The Friday Post – 13th October 2017

Today is … FRIDAY THE 13th.

The fear of Friday the 13th is so big that it has its own name.  It’s called friggatriskaidekaphobia – or triskaidekaphobia for short.

Friggatriskaidekaphobia comes from Frigg, the Norse goddess of wisdom after whom Friday is named, and the Greek words Triskaidekaphobia, meaning 13, and phobia, meaning fear.

Now Friday the 13th is not universally seen as a day of misery. For example, in Italy, Friday the 17th and not Friday the 13th is considered to be a day that brings bad luck.  In fact, the number 13 is thought to be a lucky number!

In many Spanish-speaking countries and in Greece, Tuesday the 13th is seen as a day of misfortune. And  ….   For a month to have a Friday the 13th, the month must begin on a Sunday.

OK, that’s enough of this Friday 13th silliness!  Get your notebooks ready, and put your chewing gum in the bin!  Edumacation coming up!

On this Day in History

1773The Whirlpool Galaxy is discovered by Charles Messier. The famous Whirlpool galaxy Messier 51 (M51, NGC 5194) is one of the most conspicuous, and probably the most well-known spiral galaxy in the sky.

The Whirlpool Galaxy

The Whirlpool Galaxy is an interacting grand-design spiral galaxy located at a distance of approximately 23 million light-years in the constellation Canes Venatici.  It is one of the most famous spiral galaxies in the sky.

The galaxy and its companion (NGC 5195) are easily observed by amateur astronomers, and the two galaxies may even be seen with binoculars. The Whirlpool Galaxy is also a popular target for professional astronomers, who study it to further understand galaxy structure (particularly structure associated with the spiral arms) and galaxy interactions.

M51 is visible through binoculars on a dark night, but with modern amateur telescopes this galaxy is truly a sight to behold. It is very forgiving on the instrument, when seen even through a humble 10 cm telescope the basic outlines of M51 and its companion are visible. Under dark skies, and with a moderate eyepiece through a 15 cm telescope, one can detect M51’s intrinsic spiral structure. With larger (>30 cm) instruments M51 is simply breathtaking. The various spiral bands are very obvious and several HII regions appear to be visible, and M51 can be seen to be attached to M51B. The shape of the X-formation in the nucleus has often been compared to the Christian cross.

1775 – The United States Continental Congress orders the establishment of the Continental Navy (later renamed the United States Navy).
1792 – In Washington, D.C., the cornerstone of the United States Executive Mansion (known as the White House since 1818) is laid.

1843 – In New York City, Henry Jones and 11 others found B’nai B’rith (the oldest Jewish service organization in the world).

membership_certificate_
The Independent Order of B’nai B’rith – Membership Certificate

The Independent Order of B’nai B’rith (IPA: /bəneɪ ‘brɪθ/; Hebrew: בני ברית, “Sons of the Covenant”) is the oldest continually operating Jewish service organization in the world. It was founded in New York City by Henry Jones and 11 others, on October 13, 1843.

The organization is engaged in a wide variety of community service and welfare activities, including the promotion of Jewish rights, assisting hospitals and victims of natural disasters, awarding scholarships to Jewish college students, and opposing anti-Semitism and racism through its Centre for Human Rights and Public Policy.

The organization’s main body is B’nai B’rith International, the entity that works with hundreds of countries around the world to increase the welfare of resident Jews.

1845A majority of voters in the Republic of Texas approve a proposed constitution, that if accepted by the U.S. Congress, will make Texas a U.S. state.

1881 – Revival of the Hebrew language as Eliezer Ben-Yehuda (a key figure in the revival of Hebrew as a spoken language) and friends agree to use Hebrew exclusively in their conversations.

1884 – Greenwich is established as universal time meridian of longitude. Greenwich is a district in south-east London, England, on the south bank of the River Thames in the London Borough of Greenwich. It is best known for its maritime history and as giving its name to the Greenwich Meridian (0° longitude) and Greenwich Mean Time. Which was chosen as the universal time meridian of longitude from which standard times throughout the world are calculated.

Royal Observatory Greenwich

The Royal Observatory, Greenwich – as depicted on a picture postcard in 1902

The town became the site of a Royal palace, the Palace of Placentia from the 15th century, and was the birthplace of many in the House of Tudor, including Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. The palace fell into disrepair during the English Civil War and was rebuilt as the Royal Naval Hospital for Sailors by Sir Christopher Wren and his assistant Nicholas Hawksmoor. These buildings became the Royal Naval College in 1873, and they remained an establishment for military education until 1998 when they passed into the hands of the Greenwich Foundation. The historic rooms within these buildings remain open to the public; other buildings are used by University of Greenwich and the Trinity College of Music.

Stood on the Meridian Line

A favourite thing to do when visiting is to stand with one foot either side of the Meridian Line and be photographed.

The town became a popular resort in the 17th century with many grand houses, such as Vanbrugh castle established on Maze Hill, next to the park. From the Georgian period estates of houses were constructed above the town centre. The maritime connections of Greenwich were celebrated in the 20th century, with the sitting of the Cutty Sark and Gypsy Moth IV next to the river front, and the National Maritime Museum in the former buildings of the Royal Hospital School in 1934. Greenwich formed part of Kent until 1889 when the County of London was created.
(Greenwich is pronounced: Gren–itch = ‘Grenitch’.)

1894 – The first Merseyside ‘derby’ football match was played at Goodison Park between Liverpool and Everton, with Everton winning 3 – 0.

1917 – The “Miracle of the Sun” is witnessed by an estimated 70,000 people in the Cova da Iria in Fátima, Portugal. The Miracle of the Sun is an alleged miraculous event witnessed by as many as 100,000 people on 13 October 1917 in the Cova da Iria fields near Fátima, Portugal.  Those in attendance had assembled to observe what the Portuguese secular newspapers had been ridiculing for months as the absurd claim of three shepherd children that a miracle was going to occur at high-noon in the Cova da Iria on October 13, 1917.

According to many witness statements, after a downfall of rain, the dark clouds broke and the sun appeared as an opaque, spinning disk in the sky. It was said to be significantly less bright than normal, and cast multicolored lights across the landscape, the shadows on the landscape, the people, and the surrounding clouds. The sun was then reported to have careened towards the earth in a zigzag pattern, frightening some of those present who thought it meant the end of the world. Some witnesses reported that their previously wet clothes became “suddenly and completely dry.”

Estimates of the number of witnesses range from 30,000-40,000 by Avelino de Almeida, writing for the Portuguese newspaper O Século, to 100,000, estimated by Dr. Joseph Garrett, professor of natural sciences at the University of Coimbra, both of whom were present that day.

The miracle was attributed by believers to Our Lady of Fátima, an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary to three young shepherd children in 1917, as having been predicted by the three children on 13 July, 19 August, and 13 September 1917.  The children reported that the Lady had promised them that she would on 13 October reveal her identity to them and provide a miracle “so that all may believe.”

According to these reports, the miracle of the sun lasted approximately ten minutes.  The three children also reported seeing a panorama of visions, including those of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin Mary, and of Saint Joseph blessing the people.

The most widely cited descriptions of the events reported at Fatima are taken from the writings of John De Marchi, an Italian Catholic priest and researcher. De Marchi spent seven years in Fátima, from 1943 to 1950, conducting original research and interviewing the principles at undisturbed length.  In The Immaculate Heart, published in 1952, De Marchi reports that, “their ranks (those present on 13 October) included believers and non-believers, pious old ladies and scoffing young men.  Hundreds, from these mixed categories, have given formal testimony. Reports do vary; impressions are in minor details confused, but none to our knowledge has directly denied the visible prodigy of the sun.”

Some of the witness statements follow below. They are taken from John De Marchi’s several books on the matter.

• “Before the astonished eyes of the crowd, whose aspect was biblical as they stood bare-headed, eagerly searching the sky, the sun trembled, made sudden incredible movements outside all cosmic laws — the sun ‘danced’ according to the typical expression of the people.” ― Avelino de Almeida, writing for O Século (Portugal’s most widely circulated and influential newspaper, which was pro-government and anti-clerical at the time Almeida’s previous articles had been to satirize the previously reported events at Fátima).

    • “The sun, at one moment surrounded with scarlet flame, at another aureoled in yellow and deep purple, seemed to be in an exceeding fast and whirling movement, at times appearing to be loosened from the sky and to be approaching the earth, strongly radiating heat.” ― Dr. Domingos Pinto Coelho, writing for the newspaper Ordem.

“The sun’s disc did not remain immobile. This was not the sparkling of a heavenly body, for it spun round on itself in a mad whirl, when suddenly a clamor was heard from all the people. The sun, whirling, seemed to loosen itself from the firmament and advance threateningly upon the earth as if to crush us with its huge fiery weight. The sensation during those moments was terrible.” ― Dr. Almeida Garrett, Professor of Natural Sciences at Coimbra University.

• “As if like a bolt from the blue, the clouds were wrenched apart, and the sun at its zenith appeared in all its splendor. It began to revolve vertiginously on its axis, like the most magnificent firewheel that could be imagined, taking on all the colors of the rainbow and sending forth multi-colored flashes of light, producing the most astounding effect. This sublime and incomparable spectacle, which was repeated three distinct times, lasted for about ten minutes. The immense multitude, overcome by the evidence of such a tremendous prodigy, threw themselves on their knees.” ― Dr. Formigão, a professor at the seminary at Santarem, and a priest.

    • “I feel incapable of describing what I saw. I looked fixedly at the sun, which seemed pale and did not hurt my eyes. Looking like a ball of snow, revolving on itself, it suddenly seemed to come down in a zig-zag, menacing the earth. Terrified, I ran and hid myself among the people, who were weeping and expecting the end of the world at any moment.” ― Rev. Joaquim Lourenço, describing his boyhood experience in Alburitel, eighteen kilometers from Fatima.

• “On that day of October 13, 1917, without remembering the predictions of the children, I was enchanted by a remarkable spectacle in the sky of a kind I had never seen before. I saw it from this veranda…” ― Portuguese poet Afonso Lopes Vieira.

Critical evaluation of the event
No scientific accounts exist of any unusual solar or astronomic activity during the time the sun was reported to have “danced”, and there are no witness reports of any unusual solar phenomenon further than forty miles out from Cova da Iria.
De Marchi claims that the prediction of an unspecified “miracle”, the abrupt beginning and end of the alleged miracle of the sun, the varied religious backgrounds of the observers, the sheer numbers of people present, and the lack of any known scientific causative factor make a mass hallucination unlikely. That the activity of the sun was reported as visible by those up to 18 kilometers away, also precludes the theory of a collective hallucination or mass hysteria, according to De Marchi.

Pio Scatizzi, S.J. describes events of Fátima and concludes:

    The … solar phenomena were not observed in any observatory. Impossible that they should escape notice of so many astronomers and indeed the other inhabitants of the hemisphere… there is no question of an astronomical or meteorological event phenomenon …Either all the observers in Fátima were collectively deceived and erred in their testimony, or we must suppose an extra-natural intervention.

Steuart Campbell, writing for the 1989 edition of Journal of Meteorology, postulated that a cloud of stratospheric dust changed the appearance of the sun on 13 October, making it easy to look at, and causing it to appear yellow, blue, and violet and to spin. In support of his hypothesis, Mr. Campbell reports that a blue and reddened sun was reported in China as documented in 1983.

