Jaja

All I know is that Jaja is from Germany and makes space music on her synthesizers that are described on each album. The album artwork gives an idea of the genre intended.

Shame

The album cover says it all………

The Walk of Shame
by Tricorn (2013)

Yep – it’s music about…… things.

Fuzzed out guitars, hard rock riffs, blues, grunge, stoners and late nights. It’s difficult getting this genre of music right. These guys do it (all night long) and this free album is a good example.

 

Zalys

Zalys is a french one-woman project mixing dark ambient, space soundscapes, symphonic touches and futuristic elements for a dark journey in space.

The music is sometimes ambient like Steve Roach, but more often in the Tangerine Dream Berlin School. Good for late nights and relaxing.

Discography:

– Wandering Through Space
– Sagittarius B2
– Summoning the Phoenix
– Towards the Sun
– Infinity
– The Icarus System
– Reminiscences
– Lux in Tenebris
– The Celestial Abyss

Brokenwood S3E2

Case 10 – Over Her Dead Body

Brokenwood is in mourning as beloved local poet Declan O’Grady is being farewelled at St Judas Church after being struck down by cancer. But things go from bad to worse when his coffin accidentally falls from the hearse revealing that the corpse inside is not Declan but a young woman identifiable only by a notable scarlet tattoo.

Mike, Kristin and Breen set about unraveling a strange set of circumstances. The last to see Declan’s body was the hapless funeral director Warren Bugle who leads them back to Wadsworth Manor where a mysterious role playing game was conducted the night before Declan’s death. It turns out the tattooed woman may have been a player in what was to ultimately be her final game.


This episode was almost a satire of the traditional closed-room murder/mystery. The contestants for murderer were laid out early and motivations explained. As the bodies fall, it’s all a question of which well known kiwi actor did it. The tone is more fun than fear and probably the best episode yet.


Director: Murray Keane
Producer: Sally Campbell

Cast:
Mike NEILL REA
Kristin FERN SUTHERLAND
D.C Breen NIC SAMPSON
Jared PANA HEMA-TAYLOR
Gina CRISTINA IONDA
Janelle THERESA HEALEY
Dr Plummer CAMERON RHODES
Declan O’Grady MARK MITCHISON
Brenda AMANDA BILLING
Rev Greene ROY WARD
Scarlett JJ FONG
Warren KIP CHAPMAN
Tina NICOLA KAWANA
Hughes COLIN MOY
Evan Whitestone ROSS MCKELLAR
Mrs Marlowe ELIZABETH MCRAE
Cushla LUCI HARE
Melody RENEE SHERIDAN
Dr Carlton ASCIA MAYBURY
Miranda LAURA HILL
Yanni AJAY VAISISHT
First aired: Sunday 6th of November 2016

Gilgamesh

Gilgamesh is the main character in the Epic of Gilgamesh, an Akkadian poem that is considered the first great work of literature and in earlier Sumerian poems. In the epic, Gilgamesh is a demigod of superhuman strength who builds the city walls of Uruk to defend his people and travels to meet the sage Utnapishtim, who survived the Great Flood.

Gilgamesh is generally seen by scholars as a historical figure, since inscriptions have been found which confirm the existence of other figures associated with him in the epic. If Gilgamesh existed, he probably was a king who reigned sometime between 2800 and 2500 BC.


He is the subject of the In Our Time podcast released on Nov 03 2016.


Tony Garone released a music CD based on the epic in 2001.


And Robert Silverberg wrote the book ‘Gilgamesh the King’ on the character in 1984,

 

Flying Amazon Queens

Flight of the Amazon Queen
by Interactive Binary Illusions (1995)

This is a graphical point-and-click adventure game originally released for Amiga and MS-DOS then re-released as freeware in 2004 for use with ScummVM. I got it from GOG.com.
It’s game-play is very similar in style to many of LucasArts’ popular point-and-click adventures of the 1990s, and was inspired by Monkey Island and Indiana Jones. The game includes multiple allusions to Indiana Jones and is a pastiche of adventure serials and pulp magazines of the time.

The year is 1949 and you play Joe King, pilot for hire, tasked with flying famous movie starlet Faye Russell into the Amazon jungle for a photo shoot. Unfortunately, things don’t go according to plan and Joe finds himself stranded in the heart of the jungle where he must rescue a kidnapped princess, brave a dangerous temple, encounter fearsome Amazonian warriors, and uncover a mad scientist’s plan to take over the world! It’s up to you to deal with the imminent threat of world domination … but be careful, or this may be the last Flight of the Amazon Queen!


This is a game of it’s time, while the graphics are basic, it does have full cast voices. All the text is spoken and it’s decently done. At first this is an enjoyable adventure, the puzzles are inventory based and reasonably logical. However further into the game things become more difficult and without the walk-through I wouldn’t have finished the game. So OK – but average.

6 Unpopular Policies

The Planet Money re-broadcast this episode on 27 October 2016.

This show presented the common-sense, no-nonsense Planet Money economic plan — backed by economists of all stripes, but probably toxic to any candidate that might endorse it.

The proposals:

One: Eliminate the mortgage tax deduction, which lets homeowners deduct the interest they pay on their mortgages. Gone. After all, big houses get bigger tax breaks, driving up prices for everyone. Why distort the housing market and subsidize people buying expensive houses?

