Sunday Poem: The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot — Britain fluffed the German question. Now Britain is Europe’s great puzzle — Only in Japan: The Burger King Windows 7 Whopper — How a simple rubdown becomes a massage ‘down there’ — Grosz: lost splendors — Give them away or pass them on – but don’t let go of printed books — Country Music Is the New Rock ‘n Roll — 5 Weekend News Nuggets (Science) – Music Videos by Taylor Swift (You Belong With Me), Uncle Kracker (Follow Me), and Savage Garden (Truly Madly Deeply)


GDR WALLTwo unidentified tourists kiss in front of a painting on one of the rare remaining parts of the Wall in Berlin, in October 1995. The painting on exhibit in the East Side Gallery shows Communist leaders Leonid Brechnev from the Soviet Union, left, and Erich Honecker from East Germany, right.  (AP Photo / Karsten Thielker)


Sunday Poem: The Waste Land by T.S. Eliot

T.S. Eliot reads his classic poem “The Waste Land.” Born in St. Louis, Missouri, and educated at Harvard, Eliot lived most of his life in England. In 1948 he was awarded the Nobel Prize. Copyrighted however you can listen by clicking below. The poem has five sections and has been split into four sound files:

The Waste Land is considered to be Eliot’s masterpiece, rich in symbolic, literary, and historical references as the poem explores the struggles of a soul in despair.


Britain fluffed the German question. Now Britain is Europe’s great puzzle

UK Guardian – Timothy Garton Ash

The devastating truth on Thatcher’s opposition to German unification is out, but today’s Conservatives have learned nothing

History comes back to haunt us. Just over 20 years ago, the then British prime minister Margaret Thatcher told Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev: “Britain and western Europe are not interested in the unification of Germany. The words written in the Nato communique may sound different, but disregard them. We do not want the unification of Germany.” She went on to say, inaccurately: “I can tell you that this is also the position of the US president.” That’s according to the Russian record made by one of Gorbachev’s closest aides. A British note of the conversation, quoted in a volume of documents just published by Foreign Office historians, adds some fascinating new detail.

This was an act of spectacular disloyalty to an old, faithful, and important Nato ally. It showed a real lack of respect for the aspirations of the East Germans protesting on the streets, who would soon say clearly that their hopes of freedom – the political value with which Thatcher liked to most closely identify herself – would best be realised by unification with an already free German state. And it was very shortsighted.

She was not just expressing her worries in private to a western ally; she was expressing them directly to the man who had the power to stop German unification. The British note goes on: “Mr Gorbachev said that he could see what the prime minister was driving at. The Soviet Union understood the problem very well and she could be reassured. They did not want German reunification any more than Britain did. It was useful that the matter had been raised and that he and the prime minister knew each other’s mind on this delicate subject.”

Things are made no better by the fact that François Mitterrand and the French were conveying much the same message to Moscow. Gorbachev’s close adviser, Anatoly Chernyaev, who made the record of the Thatcher conversation, notes in his diary on 9 October 1989 that Mitterrand’s aide Jacques Attali “talked with us about a revival of a solid Franco-Soviet alliance, ‘including military integration – camouflaged as the use of armies in the struggle against natural disasters’.” Linking these French whispers to Thatcher’s remarks, Chernyaev reflects: “In brief, they [that is, the French and the British] want to prevent this [German unification] with our hands.”

At a witness seminar last week, organised by the Foreign Office historians, Hans-Dietrich Genscher, the West German foreign minister at that time, reacted with magnificent condescension. Obviously he was aware of Thatcher’s opposition, he said, but he didn’t worry too much about it, because he knew that so long as the Germans had the US behind them, the Brits would always come round in the end. Which of course they did, but not without squandering a heap of goodwill in Germany.

