An amazing discovery. My sister, Rhiannon, who lives in Geneva, is a very determined person. If she sets her mind to something it gets done.
Athough we are next to each other in the Powell pecking order we have never been the best of friends. Or enemies. She has gone her way, I mine. Having said that she has my unbounded admiration and has been wonderfully kind to her younger relatives. So that is Rhiannon, sometimes called Nanw. But this picture is of my Mam and was taken August 17, 1918.
Continue reading For me, a wondrous history
Torrent Freak starts up a hare, possibly because it wants copy to fill its pages. And, as a result, some people who should know better, are worried.
TorrentFreak reads: Imagine an Internet in which every possible creative work uploaded results in a copyright claim – because it’s already been created. That’s the nightmare scenario being painted by a Russian company which says it has a plan to use copyright and trolling to free humans from ever having to create digital content again.
Continue reading What a load of bollocks
So today I had another day at the hospital. I guess for most of the people in the hospital it was another day. For some patients a day of, perhaps, further concern. For others perhaps jubilation. For me it was a little of both. The hospital is the Prince of Wales in Sydney and I am being treated there for cancer of the throat. My first appointment was with Professor Robert Smee of the Department of Oncology.
Continue reading Getting ready to fight cancer
Today being Sunday nothing happens in either the secular or medical sense. Monday is a busy hospital day. But today is left blank because of an ancient Christian tradition — doctors do not like working on a Sunday.
It stuffs up the weekend.
Nurses and pharmacists and apothecaries and what have you probably feel the same way but they have less clout.
Continue reading Cancer has a day off
I am totally in disagreement with Ray Bradbury, the author of Fahrenheit 451, who once said: ‘Nothing a computer can do can compare to a book.’ Such nonsense. Such total nonsense.
First to solve a small mystery.
Who wrote the first book on a computer?
It has just been brought to my attention — better late than never — that The Wire makes a claim that it happened when Jerry Pournelle wrote Oath of Fealty on a late 1970s Z-80 computer.
Total nonsense. Rubbish. And ruder words.
Continue reading e-Book iffy history
Before I was born, April 18, 1930, during what should have been a 6:30 pm radio news the BBC went slightly bonkers. A BBC presenter announced “Good evening. Today is Good Friday. There is no news.” It had been apparently judged that nothing newsworthy had happened. It is very fully covered on the Internet.
Piano music was then played instead of the current affairs update for a couple of minutes, before normal scheduling resumed.
Continue reading Not much to report
Fascinating to see how wrong we tend to be when forecasting the future. I can access back copies of many newspapers through the magic of computers and the truly helpful (I cannot emphasize this enough) librarians at the State Library of New South Wales.
One practical tip: If you want speedy access from your home computer choose times when students are asleep, drinking or engaging in other student-type activities. Then the data base is twice as fast. Perhaps faster.
Continue reading Computer typography made it
It is a tough decision whether to write about cancer and cancer treatments when it is happening to you. As I have never read anyone writing a running commentary, as it were, as it happens on this subject — there must be articles and books — perhaps it is a good Idea. I shall keep going as long as possible. You will get bored first.
Continue reading On finding you have cancer
John Malkovich is a genius you keep forgetting about. (Alright I keep forgetting about. Why should you be blamed?)
He is a great actor. He is not the greatest of actors in the world. Not in my opinion. But as second lead, in character roles he is frightening, believable, memorable, truly great. In this picture he not only depicts Einstein, he is Einstein. There is a phrase used by actors about getting into the skin of a character. Here is Malkovich showing how it is done.
Continue reading Malkovich the Great