Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Employers face ban on email spying
Employers in NSW will be banned from spying on employees' private emails under new laws that will place strict limits on electronic surveillance in the workplace. What is your big bad bosses's dark secret? Why would s/he ... get IT department to read your private e-mails?
· Electronic surveillance: Criminal Charges Expected...
· See Also Back off boss: you're making me feel sick

Cold Stream: Our Little Soulful Secret
A water bearer in old Czechoslovakia of Mannor Born era had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck.
One of the pots had a crack in it while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.
At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots of water to his house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.
After two years of what perceived to be bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house.
The bearer said to the pot, Did you notice that there are flowers on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, so I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table.
Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house.

Each of us has our own unique flaw. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.
You've just got to take each person for what they are and look for the good in them.
To all of my crackpot friends, have a great life as earth smiles with flowers and also remember to smell those flowers.

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Amazon.com Ranking 557 as at 30 March 2004....I will be honest the people who tell other people that I am chorrible (sic) are the best advertising for Cold River than most of my family members. Media Dragon is so broke, so unsuccessful and so self-failed that, like every other sole survivor you could name, he doesn't need to pretend that his next mistake will be his first...

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Bruce Elder in Weekend edition of the best paper in the world, SMH, shares with readers the background to a book entitled Stasiland which like Schindlers Arch (List) is written by an Australian, this time by a woman called, Anna Funder. Funder was apparently confronted by an Argentinian viewer who wanted to know why the televesion station she was working for in Berlin did not do more stories on the Iron Curtain and the Stasi, the old East German secret police. The Argentinian viewer pointed out that it took Germany 20 years to start discussing and dissecting Nazism:
Will it be 2010 or 2020 before what happened in East Germany (or Czechoslovakia) is remembered?...
It’s generally believed that people want to forget about the past and move on—but I find it curious that they wouldn’t want to know about this when so much remains unresolved... Stasiland shine a dazzling light on one of the world’s most paranoid and secretive regimes, and its effects on contemporary German society.
(Some unkind soul suggested resently to this Slavic Dragon that 21st Sentury Sydney has SusSex Secret Police...)

What's Wrong With Germany?
If it is true, as Jimmy Carter once asserted, that nations can find themselves in a state of collective malaise, there is no doubt that Germany in 2004 would qualify as downright sickly, at least as far as its own residents are concerned. Strangely, when viewed from an objective standpoint, Germany doesn't seem to be any worse off economically, culturally, or politically, than most other European nations, but England and France do not seem to be in quite the despairing mood that Germany is in. Is the difference perhaps, as some have been saying, Germans just enjoy complaining? Or does it run deeper?
· Nations can find themselves in a state of collective malaise [link first seen at The New York Times 03/24/04 ]
· See Also Hamas: Gates of Hell, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin
· See Also Interview: Alan Dershowitz
· See Also Bluntly Our Culture Through A Wagner Filter: The English like their mythologies to work out, to resolve themselves
· Did the Terrorists Win in Madrid? German Views
· A New Churchill Needed for Europe? Czech Views
· The EU's New Terrorism Czar [ via EuroSavant ]

Saturday, March 27, 2004

FAME aside, what do Kerry Packer, Jozef Imrich, Laurence Olivier, Bob Hawke, Rupert Murdoch, Maggie Smith, Paul Keating, Clive James, Trevor Kennedy and Malcolm Turnbull have in common? E(l)ection fright. An own-goal by the NSW Government and ALP chieftains will headed to polling booths today for local government elections and referees will also test drive 2004 Federal Election Probability Calculator

Quick and Savvy: A Portal for Local Politicians
St. Cloud (Minn.) Times
has invited elected officials into a blog portal
http://miva.sctimes.com/miva/cgi-bin/miva?Blog (offering them the opportunity to blog as much as they want). At this stage, it shows one thing: blogging does not come naturally. However, in the best moments it provides a unique perspective and certainly adds transparency to the political process. With a bit of extra training for politicians this could be truly intriguing to your readers.

