Sunday, February 29, 2004

Sunset on Mars
After gay marriage...whats next?

Friday, February 27, 2004

Bird species with the most websites dedicated to them:

1 parrot (130)
2 pigeon (52)
3 owl (41)
4 eagle (40)
5 swan (38)
6 penguin (29)
7 chicken (25)
8 geese (24)
9= budgerigar (18)
10= vulture (18)
11 crane (17)
12 bluebird (16)
13= heron (15)
13= hawk (15)
13= crow (15)
13= canary (15)
17 woodpecker (14)
18= pheasant (12)
18= cassowary (12)
20 duck (11)


Thursday, February 26, 2004

Barbie and Ken, the perfect plastic couple, are splitting up after 43 years!

Just like J.Lo and Ben, the romance is over for Barbie and Ken.

After 43 years as one of the world's prettiest pairs, the perfect plastic couple is breaking up. The couple's "business manager," Russell Arons, vice-president of marketing at Mattel, said that Barbie and Ken "feel it's time to spend some quality time - apart."


"Like other celebrity couples, their Hollywood romance has come to an end," said Arons, who quickly added that the duo "will remain friends."

Arons denied that there was any truth to rumours that the breakup was linked to the Cali (as in California) Girl Barbie, arriving in stores now. To better reflect her single status, Cali Barbie will wear board shorts and a bikini top, metal hoop earrings, and have a deeper tan.

This new style has already attracted a new admirer, Blaine the Australian boogie boarder.

Barbie - the most popular fashion doll in the world, according to toy maker Mattel - met Ken on the set of a TV commercial in 1961, and they have been inseparable ever since.

Arons hinted Wednesday that the separation may be partially due to Ken's reluctance to getting married. All those bridal Barbie dolls in toy chests around the globe are really just examples of Barbie's wishful thinking, she explained.

Another possible factor is Barbie's career. The doll who was "born" Barbie Millicent Roberts in 1959 has been everything from a rock star to military medic, and she's sold in more than 150 countries. According to Mattel, every second, three Barbie dolls are sold somewhere in the world.

So where does that leave Ken? Said Arons: "He will head for other waves."

Who is a witch and where does she live?
02/26/2004 12:30
A typical image of the Russian fairytale character Baba-Yaga comprises an entire array of notions about witches.

She is often viewed as an old and ugly woman, with an inborn love for evil and an urge to kill.

Few know however that the actual word "ved'ma" [Russian for "witch"] comes from the ancient Russian "ved'", meaning "knowledge". Many cultures worldwide have assigned practically the same qualities to this character. A woman could have been born a witch or she could have become one later in life.
border="20" alt="Baba">

Most commonly, she inherited her magic skills from her mother-witch. She could also inherit the traits after being born illegitimately or in case her mother had been breastfeeding the girl for more than two years.

One could acquire the "gift" of witchcraft by establishing a connection with the devil himself with a purpose to learn secret knowledge. Every witch had a special mark on her body. It could have been a birthmark or any other physical anomaly.

It was often thought that a witch"s main purpose was casting evil eye on people"s livestock. A witch would take away cow"s milk, pig's lard and chicken eggs. In case of a child"s sickness or death, people would blame witches. Such reaction concerned any sort of a disaster that happened to take place in their village.

In early medieval times, devil worshipping was relatively common. As a result, people felt fearful before witches, his servants. This fear triggered the Church to start a fight against evil. Those witch-hunts were conducted on legal grounds, which in turn triggered active development of legal writings on the subject matter. "Witch Hammer" written by one of the Shprenger"s monks is considered to be one of the most important manuscripts of that epoch.

This manuscript provides vivid accounts of lives of witches. For instance, according to this work, witches are those who refuse to believe in the Sacred Trinity and oppose everything that emanates from God. They worship devil. Witches are initiated in a pile of manure; she is "baptized" in boiling water.

Several million years ago, many women have fallen victims to this nonsense. Such hysteria over witchcraft did not touch ancient Russia. However, it should be noted that a dozen witches and "fortune tellers" have been executed in 1411 in the Russian town of Pskov.

Nowadays, witchcraft a fully legal activity, but it also appears to be rather profitable. Many grandmas, healers and fortune tellers around the world are willing to help whoever is in need of their services.

In Tanzania, for instance, they publish a newspaper which is fully devoted to magic and witchcraft. This country is famous for its beliefs in paranormal activities and magic and the newspaper is a great success. In order to attract tourists and bring the country's economy to prosperity, Romanian Dracula takes the stage.

