The Friday Post ~ Edumacation for 23rd February

Not sure if you noticed this, so draw your attention to it  . . .   I finally managed to work out how to get my ‘Edumacation‘ word into the title of this regular Friday Post.  It’s only taken me FOREVER to work out how to make it short and to the point.  (But then … we all know that I don’t use one word when 20 will do). lol

Before we get into this weeks Edumacation, I’m going to take this moment to get a couple of moans out of the way:

  • WORDPRESS :  pin back your lugholes WordPress!   One of my much loved followers comments are suddenly now going into the Spam folder.  Sometimes it has taken days before I’ve noticed them, and that makes me feel just awful.  Please could you sort out why her comments are going straight to spam, and stop it from doing that?
  • LAWS OF GRAVITY ….  Kindly bu&&er off when you see me falling over.  Yes, I’ve said it and I swore in saying it.  Instead of  you,  I would like a kindly Angel or two to catch me and soften the fall for me.  I’m not asking for someone to lift me up, or make me float, I’m simply asking for someone to help me NOT land [on my knees] like a SACK OF POTATOES being dropped from a hi-rise building!  My latest fall happened two weeks ago tomorrow, and I am still in much pain with my poor feet (my toes got bent too far – ouch!);  my knees – I can barely stand up from the chair, and when I do, I can’t walk more than about ten little bent over shuffles.;  the bend of my leg at the top of my thigh – arrrrrrrrgh!;  my hips – I swear my knees were pushed up to my hips when I landed;  and finally ….  my back.  Oh.  My.  Goodness!  I had more than enough problems there in the first place – but now there’s this new lorry load of pain to deal with on top of the original stuff!   Laws of Gravity, please step out and instruct a couple of Angels to help on the next falling over.

(dearest reader  – this fall wasn’t due to alcohol in any way.  I rarely drink alcohol.  Christmas, weddings – and then only a small glass.  I’m just not over-struck with alcohol.  It tastes weird and I prefer to drink plain Tonic Water with ice).

Ok … those two moans will do for now because, well, you’re here for your Edumacation lesson, so . . .   without further ado, shall we begin?

23rd February

On this Day in History

1455 – Traditional date for the publication of the Gutenberg Bible, the first Western book printed from movable type.

1836 – The Battle of the Alamo begins in San Antonio, Texas.
1839 In Boston, MA, William F. Harnden organised the first express service between Boston and New York City.  It was the first express service in the U.S.
1861 – President-elect Abraham Lincoln arrives secretly in Washington, D.C., after the thwarting of an alleged assassination plot in Baltimore, Maryland.
1874 Walter Winfield patented a game called “sphairistike.” More widely known as lawn tennis.
1886 –  London Times publishes world’s 1st classified ad.

1898 – Émile Zola is imprisoned in France after writing “J’accuse,” a letter accusing the French government of Antisemitism wrongfully placing Captain Alfred Dreyfus in jail.

J’accuse (“I accuse”) was an open letter published on January 13, 1898, in the newspaper L’Aurore by the influential writer Émile Zola.

J accuse

The letter was addressed to President of France Félix Faure, and accused the government of Antisemitism and the unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus, a French General Staff officer sentenced to penal servitude for life for espionage. Zola pointed out judicial errors and lack of serious evidence. The letter was printed on the first page of the newspaper, and caused a stir in France and abroad. Zola was prosecuted and found guilty of libel on February 23, 1898. To avoid imprisonment, he fled to England, returning home in June 1899.

Other pamphlets proclaiming Dreyfus’s innocence include Bernard Lazare’s A Miscarriage of Justice: The Truth about the Dreyfus Affair (November 1896).

As a result of the popularity of the letter, even in the English-speaking world, J’accuse! has become a common generic expression of outrage and accusation against a powerful person.

1905 – Chicago attorney Paul Harris and three other businessmen meet for lunch – form the Rotary Club, the world’s first service club.

Rotary International is an organisation of service clubs known as Rotary Clubs located all over the world. It is a secular organisation open to all persons regardless of race, colour, creed or political preference. There are more than 32,000 clubs and over 1.2 million members world-wide. The members of Rotary Clubs are known as Rotarian’s. The stated purpose of the organisation is to bring together business and professional leaders to provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Members usually meet weekly for breakfast, lunch or dinner, which is a social event as well as an opportunity to organise work on their service goals.

Rotary’s best-known motto is “Service above Self”, and its secondary motto is “They profit most who serve best”.

1940 Walt Disney’s animated movie “Pinocchio”, released.

Pinocchio

Pinocchio is a wooden marionette (a puppet that is manipulated with wires) and not a hand puppet (directly controlled from inside by the puppeteer’s hand). But the piece of wood from which he is derived is animated, and so Pinocchio moves independently. Basically good, he often gets carried away by bad company and is prone to lying. His nose will become longer and longer once he starts lying to others.  Because of these characteristics he often finds himself in trouble, from which, however, he always manages to get out. Pinocchio undergoes transformations during the novel: he promises The Fairy with Turquoise Hair to become a real boy, flees with Candlewick to the Land of Toys, becomes a donkey, joins a circus, and becomes a puppet again. In the last chapter, out of the mouth of The Terrible Dogfish with Geppetto, finally stops being a puppet and becomes a real boy (thanks to the intervention of the Fairy in a dream).

In the novel, Pinocchio is often depicted with a pointy hat, a jacket and a pair of coloured, knee-length pants. In the Disney version, the appearance is very different, and the character is dressed in Tyrolean style, with Lederhosen and a hat with a feather.

Pinocchio’s nose is his best-known characteristic. It grows in length when he tells a lie.

The nose only appears a couple of times in the story, but it reveals the Blue Fairy’s power over Pinocchio when he acts disobediently. After struggling and weeping over his deformed nose, the Blue Fairy summons woodpeckers to peck it back to normal.

1941 – Plutonium was first produced and isolated by Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg. Plutonium is a rare transuranic radioactive element. It is an actinide metal of silvery-white appearance that tarnishes when exposed to air, forming a dull coating when oxidised. It reacts with carbon, halogens, nitrogen and silicon.

plutonium

When exposed to moist air, it forms oxides and hydrides that expand the sample up to 70% in volume, which in turn flake off as a powder that can spontaneously ignite. It is also a radio-logical poison that accumulates in bone marrow. These and other properties make the handling of plutonium dangerous, although its overall toxicity is sometimes overstated.

1945 – World War II: During the Battle of Iwo Jima, a group of United States Marines and a commonly forgotten U.S. Navy Corpsman, reach the top of Mount Suribachi on the island and are photographed raising the American flag.  The photo would later win a Pulitzer Prize and become the model for the national USMC War Memorial.

raising the flag

1954 – The first mass vaccination of children against polio began in Pittsburgh, PA.

1963 – Peter Hicks, a farmer from Sussex in England, who electrified his car to ward off traffic wardens in London’s Convent Garden, found out he may be able to evade the law. Read more of this story here: news.bbc.co.uk – Peter Hicks   (opens in new window for you). 

1963 – The Chiffons’ He’s So Fine was released.

1970 – Holy Eucharist given by women for 1st time in Roman Catholic service
1972 – Elvis and Priscilla Presley separated.
1974 – Columbia Records released Billy Joel’s “Piano Man.”

1998In central Florida, tornadoes killed 42 people and damaged and/or destroyed about 2,600 homes and businesses.
1998 – Osama bin Laden publishes a fatwa declaring jihad against all Jews and “Crusaders;” – the latter term is commonly interpreted to refer to the people of Europe and the United States.

2010 – Unknown criminals pour more than 2.5 million litres of diesel oil and other hydrocarbons into the river Lambro, in northern Italy, sparking an environmental disaster.

❤  ❤  ❤

Born on this Day

1592 – Balthazar Gerbier, Dutch painter (d. 1663)

1633 – Samuel Pepys – of London England, navy expert/composer (Diary, Memoirs)

1685 – George Frideric Handel, German-English organist and composer (d. 1759)

1817 – George Watts London, painter & sculptor

1947 – Shakira Caine Guyana, actress (Man Who be King) – Miss Guyana (1967) wife of Michael Caine

1952 – Brad Whitford, – American musician (Aerosmith)

1959 – Linda Nolan, Irish singer and actress – (The Nolan Sisters)

1964 – Dana Katherine Scully fictional character (X-Files)

1983 – Emily Blunt, English actress

1994 – Dakota Fanning, American actress

~  ❤  ~

Died on this Day (and remembered here)

1821 – John Keats, English poet (b. 1795)

1931 – Nellie Melba, Australian soprano and actress (b. 1861)

1934 – Edward Elgar, English composer and academic (b. 1857)

1965 – Stan Laurel comedian (Laurel & Hardy), died in California of heart attack at 74

1976 – LS Lowry,  English artist (b. 1887)

1995 – Melvin Franklin, American singer (The Temptations) (b. 1942)

1995 – James Herriot,  English writer (b. 1916)

2000 – Stanley Matthews,  English footballer (b. 1915)

❤ ❤  ❤

Playtime Bell Rings!  ~

These are the jokes folks!

