Thursday, February 25, 2021

I used to be a clown...I still am...but used to be too.

 I used to be a clown…I still am…but I used to be too.

Firstly…what is a clown
"a comic performer, as in a circus, theatrical production, or the like, who wears an outlandish costume and makeup and entertains by pantomiming common situations or actions in exaggerated or ridiculous fashion.”

That’ll do.

I specialised as a street clown. I thought they were the purest, the bravest, the hardest to be but also the most free and if successful the most pre-industrially romantic.

I was successful on my own terms.
That said my self contained definition of both Clown and success radiated towards commercial interests who dangled fees and so I also worked for nightclubs in Ibiza, Suntory, Panasonic, Coca Cola, Camel cigarettes, international festivals, private parties with James Brown and Aretha Franklin with a 300 strong choir, Ron Howard movies starring Tom Cruise, retired Japanese starlets 21st birthday parties and pensioners picnics.

My point being I studied clown and practiced it to the extent that the world at large went…”Yup..he’s a clown”

So I don’t have to get too far into the weeds of self analysis to marry my idiosyncratic definition of the vehicle I used to express myself with the general clown definition.

What made me laugh internally was my ability to manifest my depression comically and commercially as a unique coping mechanism.

I was/am a disgruntled, unhappy, dissatisfied and entirely disappointed individual and given I primarily stand 11 ft tall in public places pretending I’m better than everybody I’ve done remarkably well manifesting the general jungian contradiction as it applies to modern men and women [or even more nuanced variations] as everyone identifies with my/their unhappiness and admires the ridiculous lengths and honed expressions I use to spark recognition.

Thats my take anyway.

But here’s the rub.

I’m kinda paralysed at the moment.

I’ve had major mental and physical injuries I’ve overcome, catatonic depression and terminal cancer. TA DA!

And I have all the tools honed by over 4 decades of work from makeup to stilts to the props that I use and let's say conservatively the wisdom of over 10 000 shows.

And I’m fortunate enough in my 57 year old street clown dotage to be in NZ, a rare country where congregation is not in of itself a health hazard.

But I don’t mind admitting I’m terrified.

I’m in Wellington NZ and in all my years working Wellingtons the only place that I, who have always been proud of my slow build crowd technique, based on the strength of my clown character, have worked for 30 minutes without gaining a single interested person.

It’s a psychic bruise.

So the choice as I see it it to go out and commit clown suicide, [which to be honest I’d rather do in private]…. Accepting that everyday life’s now too insular to admit commonality and laughter. Or to risk again…like every shows a risk, that I can pan sluice gold from the muck of overwhelming defensive indifference…and create laughter.

It’s a big ask and NZ’rs for all their cute accents and practical wholesomeness are nevertheless provincial fucktards easily lead and deeply insecure.

So I could do the catholic thing and go out and be ignored as penance and die quietly.

Or I could evoke my patron account, that’s had 2 contributors, now post Covid one, [I don’t even know who’s sending me $10 a month!}

To pay for someone to film my success or failure to anyone interested in feb march of 2021.

I’ll do it anyway. But having an international audience would make the success or failure so much more wonderful.

 

https://www.patreon.com/join/thisneedstohappen/checkout?rid=0&cadence=1



Thursday, February 11, 2021

I used to be Facebook/Google

 

I Used To Be Facebook/Google..

