Transphobia at Primark?

She says she’s inclusive, but she is crying and got an escort from security to her car.

Primark is the UK’s cheap fast fashion chain, cheaper than Walmart, but trendier.


Is Nathan Larson still alive?

Several sites are claiming that Nathan Larson has died.

This site says Sept. 18. This site says Sunday, a day before his birthday, which would also make it Sept. 18. Someone tried to edit his Wikipedia article on Sept 15, but the edits have been suppressed.

Here are some court documents: On Aug. 19 there was a video conference about “the defendant’s current health issues”. On Aug. 23 there was an order to transfer Larson “from Medical River Bend Nursing Facility to FCI Safford”. On Aug. 30 the order was amended that he be “transported from Riverbend Nursing Center to Promise Hospital, 433 E. 6th Street, Mesa, Arizona” Medical River Bend Nursing Facility is in west Sacramento. FCI Stafford is a federal prison facility in Arizona.

Kiwi Farms was following him, and they were not sympathetic, but they seem to be down at the moment.  The sites that are available are treating him like a martyr, something like Elliot Rodger is regarded as a saint by certain groups of violent misogynistic men.

Years ago someone like this would have been institutionalized in a mental health facility.  There were plenty of such things both for juveniles and maximum security units for adults. These places provided lots of survival level jobs for rural and economically depressed areas. That was before Ronald Reagan decided to save some money by closing all the mental health facilities and letting the inmates wander around on the streets, unmedicated and talking to themselves. Then they find their way to the internet, and organize themselves into a posse.

If you want more about Nathan Larson, there is a search function under the comment section.

Naghmeh Farahmand

Naghmeh Farahmand ( نغمه فرهمند) is a Persian percussionist. In Iran, she was known for founding the percussion ensemble Sharghi and for her live performances on Iranian national television. In Canada, she is known as a percussion instructor who collaborates with world music projects. She has performed with ney master Hasan Nahid and with female vocalist Hengameh Akhavan.

Shall we just cut to the chase? Here she is playing a tombak solo.


With tonbak.

Farahmand grew up in a musical family in Iran.  Her father is percussionist Mahmoud Farahmand, who worked with the Center for the Conservation and Broadcasting, the Tehran Symphony Orchestra, and the Iranian National Orchestra.(1)

At the age of six, Farahmand started studying traditional Persian percussion on tonbak with her father.  To become a better ensemble player, she studied melody on santoor (Iranian hammered dulcimer) under Faramarz Payvar and Pashang Kamkar.  To learn Sufi and Kurdish rhythms, she studied daf with Bijan Kamkar and Masoud Habibi

Below: woman playing santoor in a 19th c Persian manuscript (l) and Farahmand with daf (r).

Woman playing santur, from an album of Persian costumes, Qajar dynasty dated AD 1842. A page from the incredible book "Persian Love Poetry" زن در حال نواختن سنتور، از آلبوم لباسهایی ایران در دوره قاجار این عکس از کتاب بی نظیره "عاشقانه ها" اشعار ایرانی با تصاویری از گنجینه موزه بریتانیا 

See also:

  • Canadian Percussionists: Naghmeh Farahmand short documentary by Ken Shorley

Note: This post wasn’t really finished, but I’m just going to put it out there, in case someone else wants to enjoy this.

Frequently seen around Toronto:



Shahgah, Sahba Motallebi and Naghmeh Farahmand video

5 Things To Know Ahead Of This Year’s Lotus Festival

Asheville Percussion Festival 2018-Naghmeh Farahmand video

Learn to play Iranian Daf – with Naghmeh Farahmand 1st video

“Painted Rhythms” – Percussion Duet by Naghmeh Farahmand & Marla Leigh

Pink Floyd goes tankie

It looks like “Hey hey rise up“, the Pink Floyd version of “Oh, the Red Viburnum in the Meadow” is no longer the preferred version.

“Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters has canceled concerts planned in Poland amid outrage over his stance on Russia’s war against Ukraine, Polish media reported Saturday….