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

an apple-a-day

....................keeps a good deal of arsenic in your system.

Saturday, February 21, 2004

I can't take my eyes off of this face

A very scary Thought.
Check out the history of Yellowstone. If you want to see it you had better go soon!

Friday, February 20, 2004

Some days life can be beautiful and the next it's confusing, but on special days it's beautifully confusing

Went to see the taping of "The Graham Norton show" last night. Lots of fun and meeting old and new friends!
Graham Norton

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Happy Valentines

Phi- the febinnaci sequence

The government plans to introduce strict curbs on smoking 'by the back door' through giving local authorities the power to outlaw tobacco in public places, a report said.(AFP/File/Martin Bureau)

A pack of killers

Ways to say "I Love You" in 100 different languages

Afrikaans - Ek het jou lief
Albanian - Te dua
Arabic - Ana behibak (to male)
Arabic - Ana behibek (to female)
Armenian - Yes kez sirumen
Bambara - M'bi fe
Bangla - Aamee tuma ke bhalo baashi
Belarusian - Ya tabe kahayu
Bisaya - Nahigugma ako kanimo
Bulgarian - Obicham te
Cambodian - Soro lahn nhee ah
Cantonese Chinese - Ngo oiy ney a
Catalan - T'estimo
Cheyenne - Ne mohotatse
Chichewa - Ndimakukonda
Corsican - Ti tengu caru (to male)
Creol - Mi aime jou
Croatian - Volim te
Czech - Miluji te
Danish - Jeg Elsker Dig
Dutch - Ik hou van jou
English - I love you
Esperanto - Mi amas vin
Estonian - Ma armastan sind
Ethiopian - Afgreki'
Faroese - Eg elski teg
Farsi - Doset daram
Filipino - Mahal kita
Finnish - Mina rakastan sinua
French - Je t'aime, Je t'adore
Gaelic - Ta gra agam ort
Georgian - Mikvarhar
German - Ich liebe dich
Greek - S'agapo
Gujarati - Hu tumney prem karu chu
Hiligaynon - Palangga ko ikaw
Hawaiian - Aloha wau ia oi
Hebrew - Ani ohev otah (to female)
Hebrew - Ani ohev et otha (to male)
Hiligaynon - Guina higugma ko ikaw
Hindi - Hum Tumhe Pyar Karte hae
Hmong - Kuv hlub koj
Hopi - Nu' umi unangwa'ta
Hungarian - Szeretlek
Icelandic - Eg elska tig
Ilonggo - Palangga ko ikaw
Indonesian - Saya cinta padamu
Inuit - Negligevapse
Irish - Taim i' ngra leat
Italian - Ti amo
Japanese - Aishiteru
Kannada - Naa ninna preetisuve
Kapampangan - Kaluguran daka
Kiswahili - Nakupenda
Konkani - Tu magel moga cho
Korean - Sarang Heyo
Latin - Te amo
Latvian - Es tevi miilu
Lebanese - Bahibak
Lithuanian - Tave myliu
Malay - Saya cintakan mu / Aku cinta padamu
Malayalam - Njan Ninne Premikunnu
Mandarin Chinese - Wo ai ni
Marathi - Me tula prem karto
Mohawk - Kanbhik
Moroccan - Ana moajaba bik
Nahuatl - Ni mits neki
Navaho - Ayor anosh'ni
Norwegian - Jeg Elsker Deg
Pandacan - Syota na kita!!
Pangasinan - Inaru Taka
Papiamento - Mi ta stimabo
Persian - Doo-set daaram
Pig Latin - Iay ovlay ouyay
Polish - Kocham Ciebie
Portuguese - Eu te amo
Romanian - Te ubesk
Roman Numerals - 333
Russian - Ya tebya liubliu
Scot Gaelic - Tha gra\dh agam ort
Serbian - Volim te
Setswana - Ke a go rata
Sign Language - ,\,,/ (represents position of fingers when signing 'I Love You'
Sindhi - Maa tokhe pyar kendo ahyan
Sioux - Techihhila
Slovak - Lu`bim ta
Slovenian - Ljubim te
Spanish - Te quiero / Te amo
Swahili - Ninapenda wewe
Swedish - Jag alskar dig
Swiss-German - Ich lieb Di
Tagalog - Mahal kita
Taiwanese - Wa ga ei li
Tahitian - Ua Here Vau Ia Oe
Tamil - Naan unnai kathalikiraen
Telugu - Nenu ninnu premistunnanu
Thai - Chan rak khun (to male)
Thai - Phom rak khun (to female)
Turkish - Seni Seviyorum
Ukrainian - Ya tebe kahayu
Urdu - mai aap say pyaar karta hoo
Vietnamese - Anh ye^u em (to female)
Vietnamese - Em ye^u anh (to male)
Welsh - 'Rwy'n dy garu
Yiddish - Ikh hob dikh
Yoruba - Mo ni fe

