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News and information culled from the internet

January 2020


Hero yesterday, villain today

The Literary Assasination of Ian Fleming - Jeremy Duns

Public Domain / Copyright

Buying copyrights on Pop Songs as a legit investment

January 1, 2020

The story is about Merck Mercuriadis and how IP ownership can be a way to generate very high levels of income. The most interesting part of the article was:

"He’s considering launching a songwriter’s union, something akin to the Screenwriters Guild, that would give songwriters more leverage to extract better deals from the industry’s power brokers."

Story at Medium

The relatively short lifespan of a pop song should make this sort of investment a process with certain amount of trepidation. Musical styles come in (often with a generational change) and then fade out like any fashion does, or at most, with the generation that embraced it.

On a related note: How Music Copyright Lawsuits Are Scaring Away New Hits - Rolling Stone, January 9, 2020

Medical Health

Brain rewiring

Pat Martino - guitarist

Guitarist Pat Martino experienced severe retrograde amnesia after brain surgery. Post-operation he was uninterested (and unaware) of his old skills (and even his own name), but the hearing of an annoying minor ninth chord began the reclaimation of his old music skills and then general memories.

"Martino’s return to virtuosity, say neuroscientists, exposes the rooms and secret doorways of memory in the brain. In the 2014 World Neurosurgery report, Galarza noted that after carving out 70 percent of somebody’s left temporal lobe, with some underlying damage to the hippocampal region, physicians might expect a patient to have “almost complete memory loss.”

The left temporal lobe, Galarza explained, is “directly involved” with verbal auditory memory, talking, and understanding speech. A battery of cognitive tests in 2007 revealed Martino had a hard time relaying the meaning of some abstract and uncommon words and defining more common ones. Shown a picture of a corkscrew, for example, he was only able to muster, “It’s used to drill off ... a wine bottle.” When asked when the Beatles came to America, Martino said sometime between 1961 and 1963 (he was close; it was 1964). But when asked to name a Beatles song, the musician said he couldn’t name a single one."

Full story at Getpocket


Winslow Homer

Winslow Homer Kissing the Moon image diagram

National Review: Puzzling over Meaning in Winslow Homer's Kissing the Moon

Writer Brian T. Allen talks about understanding Homer's large painting (30" x 40" inches) painted toward the end of his life and how it may be an image echoing classical "River Styx" imagery.

More about this at Art and Artifice

January 9, 2020

Medical Health

Identical twins take DNA test, but only get "almost" identical results

DECEMBER 6, 2020

DNA testing may be showing that an individual's profile may emphasize a particular racial background and minimize another, that gestation/birth really does produce a "unique" person through combinations of things so varied that it can't be predicted as if by algorithm.

Story at Minneapolis Post

Medical Health

When does a scientific paper use (or not use) rational proof?

Article at Quillete titled The Many Faces of Scientific Fraud

This reminds me of something I read decades ago in which a letter in a magazine demanded scientific proof be required to show how the control functioned in the research, and if there even was a control.

December 21, 2019

Medical Health

Minestrone, malaria-drug

Malaria is a deadly problem in many places around the globe, and this article at Forbes shows that Minestrone helps. Malaria appears in a fashion similar to flu or cold. Using 56 soup samples, a test was run on a centrifuge to identify how well each type fought parasite replication (how malaria spreads). Two particular minestrone vegetable soups showed effective help against the parasite.

December 8, 2019

Medical Health

Drug-resisting superbugs

The new estimates show that, on average, someone in the United States gets an antibiotic-resistant infection every 11 seconds, and every 15 minutes, someone dies.

Article at Science Alert


The dawn of the 21st century

1995 is still with us 25 years later - story at the 1995 blog about the rise of the internet.


Art of the Hispanic world at the Meadows Museum in Dallas

Review of Opera and art in Dallas, Texas, featuring Gallego, Goya, Velazquez - at National Review


Art as something else

Article at Re modern Review: Establishment Art as a Form of Corrupt Currency

June 2019: When I was a kid in high school I read The art game again! by Robert Wraight and this gave me an amateur's jaundiced eye toward how the contemporary art world operated, though this didn't last after actually working as a picture framer in an art gallery. My observation was that the relationship between the seller and the buyer wasn't much different than the one found in any higher-end retail environment.


Making a list of everything means making a list of everyone's money

Death taxes and wealth registration - story at Overlawyered


Spiderman: Far from Home

Spidey Head

July 9, 2019: It is interesting how this superhero film takes time to celebrate the past assemblage of outfits worn by Peter Parker (aka Spider-Man) in previous Marvel/Disney movies, a celebration of nostalgia serving the story but also re-affirming within the 2 hour, 9 minute movie the powers of nostalgia to bind the audience to the dramatis persona, that is, this franchise of Marvel/Disney films.