Joe Nickell, a skeptic and investigator of paranormal phenomena, claims that the position of the phenomenon, as described by the various witnesses, is at the wrong azimuth and elevation to have been the sun. He suggests the cause may have been a sundog. Sometimes referred to as a parhelion or “mock sun”, a sundog is a relatively common atmospheric optical phenomenon associated with the reflection/refraction of sunlight by the numerous small ice crystals that make up cirrus or cirrostratus clouds. A sundog is, however, a stationary phenomenon, and would not explain the reported appearance of the “dancing sun”. Nickell suggests an explanation for this and other similar phenomena may lie in temporary retinal distortion, caused by staring at the intense light and/or by the effect of darting the eyes to and fro so as to avoid completely fixed gazing (thus combining image, after image and movement). Nickell concludes that there was

“likely a combination of factors, including optical and meteorological phenomena (the sun being seen through thin clouds, causing it to appear as a silver disc; an alteration in the density of the passing clouds, so that the sun would alternatively brighten and dim, thus appearing to advance and recede; dust or moisture droplets in the atmosphere, imparting a variety of colours to sunlight; and/or other phenomena).”

However, there are marked problems with the sundog theory because the meteorological conditions at the time of the Miracle of the Sun were not conducive to such an occurrence.  Sundogs occur in the presence of cirrus clouds, which are made out of ice, not water droplets. A sundog could have occurred prior to the rainstorm but not trailing the rainstorm, which is when the phenomenon occurred. A sundog would have to have occurred, at very least, hours prior to the storm, since cirrus clouds can precede a rainstorm by a few hours. The short and brief rain experienced before the sun event, on the other hand, indicates cumulonimbus clouds.

Not everyone reported seeing the sun “dance, including the children, who reported seeing Jesus, the Virgin Mary, and Saint Joseph blessing the people. Some people only saw the radiant colours. Others saw nothing at all.

Paul Simons, in an article entitled “Weather Secrets of Miracle at Fátima”, states that he believes it possible that some of the optical effects at Fatima may have been caused by a cloud of dust from the Sahara.

Kevin McClure claims that the crowd at Cova da Iria may have been expecting to see signs in the sun, as similar phenomena had been reported in the weeks leading up to the miracle. On this basis he believes that the crowd saw what it wanted to see. But it has been objected that McClure’s account fails to explain similar reports of people miles away, who by their own testimony were not even thinking of the event at the time, or the sudden drying of people’s sodden, rain-soaked clothes. Kevin McClure stated that he had never seen such a collection of contradictory accounts of a case in any of the research he had done in the previous ten years.

Leo Madigan believes that the various witness reports of a miracle are accurate, however he alleges inconsistency of witnesses, and suggests that astonishment, fear, exaltation and imagination must have played roles in both the observing and the retelling. Madigan likens the experiences to prayer, and considers that the spiritual nature of the phenomenon explains what he describes as the inconsistency of the witnesses.

Author Lisa Schwebel claims that the event was a supernatural extra-sensory phenomenon. Schwebel notes that the solar phenomenon reported at Fátima is not unique – there have been several reported cases of high-pitched religious gatherings culminating in the sudden and mysterious appearance of lights in the sky.

It has been argued that the Fátima phenomenon and many UFO sights share a common cause, or even that the phenomenon was an alien craft.

Many years after the events in question, Stanley L. Jaki, a professor of physics at Seton Hall University, New Jersey, Benedictine priest and author of a number of books reconciling science and Catholicism, proposed a unique theory about the supposed miracle. Jaki believes that the event was natural and meteorological in nature, but that the fact the event occurred at the exact time predicted was a miracle.

The event was officially accepted as a miracle by the Roman Catholic Church on 13 October 1930. On 13 October 1951, papal legate Cardinal Tedeschini told the million gathered at Fátima that on 30 October, 31 October, 1 November, and 8 November 1950, Pope Pius XII himself witnessed the miracle of the sun from the Vatican gardens.

External Links
Pictures of the crowd from, “Fatima Portugal Our Lady of Fatima”
“The True Story of Fatima” by Father John De Marchi

1924 – In Great Britain, – Labour Party leader Ramsay MacDonald became the first Prime Minister to make an election broadcast on BBC radio.

1940 – Princess Elizabeth, aged 14, (now Queen Elizabeth II), made her first radio broadcast to child evacuees.
1943 – World War II: The new government of Italy sides with the Allies and declares war on Germany.
The New York Times – front page news story

1958 – Burial of Eugenio Pacelli, Pope Pius XII on the 41st anniversary of the “Miracle of the Sun”.

1958 – Michael Bond publishes the first story on Paddington Bear.  Michael Bond, OBE, is an English children’s author.  He is the creator of Paddington Bear and has also written about the adventures of a guinea pig named Olga da Polga, as well as the animated BBC TV series The Herbs.  Bond also writes culinary mystery stories for adults featuring Monsieur Pamplemousse and his faithful bloodhound, Pommes Frites.

Paddington Bear 1

Michael Bond was born in Newbury, Berkshire, England on 13th January 1926.  He was educated at Presentation College, Reading.  During World War II Michael Bond served in both the Royal Air Force and the Middlesex Regiment of the British Army.

He began writing in 1945 and sold his first short story to a magazine called ‘London Opinion’. This experience helped him decide that he wanted to be a writer.

It was while Michael Bond was working as a television cameraman for the BBC that he first came up with the idea for Paddington and he recalls in his own words how this came about:

“I bought a small toy bear on Christmas Eve 1956. I saw it left on a shelf in a London store and felt sorry for it. I took it home as a present for my wife Brenda and named it Paddington as we were living near Paddington Station at the time. I wrote some stories about the bear, more for fun than with the idea of having them published. After ten days I found that I had a book on my hands. It wasn’t written specifically for children, but I think I put into it the kind things I liked reading about when I was young.”

Michael Bond sent the book to his agent, Harvey Unna, who liked it and after sending it to several publishers it was eventually accepted by William Collins & Sons (now Harper Collins).  The publishers commissioned an illustrator, Peggy Fortnum, and the very first book “A Bear Called Paddington” was published on 13th October 1958.  After the first Paddington book was accepted, Michael Bond went on to write a whole series.

The polite immigrant bear from Darkest Peru, with his old bush hat, battered suitcase and marmalade sandwiches became a classic English children’s literature icon.

In fact – by 1965 his books were so successful that Michael was able to give up his job with the BBC in order to become a full-time writer.

Paddington Bear 2

Since the first publication the Paddington books have sold more than thirty-five million copies worldwide and have been translated into over forty different languages, including Latin.

Paddington books have been translated into thirty languages across seventy titles and sold worldwide.  Over 265 licensees, making thousands of different products across the UK, Europe, USA, Southeast Asia, Japan, Australia and South Africa all benefit from the universal recognition of Paddington Bear.

In total Michael Bond has written almost 150 books, including his autobiography ‘Bears and Forebears’.

Paddington with Michael Bond

Michael Bond with Paddington – Britain’s most politest Bear!

Michael Bond sadly passed away 4 1/2 months ago, in London on 27 June 2017, at the wonderful age of 91.  Thank you Michael, for adding wonderfulness to children’s lives, and to the world in general.

1963 – The term Beatlemania was coined after The Beatles appeared at the Palladium, in London. They made their debut as the top of the bill on ITV’s ‘Sunday Night at The London Palladium.’
1967 – The first game in the history of the American Basketball Association is played as the Anaheim Amigos lose to the Oakland Oaks 134-129 in Oakland, California.

1971 – ‘World’ Series: The first night game in ‘World’ Series history is played at Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium between the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates.
1972 – Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashes in the Andes mountains, in between the borders of Argentina and Chile. By December 23, 1972 only 16 out of 45 people lived long enough to be rescued.

1983 – Ameritech Mobile Communications (now AT&T) launched the first US cellular network in Chicago, Illinois. A cellular network is a radio network made up of a number of radio cells (or just cells) each served by a fixed transmitter, known as a cell site or base station. These cells are used to cover different areas in order to provide radio coverage over a wider area than the area of one cell. Cellular networks are inherently asymmetric with a set of fixed main transceivers each serving a cell and a set of distributed (generally, but not always, mobile) transceivers which provide services to the network’s users.
Cellular networks offer a number of advantages over alternative solutions:

    • • increased capacity
      • reduced power usage
      • better coverage

A good (and simple) example of a cellular system is an old taxi driver’s radio system where the taxi company will have several transmitters based around a city each operated by an individual operator.

1992 – In Great Britain, thousands of miners lose their jobs. The government announced plans to close one-third of Britain’s deep coal mines, putting 31,000 miners out of work.
BBC News Story

1993 – Captured American Pilot Mike Durant is filmed in an interview in captivity by a CNN camera crew.

Michael ‘Mike’ J. Durant (born July 23, 1961) is the American pilot who was held prisoner after a raid in Mogadishu, Somalia on October 3, 1993. Durant served in the United States Army 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (Night Stalkers) as a Chief Warrant Officer 3. He retired from the Army as a CW4 Blackhawk helicopter Master Aviator in the 160th SOAR after participating in combat operations Prime Chance, Just Cause, Desert Storm, and Gothic Serpent. His awards include the Distinguished Service Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross with Oak Leaf Cluster, Bronze Star with Valor Device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, three Air Medals, POW Medal, and numerous others. He and his wife Lisa have six children.

1994 – In Northern IrelandThree main loyalist paramilitary groups announced a ceasefire following an IRA announcement weeks earlier.
BBC News on the Day complete with Video footage and Timeline of events

Born on this Day

1853 – Lillie Langtry, British actress (d. 1929)

1904 – Wilfred Pickles, English actor and broadcaster (d. 1978)

1917 – George Virl Osmond, Osmond family patriarch (d. 2007)

1925 – Margaret Thatcher, British Prime Minister from 1979 to 1990.  Known as ‘The Iron Lady’ she was the longest-serving Prime Minister for more than 150 years.

1934 – Nana Mouskouri, Greek singer and politician

1941 – Paul Simon, American singer and musician (Simon and Garfunkel)

1944 – Robert Lamm, American musician (Chicago)

1946 – Edwina Currie, British politician

1947 – Sammy Hagar, American singer (Van Halen)

1948 – John Ford Coley, American musician – most well-known for his partnership in the musical duo England Dan & John Ford Coley.

1959 – Marie Osmond, American entertainer

1962 – Kelly Preston, American actress – married to John Travolta since 1991.

1969 – Nancy Kerrigan, American figure skater

~~💜~~

Thought for the Day 

What makes you think that what you’ve done in the past is worth carrying with you, like an old burden,  into this perfect moment.?  

Let go of it.

Mentally, envisage it as a way too big, dirty, old, overcoat that you have forced yourself to wear, day in, day out, for years.

It’s heavy, … it’s grubby,  …  it’s horrible.

Imagine yourself shrugging your shoulders and shrugging the overcoat off.  Feel it slipping down your arms, falling free of your hands and sliding to the floor around your feet.

Step out of it.  Now take your first step away from it.  Then stand for a moment and feel how much lighter your life feels without it.

Now – slowly – but in a better frame of mind . . .  walk away from it.

DON’T  look back.  DON’T  turn around.  You don’t need to look at it – it’s of no use to you.

You don’t need it anymore.  Leg it go.

With every step that you take away from it, feel how much lighter you become.  Feel how your footsteps become faster . . .  until you are almost skipping with joy!

Don’t drag old baggage around with you.  Each day is a new start.  What’s gone is gone.  Start anew.  Start NOW.

~~ 💙~~

Well we’ve reached our full input of Edumacation for Friday, and now that you’re filled with information which will surprise and astound some of your family and friends, I want you to go out there and spread that information around, for just like spreading fertiliser around your garden, which helps makes things grow … so your newly learned edumacation will enrich the world.  And quite frankly, at the moment, the world really needs as much enriching as possible.

