The samplers… and the originators.

blog samplers originators
This week I taught some children about sampling, how artists have taken parts of songs from the past and created new songs from them, often very successful ones!
Have a listen to songs a) James Brown – The Payback; b) David McCallum – The Edge; c) Andrew Oldham Orchestra – The Last Time (arrangement of a Rolling Stones song); d) The Chi-Lites – Are You My Woman? … Have a think if you’d already heard some of these in other famous songs…

Now let’s listen one by one to these songs: 1) Beyonce – Crazy in Love; 2) Massive Attack – Protection; 3) The Verve – Bitter Sweet Symphony; 4) Dr Dre (featuring Snoop Dogg) – The Next Episode

Which songs sampled from the songs a) b) c) d) ? I’m sure you’ll work it out, not too difficult!

If you want to try an extra one, here is an original track by Isaac Hayes. Two 1990s Trip Hop artists sampled it in their hits… who?

Mainstream governments accused of antisemitism and islamophobia

If you compare antisemitism and Islamophobia in top level society and media, it seems to me that the main difference is that the brunt of the criticism from islamophobes is towards poor immigrants from Syria, or sympathisers to terrorism. The main focus for the accused antisemites is the Israeli state. Im not talking about the extreme far right groups who may have antisemitic views- but incidentally most of these groups across Europe now are focussing their hate on muslims. Tommy Robinson for example officially supports Israel now. I guess this is mainly a political decision to get on the side of the Trump supporters, Alex Jones etc online.

Question Time from Tottenham, 20th June 2019

question time tottenham
Great Question Time this week in Tottenham, north London. Some audience members raised great issues and really showed how listening to passion and real life experience are very important factors when you want to learn about resolving problems in the UK or any country). That part of London has always had a bad problem with knife crime, (in the last 20 years anyway) so it was a natural venue for a rightful verbal attack on complacent politicians – it just happened to be the ones on the panel but I’m sure whoever was on there would have got an earful!

Here I go, more pointless consumerism. ..

I didn’t really need a new phone apart from the screen being cracked which I’ve grown used to since last September. But the phone company gave me a call a couple of days ago, saying I’m already due a new phone – the two years with my current phone seem to have flown by. I pay a couple more quid for a few more minutes and download limit, and hey presto, I have a new gadget – I’m sure I’ll appreciate the minor improvements on this model – but really, I DON’T NEED IT!

“I need to find a way of slagging someone off without offending a group of people”

The above must be a thought process people in the public eye such as politicians or media personalities go through, when they want to be dismissive but not prejudiced.

Let’s look at a few “neutral” words people use to slag someone off:

Hooligan – a rowdy Irish family mentioned in a song of the 1890s.

Charlatan – someone who deceives you, pretending that they have great knowledge about something, concealing their inferior knowledge, lack of mastery. Also meaning “quack”, a person selling dodgy medicine – charlatan comes from the French or Spanish word with the same spelling and etymologically comes from Italian ciarlare (to chatter) or Cerretano (a resident of Cerreto where there are many quacks).

Savage – French “sauvage” – wild – from Latin “silvaticus” – from the woods.

Others to look at:







I’ve tried Waze but I’ve uninstalled it now

A friend recommended me to try Waze as an alternative to Google Maps. Initially installing it, I found it an attractive app, very nice presentation of the map environment … and interesting features like full updates about what is coming ahead, even a red light. But for me, I found it awkward when i was in a hurry and hadn’t activated location on my phone… I couldn’t seem to backtrack and turn on location, or at least Waze wouldn’t recognise it. So in my usual morning rush, I was wasting precious seconds. Back to Google Maps!


Recently in my school job I was learning about the condition PDA – Pathological Demand Avoidance and ODD – Oppositional Defiant Disorder. The latter is a condition where children refuse to cede to adults’ authority, have mood swings and are often argumentative, irritable and vindictive.
As well as making me think how difficult it must be for a child to grow up with this condition, it also make me wonder how many of us “normal” adults who show defiance in our characters could actually be categorised as or associated with a type of disorder… Those stubborn, driven adults who wouldn’t listen to anyone else and just stuck to their rigid goals, and possibly achieved their goals? Or is flexibility key to success?
Also, we are seeing defiance now in public life. The electorate who defiantly vote for a populist leader to put 2 fingers up (or 1!) to what they perceive to be mainstream establishment; the gilets jaunes movement; people blaming bankers and politicians for all that’s wrong in society.
But when you go back to your very youngest years… your parent wants you to feed yourself. .. you’re quite happy being fed – no, I will not feed myself! A few years later… You can’t make me do my homework! Sonething tells me we also need a bit of defiance to survive…

Is choice a just prerogative?

If we simply have to have things available in the name of choice, surely we waste resources? I wonder for example why supermarkets keep stocking so much whole milk and skimmed milk when everyone goes for semi skimmed? I guess they probably make a loss on the other two but at least it shows they provide the magic of Choice! And they probably price competitors out of the market at the same time!

BBC News programmes without any point

Beyond collage
Beyond 100 Days – What is the point of this programme? The title itself was set up from an initial programme called 100 Days (of Trump). When the two journalists running it realised they didn’t really have much to say after a while about Trump’s clumsy start up, the revised title Beyond 100 Days really just seemed to be a pointless vehicle of the two said presenters to continue nattering about not very much and attempting to conduct an on screen flirt à la Kirsty and Phil or Steed and Emma Peel.
The frustrating this is, just like the other pointless BBC News feature Outside Source, they just present exactly the same news items, footage and perspectives as the previous few hours on the regular rolling news. Is the problem funding in BBC News, is it that they don’t really have the resources to find or forge other paths to newsworthy items?

Do you really need to say that every time?!

Ok here’s the grumpy old man speaking…

Do you have to now say “very very frightening” after someone says the phrase thunder and lightning? Thunder and Lightning is quite an established phrase, and doesn’t need to be associated with something that quoted it in the first place!
It’s like a few years ago when was prominent in the media. So then, I felt confused… DOT COM! Arggghhhhh….