Friday, June 15, 2018

Senses working overtime #164

1 Burning down the house

Alex Prager's hyper-real photography is startling! More here and also some Tish Murtha photos as part of a Guardian arts review.

2 It's only every four years Jacky!

This is what my wife hears every four years when I disconnect from life to luxuriate in 64 games of FIFA World Cup action.

There are many pundits out there predicting all sorts of outcomes (Germany, Spain, Brazil are usually involved), but I loved this primer from the BBC.

3 RIP Danny Kirwan

Unsung hero of Fleetwood Mac (version 2.0).
'He subsequently drifted away from music altogether, spending 10 years living rough and in a basement flat in Brixton, surviving on social security and royalty payments from his Fleetwood Mac work.'

But boy, could he play guitar!

4 Don't tell Dad

This week, I've been enjoying Peter Fonda's autobiography - Don't Tell Dad. It's pretty straight forward in a linear way but it's quite absorbing!

5 Blackberry Smoke
Loving this song! Righteous anger!! Love it!

Overtime: Hahei Beach, Coromandel, NZ

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

Friday, June 8, 2018

Senses working overtime #163

1 Project Omaha

Warren Ellis teased with this image - won't tell us anything about it (what's happening? Where is it?) and I don't care - I just love the mystery attached to this great image.

2 Poetry corner

3 King James

I'm a Golden State Warriors fan but, sorry, how can anyone not admire LeBron James? Great story!

4 King Thom

I've mentioned it before but The Immortal Jukebox blog by Thom Hickey is a real winner! Here he is on Sandman!

5 The Truman Show re-examined

Nice piece about life and that movie and what it may mean for us in 2018.

Overtime: Sit com lighting

Friday, June 1, 2018

Senses working overtime #162

1 Solo

I enjoyed this rollicking adventure and addition to the stand alone Star Wars back story collection. Here is some great concept art.  

2 More Solo

Watching the movie, you'd never know there were problems making it. But there were. Here's the inside skinny. Opie Taylor did good!

3 Poetry corner

All the warm nights
sleep in moonlight

keep letting it
go into you

do this
all your life

do this
you will shine outward
in old age

the moon will think
you are
the moon

Swampy Cree narrative poem
trans. Howard Norman (1972)

4 The Return of Thomas Oppong Part 1

He's never been away, just hasn't appeared in this column for a spell. He's still awesome too. Here he is on deep thinking.

5 The return of Thomas Oppong Part 2

Reading and why it is such a huge part of my daily life, by Thomas.

Overtime: Roy of the Rovers

My favourite image of the week is this one, that I used on my Wozza's Place blog. 

The story, the grace, the colour, the drawing of the keeper, the image of Roy bleeding from the panel and the fantasy wonderland of it all - I have gazed at it a lot this week!

Friday, May 25, 2018

Senses working overtime #161

1 London bound
Photo by David Dibert on Unsplash
My wife and I (plus Jerry our dog) will be living in London from August onwards as I've accepted a new job. I love London. To help celebrate check out that photo!

2 Fascinating hats!
If you live on Planet Earth you were aware of the royal weeding, er, wedding, last week. 

Here is my contribution (hey - I loved it. And yes, I may have got something in my eye at some point okay!)

3 Wow reality - what a concept

Another JFTT item on Robin Williams - a piece looking at the new biography is great for the photos alone!

4 Brain Pickings - on music

Maria Popova (great name) writes the Brain Pickings blog. Here she compiles some great writing from some great minds (including Anaïs Nin above) on the power of music.

5 Poetry corner


I think I am going to love it here

I ask the man in the telegraph office
the way to the bank
He locks the door and walks with me
insisting he needs the exercise

When I ask the lady at my hotel desk
what bus to take to the beach
she gets me a lift with her beautiful sister
who is just driving by in a sports job

And already I have thought of something
I want to ask the sister

Earle Birney (1966)

Overtime: You Never Can Tell

I'm digging The Immortal Jukebox blog and its unhurried unravelling style. It's run by a fellow baby boomer hepcat with the improbable name - Thom Hickey. 

In that link above, he takes on Chuck Berry's You Never Can Tell. Fabulous!

And that's us - been an awesome week. Wherever this blogpost finds you I hope you experienced some highs this week. If not - despair not, next week is just around the corner.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Senses working overtime #160

1 Luke's reaction to Han's death

Great piece about a deleted scene from The Last Jedi (my co favourite Star Wars film Of All Time!

2 Poetry corner

At Night the Salmon Move

At night the salmon move
out from the river and into town.
They avoid places with names
like Foster's Freeze, A&W, Smiley's,
but swim close to the tract
homes on Wright Avenue where sometimes
in the early morning hours
you can hear them trying doorknobs
or bumping against Cable TV lines.
We wait up for them.
We leave our back windows open
and call out when we hear a splash.
Mornings are a disappointment.

