Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Microsoft Surface

Now here's a Microsoft product you're bound to love-
Imagine you're at a restaurant table and you can't wait to see
the menu. Instead of waiting for the appearance of
a waiter
who says, "Hi, I'm Tyler, I'll be your waiter for the
Would you like to see the Menu ?" what if you were
to touch
the table surface and see the Menu pop up in hi-res,
full color ?
Touch the picture of the dishes/drinks you wish to
order, place
your order and then sit back - your food is on its

click on this image

Your dinner companion is late and you can't stand being seated
alone in this restaurant ? There's no need to be self-conscious,

because the table surface once again has goodies on display -

games and videos at your fingertips.

Yes, the coolest thing envisioned and kept under wraps so far
by Microsoft
has finally.......surfaced !

Surface is a horizontal display on a table-like form factor that
morphs from an ordinary table-top into a new, vibrant
way to
bring connected entertainment and digital content to users,"

Corporate Vice President Tom Gibbons at The Wall
Journal’s D: All Thing’s Digital conference in Carlsbad,
Calif. recently.

At $10,000 a pop currently, don't expect to be using this interface
the near future unless you're a Corporate VIP or at an Expo like
upcoming one at the Hotel Sheraton in New York City.
Your grandchildren
on the other hand, will take this for granted
when they are as old as you
are now....

Link to article and images

Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Yesterday I was watching a creepy movie called
'The Ring Two'
mainly because I like Naomi Watts' acting
(okay, her looks).

In it, she plays a mother who has to drown her young son in a
bathtub in order to exorcise the spirit that is possessing him -
the spirit of a young girl who was drowned in a bathtub due to
her mother's PPD (that's Post-Partum Depression to you).

This seemed to 'ring' -pun intended- a bell about a similar case
right where I live and set me racking my brains for the name of the
NASA mother who was involved.
Just couldn't get her name*
until it unfortunately appeared before me in today's AP news

Quote from AP article
'Texas has seen a disturbing number of child killings by mothers in
recent years. Andrea Yates* drowned her five children in the family's
Houston bathtub in 2001. In 2003, Deanna Laney beat her two young
sons to death with stones in East Texas, and Lisa Ann Diaz drowned
her daughters in a Plano bathtub. Dena Schlosser fatally severed her
10-month-old daughter's arms with a kitchen knife in 2004. All four of
those women were found innocent by reason of insanity. Yates initially
was convicted of capital murder, but that was overturned on appeal.'

This seemed eerie to me, coming as it did less than twenty-four hours
after it was bothering me, but not too eerie. I keep having these strange
premonitions or bouts with ESP, which I intend to share with you from
time to time.

Here's one earlier ESP-ish example that starts :
'Checking TV listings for Turner Classic Movies for Nov. 13th I
Mother India scheduled for 1:00 a.m.'....
Something made me want to read more about this movie and then
I figured out why: my father..........

Monday, May 28, 2007


To all in Nerd Land :
another one from my Inbox....

The genesis of mechanical / digital computing can be traced
back to Blaise Pascal and GW Liebnitz.

Charles Babbage was the first to imagine a machine that
could process data. He designed first a different engine,
an analytical engine and an all purpose calculating machine.

Year 1904:
Discovery of thermionic valve.

Year 1938:
Konrad Zeus built the world's first binary digital computer,
the Z1.

Year 1941:
Zeus completed the first fully functional program-controlled
electromechanical digital computer, the Z3.

Year 1946:
The first glimpse of the ENIAC, a machine built by
John Mauchly and J. Presper Eckert.

Year 1948:
Claude Shannon identified the bit as the fundamental unit
of data and the basic unit of computation.

Year 1951:
The UNIVAC I developed.

Year 1952:
John von Neumann's IAS computer became operational.

Year 1953:
IBM shipped its first electronic computer, the 701.

Year 1955:
The first fully transistorized computer, TRADIC.

Year 1956:
Experiments began for direct keyboard input on computers.
Doug Ross wrote a memo advocating direct access.

The era of magnetic disk storage dawned with IBM's
shipment of a 305 RAMAC

TX-0, the first general-purpose, programmable computer
built with transistors.

Year 1957:
FORTRAN enabled a computer to perform a repetitive task
from a single set of instructions by using loops.

Commercial compiler for it's UNIVAC.

Year 1958:
Dataphone, the first commercial modem.
COBOL designed for business use.
LISP made its debut as the first computer language designed
for writing artificial intelligence programs.

Year 1962:
SpaceWar!, considered the first interactive computer game.
Virtual memory emerged.

Year 1963:
ASCII developed.

Year 1964:
BASIC created.

Year 1965:
PDP-8, the first commercially successful minicomputer.

