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June 13th; Thursday. Last 2 or days suddenly hot & sticky, like a classic Budapest summer. Japanese Buddhist shrine unveils robot goddess of mercy.
June 12th; Wednesday. Student Tamas tells me the floating crane I saw yesterday came from upriver near Slovakia, and had to wait six days before the flood river had gone down enough for it to fit under the several bridges to the north on its way here.

June 11th; Tuesday. Crossing the Danube by bus east to west via Margit Bridge, and to our left an enormous yolky orange crane thing towers at least 40 feet above the bridge from a barge on the river. Must be there to haul up the wreck of the small boatload of South Korean tourists pushed underwater by a bigger ship several nights ago, dragged upriver some distance and rammed into the mud just under the bridge. In the afternoon I finish a book from Michael's late wife, 'The Aesthetic Adventure', by William Gaunt. It traces the century of "art for art's sake" from the second decade of the 19th century to the second decade of the 20th century in principally England and France. A good summary, breezing through Baudelaire, Whistler, Swinburne, Walter Pater, Walter Sickert, slowly building to a kind of climax with Beardsley and Wilde. Every page enjoyable to read.
June 10th; Monday. Another lushly-orchestrated female solo about loneliness: 2 Wicky by Hooverphonic.

June 9th; Sunday. The strange death of Labour England?
June 8th; Saturday. Old Moloko song, quite good, with a we-didn't-really-run-out-of-ideas video. "It's going to be brilliant, Jason, we just have them all dance in a tunnel. Back to basics, trust me."

June 7th; Friday. That Brazilian cover of Fool on the Hill. More Brazilian music from back then: Panis et circenses.
June 6th; Thursday. Portishead doing Glory Box live.

June 5th; Wednesday. Nice article: learning about life from Mick McManus.
June 4th; Tuesday. Entertainingly tetchy interview with Evelyn Waugh. Notice the BBC make sure to get their version of events on record at the start of the footage.

June 3rd; Monday. Weather is still cloudy, rainy, chilly. New moon.
June 2nd; Sunday. DJ Fresh decade-old tune: Gold Dust.

June 1st; Saturday. Men with clipboards model human cells as circuit boards.
May 31st; Friday. Interesting revelations about the Swedish teenage girl who used publicity to bully Britain's government into declaring a "climate emergency".

May 30th; Thursday. Men who try too hard to make themselves look good for the chicks, can in the process make themselves sterile, boffins warn.
May 29th; Wednesday. Two articles about the Italian government's efforts to manoeuvre itself out of the euro-currency death-trap: rather like my entry to the 2012 Wolfson Essay Competition that never got read, boo hoo! First and second.

May 28th; Tuesday. We keep on getting chilly, rainy days. About three days of grey British-style weather for each day of warm sunshine. Famed investigative journalist Seymour Hersh back in 2017 briefs one of our contributors on the CIA's bogus 2016 claims that Russians hacked the DNC e-mail servers here.
May 27th; Monday. Revisiting the Bunny Rabbit Apocalypse video.

May 26th; Sunday. Thoughtful short piece on the importance of Hegel Jargon for the left.
May 25th; Saturday. Take bus to see Seamstress Aranka in next village to Robin's village with my disintegrating bag, 2nd supershirt project, and my threadbare black pullover. Walking back, a small friendly cloud shepherds me along perhaps two miles of sunbaked open road. Drifting protectively above me almost like a balloon on a string, its cloud-shaped shadow keeps perfect pace with my walking speed. The clouds look like giant dollops of ice-cream: dazzling white is always lemon flavour curiously enough, isn't it? On the internet, come across some songs by Plan B (or Ben Drew) from London. Surprisingly moralistic Mod Redux: Stay Too Long / Praying (Can that be FKA Twigs in the prison visiting room scene?) / Mercy / Darkest Place / Traded In My Cigarettes.

May 24th; Friday. El Trumpo announces counter-censorship measure. Crossing the Great Plain today by train in high afternoon, assorted cloud shapes stand seemingly completely still in blue skies: The Squirrel; The Clenched Fist; The Spanish Galleon.
May 23rd; Thursday. Today Britain votes in European Parliament elections, seeing as protracted EU foot-dragging, stone-walling, and sabotage has kept the country inside the trade bloc almost three years after the 2016 vote. A substantial majority for Farage's turquoise Brexit Party seems likely, though results only get announced after other countries vote on Sunday. Ballot boxes could go missing for days - not just hours as in 2015.

