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October 9th; Friday. On the desk next to the bed I'm trying to sleep in some nights I keep seeing a slim blue hardback with sun fading of the back marking out a darker rectangle where a smaller book must have lain on it for a decade or two. I just yesterday opened it and, slightly to my surprise, noticed it's a 1946 edition of Eliots's 1909-1936 collected poems. Imposingly slim. The final page ends
- Sudden in a shaft of sunlight
  Even while the dust moves
There rises the hidden laughter
  Of children in the foliage
Quick now, here, now, always -
  Ridiculous the waste sad time
Stretching before and after.

Why "ridiculous"? Because the immediacy of this moment trumps all? Because the experience of now, symbolised by that light and the laughing children, matters so much more than time's other senses? Not so much magic realism as magic wearyism.

October 8th; Thursday. Handy map of pornstars per million people, from slightly unsettling 'Kafkadesk'. Interesting to see the two countries who lead.
October 7th; Wednesday. Hope returns. Last night slept around 12 hours, finally lying down. Bliss. Water moving off heart at last thanks to daily doses of furosemide, so thank God am losing the nauseous smothering sensation that if I lie down at night to sleep I am somehow going to drown. This evening, Robin & I watch 'The Silent Enemy', a rather good 1958 adventure film, black & white, set during WW2 in Gibraltar. It's based on the daring exploits of "Buster" Crabb and his elite team of underwater frogmen.
For anyone who's curious, here's a Beatles LP claimed to be from a parallel universe.

October 6th; Tuesday. Up late watching old films with Robin on his television service. We see a 1950 American movie called 'Tripoli', relating the 1805 defeat of a North African slaving state, famously commemorated in the US Marines regimental anthem. There's a rather impressive scene where their overland camel train struggles through a ferocious sandstorm. A supposedly erotic moment where a military man challenges the copper-redheaded leading lady (mistress to the Arabian prince) to dance, since she is entered in the list as one of the "dancing girls", and is smitten, is possibly the part of the film that's most substantially dated. The music isn't right, the dancing isn't right, her build isn't right.
Fascinating to note how the nominally serious plot is propelled forward by an endless stream of wisecracks. Two out of every three lines of dialogue (perhaps more) are smart-alec remarks that sound fresh off the music-hall/vaudeville stage.
October 5th; Monday. The soothing Germanic tones of 'Mr Puzzle' and his courteous tabletop reviews of various austere, stylish-looking puzzle objects, such as the chunky metal cross, the slinky steel snowflake, and the counterintuitive jigsaw.

October 4th; Sunday. When you are forced to stay awake all night, desperate for sleep, for days in a row, random bits of once-entertaining film can be handy. So we have the original version of Everybody Was Kung Fu Fighting, along with a studio audience visibly bored to the point of disgust. The adorable moment in Galaxy Quest when aliens disturb the hungover Tim Allen, asleep on his sitting-room floor. And a review discussion about the unfairly forgotten early-1970s 'Organization' drama, long praised by the Nigel of Light.
October 3rd; Saturday. A slow, heavy night-time vaguely like this (A wearying dirge that always reminded me of de Quincey. When he says opium let him sketch images in the darkness of his bedroom - vast teeming intricate visions of ancient Oriental civilisations). Afterwards I find Marion nearby at 12.30 lunchtime. We deal with another couple of obstacles, and finally I can take my first set of medications with mineral water. This is at a cafe table outside in the square named after Franz Liszt, the composer Paul specialises in. She lends me Paul's blood-pressure meter (my new doctor stresses the value of methodically collecting data) and shows me how to use it. After a night in which I only slept between 9am and 11am, rarely have sunlit boulevard buildings looked more beautiful against that blue sky.

