Is it really actually a week since I was last here with last Fridays Post? Are we really sure that some form of trickery isn’t at work here? – for I don’t feel like I’m in receipt of a full weeks worth of days. Something fishy is going on, I swear to Dog. Perhaps it’s Fairy Trickery? Maybe Trickery of the Harry Potter design. Or is it …. our Governments playing with time and doing that Men in Black gadget thing and wiping out brains and inserting a little widgety type of thing telling us that we’ve all had Sunday or Tuesday – when we really haven’t at all.
Something’s going on, and we need to get to the bottom of it. Followers: Don your Men/Women in Black outfits; put on your sunglasses and make sure you have all the equipment you need, for we are about to get to the bottoms of our Governments and find out exactly what they are doing with time. We all know they’re fiddling with it in some way – we just have to find out what the way is, and put it right again!
Aaanyhoo …. in the meantime, shall we all get some extra edumacation? Note books and pens on the desk please. Pin back your ears for we are about to begin…..
On This Day in History
1841 – Prince Albert Edward, later King Edward VII, became the Prince of Wales.
1863 – The world’s first heavyweight boxing championship took place at Woodhurst, Kent, between Tom King (England) and John C Heenan (US). King was the Champion.
1864 – The Clifton Suspension Bridge over the River Avon is officially opened. The Clifton Suspension Bridge is a suspension bridge, spanning the Avon Gorge and linking Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset, England. Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it is a landmark that is used as a symbol of Bristol. It is a grade I listed building.
1941 – World War II: The Japanese invade the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong, Malaya and the Dutch East Indies. They also invade the portions of Shanghai administered by European powers and bomb American bases in the Philippines. Because of the time difference, these events – which took place west of the International Date Line – happened while it was still December 7 to the east of this line.
1941 – World War II: Pacific War – After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the U.S. Congress passes a declaration of war against Japan.
1941 – World War II: Pacific War – the Republic of China officially declares war against Japan.
1941 – Holocaust: Gas vans are first used as a means of execution, at the Chelmno extermination camp near Lodz in Poland. The gas van was an extermination method devised by Nazi Germany to kill their victims during the Holocaust.
It was a vehicle with an air-tight compartment for victims into which exhaust fumes were transmitted while the engine was running. As a result the victims were gassed with carbon monoxide, resulting in death by the combined effects of carbon monoxide poisoning and suffocation.
Gas vans were used, particularly at Chemno extermination camp, until gas chambers were developed as a more efficient method for killing large numbers of people.
1952 – Her Majesty the Queen announced that she would permit her coronation to be televised.
1953 – Dwight D. Eisenhower gives the Atoms for Peace speech. “Atoms for Peace” was the title of a speech delivered by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower to the UN General Assembly in New York City on December 8, 1953.
“I feel impelled to speak today in a language that in a sense is new—one which I, who have spent so much of my life in the military profession, would have preferred never to use.
That new language is the language of atomic warfare.”
The United States then launched an “Atoms for Peace” program that supplied equipment and information to schools, hospitals, and research institutions within the U.S. and throughout the world.
The speech was possibly a tipping point for international focus on peaceful uses of atomic energy, even during the early stages of the Cold War. It could be argued that Eisenhower, with some influence from Albert Einstein, was attempting to convey a spirit of comfort to a terrified world that the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would not be experienced again.
It presents an ostensible antithesis to brinksmanship, the international intrigue that subsequently kept the world at the edge of war.
Eisenhower’s invoking of “…those same great concepts of universal peace and human dignity which are so clearly etched in…” the UN Charter, placed new emphasis upon the US’s grave responsibility for its nuclear actions— past, present and future. In a large way, this address laid down the rules of engagement for the new kind of warfare, the cold war.
In the heavy field of today’s superpower politics and technological progress, one might recall:
• “It is with the book of history, and not with isolated pages, that the United States will ever wish to be identified. My country wants to be constructive, not destructive. It wants agreement, not wars, among nations. It wants itself to live in freedom, and in the confidence that the people of every other nation enjoy equally the right of choosing their own way of life.”
• “To the making of these fateful decisions, the United States pledges before you — and therefore before the world — its determination to help solve the fearful atomic dilemma — to devote its entire heart and mind to find the way by which the miraculous inventiveness of man shall not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life.”
1963 – Pan Am Flight 214 crashes outside Elkton, Maryland with a loss of 81 people.
1969 – An Olympic Airways Douglas DC-6 crashes in Keratea during a storm, killing 93 people.
1972 – United Airlines Flight 553 crashes near Chicago Midway Airport, killing 45 people.
1980 – Mark David Chapman shoots and kills John Lennon in front of The Dakota department building.
Mark David Chapman (born May 10, 1955 in Fort Worth, Texas) murdered English musician and activist John Lennon on December 8, 1980 in New York City.
