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April 4th, 2008

Church of the Blinding White Light of Stupidity

Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum videtur
(Anything said in Latin sounds profoundus.)


Hi folks,

You got to love Italians. Besides inventing Latin and the Catholic Church, Vespas and Michaelangelo, they really know how to name their food. Some of you may be familiar with Strangolapreti (ie. priest stranglers) which is a round pasta or gnocchi. But there is also a variation of this called Stringozzi, named for the leather cord once used to strangle tax collectors in Umbria.

Le Palle del Nonno (granddad's testicles) are crinkly-looking pork sausages and Coglioni di Mulo (mule's testicles) are salsicce (sausages) also from Umbria that are shaped like the private part of a mule.

Sciatt (dialect for toad) from Valtellina is a cheese-stuffed buckwheat pastry but Ossi di Morti - (bones of the dead) are sugar coated biscuits.

Brutti ma buoni (ugly, but good) are hazlenut macaroons.

We've all seen the Baci (kisses) but there are also Sospiri (sighs), Bugie (lies) and Chiacchiere (gossip). The marketing campaigns for the other ones obviously didnt take off.

There is even a variety of grape from Romagna called Pagadebit (pay a debt). A good wine to relax the tax collector with before whipping out the Stringozzi. Eh!
(from 'Italy,' by Matthew Evans)

Favourite Letters of the Week

Re: Joe Dolce Newsletter Deletion Problem
Don't worry Joe, leave me on. Such a gracious email! James

(Note: Folks, this little note is one of the most unusual letters I have ever received. James originally asked to be REMOVED from my newsletter list. But the email address he wrote to me from was NOT the same email address the newsletter was being sent to. (A common mistake: many people, including me, have one email address forwarding mail to another.) I asked him to please send the source email and I would delete it. He liked the way in which I asked so much he decided to REMAIN on the list! Whoa! I must have manners I don't even know I have. Aye Jimmy! May ye bairnes grow up with straight teeth.)

Subject: italian aboriginals
welcome back from your successful road trip. how fascinating to learn about the long history of italians in australia. who knew? clearly these early arrivals must have completely missed out on marco polo's interactions with the chinese. did they pass through the middle kingdom on the way to oz, or send out their own intrepid noodle-seeker at a later date? if not, what did they traditionally put their sauce on? cheers, joan

(Note: Joan, Italian Aboriginals luckily missed out on Marco Polio's decimation of the early Chinese with the disease that bears his name. While the history of the noodle is still being debated, archaeological findings in Northern Broome now point to the deeper significance behind the Mandala-like shape of the Pizza. Early Italian aboriginal pizzas are thought to have been forerunners of the contemporary Australian aboriginal dot paintings. The ancient Pizza toppings were not just randomly scattered over the dough, as once thought, but placed in specific patterns in order to pass on cultural myths such as the Anchovy Dreaming or the Mushroom-Olive Dreaming. I have begun collecting Australian Contemporary Italian Aboriginal Pizza Fragments and plan to offer them for auction on eBay, in small, medium and family-size.)

G'day Joe,
Subject: Re: Scusa!
I was interested to read of the Italian Internment Camp in Harvey, WA. If I had read of it earlier, I would have had a look in when we where over in WA . . .
My Grandfather, who came out here as a 14 year old Pommy lad, after his Dad died, was in the Australian Army in both World Wars - enlisting in Light Horse, in 1915, originally ... but they were retrained as Artillery, so he was a (heavy horse-)Driver / Artilleryman in France. He stayed in (Artillery) reserves between the Wars ... enlisted back into Regs in 1939 and was, initially posted to naval artillery on Rottnest Island. During the War he trained in a variety of ordnance ... and was posted to Prison Camps - ending up as the Senior Non-Com (Regimental Sergeant Major) at Hay Prison Camp, then holding Japanese Military prisoners.
After the Cowra breakout, authorities relocated all Japanese to more secure prison camps. Hay's contingent were marched - under close guard (loaded rifles, bayonets fixed ... &c) to the Hay Railway Station and loaded onto high-security armoured carriages ... then the Hay guard contingent awaited the train carrying their new prisoners - italian internees ... The train rolled into the station ... a bunch of blokes hanging out of the doors, clutching their capacious lunch boxes. As they hopped off the (not-yet-stationary) train they called out: "G'day-a mate ... where do we go now?" I don't think this lot had too many old-line Fascists left, by this time! Regards, Bob B.

