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Monday, 29 December 2008

Top Self-help - Free ebooks from Questia

Questia has the following eye catching offer available: "Build A Better Life! 15 free books on Success, Health and Prosperity -" today: Monday, December 29, 2008.
Tell your friends and join me. Tell me which of the titles-subjects appealed to you best.


By the way it is our first snow fall here in Nevers, France.

Happy new year all

Monday, 8 December 2008

Cool Gifts for a Happy Xmas - Food for Guns in LA - Heads cool as Economy Cools

Cool Gifts - Heads cool as the Economy cools.

LOS ANGELES – A program to exchange guns for gifts brought in a record number of weapons this year as residents hit hard by the economy look under the bed and in closets to find items to trade for groceries.
The annual Gifts for Guns program ended Sunday in Compton, a working class city south of Los Angeles that has long struggled with gun and gang violence. In a program similar to ones in New York and San Francisco, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department allows residents to anonymously relinquish firearms in return for $100 gift cards for Ralph's supermarkets, Target department stores or Best Buy electronics stores.

Turning in assault rifles yields double that amount.
Comment Starter - What happens to the the hardware now: checked for origin and arms traffic control, re-use by military, re-melted for quality civil use, other.
Whatever, it is good to see that sensible people rate acquiring food peacefully above taking it by force. Keep-up the good work - discuss widely.

Source: "Lean times, SoCal residents trade guns for food" - Print Version By THOMAS WATKINS, writer for AP

Monday, 24 November 2008

Will this, one day, save the Bard… from Neurodegenerative disease - Millenium Projects ?

At the turn of decade, the century and the millennium a traumatized scientist wrote a couple of poems:
The first poem, written in 1999 was called: POETSACS. It reflects a hotch-potch of problems at the time. Most are still with us (ref 3 below) and Crusades are still required.


Suppose for a minute that French, Germans, I.A.N. & others bend but have a point.
To thine own self be true…
(Thou canst not, then, be false to any man)
Suppose for a minute that industries ills have come to an end
With B.B_eef joint.

To thine own self be…

Suppose that "Brit." Farmers look for jobs as coalminers
Steelworkers, engineer shipyard welders…
The list is long of Northern night* deadline chimers
The butcher, the baker, the candlestick makers.

To thine own self....

This last job - could this be futures only economic Key?
For the short and not the long wave model let us prey,
On prions and the deil's like,
No, (not) the purse of any Syke.

To Thine...

Lest come they may,
As come they might,
Human frailty,
Mad moo

J. A. © (1999).

This following article-abstract from The Economist 13 Sept 2007 holds hope for us and shows, once again, how one line of fundamental research driven by serious economic crises "Mad Moo, medical name BSE-Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy" with terrifying repercussion on health sheds new light on the family of Neurodegenerative diseases.

" SEEMINGLY different diseases can sometimes share a common cause. Tumours of all sorts, for example, are clusters of cells run out of control, dividing incessantly. Over the past decade, another unifying medical principle has emerged. It holds that many diseases of the central nervous system—including Alzheimer's, Huntington's and Parkinson's diseases—also share a mechanism. Instead of non-stop proliferation, the theme in this case is rubbish-disposal gone wrong. "

1. My poem.
2. Neurodegenerative disease ref The Economist 13 Sept 2007
3 A CRUSADE UP-DATE and associated sites check " and "Arms

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Music to my ears - Times arrow ever cast -Take a PEEK

Music to my ears -

Times arrow ever cast

Sounds for the deaf and for the solitary golfer by -6°C/267 degrees Kelvin.
(In an early autumn morning, temperature about -6°Celsius/267 degrees Kelvin)

The sun shone an the first green and the second tee.
The young oak looked on amused at these futile gests.
Her leaves, golden, spoke; tinkling, tinkling, falling free,
Floating in the early frosted air to a final tinkled rest.
I strained my ear to listen to natures tune,
From tee to tee and tree to tree ever since,
I realize the uniqueness my experienced “roon.”*

*(roon= round of golf in Scots vernacular)
My poem - poem by a scientist © JA “Times arrow ever cast”

Science in disguise – Music to my ears or is it? Take a “Peek for casting”.
By a Franco-Scots trained metallurgist whose appreciation of plastics is limited and reports on such “substances”** starting from a mind-frame defined by "the metallurgists" motto as “I hate plastics!” - except for Bio-Degradable ISO-NF International Stds. Org. - Norme Francais...plastic carrier bags recycled for home rubbish-The Best. And like all Scots I like a rebate- “Debate svp on what follows-comment!”  Here I slip from a true natures experience on a short golf-practice to prose on science,technology,engineering, materials selection and art not forgetting some humour.
Korea golf ball mould supplier Sung Hyoung Precision has begun coating its mould cores with polyarylethethetone (Peek)
The coatings scratch and wear resistance properties are claimed to extend the service life of mould to six times that of those covered with fluoropolymers or metal platings. The polymer is a linear, semi-crystalline thermoplastic
The main ingredient is a linear, semi-crystalline thermoplastic that does not require a primer or multiple layers.
Such “petroleum derivitives” have of course many other industrial applications “unfortunately” but to be fair, the UK polymer producer offers several online case studies relevant to their products and applications.

Global Outlook-start: UK-China.

Global Application Development Services To support OEMs-Original equipment manufactrers and coaters with the development and commercialization of these coatings in their application design, The PEEK manufacturer has two application support service facilities; The Asia Innovation and Technology Centre (AITC)The Asia Innovation and Technology Centre (AITC), located in the Xinzhuang Industry Park in Shanghai, China and the The Coatings Application Development Center (VADC), located at the company headquarters in Thornton Cleveleys, Lanchashire, United Kingdom. Both centers provide customers with expertise and support in materials specification, training, prototyping, testing, and research.

NB. Life Cycle Analysis:

Granta Design's new Eco Audit Tool enables identification of the energy emissions from a product at different phases in its lifecycle, based on the materials and processes used; eg. material, manufacture, transport, use, disposal.

LHS-Fig. Histogramme Energy vs Lifecycle phase
-Materials World (MW) Print edition only
All MW. full online content –Link.
-Engineering Talk

-Life Cycle Analysis Eco-Audit All the links Images are due to Granta Design.

**For a discussion on Materials versus Substances cf my link:
"The Material Chemists-Definition of Materials Chemistry"

Industrialists websites:
Victrex "Peeks"
Sung Hyoung Precison

Tuesday, 7 October 2008

NOBEL PRIZE AWARDS -2008 "Poetry to the Ears & Father of Invention"

Rush to the Nobel Prize Site and grab their Widget here cf. Top Left

Friday, 3 October 2008

Conversations-on-Innovations: Recession and The Environment II – Climate Change: Root Causes and Solutions#links

Conversations-on-Innovations: Recession and The Environment II – Climate Change: Root Causes and Solutions#links

Inflation – Semantics I: Philo (Philosophy) and Filou [rogue], swindler, cheat (tricheur)].

Any similarities with today’s top topic –Financial Crises, Recession, Inflation, Battle of the Comms., re-“current-Affaires” and whatnot or what have you is purely accidental and no reference to real persons is intended.

Whatever you retain from this “poem in the making” you will certainly find the dictionary which helped me prepare the prose of great use to all interested in good use of language, learning, english and French, and naturally to students from college (secondary education) to higher education (university level)

I have included the widget at the foot of my blog. There are external links in this post.

The examples I used are: What is the meaning of the French word and Filou ? First, I found the equivalence in French as:

escroc, voleur, arnaqueur [familier], faiseur, aigrefin.
I then found the translation as:

(rogue, swindler, cheat (tricheur).

The definition given is:
Voleur qui emploie l'adresse.

But I had to translate this myself:
“He’s a thief but he’s a gentleman” can’t reminder the music to that well known song.
This could also be a tribute to Paul Newman in “The Sting” or in French “L’Arnaque” cf. above.

