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Messages - Jim Penn

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The Coffee Bar / Re: The Waffle Thread
« on: January 30, 2015, 11:16:40 pm »
Apropos of absolutely nothing, I found myself wondering, on my commute home last night, what the oldest literary work still in copyright is (working on the UK term of life + 70 years).

A bit of far from exhaustive research this afternoon suggests "The Chronicle of Clemendy" (1888) by the Welsh novelist Arthur Machen (d.1947).

As you were...

George Bernard Shaw, d.1950 - four novels written between 1880 and 1883 all published before the Arthur Machen novel I cited previously, plus one novel, Immaturity, written in 1879, finally published in 1930. Also, a one-act play, Une Petite Drame, written 1884...

The Coffee Bar / Re: The Waffle Thread
« on: January 30, 2015, 01:40:50 pm »
Jim, your waffle game is world class.

It made me think about the same question regarding musical works... Richard Strauss's (d.1949) earliest surviving composition is a "Schneider Polka" op.1 written in 1870 when he was six years old. I don't imagine there's much point in looking further than this!

I think we should get back to work now though.

FTW, as the kids say... :)

The Coffee Bar / Re: The Waffle Thread
« on: January 29, 2015, 05:36:30 pm »
Apropos of absolutely nothing, I found myself wondering, on my commute home last night, what the oldest literary work still in copyright is (working on the UK term of life + 70 years).

A bit of far from exhaustive research this afternoon suggests "The Chronicle of Clemendy" (1888) by the Welsh novelist Arthur Machen (d.1947).

As you were...

The Coffee Bar / Re: The new pedantry thread
« on: January 27, 2015, 02:04:44 pm »
Spotted a poster on my commute this morning, advertising an anti common cold tincture of some description (called Sambucol, and I couldn't help feeling that sambuca would probably be just as effective)...

But it wasn't the name that bothered me. It was the adjective they used to describe the virus; airbourne (sic).  :facepalm: :facepalm: :facepalm:

The Coffee Bar / Re: What has made you smile today?
« on: January 27, 2015, 12:26:37 pm »
A couple of things so far today...

1: On the tube this morning, I saw a woman spend 15 minutes meticulously applying her make-up. And when she'd finished, she took out a Pret-a-Mangy tub of porridge; opened the lid, put her tea-spoon into the porridge, pulled out a massively heaped spoonful which then somehow missed the totality of her gaping mouth, sending half of the spoonful of porridge down her chin. Obviously she wiped it off with a tissue, but it left a white streak where her fresh (and clearly not yet dry!) make-up had been a few seconds earlier. At least the porridge on her chin was easily disposed off - it looked like the bits that missed her chin and ended up in her scarf might no be so easily remedied!

2: Just overheard a chap in the work canteen in the midst of an angry phone call to his optician. He hadn't had glasses for a long time, so apparently, when he'd been offered varifocals, he didn't know what he'd been asked, and it turns out he couldn't stand them now he'd got them. I wondered why he'd agreed to purchasing varifocals if he didn't know what they were, and besides, surely the word isn't that hard a word from which to tease some kind of meaning?!  :facepalm:

Television / Re: SHOAH/BBC 4
« on: January 20, 2015, 11:36:22 pm »
30 years on from its release (28 since the Channel 4 broadcast) it is good, if harrowing, to see it back on television.

It was on More4 a few years ago, where they took the radical decision to schedule it as a single overnight transmission from 7 p.m. I started watching it, but gave up at the second ad break barely 35 minutes in :facepalm:.

Broadcast and Recorded Music / Re: Your latest purchase?
« on: January 19, 2015, 09:27:58 am »
Not so much purchases as gifts, but finally caught up with my side of the family for a belated Christmas gathering on Saturday, whereupon I received some CDs...

"Donaueschinger Musiktage 2011" (I see Mr Sudden's listed amongst the performance personnel on a few of the pieces :) ), and Jean Prodromides' opera "Goya".