Saturday, February 14, 2004

The first open Valentines day in Iraq.
Valentines day

Friday, February 13, 2004


The shire in WWII

Well, They had to go sometimeWell, They had to go sometime!

I found Nemo!Found Nemo

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

This is an interesting bit of information that
you don't hear much about in the media ---

a.. Enron's chairman did meet with the president
and the vice president in the Oval Office.

b.. Enron gave $420,000 to the president's party
over three years.

c.. It donated $100,000 to the president's
inauguration festivities.

d.. The Enron chairman stayed at the White House
11 times.

e.. The corporation had access to the
administration at its highest
levels and even enlisted the Commerce and State
Departments to grease deals for it.

f.. The taxpayer-supported Export-Import Bank
subsidized Enron for more
than $600 million in just one transaction.


g.. HOWEVER... the president under whom all this
happened WASN'T George W. Bush.
SURPRISE ........ It was Bill Clinton!
"One way or the other, we are determined to deny Iraq the capacity to
develop weapons of mass destruction and the missiles to deliver them.
That is our bottom line."
- President Clinton, Feb. 4, 1998

"If Saddam rejects peace and we have to use force, our purpose is clear.
We want to seriously diminish the threat posed by Iraq's weapons of mass
destruction program."
- President Clinton, Feb. 17, 1998

"Iraq is a long way from [the USA], but what happens there matters a great deal
here For the risks that the leaders of a rogue state will use nuclear,
chemical or biological weapons against us or our allies is the greatest
security threat we face."
- Madeline Albright, Feb 18, 1998

"He will use those weapons of mass destruction again, as he has ten times
since 1983."
- Sandy Berger, Clinton National Security Adviser, Feb, 18, 1998

"[W]e urge you, after consulting with Congress, and consistent with the U.S.
Constitution and laws, to take necessary actions (including, if appropriate,
air and missile strikes on suspect Iraqi sites) to respond effectively to
the threat posed by Iraq's refusal to end its weapons of mass destruction
- Letter to President Clinton, signed by Sens. Carl Levin,
Tom Daschle, John Kerry, and others Oct. 9, 1998

"Saddam Hussein has been engaged in the development of weapons of mass
destruction technology which is a threat to countries in the region and he
has made a mockery of the weapons inspection process."
- Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D, CA), Dec. 16, 1998

"Hussein has chosen to spend his money on building weapons of mass
destruction and palaces for his cronies."
- Madeline Albright, Clinton Secretary of State, Nov. 10, 1999

"There is no doubt that ... Saddam Hussein has invigorated his weapons
programs. Reports indicate that biological, chemical and nuclear programs
continue apace and may be back to pre-Gulf War status. In addition, Saddam
continues to redefine delivery systems and is doubtless using the cover of a
licit missile program to develop longer-range missiles that will threaten
the United States and our allies."
- Letter to President Bush, Signed by Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL,)
and others, December 5, 2001

"We begin with the common belief that Saddam Hussein is a tyrant and a
threat to the peace and stability of the region. He has ignored the
mandated of the United Nations and is building weapons of mass destruction
and the means of delivering them."
- Sen. Carl Levin (D, MI), Sept 19, 2002

"We know that he has stored secret supplies of biological and chemical
weapons throughout his country."
- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"Iraq's search for weapons of mass destruction has proven impossible to
deter and we should assume that it will continue for as long as Saddam is in
- Al Gore, Sept. 23, 2002

"We have known for many years that Saddam Hussein is seeking and developing
weapons of mass destruction."
- Sen. Ted Kennedy (D, MA), Sept. 27, 2002

"The last UN weapons inspectors left Iraq in October of 1998. We are
confident that Saddam Hussein retains some stockpiles of chemical and
biological weapons, and that he has since embarked on a crash course to
build up his chemical and biological warfare capabilities. Intelligence
reports indicate that he is seeking nuclear weapons..."
- Sen. Robert Byrd (D, WV), Oct. 3, 2002