 
Everyones vigilant to some degree. It’s a primate echo that bypasses our awareness. There was a time when leaving the trees for the easier food on the ground brought with it terminal risks and only those with hyper vigilance survived to eventually begat us kicking and screaming a million ears later into some maternity ward.
So it was useful then and it’s useful now. [or is it?]
Times have indeed changed. Once we risked being dispatched, devoured, consumed within hours of any lapse of observational indiscipline.
Today we're consumed by algorithms.
Historically only the hyper-vigilant survived whereas today AI's have our subconsciouses ever expanding and pinned to a spreadsheet.
Today the remnants persist. We scan for body language, expressions and social signifiers and make instant judgements on subterranean levels searching for cues towards threat, comparative social standing and reproductive potential. That’s your everyday pedestrian.
I spent my adult life making a game of it. I would stand in public needing only three things, a corner, pedestrian flow and an audience catchment area and I would judge people. I was expressive. I would ‘read’ people in the same way everyone else ‘reads’ people however I’d do it consciously and with a tone that could kindly be called sardonic. People recognised themselves in me and achieved respite from a task they may not have been aware they were constantly doing and they recognised themselves in the people I chose to psychologically mimic.
I performed this experiment throughout the world in as many cultures as I could to test its universality. I found it’s basically a constant.
To fear for yourself is uncomfortable. We live in a world where some degree of anxiety is a constant. It’s part of the human condition and in part why families form and intoxicants prosper.
To fear for others allows us to project our anxieties and contains within it a relief. Public executions have evolved into Sunday evening child leukaemia melodramas and 'Reality' TV.
I am a clown so could couch my temporary puncturing of individuals dignity within a playful envelope. I was deft and often the subject would be unaware of my cruel portrayal of them. That was part of the humour.
But for over 30 years I’ve been standing 12 ft tall on street corners reading peoples gaits, their clothing, their accessories, their expressions, their ‘inclination’ and amplifying my judgement of them as brittle useful idiots to an audience of useful idiots while myself being a fool.
I used to be Facebook/Google.

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

Clowns employment, The Roaring Twenties

 

 
2021…..

 
A financial collapse
 
“A financial collapse occurs when all ‘faith in “business as usual” is lost. The future is no longer assumed to resemble the past in any way that allows risk to be assessed and financial assets to be guaranteed. ”
*Clowns still viable/employed/transitionable..[Transition is recognized as a verb..but it probably hasn't become widely accepted as a transitive verb]
 
A commercial collapse
 
“is triggered when ‘faith that “the market shall provide” is lost. Money is devalued and/or becomes scarce, commodities are hoarded, import and retail chains break down and widespread shortages of survival necessities become the norm”
*Clowns still viable/employed/transitionable..
 
A political collapse
 
“A political collapse occurs when ‘faith that “the government will take care of you” is lost. As official attempts to mitigate widespread loss of access to commercial sources of survival necessities fail to make a difference, the political establishment loses legitimacy and relevance.”
*Clowns still viable/employed/transitionable.. 
 
A social collapse
 
“A social collapse occurs when ‘faith that “your people will take care of you” is lost, as local social institutions, be they charities or other groups that rush in to fill the power vacuum, run out of resources or fail through internal conflict’.”
*Clowns still viable/employed/transitionable....
.
.
A cultural collapse
“A cultural collapse occurs when ‘faith in the goodness of humanity is lost. People lose their capacity for “kindness, generosity, consideration, affection, honesty, hospitality, compassion, charity”
At this point clowns become unemployed. [or in the best of worlds die hilariously.]

 
I’ll just do warm up…..

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Robert Nelson/Alchemy/Laughter

 


Here is something Robert Nelson wrote that I think is important.
 
Some of my friends are not performers and might not know who Robert was. He was a famous curmudgeon of a street performer.
 
He was also underneith that quite kind and generous.
Also a friend. He's dead now.
anyway.........
 
"Once upon a time, there were no universities or colleges. 
 
Men mostly had to gather all kinds of information (old texts/books/journals) and study on their own. These men wanted to know the same thing everyone else wanted to know... how everything worked.
In fact, that’s what they called their work: The Great Work.
 
They all looked for the same thing, “the secret of life”.
 
Along their path, these self-educated men saw some of their brethren excel while others failed. 
They all asked, “WHY”? And they learned a lot.
Now, here’s where it gets sticky. 
Science wasn’t neatly divided into subcategories of Physics and Chemistry in those days. 
Mathematics and Philosophy were still joined at the hip. 
Everybody knew only a piece of the puzzle, so they looked around and this is what they found.
 
Some experiments with the same conditions give the same results.
Others did not. No matter the same conditions. The results differed.
Here’s the split.
 
Those who wanted to always have the same conditions yield the same results, invented Chemistry.
Those who wanted to know “Why” the same conditions did not yield the same results, invented Alchemy. 
 
