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On the origin of… January 26, 2009

Posted by phoenixaeon in Darwin, Symoblism in art, Uncategorized, Wallace.
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So. Darwin. Still. It’s 150 years since On The Origin Of Species was printed. Something that might never have happened if Darwin hadn’t thought that his limelight would have been stolen by a young upstart called Alfred Russel Wallace hadn’t popped up with the missing key that fully unlocked the theory of evolution and contacted Darwin about it. But still, it is Darwin who gleans the credit as Wallace is largely ignored, and a special 150th birthday edition of OTOOS is being published, complete with a commission from Damien Hirst.

Erm. Excuse me? What in the world does this ‘painting’ have to do with OTOOS? What is so scientific about it? The skull? The ‘x-ray like quality’? Does he think that scientists are knife-wielding nicotine addicts? While it may ‘sit firmly in the tradition of “still life”‘, it is a poor example. I really don’t get it. No, I’ll rephrase that. I really don’t get what this has to do with OTOOS. How is it in the least bit representative of it? Or is that the point? Darwin outraged the religious community by publishing this tome that blasted the ‘and God created man’ credo with scientific fact and not some namby-pamby fairy story, so Hirst is going to despoil the tome with some namby-pamby artwork? I hate to say it, but Princi could do better.

Survival of the fittest? I bet Damien Hirst is laughing his socks off as he walks barefoot to the bank!  Talk about evloution in practice.

Mr Wallce, where is my divine intervention? June 22, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in OU, TMA07, Wallace.
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69%. Ho hum. My worst mark since TMA02. At least it was a pass, and more than 40%. Suppose that is something positive, at least.

I have finished the Pygmalion section of the next block. I think I have decided that this will not be one of my choices for the next essay. I am more or less decided on Medea, and I am toying with the idea to use Don Juan too. I found it hard to immerse myself into Wide Sargasso Sea, so I think I might give that a miss.

These dreams… June 20, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in Dreams, OU, Wallace, Wasps.
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Don’t you just hate it when you have a dream, you are quite sure you are dreaming, but you wake up feeling that the dream was real?

This morning I was woken with that kind of start. I was dreaming that I was asleep, yet I was somewhat awake at the same time – I was able to view everything in the bedroom. Or maybe I was dreaming that I was in the bedroom in the dream. Anyway. I could hear a buzzing sound. I pinpointed it to the curtains, but then it started getting closer. I had in my mind ‘There’s a bloody wasp coming to get me!’ The next thing, the buzzing is right at my ear and I could feel the displaced air on wisps of hair, the proximity of the sting making me sleep wince! Then the wasp landed on my ear, and I was trying to move without moving, hoping that the thing didn’t crawl into my ear and sting my eardrum or something! I gently and quietly moved my head, so that the wasp was brushed onto the quilt, and hid my head under the covers. It was this move, in my dream and in reality, that woke me up. I spent the next five minutes listening for waspy buzzing, just in case I hadn’t been dreaming!

Can you tell I don’t like wasps? I think that this dream was residual fear from last week when I was buzz attacked by an absolutely massive wasp in the bathroom. What freaked me out more than this wasp just ending up dropping from somewhere and buzzing around behind me for a few minutes, and me being just a little incapacitated to get away from it, was that the wasp somehow ended up caught in my hair just above my ear. The buzzing alone is enough to reduce me to tears, but the proximity of the sting to my head completely shook me. Then the bloody thing just dropped from my hair and onto the floor by my foot! Argh! I think I did scream, too!

Well, enough about wasps and dreams of wasps. *Shudder*

I should get my Wallace essay back in the next few days. I am so worried about it. I know now that I didn’t answer the question properly, as I’ve moaned about already. I’m not even sure now that I had enough in there to give me a pass. I’m so disappointed in myself *sigh*.