May 22nd; Wednesday. Michael finds charming interview with English historian David Starkey. Meanwhile, Mervyn King, former Bank of England governor, says a no-deal Brexit wouldn't be so bad after all. Quelle surprise, mes braves.
May 21st; Tuesday. Physicist Leonard Susskind lucidly presents the hologram-universe theory. Bees are now talking to fish over the internet, it seems.

May 20th; Monday. Jupiter's Great Red Spot now unravelling like an old pullover.
May 19th; Sunday. Old but interesting article says earliest language African.

May 18th; Saturday. Why natural resources aren't natural. Controversial!
May 17th; Friday. 1970s TV: Alec Guinness recounts foreseeing James Dean's death.

May 16th; Thursday. One of our contributors fears impending US/Iran war.
May 15th; Wednesday. Old snatch of cartoon set to club track.

May 14th; Tuesday. First green/white necks of basil seedlings nudge above the soil. After some straining and awkwardness in the kitchen (you always find out it's a two-man, four-hand job after the point of no return), I manage to get the two neon-tube cases reattached under the kitchen cabinet. Extra light radically changes mood in kitchen. Piece about naughty data-tweaking to make the global-warming case look plausible. Forbes also doubts renewables.
May 13th; Monday. Wolves friendlier than dogs, men with clipboards find. I buy two new neon tubes from a completely humourless (therefore, in the Hungarian fashion, probably reliable and professional) lightbulb man near Nyugati station.

May 12th; Sunday. Flat so quiet that a wet shirt dripping onto the bath tap handle creates a pinging noise rather like a doorbell ringing somewhere distant in the building. Memories of the banshee.
May 11th; Saturday. Alternating days of warm sun, and cloudy chilly rain. The coolest Budapest May & April I've seen for a few years. I visit a fitness gym where, because all the changing-room lockers had locks replaced by digital number pads, almost none work. A cheery mechanic explains he changed all the batteries only a week ago. Together we locate the two lockers in fifty which can actually close.
More concern being expressed that 5G wireless communications technology might be different and pose subtle risks to health.

May 10th; Friday. Buy seeds and plant them in six tiny pots in Michael's flat. Sweden's noble renewable-energy targets are harming the country.
May 9th; Thursday. Michael leaves for London. Wake up at Robin's flat, after being surprised to find Letty already back from her London adventure. Strange allegation by an association of Catholic doctors that mass vaccination is being used as a cover for covertly sterilising millions of young African women.

May 8th; Wednesday. Mass deaths in Chinese pig population: some version of Ebola.
May 7th; Tuesday. On train back into town finish Paul Sutton's curious poetry collection 'Parables For The Pouring Rain'. Bleak, offhand short verses about new housing estates in an England stripped of spiritual meaning or cultural content sit intriguingly with a several-page pastiche of a Sherlock Holmes story. Definitely unsettling. A bit like some of the writing in Trevor Holye's 1979 novel 'The Man Who Travelled On Motorways'.

May 6th; Monday. Sleep 12 hours. Roger Scruton, recently denounced as 'Islamophobic' is in fact a friend of Islam, says Telegraph. Also my memory of his book 'West and the Rest'.
May 5th; Sunday. Sleep 12 hours. Intriguing conversations with Bela, Zeno the Alchemist, and Andras, as he battles on his laptop to solve a computer problem with a factory gate at some remote location. Judit makes delicious crumpets.
Short article from Guy about the horrible phrase "going forward".