Ok, broken down again, just to be simple. 
Chemistry is: certain conditions applied=same results. 
Alchemy the study of why things work or don’t. Beyond the science, that’s it, “How to make things work”.
 
Unlike chemistry, alchemy focused on the chemist (INDIVIDUAL) himself to provide the missing piece of the equation. They looked inwards while others looked outwards.
 
This is what happened.
Two groups of alchemy emerged. 
1) Those who hid "the answer" beneath symbolism and said no individual was capable of attaining it on their own so “the answer” was unattainable. 
 
The second group also hid the answer under symbolism but said, while feasible, "the answer" was different for everyone and therefore unattainable as well.
This made alchemy almost disappear. Only a few studied on their own. 
 
I am going to 1st tell anyone familiar with chemistry very simply what is going on during transmutation of base metals into gold: 
3 things are added, mixed, heated, evaporated and finally purified (doesn’t get simpler than that). I’ll go into details later.
What is really going on here is not the ferrous (Au/gold) mineral added to the “another metal” and adding a "salt" liquid allows you to merge metals when you melt them with fire………
……….IT IS THE PROCESS THAT ONE MUST PUT HIMSELF THROUGH to accomplish this task successfully that is more important than accomplishing the task itself. 
This is a difficult concept, I know, but think of alchemy to be more like agriculture than chemistry.
 
Some people have a "green thumb" and do better... why? ... Here’s the answer.
Those of you out there, and you all know exactly who you are. You look around you and are amazed. You have money and love and people are just blown away when you do a show. Others love what you are doing and applaud and offer you gigs. Most of you really appreciate this success, I know.
You have (and you don't have to be a magician or juggler, any profession will do) a "KNACK" for what you do. 
 
You are the ones I'm talking to here. The others are not ready. You, the reader, are ready for the last step. This is the "YOU" side of the equation. Yes, “the philosopher's stone” is what I am here to help you find.
 
Any practicing alchemist will be horrified to know I am about to reveal the secret. 
In the Mutus Liber, Canseliet quotes Pierre Dujols warning, 
“don’t gave way to the temptation to reveal the secret.” 
Well, too bad, those guys are dead and I will be soon and no one else knows this crap, so fuck ‘em.
All I ask is you too give it freely once you come into the knowledge. We are all amateurs here, so everyone needs our help.
 
The answer lies in laughter. 
 
First thing, what is laughter?
Laughter is surprise… that’s the catalyst, if you will…. Surprise!
Then, one of two things happens… you think it matters or it doesn’t.
 
If “it doesn’t matter” …you laugh.
 
If “it matters”… you feel anxiety.
That’s it.
 
Ok, now let’s look at WHY people laugh.
Two things are immediately clear. First, laughter is not instinctive… you don’t come out of the womb laughing.
Laughter is CONDITIONAL … you learn what to laugh at from those around you.
 
Second, and here is the secret: Laughter makes us feel SAFE with those we laugh with.
You see it all the time. A girl meets a guy for the first time … she laughs to make him feel safe. He laughs to make her feel safe. They feel safe together.
 
Now look at your audience. One person laughing alongside the next. What happens?
Say, two people that don’t even know each other laugh at the same thing that one show they saw of yours and later on that day they meet again somewhere else and recognize each other… they will look at that other person completely different than a stranger.
 
Think about it… they still don’t know anything about each other yet they shared laughter earlier that day.
What happens?
That’s right … they trust each other.
And guess what else?
That’s right… they give each other respect."

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Catamarans and personal sovereignty. The Roaring 20's. Upmarket Refugees.

 Been thinking about this for a couple of years.

This decade will be one of systemic collapse and  climate refugees. [The Roaring Twenties]

On one hand you've got your cabin in the woods. Will the woods burn? Will you have to evacuate and if so where too? How do you defend your personal fiefdom from roving speculators? How does the movie end making a last stand on shifting sand?

Bollocks. You need a platform that provides flexibility. you need a platform that creates it's own water supply, you need a platform that you can transport via free energy towards hope rather than pretending TV tropes are based in reality.

