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December 6th; Friday. While we discuss US politics back in the 1990s, Dr D. is momentarily unable to recall the name of Monica Lewinsky. "You know who I mean," he says, snapping his fingers as he tries to remember, "You know --- you know --- the fat girl." Not how most English-speakers remember Bill Clinton's impeachment scandal, but: Continental values. On the topic of politics, this chart claims to show the network of extremists on the Labour far left. Supposedly put together by some "retired spooks".

December 5th; Thursday. A cheerful talk about why cooking for yourself matters.
December 4th; Wednesday. Thought-provoking talks by Alan Watts, the inspiringly lucid Anglican/Buddhist active in the 1950s and 60s, some with low-key bits of instrumental music in the background. Mystery of Time / The Veil That Conceals Reality / The Joker / Outwitting the Devil / Spectrum of Love.

December 3rd; Tuesday. Got to the end of 'The Devil Rides Out' by Dennis Wheatley (an interesting interview with him here). A mid-1930s novel which marked Wheatley's first foray (he had already successfully published 3 or 4 other thrillers) into the supernatural. Greeted by critics at the time as "the best thing of its kind since Dracula", it was adapted for film, along with later novels of his like 'To The Devil a Daughter'. Although big handsome motor cars with style and horsepower are a feature of the tale, there is something also of the 1880s Holmes stories: chilly, foggy outdoor scenes contrast with stuffy interiors. The indoor scenes are cosily padded out with comfortable old furniture, cigars, cheroots, deferential servants, and some totally routine heavy drinking. Even young vigorous characters, for example, find it quite a testing ordeal to stay inside a pentacle for 12 hours without their usual refills of wine and brandy. An unspoken dread in the background of the novel is that there should be another great war in Europe. Published in 1934, the threat that the magical beastliness unleashed by the chief villain might bring forth again the horsemen of the apocalypse, is explicitly part of the plot. Both the love-interest characters are East European totty - the young almost-English wife of one of the thoroughly decent eggs is in fact a beautiful girl "brought out of Russia", while the other exotic lass "mixed up in" the dark arts is a Hungarian girl named after a moon goddess. She must be rescued in all senses of the word by Rex, the bluff good-hearted American chum of "The Duke", chief warrior against the forces of evil. Main message of the tale is Don't Look Into His Eyes!
December 2nd; Monday. Lunch with Tim. Snowy streets. Apparently coral makes a sound, and is encouraged if you play that sound back to it.

December 1st; Sunday. One of those articles claiming hot baths are as good as exercise. Looking forward to professional athletes abandoning training for hot baths. Could this be any link to zero gravity killing cancer cells?
November 30th; Saturday. Historian suggests the origins of Islam were different than we believe. Late in the evening, finish 'Meetings With Remarkable Men' by Gurdjeff, which I've been meaning to read since school. That was after enjoying Colin Wilson's account of him (I think called 'The War Against Sleep') from the public library. There are many warnings about this book, claiming it's an invented autobiography filled with fairy stories, and so on, but it's loosely plausible. For one thing, none of the men are really that remarkable. There are signs that this is a storyteller spinning yarns (the account of crossing the Gobi Desert during a sandstorm on stilts is sweet), but also that Gurdjeff wasn't really a writer. I got more the impression of a gifted talker and raconteur fairly randomly writing down some of his more successful tales. The spell in a monastery somewhere in Central Asia run by the "World Brotherhood" is left hanging oddly, as if it cannot be resolved because the prewar cult leader's own project (codenamed 'The Work') needs to be seen to follow from it. One of Gurdjeff's followers in his growing private sect at this time was P.J. Travers, creator of Mary Poppins. 'The Work' involved a quasi-religious fusion of dance & movement therapy. In the closing pages, this is casually prefigured at that mysterious monastery's "dancing priestess" training, as if to make the guru's own 1920s venture at Fontainebleau a live epilogue to this vague, open-ended book. Towards the end, started wondering how much Paulo Coelho was trying for something similar.

