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Carmarthen Cameos

I have been staying in Carmarthen since the 2nd of June, and since I don’t yet have a laptop I have to get by without it, hence a period of silence on this blog. I also didn’t know how easy or not it would be to find a computer cluster, and at any rate I wouldn’t be able to upload all the pictures I’ve been taking since last Saturday.

This is, in short, my first ever time in Wales. I did one-day trips along the Northern Coast as far as Llandudno and visited Conwy Castle, but being in South Wales is totally new, and for the moment I cannot exactly put in words my impression of Carmarthen. It is certainly different, but at the same time there are things about it that I discovered that reminded me of Russia, on the one hand, and made me compare Carmarthen to other towns in England and elsewhere, on the other. I’m coming back this Saturday, and before then I’m hoping to visit a few more places.

In the end, when I eventually write about it, the account will probably be a collection of impressions of the place itself, its history, its streets and buildings, and its people. The word “cameo” seems appropriate not only because these impressions will be more like sketches, but also because Carmarthen’s history dates well back to the Roman times, and cameos were immensely popular in the Ancient Roman society. One thing I would say, however, is that so far the Welsh I have come across did fit their own description of themselves: they are kind. The proof is in the fact that I am writing this post in Carmarthen Library, although I am not a member. Many thanks for this.

In the Mood for Communication

On January 7, one of my friends at the Moscow State University has invited me to join an exclusive online student club. Since then I’ve been finding out all sorts of things about my friends and those with whom I studied. It’s all a bit nostalgic. In this ‘nostalgic’ mood I registered on another webdatabase of students, where I found people from my school.

I’ve got the impression that in the three years that I was away, one half of my friends got married, and another half have been working really hard for the benefit of the discipline (History). Most of them seem to be working in the museums and galleries, as well as on TV. Some teach.

Also I need advice, please. Exzibit.net, where quite a few of my articles have been published, is now apparently extinct. I found out today, and it feels embarrassing that I’m linking to the website, whereas it no longer works. It showcased my writing, and obviously I use those texts as references on my CV. I would appreciate any advice on what maybe the best platform for republishing them. The texts presumably still exist in cache, but I cannot refer to that.

Thanks!

Oh, and by the way, it’s New Year again, old style. So, all best!

Update: Exzibit.net is working again. It didn’t work yesterday, and I’ve set up a WordPress blog for the texts. I think I will still use it, though.

You Are What You… Part Two

Listen (again!)

A new study reveals that if you’re a classical music fan, you will have tried cannabis. I wonder if this may be the case of the so-called false correlation?

This is what was written in Psychology Today (you already read it here):

Compared with other music fans, opera aficionados are three times more likely to endorse suicide as a solution to family dishonor, says Steven Stack, a psychologist at Wayne State University in Michigan. Don’t blame Madame Butterfly. Stack says dramatic personalities are drawn to opera, not influenced by it.

I think this thesis explains better, why people who like opera have tried magic mushrooms (mind you, I’m not among them!) It is mushrooms that draw people to opera, not opera that draws them to mushrooms. If we blame it on music, we’ll have to think that Beethoven was the true reason behind the rampages of Alex and his gang in A Clockwork Orange – which couldn’t be further from the truth.

(And I don’t even mention Wagner…)