Vrai filou. (parfois amicale amused when used to descibe a child)
Now to tackle Elementary Higher level French:
ARCANDIER pronounced roughly “Ark – en – di - yeh“

This rather beautiful expression from rural language much used locally in our region of France “La Nièvre, Dept 58) describes “someone –poorly qualified - who tries hard, but does a poor job” Not a lazy person.

“un arcandier était un touche-à-tout, mais peu qualifié, un ouvrier qui peine pour faire du mauvais travail. “
Link for Advanced French Students and Expats

For amateurs of the famous local white wines Sancerre and Pouilly who read French
Link at Pouilly-sur-Loire..

Friday, 26 September 2008

Great minds think alike - BBC production of "No Holds Bard" - Top for Scots & Ex-pat Scots

It would have been criminal, if I had brought this to your attention. You may hardly believe your eyes stumbling-upon this BBC production in the making,; entitled "No Holds Bard" and announced on 5th June 2008 scheduled for 2009. NB. The start date is important.

You may not have "cast your minds eye" over the similar back-ground to the choice of my blog and the BBC production No_Holds_Bard and the BBC programme of the same name. My choice preceded the BBC announce and arose from a quip in the RER from St Germain - West side of Paris to Chatelet, Paris Centre, by two lads who both hail originally from "Burns Country - Ayrshire,Scotland.

By some co-incidence, My First Post was made on 23 February 2008, a poem entitled Letter in the Scottish Tradition - "LE TRAVAIL C’EST LA SANTE…" (a damned good job too!) and on 27 Feb 2008 Poem:"Market gits Spice". (simulating Scots vernacular)

You can find a short summary largely quoted from the BBC press release as follows with an added slant of interest to all, but more especially to the huge Scot's Exp-pat community WW:

"A star-studded Scottish cast is to star in No Holds Bard, a new BBC Scotland 60-minute comedy documentary celebrating next year's 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns - Scotland's National Bard.

"Robert Burns is a fantastic and unique part of Scotland's heritage. BBC Scotland will be doing a lot to celebrate the man and his works in 2009 and we are delighted that this affectionate tale will form a part of that."

The Comedy's Plot:

"No Holds Bard follows the lives of five people as they prepare to vie for the 2009 Cup O'Kindness – the trophy awarded to the champion in Burns recital. [remember Burns wrote the word of the song Auld Lang Syne - or in French "Ce n'est qu'un Au Revoir" -JA]

Wait a minute Jock, best to read the BBC press release summary for the details cf. source link in the Footynotes (soccer, by devil!)

No Holds Bard is written by Simon Carlyle and Gregor Sharp, directed by Brian Kelly, and produced by Jack Docherty. The Executive Producer is Alan Tyler BBC Scotland.

Alan Tyler, Head of Entertainment at BBC Scotland is quoted as saying with great significance:

"We are delighted to have attracted this fantastic array of Scottish stars to the cast of No Holds Bard. "Many of them have worked with BBC Scotland before, and it feels great to welcome them back home to star in this modern comic tale. "

Let me speak-up for all you Ex-pats for Alan's kind attention -"please continue feel delighted Alan and extend your invitation to other "Ex-pats." -left to find jobs, if not fame & wealth! At least his wee bard is listening.

Source: Press Releases : "Scottish stars celebrate Burns with BBC Scotland."

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Gifts - Best Tips - Good Information is precious - Here-See & Hear: Jacquie Lawson's Gift e-Cards

I have just discovered the most poetic gift e-cards that I have ever come across:

Jacquie Lawson's animated gift e-cards (images & sound). Jacquie is an english artist. As a Franco-Scot you may judge the stupendous effort I have made to overcome my historic enemy syndrome in recommending her work! Many samples are available for entirely free trial full sound and vision.

I have just bookmarked: Jacquie Lawson's animated gift e-cards as my favorite gift card source from now on! Truly, don't hesitate to visit Jacquie's site.

Jacquie Lawson e-cards

I do hope you enjoy this brief radical change from mostly "over"-serious approach(es)

PS. To return to the serious aspects of e-cards:
Further advantages in sending e-cards, as you will all be aware, but let me repeat them are:
-good for your carbon footprint,
-rapid time saver,
-increasingly democratic global reach,
-creates higher skilled jobs.
- economic.

Cheers, "Hear hear" and Best Wishes.
NB. This follows my previous post on my newly created Gift-Links: "Questias online books"

Monday, 1 September 2008

Best Gifts-Free Online Books from Questia - Relaxing Books

Questia is a publisher of Online Books. It claims to have "The World's Largest Online Library of Books" for students, professors, librarians,publishers and of course avid readers.

I have been subscribing to Questia's newsletter for the past few months. As an avid reader I have been impressed by the relevance of their posts and library-reading topics, hints and suggestions. Now I even more impressed by their offer of Free Relaxing Books and convenient online pdf style reader allowing,annotations,research notes,bibliographies and what have you.

This latest newsletter & reading-room brought 15 Titles to my attention. Obviously I have not read all or even many of the 15, although I found many titles of interest. Having perused all the titles, I settled for a more in-depth first read of "Calm Energy" dealing with relationships between "Mood-Food-Energy-Exercise." I believe most of us have some idea of where our over-eating (and other "additive habits) originate however there are many hints on how we can all better understand these habits and relationships in order to achieve a more balanced life style and improved health.

Monday, 7 July 2008

OPEN-SKY COAL MINE - Poem with Comments

During the last month or so, the selected articles by France's "Le Monde" news paper, which constitute the NY Times Supplement in the weekend editions of "Le Monde" have repeatedly echoed the despairing news and behaviour of the their country, USA's attitude to coal and Coal burning emissions - 1 new coal fired electricity plant per month and the Olympic Games holder China's programme to build one plant per week, no less! While it is commonly reported, and the NY Times supplement is no exception, that no viable means of capturing and storing CO2 emissions has been finalised. I use the later expression to shed some doubt to such conclusion -certainly progress is slow. What the NY Times supplement does not say so let me suggest the obvious, that USA in particular has a very different agenda during 2008 (and before) implying the coming Presidential elections and the accompanying election money burn not used to the ends underlined in their articles.
I felt it fitting to re-edit this little poem of "mine" written in 2006, (how time flies!) rather appropriate, in the circumstances, don't you think?

(open-cast coal mine)
I intended to avoid the topic of coal,
As a man afraid of "facing" the dole
Money, monies the man on this payroll,
China! Aussie's too, what's the toll?
The most used, so abused source of energy
In much of our blue planets territory,
Mine, down-under, beneath our feet,
Can't you just touch, the feel of its heat.
This could be, well.., the name of this street?
Mine, down-under, beneath our feet,
Not for long, in this Newfoundland
Sounds of Nova Scotia-Caledonia's band

Close the rail-carriage window,
Children, Tunnel ahead!
Heads in, bow!
Getting nearer, nearer, to our chosen home yard
Open-sky mine project, -Jeune Garde.
Route 58, from. Sancerre's vineyards scene
Fond memories of a mining Pole, La Machine
In South Nivernais, Lucenay
Silly cause or Silicosis? Cossaye
Glasgow-black and Auld Reekie lang gone,
The cities fathers ruled Sulphur out-right
Crying -"Grime's a Crime, against Humanity"! , prose?
Shaking-off smog’s mildew -as a rose.
(The song continued long after, "Acid rain, acid rain"
At the time this was a well known refrain
Today from space 5 tonnes of Sulphur, let's sprinkle
Over carbon dioxide concentrations, a grave to kindle)

Victor Hugo, Dumas & Zola would be proud
No Persian Letters these, Alexander endowed.
Buildings, monuments, sandblasted bright
No gas candles for them, but LED- light. from
Its focus now on this new match
Shall we choose the tourist trade today?
Working mines as in bygone days, the long way.
Or shall innovation & invention, make their mark,
In some sophisticated scientific way, as the quark?
Through some subtle eco-mix, a trail
By non-friction super-conductive rail, race
Or pneumatic closed dust-confining tube-ace
Bring temptation's call, this coalface
To the devils melting-place
I did not mention at any time before
Our devils burning desire is therefore
Some thermal combined harvester's drum
For Heat & Electricity to make a planet turn
As in ancient times, black as night's mantle
Miner and mineral, indistinguishable
Memories of a Mining Pole, "La Machine"
In Never's "pastures green" Land of "the waters still"
Psalm 23, Refreshing chill, 's
Nuclear & Coal alike.

