News, Weather, Mozart, Sports, Eurovision Love Ænema & Perverted Videogames from Vleeptron

NGO_Vleeptron (aka "Bob from Massachusetts") recently featured LIVE on BBC WORLD SERVICE, heard briefly by Gazillions!!!

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Location: Great Boreal Deciduous Hardwood Forest, New England, United States

old dude, all hair, swell new teeth

31 December 2005

Happy New Year 2006 Everyone & Everything on the 3rd Rock Out from Sol!!!

Largely by random coincidence, this image from space very clearly shows, through fortuitous breaks in the clouds, Africa, the Sahara, Arabia and Madagascar.

Look South from the southern tip of Africa and there's a solid white patch at the bottom which isn't clouds, but where Neffe Ice Cube has just been -- Antarctica!

Vleeptron thinks this view is very fitting, because during the 20th Century, evidence became pretty overwhelming that the Moment When and the Place Where Human Beings first became Human Beings happened in Africa. Much of this evidence comes from Mitochondrial DNA -- a special kind of DNA, every cell has it, that descends exclusively from Mother to Daughter -- and so anthropologists now commonly talk about Eve, the Mother Of Us All, and they believe Eden was in Africa.

(Other common suspects for the Biblical Eden: Iraq between Tigris and Euphrates, also Serendip/Ceylon/Sri Lanka. Much trouble in both Paradises this year.)

From Eden we wandered, by foot and on floating logs (for short trips -- there's a water shortcut to Arabia and thus to Asia) to inhabit all of Eurasia, and very soon our ancient ancestors were in Java/Djawa in modern Indonesia. On the way we changed colors a bit, to experiment with pretty new colors or to blend in with new backgrounds better. Eventually we shivered in Siberia and wandered across the Land Bridge to Alaska and the Americas. Eventually Charles Darwin, the young gentleman naturalist aboard H.M.S. Beagle, would find these wanderers' descendants in Tierra del Fuego.

And waiting for The Beagle on every island in the South Pacific, and in Australia, were ancient peoples who had mastered The Great Voyages, life-and-death voyages from Southeast Asia to every land-sustaining rock in the gigantic Pacific. Many of the Pacific languages, those that survive, are recognizeably alike today.

Every one of these people -- the NASA guy who took this Hasselblad photo of our home from far out in space, Muslim women in Pakistan, Wall Street Republican gazillionaires in limousines (with their young skinny friend Annika), the grocery clerk who sells fresh fruit and snacks to my Nephew Ice Cube in Punta Arenas (Sandy Point), Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire), Chile -- are our Sisters and our Brothers. Or perhaps just truly our cousins, some close, some a bit more distant.

But no potion of Political or Media or Religious-"inspired" Hate can hide it:

As 2005 becomes 2006, or by any calendar's reckoning, all the Human Beings on the Third Rock Out from Sol belong to One Family, The Same Family, Our Family.

When we reach out and Love and Feed them, and wave "Ramadan Kareem!" and "Happy Hannukah!" and "Merry Christmas!" to them, we are Loving and Feeding and waving to our Family.

When we bomb them and kill them and torture them and make their lives more dangerous and more toxic and sicker, we are doing this to our brothers, our sisters, our cousins, our nieces and nephews, our aunts and uncles.

~ ~ ~

The first widely published photograph of The Whole Earth, as seen from New Space in the early 1970s, was cooked up by a fellow named Stewart Brand, who went on to publish the famous Whole Earth Catalog. Wonderful and Exciting Rivers of positive thought and action which sprang from the WEC are still alive and well today.

Brand thought it was extremely important that all Human Beings started looking at the Earth as the only place we know which can support and sustain biological Life (which, no matter how we try to deny it, includes Us).

There may be other Planets -- Vleeptron, Hoon, Yobbo to name just a few -- which could sustain Life, but they're very hard to get to (you have to know the Zeta Beam schedule), and I have received some Comments suggesting that some people don't even believe these faraway planets exist.

They do exist. When the Zeta Beam is working, I spend lots of time there, I keep a modest skinny little piede-a-terre in Ciudad Vleeptron (in the Poortown Parva neighborhood, No. 44 Biederbeckestraat).

Vleeptron has Planetary Free Medical Health Insurance for Everyone (of course our taxes pay for it, but Health and Life are not For Sale to the Highest Bidder).

Vleeptron aspires to a High Standard of Mercy flavored with a Lot of Justice. Nearly all the time, Vleeptron Gives People A Break.

Vleeptron does not Execute people who have done bad things, because that would make us murderers, and blur the destinction between people who do bad things, and Us.

Vleeptron has a prison. There are 91 women and men (and No Children) in it, it resembles a community college dormitory, it was designed and established by a retired prison official from Finland (Mrs. Beasley), mostly the prisoners spend their days and evenings taking education classes and working through their previous problems with alcohol and some other Stuff.

Vleeptron has wonderful live music -- Lieder, jazz, opera, Mozart, Mozart, Mozart, Kurt Weill, Mozart -- did I mention we have Mozart? -- nasty nihilistic Thrash Punque, Quebecoise Acid Country with Emmylou Harris, Mozart, Math Rock, Geoff Muldaur, and Prince's Intergalactic Orchestra, featuring George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic -- every night at about 30 clubs and theaters all over the Dwingeloo-2 Galaxy. Captain Beefheart and The Magic Band (featuring Ryland Cooder) will be putting on a Monster New Year's Show at Xbg's tonight, shows at 21.00, midnight and 03.00.

Vleeptron has 33 Mosques, 33 Synagogues, 33 Christian Churches, 33 Buddhist Temples, 33 Hindu Temples, the Swedenborgian joint, the Great Cathedral to Flying Spaghetti Monster, two Quaker Meetings (they loathe each other but have to pretend they love each other hahaha), and lately a lot of Peanut Butter Worshippers have been meeting on Tuesday nights in borrowed basement rooms. Nobody has punched anybody in the nose over Religion on Vleeptron, Yobbo or Hoon since that thing with Ivan and Snoooooootzuuuu in minus-44,114 A.V. (Some historians think it wasn't over Religion, but over Ivan's Sweetie-Pie, Umaaaaaaaaa.)