 Catamarans, ocean going Catamarans seem to be the most elastic way to cope over the next decade.

Single hulls are cheaper and more versatile, granted, but they take more talent to sail and importantly they don't provide the storage of a multi-hull.

When all you own is an object you can steer around the globe with a crew of two space is critical. Think of a Catamaran as a mothership.

The clunkiness of a Catamaran also limits your choices and simplifies the plans you need to make.

You have a watermaker, that changes salt water to fresh, you have solar panels that provide power, you have a small wind generator that does the same and when the wind is pushing you through the water and your idle propellers are turning in the current that is a third source of generated power.

You have the ability to cross oceans relatively quickly, The quicker the safer. 

You have, even on a 40-50ft boat, more usable real estate, comfortable accom for 8 with 4 cabins and indoor/outdoor living areas.

There's an element of personal sovereignty that may be an illusion but as long as it lasts it's real and valuable. The fact that you possess a loaded wagon on a liquid prairie, self quarantined in a world shortly full of desperate people staggering blindly away from calamity at the very least puts you in the upmarket refugee category. The free international transport your vehicle provides is also itself non trivial.

 So many considerations, the faster [more narrow] your boat the less space you have but your ability to outrun other vehicles is an important defense. Counter to that is that with modern communication small networks of seafarers have already formed and are their own multi-national tribes and that sort of politics is going to matter. Along with the advantages of autonomy there are also networks with skills and resource sharing.

The sailing learning curve is less steep with multi-hulls. They have less flexibility but if you are capable of sailing downwind across oceans and then sheltering around coasts and pottering about in your seabourne apartment the skill set you need to do that is rapidly learnable. You may also want to consider retaining a Skipper to aid the transition, start looking sooner rather than later.

It's dangerous though, there are many simple mistakes that could ruin you and lots of moving parts any one of which could break and test your improvisational skills. Layered contingencies will become a new required language.

Life would consist of learning new skills on a daily basis and that's healthier than dooming it in a basement. 

You are going to need a million dollars roughly. Give or take half a million. I'm picking that as an average. With luck you could get it done for 400-000, I'm not going to bicker about entry levels. I'm addressing those who see the 20's as a period of massive upheaval and can throw liquidity at the problem rather than sit waiting to be overwhelmed. 

The Catamaran market has quietly exploded the last few years, new evolved designs have emerged to cater to a rising group of adventurous Mom and Pop empty nesters who want to circumnavigate as a retirement plan.

Easy to operate, creature comfort yachts with built in redundancies, washer/dryers, water catchment systems and network based repair options are now common.

The best of which have high demand and waiting lists. 

One example is the Seawind 1370 which has a two year waiting list at present.

It's the best example of an neo-upper middle class performance cruiser

https://www.seawindcats.com/seawind-1370/

It's a dream boat but demand being what it is it's more or less unavailable. Good stepping off point though.

Although if you are in the market for the best money can buy here's something to drool over.

Your crew sails it for you, it travels above the waves with no pitch or roll and you get to bask in the collective hate of humanity as you watch the world end in style.

 

 

There's a gamut of yachts, more available and all round the million dollar mark. You can buy second hand charters and refit them, bringing the cost back up from your initial saving to around a million or you can buy a fully fitted new yacht.  

Here's some comparative fairly data rich cat-porn


 


These are upper middle boats. I say this because there's a small class of performance cruisers that are multi million dollar [10/11 million]

The best example of which is the Gunboat. Very light, very very fast, very luxurious.


 

Very few people will get near you if you don't want them to


 Ok Ok, that's enough of that, back to the real world people! Chop chop! Half of us will be dead in the next decade and the small but dedicated community of international catamaran and single hull western upmarket refugees presently enjoying the shelter of Fiji after the mandatory 2 weeks isolation there while they wait for the cyclone season to end and NZ to relax it's inbound restrictions for certified disease free sailors [americas cup coming up in March].....nothing to see here......unless you have some liquidity and are looking at elastic forms of out of the box insurance.




 





Sunday, October 18, 2020

Musing on potential for NZ community arts using aspects of Australian models.

