Sunday, November 30, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac | Coligny nuts take note

Celtic calendar free download

The Coligny Calendar , in the Gaulish language, is an ancient Celtic solar/lunar ritual calendar which was discovered in Coligny France. It dates to a time when the Romans and Celts coexisted, and heavily influenced each other. The Calendar that was found uses roman numerals for instance. However, the actual format of the calendar may be much older.

I've found a good site that not only has lots of information about the Coligny, but also a downloadable program that will give Coligny calendar dates and further data. If you're a calendar nut like me, it's well worth getting (for free). It's only 148kb zipped, and it works very quickly from the shortcut on my desktop. It's a great complement to my wondrous Lunabar, another great freebie that lives in my toolbar.

*Ø* Blogmanac November 30 | Today in the Book of Days

Feast day of St Andrew and beginning of Advent

St Andrew the King
Three weeks and three days before Christmas begins.

Saint Andrew, one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ and the brother of Simon (later the apostle Peter), was a Galilean fisherman of Bethsaida, and originally a disciple of John the Baptist. In the Gospel of John (1:35-42), Andrew was the first called of Jesus’ disciples.

According to tradition, Andrew was crucified at Patmos, in Achaia, on an X-shaped cross, the form of which became known as St Andrew's Cross, which is still on the Scottish and British flags. His cross is the same as the cross of Wotan which Norse invaders of Scotland carried. In Scotland it became the national symbol, as Andrew the national patron saint. Waverly Fitzgerald points out, “The cross saltire, is also a sun symbol, which looks similar to a Catherine wheel or the rune of Gefjon, the Giver, which is associated with Freya, the great Scandinavian goddess who is much honored at wintertide.”

Pagan origins
According to Nigel Pennick (The Pagan Book of Days, 1992, 131), Andrew is a version of the divinity Andros, the Man, personification of virility, seen as an aspect of Dionysus. Scotland’s matronal goddess is Skadi, the Scathing One.

St Andrew and the meaning of ‘X’ on a letter
People used to sign with an X if they couldn't sign their name. Then they would kiss the X and promise by St Andrew (whose cross the X resembles) to abide by their oath or contract. Over the years, ‘X’ on a letter came to mean a kiss ...

* Ø * Ø * Ø *

1835 Mark Twain (November 30, 1835-April 21, 1910), anti-war, anti-imperialist American humorist and novelist (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn; The War Prayer) ...

* Ø * Ø * Ø *

The death of Oscar Wilde
He wrote De Profundis while in prison, exalting revolutionary action and political agitation. This small book was not published in its entirety until 44 years later. Wilde was released, practically a broken man, on May 19, 1897, spending his last years penniless on the Continent, under the name of Sebastian Melmoth in self-inflicted exile from society and artistic circles. He chose his name from Saint Sebastian (feast day January 20)*, who was killed by archers (suggested by the broad arrows on Wilde’s prison uniform), and Melmoth, a family name ...

This is just a snippet. Read all about today in folklore, historical oddities, inspiration and alternatives at the Wilson's Almanac Book of Days, every day. Click today's date when you're there.

*Ø* Blogmanac | Great apes face extinction

PARIS (Reuters) - "At least $25 million (14 million pounds) is needed to save great apes such as gorillas and chimpanzees from the threat of extinction, a United Nations official says.

"'The clock is standing at one minute to midnight for the great apes, animals that share more than 96 percent of their DNA with humans,' said Klaus Toepfer, executive director of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP).

"'$25 million is the bare minimum we need, the equivalent to providing a dying man with bread and water,' he said in a statement before a three-day international conference on the great apes starting in Paris [last] Wednesday.

"All great ape species risk extinction, either in the immediate future or at best within 50 years, because of growing forest destruction, poaching, live animal trade and humans encroaching on their habitat, the conference organisers said."

Full text

*Ø* Blogmanac | Rockers Unite to Oust Bush


Moby, Henley, Matthews ask fans to "get involved"

"Bruce Springsteen told a crowd of 50,000 New Yorkers on October 4th to 'shout a little louder if you want the president impeached.' Two weeks later, John Mellencamp posted an open letter to America on his Web site, declaring, 'We have been lied to and terrorized by our own government, and it is time to take action.' Meanwhile, Moby, Eddie Vedder and Michael Stipe are organizing a TV-ad campaign that will run anti-Bush commercials during the week of the State of the Union address in January; Dave Matthews is railing against the war in Iraq in interviews; and at press time, at least three multiband rock tours planned to take aim at Bush-administration policies. Green Day, NOFX, Tom Morello, Dixie Chicks, Don Henley, Willie Nelson and Steve Earle have all played (or plan to play) for political candidates or causes. Hip-hop stars have also gotten involved. 'We have a voice and a responsibility to speak out,' says Jay-Z, a member of Russell Simmons' Hip-Hop Summit, which aims to register 4 million voters before the 2004 election. 'People listen to us.'

"Welcome to the increasingly partisan world of popular music -- where President George W. Bush is a marked man. Thirty major artists interviewed for this story cited many concerns: U.S. policy on Iraq, the Patriot Act, the Bush administration's assault on the environment, the economy and the media. But they all agreed that as the 2004 presidential election gets
closer, it is time to mobilize. 'The America we believe in can't survive another four years of George Bush,' says Moby. Adds Lou Reed, 'We must all unite and work for whomever opposes Bush, regardless of whatever differences we may have. Our motto: Anything but Bush.'"

Continue here

Saturday, November 29, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac | More "Food" For Thought

Arrogance is a Disease that often leads to War


I'll end with a quote that could well describe most liberals. It is from a book called,
"How to be a Gentleman", by John Bridges.

"A gentleman never makes himself the center of attention. His goal is to make life
easier, not just for himself, but for his friends, his acquaintences, and the world
at large."

While a Conservative may succeed in getting to the point where friends and
acquaintences are included within their sphere of concern...they always, always,
fall flat on the last point. It is this point where Liberals go far beyond the current
crop of least among the more outspoken of them (there are
always exceptions, of course) and shine as the true gentlemen and gentlewomen
of our age, and, at times, all ages.

The Yin and Yang of Conservatism

The 7 States of Sickness
(from "Natural Healing Through Macrobiotics" by Michio Kushi)

1. Fatigue or Tiredness
2. Aches and Pains
3. Blood Diseases
4. Emotional Disorders
5. Organ Diseases
6. Nerve Diseases
7. Arrogance


1. Fatigue or Tiredness - The major causes are lack of physical exercise plus over-eating
and over-drinking, particularly meat and sugar.

2. Aches and Pains - The nervous system starts to weaken.

3. Blood Diseases - Thought incurable, these can often be cured by proper diet.

4. Emotional Disorders - This category includes problems such as irritability, impatience,
upset, anger, anxiety, worry, fear, and uneasiness. A healthy person is not bothered by
negative emotional states. If we become angry even once a year, we are not completely
healthy. Ideally, we should not become angry even once during an entire lifetime.
(This was written before The Great Dewakening; The Current Unpleasantness. It could
be argued that anger, as a defense mechanism, should be reserved for such times as
these...although I much prefer Gandhean Satyagraha to vehemence and anger. Besides,
there is always the Butterfly Effect to consider, as well as the even more subtle Taoist
notion that one need not lift a finger, or make any ripple in the material world. A vision,
well-wrought, can change minds and worlds effortlessly, internally. I digress....)

