Eine Kleine Nichtmusik

Witty and pertinent observations on matters of great significance OR Incoherent jottings on total irrelevancies OR Something else altogether OR All of the above

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

That would be the Provisional IRS, perhaps?

I found this from a onetime student housemate of mine, in a thread on Livejournal talking about the incomprehensibility of British tax forms and the difficulty or ease of getting details changed if you made a mistake. The author is British and now telecommutes from the Yukon to LA, but he used to live there.

A few years ago I was filling out a US tax return reporting my Canadian income. I was doing this to maintain US residency "just in case". There were 6 options for what sort of foreign income I was reporting: various forms of business, shipping, and investment income, section 112(j) income, or other.

I selected "section 112(j) thinking other was unlikely and none of the other options fitted regular income, saved the return (I was being computer assisted) and went to look up what what section 112(j) income was. It was "Income derived from governments known to be sponsors of terrorism". Oops. So I go back to the computer and try to change my entry. It, bless its little silicon heart, says: you can't change this return, it has been submitted. It was lying, but there was a degree of panic.

For obfuscated forms, the US tax people probably take the prize. Add computers into the mix and you have a real recipe for disaster.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Colour me geeky....

I've just been checking my stats and discovered that I'm the number one Google hit for "unresolved chromaticism". For some reason that rather pleases me.

Lisa's meme

And another meme from Lisa:

1) What was the last 1980s song you heard?

Aretha Franklin & The Eurythmics: Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves

2) What was the last thing you saw on Youtube?

Aretha Franklin & The Eurythmics: Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves

3) What was the last entry on Wikipedia you viewed?

Gustav Mahler Symphony No 3.

4) What was the last computer/video game you completed all the way through?

Um, well, I did a futoshiki last night. Not really a computer game person.

5) What did you last pig out on?

Cafe Noir biscuits.

6) What is the last undeleted text message on your mobile phone?

The second violin in my quartet telling me her new address.

7) When did you last have a conversation with someone other than a family member?

If work doesn't count, then yesterday evening when doing a charity performance of Haydn's Creation from scratch. Talking about operatic disasters with another violinist.

8) Aside from where you live, what is the last village/town/city you visited?

Glasgow last Tuesday for the Alabama 3 gig.

9) What was the last competition you won?

Office quiz just over a year ago.

10) What are the last three blogs you visited?

Rullsenberg Rules, Little Red Boat, linkbunnies.org

Monday, April 28, 2008

Take A Letter

A meme from Phil:

Autocomplete blog meme. Simple procedure: type each letter of the alphabet in the address bar (one at a time, obviously) and see which blog comes up first. The result should be a map of your personal blogosphere, or at least those bits of it you’ve visited recently.

Like Phil, I have excluded letters where no blogs came up. Unlike him, I have allowed ones where I accessed just one post (letters P and S here). I find I sometimes end up revisiting blogs like that in the future.

OK, here we go.

A Aaronovitch Watch
B Vix's page at The Breast Files. This is the lady about whom I posted a few years ago after a happy evening (at a trade union event where we were both delegates) spent talking about 1960s music and how much we loathed Tony Blair. This site isn't the charity one I mentioned there, but it's fairly harmless (NSFW though!).
E Eine Kleine Nichtmusik (fortunately)
G The Gaping Silence (ditto)
I Islamophobia Watch
J Jews Sans Frontieres
N Neil Clark
P Photoshop Disasters
R Rachel From North London
S Strange Stuff

Anyone else want a go?

Sunday, April 27, 2008

They might as well have asked about Iceland nuking Burkina Faso

So when Hillary Clinton was asked what she'd do as President if Iran launched a nuclear attack on Israel, she said she would "obliterate" it. How gutsy. How macho.

What a pity that nobody seems to have asked the obvious follow-up, which is what she'd do in the infinitely more probable event of Israel's launching a nuclear attack on Iran. After all, Israel has nuclear weapons; Iran doesn't. Israel has a history of attacking other countries; Iran hasn't. (Or not since.....noooo....please don't tell me Hillary is basing her foreign policy on 300. Yup, Hil, you don't even need to hold onto your weapon to take down these wussy Persians. Just pose near it.)

