Strange World #40; Plush Uterus Toy Recall


The makers of a “Plushie” uterus toy have had to issue a re-call notice.

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SUMMARY

Voluntary safety recall of Plush Uterus due to potential choking hazard for children. Recall participants will receive a 15%-off online coupon code. Consumers may either return for refund/exchange, or opt-out via email if the uterus is not accessible to children. Please notify gift recipients.

NOTICE

In an effort to ensure our plush products exceed federal and international safety standards, we learned the 2008 Plush Uterus has failed a pull test. The ovaries may detach when pulled, becoming a potential small part choking hazard for young children. No one has been harmed.

Although our website and sewn-on label state that the uterus is not for children aged 0-3, we have instituted a voluntary safety recall for the uterus plush. We have filed a safety recall notice with the U.S. Consumer Product and Safety Commission (CPSC). If the plush uterus is being used by a young child, please remove it immediately. If you gave the uterus as a gift, please forward this email to the recipient(s).

All other I Heart Guts plush products have been certified as safe for all ages under US and European safety standards.

For the full recall notice, please go to “I Heart Guts”

Anzac Day Dawn Service


Once again, dawn services are being held where ever there are Australians. In every major city in Australia, as well as in many smaller towns. In London, in France, everywhere there are Australians and almost everywhere that Australians died in battle.

Even in Turkey, on the beach at Gallipoli where the ANZAC’s, at dawn, charged into history and defeat.

Perhaps it may seem strange to outsiders that our greatest hero, Ned Kelly, was an outlaw and a bushranger, and that we commemorate our greatest defeat as our finest moment. As an Aussie, it seems perfectly logical.

With all the modern-day fear of those who are different, and the hysteria of modern-day terrorism, it is worth while looking back in history. Yes, the Muslim Turks were our enemies and the fighting was bitter and hard. They were commanded by the man who later became the founder of the modern Turkish Republic.

Yet in later years he wrote, for inscription on the Memorial built at Anzac Cove to commemorate the dead;

THE ANZAC MEMORIAL

Those heroes that shed their blood And lost their lives…
You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country.
Therefore, rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side,
Here in this country of ours.
You, the mothers, who sent their sons from far away countries…
Wipe away your tears.
Your sons are now lying in our bosom And are in peace.
After having lost their lives on this land, they have
Become our sons as well.

A tribute to the memory of the ANZACs
by M. Kemal Atatürk, 1934
(Founder of the Turkish Republic in 1923)

This year, an Aussie whose grand-parents came to Australia from Turkey has travelled to Gallipoli with thousands of other young Aussies remembering their ancestors to remember his Great Grand Father, a Turkish soldier who fought against and was killed by the Australians.

There is a lesson to be learnt here by everyone, including our leaders.

Australia, You’re Standing In It!


While some of my more perceptive readers may have noticed a little bit of a tug on a pedal extremity in my previous post, I thought the following may be of some interest.

I rabbit on, on occasion, about my travels around this continent and perhaps this composite map may give some idea of the distances involved to those readers who have some interest in my travels or who may be interested in doing some travel themselves.

For instance, don’t plan on doing Uluru and the Great Barrier Reef on the same day. Or even on consecutive days!

What Happened The Year You Were Born


While there is a very strong US bias in the events, this is an interesting exercise.


In XXXX (the year you were born)


Franklin Delano Roosevelt is president of the US

DNA, the basic genetic material of the cell, is found by scientists at the Rockefeller Institute

D-Day, the Normandy invasion of Europe by the US and the Allies begins

US forces land at Leyte, in the Philippines

President Roosevelt signs the GI Bill giving education and housing benefits to veterans

A tip leads the Gestapo to a sealed-off area in an Amsterdam warehouse where they find Jewish diarist Anne Frank and her family

Franklin D. Roosevelt becomes the only U.S. president to be elected to a fourth term

Jimmy Page, Jerry Springer and Diana Ross are born

St. Louis Cardinals win the World Series

Green Bay Packers win the NFL championship

Montreal Canadians win the Stanley Cup

Pippi Longstocking is published in Sweden

The Problem With Twins


A woman had twins, and gave them up for adoption at birth. One of the twins went to a family in Egypt, and was named “Amal.” The other twin went to a family in Spain, and they named him “Juan.”

