The Friday Post – 20th October 2017

Hello!  😀  Happy Friday! 

Another week has gone by and we’re still here, so let us give thanks for that blessing.  Time does crack on, but the older I get the faster it flashes past.  Why is that?  I keep asking and no one seems to have the definitive answer.  I’m pretty sure that my days are now a third less long than they used to be.

Well now … let’s have some happy news shall we?  As of today we officially have  66 days to Christmas.  Yup, it scared me too.  I’m going to go Christmas shopping next week and see if I can get ahead of the game.  It will be the first time ever if I do.  lol.  But I seek to improve myself.

So anyhoo …  you haven’t come here to listen to my chin wagging, you’ve come for your weekly dose of Edumacation.  So pencils at the ready.  Crayons are no longer allowed since  the blue crayon eating incident,  – so pencils it is.  Let’s dive straight in shall we?

Edumacation

On this Day in History

1714 – In Great Britain – The Coronation of King George I.  During George’s reign, the powers of the monarchy diminished and Britain began a transition to the modern system of cabinet government led by a prime minister. Towards the end of his reign, actual political power was held by Robert Walpole, now recognised as Britain’s first de facto prime minister. George died of a stroke on a trip to his native Hanover, where he was buried.

1818 – The 49th Parallel was established by the USA and Britain as the official boundary between Canada and the United States of America.
1822 – In Great Britain, the first edition of the Sunday Times newspaper.

1910 – The hull of the RMS Olympic, sister-ship to the ill-fated RMS Titanic, is launched from the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland. RMS Olympic was the lead ship of the Olympic class ocean liners built for the White Star Line, which also included Titanic and Britannic. Unlike her sisters, Olympic served a long and illustrious career (1911 to 1935), becoming known as “Old Reliable.”

1944 – Liquid natural gas leaks from storage tanks in Cleveland, then explodes; the explosion and resulting fire level 30 blocks and kill 130.
1944 – General Douglas MacArthur fulfills his promise to return to the Philippines when he commands an Allied assault on the islands, reclaiming them from the Japanese during the Second World War.
1946 – ‘Muffin the Mule’, a wooden puppet operated by Annette Mills (sister of actor Sir John Mills) first appeared in a children’s television programme on BBC TV.

Muffin the Mule with Annette Mills (sister of actor Sir John Mills.)

1955 – Publication of The Return of the King, being the last part of The Lord of the Rings. The Lord of the Rings is an epic high fantasy novel written by the English philologist J. R. R. Tolkien.

The story began as a sequel to Tolkien’s earlier, less complex children’s fantasy novel The Hobbit (1937), but eventually developed into a much larger work. It was written in stages between 1937 and 1949, much of it during World War II.

Although intended as a single-volume work, it was originally published in three volumes in 1954 and 1955, due to post-war paper shortages, and it is in this three-volume form that it is popularly known. It has since been reprinted numerous times and translated into many different languages, becoming one of the most popular and influential works in 20th-century literature.

1959 – Women’s colleges at Oxford University were given equal rights to those of the men’s.

1960 – In Great Britain – D.H Lawrence’s controversial novel ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ put Penguin Books in the dock at the Old Bailey, London. They were accused of publishing obscene material but were eventually found not guilty.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover at Wikipedia

1967: Thousands join anti-war movement. Demonstrators in Oakland, California, hold the biggest protest yet against the Vietnam War.
BBC News on the Day
1968 – Former First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy marries Greek shipping tycoon Aristotle Onassis.

1973 – The Saturday Night Massacre: President Nixon fires Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus after they refuse to fire Watergate prosecutor Archibald Cox, who is finally fired by Robert Bork.

The “Saturday Night Massacre” was the term given by political commentators to U.S. President Richard Nixon’s executive dismissal of independent special prosecutor Archibald Cox, and the resignations of Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus during the Watergate scandal on October 20, 1973.

Richardson appointed Cox in May of that year, after having given assurances to the Senate Judiciary Committee that he would appoint an independent counsel to investigate the events surrounding the Watergate break-in of June 17, 1972. Cox subsequently issued a subpoena to President Nixon, asking for copies of taped conversations recorded in the Oval Office and authorized by Nixon as evidence. The president initially refused to comply with the subpoena, but on October 19, 1973, he offered what was later known as the Stennis Compromise—asking U.S. Senator John C. Stennis to review and summarize the tapes for the special prosecutor’s office.

Cox refused the compromise that same evening, and it was believed that there would be a short rest in the legal maneuvering while government offices were closed for the weekend. However, President Nixon acted to dismiss Cox from his office the next night – a Saturday. He contacted Attorney General Richardson and ordered him to fire the special prosecutor. Richardson refused, and instead resigned in protest. Nixon then ordered Deputy Attorney General Ruckelshaus to fire Cox; he also refused and resigned in protest.

Nixon then contacted the Solicitor General, Robert Bork, and ordered him as acting head of the Justice Department to fire Cox. Richardson and Ruckelshaus had both personally assured the congressional committee overseeing the special prosecutor investigation that they would not interfere – Bork had made no such assurance to the committee. Thus, Bork complied with Nixon’s order and fired Cox. Initially, the White House claimed to have fired Ruckelshaus, but as the Washington Post article written the next day pointed out “The letter from the President to Bork also said Ruckelshaus resigned.”

Congress was infuriated by the act, which was seen as a gross abuse of Presidential power. In the days that followed, numerous bills of impeachment against the President were introduced in Congress. Nixon defended his actions in a famous press conference on November 17, 1973, in which he stated,

“…in all of my years of public life, I have never obstructed justice. And I think, too, that I can say that in my years of public life that I’ve welcomed this kind of examination, because people have got to know whether or not their President’s a crook. Well, I’m not a crook! I’ve earned everything I’ve got.” 

Nixon’s presidency would later succumb to mounting pressure resulting from the Watergate scandal and its cover-up. In the face of the by-then certain threat of removal from office through impeachment and conviction, Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974.

The now expired Ethics in Government Act of 1978, also called the Independent Counsel Act, was a direct result of the “Saturday Night Massacre.”

Jim Leach resigned his commission in protest of the Saturday Night Massacre.
External Links
 Nixon Forces Firing of Cox; Richardson, Ruckelshaus Quit
The New York Times front page story

1973 – Dalai Lama makes his first UK visit. The leader of Tibet’s Buddhists arrives in Britain where he will stay for 10 days to “administer vows”.
BBC News story complete with Video footage

1973 – The Sydney Opera House opens. The Sydney Opera House is located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.  It was made a UNESCO World Heritage Site on 28 June 2007. Based on the competition winning entry by Danish architect Jørn Utzon, the Sydney Opera House is one of the world’s most distinctive 20th century buildings, and one of the most famous performing arts venues in the world.

1976 – The ferry  ‘George Prince’  is struck by a ship while crossing the Mississippi River between Destrehan and Luling, LA. The MV George Prince ferry disaster was a nautical disaster that occurred in the Mississippi River in Louisiana on the morning of October 20, 1976. The ferry George Prince was struck by the Norwegian tanker SS Frosta, which was traveling upriver. The collision occurred at mile post 120.8 above Head of Passes, less than three-quarters of a mile from the construction site of the bridge which would replace the ferry seven years later. The ferry was crossing from Destrehan, Louisiana on the East Bank to Luling, Louisiana on the West Bank. Ninety-six passengers and crew were aboard the ferry when it was struck, and seventy-eight perished.

1977 – A plane carrying band members of Lynyrd Skynyrd crashes in Mississippi, killing lead singer Ronnie Van Zant and guitarist Steve Gaines along with backup singer Cassie Gaines, the road manager, pilot, and co-pilot. Lynyrd Skynyrd is an American Southern rock band. The band became prominent in the Southern United States in 1973, and rose to worldwide recognition before several members, including lead vocalist and primary songwriter Ronnie Van Zant, died in a plane crash in 1977 five miles northeast of Gillsburg, Mississippi. A tribute band was formed in 1987 for a reunion tour with Johnny Van Zant, Ronnie’s younger brother, at the helm, and continues to record music today. The band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on March 13, 2006.

1979 – The John F Kennedy library is opened in Boston, Massachusetts.

1982 – During the UEFA Cup match between FC Spartak Moscow and HFC Haarlem, 66 people are crushed to death in the Luzhniki disaster. October 20th in Moscow was a cold, windy and snowy day, and the number of tickets sold was relatively low. Only the East Stand was open for spectators and for security reasons only one exit from the stand was left open.

Some minutes before the final whistle when FC Spartak was leading 1-0, the spectators began to leave the stadium through this only exit. Then during the injury time, FC Spartak scored its second goal, and some fans who had previously left the stand turned back to return to the stadium. The returning fans collided with those who were leaving the stadium. Militsiya guards would not allow those leaving to change course and return to the stadium. A stampede ensued in which many people died or were injured. The official number of dead was 66, although many people including victims’ relatives claim this number to be significantly higher,as many as 340.

Aftermath
The only information about the disaster in Soviet media was a short article that appeared in the newspaper Vechernyaya Moskva on the next day. It said: Yesterday in Luzhniki after the football match an accident occurred. There are some injured among the spectators. Some Soviet officials claimed fans themselves to be responsible. The relatives of the victims were allowed to bury them only after thirteen days. Then on February 8, 1983 a trial was held, but the only man found guilty was the commandant of the stadium Panchikhin who had been working there for only two and a half months before the disaster and was sentenced to 18 months of corrective labour. The governing body of the stadium was tried separately but was not convicted. The actions of militsiya were not examined at all despite the evidence of witnesses. For several years following the tragedy, matches were not held at Luzhniki at the end of October in order to prevent relatives of victims from laying flowers there. Only in 1989 the newspaper Sovetskiy Sport told about the disaster openly. Today, there is a monument at the place of the tragedy.

1983 – Grenada’s prime minister ‘assassinated’. Eyewitnesses say the prime minister and seven of his colleagues have been killed during a hard-line military coup.
BBC News story on the Day
1988 – The British Government announced plans to change the law so that remaining silent could incriminate rather than protect a suspect.

1991 – The Oakland Hills firestorm kills 25 and destroys 3,469 homes and apartments, causing more than $2 billion in damage.

The Oakland Firestorm of 1991 was a large urban fire that occurred on the hillsides of northern Oakland, California and southeastern Berkeley on Sunday October 20, 1991, almost exactly two years after the Loma Prieta earthquake. The fire has also been called the Oakland hills firestorm,  the East Bay Hills Fire,  and the Tunnel Fire (because of its origin above the west portal of the Caldecott Tunnel) in Oakland.  The fire ultimately killed 25 people and injured 150 others.  The 1,520 acres (6.2 km²) destroyed included 2,843 single-family dwellings and 437 apartment and condominium units.  The economic loss was estimated at $1.5 billion.

Born on this Day

1632 – Sir Christopher Wren, English architect (d. 1723) responsible for the rebuilding of St. Paul’s Cathedral following the Great Fire of London.

1780 – Pauline Bonaparte, princess Borghese, sister of Napoleon Bonaparte (d. 1825)

1785 – George Ormerod, English historian and antiquarian (d. 1873)

1822 – Thomas Hughes, English author who wrote Tom Brown’s Schooldays

1882 – Bela Lugosi, Hungarian-born actor (d. 1956)

1889 – Margaret Dumont, American actress (d. 1965) remembered mostly for being the comic foil to Groucho Marx in seven of the Marx Brothers movies. Groucho called her “practically the fifth Marx brother.” (In fact, there were five Marx brothers, but only a maximum of four ever performed together.)

1904 – Anna Neagle, English actress (d. 1986)

1905 – Ellery Queen, pseudonym of two American writers (d. 1982)

1913 – Grandpa Jones, American banjo player and singer and “old-time” country and gospel music singer. (d. 1998)

1932 – William Christopher, American actor best known for playing Father Mulcahy on the television series M*A*S*H and Private Lester Hummel on Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C.

1940 – Kathy Kirby, British singer

1950 – Tom Petty, American musician

1958 – Mark King, English musician and singer (Level 42)

1961 – Ian Rush, Welsh footballer

1971 – Dannii Minogue, Australian singer

1971 – Snoop Dogg, American rapper

1978 – Paul Wilson, Irish bass player (Snow Patrol)

Thought for the Day

I’m guessing that most of us, if not all of us, have had at least one ‘something’ that has happened in our lives that perhaps ‘set us back’  or maybe had a  ‘dark time’  in our lives, that we didn’t see coming or didn’t expect.

Pretty much all of us must have faced a time that we really would have rather not have had to go through.  A ‘tragedy’.  A ‘worrying time’.  A time of great struggle and pain – physical or mental pain.  I would even go as far to say that perhaps some of us have had more than one of those times.  In fact, I bet that some of us are going through one of these times right now.  This very moment.

In the darkest hours of your trials, when you’re down and miserable about what’s happening in your life, it’s easy to get even further down and miserable by just mulling over what-ever it is that’s happening to you or around you, which is making you live in a turbulent moment in time within your life span.

Worry, fear, misery, are all things that make the problem much worse for us, and because of this, the whole of our world seems desperately sad.

If you are someone who is going through a dark time, a time of trouble or misery – for whatever reason …  then just for a moment STOP.  Stay completely still. Still your body, and still your mind.  Completely relax your body, just for this one moment.

When you feel  ‘still’  inside …  go back in your memories to another time that felt like the end of the world to you.  Recall, just for a few seconds, that feeling you felt at that sad, heart sore time in your life.

Remembered it?  Recalled his terrible time from the recent or distant past?

Now . . .  remind yourself that you’re still alive.  Even after what happened.  Even after how it made you feel.  Even after all the great pain that it caused to you and your life.

Whatever it was that happened back in time,  which made you feel the way it did … changed you.  Changed your life.

And that’s the key to what’s happening right now…  or to anything that might happen to you in the future.

If you’re going through a bad time now,  or if one comes along in the future, as it surely will,  remind yourself that you have been in this  ‘feeling’  of desperation before.

And then remind yourself that …  It changed your life …   It didn’t end your life.

After every storm comes the peace.  The rain stops.  The Sky brightens.  The world moves on.  But because of the storm,  … because of the rains, …  the Earth blooms flowers again.  Things have changed.  However – the world is still here.  Just different.

Have a really great day.  Have a positive attitude today.  It’s amazing how it changes everything for you.

coffee cup

I’ve been a little lackadaisical about getting round everyone’s blogs over the past couple of weeks, and I think I’m almost caught up but I know that there are a few posts I’m still waiting to get to.

I’ve had some health issues which have been a cause for concern.  I experienced a black-out about three weeks ago now, and during the fall to the floor I badly injured my arm.  The whole episode shocked me so much that I couldn’t go out of the house for about 5 days.  I saw my doctor who ordered some tests.  I’ve had most of them, I just need now to get some blood work done and one other test.  However, he’s told me that at the moment I cannot drive.

Now anyone who knows me well, knows that I LOVE to drive.  It gives me such freedom and a feeling of great joy to be able to drive to wherever under my own steam.  Driving is something amazing to me.  I was injured in a road traffic accident some years ago, the result of which was a lower spinal injury.    I was a passenger in a car, which was stationary at a junction.  A car, travelling behind the car I was in made a very bad decision and believed our car would move out onto the main road in a gap she saw coming up.

She put her foot on her accelerator and, doing over 30 miles an hour, drove into the back of our car,  pushing the car I was in, into the middle of the main road.

Well, bringing a long story to an end, the result of that RTA was a lower spinal injury.

Now at the time this was bad enough – but then my doctor told me that although I could stand up  (when apparently they thought I shouldn’t be able to), and after being taught to walk properly again (I adore physiotherapists!) I could walk a little (with the help of walking sticks and/or crutches – but hey, walking is walking), the doctor said that I had to look at the probability that as I got older, I could end up in a wheelchair.

So .. with that thought, I decided that I needed to learn to drive. I took one month of lessons and passed my driving test exactly one month to the day from the day I started.

I LOVE to drive.  It gives me freedom and joy that I can get nowhere else.  So for my doctor to tell me after this recent black-out that I was no longer allowed, for the time being at least, to drive, was a massive upset.  I could see the sense in this, obviously,  but boy oh boy was it painful to my heart.  And … (I’m not telling you anything he doesn’t already know, so I’m not going to get into deep trouble with Cobs Senior) ….  I HATE Mr.Cobs driving.  I love my car, and he’s driving it, and I hate his driving. [sigh] Grrr.

My arm is getting better, the bruising is pretty much gone, but I still flinch if anyone touches it.  Then …  just to add insult to injury … I’ve been told today that I have a cataract.   I’m beginning to feel that God is having a laugh at my expense.

I must admit that my one eye did seem a little foggyfied. (no it’s not a real word, I made it up but it explains everything).   And I was aware that when I was painting something, doing the details became a bit dodgy, and I would get to a place of  “Ah who the heck cares, just blob the paint on it and be done with it!”.  Ha!  And all the time I just thought I needed some new Readers (glasses).  Turned out ….  someone planted a plate in my eye – right in the centre, and I was trying to peer around it, over it and under it.

It’s not that bad, really.  I can see and there isn’t anything in my eye which is visible to you or me.  The Optician could see it and the chap at the hospital could too.  But I’ve looked in the mirror and can’t see it.  New Readers and Long Distance glasses are now on order, so reading books will (I hope) soon be back on the menu!

Added to this chaos …  we’ve been collecting Little Cobs from school each day for the past week, bringing him home here to Cobweb Towers and playing racing cars, building Lego,  singing songs, (he likes that I can make up songs which rhyme, from nowhere …  I hope he’ll be able to do this if I do it enough!), playing Superhero’s – using an apron, put on backwards, for a cape.  He’s discovered the joy of racing around our garden with one arm pointing to the sky and shouting  “SUPER HERO TO THE RESCUE”.  All the neighbours now know I have a Super-Hero for a Grandson.  Not entirely sure what his special power is – but I’m suspecting that it’s making one un-holy mess in his bedroom!

I’ve also introduced him to Tom and Jerry – and he LOVES them!  As soon as he hears the music come on, he’ll race from wherever he is to sit and watch.

Ah .. some things never change.  The old Tom and Jerry cartoons can still thrill a six-year-old.

Little Cobs stayed and had his tea with us, and we would play until his daddy came home from work to collect him and take him home.

But anyhoo …  all these things going on, have made me a little behind on blogs – so please forgive me if I’ve missed any of your blog posts.  If there is one I’ve missed that you really thought I shouldn’t have (for whatever reason), please pop a link to it into a comment below, and I’ll get to it pronto!

Have a truly wonderful Friday.  May the sky be bright, the rains gentle and the winds soft.  May you find something to smile about today, and something which touches your heart and makes you all warm and wriggly inside.

Oh .. and may your weekend be all that you’d like it to be.  If it’s not … remind yourself that you’re in control, so you can change anything you’re having a problem with.  A smile can work wonders.

Sending huge squidges ~

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