Fipple Flautists Practice Puckers for a ‘Night Watch’

Listen very carefully Saturday, and you just might hear the strains of an old English dance tune, “The Night Watch,” floating through the air. Recorder players from Australia to Alhambra are being asked to synchronize their watches, and at precisely 2 p.m. PST thousands of them are expected to play the centuries-old song on their ancient flute-like instruments to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the American Recorder Society. “The old saying that there’s strength in numbers will be felt,” said Tim King, director of the seven-member Albany Recorder Ensemble in Albany, Ga. “This will give us an opportunity to share with people all over the world in a common event.” Andy Green, the society’s administrative director, said recorders are popular because they don’t take a lot of skill to produce pleasing music. To ensure the greatest participation, the society, which has about 4,200 members worldwide, mailed copies of the song as well as starting times in various time zones--late evening in Europe, Sunday morning in the Far East--and urged the fipple flautists to “be sure to synchronize your watch to the second with the radio or the time telephone number.” It also gave a suggested metronome tempo.

--When Parsippany, N.J., Mayor Frank Priore learned that one of the town’s employees was a traffic scofflaw, he suspended him for one day without pay and ordered the police chief to issue a $20 ticket. The fact that the errant employee was himself didn’t faze him one bit. “I think that was the fairest thing I could do with myself,” he said. Priore didn’t realize he had been driving with an expired license since 1987 until he was contacted by a reporter. But as head of the city’s police department, he said he had to set an example. He based his punishment on what a police officer would face in the same situation. He said the notice to renew probably was sent to his former address.

--A former Indian beauty queen at the center of a British sex and politics scandal has been in hiding on the island of Bali, Indonesian immigration officials said. Pamella Bordes, 27, went into seclusion after the British tabloid press linked her to an unnamed Cabinet minister, two British newspaper editors and a Libyan security official. The suggestion of a connection with Libya, with which Britain has no diplomatic ties, sparked an outcry about possible security breaches at the House of Commons, where Bordes worked for a Conservative member of Parliament.