The bailouts were just the tip of the enormous iceberg of corruption in the global finance system.
Lots of Exercise, lots of chocolate, olive oil and no more than 2 cigarretes per day. Oh, and it helps to screw your lawyer! This is gold!
Jeanne Calment lived to 122. We thought we’d give you a few of her strategies.
Jeanne lived through both the first and second world wars which were happening on her doorstep in France.
Being a woman helps you avoid some diseases and in the 20th century it was quite socially acceptable for women to not have a job,
in fact there was a whole subculture to embrace wealthy non working women.
Jeanne smoked longer than most non smokers live.
Jeanne signed a contract with her lawyer to sell her house on contingency basis,
which meant the lawyer (and then his widow) was paying her for a house for 32 years,
and paid double the price it was worth.
Sounds like a great life, let’s all go do it!
If you found this article somehow unrelated we’ll explain, we discovered this woman’s interesting life while doing…
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Another obscurity ,great djembe playing !
The Freeshop has been going for months now and usually there are no problems. Even our sworn arch-enemies, the police and the council , are pretty much ignoring the fact that we are spreading goods over the steps of “Occupy Corner”, and are displaying a huge “Free Shop” sign.
But lately some disruptions have arisen from another side : Christian fundies. It began harmlessly with the two Christians who parked their trolley right in front of the shop, took some of our chalk and wrote messages like “Jesus Saves” on the pavement. As the chalk is available for public use, we had no problem with this, Christians are part of the 99% too and plenty of misguided non-sense is written by some of our own members (9/11 was an inside job etc).
Then they proceeded to hand us a bag of skip-dived hot cross buns, which was good fun, as it lead to a discussion about free food. next came the little booklet of propaganda which informed us of the the fact that Satan was coming to get us and included an imaginative retelling of the Salem-witch story at which point I began to lose interest and stopped talking to them.
Last week there was the woman who carried on about how bad abortion was and the Salvo who complained that we were criticising Robert Doyle unfairly and this week we had a guy write”Complain to council about this pornography” next to a nearby street artist’s painting.
Later on, an incident occurred that convinced us something needed to be done in the future: One of our members had brought a number of Anarchist pamphlets and a young man who had been hanging around the Free Shop for several hours picked up one of them which was critical of the Church. He asked me , whether I agreed with the pamphlet, which stated that Christianity hasd not solved the world’s problems. “It would appear that way” was my diplomatic answer. He then began a tirade of how Jesus died for our sins, at which point I left the conversation. A few minutes later he had scooped up all the pamphlets and pretty much ran off with them, even though we protested (!).They were returned later by one of his friends.
Why is it that a religion which is supposed to be about love and tolerance often displays nothing but hatred and intolerance for non-believers?
Next time this sort of thing happens they will get a tirade from me which they will not forget.That will learn them!
The Boston Bombing spawned a myriad of conspiracy theories the moment it was announced to the world
Here is my own version, posted on occupymelbourne.net., it attracted hundreds of views within days. Unfortunately most of those people would have been severely dissappointed once they found out I was taking the piss out of their theories.
Conspiracy theories are myths people create to make sense of a world that doesn’t always make sense. There is no use arguing with people who claim that the government is really behind the 9/11 attacks (As an excuse to go to Iraq) or all mass shootings in recent history (in order to bring about gun control measures , because a disarmed population can be taken over by the government more readily) If you point out that the government can simply drop bombs on you, even if you own twenty guns, and they have absolutely no need to stage fake events in order to go to war, because they have the power to do what they like once in office, conspiracy theorists will call you brainwashed.There is no debate here, because they are right a priori. Their logic is superior to your logic, because “they know”. Most of their knowledge is not firsthand of course, but pieced together from far superior evidence:Youtube videos and Facebook images.
Conspiracy Theory, A New Religion (from Armageddonconspiracy.co. uk)
People don’t like the unadorned real. We’re always looking for patterns that make sense: easy-to-understand cause and effect. Even when we look at the clouds, we imagine we’re seeing definite shapes (like faces or animals) rather than amorphous blobs. We can’t help ourselves – our minds are wired that way. When we can’t find obvious cause and effect, we’re left baffled. Even distressed. But our anxiety is relatively easy to cure. We simply invent an appropriate cause and effect and impose it on the problematic situation. The more cause and effect we can cram in, the happier we are. We feel we are understanding the world. We resist the notion that the truth, in a form we can grasp, is not out there. There must be some comprehensible pattern of cause and effect that explains everything.
