist
254 quirkology
255 chasing mammon
256 early mesopotamia & iran
257 the strange death of david kelly
258 the pilgrimage
259 origin of wealth
260 maxims
261 the finishing school
262 the shepherd's calendar
263 islamic patterns
264 lost world of the kalahari
265 german short stories 1
266 electricity
267 liber null & psychonaut
268 born to rebel
269 wittgenstein's poker
270 will the boat sink the water?
271 romeo & juliet
272 why beautiful people have more daughters
273 the crossing place
274 the turkish diplomat's daughter
275 missionary position
276 lust in translation
277 teaching as a subversive activity
278 how german is it
279 empires of the word
280 warped passages
281 the power of now
282 ponder on this
283 sword of no-sword
284 narcissism
285 blink
286 shock of the old
287 basque history of the world
288 truth: a guide
289 who shot jfk?
290 newtonian casino
291 power & greed
292 the world without us
293 5-minute nlp
294 concise guide to alchemy
295 evidence in camera
296 4-hour work week
297 the rosicrucian enlightenment
298 de-architecture
299 how to lie with maps
300 a book of english essays
301 a time of gifts
302 the occult philosophy in the elizabethan age
303 le pelerinage des bateleurs
304 alchemy & alchemists
305 greenmantle
306 the hero with 1000 faces
307 goethe's parable
308 rhedeyek es fraterek
309 letter to a christian nation
310 the tryst
311 7 experiments that could change the world
312 mill on the floss
313 metastases of enjoyment
314 the isles
315 between the woods and the water
316 secrets of the great pyramid
317 life in the french country house
318 the china study
319 tarot: theory & practice
320 the roger scruton reader
321 alchemy & mysticism
322 picasso's mask
323 the rule of four
324 triumph of the political class
325 arts of darkness
326 neuroscience & philosophy
327 the art of memory
328 mind wide open
329 mud, blood, & poppycock
330 society of the spectacle
331 lila
332 de imaginibus
333 electronics
334 giordano bruno & the embassy affair
335 temporary autonomous zone
336 the human touch
337 the fascination of evil
338 the king of oil
339 dowsing
340 the book of j
341 the west and the rest
342 story of my life
343 plain tales from the hills
344 under the influence
345 modern culture
346 50 mots clefs d'esoterisme
347 giordano bruno & the hermetic tradition
348 development, geography & economic theory
349 das kapital: a biography
350 strange days indeed
351 hegel: a very short introduction
352 reflections on the revolution in france
353 history of sexuality: an introduction
354 why we buy
355 origins of virtue
356 the holographic universe
357 a dead man in deptford
358 obsolete
359 137
360 in your face
361 7 spies who changed the world
362 the noetic universe
363 why beauty is truth
364 imagery in healing
365 the craftsman's handbook
366 futurism
367 in the cards
368 dmso
369 les hommes et leurs genes
370 the franchise affair
371 the decision book
372 les harmonies de la nature a l'epreuve de la biologie
373 kibernetika
374 zuleika dobson
375 l'empire de nombres
376 circus philosophicus
377 some girls
378 number
379 island
380 how to get your ideas adopted
381 drive
382 emergence
383 rfid : la police totale
384 the tempest
385 aspects of wagner
386 view over atlantis
387 world atlas of mysteries
388 art of the dogon
389 genesis machines
390 the sirius mystery
391 the cult of the fact
392 anastasia
393 ringing cedars of russia
394 a whiff of death
395 spirit level delusion
396 wavewatcher's companion
397 the kybalion
398 elegance
399 death in a scarlet coat
400 architecture without architects


1 k-pax
2 very annie mary
3 wasabi
4 gosford park
5 arany varos
6 minority report
7 amelie
8 bridget jones' diary
9 arccal a fo:ldnek
10 monsters' ball
11 cube
12 man with no past
13 talk to her
14 szerelemtol sujtva
15 bowling for columbine
16 matrix3
17 zoolander
18 anything else
19 farenheit 9/11
20 8 & 1/2 women
21 madagascar
22 kill bill 1
23 dude, where's my car?
24 the woman in green
25 the hunger
24 nightwatch
25 de battre son coeur s'est arrete
26 wicker man
27 v for vendetta
28 courage the cowardly dog
29 casino royale
30 power of nightmares
31 charlie's angels
32 full throttle
33 foxy brown
34 paths of glory
35 airplane
36 between iraq & a hard place
37 mutiny on the bounty
38 flashmob the opera
39 octopussy
40 bakkerman
41 kiterunner

February 28th; Thursday. Michael arrives back from magical kingdom of Wakanda. Sadly, some of the old romantic folk skills such as filing seem to be dying out.

