It’s Christmas! The Ceppo Tree lets us know Christmas has arrived

IN ITALY THE CHRISTMAS SEASON LASTS FOR THREE WEEKS, BEGINNING EIGHT DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS. FOR THIS MOMENTOUS OCCASION, CELEBRATIONS CENTER ON THE BIRTH OF THE BABY JESUS. A PRESEPIO, OR MANGER, IS PREPARED IN EVERY HOME. MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY OFFER PRAYERS AND LIGHT CANDLES EVERY MORNING. AS YOU CAN SEE, THERE IS HEAVY SIGNIFICANCE ON WORD CHRISTMAS.


FOCUS ON CCCCRASHED: Part 2. They’re waiting to happen, but it depends on the driver

A WOMAN AND A GENTLEMAN ASKED THE OBVIOUS QUESTION: WAS IT YOUR FAULT?  Below: ANYBODY NEED AN AMBULANCE?

MY HUSBAND WILL KILL ME, SAID THE WOMAN, WHO WAS CAUGHT IN A DICKY SITUATION!

FRANK MORRIS

Driving a motor vehicle is a complex task that requires good coordination and mental alertness. Many prescription and non-prescription medicines affect your ability to drive safely.

Drugs can affect not only your skills, such as hazard perception, but your moods and behaviour as well, all of which are essential to safe driving.

Taking a number of different medicines may have an even greater effect on your ability to drive safely.

Warning labels come with non-prescription medicines that can affect your driving. Is there a warning message on the packaging?

Prescription medicines that can affect driving also carry a warning label. When you receive medication, always look for one of the warning labels.

Ask your doctor or pharmacist about the symptoms that you can expect, and whether they are likely to be temporary or long-term.

A new medicine may affect you for a few days; so don’t drive until your body adjusts.

When some medicines are combined with alcohol, driver impairment and the risk of having a serious accident, greatly increase.

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TIPS FOR MOTORCYCLES …
DO NOT PARK BETWEEN ‘MOTORCYCLES ONLY’ SIGNS UNLESS YOU ARE RIDING A MOTORCYCLE … MAKE SURE YOUR MOTORCYCLE DOESN’T STICK OUT FURTHER THAN ANY PARALLEL-PARKED CAR.
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Are you affected? Some effects of prescription and over-the-counter drugs that make it unsafe to drive includes drowsiness, blurred vision, feeling unsteady or dizzy and poor concentration.

There are times when you may suffer from lower alertness and slower reaction times, feeling sick, feeling confused and feeling aggressive. You should refrain from driving.

Some medicines and treatments that may make it unsafe to drive. They include: Antidepressants, antihistamines, anxiety treatment, arthritis treatment, blood pressure treatment and cough and cold relief medication.

The list goes on: Diabetes, epilepsy, heart conditions, mental disorders, opioid substitution treatment, pain relief medicines, sleeping tablets, stomach upset treatment and travel sickness prevention and some antibiotics.

The penalties are simply too great.

Misuse of medicinal drugs, such as taking an excessive dose, can result in major impairment.

Police have the power to require drivers that they suspect are impaired by drugs to undertake drug testing. There are severe penalties for this offence.

SOURCE: This article was written with assistance of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia (NSW Branch).

COMING: Part 3 – If you think about it, there should be no ccccrashes on our roads. Yet, the road toll is up.


FLASHBACK: Hollywood’s Vietnam 1978 – The after-shock of the war is a central theme

THIS CARTOON HIT THE NAIL WITH POWERFUL FORCE.  Below: THE GREEN BERET’S POSTER.

A QUANTITY OF THE 1965-70s FILMS WERE WORTH WATCHING. ONLY DUST WILL SETTLE ON THE ONES THAT DIDN’T MAKE IT!

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

Hollywood didn’t take much notice that year – in 1968. Its only major film on a Vietnam theme, in which veteran John Wayne plays a gung-ho Green Berets’ Special Forces Colonel.

The movie was, as one critic put the film, “a flag-waving mombo jumbo at its worst”.

