The Thing From Bloggy Swamp

"Music is real--the rest is scenery." Fats Waller

Con Chapman

Con Chapman
Boston, Massachusetts, US of A
September 28
. . . is the author of over fifty books--some with paper!--available on and elsewhere.

HIBBING, Minnesota.  There's a buzz going around this town of 17,000 in northeastern Minnesota as rumors spread that its most famous musician has decided to spend his retirement here, sparked by an article in Friday's Wall Street Journal depicting a grey-haired man and woman in a parody of

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WASHINGTON, D.C.  White House sources say the Obama administration is close to a deal that would grant a Christmas Eve pardon to Pee-wee Herman in exchange for Herman’s 8-foot high aluminum foil ball, which would become part of the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Institu

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Editor’s Pick
DECEMBER 3, 2010 9:36AM

Blue Ribbon Panel Recommends Moving National Decimal Point

WASHINGTON, D.C.   The bi-partisan National Debt Commission will vote today on its recommendations for cutting the nation's indebtedness, including an increase in the retirement age, the declaration of a "Black Friday" in every month, and moving the National Decimal Point, which deter

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          The Federal Reserve will run advertisements in movie theaters urging consumers to use credit cards wisely during the holiday shopping season. 


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NEEDHAM, Mass.  Curtis Bascomb, Jr. is a third-generation family business owner, so he has more than just his time and money invested in his workplace.  "Grandad founded this place on a promise," he says with a trace of a lump in his throat.  "He believed no poet should ever

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BRUSSELS, Belgium.  In a sign that the European Union will exact harsh concessions from countries that receive bailout funds, the government of Ireland today agreed to end its sponsorship of Lucky Charms and Irish Spring soap, two consumer products that have irritated both member nations and th

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PYONGYANG, North Korea.  The state-controlled Korean Central News Agency today took the offensive against international criticism of its bombing of a South Korean island, saying the attack was necessary in order to impress Jodie Foster, an American actress.

"Stop doing stupid things to i

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DUBOIS, Indiana.  "Apple," the turkey pardoned by President Obama as part of traditional White House Thanksgiving Day festivities, led Indiana State Police on a high-speed chase over narrow state roads before holing up in a corn crib at the farm where he was raised, accompanied by a young

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NEW YORK.  Pop singer Billy Joel is in stable condition following quadruple hip replacement surgery last week, according to an assistant to a friend of his spokeswoman.

Joel:  "When you're as hip as me, there can be complications."

"Billy is resting comfortably," said Elena Mas

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NOVEMBER 26, 2010 8:11AM

Imported Beers of the Romantic Poets

She is a thing of beauty.  Stella Artois ad, depicting woman drinking beer


A Thing of Beauty is a Beer Forever, John Keats

A thing of beauty is a beer forever:
Its foamy head increases; it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will leave
A residue upon the glass, and

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Editor’s Pick
NOVEMBER 24, 2010 9:37AM

Outbreak of Jazz Hands Has Health Officials Concerned

CHICAGO.  O'Hare Airport here remains the busiest in the nation, which is why local public health agencies moved swiftly this morning to contain a potential pandemic of "jazz hands," an entertainment-related ailment for which there is no known cure.

"We have plenty of hand san

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SWITCHBACK, Montana.  Shirley Leung, a slight Asian-American woman who stands 5'4" and weighs only 110 pounds, would seem an unlikely addition to a college football program on the rise, but that's not the view of Chuck Shelton, coach at East Central Montana State.  "Shirley's been a key pla… Read full post »

LISBON, Portugal.  President Obama won NATO approval Friday for the construction of a giant shield to protect Europe from an Iranian missile attack or sneeze, a move he said was critical to the safety of the region as cold and flu season approaches.

"Ich bin ein Gesundheit!"

"A nuclear I

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SEATTLE.  Seattle Seahawks' reserve placekick holder Lloyd Verbeik has got "nothing against breast cancer--maybe that didn't come out right--but a lot of us are glad October's over," he says.  "The whole Breast Cancer Awareness thing was fine," he notes, referring to the pin

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ATHENS, Greece.  The government of Greece today demanded the return of all Greek fisherman's caps, calling them "a national treasure that is being squandered and defiled in the name of fashion."

Genuine Greek fisherman's cap, non-genuine Greek fisherman

"We cannot stand idly by while wes

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The fox stands hidden among the reeds
   at the edge of the tidal pond.
He sees a duck he thinks he can catch.
I stop to watch: I could intervene with a shout
   but I let him play his gambit out.


The duck is placid, unaware, or so it seems.
The fox

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NOVEMBER 12, 2010 9:30AM

How to Cheer Up a Sad Song

 It is one of the most difficult problems of aesthetic philosophy: What do we mean when we say that a song is sad?   I’ve read Aristotle, Kant, Croce--Benedetto, not Jim--all the big names.  As far as I can tell, nobody’s come close to answering the question.

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GLZORP, Freedonia.  By day, Ksiusha Milda is a housewife with a one year-old daughter.  By night, she is something completely different; a blues singer of sorts, a practitioner of this country's traditional folk song, kale.

Lithuanian woman - Julia
Ksiusha Milda:  "It is not enough that you c

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NOVEMBER 11, 2010 8:07PM

Your Workplace Romance Advisor

The perils of romance in the workplace are so widely known they are summed up by figures of speech familiar to us all: Don't dip your pen in the company ink, don't get your meat where you get your bread, don't put your hand on Lurleen Wingo's big . . .

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BANGALORE, India.  Vijay Hazare appears to be working at his computer at a call center in this southern Indian city, but his impish smile betrays a secret.  "Today is draft day in my fantasy cricket league," he says as he taps out his first round pick, Gulabrai Ramchand, a wicketkeepe

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ABILENE, Texas.  Ryan Simmons is, to all appearances, a slightly scrawny high school senior with no particular athletic ability, but he's drawing attention from top colleges across the country as recruiting season swings into high gear.  "I don't know what it is," says his mother, Pearl, a

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NEW YORK. The National Basketball Association today announced a league-wide effort to increase minority participation in the sport by funding an initiative to be known as the "Campaign for the Cure for White Man's Disease."

"You can do it!"

"White Man's Disease i

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NOVEMBER 7, 2010 11:24AM

Your Guide to Wi-Fi Security

Like many "hip" Americans, you may spend time this weekend in an upscale place that serves expensive foamy coffee and offers a public Wi-Fi "hotspot" where men and women can ogle each other discreetly while pretending to write the Great American Novel.

Internet cafe:  "I t

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In some respects, the world of jazz resembles the Elizabethan stage.  There are the bare, unadorned sets on which the two art forms are displayed; there is the fact that in both cases, little of what is performed is reduced to writing; and there are no, or hardly any women.


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MT. HOLYOKE, Mass.  Pamela Wykoff is under pressure, and it shows in the furrows on her forehead as she races to meet a deadline for the winter issue of Punc, the only literary journal devoted exclusively to "transgressive punctuation." "Punc attempts to free writers from the dead hand of punct

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