Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Trivia Tuesday

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In 1965, Slumber Party Barbie came with a pink satin pyjama top and bottoms, a pink robe with a sash, pink open-toe heels with blue pompoms, pink curlers, bobby pins and a blue brush and comb. Also included was a set of bathroom scales permanently set to record 110 pounds (50 kilos) and a book entitled “How to Lose Weight” (see pic below). The only advice given was “Don’t eat”.

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When three-letter airport codes became standard, airports that had been using two letters simply added an X.

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During the Cold War, the U.S. considered airdropping enormous condoms labelled "Medium" on the Soviets.

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The most shoplifted food item in the U.S. is candy. In Europe, it's cheese.

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"Allah Akbar, Allah Akbar, La Allah Il Allah, La Allah Il Allah U Mohammed Rassul Allah" is heard by more people than any other sound of the human voice. This is the prayer recited by muezzins from each of the four corners of the prayer tower as Moslems all over the world face toward Mecca and kneel at sunset. It means: "God is great. There is no God but God, and Mohammed is the prophet of God."

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Monday Miscellany

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Mea culpa

My apologies for not leaving a message on Friday that I would be away from my computer for a couple of days and that there would be no Bytes over the weekend.

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People From The Past Who Remind Us What "Cool" Really Means! 
Part 2:

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Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau and his cabinet - 1968. These men knew how to wear a suit.

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Diana Rigg (Olenna Tyrell from Game of Thrones) in 1967

If you don't recakll who Olenna Tyrell is in GoT . . .

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Sophia Loren, one of the only actresses to win an Oscar, Grammy, and Golden Globe awards.

A famous quote of hers: "Sex appeal is fifty percent what you've got and fifty percent what people think you've got."

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Three boys pose for a camera on the streets of Jamaica

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A man ice skating in a suit (1937)

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The Beatles before they were famous

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A businessman doubling as a graffiti artist

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This is how teenagers dated in the 1950s

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High school fashion feature in Life Magazine (1969)

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Leather clad English rocker girl

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A young Kevin Spacey (1980s)

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Friday, September 12, 2014

Funny Friday

Some Friday Funnies to end the week but be warned, some are risque . . .

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If Scotland gains its independence after the forthcoming referendum, the remainder of the United Kingdom will be known as the "Former United Kingdom" (F U K). 

In a bid to discourage Scots from voting 'yes' in the referendum, the Westminster has now begun to campaign with the slogan: "Vote NO, for F U K's sake"

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After announcing he was getting married, a Scot tells his pal he will be wearing the kilt.  "What's the tartan?" asks his mate.  "She'll be wearing a white dress," he replies.
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Got arrested at the airport last week. Apparently security doesn’t appreciate it when you call “shotgun” before boarding a plane

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A farmer and his daughter were coming back from town with their money from some sales and a large sack of flour when all of a sudden these highway men held them up and robbed them of everything.

A few minutes later the farmer exclaims, "We're ruined, all the money's gone and there's no flour for bread."

Then his daughter says, "No, papa, I hid the money in my U-know-what."

The farmer said, "You're a good girl, but if your mama was here she could have saved the sack of flour as well!"

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Corn Corner:

I needed my piano tuned, but my regular tuner was out so I hired this other guy, John Oppernockety, who tuned it.  A few hours later it went back out  of tune so I called him to please come back and re-tune the piano.  He said "Sorry, friend, but Oppernockety only tunes once". 

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Most Dangerous and Unusual Journeys to School in the World – Part 2

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Crossing a Broken Bridge In The Snow To Get To School In Dujiangyan, Sichuan Province, China:

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Children Traveling On The Roof Of A Wooden Boat In Pangururan, Indonesia

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School Girls Walking Across A Plank On The Wall Of The 16th Century Galle Fort In Sri Lanka

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Pupils Traveling By Boat in Kerala, India

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Schoolchildren Riding A Horse Cart Back From School In Delhi, India

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Students Crossing Ciherang River On A Makeshift Bamboo Raft, Cilangkap Village, Indonesia

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125-Mile Journey To A Boarding School Through The Mountains, Pili, China

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Pupils Walking On A Tightrope 30 Feet Above A River, Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia

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Elementary School Students Crossing A River On Inflated Tire Tubes, Rizal Province, Philippines

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Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Wednesday Words: The Bunyip and the Whistling Kettle

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Back when I was a nipper I read the poem below.  Thereafter swimming in creeks and waterholes never felt the same, there was always a tinge of 'What's under the water?'  

The poem is by John Manifold and, for the benefit of overseas readers, a bunyip is a large mythical creature said to lurk in swamps, billabongs (lagoons, cut off river bends), creeks, riverbeds and waterholes. The word is aboriginal and the belief comes from aboriginal mythology. During the early settlement of Australia by Europeans, the notion that the bunyip was an actual unknown animal that awaited discovery became common. Early European settlers, unfamiliar with the sights and sounds of the island continent's peculiar fauna, regarded the bunyip as one more strange Australian animal and sometimes attributed unfamiliar animal calls or cries to it.

