Hello Cruel World
Sunday, May 25, 2003
Saturday, May 24, 2003


Review in salon.com by Thomas Wilson of "Strange Matters" by Tom Siegfried (Sept. 24, 2002)

From strange quark matter to multiple universes, visionaries predict the weird things science has yet to discover ...

Despite its limitations, "Strange Matters" is one of the most stimulating popular science works published in the last few years. Not only does Siegfried lead us through the tangled webs of science at the outer limits with an appealingly breezy manner, but the book is worth picking up just to revisit it 20 years from now to see which conjectures have proved to be prediscoveries and which have fizzled out over time. Until then, we can revel in all the exciting, unproven possibilities.
From the Endtime News Digest (END) - "A compilation of articles proving that we are indeed living in the 'Time of the End' "
[Looks like a Christian Apocalyptic site (Immanetizing the Escatcheon)]

countdown.org - Creation, Endtime, Got etc

Includes Martin Rees' discussing Just Six Numbers
(am looking for his New Scientist 3/5/03 article, The Final Countdown)

Within 20 years, scientific progress is likely to trigger an incident that kills at least a million people, says England's Astronomer Royal, Martin Rees. If the human race is to survive this century, it's time to make some difficult decisions about the future of science.
Friday, May 23, 2003
Thowing a heap of stuff from months of browsing on here in different entries. May be able to add some proper comments when I get time.

Here's another:

Earth and its moon from Mars

From NASA's Mars Explorer: images looking back to Earth, some show the disc of the planet. I wondered when I saw it on the TV news how they got the view that took in Jupiter. It says here they've put the two images together.
You can see the 'original' greyscale images here, the released ones had added colour - taken from colours seen in other space camera images.

Thursday, May 22, 2003
From Texas to Lincolnshire
Monday, 17 December, 2001, 03:51 GMT
He was known to many simply as "Odd Bob".
His behaviour raised concerns at one of the gun clubs he had joined

American living in UK accused of Texas band saw massacre
Vikram Dodd
Wednesday April 10, 2002

The Guardian

Double murder suspect dies in hospital


Extradition Fight Man Feared Being Killed in Jail, Inquest Told
By Vik Iyer, PA News
I doubt the recent newspaper claims (April 22) that the Robert Kleasen case inspired the film Texas Chainsaw Massacre (released 1974).
In October 1974, he allegedly shot two Mormons he knew, used a taxidermist's workshop bandsaw to cut up the remains & disposed of them in an animal rendering plant.
No bodies were found; no "chainsaw murder". The news of the murders may have helped publicity, but the film was made in 1973. Taxidermy was used in Psycho (1960).
Importantly, unlike Ed Gein (Wisconsin serial killer, cross-dresser, necrophile house-decorator and cannibal caught in 1957) there were no preserved body parts, no clothing or furniture made from them & no serial victims. Kleasen's whole story, however, is an extraordinary one, & worthy of many articles.


Monster in our midst
by Giles Whittell (The Times, January 28, 2002)

EVIL AMONG US - The Texas Mormon Missionary Murders (Ken Driggs, Signature Books)
[Lots of detail of the murder case. Don't know if it deals with further life.]

home.online.no/~janbruun/archives/2001_11_01_archive [An INACCURATE but useful summary.]
After 27 years on the loose, 69 year old Robert Kleasen has admitted to the chainsaw murders [NO] of Gary Daley (20) and Mark Fischer (19) in Travis County, Texas. The corpses were found [NO - NEVER FOUND] in october '74, and the case is rumoured to have inspired the movie "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre".[DOUBTFUL]
Another inspiration for that film, ... Ed Gein, has recently had a new movie made about his life. Steve Railsback (known for playing Charles Manson in the '74 tv movie "Helter Skelter") plays Ed.
Ed Geins life story also inspired the films Psycho ('60), Deranged ('74) and The Silence of the Lambs ('91).
www.geocities.com/evelynleeper/austral.htm Under Strange Skies
An Australian Travelogue by Evelyn C. Leeper
(c) 1999 Evelyn C. Leeper





"1935 will go down in History! For the first time, a civilized nation has full gun registration! Our streets will be safer, our police more efficient and the world will follow our lead to the future!" -- Adolf Hitler

"There is a road to freedom. Its milestones are Obedience, Endeavor, Honesty, Order, Cleanliness, Sobriety, Truthfulness, Sacrifice, and love of the Fatherland." -- Adolf Hitler

This may be a duplicate blog entry- must check

As You Like It
Act I. Scene III.

A Room in the Palace.

Cel. Why, cousin! why, Rosalind! Cupid have mercy! Not a word?
Ros. Not one to throw at a dog.
Cel. No, thy words are too precious to be cast away upon curs; throw some of them at me; come, lame me with reasons.

Shakespeare at bartleby.com

The Oxford Shakespeare

Edited by W. J. Craig

The 1914 Oxford edition of the Complete Works of William Shakespeare ranks among the most authoritative published this century. The 37 plays, 154 sonnets and miscellaneous verse constitute the literary cornerstone of Western civilization.

