Ozu’s last film

The Japanese film director Yasujiro Ozu is hard to categorise. Indisputably great, perhaps the only genius to work in film; but describing how that greatness manifested itself is difficult. Other great film directors have astounding subject matter; are technically innovative; craft superb stories that can be moving, exciting, informative. Ozu doesn’t do that. Yasujiro Ozu … More Ozu’s last film

Merchant of Venice

William Shakespeare wrote, and the Lord Chamberlain’s Men performed, a play called The Jew of Venice or The Merchant of Venice, in 1596. The play was popular: Jews and their alleged plots were in the news. Only two years before in 1594, the Queen’s physician Roderigo Lopez, a former Jew, had been executed, without proof, … More Merchant of Venice


There seems to be a lot of talk about climate change going on at the moment. I know nothing much about the topic: I’m a little bit worried about the weather, but that’s as far as I’ve got. So I read up on the subject. How real is the debate, pro and contra? It’s obviously … More Air


Written half a million times in chalk on the sidewalks of Sydney by Christian convert Arthur Stace, “Eternity” was trapped in time. It lasted from 1932 to 1967. Is eternity related to time? OED is no help, offering “infinite time”, “timelessness”. We can’t have infinite time: time passes. The second definition merely means “not time”: … More Eternity

The Precursor

Empedokles was a Greek philosopher from southern Sicily who lived in the fifth century BC (about 494 – about 434 BC). He was a wandering sage who claimed to be a god, and to work miracles, and finally, ascended into heaven from the crater of Mt. Etna. His works survive only in fragments, but were … More The Precursor


In an interview/talk dated 23 October 2019 Edward Snowden talked about “How Your Cell Phone Spies On You”. The talk attracted almost 6M viewers. https://youtu.be/VFns39RXPrU. But knowing the problem and knowing what to do about it remain two different things. Data collection First of all, there’s collection of your personal data by companies and government. … More Security