Please, have a truly beautiful Friday.  There may be a gremlin that might just get into the day, but remember, it’s not what happens to you which matters in the long run, it’s how you react to what happens to you.  You have a choice.  Choose wisely because I want you to do the best you can possibly do, for YOU.

Sending squidges in wheel barrow loads …. right to your door!

sig-coffee-copy

 


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The Friday Post ~ 29th September 2017

Happy Friday!  Again!  Sigh …. these Fridays seem to be coming round way too often.  I swear to Dog that there are now two Fridays in each week!  (Although those paid weekly, on a Friday, may wish there were! lol)

So anyhoo … you’re here for some Edumacation,  Free of Charge,  to add to your already over-loaded brain.  So …  pens and pencils out on the desk.  Get ready to turn over your paper and start taking notes.  There will be a test at the end.  😉

On this Day in History

1650 – Henry Robinson opens his “Office of Addresses and Encounters” – the first historically documented dating service / marriage bureau – in Threadneedle Street, London. Threadneedle Street is a road in the City of London, leading from an intersection with Poultry, Cornhill, King William Street and Lombard Street, to Bishopsgate.

Can you believe that there was the first Dating Agency here in the UK, in… 1650 ???  It seems like (to me at least) that Dating Agencies are a fairly new ‘invention’ and perhaps only happened in the last (maybe) 80 years.  And yet, here we are in 1650!

1789 – The U.S. War Department first establishes a regular army with a strength of several hundred men.
1793 – Tennis was mentioned for the first time in an English sporting magazine.

1829 – The first regular police force in London – the Metropolitan , Police of London (also known as the Met) is founded.. The officers became known as ‘bobbies’ after Robert Peel, the home secretary who founded the modern police force.

1850 – The Roman Catholic hierarchy is re-established in England and Wales by Pope Pius IX.

1885 – The first practical public electric tramway in the world is opened in Blackpool, England. A tram, tramcar, trolley, trolley car, or streetcar is a railborne vehicle, of lighter weight and construction than a train, designed for the transport of passengers (and, very occasionally, freight) within, close to, or between villages, towns and/or cities, on tracks running primarily on streets.

After the inaugural run, the Mayor of Blackpool and his guests retired to a celebration dinner in honour of the opening of the new tramway. After the meal speeches were given and Thomas Parker (the manufacturer of the tram) said that the future of railways was with electric traction. Electrically powered locomotives were cheaper to run than steam and could travel at 70m.p.h.

Tramways or street railways were common throughout the industrialized world in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but they disappeared from many U.S. cities in the mid-20th century. In European cities they remained quite common. In recent years, they have made a comeback in many U.S. cities. Many newer light rail systems share features with trams, although a distinction may be drawn between the two, with the term light rail preferred if there is significant off-street running.

1916 – John D. Rockefeller becomes the first billionaire. John Davison Rockefeller (July 8, 1839 – May 23, 1937) was an American industrialist and philanthropist. Rockefeller revolutionized the petroleum industry and defined the structure of modern philanthropy. In 1870, he founded the Standard Oil Company and ran it until he officially retired in 1897. Standard Oil began as an Ohio partnership formed by John D. Rockefeller, his brother William Rockefeller, Henry Flagler, chemist Samuel Andrews, and a silent partner Stephen V. Harkness. Rockefeller kept his stock and as gasoline grew in importance, his wealth soared and he became the world’s richest man and first American billionaire, and is often regarded as the richest person in history.

Standard Oil was convicted in Federal Court of monopolistic practices and broken up in 1911. Rockefeller spent the last 40 years of his life in retirement. His fortune was mainly used to create the modern systematic approach of targeted philanthropy with foundations that had a major effect on medicine, education, and scientific research.

His foundations pioneered the development of medical research, and were instrumental in the eradication of hookworm and yellow fever. He is also the founder of both The University of Chicago and Rockefeller University. He was a devoted Northern Baptist and supported many church-based institutions throughout his life. Rockefeller adhered to total abstinence from alcohol and tobacco throughout his life.

He married Laura Celestia (“Cettie”) Spelman in 1864. They had four daughters and one son; John D. Rockefeller, Jr. “Junior” was largely entrusted with the supervision of the foundations.

1938 – England, France, Germany and Italy signed the Munich Pact, under which the Sudetenland was given to Nazi Germany. In return, Hitler promised not to make any further territorial demands in Europe. World War II began the following year!

1941 – Holocaust in Kiev, Ukraine: German Einsatzgruppe C starts Babi Yar massacre. According to the Einsatzgruppen Operational Situation Report No. 101, at least 33,771 Jews from Kiev and its suburbs were killed at Babi Yar on September 29 – 30, 1941.

Einsatzgruppen (German: “task forces”, “intervention groups”) were paramilitary groups formed by Heinrich Himmler and operated by the Schutzstaffel (SS) before and during World War II. Their principal task, per SS General Erich von dem Bach, at the Nuremberg Trials: “was the annihilation of the Jews, Gypsies, and Soviet political commissars”. They were a key component in Adolf Hitler’s implementation of the final solution of the Jewish question (German: ‘Die Endlösung der Judenfrage) in the conquered territories.

Formed mainly of men from the Ordnungspolizei, the Waffen-SS, and local volunteers, and led by Gestapo, Kripo, and SD officers, these death squads followed the Wehrmacht as it advanced eastwards into through Eastern Europe en route to the Soviet Union. In occupied territory, the Einsatzgruppen also used the local populace for additional security and manpower when needed. The activities of the Einsatzgruppen were spread through a large pool of soldiers from the branches of the SS and Reich.

Per their own records, the Einsatzgruppen killed more than one million Jews, almost all civilians, without judicial review and without semblance of legality (no reading of sentences, of martial or administrative law), beginning with the Polish intelligentsia, and then quickly progressing, by 1941, to primarily killing the Jews of Eastern Europe. Historian Raul Hilberg estimates that between 1941 and 1945 the Einsatzgruppen and the SS killed more than 1.3 million Jews in open-air shootings.

1946 – BBC launched the ‘Third Programme’, later to become Radio 3.

1966 – The Chevrolet Camaro, originally named Panther, is introduced.

1975 – WGPR in Detroit, Michigan, becomes the world’s first black-owned-and-operated television station.
1979 – Pope John Paul II became the first pope to set foot on Irish soil with his pastoral visit to the Republic of Ireland.

1982 – Tylenol Crisis of 1982 began when the first of seven individuals died in metropolitan Chicago. Seven fatal Tylenol poisonings, code-named TYMURS by the FBI, took place in the autumn of 1982 in the Chicago area in the United States. These poisonings involved Extra-Strength Tylenol medicine capsules which had been laced with potassium cyanide. The perpetrator was never caught, but the incident has led to reforms in the packaging of over-the-counter substances and to federal anti-tampering laws.

Tylenol

The Tylenol crisis has been referenced in many films and books. It has also been used as a basis to spread urban legends about poison in kids’ candy at Halloween and other poisoned foods or drinks purchased by consumers.

In the early morning of Wednesday, September 29, 1982, 12-year-old Mary Kellerman of Elk Grove Village died after taking a capsule of Extra Strength Tylenol. Adam Janus of Arlington Heights died in the hospital shortly thereafter. His brother, Stanley (of Lisle), and his wife Theresa died after gathering to mourn, having taken pills from the same bottle. Soon afterward, Paula Prince of Chicago and Mary Reiner of Winfield also died in similar incidents. Investigators soon discovered the Tylenol link.

Urgent warnings were broadcast, and police drove through Chicago neighborhoods issuing warnings over loudspeakers.
As the tampered bottles came from different factories, and the seven deaths had all occurred in the Chicago area, the possibility of sabotage during production was ruled out. Instead, the culprit was believed to have entered various supermarkets and drug stores over a period of weeks, pilfered packages of Tylenol from the shelves, adulterated their contents with solid cyanide compound at another location, and then replaced the bottles. In addition to the five bottles which led to the victims’ deaths, three other tampered bottles were discovered.

Johnson & Johnson, the parent company of McNeil, distributed warnings to hospitals and distributors and halted Tylenol production and advertising. On October 5, 1982, it issued a nationwide recall of Tylenol products; an estimated 31 million bottles were in circulation, with a retail value of over US$100 million. The company also advertised in the national media for individuals not to consume any products that contained Tylenol. When it was determined that only capsules were tampered with, they offered to exchange all Tylenol capsules already purchased by the public with solid tablets.

The crime has never been solved, although opportunistic extortionist James W. Lewis claimed responsibility and made a money demand. Lewis was arrested and though ultimately found to have no connection to the deaths, ended up serving 13 years of a 20-year prison term for the extortion attempt.
A second man, Roger Arnold, was investigated and cleared of the killings. However, the media attention caused him to have a nervous breakdown and he blamed bar owner Marty Sinclair for sending the police his way. He shot and killed a man he believed to be Sinclair, but who was in fact an innocent man who did not know Arnold. Arnold wound up serving 15 years on a 30 year sentence for second degree murder. Arnold died in June 2008.

It has also been suggested that Laurie Dann, a native of Chicago’s north suburbs who had a long history of mental illness and had later engaged in similar secretive poisoning attempts (as well as a grisly murder/suicide at a local grade school), may have been responsible.

A $100,000 reward, posted by Johnson & Johnson for the capture and conviction of the “Tylenol Killer,” has never been claimed.

Johnson & Johnson was praised by the media at the time for its handling of the incident. While at the time of the scare the market share of Tylenol collapsed from 35% to 8%, it rebounded in less than a year, a move credited to J&J’s prompt and aggressive reaction. In November it reintroduced capsules, but in a new, triple-sealed package, coupled with heavy price promotions, and within several years Tylenol had become the most popular over-the-counter analgesic in the US.

A number of copycat attacks involving Tylenol and other products (Google: Stella Nickell, for information on the 1986 Excedrin tampering murders) ensued during the following years. One of these incidents occurred in the Chicago area; unlike Tylenol, it actually forced the end of the product affected by the hoax, Encaprin, from Procter & Gamble. However, the incident did inspire the pharmaceutical, food, and consumer product industries to develop tamper-resistant packaging, such as induction seals, and improved quality control methods. Moreover, product tampering was made a federal crime.

Additionally, the tragedy prompted the pharmaceutical industry to move away from capsules, which were easy to contaminate as a foreign substance could be placed inside without obvious signs of tampering. Within the year, the Food and Drug Administration introduced more stringent regulations to avoid product tampering. This led to the eventual replacement of the capsule with the solid “caplet”, a tablet made in the shape of a capsule, as a drug delivery form and to the addition of tamper-evident safety-seals to bottles of many sorts.

Link:  Tylenol Murders at the Urban Legends Reference Pages

1988 – Space Shuttle: NASA launches STS-26, the return to flight mission, after the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

2006 – US Representative Mark Foley resigns after allegations of inappropriate emails to house pages were introduced.   Mark Adam Foley (born September 8, 1954) is an American politician who served as a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from 1995 until 2006, representing the 16th District of Florida.

Mark Foley

Once known as a crusader against child abuse and exploitation, Foley resigned from Congress on September 29, 2006 after allegations surfaced that he had sent suggestive emails and sexually explicit instant messages to teenaged males who had formerly served and were at that time-serving as Congressional pages. As a result of the disclosures, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement opened investigations of the messages to find possible criminal charges. The House Ethics Committee has also opened an investigation into the response of the House Republican leadership and their staff to earlier warnings of Foley’s conduct.

