Tuesday, 30 October 2018

Politically Incorrect Warning

Breitbart has issued a 'Politically Incorrect Warning' ahead of its main story today which is headlined Trump is Welcome in Tree of Life Synagogue - He is my President - says Rabbi.

In other news Indonesia has told Australia not to move its embassy to Jerusalem.

I mention stories like these to remind myself what kind of world I am living in.

On the domestic front I sometimes wonder why the  Italian TV channels Rai 1, Rai 2, and Rai 3 suddenly vanished from my screen after the new so-called populist Italian government was sworn in, and have not come back.

Q. Who ordered the plug to be pulled?

Of course, I can still watch TV channels in Germany, France, Turkey, Poland, Hungary and the Balkans. And even channels in the US, the U.K, Russia, the Arab world, and China (in English)

So why not Italy and all things Italian?

  Do I need to be a Sherlock Holmes or a Commissar Brunetti to deduce the answer to that one?

  I guess not.


Monday, 29 October 2018

Wien Modern from Örö Island

Thursday 01 November to Friday 30 November

Embedded Remote Security Blog from Örö Island   online at

Pia Palme

with Sound, Text (English/German), Video and Performance.

Öro Island is situated in an historical high security zone in a Finnish archipelago.

Through the highlighted link (above) we may visit Pia Palme in the loneliness and darkness of her frosty fortress.

What music shall we find there?

Sunday, 28 October 2018

John Cage on the Radio

This morning on the radio, to open the 31st Wien Modern there was a live performance by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra  of John Cage's 1952 composition 4'33".

It's about 0˚K. 

I listened to the silence attentively. I imagined irate radio listeners phoning the broadcaster ORF to complain and to ask why there was no music on their radios!

The 31st Wien Modern concerts are at 29 different locations throughout Vienna from today until 30th November.

The theme for 2018 is security (Sicherheit). 

Three or four years ago at Wien Modern I bumped into Accrington's composer Harrison Birtwistle at the Wiener Konzerthaus.   We chatted like old pals until someone arrived to remind him he had some other things to do, like preparing for the evening's performance of his work. I guess that's my Wien Modern highlight (so far).

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

What about the moonquakes?

If you are dreaming of holidaying on the Moon you should note that there were 28 shallow moonquakes measuring 5.5 on the Richter Scale during the five year period when seismographic measurements were taken on the Moon's surface by the Apollo missions.

More about moonquakes and other interesting stuff at http://sciabc.us/Ca5sB

The story so far

Five fragments of the Dead Sea Scrolls displayed in the Washington Museum of the Bible have been removed by the museum authorities.

 Tests on the ink by German scientists proved that the scrolls could not be genuine.

Well I never.

German job portal Adzuna  has published the salaries of 45 world leaders including EU leaders:

Teresa May  - 175,600 €,
Emmanuel Macron - 181,700 €,

Angela Merkel  -  333,500 €

Well I never.

Reporters Without Borders reports 28 professional and non-professional journalists imprisoned in Saudi Arabia (169th on Press Freedom Index).

In some cases the families were not informed about the arrest, detention and legal proceedings until after the prison sentence had been handed down. The person merely disappeared and some months later after the 'trial' it was announced that they had been sentenced.

There's a petition on the Reporters Without Borders website which of course I've signed. Maybe you can too.

That's the story so far.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

Belgian Pavilion in Venice (2018)

Belgium's original pavilion in Venice's Pubblici Giardini was designed by the Belgian architect Leon Sneyers (1877-1949) who was a supporter of the architectural and decorative elements of the Viennese Secession. He was influenced by Josef Hoffmann.

The 'house of art' was officially completed in 1908 and finally completed in 1910 when Sneyers added his 'finishing touches' to the facade.

Changes were made to the pavilion in 1929-1930, 1948 and 1997; the last  by Georges Baines in order to give the building a 'modern appearance'.

Leon Sneyers' work prior to the 'house of art' included the pavilion of The Congo at the 1905 exposition in Liege. The Congo became the Belgian Congo in 1908.

The other day when I visited the pavilion I found that is was adorned with four golden flags on which the sunlight and shadows from the garden played. Each banner was decorated with a ring of twelve black stars.

The EU-blue debating chamber into which I wandered was silent and empty.

There was nothing else to see. There was no book in which to leave a comment.

I retrieved my shoes from the man on the door and quietly left the sanctum.

Friday, 12 October 2018


Memphis is the cheap and cheerful style concocted in Milan and launched on a sofa resembling a boxing ring in 1981 by the Memphis Group.  

Memphis is furniture, glass, ceramic, silver, fabric, carpets and lamps.   

Although not as practical as the Vespa motor scooter or as classy as an Italian shirt it has its devoted fans. 

Memphis collectors include  Karl Lagerfeld and the late David Bowie. 

There's even a Memphis poem which sums it all up to perfection:

She invades the space
Even if she strangely fits in it 
She creates a rumour in your head
A weird sound to your senses 
She is still
She is a question 
She is a plastic movement in the room
Even if she seems dancing around
Invisible branches occupy the air where she breathes
A surprise 
A shock
A provocative painting 
She has an extremely irreverent glance
She cuts history
Even if she is somehow very familiar
Don't touch her
Look at her
Turn off your own colours 
Love her
As a plastic field in the ancient castle
She is Memphis

             -- Beatrice Bonzanigo  IB Studio  Milan

This delightful Exhibition is currently to be seen at Palazzo Franchetti in Venice. 

Monday, 8 October 2018

Today's Best Offers

O Shiva, 
what is your reality? 
What is this universe so full of marvels?
What makes the seed?
What is the hub of the wheel of the universe?
What is this life beyond the form that pervades all forms?
How can we enter fully into it, 
above space and time, 
names and