Friday, November 2, 2012

What I’m reading #85

Chris Bell really likes Sunken Condos, the new album by Donald Fagen. Quote unquote:
It’s an album you experience the way you did in the old days; you want to listen to the whole thing in a single sitting (ideally clutching a lyric sheet), not just odd tracks on shuffle. And, in the silence after it ends, the instinct is to sigh then to play it all over again.
Another great obituary from the Daily Telegraph: Prince Roy of Sealand, who established his own micro-nation on an abandoned fort just outside British territorial waters and declared himself head of state. Quote unquote:
Wounded several times, Bates survived malaria, sandfly fever, frostbite and snakebite. When a German stick grenade exploded, smashing his jaw and showering shrapnel in his face, he was told by an Army surgeon that he would never find a wife as he would be so badly disfigured. But as his wounds healed, Bates met Joan Collins, a former beauty queen from Essex, at a dance, and within three months they had married.
Not that Joan Collins, sadly. Still a great story 

Art theory: could the Rotterdam heistmeister be a Symbolist collector?

Shock and ore: Tim Worstall explains that we will not run out of copper or any other mineral resources because reserves and resources are not at all the same thing. Quote unquote:
reserves of ore are, at any one time, good for only a few decades of use. Because they are a both legal and economic concept and as such we only define as reserves what we’re likely to use in the next few decades. Or rather, only bother to do enough work to declare as reserves what we’re likely to use in the next few decades. Thus every generation does indeed use up the available reserves of minerals.
But that isn’t all there is of course: there’s also the known unknowns. We’ve only bothered to stake out this side of the hill and in a couple of decades we’ll do the same to the other side. We know it’s there, we’ve just not bothered to prove it yet. These are more generally known as resources. They’re there, we know that, we’ve just not gone through the expense of converting them to reserves yet.
Helen Sword on mutant verbs. I call it verbising, she calls it verbifying. She will be right. Quote unquote:
Any noun can be verbed. So can many adjectives: we prettify a room, neaten our desk and brown a piece of meat. As Calvin succinctly explains to Hobbes, “Verbing weirds language.”
Stuff is geographically challenged:
A 23-year-old Tauranga man caught allegedly drink driving told police he was speeding at 136kmh following his friend’s funeral as a mark of respect.
The man was leaving the funeral of Shaun Hogarth when he was stopped by police near the Pyes Pa cemetery about 2.30pm yesterday. [. . . ]
 Hunter said police were in the area because of complaints about boy racer-style cars driving around Mt Maunganui.
Mount Maunganui is on the coast; to get from there to Pyes Pa you cross the harbour bridge, go through Tauranga, past Greerton (where Vanda Symon and I went to school) and head for the Kaimais. It is about half an hour away by car. Boy racers from the Mount are not an issue. Australian sub-editors?  

In Landfall Nicholas Reid takes an austere view of Paul Moon’s New Zealand in the Twentieth Century. Quote unquote:
typically anti-Catholic spin 
A maths test. Go on, you try. I struggled with #14. Embarrassing.

A new blog to me. I’m going to have a go at the banana bread. Also contains Giles Coren’s review of Skyfall which has rather put me off watching the movie.

The Moderately Hungry Maggot by Bill Manhire, illustrated by Mark Harfield. Brilliant. The first page sets the tone:
Outside, under the kitchen window, a hundred eggs lay on a rotten chop.
A note on the inside back cover says, “This parody is for distribution within New Zealand only.” Long-time readers of the blog may recall this from Tane Thomson, which possibly was an inspiration.

Which brings us, once more, to Peter Maxwell Davies. His 1974 piece Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot, about a woman who was a model for Miss Haversham in Great Expectations, is not a lovely listen but is very much worth a listen. This is the original recording with Mary Thomas (soprano) and the Fires of London; this is a concert performance with Jaroslava Maxova singing:


Anonymous said...

Nicholas Reid seems to come down very punitively on anyone who's negative about the Catholic Church?

Stephen Stratford said...

Have you read the full text of the review? If so, where did Nicholas get it wrong?