How to Get Off an Annoying email list … Fool Proof. Guaranteed.

This is an edited extract from an article I wrote in 2004 for the Herald Sun titled ‘Why is everyone so angry all the time?’ It still seems relevent today. But the best bit is:

“Why are there so many angry people? The first reason is stress. Modern life (including wars and pandemics) is demanding what with the bills, the job, the traffic, the blood pressure pills and rushing around. Then there are the bureaucracies. Large companies today don’t listen, don’t care. You get fobbed off with recorded messages. You line up to fill your own petrol tank and then line up to pay. You can’t even get off a mailing list. This apology was printed recently in Harvard Magazine. ‘We have learned that the obituary of Erik Humphrey Gordon ’95, which appeared in the July-August ‘01 issue, was based on false information provided by the subject himself in an effort to get off Harvard’s mailing list. Mr Gordon is alive and well in New York City. We apologise for the error.’  Bravo Mr Gordon. He got imodern life namely that you have to stage your own death just to get off a bloody annoying email list!!!!!

Why we AUSSIES are LOST & CONFUSED at Easter …

At Easter I think of an Aussie Republic because in 1999 we rejected changing the Constitution PREAMBLE to one that began ‘In God we hope …’

So who was this Aussie GOD meant to be?

And how religious are we anyway? Full article here.

Everyone-Has-A-Say Science for those who believe, like, anything!

I wrote this article in 2005. In view of the Anit-Vax movement it seems more relevant now than ever. 

Good evening parents and welcome to this Information Night about our exciting new subject Everyone-Has-A-Say Science. In this Year 7 program we don’t just respect individual beliefs; we embrace them.

And here are the fascinating topics your children will study this year:

Matter: Matter is made up of small particles called atoms. Atoms can combine to form big molecules like DNA and big crystals, which have mystical powers. Crystals bestow good fortune and can, obviously, help with homework.

Light: Light is a form of energy. Each colour of light has a different wavelength. A crystal with magical powers can split white light into different colours to form a rainbow. A rainbow is a sign of good luck or that it’s been raining. People’s heads can also split light into different colours. This is an aura. An aura is a person’s energy field. Red is for anger; while the flashing red aura means ‘Warning: I’m about to explode’.

Full Article: New Loony Science

St Paddy’s Day, the Oirish, the Green Beer and Me

Edited extract of an article I wrote for The Canberra Times, March 2013

Irish GifIt’d be St Paddy’s Day soon and not just in Oiland. All over, like. Oi’ll be turnin’ meself into a cliché to get in ehead of the rest of yiz. You can drop the accent now. Keep it for Thursday 17th March, 2022. But why do the Irish celebrate St Patrick’s  Day  globally  by  channelling Leprechauns, talking blarney, swilling green beer and  slurring  ‘When  Irish  eyes are smiling … da da dada’ because no-one can remember the lyrics? Happy St Clichés Day.

I have  the  Irish  in  me.  What  with  the Meehans, the O’Donnells and the O’Mearas, Irishness has been layered in my soul like lines of sediment in a fossilised rock. I’ve inherited the fist fighting fury, the lilting poetry, the blarney and, Holy Mother of Sweet Jesus, bog Irish Catholicism. I’d have pure Irishness throbbing  in  my  veins except for one grandmother, a Beardsell of English stock, sent among us, I suspect, to make the rest of us eat with the proper fork.

to read the full article click on title below:

St Paddy’s Day, the Oirish, the Green Beer and Me by Kerry Cue

Damn You 2022! How to be Positively Positive against the Odds!

Here is my favourite quote of all time from American author, Richard Powers. You’ll find a slower read below.

Richard Powers is the author of ten novels, including Galatea 2.2, The Echo Maker , and Generosity. His writing often combines fiction with the themes of historical events or, as with his latest book, scientific developments. His novel The Echo Maker won the 2006 National Book Award for Fiction. He lives in Illinois.

‘Art is a way of saying what it means to be alive, and the most salient feature of existence are the unthinkable odds against it.

For every way there is of being here, there are an infinity of ways of not being here.

Historical accident snuffs out whole universes with every clock tick.

Statistics declare us ridiculous.

Thermodynamics prohibits us.

Life, by any reasonable measure, is impossible, and my life – this, here now – infinitely more so.

Art is a way of saying, in the face of all that impossibility, just how worth celebrating it is to be able to say anything at all.’

Richard Powers, Generosity.

The SPLONK Book! ….. For 4-6 year olds in Sydney. It’s free.

When Melbourne was in the long LOCKDOWN last year there were reports that some 4-year-olds were stressed. So I made this funny little ebook called SOME THINGS GO SPLONK! to help 4 – 6 year-olds in crazy times.

It’s free.

Here is Some Things Go Splonk by Kerry Cue-compressed as a pdf file. Or you can look at each page one at a time below.

