Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Quote for the day

Ernies 2015

Each year sees the awarding of “Ernies” to deserving public figures.

What are the Ernies?

This explanation is from the Ernies website:

Welcome to the Ernie Awards for Sexist Remarks. This strange institution is now in its 23rd year. Each September 300 women come together at a splendid dinner in NSW Parliament House to judge the most sexist remarks by public figures during the previous year.

The nominator of each winning quote carries home a silver Ernie (handsome silver pig on a plinth). The overall winner gets the Gold Ernie (sheep rampant on a golden orb). The winners are chosen by whichever nomination receives the loudest boos. In tight contests, a boo-off is required.

Why are they called the Ernies?

It is named after former Australian Workers' Union secretary Ernie Ecob, who was known for his misogynist 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. 

What categories of Ernie are there?

The categories have changed over the years. Examples of categories: 
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);
the Clinton (for repeat offenders).

Previous Gold Ernie winners:

Herald Sun journalist Andrew Bolt:
for saying 'Can the ADF afford this social engineering, in which gender becomes a qualification - and a fault line? What will this do to the tight mateship so critical to a fighting unit? Does a woman turn her male colleagues from warriors to escort?'

2GB radio broadcaster Alan Jones: 
for saying 'Women are destroying the joint, Christine Nixon in Melbourne, Clover Moore here, honestly there is no chaff bag big enough for these people.' 

Wesley College, University of Sydney students:
for distributing stubby holders bearing the words “It’s not rape if it’s my birthday.” 

Christopher Pyne:
for claiming that increases in uni fees won't disproportionately affect women because "women are well-represented amongst the teaching and nursing students. They will not be able to earn the high incomes that dentists and lawyers will earn".

The 2015 winners:

The annual dinner and awards night was held on 24.09.2015. The winners are:

The Ernie for Politics:
Tony Abbott who, when asked to nominate his greatest achievement as Minister for Women replied the scrapping of the carbon tax, because women are heavily affected by household bills.

The Ernie for Media:
The Australian for beginning its obituary for Colleen McCullough: "Plain of feature and certainly over-weight..."

The Industrial Ernie:
Soho Nightclub for running an ad a week after the owner's son, Luke Lazarus, was sentenced for rape, the ad showing a young woman, passed out “with her legs slightly spread and her fingers gesturing a peace sign.”

The Elaine - the Ernie for the unhelpful remarks to the sisterhood:
Miranda Devine for saying "Feminism is now well past its use-by date. It has just become an excuse for unhinged individuals with Daddy issues to indulge a mean streak." 

The Judicial Ernie:
Detective Inspector Michael Hughes who, speaking after the brutal daylight murder of Masa Vuketic, said women needed to take precautions not to be randomly attacked - including not walking in a public park by themselves.

The Good Ernie:
Luke Ablett, who said "Another woman killed by a man and we are talking about why women shouldn't walk in parks. What is wrong Australia?"

The clerical Ernie:
A dead heat where the boo-off couldn’t determine a winner:
Fred Nile for describing childcare centres as "daytime orphanages," and School Principal Omar Hallak, who banned female students from participating in running events because it may cause them to lose their virginity.

Repeat Offender Ernie:
Also a dead heat that couldn’t be separated by a boo-off:
Tony Abbott and former Australian Financial Review columnist Mark Latham, the latter having said about Rosie Batty (anti-family violence campaigner and violence victim) “Australian of the Year dividing the nation on the basis of gender. You owe my wife daughter and mother a massive apology.”

Gold Ernie:
The Football Federation of Australia, for the gross pay gap between male and female soccer players that sees the Matildas paid below minimum wage - just $21,000 per year, and no maternity leave. In contrast, the Socceroos receive a $6,000 base payment for every international game, while the women get just $500. Earlier this month, the Matildas pulled out of their US tour when the FFA refused to increase their pay to a living wage and include maternity leave. The pay dispute is still unresolved.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Quote for the Day

Nobody's right till somebody's wrong
Nobody's weak till somebody's strong
No one gets lucky till luck comes along
Nobody's lonely till somebody's gone

- Eric Clapton
lyrics from It's In the Way That You Use It.


I'm back, Byters.

Here is a belated Monday Miscellany . . .

Caution: risque content ahead.

Byter Graham sent me an item about the English language, below.  I have added a few items after Graham's contribution.

How to write good 

1. Avoid alliteration. Always. 

2. Prepositions are not words to end sentences with. 

3. Avoid cliches like the plague. They're old hat. 

4. Comparisons are as bad as cliches. 

5. Be more or less specific. 

6. Writers should never generalise. 

Seven. Be consistent. 

8. Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary; it's highly superfluous. 

9. Who needs rhetorical questions? 

10. Exaggeration is a. billion times worse than understatement. 



We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.
One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.
You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Why shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?
If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.
We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.
Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!


Sunday, September 27, 2015

No Bytes on Monday

I will be away from my computer for the next day so there won't be a Bytes on Monday.

Bytes will be back on Tuesday.

Quote for the Day

Some Sunday Trivia and Fun Information


Cockroaches release more methane in relation to their body weight than any other creature. The American cockroach can give off up to 35g a year of methane; more than 43 times their average body weight. Cockroaches, along with other insects such as centipedes and beetles, are all major producers of methane. 


From QI:

Q: Why did the Haslemere Home for the Elderly close down? 

A: Because of a series of bizarre endings for its inhabitants... 

In September 1960, a male inhabitant of the Haslemere Home for the Elderly in Great Yarmouth died of a cardiac arrest after fellow resident, 81-year-old Gladys Elton, performed a striptease. 

Five more of the inmates were consequently treated for shock. 

In 1961, there were three more deaths at the Haslemere Home after one of the other patients, 87-year-old Harry Meadows, dressed up as the Grim Reaper and peered through the window brandishing a scythe. 

This second incident closed down the home. 


64-year-old artist Stan Herd transformed a field on the Eagan, Minnesota, Thomson Reuters campus into Van Gogh’s 1889 Painting “Olive Trees.” Herd’s first ‘earthwork’ was created in 1981; this latest project took six months, covers 1.2 acres, and involved weeks of mowing, digging, and planting. It was sponsored by the Minneapolis Institute of Art, and can be seen from the air near the Minneapolis airport.

“It’s an iteration of Van Gogh’s painting writ large in native plants and materials,” Herd told Star Media. “It never looks like I want it to…I bit off a lot here, to try to pull this off. A few of the plants were eaten by deer, and a few were blown over. But that’s the dance of nature,” he added in a separate interview with MPRNews.


Pocahontas (1595-1617) was a native American female, daughter of a powerful chief, who: 

  • was captured by the British in 1613 during hostilities; 
  • converted to Christianity;
  • assisted the settlers in Jamestown, Virginia;
  • saved the life of John Smith;
  • married tobacco planter John Rolfe and had two sons by him;
  • was feted by English society as a “civilised savage”; 
  • died at the beginning of the return trip. 

She has also been the heroine of a couple of Disney films:

The name Pocahontas was, however, nickname, her real name being Matoaka. Pocahontas means “little slut” and it was allegedly given to her because of her nature around men of the tribe. Later writers have disputed this and said that it meant “playful one”, not wanton, and that it was given to her as a child.

Yesterday and Today was the ninth Capitol Records album release by the Beatles and the eleventh overall American release. It was issued only in the United States, Canada and, in the 1970s, Japan. The album is remembered primarily for the controversy surrounding its original cover image, the "butcher cover" featuring the band dressed in white smocks and covered with decapitated baby dolls and pieces of meat. The album's title is based on the song "Yesterday". 

Although not originally intended as an album cover, the Beatles submitted photographs from the session for their promotional materials. According to a 2002 interview published in Mojo magazine, former Capitol president Alan W. Livingston stated that it was Paul McCartney who pushed strongly for the photo's inclusion as the album cover, and that McCartney reportedly described it as "our comment on the [Vietnam] war". Lennon supported McCartney but George Harrison later said that he thought the idea”was gross, and I also thought it was stupid. Sometimes we all did stupid things thinking it was cool and hip when it was na├»ve and dumb; and that was one of them.”

After shipping the albums to distributors, there was immediate adverse criticism, leading to both a recall and an attempt to save the covers by gluing a replacement cover over the offending front. Today the original cover still in its plastic seal can fetch prices of $40,000 or more. They are known as “first state covers”. The covers with the glued replacement are “second state” covers and the next most valuable. Least valuable are the “third state” covers, those where the glued page has been removed. Attempts were so poor that professionals came into the picture and offered to remove the glued-on page professionally:

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Quote for the day

Songs of the Beatles' White Album, continued

Why Don’t We Do It In the Road?

Hear the song by clicking on:

"Why Don't We Do It In The Road?"

Why don't we do it in the road? Mm
Why don't we do it in the road? Ah
Why don't we do it in the road? Mm
Why don't we do it in the road? Mm
No one will be watching us
Why don't we do it in the road?

Why don't we do it in the road?
Why don't we do it in the road?
Why don't we do it in the road?
Why don't we do it in the road?
No one will be watching us
Why don't we do it in the road?