The Complete Works of William Shakespeare

  • All's Well That Ends Well
  • As You Like It
  • The Comedy of Errors
  • Cymbeline
  • Love's Labours Lost
  • Measure for Measure
  • The Merry Wives of Windsor
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • A Midsummer Night's Dream
  • Much Ado About Nothing
  • Pericles, Prince of Tyre
  • Taming of the Shrew
  • The Tempest
  • Troilus and Cressida
  • Twelfth Night
  • Two Gentlemen of Verona
  • Winter's Tale

  • Henry IV, part 1
  • Henry IV, part 2
  • Henry V
  • Henry VI, part 1
  • Henry VI, part 2
  • Henry VI, part 3
  • Henry VIII
  • King John
  • Richard II
  • Richard III

  • Antony and Cleopatra
  • Coriolanus
  • Hamlet
  • Julius Caesar
  • King Lear
  • Macbeth
  • Othello
  • Romeo and Juliet
  • Timon of Athens
  • Titus Andronicus

  • The Sonnets
  • A Lover's Complaint
  • The Rape of Lucrece
  • Venus and Adonis
  • Funeral

    The original electronic source for this server is the Complete Moby(tm) Shakespeare () , which is freely available online. The HTML versions of the plays provided here are placed in the public domain
    For other Shakespeare resources, visit the

    Mr. William Shakespeare and the Internet Web site.

    This site attempts two things:

    To be a complete annotated guide to the scholarly Shakespeare resources available on Internet. The navigation menu at left appears on each major page. Use it to access the resources indexed here. The "Other" Sites page is a definite exception to the term "scholarly." Our newest feature is a listing of Shakespeare Festivals.

    To present new Shakespeare material unavailable elsewhere on the Internet, such as

  • A Shakespeare Timeline, which gives the key events of Shakespeare's life and work along with related documentary evidence. There are several supporting pages to the timeline:
  • A Shakespeare genealogy. A chart showing the relevant family relationships and dates.
  • A Shakespeare Timeline Summary Chart, showing the events of Shakespeare's life in outline along with important contemporary events and publications.
  • A Shakespeare Biography Quiz. If you are brave enough, you may take the quiz before reading the timeline.

  • The Shakespeare Canon.
  • Rowe's Some Acount of the Life &c. of Mr. William Shakespear, prefaced to his 1709 edition of the Works.
  • Charles and Mary Lamb's Tales From Shakespeare.
  • The Prefatory materials from the First Folio.

    Political Writings of George Orwell


    I created this website in hopes of re-introducing Orwell to a wider readership, who may only know him through his most famous novel Nineteen Eighty Four. Seeing how frequently Orwell is quoted out of context in political discussions on the Internet -- often to support spurious arguments and political causes which he might have condemned in his own lifetime -- I hope to create a resource for political philosophers of all stripe... [snipped by MP]

    Orwell was 47 years old when he succumbed to tuberculosis in January 1950. Given the astuteness of his observations on the World War II era, can we even begin to imagine what books he might have written had he lived through the Fifties? What would he have said about the Cold War? Sputnik? Television? The JFK assassination? The Beatles? Vietnam, Watergate, the moon landing? Perhaps, had he lived past the year 1984 itself, might he have commented on the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union? Unfortunately we'll never know.

  • Politics and the English Language
  • Why I Write
  • Notes on Nationalism
  • The Prevention of Literature

    Newspaper Columns, Letters and Editorials 1943-1946
  • Revising History
    As I Please, 4 February 1944

  • No New Ideas?
    As I Please

  • Robot Bombs
    As I Please, 30 June 1944

  • Civilian Bombing
    As I Please, 14 July 1944

  • "My Country, Right or Wrong"
    As I Please, 24 December 1943

  • Atrocity Pictures
    As I Please, 8 September 1944

  • Hell
    As I Please, 14 April 1944

  • Conversation with a Pacifist
    As I Please

  • Wishful Thinking
    Partisan Review, Winter 1945

  • The Coming Age of Superpowers
    As I Please

  • Capitalism and Communism: Two Paths to Slavery

  • Ugly Leaders
    As I Please

  • War Guilt
    As I Please

  • Revenge is Sour
    9 November, 1945

    For questions or comments about this website please contact Patrick Farley at patrick at resortDOTcom. Please note: this e-mail address is for administrative issues only. For a discussion of Orwell's works please visit the Usenet group alt.books.george-orwell Thank you.

    Notes on Nationalism
    May, 1945
    It is upsetting to hear people denigrate all non-humanities disciplines, especially when they seem to assume that all non-humanities persons are either some kind of 'neo-liberal' econocrats or religious fundamentalists. I tried, but was unable to