Enter conspiracy theories. Nothing’s an accident. Nothing’s a cock-up. There are no lone nutters with high-powered rifles. Mad people don’t do mad things. Instead, everything is rationalised, put in a nice, tidy box and tied up in a lovely pink bow. The gift-wrapped parcel is presented to the world and everyone nods and smiles because now the world makes sense. Sanity restored. Everything does have a sensible cause.
Of course, there may be many inconvenient facts that don’t support the various conspiracy theories. But isn’t it those who are in on the conspiracy who manufacture those ‘facts’? Six million died in the Holocaust. ‘Who says?’ the Holocaust deniers ask. ‘Jews say,’ is their answer. Why? To promote a Zionist agenda. And aren’t the Jews secretly controlling the world? Weren’t we told so in the secret protocols of the elders of Zion? Those were forged, of course. But by whom? Well, by the elders of Zion, naturally, to cunningly disguise the truth.
To tell the truth of the ‘Jewish conspiracy’ is, according to the Holocaust deniers, to be accused of believing in a ‘proven’ forgery, which was not forged at all, but deliberately distributed as a simulated forgery.
Nowadays, no one can ever discuss the ‘Jewish conspiracy’ for fear of being branded anti-Semitic, and credulously and perversely accepting forgeries…which was the whole point of the forgery in the first place. Except, as noted, it wasn’t a forgery, but merely a simulation of a forgery. The genius behind this conspiracy!
Well, that’s how some people see it, and there’s nothing you can say or do to change their minds. And even to try is to demonstrate that you’re part of the conspiracy.
There are those who claim that facts can dispel conspiracy theories. What planet are these people living on? As Nietzsche said, ‘There are no facts, only interpretations.’ He might have come up with an even more extreme formulation: ‘There are no facts, only misinterpretations.’
Facts have long since stopped being objective, real things. (They are ultimately nothing but electrical signals in the human brain in any case, assuming we accept the facts of science.) Facts, we now realise, are beliefs. They can be used to support anything. People hold religious beliefs precisely because ‘facts’ are so malleable. You can pick your own from all those on offer. You can disregard every fact you dislike. It’s a precondition of faith. (Was Jesus Christ the Son of God? The Son of Man? Did he raise people from the dead, and rise from the dead himself? Are these facts? Or was Jesus Christ actually Yehoshua ben Yosef, who didn’t perform any miracles, and was an ordinary human being? Did he even exist?)
Conspiracy theories operate in the same territory. These are belief systems too. Nothing can overcome them. Indeed, it’s a prediction of Festinger’s cognitive dissonance theory that the more conclusively people’s beliefs are refuted the more likely many of those people are to redouble their faith in their disproven beliefs.
You see, it’s all hyperreal. Conspiracy theories, like religions, offer much more emotionally satisfying explanations. They close the big, scary, open-ended questions. Who, other than rational people, wants to believe that a drunk driver in a Paris tunnel killed Diana Spencer? Her followers won’t accept that. So all hail the elaborate conspiracy theory. She died for specific reasons, for a rational agenda – not because of some cheap and vulgar automobile accident of the type that happens scores of times a day all over the world. No, that simply won’t do.
The dinosaur thinkers who write books ‘disproving’ conspiracy theories better get real. Or rather hyperreal. Their ludicrous facts became extinct long ago, assuming they ever existed in the first place (which they didn’t). There’s no point in discussing the truth or otherwise of conspiracy theories. It’s as futile as trying to disprove religions.
Religious believers often say, ‘But you can’t prove that God doesn’t exist.’ They never tell you what they would accept as proof. And in fact, they would accept nothing. Same game with the conspiracy theorists.
Of course, we’re all familiar with the very first human conspiracy – when the first woman talked the first man into stealing an apple from a special tree: the Tree of Knowledge. The facts never got in the way of that conspiracy, did they?
