Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Partridge in a pear tree and Christmas Trees

One of the stories that emerges in email every Christmas is 

"From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember. -The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ."

Whilst I think is that there is some truth in that story regarding the Christian meaning behind the song but the implication that it emerged as a tool for the Roman Catholic "underground" church is nonsense. They may well have sung the song but I think Protestants would have as well. These two sites discuss some aspects of the song in detail
The Twelve Days of Christmas

On the First Day of Christmas

The French for partridge is "perdrix" which is pronounced "pear dree". So the song is French or even comes from Greek. So it appears to have been around for a long time and in transferring between languages to have been become slightly confused.

I learnt the song when I was a kid and it was/is very popular at Christmas in England.

Now why would the English have so much love for a song that was used by Catholics in secret.

Nothing about it is particularly Catholic - I do not see the Pope or Mary mentioned - the principles it expounds appear to be Protestant beliefs. Perhaps it is really a Protestant song enforcing their Faith.


Also I am amazed at the "veneration" Christians give to the Christmas Tree.
Here is Wiki on possible pagan origins for the European usage of the Tree
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Now I like Christmas Trees but are they really anything to do with Jesus. Just part of our cultural traditions. Of course now they mean Christmas and so it brings people around to thoughts of the Lord so that is good.

I do like Christmas. Total strangers will say "Merry Christmas". My brain tells me that 25 December is not when Jesus was born BUT my heart says He would love the Love that appears at this time of the year. The reason for the season.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Taj Mahal is now in Bangladesh

Ah you thought it was in India

India irritated by Taj Mahal copy | The Daily Telegraph

INDIA'S embassy in Bangladesh has voiced its displeasure over a life-size copy of the Taj Mahal, saying it would investigate to see if any copyright laws had been breached.

"You can't just go and copy historical monuments," a spokesman at the Indian High Commission in Dhaka said.

"Someone will go out there and have a look. The reports we are reading say it is an exact replica. This is a protected site we are talking about so we need to find out if it really is the exact size.

Bangladeshi film director Ahsanullah Moni unveiled his $US58 million ($A88.35 million) replica, located about 30km north-east of the Bangladeshi capital Dhaka, this week.

Mr Moni began building it five years ago but came up with the idea in 1980 when he first visited the real "Monument to Love" in Agra, India.

He imported marble and granite from Italy, diamonds from Belgium and used 160kg of bronze for the dome.

"Everyone dreams about seeing the Taj Mahal but very few Bangladeshis can make the trip because it's too expensive for them," he said.

The Taj Mahal was built by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died giving birth in 1631.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008


2 Cups water
2.5 Cups sugar
1 Cup butter
4 Tablespoons cocoa
1 Level teaspoon bicarb/soda

Boil all the above for 5 minutes in large saucepan.
Allow to cool, then:-

3 Cups self raising flour
4 Beaten eggs
Mix well, pour into 31 x 25 cm. baking dish lined
with alfoil.
Bake 350 - 400 degrees fahrenheit for
35 - 40 minutes or until cooked.
Ice with chocolate icing

4.5 oz. icing sugar
1 tbsp. melted butter
1 tbsp. cocoa
2 tbsps. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla essence

Put the icing sugar, cocoa, vanilla, and butter in a
mixing bowl.
Gradually add the milk, and stir
until the mixture is smooth and creamy.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Sweeney Todd: The Real Story of the Demon Barber of Fleet Street

I just read
Peter Haining - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
book on Sweeney

I just do not know when I first heard of Sweeney Todd. There was also Maria Marten and the Red Barn. Melodramas from Victorian times that were supposed to be fact!
I am sure my parents would have understood Sweeney to be real. The famous police force the Scotland Yard Flying Squad is known as the Sweeney. Todd rhymes with Squad. In London rhyming slang you drop the rhyming word. Aussies says Captain Cook for a "look" Londoners say Butcher's (hook assumed).

I was never sure when Sweeney was supposed to have been running his barber shop - I supposed early 19th century. Well Peter tells me 1785. And that he was born 1756 and has a complete life story leading up to the murders and how the Bow Street runners responding to complaints about foul smells from St Dunstan's investigate and find out it is due to all the all the bodies.
Peter has a number killed like 160 - due to all the clothes found. But Sweeney is only charged with killing someone called Thornhill. And in the trial a doctor identifies Thornhill's bone - due to some breakage that the doctor treated and the way it has healed. The whole case against Sweeney in Peter's "research" sounds very vague and it sounds like a good defence would have squashed it.

Trouble is Peter never gives sources for his findings. Except he quotes a paragraph or so found in material from a Broadway play in 1940s. Hardly an actual source.

Peter starts the book with a coverage of legends from Middle Ages time frame about "demon barbers" and human flesh eating murderers - some in France and one called Swaney Bane in Scotland. How strange that Peter tells us the story is a legend and then treats the 1785 events as genuine history.

