Wednesday, June 16, 2021





A sampler of items of interest from various internet sites. Click on the links provided to access the items for a more detailed look . . .


1,000 year egg:

Ever heard of century eggs or thousand year eggs? They are Chinese delicacies made by preserving an egg, usually, from a duck, such that the shell becomes speckled, the white becomes a dark brown gelatinous material, and the yolk becomes deep green and creamy. The white supposedly doesn't have much flavour, but the yolk smells strongly of ammonia and sulfur and is said to have a complex earthy flavour.

I’ve tried it and the best thing I can say is, to quote Crocodile Dundee: “Well, you can live on it, but it taste like shit.”

Which is all by way of an introduction to an item in this week’s Smithsonian Magazine that scientists in Israel have discovered a 1,000 year old egg preserved in a shit pit.

According to Alla Nagorsky, an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA): “We were astonished to find it. From time to time we find fragments of eggshells, but a whole egg is extraordinary.”

Apparently the egg remained unbroken for so long because it was pillowed in soft human waste in a cess pit, which created anaerobic, or oxygen-free, conditions and prevented its decay.

That however did not prevent the archaeologists cracking it in trying to remove it. I love this sentence from the report: “Luckily, Ilan Naor, director of the IAA’s Organic Materials Conservation Laboratory, was able to repair the crack. While much of the egg’s contents leaked out, some of the yolk remained, and the researchers preserved it for future DNA analysis.”

Smithsonian Magazine
June 11, 2021

But what of the big questions:

What is the big deal about an egg 1,000 years old?

Test the DNA for what?

What was the whole egg doing in the cess pit anyway?

Will Woolworths and Coles reconsider their current packaging?


Got asthma? Have a cigarette. . .

Authoritative website, which examines whether news reports, urban myths etc are factual, BS or both, asked whether it is true that in the past, cigarettes were recommended as a treatment for asthma.

As Mythbusters would put it, we (or at least would have to call this one confirmed.

From the snopes item:


Symptoms of the respiratory condition known as asthma were once treated with cigarettes.


Asthma is a respiratory condition marked by spasms in the bronchi of the lungs, causing difficulty in breathing. Today, flare-ups of asthma are typically self-treated through the use of an inhaler that delivers a type of medication known as a bronchodilator (commonly albuterol) which relaxes and opens air passages to the lungs to make breathing easier.

Modern readers might be quite surprised to learn that a common remedy for asthma symptoms was once something that now seems the most unlikely of treatments — cigarettes:

This revelation isn’t so shocking as it might seem, though, because asthma cigarettes were very different than modern tobacco-based cigarettes — they were a delivery system for asthma medication used before the advent of albuterol and propellant-based inhalers.

Back in the early part of the 20th century, when very few effective medications existed for the treatment of most medical maladies, doctors could offer little to asthma patients other than adrenaline injections. In that void, asthma sufferers commonly turned to a type of inhalation therapy dating to the early 19th century, one which involved the use of stramonium leaves:

Products such as Page’s Inhalers — cigarettes containing stramonium leaves and other ingredients such as tea leaves, chestnut leaves, gum benzoin, and kola nuts — were therefore a common treatment for asthma symptoms in the early 20th century:

Despite the development of effective bronchodilating medications such as albuterol in the early 1970s, asthma cigarettes were still being recommended and used well into the 1990s.

June 11, 2021

As surprising as the above may have been, how much more shocking that doctors featured in pro-smoking advertisements from the cigarette manufacturers:

The tobacco industry’s use of doctors in their ads gave a none-too-subtle message that if the doctor, with all of his expertise, chose to smoke a particular brand, then it must be safe. Unlike with celebrity and athlete endorsers, the doctors depicted were never specific individuals, because physicians who engaged in advertising would risk losing their license. It was contrary to accepted medical ethics at the time for doctors to advertise. Instead, the images always presented an idealised physician wise, noble, and caring who enthusiastically partook of the smoking habit. All of the doctors in these ads were actors dressed up to look like doctors. Little protest was heard from the medical community or organised medicine, perhaps because the images showed the profession in a highly favourable light. These ads regularly appeared in medical journals such as the Journal of the American Medical Association, an organisation which for decades collaborated closely with the industry. The big push to document health hazards also did not arrive until later.

