Wednesday, May 24, 2006

The man who taught the world to sing
Every night, a million karaoke machines come to life. But the man who invented them missed out on a fortune by failing to patent his invention. David Mc Neill met him
Published: 24 May 2006
For a man who lost out on one of music's biggest pay-cheques, Inoue Daisuke is in fine form: a toothy smile spreading over the big, rough-hewn face of a natural comedian.
The good humour comes in useful for interviews like this, when he is inevitably asked if he regrets not patenting the world's first karaoke machine, which he invented in 1971. After 35 years, during which his unlikely contraption has conquered every corner of the globe, accompanied by the sound of a billion strangled, drink-sodden earthling voices, the question must sound like the whistling of an approaching bomb. But the smile stays in place.
"I'm not an inventor," says the 65-year-old in his small Osaka office, where the first version of the karaoke machine sits in a corner. "I simply put things that already exist together, which is completely different. I took a car stereo, a coin box and a small amp to make the karaoke. Who would even consider patenting something like that?"
"Some people say he lost $150m," says Mr Inoue's friend and local academic Robert Scott Field. "If it was me, I'd be crying in the corner, but he's a happy guy who loves people. I think it blows his mind to find that he has touched so many people's lives." Many in Japan now know, thanks to television specials and a 2005 movie biopic, that Mr Inoue was a rhythmically challenged drummer in a dodgy covers band in Kobe when he hit on the idea of pre-recording his own backing tracks. The band had spent years learning how to make drunken businessmen sound in tune by following rather than leading, and drowning out the worst of the damage, so Mr Inoue knew the tricks of the trade when the boss of a steel firm asked him to record a tape for a company trip to a hot springs resort.
Karaoke (literally, "empty or missing orchestra") was born. Mr Inoue and his friends gave it a leg-up by making more tapes and leasing machines to bars around Kobe. Taking the machines for a spin cost 100 yen (£1) a pop - the price of three or four drinks in 1971 - and Mr Inoue never thought it would make it out of the city.
By the 1980s, karaoke was one of the few words that required no translation across much of Asia. Communist China embraced it, and even made it a standard feature in some cars. Hong Kong sent it back to Japan as karaoke boxes, small booths where friends and family could torture each other in soundproofed bliss. Every evening across Asia, thousands of the booths judder into life on a toxic cocktail of booze and tin-eared singing. The pastime even has its own lingo. A K-King is a maestro of the small, subtitled screen. A K-Lunch an indigestion-inducing karaoke lunch. Mr Inoue, however, languished for years in international obscurity. But in 1999, after karaoke had stomped noisily into the US and Europe, Time magazine astonishingly called him one of the 20th century's most influential Asians, saying he "had helped to liberate legions of the once unvoiced: as much as Mao Zedong or Mahatma Gandhi changed Asian days, Inoue transformed its nights". "Nobody was as surprised as me," he says.
In 2004, he was given the "Ig Nobel Peace Prize" by Harvard University, a joke award presented by real Nobel winners. He received a standing ovation after calling himself the "last samurai", and attempted a wobbly version of the Seventies Coca-Cola anthem "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing." Standing on the same stage with the man who invented the comb-over hair style, Mr Inoue was awarded an empty cereal box and a certificate, which hangs today in his Osaka office. The Nobel laureates in turn (or in revenge) murdered the Andy Williams' standard "Can't Take My Eyes Off You". Mr Inoue loved it.
"I wish I spoke English," he says. "It would make life easier, and I could go to the US again, do speaking tours and make some money." Now his life is the subject of a fictionalised movie, called simply Karaoke, currently on DVD release in Japan and starring an actor considerably better-looking than the weathered, plump drummer of 1971.
"At least they got someone tall to play me," he laughs. A typical Osaka businessman: amiable, fast-talking and with a slightly untamable air, Mr Inoue once tried working in a proper company, but baulked at wearing the salary-man's uniform, the dark pinstripe suit. "I looked like a rocker and it didn't go down very well. I wasn't cut out for that life."
He didn't use a karaoke machine until he was 59, but loves to listen to syrupy pre-1960s ballads. His favourite English songs are "Love is a Many Splendoured Thing" and "I Can't Stop Loving You" by Ray Charles. "They're easy to sing, which is good because I can't sing at all," he said.
Mr Inoue is tormented by daft questions, but takes them in his stride. "People approach me all the time and ask me if I can't help their husbands sing better, and I always say the same thing. If the singer was any good, he would be a pro and make a living at it. He's bad because he's like the rest of us. So we might as well just sit back and enjoy it."
These days, he makes a living selling, among other things, an eco-friendly detergent and a cockroach repellent for karaoke machines. "Cockroaches get inside the machines and build nests, chew on the wires," he says.