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Yoda lady.

Yoda lady who?

wow, Great yodeling!

if you didn’t ‘get it’  – say it all over again, only this time out loud.

Apparently taking a day off is not something you should do when you work for a calendar company.

What’s the biggest pan in the world?
Japan

What do snowmen do in their spare time?  Chill.

Vegans believe meat eaters and butchers are gross.
But those who sell you fruits and vegetables are grocer.

I’ve seen this show about beavers last night – best dam documentary I’ve ever seen!

Why does Peter Pan fly all the time? …   Neverlands!

Should pregnant women actually be called … body builders?

What did the blonde girl say when she saw Cheerios? …  “Donut seeds!”

I hope when I inevitably choke to death on gummy bears people just say I was killed by bears and leave it at that.

I hate when I’m running on the treadmill for half an hour and look down to see it’s been 4 minutes.

I entered what I ate today into my new fitness app  and it just sent an ambulance to my house.

My kids are at an age now where they are beginning to understand embarrassment. This is my time to shine.

I’m not saying your perfume is too strong. I’m just saying the canary was alive before you got here.

❤  ❤  ❤

Ahh …. and now we’ve reached coffee time,  and a moment of contemplation. . . 

Cup of Coffee

Thought for the Day

“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”  …..  Those are said to be the last words spoken by Jesus Christ, and they have inspired a number of people, both great and small.  And … they inspire me every morning … for they aren’t my last words, they are my first with the dawn of every new day.

I can think of no better person to take care of my living spirit, than my Father.  For while He’s taking care of ‘stuff’, I can get on with all the other stuff.

Give it a try.  Let Him take care of stuff, while you go off and enjoy your day doing the ‘stuff’ you’re meant to be doing.

~  ❤  ~ ❤  ~  ❤  ~

Well … that was a great read today, wasn’t it!  I learned so much …  sadly, my one and only brain cell has developed a leak.  On windy days it makes a gentle sound which goes:  shhhhhhrupppp.  On rainy days it makes a sound like:  [insert long wet raspberry noise here].

I’m guessing that the gentle shhhhhrupppp noise is actually the brain cell telling me to ‘shut up’.  The long wet raspberry noise – well I’m not really sure I know what it’s telling me when it makes that noise, but it worries me greatly that others might hear it and think that I’ve ….  well …. you knoweek!  :/

Thank you so much for coming.  I so enjoy your company.  I take this opportunity to say hello to new friends too.  Please new people, don’t be shy.  Everyone here is a total delight and you’ll soon get to know them all.  Say hello, in a comment, and before you know it people will be replying to your comments when they begin to recognise your name.  And … if you have a blog yourself, you’ll no doubt gain some followers too!

Have a truly wonderful Friday, all.  And remember …   as far as anyone knows, we are all nice, normal people here!

Sig coffee copy

 

The Friday Post ~ 1st December 2017

4

Well it’s here.  That day we were thinking was still miles away and we had plenty of time to do our Christmas shopping …. well today is the first day of December and Christmas day is just 25 days away.  Or … since you can’t actually count Christmas day itself,  24 days away.

But … if you discount today (1st December), because, well, it’s maybe not fair to include today since some of you reading right now will perhaps have just come home from a day at work, so let’s discount today too, – that makes it 23 merry Days, in which to buy the perfect presents for all those people you need to buy for,  and get them home, wrapped beautifully and labelled up, ready to give.  There.  23 days.  That’s ok, isn’t it?

So anyhoo … shall we get on with your Edumacation?  I know it’s Christmas soon, but you still need to be educationamalised so that you can come out with interesting facts at the works ‘do’, or just impress the boss with your magnificent intelligence.

On this Day in History

1824 – U.S. presidential election, Since no candidate received a majority of the total electoral college votes in the election, the United States House of Representatives is given the task to decide the winner (as stipulated by the Twelfth Amendment to the United States Constitution).

1913 – The Ford Motor Company introduces the first moving assembly line.
1919 – Lady Astor becomes first female member of the British Parliament to take her seat (she had been elected to that position on November 28).

1952 – The New York Daily News reports the first successful sexual reassignment operation. 

1958 – The Our Lady of the Angels School Fire in Chicago, Illinois kills 92 children and three nuns.

1

The Our Lady of the Angels School Fire broke out shortly before classes were to be dismissed on December 1, 1958, at the foot of a stairway in the Our Lady of the Angels School in Chicago, Illinois.  The elementary and middle school was operated by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Chicago.  A total of 92 pupils and 3 nuns lost their lives when smoke, heat, and fire cut off their normal means of escape through corridors and stairways.  Many perished while jumping from second-floor windows (which were as high as a third floor would be on level ground).  Another 100 were seriously injured.

The disaster led to major improvements in standards for school design and fire safety codes.

1960 – Paul McCartney and Pete Best arrested then deported from Hamburg, Germany for accusation of attempted arson. Former Beatles drummer Pete Best told Absolute Radio that he and Sir Paul had tried to use the condoms for extra lighting.

“We pinned them on the wall and they spluttered. Let’s get it clear, they weren’t used,”  he said. “We were charged with trying to burn our van down.”

Best said the pair were returned to the UK on suspicion of arson.

1964 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson and his top-ranking advisers meet to discuss plans to bomb North Vietnam.

1969 – Vietnam War: The first draft lottery in the United States is held since World War II. On December 1, 1969, the Selective Service System of the United States held a lottery to determine the order of draft (induction) into the U.S. Army for the Vietnam War.

Method
The days of the year, represented by the numbers from 1 to 366 (including Leap Day), were written on slips of paper and the slips were placed in plastic capsules. The capsules were mixed in a shoebox and then dumped into a deep glass jar. Capsules were drawn from the jar one at a time.

The first day number drawn was 257 (September 14), so all registrants with that birthday were assigned lottery number 1. Men of draft age (those born between 1944 and 1950) whose birthday fell on the corresponding day of the year would all be drafted at the same time. The highest draft number called from the 1969 lottery was number 195 (September 24).

A secondary lottery was also held on the same day, to construct a random permutation of the 26 letters of the alphabet. For men born on a given day, the order of induction was determined by the rank of the first letters of their last, first, and middle names.

The lottery was conducted again in 1970 (for those born in 1951), 1971 (1952) and 1972 (1953), although the 1972 lottery went unused as the draft itself was suspended in 1973.  Lotteries were also conducted in 1973, 1974 and 1975 although the assigned numbers went unused.

1973 – Papua New Guinea gains self-government from Australia.
1974 – TWA Flight 514, a Boeing 727, crashes northwest of Dulles International Airport killing all 92 people on-board.
1974 – Northwest Orient Airlines Flight 6231, crashes northwest of John F. Kennedy International Airport.

1981 – A Yugoslavian Inex Adria Aviopromet DC-9 crashes in Corsica killing all 180 people on-board.

1982 – At the University of Utah, Barney Clark becomes the first person to receive a permanent artificial heart.

1990 – Channel Tunnel sections started from the United Kingdom and France meet 40 meters beneath the seabed.

2001 – Captain Bill Compton brings Trans World Airlines Flight 220, an MD-83, into St. Louis International Airport bringing to an end 76 years of TWA operations following TWA’s purchase by American Airlines.

🎄  🎄  🎄

Born on this Day

1761 – Marie Tussaud, French creator of wax sculptures (Madame Tussaud’s) (d. 1850)

1913 – Mary Martin, American actor and singer (d. 1990)

1932 – Matt Monro, English singer (d. 1985)

1935 – Woody Allen, American film director, actor, and comedian

1940 – Richard Pryor, American actor, comedian (d. 2005)

1944 – John Densmore, American drummer (The Doors)

1945 – Bette Midler, American actress and singer

1946 – Gilbert O’Sullivan, Irish singer

1958 – Charlene Tilton, American actress

🎄  🎄  🎄

Thought for the Day

Christmas is coming and there’s nothing we can do to stop it.  We know it’s coming because the lights are already lit-up in the shops.  The trees are decorated and the Advent Calendars all have one door open.

The prophets of anxiety (in the newspapers and on TV) are predicting a difficult time for the shoppers and retailers of our over-stretched, debt-ridden lands.

Some of us feel the imminence of Christmas in the sensations of excitement and dread:  of wishing it would never end … and wanting it to be over with now.  Of the need to be at home, with family and friends – and the desire to escape it all and get as far away as possible.

The Grinch, in Dr. Seuss says:  “Christmas!  It’s practically here!”  …  Then he growled with his fingers nervously drumming.  “I must find a way to keep Christmas from coming!”

Advent means the arrival  – or coming  –  of an important person or thing.  But break it down into its compound words:  ‘ad’  and  ‘vent’  and it looks alarmingly like something to do with advertising and windows.  It sounds like a big commercial wind!  Which of course it is, and it has been, and probably always will be.  Which is why Grinch-like, seasonal rants about the commercial aspect of Christmas will do nothing to change it.

