Newsletter 153 – September 2009


Number 153 – September 2009 – ISSN 1470-1863

Music, Arts, Culture, and Technology
as seen from digital hub Manchester UK

Advertise in this newsletter. Your AD here.
For rates contact us at –

** 12,700+ subscribers will see your AD **

If you were wondering what happened to the
August newsletter, it wasn’t issued.
Pressure of work. Honest.

0— Online Learning – Course Design Services

We are now offering services to help tutors
and institutions put their courses on line.
Here’s what we can do for you:

* convert your existing teaching materials
* put your course plans and docs on line
* create self-assessment exercises for you
* automatically record grades and results
* offer f.r.e.e software and tech support
* provide 24/7 access from any computer
* supply f.r.e.e video training and multimedia
* offer e-tutoring in study + writing skills
* offer professional development for tutors
* create teaching manuals and templates
* offer bespoke schemes from National Curriculum

Courses can be hosted on your servers or on ours.
Further details and prices on request.

Phone: 0161 432 5811
Mobile: 07792 69 2929

0— Pub Quiz Question #1

Name the three Musketeers.

0— Igor Stravinsky: Biography Part I

This is the first volume of Stephen Walsh’s
monumental biography of Stravinsky – the
composer who more-or-less started 20th-century
music with his “Rite of Spring” in 1913.

His fascinating life starts in late 19th-century
Russia, and then goes into a state of permanent
exile following the revolution of 1918.

And his music followed a similar development –
changing from one style to another in a way
which baffled his critics but has kept music
lovers delighted ever since.

There’s plenty of personal complexity too –
from a man who had a wife and children in
one house in the south of France, and kept
a mistress in another in Paris. Review here –

Mantex Newsletter Igor Stravinsky 1882-1934

0— Pub quiz – Question #2

Which cartoonist draws the Doonesbury strip?

0— Online Learning Courses for F & HE

We are offering THREE online learning courses
suitable for students in further or higher
education. They are short self-contained courses:

* Personal Development
* Healthy Living
* Stress Management

They were commissioned by the NHS and designed
for students in Health and Social Care, but
they are suitable for any students who might
need to enhance their personal portfolios.

Each course can be completed in a few hours,
and successful students gain a certificate
from The Manchester College.

You can look around a DEMO course f.r.e.e
of charge at our site, and the enrolment fee
for each of these courses is only ten pounds.

Full tutorial support from experienced tutors.

redbtn Email for further details

0— Pub quiz – Question #3

Which Dutch river is also the name of a beer?

0— Don’t Look Down! – el Caminito del Rey

Just north of the coast of Andalucia where
I spend the summer, lies the picturesque
town of Competa. It’s in an area known as
the ‘Spanish Lakes’, and features the famous
el Chorro gorge.

Even more famous is the fact that the tiny
bridge spanning the gorge can be accessed by
the suicidally narrow pathway known as the
‘footpath of the King’.

The monarch in question (Alfonso XIII) had
more sense than to step anywhere near this
now-dilapidated invitation to death which
rises to 2,000 feet plus above the rocks below.

Have a look at this video clip of somebody mad
enough to embark on this little pleasure trip.
Notice the yawning gaps in the pathway, the
absence of any handrails, the general state
of crumbling disrepair, and if you are in
any way phobic about heights, don’t feel
bad if you close your eyes or switch off.

redbtn El Caminito del Rey

0— Pub quiz – Question #4

What is the largest bay in the world?

0— ‘The Awakening and Other Stories’ – Kate Chopin

Kate Chopin was an American writer who is now
best known for her novel ‘The Awakening’ (1899)
which was ‘re-discovered’ in the 1960s. But in
fact she was a professional and quite successful
author in her own lifetime who earned part of
her living by placing her short stories with

This collection includes wonderful evocations
of New Orleans and the Gulf of Mexico. It covers
the higher parts of society which spanned French,
Spanish, and English-speaking cultures.