November 29th; Friday. Interesting article about luxury viewpoints. The idea is that political opinions are often a form of status display.
November 28th; Thursday. List of folk songs written by pre-WW1 'Wobblies' union organiser Joe Hill.

November 27th; Wednesday. An intriguing pair of articles one and two about the little-discussed White Helmets group, and now-dead MP Jo Cox's involvement with them.
November 26th; Tuesday. Electric cars will create a battery-waste problem? Seems there were near-crashes in the new Boeing's simulator. Some cheering work on a virus to kill cancer tumours. Curious study says queens were more warlike than kings. Adorable little animation showing cuts to make triangles into squares, squares into hexagons, and hexagons into triangles.

November 25th; Monday. Finish 'Supernormal' by Dean Radin, more thought-provoking stuff about his experiments with quantum-anomalies and what he calls "micro-telekinesis".
November 24th; Sunday. Robin and I stroll around after dark and drop into a Protestant church built in 1913, and chat with the organ master. Afterwards, we have a night-time coffee on the stretch of Andrassy street near his flat, and we see the eerie sight of a small van moving from lamp-post to lamp-post mounting strings of white Christmas lights and switching them on, one set at a time. I suddenly recall one of Travers' Mary Poppins stories about a man in suburban London with a ladder into the sky whose secret job it was to put the stars up into the firmament each night.

November 23rd; Saturday. A 'Fresnel-Prism' lens seen in Labour leader Mr Corbyn's spectacles suggest he might in recent months have suffered a minor stroke.
November 22nd; Friday. In the quiet flat, when I sleep on the floor I can feel, not hear, a very faint distinct throbbing coming from the floor into my head - around two beats a second. I think it must be a pump a few floors down in the building's heating system moving water or oil through all its radiators. In other news, there's a horse so lazy it plays dead when someone wants to ride it.

November 21st; Thursday. Provocative set of short films alleges that Sumerians knew of the planets Uranus, Neptune, & Pluto only discovered by modern Europeans after the 1780s. Enjoyably, the film has lots of attractive close-up images of cuneiform-script tablets.
November 20th; Wednesday. Finish the third of three astrology books borrowed from Esoteric Veronica: 'Aspect Pattern Astrology' by Bruno Huber, Louise Huber, & Michael Huber. This is all about trines, squares, and all the other traditional geometrical relations between houses and planets in birth charts.

November 19th; Tuesday. Steady yourselves, citizens: Terence McKenna's darling yet also alarming "DMT elves" want the elite to kill us all?
November 18th; Monday. Late evening, at the all-night shop on Kiraly street, a group of two males and three brunettes, all speaking Russian, are roaming the shelves of the crowded store buying potato crisps and drinks on the way to some party. All three girls wear skin-tight glossy black leggings showing pert bottoms in perfect detail, and all three are pretty with doe-like eyes, but they're not sisters. Earlier, in the late afternoon at the hairdresser I was telling a couple of Russian-girl anecdotes, and a Hungarian male colleague of my barber Istvan lounging exhausted in a nearby chair (while Istvan snips away at my locks), remarks that Russian lasses reliably have lovely legs and beautiful eyes. Perhaps this was the conversation that conjured the group at midnight. Meanwhile, things seem to be kicking off in Iran.

November 17th; Sunday. Russian professor who routinely dresses as Napoleon found in river with severed limbs of ex-girlfriend in his knapsack.
November 16th; Saturday. Albanian drug gang in Italy has hidden cocaine stash snaffled by wild, furry, forest boars. Oink!

November 15th; Friday. Swedish bombings in 2019 pass 100 explosions. Apparently gang wars between, er -- recent arrivals in the Scandinavian nation.
November 14th; Thursday. Poignant glimpse of 1967 futurists talking about now. What is genuinely refreshing is that they seem quite clever, serious people who mostly emphasise we can choose what kinds of futures we create.