Wiki article is quite clear Sweeney was fiction
Sweeney Todd - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia  I just checked the 17/19th century newspapers at Australia National Library eResources - List item and not hit on Sweeney until 1852 when Llyod's weekly has the "string of pearls" story as a serial. Which Peter tells about in his book. He has an excellent coverage of Penny Dreadful writers and all the books and plays about Sweeney.  Peter Haining - Wikipedia whilst disparaging his work on Sweeney does acknowledge his research into literature and Sherlock Holmes.   Very strange that he should produce a book with so much research and resource quotes. without any resources for the his main story the actual existence of Sweeney  Todd.      

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

iTunes, iPod, Mediamonkey and Music Library

We have ordered an iPod and I am trying to understand HOW recordings are indexed to put on the iPod. I am talking the Holy Bible (55 CDs), Christian Worship, Classical singing and orchestral and some plain old performances by artists.
It seems to me that iTunes is designed for Pop music fans. It calls tracks songs and the main groups are Album and Artist. The Audiobooks and Podcast seem to refer to downloads from iTunes. Even then speech is called songs.

Even with its focus on Popular iTunes does not handle compiliations well - see this
and one post is a detailed discussion on what to do
Apple - Support - Discussions - iTunes sorting issue. ...
BTW Compiliations can only be found in Help with a Search and then it was not clear where it was - it is last tab when you click right on a group selection and select Getinfo

So I am now using Mediamonkey MM (sorry Mac users it is Windows)
It is like having a spreadsheet of the music list and you can quickly change tags.

I found from others that for iPod to keep a wanted sequnce you do need Disc numbers and track numbers. MM has a Tool that autofills track number when you have recordings in wanted sequence.

I will be adding more to this as I go - mostly I need the iPod to load and see perhaps end of week it arrives

Monday, November 10, 2008

Flinders Ranges creature had eight arms

Flinders Ranges creature had eight arms - Science - Specials - smh.com.au

WHEN Jim Gehling first came across fossils of a strange, eight-armed creature in ancient rocks in the Flinders Ranges he was astonished.

Researchers had been combing these famous hills for 50 years, cataloguing evidence of the earliest known animals on Earth - soft-bodied sea creatures called the Ediacara biota that lived about 550 million years ago.

"We thought that by now we had found most of the different kinds of Ediacara fossils that existed," said Dr Gehling, of the South Australian Museum.

But not only was the extinct eight-armed creature, with its dome-shaped body, new to science, it was also unusual among all lifeforms: "Creatures with eight-fold symmetry are rare."

need a house on NSW Central Coast

Right on Brisbane Waters a good friend is selling his house. Looks tremendous value


Pope speaks of Kristallnacht pain

Pope speaks of Kristallnacht pain | The Daily Telegraph

POPE Benedict XVI marked today's 70th anniversary of the Kristallnacht, a prelude to the Holocaust, by recalling the agony he felt as a boy growing up in Nazi Germany.

An unwilling member of the Hitler Youth who deserted the German army towards the end of World War II, the leader of the world's Roman Catholics, who turned 81 in April, urged younger generations to shun all forms of discrimination.

Recalling the "sad events of the night of 9-10 November 1938, when the Nazi fury was unleashed against the Jews", the pope said "even today, I feel pain for what happened in these tragic circumstances, of which the memory must serve to ensure that such horrors never occur again".

It is good that the Pope recalls this disgusting event. It was a milestone in Nazi steps to their other horrors.

This is better than a previous post I had to make

Ron's "reviews": Poll shows only 70% of Germans are sane

The pogrom, also known as the Night of Broken Glass, saw Nazi thugs plunder Jewish businesses throughout Germany, torch some 300 synagogues and round up some 30,000 Jewish men for deportation to concentration camps.

Some 90 Jews were murdered in the orgy of violence.

The pope last month backed the beatification of his controversial World War II predecessor Pius XII defending the wartime pontiff's actions during a "complex historical moment".

His stance has sparked bitter debate and tension between Catholics and Jews.

I do not understand beatification - but it is what Popes do. However what did Pius XII do to warrant this. Presumably kept the Church intact through a time of conflict.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Thoughts and Links on Barack Obama

I like many Australians had never heard of Barack until this year.
At one primary I heard his victory speech and was concerned it seemed all about change whatever that was .
I was sort of hoping that Hillary would win as the first woman BUT then the first person of colour was perhaps even more needed.
Now it has happened I see clearly that it was needed - I rejoiced with the Civil Rights Marchers joy on election day.
But since that earlier speech I have heard nothing but a clear and profound message from Barack. People tell me all these bad things about him but if he is any of those then he is the biggest liar around and I am sure he is not.

I sort of like this prayer
I’m praying for you, Barack Obama « Hands Frozen to the Sword

Just prior to election OSO posted
One Salient Oversight: What's driving American Evangelicalism?
and Scyldings commented and I like his blog

Classics like - you'll laugh when you find out what it is
What Austen & Napolean had in common...

and on the 106 year old Ann Nixon Cooper whom you may have seen on the news
Further post-election thoughts
and how Jesse Jackson cried when Barack mentioned her.

