Friday, December 30, 2005


A Roman holiday, indeed

As we dive, with no choice, into 2006, the question arises: Did you know that New Year's Day in modern America was not always Jan. 1 and that it was Julius Caesar (a bust of the emperor pictured on right) who secured that day for the celebration?

The oldest holiday in the book was first observed in ancient Babylon 4,000 years ago. Around 2000 B.C., the Babylonian New Year began with the first new moon after the first day of spring. The beginning of spring is a logical time to start a new year because, among other things, Jan.1 has no astronomical or agricultural significance. It is a random choice and a reduced time limit for the party. You see, the Babylonian new year celebration lasted for 11 days; modern New Year's Eve festivities pale in comparison, even though the party hats are more festive.

The Romans continued to observe the new year in late March, until their calendar was tampered with by various emperors, most of whom tampered with anything they could get their hands upon, including nubile servants, male or female. So, the calendar soon became out of sync with the sun.

In order to set the calendar straight, the Roman senate, around 153 B.C., declared Jan. 1 to be the beginning of the new year. But emperors' tampering continued to the point where one emperor was called Alotus Tamperus behind his back. Julius Caesar, in 46 B.C., established the Julian Calendar almost immediately after using his name to describe a special blend of potatoes. That made Jan.1 New Year's Day again. But in order to synchronize his calendar with the sun, Caesar had to make the current year go on for 445 days instead of 365. This threw off the chariot racing season.

Thursday, December 29, 2005


Gone but not forgotten

Dec. 29, 9 p.m. EST, live.

Cotolo Chronicles' annual Role Call from the Bone Garden, an acclaimed account of celebrated and not-so-celebrated human departures in 2005.

Let us laugh and mourn together ...

Tuesday, December 27, 2005


Glitch rebound in progress

Maybe you heard a large explosion over the Internet this holiday weekend. If you did, you should know it was probably the sound of our home-studio digital network. Software went to splinters and zeroes and ones shot out and bounced off of every wall. No one was injured but we were rendered disconnected and continue to be off line until Dec. 29.

Then, we will do everything we can to present our annual Role Call From The Bone Garden program. So hang in there as we bring the computers up again, shine the new hard disks, download the new software and come to you with sparkling new equipment.

Thanks to our support group for getting this announcement onto the Internet.

See you all soon ...

Friday, December 23, 2005


Seven sides of Christmas

Whatever Christmas you have -- Religious, commercial, children's, heathen, traditional, athiest or political--or whichever blend of the seven you concoct, have a happy time. This mixed-up, messed up amalgamation of ideas, feelings and motivations is, simply, all right.

[photo art by Jesse Barnes]

Thursday, December 22, 2005


Penultimate program, 2005 on tap

The penultimate 2005 broadcast/podcast takes place on Dec. 22. We have some words about Christmas, since the actual event is only a few days away and most people within the range of our broadcast seem to be somewhat involved in the holiday. And without becoming maudlin, we will begin to look back on this year and every year, as this year bites the proverbial dust.

By the way, don’t expect much proverbial dust (PD) this season. The shortage is affecting everyone around the globe.

Other 2005 highlights and the lovely drama of sociological conflict are bound to pop up. So be there with your ears on and your heart intact. The network show begins live at 9 p.m. EST.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005


It runs in Iran

GRANTVILLE, Penn. -- Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (pictured) has banned all Western music and other Western-oriented media products from the country, but will allow broadcasting of Cotolo Chronicles. Popular music was outlawed as "un-Islamic" under Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini years before Cotolo Chronicles (CC) hit the cyber airwaves.

The official Iran Persian daily reported Monday that the head of the Supreme Cultural Revolutionary Council said, “Blocking indecent and Western music from the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting is required. However, though we rarely agree with Frank Cotolo, we want to encourage all of Islam to replenish their precious bodily fluids and his show is the only one that does that.”

The Iranian guitarist Babak Riahipour said, "The decision shows a lack of knowledge and experience, but at least we will still have Cotolo from the West.”

Since the death of Khomeini, pop music has been creeping into Iranian shops. And in 2002, when CC began, an audience began to build in small coffee shops that had computers. “We all have our coffee just as Cotolo does,” said one avid listener, "black as hell, strong as death and sweet as love.”