February 27th; Wednesday. Asha Puthli spacing out again.
February 26th; Tuesday. Just after I promised Michael two nights ago that nothing major had changed at the Szervita square hole-in-ground building site, this morning there's something new. A big green machine is helping the big yellow machine today, and a small stack of 3 or 4 portakabin container-sized offices has appeared. The green is the dark-leaf green that railway locomotives used to be painted in, not the fluorescent highlighter-green of another crane/digger I saw there a month ago.
Missing CEO with 150 million USD in crypto dies in fake-death zone.

February 25th; Monday. Pop over to Robin's flat, natter with Bela & Letty. French law now to use Parent 1 & Parent 2. No more mama/papa nonsense.
February 24th; Sunday. Curtis Mayfield warns: If There's a Hell Below...

February 23rd; Saturday. Brain snooping on the way.
February 22nd; Friday. The fake that launched a thousand shills.

February 21st; Thursday. Euro currency's bail-out frailties.
February 20th; Wednesday. Chinese pills made of powdered baby.

February 19th; Tuesday. EU copyright "law" augurs chaos and confinement.
February 18th; Monday. More on the fake-face generators.

February 17th; Sunday. AI creates fake people. New face, every click.
February 16th; Saturday. Aeroplane seats spy on you.

February 15th; Friday. Apparently face-recognition software gets sexes wrong.
February 14th; Thursday. Today: the day of lurv.

February 13th; Wednesday. Feeling a bit like Secret Santa - what's the equivalent? Undercover Valentine?
February 12th; Tuesday. Brilliant, even warm, morning sunshine pours exactly down Petofi Sandor street turning it into a slot of liquid gold compared to still cold shadowy side roads. This rod of sun just misses the golden hoop floating over the head of Mother Mary atop her 18th-century stone pillar. Later, walking across the beautifully sun-glittered Szell Kalman square to catch my bus up to Crypto Hill, I see a bus with a symbol on its electronic forehead I haven't seen before. For about a decade the electronic number board on the front of the tourist bus that tours the Castle District has had a little lit-up castle-shaped silhouette, and the bus that goes to the airport has shown a generic aeroplane. Now a third one. Picked out in the orange dot-matrix display above the windscreen of the parked vehicle, are the Hungarian words for "Waiting for mechanic", next to an adorable little spanner pictured at a jaunty angle. We can rebuild him!
Meanwhile, the EU goes "full Orwell".

February 11th; Monday. Mild weather very much with a feel of spring. A quick reminder of how wonderfully odd Japan is.
February 10th; Sunday. Two useful cryptocurrency articles: first / second.

February 9th; Saturday. Rather sad confirmation from Finland: free money means people don't work. Just as the dismal science predicts.
February 8th; Friday. A strange day of being given books. Marion at lunch lends me a copy of Simon's second book to read: Sweets From Strangers. Then in the mid-afternoon I pick up a whole box of books from kind Bianka, including Stamboul Train from Greene, and then in the evening over to Robin's, where a review copy of Parables for the Pouring Rain by Paul Sutton has arrived for me.

February 7th; Thursday. German woman's love affair with aeroplane.
February 6th; Wednesday. Should creator of the early global-warming data be prosecuted for fraud?

February 5th; Tuesday. A few days ago the cute little lift in the office on Crypto Hill was restored to operation. It broke down a fortnight before Christmas. Now once again, papered inside with cocktail-cabinet cigar-box veneer, it can connect the four floors. It chugs up and down, through the barely noticeable central column of the seemingly endless spiral stairs of cappuccino-coloured marble slabs, like a covert coffin. It claims to fit four people. Two adults can just about share this lift without becoming sexually intimate. Two more adults would have to be circus acrobats pinned across the ceiling. A notice in magical-kingdom English on the ground floor sternly enjoins users not to "jiggle or make smoke", and to take care with the "fixenings", among other poetic prohibitions.
February 4th; Monday. Here is a handy list (thanks, Diane!) of some candidates so far seeking the Democratic nomination for the US presidential campaign in 2020.

February 3rd; Sunday. Rather lovely snow phenomenon seen in Wiltshire.
February 2nd; Saturday. Cheese reduces chances of death, claim boffins.

February 1st; Friday. Find myself trudging around the 14th district trying to find an audition, mistakenly going to two of Katalin's old offices before finding the newest one. Walking along Rona street under cloudy skies (a street one building's porter insists has a bus route along it, but doesn't) was strangely interesting. I kept being reminded of slightly bleak bits of suburban Manchester such as Princess Parkway when rain seemed imminent. New gates, low buildings, random strips of grass all had this odd suggestion of some alternative reality humming, shimmering just beneath the surface of things. Banal surroundings peculiarly infused with transcendent freshness. I get to the audition, Katalin is very kind about my lateness. We read through it but I can sense not a role I'll get.

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