May Pieces Of My Mind #2

Tree house ruin, Saltsjö-Boo
Tree house ruin, Saltsjö-Boo
  • Listening to the classic rock station in the car, I turned it off in the middle of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ “Under The Bridge”. Two days later I turn it on again and find myself in the middle of their “Scar Tissue”.
  • Heh. American podcaster talks about someone named Rothschild (pronounced “roared-shilled”), consistently pronounces it “rots-child”.
  • Norwegian reggae: Bo Mærøy and the Whalers.
  • I love Google Inbox’s snooze feature. Takes a huge load of stress off to be able to decide at what date and time I want to attend to a given letter, and then just forget about it.
  • Today Kadzic ripped out the dining-room ceiling. There must be so much anger inside him.
  • Am I the only one who has a home-made HTML file with links to my most-used sites as start page in my browser? Been updating it for 20 years.
  • I want to go to Georgia. The one in the Caucasus.
  • I’d like to reconceptualise the Eurovision song contest. The songs will be submitted as sheet music. The TV programme will consist of a jury looking at the sheets, humming to themselves and arguing amicably about whether certain lines scan and rhyme well. The winner gets a ten-song publishing deal.
  • Book Bond (unlike movie Bond) operates in the 1950s, wearing a fedora and smoking three packets a day. In “Live And Let Die”, he appreciatively rides a late-1930s Cord that would look roughly like this.
  • Bond asks HQ for diving gear. They send it over and helpfully add a box of speed pills. After a week of phys exercise, Bond prepares for his dangerous underwater mission by swallowing speed down with whiskey.
  • Medieval Saxons around the Sea of Azov!
  • Not only does Google Play Books sell ebooks. They also offer ebooks for free. Last night I was going to buy James Branch Cabell’s novel Jurgen, but instead ended up just getting his story collection Chivalry at no cost.
  • Royal Institute of Art has two display spaces in Stockholm, half an hour’s walk apart. Distributes invitation to an exhibition but does not mention any address at all. The fact that we still have artistry in the human gene pool is a really underused argument against evolution.
  • Finally! After the Destruction Phase, Kadzic the Demon Carpenter got stuck in unexpected rewiring for almost a week. But now he’s moved into his Creative Aspect.
  • This guy tries to create a ± symbol by typing + and underlining it. *groan*

Author: Martin R

Dr. Martin Rundkvist is a Swedish archaeologist, journal editor, skeptic, atheist, lefty liberal, bookworm, boardgamer, geocacher and father of two.

70 thoughts on “May Pieces Of My Mind #2”

  1. #50 Indigenous Chinese 李 – in Romanised Cantonese, people usually write it as “Lee” and pronounce it that way when speaking English, but in Cantonese it is actually pronounced as “Lay”. So in Cantonese, Bruce’s screen name would be pronounced Lay Siu (like see-ew) Loong.

    Bruce Lee was not pure Han, his mother was half European.


  2. To further confuse you, the reason that the very common Chinese family name 李 is written as “Lee” in romanised form is that in Mandarin it is pronounced as “Lee”, identically to the English name “Lee”.

    Romanisation of Cantonese has been haphazard. There are at least half a dozen ‘systems’ invented by various language scholars for romanising Cantonese. None of them reproduces Cantonese exactly the way it is spoken.

    To the credit of the Chinese government, they standardised the romanisation of Mandarin (or Putunghua as it is now referred to in China, being the common spoken language of China) as Pinyin.

    If you go to Beijing and other big Chinese cities, you will see road signs and a lot of place names written in both Chinese script and Pinyin. It is very helpful to people visiting China who are not literate in Chinese.

    This is not the case in Hong Kong where, because of its colonial history, street and place names are written in Chinese script and English, and the Chinese might be totally different from the English – or might be a transliteration from English into Chinese.

    So the street “Salisbury Road” is written in Chinese so that in Cantonese it is pronounced “Sa-lee-see-ba-lay-dow.” When of course English people pronounce “Salisbury” as “Sawlsbry”, not “Sal-is-berry”.