Spot quiz:

Which was the first country to mount a nation-wide anti-smoking campaign.
Which leader and which government?
Some clues:
  • This country’s doctors were the first to identify the link between smoking and lung cancer.
  • Following that discovery, a strong anti-tobacco movement developed, which in turn led to the first anti-smoking campaign in modern history.
  • There were other anti-tobacco movements in other countries from the beginning of the 20th century but this country had the only success, the campaign having been supported by that country’s government.
  • The government condemned smoking and tobacco consumption.
  • The government sponsored research on smoking and its effects on health.
  • Anti-smoking measures introduced included:
        smoking being banned on public transport;

        health education being promoted;

        raising of tobacco taxes;

        restrictions on tobacco advertising;

        limiting cigarettes to the armed forces;

       restrictions on smoking in public places, restaurants, coffee houses, schools, hospitals and public offices;
  • Certain occupations were banned from smoking whilst on duty: teachers, police and midwives, as examples.
  • Pregnant women were encouraged not to smoke.
  • Films were made encouraging everybody, but especially women and children, not to smoke.

Click on the following link to a 2010 Bytes post which provides the answer:
It will surprise you.


A lovely feelgood story, words and pics from Amusing Planet . . .

The Maharajah’s Well

Kaushik Patowary

We think that charity always flows from the richer nations to the poorer ones, but sometimes it also flows the other way. When Ireland was starving during the potato famine in the 1840s, the Choctaw Nation of American Indians, despite being impoverished themselves and living in extreme hardship, donated an equivalent of $170 to the troubled nation. More recently, in the aftermath of the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, the Masai tribe of Kenya sent 14 cows to the United States. Although these gifts, rather than being actually helpful, were simply tokens of goodwill and solidarity, there was one charity they really helped.

Maharajah's well

In the mid-1800s, Edward Anderton Reade, a gentleman from Ipsden, in South Oxfordshire, when serving as the Governor of Benaras, struck a close friendship with the Maharaja of Benaras (now Varanasi), Ishree Pershad Narayan Singh. Reade would often tell the the Maharaja stories from the land he grew up in. One day, the conversation turned to water shortage problems and the frequent drought conditions in his home in Ipsden and the neighbouring parishes in the foothills of Chiltern Hills. Although the Thames run close by, the river is little more than a shallow stream at this place. Furthermore, the hills are dry and chalky, with very few springs that dry up in the summer months. During these long periods of drought, the people of the region relied on water collected in dirty ponds, or they needed to be fetched by hand from miles away.

One story in particular made a huge impact on the Maharaja. When Reade was a child, he came across a boy being beaten up by his mother for having stolen a drink of water in the village of Stoke Row, 3 miles from Ipsden. The story stayed with the Maharaja, and recalling how Mr. Reade had helped sunk a well in the village of Azamgarh, a few years previously, the Maharaja decided to return the favor by financing the construction of well in the parish of Stoke Row, where the incident occurred.

Maharaja of Benaras, Ishree Pershad Narayan Singh

The well, now known as the Maharaja’s Well, is 368 feet deep and 4 feet wide. It was dug entirely by hand under difficult and dangerous condition. To get to the water, workers had to dig through twenty-five feet of clay and gravel subsoil, followed by three hundred feet of chalk, interspersed with two layers of sand, each about eight foot deep. The sand layers were the most dangerous as they were susceptible to cave-ins. The final few feet consisted of a mixture of chalk and shells. The work took 14 months to complete. The Maharaja couldn’t travel aboard to see the work, but he kept track of the well’s progress through the photographs and information Reade sent him.

The well was surrounded by red brick base and iron columns leading up to an elaborate onion domed canopy topped by a gilded spear finial. A winding gear was installed to pull water, and this was adorned by a gold-painted elephant. In addition to the well, the Maharaja also planted a cherry orchard close to the well so that its upkeep could be funded from the sale of the fruit. An octagonal caretaker’s cottage was constructed next to the well, which has been a private home since 1999.

The caretaker’s cottage.

The gilded elephant decorating the winding mechanism of the well.

The Maharaja continued to make additions and modifications to the well, which were inaugurated or commenced on special occasions. A footpath was completed at the maharajah's expense when the Marquis of Lorne married Princess Louise in 1871. In 1882, when Queen Victoria survived an assassination attempt, he funded a ration of free bread, tea and sugar, as well as lunch for the villagers.