-As the friendly greeting goes, in the heydays & hay days of coal, "Lang may yur lum reek!" -meaning long-life and good health, ce qui signifie en français; longue vie, bonne santé. The tradition of welcoming a New Year first footer with a lump of coal as a sign of good wishes also is more debateable with regard to the global performance of coal exploitation and effective use in the current context of climate change and cheap & and easy access to energy sources.
(I shall try to remain as poetic as possible in "our project" of the century Open-Sky Coal mine with Thermal powered combined thermal electric power "plant" 1st draft 16 Oct. 06 ) and needless to say as helpful as possible eg. => PS. Add to mining: "Re-Investment in Renewables" & "Carbon Chemistry" with the usual ramifications, socio-cultural-economic... to use a bio/agro analogy. TECHNICAL FIRST: NB. FROM "BLACK to GREEN" CLEANING COAL -How it works.
Why are we waiting? Natures first response.
"The European Union must maintain its leading position in combating climate change, ensure global competitiveness for European industry, and deliver long-term security of the energy supply. The European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants has been set up to play a crucial role in enabling Europe to fulfil this commitment, with the development and deployment of new competitive power plant options over the next fifteen years." (ref. A vision for zero emission fosil fuel power plants, Aug. 2006 )
NB. from the original post:
OPEN-SKY COAL MINE "The European Union must maintain its leading position in combating climate change, ensure global competitiveness for European industry, and deliver long-term security of the energy supply. The European Technology Platform for Zero Emission Fossil Fuel Power Plants has been set up to play a crucial role in enabling Europe to fulfil this commitment, with the development and deployment of new competitive power plant options over the next fifteen years." (ref. A vision for zero emission fossil fuel power plants Aug. 2006 European Union) The future of Coal, vision from MIT ,Boston, USA. [Link].

Tuesday, 10 June 2008


Rambaud quotes
Marshall McLuhan
For a rather short version

in French choose this LINK

Rambaud qualifies (the famous) Marshall McLuhan, the first observer of the medias, professor of literature at the Univ. of Toronto, Canada in the middle of last century (ie in his and my lifetime, so not so long ago; as an “rude malin” a tough, shrewd individual and quotes him as saying “The Television will dissolve the fibre of all social life in a very short lapse of time. If you manage to understand it’s dynamics you will realise that you have no other choice but to eliminate it as quickly as possible. Television will totally disrupt the psychic and sensorial life. ” How visionary he was in this according to Rambaud with whom I agree to a large extent, perhaps not blaming so much the technology itself and the bulldozer mechanics but of our own ineptitude.

McLuhan, the first to predict the idea of “The Global Village” that through technological spread, rapid transport and communications (phone & internet) the great wide world would appear to be a village where every body knows every body. Rambaud highlight the down side of this where loss of privacy over balances friendliness. The debate remains open, and is likely to be for some time to come. Let me refer you to my post on the OCDE 2006 Forum on such concerns.

NB. from Wikipedia :

Note again McLuhan stresses the importance of awareness of a medium's cognitive effects. He argues that, if we are not vigilant to the effects of media's influence, the global village has the potential to become a place where totalitarianism and terror rule.

Key to McLuhan's argument is the idea that technology has no per se moral bent -- it is a tool that profoundly shapes an individual's and, by extension, a society's self-conception and realization:
More sayings from Marshall McLuhan [LINK-html] from the Marshall McLuhan Foundation[LINK-html]

NEWS on THE MEDIA TODAY ? - P. Rambaud brings our attention to present predicament due to media over-kill,-Humanity Lost?

Continuing from the two previous posts: P. Ramaud quotes Cicero: Roman Politician, Philosopher and Orator, 22 centuries before our present century.

“If we were forced, at each hour, to watch and listen to horrible events, a constant flow of dreadful impressions, would deprive, even the most sensitive among us, of all respect for humanity”!

Could we, as with fossil fuels be reaching a peek in our own human resources – culminating in such policies as…. “ Terrorism and it’s corollary “The war on terrorism?”

Media - THE COLOUR of WORDS - from Maupassant in the Figaro of 3 July 1884.

THE COLOUR of WORDS follows from the previous post:

P. Rambaud quotes

Maupassant in the Figaro of 3 July 1884.

“The artist knows that with words one can make colours visible;

he knows that they have nuances, lightings, shadows, musical notes and movements

odours that tell all there is to tell, they are everything, music, painting, thought and at the same time they can do all things!”

translated here by J. Alexander

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Interactivity – the most interactive media perhaps the only one is the novel! - Debate

Interactivity – the most interactive media perhaps the only one is the novel argues french author Patrick Rambaud! - Debate Open. A strong kick off to this debate is given by P. Ram-Baud from whom I have translated some exerts from the last chapter of his book, "La grammaire en s’amusant.- Learn french grammar in an amusing way" A most entertaining pocket size book written in a simple easy to follow narrative style as a dialogue between a father and his ten-year-old son, by Patrick Rambaud, in french of course.

Patrick Rambaud desserts on the novel:

Translation below by J. Alexander.

A novel is a rectangular block
Of white pages, covered with
Black signs, in computing language,
Code. (or chord)

“I heard there was a secret chord”

You can carry everywhere.
It does not weigh much. Often,
It fits your pocket,
It is not expensive to buy.

“And David played it pleased the Lord.”

You do not need a battery, or an electric socket,
Nor an aerial, nor a subscription to a web network.
It never breaks down. However,

“But you don’t really care for music do yuh?”

It contains adventures and thoughts, images and sounds,

“Well it goes like this, the fourth, the fifth.”

Crowd movements, spectacular events,
Knowledge, hope and despair, fear and laughter.

“The minor fall, the major lift.”

The author shows the road to follow,
Like the signposts on a pilgrim pathway.
And he seeks to lead you onwards.

“The baffled king composing Hallelujah”

But it is left to the reader to meet him half way
For it is the reader’s imagination alone
Which will bring the novel to life.


On the upside I have sneaked in the lyrics of Jeff Buckley’s Hallelujah as a Tribute to this talented, unwise, artist who very sadly left us too soon.
This Tribute was only made possible due to advanced technology and more especially generous, open, sharing humankind, the lyrics for Hallelujah are from Lyrics007 which contains Links to more Jeff Buckley lyrics and and to others. The Video is due to durdherd and YouTube.

Friday, 6 June 2008

Unpardonable- Poetry meets Science from the ESOF -The European Science Organisation Forum 29MayO8!

I am dreadfully sorry to have mised bringing your attenton to this event. Nevertheless with luck the communications will be published "eventually".


Tuesday, 20 May 2008

"An Address in poetry to John Updike's famous Poem "Cosmic Gall" - First Response entitled "Not so shy".

Translate this Page!

