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March 28th, 2008


"Th' first thing to have in a libry is a shelf. Fr'm time to time this can be decorated with litrachure. But th' shelf is th' main thing."
Finley Peter Dunne


Hi folks,

It's good to be back at the Newsletter Desk again after a month in Western Australia. The Nannup Festival was warm and intimate - my favourite kind of experience.

The Denmark Brave New Works 15 Festival residency was a three week artist-in-residence position culminating in a sold out big three hour concert at the Civic Centre, of which Lin Van Hek and myself were Artistic Directors, based around our core DIFFICULT WOMEN show, but integrating performers and groups from the Denmark community that we had worked with in the preceeding weeks: local singer-songwriters, choirs, writers, dance and theatre groups; around the themes of water and women-in-art. One of the most creative experiences I have ever had and probably one of the most innovative Arts Councils in the world with just about every member of the administration also involved as hands-on performers in the concerts! A truly creative test of balancing people's skills, folks, and also one of the most stress-free projects I have worked on. Five Stars for the Denmark Arts Council! (And I mean REAL stars like Orion, and the Pleiades, etc.)

Finally, the Harvey Harvest Festival was also quite unique. Firstly, I had to make a four-hour drive in the dark, down two-lane bush roads, from Denmark to Harvey, the night before I was to appear - and then drive the four hours back - also in the wee hours to make it back to Denmark in time for the following week's work. That's a lot of kangaroo-dodging folks and there were certainly some big greys jumping across the highway both ways.

Harvey has a large Italian population. In the heart of prime wine country, the festival had an authentic old fashioned grape stomp! Harvey also happened to be the location of Australia's largest internment camp for Italians during WW II. Harvey No 11 Camp was established in September 1940 and operated until April 1942. The Harvey Camp was established primarily for the detention of civilian aliens but was conducted as a military prisoner of war establishment. Up to 500 internees were held at Harvey, mainly working class labourers (working in the timber and mining industries), orchardists, fishermen and market gardeners. The construction of a shrine was initiated by one of the internees, Giovanni Battista Boschetti, as a project to relieve boredom. Boschetti was an experienced stonemason who had worked on church restoration projects in Europe and on St Francis Xavier Cathedral in Geraldton. Boschetti originally proposed the construction of a chapel but a request for materials and equipment was refused by the Camp Commandant, so a less ambitious project, a roadside shrine, was undertaken.
(Source info from:Site)

At the Harvey Festival, I performed 'Shaddap You Face' in aboriginal dialect with click sticks and, of course, acknowledged the traditional and original little known custodians of the land: the Sicilians. I also paid respect to the first Italian-Aboriginal settlers who had occupied the land forty-ONE thousand years ago, a thousand years before the Australian aboriginals crossed over from India, when the town of Harvey was then known as Culo. I also paid respect to honour the Great Baccala Dreaming and my own Italian-aboriginal ancestor, Giuseppi Culoculoculo, who was taken from his Italian family and raised by native Australians where he lost touch with the old culture, such as the Way of the Garlic Breath, and other traditional Italian customs. Giuseppi Culoculoculo was a member of the forgotten and misplaced 'Borrowed Generation,' called thusly because these removed Italian children were often so crude and unruly that their aboriginal foster families eventually gave them back. While 'Sorry' is appropriate for the 'Stolen Generation,' the overlooked and ignored 'Borrowed Generation' is still waiting for a 'Scusa from the Australian Government for its role in covering up this tragedy. Naturally with adequate financial compensation. Perhaps under the Rudd Government, it will happen soon. I'm waiting for my cheque.


Favourite Letters of the Week

To: josephusv-caesar@yahoo.com
Subject: Re: Sacred Ass Day

(Note: There was an anonymous photo attached, from the neck down, with a Lingham Gigantica Erectus prominently displayed. I am assuming that this was the sender's way of saying 'Please Remove from Mailing List,' but how SlicRic got a hold of that nude shot of me in the confessional, I'll never know.)



(Skip your e.mail address.)
4. Click on vizualizar and watch what happens.
(thanks to Frank Dolce)



Cheney Ex-Aide Scooter Libby Disbarred
By Carol D. Leonnig
The Washington Post

Vice President Cheney's former chief of staff, I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby, was disbarred today by a District of Columbia court that ruled that his convictions last year for perjury and obstructing justice in a White House leak investigation disqualify him from practicing law. (more)


A Navajo Elder Comments

When NASA was preparing for the Apollo Project, it took the astronauts
to a Navajo reservation in Arizona for training.

