September 6, 2002
Let me start off by mentioning Stu Smith, a great friend and a persistent "noodge", who complains that I never mention him in my newsletter. This should get me in his good graces for about two minutes, although he will complain that I called him a "noodge". Some days you can't win.
FROM THE DEPARTMENT OF NEW USES FOR YOUR TOY CAR COLLECTION
Admittedly, some of the best items in this newsletter originate in the U.K., particularly in England. I don't know if it's the national temperment or the weather there, but no matter, thanks for all the interesting news, Brits! It seems that day-trippers on the seafront at Cleveleys, near Blackpool were startled yesterday by a hamster driving around in a toy sports car. According to the Blackpool Evening Gazette, the rodent was whizzing about the beach at a good clip. Responsible citizens handed in the hamster and his speeding auto to the police station at Cleveleys. This must not have been an easy thing to do as the police report that every time they set the vehicle down on the desk, the hamster sped off again. The car had been outfitted with a hamster exercise wheel, so the animal was able to propel it by running inside the wheel. According to The Gazette, "the police log records: "A member of the public has handed in a hamster in a hot rod racing car." A witness, PC Allen told the paper: "It was a proper toy racing car with a hamster wheel in the middle and as the hamster runs it operates the car." The hamster, along with his "rod" is now doing time at the SPCA. Police surmised that someone brought the hamster to the seaside resort and began playing with him, but that the animal simply sped away. No word on whether the teeny tiny little police mice wrote the hamster a ticket, or whether his wheels will be impounded until he pays the fine.
PC GONE TOO FAR DEPARTMENT
Sears, the nation's fourth largest retailer, has pulled T-shirts off its shelves after being criticized by mental health advocates because the slogans on the shirts "make fun of the metally ill", according to Reuters. The T-shirts said "You should hear the NAMES the VOICES in my head are calling you." Reuters also reports that last week Target asked its stores to remove a line of clothing and baseball caps sporting the "88" symbol after the Southern Poverty Law Center, a national organization that tracks racist groups, said the two eights were a clandestine Neo-Nazi symbol. Extremely clandestine, since absolutely no one has ever heard of it. Does this mean that stores will stop selling those "I'm With Stupid" T-shirts under pressure from advocates of those who are developmentally delayed? Because if they will, I'm all for it, but I think the protests ought to come from advocates of a more attractive environment.
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Classic Reader - Don't miss this one! Classic books are posted here for you to read - free! No recent NY Times bestsellers. These are all great classics, out of copyright. If you meant to read Moby Dick and never got around to it, you can do it right on your computer screen. Ditto all kinds of Louisa May Alcott, Virginia Woolf, Balzac, Tolstoy, Conrad, P.G. Wodehouse (a personal favorite of mine), and countless others. Do yourself a favor - it's better than a trip to the library! LINK.
Ancient Scripts - Puzzled by those strange symbols in the cave out back in your yard? Well, pay a visit to Ancient Scripts, the web site that examines the art of writing in cultures much older than ours. Civilization's writing systems, from Arabic to Zapotec, are illustrated, described and cross-referenced here. Scripts are listed alphabetically and classified by how they work, and their relationship to others. A scholarly and fascinating site! LINK.
Egg, The Arts Show - If you've ever seen this series on PBS, you'll want to watch it here on the net. If you've never seen it, do go. It is wonderful! Try the one about working actors. Fascinating! LINK.
So, Accumulators, off to the family celebrations. To those Accumulators who are fellow members of the Hebrew faith, L'Shanah Tovah, Happy New Year. To everyone else, Happy New Year as well. I wish you all health and joy, prosperity and love, and fervently hope that this year we may at last achieve peace on earth. Happy Hunting!
© 2002 Judith Katz-Schwartz. All rights reserved.
Antiques and Collectibles Newsletter #190
U.S. Library of Congress
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