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291337.  Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:29 am Reply with quote

"Free speech is the right to shout 'THEATER!' in a crowded fire." -a Yippie Proverb

293743.  Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:30 am Reply with quote

This is driving me mad ... sometime during the past few months I have written a note to myself, obviously as the result of something I’ve read: “QI: Gulli Beth - Marmite + quinine.”

I’ve no memory of what it referred to, and I can’t google anything up ... does it mean anything to anyone else?

293756.  Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:39 am Reply with quote

Marmite and quinine were rolled together into pills during a malaria epidemic in India in 1934-5, at least according to this:, but I don't know if it's true. You never can tell with these Marxists.

293762.  Tue Mar 11, 2008 5:46 am Reply with quote

So what's "gulli beth"? Possibly a local name for the pills ... ?

293832.  Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:14 am Reply with quote

Ceylon (as it was then), in fact. "Gulli beth" does indeed look as if it may be an alternate name for these tablets - Google reveals guli as another name for Vederala's tablets, which term is used in the Lerski essay cited by Flash.

293846.  Tue Mar 11, 2008 7:30 am Reply with quote

Thanks, suze!

294751.  Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:35 am Reply with quote

I can't see this causing any offence?

The Faggin-Nazzi writing system anyone?

found on *cough* wikipedia

294767.  Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:46 am Reply with quote

I'd never heard of that - it's apparently for writing Friulian, a country dialect spoken in NE Italy, and the wiki entry sounds like one of those cod histories invented by fantasy writers:
A question which causes many debates is the influence of the Latin spoken in Aquileia and surrounding areas. Some claim that it had peculiar features that later passed into Friulian. Epigraphs and inscriptions from that period show some variants if compared to the standard Latin language, but most of these are common to other areas of the Roman Empire; often it is cited the fact that Fortunatianus, bishop of Aquileia ...

294770.  Wed Mar 12, 2008 10:48 am Reply with quote

I think we did the man they couldn't hang a couple of series ago, but have we ever encountered El Fusilado - the man who survived a firing squad, despite being given the coup de grace by the captain?

Morning Star, 8 March 08

Links: Freaks (he toured with Ripley’s Believe it or Not); Falls (the woman who survived chucking herself off the Clifton Suspension Bridge).

295314.  Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:08 am Reply with quote

The modern use of artificial fertilisers in farming began in the mid 19th century with the discovery (or invention?) of superphosphates. The first superphosphate was made by digging up fossilised dinosaur dung and mixing it with sulphuric acid.
S: Organic Gardening magazine, Winter 08

295328.  Thu Mar 13, 2008 9:19 am Reply with quote

Speaking of the Man They Couldn't Hang - John Lee - a new book about the case, by a Torquay librarian, comes up with some curious extra facts:

Mary Jane Harris, Lee’s mother’s cousin, also escaped the death penalty, having turned Queen’s Evidence in an infanticide trial.

Lee’s fiancee at the time of his arrest went on to marry a man who had been a witness in the trial of the murderer of a police informer.

Herbert Rowse Armstrong - who campaigned for Lee’s release - became in 1922 the only British solicitor ever executed for murder.

S: Western Daily Press, 14 Dec 07

295363.  Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:03 am Reply with quote


Dean Martin, when young, boxed under the name Kid Crochet.

Bob Hope fought as Packy East.


295375.  Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:18 am Reply with quote

If they had fought each other which of them would have won, do we suppose?

There has to be a joke about who had the better punchlines in this somewhere.

295380.  Thu Mar 13, 2008 10:23 am Reply with quote

Dean Martin would have won, I think; apparently, Hope only took up boxing as a joke, because his mate fought as "Packy West."

295591.  Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:59 pm Reply with quote

/" is cheery and reassuring. There's a photo of a happy family in a park, smiling. Another family, also smiling, is packing up boxes.
"Are you stressed out about mortgage payments?" asks the site rhetorically. "Is foreclosure right for you?" it queries, but doesn't wait for an answer. "You are not alone — over 2.9 million homes have foreclosed in the last three years," it says. The not-so-subtle message: Foreclosure need not be a shameful, life-ruining experience. In fact, the company will gladly hold your hand through the foreclosure process—for a fee, of course.
Foreclosure, we're told, is a last resort, an option that no responsible homeowner would ever choose. But some distressed homeowners — no one knows exactly how many — are doing just that. They're voluntarily walking away from their mortgages, engaging in a practice the mortgage industry calls "ruthless default."


What a great expression: “Ruthless default.” That links (in my mind at least) to “Certainty of Fate” in the Fate thread.


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