Vleeptron has recently received word of Another Life-Sustaining Planet with very similar ideas and customs called ErinLand. Perhaps this year Erin H. will send us some reports of Life in ErinLand. (She too has to spend most of her time on poor Earth, she's got Nose-Wiping of Kids to do, but manages to take short trips to ErinLand now and then.)

This verbiage has gone on too long, so let's wrap it up.

Vleeptron is awfully glad that (almost) everyone's made it to the end of a rather Difficult & Unpleasant year on Earth.

Since Eve (and her boyfriend Otzi) first became Human in Africa (see image), Humans have been remarkable for their resilience and strength in the midst of adversity and trouble.

We also know that since those First Human Moments in Africa, Humans have been kind, generous, even Loving. If you watch too much Fox News Channel or read too many Murdoch publications (Murdoch owns Fox) and don't believe me, Leave A Comment, and I will tell you how we know that our most ancient Human Ancestors have always been Kind, Generous, Loving, particularly to Children.

Vleeptron, speaking through Me, Bob, and the whole Vleeptron family -- Agence-Vleeptron Presse, NGO Vleeptron, The High Non-Junk Science Council of Vleeptron, and the Akira Kurosawa Intergalactic Zeta Beam Drome -- wish all of you still stuck on Earth the most Wonderful, Healthy, Happy, Beautiful and Prosperous 2006.

And we also wish the same for all the Earth's wonderful creatures: The phytoplankton, the Orcas, the Krill, the Beavers, Special Wishes to my friends the Polar Bears in their times of New Peril as the Arctic ice melts. Special Good Wishes to the world's Big Cats and to the Wolves and all Predators who complete and balance the Cycle of Living Creation. (Vleeptron is particularly fond of Owls.)

Happy New Year!
Happy 2006!

What songs do you sing when The Moment Arrives where you are? In English, we sing that old song from Caledonia. (There's probably some sort of Alcoholic Beverage in that Cup o' Kindness. Probably Single Malt Scotch.)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?
And days of auld lang syne, my dear,
And days of auld lang syne.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days of auld lang syne?

We twa hae run aboot the braes
And pu'd the gowans fine.
We've wandered mony a weary foot,
Sin' auld lang syne.

Sin' auld lang syne, my dear,
Sin' auld lang syne,
We've wandered mony a weary foot,
Sin' auld ang syne.

We twa hae sported i' the burn,
From morning sun till dine,
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.

Sin' auld lang syne, my dear,
Sin' auld lang syne.
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin' auld lang syne.

And ther's a hand, my trusty friend,
And gie's a hand o' thine;
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

30 December 2005

a Hanukkah Miracle, also Ladino Hip-Hop, also pancakes, latkes, waffles

Gouache by Richard Scarry (1919 - 1994), unknown book.
(Vleeptron has substituted can of Vermont maple syrup
on table for original jar of honey.)

Ladino is to Spanish and Portuguese what Yiddish is to German -- a frozen dialect from many centuries past for Jews. Ladino has flourished in North Africa, Turkey and modern Israel, as well as in some diaspora communities in the Caribbean and South America. It's the language of Sephardi Jews, those of a Spanish and North African origin, many of whose community and family customs are heavily flavored by the customs of their Muslim/Arab hosts.

King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella expelled all Jews and Muslims from the newly united Spain in 1492 (a busy year for Isabella). I don't know when or if Jews were also expelled from Portugal. Maybe somebody can make me hip.

Latkes are pancakes, usually of shredded potato. (This is Ashkenazi or Deutschim Mitteleuropean or Eastern Euro Jewish cuisine.) Quite yum. And apparently they go swell with Vermont Maple Syrup (dark amber).


hey hi hi shabbat shalom

please send me your complete snail-mail address.



Carissima [despicableteacher],

Okay, have you been a Naughty Girl this year, or have you been a Nice Girl? Because this may be the factor that determines whether you get your Gift From Santa

1. within 1 week
2. within 2 months
3. never

(If 3., some Postal or Customs/Douanes Employee somewhere between Northampton and [extremely fancy and romantic-sounding street address in Lisboa] is going to have a very delicious Christmas, and then burn in Hell forever.)

Or possibly the package will be X-rayed and mistaken for a Terror Thing, and oh what a mess that will be when the Bomb Squad detonates it in a big open field.

Prayer, in Ivrit, Portugues, English and other lingos probably will also assist the successful voyage of your Gift. But after all the multi-national paperwork and the Sticker Shock of the Slow Boat (actually they promised a Slow Airplane) to Lisboa, from now on I am going back to the wonderful world of Cyberspace, where you click [SEND] and 20 seconds later your friend in Kuala Lumpur gets his letter or image or rap music, and almost never any Bureaucrats in the middle.

Meanwhile I advise you to practice this.

America still believes the Metric System is a conspiracy from the Kremlin (actually it's worse, it's a conspiracy from France), so I have assisted your EuroKitchen by converting, but this gentleman insists these are the Finest Pancakes in the Land.

I've added a few comments; I know you lived in the USA, but I don't know if you ever did much American cooking. (It all came from Europe, but we gave a lot of it English names and pretended we invented it here. Well -- we did invent the maize, the Aztecs anyway.)

Plain Griddle Cakes
(pancakes from scratch)


1 cup (250 ml) flour

He means ordinary white (bleached) American durham wheat flour, but if you do 2/3 white flour with 1/3 unbleached (brown) wheat flower, you'll get a more rustic, earthy "peasant" pancake, tastier, too.

A pancake is not supposed to be light and dainty like a crepe -- but essentially you're making a heavy Grandma crepe or round cake. I don't think semolina flour is good for this recipe.

For Advanced Pancakes -- still just an honest American pancake, but the kind a restaurant would charge you $1.50 each because of their "special secret old-fashioned recipe," you could also put some coarse-ground maize/corn flour into it.

2 teaspoons (10 ml) baking powder
one-quarter teaspoon (1.25 ml) salt (not needed)

beat and add:

one egg (optional)


1 "scant" cup (240 ml) milk

stir gradually to make a smooth batter


1 teaspoon (5 ml) melted butter or oil

Grease a large frying pan with butter, or with an oil with a light taste -- peanut oil rather than olive oil. Olive oil is delicious but might put a strong unwanted taste to the pancakes.

Ladle/scoop small or medium circles of the batter into a hot frying pan. When they bubble, flip the pancakes with a metal flipper to brown the other side. (Diner cooks love to show off and flip each pancake in the air.)

