Larry’s View

Larry’s view on any and everything.

“absolutely nothing to do with political correctness”. Yeah right!

Drunken sailors left out of rhyme

Beer barrel

The pirates are being tickled, rather than sobering up in the brig

“Drunken sailors” have been removed from the lyrics of a nursery rhyme in a government-funded books project.

But the Bookstart charity says the re-writing of What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor? has “absolutely nothing to do with political correctness”.

The charity says that the shift from drunken sailor to “grumpy pirate” was to make the rhyme fit a pirate theme, rather than censorship.

“Put him in the brig until he’s sober,” has also been lost in the new version.

This latest ideological spat over nursery rhymes was sparked by the re-writing of What Shall We Do With the Drunken Sailor.

‘Rusty razor’

Bookstart, a project that encourages parents to read with their young children, has produced a different version – with no references to alcohol-swigging sailors.

PIRATES AHOY!
What shall we do with the grumpy pirate?
What shall we do with the grumpy pirate?
What shall we do with the grumpy pirate?
Early in the morning

Hooray and up she rises
Hooray and up she rises
Hooray and up she rises
Early in the morning

Do a little jig and make him smile
Do a little jig and make him smile
Do a little jig and make him smile
Early in the morning

Instead the hard-drinking sea shanty has been turned into something gentler, with lyrics such as “Tickle him till he starts to giggle, Early in the morning.”

The charity has dismissed accusations that this is a politically-correct attempt to avoid the alcohol references, saying that it was a case of re-cycling a familiar tune for reading events that were based on a pirate theme.

“We wanted to find a rhyme which would fit in with this subject and this one has a tune which is instantly recognisable by all,” said a statement from Bookstart.

“The inclusion of action lyrics like ‘wiggle’ and ‘tickle’ offer parents and small children an opportunity to interact, have fun and enjoy acting out the rhyme together.”

Although the Drunken Sailor version familiar to children already leaves out some of the saltier verses.

The original includes such suggestions as: “Shave his belly with a rusty razor”, “Stick him in a bag and beat him senseless” and “Put him in the hold with the captain’s daughter.”

The captain’s daughter was a euphemism for a lashing from a cat o’ nine tails.

Baa-baa

This is the latest in a series of disputes over nursery rhymes.

There were complaints in 2006 about pre-school children attending two nurseries in Oxfordshire being taught “Baa Baa Rainbow Sheep”.

Last year, a story based on the Three Little Pigs fairy tale was turned down by a government agency’s awards panel as the subject matter could offend Muslims.

A digital book, re-telling the classic story, was rejected by judges who warned that “the use of pigs raises cultural issues”.

However, a study in 2004 showed that nursery rhymes exposed children to far more violent incidents than an average evening watching television – including Humpty Dumpty’s serious head injury.

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January 30, 2009 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment

How to handle UK banks.

A 98 year old woman in the UK wrote this to her bank.
The bank manager thought it sufficiently amusing to have it published in the Times..
Lets hope he also did the right thing by his customer.

Dear Sir,

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my cheque with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three ‘nanoseconds’ must have elapsed between his presenting the cheque and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honour it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my Pension, an arrangement, which, I admit, has been in place for only thirty eight years. You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account £30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become. From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person.

My mortgage and loan payments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank by cheque, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate. Be aware that it is an offence under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope. Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Solicitor, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, I will issue your employee with PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modelled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press buttons as follows:

1 – To make an appointment to see me.
2 – To query a missing payment.
3 – To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
4 – To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
5 – To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
6 – To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.
7 – To leave a message on my computer (a password to access my computer is required. A password will be communicated to you at a later date to the Authorized Contact.)
8 – To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through to 8.
9 – To make a general complaint or inquiry, the contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service. While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous, New Year.

Your Humble Client

January 27, 2009 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment

New US President commits to further LGBT rights

January 21, 2009
New US President commits to further LGBT rights
Newly sworn-in US President Barack Obama commits to oppose a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage, support full civil unions and federal rights of same-sex couples, expand adoption rights, fight workplace discrimination among others.
New President Barack Obama called for a ‘new era of responsibility’ as he took the oath of office as the United States’ 44th president – and first African-American president in the country’s history.

articlepic

In his 20-minute inaugural address, the new president acknowledged how far African Americans had come in the country with one poignant line.

“This is the meaning of our liberty and our creed – why men and women and children of every race and every faith can join in celebration across this magnificent mall, and why a man whose father less than sixty years ago might not have been served at a local restaurant can now stand before you to take a most sacred oath.”

And doubly so as he was sworn in on the steps of the US Capitol Building which slaves helped build from the 1790s until the 1820s.

The 47-year-old president was born in Honolulu, Hawaii to a Kenyan father and a white American mother.

