Wild World of Thoughts

Here lie various thoughts on a variety of subjects. Expect travel entries, random literary musings, TV show reviews and stuff I simply made up.

Recent Posts

  • Living with Hearing Loss, the Invisible Disability
    My hearing loss has had a profound effect on my life. The vast majority rarely encounter people under the age of sixty who have this disability. Those who live with it face a daily struggle. Others do not notice the struggle. […]
  • An Overture To His Coy Mistress (or how to write like Mozart)
    My composing sessions frequently extend to eight hours, with plenty of breaks for coffee and stretching. The title, To His Coy Mistress, likely entered my head because I’m a mid-forties bachelor who love has not yet called […]
  • Becoming a full-time composer
    A month has passed since I last posted. I’m still learning Chinese and pondering the deep well of life, so 2021 should see more TV shows reviewed and more random posts from the fringes of consciousness etched onto this […]
  • Bountiful Blessings review – Quirky Chinese Singaporean sitcom
    Year: 2011Rating: MEpisodes: 20 x ~43minCountry: Singapore Bountiful Blessings has lost none of its charm on a second viewing. Learning Mandarin led to an unexpected attachment to the Singapore-Malaysia drama scene, starting […]
  • The Dream Job review – Singapore drama
    A lot of effort has gone into this show, reflected in its high production values. The messy family drama pulled me in but the constant toxicity wore me down. Its greatest sin though is its ending: simplistic and maybe morally […]
  • Left out of the Federal Budget, still no job and a Centrelink catastrophe
    The Federal Government’s 2020 budget released in October has a particular segment of the population worried, and I am in this segment: people over 35 years old. The government has incentivised employers to hire people under […]
  • Five great YouTube science channels
    In a quest to buff my sci-fi novels with more (ahem) science, I’ve been watching science-related channels on YouTube. The quality has been exceptional. I’ve given ample space on this site to Netflix, so hopefully […]
  • An open letter to my friends, from Mona Clenlow
    Hi. How are you? Like how are you really? I’ve been thinking about you. I’m sorry I haven’t been in touch. I don’t know what to say really. I haven’t been doing anything much. Probably the same as […]
  • Ashes of Love review (2018) Season One
    Childlike innocence and first-love blended with dark magic and high fantasy is a staple in Chinese drama. Like Ice Fantasy (2016), Ashes of Love is also based on a novel, in this case, Heavy Sweetness, […]
  • Ice Fantasy review (2016) Season One
    Let’s start by saying that Ice Fantasy, or 幻城 (Huànchéng), is a guilty pleasure. The sets are creative, backgrounds and special effects are impressive, and later there are some […]
  • Quilt pattern frontJenessa Abernathy on Quilting in the Time of Covid
    I’ve been sewing lately. It brings me peace. With all the hate and ignorance spouting forth I need to arm myself with knowledge and do things that make me calm and focused. I usually make dance costumes but lately […]
  • Tientsin Mystic review 河神 (Season 1) Make way for the River God
    Fog swirls over a bridge in 1920s Tianjin. A well-dressed young man is fleeing a group of ruffians. He runs onto the bridge. He’s trapped. He jumps into the river. He struggles underwater, trapped by some seaweed. A […]
  • Wanted: Communication skills, social responsibility, effective leadership
    How to mitigate a covid crisis In Sydney we breathe a sigh of relief, having avoided a coronavirus second wave. Melbourne has not been so lucky. And at this stage of the pandemic’s development, “lucky” is not an […]
  • Cosmogony 67: the Zentrians
    It is believed the Zentrians tie in with the multiverse theory, although no one has been able to prove this. Indeed, there is no scientific proof that the Zentrians even exist. Whether they are a race, an entity or a collection […]
  • Robert Schumann: Advice to Young Musicians
    The Gutenberg Project has made available to the general public many rare and obscure literary works. One such trinket is Advice to Young Musicians by composer and writer Robert Schumann (1810-1856). Schumann is an eccentric […]
  • Unpacking a Life – The Wanderer’s Art of Moving (Part 1)
    I’ve moved a lot over the years, maybe more than I should have. Perhaps this makes me a wanderer. I am less of a physical wanderer now, at least at the moment, but over fifteen years I lived in four different cities, often […]
  • Cosmogony 766: Bad Ends