Serve with butter (the heat of the pancakes will melt it) and Vermont maple syrup.

These pancakes are sure to be tasty -- if you're watching your sodium intake, you can make them without salt and baking powder, which also contains sodium (as does milk), and they'll probably still be pretty good. We never add salt to anything, but when we omitted the baking powder the pancakes came out a little bit on the glue-ey side.

Special note: At the time of writing, this recipe was the most searched-for page on this entire site. For some people, using this recipe is the first time they have ever cooked anything from scratch. These pancakes are delicious!

Copyright © 1997-2005 George D. Girton, All Rights Reserved


Oh I'm so anxious to get my parcel. Maybe if Santa brought it , it would have been in safer hands, one can never really trust Postal services. LOL.

Amazingly enough I do make pancakes, it's a huge success in the neighborhood together with waffles.

This year I decided to bake gingerbread men for my students, they are around 50, so I'm still recovering from all the time spent in the kitchen, but they loved it.

It's the nice thing about teaching a language because you can make it so varied, grammar, culture etc, etc.

So last class we had the gingerbread men, Xmas carols, I brought my chanukiah and 6 dreidels and they adored it.

We sang along Rudolph, of course, and Santa Claus is Coming to Town, as well as I Have a Little Dreidel, and Oh Chanukah, Oh Chanukah. I also played some Ladino Chanukah songs whch for them were easy to understand as it's so similar to Portuguese.

Don't you have Skype or Messenger? After so may yrs of knowing each other I'd really lke to hear your voice. And if you have a cam you could show me your pets and I'd show you mine.LOL.



Happy Hannukah! I bought Cynthia some Hannukah Finger Puppets, I can't wait to see what her family makes of that! I don't even know what I make of this.

But I'm writing because a Thought Is Haunting me from your last e-mail ...

Do you have the only Waffle Iron in the Iberian Peninsula?

How do you plug it in? What do your guests think when they see it in your kitchen?



Hi Bob,

I'm not the only owner of a waffle iron in the peninsula. As a fact,my 2nd flor neighbor bought one after her kids tried my waffles, but they always say mine taste differently hehehehe



Hi Bob!

The fabulous Vermont maple syrup arrived yesterday!

Thanks a million!!!! I am making latkes today for some of my neighbors ( I hope they like it)

Wishing you and family Chag Sameach!!!

I have managed NOT to set fire to the house yet (because of the hanukkah candles).

Check this link I found of a group called Hip Hop Hoodios. It's a video with a very popular
Hanukkah song sung in Ladino, but they sing it in a hip hop version, really funny.



okay okay i found
the Bryn Mawr train station

The pedestrian tunnel underneath Bryn Mawr train station.

A Bryn Mawr Cautionary Tale: L'histoire d'Oh

Click twice. Bryn Mawr is on the SEPTA R5 Line,
it's supposed to have its own train stop, but I can't find it.

Bryn Mawr is a very fine college in the Philadelphia suburbs. (It means Big Hill in Welsh.) A wealthy male Philadelphia physician established it in his will in the 19th century for the advanced education of "Females," and it still educates Females exclusively. If your sister or your daughter goes to Bryn Mawr, she is either very smart or your family is pretty rich. (I don't know if they offer athletic scholarships, but I know a couple of Females of modest means whose soccer/football skills got them The Full Ride at very expensive private colleges.)

Subseqently for the rest of your life, when you tell anyone in North America "I went to Bryn Mawr," the very finest kinds of people smile, and open the door for you, and ask if they can give you a ride somewhere, or walk your dog for you in December, or would you like to come to a party? It's pretty much Free Good Meals for Life if you were graduated from Bryn Mawr. How much better Life gets than that is largely up to the endeavors and determination and Good Judgment of the individual Female.

Initially the rich dead male Philadelphia physician also wished the Females to be inculcated into the belief system of the Society of Friends (the Quakers), but the board of trustees tossed that idea out about ten years after the Rich Male Physician croaked, and Bryn Mawr has been non-denominational ever since. You can worship Peanut Butter or the Flying Spaghetti Monster at Bryn Mawr if you want now.

When I Googled

"Bryn Mawr means"

I expected immediately to get the English translation of the Welsh. Instead I got about 300 blog posts of My Feelings About Being A Student/Alumna of Bryn Mawr College. Clearly Being A Student/Alumna of Bryn Mawr is among the most dimensioned, tapestry-interwoven, colored, flavored, textured and complicated experiences that a Female can possibly have. But it means "Big Hill."

Down at the bottom of is the continuously updated

Next Bus to Haverford: 2:50
Next Train to Philadelphia: 12:21

Vleeptron is proud to present the first, we hope, in a long series, although Vleeptron hopes this one's the Worst, and all the ones after will be Much Better. Here is this week's Bryn Mawr Adventure.


Newshawk: Keith Brilhart
Pubdate: Thu, 29 Dec 2005
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)
Copyright: 2005 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc
Author: John Shiffman, Inquirer Staff Writer
Bookmark: (Students - United States)


A College Student Spent 3 Weeks in Jail After a Field Test Said She Was Carrying Drugs. She Filed a Lawsuit.

She was a freshman on an academic scholarship at Bryn Mawr College, preparing to fly home to California for Christmas, sleep-deprived, with questions from a calculus exam still racing through her head.

In the space of a few hours on Dec. 21, 2003, Janet Lee landed in a Philadelphia jail cell, where she would remain for three weeks, held on $500,000 bail and facing 20 years in prison on drug charges.

All over flour found in her luggage.

"I haven't let myself be angry about what happened, because it would tear me apart," Lee said. "I'm not sure I can bear to face it... . I'm amazed at how naive I was."

That naivete, she said, began when screeners at Philadelphia International Airport inspecting her checked luggage found three condoms filled with white powder. Lee laughed and told city police they were filled with flour. It was just part of a phallic gag at a women's college, she told them, a stress-reliever, something to squeeze while studying for exams.

The police didn't find it funny. They told her a field test showed that the powder contained opium and cocaine.

A lab test later proved the substance was flour - and no one now disputes that Lee is innocent, including the prosecutor.

But the case returned to the courts last week as Lee filed a federal civil-rights lawsuit against city police. The lawsuit seeks damages for pain and suffering, financial loss, and emotional distress.