One day, a Navajo elder and his son came across the space crew walking
among the rocks. The elder, who spoke only Navajo, asked a question. His
son translated for the NASA people: "What are these guys in the big
suits doing?" One of the astronauts said that they were practicing for a
trip to the moon. When his son relayed this comment the Navajo elder got
all excited and asked if it would be possible to give to the astronauts
a message to deliver to the moon.

Recognizing a promotional opportunity when he saw one, a NA SA official
accompanying the astronauts said,"Why certainly!" and told an underling
to get a tape recorder.

The Navajo elder's comments into the microphone were brief. The NASA
official asked the son if he would translate what his father had said.
The son listened to the recording and laughed uproariously. But he
refused to translate.

So the NASA people took the tape to a nearby Navajo village and played
it for other members of the tribe. They too laughed long and loudly, but
also refused to translate the elder's message to the moon.

An official government translator was summoned. After he finally stopped
laughing, the translator relayed the message:

(Thanks to Maireid 'Riverdances With Wolves' Sullivan)


Smoke on the Yangtze

Unusual Japanese 'cover version' of the old rock & roll chestnut!
(Thanks to Joe Creighton)



Dear Tech Support,
Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5 and then installed undesirable programs such as NBA 5.0, NFL 3.0 and Golf Clubs 4.1. Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system. I've tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail. What can I do?
First keep in mind, Boyfriend 5.0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an Operating System.
Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.html and try to download Tears 6.2 and don't forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update. If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.But remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1. Please note that Beer 6.1 is a very bad program that will download the Snoring Loudly Beta. Whatever you do, DO NOT install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources.) Also do not attempt to reinstall Boyfriend 5.0 program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0. In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend Cooking 3.0 and Hot Lingerie 7.7.
Good Luck,
Tech Support
(thanks to Bill Lempke)



Automated Killer Robots 'Threat to Humanity'

Increasingly autonomous, gun-totting robots developed for warfare could easily fall into the hands of terrorists and may one day unleash a robot arms race, a top expert on artificial intelligence said.

"They pose a threat to humanity," said University of Sheffield professor Noel Sharkey ahead of a keynote address Wednesday before Britain's Royal United Services Institute.

Intelligent machines deployed on battlefields around the world - from mobile grenade launchers to rocket-firing drones - can already identify and lock onto targets without human help.

There are more than 4,000 US military robots on the ground in Iraq, as well as unmanned aircraft that have clocked hundreds of thousands of flight hours.

The first three armed combat robots fitted with large-caliber machine guns deployed to Iraq last summer, manufactured by US arms maker Foster-Miller, proved so successful that 80 more are on order, said Sharkey.

But up to now, a human hand has always been required to push the button or pull the trigger.

It we are not careful, he said, that could change. (more)



I. Sunday Dinner for the Italians

Italians have a $40,000 kitchen, but use the $259 stove in the basement to cook. There is some sort of religious statue in the hallway, living room, bedroom, front porch and backyard. The living room is filled with old wedding favors with poofy net bows and stale almonds (they are too pretty to open).

A portrait of the Pope and Frank Sinatra hang in the dining room.

Sunday dinner was at 1:00. The meal went like this...

Table is set with everyday dishes...doesn't matter if they don't match...they're clean, All the utensils go on the right side of the plate and the napkin goes on the left. Put a clean kitchen towel at Nonno & Papa's plate because they won't use napkins. Homemade wine and bottles of Coke are on the table.

First course, Antipasto...change plates. Next, Macaroni (Nonna called all spaghetti Macaroni)...change plates. After that, Roasted Meats, Roasted Potatoes, Over-cooked Vegetables... change plates. THEN, and only then (NEVER AT THE BEGINNING OF THE MEAL) would you eat the salad (HOMEMADE OIL & VINEGAR DRESSING ONLY)...change plates. Next, Fruit & Nuts - in the shell (on paper plates because you ran out of the other ones). Coffee with Anisette (Espresso for Nonno, "Merican" coffee for the rest) with hard cookies (Biscottis) to dip in the coffee. The kids go play...the men go to lay down. They slept so soundly you could do brain surgery on them without anesthesia.. the women clean the kitchen. Getting screamed at by Mom or Nonna - half the sentence was English, the other half Italian.

