Posts

Dune

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I read 'Dune' by Frank Herbert for the first time over 40 years ago, and also read its sequels. It's a remarkable and dense book with plenty of political intrigue. The setting is the planet of Arakis, where a hallucinogenic drug called 'Spice' can be found in the desert sands. This is needed to enable interstellar flight, and a series of guilds and Houses controls power within the Imperium and fights between each other. There's an allegory here for the way that a planet's environment can be affected by the desire to mine a precious resource, and how greenery is sacrificed, but the indigenous people fight a rearguard action against large incoming Houses (corporations). This guest essay from New York Times has some background on Herbert's relationship with an indigenous person during his youth which may have influenced his thinking, and the plot of the book. The film also does a sensible job of covering the first part of the book, and setting up a second

A French Dispatch

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Caught the new Wes Anderson film  last weekend and it's rather wonderful.  There are the usual Wes Anderson touches, with immaculately framed scenes, shoot-outs, animation scenes and great performances from his usual ensemble cast with some new additions. I loved the Owen Wilson travelogue of Ennui, France. The cinema also had plenty of postcards of the lead characters to pick up and here's Owen Wilson 's tube-map themed one. I'm heading to an exhibition of the props from the film in London in a couple of weeks.I hope it's as good as the one for the 'Isle of Dogs' film. Here's a taster...

New Aimee Mann on the way

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A new Aimee Mann album is always an event for me. She has been a constant in my weekly listening since the mid 80s. I have been able to see her play live too on her rare visits to the UK. The first time was in the Duchess of York pub in Leeds: a small room which I believe has now closed down, and where she may as well have been playing in my living room she was so close. The latest album is out in early November and is themed around the book 'Girl Interrupted'. Lyrically there are few to compare with Aimee - I look forward to the new album.

Arctic Icebergs

A nice piece in the Geographical magazine on "artist and geographer" Nick Jones.  He travelled up to the Arctic to paint icebergs in the Arctic Ocean and the results are rather wonderful. Check them out.

Grab a coffee and listen to some geography...

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I'm pleased to say that I am the latest of Kit Rackley's guests on the Coffee and Geography Podcast. We chatted about a range of things which Kit picked up on in their summary. Some of the audio had to be rerecorded by me separately because of problems my end, so there was a little more in the original recording on my GA Presidents blog and the legacy of the former Presidents' work. Well done to Kit on editing that in so smoothly. Why not head there to listen to me , or perhaps to some of the other guests who are far more interesting than me :) The Podcast series has also just passed 1000 downloads. Well done to Kit and all the previous and future guests.

Garden of Remembrance

Following a run of musical posts, here's a powerful piece from Fish, exploring the impacts of dementia... as we have events for World Mental Health Day.

Bright Magic

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Bright Magic is the latest album from the band Public Service Broadcasting. It is influenced by the city of Berlin, and influenced by 'Metropolis', Kraftwerk, Vangelis, Marlene Dietrich, Weimar era Germany and the history of the city. I was due to visit in 2020 for an ERASMUS trip, but the pandemic ended those plans. I have blogged about this band and their music many times before. This is another triumph after 'Every Valley' and 'The Race for Space'. The final track embraces the quotidian... with a rendition of a poem by Kit Tucholsky called 'Eyes in the Big City' with vocals by Nina Hoss. Looking forward to seeing this played live in November. Check out the album on your favourite streaming service...