Capt. Benjamin Naish, a spokesman for the Police Department, declined to comment, noting that the department rarely comments on litigation. Cathie Abookire, a spokeswoman for the District Attorney's Office, also declined to comment.

Lee's lawsuit seeks to answer a central question: Why did the police field test initially conclude that the white powder contained drugs?

Her lawyers, former prosecutors David Oh and Jeremy Ibrahim, say there are two possibilities: Either the field test was faulty or someone fixed the results.

Ellen Green-Ceisler, who directed the Police Department's Office of Integrity and Accountability from 1997 to 2005, called Lee's case highly unusual. Field tests are rarely wrong.

'Almost Never Happens'

"I've looked at thousands of these cases, and in the context of trained narcotics officers, it almost never happens," she said. "The whole issue will come down to the field test. Was the officer trained? Was the test contaminated?"

Ibrahim said he waited to file the lawsuit until last week, on the eve of the end of the two-year statute of limitations, because Lee needed time to process what happened.

"She was devastated emotionally," Ibrahim said, noting that the event became a minor scandal among her Korean American family and friends. "She lost significant face with this event."

Many records in the case are still confidential, not yet accessible even to Lee's lawyers. What is undisputed is that she was detained at the airport shortly before she was to board a plane to Los Angeles. Court records confirm her arrest and three-week detention on drug charges. Records also confirm why prosecutors dropped the charges.

Lee, who is now a junior comparative-literature major at Bryn Mawr, gave the following account in an interview this week.

Just before she was to board the plane, someone called her name on the public-address system, and she reported to the ticket counter.

An officer told her that she had something in her luggage that shouldn't be there.

"I was like, 'Is it my curling iron? Because it's metal?' He was like, 'No, something else.' "

The officer asked about the white powder in the condoms.

They were filled with flour, she said, and were silly stress-relief contraptions that she had made with classmates as part of a freshman rite of passage in her Main Line dorm.

'It's A Girl Thing'

"I tried to explain that it was a joke, a gag gift for friends. It's a girl thing. I said, 'You squeeze them to reduce stress.' "

Police stared skeptically. They took her to the Southwest Detective Division, where they tested the powder. Lee figured it would be sorted out soon.

"Mostly, I was worried because I had missed my flight, and now I had to make up an excuse to tell my parents."

When the detective returned, he said the powder tested positive for opium. Police returned her to her cell. "I started hyperventilating," Lee recalled. "The detective was very nice, and said he would test again."

The result was the same.

She said that someone came by her cell and read her an arrest warrant, which mentioned amphetamines. Then police fingerprinted and photographed her. She called her father but couldn't quite express herself through her tears and panic.

"A detective gave me a hug because I was crying so hard," she said.

Police put her into a van for the trip to court. She said she overheard talk about "a kilo."

"Up to that point, I still thought it was a joke, that someone was trying to teach me a lesson," she said. "I was telling everyone my story, and no one believed me - except the people locked up inside with me."

Because the amount of powder was so large, Lee faced 20 years in prison. A judge set bail at $500,000. He also mentioned something about cocaine.

"That's when it sunk in that they were serious," she said. "I said, 'I didn't do it. It's flour.' No one listened."

[Vleeptron is in a hurry and can no longer Delete all the paragraph breaks manually.]

At that point, having just finished her finals, she had been up for
four straight days, she said. "I'm the kind of person who can sleep
anywhere or eat anything, but I stopped eating and sleeping," she said.

Later, she hit a bit of luck. A prison guard recognized her from a
Bryn Mawr volunteer job at Overbrook High School and took pity on
her. The guard told Lee that she believed her and that the whole
thing was probably racial. The guard got her a trashy romance novel
to help kill time.

Lee acted tough to protect herself. She did modern-dance moves to
keep limber. Inmates saw this and gossiped: "Everyone thought I knew karate because I'm Asian." She certainly didn't discourage the stereotype.

Inmates saw the high volume of visitors and figured she was
important. Again, she did not discourage the notion. She did not tell
her cell mates that the visitors were actually volunteers from
Catholic churches in Philadelphia who had taken up her cause.

The volunteers helped her hire Oh.

"I believed her story because things just didn't add up," Oh said.
For one thing, Oh said, the field tests were odd because they
detected the presence of not one drug but three.

"People don't mix drugs like that," Oh said.

First, Oh contacted Bryn Mawr and confirmed that Lee's dorm mates
had, in fact, made the condoms together during a pre-exam session
they call a "hall tea."

Then, Oh said, he called Assistant District Attorney Charles Ehrlich,
who agreed to expedite laboratory tests. Ehrlich also agreed to help
seek reduced bail, Oh said. A day after the new test came back and
confirmed that the substance was flour, Lee was released.

She flew home first class.

- 30 -

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news article archived on:

Thromeouttheframefish, also Einführung zu deutschem Alphabet

29 December 2005

I Love My Love with a D

Clicking will probably make it bigger.
50 feet = 15.24 meters

back to South America, back to Fruit

View from a webcam at the South Pole,
Wednesday 28 December 2005 21:59:34 (GMT?)

Hola a todos en mi mass email lista,

No I'm not in PA Pennsylvania, I'm back in PA Punta Arenas. We arrived here this morning after a fairly mellow Drake Passage crossing. I didn't receive any sheet burns from the rocking boat while I slept. The whole cruise was a great experience for me. I have been resting some parts of my brain for the last couple of years, and I got to excercise them a fair bit working with the computers and electronics. I'll spend a couple of weeks in Mexico now, then a month in Alaska, and then ready for my next cruise in March.

It's also great to be in PA, there are trees and grass and a hot sun during the day. I took 3 hours this afternoon to buy batteries for the boat, it could have been a 30 minute trip, but my legs needed the stretching. I ate grapes and melon and enjoyed it a lot since we ran out of good fresh fruit a week or so ago.

Well, thank you all for reading my mass emails and sending me news and messages from the real world. Since I am disembarking in a few days, please send any new emails to my ****** address. After Jan. 1, any mail to me on the ship will be bounced back to you. Oh, and if you got a mail bounced back from the mail server in Denver during the last few days, sorry 'bout that. It wasn't my fault, I promise.