Year 1967:
LOGO as a computer language designed.

Year 1969:
The RS-232-C standard.

Year 1970:
The birth of ARPANET, the precursor to present internet.

Year 1971:
8-inch floppy diskette invented.
Ray Thomlinson sends first ever email.

Year 1972:
Intel's 8008 microprocessor made its debut.

Year 1973:
Ethernet method of network connection devised.

Year 1975:
Telenet: the first commercially packet-switching network
and civilian equivalent of ARPANET, was born.

Bill Gates and Paul Allen founded Micro-Soft.
The first issue of BYTE magazine published.

Year 1976:
Steve Wozniak designed the Apple I, on a single-board

The Cray I - the first commercially successful vector processor.
Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak from the Apple Computer

5 1/4" Flexible disk drive and diskette were introduced.

Year 1977:
Hashim Taylor born! It is the year's only invention! LOL!

Year 1978:
Epson announces the dot matrix printer.

Year 1979:
Emoticons bring life into otherwise boring computer newsgroups.

Year 1980:
The first hard disk drive for microcomputer.
The first optical data storage disk.
The first Winchester 5.25-inch hard disk drive announced.
Microsoft acquires SCP's DOS.

Year 1981:
Sony shipped the first 3 1/4" floppy disk and drive.
the MS-DOS released.

Year 1982:
Phillips created an erasable optical disk.
The first Cray XPM produced.
The first issue of PC Magazine printed.
Intel introduced the 6 MHz 80286 microprocessor.
Microsoft release MS-DOS 1.1 to IBM.
The first IBM PC clone, the MPC.
Compaq Portable PC introduced.
TCP/IP introduced and Internet's birth.

Year 1983:
Apple introduced its Lisa. The first personal computer with
a graphical User Interface.

Compaq introduced first PC clone that used the same
software as the IBM PC.

Lotus 1-2-3 v. 1.0 hit the market.
Iomega introduced the Bernoulli Box storage device.
SyQuest storage cartridge system launched.
Novell introduced the NetWare network OS.
Phillips and Sony develop the CD-ROM
Hewlett-Packard unveils microcomputer featuring optical

Microsoft Windows and MS-Word 1.0 released.
Borland int. releases Turbo Pascal programming language.

Year 1984:
Apple Computer launched the Macintosh, the first successful
mouse-driven computer with GUI.

IBM release PC-AT with 286 chip and 16 bit bus and PC Jr.
Hewlett Packard introduced the LaserJet printer
The word "Cyberspace" used for the first time by
William Gibson.

Year 1985:
Aldus announced it's PageMaker program for desktop

The C++ emerges as the dominant object-oriented
programming language.

The first general-interest CD-ROM product released
- Grolier encyclopedia.

The modern Internet gained support when NSF formed

CD-ROM drives are introduced for computer use.
NEC Home Electronics introduced the first multisync

Microsoft shipped Windows 1.0.

Year 1986:
Apple designed HyperCard, a software tool for
development of in-house applications.

IBM introduced its PS/2 machine based on a new
architect called MicroChannel.

The first IBM to include Intel's 80386 chip, allowing the
use of a mouse with IBMs for the first time.

Microsoft released OS/2 1.0.

Year 1988:
NeXT computer - recognized as an important innovation.
PC-clone makers developed EISA
Robert Morris' worm flooded the ARPANET.

Year 1989:
Virtual Reality, a computer generated 3-D environment that
allows a user to interact with the realities developed.

Intel announced the 486 microprocessor.

Year 1990:
Microsoft shipped Windows 3.0.
The World Wide Web was born when Tim Berners-Lee,
a researcher at CERN, Geneva, developed HTML.

Apple unveils and ships the Macintosh Classic.

Year 1991:
Linus Torvalds develops Linux, in Finland.
The NSF allowed commercial use of the Internet for
the first time.

Intel introduced the PCI local-bus standard for personal
computer systems.

IBM introduced ThinkPad 700C laptop computer.

Year 1993:
Intel introduced Pentium processor.
Microsoft comes up with Windows NT OS.
Creative's Sound Blaster 16 Card hit the market.
Apple launched Newton MessagePad - personal
digital assistant.

The NCSA released Mosaic 1.0, first graphical
www web browser.

Netscape Navigator 1.0, a www browser, born.
Iomega launched its Zip drive and Zip disks.
150 countries connected via internet and 50 million
people got online.

Year 1995:
The NSF decommissioned the internet backbone,
leaving the internet a self supporting industry.

IBM announced PC-DOS 7.
Microsoft hits the world with Windows 95.
I (Hashim Taylor) celebrated my 18th Birthday :P

Year 1996:
Corel purchased WordPerfect, Quattro Pro and the
PerfectOffice application suite from Novell.