President Obama’s address has been described by news outlets such as the New York Times as a ‘stark repudiation of the era of George W. Bush’ despite being couched in indirect terms. He referenced a wide range of issues from interrogation policies to the invasion of Iraq and the use of its military power and spoke of the need to “restore science to its rightful place.”

He is expected to reverse some of the most contentious policies of the Bush administration such as banning the use of harsh interrogation techniques on suspected terrorists, giving a go-ahead for stem cell research and repealing the military’s Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell policy which bans openly gay and lesbian personnel from serving.

On Tuesday, the White House web site was updated with a list of commitments to further LGBT rights on his civil rights agenda:

THE AGENDA • CIVIL RIGHTS
Support for the LGBT Community

“While we have come a long way since the Stonewall riots in 1969, we still have a lot of work to do. Too often, the issue of LGBT rights is exploited by those seeking to divide us. But at its core, this issue is about who we are as Americans. It’s about whether this nation is going to live up to its founding promise of equality by treating all its citizens with dignity and respect.” – Barack Obama, June 1, 2007

Expand Hate Crimes Statutes: In 2004, crimes against LGBT Americans constituted the third-highest category of hate crime reported and made up more than 15 percent of such crimes. President Obama cosponsored legislation that would expand federal jurisdiction to include violent hate crimes perpetrated because of race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, or physical disability. As a state senator, President Obama passed tough legislation that made hate crimes and conspiracy to commit them against the law.

Fight Workplace Discrimination: President Obama supports the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, and believes that our anti-discrimination employment laws should be expanded to include sexual orientation and gender identity. While an increasing number of employers have extended benefits to their employees’ domestic partners, discrimination based on sexual orientation in the workplace occurs with no federal legal remedy. The President also sponsored legislation in the Illinois State Senate that would ban employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

Support Full Civil Unions and Federal Rights for LGBT Couples: President Obama supports full civil unions that give same-sex couples legal rights and privileges equal to those of married couples. Obama also believes we need to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act and enact legislation that would ensure that the 1,100+ federal legal rights and benefits currently provided on the basis of marital status are extended to same-sex couples in civil unions and other legally-recognized unions. These rights and benefits include the right to assist a loved one in times of emergency, the right to equal health insurance and other employment benefits, and property rights.

Oppose a Constitutional Ban on Same-Sex Marriage: President Obama voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment in 2006 which would have defined marriage as between a man and a woman and prevented judicial extension of marriage-like rights to same-sex or other unmarried couples.

Repeal Don’t Ask-Don’t Tell: President Obama agrees with former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili and other military experts that we need to repeal the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. The key test for military service should be patriotism, a sense of duty, and a willingness to serve. Discrimination should be prohibited. The U.S. government has spent millions of dollars replacing troops kicked out of the military because of their sexual orientation. Additionally, more than 300 language experts have been fired under this policy, including more than 50 who are fluent in Arabic. The President will work with military leaders to repeal the current policy and ensure it helps accomplish our national defense goals.

Expand Adoption Rights: President Obama believes that we must ensure adoption rights for all couples and individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation. He thinks that a child will benefit from a healthy and loving home, whether the parents are gay or not.

Promote AIDS Prevention: In the first year of his presidency, President Obama will develop and begin to implement a comprehensive national HIV/AIDS strategy that includes all federal agencies. The strategy will be designed to reduce HIV infections, increase access to care and reduce HIV-related health disparities. The President will support common sense approaches including age-appropriate sex education that includes information about contraception, combating infection within our prison population through education and contraception, and distributing contraceptives through our public health system. The President also supports lifting the federal ban on needle exchange, which could dramatically reduce rates of infection among drug users. President Obama has also been willing to confront the stigma – too often tied to homophobia – that continues to surround HIV/AIDS.

Empower Women to Prevent HIV/AIDS: In the United States, the percentage of women diagnosed with AIDS has quadrupled over the last 20 years. Today, women account for more than one quarter of all new HIV/AIDS diagnoses. President Obama introduced the Microbicide Development Act, which will accelerate the development of products that empower women in the battle against AIDS. Microbicides are a class of products currently under development that women apply topically to prevent transmission of HIV and other infections.

January 21, 2009 Posted by | Blogroll, Gay General, Gay Issue & Rights-Overseas | 1 Comment

Kaka-Man City-Not about the money

I wish these football agents and clubs stop talking a load of rubbish.

If a player is going to get around £500,000 A WEEK do you think he will turn that down, hardly.

Plus his agents will get a nice slice of the transfer fee.

Of course AC Milan like most European football clubs carry so much debt that £100,000,000 should help their debt burden a little.

As for Mark Hughes and the absurd statements that it is all for the right reasons, I think not.

Spend the money on the defense first, they have enough frontline players already.

Having Kaka may not be enough to avoid relegation.

Would the sheiks spend their billions then or just walk away, and then who pays the wages.