RE: Scusa!
I'm glad you've been travelling. I'm on leave from my normally worthwhile employment and spent a bit of time in Adelaide. I'm convinced the jewel in the South Australian crown has more alternatively acknowledged citizens than we do in Melbourne. Rundle Mall, Friday, I had my soul saved three times, was hit up by street people for a few dollars twice, asked for a light by Goths on six-inch (sorry, metrics have never worked for me) twice and all but ordered by the bloke in WW1 British Land Forces uniform to take a Good News Bible once. All that before lunch! And they wonder why we (Victorians) are stealing their water! Mike E.

Mobile Phones "More Dangerous Than Smoking"
By Geoffrey Lean
The Independent UK

Mobile phones could kill far more people than smoking or asbestos, a study by an award winning cancer expert has concluded. He says people should avoid using them wherever possible and that governments and the mobile phone industry must take "immediate steps" to reduce exposure to their radiation.
The study, by Dr Vini Khurana, is the most devastating indictment yet published of the health risks.
It draws on growing evidence - exclusively reported in the IoS in October - that using handsets for 10 years or more can double the risk of brain cancer. Cancers take at least a decade to develop, invalidating official safety assurances based on earlier studies which included few, if any, people who had used the phones for that long.
Earlier this year, the French government warned against the use of mobile phones, especially by children. Germany also advises its people to minimise handset use, and the European Environment Agency has called for exposures to be reduced.
Professor Khurana - a top neurosurgeon who has received 14 awards over the past 16 years, has published more than three dozen scientific papers - reviewed more than 100 studies on the effects of mobile phones. He has put the results on a brain surgery website, and a paper based on the research is currently being peer-reviewed for publication in a scientific journal. Site

Merkel Says She Will Not Attend Opening of Beijing Olympics
By Ian Traynor and Jonathan Watts
The Guardian UK

The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, yesterday became the first world leader to decide not to attend the Olympics in Beijing.
As pressure built for concerted western protests to China over the crackdown in Tibet, EU leaders prepared to discuss the crisis for the first time today, amid a rift over whether to boycott the Olympics.
The disclosure that Germany is to stay away from the games' opening ceremonies in August could encourage President Nicolas Sarkozy of France to join in a gesture of defiance and complicate Gordon Brown's determination to attend the Olympics.
Donald Tusk, Poland's prime minister, became the first EU head of government to announce a boycott on Thursday and he was promptly joined by President Václav Klaus of the Czech Republic, who had previously promised to travel to Beijing. Site

Weaponizing the Pentagon's Cyborg Insects

I. A Futuristic Nightmare That Just Might Come True
By Nick Turse

Biological weapons delivered by cyborg insects. It sounds like a nightmare scenario straight out of the wilder realms of science fiction, but it could be a reality, if a current Pentagon project comes to fruition.
Right now, researchers are already growing insects with electronics inside them. They're creating cyborg moths and flying beetles that can be remotely controlled. One day, the U.S. military may field squadrons of winged insect/machine hybrids with on-board audio, video or chemical sensors. These cyborg insects could conduct surveillance and reconnaissance missions on distant battlefields, in far-off caves, or maybe even in cities closer to home, and transmit detailed data back to their handlers at U.S. military bases.
Today, many people fear U.S. government surveillance of email and cell phone communications. With this program, the Pentagon aims to exponentially increase the paranoia. Imagine a world in which any insect fluttering past your window may be a remote-controlled spy, packed with surveillance equipment. Even more frightening is the prospect that such creatures could be weaponized, and the possibility, according to one scientist intimately familiar with the project, that these cyborg insects might be armed with "bio weapons." Site

II. Insect Cyborg Sentinels
Brittany Raffa, Science Journalist

The insect cyborg sentinels are an innovation in the field of insect cyborgs. While prior technology attached the silicon systems to the body of the insect, the Erickson Lab places the systems inside the insect during the beginning stages of metamorphosis. This improves the healing process that occurs from one growth stage to the next and allows a dependable fixture of the system to the insect.