    A Humanist's* Sojourn Among Scientists
    If academe is like a village, it's a voluntarily segregated community. Most residents stay in their disciplinary neighborhoods and work where the surroundings are comfortable and familiar. Recently, however, I left my humanities neighborhood for an unlikely destination: A foray into journalism took me to the community of condensed-matter physics. I needed to talk to laboratory scientists ...
    So imagine my surprise at how easy my interview subjects made it for me. Just about everybody I called took time to talk to me at length. Interview subjects ranging from assistant professors to Nobel Prize winners were shockingly courteous as I peered into an embarrassing event in their field.
    ... But these physicists were more than helpful. They were downright friendly. They often had to stop to explain concepts that were elementary to them, but obscure to me. Though they were talking down to me, they made generous efforts to make it look like they weren't. I attribute that good feeling not to my own charms or journalistic skill, but rather to a sense of genuine collegiality toward a stranger in town ...
    [There's more, which I found confirmed my impression that many scientists are at least as interesting & often better people to know & talk to than the average economist, arts graduate, etc.]
    *By 'humanist' he seems to mean 'person working within humanities disciplines', whereas I remember an older version which encompassed all manner of people by their beliefs & philosophies without including their jobs, viz:
    Humanist: One who is concerned with the interests and welfare of humans.
    Humanism: A system of thought that centres on humans and their values, capacities, and worth. Concern with the interests, needs, and welfare of humans. A cultural and intellectual movement of the Renaissance that emphasized secular concerns.
    a href="http://users.nurgle.net/~leo/sigfodder"> users.nurgle.net/~leo/sigfodder

    The steady state of disks is full.




    "The truth is in the hands of the few and not the masses..."
    Yes, 1.2 billion Chinese CAN be wrong!
    ...or so sayeth Mr. Zy@aol.com
    Not that the protesters at Tienanmen necessarily spoke for all of China...
    but the argument speaks for itself.
    Freedom FROM government
    Freedom TO OBEY government


    Message 287 was left by Gregory Koster on 2002-05-14 11:20:56. Feedback: 0/0
    Message 285 was left by FrankWu on 2002-05-11 21:12:18. Feedback: 0/0
    About fifteen, maybe twenty years ago I read a play (though the play was possibly from the fifties or sixties) about an actor or actress who had played so many roles in succession that he/she didn't know who he/she was anymore. I think it began with the line, "Who am I today?"

    Anybody have any idea what play this is?
    For Frank: I am filled with ire, wrath, fury, rage, snipishness, and gloom. I bellow. I yell. I kick the bookcases. All my effort has resulted in precisely nothing. As has been said, it is out there. Somewhere. Just not where I can see it.

    Over to someone else.

    Best regards,
    Gregory Koster



    Message 287 was left by Gregory Koster on 2002-05-14 11:20:56. Feedback: 0/0
    Message 285 was left by FrankWu on 2002-05-11 21:12:18. Feedback: 0/0
    About fifteen, maybe twenty years ago I read a play (though the play was possibly from the fifties or sixties) about an actor or actress who had played so many roles in succession that he/she didn't know who he/she was anymore. I think it began with the line, "Who am I today?"

    Anybody have any idea what play this is?
    For Frank: I am filled with ire, wrath, fury, rage, snipishness, and gloom. I bellow. I yell. I kick the bookcases. All my effort has resulted in precisely nothing. As has been said, it is out there. Somewhere. Just not where I can see it.

    Over to someone else.

    Best regards,
    Gregory Koster



    Message 287 was left by Gregory Koster on 2002-05-14 11:20:56. Feedback: 0/0
    Message 285 was left by FrankWu on 2002-05-11 21:12:18. Feedback: 0/0
    About fifteen, maybe twenty years ago I read a play (though the play was possibly from the fifties or sixties) about an actor or actress who had played so many roles in succession that he/she didn't know who he/she was anymore. I think it began with the line, "Who am I today?"

    Anybody have any idea what play this is?
    For Frank: I am filled with ire, wrath, fury, rage, snipishness, and gloom. I bellow. I yell. I kick the bookcases. All my effort has resulted in precisely nothing. As has been said, it is out there. Somewhere. Just not where I can see it.

    Over to someone else.

    Best regards,
    Gregory Koster


    Map Links




    http://members.aol.com/bowermanb/101.html (Geography World)








    maps.yahoo.com/py/maps.py (NB: USA & Canada only)






    Email: cottagegate@bigpond.com
    Web: giveanaussieago.com.au/sites/Cottagegate.html

    Checking a quote (Oderint dum metuant - "Let them hate me, as long as they fear me" attr Gaius Claudius Caesar Germanicus (or his horse, Incitatus) at
    www.gmu.edu/departments/fld/CLASSICS/suet.cal.html#30), found this site:
    which has a lot of original latin texts & other 'serious' things, related pictures, and also:
    www.thelatinlibrary.com/classics, under "Latin Resources", things like The News in Latin & The Weather in Latin

    (It was originally at http://patriot.net/~lillard/cp/latlib.html , but now has its own place.)

    Other happenings of deep import to the general public are dealt with at:
    and nearby.

    Mona Lisa


    These are some animations & images



    and an essay on purple ...


    Rat House site
    www.ratical.org/co-globalize [ermm?]

    Noam Chomsky @ Rat House

    Marrison Technology Information Centre

    Er... you probably wouldn't be interested in this one.