D’oh! June 17, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in Don't believe the bro, OU, Sunburn, Wallace.
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I am wishing I hadn’t jumped the gun and sent my Wallace essay off on Sunday. I can now see ways it could have been improved, made to read more fluidly. Bum! I think I have put enough in to at least get the pass mark, but I could have mentioned the blurring of boundary lines between science and religion, and the resulting separation of science and spiritualism. Argh! That would have made the essay better by a whole lot! That’ll teach me not to rush things just because I can’t get my head around it at the time.Ah well, hindsight is a useless beast, foresight the evasive beast.

The sunburn is now turning into prickly heat. I don’t which is worse – the heat and pain of the burn, or the incessant itch of the prickly heat. Grrr!

I’m all a bit grrrr today as it is. That stupid creature called a brother decided he’d try and pay off his catalogue bill with his XBox360. He bought it over with a bunch of games. Today, he came in saying that he needed money so he was going to take the games to Gamestation to exchange them for cash. When I confronted him about it he said that he had given me the XBox but not the games. When I told him that I was not stupid, that I had checked around to see how much a brand new XBox360 cost, and that I could get one for less than he owed me for the catalogue, he flipped his lid! He must really think I am a mug, that I would take the seconhand XBox without looking around first and making sure what he gave me would cover his bill. Idiot! (Me, not him, for believing he wouldn’t try to rip me off. I shall not be believing anything he says again.)

Alas, poor Wallace, your reputation never preceded you! June 13, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in OU, tennis, Wallace, Weather.
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Done. Done, done, done. Well, as done as I can be.

I struggled through the last of the referencing and finishing the essay last night. Pants is not the word to describe that pile of mulched together words that hardly forms an answer. I can’t believe how hard that damn essay was to write after enjoying the block so much. I’m going to leave it until Sunday, just to mature, then I will toothcomb it, edit it if necessary, and wing it into cyberspace to be marked. My poor brain hurts so much that I’m not sure I want to think about ‘Pygmedjuan Sea’. But I must. Onwards, ho!

I am hoping the weather holds out for tomorrow. I’d be so miffed if it the weather turns bad and the tennis is called off. I’ve only been waiting a year to go and watch it. But, the weather is not looking good today, so I don’t hold much hope for tomorrow. Bloody typical, it is, as the weather has been quite good for the last week. Bugger!

Oh, but talking about the tennis, yesterday’s R16 match between Kei Nishikori and Rafa Nadal was brilliant! I was so impressed by Nishikori, I really wanted him to win. His flying forehand is fantastic. He’s definitely one to watch for after taking the second set from Nadal. I would have like to have seen the Delray Beach final now, when he beat James Blake. Looking forward to seeing more of Nishikori.

Panic over! June 12, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in Dad, Myths and conventions, OU, tennis, Wallace.
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SkiDaddles op went well. So well that he’s at home already. The anaesthetist decided that he did not need the general, so he had the op under local anaesthetic. *Phew*

Andy Murray is in action again. Today he is playing Ernests Gulbis. Currently Gulbis has the first set and it is 5-1 to Murray in the second set.

I am still battling with the Wallace essay. It is turning into an epic of grand proportions. I am just wishing that I hadn’t been lazy and noted the references while I put down the essay. Stupid me! So today I will go through and put in the references, then get down to finishing the damn thing off. Then I can start the next block: Myths and conventions. Just got to decide on which two of the set texts I shall do the next essay on. I have Medea, Pygmalion, Wide Sargasso Sea or Don Juan to choose from. I can’t believe I’m nearly onto writing TMA07! This course seems to have gone by so fast!

Anti-climax June 10, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in OU, Queens, tennis, Wallace.
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Hmph. After the other Brits went out yesterday I was looking forward to a really good grass court tennis match between Andy Murray and Sebastien Grosjean. What did I get? Two games. Grosjean retired with a leg injury. Ah well. Will have to wait until tomorrow now. Hopefully there’ll be some good tennis during the rest of the afternoon (C’mon Richard Bloomfield!).

On the essay front, I’m up to around 1120 words now. Still need to work a bit more on the socialism section, but I’ve done the conclusion. I’m feeling OK about this assignment, it’s the first time I haven’t had an imposing sense of doom about what I have written. I’m not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I think I’ll try and get the essay finished tonight when (and if!) Principessa goes to sleep. I really want it finished, with a day or two to let it rest before I go through the draft again.

