segunda-feira, julho 31, 2006

Not so easy huh

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Next, Back.

Not so easy at all ... I use it too, to keep track of things, not to mention withdrawl symptoms; but it can be minimized at least.

31/07: Spiegel, Israel Suspends Bombing for 48 Hours, (Archive).
          Technorati Discussion.
       Rami Khouri, New massacre at Qana ..., (Archive).
          Daily Star - Beirut, Lebanon, Rami Khouri.
       Val Ross, Rebirth of the Cool, (Archive).
          Bruce Kuwabara, Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects.
       Jack L. Granatstein, Conflicted over citizenship, (Archive).
          Jack Lawrence Granatstein, Council for Canadian Security.
       Lysiane Gagnon, Is this a bias I see before me?, (Archive).
          Louise Arbour.
28/07: Spiegel, Israel and the UN, A Poisoned Relationship, (Archive).
          Spiegel Forum, Technorati Discussion.
27/07: Greg Mason, Why grieving parents forgave Reena's killer, (Archive).
25/07: Erin A. Weir, It's more than photo ID, (Archive).

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domingo, julho 30, 2006

Uncle David thank you very much.

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Uncle David thank you very much.

sexta-feira, julho 28, 2006

Yeah ...

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End (Not), Back.

"I was built on a Friday, and ya' cant' fix me ...". Bruce Cockburn, Life Short Call Now. Starting things on a Friday has so always been connected with rumours of failure, Newfoundland superstition I think. What about ending things on Friday I wonder?

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Photos by: Adri Berger, Brent Stirton.

Slept on it. Yeah ... that's a wrap. Be well.

quinta-feira, julho 27, 2006

10,000, approximately

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: jerkin' boat, Thread Back: Masters of War.

Taking stock, seems like a good day to take stock.

A year and a bit; 190 posts at 500 or so words each (not counting HTML), 100,000 words, round numbers. If you do a straight count it is interesting - 350,000 words; that is, for every word I write, there are two more of HTML. This is the world of computing, and everything in it turns out to be approximate.

There have been 10,000 'visits' here, again approximately; quite a few of those were me before I figgured out how to stop counting myself, and some people have come more than once; 'around' 10,000 then, 25 a day.

No quick way to count the comments; I would guess 50 or so, some small number. So there has been no great exchange of opinions here either, almost none; anyway the blog setup does not favour exchange.

Editing is a nightmare; arcane syntax, arbitrary and inconsistent grammars, servers are up and down, performance is poor, the search tools don't work, a-and, there is no way to back it up.

Many can barely read and write, they certainly can't spell, not 'relevant'; and most don't want to think - not part of the 'entitlement'; I thought his name was 'Gerald Manley Hopkins', it is 'Gerard Manley Hopkins'; I am no better obviously and this is neither the remedy nor the counterforce.

I am embarrassed to say how much time it took me; at least three hours for every post. Boobage indeed.

Bottom line? Clearly a waste of time. If it's to communicate, better standing in the road talking to people face-to-face. If it's just to waste time, better off wanking.

If I come upon any more around José Datrino, the Profeta de Gentileza, I will publish it.
 10,000 Men, Bob Dylan 1990.

Ten thousand men on a hill,
Ten thousand men on a hill,
Some of 'm goin' down,
Some of 'm gonna get killed.

Ten thousand men dressed in oxford blue,
Ten thousand men dressed in oxford blue,
Drummin' in the morning,
In the evening they'll be coming for you.

Ten thousand men on the move,
Ten thousand men on the move,
None of them doing nothin'
That your mama wouldn't disapprove.

Ten thousand men digging for silver and gold,
Ten thousand men digging for silver and gold,
All clean shaven,
All coming in from the cold.

Hey! Who could your lover be?
Hey! Who could your lover be?
Let me eat off his head
So you can really see!

Ten thousand women all dressed in white,
Ten thousand women all dressed in white,
Standin' at my window
Wishing me goodnight.

Ten thousand men looking so lean and frail,
Ten thousand men looking so lean and frail,
Each one of 'em got seven wives,
Each one of 'em just out of jail.

Ten thousand women all sweepin' my room,
Ten thousand women all sweepin' my room,
Spilling my buttermilk,
Sweeping it up with a broom.

Ooh, baby, thank you for my tea!
Baby, thank you for my tea!
It's so sweet of you
To be so nice to me.

