Friday, November 30, 2018

A little Josquin, with lute

Here.  And especially here.  More from this duo.

UPDATE: an episode of [me:mo] with the lutenist, Bor Zuljan.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

A Fight Over Credentials

A very interesting article from Chris Bray.

Ricky Jay

Ricky Jay has died. He was a miraculous card magician. An example.
There is a movie about him which is worth seeing, Deceptive Practice.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Predatory Journals - Whistleblower Punished

This is an example of a Canadian university punishing a professor for talking about the use of predatory journals to boost resumes, tenure, and salaries.

New frontiers in stupid

Hollywood blazes the trail.

If cash is proof of coercion then wages are proof of slavery. We must end this slavery! Criminalize paying wages, with jail time.  Hire a clerk, 5 years; leave a tip, 3 years.  Hard time you bastards. 

More here.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Res Ipso Loquitur

Hive mind

An effective montage from Ali Alexander. Context.

Asia Bibi

Trudeau announced with a flourish that Canada was in talks with Pakistan to offer asylum to Asia Bibi. Excellent, if he means it. That was two weeks ago today. I have seen nothing since.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Playing Dumb, Rake Edition

One of the most striking things about modern America: playing dumb to look smart. We see it all the time.  Acosta didn’t “lay hands” on her! It was one hand! He didn’t lay it!  

There was an interesting example at Mizzou. A protester pushing someone but saying “I'm just walking ahead here. Don’t I have the right to walk ahead?” Playing dumb. 

I think the logic is: see my mastery with words, applaud my control of narrative. It seems like an outgrowth of the “There is no truth only competing narratives “ nonsense. 

Althouse on the rake. Great tag line.

Believe Victims, 25th Anniversary Edition

Gail Harriot notes it's the anniversary of the end of a case from the satanic child abuse mania.

I recommend Julia Shaw's recent book on memory, The Memory Illusion.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Beethoven Cheap

Some cheap digital downloads are to had at the US Amazon site. They are from a company Musical Concepts. They own alto, and the Vanguard and Vox catalogs.

Beethoven 9 Symphonies London Symphony Orchestra, Wyn Morris. 99 cents! This is an 80s digital cycle, and very good it is too. Very good indeed.

Beethoven Complete String Quartets, Colorado String Quartet. 99 cents. Also a digital set, from Koch I believe, and good.

Beethoven Complete Piano Sonatas Robert Taub, 99 cents. The digital cycle that appeared on Vox in the 90s, one of the last original Vox recordings.

The Big Beethoven Piano Box has Bruce Hungerford's incomplete sonata set and Peter Serkin's Diabellis. 99 cents!

I also recommend looking at the Big Music Box series from the Bach Guild (owned by Musical concepts), especially the Big Chamber Music Box vol iii. 99 cents! There are a few other sets too, for 99 cents
Rachmaninov, Complete orchestral Music, Pavel Kogan
Tchaikovsky, Symphonies, Rozhdestvensky
Great Russian String Quartets, on the alto label

Amazon has a series with dreadful covers, Rise of the Masters. They are $2.19 each. Most are filled with BIS recordings. Superb bargains most of them. Listen to the Stabat Mater in the Vivaldi! Incredible. The Handel box has the Suzuki Messiah. For two bucks!

More fake news

This really is fake news, because its intent is to misinform not to inform. You don’t need actual falsehoods to be fake news. If you report on the Lincolns' night at at Ford's theater, and discuss only the play, and conclude that Mrs Lincoln did not seem happy, but the president made no comments, that's fake news too.

Shamelessly stolen graphics

All from Powerline.

Jordan Hunt Tweets

An update on the man who kicked a standing woman in the shoulder, yes shoulder, almost her head, for disagreeing with his politics. I linked the video earlier. This article includes some of his tweets.

He claims now that he was aiming at the camera. But one tweet boasts he “kicked some sense into her.” That sounds like he was aiming for her, possibly her head.

Friday, November 16, 2018

CNBC lies about Acosta

Video footage of the event does not show Acosta putting his hands on the woman, who had walked up to him and reached across his torso to grab the microphone.

This is a flat out lie. I linked the video earlier.

A perfect example of fake news, and the press covering for one of its own. Is this a press conspiracy to re-elect Trump?