The well served the community well for some seventy years until piped water arrived in the 1920s, and that sealed its fate. Use of the well declined and the well fell into disrepair.

The well was restored in 1964 on the occasion of its one hundredth anniversary. The centenary celebration and the restored well’s inauguration was attended by Prince Philip and representatives of the Maharaja. A vessel containing waters from the Ganges was brought in and poured into the well.

Maharajah's well.

The construction of the Maharajah’s Well in Stoke Row inspired many more charitable acts by wealthy Indians in Britain, including drinking fountains in London park and a more modest well constructed at Ipsden by Raja Deonarayan Singh. These acts of charity are testimony to the strange relationship between the British and Indian aristocracies in the mid-19th century. Less than a decade before the dedication of the Maharaja’s Well, India’s first war of independence broke out resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of British officers, civilians and Indian rebels. The massacre committed at Cawnpore was particularly cruel. More than a hundred British women and children were hacked to death by the rebels and their bodies thrown down a nearby well. Stoke Row’s well might thus seem like a peculiar choice of construction project to patronage, especially when the wounds of the massacre were still fresh.

Today, the Maharaja’s Well and the surrounding landscape with the orchard and the cottage is a site of heritage in Stoke Row.

Amusing Planet
June 9, 2011


Tuesday, June 15, 2021





Another contribution by friend Graham, for whom the G Spot (at least in Bytes) is named. Graham’s email appears below although the reference to the Fox Hat is mine (explained later).

From Graham:
Hi Mr O,

Noticed during the trooping of the colour for Her Maj’s birthday the odd bearskin worn by the Duke of Kent and wondered if he had shrunk or if old military people just don’t fit their uniforms like they used to:


Thanks Graham.

S’more . . .

"The bigger the hat, the smaller the sheep station.”
- Australian proverb

Now what do they remind me of?  Yes, that's right . . . 

Prussian Garde Du Corps Helmet

The bรถrk, the standard headgear used by Ottoman Janissaries, consisted of a cowl that drapes down to the neck and a spoon-holder at the forehead. This was meant to symbolize how they were “messmates”: soldiers who ate together stuck together.

Their headdresses could get more elaborate than this. Officers often had plumes attached, for instance:

Italian Bersaglieri wear what appears to be an entire live chicken on their heads.

Indian and Pakistani military border guards,
As one commenter said, one of the few times you don't notice the AK-47.

Some Q + A, from website Quora at:

Responses contributed by Quora readers and persons with firsthand experience.

Do some troops really wear ballcaps and berets into combat instead of helmets? Why?

These days, there are two most common reasons for wearing a beret or ball cap instead of a helmet:

Cool Factor. Chris Kyle, a rather famous former Navy SEAL, literally admits this in his book ‘American Sniper’. Ball caps aren’t better, not lighter, just ‘cooler’. Ok they might actually be better because they are lighter and cooler in terms of temperature and comfort but that’s not the point! It’s cooler because conventional military personnel are typically not authorized to wear ball caps when going off the base and certainly not when going into expected combat.

The same kind of approach was used with US Civil Affair units in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some people (from these countries) said that US Soldiers looked almost like aliens from outer space with all of their equipment on, so helmets were generally not worn when conducting business with locals so
1). They wouldn’t be as intimidated
2). They could see that they were regular people as well

Did the British army ever wear bearskin hats into battle?

Yes they did. British Foot Guards Regiments, which then were made up of the Grenadier Guards, Coldstream Guards and the Scots Fusilier Guards (as they were known then), only went into a war once wearing the Bearskins you see now and this was the Crimean War (October 1853 to February 1856).

The only reason the Foot Guards only wore the Bearskin in one war was because they did not fight in any others after the Battle of Waterloo and after the Crimean War within 20 or so years were wearing pith helmets on operations from 1882 onwards.

And for a bit more knowledge for those who do not know. The Bearskin, which was not worn by British Foot Guards Regiments during the Napoleonic Wars, was awarded to the Guards regiments following the Battle of Waterloo as a tribute to the bravery of the Guards, following their defeat of Napoleon’s Old Guard (who wore bearkins). The headwear they wore during this period was the Shako.

