Light plus Weighty

All About Life …

Posted on September 5, 2018. Filed under: Guide Posts, Light plus Weighty |

This is a wonderful piece by Michael Gartner, editor of newspapers large and small and president of NBC News. In 1997, he won the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing. It is well worth reading, and a few good chuckles are guaranteed. Here goes…
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My father never drove a car. Well, that’s not quite right. I should say I never saw him drive a car. He quit driving in 1927, when he was 25 years old, and the last car he drove was a 1926 Whippet.
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“In those days,” he told me when he was in his 90s, “to drive a car you had to do things with your hands, and do things with your feet, and look every which way, and I decided you could walk through life and enjoy it or drive through life and miss it.”
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At which point my mother, a sometimes salty Irishwoman, chimed in:
“Oh, bull shit!” she said. “He hit a horse.”
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“Well,” my father said, “there was that, too.”
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So my brother and I grew up in a household without a car. The neighbors all had cars – the Kollingses next door had a green 1941Dodge, the VanLaninghams across the street a gray 1936 Plymouth, the Hopsons two doors down a black 1941 Ford — but we had none.
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My father, a newspaperman in Des Moines , would take the streetcar to work and, often as not, walk the 3 miles home. If he took the streetcar home, my mother and brother and I would walk the three blocks to the streetcar stop, meet him and walk home together.
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My brother, David, was born in 1935, and I was born in 1938, and sometimes, at dinner, we’d ask how come all the neighbors had cars but we had none. “No one in the family drives,” my mother would explain, and that was that.
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But, sometimes, my father would say, “But as soon as one of you boys turns 16, we’ll get one.” It was as if he wasn’t sure which one of us would turn 16 first.
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But, sure enough, my brother turned 16 before I did, so in 1951 my parents bought a used 1950 Chevrolet from a friend who ran the parts department at a Chevy dealership downtown.
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It was a four-door, white model, stick shift, fender skirts, loaded with everything, and, since my parents didn’t drive, it more or less became my brother’s car.
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Having a car but not being able to drive didn’t bother my father, but it didn’t make sense to my mother. So in 1952, when she was 43 years old, she asked a friend to teach her to drive.
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She learned in a nearby cemetery, the place where I learned to drive the following year and where, a generation later, I took my two sons to practice driving. The cemetery probably was my father’s idea. “Who can your mother hurt in the cemetery?” I remember him saying more than once.
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For the next 45 years or so, until she was 90, my mother was the driver in the family. Neither she nor my father had any sense of direction, but he loaded up on maps — though they seldom left the city limits — and appointed himself navigator. It seemed to work.
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Still, they both continued to walk a lot. My mother was a devout Catholic, and my father an equally devout agnostic, an arrangement that didn’t seem to bother either of them through their 75 years of marriage.
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Yes, 75 years, and they were deeply in love the entire time.
He retired when he was 70, and nearly every morning for the next 20 years or so, he would walk with her the mile to St. Augustin’s Church. She would walk down and sit in the front pew, and he would wait in the back until he saw which of the parish’s two priests was on duty that morning.
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If it was the pastor, my father then would go out and take a 2-mile walk, meeting my mother at the end of the service and walking her home.
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If it was the assistant pastor, he’d take just a 1-mile walk and then head back to the church. He called the priests “Father Fast” and “Father Slow.”
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After he retired, my father almost always accompanied my mother whenever she drove anywhere, even if he had no reason to go along.
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If she were going to the beauty parlor, he’d sit in the car and read, or go take a stroll or, if it was summer, have her keep the engine running so he could listen to the Cubs game on the radio.
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In the evening, then, when I’d stop by, he’d explain: “The Cubs lost again. The millionaire on second base made a bad throw to the millionaire on first base, so the multimillionaire on third base scored.”
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If she were going to the grocery store, he would go along to carry the bags out — and to make sure she loaded up on ice cream.
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As I said, he was always the navigator, and once, when he was 95 and she was 88 and still driving, he said to me, “Do you want to know the secret of a long life?”
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“I guess so,” I said, knowing it probably would be something bizarre.
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“No left turns,” he said. “What?” I asked
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“No left turns,” he repeated. “Several years ago, your mother and I read an article that said most accidents that old people are in happen when they turn left in front of oncoming traffic..
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As you get older, your eyesight worsens, and you can lose your depth perception, it said. So your mother and I decided never again to make a left turn.”
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“What?” I said again.
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“No left turns,” he said. “Think about it.. Three rights are the same as a left, and that’s a lot safer. So we always make three rights.”
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“You’re kidding!” I said, and I turned to my mother for support.
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“No,” she said, “your father is right. We make three rights. It works.” But then she added: “Except when your father loses count.” I was driving at the time, and I almost drove off the road as I started laughing.
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“Loses count?” I asked.
“Yes,” my father admitted, “that sometimes happens. But it’s not a problem. You just make seven rights, and you’re okay again.”
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I couldn’t resist. “Do you ever go for 11?” I asked.
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“No,” he said ” If we miss it at seven, we just come home and call it a bad day. Besides, nothing in life is so important it can’t be put off another day or another week.”
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My mother was never in an accident, but one evening she handed me her car keys and said she had decided to quit driving.
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That was in 1999, when she was 90. She lived four more years, until 2003.. My father died the next year, at 102.
They both died in the bungalow they had moved into in 1937 and bought a few years later for $3,000.
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Sixty years later, my brother and I paid $8,000 to have a shower put in the tiny bathroom — the house had never had one. My father would have died then and there if he knew the shower cost nearly three times what he paid for the house.
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He continued to walk daily — he had me get him a treadmill when he was 101 because he was afraid he’d fall on the icy sidewalks but wanted to keep exercising — and he was of sound mind and sound body until the moment he died.
 
