Mummers, Maypoles and Milkmaids

The exhibition is amazing!

 The Horniman museum is like a smaller copy of the Natural History museum with all the stuffed animals right near the entrance. The kids as well🙂 It is lots of fun, if you like that sort of thing.

The exhibition itself was showing the modern traditions and celebrations in Britain. The funniest thing is that almost every picture was set in such a way as to have something incredibly common to the mundane monotonicity of our present lives and yet have some really archaic ritual or celebration happening right there, next to it.

Amazing. Definitely worth a visit.

Leading from the front: An autobiography by General Sir Richard Danatt

Amazon

Leading from the front

Leading from the front

General Danatt has become a very outspoken Chief of General staff. As he says himself he has set out to describe his views in this book. It so happens that that to explain those views it has been necessary to go through most of his life experiences that have shaped those views.

Apart from a fascinating career and an amazing life, the thoughts the come out in this book for me:

  • The operation level sitting between the strategic view and the tactical day to day activities is very important. It’s impossible to exceed in achieving the strategy without having the plans in place as to how the individual tactical actions move us closer to it. To have this one must know the strategy, know the operational level and only then the tactical decisions start moving us in the right direction. This is a communication mostly on the part of leadership, but individuals are there to take initiative as well🙂
  • One of the most important questions the army is asking all the time: how should we prepare for the future challenges. Is it just the army? I don’t think so. The main points here would be defining what the future will require from us. Another is to adjust the current investment and development to be relevant. The criteria of relevance is of uttermost importance.
  • The leadership that sir Danatt has shown throughout his career has been laid down from very early on. It is this leadership, caring about the Army as a whole, his particular unit and doing his work as best as possible that has led him. Even during his first deployment the future general was already thinking that handling the peace effort in Northern Ireland required a more though-through and comprehensive approach than the «muddle through» advice he’s received.

On the whole it’s an amazing book, definitely worth reading. Especially because of the integrity in the generals views on all of the conflicts he’s been involved in. On how he tries to not blame the politicians for their poor choices.

The combination of personal views, historical realities seen through the eyes of a military man and the leadership lessons is very honest and quite invigorating — you just want to go away and make things better!

Meditation for Every Day

Book Info

Meditation for every day

Meditation for every day

Meditation for every day by Bill Anderton. Now who told you that meditation should be difficult? — apparently it isn’t or at least if you take your sweet time with it.

And although I am not even half way through this book, and have been going at it for almost a month. I can see the benefits already. This is really a textbook that anyone can use. I especially like the frequently asked questions section, since I have had all of those exact questions.

For example, why does the world go really loud when you are trying to concentrate on your inner self? Well the book quite logically suggests that you more suseptible to ourside distractions when your mind has already almost lost the focus on every day, but has not yet completely opened the eyes onto the subconscious.

The gradual introduction starts with a few easy basic breathing exercises, then moves on to simple visualization meditations. I found the pace really carefully balanced and there is enough text between the meditations to get you to understand what you are trying to achieve and get you motivated to actually go ahead and do it.

I usually work through the exercises alone, but remembering a sequence you have never done before and relaxing at the same time are impossible to do together. Especially if the meditation is quite lengthy. But if you dictate the text to say a phone, which is recommended by the book, then you can easily go through even the most verbose of the sequences. And you get extra points, when future meditations build on top of what you are doing now — no need to rerecord large chunks!

This book is pretty old. There was a originally released in 1995 and reprinted in 1998. But it is still possible to find it in libraries and second-hand shops or amazon. I would really recommend it.

Бунт Обреченных

flibusta.net

Уильям Бартон

Бунт Обреченных

Бунт Обреченных

Казалось бы странно, но вот это одна из моих самых любимых книг. Первый раз я ее даже прочитал на бумаге. Почему-то она завалялась в городской библиотеке.

Вообще-то это достаточно интересно, как она выжила. Так как при желании её очень просто вычеркнуть из списка книг, которые никого не оскорбляют и доступны всему обществу…

Я долго откладывал озвучивание своего мнения о ней. Даже решил, что надо бы её ещё разок перечитать. Но думаю время настало.

Что можно от неё ждать? Для начала, тут представлена чисто мужская точка зрения на мир. Женщины не только могут, но я бы сказал, в познавательных целях, им нужно прочитать одну такую книгу. Ведь они не для них не писались, а это всегда интересно. В частности, здесь можно найти море насилия, еще больше секса и просто невозможное количество тестостерона.

Не знаю, как лучше сказать, но всякие мелочи сюжета и штрихи Главного Героя: Атола Моррисона просто повышают гормональные уровни у читателя.

Достаточно ли это для того, чтобы я перечитывал её больше 5-ти раз? — Нет.