Microsoft released Windows NT 4.0
Microsoft unveils Windows CE operating system for
handheld PCs.

CD-ReWritable (CD-RW) is announced.

Year 1997:
AMD introduced K6 processor.

Year 1998:
Celeron processor shipped
Steve Jobs introduced the iMac.
Microsoft released Windows 98.
America Online buys Netscape Communications.
Motorola officially introduced the G4 processor.

Year 1999:
Cyrix released the MII processor - beats PIII
Apple introduced the G3 PowerBook and the iBook.
AMD released the Athlon processor.
Apple released the Power Mac G4 compter
(With Motorola G4)

Year 2000:
Microsoft unveils Windows 2000 OS and Windows ME.
BeOS v5 OS for PCs released.
Palm III c handheld computer released.
Microsoft launches the pocket PC that runs on Microsoft
Windows CE 3.0.

Corel released WordPerfect Office 2000 for Linux.
Apple releases MAC X DR 4.
Compaq introduced the iPAQ Pocket PC handheld

Intel announce Pentium 4.
Microsoft unveils it's C# (Called C Sharp) language.
Apple introduced the PowerMac G4 Cube.
AMD shipped 1.1 GHz Athlon processor.

Year 2001:
Intel announced hyper-threaded P4 capable of working
as two processor.

Napster closes down.

Year 2001 ONWARD...
We are all aware what happened after year 2001!
Soon I'll add the hot happenings of rest of the years.

The Bytes Measurement: a simple chart

Kilobyte 1,024 Kilobytes
Megabyte 1,048,576 1,024 Megabytes
Gigabyte 1,073,741,824 1,048,576 1,024 Gigabytes
Terabyte 1,099,511,627,776 1,073,741,824 1,048,
576 1,024

(Thanks, Phil in Perth)

Unfortunate Domain Names

Warning !! Don't read this if you're humorless, easily offended
overly sensitive !

Zuza Fun » 10 Worst Company Domains

1. A site called ‘Who Represents‘ where you can find the name
of the agent that represents a celebrity. Their domain name…
wait for it… is

2. Experts Exchange, a knowledge base where programmers
can exchange advice and views at

3. Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island at

4. Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder at

5. Then of course, there’s the Italian Power Generator company…

6. And now, we have the Mole Station Native Nursery, based in
New South Wales:

7. If you’re looking for computer software, there’s always

8. Welcome to the First Cumming Methodist Church. Their website

9. Then, of course, there’s these brainless art designers, and their
whacky website:

10. Want to holiday in Lake Tahoe? Try their brochure website at

More Zuza Fun :
Ever wondered what other people understand from HTML tags?
HTML tags in human language

Friday, May 25, 2007

What The Dickens !

Like many of the English-medium school-goers in India
I was privy to the wonderful world of Charles Dickens via
the unofficial 'required reading' subtly passed on to the
Anglo-Indian school system, which thrived gloriously in
the '50s and '60s. As Indians we were fully qualified to
relate to the hardships, misery and simple ways of life
that Dickens wrote of, since those living conditions were
visible to us everyday, everywhere. Coming out of church
dressed in their Sunday finest, churchgoers could walk out
of the exit gates and be faced with beggars, cripples, lepers,
vagabonds, ragamuffins, hucksters and livery drivers same as
in any of Dickens' novels. The same could be said for the
entrances to Mosques, movie theaters and restaurants - and
the same unfortunately may be said now, even though the local
authorities are trying to sweep the unfortunates under the rug
and out of sight. That's India, some things will never change.

It's a different world in the West, of course. A precious resource like
Food is flung across tables in Renaissance period re-enactments
like 'Medieval Times' and on MTV Game shows in the name of
'Entertainment'. Enough food to help dying children on many continents.

Now Entertainment takes a new turn to satisfy the jaded pleasure-
seeker, as reported in a recent Christian Science Monitor article :

Bemusement park: Where Dickens meets Disney |
Welcome to Dickens World, a theme park with a difference.
If you thought theme parks were all about thrilling roller coasterrides,
wolfing down hotdogs and cotton candy, and shaking
hands with overgrown mice and goofy dogs, you're in for a rude
awakening. Dickens World recreates the filth, squalor, and even
the unpleasant whiffs of Victorian London, the city in which
Charles Dickens lived and breathed, and wrote so memorably
about in "A Tale of Two Cities," "Great Expectations," and
"Oliver Twist." It's less a theme park, and more a "grime park."

Related : Great Forebodings

Technorati Tags:

Onyomo : Indian Local Search Site

Check out a fledgling Local City Search site that's
'really cool' just like everything else in my
e-mail these days ;-)

--- olmkota(at) wrote:

I am a Pooneite, and recently came across a site
with a lot of local info on Pune.