Priests asking us not to throw out the baby Jesus with the bath water should save their breath.  If they want us to question anything at Christmas it should be the baby:  Do we need the babyDo we want the babyWhat is this baby for?  It’s easy to see that Christmas  “doesn’t come from a store;  easy to guess it means a little bit more” [the Grinch again] .  But the question for all of us is:  What???

Isaiah, a prophet who lived before Christ, framed our need in this way:  “O that you would tear open the heavens and come down”.  There was an ache for a saviour long before one appeared.  As to what this saviour is for – Isaiah put it in these startling terms:  …. “… for those living in darkness, a light has come.”  and later …  “…he will be pierced for our transgressions and by his wounds we are healed”.

For Isaiah it took 600 years and a thousand advent calendar windows before the double doors opened on the baby in the manger he predicted would be  “the Saviour of the World”.  That’s a kind of patience – a kind of expectation and waiting – which is hard to grasp.  In theory, for us,  the waiting is over.  The baby – whether we like it or not, is here.  God is with us.

As the Grinch discovered, we can’t stop Christmas from coming:  “Somehow or other, it came just the same”.  The challenge for us this advent is finding the space to think about why it came at all in the first place.   And that applies to those who believe, and those who don’t.

🎄  🎄  🎄

Well.  I’m all puffed out now and have talked so much that my throat is sore!  I think it must be coffee time, for I need lubrication to the vocal chords.

This last week for me has been another one of crafting up a storm,  but making things I can’t share because I made some things for some lovely people who come and read my blog….  goodness knows why they come and read it. Kindness is the first thing that springs to mind.  lol.

But … I can start on other things now, so can share and will be doing so.  HURRAH!

In the meantime …  I want you to be good.  Don’t eat too many sweets.  Not too much chocolate.  And don’t do that thing which you’re Mother told you would make you blind.  Oh … and don’t stick peas up your nose.

That last one … I should perhaps explain…  Apparently – this was said by an Irish mother many, many moons ago.

She had to go out but had no one to look after her large brood of children, so she gathered them all together and told the three eldest that they were going to be ‘in charge’ for the next half an hour while she was out of the house.  She put her coat and hat on, gathered up her shopping bag and handbag, and put her hand on the door knob …. but paused and looked at them all in a very stern, Irish mother way, saying:  “Be good.  Don’t be getting yourselves into trouble.  Don’t be making too much noise – we don’t want someone calling the police!  And …  DON’T STICK PEAS UP YOUR NOSE!”  …  and with that she left.

20 minutes later she was back in the house to find a row of children all sat upon the work tops in the kitchen, with the three eldest children trying to do something which the one child was crying about.  Upon taking in the scene she saw that one of the eldest had his arms tightly wound around a child, so holding the childs arms down.  The second eldest had the child’s head in her hands and was tipping the childs head backwards.  And the eldest of the children had the mothers tweezers from her dressing table and was attempting to shove them up the little childs nose.

“What the divil are you doing to that child?!!”  She yelled.  “… and why they all on the kitchen tops?”

The three eldest children explained . . .  there had been no trouble until they found out that the youngsters had popped the pea pods on the kitchen table, and pushed peas up their noses and couldn’t get them down again.

“Why the dickens did you do that?”  she demanded to know, looking at them very sternly  …..

“Because you told us not to!” came a crying reply.

Hence I say to you ….  “Be good.  Don’t be getting yourselves into trouble.  Don’t be making too much noise – we don’t want someone calling the police!  And …  DON’T STICK PEAS UP YOUR NOSE!” 

Have a wickedly wonderful Friday, and a truly fabulous weekend.  May the force be with you.

Sending love and squidges ~

sig-coffee-copy

 

 

The Friday Post ~ 24th November 2017

Well hello.   Fancy seeing me here!

I’m going to begin this post by saying sorry for being missing in the crafty action way.  I’ve been making some special Christmas cards, but unfortunately the people they’re intended for sometimes pop along and read my blog, so of course that means that I can’t share pictures of the cards until they’ve been received by the lovely folks they’re meant for.  But I will blog about some of the other cards I’ve made, as soon as I get a rootin’ tootin’ minute to load the photos off my phone.  Promise.  🤗

Right ho ... let’s get into the Edumacation Department, shall we?  Line up at the door … and file in one by one.  Grab a seat and get your pens out and glasses on.

On this Day in History

1831 – In Great Britain, Michael Faraday read his first series of papers at the Royal Society in London on ‘Experimental Research into Electricity’.
1859 – Charles Darwin published his controversial and groundbreaking scientific work ‘The Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection’.

1917 – Nine police officers and one civilian are killed when a bomb explodes at the Milwaukee, Wisconsin police headquarters building.

1932 – In Washington, D.C., the FBI Scientific Crime Detection Laboratory (better known as the FBI Crime Lab) officially opens.
1939 – Imperial Airways and British Airways merged to become BOAC (British Overseas Airways Corporation), which later merged with British European Airways and returned to one of the previous names, British Airways.

1947 – Red Scare: After the so-called Hollywood 10 refuse to co-operate with the House Un-American Activities Committee concerning allegations of Communist influence in the movie industry, the United States House of Representatives votes 346 to 17 to approve citations of contempt of Congress against them.

The Hollywood blacklist—more precisely the entertainment industry blacklist, into which it expanded—was the mid-twentieth-century list of screenwriters, actors, directors, musicians, and other U.S. entertainment professionals who were denied employment in the field because of their political beliefs or associations, real or suspected. Artists were barred from work on the basis of their alleged membership in or sympathy toward the American Communist Party, involvement in liberal or humanitarian political causes that enforcers of the blacklist associated with communism, and/or refusal to assist federal investigations into Communist Party activities; some were blacklisted merely because their names came up at the wrong place and time. Even during the period of its strictest enforcement, the late 1940s through the late 1950s, the blacklist was rarely made explicit and verifiable, but it caused direct damage to the careers of scores of American artists, often made betrayal of friendship (not to mention principle) the price for a livelihood, and promoted ideological censorship across the entire industry.

The first systematic Hollywood blacklist was instituted on November 25, 1947, the day after ten writers and directors were cited for contempt of Congress for refusing to give testimony to the House Committee on Un-American Activities. A group of studio executives, acting under the aegis of the Motion Picture Association of America, announced the firing of the artists—the so-called Hollywood Ten—in what has become known as the Waldorf Statement. On June 22, 1950, a pamphlet called Red Channels appeared, naming 151 entertainment industry professionals in the context of “Red Fascists and their sympathizers”; soon most of those named, along with a host of other artists, were barred from employment in much of the entertainment field. The blacklist was effectively broken in 1960 when Dalton Trumbo, an unrepentant member of the Hollywood Ten, was publicly acknowledged as the screenwriter of the films Spartacus and Exodus. A number of those blacklisted, however, were still barred from work in their professions for years afterward.

1962 – ‘ That Was the Week That Waswent out live from the BBC, introduced by a new presenter, David Frost, and with some material written by an equally unknown John Cleese.

1963 – Lee Harvey Oswald is assassinated by Jack Ruby in the basement of Dallas police department headquarters on live television.  (There are two links for you to click on, one to take you to the BBC News on that day, and the other one will take you to the front page of The New York Times.  Both links will open in a new tab for you).
BBC News
The New York Times
1963 – Vietnam War: Newly sworn-in US President Lyndon B. Johnson confirms that the United States intends to continue supporting South Vietnam both militarily and economically.

1965 – Joseph Désiré Mobutu seizes power in the Congo and becomes President; he goes on to rule the country (which he renames Zaire in 1971) for over 30 years, until being overthrown by rebels in 1997.

Joseph Désiré Mobutu
Joseph Désiré Mobutu

Mobutu Sese Seko Nkuku Ngbendu wa Za Banga (October 14, 1930 – September 7, 1997), commonly known as Mobutu, or Mobutu Sese Seko, born Joseph-Désiré Mobutu, was the President of Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) for 32 years (1965–1997) after deposing Joseph Kasavubu.

He formed a totalitarian regime in Zaire which attempted to purge the country of all colonial cultural influence and entered wars to challenge the rise of communism in other African countries.

His mismanagement of his country’s economy, and personal enrichment from its financial and natural resources, makes his name synonymous with kleptocracy in Africa.
(A kleptocracy  (sometimes ‘cleptocracy’, occasionally ‘kleptarchy’)  (root: klepto+kratein = rule by thieves)  – is a term applied to a government that extends the personal wealth and political power of government officials and the ruling class (collectively, kleptocrats) at the expense of the population.)

 

1966 – New York City experiences the smoggiest day in the city’s history.
1969 – Apollo program: The Apollo 12 command module splashes down safely in the Pacific Ocean, ending the second manned mission to the Moon.