O.ne September afternoon in 2004, he and my son went with me when I had to give a talk in a neighboring town, and it was clear to all three of us that he was wearing out, though we had the usual wide-ranging conversation about politics and newspapers and things in the news.
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A few weeks earlier, he had told my son, “You know, Mike, the first hundred years are a lot easier than the second hundred.”
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At one point in our drive that Saturday, he said, “You know, I’m probably not going to live much longer.”
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“You’re probably right,” I said. “Why would you say that?” He countered, somewhat irritated. “Because you’re 102 years old,” I said.
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“Yes,” he said, “you’re right.” He stayed in bed all the next day.
That night, I suggested to my son and daughter that we sit up with him through the night. He appreciated it, he said, though at one point, apparently seeing us look gloomy, he said: “I would like to make an announcement. No one in this room is dead yet.”
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An hour or so later, he spoke his last words: “I want you to know,” he said, clearly and lucidly, “that I am in no pain. I am very comfortable. And I have had as happy a life as anyone on this earth could ever have.”
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A short time later, he died.
I miss him a lot, and I think about him a lot. I’ve wondered now and then how it was that my family and I were so lucky that he lived so long.
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I can’t figure out if it was because he walked through life, or because he quit taking left turns. 
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Life is too short to wake up with regrets. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don’t. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it & if it changes your life, let it.
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Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would most likely be worth it.
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Australians – Cannot be Beat …

Posted on April 14, 2018. Filed under: Light plus Weighty |

Happy Laughing Happy Weekend.

The 2012 Australian Poetry Competition held in Sydney Opera House had come down to two finalists; A – A university graduate. B – An old aboriginal.

They were given a common word, and then allowed two minutes to reflect on the word and recite a short four line poem that contained the word.    The word they were given was ‘ TIMBUKTU ‘. First to recite his poem was the university graduate. He stepped to the microphone and recited  –

Slowly across the desert sand,
Trekked a lonely caravan
Men on camels two by two
Destination – Timbuktu .

The crowd went crazy! No way could the old aboriginal top that – they thought. The old aboriginal calmly made his way to the microphone and recited –

Me and Tim a huntin’ went
Met three whores in a pop up tent
They were three, and we was two
So I bucked one, and Tim – buk tu .

The aboriginal won, pants down!

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Smile …

Posted on September 30, 2017. Filed under: Light plus Weighty, Searching for Success |

♦ I read that 4,153,237 people got married last year; not to cause any trouble but shouldn’t that be an even number?

♦ When wearing a bikini, women reveal 90% of their body… men are so polite they only look at the covered parts.

♦ A recent study has found that women who carry a little extra weight, live longer than the men who mention it.

♦ Relationships are a lot like algebra Have you ever looked at your X and wondered Y?

♦ America is a country which produces citizens who will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won’t cross the street to vote.

♦ You know that tingly little feeling you get when you like someone? That’s your common sense leaving your body.

♦ Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?

♦ My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance. We’ll see about that.

♦ I think my neighbor is stalking me as she’s been googling my name on her computer. I saw it through my telescope last night.

♦ Money talks, but all mine ever says is goodbye.

♦ If you think nobody cares whether you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

♦ I always wondered what the job application is like at Hooters. Do they just give you a bra and say, “Here, fill this out?”

