Friday, 23 September 2011

Rhiwbina, Relativity, R.E.M.

Strange things you see considered as news in the papers. In the Times today it says that the speed camera on Rhiwbina Hill here in Cardiff only recorded one person speeding last year - it was the lowest in the South Wales Police area. This is a well-used cut-through to the M4.  But was it the northbound camera on Rhiwbina Hill or the southbound one (right)? Hmmm...
Another weird thing... scientists have discovered a particle that goes faster than the speed of light. Nothing is supposed to do that according to Einstein.
Anyway, this pales into insignificance in a week when American band R.E.M decided to call it a day. For those asleep (or not born) in the early 1990s, this band from Georgia USA provided the soundtrack for life during those years. In "Out of Time" (1991) and "Automatic for the People" (1992) they put together two absolutely classic CDs, including such tracks as "Losing my Religion", "Shiny, Happy People", "Man on the Moon" and the classic "Everybody Hurts".
The BBC write "REM have often used their music and power as a band to carry a message. 'Everybody Hurts' .... started out as a song to comfort 'younger people'. Its 'don't give up' message has most often been associated with suicide prevention but the song has also been used to mark the Dunblane massacre, Princess Diana's death and more recently the earthquake in Haiti."
Some music takes me back to a particular occasion, but R.E.M. take me back to a whole period from 1991 on. Even now, my well-worn CDs transport me to my time at St Francis Presbytery. And it's very R.E.M that it seems they have disbanded not amid acrimony and bad-feeling but calmly and together. Great style, great band, thanks R.E.M.

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