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On February 16th 2024 Wendy and I set-forth on a 20 day trip, revisiting old haunts in SE Asia.

From Hong Kong we made a brief side-trip to Shenzhen in China then embarked on a Cruise, sailing down the east coast, south, to Singapore where we spent a few days, before returning home: [Hong Kong; Ha Long Bay/Hanoi; Hoi An; Ho Chi Min City (Saigon); Bangkok; Ko Samui; Singapore]

 

Cruise map

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Travel

Sri Lanka

 

 

 

In February 2023 we joined an organised tour to Sri Lanka. 

 

 

Beginning in the capital Colombo, on the west coast, our bus travelled anticlockwise, in a loop, initially along the coast; then up into the highlands; then north, as far as Sigiriya; before returning southwest to Colombo.

Read more: Sri Lanka

Fiction, Recollections & News

Dune: Part Two

Back in 2021 I went to see the first installment of ‘DUNE’ and was slightly 'put out' to discover that it ended half way through the (first) book.

It was the second big-screen attempt to make a movie of the book, if you don’t count the first ‘Star Wars’, that borrows shamelessly from Frank Herbert’s Si-Fi classic, and I thought it a lot better.

Now the long-awaited second part has been released.

 

Directed by Denis Villeneuve
Screenplay by Denis Villeneuve, Jon Spaihts
Based on Dune by Frank Herbert
Starring Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler' Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista
Christopher Walken, Léa Seydoux, Souheila Yacoub, Stellan Skarsgård, Charlotte Rampling, Javier Bardem
Cinematography Greig Fraser, Edited by Joe Walker
Music by Hans Zimmer
Running time 165 minutes

 

 

Read more: Dune: Part Two

Opinions and Philosophy

Conspiracy

 

 

 

Social Media taps into that fundamental human need to gossip.  Indeed some anthropologists attribute the development of our large and complex brains to imagination, story telling and persuasion. Thus the 'Cloud' is a like a cumulonimbus in which a hail of imaginative nonsense, misinformation and 'false news' circulates before falling to earth to smash someone's window or dent their car: or ending in tears of another sort; or simply evaporating.

Among this nonsense are many conspiracy theories. 

 

For example, at the moment, we are told by some that the new 5G mobile network has, variously, caused the Coronavirus pandemic or is wilting trees, despite not yet being installed where the trees have allegedly wilted, presumably in anticipation. Of more concern is the claim by some that the Covid-19 virus was deliberately manufactured in a laboratory somewhere and released in China. 

Read more: Conspiracy

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