Friday, January 30, 2009

Some hikers even abandon footwear

Naked alpine ramblers have been warned to keep their clothes on this spring or face fines under new legislation introduced by Swiss authorities intended to clamp down on a growing pastime.
The Swiss canton of Appenzell Innerrhoden has said it will slap fines of 200 francs (£122) on holidaymakers going naked in the Alps.
"We were forced to introduce the legislation against this indecent practice before the warm weather starts," said Melchior Looser, the justice and police minister of the canton.
He said that until now the naturist walkers – sometimes referred to as "boot-only hikers" – had been free to wander naked because there was no law to prevent them from doing so. The new law is expected to come into force on 9 February in time for the start of the hiking season.
According to one naked hiker website,, the trend goes back to the start of the 20th century and has much to do with the new access it gives people to nature.
"Abandoning unpractical clothes enables a direct contact with the wind, sun and temperature", the site said. Some hikers even abandon footwear.
(read more...)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Lusty Young Smith

A lusty young smith at his vice stood a-filing.
His hammer laid by but his forge still aglow.
When to him a buxom young damsel came smiling,
And asked if to work in her forge he would go.

Rum, rum, rum. Rum, rum, rum.
In and out. In and out. Ho!

"I will," said the smith, and they went off together,
Along to the young damsel's forge they did go.
They stripped to go to it, 'twas hot work and hot weather.
They kindled a fire and she soon made him blow.

Her husband, she said, no good work could afford her.
His strength and his tools were worn out long ago.
The smith said "Well mine are in very good order,
And I am now ready my skill for to show."

Red hot grew his iron, as both did desire,
And he was too wise not to strike while 'twas so.
Said she, "What I get I get out of the fire,
So prithee, strike home and redouble the blow."

Six times did his iron, by vigorous heating,
Grow soft in her forge in a minute or so,
But as often was hardened, still beating and beating,
But the more it was softened, it hardened more slow.

When the smith rose to go, quoth the dame full of sorrow:
"Oh, what would I give could my husband do so.
Good lad with your hammer come hither tomorrow,
But pray could you use it once more ere you go!"

(from The bardsnet)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Tell us how you intend to run the nation-Mr Obama

For our information
Just for illustration
Tell us how you intend to run the nation

Rufus T. Firefly:
These are the laws of my administration

No one's allowed to smoke
Or tell a dirty joke
And whistling is forbidden

We're not allowed to tell a dirty joke

Hail, hail Freedonia

If chewing gum is chewed
The chewer is pursued
And in the hooscall hidden

If we choose to chew we'll be pursued

If any form of pleasure is exibited
Report to me and it will be prohibited
I'll put my foot down, so shall it be
This is the land of the free

The last man nearly ruined this place
He didn't know what to do with it
If you think this country's bad off now,
Just wait 'til I get through with it

The country's taxes must be fixed
And I know what to do with it
If you think you're paying too much now
Just wait till I get throught with it


I will not stand for anything that's crooked or unfair
I'm strictly on the upper knot, so everyone beware
If any man's caught taking graft, and I don't get my share
We stand'im up against the wall and pop! Goes the weasel

So everyone beware, you're stricken or unfair
-------unless he gets his share

If any man should come between a husband and his bride
We'll find out which one she prefers by letting her decide
If she prefers the other man, the husband steps outside
We stand him up against the wall and pop! Goes the weasel

The husband steps outside, relinquishes his bride
They stand him up against the wall and take him for white

And he's lost upon the road to peace

Young Abdel Mahdi (Shahmay) was only 18 years old,
He was the youngest of nine children, never spent a night away from home.
And his mother held his photograph, opening the New York Times
To see the killing has intensified along the road to peace

There was a tall, thin boy with a whispy moustache disguised as an orthodox Jew
On a crowded bus in Jerusalem, some had survived World War Two
And the thunderous explosion blew out windows 200 yards away
With more retribution and seventeen dead along the road to peace

