Friday, February 29, 2008

Early English Music (update)

This is not to say that melancholy music can't be beautiful~ listening to the CD transfer, most of it clearly is~ but the beauty is severe, as for example a statue of the Virgin is beautiful; it doesn't come across as a beauty of joy.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

English Music 1600-1750

The title comes from a record that I recently transferred from tape to CD. I have no idea who the performers are, but the composers are the usual suspects: Purcell, Adison, Boyce, Brade and Handel. The tape was made from a record borrowed from Wimbledon library sometime in the early 1970s.
What strikes me most listening to this recording now, apart from the performing style (more about that later), is how minor-key, sombre, almost mournful, the music is~ even with dotted rhythms; even the 'dances'.
Of course, 'mournful' is my appellation; others might call this music 'serious and stately'.
Then again, it might be the performance that is the culprit. As a teenager I loved a recording of concerti by the Neapolitan composer Francesco Durante (1684-1741). It was an old recording and quite rare~ recordings of Durante are not common. Anyway, a few years ago a different, CD, recording that included a couple of the Durante concerti appeared and I bought it: but I recognised nothing! Contemporary period perfomance really makes these old works new...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

world map of Facebook use

The article with this map showing how popular (and where) Facebook is "The who's who of social networks around the globe" by Scott Gilbertson [on Wired].

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Facebook with Flock

Facebook Friend

Facebook with Flock is an entirely new experience, intuitive and fun. As I've posted before, it's the kind of experience that makes you wonder where it has been all your life. Suddenly, there's a browser that is truly upfront and personal, and using it makes you feel just at home as much as in your office or living-room.

Interestingly, Facebook is making inroads into Africa in ways that MySpace and Friendster, etc never did. the recent world map of social networking posted by a French newspaper was really really insightful: most of Africa shows blank and unconnected to the Global Village, but South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Botswana, and a small pocket around Kenya/Uganda are all Facebook areas.

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

24th July

'Is it over?' she asked. I thought about her question; yes, it was over, but 'over' was such a harsh word, such a hard word to say.

Grilled Weetbix

I caught my girlfriend grilling some weetbix and smoking some spinach. I'm afraid she's gone overboard on this vegetarian thing. Next there'll be fertiliser in the fridge and organic coco-pops on the table. It's enough to make your bath water, I tell you.

Tell me, have you ever been?

There are plenty of good-time girls who'll give you a bad time and plenty of bad girls who'll do you good. Take a chance; knock on wood.
Hmm, Knock On Wood--a great 60s soul single; but sole, single, is seldom the best way to go; hell, sometimes it's not even any way to go: let the good times roll.
Hmm, Let The Good Times Roll--a track on Hendrix's Electric Ladyland. 'Tell me, have you ever been to Electric Ladyland?' I have, and it's full of good-time girls who'll give you a bad time and bad girls...

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Is it Erotica...

... when a 'How to Wash a bra' article appears as a wikiHow of the day?
   Apparently so: the word 'bra' is exciting to a man; just the mention of such exclusively feminine clothing brings a flurry of memories and excited imaginings. To a man, a bra is inseparable from the breasts it is designed to either encase or showcase (support, girls? or uplift?).
   Bra design of course raises an interesting point (or points... natch 8~>): have you ever wondered why wonderbras are so big (excuse the pun) in Asia? And must those frilly-lace ones be washed differently from the firmer wonderbras? Hmm. I'd better go and check out that article... !


...can kill you (and it frequently does). Everybody knows this, so why do so many people still smoke? In restaurants and bars, in buses and cars, smoke is ubiquitous and fills all our lungs. And it's not just for smokers: one hour of second-hand smoke is the equivalent of smoking four cigarettes.
   I've noticed that smokers are beginning to kid themselves too: they argue that filtered smoking (what they do) is healthier than second-hand [passive] smoking (what we do), so they're actually safer than us! Ha! Smokers get both types of smoke! Apart from the health cost, there's a literal cost too...
   What saddens me is that although smokers are dying, smoking is not dying. young people, especially women, apparently think it cool to be menthol-cool.
   King James I penned his 'Blast against tobacco' 400 years ago, but the world's still puffing and wheezing...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Sifundzani Wiki

Today we started a Sifundzani High school Wiki ( This is part of our ongoing project to be truly wired and truly connected. In a few months our school website (already designed) should be up and running...

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Monday, February 18, 2008


History is in the making (actually it always is, but we are often too busy to notice). The syllabi for Swaziland's new examination system is printed and available for some subjects.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

African booty

If visions be the food of love...

Q: What's the difference between African booty and Brazilian bunda?
A: Not much, as it turns out. After all, many Brazilians can trace their ancestry to Africans shipped to South America by the Portuguese.
But that's not why a writer wrote of Brazil's 'thoroughly Africanised' culture~ his point was that Brazilian men (unlike their North American and European counterparts) focus their erotic fantasies almost entirely on womens' butts.
Recently I noticed this in spectacular fashion. I was with friends when an over-ample woman waddled by. One of my friends, a usually secretive journalist, immediately confided, 'You see that woman that just passed? I tell you, I dream about her butt. I'm serious, that chick turns me on.'

Friday, February 1, 2008

Belly Politics

At 5.30 in th morning & I wake 2 th sound of birds chatting merrily in my garden; I open th curtains & watch th early light on th distant mountains, th shadows where th day, like me, is still waking up. All's well, & normal, in my world.
But then I hear my Housekeeper leaving th house; there's someone @ th main gate. She returns & tells me that her brother's been badly beaten by thugs 4 no apparent reason; she must go 2 th hospital.
Why is there so much violence in th world? Why is there so much agression? Stories like this r becoming increasingly common.
Some will say South Africa's problems r spilling over into itz neighbour states; others will point 2 rap & kwaito; others 2 tv & films; & yet others 2 Bush, Bin Laden, et al. But all these, I think, r symptoms not causes. It seems 2 me that a callous thug culture is growing in th world & th Vedic dark Age of Kali has emerged~ th time of religion without true spirituality, a time of irrationality,when people r ruled only by their appetites: sexual, material, and emotional. People want what they want & damn who gets hurt or th consequences. Violence, corruption, greed, fanaticism, abuse, rape & widespread porn in all itz forms: th problem is th darkness that has taken hold of people's hearts & minds: itz what we Swazis call 'Belly Politics'.

Itz th weekend!

Finally this blog is up & running from my mobile~ but I had 2 change browsers 2 make it work (I use a Nokia N73, which comes wit Apple's Safari browser built-in: a great phone & a good browser, but Opera Mini is definitely th way 2 go).
Itz a warm, beautiful sunny day in th Kingdom & th weekend is here. The weather brings a buzz & th Friday brings a buzz~ time 2 hang out wit yr frendz; th guyz cruise 4 Land Cruisers & th galz cruise 4 th Ministers. Itz gonna b a gd 1!

Sakhile Live in Swaziland For me the best South African band of al...