At the same seminar, William Waldegrave, who at that time was a junior Foreign Office minister, roundly declared that this was “one of the sorriest episodes in British diplomatic history”. And the now-published records show that the Foreign Office, from the then foreign secretary Douglas Hurd down, did repeatedly warn (although not without some mandarin trimming along the way) that Thatcher’s vocal opposition was impolitic, misguided and short-sighted. That is doubtless one reason why the Foreign Office is hurrying to publish the documents now, after just 20 years. Following the fall of the Berlin Wall, Hurd, Waldegrave, senior officials and diplomats would warn time and again against the folly of being an “ineffective brake” on German unification.

It is particularly interesting for me to read the internal pre-history of what became known as “the Chequers seminar” in March 1990, attended by six historians of Germany, of whom I was one. Since that famous or infamous event is represented only by a vivid but misleading summary by Thatcher’s private secretary Charles Powell, which caused a scandal when it was leaked in Germany, it’s worth saying again what several other participants have already put on record: the overwhelming message of all the historians present was that the Federal Republic, as it had proved itself over 40 years, must be trusted and supported in carrying through the unification of Germany in freedom.

I remember one electrifying moment when the veteran conservative historian Hugh Trevor-Roper – who had been in Germany immediately after the end of the second world war, interrogating senior Nazis for his classic account of the Last Days of Hitler – suddenly said, Prime Minister, if anyone had told us in 1945 that there was a chance of a Germany united in freedom, as a solid member of the west, we could not have believed our luck. And so we should welcome it, not resist it…]


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Only in Japan: The Burger King Windows 7 Whopper

What has seven patties and a corporate sponsorship? This enormous Windows 7 burger.

By Chris Gaylord

America may be the home of the corporate tie-in and super-sized fast food. But Japan may have just outdone the US in both fields.

In honor of Microsoft’s new Windows 7 operating system, Burger King has served up a seven-patty burger. This mighty monolith of meat, more than five inches tall, will only be available for seven days – and only in Japan.

The Windows 7 burger favors the early birds. Each day, the first 30 customers get the Whopper for 777 Yen (about $8.50). Stragglers must pay closer to $17. But if you feast upon one for breakfast, you’d best avoid food for the rest of the day. The Whopper packs in about 2,100 calories – more than you should eat in an entire day, according to the FDA.

Burger King and Microsoft have had cross-promotions in the past. In 2006, Burger King offered $4 Xbox 360 games featuring the restaurant chain’s King mascot.

Both campaigns are fun, yet not quite as clever as Apple’s attacks against Windows 7.


4717342The archive shows a picture of East Berlin 18.08.1961 Maurer column, under the supervision of armed People’s Police on 18.8.1961 GDR built on the Soviet-American Sektorengenze at Potsdamer square, where a head-high wall. On the morning of the 13th August had the GDR armed forces under the code name “Aktion Rose started” so that the block east of the city with roadblocks of barbed wire in the direction of the West. The construction of the “anti-fascist protective wall” sealed the division of Germany, which until 9 November 1989 forced the peaceful fall of the Berlin Wall ended. DPA


How a simple rubdown becomes a massage ‘down there’

EL PAÍS International – JESÚS GARCÍA Barcelona

Barely five minutes of the session have passed when Ana — the name the Chinese masseuse goes by in this seedy Barcelona parlor — first airs the question she will go on to repeat endlessly: “Massage down there?” What Ana is wondering is if the customer would like her
hands to slide a little further down than his back to reach his genitals. “Twenty euros, I massage down there. You very tired from working,” Ana insists, as she continues with what is a rather slapdash and painful back massage.

The so-called “happy finish” is not an urban myth, but is alive and well in hairdressers, beauty parlors, massage parlors and saunas in the Catalan capital. Years ago, the clients were mostly Chinese immigrants, like the owners of these establishments in the city’s popularly known Chinatown area in the district of Eixample. But with time, other local needs arose and now the clientele consists largely of European males looking for undercover prostitution.