“Waters wrote an open letter to Ukrainian first lady Olena Zelenska early this month in which he blamed “extreme nationalists” in Ukraine for having “set your country on the path to this disastrous war.” He also criticized the West for supplying Ukraine with weapons, blaming Washington in particular.

“Waters has also criticized NATO, accusing it of provoking Russia.” [source]

Wikipedia doesn’t seem to have noticed yet.,_Hey,_Rise_Up!&action=history

Oh well, there’s still the Andriy Khlyvnyuk remix:

Clausewitz “On War”

Classic text by Prussian general Clausewitz (1780-1831), tr. Colonel JJ Graham, you can read online in translation.

Volume II appears to be missing from several archives. Several of the Hathitrust copies are U.S. access only.

This would appear to be the text in the original German, complete with archaic font:  A more readable German font:

The first part was written by him and is supposed to be succinct, later parts were put together posthumously from his notes. According to the translator, there are nine volumes, the first three on war are the classics. His websites list eight.

[Bonus text!!! The book of five rings, the classic book of strategy by Japanese swordsman Miyamoto Musashi c 1645, tr Victor Harris: ; other translations.]


Exploding ….what? (NSFW)

“Exploding milk porn”. Of course it’s going to be exploited politically. They’ve handed this one to Tucker Carlson on a platter.

Tucker Carlson says this is based on Japanese internet pornography “exploding milk porn”.


@Ninja_Tendo: If you’re serious, and because the mistranslation is kind of funny; he’s probably referring to 「爆乳」or “bakunyuu”. It just means “explosive[ly huge] breasts”. The second kanji can mean milk, but any dictionary would tell you it means breasts here.

Whatever you do, do NOT do an image search for this 爆乳.

RIP Rumi scholar Franklin Lewis

Franklin D. Lewis or Franklin Dean Lewis (1961 – September 20, 2022) was a scholar of Persian studies best known for his landmark book, Rumi: Past and Present, East and West. His research covered the mystical poets as well as more classical major figures such as Ferdowsi, Sa‘di, and Hāfez. His  translations of selected ghazals by Rumi are particularly noteworthy.

Education and career

Lewis studied Persian & Persian literature at UC Berkeley. He completed a PhD at the University of Chicago.  His dissertation in 1995, Reading, Writing, and Recitation: Sanā’i and the Origins of the Persian Ghazal, is one of the most widely cited dissertations in Persian literary studies.

Lewis was a lecturer in Persian at Chicago, then in 1997 was a member of the faculty of Emory University.  In 2005 he returned to the University of Chicago, teaching courses in the history of Persian literature.  He was the chair of the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago from 2015-18 and 2019-22.

Lewis was president of the American Institute of Iranian Studies for fourteen years, where he helped preserve Iranian studies after the 1979 Iranian Revolution. He founded and managed the list server Adabiyat, a forum for scholars of Middle Eastern literature.

He wrote poems under the pseudonym “Sheyda”.

Selected works

  • Rumi: Past and Present, East and West (2008). Translated into Persian, Arabic, Turkish, and Danish.
  • Swallowing the Sun, 2008, translation of selected ghazals by Rumi
  • Zoya Pirzad’s novel Things We Left Unsaid (2012) (translation)
  • In a Voice of Their Own: Stories by Iranian Women Written Since the 1979 Revolution, co-edited and translated, with introduction and annotated bibliography by Franklin Lewis and Farzin Yazdanfar (Costa Mesa, CA: Mazda Publishers, 1996). liv+153pp. [Translation with introduction of 18 stories by women writers from Iran].
    • Reviews: Lâleh Khâkpur (in Persian), Kelk #85-88 (Farvardin-Tir 1367 / March-July 1998): 601-603; Miriam Cooke, Choice, June 97: 1656; Judith Terry, Iranian Studies 30, 3-4 (Summer/Fall 1997): 409-10.

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Authority control

Sarvin Haghighi

Here is a nice lecture on the occasion of international women’s day, where he plays one of his translations of a poem by Rumi with a backdrop of art by Iranian artist Sarvin Haghighi.