 

 
[Photo Roberto Di Lernia]
 
We here in New Zealand have a growing responsibility to acknowledge and reflect not only our own potential to exist as a functioning cultural unit but additionally we have a kind of global eye of Mordor fixed upon us as the bruised globe fixates upon us seeking hope in times of progressive cross spectrum degradation.

Who needs it?

Well we do, we can congregate without danger and the onus is on us to fill a gap that imported culture, which as been eradicated has left us and more importantly find ways to express ourselves in artful and uplifting ways. Because life will continue to be hard and it helps when people gather and celebrate themselves.

We are lucky culturally to have a sibling that’s always been slightly more evolved, bigger, more casually cosmopolitan to learn from.

Australia is our friend.

We are stoic, small, used to understated passive aggressive stealth sarcasm as our only weapon of mass destruction. We are creative and imaginative yet also quietly yet dangerously self critical.
We have the Beehive, Australia has the Sydney Opera House. We had Flying Nun, they have 'Triple J’, we had advance NZ, they had indigenous genocide. But I jest…

Australia been our big brother forever but it might be time to recognise that neither of us are teenagers any more.

Australias dedication to the showcasing of the Arts and specifically the efforts made to integrate art throughout its far flung communities is something we might have a squiz at and learn from. We might do well to look at the cohesive models they employ and focus on generating similar projects using the latent talent we have with our own creatives as well as nurturing creative talent for the future not least because in a world of collapsing social, economic, environmental and political systems a sense of fun and finely tuned whimsy may help us maintain our collective sanities and endure cascading collective disappointments that might otherwise collapse us as they are quite self evidently collapsing other countries less fortunate.

I’m a clown prone to flights of fancy and not in fact an omnipotent social engineer so instead I’ll stick to recollections and let the more qualified prospect for applicable resonance.

There's a small town in Western Australia called Kellerberrin, it has a population of 868 last anybody checked, its chosen byline is ‘Kellerberrin…Where life is as rich as the landscape.’

 It’s 205 kilometres (127 mi) east of Perth [Itself one of the most isolated cities in the world] on the Great Eastern Highway.

Kellerberrin is about as much in the middle of nowhere as it’s possible to be. Yet due to the efforts in general of a progressive and muscular Arts council it and many other far communities have vibrant expressive little pockets within them. 

Over two decades ago I took a small part in the opening of an arts exhibition in Kellerberrin and it really opened my eyes to how enthusiastically rural farm folk can digest and discover and play with art and whimsy. It laid bare my hoity-toity pretentions.

The opening, in this small rural agricultural outpost was of work by Umberto Cavenago, an Italian conceptual artist who had been imported for six months as an artist in residence.
He was a small man who wore silk suits and didn’t speak much English.
The opening itself was the culmination of the mysterious efforts he’d been putting in the preceding months. As with any small close knit community the local grapevine was a robust and pre-internet information highway unto itself and he had given them much to chatter about. He was harmless and seemingly incongruous but this is a culture where yahoos, larrikins  and misfits are generally accepted and sometimes celebrated and apparently this guy was a high level eccentric and part of Australias charm is that at quite a deep level there’s really nothing wrong with that.

One story concerning him was that on a long straight road slicing through the wheatbelt he was  sightseeing, driving his rental on the wrong side of the road because in Italy that was his reality, they drove on that side, when in the far distance a local farmer approached driving the other way. As the vehicles approached over an extended distance they slowed, each sticking to their guns, until they almost touched at which point they stopped and the silk suited Italian conceptual artist and the wheat farmer on his way home got out and in basic English tried to work out what was happening. Eventually they worked it out, laughed and order was restored and the beginnings of an eccentric legend was added to the local folklore.

Umberto Cavenago spent a great deal of time walking throughout the town with large bags of grass seed, sewing them on the well packed dirt of the pavements. He would nod cheerfully at passers by and pretend he knew no English at all so he didn’t have to explain himself. This improved the quality of the local scuttlebutt considerably. 