It is available at - I found it really cool -
though there weren't too many reviews.

Well, I did add a few reviews, and I guess a lot of other people
could add more reviews too..

So no we finally have something addressing needs of
us Puneites.



Thursday, May 24, 2007

Blog Camp

From my Blogger mail, unedited...from a
journalist who works for CNN/IBN.
His blog last updated Sept. 2006

My name's Georeg Koshy and am a journo with CNN-IBN.
Plz could you mail me the contact info of any person
co-ordinating the blogger camp plz.....Would like to do a
story on teh same...besides being a part of the camp too.

Alternatively just mail me your contacts and will get in
touch with you....

Warm regards

George Koshy Plammoottil
Business Correspondent
Mumbai - CNN-IBN / CNBC TV18
(Mobile) +91 9819808042
(Direct) +91 22 4001 9564
(Newsroom) +91 22 4001 9555
(Fax) +91 22 24968240
CNN-IBN, Empire Complex, 1st Floor, 414 Senapati Bapat Marg,
Lower Parel - Mumbai 400 013

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Like I Said....

Once again I am happy that my showbiz instincts didn't fail me.
On April 26th I predicted here that 17-year-old Jordin Sparks
would win the title of this year's American Idol.
In an earlier season of the show I predicted Fantasia would win
after hearing her sing just once, and I was right. So what does this
prove ? Place your bets with me and you're safe ? I don't know.

Jordin Sparks crowned `American Idol' - Yahoo! News : Bloggers get an 'unconference'

DNA is one of the better online newspapers to
come out of India in my opinion, even surpassing the
once-venerable old lady
that is The Times of India.

But unto each his own. If you are willing to deal with endless
pop-ups and animations that slow down the loading of pages
just so you can get your fill of Bollywood Gossip, by all means
stick with The Times. If, however you would like to get a bit
of a good, uninterrupted read on a variety of topics, try this
sample link to DNA India (Mumbai) that covers the upcoming
Blogcamp Pune :

How Far We've Come

Dear Fred,

Since the start of May, you have played a central role in crucial poverty-fighting legislation. You helped introduce The Education for All and the Global Child Survival Acts, sending nearly 200,000 letters to members of Congress, letting them know that their constituents support the legislation.

Two relatively minor bills like these would normally be overshadowed by some of the larger bills currently going through Congress, but you gave them some serious momentum; the Global Child Survival Act alone already has 29 co-sponsors. Before your letters were even printed for delivery, we heard from congressional staff that our mobilization created palpable energy around the bills.

The next step from here is to start raising public awareness on these bills. On Friday morning, we want your neighbors to open their local paper and read a letter to the editor from a ONE member about the opportunity America has to provide life-saving services to children and their mothers and to provide the means for every child to receive a primary education

Please take a moment to send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper explaining the importance of these two bills and how they are having a real impact in the fight against poverty.

A letter to the editor not only serves the purpose of spreading the word, it also acts as a second - much more public - letter to your members of Congress, who read their local papers to find out what constituents in their district and state are thinking about.

Send a message to your community and your elected officials by writing a letter to the editor.

Now that these bills have been introduced, it is not abnormal for them to take several months before they move through committee and to a vote by the full House and Senate. We'll be sure to keep you updated on future opportunities to help them along the way.

Congratulations on all that you have achieved, and thank you for continuing to take action against extreme poverty and global AIDS.

Thank you for your voice,

Josh Peck,


Monday, May 21, 2007

Mom and Pop Stores Threatened

Image from Common Dreams.Org

When I heard of the pending Wal-Mart entry into the Indian
marketplace my first concern was, what will become of all the
family-owned-and-operated businesses ? Many of my classmates
all through school and college aspired to own a family business,
and some of them already worked in that area after classes.

Here in Texas I have seen the power of Wal-Mart to change the
landscape and the mindscape of the American population. I had
never stepped inside a Wal-Mart until about ten years ago, and
only because I was stranded in Tuscaloosa, Alabama overnight
after an auto accident. It was just a warehouse to me back then
but now it makes sense as far as saving me trips to five
different stores to get just the basic everyday things. That's what
it means to me when I go to a large all-under-one-roof store :
convenience, low prices and no worries about hoity-toity boutique
shoppers looking askance at my presence.