She explores what were at the time considered
rather daring topics such as free love, adultery,
and mixed race relationships. Full review at –

redbtn The Awakening

0— Pub quiz – Question #5

What was Glenn Miller’s signature tune?

0— F.r.e.e Fonts

Alexandru Cuibari contacted us recently
to announce his f.r.e.e fonts site. And
very smart it is too.


0— Pub quiz – Question #6

What does the letter R stand for in URL?

0— Franz Kafka – triple bill – new editions

Oxford University Press has just issued
new translations of three great Kafka works.

‘Metamorphosis and Other Stories’,
‘The Trial’, and ‘The Castle’

The new editions come with scholarly
introductions, full explanatory notes,
a Kafka chronology, and notes on the
provenance of the text and translations.
Good quality, and good value.

Full reviews of all three volumes at –

redbtn Metamorphosis

redbtn The Trial

redbtn The Castle

0— Pub Quiz – Question #7

Where did Edward VIII spend most of World War II?

0— The Short Story: An Introduction

Any serious study of the short story needs
to look beyond what’s being written right
now – no matter by whom.

That’s the main strength of this study by
Paul March-Russell. He covers an enormously
wide range of examples, from medieval sources
to the present day.

And he examines all genres – from mysteries and
ghost stories, to detective fiction and the
modern ‘literary’ story. Se the full review at –

redbtn The Short Story – An Introduction

0— Pub quiz – Question #8

What colour is a lobster’s blood?

0— ‘Woolf’s-head Publishing’

This is without doubt the most attractively
produced book I have seen for a long time.

It’s the official catalogue to an exhibition
of Hogarth Press publications held at the
University of Alberta earlier this year.

Quite apart from full colour reproductions
of the most famous jacket design by Vanessa
Bell and others, the book itself is beautifully
typeset, and printed on rich quality paper.

All the entries are fully documented, and
there are designs I have never seen before.

It’s not available at Amazon, but the library
at Alberta fixed me up with a copy no problems.

redbtn Woolf’s-head Publishing

0— Pub quiz – Question #9

What were the first words spoken on a film soundtrack?

0— ‘How the Beatles Destroyed Rock and Roll’

Guest reviewer Bill Jones looks back at the
swinging sixties to check out the thesis of
Elijah Wald’s latest book.

He argues that the Fab Four put something of
a dampener on developments in American popular
music. Had they been left unchecked, there
might have been a clear division between
Tamla-Mowtown and AOR.

It doesn’t really matter if you agree with his
thesis or not – because his writing on popular
music is so wide-ranging and well-informed.

This book has had rave reviews. Have a look at
Amazon if you don’t believe me. Bill’s review –

redbtn How the Beatles Destroyed Rock and Roll

0— Pub quiz – Question #10

How old was Bill Gates when he founded Microsoft?

0— Coming soon

Stravinsky Biography – Vol 2

Virginia Woolf: An MFS Reader

A Reader’s Guide to Proust

FREE: The Future of a Radical Price

The Tradition of Constructivism

Bauhaus (Design)

Chekhov (stories)

0— Pub quiz – ANSWERS

#1 Name the three Musketeers.
ANSWER: Athos, Porthos, Aramis

#2 Which cartoonist draws the Doonesbury strip?
ANSWER: Gary Trudeau

#3 Which Dutch river is also the name of a beer?
ANSWER: Amstel

#4 What is the largest bay in the world?
ANSWER: The bay of Bengal

#5 What was Glenn Miller’s signature tune?
ANSWER: Moonlight Serenade

#6 What does the letter R stand for in URL?
ANSWER: Resource

#7 Where did Edward VIII spend most of World War II?
ANSWER: The Bahamas

#8 What colour is a lobster’s blood?

#9 What were the first words spoken on a film soundtrack?
ANSWER: “You ain’t seen nothing yet!”

#10 How old was Bill Gates when he founded Microsoft?
ANSWER: Nineteen

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All Rights Reserved

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ISSN 1470-1863
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