Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Quote for the Day

Trivia: Nobel Peace Prize


 The Nobel Peace Prize is one of six awards in the memory of Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite.

Nobel left instructions in his Will that his money should create the Nobel Prize after reading an article in a French newspaper that called him the "merchant of death" and said that he would be remembered for his invention of dynamite and its ability to kill more people than ever before.


The Nobel Foundation administers the awards, asking different committees or academies to decide who receives the prizes. People who receive a Nobel Prize are called "Nobel laureates".

Each prize winner gets a medal, a diploma and a sum of money.


Every year the organisation gives out six awards for the people "who best benefit mankind through their actions" in one of the six subjects; peace, literature, physics, chemistry, economics, and medicine.


 The Peace Prize is given out in Norway, but the other Prizes are given out in Sweden. This is because Norway and Sweden were one country when the prizes were started.

The awards are presented in Stockholm, Sweden, in a ceremony on December 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death.


The list of Nobel Peace Prize winners includes Martin Luther King, Jr., Elihu Root, Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Henri La Fontaine, Mikhail Gorbachev, Aung San Suu Kyi, Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan, Jimmy Carter, Wangari Maathai, Barack Obama, Liu Xiaobo, Juan Manuel Santos and Abiy Ahmed.


There have only been 19 instances when the annual Nobel Peace Prize has not been awarded since its inception in 1901.  The Norwegian Nobel Committee determines the winner after the nominations have been culled from more than 300 people to 20-30 final candidates.  It’s much easier to be nominated than to win.

Nominations can be made by anyone who is qualified to do so, which includes members of national assemblies and governments. University professors, former advisors of the Nobel Committee and people who have been awarded the prize can also nominate recipients.

The lists of nominees are not released to the public and are kept secret for 50 years.

The lists show that:

Italian Fascist dictator Benito Mussolini was nominated for the Peace Prize in 1935, the same year he invaded Ethiopia.  The prize ended up being awarded to Carl von Ossietzky, a German who led the fight against Germany’s rearmament.

Hitler and Mussolini, June 1940

Adolf Hitler was nominated in 1939 by a member of the Swedish Parliament as a protest against British PM Neville Chamberlain having been nominated.  The nomination was subsequently withdrawn but no prize was awarded that year because of the outbreak of World War II.

Josef Stalin was nominated by a former Norwegian foreign minister in 1945 after WW 2 had ended.  Norway had been allied with the Soviet Union for many years and the Red Army had liberated part of the country from German occupation. Also, Allied countries portrayed Stalin positively in mass media because of the Soviet actions during the war.  The award went to US politician Cordell Hull, the longest serving Secretary of State (11 years).   Stalin was nominated again in 1948 but missed out that year as well, no prize being awarded that year as a tribute to the recently assassinated Gandhi.

Stalin, Hitler and Mussolini


The last 10 Nobel Peace Prize winners:

Barack Obama, "for his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples."

Liu Xiaobo: "for his long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China"

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Leymah Gbowee and Tawakkul Karman, "for the security and women's rights"

European Union, "for having over six decades contributed to the advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe"

Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons , for its work in destroying chemical weapons

Kailash Satyarthi (India) and Malala Yousafzai (Pakistan), "for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education."

Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, "for its decisive contribution to the building of a pluralistic democracy in Tunisia in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution of 2011"

Juan Manuel Santos (Colombia), "for his resolute efforts to bring the country's more than 50-year-long civil war to an end, a war that has cost the lives of at least 220,000 Colombians and displaced close to six million people"

International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, "for its work to show the humanitarian crisis of any use of nuclear weapon and for its ground-breaking efforts to achieve a treaty-based prohibition of such weapons."

Denis Mukwege (DRC), Nadia Murad (Iraq), "for their efforts to end the use of sexual violence as weapon of war and armed conflict."

Abiy Ahmed (Ethiopia), "for his work in ending the 20 year stalemate between Ethiopia and Eritrea."