Italian mothers never threw a ball in their life, but can nail you in the head with a shoe thrown from the kitchen while you're in the living room.


To all Australians, as Italians, we are sorry.

On behalf of the government of Italy, we are sorry.
On behalf of the parliament of Italy, we are sorry.
We offer you this apology without qualification.!!!!!!

For picking up all the Aussie chicks (stolen generation), and for turning them into Italians-we are sorry.
For having the best John Travolta hair styles, Rome sneakers and the tight jeans, we are sorry.
For having the best dance moves,(tarantella) we are sorry.
We apologise for having the best food and coffee.
For making the best sauce, we are sorry.
For having the best soccer players, we are sorry.
We apologise for owning 5 houses each and controlling the building industry.
For having the best cars and winning all the drags, we are sorry.
We apologise for having the best greetings "ey!", "whe" "ciao", and coordinating these with our hands AT the same time, so sorry
(by the way to all you business men in suits out there, when you are ending your corporate calls on your fancy mobile phones? Remember!!!! Ciao is an Italian word) - sorry!!!!
We apologise for building roads that last, bridges that last, buildings that last, we are sorry.
We apologise for having the best fashion sense, truly sorry.
We apologise for being the most romantic and for being the best
lovers, and for having many lovers, we are sorry !
We apologise for making home made food that you pay a fortune for, we are sorry!
We apologise for manufacturing the best leather lounges that you Aussies do not protect with plastic - so so sorry.
We apologise for having great skin and hardly ever burning in the Great Aussie sun

SO SORRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!! SCUSA!!!!!!!! VA FUNCULO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(propino fibi salutem, cinzia ambrosio)


III. World's First Prebiotic Pizza

(NEW ORLEANS) - New Orleans-based World's Healthiest Pizza has developed the worlds first prebiotic pizza that naturally activates our immune system, increases calcium absorption and promotes optimal intestinal health.

Prebiotics are natural dietary fibers that are commonly found in artichokes, bananas, leek, garlic, onions, and chicory. Soluble prebiotic fibers, known scientifically as inulin and fructo-oligosaccharides, have been shown in numerous clinical trials to selectively promote the growth of beneficial intestinal flora such as bifidobacterium and lactobacillus that in turn fortify our natural resistance to unhealthy bacteria. Consumers are becoming more familair with these "healthy" bacteria through the increased consumption of yogurt that has been fortified with them.

The selective growth of "healthy" probiotic bacteria in the intestinal system by prebiotics (food for bacteria) is gaining wide use in the food industry - but World's Healthiest Pizza is the first pizza company to build a product around the health benefits associated with the growth of good bacteria.

According to co-founder Jeff Leach "the prebiotic effect of our pizza, coupled with the multi-grain crust of 10 different seeds and grains and low fat cheese, has the potential to turn the negative perception of pizza on its head and in fact, we have created a product that tastes great and that can be part of any consumers healthy lifestyle." Leach further say's "the pizza industry as a whole treats health as a vague and abstract concept that is unachievable - which could not be further from the truth. The industry needs to work a little harder and start caring about its customers a little - owning some of our national issues of obesity and diabetes, in which it contributes to. Once that happens, creating healthier alternatives - something the consumer is seeking - is not that much of a stretch."

Each slice of World's Healthiest Pizza contains 2 to 5 grams of prebiotic fiber - depending on the size of the pizza. Site



Dinner is served - 165 feet up
By Jayne Clark

Dinner in the Sky: A chef prepares meals while diners enjoy panoramic views harnessed in seats that swivel 180 degrees, suspended via a crane.

Here's a dining concept that'll make your head - if not your stomach - spin: It's dinner at a table suspended 165 feet in the air with chairs that swivel 180 degrees.

Dubbed Dinner in the Sky, the attraction is making its U.S. debut Monday in Orlando at the annual International Association of Amusement Parks and Attractions convention. About 25,000 attendees are expected at the one-stop-shopping event, where the amusement industry rolls out new thrill rides and related products.

