RIP David Bowie

Sad to hear of the

passing of a great music 

and film star – bless him


Sad to hear that David Bowie has succumbed to cancer just as he had released his (now) last album.   He had been battling cancer for 18 months.    Amazing man.

David Bowie’s style of music had kabuki elements which would have suited his exuberant style and of course he starred in Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence which I have posted about before and which is listed in my Films worth a look page.  He managed to reinvent himself with the times and also throw in some film work, not just MCML but other films.     Given that Christmas has just gone, I can’t not mention that wonderful collaboration with Bing Crosby on Little Drummer Boy, one of my all-time Christmas favourites.  The dialogue at the start is a little cheesy but I think they can be forgiven for that.

He’ll definitely be missed in the music world.






Quakes and propaganda

Strange post-earthquake tales

not really up to much so

ever more fatigued


am I of Murakami.   After the Quake has been out for years but I only read this book of short stories yesterday (yeah a short book mercifully) focusing on people with some kind of connection to Kobe which suffered the colossal devastation of an earthquake back in 1995 (I visited the city and the memorial area at the quays while I was there – very beautiful).    The stories aren`t really up to much and I found myself rolling my eyes at some of the characters and their strange utterances.   I should be used to that in Murakami novels by now but I still found it irritating.

Another book I got out of the library recently was An Artist of the Floating World by Kazuo Ishiguro.     It looks good, examining what happens when art is used for propaganda purposes by Japan during world war II  so looking forward to starting that.   I like Ishiguro, though I found Never Let Me Go a bit wierd and Nocturnes, a collection of short stories just ok.




An enjoyable musical discovery

Music to relax

by but which also makes your

heart flutter is good

Well I`ve come across the music of a Japanese classical composer called Toshio Hosokawa.  He`s been around for a long while but I only heard about him when I read a review of one of his albums this week in a cultural review.  Better late than never.    This guy`s music is amazing!!   Quite good music to listen to when you`re annoyed at failing websites (take a hint Memrise) among other reasons.    I sought out his music on y-tube and am sure to return to listen to more.

Another cultural discovery this week was Shunga – had never heard of it before – and news of a Shunga exhibition coming up in London.    Not for kids (or the fainthearted I imagine).

Memrise has been here and there in the last two days.   Luckily the domain name had been on hold for these folks who run the site, but it`s a pain that the site went down while the organizers decided if they wanted to keep the name or not (if that`s what it was about).  At least our efforts were not undone.  I suggest the name be retained at this stage.  It`s what the site is about – memorizing information through the help of mems.     Messing with the basics when you could be working on other more urgent problems with the site is a mistake.