Friends say he is the ideas man, while his wife, who works in the same Osaka office, helps bring them to life. In the 1980s, he ran a company that successfully managed to persuade dozens of small production firms to lease songs for eight-track karaoke machines. But in the early 1990s, laser and dial-up technology left the firm behind. Bored and depressed, he had a breakdown, but bounced back to life thanks to his dog - "I had to look after it, and it got me out of the house". He keeps a huge portrait of a Labrador in his office and says his next business venture will involve dogs.
Not everyone, of course, thanks Mr Inoue for his invention. A recent Japanese movie called Karaoke Terror depicts a bunch of bored, middle-aged women and a group of college kids, both obsessed with karaoke, who go to war with each other, destroying a whole city. Karaoke as almost too easy a metaphor for the emptiness some see in contemporary Japanese culture.
Meanwhile, the little box Mr Inoue unleashed on an unsuspecting world shows no sign of dying. The global industry for machines and tunes continues to grow, and television shows like Pop Idol have helped a once maligned pastime become respectable. The truly dedicated can warble simultaneously with partners thousands of miles away, using the internet. Even churches are not safe - some have installed karaoke machines to improve hymn singing.
Not surprisingly, some people have reacted badly to the onslaught. Many pub landlords would rather die than hear "Bohemian Rhapsody" sung by a drunken stag party ever again, and karaoke venues around the world occasionally erupt into violence. In one of Thailand's most famous cases of karaoke rage, a Bangkok policeman shot and killed a customer after he heckled him for singing the same tune four times.
But the pony-tailed businessman believes the little box he put together in Kobe has done far more good than harm. "As something that improves the mood, and helps people who hate each other lighten up, it has had a huge social impact, especially in Japan. Japanese people are shy, but at weddings and company get-togethers, the karaoke comes out and people drink a little and relax.
"It's used for treating depression and loneliness. Go to old people's homes and hospitals around the country and there is a karaoke machine. I keep hearing of places where karaoke is huge - like Russia - and it is used as therapy. It makes people happy. When I see the happy faces of people singing karaoke, I'm delighted."
The film of Mr Inoue's life supports the idea that karaoke is socially useful. Kicking off with a grim list of suicide statistics among middle-aged Japanese men, it depicts a salary-man losing his job, wife and son after he is fired. He starts singing karaoke and finds a new purpose in life.
"We went to see the movie together," remembers Mr Scott Field. "They got these good looking actors to play him and his wife, so he was really happy. Afterwards he said: 'I get letters and e-mails from all over the world and now they've made a movie of my life story. You can't buy things like that.'"
For a man who lost out on one of music's biggest pay-cheques, Inoue Daisuke is in fine form: a toothy smile spreading over the big, rough-hewn face of a natural comedian.
The good humour comes in useful for interviews like this, when he is inevitably asked if he regrets not patenting the world's first karaoke machine, which he invented in 1971. After 35 years, during which his unlikely contraption has conquered every corner of the globe, accompanied by the sound of a billion strangled, drink-sodden earthling voices, the question must sound like the whistling of an approaching bomb. But the smile stays in place.
"I'm not an inventor," says the 65-year-old in his small Osaka office, where the first version of the karaoke machine sits in a corner. "I simply put things that already exist together, which is completely different. I took a car stereo, a coin box and a small amp to make the karaoke. Who would even consider patenting something like that?"
"Some people say he lost $150m," says Mr Inoue's friend and local academic Robert Scott Field. "If it was me, I'd be crying in the corner, but he's a happy guy who loves people. I think it blows his mind to find that he has touched so many people's lives." Many in Japan now know, thanks to television specials and a 2005 movie biopic, that Mr Inoue was a rhythmically challenged drummer in a dodgy covers band in Kobe when he hit on the idea of pre-recording his own backing tracks. The band had spent years learning how to make drunken businessmen sound in tune by following rather than leading, and drowning out the worst of the damage, so Mr Inoue knew the tricks of the trade when the boss of a steel firm asked him to record a tape for a company trip to a hot springs resort.
Karaoke (literally, "empty or missing orchestra") was born. Mr Inoue and his friends gave it a leg-up by making more tapes and leasing machines to bars around Kobe. Taking the machines for a spin cost 100 yen (£1) a pop - the price of three or four drinks in 1971 - and Mr Inoue never thought it would make it out of the city.
By the 1980s, karaoke was one of the few words that required no translation across much of Asia. Communist China embraced it, and even made it a standard feature in some cars. Hong Kong sent it back to Japan as karaoke boxes, small booths where friends and family could torture each other in soundproofed bliss. Every evening across Asia, thousands of the booths judder into life on a toxic cocktail of booze and tin-eared singing. The pastime even has its own lingo. A K-King is a maestro of the small, subtitled screen. A K-Lunch an indigestion-inducing karaoke lunch. Mr Inoue, however, languished for years in international obscurity. But in 1999, after karaoke had stomped noisily into the US and Europe, Time magazine astonishingly called him one of the 20th century's most influential Asians, saying he "had helped to liberate legions of the once unvoiced: as much as Mao Zedong or Mahatma Gandhi changed Asian days, Inoue transformed its nights". "Nobody was as surprised as me," he says.
