One of my most urgent social commentary songs, 'Did
You Get Stupid From Being Ugly (Or Ugly From Being Stupid?)
was just selected for the Canadian compilation CD, 'Protest
Songs for a Better World.' All funds generated from CD sales
will be donated to The United Nations Foundation. REALPLAYER
'Lower Jesus,' has passed the first
round of finalists in the Australian Gospel Song Awards.
Cross your fingers (pun intended).
Next year's National Folk Festival 2006
themes are, 'Queensland, The Italians in Australia, and The
Working Life.' I've been asked to be a judge in the 'Inspired
'Shaddap You Face' Competition,' where other artists compete
with their versions of the controversial classic! (I
know I know, 'shaddaaappppp with that song, already!) Anyway, as there are now between 35-40 cover versions
out there, this could add another 20 or so to the pot. I'm hanging
out for the legendary Italian folk artists like Judy Smallonzoni,
La Voce dell Culo w/ Kapiche Mazzepaparazzi, The Menzatesta New
Age Bacallapersons, as well as, hopefully, Little Jimmy 'The Neck'
Barnsey, Paolo 'Mumbles' Kelly, Kasey 'Rivet Lip' Chambers, Big
Mama Renee Geyerlanski, and, of course, The Finnochio Brothers,
Neil and Tim, to come up with their interpretations. It's the
25th Anniversary, remember. Don't let me down, folks.
FACTS PROBABLY NOT WORTH KNOWING NO.
1: finocchio: Italian slang
for GAY; from finocchio "fennel", a plant whose
roots were used as coals (i.e. faggots) when Prometheus
stole fire from the (originally female) sun, giving it to humankind.
FAVOURITE READER FEEDBACK OF THE WEEK
Just wondering your connection to the Raelian Movement? Are you
Raelian? Have you read the messages? Look forward to hearing from
you :) Star Adrael (australia.rael.org
(Note: As RaeAli G might say, 'For rael!' It must have
been that woodpecker thing I mentioned a few issues back. Anyway,
now I've raelly done it - They're coming to take me away. Ha ha.
They're coming to take me away. Ha ha!)
RE: COOTIES - Song from World War One
Great newsletter as always.... I suppose you know the old song
??? Do you know the melody too? I do.... as always a font of Trivia.
Anyway, I learned it as a kid in Canada. See ya, Maggie
"K-k--k-Katie, you wonderful Katy,
You're the only g-g-g-girl that I adore
When the m-moon shines
Over the cowshed
I'll be K-k-k-kissin' your lips
until they get sore.
The REAL meaning /original version of that
"C-c-c-cootie, your horrible cootie
You're the only wa-wa-wa-one that I abhor
When the m-moon shines
Over the cowshed
I'll be s-s-scratchin' my back
until it gets sore."
(Note: 'Lest we forget: two more Cooties of note. Cootie
Stark was a blind street singer, who learned his stuff from Greenville,
South Carolina, bluesmen Uncle Chump and Pink Anderson in the
1930's - one of the last authentic Piedmont blues guitarists/singers
and provided a direct link to a South long gone. Charles Melvin
'Cootie' Williams was born in 1911, in Mobile, Alabama. A self-taught
trumpeter, he replaced Bubber Miley in Duke Ellington's orchestra,
remaining there for 11 years. During this stint he made a number
of records with other leaders, notably Lionel Hampton and Teddy
Wilson (on some of whose sessions he accompanied Billie Holiday).
He also led the Rug Cutters, one of the many small groups drawn
from within the Ellington band. In 1940 Williams left Ellington
and was briefly with Benny Goodman before forming his own big
band. In later years, asked about his drinking habits, Williams
remarked that he had not been a drinker until he had his own band.
(See The Cowbell movie below!) Given that his band included unpredictable
musicians such as Bud Powell and Charlie Parker it is easy to
understand why he turned to the bottle. His full, rich tone and
powerful style was showcased by Ellington on "Concerto
For Cootie (Do Nothin' Till You Hear From Me)", recorded
RE: SILENT LETTERS
I've got to say it. Australia has more silent letters than
any other nation on the globe. For example, the days of
the week (as pronounced on both SBS and ABC I deny watching
anything else) are now "Mundee, Choosdee, Wensdee"
and so on. The double 't', as in 'butter' has become a short
of a 'd' sound, whilst 't' as in trouble has become 'chruble'.