    Not to be confused with Badass, which is located in a different (and not even parallel) universe. Seventy kilometres north of Crete 581d’s capital, Reticulum, lie the Bad Ends, easily reachable from the city by northern […]
  • Cosmogony 1243: Binary Loans
    A money lending chain founded by Nostradamus Noke in 2910, in ninety years Binary Loans has grown from a small payday loan business to a successful franchise operating on both Crete 581d and Crete 581f. It avoids the Cretan 581d […]
  • Testing the Law: Historical Crime and Deviance – Roy Maloy
    On Wednesday, 14 August 1935, an article appeared in the Herald in Melbourne with the title “HAD URGE TO DRESS AS WOMAN”. The article stood out in contrast from others of its time, which had sensationalised cases of […]
  • Sascha Percuoco on what makes a man
    A man comes in many forms, short, fat or tall. But is it his stature? Or the attitude? Or is it any of that at all? Because some men are crazy, they’re murderers and thieves, but in their minds they are men, for in god they […]
  • Reducing demand for Arts degrees is a step back for Critical Thinking
    As you’re likely aware, the Australian Government recently doubled the cost of arts/humanities degrees. Its reasoning? Universities should focus on vocational degrees so students are job ready. I did a humanities […]
  • Thanks for the music: Canberra, Ornette Coleman, Brenton Holmes
    I spent five years of my life in Canberra. It was here I really began my journey into jazz. Having taken jazz piano lessons with Paul Dal Broi, I advertised in the classifieds as a pianist and received a response from […]
  • Ancient Greek image man with laptopThe Lost History of the Tablet – from Athens to the iPad
    On October 17, 2011, I had a satirical piece published in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Heckler column. It can no longer be found online. Down with you Archivists! The article was a little nod to the great Steve Jobs who had […]
  • Modern mass surveillance as religious experience
    By Lindsay Winkler with Dave Singer “I will be the gaoler. You will see … that the gaoler will have no salary – will cost nothing to the nation” So said Jeremy Bentham in 1786 after visiting his brother […]
  • Getting a handle on complex verbs in Mandarin Chinese – by Kurt Vall
    Kurt Vall is a postgraduate student in International Relations and has completed undergraduate studies in linguistics and Chinese language. Here he presents his thoughts on Mandarin grammar, offering insights into the […]
  • Work, mortality and coffee
    It’s been several weeks since my last update and to be honest, Covid-19 has hit my motivation like a punch in the stomach. It’s a shock on a global scale, flooring health services around the world and sending […]
  • Sydney cityFrom the castle to the office – Charlene Cat
    With the world shutting down as we navigate a viral menace on a scale not scene for generations, writing is still the go-to way to unveil our deep anxieties and inner struggles. For Charlene Cat, a young lawyer from Foshan […]
  • Elizabeth Ludlow and Katee SackhoffAnother Life review – Netflix science fiction original
    I knew I’d seen Captain Niko Brekinridge somewhere before. Her feistiness reminded me a little of Claire Danes as Carrie Mathison in Homeland. Even when the end credits rolled after the first episode I couldn’t […]
  • Wang Yibo and Xiao ZhanReview of The Untamed – 2019 Chinese fantasy series
    陈情令 Chinese fantasy epic drama At first it seems that not much is happening. The show strolls along for a few episodes as we get to know the characters and background. But something is different about this […]
  • Dog on Sydney Harbour beachNice doggy – guest post by Blue Collar Lawyer
    Lawyer, Accountant, Consultant and observer of wry things, Sam – otherwise known as the Blue Collar Lawyer (also known as the International Man of Mystery) grew up in 20 countries as his parents assumed a variety of UN […]
  • Shaun Chen and Emily LimJustice in the City review 庭外和解 Accomplished Malaysian drama
    Year: 2012Rating: MEpisodes: 30 x ~42minCountry: Malaysia, Singapore Sometimes translators insist on creativity where none is needed. The direct translation of 庭外和解 (tíng wài […]
  • Wu Assassins fightWu Assassins review – Netflix fantasy original
    Miniseries started flourishing in the 1950s. Now Netflix is breathing new life into the genre. I’m not a fan of spoilers. But I’ll reveal that this series is 10 episodes. The length of a miniseries generally […]
  • Sandra Pinner and Indian actorOnce upon a time in Lingjian Mountain review
    Updated: 16/10/20 It takes a while to say the title (从前有座灵剑山) and this series takes a while to get going, but its quirkiness shines through. So did the warm, interesting […]