The Donaueschinger set will be a couple of days in the listening, I think, but I've had a first cursory listen to the Prodromides as my morning commute soundtrack this morning. I'd never heard of Prodromides till a couple of months ago, until a chance viewing of a Sky Arts documentary on the history of classical music TV broadcasting featured an extract of his "Les Perses" (an opera/oratorio sort of thing based on Aeschylus, and apparently the first thing broadcast in stereo on French TV, in 1969, I think). Enjoyed what I heard, looked for some recordings, but "Goya" is the only thing I could spot that was easily purchasable. And having a listen this morning, it's not bad (it's not going to change my world, but it's enjoyable enough in a sort of sub-Messiaen sort of way).

The Coffee Bar / Re: The Minor Moan thread
« on: January 18, 2015, 07:26:19 pm »
Seen a few friends on Facebook and email in the last couple of weeks describing themselves as having "bronchitis" when really they mean they've got a chest infection. In much the same way that people describe a bad cold as "flu", describing a chest infection as "bronchitis" really gets my goat. Eleven years ago, I *did* have bronchitis; I was off work for three months, and it took another two or three months after that to be functioning remotely normally, so this current bout of SMEDS (Social Media Exaggerated Disease Syndrome) is properly annoying...

The Coffee Bar / Re: CAPTIONS!
« on: January 17, 2015, 09:19:47 pm »

Television / Re: Hitchcock - & Co!
« on: January 16, 2015, 12:29:28 pm »
Stanley, each of the two parts is itself divided into two, so in essence there are four sections, so even if one were truly minded to watch it in a single day, there are enough points of respite along the way! I've seen it three times previously, and I've never been tempted to watch it any other way than the single day session, and that's what I shall do when the blu-rays arrive.

Though I'm more interested at the moment in seeing the other films in the set, not least "The Karski Report", an expansion of the Jan Karski interview from the second half of part two of "Shoah", which I've always found the most arresting material in the film.

Television / Re: Hitchcock - & Co!
« on: January 15, 2015, 01:13:39 pm »
Yes, very keen to see this Stanley (and only a couple of days before the expected receipt of a soon-to-be released blu-ray boxed set of Claude Lanzmann's "Shoah" and four more of his holocaust documentaries).

Television / Re: Hitchcock - & Co!
« on: January 02, 2015, 12:45:07 pm »
I don't know why I haven't mentioned it on this forum (I suspect I was already annoying sufficient people on a weekly basis on Facebook without wishing to incur the wrath of the R3OK membership :) ), but throughout 2014 I was undertaking a project to view Alfred Hitchcock's complete* films - there are 52, which is a mightily convenient number for a year-long project...! And an enormous lot of fun it was too. I didn't watch in chronological order, I randomised the list at the start of the year and stuck to that, starting with (coincidentally enough) his first film "The Pleasure Garden" and finishing just three days ago with "Psycho"; the random order kept things interesting (plus it meant that the 18 I hadn't previously seen weren't all grouped together in the first few of months of the year), and threw up some fascinating links that might not have been so apparent otherwise.

*when I say "complete", that's a slight stretch. Obviously I didn't watch his second film, "The Mountain Eagle", as it's a lost film. And I didn't watch "Mary", which is simply a German-language version of Hitchcock's "Murder", which he filmed simultaneously on the same sets with a German cast. But the shot set ups and editorial scheme are supposedly identical, so I don't think it's really worth seeking out.

The Coffee Bar / Re: Have Yourself a R3OK Little Christmas!
« on: December 29, 2014, 11:55:35 am »
Enjoyed "That Day We Sang" - with its narrative based around older musical performers reuniting to examine their younger selves, with scenes where the old and young interract with each other across the temporal distance, and with some things enacted as fantasy sequences, it all rather felt like it could quite easily be called "Manchester Follies"!

I did think there were elements being stretched out a little too much (as if it needed to hit 90 minutes to earn a certain prestige that they felt might not have been earned at 70 minutes), and there were a couple of elements in the narrative that were a little too contrived (SPOILER - particularly the too convenient reappearance of the now elderly music teacher). But Ball and Staunton were terrific, and the dialogue was as lovely as one would expect of Victoria Wood; though I'm not convinced that she's got much to offer as a director, yet.

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