I suspect that 'awsome' and 'scary' have become adjectives
of choice because they are so easy to say; there are no troublesome
letters that might require the tongue to do some work. The
unfortunate nation invaded by the coalition of the world's fattest
nations is now "Eye-rack", and after an air crash
close to Palermo, I was mesmerised by the nasal pronounciation
that Australian journalists managed, compared with the lovely
rolling 'r' and tonality used by the Italians.
Then there is the Tour de France; as far as I am concerned anyone
who uses the 'de' should use the French pronounciation of tour
and France.. Launceston is a whole different story, pronounced
in England 'Lawnston' (Launces ton) over here it has grown
a whole new middle syllable. Philippa Morris
Every schoolboy knows about the silent p in swimming. John
Perhaps this is the next step the English language will take to
get rid of those pesky "silent" letters, Best, Mike
" The European Commission has just announced
an agreement whereby English will be the official language of
the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.
As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that
English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted
a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".
In the first year, "s" will replace
the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants
jump with joy.
The hard "c" will be dropped in favour
of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards
kan have one less letter.
There will be growing publik enthusiasm in
the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced
with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.
In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new
spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated
changes are possible.
Governments will enkourage the removal of double
letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.
Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the
silent "e" in the languag is disgrasful and it should
By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps
such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w"
During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o"
kan be dropd from vords kontaining "ou" and after ziz
fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.
Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun
vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop
vil finali kum tru.
Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking
German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.
(If zis mad you smil, pleas pas on to oza pepl)
FACTS PROBABLY NOT WORTH KNOWING NO.
word in the English language rhymes with month, orange, silver,
are only four words in the English language which end in "dous":
tremendous, horrendous, stupendous, and hazardous
are two words in the English language that have all five vowels
in order: "abstemious" and "facetious."
FAVOURITE SPAM OF THE WEEK
P. Suppositories Subject: Joe Dolce
Wakey wakey! MR. Joe Dolce
Seee Naplles and die.
Why are bllond jookes so shhort?
So meen can remeember them.
(Note: Speaking of bllond jookes . . . .)
Blind Man's Blonde Joke
A blind man enters a lesbian bar by mistake.
He finds his way to a bar stool and orders a drink. After sitting
there for a while, he yells to the bartender in a loud voice,
"Hey bartender, you wanna hear a dumb blonde joke?"!!!
The bar immediately falls deathly quiet. In a very deep, husky
voice, the woman next to him says, "Before you tell that
joke, sir, I think it is just fair, given that you are blind,
that you should know five things... 1 - The bartender is a blonde
woman. 2 - The bouncer is a blonde woman. 3 - The woman sitting
next to me is blonde and is a professional weightlifter. 4 - The
lady to your right is a blonde and is a professional wrestler,
and 5 - I'm a 6 foot, 200 lb. blonde woman with a PhD., a black
belt in karate and a very bad attitude! Now think about it seriously,
Mister. Do you still want to tell that joke?"
The blind man thinks for a second, shakes his
head, and says; "Naaaah . . . not if I'm gonna have to explain
it five times."
(thanks to Jim Testa)
(Note: Speaking of lesbians . . . )
FACTS PROBABLY NOT WORTH KNOWING NO.
5: Bulldike or Bulldyke:
1931, Amer. Eng., probably shortening of morphadike, dialectal
garbling of hermaphrodite, but bulldyker "engage
in lesbian activities" is attested from 1921, and a source
from 1896 lists dyke as slang for "the vulva."
In slang, a strong warriorlike Lesbian, assertive looking Gay
woman; from the name of a warrior Queen of the Celtic Hicca people
(Boudica, "boo-dike-a") who rose up against Roman colonisation
in A.D. 61. Variations of the slang word are bulldagger, bulldag,
and in the Gay bar slang of the fifties, Dieseldike.
Air Force Colonel Accused of Defacing Cars
Bearing Pro-Bush Bumper Stickers
DENVER - An Air Force Reserve colonel could face criminal charges
for allegedly vandalizing cars at Denver International Airport
bearing pro-Bush bumper stickers. Lt. Col. Alexis Fecteau, director
of operations for reserve forces at the National Security Space
Institute in Colorado Springs, is believed responsible for defacing
at least 10 parked vehicles between December and June, police
spokesman Sonny Jackson said Tuesday. A bait car left by a police
detective was also defaced and the detective tracked down Fecteau,
who turned himself in Friday. He was released on bond. A message
left for a man of the same name in Colorado Springs wasn't immediately
Jackson said Fecteau is suspected of blacking
out the Bush bumper stickers and then spray painting an expletive
and the president's name on the vehicles. (article)
August 9 - CRAWFORD, Texas - More members of
Gold Star Families for Peace (GSFP) and Military Families
Speak Out (MFSO) are traveling to Texas to join the protest
outside of President Bush's ranch in Crawford, Texas, where he
is vacationing for the month of August. (article)
Fallen Soldier's Mom Leads March on Crawford
By Deb Riechmann
Crawford, Texas - The angry mother of a fallen
U.S. soldier staged a protest near President Bush's ranch Saturday,
demanding an accounting from Bush of how he has conducted the
war in Iraq.