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quarta-feira, julho 26, 2006

Mike Frastacky

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: Pietro Paolo Savorgnan di Brazzà, Thread Back: Forget Darfur ... ?.

From the Globe: (Archive)
   Globe, July 27 2006, Mark Hume, After building Afghan school, B.C. humanitarian shot dead.
   Globe, July 28 2006, Editorial, Mike Frastacky's work.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarI didn't know the guy, all I know about it is in the story. Not much to add except that the moral may not be what it seems. They came looking for him at night, beat his driver and bodyguard, put him in the bathtub and shot him. I wonder they were not concerned with richochets, probably not a cast-iron tub. His last few moments were horrific, no doubt about it.

God bless him.

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segunda-feira, julho 24, 2006

Ian Bush - Not Good Enough By Far

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: That's a wrap on Ian Bush, Thread Back: Curt Dagenais - Spiritwood.

"The public doesn't have the right to know anything", say the RCMP, and they are sticking to it!

A little more news on this today. The Mounties are trying to bury this; that has been obvious from the outset. How can it be that in this ostensibly open democracy of Canada, such a conspiracy of silence is allowed to go on?

Globe: Mounties want to delay review of man's death, (Archive).

Ok, who has the ball, or should have it?

RCMP, Royal Canadian Mounted Police: (on-line 'Contact' form)
   Constable Paul Koester, the man responsible: totally hidden.
   RCMP: mostly hidden, simply not talking.
Federal Government of Canada:
   Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
   Minister of Public Safety Stockwell Day.
   Official RCMP Watchdog, CPC, Commission for Public Complaints.
   the man's MP, Nathan Cullen (NDP).
   Leader of the NDP, Jack Layton.
Provincial Government of British Columbia:
   Premier Gordon Campbell.
   Solicitor-General John Les.
   Attorney-General Wally Oppal.
   the man's MLA Robin Austin.
BCCLA, British Columbia Civil Liberties Association.
The Press:
   Globe and Mail, Gary Mason, looks like the only one who cares.

Collective E-mail to all of the above, except the Mounties of course who do not want to hear. (This works with Outlook, not sure about other clients.)

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domingo, julho 23, 2006

Rose Corrêa da Silva

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See Also: Eldorado, and Sem Teto, Sem Terra, Inmigrantes Ilegales.

Two documentaries by Tetê Moraes that I saw recently:
Terra para Rose / Land for Rose (1987), and
O Sonho de Rose - 10 Anos Depois / Rose's Dream - 10 Years Later (1997).

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarIn Brazil, 'Rose' is pronounced 'Rosie', trailing vowels are often expressed. This is interesting to me because Rosie is the english diminutive or nick-name of Rose. A small linguistic infolding that appeals to me.

These films touched me very deeply. Watching them I wept, and not only for Rose and the others portrayed, but for myself as well. All of that would be a long story to tell - I will do what I can.

This post is really about media distortions; how truth sometimes gets through despite being used to advance personal agendas; how truth (if that is what it is) can even wiggle through more-or-less clever propaganda machines. Something like truth anyway, something close enough for me to spend some time here trying to make it clear.

Tetê Moraes shows herself as a biassed feminist, manipulator, and opportunist. That she reveals this so forthrightly could be naivete or humility, or it could be arrogance, who knows? I don't know, but my next thought was that the people like Paul who wrote the scriptures were also undoubtedly human, flawed, selfish and what not.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarI found this recent picture of her, taken in 2005 I think, not lookin' bad for a 62 year old eh? 'Tetê' is a diminutive as well, for Teresa, though it does not complete a circle like Rosie does.

I guess I will have to find a way to grab some images from the film to show you Rose herself. (Easier said than done! eventually got a thing called FrameShots.)

I was going to go on and on - I'm not. Two of these look very similar, you may think I grabbed the same shot twice; I didn't.

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These films are powerful because they show us personalities over a period of ten years; because looking for the promised land is what drives all of us one way or another, Lebanon and Israel as much as Brasil, even Canada, even Newfoundland; because because because ... have a look for yourself, the DVDs have english subtitles, I got mine on eBay (search on 'Terra para Rose'), they have it at South American Way too but I have never dealt there so no recommendation.

as letras de Assentamento de Chico Buarque:

Quando eu morrer, que me enterrem na beira do chapadão-contente
com minha terra
Cansado de tanta guerra
Crescido de coração

