Thursday, January 31, 2019

Thought for the Day

Spell Check


Eye Halve a Spelling Chequer 
Martha Snow
(although there are other authors to whom the poem has been attributed) 

Eye halve a spelling chequer 
It came with my pea sea 
It plainly marques four my revue 
Miss steaks eye kin knot sea. 

Eye strike a quay and type a word 
And weight four it two say 
Weather eye am wrong oar write 
It shows me strait a weigh. 

As soon as a mist ache is maid 
It nose bee fore two long 
And eye can put the error rite 
Its really ever wrong. 

Eye have run this poem threw it 
I am shore your pleased two no 
Its letter perfect in it's weigh 
My chequer tolled me sew. 

Correct version (for those who can't be bothered spellchecking the spellcheck)

I have a spelling checker 
It came with my PC 
It plainly marks for my review 
Mistakes I cannot see 

I strike a key and type a word 
And wait for it to say 
Whether I am wrong or right 
It shows me straight away 

As soon as a mistake is made 
It knows before too long 
And I can put the error right 
It’s rarely ever wrong 

I have run this poem through it 
I am sure you’re pleased to know 
It’s letter perfect in its way 
My checker told me so 

A longer version: 

The Spell Checker Poem 
by Mark Eckman and Jerrold H. Zar 

I have a spelling checker, 
It came with my PC. 
It plane lee marks four my revue 
Miss steaks aye can knot sea. 

Eye ran this poem threw it, 
Your sure reel glad two no. 
Its vary polished in it's weigh. 
My checker tolled me sew. 

A checker is a bless sing, 
It freeze yew lodes of thyme. 
It helps me right awl stiles two reed, 
And aides me when eye rime. 

Each frays come posed up on my screen 
Eye trussed too bee a joule. 
The checker pours o'er every word 
To cheque sum spelling rule. 

Bee fore a veiling checker's 
Hour spelling mite decline, 
And if we're lacks oar have a laps, 
We wood bee maid too wine. 

Butt now bee cause my spelling 
Is checked with such grate flare, 
Their are know fault's with in my cite, 
Of nun eye am a wear. 

Now spelling does knot phase me, 
It does knot bring a tier. 
My pay purrs awl due glad den 
With wrapped word's fare as hear. 

To rite with care is quite a feet 
Of witch won should bee proud, 
And wee mussed dew the best wee can, 
Sew flaw's are knot aloud.

Sow ewe can sea why aye dew prays 
Such soft wear four pea seas, 
And why eye brake in two averse 
Buy righting want too pleas.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Quote for the Day

"Women have the right to work wherever they want, as long as they have the dinner ready when you get home."

– John Wayne

The Ernie Awards

I have previously written about the annual Ernie Awards.  They came to mind and I realised that I had not seen any report as to the winners in 2018. When I looked into it I found that the awards had been held in late August 2018. Before setting out the winners, and a comparison with the 2017 winners, here is a bit about the awards . . . 
The Ernie Awards are Australian awards for comments deemed misogynistic.  
It is named after former Australian Workers' Union secretary Ernie Ecob, who was known for his misogynistic remarks. One of his best-known remarks was "Women aren't welcome in the shearing sheds. They're only after the sex," which is why there is a sheep on top of the Gold Ernie. The inaugural awards night was in celebration of him resigning from the Labor Council of New South Wales.  
A dinner is held for 300 women each year and the winner is determined by the person who receives the most booing when their sexist statement or action is read out. A variety of categories have featured, such as the Gold Ernie, the Warney (for sport, named after Shane Warne), the Media Ernie, the Political Ernie, the Judicial Ernie, the Anon (for boys behaving better, formerly called the Gareth after Gareth Evans, the Elaine (for females making comments unhelpful to the sisterhood, named after Elaine Nile and the Trump (for repeat offenders). The categories of offenders have changed over the years, according to Meredith Burgmann.

The winners in 2017 and 2018:

Gold Ernie
Port Stephens mayor Bruce MacKenzie, for pleading guilty to assaulting his partner but still wanting a domestic violence shelter to be named after him.
Cricket Australia for sacking a female employee, Angela Williamson, after she campaigned for abortion reform on social media.
Silver Ernie – Industrial/ Workplace
Ford Motor Company, for dismissing complaints on the Ford Focus losing power to an issue with the way women drove.
Tie between:
Coopers Hotel Newtown for posting on social media “Keep calm and slap a bitch as we approach the finals of this year’s NRL!”
Sky News The Outsiders program –  After criticism of the sexist attack on Sarah Hanson-Young, they sacked the junior woman producer who wrote the strapline, the only woman working on the show.
Silver Ernie - Political
Port Stephens mayor Bruce MacKenzie, for pleading guilty to assaulting his partner but still wanting a domestic violence shelter to be named after him
Barnaby Joyce for his comment about his daughters in 2017’s marriage equality plebiscite. "We know that the best protection for those girls is that they get themselves into a secure relationship with a loving husband, and I want that to happen," he said at the time.
Silver Ernie - Media
Political commentator Andrew Bolt, for remarking on a Human Rights Commission report which found that 51% of university students were sexually harassed last year, “Yes, we should be shocked and visibly upset... that the Commission perpetrated such a hoax. We should be shocked and upset that not one university boss had the guts to call out this fraud of a study”.
Blogger Tim Blair at the Daily Telegraph for his comment: "February 11: International Day of Women and Girls in Science. Frankly wasn't it better when they used rabbits?"
Silver Ernie - Judicial
Victorian judge Christopher Ryan, for describing a 14 year old sexual assault victim as “nubile” and “worldly”.
Magistrate Michael Barko who described a domestic assault charge as “a lower-end allegation that happens in every second house” and accused the woman of “slapping the court in the face” for failing to turn up.
The Warney for Sport
Dale Simmons, President of the Cervantes Tiger Sharks Football Club in WA, for calling AFL umpire Eleni Glouftsis, “a dopey mole” and “a stupid bitch” and that she would change her mind on umpiring decisions because she was a woman.
Cricket Australia's sacking of Williamson also earned it the Silver Sports Ernie.
The Fred — Clerical, Culinary, Celebrity
Keysar Trad, former President of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, for saying “using violence against women is a last resort for men, step three after counselling, buying her chocolates or taking her out to dinner”.
The Celebrity Silver Ernie went to television presenter Don Burke, who used his self-diagnosed Asperger’s syndrome to excuse sexual harassment allegations against him.
The Trump – for Repeat Offenders
Political commentator and politician Mark Latham
Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott
The Elaine – for  Women
Journalist Louise Roberts, for writing, “If I’m getting paid less than a man for doing the same job, its not his fault. It is mine, through life choices I have made for myself”.
The Elaine for the remark least helpful to the Sisterhood went to Jobs Minister Michaelia Cash, who in February threatened:  
"If you want to start discussing staff matters, be very, very careful. Because I'm happy to sit here and name every young woman in Mr Shorten's office over which rumours in this place abound," Ms Cash said during the Senate Estimates hearing.
The Good Ernie
Australian Cricketers' Association, for giving female cricketers a large pay increase.
To former Sydney Swans player Brandon Jack, who has become an active voice in the discussion surrounding violence against women.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Thought for the Day


Does this look impressive? . . . 

It’s the State Library of New South Wales in Sydney and this is the reading room: 

Books may be disappearing in favour of electronic communications, kindles and the like but I still like a book for reading and a yearly paper diary, not an electronic one. 

Well, if books are going the way of film for cameras, videos and cheques, then these will be their grand monuments, breathtaking libraries from around the world . . . 

Real Gabinete Português de Leitura, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 

Built in the Portuguese Manueline style in 1837, the Portuguese Reading Room houses more than 350,000 works, many dating from the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. It also has a small collection of paintings, sculptures and ancient coins. 

Stiftsbibliothek Admont, Admont, Austria 

Also known as Admont Abbey, this is a Benedictine monastery located on the Enns River in the town of Admont, Austria. It contains the largest monastic library in the world as well as a long-established scientific collection. It is known for its Baroque architecture, art, and manuscripts. 

Trinity College Library, Dublin, Ireland 

The Library of Trinity College Dublin serves Trinity College and the University of Dublin. It is a legal deposit or "copyright library", which means that publishers in Ireland must deposit a copy of all their publications there, free of charge. It is also the only Irish library to hold such rights for the United Kingdom. The Library is the permanent home to the Brian Boru harp which is a national symbol of Ireland, a copy of 1916 Proclamation of the Irish Republic, and the Book of Kells, an illuminated manuscript Gospel book in Latin, containing the four Gospels of the New Testament. 

Biblioteca Statale Oratoriana dei Girolamini, Naples, Italy 

The Girolami complex is located in the heart of Naples and was founded in the late 16th century and the first half of the 17th century. It became a national monument in 1866. The complex includes the Church, the picture gallery and the famous library. 
In December 2013, news reporting was published that there had been systematic looting of the Biblioteca Girolamini. Images showed empty shelves and tables piled with papers. Senior Police investigator, Major Antonio Coppola, was quoted as saying, "Our investigations found that there was a true criminal system in action," and that "A group of people... carried out a devastating, systematic looting of the library." The report stated that Professor Tomaso Montanari CV, an art historian and academic, first alerted the police to what was happening, after having gained access to the library along with a student in early 2012. The Professor said, "One of the library's members of staff took me aside, away from the CCTV cameras, and said: 'Professor, the director (Marino Massimo de Caro) has been looting the library!'" de Caro had been appointed in 2011.

