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Showing posts from 2021

Let's get ACTIVE

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  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.

The man that maks the smoke come oot the lum

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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.  

Truth, Language & Reality

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 The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth truth anchors language to reality I hope I am never required, whether under oath or secular affirmation, to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I would have to refuse, on logical grounds. If 'truth' is to mean anything at all, it can only mean 'that which is', in other words, reality, expressed in language. And there is the first problem. Reality is infinitely more complex and subtle than any human language, which fact in itself makes nonsense of the phrase 'the whole truth'. There are not enough hours in the day to state the whole truth even about something as simple as entering a room. Nope, 'the whole truth' has to go, as a logically unsound concept. That was easy, but what about 'the truth'? The problem here is human fallibility in both perception and memory. I can say, "She was wearing a purple jumper". But was she? Maybe it was blue. Maybe it was a cardig

A minor victory

I recently uploaded to YouTube my version of Jake Thackray's 'Brother Gorilla' set to the tune of 'The Three Bells'. I was immediately served a copyright infringement order from the copyright owners of the American country song, The Three Bells (Little Jimmy Brown), issued by The Browns in 1959. I pointed out that their song was itself a reworking of 'Les trois cloches' written and composed by Swiss artist Jean Villard Gilles in 1939. Also that mine followed the chord/melody sequence of the original, not the simplified version of Little Jimmy Brown. I said I would not challenge a copyright infringement order from the estate of Jean Villard Gilles, or that of Jake Thackray, but that no such order had yet been issued. The Americans withdrew their claim and retreated, tails between their legs.

The Epiphone Blues Master, restored

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This 1992 Epiphone Blues Master was sadly decapitated in an accident a few weeks back, fortunately not irreversibly, at least not to a skilled craftsman. Here's what it sounds like, first day back home.

A friendly note

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The Gorilla and the Three Bells

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The Gorilla and the Three Bells is a serendipitous fusion of the lyric of Brother Gorilla by Jake Thackray and the original French melody Les Trois Cloches. (Les Trois Cloches is the song that was very loosely translated to become The Three Bells or Little Jimmy Brown). Of course, just because it is possible to fit Jake's lyric to that tune doesn't make it a good idea, but I had to get it out of my system.

Defence intoned

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

New Regime

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.

Ode to Consciousness

There is a meeting place of mind and eyes where images compete for conscious view and where perception banishes surprise at what is beaten down, and what wins through. With or without our influence or ken it's here our individual selves begin; for some are dulled and others walk in sleep never to wake again, though quiet voices whisper in the din of time for laughter and a time to weep. That part of us that is no rushing thing awaits our quietness, or our fatigue if nothing less can calm the eddying onrush of our futilities. Intrigue, infatuation, habit and despair crowd to the fore, impatient - yet it waits forever and beyond. Is it so weak that it cannot declare an interest in our battle with the fates, or does it hide because we fail to seek? What flows below the words may yet awake remembrance of an earlier array of promises fulfilled. Each new mistake derails the latent urge, with each new day, to change before the changeless. We can hear the chora

The Weft

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For less than the price of a pint, and free if you are a Kindle Unlimited subscriber, The Weft is a selection from my poetry files. For those not familiar with my material, I am a New Formalist, meaning that I use classical verse forms but modern standard English, not 'poetic diction'. This collection contains sonnets, roundels, sestinas, terzanelles, ballades and more, with plenty light verse interspersed with the more serious offerings. Please take a look . kindle version paperback version  

Feet, breet & Matthew Gloag

Paraplexed trundles along happily, netting typically 150 page views per day and making no waves. Except for February 12th when, for no obvious reason we clocked up more than 10,000 views. These were fairly equally distributed over only three posts, one very old one about washing feet in the old Sofitel Club, one about the noise made by track pants worn outside-in (breet-breet) and one about railway platform signage in the (English) West Midlands (This Station is a No Smoking Station). Equally strange was that all 10,000 views were apparently from Israel. I have no idea why they happened. No comments were left. Possibly no human was involved, except indirectly, in programming a robot to behave totally irrationally. One of life's small mysteries, I suppose.

While My Renaissance Lute Gently Weeps

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While My Renaissance Lute Gently Weeps. The title is shamelessly stolen from George Harrison and the lyrics are cobbled together by borrowing from no fewer than eight Renaisance songs, by Dowland and his peers. But the melody and lute accompaniment are my own. The lute is an unforgiving beast to play, not least because it keeps trying to escape when you're playing it.

paraplexed.com

It had to be done. For a long time now, the Paranormal Hotel blog (formerly Helga's Chickens) has been renamed to PARAPLEXED while being accessible only as paranormal-hotel.blogspot.com.  But today I have finally treated the blog to its own domain. We are now paraplexed.com (though the blogspot address will continue to work). All that remains is a sense of purpose. And a feeling '21 is going to be a good year...