In 2004, he was given the "Ig Nobel Peace Prize" by Harvard University, a joke award presented by real Nobel winners. He received a standing ovation after calling himself the "last samurai", and attempted a wobbly version of the Seventies Coca-Cola anthem "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing." Standing on the same stage with the man who invented the comb-over hair style, Mr Inoue was awarded an empty cereal box and a certificate, which hangs today in his Osaka office. The Nobel laureates in turn (or in revenge) murdered the Andy Williams' standard "Can't Take My Eyes Off You". Mr Inoue loved it.
"I wish I spoke English," he says. "It would make life easier, and I could go to the US again, do speaking tours and make some money." Now his life is the subject of a fictionalised movie, called simply Karaoke, currently on DVD release in Japan and starring an actor considerably better-looking than the weathered, plump drummer of 1971.
"At least they got someone tall to play me," he laughs. A typical Osaka businessman: amiable, fast-talking and with a slightly untamable air, Mr Inoue once tried working in a proper company, but baulked at wearing the salary-man's uniform, the dark pinstripe suit. "I looked like a rocker and it didn't go down very well. I wasn't cut out for that life."
He didn't use a karaoke machine until he was 59, but loves to listen to syrupy pre-1960s ballads. His favourite English songs are "Love is a Many Splendoured Thing" and "I Can't Stop Loving You" by Ray Charles. "They're easy to sing, which is good because I can't sing at all," he said.
Mr Inoue is tormented by daft questions, but takes them in his stride. "People approach me all the time and ask me if I can't help their husbands sing better, and I always say the same thing. If the singer was any good, he would be a pro and make a living at it. He's bad because he's like the rest of us. So we might as well just sit back and enjoy it."
These days, he makes a living selling, among other things, an eco-friendly detergent and a cockroach repellent for karaoke machines. "Cockroaches get inside the machines and build nests, chew on the wires," he says.
Friends say he is the ideas man, while his wife, who works in the same Osaka office, helps bring them to life. In the 1980s, he ran a company that successfully managed to persuade dozens of small production firms to lease songs for eight-track karaoke machines. But in the early 1990s, laser and dial-up technology left the firm behind. Bored and depressed, he had a breakdown, but bounced back to life thanks to his dog - "I had to look after it, and it got me out of the house". He keeps a huge portrait of a Labrador in his office and says his next business venture will involve dogs.
Not everyone, of course, thanks Mr Inoue for his invention. A recent Japanese movie called Karaoke Terror depicts a bunch of bored, middle-aged women and a group of college kids, both obsessed with karaoke, who go to war with each other, destroying a whole city. Karaoke as almost too easy a metaphor for the emptiness some see in contemporary Japanese culture.
Meanwhile, the little box Mr Inoue unleashed on an unsuspecting world shows no sign of dying. The global industry for machines and tunes continues to grow, and television shows like Pop Idol have helped a once maligned pastime become respectable. The truly dedicated can warble simultaneously with partners thousands of miles away, using the internet. Even churches are not safe - some have installed karaoke machines to improve hymn singing.
Not surprisingly, some people have reacted badly to the onslaught. Many pub landlords would rather die than hear "Bohemian Rhapsody" sung by a drunken stag party ever again, and karaoke venues around the world occasionally erupt into violence. In one of Thailand's most famous cases of karaoke rage, a Bangkok policeman shot and killed a customer after he heckled him for singing the same tune four times.
But the pony-tailed businessman believes the little box he put together in Kobe has done far more good than harm. "As something that improves the mood, and helps people who hate each other lighten up, it has had a huge social impact, especially in Japan. Japanese people are shy, but at weddings and company get-togethers, the karaoke comes out and people drink a little and relax.
"It's used for treating depression and loneliness. Go to old people's homes and hospitals around the country and there is a karaoke machine. I keep hearing of places where karaoke is huge - like Russia - and it is used as therapy. It makes people happy. When I see the happy faces of people singing karaoke, I'm delighted."
The film of Mr Inoue's life supports the idea that karaoke is socially useful. Kicking off with a grim list of suicide statistics among middle-aged Japanese men, it depicts a salary-man losing his job, wife and son after he is fired. He starts singing karaoke and finds a new purpose in life.
"We went to see the movie together," remembers Mr Scott Field. "They got these good looking actors to play him and his wife, so he was really happy. Afterwards he said: 'I get letters and e-mails from all over the world and now they've made a movie of my life story. You can't buy things like that.'"