Mom-and-Pop stores have always been a way of life for Indians
whether at home or abroad and it would seem that another time-
honored method of earning a living is about to be tested.
At least that's what Sanjoy Majumder of the BBC suggests:

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Movin On Up In Mumbai 2

Joezach on Flickr has a nice set of Pune - and Mumbai - pics
and this one caught my eye since
back in January I had posted a
related link to a slideshow as provided by the International
Herald Tribune
. Click here to see Joe's pics.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Bono : On The Move

Dear Fred,

Having worked in politics for a long time, I've heard thousands of speeches in my life, but none as moving as Bono's at the 2006 National Prayer Breakfast in Washington, DC. It was profound. It was a spiritual call to arms against injustices that we -- together as ONE -- can end. He elevated every person in the room to rise up and do something. See for yourself.

The speech is now available in a small, beautiful book called On the Move. Proceeds from On the Move support The ONE Campaign.

Here is one of my favorite passages:

"God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house. God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives. God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war. God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them."

You can read more through a new tool we're using called digital paper. It lets you literally flip through the pages of the book.

Go here for a virtual tour of On the Move and order your own copy.

This is an incredible time to be a ONE member. More than 100,000 members joined in less than a week and we've had a string of major back-to-back victories as we build our movement into a force unlike any other. We are growing. We are on the move. We will end extreme poverty. Bono's On the Move book reminds us of that. It guides, inspires and shines light for all to see. Please read it, and share it.

Thank you,

Susan McCue,


Related post from Virtual Poona

Pune Bloggers Get a Kick (start)

click to enlarge this pic from Yash's Flickr set

Things are beginning to take shape as the organisers
of Blogcamp Pune
have started cooking with oil now.
No, it's not a Culinary Conference, it's a Barcamp for
Bloggers, in Pune, June 16th.

Follow this event as it develops by visiting Tarun at

Friday, May 18, 2007

Lileks Classics

James Lileks once again gives us hilarious insights while
he captions vintage
pics of Computers in CompuPromo
Compare to today's Laptops !

For more amusing takes on America the way it was visit

Slack Off

Once again it's time to slack off and just share some of
the funny stuff cluttering my inbox ...... enjoy !

Bush flies to Mexico to meet with the Mexican president.
Driving in from the airport in the limousine, Bush looks through
the window at all the Mexican men, women and children going
about their business outside.

He turns to the Mexican president beside him and says, "I thought

we had a problem with illegal aliens in the States but, jeez,
they're all over the place down here."

A beautiful young woman on an international flight, asked the priest
beside her, "Father, may I ask a favor?"

"Of course you may. What can I do for you?"

"Well, I bought this expensive electronic hair dryer that is well over the
Customs limits and I'm afraid that they'll confiscate it from me. Is
there anyway that you could carry it through Customs for me? Under your
robes perhaps?"

"I would love to help you, dear, but I must warn you: I will not lie."

"With your honest face, Father, no one will question you."

When they got to Customs, the young lady let the priest go ahead of her.

The Customs Officer asked, "Father, do you have anything to declare?"

"From the top of my head down to my waist, I have nothing to declare."

The Officer thought this answer strange, so he asked, "And what do you
have to declare from your waist to the floor?"

"I have a marvelous little instrument designed to be used on a woman,
but which is, to date, unused."

Roaring with laughter, the Officer said, "God bless you, Father, go ahead."

The Magician and The Captain's Parrot
A magician worked on a cruise ship. The audience was different each week
so the magician did the same tricks over and over again.

There was only one problem: The captain's parrot saw the shows each week
and began to understand how the magician did every trick.

Once he understood, he started shouting in the middle of the show,
"Look, it's not the same hat!" or, "Look, he's hiding the flowers under the
table!" or "Hey, why are all the cards the ace of spades?"

The magician was furious but couldn't do anything. It was, after all, the
captain's parrot.
Then one stormy night on the Pacific, the ship unfortunately sank, drowning
almost all who were on board.

The magician luckily found himself on a piece of wood floating in the
middle of the sea, as fate would have it ... with the parrot.

They stared at each other with hatred, but did not utter a word. This went on for
a day ... and then 2 days ... and then 3 days.

Finally on the 4th day, the parrot could not hold back any longer and said,

"Okay, I give up. Where's the ***kin' ship?"

The husband had just finished reading a new book, "YOU CAN BE THE

He stormed into the kitchen and walked directly up to his wife.
Pointing a finger in her face, he said sternly, "From now on, YOU need
to know that I AM the MAN of this house, and my word is law! You will
prepare me a gourmet meal tonight, and when I'm finished eating
my meal, you will serve me a sumptuous dessert afterward.
Then, after dinner, you are going to go upstairs with me, and we will
have the sex that I want. After that, you are going to draw me my bath so
I can relax. You will wash my back and towel me dry and bring me my robe.
Then you will massage my feet and hands. Then after that's done, guess
who's going to dress me and comb my hair?"

His wife replied, "The ****ing funeral director would be my guess."

