Thursday, February 18, 2010

Farewell: Dick Francis

Dick Francis - Telegraph

"Dick Francis, who died on February 14 aged 89, began his career as a professional jockey, becoming Champion National Hunt Jockey in 1953-54, and famously rode in Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother's colours in the Grand National of 1956; after retiring from the Turf, he became a successful writer of 42 thrillers, topping the best-seller lists for more than 40 years"

I first came across Dick's thrillers in the 1970s and I had to read them being a race horse owner myself back then. Always horses around the books somewhere - always told in first person (it makes you feel so involved). And always the hero (ie Dick as it was in first person) was captured by the villain and often tortured. You felt that Dick had met someone with an interesting trade at a dinner party as his "hero" was very often in some strange business. Such as the restaurant owner/chef and the clients poisoned by the villain with insufficently cooked  beans - details see Red Kidney Bean Poisoning. The poor hero nearly lossed everything as it looked like his fault - often a plot in Dick's books. Details like that always made the books exciting.

And the strange thing is that Christine grabbed one of horse racing thrillers for a read and she became hooked too. We recently read one that Dick wrote with his son Felix and I heard Felix will continue the good work.


Friday, February 12, 2010

Most Liveable Cities

Well mostly I would agree with SMH

but Melbourne 3rd and Sydney 7th

Melbourne remains No. 3 for liveability

But Dhaka in Bangladesh as tied worst almost last sounds right.
Dying Lepers begging on walk bridge next to station is not good

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Christianity: When was Exodus and who was the Pharoah

Amenhotep II and the Historicity of the Exodus Pharaoh

Well per this article 25 April 1446 BC
which is good as around the date usually determined directly from Bible chronology

Most people would say that Pharaoh died in the Red Sea when the seas covered the Egyptian army. The article presents that he did not. Which of course also applies if Exodus was under Ramses II (seems to be the main conventional candidate)

Interesting contention that Hatshepsut was the Princess who was Moses step mother and that after Exodus Amenhotep II tried to destroy her memorials rather than it being Thutmose III.

A major point is made on Amenhotep only having two campaigns north - the second being after the loss of his army in the Red Sea. He did it to show that Egyptian power was not destroyed and also to obtain slaves. Then he signed a peace treaty with Mitanni. Presumably with a small force he had managed to acquire slaves but not a major campaign against Mitanni.

Interesting and is a well argued approach and does place Exodus at what I think is a good date

Then there is David Rohl's approach which does place Exodus at a similar date but under Dudimose. Rohl's New Chronology places Pharoah at different dates compared to the Conventional dates

Following pages on his view
Did the Exodus Happen? Answering the Sceptics

Biblical Archaeology Review: Feature 1 Sidebar 1

The Exodus, Joseph, Jericho … Harmonized With Eqyptian Chronology «

Most will tell you that Exodus is not in Egyptian records ..............

Manetho wrote that that in the reign of Dudimose (the Pharoah of the Exodus under the New Chronology), ‘a blast of God smote us’

Christianity: The Book of Revelation

The King and I: Exiled To Patmos, Part 2

"A common misconception in commentaries and popular prophetic writings is that the island of Patmos, where John was exiled, was a sort of Alcatraz "

A very detailed description of Patmos and where John might have been when revelation was happening.

Including being able to see the Island of Thera Santorini with that lethal volcano.

Well worth reading

Monday, February 08, 2010

Farewell: Ian Carmichael

Ian Carmichael - Telegraph

"Ian Carmichael, the actor, who died on February 5 aged 89, personified the affable, archetypal silly ass Englishman in scores of revues, light comedies, films and television programmes. "

"Few comedians knew how to look more comically, humanly afraid. His apprehensive subaltern — standing rigidly to attention on the parade ground as an offstage sergeant barked a string of commands which he knew he would never be able, as expected, to repeat to his platoon — was a model of silent, facial panic. "

Ian was really funny - a great foil to Peter Sellars and Terry Thomas - but always having a dig at himself and that accent was so good.

Farewell: John Dankworth

Sir John Dankworth - Telegraph

"John Dankworth, who died on February 6 aged 82, was a pioneer of modern jazz in Britain, a leading composer of film music, a tireless champion of musical education, regardless of genre, and a superb instrumentalist in his own right. "


John was also married to Cleo Laine - a great singer

Dudley Moore also played piano in John's big band leaving in 1960.  That band with Dudley was wonderful.
I was at the club the night Duke Ellington visited - Wow.