♦ Denny’s has a slogan, “If it’s your birthday, the meal is on us.” If you’re in Denny’s and it’s your birthday, your life sucks!

♦ The location of your mailbox shows you how far away from your house you can be in a robe before you start looking like a mental patient.

♦ The reason Mayberry was so peaceful and quiet was because nobody was married. Andy, Aunt Bea, Barney, Floyd, Howard, Goober, Gomer, Sam, Earnest T Bass, Helen, Thelma Lou, Clara and, of course, Opie were all single. The only married person was Otis, and he stayed drunk.

♦ I find it ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom until they are flashing behind you.

♦ I think it’s pretty cool how Chinese people made a language entirely out of tattoos.

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Battle of Two Museums …

Posted on September 20, 2017. Filed under: Light plus Weighty, Personalities, Uncategorized |

2017 is undoubtedly the year of the feud. As celebrities and corporations alike take to Twitter to hash things out, two of the UK’s most respected scientific institutions, the Science Museum and the Natural History Museum, have got in on the action.

http://www.newstatesman.com/science-tech/social-media/2017/09/two-museums-are-having-fight-twitter-and-its-gloriously

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The Smart Kid …

Posted on May 23, 2017. Filed under: Light plus Weighty |

This kid will be a success ! He is brilliant!                                                                                    ..

Q1.. In which battle did Napoleon die? …  * His last battle

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Q2.. Where was the Declaration of Independence signed? … * At the bottom of the page
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Q3.. River Ravi flows in which state? …  * Liquid
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Q4.. What is the main reason for divorce? …* Marriage
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Q5.. What is the main reason for failure? …* Exams
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Q6.. What can you never eat for breakfast? … * Lunch & dinner
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Q7.. What looks like half an apple … * The other half
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Q8.. If you throw a red stone into the blue sea what will it become?… * Wet
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 Q9.. How can a man go eight days without sleeping ? …* By sleeping at night.
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Q10. How can you lift an elephant with one hand? …*   You will never find an elephant that has one hand.
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Q11. If you had three apples and four oranges in one hand and four apples and three oranges in other hand, what would you have? … * Very large hands
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Q12. If it took eight men ten hours to build a wall, how long would it take four men to build it? … *No time at all, the wall is already built.
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Q13. How can u drop a raw egg onto a concrete floor without cracking it? … *Any way you want, concrete floors are very hard to crack.
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CHEERS!
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Wonderful Witty Ad …

Posted on January 27, 2017. Filed under: Light plus Weighty |

Carnation Milk 65 Years Ago.

A little old lady from Wisconsin had worked in and around her family dairy farms since she was old enough to walk, with hours of hard work and little compensation.

When canned Carnation Milk became available in grocery stores in the 1940s, she read an advertisement offering $5,000 for the best slogan.The producers wanted a rhyme beginning with ‘Carnation Milk is best of all.

She thought to herself, I know everything there is to know about milk and dairy farms – I can do this!

She sent in her entry and several weeks later a black car pulled up in front of her house. A large man got out, knocked on her door and said, “Ma’am , I am President of Carnation milk. We absolutely LOVED your entry. So much, in fact, that we are here to award you $1,000 even though we will not be able to use it our advertisements!”

He did, however, have one printed up to hang on his office wall.

Carnation Milk is Best of All,
No tits to pull, No  hay to haul,
No buckets to wash, No shit to pitch,
Just Poke a hole in the Son of a Bitch!

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This Wonderful English Language …

Posted on December 24, 2016. Filed under: Guide Posts, Light plus Weighty, The English, Uncategorized |

C. N. Annadurai was a prominent Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, India,  known for his proficiency in English. Once at Yale University he was asked to mention a hundred words which did not have any of the letters –  A, B, C or D.

He promptly recited ‘One to Ninety Nine’ ………….. and then shouted ‘STOP’ – thus completing the one hundred words without any  of the Four Letters !

The next request was to  construct a sentence repeating ‘because’ three times contiguously.

After a moments thought, he says, “A sentence never ends with ‘because,’ because ‘because’ is a conjunction”.

Over to Messrs Shakespeare and Milton!

 

 

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Acciaroli – Where 1/5 of the Population is Hundred Plus …

Posted on October 17, 2016. Filed under: Guide Posts, Light plus Weighty |

The Place Where People Live Long!

There is a small hamlet in south west Italy where more than 10% of the people are aged over 100, and 20% of this number live to be 110. This extraordinary statistic completely dwarfs the number of American, British or Australian centenarians, which stands at around 1 per 5,000 of the population.