"I'm going to tell you about the Nobel Peace Prize, I'll tell you about that. I made a deal, I saved a country, and I just heard that the head of that country is now getting the Nobel Peace Prize for saving the country. I said: 'What, did I have something to do with it?' Yeah, but you know, that's the way it is. As long as we know, that's all that matters... I saved a big war, I've saved a couple of them."

-        President Donald Trump on not getting the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019, that year’s prize having been awarded to Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed. 

  • Although he did not name the Nobel Peace Prize winner or the country, it is clear that President Trump was referring to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
  • Abiy Ahmed, 43, is Africa's youngest head of government. He has introduced massive liberalising reforms to Ethiopia, shaking up what was a tightly controlled nation. He freed thousands of opposition activists from jail and allowed exiled dissidents to return home. He has also allowed the media to operate freely and appointed women to prominent positions.
  • The Norwegian Nobel Committee said Mr Abiy was honoured for his "decisive initiative to resolve the border conflict with neighbouring Eritrea". The two countries fought a bitter border war from 1998-2000, which killed tens of thousands of people. Although a ceasefire was signed in 2000, the neighbours technically remained at war until July 2018, when Mr Abiy and Eritrea's President Isaias Afwerki signed a peace deal. So for two decades, the long border was closed, dividing families and making trade impossible. The Nobel Committee said it hoped the peace agreement would help to bring about positive change to the citizens of Ethiopia and Eritrea.
  • Since the peace deal with Eritrea, Mr Abiy has also been involved in peace processes in other African countries, the committee said.

By the way, some families have received multiple Nobel awards, one such notable family being the Curies:

  • Marie Curie – for Physics in 1903 and for Chemistry in 1911

  • Her husband Pierre Curie – for Physics in 1903

  • Their daughter Irène Joliot-Curie – for Chemistry in 1935

  • Their son-in-law Frederic Joliot-Curie – for Chemistry in 1935

  • Henry Labouisse, the husband of the Curie's second daughter Ève, was the director of UNICEF when it won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1965.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Thought for the Day

Washington Post 2019 Neologism Winners


An email sent to me by Leo . . .


Once again The Washington Post has published the winning submissions to its yearly neologism contest, in which readers are asked to supply alternative meanings for common words.

The winners are:

1. Coffee (n.), the person upon whom one coughs.

2. Flabbergasted (adj.), appalled over how much weight you have gained.

3. Abdicate (v.), to give up all hope of ever having a flat stomach.

4. Esplanade (v.), to attempt an explanation while drunk.

5. Willy-nilly (adj.), impotent.

6. Negligent (adj.), describes a condition in which you absentmindedly answer the door in your nightgown.

7. Lymph (v.), to walk with a lisp.

8. Gargoyle (n.), olive-flavoured mouthwash.

9. Flatulence (n.), emergency vehicle that picks you up after you are run over by a steamroller.

10. Balderdash (n.), a rapidly receding hairline.

11. Testicle (n.), a humorous question on an exam.

12. Rectitude (n.), the formal, dignified bearing adopted by proctologists (doctors of the colon and anus)

13. Pokemon (n.), a Rastafarian proctologist.

14. Oyster (n.), a person who sprinkles his conversation with Yiddishisms.

15. Frisbeetarianism (n.), (back by popular demand): The belief that, when you die, your soul flies up onto the roof and gets stuck there.

16. Circumvent (n.), an opening in the front of boxer shorts worn by Jewish men.

The Washington Post's Style Invitational also asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition.

The winners are:

Bozone (n.): The substance surrounding stupid people that stops bright ideas from penetrating.

The bozone layer, unfortunately, shows little sign of breaking down in the near future.

Cashtration (n.): The act of buying a house, which renders the subject financially impotent for an indefinite period.

Sarchasm (n): The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.

Inoculatte (v): To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.

Osteopornosis (n): A degenerate disease. (This one got extra credit.)

Karmageddon (n): It's like, when everybody is sending off all these Really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.

Glibido (v): All talk and no action.

Arachnoleptic fit (n.): The frantic dance performed just after you've accidentally walked through a spider web.

