Genghiz Khan meets modern music

By Gordon Rugg

Regular readers of this blog will know that my tastes include an occasional penchant for dark humour. In that spirit, today’s article is about Genghiz Khan in popular Western culture.

For some reason, he inspired not only a film so bad that it’s now a much-cherished classic (until you’ve seen John Wayne playing Genghiz Khan, you haven’t savoured the true depths of bad movies) but also a song which is legendary for its kitschiness even by Eurovision standards. That song is the topic of this article, though I’ve detoured slightly into a mention of Barbara Cartland towards the end. If you wish to read more, you know what sort of unhallowed ground you will be entering…

bannerSources for the original images are given at the end of this article

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Life at uni: What do I do with the rest of my life?

By Gordon Rugg

It’s that time of year when final year students are uncomfortably aware that the rest of their lives will soon be starting, and that they don’t have a clue what they want to do with their lives, although everyone else seems to be reasonably sorted out and under control.

If you’re feeling like that, you’re not the only one. It’s an understandable feeling. This article is about non-threatening ways of moving towards finding out, and achieving, what you really want in life, particularly if you don’t even know what you actually want. It’s a story of hammocks and exotic sunny beaches and carnival masks. I’ll start with the masks.

bannerSources for original images are given at the end of this article.

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Kites

By Gordon Rugg

Kites are an awesome invention. I’d originally thought of doing an article about concepts that they illustrate, such as why an anvil-shaped kite is amusing, but it’s a grim day in November, so I’ll just post some pictures of kites, as a reminder that life contains good things as well as bad.

A yellow kite against a blue skyFestival_of_the_Winds_Bondi_Beach_(6136049188)“Festival of the Winds Bondi Beach (6136049188)” by Eva Rinaldi Celebrity and Live Music Photographer – Flickr. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Festival_of_the_Winds_Bondi_Beach_(6136049188).jpg#/media/File:Festival_of_the_Winds_Bondi_Beach_(6136049188).jpg

 

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Making the most of bad bibliographic references

By Gordon Rugg

Sometimes, you have to make the best of what you have, even if it isn’t great.

In the case of cookery, there’s a legend that Chicken Marengo was created when Napoleon’s cook had to produce a meal out of whatever he had been able to scavenge in the aftermath of the battle of that name; the result is one of the few recipes that combines chicken with crayfish.

In the case of academic life, there’s an all-too-common reality where you are trying to write something, and all you have in the way of references for one section is a stub from Wikipedia, plus an article from a newspaper which claimed in the same issue that Elvis had been sighted piloting a UFO in Spokane.

So, what can you do when you’re faced with this situation? Is there any way of salvaging something from the debris?

The answer is that you can indeed salvage something, and even emerge in a position of strength, provided that you handle it the right way, and that you don’t push your luck.

How you do that is the topic of today’s article.

A dish fit for a future emperor (ingredients not to scale, and without the parsley…)bannerSources for original images are at the end of this article.

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