5. Organ Diseases - Organs begin to degenerate.

6. Nerve Diseases - Dullness, forgetfulness, social crimes.

7. Arrogance - This occurs when we try to separate ourselves from nature and the
universe, and happens in one of two ways. The first is yang arrogance, and it appears
in the form of a domineering, conquering, or self-insistent personality which tends to
drive others away. This yang arrogance is what George W. Bush, and many on the
flagrant right-conservative site of the dial, have digested...although it occasionally takes
root among those left of which point they become neo-cons, after having
passed through Dennis Miller.

"The yin type of arrogance shows itself in the form of withdrawal or a refusal to listen.
Many of the elderly and and those who consider themselves devout or religious suffer
from this form of arrogance. This type of person is usually not open to the opinions or
suggestions of others."

Kushi continues: " Arrogance is actually the underlying cause of all human sickness and
unhappiness and is at the same time the end point of the first six stages. Ultimately, all
people who suffer from arrogance commit suicide by dying an unnatural death, either
through sickness, war, accident, or other causes. The basic purpose of macrobiotic
healing is to cure arrogance."

So here we have it. The explanation of what is today called "Conservatism"...although the only thing these folks are concerned about conserving is their ego; their arrogance -- whether it be in the form of Bush-style brashness, or the quieter, more obscurantistic hard-headed self-righteousness exhibited by the more reposed.

Arrogance is a killer...of self and others. It incorrectly places the ego where God, the Tao, the spirit, Stewardship, Magnanimity, or whatever name you call it, should be.

What a wildly imaginative but brilliant and sensible way of looking at our world!
Definitely CONTINUE to the SOURCE and enjoy more of this and other unique posts!

*Ø* Blogmanac November 29, 1838 | Myall Creek murderers convicted

1838 The Myall Creek Massacre culprits were found guilty of murder.

On Saturday, June 9, 1838, twelve European stockmen in Australia rounded up approximately 20 Kwiambal Aborigines at Myall Creek (a branch of the Gwydir River), and killed them with knives and guns. The stockmen, who had accused the Aboriginal people of pilfering, were acquitted at a trial on November 15, but, following a public uproar, faced trial again on November 29 and were found guilty. Seven of the twelve murdered were executed under Governor Sir George Gipps’s authority.

Massacre at Myall Creek, from Cafe Diem!, our store

*Ø* Blogmanac November 29 | International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People

I am a black South African, and if I were to change the names, a description of what is happening in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank could describe events in South Africa.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu

In 1977, the General Assembly of the United Nations called for the annual observance of November 29 as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People (resolution 32/40 B). On that day, in 1947, the Assembly had adopted the resolution on the partition of Palestine (resolution 181 (II)).

On December 3, 2001, the Assembly noted the action taken by Member States to observe the Day, and requested them to continue to give it the widest possible publicity (resolution 56/34).

This is just a snippet. Read all about today in folklore, historical oddities, inspiration and alternatives at the Wilson's Almanac Book of Days, every day. Click today's date.

*Ø* Blogmanac | Queen speaks of same-sex couple rights

"My government will maintain its commitment to increased equality"

"Queen Elizabeth II of England opened Parliament on Wednesday by announcing that MPs will debate the issue of civil partnerships for same-sex couples in the coming session.

"In her annual speech, in which she outlines the key bills from the government, the queen said the bill would help increase social justice across England and Wales.

"'My government will maintain its commitment to increased equality and social justice by bringing forward legislation on the registration of civil partnerships between same-sex couples,' she told the House of Lords' ..."
Source: Planet Out

*Ø* Blogmanac | Good Friday Agreement in trouble

Gerry Moriarty, Irish Times

"Sinn Féin has made huge gains over the SDLP in the Northern Ireland Assembly elections, while a strong DUP vote could give the Rev Ian Paisley's party more seats than the UUP.

"The overall result due later today radically alters the political landscape of the North and threatens the future of the Belfast Agreement.

"The DUP outpolled by around 20,000 votes the Ulster Unionists in terms of first preferences, sending a clear anti-agreement message to the British and Irish governments.

"Another day of high electoral drama is in store today as the DUP, Sinn Féin and Mr David Trimble's Ulster Unionists Party battle to win the most Assembly seats. The result was unpredictable last night and will hinge on how preference votes are transferred in several of the constituencies.

"If Sinn Féin emerges with the majority of seats, then the prospects of unionists agreeing to form an Executive with Mr Martin McGuinness as the likely First Minister appear very remote. While there has been speculation that DUP pragmatists might deal with Sinn Féin, the party leader Dr Ian Paisley emphasised yesterday that he would not negotiate with Sinn Féin.

"'Anyone who talks to Sinn Féin will be out of my party,' he said."

Continue here

Friday, November 28, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac November 28, 1757 | William Blake, New Age guy

Art degraded, Imagination denied
War govern'd the Nations.

William Blake

Poetry fetter'd Fetters the Human Race
Nations are Destroy'd or Flourish in proportion as
Their Poetry, Painting and Music are Destroy'd or Flourish:
The primeval state of Man was Wisdom, Art and Science.
William Blake; Jerusalem
Energy is eternal delight.

William Blake

1757 William Blake, English visionary poet (Songs of Innocence and of Experience) and artist who believed in a spiritual and artistic New Age and produced books in a total celebration of self-publishing, including writing the text, making relief etchings of the text (as mirror image) and the illustrations, printing and hand colouring the pages ...

This is just a snippet. Read all about today in folklore, historical oddities, inspiration and alternatives at the Wilson's Almanac Book of Days, every day. Click today's date.

© 2002, Grateful Dread Design; all rights reserved. Feel free to post and share

*Ø* Blogmanac | McDonald's Rapped for 'Simple Fries' Campaign

LONDON (Reuters) - "Fast food corporation McDonald's has been rapped by British advertising watchdogs for a campaign that trumpeted the brilliant simplicity of their recipe for fries -- the humble potato and nothing else. Adverts showed a potato in a fries box alongside the text: 'The story of our fries (end of story).'

"But the public and campaigners objected, saying that often the chips were part-fried in one country, sometimes in beef tallow; flown halfway round the world; soaked in dextrose; often contaminated with gluten and finally drenched in excessive levels of salt ... "

Full text

*Ø* Blogmanac | Ireland - Gardaí breathalyse wheelchair user

"A man in a motorised wheelchair is facing a possible drink-driving charge after his arrest on suspicion that he was over the limit.

"Gardaí spotted the wheelchair-user driving in an erratic fashion in Cork city centre and pulled him over. Most motorised wheelchairs have a top speed of 6mph.

