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Messages - HtoHe

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The Coffee Bar / Re: Grumpy Old Rant Room
« on: September 16, 2014, 08:36:30 pm »
Is anyone else listening to Ute Lemper from Edinburgh on R3 now?  I must say I’m very disappointed – she sounds almost like a parody of the UL of 20 years ago.  I confess it is nearly 20 years since I’ve seen her and maybe the years in Chicago and such like have taken their toll but this is painful – especially as it’s the same repertoire  (Weimar Republic stuff) she used to do so well.  She’s screaming half the time and rolling her Rs in an extremely exaggerated way.  She decided to do alternate verses of Surabaya Johnny in English but for some reason still insists on singing Burrrrrma.  Horrible. 

While I’m on a rant, how about the presentation?  The BBC website lists Denn wie man sich bette and Die Morität von Mackie Messe.  Have they cut the last letters from some titles?  Did nobody check?  The RT online is worse with Denn wie man sich bette and Die Moritut von Mackie Messe.  And Jamie Macdougall introduced the concert with references to Die Kanonenlied (not only wrongly named but, iIrc, wrongly said to be the final tune in the Kleine Dreigroschenmusik) and Mackie die Messer.  Who writes this stuff?  No wonder we get a reputation for being contemptuous of other people’s languages if this is what the BBC is putting out these days.

The Concert Hall / Re: Live Concert Thread
« on: September 16, 2014, 12:03:54 pm »
In an email from the South Bank Centre this morning, I read the following:

Think you’ve never heard of Rachmaninoff?
If you’re a fan of classic films, Muse, or even Celine Dion, you may find you know more of Rachmaninoff’s music than you think. Watch this short video to find out where you might have heard his music before.

Good grief.  :facepalm:

What is the Celine Dion, Jim?  If it's All by Myself that's surely a gross injustice to Eric Carmen who, ahem, wrote the song and had a hit with it 20 years before Ms D did.

News and Current Affairs / Re: Will Scots vote to leave the UK?
« on: September 15, 2014, 09:54:21 pm »
However, this is not about the Head.  It's about the Heart.  Salmond has played a blinder on the emotional aspects of being Scottish and in control of your own destiny. 

The Yes campaign has indeed been shamelessly pushing the delusion that being exploited by bosses from your own country is better than being exploited by others.

In contrast, 'Better Together' despite its name has relayed an almost exclusively 'Worse Apart' message

I'm not sure this is quite right.  I've certainly seen lots of stuff about how successful and stable the union has been.  It's certainly true, though, that in recent weeks the No campaign has appeared to go on an almost suicidal spree of panic and patronising in response to what would otherwise almost certainly have been a minor reverse that was only to be expected considering how far ahead the No camp had been.

I wouldn't be surprised if more vote with their heart than their head, and we have the end of the Union

Well, you can still get 3/1 with Ladbrokes.  To be fair, the long odds reflect in part the fact that very large bets were laid on a No result at very short odds a while ago so there is an element of balancing the book here.  However, it would be quite unusual for bookies to offer 3/1 against something they thought had a serious chance in a two runner book no matter how much cash they have washing about.  I had £10 on Yes at 7/2 with Bet Fred on Saturday.  I don't think I'll be collecting but if I do my winnings will cover the extra cost of buying Euros for my holiday when the currency exchanges mark the £ down.

News and Current Affairs / Re: Today's Barking News Story
« on: September 15, 2014, 12:56:22 pm »
I didn't know the legal meaning.

But from the examples given, isn't the object always a person?

I think it should be - at least a person or a corporate entity rather than 'wages' or 'wealth'.  After all, you can't serve an order on something that has no agency like 'wages' or 'assets'.  That's what I meant when I said your distinction was a fine one.  It's strictly valid but most people who know the legal meaning of 'garnish' would understand what was meant by $380 a month garnished from his wages

News and Current Affairs / Re: Today's Barking News Story
« on: September 15, 2014, 11:06:37 am »
Oddest thing about the story for me:

...About $380 a month is garnished from his wages for child support...

I suppose they meant garnered.

Perhaps a bit of a fine distinction, jean.  I think garnishment is the means by which the money is garnered.  I've usually seen the process (by which A, who is owed by B, can intercept goods or funds due from C to B) described as a 'garnishee' order but the OED lists a legal use of the verb 'garnish' with the following definition;

Law. To warn. (Cf. Sc. warnis = warn.)
 9. trans.

 a. To serve notice on (a person), for the purpose of attaching money belonging to a debtor.

