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Archive for May, 2012

The horror, the horror of Syria

Thursday, 31 May, 2012
The horror, the horror of Syria

There are images too graphic even for those who are confronted daily with examples of human barbarity. Most newspapers, magazines and TV outlets won’t publish photos from the Houla massacre in Syria, but Rainy Day will link to them. (WARNING: These photos are extremely distressing and poignant.) One could write thousands of words to condemn […]

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Bob Dylan receives Medal of Freedom at White House

Wednesday, 30 May, 2012

His country now has honoured him as highly as it can, and rightly so. Next up on the Never Ending Tour, after the White House, is the Hop Farm Music Festival in England at the end of June. Citation: “One of the most influential American musicians of the 20th century, Dylan released his first album […]

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Euroland: The new plutocracy

Wednesday, 30 May, 2012
Euroland: The new plutocracy

In the light of recent events, it’s easy to laugh at the hubris expressed by the German newsweekly, Der Spiegel, 10 years ago when it titled its first issue of 2002, “Euroland: The new plutocracy“. There is something absurdly amusing about the magazine’s story on how the euro was conquering the UK. “Lots of British […]

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Marie Louise O’Murphy, mistress, survivor

Tuesday, 29 May, 2012
Marie Louise O’Murphy, mistress, survivor

A holiday Monday in Munich and a visit to the Alte Pinakothek art musuem. There, in the upper floor gallery reclines Marie Louise O’Murphy, once mistress of Louis XV of France. Born in 1737 in Rouen to Marguerite Igny and Daniel O’Murphy de Boisfaily, an Irish soldier who had taken up shoemaking, she was the […]

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Now: crowdsourcing crowds

Monday, 28 May, 2012
Now: crowdsourcing crowds

Launched last week, the Now iPhone app detects hot events taking place in four major cities: New York, Paris, London and San Francisco. Other metropolises will follow, no doubt. Berlin, Sydney and Vancouver are three on the Rainy Day list. The nifty thing is that the app rates “hotness” by analyzing the number of photos […]

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A bee came by and sipped on lavender

Sunday, 27 May, 2012
A bee came by and sipped on lavender

How doth the little busy bee Improve each shining hour, And gather honey all the day From every opening flower! Isaac Watts

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Lorine Zineb Noka Talhaoui sings euphorically for Sweden

Saturday, 26 May, 2012

She’s better known as Loreen and tonight she’ll represent Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan, with Euphoria. The echoes of Gloria by Laura Branigan means that Euphoria will be a huge summer hit in euro dance clubs. This has to be the winner. Douze points!

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e-book review: The Making of the Greek Crisis by James Pettifer

Friday, 25 May, 2012

It is possible that James Pettifer was overcome by philhellene emotion when writing The Making of the Greek Crisis. Or he might have been the victim of over-hasty editing, or the short e-book format chosen by Penguin for this topic is unsuited to the complexity of the matter. In any event, the reader is often […]

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The Botanist: Gin from… Scotland

Thursday, 24 May, 2012

New in the Rainy Day drinks cabinet is the latest creation from the island of Islay, a dry gin called “The Botanist“. The aroma is classically gin floral but with a Hebridean character that evokes hazy hills, bogs, turf and Atlantic surf. Upon sipping, The Botanist reveals itself as a tonguetaste of purity, a mouthfeel […]

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The sumptuous Gatsby trailer

Wednesday, 23 May, 2012

The first trailer for Baz Luhrmann‘s interpretation of F. Scott Fitzgerald‘s classic, The Great Gatsby, is a sumptuous affair. The clip features Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan and Tobey Maguire, and, going on the glimpse we’re offered, Luhrmann has not cut corners on costumes or set design. The film will be released on 26 December in […]

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Shorts for summer

Wednesday, 23 May, 2012
Shorts for summer

How can publishers get the time-poor back reading again? Answer: Shorts. No, not drinks or men’s clothing. The shorts here are what Random House calls Storycuts and Pan Macmillan calls Short Reads and Penguin calls, simply, Shorts. Rainy Day has opted for a Penguin on the iPhone with “The Making of the Greek Crisis” by […]

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