    Number 27 Conspiracy




    see here, octanecreative.com/ducttape/walltapings (probably don't try this at home, or most other places)

    For Karl



    (and lots of other stuff on the site as a whole)

    Old things in Paris:
    and in Italy (in Italian)

    www.geocities.com/Athens/3680/carols02.htm#The Coventry Carol


    SONNETS by Christina Georgina Rossetti

    The Housewife's Lament

    unusual music (incl T Lehrer)


    The Remains Of Tom Lehrer
    Rhino Records, May 23, 2000
    Three-CD box set coming soon from Rhino. It will include in their entirety: Songs By Tom Lehrer (original version), More Of Tom Lehrer, Tom Lehrer Revisited (British version), An Evening Wasted With Tom Lehrer, and That Was The Year That Was. It will also include "O-U (The Hound Song)" and "S-N (Snore, Sniff and Sneeze)" from "The Electric Company", "That's Mathematics", plus newly-recorded versions of "N Apostrophe T", "Selling Out," "(I'm Spending) Hanukkah in Santa Monica", and "Trees".

    Tom Kilburn, scientist behind stored-program computer, dies

    Source: SMH|Published: Friday January 19, 1:40 PM
    A computing pioneer who helped build the world's first stored-program computer has died.
    Tom Kilburn, who was 79, died on Wednesday in Manchester after a long illness but the cause of his death has not been revealed.
    Kilburn and a colleague at Manchester University began experimenting with storing data on cathode-ray tubes after World War II.
    In June 1948, they successfully tested the first computer capable of storing a program.
    Kilburn stayed at Manchester University until his retirement in 1981.
    He established the university's computer science department in 1964 -- the first at a British university.
    A modest Kilburn confessed at anniversary celebrations for his 1948 invention that he didn't even own a computer.

    Alas, this site seems to no longer be extant.
    John Herron's stolen children game
    The John Howard Shooting Gallery
    The Crucifixion Game

    You can read about it at
    and there is a Pandora (National Library of Australia) archive at








    QM100 + Times Specials + space

    You might like the history here . . .

    ...and other possible assorted interesting things

    ... or, to get your mind off things ...


    From Margo Kingston's Webdiary, February 13 2003

    Democracy, quality of life and the rule of law
    by Tamsin Clarke, Sydney

    Tamsin has been a corporate and trusts lawyer for more than 20 years, and is a PhD student at NSW writing about developing an Australian jurisprudence of free speech consistent with racial vilification legislation - ie which looks to European concepts of human dignity and the right to be free from racist speech rather than United States First Amendment concepts of absolute free speech and the 'market of ideas'. She has written a few academic articles on these issues.

    Environment-linked links from Sydney Morning Herald



    Company sweeteners stir up bitter coffee war
    By Anthony Dennis
    May 10 2003
    By Deborah Smith, Science Writer
    May 10 2003
    Two young men from Sydney and Canberra have become the first Australians with hemophilia to undergo gene therapy in a trial of this revolutionary approach to curing genetic diseases.
    suicide statistics
    The defining moment of weirdness in the story of the Pana Wave Laboratory, the white-clad doomsday cult roaming the mountains of central Japan, arguably came this week, when the group's guru gave a rare interview ... The rescue of Tama-chan would save the world from destruction on May 15 - next Thursday. (Tama-chan is a bearded seal normally found in Arctic waters. It turned up in Yokohama's murky river system in August and was duly celebrated as an urban miracle.) ...
    Crazy? Let's hope so. But in Japan, recent history has shown that to ignore such cults can have devastating consequences ... "They say they will make all mankind die out if their guru dies," ...
    Back near Tokyo, Tama-chan has re-emerged - although distressingly, with a fish hook lodged in its eye. Regardless of what does or does not happen on Thursday, it's clear Pana Wave was at least right that Japan's city rivers are no place for an Arctic seal
    [There's a magazine in Japan called the Weekly Bunshun.]


    Free books for the taking (in HTML unless otherwise indicated)
    Aeschylus: Agamemnon [pdf], Choephori [pdf], Eumenides [pdf]
    Aristotle: Poetics [html] [pdf]
    Jane Austen: Mansfield Park .
    St. Augustine: Confessions [pdf]
    Beowulf (Anonymous) [pdf]
    Byron: Childe Harold's Pilgrimage
    Joseph Conrad: The Secret Sharer
    J. Esch: Green Berets [pdf], More To Your Hand ... [pdf]
    Frank B. Ford: Connecting Light [pdf ], Who Cares? [pdf ], The Singing Wire [pdf]
    Brothers Grimm: Grimm's Fairy Tales
    Nathaniel Hawthorne: Mosses from an Old Manse [pdf]
    Homer: The Iliad [pdf], The Odyssey [pdf]
    James Joyce: Dubliners [pdf]
    John Keats: Lamia
    Lao-Tzu: Tao Te Ching
    Old Testament (KJV): Genesis [pdf]
    Plato: Apology , Phaedrus
    William Shakespeare: The Tempest
    Mary Shelley: Frankenstein
    Sophocles: Oedipus the King
    Stacy Tartar Esch: Now is a Kind of Forever [pdf]

    www.snopes.com/quotes/seattle.htm - False Chief Seattle speech

    www.synaptic.bc.ca/ejournal/muhisind.htm - Chief Seattle - Museum of History and Industry;
    Seattle, Washington

    www.synaptic.bc.ca/ejournal/wslibrry.htm Chief Seattle Speech :: Washington State Library, reported versions

    Monday, May 19, 2003
    Mostar Bridge
    Source: BOSNET October 11, 1994
    w3.tyenet.com/kozlich/kiss.htm [DEAD LINK]

    BELGRADE, Yugoslavia Croatian gunners destroyed the renowned Old Bridge in the Bosnian city of Mostar on
    Tuesday, sending one of the most graceful examples of Ottoman architecture crashing into the Neretva River.

