Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

England Whitewash India to Become The No.1 Test Side

I know I have not been blogging of anything much apart from my Uni work recently, but that isn't to say that I havn't been watching and listening to our glorious cricket team demolish India to become the best test team in the world.  England have been dominant in all departments, bowling, batting and fielding and the previously powerful and talented Indian team have look tired and weak in comparison.

Andrew Strauss's team really have become something quite astonishing, and now we are on top the team will have to work equally hard to keep this position, India will want to return to the top of the world and Australia are always hungry for victory.  At least until the next round of tests though....

Monday, August 22, 2011

Tinie Tempah on Chris Ofili

No Woman No Cry by Chris Ofili (1998). The pai...Image via Wikipedia

Rapper Tinie Tempah talks about his reactions to the Chris Ofili exhibition at Tate Britain.
Pic - No Woman, No Cry by Chris Ofili.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Representation of Depth in Art

Satire on false perspective by Hogarth.Image via WikipediaRepresentation of depth…

• overlapping

• diminishing scale

• atmospheric or aerial perspective

• vertical placement

• linear perspective

• modelling

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Pic - Satire on False Perspective by William Hogarth.

The Girl Who Flies

Natsumi Hayashi makes levitation photographs without photoshopping, you can check out her daily levitation blog here.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Before They Were Famous: 25 Actors in 3 Minutes

Form and Colour

Blue Yellow Red Color Wheel. Vector replacemen...Image via WikipediaForm as …

• use of colour

• use of medium

• arrangement of the composition


• has a wide or narrow palette of colours been used ?

• have contrasting colours been placed next to each other ?

• are there more warm, or more cool colours ?

• in what way has dark and light colour been used ?

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Turner Prize

"If [the Turner Prize] didn't exist we would have to invent it. It stimulates debate, it engages and provokes. We need such catalysts. Love it or loathe it, the Turner has gradually put contemporary art within the public domian." Iain Gale, Scotland on Sunday, 4 Nov 2001.

Glasgow Wedding

Two Glaswegians, Archie and Jimmy, are sitting in the pub discussing Jimmy's forthcoming wedding.

"Och, it's all goin' pure brilliant," says Jimmy. "A've got everythin' organised awready, the fluers, the church, the caurs, the reception, the rings, the minister, even ma stag night".

Archie nods approvingly.

"I've even bought a kilt to be married in!" continues Jimmy.

"A kilt?" exclaims Archie, "That's magic, you'll look pure smart in that. Whit's the tartan?"

"Och," says Jimmy, "A'd imagine she'll be in white.”
(Thanks to Barbara)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

MARQUIS DE SADE (1740-1814). Comte Donatien-Al...Image via Wikipedia"But equality is always the same. Liberty and fraternity are words while equality is a fact. Equality should be the great human formula—social equality, for while individuals have varying values, each must have an equal share in the social life; and that is only just, because the life of one human being is equal to the life of another. That formula is of prodigious importance. The principle of the equal rights of every living being and the sacred will of the majority is infallible and must be invincible; all progress will be brought about by it, all, with a force truly divine. It will bring first the smooth bed-rock of all progress—the settling of quarrels by that justice which is exactly the same thing as the general advantage." - The 120 Days of Sodom by Marquis de Sade.

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Pic - a line engraving of the Marquid de Sade in prison.

The Police

by HappyToast at b3ta.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Spirit of War

"If the spirit of war isn't killed, you'll have struggle all through the ages." Under Fire: The Story Of A Squad Henri Barbusse.

Brave Woman Harangues Rioters

A woman on the streets of Hackney bravely confronts looters.

Our Cities Alight

I thought the world might be ending in 1981, in the depths of the Cold War our cities suddenly caught alight. Brixton, Toxteth, Handsworth, Chapeltown and Moss Side were ablaze both literally, and with anger fuelled by long term social deprivation and resentment at police stop and search powers directed at young black men. It was a troubled year, Bobby Sands starved himself to death and more riots took place on the streets of Belfast, US President Ronald Reagun was wounded in an assassination attempt and a man fired shots, which later proved to be blanks, at the Queen.

I remember keeping a scrapbook at the time, I was slightly obsessed with the rioting, I cut out out reports and pictures from the papers and built up a dossier of violence and disorder, photographs of disaffected youths throwing missiles, of wounded policemen being sheltered by comrades, of shops and workplaces and homes burning.  I could not understand then why people were destroying the amenities in their own neighbourhoods, if this was the only protest they felt they could make, why did they torch their own community centres.