Earlier this month, Ali Rahbari, conductor of Tehran's symphony orchestra, resigned, left Iran and began championing a reunion of the ‘80s band Bread to protest the treatment of the music industry in Iran.

Before leaving in November, he played Beethoven's Ninth Symphony and Bread’s greatest hits to packed Tehran theaters. The performances angered many conservatives. Rahbari said, “Poo on them. I hope Cotolo tells the Iranian government to wake up, it’s night.”

Ahmadinejad won office in August on a platform of ultraconservative principles, including not using underarm deodorant and not allowing people to quote from the movie Shindler’s List in public.

During his presidential campaign, Ahmadinejad also promised to confront what he called the Western cultural invasion of Iran, saying that he might wave certain artists, like Michael Bolton and Kenny G. In the end, he didn’t.

Ahmadinejad has intensified Iran's moderation in foreign policy and pursued a purge in the government, assigning inexperienced religious hard-liners to choose a state-backed toothpaste and policemen’s headwear.

He also has issued strong criticisms of Israel, calling for the Jewish state to be "wiped off the map,” describing the Holocaust as a "myth," and the most outrageous, insisting that female Israeli soldiers are not attractive.

Ahmadinejad never said he listened to CC but a spokesman from the President’s office said, “He disappears on Thursday mornings, when CC is live from Grantville. We think he is in his bedroom with his beverages of choice, listening to the show.”

Monday, December 19, 2005


Hair's to you, Phil

From the C-Chronicles newsroom this day, comes a pop-culture report that threatens to challenge the forces of reality.

HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – Secluded and isolated, no less out of the public eye, famous record producer Phil Spector was recently rushed to the hospital when his hair blew up.

“At first,” said a Spector spokesperson, “we thought it was just a reaction to being exposed to his production-method, Wall of Sound, for so many years. But the sound of the explosion itself did not have his signature Wall of Sound sound, you know?”

Spector, who is facing murder charges and will face a trial in early 2006, claims that the death of a young starlet was an accident. “But it should be noted,” said a Spector counsel, “that the public interpretation of Phil’s behavior in the matter is enough to blow someone’s hair up.”

Spector was treated immediately for the strange malady. His doctor said, “Not many people know the danger of exploding hair. It can even be fatal.”

Dr. Elsmore Putterpall, a specialist in the rare health matter, said, “Mr. Spector was a prime subject for a hair explosion, as our studies indicate, due to the stress he is now under.”

But, Dr. Putterpall said, “We can be thankful it was not an implosion, in which case Mr. Spector would be dead. No one survives a head implosion.”

The doctors said that Spector’s hair came dangerously close to imploding instead of exploding. “Another few seconds,” said a doctor at the scene of the hospital where Spector arrived with his hair still in shock, “and the roots would have swelled and burst inside of his skull, which is, of course, fatal.”

More than aneurisms or tumor-caused intrusion, hair implosion is 100-percent fatal.

“Not many people know,” said Dr. Putterpall, “that hair implosion killed four American Presidents. And Frank Sinatra’s hair transplant almost caused his hair to implode.”

"We may ask for a delay in the trial," a Spector counsel said. "We feel that a jury will not be fair to a man whose hair has run amok. Unless the judge allows Mr. Spector to wear a hat that can contain the willows of hair caused by the explosion, we feel the trial will be a mockery."

"His hair can be cut," said a barber who works near where Spector lives. "I can cut his hair so that it looks as if it never exploded. Then he can go on trial."

But, Mr. Spector’s hair is supposed to be reacting to gravity soon, doctors said.

Friday, December 16, 2005


And sue it goes

As promised, here is the URL to Jon Johansen’s blog. Jon is pictured here today. You can read more about him here. If you still haven’t heard our Dec. 15 program, bookmark Jon's URL for future perusal. Check the following stations for a schedule of rebroadcasts and podcast locations.

Thursday, December 15, 2005


Robots, repros and reality

On the Dec. 15 program we will get into some topics that need our attention.

The first is Japanese robots. On my desk, it seems forever, there stands an antique Japanese toy robot (AJTR). It is time to discuss the AJTR in depth.

The AJTRs are enjoying a renaissance. Robot Nut dot com writes, “Engineers and artists alike consider these surviving robots as important pieces of technology and some as modern art. Collectors, world wide, willingly spend hundreds or thousands of dollars for toy robots that were once thought of as cheap imported junk.”