Why do Israeli soldiers wear strange hats?

Well this is called Mitznefet (the translation is somewhere between a nightcap and a garment. Yes it doesn't translated very well) and no, we don't use that for sleep. There are some real advantages of wearing it over than a normal helmet cover:

The main reason: it breaks shape - all the military helmets have the same round shape, so instead of making your head exposure bigger, you change it into an asymmetric shape, and that makes you harder to spot. (Perfect circles and shapes are not natural things).

The lesser reason: It provides you with blessed shade for you to enjoy. When you're in ambush for several days in a row that becomes a thing you just can't live without.

Not only that, it actually helps you to sleep well (try to sleep when there are flies in the bush you're in, making your life a living hell).

These hats are not strange, they are simple, easily removable add-ons that come on top of a standard military helmet and are just camouflage gear. They break the easily recognizable human silhouette and they come in multiple versions so they can be customized to the surrounding terrain.

One other thing . . .

On one occasion that Prince Charles visited Australia, he attended a function at Wagga Wagga where he was met by various dignitaries, including the Mayor. Whilst having a cocktail, the Mayor said to the Prince “Your Highness, it’s quite a hot day and yet you have chosen an unusual style of headwear, a fur cap. Isn’t that quite hot and uncomfortable?” The Prince replied “Well, yes, it is actually, but it was Mummy’s idea.” “I’m sorry, Her Majesty told you to wear it?" said the Mayor. “Oh, yes,” replied Charles. “I spoke to her by telephone this morning. She asked me what I was doing today and I told her I was attending a reception at Wagga Wagga. She said ‘Wear the fox hat.’ “


Monday, June 14, 2021


Sadi (1210 - 1291) was a major Persian poet and prose writer of the medieval period. He is recognized for the quality of his writings and for the depth of his social and moral thoughts. 



Today is a public holiday in Oz in honour of Her Maj's birthday.

Best wishes, Your Maj, on your birthday,
Though it’s not really your birthday today.
Despite being Republican,
Myself and the public can
Say1 that you’re doing okay.

Here are some fascinating facts about Queen Elizabeth II . . .

Queen Elizabeth II turned 95 on April 21. She is the longest-reigning British monarch in history.

Despite being one of the world's most recognizable people, she's very private.

She reportedly drinks a glass of champagne every night before bed.

Queen Elizabeth never went to school. However, that doesn't mean she's uneducated. Elizabeth was taught by private tutors at home. The same goes for her younger sister, Princess Margaret.

She and her sister once partied incognito in the streets of London. Elizabeth and Margaret got their parents' permission to join the massive crowds celebrating the end of World War II on May 8, 1945. The Queen has recalled the evening as one of the most memorable in her life. "I remember lines of unknown people linking arms and walking down Whitehall, all of us just swept along on a tide of happiness and relief," she said in 1985, according to the BBC. Elizabeth and Margaret's escapade has even been dramatized in a film called "A Royal Night Out."

Her tiara snapped on her wedding day. The court jeweller had to be summoned immediately to repair the diamond tiara, but it was successfully patched up in time for the ceremony, according to Town & Country.

She was actually related to the man she married. Technically, Elizabeth and her husband, Philip, were third cousins. Elizabeth is related to Queen Victoria on her father's side, and Philip was related to Queen Victoria on his mother's side. Philip was born into the royal families of Greece and Denmark but renounced his original titles when he married Elizabeth. They were married for 73 years before his death on April 9, 2021.

She celebrates her birthday twice a year. The Queen's real birthday is April 21, but the country doesn't officially celebrate until June 11. Monarchs with birthdays in colder months typically schedule an additional, official birthday when the weather is likely to be better for a parade. Elizabeth has one every June called Trooping the Colour.

She has reigned for so long, four out of five UK residents weren't alive when she ascended the throne. Most Brits have never known another monarch beside Elizabeth: 81% of UK residents weren't alive when Elizabeth ascended the throne, according to data shared by the UK Office of National Statistics in 2017.

She became queen immediately upon the death of her father in 1952. Now, at 95, she's the world's longest-reigning monarch.

During her nearly 70-year reign, there have been 15 different British prime ministers. She's also seen 14 different US presidents.