The riots that have exploded across London, and which are spreading through our larger cities, have taken a different hue. The original riot seems to have been triggered by the police shooting of a man, reports are now contradicting the first story that Mark Duggan fired first and wounded a police officer, it is now being said that all the shots were fired by the Police.  Tensions boiled over and Tottenham suffered more for it.

Some activists in Tottenham are claiming that last month there was an entirely peaceful march to Tottenham police station, which it is claimed around 2,000 people took part in and was almost completely ignored by the media. Protesters/rioters in Tottenham interviewed by NBC pointed out that if 20 black kids smash up a branch of William Hill and burn a sports car, they can bring the world's media to their doorstep.

The more extensive riots that have taken place though have no political or activist connection with the first events in Tottenham. Television reports carry footage of largely young people bent on a bit of window breaking and looting, organised, it is claimed, on the Blackberry Messenger closed system. This is vandalism and theft on a large scale and nothing more. It may well be that the people involved in these events are at the poorest end of the social spectrum, but these riots are not anti-police or against authority, it's just a bunch of kids out to cause mayhem and steal some trainers.

Last night Sky News were warming their hands over the footage of a huge blaze consuming a furniture store in Croyden, and taking with it the jobs and livelihoods of the families that worked there.  As buildings burn in Tottenham and Croyden, ordinary working class families have lost everything, their jobs, homes and all their possessions bar the clothes they are wearing. Sky repeated that footage late into last night, I must have seen the same group of three kids run past the burning building 15 times.

Whatever your situation in life, you still have choices, and if you are poor and excluded then looting a couple of pairs of Adidas trainers from JD Sports isn't really going to improve your social situation.  We live in a technological age where you can choose to use your mobile device to organise a mob of your wrong thinking friends to firebomb Currys, or you can use it to inform and educate yourself.

"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent." - Mohandas Gandhi

Monday, August 08, 2011

Tell It How It Is

With his mouth full, and wafting me the odor of a sweetshop, he stammers—"Tell me, you writing chap, you'll be writing later about soldiers, you'll be speaking of us, eh?"
"Why yes, sonny, I shall talk about you, and about the boys, and about our life."
"Tell me, then"—he indicates with a nod the papers on which I have been making notes. With hovering pencil I watch and listen to him. He has a question to put to me—"Tell me, then, though you needn't if you don't want—there's something I want to ask you. This is it; if you make the common soldiers talk in your book, are you going to make them talk like they do talk, or shall you put it all straight—into pretty talk? It's about the big words that we use. For after all, now, besides falling out sometimes and blackguarding each other, you'll never hear two poilus open their heads for a minute without saying and repeating things that the printers wouldn't much like to print. Then what? If you don't say 'em, your portrait won't be a lifelike one it's as if you were going to paint them and then left out one of the gaudiest colors wherever you found it. All the same, it isn't usually done."
"I shall put the big words in their place, dadda, for they're the truth."
"But tell me, if you put 'em in, won't the people of your sort say you're swine, without worrying about the truth?"
"Very likely, but I shall do it all the same, without worrying about those people." from Under Fire: the story of a squad by Henri Barbusse.


Cover of "Under Fire: the story of a squa...Cover of Under Fire: the story of a squadOr as near as damn it 10% anyway. Yesterday I finished Cormac McCarthy's All The Pretty Horses to finish one of my reading goals for the year, to read at least 100 of the 1001 Books list.

Reading the classics of literature, or at least the classics as nominated by editor Peter Boxall and his team of well read contributors, is an interesting experience, although the 1001 book itself puts these novels forward as the best novels ever written my experience so far has been that in my own opinion, some of these books are wonderful and fantastic, and some of these books are dull, turgid or just plain horrible.

In the wonderful category I would include H G Wells The Time Machine, W Somerset Maugham's Of Human Bondage even though at points I wanted to reach into the book and give Philip Carey a hard slap, and Under Fire : The Story Of A Squad by Henri Barbusse, a harrowing and all too realistic description of a French unit fighting and suffering in WW1.

The middle ground of books that are just alright takes in Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier in which I just could not warm to any of the characters and The English Patient by Michael Ondaatje which had some absolutely beautiful writing but a slightly directionless plot.

At the lower end of the enjoyment scale I did not enjoy a protracted trek around the Scottish uplands with Sir Walter Scott's Rob Roy, and 120 Days Of Sodom by the Marquis De Sade is just horrible, both of these books took me a long time to finish.

My next reading goal then is 100 books for the year, and as I am on 90 books already I should manage this with ease unless my eyeballs drop out.  How have I managed all this reading on top of a degree course and a job ? Well, it's amazing how much time you can find when you leave your Eve Online battleship in its hangar for a few months.
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