"I will be voting to give the President of the United States the authority
to use force-- if necessary-- to disarm Saddam Hussein because I believe
that a deadly arsenal of weapons of mass destruction in his hands is a real
and grave threat to our security."
- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Oct. 9, 2002

"There is unmistakable evidence that Saddam Hussein is working aggressively
to develop nuclear weapons and will likely have nuclear weapons within the
next five years .. We also should remember we have always underestimated
the progress Saddam has made in development of weapons of mass destruction."
- Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D, WV), Oct 10, 2002

"He has systematically violated, over the course of the past 11 years, every
significant UN resolution that has demanded that he disarm and destroy his
chemical and biological weapons, and any nuclear capacity. This he has
refused to do" Rep.
- Henry Waxman (D, CA), Oct. 10, 2002

"In the four years since the inspectors left, intelligence reports show that
Saddam Hussein has worked to rebuild his chemical and biological weapons
stock, his missile delivery capability, and his nuclear program. He has
also given aid, comfort, and sanctuary to terrorists, including al Qaeda members
.. It is clear, however, that if left unchecked, Saddam Hussein will
continue to increase his capacity to wage biological and chemical warfare,
and will keep trying to develop nuclear weapons."
- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D, NY), Oct 10, 2002

"We are in possession of what I think to be compelling evidence that Saddam
Hussein has, and has had for a number of years, a developing capacity for
the production and storage of weapons of mass destruction."
- Sen. Bob Graham (D, FL), Dec. 8, 2002

"Without question, we need to disarm Saddam Hussein. He is a brutal,
murderous dictator, leading an oppressive regime .... He presents a
particularly grievous threat because he is so consistently prone to
miscalculation ... And now he is miscalculating America's response to his
continued deceit and his consistent grasp for weapons of mass destruction
... So the threat of Saddam Hussein with weapons of mass destruction is real..."
- Sen. John F. Kerry (D, MA), Jan. 23. 2003


Boy! Talk about two-tongued philosophy............

THis article was published in 1970

At Yale, Kerry was chairman of the Political Union and later, as Commencement speaker, urged the United States to withdraw from Vietnam and to scale down foreign military operations. And this was way back in 1966.

When he approached his draft board for permission to study for a year in Paris, the draft board refused and Kerry decided to enlist in the Navy. The Navy assigned him to the USS Gridley which between December 1966 and July 1968 saw four months of action off the Vietnam coast. In August through November, 1968, Kerry was trained to be the skipper of a patrol boat for Vietnamese rivers. For the next five months, until April of 1969, Kerry was the commanding Lieutenant of a patrol boat in the Mekong Delta. He was wounded slightly on three different occasions and received a Silver Star for bravery. His patrol boat took part in Operation Sealords, mostly scouting out Viet Cong villages and transporting South Vietnamese marines to various destinations up and down narrow rivers covered with heavy foliage on either side. One time Kerry was ordered to destroy a Viet Cong village but disobeyed orders and suggested that the Navy Command simply send in a Psychological Warfare team to be friend the villagers with food, hospital supplies, and better educational facilities.

Pulling Out

Immediate withdrawal from Vietnam, Kerry said, would take about seven months due to complex logistics problems. During that interval he would allow only "self-defense return of fire." "Logistic suport is now what Nixon is talking about leaving there and I don't want to see that. I don't think we should leave support troops there and I don't think we should give Vietnam any more than the foreign aid given any other one country." He does not feel there would be a massive slaughter of American, sympathizers once the United States pulled out.

In America, "everybody who's against the war is suddenly considered anti-American," Kerry said. "But I don't think they can turn to me and say I don't know what's going on or I'm a draft dodger." Referring to the House Armed Services Committee, chaired by L. Mendel Rivers (D-S.C.), Kerry said, "I want to go down to Washington and confront Medel Rivers, who never fought in a war.

"I as effectively as anyone else in the country, can address myself to the issue of Vietnam," Kerry said. "I'm very realistic, though. I'm just going to be one man adding to the work of men like Lowenstein."

Kerry is a pilot, and on October 14 and 15 he flew Ted Kennedy's advisor Adam Walinsky by private plane throughout the State of New York so that Walinsky could give speeches against the Vietnam War. But Kerry was smart enough not to put down "Moratorium" on the Navy signout sheet for that Tuesday and Wednesday. The following month, Kerry was sick and did not engage in the November moratorium activities.