Why don't we do it in the road?
Why don't we do it in the road?
Why don't we do it, do it in the road?
Why don't we do it in the road?
No one will be watching us

About the song:

Written and sung by Paul McCartney although credited as Lennon-McCartney.

Only 1 minute 42 seconds in length and features only two lines repeated over and over to a 12 bar blues musical accompaniment.

McCartney did the vocals, thumped acoustic guitar, piano, electric guitar, bass and handclaps. Ringo Starr later added drums and more handclaps.

McCartney attended to all of it by himself whilst John Lennon and George Harrison were working on Piggies and Glass Onion.

McCartney wrote the song after seeing two monkeys copulating in the street while on retreat in Rishikesh, India with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He marvelled in the simplicity of this natural scenario when compared to the emotional turmoil of human relationships. He later said:
"I was up on a flat roof meditating and I'd see a troupe of monkeys walking along and the male just hopped onto her back and gave her one, as they say in the vernacular. Within two or three seconds he hopped off again, and looked around as if to say, 'it wasn't me,' and she looked around as if there had been some kind of mild disturbance but thought, huh, I must have imagined it. And I thought, bloody hell, that puts it all into a cocked hat, that's how simple the act of procreation is, this bloody monkey just hopping on and off. There is an urge, they do it, and it's done with. It's that simple."
Upon learning about the recording, Lennon was unhappy that McCartney recorded the song without him. In his 1980 interview with Playboy, he was asked about it:
Playboy: "Why Don't We Do It in the Road?" 
Lennon: That's Paul. He even recorded it by himself in another room. That's how it was getting in those days. We came in and he'd made the whole record. Him drumming. Him playing the piano. Him singing. But he couldn't—he couldn't—maybe he couldn't make the break from the Beatles. I don't know what it was, you know. I enjoyed the track. Still, I can't speak for George, but I was always hurt when Paul would knock something off without involving us. But that's just the way it was then. 
Playboy: You never just knocked off a track by yourself? 
Lennon: No. 
Playboy: "Julia?” 
Lennon: That was mine. 
Yoko Ono also commented that McCartney was the person who had hurt John Lennon most in the world.

In a 1981 interview, McCartney responded to Yoko’s comment:
"No one ever goes on about the times John hurt me ... Could I have hurt him more than the person who ran down his mother in his car?" . . .There's only one incident I can think of that John has mentioned publicly. It was when I went off with Ringo and did 'Why Don't We Do It in the Road'. It wasn't a deliberate thing. John and George were tied up finishing something and me and Ringo were free, just hanging around, so I said to Ringo, 'Let's go and do this. Anyway, he did the same with 'Revolution 9'. He went off and made that without me. No one ever says that. John is the nice guy and I'm the bastard. It gets repeated all the time.”

I Will


"I Will"

Who knows how long I've loved you
You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely lifetime
If you want me to, I will

For if I ever saw you
I didn't catch your name
But it never really mattered
I will always feel the same

Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we're together
Love you when we're apart

And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me
Oh, you know I will
I will

Mm mm mm mm mm mm mm mm mm
Da da da da da da da

About the song:

Written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and features him on lead vocal, guitar, and "vocalbass". John Lennon is on percussion, cymbals and maracas, Ringo Starr is on bongos. George Harrison did not play (during The Beatlessessions, the Beatles often recorded in separate studios)

The song required 67 takes. The 65th take was used.

Written for McCartney’s first wife, Linda.


I have previously written about John Lennon’s relationship with his mother, Julia. Read that post by clicking on:



Half of what I say is meaningless
But I say it just to reach you, Julia

Julia, Julia, oceanchild, calls me
So I sing a song of love, Julia
Julia, seashell eyes, windy smile, calls me
So I sing a song of love, Julia

Her hair of floating sky is shimmering, glimmering
In the sun

Julia, Julia, morning moon, touch me
So I sing a song of love, Julia

When I cannot sing my heart
I can only speak my mind, Julia

Julia, sleeping sand, silent cloud, touch me
So I sing a song of love, Julia
Hum hum hum hum... calls me
So I sing a song of love for Julia, Julia, Julia

About the song:

"Julia" was written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and features Lennon on vocals and acoustic guitar.