Fruitless raid

“Nobody goes there for a massage; they are really bad at it,” a local policeman laughs. The problem for law enforcers lies in proving that the establishments are mere fronts and are effectively operating as brothels. A few months back the Urban Guard and the police raided 18 such premises across Barcelona, but of 50 customers questioned, only two admitted they had gone for the “happy finish,” and the search barely turned up a couple of condom packets. But nor do the forces of law and order seem overly concerned as the feeling prevails that the dark forces of organized crime are not involved.

“The mafias dedicate their time to more succulent business,” in the words of a local police officer. “Ten euros, I massage down there good,” continues Ana, dropping her price as is apparently the usual form. “What about your bosses; do they know what you do in here?” I ask her. “They only charge for the massage; the other thing is for me,” she replies. The parlors charge for the massage at the end of the session, with a half-hour typically costing between ¤10 and ¤20. The rest is a private matter.


5009481

About one year after the construction of the wall, Peter Fechter attempted to flee from the GDR together with his friend Helmut Kulbeik. The plan was to hide in a carpenter’s workshop near the wall in Zimmerstrasse and, after observing the border guards from there, to jump out of a window into the so-called death-strip (a strip running between the main wall and a parallel fence which they had recently started to construct), run across it, and climb over the two metre (6.5 ft) wall topped with barbed wire into the Kreuzberg district of West Berlin near Checkpoint Charlie.

When both reached the wall, guards fired at them. Although Kulbeik succeeded in crossing the wall, Fechter, still on the wall, was shot in the pelvis in plain view of hundreds of witnesses. He fell back into the death-strip on the Eastern side, where he remained in view of Western onlookers, including journalists. Despite his screams, he received no medical assistance either from the East or the West side. He bled to death after about an hour. AP


Grosz: lost splendors

EL PAÍS International – ANTONIO MUÑOZ MOLINA

Fame and oblivion can be simultaneous. Your work on the one hand, your life on the other. Then the work may peter out, and the life go on unknown. When Georg Grosz died in 1959 in Berlin, after falling drunk down a flight of stairs, many were surprised to hear that he was still around. His name, his caricatures and drawings from the 1920s, were enshrined in art books and museums, but he was living in deep obscurity, selling a few paintings and drawings now and then.

Grosz is an icon of the Weimar Republic and the ambiance of those interwar years—apocalyptic, grotesque, foreboding. He was an incarnation of his age, like Kurt Weill in music and Bertold Brecht in poetry. So modern was he that he changed his name from Georg to George in homage to America, the land of skyscrapers, automobiles, Jack London and Fenimore Cooper.

He had belonged to the Communist Party, but New York attracted him more than Moscow. And as Nazi rule loomed he opted to emigrate, for his own safety and in disgust—at his country’s canine enthusiasm for Hitler and at the unconditional surrender of the working classes and their political parties.

In New York, so long beloved from afar, he provisionally accepted a job as a drawing teacher, while he awaited the commissions that would inevitably pour in from big national magazines. In Germany, in all Europe, his drawings were famous, and he had never lacked for money. He returned briefly to Germany to pick up his family and sell his property (the Gestapo came for him, but too late). The relief at escaping was almost physical.

He arrived in New York, drunk on optimism about the future. But here he slowly discovered the meaning of failure and slowly acclimatized himself to it, as he tells us in his autobiography. He believed he would easily adapt to the more forthright style of American magazine illustration, but he never learned the knack. He would send drawings to magazines and they would come back unpublished, with a short rejection note. His European fame cut no ice in New York. He gradually got used to living in cheap hotels and tiny apartments that made his lost splendors in Berlin look all the greater. He gave drawing classes, and learned patience, humility, and resignation.

He did not feel rage or rancor, he would say, as much as a distance growing between himself and his past work. In his early propensity to caricature and savage satire, he now suspected an inner impulse of cruelty, more than of rage against social injustice. For 20 years he had practiced a poetry of sarcasm, a furious art of negation. Now he felt the call of tranquil affirmation. City nocturnes and the claustrophobia of dim-lit rooms had been the spaces of his imagination. Now he found himself appreciating the clear light of day, and the wide-open spaces of American nature.