He supports a volunteer Army, "if and only if we can create the controls for it. You're going to have to prepare for the possibility of a national emergency, however." Kerry said that the United Nations should have control over most of our foreign military operations. "I'm an internationalist. I'd like to see our troops dispersed through the world only at the directive of the United Nations."

On other issues, Kerry wants "to almost eliminate CIA activity. The CIA is fighting its own war in Laos and nobody seems to care." He also favors a negative income tax and keeping unemployment at a very low level, "even if it means selective economic controls."

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Monday, February 09, 2004

Light plays along the cieling,
As cars drive by the house,
The light of the sun,
Long since died away,
The noise of the day,
A din in the room,
Sleep is coming soon,
Through the moments that never end,
And instants that pass to quickly,
Dreams are near,
And the lights on the ceiling,
Make phantom visions come to life,
Something inside you says,
Don't let go!,
Do not pass into that helpless state,
To dream the dreams of longing,
And the nightmares of day,
You are victorious on the day,
And tommorrow grants you fame.
I will sleep well tonight,
For in the light of tommorrow,
I will find many friends,
To share the visions on the cieling.

Sunday, February 08, 2004

Year of the Monkey

The year of the Monkey
Cumulative delegate totals - Democratic Delegates needed: 2162 Total delegates: 4322 Updated: 6:53:10 PM
Candidate Delegates Needed % Total
John Forbes Kerry 412 1,750 10%
Howard B. Dean 174 1,988 4%
John R. Edwards 116 2,046 3%
Wesley Kanne Clark 82 2,080 2%
Lieberman 17 2,145 0%
Alfred Sharpton 12 2,150 0%
Gephardt 5 2,157 0%
Dennis J. Kucinich 2 2,160 0%
Other 1 2,161 0%
Uncommitted 0 2,162 0%

Friday, February 06, 2004

An old farmer in Florida had owned a large farm for several years. He
had a large pond in the back, fixed up nice; picnic tables, horseshoe
courts, basketball court, etc. The pond was properly shaped and fixed up
for swimming when it was built.

One evening the old farmer decided to go down to the pond, as he hadn't
been there for a while, and look it over. As he neared the pond, he
heard voices shouting and laughing with glee. As he came closer he saw
it was a bunch of young women skinny dipping in his pond. He made the
women aware of his presence and they all went to the deep end of the
pond. One of the women shouted to him, "We're not coming out until you

The old man replied, "I didn't come down here to watch you ladies swim
or make you get out of the pond naked. I'm here to feed the alligator."

Moral: Old age and cunning will triumph over youth and enthusiasm every

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

“the word boredom did not enter the language until the eighteenth century. no one knows its etymology. one guess is that bore may derive from the french verb bourrer, to stuff. question: why was there no such word before the eighteenth century? . . . (f) is it because the self first had the means of understanding itself through myth, albeit incorrectly; later understood itself through religion as a creature of god; and now has the means of understanding the cosmos through positive science but not itself because the self cannot be grasped by positive science, and that therefore the self can perceive itself only as a ghost in a machine? how else can a ghost feel otherwise toward a machine than bored?”
-walker percy, lost in the cosmos-
Delegates needed to win: 2,162
Total Delegates: 4,322

Sen. John F. Kerry: 115
Howard Dean: 114
Sen. John Edwards: 41
Wesley Clark: 31
Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman: 25
Rep. Richard A. Gephardt: 5
Al Sharpton: 4
Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich: 2
Other: 1
A Brief History of Socks and Handknitted Footwear,
or Sock it to Me

Up to Nancy the Spinner No article of clothing has been more taken for granted than the humble sock, and yet, throughout history, language and customs it seems to have been an important part of everyday life. After all, warm dry feet have a lot to do with the overall quality of life as we know it. Do any of the following sound familiar?

Knock the socks off of.
Put a sock in it.
Socking away money.
Measured in your stockinged feet.

This particular study will focus on Northern Europe especially the British Isles. These climates were conducive to wearing warm covering for the feet, and wool was readily available. The true character of the humble sock comes from knitters who worked by the light of a peat fire, who knit as they walked down country lanes or across fields. They dreamed up lovely personalized patterns and decorated their simple finery with fancy stitches ,embroidery and color. A true folk art.