"A garda spokesman confirmed the 'highly unusual' incident happened over the last Bank Holiday weekend. The driver of the wheelchair was arrested and taken to a local garda station where he was breathalysed. A file is now being sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions."


Thursday, November 27, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac | Let's Roll! There are antiquities we must destroy!

[It seems the U.S. IS on a crusade--it's destroying non-Christian
relics wherever it goes, ignoring the fact that Christian relics go
along with them. "Another one back to the Stone Age," they cry,
thinking even less of the people who'll die. -v]

Foreign Policy in Focus (FPIF) Commentary
Editor: John Gershman, Interhemispheric Resource Center (IRC)
Project Against the Present Danger

The Road to Damascus
By Ian Williams | November 24, 2003

At this time last year, it was difficult to get people to take the threat of war on Iraq seriously. This year, the threat to Syria is much more explicit than that against Saddam Hussein, but too many people dismiss any such thought.

But paranoia pays. We should have noted by now that this administration is motivated in mysterious ways, but does clearly signal its intentions no matter how seemingly irrational they appear to others. The neocons and their friends in the administration may, as the current unplanned Iraqi occupation experience indicates, be out of tune with reality in the rest of the world. But the fact that they achieved their first goal--the invasion and occupation of Iraq--indicates that they know all to well how Washington works. Which should make us worry about their second goal; most of them are on the record supporting Ariel Sharon's suggestion that Syria is next.

The passage of the Syria Accountability Act in the House of Representatives with only 4 votes against it on October 15 could be dismissed as mere pandering by legislators eager to prove how earnestly pro-Israel they are in the run-up to a costly election campaign. But even if Representatives only voted for it out of callow expediency, the Act threatens to mean much more.

The laundry list of reasons to attack is already written!

*Ø* Blogmanac November 27 | Sophia, goddess of wisdom

Sophia is the great lost Goddess who has remained intransigently within orthodox spiritualities. She is veiled, blackened, denigrated and ignored most of the time; or else she is exalted, hymned and pedestalled as an allegorical abstraction of female divinity. She is allowed to be a messenger, a mediator, a helper, a handmaid: she is rarely allowed the privilege of being seen to be in charge, fully self-possessed and creatively operative.
Matthews, Caitlin, SOPHIA: Goddess of Wisdom, Bride of God (1991)

Day of Sophia (according to some sources)

Sophia (pronounced sew-fee'ah in Greek) (pictured here with her three daughters, Faith, Hope and Charity) has been revered as the Wise Bride of Solomon by Jews, and as the Queen of Wisdom and War (Athena) by Greeks. She has been referred to as the Holy Spirit of Wisdom by Christian writers. She is known as Chokmah (HOK-mah) in Hebrew, and Sapientia in Latin. She is sometimes referred to as the Bride of Christ or of God.

To the Gnostic Christians, Sophia had an esoteric meaning, and was the Mother of Creation; her consort and assistant was Jehovah. In the Gnostic creation myth, Sophia sought the unknowable One, being so distant from her. In one account, she saw a distant light which was in fact a mirror image, and thus drifted even farther away from the pleroma, or fulness of God. The Gnostic religion’s sacred texts include Pistis Sophia: The Books of the Saviour.

Her sacred shrine, Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, is one of the remarkable buildings of the world. The first church on the site was built by Constantine the Great. The temple itself was so richly and artistically decorated that Justinian I, after rebuilding it, is believed to have said ÍåíßêçêÜ óå Óïëïìþí (Solomon, I have surpassed you!). It was converted to a mosque at the Fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Mehmed II in 1453. [Read about this seminal event in history in our article, ‘Celestial wonders and the fall of Constantinople, 1453’]. A Christian church in Sophia, capital of Bulgaria, gave its name to the city.

As Asherah (the Semitic name of the Great Goddess, whose origin differs from Astarte, or Ishtar, or Inanna in Sumerian mythology), who was principally worshipped at the Philistine Pentapolis (coalition of five cities forming a kingdom – namely, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron, Gath and Gaza) but also along Canaan and, for some time, Israel, she was even given a place in Solomon’s Temple of Yahweh (Jehovah God), which was built under the direction of skilled Phoenician builders and workmen ...

This is just a snippet. Read all about today in folklore, historical oddities, inspiration and alternatives at the Wilson's Almanac Book of Days, every day

Pip Wilson's articles are available for your publication, on application. Further details
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*Ø* Blogmanac | A reminder for tomorrow

Buy Nothing Day

“Since its launch in the Pacific Northwest [USA] twelve years ago, Buy Nothing Day has grown into a worldwide celebration of consumer awareness and simple living. Observed on the day after US Thanksgiving – America's busiest shopping day of the year – the campaign has sparked debate, radio talk shows, TV news items and newspaper headlines around the world.

“People in more than thirty countries have made a pact with themselves and, as a personal experiment and public statement, stepped out of the consumer stream for 24 hours. The ways in which people have marked the event worldwide have been as diverse as the participants themselves.

“The daredevils of the Ruckus Society, a California-based direct-action group, dropped a boxcar-sized banner ridiculing overconsumption smack in the middle of the Mall of America. Other more down-to-earth-types created and distributed the Gift Exemption Voucher – a polite way of saying, Let's not get each other anything this year, out of principle. In Seattle, helpful Buy Nothing Day celebrants offered a credit-card cut-up service outside a downtown mall.” Source

*Ø* Blogmanac | What a wonderful Bush world

(Tune: 'What a Wonderful World This Will Be' by Sam Cooke)
Don't know much about history
Don't know much foreign policy
Don't remember how I got through school
I'm sure I didn't break the rules
But what's it matter 'cause my granny says
"Boy, if you want to you can be the prez
And what a wonderful world this will be"

Don't know much about the women's vote
Don't know much about the bill I wrote
Don't know much about the foreign vets
I've never voted for 'em yet
But I do know if your dad tries hard
He can get you in the National Guard
And what a wonderful place that can be

Now I never claimed to be an A student
But what's wrong with C's?
And maybe by knowing the names of my cabinet
I can win their love for me...
Don't know much about air pollution
Don't know much about the constitution
Don't know much about th'economy
It never much affected me

But there's one thing that I know for sure
If the rich stay rich and the poor stay poor
What a wonderful world this will be

Don't know much about the national debt
I've never had to pay one yet
If we need to we can sell the States
To the Japanese at discount rates
But I do know if things get bad
Dick and I can always call my dad
And what a wonderful world this will be.

*Ø* Blogmanac | Aids annual death toll hits 3m

26 November, Irish Independent

"The annual worldwide death toll from Aids has reached 3m, the UN agency leading the fight against the virus reported yesterday.

"New figures released by Unaids and the World Health Organisation before World Aids Day on Monday show that the global advance of the condition is continuing unabated, with 5m new infections and 3m deaths this year, up from 2.8m deaths in 2002.

"An estimated 40m people around the world are now living with HIV or Aids, including 2.5m children below 15, and one in five adults in southern Africa is HIV-positive."

Continue here
Donate to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria here

*Ø* Blogmanac | Saddam Dolls Seized!!

