Home' Greymouth Star : September 29th 2014 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Monday, September 29, 2014
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uLetters to the editor
1923 - Britain begins ruling Palestine under a
League of Nations mandate.
1938 - The Munich agreement is signed
between France, Germany, Britain
and Italy in which the German-
speaking part of Czechoslovakia,
the Sudetenland, is surrendered to
1941 - O ver two days, the
Germans kill 33,771 Jewish men,
women and children in the Babi
Yar massacre at a ravine near Kiev in World
1950 - General Douglas MacArthur hands
over Seoul to President Syngman Rhee of
1957 - Almost 300 people are killed when
an express train hits a parked oil train in West
1960 - Russian leader Nikita Khrushchev
heckles and thumps his desk during a speech
by British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan
to the UN General Assembly.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Horatio Nelson, English admiral (1758-1805);
Gene Autry, US actor-singer-
Trevor Howard, British actor
(1916-1988); Anita Ekberg,
Swedish actress (1931-); Jerry Lee
Lewis, US singer (1935-); Silvio
Berlusconi, former Prime Minister
of Italy (1936-); Lech Walesa,
Polish leader and 1983 Nobel
Peace Prize winner (1943-); Sebastian Coe,
British athlete-politician (1956-); Julia Gillard,
former Australian prime minister (1961-).
“ Most of the shadows of this life are caused
by standing in our own sunshine” — Ralph
Waldo Emerson, American essayist and poet
“ We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is
never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect
man, able to keep his whole body in check.”
— James 3:2
Perfect sound and a
picture with a “ little
snow ” was the final
report of Mr D Jellie
today after experiments on the banks of the
Hokitika River yesterday with two television
receivers. With a 10-element aerial sited
above, the two sets performed “amazingly
well” according to Mr Jellie. “ The next step,”
he said this morning, “will be the formation
of a television society to raise finance for the
erection of a translator.”
“Snow ” on a television screen looks exactly
like snowflakes and is usually associated with
fringe area reception where the signal is weak.
However, according to Mr Jellie the snow was
so slight yesterday considering the distance
from the Christchurch transmitter that
Canterbury people probably would have been
amazed at the quality of the reception.
Cheers that should have been echoed down
the years by thousands of Greymouth children
first rang out in Dixon Park 60 years ago. On
September 28, 1904, the cheers were called for
Mr Ben Dixon for the major part he played in
the provision and beautifying of the children’s
Today is the official 60th birthday of this
small Greymouth beauty spot and play area
for children on the southern approaches to the
town, bounded by Tainui, High and Brunner
It is a commentary on rising costs in every
field and in particular the field of borough
works when the mayor, Mr James A Petrie, laid
stress on the “ big sum” that had been spent to
turn the former wilderness into a park.
The big sum? — £65.
uFood for thought
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f you dislike crowds, noise or
beer, this is not the time to visit
Munich. Even though it is called
Oktoberfest, one of the world’s
largest fun fairs has already
started and is drawing in its
usual crowd of millions.
But if you do like them, or want the beer
despite those other distractions, now ’s
the time to go. The fair, whose start was
moved for ward into September long ago
to profit from the late summer, goes on
this year until October 5.
Oktoberfest was first celebrated in
1810 when Crown Prince Ludwig
married Princess Therese and invited
Munich’s citizens to join the party on the
Theresienwiesen (“Therese’s meadow ”),
the fields in front of the then city gates.
The traditional Bavarian clothes worn
back then are still in fashion now in the
huge beer tents run by the city’s breweries.
Men wear leather shorts called lederhosen
and women don the dirndl, a dress with
an old-fashioned bodice that can range
from the austere to the rather revealing.
If you are up for the local look, you
can lay your hands on the kit anywhere
in Munich from luxury boutiques on
Maximilianstrasse to second hand shops
in the side streets.
Clad in your new outfit, stroll across
the “ Wiesn” (fair grounds) and soak up
the aroma of cotton candy and roasted
almonds and the scent of barley and hops
from all that beer.
More than six million visitors from
Germany and around the world attend
the Oktoberfest every year.
So where is the beer?
One place to look is the new Marstal
beer tent, the first big new tent in a
generation, a change which tradition-
conscious Munich locals have been
sceptical about. The tent may therefore
not be as crowded as others.
Young locals favour the Schuetzen-
Festzelt tent, famous for its suckling
pig in malt beer. The even younger ones
head to the Schottenhamel, where the
Oktoberfest ’s first keg is tapped.
The tapping of the first keg gets local
hearts going, not just because the beer will
finally flow, but also because everybody
is keen to see how many times the city’s
mayor has to hit the tap to hammer it in.