But mysteriously, the affirmation never caught fire. George Grosz went on painting, but his American work is nowadays hardly even recognized as his own. In the MOMA, George Grosz is one of the signal figures of modernity; in Chelsea, in the David Nolan gallery, where some of his American work is now on show, the feeling of sadness and confusion is not just due to the gray morning and the fog off the Hudson River.

As Grosz acquired maturity and serenity, he lost his inspiration. The caricatures have grown crude, puerile. The canvases of windswept dunes on the Atlantic coast have something of the hurried heavy-handedness of the Sunday painter. The nerve, the bite, the cheeky aggression, are gone.

In the hour I spent there, no one else visited the gallery. I have seen no review in the papers. The spell of oblivion still weighs on Grosz. One single picture holds the gaze: the artist’s own face, glimpsed behind bottles in a barroom mirror. In his own words Grosz tells us that Manhattan filled him with light and color and joy. But he could only say it in words.


5009403Crosses bearing the names of the victims of a grid in front of the Berlin Wall in West Berlin on 05.08.1986 to remember the people who were shot when they fled from East Germany to the west of GDR border guards. (AP)


Give them away or pass them on – but don’t let go of printed books

They may be bulky, but bound volumes still contain much more than ebooks could ever hold

UK Guardian – Posted by Suzanne Munshower

One aspect of the electronic reader that tempts me – and I’m an old fuddy duddy so I have to admit it might be the only one – is its space-saving ability. Is there a reader out there who doesn’t occasionally feel crushed by possessing too many books?

We’re in book acquiring season now
. Winter’s coming, so we stock up on autumn’s prize-winners and runners-up. Christmas is around the corner, which means many of us will receive gift books or tokens. What will be the destiny of all these tomes? Unless you’re a compulsive hoarder, you make a decision each time you finish reading a book that belongs to you. To keep or not to keep, that is the question.

But what’s the answer? One could say, “Good books get kept, bad books go to Oxfam”, but that would be oversimplifying. All of us, I suspect, have our systems. Me, I’m as likely to hang onto a thriller as a literary novel if I foresee a second reading in the future – but I move a lot, and space and transport costs make choices necessary. They’re often hard ones, for example choosing to shed bigger books on account of the weight.

But for any book lover, I believe the most satisfying route for a book enjoyed is its continued circulation. There’s a pleasure in lending books to others – as long as they aren’t dog-earing philistines who spill wine, wreck bindings through one-handed reading, or otherwise send books to early destruction. Alas, many of my friends are just such readers – so they don’t get to read books I plan to reread.

Books I don’t plan to reread I loan to friends then give up: as donations, as sales to used bookstores, as parting gifts to visitors seeking something to read on the flight home. I enthusiastically endorse the sales approach taken by Berlin’s expat hangout Another Country, which combines secondhand bookshop with lending library. Approximately 20,000 books in English are colour-coded by price; you can keep your purchase after reading or return it for a full refund minus €1.50.

I love everything about books – the smell, the feel, the design, the covers – so parting is often sad. Because there is no foolproof method of culling it’s also fraught with anxiety. I’ve saved books for several years, sure I’ll read them again, then moved them along without a second thought, much less another reading. I’ve given books to friends only to buy them again. Some simply disappear: I’m on my fourth copy of Patrick Suskind’s Perfume and my third of Beryl Bainbridge’s The Bottle Factory Outing.

Like most people, I’ve clung to a few books for sentimental reasons: some boys’ mysteries from 1920s (Poppy Ott and the Galloping Snail) because they were my father’s childhood favourites; my original copy of The Joy of Cooking; the complete Lucia series by EF Benson, which I’ve had since the 1970s and reread many times. These books have journeyed to many homes in several countries and survived intact.