"Customs officials in Israel have seized a lorry-load of inciteful material.

"No, it is not a controversial book about Arab-Israeli relations.

"It is 450 Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden dolls.

"And they dance.

"They were seized from an Arab-Israeli businessman in the Northern port of Haifa. He said he wanted to sell them to both Arab and Jews as a 'gimmick'.

"A spokesman for Customs said: 'The law doesn't exactly say that you cannot own a bin Laden doll, but neither he nor Saddam Hussein are exactly good educational role models'."


*Ø* Blogmanac | "Monstrous US justice" -- Law Lord

The Telegraph
26 November

"One of Britain's most senior judges condemned the American courts last night for a 'monstrous failure of justice' by refusing to rule on the claims of Taliban suspects held without trial at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba.

"Lord Steyn, a serving law lord, said the United States was acting illegally by holding the men without trial since their transfer from Afghanistan early last year.

"'By denying the prisoners the right to raise challenges in a court about their alleged status and treatment, the United States government is in breach of the minimum standards of customary international law,' he said.

"Giving the annual F A Mann lecture arranged by the law firm Herbert Smith in London last night, Lord Steyn accused the world's most powerful democracy of 'detaining hundreds of suspected foot soldiers of the Taliban in a legal black hole at the United States naval base at Guantanamo Bay, where they await trial on capital charges by military tribunals'.

But these tribunals, or 'commissions', were not independent courts, he said.

"The term 'kangaroo court' springs to mind."

Continue here

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac | The Blocking of Africa

"The Congo, and countries around lake Albert in Africa have become synonymous with butchery, vile deeds, corruption and the curse that valuable resources bring when there is no strong democracy or rule of law. Now, add oil into the mix. It’s too easy to say oil will be merely another story of lawless rebels being exploited in an inevitable spiral of death, dollars and destruction ...

"Oil industry conferences are gushing freely in almost every continent, and African oil is now a regular item. Last month in Capetown, one session actually had as a theme-‘Oil Wars in Africa’. Then there was the Oil and Money Conference in London in Early November. And in the last week there have been another two conferences in Texas.

"America wants to wean itself off reliance on Middle East oil, and make sure there is plenty around elsewhere for the future ..."
Source: Background Briefing

America's SUVs are driving some bad foreign policy decisions [so are Australia's]

*Ø* Blogmanac November 26 | Eid Mubarak! to our Muslim readers

Go grab a big hamburger with the lot! You've earned it

Today in the Book of Days

Today (Eid, or 'Id) is one of the most important days in the Islamic calendar, and commences with the first sighting of the first New Moon following Ramadan. When the Ramadan fast ends (the first day of the month of Shawwal) it is celebrated for three days in a holiday called Id-al-Fitr (the Feast of Fast Breaking). Gifts are exchanged; friends and family gather to pray in congregation and for large meals. In some cities fairs are held to celebrate the end of the Fast of Ramadan. This Id is known as Seker Bayram in Turkish, and Hari Raya Puasa in South East Asia. More

Send a free e-card to someone for Eid today because even that nice Mr Bush has done it.

There's much more in today's page of the Book of Days. Like this:

Late November, the Bogong Moth Dreaming, Australia

North-East and Upper Murray River region of Victoria

Late November six aboriginal clans meet at Mungabareena (‘the gathering place’), a reserve on the NSW side of the river just east of Albury.


Archaeologist Howard Carter and the Earl of Carnarvon peeked through a hole in the door of Tutankhamun's tomb and became the first modern people to see the treasures.

(Read on at November 26)

*Ø* Blogmanac | Free: Australian wildlife calendars

I have two Australian wildlife calendars that I will airmail next Monday to the 7th and 17th persons who write to me and tell me that they have invited two friends to subscribe to Wilson's Almanac from the subscription box in the right-hand column on this page.

I have an Aussie bird calendar for the 27th person who writes to me. My email addy is in the left-hand column here.

Put CALENDAR in the subject header of your email to me and I will contact the winners for their postal address.

No need to give me your friends' names or anything else. Let's do it on trust.

Have fun!

Seen at
The Armchair Acitivist
Get free graphics and free content for your website

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac November 25 | Feast day of St Catherine of Alexandria

(Sweet butter-bur, Tussilago fragrans is today's plant, dedicated to this saint)

She was a virgin (nun) and martyr of noble birth in Alexandria who defended the Christian faith against ‘heathen’ philosophers (c. 310 CE) commanded by Emperor Maximinus.

When Maximinus began his persecutions, the 18-year-old and very beautiful Catherine went to the emperor and rebuked him for his tyranny as he stood in the middle of a pagan temple. Unable to answer her arguments, he called in fifty philosophers to confront her. After they admitted that they were convinced by her arguments, the furious emperor sentenced them to be burned ...

From the wheel on which she was tortured and killed comes the circular window design in stained glass in medieval ecclesiastical architecture, termed a Catherine-wheel window or wheel window, and also the firework, the Catherine wheel.

There is quite a lot of folklore associated with Catherine and this day, and some info on the Hindu goddess Kali, with whom she has been compared. Check out November 25 in the Wilson's Almanac Book of Days where there is plenty more, on John Lennon, Homeland Insecurity, Celtic Tree Calendar Months, crazy temperance lady Carry A Nation, Australian Aboriginal Legend of the Great Flood and much more.

*Ø* Blogmanac November 24, 1876 | Canberra's bent designer

1876 Walter Burley Griffin, anthroposophist architect who designed Canberra, Australia’s national capital.

Rivalry between Sydney and Melbourne, Australia’s two largest cities, has always been so great, in the early 20th Century it was decided that a capital city should be founded somewhere between the two, despite the huge distances involved and the complete lack of any other reason for founding a city in the ‘middle of nowhere’. The city thus founded is 248 km from Sydney and 483 km from Melbourne.

As it was being established in the middle of sheep country (appropriately), the new capital city of Australia was named ‘Canberra’. Names flippantly suggested for the artificial city included Kangaremu, Australific, Meladneyperbane (combined names of capital cities Melbourne, Adelaide, Sydney, Perth and Brisbane). The final choice was kept a secret and announced by Lady Denman, wife of the Governor-General, when foundation stones were laid on Capital Hill, at noon on March 12, 1913. The name probably means "meeting place" in an Aboriginal language.

The city of Canberra was designed by this American anthroposophist, who placed esoteric symbols in the unusual layout of the city’s roads, public spaces and suburbs. Similar occult symbology is to be found in other examples of his work such as a large incinerator built at the Sydney suburb of Sydney.

It is widely alleged that the best thing ever to come out of Canberra is the Federal Highway.

Monday, November 24, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac November 24, 1963 | Patsy Day?