Chapman shot Lennon four times in the back outside The Dakota apartment building, in the presence of Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono and others. Chapman remained at the scene until arrested by police.
A scheduled jury trial did not go ahead because Chapman changed his plea from not guilty by reason of insanity to guilty of second degree murder, against the advice of his lawyer. He had been raped in jail 5 times and assessed as delusional and possibly psychotic, and the defense team argued that Chapman was not competent to make the decision.
However, Chapman was sentenced to a prison term of 20 years to life and remains incarcerated at Attica State Prison in New York, having been denied parole five times. His applications for parole have been opposed by Yoko Ono, as well as by an online grassroots public campaign.
Chapman has been widely associated with the book The Catcher in the Rye, which he carried with him at the time and claimed would explain his perspective. Various specific motivations have also been suggested. Chapman has since stated that what he did was wrong. There have been a number of interviews, books and films concerning Chapman and the murder of Lennon.
Chapman’s ninth parole application was denied in 2016, at which Chapman said he now saw his crime as being “premeditated, selfish and evil”.
His next parole hearing is scheduled for August 2018.
1982 – Activist Norman Mayer threatens to blow up the Washington Monument, before being killed by United States Park Police. Norman David Mayer (March 31, 1916 – December 9, 1982) was an American anti-nuclear weapons activist who was shot and killed by the United States Park Police after threatening to blow up the Washington Monument.
1987 – The Queen Street Massacre: Frank Vitkovic shoots and kills 8 people at the offices of Australia Post in Melbourne, Australia before being killed himself. 22-year old Frank Vitkovic, a former law student, wanted to murder a former school friend, Con Margellis, who worked in the building, and then to take out as many others as possible before ending his own life. Earlier that day he had travelled to the University of Melbourne with the same murderous intent, but his intended target was not on-campus, thus he proceeded to Queen Street.
At around 4:00pm, Vitkovic walked into the building in Melbourne’s Queen Street holding a brown paper bag and carrying a sawn-off shotgun. He opened fire at the offices in Australia Post, leaving 8 fatalities and 5 injuries.
On entering the fifth floor office where the second intended victim worked, Vitkovic pulled a sawn-off shotgun from the bag and began firing at fleeing workers, killing a young woman office worker. The friend chosen as the original target escaped unharmed. Vitkovic then moved from floor to floor, where he walked through office areas picking his targets randomly, shooting some workers at close range execution style as they cowered under their desks, as well as murdering those in the elevators.
The massacre ended on the 11th floor, in the finance department, when the gun was wrestled from Vitkovic by office worker Frank Carmody, and hidden in a refrigerator by another worker. Vitkovic then took his own life, despite valiant attempts from the postal workers to save him, by breaking a window and diving to his death. This was witnessed by numerous onlookers, from all floors of the Australia Post building, since the building opposite was mirrored glass, as well as by others from the viewpoints of the opposite buildings, and others outside the building. Carmody was recommended for a bravery award after his actions in disarming the killer.
Victorian Police Minister Race Mathews and Attorney General Jim Kennan also witnessed the event from a building diagonally opposite while gathered for a meeting.
The murderer’s death was also seen in detail by many who had barricaded themselves inside the 18 floors of the Australia Post building, because the building opposite was a mirrored glass building. All these workers were barricaded in their offices from 4:00pm until 8:00pm. They had heard gunshots echoing up the stairwells around 4:00pm and, at first believing that the philatelic section was being robbed, had been told by management to barricade themselves in the safest of their offices. All these people had no knowledge of what was really occurring, and their only information, over these four hours, was misinformation from televisions in their offices, which were reporting that many gunshots had been heard, that people were barricaded in their offices, that scores of people may have been murdered or lay dying, and that police were not entering the building because of the possibility of terrorists. The police only entered the building around 8:00pm, after the murderer threw himself to his death. During these four hours, many people were severely traumatized, and continue to suffer debilitating post traumatic stress disorder to this day.
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Born on this Day
1542 – Mary Queen of Scots (d. 1587) Scottish Queen who ascended to the throne aged seven. A rebellion led to her abdication and later Elizabeth I imprisoned her for the plot to restore the Roman Catholic religion and to take the throne from her
1922 – Lucian Freud, English painter
1925 – Sammy Davis Jr., American actor and singer (d. 1990)
1933 – Flip Wilson, American comedian (d. 1998)
1936 – David Carradine, American actor
1939 – Jerry “The Iceman” Butler, American soul singer
1939 – Sir James Galway, Northern Irish flautist
1941 – Sir Geoff Hurst, English footballer
1943 – Jim Morrison, American singer (The Doors) (d. 1971)
1951 – Bill Bryson, American author
1953 – Kim Basinger, American actress
1964 – Teri Hatcher, American actress
1966 – Sinéad O’Connor, Irish musician
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Thought for the day
I read recently about the top 50 things that people wanted to do before they died. On that list were things like: swim with dolphins. Go wing-walking. Gallop a horse along a beach … oh … and lose weight was on there too!