It’s for this reason that a study has just been conducted to find out why the beautiful village of Acciaroli is the place with the oldest residents in the world. The results are out, and the news is staggering. When Dr. Alan Maisel of the University of California first decided to study the area he was chiefly interested because the people didn’t seem to lead such healthy lifestyles.

He said: “We would notice these people were walking around. Some would be smoking, some would be pretty fat as well, and it just seemed beyond the usual health benefits of just the Mediterranean diet.”

The amazing thing about Acciaroli is that the local people here live a happy life and don’t pay much attention to their health. Not only do they smoke a lot, they also eat greasy, fried fish, drink coffee all day and wine in the evening.

They do not spend their time on exercise regimes. They neither jog nor do yoga. Yet, they do not suffer from the typical chronic diseases that most western elderly people are prone too – illnesses like heart disease, obesity and Alzheimer’s. Dr. Maisel and his team were also surprised that they saw no one over 80 who had cataracts,.

The 6-month study of the area by Sapineza University and San Diego School of Medicine found that the local inhabitants of Acciaroli have amazingly good blood circulation for their age. After analyzing the blood samples taken from just over 80 elderly people, the researchers realized that each of them had unbelievably low levels of a hormone known as adrenomedullin, which helps to widen blood vessels.

When people age, their bodies usually produce more adrenomedullin, which contracts the blood vessels. This leads to circulatory problems and a whole host of debilitating health issues. Yet, the levels of adrenomedullin in these retired locals are at the same level as those of healthy people in their 20s and 30s.

According to the published results, the scientists found adrenomedullin “in a much reduced quantity in the subjects studied and seems to act as a powerful protecting factor, helping the optimal development of microcirculation.” 

Here are 6 possible candidates for the secret of Acciaroli’s residents’ longevity. Each of these lifestyle choices seem to do something important when it comes to preserving our health and helping us live longer, and each of them are typical of the people of Acciaroli.

1. The residents of Acciaroli generally eat local food, including locally caught sardines and anchovies. The anchovies are eaten in virtually every meal, which is interesting because this fish is full of antioxidants, which reduce cholesterol and inflammation. Many of them keep rabbits and chickens, which they kill for meat. Furthermore, the olive oil, wine, fruit and vegetables are all locally grown. The lack of imported foods mean they consume very fresh food, uninfected with pesticides.

2. Locally grown rosemary is also used constantly here, they even add it to their olive oil. Rosemary is considered to be useful in improving brain function, and the particular varieties grown here are being tested too. It could be that the dozen separate compounds found in this rosemary are especially healthy.

3. The people of Acciaroli are incredibly active, though they don’t exercise for the sake of it. Because the region is hilly, they are simply forced to drag themselves up and down, around and around, day after day. Yet, you’ll never see them joining a gym.

4. Acciaroli is a quiet little town, far removed from much of the hustle and bustle that typifies modern living. Thus, the people here are relaxed. They enjoy sitting in cafes, where they talk politics, read the newspapers, drink coffee and take it easy. Every day is like a lazy Sunday afternoon here. ‘it’s a stress free life. There’s a joie de vivre.’ This is important because stress destroys our immune system and eats away at our brain cells.

5. Weather & environment There is plenty of warm sunshine in Acciaroli, helping the locals get their fair share of vitamin D. It’s weather like this that keeps them outdoors and active too. Furthermore, since there is no real industry around here, the air is unpolluted and clean. There is something marvelous about the air that wafts along the town with the cool sea breeze that smells of immortality.

6. Dr. Maisel believes that the elderly people in Acciaroli spend more time enjoying each other’s bedroom embraces than any average couple. He says: “Sexual activity among the elderly appears to be rampant. Maybe living long has something to do with that.” Could this be the secret Having a joy for life, being in love with someone and spending time with them is such a revivifying feeling!

The hamlet is 85 miles south of Naples and was famously visited by Mediterranean-diet-aficionado, American nutritionist Ancel Keys in 1950.
He was so taken with the area that he remained here with his wife. 

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Coincidence of a Life Time !