It isn't right to put me in line with these teenagers ... You know what you are doing, and you are trying to railroad me ... I want my lawyer ... You are doing me an injustice by putting me out there dressed different than these other men ... I am out there, the only one with a bruise on his head ... I don t believe the lineup is fair, and I desire to put on a jacket similar to those worn by some of the other individuals in the lineup ... All of you have a shirt on, and I have a T-shirt on. I want a shirt or something ... This T-shirt is unfair.
Lee Harvey Oswald at a police lineup for Helen Markham, witness to the Tippit murder

At noon, on a street in Dallas, the president of the United States is assassinated. He is hardly dead when the official version is broadcast. In that version, which will be the definitive one, Lee Harvey Oswald alone has killed John Kennedy.
The weapon does not coincide with the bullet, nor the bullet with the holes. The accused does not coincide with the accusation: Oswald is an exceptionally bad shot of mediocre physique, but according to the official version, his acts were those of a champion marksman and Olympic sprinter. He has fired an old rifle with impossible speed and his magic bullet, turning and twisting acrobatically to penetrate Kennedy and John Connally, the governor of Texas, remains miraculously intact.
Oswald strenuously denies it. But no one knows, no one will ever know what he has to say. Two days later he collapses before the television cameras, the whole world witness to the spectacle, his mouth shut by Jack Ruby, a two-bit gangster and minor trafficker in women and drugs. Ruby says he has avenged Kennedy out of patriotism and pity for the poor widow.

Galeano, Eduardo, Memory of Fire: III ‘Century of the Wind’. Part Three of a Trilogy, translated by Cedric Belfrage, Pantheon Books, 1988, p. 183

Lee Harvey Oswald's murder on this day in 1963 is one of many items in the Wilson's Almanac Book of Days entry for November 24

*Ø* Blogmanac | Keep Your Eye on the Prize!

The Whole World (except America) is Watching

While all eyes of the legitimate news sources in the world were trained on the protests against Bush in England (which were quite something, by the way!) and Dubya's antics among the royals, when they weren't covering the deepening of the military actions in Iraq and Turkey and the mounting loss of life, Americans were treated to a blow by blow, minute by minute coverage of Michael Jackson's latest run-in with authorities instead of the latest news about the illegtimacy of the touch-screen voting machines AND the illegitimacy of the Iraq massacre and occupation(thanks, DUG)--to say nothing of the expansion of the Patriot Act is moving through Congress.

We watched Michael's stunned reaction to the arrest warrant--it just "happened" to be served after two days of searching his ranch which began ON THE DAY (There are NO accidents!) that his latest CD was released.

The flight back to California and the black Bronco drive were high theatre, as were the handcuffs--whose idea were those, I wonder? He obviously was not a flight risk, since he was turning himself in! Nor was he a danger to the law enforcement agents whose numbers and poundage could have squashed him like a fly.

Is there anyone who still doubts the White House control of the media and the small-minded audiences it satisfies? Does anyone doubt that there are no "free speech zones" within eyesight of the President and the cameras of the media in this, the land of the free and the home of the brave? Isn't it obvious now that mainstream media are prevented from airing any footage they might catch of the gigantic demonstrations being held here against the "leader of the free world?"

It's so depressing and frustrating that I'm tempted to say that America deserves the horror that's taking place here for simply acting as gossip hounds while its priorities go haywire.

WAKE UP, AMERICA! Even Michael Jackson would tell you that. And I'm sure even Laci Peterson would cry out from the grave that her husband's trial is not of national importance and that we should switch to Democracy Now! or our local Pacifica Station. What would our troops say if they knew how little we heard about what was really going on over there and how little their lives meant in this administration's grand scheme?

*Ø* Blogmanac | Winding the Iraq Deathwatch

League of Liberals New Weblog Showcase Nominee

Iraq = Death

It's becoming more and more clear that America's neo-conservative regime was so blinded by its dual lust for oil and expanded empire that, not only did they fabricate lies to justify the invasion of Iraq but they also didn't bother to plan for the occupation. Now, just like Afghanistan they have what they want, energy resources and a pliant puppet regime. The rest of the country descending into chaos? That's just fine. Soon enough the war will be "won", that is, when the American people stop paying attention and we've moved on to invade Iran or Syria.

Anarchy Xero: Anarchy Xero explains it all

Sunday, November 23, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac November 23 | St Clement and the god Wayland

Feast day of St Clement (Pope Clement I, or Clement of Rome)
St Clement, the fourth pope of the Roman Catholic Church, the first of the successors of the Apostle St Peter about whom anything definite is known, and the first of the ‘Apostolic Fathers’, is the patron saint of tanners, as, by tradition, he was one himself. His symbol is an anchor, as he was thrown into the sea tied to an anchor. He is also patron of boatmen, marble workers, mariners, sailors, sick children, stonecutters and watermen.

He is mentioned by St Paul in Philippians, iv, 3. After Clement, or Old Clem as he was known to English blacksmiths, was martyred, two of his disciples prayed to find his remains: the sea retreated for 3 miles, and they could walk to where an angel-built chapel was, with St Clement's remains in a chest of stone, by the anchor. Every year the sea did so, on St Clement's day and remained dry for seven days.

Children in pre-Reformation England went in procession on this day, and at night, adults went out to beg a drink. Hence this day was marked with a pot on old ‘clog almanacs'.

St Clement is also patron of blacksmiths. The November 22 Almanac looked at St Clement’s Eve activities amongst that trade. At the annual blacksmiths’ feast held at Burwash, Sussex, St Clement was said to stand protectively above the tavern door.

Old Clem and Wayland the Smith
St Clement’s day marks the first day of Winter in the Julian (OS) calendar. According to Pennick (Pennick, Nigel, The Pagan Book of Days, Destiny Books, Rochester, Vermont, USA, 1992, p. 129), as patron of blacksmiths and metalworkers, Clement is an aspect of the Saxon and Norse godling Wayland the Smith, Völundr, the smith of the gods, who was the son of the giant sailor Wate and of a mermaid. Swords made by Wayland are regular properties of medieval romance. King Rhydderich gave one to Merlin – King Arthur’s famous sword Excalibur. Rimenhild made a similar gift to Child Horn.

In the Dietrich cycle of sagas, Völundr’s brother Egill was compelled to prove his skill as an archer by shooting an apple off the head of his three-year-old son; he is thus the prototype of William Tell.

The earliest known record of the Wayland legend is the representation in carved ivory on a casket made by Northumbrian craftsmen not later than the beginning of the 8th century. English local tradition has it that Wayland Smith’s forge is in a cave close to the famous White Horse of Uffington, Berkshire, UK. If a horse that needs to be shod, or any broken tool were left with sixpence at the entrance of the cave the repairs would quickly be done.

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*Ø* Blogmanac | "Harry Grable" from the Beatles

If you're an old Beatles fan (or even a new one), and have Kazaa, you'll dig the download I just found. At only 15 megs, the compilation of early-1960s Beatles Xmas message records (released only to fan clubs) is heaps of fun and surprisingly long. I just typed in Beatles Xmas. Takes me back, as I heard some of them way back then. Aaahh.

Happy Grimble, everydobby peegle!

*Ø* Blogmanac | Fabulous creatures

Although my server is playing up this weekend (hence as I write, some of the pix on the Blogmanac aren't showing, I'm sorry), I am still able to work online with everything except the Scriptorium.