Years later, Juan sent a picture of himself to his birth mother. Upon receiving the picture, she told her husband that she wished she also had a picture of Amal.

Her husband responded, “But they are twins. If you’ve seen Juan, you’ve seen Amal.”

Mandurah


Took a train ride from Perth to Mandurah the other day.

This is a new line, opened just before Christmas. From the Perth CBD, 75 Km south to what was a major beachside holiday resort but is now an outpost of the Greater Perth Metropolitan area. Passing through new suburbs and old farmlands, the rails end several kilometres inland of the beach. There are bus links to all the surrounding areas.

Just beyond the end of the tracks is a strange, already rusted, construction which is probably intended as art.

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Romancing the Cheese


I have been a fan of Tom and Jerry since I was knee high to a grasshopper. Here is one inventive mouse with a sense of rhythm and even then the fates find a way to get to him!

Goodbye Fidel


Most of my commentators, daisyfae, buff and dragonstar excepted, while contributing interesting comments, seem to have missed my point.
I was not writing in praise or condemnation of Fidel.
Perhaps Steve Bell from the Guardian explains my point in a manner somewhat better than my effort!
At least Fidel was an honest, “I seized control”,  dictator, not a dictator masquerading as a freely elected President!
There are political prisoners on BOTH side of the Guantanomo fence.
In prison cell and dungeon vile
Our thoughts to them are winging,
When friends by shame are undefiled
How can I keep from singing?
No storm can shake my inmost calm,
While to that rock I’m clinging.
Since love is lord of heaven and earth
How can I keep from singing?
When tyrants tremble in their fear
And hear their death knell ringing,
When friends rejoice both far and near
How can I keep from singing?

Castro Steps Down.


After 49 years, the long-serving leader of Cuba, Fidel Castro, is finally stepping down.

Famous for his six hour speeches and for the little acknowledged fact that the Castro regime brought peace and an end to corruption to a war-torn Cuba, Castro has long been the target for jealous American Administrations. Most of those administrations have hated being shown how to run a country with honesty and integrity!

Now President Bush has urged Cubans to “begin a period of democratic transition.”

The US president said the “first step” was for the Cuban Government to release political prisoners, and urged the international community to help build democratic institutions in Cuba.

We’re going to help. The United States will help the people of Cuba realise the blessings of liberty,” he said. “There will be an interesting debate that will arise, eventually. There will be some who say ‘let’s promote stability’, of course, in the meantime, political prisoners will rot in prison and the human condition will remain pathetic in many cases.”

I think George W Bush has finally learned the meaning of “Irony”!

Good Girls


We all read about it.

We all spared a few seconds or minutes to think about how lucky we are not to be Iraq. Some of us may even have thought about the nameless victims and the women who appeared to be the cause of the horror.

You remember. It was only eleven days ago.

“Explosives strapped to two mentally impaired women were triggered by remote control in coordinated blasts that ripped through two Baghdad pet markets killing at least 64 people, an official said.

“Both women were mentally impaired. They were wearing belts containing 15 kilograms of explosives,” said Major General Qasim Ata, spokesman for the Baghdad security plan.

“The explosives were detonated by remote control,” he said.

How many of us have thought through the actual mechanics of this terrible event? The finding of these two women, showing them what to do, all unknowing, actually pressing the button to set off the explosions knowing the first to die will be the two completely innocent women you have spent time training, getting to know.

David from “Very Short Novels” has thought about this and his words are compelling and horrifying in their simplicity.

Go and have a look at what he has written – if you dare.

The more I think about this the more incomprehensible it becomes!

