Lauded languages

bart guitar
I was recently demonstrating some electric guitar when I was giving a workshop on Latin music, and as I put a Santana backing track on and turned on the distortion, straight away people were almost open mouthed, like ” Wow, is that really coming out of that guitar, it’s like magic…” Ok my playing is skilful enough but it’s just a language like anything we learn over years… just like subtleties we learn when we speak over a period of years, all the sounds we hear, the phrases, the responses, the emotional reaction, so many things link in together – and we take it for granted – but this language and communication we all learn is as intense and amazing as anyone playing guitar.

Closed-mindedness of Anglophone culture

Obituaries like these, useful as they are, show how Anglo-American centric we are here in the UK… considering we’re in the continent of Europe (regardless of EU membership or exit) you would think that from this obituary, no famous French, Italian, German or Spanish person died apart from the odd chef who might have been known simply because they cooked here.
This is down to the complacency of anglophone culture… i.e. what’s the point of learning about people who speak other languages. And I stress, this is not a Brexit issue, there are plenty of ignorant closed minded people on both sides…

New pedestrian / pelican crossings… evolution?

20181229_152239
In the past few years there’s been an ingenious new pedestrian crossing system implemented in many parts of the UK. Each new installation must cost tens of 1000s of pounds. In previous decades we could use these pelican crossings by pressing a button and looking across the road, waiting until we see the green man. Now with this new system, we look across the road and see… nothing! As I said, the system is ingenious!

The temptation (or necessity) to share oneself

validated
No I don’t mean literally share yourself, I mean share links to do with yourself.
We really as artists can’t help sharing info, links, videos and reviews about ourselves… because really, in this net saturated world, who else is going to share the info? And even if big magazines have written the article, the irony is we still have to share the link to the article because otherwise, the fans will have probably missed it!

Jamal Khashoggi

The terrible fate of Jamal Khashoggi (1958-2018) has been widely discussed in the past month. He was obviously a journalist who challenged the Saudi establishment. Reading about his close family members though, it’s a bit unclear exactly how he was related to certain people.

One fact widely reported is that he is first cousin of Dodi Fayed (1955-1997) and nephew of billionaire arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi (1935-2017). There are other reports that Jamal was a cousin of Adnan.

What seems clear is that his parents were Ahmad Khashoggi (owner of a fabric shop, as reported by The Guardian on 19th Oct) and Esaaf Daftar.

It’s reported that his grandfather was prominent doctor Muhammad Khashoggi, but the confusing thing is that when you look at the list of Muhammad’s children, they are Adnan Khashoggi, Samira Khashoggi (1935-1986, briefly married to Mohamed Al-Fayed), Essam Khashoggi, Adil Khashoggi, Assia Khashoggi, and Soheir Khashoggi. This list does not contain Jamal’s father Ahmad, so it’s unclear how his close family fits into Muhammad’s family.

FUZE basic code!

With my constantly fluctuating teaching career, the latest thing I’ve got involved in is BASIC coding with kids. When I first looked at the code yesterday it threw me back to more than 30 years ago when I had a ZX Spectrum and wrote eccentric programs like how to make past participles when you input French infinitive verbs.

It’s great that kids are now being encouraged again to be creative and not just be “users”.

Here is the FUZE basic code I helped the school kids with yesterday:

SCORE = 0
CLS
FONTSIZE( 3 )
INK = YELLOW
PRINT “Welcome to the quiz – I am your host, THE FUZE. ”
PRINT ” ”
WAIT( 1 )
PRINT “These questions are TRUE or FALSE answers. ”
WAIT( 1 )
CLS
INPUT “Question 1. PIKACHU is an Electric type Pokemon,
TRUE or FALSE? “, answer$
PRINT ” ”
WAIT( 1 )
IF answer$ = “TRUE” THEN
PRINT “CORRECT! PIKACHU is an Electric type! ”
SCORE = SCORE + 1
ENDIF
IF answer$ = “FALSE” THEN
PRINT “INCORRECT! Better luck next time! ”
ENDIF
CLS
WAIT ( 1 )
PRINT “Let’s see how well you did. “
PRINT “ “
WAIT ( 1 )
PRINT “You scored “; SCORE ;” out of 1. “
PRINT “ “
WAIT ( 1 )
IF SCORE = 1 THEN
INK = GREEN
PRINT “Well done! Full marks! “
ENDIF
IF SCORE = 0 THEN
INK = RED
PRINT “0 Marks! Better luck next time!
ENDIF
END