1971 – During a severe thunderstorm over Washington state, a hijacker calling himself Dan Cooper (AKA D.B. Cooper) parachutes from a Northwest Orient Airlines plane with $200,000 in ransom money – neither he nor the money have ever been found.

A 1972 FBI composite drawing ofDB Cooper
A 1972 FBI composite drawing of
D. B. Cooper

D. B. Cooper is the name attributed to a man who hijacked a Boeing 727 aircraft in the United States on November 24, 1971, received US$200,000 in ransom, and parachuted from the plane. He was not apprehended. The name he used to board the plane was Dan Cooper, but through a later press miscommunication, he became known as “D. B. Cooper”. Despite hundreds of leads through the years, no conclusive evidence has surfaced regarding Cooper’s true identity or whereabouts, and the bulk of the money has never been recovered. Several theories offer competing explanations of what happened after his famed jump, which the FBI believes he did not survive.

The nature of Cooper’s escape and the uncertainty of his fate continue to intrigue people. The Cooper case (code-named “Norjak” by the FBI) remains an unsolved mystery, and along with Malaysia Airlines Flight 653 is one of the world’s few unsolved cases of aircraft hijacking.

Bulletin from the FBI about DB Cooper
FBI wanted poster of D. B. Cooper

The Cooper case has baffled government and private investigators for decades, with countless leads turning into dead ends. As late as March 2008, the FBI thought it might have had a breakthrough when children unearthed a parachute within the bounds of Cooper’s probable jump site near the town of Amboy, Washington. Experts later determined that it did not belong to the hijacker.

Despite the case’s enduring lack of evidence, a few significant clues have arisen. In late 1978 a placard containing instructions on how to lower the aft stairs of a 727, later confirmed to be from the rear stairway of the plane from which Cooper jumped, was found just a few flying minutes north of Cooper’s projected drop zone. In February 1980, eight-year-old Brian Ingram found $5,880 in decaying $20 bills on the banks of the Columbia River.

In October 2007, the FBI claimed that it had obtained a partial DNA profile of Cooper from the tie he left on the hijacked plane. On December 31, 2007, the FBI revived the unclosed case by publishing never-before-seen composite sketches and fact sheets online in an attempt to trigger memories that could possibly identify Cooper. In a press release, the FBI reiterated that it does not believe Cooper survived the jump, but expressed an interest in obtaining his identity.

On Wednesday November 24th 1971, Thanksgiving Eve, a man walked up to the flight counter of Northwest Orient Airlines in Portland Oregon, and bought a ticket for the 30 minute, Flight 305 to Seattle – a 30 minute hop.

He was later described as wearing a dark raincoat, dark suit with skinny black tie, and carrying an attaché case. He had perky ears, thin lips, a wide forehead, receding hair. He sat in the last row of the plane, 18-C, lit a cigarette, and ordered a bourbon and soda. He had given his name as Dan Cooper.

Shortly after the flight set off with 36 passengers and six crew members, he passed Florence Schaffner cute 23 year old stewardess a note. Printed in felt tip pen, in capital letters, it read .. “I have a bomb in my briefcase. I want you to sit beside me,” it read. She did as he requested, then asked to see the bomb. She saw a tangle of wires, a battery, and six red sticks.

He told her what he wanted – $200,000 by 5:00 p.m. In cash. in a knapsack. Two back parachutes and two front parachutes. On landing, a fuel truck ready to refuel. No funny stuff or he added menacingly …”I’ll do the job.” She passed these instructions to the captain when she got back, the man was wearing dark sunglasses.

The plane landed at Seattle – Tacoma, re-fuelled and the passengers were disembarked as Dan Cooper had demanded.

Taking off, he informed the captain to head for “Mexico City,” with more specific flight instructions: Keep the plane under 10,000 feet, with wing flaps at fifteen degrees, which would put the plane’s speed under 200 knots. He strapped the loads of cash to himself and slipped on two chutes—one in front.

Four United States Air Force F-106 jet fighters tracked the airliner.

Retreating to the rear of the plane he lowered the flight steps and stepped out into the roar of the engines, the night and our over the Cascades.

In late 1978, a placard, which contained instructions on how to lower the aft stairs of a 727, believed to be from the rear stairway of the plane from which Cooper jumped, was found just a few flying minutes north of Cooper’s projected drop zone.

Aside from that placard and the later discovery in February 1980 by 14-year-old Brian Ingram, of US$5,800 by the Columbia River in Vancouver nothing concrete has been discovered about Dan Cooper (The jumper became known as D.B. Cooper after authorities questioned and then released a man named Daniel B. Cooper. That man was cleared, but the name stuck).

 

FBI sketches of Cooper, with age progression
FBI sketches of Cooper, with age progression

There have been books, TV shows, documentaries, and death-bed confessions even a film in 1981 The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper. Boeing also introduced a “Cooper” vane at the insistence of the FBI to prevent the rear steps being deployed in flight after several copycat attempts which all failed.

Nothing significant has surfaced.

 

On July 8, 2016, the FBI announced that it was suspending active investigation of the Cooper case, citing a need to focus its investigative resources and manpower on issues of higher and more urgent priority. Local field offices will continue to accept any legitimate physical evidence—related specifically to the parachutes or the ransom money—that may emerge in the future. The 60-volume case file compiled over the 45-year course of the investigation will be preserved for historical purposes at FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Wikipedia – List of people who disappeared mysteriously

1972 – One of only eight 1933 pennies minted in Great Britain, was auctioned at Sotheby’s for £7,000. (no it wasn’t mine, but I live in hope!)

1974 – Donald Johanson and Tom Gray discover the 40% complete Australopithecus afarensis skeleton, nicknamed “Lucy” after The Beatles song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia’s Afar Depression.

Australopithecus afarensis skeleton Lucy
Australopithecus afarensis  Lucy

Australopithecus afarensis is an extinct hominid which lived between 3.9 and 2.9 million years ago. In common with the younger Australopithecus africanus, A. afarensis was slenderly built. From analysis it has been thought that A. afarensis was ancestral to both the genus Australopithecus and the genus Homo, which includes the modern human species, Homo sapiens.

1993 – In Liverpool, England, 11-year-olds Robert Thompson and Jon Venables are convicted of the murder of 2-year-old James Bulger.

2 year old James Bulger
2-year-old – James Bulger

James Patrick Bulger (16 March 1990 – 12 February 1993) was the victim of abduction and murder. His killers were two 10-year-old boys, Jon Venables and Robert Thompson.  The murder took place in Merseyside, England.

The murder of a child by two other children caused public shock, outrage and grief, and particularly so around Merseyside.

James disappeared from the New Strand Shopping Centre, where he had been with his mother Denise, on 12 February 1993 and his mutilated body was found on a railway line at Bootle on 14 February.  Robert Thompson and Jon Venables, then 10, were charged with James’s murder on 22 February 1993 and remanded in custody.

Robert Thompson and Jon Venables
Jon Venables (L) and Robert Thompson (R)

On 24 November 1993, the two boys, by then 11, were found guilty of murder at Preston Crown Court. The trial judge sentenced them to be detained at Her Majesty’s Pleasure, with a recommendation that they should be kept in custody for “very, very many years to come”. Shortly after the trial, Lord Taylor of Gosforth, the Lord Chief Justice, ordered that the two boys should serve a minimum of ten years, which would have made them eligible for release in February 2003 (they had been charged with James’s murder on 22 February 1993), when they would be 20.

The popular press felt the sentence was too lenient, and the editors of The Sun newspaper handed a petition bearing 300,000 signatures to Home Secretary Michael Howard, in a bid to increase the time spent by both boys in custody. This campaign was successful, and in 1995 Howard announced that the boys would be kept in custody for a minimum of 15 years, meaning that they would not be considered for release until February 2008, by which time they would be 25.

In 1997, the Court of Appeal ruled that Howard’s decision to set a 15-year tariff was unlawful, and the Home Secretary lost his power to set minimum terms for life-sentence prisoners under 18. The High Court and European Court of Human Rights have ruled that politicians can no longer decide how long a life sentence prisoner can remain behind bars.

Thompson and Venables were released on a life licence in June 2001, after serving eight years, when a parole hearing concluded that public safety would not be threatened by their rehabilitation. An injunction was imposed after the trial preventing the publication of details about the boys, for fear of reprisals. The injunction remained in force following their release, so their new identities and locations could not be published.

On 2 March 2010, the Ministry of Justice revealed that Jon Venables had been returned to prison for an unspecified violation of the terms of his licence of release. The Justice Secretary Jack Straw stated that Venables had been returned to prison because of “extremely serious allegations”, and stated that he was “unable to give further details of the reasons for Jon Venables’s return to custody, because it was not in the public interest to do so.”  On 7 March, Venables was returned to prison on suspected child pornography charges.

On 23 November 2017, (yesterday)  it was reported that Venables had again been recalled to prison for possession of child abuse imagery. The Ministry of Justice has  declined to comment on the reports.