I'm constantly amazed by the Internet, as I am constantly dismayed by Western culture. I was searching Yahoo! Groups' Fabulous Creatures category, hoping to find a good list I could join to trawl for more information about creatures of fable such as basilisks (pictured), unicorns and sphinxes, when I found that this category's top-ranking Yahoo! Group is, the FabulousBody:MoniqueDesireeTaitague group, described as:

Monique Desiree Taitague Body Appreciation Forum:Sexiest Creation in the World!! God's Gift to the World Monique Desiree Taitague.No plastic surgery!!! 36DD breasts and 18 inch waistline.The Sweetheart from Vallejo,California.


Perhaps she is a succubus.

That group has got 8,616 members since November 2, 2002. Wilson's Almanac at Yahoo! Groups has got about 2,550 if you include bouncers, since January 1, 2001. Maybe I should get more large breasts into the Almy, or lose the dragons. Let me know.

I note that there are 552 groups for this fabulous creature, Ms Taitague.

Worst of all, that group didn't have a picture to show so I am completely in the dark. Damn and double damn!

Still and all, out of 1,285 e-lists in our category, the Almy is the fourth largest. We must be doing something right.

*Ø* Blogmanac | And the mark of the Beast is . . . .

Implantable Spy Chip Gets Green Light from U.S.
By Tim McDonald
NewsFactor Network

The company said the VeriChip could be combined
with a global positioning system and used for
security purposes by potential kidnap victims.

[Do I hear a collective "Yeah, right!"? -v]

Originally used to protect pets, the Verichip can be programmed to contain medical information and can be used to track political dissidents--or whomever might be a "person of interest" to the Bush Administration.

For More Orwellian horror, read on.

Thanks, Dave!

*Ø* Blogmanac November 22 | St Clement folklore

Eve of St Clement (Pope Clement I, or Clement of Rome)

Today is the Eve of St Clement's day, November 23. Clement is the patron of blacksmiths. On this eve in England the tradesmen gathered and one of the senior apprentices was chosen as ‘Old Clem'. He would be dressed in a greatcoat, his head covered in a wig, and his face masked with a long white beard.

Old Clem sat in a large wooden chair, with a crown and anchor made of wood on top, and four transparencies around it representing ‘the blacksmiths' arms’, ‘anchor smiths at work’, ‘Britannia with her anchor’ and ‘Mt Etna’. Clem also had a wooden anvil. The other smiths would bear sledge hammers, battle axes, tomahawks, and so on, and they formed a procession around town, ending with what in Australia we call a pub crawl.

One of the smiths called for attention to St Clem's speech with:

Gentlemen all, attention give,
And wish St Clem, long, long to live.

St Clem then recited a speech describing himself as the first founder of brass, iron and steel. They all sang the song :

Come all you Vulcans stout and strong,
Unto St Clem we do belong.
I know this house is well prepared
With plenty of money and good strong beer,
And we must drink before we part,
All for to cheer each merry heart.
Come all you Vulcans, strong and stout,
Unto St Clem I pray turn out;
For now St Clem's going round the town,
His coach and six goes merrily round.

*Ø* Blogmanac | Lincoln-Kennedy coincidences

You’ve seen it before, but let’s give it another run around the block

Abraham Lincoln was elected to Congress in 1846.
John F Kennedy was elected to Congress in 1946.

Abraham Lincoln was elected President in 1860.
John F Kennedy was elected President in 1960.

The names Lincoln and Kennedy each contain seven letters.

Both were particularly concerned with civil rights.

Both wives lost a child while living in the White House.

Both Presidents were shot on a Friday.

Both Presidents were shot in the head.

Lincoln's secretary was named Kennedy.
Kennedy's secretary was named Lincoln.

Both were assassinated by Southerners.

Both were succeeded by Southerners named Johnson.

Andrew Johnson, who succeeded Lincoln, was born in 1808.
Lyndon Johnson, who succeeded Kennedy, was born in 1908.

John Wilkes Booth, who assassinated Lincoln, was born in 1839.
Lee Harvey Oswald, who assassinated Kennedy, was born in 1939.

Both assassins were known by their three names.

Both names are composed of fifteen letters.

Lincoln was shot at the theater named 'Kennedy.' Kennedy was shot in a car called 'Lincoln.' Booth ran from the theater and was caught in a warehouse.
Oswald ran from a warehouse and was caught in a theater.

Booth and Oswald were assassinated before their trials.

A week before Lincoln was shot, he was in Monroe, Maryland.
A week before Kennedy was shot, he was in Marilyn Monroe.

Are the ‘Lincoln-Kennedy coincidences’ real? No, says Snopes

Friday, November 21, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac November 21, 1953 | Fifty years ago today

Click for our hoaxes and frauds pages-in-progress

1953 Whodunnit? The Piltdown Man was revealed as fake.

*Ø* Blogmanac | Exciting news from the Wilson's Almanac freezine

Proudly presenting our fun new project, the Book of Days

Wilson's Almanac Book of Days

Very soon, I'll be making big changes to
the illustrated Wilson's Almanac free daily ezine.

Progressive *Ø* Green *Ø* Spiritual *Ø* Historical *Ø* Fun

The Almy is about to change. I will still send out the ezine every day of the year, and more than 2,550 daily readers worldwide will still get what they get today: many reasons and many ways to celebrate each day. That's congruent with the Almanac philosophy that "every day is a red-letter day", and our motto, "Carpe diem!" – Seize the day!

The difference will be that the ezine will contain headlines of the pick of the day's stories, with a link to a webpage at our exciting new project, the Wilson's Almanac Book of Days.

There will be much more info on that day's page than I could ever fit into an ezine, so Almaniacs will get a much better deal. The ezine will be lighter and faster to download, so there's another reason to take this path. The third big gain for our readers will be that the online resource will be permanent, which is better than the fleeting nature of an ezine.

The big benefit to your almanackist will be that it takes only as much time to make a webpage as it does to make an illustrated ezine, and I'll have the resource last online rather than vaporize each day. I'll do half as much work for twice the outcome, so I can work on two books I'm writing. One book is Almanac-style material, and the other is more philosophical and activism-oriented.

What will Wilson's Almanac Book of Days come to look like?
At the Book of Days, over time, there will be 366 pages – maybe the biggest database of On This Day material of this kind. If you want to get an idea what it will be like, it'll be exactly like this page already at the Scriptorium, only different, crossed with this and a touch of this, and a little bit like this. It'll definitely have a touch of this with a dash of this, stirred with a dash of this, seasoned with a touch of this ... and of course, you can always expect the Almy to have a flavour of this , this and this.

Women will be pleased that, like the old Almanac, there will still be plenty of things like this.

Like my favourite Daily Bleed, the Wilson's Almanac Book of Days will have a wealth of progressive data, with an emphasis on peace and activism. We will also have the emphasis on how each day is celebrated by the world's peoples – just like in the current Almy. And each year, it will keep getting bigger and better. I have a database of more than 2 million words complied over more than a quarter of a century, and I'll love sharing it each day.