The history of the unassuming sock is a long one . No one knows exactly when man first noticed that he was more comfortable with his feet covered. No doubt wrapping his tootsies in animal skins for better protection from the cold and the rough ground was a beginning. The concept of the sock does not appear in writing prior to the 8th century(History of Hosiery, Grass). The hieroglyphics of Ancient Egypt nor the Old Testament in Hebrew have any word for ,or mention of , an inner foot covering. The Greek poet Hesiod who lived around 700 BC describes daily life of a farmer. He warns of cold weather and goes on to advise him, "And on your feet bind boots of the hide of the slaughtered ox, fitting them closely , when you have cushioned their insides with felt." The technique of matting animal hair into felt was very likely known to man before spinning or weaving.

Actual written reference to some form of sock appears just before the 1st century AD by the people of the Roman Empire in reference to trade items with the Greeks. Wrapping of the feet and ankles with cloth or leather was commonly worn by older men and women as a protection from the cold. But this was looked on as a sign of weakness worn by any men who were not on military duty. By the end of the same century attitudes had changed and fascia(Latin) were now worn by men as a symbol of affluence (Horatius 8 BC- 85AD). Leg bindings were common attire for males at the time of Valerius Maximus in his 1st century history of manners noting that fasciae worn by men were a sign of extraordinary refinement in dress.

About 50 BC when the Rornans were headed north they discovered that the barbaric Gauls and Celts were wrapping cloth or leather strips around their bare legs or loose breeches (braacae Latin or broc Anglo Saxon). This was not only as protection from the cold but also from the thickets of the forest. The Romans latched on to this practical footwear concept and brought it home as the latest fashion.

During the 1st century AD it became more acceptable for men to wear leg covering, and gradually it developed into a kind of felt slipper or sock of felt or fur, udo. The udofascia as it was pulled on rather than wrapped and was cut and formed from fabric or skins rather than strips. An archeological finding in Vindolanda in Northumberland ,England in 1973 sheds some light on this practice. Several inked tablets were found near a site along Hadrian's wall. A fragment of a letter from home in Italy written to one of the Roman soldiers stationed there cites : "I have sent you two pairs of socks from Sattua, two pairs of sandals, and two sets of underwear." This was the first substantiated evidence that socks were worn in the northern climates. A socklike article of clothing was uncovered at the Vindolanda site. It was believed to belong to a small child and was described as "a small bootee , reaching up to the ankle bone and constructed of two pieces of diamond twill clothe in wool one acting as the upper, and the other as the sole." The description is from Dr. Wild professor of Archaeology at Manchester, England. As time passed references to socks become more common in the literature and in physical findings.

After the fall of Rome in the 5th century the Saxons gained control of Britain. They wore a loose tunic with tight fitting pants or broc. They also wore a short sock made of woven cloth or thin leather called a stocc or socque. A similar costume was common in Europe from the 5th to 11th centuries. By the 6th century loose breeches were generally adopted. They might be made of linen, wool or hide and were frequently cross gartered. These trouser-like garments became tighter over time, with the lower part from the knee down fitting close to the leg. By the 12th century these breeches were shortened to the knee and the lower leg was covered with a separate garment or hose (Anglo Saxon). These coarsely cut and sewn hose were made of linen or wool and seamed up the back. They might be footed, footless, or have a stirrup under the foot. Those with feet may even have leather or felt soles attached. Shoemaking had become a highly skilled craft by the 12th century, and shoes could be worn on bare or stockinged feet. Men, always the first in fashion, wore hose that were knee length and often had an embroidered border at the top. Women's hose were similar but were worn above the knee and fastened with ties.

By the early 14th century, Europian hose were worn in various lengths: from just below the calf, to the knee, or thigh-high. By this time they were more decorative, with stripes of different colors or even each leg a different color. Soled hose continued to be worn until the late 15th century. Exaggerated toes became the fashion of the late 14th century. The stockings at this point were often decorative.

The stretch of the hose was created by cutting the plain-weave fabric on the bias. Advances in textile manufacture allowed for this change in fashion. Among the more flexible materials produced was scarlet. Scarlet was a fine elastic wool fabric and very suitable for making hosiery. It was dyed in many colors, but red being one of the most successful. This red has become the color we know as scarlet today.

In 1066 the Normans conquered Britain. Now hose played an important role in the evolution of costuming , especially for men. Women wore long skirts hiding their legs, so their leg coverings were not on display. But fashion was shortening men's tunics to jackets. Breeches were abandoned. As this occurred, men's hose took on a life of their own, extending up to the legs to meet at the crotch. These "tights" were attached to the jacket with laces. So by the late 1500's what had started as two stocking had become one garment reaching from the waist to the ankle and often covering the feet. Variations of this arrangement continued into the 1600's. These were made of fine silk, wool, or velvet , brightly colored and often highly decorated. They showed every muscle and flaw the wearer possessed. Some writers of the day labeled the style immodest.

