I can’t believe I’ve not posted anything since March. Crazy times eh? Well I’ve been busy writing music, learning to cook new dishes, reading piles of books, binge watching all manner of odd TV series and walking through the new normal that is London. It’s been interesting trying to adapt to this new way of life, but I’m getting there as are most people now. Hang on though! Before you head off thinking Oh no, not another self indulgent ‘this is how I lived through the lockdown’ bore-a-thon of a film, I assure you this is nothing to do with lockdown. It’s quite forking amazing! Oh and yes, I have been watching The Good Place.
As the Corona Virus Covid 19 starts to infect the world’s population, many people have been going mad buying whatever they can in preparation for the looming disaster that’s being predicted. Toilet rolls are hard to obtain now, as is hand sanitiser, and dried foods like pasta. Stock piling is all the rage. The first thing that people were mad for though were masks. You know, those cloth masks that make you look like a surgeon. They were the first item to be completely sold out. It seems that they aren’t as effective as people would like to think, but maybe they weren’t wearing the right sort of masks. Maybe they should be wearing the masks that Gary Lockwood makes, like the one you can see here.
Yes, he dissects pairs of trainers and recombines them into these crazy masks. I think he must like the smell of them. Before they are worn of course. Or maybe not.
In this enlightening film, the most surprising fact that came out of it for me was that someone bought a pair of trainers for $35,000. Yes, you read that right. 35 thousand dollars. I wonder if the person that owns that stupidly expensive mask will catch the virus? Not if they always wear it! Enjoy the film.
I like the way they’ve reversed the roles in this film by Steve Cutts. It’s called The Turning Point, but it’s possible history has passed that point.
Robert Gonsalves is a contemporary, Canadian, Magic Realism painter with an imagination equal to his talent. I haven’t been able to find the titles of these, so maybe you could come up with your own titles and post them below.
You’ll find plenty more pictures by him on the net which I hope you’ll track down and enjoy.
Ever wondered how big our Galaxy is? Or how massive it is? Well astronomers at the Garching European Southern Observatory headquarters in Germany have got their scales out and come up with an answer. And no, it’s not 42. Their answer is 1.5 trillion times the mass of our sun and that includes absolutely everything, stars, dust, gases even you and me and the big black hole at the centre of it all. That black hole alone is 4 million times the mass of our sun. Their clever idea was to observe the gravitational effect our galaxy has on it’s neighbours using the latest Hubble pictures to produce 3D pictures. These gave a very accurate map of the movement of all the local galaxies and globular clusters. They also found that the radius of our milky way is 129,000 light years, or 1,220,000,000,000,000,000 Km. Let’s assume that a stick of Blackpool rock is about 20 cm long. That would mean you would need about 6,100,000,000,000,000,000,000 sticks of Blackpool rock lying end to end to know if their measurement was accurate or not. Anyone up for trying? It might take a while.
I just watched this video :
and my heart went out to Vy Phalla, the Cambodian woman who is trying to come to terms with the loss of the place she sees as home. We read about the history of various indigenous people having their land taken from them, but this is so literal, so 21st century daylight robbery, that I somehow connected and got to thinking why? It’s not because the street I live on is being dug up, put in a lorry and taken somewhere else, I think it’s because the land I grew up in, the country that I was once proud to be a part of, is now being sold to the highest bidder without a care for the people who make it tick. The super rich have taken over and are mercilessly carving up what we, and our ancestors have built up over the years, and are selling it for a quick buck for their own short term gains. They get away with it because most of the media outlets are in on the game. They are SO GREEDY THAT THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT THE HARM THAT THEY ARE DOING. (Accidentally hit the capitals button, but it seems to work) To me, this film epitomises the struggle of the small community against the richer, more powerful countries/corporate entities that take what they want regardless of who suffers. Did anyone see that news story of the CEO of a fracking company trying to stop fracking in his own back yard? That’s the sort of horrible, selfish human I’m referring to.
So I took Vy Phalla’s song and added a bit more music to it:
I recently invented the term Disturbient as being the opposite of Ambient. This is a tribute to Pete Shelley who died earlier. And yes, I did once fall in love with someone I shouldn’t have!
These images are fantastic and there’s nothing I can say to add to them, just enjoy them.
Well, it could be the Museum Of Witchcraft and Magic in Boscastle, Cornwall, which has all manner of artefacts from the occult in its exhibition. It's remit even includes Freemasonry and Wiccan spookiness.
A more apt choice would be the Catacombe Dei Cappuccini in Palermo, Sicily. This has the world's largest collection of mummified bodies in the world. It goes back to the 16th Century when the bodies of the friars were found naturally mummified. It was seen as an act of God, so they were put on display and friars since then have asked to be artificially mummified and added to the collection. After they had died of course. Well, probably.
How about the Shrunken Heads room at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford? This strange collection has genuine tsantsas from the Amazon. Some tribes from this area thought they could harness the powers of their enemies by discarding the contents of the head, soaking the skin in hot water then filling it with hot sand. That's a recipe you won't see on The Great British Bake-off.
Following on from that could be the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia, Penn. It is full of skeletons that have been donated over the years. It even has Einstein's brain.
Weirder still is the Avantos Museum of Hair in Cappadocia, Turkey. It's in a basement and is filled with 16,000 locks of ladies hair; like the lair of a creepy stalker.
Maybe less creepy and more surreal is Froggyland in Split, Croatia. This is the result of one man's obsessive taxidermy of frogs which have been placed in human poses in classrooms, circuses, poker games, you name it.
My choice of the museum most fit for Halloween is the one that is opening today. The Disgusting Food Museum in Malmö, Sweden. The most obvious exhibit would be the famous Swedish fermented herring, which various crazy people have tried to eat and posted the vomit worthy results on Youtube. It also has maggot cheese from Sardinia. Yuk! You are invited to smell about 80 different stomach churning foods, if you dare. The guy who set this museum up, also set up The Museum of Failure in Helsingborg. I wonder what else he has up his sleeves.
It has been said of the tune Africa by Toto that it is a guilty pleasure. I can understand why as it is a tad pretentious played by a muso’s type of band. So when DJ Michael Savage decided to play the record repetitively for 5 hours without stopping, you could say it will become more than a guilty pleasure. What’s worse is he’s doing this at The Exchange in Bristol tonight from 11 till 4. No, he hasn’t lost the plot. He’s doing it for charity. The idea is that you be can sponsored to see how long you can endure, or you can pay not to turn up! I don’t know if that is a first, paying not to go to an event, but I wish him luck with this crazy idea. The bar staff are in for a trying night.