Supported by more than 50 demonstrators who
chanted, "W. killed her son!" Cindy Sheehan told reporters:
"I want to ask the president, 'Why did you kill my son? What
did my son die for?'" Sheehan, 48, didn't get to see Bush,
but did talk about 45 minutes with national security adviser Steve
Hadley and deputy White House chief of staff Joe Hagin, who went
out to hear her concerns (article)
Address to Veterans For Peace Convention
" . . . Another thing that I'm doing is
- my son was killed in 2004, so I'm not paying my taxes for 2004.
If I get a letter from the IRS, I'm gonna say, you know what,
this war is illegal; this is why this war is illegal. This war
is immoral; this is why this war is immoral. You killed my son
for this. I don't owe you anything. And if I live to be a million,
I won't owe you a penny. And I want them to come after me, because
unlike what you've been doing with the war resistance, I want
to put this frickin' war on trial. And I want to say, "You
give me my son, and I'll pay your taxes. . ." (article)
(Note: Some of you may remember the lovely letter I
received from GOLDSTAR mother, Nadia McCaffrey, in the February
25th issue of the newsletter. Nadia informed me that she was passing
around my anti-Iraq war song, GIFT, to other members of
the Gold Star Families for Peace. www.gsfp.org
THE BOOKCROSSING MOVEMENT
n. the practice of leaving a book in a public place to be picked
up and read by others, who then do likewise.
(added to the Concise
Oxford Dictionary in August 2004)
The "3 Rs" of BookCrossing...
1. Read a good book (you already know how to
2. Register it here (along with your journal comments), get a
unique BCID (BookCrossing ID number), and label the book
3. Release it for someone else to read (give it to a friend, leave
it on a park bench, donate it to charity, "forget" it
in a coffee shop, etc.), and get notified by email each time someone
comes here and records journal entries for that book. And if you
make Release Notes on the book, others can Go Hunting for it and
try to find it!
So go grab a book or two from your shelves
now (they're not doing anyone any good there, are they?), register
them here, jot down our URL and the BCID we'll give you inside
the covers, and then give them away or leave them where someone
will find them. (website)
(thanks to Dai Woosman)
FACTS PROBABLY NOT WORTH KNOWING NO. 6: A cat has
32 muscles in each ear.
" ...Then you discover that, just down
the road in Burke, Virginia, a woman 25 years your senior, a woman
named Ruth Kneuven, clocking it at 82 years old, has managed to
rack up a staggering total of not 100, not 200, not even 300,
but over 420 diseased feral cats (some reports put the number
closer to 500) spread over two separate homes.
And a whopping 100 of her cats are dead (that's
more than you had, alive or dead!), and the dead ones are stuck
in plastic bags and in bins and jammed behind walls and lodged
between the decaying brickwork all over the house, and the stench
became so otherworldly that the cops and animal control finally
came and hauled away all her cats, too. " Mark
FACTS PROBABLY NOT WORTH KNOWING
NO. 7: Cats have over one hundred
vocal sounds. Dogs only have about 10.
It is a common belief that 1 human year is
equal to 7 dog years. That is not very accurate, since dogs reach
adulthood within the first couple of years. The formula used below
is from a canine expert and is a bit more accurate. (as accurate
as one can judge these things) The formula is: 10.5 dog years
per human year for the first 2 years, then 4 dog years per human
year for each year after. Dog
(With Christopher Walken - for anyone who has ever wanted to play
in a band - from Saturday Night Live - thanks to Joe Creighton)
(Note: The zheng is one of my favourite Asian instruments.
Five years ago, I composed a work for Chinese and English choirs,
erhu, zheng and mixed western instruments, called 'Perfume Flower',
based on a poem by the 19th century revolutionary woman poet and
activist, Ch'iu Chin, who opposed footbinding and was beheaded
by the Manchu dynasty.)