De Caro was arrested soon after investigations began in 2012. Investigations showed that vehicle-loads of books had been removed and sold by the now-convicted criminals, who had waited until after normal working hours, turned off the rudimentary CCTV system, and then proceeded with their looting.

De Caro was convicted along with accomplices in early 2013 and sentenced to seven years jail, although, due to his cooperation this was commuted to house arrest. Around 80% of the lost volumes had been recovered by late 2013, with the assistance of antiquarian booksellers and collectors, although many valuable artefacts remain unaccounted for.


More to come

Monday, January 28, 2019

Quote for the Day

When I was young, it seemed that life was so wonderful
A miracle, oh it was beautiful, magical
And all the birds in the trees, well they'd be singing so happily
Oh joyfully, playfully watching me
But then they sent me away to teach me how to be sensible
Logical, oh responsible, practical
And they showed me a world where I could be so dependable
Oh clinical, oh intellectual, cynical

- The Logical Song, Supertramp, from the Breakfast In America album

More Words of the Prophets

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Quote for the Day

Bytes Bits: Australia Day and Columbus murals

Yesterday was Australia Day and, as always happens now, the day was marked by both celebrations for the day and protests at it being Invasion Day, an inappropriate honouring of the day when white settlement deprived the Australian Aborigines of their land. In Melbourne far right groups attacked protestors. 

There have been similar protest movements in other countries relating to the dispossession of original inhabitants. 

On January 24 this year the University of Notre Dame in Indiana announced that it will cover its murals of Christopher Columbus’s journey. The following account is from 
For more than 130 years, 12 towering murals depicting Christopher Columbus’ voyage to the Americas have flanked a hallway in the University of Notre Dame’s Main Building. But late last week, the university announced that it plans to cover the murals; in a letter explaining the decision, Notre Dame’s president described the artworks as memorializing “a catastrophe” for indigenous peoples.

Painted between 1882 and 1884 by the Italian artist Luigi Gregori, the murals were intended to encourage Notre Dame’s largely immigrant Catholic population, according to university president Reverend John Jenkins, made at a time when anti-Catholic sentiments ran high in America, a land settled by Protestants. Much of the university community had “encountered significant anti-Catholic, anti-immigrant attitudes in American public life,” Jenkins wrote in his letter.

“Gregori’s murals focused on the popular image of Columbus as an American hero, who was also an immigrant and a devout Catholic. The message to the Notre Dame community was that they too, though largely immigrants and Catholics, could be fully and proudly American,” he added.

But in recent years, the sentiment around the murals has shifted, as critics point to the disastrous impact of Columbus’ explorations on native peoples. Columbus and his men inflicted brutal treatment on the indigenous populations they encountered, enslaving them and ruthlessly suppressing revolts. Columbus also ushered in a new era of European colonization that proved devastating to many cultures. Since 1995, Notre Dame has offered brochures that offer a more complete historical context for the murals, but Jenkins acknowledged in his letter that the Main Building hallway is a busy campus thoroughfare and “not well suited for a thoughtful consideration of these paintings and the context of their composition.”

In 2017, more than 300 Notre Dame students, employees and alumni signed an open letter calling for the removal of the murals. “The Native persons are depicted as stereotypes, their destruction is gilded over and their slavery is celebrated,” the letter said of the artworks, adding that the murals’ presence in the Main Building “mocks every attempt to make campus more inclusive, more diverse and more culturally sensitive.”

The petition came amid a nation-wide push to take down memorials to contentious historic figures. Much of the conversation has centered on monuments to the Confederacy, but Columbus, who predated the Civil War by more than three centuries, is also a focal point of the controversy. Many local governments and states, for instance, have started observing Indigenous Peoples’ Day in place of Columbus Day; Indiana’s St. Joseph County, where Notre Dame is located, is among them, according to CNN’s Shelby Copeland. 
The murals are frescoes and cannot be removed without destroying them. Instead the murals will be covered with a “woven material consistent with the d├ęcor” of the Main Building. High resolution images of the artworks will be displayed in a location on campus, as yet to be determined.

(Does it seem to anyone else that covering up the murals and displaying photographs of them elsewhere has the same effect, significance and symbolism as simply changing the date of Australia Day, a current hot topic in Oz?) 


By the way: 
In August 2017 the council of the City of Yarra, a district of Melbourne, resolved unanimously that it would no longer refer to 26 January as Australia Day and would cease to hold citizenship ceremonies on that day; an event acknowledging Aboriginal culture and history was to be held instead. The City of Darebin later followed suit. The federal government immediately deprived the councils of their powers to hold citizenship ceremonies. Byron Shire Council became the third council to have its power to have citizenship ceremonies stripped.

On 13 January 2019, prime minister Scott Morrison announced that, with effect from Australia Day 2020, all local councils would be required to hold citizenship ceremonies on and only on 26 January and 17 September; there would also be a dress code, banning thongs and board shorts.