Now at King George Ave and Jaffa Road passengers boarded bus 14a
In the aisle next to the driver Abdel Mahdi (Shahmay)
And the last thing that he said on earth is "God is great and God is good"
And he blew them all to kingdom come upon the road to peace

Now in response to this another kiss of death was visited upon
Yasser Taha, Israel says is an Hamas senior militant
And Israel sent four choppers in, flames engulfed, tears wide open
And it killed his wife and his three year old child leaving only blackened skeletons

It's found his toddlers bottle and a pair of small shoes and they waved them in front of the cameras
But Israel says they did not know that his wife and child were in the car
There are roadblocks everywhere and only suffering on TV
Neither side will ever give up their smallest right along the road to peace

Israel launched it's latest campaign against Hamas on Tuesday
Two days later Hamas shot back and killed five Israeli soldiers
So thousands dead and wounded on both sides most of them middle eastern civilians
They fill the children full of hate to fight an old man's war and die upon the road to peace

"And this is our land we will fight with all our force" say the Palastinians and the Jews
Each side will cut off the hand of anyone who tries to stop the resistance
If the right eye offends thee then you must pluck it out
And Mahmoud Abbas said Sharon had been lost out along the road to peace

Once Kissinger said "we have no friends, America only has interests"
Now our president wants to be seen as a hero and he's hungry for re-election
But Bush is reluctant to risk his future in the fear of his political failures
So he plays chess at his desk and poses for the press 10,000 miles from the road to peace

In the video that they found at the home of Abdel Mahdi (Shahmay)
He held a Kalashnikov rifle and he spoke with a voice like a boy
He was an excellent student, he studied so hard, it was as if he had a future
He told his mother that he had a test that day out along the road to peace

The fundamentalist killing on both sides is standing in the path of peace
But tell me why are we arming the Israeli army with guns and tanks and bullets?
And if God is great and God is good why can't he change the hearts of men?
Well maybe God himself is lost and needs help
Maybe God himself he needs all of our help
Maybe God himself is lost and needs help
He's out upon the road to peace

Well maybe God himself is lost and needs help
Maybe God himself he needs all of our help
And he's lost upon the road to peace
And he's lost upon the road to peace
Out upon the road to peace.

TOM WAITS-Road To Peace

Monday, January 19, 2009

Eco Gambling in Ein Hod

Mifal Hapayis (the Israel National Lottery) is opening new windows of opportunity for environmentally aware artists and designers. This year, the Arts and Culture Council turned to the public for suggestions on areas worthy of support and the people spoke up! Letting in a breath of fresh air in more ways than one, the new categories reflect a growing interest in ecology and awareness of the environment.
Seeking to encourage environmental awareness in all aspects of design, performance and art, Mifal Hapayis will give special attention to ecologically oriented projects.
In the performing arts, street theater and other performance events taking place outside conventional frameworks have been added to the list.
In the visual arts, the committee will place an emphasis on:
Architecture and the Urban Environment
Art and Ecology
One project already in the works is “Ecosphera” – which aims to be the largest green event held in Israel. Scheduled to take place in the Artist’s Village of Ein Hod and its environs in mid-April, the festival will be dedicated to the theme of “sustainability.”
In addition to workshops, theatrical events, and an organic farmer’s market, the highlight of the festival will be an international exhibit of green art curated by Dana Tagger.
The Board of Directors has allocated 12 million NIS to fund projects in a variety of areas. Artists, designers, cultural institutions and dreamers who would like to submit proposals may do so in the months of February and May.
(read more...)