Manifold (1915-) was born in Melbourne and became known as an Australian poet and critic.  He served in intelligence in WW2 and was a published war poet. In later years he worked on and published mostly Australian songs and music, reciting ballads at arts festivals. 

His poem of the most superior camper who, ill informed and ill advised brings the conveniences of urban life into the bush, meeting his fate in a bunyip haunted creek as his kettle screams, used to be part of each schoolchild’s literature studies in primary school.  Is it still?  Who remembers it?

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The Bunyip And The Whistling Kettle

    - John Manifold

I knew a most superior camper
Whose methods were absurdly wrong,
He did not live on tea and damper
But took a little stove along.

And every place he came to settle
He spread with gadgets saving toil,
He even had a whistling kettle
To warn him it was on the boil.

Beneath the waratahs and wattles,
Boronia and coolibah,
He scattered paper, cans and bottles,
And parked his nasty little car.

He camped, this sacrilegious stranger
(The moon was at the full that week),
Once in a spot that teemed with danger
Beside a bunyip-haunted creek.

He spread his junk but did not plunder,
Hoping to stay the weekend long;
He watched the bloodshot sun go under
Across the silent billabong.

He ate canned food without demurring,
He put the kettle on for tea.
He did not see the water stirring
Far out beside a sunken tree.

Then, for the day had made him swelter
And night was hot and tense to spring,
He donned a bathing-suit in shelter,
And left the firelight’s friendly ring.

He felt the water kiss and tingle.
He heard the silence—none too soon!
A ripple broke against the shingle,
And dark with blood it met the moon.

Abandoned in the hush, the kettle
Screamed as it guessed its master’s plight,
And loud it screamed, the lifeless metal,
Far into the malicious night.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Tuesday Trivia

The New York Times is testing out the idea of pumping out audio of typewriters in the newsroom to help keep its journalists on pace with their deadlines.

From the Independent:

To the surprise of Times journalists, a tall speaker on a stand has been erected in the newsroom to pump out typewriter sounds, to increase energy levels and help reporters to hit deadlines. The audio begins with the gentle patter of a single typewriter and slowly builds to a crescendo, with the keys of ranks of machines hammering down as the paper’s print edition is due to go to press. 
But not everyone is convinced that current Times' journalists will be thrilled with the throwback and nostalgia. Former Times writer George Brock says: 
“Typewriters disappeared from newsrooms in the late 1980s. There will be very few people there who remember the noise of massed bands of typewriters in the newsroom,” he said. “They will have to find out whether a crescendo of noise will make reporters work better or faster.”

Either way, the trial seems harmless enough, so it's worth a shot.

The introduction of the typewriter speaker was “a playful idea”, said Lucia Adams, deputy head of digital for The Times and Sunday Times. “Technology has always been an important part of what The Times has done and the typewriter might be an old technology but it’s still a technology.” 
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Most modern keyboards use the "qwerty" layout. This name comes from the first five letters on the top row. The qwerty layout was designed for manual typewriters initially by Christopher Sholes in 1872. He purposely selected a physical layout that was difficult to type, so that typing speeds would be reduced! This was needed to reduce the jamming of "hammers" used to create individual letters on manual typewriters. The QWERTY layout was never changed when computers started hitting the market. Secretaries and people using typewriters were used to the old layout and even when other, more efficient layouts, have been proven effective, the old layout has remained with us, and will for many years.

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The first "Sholes & Glidden Typewriter" (shown above) was offered for sale in 1874 but was not an instant success. A few years later, improvements made by Remington engineers gave the typewriter machine its market appeal and sales skyrocketed.

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Mark Twain enjoyed and made use of new inventions.  He was the first author to submit a typewritten manuscript to his publisher, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.

(At the time the operator was called the typewriter and the unit was called a typewriting machine.)

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The word TYPEWRITER can be typed entirely using the top row of keys. It has been speculated that this may have been a factor in the choice of keys for ease of demonstration.

The longest common word using just your left hand is STEWARDESSES.

The longest common word using just your right hand is LOLLIPOP.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Monday Miscellany - Some Odds, Ends and Personals

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In response to last weeks post on “People From The Past Who Remind Us What ‘Cool’ Really Means!”, I received an email from regular responder Sue. 

Sue’s email is as follow:

HI Otto 
You may not want to touch this, but it makes a stark juxtaposition to today: 
These type of images have been shown to influence opinion and reaction to real violence, not to mention the women who have been victims of violence who are repelled (conservatively 1/6 of total market audience). So why do we keep seeing things like this? What message does it give to my daughters in comparison to the images you posted today?