Why won’t CNN, or CNBC, ask the intern what happened?

Social media mob burns two alive


This isn’t really new of course.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Cop panics, unarmed man charged

A lot of Americans feel that the government is working against them. Here is a stark example of why. A cop panics and fires his gun (then calls for backup: “Shots fired!”). He is eventually, temporarily, disarmed by another officer. Who is charged here, and with what? The man lying unarmed on the ground is charged, with upsetting the cop. The video is about 10 minutes long. Here.

As an aside, a win for body cameras. That was part of my 2016 platform.

UPDATE 16 Nov: Mullinax was acquitted by a jury yesterday.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018


Mother Jones agrees with Trump on forest fires. This isn’t new. I was taught this in grade school. When I spent part of a summer fighting a forest fire for the Ontario government we knew this. Jerry Brown did not.

Ocasio-Cortez is right about Amazon. Trump should agree, this is pure swamp, and in this case Democrat swamp, but I don’t know that he does. It's a rotten system.

Monday, November 12, 2018

The Chansonnier Cordiforme

is a 15th century songbook. It is about 6 inches tall.   Example. Another.

Changing direction, here is an interesting site for all things lute.
And a nice piece for lute from the Gottweig manuscript.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

Friday, November 9, 2018

Still more Koehne, Eisenga, Melnyk

Song of the Open Road by Graeme Koehne

Sunset by Graeme Koehne

The Writers Dance by Douwe Eisenga

Bliss by Douwe Eisenga

Illorium 3 by Lubomyr Melnyk

No Robert Moran tonight!

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Fakest news yet

In the video you can see Acosta's hand come down. You can see her react to his resistance. You can hear him say to her “Excuse me” while he keeps the microphone. His tone does not express solicitude. Her balance is affected. The video is very clear: it happened.

CNN denies it happened.

This is surely the fakest new yet. CNN even provides a link — which shows the interaction. But notice that the video CNN puts up looks like it isn’t from quite the same angle as the one I linked above, which shows things very clearly. You can see his hands better in the video than in the CNN link. My link above seems higher resolution video too. Funny that.


Acosta: “I didn’t put my hands on her or touch her as they are alleging.” Here. That's a lie.

So, this is CNN straight up lying. Challenge to CNN: interview the intern.
Acosta is also straight up lying. Challenge to Acosta: interview the intern.

UPDATE: A good take from the BBC. ‘Mistouch’ is a cute euphemism; but wasn’t that part of the rudeness? Trump called him rude after the interaction with the intern.

How could there be a mistouch if there was no touch?

UPDATE: Jerry Coyne is spreading the idea that the tape was faked!
Apparently the video showing Acosta touching the aide was DOCTORED by the White House to make it look as if he gave the woman a hand chop. 
I know Coyne is often, well, uncareful with facts but this is pretty funny. There's a Reuters watermark in the video; maybe Reuters done it! Buffoon.

More on this doctoring charge. Buzzfeed explains. I knew all this, so surely people at CNN do. Watch the real video.

Hilarious. CNN shows video but cuts it off just before the contact!

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Glass Harp

Glass, for harp.

Vine, for strings. This one is a bit slow to get going, but then it really takes off.

Middling awful, the Joy Reid edition

I missed this earlier. Joy Reid sued for defamation. How awful is this behavior by Reid really? I think it’s pretty awful. People get fired over tweet storms like this. It’s reckless for a person who works in news, who has such a big platform because of it, to spread such stuff, seemingly with her endorsement too. I don’t see deliberate malice here, but I do see a reckless disregard. This is just part of the casual awfulness of the political class.

The Scarlet Letter

A for Abstention

Monday, November 5, 2018

Choices, choices

Prediction:  Senate 53 or 54 Republicans, and the House within 6 seats either way.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Some recent reads

Mostly mysteries as I binged this summer.

Bart Ehrman, The Triumph Of Christianity
Ehrman is always worth reading. I found this a bit less interesting than his others, but I have read a few books on this topic.

Cornell Woolrich, The Bride Wore Black
Frankly a disappointment. I preferred the movie, and the other book of his I have read, I Married a Dead Man.

William DeAndrea Killed on the Rocks
A fun impossible crime novel from the 80s. The solution is simple but the book is engaging, so I have another of his in queue.