Posted on October 3, 2016. Filed under: Light plus Weighty, The English, Uncategorized |

The passenger steamer SS Warrimoo was quietly knifing its way through the waters of the mid-Pacific on its way from Vancouver to Australia.
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The navigator had just finished working out a star fix & brought the master, Captain John Phillips, the result. The Warrimoo’s position was LAT 0º 31′ N and LON 179 30′ W.  The date was 31 December 1899
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 “Know what this means?” First Mate Payton broke in, “We’re only a few miles from the intersection of the Equator and the International Date Line”.
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Captain Phillips was prankish enough to take full advantage of the opportunity for achieving the navigational freak of a lifetime.  He called his navigators to the bridge to check & double check the ships position.  He changed course slightly so as to bear directly on his mark.  Then he adjusted the engine speed. The calm weather & clear night worked in his favor.
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 At midnight the SS Warrimoo lay on the Equator at exactly the point where it crossed the International Date Line!
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 .The consequences of this bizarre position were many:forward parts (bow) of the ship was in the Southern Hemisphere & the middle of summer.  The rear (stern) was in the Northern Hemisphere & in the middle of winter.  
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The date in the aft part of the ship was 31 December 1899.  Forward it was 1 January 1900.
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This ship was therefore not only in two different days, two different months, two different years, two different seasons but in two different centuries – all at the same time.

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Nelson n Trafalgar in 21st Century …

Posted on September 18, 2015. Filed under: Light plus Weighty, The English |

Nelson: “Order the signal, Hardy.” Hardy: “Aye, aye sir.”

Nelson: “Hold on, this isn’t what I dictated to Flags. What’s the meaning of this?” Hardy: “Sorry sir?”

Nelson (reading aloud): “England expects every person to do his or her duty, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious persuasion or disability.’ – What gobbledygook is this for God’s sake?”
Hardy: “Admiralty policy, I’m afraid, sir. We’re an equal opportunities employer now. We had the devil’s own job getting “ England ” past the censors, lest it be considered racist.”

Nelson: “Gadzooks, Hardy. Hand me my pipe and tobacco.” Hardy: “Sorry sir. All naval vessels have now been designated smoke-free working environments.”

Nelson: “In that case, break open the rum ration. Let us splice the main brace to steel the men before battle.” Hardy: “The rum ration has been abolished, Admiral. It’s part of the Government’s policy on binge drinking.”

Nelson: “Damn it man! We are on the eve of the greatest sea battle in history. We must advance with all dispatch. Report from the crow’s nest, please.” Hardy: “That won’t be possible, sir.” Nelson: “What?” Hardy: “Health and Safety have closed the crow’s nest, sir. No harness; and they said that rope ladders don’t meet regulations. They won’t let anyone up there until proper scaffolding can be erected.”

Nelson: “Then get me the ship’s carpenter without delay, Hardy.” Hardy:”He’s busy knocking up a wheelchair access to the foredeck Admiral.” Nelson: “Wheelchair access? I’ve never heard anything so absurd.” Hardy: “Health and safety again, sir. We have to provide a barrier- free environment for the differently abled.”

Nelson: “Differently abled? I’ve only one arm and one eye and I refuse even to hear mention of the word. I didn’t rise to the rank of admiral by playing the disability card.” Hardy: ” Actually, sir, you did. The Royal Navy is under- represented in the areas of visual impairment and limb deficiency.”

Nelson: “I’ve never heard such infamy. Break out the cannon and tell the men to stand by to engage the enemy” Hardy: “The men are a bit worried about shooting at anyone, Admiral.” Nelson: “What? This is mutiny!” Hardy: “It’s not that, sir. It’s just that they’re afraid of being charged with murder if they actually kill anyone. There are a couple of legal-aid lawyers on board, watching everyone like hawks.”

Nelson: “Then how are we to sink the Frenchies and the Spanish?” Hardy: “Actually, sir, we’re not.”  Nelson: “We’re not?” Hardy: “No, sir. The French and the Spanish are our European partners now. According to the Common Fisheries Policy. Nelson: “But you must hate a Frenchman as you hate the devil.” Hardy: “I wouldn’t let the ship’s diversity coordinator hear you saying that sir. You’ll be up on disciplinary report.”e shouldn’t even be in this stretch of water. We could get hit with a claim for compensation.”                                                                                

Nelson: “You must consider every man an enemy, who speaks ill of your King.” Hardy: “Not any more, sir. We must be inclusive in this multicultural age. Now put on your Kevlar vest; it’s the rules. It could save your life”

Nelson: “Don’t tell me – Health and Safety. Whatever happened to rum, sodomy and the lash?” Hardy: As I explained, sir, rum is off the menu! And there’s a ban on corporal punishment. “Nelson: “What about sodomy?” Hardy: “I believe that is now legal, sir.”              

Nelson: “In that case – Kiss me, Hardy.”

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