Archive for September, 2006

Cat Stevens Blasts Back From The Past

No, that’s not the latest guy on George Bush’s hit list, its Cat Stevens. Well, actually he was mistakenly put on the terror watch list on a flight to Washington from London…..could it have been the beard?
The famous 60’s and 70’s singer, known for his international hits like “Father and Son” and “Wild World” is returning to the pop scene on the eve of the release of his first commercial album in narly 30 years.

Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, traded in his guitar in 1977 and converted into Islam after receiving a copy of the Koran. Millions of this Swedish-Greek post-hippy star were disappointed as Cat announced his retirement and pledged to devote his life to Islam. Since then, he has become one of the leading voices in the British Muslim community, even starting a Muslim school for children.
Now 58, he announced that he is releasing a new album, with the first single due out in the UK in November called “An Other Cup” which promises to be true to his old classic style. When asked about the criticisms of fellow Muslims on his choice to return to the mainstream music industry, Yusuf Islam/Cat Stevens explained:

“Whilst I agree that some songs and musical influences are haram (prohibited), this judgment does not apply to every singer or every single note and crotchet played…..The truth is that most of those who buy my records as Cat Stevens are not Muslims. But many who listen to those old songs recognize that they represent the poetic inspiration of a seeker, someone thirsting for peace, and trying to understand the unexplained mysteries of life”

Robert Frost Poem Found

And one says to the rest

“We must just watch our chance

And escape one by one-

Though the fight is no more done

Than the war is in France.”

Than the war is in France!

She thinks of a winter camp

Where soldiers for France are made.

She draws down the window shade

And it glows with an early lamp.

Above are a few stanzas from an unpublished poem by perhaps America’s best loved poet, Robert Frost, which was recently found by a graduate student. The 35-line poem was dated 1918 and titled “War Thoughts at Home”. It was believed to have been inspired by another poet killed during the first World War.

Robert Stilling, the student who found the rather somber poem was first alerted to its existence by a 1947 letter which referred to the undiscovered poem. After some good old detective work and many months of verification, the estate of Robert Frost has now given its permission to publish the poem next week.

7-11 Gets Very Patriotic

After my post a few days back on Venezuelan President Chavez‘ somewhat amusing oration at the United Nations, it was even more amusing for me to see how his words, dismissed as mere “thug talk” by the Bush folk, has indeed hit some sour feelings with America’s patriots.

I’m talking about convenience store giant, 7-11 (where you can pick up some necessities like blue slurpies and overpriced chips, anytime anywhere in the world), who, has dumped Venezuelan-owned Citgo as their petroleum supplier.

In spite of the converience store chain’s 20-year-old relationship with the supplier, they’re sudden decision to change was partly because of “political reasons”. They made no excuses for this and even seemed proud to have acted in this patriotic (and emotional?) manner.

Of course, 7-11’s officials later took back what they said and in a very politically correct commercial fashion said that it was because they simply wanted a cheaper supplier.

Feminine Vanity In The UK

A recent study in the UK boldy claimed that the avarage woman will spend two years of her life looking at the mirror. Then another poll, in which 3,000 women participated revealed even more vainity in the British Isles – that even if they checked their reflections about 4 times before leaving their homes, a QUARTER of them still headed straight for the ladies washroom at the office just to ensure that the tube or bus journey didn’t displace their hair or clothes.

Taking this further, a shocking ?659 million is spent by the British on cosmetic surgery, especially celebrities who take the art of looking good very seriously.
Men, on the other hand apparently only look at themselves once or twice a day , 44% of them taking a quick look at the mirror before heading out for the evening. By comparison, men spend less than 6 months a year in front of the mirror in their lifetimes.

Is this why women are called the fairer sex? because they take the time to look good, while men clearly couldn’t give a toss?

Autism Up By 172%

Its shocking to know that just since the 1990’s, autism has risen by an astounding 172%. In fact, experts say that 1 in every 166th child wil be diagnosed by some form of autism – from the high-functioning Aspergers to full blown autism where round-the-clock care is needed.
In the US, it is the fastest growing developmental disability in children, being the second leading cause of disability in children, just after mental retardation.

It has become so mainstream that nearly everyone is bound to know somewhone who has it. If not a family member, maybe a friend or neighbor’s child, or someone in your child’s school. Even celebrities are openly speaking about their children with the disorder.
Its a terrifying prospect for parents and the worst thing is that nobody really knows what causes it. Some medical experts blame vaccinations containing Themirosal, a preservative which contains mercury. Another study released from Israel recently blamed older fathers, stating that fathers over 40 were 6 times more likely to have autistic children than men in their 20’s or 30’s.

Whatever it is, the fact remains that Autism is growing and will continue to affect children everywhere until science finds a way to stop it.

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