Caterpallor (n.): The color you turn after finding half a grub in the fruit you're eating.

And the pick of the literature:

Ignoranus (n): A person who's both stupid and an asshole.


Thanks, Leo.

The last one is a corker.

By the way, here is my contribution to the neologisms . . .

Neologism (n.):  Wanky pseudo-spiritual quotes from The Matrix movies, such as:

. . . and, of course . . . 

Monday, January 20, 2020

Quote for the Day

Some impeachment articles . . .

How Trump’s Impeachment Differs from a Criminal Trial

Adapted from an item at at:

In President Donald Trump’s trial, the Senate will serve as both judge and jury. The Republicans who control the chamber can forge their own rules if they have enough votes. And the presiding judge is the top one in America, yet can be decisively overruled.

A look at some of the key differences between a courtroom trial and the impeachment trial that will play out in the coming days.

Federal trials, both civil and criminal, are presided over by District Court judges who are nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate. They rule on questions of evidence, motions to dismiss a case or to exclude certain testimony, and all other disputes that emerge both before and during the trial.
None other than John Roberts, the chief justice of the United States, will preside over this case. Exactly what role he’ll play is unclear, though it may be a modest one in keeping with his insistence that judges aren’t meant to be politicians. And even if Roberts were to make a ruling from the chair, 51 senators can vote to overrule him.

It’s a bedrock principle of American jurisprudence, and enshrined in the Constitution, that defendants have the right to have their fate decided by a jury of their peers — ordinary citizens who, by design, are meant to lack personal connections to the parties, or other biases or motives that could sway their judgment. They’re questioned in advance on their ability to evaluate the evidence fairly and impartially.
The jury pool here is already preordained under the Constitution and neither side gets any say in who gets to hear the case. The 100 senators who make up the chamber will decide the case, invariably bringing their own partisan leanings toward one side or the other. They’re not required to check any political prejudices or biases at the door — nor will they. They’re also not impassive observers, carrying the power on a majority vote to approve rules or even dismiss the charges.

The attorneys for both sides get to call the witnesses they think will bolster their side of the case. The lawyers themselves handle the direct questioning and cross-examination, though judges may also ask clarifying questions. Jurors are not invited to interrupt the proceedings with their own questions, nor do they get to decide whether witnesses are called.
The senators themselves, in their roles as jurors, will have the opportunity to submit questions in writing. Under the rules, senators can even be called as witnesses in the trial. And it’s not even automatic that there will be witnesses: It requires 51 votes for witnesses to be called.

Federal criminal cases are tried by prosecutors who work for the Justice Department, their names generally unfamiliar to the American public. In state and local proceedings, those prosecutors are often known as assistant district attorneys. They don’t align themselves with particular political parties or affiliations.
The prosecutors here aren’t prosecutors in the traditional sense. They’re actually seven Democratic members of Congress, all selected by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and given the title of “manager.” Some of the seven are familiar faces from their time leading congressional investigations into Trump, including Rep. Adam Schiff of California and Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York.

To declare a defendant guilty in a criminal case, either on the state or federal level, a jury must be unanimous in its decision — no exceptions. If a jury can’t reach a verdict after a prolonged period of deliberations, then a judge can declare it as deadlocked and dismiss it from duty.
No such unanimity is required here. It would take a two-thirds majority of senators, 67 if all 100 are voting, to convict the president. Since Republicans make up the majority of the Senate, a conviction is seen as unlikely. If Trump were convicted on either of the two articles against him, he would automatically be removed from office.