Heaven's Clocks
A man died and went to heaven. As he stood in front of St. Peter
at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him.

He asked, "what are all those clocks?"

St. Peter answered, "those are Lie-Clocks, everyone on Earth
has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock
will move."

"Oh," said the man, "whose clock is that?"

"That's Mother Teresa's, the hands have never moved, indicating
that she never told a lie."

"Incredible," said the man, "and whose clock is that one?"

St. Peter responded, "that's Abraham Lincoln's clock. The hands
have moved twice, telling us that Honest Abe told only two lies in
his entire life."

"So where's Bush's clock?" asked the man.

"Bush's clock is in Jesus' office - he's using it as a ceiling fan."

This last one is not really a joke but an unfortunate use of words
the AFP's Jocelyne Zablit ......Butt Facials ???

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Push, I Say !

The people in this picture are not taking part in a
flick. No, it's just the way things are
in an overpopulated country
like India. When it gets
beyond standing-room-only inside, people
risk their lives riding the trains on the outside
as they go
about their daily commute. I often traveled with my legs

dangling outside the train when faced with similar space
It was fun and dangerous and very windy, but
at least I could smoke
without offending other passengers.

Yesterday hundreds of rail passengers in Bihar got more
than they
had bargained for when the driver of their train
asked them to get
out and push.

Click below to read this story from
Reuters India:

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

New Pix by Madooo

Madooo moonlights as a photographer when he's not
working at Deutsche Inc's Graphic Dept., or creating music.
He often contributes to this Blog with news and original pix.

Madooo said :

Hey Fred!

Some pix I took of Russell Simmons

last week.

Also included are 2 pix from the BeatleFest at NJ in March:

I met 'The Quarrymen'**

and also 'Norman (Hurricane) Smith',

the sound engineer for the 1st 6 albums of THE BEATLES...
he was also instrumental in getting 'Pink Floyd'
signed in the 60s. Some great moments for me.
Looks like... "Its getting better all the time"



**The Quarrymen (sometimes written as The Quarry Men)
(circa late 1956 - Oct 1959) were an English skiffle group formed
in Liverpool in the latter part of 1956 by John Lennon with several
school friends.

Senator John Cornyn Replies

I signed an appeal-type electronic mail to the junior United States Senator

from Texas.regarding the future of Internet Radio, which is faced with
heavy licensing fees for webcasts, etc. and may not survive.
He promises to do what he can if the opportunity arises, then asks
me to subscribe to his newsletter. Never misses an opportunity to rake in
a prospective voter !

'Thank You For Contacting My Office

Dear Mr. Miller:

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Copyright Royalty Board's
(CRB) ruling on royalty rates for Internet radio stations. I appreciate
having the benefit of your comments on this matter.

As you may know, on March 2, 2007, the CRB announced new
statutory royalty rates for certain digital transmissions of sound
recordings for the period January 1, 2006, through December 31, 2010.
More specifically, this ruling governs the royalties on webcasts and
other types of Internet broadcasting. While no legislation regarding
this newly ruled copyright policy is pending before the Senate, you
may be certain that I will keep your concerns in mind should the
Senate consider relevant legislation.

I appreciate having the opportunity to represent you in the
United States Senate. Thank you for taking the time to contact me.


United States Senator

517 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
Tel: (202) 224-2934
Fax: (202) 228-2856

Please sign up for my monthly newsletter at


Due to the nature of electronic communication, if you did not
receive this e-mail directly from my office, I cannot guarantee
that the text has not been altered. If you have questions about
the validity of this message, or would like to respond to this message,
please use the web form available at my website,'

Sunday, May 13, 2007

SFGate: The Hippies Were Right !

This article was sent to you by someone who found it on SFGate.
The original article can be found on here:

Wednesday, May 2, 2007 (SF Gate)

The Hippies Were Right!/ Green homes? Organic food?
Nature is good ?
Time to give the ol' tie-dyers some respect

By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist

Go ahead, name your movement. Name something good and
positive and pro-environment and eco-friendly that's happening
right now in the newly "greening" America and don't say more guns
in Texas or fewer reproductive choices for women or endless vile
unwinnable BushCo wars in the Middle East lasting until roughly 2075
because that would defeat the whole point of this perky little column
and destroy its naive tone of happy rose-colored sardonic optimism.

I'm talking about, say, energy-efficient light bulbs. I'm looking at
organic foods going mainstream. I mean chemical-free cleaning
products widely available at Target and I'm talking saving the whales and
protecting the dolphins and I mean yoga studios flourishing in every small
town, giant boxes of organic cereal at Costco and non-phthalates dildos
at Good Vibes and the Toyota Prius becoming the nation's oddest status
symbol. You know, good things.