· See Also Intriguing Bloggers
· See Also Nothing to fear but fear itself
· You take the bullet, we'll make a soft landing: Ministers and
their advisors

· Centrelink's breaching policies do the unemployed more harm than good
· See Also Recent policy has abandoned the people in pursuit of the bottomline
· See Also Why does consultation with the public require professional submissions?
· See Also Slavery exists today - and will still exist tomorrow unless we act to stop it now
· See Also How the media cover gang rape, sport, power - and prejudice

Following the success of Cold River and da Vinci (code) Con, we now have the latest grail of political conspiracy theory

Shallow Electorate's Deep Flaws...Where the Chemicals Roam
Salon and Rolling Stone team up to investigate chemical-weapons dumps in the U.S. The article quotes an organizer for a coalition of citizens living near the sites, who says that for all of the U.S. government's finger-pointing at Iraq and other countries, our country is riddled with similar weapons that our government itself can't even find.
· Our Leaders Misreading Machiavelli
· See Also 42-year-old man died from exposure to nuclear, biological and chemical weapons tests
· Chemicals: How to Effectively Locate Government Information on the World Wide Web
· See Also We're in a new Era of Secrecy: Police Dogs on Railways Stations Days
· A coaliton comprised of library associations and advocacy groups with a strong interest in freedom of information, has launched a new website, still under construction, called OpenTheGovernment.org

Friday, March 26, 2004

I suppose I’m a believer in Original Sin. People are profoundly bad, but irresistibly funny.
Joe Orton, quoted in the Manchester Guardian (September 19, 1966)

How the boss monitors you
We all do it: a bit of online banking, holiday planning and personal e-mailing. There is no harm in it if the boss isn't watching..... is there? Well, your boss just might be watching.
Firms are increasingly using advanced technology to keep an eye on their workers, according to a recent report by the TUC. So what techniques can be used?

· No one is irreplaceable but the loss of KBG has created gaps

Wearing pyjamas on the job, long lunches, no bosses - it's all possible if you work from home, and more people than ever are doing it. Bill Bennett explains how to set up an office at your place and have change to spare.
· See Also Home work
· See Also Dark nature that nabbed the Hands off approach
· Masters: I can wreck your career
· See Also Random drug tests at frontline of workplace battleground

A former senior aide of Saddam Hussein claims the dictator was probably high on drugs when he decided to invade Kuwait in 1990...
Take a toke. Marijuana puts you into "weed time." Not sure who the bad guys are? Drop some LSD and enemies will appear to have giant devil heads. Moving too slow? A little speed will take care of that, letting you zip around and fight at an incredibly fast pace

Things get worse with Bulldogs & Coke
Canterbury Bulldogs player Willie Mason tested positive to an illicit social drug midway through last season and was fined $25,000 by the club.
· Bulldogs star Mason failed drug test
· Things get worse with Coke
· Can Diet Coke Kill You?

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Proverbs 24:17 says "Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thy heart be glad when he stumbleth;". I am not strong enough to do that.

Omigod! Universal McCann reported to the Government:
Preliminary discussions with major regional newspaper networks have identified a commitment to implement a ‘telecommunications feature’ in many of the publications. This could take the form of placing one full-page mono advertisement and receive one full page of editorial, supplied predominantly by DCITA (the Department of Communications). Newspapers who take up the incentive will be rewarded with a second full-page mono advertisement. Those who do not take up the feature only receive one full-page mono advertisement. We estimate that there will be a 50% take-up.
· "Reason Number 326 Of What's Wrong With Our Media: Cash for comment play
· The whole idea of punk rock and politics was a mess from the beginning

Sydney Trend every Mittle Earth European approves of!
· See Also Gambits in, gambling out, as classics move into pubs

Analysis By the Electorate for the Electorate
Stephen Barber and Andrew Kopras take recently published postcode taxation statistics and aggregate them to an electorate basis. Summary information on such items as taxpayers, taxable income, tax paid and net tax ratio are shown for each electorate in Australia. Six tables ranking the electorates by various taxation categories are provided as well as two choropleth (colour coded) maps.
· See Also Taxable income and tax paid in Commonwealth electoral divisions, 2000–01 (PDF) [ courtesy of Successful delivery of professional and non-partisan services in a partisan environment]
· See Also In today’s infantile world of lifestyle politics, ask not what the arguments are or even what a voter believes in. It’s all about how you feel...