Some comments:

· I have previously posted about sexist advertising and depictions of violence against women in advertising but Sue’s links take it further. I am not going to post pics from those articles because of their offensive content and because that is what the advertisers are probably seeking, controversial dissemination.  That they are fashion photos from supposedly intelligent people make them all the mnore obscene.  I invite you to click on Sue's links and see for yourself.

· Why would someone think that it is okay to depict women in gang rape scenarios on an Indian bus to advertise the clothing being worn? Sick. 

· Okay, I hear someone say, that was in India, it wouldn’t happen here? Think so? Look at the Dolce & Gabbana ads in the first link, Calvin Klein jeans, Marc Jacobs.

· The explanation of the photographer of the Indian bus rape tableau, following on from the fatal gang rape in New Delhi last year? . . . “This is in no way meant to glamorize the act, which was very bad. It’s just a way of throwing light on it.” Sick, sick, sick

· The second link is even worse in depiction of violence towards women to sell fashion, clothes and shoes. Advertisers include Johnny Farah Belts, Bags and Accessories, more CK, Loula Shoes, Jimmy Choo, Louis Vuitton, Vogue . . .

· How can this be? Are the ads created by men who have rape fantasies and believe that such ads will sell? Do they sell? Who is doing the buying, is it not mostly women? I was disgusted simply looking at the ads so how must women feel?

· I know which brands I will never touch again when buying for myself or buying gifts.

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From Rosie in response to the post on dangerous school journeys worldwide:

It's so sad. And my children complain about the heated school bus because they can't get wifi!! 
We are sooo lucky!!

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From David in response to the Funny Friday theme of funerals:

I am reminded of an occasion with my Father and his brother-in-law, both well into their eighties,s at the funeral of a friend. As the crematorium service ended Uncle Bill turned to my father and said "Charlie, is it worth us going home?" (It was for Bill - he lived to a few days short of his 100th birthday)

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Father's Day Facts and Fun

Some risque content included.

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Father’s Day in Australia is celebrated on the first Sunday in September. That is also the day of celebration of NZ, Fiji and Papua New Guinea.

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Some other observances:

23 February:
Russia (Defender of the Fatherland Day)

19 March:
Italy, Spain, 

1st Sunday in June:

2nd Sunday in June:
Belgium, Austria

3rd Sunday in June: 
Canada, China, France, Greece, India, Japan, Netherlands, Philippines, South Africa, Sri Lanka, UK, USA

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The modern holiday of Mother's Day was first celebrated in 1908, when Anna Jarvis (above) held a memorial for her mother in Grafton, West Virginia, US. Her campaign to make "Mother's Day" a recognised holiday in the United States began in 1905, the year her mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis, died. Anna’s mission was to honour her own mother by continuing work she had started and to set aside a day to honour mothers, "the person who has done more for you than anyone in the world." Anna's mother, Ann Jarvis, was a peace activist who had cared for wounded soldiers on both sides of the Civil War and created Mother’s Day Work Clubs to address public health issues. Due to the campaign efforts of Anna Jarvis, several states officially recognised Mother's Day, the first in 1910 being West Virginia, Jarvis’ home state. In 1914 Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation creating Mother’s Day, the second Sunday in May, as a national holiday to honour mothers.

Sonora Smart (above) was 16 years old in 1898 when her mother died, leaving William Jackson Smart to raise Sonora and her five younger brothers on a remote farm in eastern Washington. The widowed Civil War veteran was determined to keep his family together even though, under similar circumstances, many men would have sent the youngest children to live with relatives. His example left an indelible impression on his adoring daughter. 

She moved to Spokane at age 17 after marrying insurance agent and businessman John Bruce Dodd, and the couple had one son in 1909. That same year, while listening to a Mother’s Day sermon at Central United Methodist Church, Sonora Dodd thought about her father, who was living at the time, and wondered why fathers didn’t have "a place in the sun, too." "His kindness and the sacrifices he made inspired me," Dodd told the New York Sun in 1936 for an article about the origins of Father's Day. 

Presenting her idea of an annual celebration of fatherhood to Spokane ministers, she convinced the pastors to deliver Father's Day sermons on June 19, 1910. In those congregations, family members wore roses, red for living dads and white for deceased dads, while the mayor of Spokane and governor of Washington issued Father's Day proclamations.

Not content with a local celebration, Dodd spread her passion for a nationally recognised holiday through personal letters, newspaper articles and political avenues. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge suggested that states observe the day, but it was not until 1972, when Dodd was 90 years old, that President Richard Nixon designated the third Sunday in June as Father's Day in America. Today, the holiday is celebrated in more than 50 nations. 

Dodd died in 1978 at age 96 and is buried near her husband and her father in the family plot at Spokane's Greenwood Memorial Terrace, where she is remembered as the Mother of Father's Day by a memorial plaque and a meditation garden.

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. . . and some Father's Day fun . . .

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