Today Scyldings posted The Great Delusion
which linked to Byron who has some very sound thoughts from Australia on
nothing new under the sun...: The Change We Need: Reflections upon Obama
Byron says he has Heros: Karl Barth, Bart Simpson, Jed Bartlet.
My son often quotes Bart and his father although it is all too quick for me.
Now Jed I truly think was and always will be a great POTUS.
Karl well I have not read much but he is at least real......


Monday, October 13, 2008

Grand Duchess Anastasia of Russia and Anna Anderson/ Manahan and Ingrid Bergman and Grand Duchess Olga - the Aunt

I was always interested in events of 1917 and have a LP of Shostakovich's symphony

I think I always thought the suggestion that Anna Anderson was Anastasia was nonsense - how could the Bolsheviks have missed her in that fusillade of Mauser automatics and rifles in the cellar.

The 1956 film with Ingrid Bergman and Yul Brynner introduced me to the idea that some of the people who knew Anastasia did accept Anna as her. So I read more and it did seem so. Then recently I thought the whole business had been solved with a clear DNA test on the royal bodies found in Russia compared to Anna's DNA and that they were not related.

However now I hear there is doubt about that sample - it disappeared and then was found again - so was it actually from Anna. The sample tested might not have been Anna's so if not her then naturally it would not be Romanov. However apart from showing the sample's (whoever it belonged to) was not Romanov the tests did show that the sample was related to Franziska Schanzkowska - the Polish woman who was reputed to be Anna's real identity. I can accept that the sample was not Anna's but if she was was really Franziska and the sample was from Franziska then it seems proven that the sample was from Anna and the lack of links to Romanov's settles it. Unless there was a real conspiracy in 1994 when the DNA was proposed and a Franziska sample was switched - who got that sample - no that is too wild.

BUT what kind of test proved she was Franziska - mtDNA - and see the quote from

"In 1994, mtDNA matches were believed to prove identity, and to be unique to related individuals. Last year, an extensive UK study showed that out of a random 100 persons, four completely unrelated subjects shared exactly the same mtDNA profiles; extrapolate that here, on a board with 400 members: of the 400 of us posting here, 40 of us-unrelated to each other-would have identical mtDNA profiles, thus "proving" that we're related. The odds of a random mtDNA match between the Manahan sample and the Maucher profile are indeed considerable given the size of the world population and the numbers involved. I suspect, based on the continuing evolution of the science, that future studies will show mtDNA profiles to be even more common than this."

There is a lot on above site re why the Romanov DNA tests were not conclusive but as I said if the sample being actually Anna's is doubtful - it is the Franziska connection that makes it Anna's - however the statistics of DNA may cast doubt on that - but it could be considered a considerable statistic that the sample tested just happened by accident to be in the 4% of the population who share the same mtDNA as Franziska and her family.

More bizarre is that Franziska and Anna had different heights - Anna appeared in February 1920 and Franziska disappeared in March - the site above and the next one give a lot more detail on their differences.


The above is very good on all the reason why Anna might be the Grand Duchess -

and this is a very good on the whole business

The DNA testing is now under suspicion and looking at all the original evidence about her - marks on her body known to be like The Grand Duchess and scars consistent with the violence in the Ekaterinburg cellar including a bayonet wound in the foot all bring me back to thinking the impossible again.....

If Anna was Franziska and had been tutored to be Anastasia then the tutoring involved as far as I can make out knowing members of the Romanov on sight, knowing passwords and bank accounts (it seems the Tsar told his daughters) and very personal information about family events and people including that her uncle the Grand Duke of Hesse a German was visiting the Tsar in 1916 in WW1 which would have been treason and he always denied the visit but the Soviets published books which had records of this visit - this indicates the impossible visit did happen and that the so called impostor knew about it . As well as her having all this information she had to physically resemble the Duchess and have body markings like hers and on top of all that she had to learn Russian and English. And over what time frame did all this take place - a couple of weeks

I don't know - the most fascinating mystery of the 20th century and the jury is still out

Well then along came 31 May 2007 and ABC Sydney has a show on Grand Duchess Olga - the Aunt of Anastasia. Olga divorced the Prince they made her marry so that she could wed a commoner. She went to Denmark and later Canada and lived a lovely life. Everyone remembered her with great affection and you could just tell what a really caring person she was.
The show was quite plain she said Anna was not Anastasia. Wiki entry on Anna has a lot on Olga and you can see that she went to see Anna just in case she was Anastasia and found she was not. Her sister Xenia also was clear that she did not accept her either. The WHOLE family did not accept her. Anastasia's tutor did not accept. There were strange likeness and things that she knew. But it looks like seem of these are exaggerations.

Yup I think the jury has given a verdict......

AND this looks to be the final verdict

Remains of tsar's heir may have been found | Russia | Guardian Unlimited

The Royal family were found and buried in 1998 - except Alexei and one sister were still missing. They did say that Anastasia was there and Maria was missing - but that did not seem to be a confident assumption. Now they have found the missing pair. And the whole family can be buried together. Bless them all.