The Book Of Why, Judea Pearl. Causality and statistics. I need to reread this, and one of his texts. But I think this is most likely going to be book of the year.

Megan Abbott, Die a Little
A letdown after Queenpin.

Martin Edwards, Gallows Court
A modern writer channels his inner Edgar Wallace. Think Fantomas as well. A lot of fun.

Harriet Rutland, Bleeding Hooks
A long out of print mystery from the Golden Age. Not difficult but a really pleasant read.

Richard Stark, The Black Ice Score
One of the weaker Parkers but still readable. Those new to Parker should read the Sour Lemon Score, Deadly Edge, or the Rare Coin Score.

John Russell Fearn, Except For One Thing
An inverted Colombo style mystery from 1947. A decent book.

Dan Jones, The Templars.
A history. A bit too detailed in places but Jones is always good at context and narrative.

Alice Arisugawa, The Moai Island Puzzle
A recent Japanese Puzzle mystery written as an explicit homage to Ellery Queen. Most mystery bloggers really liked this, but I wasn’t wild about it.

S Shimada, The Tokyo Zodiac Murders
Another modern Japanese Puzzle mystery, but this one is brilliant.

John Dickson Carr, The Man Who Could Not Shudder
The best Carrs are excellent. This is dreadful.

John Dickson Carr, The Case of the Constant Suicides
A reread. One of Carr's best books. Suicides in a tower, or were they?

John Dickson Carr, The Crooked Hinge
Another seemingly impossible crime. This is one of Carr's most audacious puzzles, and opinion is split. I liked it, and it fooled me completely.

Richard Hull, Murder Isn’t Easy
A very clever if not very difficult murder mystery. Not as good as his Murder of my Aunt, but quite good nonetheless.

Freeman Wills Crofts, Mystery in the Channel
A solid example of the dogged investigator murder mystery. Excellent use and evocation of 5he setting, and decent enough as a mystery. I have another couple on tap before I decide on Crofts.

John Rhode, Death in the Tunnel
Another dogged investigator from the 20s. Dogged. Dogged, very dogged. I have another Rhode in queue, but won’t be getting to it for a while.

Dashiell Hammett, Red Harvest
Fifth time for this. A masterpiece.

Dashiell Hammett, The Dain Curse
Second time for this, Hammett's weakest novel. Still worth reading but only after all the others, and some of the stories.

Agatha Christie, Murder on the Orient Express
Second time reading this. Lots of fun. It holds up, though of course no longer puzzles or surprises.

Ellery Queen The Greek Coffin Mystery
I loved this 40 years ago. It did not hold up to a rereading. Not remotely.

S Kolhatkar, Black Edge
A page turner about a real insider trading case. Recommended.

Ryan Holiday, Conpiracy
About Peter Thiel taking down Gawker. Too much extraneous stuff from Holiday. Fascinating article stretched into a book.

Maurice Druon, The Accursed Kings
A series of six historical novels about the fall of the house of Capet. Immensely fun page turners.

Adam Hochschild, Bury the Chains
A history of the British anti slavery movement. A good book but: too many asides, too much on rebellions in French territory, too much of Hochschild telling one what to think. It would have been better at 2/3 the length.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Tom Holland on the Origins of Islam

A good hour long talk.

This is pretty mainstream stuff nowadays amongst serious historians, as far as I can tell. The case for a more northerly origin of the Koran has been building since the 70s, and the case for a late Koran eroding.

A few minutes more.

More “not the mob” I guess


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Josquin's Lament

For Ockeghem.

Ockehgem's lament for Binchois. Schmelzer is rather controversial. I thought his Machaut a bit crazed but I do like this.

Binchois just plain lamenting. Also Schmelzer. Beautiful for sure but to me this one is less convincing. It sounds too modern, and a bit prettified.  So here a 13th century chanson I find just right.

One for the road.

UPDATE: I am not a musician, so struggle to explain what bothers me about Schmelzer. It sounds too modern somehow, too granola. Anyway here is an interesting analysis.
Their Josquin works well I think, especially the start.

So for comparison, Dominique Visse's group here. I think this has a strangeness that it should have.  I have heard this group perform this live, so might be prejudiced.

I suppose the reference recording is the Hilliard Ensemble.

The Orlando Consort is also splendid.

The King's Singers take a more stately approach.