It would be wonderful to think that with that razor-sharp mind and keen sense of fair play she would instantly have responded with a threat to nuke Israel to slag. Get real, people. How many votes does she get from America's Iranian community? Israel could melt Tehran and all its inhabitants to a glowing puddle of glass, then send the entire Knesset to piss on it, without attracting a single word of condemnation from Mrs C. (Or, probably, Mr O. And certainly not from Mr McC.) But it would have been nice if even one reporter had asked that obvious supplementary.

No wonder they make it so difficult for foreign journalists to get into the USA. The domestic pussycat must be protected from threats.

Canada: get ready for another influx of immigration.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The People's Flag Is Deepest Red, Since Lil-lets We Have Boycotted

My trade union, Unite, is very hot on protection of members' pension rights. For example, when Ineos, who run the Grangemouth refinery, decided not only to close their final salary pension scheme to new entrants but to shift existing members from a non-contributory to a contributory scheme with no increased benefits (i.e giving them all a pay cut) they found themselves staring down the wrong end of a strike.

Well, Lil-lets manufacturers Electra not only closed their last British factory last year and exported its jobs to Taiwan and Poland; it also offered the workers it was making redundant substantially worse pension arrangements than had been offered in previous redundancies. It will come as no surprise that Unite took a dim view of this, and is currently running a boycott of Lil-lets:

Unite is leading a boycott campaign against Lil-lets who closed their last UK factory and exported production to Taiwan and Poland . The aim of the campaign is to get Lil-lets private equity owners, Electra back to the negotiating table over the pensions of the Lil-lets older workers. In past redundancy situations Lil-lets paid extra into the pension fund so that workers who took their pension early would not suffer a reduction. However when Lil-lets closed their last UK factory in June 2007, the company refused to do so.

As a result 46 older workers will now receive up to 30 per cent less pension than they had hoped if they take their pension early. This means they now face a very different retirement than they were planning for.

All negotiations to date have failed and Unite believes a boycott of Lil-lets is the best way to make private equity company Electra do what we believe to be the right thing.

Unite has produced ‘Period Drama' to highlight Lil-lets boycott

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X_o3B-RZ72Q

Entitled 'A Period Drama' the lighthearted film calls on its viewers to boycott Lil-lets. The film went out as a ‘viral email' to union members who were asked to forward the link to their friends and colleagues.

Derek Simpson, Unite Joint General Secretary says: "The power of the internet gives unions the potential to go beyond it membership and reach out directly to hundreds of thousands, if not millions of people and influence their consumer choices.

We've taken the period drama genre and used it to highlight one of the biggest issues facing this country – the exportation of UK jobs to low cost countries and the effect this has on the people who suffer the consequences."

Download a boycott leaflet
Download boycott stickers

Friday, April 25, 2008

A "3 million per year" figure far more shameful than any CEO's pay packet

Persephone's comment on this recent post about the Rape Support Group sign was very timely, as I was already planning to do the current post.

Each year, 3 million women across the UK experience rape, domestic violence, forced marriage, trafficking or another form of gender-based violence and there are many, many more who have suffered violence in the past. They deserve specialised support services, such as refuges and Rape Crisis Centres, yet Map of Gaps , published by the End Violence Against Women Campaign and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, graphically shows the postcode lottery in these essential services:

- A third of local authorities across the UK have no specialised services at all
- Only one in ten local authorities have services for ethnic minority women
- Most women in the UK don't have access to a Rape Crisis Centre

Ask Gordon Brown to take urgent action to end the postcode lottery, by taking a minute to sign the Downing Street e-petition at
http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/violenceservices/


Please publicise this and link the petition to your websites and blogs.

To download Map of Gaps visit http://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/

I bet a viola would have been returned untouched.....

When I was a schoolboy I did my fair share of leaving things on buses etc., including on one occasion my violin, so I can empathise with this guy. Mind you, my violin cost my parents the grand sum of £8-10-0 in those pre-decimal days, so my empathy isn't quite tuned to his wavelength.