The high-flying dining venue was introduced in Europe last year and consists of a platform suspended from a crane. Guests are harnessed into 22 seats, with space in the center for a chef and two helpers. With local officials' blessings, the platform can be transported to just about anywhere the crane can maneuver. One recent spot: in front of the Amiens Cathedral in France, with dinner prepared by a three-star Michelin chef.

Ghysels sees all sorts of U.S. possibilities for the dangling restaurant, including air space over the Grand Canyon, Niagara Falls, and golf courses.
'I think human beings always like to see what's happening from the air,' he says. 'And there are so many wonderful natural spots in the U.S. Dinner in the Sky could go anywhere.'
The restaurant belongs firmly in the special-occasion category, however. The cost for eight hours is about $11,444 not including catering.
But Just one observation: There are no restrooms. Site
(thanks to Brer Frank)




Deku Delight

Place a dozen smoked rats (the small field-rat type) in fresh water and soak for 30 minutes. Prepare a sauce of tomato, onion, piment, and palm oil in a large skillet. Drain the rats and remove skin and other inedible portions (??). Fry for about 20 minutes turning occasionally until well-cooked. A true connoisseur eats them piping hot, bone and all.
Serving Tips: Usually offered as an hors-d'ouvre, they are also delightful arranged on a platter of carrots, lettuce and cauliflower. Or just slide them on a hot dog bun.
(From the Zaire Cookbook: 'Where There is No McDonald's.')



After the Fact

The people of my time are passing away: my
Wife is baking for a funeral, a 60-year old who

Died suddenly, when the phone rings, and it's
Ruth we care so much about in intensive care:

It was once weddings that came so thick and
Fast, and then, first babies, such a hullabaloo:

Now, it's this and that and the other and somebody
Else gone or on the brink: well, we never

Thought we would live forever (although we did)
And now it looks like we won't: some of us

Are losing a leg to diabetes, some don't know
What they went downstairs for, some know that

A hired watchful person is around, some like
To touch the cane tip into something steady,

So nice: we have already lost so many,
Brushed the loss of ourselves ourselves: our

Address books for so long a slow scramble now
Are palimpsests, scribbles and scratches: our

Index cards for Christmases, birthdays,
Halloweens drop clean away into sympathies:

At the same time we are getting used to so
Many leaving, we are hanging on with a grip

To the ones left: we are not giving up on the
Congestive heart failures or brain tumors, on

The nice old men left in empty houses or on
The widows who decided to travel a lot: we

Think the sun may shine someday when we'll
Drink wine together and think of what used to

Be: until we die we will remember every
Single thing, recall every word, love every

Loss: then we will, as we must, leave it to
Others to love, love that can grow brighter

And deeper till the very end, gaining strength
And getting more precious all the way.

~ A. R. Ammons ~





Naughty Aussie Lollies

Mr Cadbury and Miss Rowntree met on a Double Decker, it was After Eight.
She was from Quality Street , he was a Fisherman's Friend.
On the way they stopped at a Yorkie Bar, he had a Rum and Butter, she had a Wine Gum.
He asked her name, 'Polo, I'm the one with the hole' she said.
'I'm the one with the nuts,' he thought! Then he touched her Milky Way.
They checked in to a hotel, and went straight to the bedroom. Mr Cadbury turned out the light for a bit of Black Magic. It wasn't long before he slipped his hand into her Snickers and felt her Cream Egg. He fondled her Flap Jacks then he showed her his Curly Wurly and Miss Rowntree shaked her Tic Tacs for him.
Miss Rowntree wasn't keen to have any Jelly Babies, so she let him take a trip down Bourneville Boulevard via her Party Ring. He was pleased as he always fancied a bit of Fudge. It was a magic moment as she let out a scream of Turkish Delight. When he pulled out, his fun size Mars Bar felt a bit Crunchie.
She wanted more, but he needed a Time Out, however, he noticed her Pink Wafers looked very appetizing. He did a Twirl, had a Picnic in her Sherbet Dip and finished off by giving her a Gob Stopper!
Unfortunately, Mr Cadbury then had to go home to his wife, Caramel. Sadly, 3 days later his Magnum started to drip. It turned out Miss Rowntree had been with Bertie Basset who had Allsorts!!!
(Thanks to Geoff the Carpetburnking & Dai 'Turkish Delight' Woosnam)