Just back from a working visit to Istanbul. Apart from the weather (cold, wet, windy) it was a great trip. There's something nice about normality: equal numbers of men and women on the streets, mixing freely with each other. Cafes and bars where you can sit outside and enjoy whatever you fancy to eat and drink. A complete absence of 'family rooms' and screens. It's just so easy.
Then there's the Bosphorus. What a privilege to stand by one of the World's greatest historical sea straits, especially when someone else is paying. Oh well, back to Doha...
Greetings, all! Paraglider is currently in lockdown in England with no pressing work and a lot of time on his hands. So much time, in fact, that he has decided to launch a brand new blog to return to the ex-pat world just a little of his hard-won expertise in the vital field of Ex-Pat Plonk , its production, risks and virtues. Please visit, at your leisure.
This song by Harry Gordon is about 100 years old and is in the Scottish music hall tradition. It's short because it was the lead into a stand-up comedy routine in character. The character in this case being a fireman on the footplate of a steam engine.
We are the resurrection of the dead forgotten ways. We cultivate despair in veiled anathema of womankind. We are the ancient writings reassessed by gunlight in the aftermath of war. Ours is the only truth you need to know.
The triode was invented in 1906 by Lee De Forest and by around 1920 was refined enough to be commercially viable for widespread distribution. It was the World's first 'Active Device'. It could amplify and oscillate. It (and its derivatives) made possible all of the technologies of modernity – public address, radio, audio/video recording, television, radar, radio telescopy, electron microscopy, computing, the Internet, artificial intelligence. Without active devices, modernity would vanish in a flash. Those who really want to turn the clock back need only abandon science, technology and education. Nature will do the rest.
Defence intoned, 'If we convict this man today, we do a great disservice to the cause. We play into the hands of those who race like lemmings out of season to self-destruction!' Then, with softer voice, he said, 'Better that we should voice distrust of those who would convict even their mothers in a season of madness nurtured by the great and good among the race of self-styled orchestrators of the play. 'Have you not seen the games they play? They talk to you with silvery voice of purity of caste and race- seductive lies- yet they convict only themselves. The great heresy must not live another season. 'Rather, let this be the season of reconciliation. Play a nobler part. We can do great deeds, by speaking with one voice. And let us not convict the fellow who has stumbled in the race. 'Imagine you were asked to race before the tide, the changing season, manacled like a common convict. Would you show readiness to play