Two: End the tax deduction companies get for providing health-care to employees. Neither employees nor employers pay taxes on workplace health insurance benefits. That encourages fancier insurance coverage, driving up usage and, therefore, health costs overall. Eliminating the deduction will drive up costs for people with workplace healthcare, but makes the health-care market fairer.

Three: Eliminate the corporate income tax. Completely. If companies reinvest the money into their businesses, that’s good. Don’t tax companies in an effort to tax rich people.

Four: Eliminate all income and payroll taxes. All of them. For everyone. Taxes discourage whatever you’re taxing, but we like income, so why tax it? Payroll taxes discourage creating jobs. Not such a good idea. Instead, impose a consumption tax, designed to be progressive to protect lower-income households.

Five: Tax carbon emissions. Yes, that means higher gasoline prices. It’s a kind of consumption tax, and can be structured to make sure it doesn’t disproportionately harm lower-income Americans. More, it’s taxing something that’s bad, which gives people an incentive to stop polluting.

Six: Legalize marijuana. Stop spending so much trying to put pot users and dealers in jail — it costs a lot of money to catch them, prosecute them, and then put them up in jail. Criminalizing drugs also drives drug prices up, making gang leaders rich.

There you have it, six major proposals that have broad agreement, at least among economists. Though we should note that there were some pretty significant quibbles about just how to implement the income-tax and carbon-tax proposals.

The economists

Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research in Washington, D.C., and widely published blog “You could probably describe me as left of center. It’d be fair.”

Russ Roberts, George Mason University economics professor. “In the grand spectrum of economic policy, I’m a pretty hard core free market guy. I’m probably called a libertarian.”

Katherine Baicker, professor of health economics at Harvard University’s Department of Health Policy and Management. We simply called her a centrist on the show.

Luigi Zingales, professor of entrepreneurship and finance and the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business. “What I like to say is that I’m pro-market, but not necessarily pro-business.”

Robert Frank, professor of management and economics at Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management. “I’m a registered Democrat. I think of myself as a radical pragmatist.”

Note: This post was updated to make clear that the income tax would be replaced with a consumption tax. That’s in the original show, but was inadvertently omitted from the summary above. Sorry for the confusion!

Brokenwood S3E1

The Brokenwood Mysteries
Case 9 – The Black Widower

The Frog and Cheetah’s publican, Ray Neilson, has branched into tourism with his ‘Lord of the Ringz Tours’ tailored to non-English speaking tourists. But when Ray’s wife Debbie is discovered dead under a giant foam spider in a supposed film location of Mirklewood things get ‘mirky’. Especially when Debbie’s cause of death is revealed to be from New Zealand’s only native venomous spider – the Katipo. But if it was, how did one spider administer ten times the lethal dose?

Things don’t look good for Ray or the nearby arachnologist, Chandra Singh. But then as DSS Mike Shepherd and his team investigate other local tourism operators, they find none of them are particularly sad about Debbie’s demise. Her back room deals with the council have seen them banned from the coveted Brokenwood forest. Was her death karma or revenge? Regardless of motive it was definitely murder.


This feels like a very traditional murder mystery. The crime is committed at the beginning and the story quickly establishes a number of characters, all who have motivation and means to commit the murder. Then the detectives get on the case, and slowly reveal more clues and motives. Each time the potential suspect changes, until finally at the end the culprit is revealed.


Director: Mark Beesley
Producer: Sally Campbell

Cast: Mike NEILL REA
Kristin FERN SUTHERLAND
D.C Breen NIC SAMPSON
Jared PANA HEMA-TAYLOR
Gina CRISTINA IONDA
Ray Neilson JASON HOYTE
Debbie Neilson LARA MACGREGOR
Chandra Singh KALYANI NAGARAJAN
Dr Byron Cotter EMMETT SKILTON
Nigel GEOFF HOUTMAN
Billy DAN VEINT
Nicole KATIE WOLFE
Lance PHIL BROWN
Dennis SHANE CORTESE
Trudy TRACY LEE GRAY
Hans JULIAN WILSON
Chen CHARLES CHEN
Hughes COLIN MOY
Mrs Marlowe ELIZABETH MCRAE
Rev Greene ROY WARD
First aired: Sunday 30th of October 2016

Dr Strange

 

Doctor Strange is a 2016 American superhero film featuring the Marvel Comics character of the same name, produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the fourteenth film of the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film is directed by Scott Derrickson, who wrote the screenplay with C. Robert Cargill from a story by the duo and Jon Spaihts, and stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen, and Tilda Swinton. In Doctor Strange, surgeon Stephen Strange learns the mystic arts from the Ancient One after a career-ending car accident.


After all the special effects, grand costumes and sweeping music, this is a very familiar fantasy story. A man (surgeon Steven Strange) is taken from the mundane world into the mystical. He starts as an apprentice, learns skills to rival his master and ultimately takes on the evil one. Using new/invented skills he defeats his enemies and brings a new era into the world.

It’s well done, the stars here are Tilda Swinton and Benedict Cumberbatch. All others are secondary. And that includes big enemy boss Mads Mikkelsen who isn’t as sinister or compelling as he was in .Casino Royale (2006). On the plus side, these is plenty of unexpected humour.

It’s certainly an entertaining watch, but you will recognize all the fantasy tropes.