Imogene Coca was the hilarious counterpart to Sid Caesar on Your Show of Shows, the ground-breaking 1950s sketch comedy show. (Here they are in the classic Auto Smashup
.) She won an Emmy and a Peabody for her work on the show, had a long career in television, and later made an impact as Aunt Edna in National Lampoon's Vacation, as Ms. Dipesto's mother in Moonlighting, and on the stage. [more inside]
In Bolivia's jungles and steep cliffs the Yungas people do not walk. They fly. On ropes. Like birds. Faster than astronauts.
'Rum and Coca Cola' is a 1942 calypso song by Lord Invader
about women on Trinidad prostituting themselves to American soldiers. In 1944, the song was performed in the US by the Andrews Sisters
, with the verses altered but the underlying meaning of the song still intact; the song was banned from radio play, however, because of the reference to alcohol. Both versions of the song were enormously popular, and the ensuing plagiarism suits ran until 1950. The copious Rum and Coca Cola Reader
has the full story
, and over twenty versions
of the song. [more inside]
Bolivia has a new softdrink that puts the Coca back in the cola...
It shares a key ingredient with the original Coke
and this new cola beverage seems to have the backing of the Bolivian government
[NewsFilter] A leftist candidate from one of Bolivia's Indian peoples who wants to legalise coca-growing has claimed victory in the presidential election.
Mr Morales, an admirer of Fidel Castro, said on Sunday that he wanted ties with the US but "not a relationship of submission". He also promises to make foreign oil and gas investors pay what he says is a fairer share to Bolivians.
Tired? Need a boost?
Everything you ever wanted to know about one of America's favourite energy boosters. This website contains 25 pages covering the history, uses (both legitimate and illegitimate), and biological characteristics of cocaine and the coca plant. An interesting read for those with time to kill (like me). Possibly NSFW.
When the Spaniards conquered South America, they at first ignored Indian claims that the leaf gave them strength and energy
and declared the practice of chewing it the work of the Devil
. But after discovering that these claims were true, they legalized and taxed the leaf, taking 10% of the value of each crop. These taxes were for a time the main source of support for the Catholic Church in the region.
Also the not so typical Thanksgiving recipe
New super strain of coca plant stuns anti-drug officials
DRUG traffickers have created a new strain of coca plant that yields up to four times more cocaine than existing plants and promises to revolutionise Colombia’s drugs industry.
Coca culture (NYT)
I am a cocalera. I owe my life to coca. My father died when I was 2 and my mother raised six children by growing coca. I was a farmer myself, growing coca for traditional purposes. But the United States says it is better for us to just forget about coca. In the early 1990's, Bolivian officials distributed American money — $300 to $2,500 per farm — and told us to try yucca and pineapples. But 60 pineapples earn us only about eight bolivianos (about $1). And unlike coca, yucca and pineapples are difficult to carry to the cities to sell, and they spoil. So many farmers returned to growing coca.