Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Quotes from and Quotes on "The Minor Adjustment Beauty Salon"

Goodness shining through…
Mma Ramotswe: Everything is too complicated these days, Mr. J. L. B. Matekoni. Everything is made to be thrown away rather than fixed.  It is all very wasteful. (warming to her theme)  When I think of what we made to with in the past, it makes me very sad.  If you found a hole in a sock, you darned it. If the handle came off a cup, you glued it back on.

Mr J.L.B. Matekoni: Yes. You never threw things away.  Nowadays, if something goes wrong, you throw it out of the window, just like that.

Mma Ramotswe: And people too. If you suddenly decide you don’t like somebody, you throw them out of the window too.

It’s such a comfortable book. You warm to the characters as Mma Ramotswe warms to her theme. And the author in his turns of phrase (someone who has died is "late") and in his naming Mr J,L,B, Matekoni...

Reviewing the book on Goodreads, Jill Furedy wrote, “These books just make me happy…There are good and kind people who try to conduct themselves respectfully and honorably…These are not who-dun-its, but quiet stories, with an appreciation of life, love, family, and beauty."

A reader like me finds himself (or herself, to be “modern”) agreeing with what both the characters and reviewers say.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Imitation Game: Subtraction simplifies, addition amplifies

After two biopics in two days...
Alan: Hawking and Turing.

Stephen: Both mathematicians. Both brilliant. Both great biopics.

Alan: And both more about relationships than reality.

Stephen: Well, the Hawking relationship seemed to be realistically acted.

Alan: But the treatment of Turing by bringing in the relationship with the spy… that episode was gratuitous fiction.

Stephen: Balanced the complexity of explaining code-cracking though.
Biopics are exercises in subtraction and addition.
Subtraction simplifies the story, addition amplifies the action.
But in life we deal with diversions, to tell a story well we cull and control.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Fates Befalling Chinese and Greek Fliers

A preflight caution…

Daedalus: Of course, do not fly near the sun but also, these wings, do not speak of them to anyone.

Icarus: The knowledge is dangerous?

Daedalus: There was a man in China who made wings of bamboo and paper and flew. He was seen by the emperor. The emperor considered the invention dangerous and had the flier killed.

Icarus: But flying is a beautiful thing.

Daedalus: The flier was killed before other evil men could build machines to fly over the Great Wall and attack.
Daedalus was not imprisoned for building wings. Impetuosity killed his son Icarus instead. But there is a parallel with Ray Bradbury’s Chinese story, The Flying Machine. Daedalus was imprisoned for his knowledge of the Labyrinthe. The Chinese flier lost his head. Beware of inventing something beautiful; leaders may see darkness in its design.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

IQ84 symbolism

Two moons of a parallel world
After a long read…

Tengo: Finally finished it.

Aomame: Took you a while.

Tengo: Yes. Three years, in fact.

Aomame: What held you up?

Tengo: It was a trilogy, and there were other books, shorter books. IQ84 ran to 925 pages, after all. Not a bad read though. Checked most boxes: suspenseful story, descriptive detail, psychological insight. And full of symbols.

Aomame: Symbols?

Tengo: Two moons signifying parallel universes. There were little people and air chrysalises but Murakami didn’t exactly suggest what these meant.

Aomame: Hmm. What are we to make of it?
Was this tale of colliding realism and magic convincing? Reviews were mostly good, some doubters. Baxter liked it. Maslin didn’t. Dipping into it over three years puts Tengo in the middle it seems.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Mad as a March rabbit


March 1st... mad as a… March Hare? Or as a Hatter? Lewis linked them.

Anyway, March is the month when rabbits and hares behave oddly by jumping and boxing.

Jump well, breed well. Box well, become the burrow boss. Maybe.


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Dropped off the grid

Lisa: She’s dropped off the grid.

Anna: Unplugged her electricity? Bought a wood-burning stove?

Lisa: No, I mean she’s dropped off the social media grid. FaceBook.

Anna: Without a trace? No announcement?

Lisa: Nope. No postings, emails bounce, phone cut off. Vanished.
Gen X or Y individuals may be incredulous at their friend's disappearance from social media but people from older generations might be less surprised. Less gridlock in their lives. Still, it is unsettling when people just unplug and vanish.

The grid reference may refer to unplugging from social media, or totally withdraw as in unplug all electrical and information devices.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

iPhone screen repair Shibuya

Mac: I have a broken iPhone screen, the glass only. But shattered and sharded. I heard you had your iPhone screen repaired recently. Where was it? How much did it cost? How long did it take?

Wyn: Shibuya, near west exit, about an hour. Good work, good price.

Mac: Not the Apple store?

Wyn: No. I forget the name of the store. Small.

Mac: No worries. (Googles “iPhone screen repair Shibuya”). I got it. SMART.
Third party businesses. (1) Small shops undercut the big ones. And (2) the video showing the way with commentary tops even Google Maps.