Zanza daqui Zanza pra acolá
Fim de feira, periferia afora
A cidade não mora mais em mim
Francisco, Serafim Vamos embora
Embora
Ver o capim
Ver o baobá
Vamos ver a campina quando flora
A piracema, rios contravim
Binho, Bel, Bia, Quim
Vamos embora

Quando eu morrer
Cansado de guerra
Morro de bem
Com a minha terra:
Cana, caqui
Inhame, abóbora
Onde só vento se semeava outrora
Amplidão, nação, sertão sem fim
Oh, Manuel, Migüilim
Vamos embora

Zanza daqui
Zanza pra acolá
Fim de feira, periferia afora
A cidade não mora mais em mim
Francisco, Serafim
Vamos embora
Embora
Ver o capim
Ver o baobá
Vamos ver a campina quando flora
A piracema, rios contravim
Binho, Bel, Bia, Quim
Vamos embora

Quando eu morrer
Cansado de guerra
Morro de bem
Com a minha terra:
Cana, caqui
Inhame, abóbora
Onde só vento se semeava outrora
Amplidão, nação, sertão sem fim
Oh, Manuel, Migüilim
Vamos embora

Quando eu morrer, que me enterrem na beira do chapadão-contente
com minha terra
Cansado de tanta guerra
Crescido de coração

Estejam bem / Be well.

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sexta-feira, julho 21, 2006

War in the Middle East

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: André Glucksmann, Thread Back: Elevenses.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarGoogle/Blogger is not cooperating today. I will post more here tomorrow.

This was in the Globe print edition but not on their website (I hope someone reads it because I had to type it in!): Amos Oz, July 19, Even Israel's peaceniks back war against Hezbollah - turns out it was printed in the LA Times as well under a different title: Hezbollah Attacks Unite Israelis.

Amos Oz (Wikipedia), Peace Now (Israel), Peace Now (America).

I have ordered Princeton University Press: How to Cure a Fanatic, Amos Oz, and will review it when it arrives next week.

In Canada, Stephen Harper seems to have it right and is sticking to his guns as usual. He sticks to his guns sometimes even when he is wrong - hard for me to fault him today although one of the Globe pundits takes a crack at it (see John Ibbitson below). Bringing home a hundred or so Canadians trying to escape Lebanon in his government jet is a good move eh? All on the way, so to speak. Shows something to me though the pundits are saying it is just a photo op.

And from the press: (Archive)
    Globe, July 19, Marcus Gee, Why we must stand with Israel.
    Globe, July 19, John Ibbitson, Struggling to find a sense of proportion.
    Globe, July 19, Jane Taber, PM insists he's onside with allies on Hezbollah.
    Globe, July 20, Editorial, Harper is right on the Mideast ....
    Spiegel, July 19, Israel Sends Ground Troops into Lebanon, discussion.
    Globe, July 21, Rick Salutin, Lebanon, Israel and obscenity, discussion.

"That which you have done — whether it be only once in your life, in one moment of stupidity or in an outburst of anger — that which you were capable of doing—even if you have forgotten, or have chosen to forget, how and why you did it—that which you have done and regretted bitterly, you may never do again. But you are capable of doing it. You may do it. It is curled up inside you."
Amos Oz, 1987, Hebrew Melodies, from The Slopes of Lebanon

quinta-feira, julho 20, 2006

Curt Dagenais - Spiritwood

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: Ian Bush - Not Good Enough By Far, Thread Back: Summer Solstice, longest Day, See also: Taylor & Thomas Hardy & Spiritwood Saskatchewan.

See more recent posts: Curtis Dagenais is guilty they say, and Curtis Dagenais, Spiritwood.

First and foremost my heart goes out, and my prayers go out too, for the two who were shot and killed, and to their families who are certainly suffering greatly; especially the child who lost her mother.

This letter has been sanitized (to protect the guilty I expect), but here it is - from Curt Dagenais to the Alberta newspapers (click once on the images for a larger view):
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The Google/Blogger servers are gasping so this will likely not be completed until tomorrow.

What's to say? They shafted this guy. I don't think the Mounties know who they are anymore. All very well to be so inclusive. Sikh turbans are ok, gay couples are ok, women are ok - and none of that bothers me except that they have lost the plot in the process. All they seem to know how to do for sure is hide, avoid disclosure, avoid controversy, say nothing. Except that since they have a real job to do their angst leaves two dead and one with a ruined life. The ideology of correctitude does in three more.

Globe: Editorial, Reticence and the RCMP, (Archive).

