random thoughts to oil the mind

Month: April 2008

О ком?

Just a little character development from a recent Russian class:

Лет 30 назад он пользовался уважением, и это несмотря на то, что он был низким и хрупким. Он сверкал харизмой и его глаза светились силой молодости, его ум работал замечательно когда он красноречиво и убедительно представлял свои страсти и мечты: воплощение юношеского идеализма.

Сегодня, та же самая фигура почти вызывает жалость, или даже гнев. Его иссохшое и морщинистое лицо скрывает ум извращенный заблуждениями. Его маленькие, чёрные глаза все ещё искрятся, но и самой малейший проблеск надежды давно уже изчезнул. Тот голос, когда-то сильный и уверенный, сейчас перерывистый и пустой. Тонкие усы, имеющие нездоровое сходство на усы Гитлера, вызывают осмеяние.

Сегодня, Роберт Мугабе стал воплощением пословицы: власть развращает, а абсолютная власть развращает абсолютно.

Words from the Page

Courtesy of Caro, here’s my contributory few lines from The Lives of the Great Composers by Harold C. Schonberg, page 123, three sentences from the fifth one on:

And, indeed, the coda of the first movement, with its slippery, chromatic bass and the awesome moans above it, remains a paralyzing experience. That is the way the world ends. It is absolute music, but it clearly represents struggle, and it is hard to hear so monumentally anguished a cry without reading something into it. The trouble is that face with such music, all of us tend to become sentimentalists, reading into it the wrong message.

So he sums up the Ninth Symphony of that “Revolutionary from Bonn” as the chapter title has it. A pretty decent book on the whole. And yes I realise that was four sentences.

Now the bigger question of who to pass this on to. Let’s see if and how Steffi, Heliologue and Rob respond.

Daily Links

Beethoven’s Symphony No. 3 “Eroica” – A wonderful website devoted to one of the most important pieces in Beethoven’s career, and the history of the symphony. Courtesy of Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony Orchestra, the website also features works by Copland, Tchaikovsky and Stravinsky.

Flash Earth – View the Earth using Google Earth, Microsoft Virtual Earth, Yahoo! Maps and more, and switch between them. The site claims to be experimental and works without official consent, so will not necessarily be around for long.

Tenth Dimension – Confused by string theory? Watch this simple and fascinating video explaining the ten dimensions—but be prepared to have forgotten it all inside of two minutes!

Zamzar – Convert between a good variety of audio, video, image, document and storage file types online for free. This includes videos available on a number of popular websites (e.g. YouTube, Metacafe and the like). The paid for version offers a number of improved features, but even the basic free version allows files of up to 100Mb to be converted, plenty adequate for most file types, though the result is emailed to an address of your choice, which could prove problematic for certain inboxes.

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