Monday, 28 September 2009

Doing Porridge

Well one of the interesting points raised in the lectures I was listening to was about the Babylonian Law codes and how draconian they seem to modern man. But the point was that early civilisations did not have a penal system (and hey we were shipping our criminals to the ends of the earth only 200 years ago) so punishment was either 'it' - a death penalty and usually rather a nasty one or at least a major deterrent - any eye for an eye sort of stuff. So I shall spend a few days pondering 'crime and punishment' through the ages.

The Teaching Company

I have a long bus journey to work currently, so have been getting through Audio books at a bit of a rate - this week I have been listening to something new though 'Great Ancient Civilizations of Asia Minor' - a series of 30 minute lectures given by Kenneth W Harl.

Nothing I did not already know from my Archaeology studies - but a great refresher and some interesting asides I had not previously thought on. (See next posting) Anyway the upshot is that I will be in learning mode for a while and Audiable had better watch out - with iUni (iTunes University podcasts) and various companies like the Teaching Co there are some new contenders on the block for our earspace!

Sunday, 13 September 2009

An Education - Movie (Smells like Teen History)

I have a love hate thing with the Sixties - I was born slap in the middle; but I really hate all those aging hippsters who say it was the greatest decade..... Jez get a life and move on..... but this is a movie firmly set in 1962, the London Suburbs too.... so It has all the promise of London in the 1960's and all the hard lessons of post war 1950's Britain to. Look for signs of Beatniks, early feminism, changes in British Education and the elements of Olde England meeting post war Britain - including asides to immigration etc.

So a great movie about coming of age - lots of laughter and pathos and a very good cast. And a very probing question from the central character - what is the purpose of education, both School and University... Does the School of Life have more to teach us?

Sadly I could not get over how much Peter Sarsgaard looked like a young William Shatner.... (apparantly Orlando Bloom was originally cast in the part) or how very adult the young Jenny, played by Carey Mulligan was.

On general relaese from 9 October 2009

(500) Days of Summer - Movie

Well done on this one - I never would have made an Architect (even a failed one) the central character. But I loved Joseph Gordon Levitt in '3rd rock from the sun' and have followed him since - nice to see him older if not wiser as Tom - the central character. Also, Summer; played by Zooey Deschanel - last seen in 'Tinman' the updated Wizard of Oz TV serial... was good - distant and un-emotional to Tom's head over heels.

The set up for the movie worked well to - lots of flashbacks but with the neat cartoon calendar it all made sense. There were laugh out loud moments but mostly this was a look at a man vs a womans view of a relationship. Nice to see the guy on the rough end for once.

On the minus side - it still felt a little like the graduation film of Marc Webb the director - including far to many cinematic tricks, including a dance number with animation and - well just too many tricks!

Good effort - a pass mark; and recommended too. Out in Australia 1st October 2009