    The four-century-old arch, described by a Muslim poet as ``a crescent moon in stone,'' was one of the most
    formidable metaphors for the common life that the Muslims, Croats and Serbs of the old Yugoslavia enjoyed
    before the country's violent breakup into separate nation-states began in mid-1991.

    ``It is one of the most beautiful bridges in the world,'' wrote the British author Rebecca West in her
    pre-World War II travelogue of Yugoslavia, ``Black Lamb and Grey Falcon.'' ``A slender arch lies between
    two round towers, its parapet bent in a shallow angle in the centre.''

    Veso Vegar, a spokesman for the Bosnian Croats' militia, admitted Tuesday that the militia's gunners had
    targeted the bridge, whose foundations were laid in 1557 at the orders of the Ottoman Empire's greatest
    ruler, Suleiman the Magnificent.

    ``Since the bridge is in a place that is strategically important and the Muslim positions are very near,
    70 to 100 metres, the bridge has constantly been shelled,'' Vegar said, adding that Croats fired 10 shells
    at the span on Monday alone.

    Bosnian government radio reported Tuesday that 60 shells hit the structure, which opened in 1566 and eventually
    became known as the Old Bridge, or Stari Most. It gave the city its name.

    The Bosnian Croat leadership has named Mostar, whose population was mixed before the war, capital of the
    self-declared Croatian republic they have created. Bosnian Croat troops began evicting Muslim residents
    from the Neretva's west bank in May, herding adult men into concentration camps and forcing women, children
    and elderly people across a treacherous battlefront.

    For months Muslims on the west bank dodged sniper fire to cross the bridge to the Muslim-controlled east bank,
    where they could fill plastic containers with drinking water. The city's mostly Muslim Bosnian army contingent
    used it take up their positions on the battle lines on the western side of the river.

    News of the Mostar bridge's downing plunged many people from all over the former Yugoslav republics into gloom.

    ``I enjoyed my first kiss on that bridge,'' said Borjanka Santic, a 70-year-old relative of Aleksa Santic,
    a Serb who was one of Mostar's most famous 19th-century poets. ``I remember even now the stars and the moon
    shining down. I remember how we dropped stones into the clear water. Now this has all been wiped out.''

    ``The bridge was the meeting place for the young people of my generation,''she said. ``The walkway's stones were
    rubbed so smooth by the footsteps that you had to hold on to the rails to avoid slipping even when it was dry.''

    Stonemasons from the nearby city of Dubrovnik built the 200-foot-wide bridge at the narrowest part of the Neretva
    River canyon, joining the span's locally quarried limestone blocks with iron braces and pointing the cracks with
    molten lead. The bridge's designer, Hayrudin, studied under the greatest of all Ottoman architects, Sinan.

    The bridge survived a flood that practically covered it in 1713, history books say, and the only time its walkway
    was closed came during an 1815 feud between local families.

    The bridge survived dozens of wars and uprisings unscathed. Each summer in recent decades, divers held competitions
    to see who could make the most beautiful leap from the bridge's apex to the swirling Neretva 70 feet below.

    The first war damage to the bridge came in May 1991, when Serbian artillery commanded by Miodrag Perusic, the present
    chief of staff of Yugoslavia's army, blasted it in two places and leveled much of the surrounding neighborhood.

    The Muslims draped old tyres over the side of the bridge and erected scaffolds over its walkway in a futile attempt
    to deflect shells.

    Over the last 18 months, Serbian and Croatian shells badly damaged the stone towers on each end of the bridge, which
    were used in the 19th century by the Turks to imprison Serbian rebels bent on freeing themselves from Ottoman rule.

    Television pictures broadcast here tonight showed that the bridge's entire span is gone.

    ``It is as if one of my closest relatives has died,'' said Bogdan Bogdanovic, a Belgrade architect who
    designed a monument in Mostar to the World War II partisans who fought Hitler. ``The bridge was a piece
    of metaphysical architecture that linked cultures and peoples.''

    ``A person simply loses the sense of himself at times like this,'' he said. ``It was like a heavenly arch.
    It had nobility, a kind of elan.''

    ``I ask myself how the people of Mostar will live without that bridge,'' he said. ``They have now lost a part of
    their being. With a loss like this people, people lose their place in time.''

    This article does not have permission of the copyright owner, but is being offered for comment, criticism and research under the "fair use" provisions of the Federal copyright laws.
    Source: BOSNET October 11, 1994

    w3.tyenet.com/kozlich/workshop.htm [DEAD LINK]
    [Possbile replacement link - http://www.members.tripod.com/~UnconqueredBosnia/Mostar3.html ]
    ...for example, the famous bridge over Neretva river at Mostar built in 1566 is an integral part of the human psyche. When such objects of self identity are destroyed, much of human spirit goes with it. When the bridge in Mostar fell on November 9, 1993, after days of incessant shelling, the Croatian journalist Slavenka Drakulic wrote in the Observer that she had never visited the bridge, foolishly thinking that "the bridge would be there forever... When I remember what is no longer there, I feel a spasm in my stomach, a knot in my throat. I feel death lurking in the absence."