Hope the violin turns up though.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Which is more surprising: that people came up with these, or that other people paid them to do so (and accepted the results)?

I just had to share this with you. I made a note of it a couple of days ago and then tonight as I was channel-hopping I found the same story on More4 News. Tee hee. They had a few examples of other unfortunate logos, all of which I have found online here. Guess they did the same Google search I did.

Anyway, the OGC one is a worthy addition to the canon.

Update: when I showed this post to my wife she drew my attention to this picture which suggests that careless choice of words can be just as unfortunate as any pictogram. Oh, and my daughter reckons the "A-style" logo is intended to be funny, as (I note) does the first commenter on that page.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

To be continued.....

I've just spent far too long on this gloriously silly quiz. It apparently has 110 questions and I'm nearly halfway..... (thanks Clare)

Alabama 3 - Glasgow ABC, 22 April 2008

My second Alabama 3 gig, and I could pretty much re-use the review I wrote of the first one. I didn't enjoy this gig quite as much as the first one, maybe because I knew what to expect, but also: (a) the PA was less than ideal, and the lyrics weren't always clear (b) they didn't look quite so dissipated (c) the pacing was different. By (c) I mean that they opened up with Mao Tse-Tung Said, meaning that the audience weren't so fired up for it: while still an effective piece (revd. Jim Jones samples and all) it didn't really set the ABC ablaze. By the end of their set it would have lit up the crowd, as did Hypo Full Of Love and Speed of the Sound of Loneliness.

Still a great gig though. I can't imagine the band being anything but inspiring. This time they did even more numbers from M.O.R. such as Amos Moses, Sweet Joy, Work It All Night Long and Monday Don't Mean Anything. Zoe Devlin, their female vocalist, just keeps getting better and better.

Here is Clare on the subject of the band and what makes them awesome.

Now enjoy Mao Tse-Tung the way it should be.

One nation under water

I received a link to an Amnesty International video today, which shows waterboarding. Though in fact it shows only the mildest possible form of waterboarding, as you will know if you read this piece which I linked a couple of months back.

And will any of the US Presidential candidates stop their country's illegal use of torture? Fat chance of that, I suspect.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fan Club - Dorothée

The Saunders family was introduced to Dorothée back in the early 1990s by friends of ours who had slightly older children and who spent most of their family holidays in France. They made some tapes for us, and from then on Dorothée became part of the soundtrack of our lives, especially car journeys.

SO - who is Dorothée? Biographical details are here, but she is (or was) a French singer with a very popular children's TV programme and also, it would seem, one aimed more at grown-ups. She sang traditional French songs, specially written material, and also cover versions of rock classics, especially when duetting with guests such as Chuck Berry. The original material is extraordinary, by which I mean you couldn't imagine a Britsih equivalent, at least not in the 1980s and 1990s. The songs are squarely aimed at a kids' audience (mostly) in terms of lyrics, but musically they're the kind of throwback to the 50s and 60s that the French seem so fond of. Sort of Europop-cum-The Singing Kettle. For anyone who enjoys French pop, they're very appealing. Par example:

Vive les Vacances

Allo Allo Monsieur l'Ordinateur (probably her biggest hit)

Qu'il est Bête!

Toutes les guitares du rock n roll

À l'École

A good example of the Dorothée kids+retro mixture is her suitcase songs. Each of her albums (as far as I have been able to determine) contains a song about the contents of her suitcase, beginning with La Valise. This is far from being the best of them: subsequent songs, while keeping to the same easily-recognised formula regarding the valise's contents (and never forgetting those chaussettes rouges et jaunes à petits pois) tells a different story but more importantly is in a different musical style. We've had a country one, a techno one, a heavy metal one... you could fill Heathrow T5 with them. Our friends were thoughtful enough to collect all the ones available at the time onto one of the tapes they made for us.

