Monday. Coffee with Agnes-K. Try the Christian Feudalism theory on her.
Sunday. Some World Economic Forum level thinking. Bit plodding.
Saturday. Old discussion: here's a fungus with 28,000 sexes.
Friday. Out late at night with Agnes-K. We chat about games, drama & Kafka. Trams squeal horribly against the rails as they round the corner by our table outside the Bem cinema. It goes on for about an hour. Then, about ten minutes after I suggest we put some baby oil on the tracks, a woman technician wearing a helmet with a torch fixed on it appears and fiddles with the rails using a tool of some sort in two places 20 paces apart. The nasty sound is gone when the trams resume moving.
Thursday. Delightful evening at Robin's flat reading Tarot for lots of friends. Startling number of Towers, Devils, 10s of swords, Magicians, and 4s of pentacles cropping up repeatedly in different people's spreads, worrying me that some effect like hand-warmth is getting certain cards picked again and again. Much merriment (and muted anxiety about the cards) all round.
Wednesday. If an observer as bright as Luttwak thinks that a Trump dynasty of 16 years might be just getting going, we should take notice. Talking of rather longer dynasties, a calm & measured defence by Theodore Dalrymple of hereditary government. After that, worth being reminded that liberalism & socialism were both sworn in with the Tennis Court Oath.
Tuesday. Ripped jeans have come back again this year and last, in force. There are girls with tight-fitting trousers with a simple slit across each knee that opens and closes with each stride, others with holes randomly torn open across each thigh, and a few who have strips hanging down from openings so large the garb is more of a framework than a closed structure. There is of course a tear-my-flimsy-garments-from-my-nubile-body vibe in some cases, but by and large it's still a dull, standard uniform. Or a hint the girl could use some new clothes?
Monday. Sharon assures me that this pop video really did turn into this film. Same director.
Sunday. One of the odd things about this apartment block is the automatic lighting on the staircases & landings. I step out at night and the lights snap on. Fair enough. However, bright midday sunshine switches them on too: I assume some kind of contrast effect in the light sensors. There are odd moments when a bright sunny day slowly dims into dusk and the landing lights that have been on all day suddenly switch off rather than on. Another piece on the Grenfell Tower housing block fire of a couple of weeks ago.
Saturday. Another misconceived article about Artificial Intelligence.
Friday. Petrograd DJ: show #434. Quite good one.
Thursday. Rather touching article from an Irish socialist who went together with Jeremy Corbyn to a Latin American country in the 1980s. Meanwhile, parrot solves murder case in New Zealand. Majorie Cameron, occultist, erotic artist and muse: scroll 3/4 down for her extraordinary line-drawing depiction of an almost-mantis-style coupling. Now I am on Instagram properly, citizens! So worth asking how much would Facebook be worth if it didn't own Instagram?
Wednesday. Time for a short intermission.
Tuesday. On the inside wrist of one of my language students, I spot three evenly-spaced dots of burned skin in a row, about the size of large peppercorns. They have half healed after perhaps a week. It's as if someone had plunged a hot fork an inch deep into her wrist. I ask what this is, and she cheerfully explains this is a traditional therapy called 'Kambo', involving poisonous frog slime. She says it sometimes brings on vomiting, but makes you feel fantastic for a week afterwards. The previous week was her third session, and the 6-month-old dots burned into her shoulder have almost vanished.
Monday. If I have to buy melon in hot weather I buy honeydew melon because the taste is good, and as a bonus the scent lingers in my flat. Even as the rind rots before being thrown out, the fragrance is lovely. The red-fleshed 'water melon' in contrast always seems a bit disappointing, not really tasting or smelling of very much at all.
Sunday. Short film making the case that Erdogan covertly organised the failed coup against himself a year ago.
Saturday. Yesterday had my first proper haircut in almost two years. Istvan the barber seemed happy to see me. If you don't count the light trim the make-up girls gave me for the filming last month, June.
Friday. Bastille Day! Vive la Republique! Two authors point out that 1789 was in fact the dawn of modern fascism, not freedom. First, Our Man in Bucharest. Second, a writer on 1793's revolting mass murder of 300,000 royalists in the Vendee.
Thursday. Mysterious history: an intriguing entry about the three hares as a symbol of fertility; claims that author of a 19th-century Polish puzzle text was a secret kabbalist.
Wednesday. Monkey sues and bankrupts photographer.
Tuesday. Chidren's books can have too many pictures.
Monday. Typography matters! Pakistani scandal hinges on Microsoft font.
Sunday. Man sentenced leniently for sexually assaulting motorbike.
Saturday. Geneticists encode some frames of film inside DNA.
Friday. Carefully reasoned argument by a safety inspector pins the Grenfell Tower fire on the way EU climate-change regulations conflicted with national fire-safety regulations.
Thursday. Heat here continues with the occasional rain storm. Students continue to randomly cancel. There's a vaccine for heroin now.
Wednesday. A woman marries a railway station. A researcher argues that search-engine data shows people routinely lie about sexual preferences: for example he thinks many men would secretly prefer to be with plumper, chubbier girls than their current partner --- but they bow to social pressure? A sex-blind job application process does the opposite of what was intended: more men get hired. Psychologist alleges the men women hate above all are the "harmless men".
Tuesday. Unkind Canadian article skewers US national holiday.
Monday. Why is Britain's tax take rising?
Sunday. Finish the book kindly lent me by Bullet last week: 'Where Are The Customers' Yachts?' by Fred Schwed, reprinted from the 1940s. A witty, effortless book about the impossibility of beating the stock-market odds, delivered with light humour, cartoons by Peter Arno (who died in 1968), beautifully blended with some genuinely useful finance tips.
Saturday. Research comes out that says that modern concrete still isn't as good as Roman
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