Another Dark Little Corner

moon phases

Started this before change to "New Blogger", as backup in case of trouble with digiphoto blog "In a Small Dark Room", or rants & links blog "Hello Cruel World" . Useful - at one stage Dark Room was there, but like the astrophysical Dark Matter, we could't see it ... better now, but kept Just In Case.

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There is nothing. There is no God and no universe, there is only empty space, and in it a lost and homeless and wandering and companionless and indestructible Thought. And I am that thought. And God, and the Universe, and Time, and Life, and Death, and Joy and Sorrow and Pain only a grotesque and brutal dream, evolved from the frantic imagination of that same Thought.
Mark Twain (letter to Joseph Twichell after his wife's death)
[me, on a bad day]

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Apache helicopter night attack - Follow up  
Someone on a mailing list I'm on sent this message:
Hi folks,
In recent times a video clip was circulating about what appears to be an unprovoked attack on innocent Iraqi farmers at night fixing a broken down tractor during seed bed preparation. The version that I received at the time showed the tractor with a glowing exhaust and the tyre treads could just be made out along with the seed bed pattern. It is portrayed in accompanying text as being filmed from a plane but no plane could hold such a steady position it has to be a helicopter, someone is playing games.

I have just received another copy of this video clip that appears to have been significantly edited not only in video but voice over. The tractor has virtually been eliminated and it is portrayed as insurgents setting up a road side bomb yet they are moving in a field and no roadway is visible but they forgot to edit out the reference to the field. This looks like a whitewash to me. I am no supporter of fundamentalists but I would hate to fight alongside the Americans, "collateral" damage seems to be a pastime.

If anyone who obtained the original copy would like a copy of this version let me know.
Hard to find. Best I have - very large, about 35 Mb is at called Apache_kills_in_Iraq.mpeg
( )

Most other links are 404 or aren't operating in other ways, or perhaps my rather dicky machine can't handle them, but here's what I've found -- people might be able to make use of them:

This is a discussion thread which had a number of different links to different copies and versions: disturbing_image_from_iraq.html
Most seem to be inoperative, but there are some hints and pointers in amongst the rabbitage.

Documentary: Iraq - On the Brink, Ross Coulthart, Nick Farrow (see transcript) had the footage, and the transcript gives the sound accompanying the vision. (My computer has no sound.) night_vision.htm - this has assorted footage of other things, possibly interesting from several viewpoints, showing "night vision".

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bar hostess (also called entertainers)  

bar hostess (also called entertainers)
The hostess, I learned, was the modern equivalent of the geisha, a centuries-old and highly venerated profession that attracts Japanese girls like a vocation. Geishas are the embodiment of that enduring Japanese icon: feminine perfection. They exist to serve men and preserve the
traditional arts such as singing, dancing and playing classical instruments like the shamisen.
Her modern counterpart, the bar hostess, has exchanged silk kimonos for cocktail dresses, and the shamisen for a karaoke box. She is considerably less expensive than her predecessor yet she shares the same values: to be the feminine ideal, to entertain, to listen, to be serious, to dazzle with
her wit and charm. It is not considered a demeaning job. Certainly no sexual favours are expected - just mild flirtation, perhaps a glimmering eroticism...
Hostess bars, I learned, abound in their thousands in Japan ... Western girls, particularly of the blonde-haired, blue-eyed variety, are considered a special treat and a myriad bars boast them like a range of exotic fruit ...
There was Danielle, a skinny American with flaming red hair. She had just graduated and was hostessing to repay college loans. Anna and Femka, two marvellously tall Dutch girls saving for another season of going gaga in Goa. Sophia, a sexy Swede, with an unrealized dream to be a model and legs
that undulated from beneath her skirts, and Domarra, an Italian linguist perfecting her Japanese.
Our guests arrived. A group of Japanese salarymen, that is businessmen, on a corporate razzle... Assiduously we catered to their every need; we topped up drinks and clinked ice cubes in glasses, we lit their cigarettes, and intermittently, unwrapped a sweet to delicately pop into a guest's mouth ...
We were perfect young ladies. Never so inelegant as to cross our legs, lean back in our seats, bite our nails or play with our hair. Never so rude as to divert our attention for a second, our admiring gaze for an instant from these latter day Samurai who, weary from another day fighting for Japan's economic miracle, would look to us adoring gaijin girlies to ease away their tensions...
This was a "decent" bar... The only thing we were to massage was ego ... Our guests frequently asked us to sing karaoke ... You can double, triple the basic rate with tips earned for anything from being wined, dined or complimented to singing a soulful ballad or performing an exotic belly dance. The job can be as risqué as you want it to be and consequently you can earn as much money as you like. A woman able to handle the masquerade and approach the whole affair as some peculiar brand of performance art can make a killing ...
As a teacher and through living with a Japanese family I saw women treated in a different way. Marriages, which are often arranged, are an economic necessity. The family is like a small business, producing the next generation of mothers and salarymen. In the most sinister privatization of all, the chemistry in human relationships seems to have been disentangled, set apart and sold as a service. Instead of relaxing at home with their families, Japanese salarymen go out in droves to relax with strangers ...
I'm glad I had a short stint at hostessing. It gave me first-hand experience of an aspect of Japan that is often missed by travellers. I was surprised ... [that] my need to be appreciated for everything I am as a woman, rather than just one feminine façade, was more intense than I had ever really known. Hostessing helped me to work out what I don't want with my life.
©Sarah Dale 2004
Hostess are not prostitutes! some bars are dodgy, but in expensive bars where the richest man in the city drinks, nothing happens!
a hostess is paid to sit there and pour drinks and talk with a customer, its the hostesses decision whether she wants to meet him out of work. Being a hostess is a good way to earn money, you get tips from customers
as well, and its also your choice to drink with the customer. Just because your a hostess doesnt mean you have relationship problems, some foreigners do it to get better at japanese and that is all!

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Australia's First Terrorist Bomb Refurbished out of History  
Australia's First Terrorist Bomb Refurbished out of History
Have Australia's first terrorist bomb deaths in February 1978 been forgotten?
The Hilton bomb hasn't been mentioned discussing terrorism over the last few years.

In pre-Olympic works the memorial stele was flattened to a disregarded, walked-upon street plaque. In 2003 the 25th Anniversary went unremarked. No murmur was made when the plaque disappeared under renovation hoardings in that same year, despite a fuss in July of 2003 over a memorial to Ghost Train fire victims destroyed renovating Luna Park.

Now the Hilton is re-opening, the hoardings removed. I searched the footpath and visible entrances in George St where the explosion happened. Nothing. Wiped away like Stalin's victims in Soviet photos.

Why? Shame because the dead found no justice? Denial? Carelessness? Perhaps just that; no-one cares. In 2032 will we remember the blackened, gutted bodies of last Thursday?

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Another rejected Letter to an Editor  
Another rejected Letter to an Editor, responding to a recent meeting and speeches — sent on Wednesday 6th July, 2005
Stirring it was on that stage to hear our headman, Bob Carr, at Hillsong defend diverse Australian life!

And heartwarming to hear the Christian crowd acclaim the need for Hindus, Moslems, Buddhists, Sikhs and all to be equally regarded as having worthwhile ways for humans to live and interpret the world, if we are to survive together on this fragile shell of habitable biosphere.

But saddening also the silence for those whose values and morals stand as firm-footedly strong on a non-religious base.
Also run as an exercise in the old-style declamation, keeping as far under the 200-word limit as possible.

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