How Do you Feel ... Down But Not Out
The personal, intellectual, and political faults of Sartre are obvious today. Yet how much poorer we’d be without his oeuvre
· Accidental Friends
If you define “miracle” as a one in a million chance, then normal folks observe miracles, including ESP, about once a month
· See Also Australian & American colonies, including New Amsterdam, were rife with utopian loonies, sex deviants, and scary criminals: fine future citizens of the New World...
· Touch and Taste Australia: Dining Downunder: Didgeridoo & Fujara

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Investors facing tax crunch
Property investors face tighter deduction rules when filing their next tax returns in what may be a backdoor step towards reining in the overheated property market.
The Australian Tax Office said it would release new guidelines within six weeks on deductions landlords can claim for depreciating housing assets, such as lighting, air conditioning and even vacuum cleaning systems.

· Rental tax deductions exceeded declared rental income by $600 million in Australia last year

Stephen Barber and Andrew Kopras take recently published postcode taxation statistics and aggregate them to an electorate basis. Summary information on such items as taxpayers, taxable income, tax paid and net tax ratio are shown for each electorate in Australia. Six tables ranking the electorates by various taxation categories are provided as well as two choropleth (colour coded) maps.
· See Also Taxable income and tax paid in Commonwealth electoral divisions, 2000–01 (PDF) [ courtesy of Successful delivery of professional and non-partisan services in a partisan environment]

Monday, March 22, 2004

Smell the roses: Bob Carr dares to think about freedom
He's entering his 10th year as Premier, but some believe Bob Carr may quit within a year. The Government's practice of testing media or voter reaction before deciding whether to proceed with controversial initiatives has been characterised by some as a measure of Mr Carr's political astuteness. That might be so if the business of politics was wholly consumed with avoiding criticism and keeping one's fingers crossed in the hope that problems concealed do not rebound. The reality, however, is that the Government's almost obsessive aversion to controversy and criticism has swelled the bank of inaction on many of the very issues that now weaken its position.
· In essence, the Government has stored its troubles, not confronted them
· See Also As Samuel Johnson observed, nothing so concentrates the mind as the prospect of a hanging
· See Also Labor coast to coast? Bloody hell!

Sunday, March 21, 2004

In Confessions of a Tax Collector: One Man's Tour of Duty Inside the I.R.S., Mr. Yancey describes his 12 years with the agency. He relates everything from his on-the-job training by a General Patton-type manager who wishes he could carry a gun to his own slow but steady evolution into someone who could close down a four-person woodworking shop for failure to pay payroll taxes and seize homes of the seriously tax delinquent without losing sleep...

Confessions of a Tax Collector: One Man's tour of Duty Inside the IRS
Treasury has quietly sanctioned a massive hike in spending on large-scale Inland Revenue investigations in an attempt to increase the amount of tax being brought in from big companies and wealthy people.
· See Also Revenue quietly ups spending in tax dragnet
· See Also Book Review
· Book Richard Yancey [link first seen at Book TV]

Like Andrew Bartlett and Max Willis before him, he forgot the cardinal rule: evening sittings of Parliament are not like some version of a gentlemen's club where you can wander in after a good dinner and wear off the excesses of the libations offered freely in the Members' Dining Room. The cameras are always going - and they will catch you.
The Passion of the Boilermaker: Hand on heart, Labor does it better

Go To Your Party Room!
We used to joke at Drummond St in Carlton that "4 members of the Libs are not worth one member of the ALP". Well now I totally believe that having been there done that. For mine the Liberals still lack the volunteers for guts and hardness. I make no apologies for changing camps. Income levels change and ideologies often change. I now fully believe in free enterprise market.
· Political Rat Roadkill: Serving Two Party Machines
· See Also Ivo Svoboda (Freedom): Ex-Cabinet member's conviction rare step in fight against corruption
· See Also Corridors of Power: Commie season arrives
· See Also Kenny Kramer and George Costanza popped into the NSW upper house (Maiden Sighting at Catallaxy)

Saturday, March 20, 2004

At last, what poets had been saying for centuries was scientific fact. Rejection really does hurt. We can have a broken bone or a broken heart. We can feel the pain of a stomach ache or of heartache. We can be hurt by a dog's bite or by a biting remark...