Some of these little trinkets that cost $3.95 some 40 years ago sell for as much as $50,000 today at a Sotheby's or Christie's auction.

Plus, Repro Man on the rise; King Kong krumbles; DJ Dylan; My Space; Buddha Boy update; movie-goers going fast; and more.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005


Anything you can do, icon do better

Being an iconoclast isn’t easy and it is getting more difficult in this day and age. Devoting my energy to knocking down the celebrities that hoards of people build up takes resilience. After all, I get socked a lot, mostly in the solar plexus of my mind. Sure, most of my iconoclasm comes naturally, but my resources grow thin as more and more icons appear.

Not all of them need my participation getting knocked down. A lot of them self-destruct. Besides, my iconoclasm has limited distribution, so I can only barely chip the foundation of an icon. Still, this is important work, because there is only room in the cultural wheel for so many heroes. When there are too many heroes then the soldier pool becomes thin and everything gets out of whack.

Of course humanity is, in essence, out of whack, but there are a few of us along the watchtower keeping an eye on how to balance the place. And we are ourselves a breed in peril of extinction.

There is a little iconoclast in all of us, but, believe it or not, the hardest thing about being an iconoclast is having to turn against an icon that you genuinely like. This is usually a public figure that begins to attract so much attention and popularity that he or she must be knocked down to size and that is difficult when the natural ego-driven part of you wants to adore the person.

Iconoclasm is in trouble, just as the Dada movement began to water down and eventually evaporate. There just aren’t enough people with the stomach or courage to embrace iconoclasm anymore. There are too many people settling for the cowardice of fan-dom, the strange comfort of being a faceless crowd member. And, of course, there are too many people who demand nothing from icons. That’s why truly great people are not icons and don’t need to be attacked. Truly great people are like old bowlers (the don’t fade away, they just can’t lift their balls).

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Tree's company


Wood, according to Wikipedia, derives from woody plants, notably trees but also shrubs. Wood from the latter is only produced in small sizes, reducing the diversity of uses. Wood is a hygroscopic, cellular and anisotropic material. Dry wood is composed of fibers of cellulose (40%–50%) and hemicellulose (20%–30%) held together by lignin (25%–30%). Wood is the xylem tissue of the plant.

What a talented woodsman can do with the xylem tissue of the plant is best expressed at Specialty Carpentry. I make this personal endorsement and urge you to go to the website so that you can get some ideas of what you want to have. Because everyone wants to have something made of wood, something that no one else can claim.

Also, visit their eBay store by clicking here.

Speaking of wood, check out the CD called Hunting. Never before in one CD has there been a menu of songs with lyrics referring to wood than in this fine collection. The poetry of wood, the xlem as a metaphor and an allegory, is presented in full regalia. It makes a great Christmas gift and you can even give it to someone for New Year, establishing an entirely new custom.

Monday, December 12, 2005


More notes from the underground

Due to our continued growth in readership, we will try to update our blog daily. Check in each day and tell your friends and enemies we are here ... thanks.

Maybe it is just me, though I doubt it and would be frightened to know it is only me, I still find the Pornolizer web site a roar. Now available in seven languages (how many can you speak, no less do you know vile language?), the Pornolizer is a crack-up and a great standby view when things around me become to thick and sick. Just type in the URL to any website and watch what happens. Yes, rated X …

Vic Mendoza, a DJ now enjoying success at Krush Radio, one of our former affiliates, has a jam-packed web site for modern musicians at VM Underground. Vic keeps the indie scene honest with interviews and attitudes.

Paul Williams and his greatest hits of the 20th century continue to generate the think tanks of a generation or two. If you have your own list, send it to me at and I will get it to Paul. Find out more about the lists and buy his book on the subject by clicking here. Paul will be a guest again on our program in early 2006.

A great web site that we are using for a resource to get future guests is Brian’s Drive-in Theater. A scad of information on beautiful Grade B movies and their stars over the decades, this site keeps a movie buff busy for hours. Brian’s mailbox is very often full, so be patient if you email him.

Friday, December 09, 2005


The light shift

This was a strange week. I could not explain why I had feelings that so conflicted with my usual composure, my natural brightness and my ability to balance a cup of coffee on my nose. Then I discovered that Earth's north magnetic pole is drifting away from North America and toward Siberia. Ah ha, I thought. Indeed, it is moving at such a clip that Alaska might lose its spectacular Northern Lights in the next 50 years, according to scientists.