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

From: ivone_colaco@comcast.netTo: sharonvaz@yahoo.com (Sharon Vaz), indynell40@hotmail.com (Manuela Sousa), ams0315@yahoo.com (Amiya Scaria), erapose@gmail.com (Elsa Rapose), mmenezes@titangoa.co.in (Maju Menezes), sharmila_machado@arnotts.com (Sharmila Machado), savio_dsouza@yahoo.com (Savio Dsouza), dsouza-marshfield@adelphia.net (Sanita Dsouza), dsouza5@comcast.net (Maria Dsouza), Dscynthy@wmconnect.com (Cynthia), hilda_carneiro@hotmail.com (Hilda Carneiro), Michelle.Beauchemin@stryker.com (Michelle Beauchemin), alexannay@aol.com (Anna)Subject: Interesting facts about BananasDate: Tue, 23 May 2006 14:43:37 +0000
This is interesting.
After reading this, you'll never look at a banana in the same way again.
Bananas contain three natural sugars - sucrose, fructose and glucose combined with fiber. A banana gives an instant, sustained and substantial boost of energy.
Research has proven that just two bananas provide enough energy for a strenuous 90-minute workout. No wonder the banana is the number one fruit with the world's leading athletes.
But energy isn't the only way a banana can help us keep fit.
It can also help overcome or prevent a substantial number of illnesses and conditions, making it a must to add to our daily diet.
Depression: According to a recent survey undertaken by MIND amongst people suffering from depression, many felt much better after eating a banana. This is because bananas contain tryptophan, a type of protein that the body converts into serotonin, known to make you relax, improve your mood and generally make you feel happier.
PMS: Forget the pills - eat a banana. The vitamin B6 it contains regulates blood glucose levels, which can affect your mood.