“Ancient texts tell us that the famed prophet rose again on Easter Sunday, moved the rock and kept his believers filled with faith until his inevitable return to the promised land. On Sunday night at Hanging Rock, 17,000 disciples are treated to their own religious experience: Bruce Springsteen finalising his first Australian tour in more than a decade with an energised three-hour set of biblical proportions.
One Boss, 17,000 fans, 29 songs, 17 band members, 19 “1, 2, 3, 4” count-ins and countless tales of runaway American dreams. Our saviour has risen. Praise be.”
1. Adam Raised a Cain
2. Candy’s Room
3. She’s The One …
4. Something In The Night
5. We Take Care of Our Own
6. Wrecking Ball
7. Death To My Hometown
8. Hungry Heart
9. Spirit In The Night
10. The E Street Shuffle
11. Incident on 57th Street
12. Tougher Than The Rest (w/Jimmy Barnes)
13. Because The Night
14. Jackson Cage
15. Open All Night
16. Darlington County
17. Shackled & Drawn
18. Waitin’ On A Sunny Day
19. The Promised Land
20. Lonesome Day
21. The Rising
22. The Ghost of Tom Joad
24. Born In the USA
25. Born To Run
26. Dancing In The Dark
27. Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out
28. Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)
29. Twist & Shout
We never meant to take the trip to Hanging Rock. When my son and I discussed whether we should attend a Springsteen concert together, we thought Rod Laver Arena in the city would be easier. Alas, when I tried to get tickets one morning early last December, all the good front seats were gone in seconds,and so was GA, which I expected. I don’t know what people do to get good tickets, but I have a feeling that a suboptimal internet connection (we live between two servers, both too far away) had something to do with my lack of success 30 seconds after ticket sales began. Anyway, when I couldn’t get god tickets for the city, I immediately tried the second concert at Hanging Rock to score 2 seats, section A5, dead centre in front of the stage, row 3. But I didn’t know what to expect, how big was the venue? how big was the GA? James complained that he didn’t want to make the treck and I should take someone else, but since he is such a big music fan and avid concert goer (and a musician) I insisted that he’d accompany me. He had, after all grown up with me blasting Bruce non-stop and while his tastes are a little more hard-rock than mine, I tend to think that listening to Springsteen in his formative years contributed to his love of Rock’n ‘Roll.
We took off at about 1pm armed with a six-pack and a small flask of Jack Daniels and – more sensibly ,some sandwiches, Easter eggs and water. You are not allowed to bring your own alcohol to concerts, but we thought we’d have some in he car before entering to save us queuing up,since James insisted that he would only be able to handle a night out with his mother if he consumed a fair amount of booze.
James drove there, his very first experience of driving in the country himself. It was a smooth trip, not much traffic in the middle of the day on Easter Sunday and it took about 1 1/2 hours all up. Of course we missed a turnoff ( as you do) and ended up having to go over the Westgate bridge first before backtracking.
After arriving at Hanging Rock at about 3pm , we had a couple of beers and proceeded to climb the rock ( the first band started playing but we had no interest in listening to 7 hours of music.)
Walking uphill is not the easiest thing when you are a little tipsy, but we made it up to the summit, where we were greeted with a really nice view of the stage(from the back) and the crowd, so it was worth it just to get a photo of that (and you could still hear the music from up there too). Mind you, the rock is spectacular and well worth a visit if you haven’t been there in a while. The rock formations make it appear like a castle created by nature, a wonderful place with a strong spiritual energy!
We scrambled downhill and made the return walk through 2 giant car parks before drinking more beer and bourbon in the car. People had their car stereos blasting a variety of Springsteen songs, some sat around in deck chairs having a picnic. Soon it was after 5pm and time to go in to check out our seats and the second act of the day : Jimmy Barnes. i must admit, i quite enjoyed his performance. it only went for a little more than an hour , he sang some of his greatest hits and was at one point joined by his daughter Mahalia, whose powerful voice probably surpasses his and his old friend and Cold Chisel partner in crime Ian Moss (the highlight for me). Barnsey was well received by the Springsteen crowd, he is a consummate performer and has nothing to be ashamed off. it was great!