But how did Anna Anderson so confuse so many people.

Always nice when a "mystery" is solved

Monday, October 06, 2008

Chronology - sites I am reading

The Age of the Earth

Akhenaten - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Immanuel Velikovsky - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

ever since I read Immanuel back in 1970s I have been concerned about Egyptian conventional dating

The Revision of Ancient History: Revised Chronologies SIS has a great summary and actually is leading back to Velikovsky's theories

The Immanuel Velikovsky Archive


Old Testament Studies - Reliability and Chronology

NewChronology : David Rohl

Synopsis of David Rohl's book "A Test of Time" by John Fulton

ISIS - Journal of the Ancient Chronology Forum

Centuries of Darkness by Peter James, I. J. Thorpe, Nikos Kokkinos, Robert Morkot & John Frankish

The Megiddo Expedition

Bernard Newgrosh at Troubador Publishing
Bernard is a major contributor at the list at NewChronology : David Rohl
and he has published a book on NC
Chronology at the Crossroads - The Late Bronze Age in Western Asia - Matador Non-Fiction - Bernard Newgrosh

Not saying I agree with them just that I am reading

Some great reference material

The Jewish Theological Seminary - JANES

10/2008 I now am watching DVD by David Rohl on test of Time and Bible is it myth or reality

and have a look at Charles Kimball on Chronology
A Biblical Interpretation of World History, Chapter 1

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Monday, September 15, 2008

Great news Tea is not dehydrating. It is a healthy drink

BBC NEWS | Health | Tea 'healthier' drink than water

"Tea replaces fluids and contains antioxidants so its got two things going for it"
Dr Carrie Ruxton, and colleagues at Kings College London


Claire Williamson of the British Nutrition Foundation
"In terms of fluid intake, we recommend 1.5-2 litres per day and that can include tea. Tea is not dehydrating. It is a healthy drink."

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Welcome To The Working Week by Paul Vlitos

Welcome To The Working Week by Paul Vlitos - 9780752885117 - Orion Books

I don't usually read novels. But I walked in the library and this title grabbed me. It is a first novel

but I see Paul now has

Every Day is Like Sunday by Paul Vlitos - 9780752890630 - Orion Books

Working Week is a book of emails to and from Martin who seems to get in disaster after disaster. Trying to find his jacket and wallet after a party and they are on his sideboard. Some very funny sections. It is about life in North London and part of the culture scene. Plays in pubs and DJs and names on the music world.

Ending sort of peters out - Martin makes a 5 year plan with a girl that they will marry if nothing else happens (which girl? but that would be a spoiler ). Just seems to be saying life goes on and on.

One girl keeps a blog and emails are exchanged on stuff she says about Martin. A novel of just emails - very novel

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sydney Landmark looks like it is finished

Last drinks at Rozelle's historic White Bay Hotel - National - smh.com.au

This pub right on corner before you sweep round to Anzac bridge always seemed so forlorn to me.
I always wondered who drank there. But it looked to be well frequented.
Then 1992 it closed and has been sitting there looking like a dump and now a fire.

Perhaps that incredible wizened old lady who used to sell newspapers at the traffic lights spent her change there.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Massive Drug Bust

News just coming in this morning. An enormous load of drugs seized off a ship from Italy. So looks like Mafia involved. AFP now saying "kids in Australia are paying such a high price for ecstasy that encourages expensive shipments like this".

Customs CEO responded to "how do you feel" "this is what makes getting up in the morning worth while"

I agree well done guys - as an ex UK Customs officer I know just what this means to you all - big congratulations. You must have saved several young lifes finding this lot.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Prostate pill could save thousands

Prostate pill could save thousands | The Daily Telegraph

The "once a day" pill, called abiraterone, has been found to shrink tumours and relieve pain in eight out of 10 men with aggressive and incurable prostate cancer.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mark of the Beast - 666 or is it 616 or 665

Revelation 13:18 (King James Version)
Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

Some old versions of Rev 13:18 do not show 666 but 616 and 665.
KJV spells out the number but in the Greek it is actually shown as Greek numbers.
I understand Irenaeus knew about these other numbers and rejected them in favour of it being 666.

This is discussed in these links

666 wrong number of prophetic beast?

Number of the Beast - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and Wiki has a lot more links

The Other Number of the Beast: numerology

The interpretation using numbers corresponding to letters has always come up with strange results. I remember around 1989 it was Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev depending on language and how you used his name such as in Russian it had to be Mikhail S Gorbachev.

In the other articles they talk about Nero and having to call him Neron and that it could have meant Caligula etc etc

And not many people know this verse in the Old Testament
1 Kings 10:14-22 "Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was 666 talents of gold".