October 2nd; Friday. After almost no sleep, get across the river again to the clinic to see Paul's cardiologist. He turns out to be a charming, intelligent man who has no patience with the face-mask hysteria over covid-19, doesn't wear a mask and is perfectly happy for me not to wear one either during our hour-long consultation. He reads through my blood test, takes electrical readings off my chest, and listens to my heartbeat with an ultrasonic microphone. At one point, as he runs the microphone up and down my side he murmurs quietly partly to himself, partly to me, almost tenderly, "Yes, it's an exhausted heart, very tired. But still - pumping quite well." Almost as if my heart was a person. In the afternoon I stumble around town, wearily realising I've mishandled the chore of actually buying the medications he's prescribed. The subsequent fifteen hours waiting to meet Marion at midday Saturday probably count as my longest night in a couple of decades.
October 1st; Thursday. Musicologist Paul kindly helps out with his cardiologist and I force myself over there in the early morning to give blood samples. Apparently, the End Times disaster movie of Greenland's ice-sheet is being written again.

September 30th; Wednesday. After 15 hours sleep sitting up last night, feel a little bit rested. As a small child recall finding mysterious black bakelite discs lying around in the sitting room, probably the last year my much older sisters and I overlapped as residents of the same house. Aware that names like Smokey or "Bo" were appropriate names for people who made their livings singing songs, I still thought in Sensible Toddler fashion that there was something a bit odd about the whole thing. Can recall being transfixed by the photos in extreme tinted colours and wild overblown lettersets on the small square shiny envelopes each disc came in. Going to a Go-Go by Smokey Robinson / Can I Get a Witness by Marvin Gaye / something or other by Bo Diddley. Everyone looked so much better performing music on stage wearing suits. Interesting also to see how hard the white girl dancers were expected to work at their far-out grooving for Marvin, while the three smug kitten-like black girl backing singers accompanying Bo understood they only had to wiggle their bottoms in time and they looked just fine. Bo, on the other hand, as the main man, does the proper entertaining of the crowd.
September 29th; Tuesday. I feel exhausted after another night of rough sleep sitting up in an armchair. Patient Tim kindly takes me to a nearby hospital. I present with chronic asthma (as the medics phrase it) and the lung man says no, I do not have asthma at all, but in fact high blood pressure and a hugely enlarged heart squashing my lungs. Lung man swears under his breath as he sees my chest X-ray, thinking I don't understand his Hungarian. Not the most encouraging moment of this month, must be admitted.

September 28th; Monday. Thought-provoking piece about Wokeism.
September 27th; Sunday. The attempted impeachment putsch of late 2016 and early 2017 that aimed to stop El Trumpo even taking office (the made-up stories about Russian hackers copying Hillary's embarrassing e-mails with Mr Podesta off the Democratic Party servers) is starting to come unglued, at essentially the worst possible time for the Democrats. Will it emerge that Obama was actually trying not to give up power, and was (as rumoured) hanging around DC in spring 2017 waiting for the CIA and FBI to confirm him as "interim" president after Trump's removal? We now hear (as the Flynn trial grinds on) that FBI agents were actually buying indemnity insurance to cover themselves against future investigations. FBI staff realised that Obama, Biden, and H. Clinton were having them break major laws.

September 26th; Saturday. A major character in both the "transgender" and "transhumanist" movements. Said to be building an immortal computer version of his beloved wife.
September 25th; Friday. Move some bags to an apartment of Robin's back in Budapest. Asthma not shifting as fast as I hoped, but thank goodness, that seems to be all it is. I have to try somewhere different for my lungs, if it's an allergy.

September 24th; Thursday. Start taking my medications. Nice rendition of a 1967 soul single where Gladys and the men in beige 3-piece suits look extremely low-key & relaxed. This might be because they're practised pros and they're doing take 17, I don't know. But if so, that might also explain the blank-faced audience members.
September 23rd; Wednesday. After another uncomfortable night unable to breathe whenever lying down, I potter (stagger) into the village of Paty at 8am. The morning sun is warm & cheering. Go there hoping to find a pharmacist, perhaps a doctor, and succeed in finding both. Both are very kind. Each in turn thinks I have some kind of acute allergic asthma, not an infection, which is good news. Buy anti-asthma mouth spray and some pills.
Online friend Alison suggests the US is in the grip of a well-funded off-the-shelf 'Color Revolution' (see here for a general guide as to how to mount one) aiming to enforce regime change through street violence. She points out that in the three cases of George Floyd, Kyle Rittenhouse, and Breonna Taylor, not all, but almost all, the major mass-media outlets consistently misreported details of the resulting deaths used to justify riots, almost as if working to a common script.

