Friday 15 October, 2021

Cambridge’s Answer to the Sydney Opera House

The University’s Sports Centre in West Cambridge.

Quote of the Day

”The advantage of a classical education is that it enables you to despise the wealth which it prevents you from achieving.”

*  Russell Green

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

The Canadian set | Bjarte Eike | Barokksolistene


What a way to start a day!

Long Read of the Day

On the Internet, We’re Always Famous

Nice New Yorker essay by Chris Hayes on the futility of over-use of the Internet.

This how it opens:

Imagine, for a moment, you find yourself equipped with fennec-fox-level hearing at a work function or a cocktail party. It’s hard to focus amid the cacophony, but with some effort you can eavesdrop on each and every conversation. At first you are thrilled, because it is thrilling to peer into the private world of another person. Anyone who has ever snuck a peek at a diary or spent a day in the archives sifting through personal papers knows that. Humans, as a rule, crave getting up in people’s business.

But something starts to happen. First, you hear something slightly titillating, a bit of gossip you didn’t know. A couple has separated, someone says. “They’ve been keeping it secret. But now Angie’s dating Charles’s ex!” Then you hear something wildly wrong. “The F.D.A. hasn’t approved it, but also there’s a whole thing with fertility. I read about a woman who had a miscarriage the day after the shot.” And then something offensive, and you feel a desire to speak up and offer a correction or objection before remembering that they have no idea you’re listening. They’re not talking to you.

Then, inevitably, you hear someone say something about you. Someone thinks it’s weird that you’re always five minutes late for the staff meeting, or wonders if you’re working on that new project that Brian started doing on the side, or what the deal is with that half-dollar-sized spot of gray hair on the back of your head. Injury? Some kind of condition?

Suddenly—and I speak from a certain kind of experience on this, so stay with me—the thrill curdles…

Great stuff.

Video of the Day

Director Peter Jackson has made a three-part documentary about the Beatles using lots of previously unseen film footage. It launches (on Disney, I think) soon.

This is the official trailer.

Paddy Moloney RIP

Fine, well-informed, obit in The New York Times which gets the measure of the man:

For nearly 60 years the Chieftains toured extensively and released more than two dozen albums, six of which won Grammy Awards. They were particularly known for their collaborations with artists from other genres, including Van Morrison, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Nanci Griffith and Luciano Pavarotti.

“Over the Sea to Skye,” the Chieftains’ collaboration with the flutist James Galway, peaked at No. 20 on the Billboard classical album chart in 1996. “San Patricio,” a 2010 collaboration with the guitarist Ry Cooder that fused Celtic and Mexican influences, reached No. 37 on the Billboard 200 and topped the Latin album chart. “Irish Heartbeat,” the group’s collaboration with Mr. Morrison, charted in 1988.

“Our music is centuries old, but it is very much a living thing,” Mr. Moloney told The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1989. “We don’t use any flashing lights or smoke bombs or acrobats falling off the stage.” He added, “We try to communicate a party feeling, and that’s something that everybody understands.”

In 2012, when he was vice president, President Biden told People magazine that his desire was to sing “Shenandoah” with the Chieftains “if I had any musical talent.” He invited them to perform at his inauguration this year, but Covid-related restrictions kept them from traveling.

My Commonplace booklet

Eh? (See here)

According to his onetime rival for the Conservative leadership, Rory Stewart, Johnson is “the most accomplished liar in public life—perhaps the best liar ever to serve as prime minister.” Johnson, Stewart wrote last year, has “mastered the use of error, omission, exaggeration, diminution, equivocation and flat denial. He has perfected casuistry, circumlocution, false equivalence and false analogy. He is equally adept at the ironic jest, the fib and the grand lie; the weasel word and the half-truth; the hyperbolic lie, the obvious lie, and the bullshit lie—which may inadvertently be true.” — Tom McTague, “Is Boris Johnson a Liar?”, The Atlantic.

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