"An Address in poetry to John Updike's famous Poem "Cosmic Gall" - First Response entitled "Not so shy". " cf. (previous post to read John Updikes excellant poem on science: the fundamental physics particle, the neutrino, "Cosmic Gall" -link

By J. Alexander ©

"From underneath the bed—you call It wonderful;
I call it crass."
(""last two lines of Updike's poem- Cosmic Gall cf. previous post)


"From underneath the bed—you call It wonderful;
I call it crass."
Dross or Dirt?
We call this sass!
Pauli nobely avoids theory's downfall!
Named, neutrino, by Fermi to encompass
Weak forces such as mine – a pitfall,
Hardly matter for any pub jackass,
More sober than a two pint quark* brawl,
No strange charm top or bottoms-"up" eyeball.
Peace, shy neutrinos embrace,
Oblivious to man's incessant squall,
For crude detectors they by-pass,
And nature's processes they seem to surpass.
They drench us like Clyde's** "Reinefall,"**
From Peking, Nepal - Newhaven or Madras,
They parade, strut and transpierce Whitehall,
Bathe Glasgow streets and drown Paul Mall,

One second on from creation strasse.
At 1.9 ° K, I cannot imagine some fireball,
Particulate light oscillating flavour's shawl
Requires background noise hyper-firewall.


Peace, shy neutrinos embrace,
Oblivious to man's incessant squall,
For crude detectors they by-pass,
And nature's processes they appear to surpass.
The peaceful shy encyclopedic pal,
Before it's shower no need to bow at all,
From natures con-fusion to heaven-
Hi, I'm just passing through to enthral,
Deil's ilke's, shy neutrinos embarrass.

J. Alexander©

*(quark is Nobel Litterature, James Joyce's quart = 2 pints)
**(Clyde Cowan & F. Reines - a wink or nod at to my SW Scottish birthplace via Two Nobel Prize winners who first detected Neutrinos Clyde L. Cowan & F Reines

NB.1 On Dr. Clyde Lorrain Cowan & his burial place at Arlington Cemetery.

NB. 2 Cowan himself was a Chemist by training

With the help of the Stanford Institute web word generator.
Back-ground. Research: CPS/ chemistry/0311004

"click here to translate this page into any language, using the Fagan Finder Translation Wizard" Translate this Page!

John Updike's famous Poem - "Cosmic Gall" on the discovery of Neutrinos

Cosmic Gall by

John Updike (1963)

was one of the few poems ever mentionned during a

Nobel Lecture.(1995)

Cosmic Gall.

Neutrinos, they are very small.
They have no charge and have no mass
And do not interact at all.
The earth is just a silly ball
To them, through which they simply pass,
Like dustmaids down a drafty hall
Or photons through a sheet of glass.
They snub the most exquisite gas,
Ignore the most substantial wall,
Cold-shoulder steel and sounding brass,
Insult the stallion in his stall,
And, scorning barriers of class,
Infiltrate you and me! Like all
And painless guillotines, they fall
Down through our heads into the grass.
At night, they enter at Nepal
And pierce the lover and his lass
From underneath the bed - you call
It wonderful; I call it crass.

By John Updike (1963).

Friday, 16 May 2008

Poem by Hugh MacDiarmid - English with French Translation - Learn French

Hugh MacDiarmid Translated
Short verse by BigMac.
Bilingual Poem English-French.


(The right end of the stick by H. Macdiarmid, Ed Penguin 1985, Vol.1)
Je pense que vous tenez tous le bâton par le bon bout,
Mon ami Chrétien ou païen, extraverti ou introverti,
Mon ami mort, vivant ou à naître-le problème
Est que tous vos bâtons n’ont qu’un seul bout.

« Point Defect » -Traduction par J.A.

Copyright@JA.Exceptions?: cf post scriptum.

The right end of the stick.

I think you’ve all got the right end of the stick,
My Christian or Pagan, extrovert or introvert friend,
My dead friend, my live, my unborn- but the trouble
Is just that all your sticks have only one end.

H. MacDiarmid (Ed. Penguin 1985).
J.A. (9/06/2000)*Exceptions?: cf. Footnote.*
ANSWER to question on Sticks - Le(s) Baton(s)*
Possible Exceptions-
"La baguette de pain" hors inflation
French bread-"baguette"
The Chef d'Orchestres' Baton

Wednesday, 14 May 2008


(which many of us must cut every day! - "Cut the Knot here"

At a loose end.
Tying up loose ends,
Can only lead to knots,
Stories of curves and bends,
Hardly stuff of comfortable thought.
by J.A.© ( march 2001).

(beaucoup d’entre nous doivent le coupé tous les jour! -
"Coupez le noeud ici" -en anglais

En lambeaux
Accrocher des bouts de pendants cordages
Ne peut mener qu’aux nœuds,
Des histoires de courbes et de virages,
Pas vraiment matière à penser-
Confortablement à eux..
Version Fr. par J.A. ©(Avril 2001)

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Primo Levi, Chemist, his peom "The Survivor"

"The Survivor", poem by Primo Levi, who trained as a scientist and chemist[Biography].

(cf. previous post on same theme "Wednesday, 12 March 2008
Tribute to Lazare Ponticelli & to those who survived or tried to survive WWI
Lazare Ponticelli, was the longest and last French surviver of the "Great War" The 1st World War (WWI) Lazard died today. A short well documented tribute to Lazard was published by The Economist. )

The Survivor

Once more he sees his companions' faces
Livid in the first faint light,
Gray with cement dust,
Nebulous in the mist,
Tinged with death in their uneasy sleep.
At night, under the heavy burden
Of their dreams, their jaws move,
Chewing a non-existant turnip.
'Stand back, leave me alone, submerged people,
Go away. I haven't dispossessed anyone,
Haven't usurped anyone's bread.
No one died in my place. No one.
Go back into your mist.
It's not my fault if I live and breathe,
Eat, drink, sleep and put on clothes.'

by Primo Levi

Primo Levi's peom The-survivor/ and ebook Pdf-The Survivot & Other poems by Primo Levi.

Refs: More Poems? Try The Custom Search Engine (CSE) on this site

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

FROM ENTROPY to POETRY, for Thermodynamics Enthousiasts


From Entropy to Poetry
(originally Owed'N..! as "Ode" )
( in response to J.E. Harris, FRS. FEng. FIM. "Material Matters-Poetry & Entropy, MW. Sept. 2002, P70. Thanks Jack for the tips on; great poems on science, John Updikes "Ode to Entropy..." and & perhaps the greatest English Poet of the last century,WH Auden who graduated from Oxford as a biologist! )

From poetry to entropy,
You will by now agree,
There is not an F of a difference,
Nor even a “Gee”(G).
Could it be simply an “N”?

If only this was The En’d!

For what is to follow,

There could well be no tomorrow,
Short molecule DNA of poetry.

For of beginnings and ends
Much has been hypothesised
And even tested, God forgive!
Such is the closed system
In which many are hypnotised
To make a living, a pit-ance.

But life’s work lies in between,
As some open, interactive, book.

An “F” of difference?
I’m glad you asked,
Simple formulas to treat with deference.
Naturally “F”is for:
Fiddling and fumbling with variations.
Mixing and muddling and even juggling
With Temperature and Space, ( dT, dV.)
Helmholtz keel. (dF = - SdT - PdV )

And “Gee” where does it come in?
You may again feel free to ask?
Will’ard enough and Gibbs steps in*,
His physical – chemistry violin,
Striking the cords of Temperature and Pressure,
(dG= - SdT +VdP)
Easier to manipulate
In some (dead) physical body.

Of chemical potentials?
Muse to add, (μ)
Infinitesimal accounts of energy change with mass.
Remember the thermodynamic mnemonic flag:
“Students Usually Voluntarily, Forget The, Grants People, Have.”
-S U V
H x F
-P G T

And of “N’s”, just some number?
Or n, i. chemical potential? [n, i, (any)]
Maybe Not, I. N. Stein;
Clean power two, speed of light
Shortest molecule DNA of poetry,
Simple formula above all to treat with deference!
A and H, worth a bomb,
Or just some N-UK-ES ?

“N” as in Nu-clear?
The highest state of strong order, dawning
“et de ce jour bacteries et champignons*
jailirent à l’existance pour dissoudre*
et un nouveau champignon est né*
Such is Nature – reviewed.