Champion Blogazine Editors


Yesterday I was lucky enough to receive an award for my blog. It was for my writing and my poetry. I chose six of my fellow bloggers to be fellow recipients using those criteria.

I felt really bad because I had to leave out a number of very good bloggers. Friends who are excellent at what they do.

So I have created an award just for this group of bloggers. Those who create an online magazine full of interesting and differing articles. Some original work and some work found elsewhere and given a personal spin. Bloggers who give us, not just the minutia of their day but add other content to amuse and educate us. Who trawl the world of cyberspace to bring us the best available news and information.

Those bloggers who give us an online magazine – blogazine editors! Modern day Dewitt and Lila Wallaces. In claiming your award, please pass it on to your four favourite blogazine editors.

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So it is appropriate that the first of these awards goes to Raincoaster, queen of the Blogazines who, like Lila Wallace, is Canadian.

Secondly, the rather doddery and ancient Daddy Papersurfer who has his own editor.

Thirdly, nursemyra from the Gimcrack Hospital who is amusing, varied and has an adult slant.

Fourthly, azahar from the Casa Az who gives us a blogazine with tapas.

 

Perth’s Past #12 (Conclusion)


Around the 1940′s or 1950′s we used to have the “Candid Cameraman” who would take your photo while you walked down the street. Having given you his card, you visited the studio to see if you liked the print. If you did, you could buy it. Some of the best of our photos were taken this way. Shirley (b 1932)

We were not called teenagers in those days. If anything, it was “flappers”, because of the large bows that were fashionable to wear at the back of the neck, fastening our hair back. We had never heard of generation gaps and young people, especially girls, had very few rights. You did as you were told until you turned 21 or were married. Except for an evening at the pictures, which did not finish until 10.30, and later, if we were taken to a show, we were expected to be home by 10.00 o’clock. It seemed that “sin” started at that hour! No “decent” girl would be on the streets at that hour. In fact, a few days before I was married, Ern and I went for a walk and didn’t get in until 10 past 10.00. Mother didn’t approve and told me so! I’m afraid I got a little cross, I was 22 at the time. But things were worse when she was a girl. She told us that when my father came courting, her mother started to wind the clock at 9.00 o’clock, surely a broad enough hint to him that it was time to go. Myrtle (b 1906)

Perth had its share of colourful characters in those days.

Percy Buttons would entertain theatre queues by turning somersaults and standing on his head and then putting it in his hat, which he then passed around. It was said of him that occasionally the Police would put him in gaol for a couple of days, while they cleaned him up a bit and gave him a decent meal.

“Matches” shuffled around Perth streets with a tray of boxes of matches. I think the idea was that you put your money on the tray but did not take the matches – begging in the streets was prohibited. He was reputed to be a Police “nark”, but of that I would not know.

There was Percy Brunton, who went around immaculately dressed, with a top hat with a Union Jack draped around it. He always wore a mauve waist-coat and pushed a baby’s pram around with his pamphlets in it. He was a fluent speaker and very clever at repartee, and usually attracted a large crowd when he spoke on the Esplanade. He put up for Parliament once, but I think he lost his deposit. He was really clever, and no one knew why he chose to live as he did.

“Pink top, lolly pop. Lemonade, all in the shade” – I don’t remember the rest but this was the cry of “Pink Top” one of our most colourful characters. He had a fruit barrow outside Perth Station, and afterwards bought into a sweets shop in Barrack Street. While he had the barrow, my mother bought fruit from him as she walked to the station for her train. She told how he counted the dozen oranges …”one, two, three…”, up to 12, “…and one for the baby”. She watched carefully but there were always just twelve when she got home!

Another figure was “Drewy Dyson”. A huge mountain of a man who drove around in a sulky with a miserable looking pony in the shafts. “Fat as Drewy Dyson” was a common expression to describe a very fat person.

“Jimmy Foureyes”, a black-skinned man who pushed his barrow around the streets, sharpened knives and scissors.

