Posted in April 2013

On Looking and Seeing

An exhibition of Greek sculpture in Doha has led to the Greek authorities withdrawing two statues of male nudes. The Qatari authorities wanted to cover the interesting bits to avoid offending women,but the Greeks insisted they be displayed in full. This raises two big questions for me. The Qataris were acting to prevent offence – … Continue reading

Physics is Everywhere

Physics was one of my favourite subjects at secondary school, partly because it involved playing with lots of toys. and as any physicicist will tell you, it is everywhere. Here is a research project from Cornell University which must have been hell to research – attending lots of concerts. Here is their physics of the … Continue reading

Oxford Goes Middle Eastern

Here’s another great re-interpretation of a famous song. I am not a huge fan of Radiohead, but am always interested in how people deal wiht famous songs. I have no idea what is going on with the hose and cart – budget limitations? This is Radiohead’s hit Karma Police performed on the streetsby Tel Aviv … Continue reading

March of the Bees

Britain is still opposing a ban on nicotinamide pesticides on the grounds that there is not sufficient evidence that they harm bees. Bulgaria was the only other country to take this stand, until a recent march of beekeepers made them change their minds. Tomorrow London will see a march of the beekepers and supporters who … Continue reading

Still Waiting for the Invitation

When we look at art, we are generally trying to see what the artist has produced, but we should also be looking at the space around it, at what has not been included. This is a clip from 1967, The Bar Keys doing an instrumental called Soulfinger. It’s a great piece of music and performance, … Continue reading

The Eagles Are Back

A documentary is about to come out on this supergroup whose Greatest Hits album is the biggest selling album of all time in the States, and that came out before their monster Hotel California, which would have boosted sales even beyond the 26 million mark. Despite having split up for 14 years from 1980-94, their … Continue reading

BBC Censors Itself

Back when the Gulf War was on, BBC radio had a list of songs that could not be played for fear of causing offence. Off the top of my head, I recall this list including Joan Baez’s ‘The Night they Drove Old Dixie Down’, and the more obviously risky The clash with ‘Rocking the Casbah.’ … Continue reading

Louis CK Shorts

I have heard a lot of great stuff about this US comic, and he is brilliant in the series ‘Parks and Recreation’. Here are some early films by and starring him. They have been compared with Kevin Smith’s Clerks, but they are more like the early works of Jim Jarmusch and the Finnish aki Kaurismaki. … Continue reading

Women of Tyre

Here’s a final piece from Charles Glass’s ‘Tribes with Flags’, here on female modesty in public. “We had stayed at the worst hotel in Lebanon, the only beach-front hotel in the world without a single window facing the sea. Much of the old laisser-faire ambience of Tyre, with its mixed Shiite, christian and Palestinian population, … Continue reading