Look around: we have entire industries devoted to recycled paper, a new
generation of cheap solar-power technology and an Oscar for "An
Inconvenient Truth" and even the soulless corporate monsters over at
famously heartless joints like Wal-Mart are now claiming that they really,
really care about saving the environment because, well, "it's the right
thing to do" (read: It's purely economic and all about their bottom line
because if they don't start caring they'll soon be totally screwed on
manufacturing and shipping costs at/from all their brutal Chinese

There is but one conclusion you can draw from the astonishing (albeit
fitful, bittersweet) pro-environment sea change now happening in the
culture and (reluctantly, nervously) in the halls of power in D.C., one
thing we must all acknowledge in our wary, jaded, globally warmed
universe: The hippies had it right all along. Oh yes they did.

You know it's true. All this hot enthusiasm for healing the planet and
eating whole foods and avoiding chemicals and working with nature and
developing the self? Came from the hippies. Alternative health? Hippies.
Green cotton? Hippies. Reclaimed wood? Recycling? Humane treatment of
animals? Medical pot? Alternative energy? Natural childbirth? Non-GMO
seeds? It came from the granola types (who, of course, absorbed much of it
from ancient cultures), from the alternative worldviews, from the
underground and the sidelines and from far off the goddamn grid and it's
about time the media, the politicians, the culture as a whole sent out a
big, wet, hemp-covered apology.

Here's a suggestion, from one of my more astute ex-hippie readers: Instead
of issuing carbon credits so industrial polluters can clear their
collective corporate conscience, maybe, to help offset all the savage
damage they've done to the soul of the planet all these years, these
commercial cretins should instead buy some karma credits from the former
hippies themselves. You know, from those who've been working for the
health of the planet, quite thanklessly, for the past 50 years and who
have, as a result, built up quite a storehouse of good karma. You think?

Of course, you can easily argue that much of the "authentic" hippie ethos
-- the anti-corporate ideology, the sexual liberation, the anarchy, the
push for civil rights, the experimentation -- has been totally leeched out
of all these new movements, that corporations have forcibly co-opted and
diluted every single technology and humble pro-environment idea and Ben
& Jerry's ice cream cone and Odwalla smoothie to make them both palatable
and profitable. But does this somehow make the organic oils in that body
lotion any more harmful? Verily, it does not.

You might also just as easily claim that much of the nation's reluctant
turn toward environmental health has little to do with the hippies per se,
that it's taking the threat of global meltdown combined with the notion of
really, really expensive ski tickets to slap the nation's incredibly obese
ass into gear and force consumers to begin to wake up to the savage
gluttony and wastefulness of American culture as everyone starts
wondering, oh my God, what's going to happen to swimming pools and
NASCAR and free shipping from Amazon? Of course, without the '60s
groundwork, without all the radical ideas and seeds of change planted
nearly five decades ago, what we'd be turning to in our time of need
would be a great deal more hopeless indeed.

But if you're really bitter and shortsighted, you could say the entire
hippie movement overall was just incredibly overrated, gets far too much
cultural credit for far too little actual impact, was pretty much a giant
excuse to slack off and enjoy dirty lazy responsibility-free sex romps and
do a ton of drugs and avoid Vietnam and not bathe for a month and name
your child Sunflower or Shiva Moon or Chakra Lennon Sapphire Bumblebee.
This is what's called the reactionary simpleton's view. It blithely ignores
history, perspective, the evolution of culture as a whole. You know,
just like America.

But, you know, whatever. The proofs are easy enough to trace. The core
values and environmental groundwork laid by the '60s counterculture are
still so intact and potent even the stiffest neocon Republican has to
acknowledge their extant power. It's all right there: is
the new '60s underground hippy zine. Ecstasy is the new LSD. Visible
tattoos are the new longhairs. And bands as diverse as Pearl Jam to Bright
Eyes to NIN to the Dixie Chicks are writing savage anti-Bush, anti-war
songs for a new, ultra-jaded generation.

And oh yes, speaking of good ol' MDMA (Ecstasy), even drug culture is
getting some new respect. Staid old Time mag just ran a rather snide
little story about the new studies being conducted by Harvard and the
National Institute of Mental Health into the astonishing psychospiritual
benefits of goodly entheogens such as LSD, psilocybin and MDMA.
Unfortunately, the piece basically backhands Timothy Leary and the entire
"excessive," "naive" drug culture of yore in favor of much more "sane" and
"careful" scientific analysis happening now, as if the only valid methods
for attaining knowledge and an understanding of spirit were through
control groups and clinical, mysticism-free examination. Please.