Hollywood continued to ignore the war while routinely churning out World War 11 epics – until this year. Five years after the last US combat soldier left Vietnam, Hollywood has finally recognised the war.

A half-dozen American features with a war setting are about to be released soon; the over-budget, overdue Francis Ford Coppola film Apocalypse Now is expected to appear next year.

Go Tell the Spartans, featuring Burt Lancaster as an Army major commanding a patrol unit in 1964, is set in the war zone. By contrast, Big Wednesday concerns surfing (as its theme) but refers repeatedly to the impact of the war on the apolitical youth of the 1960s.

The after-shock of the war is central to Dog Soldiers and Rolling Thunder. Dog Soldiers, based on Robert Stone’s award-winning novel, concerns the consequences of a war journalist’s twisted moral sense.

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THE WAR IN VIETNAM …
TEN YEARS AFTER THE KOREAN WAR ENDED, THE US FOUND ITSELF INVOLVED IN A SIMILAR CONFLICT IN ASIA—VIETNAM. JUST AS HAD BEEN THE CASE IN KOREA, THIS WAR WAS BASICALLY A CIVIL WAR. ONCE AGAIN, THE NORTHERN HALF OF THE COUNTRY WAS CONTROLLED BY COMMUNISTS; WHILE THE SOUTHERN HALF WAS A DEMOCRACY THAT THE UNITED STATES HAD SWORN TO PROTECT. – WARPLANES, ALPHA, NEW YORK.
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Rolling Thunder, written by Paul Schrader (Taxi Driver), reportedly deals so violently with the activities of a returned Vietnam veteran that its original backers, Twentieth Century-Fox, withdrew from the project.

The best of the Vietnam-theme films … is Hal Ashby’s Coming Home, which tackles in dramatic form the moral dilemma of the American people.

Set in California in 1968, Coming Home tells about three ordinary people whose direct and indirect experiences of the war prompt intense, painful confrontations with the dominant value systems.

Coming Home evolved from an idea of actress-activist Jane Fonda and writer Nancy Dowd; it is an amazingly compassionate movie.

Vietnam War was never popular, but it is simplistic to say that Hollywood was merely afraid of losing at the box-office. Too many of the industry’s leading figures took early public positions on the issue without damaging their careers.

To give the devil its due, Hollywood did not, in the heyday of the protest movement, retreat into some secure Pollyanna-ism.

Between 1966 and 1976, films like The Graduate, Bonnie and Clyde, Midnight Cowboy, MASH, The Godfather, The Godfather Part 11, Chinatown, and All The President’s Men came out of the studios, made money and, in disparate fashion, scored heavy blows against the American system.

War has always been a natural for movies but there was nothing clearcut about Vietnam.
Every night, television brought the complexities of battle and politics into the living room. Mid-America grew increasingly uneasy with what they saw.

Vietnam had no heroes.

Only now … the dust settles over those upheavals.

SOURCED: An adaption of Hollywood’s Vietnam by Martha DuBose, SMH, November 18, l978.


DID YOU KNOW? Competition tennis relies on a gadget which is never wrong!

THE UNSUNG HERO OF THE TENNIS WORLD IS A GADGET WHICH HAS PROVED ITS WORTH – IT’S NEVER WRONG. WHO CAN FORGET McENROE AND CONNORS AND HOW THE FIREBRANDS WOULD GROWL IN A LANGUAGE MORE SUITED TO A BACKYARD BRAWL THAN THE COURTS AT WIMBLEDON. THE GADGET IS THE HAWK-EYE AND HAS BEEN ADOPTED BY THE AUSTRALIAN OPEN. IT WAS DEVELOPED BY BRITISH MATHEMATICAN PAUL HAWKINS AND PLAYERS HAVE ACCEPTED ITS INSTANT VERDICTS “WITHOUT RANCOUR”. HAWK-EYE IS A GREAT INNOVATION.

IT’S CHRISTMAS! TIME TO BE MERRY! HAVE A GOOD ONE!

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 13 December 19

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