В чем же все дело? Да просто какой-то очень уж многогранный ГГ вышел. Настолько, что некоторые его качества мне хотелось приобрести в юношестве, другие я решил пропустить, когда чуть повзрослел. Не буду их перечислять, но приведу пример: пара страниц о приезде Атола домой, опять можно вычитывать разное в тех же строках. Но я читал этот кусочек на самолете домой и некоторые мысли у нас были очень похожи.

Другая привлекательная черта мира господ — его кажущаяся прямолинейность, простота. Казалось бы — прими правила, трудись и все будет если не хорошо, то по крайней мере выживешь. Таков мир Атола, как-то очень просто и очень правильно. Даже повстанцы, я не имею ввиду земных, а наоборот хруффов тоже вписываются очень закономерно. Все как-бы просто и предсказуемо.

А вот ведь и не так и есть пара мест, где кажется что-то не так — это когда Атол не имеет дополнительной информации, чтобы вместить все в свой простой мир: кто-то за ним приглядывает на земле, так казалось бы случайные события захвата его друзей проходят слишком гладко. Вкрадываются мыслишки, что это было кем-то чуть-чуть подстроено.

Ведь казалось бы машины должны думать очень хорошо, значит такие много-уровневые просчеты не должны были бы быть для них проблемой. Ответа конечно нет, но так уж кажется, что будущий бунт хруффов тоже кем-то присматривается.

Вот именна эта двусмысленность меня и притягивает к книге сейчас. В подростковом возрасте причина была совсем другая.

Inception

IMDB

Inception

Inception

Don’t know about non-programmers, but this movie is quite a nice exercise in building in-memory stacks of states. It starts off on the deepest level of the stack of nested dreams and then moves up and down in quite peculiar ways.

Thinking back now, except for the idea that people can share dreams, I don’t think there is a straightforward plot to this story. It seems like a pure action movie and even Leonardo DiCaprio couldn’t ruin it — it is that good. There are a few ideas hidden behind the action though. Of course they will be different for each and every one of us, as usual.

I literally haven’t notice that the motion picture was actual two and a half hours long. Usually that is very very long, but not this time. Contrast that to any of the Lord of the Rings pieces, which actually do feel long. I think Inception got it right. Keeping the viewers interested and yet tell an exciting action packed story without too many events.

Another thing the creators of inception got right is the mix of the ethnicities and characters of the actors. They didn’t try to represent the entire world and it was heavily geared towards the anglo-saxon world without excluding the rest of the planet though.

The state of having an alternative reality will be familiar to any fiction reader, when reading a really good piece on submerges his whole mind into the authors work, much like Inception has shown it. Often if I keep myself too long in another authors world my mind becomes too tied to it. So after a whole days’ non-stop reading my dreams revolve in the same fantasy world as well. Imagine how it would be like if you were submerged in another world not a day, not an hour, but years.

Anything short of going mad will not do — and that is the thought that made this movie much more worthwhile than just the action and the fighting and the car-chasing and the blizzard and the never-ending rain — I told you it was heavy on the action side.

Please watch it. I hope the world consciousness puts this movie out there, next to Avatar and Lord of the Rings.

Eureka

IMDB

Eureka

Eureka

Eureka has been renewed for it’s 4th season. The 1st episode airing just past Friday.

I think this is a nice occasion to talk about the series and why it is great.

The series is composed of more or less distinct episodes. Of course there is a general plot mildly going through.

The series is based in a mad and crazy town of genius people working on highly cool and classified scientific projects.

It seems there is no boring science or research in this town and most breakthroughs are achieved by tinkering, rather than years of hard work. Of course one should not expect any sort of realism from a scy-fi series, but it somehow makes me think of what I could create in my spare time.

Being a TV series this is an odd effect, since it makes me raise from the comfy sofa. But it is the blue sky, light clouds and white fence that attracts one to this adventurous and exciting mad town — everything always ends well.

The Ghost Writer

IMDB

The Ghost Writer

The Ghost Writer

The Ghost Writer has a broken pace: it speeds up and slows down as it pleases. If you like the twists and turns of a detective or a spy novel — this is something you will very much enjoy.

It has a feeling of scale, modern sleek style and yet no new ideas. It’s like a modern bar — it looks different, but is still just a bar.

The story is about a writer, who never writes his own name on his work — he’s a ghost. Famous people ask him to polish their autobiographies. And to the public — they wrote them.

This movie is very much a spy story — it is set like one, even has a few pretty women and lots of suspicions. There are no spies in the cinematic sense though. No gadgets or toys. Just plain ordinary (or so it seemed from at first) people manipulating other seemingly ordinary people.
Usually spy movies are dead clear. This one carried most of it’s mysteries to the grave — literally. There were no clear answers, just the suspicions of The Ghost’s suspicions. There is a distinct feeling that most of the story is someone’s bad dream or sore sleepless imagination.

As you have probably guessed — I did enjoy this movie quite a bit. I am not sure it carries any truth-like facts in it. But as a detective story it’s not bad at all.