Still, the fact that serious scientific research into entheogens is being
conducted even in the face of the most anti-science, pro-pharmaceutical,
ultra-conservative presidential regime in recent history is proof enough
that all the hoary old hippie mantras about expanding the mind and
touching God through drugs were onto something after all (yes, duh). Tim
Leary is probably smiling wildly right now -- though that might be due to
all the mushrooms he's been sharing with Kerouac and Einstein and Mary
Magdalene. Mmm, heaven.

Of course, true hippie values mean you're not really supposed to care
about or attach to any of this, you don't give a damn for the hollow ego
stroke of being right all along, for slapping the culture upside the head
and saying, See? Do you see? It was never about the long hair and the folk
music and Woodstock and taking so much acid you see Jesus and Shiva and
Buddha tongue kissing in a hammock on the Dog Star, nimrods.

It was, always and forever, about connectedness. It was about how we are
all in this together. It was about resisting the status quo and fighting
tyrannical corporate/political power and it was about opening your
consciousness and seeing new possibilities of how we can all live with
something resembling actual respect for the planet, for alternative
cultures, for each other. You know, all that typical hippie crap no one
believes in anymore. Right?

Thoughts for the author? E-mail him.

Mark Morford's Notes & Errata column appears every Wednesday and Friday on
SFGate and in the Datebook section of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Copyright 2007 SF Gate

Happy Mother's Day !

On this Mother's Day I'd like to celebrate the memory of
my own Mother, Sheila
a beautiful lady that I never got to know since she
passed away
when I was barely five. Think about how your life would be if
you shared the same fate and be thankful for YOUR Mother.

Here's an excellent Mother's Day Slideshow from Webshots :

And now for some Mother's Day Humor.....
1. "Mothers of teenagers know why animals eat their young."
~ Author Unknown

2. "Mothers are all slightly insane." ~ J.D. Salinger

3. "I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford.
Then I want to move in with them." ~ Phyllis Diller

4. "There is only one pretty child in the world, and every mother has it."
~ Chinese Proverb

5. "It takes a woman twenty years to make a man of her son, and another
woman twenty minutes to make a fool of him." ~ Helen Rowland

6. "The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years
she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never
been found." ~ Calvin Trillin

7. "A suburban mother's role is to deliver children obstetrically once,
and by car for ever after." ~ Peter De Vries

8. "It would seem that something which means poverty, disorder and
violence every single day should be avoided entirely, but the desire to
beget children is a natural urge." ~ Phyllis Diller

9. "All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does.
That's his." ~ Oscar Wilde

10. "A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for
five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie."
~ Tenneva Jordan

11. "You don't really understand human nature unless you know why a child
on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around - and why
his parents will always wave back." ~William D. Tammeus.

12. "Working mothers are guinea pigs in a scientific experiment to show
that sleep is not necessary to human life." ~ Author Unknown

13. "Any mother could perform the jobs of several air-traffic controllers
with ease." ~ Lisa Alther

14. "My mother had to send me to the movies with my birth certificate,
so that I wouldn't have to pay the extra fifty cents that the adults had to pay."
~ Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

15. "My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it."
~ Mark Twain

16. "My mother's menu consisted of two choices: Take it or leave it."
~ Buddy Hackett

A Mother's Love
For more funny quotes, check out the popular funny quotes section of, a website that specializes in
'Top 10' lists of quotations in dozens of categories.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Honor Your Mother

Dear Fred,

Every year, 10 million mothers lose a child under the age of 5
to a completely preventable disease. This Mother's Day, you
have an opportunity to give these mothers, and yours,
a special gift.

Just this morning Congress introduced the U.S. Commitment
to Global Child Survival Act. It will provide resources for simple
and cost effective tools to save the lives of the 30,000 children
who die each day from treatable infections, waterborne illness,
malnutrition, and the half a million mothers who die from
complications in childbirth.

1. Today, you can honor mothers around the world by sending
a letter to your members of Congress asking them to support
the Global Child Survival Act.

2. Then send a special ONE Mother's Day greeting to let mothers
know you did this in their honor

Sponsored by Representatives Betty McCollum (D-MN) and
Christopher Shays (R-CT) and Senators Chris Dodd (D-CT) and
Gordon Smith (R-OR), the act sets realistic and effective guidelines
for child survival programs and quadruples funding for these programs
over the next three years.

This bill doesn't just save lives; it empowers mothers to provide for
their children so they can safely give their children the gift of life.

Write your member of Congress and encourage them to support
the Global Child Survival Act and send a ONE Mother's Day card.

The scale of America's response to this great tragedy has been woefully
inadequate, but we have the power to save lives if we take action
today on behalf of mothers around the world.

Happy Mother's Day,

Susan McCue,