November 13th; Wednesday. At the cafe Art Dealer Tony introduced me to, the outdoor stretch of tables with the fat, arsey pigeons somehow a fortnight back became shorter. A single line of tables along the pavement extends between a large potted shrub and a cylindrical poster stand, and for a few seconds I couldn't work out what had changed. Then I realised the shrub had been moved to bring 6 or 7 tables down to just 4. Smoothly adapting to the cooler weather.
November 12th; Tuesday. Finish a book Esoteric Veronica lent me: 'The Planets' by Bruno and Louise Huber: good overview of the effects astrologers conventionally say nearby planets (a term that includes sun & moon) have on birth charts.

November 11th; Monday. Exciting test of my logistical skills. I catch the early bus from Tiszainoka (there are 3 or 4 a day only) to the next village, meet Seamstress Aranka who has done her stitching just as well but faster this time, get into the "centre" of Tiszakurt and follow directions from two affable locals to get a bus to Kecskemet, from where I get a train to Budapest's West Bahnhof, right by Dr D.'s office at the Supreme Court for our 11.30 lesson. Using the train loo to change into the government-office-compatible trousers that Aranka had mended felt vaguely bank-heist caper-ish in a low-budget sort of way.
November 10th; Sunday. Gloomy, rainy day at Robin's in countryside. Is the EU a menace to freedom?

November 9th; Saturday. Journey out to the Great Plain by train. Spend three hours consuming cider, coffee, and slices of Margharita in the pizzeria at Lakitelek station until darkness falls. After some explanation of what has gone wrong, the curvy barmaid's boyfriend Christopher kindly drives me across the plains where it mainly rains (at least tonight) to Robin's house at one end of Tiszainoka.
November 8th; Friday. Discomfortingly effective Moscow-based study makes progress in using computers to see into minds.

November 7th; Thursday. Policemen packing heat seal off Andrassy street for a visit by Turkey's Mr Erdogan (once described by Boris Johnson as the "wankerer from Ankara"). They try to stop me entering a building where I temporarily have a key to an apartment. I persuade them I'm actually sleeping there.
November 6th; Wednesday. Article about hybristophilia (sexual attraction to violent people) tiptoes around discussing whether women are more prone to this.

November 5th; Tuesday. Turns out that degree-educated pensioners are more gullible and easily defrauded than the rest. Suggests standards for access into higher education fell at least fifty years ago, roughly dated by the creation of that swathe of new universities like Essex, Sussex, Warwick, Southamption, Exeter etc.
November 4th; Monday. Meet Marion for major natter while she's stuck indoors waiting for electric-meter men. Weather chillier now. You ask: what might superhappiness be?
November 3rd; Sunday. Meet Andras. We drive around after dark looking for the Vietnamese soup he likes. Then we find an Indochinese place close to Keleti railway station with an extraordinary bottled drink tasting of roses. Apparently he just spent three days in a Benedictine monastery.

November 2nd; Saturday. Interesting piece about how the 2nd attempt to impeach El Trumpo goes down in some US swing states.
November 1st; Friday. At the EU shell campaign to reverse the referendum result by doing it again & again & again until we get it right: trouble brews.

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


.languages of the world
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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


October 31st; Thursday. Since it's the night before the day of the dead, the time when souls can pass more freely across the divide, here's a tribute to late great Saudi statesman Osama bin Laden.
October 30th; Wednesday. Paris biologists unveil La Blob, a kind of slime with 720 sexes. An organism for our times!

October 29th; Tuesday. Travel back to Budapest in the morning, and in our early-afternoon lesson Esoteric Veronica gives me a sleek new sports bag she is junking, plus a handsome flagon of schnapps she doesn't want. Men with clipboards say that space is made of zillions of tiny universes. Well obviously.
October 28th; Monday. I catch a bus to, and walk back from, Aranka's village. Her four children are playing in the dusty drive of their house, and a disappointed boy of about 9 asks why I didn't bring The Dog With No Leash. Aranka takes custody of my blue sports bag, so I shall have to manage for a week with supermarket carrier bags.