Monday, July 14, 2008

What I am reading

Date Due Item Number Title Options
18 Jul 2008 S875593006 Between the devil and the deep blue sky : domesticity, danger and deadlines : co / Wilkinson, Gina, 1970- Renew

18 Jul 2008 S872533005 Dead heat / Dick Francis and Felix Francis. / Francis, Dick. Renew

18 Jul 2008 S826273005 Pirates : the myths, the legends, the facts : the definitive dramatised history. /

18 Jul 2008 S795019009 The Office : the Christmas specials / Written and directed by Ricky Gervais and / Gervais, Ricky.

18 Jul 2008 S831786009 The accidental tourist / based on the book by Anne Tyler ; screenplay and direct / Tyler, Anne.

18 Jul 2008 S842466005 The message / produced and directed by Moustapha Akkad. / Akkad, Moustapha.

22 Jul 2008 S842325003 A new world of relaxation : new world collection 2. / Renew

22 Jul 2008 S855496006 Microsoft Office Access 2007 : quicksteps / John Cronan, Bobbi Sandberg. / Cronan, John Renew

22 Jul 2008 S827885005 Not forgotten. / Oliver, Neil. Renew

22 Jul 2008 S842330003 Transformation. / Thornton, Phil. Renew

26 Jul 2008 S860627009 Coffee basics : a quick and easy guide / by Kevin Knox and Julie Sheldon Huffake / Knox, Kevin.

26 Jul 2008 S800419004 The mighty Hood. / Bradford, Ernle.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Disabled Equipment

We wanted a over the toilet stand for Joan and tried to find Independent Living Centre which we thought were at Victoria Rd Ryde - founds lots of references to them but the number turns out to be an Indian restaurant So obviously they have moved. These websites that list places but never get updated are no help.
By the Way this was written Jul7 2008 just in case links don't work.

Anyhow they are at Parramatta ring Reception 02 9890 0940 and Katrina was very helpful and gave us a list of equipment and were to buy. And sent a PDF to my email. Very professional
Here is their real website
Independent Living Centre NSW - Contact

Katrina included
Mobility Options - wholesalers & discounters of quality rehabilitation equipment
who are at Pennant Hills and easy to visit - parking underneath - and had just what we wanted at a very good price.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

I fixed the washing machine

Chris said it was not spinning well and I thought a blockage. The Bosch WFB 4001 manual said "pump blockage". Checked a couple of comments on

Pump blocked message - FixYa

Relooked at the manual and realised it had some numbered pictures at the back and things started to come clear.

Remove front plate - two indent screw tops - one of either side - turn right with large screwdriver and plate pops off.
Then on right side unscrew the plug. I first did this a year ago and this time it was difficult as some coins slipped into the thread as I was undoing. Anyhow I found $5.05 (two $2 one $1 and 5c) and 20 pence - where did the pence come from.
The plug goes back easy.
The plate you have to align the pop out holders.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Gordon Ramsay and the Kitchen

Wow the wowsers are not just in the ALP

Ramsay's potty-mouth prompts changes | The Daily Telegraph

I must say I was stunned when I first saw and HEARD the show. Then I realised some very strong manager and leadership and taste statements were being made. One could hardly blame him in the New York India restaurant with cockroaches in the freezer and in the tomatoes from which servings were being made to customers. And then there was a seafood place in Brighton and the owner replied in similar language BUT then realised Ramsay had a track record of getting things fixed and tried the Ramsay suggestions.

I guess the language got people watching the show whereas " I say old chap I think your cleaning up skills leave something to be desired" would hardly attract watchers.

Gordon you have fans - you can stop swearing now.

Funny we had a weekend away and I found myself with a seat overlooking the chef and sous and also the pizza chef. The food was excellent and I think Gordon would have been impressed.

Phar Lap was poisoned

It's official: Phar Lap was poisoned - Horseracing - Sport - smh.com.au

but I read it as his own trainer and a remedy meant to help the horse

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Must stop watching Fawlty Towers etc

Bump in the night's no joke - Unusual Tales - Specials - smh.com.au

A man who laughed too hard at a comedian on TV ended up being pepper sprayed at his home by UK police and spending the night naked in a cell.

Chris Cocker, 36, from Blackburn, laughed so hard while watching BBC TV's Have I Got News For You that he fell off the sofa, the BBC reported.

A neighbour in the flat below heard the thud and called police.

"I fell off the settee in hysterics and hit the floor and got myself up and started carrying on watching the telly and the next thing I know there was a knock on the door," Mr Cocker said.

The knock was from police officers, but Mr Cocker was not happy to see them and refused to co-operate."The bit where I lost it the most was when I shut the door and the policeman had stuck his foot in the doorway and was refusing to let me shut my own front door," he said.

Police then pepper-sprayed Mr Cocker, bundled him into a police van and took him to a police station where he said he was stripped naked and made to spend a night in a jail cell, the BBC said.Lancashire Police said the officers used the pepper spray after fearing for their safety when Mr Cocker became aggressive.

