Daily Archives: February 10th, 2006

The Grammies

I only realised tonight that Grammy was short for gramaphone. So I’m a bit slow – whatever.

One person of the show shown on TV has thanked God so far. And counting.

The Gorillaz opened the show. Once again, however they are projected, it’s very clever – Madonna came on and ‘performed’ with them for a minute or so, and she actually walked behind one of them, which was very impressive.

And David Bowie got a Lifetime Acheivement Award. About damn time.

The Greek Achievement

I read this book a couple of weeks ago. I experienced a little trepidation when I started reading it, because I worried that it was going to be highly academic and therefore a real trial to get through. I shouldn’t have worried; it was magnificent. The whole first chapter – it might have been a long prologue – was about how Europeans treated the Greeks and their inherited heritage (hmmm, just occurred to me those words are related), from the Englightenment onwards – which explains a great deal about the received tradition, really. Just for that it was worth reading – why a classical education was stressed (to keep the upper classes different from the masses, in his opinion), and pointing out the things that 19th C historians glossed over, to make themselves feel better (slavery, poor treatment of women, what Athenian democracy really meant). He goes from the Mycenaeans and Minoans – what we know – through to the closure of the Platonic Academy in the 4th C AD by Christians, meaning that for the last part he spends a lot of time looking at the East, which is different from most other books on Greece, which will stop with the conquering of Greece by Rome.

I learnt a lot. And it was a pure joy to read, too – I genuinely looked forward to picking it up, because his style was entrancing, something too often lacking in academic books, especially ones about classical topics.

An end to slavery

In Human Rights the other day, we were talking about slavery and ways of getting rid of it. One of my kids said: “Miss, when all else fails: nuclear warfare.”

I guess he has a point – an ultimate one, but still a point.

Wolfmother album

I just saw an ad for the Wolfmother album. Not a new one, just the old one – the album I bought months ago. I haven’t seen an ad for it before today. They must have made enough to afford an ad, or something… it did make me laugh, as well as making me quite bemused. As if it was a recent appearance in the stores. Pft.

Stealth… minor spoiler warning

We just watched Stealth, because we missed it at the movie – Joshua Lucas, Jamie Foxx (how could they do that to him??) and the not-tarty Jessica (Biel, therefore, not Alba). It was ok, if different from what we were expecting. With a tagline like “Fear the sky”, you would expect that the whole movie would be about dealing with the rogue AI in the stealth ‘plane. Some is; some isn’t. It’s not a bad movie – certainly not in the Flight of the Phoenix category – but I must say I was a bit disappointed by the plot. And J was disappointed by the CGI, and the poor quality thereof, for a movie made in 2005.

I’d still recommend it – when it goes to weekly – as a brainless action flick.

Raconteurs

Library Spice, on JJJ, played the first song by the Raconteurs yesterday (or the day before?). It was called “Steady as she goes.” Their first album is due out mid-year.

So what?

The singer is Jack White.

And it was way, way cool.

Angels babies again…

They had new eggies yesterday.

However.

Many of the eggies were white – dead. And this morning, there were no eggies. Just some of the goop they get wrapped in sitting on the intake. So… they obviously decided to scrap that batch. Interesting. And a little sad, I must say.

Otherwise, the tank is looking healthy. Fido keeps growing.

Pushing Ice

The latest Alastair Reynolds – it’s been out for only 6 months or so, since it refers to an article in Scientific American in mid-2005 (about suspended animation being a closer reality than scifi readers might think). Once again, fantastic.

Much closer to home, this time, in that it starts in the 2050s and goes from there. It spans a huge amount of time, and it is most definitely science fiction, but still – at least the Earth is real and known, in this story, unlike the Revelation Space quartet. The characters are not as alien, the tech not as incomprehensible. It is true space opera: the gamut of human experiences, emotions, treacheries and heroism. All done in a style that still leaves me amazed at the sheer finesse of his writing, the exquisite way he manages to introduces new ideas and issues and not make it feel like a lurch in the plot. The man is a master. I am simply hanging out for the next book, and I have no idea when it might get coming out… or – terrifying thought – if there even will be one. Horrible thought!!