    She continues: "I've heard that people in Mostar, even adults, cried when they saw that the bridge had fallen. I believe the reports, for I have seen people who are not from Mostar cry as well. An elderly journalist, a lawyer. A singer, who wept for the first time since the war started.

    "Not so long ago, the newspapers published photos of a massacre in the Bosnian Muslim village of Stupni Dol. One picture showed a middle-aged woman with a long, dark knife-cut along her throat. I don't remember anyone crying over that photo or others like it. And I ask myself: Why I feel more pain looking at the image of the destroyed bridge than the image of the woman?
    ''Perhaps it is because I see my own mortality in the collapse of the bridge, not in the death of the woman. We expect people to die. We count on our own lives to end. The destruction of a monument to civilization is something else. The bridge, in all its beauty and grace, was built to outlive us; it was an attempt to grasp eternity. Because it was the product of both individual creativity and collective experience, it transcended our individual destiny. A dead woman is one of us--but the bridge is all of us forever."

    This article does not have permission of the copyright owner, but is
    being offered for comment, criticism and research under the "fair use"
    provisions of the Federal copyright laws.

    Source: by Dr. Amir Pasic via Chicago-Kent College of Law, 9 Nov 1993


    One year after the destruction of Mostar's Old Bridge


    Amir PASIC

    by Dr. Amir Pasic
    November 9, 1993: The Stari Most in Mostar, on the river Neretva, gave its name to the city of Mostar. It was built in 1556 between two medieval towers on the location of a former wooden bridge. The architect was Mimar Hajrudin, a disciple and collaborator of Kodza Mimar Sinan. The bridge is really one stone arch with a span of 28.7m. The supporting vault is 77 cm thick, four meters wide, and its height in summer when the water is low is about 20m. Three ribs rest on its vault, a middle one and two at equal distances on either side of it, to support the roadway. The entire construction is thus considerably lightened. The stone used for the bridge is the local 'tenelija', a limestone of exceptional physical and chemical qualities. It is used for the entire bridge including the ballustrade, and its sides were cut so smooth that there was not need for an intervening adhesive material. The roadway is made of limestone
    resistant to the wear of people and animals crossing the bridge. Pieces of stone were joined to each other by iron clamps and then filled with lead.

    The basic architectural form of the bridge reflects an extraordinary marriage of constructional logic and beauty, maintained for centuries in its original form. The bridge has been an object of admiration by people coming from both East and West: the poet and statesman Dervis-Pasa Bajezidagic (16th c.) compared it to a rainbow, geographer Hadzi-Kalfa said that its vault 'will astonish all masters of the world', Evli Celebi, the famous Ottoman travel-writer said that he 'has crossed sixteen empires and has not seen such a high bridge'; the French traveler A. Poulet wrote in 1658 that this bridge is 'more courageous and more impressive than the Rialto in Venice.'

    The bridge was built within the previously constructed medieval fortification system and represented the centre of gravity for the entire urban network of Mostar. Some twenty mahalas (individual neighborhood complexes) have been built in the area around the bridge. The commercial zone in its vicinity made up the historical core of the city. The Old Bridge was a monument of exceptional value from an artistic and scientific point of view, representing a masterpiece of bridge construction and architectural and landscaping design.

    The most beautiful bridges were created in the second half of the 16th century at the time of Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent and his grand viziers Rustem-Pasa and Mehmed-Pasa Sokolovic. The latter's bridge on the Drina in Visegrad is a work of the greatest Ottoman architect Kodza Mimar Sinan, and the Old Bridge in Mostar of his disciple Mimar Hajrudin. Also from this epoch are the Arslanagic Bridge near Trebinje, the bridge near the confluence of the Zepa and the Drina rivers, and many others.

    Semicircular or, rarely, pointed arches of these bridges for the most part spanned a distance of 10-15m. The span of a very 'brave' arch might even be close to 30m. Bridges over wide rivers would consist of several arches (at Buna, 14, and in Visegrad, 11), while those spanning deep riverbeds would have only one arch. In the lower part bridges were usually built of resistant limestone, arches are often made of plaster, and the finishing cornice and fences were of limestone boards. The roadway was paved with cobblestones, separated by transversal stone thresholds.

    The big and long bridges sometimes have a stone sofa in the middle, backed by a high wall in the form of a portal decorated with ornamental patterns and containing inscriptions about the construction of the bridge.
    Simple stone bridges were built by local artists, especially in the latter part of the Ottoman rule in the Balkans.