"We do that because its biology is rearranging at that point from caterpillar to a moth, so it's unrecognizable," Erickson explained. "So if we implant it at that stage, it then develops ... not knowing anything but having been a portion made of Silicon."

The project is funded by the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) which has a full Hybrid Insect Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (HI-MEMS) Program. The goal of the program is to supply insects with most of the mechanical parts inside of the body to offer clandestine robots at a low cost. The Erickson project relies heavily on funding from DARPA's Microsystems Technology Office, which has given more than $2 million to the HI-MEMS program. Site


Here are some recent dvds I liked:

1. Deliver Us From Evil - stunning and well researched documentary about paedophilia in the Catholic Church, from the 4th century to present, how the unnatural and non-Scripturally based celibacy of Catholic priests makes them particularly vulnerable to this pyscho-sexual dysfunction (10%!) and how even current Pope Benedict XVI, in his previous incarnation as Cardinal Raztinger, was the key figure personally responsible for issuing a document in 2001 instructing all bishops to put the interests of the church ahead of those of law enforcement - and children. George W Bush actually had to step in and grant Raztinger immunity from child-abuse lawsuit prosecution in the US. Dubya and Pope Benedict, for your penances, say . . . . . . . . fifteen to twenty years.

2. American Cousins - light-hearted and eentertaining mafia film about a family of Scotish-Italians and their American gangster relatives hiding out with them in their fish-and-chips shop in Scotland to avoid the Russian mob. The Scottish-Italian accents are a hoot.

3. The Stone Merchant - Harvey Keitel plays a muslim jewel trader caught up with Islamic terrorists. Strange touching love story with a tragic ending but a beautiful and dynamically dramatic film. Yes, once again folks, ol' beat-up road-kill Harvey Keitel gets a sex scene with a younger woman. Great film, don't get me wrong, but just once I want to see him get in bed with someone ten years older than he is. Like Jessica Tandy. What a fox!

4. Home Room - Two teen-age girls survive a school home room shooting massacre in which just about everyone is killed but the two of them. One is a tough-mouthed street goth who rebels against everything - the other, a well-mannered young 'nice' girl who receives a severe head wound and is kept isolated in her hospital room. The two girls strike up an unlikely and deep relationship while the authorities try to find the motive for the tragedy. Very moving film with a knock-out ending.

The Smart Way Out of a Foolish War
By Zbigniew Brzezinski
The Washington Post

Both Democratic presidential candidates agree that the United States should end its combat mission in Iraq within 12 to 16 months of their possible inauguration. The Republican candidate has spoken of continuing the war, even for a hundred years, until "victory." The core issue of this campaign is thus a basic disagreement over the merits of the war and the benefits and costs of continuing it.
The case for U.S. disengagement from combat is compelling in its own right. But it must be matched by a comprehensive political and diplomatic effort to mitigate the destabilizing regional consequences of a war that the outgoing Bush administration started deliberately, justified demagogically and waged badly. (I write, of course, as a Democrat; while I prefer Sen. Barack Obama, I speak here for myself.)
The contrast between the Democratic argument for ending the war and the Republican argument for continuing is sharp and dramatic. The case for terminating the war is based on its prohibitive and tangible costs, while the case for "staying the course" draws heavily on shadowy fears of the unknown and relies on worst-case scenarios. President Bush's and Sen. John McCain's forecasts of regional catastrophe are quite reminiscent of the predictions of "falling dominoes" that were used to justify continued U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Neither has provided any real evidence that ending the war would mean disaster, but their fear-mongering makes prolonging it easier. Site


Unusual Churches

Friends, are you in a spiritual vacuum? Does life suck? (boom boom!) Does even the explanation of the Universe as a Cosmic Joke originating from the Big Boom Boom! leave you with that Flat Earth-Flat Coca-Cola Douche kind o' feeling? A one egg short of a which-came-first-the-chicken-or-the-egg mental stupor? Have you, like Sting, mastered Tantric Wankology, but still find you irritate the shite out of people? Perhaps you need some more options? Bright and sparkly alternative spiritual choices other than the Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry flavours of mainstream religious dogma currently on offer. One of the following belief systems may be the Missing Peace to your Pizzle, your Lost Kneidle in the Heystack of Your Material World Life Imprisonment Sentence With No Parole or maybe even the SHORT Way to the Top if You Want to Rock and Roll! Seek ye no further:

The First Church of Evolution
The First Church of Evolution recognizes the writings of Charles Darwin as sacred among those who believe they have descended from ape like creatures. The Church believes it is their responsibility to fabricate transitional fossils or make fakes like Lucy. Site

The Jedi Church
The Jedi Church is dedicated to the doctrines of the Jedi force religion. The Jedi religion believes there is one all powerful force that binds all things in the universe together, and accepts all races and species from all over the universe as potential members of the religion. Site

The Church of JoJo Pieism
JoJo Pieism is one of the five sects of Pieism, a huge religion. JoJo Pieism's main defining feature is the believe that the Pie has come to Earth in the form of a guy who's title is JoJo. The Church is growing fast and many sects have joined the Federation of Pie, a union of Pieism. Site

The Hawaii Cannabis Ministry
Religious rights and freedoms are granted by the Creator to all of us and protected by law in every country on earth. If you would like to find out how to claim your inheritance to legal Cannabis sacrament, the Hawaii Cannabis Ministry can help. Site

Church for the Churchless
The Church for the Churchless is church for anyone who needs to belong but can't make the commitment. It is an organization for 'churchless' individuals and Ministers. Their goal is to create a common place for people of all faiths and no faith to come together. They provide serious services when required but they are not serious all the time. This Churchless Church is fun! No eternal damnation, no 'confess your sins,' no judgment of any kind. Site

The First Church of Buster
The First Church of Buster is dedicated to Buster, the crash-test dummy of 'MythBusters' fame. The One True Buster came to us in 1973... General Motors was overcome by the Light and envisioned a creation, one of supreme knowledge and power ­ The One True Buster. These scientists worked with His hand and built the Hybrid II. Hybrid II is the name that is used by the inter sanctum during the most Holy of services to praise those that have went before him. This is celebrated around the world as the Busterian Ascension. Site

Other Listed Churches:

24 Hour Church of Elvis
Abston Church of Christ
Agnostic Church
Apostolate of a Silent Soul
Atheists for Jesus
Beer Church
Chapel of the Snoring Possum
Charlie the Hamster Evangelistic Ministry
Christian Vegetarian Association
Church and School of Wicca
Church of All Worlds
Church of Amiga
Church of Ancient Ways
Church of Apatheism
Church of Apeiron
Church of Ben
Church of Betty
Church of Body Modification
Church of Buddy Christ
Church of Buffett, Orthodox
Church of Bullshitology
Church of Cash
Church of Christ Ad Exchange
Church of Civilization
Church of Craft
Church of Critical Thinking
Church of Daler Mehndi
Church of Ebriusology
Church of Ed Wood
Church of Emacs
Church of Endora
Church of Fandel
Church of Fear
Church of Fools
Church of Frag
Church of Gid
Church of Girl V4.0
Church of Gnostic Luminism
Church of God Anonymous
Church of Google
Church of Hank
Church of Hed
Church of Hot Air
Church of Iron Oak
Church of j35u5 chr15t
Church of Jeff Scholey
Church of John Coltrane
Church of Johnson
Church of Klugman
Church of Least Resistance
Church of Light
Church of Lucifer
Church of Magick
Church of Mary
Church of Mez
Church of Miho
Church of Mockery
Church of Monday Night Football
Church of MOO
Church of NO MA'AM
Church of NOJ
Church of Nothing At All
Church of Now
Church of O
Church of Our Lady of Malted Barley and Hops
Church of Pennywise
Church of Perfect Liberty
Church of Rabin and Peace
Church of Reality
Church of Reason
Church of Ryouga
Church of Saget
Church of Sardior
Church of Saturday Night Live
Church of Secularistic Holidayism
Church of Spock of Latter-Day Science Officers
Church of SpongeBob Squarepants
First Reformed Church of Spongebob Squarepants
Church of Spork
Church of Stop Shopping
Church of Telatium
Church of Tetris
Church of the Almighty Dollar
Church of the Almighty Kiwi
Church of the Avocado
Church of the Beholder
Church of the Blinding White Light of Stupidity
Church of the Blue Amazon
Church of the Covered Dish
Church of the Customer
Church of the Darkside Goddess
Church of the Dome
Church of the East
Church of the Empty Bottle
Church of the Evil Dead
Church of the Fisher Price Record Player
Church of the Fishermen
Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster
Church of the Friendly Ghost
Church of the Future
Church of the Gerbil
Church of the Great Charismatic Pineapple
Church of the Grey
Church of the Heavenly Wood
Church of the Interactive Network
Church of the Jelly Bean
Church of the Lambchop Almighty
Church of the Larger Fellowship
Church of the Living Tree
Church of the Machine
Church of the Meta-Seed
Church of the Open Heart
Church of the Quivering Otter
Church of the Rain Forest
Church of the Rotate Your Envelope Stock
Church of the Sacred Swine
Church of the Spiral Tree
Church of the SubGenius
Church of the Swimming Elephant
Church of the Universe
Church of Tiamat
Church of Tina Chopp
Church of Transport Tycoon
Church of Universal Eclectic Wicca
Church of Virus
Church of Volkswagenism
Church of Zen Fatalism
ChurchLite - Church for the Unbeliever
Clown Ministry
Companions Church
Cult of Bob
Cult of Cod
Cult of Da Man
Cult of Distraction
Cult of Free Inquiry
Cult of Harsh Reality
Cult of Scalia
Cult of Steve
Cult of the Almighty Dave
Cult of the Cat
Cult of the Dead Milkmen
Cult of the Flaky Hardware
Cult of the Great Serpent
Cult of Uranus
Cult of Vi
Cutting Edge Ministries
Demon Church
E-Commercial Church
East Los Angeles Chapel of Satan
Eclectic Movement for Inri Cristo
First Church of Appliantology
First Church of Bowling
First Church of Chumbawamba
First Church of Common Sense
First Church of Cyberspace
First Church of Dan Aykroyd
First Church of Generic Beliefs
First Church of Holy Rock and Roll
First Church of Jesus Christ, Elvis
First Church of Kurt the Redeemer
First Church of Lindy Hop
First Church of Pac-Man
First Church of Plank
First Church of Raymond
First Church of Senior Lab/Grand Lord PSI
First Church of Shatnerology
First Church of Simba
First Church of Smeg
First Church of the Easily Amused
First Church of the Grey Goo
First Church of the Last Laugh
First Church of the Sarian Way Reformed
First Church of the Synthetic Christ
First Church of Tiger Woods
First Church of Wintermute
First Electronic Church of America
First Internet McChurch Tabernacle
First Rastafarian Church of Satan
First Satanglican Church of Wendall Corners
Food for Faith Fellowship International
Hair Religion
Holy Church of IP
Holy Church of Moo
Holy Order of Sockism
Inflatable Church
Internet Church of God
Jeez fer Joozis
Jenny's Jesus Club
Jesus Is My Red Pill
Kick Ass Post Apocalyptic Doomsday Cult of Love
Ministry of Charles and Paula Slagle
Ministry of Hubert the Invisible Beaver
North Texas Church of Freethought
Ordo Templi Orientis
Partridge Family Temple
Peyote Way Church
Potato God Worship Center
Process Church of the Final Judgment
Restored Church of the Star Goat
Saint Fechin's Independent Catholic Church
Sanctuary of Inominandum
Sinagogue of Satan
Spiritual Temple of The Way of the Nazirene
Temple of Alife
Temple of Belch
Temple of Black Jesus
Temple of George W. Bush
Temple of Godzilla
Temple of Love
Temple of the Celestial Apostle
Temple of the Invisible Pink Unicorn
Temple of the Sacred Cat
Temple of the Spinning Shaggy
Temple of the Vampire
Temple ov Psychick Youth
The True Religion
Thelemic Order of the Golden Dawn
True Bethel Baptist Church
True Christian Church of Christ
United Deist Community
Universal Church of Cosmic Uncertainty
Unreality Cult
Vampire Church
Virtual Church
Virtual Church of the Blind Chihuahua

My children, for further information on any of the above: Site



Strascinate di Cascia
(the original 15th Century source of Spaghetti Carbonara)

I did a lot of home cooking during my artist-in-residency in Denmark last month. Here is a simple but classic pasta dish from the 15th century that is the forerunner of the popular carbonara. The back-flavours of lemon and nutmeg combined with the coarse hand cut pasta set this apart from the egg & bacon restaurant versions.

