Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sœur Emmanuelle

Sœur Emmanuelle died on Monday. She was almost 100 years old. There has been almost nothing else on TV these last two days. She was such a popular figure. She was always urging people to smile and be happy, setting a good example herself.

The first time I saw her on French TV years ago she was being interviewed by our most famous TV journalist, a pretty pompous man at the best of times. She would have non of his questions. On the way to the studios she came across some prostitutes and she wanted to tell us about them. She just had so much energy, a bossy little lady who will be missed by a lot of people from all faiths.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

So that's why!

You thought that inventers just sat around all day at home (or in the laboratory or workshop) inventing, didn’t you? Well you’re wrong, they have to go to special academies of invention and work for their diploma first. These academies are all over the world and there are more and more being opened as countries like Japan and India catch up and overtake ‘the West’.

Every year there is a special competition in every academy for the first year student inventors. They have to design a device for pouring liquid from a cardboard carton. The winner gets to see their work applied to cartons in their part of the world. Have you ever noticed that these things never work? Juice or milk gets spilled everywhere either in the opening process or in the pouring. Like I said, they are only first year students.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Desert Island Discs revisited

Just before the BlogCharm plug was pulled out, I wrote a series of posts on my ‘Learn Something New Everyday’ blog about a radio programme called Desert Island Discs. A guest is asked to imagine that they have been shipwrecked on a desert island. They must take 8 pieces of music with them. They also have the Bible (or other religious work), the Complete Works of Shakespeare, a book of their choice and a luxury item. This is a novel way to encourage famous and distinguished people to talk about their lives. Nearly everyone associates music with special moments in their life.

I’d finished my Desert Island Discs and deleted all of the notes I’d made, so my posts were lost for ever. I thought that it would be fun to do them again. Some I know will be the same and others – we shall see. The BBC have kept records on who has been on over the last few years and their choices too. Jeremy Irons, back in 2006 is the celebrity whose musical choices I identified with the most.

Which 8 pieces of music would you choose?

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Missing the Last Boat Home

Neutron has recently been writing about the joys of touring what used to be East Germany. Thanks to him I realised I hadn’t looked to see what my cousin Paul was up to recently (he plays in Germany sometimes too and I’m sure they will meet up). Well, there was quite a lot to catch up on and you can listen to some of his tracks here as well as Missing the Last Boat Home and others and not forgetting my all time favourite Give Me Your Wings. He was scheduled to perform on Loose Ends a couple of years ago. I’m still waiting…