The half-wit hand-wringers say, 'oh, he's trying to blame his troubles on the Mounties' and the like, as if that somehow made it ok that the Mounties apparently handled the whole thing very badly. But since the Mounties no longer talk publicly about anything ...

His father, Arthur Dagenais, is in jail too - till December 5! That's a long time. What about his farm? They claim he was obstructing justice. Some reports say he was just trying to get to his home which happened to be in the area they were 'combing'. They denied bail initially because he might help his son escape; but he is still in jail and his son has turned himself in. So why is a 70 year old man with nowhere to run (I would say) being held without bail? Why is he such a threat? Sounds like more of that RCMP sense of fair play - that's to say it sounds like a vendetta.

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quarta-feira, julho 19, 2006

Nickel

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: Newfoundland Wind, Thread Back: The most brutal of days.

Ubiquitous bungling and incompetence around anything public here, from city council to everything having to do with the arts; I guess that is what it is like in a culture funded by government and tourists where the heart has been removed. Nonetheless, there are glimpses.

Nickel Independent Film Festival, St. John’s, Newfoundland.

Tuesday:
Newfoundland Weather, by Roger Maunder about Colleen Power - entirely forgettable narcissism except for the woman herself who introduced the show by playing two songs, I am now looking for the lyrics to Drapeau Noir, finally a Newfoundlander speaks up about Canada, it would have to be a woman and in french ...
The Seventh Dog, Zeina Durra - a believable glimpse, five dogs a boyfriend and a kidnapper, maybe the arabs will show them the way down there.
Thick & Thin, Jordan Canning - another, not so well done.
Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarClick to Enlarge / Click para AumentarClick to Enlarge / Click para AumentarLes Peids dans le Vide, Pierre Daudelin - I would have translated it 'walking on air', they did it 'Nothing Girl', haunting and tragic pubescent sexuality, what you see is very much determined by what you bring to it, tough geography, Gwenaëlle L’heureux, Renaud Gauthier. A lot of Quebeckers are naming their girl children wonderfully - Tanaquil, Phoebe, and now Gwenaëlle. This one will stay with me for a long time.
Eye on the Guy, by Philip Lewis & Jean-François Monette about Alan B. Stone - stupid gay documentary, how could they go on for so long and tell us so little about the man?

Wednesday: not much of a turnout, how did they know?
The Fighter, Mark Hesselink - a shill for a book? interesting thought but overdone
The Unfolding, Ian Thompson - best thing about it was the titles,
Two or More, Noel Harris - puns are always interesting, but not very well done
Dark Arc, Dan Zukovic - ai ai ai! a silly physiological trick, I was stuck in the middle of the row or I would have left, Paul Quarrington was apparently involved

Thursday:
Wormbee, Hatem Zayed - clumsy, stupid, no point
Ensemble ou Séparé?, Philippe Gauthier - interesting, relationship falls apart while they pay the cheque
Trailblazing, Lisa Hoffe - rankest feminist propaganda, transparently bullshit, done by someone at the university apparently, a professor of women's studies, but so obviously faked
Four Play, George Ungar - trivial
My Little Habitat, John Driftmier - incomprehensible personal vision of something or other, no telling what
Blackout, Anh Minh Truong - a point at least, but too slow and over dramatic
An Ordinary Family, Fredrik Gertten - the bourgeoisie doesn't suffer much before they whine a lot, more government money misspent

I missed Friday and Saturday, got sick and couldn't make it, oh well.

Friday:
Changes, Lorcan Finnegan;
deep Vain, Philippe Bergeron
Une Âme nue glisse à l'eau vive, Denis Chabot
El Dia Antes de Manaña, Jorge Vanega, Julián Carerra
The Care Package, Brad Gover,
Judith, Caroline Bâcle
Keeping Up With Cathy Jones, Barbara Doran

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terça-feira, julho 18, 2006

Make

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Next, Back, Thread Ahead: Whirrled Ends, Thread Back: Liverworts, Lichens, and the United Church.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarDaniel Lanois - The Maker

Oh, oh deep water
Black and cold like the night
I stand with arms wide open
I've run a twisted line
I'm a stranger in the eyes of the Maker

I could not see for the fog in my eyes
I could not feel for the fear in my life
And from across the great divide
In the distance I saw a light
Jean Baptiste's walking to me with the Maker

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarMy body is bent and broken
By long and dangerous sleep
I can't work the fields of Abraham
And turn my head away
I'm not a stranger in the hands of the Maker

Brother John, have you seen the homeless daughters
Standing there with broken wings
I have seen the flaming swords
There over east of Eden
Burning in the eyes of the Maker

Lanois produced Dylan's album Oh Mercy. That was where I first heard of him.