To add to an already overwhelming display the jacket became shorter and a codpiece was added. But, I digress, and this is another study unto itself.

By the late 16th century, true breeches were more common. A style called venetians ended just below the knee and were worn with stockings held up by garters. These stockings, similar to those familiar to us today, were made by using a remarkable technique, known as knitting. Knitting is the interlacing of a single thread into a series of connected loops to create a fabric. The oldest surviving examples of hand knitting are textile fragments dating from 200 AD These were found in Syria, and definitely recognizable as socks. Knit fragments have also been found in Holland with two ivory knitting needles, dating back to the end of the 2nd century. The perfection of this craft as we know it was probably perfected between 500 - 1200 AD in the Arabic countries. As people traveled, traded, and conquered new lands, thus did skills and ideas migrate. Many Europeans were discovering new ideas and skills as a result of the Crusades - circa 1095-1291. Knitting may have found its way to Europe with sailors or soldiers. It is equally possible that the craft traveled with Muslim expansion into Spain which began about 710 AD.

As the craft of knitting began to spread throughout Europe, the advantage of the knitted over the woven and sewn variety of hosiery became evident. Although the old style were still worn, knitted stockings became increasingly popular. Knitted fabric was superior to the woven because it retained it's shape, fit better, was more comfortable and flexible and offered more options in design and color.

As metalwork advanced, primarily in Spain and Italy, finer needles allowed for finer more detailed work. A pair of Spanish silk knitted stockings were prized possession of Henry VIII of England. Henry's first "payre of long Spanish silke stockings" were a gift of Sir Thomas Greshman, an importer of stockings into England. Gresham continued his business during the reign of Elizabeth I. Knitted stockings were worn by Mary Stuart, Queen of Scots. When Mary was executed in 1586, she was wearing a pair of white knitted stockings held up with green garters.

The fashion of the day stressed a well-shaped leg for the gentlemen. The Spanish influence in courtly manners and proper court dress was evidenced throughout Europe and their style of silk stockings found their way as far north as Sweden by the 1560's.

By the time Elizabeth I took the throne in 1558, knitting was becoming a widespread craft. As the story goes, Mistress Montague gave the queen her first pair of silk knit stockings as a New Year's gift in 1560. By 1588, she was sporting carnation pink and many other colors. She was also known to wear woven stockings underneath her silk ones to protect then from wear and perspiration. In 1577, however, she switched to knitted wool hose made locally in Norwich, an area known for it's worsted wools and knitting.

In early 16th century most English children and country people wore wool socks. As the masses followed the styles, wool stockings became increasingly popular. The fashions of the 1500's with men's knee-length breeches created a need for stockings of all types. Women wore stockings, though they were seldom seen, their stockings were a necessary part of daily life. Technical terms for leg wear were changing too. By the mid 1600's the terms stockings and hose were synonymous.

Throughout all of the British Isles ,stockings were being knit. Each area produced a different type of sock depending on the type of available wool. Stockings made in Yorkshire were coarse and hard wearing and were worn by the farm workers, soldiers, and children. The Welsh and Cornish ones were similar. Finer worsted stockings from the Midlands were worn by the merchants and the townspeople. Stockings were available in many styles, colors and lengths. They could be plain or fancy with decorative scalloped ribbing or welts. Often they had designs embroidered at the ankle called clocks. The origin of this name is obscure, but believed to resemble hands on a clock.

Due to their popularity and usefulness, the knitting of stockings as well as other articles of clothing offered a source of livelihood for many people. It became an industry in it's own right. Knitting of stockings gave many a peasant laborer an independence he may not have had otherwise. Most mastered their skill and worked for themselves. They lived in rural communities, farmed the land and had enough time to supplement their income with this extra employment.

A knitting school opened in York in 1588 and another in Lincoln in 1591. Other schools popped up with the objective of helping the poor and providing a skill for idle hands who might otherwise be prone to mischief. By the end of the 1600's, 1-2 million pairs of stockings were being exported from Britain to other parts of Europe. Hosiery has become highly specialized since this, example: fishnet stockings, pantyhose, thermal socks, tennis socks, lycra tights, kilt hose, etc. Nevertheless, the basic form and function have remained the same for a long time. All from such humble beginnings.


