Our mission

Are you that special person who - weary from trudging the endless superhighways - just longs to camp next to a glorious oasis of the mind? Do you desire to explore new frontiers, splash in shared ideas, fill your belly with the refreshing fruits of inspiration, and bask in the gentle rays of fond reflection?

Well, you can fuck right off. This, my friends, is not that place. This place is... The ShadowLands.

Monday, June 30, 2008

July 1

is the 63rd birthday of punk rock chick, Deborah Harry also known as Blondie.

Blondie, got her moniker and her band name from wolf-whistling truck drivers. The band's first commercial success occurred in Australia in 1977, when the music television program Countdown mistakenly played "In the Flesh", the b-side of their single.

The parents of Blondie fans are more likely to prefer Guy Mitchell, who died on this day in 1999. Surprisingly enough, he was an American Croation who was born with the name Albert Cernik.

...probably would have the 47th birthday of Princess Diana had she worn a seatbelt. Diana is said to have paid a coterie of psychics who cottoned on to the fact that she liked to hear dire predictions about Prince Charles. Instead, what she really needed was someone to foresee that riding in a car with a drunk and drugged driver travelling at twice the speed limit was a bad idea.

This day is also Moving Day in Quebec.

Mystery deepens

First came the story of the Madonna song foreshadowing an attack on Iran - now comes news of the mysterious Jewish arrows. All the real news, only at Pravda online.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Democratic Republic of Congo

Independence Day for the Democratic Republic of Congo will be celebrated around the world on June 30, but not so much by those who have to live there.

Formerly known as Zaire, the DRC is notable for two things: it is the only nation called a Democatic Republic that actually is a democratic republic (for the time being anyway) - and recent war-related deaths of 5 million or more, make it the site of the world's bloodiest battles since WWII.

According a recent UN report, violence against women in parts of the nation involves “unimaginable brutality”. A phenomenon of "pendulum displacement" has developed, where people hasten at night to safety. The UN has expressed its concern which, in its defence, is considerably more than many western feminists.

Please stand for the Congolese national anthem.

MM warns world

Margo's Maid has warned friends at Pravda's online forum of impending Madonna/Justin Timberlake led attack. Let them not say they were not warned.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Exclusive: Mugabe's victory speech

(Pictured left - Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe and a smiling supporter.)

If we had some kind of functional telecommunications system, a short time ago, Morgan Tsvangirai would have called me to offer his congratulations. I thank him – wherever he is - for what I imagine would have been the dignity with which he would have extended those congratulations.

We should celebrate and honour the way in which we conduct this great Zimbabwean democracy of ours, and in fact, I order you to celebrate it. There will be no exceptions - if you know what's good for you.

Today Zimbabwe has looked to the future. Today the Zimbabwean people have decided that, although they probably don't have long to live anyway, they would prefer not to be burnt alive by my supporters right this minute. I am determined to honour the confidence which has been extended to us by the people of our great land. And I say to all of those who have voted for us today, I say to each and every one of them, that my supporters will not burn you alive immediately.

Friends, tomorrow the work begins. I mean the work burning people who voted against me, and of course, building a new jacuzzi in one of my palaces. But apart from not being burnt alive immediately, there will be other benefits for the people who voted for me. With inflation the way it is, if any of you get your hands on some currency, many of you stand a great chance of becoming millionaires.

And while life may be tough for many Zimbabwean working families, just remember that thanks to my age, our average life expectancy is higher than Zambia. What's more, I am expecting to live forever.

Muahahahahaha.

Bob Crane...

best known as the title character from classic TV comedy, Hogan's Heroes was murdered on June 29 1978 at the age of 50.

In 1970, Crane left his wife of 20 years to marry Patricia Olsen, who played Hilda (pictured left), on the set of the show.

Richard Dawson, who played Newkirk, introduced Crane to John Carpenter, an enthusiast in emerging video technology. Crane and Carpenter developed a friendship that extended to filming themselves taking part in group sex with women picked up by Crane.

On a late night in 1978, Crane allegedly called Carpenter to tell him that their friendship was over. The following day, Crane was discovered bludgeoned to death with a weapon that was never found (but was believed to be a camera tripod). Carpenter was trialled, acquitted, and died in 1998 proclaiming that he knew nothing!

Addendum: the outstanding character actor, John Banner who played Sergeant Schultz, was a Jewish Austrian and survivor of a concentration camp. No, I'm not kidding

Debate begins

Margo's Maid has signed up with Pravda online forums and is already off and running in the debate.

MM encourages you all to join in, if the spirit takes you, although registration takes up to 24 hours after you provide your details...

Friday, June 27, 2008

June 28...

is the anniversary of the 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, presumptive heir to the Austro-Hungarian thrown.

After being shot in the neck, the Archduke's repeated last words were, "Es ist nichts" or "it is nothing", which turned out to be a bit of an under-estimation of the overall seriousness of this event.

Little known Franz Ferdinand trivia - the Archduke was Elvis's great uncle. Don't believe me? Check the remarkable family resemblance.

Do ya think?

Are u anti-semitic? asks an eagle-eyed contributor to this thread of Pravda's English language online forums.

This is just one example of the sober discussion on a range of subjects you will only find in Russia's leading newspaper.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Nothing

of significance has ever occurred on June 27.

Capitalism and Freedom: Part IV

John Butler of the John Butler Trio has written a good song that won an APRA award once again this year. One day he aims to write another one.

The ShadowLands congratulates John and is delighted to publish Part IV of his meditation on capitalism and freedom.


A free private market is a mechanism for achieving voluntary cooperation among people. It applies to any human activity, not simply to economic transactions.

A characteristic feature of a free private market is that all parties to a transaction believe that they are going to be better off by that transaction. It is not a zero sum game in which some can benefit only at the expense of others. It is a situation in which everybody thinks he is going to be better off.

A free private market is a mechanism for enabling a complex structure of cooperation to arise as an unintended consequence of Adam Smith's invisible hand, without any deliberate design.

A free private market involves the absence of coercion. People deal with one another voluntarily, not because somebody tells them to or forces them to. It does not follow that the people who engage in these deals like one another, or know one another, or have any interest in one another. They may hate one another. Everyone of us, everyday without recognizing it, engages in deals with people all over the world whom we do not know and who do not know us. No super planning agency is telling them to produce something for us.

The essence of human freedom as of a free private market, is freedom of people to make their own decisions so long as they do not prevent anybody else from doing the same thing. That makes clear, l think, why free private markets are so closely related to human freedom. It is the only mechanism that permits a complex interrelated society to be organised from the bottom up rather than the top down.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Chesty Puller

The most decorated US marine in history, Lieutenant General Lewis Burwell "Chesty" Puller was born on this day in 1898.
A common saying among the marines ending a day of basic training is said to be, "Good night, Chesty Puller, wherever you are!"

Puller is also attributed with the quote: "All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, they're behind us...they can't get away this time."

June 26

According to legend, the Pied Piper of Hamelin abducted many children on this day in 1284. Apart from paedophilia and murder, other theories are that the story may relate to an historical event involving black death, a mass drowning, landslide, or the procurement of young recruits for the crusades. As dire as this children's story may first appear to be, modern parents can rest assured it is not nearly as putrid as "High School Musical".

...1927 was the opening day of the Coney Island Cyclone, the New York rollercoaster that still runs to this day. In 1948, a miner suffering from an inability to speak was cured, when on completing the ride said, "I feel sick".

Text broken


Here is a photograph of a rabbit to break up the excessive amount of text. Thanks to Reuters for permission to use the image.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Come get your stage name

June 25 is the birthday of former Marilyn Manson guitarist, Zim Zum. Mr Zum will be remembered to posterity for being the first member of the Manson band not to employ a sex symbol's first name and a serial killer's last name.

However, thanks to the marvels of the Internet, you too can create your own Marilyn Manson band stage name.

June 25

is National Catfish Day in the United States. In proclaiming the day in 1987, Ronald Reagan said that "farm-raised catfish not only furnish American consumers with a tasty delicacy but also provide a nutritious, low-calorie source of protein that is also low in cholesterol."

Catfish are fine, but no match for people or bats.

Brilliant scholar, Elena Piscopia was awarded a doctor of philosophy degree at the University of Padua on this day in 1678, the first female to achieve this honour.

Ms Piscopia is credited with a range of key contributions to the philosophical canon that have endured through the ages, including “Do what you want. You will anyway," “I hope someday you have children just like you,” “I don’t care what your friend’s parents do, when you’re living in my house you obey my rules,”and the immortal, “It’s all fun and games until someone puts an eye out.”

Monday, June 23, 2008

Readers are wanton hedonists: survey

It's official. Readers of the Shadowlands are kinky hell-raisin' substance abusin' sex fiends on a one way trip to PartyTown, according to a new poll.

ShadowLands spokesthing Margo's Maid, said the number of readers who say they like to have a good time overwhelmed those who don't by 11 votes to 8.

"I have long suspected readers of this blog to be wanton lovers of a good time, and it appears my suspicions have been confirmed," the Maid said.

"In fact, I suspect the people who voted for 'If I want you to know this kind of personal stuff, I'll tell you. How about you mind your own fucking business?' are even worse, and I have passed on all of their personal details to both the police and the Indian Telemarketing Association."

June 24

is the anniversary of uncontrolled dancing in Aachen, Germany in 1374.

is the anniversary of the 1664 founding of New Jersey, inspiration of the scientifically proven world's funniest joke. Is there anything science can't do?

is Quebec National Day or if you prefer, Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day. On this day in 1968, on the eve of a general election, the new Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was in the centre of a riot where 290 people were arrested. Trudeau was filmed refusing to take cover or leave the grandstand when the rioters pelted it with rocks, as well as bottles containing paint and acid. The incident contributed to his winning a significant majority the next day. Election strategists take note.

UPDATE: June 24 is Dash's 18th birthday. Being extremely well-bred, Dash is widely considered by experts to be one of the world's leading 18-year olds. Happy birthday.

Bannockburn

June 24 would be the anniversary of the 1314 Battle of Bannockburn when the Scots gained independence from the despicable English.

Proceedings commenced when Englishman Sir Henry de Bohun was riding ahead of his companions when he caught sight of the Scottish King himself. De Bohun lowered his lance and charged at King Robert Bruce who was mounted on a small horse without armour and armed only with a battle-axe.

As de Bohun's great war horse thundered towards him, Bruce stood his ground, watched with mounting anxiety by his own army. With the Englishman only feet away Bruce turned aside, stood in his stirrups and hit the knight so hard with his axe that he split his helmet and head in two.

Historians still disagree about the site of the battle, except that it is not near the memorial or visitor's centre. More information especially for English readers, here.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Key member missing from rugby team

REUTERS: Australian rugby union fans have been shocked to discover that the captain of the Australian team, Stirling Mortlock has no genitals, following the airing of a new commercial for Powerade.

A spokesman for the Wallabies supporters group, said the commercial about what goes on under the skin of a player during a rugby match clearly shows that Mortlock is missing his meat-whistle.

"We were shocked to discover in this advertisement that the Australian captain has neither a one-eyed warrior nor his clock weights. This cannot bode well for the future of rugby, when our elite players are unable to play with the soldier's toy, let alone unleash the doombots. No wonder our performances in recent year have been under par."

Victory Day - Estonia

June 23 is Victory Day in Estonia, which we can only assume must be a reference to the 2001 Eurovision song contest, since this nation has never won anything else. Historically, Estonia is over-run by anyone who feels like it, which is either the Russians or the Germans, though following a long period of being ruled by the Russians, nobody wants to rule Estonia - at least for the time being.

Following WWII, Estonia and Finland had about the same GDP. By 1987, the capitalist Finland's GDP per capita was $14,370 US and the socialist Estonia's GDP per capita was around $2,000. Capitalist Estonia is doing much better now, though presumably is sowing the seeds of its own destruction.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

I made 45.7 metres

Bet you can't...

June 22

is the day we all take a sigh of relief that the Earth has maintained its orbit, or begin our journey towards oblivion.

is School Teachers' Day in El Salvador. As a tribute to school teachers, the general population finishes work at 3.30 pm, and takes three-month holidays, occasionally writing letters to newspapers complaining about their work conditions.

is the anniversary of both the 1812 day Napoleon declared war on Russia, and the 1941 day that Germany began its Russian invasion. Neither initiative turned out so well.

Tchaikovsky was commissioned to write the 1812 Overture to commemorate the defence of Russia by an organisation that developed into the modern day Red Cross. Tchaikovsky complained that he was "not a concocter of festival pieces," and that the Overture would be "very loud and noisy, but [without] artistic merit, because I wrote it without warmth and without love."

Culture corner

Inuit culture explained.

Friday, June 20, 2008

June 21...

is summer solstice in the northern hemisphere and winter solstice in the southern hemisphere. Because of the extreme position of the Earth at this point, any sharp movements could send us all spinning away into oblivion.

is Go Skateboarding Day, a day adopted in accordance with graffitied signs that had originally read "no skateboarding". Skateboarding is a healthy past-time fully supported by the Australian Orthopedic Medical Association.

Greenland

June 21 is the National Day of Greenland. If you thought Iceland is a shithole, you should check out Greenland.

In January 2007, Greenland took part in the World Men's Handball Championships in Germany, finishing 22nd in a field of 24 national teams.

The capital of Greenland is Nuuk. Indeed, if you were to Nuuk Greenland, it is highly unlikely anyone would notice.

Friday nyuk

Car washes in the state of New South Wales are now resorting to desperate measures to attract customers following the easing of water restrictions.

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

(Safe for work - honest)

Xavier Rudd named least sickly vegetarian

REUTERS: Actor Abbie Cornish and musician Xavier Rudd have been crowned Australia's Least Sickly Looking Vegetarians for 2008.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) claim tens of thousands of people voted in the poll - if you can believe a word of what they say.

Rudd, who has eaten so many vegetables he is starting to grow grass from his head, said the award was a great honour.

"Would you thank the people who voted for me?" Rudd said. "The sun is behind a cloud and I have no energy."

Rung for comment, Cornish is understood to have been unable to get to the phone before it rang out.


MM's note: If anyone can find any online evidence that PETA Australia really had a poll attracting tens of thousands of votes, they are doing better than me.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

June 20

is World Refugee Day when we celebrate the lives and contributions of refugees everywhere and wonder what we are going to do with all the Europeans escaping the next ice age.

is the anniversary of a rare 451 Roman victory over Attila the Hun. Historians have suggested Attila may have eventually died of an oesophageal haemorrhoid.

Neal sent on fact-finding trip

Kevin Rudd has sent embattled MP, Belinda Neal on an overseas visit in an effort to get her out of the limelight. Ms Neal is also understood to have dyed her hair as part of making a fresh start following the recent Iguana-gate controversy.

Ms Neal is seen here on the first day of her fact finding tour.

Sudoku jurors seek advice

Three members of a jury dismissed this month for playing Sudoku say juries need more support and advice.

"We know that sudoku is solved using scanning, marking up, and analysing, but which approach is best for which level?" the juror said. "There were also no pencils to help us in those crucial subscript stages.

"Seeking advice from the judge seemed like a 'big thing'. But once you're empanelled, no one wants to know you."

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Beijing opening ceremony exclusive!

Spoiler alert! Don't look if you don't want to know!

The ShadowLands is proud and excited to offer an exclusive preview of rehearsals for the Beijing Olympic Opening Ceremony.

June 19

is the anniversary of the 1861 birthday of Field Marshall Douglas Haig, the senior British commander during WWI.

His tactics of getting large numbers of young men to run at entrenched machine guns met with limited success in the beginning, but eventually won the day.

Popular gardening host to retire

Peter Cundall, host of ABC TV's Gardening Australia, is filming his final episode of the popular program before he retires.

The former Senate candidate for the Communist Party of Australia, said he has always loved his job.

"I've never lost the passion," he said. "Right from the very beginning, the only difficulty I ever had was people claiming that the ABC is politically biased."

Meanwhile the ABC has announced his replacement on the program will be Mr Fidel Castro.

"A revolution is not a bed of roses," Mr Castro said from his hospital bed. "A revolution is a struggle between the future and the past!"

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Enviro-corner

Here it is - nature in all her glory.

Peter Allen

the Australian songwriter and performer - and former Mr Minnelli - died this day in 1992. Allen is famous for his association with the small town of Tenterfield, where he was born, but scarcely visited in his entire lifetime. Allen actually grew up in the nearby university town of Armidale, where locals can still be heard reminiscing about the days when they would lob rocks onto his roof.

Allen's father, Dick, was a war veteran and an alcoholic who sadly ended his life with a shotgun blast while in the family home. Dick is remembered fondly by many Armidale locals who recall that he was supportive and proud of his son, and feel he has been unfairly demonised for dramatic effect in the musical of Allen's life, The Boy from Oz.

June 18...

is the national day of the Seychelles. There is good news and bad news about the Seychelles.

First, the good news. In terms of GDP per capita, the Seychelles is the second richest nation in Africa (being 1500 km away from the mainland, and only behind Reunion which is 1600 km away).

The bad news is that because of an overvalued exchange rate, the Seychelles is the most indebted nation on earth per capita.

Please stand for the Seychelles national anthem.

June 18 is a huge day for some in this Indian Ocean nation, since it is also Autistic Pride Day - a day when we celebrate our neuro-diversity.

Fonda agrees to China Syndrome sequel

Actress Jane Fonda has agreed to star in a sequel to the film, the China Syndrome - this time focusing on the terrifying consequences of unfettered wind turbines.

To be known as “China Syndrome 2 – Wind of Terror”, the film will focus on the fact that deaths from wind turbines are now rapidly approaching the number of fatalities that have been attributed to the Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Fonda says that while the events portrayed in the original China Syndrome movie have proved to be fictional, the sequel will feature a range of falls, decapitations and crushings inspired by real life incidents in the wind turbine industry.

“In wind farming, China Syndrome refers to the fact that if a hole next to a turbine was deep enough, you could theoretically fall all the way to China.

“Thankfully, there have been few if any electrocutions, since these things scarcely produce any electricity,” Ms Fonda concluded.

UPDATE: More inspiration for the movie, including a classic parachute scene

Monday, June 16, 2008

RIP, Orange Band

This is Orange Band, the last known Dusky Seaside Sparrow. This species once lived in southern Florida but was declared extinct in 1990.

Blind in one eye, he died on June 17 in 1987 after outliving five male colleagues brought to live out their days at Walt Disney World Resort.

Orange Band is understood to have died of starvation while queuing for the teacup ride.

Henry Lawson

June 17 is the 141st birthday of poet, Henry Lawson.

Lawson proved an antidote to the more romantic Australian bush poets, and spun some good yarns such as The Loaded Dog. Before it went polymer, Lawson was pictured on the $10 note in the town of Gulgong - a town now famed as "the town that used to be on the $10 note".

Lawson wrote for The Bulletin magazine when it had the catchy slogan "Australia for the white man" and before it was brought to its knees by Tim Blair.

Lawson quote and clue to his lifestyle: "Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer."

Things you didn't know about Iceland

June 17 is the National Day of Iceland.

* According to the internationally respected global peace index, Iceland is the world's most peaceful nation.

*They have no army, navy or air force, however the island nation is naturally guarded by the fact that no-one wants to live there.

*Thanks in large part to the efforts of Greenpeace, Icelanders recently recommenced a lucrative export market of whalemeat to Japan.

*Icelanders don't have surnames.

* Hydro-electricity is so cheap in the nation, that other countries import aluminium ore to Iceland for smelting.

* the national sport of Iceland is glima, and there's nothing wrong with that.

Please stand for the Icelandic national anthem.

1.6 exclusive...

Roving reporter, 1.6 has provided this shocking exclusive photo of Paul Vautin, subject of the latest Footy Show scandal.

MM's disclaimer: personally, I have no problem with mocking the intellectually disabled - it can be good for your self esteem.

A thousand thanks, 1.6.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

June 16

...is Bloomsday when, according to tradition, anyone who claims to have read a James Joyce book from cover to cover can be punched in the nose and their glasses broken without legal recourse.

...is the anniversary of the 1869 death of explorer Charles Sturt. Encountering a land beset by drought and rivers that were little more than a series of muddy waterholes on many of his journeys, Sturt is remembered as one of the first people to discover proof of anthropogenic global warming in Australia's outback.

...is the anniversary of the first hijacking of an aeroplane. In 1948, a seaplane travelling from Macau to Hong Kong was hijacked, however the hijackers made the error of killing both the co-pilot and pilot, causing the plane to crash, killing 26 out of 27 passengers.

UPDATE: Happy Bloomsday.

Who remembers...

the Kenny Everett Video Show?

Saturday, June 14, 2008

June 15

...is St Vitus Day. Vitus was a christian saint from Sicily for whom no primary historical documents can be found. He is now patron saint of actors, comedians, dancers and epileptics.

...is the anniversary of the 1993 death of champion British formula one driver James Hunt who died of a heart attack at 45. Hunt was a champion breeder of budgies and parrots. One of his parrots, Humbert was slated to appear as Captain Hook's bird in a West End production of Peter Pan, but was returned to Hunt because of the bird's intolerance to the actor playing Captain Hook.

From 1.618...

The latest photo sent to me from 1.618.

Check out the always surprising images at her blog.

Thanks 1.6!

Due to popular demand...

Ethel Merman's disco music.

(Your patience will be rewarded around the 1.50 mark when the disco beat kicks in)

Also, the Singing Postman. (Sadly, since passed on.)

Free added bonus, Gary's old backing group, the Glitter Band and funk group, Heatwave. Some latin music from Rulli Rendo and car-b-q flute music from Herbie Mann.

Check 'em out

The world's worst album covers.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Urgent call for donations

With profit down 28 per cent, this organisation that provides transport to people form all walks of life including the sick and the needy is now in need of your help.

A spokesman for the organisation said that the $70 million provided by the Australian taxpayers will go some of the way to help. But there is so much more that you can do.

"The lives of children and families affected by the disaster are improving, but there is still a lot more work that needs to be done," said the spokesman. "The extent of the damage means relief and recovery could possibly continue into next year. There has never been a better time to donate - please, don't turn away from us now. "

On 14 June...

...it is the 47th birthday of Boy George, lead singer of Culture Club. In the 1980s, millions of adoring teenage girls were shocked to discover that George was not entirely heterosexual, and in fact, that his songs of longing were written about his relationship with the handsome drummer of the band. Determined not to be fooled in this way again, the young female fans' passions turned quickly to the more manly, George Michael, pictured here with bandmate, Andrew Ridgley.

...it is the 80th anniversary of the birth of murderous twat, Che Guevera. Fittingly, Guevera, who gave his life to the cause of destroying capitalism, is now a brand. His likeness adorns mugs, hoodies, lighters, t-shirts, key chains, wallets, baseball caps, bandannas, tank tops, club shirts, couture bags, denim jeans, herbal tea, and panties. Guevera once predicted that the GDP of Cuba would exceed that of the United States by 1980.

Meanwhile...

behind the scenes at the Canadian Human Rights Commission...

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Mahmoud's Thought of the Day

with President of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

Kissing a man with a beard is a lot like going to a picnic. You don't mind going through a little bush to get there!

Ben Chifley

Friday the 13th of June is the anniversary of the 1951 death of former Australian Prime Minister, Ben Chifley. Wiki reports that: "Chifley is remembered by the left as the only Labor Prime Minister who tried to implement the party's socialist objective. The fact that this preceded an electoral defeat and 23 years in opposition has not detracted from this esteem."

You can still visit former train driver Chifley's modest cottage in the NSW town of Bathurst, with a toilet positioned outside the house on a high grassy knoll. It was this convenience that inspired Chifley's famous "Light on the Hill" speech.

The two great loves of Chifley's life were reputedly working for the Labor movement and rogering his secretary, Phyllis. As such, he was the first of a string of Australian Prime Ministers rumoured to be less than faithful to their wives - ending with current PM Kevin Rudd who is said to be a celibate ladyboy.

The great traditions of the Australian Labor Party continue to the present day through representatives such as Belinda Neal seen here enjoying her spare time on the roller rink.

June 13

...is the anniversary of the 1884 birthday of middle class poet, Anton Drexler. Drexler co-founded the German Workers' Party in 1919. At the behest of one of his fervent supporters, he changed the name of the party to the National Socialist German Workers' Party. This party went on to do a great deal for workers in Germany, turning the European nation into an industrial powerhouse in the late 1930s/early 1940s.

...born on this day in 824 was Holy Roman Emperor Charles the Bald. His name was Charles and he was bald.

...born on this day in 1862 was 19th century fashion designer, Lady Lucy Duff Gordon. Lady Gordon survived the voyage of the RMS Titanic. She was one of 12 people lowered into the water in a lifeboat meant for 40. As the Titanic sank, she remarked to her secretary, "There is your beautiful nightdress gone." Bitch.

Commissioner strikes back

Canada's Chief Human Rights Commissioner, Jennifer Lynch QC has hit back at Mark Steyn for saying whatever he wants to say. Thanks to gizoogle.

Teen scoops Head Scarf title

18-year-old Iraqi born Huda Falah has won the 2008 Miss Head Scarf competition, run by a Danish public television station.

Organisers are thrilled with the response to the event, and are planning follow up events.

"The success of this competition means that Miss Hijab is definitely on our agenda, and if that succeeds, look out for Miss FGM," the spokesman said.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Russia and the Philippines

Today is the national day for Russia and also the Philippines. The Philippines is internationally recognised as a world leader in recycling. 11 million people have been lured away from this great nation in favour of performing menial work overseas, often in the middle east.

Russia is proud of its youthful population which has come about thanks to a belief that everyone deserves inadequate health care facilities in equal measure. The discrepency between the life expectancies for Russian males (61) and females (73) is largely attributed to nagging.

Interestingly, the life expectancy for a Russian male is somewhat less than for his Filipino counterpart, and both nations are renowned for offering wives on the open market.

Please rise for the Filipino and Russian national anthems.

June 12...

is the anniversary of women's suffrage in Australia, granted in 1902. The suffrage movement still impacts on us today, inspiring some insufferably smug geeks who appear in youtube videos.

is the 84th birthday of former President, George HW Bush. Bush Senior has sky-dived six times and according to this website, may have murdered John F Kennedy.

Oh, what a feeling

Toyota Corporation has thanked Kevin Rudd for the $70 million to produce Australian made hybrid vehicles.

A Toyota executive said the money would go a long way towards combatting tough times for the corporation.

"While it may be true that we are already making wads of cash, there are now only a dozen or so large car makers in the world, so we are really kind of endangered, if you think about it," the Toyota spokesman said. "The $70 mill. will add a much needed 2 per cent to our next quarter profits."

"However, the crisis is by no means over, and we can always do with more taxpayer money," he concluded.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

On this day...

in 1572, English poet and dramatist Ben Jonson was born. Sadly, he was later discredited for taking steroids.

in 1936, the International Surrealist Exhibition opened in London. Salvador Dali nearly suffocated while delivering a lecture in a deep-sea diving suit. No, really.

in 2002, Antonio Meucci was acknowledged as the inventor of the telephone by US Congress. Sounds like the US Congress has way too much time on their hands...

Thought of the Day

with Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Kisses blown are kisses wasted. Kisses aren't kisses unless they are tasted. Kisses spread germs and germs are hated. So kiss me baby; I'm vaccinated.

Plonker Wars: Bush hits out at Evans threat

REUTERS: US President, George W Bush has named Australia as the new third member of the 'axis of evil', following threats by PM Kevin Rudd to unleash Gareth Evans on the international community.

"This is a regime that is operating outside the civilised world. States like these, and their terrorist allies, constitute an axis of evil, arming to indiscriminately unleash dickheads like Gareth Evans upon the world," Mr Bush said. "They could provide other idiots to terrorists, giving them the means to match their hatred. In any of these cases, the price of indifference would be catastrophic."

Australian PM, Kevin Rudd has brushed aside the comments of President Bush.

"If Bush tries anything, we still have Cheryl Kernot waiting in the wings. We have used her before and we are not afraid to use her once again," Mr Rudd concluded.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Portugal

June 10 is the national day of Portugal. Once a mighty colonial power, Portugal's influence over the world is now largely constrained to its position as a co-founder of the Community of Portuguese Language Countries - although it is struggling to maintain relevance on this particular committee.

The economic sustainability of Portuguese chicken takeaways remains one of the world's great mysteries, whilst shattering the myth that food that tastes bad is always good for you.

Interestingly, like the British, the Portuguese have a reputation for being self-deprecating, although unlike the British, the Portuguese are pretty much on the money. The decline of importance of Portugal corresponds strongly with its ascendency on the Global Peace Index.

Please stand for the Portuguese National Anthem.

Special offer for NSW speedsters

REUTERS: Police in New South Wales are offering 50 per cent off demerit points from midnight tonight as part of a campaign to get motorists to throw caution to the wind.

A spokesman for NSW Police said with road deaths at 50 year lows, many ambulance drivers and police are becoming bored.

"Many motorists seem to have forgotten what it is really like to let their hair down. This is why we are offering 50 per cent off demerits for speeding, seat belt and helmet offences from today. The Police and urging all motorists basically to get a life - to drive above the speed limits, and forget about all the usual bullshit like seat belts and helmets," the spokesman said.

“With many families and friends travelling long distances over the coming weeks, many are being bored out of their brains by the pussies at the steering wheel. That's why we are encouraging motorists to put the foot down.

“There are also 80 Driver Reviver stations around the state that will be handing out free red-bull alcopops. Hot chicks will be waving racing flags next to freeways, and we will be encouraging drivers to get a move on with the slogan, 'Fang-a-dang dang.'"

Friday, June 6, 2008

On June 7, 8 and 9...

Margo's Maid went on holidays, spending lavish amounts of money given to her by tobacco companies along the way.

In the meantime, who wants to join us on ShadowLands Avenue? Only a limited number of blocks are available and strictly no riff raff please. Get in fast is my advice. Then be sure to come check out your weird neighbours.

Don't forget to visit friends from the blog roll at the bottom, including Paco and Kae.

Due to popular demand...


Another photo from 1.6.
Thanks again.

What's in a name

Find your white trash name right here, y'all.

Divine inner peace with Mahmoud

The ShadowLands is delighted to welcome the latest of our celebrity columnists, Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Mr Ahmadinehad will be the ShadowLands special reporter on achieving inner peace. Over to you, Mahmoud:

by Mahmoud Ahmadinehad

Divine inner peace and unbounded happiness is possible within you right now. The world always looks brighter from behind a smile! In fact, within each moment there is a window of opportunity to discovering a completely different angle to life's perpetual dangle. Today, give a stranger one of your smiles. It might be the only sunshine he sees all day.

You'll discover that every experience is trying to teach you something. The ultimate lesson is how to be supremely happy, joyful, loving and free! Once you commit to being gentle with yourself, you'll learn EVERY amazing lesson life throws your way!
The very center of our innermost being contains the greatest source of love, joy, and peace. Always remember to be happy because you never know who's falling in love with your smile!
You can chase a butterfly all over the field and never catch it. But if you sit quietly in the grass it will come and sit on your shoulder.
To be continued...

Kiwis unimpressed

The new movie "Sex in the City" has proved a flop with the movie-going public in New Zealand.

"Even our cities have much larger populations," explained one Kiwi. "Are we supposed to be impressed?"

Thursday, June 5, 2008

From the land of the long white cloud

An awesome image sent to me by 1.618 that she has titled "cloud UFO".
A thousand thanks, 1.6.

World Environment Day goes off

Organisers have hailed the success of World Environment Day, with some celebrations in Wellington continuing well into the next morning.

Margo's Maid said the special green edition of ShadowLands has been a rousing success, however the time had come to change the template.

"The lime green was making me feel sick, so I think I'll try this blue colour."

On this day

...on June 6 in 1918, one of the first major battles involving US soldiers in WWI, the Battle of Belleau Wood commenced. One of the most famous quotations came during the start of the battle when Gunnery Sergeant Dan Daly prompted his men forward with the words: "Come on, you sons of bitches, do you want to live forever?" After a slow start, the United States went on to win the 20th century.

...it is the anniversary of D-Day which occurred in 1944. Steven Spielberg managed to recreate the landings with computer generated imagery and 1,000 extras. These guys managed it with just three people.

...it is Queensland Day. Said to be situated somewhere north of NSW, the state currently has a number of vacancies for teachers following Operation Centurion .

Cop thet, global warmeng

Global warming received another near fatal blow today, when nearly 200 New Zealanders stood still for five minutes. Good work, chaps - let's hope future generations will not have to put up with the balmy weather plaguing the south island.

UPDATE: More WED hijinks.

Copyright infringed

On Monday, ShadowLands' published one of the favourite recipes of morals writer, Mr Bob Ellis. Now look at what the Sydney Morning Herald is promoting on their website today (right hand side, under life and style)... Hey newspaper types - how's about you come up with your own ideas, hmmm?

UPDATE: The blighters have admitted their guilt by removing it from the website - but this is the offending recipe.

MM's World Environment Day Editorial

By Margo's Maid for World Environment Day
I believe that children are our future. Teach them well and let them lead the way - show them all the beauty they possess inside, give them a sense of pride to make it easier. Let the children's laughter remind us how we used to be. Everybody searching for a hero - people need someone to look up to.

I never found anyone to fulfill my needs - a lonely place to be. So I learned to depend on me. I decided long ago, never to walk in anyone's shadows. If I fail, if I succeed, at least I will live as I believe. No matter what they take from me, they can't take away my dignity.

Because the greatest love of all is happening to me. I found the greatest love of all inside of me. The greatest love of all is easy to achieve. Learning to love yourself, it is the greatest love of all.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Questions answered

World Environment Day FAQ right here.

Petro-chemical shoes to save planet: PETA

REUTERS: A sculpture portraying a polar bear crushed by a shoe was carved by well-known artist Sudarsan Pattnaik on the sandy beaches of this seaside town on Tuesday with an appeal to shoppers to stop buying leather.

Pattnaik carved the impressive sculpture with the slogan: “Your carbon footprints have leather shoes”. The event was organised by PETA-India to mark the World Environment Day.

“PETA, through this sculpture will draw the attention of the people at large to the harmful effects of global warming on endangered and dwindling species of polar bear,” said N.G. Jayasimha of PETA-India.

Pattnaik took 10 hours to complete the work, using the hides of more than 24 cattle to produce the giant sculpture.

NZ delivers crushing blow to global warming

REUTERS: Global warming, which is currently not happening, is expected to receive a further blow thanks to World Environment Day celebrations being hosted in Wellington, New Zealand.

A highlight of the activities will be a fun run which is expected to attract 1200 people who will run or walk a 4km circuit, stopping half way to plant a tree. No, really. In what will be a further blow to global warming, experts estimate the event could lead to the planting of up to 1200 trees.

World dignitaries, United Nations officials, environmental experts and high profile media are jetting in for the celebrations. World Environment Day is an initiative of leading unelected world government body, the United Nations Environment Programme. Details about accommodation and buffets can be found at the UNEP website – but only if you have the secret password.

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark today said the focus of the event will be on forest management as a tool for reducing greenhouse gases. “Since New Zealand’s largest carbon emissions by far come from sheep and cattle, if the international community becomes aware of this and recommends people stop buying our lamb and dairy products, we really are fucked. That’s why we are focusing on forests,” Ms Clark said.

"We have told our international visitors that if they focus on our primary production, we will be focusing on their hotel bills, with particular attention paid to the videos they have watched."

WED - Things you should think and do

Having just jetted back from Cannes, Shadowlands Environment reporter and leading celebrity, Cate Blanchett is happy to present some great tips for World Environment Day.


by leading celebrity, Cate Blanchett


Think global, act local! At least, that’s what I was thinking you should do on that long flight back from Cannes, promoting my top new film, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

You may have noticed that the ShadowLands has gone lime green as a way of saving the environment. Sure, this is important, but there's so much more you should do. As well as changing your blog template, World Environment Day can be celebrated in many other ways, such as street rallies, bicycle rides and contemplative drives through the forest. I am telling you to do these things, so how about you just do them?

What the Butler Saw Pt III

What a whirlwind of a week! My first week as butler, and magnificent trip to Europe. Still can't believe they made me take down the facebook page. That was one poke from *Kelvin I was not expecting.
A big surprise on Friday night, a trip to watch the Brisbane Broncos vs the Parramatta Eels. Up in the corporate box, Kelvin asked me all I knew about rugby league, but I'm afraid I could not be of much help.

"A lot of big muscly types running into each other for money, *Kelvin. It's a lot like your game - it's one rough trade."

As sketchy as it was, *Kelvin seemed to be more than satisfied with this explanation, and began bugging me when he could go down to the dressing rooms. I had to keep explaining - wait for the first grade game, as the under 21s were still not over.

With dinner time upon us, catering let us down badly, as there was little food to go around. Naturally I offered *Kelvin my dagwood dog...

To be continued...

* All names changed for privacy reasons

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Today is...

Tonga's National Day. Tonga was nicknamed the Friendly Isles by Captain Cook, who was unaware the natives had simply failed to come up with a mutually agreeable plan to kill him.

the National Flag Day of Finnish Defence Forces. The strategy of the Finnish defence forces if attacked is to hide in forests. I'm not kidding.

the day in 1913 that suffragette Emily Davison ran out in front of the King's horse, Anmer at the Epsom Derby. She was trampled and died a few days later. Although finishing first, Craganour was disqualified for interference, and the prize was awarded to Aboyeur. Being impeded for a run, many spectators thought Anmer did well under the conditions, and marked him down as one to watch.

the anniversary of the 1922 death of psychiatrist, William Halse Rivers Rivers. He became famous during WWI for his work on patients suffering shellshock, and for his name which is thought to have come about because of a clerical error. Ironically, he suffered from a stammer.

the anniversary of the 1926 death of great cricketer, Fred Spofforth. Dubbed "The Demon" by John "Foghorn" Jackson, he was the bowler whom English batsmen feared most, and is also regarded as the first bowler to intimidate batsmen with eye contact. In their second innings, England required only 85 runs to clinch the Ashes series in 1882, but Spofforth refused to give up. "Boys," he said famously, "this thing can be done". The Australians won by seven runs, Spofforth taking match figures of 14 for 90, and precipitating the end of the British Empire.

Exposed: Secret Blair denial scandal shame!

Attention Media Watch. The Daily Telegraph, employer of so-called 'blogger' Tim Blair, has been caught up in a shameful act of climate change denial.

At first glance, this story about snails causing a road crash in Germany appears to be a quirky news item - the kind of mildly amusing story about an unusual event you might see in the newspaper every day. However, there is more to the story. Much, much more.

In as blatant a case of denialism as you will ever see, Blair's employer has apparently refused to discuss root causes of the incident, as reported in the third paragraph here. Hang your head in shame, Blair. Make no mistake, one day you will be filling sandbags for Tim Flannery.

Over to you, bald dude.

UPDATE: Oops, links fixed

Cooking with Bob

ShadowLands morals campaigner, Mr Bob Ellis shares a recipe

Carrot Cumin Salad

This is one way to use the pre-cut grated carrots found in the markets now. Seasoned with fresh parsley, lemon juice, olive oil, garlic and cumin, it's simple and delicious, though strangely unpopular with guests at my functions. But what do you think?

Makes 4 servings: 6 carrots, coarsely grated1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley1 T lemon juice1 T extra-virgin olive oil1 clove garlic, finely chopped1 tsp ground cumin. Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Combine carrots, parsley, lemon juice, oil, garlic and cumin in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and used franger.

Nutritional information per serving:

Calories,76 Fat4g Protein 1 g Carbs 10 g Fiber 3 g Latex22 g

Monday, June 2, 2008

Radical solution to warming problem

REUTERS: The scientist who coined the term "global warming" in the 1970s has proposed a radical solution to the problem of climate change.

Dr Wallace Broecker advocates saying no more about it.

"The time has come to shut the hell up," Dr Broecker told the BBC.

St Kevin's Feast Day

Today is St Kevin of Glendalough’s feast day. Wiki tells us “his legend is particularly untrustworthy, as very little contemporaneous material exists...He lived in solitude at Disert-Coemgen for seven years, sleeping on a dolmen (now known as "Saint Kevin's Bed") perched on a perilous precipice, that an angel had led him to, and later established a church for his own community at Glendalough....

"His legend says that he lived to the age of 120...He was known for his disdain of human company, especially that of women; his name was used in Ireland as a term for men with cold relations with women up until the 19th century. An extreme example of his chastity was the instance when he pushed an amorous woman into a patch of nettles.” Spooky.

On 3 June...

...in 1723, great Italian naturalist Giovanni Scopoli was born. Like many Italians, he had a great love of birds.

...we celebrate the traditional Roman festival of the female war deity, Bellona. This is the one day of the year when, according to tradition, it is allowable to antagonise people from other nations and assassinate their head of state.

...in 1657, William Harvey, the British physician who first correctly described how the heart pumps blood around the body died of a stroke - and people say God does not have a sense of humour.

...rock chick pioneer, Suzi Quatro celebrates her 58th birthday. Suzi trivia – she was once in a band called, “Fanny”, and her niece is the actress Sherilyn Fenn.

Improvements made

Hard to believe, I know, but Bananaguard is now better than ever.

UPDATE: Check out the final question under FAQs.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Rudd's image shake-up

Kevin Rudd made an appearance in the change-rooms of top rugby league side the Brisbane Broncos following their win over the Parramatta Eels on Friday night.

A Rudd spokesperson said that while Rudd is not a noted rugby league fan, the visit to the dressing-room should dispel some of the unfounded talk that was going around following his recent visit to Cate Blanchett.

"Rudd is certainly a man's man, and there is no better example of this than his visit to the Broncos' sheds after the game on Friday night," the spokesman said. "He proved that this was not just some publicity stunt by also hanging around the shower recesses for considerable periods during the lead-up games."

On June 2...

in 455, the Vandals entered Rome and plundered the city for a two-week period. Some sections of the Roman community suggest the probable root cause was their own racism and a lack of understanding and respect for those outside the empire. While the Vandals wreak havoc in Rome, other German tribes, the Visigoths and Ostrogoths, stay home to wear black and just hang out at their local mega-markets..

in 1833, Irish bare knuckle fighter Simon Byrne died following a 99-round fight lasting over 3 hours. As one of only six fighters since records were kept to have both killed someone in the ring and then to have died in the ring, Byrne is a remembered fondly by boxing fans for being part of the sport in the days before it became soft.

it is Festa della Republica, celebrating the referendum in which Italians decided to become a republic following WWII. As well as inventing the telephone, mechanical clock, the barometer, thermometer, and optical glasses, Italians were the first nation to install a reverse gear on their army tanks.

it is independence day for Samoa. Economists say the future looks rosy for the Pacific island because of its dependence on the booming area of development aid.

ShadowLands goes aspirational

Hey, draw a house and add it to ShadowLands Avenue right here and get your free psychoanalysis. Then come check out your weird neighbours. Readers are encouraged to lock in your interest rates where possible.

Who told the Japs? The conclusion

Someone in Canberra was leaking Australia's military secrets to the enemy during WWII. In Part III of this series, ShadowLands contributor stackja1945 concluded that the truth may never be known. However, following the war, secrets continued to be leaked to the Reds. Many thanks to stackja...

In 1952, Time Magazine reported that:

"Last November Australia's Communist newspaper The Tribune had a scoop: the details of a draft treaty of friendship, commerce and navigation between the U.S. and Australia. The treaty, which has been in the works for five years, contained no vital secrets, but the affair was nevertheless alarming: it suggested that a high government official with access to the classified treaty had given the information to the Reds. (Although Casey denied the connection, members' questions pointed to a former top official...under Casey's Laborite predecessor, Herbert V. Evatt."

One senior official named in the Time Magazine article (see the link) was described by Radio National radio presenter, Phillip Adams as follows:

"(He) was probably the most controversial and visionary public servant of the 20th Century. Branded a pink eminence of the Labor Party by conservative critics, he was clearly one of the most important intellectuals and policy-makers associated with the Curtin Labor Government of the 1940's. As a close associate of 'Doc' Evatt and head of the department of External Affairs (now Foreign Affairs) he did more to shape Australian foreign policy towards Asia and the Pacific than any other person before or since."

Second MacKillop miracle inquiry

REUTERS: The Vatican has launched a long-anticipated judicial inquiry into the case of an Australian feminist who spoke out about the rights of Islamic women through the intercession of saint-in-waiting Mary MacKillop.

Two doctors will examine the case to determine whether it is evidence of a miracle according to the strict criteria set down by Rome for saints, said the vice-postulator of her case.

The development is the closest the Josephite order has come to meeting the requirement for a documented second miracle and raises hopes that the Pope might indicate canonisation plans on his first visit to Sydney for World Youth Day.

The case before the Vatican is of an unidentified Australian feminist who said she thought hangings of women in Iran for adultery were "quite possibly inappropriate". At the time, she carried a small picture of the Blessed (Mother) Mary, with a piece of the nun's habit attached to it, pinned to her clothes day and night. The Josephite nuns say doctors could find no scientific explanation for her outburst.

In January 1995 Pope John Paul beatified the Blessed (Mother) Mary, which earned her the title of blessed. The miracle for beatification was the cure of another woman from leukaemia in 1961. To become a saint, a second miracle must take place after beatification. However, the Vatican has agreed only this month to consider the case as evidence of a second miracle.