It feels like there’s a new list of *this* – *that* or *the other* published almost every day. As well as the ‘things to do before I die’ or ‘bucket list’ … there are albums we must hear; or the places we must visit; books we must read; places we must see; events we must attend; cars we must test drive; clothes we must wear this season; … and the list of lists goes on and on and … (sigh). All these lists tell us goals that we must set for ourselves if we are to feel that we are people truly living life. And … if we’re not sure what our goals should be, then there are plenty of people absolutely dying to share their lists with us.
It would seem that three things attract us to these lists: a desire to get hold of something good; a lack of time to choose what is good; and a concern that we are not achieving enough in life.
According to the people who support these lists, they are perfect for anxious professionals who have no time to embark on spiritual quests. They provide us with a kind of short cut to ‘meaningful achievement and self-fulfilment‘.
But …is the setting of these personal goals and achieving them, going to bring fulfilment and peace? Or will we – like the addicted consumer – be left with a nagging sense of there ‘being something else’ – some other goal that maybe can’t be reduced to a grocery list; a goal that isn’t about self-fulfilment and that requires us to find and choose what is good?
In another age, a busy, anxious professional man asked Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. Jesus referred the man to a well-known ‘life list’. One made up of things we shouldn’t, as well as should, do.
The man proudly replied ‘check‘ to each one of the commandments, but, he told Jesus, he suspected there was more than just that list of do’s and don’ts.
So he asked what he still lacked. Jesus’ answer wasn’t ‘go memorise the Torah’ or ‘white water raft the Jordan’ – but instead “go sell your possessions and follow me.“. It was a goal way too challenging for the man and we are told he went away sad and unfulfilled. The man was expecting a ‘things to do before you die’ list, and instead what he got was a ‘die first and then discover your life‘ list.
If you feel you don’t have enough of whatever you think you should have . . . imagine, just for a moment, a hurricane sweeping through the land you currently live in. Imagine this hurricane is SO strong that it sweeps your life clean of everything. Every single thing you currently hold dear to you. Your house? Gone. Your Car? Gone. Your Family? All Gone. Your Job? Gone. All your money (however little of it there is)? Gone. Your Clothes? Gone.
Actually feel how that would feel. Imagine being stood there, with NOTHING. Nothing in the world to call your own, other than the clothes you’re wearing right now. No one. Just emptiness.
Feel that awful, dreadful feeling of being totally alone, with no one you know and no one who knows you. No food, no money, no home, no family, friends, job, car, nothing.
Now imagine that one by one, things began to come back. What would appear first? How would that feel to have *that* back? Then the next thing … and the next …. and … on and on until eventually, over a short period of time, all your things came back. Home, family, friends, car, clothes, happiness, joy, love, contentment.
Now …. do you still think you aren’t blessed? Do you really need to go and follow that bucket list in order to feel fulfilled? Or do you recognise that everything you really actually want, is right there where you are. You already have everything you need.
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There are 17 days till Christmas – except there aren’t. We can’t count Christmas day (as we discussed a couple of weeks ago) so there are only 16 days left till Christmas. UNLESS … you’re reading this at the end of Friday the 8th December – which in that case, you can’t really count the 8th so that would mean there were only 15 days till Christmas. Getting closer all the time, eh? 😀
Now then … before I go, I read this ‘funny’ in a magazine the other day:
After a long Thanksgiving Day of eating and playing, a 3-year-old daughter asked her mother to carry her. When I asked if her legs were broken, the little girls answered “Yes, they’re out of batteries.”
Now this tickled the heck out of me because … when my own two (now very grown up) girls were little and they wanted me to do something I really hadn’t got the energy to do (such as run around the garden with them to see who won) … I would say (with a groan and a rubbing motion on my leg) … “Oh, but I can’t sweetheart. I have a bone in my leg!“ … and this one sentence would work wonders and I could get out of the odd game of running, or chase. Only occasionally mind – use it too much and it would soon wear thin because these girls were born with more brain cells than they have caused me to lose!
But like all children, these two darlings picked up some ‘useful’ things from their mother and took them forward into their own lives, and I fairly recently discovered that Daughter No. 2 (mother of Little Cobs) – has been using this very same excuse in her mummy role and has developed a ‘bone in her leg’ too.
I’m not sure whether to laugh gleefully and be proud, or tut tut tut and tell her off for shirking her ‘motherly duties’. LOLOL.
Ahh kids! Gotta love ’em. 😉
Wishing you a wonderful Friday and a terrific weekend. Thank you so much for coming and for sharing a coffee with me, while we sat at the table and had a few laughs.
Sending you much love and many squidges ~