Coffee is really a health food

Coffee drinkers safe from early death | The Daily Telegraph

Monday, June 02, 2008

Ramses II by Christiane Desroches Noblecourt

Ramses II : an illustrated biography by Christiane
Desroches Noblecourt
1996 - English language edition 2007.
The illustrations are magnificent.

I read this re my interest in Chronology - and posted this to Yahoo list on NC

I thought some dates that "the preeminent specist
on Ramses II" per jacket blurb provides might be
of interest.

Horemheb 1327-1295
(an illustration immediately alongside that text
says "reigned 1333-1306" I cannot understand that
as in text she goes on to say died 1295)

1295 Ramses son of Seti and Tuya would have been
in fifth year and would have seen crowning of Ram I

Seti takes 7 year old Ram II on expedition into
Canaan and Ram I makes Seti co-regent and then
dies just under 2 years after Horemheb with whom
he shared the rule.

Year 7-8 of Seti a peace treaty with Muwatallis
and in the ensuing time of peace Seti makes Ram II

Year 14-15 of Seti when nearly 50 he dies and Ram
II just turned 25

Fifth year of Ram II when 30 his second Syrian
expedition and Battle of Kadesh

69th year when 92 he dies in 1213 - she discusses
up to 14th Jubilee celebrations.

Perhaps her opinion of events and years of reign
help discussions

Christiane tries to discuss placing Exodus at time
of Ram II and suggests year 7 when he and
Imenherkhepeshef (eldest son) were on a dual
punitive expedition into Edom and Moab. "Clues
though are few and far between". (I'd agree with
that I just cannot see Ram II the Great as Pharaoh
of Exodus)

Much discussion in book on eldest changing name
later as Imen... disappears from the record. Of
course if he was the first born at the time of
Exodus then he was not around ......

Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War:

Pat Buchanan's upcoming book Churchill, Hitler, and the Unnecessary War: How Britain Lost an Empire and the West Lost the World

The American Cause

Well I am not reading this one.
Just saw Buchanan on Fox - Geraldo interviewed and described the book as well researched and written. Might you he had a quizical look when listening to Buchanan describing the book. Seemed to me to just recalling the "wonderful" days of 1930's USA isolationism - we ain't going to war. And that policy undoubtedly encouraged Hitler and meant war in the end.

If Britain and France had not tried to appease and USA to keep out of things - what might have happened.

Of course Britain had to go war over Poland in 1939 - the ultimatum should have been over Czechoslovakia

Of course Britain lost the Empire - it was going to happen anyway - wasn't India already in revolt

Saturday, May 31, 2008

What I have just read - May 2008

8 Jun 2008 S831180005 Fighting techniques of the Medieval world equipment, combat skills, and tactics / Bennett, Matthew. Renew

8 Jun 2008 S755447000 Genesis of the Pharaohs : dramatic new discoveries that rewrite the origins of a / Wilkinson, Toby. Renew

10 Jun 2008 S867675001 The Black swan : the impact of the highly improbable / Nassim Nicholas Taleb. / Taleb, Nassim Nicholas. Renew

What Am I reading and watching

14 Jun 2008 S885707000 Family tree magazine : Vol. 24, No. 6, Apr 2008. /
14 Jun 2008 S856048004 Inspector Rex. Series 7 [videorecording] : a cop's best friend / writers Peter H / Hajek, Peter.
14 Jun 2008 S838530004 Jericho / writer, Stewart Harcourt ; director, Nicholas Renton. / Harcourt, Stewart.
14 Jun 2008 S818370009 The life aquatic with Steve Zissou / written, produced and directed by Wes Ander / Anderson, Wes.
14 Jun 2008 S817517006 Together / directed by Chen Kaige. / Chen, Kaige, 1952-
28 Jun 2008 S860627009 Coffee basics : a quick and easy guide / by Kevin Knox and Julie Sheldon Huffake / Knox, Kevin.
28 Jun 2008 S866714009 Inside Hamas : the untold story of militants, martyrs and spies / Zaki Chehab. / Chehab, Zaki.
28 Jun 2008 S877649004 Still lost in translation : more misadventures in English abroad / Charlie Croke / Croker, Charlie, 1966-
28 Jun 2008 S800419004 The mighty Hood. / Bradford, Ernle.
28 Jun 2008 S868051004 Wikis for dummies / by Dan Woods and Peter Thoeny ; foreword by Ward Cunningham. / Woods, Dan, 1960-

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Motya : unearthing a lost civilization. by Gaia Servadio

Motya : unearthing a lost civilization. by Gaia Servadio

Gaia is an Italian journalist who wrote for L'Ora who bravely tackled the Mafia . Her book is about her personal trips to Motya. A Punic city destroyed by the Greeks on an islet off Sicily with a sea covered road connected to the main land. Her story covers Joseph Whitaker who inherited a wine firm trading in Marsala - a very heavy dessert wine. Joseph purchased Motya and started digging for Carthaginian remains as well as collecting and stuffing birds. The family had some trouble with the mafia and the fascists . A rambling book but very interesting on the British running businesses in Sicily.