I’ve also kept everything by, for example, Alan Bennett and Michael Frayn but am now reacquiring Kurt Vonnegut without having the slightest idea when in the past 30-odd years his works and I parted ways. Having just seen the covers of the latest Great Ideas Penguins, I’m reminded that some books must be kept just because they’re too pretty to give up.

After all of us have made our decisions – to keep, donate, sell or give to a friend – a whopping 7m books in the UK alone end up in landfills each year. This figure would be vastly reduced if people took better care of them, but, even so, all books made of paper eventually disintegrate. That sense of a book’s mortality makes it mean all the more to one who’s loved it and will, I think, keep electronic readers from killing off books.

The destiny of books? I think it’s that they exist to be read again and again, by you, me or someone else. We look at other people’s bookshelves and feel we know them a little bit better. Our own remind us where we’ve been and where we might choose to return.



Country Music Is the New Rock ‘n Roll

Fox Business News:  by Elizabeth MacDonald

A general consensus is forming in the music industry: Country music is displacing rock ‘n roll as America’s most popular brand of music.

“One thing is for sure: if country is not the new rock ‘n roll, it’s getting close,” says Thomas Valentino, founder and head of The Counsel, a law firm that represents top music industry artists including Kid Rock, Big & Rich, Gretchen Wilson and Uncle Kracker.

“Nashville is as rock n roll, if not more, than New York or LA. Just ask the Kings of Leon, the hottest rock act in the world,” which has its roots in Nashville, Valentino adds. Now, why is it that country music could be displacing rock ‘n roll in popularity in the US?

Could it be that music listeners are sick and tired of the fulsome, industrial-strength self-dramatization, the twisted acting out in rock ‘n roll songs that take on a relentless, infantile, perverse logic all their own?

Could it be that music listeners no longer want any part of the excruciatingly annoying culture of excessive, self-righteous self-indulgence, of narcissistic self-entitlement cemented in many genres of rock ‘n roll?

Where listening to these songs is like chewing on Reynolds Wrap tin foil? Where you have to apply Novocain to your nerve endings as soon their songs are over?

Is it that consumers want more, they want to connect, they want music that quite purely and simply tells stories that move the heart and provide a compelling narrative about the human condition?

“Country Music is the White Man’s Rap”

“Country music is the white man’s rap,” says Tony Powell, guest host on the Don Imus show on the Fox Business network, (a razor sharp, smart and truly funny comedian, Powell has racked up appearances on “The Chris Rock Show,” NBC’s “Showtime at the Apollo” and a stint as the studio warm-up act for Bill Cosby).

And the country music industry is “a community, they share their music and they share their songs,” adds Woody Fraser, top executive producer at Fox News’ the Huckabee Show.

Fraser notes that when he produced the Mike Douglas talk show in the ’60s, “it was hard to book a rock star with another rock star on the show to perform, because none of them wanted to share the stage with each other.”

But Fraser says that “when I invited, say, Dolly Parton, everybody in country music wanted to perform with her on the show.” Fraser adds that he routinely booked country music stars who were delighted to perform with each other on the show, leaving their diva acts behind.

Country Music Rock Stars

It’s widely known that rock ‘n roll has its roots in country music, having delivered two of the biggest solo artists in the history of music in terms of album sales, both of whom crossed over to rock in their careers, Elvis Presley, and Garth Brooks. Like Elvis (the Hillbilly Cat), and Garth Brooks, other country music stars have also crossed over to rock ‘n roll, including Shania Twain, Hank Williams, Dwight Yoakam, Brooks & Dunn, and, of course, Parton.

Country rock can also claim such stars as Lynyrd Skynyrd, the Allman Brothers, the Charlie Daniels Band, Marshall Tucker, Alabama, The Byrds, Neil Young, the Grateful Dead, The Eagles, and also Poco and Buffalo Springfield. Of course, who can forget songs from The Rolling Stones such as “Honky Tonk Women” and “Dead Flowers?”