A few more beers later, dusk descended on Hanging Rock. While roadies were checking the equipment and someone vacuumed the stage, a few people climbed into a cage hung high above the stage: 5 cameramen (and one woman, you go girl!)Not a job for me hanging by a few metal threads about 20 metres above the ground! One of them waved to us.
Still the wait, getting nervous. But then finally at 7.15, the E-street band came on stage, two by two, with Bruce appearing last.There he was again, after 10 year absence. I still remember his powerful acoustic rendition of “Born in the USA ” on the eve of the Iraq war in 2003, what a moment. But this time he chose to go full band and biblical and launched into a relatively obscure song from 1978 :Adam Raised a Cain. When i say obscure I mean that it wasn’t a radio hit, every Springsteen fan worth her salt knows the song. But, it was an indication of what was to follow : Apart from a few songs from the new album (all brilliant), a few evergreen staples like the classic Badlands and the Promised Land and a few greatest hits, the heart of the night were the fan requests of relative obscurity. Bruce had been changing the set list on a nightly basis since the tour began in Brisbane, but he took it to new heights for his last show, playing rare gems like Jackson Cage and Incident on 57th Street, Candy’s Room and Something in the Night and the glorious E-Street Shuffle. I was so pleased with the song choices, I forgave him for not playing Thunder Road and City of Ruins, two of my all-time favorites.
The highlight of night, to me, was the wonderful boogie woogie version of one of his greatest obscurities: Open All Night, a song that was only ever released in a stripped down acoustic version but has now become a killer show stopper with full horn section – insanely good (and that was about half-way through).
Other highlights worth mentioning (There were so many) were “Spirit in the Night” (which has Bruce drinking from a fan’s smuggled Vodka bottle , see my Video) and the superb guitar -wailing duet of “Ghost of Tom Joad” with the incredible Tom Morello.
There was a walkway separating the seated section from the GA section, and Bruce ran past several times . I managed to get a spot in front of the barricade for the moving tribute for Clarence Clemmons and Danny Federici, dearly departed E Street Band members and Bruce walked right past me, sadly he didn’t stop to say hello, but it was as close as I ever got and I was thrilled!(Thanks to the nice lady who allowed me to push in!)
James, who had been whingeing for days that maybe he should not come along ,was in shock and could not believe his eyes and ears and at the end of the night he exclaimed “This is the best concert I have ever seen.” at one point James was dancing on top of his chair and Bruce looked right at him. A new convert to the Church of Bruce.
To me Bruce has always been a master of superlatives, I have been a die-hard fan forever: I can recite most of his song-lyrics in my sleep and have seen him twice before (In 1985 and 2003), where he completely fulfilled my high expectations. This time though, he exceeded them! Part of the reason is the new band formation with the addition of a full horn section and percussion , which soften the otherwise blasting Hard Rock of the E-Street Band while at the same time lending it a kicking soul-jazz groove; The film technology that allowed views of him when he was amongst the crowd and the enormous screen behind the stage were appreciated by all and (especially the people further back) and really added to the atmosphere; but mostly he himself was in fine form last night,- no idea where he gets his energy from – the way he interacted with the crowd was intense, captivating, brilliant, charming and funny and heartfelt: an incredible showman! I had been worried about whether playing two nights straight would affect his performance, but he actually wore me out and a few times I had to briefly sit down to rest my aching feet. It appeared that , being his last night of the tour, Bruce did not have to conserve his energy: He went for broke, pushing his voice, himself , the band and the audience to the utmost limit, to say he succeeded would be an understatement.
It seemed that the show would never end. When the last song finished Bruce screamed : “one more”!
James and I yelled back :we had enough, we want to go home” but he wasn’t gonna let us off that easy and launched into “Twist and Shout” (twice). Bruce and the band played for almost 3 1/2 hours without taking a breath between songs. What a night! There are rumours that the Hanging Rock shows are to be released as a DVD, which is promising, but I cannot wait for Brother Bruce and his Travelling Salvation Circus to hit town again, it will probably be even better next time!