Born on this Day

1815 – Grace Darling, – an English lighthouse keeper’s daughter from the Longstone Lighthouse, who rowed out to rescue survivors of the Forfarshire off and became a national heroine. She died of consumption, aged 26. The Grace Darling memorial is within St. Aidan’s churchyard, Bamburgh, Northumberland.

1868 – Scott Joplin, Ragtime Composer (d. 1917)

1888 – Dale Carnegie, the author of “How to Win Friends and Influence People”

1941 – Donald “Duck” Dunn, American musician (Booker T. and the M.G.’s)

1942 – Billy Connolly, Scottish comedian

1946 – Ted Bundy, American serial killer (d. 1989)

1955 – Ian Botham, England test cricketer

1957 – Denise Crosby, American actress – perhaps best known for her portrayal of Security Chief Tasha Yar on the first season of Star Trek: The Next Generation.

1962 – John Squire, British guitarist (The Stone Roses)

1978 – Katherine Heigl, American actress – best known for her roles in Roswell, Grey’s Anatomy, Knocked Up and 27 Dresses.

Died on this Day and Remembered here

1991 – Freddie Mercury, Zanzibar-born singer (Queen) (b. 1946)

1991 – Eric Carr, American drummer (KISS) (b. 1950)

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Thought for the Day

One SONG can spark a moment;  One FLOWER can wake the dream;  One TREE can start a forest;  One Bird can herald spring.

One SMILE begins a friendship;  One HANDCLASP lifts the soul;  One STAR can guide a ship at sea;  One WORD can frame the goal.

One VOTE can change a nation;  One SUNBEAM lights a room;  One CANDLE wipes out darkness;  One LAUGH will conquer gloom.

One STEP must start each journey;  One WORD must start a prayer;  One HOPE will raise our spirits;  One TOUCH can show you care.

One VOICE can speak with wisdom;  One HEART can know what is true;  One LIFE can make a difference;  And all these things are YOU.

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And there we are.  We’ve come to the end of another lessons in the history of Edumacation.  I hope that some of the information stays there in your brain, and isn’t filtered out before you’ve come to the end of the sentence.  Well?  No … thought not.

May today bring you everything you may be hoping for, and may your weekend bring you joy, peace and love.

Wishing you a truly blessed rest of your day.

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The Friday Post

Hap-pee Friday!  Where has this week gone?  How very dare it rush past in a flash!  If it’s going to come and visit, then a week should surely hang around long enough for tea and cakes!  I’m coming to a conclusion that weeks have no manners what-so-ever.  The arrive, don’t wipe their feet, don’t take their coats off, and they leave without saying a word, don’t thank you for opening your home to them and don’t even say goodbye.  No … they just up and off, leaving us with yet another Friday.  How VERY dare it!

Anyhoo …  before I get into edumacationing you, I’ve learned some fun things this week and I thought you might like me to share them with you:

I’ve learnt:

  • Lions can get hair-balls the size of footballs.  Thankfully I don’t have to clean those off my carpet.
  • The letter Q was illegal in Turkey for 85 years.
  • Wherever a leaf is in the world, its internal temperature is always 21oC.
  • A popular way to cure impotence in the 14th century was to wear your trousers on your head for 24 hours.

You couldn’t make it up, could you?  LOL.

Right .. enough of this giggling.  Let’s get you into the classroom and start your expensive edumacation!

On This Day in History

1558 – Elizabethan era begins: Queen Mary I of England, – England’s first queen (also known as ‘Bloody Mary’), dies and is succeeded by her half-sister Elizabeth I of England. Elizabeth I  (7 September 1533 – 24 March 1603) was Queen of England and Queen of Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death.  Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana, or Good Queen Bess,  Elizabeth was the fifth and last monarch of the Tudor dynasty.  The daughter of Henry VIII, she was born a princess, but her mother, Anne Boleyn, was executed three years after her birth, and Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. Her brother, Edward VI, cut her out of the succession. His will, however, was set aside, and in 1558 Elizabeth succeeded her half-sister, the Catholic Mary, during whose reign she had been imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels.

1603 – English explorer, writer and courtier Sir Walter Raleigh goes on trial. Falsely accused of treason, he had been offered a large sum of money by Lord Cobham, a critic of England’s King James I, to make peace with the Spanish and put Arabella Stuart, James’s cousin, on the throne. Raleigh claimed he turned down the offer, but Lord Cobham told his accusers that Raleigh was involved in the plot. Sir Walter Raleigh or Ralegh (c. 1552 – 29 October 1618), was a famed English writer, poet, soldier, courtier and explorer.

Raleigh was born to a Protestant family in Devon, the son of Walter Raleigh and Catherine Champernowne. Little is known for certain of his early life, though he spent some time in Ireland, in Killua Castle, Clonmellon, County Westmeath, taking part in the suppression of rebellions and participating in two infamous massacres at Rathlin Island and Smerwick, later becoming a landlord of lands confiscated from the Irish. He rose rapidly in Queen Elizabeth I’s favour, being knighted in 1585, and was involved in the early English colonisation of the New World in Virginia under a royal patent. In 1591, he secretly married Elizabeth Throckmorton, one of the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting, without requesting the Queen’s permission, for which he and his wife were sent to the Tower of London. After his release, they retired to his estate at Sherborne, Dorset.

In 1594, Raleigh heard of a “City of Gold” in South America and sailed to find it, publishing an exaggerated account of his experiences in a book that contributed to the legend of El Dorado.  After Queen Elizabeth died in 1603, Raleigh was again imprisoned in the Tower, this time for allegedly being involved in the Main Plot against King James I who was not favourably disposed toward him.  In 1616, however, he was released in order to conduct a second expedition in search of El Dorado.  This was unsuccessful and the Spanish outpost at San Thomé was ransacked by men under his command.  After his return to England he was arrested and after a show trial held mainly to appease the Spanish, he was beheaded at Whitehall.

1800 – The United States Congress holds its first session in Washington, D.C.
1820 – Captain Nathaniel Palmer becomes the first American to see Antarctica (the Palmer Peninsula was later named after him).
1827 – The Delta Phi fraternity, America’s oldest continuous social fraternity, was founded at Union College in Schenectady, New York.
1855 – David Livingstone becomes the first European to see Victoria Falls in what is now present-day Zambia-Zimbabwe.
1869 – England’s James Moore won the first cycle road race, an 83 miles race from Paris to Rouen.
1880 – The first three women to graduate in Britain received their Bachelor of Arts degrees at London University.
1882 – The Royal Astronomer witnessed an unidentified flying object from the Greenwich Observatory. He described it as a circular object, glowing bright green.

1903 – The Russian Social Democratic Labor Party splits into two groups; the Bolsheviks (Russian for “majority”) and Mensheviks (Russian for “minority”).

1911 – The Omega Psi Phi fraternity, the first African-American fraternity at a historically black college or university, is founded at Howard University in Washington, D.C.

1922 – Britain elected its first Communist Member of Parliament, J T Walton-Newbold standing for Motherwell, Scotland. He eventually joined the Labour Party.

1945 – Britain’s H J Wilson of the RAF set a New world air speed record 606 mph.

1950 – Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, was enthroned as Tibet’s head of state at the age of fifteen. Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (born Lhamo Döndrub is the 14th Dalai Lama. He is the head of the Tibetan government-in-exile based in Dharamshala, India. Tibetans traditionally believe him to be the reincarnation of his predecessors.

The Dalai Lama

The Dalai Lama is a spiritual leader revered among Tibetans. The most influential figure of the Gelugpa or Yellow Hat Sect, he has considerable influence over the other sects of Tibetan Buddhism. The Chinese government, whose occupation of Tibet in 1959 forced him into exile, regards him as the symbol of an outmoded theocratic system.

Tenzin Gyatso was born fifth of 16 children to a farming family in the village of Taktser, Qinghai province, China. His first language was the regional Amdo dialect.

He was proclaimed the tulku or rebirth of the thirteenth Dalai Lama at the age of two. At the age of fifteen, on 17 November 1950, one month after the Chinese army’s invasion of Tibet, he was formally enthroned as Dalai Lama. He thus became the country’s most important spiritual leader and political ruler.

In 1959 the Dalai Lama fled through the mountains to India following a failed uprising and the effective collapse of the Tibetan resistance movement. He had at first, in 1951, ratified under military pressure a Seventeen Point Agreement to coexist alongside China. In India he set up a Tibetan government-in-exile. Among the 80,000 or so exiles that followed him Tenzin Gyatso strives to preserve traditional Tibetan education and culture.

A noted public speaker worldwide,Tenzin Gyatso is often described as charismatic. He is the first Dalai Lama to travel to the West, where he seeks to spread Buddhist teachings and to promote ethics and interfaith harmony. In 1989 he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.. He was given honorary Canadian citizenship in 2006, and was awarded the United States Congressional Gold Medal on 17 October 2007.

1953 – The remaining human inhabitants of the Blasket Islands, Kerry, Ireland are evacuated to the mainland. The Blasket Islands (Na Blascaodaí in Irish – etymology uncertain: it may come from the Norse word “brasker”, meaning “a dangerous place”) are a group of islands off the west coast of Ireland, forming part of County Kerry.