    The one that made me laugh out loud when I heard it was the transliteration of the name of the American film actor Charles Bronson – in Cantonese it comes out as “Cha-lay-see-bear-lon-son.”


  3. In Mandarin, John comes out as “Jorng” which means “brick”. My wife’s grandmother was most bemused when I first met her – “What’s his name? Brick? That’s a strange sort of a name to call someone!” To Granny, I was Ah-Jorng (Ah-Brick) ever afterwards.


  4. (OT) Judging by reviews, you can all save money by giving the latest “Terminator” sequel a miss.
    — — — — — —
    I watched the Director’s Cut version of “Alien” this weekend. Was impressed by the acting of a very young Sigourney Weawer.


  5. Sigourney Weaver was brilliant in that. Alien and the sequel Aliens rate as two of my all time favourite movies. The third in the series was taking it one too far, and Sig was getting a bit middle-aged by then. But in the first two films she was one of my favourite film heroines.


  6. Birger @50: As John pointed out, Lee (usually spelled Li in Pinyin, but Bruce started transliterating his name before Pinyin was invented) is a common Chinese surname. It is also a common surname among Koreans (though there is significant overlap in Chinese and Korean surnames, not surprising when you consider the shared border). My impression is that the name is more prevalent among Chinese and Koreans than among the English; Lee and Kim are the two most common Korean surnames. But the name Lee comes up in historical contexts, especially in the US: obviously the Confederate general, but also in the names of several towns, many of which pre-date the US Civil War, including the next municipality over from where I live.

    There are two possible origins for the English name Lee. The more likely is a variant spelling of “lea”, an old word meaning “meadow”. “Lee” is also used in nautical terminology, to refer to the side away from the wind (whence the Leeward Islands in the eastern Caribbean; they are further west than the Windward Islands, at a latitude where prevailing winds are normally from the east).


  7. While we are at it, people can save money by not watching Inherent Vice, Jupiter Ascending, American Sniper, Wild, Salmon Fishing in the Yemen, Seventh Son, Exodus, Her, Birdman, the latest Hunger Games crap, and The Maze Runner.


  8. I had a lot of empathy for the hapless navigator, Lambert (Veronica Cartwright). We cannot all be Beowulf or Siegfrid .


  9. Films I have watched recently which I think are worth a look are Interstellar, The Theory of Everything, Boyhood, Begin Again, The Judge, Trash and Kingsman: The Secret Service.


  10. I forgot to mention Ex Machina. It got a varied critical reception, but I think it’s a very good film.


  11. I’m going to give Project Almanac a miss, on the assumption that it’s drek, which seems likely.

    I’m thinking about Chappie – same director as District 9, so it could have possibilities. It’s one to ignore the critics on – if you liked District 9 like I did, I think there’s a fair chance this could be worth it.


  12. I should say that the only critic I saw who panned Ex Machina was MaryJanice Davidson of USA Today, but I disagree strongly with every single thing that woman has written that I have ever read. I should probably read all of her film reviews and then watch the ones she really doesn’t like. I agree with another critic who called Ex Machina intelligent science fiction.


  13. It’s been many years since I have seen a movie in a theater. The nearest such is at the regional mall, about 20 minutes drive from where I live. There used to be closer places than that, but they all closed in the aughts. And US-style shopping malls are not places I like to visit–sometimes I need to go there to get something, but if I am making a discretionary trip, there are other places I’d rather go.


    1. Our nearest movie theatre is in a converted 1909 factory building next to a little mall. But we usually go into town (Stockholm) for a really big screen or an art-house flick.


  14. I don’t recall the last time I was in a movie theatre. A lot of the movie theatres in Hong Kong have died since people can rent films online to watch at home. There is one big movie theatre in the middle of town that has been frozen mid-construction for at least the last 4 years. It is just sitting there half-built.

    I watch all films on a wide screen at home. I never watch TV except when there is tennis on cable, so I can usually get through one film every night after work. Which means I watch an awful load of rubbish for the occasional gem.

    Wimbledon starts 29 June, so that will put a stop to my compulsive movie watching for a couple of weeks while I’m in compulsive tennis watching mode.


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