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I post a weekly diary of historical notes, arts & science items, foreign news (often receiving little notice in the US) and whimsical pieces from the outside world that I often feature in "Cheers & Jeers". For example .....

By Request SEPARATED at BIRTH from lineatus - film star Richard Gere and musician (and Pink Floyd co-founder) Roger Waters.

   

OK, you've been warned - here is this week's tomfoolery material that I posted.

ART NOTES - an exhibition combining both Japanese woodblock prints and exquisite Japanese carved ivories is at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania through July 21st.

MORE THAN 20 YEARS after the nation of Yugoslavia began to unravel - as was tellingly recounted on the ESPN documentary about the nation's basketball team - relations between Croatia and Serbia have become much improved.

WHILE NOT EVERYONE in Europe has been pleased with the work of "Da Vinci Code" author Dan Brown .... given the downturn in the Italian economy (due to the Euro crisis) the head of the city council of the city of Florence is hopeful that Brown's new book on Dante Alighieri (set in the city of Florence) will provide a financial boost.

SUNDAY's CHILD #1 is Alice the Cat - an Oregon kitteh who went missing in Colorado (while on a family vacation) but was located due to her microchip.

IN ADVANCE of his 72nd birthday this week: Bob Dylan has been made an honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters - joining such names as Woody Allen, Yo Yo Ma and Martin Scorsese.

BUSINESS NOTES - the author Rick Perlstein looks at pyramid selling schemes and notes how they operate much more easily ..... under conservative governance.

By Request SEPARATED at BIRTH from lineatus - film star Richard Gere and musician (and Pink Floyd co-founder) Roger Waters.

   

OF NOTE - the largest-ever British exhibition of Stradivarius musical instruments is to take place in Oxford this summer, with 20 items made by Antonio Stradivari (some of which have not been seen in public).

BRAIN TEASER - try this Quiz of the Week's News from the BBC.

SATURDAY's CHILD #2 is Explorer the Cat - a Florida kitteh who was rescued by firefighters responding to a house fire, who then returned to his family ... after he just needed some oxygen to counteract the smoke inhalation.

FROM TIME-TO-TIME there is a new fringe party in Britain (with anti-immigrant, Christian right, anti-European and the racial attitudes to go with that). In the past, the British National Party and the English Defence League played that role. Now, a reporter for the Guardian talks with representatives for the latest contender, the UK Independence Party and sees that - try as they might to have a new, clean image - they're fishing in the same waters as their predecessors.

OLDER-YOUNGER SISTERS? - CNN host Erin Burnett and film star Zooey Deschanel.

   

......and finally, for a song of the week ............... my new job is off to a good start, but the first two weeks have been hectic. And so no time for a full musical profile today (hope to return to normal next week).... instead, just a quick look at one of the most memorable songs ever to appear on network television.

   You may be wondering why - in this January 13, 1968 episode of Get Smart - that secret agents Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 seem to be ... getting down with the music .... in what TV Guide named as #67 in its 100 Greatest TV episodes of All Time .... well, here's an explanation:


Many of the country's teenagers are dancing constantly, under the spell of the Groovy Guru, who is helping KAOS take over the country via its teenagers. The CONTROL agents who are sent after the Guru end up dancing under his spell also.

Max and 99 head into the Guru's meditation palace to stop the Guru, armed with a lie pill in case of capture. They discover that the Guru plans to incite the nation's youth to riot and destroy all government institutions. The Guru will accomplish this by broadcasting a special song (sung by the Sacred Cows) during his live broadcast ..... unless CONTROL can stop him.

As Agent 99 indicates ... the Sacred Cows ... are the "hottest rock group in the country" ............ although just what country isn't revealed.

Portraying the Guru is the star of "F Troop", Larry Storch - who is still alive at age 90, bless him - and in the photo left, doesn't it look like he's got an early edition of an Apple laptop? Meanwhile, The Sacred Cows were session musicians Jerry Scheff (bass) John Greek (guitar) & Ben Benay (guitar).

     

You'll just have to watch the (short) video below to learn if the world was saved or not ..... but here are the lyrics that threatened our world, forty-five years ago ....

Thrill, thrill, thrill
Kill, kill, kill
Make the scene,
Knock off a Dean

Yeah, yeah, yeah
Bump off a square
That's what it's all about
Hate is in
Love is out

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