March 2008

Another positive review (scroll down to the third review) of Pandora’s Box has just appeared. This one is in the Engineering & Technology magazine of the IET.

I just heard the “Budget Response” by the Shadow Chancellor, George Osbourne. It was on after “The World Tonight” and I was only half listening to it. However, I was appalled to hear him, in a major radio (and I assume this was just the audio of the TV version so on TV as well) address use the phrase “we’re gonna do X” not once but twice in a row, instead of “we’re going to do X”. This man has pretensions (and a moderate chance) of becoming the Finance Minster of the world’s fourth largest economy within a couple of years. Is this an example of trying to “connect” with “yoof” (you know, I do that all the time without debasing my English to “street” level) or is he really incapable of delivering a speech in standard English. Accents are one thing and so long as it’s understandable I’m quite pleased to hear a variety on Radio 4 (I quite like the gentle tones of the chap with the Caribbean accent they have doing continuity announcements) but there’s a reason “standard” English is used, because it’s more easily understandable to all.

Middle-aged, middle class, Radio 4 listener, now feeling like “annoyed of Kawasaki”.

On Saturday I went to Kamakura. This is another historical power centre of Japan. Japan abounds with former major power centres. This one was particularly important in the 12th to 14th centuries when the Minamoto shoguns had it as their base (making it the military capital but not the imperial capital which was Heian-kyou (now known as Kyoto) during that period).

As with any place that was a major power centre for any length of time, it has quite a few historical sites of interest. I visited three of them, including the kotoku shrine with a Daibutsu (huge Buddha statue). (more…)