Strange word 'make'. Rhymes with wake, one short syllable, say it aloud and it feels to me like a prana-yoga exercise. 'Make ready', 'make it right', 'make do', 'make it', 'make love' ...

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segunda-feira, julho 17, 2006

Nines - Bahá'í Temple of Light

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I would have expected some connection for the nine-way symmetry, but although Siamak Hariri talks about the importance of symmetry generally I found no hint in the material of what 'nine' might signify. The only thing that comes to mind is from Tolkien:

    Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
    Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
    Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
    One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
        One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
        One Ring to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
    In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.


which is clearly not it. (I have looked into this, see below.)

The Bahá'í Temple for South America, Mashriqu'l-Adhkar, Santiago, Chile
Siamak Hariri & David Pontarini of Hariri Pontarini Architects (Justin Ford, Michael Boxer, Chris Andrews, Jaegap Chung, Mehrdad Tavakkolian, Adriana Balen, Naomi Kriss, George Simionopoulos, Tiago Masrour).
The Bahá'í link contains links to other major sites on the subject.

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Worth listening to: Audio Presentation (.mp3) from Architecture Radio.

All of the images above are (obviously, since it is not built yet) either photographs of physical models or computer-generated. I remember some comments by Douglas Cardinal around designing the Museum of Man in Hull, Quebec, Canada (aka Museum of Civilization in correctitude-speech) where he used what was cutting edge software at the time, I think it was a prototype Intergraph system; that was in 1987-1989. The curves in the Museum are mostly in plan whereas the Temple is curved all over. These guys used Autodesk Maya for conceptual modelling, which they praised, and IBM Catia for design/development which they would apparently rather have not used. He says, "We tried desperately NOT to use Catia." I can dig it. They noted that a primary difficulty was non-existent interfaces between software products.

It is lovely, more than lovely. My only concern at the minute is that (if you look at the last photograph above) the result may not be well faired. This will be determined by the size of the individual tiles or patches used to build it, and this will in turn be determined to a degree by the software used to catalogue and manage it. A question of two related scales.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarClick to Enlarge / Click para AumentarClick to Enlarge / Click para AumentarThe Christ statue, Cristo Redentor, on Corcovado in Rio de Janeiro successfully dealt with a comparable issue. The statue is covered in soapstone tiles which are replaced individually as the surface is degraded by air-pollution. The relative scales used in Brasil were well-chosen. Even up-close the effect is perfectly faired and not disconcerting.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarFrom the sublime to the ridiculous maybe ... but anyone who has seen an Orange-Julep roadside stand knows that up-close the shape is not well faired and 'tacky'.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarClick to Enlarge / Click para AumentarComparisons with Catedral de São Sebastião in Rio de Janeiro, Brasil; AND Gaudi's La Familia in Barcelona, Spain.

Doubly-curved surfaces bring on metaphors of female flesh, no question. Interesting to me that in his talk the reference was to inviting their mothers to an early design review, along with engineers, client representatives, and so forth. I found myself thinking about feminist correctitude - probably quite unjustified.

Symbology of Nines
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The official Bahá'í stories are: 1 - nine years between the declaration of the Báb in Shiraz (1844) and Bahá'u'lláh's enlightenment in Teheran (1853, this date is not particularly stressed in the potted Bahá'í histories I saw); and 2 - nine, as the highest single-digit number, symbolizes completeness. It is often depicted with a circle inside the star, which follows through on the completeness theme.

Click to Enlarge / Click para AumentarBahá'ís I spoke to about it thought it had something to do with Bahá'í comprising the nine great religions of the world. I did find a diagram of prophets: Moses (1330 BC), Krishna (900 BC), Zoroaster (600 BC), Budda (500 BC), Christ (1), Mohammed (632), Báb (1844), and Bahá'u'lláh (1863). This last date is interesting because it is 19 years from the Báb, and nineteen is big in Bahá'í - makes me wonder if the 9 year thing is just bad subtraction?

Nevermind the (it seems to me) weak basis, Bahá'í temples are built on nines, and the nine-pointed star is a standard symbol of the faith.

In the process I came across the Lotus Temple in Delhi, some resonances with the Temple of Light. And one approach to the problem of fairing surfaces - draw lines on it! Nevermind that a lotus normally has 6 petals.

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