Showing posts from April, 2020

SFF Music Video of the Week - #37

I fully expect that many some a couple at least one of my readers have been waiting for this iconic 80s video to make an appearance. Featuring a blend of hand-drawn pencil animation and live-action footage, this video was an instant classic, and made the song a 1985 number one hit in the USA, and one of the best selling singles of all time. But this is not the original - the original version (by the same band, from 1984) had a far less popular response, and a far more boring video. It was a flop outside of Norway.  Remixed and re-released a year later, it soared to remarkable heights, and has stayed there year after year, and is one of only five songs on YouTube to exceed one beeelion views. So here you have it, Aha's 1985 release of "Take On Me", as remastered from the original 35mm film in 2019.

Water Lilly with bees

The lockdown due to The Nineteen does have a few benefits. One of the ones of working from home is that I get to spend a bit more time in the garden, and appreciating it more. Today, I was treated to this lovely sight:

SFF Music Video of the Week #36

This one took a little more hunting than usual to find. I first saw this at JAFWA back in 1995, and it is one of those videos that stays with you. Created by the inimitable Hayao Miyazaki, with music by pop duo Chage & Aska, this is not so much a music video as a short movie with a musical soundtrack. I won't say much about this one, so sit back and enjoy "On Your Mark", by Chage & Aska, as interpreted by the master of anime, Miyazaki.

SFF Music Video of the Week #35

Duran Duran are a band we shall revisit in the future. Today, we're going to look at a spin-off project - Arcadia, and their hit "Election Day". Full of all the excesses and fetishes of the 1980s New Romantic movement, this is, to my mind, the quintessential video of the genre - beating out Spandau Ballet's "Vienna" by a carefully mussed whisker. But is it genre? This is one of several videos I've had to consider carefully, and, in the end, it just  falls on the SFF side of the fence. Throughout the video there is a sense of odd - little things, like the game being played (and the implied effects of said game). There are other hints as well - for example there are the horse-men, who appear to be tightly bound by some unbreakable force that they are in a constant struggle against. On top of that is a certain desperation to all the sensuality - an impending doom of some kind. (I'll conveniently skip over the fact that it was made at the height of

Stress and support structures.

What follows is a discussion of mental health and stress from someone who is, overall, in a good place. None of this is advice of any sort, but is just some personal observations, and some interesting research. Unless you have somehow managed to live under several miles of rock for the past six months, you know that we are living in very strange world today. The personal impacts of a global pandemic are many and varied, from the physical isolation, to the impacts on work, loss of jobs, the fear of illness - the list goes on. Any of these can cause stress, and the combination of all, or even just some, of them creates even more stress. The idea of the stress that these can cause, will, in itself, cause stress. So what to do about it? We are seeing many families start down a self-sufficiency kick to try and gain some stability in food supply (something, incidentally, that we saw in the Great Depression of the 1930s), an increase in interest in exercise (not seen in the 1930s, but

Blending cooking technologies

It will come as no surprise to folks that I tend to acquire a variety of cooking devices - some of them traditional, some of them on the bleeding edge of technology. What I do avoid are devices with one purpose - unless they happen to do it extraordinarily well, and take minimal space. My pear corer, for example, or the peach pitter. Everything else serves multiple uses. A rice cooker, for example will also cook many other rice-based dishes, and will serve as a steamer as well. Today four of these devices met in in the creation of a simple dish, but made so much simpler and tastier as a result. The first two tools were actually used nearly four months ago. Our Fowlers Vacola preserving system, and our tomato mill. These were used together to produce two of today's ingredients - a bottle of preserved tomatoes, and a bottle of passata. The Fowlers Vacola domestic kit. The Fowlers preserving system has been around since the 1880's, and the Australian company since the

SFF Music Video of the Week #34

The force of musical chaos that is Ex Hex has created a couple of genre-based clips. This is from their first album, and is simple chaos-spreading fun with a solid rock theme. Nothing more to say here, except for "Stand up and rock out" to "Waterfall" from the album Rips by Ex Hex.