From the outside, Looking In
Despite a dream life in a farmhouse in the French countryside, Isabel Huggan is still searching for her place in an alien land.
Time passes unevenly from place to place, has different weight and value. Here, it seems to have collapsed, folding in and compressing itself into something deep and dense, a richer, thicker brew than I, a child of the New World, have been accustomed to. The air I breathe as I walk by the Ourne is full of old souls, the noise of the water falling over the dam is like the sound of distant voices. Layer upon layer of lives come and gone.
In some ways I exist at a level beneath language, where words do not touch me, but at the same time I am forever trying to "catch on", to know and be known. I am not myself, at the same time as I am more myself than ever, for there is also constant clear definition...
A line floats into my head, so perfectly appropriate that it makes me laugh aloud: "If you can't be with the one you love, then love the one you're with." Easier said than done, of course. I know all about homesickness - sipping maple syrup from a spoon while listening to a cassette tape of loon calls, endlessly writing letters to friends asking for news, sifting through old photographs, weeping on the telephone. I've been there, that strange and dangerous place where longing can blind you to everything else. And so you learn to live with mal de pays as with a chronic illness or disability, you salt your days with nostalgie. Then finally you wake up and compare yourself to the millions of displaced people in the world who will never see their homes again, and you feel ashamed, and you stop.
The ghosts of the silkworms are as silent as they were in life, and you sleep without interruption, except for the hourly tolling of the bell at the mairie coming clear and sweet across the fields. It always rings the hour twice, as if to ensure that its message is heard: Listen, it says. Pay attention. This is where you are.
An exile in Darkness and Light
There's method in our sadness
Social rejection can be so painful that it sometimes leads to violence. But, researchers are finding ways to recover from ostracism, including social snacking.

· We often try to hurry others through the healing of social pain

An insightful feature can be digested by indulging in the latest edition of the SMH Good Weekend: 20 March 2004, p 18 about Billy Connolly. While there are many abondoned, abused and now rich as @*#%, there is only one Jozef Imrich ... Snippets:
Alcohol kept his mood and aggression levels elevated. I did not mind a good punch-up at all. I used to delight in being the world's only violent hippie....
For five decades, he has had a persistent nightmare, like Jozef, about drowning. What normally happens is he discovers he can breathe under water.

The whole thing reminds me of a great story by Spencer Holst (in his collection The Language of Cats, out of print), where a beautiful girl chats up a lonely old guy during a costume party, and he completely falls for her, and the story ends with her whispering to him, It's midnight, take off your mask. Of course, he wasn't wearing one.
· Ouch............. [ via Observant Gianna ]

Thursday, March 18, 2004

How News Spreads on the Internet: Blogjam Spreading Sport and Good Will
On my rough count, there are 100 times as many political bloggers in Australia as there are sports bloggers. Therefore, I unsyllogistically conclude that Australians are 100 times more interested in politics than sport.
· Webdiary: Tim Dunlop [ via RoadToSurfdom ]
· See Also Lord Sedgwick of Strathmore (OA, DFC, DSC, VC, KPMG, WTF, IOOF)

Are you afraid of the wages of sin?? If so, you don't want to visit my spooky Media Dragon!
Since the word is already out, I guess I might as well confirm it: Yes, I have sold out to The Man™ and will soon be blogging for cold, hard cash.
Which is pretty cool, isn't it? What's even better is that I'll be blogging for the Washington Monthly, a magazine I admire ...

· See Also How News Travels on the Internet [link first seen at DayPop ]
· Jesse Ruderman: Experience Google's new look [link first seen at Google ]
· Can Jason Calacanis challenge Nick Denton’s blog kingdom? Either way, he’ll pay for it
· Richest Writer

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Publishers strive to monopolize distribution and commoditize talent. But blogs commoditize distribution, restoring the writer's monopoly on talent.

