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June 2005
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August 2005

Sarongs (kain pelikat)

This article on the humble sarong (or kain pelikat if worn by men), standard everyday wear for Southeast Asian islanders (archipelagans?), is great. I’ve been wanting one for ages for the hot and humid Michigan summers, even though you would never have caught me dead in one while growing up in Malaysia. Oh, and someone’s set up a photoblog on kain pelikat.

Listening to Sledgehammer by Peter Gabriel

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Mantequilla XX

Mantequilla XX This may be the first of many. Or not. I’ve picked up and dropped serial entries in blogging, like my coffee phonecam pictures.

Today, the Mantequilla XX, a 6"x54 square-pressed parejo, in a maduro wrapper: picked this up on impulse at the Village Corner. Very well constructed: very even burn, ash holds on nicely. Medium-full bodied, with no harshness. A pleasure to smoke at $2.70.

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Ah, crap

What a way for London to wake up after the good news about winning the bid to host the Olympics in 2012.

Several people have been injured after explosions on the Underground network and a double-decker bus in London.

A police spokesman said there were “quite a large number of casualties” at Aldgate Tube Station.

And Scotland Yard confirmed one of several reports of explosions on buses in the city - in Tavistock Place - but said the cause was not yet known.

Sky News has more. Google’s aggregation.

Listening to But One Day from the album “But One Day” by Ute Lemper

It’s a small world

So, I was Googling for Malaysian cigars, and found this blog by Aizuddin Danian which I had seen before but not read in any depth. I browsed down to this entry, which mentioned an Andrew Welch. Couldn’t be the Andrew Welch of Ambrosia Software, could it? The Ambrosia that has produced some of the classic games for the Mac, and still are. The Ambrosia that is located in Central New York, near my old stomping grounds (well, if not stomping, then heavy-footed walking) of Ithaca? Well, it turns to be so. Here’s a link to a photogallery of his visit to the Arturo Fuente Cigar Factory (in the Dominican Republic?). His main page is a journal of sorts, including postings about visits to Malaysia.

Listening to Tango Ballad from the album “Punishing Kiss” by Ute Lemper

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Klezmer and queer culture

I found an interesting pair of articles on klezmer and queer culture: Freylekhe Felker: Queer Subculture in the Klezmer Revival by Dana Astman, and what I presume to be an editorial response (no author is credited) in the online journal Discourses in Music.

In other news, more on the BBC’s Beethoven festival. They have a RealAudio stream of the ‘Between the Ears’ mix of the 5th Symphony. ‘Between the Ears’ is, I gather, a Radio 3 programme. Here’s a description of the mix (I’m listening to it right now: fascinating).

Listen again to a ‘Between The Ears’ re-working of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. The programme is a digital tapestry of several recorded versions and homages of the classical masterpiece, a living museum of all the recorded versions, including prog rock, easy listening and punk, overlaid and cross-faded in a way that Ludwig almost certainly didn’t intend.

Listening to A Freylekhs Fun Der Khupe/Oriental Melodies from the album “Live! (The Thirteenth Anniversary Album)” by The Klezmer Conservatory Band

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Entering a dark age of innovation?

New Scientist has an article (Entering a dark age of innovation) which reports research by J Huebner at the Naval Air Warfare Center showing that the rate of innovation per capita has been slowing, and that it will reach an inflection point in 2024. A few other notables weigh in on the opposite side, primarily claiming that the metric chosen by is not as significant as it is made out to be.

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