Later he went through a list of local people and set up a video camera face onto them and asked them questions I confess I can no longer remember, recorded the answers and disappeared back into the local Gallery which he’d been provided.
Scuttlebutt intensified.

Still later the grass that he’d sown took root on the pavements and he went round taking painstaking record of that in its entirety.

It all culminated in an art exhibition in which myself and a small group of creatives travelled from Perth to embroider on the evening of the opening.
I’m writing this in Oct 2020 from recollections of the actual event back in 98/99 so apologise I can’t remember specifically the colourful crew. I do remember Marcus Canning had a large inflatable costume and the hot gusty winds that were blasting across the plains on which Kellerberrin resides were so strong that if he had been swept off his feet it would have been miles before they touched earth again. He survived.

Inside the gallery which was two main rooms were the answers to all the strange behaviours. Umberto Cavenago had sown the seeds to have them grow and then his photography was him recording the tracks locals had made through them as they walked the footpaths of their small town. He had then used that data to painstakingly render a scaled down model of the matrix of footpaths in the town in dirt with grass and replicated the paths worn down outside in replicate in his model.
Heady stuff, but not hard to understand.

The other room contained banks of video monitors facing each other from across the room each with looped footage of local answering questions to camera.

The locals were cheerfully milling about inside and taking it all in. It was after all a very interesting interpretation of their community on a couple of different levels. There were the tracks they made through the town and there in the other room were recordings of their local kinsfolk answering questions.

The local agricultural and produce association chairman got up to deliver a speech. He welcomed everybody and thanked Umberto Cavenago for his work and then went on to explain art to weather beaten isolated folk in a really inclusive and homespun and to me quite glorious way. 
 
He said art was an excuse for people to get together and celebrate their communities. He said you didn’t have to understand it and perhaps part of it’s value was not understanding it gave people something to discuss and that itself was interesting. He said it gave people shared experiences and in a community of hardworking folk that perhaps didn’t get out much shared experiences were gifts. He said that this particular art was reflective of this specific community and that he and the people he represented were grateful to Umberto Cavenago for the unique perspective he’d brought to them From all the way on the other side of the world.

There was applause and then with a certain newfound collective pride after so good a speech the local people milled around the exhibition making conversation til the event concluded.

This tiny town and it’s adoption and celebration of an obscure Italian conceptual artist really brought home to me how art and the stubborn promotion of it throughout communities can invigorate and generally enhance the wellbeing of everybody within them.

I hope we can learn from our Australian brothers and sisters in these trying times and foster relationships between the creative and pragmatic within our own communities large and small to benefit us all.

Obviously I’m biased as a clown but I think whimsy's more important than most people give it credit for.











 
 

 
 

Sunday, September 20, 2020

not all negative, my obscure quiz attempt

 


Q1

How many wives did King Henry the 8th have.
A3 
B5
C6

AnswerC6 marriages  although 3 were annulled by the Church of England so 3 but only if you’re a practicing anglican

Q 2
How many wives did King Henry the 7th have?

Answer
One  bonus 1000 Elizabeth of York.

Q3

Elvis typically performed how may encores?

A 0. B1. C 3
Answer A-0 Elvis never did encores

Q4
How old is the table fork? Pick a century between one and ten

Answer..the personal table fork was most likely invented in the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, where they were in common use by the 4th century.

Q5,
How many eyelids do camels have?

Answer, 3

Q6

How many Bananas would you have to eat to equal the radiation in a typical chest Xray

A, 70

B 7000

C 70,000 
Answer C 70-000 bananas.

Q7
Last week we learned that on average we wee for 21 seconds.
This weeks question is, What is the world record for the longest pee.

 The World Record for the longest pee is 508 seconds.
That's almost 8.5 minutes. However I could not get confirmation of this fact plus there’s a lot of other dubious claims down this particular rabbit hole so the answer is inconclusive and question seven is cancelled.

Q8

How many ATM’s are there in Antarctica?

Answer 2, run by Wells Fargo .

Q9
Which is wider, Australia or the moon?
Australia is wider than the moon. But only just.
Australia's diameter is 600km wider than the moon's. The moon sits at 3400km in diameter, while Australia's diameter from east to west is almost 4000km.

