Filler by Proxy VIII: Lost in Translation

Wednesday 12 January 2005

Are you the Pope? Are you not the Pope, but still over 1500 years old? Translation Express has your translation needs covered! Their team of experienced, qualified bilingual and multilingual native Latin speakers is waiting for your call….
If you require professional, high quality Latin to Latin translations and Latin to Latin translations or translations from other languages into Latin or from Latin into other languages, our Latin language translation services will help you achieve your global strategy.
Latin to Latin to Latin. All of Translation Express’ work is carefully proofread for errors. Latin Latin Latin. Excuse me, I think there’s a echo in here.
Judging by their use of the term ‘global strategy’, I guess their target demographic really is the Pope. Or Caesar.
Don’t ask them to do Harry Potter, it’s probably been done. Yeah, thought so.

Filler by Proxy VII: A square, a semi-circle, and an ellipse

Tuesday 4 January 2005

From the BBC: “Beatrix Potter’s classic children’s book The Tale of Peter Rabbit has been translated into ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs by the British Museum.”
Two choice quotes: the obvious…

“Beatrix Potter’s words sometimes do not readily fall into ancient Egyptian,” they wrote in the foreword.

and the not so obvious…

The “time seemed appropriate” for the hieroglyph version, due in April, translators said…

Filler by Proxy VI: No such thing as coincidence

Wednesday 22 December 2004

Greg Sandow muses on the simultaneous obituaries for poet Jackson Mac Low and ex-Pantera guitarist Dimebag Darrell. After playing Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon for a few paragraphs he describes his admiration for Mac Low’s (and John Cage’s) work in a way I can agree with but have never explained so well:

One feeling I’ve long gotten from work like Cage’s or Mac Low’s is peace. But not just any kind of peace — not, for instance, a warm and fuzzy peace, full of love, hope, and goodwill. It’s more profound than that; the peace that comes from lack of need or striving.

And from there he looks for, and finds, the common thread which made him react to both deaths.
Both, in fact, oppose the mainstream, metal noisily, Mac Low’s more quietly. Metal rages angrily at normal life; the relationship of Mac Low’s kind of art to normal life is less direct. And yet it’s strong…. After World War II… meaning in normal life was hard to find. Hence rebellion, and also modernist art, which didn’t look for normal meaning.
More about Jackson Mac Low, including some of his poems, interviews and sound recordings.

Filler by Proxy V: The Ten Greatest Albums of All Time (inspired by Rolling Stone Magazine)

Tuesday 26 October 2004

According to Useful Noise. Yes, I’m trying to build up posting momentum here. The account of the Newcastle adventure is taking a little longer than expected to write up, owing to me repeatedly breaking down and weeping openly over the keyboard, which hinders my progress.
I was going to apologise about not updating this for a while and launching into some fanciful cock-and-bull story about why I’ve been absent, but I figure you’re all mature enough to understand that when dealing with shonky amateur operations like this one you have to take what few cheap giggles you can get and be grateful for a few minutes’ distraction from your job and/or masters thesis. I forsee that this blog will perpetually be caught in a boom-bust cycle of updates.

Filler by Proxy IV: Doesn’t anyone round here like Peter Phelps?

Wednesday 15 September 2004

Except this woman, but it seems even she has her limits. To be fair to her, it’s a full-time job keeping up with Phelpsy’s hectic career.
I was going to write something about Phelps but, Christ! it looks like everyone’s beaten me to it. So go read them instead: they’re good.

The outpouring of love was triggered by Pete’s charming and gracious letter to the Green Guide bitching about how an article about the scriptwriters for Stingers didn’t mention him, an actor. I know actors are often stereotyped as not being terribly bright, so it’s sad to see one enacting the values and going out of his way to claim even part of the credit for the quality of plotting and dialogue in that show.

* That reminds me, I must customise my blog’s design one day soon.

Filler by Proxy III: Voynich Manuscript Cracked! (again)

Thursday 9 September 2004

But probably for the last time. “It’s as if we’re all surfers, and the sea has dried up.”
Also: The Voynich Manuscript Online.

How to make your own 16th century forgery.

Filler by Proxy II: Worse than it Sounds

Thursday 2 September 2004

Kyle Gann gives a crash course on why new music gigs so often seem to exist for the benefit of a self-perpetuating clique.

Filler by Proxy: Journey to the Centre of a Mattress

Sunday 29 August 2004

Well, I celebrated the blog’s one week anniversary by going on a three-day bender, which kind of took the edge off the momentum I had going there for a while. I shan’t wallow in the sordid details but I’ve had a killer hangover since waking up this morning all cold and dewy on the verandah of the house my ex-wife used to live in, clutching an empty bottle of Kirov in one hand and a fistful of lipstick-stained cigarette butts in the other.
Because I can’t bothered writing anything I’m just going to do what most blogs do and link to some other web page. With all the attention in Australia focussed on a bunch of spoiled kids in Greece pumping us up with illusions of achievement and self-worth, the story about chess grandmaster Bobby Fischer finally getting arrested hasn’t been discussed all that much. For years he’s been laying low in Japan, passing the time by phoning up talkback radio shows in the Philippines to spout anti-Semitic diatribes, and avoiding deportation to the U.S. where he faces a federal indictment of breaking international trade sanctions, when he took a $3M paycheck for playing a chess match in Yugoslavia in 1992.
One aspect of the story that doesn’t get mentioned is that this isn’t Fischer’s first brush with the law. In 1981 he was detained by police when he refused to identify himself (at the time he was insisting on being called Robert D. James), and later chronicled his ordeal in a pamphlet titled I WAS TORTURED IN THE PASADENA JAILHOUSE! Described as “a bestseller in chess bookshops”, the booklet’s brief chapters include headings such as “Brutally Handcuffed”, “False Arrest”, “Horror Cell”, “Isolation & Torture”, “Sick Cop”, “Police Crimes”, “Sham” and is filled with chilling statements:
This simple statement spilled the beans on the entire police operation and clearly revealed it to be the filthy stinking set up it was.
To say the whole thing stinks and is a frame up and set up is to put it mildly.
I would add that in order to save my life from the freezing cold I would have been fully justified in destroying one or even a thousand of those mattresses, or even destroying the entirety of the prison. If one is allowed to kill in self-defense, how much more should he be allowed to destroy a cheap prison mattress to save his life. Although I reiterate I did not destroy said mattress or anything else in the jailhouse.
And, most tellingly:

At some point the police said, if I wasn’t such an asshole they wouldn’t have arrested me.

No wonder the guy’s reluctant to help police with their inquiries.