Map

They were inhabited until 1953 by a completely Irish-speaking population. The inhabitants were evacuated to the mainland on 17 November 1953. Many of the descendants currently live in Springfield, Massachusetts and some former residents still live on the Dingle peninsula, within sight of their former home.

Ireland2

The islanders were the subject of much anthropological and linguistic study around the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries and, thanks partly to outside encouragement, a number of books were written by islanders that record much of the islands’ traditions and way of life. These include An tOileánach (The Islandman) by Tomás Ó Criomhthain, Peig by Peig Sayers and Fiche Blian ag Fás (Twenty Years A-Growing) by Muiris Ó Súilleabháin.

Cathedral Rocks at Blasket Islands
Cathedral Rocks at Blasket Islands

The Blasket Islands have been called Next Parish America, a term popular in the United States.

1955 – Anglesey became the first authority in Britain to introduce fluoride into the water supply.
1959 – Two Scottish airports, Prestwick and Renfrew, became the first to offer duty-free goods in Britain. London Heathrow followed soon after.

1964 – Britain said that it was banning all arms exports to South Africa.

1967 – Vietnam War: Acting on optimistic reports he was given on November 13, US President Lyndon B. Johnson tells his nation that, while much remained to be done, “We are inflicting greater losses than we’re taking…We are making progress.”
1968 – NBC outraged football fans by cutting away from the final minutes of a game to air a TV special, “Heidi,” on schedule. Viewers were deprived of seeing the Oakland Raiders come from behind to beat the New York Jets 43-32.
1969 – Cold War: Negotiators from the Soviet Union and the United States meet in Helsinki to begin SALT I negotiations aimed at limiting the number of strategic weapons on both sides.

1970 – Vietnam War: Lieutenant William Calley goes on trial for the My Lai massacre. William Laws Calley, Jr. (born June 8, 1943, in Miami, Florida) is a convicted American war criminal. He is the U.S. Army officer found guilty of ordering the My Lai Massacre on March 16, 1968, during the Vietnam War.

Of the 26 officers and soldiers initially charged for their part in the My Lai Massacre or the subsequent cover-up, only Calley would be convicted. He was seen by some as a scapegoat used by the U.S. Army for its failure to instill morale and discipline in its troops and officers. Others, knowing nothing about his education or background, sought to excuse his actions because of his allegedly low intelligence and cultural background. Many saw My Lai as a direct result of the military’s attrition strategy with its emphasis on “body counts” and “kill ratios.”

1970 – Luna program: The Soviet Union lands Lunokhod 1 on Mare Imbrium (Sea of Rains) on the Moon. This is the first roving remote-controlled robot to land on another world and was released by the orbiting Luna 17 spacecraft.
1970 – Douglas Engelbart receives the patent for the first computer mouse.

1973 – Watergate scandal: In Orlando, Florida, US President Richard Nixon tells 400 Associated Press managing editors “I am not a crook”.

The Watergate scandals were a series of political scandals during the presidency of Richard Nixon that resulted in the indictment of several of Nixon’s closest advisors and ultimately his resignation on August 9, 1974.

The scandals began with the arrest of five men for breaking and entering into the Democratic National Committee headquarters at the Watergate Office complex in Washington, D.C. on June 17, 1972. Investigations conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and later by the Senate Watergate Committee, House Judiciary Committee and the press revealed that this burglary was one of many illegal activities authorized and carried out by Nixon’s staff and loyalists. They also revealed the immense scope of crimes and abuses, which included campaign fraud, political espionage and sabotage, illegal break-ins, improper tax audits, illegal wiretapping on a massive scale, and a secret slush fund laundered in Mexico to pay those who conducted these operations. This secret fund was also used as hush money to buy silence of the seven men who were indicted for the June 17 break-in.

Nixon and his staff conspired to cover up the break-in as early as six days after it occurred. After two years of mounting evidence against the President and his staff, which included former staff members testifying against them in a Senate investigation, it was revealed that Nixon had a tape recording system in his offices and that he had recorded many conversations. Recordings from these tapes revealed that he had obstructed justice and attempted to cover up the break-in. This recorded conversation later became known as the Smoking Gun. After a series of court battles, the United States Supreme Court unanimously ruled in United States v. Nixon that the President had to hand over the tapes; he ultimately complied.

With certainty of an impeachment in the House of Representatives and of a conviction in the Senate, Nixon resigned ten days later, becoming the only US President to have resigned from office. His successor, Gerald Ford, would issue a controversial pardon for any federal crimes Nixon may have committed while in office.  Click here for the link to the New York Times story

1989 – Riot police arrest hundreds of people taking part in the biggest show of public dissent in Czechoslovakia for 20 years.
BBC News complete with Video footage of the news from that day

2000 – A catastrophic landslide in Log pod Mangartom, Slovenia, kills 7, and causes millions of SLT (Slovenian Tolar – the currency of Slovenia) of damage. It is one of the worst catastrophes in Slovenia in the past 100 years.
2003 – An ex-soldier who served in the Gulf War was found guilty of at least one of the Washington sniper killings in October the previous year.
BBC News story complete with Audio from the court room
2003 – Actor Arnold Schwarzenegger was sworn in as the 38th governor of California.
2004 – Kmart Corp. announced it was buying Sears, Roebuck and Co. for $11 billion USD and naming the newly merged company Sears Holdings Corporation.

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Born on this Day

1887 – Field Marshal Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, English soldier who was a painstaking planner, which contributed to his most successful battle in North Africa when he broke through Rommel’s lines during the Second World War. ‘Monty’ was also a superb communicator, which assured his popularity with his men.

1923 – Mike Garcia, American baseball player (d. 1986)

1925 – Rock Hudson, American actor (d. 1985)

1937 – Peter Cook, British comedian (d. 1995)

1934 – Fenella Fielding, English actress

1942 – Martin Scorsese, American film director

1943 – Lauren Hutton, American actress

1944 – Danny DeVito, American actor

1951 – Dean Paul Martin, American singer and actor (d. 1987)

1960 – Jonathan Ross, British presenter

1960 – RuPaul, American drag entertainer

1980 – Isaac Hanson, American musician (Hanson)

1981 – Sarah Harding, English singer (Girls Aloud)

 

Thought for the Day

Isn’t it funny (?) how people go searching for happiness, travelling the world, or buying things that they feel will make them happy . . . and yet  . . . their happiness is there all the time.  They just have to sit for a moment and go inside themselves and look at what they have.

Try it.  When you are done reading this, close your eyes and sit quite still for a moment and ‘see’ all the people you love surrounding you.  See all the blessings you have in your life:

  • The place where you live
  • Your family and friends
  • Your pet(s)
  • Your job
  • Your television;  your computer;  your kitchen equipment which enables you to make a drink and cook food to eat.

Think about these things and more.  And then … imagine that someone or something suddenly takes it all away from you.  Everything – gone.  Forever.  Washed away by some sort of hurricane.

How would you feel?  What would the feeling be like to be totally all alone in the world with no one who know you.  No one who YOU know.  No one to talk with except strangers in the street who don’t know you and who are rushing past you every day, without giving you a thought or care.

Now imagine that I come in and one by one, I give everything and everyone back to you.  One by one, the people you love and who love you, walk in through a door and back into your life.

Bit by bit I give you back your home, your kitchen equipment, your clothes … everything.  All those things that you take for granted, every day in your life.

Your family, friends, pets, your car …  everything.  All suddenly back.  Just when you thought you wouldn’t ever see them ever again …  there they are.

Can you get an idea of how that would feel?

Now …  why are you looking for happiness in things that you don’t have …  when your happiness is right there all the time.

Stop searching for your happiness.  You already have it.  All you have to do is ‘see’ it.  Recognise it.  It’s all around you.  Right there.  Right now!

Wishing you a great, and thoroughly blessed day.

Have a wonderful weekend.  Sending you squidges and love ~

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The Friday Post ~ 10th November 2017

Hello and a very Happy Friday to you where ever you are!  Well Autumn arrived here and before it had chance to draw breath, it would seem that Winter is trying to push it out-of-the-way and get settled in.  It’s very cold here.  I went shopping today and was dithering inside the shop.  I even asked the lady on the till if they’d had something go wrong with their heating system. She said no, and told me that she too was freezing cold.  It was good to know … it confirmed that it wasn’t me having a ‘moment’.  😉

Anyhoo … you haven’t come to hear about the weather in the UK, you’ve come to gain that expensive edumacation that your parents pay for …  oh, wait!  No … I forgot to send the invoices out.  You’re getting this for free.  Darn and Dash it!  I need someone to take care of the books.  Application forms are available from my secretary.  Please apply asap.

On This Day in History

1619 – René Descartes has the dreams that inspire his Meditations on First Philosophy. Meditations on First Philosophy (subtitled ‘In which the existence of God and the immortality of the soul are demonstrated’) is a philosophical treatise written by René Descartes first published in Latin in 1641.