May 4th; Saturday. Last night caught a late train into the countryside to Robin's, by a different route to Kunszentmarton. Because of this, have to change trains at the oversized white concrete 1960s station at Szolnok, with its long bleak, harshly-lit tunnel connecting all the platforms. Looking for a snack and a drink in the main building, at about 9pm I approach one sandwich counter. There I am confronted by a tall, leggy creature of perhaps 20 with ash-blonde-dyed hair tumbling down her back to brush a perfect bottom. She has a push-up bra under a tight shirt, a slim midriff with a jewelled pin in her exposed belly button, implausibly tight shiny black leggings (with large white capital letters written round the elasticated waistband) showing the shape of her alarmingly well-shaped hips & thighs. There's some sparkly dust sprinkled casually across her cheekbones. She's smiling, almost grinning broadly, lit up with happiness at her own glossy good looks. A macho male hovers at the counter, hypnotised, possibly the boyfriend gruffly guarding his glittering prize. I'm not quite tongue-tied, but am startled to find myself only just able to ask for some chocolate and a tin of Hell energy drink. An hour later, kind Gyuri picks me up in the darkness at Kunszentmarton station.
Today, get to meet Seamstress Aranka again in her Saturday hours with Belas's help, pick up a shirt and give her two more. Again, damp, cloudy weather, even in May.
May 3rd; Friday. Earth greener than 20 years back thanks to CO2. Meanwhile, one of our contributors runs a piece about Nick Bostrom's latest idea for a world government that would use global warming or something else as a pretext for controlling our lives completely.

May 2nd; Thursday. No, not now we aren't: last night slept 2 hours. Overview of Chinese/US relations.
May 1st; Wednesday. Last night slept 8 hours. Are we back to equilibrium on the restometer? Around midday am at the quasi-Buddhist cafe waiting for a student. I manage to persuade a giggling waitress with tattoos and a fetching dyed-blonde bob haircut to secretly obtain the genuine cheesecake from a back store room for me to eat a slice of. Several times I've tried to explain to the staff here, as tactfully as I can, that their vegan cakes don't taste very nice (they're a bit like compacted doormat) but that the plain croissants and the genuine cheesecake (both of which run out in their first hour each day) are really delicious. I try to talk them round to the radical idea of getting in more of the food which their customers want to buy from them. Sometimes I go further and point to the cheesecake (on the rare days when some of it is actually at the counter), making yum yum noises and saying "Mmmm! Animal fats!!" - whereupon the quasi-Buddhist serving girls look at me reproachfully as if I'm trying to make them cry. Most days it's not there. Today the giggly blonde whispers to me that the good stuff is actually hidden in a back room - in case too many people buy it. "We're supposed to make people buy the vegan cakes first" she confides to me, nervously. She tells me this out of earshot of the others, brings me a slice of non-vegan cheesecake, and we furtively exchange money for the light fluffy delicacy with its creamy buttery taste before anyone notices what we're up to. Suddenly I have a flashback to Woody Allen in his standup days predicting that one day in the future tasty food would be shameful or illegal. Prostitutes would meet men down dark side streets offering to make them hamburgers with real meat etc, and I realise we're actually there now.
We're not quite in Allen's more distant future though, where deep fat and cigarettes have turned out to be healthy after all. But give it time.



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.

So?

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

useful:

.languages of the world
.Internet free speech
.weights & measures
.5000 English words
.2000+ Chinese char.s
.persian/english dictionary
.currency rates 1 2 3 4 5
.country domain names
.language-learning 1 2
.find old websites
.fine HTML tutorial
.webhost
.minimalist websites

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


films

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


...............................................................................................................................................................
April 30th; Tuesday. Last night slept 9 hours. Fairly old tune from Bristol's Tricky.
April 29th; Monday. Last night slept 11 hours. Interesting claim that much vaunted Green Future of renewables and improved batteries is a wasteful fantasy. Summarising article, and much more detailed original .pdf version.

April 28th; Sunday. Last night slept 14 hours. Robin & I meet Sergey for coffee. Starting to recover optimism. Robin and I try to find how to watch this intriguing-looking film Corridor of Mirrors. Simon does his best to help us.
April 27th; Saturday. Last night slept 14 hours. Much better. Sensuous memories of swimming in dark dreams of hidden doorways and intricate windowless rooms. French farmers sue their government over wireless death-ray mystery.

April 26th; Friday. Last night slept about 4 hours. Here's some foaming at the mouth from Suzanne Moore. Thank goodness we're bigots if we reciprocate!
April 25th; Thursday. Sounds like Tesla was a bit confused.

April 24th; Wednesday. Patrick Caulfield working his nihilistic charms. Almost.
April 23rd; Easter Tuesday, we might call it. Neither a video nor a tune: You Man and Birdcage. Fidgety visuals the more interesting part. Alert readers might notice Jurassic 5's break-dancing Beasts in a couple of snatches.