Gaia has a theory that the Carthaginians practised sacrifice of first born children because young women had to become temple prostitutes and when they married the father was not always clear. No wonder the Bible condemns the Canaanites.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Chicken Laksa

In Wok
400g chicken breast diced
1/2 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon crushed ginger
4 minutes
toss in 1/2 cup carrot in strips
1/2 cup capsicum strips
2 minutes

1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup shallots sliced
1 tablespoon fresh coriander chopped
1 teaspoon meongrass in jar
3 teaspoons massaman curry paste
1 teaspoon tumeric
2 teaspoon chicken stock powder
1 cup water
1 teaspoon coconut essence
1 1/2 cups Singapore noodles


1 of 375 ml evaporated light milk
1 tablespoon cornflour
add to dish

Simmer 5 minutes

FROM    "Annette Sym Too Good to be True"

Blueberry flapjacks

1 can blueberries save juice for sauce
2 egg whites - avoid yolks 6 g fat -

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence
1/2 cup skim milk
1 cup self raising
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda
cooking spray

Juice and 1 tablespoon cornflour
keep stirring on medium heat

Beat egg whites and sugar add essence and milk
fold flour until combined
fold berries

spray oil in pan
pour in a round shape and cook 2 minutes 

Friday, March 28, 2008

PM off on Overseas Trip

before he left I heard the PM say that he expected to have important discussions with the PRESIDENT OF THE USA. He would have his photo taken with him. Our country will be taking a much stronger place in world affairs and could be expected to stick our noses into all manner of things. We will of course tell everyone what they should do to fix their global warming.

Rudd defends timing of marathon trip | The Daily Telegraph

I wonder what crisis will occur next week that Julia will somehow waffle through.

First Day

Rudd's troop withdrawal leaves Bush alone on Iraq - National - smh.com.au

Well I agree sure is time to pull troops out - what with the Iraq government starting a civil war in Basra. But I hardly think the number of troops really would be noticed and won't we be
leaving some as security for our diplomats etc. Glad to see we are still there to help the Afgahnis.

It's stuff "Mr Rudd said sparing "working families" the full brunt of the global financial crisis was the uppermost reason for his two-and-a-half weeks of talks with the world's most senior business, political and economic leaders." What is this Working families that he talks about - does he mean he excludes a lot of the population.

I did like "Dr Nelson and others were engaging in "short-term political point scoring", he said."
Wow is he above criticism

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Richard Widmark, Actor, Dies at 93 - New York Times

Richard Widmark, Actor, Dies at 93 - New York Times

Richard Widmark - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Forgive me Richard this amazed me - I just did not know you were still around. Then I read on Wiki that he was never on a talk show - last film was 1991 - so no wonder he dropped from view

To me he was the greatest villain I ever saw. He just oozed badness.
But then he could also be a most noble hero.
His classic films were in the late 1940 into 50s

Great picture of him as psychopathic killer from 1947 “Kiss of Death”. Yes and that's Victor Mature behind Richard.

The intensity was always there - "The Bedford Incident" said so much about the Cold War stupidity of vessels running around with WMD

And this says a lot about the man:
Widmark was married to his first wife, writer Jean Hazlewood, for almost 55 years, from April 5, 1942 until her death on March 2, 1997

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Emily Perry dies at 101

Humphries pays tribute to 'Madge' | The Daily Telegraph
"Barry Humphries realised immediately Emily Perry was a star."
I loved Madge Allsop - she was the best straight "man" I've ever seen and as Barry says he tried to make her laugh. It seems she was 80 when she first played Madge - amazing.

Recently we saw Barry on the last Michael Parkinson and it was right Dame Edna was there at the last he brought tears to my eyes on many Parkinson - the Gloria Swanson (was Gloria confused about Dame Edna?) - Barry and the Russian Salad in that brown paper bag on the aeroplane.

Ah Madge wasn't on those shows - perhaps she was home laughing - Thanks Emily

Monday, January 14, 2008

Plastic Bags

Plastic bags join endangered list - Environment - smh.com.au
Garrett who can do a tourist trip to Antarctica is now proposing to ban Plastic Bags or impose a levy on using them. Inference is that the article is talking about the ones that supermarkets "give" us with our groceries. years ago stores had a rack with old cardboard boxes and we struggled to find ones to fit our shopping. USA stores always "gave " nice big solid paper bags but here the stores decided plastic was cheap. Presumably these are now costing.

But what is position on the plastic bags we buy in the stores - big bags for the rubbish bin - little bags for freezers etc? Are these different because we pay directly for them?

Currently we use the shopping plastic bags for our rubbish - in future should we place the rotten stuff directly in the Otto and make it more smelly?

Bunnings I would presume stopped plastic bags as a cost saving for themselves. And I must say their prices are much better than the BBC stores that used to be in the same premises.