She's owned more than 30 corgis throughout her lifetime. Elizabeth's father brought home the royal family's first corgi in 1933, and on her 18th birthday, Elizabeth was gifted her very own corgi named Susan, according to the Associated Press. Many of her subsequent corgis descended directly from Susan.

She also introduced an entirely new dog breed known as a dorgi — a cross between a corgi and a dachshund.

She owns all the swans and dolphins that swim in UK waters.

As early as the 12th century, the British monarchy laid claim to "all mute swans" in the country, according to the official royal family website. Back then, the birds were considered a delicacy.

Today, the Queen doesn't eat those swans, but she technically still owns them. Every year, the Queen's Swan Marker (actual job title) leads a multi-day census called the Swan Upping to count the birds and check up on their health.

Plus, thanks to the 1324 statute, the queen can also claim ownership of all "fishes royal" — that means any sturgeon, dolphins, whales, and porpoises that reside in the waters around the UK.

She's made at least 260 official overseas trips since taking the throne. These days she's making fewer international trips, but the Queen hasn't slowed down much in recent years. The Telegraph reported that the Queen carried out 341 royal engagements in 2015 — more than Prince Harry, Prince William, and Kate combined during that year.

She's rich, but she's not even close to being the richest person in the UK. The Queen gets some money from taxpayers and a whole bunch more from the royal family's private real estate holdings. Forbes estimated in 2019 that she was worth around $500 million. That might sound like a lot, but the Queen is by no means the wealthiest person in the UK.

She also gets to use a private ATM at Buckingham Palace. Somewhere in the palace there's a personal-use ATM. It's provided by Coutts, one of Great Britain's most prestigious banks.

She doesn't have to pay taxes, but she does anyway. The sovereign isn't required to pay income or capital gains taxes, but Elizabeth has been voluntarily doing so since 1993, according to the royal family's website

She sent a message to the moon. Ahead of the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, dozens of world leaders were invited to write "messages of goodwill" that were transferred onto a small silicon disc. That disc is still sitting on the surface of the moon — Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin placed it just below the American flag they planted at the landing site, according to NASA. "On behalf of the British people I salute the skill and courage which have brought man to the moon," the Queen wrote in her moon message. "May this endeavour increase the knowledge and wellbeing of mankind."

She's been portrayed as a character in roughly 100 TV shows and movies.

She reportedly drinks a glass of champagne every night before bed. According to The Independent, Margaret Rhodes, the Queen's cousin, once said that the Queen has a strict regimen for her alcohol intake. She reportedly takes a "gin and Dubonnet before lunch, with a slice of lemon and a lot of ice," wine with lunch, and a dry martini and a glass of champagne in the evening.

She's been wearing the same nail polish since 1989 — and it's surprisingly cheap. Apparently, the Queen is rather taken the Essie's classic pale pink polish Ballet Slipper, which retails for just $9. Essie says that, in 1989, Queen Elizabeth's hairdresser wrote a letter to nail polish-mogul Essie Weingarten requesting a bottle of the classic shade. The Queen refused to wear any other colour.

She doesn't have a passport or a driver's license. She doesn't even need them. Both driver's licenses and passports are issued in the Queen's name, so she doesn't need either.

She is pretty comfortable behind the wheel, too. She once hopped into a Land Rover and drove Saudi Arabia's Prince Abdullah around one of her country estates.

She reportedly uses her purse to send secret signals to her staff. A 2020 report in the Telegraph suggested the Queen uses her trusty handbag to subtly exit uncomfortable or boring meetings.

If the Queen is at dinner and places her handbag on the table, her staff knows that she wants the event to end in the next five minutes. And if she puts her bag on the floor, it signals that she would like to be rescued from her current conversation.

She can imitate the sound of a Concorde jet landing. Apparently, the monarch has a great sense of humour and a talent for mimicry. According to the Associated Press, the Queen's chaplain Bishop Michael Mann once said that "the queen imitating the Concorde landing is one of the funniest things you could see."

She once trolled a group of tourists who didn't recognize her. Maybe she's stony-faced in most photos, but the Queen really does have a fun side. One of her former security guards recalled a time when a group of tourists at Balmoral Estate didn't recognize the monarch, who was wearing a headscarf at the time. The group asked Elizabeth if they had ever met the Queen. "No," Elizabeth reportedly responded. Then she pointed to a nearby policeman and said, "But he has."