[S for entropy, for system or something
All potential candidates for a one word
“System of Systems” Of… Information?
Naturally, Log on too, ( two )
For being negative can be positive. ]
[ ]= Unfinished verse –
WTBD. "Work to be done".

Of closed systems and of open,
The worst of course is isolation
For the latter is no man’s land
Nor any living kingdom
Wherein neither energy nor matter exchange.

And as if to remind one’s self
The best system is
As in Nature’s “Natural Processes”**,
The system KISS,
For God is love,
So Keep It Simple Stupid!

This all began with an “H”
But let’s not En’d
With “H” for Head
As “en-Trophy”!

It must by now, be apparent,
That the proper order, may I say it,
Must be from Entropy to Poetry!

*[Willard Gibbs, Thermodynamics theorist 18…]**”(from J.Updike, trad. Alain Suid “Ode à la Décomposition”) **(from A. Suid’s trad. of J.Updike’s “Facing Nature”). 3rd draft, 12 Nov. 2002, JA., 4th draft 6 March 2003. JA.,5th draft 6 May 2003. JA. 6the draft 2 June 2003, copyright
© JA., MORE on Entropy,
Links to be refreshed (TBD)
Click Link; Applications of Thermodynamics: & Communities-Families:

Friday, 4 April 2008

1st Ever Poem-Bilingual "Accidented Watch" - "Ma Montré Accidenté"

(Prose sur une manifestation de la phénomène de révolution -
Autre titre Cadran en Révolution)

(Prose on revolution -cf. below)

Avec les aiguilles,
la longue et la courte,
minute par minute,
heure par heure,
le cadran tournait.

Chaque jour par cinq,
je ne voyais pas la différence,
un tour complète,
de retour à douze,
comme dans un rêve.

Mon dieux!
Elle ne s’arrête pas.
Truc d'Ouf! Mon esprit-
Ne m'a pas joué un tour!
Je suis encore en vie!

(Prose on revolution)

With the hands,
the long and the short,
minute by minute,
hour by hour,
the face revolved.

Every day by five,
I could see no difference.
One complete turn,
at twelve again,
as in a daze.

Mein Gotte! it did not stop.
Relief at last! My mind-
was not playing a trick.
I was alive again!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

My poem-dream: "Jaggy Stuff" (analogy with laser light)

Alternative Title: Battle Song _Fight against one's self (reputed to be one's own worse enemy?)
Author's note:This poem is based upon a half-awake dream, places and people are real.

Jaggy Stuff
Translate this Page!

He looked at himself in the glacey mirror*
And what he saw was war and terror.
He looked again and remembered his dream.
His franglais, mixed, shone not quite clean,
As the laser beam, sharp and unbent,
Highly directional, monochromatic, coherent
Bringing secour, help and relief at last.
He looked at his dream as a man afar - vast,
Like the antimatter in the quantum glass,
Present and past in one place on the cross.

Which door was number three? Right? No left.
Upon opening was a man, on the table edge deft,
Behind young cronies drinking merry.
I left this boat, suffocating ferry.
It was night, but the day was dawning.
I breathed afresh the new belief spawning
I looked and saw, I listened and heard
A voice from the other side, (Adams) said
-Cried out, Morin is dead! I half awoke,
In the grey and an idea broke,
untwining the ‘frangais’ laser clear.
“Mort” in! “Death in”, is dead, reborn hear!
I left my long commatic state
To breath again, with life a date.

J. Alexander (about12/12/98).Copyright © J.A.( Scanned and punctuated 15/12/2001-8/01/2002 Ed.19/03/2003).
*(double meaning “glacey”, cold- franglais->glassy)

LASER Up-date & Comments "Ultra-fast Lasers 080327"

Friday, 28 March 2008

TBD - To Be Done or Work-in-hand

A recurring pre-occupation in my web and blog approaches, has been and is, concerned with of the concept of limitations and their positive (or negative or equilibrating-neutralising) power and their definitions. This is becoming more and more apparent to me! I do hope readers share this perception, if not I trust you will send your feed-back for improvement or contribute via your own web-logs and links.

To start this "conversation," and hopefully help understanding, let me developpe this as follows:

""Many of you will know of the idea of the “weakest link” as in a chain, or in a team or human system, and again in chemical kinetics, “the slowest reaction in a series of reactions may determine its overall rate or speed” or upon further analysis may depend on in what is known in chemical or mechanical engineering –as fluid dynamics and heat and mass transfer as opposed to purely chemical reaction rate. In a few of words “Holistic Systems Approach.” These notion appear throughout. ""

Current up dates to blogger with AdSense are:

· "Toe the line" or "The Prefects Prayer"
Already posted here-in.
. It is based upon the very clear short book "Les Constantes Universelles" (Universal Constants in english) by the Physics Nobel Prize winner Gilles Cohen Tannoudji. I warmly recommend both C.Cohen Tannoudji's book for the concise,insightful account of the universal constants; G, c, k & h the gravitational constant,the speed of light,Boltzmann and Planck'constants respectively and my,hopefully mind stimulating, verses on LIMITS in

· "Newton is Dead"
Already posted here-in
ENTROPY,Chemical-Thermodynamics; Gibbs, Helmholtz, J.C.Maxwell et al. in

· "From Entropy to Poetry," (Work completed)
LASER Light-beams in
· "Jaggy Stuff" (Done cf next post above)
or again on WORK & JOBS

· "Le travail c'est la santé-a damned good job too",
Alreadt posted herein
even on Neutrinos in
· "Not so Shy" (TDB follow-up from John Updike's poem The Shy Particle)

. These and other subjects are treated in a light-hearted but fairly sound fashion. As suggested in my original weblog post “”, despite such exponential increase in knowlege,(that non-trivial “hockey stick” crops-up again) it is trivial, still,to say that infinitely more is unknown than is known, even excluding the outer space & extraterrestrial exploration often involked in such statements, and less explicitly as in Nuclear Fusion.

An Innovative Energy Network Brings Carbon-Credit Hope-Highlighted by my poem "THE DC NETWORK" High Voltage Direct Current -Also Sound Advice on HIV

This militant poem, "The DC NETWORK!" was posted earlier as an add-on to
"Letter in the Scottish Tradition-"LE TRAVAIL C’EST LA SANTE…"
(a damned good job too!)
Due to the value of the Innovation's refered to,(1)HVDC[link] & Materials Science's Role (rubber)[via IOM3 Link] in Battle against HIV, I appeared highly desireable to give my poem & links (TBD)higher visibility.

Source of Inspiration:
Footnote Sus Dev: ref. "Material Matters" & Letters to the Editor Materials World & our following debate on HVDC:


HVDC should in no-way be confused with HIV.

Both refer to distributed energy, waste to flee!

HIV needs no explanation for today's generation,


HVDC means High Voltage Direct Current, premption

Notice here that, "mean" takes an "s", giving "means"!
Both relie on the Materials Sci. Scot, rubber(s) for insulation.
Let worldly saints see,

Lack of protection is Devil's temptation.

Soon the world solar energy links,
May end the current energy jinks,

Wind in Scotland powering Poland & Germany!

Can you just imagine, more than one man thinks

A 6million kilted, bagpipe nation starts to dream a link

Fossile energy sources may end some day - happily,
Spreading, comfort instead of dire, wild-fire
The latter is a climate change hard trier.

Trust the solar-nuclear; Wind & water
Marine-Hydro, Fuel Cells & Geothermal
Decide on Solar source, dash...
Not just all that,trash and hash.

Scottish Mettle!

copyright JA (080328)

It is particularily fitting to dedicate this post to the Pylon Poets.