Happy New Year all,

-- dan

Dan Elsberg
Marine {Computer/Instrument} Specialist
Antarctic Research/Supply Vessel L.M.Gould

Current Position (Lat +N/-S, Lon +E/-W):

- 53.28, - 67.14

I Wonder As I Wander out under the Sky how Jesus the Savior did come for to Die

Pastel drawing of Langston Hughes
by Winold Reiss

If you're Christmasish and you haven't been bombarded by too much Christmas music this season, here's my favorite Christmas song; I may have posted it last Christmas, too. I find it incredibly haunting and beautiful. The text below says it's of USA Appalachian origin, but it's also traditionally associated with African-Americans in the South.

Langston Hughes (1902 - 1967), the great poet of the Harlem Renaissance, titled his autobiography "I Wonder As I Wander" -- his wanderings took him to Africa, Europe and the Soviet Union as he tried to make sense of being black in a world where nearly all political, economic and military superpower was white. Hughes wrote the lyrics to Kurt Weill's melodies in the Broadway musical "Street Scene," and it was one of Weill's most remarkable songwriting collaborations. Hughes recalled that the German exile Weill seemed to transcend culture, race and nationality in his musical understanding.

"on'ry" is a Southern corruption of "ordinary."

Here's a very talented and moving MIDI to Open In A New Window so you can sing along. We were privileged last Christmas to hear it sung in Northampton by a travelling troupe of The Vienna Boys Choir -- half of whom had colds and were sneezing, coughing and blowing their noses; the nature of travelling Show Business among 13-Year-Olds. On CD, I have a startlingly beautiful version by the soprano Kathleen Battle.

I Wonder As I Wander

by John Jacob Niles

I wonder as I wander
Out under the sky
How Jesus the Savior
Did come for to die
For poor on'ry people
Like you and like I
I wonder as I wander
Out under the sky

When Mary birthed Jesus
'Twas in a cow's stall
With wise men and farmers
And shepherds and all
But high from God's heaven
A star's light did fall
And the promise of ages
It then did recall.

If Jesus had wanted
For any wee thing
A star in the sky
Or a bird on the wing
Or all of God's Angels
In heaven to sing
He surely could have it,
'Cause he was the King


William L. Simon, ed., Reader’s Digest Merry Christmas Songbook (1981)

John Jacob Niles, the singer and collector of folk songs, said that he based his "I Wonder As I Wander" on a line or two of haunting music that he heard sung by a young girl in a small North Carolina town. He asked her to sing the few notes over and over, paying her a few pennies each time, until he had jotted it all down in his notebook. So close was the finished song to its Appalachian inspiration that Niles is often cited as arranger of the tune rather than its creator. The melody’s minor keg; minor intervals and unfinished cadences, as well as the poem s questioning pensiveness, make this one of the most plaintive of carols.


Earthly Delights: Xmas Carols

This carol was collected in Murphy, North Carolina in July 1933 by John Jacob Niles (1892-1980), a leading American folksong collector, who, it is said, paid a young travelling evangelist Annie Morgan 25c an hour to sing it until he had memorized it. Niles published it in his 1934 Songs of the Hill-Folk. It is often referred to as a traditional Appalachian carol, but just how far back it goes is not clear. Some believe it was only a generation old when collected. Its questioning pensiveness and gentle free speech lilt give it, nevertheless, a certain timeless quality.

28 December 2005

Von Berlin kommt das C!

From Uwe Bressem, Berlin!

Legs! Ten Legs! Wunderbar!

Next letter: D!

I Love My Love with a B

Copyright © 2005 Robert B. Merkin
All Rights Reserved

These stamps have no numerical denominations because they're "ketchup" stamps. Whenever Postalo Vleeptron raises the rates, everybody's stuck with a shitload of stamps of the old first-class rate. So Vleeptron issues a catch-up stamp coded A or B or C ... and the postal clerk tells you how much that's worth (just enough to ketchup to the new rate). Vleeptron will appreciate your text or image Responses. Next up: C. Please draw or specify your Monster.

27 December 2005

1st Day Issue: I Love My Love with an A


You can e-mail me your response in text form, or as your own stamp (.jpg format preferrred)

* Begin with

I Love My Love with
a(n) [Next Letter in alphabet]
because he's/she's

* a list of all previous Adjectives (must be typed from memory, not from reading the previous list)

* and finally, a new [adjective beginning with Next Letter]

If you want me to make a faux postage stamp of why you Love Your Love, you may also request a particular Monster to express its Love.

The Memorized List of Adjectives is subject to the Vleeptron PizzaQ Honor System. If you stumble and can't remember all the previous Adjectives, Leave A Comment specifying which Letter you screwed up on.

I miss Silvio (now we got Rubber Richie)

When you're as powerful as Silvio Conte, you can wear a Red Sox uniform and not get arrested or have people laugh at you.

Massachusetts is not a State. It's a Commonwealth. (So's Virginia and a couple of other things which most people assume are States, but they're not.)

Silvio Conte is, alas, sadly no longer on This Mortal Plane, he has Moved On, but for a whole bunch of decades he used to be my Congressman. I liked him a lot. We never met. But I loved voting for him.

He was a Republican. But the local Democratic Party kept nominating a long series of Fooles, Clowns, Idiots and Vanity Candidates -- and Silvio was verrrrry hip to the Utopian and Humanitarian and Visionary Impulses of my Neighbors, and everybody liked him. He was for Freedom Of Choice, and a whole bunch of other things you wouldn't expect from a Republican. When Bush I declared the First Short Iraq War, Silvio said "This sucks" (perhaps that's not an exact quote) and voted Against it. Silvio was a Navy veteran from World War II, he served with the Seabees (for "CB" = Construction Branch, they built things).

One day in Congress a whole bunch of Free Money was being given away to Some State University, and Silvio determined that the Money ought properly to go to the University of Massachusetts -- not to the other candidate, which I think was the University of Southern North Dakota @ Hoople.

He made a Very Long and Impassioned Speech in Congress to try to wrest the Free Money from USND@Hoople and bring it home to U-Mass@Amherst. His argument rested on the Hi-Tek Go-Ahead activities at U-Mass@Amherst, which are renowned throughout the Five Planet System, but he described USND@Hoople as "a Cow College."

Eventually his silver-tongued oratory (and his Seniority -- he'd been in Congress since the Spanish-American War) won the day, and U-Mass got the $$$$$$.