Kos Kudos: Turtleneck is an Internet-only celebrity
He runs a hugely influential website called "Eschaton," at atrios.blogspot.com. It's a "blog" -- a sort of news junkie's online diary. He started the site back in April 2002, because it's better than yelling at the TV set. These days, he says, 40,000 viewers visit Eschaton every day, including bigwigs like columnist Michelangelo Signorile and New York Times attack pundit Paul Krugman.
· Atrios specializes in scoops that reporters should be digging up but don't
· Steve Outing gets credit for scooping everyone but Glenn Reynolds by reporting that Instapundit is now selling blogads
· Hey Bloggers -- Especially You Popular Political Types -- Why the Hell Don't You Accept BlogAds?
· See Also Weblogs
· See Also Blogads

Don't dismiss blogs as the online rantings of B-list writers. Interlinked and meritocratic, seething with fierce debate and rivalries, they're the best thing to hit journalism since the rise of the political pamphlet. If Adison and Steele, the editors of The Spectator and The Tatler, were alive and holding court at Starbucks, they'd be WiFi-ing into a joint blog...
On the surface, the battle between Andy and Atrios is a minor spat between a drama queen and a shrinking violet, but it has deeper rippes.
[ courtesy of All kinds of people at the keyboards are blushing now ]
· See Also Joshua Marshall: The indispensable political blog

Saturday, March 13, 2004

It's becoming the latest barbecue-stopper in Australia — what happens to
children who live in poverty
Former leader of the Australian Democrats, Meg Lees, blogs about poverty.

Krugman calls on Bush to reign in the red
In his latest book, The Great Unravelling, the Princeton University economist is calling on President Bush to abandon his program of trillion dollar tax cuts, otherwise, he claims, there may not be enough funds to pay for the waves of baby boomers who will soon retire.
· Paul Krugman [ courtesy of Backpages ]
· See Also Commonwealth should take over the hospital system

All together now: not, not, not responsible
The PricewaterhouseCoopers report into National Australia Bank's foreign currency options losses provides a gripping and extraordinarily disturbing insight into the inner workings of the bank.
It is disturbing because, while the report paints a picture of four rogue traders motivated by greed and arrogance who deliberately, over years, circumvented the bank's monitoring and risk management systems, they were able to do so because layers of NAB people were too complacent to act or to think through the implications of their activities.

· Gripping and extraordinarily disturbing insight into the inner workings of the bank
· See Also Stone Cold: Extraordinary 15-year lease to rent 90 per cent of the building to the Australian National Audit Office, the agency ironically accountable to Parliament to keep the bureaucrats honest and accountable

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Male Role Models
Beware of any politician that mentions the wedge terminology. He or she is only wanting the other side to get off their turf. No party has a mortgage over any voter block. Particularly when they may be ignoring the priorities or concerns of bedrock supporters.
· http://www.wooing voters with policies

Getting a life: understanding the downshifting phenomena in Australia
Downshifters are people who make a voluntary decision to reduce their income in order to improve the quality of their lives.
The study identifies four main reasons for downshifting; a desire for a more balanced life; a clash between personal values and those of the workplace; the search for a more fulfilling life; and ill health.

· Search
· See Also Consumer capitalism: is this as good as it gets?

BBC has a World Book Day opening lines quiz:
Nippy, nice. No hernia or knicker-flashing getting in and out. Stylish with comfort ie my teeth don’t rattle in your head on country lanes and my kidneys don’t dislodge on the speed humps in my road.

Ridiculous Advances
Granta-editor Ian Jack puzzles over the huge amounts paid for politicians' stories.
Why do publishers do it ? I have heard several explanations. The publicity adds glamour to the imprint, it's good to have a politician at your party, and, well, you never know, it might be a good book. However, the most convincing one I have heard is: because we're stupid.

· Thanks for the memories [link first seen at 5 ballots in mayor's race linked to the dead ]
· See Also Comprehensive analysis of lobbying in Florida's capital: Some make as much as $4-million a year
· See Also Nearly one of every four dollars given to local candidates comes from just 10 donors
· Kawamoto's coffers paid for traffic tickets and other car costs

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

A new cold war has broken out in the software world and it will shape our future heights From code war to Cold War. Ahhh Jozef Imrich & James Bond considered too tall to be spies...

J.F.K., Marilyn, Camelot: On Secret Sauce
Thomas Friedman, who usually gets things right, certainly hits the nail on the head in the offshoring debate. It's all about innovation and the US leads the world in that category. And we will continue to as long as we keep our people free, our markets open, and our education system full of independent thinkers...
· I lost my job to India and all I got was this [lousy] T-shirt
· See Also Only in Amerika: Teenager's love letter to John Kerry

Monday, March 08, 2004

On the one hand, you don't want to give somebody like that any more free publicity and implicitly thereby credit them. On the other hand, it's news. A controversy needs a high concept, an outrage or a plausible allegation that can be summed up in a sentence...

