Chim, Chim, Chiree

A recent Op-Ed piece in the New York Times suggested, maybe it was time to scrutinize the Mary Poppins musical for unfair portrayal of African-Americans.

Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke will always be the main characters in my thinking. What was it about the two loveable chimney sweeps, the NYT author found offensive?

They danced and sang with soot smeared on their faces. Did the production deserve to be painted as racist?  Main characters, who were white, danced across rooftops.  Was it too similar to minstrel shows, where whites in blackface, exaggerated African-American speech and mannerisms for the sake of humor?

I didn’t see the connection. And from an informal survey, I don’t think very many other people did, either.  This fanciful, musical, romp from the past did not smack of racial insensitivity, in my opinion.  If the author’s intent was to be controversial, for controversies sake, It certainly fit the bill.

Image, http://www.

Bovine Gold

There’s gold in them thar’ cow’s urine.  Could it be true?

According to the “Indian Express” study on the Gir cow species done by a team of researchers at the Junagadh Agricultural University (JAU) in the city of Guhjarat…carried out over a period of five years.

The study was mounted to validate a claim in a Hindu scripture that cow urine contains gold.

Scientists in India sampled urine from 500 cow test subjects.  They discovered 10-30 mg of gold in a liter of urine–also, tiny amounts of silver, and calcium.

So, what was the significance?  Would there be a new gold rush, from this new, unusual source?

Professor Balu Golakia, head of the research team, said in an interview: ‘The gold salt in cow urine can be transformed into powder, then into metal balls.  But we do not prescribe to start an industry of extracting gold from cow urine.’

There was no mention of mining meadow muffins–the other bovine waste product.

Other species–buffaloes, camels, goats and sheep, were urine tested, with negative results.


–quoted passages from: prabukm@sph,–


“Fifty Shades of Grey,” an avant-garde, artsy-fartsy, S-M film, is about to be released in this country.  The talk of the town–with jokes flying through the air, about bondage, restraint, kinky sex.  It’s rumored, some British hardware stores, are prepared for runs on plastic zip ties, ropes, duct tape, and other items.  To me–it’s just more porn, in a different disguise–with a musical score.

In light of this, I would like to share a quote, from one of my all-time favorite comedy movies–“It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad, World.”  From British comedian, Terry Thomas–a description of American culture, from 1963; which according to him, was a matriarchy.

I don’t understand the absolutely, mad (American) preoccupation with bosoms.  If women stopped wearing brassieres–the American economy would collapse overnight.

Sexist?  Perhaps–after all, it was 1963.  However, American fascination with the tawdry–including bosoms; women as sex objects, hasn’t changed.