The Proof Country Music is Gaining on Rock

Music agent Valentino also cites the following “impressive developments” to show that country music is quickly displacing rock and roll:

According to Inside Radio, country music is by far the most popular format for programming. As of August 2009, 2,014 stations were programming country while 1,323 offered Rock, including Classic and Alternative Rock;

For the last decade or so, country music listening nationwide has delivered a steady 77.3 mn adults each week, according to the radio-ratings agency Arbitron;

In 2008, based upon total earnings, three of the top 10 acts were country–namely, Kenny Chesney, Rascal Flatts and Toby Keith, according to Forbes Magazine;

The Billboard charts for 2008, based upon the number of titles appearing on the charts, lists country music stars Taylor Swift at number five, Miley Cyrus at number seven, Carrie Underwood at number 13, and Sugarland at number 21;

Country music star Garth Brooks appears at a news conference inTwo country acts had albums in the top 10 in 2008: Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift;

The highest grossing musical tours for 2008 included Kenny Chesney, who was number four ($72.2 mn) and Rascal Flatts at number eight ($55.8 mn), according to Pollstar, a publication that tracks music tours;

According to Nielsen, for the first five months of 2009, country album sales experienced the smallest decline of all major music genres and led in growth for digital album sales. The top selling album this year is Taylor Swift, at 1.3 mn units;

Last month, Swift became the first country artist to win an MTV music video award, and her song “You Belong With Me” is the first country crossover to top the Billboard Hot 100 Radio Chart, since Nielsen-BDS has monitored such data in 1990.

Valentino notes this caveat: “Country is genre-specific music, while Rock, categorically, will usually encompass different styles such as alternative, classical and modern,” which can torque the numbers.

Looking closer, it’s true that country music had a pretty poor showing in 2008 versus other forms of music in terms of revenue, although it was on track to have better growth in the first half of 2009 versus other genres, notes Fox News analyst James Farrell.

And it’s hard to ignore the dramatic ascent of country music in the US, 2006 being a touchstone year when, as album sales of most musical genres dropped, country music experienced one of its best years. In the first half of 2006, domestic sales of country albums increased by 17.7% to 36 mn.

Want More Evidence? Here you go: In 2008, country music album sales fell 24% – second only to classical music and compared with an overall decline of 14%. However, consumers bought about 47.7 mn country albums in 2008 – 8% of them from one artist, the 19-year-old Swift.

And the country music industry sold 2.35 mn digital albums for the year through June 28, 2009 – a growth of approximately 55%. The growth beat all other popular music genres, according to Nielsen SoundScan. Gospel finished second, about five percentage points behind.

H/t: Bird Dog @  Maggie’s Farm & Viking Pundit



100801UFO008Chris Gueffroy was shot 10 times and killed by border guards when he tried to cross the Berlin Wall on the night of Feb. 5, 1989. The 20-year-old bartender was the last East German to be shot trying to cross the Wall. According to the latest findings of the 13th Working August are coming to the inner-German border 960 people died. The three victims were known to be more than last year, as the consortium announced on Friday. Due to the still uncompleted search services “are assumed to number almost 1,000 deaths, which called for the GDR border regime from 1946 to 1989. Photo: Peter Rondholz / ddp



WITNESS-WALLS/BERLIN

Border guards stand atop the Berlin Wall, in front of the Brandeburg Gate in this November 11, 1989 file photo, just days before it would come down in 1989. East Germany’s ex-leaders have always denied having ordered soldiers to shoot people trying to flee across the Wall.  REUTERS/Stringer/Files    (GERMANY)


Weekend News Nuggets (Science)

