Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Dentist and Driver Jabber

Local CoCo Bus
Verily on vocational patter…
.
Jeff: My dentist talks all the time. Open a little wider. There we go. That’s it. This might sting a bit. Take a good rinse. Good. All finished now.
.
Venn: Sounds like my bus driver. Talks all the time, too. Turning right here. Hold on tight. Don’t forget anything when you get off. Door closing, careful.
.
Jeff: The culture?
.
Venn: Could be the area. A lot of little CoCo buses.
.
Jeff: And a lot of dentists around here, too. Six in this street alone.
_________
Voice-over

Keeping up a patter while working gives the impression of thinking things through. DP: A dentist reassuring the patient, a driver reassuring the passengers. RR: Reassuring all the residents. CCC: A community culture of caring!
...

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Glass Universe

On reading The Glass Universe
.
Annie: When I was about ten, I wanted to be an astronomer.
.
Harlow: Why?
.
Annie: I liked the pictures of the moon and planets.
.
Harlow: Stars?
.
Annie: I liked the planets. They were bigger. They had features. I could relate to those whereas the stars just, well, they just shone.
.
Harlow: When you were ten… that was before the universe had been mapped.
.
Annie: Steady on, I’m not a hundred and fifty yet. Reading Dava Sobel’s The Glass Universe and those women astronomers last month got me interested in astronomy again and particularly, the stars more than the planets. Their sizes, magnitudes, compositions, distances and the fact that the universe is expanding..
.
Harlow: I see reviews of The Glass Universe split the readers into two camps: those who like the science and those who grumble there wasn’t enough about the women astronomers’ personal lives.
.
Annie: It was a little hard to visualize the women, although there were pictures of them. But because my knowledge of astronomy stopped at the planets and the stories of the stellar research was so gripping, the science was enough for me.
_________
Voice-over
.

“Astronomy compels the soul to look upwards and leads us to other worlds.” Plato.
...

Monday, May 8, 2017

Gherkin vs Pearl as Metaphor

There’s a gherkin in our swimming pool…
.
Kirk: Looks like an alien space ship..
Gherkin in brine...
.
Spock: The Pearl is a green high tech office building, uses special glass to reduce heat and let light penetrate the interior. Designed to save on electricity for cooling and lighting..
.
Kirk: Isn’t it a copy of Norman Foster and Ken Shuttleworth’s Gherkin in London?.
.
Spock: The overall shape, yes, they’re similar. And they’re both energy efficient but the Gherkin has to deal with summer and winter temperatures of London whereas the Pearl has to deal with Bangkok’s year-round heat.
.
Kirk: The Gherkin is symbolic, right?.
.
Spock: Well, there is a simplistic symbolism of male power, but the metaphor can be extended. I mean, a gherkin is a green, healthy food. And in Bangkok, the building has been named “Pearl”, a gem symbolizing beauty, purity, and generosity.
___________
Voice-over

Alternative symbols to the “towering innuendo": Gherkins pickled in vinegar or brine symbolize nature and health. Pearls developing from sand and brine symbolize power, wealth and beauty.
...

Monday, May 1, 2017

White Rabbit becomes Snoopy

If the goggles fit,
you can fly a Sopwith Camel.
Being a White Rabbit sometimes gets a little routine.
.
Entering an alternative persona can help.
.
WHITE RABBIT WHITE RABBIT WHITE RABBIT
.
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.” 
Albert Einstein.
...

Friday, April 28, 2017

Bog rhubarb and long-headed poppies

In a garden…
.
Frank: What are those big-leafed plants?
.

aka giant butterbur
Tadao: Oh, in Japanese we call them fuki. In English, bog rhubarb, I believe.
.
Frank: Are they weeds?
.
Tadao: Good heavens, no. Vegetables. We can eat the stalks and the roots.
.
Frank: Planted by design then? Or for medical uses?
.
aka field poppies
Tadao: No. The fuki were in the soil already. They've taken over the whole garden. Quite aggressive.
.
Frank: Those orange poppies are colorful.
.
Tadao: Long-headed poppies. Grow at the roadsides. Invasive species but colorful as you say.
________
Voice-over

April and May: Petasites japonicas (J. fuki,フキ) and Papaver dubium (J. nagami hinageshi, ながみひなげし).
...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Vegetarian: A Novel

A book…
.
Ji su: It starts off unremarkably. Told from a husband’s perspective. His wife suddenly becomes a vegetarian. Throws all the meat out of the fridge. Cooks only vegetables, no fish, no eggs.
.
Mi na: Seriously vegan?
.
Ji su: And her sister is surprised, but tries to understand. Everyone but her sister drifts away over some years.
.
Mi na: Tragedy?
.
Ji su: Not entirely. Nice imagery. “Summer trees flicker like huge green fireworks.” Insightful. “She’d become the hard-working, self-sacrificing eldest daughter…a sign not of maturity… but a survival tactic.”
.
Mi na: Yes, that makes you think a bit about why elder siblings become the responsible ones.
.
Ji su: Many things are not as they seem.
_______________
Voice-over

The Vegetarian. By Han Kang. Ably translated by Deoborah Smith. 2016 Man Booker Prize. Mental illness as seen from the sufferer, the caregivers, family, friends, doctors.
...