My perspective on this historic 31 January 2020 A.D.

From one of Holderlin’s later odes called Peace

Peace …

... But almost, it seems, a child
Is wiser than we old ones; no conflict tears
His mind or heart, and still untroubled,
Joyful and clear are the eyes of children.
And as the umpire, smilingly earnest, looks
Upon the young men’s racecourse with other guests
And sees the combatants more hotly
Drive into clouds their dust-whirling chariots,
So up above us Helios stands and smiles,
The glad, divine, and never is lonely there,
For without end they dwell there, Aether’s
Blossoming stars, in their holy freedom.
A dramatic interpretation of Holderlin’s Tower in Tubingen
Holderlin Tower Tubingen at Winter

A.D. 31 Ionawr 2020


Stop Comparing Brexit to the Reformation by @BrumafriendHist

Brexit Day is historic — only the Reformation compares

King Henry (God’s anointed sovereign), Queen Catherine (bottom) – his wife of 24 years – & Anne Boleyn, her lady-in-waiting, the king;s mistress. Stripped of her title, the Queen became Princess Dowager of Wales.

And Queen Anne? On 19 May 1536, Queen Anne Boleyn, second wife of King Henry VIII, was executed by beheading within the confines of the Tower of London. She’d been queen for just three years. At 35 years old, she was found guilty of high treason.

The majority of modern historians believe that Anne Boleyn was an innocent woman framed: either by her husband, who was intent on moving onto a new wife with whom he hoped to have a surviving male heir; or by his loyal servant, Thomas Cromwell, who devised the case against Anne to remove a threat and an obstacle to his plans. Anne disagreed with Cromwell’s plans for the monasteries and her pro-French stance on diplomacy was a problem when Cromwell wanted an alliance with the Holy Roman Empire. Anne’s almoner had attacked Cromwell and the advice he was giving the king in a sermon preached in the presence of the king.

In Tudor law, defendants were presumed guilty until proven innocent – similar, very often, to life today! And – echoes of a famous trial ‘across the pond,’ – no witnesses were produced against Anne and her brother George! And, the ‘Hangman of Calais’, who was renowned for his skill at beheading by sword, was sent for, before Anne had even been found guilty.

The executioner beheaded the queen with one stroke of his sword and then her distressed ladies wrapped Anne’s remains in white cloth and carried them to the nearby Chapel of St Peter ad Vincula. Nobody had thought to provide a coffin for her burial, so a yeoman warder had to fetch an old elm chest, which had once contained bow staves, from the Tower armoury. Anne’s head and body were placed in the chest and buried in the chancel near to the remains of her brother George (Lord Rochford)

Every year on 19 May, the anniversary of her execution, a basket of roses is delivered and laid on Queen Anne Boleyn’s memorial tile. It is not known exactly who is responsible for sending it and the card with it reads simply “Queen Anne Boleyn, 19th of May 1536”. 

Thanks to Claire Ridgway for these facts.

By the way, I never knew that Anne was the second cousin of Jane Seymour, who became the king’s third wife after her execution? Anne’s family claimed to have a family connection to Thomas à Becket, the saintly 12th-century Archbishop of Canterbury.


Great films. Great acting. Great talent in/coming out of, South Korea.

Parasite – Official Trailer (2019) Bong Joon Ho Film via @YouTube

Why Parasite is a masterpiece via @YouTube

Bong Joon-ho

South Korean filmmaker Bong Joon-ho already has an impeccable track record, but he’s stepped up his game with this brilliant, powerfully revealing social satire. Jeffrey M. Anderson

Our British Museum announces …


Tantra: enlightenment to revolution 23 April – 26 July 2020
Originating in early medieval India, Tantra had a huge impact on Hinduism and Buddhism from the 6th century onwards
Explore the radical philosophy that transformed the religious, cultural and political landscape of India and beyond in this powerful exhibition. 

From its inception to the present day, Tantra has challenged religious, cultural and political norms around the world. A philosophy that emerged in India around the sixth century, Tantra has been linked to successive waves of revolutionary thought, from its early transformation of Hinduism and Buddhism, to the Indian fight for independence and the rise of 1960s counterculture.

The Sanskrit word ‘Tantra’ derives from the verbal root tan, meaning ‘to weave’, or ‘compose’, and refers to a type of instructional text, often written as a dialogue between a god and a goddess. 

My tantra statue from Tibet – Chakrasamvara and Vajrayogini

It is symbolic of the primordial union of wisdom and compassion – this type of representation originated at the outset of Tibetan Buddhism in the 8th and 9th centuries.

Russia Plans ‘World’s Biggest’ Orthodox Church


World’s Largest, 40,000! Capacity, Orthodox Cathedral Planned Where Russia’s Last Emperor was Murdered

40,000 Christians should fit inside this cathedral. They plan to build it in the area near where the family of Tsar Nicholas II was killed, and it may become one of the biggest pilgrimage destinations in all of Russia. It would measure 118,000 sq ft and have two floors with churches on each floor, totalling roughly 200,000 sq. ft. 

3D модель будущего христианского супер собора via @YouTube

Proposed site, in context

It will be dedicated to Saint Sophia

An orthodox icon of the lastTsar, Nicholas II, and his family, inside the Temple on the Blood in Yekaterinburg

To my mind, there is only one technology on which we must stay ahead: AI.


We must get over Huawei’s 5G victory and focus on the real threat via @telegraphtech

Like the launch of Sputnik in 1957, Huawei is not really a fight about technology. Rather, it is emblematic of a superpower showdown, a simple, scary signifier to the West that its preeminence is being challenged …

To my mind, there is only one technology on which we must stay ahead: AI. Because it is a catalyst, an accelerator which will bestow a greater pace of discovery on whoever best harnesses it. 

So, let’s stop moaning and make sure that we Brits can still be world leaders in ‘future technology’ – and get on with nurturing our youngsters to be at the forefront of AI.