" The Zheng is a 12, 16 or 21 stringed
zither or horizontal table harp which is native to China, is plucked,
and has a soft sound. The Zheng has movable bridges called yen
chu- "geese frets" so called because they create a diagonal
line across the sounding board of the instrument like a flock
of wild geese in flight. These can be adjusted quickly to re-tune
the instrument in a variety of scales or modes. In traditional
performance technique, the right hand plucks the strings with
natural or artificial fingernails near the right-hand bridge,
while the left hand presses the strings to the left of the movable
bridges to create pitch bends, ornamentation and vibrato. Originally
the technique was not overly complex, with the right hand often
plucking tunes in simple octaves, since this was the instrument
for the elegant amateur, not the virtuosic professional. But over
time, the Zheng developed its own virtuosic technique which allowed
it the range to adapt pieces from both the Pipa and the Qin repertoires
with their respective associations of dramatic entertainment and
lofty spirituality. Because of this range, the Zheng was found
in the elegant womens' quarters of a wealthy household as well
as in the boudoirs of the courtesans. It also made its way to
Japan where it became the Koto. Primarily associated with women
entertainers, the Zheng has been celebrated in poetry over the
centuries for its ability to evoke moods- both happy and sad-
and like the Pipa, used as a symbol for beautiful women. "
The Music of the Woman Entertainer
Wal-Mart Fights to Split Sex Bias Suit
By Bob Egelko
Wal-Mart tried Monday to derail the nation's
largest-ever discrimination suit, arguing that a single trial
on the claims of 1.6 million women would be neither fair nor manageable.
But the retailing giant got little apparent sympathy from a three-member
federal appeals court. The 45-minute hearing before the Ninth
U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco was critical to
the future of the suit, which claims the company had a systematic
bias against women in pay and promotions. The court took the case
under submission and gave no hint of when it might rule.
At issue is whether Wal-Mart must defend against
lawsuits by six individual plaintiffs or against a single, colossal
class action on behalf of nearly every woman who has worked at
one of its 3,400 stores nationwide - including 16 stores in the
Bay Area - since Dec. 26, 1998 (article)
German Women vs. Adolph Hitler
In the 1930s German women who opposed Nazi
fascism mostly came from left parties. When Hitler came to power
all women's organizations were ordered to accept Nazi leadership
or disband. Many prominent German feminists went into exile or
were sent to concentration camps. The following APPEAL
TO WOMEN was issued in 1932, on the eve of Hitler's
rise to power, by a women's committee closely associated with
the German Communist Party:
FACTS PROBABLY NOT WORTH KNOWING NO.
8: Women blink nearly twice as
much as men.
A curious war made San Francisco the salami
capital of America. From 1967 until 1970, a band of six determined
Bay Area sausage makers argued to the U.S. Department of Agriculture
that they deserved the right to not only use Italian methods,
but to call their product "Italian salami." They were
direct descendants of salami makers of Milan, Lucca, Parma and
Modena. Around the turn of the last century, they had settled
in a city whose temperate climate might be the only one in the
United States perfectly suited for dry-curing salami. They even
had the right strain of penicillin mold to give the links a classic
white bloom. . . (article)
Risi e Pisi con
(Risotto with Peas and Fennel)
1 bulb fennel, sliced in thick fillets
50 g butter
50 g parmesan cheese, freshly grated
2 cups Ferron or Aborio rice
1 ponnet fresh peas
5 cups light chicken stock, kept at a simmer
100 ml white wine
salt and pepper
1 long playing Liberace record
1 Liberace candelabra
Place the rice and the wine in a pot, bring
to a boil, and cook until alcohol evaporates. Gradually add the
hot stock to the rice, a ladle at a time, stirring continuously
until it is absorbed, do not leave it unattended. While you're
stirring, cook the fresh peas separately until firm but tender.
Lightly sauté the fennel slices in a little butter. Set
aside and keep warm. When the rice is ready, and al dente, remove
from the heat, stir in the butter, parmesan cheese, and the peas,
and place the fennel slices on top, cover the pot and let rest
for five minutes.
To Serve: Plate with parsley and freshly ground
black pepper sprinkled over and thin shavings of parmesan cheese.
Put on the Liberace record, light the candelabra, turn off the
lights, and pour some wine. (If you wear dentures, make
sure they are polished sparkling white for that special smile.)
FACTS PROBABLY NOT WORTH KNOWING NO.
9 & 10:
are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.
"jiffy" is an actual unit of time for 1/100th of a second.