Presidential impeachments


Only three U.S. presidents have been formally impeached by Congress—Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton and Donald Trump. 
So far, no U.S. president has ever been removed from office through impeachment.  
In addition to Johnson, Clinton and Trump, only one other U.S. president has faced formal impeachment inquiries in the House of Representatives: Richard Nixon. 
Many other presidents have been threatened with impeachment by political foes without gaining any real traction in Congress. The framers of the Constitution intentionally made it difficult for Congress to remove a sitting president. The impeachment process starts in the House of Representatives with a formal impeachment inquiry. If the House Judiciary Committee finds sufficient grounds, its members write and pass articles of impeachment, which then go to the full House for a vote. A simple majority in the House is all that’s needed to formally impeach a president. But that doesn’t mean he or she is out of a job. 
The final stage is the Senate impeachment trial. Only if two-thirds of the Senate find the president guilty of the crimes laid out in the articles of impeachment is the POTUS removed from office. Although Congress has impeached and removed eight federal officials—all federal judges—no president has ever been found guilty during a Senate impeachment trial. Andrew Johnson came awfully close, though; he barely escaped a guilty verdict by one vote.
More details about the above impeachment episodes, and why they happened,  at:

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Quote for the Day

Extract from Dorothea Mackellar's poem "My Country"

Another bushfire item: The Fire at Ross's Farm

The following poem by Australian writer and bush poet Henry Lawson (1867-1922) is corny but hey, I’m a sucker for that.

A glossary will assist, especially for overseas readers . . .

Squatting, in Australian history, refers to someone who occupied a large area of crown land to graze livestock. Initially often having no legal rights to the land, they gained its usage, and leasehold title (later by ownership), by being the first (and often the only) settlers in the area.
Selection referred to "free selection before survey" of crown land in some Australian colonies under land legislation introduced in the 1860s. These Acts were intended to encourage closer settlement, based on intensive agriculture, such as wheat-growing, rather than extensive agriculture, such as wool production. Selectors often came into conflict with squatters, who already occupied the land and often managed to circumvent the law.  This conflict, between squatters already occupying large areas and selectors, registering claims to parts of such areas (often the best parts) resulted in confrontations between the two groups and led to wells being filled in; baits laid for dogs and deadly feuds. 
Sandy Ross, a farmer from Scotland,  selected and occupied a parcel of land to farm, the best part of the grassland occupied by Black, a squatter.  Ross used his selected area to grow wheat whereas Black’s much larger area would have been used for sheep, which required a significantly greater land area.
Southern Cross
Constellation of stars visible in the southern hemisphere and historically a symbol associated with Australia, now present on the Oz flag
Henry Lawson
By the way, Henry Lawson’s verse and prose is sympathetic to the selectors in the conflict between selectors and squatters.  The son of a free selector, he never forgot what difficulties that had meant and in his writings he often referred back to his childhood days on the Lawson farm: “Our selections were pushed back in the barren, stony, hopeless ridges, where old dead trees and stumps to be ‘grubbed out’ were hard as iron—because the black soil flats, taken up by early pioneer squatters were barred to us. We were really trespassers if we crossed the flats for a billy of water from the ‘crick’.”

'The Fire at Ross's Farm", by Pro Hart

The Fire At Ross's Farm

- Henry Lawson

The squatter saw his pastures wide
Decrease, as one by one
The farmers moving to the west
Selected on his run;
Selectors took the water up
And all the black soil round;
The best grass-land the squatter had
Was spoilt by Ross's Ground.

Now many schemes to shift old Ross
Had racked the squatter's brains,
But Sandy had the stubborn blood
Of Scotland in his veins;
He held the land and fenced it in,
He cleared and ploughed the soil,
And year by year a richer crop
Repaid him for his toil.

Between the homes for many years
The devil left his tracks:
The squatter pounded Ross's stock,
And Sandy pounded Black's.
A well upon the lower run
Was filled with earth and logs,
And Black laid baits about the farm
To poison Ross's dogs.

It was, indeed, a deadly feud
Of class and creed and race;
But, yet, there was a Romeo
And a Juliet in the case;
And more than once across the flats,
Beneath the Southern Cross,
Young Robert Black was seen to ride
With pretty Jenny Ross.

One Christmas time, when months of drought
Had parched the western creeks,
The bush-fires started in the north
And travelled south for weeks.
At night along the river-side
The scene was grand and strange --
The hill-fires looked like lighted streets
Of cities in the range.