She doesn't use a last name. The Queen's official title is "Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God, of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and of her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith." No last name needed. The other members of the royal family can choose from a buffet of acceptable last names

She has a poet who's paid in alcohol. Queen Elizabeth gets to appoint the UK's poet laureate, who is traditionally paid with a yearly salary of £5,750 (about $7,000) plus an entire barrel of sherry. In 2019, the Queen appointed Simon Armitage as the next poet laureate. He'll serve for 10 years.

She can't be prosecuted or compelled to give evidence in court. Elizabeth doesn't appear to be abusing this power, however: A statement on the royal family website reads, "Although civil and criminal proceedings cannot be taken against the Sovereign [...] the Queen is careful to ensure that all her activities in her personal capacity are carried out in strict accordance with the law."

She bought a luxe apartment in New York City. Back in 2015, the Queen purchased a $7.9 million, three-bedroom apartment near the United Nations headquarters in New York City. It's got a staggering 3,000 square feet of living space, and the building itself was designed by a British architect the Queen once knighted.

The Queen signs her letters and statements with the name "Elizabeth R." While most people sign their letters, emails, or documents with their first and last names, Queen Elizabeth does it a little differently. The royal does use her first name, Elizabeth, for her signature, but she also uses the initial "R" instead of a last name. The "R" stands for "regina," which means "queen" in Latin

Sunday, June 13, 2021




Friend Graham E sent me an email about some interesting some titles. Thanks Graham.

Here is his email:
Hi Mr O,

Hers something I found doing a quiz. I came across some songs from WW I, with great titles.

Thought they may be useful or lead to a great byte about risquรฉ song titles!

"Would You Rather Be a Colonel with an Eagle on Your Shoulder or a Private with a Chicken On Your Knee?"

A World War I song that became a hit for songwriter and performer Arthur Fields in 1919. His version was recorded for Columbia records.

The song uses the colloquial in comparing a "bird" colonel's life to that of a private.

It also expresses a common man theme that was popular with Tin Pan Alley songwriters during World War I. The song was mentioned in detail in the address of E. M. Allen, who was president of the National Association of Insurance Agents, at the Annual Meeting of the Fire Underwriters' Association of the Northwest that was held in Chicago in 1918. The song is mentioned in Preston Jones' The Oldest Living Graduate: A Play in Two Acts.

“How Ya Gonna Keep 'em Down on the Farm (After They've Seen Paree)?”

A World War I song that rose to popularity after the war had ended. The lyrics highlight concern that American soldiers from rural environments would not want to return to farm life after experiencing the European city life and culture of Paris during World War I. The phrase 'How you gonna keep them down on the farm once...' has entered the vernacular to indicate a person becoming enamoured by a big city or more glamorous life. In the Big Lebowski, the Dude says 'How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm once they've seen Karl Hungus?' referring to the runaway Bunny, who left the family farm to star in pornography in Los Angeles. In The Limey, Wilson says of his daughter 'How you gonna keep her down on the farm after she's seen L.A.?'

In Archer, Pam Poovey briefly sings an altered version of the song; "How you gonna keep 'em down on the farm after they've seen Pammy?" after having sex with Archer in the office elevator.

“We Don't Want the Bacon (What We Want is a Piece of the Rhine)”

A World War I era song released in 1918.  Lyrics and music were written by "Kid" Howard Carr, Harry Russell, and Jimmie Havens.  On the cover is a soldier tearing through a large piece of bacon with his bayonet.  A fearful-looking Kaiser Wilhelm is standing on the bacon.

The song's title is influenced by the popular saying, "bringing home the bacon."  his phrase means to be successful, specifically financially successful.

“You'll Have to Put Him to Sleep with the Marseillaise and Wake Him Up with a Oo-La-La”

A World War I song written in 1918. Andrew B. Sterling wrote the lyrics, and Harry Von Tilzer composed the music. The song was produced by the Harry Von Tizler Publishing Company in New York City.

On the cover of the sheet music is a soldier kissing a woman.

The lyrics relay the message to American girls that US soldiers have learned "a lot of things in France," and in order to keep men interested they should adopt French mannerisms and learn how to speak French.