Get ready for our unique Wilson's Almanac Book of Days: folklore, celebrations, peace, environment, activism, ideas, alternatives, Nature-oriented spirituality, historical oddities and much, much more. If you are not already a subscriber, why not take out a sub in our right-hand column of the Blogmanac, and I promise you'll get a cornucopia of info and entertainment each day for free.

Many thanks to Blogmanac team member Nora Ui Dhuibhir of Ireland who has made this possible. Because I'm a compulsive and incorrigible scrivener who keeps churning out pages, my site is crammed to overflowing and the ISP is screaming for $400 back payments (help welcome!). Nora, always a practical supporter of our project, has made available 50 megabytes of her bluefudge domain available for hosting images. Thanks, pardner!

*Ø* Blogmanac | Quick off the mark at Betty Bowers

Wish I'd thought of it.

Highly recommended
*Ø* Blogmanac | Bush and Blair at it again

From Baghdad Burning: Girl Blog from Iraq
[permanently linked in our right-hand column]

"11/19/03: They've been bombing houses in Tikrit and other areas! Unbelievable … I'm so angry it makes me want to break something!!!! What the hell is going on?! What do the Americans think Tikrit is?! Some sort of city of monsters or beasts? The people there are simple people. Most of them make a living off of their land and their livestock- the rest are teachers, professors and merchants- they have lives and families… Tikrit is nothing more than a bunch of low buildings and a palace that was as inaccessible to the Tikritis as it was to everyone else!

"People in Al Awja suffered as much as anyone, if not more- they weren't all related to Saddam and even those who were, suffered under his direct relatives. Granted, his bodyguards and others close to him were from Tikrit, but they aren't currently in Tikrit- the majority have struck up deals with the CPA and are bargaining for their safety and the safety of their families with information. The people currently in Tikrit are just ordinary people whose homes and children are as precious to them as American homes and children are precious to Americans! This is contemptible and everyone thinks so- Sunnis and Shi'a alike are shaking their heads incredulously."

Courtesy Blogmanac team member Jeannine; article found at who do a great job keeping us up to date.

*Ø* Blogmanac | Perle admits invasion of Iraq illegal

"International lawyers and anti-war campaigners reacted with astonishment yesterday after the influential Pentagon hawk Richard Perle conceded that the invasion of Iraq had been illegal.

"In a startling break with the official White House and Downing Street lines, Mr Perle told an audience in London: 'I think in this case international law stood in the way of doing the right thing.'

"President George Bush has consistently argued that the war was legal either because of existing UN security council resolutions on Iraq – also the British government's publicly stated view – or as an act of self-defence permitted by international law ..."
Source: The Guardian

Uri Geller, interviewed about Michael Jackson, on A Current Affair [Australia] last night:

"I have only three words to say to Michael (Jackson):

"Grow up!"

[Thanx, Baz le Tuff]

Highly recommended
*Ø* Blogmanac | How rich or poor are you? has the answers in a clever bit of scripting that shows just how rich we are.

I live just a few bucks above the official Australian poverty line, but this website lets me know how lucky I am:

"You are in the top 13.9% richest people in the world.

"There are 5,165,485,122 people poorer than you."

Food for thought: there is poverty, and there is abject poverty. Have a go.

*Ø* Blogmanac | ACT Health Minister backs synthetic heroin trial

"The ACT [Australian Capital Territory] Health Minister will today urge other states and territories to back a national prescription trial of a synthetic form of heroin, known as hydromorphone.

"Simon Corbell will call on his state and territory counterparts at a ministerial drug council meeting to back the trial as an alternative treatment for heroin addicts ..."

Let's hope people listen to Mr Corbell, although it makes much more sense to use heroin rather than hydromorphone.

Currently in Australia, and most countries, I believe, the best medical treatment available for people dependent on Bayer Pharmaceuticals' great product, heroin, is methadone. "Liquid handcuffs", as it's known here (aka 'done', rhymes with phone) is a terrible solution which leaves addicts at the mercy of the state as it is far harder to withdraw from than smack.

It's past time that Australians viewed addiction as a medical problem, not a character flaw. Prescription heroin could clear our prisons of 80-90% of inmates, and maybe people in our cities could go back to not locking their cars and houses – as it was 25 years ago before George Bush Senior's CIA, the Mafia and US-backed Middle Eastern warlords started flooding the world with junk. [As is well documented by people such as Alfred McCoy in his seminal work, (The Politics of Heroin), warlords trade heroin to pay to Western armaments salesmen.

*Ø* Blogmanac | Habib's wife confronts Howard on radio

"The wife of one of the Australian men being held at Guantanmo Bay in Cuba has used talkback radio to confront Prime Minister John Howard this morning.

"Maha Habib rang Southern Cross Radio in Melbourne to ask Mr Howard what he was doing to support her husband Mamdouh, who has been held by the United States without charge for more than two years ..."

I heard a tape of the interview. Howard said that Habib had been captured as an enemy combatant. When Mrs Habib asked the PM if he knew that her husband had been taken by the Americans before the war even began, "Honest John" Howard started prevaricating and the radio jock quickly cut her off.

*Ø* Blogmanac | How many were at the British demo?

Bush protest in London biggest in years

"Massive demonstrations have taken place in and around Trafalgar Square in London. Indymedia reporters on the scene estimate 250,000 - 300,000 people were in attendance for the toppling of a George Bush statue at 17:22 GMT. Estimates of today's attendance range from the Metropolitan Police's official estimate of 70,000 to the Stop the War Coalition estimate of 300,000. Today's event looks to be the biggest weekday demonstration of recent years." Source

Some funny placards

Hundreds of Thousands of Protesters Decry Bush Visit in Week of Resistance
Cardiff City Centre Closed in Anti Bush Protest
Bush burns as North East prepares a hot reception for him in Sedgefield - photos
Bush statue toppling, flag burning in Swindon - good photo

Touring Buckingham Palace's collection of jewelled Faberge eggs, US first lady Laura Bush told reporters she had barely noticed the opposition to her husband's state visit to Britain.

Amnesty International protestors demonstrating near Downing Street, London,
over conditions for the so-called "enemy combatants" at the U.S. military
detention centre in Guantanamo Bay, during Tony Blair's meeting with George W.
Bush on Thursday

The detainees at Guantanamo are in legal limbo, as the U.S. government has refused to afford them individual hearings to determine their status, as required by the Third Geneva Convention - N

*Ø* Blogmanac | Thousands march against Bush

By Janet McBride and Kate Holton

LONDON (Reuters) - "Around 100,000 protesters have marched through London and torn down a mock statue of visiting U.S. president George W. Bush, many of them convinced his policies were to blame for anti-British bombs in Turkey.

"Demonstrators of all ages beat drums and blew whistles along a three-mile route that took them past parliament and the end of Downing Street, where crowds paused to jeer towards Prime Minister Tony Blair's office.

"When they reached Trafalgar Square, protesters felled a six-metre (20-foot) papier mache statue of Bush in a parody of the toppling of a statue of Saddam Hussein when U.S. and British troops swept into Baghdad. In its top pocket was a puppet with a grinning Blair face."