The cattle-tracks between the trees
Were like long dusky aisles,
And on a sudden breeze the fire
Would sweep along for miles;
Like sounds of distant musketry
It crackled through the brakes,
And o'er the flat of silver grass
It hissed like angry snakes.

It leapt across the flowing streams
And raced o'er pastures broad;
It climbed the trees and lit the boughs
And through the scrubs it roared.
The bees fell stifled in the smoke
Or perished in their hives,
And with the stock the kangaroos
Went flying for their lives.

The sun had set on Christmas Eve,
When, through the scrub-lands wide,
Young Robert Black came riding home
As only natives ride.
He galloped to the homestead door
And gave the first alarm:
`The fire is past the granite spur,
`And close to Ross's farm.'

`Now, father, send the men at once,
They won't be wanted here;
Poor Ross's wheat is all he has
To pull him through the year.'
`Then let it burn,' the squatter said;
`I'd like to see it done --
I'd bless the fire if it would clear
Selectors from the run.

`Go if you will,' the squatter said,
`You shall not take the men --
Go out and join your precious friends,
And don't come here again.'
`I won't come back,' young Robert cried,
And, reckless in his ire,
He sharply turned his horse's head
And galloped towards the fire.

And there, for three long weary hours,
Half-blind with smoke and heat,
Old Ross and Robert fought the flames
That neared the ripened wheat.
The farmer's hand was nerved by fears
Of danger and of loss;
And Robert fought the stubborn foe
For the love of Jenny Ross.

But serpent-like the curves and lines
Slipped past them, and between,
Until they reached the bound'ry where
The old coach-road had been.
`The track is now our only hope,
There we must stand,' cried Ross,
`For nought on earth can stop the fire
If once it gets across.'

Then came a cruel gust of wind,
And, with a fiendish rush,
The flames leapt o'er the narrow path
And lit the fence of brush.
`The crop must burn!' the farmer cried,
`We cannot save it now,'
And down upon the blackened ground
He dashed the ragged bough.

But wildly, in a rush of hope,
His heart began to beat,
For o'er the crackling fire he heard
The sound of horses' feet.
`Here's help at last,' young Robert cried,
And even as he spoke
The squatter with a dozen men
Came racing through the smoke.

Down on the ground the stockmen jumped
And bared each brawny arm,
They tore green branches from the trees
And fought for Ross's farm;
And when before the gallant band
The beaten flames gave way,
Two grimy hands in friendship joined --
And it was Christmas Day.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Quote for the Day


- Jack Handey

5 x 5: Songs


5 facts about 5 songs . . .


Radio Ga Ga

Official video:  

Queen drummer Roger Taylor wrote the song. Which was released in 1984.  It was written as a critique of radio stations, which were becoming commercialised repeating the same songs.  Before beng deregulated, companies were allowed to own multiple stations, resulting in more corporate ownership, less competition and a decline in quality.  It was also a commentary on television overtaking radio's popularity, and on the music video and MTV, which were competing with radio for promoting records. Taylor originally conceived of it as "Radio caca" from something his toddler son once said in trying to describe a bad song on the radio. Taylor liked the title, but the rest of the group objected and asked for a re-write. As a result, it went from a song condemning radio ("Ca-Ca") to praising it ("Ga Ga").  Lady Gaga took her name from this song.

The music video for the song features scenes from Fritz Lang's 1927 science fiction film Metropolis.  Freddie Mercury's solo song "Love Kills" was used in the restored version of the film and in exchange Queen were granted the rights to use footage from it in their "Radio Ga Ga" video. However, Queen had to buy performance rights to the film from the communist East German government, which was the copyright holder at the time.

In praising radio, the song refers to two important radio events of the 20th century; Orson Welles' 1938 broadcast of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds in the lyric "through wars of worlds/invaded by Mars", and Winston Churchill's 18 June 1940 "This was their finest hour" speech from the House of Commons, in the lyric "You've yet to have your finest hour".