AC Milan coach Carlo Ancelotti has admitted for the first time that Kaka could move to Manchester City.

Milan have given their Brazilian star permission to discuss City’s world record transfer bid of £100m.

Ancelotti said: “My hope is to be able to coach Kaka for many more years, but we’ve got to be aware of the facts and the club’s evaluation of the offer.

“The squad is still competitive, even if we were to lose such an important player.”

He added: “Our goals? They remain the same for this team with or without Kaka.”

Kaka’s father and advisor Bosco Leite is due to arrive in Italy on Monday to discuss the potential deal.

“Milan has authorised the negotiation with City,” said Kaka’s spokesman Diogo Kotscho. “The next step is Kaka’s father will talk to Manchester City.”

The director of the club’s in-house TV channel, Mauro Suma, said Milan were looking at City’s offer for Kaka.

But he added: “Considered does not mean decided or accepted. We are not faced with a decision made or a done deed.”

However, a Milan spokesman said Suma’s comments were not an official statement by the Serie A club.

On Thursday, City boss Mark Hughes said the club’s big-money offer for the 26-year-old playmaker makes football and business sense.

“The money involved is something we feel, from a football and business point of view, works,” said Hughes.

“The process has moved forward at a pace this week but people shouldn’t be thinking that it is just a whim.”

Kaka deal is still alive – Hughes

The sheer size of the figures involved in the proposed deal have made headlines around the world, but Hughes said it was all part of a considered plan from the club’s hierarchy.

“It’s been done with structure and understanding,” he said.

“We’re all very much involved in that process; myself from a football point of view and (chief executive) Garry Cook and (chairman) Khaldoon Al Mubarak from a club and business point of view.

“It would be naive to think I have not been involved in discussions over this transfer. I have had meetings about it and have had an input.”

City assistant manager Mark Bowen said: “We are selling the future plans of the club to the player.

“I’ve read a lot about his love of AC Milan – and that goes without saying – but even when people said the deal was dead, that was not our understanding.

“The situation has been a surprise to everyone but obviously negotiations have been going on for a fair while.

Kaka ‘very happy’ at AC Milan

“How close we are I don’t know, but our understanding is that it is very much a strong possibility that Kaka will be coming.”

Kotscho insists any move would be done for the right reasons and not just for the reported £500,000-a-week wages.

“It is not impossible, if Milan let us talk, then we will see what City have to offer,” Kotscho told BBC Radio 5 Live.

“Kaka knows about the offer but the club did not give authorisation for talks, so we did not meet.

“It was a great proposal but it’s not about only money.

“We have to see if they have a project to become a Champions League team and become one of the top teams in the world, and to stay there long term.”

Previously Kaka had told the website of Mediaset, a TV company owned by Milan owner Silvio Berlusconi, that he wanted to stay at the club for life.

“I want to grow old at Milan,” he said.

“I repeat what I have always said. Other clubs can make all the offers they want but it all depends on Milan.

RECORD TRANSFERS
£46m Zinedine Zidane (Juventus – Real Madrid)
£37m Luis Figo (Barcelona – Real Madrid)
£34m Hernan Jorge Crespo (Parma – Lazio)
£33m Gianluigi Buffon (Parma – Juventus)
£32.5m Robinho (Real Madrid – Man City)
£31m Christian Vieri (Lazio – Inter Milan)
£30.75m Dimitar Berbatov (Tottenham – Manchester United)

“As I have said before, as long as Milan share my goals, I would like to stay here. Then if one day the club wants to sell me, than that would be a different matter altogether.

“My aim is to become at some point in the future the captain of this team.”

AC Milan confirmed that their chief executive Adriano Galliani had met officials from City on Tuesday to discuss Kaka’s future.

The current record for a player’s signature is £46m when France’s Zinedine Zidane moved from Juventus to Real Madrid in 2001.

Kaka joined Serie A giants Milan from Sao Paulo in 2003 and has since won the Italian league title, Champions League and Club World Cup.

The attacking midfielder has scored 86 goals in 244 appearances for Milan. He has also picked up 62 caps for Brazil and scored 23 goals.

Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al Nahyan, estimated to be worth £15bn, took over as City owner in September 2008 and extensive funds have been made available to Hughes.

Watch Kaka’s solo goal against Argentina

However, he has only secured the services of Wayne Bridge in January’s transfer window, with bids rejected for West Ham forward Craig Bellamy and Blackburn striker Roque Santa Cruz.

The four-man delegation that travelled to Italy to initiate talks with the Milan officials is believed to have included executive chairman Cook and two representatives of the Sheikh.

With the club struggling in 15th position in the Premier League, it would give City an incredible boost if they were to seal the deal for one of the world’s best players.

Kaka is under contract at the San Siro until 2013, and although he stated last February that he wanted to remain at Milan for the rest of his career, he did hint at a desire to play in the Premier League – which he has described as the “best championship in the world”.