October 27th; Sunday. Bela almost cuts his hand off with a hatchet while chopping wood. Zeno & his friend Judit take him to hospital to get the gash stitched up. Still oddly warm, with yellow sunshine out of the shadows. Last night Bela talked me through all the various Fives games.
October 26th; Saturday. A misunderstanding about the motorbike means I fail to get to the next village during Seamstress Aranka's opening hours. Wistful autumn sunshine is surprisingly warm. My lips burn from eating ripe figs off the bush next to Robin's studio. Seems they contain some kind of natural acid or antiseptic. Sullen wasps on the bush grumble as I turn up to compete. Some figs are fermenting on the branch and taste of alcohol.

October 25th; Friday. Go with Robin to his rural fastness in Tiszainoka by train as darkness falls. We are driven to the house by Levente, a friend of Gyuri. We find Zeno the Alchemist and Bela both in high spirits. There is much hilarity. Teaching rats to drive toy cars apparently calms them down.
October 24th; Thursday. Finish book borrowed from Esoteric Veronica about the astrological houses: 'Reflections & Meditations on the Signs of the Zodiac' by Louise Huber. This goes through the 12 houses, interpreting them as psychological states superimposed on the night sky. First of three similar books she lent me. This week went out one night with Programmer Andras, and on the topic of argumentative Budapest apartment-building residents' meetings, he mentions how one friend said he had attended a residents' meeting in his building and now believes in the existence of Satan.

October 23rd; Wednesday. Slightly oddly cited on physics-dot-org, thought-provoking study suggests married white women identify more with men than other married women.
October 22nd; Tuesday. A manifesto stylishly titled Dare to be Grey, which has the fingerprints of the EU all over it, both in its sly insinuation that being completely against something (such as against the EU, to choose a totally random example) is necessarily extremist - and also in the muddled, stuffy thinking and writing.

October 21st; Monday. Johnson sent three letters to the EU, as compelled by the Brussels-craven Commons, one asking for an extension but unsigned, another as a cover letter to that saying he was forced but doesn't agree with it, and a third saying he does not want an extension. Intriging move, perhaps plotted by the clearly sharp-minded Dominic Cummings?
October 20th; Sunday. The vaguely simian Rory Stewart, another Etonian, makes a bid to be London Mayor. A superficially smooth & articulate pitch from a man who weeks ago was talking of setting up a "parallel Parliament" to stop Brexit. He now - it seems - regrets having been a Tory, and The Guardian laps this up of course. The obvious question unasked - if there is no power anywhere in modern Britain, why stand for the post of mayor?

October 19th; Saturday. Much excitement at Westminster where the first Saturday Commons sitting since the Falklands War should debate Boris Johnson's non-deal with the EU. Instead a motion by always-cuddly Oliver Letwin takes up the day.
October 18th; Friday. Software to scan faces at festivals.

October 17th; Thursday. White women more likely to vote for conservative parties?
October 16th; Wednesday. Painting zebra stripes on cows reduces insect biting.

October 15th; Tuesday. Recently I've discovered a very restful cafe/bar near Esoteric Veronica's office, where I can arrive early for her lesson and sit quietly with a range of elderly men. In general three are playing cards, with bartender as fourth man, over at one end of the room. A couple of tables are decorated with vinyl records under the sheet of glass, but only a couple, as if the idea ran out of material. Their WiFi password refers to the founding of Budapest's 9th district football club in 1899. After about three visits where I consume one coffee or two coffees and a water, the bartender seems to have decided I'm not such a bad person.
October 14th; Monday. "Anti-solar cell" generates electricity "from darkness".