One thing that struck me early on was how clear her enunciation is: subtitles are almost unnecessary, except where the vocabulary is exotic. I mean to say, when I did French at school we were told that the phrase "un bon vin blanc" should have four distinct nasal vowel sounds in it. We were also told (correctly) that many actual French speakers, and especially Parisians, manage to make them all sound pretty similar. Well, I can announce that Parisienne Dorothée's nasal vowels couldn't be more distinct if Henry Higgins himself had been training her.

Here's a clip from her show perhaps aimed more at the adult audience:

Si j'ai menti

And here's another. I hadn't heard of Karen Cheryl before, though I've added a clip below * of one of her solo numbers from a Dorothée show. I had, though, heard of Jane Birkin, and I guess you have too. Anyway, here are the three ladies together strutting their secretarial stuff on the Dorothée show:

Le trio de Secretaires


Put that in your valise and close it.

(*As promised: Karen Cheryl: Pense a moi quand-meme (on Dorothee Show))

Friday, April 11, 2008

I wonder if there's a Johnson Johnson Quiz?







Which Lymond Character Are You?



Congratulations, you're Francis Crawford of Lymond, for a time the Master of Culter. You're the hero and the focal point of everything. You're the quintessential romantic hero: brooding, mysterious, witty, informed, gentle, sensitive and all the rest. You should, perhaps, consider doing the dishes once in a while and speak in your native tongue when possible. In other words, show off a bit less. It won't kill you.
Take this quiz!







Yay! Result! And I didn't even cheat!

The Joy of Toast

...courtesy of Meg Pickard.

I added my personal toast favourites to her comments (I left out butter, butter/marmalade and peanut butter/marmalade as being too obvious):

Crunchy organic peanut butter and Branston pickle.

Tahini and soy sauce (sprinkle the soy onto the toast first or it just rolls off the tahini in globules).

Grilled cheese and jalapeno peppers. Awesome with a beer or two.

Mmmmm.....toast........

On the importance of protesting against the right military occupier

On a related (and highly topical) note, this made me laugh. Sort of.

I don't suppose the Nazis were too pleased by the comparison either

So let's get this straight. The Israeli government can dehumanise the Palestinians, calling them vermin and cockroaches. It can steal their land and ethnically cleanse them from it to settle its own people. It can torture and murder them. It can visit collective punishment on whole villages in retaliation for any attacks on Israelis. It can herd Palestinians into ghettos and starve them. It can run Israel for the sole benefit of one (raciall- selected) part of its population. Finally, one of its ministers can threaten Gaza with a "Holocaust".

And somehow the United Nations, which must be bitterly regretting having oversen the creation of Israel in the first place, and whose resolutions attempting to interest successive Israeli admistrations in peace rather than ethnic cleansing have been treated with amused contempt - the UN are supposed not to notice any of this? Apparently so. So now human rights investigators join nuclear inspectors on the regime's list of undesirables. Who next?

Sometimes it's difficult to escape the suspicion that the Israeli government is just taking the piss: behaving deliberately outrageously and daring the rest of the world to show a little spine. After all, if Saddam could be deposed and executed for having embarrassed George Bush's dad, surely a spot of regime change could be organised to bring democracy to this racist theocracy? Complicit cowards like Bush, Blair and Brown won't do it, but I live in hope that some day someone will.

More comment on the story at Jews Sans Frontieres.

You can have women and cookies and a strawberry

Apparently in London this month you can buy coffee at £50 a cup which is partly made from cat poo.

Well, it's for charity.

Anyway, it set me to thinking about my more normal encounters with cat shit, generally when mowing the lawn, which in turn set me off singing this song. Addictive little thing....

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Get off my blog please, I need to vomit

I picked this story up from Islamophobia Watch earlier this week, but Five Chinese Crackers has a good piece on the way in which it's been reported, and the way in which the Islamophobic bias of the British tabloids creates an atmosphere where such stories are more likely to be uncritically believed. (I still wonder what would have happened if it had appeared on April 1st.)

The Islamophobia Watch post links to this one at Dhimmi Watch, which proves 5CC's point nicely. If so many of the commenters weren't American it would make me even more ashamed of my fellow Brits than it does.