Longstanding rumors surfaced, in 2003, that Foley was either gay or bisexual and was in a long-term relationship with a man. The story was initially published only in local and gay press; then the New Times broke the story in the mainstream press. Other alternative press rivals, including the New York Press, then addressed the topic. Foley held a press conference to denounce the “revolting” rumors and stated that his sexual orientation was unimportant, but did not specifically deny the rumors. A few weeks later he withdrew his candidacy, saying his father’s battle with cancer had caused him to reassess his perspective on life (the seat was later won by Republican Mel Martinez). Foley had raised $3 million in campaign contributions before withdrawing.

In 2006, as Republican division over the candidacy of Katherine Harris grew, Foley’s name was mentioned as a contender for the race against Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, but he did not file by the May deadline.

In the House, Foley was one of the foremost opponents of child pornography. Foley had served as chairman of the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children. He introduced a bill, coined the “Child Modeling Exploitation prevention Act of 2002” to outlaw web sites featuring sexually suggestive images of preteen children, saying that “these websites are nothing more than a fix for pedophiles.” As it was written, the bill would have prohibited commercial photography of children, and it failed due to the unmanageable burden it would have presented to the legitimate entertainment industry. In June 2003 he wrote letters to the governor and attorney general of Florida, asking them to review the legality of a program for teenagers of a Lake Como nudist resort in Land o’ Lakes, Florida.

Foley’s legislation to change federal sex offender laws was supported by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, America’s Most Wanted host John Walsh, and a number of victims’ rights groups. President Bush signed it into law as part of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006.
Foley also succeeded in getting a law passed that allows volunteer youth-serving organizations like the Boy Scouts of America and Boys and Girls Clubs to have access to FBI fingerprint background checks.

Resignation from the U.S. Congress
On September 28, 2006, ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross reported that, in 2005, Foley had sent email messages from his personal AOL account to a former Congressional page, asking the page to send a photo of himself to Foley, among other things. Foley’s office confirmed that Foley had sent the messages but said it has a practice of asking for photos of individuals who may ask for recommendations and that the page had requested a recommendation.

The original news report prompted another page to come forward and on September 29, 2006, ABC News reported that it had seen excerpts of sexually explicit instant messages allegedly sent by Foley. The instant messages made repeated references to sexual organs and acts.

Kirk Fordham, Chief of Staff to Tom Reynolds and former Chief of Staff to Foley, said that he was with Foley on September 29, 2006 when ABC confronted him with the explicit IMs before they were publicized. Fordham then visited GOP headquarters to inform Reynolds and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert; he returned with a one-sentence resignation letter that Foley signed. Hastert and Reynolds let it be known that if Foley didn’t resign, he would be expelled from the House. That same day, Foley tendered his resignation to Hastert as well as Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Foley said in a statement, “I am deeply sorry and I apologize for letting down my family and the people of Florida I have had the privilege to represent.” Once the news report became more widely known, Foley’s chances of retaining his seat in Congress were limited. Hastert said in an October 2 press conference that he would have demanded Foley’s expulsion from the House had he tried to stay in office. Even if he’d tried to get his seat back, polls showed him losing badly to his Democratic opponent, Tim Mahoney.

More pages came forward, alleging a history of inappropriate conduct by Foley dating back at least 10 years. Foley had been warned about the matter in 2005 by another House Republican and the House Clerk. Through his lawyer, Foley insisted he was not a pedophile and had never had sexual contact with any minor. He explained that he had a drinking problem and had made the communications while intoxicated. He checked himself into a rehab clinic on October 2, 2006. His lawyer also revealed that Foley was molested by a clergyman when he was between the ages of 13 and 15 adding that “Mark Foley wants you to know he is a gay man.” Federal authorities said the explicit messages could result in Foley’s prosecution, under some of the same laws he helped to enact.

There was widespread criticism of Republican leaders for their response to earlier warnings and inconsistencies in their statements. In particular, many called for Hastert to resign, including some conservative voices such as the editorial page of The Washington Times.

On October 19, 2006, the Sarasota Herald-Tribune stated that a Catholic priest named Anthony Mercieca told the newspaper about an intimate two-year relationship he had with Foley when the congressman was a teenage altar boy living in Lake Worth, Florida. The priest is retired and living in Malta. He acknowledged getting naked in saunas and possible “light touching”, but denied contacts of a sexual nature.

Florida officials have closed the investigation of Foley, stating they found “insufficient evidence” to file criminal charges. Chicago Tribune, September 20, 2008, Section 1, page 4, ‘Nation Briefing’.

External Link
ABC News – “The Blotter” – reporting that Mr. Foley had Internet Sex while waiting for a House Vote.

 

Born on this Day

1758 – Horatio Nelson, British admiral (d. 1805) born in the village of Burnham Thorpe, Norfolk in Great Britain.. He defeated the French and her allies on numerous occasions during the age of Napoleon Bonaparte and was naval hero at the Battle of Trafalgar.

1904 – Greer Garson, British actress (d. 1996)

1907 – Gene Autry, American actor, singer, and businessman (d. 1998)

1930 – Colin Dexter, British author of Inspector Morse novels

1931 – James Watson Cronin, American nuclear physicist, Nobel laureate

1935 – Jerry Lee Lewis, American musician

1942 – Madeline Kahn, American actress (d. 1999)

1942 – Ian McShane, British actor

1943 – Lech Walêsa, President of Poland, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize

1944 – Mike Post, American composer – won his first Grammy at age 23 for Best Instrumental Arrangement on Mason Williams’ “Classical Gas”.

1956 – Sebastian Coe, British athlete & Gold medal Olympic winner

1970 – Emily Lloyd, British actress

and finally….

Thought for the Day
Do you, like me, get thoroughly fed up to the back teeth of the ‘stars’ of today complaining about how bad they had it as a child?

Have you, like me, noticed that this ‘poor me, didn’t I have it bad,  and all the things that you see are wrong with me, or any bad behaviour I display, is/are my parents fault’ – has filtered through to the ordinary everyday people, like me and you?

Do you ever want to stop these people moaning about ‘their lot’ and quietly but firmly tell them that what they are complaining about is normal growing up?

Being told that you can’t go out looking like a lady of the night in your own choice of clothes – isn’t ‘abuse’ – but decent parenting!

Being ‘grounded’ for throwing things at a neighbour’s house hasn’t done you any harm, in fact its built a bit of responsibility towards others into their psyche.

Being punished for bad behaviour makes them realise what they did wrong, and ensures that they don’t do it again.
Being made to take the rubbish/garbage out, isn’t ‘controlling’ them.. but making them part of a team that works together for the greater cause.
And being smacked on the bottom or the hand for swearing at Grandma or Aunt ‘B’, isn’t something that you need counselling to get over. It’s a darn good way to ensure that you don’t swear at perfectly decent people who you should have more respect for.

What has happened to our world – that younger folk feel this need to blame everyone else for their own short-comings?
Why do they feel that their current bad attitude is all their mother or fathers fault?

Why do they think that something that amounted to great parenting when they were younger – means that they need to have counselling now?

How the heck do they think that they grew to the age they are – if their parents were as bad as they would have us all believe?
Are we mollycoddling these children so much now, that they believe that anything that happens isn’t their fault but always someone else’s?

Is the fact that they can’t get a well paid job, their parents fault?….. or is it simply that they haven’t ever learnt that the only place where money comes before work – is in the dictionary.

Why are so many folks now growing up with this bad attitude and believing that the world owes them something?
Did no one ever tell them that the world owes them nothing – it was here first.

~   x   ~   x   ~   x   ~

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Now I know it’s now playtime, and before this week I’ve shared games with you to play, and bits of information that lead to other fun things but just for a change, I thought I’d keep you sitting down with an extra cup of coffee and give you some TV to watch. Via You Tube.

40 Unexpected Life Hacks – some of them you might know, but quite a few you might not.  So grab yourself an extra refill and settle down for some entertainment:

 

Wishing you a fantabulous Friday filled with fun, friendship and fluffy stuff like love!  And a weekend of wonderfulness, wrigglyness and CAKE!  Go have a cake.  One cake really isn’t going to make you fat, nor is it going to make you unhappy.  Break out and go against those nay sayers who tell you that you should be stick thin and conform.  Buy yourself a cake and inside your head sing Happy Unbirthday to yourself.  Mentally blow the invisible candle out and MAKE A WISH!

Wishing you the happiest of Happy Unbirthdays!

With love and squidges ~

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The Friday Post ~ 22nd September 2017

A hearty Good Friday to thee!  Ok … that’s more than enough of the Shakespearean talk.  After that, you see, it comes down to Shakespearean insults.  Not because I like to insult people … but because I find the Shakespearean insults so amazingly funny!

Get this one: Away you three-inch fool!”  That’s one I use on my friend from time to time.  Or there’s this one …  You scullion!  You rampallian!  You fustilarian!  I’ll tickle your catastrophe!”LOL…. you can see why I like Shakespearean insults.  They’re so juicy and such fun.

But Anyhoo …  you’re not here to listen to me twittering on about Shakespeare, you’re here for some Edumacation of the Cobweb variety.  So shall we get on with it?

On this Day in History.

1692 – Last people hanged for witchcraft in the United States.

1735 – Sir Robert Walpole became the first prime minister to occupy 10 Downing Street.

1888 – The first issue of National Geographic Magazine is published
1893 – The first American-built automobile, built by the Duryea Brothers, is displayed.
1896 – Queen Victoria surpasses her grandfather King George III as the longest reigning monarch in British history.

1910 – The Duke of York’s Cinema opened in Brighton. It is still operating today, making it the oldest continually operating cinema in Britain

1934 – The worst pit disaster in Britain for 21 years killed more than 260 miners in an explosion and fire at the Gresford Mine in Wales.

1951 – The first live sporting event seen coast-to-coast in the United States, a college football game between Duke and the University of Pittsburgh, is televised on NBC.
1955 – In Britain, the television channel ITV goes live for the first time. Only six minutes of advertisements were allowed each hour and there was no Sunday morning TV permitted. The first advertisement screened was for Gibbs SR toothpaste.

1967 – The liner Queen Mary began her 1000th and last Atlantic crossing. A New York docks strike meant that passengers had to carry their own luggage aboard.

1979 – The South Atlantic Flash or Vela Incident is observed near Bouvet Island, thought to be a nuclear weapons test.

The Vela Incident (sometimes known as the South Atlantic Flash) was an as-yet unidentified double flash of light detected by a United States Vela satellite on September 22, 1979. It has been speculated that the double flash, characteristic of a nuclear explosion, was the result of a nuclear weapons test; however, recently declassified information about the event concludes that it “was probably not from a nuclear explosion, although [it cannot be ruled] out that this signal was of nuclear origin.”

The flash was detected on 22 September 1979, at 00:53 GMT, by US Vela satellite 6911, which carried various sensors designed specifically to detect nuclear explosions. In addition to being able to detect gamma rays, x-rays and neutrons, the satellite also contained two bhangmeter sensors which were able to detect the dual light flashes associated with a nuclear explosion, specifically the initial brief, intense flash as well as the second longer flash that followed.

The satellite reported the characteristic double flash (a very fast and very bright flash, then a longer and less-bright one) of an atmospheric nuclear explosion of two to three kilotons, in the Indian Ocean between Bouvet Island (Norwegian dependency) and the Prince Edward Islands (South African dependencies). It should be noted that the explosion of some meteors as they are entering the atmosphere can produce energy measured from kilotons (Eastern Mediterranean Event) to megatons (Tunguska event). However, the mechanism is different, and meteors do not produce the double flash characteristic of a nuclear detonation.

United States Air Force WC-135B aircraft flew 25 sorties in the area soon after, but failed to detect any sign of radiation.