1775 – The United States Marine Corps was founded.

1847 – The passenger ship Stephen Whitney is wrecked in thick fog off the southern coast of Ireland, killing 92 of the 110 on board. The disaster results in the construction the Fastnet Rock lighthouse.

Fastnet Rock (Irish: An Charraig Aonair, meaning Rock of Solitude or Lonesome Rock) is a small clay-slate island with quartz veins and the most southerly point of Ireland, 6.5 km southwest of Cape Clear Island (Oileán Chléire) in County Cork, which is itself 13 km (8 miles) from the mainland.  It lies in the Atlantic Ocean 11.3 km south of mainland County Cork, at latitude 51.37°N.  It rises to about 30 m above low water mark. Study of the documentary record suggests that the name is from Old Norse Hvastann-ey  ‘sharp tooth island’.

Fastnet Rock lighthouse
Fastnet Rock Lighthouse

Divided into Fastnet Rock proper and the much smaller Little Fastnet to the south by a 10 m (30 ft) wide channel, it also had the nickname ‘Ireland’s Teardrop’  as it was the last part of the country seen by Irish emigrants to the United States in the 19th century as they sailed past it.

1865 – Major Henry Wirz, the superintendent of a prison camp in Andersonville, Georgia, is hanged, becoming the only American Civil War soldier executed for war crimes.
1871 – Henry Morton Stanley locates missing explorer and missionary, Dr. David Livingstone in Ujiji, near Lake Tanganyika saying those well-known, world famous words; “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

1918 – The Western Union Cable Office in North Sydney, NS received a top-secret coded message from Europe (that would be sent to Ottawa, ON and Washington, DC) that said on November 11, 1918 all fighting would cease on land, sea and in the air, which marked the end of the First World War on the Western Front.

1924 – Dion O’Banion, leader of the North Side Gang is assassinated in his flower shop by members of Johnny Torrio’s gang, sparking the bloody gang war of the 1920s in Chicago. Charles Dean O’Banion (8 July 1892 – 10 November 1924) was an Irish-American mobster who was the main rival of Johnny Torrio and Al Capone during the brutal Chicago bootlegging wars of the 1920s. O’Banion never went by “Dion”.

1

With the advent of Prohibition in 1920, O’Banion started a bootlegging operation. He made arrangements for beer suppliers in Canada to start shipments immediately, and also struck deals with whiskey and gin distributors. O’Banion pioneered Chicago’s first liquor hijacking on December 19, 1921. He and the “lads of Kilgubbin” quickly eliminated all their competition. The O’Banion mob, known as the North Side Gang, now ruled the North Side and the Gold Coast, the wealthy area of Chicago situated on the northern lakefront. As O’Banion’s name grew in the underworld, he attracted more followers, including Samuel “Nails” Morton, Louis “Three Gun” Alterie, and “Handsome” Dan McCarthy.

At the height of his power, O’Banion was supposedly making about $1 million a year on booze. During one famous caper, O’Banion and his men stole over $100,000 worth of Canadian whiskey from the West Side railroad yards. In another famous robbery, O’Banion looted the padlocked Sibly Distillery and walked off with 1,750 barrels of bonded whiskey.
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In 1921, O’Banion married Viola Kaniff and bought an interest in William Schofield’s Flower Shop on North State Street. He needed a legitimate front for his criminal operations; in addition, he was fond of flowers and was an excellent arranger. Schofield’s became the florist of choice for mob funerals. Schofield’s happened to be across the street from Holy Name Cathedral, where he and Weiss attended Mass. The rooms above Schofield’s were used as the headquarters for the North Side Gang.

3

In May, 1924, O’Banion learned that the police were planning to raid the brewery on a particular night. Before the raid, O’Banion approached Torrio and told him he wanted to sell his share in the brewery, claiming that the Gennas scared him and he wanted to leave the rackets. Torrio agreed to buy O’Banion’s share and gave him half a million dollars. On the night of O’Banion’s last shipment, the police swept into the brewery. O’Banion, Torrio, and numerous South Side gangsters were arrested. O’Banion got off easily because, unlike Torrio, he had no previous prohibition related arrests. Torrio had to bail out himself and six associates, plus face later court charges with the possibility of jail time. O’Banion also refused to return the money Torrio had given him in the deal.

Torrio soon realized he had been double-crossed. He had lost the brewery and $500,000 in cash, been indicted, and been humiliated. Following this incident, Torrio finally agreed to the Gennas’ demand to kill O’Banion.

Heretofore, Mike Merlo and the Unione Siciliane had refused to sanction a hit on O’Banion. However, Merlo had terminal cancer and died on November 8, 1924. With Merlo gone, the Gennas and South Siders were free to move on O’Banion.

4

Using the Merlo funeral as a cover story, over the next few days the Unione national director from New York City, Frankie Yale, and other gangsters visited Schofield’s, O’Banion’s flower shop, to discuss floral arrangements. However, the real purpose of these visits was to memorize the store layout for the hit on O’Banion.

5

On the morning of November 10, 1924, O’Banion was clipping chrysanthemums in Schofield’s back room. Yale entered the shop with Torrio/Capone gunmen John Scalise and Albert Anselmi. When O’Banion attempted to greet Yale with a handshake, Yale clasped O’Banion’s hand in a death grip. At the same time, Scalise and Anselmi fired two bullets into O’Banion’s chest, two in his cheeks, and two in his throat. Dean O’Banion died instantly.

6

Since O’Banion was a major crime figure, the Catholic Church denied him burial on consecrated ground; however, the Lord’s Prayer and three Hail Mary’s were recited in his honor by a priest O’Banion had known from his youth. Despite this restriction, O’Banion received a lavish funeral, much larger than the Merlo funeral the day before. O’Banion was buried in Mount Carmel Cemetery in Hillside, Illinois. Due to the opposition from church officials, O’Banion was originally interred in unconsecrated ground. However, his family was eventually allowed to re-bury him on consecrated ground elsewhere in the cemetery.

The O’Banion killing would spark a brutal five-year gang war between the North Side Gang and the Chicago Outfit that culminated in the killing of seven North Side gang members in the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929.

1938 – Kate Smith first sang Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” on network radio.

1940 – Walt Disney begins serving as an informer for the Los Angeles office of the FBI; his job is to report back information on Hollywood subversives.
1942 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, discussing the recent British Commonwealth victory over Rommel at El Alamein, Egypt, said “Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.”

1951 – Direct-dial coast-to-coast telephone service begins in the United States.
1958 – The Hope Diamond was donated to the Smithsonian Institution by New York diamond merchant Harry Winston.

1969 – National Educational Television (the predecessor to the Public Broadcasting Service) in the United States debuts the children’s television program Sesame Street.

1970 – Vietnam War: Vietnamization – For the first time in five years, an entire week ends with no reports of American combat fatalities in Southeast Asia.
1972 – Southern Airways Flight 49 from Birmingham, Alabama is hijacked and, at one point, is threatened with crashing into the nuclear installation at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. After two days, the plane lands in Havana, Cuba, where the hijackers are jailed by Fidel Castro.

1995 – In Nigeria, playwright and environmental activist Ken Saro-Wiwa along with eight others from the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (Mosop) are hanged by government forces.
BBC News complete with Video Footage
1997 – WorldCom and MCI Communications announce a $37 billion merger (the largest merger in US history at the time). MCI, Inc. is an American telecommunications company that is headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia.
1997 – British au pair freed after appeal. British au pair Louise Woodward was freed from jail in the United States after her conviction for murdering a baby was reduced to manslaughter.
BBC New complete with video footage

Born on this Day

1683 – George II of Great Britain (d. 1760)

1728 – Oliver Goldsmith, English playwright (d. 1774)

1925 – Richard Burton, Welsh actor (d. 1984)

1932 – Roy Scheider, American actor (d. 2008) best known for his role as police chief Martin Brody in the 1975 blockbuster Jaws

1940 – Screaming Lord Sutch, English musician and politician (d. 1999) was famed for founding the Official Monster Raving Loony Party. Despite his seemingly light-hearted antics, Screaming Lord Sutch in reality suffered from periods of depression and committed suicide by hanging on June 16, 1999, following the death of his mother the previous year.

1944 – Sir Tim Rice, English lyricist

1956 – Sinbad, American actor

1963 – Hugh Bonneville, English actor

Poppy

 

Thought for the Day

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – in 1918, the Guns fell silent across the Western Front.  99 years ago, tomorrow, at precisely 11am, on the 11th of November 1918, ended what was then called the “War to end all Wars.”.

During the four months to November 1918 Allied troops launched a sequence of successful offensives against the Germans, forcing them to retreat and surrender.

In a railway carriage in France’s Compiegne Forest, during the early hours of November 11, 1918, an armistice was signed and six hours later the ‘War to end all Wars’ was finally over.