I'd sit alone and watch your light
My only friend through teenage nights
And everything I had to know
I heard it on my radio

You gave them all those old time stars
Through wars of worlds invaded by Mars
You made 'em laugh, you made 'em cry
You made us feel like we could fly (radio)

So don't become some background noise
A backdrop for the girls and boys
Who just don't know or just don't care
And just complain when you're not there

You had your time, you had the power
You've yet to have your finest hour
Radio (radio)

All we hear is radio ga ga
Radio goo goo
Radio ga ga
All we hear is radio ga ga
Radio blah blah
Radio, what's new?
Radio, someone still loves you

We watch the shows, we watch the stars
On videos for hours and hours
We hardly need to use our ears
How music changes through the years

Let's hope you never leave old friend
Like all good things on you we depend
So stick around 'cause we might miss you
When we grow tired of all this visual

You had your time, you had the power
You've yet to have your finest hour
Radio (radio)

The extras in the video got the clapping sequence right on the first try, but it took practice for the members of Queen to get it down. Queen played a shorter, up-tempo version of "Radio Ga Ga" during the Live Aid concert on 13 July 1985 at Wembley Stadium, where Queen's "show-stealing performance" had 72,000 people clapping in unison.  According to band member Brian May:  "I remember thinking 'oh great, they've picked it up' and then I thought 'this is not a Queen audience'. This is a general audience who've bought tickets before they even knew we were on the bill. And they all did it. How did they know? Nobody told them to do it."


The House of the Rising Sun


The melody is a traditional English ballad, but the song became popular as an African-American folk song. It was recorded by Texas Alexander in the 1920s, then by a number of other artists including Leadbelly, Woody Guthrie, Josh White and later Nina Simone. It was her version The Animals first heard. In the traditional folk version, the main character is either a prostitute or a prisoner. The Animals changed it to a gambler to make their version more radio-friendly. 

Prior to The Animals’ 1964 hit with this song, the most successful commercial version, it had also been recorded by Glenn Yarbrough (19570, Pete Seeger (1958), Miriam Makeba (1960), Joan Baez (1960), Bob Dylan (1961) and Nina Simone (1962).

Dylan recorded it in 1961 as a traditional folk song.  When he heard the recording by The Animals three years later he discovered he could apply a rock rhythm to a folk song. He bought an electric guitar and started to use it, famously at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival where he did an electric set for the first time.

The two most popular explanations of the song title are:
  • Firstly, the song is about a brothel in New Orleans. "The House Of The Rising Sun" was named after its occupant Madame Marianne LeSoleil Levant (which means "Rising Sun" in French) and was open for business from 1862 (occupation by Union troops) until 1874, when it was closed due to complaints by neighbours.
  • Alternatively, it's about a women's prison in New Orleans called the Orleans Parish women's prison, which had an entrance gate adorned with rising sun artwork. This would explain the "ball and chain" lyrics in the song.

The Animals recorded this in one take, having perfected the song from performing it on the road.  When, a few weeks later, it was Number 1 all over the world and knocked the Beatles off the top in the US, they sent us a telegram which read, 'Congratulations from The Beatles (a group)'."


All I Want For Christmas Is You

Original clip:

Recorded by Mariah Carey, who also co-wrote and co-produced it with Walter Afanasieff, the song remains Carey's biggest international success, reaching number one in numerous countries, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and the United States. The song took Carey and Afanasieff a total of fifteen minutes to write and compose

Carey followed up her 1993 hit album Music Box with a 1994 Christmas album, Merry Christmas, notwithstanding concerns by the suits that Christmas albums are often released towards the end of waning careers.  It was not released as a commercial single, instead being used to boost sales of the album.  The song made #12 US in 1994 when it was first issued to radio stations as a promotional single.

In March 2015, Mariah Carey became the first rider on James Corden's Carpool Karaoke. The bit became wildly popular, and in December, Carey returned to sing "All I Want For Christmas Is You," but interspersed with footage of Carpool Karaoke guests singing along, including Lady Gaga, Elton John, Nick Jonas, Adele, Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, Chris Martin and Gwen Stefani. With about 30 million views on YouTube, it sent the song once again into the Hot 100, this time placing it at #11, topping its original placement of #12 in 1994.