October 13th; Sunday. Over a coffee & a water outside the Ice Buffet place, read a short book lent to me by Robin, called 'Great Is God's Zoo' by Iris Masters Zwack. It would be unfair to give away the ending, but an extraordinary range of odd personal stories about meeting odd people is tied together in the final pages. The initial story conceit is that Zwack is practising her budding writing skills by befriending eccentric characters in her corner of New England: a weird taxi driver, a retarded girl who stacks fruit at the grocery, a New Age fitness trainer - they each get a chapter.
October 12th; Saturday. Testimony from 2017: senior Irish Republic customs officials giving evidence to the Irish Republic parliament saw no need for any physical border infrastructure on the frontier with Northern Ireland in the event of Britain leaving the EU. Rather letting the "backstop" out of the bag.

October 11th; Friday. Texan slideshow alleges removal of very hot year 1921 from US climate data to make the overall 20th-century trend upwards. Delicious BBC article on climate-change anxiety (the editorial art is specially special): a doctor writes. UCL researchers claim Britain is about to have a record cold winter.
October 10th; Thursday. Concerns continue that Britain's military were transferred to Euroblob control by Mayer the Betrayer. Even plans for an EU army were dismissed as a "Leaver lie" by 2016 pro-EU campaigners, in classic projection.

October 9th; Wednesday. Guided by Michael A.'s friend Art Dealer Tony, I have started dropping in on the refreshingly cheap, vaguely communist-era Ice Buffet bar where coffee, water, and scones are still affordable. At their outside tables along the sunniest part of Petofi Sandor street, fat aggressive pigeons gang up on any person who tries to eat and drink alone. Often their beaks are smeared with the whipped cream of an abandoned pudding. The dove-shaped slatterns hop onto a table or chair but cleverly stay just inches out of any angry patron's arm swing. I'm going to have to buy a small water pistol and fill it with sharp-scented disinfectant.
October 8th; Tuesday. The slightly sinister-sounding group Extinction Rebellion are criticised for defacing Wiltshire's White Horse monument with their runic, black-metal-occultist-style logo.

October 7th; Monday. After visiting several textile shops across Hungary in the last month or two, must admit to being slightly downcast by the sheer vileness of the fabric patterns. Anything so straightoforward as (say) white polka dots on a solid colour, or blue and white stripes is completely absent. While I've long drawn comfort from the fact these retail outlets still exist in the quantities they used to in England, that there are still Hungarian women, old and young, making their own clothes, quite disheartening to find just now naff most - no all - of it is. If it's white, it's covered in frills and fussy detailing. If it's patterned, the pattern aspires to irregularity - five different widths of stripe in one fabric, for example. If there is a repeating motif, it's twee, cluttered, and too pale or too dark. Colours are selected from a rich palette of sickly yellows, anaemic browns, blood-piss reds, and those nasty blues and greens they use to make dangerous drug capsules look worrying. With relentless success, every pattern hits that magical sour spot of optimal ugliness.
October 6th; Sunday. A court decision in the EU makes it likely that Facebook can be ordered to retract its posts worldwide. EU censorship developments continue.

October 5th; Saturday. Wall Street Journal article yesterday: growing numbers of girls attending college discover shortage of suitable men. Male author wonderfully tactful about women's focus on marrying "up".
October 4th; Friday. Still a bit giddy after finishing the tedious translation about gold investing on Wednesday. Hanging over me for weeks. Don't go in! To his web of sin!

October 3rd; Thursday. Devon farmer prepares for Brexit with Nazi-engineered giant cows. + interesting piece on craze for professional walking back in 1815.
October 2nd; Wednesday. Two pieces about the legal side of Britain's attempts to leave the Euroblob. One from Lawyers for Britain about Article 50, and another (a .pdf) from a respected jurist at Oxford, says last week's Supreme Court judgment on prorogation broke the 1688 Bill of Rights.

October 1st; Tuesday. Military bod warns EU taking over Britain's armed forces.

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