“Giblets” too, went around Perth with a tray around his neck containing studs, bootlaces and other oddments. Myrtle (b 1906)

Very different social attitudes from the present day are reflected in the newspapers of fifty years ago. The “Public Notices” column makes interesting reading …..

“Mr. J.E. Jones is not the John Edward Jones referred to in the Divorce Court last week”.

“As my wife Mrs. Florence Jones is no longer under my protection, having left the family home against my wishes, I will no longer be responsible for any debts incurred by her. Signed: John Edgar Jones, Guildford.”

“Mrs. F. James of Devenish Street, Cottesloe, wishes the public to know that Miss R. Roe, convicted of stealing in the Police Court on Tuesday, was only a boarder in her house.” Shirley (b 1932)

Dangerous Country


The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s Smart Traveller website warns of terrorism, dangerous winter driving, heavy snow, ice and wind chills, as well as tornadoes, earthquakes and forest fires.It also lists Canada in its second safest category with places such as Chile, South Korea and Latvia as being safer.

There has been no response from the Canadian Government but plenty of public reaction, with many wondering where Australians are getting the information.

Canadians may be shaking their heads over an Australian Government travel advisory warning travellers to be cautious when visiting their country but those of us in the blogipelago know of the hidden dangers which await the unwary traveller in Canada!

There is a raincoaster on the loose, Tree Octopi abound and the dreaded Mountain Walrus awaits the careless tourist. There is a loose-cannonish Metro and a wild Mastercowfish. Anchovies are squeezed into boxes and the Coyotes are wandering and Testing the Nation!

Yes, I can see what Australia’s Government is warning us about!

Top of the World


Daddy P has gone quite insane and is destroying his balance and quite probably his neck muscles. And those of his readers!

He is planning a trip to the Antipodes. Which he calls, rather quaintly, “Down-Under.”

While I recognise he is not the first person to make this mistake, he certainly needs to learn of his place in the world.

When mankind crawled out from under the third rock from the sun, they made the understandable error of believing that the bottom of the rock where they had lived for so long was the top. As they explored their rock, they sailed up to the top of the rock and found a few landmasses which they decided were “the bottom of the world”.

What they forgot was that rocks and stuff are heavier than water (that’s why they sink to the bottom) and all the big heavy landmasses are down there in the Northern Hemisphere If they were on top of the world in the Southern hemisphere the world would tip over!

Down there in the Northern Hemisphere, you can see the North star, up here we see the Southern Cross. And it is the top of the compass, the South Pole which points to the Earth’s North Pole, the bottom of the world.

We have known this for a long time and back in the 80′s one of our music groups, “Mental as Anything” had a huge hit with that song – which of course refers to the fact that all Caucasians in Australia and South Africa (or their ancestors) came from a land “Down Under” – mainly the UK or Holland although the rest of Europe was also a homeland!

A Day in Punmu


Another normal day in a nearly deserted Punmu. Almost everyone is away just at the moment. There is a nurse, one man, five women and three sub-school-aged kids. And me.

Lots of heat under skies which last night threatened but failed to deliver rain and today are a clear and burningly bright blue.

The air decided it had had enough of the desert and tried to leave in a hurry. Flinging up a lot of dust in the process and bringing down quite a few tree branches.

The minuscule zebra finches flew through the winds with no problems but flocks of the larger budgerigars seemed to stall in mid air as they flew against the wind. The hunting falcon tacked across the winds and seemed to feed well in its sudden dashes at the swarms of finches which it kept startling into the air..

All quite normal until I suddenly spotted a pelican!

No, I wasn’t hallucinating! As always happens in such circumstances, I did not have my camera in hand at that moment. Not that sighting a pelican makes the day unusual. An unusual day would be one in which nothing out of the ordinary happened.

Now my pack of three dogs, which I feed in return for snake alerts, are sleeping in front of my window and a Full Moon is playing peekaboo amongst the evening clouds which may or may not produce some moisture tonight.

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