Goo goo goo joob

Sal Tation (sic) of Farting Through My Fingertips linked to this story from the BBC. I hadn't spotted it, and I don't think it was all that widely reported elsewhere, perhaps because these days no media outlet wants to be the purveyor of good news about Islam. Still, Sal provides a good explanation of the significance (or at least potential significance) of Turkey's initiative.

I'd forgotten what an entertaining blog FTMF is. Posts about Star Wars, grammar, badgers' toilet arrangements (I couldn't resist linking that one), to say nothing of an amusing photograph of a seagull and an awesome video (which is either genuine or a piece of fakery as awesome as that which it purports to show) of a walrus. Dancing. To Michael Jackson's 'Smooth Criminal'.

A bright future beckons

I'm sure that all those of us who work in jobs where our performance is measured (wholly or in part) in terms of customer satisfaction will empathise with the young lady in this anecdote.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Under the Covers

Ever since Clare Sudbery turned me on to Instrumental I've been thinking of what one could do with a string quartet and rock music. Of course, the Kronos Quartet have recorded arrangements of Ornette Coleman, Jimi Hendrix and Willie Dixon, but how far could one go? Little Fluffy Clouds would seem pretty extreme. But no, here come radio.string.quartet with their tribute to John McLaughlin's Mahavishnu Orchestra. Just listen to Celestial Terrestrial Commuters on this album to hear how far a quartet can go. And they make it sound so natural, too, as though it had been written for a quartet to begin with.

And while we're on the subject (ever dear to my heart) of cover versions, how about Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention doing The Handsome Cabin Boy on this album? Apparently Zappa was a long-time fan of Ewan McColl and Bert Lloyd. While I would never have bet against FZ's taking an interest in any kind of music, I hadn't suspected that.

You may think it's all 8/3 pi r**3 but it amuses me

I have no idea what I was looking for when I found these. But mathematical limericks was nowhere close.

The integral ones are especially jolly, I thought.

Self-belief, and nice use of humour. Seriously, I am awestruck.

From www.mcafee.cc, this wonder:

This is an actual essay that a guy used to get himself accepted at NYU 2 or 3 years ago.

----------------

The author of this essay, Hugh Gallagher, now attends NYU

3A. ESSAY

IN ORDER FOR THE ADMISSIONS STAFF OF OUR COLLEGE TO GET TO KNOW YOU, THE APPLICANT, BETTER, WE ASK THAT YOU ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: ARE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT EXPERIENCES YOU HAVE HAD, OR ACCOMPLISHMENTS YOU HAVE REALIZED, THAT HAVE HELPED TO DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON?

I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.

I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.

Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.

I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat .400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.

I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.

I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.

But I have not yet gone to college.

Swanning about

OK, how about this for a musical challenge? Coming to it from cold, I managed 3597 on my first (and so far only) shot. As a string player I would expect to be able to improve on that quite a bit now I know how the piece is being bowed.

No doubt Persephone will score 10,000 on her first go.... (this is a joke, BTW).

So. How was it for you?

Update: second try 3784; third try 3830.

Best so far: 3983.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Can If Lyrics These Untangle You

After all those first lines and last lines and middle eights: here's a real challenge.

I managed 19 out of 50. How about you?

Thanks to Defective Yeti for the link.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

You can't change the laws of physics....

....as Star Trek's Scotty used to insist. Funnily enough, though, the "terrorism experts" who advise the Home Office seem to imagine that those laws, when applied to chemical reactions, take on a much more malleable and provisional form. The news is full right now of the trial of the men who plotted to cause "mass murder on an unimaginable scale" by using liquid explosives to destroy transatlantic aircraft.

What a pity it wouldn't work. At worst the bombers might have managed to set the aeroplane toilet on fire. If they actually made something big enough and strong enough to destroy an airliner (and the link to the article about Aloha Airlines Flight 243 shows that it ain't that easy) they'd undoubtedly have attracted suspicion when carrying their ice-packed payload aboard. Either that or they'd have made a series of neat holes in the ground when their taxis went over speed bumps.