  • Hangzhou old townMy first trip to China revisited
    The outbreak of the coronavirus has focused the world’s attention on China. Much of the Western media have been well-behaved and have avoided politicising the situation. Not all. Sinophobia is making a comeback, aided […]
  • Lindsay Winkler: We need to remove our low-pass filters
    Guest post from Lindsay Winkler, musician and writer, on how society filters information. Today’s global challenges mean we may have to adjust our low-pass filters. Electrical engineers are familiar with the concept of a […]
  • Desmond Tan Rui En Christopher LeeAgainst the Tide review – Singapore drama
    Here’s another one that takes a few episodes to find its feet, then you’re sucked in and the next 20 episodes are engaging viewing. I’m not quite sure what the title, Against the Tide, actually means, but then […]
  • Rebecca Lim and Romeo TanYes we can! review 我们一定行 Singapore drama
    The Netflix overview for this show reads, “When a frustrated businessman starts his own firm, it soon morphs into a way to help senior citizens refresh their dying traditional trades.” Who writes these blurbs? This is […]
  • Anni in the meeting roomMind Game review – Malaysian drama
    This 2015 Malaysian production hits all the right buttons. It maintains flow, suspense and plot development over its 30 episode run. I began watching this at the same time as Unriddle, which also features a handsome female cop as […]
  • Cast of The OathThe Oath review 行医 Singaporean medical drama
    It would be very hard to make a bad show when the four leads are Christopher Lee, Jesseca Liu, Ix Shen and Ann Kok. I can watch Ann Kok and Christopher Lee all day. Lee has presence, attitude, charisma. Ann Kok is feisty, […]
  • The Legend of the White Snake review (2019 TV series)
    I recently watched The Legend of the White Snake and it’s one of the best Chinese fantasies I’ve seen so far. At 36 episodes the length is just about right. It’s one fault – and something has to be […]
  • Jeanette Aw, Guo Liang and Dai XiangyuBreakout review 破天网 – Underworld Singapore drama
    Singapore’s acting scene is one happy family. I was led to Breakout (破天网, Pò tiān wǎng) (2010) by following the link for Jeanette Aw after watching The Dream Job (2016). […]
  • Wang Zixuan, Li Xian, Zhang Ming-enTop 10 Mandarin shows on Netflix
    For us Mandarin learners, TV on demand is a bountiful blessing. Now we can binge watch and not feel guilty, because we are learning Chinese! I’ve been learning Mandarin for three years, and the list below reflects my […]
  • English country cuisine — Dorian Wild
    Following is a guest post from none other than my father, Dorian Wild. He wrote this while holidaying in the English countryside two years ago. I found it while rummaging through my email archives in search of a backup for my […]
  • Living in London
    I didn’t really know London until I’d been there about 2 years, just when I started getting homesick for sunny Sydney. The excitement of being in the big smoke was starting to wear off, the daily commute was becoming […]
  • Dublin: A Trip Down Memory Lane
    I used to have another blog. Technically speaking I still do. It has the rather Byronic name: Wild Dan’s Pilgrimage. For those unacquainted with nineteenth century poetry (and why would you be?), this is a reference to the […]
  • Cosmogony 213: Proxima Centauri
    Closest star to the sun. Part of a triple star system. Several trading outposts orbit Proxima Centauri, drawing their power from large arrays collecting magnetic and solar energy from Alpha Centauri A and its twin. Proxima b, a […]
  • Portrait of Lord ByronThe origins of John Polidori and The Vampyre: Byron’s greatest work
    I really started becoming fascinated with the Shelley-Byron circle during my English honours year at the University of Sydney. My mother read me the poems of Shelley as a teenager and I had already encountered William Wordsworth […]
  • My mysterious origins
    I am often asked where I am from. I have lived in four cities now. Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and London. Or three and half cities, for those of you who don’t grant Canberra city status. I’ve learnt to say a […]
  • Cosmogony 121: Betelgeuse Burger
    The contents of these burgers are a closely guarded secret. It is rumoured that no one knows the recipe in its entirety, but once a year five executives from Betelgeuse Corp gather on a satellite orbiting Betelgeuse VII. Each […]
  • Cosmogony 553: Grulos Jandy
    In 2420 Grulos Jandy began a series of experiments aimed at limiting the side effects caused by long interstellar hyperjumps (jumps with a distance greater than 10 parsecs). Jandy’s experiments were known for their […]