08 October 2005
HURRAH! I finally located Noise Unit's 'Voyeur'. That took long enough. It would appear that Borders is the only music outlet in Singapore that carries this particular CD.
I am still hoping to locate the soundtrack the Pet Shop Boys created for the Sergei Eisenstein's classic 'Battleship Potemkin'. So far, I haven't seen it on our fair shores yet. It would be a most interesting exposition.
"Mesmerised by a decade of faith
Flowers and remorse
A fading vision lost in time
Tragedy on course"
'Mindphaser' Front Line Assembly
07 October 2005
Today, I was at Faber-Castell Singapore. They are housed at the Lian Tong Building at Tannery Lane. The nice people there, namely Gary, gave me some Faber Castell drawing pens to draw.
Over the years, I have used many types including the titanium-tipped Radiograph pen.
In the image above, from left to right, Faber-Castell, Artline, Pilot, Copic and Rotring. I have used Pilot extensively for the last ten years, however, my favourite is the Artline ones.
Copic is unique in that they do have a 0.05 width in their range and that has proven to be useful despite being extremely fragile. The nib is easily ruined. For ultra-fine work, there is only one.
Rotring has smooth ink flow but it seems to lack character.
I have yet to try the Faber-Castell ones but having tried their products in the past, I have high expectations.
I have tried the Faber-Castell pens last night and have drawn a delightful little piece which I am pleased with. The pens are fabulous. I think I won't be purchasing anymore Pilot and Copic technical pens except for the occasional 0.05 Copic ones. For Rotring, I can't see much of a reason either.
Artline and Faber-Castell pens have a certain flow and feel that agree with me.
06 October 2005
The Bridge of Sighs
As he observed down the span of the old wooden bridge, his trepidation notwithstanding, he thought of the former times where he would wander through the sunny meadows, carefree and joyful. With a heavy heart, he came to the realisation that he must cross the Rubicon. Nothing would ever be the same again.
'Veni, Vidi Vici' Julius Caesar
05 October 2005
Modesty Blaise: The Green-Eyed Monster
I read this over the weekend. Excellent pulp fiction. I love the black and white line work and the figures. Sadly, this style is no longer in vogue today. Oh well.
If I were half as good as the artists that Peter O'Donnell had employed in his strips...
I read the pictorial of the Third Infantry Division's advance up to Baghdad two nights back. This is an amazing visual chronicle of the armoured thrust involving hundreds of vehicles.
I can see the superhuman efforts in logistical terms when a column of this size moved. The number of vehicles numbered in the hundreds, from the armoured behemoths like the M1A1s to the humble Hummers armed with merely a M240B or M2HB.
The volume also illustrated the lightning advance of one of the brigades through the rear of the surprised Medina Division which was utterly wiped out. The curious thing about the Medina division is that the T-72 tankers often abandoned their MBTs while the lightly-armoured BMP crew tried to fight the advancing Americans.
David Zucchino offers a narrative of the advance in his book titled 'Thunder Run'. He chronicles the two runs and the eventual occupation of Saddam's palace. He also has a detailed, gripping account of the vicious battles at the three points held to ensure that the spearheads are supplied.
After the battles, the large number of Syrians killed were left unburied by the Iraqis who had nothing but disdain for these foreign fighters, whereas, they buried their own.
I read Zucchino's account several months ago. Truly amazing.
04 October 2005
The Battle of Salamis
I usually read four or five books at the same time. I just started on this very readable narrative of the Battle of Salamis two days ago. I expect to finish this in two or three days' time.
Two notables: The exodus of the whole Athenian population to Salamis and a few other locations. This uprooting totalled over 150 000 people and it was a massive undertaking.
The Athenians voted for a huge increase in their military, expanding their fleet to at least 180 triremes. This changed Athens. From a minor power, Athens became the largest naval power in ancient Greece. For this undertaking, the Athenians had obviously voted in the funds before 480 B.C.
Aegina, one of Athens neighbours and rivals, was apparently a greater naval power until recently. (Two to three years ago.)
I finally read Paul Kennedy's 'The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers' from cover to cover after reading it on and off since 1987. I have a tendency to do that with Paul Kennedy's books, especially the interesting chapters. For instance, I have read the chapters on the three Anglo-Dutch Wars and the First World War in 'The Rise and Fall of British Naval Mastery' and most of the chapters concerning the First World War and the arms race of the interwar years in 'Strategy and Diplomacy'. More on 'The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers' later.
"This burning sky that we call home
In the end we stand alone
'Everything must perish' Front Line Assembly
03 October 2005
02 October 2005
Figure IX: The Man of the Times
Only the latest will yield satisfaction. He celebrates impermanence. Fleeting form.
"it is the summer of fourty-five
black-market dealers are in the streets
but we all feel so alive
now we get again what we need"
'Black Market Dealers' Funker Vogt