On March 21, 2017, Carey announced via her Twitter account that a film based on "All I Want for Christmas Is You" was in development  A musical film based on Merry Christmas, the plot revolves around a small town where a ruthless developer wants to turn the land into a large shopping plaza. According to her producing partner Benny Medina: "Mariah doesn't want to let that happen.  Her character uses song and love to keep the Christmas spirit alive." According to Carey, "Since I recorded the Christmas album, I've always wanted to make a movie to go with it, something that people could watch and hear and enjoy every year. I'm into it. I'm all about the holiday season."

On November 24, 2019, the song won three records in Guinness World Records for one of the best-selling and most recognisable Christmas songs, most streamed song on Spotify in 24 hours (female) (10,819,009 streams in December 2018) and most weeks in the UK singles Top 10 chart for a Christmas song titles.




"Howzat" was released in 1976 by Australian band Sherbet, reached number 1 in Australia and New Zealand and remains the group's biggest hit.  It also reached No 5 in the UK charts and entered the US Billboard Hot 100 chart (No 61).

In cricket, there are various ways for the batter to get out – having the ball caught on the full after being hit; being stumped out of the safe area (that is, the batter is outside the safe line known as “the crease”); leg before wicket (“LBW”) meaning the batter’s leg has prevented the ball hitting the wicket (that is, the stumps).  In such situation the fielding team need to appeal to the umpire by calling out “How’s that?”, which is always called out as “Howzat?”

The chorus of Howzat uses the above cricket terms and analogies:

How how howzat
You messed about
I caught you out
Now that I found where you're at
It's goodbye
Well howzat
It's goodbye

In 1976, someone suggested to Tony Mitchell and keyboardist Garth Porter that Howzat might make a good title for a song because some of the members of Sherbet loved cricket. Despite Mitchell not being a good cricketer, he sat down with Garth Porter at Porter's Rose Bay home to work on the idea. Mitchell soon came up with the "doo-doo, doo-doo" bass riff, after which the first thing that came into Porter's mind was the phrase "I caught you out."

Daryl Braithwaite and Garth Porter re-recorded the song for the Channel 7 2019 cricket season. The new version had a lyric make-over with the line “you messed about I caught you out” removed to divert attention from the ball-tampering scandal of 2018.



Paint It Black

Official clip:

Written by Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, it was first released as a single in 1966, reaching  number one in both the Billboard Hot 100 and the UK Singles Chart. The song became the Rolling Stones' third number-one hit single in the US and sixth in the UK.

The song's lyrics describe blackness and depression through the use of colour-based metaphors. The song describes the extreme grief suffered by one stunned by the sudden and unexpected loss of a wife, lover or partner. According to one commentator the song seems is about a lover who died:
"I see a line of cars and they're all painted black" - The hearse and limos.
"With flowers and my love both never to come back" - The flowers from the funeral and her in the hearse. He talks about his heart being black because of his loss.
"I could not foresee this thing happening to you" - It was an unexpected and sudden death.
"If I look hard enough into the setting sun, my love will laugh with me before the morning comes" - This refers to her in Heaven.  [Or the memories?]

On this track, Stones guitarist Brian Jones played the sitar, which was introduced to pop music by The Beatles on their 1965 song Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown). Jones made good television by balancing the instrument on his lap during appearances.

The Stones former manager Allen Klein owned the publishing rights to this song. In 1965, The Stones hired him and signed a deal they would later regret. With Klein controlling their money, The Stones signed over the publishing rights to all the songs they wrote up to 1969. Every time this is used in a commercial or TV show, Klein's estate (he died in 2009) gets paid.

This was used as the theme song for Tour Of Duty, a CBS show about the Vietnam War which ran from 1987-1989. [I loved that series.  Thinking about it, I am going to watch it again, I have it on DVD.  Kate?]