[& again thanks Jack -Material Matters, Materials World -IOM3, Sept. 2002, p70. ]
The so-called "Pylon poets" of the 1930s were mocked for writing poetry that seemed to praise the scourge of the National Grid spreading itself across the hills and valleys; Stephen Spender, W.H. Auden and Louis MacNeice all got tainted with the brush (even though Spender's original Pylon poem doesn't seem all that straight-forwardly enthusiastic if you read it now).
But it reminds me of our current national debate about wind farms. I absolutely love the idea of a landscape which combines respect for our architectural heritage, with a delight in what is to come - and for me, wind farms and pylons are exciting: a gorgeous, exhilarating sight. But to listen to some Radio 4 phone-ins, you'd think I was completely alone. Now I've got Brian Hayes, though, I know there must be other people out there who like pylons. courtesy of The Independent, Emma Townshend.

Footnote: The excellent "Leonardo Energy" web site, is managed by The European Copper Institute

MORE on RUBBER - Roadmap for Rubber & Polymers, please Comment

Thursday, 27 March 2008

My Poem on Mechanical Limits-"NEWTON IS DEAD."

(Inspired by -“Newton is dead” by Peter M. Allen, Prof. of Physical Chemistry,MIT
ref: “La Mort d'Newton”
Ed. Maisonneuve & Larose(in French translated from Italian under the direction of Augusto Forti-Bureau Européen de l’UNESCO, Paris).
Newtonian physics and thermodynamics have succeeded.
In economy, biology, and ecology, problems have receded.
Based upon some false sense of equilibrium,
We have reduced the complex sys. Triumvirum
To some potential function; utility, convenience, efficiency,
Vital to human condition if only one could wait and see.

The blind watchmaker has had his say.
Old man time has cast his arrows way,
Breaking the egg timers universal symmetry.
Please don’t get me wrong, there is no gimmickry.

Even in evolution, which is where it’s at,
Darwin is in essence a view of the past.
The mechanical world is in a right damned panic,
Dissipative processes have sapped dynamics.
In breaking systems into constitutive parts,
Atoms and molecules have lost life’s spark.

Could it be that my own equilibrium is fleeting
From balanced short time to long* my life eating?
Because all is not of equal possibility,
We simply seek the average probability.

But this machine, I may tell you, can only function.
It’s job is not to compete, co-operate, disposition.
To grow, evolve, and even innovate.
Continuous learning, conscience create!

Only as a mainly mortiferrous linear decision,
Can physics keep its present power of prevision;
Entropy, Free Energy potential associates imposes relaxation,
Inevitably deterministic, predetermined, equilibrium variation.

This last word is to-days reality,
Far from all known bounds of reversibility,
Instabilities three wicked witches, turn, twist, and flirt
**“Out of line” modern body of physics & chemistry comforts it.

Do you get the picture of the human system devotion?
Individual components immerged in a potential ocean,
Whose evolving contours are hills and valley postures,
Hyphens for present and possible (potential) futures,
And each of them as in some fog or smog vaguely visible.

Choose carefully here, the dreams of some brave individual!
For awaits devilish dilemmas fork, requiring doctor’s care,
Or on average smooth, sooth, through fear of life’s dare,
For history moves equally to individuals and to systems rhythm
At least this is Peter’s hope;DASHED & DROWNED?
[**& NSF below ]
Here I must stop least language becomes the new barrierOf our species,
much worse than any animal carrier.

*(Long & short time economic model-pendulum?/eqm.)
Jas. Alexander © (written about 12/12/1999 .This edition 20 Sept. 2001 & 11Oct.)
Please quote the author in any communication/transmission, written or verbal… copyright © J.A
More on Entropy [Link] or

Why I Chose Red-Pourquoi j’ai choisi le rouge


H.Macdiarmid. Ed. Penguin Vol.1. Complete Works (trad. J.Alexander).

Je me bats en rouge pour la même raison
Que Garibaldi a choisi la chemise rouge
-Parce que quelques hommes dans un champ portant le rouge
Semble être très nombreuses - s’il y a dix vous diriez
qu'il y a cent ; s’il y a cent vous les croiriez mille
Et la couleur rouge danse devant le viseur de l’ennemi
Et son visé sera mauvaise-Mais la meilleure raison de tout
Un homme dans une chemise rouge ne peut ni se cacher ni fuir.

Trad. J.A.© (1 /06/2001)
(m. j. a. m.)
Why I Chose Red

I FIGHT in red for the same reasons
That Garibaldi chose the red shirt
- Because a few men in a field wearing red
Look like many men – if there are ten you will think
There are a hundred; if a hundred
You will believe them a thousand.
And the colour of red dances in the enemy's rifle sights
And his aim will be bad – But, best reason of all,
A man in a red shirt can neither hide nor retreat.
© H.Macdiarmid. Ed. Penguin Vol.1. Complete Works
permission was requested.

Saturday, 22 March 2008


Time to leave my translations of Hugh MacDiarmid and introduce some "pseudo-science..." through one of my own Franco-English poetry efforts.
- The super-cord runners! -
Alternative title: "The Prefect's Prayer"
(It is based upon the very clear short book "Les Constantes Universelles" (Universal Constants in english) by the Physics Nobel Prize winner Gilles Cohen Tannoudji. I warmly recommend both C. Cohen-Tannoudji's book for the concise,insightful account of the universal constants; G, c, k & h the gravitational constant,the speed of light,Boltzmann and Planck'constants respectively
“Les Constantes Universelles”[pdf] par Gilles Cohen-Tannoudji )
Other Inspirations and influences on this approach are due to
Interdisciplinary Reviews Ed. J.E.Harris & Order in Intermetallics by R.W.Cahn.('s signed print transmitted personnaly, many thanks) & to the late
J. Rotblatt-founder of Pugwash
"1st meeting,Pugwash,Nova Scotia,Canada" Hi forever!)

Toe the line
("A vos marques")
Ce n’est pas un terrassement
Toe the line
C’est le début du commencement
Toe the line
C’est l’intention absolue de dépassement
Toe the line
Maintenant, les yeux rivés, fixement
Toe the line
Sur la corde plus que jamais, en filament

Bang ! Soit-il grand !
Big-Bang blum,
On est sur la piste.
Stu-Peur !

C'est une horizon qui s'éloigne
Et une autre horizon qui s'approche.
Ce sont les concurrents qui s’éloignent.
Les un des autres, les horizons témoignent
Par déplacements, expansions bidirectionnelle,
Le corps s’échauffe,
Comme un ressort!
Mais l’esprit reste froid, calme comme la nuit.
Le but atteint, c’est l’horizon affranchi
Les corps se rencontrent, de nouveaux se percutent.
Sourires ou larmes, des visages s’allument,
Embrassant vainqueurs et vaincus.
Dans l’effervescence, le temps s’arrête.
Au-delà du tout "quantum" discernabilité,
On a inventé "l’amplitude de la probabilité".
Nous sommes spectateurs, des parieurs tous !
Mais dans l’énergie de l'action, on vit,
Ici, maintenant, conscience
On découvre la remise des médailles,
manifestation de la life réalité !
Toe the line! - all in Time-GENTLEMEN-Please.
(Coude à Coude, derniers Verres, Messieurs, SVP.)
Jas. Alexander © (29/03/2001 up-date2008)
(m. j. a. m- mostly just a metallurgist).

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Oh What a "Great War", That Was!

Well Beyond Exile / Bien au-delà de l'exile.
(versions en français et en anglais suivent)
(Suggested by H. Mcdiarmid “Beyond Exile.” Salonika (1916)
and surely,the pipe music “The hills of Tyrol”, paroles A. Stewart).

Note historique:
This true story happened in the same place (Dardanelles near Salonika), one year after Michel Grieves (alias H. Macdiarmid) wrote his beautiful lines "Beyond Exile cf previous post)
C'est histoire vrai à eu lieu dans la même région(Les Dardanelles près de Salonique) ou M. Grieves (alias H. Macdiarmid) à écrit ces très belles paroles dans "Au delà de l'exile" cf. log précédent

One Year On /Un an de plus
To Salonika and Back/ Salonique aller – retour-1917.
For Françoise et sa Famille: Mamie Lulu, Paul, Dédé et Michel
and especially Grandfather Jaconnet, he who survived the
atrocious: "Chemin de Dames"- Verdun

(To Jean, 1893-1917).