Anemia: High in iron, bananas can stimulate the production of hemoglobin in the blood and so helps in cases of anemia.
Blood Pressure: This unique tropical fruit is extremely high in potassium yet low in salt, making it perfect to beat blood pressure. So much so, the US Food and Drug Administration has just allowed the banana industry to make official claims for the fruit's ability to reduce the risk of blood pressure and stroke.
Brain Power: 200 students at a Twickenham (Middlesex) school were helped through their exams this year by eating bananas at breakfast, break, and lunch in a bid to boost their brain power. Research has shown that the potassium-packed fruit can assist learning by making pupils more alert.
Constipation: High in fiber, including bananas in the diet can help restore normal bowel action, helping to overcome the problem without resorting to laxatives.
Hangovers: One of the quickest
ways of curing a hangover is to make a banana milkshake, sweetened with honey. The banana calms the stomach and, with the help of the honey, builds up depleted blood sugar levels, while the milk soothes and re-hydrates your system.
Heartburn: Bananas have a natural antacid effect in the body, so if you suffer from heartburn, try eating a banana for soothing relief.
Morning Sickness: Snacking on bananas between meals helps to keep blood sugar levels up and avoid morning sickness.
Mosquito bites: Before reaching for the insect bite cream, try rubbing the affected area with the inside of a banana skin. Many people find it amazingly successful at reducing swelling and irritation.
Nerves: Bananas are high in B vitamins that help calm the nervous system.
Overweight and at work? Studies at the Institute of Psychology in Austria found pressure at work leads to gorging on comfort food like chocolate and crisps. Looking at 5,000 hospital patients, researchers found the most obese were more likely to be in high-pressure jobs. The report concluded that, to avoid panic-induced food cravings, we need to control our blood sugar levels by snacking on high carbohydrate foods every two hours to keep levels steady.
Ulcers: The banana is used as the dietary food against intestinal disorders because of its soft texture and smoothness. It is the only raw fruit that can be eaten without distress in over-chronicler cases. It also neutralizes over-acidity and reduces irritation by coating the lining of the stomach.
Temperature control: Many other cultures see bananas as a "cooling" fruit that can lower both the physical and emotional temperature of expectant mothers. In Thailand, for example, pregnant women eat bananas to ensure their baby is born with a cool temperature.
Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD): Bananas can help SAD sufferers because they contain the natural mood enhancer tryptophan.
Smoking & Tobacco Use: Bananas can also help people trying to give up smoking. The B6, B12 they contain, as well as the potassium and
magnesium found in them, help the body recover from the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
Stress: Potassium is a vital mineral, which helps normalize the heartbeat, sends oxygen to the brain and regulates your body's water balance. When we are stressed, our metabolic rate rises, thereby reducing our potassium levels. These can be rebalanced with the help of a high-potassium banana snack.
Strokes: According to research in "The New England Journal of Medicine, 'eating bananas as part of a regular diet can cut the risk of death by strokes by as much as 40%!
Warts: Those keen on natural alternatives swear that if you want to kill off a wart, take a piece of banana skin and place it on the wart, with the yellow side out. Carefully hold the skin in place with a plaster or surgical tape!
So, a banana really is a natural remedy for many ills. When you compare it to an apple, it has four times the protein, twice the carbohydrate, three times the phosphorus, five times the vitamin A and iron, and twice the other vitamins and minerals. It is also rich in potassium and is one of the best value foods around So maybe its time to change that well-known phrase so that we say, "A banana a day keeps the doctor away!"
PASS IT ON TO YOUR FRIENDS
PS: Bananas must be the reason monkeys are so happy all the time! I will add one here; want a quick shine on our shoes?? Take the INSIDE of the banana skin, and rub directly on the shoe...polish with dry cloth. Amazing fruit.

Electric Bach

http://adam.fulara.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTD2mwwlPqc
And the weather? It'll be raining fish

By Ian Herbert
Published: 23 May 2006
The fishermen of Great Yarmouth still talk about the day four years ago when, instead of having to venture out in search of whiting and herring, their catch came to them. Silvery sprats - dead but still fresh - carpeted the gardens of a row of houses after falling from the sky near the seafront.

The Norfolk town may find itself with more, if a report by a firm of commercial weather forecasters is anything to go by. British Weather Services (BWS) lists such improbable places as Great Yarmouth, east Manchester and Southampton among the places most likely to experience strange objects falling from the heavens as a result of a collision of atmospheric instability.

"You need converging air, warm land mass, instances of lightning and thunderstorms and chances of tornadoes," Jim Dale, at BWS, said. Global warming also increases the likelihood, and objects caught up in the weather system can be carried a few miles.

