otherlanguages.org
. . . Main links

Basque / Dutch / English / Hungarian / Japanese / Swedish

link to i-mode page

#

#

non-alphabetic scripts

#

other links

#

endangered languages

#

sign languages

#

maps

#

songs and music

#

dead languages


*1

#

linguistic philosophy

#

artificial languages

#

AI, speech recognition

#

encryption, steganography

#

language history

#

calligraphy

#

cognitive psychology

#

mathematical linguistics

#

animal communication

#

language list

#

non-language links

2010
...............................................................................................................................................................


October 31st; All Souls' Eve. Yesterday & today, I could sense real ghouls out and about, in the form of nasty people. I stay in and have two quiet evenings doing papier mache by myself. Perhaps that pastry-shop Christian girl isn't so silly after all. I also try to use Ilan's drill on some steel tube, and feebly fail.

October 30th; The live version of this pops up on YouTube. 'I'm a Police Car' by Larry Wallis. An extraordinary photograph - those are goats strolling across the near-vertical surface of a dam wall.
October 29th; I drag Ilan out to Ujpest. We look in awe at the books in the printer's warehouse. They have been printed at last. 8 packs of ten fit perfectly into a standard Hungarian Post Office cardboard box, leaving me with 20 copies to deal with myself.

October 28th; A few days ago, I ask the new girl in the pastry shop if she wishes I didn't drink 'Hell' because she's a serious Christian? "Yes, I am" she says, blushing sweetly. Today I order an 'Adrenalin', another not-so-expensive, identically-flavoured chilled caffeine drink in a blue {not red} can. "You're switching drinks because of me?" she asks, blushing again, almost bridling. "Of course," I tell her, "maybe it will do my soul less harm". She giggles, but only half-jokingly.
October 27th; Book-printing continues to gather pace.

October 26th; Ilan points out a matt grey car we pass on the street. It gives the impression of being enormously solid.
October 25th; Extraordinary. Amazon phone me up on my mobile and are helpful.

October 24th; Sunday. Ilan & I return to the Israeli-owned hummus bar where last week he got a phone number off the redhead who told us she works as a sex therapist. We talk about healing.
October 23rd; Hungary's tank & flag day. The strange cast-iron/rusted-steel structure in front of Corvin Cinema is up almost on time. A small crowd there is listening to a speech commemorating 1956 when I walk past. Oddly enough about forty of the audience are barrel-shaped middle-aged bikers, their shining machines triple-parked along the street kerb. In the evening finish John O's copy of an Anthony Burgess novel 'A Dead Man in Deptford', which is a fictionalised account of Elizabethan playwright Christopher Marlowe's 20s, leading up, of course, to his mysterious, violent, early death in a tavern in Deptford then some distance south of London. Burgess, a Catholic, gives a plausible account of Marlowe's discomfort working for Walsingham's secret service, and the language & oppressive mood of the Papist/Protestant Cold War period of the 1590s is darkly persuasive. 'Shagspaw/Jacquespere/"Will of Warwickshire"' is barely mentioned, Giordano Bruno and Walter Raleigh loom large, and "the Scotch Slobberer" is not yet close to succeeding to the throne.

October 21st; Only after 6pm able to get time with Regina to finalise book cover - after the close of business for the day and the week, unfortunately.
October 20th; Unable to work with Regina to complete the book's new cover. Her work is keeping her busy tonight.

October 20th; Rob & I have lunch after drinks in my flat, which he hasn't seen since the floor was covered in piles of books. He admires my new order. Over curry I mention a record producer who told me his ex-wife paid a witchdoctor in Kenya 5,000 quid to hit him with a 7-year curse, and Rob describes the right arm of a close friend of his father withering down to the bone in the months after an African neighbour woman in London angrily chided him.
October 19th; Ilan & I vibrate. I find a potted sage plant and buy it. Visit the new printers in Ujpest.

October 18th; This book sounds good for a chuckle. First lesson on the French course - Yomi knows his stuff and is interesting when he gets onto phonetics. Printer man directs me to contact his colleague Eva.
October 17th; On Elysia's advice I go shopping for lapis lazuli.

October 16th; The new printer chap in Budapest continues to answer questions by e-mail through the weekend. This is extraordinary - can it continue? Rather sweetly last week the new girl at the bun & pastry shop queries me when I ask for the brand of energy drink in the red can called in several countries by the English word 'Hell'. "You know what that word means?" she asks me in Hungarian. "It means 'pokol' {hell}" I say, blinking a bit. "And you still drink it?" she asks me with a concerned smile halfway between sad reproach and teasing humour.
October 15th; MC Solaar has a good day. Thanks, Nicolas!