Full text

Thursday, November 20, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac November 20, 1752| The death of Chatterton

Boy genius poet and forger

Thomas Chatterton, the English poet, was born on November 20, 1752 and produced all his work by the age of only 17, when he committed suicide in 1770 ...

It was only after Chatterton's death that the controversy over his work began. Poems supposed to have been written at Bristol by Thomas Rowley and others, in the Fifteenth Century (1777) was edited by Thomas Tyrwhitt, a Chaucerian scholar who believed them to be genuine medieval works. However, the appendix to the following year's edition recognises that they were probably Chatterton's own work ...

The boy poet/forger was not without his supporters. Shelley commemorated Chatterton’s genius in Adonais, and Wordsworth in Resolution and Independence. Coleridge wrote A Monody on the Death of Chatterton, and Dante Gabriel Rossetti lauded him in Five English Poets. John Keats inscribed Endymion “to the memory of Thomas Chatterton”. Alfred de Vigny's drama of Chatterton invented a fictitious account of the poet

Excerpted from a new article I posted recently at the Scriptorium

*Ø* Blogmanac November | Bush not welcome

"Several hundred demonstrators gathered at the front gates of Buckingham Palace yesterday to jeer US President George W Bush on the first full day of his state visit to Britain.

"The crowd was seen waving anti-Bush banners, flags and an effigy of Bush in a Texan cowboy hat.

"Bush is staying at the palace as the guest of Queen Elizabeth.

"Last night he tucked into chicken and cabbage to the sound of bagpipes and Broadway musicals at a lavish state dinner in his honour, hosted by the queen."

UK Indymedia | See the Poster That Almost Caused an Arrest

*Ø* Blogmanac November 20, 1908 | Happy birthday, Alistair Cooke

95 and still going strong; world record for broadcasting

1908 Alistair Cooke, English-born journalist and broadcaster. His Letter from America has been broadcast on BBC (British Broadcasting Commission) Radio every week since March 24, 1946, making it the longest-running speech broadcast program in the world. The 95-year-old Cooke’s Letter is still running at the time of writing, and is enjoyed most weeks by your almanackist as well as millions of others for its clarity, intelligence and good writing, if not always for the opinions expressed.

According to a CBS media release, on October 4, 1953, Omnibus, an American TV show hosted by Cooke, made its CBS debut. It won three Emmy awards throughout its CBS run in its category.

The show must go on
In his November 9, 2003 broadcast, Cooke revealed that in 57 years of Letter from America he has recorded the program 16 times while in hospital, but only ever missed one edition due to ill health. As reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on October 20, 2003:

“Veteran 94-year-old British-born presenter Alistair Cooke was unable to broadcast his Letter from America show this week after suffering a fall, the BBC said yesterday.”

Ever the trouper, Cooke’s only reference to his injuries in his next broadcast (October 27), lay his opening sentence: “Where were we when I was so smashingly interrupted?”

Veteran BBC broadcaster Cooke falls and misses show

Shop Alistair Cooke

Classic Letter: The death of Senator Kennedy, 1968
More on Cooke
Listen: 90th birthday tribute, November 20, 1998
Alistair Cooke: A Biography

*Ø* Blogmanac | Are you mad as hell and won’t take it any more?

I'm mad as hell and I won't take this any more! Peter Finch in 'Network', 1976Are you sick of TV and radio that is owned by mega-military corporations, just as NBC is owned by General Electric? Are you desperate to stay informed of world events from a non-commercial and global perspective? Do you want news and opinion that takes all the world’s nations into account, not just your own, and doesn’t have to give you infotainment according to trans-national corporations’ PR spin?

It seems impossible to achieve, but honestly, we have the link for you right here. Wilson’s Almanac strongly recommends the world’s most prestigious broadcaster, the ‘Beeb’, or BBC, as probably the best single online and radio/TV resource for trustworthy information, entertainment and opinion. It is, of course, Britain based, but no other country can boast such a global audience nor such a range of international (nor highly qualified) correspondents. It has unmatched global news, TV, radio, current affairs, science, Nature programs, society and culture and many other features in more than 40 languages. BBC World Service is indispensable to those who wish to keep abreast of world events and cultures. Another good way to stay up to date each day with the BBC plus an amazing 1,744 radio and TV stations free online, from dozens of countries, is Wilson’s Almanac's global media portal. There is a permalink to the portal in our left-hand column.

Today’s Pip’s Trip Tip: bookmark our portal for the BBC plus the whole world from the convenience of your computer, then promptly give your TV to the local charity store. Combine these with Indymedia’s 123 worldwide sites, and you’ll have the sharpest consciousness on your block.

*Ø* Blogmanac | A Right Royal Fiasco!

[The Mirror is thoroughly enjoying its security scoop! LOL - N]

By Ryan Parry, The Mirror
November 19

"For the past eight weeks, I have enjoyed unfettered access throughout Buckingham Palace as one of the Royal Family’s key aides. Had I been a terrorist intent on assassinating the Queen or President George Bush, I could have done so with absolute ease.

"Indeed, this morning I would have been serving breakfast to key members of his government, including National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice and US Secretary of State Colin Powell ...

[This is the bedroom George Bush and his wife slept in last night. But five days ago, as Britain and the US geared up for the biggest security operation at the Palace since World War Two, I was able to take this photograph.]

"It began last August when I applied for a job as a royal footman advertised on a recruitment page of the Buckingham Palace official website.

"I composed a CV –- leaving out details of my journalistic career –- with one real reference and one fake ...

Read the stories here and here

Wednesday, November 19, 2003

*Ø* Blogmanac | Charlie

1600 Charles I (November 19, 1600 - January 30, 1649) King of Scotland, England, and Ireland (March 27, 1625 - January 30, 1649), most notable for being the only British monarch to be overthrown and beheaded. He was the son and successor of James VI and I.

Young people today!

Patching and painting
As the illustration shows, ‘patching’ and painting of women’s faces was popular during the reign of Charles I, as it was in Louis XV’s France.

*Ø* Blogmanac November 19, 1875 | Happy birthday, Hiram Bingham!

Hiram Bingham (November 19, 1875 - 1956), American archaeologist and statesman; born in Honolulu. At Yale University (1907-28), he led expeditions that discovered the Inca cities of Viitcos and Machu Picchu. He was governor of Connecticut (1925) and US senator (1925-33)

“Machu Picchu (which means "manly peak") was most likely a royal estate and religious retreat. It was built between 1460 and 1470 AD by Pachacuti Inca Yupanqui, an Incan ruler. The city has an altitude of 8,000 feet, and is high above the Urubamba River canyon cloud forest, so it likely did not have any administrative, military or commercial use. After Pachacuti’s death, Machu Picchu became the property of his allus, or kinship group, which was responsible for it’s [sic] maintenance, administration, and any new construction.”

Bingham, Hiram, Lost City of the Incas

Andes music: midi files
Greed, gold and God Part 2: The Battle of Cajamarca
Another remarkable Hiram Bingham

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