Thu. May 30th, 2024

A couple of my favourite Kpop artists are coming out with new albums, so I put in an order for them with my local supplier, a shop called K-pop Time, who operate out of Ringwood. The artists are Aespa and BTS’s Rap Monster. The shop used to give out 10 percent off vouchers when you’d buy product off them, but I haven’t got any lately. It’s a pity as the albums aren’t cheap. In fact there was a notice on the site about Rap Monster’s album being more expensive because of the weight of the extra packaging it includes. This is definitely a thing about Korean albums. They do usually include a simple and cheaper digipak version, but lots of fans want the whole enchilada, and boy do they get it. Twice also have a new Japanese album coming out in July, called Dive. When the time comes I’ll be able to get it with K-pop TIme, because they stock Korean-related Japanese items. Another reason I like that store.

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I was listening to Rap Monster’s Indigo album in the car today (kind of getting ready for the new album), when Twice Nayeon’s solo track All Or Nothing came on, and I didn’t recognise it at first. I just thought, wow, this is a nice chick rap rnb song. The reason why it came on straight after RM was just Spotify doing its algorithm thing. I previously hadn’t thought that much of the song, preferring other songs on Nayeon’s album, especially No Problem. But it blended in so well with RM’s rap style, it was like hearing it with new ears. It’s interesting how songs can sound different in different contexts, isn’t it? There should be more study made of this phenomena.

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While I was processing books today at work one of them caught my attention. It was called Rewrite, Loops In Time by Gregory Benford. Benford wrote one of my favourite scifi novels, Timescape, way back in 1980, and it turns out this is a belated sequel. The book was on hold for another patron, so I put myself in the queue for the next reservation. It looks quite exciting, going by the blurb. Since it’s a sequel it seems like a good time to return to the original to get myself up to speed. So I guess I know what my next reading adventure is – I’m reading Timescape again!

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A book I did borrow today from the library was Brilliant Maps, by Ian Wright. It’s billed as ‘an atlas for curious minds’. That’s me, I’m a sucker for a good data graphic. Basically, every page features a map of the world with different data about it overlaid, depending on the theme of the page. For example, there is a page for Most Countries with the Most Miss World Winners, and another for Countries That Have No McDonalds. Hopefully you get the picture. The book is also separated into various topics, like People and Populations, Religion and Politics, Power, Culture, Customs, Geography, History, and so on. I liked the page about Heavy Metal Bands Per 100,000 People. Stand up Finland, Sweden, Norway, Iceland (must be something about that cold weather that makes you wanna go metal), Germany and Greece, who had the highest percentages. You rock! Christmas Gift Bringers of Europe had some amusing variations on Santa Claus: in some places they call him Father Christmas, in others it’s St Basil, Old Man Christmas and Old Man Frost. In Finland he seems to be Christmas Goat. Overall, it was a mildly interesting and easy read. Some of the topics, however, seemed a bit pointless. Most Popular Cola Brands In Germany, anyone? And some of the maps were confusing in how they presented the data: particularly the colours, which were sometimes not well separated. The maps were attributed to Infographic.ly. Lift your game, guys!

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