Decimated! June 9, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in Bloody books, OU, tennis, Wallace.
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(Pic from Eurosport)

I was quite looking forward to the French Open final yesterday, expecting a good old tennis barney between Nadal and Federer, though I knew Nadal would win. What I wasn’t expecting was the comprehensive ass-whooping that Nadal dished out! 6-1, 6-3, 6-0. Hardly made the final worth watching. Hopefully, Queens will be worth watching.

I think I am about 850 words into the new draft of the Wallace essay. Still 350 words to go, and I need to squeeze socialism and the conclusion into that, with maybe a bit of cleaning up on spiritualism and the introduction. I’m kind of happy with the history of science and early life sections. I’m just hoping the whole thing gels together.

Heee! I received my first Moleskine notebook today. It was a free gift from the Folio Society, the place I buy posh books from. I loves them there posh books. But I think I need to stop buying from them for a while. It is too expensive an addiction to feed now!

Well, while Principessa and Nanny are out in the garden, I think I will try and knuckle down and finish the essay.

Brain stew June 6, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in OU, tennis, Wallace.
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(Pic from Eurosport)

Damn you, Mr Wallace!

So, having got 1000 words into the HoS essay I am now having to start again. Boo! Hiss! I could tell it wasn’t right when I started struggling around 800 words in, but I kept on pulling useless teeth. I emailed my new, shiny tutor and explained how I had interpreted the question and asked some general advice. Most of my interpretation was correct, I was just missing the point historians of science have played. So while I was correct, my whole essay plan was wrong. Phooey! So it’s back to the drawing board, and so far I am having little success with rehashing the thing.

I’m taking a break at the mo, watching the FedererMonfils match. The score is currently 6-2, 3-4 to Federer. I’m hoping Monfils can keep up the good start and win the second set. It is 40-30 in game 8 to the Fed. Oops, okay it is 4-4 in second set now. Whoever wins, Federer I expect, will go on to meet Rafa Nadal (who beat Novak Djokovic in the previous semi) in the final of the French Open.

Kid logic. June 3, 2008

Posted by phoenixaeon in bedtime, Guitar Hero, music, OU, The Principessa Files, Wallace.
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Principessa is starting to get more argumentative these days. And arguing with some form of logic and fact. The lastest argument is the bedtime argument.

  • Me: It’s time for bed.
  • Princi: Mummy (points to window) it’s not dark.
  • Me: It’s still time for bed.
  • Princi: But Mummy, it’s still light. It’s not dark. It’s not night.

What can you say? Perfectly logical. It’s more or less impossible to get her to go to sleep much before 11pm at the moment. I am thinking of waking her up at 5am and saying ‘But it’s light. It’s time to wake up.”

She’s also making me laugh lots when I’m playing Guitar Hero – most of the time at her request. I think she likes the tunes. Why does she make me laugh? She tries to sing the songs. Well, more shout than sing. And it is soooo funny and cute! She especially likes 3’s and 7’s by Queens of the Stone Age. It makes me think I should re-invest in some QOTSA albums.

(OK, while looking for the 3’s and 7’s vid to put on the blog, the song started playing and Principessa hoofed it down the stairs, burst through the living room door and looked mightily confused that the GH3 tab was not playing on the TV! Funny little Monkey! Oh, and I call her Monkey because she was born in the year of the monkey, and she climbs like a monkey too!)

Well, I’m just on 1,100 words into the Wallace assignment. Not good as I only have just over 100 words left, and I have more spiritualism stuff to cover, his socialism to start, and a conclusion to wind the whole thing up. I think it might be time to go through what I have written and see if there is stuff there that I can cut. Grrr. I think it is all relevant. And I hate cutting things in case they are the things that are being looked for in the essay. Bum! I’m kind of looking forward to this essay being done with, even though it’s been, by far, the most interesting of the units.