My Top 10 Holidays in Hell

Lockdown Again. Sometimes, staying home is the better choice. This article was published in 2007 in the Herald Sun and The Advertiser (SA)

We all have an air-brushed image of what a Perfect Holiday should look like. Maybe you see yourself, Copacabana cocktail in hand, lazily watching the waves gently lapping in the tropical sunset as the children happily build sandcastles in the pristine sand. Reality, however, might deliver squadrons of death-dive mosquitos, prickly sunburnt flesh, whinging, niggly kids, gale force winds sandblasting legs, and cabin neighbours of the doof-doof booming rave party kind. Here’s my reality, my Top Ten Holidays in Hell.

  1. Sailing the Whitsunday Passage. Location is important. We head out in the hire yacht come fiberglass bathtub when the cyclone hits. The waves kick up. We don storm gear and harnesses and my beloved struggles to drop the mainsail. He drops it and the boom — there’s no topping lift apparently – on my head. We limp wounded and weary into the rocky bossom of Nara Inlet. Every rock face is graffitied by yachties. We spend five days in a pointy-ended double bed reading Jesus Saves and Windcatcher II on paint-splattered rocks and go home. 
  2. Darwin. Timing is everything. I’m in Darwin the weekend of the year 12 end-of-year socials. They book out every other room in the hotel. It’s like being trapped with the Austrian Screaming Choir and Door-Slammers Convention. At 4am all is quiet, briefly. Then they start throwing up.
  3. Haverford West, Wales. Safety is an issue. With boarded-up shops and hotel, we feel uneasy. Alas, the town is not so much protected as deserted. Haverford West reached its peak in 1625. The highlight of the town is a pillar with a plaque stating that William Nichol was burnt at the stake ‘on this spot’ in 1558. The last good night out in Haverford West. 
  4. Drunen, Holland. Local customs lead to misunderstandings. It’s Tres Konika when the old Christmas Trees are burnt a few days after Christmas. We head out on bicycles to watch the bonfires and fireworks, but the fireworks are homemade. Skyrockets spiral out of control and hit neighbours windows. Crackers go ‘boom’ not’ bang’. It was like being caught in a mini-war on bicycles. I cycled for my life.
  5. The White Cliffs of Dover. Unrealistic expectations mean trouble. This is the big family trip. This will be educational for the kids I assume. In Hong Kong, we buy Game Boys. Travelling through Europe by car, train, and boat all I can hear is ‘Ping. Ping. Ping’ beside me. I make them look at important landmarks. They pause their Game Boys look up, nod, and return to the game. Approaching England by ferry one kid is seasick the other is glued to the Game Boy. There were Mario Brothers over the White Cliffs of Dover. Educational content nil. Game Boy scores excellent.
  6. Italy. It pays to consult a reputable Travel Book except in Italy. Establishments close in Italy on a random basis. We managed to visit Italy the week it was shut. Florence. Lucca. Pisa. Shut. Even restaurants. We were so desperate we ate at a Castrol Service Station café. But God Bless the Italians. Even at a service station, the food was superb.
  7. Warner World, Queensland. Convivial travel companions are a must so why do we travel with the family? Convivial they ain’t. We arrive at the gates of Warner Brothers and the 6-year-old refuses to go in. I can hardly get her in a headlock and drag her in. Two hours of terrorist negotiation in the car park reaches a one-ride-only compromise. I walk in the gate and tell Batman to ‘Get lost’. Never again. She says ‘It was great.’ 
  8. Greece. Food hygiene awareness is vital when travelling. In the land of my cousin will do it, I get two bouts of food poisoning. Too many health inspectors have cousins in the restaurant business, I guess. With one bunged up a knee from netball, I’m wobbling along with a walking stick. Delphi is the first stop of this Salmonella Tour. Know Thyself is inscribed here. Know Thy plumbing is more relevant and to add to this agony I have to hop.
  9. Germany. Terrorist threats can impede travel especially if authorities think you are a terrorist. It’s the seventies. I’m travelling with my svelte beloved who has long hair, beard, and denim shirt. He’s suspected of belonging to the Bader Meinhoff cell. We’re stopped by a police blockade with machine guns pointing at us. It’s scary. The police are wearing ill-fitting green uniforms and scraggly long hair poking out of battered caps. It’s like being arrested by Melbourne Tram conductors. They want proof of identity. Not the passport. Not travel documents. Not credit cards. They go through every bit of our luggage and spread it out on the side of the road. An old battered, folded blue sheet of paper saves us. It’s titled Victorian Drivers License. 
  10. Disneyland, USA. Weather counts. The first trip it’s a sunny holiday weekend in LA. Disneyland is packed. It’s a 4-hour wait for some rides. Half an hour wait for the toilet. You could join a queue without knowing exactly where it led. We see Mickey Mouse at a distance. It’s the first time I’ve seen a mouse overrun by a plague of people. Disneyland rates my top hell-hole holiday billing because we didn’t learn from the first trip. We went back ten years later. This time El Nino had hit the coast of California. There is torrential rain and mudslides. Disneyland is awash. Main St is under 10cm of water. The Matterhorn bobsleds fill with water. It sloshes over your front on the way up the mountain and over your back on the way down. But there are no people. We walk into the Pirates of the Caribbean ride feeling like wet, bedraggled pirate hands. A few lashes of the cat o’ninetails would have only added to the experience. 

Sometimes staying home is the best option.