Thursday, July 18, 2019
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Friend Graham E has drawn my attention to the significance of 1969 for 50 year anniversaries as suitable subjects for Bytes posts. Some of those subjects have passed, others remain to be celebrated and aI will post some bytes about all of them in the coming week. Thanks Graham. 1969 was indeed a happening year:
HMAS Melbourne collision: 3 June 1069
Stonewall Riot: 25 June 1969
Moon landing: 19 July 1969
Chappaquiddick Affair: 25 July 1969
Manson Killings: 9 August 1969
Woodstock: 15-18 August 1969
Beatles’ Abbey Road: 26 September 1969
Monty Python debuts: 5 October 1969
Sesame Street debut: 3 November 1969
Altamont Speedway Concert: 6 December 1969
Today has some related humour, plus a few lengthy items and some that readers may find not at all funny. Let me know what you think . . .
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Little fella walking into the pub and standing outside is a nun. ‘Before you enter this den of iniquity, think of the damage alcohol will do to you,’ says the nun. ‘What are you talking about,’ says the little fella. ‘Have you ever had a drink?’ ‘No,’ she says. ‘Well how about I get you a drink and then at least you’ll know what you’re talking about. What’ll you have?’ ‘I don’t know,’ she replies, ‘what do ladies usually drink?’ ‘Gin.’ ‘Well, I’ll have gin, but put it in a cup so no-one will notice.’
Little fella walks up to the bar and says, ‘I’ll have a pint of bitter and a double gin in a cup.’
Barman says, ‘Is that bloody nun out there again?’
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It's business as usual for a bartender, and one day as he is cleaning his bar when an unusual customer walks in. The man is dressed in an expensive suit, has a beautiful supermodel hanging off each arm, and has a limo parked outside. Furthermore, the man has an orange for a head.
The customer sits down at the bar and orders everyone a drink. He pays for it from a roll of hundreds and manages to get the attention of every woman in the joint, despite having an orange for a head.
The bartender is not a man to pry, but he feels compelled to ask about this man's life.
"Excuse me," says the bartender, "I can't help but notice that you're obviously fabulously wealthy and irresistable to women, but you have an orange for a head. How did that happen?"
So the man told his story.
"A while back, when I was penniless, I was walking along the beach and saw an old lamp, half buried in the sand. I picked it up and gave it a clean, and POOF! out popped a genie. The genie explained that he had been trapped in that lamp for two hundred years, and that he was so grateful to me for freeing him that he would give me three wishes.
"For my first wish I asked for an unlimited fortune. The genie said 'It is done!' and from then on, whenever I needed money, it was there.
"For my second wish I asked for the attention of all the most beautiful women in the world. The genie said it was done, and since then I have been able to get any woman I wanted.
"For my third wish -- and, this is the bit where I kinda fucked up -- I asked for an orange for a head."
Apparently half of the readers will find this incredibly funny and half can’t see anything funny in it. The humour is that there is no humour, one can almost describe it as anti-humour. There are numerous discussions on the internet about whether the orange head joke is funny or not, read a sample discussion at:
That site gives another similar example:
A man walks into a control room. There is a big red button labelled "Nuclear Launch Button." He walks up and presses it.
A display screen next to the button reads "Input password." There is a number panel below the screen. He searches around the room, and finds a locked desk. He jimmies it open, and rummages around through it. Inside there is sheet of paper which says "Nuclear launch password: 7831662"
He returns to the number panel, and punches in 7831662. The display screen says "Code confirmed. Press again to launch." He presses the button again. "Launching nuclear arsenal."
He stares at the screen in shock. "Aw shit.... I fucked up."
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From the vault:
A man who just died is delivered to the mortuary wearing an expensive, expertly tailored black suit.
The mortician asks the deceased's wife how she would like the body dressed, pointing out that the man looks good in the black suit he's already wearing. The widow, however, says that she always thought her husband looked his best in blue and that she would like him buried in a blue suit.
She gives the mortician a blank cheque and says, "I don't care what it costs, but please have my husband in a blue suit for the viewing."
The woman returns the next day for the wake and to her delight, she finds her husband dressed in a gorgeous blue suit with a subtle chalk stripe; the suit fits him perfectly. She says to the mortician, "Whatever this cost, I'm very satisfied. You did an excellent job and I'm very grateful. How much did you spend?"