I asked my neighborhood scientists if there is a possibility that Earth's modestly fading magnetic field will collapse. He said, “It is remote, but who knows?”

But the shift could mean no more sky lights known as auroras, except in southerly areas of Siberia and Europe. Aurora fans in Alaska have already begun to pack.

As we all know, the magnetic poles are part of the magnetic field generated by liquid iron in Earth's core. Their shift can affect the personalities of ultra-sensitive people, said my local scientist. “Exactly why this happens is a mystery,” he said confidently.

Now that it is confirmed that the north magnetic field has shifted significantly in the last thousand years, I don’t have to worry about that recent urge to hear Michael Bolton sing. I will adapt, now knowing the reason for my malady.

Thursday, December 08, 2005


Mary Lee we roll along

And here it is, Grammy nomination day. So, enough about that crap, let's move on.

First and foremost, on the Dec. 8 show we will converse with poet, author, teacher and former political candidate Mary Lee Gowland on the network feed. Be there at 9 p.m. EST. It has been my pleasure to have worked with her in the Los Angeles literary community back when I was a Young Turk. Actually I was a Young Jerk, but we need not go into that now.

Next, a plug, even if you are not a local of the Pennsylvania-capitol area. Check the blog by Bill Bostic, a man whose name will soon become an active adjective in the English language if I have anything to say about it (and I might if someone asks). One-Man Think Tank is the name of the blog.

See ya latah, gator ...

Monday, December 05, 2005


My time and my space

I have decided to put a drop of water into the ocean. That is, I started an account at My Space dot com. Alas, I am not looking for friends or cyber relationships of any kind. I am looking for one more place to alert anyone that our show exists. Yes, it is a free billboard that might do nothing but cannot hurt anything.

Certainly the craze over this site has sent ripples over the Internet. The last figure tossed about, concerning the sign-ups on the site, was 40 million. Even if this is wrong by 50-percent, the beast cannot be ignored. For the purposes of promoting this show, having a presence there, and using all of its tools (for free) is just a matter of investing some more sweat equity.

If you join or if you are already a member, connect your space to my space at . And this exclusive club will endure.

Breaking news --
"If we find out that he's lying, he and the rest of them are going to jail."
Click here for an update on Buddha boy, as of 2:45 p.m., EST.

Sunday, December 04, 2005


An update: Who da Buddha?

Here is an update from the story we have been following about the Buddah Boy, Ram Bahadur Bomjon. Rewritten from reports, including the Gulf News.

Kathmandu, NEPAL -- Nepali officials said they will visit 15-year-old Ram Bahadur Bomjon to investigate the incredible claims he has been meditating without food or water for six months. “Many believe him but there are some who think it’s too incredible,” said Shanta Raj Subedi, chief officer of Bara district southeast of Kathmandu.
Subedi said he asked the Home Ministry and the Royal Nepal Academy of Science and Technology to find out more about Bomjon, who followers say has not moved since he began meditating.
“We are also trying to bring Lamas [teachers] from Buddhist monasteries to look into it,” Subedi said. “Because it deals with religion, we need to find out the actual truth about this before doing anything else.”
Tens of thousands of Buddhists have flocked to see the boy, some believing that he is a reincarnation of the founder of Buddhism, Lord Siddhartha Gautama, who lived in the region more than 2,500 years ago.
“I felt very happy, nice and calm when I went to the place where the young boy is meditating,” Padma Kamal Singh said after visiting the area where Ram is resting. “We have heard that people with special powers can meditate for long periods without taking food or water.”
Devotees keep visitors a good distance from the boy, who sits under a banyan tree, as did Lord Buddha. They are not allowed to take photographs, but can use binoculars.
Doctors questioned the claims of a total fast lasting six months, saying that surviving beyond a few weeks was unlikely. “Normally, a person can stay alive without food or water for less than a month,” doctor Khagendra Bahadur Shrestha said. “People need calories to survive.”
Govinda Chitrakar, secretary general of the Lumbini Development Trust, a Buddhist organisation, said he would travel to Bara next week. The Buddha is believed to have been born in Lumbini, a pilgrimage site, close to Nepal’s border with India.

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