April 28th; Tuesday. Article about the astonishing 18th-century utopian Charles Fourier.
April 27th; Monday. Findings on UV & heat versus COVID.
April 26th; Sunday. Kutiman looking a little smoother of late, and has conjured himself a
Mind you, his older tunes assembled out of
still win on wit & charm.
April 25th; Saturday. For anyone hoping a commentary might help them through Fulcanelli's book on alchemy & cathedrals, this article might be a start.
April 24th; Friday. Corona-caused GDP drops worldwide - is CO2 dropping too?
April 23rd; Thursday. Piece about underlying disease cycles.
April 22nd; Wednesday. Times article about the 'bat lady', a Chinese scientist who was worried COVID-19 escaped from a lab. Wonderful photo of her in bio-hazard suit.
April 21st; Tuesday. A letter to Nature claims that COVID-19 isn't lab-modified.
April 20th; Monday. China's actions over the COVID-19 outbreak (such as lying about it for weeks) seems to have finally sunk Huawei's spyware project in Britain.
April 19th; Sunday. Spectacular 1930 cartoon. Obviously a main source for the Stephen Foster 1990s retro item. As one friend put it, this is the motherlode.
Saturday. Turning out with increased testing that indeed COVID-19
death rates and
Another summary. Seems that the dangerousness of the condition for most healthy people has been hugely exaggerated. So why have borders and streets been shut down across the world?
Friday. Snatch from a live Chemical Brothers concert one or two years ago. Music a bit like circus, circus like the catwalk. Now effectively the chord change is the melody. Back in about 1981, when I was bored revising - and trying to imagine the pop music of the future - had a fleeting waking vision of puffed-up fluffy dancers in shapeless teddy-bear-like / Michelin-Man-type outfits with no faces. Not so far from the 2nd half of this: Gotta Keep On Making Me High.
Thursday. Nothing like a bit of nihilism. Anti-motivational posters again with choice quotes from German film director Werner Herzog:
wild bears /
the beach /
birds & trees /
Wednesday. Warm sun in relatively empty streets. This recent film might be very entertaining. Never come across it. Like an American Carry-On film?
Tuesday. More on COVID-19: an Israeli mathematician gets into a quarrel on television for saying the epidemic is already burning itself out.
Easter Monday. Stir myself out of vivid half-dreams about large-scale history, castles, Pope Gregory, the usual. Meanwhile, the newly-built 4,000-bed Nightingale hospital in London open for a week right now has apparently 19 beds in use. So perhaps not a runaway crisis after all.
Easter Sunday: He is risen, as Greeks say.
Easter Saturday. One of the great pauses of the calendar.
Good Friday. Execution Day.
Thursday. In the late morning read though a confusing set of increasingly tetchy phone messages to me from someone today & yesterday. Fascinating how something can escalate into a quarrel in one person's mind without the other person saying or doing anything. Meanwhile, three bits of video-song-knitting: Temptations & Danzig / Metallica & Los del Rio / Prodigy & Orinoco. You get the idea.
Wednesday. Beautiful weather. Evening: I buy some inexpensive mineral water with an adorable brand spokeslass on the label called 'Emese'. She seems to be a chirpy cartoon girl with black hair who goes cycling in the Hungarian countryside under the benificent influence of these life-giving waters.
Tuesday. Still more on COVID-19, the "coronavirus" is apparently not a lung disease, but a blood condition, which is why antimalarial drugs seem to be working to cure patients with it. If this is true, then ventilators are no longer the equipment bottleneck they seemed.
Monday. Stumble on a rather lovely lecture: enthusing students about the writings of Stoic philosopher Marcus Aurelius.
Sunday. An article about the COVID-19 epidemic suggesting that in New York obesity is one of the biggest risk factors.
Saturday. Vigorous early-70s group I'd never come across until a few weeks ago, Fanny: Blind Alley / Ain't That Peculiar (some major time-wasting, they don't start until 1:40). Versus something slicker & more recent. Was told this singer lacks merit - inclined to agree except for this song, suspiciously humble & apologetic to be her work: "I was wrong -- I won't let you down and run". Methinks some pro song-writing from middle-aged men in cardigans down at the studio.
Friday. After days, found how to switch off one of the lights in the kitchen, the three lampshades (above the strange electrical hobs with glowing red discs beneath a black glass surface). Gyongyi knew of an extra light switch hidden behind the bread bin. I remembered to ask Simon ten days ago - he revealed that the smoke extractor in his kitchen conceals a light tube not normally visible operated by a hidden button: another vital mystery solved.
Thursday. Finished another book I found in Iris's library, a book I bought for Eva many years ago in the 1990s: 'The Europeans' by journalist Luigi Barzini. Rereading it was strange - first because so much came back as I went through his witty, erudite chapters (one on France, one on Britain, one on Germany, one on Italy, one on the Dutch and the Belgians, and one on the USA) - and secondly because odd features vividly in my memory of reading the book the first time by contrast weren't there. However, the book is sadly marred by his central guiding belief that European unification is necessary, or desirable - which in a way shows that his reading and his years of thoughtful observation were largely wasted. One review starts with these words " 'On the eve of Sarajevo no passport was needed to go from one European nation to another.' Why does Europe not unite today?", showing just how poorly Barzini (and that book reviewer) thought the overall idea through.
Some of the erudition is suspect because there are mistakes. He claims Belgium built the Continent's first commercial railway line in 1832, yet there was already a line operating in France in 1830.
Among the odd features was the way I vividly remembered him framing each chapter around a central metaphor. Britons each see themselves like the captain of a ship at sea (Barzini claimed in the version of the book I read in the 1990s), Germans see themselves as individual trees brought together in a forest, the French are a people, not a nation, and so on. Strangely this was all missing from this edition. I assume that there was tinkering between reprints, and some editor nixed those folksy sentences I remembered so clearly from an earlier or later edition than this one. I would like to read his earlier success - a book called 'The Italians' from the 1960s. I'm sure it was/is wonderful, and paradoxically (I suspect) concealed a message he failed to tease out or reason from in his later whole-Europe effort: namely that Italy is still a rich patchwork of highly distinct and independent regions or cities. The idea that unification - the Risorgimento of the 1860s - was a mistake of historic dimensions (likewise Bismarck's creation of Germany, and Britain's earlier creation of Belgium) escapes the European unifiers. Of course I have yet to read Barzini's doubtless entertaining and shrewd (though also doubtless not too shrewd) book on his own people, but if he thinks European unification is wise, it strikes me it never occurred to him that perhaps Italian unification wasn't. He ticks off the French, seems to admire the Germans and the British, and has the usually affectionate mixture of hope & despair that intelligent Italians have about their century-and-a-half-old country. He also quietly notes Italy lurches from disaster to disaster yet seems strangely resilient, mysteriously bouncing back from each period of chaos. That quote I often recall from a 1980s Economist survey of the peninsula (a businessman: "I am a Venetian first, a European second, and an Italian last.") more apposite than ever.
Wednesday. The fashion_for_bank_robbers Instagram account has some whimsical images like
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