Raymond Carver (1976)

3 More Star Wars: Solo

My expectations are not that high - I'm not a fan of 'young blah blah' stories (Indiana Jones, Butch and Sundance, Sherlock Holmes etc etc and so on) but this piece has piqued my interest levels somewhat.

4 Warren Ellis
Love his newsletters but he's gone dark for a spell to work on some ideas in his fevered brain. So here's a great picture of the great man to tide us over:

5 Robin Williams

After Margo, this gaze at Robin's last days is even more poignant. Once I started reading this I couldn't stop. Very sad ending!

Overtime: Seth Godin...

...on genius

Friday, May 11, 2018

Senses working overtime #159

1 Maple leaf time

Photo by Autumn Mott on Unsplash
Maple leaf
Falling down
Showing front
Showing back


2 Poetry corner continued

Two Guys Get Out of a Car

Two guys gets out of a car.
They stand beside it. They
don't know what else to do.

Richard Brautigan (1971)

3 Arsène Wenger

Beautiful send off to our manager after his last game in charge at the Emirates.

4 Sharks!
Everyone loves a shark story, right? Here's one: Why no aquarium has a great white shark!

5 Sleep little darling...

Some great tips for my wife who is having trouble sleeping lately.

Overtime - Uriah Heep

Been digging out the old Uriah Heep vinyl and thought it was time to revisit this gem from my youth!

Friday, May 4, 2018

Senses working overtime #158

1 Fake Fake Fake

By Catalan painter Étienne Terrus?
Oh dear! A museum in Southern France has discovered more than half its collection of paintings thought to be by a celebrated local artist are counterfeit. Here's what happened.


Even though I'm an educator, I don't often add that kind of content to JFTT too often. I'll make an exception for this Edutopia article (I love Edutopia!!). Just feast your eyes on these creative designs. Excitingly, we are increasingly moving this way in my current school and this article gave us some great ideas.

3 Fush and chups

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash
Big in my diet already, maybe it should be big in yours too, according to this. Don't forget the mushy peas!

4 The return of poetry corner

In Defense of Nothing

I guess these trailers lined up in the lot off the highway will do.
I guess that crooked eucalyptus tree also.
I guess this highway will have to do and the cars
     and the people in them on their way.
The present is always coming up to us, surrounding us.
It's hard to imagine atoms, hard to imagine
     hydrogen & oxygen binding, it'll have to do.
This sky with its macular clouds also
     and that electric tower to the left, one line broken free.

Peter Gizzi (2014)

5 Avengers

With Infinity War busting box office records right now, here is a great wrap up of how we got to this point in the Marvel Universe

I know, there is a lot of stuff out there but this piece is excellent - just marvel (sorry) at its attention to detail. And it's really well written, which is nice.

Overtime: Hooray for Warren Ellis

Here is the great man on Avengers: Infinity War -

So.  INFINITY WAR, then.  No spoilers.
It is perhaps best understood as an unprecedented brand power move.  It is not "a film" as that term is commonly understood.  It is a sequence of connections.  It's a statement from a bizarre place of popular-culture ownership.  It's a statement that they have done ten years of film storytelling, often with very conventional story templates, so that everyone in the world will show up for what is often an extraordinarily unconventional story-like event with one extremely unexpected tonal shift.
It, by design, makes no sense unless you've watched most if not all of the other Marvel films. There cannot be a casual viewer of this emanation.  Only a committed one.  It is likely to be the largest worldwide opening of all time, as I write this, even though it's not opening in China or Russia this weekend.
The production values are near-perfect.  The days of the slightly janky AVENGERS special effects are long gone, and every pixel is painted with jewelled, exquisite skill. As a visual experience, it is peak Marvel.  The mocap on Josh Brolin makes Thanos a far more effective "CGI villain" than the waste of Ciaran Hinds on JUSTICE LEAGUE, which had all the performance nuance of a level boss in DOOM II.
Per the trailer, I think it was a brave choice to have the evil spaceship apparently designed by James Dyson.
The writers and the directors worked very, very hard to make something that did not feel beholden to rules.  They'll stop the thing dead for sixty seconds to do a gag. There are a lot of gags. I mean, no possible joke goes unjoked. Nothing I say here should be taken to denigrate the work of those people. They have achieved a remarkable thing.
(Special nod to whoever designed the sonics for the next-to-final scene.)
It is not a movie. It is a brand manifestation that wants to have prolonged, eager and reasonably skilled cultural sex with you. It wants your experience with its content™ to be satisfying and it hopes you are pleased enough to return for further interaction with the Brand.  This is a very 21C thing.  I like it for that alone, to be honest.

AVENGERS 4 happens next year, of course, and I will be interested to see how they stick the landing. But, in terms of cultural power plays, this one is the pinnacle.