Q10

And finally an easy one
What is the longest word in English with all the letters in alphabetical order.

Answer ‘Almost'



Q11 what’s more dangerous vending machines or sharks?
Answer vending machines.

From Google: The yearly risk in the U.S. of dying from a shark bite is roughly 1 in 250 million. In contrast, the yearly risk of dying from a vending machine accident is roughly 1 in 112 million. Vending machines are roughly twice as deadly as sharks.

Q12
True or false, it’s illegal to sleep naked in Minnesota 

True

Q13
 why do divers fall backwards out of the boat?
Answer ;Because if they fell forwards, they would still be in the boat.
Q14
What’s older Sharks or trees?
Answer, sharks.
Q15
the last gold medal for the tug of war in the Olympics was won by..
A; The City of London police
B; The Belgians
C; The French Navy.

Answer, A; The City of London police


Q16
What is a Flaneur?

Answer. someone who walks around not doing anything in particular but watching people and society.

Q17 

If you clap your hands once, wait one second, and clap again, thanks to the earth's motion in space, you traveled approximately how many miles between the two claps.

30k miles

B 40K miles

C 90K miles

Answer 30k miles

Q 18
Can anyone here tell me anything about  the Hanging of the Hartlepool monkey. Hartlepool is on the Welsh coast and this was said to have happened in the early 19 century.
Legend has it that during the Napoleonic Wars of the early 19th century, a shipwrecked monkey was hanged by the people of Hartlepool, believing him to be a French spy! To this day, people from Hartlepool are affectionately known as ‘monkey hangers’.
A French ship was spotted floundering and sinking off the Hartlepool coast. Suspicious of enemy ships and nervous of possible invasion, the good folk of Hartlepool rushed down to the beach, where amongst the wreckage of the ship they found the only survivor, the ship’s monkey which was apparently dressed in a miniature military-style uniform.
Hartlepool is a long way from France and most of the populace had never met, or even seen, a Frenchman. Some satirical cartoons of the time pictured the French as monkey-like creatures with tails and claws, so perhaps the locals could be forgiven for deciding that the monkey, in its uniform, must be a Frenchman, and a French spy at that. There was a trial to ascertain whether the monkey was guilty of spying or not; however, not unsurprisingly, the monkey was unable to answer any of the court’s questions and was found guilty. The townsfolk then dragged him into the town square and hanged him.
There could perhaps be a darker side to the tale – maybe they didn’t actually hang a ‘monkey’ but a small boy or ‘powder-monkey’. Small boys were employed on warships of this time to prime the canons with gunpowder and were known as ‘powder-monkeys’.
Q19
What is the most abundant species of animal on earth?
Nematodes outnumber every other species on earth by a 5:1 margin there are   57 billion nematodes for every single human being.

Q20
What is a tittle? And how is it part of the alphabet?
Answer The little dot on lower case i’s and j’s is called a tittle.

21
Which is longer, the wingspan of a Boeing 747, or the first flight of the Wright brothers?

Answer. The Boeing 747 wing-span (195 feet) is longer than the Wright Brothers first flight of 120ft.

Q22
What unusual shape is Wombat poo

Answer Cubed.

Q23 
Question: Which Disney Princess sings “Once Upon a Dream”?

Answer: Aurora (Sleeping Beauty).

Q24

Question: Which Disney Princess attended Elsa’s coronation day in Arendelle?

Answer: Rapunzel.

Q25
Question: Who serves a Pinocchio’s conscience?
Answer: Jiminy Cricket.

Q26 

Question: Who said: “Fish are friends not food”?
Answer: Bruce.

Q27

Question: Quasimodo was the bell-ringer of which famous cathedral?
Answer: Notre Dame.

Q28

Question: Dory from finding nemo suffers from what?
Answer: Short-term memory loss.

Q29
Which Disney princess appeared on our screens first? Cinderella, Snow White, or Aurora?

Snow White

Q30
Which character in Moana said: "If you wear a dress and have an animal sidekick, you're a princess.”?

Answer
Maui