That evening, it fell to me, one of a stable of anonymous, harrassed, overworked night copy editors, to edit this thrilling story and write its headline. I'm boring you already, so I will not further bore you with the Algebra of Headlines -- how complicated and hard it used to be to say something relevant about the story in a very constricted small cramped space which some Superior Editor has already forced on the headline-writer.

But I got lucky. The Conte story was the most thrilling story of the night, so it was dummied at the very top of a page, and the hole for the headline went all the way from left to right across the entire page -- an unusually large, liberal and easy headline hole.

But it still required some brains -- Fast Brains, you're on Deadline -- to figure out what kinda crap to put there.

Conte 'Cow College' Comment Clinches Commonwealth Cash

Later I found out he liked that a lot and had the headline framed and hung on his Congressional office wall.

Okay, YOU tell a complicated short story using nothing but words that start with C.

I Love My Love with a[n] [letter] because [he/she]'s [adjective beginning with same letter]

If you have any responses to make to this post, please Leave A Comment.

I Love My Love with an A
because she's Avaricious.

2 new words

l' Academie Vleeptronoise just invented two new words:

foxic (adj.), of or referring to a poisonous, sickening effect on individuals and human communities intentionally caused by the Fox News Channel.

foxin (noun), a poison or disease intentionally injected into the social and political community by the Fox News Channel.

Unfortunately then Vleeptron Googled, and it turns out these words have previously been invented. We found the first citation here.

This month, Fox has got a whole bunch of scorpions crawling around in its underpants about The War Against Christmas. (Maybe you never heard of this War. That's probably because Fox News made it up.) Vleeptron has no Comment to make about this. Watch Bill O'Reilly, if you have a really high tolerance for fascist assholes. Or Leave A Comment.

We would like to express our Disappointment, however, at the way Fox uses The Bill of Rights as toilet paper.

Oh well, only us Junior Geezers remember what happened to Walter Winchell and Senator Joe McCarthy. And Nixon and his Attorney General John Mitchell. The Attorney General went to prison. The Attorney General went to prison. The Attorney General went to prison. Big white rich Republican guy. He went to prison. Hahahaha. And Vice President Spiro Agnew, he pleaded guilty to federal tax felonies and taking cash bribes, he had to resign. And about twenty other officials of the Nixon administration. Prison, they all went to federal felony prison hahahaha.

People gonna get real tired of this scary mean-spirited loud racist torture bully flag up your butt crap pretty quick. People got tired of Mussolini. People got tired of Nixon, he had to leave. Clinton didn't have to leave. Hahahaha. That meiskeit fellated him AND he got to stay!

It's just a fucking imaginary dotted line for Christ's sake!

Click here for larger, more clear / Cliquez ici pour plus grande, plus claire

Okay, Watch This Space for further developments as the Bush Administration of the USA turns the world's longest peaceful, friendly international border into a North American version of Israel's West Bank Barrier or tries to bring back The Berlin Wall.

Or, in the words of the Canadian chanteusse Joni Mitchell:

They paved Paradise
Put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved Paradise
And put up a parking lot.

They took all the trees
And put them in a tree museum
And they charged all the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved Paradise
And put up a parking lot.

Hey farmer farmer
Put away that D.D.T. now
Give me Spots on my apples
But leave me the birds and the bees

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved Paradise
And put up a parking lot.

Late last night
I heard the Screen door slam
And a big yellow taxi
Took away my old man

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot.

("Big Yellow Taxi"
Copyright c 1969 Siquomb Publishing Co. BMI)

btw a Snowbird is a Canadian who travels out of Canada for warmer climes during the winter -- very typically, spending the winter in Florida. There are a metric shitload of these, particularly retirees.


The Montreal Gazette (Quebec Canada)
Monday 26 December 2005

NGO Vleeptron sez:
Send a letter to The Gazette

telling them you think
this blows dead rats:

No more rubber-stamping
at U.S. Border

by Michelle Lalonde, The Gazette

There was a time when a car full of Canadians would barely have to slow down at the customs booth while crossing the border into the United States.

"Citizenship?" the border guard would yell into the car.

"Canadian," we'd answer one by one, as the guard fixed us each by turn with a bored gaze. Two or three more cursory questions and off we'd drive. No papers requested, no car search, no hassle.

Of course, the border-crossing routine changed radically after the terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001. But more recently, U.S.-Canada relations have soured over trade disputes, well-publicized insults, policy criticism and veiled threats that would have been unheard of only a few years ago. There has even been talk in the United States lately of building a wall along the Canada-U.S. border.

And at the same time, anecdotes are surfacing about Canadians being turned back at the border for what seem like frivolous reasons. In some cases, decades-old indiscretions or slightly questionable cargo have served as sufficient reason to turn Canadian travellers back.

Last month, Bob and Diana Hawley of Kenora, Ont., were refused entry at a border crossing at International Falls in Minnesota because they had a tool box in their car.

The Hawleys, snowbirds in their early 70s, were heading to join a group of friends at their Florida condo, as they do every winter. The tool box they had, a small yellow item with normal household tools inside, is the same one they have always brought along in case of car trouble and to do any repairs necessary at their winter home.

Border officials decided the tool box was evidence that Bob Hawley, who wears a knee brace and has trouble walking, was intending to do construction work in the United States.

Also last month, a pair of Quebecers who now live in British Columbia were jailed for more than a week after they tried to cross into Washington state. The two, a middle-age mother and her adult daughter, were turned back because the mother had a 30-year-old conviction for marijuana possession on her record. Then as they were driving back home, the two say, they took a wrong exit from the highway and accidentally ended up in the United States again. They were arrested and spent more than a week in a special Washington prison for suspected Homeland Security breachers.

But U.S. border officials categorically deny that there is any kind of new crackdown on Canadian travellers to the United States.

"Thousands of Canadians cross our northern border every day, and I can tell you there is definitely no situation or new policy whereby we are scrutinizing Canadians more than anybody else," said Ted Woo, chief of public affairs with U.S. Customs and Border Protection field office in Boston.

Michael MacKenzie, spokesperson for the Canadian Snowbird Association, said his members have certainly noticed tighter security and resulting slowdowns in crossing the border since the terrorist attacks in the United States. But he said he is not aware of any new complaints of snowbirds being denied entry for frivolous reasons.

