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A merry christmas to one and all (or, depending on your mood, possibly bah humbug).

After the last post (and the next one), here’s something a bit lighter.

Last week I was in Brighton at the British Pharmacological Society Winter meeting in the Hilton Metropole (the less said about that hotel the better). The science was fun, but on Wednesday, I had a break to walk the length of Brighton Pier.

Here are few pictures.

Tarot consultant to GSK and Astra Zeneca

Just look at the notice in the stairs.

GSK and Astra Zeneca? Funny, Richard Sykes never mentioned the Tarot approach to drug discovery. Does it work as well as high-throughput screening?

The helter-skelter on Brighton pier

For me that means only one thing:
one of the best films ever made, Richard Attenborough’s Oh! What a Lovely War (1969).
“The ever popular war game with songs battles & a few jokes”.


All the lyrics can be found here.


It isn’t easy to get, but Amazon now has a DVD.The film is based on Joan Littlewood’s 1963 musical of the same name. The First World War is run from the end of Brighton Pier.The picture shows the helter skelter, on December 19th 2007.

Clips from the film

Most of the words in the film were quotations of what was actually said at the time. Chilling.

Near the start. Negotiations fail: President Poincare (Ian Holm), Sir Edward Grey (Ralph Richardson) and Count Leopold Von Berchtold (John Gielgud). Hubris prevails on the beach and Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig (John Mills) starts recruiting from a fairground booth.
Click the picture to play clip [wmv file, 52 Mb]

Later. Down the helter-skelter, into the trenches of the Battle of the Somme.

More hubris from Haig as the score is kept on the cricket scoreboard on the end of Brighton pier.

First day: losses 60,000 men, ground gained, nil.

Haig says “I feel that every step I take is guided by the divine will” (so no change then, just like Bush and Blair). Click the picture to play clip [wmv file, 26 Mb]

The final scene. Iconic, beautiful, tear-jerking, sweeping shot of the South Downs.
Click the picture to play clip [wmv file, 28 Mb]. And be very angry.

A Brighton shop window

A striking display, not least after recent events in Sudan.

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8 Responses to Brighton rocks: Tarot, GSK and a lovely war

  • I don’t see Moses bear! This is a clear case of anti-semitism.
    On closer inspection I don’t see Dawkins bear. This is another attack on the values of the enlightenment.

  • Well you can’t expect too much. This was in a part of Brighton where homeopathy is almost conventional medicine and crystal healing is the norm. But I must agree that Baphomet isn’t much of a substitute for Moses or Dawkins.

  • I would dearly love to hear GSK and AZ’s comment on the tarot thing.

  • Re the GSK thing: I work for them and she probably did a show for the Sports and Social Club. I worry about this sort of thing when I see the S&SC offering shitake or whatever that oriental thing’s called. We already enough spiritualists, alternative therapy believers and the like, some with BScs and working in the labs!

  • Sure -I presumed it was something like that (tarot readers spin too), Still seems a bit odd though.

  • With GSK’s recent history of god-awful bad, secret, embarassingly faked, piss-poor research it isn’t hard to see why they would have needed this lady. No action from the MHRA, leaving CEO Garnier and Wakefield free to play golf together.

    PW

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