But wait! What's this? Now we hear rather than TATP the dastardly brown chappies were planning to use HMTD. (Or maybe that was only the detonator: though why would they need one, since apparently hydrogen peroxide itself is capable of being "detonated to deadly effect".)

Let's ignore for now the game of if-we-change-the-accusations-often-enough-and-use-enough-confusing-abbreviations-people-will-stop-trying-to-follow-the-arguments-and-assume-the-experts-know-best that's going on here. Let's ignore even the fact, readily verifiable via the links above, tha HMTD and TATP share similar drawbacks for the job under consideration. Maybe slightly less fumes from HTMD synthesis, but that's all. Let's just return to our prosecutor, briefed by our government's experts in explosives and terrorism, telling us that hydrogen peroxide can be detonated. Well, here's some information on hydrogen peroxide.

Spilling high concentration peroxide on a flammable substance can cause an immediate fire fueled by the oxygen released by the decomposing hydrogen peroxide. High strength peroxide (also called high-test peroxide, or HTP) must be stored in a vented container to prevent the buildup of oxygen gas which would otherwise lead to the eventual rupture of the container. Any container must be made of a compatible material such as PTFE, polyethylene or aluminium (not stainless steel) and undergo a cleaning process (passivation) to remove all contamination prior to the introduction of peroxide. (Note that whilst compatible at room temperature, polyethylene can explode with peroxide in a fire.)

I've seen the spilling-HTP-onto-a-piece-of-clothing trick demonstrated (when I attended my first RAF camp as an Air Training Corps cadet at school - it was part of the fuel for the air-launched nuclear missiles deployed on 617 Squadron's Vulcans.) Combustion, certainly, but no detonation. Difficult to make the stuff at home, and any attempt to smuggle that sort of hydrogen peroxide concentration in Gatorade bottles would pretty much guarantee a steep rise in London's reported cases of spontaneous human combustion. No, I think I'm more worried about policy being dictated by self-styled "explosives experts" who don't know the difference between detonation and deflagration than I am by supposed "Islamic fanatics" arrested for having flight timetables on a memory stick.

It's easy to see where this is going, though. Play on the public's ignoraance of chemistry, persuade the ignorant that this was a real plot with real explosives, then when the jury throws the whole thing out after someone explains the science to them the government can "prove" that jury trials allow "terrorists" to walk free, maybe with a side order of clever defence lawyers "confusing" the jury.

The author of the piece in The Register worried that real terrorists who do understand chemistry would be operating unhindered while the credulous oafs charged with our protection worrried about all the wrong things. Undoubtedly true, but in my opinion it' s less about catching terrorists than about discrediting due legal process.

Update: more interesting discussion here, here and especially here.

Also here, here and here.

And in case the somewhat flaky nature of the last link worries you, the British Army think it's bollocks as well.

Yes, I think Britain and the USA are finally beginning to "get it" about the "war on terror".

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

The Woad Goes Ever On And On

The Woad Song, sung to the tune of Men of Harlech (via Post-it Notes from Hades)

What's the use of wearing braces, hats or spats or shoes with laces
Vest and pants you buy in places down on Brompton Road?
What's the use of shirts of cotton, studs that always get forgotten
These affairs are simply rotten, Better far is woad!

Woad's the stuff to show men; woad to scare your foemen!
Boil it to a brilliant blue and rub it on your legs and your abdomen!
Ancient Britons never hit on anything like woad to fit on
Necks or knees or where you sit on. Nothing's good as woad!

Romans came across the Channel, all dressed up in tin and flannel
Half a pint of woad per man'll clothe us more than these!
Saxons, you may save your stitches building beds for bugs in britches.
We have woad to clothe us which is not a nest for fleas.

Romans, keep your armors, Saxons, your pajamas!
Hairy coats were made for goats, gorillas, yaks, retriever dogs and llamas!
March on Snowdon with your woad on, even if you're rained or snowed on
Never need a button sewed on, when you're wearing woad!