September 22nd; Tuesday. I have to cancel several meetings in town because of last night. Euro zone looking as weak as I feel.
September 21st; Monday. Teach in town during day, but up much of night unsuccessfully trying to vomit. I'm going to have to consult a doctor somehow but (rather pathetically) don't feel I even have the energy to find one.

September 20th; Sunday. I seem to be pretty ill. Quite worrying.
September 19th; Saturday. A couple of interesting-looking publishers: Zero Books & Repeater Books.

September 18th; Friday. Sleepless, unwell in small hours, finish the archly-titled 'Buy-ology' by Martin Lindstrom. Even while buying it with Andras on Monday, I mused out loud if the third blurb promise, the one that really hooked me, would ever get answered? "Why does the scent of melons help sell electronic products?" Of course, it never was answered, just mentioned towards the end. What a cheat.
Lindstrom graciously thanks his editor/ghost-writer Peter Smith on the second page of the acknowledgements at the back, if not on the cover. The book is subtitled 'How Everything We Believe About Why We Buy Is Wrong' a claim which really isn't true. This is mainly old news. It reminded me strongly of Vance Packard's 'Hidden Persuaders' book from --- 1957? And despite the new research (Lindstrom uses brain scanners in labs to analyse consumer volunteers' thinking), the feel of the book is almost exactly the same. Of course, Lindstrom makes money doing this research for big firms, so he spends huge swathes of this quite slim book talking about his ethical vision and his dislike of manipulative advertising (even though manipulative advertising is clearly his life work). This leads to weird closing sections in each chapter where he outlines how good & exciting all this research is when we have just read for ourselves that it gives corporations and governments yet more power over individuals. There is also a lot of that dreadful So-here-I-am-in-a-clinic-in-Vienna-Austria-surrounded-by-beeping-machines guff larded onto every chapter to fill space. Essentially, there are four supposed "surprises": 1. cigarette health warnings actually stimulate smokers' cravings / 2. scent and sound are often more powerful than visual cues / 3. bans on smoking promotions enabled tobacco firms to learn how to advertise without even mentioning their names, brands, or products / 4. Brand loyalty hits the same part of the brain as religious identity. I seem to remember Packard covering all four of those at some or other depth, ooh, half a century ago. Now you don't need to read this book.
September 17th; Thursday. I seem to be rather dramatically sick. Difficulty breathing. Nice radio discussion about Plato's Symposium.

September 16th; Wednesday. Though still tired and vaguely ill, manage to do two sets of lessons over the phone. Don't take a dog's friendship for granted!
September 15th; Tuesday. Shorter, odder set of quotes by Plotinus student Porphyry.

September 14th; Monday. Snack with Andras & Eszter and buy a paperback 2nd-hand book from a book stall newly parked near his flat just behind Keleti.
September 13th; Sunday. Wonderfully lofty set of Plotinus quotes.

September 12th; Saturday. A few wealthy folk are doing well.
September 11th; Friday. Lawyers acting for the policemen who were arresting George Floyd when he died now claim to have footage showing Floyd putting a lethal dose of fentanyl in his mouth seconds before arrest.

September 10th; Thursday. A little bit of extra seismic activity around the Yellowstone Lake area in the US: one of the earth's megavolcano threats.
September 9th; Wednesday. US medical results authority quietly concedes that only 6% of COVID-19 deaths had no other fatal conditions. So 150,000+ US deaths suddenly becomes 9,000 deaths.

September 8th; Tuesday. Now here's an image I can use.
September 7th; Monday. Strange liquidy antigravity thing.

September 6th; Sunday. Paganism in Lithuania: looks intriguing.
September 5th; Saturday. Very impressive bit of deep-faking: Adolf & Joseph bring us Video Killed The Radio Star.

September 4th; Friday. Thoughtful critique of 'Critical Theory'.
September 3rd; Thursday. Fascinating claim that Europe took the lead in world civilisation because early Church marriage rules damaged clan kinship structures.