"Julia" was written for John's mother, Julia Lennon (1914–1958), who was knocked down and killed by a car driven by a drunk off-duty police officer when John was 17 years old. Julia Lennon had encouraged her son's interest in music and bought him his first guitar. But after she split with John's father, John was taken in by his aunt, Mimi, and Julia started a new family with another man; though she lived just a few miles from John, Julia did not spend much time with him for a number of years. Their relationship began to improve as he neared adolescence, though, and in the words of his half-sister, Julia Baird: "As he grew older, John would stay with us more often. He and Daddy got along well enough, and in the evenings when our daddy, a headwaiter, was at work, John and Mummy would sit together and listen to records. She was an avid Elvis Presley fan, and she and John would jive around the room to 'Heartbreak Hotel' and other early Elvis recordings. John inherited his love of music from her, and she encouraged him to start with piano and banjo, making him play a tune again and again until he got it right." 

"I lost her twice," Lennon said. "Once as a five-year-old when I was moved in with my auntie. And once again when she actually physically died." 

The song was also written for his future wife Yoko Ono, whose first name, which literally means "child of the sea" in Japanese, is echoed in the lyric "Oceanchild, calls me." Towards the end of his life, he often called Yoko "Mother." 

The line "Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it just to reach you" was a slight alteration from Kahlil Gibran's "Sand and Foam" (1926) in which the original verse reads, "Half of what I say is meaningless, but I say it so that the other half may reach you". Lennon also adapted the lines "When I cannot sing my heart, I can only speak my mind" from Gibran's "When life does not find a singer to sing her heart she produces a philosopher to speak her mind".

Friday, September 25, 2015

Quote for the Day

(Strictly not a quote but good for Funny Friday)

Funny Friday

A few weeks ago I posted a selfie cartoon as part of a post on the origin of the word 'selfie'. . .

The increasing practice of people taking selfies has even extended to development of special items and devices, such as selfie sticks, to assist.

Today's Funny Friday highlights the ubiquitous selfie and offers some insights, Part 2 next week.

Also, for those who would probably prefer some word humour, rather than pictorial, there are some word jokes at the end. One is a repost but I came across it again and it is worth a second outing. The other is risque so continue at your peril.


The doctor said, "Joe, the good news is I can cure your headaches. The bad news is that it will require castration. You have a very rare condition, which causes your testicles to press on your spine, and the pressure creates one hell of a headache. The only way to relieve the pressure is to remove the testicles."

Joe was shocked and depressed. He wondered if he had anything to live for. He couldn't concentrate long enough to answer, but decided he had no choice but to go under the knife.

When he left the hospital he was without a headache for the first time in 20 years, but he felt like he was missing an important part of himself. As he walked down the street, he realized that he felt like a different person. He could make a new beginning and live a new life. He saw a men's clothing store & thought, "That's what I need - a new suit."

He entered the shop and told the salesman, "I'd like a new suit." The elderly tailor eyed him briefly and said, "Let's see ... size 44 long." Joe laughed, "That's right, how did you know?" "Been in the business 60 years!" Joe tried on the suit. It fit perfectly.

As Joe admired himself in the mirror, the salesman asked, "How about a new shirt?" Joe thought for a moment and then said, "Sure." The salesman eyed Joe and said, "Let's see, 34 sleeve & 16-1/2 neck." Again, Joe was surprised, "That's right, how did you know?" "Been in the business 60 years!"

Joe tried on the shirt, and it fit perfectly. As Joe adjusted the collar in the mirror, the salesman asked, "How about new shoes?" Joe was on a roll and said, "Sure." The salesman eyed Joe's feet and said, "Let's see ... 9-1/2 E." Joe was astonished, "That's right, how did you know?" "Been in the business 60 years!"

Joe tried on the shoes and they fit perfectly. Joe walked comfortably around the shop and the salesman asked, "How about some new underwear?" Joe thought for a second and said, "Sure." The salesman stepped back, eyed Joe's waist and said, "Let's see... size 36."

Joe laughed. "Ah ha! I got you! I've worn size 34 since I was 18 years old." The salesman shook his head, "You can't wear a size 34. A size 34 underwear would press your testicles up against the base of your spine and give you one hell of a headache.

A guy's talking to a girl in a bar.
He says, "What's your name?"
She says, "Carmen."
He says, "That's a nice name. Who named you, your mother?"
She says, "No, I named myself."
He says, "Why Carmen?"
She says, "Because I like cars and I like men. What's your name?"
He says, "Beerfuck."

Corn Corner:

I'm very pessimistic. I'm like a German vegetarian in that respect. I fear the wurst.

I've just got back from a friend's funeral. He died after he was hit in the head by a tennis ball. It really was a wonderful service.

This bloke came up to me and said "Can you recommend a good DVD box set?" I said "Get Lost."

Dave drowned. So at his funeral we got him a wreath in the shape of a lifebelt. Well, it's what he would have wanted.