"Le cousin de ma femme est mort aujourd’hui"

“My wife’s cousin died today,
Son nomEm, Jean Crochet.
‘Maréchal de ceci ou de cela ?’
«Tout simplement des Logis. »
‘Diplôme en poche aussi ?’
« Des Ponts et Chaussées . »

Il a quitté le 201e d’artillerie
Le silence sur la 26e batterie

Sur ses terres lointaines
Trouver le vieux chemin
De la colline et de l’école
était au-delà de ses propres forces
Son père comme lui a dû allé
Car Jean, lui-même, à trop tardé !

Il a quitté le 201e d’artillerie
Le silence sur la 26e batterie

A Salonique. Quel beau voyage !
L’instituteur, directeur, la norme
A trouver le vieux chemin
De la colline et de l’école.
Jean a passé l’ultime borne

Il a quitté le 201e d’artillerie
Le silence sur la 26e batterie

Ils sont de retour à nouveau, Nevers
Jean, Alphonse, et Francine
Ensemble devant la pierre, l’hiver,
Vieillis de cent ans un jour
Silent memory to a living “hymn”

Il a quitter le 201e d’artillerie
Le silence sur la 26e batterie

Il faut bien le dire,( tout haut ?)
Ca fait beau sur son tombeau.

JA © (1/06/2001). Trad. Update (5/06/2001)

Footnotes :

Francine née Perrier
1° version ever = anglais pour "toujours"

Silent memory to a living “hymn
(Mémoires si-les-cieux - la vie en hymne).

English Translation

Well beyond Exile – “One year on”
( Translation to English of” my poem
Bien au delà de l’exile. Originally in French. Inspired by H. Macdiarmid )

My wife’s cousin died to-day.
Oh, his name? Jean Crochet
Major General this or that?
Simply a sergeant major
A young university graduate, eh ?
From‘les Ponts and Chaussées’

Jean left the 201st artillery
Silence on the 26th company

In distant lands to find
The old hill road and
The village school was well…
Beyond his strength, now unkempt
His father, like Jean also went
Jean’s life was down right spent

Jean left the 201st artillery
Silence on the 26th company

To Salonika what a wonderful trip
The school head master, directorship
Found the old hill road and
The village school was well…
Jean had passed the ultimate mile post

Jean left the 201st artillery
Silence on the 26th company

They are now all back in Nevers
Jean Alphonse and Francine
Together before the headstone, ever
Aged a hundred days, one day
A silent memory to a living hymn.

Jean left the 201st artillery
Silence on the 26th company

Should I allow, my voice be heard
Declaring that it does look good
On his grave head?

JA copyright@J.A
Trial translation 25 Oct. 2001. ©
Footenote: Jean's cannon had fired so many rounds that day that it blew up on them. A sort of metallurgical-quality assurance-defect, then "that's war that was" and maybe still is?

Tribute to Lazare Ponticelli & to those who survived or tried to survive WWI

Lazare Ponticelli, was the longest and last French surviver of the "Great War" The 1st World War (WWI) Lazard died today. A short well documented tribute to Lazard was published by The Economist.

I did not intend to write so soon on work inspired by H. Macdiarmid, soldier in the British Army medical corps who wrote the following lines which I find beautiful and poignant, a plea or prayer in essence, hence my desire to translate them into french. There is another reason concerning close family, some survived some died! Lazard & Hugh survived...

Au-delà de l’exile

(Beyond Exile by H. Macdiarmid trad par J.A. -Original in english - scroll down)

Que dieu soit loué, mes pieds peuvent encore trouver
Dans ces terres lointaines le vieux chemin de la colline,
Et piétine toujours aucune glaise étrangère
Mais leur gadoue, familière terrine

Et tout l’état étendu de l’océan
Ne sera qu’une lamelle brillante
Qui glisse entre les champs ondulants
Pour ne trouver aucune mer étrangère

Aucun toit d'arbre d’étranger m’abrite
Même que je voyage au lointain détour
Et les ligues qui nous séparent, ne sert qu’à me rapprocher
Aux cotés de mon amour

Et si je passe l’ultime borne
Et bien, je serai chez moi à nouveau-
Le pas rapide à la porte discrète
Les yeux pétillants à la vitrine !

Salonique, 1916.

Traduit par J.A. (6 Juin 2001)
.A short well documented tribute to Lazard was published by The Economist. This includes several of his outstanding exploits & personal memories as well as his credo formed before, during and especially in his long-life after WWI. His thoughts on his war experience went always to those less fortunate than he, to his comrades who lost their young lives and families. The Economist article does not forget the company "Ponticelli Frères.", Link in english.
founded in 1921, by The Ponticelli family; Lazard and is two brothers, all Italian immigrants.

Beyond Exile

Praise God that l my feet can find
In distant lands the old hill-road,
And tread always no alien clay
But their familiar sod.

And all the ocean’s broad estate
Be but gleaming band to me
That slips between the bending fields
To find no foreign sea.

No stranger’s roof tree covers me,
Albeit I travel far and wide,
And sundering leagues but closed bind
Me to my darling’s side.

And if I pass the utmost borne
Why, then, I shall be home again-
The quick step at the quiet door,
The grey eyes at the pane!

Salonika, 1916 by Hugh MacDiarmid (died 1978)
Complete Works Vol. 1, Pub. Penguin
Ed Michael Greave & W.R. Aitkin
©Christopher Murray Grieve (1978)
© Valda Grieve (1985) & family?

Sunday, 2 March 2008

French translation of "Reflections in an Ironworks" by H.Macdiarmid

From the previous log if you managed to reach Footnote 3,
you will see that not all foundry workers and steelmakers
have been deaf to pleas such as that of Big Mac (H. MacDiarmid).
Poem in French, followed by the original in English.

Corrections by language teachers warmly invited.

Des Pensées dans une Fonderie D’Acier.
(Reflections in an Ironworks by H. MacDiarmid Ed. Penguin Vol.1.)

Seriez-vous semblable au métal que vous travaillez,
Serait ce que le fer est entrer dans vos âmes souillées,
Seriez-vous devenu comme l’acier pour votre propre compte ?
Est vous encore seulement de la pâte, par la tyrannie, laminée
Entre ses doigts ! Vous, fabricants de baïonnettes et de fusils
Pour votre propre destruction ! Il n’est pas surprenant que ces
Armes, que vous fabriquez, tournent contre vous, meurtre et meurtri !
Vous, les sots qui équipent vos ennemies par ailleurs sans défense.

Traduit 14/04/2001 par J.A.

The translator worked as chief metallurgist, quality control and assurance manger in order to improve methods & honour outstanding orders subjected to stringent QA. standards, during the early stages of the closure of the special steels & alloy foundry by Imphy SA. at their plant in Imphy, France in 1980. He resigned from this position when the decision not to undertake development was made clear, then took a leading role in the alloy 718 development project, whose results were reported at the Trace elements in superalloys meeting in London 1983, part of which were published in Materials Science & Technology first issue Feb. 1985.

Reflections in an Ironworks by H. MacDiarmid Ed. Penguin Vol.1. P335.
(Ed. Michel Grieve and W.R.Aitken copyright:Christopher Murry Grieve 1978.
Copyright: Valda Grieve 1985.)

Would you resembled the metal you work with,
Would the iron entered into your souls,
Would you become like steel on your own behalf!
You are still only putty that tyranny rolls
Between your fingers! You makers of bayonets and guns
For your own destruction! No wonder that those
Weapons you make turn on you and mangle and murder-
You fools who equip your otherwise helpless foes!

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

Poem_"Market gets Spice" -Times of Abuse -Sport, Business, Finance...