  1. Red rover, rat roverLive Science posted a cool video about research lab at Northwestern University that is imitating rats’ whiskers to improve robot sensing.  Rat whiskers are very sensitive.  Neurons in the base of the follicle convey a great deal of information to the brain, even in the dark.  The researchers envision this tactile technology on Mars rovers someday.
  2. Spiderman glue:  We’ve heard about efforts to duplicate spider silk, that ideal substance stronger than steel, but what about the glue that coats the silk strands?  PhysOrg and Science Daily reported that scientists in Wyoming are trying to imitate that, too.  Why?  They could help technology “advance toward a new generation of biobased adhesives and glues – ‘green’ glues that replace existing petroleum-based products for a range of uses.”  Spider web glue “is among the world’s strongest biological glues,” the article said.  That’s impressive considering the strength of barnacle adhesion.
    Speaking of spiders, the largest orb-weaving spider was discovered in Madagascar, reported Science Daily.  The picture shows a 1.5-inch big momma with legs 5 inches long sitting in her web over a meter across.  Images of Shelob in Lord of the Rings come to mind.  Another discovery reported by all the science news outlets including Science Daily and National Geographic News was a “surreal” critter that is the first known spider to feed primarily on plant material instead of animal tissue.  This new species that New Scientist called the “Gandhi” of spiders is “the only known vegetarian out of some 40,000 spider species.”  Evolutionists attributed the origin of this herbivorous spider to “co-evolution” and “social evolution.”
  3. The Sting for health:  Imagine skin cream loaded with stinging cells from jellyfish.  Ouch!  It sounds like torture, but actually, it wouldn’t hurt a bit – and could actually heal.  New Scientist reported that a company in Israel is harvesting stinging cells from the marine creatures (like sea anemones and jellyfish) to use as microscopic hypodermic needles.  These natural harpoons, called nematocysts, have more force than the pressure needed to create diamonds inside the earth.  They can penetrate fish scales as well as human skin.
    The NanoCyte company in Israel has patented a way to control the firing of the cells by putting them in a cream.  They replace the toxins in the cells with drugs that can deliver healing medicines to diabetics and others afflicted with disease.  Contact with skin activates the cells and delivers the payload.  Some applications are in Phase II trials.  Some day, your dentist may apply gum numbing medicine to your mouth with a cream instead of a surgical needle, and you may apply anti-itch creams with technologies derived from jellyfish.  The article said, “One square centimetre of cream-coated skin can contain as many as a million tiny needles.”  They promise the process is painless.
  4. Now ear this:  You have two sets of neurons in your inner ear, reported Science Daily.  Type II neurons in the hair cells of the cochlea apparently come into play when the normal neurons are exposed to ear-piercing decibels.  That being the case, they “may play a role in such reflexive withdrawals from potential trauma.”
  5. Hearing on the wing:  A remarkable auditory sense has been found on butterfly wings.  PhysOrg reported that a “remarkable structure” on the wing of the blue morpho butterfly acts like a tympanic membrane – an eardrum.  “The unusual structure and properties of the membrane mean that this butterfly ear may be able to distinguish between low and high pitch sounds,” perhaps to detect and avoid predatory birds.  “The team suggest [sic] that sensitivity to lower pitch sounds may detect the beating of birds’ wings, while higher pitches may tune into birdsong.”

Source: Creation-Evolution Headlines Note:  Excellent 10 Year Old Website With Archives – Highly Recommended)


FILES-GERMANY-BERLIN-WALL-MEMORIALPicture taken on 07 November 2004 shows a portrait of a US soldier peering through some of the 1065 crosses at a memorial dedicated to the 1065 people who lost their lives trying to cross the wall that separated Communist east Berlin from west Berlin from 1961 to 1989, at Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin.  A document uncovered in the archives of East Germany’s feared secret police proves for the first time that border guards had a clear shoot-to-kill order from the communist regime, officials said 12 August 2007.   AFP PHOTO JOHN MACDOUGALL


Related Links:

Maggie’s Farm:  Doc’s Computin’ Tips: Multiple email identities in Vista

UK Guardian: The fall of the Berlin Wall (5 Videos)

110800MUC044Two mothers waving Berlin on 26 August 1961 to their children and grandchildren in the eastern part of Berlin on 13.08.1961. Hulton-Getty/ddp


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