“If He Can Fight Like He Can Love, Good Night Germany!”

A World War I song from the perspective of a woman confident that her boyfriend will be a good soldier because he was a good lover. It became a hit after it was released by The Farber Sisters in 1918.


Not necessarily risquรฉ, here are some other amusing song titles, Graham . . .

"You're the Reason Our Kids Are So Ugly"
Loretta Lynn and Conway Twitty

"We Hate It When Our Friends Become Successful"

"Thank God And Greyhound (She's Gone)"
Roy Clark

"If You Don't Believe I Love You, Just Ask My Wife"
Gary P. Nunn

"You Take the Medicine (I'll Take the Nurse)"
William Penix

"I Wouldn't Take Her to a Dog Fight"
Charlie Walker

“She Never Told Me She Was a Mime"
Weird Al Yankovic

"Satan Gave Me a Taco"

"I've Been Flushed From the Bathroom of Your Heart"
Johnny Cash

"All I Want From You (Is Away)"
Loretta Lynn

"You Can't Have Your Kate and Edith Too"
The Statler Brothers.

"If the Phone Doesn't Ring, It's Me"
Jimmy Buffett

"Drop Kick Me, Jesus (Through the Goal Post of Life)"
Bobby Bare

"Our Lawyer Made Us Change The Name Of This Song So We Wouldn't Get Sued"
Fall Out Boy

"If My Nose Was Running Money (I'd Blow It All On You)"
Aaron Wilburn and Mike Snider.

"I've Got Tears in My Ears From Lying on My Back in Bed While I Cry Over You"
Homer & Jethro

"How Could You Believe Me When I Said I Loved You When You Know I've Been A Liar All My Life"
Fred Astaire Jane Powell

"I'd Rather Have a Bottle in Front of Me (Than a Frontal Lobotomy)"
Dr. Randy Hanzlick (an actual doctor) wrote this song

"I Don't Know Whether to Kill Myself or Go Bowling"
Instant Witness

"Billy Broke My Heart at Walgreens (I Cried All the Way to Sears)"
Ruby Wright

“Thanks for the Killer Game of Crisco Twister"
Minus the Bear

"Please, Daddy, Don't Get Drunk This Christmas"
John Denver (the song's title is only funny to the extent that it shows just how far country musicians are willing to go to write something sad).

"You Can Make Me Dance, Sing, or Anything …Even Take the Dog for a Walk, Mend a Fuse, Fold Away the Ironing Board, Or Other Domestic Shortcomings"
Rod Stewart and the Faces

"If You Can't Live Without Me, Why Aren't You Dead Yet?"
Mayday Parade

"Here's a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)"
Travis Tritt

"I Bought the Shoes That Just Walked Out on Me"
Wynn Stewart

"She Got the Gold Mine, and I Got the Shaft"
Jerry Reed

"Shoop Shoop Diddy Wop Cumma Cumma Wang Dang"
Monte Video and the Cassettes

"Mmm mmm mmm mmm"
Crash Test Dummies

"Put Your Big Toe in the Milk of Human Kindness"
Elvis Costello

"Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes"
They Might Be Giants

"Too Much Month at the End of the Money"
Billy Hall

"My Uncle Used to Love Me, But She Died"
Roger Miller

"I Wanna Find a Woman That'll Hold My Big Toe Till I Have to Go"
Captain Beefheart and the Magic Band

"Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)"
Sly and the Family Stone

"This Song Has No Title"
Elton John?

"Thanks to the Cathouse (I'm in the Doghouse With You)"
Johnny Paycheck

"What Made Milwaukee Famous (Has Made a Loser Out of Me)"
Jerry Lee Lewis

"If You Won't Leave Me, I'll Find Somebody Who Will"
Warren Zevon

“If I Said You Had a Beautiful Body (Would You Hold It Against Me?)”
Bellamy Brothers

Saturday, June 12, 2021




American writer Mark Twain was once travelling by train to Dijon in France. That afternoon he was very tired and wanted to sleep. He therefore asked the conductor to wake him up when they came to Dijon and explained that he was a very heavy sleeper. “I’ll probably protest loudly when you try to wake me up,” he said to the conductor. “But do not take any notice, just put me off the train anyway.”