January 16, 2009 Posted by | Blogroll | Leave a comment

TYPICAL BLOKE

A typical bloke, having split from his latest girlfriend, decided to take a
holiday. He booked himself on a cruise and proceeded to have the time of his
life, that is, until the ship sank.

He found himself on an island with no other people, no supplies, nothing,
only bananas and coconuts. After about four months, he is lying on the beach
one day when the most gorgeous woman he has ever seen rows up to the shore.

In disbelief, he asks, ‘Where did you come from? How did you get here?’ She
replies, ‘I rowed from the other side of the island. I landed here when my
cruise ship sank.’

‘Amazing,’ he notes. ‘You were really lucky to have a row boat wash up with
you.’ ‘Oh, this thing?’ explains the woman. ‘I made the boat out of raw
material I found on the island. The oars were whittled from gum tree
branches. I wove the bottom from palm branches, and the sides and stern came
from a Eucalyptus tree.’

‘But, where did you get the tools?’

‘Oh, that was no problem,’ replied the woman. ‘On the south side of the
island, a very unusual stratum of alluvial rock is exposed. I found if I
fired it to a certain temperature in my kiln, it melted into ductile iron. I
used that for tools and used the tools to make the hardware.’

The guy is stunned.

‘Let’s row over to my place,’ she says. After a few minutes of rowing, she
docks the boat at a small wharf…. As the man looks to shore, he nearly falls
off the boat. Before him is stone walk leading to an exquisite bungalow
painted in blue and white..

While the woman ties up the rowboat with an expertly woven hemp rope, the
man can only stare ahead, dumb struck. As they walk into the house, she says
casually, ‘It’s not much but I call it home. Sit down, please. Would you
like a drink?’

‘No! No thank you,’ he blurts out, still dazed.

‘I can’t take another drop of coconut juice.’ ‘It’s not coconut juice,’
winks the woman. ‘I have a still. How would you like a Pina Colada?’

Trying to hide his continued amazement, the man accepts, and they sit down
on her couch to talk. After they have exchanged their stories, the woman
announces, ‘I’m going to slip into something more comfortable. Would you
like to take a shower and shave? There is a razor upstairs in the bathroom
cabinet.’

No longer questioning anything, the man goes into the bathroom. There, in
the cabinet, a razor made from a piece of tortoise bone. Two shells honed to
a hollow ground edge are fastened on to its end inside a swivel mechanism.

‘This woman is amazing,’ he muses. ‘What next?’

When he returns, she greets him wearing nothing but vines, strategically
positioned, and smelling faintly of gardenias. She beckons for him to sit
down next to her.

‘Tell me,’ she begins suggestively, slithering closer to him, ‘We’ve been
out here for many months. You’ve been lonely. There’s something I’m sure you
really feel like doing right now, something you’ve been longing for?’ She
stares into his eyes ..

He swallows excitedly and tears start to form in his eyes…….

‘F*****g hell, don’t tell me you’ve got Sky Sports?’

January 11, 2009 Posted by | Adult Humour | Leave a comment

Sushi chef

In order to become a sushi chef you will have to study at a sushi school or university. There are lots of places in which you can do so. At a sushi school you will be taught everything there is to know about sushi.

In the culture of the Japanese it is not easy to become a sushi chef and it will take a lot of time and a tremendous amount of effort. In most cases it takes chefs years and years of studying before they become an actual sushi chef. It will depend on where you wish to study to determine what you will learn because sushi is made differently from country to country, like if you study in Japan, they make sushi the ultimately correct way therefore it sometimes takes them up to ten years to study. Where as if you are studying in the west you will learn things like putting cheese in sushi which is not done very often. If you study in the U.S you are most likely to learn knife skills when making sushi, how to cook rice and prepare the sushi, the nutritional facts and artful presentation of sushi. So studying to become a sushi chef will not be the same procedure everywhere.

When studying to be a sushi chef it normally happens that you will have to go through a series of courses until you graduate. And in order to progress to the next level you will have to pass the current one. Some schools will have you do tests and examinations and others will not. The certificate you will graduate with can get you a job as a caterer, a job at a sushi bar or a chef at a sushi restaurant.

The basic course will be the first. Here they will teach you the basic ingredients, the seasoning and spices, how to use sushi knives and fundamental preparations. When you pass this course you will progress to the professional class where you will learn about the type’s fish to be used, how to prepare it, designing dishes, setting up sushi bars and what you will need to be an assistant chef. After this course there is the advanced course. In this step you will be taught a deeper level of skill and training, handling of live fish, decoration, dishes and types of sauces and what sauce goes where. From there, the classes will progress and you will learn everything there is to learn about sushi.

January 6, 2009 Posted by | Blogroll, Sushi | 2 Comments