There is the irony, though, that the movie Spider-Man Far from Home has illusion as one of the main ingredients of the tale (as most exaggerated through the super-villain, Mysterio, who is a master of illusion as he battles Spider-Man). A great number of things within the tale are not what they appear to be, as if the film is warning us about itself.


Poe's Hamlet

Edgar Allan Poe Graphic Chatter

Shakspeare by Poe - The Broadway Journal August 16, 1845

"While on this topic, we may as well offer an ill-considered opinion of our own as to the - intention of the poet in the delineation of the Dane. It must have been well known to Shakespeare*, that a leading feature in certain more intense classes of intoxication, (from whatever cause,) is an almost irresistible impulse to counterfeit a farther degree of excitement than actually exists. Analogy would lead any thoughtful person to suspect the same impulse in madness -- where beyond doubt, it is manifest. This, Shakespeare - felt -- not thought. He felt it through his marvellous power of - identification with humanity at large -- the ultimate source of his magical influence upon mankind. He wrote of Hamlet as if Hamlet he were; and having, in the first instance, imagined his hero excited to partial insanity by the disclosures of the ghost -- he (the poet) - felt that it was natural he should be impelled to exaggerate the insanity."
- Edgar Allan Poe, review of Hazlitt's Characters of Shakespeare, from The Broadway Journal, August 16, 1845

Poe addresses the issue of whether Hamlet is nuts (or not) as Shakespeare's play unfolds, and Poe comes out and says the obvious: Hamlet cannot be nuts (or not nuts) because he doesn't exist, he is a creation on a page, and he cannot be analyzed as a real person, only the author and the author's intentions can be analyzed.

* Poe spells Shakespeare in the original publication as "Shakspeare"

More Poe at


Implying the Others

"Jean Rousset’s critical scope transcends the boundary of the word. For him ballet, painting, and the lyric, as well as sculpture, tragicomedy, and architecture, are analogous, even interchangeable products of successive, radically different zeitgeists. Shared by all the arts of a given period are repertories of themes, technical devices, and stylistic procedures, each implying the others."
From The Knot of Artifice, by David Lee Rubin, page 4

Typography / Printing

The Shapes of Letters

Typographic Species

An overview of writings on typography at New Criterion (specifically Palatino: The Natural History of a Typeface by Robert Bringhurst, and The Noblest Roman: A History of the Centaur Types of Bruce Rogers by Jerry Kelly and Misha Beletsky.)

Public Domain / Copyright

Data Mining shows 80% of older works once in copyright are now public domain

Story at Boingboing

While a small amount of listings have been digitized, the majority of listings from the Library of Congress (which manages copyright in the United States) shows that it still requires digging to find out which works are in and out of copyright.

August 2019


Mary Shelley's Frankenstein at 200

Frankenstein at 200

An extensive overview of Frankenstein through the ages, the varieties of versions of the story, and especially a review of the book "Frankenstein: Annotated for Scientists, Engineers, and Creators of All Kinds."

Story at Lawfareblog

July 28, 2019


The North Korean way of the insult

"They love these flowery Shakespearean insults - 'thrice-cursed traitor' and so on. It's not the kind of insult you hear on the street in South Korea, which is much more earthy - words referring to genitals for example - the kind of thing you might hear on a drunken Saturday night in London." It is, however, in line with the sort of statements issued by Stalinist Russia and parts of Maoist China during leadership purges, says Grayson, after reading the full statement in Korean and in English.

Story at BBC News


One Ghurka against 40 train bandits

Kuykri or Khukuri Knife - Nepal

"Lone Nepali Gorkha who subdued 40 train robbers "

"The band of about 40 robbers, some of whom were travelling as passengers, stopped the train in the Chittaranjan jungles in West Bengal around midnight. Shrestha-- who had boarded the train at Ranchi in Jharkhand, the place of his posting--was in seat no. 47 in coach AC3.

“They started snatching jewelry, cell phones, cash, laptops and other belongings from the passengers,” Shrestha recalled. The soldier had somehow remained a silent spectator amidst the melee, but not for long. He had had enough when the robbers stripped an 18-year-old girl sitting next to him and tried to rape her right in front of her parents. He then took out his khukuri and took on the robbers.

“The girl cried for help, saying ´You are a soldier, please save a sister´,” Shrestha recalled. “I prevented her from being raped, thinking of her as my own sister,” he added. He took one of the robbers under control and then started to attack the others. He said the rest of the robbers fled after he killed three of them with his khukuri and injured eight others."

Complete story at Blackfive

January 2011


There's an Emphasis on realism in the (old) arts

Art Renewal web site

Contact me at erik @

Typography / Printing

Henkel hand Press 1806

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