It was four for Munich’s new mayor this
year, leaving room for improvement in
Traditional charm can be found in the
Hacker tent, decked out in the Bavarian
colours white and blue, and at the
Braeurosl or Augustiner tents. The latter
is the only brewery that still uses wooden
kegs for storage.
The Oktoberfest tents ser ve local
delicacies such as thirst-provoking oxen,
pork knuckles and salty pretzels. But for
a less pricey version and possibly more
authentic Munich meal, try one of the
city’s many beer halls or gardens.
The Augustiner beer hall in Munich’s
main pedestrian zone is a favourite
after-work meeting spot. The Chinese
Tower beer garden in the English Garden
park, known for its tall wooden pagoda,
is a classic, but farther away from the
Once you are inside a tent, where the
oompah of the brass bands mingles
with sing-alongs and the cheer of merry
drinkers, find a table, order drinks and
food, and have fun. Prost!
Remember the beer not only comes in a
1litre ‘mass’ glass, but at around 6% is also
stronger than the brew you might be used
to. Pace yourself or risk passing out and
becoming a Bierleiche (beer corpse).
The litre will cost ($12.40 to12.90) this
year, roughly 30 cents more than last year.
If you want to get into a beer tent but
have no reser vation, be ready to turn up
before noon. Tents open at 9am on the
While there is seating for some 115,000
people in total, they shut once they are
full. On rare occasions, access is shut to
the entire Wiesn site due to overcrowding.
For your first view of the fair, try a
turn on the Ferris wheel. For the more
adventurous, try one of the stomach-
turning rollercoasters before, rather than
after, sampling the beer.
The Toboggan, offering the sight of
punters struggling to stay upright on an
uphill conveyor belt, is a favourite and
explains why Schadenfreude (deriving
pleasure from someone else’s misfortune)
is a German word. Its entertainment value
makes up for its lack of gut-churning
If the weather is not kind to you, you
could head to the Marienplatz in the heart
of Munich to check out the city hall and
the cathedral and find a restaurant in the
All but a few beer tents have ser ved their
last round at about 11pm. A few places,
like the Schuetzen-Festzelt, have a ritual
last song of the night.
If you’re into Rainhard Fendrich, an
Austrian pop star who goes down well
with the Bavarian crowd, head to the
Schuetzen for a recital of his love song
Weus’d a Herz host wia a Bergwerk
(Because you have a heart like a mine —
yes, it works better in German).
You can either go on to Weinzelt (wine
tent) or the Kaefer tent, both of which still
ser ve alcohol after midnight.
Alternatively, there are after-parties all
over the city.
Follow the locals. Surely by now you will
have befriended some.
If clubbing is your thing, however, and
you want to dance off some of those
beer-calories, try out the stylish — if a tad
pretentious — P1 club.
Located underneath the Haus der Kunst
art museum, a Nazi-built structure which
hosted the infamous 1937 exhibition of
degenerate art, P1 is a haunt for Munich’s
upper class and celebrities and those that
would like to be either.
The doormen are ruthless in their
entrance policy, so glam up or you’ ll be left
standing in the cold.
For some fresh air, or maybe to cure a
hangover, try a walk around the English
Gardens, a rare oasis of tranquillity during
the Oktoberfest and one of the world’s
largest urban parks.
Don’t be taken by surprise if you
wander into the area reser ved for naked
The Free Body Culture movement was
founded in the early 20th century and
succeeded in taking much of the smut and
embarrassment out of nudity.
Another curiosity is the surfers riding
the small waves at the mouth of an
artificial stream running through the
gardens, not far from the P1.
An alternative relaxing destination just
out of town is Lake Starnberg, formed
from Ice Age glaciers from the Alps and
offering stunning mountain views on a
c lear day.
The hardy can attempt a dip in the 21km
long freshwater lake, go windsurfing or
sailing, while the more laid-back can
simply stroll along the shore with its
brightly painted wooden boathouses or
hop on a ferry. — Reuters
The Simpons rack up 25 years
As the animated bumbling patriarch
of Fox’s hit tv comedy The Simpsons,
Homer Simpson has won a Grammy,
journeyed to space, been a baseball
mascot, bowled a perfect game and
nearly destroyed and saved Springfield
on more than one occasion.
After 25 years and 552 episodes,
Homer and his family are gearing
up for season 26, which kicked
off yesterday with the death of
a Springfield resident. It will be
followed by the season premiere of
Seth MacFarlane’s animated Fox show
Family Guy, where the Griffins visit
the Simpsons in Springfield.
Created by Matt Groening, The
Simpsons premiered on Fox in 1989
and is the longest-running animated
series in the history of United States
television. It is the world’s most-
watched US tv show, syndicated across
more than 100 countries with 150
million viewers a week.