The supermarkets continue to confuse us on prices - rollback ie buy two - a ridiculous 4c off fuel. Or spend at high prices in the petrol station and get another 2c . Spent over $200 in Woolworths at Carlingford the other day and still got ONE only docket for 4c off. And let's see where are the Woolworths petrol stations - one north of Thornleigh -one down Epping Road - none at Carlingford. 4c off 40 litres - not even a coffee. What does it cost for them to run this ???

And they worry about the cost of plastic bags!!

Watch out Kevin's back

Frankly I was wondering what was happening - all the hype about Work around the clock and then he disappeared and Julia did all the talking. Well SMH has all the news

Get set for Kevin08, Australia: PM's back, best you look busy - National

I was also shocked to see an aircraft land in Antarctica and off step Garrett. Talk about Stunts. perhaps he was there looking after the whales. Now this sending a ship to keep an eye on the Japanese whaling fleet - checking for what? Are the Japanese doing anything that is actually illegal. Is what Greenpeace doing legal?

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Gmail - IMAP - and how to import from Apple Mail and Mail from MAC to Windows

I am wrapped on Gmail and the IMAP function.
On my Macbook I have Apple Mail and Thunderbird - I did try using Apple Mail but frankly it is a bit Mickey Mouse - I know what you will say Apple like to make it simple. I tried to use with two accounts and found it set up the second with an ADD Account and then would not let me change any of the properties as it was using the same library. At moment I don't think it is worth finding a solution. The same thing in Thunderbird works like a dream.
Anyhow that left me with some important Mail that I wanted in Thunderbird. But Apple Mail latest version has each message kept as .emix so not a simple task to import just the mbox large file.

The method shown here sounds difficult and the link to a converter does not work
import mailboxes from Apple's Mail.app v. 2.0.x not possible - MozillaZine Forums

The other thing was I now have a PC Desktop with big screen but I also like to sit on lounge with Macbook and read email etc - How do I keep the email storage in sync?

So I read around and then found a EASY SOLUTION

First you need an account that works as IMAP and Gmail now does that

Set up IMAP access to my accounts on Apple Mail and also in Thunderbird on MAC and PC

When you have Imap installed see image above just drag an email from an inbox folder into one the of the folders under google mail. You can add folders also and move google mail in box into google folders

Now how to set up the Imap in the news readers.

Thunderbird - set up for Gmail as Imap - read carefully and follow as close as you can the SMTP is a separate page from the images as shown
  1. Salient points are
  2. When in Add Accounts in TB don't click Gmail - click Email and then Imap
  3. incoming server is imap.gmail.com
  4. On server settings - port is 993 and security is SSL
  5. Smtp os smtp.gmail.com and connection is TLS
  6. Apple is similar
Now you can move/drag your mail from Apple folders into a Google mail folder and it will be there on your other views of Imap - on Windows machine or Thunderbird etc.
Yes your mail will be in sync across all the platforms.
see also Lifehacker
Gmail Tip: Import Messages into Gmail via IMAP
and In Depth - Turn Thunderbird into the Ultimate Gmail IMAP Client

and this is must read also on set up and tweaks
Setting up Gmail IMAP Support in Thunderbird (1.5 or 2.x) :: from the How-To Geek

Handling you need to think about

And 10/2008 I just realised I can import my Outlook 2000 pst into Outlook Express and then in OE I can load the import into Imap Gmail. You cannot drag folder in OE into Imap - you have to add a folder and then select all the mail in imported folder and paste into Imap folder.
However I do not think that OE works well with Imap and seems to be downloading all the mail again that I just dragged into OE. What but it was on the PC in OE so why download - well that is what it says it is doing. So I unticked these folders in Sync list but I get error messages.
I am using a new gmail account for the upload and will probably export to my main account after some more experiments.

Is Internet Banking safe - Is Facebook safe - Phishing

I am amazed that I get so much spam that are fake notes from financial institutions. As I use Thunderbird -with text only I immediately see that the links to banks are fake. In HTML these notes would look fair dinkum. I get notes from all manner of "fake" banks - and also PayPal and eBay. None from the company themselves.

Now this excellent article tells me that people do respond to these emails.
Is internet banking safe? - Security - Technology - smh.com.au
Do have a read some helpful stuff re online banking.

Then other ways of getting your VITAL details - at sites like Facebook
BBC NEWS | Technology | Cyber thieves target social sites

And beware pages that want your password in Facebook - check URL is still facebook
Phishing For Facebook

Oh and if a note I trust arrives in TB and I want to see in html I have installed the addon
ShowHTML and one click and all looks good.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

SearchWP and Google search

Georges-Etienne Legendre - SearchWP
is a aid to searching from the Firefox search box - it puts your search words available in the search results. They will be listed on the toolbar so you can click to find each word in the pages. Also you can click a highlight button to get them in colour.

Georges-Etienne Legendre - SearchBox Sync
SearchWP only works if you use the Firefox search box - if you use say Google search direct well install Sync.

I did not want google toolbar as it clutters up the browser with features I find hard to see the point of. I do have Google desktop and use the taskbar search box so Sync is most useful.

Both addons work for other search engines