September 2nd; Wednesday. Interesting piece with photos from journalist who went round several US states interviewing people whose businesses were burned down in largely unreported riots.
September 1st; Tuesday. The decimal-point error it very much looked like at the time, that caused the COVID-19 hysteria.



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


...............................................................................................................................................................
August 31st; Monday. 'University professor' photographs fairies and 'scientist' images 'multi-dimensional beings'. Both men look suitably non-mainstream.
August 30th; Sunday. New theory links atheism & emotional suppression.

August 29th; Saturday. Via Alison, how to mount your own 'Colo[u]r Revolution'.
August 28th; Friday. Swim almost a mile at one of the pools on the island in the Danube and then some mild weight training. Foolishly forget I might burn my shoulders and back doing breast-stroke lengths under a hot sun. Haven't swum I think even once for possibly two years. The Hajos Alfred pool has switched to the strange fake plastic wristwatches with a magnetic code for opening your clothes locker, a system several of the hot mineral baths have had for a decade or more. Quasi-swimming-pool-worthy remix of You're My Lover by someone or other.

August 27th; Thursday. NY Times comes daringly close to suggesting that China deceived the world about COVID-19 via co-ordinated Twitter storms.
August 26th; Wednesday. Someone's remix of someone else's remix of Live Without Your Love, Calvin Harris something something.

August 25th; Tuesday. 2017 Statistics piece: British quango says Muhammad not in fact England's most popular name now for newly-born baby boys. Except, yes it is.
August 24th; Monday. Detailed piece argues COVID-19 made almost no difference in England & Wales total mortality.

August 23rd; Sunday. Spiked discuss the 'culture war'.
August 22nd; Saturday. Two erudite articles on Islamic politics from the Hoover Institution: There is no Shia awakening and Trouble in the Shi'ite Crescent.

August 21st; Friday. Razor-sharp old Dmitri from Paris no longer dresses like an airline pilot when he works as a DJ. Has he lost his way a little? Lugubrious, almost depressing chill tune.
August 20th; Thursday. Big Wild's perky tune Venice Venture.

August 19th; Wednesday. Sleep 13 hours. Recovering from cold I must have had yesterday - why I felt so odd at Lake Balaton. Friend cites old Neil Diamond song, the cheery Cherry Cherry: making songwriting sound super simple.
August 18th; Tuesday. On the morning train to see Dr D. at his holiday home at the other end of Lake Balaton, I finish a book lent me (or perhaps given?) by Esther V., 'Madonna of the Sleeping Cars' by Maurice Dekobra. Though I started this earlier than the wittier Szerb Pendragon novel, a similar era (late 1920s rather than early 1930s) and a similar vintage: fascination by some Continental author (or his readership) with the snobbish mysteries of Celtic Britain and the aristocrats therein. Rather than a Welsh noble, this book is centred on a Scots noblewoman, and rather than told through the eyes of a wandering Hungarian scholar, Dekobra's book is told through the eyes of a French aristocrat fallen on hard times. He is gallantly platonic friend and loyal companion to the Madonna, and some of the action takes place on long-distance luxury trains, as one might hope. Intriguing to see how this book was translated into several languages from the original French, not just into English.
Even made into at least two films. This was also an early spy novel, and the Amazon page writes "Alan Furst fans will note that train passengers in his bestselling thrillers are often observed reading The Madonna of the Sleeping Cars. It's a smart detail: First published in 1927, the book was one of the twentieth century's first massive bestsellers, selling over 15 million copies worldwide." Fascinating to keep finding how rich the past is - to never have even heard, until a few weeks ago, of a book that sold 15 million copies between the wars. Put into English by Neal Wainwright, I found only one sure translation mistake, 'receipt' instead of 'recipe', but it's an enjoyable read. Some parts felt a little stilted, but hard to know if that's a cultural shift or the loss of some flair in the original text once no longer in French. Aristocrats-versus-Bolsheviks, stylish high-spenders struggling to survive the new austerity, and a central character who is elegant yet racy, perhaps even "modern" (beautiful blue-blooded ladies are allowed to sleep around) - it's just about possible to see why readers found it so exciting and up-to-date at the time.
Dr D. shows me round Balatongyorok, including his vineyard and wine cellar, and we see warning lights flashing at the edge of the lake telling boats a storm is coming. He tells me something terrible I'd never heard - the lake is dangerous because it's shallow. He says if a storm whips up waves, instead of being big heaving rolls, they are small and full of spray, making them dangerous to swim in. He mentions a recent storm near his harbour (last year?) where eight male students were on a boat that got into trouble. One of them, a young championship swimmer, struck out for the shore to get help, not realising that in the two or three feet above the storm-lashed water the air was full of water droplets and water vapour. So this powerful, experienced swimmer literally drowned with his head above water - he was asphyxiated by the water vapour in the air he was breathing, and died before reaching shore.