200 g handmade pasta: (200 g flour, 1 egg, a little water)
2 tbles olive oil
50 g guanciale or pancetta, finely diced
50 g Italian sausage (fennel is nice)
salt, pepper
1 egg
2 egg yolks
juice of half lemon
freshly grated nutmeg
parmesan or pecorina cheese, grated
finely chopped parsley for garnish

Make the pasta. This is as easy as making a chapati so don't back down yet. Mound the flour on the table, make a well in the centre, break in the egg and a little water and gradually mix to a smooth dough. Add water as needed until it holds together. Roll out into a flat sheet about 1.5 mm. Let rest for 20 minutes. Dust both sides. Roll into a cylinder on a chopstick (or something long and thin) and then slice into 3cm wide strips. (Make sure you take out the chopstick first, it makes it much easier to slice! boom boom!) Shake out the strands and dust with flour. Hang individual strands outside on a broom handle to dry for about 20 minutes while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Bring pot of salted water to boil.

Mix egg and egg yolks with lemon juice and some nutmeg in a small bowl.

Heat oil in pan and fry the guanciale or pancetta. Add the sausage, broken up in bits, until browned.

Cook pasta until al dente. Drain and add to the pan of sausage (off the heat), toss and then stir in the eggs and lemon juice. Toss well. Allow to rest a few minutes. Serve with the grated parsley.
(source recipe from Antonio Carluccio's 'Italia'.)


The Old Grey Hearse

The old grey hearse goes rolling by,
You don't know whether to laugh or cry;
You don't know what you're going to do,
Someday that hearst will come for you.

They'll take you out and they'll lower you down,
While men with shovels stand all around;
They'll throw in dirt and they'll throw in rocks,
And they won't give a damn if they break the box.

The old grey hearse goes rolling by,
You don't know whether to laugh or cry;
You don't know what you're going to do,
Someday that hearst will come for you.

Your eyes drop out and your teeth fall in,
The worms crawl over your mouth and chin;
They invite their friends and their friends' friends too,
And you look like hell when they're through with you.

The old grey hearse goes rolling by,
You don't know whether to laugh or cry;
You don't know what you're going to do,
Someday that hearst will come for you.
(Music: Joe Dolce, Lyrics: PD)




Bill Gates Buys God

Microsoft Corporation today announced its intent to purchase, copyright, and upgrade God. The new product would be named, predictably enough, "Microsoft God," and would be available to consumers sometime in late 2009. "Too many people feel separated from God in today's world," said Dave McCavaugh, director of Microsoft's new Religions division. "Microsoft wants to make divinity more accessible, this product with its easy, intuitive user interface will make God not only easier to find, but easier to communicate with."
The new Microsoft Religions line will be expanded to include a multitude of add on products to Microsoft God, including:

Microsoft Crusades. This conversion product will bring all worshipper accounts and prayer files over from previous versions of God, or from competing products like Buddha or Allah.

Microsoft God for the World Wide Web: This product ties Microsoft God with Microsoft Internet Information Server, providing access to the sacred over the World Wide Web using a standard Web browser interface. It introduces several new Web technologies, including Dynamic Salvation and Active Prayer Pages (APP). Donations for the poor can be transmitted via a Secure Alms Server.

Microsoft Prayers: Using a Windows-based WYSIWYG interface, this product will allow worshippers to construct effective prayers in a minimum of time. A Secure Prayer Channel technology allows guaranteed delivery of the prayer to Microsoft God servers, and Prayer Wizards enable users to construct new types of prayers with a minimum learning curve.

Microsoft Savior: This product will allow worshippers to transfer their sins to its internal Vice Database. After one establishes a personal relationship with it, the product will erase these files from the user's system and establish a clear line of secure communications to the user's Microsoft God server.
Additionally, Microsoft is expected to announce a line of special products for the new Religions line, to facilitate niche marketing of Microsoft God These products will include denomination interfaces based on the standard religious subdivisions, allowing worshippers to interact with the God product in accordance with their customs. First to be introduced will be Microsoft God for Protestantism, Microsoft God for Catholicism, Microsoft God for Judaism (incompatible with Microsoft Savior), etc.