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The person, whom within MY lifetime, has done more for Peace and the preservation of good Literature in my lounge room, is the inventor of the MUTE BUTTON.

Eugene Polley of the Zenith Radio Corporation is credited with creating the first wireless TV remote that could turn off the sound. The marvellous invention came into being in 1995. Yes, that recently, only 22 years ago.

He did receive the Technology & Engineering Emmy Award (1997); IEEE Consumer Electronics Award (2009).

Unfortunately, this genius passed away in 2012 at the age of 96. This makes him ineligible as the prohibition of posthumous awards fails to recognise achievements by an individual who dies before the prize is awarded.

So, next best thing to do is to confer a Saint Hood, as this is an obvious miracle, witnessed by and of benefit to billions around the world.

FC Mickey Benefiel

Looking back from 20 years in the future

You are only 5 minutes late, don't get so bothered about a little delay.

I can remember when people had to line up for hours just to get on one of those big cramped, noisy aeroplanes in order to go from Hobart to Sydney. Then it took well over an hour to get there!

No Quick Cabs in those days. Everything was sub-sonic. Of course they used petrol driven jet engines back then and they had severe limitations on speed and weight, so they just crammed all the people they could into a plane and only went from one airfield to another. Oh, how I hated waiting for the suitcase to come off the plane and out on the conveyor belt, before I could even get out of the airport.

No door to door at all ! You had to take a cab or a rent a car to get to where you actually wanted to go. Now when I want to visit my son in Helensburgh, they put me down on the footpath right in front of the house, and my luggage as well.

And of course the high speed underwater ferries didn't even exist! I don't think anyone had even thought of such things back then. Hydrogen powered locomotion and aqua dynamics engineering have made a huge difference to all forms of transport, but especially getting back and forth to England or Canada. It took Jet aircraft 12 hours just to get from Perth to Cape town! Can you imagine, sitting in a chair for 12 hours!

Back then just about everyone drove cars. There were just as many idiots in the world then, so you can imagine how dangerous it was. Now when you call for a pickup to go visiting or for an outing, it may take a few minutes for the transporter to arrive; but they have progressed tremendously since they got the trucks off the transways. Used to call them roads in the old days, before they put everything underground.

So settle down in the recliner there and have a cold beer. Fortunately, some things never change.

Mickey Benefiel

Where the Wind Comes From

A storey for Fia

A little girl named Fia sat watching the leaves being swirled in the air by a Dust Devil when her Grandfather came and sat beside her. "you look very thoughtful, what are you thinking about?", asked the old man.

"Where does the wind come from, grandpa?" said the girl, squinting to keep the dust from his eyes. "And why does it make such a mess?", she continued.

"Mother Nature owns the wind, but she doesn't always do a good job of making it behave. Some days it just gets out of hand and runs wild."

Pointing to the sky Fia asked, "Does it blow the clouds around too?" They watched the thin layer of scratchy cloud, strung out in long streamers across the horizon.

"Sometimes it does, other times the clouds and the wind are just playing chasings."

"Does the wind make it rain?"

"Oh no. The clouds own the rain, and the wind is jealous about that. Sometimes they don't get on very well at all, the wind and the clouds. The wind will make the clouds angry and that's when they get all dark and cover the sun. If the wind gets too pushy the clouds throw rain and roar with thunder and lightning to try and scare it off, but the wind just keeps on blowing and that's when we get bad storms."

Fia frowned. “The wind is always bad!”

No, wind makes peoples windmills work and sailors are always needing the wind to make their yachts go. Sometimes the wind cools the land after a real hot day, but that's when it just puffs up a breeze. It dries the washing on the clothes lines and helps you fly your kite. The wind can be really good when it wants to. It just doesn’t try very often."

They sat in silence for while, thinking about the wind and clouds, then Fia looked very seriously at her grandfather and said "when I act bad mum makes me stay in doors and I can't go out and play. I wish I was the wind, then I could do whatever I wanted to, and no body could boss me around."

"Now don't get me wrong dear, the wind doesn't always get it's own way. Mum Nature has her own punishments she hands out. She gets angry and makes the wind spend days out blowing the water into waves. Hard work that. Then another time she gets cranky with the clouds and makes them SO cold, that the rain freezes into ice and snow and the clouds can't hang onto it and they dry out, loose their thunder and lighting and sometimes just turn into fog."

"Wind can be real cold too", said Fia. "Does she cause that as well? Because I don't like it when it gets real cold."

"yes she does, but to make up for that she lets us have the fire place to get warm again. She owns fire too."

“Mum, Mum, wait till you see this!”
The girl was hard to see in the darkness: a vague silhouette, slithering over
piles of rotting rubbish, fruit, vegetables and other unsold and out-of-date
foodstuff. Behind the shopping centre a yard was enclosed by a brick wall,
high, but not high enough to stop determined scavengers bunking up and over
to look for anything which might fill an empty belly.
Lily was always hungry. There never seemed to be enough money for food.
What did Mum do with it, she wondered. Smokes? Drink? Pokies? She could
not be sure but they both did this nightly round of the grocery chuck outs.
Her hands slipped over more rotten fruit: bananas oozing from split skins;
apples, some still firm, most slimy and not worth a second touch, oranges
covered in films of mould; mushy plums, apricots, grapes getting pongy,
squashed tomatoes: a jumble of stale bread rolls, cream buns, tacky glazed
icing, crumpets, doughy muffins, smashed cream cakes. Lily’s fingers dipped
in and out of her mouth: the taste was good but it was too dark to see what
she was eating.
A rat scurried away.
Her hand fingered inside a fibre carton: packets of something unopened,
several of them. She pulled one out in front of her face. “Hey Mum, come
over,” a loud but muffled whisper, “wait till you see what I got.”
Her mother, a formless shadow slid around the jumbled garbage. “What is it
then? What yer got?”
“Doughnuts, packets of ’em. They’re in boxes like this. I seen ’em in the shop.
Cor. I love doughnuts.”
“OK, put ’em in the bag. We’d better be orf ’fore security comes round.”
“I got a few rolls as well.”
“OK, that’ll do us dinner. Come on.”
“Mum, how come all this food don’t get sold in the shops?”
“Dunno luv. Waste, ain’t it.

Is this an apple which I see before me?
Come, let me behold thee.
’Tis shapen like an apple red
yet hath these shining russet yellow streaks all round.
’Tis small, yet light upon my hand,
with tiny broken stalk upon its upward face.
’Tis like a cherry – larger – yet not so sweet;
with juice, ’tis crisp and crunchy to the bite,
a taste like fallen honey drops,
sharp to my teeth, sweet to my tongue,
rapture to my nose, with flavour rich and joyful;
and cheerful sound unto my ears.
This gentle longing to have thee whole,
at once, as favourite love-bites on my lips.
Oh, wondrous fruit, how blest thou art.
Thy skin, though firm doth still resist my ardent bite
yet longeth to be with me – as any lover might –
to satisfy my hungry need.
I love thee still,
thy inner flesh so firm, so white,
so pure within and true.
I love thee, all of thee.
Resist me not, my love is sure
And will be till I’ve eaten all of you!