* Star: Vulgarity
There is an economy of controversy, and we're all players in it. Every day, new controversies are brought to market and traded on the media's vast exchange. Recent successful offerings include The Dean Scream, Janet's Nipple, Mel and Jesus, and Gay Marriage.
What do these stories have in common? Superficially, nothing. The controversy market appears to behave in a totally random fashion, as if each morning somebody rings a bell at the start of trading, and what happens next is anyone's guess. As if controversy were pure madness. But there's a method to this market -- identifiable patterns, behaviors, and tendencies. And once you learn them, the business of controversy begins to make a funny kind of sense.

· So what becomes a controversy most?
· See Also The Misadventures of Mizuki: a multiepisode feature titled The Adventures of Mizuki: A Continuing Story

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Anyone who doubts there is a crisis of morals and shortage of role models for young people must surely take stock!

The seven ages of Sydney: Inside party's plot to destroy Clover
Clover Moore, independent MP for inner-city Bligh and suddenly the frontrunner in the race to become Sydney City's next lord mayor, has become a moving target for powerful vested interests.
· Alex Mitchell [ courtesy of Followup: Labor's spiky-haired nightmare ]
· See Also Clover: Leaf out of a very public life
See Also hard copy of the Sun Herald, dated 7 March 2004, opinion column by Margo Kingston (not available on line as at 13:15 pm Eastern Time.)

Thursday, March 04, 2004

My dear Michelle, there are some things that are not done, such as drinking Dom Perignon '53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. That is just as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs. (In Gold Finger circa Prague Spring of 1968)

Inquiry over car tax rort
The chief executive of the NSW Motor Traders' Association, James McCall, said there was a well-established racket in misusing wholesale motor dealer's licences.
A Maserati or Ferrari might sell for $300,000 or $400,000, he said, and the savings made by using the wholesale dealer strategy could come to $60,000 or more.
They drive these things around, and when you question them they say they have been 'trying to sell'. But it is a racket and it is going on all over NSW. We know of an instance where a car hire firm bought half a dozen Mercedes and called them stock.
· See Also Luxury Cars Tricks
· See Also Taxing State Federal Relations: GST tax revenues

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Satre of Sydney
The Energy Minister, Frank Sartor, has been accused of interfering in Town Hall politics by imploring residents to vote for the former Liberal state leader Peter Collins over the independent state MP Clover Moore, Labor's biggest electoral threat.
· Sartor defends meddling in mayoral race as his democratic right [ via ]
· Postmodern Public language is very efficient, if the aim is to keep us all in the dark

Without Illusions: Multiculturalism - Trust The Ones You Know?
A large ongoing survey of American communities seems to show, uncomfortably, that levels of trust and co-operation are highest in the most homogenous neighbourhoods. People living in diverse areas, it turns out, are not just more suspicious of people who don't look like them; they are also more suspicious of their own kind. Because of that, they suffer socially, economically and politically
· Sorted by relevance Sort by date
Diversity makes people anti-social. That is not as catastrophic ... as my coffee cup

· FARAH PAHLAVI A Life in Exile: Everything in the end is about money
· How Music Saved My Life: DBC Pierre dodging bailiffs and battling depression

Börsenblatt reports on a recent Italian marketing ploy that apparently worked out quite well: publisher Sperling & Kupfer had an ad agency distribute 30,000 copies of the first chapter of forthcoming books (6 aprile '96 by Sveva Casati Modignani and Il nuovo senso della vita by Paolo Mosca) in 25 hospital waiting rooms in Bologna. When the books then came out sales were considerably higher than anticipated -- the first chapters apparently hooking quite a few readers (and the publicity surrounding the stunt presumably also helping).

Getting To The Soul Of Things
As traditionally understood, the soul is something that is both within us and yet superior to us, a repository for the most precious (or in some accounts "divine") aspects of us. The soul survives when the rest of us dies, it can continue indefinitely (like a kind of hardy seed preserved in arctic tundra), and may even reinhabit a bodily form at another time.
· Hollywood, said Marilyn Monroe, is a place where you get $1000 for a kiss “and fifty cents for your soul. So what is a soul?

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