Friday, January 16, 2009

The assistant turns the potter’s wheel

Hand coloured aquatint from 'The Costume of Great Britain' (1808), a book containing 60 images of people at work and scenes of everyday life. A potter is making a large pot, while his assistant turns the potter’s wheel. William H Pyne (1769-1843), the son of a London weaver who became an artist and writer, was commissioned to write and illustrate the book by the publisher, William Miller of Albermarle Street, London. The first edition was printed in 1804, but the edition from which this coloured plate was taken was published in 1808. The illustrations are particularly notable as they portray British life on the eve of the Industrial Revolution.
(from science and society ...)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Take the rag away from your face

William Devereux Zantzinger, whose six-month sentence in the fatal caning of a black barmaid named Hattie Carroll at a Baltimore charity ball moved Bob Dylan to write a dramatic, almost journalistic song in 1963 that became a classic of modern American folk music, died on Jan. 3. He was 69.
His death was confirmed by an employee of the Brinsfield-Echols Funeral Home, who said Mr. Zantzinger’s family had prohibited the release of more details.
Mr. Dylan took some liberties with the truth in the song, “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll,” though there is disagreement over just how many. He recorded it in 1964 for the Columbia album “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” for some reason dropping the letter “t” from Mr. Zantzinger’s name. It begins:

William Zanzinger killed poor Hattie Carroll

With a cane he twirled around his diamond ring finger

At a Baltimore hotel society gath’rin’

The incident occurred on Feb. 8, 1963. Mr. Zantzinger, a 24-year-old Maryland tobacco farmer, and his wife, Jane, had stopped with friends at a restaurant on their way to Baltimore’s annual Spinsters’ Ball, a white-tie affair.
Mr. Zantzinger was wearing a top hat and carrying a toy cane he had picked up at a farm fair. At the restaurant, he became disorderly, hitting employees with the cane, then left with his group after they were refused more drinks.(read more..)
Thanks to Cliff...

Friday, January 9, 2009

When a man loves a woman who loves books

Leonore Dickmann loves books. She has roughly a million of them. Leonore told Bill, “I’ve never met a book I didn’t like.” Collecting books has been a lifetime hobby for Leonore, and she finally collected enough books to open a store. When she outgrew that store, she moved to an old one-room schoolhouse. When she outgrew that, her husband, Lloyd, a farmer said she could use the slurry tank (for storing manure) out at their farm a short distance from Markesan, Wisconsin.
It’s probably a good thing Leonore married a farmer like Lloyd. She is a retired professor from the University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh. When she decided to go back to school to get her Ph. D., Lloyd said he’d sell the cows and go with her. Lloyd did the cooking and cleaning while Leonore got her degree. Leonore may love books, but there is something to say for a man who loves a woman who loves books.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Books: The End

Back before inkjets, printing was a time-comsuming laborious process, that took teams of people working together to produce just one book. Now days, any crabby person can sit at home and crank out stuff on a blog or even make internet video. This movie will make you happy as you watch others toil for 'The Man' under primitive conditions.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Battle of Gaza

The Battle of Raphia, also known as the Battle of Gaza, was a battle of the Syrian Wars between Ptolemy IV of Egypt and Antiochus III the Great of the Seleucid kingdom. Fought on 22 June 217 BC near Gaza. Ptolemy had 70,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry, and 73 war elephants. Antiochus had 62,000 infantry, 6,000 cavalry, and 103 elephants.
At this time war elephants were exclusively supplied from India. To maintain their monopoly over the industry the Indians only exported male elephants. Ptolemy, who had no access to Indian elephants, may have used smaller African Forest elephants, or may have trained female elephants.
The kings split their elephants between the wings of their army. Antiochus began winning at the beginning of the battle when Antiochus's larger elephants drove off Ptolemies elephants. Each army's right wing defeated the opposing left wing and drove it from the field, leaving the Ptolomid phalanx to defeat the Seleucid infantry.
Ptolemy's victory kept the province of Syria for Egypt but it was only a brief respite; at the Battle of Panium in 198 BC Antiochus defeated the army of Ptolemy's young son, Ptolemy V and captured Syria and Judea.
Ptolemy owed his victory in part to having a well equipped and trained native Egyptian Phalanx which formed a large proportion of his phalangites (exactly how much is subject to academic dispute). Also, the Seleucid elephants are recorded to have panicked and fled the battle according to some sources. The self confidence the Egyptians gained has been ascribed as one of the causes of the subsequent Egyptian Revolt.