Archives for November 2014
Just when you think it’s all over, it might not be. This bit of news about the utterly disastrous
development destruction of Hà Nội’s wet markets over the past decade or more may just mean I have to make a few adjustments to one chapter. It’s good news for Hà Nội, although way too late in the day to save several of the capital city’s markets.
Hanoi authorities admit defeat on relocating historic markets
VietNamNet Bridge – In the face of widespread opposition from both local residents and traders, the Hanoi Municipal People’s Committee has admitted defeat in its attempts to drive traditional wet markets into purpose built modern facilities.
According to its now ditched plan, the Hanoi authorities intended to convert 39, often historically significant, markets into modern trading centres, of 132 markets by 2020.
So far, Cua Nam, Hang Da, and Mo markets have already been fully converted, while a range of others have been ear-marked for conversion, such as Thanh Cong in Dong Da District, Chau Long and Ngoc Ha in Ba Dinh District, as well as Truong Dinh in Hai Ba Trung District.
The Hanoi authorities claimed the new markets would provide a cleaner environment and benefit food quality. The authorities also claimed the wet markets often illegally occupied roads, causing congestion and pollution.
However the first converted markets proved utter failures in attracting buyers. Hang Da, Mo, and Cua Nam have seen a huge fall off in customers due to their inconvenient access.
Many markets in Hanoi have been left empty after being transformed into market centres. For example, Hoang Mai District’s Den Lu market and Dong Anh District’s Hai Boi market have remained unused for many years due to unsuitable venues and design.
In Hang Da market, its investor even had to close the market for the second time in recent years to renovate the venue in order to keep the wet market in the basement of the current modern trading centre.
According to Nguyen Ngoc Tuan, Deputy Chairman of the Hanoi Municipal People’s Committee, the strategy to convert wet markets into modern trading centres had been ‘halted’. However, he claimed the city would continue renovating and keeping wet markets in the basements of other traditional markets.
In the short term, Nga Tu So, Chau Long and Thanh Cong markets will be not squeezed into ill-suited trading centres, but will instead be renovated based on their current model.
Fast food? Senegalese style. In Saint Louis.
Photo by me.
“More than one million vinyl records have been sold in the UK so far this year” reads the headline. While there are many reasons why this is the case – read the article – for me, these three are key,
“Some records, I like the way they degrade. It’s like a photograph fading, it’s part of the whole beauty of vinyl.” [said Nigel House, co-founder of the Rough Trade retail chain]
Mr Castaldo from the BPI agreed. “The difference between vinyl and other formats is that it’s viewed as an art form, really – the audio quality, the sleevenotes, the cover art.
“Whilst other formats are being superseded every time technology improves, vinyl doesn’t really fit into that category because it’s more than that.” link
Blogs are a bit like the vinyl of the Internet, certainly of the social media world. Or maybe they’re just the tape cassette of it.
Little viewed on YouTube, there is a series filmed in 1993, by the BBC Arena programme (complete with Brian Eno intro music) about the life of the author Graham Greene. If you have ever enjoyed his books, the series is well worth a watch. Of Greene’s years as an Mi6 station officer in Sierra Leone, which he based his 1948 novel The Heart of the Matter on, his former boss said,
“I don’t think Graham was God’s own gift to the secret service. On the other hand, I do think that the secret service’s great gift to English literature was to post Graham to Freetown… He was basically someone who was fascinated by the bizarre and bored of the routine.” Nicholas Elliott, former Director Mi6.
There is a description of the TV series on the Doku.Arts site,
Produced after Graham Greene died in 1991, this trilogy sheds light on Greene’s secret world, where the characters are typified by morbid obsession: weak men, traitors, hypocrites, failures. In the film, the cast of characters includes Kim Philpy talking about his time with Greene in the Secret Service, Greene’s contemporaries John le Carré and Anthony Burgess, his wife Vivien, his mistress Jocelyn Rickards and the secretive Yvonne Cloetta, his companion for the last thirty years of his life. Greene’s work is read by Sir Alec Guiness and narrated by Robert Powell. link
Here are the links to each part of the series,
Rosetta’s Plasma Consortium (RPC) has uncovered a mysterious ‘song’ that Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko is singing into space. The comet seems to be emitting a ‘song’ in the form of oscillations in the magnetic field in the comet’s environment. It is being sung at 40-50 millihertz, far below human hearing, which typically picks up sound between 20 Hz and 20 kHz. To make the music audible to the human ear, the frequencies have been increased in this recording. Thumbnail image credit: ESA/Rosetta/NAVCAM – CC BY-SA IGO 3.0 link
I’m starting to think about Project K, which I’ll be working on more or less full-time throughout 2015, and how I want to illustrate it. I’d like to do more sketches, but nothing really like those I’ve been doing up until now. It’s more about finding a detail in a scene to focus and expand upon, whilst at the same time describing, but definitely not focussing on, the rest of the scene. It sounds a bit like writing really.
0.1 mm nib, black ink, Steadler pigment liner Fineliner pen, on Moleskine plain paper notebook.
30 minute doodle. 0.1 mm nib, black ink, Steadler pigment liner Fineliner pen, on Moleskine plain paper notebook.