The tales of donut-loving Homer,
housewife Marge, rebellious Bart,
prodigy Lisa and baby Maggie from
the fictitious American town of
Springfield, have tapped into the
shifting American zeitgeist and become
embedded in pop culture.
Season 26 will also see Marge delving
into the sandwich business, Mr Burns
finding a girlfriend and losing his
money to Space X founder Elon Musk,
and Bart exacting revenge on a new
teacher. Guest voices will include
Musk, Jane Fonda, Nick Offerman and
Ahead of Sunday ’s premiere, Homer
waxed lyrical with Reuters (through the
collective of writers at The Simpsons)
on family goals, newfound friendships
and nuclear energy.
Q: After 552 adventures, what ’s next
for you and the family?
A:Mydream istoput one of mykids
(through) college. The other two are on
Q: Any place you’d like to go that you
haven’t been yet?
A: I’d just like to go to Brazil one
time without everyone trying to kill
Q: Which celebrity would you like to
come visit Springfield?
A: I would love a visit from the
Donut Fairy, if indeed there is such a
Q: I hear you had a recent encounter
with the Griffins of Family Guy. Is this
the beginning of a new friendship?
A: Yes we have great new friends we
will never ever see again.
Q: Your kids Bart, Lisa and Maggie
have achieved a fair amount of notable
moments, from being a member of
Mensa to destroying Springfield
Elementary and attempted murder.
What do you hope they each become
in the future?
A: I hope when the boy goes to jail, as
he certainly will, it’s for a misdemeanor.
I deeply hope and pray Maggie learns
how to talk. And Lisa would love to
be president. I would love to live in
the White House where the chef has
to make you pork chops whenever you
Q: Just between us, which kid is really
A: First you tell me which Fox
animated show is your favourite.
Q: If Chief Wiggum held a gun to
your head — a frightening prospect
given his incompetence — and made
you choose between donuts and your
kids, what would you do?
A: I wouldn’t worry because he’d
forget to load it. By the way, do police
chiefs do that where YOU come from?
Q: You’ve spent many years working
in Sector 7G of Springfield’s nuclear
power plant. What are your thoughts
on nuclear energy? Would you eat sushi
from Lake Springfield?
A: Nuclear energy has given me a
healthy green glow, even at night. I
would not eat sushi from anywhere,
after nearly being killed by fugu
( Japanese blowfish).
Q: I’d love to come have dinner
with you and Marge. What are the
directions to Springfield again?
A: Turn left at Ogdeenville then go
5km past Shelbville.
An Israeli museum unveiled what it says
in the oldest known Jewish prayer book in
the world, dating back to the 9th century
The prayer book, about 10cm long and
7cm wide, is written in Hebrew, contains
about 50 pages, and is still in its original
binding. It was donated to the Bible Lands
Museum in Jerusalem by Oklahoma
businessman Steve Green, a devout
Christian and owner of one of the largest
collections of rare Biblical artefacts in the
Green’s family controls the Hobby
Lobby crafts store chain, which won a
c losely watched United States Supreme
Court ruling in June that allows it to
assert religious beliefs to avoid covering
contraceptives in employee health plans.
Green said the book originated in the
Middle East and that three experts,
working independently, had carbon-dated
it to 820 AD.
Haggai Ben Shammai, the academic
director of Israel’s National Library, agreed
that the prayer book could be the most
ancient Hebrew codex known to exist,
though he said there is another contender
A codex is a manuscript bound in book
form with writing on both sides of page.
Until the 5th or 6th century, Hebrew
documents were written on parchment
scrolls, so a codex represents a big step
for ward in the history of manuscripts.
“I have no doubt it ’s an important
thing,” Shammai said. “ We don’t have very
ancient examples of Jewish codexes.”
But Aviad Stollman, curator of the
National Library’s Judaica collection, said
he is not convinced Green’s donation is
from the 9th century, or that it is even
an ancient codex or Jewish prayer book.
He said the manuscript needed further
research to shed light on its authenticity.
“ Perhaps it is a collection of papers,”
Stollman said. “ In some ways it looks as
if someone took a bunch of papers and
Museum director Amanda Weiss said
she was convinced that the prayer book
is genuine based on the carbon dating of
Green’s experts. Alluding to the prayers it
contains prayers still recited by obser vant
Jews today she said it had special cultural
significance and is “a testament to the
continuity of the Jewish people.”
Green said he came from a very religious
family and had several relatives who had
been clergymen. He said he donated the
book because he wanted to “ bring our love
for the Bible to the land of the Bible.”
His family plans to spend hundreds
of millions of dollars to create a Bible
museum on land near the National Mall
in Washington. It’s scheduled to open in
2017 and will display the family’s massive
collection of Biblical artefacts, including
ancient texts. — AP
Museum unveils ancient Jewish prayer book
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