October 14th; I show Regina the messed-up proof copy of the book. We stand in brilliant sun next to chilly shadow at the foot of the cathedral steps. She is puzzled. Predictably, LightningSource insist it is entirely my fault, and they just printed the files I gave them.
October 13th; Last night finished a book John O lent me, 'The Holographic Universe' by Michael Talbot. This makes the very bold claim that physicist David Bohm's cosmology, and neurologist Karl Pribram's brain model both suggest that reality itself is a hologram. Talbot and these two, plus other scientists sympathetic to this view, have in mind two qualities of holograms - that they are convincing illusions {2D images that look 3D}, and that if shattered, each fragment contains the whole image - that is if you smash a glass hologram of an apple, each shard of glass still shows the entire apple when you twist and angle it correctly, like peering through a tiny slit into another world. This idea sounds less startling in Pribram's version, where he notes that some skills and memories are not stored in specific bits of the brain, but diffused all over, so that you can cut out certain segments of brain tissue and the skill or memory remains, spread across the entire remaining organ. Of course other bits of brains really are localised, but it is already interesting that much isn't. Talbot's interview subjects say that if the whole universe has this diffused-yet-interlocking, non-local, character then this might explain all sorts of supernatural talents and events, from ghosts and telepathy to precognition and mind-over-matter miracles. In the last category, the twinkly-eyed Sai Baba makes his inevitable rogueish entrance. Proudly sporting a magnificent Jackson Five bouffant for several decades now, this guru, a not-yet-debunked Indian version of Uri Geller, is claimed to manifest objects from thin air. Since Baba bling is on the pricey side {Swiss watches get magicked into reality if bemused witnesses are to be believed}, suspension of all disbelief sounds one rewarding way to hack the hologram.
Ilan & I go to the DHL office out in the 9th district to pick up the proof copy of 'Collateral Damage'. LightningSource printed it completely wrongly, making a mess of the cover, and printing the entire text of the book in bold sans-serif.

October 12th; Tuesday. Strange, vivid, mostly enjoyable dreams continue. It takes three trips to separate cash machines and three phone calls costing almost ten pounds before Barclays 24-hour phone-banking staff work out that my problem is not that I entered my deposit account PIN incorrectly {I got it right each time}, but that this card cannot be used abroad in any case. Thanks for not telling me that last week, muppets.
October 11th; Monday. Meet Ilan at gym. He points out we're both in earthy olive colours but the tennis club regulars all wear crisp whites and blues. He refers to them as "the sky people". Lunch with Ilan & Bullet. So, where do good ideas come from then?

October 10th; Sunday. Waking from extraordinary, rich dreams last few nights. Engrossing dinner & wine with John O., Lilla, and their affectionate ex-Budadogs stray Lara.
October 9th; Saturday. Coffee with Robin & Dominik. In the evening, lovely pizza with Zoe, Mark, & Anna, then to Kata's birthday party. Entertaining weblog about money folk.

October 8th; Friday. Long day with Ilan, learning about equipping machine-tool craft shops. Dinner in evening with Dominik.
October 7th; Thursday. Never heard much about France's annexation of Savoy. Bank branch manager phones me up, all sad and floppy-eared about my being in a foreign city without any access to my cash.

October 6th; Wednesday. With Ilan to gym. We try strange vibrating exercise machine. Ilan kindly helps me out with the bank card crisis NatWest's back-office intelligensia created for me.
October 5th; Tuesday. I learn that NatWest have cut my card off a year before expiry for no reason. Suddenly I cannot pay my rent. Thanks, bank. Now I understand why all those years ago, when the NatWest trader stepped up to make his once-a-month futures deal, the other LIFFE traders in the eurodollar pit used to jeer "Press for fucking action, Colin."

October 4th; More electronic tinkering. Another ultra-simple thing.
October 3rd; I finally build something ultra-simple on the breadboard that works. The first one is too ambitious and works oddly. Then I find the simplest ever circuits online. I hope for progress.

October 2nd; The Norwegian girls track down Tegwen after an exciting-sounding bicycle chase until the poor scared hound recognised Anouska's voice. Lunch and dinner with Ilan, a long afternoon-into-evening session as he cross-examines me on gold trading & the real bills doctrine.
October 1st; Anouska is really upset that a nervous stray dog she was looking after, Tegwen, ran off into the city, and via Facebook asks everyone to keep an eye out. I go out around 1am to have a look myself in that part of the city. After finding no Tegwen, I bump into one of my writers on the night bus back. Slightly oddly, he says I can come into his flat, but asks me to promise not to murder him. I gladly agree to this condition. He invites me up to his Kitchen of Plenty for some aromatic Polish vodka.


Mark Griffith, site administrator / markgriffith at yahoo.com

back up to top of page