There is much doubt as to whether the satellite’s observations were accurate. Vela 6911 was one of a pair launched on 23 May 1969, more than ten years prior to the event, and the satellite was already two years past its design lifespan. It was known to have a failed electromagnetic pulse (EMP) sensor and had developed a fault (in July 1972) in its recording memory, but the fault had cleared itself by March 1978.

Initial assessment by the U.S. National Security Council in October 1979 was that the intelligence community had “high confidence” that the event was a low-yield nuclear explosion, although no radioactive debris was detected, and there was “no corroborating seismic or hydro-acoustic data.” A later NSC report revised this to “a position of agnosticism” about whether a test had occurred. They concluded that responsibility should be ascribed to South Africa.. Later, the Carter administration asked the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) to convene a panel of instrumentation experts to examine the Vela 6911 data and determine whether the optical flash detected was from a nuclear test.

If a nuclear explosion did occur, it occurred within the 3,000 miles (4,800 km) wide circle covering the Indian Ocean, South Atlantic, southern tip of Africa, and a small part of Antarctica.

South Africa did have a nuclear weapons program at the time, and it falls within that geographic location. Nevertheless, since the fall of apartheid, South Africa has disclosed most of the information on its nuclear weapons program, and according to the subsequent International Atomic Energy Agency report, South Africa could not have constructed such a device until November 1979, two months after the incident.

U.S. analysts also considered the possibility that it could have been a covert test by a known nuclear state. They concluded that there would be little motivation for the USSR or China in particular to test a nuclear weapon in such a way, unless they were attempting to make it look like South Africa or Israel were covertly testing weapons. As the flash could have occurred in the vicinity of the Kerguelen Islands, it is possible that France was testing a neutron bomb.

It is unlikely any other declared nuclear powers would have conducted such a test. They had little reason to conduct an atmospheric test, and the small size of the blast might reflect a less advanced weapon – though there are many “advanced” reasons for small tests as well, including tactical nuclear weapons (such as neutron bombs) and testing the primary devices for thermonuclear weapons.

Today a mountain of Vela-incident intelligence remains classified, but a few heavily redacted reports have been released by the US government. Although these documents indicate considerable internal disagreement regarding the cause of the double-flash signal, they offer little new evidence. In his 2006 book On the Brink, retired CIA spy Tyler Drumheller wrote, “My sources collectively provided incontrovertible evidence that the apartheid government had in fact tested a nuclear bomb in the south Atlantic in 1979, and that they had developed a delivery system with assistance from the Israelis.” Unfortunately he does little to elaborate on the event or on his evidence, except to state that the South African bombs employed a “highly accurate delivery system using gliders.” One factor which casts doubt on the South African covert test theory is the conspicuous lack of South African scientists disclosing their participation, even after the fall of the apartheid.

Perhaps one day, when the redactions have receded and declassified documents are disseminated, further light will be shed on the Vela incident of 1979. If the distinct double-flash pattern was not a nuclear detonation, the Vela event would represent the only instance in history where a Vela satellite incorrectly identified an atomic blast– in which case the true cause may forever remain unknown and/or irrelevant. In any case, the flurry of falsifications and artificial investigations churned up in the wake of the incident clearly demonstrated governments’ unwavering willingness to renegotiate reality for political purposes, even in the shadow of a mushroom cloud.

1980 – Iraq invades Iran. The Iran–Iraq War, also known as the Imposed War and Holy Defense in Iran, and Saddâm’s Qâdisiyyah in Iraq, was a war between the armed forces of Iraq and Iran lasting from September 1980 to August 1988.

The war began when Iraq invaded Iran on 22 September 1980 following a long history of border disputes and fears of Shia insurgency among Iraq’s long suppressed Shia majority influenced by Iran’s Islamic revolution. Although Iraq hoped to take advantage of revolutionary chaos in Iran and attacked without formal warning, they made only limited progress into Iran and within several months were repelled by the Iranians who regained virtually all lost territory by June 1982. For the next six years Iran was on the offensive. Despite several calls for a ceasefire by the United Nations Security Council, hostilities continued until 20 August 1988. The last prisoners of war were exchanged in 2003.

The war is noted for several things. It was of great cost in lives and economic damage – a half a million Iraqi and Iranian soldiers as well as civilians are believed to have died in the war with many more injured and wounded – but brought neither reparations nor change in borders. It is also noted for its similarity to World War I. Tactics used included trench warfare, manned machine-gun posts, bayonet charges, use of barbed wire across trenches and on no-mans land, human wave attacks and Iraq’s extensive use of chemical weapons (such as mustard gas) against Iranian troops and civilians as well as Iraqi Kurds.

1986 – Surgeons at Harefield Hospital in London, Great Britain, performed a heart & lung transplant operation on the world’s youngest patient – a baby just 10 weeks old.
1989 – An IRA bomb attack on the Royal Marines School of Music killed 11 people, (10 of them young soldiers) and injured twelve of the bandsmen.

1991 – Bryan Adams made chart history when his song – Everything I Do, I Do It For You, had its twelfth consecutive week as the UK No.1, in Great Britain.

1999 – Singer Diana Ross was arrested on Concorde after an incident at Heathrow Airport. The singer claimed that a female security guard had touched her breasts when being frisked, and she retaliated by rubbing her hands down the security guard.

2003 – David Hempleman-Adams becomes the first person to cross the Atlantic Ocean in an open-air, wicker-basket hot air balloon.

Born on this Day

1880 – Dame Christabel Pankhurst, English suffragist (d. 1958)

1915 – Arthur Lowe, British actor (d. 1982)

1931 – Fay Weldon, British novelist, short story writer, playwright, and essayist whose work has been associated with feminism

1940 – Anna Karina, Danish born actress

1948 – Denis Burke, Australian politician

1948 – Jim Byrnes, American actor and musician

1954 – Shari Belafonte, American singer, actor, model and daughter of singer Harry Belafonte, she is known for her role as Julie Gilette on the 1980s television series Hotel and as a spokesperson for the diet supplement Slim-Fast during the 1990s.

1956 – Debby Boone, American singer best known for her 1977 hit “You Light Up My Life”, which spent 10 weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and won her a Grammy award the following year for Best New Artist.

1958 – Andrea Bocelli, Italian tenor

1961 – Scott Baio, American actor, best known for his work on the sitcoms Happy Days and Charles in Charge

1961 – Catherine Oxenberg, British actress

1971 – Chesney Hawkes, English singer

1982 – Billie Piper, English singer and actress – began her career as a pop singer in her teens but is now best known for portraying Rose Tyler, companion to the Doctor in the television series Doctor Who from 2005 to 2006, a role she reprised in 2008.

Thought for the Day

I know that to say that all Scientists are non believers of anything regarding God, Religion or Spiritual, is a sweeping statement, for I am aware that there are scientists who are believers.  However, I’m also not foolish and know that a huge majority of scientists ‘pooh pooh’ the idea of a God or anything other than what we see here on Earth with our eyes, or that has been proven to ‘be’ or ‘exist’.

Likewise, non believers.  Non believers have their own belief that there is nothing other than this life as we see it here.  There is no God, no Heaven, no afterlife.

My own person view on these folks is that they (Scientists included) are very short-sighted.  It would seem a very closed mind attitude to think this way.

Have you ever watched an ant crawling along the ground near your house?  Do you think that the ant knows there’s a house a few inches away from it?

I mean …  the ant is sooo teeny tiny and in comparison, the house is ginormous!  Surely the ant can’t know that the house is there?

This leads me to thinking  ‘What do you suppose is right beside us that we are not yet able to recognise?”

I believe true integrity begins with the words:  “I don’t yet know”.

Our big idea that humans are ‘at the top of the existence heap’ could be the blindest assumption of all.
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School playtime this week is something a little different….

The World has its own ‘factbook’. I found this website a few years ago when looking for something entirely different.

The page you’ll land on when you click the link is up to date (2017) and tells you everything in facts and figures, about the world and it’s people.  Some of the things there surprised me and I thought some of you might like to have a peep at this one too.

This is the Home Page for the website:   CIA – The World Factbook –  and yes, it really is a website run by the CIA. (it will open in another window for you when you click).

So anyhoo…  you’re edumacated.  You’ve got something to play with at playtime and I guess that means that we’re done and dusted for another week.  All that’s left for me to say is …  Have a wonderful Friday, and a truly beautiful weekend.  I hope that everything you’re wishing for this weekend, comes true, providing that it’s good for you and yours.

The next post from The Cobweborium Emporium will be one about Tag Art … so if you don’t know what it is, get ready to find out.  If you do know what it is …  maybe get ready to be encouraged,  and if you don’t want to know what it is …  are you sure that you’re not walking along right next to a house?  lol.

Have a blessed rest of your day!

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A Weekus Horribilis, A Fabulous Blogging Friend .. and Beetroot Chutney!

The Queen once said that she’d had an ‘Annus Horribilis’ [Latin for A Horrible Year] and I agree that, at the time, she really had.

Now I can’t lay claim to having a horrible year, but  …  last week was absolutely a Weekus Horribilis (well, ten days to be precise).  One thing, then another, then another, then another – all seemed to either get the better of me, spoil things, upset me, or just made me bl**dy cross.

Individually,  they were just annoying or upsetting things which we all get – but we deal with them and move on.   However last week, they seemed to be coming at me like arrows from a battalion of Archers – all at once, – and I began to feel totally snowed under.

THEN, just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse,  the cherry on the top of the cake was delivered . . .

I received a text message from the bank.  It said that they had declined a particular transaction for the amount of   £627  – which, they told me,  was an attempt to purchase some tickets for something or other.  The text message asked if it actually was Mr.Cobs or myself trying to make this purchase.

I called the Bank straight away in a right old panic and was put through to their Fraud department.

The lady on the Fraud section told me that someone was trying to use the details of our cards to obtain goods via our account.

Once I’d told her that it wasn’t us trying to buy anything for that amount,  our cards were frozenand she told us to cut them up, – then we had to wait for replacement cards to be sent to us, with different numbers and different security codes.  Happily no money was lost (thanks to the banks security systems which stopped and waved a flag when it saw this unusual (for us) transaction appeared) and we’ve double checked every single thing on our account.  But it scared me at how easily someone had tried to get money/purchase goods out of our account.

Something has to change regarding these types of bank/credit/debit cards.  If it’s THAT easy to do this type of thieving, then the financial organisations need to come up with something way better than we currently have.

So anyhoo . . .  last week had it’s ‘moments’ which would have tried the patience of an Angel with nothing on her mind.   BUT … one truly lovely,  incredibly kind,  beautiful hearted blogger changed all of that around.  She knew nothing of the pains/strains/ and Weekus Horribilis and yet … she turned my world around and made it better.

I follow the blog of Mrs.Craft of Craft and Other Crazy Plans and she’d written a post on her blog called:  Recipe Post – Beetroot Chutney  which I found totally enthralling.  I’ve never pickled or made Chutney or even made Jam before, but I’ve wanted to.  Everything I looked at seemed really quite complicated, so it put me off.  However this post of Mrs. Crafts was written for a numbskull like me.   After reading I was raring to go.  I wanted to go and buy the equipment there and then.

Mrs. Crafts Beetroot Chutney

photograph credit:  Mrs. Craft,  – borrow from her blog post to show you her mixing her chutney

I told Mrs. Craft, (in a comment) how amazing her Beetroot Chutney sounded and that I was going to go on-line to see if I could buy the things she’d mentioned in her post, and Mrs. Craft replied saying she’d found some of the things at Aldi in their weekly specials.   That was it!!!  I went straight to the Aldi site to see what they had left.   After all, Mrs.C had used them, so they must be ok!

What happened next was a magical happening which touched me so deeply that it made me cry.

Mrs.Craft emailed me and told me that she would like to send me a jar of her Chutney!  ME!!  A WHOLE JAR OF HER CHUTNEY!!!  Just for ME

Oh my goodness!  I wrote back to her saying I would love a jar, and that I would pay her for the jar, along with the postage costs,  maybe via PayPal, or even some money in an envelope – but she was having none of it.

I gave her my details and within a few short days a box wrapped up in brown paper arrived.  The scissors were summoned the paper was cut off, and the lid to the box was gently opened.  I was so scared that this jar of delight would have got broken in the post, but no.  There is was, nestled snug in its box bed.  I was over-come with thankfulness, both for the jar not being broken but more importantly to Mrs.Craft.

But it didn’t stop there …  also in the box was one of those special thermometers which you use when making jam, to ensure that you get the mixture to the right temperature!  I had this little gadget on my list to go and buy!

But then … another surprise in the box ….  a Handmade Card with a Unicorn on the front.  Of course, this wee Unicorn looks exactly like the Unicorn I keep in my back garden!  How did she know?  *GASP*

BEETROOT CHUTNEY made by Mrs.Craft b

Mr. Cobs laughed at me as I began to bubble.  Tears welled up in my eyes and tipped over the edge of them and I sat there sniffling and snuffling as he chuckled.

See … here’s the thing;  If someone is horrid to me I cry.  But if someone is nice – well then I cry too.  I blubber and bubble and get all sniffly.  People don’t even have to be nice to me.  Someone being nice to anyone will set me off.  Kindness’s which come from the heart are the things which can start me off and I become like a tap which won’t turn off.

tsk tsk…  like Cobs Snr says …  I’m a blubber baby.  But I don’t care.  I’d rather be one of those than one of the other things.

I have thanked Mrs.Craft, and I take this opportunity to publicly thank her for this incredible kindness which she’s shown me and which has totally blown me away.

Please do go and visit her blog.  I know you’ll love her just as much as I do.  She’s lots of fun, and if she can put up with me then she must be brilliant!  (There are links to her blog, and to the Beetroot Chutney post, above.  They’ll open in another page for you).

BEETROOT CHUTNEY made by Mrs.Craft A

I’ve found a place to buy one of those heavy bottomed saucepans and am planning a trip to buy one, hopefully this week.  So . . . If I don’t poison anyone, expect a blog post about the results.   [insert fearful face]  lol

I made Mrs.Craft a handmade card to say thank you … and I was going to share it with you in this post, but I’ve talked the hind leg off a donkey, so I’ll shut up and share the card with you in another post, another day.

Thank you so much for coming and sharing my Chutney with me.  Oh … nearly forgot to tell you….  I have no idea (yet) what the Beetroot Chutney tastes like because I’m saving it until Christmas, at which point I’ll have the Opening of the Jar Ceremony and all the family present will have a taste with some cheese and crackers.  (Can’t wait!  YUM).

May your Monday have been wonderful and may your tomorrow be truly blessed.

Sending great big squidges from my corner to yours.

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The Friday Post ~ 15th September 2017

Well a very happy Friday to you!  Another week has gone by,  and, here in my area of the UK (South), someone flicked the switch off for Summer, and switched on Autumn instead.  The result of this is the heating here in Cobweb Towers has been on several times this week, and the snuggly warm duvet has returned to the bed.

I can clearly remember that this time last year I was walking around in shorts and a T.Shirt and saying how wonderful it was.  Not too warm, but not at all cold.  The sun was out, my garden was loving the warmth and we were experiencing a wonderful Indian Summer.  This year, right now  …  even my cats and dog are snuggling into their beds.  Mr. Alf Capone, even with his fabulous thick, thick, thick fur coat is burying himself under the dogs blankets, along with the dog.

Maisie Dotes, (neurotic crazy cat who thinks the world is going to get her at any minute), on the other hand feels her place should be the sofa, where she likes us to plump up a cushion for her so that she can snuggle herself up the side of it to cut out any drafts.  Woe betide us if we don’t pick up the clear message she’s sending to us that she requires servament service.  She stands on the sofa in an odd slightly arched back sort of way, and stares at the cushion so that we are certain of which cushion she requires to be plumped and moved into position.  If we miss the message, accidentally (or on purpose), or if we get the message and put the cushion in the wrong place or at the wrong angle, she will show her clear disgust of us by turning and delicately but quickly jumping off the sofa and take herself into the conservatory where she will jump up onto the lovely desk, where I’ve laid a thick fluffy blanket on top of it, and she will curl up in the sunshine streaming through the window.  Telling everyone that we need to think about what we’ve done wrong and ensure that we don’t do it again!

Hmpffft.  Very well.

Aaaanyhoo…  you’ve come for some edumacation time, and I’m already stood at the blackboard, so find a seat, sit down, get your pens and note pads out and we’ll begin…  shall we?

On this Day in History

1830 – George Stephenson’s Manchester and Liverpool railway opened. During the ceremony, William Huskisson, MP, became the first person to be killed by a train when he crossed the track to shake hands with the Duke of Wellington.
1831 – The locomotive John Bull operates for the first time in New Jersey on the Camden and Amboy Railroad.

1835 – The HMS Beagle, with Charles Darwin aboard, reaches the Galapagos Islands.

1871 – The first British-based international mail order business was begun by the Army and Navy Co-operative. They published their first catalogue in February 1872.

1916 – World War I: Tanks are used for the first time in battle, at the Battle of the Somme.  Military tanks, designed by Britain’s Ernest Swinton, were first used by the British Army, in the Somme offensive.

1928 – Scottish bacteriologist Alexander Fleming discovered, by accident, a bacteria killing mould growing in his laboratory, that later became known as penicillin.

1935 – Nazi Germany adopts a new national flag with the swastika. The swastika is an equilateral cross with its arms bent at right angles, in either right-facing form or its mirrored left-facing form.  The swastika can also be drawn as a traditional swastika, but with a second 90 degree bend in each arm.

Archaeological evidence of swastika-shaped ornaments dates from the Neolithic period. An ancient symbol, it occurs mainly in the cultures that are in modern-day India and the surrounding area, sometimes as a geometrical motif (as in the Roman Republic and Empire) and sometimes as a religious symbol. It was long widely used in major world religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.

The swastika was used as an official emblem of the Nazi Party, a use sometimes continued by modern: Neo-Nazis.

Though once commonly used all over much of the world without stigma, because of its iconic usage in Nazi Germany, the symbol has become controversial in the Western world.

There was quite a stink kicked up, a few years ago, about a naval building, in the U.S. that had been designed and built in the shape of the swastika. (built in the 1960’s). No one had realised this, it seems, until Google Earth showed the building up on one of its maps.   You can read about it in a Daily Mail report from that time.

1940 – World War II: The climax of the Battle of Britain, when the Royal Air Force shoot down large numbers of Luftwaffe. The tide turned in the Battle of Britain as the German air force sustained heavy losses inflicted by the Royal Air Force. The defeat was serious enough to convince Nazi leader Adolf Hitler to abandon his plans for an invasion of Britain. The day was chosen as “Battle of Britain Day”.
BBC News complete with Audio & watch, and timeline of events

1945 – A hurricane in southern Florida and the Bahamas destroys 366 planes and 25 blimps at NAS Richmond.
1947 – The U.S. Air Force is separated from the US Army to become a separate branch.

1947 – RCA releases the 12AX7 vacuum tube. RCA Corporation, founded as Radio Corporation of America, was an electronics company in existence from 1919 to 1986. Today, the RCA trademark is owned by Thomson SA through RCA Trademark Management S.A., a company owned by Thomson.  The trademark is used by two companies, namely Sony BMG Music Entertainment and Thomson SA, which licences the name to other companies like Audiovox and TCL Corporation for products descended from that common ancestor.  More can be read, along with photographs,  HERE.

1950 – UN stages daring assault on Inchon. The United Nations landed up to 50,000 troops behind enemy lines at Inchon, on the west coast of Korea. The first major counter-strike of the war by the US.   BBC News complete with a timeline of events

1958 – A Central Railroad of New Jersey commuter train runs through an open drawbridge at the Newark Bay, killing 58.

1959 – Nikita Khrushchev becomes the first Soviet leader to visit the United States.

Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, following the death of Joseph Stalin, and Chairman of the Council of Ministers from 1958 to 1964. Khrushchev was responsible for the de-Stalinization of the USSR, as well as several liberal reforms ranging from agriculture to foreign policy. Khrushchev’s party colleagues removed him from power in 1964, replacing him with Leonid Brezhnev.

1960 – London introduced Traffic Wardens onto the streets of the capital.
1961 – Hurricane Carla strikes Texas with winds of 175 miles per hour.

1962 – The Soviet ship Poltava heads toward Cuba, one of the events that sets into motion the Cuban Missile Crisis.

The Cuban Missile Crisis was a confrontation between the United States, the Soviet Union, and Cuba during the Cold War. In Russia, it is termed the “Caribbean Crisis,” while in Cuba it is called the “October Crisis.” The crisis ranks with the Berlin Blockade as one of the major confrontations of the Cold War, and is often regarded as the moment in which the Cold War came closest to a nuclear war.

The climax period of the crisis began on October 8, 1962. Later on October 14 United States reconnaissance photographs taken by an American U-2 spy plane revealed missile bases being built in Cuba, the crisis ended two weeks later on October 28, 1962, when President of the United States John F. Kennedy and United Nations Secretary-General U Thant reached an agreement with the Soviets to dismantle the missiles in Cuba in exchange for a no invasion agreement and a secret removal of the Jupiter and Thor missiles in Turkey

1963 – The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing kills four children at an African-American church in Birmingham, Alabama, United States.

The 16th Street Baptist Church bombing was a racially motivated terrorist attack on September 15, 1963 by members of a Ku Klux Klan group in Birmingham, Alabama in the United States. The bombing of the African-American church resulted in the deaths of four girls.

Although city leaders had reached a settlement in May with demonstrators and started to integrate public places, not everyone agreed with ending segregation. Other acts of violence followed the settlement. The bombing increased support for people working for civil rights. It marked a turning point in the U.S. civil-rights movement of the mid-20th century and contributed to support for passage of civil rights legislation in 1964.

According to news accounts, the Sixteenth Street Church had been a center for many civil rights rallies and meetings, and after the tragedy, it became a focal point drawing many moderate whites into the civil rights movement.

Investigations into this case spanned four decades. Most recently, Thomas Blanton and Bobby Frank Cherry surrendered after an Alabama grand jury indicted them on first-degree murder charges and four counts of “universal malice” on May 17, 2000. Two others prosecuted in the case were Robert Edward Chambliss, sentenced in 1977, and Gary A. Tucker, both of whom died in the 1980s.
External Link:   The New York Times front page story.

1966 – HMS Resolution, Britain’s first nuclear submarine, was launched at Barrow.

1966 – U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson, responding to a sniper attack at the University of Texas at Austin, writes a letter to the United States Congress urging the enactment of gun control legislation. Gun politics is a set of legal issues surrounding the ownership, use, and regulation of firearms as well as safety issues related to firearms both through their direct use and through legal and criminal use.

In the United Kingdom
The UK and the United States share a common origin as to the right to bear arms, which is the 1689 Bill of Rights. However, over the course of the 20th century, the UK gradually implemented tighter regulation of the civilian ownership of firearms through the enactment of the 1968, 1988, 1994 and 1997 Firearms(Amendment) Acts leading to the current outright ban on the ownership of all automatic, and most self-loading, firearms in the UK. The ownership of breach-loading handguns is, in particular, also very tightly controlled and effectively limited (other than in Northern Ireland) to those persons who may require such a handgun for the non routine humane killing of injured or dangerous animals. Each firearm owned must be registered on a Firearms Certificate (FAC) which is issued by the local police authority who will require the prospective owner to demonstrate a “good reason” for each firearm held (e.g. pest control or target shooting) and may place restrictions on the FAC relating to the type and amount of ammunition that is held and the places and the uses the firearms are put to. Self defence is not considered an acceptable “good reason” for firearm ownership. The police may amend, or revoke, a FAC at any time and refuse a FAC for any reason.

United States
The issue of firearms takes a high-profile position in United States culture and politics. Michael Bouchard, Assistant Director/Field Operations of ATF, estimates that 5,000 gun shows take place each year in the United States. Incidents of gun violence in ‘gun-free’ school zones, such as the Virginia Tech massacre of 2007 have ignited debate involving gun politics in the United States.

The American public strongly opposes bans on gun ownership, while strongly supporting limits on handguns and military-type semi-automatic weapons.

There is a sharp divide between gun-rights proponents and gun-control proponents. This leads to intense political debate over the effectiveness of firearm regulation.
On the whole, Republicans are far less likely to support gun control than are Democrats. According to a 2004 Harris Interactive survey:

    Republicans and Democrats hold very different views on gun control. A 71% to 11% majority of Democrats favors stricter gun control, whereas Republicans are split 35% to 35%.

The division of beliefs may be attributable to the fact that Republicans are more likely to own guns, according to General Social Surveys conducted during the last 35 years. Research seems to show that gun ownership has generally declined; however, Republicans – especially men – are far more likely to own “guns or revolvers.”

Incidents of gun violence and self-defense have routinely ignited bitter debate. About 10,000 murders are committed using firearms annually, while an estimated 2.5 million crimes may be thwarted through civilian use of firearms annually. The American Journal of Public Health conducted a study that concluded “the United States has higher rates of firearm ownership than do other developed nations, and higher rates of homicide. Of the 233,251 people who were homicide victims in the United States between 1988 and 1997, 68% were killed with guns, of which the large majority were handguns.” The ATF estimated in 1995 that the number of firearms available in the US was 223 million.

Fully automatic firearms are legal in most states, but have requirements for registration and restriction under federal law. The National Firearms Act of 1934 required approval of the local police chief and the payment of a $200 tax for initial registration and for each transfer. The Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibited imports of all non-sporting firearms and created several new categories of restricted firearms. The act also prohibited further registry of most automatic firearms. The Firearm Owners Protection Act of 1986 imposed restrictions on some semiautomatic weapons and banned private ownership of machine guns manufactured after it took effect.

1968 – The Soviet Zond 5 spaceship is launched, becoming the first spacecraft to fly around the Moon and re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere.

1972 – A magnitude 4.5 earthquake shakes Northern Illinois.

1981 – The United States Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approves Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first female justice on the United States Supreme Court.

1985 – Tony Jacklin’s team of golfers beat the United States in the Ryder Cup for the first time in 28 years

1987 – U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz and Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze sign a treaty to establish centers to reduce the risk of nuclear war.

2000 – In Great Britain, Home Secretary Jack Straw decided that parents would not be allowed access to the sex offenders’ register.
2001 – President George W. Bush identified Osama bin Laden as the prime suspect in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and told Americans to prepare for a long, difficult war against terrorism.

Born on this Day

1254 – Marco Polo, Italian explorer (d. 1324)

1857 – William Howard Taft – 27th president of the United States and 10th chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court

1881 – Ettore Bugatti  (d 1947}, Italian builder of racing and luxury automobiles

1890 – Agatha Christie, English writer (d. 1976)

1901 – Sir Donald Bailey, British engineer (d. 1985 in Bournemouth, Dorset) was an English civil engineer who invented the Bailey bridge.

1916 – Margaret Lockwood, English actress (d. 1990)

1946 – Tommy Lee Jones, American actor.

1972 – Jimmy Carr, English comedian

1977 – Sophie Dahl, English model

1984 – Prince Henry of Wales. Prince Henry of Wales (Henry Charles Albert David; born 15 September 1984), commonly known as Prince Harry, is the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and his first wife, Diana, Princess of Wales (Diana Spencer).

Died on this Day and Remembered here

1794 – Abraham Clark, American signer of the Declaration of Independence (b. 1725)

1859 – Isambard Kingdom Brunel, British engineer (b. 1806) He was involved in dock design, railway engineering and marine engineering, building the Great Western (1837), Great Britain (1843), and Great Eastern (1858), each the largest in the world at launch date.

1885 – Jumbo, P. T. Barnum’s circus elephant (hit by a train) a very large African bush elephant, born 1861 in French Sudan, imported to a Paris zoo, transferred to the London Zoo in 1865, and sold in 1882 to P. T. Barnum, for the circus.

Thought for the Day

There is an indian belief that everyone is a house of four rooms:  A Physical Room;  A Mental Room;  An Emotional Room;  and a Spiritual Room.  Most of us tend to live in one room most of the time, but … unless we go into every room, every day, even if only to keep it aired, we are not complete.

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This week has been a funny old week.  Way too much going on, and too little time to do the things I enjoy the most.  I know that crafting wise, the blog has been rather quiet and I offer my apologies for that.  I seem to be doing stuff, but some of them I’m unable to blog about until they’ve been sent or received as I don’t want to risk spoiling the surprise.

Before I go and leave the class room, and before you all yell Hurrah and mess up the classroom by throwing screwed up pieces of paper at each other…  I have, as usual, a bit of playtime fun.

With Halloween just around the corner, I offer you a fun little website where you can carve a virtual jack-0-lantern.  You can send it as an e-card, or if you can capture the screen and use it as your desktop on your computer;  or you can save the pic and use it as an avatar or graphic! You can even change the background and light a candle in it.

It’s good fun and I promise you there are no bugs or hidden nasties in this.  (I and a few friends have been playing with this website for about 9 or ten years).  Nothing will suddenly jump out and scare you half to death.  It does have Halloween sounds – music with a dog howling and birds … but it’s not scary.

If you have children or grandchildren then they’d have a bundle of fun carving pumpkins on this!

http://www.theoworlds.com/halloween/   …   the page will open in a new tab for you.

I wish you a very happy Friday.  May your day be sweet and all the people you come into contact with have either a smile on their face or one playing around their eyes.

See the humour in each moment today.  Even in those moments where you don’t think there’s anything vaguely resembling humour, there will be.  It’s there.  You just have to look at whatever it is from a slightly different angle.  See the humour.  Go on.  You know you want to.  😉

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

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The Friday Post ~ 8th September 2017

Happy Friday!  This week has flown by in one way, and yet it’s dragged it’s feet in another.

Something was missing in my life.  It’s seemed to be a long stretch of a week.  Then I realised what it was.  It was Little Cobs.  He went back to school on Tuesday so I haven’t seen him since last Saturday.  He’s a joyous handful when he’s here, but when he goes home my heart goes with him.   He’ll be here again on Saturday, and no doubt drag his  HUGE bag of cars out of his bedroom here, then he’ll search for the length of black drain pipe which I got Grandad to rub the ends of so that it wasn’t sharp, and he’ll prop the one end up on the footstool, and his cars will zoooom down the tube and we’ll find out who’s the winner!  It’s kind of his early introduction to betting.  LOL.  (No, we don’t use money or anything else.  We just use our eyes and guess which one will go the furthest)

Oh anyhoo …  look at me chatting away when what you’ve come for is some edumacation.  So let’s get going shall we?

On this Day in History

1504 – Michelangelo’s David is unveiled in Florence. Michelangelo’s David, sculpted from 1501 to 1504, is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture and one of Michelangelo’s two greatest works of sculpture, along with the Pietà. It is the statue of the young Israelite king David alone that almost certainly is one of the most recognizable stone sculptures in the history of art. It is regarded as a symbol both of strength and youthful human beauty.

michelangelo_david2

Michelangelo’s David

The 5.17 meter (17 ft) marble statue portrays the Biblical King David in the nude, at the moment that he decides to battle with Goliath.

However; the proportions are not quite true to the human form; the head and upper body are somewhat larger than the proportions of the lower body. The hands are also larger than would be in regular proportions. While some have suggested that this is of the mannerist style, another explanation is that the statue was originally intended to be placed on a church façade or high pedestal, and that the proportions would appear correct when the statue was viewed from some distance below.

The apparently uncircumcised form would be at odds with Judaic practice, but would be consistent with the conventions of Renaissance art.

To protect it from damage, the sculpture was moved in 1873 to the Accademia Gallery in Florence, where it attracts many visitors. A replica was placed in the Piazza della Signoria in 1910.

The cast of David at the South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria and Albert Museum), had a detachable plaster fig leaf, added for visits by Queen Victoria and other important ladies, when it was hung on the figure using two strategically placed hooks; it is now displayed nearby.

In 1991, a deranged man attacked the statue with a hammer he had concealed beneath his jacket, in the process damaging the toes of the left foot before being restrained. The samples obtained from that incident allowed scientists to determine that the marble used was obtained from the Fantiscritti quarries in Miseglia, the central of three small valleys in Carrara. The marble in question contains many microscopic holes that cause it to deteriorate faster than other marbles. Because of the marble’s degradation, a controversy occurred in 2003, when the statue underwent its first major cleaning since 1843. Some experts opposed the use of water to clean the statue, fearing further deterioration. Under the direction of Dr. Franca Falleti, senior restorers Monica Eichmann and Cinzia Pamigoni began the job of restoring the statue. The restoration work was completed in 2004.

By the 20th century, Michelangelo’s David had become iconic shorthand for “culture” David has been endlessly reproduced, in plaster, imitation marble fibreglass, and lends an atmosphere of culture even in some unlikely settings, such as beach resorts, gambling casinos and model railroads.

1888 – In London, the body of murder victim, Annie Chapman, is found, disembowelled in an East London street, the second victim of ‘Jack the Ripper’.

1892 – The Pledge of Allegiance is first recited.

1900 – Galveston Hurricane of 1900: a powerful hurricane hits Galveston, Texas killing about 8,000 people.

1921 – 16-year-old Margaret Gorman won the Atlantic City Pageant’s Golden Mermaid trophy;  pageant officials later dubbed her the first Miss America.

1930 – 3M begins marketing Scotch transparent tape.

1943 – World War II: United States General Dwight D. Eisenhower publicly announces the Allied armistice with Italy.
1944 – World War II: London is hit by a V2 rocket as the first German V2 flying bombs fell on Britain, exploding at Chiswick in London, killing 3 people.

1960 – Publishers Penguin Books were charged with public obscenity for publishing D.H. Lawrence’s controversial book – ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’.
1960 – In Huntsville, Alabama, US President Dwight D. Eisenhower formally dedicates the Marshall Space Flight Center (NASA had already activated the facility on July 1).

1966 – In England, the Severn Bridge was officially opened by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, linking south Wales with south west England.
1966 – The first Star Trek,  the landmark American science fiction television series, premieres with the first-aired episode, “The Man Trap”, on NBC.

1968 – The Beatles perform their last live TV performance on the David Frost show. They perform their new hit Hey Jude.
1968 – British tennis player Virginia Wade beat American Billie Jean King to win the US Open.

1974 – Watergate Scandal: US President Gerald Ford pardons former President Richard Nixon for any crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.

1975 – Gays in the military: US Air Force Tech Sergeant Leonard Matlovich, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War, appears in his Air Force uniform on the cover of Time magazine with the headline “I Am A Homosexual”.  He is given a general discharge, which was later upgraded to honorable.

2004 – The NASA unmanned spacecraft Genesis crash-lands when its parachute fails to open. The Genesis spacecraft was the first ever attempt to collect a sample of solar wind, and the first “sample return mission” to return from beyond the orbit of the Moon. It was launched on August 8, 2001, and crash-landed on September 8, 2004 after a design flaw prevented the deployment of its drogue parachute. The crash contaminated many of the sample collectors, but subsequent processing was able to isolate useful samples, and as of March 2008 all of the mission’s major science objectives are expected to be achieved successfully.

Born on this Day

1921 – Harry Secombe, Welsh entertainer (d. 2001)
1922 – Sid Caesar, American comedian (d. 2014)
1925 – Peter Sellers, English actor (d. 1980)
1932 – Patsy Cline, American singer (d. 1963)

1979 – Pink, American singer-songwriter, producer, and actress

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  🌷  🌷  🌷

OK… now it’s playtime.  (All schools have a playtime, and this one is no different) …

I will only give you links to click on that I’ve tried and tested and know for sure that there is nothing bad hiding in them.  So please rest assured that any link you find on this blog has been tested before I load it here.  I’ve been playing around with most of these links for … oh my goodness, around ten years, so I know for sure that they’re safe.

Today …  instead of a game, I share with you something that I have tons of fun on every now and again.

If you don’t have a Gravatar picture of yourself,  or a photo of yourself on your blog in your sidebar – then you can ‘build’ yourself on this website!  It’s not really you as such, but it’s ‘you’ in a cartoony sort of way.

You can build a body, a skin tone, hair, lips, teeth, eyes, glasses, facial hair,  even tattoos!  You can make it look like you … but if you were stood in a line up, no one would be able to pick you out based on that image.  lol.  Aww … look, I’ll give you the link so that you can have a play with it yourself.  It’s lots of fun… BUT …  have a look around first, and click on the things so that you know what they look like… because once you have chosen some of the things there, you can’t undo them  (some you can change – but not all of them). . . and you’ll have to start from the beginning.  Other than that, it’s a great little time waster.

click —> http://www.sp-studio.de/  …  it will open in a new window for you.

Well we’ve come to the end of the school day, here in Cobweborium Land.  Don’t you wish all your school/work days were as short as this?  A bit of fun, over a cup of coffee and time to go off and relax!  lol

Wishing you all a truly wonderful weekend.  Thank you so much for coming and spending a little time with me.  I love seeing you here.

May your weekend be everything you want it to be.  🌹

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The Friday Post ~ 1st September 2017

Happy 1st September and,   after me I want you to say the following out loud  … ready?  WHITE RABBITS.   Said it?  Good.  You see, this is something I was taught by my grandparents to say on the very first day of any and every month.  It’s kind of good luck charm.  Something which would ensure that bad luck passed by you and only good luck came into your life.

Now you can scoff and say it’s rubbish … but hey,  it’s just two little words. What have you got to lose?

Today is in fact a very special day because…   September 1st  is the 244th day of the year (245th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar.  There are 121 days remaining until the end of the year.  This date is slightly more likely to fall on a Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday (58 in 400 years each) than on Sunday or Monday (57), and slightly less likely to occur on a Wednesday or Friday (56).  I think we should have a cake of some sort, to celebrate.  Shall we get our baking tins out and do something wonderful with them?

Right then … it’s Friday so that means it’s ‘Further Your Edumacation Day!’.  Do you have your pens, pencils and crayons ready?  Ok … let’s go then!

On this Day in History.

1159 Pope Adrian IV, (Nicholas Breakspeare), the only English pope, died.

1752 – The Liberty Bell arrives in Philadelphia. The Liberty Bell, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, is a bell that has served as one of the most prominent symbols of the American Revolutionary War. It is a familiar symbol of independence within the United States and has been described as an icon of liberty and justice.

You can learn more here:  US History – Liberty Bell.

1865 – In Great Britain – Joseph Lister performed the first antiseptic surgery.

1886 – The Severn Tunnel, (railway tunnel) between England and Wales, was opened for goods traffic

1920 – The Fountain of Time opens as a tribute to the 100 years of peace between the United States and Great Britain following the Treaty of Ghent.

The Treaty of Ghent was the peace treaty that ended the War of 1812 between the United States of America and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Both sides signed it on December 24, 1814, in the city of Ghent, Belgium.

1939 – At dawn on 1st September, Germany made a massive invasion of Poland and bombed Warsaw at 6am, beginning World War II in Europe. German forces attacked Poland across all frontiers and its planes bombed Polish cities, including the capital, Warsaw – Britain and France prepare to declare war. And, on this date, the start of WWII – the service to 2,000 televisions ceased in Britain. There would be no more TV for seven years.

BBC News report along with a Timeline <— will open in a new tab for you.

1951 – The Premier supermarket opened in Earl’s Court, London; the first supermarket in Britain.

1974 – The SR-71 Blackbird (below) sets (and holds) the record for flying from New York to London: 1 hour 54 minutes and 56.4 seconds.

Lockheed

The Lockheed SR-71 is an advanced, long-range, Mach 3 strategic reconnaissance aircraft developed from the Lockheed A-12 and YF-12A aircraft by the Lockheed Skunk Works. The SR-71 was unofficially named the Blackbird, and called the Habu by its crews. Clarence “Kelly” Johnson was responsible for many of the design’s innovative concepts. A defensive feature of the aircraft was its high-speed and operating altitude, whereby, if a surface-to-air missile launch were detected, standard evasive action was simply to accelerate. The SR-71 line was in service from 1964 to 1998, with 12 of the 32 aircraft being destroyed in accidents, though none were lost to enemy action.

1979 – The American space probe Pioneer 11 becomes the first spacecraft to visit Saturn when it passes the planet at a distance of 21,000 km.

1980 – Terry Fox’s Marathon of Hope ends in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Terry Fox 1

Terrance Stanley “Terry” Fox, CC (July 28, 1958 – June 28, 1981) was a Canadian humanitarian, athlete, and cancer treatment activist. He became famous for the Marathon of Hope, a cross-Canada run to raise money for cancer research, which Fox ran with one prosthetic leg. He is considered one of Canada’s greatest heroes of the 20th century and is celebrated internationally every September as people participate in the Terry Fox Run, the world’s largest one-day fundraiser for cancer research.

Fox began by dipping his leg in the Atlantic Ocean at St. John’s, Newfoundland on April 12, 1980. He intended to dip it in the Pacific Ocean when he arrived in Victoria, British Columbia. He also filled two large bottles with Atlantic Ocean water; his plan was to keep one as a souvenir and pour the other one into the Pacific. He also intended to fill another jug of water with water from the Pacific Ocean. He was going to run about 42 km (26.2 miles) a day, the distance of a typical marathon. No one had ever done anything similar to the task Fox was undertaking.

Fox was unable to finish his run. His bone cancer had metastasized to his lungs: x-rays revealed that Terry’s right lung had a lump the size of a golf ball and his left lung had another lump the size of a lemon. He was forced to stop the run on September 1, 1980 just north-east of Thunder Bay, Ontario, after 143 days. He had run 5,373 km (3,339 miles, or around 23.3 miles per day) through Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Quebec, and Ontario.

Terry Fox 2

Soon after Fox was forced to stop, the CTV television network organized a telethon in hopes of raising additional funds for the cause. Any celebrities within range of Toronto were invited to participate, and the event raised millions of dollars. Many of the guests paid tribute to Fox; TV actor Lee Majors called him “the real Six Million Dollar Man.”

In June 1981, Terry developed pneumonia, and on June 27 he went into a coma. He died on the 28th at 4:37 a.m., which was his favourite hour of running, a year after his legendary run, and exactly one month shy of his twenty-third birthday.
Terry’s large funeral was broadcast live on national television. He is buried in the Port Coquitlam cemetery, near his favourite lookout just outside the cemetery gates.

British singer/songwriter Rod Stewart’s 1981 album Tonight I’m Yours includes the song “Never Give Up On A Dream” (co-written with Bernie Taupin), a tribute to Terry’s Marathon of Hope.  Proceeds from the song went towards cancer research.

1981 – Garages in Britain began selling petrol in litres.

1985 – After 73 years the wreck of the liner ‘Titanic’ was found, by Dr. Robert Ballard.

2004 – The Beslan school hostage crisis begins when armed terrorists take hundreds of school children and adults hostage in the Russian town of Beslan in North Ossetia.

The Beslan school hostage crisis (also referred to as the Beslan school siege or Beslan massacre) began when a group of armed rebels, demanding an end to the Second Chechen War, took more than 1,100 people (including some 777 children) hostage on September 1, 2004, at School Number One (SNO) in the town of Beslan, North Ossetia-Alania, an autonomous republic in the North Caucasus region of the Russian Federation.

On the third day of the standoff, Russian security forces stormed the building using tanks, thermobaric rockets and other heavy weapons. A series of explosions shook the school, followed by a fire which engulfed the building and a chaotic gun battle between the hostage-takers and Russian security forces. Ultimately, at least 334 hostages were killed, including 186 children. Hundreds more were wounded or reported missing.

Chechen separatist warlord Shamil Basayev took responsibility for the hostage taking but blamed the outcome on the then Russian President Vladimir Putin. The tragedy led to security and political repercussions in Russia, most notably a series of government reforms consolidating power in the Kremlin and strengthening of the powers of President of Russia. As of 2008, there are many aspects of the crisis still in dispute, including how many militants were involved, their preparations, and whether some of them had escaped. Questions about the government’s management of the crisis have also persisted, including disinformation and censorship in news media, repressions of journalists who rushed to Beslan, the nature and content of negotiations with the militants, the responsibility for the bloody outcome, and the government’s use of possibly excessive force.

The School – A feature in Esquire Magazine.  –  from June 2006. This link is a great link, as not only does it include the whole story, in detail – but it also has video footage of this news item, as broadcast by CNN.

2006 – Luxembourg became the first country to complete the move to all digital television broadcasting.

Born on this Day

1854 –  Engelbert Humperdinck, German composer (d. 1921)

1875 –  Edgar Rice Burroughs, American writer (d. 1950)

1923 –  Rocky Marciano, American boxer (d. 1969)

1939 –  Lily Tomlin, American actress and comedian

1946 –  Barry Gibb, English singer (Bee Gees)

1950 –  Dr. Phil McGraw, American talk show host

1955 –  Bruce Foxton, English bassist (The Jam)

1957 –  Gloria Estefan, Cuban/American singer

Well then…. I hope you’ve learned something from that ↑ little lot that you can take out and share with the world …. or at the very least the person sat opposite you!

coffee cup

But … we haven’t finished yet.  🙂  I shared a little bit of playtime with you last week by giving you the link to a bubble popping game which had all those beautiful little noises as the bubbles popped.

Well this week, I have another bubble popper for you, but a slightly different one.  The aim is to fire little coloured balls from your ‘launcher’, at other coloured balls – of the same colour.  3 or more same coloured balls, all linked together means that section of balls will blow up, and you’ll bank points.

I play it not for points or to watch my best score, but simply just to have a little enjoyment and beat the game by blowing up all the balls and ending up with a completely blank screen after blowing all the balls to smithereens!

It’s called  Bubble Shooter.  <— click.  It will open up in another page for you.  Enjoy!

Wishing you a very happy Friday.  Hope your day is wonderful and that your weekend turns out to be a total joy.

September squidges from me to you …

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