    Black Lamb and Grey Falcon: A Journey through Yugoslavia, by Rebecca West, (Viking Penguin, 1995), A Penguin Twentietth-Century Classic, 1181pp, illustrated, $19.75 (paperback)

    Cover illustration: a photograph by Anne van der Vaeren of the "Stari most," the Old bridge spanning the Neretva River in Mostar, Bosnia, Designed by the great Ottoman architect Hayrudin, the bridge, which was described by West as "one of the most beautiful in the world," first opened in 1566. It was destroyed by Croatian gunners in November 1993

    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel (Male Edition), by Milorad Pavic, (Random House, Inc, 1989), translated from the Serbo-Croatian by Christina Pribicevic-Zoric, 338pp, $11.70 (paperback). GS#2471. Ordering Information

    Dictionary of the Khazars: A Lexicon Novel (Female Edition), by Milorad Pavic, (Random House, Inc., 1989), translated from the Serbo-Croatian by Christina Pribicevic-Zoric, 338pp, $11.70 (paperback). GS#2462. Ordering Information
    A national bestseller, Dictionary of the Khazars was cited by The New York Times Book Review as one of the best books of the year. Written in two versions, male and female, which are identical save for seventeen crucial lines, Dictionary is the imaginary book of knowledge of the Khazars, a people who flourished somewhere beyond Transylvania between the seventh and ninth centuries. Eschewing conventional narrative and plot, this lexicon novel combines the dictionaries of the world’s three major religions with entries that leap between past and future, featuring three unruly wise men, a book printed in poison ink, suicide by mirrors, a chimerical princess, a sect of priests who can infiltrate one’s dreams, romances between the living and the dead, and much more -- GS.
    Sunday, May 18, 2003
    G'Quan wrote: There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against powers and principalities, it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope, the death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender.
    The future is all around us, waiting in moments of transition,
    to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape
    of that future, or where it will take us. We know only that
    it is always born in pain.
    G'Kar, "Z'ha'dum" (Babylon 5)
    Changing Climate FAQ
    A quick FAQ on the 'myths' propagated to make people feel better about the dangers of changing climate.

    UPDATE: Link changed with time.


    I've heard people say that 'climate change' is being used as a euphemism (an euphemism?) for 'global warming' because it's more generalised and anodyne. They say that global warming sounds scarier.

    I disagree. For a start, when there's floods and blizzards and record low temperatures, you hear people say that that disproves the idea of global warming, when it may be evidence for it.

    I think calling it 'global warming' is a mistake, people in cooler climates just think, 'hey, that'd be nice'. It's increasing the energy put into the system:
    the Highs get higher,
    the Lows get lower,
    the Drys get drier,
    the Winds get blowier,
    and whole systems that are balanced get tipped, and who knows which way they'll go?

    EXAMPLE: There's some thought that if certain changes happen in the temperature of the atmosphere & water, that the Gulf Stream which carries warm water & air from the tropical part of the western side of the Atlantic to the cool-temperate part of the eastern side will no longer operate. The climate of the British Isles would revert back to that of, say, Norway, instead of being kept closer to that of, say, France.
    Whereas a lot of Brits think: 'Warming? Mmmm, nice.'

    A few of the other sites discussing this,which give different examples, other aspects & viewpoints:


    Sudden Climate Change?
    "When 'climate change' is referred to in the press, it normally means greenhouse warming, which, it is predicted, will cause flooding, severe windstorms, and killer heat waves. But warming could also lead, paradoxically, to abrupt and drastic cooling:


    The New Scientist
    Global Environment Report: All you ever wanted to know about climate change


    Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute
    Ocean & Climate Change Institute: Abrupt Climate Change
    Most of the studies and debates on potential climate change have focused on the ongoing buildup of industrial greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and a gradual increase in global temperatures. But recent and rapidly advancing evidence demonstrates that Earth’s climate repeatedly has shifted dramatically and in time spans as short as a decade. And abrupt climate change may be more likely in the future.


    (This lists links to articles of interest, including a FAQ: Common Misconceptions about Abrupt Climate Change.)

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    Sunday, May 11, 2003


    • This voucher entitles the person named, MY NAME, to lawfully wed one spouse (HIS NAME), subject to the following conditions:

    • This offer is not redeemable for cash.

    • This offer is not transferable

    • The offer expires 6 weeks after the date of issue of the
      offer, this date being DATE INSERTED

    • Spouse comes with a lifetime warranty (its life, not yours)
      and is subject to exclusions for wear and tear, non-working
      or partially working or mostly working parts and fertility
      which may be questionable

    • Spouse can be acquired on approval for a period of upto 12
      months during which time it can be returned provided it is
      in the same or better condition than it was at time of issue -
      return of soiled goods is subject to negotiation

    • Current asset backing of said spouse is good but income
      potential remains uncertain - however with adequate
      feeding, affection and maintenance reasonable yields
      should be achievable

    • This model spouse only comes with a serial partnership
      adapter - upgrading to a parallel model isn't possible
      without major firmware modifications

    • This model spouse also has limited operational ability in
      dance and jogging modes.

    Saturday, May 10, 2003
    Obituary: Emma Veitch
    I was stunned to read this, having done a search for my friend's name on the web. The date is my birthday last year, when I had not long left hospital & probably wasn't quite up to reading the papers through. The disease Emma died of is the same as the one I am hopefully recovering from.

    Harriet was my best friend through much of Primary & part of High School, until she was taken off travelling with her family & then placed in an independent progressive-type school, when we lost touch except for occasional cards. I spent quite a while visiting the family at home (Jock was amusic journalist and Ida, after they separated, worked as an English teacher), so knew her sisters as well - though I would spend much of the visit curled up on a squashy vinyl lounge by the large windows overlooking the trees & houses stretching down towards Quaker's Hat Bay with one of their large collection of books.