August 17th; Monday. Intriguing claim: Face masks make you stupid.
August 16th; Sunday. Bouncy tune from Parov Stelar called Number One MC. The cover art shows a pretty girl wearing some sort of breastplate that looks part-typewriter/part-disassembled-oboe. The looping chords take the Sugar Rush approach to making a pop song, bridging back and forth between two different bits of upbeat melody.

August 15th; Saturday. Only around March did I notice the zip tags on the knapsack I got as a present on Christmas Eve from my kind student Edina. Each tag is a black rubber capital M with a scribbled white italic TV on the right leg. Sudden recognition takes me back to the early 1990s, when the decade-old the MTV channel still seemed almost fresh. Just before the internet brushed it aside.
August 14th; Friday. Mises website again on COVID-19 panic's political subtext.

August 13th; Thursday. The myth of pervasive misogyny and a woman who found her female-only TV production firm mired in women-manager bitch fights.
August 12th; Wednesday. Spectator points out how exaggerated the COVID-19 threat has been, and a Swedish doctor shares his anecdotal experience.

August 11th; Tuesday. Global elites hint COVID-19 controls might stay forever.
August 10th; Monday. Two lawyers who threw a Molotov cocktail into a police car, defended rather cloyingly in long-form article.

August 9th; Sunday. Choosing the name "Fuckpony" suggests some kind of male anxiety to me (they are from Berlin), but anyway, here is: I'm Burning Inside / Fall Into Me / Bongo Porn / Ride the Pony / Get Pony.
August 8th; Saturday. Forbes article from May suggests that deaths caused by the COVID-19 curfews will hugely outweigh deaths from the disease itself.

August 7th; Friday. Rhythm Scholar's extended remix of Andre Previn's Executive Party track from 1970s film 'Rollerball'. Meanwhile, wild boar steals naked German man's laptop bag, naked German man gives chase, and recaptures bag.
August 6th; Thursday. Important, clearly-written Mises website article puts COVID-19 response in context of Davos-founder Klaus Schwab's 'Great Reset'.

August 5th; Wednesday. Three more songs by Unknown Mortal Orchestra: American Guilt / First World Problem / Not in Love We're Just High.
August 4th; Tuesday. Three songs from the rhythmically inventive (but badly named) Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Little Blu House / Can't Keep Checking My Phone / Thought Ballune.

August 3rd; Monday. Finish a delightfully entertaining book borrowed from Irish Michael, 'The Pendragon Legend' by Antal Szerb, translated into English by Len Rix. This is a lively and archly-written 1930s parody of gothic novels of the time. Originally in Hungarian, the central character and narrator is an eccentric Hungarian scholar adrift in London, invited to the mysterious castle of a nobleman in Wales. All the cliches and tropes of the Country House Ghost Story of the time are wittily included: my favourite were the gelatinous translucent-white deep-sea creatures condemned to blob around in giant dimly-lit tanks of water on one floor of the nobleman's home, being killed and revived in ghoulish scientific experiments. The jolly-hockeysticks German sportswoman, the rogueish Irish adventurer, the deranged local vicar, the evil-yet-hauntingly-beautiful heiress - all the elements are in place. Here's a rather hostile review, but headed by a nice photo of Szerb from the time.
August 2nd; Sunday. Why 'The Woke' won't debate with others.

August 1st; Saturday. Intriguing article compares faeries and aliens flying UFOs.

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