I did not intend to write so soon, nor, to subject the poor chance reader to some "prose" in Scots vernacular. In fact when I originally wrote this poem a few years ago, around 2001, and submitted it to the European Union (EU) for corrective action, only to be told, correctly, that Scots is not an official EU language.

I bet it is better understood by the large contingent of ex-pats of Scottish origin, notably: New Zealand, ouch! They whip the home brew in rugby; Canada, Oh! their salaries and living standards are so much higher- USA, Australia, South Africa..! At the time I guess I went for food wine... & culture in France. And believe it or not, metallurgy was part of this scheme, I discovered the world of special steels and alloys; one of the widest ranges one can find, anywhere in the world, in one and the same plant cf. Footnote 3 scroll down.

With no further a-do, here is my piece called "Market gits Spice", addressed to a fictious footballer "Mr. Foot-ham and friends - any likeness to specific persons is probably only a source of motivation to write and fired entirely by jealously or other low instincts and may be termed a Revised Version of Foot and Mouth Disease). Some explanation for native english & other foreigner english speakers still (TDB-to be done but adepts can read on.

Market gits(1) Spice.

Ye git’s! Ye bunch o’git’s, (2)

ye mak’ me mad, blin’ daft.
Market gits Spice.

Mr Boot-ham, or is it back’m?
No'(3) enough cash, I’d brand ‘im!
Tae squander on spice and the likes, I bluster!
The kind that wid gae the strangest(4) an ulcer.

I’m doubled up in shear pain.
‘Must be market’s shear strain.
The git’s, wid they feel ony shame?
We’ve heard how much he’s worth but to whae? (5)
But does ay ken hoo much ‘e-costs an’ to wham?(6)

REFRAIN: Ye git’s! …

The pair weans(7) the pair wee(8) weans.
Yur daddy ponded yur wee toy train
Y'ur(9) fired! Y'ur a’ damned fired by Goad! (10)
Naebuddy wi’ sense wid gae yeese a joab.
Is it Boab(11) or Alex that sets the wage?
The slate’s a nae Start, richt(12) Salty gage
Doon richt stupidity has nae boun’ or age
Busby’ s babbes must turn in their graves
Their weans waited near forty years save

REFRAIN: Ye git’s!

Fig’s guid, Zizou, and king ‘Enry too
Emperor Eric a’ways did his team true
Ryan presses the wick,(13) victory he riggs

Glides like the white ghost(14), a fine Gigg.
But a’ this dope, incense an’ spice? .
It’s lawfu’ but no’(3) quite nice.
I’ve got it, thanks tae a day’s thoucht(15)
That’s richt,(12) a chap broadcast oucht (16)
“In auld Britannia a man is mare concerned
Wi the inequalities in horsies, race banned

REFRAIN: (Ye git’s!…
Market gits Spice)

Than awe the inequalities in blessed mankind”
"A man’s a man fur a’ that an’ a’ that” (17)
So whit’s (18) the trouble, lay me alaine(19) ye top hat
Tae win the price o’ a packet a coffin nails
Or a pint o’ bitter tae pit(20) wind in ma' sails
Fur company, while a canter hame. (21)
Y'ur no' gonie put on me, ony blame?
"Fur ‘a that an’ a’ that it’s coming yet
That man to man the warld o’er
Shall brothers be for a’ that" (17)

So listen tae y'ur brither(22) noo

REFRAIN: Ye git’s!…
Market gits Spice

J A-No_Holds_Bard

Footnote 1.
1. git's- USA for gets 2. gits- idiots 3. No-Not
4. wid gae the strangest-would give the strongest 5. whae- whom
6. ay ken hoo much ‘e-costs an’ to wham? does he know how much "he" costs and to whom - Double meaning : e-costs slash -(poetic licence svp, s'il vous plait-please)
7. weans - chidren 8. wee- tiny 9. Yur-you are & a' - all 10. goad! God!
11. Boab- Bob short for Robert 12. richt-right, truely
13. Ryan presses the wick -Homage also to Ryan Air which flies Beauvais Fr to Prestwick (Scotland)
14. Hommage to the late John White known as the of Spur’s & Scotland, nick-named the white ghost(premonition!)-sadly died young, on the golf couse, by a lightening strike
15. Thought for the day, BBC4 16. oucht - once
17. Taken from Robert Burns' Poem, "Auld lang Syne" sung the world over to ring out the old year (Hugmanay-NY eve- and herald in the New Year.
18. whit’s-what is 19. alaine- alone 20. tae pit- to put 21. canter hame- trot home
22. yu'r Brither noo-you brother now.

Footnote 2.
Some may have noticed, I decided to upload, today 27 Feb. 2008, this original little painting, which I like a lot, while I searched through my old files and CD back-up & old 3.5" floppies for this piece in order to review its relevance (from memory, my poem was an "angry reaction" one more sorry to say" to over paid sometimes over-rated footballers" and their paying supporters on the terraces who are often in shaky economic circumstances. Seems things have not changed, the wage gap has never been so wide, and spreading like gangrene, best expressed by such french commentators such as Jean-Francois Kahn (JFK) who points out, that a worker on minimum guaranteed wage in France (1280euros brute-1000euros net, 2007-08) would need to work for 15 Centuries, yes 15 000 years to obtain the annual salary of top managers -perks & gifted stocks. (called stock options) included. ie. from the time of the French King Clovis(485-511) to this day! as Kahn likes to add. Try the following link for more on the French History Time line[link]. JF Kahn,[link in French only,]
International Reporter, founder of the now failed"Les Jeudis de l'Informaton" & the sucessfull "Marianne", the only weekly information magazine financed uniquely by subscribers. JFK is the brother of famous medcine & genetician Axel Kahn and Biochemist Olivier Kahn)

Footnote 3.
Football, food wine... & culture in France and believe it or not metallurgy was part of this scheme. I discovered the world of special steels and alloys; one of the widest ranges one can find, anywhere in the world, in one and the same plant not to mention it’s own well equipped Research Centre and three big laboratories for product control:

Chemistry for raw materials and steel formulation process & product control,
Mechanical testing, destructive and non-destructive micro- and macro-graphic examination, and
Physical testing for cryogenic-dilatation and magnetic testing all in a little known village called Imphy, in France.

Such concentration, I believe, defies all management theory but one, seldom talked about by the Ivory Tower sad guy's; ie. "that, variety is the spice of life." Today if you are lucky you may find a similar set-up in a very few Big Outfits with Big R&D – Corporate Universities etc or techno-poles, innovation parks, centres of excellences, skunk-works, what have you.
For some, the working conditions, hot and difficult, danger never far-off, could border on "hell-on-earth." although pay was good for the period.

We metallurgical engineers (physicists & chemists) and managers, many renowned in there respective fields, fought hard to alleviate this. I wish we could have done more, for it was a metallurgist's paradise and probably still is despite the fall in popularity of these professions and trades.

The perks you may ask? As in all difficult & dangerous professions and trades there was a strong community spirit. Most management had a strong sense of their social responsibility as well as their scientific aims and economic and financial basics, in my experience.

This is not as unusual as it may appear for a plant, established by the famous and very able French Finance Minister Colbert (a protestant) on the banks of the Loire river, and run by the famous Henri Fayol, around the time of the 1st World War, both before & after.

The director of steel-making the three steel workshops (an ex-R&D man of course such was the technical level required) drove to the plant in his 2CV, lean on gas.

I and three other metallurgical engineers; the head of R&D, the manager of R&D for the Invar alloy family and the manager for powder metallurgy R&D and special powder manufacturing plant travelled the 15kms to the plant sharing the same car by rote.

No elderly men in Mercedes cars accompanied by younger platinum blonds, as I discovered later, around Aerospaciale & Airbus head office in Toulouse. I did hear that this may have changed by the more recent breed of visiters to the Cobert founded plant in Imphy.

Needless to say I am happily married, and still in France, a miracle?

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