"What we hear about typically is that security is a lot more of a concern and people are being turned away if they don't have all their documents. You used to just be able to show your driver's licence and be on your way. Now you have to bring your passport and airline tickets, and a one-way ticket is not good enough. They want to see return tickets, hotel accommodations, wedding invitations."

Montreal lawyer Michael Stober says Canadian travellers need to be aware that they don't automatically have a right to enter the United States.

"Going into the United States or any foreign country is not your right. It is a very discretionary thing," he said.

And if you are charged with or convicted of a crime in Canada, he notes, you might want to consider staying at home, at least until your record is cleared.

"I tell my clients, if you are charged today with a criminal offence, do not try to step foot into the United States until it's over," he said.

It is possible to have charges removed from police records in Canada with the help of a lawyer if you are acquitted of a criminal charge or convicted but eventually pardoned.

But if you try to cross the border before your Canadian record has been cleared, the border guards might flag your name.

"They might send you back or they might let you in, but they will have that information in their computers forever ... I tell people -- especially young people - with minor convictions, not to go to the United States until they are acquitted or pardoned, and their record is cleared. What if you decide to move to the U.S. later, or you marry a U.S. citizen and you apply for a green card and this pops up? You could be refused entry just because you wanted to go shopping in Plattsburgh."

Bill Anthony, a spokesperson for the Custom and Border Protection agency in Washington, D.C., agrees that a police record will probably cause trouble at the border.

"Our ability to gather information from law enforcement agencies is so good now that I would advise anybody who has a legal problem of any kind to make sure they fix it before they come" to the United States, he said.

But he added once someone has served their sentence, they are usually admitted unless there are other circumstances that raise doubts.

"Normally, when somebody has satisfied their obligation, they are treated like other citizens, so a simple marijuana (possession) arrest 20 years ago should not be reason enough to keep someone out of the country," he said.

But he noted a border agent has to assess a number of factors and make a judgment call about the intentions of the traveller.

He said Canadians should be sure to bring passports and any documentation that backs up the stated reasons for their visit, including conference documents or accommodation arrangements. But he stressed there is no crackdown on Canadian travellers.

"The only reason we might tighten things up at the (Canada-U.S.) border is if there was some kind of specific terrorist threat. We are certainly not trying to keep snowbirds out of our country."



You are likely to be denied entry into the United States if:

You have been found guilty of crimes of moral turpitude (child molestation, rape, fraud, theft, etc.).

You have been found guilty of a major criminal offence (murder, grand theft, etc.).

You have overstayed a previous visit to the U.S.

You are suspected of having an infectious disease.

You have a physical or mental disorder and the behaviour associated with the disorder poses a threat.

You are known or suspected by U.S. authorities to be a drug abuser or addict.

You have been convicted of a crime related to a controlled substance.

You cannot prove you have sufficient funds to support yourself while in the U.S.

You have been denied entry into the U.S. in the past.

You have multiple criminal convictions (other than purely political offences) and have been sentenced to more than five years in prison.

Exceptions: If you were under 18 years of age when you committed the crime, and your sentence was served more than five years before your attempt to enter the United States, you will usually be admitted.

If you were convicted of a crime and the maximum possible penalty for that crime did not exceed imprisonment for one year, and if your actual sentence was less than six months, you will usually be admitted.


If you have been denied entry into the United States for a reason you believe should not apply or should no longer apply, you can explain the situation in a written letter to:

Customs and Border Protection FOIA/CSU
Room 5.5C
1300 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20229

or contact the U.S. embassy to request a waiver.

For more information, visit online.

26 December 2005

Leo Wong is absent from Vleeptron without a note from the school nurse

The Vleeptron Ministry of the Census is disappointed to report that Leo Wong is absent without any sufficient explanation or note from the school nurse.

Those who sing God's praises are a dime a dozen, they keep the acoustic guitar industry thriving. Painters, sculptors, writers, poets who focus their skills and energies on God's glory are falling out of the trees.

But in my relatively long-ish experience, Leo Wong is the only human being who directs his/her entire artistic and spiritual energies on glorifying the Name and Word of God through computer programming.

Or maybe there are lots of these, too -- but Leo is the only one I've found with so powerful and rich a skill, talent and Vision.

Leo runs a joint in cyberspace called J4J, or Java For Jesus. Needless to say, he programs and manipulates his electronic palette using the programming language Java. Java is Muy Caliente these days, everybody wants the community college to teach him/her Java, the heck with C++. Java is Hot, Java is Now, Java is exeriencing explosive growth in its popularity, Java is The Future.

The idea behind it, if I got this right, is that Java programs (or applets) love to wander through cyberspace from Alien Operating System to Verkakte Operating System to Clumsy (© Microsoft) Operating System to Different Operating System -- but a Java applet will have no problem running and executing correctly on nearly every computer it encounters. Java is eminently Portable.

Java also I think was Sun Microsystem's Champion to Slay the Evil Microsoft Competitor, VisualBasic. I bought VB, took the shrinkwrap off, stuck the disk in, and holy crap that was scary and ugly and senseless! I never went back THERE again! It was like some kind of radioactive toxic assaultive electronic arcade video game.

This venture into the bowels of computer technology is being written by The World's Oldest BASIC Programmer -- but not the last! QuickBASIC rawks! BASIC will Live Forever!


-- Dartmouth's Precious Gift to Suffering Humanity, which was Screaming in the Darkness for a Way to Control them New-Fangled Computer doohickey things back in the 1960s. The buzz is that there is more BASIC code in the guts of the galaxy's computers than code writ in any other lingo. And when the Seti Thingies finally pop the hood on our far-flung NASA Voyager Probes, they will realize that All The Most Sentient Earth Bio-Units program in BASIC!

Here is an exquisite VLEEPTRON from Leo and J4J -- far more beautiful that this thuggish, vulgar, talentless planet deserves, but it's on permanent display in the Vleeptron Planetary Portrait Gallery ("the Sznuuurvv"), in the Poortown Parva neighborhood of Ciudad Vleeptron.

If anybody sees Leo, the Ministry asks that you tell him to check in and Leave A Comment. Meanwhile, being quite incompetent at computer programming and writing poetry, I Copy and Paste the following, which was written by a fellow who had taken a Vow of Poverty, and so didn't want any compensation, or credit, or protection of his intellectual property. Right? Well, he hasn't been alive for a very long time, and that means I can post it to Vleeptron.

* * *

Two poems by Gerard Manley Hopkins
(1844 - 1889)

Spring and Fall:
to a young child

MÁRGARÉT, áre you gríeving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leáves, líke the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Áh! ás the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you wíll weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sórrow's spríngs áre the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It ís the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.

~ ~ ~

The Blessed Virgin compared
to the Air we Breathe

WILD air, world-mothering air,
Nestling me everywhere,
That each eyelash or hair
Girdles; goes home betwixt
The fleeciest, frailest-flixed
Snowflake; that 's fairly mixed
With, riddles, and is rife
In every least thing's life;
This needful, never spent,
And nursing element;
My more than meat and drink,
My meal at every wink;
This air, which, by life's law,
My lung must draw and draw
Now but to breathe its praise,
Minds me in many ways
Of her who not only
Gave God's infinity
Dwindled to infancy
Welcome in womb and breast,
Birth, milk, and all the rest
But mothers each new grace
That does now reach our race --
Mary Immaculate,
Merely a woman, yet
Whose presence, power is
Great as no goddess's
Was deemèd, dreamèd; who
This one work has to do --
Let all God's glory through,
God's glory which would go
Through her and from her flow
Off, and no way but so.

I say that we are wound
With mercy round and round
As if with air: the same
Is Mary, more by name.
She, wild web, wondrous robe,
Mantles the guilty globe,
Since God has let dispense
Her prayers his providence:
Nay, more than almoner,
The sweet alms' self is her
And men are meant to share
Her life as life does air.
If I have understood,
She holds high motherhood
Towards all our ghostly good
And plays in grace her part
About man's beating heart,
Laying, like air's fine flood,
The deathdance in his blood;
Yet no part but what will
Be Christ our Saviour still.
Of her flesh he took flesh:
He does take fresh and fresh,
Though much the mystery how,
Not flesh but spirit now
And makes, O marvellous!
New Nazareths in us,
Where she shall yet conceive
Him, morning, noon, and eve;
New Bethlems, and he born
There, evening, noon, and morn --
Bethlem or Nazareth,
Men here may draw like breath
More Christ and baffle death;
Who, born so, comes to be
New self and nobler me
In each one and each one
More makes, when all is done,
Both God's and Mary's Son.
Again, look overhead
How air is azurèd;
O how! nay do but stand
Where you can lift your hand
Skywards: rich, rich it laps
Round the four fingergaps.
Yet such a sapphire-shot,
Charged, steepèd sky will not
Stain light. Yea, mark you this:
It does no prejudice.
The glass-blue days are those
When every colour glows,
Each shape and shadow shows.
Blue be it: this blue heaven
The seven or seven times seven
Hued sunbeam will transmit
Perfect, not alter it.
Or if there does some soft,
On things aloof, aloft,
Bloom breathe, that one breath more
Earth is the fairer for.
Whereas did air not make
This bath of blue and slake
His fire, the sun would shake,
A blear and blinding ball
With blackness bound, and all
The thick stars round him roll
Flashing like flecks of coal,
Quartz-fret, or sparks of salt,
In grimy vasty vault.
So God was god of old:
A mother came to mould
Those limbs like ours which are
What must make our daystar
Much dearer to mankind;
Whose glory bare would blind
Or less would win man's mind.
Through her we may see him
Made sweeter, not made dim,
And her hand leaves his light
Sifted to suit our sight.
Be thou then, O thou dear
Mother, my atmosphere;
My happier world, wherein
To wend and meet no sin;
Above me, round me lie
Fronting my froward eye
With sweet and scarless sky;
Stir in my ears, speak there
Of God's love, O live air,
Of patience, penance, prayer:
World-mothering air, air wild,
Wound with thee, in thee isled,
Fold home, fast fold thy child.

more about the waterfalls of the giant Antarctic Iceberg A52: Fresh or Salt?

Ice Cube leaving Palmer Station,
aboard the
R/V Laurence M. Gould

(Click etc., it gets prettier.)

Ice Cube writes:

This wasn't the best scenery yesterday, but then my mug can't compete with the good views.

We had glass smooth waters and glorious sun leaving Palmer Station, and we went the inside passage between Anvers Island and the Peninsula ... meaning awesome views on both sides of the ship for 6 hours straight. This morning was a 6 am run in the zodiac over to Cape Shireff to pick up a beaker (scientist) and drop off a generator and fresh pillows for the remaining fur seal torturers.

Nice start to another beautiful antarctic day. We'll do xmas eve dinner and secret santa gift exchange tonight, and we're due in to Punta Arenas in 3 more days.

-- dan


At 06:35 AM 12/22/2005 -0500, Unkie Munkie wrote:

While the bet was yet unsettled,
what theory could account for the
waterfalls on A52 being seawater?
How could seawater get to the top of the
freshwater iceberg? Some sort of
capillary up mechanism?

reading your e-mails I am this far


from running away to sea.



The Scientist replies from Antarctic Seas:

The reason people didn't want to believe that the waterfalls were fresh water was because the air temperature hovers right around 0 C and the sun is usually hidden by clouds, so people just couldn't grasp how so much ice could be melting to release that much water. But it's a HUGE iceberg with a HUGE surface area on top.

Capillary action actually does draw seawater up to the surface of sea-ice, but there the top surface may only be centimeters above the water, not 30-40 meters. There are lots of pipes, channels, caves, and crevasses in the icebergs. The thought was that as the berg bobs in the ocean, some of the pipes (if shaped just right) could pump the brine up onto the surface. Sort of like with the blowholes in New Zealand, or other places where the wave action enters long cave tubes in the rock and shoots out the far end like a geiser.

I had my doubts, but I stuck to my guns and voted for fresh. And I licked the sample bottle to make sure before handing it off to the beakers (scientists) to do their official taste test.

You had a previous request about tour ships down here. I haven't found any good info, except for the pretty obvious idea that the smaller the number of passengers, most likely the better the quality of the cruise. Although with the Drake Passage potentially having the wildest seas in the world, maybe there is such a thing as too small.

-- Louie

Dan Elsberg
Marine {Computer/Instrument} Specialist
Antarctic Research/Supply Vessel L.M.Gould

Current Position (Lat +N/-S, Lon +E/-W):

- 55.97, - 64.46