Folk Socks, the History & Techniques of Handiknitted Footwear by Nancy Bush, Interweave Press, Loveland Colorado. 1994.

The History of Hosiery by Milton Grass, New York: Fairchild Publications. 1955.

Stockings for the Queen: the Life of the Rev. William Lee. the Elizabethan Inventor by Anna Grass and Milton Grass, Cranbury, New Jersey: Barnes & Co., 1969.

Historic Costume by Francis M. Kelly and Randolph Schwabe, New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1925.

Homespun Handknit by Linda Ligon, Interweave Press, Loveland Colorado, 1994.

Old Jrish and Highland Dress by H.F. McClintock, Dunalk, Ireland: Dundalgan Press. 1950.

Textiles in Archaeology by John Peter Wild, Aylesbury Bucks, England: Shire Publications, 1988.

The Book of Costume by Mary Wilton, 1846. Reprint. Lopez Island, Washington: RL Shep. 1986.

A few leading scientists have come up with a new theory that is sending shock waves through the world of physics. Ever since Benjamin Franklin -- and maybe before -- people have believed that light emitted outward and replaced the emptiness we call darkness. Today this old theory is in question.

According to some researchers the sources of light -- the sun, candles, light bulbs -- actually suck dark in. In enlightened circles light bulbs are more accurately called dark suckers. Behind this scientific breakthrough lie some shocking facts.

Dark is stronger than light. Place a candle in a dark room. When it sucks all the dark it can hold, it goes out. The dark is stronger.

The evidence that the candle was sucking dark is that the wick, once white, turns black. All the dark sucked in left its mark. Even when a candle is burning, you can put a pencil over the flame and it will make a dark spot on it!

Light bulbs operate in the same way. Once they suck all the dark they can hold, they go out. You can see the dark spot left on the bulb as proof that it's full. Larger dark suckers in parking lights, or massive ones in stadiums have a much greater capacity, but once full they leave large dark spots as evidence of the superior strength of darkness.

Dark is heavier than light. It has mass. The rush of dark into a candle or light bulb generates heat. Don't touch an operating dark sucker or the friction of the dark speeding past will burn your finger.

It is quite obvious to any swimmer with a mask and fins that dark sinks and light rises. As you swim deeper, the dark is much more dense until at about 50 or 75 feet all the light has floated up above the dark.

Dark is faster than light. Slip your hand through a cracked door into a closed-up garage and flip on the dark-sucker. The dark is so fast that it's impossible to see it enter the dark-sucker. Or stand in a bright room and slowly open a closet door. You can see the closet slowly illuminate, but the dark disappears with such speed that you are unaware that it is rushing into the dark-sucker behind you.

Monday, February 02, 2004

"I am sorry that anyone was offended by the wardrobe malfunction during the halftime performance of the Super Bowl," Timberlake said in a statement. "It was not intentional and is regrettable."

Is this right for dinner time fair on TV's most watched show?

Sunday, February 01, 2004

The Haj

THe Haj, one of the 7 pilars of Islam, has had 14 people crushed to death!
An Iranian woman walks under a mural of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei -- the founder of the Islamic Republic. Iran's clerical regime marked the 25th anniversary of the return of revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomenei with the opening of a new international airport in Tehran.(AFP/Henghameh Fahimi)
AFP - Feb 01 5:19 AM
My notes on the 2004 election

2004 Presidential Election

Key battle States
• Florida
• Ohio
o Has lost more manufacturing jobs since 2000 than was the margin of victory in the 2000 election.
o Farm bill will help Bush
• Louisiana
• Michegan- farm bill may go Bush
• Wisconson- farm bill may go Bush
• Pennsylvania- Bush is spending a lot of time there, this may be a real battle.

West Virginia- With the Steel tariffs recinded W.V. should go against Bush unlike 2000

Oregon was lost in 2000 but the GOP may be able to win it.

We lost New Mexico in 2000 but have a chance in 2004 (unless VP for Dems is Bill Richardson Gov of New Mexico*)

Targets for Dems
• Florida- Least competitive
• Louisiana- Who’s the VP for the Dems*?
• Arizona-*
• Nevada-*
• New Mexico-*
• Ohio- big battle for 20 electoral votes

New England- New Hampshire for Bush the rest for the Dems.

Misouri will go Dem if Gephardt wins nomination