Posts Tagged “Culture”


by David on January 1, 2008

From a podcast episode called Philosophy and Religion in Classical Greece I heard Dr Isabelle Pafford read the 7th Century BCE elegaic poet, Mimnermus. For a fragment two and a half millenia old it was suprisingly accessible.

Onion Gems

by David on October 20, 2007

Archaeological Dig Uncovers Ancient Race Of Skeleton People

A team of British and Egyptian archaeologists made a stunning discovery Monday, unearthing several intact specimens of “skeleton people”—skinless, organless humans who populated the Nile delta region an estimated 6,000 years ago

The Onion, Skeleton People

Hitler, Mao and Cameron Diaz’s bag

by David on June 24, 2007

Actress Cameron Diaz has upset Peruvians by sporting a bag emblazoned with a red star and Chairman Mao’s most famous political slogan. The incident highlights the interesting contrast between communist iconography – hip and acceptable – and Nazi-inspired fashion accessories. When the singer Brian Ferry…

Great Frenchmen

by David on June 23, 2007

Frédéric Bastiat 1801-185
Political economist, libertarian, author of the highly amusing and instructive Candlemakers’ Petition.

Government is the great fiction through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else

The Marquis de Condorcet 1743-1794
Originator of Condorcet’s paradox of voting, demonstrating the non-transitivity of voting preferences. Related to Arrow’s impossibility theorem demonstrating the impossibility of a fair voting system

St George’s Day

by David on April 24, 2007

Google marked St David’s Day (St David – patron saint of Wales) with a few daffodils, which was pleasant. It put me in mind of the school Eisteddfodau I attended, with all the girls wearing daffodils and the boys sporting real leeks which were munched over the course of the morning.

St Antony had it tough

by David on February 20, 2007

Painting: The Temptations of St Anthony

This is just a snippet – bottom right-hand corner – of a painting I saw in Cologne

Autumn Begins

by David on January 27, 2007

Over at normblog, Gene Zitver, a contributer to Harry’s Place, reveals that his favourite poem is Autumn Begins In Martins Ferry, Ohio by James Wright. I’d never heard of it so I looked it up.

It’s in free verse and from a quick Googling I suspect it’s a popular subject for English assignments in US high schools. It’s a very short musing on the lives of working people in a steel town in Ohio. It goes like this


Jesus H

by David on January 26, 2007

So, to get the Larkin correctI looked up Arundel Tomb, found the lines, then made the mistake of looking up the Top 100 on Poem Hunter. Good grief.

Maya Angelou? Pablo Neruda? ee cummings? I assume this list is really telling me about the literary preferences of 16 year-old American students. Or, better, the literary tastes of female American high school teachers of a certain age.

Art, literature, theory

by David on December 22, 2006

A long time ago I struggled to understand what the clique controlling my University’s student newspaper were on about in an issue published after they’d all been taught about Barthes, Lacan, Derrida et al. I guess this was shortly before the world stopped taking notice of the absurd Continenal postmodernists and before Alan Socal’s great Social Text hoax (Transgressing the Boundaries: Towards a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity) and the publication of Intellectual Imposters.

Caetano Veloso covers Jacko

by David on December 22, 2006

A while back I mentioned Brazilian songster Caetano Veloso. Today I saw on Andrew Sullivan’s blog an entry posted by Clive Davis about a peculiar YouTube video, a mashup of Michael Jackson dancing to Veloso’s bossa nova cover of Billy Jean. Very odd it is indeed: