Monday, May 29, 2017

Quote for the Day

“Tradition is a set of solutions for which we have forgotten the problems. Throw away the solution and you get the problem back. Sometimes the problem has mutated or disappeared. Often it is still there as strong as it ever was.”

- Donald Kingsbury, Courtship Rite

Donald Kingsbury (1929 – ) is an American–Canadian science fiction author. Kingsbury taught mathematics at McGill University, Montreal, from 1956 until his retirement in 1986.

Courtship Rite is a science fiction novel.

Readers Write and Monday Miscellany


Yesterday I posted a story about Diana Dors (1931-1984), born Diana Fluck, an English busty, blond sex symbol of the latter half of the 20th century. 

Byter Steve M sent me a lengthy email about his meeting with Diana Dors and I set it out in full below. Following that email is a bit of miscellany about Diana Dors and an idea for a new ongoing series of posts.

Thanks, Steve. 

Steve’s email:
Good morning Otto,

I just got back from my usual Sunday round of visits to the Church, the Synagogue, the Mosque and the Temple (I am not taking any chances!) and there in my Bytes was an article about Swindon and Diana Fluck-Dors!

I spent my formative years living in Stratton St. Margaret, just outside Swindon, and I did in fact have a brush with fame, meeting Diana Dors personally! Sadly, she was in the twilight years of her career, but we locals were spellbound at being in her presence, and when she was invited to open a fete (not the one mentioned in your Bytes) in Stratton St(Saint, not street) Margaret we turned up in droves. It was a great occasion and as I recall, a beautiful day. Ms Dors arrived modestly and somewhat incongruously, in a pink left-hand drive open topped Cadillac along with her long time beau, Alan Lake and two body guards. They did a lap of the field in the car, then stopped near a small stage where Diana made a speech and cut the ribbon. I remember that everyone stared, open mouthed at the glamorous big bosomed blonde, as we had only seen the likes of her in film and on television. To see her live and in the flesh, as it were, was a very impactful experience. I remember she had a fur stole, a very glamorous sparkly dress and a neckline that seemed to plunge to her knees! Her make-up was impeccable, as indeed were her bosoms, and whilst everyone gawped at her clothes and her sparkling jewellery I stared elsewhere and have not stopped staring in that general direction ever since!

At the request of the local Vicar, Diana agreed to sign a few autographs, so we all queued up nervously, waiting for our moment to actually meet some real Hollywood glamour. My time came and Diana scribbled on the scruffy piece of paper I shoved in front of her. I remember standing there, gobsmacked, shaking at the knees, staring at her chest. I suppose she was waiting for me to move on, but I was going nowhere! She handed me the piece of paper back and spoke in that husky voice of hers, “Well, is that what you wanted?”

The moment froze, everyone seemed to stare at me. All my mates, the crowd behind us, the two burly bodyguards and Alan Lake. To this day I don’t know why, but I continued to stare at her chest and replied, “No. I want something else.” There was a sharp intake of breath all around, and Alan Lake gave me a killer stare. Diana huffed and said “So, what is it that you want, sonny?” 
“I want a kiss.” I replied. 
Those who know me well will be the first to admit that I am a quiet, shy wall-flower and don’t have an impertinent bone in my body, so where such an impudent request came from, I will never know. Diana burst out laughing, reached forward and placed an arm on each of my shoulders, stared into my eyes, fluttered her eyelids and said “You cheeky little sod!” Everyone roared with laughter and she gave me a smacker of a kiss on the cheek! She wore bright red lipstick and the imprint of the kiss became visible several minutes later when my blush subsided.

That meeting led to two things. My first sexual experience (I was on my own and it was ten minutes after that kiss, - I just could not get the vision of those beautiful bosoms out of my mind) and a fascination with famous people and the effect they have on mere mortals, like me.

Swindon is a working class old railway town, and it has produced its fair share of celebrities over the years. From my childhood, I recall Justin Hayward from the Moody Blues, Rick Davies from Supertramp, the wonderful Gilbert O’Sullivan (I witnessed his rise to fame through his brother Kevin, a sort of acquaintance more than a friend, who used to drive around in gold Mercedes limousine while we all had beat-up Ford Escorts!) and the eccentric and very funny Julian Clary. Also the world renowned zoologist Desmond Morris, and the rock band XTC. Sports wise, one of the best right-wingers in football, Don Rogers (unknown outside the UK but a God in English soccer circles, and I grew up just one street away from him. All our dad’s drove Hillman Minx’s and Ford Cortina’s but Don swanked around Stratton in a massive Jaguar XJ12.

Ah, Swindon. I still have links through a close family connection who moved out here and rekindled our relationship and many years, and on our property we have a games/party room with a sign near the door naming it the Swindon Outback Pub.

Seeing Diana Dors in your Bytes brought back many memories... good times mostly... ah... Swindon. Thank you Otto!

Steve m

A 2 minute Diana Dors bio:

Diana Mary Fluck was born in Swindon, England, in 1931, a fact which Swindon honoured her in 1991 with a statue of her (notwithstanding that the then Mayor of Swindon in 1960 denounced her for “bringing shame on the town”):

Dors first came to public notice as a Marilyn Monroe-style blonde bombshell, promoted by her first husband Dennis Hamilton, mostly via sex film-comedies and risqué modelling. She also became known for the adult parties reportedly held at her house, it later being revealed that she secretly filmed her celebrity guests having sex with men and women provided by her and hubby. She liked to watch the films and kept an archive of the best ones. It inspired the Archbishop of Canterbury to refer to her in a sermon as a “wayward hussy”.

In her later years she showed a genuine talent for TV, recordings and cabaret, and gained new popularity as a regular chat-show guest.

Dors died in 1931 of ovarian cancer, aged 52.

She claimed to have left a large fortune to her son in her will, via a secret code in the possession of her third husband actor Alan Lake. But after Lake’s suicide, this code was never found, and the whereabouts of the fortune remains a mystery.

Some quotes:

"I was the first home-grown sex symbol, rather like Britain`s naughty seaside postcards. When Marilyn Monroe`s first film was shown here [The Asphalt Jungle (1950)], a columnist actually wrote: `How much like our Diana Dors she is`."

Diana Dors to husband Alan Lake: “Will you still love me when I’m old and fat?”
Alan Lake: “I do.”

“I said to this priest, ‘Am I expected to believe that if I went out and had an affair that God was really going to be upset? Okay, thou shalt not kill... steal... but thou shalt not commit adultery? If no one is any the wiser, what the hell difference does it make?’. He was lovely. He told me the Commandments were laid down for a lot of guys living in the desert.”

“The figure was fabulous, but my face was never much, little eyes and lips like rubber tires, I did well because I was the first and only British blonde bombshell.” 

Diana Dors appears on the Sgt Pepper album cover:


Which gives rise to an announcement, new Bytes series: The Sgt Pepper Cover.
It will be a look at the making of the cover and a Who's Who of the people on it.

It starts this coming weekend. 

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Quote for the Day



Some items from . . .

Caution: some risque content.

Least Convincing Psychic Act: Runner-Up

Eduard Frenkel was one of several self-proclaimed psychic healers operating in Russia during the 1980s. He appeared on the local State-run TV several times with claim of supernatural powers, drawing huge audiences and receiving thousands of letters requesting help.

Frenkel claimed to have successfully used his psychic powers to stop moving vehicles, including bicycles and cars. In October 1989, he decided he was ready for something bigger; he stepped in front of a freight train near the southern city of Astrakhan, according to the train driver, with “his arms raised, his head lowered and his body tensed”.

Associated Press reported that Mr Frenkel died from his injuries.

Least Successful Eulogy

Rolling Stones fans were devastated in July 1969 when the band’s founder member Brian Jones died in a tragic swimming pool accident. But for the Stones, the show had to go on.

During the band’s tour of Denmark shortly afterwards, Mick Jagger, dressed in a white frock, announced on stage, “This one’s for Brian.” Then, after touching a faulty microphone stand, he was hurled backwards by an electric shock, landing on top of Bill Wyman, knocking his bass player unconscious.

Least Successful Display of Impartiality by a Juror

In 1997at Luton Crown Court, Judge Alan Wilkie QC ordered a retrial for a man accused of smuggling crack cocaine. During the original trial, a juror, Shane Smyth, had shouted at the defendant, “Why don’t you plead guilty. You are fucking guilty!”

Least Successful Courtroom Defence

In 1985, Dennis Newton stood trial for entering a convenience store in Oklahoma City, raising a gun to the store manager’s head and demanding money. The prosecuting attorney asked the chief witness, the store manager, if she could identify the culprit. When she pointed to Newton, he stood up an shouted, “Liar . . . I should have blown your fucking head off!” After a few moments of reflection, he added, “ . . . if I’d been the one that was there.”

Newton was jailed for thirty years.

(Back in 2015 I posted an item from the Oxford Times concerning Dian Dors. The link for the Oxford Times article is:

The story also appears in The Mammoth Book of Losers, reprinted below.)

Least Successful Stage Introduction

The actress Diana Dors was a blond bombshell known as “the British Marilyn Monroe”. Her real name was Diana Fluck. The dangers posed by a missed consonant led to a rapid change of name when she was spotted at the age of fourteen by a talent scout at the London Academy of Music and Drama.

When she returned to her home town of Swindon to open a fete in 1950, a local alderman insisted upon introducing her by her real name. He stepped forward and announced, “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome our very own Miss Diana Clunt . . . “

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Quote for the Day

Sydney Suburbs: Berowra, Berrilee




38 kilometres north of the Sydney central business district, in the local government area of Hornsby Shire. Berowra is south-east of the suburbs of Berowra Heights and east of Berowra Waters.

Name origin:

Berowra is an Aboriginal word that means place of many winds. The Berowra area has many Aboriginal carvings and is the site of the world’s oldest living amphibian fossil.

  • Population in 2011: 4,623
  • Berowra contains large areas of recent suburban expansion.
  • Products/industries of the area include fishing and oyster farming from the Hawkesbury River area. There are also retail, service and various small industries including hobby farming, citrus fruit orchards, poultry farming, horticulture, and tourism.
  • The first land owner in Berowra was Mary Wall, whose land was gazetted in 1879. Under the terms of her grant, she had to be at the property and work it at least once per week. So, once a week, she walked from Sydney to Berowra at night, worked the next day on her land, then walked back to Sydney. Onya Mary.

Berowra Station, steam train on the right.

Berowra Village shopping centre, 1971

“The Squirt”, a railmotor used before the electrification of the line, at Berowra Railway Station

Off to Berowra Creek, now known as Berowra waters, c 1922

Berowra Station, 1960. The train shown were the standard trains of those days and were known as “Red Rattlers" because they were red and because . . . 

The punt, Berowra Waters, 1964.

Years 1, 2 and 3, Berowra Public School, 1929

Berowra Public School, Class 1, 2 & 3, 1936

Berowra Public School, Classes 4, 5 and 6, 1937

Berowra Waters, 2012

Daytrippers to Berowra Waters, 1920’s

Caravanning, Berowra, 1940



Berrilee is a semi-rural suburb about five kilometres west of Berowra

Name origin:

The name Berrilee goes back to 1840, and is taken from a Dharug word, 'burra', probably meaning 'place of kangaroos'. 

There are alternative origin explanations:
  • that the village was named for the local Aboriginal word for pig. Pigs were kept by some of the early European settlers in the area and the Aboriginals were said to have called sows and piglets 'Birra Birra', which later became Berrilee;
  • that the name is derived from an Aboriginal word 'Buraillee' possibly having something to do with mouth or food
  • Population 2011: 235
  • Berrilee was also known as Calabash in the early 1900’s, meaning a gourd, or the dried, hollow shell of the calabash (tree), used as a vessel.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Quote for the Day

I am not certain that the above quotation is a genuine quote by the Dalai Lama.

As Abraham Lincoln once said:

Funny Friday

. . . and time for some fun.

Today there is no theme, just a collection of some random humour.

Caution: the following items contain risque content.

How many actors does it take to change a light bulb?

Ten. One to change the light bulb and nine to say "it should be me up there!"

How can you tell who the dumbest actress working on a movie is?

She's the one sleeping with the writer.

A mathematician, a biologist and a physicist are sitting in a street cafe watching people going in and coming out of the house on the other side of the street. 

First they see two people going into the house. Time passes. After a while they notice three persons coming out of the house. 

The physicist says: "The measurement wasn't accurate." 

The biologist concludes: "They have reproduced." 

The mathematician says: "Now if another person enters the house, it'll be empty again.”

An older Jewish gentleman married a younger lady and they were very much in love. However, no matter what the husband did sexually, the woman never achieved an orgasm. Since a Jewish wife is entitled to sexual pleasure, they decided to ask the rabbi. The rabbi listened to their story, stroked his beard, and made the following suggestion, hire a strapping young man. While the two of you are making love, have the young man wave a towel over you. That will help the wife fantasize and should bring on an orgasm. They went home and followed the rabbi's advice. They hired a handsome young man and he waved a towel over them as they made love. But it didn't help and she was still unsatisfied. Perplexed, they went back to the rabbi. Okay, said the rabbi, let's try it reversed. Have the young man make love to your wife and you wave the towel over them. Once again, they followed the rabbi's advice. The young man got into bed with the wife and the husband waved the towel. The young man got to work with great enthusiasm and the wife soon had an enormous, room-shaking screaming orgasm. The husband smiled, looked at the young man and said to him triumphantly, “You see, THAT'S the way to wave a towel!”

On the morning that Daylight Savings Time ended I stopped in to visit my aging friend.

He was busy covering his penis with black shoe polish.

I said to him “You dumb shit! You’re supposed to turn your clock back”.

The preacher rose with a red face. "Someone in this congregation has spread a rumor that I belong to the K.K.K. This is a horrible lie and one which a Christian community cannot tolerate. I am embarrassed and do not intend to accept this. Now I want the party who did this to stand and ask forgiveness from God and this Christian family." No one moved. The preacher continued, "Do you not have the nerve to face me and admit this is a falsehood. Remember, you will be forgiven and in your heart you will feel glory. Now stand and confess your transgression." Again all was quiet. Slowly a "drop dead" gorgeous blonde with a body that would not stop rose from the third pew. Her head was bowed and voice quivered as she spoke. "Reverend there has been a terrible misunderstanding. I never said you were a member of the Ku Klux Klan. I told a couple of friends you were a "Wizard under the sheets".

Whilst on that topic . . .

The difference between the Supreme Court and the Ku Klux Klan is that the members of the Supreme Court dress in black robes and scare white people.

A drunk stumbles upon a baptismal service on Sunday afternoon down by the river. He proceeds to walk down into the water and stand next to the preacher. The minister turns and notices the old drunk and says, "Mister, Are you ready to find Jesus?" 

The drunk looks back and says, "Yess, preacher...I sure am." 

The minister then dunks the fellow under the water and pulls him right back up. "Have you found Jesus?" the preacher asked. "Nooo, I didn't!" said the drunk. 

The preacher then dunks him under for quite a bit longer, brings him up and says, "Now, brother, have you found Jesus?" "Noooo, I did not Reverend." 

The preacher in disgust holds the man under for at least 30 seconds this time, brings him out of the water and says in a harsh tone, "My God, man, have you found Jesus yet?" 

The old drunk wipes his eyes and says to the preacher... "Are you sure this is where he fell in?"

Jane met Tarzan in the jungle. She was very attracted to him and during her questions about his life she asked him how he managed for sex. "What's that" he asked. She explained to him what sex was and he said “I use hole in trunk of tree." Horrified, she said, "Tarzan you have it all wrong but I will show you how to do it properly." 

She took off her clothes and laid down on the ground. "Here," she said, "you must put it in here." 

Tarzan removed his loincloth, stepped closer and then gave her an almighty kick in the crotch. 

Jane rolled around in agony. Eventually she managed to gasp, "What the hell did you do that for?" 

“Check for bees."

A little boy was waiting for his mother to come out of the grocery store. As he waited, he was approached by a man who asked, “Son, can you tell me where the Post Office is?”

The little boy replied, “Sure! Just go straight down this street and turn to your right.”

The man thanked the boy kindly and said, “I’m the new pastor in town. I’d like for you to come to church on Sunday. I’ll show you how to get to Heaven.”

The little boy replied with a chuckle. “You’re bullshitting me, right? You don’t even know the way to the Post Office!”

Donald Duck and Daisy Duck were spending the night together in a hotel room and Donald wanted to have sex with Daisy.

The first thing Daisy asked was, “Do you have a condom?”

Donald frowned and said, “No.”

Daisy told Donald that if he didn’t get a condom, they could not have sex.

“Maybe they sell them at the front desk,” she suggested.

So Donald went down to the lobby and asked the hotel clerk if they had condoms.

“Yes, we do,” the clerk said and pulled a box out from under the counter and gave it to Donald.

The clerk asked, “Would you like me to put them on your bill?”

“Thit No!” Donald quacked, “I’ll thuffocate!”



Corn Corner:

I have posted this one before and came 
across it again this week. It deserves another airing:

Researchers for the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority found over 200 dead crows near greater Boston recently, and there was concern that they may have died from Avian Flu. A Bird Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and, to everyone’s relief, confirmed the problem was definitely NOT Avian Flu. The cause of death appeared to be vehicular impacts.

However, during the detailed analysis it was noted that varying colors of paints appeared on the bird’s beaks and claws. By analyzing these paint residues it was determined that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with trucks, while only 2% were killed by an impact with a car.

MTA then hired an Ornithological Behaviorist to determine if there was a cause for the disproportionate percentages of truck kills versus car kills.

The Ornithological Behaviorist very quickly concluded the cause: when crows eat road kill, they always have a look-out crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger.

The conclusion was that while all the lookout crows could say “Cah”, none could say “Truck”.