To her astonishment, the mortician presents her with the blank check. "There's no charge," he says. "No, really, I must compensate you for the cost of that exquisite blue suit!" she says. "Honestly, ma'am," the mortician says, "it cost nothing. You see, a deceased gentleman of about your husband's size was brought in shortly after you left yesterday, and he was wearing an attractive blue suit. I asked his wife if she minded him going to his grave wearing a black suit instead, and she said it made no difference as long as he looked nice. Then it was just a matter of switching the heads"
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Limerick of the Week:
A lady with features cherubic
Was famed for her area pubic.
When they asked her its size
She replied in surprise,
"Are you speaking of square feet, or cubic?"
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Once upon a time, there was a young boy, and this young boy was having his 10th birthday. His father thinking that it was an important day for his young lad, said to him, 'You can have anything that you want for your birthday'. The boy thought and thought. Finally, he said to his pop, "Dad, I want a green golf ball." The man was surprised a bit, but decided to humour his son. And so, the boy recieved 1 green golf ball for his 10th birthday.
On this boy's 13th birthday, when he hit his teens, the father once again walked up to the boy, and told him what he had before. The boy thought. And thought. Finally, he said, "Dad, I want 10 green golf balls." Now, the father was slightly curious about this, and he almost asked his son why. But then he decided that it was just youthfulness, and left it at that.
Upon graduating from High School, the boy was once again given that same offer by his father. He thought and thought and thought. Finally, he went up to his old man and said, "Dad, I want 100 green golf balls." Now, the father was very curious about this, and asked his son, finally, why he wanted the balls. The boy just said, "Dad! It's a secret!" The father backed down, and got the boy his balls.
When the boy graduated from college, his father once again offered him anything he wanted. Once again, the boy thought. Once again, the boy walked up to his father. He said, "Dad, I want 1000 green golf balls." The father decided that the boy knew how to live his life. But still he asked, "Why, son? Why do you want these green golf balls?" And once again, the boy said, "It's a secret, Dad!"
And then came the war. And the boy volunteered himself for his country. And when he came back in one piece, his father said, "Son, I will get you anything that you want!" And the boy thought. And thought. And he said, "Dad, I want 10,000 green golf balls." And the father could not hold back his question any longer. "Why? Why, son? Why do you need these green golf balls?" And the son looked at thim, and he said, "Dad, now, I told you that it was a secret. Please don't make me tell you." And the father backed off.
The boy got married. His father walked up to him, and offered him anything he would want on this joyous occasion. The boy thought and thought and thought. And thought. And, finally, he said, "Dad... I want 100,000 green golf balls..." And the father, keeping calm, asked why. Why the boy wanted so many green golf balls. And all the boy could do was look at his father, and say, "It's a secret." And the father kept silent.
Then, tragedy struck. There was a car accident. The boy was mortally injured. And the father went to see the son in his final hour. And he asked his son if there was anything he could get him. And the son whispered, "Father... Please get me 1,000,000 green golf balls..." And the father almost wept. He said, "Son, please tell me why you want these green golf balls..." And the son looked at his father, and he said, "Alright, dad..."
And then he died.
From an email saent to me by Byter Leo M, with additional comment by myself.
RAAF PBY Catalina, 1952, for Rathmines.
HMAS Anzac II and Fairy Firefly on the HMAS Sydney. RAN. 1953.
Australian rabbit plague. Narromine, NSW. 1953.
European rabbits were introduced to Australia in the 18th century with the First Fleet and eventually became widespread. Such wild rabbit populations are a serious mammalian pest and invasive species in Australia causing millions of dollars of damage to crops. Their spread may have been enhanced through the emergence of strong crossbreeds.
Various methods in the 20th century have been attempted to control the Australian rabbit population. Conventional methods include shooting rabbits and destroying their warrens, but these had only limited success. In 1907, a rabbit-proof fence was built in Western Australia in an unsuccessful attempt to contain the rabbits. The myxoma virus, which causes myxomatosis, was introduced into the rabbit population in the 1950s and had the effect of severely reducing the rabbit population. However, the survivors have since adapted and partially recovered their previous numbers.
Truck carrying 1760 pairs of rabbits
In 1827 a Tasmanian newspaper noted “the common rabbit is so numerous ... they are running about on some large estates by thousands. We understand there are no rabbits whatever in the elder colony” of NSW.
This changed after Victorian grazier Thomas Austin released 24 rabbits for hunting on his 11,736ha Barwon Park run at Winchelsea, southwest of Melbourne in 1859. Austin, who left England aged 15 in 1832 for Tasmania, supported “acclimatisation’’ by importing European plants and animals. He asked a nephew in England to send 12 grey rabbit breeding pairs, five hares, 72 partridges and sparrows. Austin planted lettuce crops and dug warrens, then went hunting, inviting the Prince of Wales to Barwon Park in 1867, when the prince shot 486 rabbits in two days.
Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, rabbit shooting at Barwon Park, Victoria in 1867
Austin reportedly crossed English rabbits with local domesticated rabbits, creating a hybrid so well suited to Australia that they reached NSW by 1880, when Victorian pastoralist James Cudmore reported a plague reduced his woolclip 80 per cent.
English hat maker Benjamin Dunkerley turned the pest to his advantage in Tasmania, inventing a machine in 1892 to remove hair tips from rabbit fur, previously done by hand, to use the underfur for felt hats.
Benefiting from mild winters and no natural predators, rabbits reached South Australia and Queensland in 1886. In 1887 damage and losses compelled the NSW government to offer a £25,000 reward for successful extermination methods “not previously known in the Colony”. Among 1456 suggestions was a proposal from French microbiologist Louis Pasteur, who in 1888 sent three agents to Australia to release chicken cholera microbes, used to kill rabbits in a Rhiems vineyard. The NSW government thwarted Pasteur’s trials with the Noxious Animal Act, prohibiting use of microbes to conduct experiments in inoculation in open country. Rabbits reached Western Australia in 1890.
A royal commission in 1901 led to unsuccessful experiments to control or reduce rabbits, while Dunkerley moved his hat business to Surry Hills, where English hat maker Stephen Keir joined him in 1904. Keir wed Dunkerley’s daughter Ada in 1905, and in 1912 introduced the Akubra name, a Pintjantjantjara word for headdress.
By the 1920s Australia had 10 billion rabbits, reproducing by 18 to 30 births per female per year, unhampered by rabbit-proof fences across Queensland and Western Australia. But in the Great Depression even future Victorian premier Henry Bolte, who quipped in 1934 that his property ran 600 sheep and 60,000 rabbits, supplemented his income by trapping rabbits to sell skins and carcasses.
Microbiologists Frank Fenner, Macfarlane Burnet and Ian Clunies Ross chose a wet summer of 1951-52 to release fleas and mosquitoes infested with a South American rabbit virus, myxoma. Fenner injected himself when it was feared myxoma was spreading Murray Valley encephalitis.
In 1950, after years of research, scientists released myxomatosis—and it was devastating. The rabbit population dropped from 600 million to 100 million in the first two years. The change was immediate.
Brian Coman remembers walking in a field with his father as a boy and looking at a hill, part of which was covered with bracken fern.
'He clapped his hands, and it was almost as if the whole surface of the ground got up and ran into the bracken fern. There were hundreds upon hundreds, perhaps thousands of rabbits. It was a sight I'll never forget.'
But after myxomatosis 'the grey blanket' disappeared.
'You could walk all day and not see a rabbit,' says Coman.
The accidental release of calicivirus during tests on Wardang Island off South Australia in 1995 killed 10 million rabbits in eight weeks. In 2015 declining rabbit numbers forced Akubra to source all rabbit pelts from the Ukraine.
Wednesday, July 17, 2019
From an article from news.com on how some towns in New South Wales are running out of drinking water as a result of the continuing drought, the Mayor of Tenterfield showing his skills at being a wordsmith:
Tenterfield in the state’s north is at the epicentre of the crisis, with the town’s dam sitting at a precarious 32 per cent and a single bore struggling to supplement the supply.
“We pump that bore for two days and then give it a spell for a few days, to let it replenish, and in those two days, it puts roughly a day’s use back into the dam,” Tenterfield Shire Council Mayor Peter Petty said.
“I’m no mathematician but to me that’s going out the back. It won’t last.
“Our concern is that if the bore shits itself, we’re buggered."
Tenterfield Council, Mayor Peter Petty at right.
Why would I worry about getting older – what’s to moan about?”
- Dawn French
“What a drag it is getting old.”
- Rolling Stones, Mother’s Little Helper
Eminem, age 18
Peter Dinklage in high school.
Robin Williams in high school
Prince, aged 17 in 1975
Susan Sarandon, 1963
A teenage George Clooney
Tom Hanks as a high school senior in 1974.
Hillary Rodham (later Clinton) at Wellesley College. 1969.
Bill gates at 22, arrested for driving without a license and failing to stop at a stop sign. 1977.
Meryl Streep as a cheerleader during her junior year of high school. 1966.
A teenage Bill Clinton shakes President John F. Kennedy's hand in 1963.
Drew Carey while serving in the United States Marine Corps. Circa 1978.