1589   Sir T. Smith's Common-welth (rev. ed.) ii. xiv. 76   The sherifes order in seruing this writte, is to the land, and there to garnish the partie by sticking vp a sticke on his land.

1886   Pall Mall Gaz. 13 Nov. 5   It will be a miracle if no one finds out who the trustee is; and as soon as his name is known he will be garnished to a certainty.

So strictly speaking I suppose it is the employer who is garnished as opposed to the money being garnished from wages; but the distinction is a fine one.

News and Current Affairs / Will Scots vote to leave the UK?
« on: September 12, 2014, 05:04:38 pm »
To judge by the news stories you'd think it was too close to call, or even heading towards a 'yes' result, wouldn't you?  But an item on R4's More or Less that essentially said the opinion polls were next-to-useless had me navigating to those models of calculating unsentimentality, Ladbrokes and Paddy Power.  In bookie land it's by no means neck and neck.  Scotland to vote NO to independence is 2/9.  Scotland to vote YES to independence is 10/3

This, of course, means that anyone who truly believes Scotland will be leaving the union might be well-rewarded for putting their money where their mouth is: and anyone who fears the consequences of a divorce can hedge against it. 

Theatre / Re: Sir Donald Sinden; 1924-2014
« on: September 12, 2014, 04:36:38 pm »
Donald Sinden was another who, like Lauren Bacall, had already been around for ages before I was aware of anything.  Indeed, one of the stories about him – that he was one of only two people at Lord Alfred Douglas’s funeral – makes him a link to the deep and distant theatrical past.  I’m pretty sure I never saw him on stage but, like most people in this country, I remember him as a screen presence throughout my life.  R4’s Last Word (repeated Sunday 2000) has tributes from, among others, Dame Judi Dench: and there are several clips of the man himself – including one where, to my great gratification, he refers to Ralph Richardson.  Actually it sounded more like Rolf but it’s good to hear a fruity voice like his that doesn’t pronounce it Rafe!

Thanks as always, Stanley, for the unique personal perspective on a theatrical great.


Another more balanced view, this time from the Radio 4’s Inside Science

with Louhelainen clearly distancing himself from Edwards’s rasher claims (he even uses words like ‘circumstantial’ and flatly concedes that his evidence wouldn’t stand up in a criminal court) while insisting that the findings are still remarkable; and a handy overview of testing procedures from a scientist with, I presume, no axe to grind.  The item concludes ‘we look forward to seeing his data in a scientific journal’.  That would indeed be very interesting.

Theatre / Re: Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
« on: September 11, 2014, 09:09:45 am »
... and Man and Superman with Ralph Fiennes, directed by Simon Godwin, coming up at the same address in February.

I spotted this a while back and it’s certainly on my ‘must see’ list but details are still in short supply - I haven't seen mention of any cast members apart from Fiennes.  It’s not on the NT’s calendar yet but the good news is that it’s in the Lyttelton so early risers like me should be able to secure front row day seats (as opposed to the rather distant back row upstairs at the Olivier).  I’ve also seen no mention of which version is being done though the signs are good that the ‘Don Juan in Hell’ scene will be included: Fiennes did a Radio 3 production with the scene left in about 20 years ago; and if anyone has the resources to put on a 4 hours+ production it’s the NT.  I’ve never seen an uncut production of the play so I’m hoping the scene is included.

Theatre / Re: Royal Academy of Dramatic Art
« on: September 09, 2014, 09:11:10 pm »
Thanks for this note, Stanley.  RADA can be quite frustrating in that they often seem to run three productions at the same time for a short run (10 days or so) meaning that if I don't happen to be in town at exactly the right time I have no chance of seeing any of them.  I'd love to see Mrs Warren's Profession (Shaw is not in vogue these days, is he, though the NT's recent The Doctor's Dilemma was well received) but I'm out of the country for most of the time it's on.  The impressive students of MMU, by contrast, tend to have much longer seasons (a couple of months) with the productions  better spaced even if there are fewer actual performances of each piece:

Indeed, Selva.  Ian Steadman makes, inter alia, exactly the same point I made earlier ‘even if the DNA matches are correct, the very best this proves is that at some point Kosminski and Eddowes were in the presence of the same piece of fabric’ How unlike the Daily Wail to publish a story and claim a significance for it that goes way beyond the actual facts! It still seems to me that if Louhelainen could be persuaded to publish his work and appropriate people could be bothered to review it and they confirmed that dna compatible with Eddowes and Kosminski was present it would be quite remarkable.  It wouldn’t prove anyone’s guilt ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ but it would be qualitatively superior to any evidence I can remember reading in books advancing other theories.  The very least we could say is that it would be an extraordinary coincidence for traces of a known victim and a possible suspect* to turn up on the same piece of fabric.  It sure as hell beats analysing the handwriting on hoax letters, finding hidden meanings in paintings or interpreting enigmatic comments into a cocked hat!

*I say possible suspect because it’s by no means certain that the Kosminski mentioned in various police notes and the one who died in Leavesden were the same person.

I have to say that the journalese of the Mail makes its account hard to swallow

I wasn't going to mention it but, since you have done so, I have to agree that the writing style is painfully bad.

but DNA is DNA

Is it?  It seems there are several different kinds of dna for a start; and determining the relative merits of each is a task more suited to the skills of Dr Schön Oscura than me.  Even if we knew beyond reasonable doubt that the blood on the shawl was from Eddowes and the, ahem, other stuff was from Kosminsky that’s still very circumstantial.  All it tells us for certain is that a piece of cloth that had once been in contact with him was present when she was killed; and there could be any number of innocent explanations for that.  He could, for example, have given it to her as part of their transaction and she taken it away and been killed by someone else.  I wonder if there’s a bit of Liz Stride’s dna on the shawl, too.  That would be a distinct possibility since the maniac is almost universally supposed to have killed both women on the same night.  Still, for all that the evidence of the shawl is inconclusive, the test is, if accurate, an amazing piece of work.  The thing that worries me now is that Dan Brown might start tracing descendants of Mary Magdalen and demand that tests be run on the Turin shroud.

There was an author called Stephen Knight iirc who claimed to have unmasked the truth in the 70s  and was found dramatically dead a few days later.

Not strictly true, marbs.  Knight's book Jack the Ripper: The Final Solution was, as you say,  published in the 1970s.  Despite its almost unforgivably awful title it was a rollicking good read but hardly convincing in any objective way. His idea was that Gull, Sickert and a coach driver called Netley, all Freemasons, did the murders to cover up indiscretions, including a secret marriage to a Roman Catholic commoner, by Prince Eddy.  IIrc the sheer preposterousness of the theory was explained away by the idea that the conspirators were being deliberately outrageous to send a message to anyone who considered crossing them.  As I said, a rollicking good read; but regarded as pure hokum for some time since.  Knight's death came a decade or so later just after the publication of his more direct attack on the Freemasons, The Brotherhood.  You can read into that whatever you like!

...W Sickert, the Freemasons etc, etc….

It looks like Jack the Ripper might finally have been identified.

I presume this ‘evidence’ hasn’t been peer-reviewed or even properly questioned yet; but it shows all the boring signs of being reliable.  The culprit, as some of the more level-headed Ripperologists always expected, turns out to be about as unromantic and non-conspiratorial as they come.  He was also named on Melville MacNaghten’s shortlist of three as early as 1894 – though MacNaghten ostensibly favoured Druitt.  Of course, even if this is accepted as the long-sought answer, the Ripper industry is too lucrative to close down just yet.  Expect lots of stuff on ‘did Kosminsky operate alone’; ‘was he a tool of the Establishment’ etc

News and Current Affairs / Re: Today's Barking News Story
« on: September 06, 2014, 07:23:59 pm »
I haven’t seen a more barking story than this one for a while.

Simple arithmetic seems to tell us that at the time this child was conceived the father was too young to consent to sex.  Yet, if I understood the story properly, the boy should have known that he needed to file a statutory rape complaint if he wanted to avoid being held responsible, years later, for the maintenance of a child whose existence was unknown to him.   This kind of thing is, apparently, rare but the Arizona case is not the only one.  Perhaps the most barking aspect of the whole thing is that the pursuit of statutory rape victims for maintenance is justified on the grounds that ‘assuring support for the child is the main priority’ – but obviously not a high enough priority for the state to bear the cost.

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