The main theory about their arrival is that the objects are drawn into a whirlwind, or waterspout - spiralling, rising air which builds up under thunderclouds before being deposited elsewhere. Falling fish are common when the waterspout has formed over the sea, sucking up its contents. Frogs, toads, tomatoes, periwinkles, straw and even lumps of coal have also been known to fall after the waterspouts form.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Here are some facts about the 1500s:

These are interesting...

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children. Last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, Don't throw the baby out with the Bath water..

Houses had thatched roofs-thick straw-piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats
and other small animals (mice, bugs) lived in the roof When it rained it became slippery and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying . It's raining cats and dogs.

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could
mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to
the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had
been there for quite a while.
Hence the rhyme, Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old.. Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their
bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could, bring home the bacon.. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all
sit around and chew the fat..

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, or the upper
crust.

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They
were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.

The local folks started running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave. When reopening
these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift.) to listen for the bell; thus,
someone could be, saved by the bell. or was considered a ...dead ringer..

And that's the truth...Now , whoever said History was boring ! ! !
"Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God" (Luke 12:6, NIV).

William Cowper, poet and hymn writer, who lived from 1731-1800 in England, apparently suffered from fits of melancholy and frequent attacks of spiritual despair which led to two suicide attempts.

On one of these occasions during a time of deep despair and a dark night of the soul, on a foggy night he set out from his home in London with the intention of jumping into the Thames River to end his life.

He got hopelessly lost in the fog and wandered blind for some time. Eventually, lost and confused, he walked into a home to get out of the fog. And the home he walked into? It was his own.

He sat down and penned the words of the beloved hymn:

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take;
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.
Symbolik des Rosmarins

Durch die attraktiven blassblauen Blüten wird der Rosmarin auch gerne als Zierpflanze kultiviertAls Symbol repräsentierte Rosmarin die Liebe (Troubadoure überreichten der Dame ihrer Wahl Rosmarin, Ophelia band Hamlet einen Rosmarinkranz als Zeichen ihrer Treue; in Deutschland trugen Bräute lange Zeit einen Rosmarinkranz, bevor die Myrte in Mode kam), aber auch das Gedenken an die Toten.

Die alten Ägypter gaben ihren Toten Rosmarinzweige in die Hände, um die Reise in das Land der unsterblichen Seelen mit ihrem Duft zu versüßen; in Griechenland wand man Totenkränze aus Rosmarin. In der Literatur taucht Rosmarin als Totenpflanze bei Shakespeare und Hebel auf. Rosmarin und Thymian trug man als Sträußchen gerne bei Begräbnissen und Prozessionen. Man hoffte, auf diese Weise gegen ansteckende Krankheiten gefeit zu sein. In London war es Anfang des 18. Jahrhunderts üblich, dass jeder Trauergast, der einen Sarg zum Friedhof begleitete, vom Diener des Hauses einen Zweig Rosmarin überreicht bekam. Einerseits trug man diesen Rosmarinzweig als Symbol der Erinnerung, sein Duft half jedoch auch, den Gestank des Todes zu übertünchen. Sobald der Sarg ins Grab gelegt war, warfen alle Trauergäste ihre Rosmarinzweige ins Grab hinab.



Als Symbol des Todes taucht Rosmarin auch in folgendem Gedicht der Volksliteratur auf, dessen Verfasser unbekannt ist:

Ich hab‘ die Nacht geträumet
Wohl einen schweren Traum;
Es wuchs in meinem Garten
Ein Rosmarienbaum.
Der Kirchhof war der Garten,
Ein Blumenbeet ein Grab,
Und von dem grünen Baume
Fiel Kron und Blüten ab.
Die Blüten tät ich sammeln
In einen goldnen Krug;
Der fiel mir aus den Händen,
Daß er in Stücke schlug.
Draus sah ich Perlen rinnen
Und Tröpflein rosenrot.
Was mag der Traum bedeuten?
Herzliebster, bist du tot?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

I think that I shall never see
a poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose thirsty mouth is pressed
against the earth's sweet flowering breast;
A tree that looks at God all day,
and lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
a nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
but only God can make a tree.
– Joyce Kilmer