When Twain woke up, the train was already in Paris. The angry writer ran up to the conductor and said, “I’ve never been so angry in all my life.”

The conductor looked at him calmly. “You are not half so angry as the American whom I put off the train at Dijon,” he said.

Thomas Gainsborough, one of England’s most famous 18th century painters, discovered his talent in an unusual way. As a boy he lived in the country and once, while walking near his father’s house, he saw a thief climb over the wall of neighbour’s garden. He had a look at the man, went back home and was able to draw a good likeness of the thief. When Tom’s father heard the story and saw the picture, he took it to the police at once. It was such a good likeness that quite soon the thief was caught and punished.

Message from the Duke of Wellington to the British Foreign Office in London –
written from Central Spain, August 1812


Whilst marching from Portugal to a position which commands the approach to Madrid and the French forces, my officers have been diligently complying with your requests which have been sent by H.M.ship from London to Lisbon and thence by dispatch to our headquarters.

We have enumerated our saddles, bridles, tents and tent poles, and all manner of sundry items for which His Majesty’s Government holds me accountable. I have dispatched reports on the character, wit, and spleen of every officer. Each item and every farthing has been accounted for, with two regrettable exceptions for which I beg your indulgence.

Unfortunately the sum of one shilling and ninepence remains unaccounted for in one infantry battalion’s petty cash and there has been a hideous confusion as the number of jars of raspberry jam issued to one cavalry regiment during a sandstorm in western Spain. This reprehensible carelessness may be related to the pressure of circumstance, since we are war with France, a fact which may come as a bit of a surprise to you gentlemen in Whitehall.

This brings me to my present purpose, which is to request elucidation of my instructions from His Majesty’s Government so that I may better understand why I am dragging an army over these barren plains. I construe that perforce it must be one of two alternative duties, as given below. I shall pursue either one with the best of my ability, but I cannot do both:

1.  To train an army of uniformed British clerks in Spain for the benefit of the accountants and copy-boys in London or perchance.

2.   To see to it that the forces of Napoleon are driven out of Spain.

Your most obedient servant,


Sam Houston driving a yoke of oxen and a cart met a heavy man in a buggy driving a team of black horses.

"I am Sam Houston, Governor of the State of Texas, and I order you to turn out of the road for me."

"I am an American citizen and a taxpayer of Texas, and I have as much right to the road as you."

"That is an intelligent answer and I salute you and I will turn out of the road for you."

From Stephen Hawking’s book A Brief History of Time, an item which has been posted previously in Bytes:

A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the end of the lecture, a little old lady at the back of the room got up and said: "What you have told us is rubbish. The world is really a flat plate supported on the back of a giant tortoise." The scientist gave a superior smile before replying, "What is the tortoise standing on?" "You're very clever, young man, very clever," said the old lady. "But it's turtles all the way down!”

(The idea of the world turtle with turtles all the way down, the world elephant etc has been around since the 17th and 18th centuries. See:

Hideki Tลjล (1884 – 1948) was a Japanese politician and general of the Imperial Japanese Army who served as Prime Minister of Japan and President of the Imperial Rule Assistance Association for most of World War II. During his years in power, he assumed several more positions including Chief of Staff of the Imperial Army before ultimately being removed from office in July 1944.

After Japan's unconditional surrender in 1945, U.S. general Douglas MacArthur ordered the arrest of forty individuals suspected of war crimes, including Tojo. Five American GIs were sent to serve the arrest warrant. As American soldiers surrounded Tojo's house on September 11, he shot himself in the chest with a pistol, but missed his heart. As a result of this experience, the Army had medical personnel present during the later arrests of other accused Japanese war criminals.

As he bled, Tojo began to talk, and two Japanese reporters recorded his words: "I am very sorry it is taking me so long to die. The Greater East Asia War was justified and righteous. I am very sorry for the nation and all the races of the Greater Asiatic powers. I wait for the righteous judgment of history. I wished to commit suicide but sometimes that fails."

After recovering from his injuries, Tojo received a new set of dentures, made by an American dentist, into which the phrase "Remember Pearl Harbor" had been secretly drilled in Morse code. The dentist ground away the message three months later.

Tried by the International Military Tribunal for the Far East for war crimes and found guilty, he was executed by hanging on December 23, 1948.