    Sydney Morning Herald, 28th August, 2001

    A whiz with a sword wound

    Emma Veitch was born precipitately, half an hour after the doctor had told our mother that the baby wouldn't arrive for another week and left on his rounds.

    So she was born at home, as our mother wanted - and on August 3, not on the August 10 birthday shared by her two big sisters, as our mother also wanted.

    This showed, her sisters often felt, that she had inherited rather more than her share of the family stubbornness, but this determination helped her when she was diagnosed with bowel cancer two days before her 41st birthday.

    She was told then (although she didn't tell us) that she had only a 10 per cent chance of surviving until Christmas last year, but she made it to Christmas and on until two weeks after her 42nd birthday, determined to survive as long as possible for her daughter, Rosamund.

    Emma was by all accounts (except perhaps those of her big sisters) a charming child, always smiling and causing old ladies to stop in the street to pat her on the head.

    She left school at 17 and our mother thought she should try nursing as a job.

    She started her training at Balmain Hospital, in the days when nursing was a certificate course done in hospitals rather than universities. Her introduction to nursing was a Saturday night shift in casualty; all right, she said, until the pubs closed and people started hitting each other.
    Emma was not tall, and she had a sweet face that made her look about 12 in those days, so the police tried to protect her from the worst that night ("Don't look at this one, love"), but eventually the crush of work was so much that she had to be given a job .

    So she was set to stitching up a man's scalp and soon found a circle of staff around her admiring her handiwork. She was a keen embroiderer and the others were so impressed by her neat work that she ended up teaching a number of young doctors how to do cross-stitch work for practice.
    Emma loved nursing and went on in her 30s to do her degree in health sciences and take a number of postgraduate certificates. She was by then working at the Blue Mountains District Hospital and became a clinical nurse specialist there.

    In 1987 she married Sean Turkington, and on her first wedding anniversary took home their daughter, Rosamund Jean. She settled into a life of happily bossing patients and family members, particularly her sisters, always knowing what was best for us and making sure we went to the doctor as ordered.

    Nurses, of course, always know the worst thing that can happen, and tell you about it: "If you don't go to the doctor you'll get gangrene and lose that hand."

    In the family she was affectionately known as "Sister Hitler" for her refusal to listen to any excuses, but there was always room for another person at her table.

    She had a wide range of interests, such as the history of nursing (she was planning to do a PhD in that) and medieval re-enactments, where she was greatly appreciated on the field because play didn't have to stop if someone was injured. She boasted of being one of the few people in NSW who had experience in treating sword wounds, and could pull back a dislocation in seconds. She was a leader in the local Girls Brigade as well.

    Many people with a serious illness can talk of nothing but their treatment and condition. Emma was just the opposite. Even in her last weeks in hospital her first question was always, "What's happening in the world?"

    Our father complained he couldn't get a word in edgewise to ask her how she was when he rang because she was so busy lecturing him on his asthma.

    Despite all, this year she was tutoring a friend's son through his first year of nursing. A few years ago she joined the Anglican Church, and this was a great comfort to her during her illness. One of the last people she saw was her minister. She died in her sleep about two hours later, on August 17.

    Harriet Veitch

    Write in: Readers are invited to celebrate the life of a friend or relative in 400 words of affectionate anecdote and lively, informal stories, of the kind you might include in a personal eulogy or tell at a wake. Please include dates of birth and death and a copy of the death notice.
    Send to Suzy Baldwin, GPO Box 506, Sydney 2001. Or by email (no attachments please):

    Wednesday, May 07, 2003

    NRMA: Branded or scarred?


    Image a two-way street for NRMA now
    May 1 2003
    Neer Korn

    Interesting & informative though Neer Korn's article about NRMA on May Day was, s/he discussed their troubles without alluding to what I consider their core.

    NRMA (& the former Australian Mutual Provident Society) were 'mutual' organisations, in concept similar to democratic government -- an organisation set up to provide services to its members. Its customers are its 'shareholders', each with one vote in decisions. Their point is serving the customer/members. Any surplus not reserved for emergencies is used for better services, reducing fees or repaid like a 'dividend'.

    A company's point is profits. (Fairly made, no worries.) Directors/managers are obligated to shareholders. Shareholders may not have nor feel connexion with staff nor customers. Decisions are carried one share/one vote, so interests of large institutions or few very wealthy people may override many thousands of lesser holders' interests.

    Despite protestations of reform, regret & repentance after disasters in the 1980s (& over the last century or two), the public -- who must use such goods & services for both their everyday life & in emergencies -- have experienced companys' lack of care & attempted their regulation.
    Despite problems with government's delivery of services, the bad experiences of many users with many private companies means they also distrust 'privatization' & hope (& try to demand) control of this too.

    Resisting this change of focus was the basis for NRMA conflict, and distrust following it is the root of changing public attitude to "the brand".

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     / . Lives in Australia/New South Wales/Sydney, speaks English. Eye color is hazel. I am what my mother calls unique. My interests are photography, reading, natural history/land use, town planning, sustainability.

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    Australia, New South Wales, Sydney, English, photography, reading, natural history, land use, town planning, sustainability.