April 22nd; Easter Monday. Read a strange little 1943 hardback book I found at Robin's, called 'The Intimate Papers of Colonel Bogus' by Michael Barsley. This is wartime humour, bitter in part. A lot of rather heavy-handed puns ('Sable-Bodied Women', 'Ritzkrieg', 'Colonel Bogus' [a sort of play on 'Colonel Blimp'], 'Ruralitarian') - this is probably a collection of magazine pieces, with drawings by the writer. It being a book produced under World War 2 paper rationing, there isn't much info front or back. Some of the drawings are very good: verbal humour not so much. Thinly-disguised pro-socialist/central-planning sentiment throughout, a sort of arch "social justice" sarcasm.
April 21st; Easter Sunday. Get to the end of Simon Corrigan's eerily depressing second novel 'Sweets From Strangers' kindly lent me by Marion. Although Corrigan liked clustered sentences and slightly precious choices of wording, the overall creepiness of mood is well established. The book comes alive (as it should, given who he is in the story) with the sudden disruptive arrival in the boring bourgeois Home Counties of the arrogant-yet-irresistible Luc and his sinister Continental glamour.
A lovely evening with travellers Brad and Gregg on many topics, including combat with bears and how "Wokiest of the Woke" Kamala got started in California politics.
At some ungodly hour like 2am, Michael and I are talking about hats. He cannot remember the ska revival's failed attempt to also revive trilbies etc in the early 1980s. I suggest the real switch happened somewhere between Sean Connery & Roger Moore as Bond around the mid-1960s. Triumphantly, I manage to locate a snatch of 'Russia With Love' where James Bond is, yes, wearing a soft hat. We both realise neither of us know the difference between a trilby and a fedora. Thinner rim, apparently. I point out how by the 'Streets of San Francisco', insistence on still wearing his anachronistic (probably) fedora in the early 1970s marks out the older detective as the reliable old duffer, voice of experience, yada yada.

April 20th; Saturday. Impressive poll support for new turquoise-themed Brexit Party.
April 19th; Good Friday. 29-year-old man declares his love for toy robot. Oh, and you can buy minges made of fudge flavoured with creme egg. Nice.

April 18th; Thursday. Botanist David Bellamy describes (6 years back) being frozen out at the BBC for saying global warming was nonsense, and a former Australian government adviser describes (4 years back) the global-warming scam as a cover story for introducing a UN-controlled world government.
April 17th; Wednesday. South Africa is judged to have declined by more this last decade than almost any country not at war.

April 16th; Tuesday. Interesting piece on claims by EU critics that its own auditors haven't signed off on its accounts, versus EU claims that oh yes they have.
April 15th; Monday. Finally in the morning I meet Seamstress Aranka - first time for half a year. She has restitched 2 of 3 shirts and the dodgy Berlin bondage-club leather trousers I was given by a film director. All is amicable. Driving back after dark into town with Robin at the wheel, sleepy farmworker Istvan in the back (ill and in need of an early night), about fifty pounds of fresh meat and eggs, the gears stop engaging on the motorway about thirty miles outside Budapest. We drift to a halt with a worrying burning smell and no power from the engine. Robin is gloomy and slightly tense. I walk off to a nearby roadside phone and speak to emergency services. After 40 minutes or so, a trailer appears and puts his car on the back. It seems Robin just paid over a thousand pounds to have the car made good as new about four days ago. As we travel in the cab with the trailer driver (who tells us that the law prevents him from driving into the centre of town) Robin and I are negotiating by phone text with different friends of his about where to leave the meat and eggs on the outskirts. Then one friend of his, still up in her flat at 11pm, Judit, does her own research on the bylaws and traffic regulations and finds that after midnight, legal weight restrictions mean a lorry of a certain size can go right into the middle of the city. She phones up our trailer driver and explains at length as we all trundle down the deserted motorway. Persuaded, he takes us into central Budapest. We arrive shortly after midnight, meeting Judit outside her block of flats in person, transferring trays of eggs to some of Robin's customers under the streetlamps at 1am.

April 14th; Sunday. Following the EU lead, Britain's quisling government prepares a bill to control & censor content in online social media.
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.

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