The statistics of the war, which lasted from 1914 to 1918 and surpassed all previous wars in the enormity of its destruction, are mind-boggling:  65 million men mobilized by the Central Powers  (Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Turkey) and the Allied Powers (Britain, France, Belgium, Russia, Italy and the United States).

An estimated 10 million killed and 20 million wounded on the battlefield.

It was, as I’ve said, the war to end all wars,  and, of course, it did nothing of the kind.

Our World is still ‘at war’.  As we sit here, right now, reading this, there are guns being fired, families living in fear,  men and women being put into unenviable positions of trying to stay alive, and men and women losing their lives, in a war, somewhere in this World of ours.

Will there ever be an end to war?   I would love to think so.  But in reality, I fear there won’t.  For we don’t seem to know at what point we should stand up to evil.

How can you distinguish good and evil from nationalistic ranting and posturing?  Those questions and all the associated questions remain with us.    All are unresolved and perhaps will never be resolved.

Did  The Great War  teach us nothing?  Does it not now stand as a great warning?  In the days of mass terrorism and nuclear proliferation, shouldn’t the Great War,  and all wars since, be a reminder of what can happen when two causes collide, each armed with technologies of mass destruction and each driven by a blind faith in its own righteousness?

Until we understand fully that violence begets violence and move beyond justifying war, beyond nationalism, beyond belief of what we ‘think’ may be, beyond blind belief of ‘jingoism’ and the self-righteousness of ‘my faith is the only right path’, until we learn to treat all, even the stranger, as a brother and sister, as someone we are related to,  we will not stop war.  We HAVE to believe it’s possible;  and we have to work, tirelessly, to prevent the seeds of war from flourishing.

Will the 21st Century be the century in which we finally choose between human and ecological suicide and peace?  I hope so, for all our sakes.  For what would happen, if another country, practising another faith and another way of life, invaded our own country demanding that we do things their way, and killing anyone who disagreed?

Today, I am wearing my Poppy with the greatest degree of pride that is possible.  I wear it to show that I remember all those men and women who have lost their lives in the name of war.  I wear it to say  ‘thank you’  to them, in the only way I know how.

I wear it, and each time I touch it, or look down at it, I am aware of the lump in my throat, signalling the holding back of tears which spring all too readily to my eyes, for the loss of not one, not one hundred, not one thousand … but thousands upon thousands of people who didn’t choose to die.  But did.

Tomorrow (11th day of the 11th month) is not only a chance to remember those brave men and women who were victims of conflict past,  but also victims of current wars.

I have chosen to place a song here which is normally associated with Great Britain, but I feel that now, more than ever, a strong bond holds us all together, and I feel that the true meaning of the song can be shared by us all.

 

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

To those who gave everything so that we may be
free to live in peace.

We shall remember them.

Poppy

 

Thank you so much for visiting and having a coffee moment or two with me.  I so enjoy your company.

May your day be peaceful, bright and calm.  May joy reach you and love find you.  And, where ever you go  …  may your God go with you.

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The Friday Post ~ 3rd November 2017

There are 51 Days (plus a few hours) till Christmas Day!
but hey – who’s counting?

Pin back your lugholes, for here is your first round of Edumacation for November!

On this Day in History

1783 – John Austin, a highwayman, is the last to be publicly hanged at London’s Tyburn gallows.

1911 – Chevrolet officially enters the automobile market in competition with the Ford Model T.
1913 – The United States introduces an income tax.

1936 – President Franklin D. Roosevelt was re-elected in a landslide over Republican Alfred M. ”Alf” Landon.
The New York Times front page News

1941 – English broadcaster Roy Plomley conceived the idea for ‘Desert Island Discs’. The programme was first broadcast on BBC Radio in January 1942.

1957 – Sputnik program: The Soviet Union launches Sputnik 2. On board is the first animal to enter orbit: a dog named Laika.
BBC News Report

1964 – Washington D.C. residents are able to vote in a presidential election for the first time.
1964 – Lyndon B Johnson, who took over after President Kennedy’s assassination, won the White House race
BBC News Report complete with Video Footage
1969 – Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon addresses the nation on television and radio, asking the “silent majority” to join him in solidarity on the Vietnam War effort and to support his policies.

1973 – Mariner program: NASA launches the Mariner 10 toward Mercury, on March 29, 1974, becoming the first space probe to reach that planet.
1975 – Queen Elizabeth II opened the North Sea pipeline – the first to be built underwater – bringing ashore 400,000 barrels a day to Grangemouth Refinery on the Firth of Forth in Scotland.
BBC News Report
1976 – In Great Britain, the first £100,000 Premium Bond was won, by an anonymous person in Hillingdon.

1985 – Two French agents in New Zealand pleaded guilty to sinking the Greenpeace ship, Rainbow Warrior and to the manslaughter of a photographer on board. They were sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment.
BBC News Report 

1986 – Iran-Contra Affair: The Lebanese magazine Ash-Shiraa reports that the United States has been selling weapons to Iran in secret in order to secure the release of seven American hostages held by pro-Iranian groups in Lebanon.

1992 – Democrat Bill Clinton was elected the 42nd president of the United States, defeating President George H.W. Bush.

1994 – Susan Smith, born in Union,  South Carolina, USA,  was arrested for drowning her two young sons, nine days after claiming the children had been “abducted by a black man”. (Smith is serving life in prison.)

The case gained international attention shortly after it developed, due to her false claim that a black man had carjacked her maroon Mazda Protegé and kidnapped her sons. Her defense attorneys, David Bruck and Judy Clarke, called expert witnesses to testify that she suffered from mental health issues that impaired her judgment when she committed the crimes.

According to the South Carolina Department of Corrections, Smith will be eligible for parole on November 4, 2024, after serving a minimum of 30 years.

2004 – George W Bush was elected president of the United States for the second time, beating his Democratic rival by a comfortable margin.

2014 – One World Trade Center officially opens.


Born on this Day

1903 – Walker Evans, the American photographer best known for his portrayal of America during the Great Depression

1921 – Charles Bronson, American actor (d. 2003)

1933 – John Barry, English composer – best known for composing 11 James Bond movies and was hugely influential on the 007 series’ distinctive style.

1933 – Jeremy Brett, English actor (d. 1995) – famous, among other things, for his portrayal of the detective Sherlock Holmes in four British television series: The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes, and The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

1933 – Michael Dukakis, American politician

1948 – Lulu, British actress and singer

1949 – Anna Wintour, English-American journalist

1952 – Roseanne Barr, American actress and comedian

1953 – Kate Capshaw, American actress known for her role as Willie Scott in the film Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and for her marriage to director Steven Spielberg (who directed the film).

1954 – Adam Ant, English singer

1963 – Ian Wright, English footballer, manager, and sportscaster

1973 – Ben Fogle, English television host and author

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Thought for the Day

You are innocent until proven Awesome.

Be Awesome today.  You never know, you might like it so much that you want to do it the next day ….  and the next day …  and the next.  Until, eventually, you don’t realise it, but you are plain and simply just AWESOME!

I think, if I’m not mistaken, that was the whole idea.

He made an awesome thing …  WE were meant to continue with the work!

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So then  … November arrived like a quiet little mouse who found a place to sneak in while we weren’t looking!  Although…  the end of October (Halloween) was entirely the opposite!  Halloween saw me dressed all in black, with a witches hat on, and my face made up as a Witches Cat!

Not a scary cat, you understand.  A cat with a tear drop shaped black nose,  with three black whiskers on either side of my nose …  and two black ears drawn above my eyebrows.  All drawn on my face with a black Kohl eye pencil.  To finish it all off …  I put black eyeliner along my upper eye lashes, and finished them with a flick to make them look more cat-like, and added pinky nude lipstick on my lips.

I’d obviously done a goodish job with the make up because when Little Cobs arrived for Halloween Tea and fun …. he touched my face gently and asked: “Who did your make up Grammy?” – with a touch of wonderment in his voice.

We had TONS of little halloweeners.  Ranging from monsters, aliens and one Frankensteins Monster, all the way to a top to toe costume of a furry, fluffy fox, a princess, a ballerina and the one which gave me the biggest ‘awwwww’ of the evening …  a little one of about 10 months old, dressed up as a butterfly, complete with wings …. being carried by his Daddy.  While I cooed over the baby, Daddy cooed over our front door, filled with so much admiration that I thought he was going to produce a screwdriver from his pocket and take the door with him!  lol.

Little Cobs had a ball of a time meeting and greeting all the weird and wonderful costumed children.  The only one which scared him was the Alien.  But then … it scared me too, so I can fully understand why he jumped stood behind me, peeping around my waist and hanging on so tightly to my trousers I thought at one point he was going to pull them down.  EEEK!!

Here in the UK we now have Guy Fawkes Night almost upon us (or ‘Bonfire Night’ as the children call it) – it’s on the 5th of November every year.

It’s a night of Bonfires up and down the land, and fireworks.  Now Bonfires I can cope with.   But fireworks scare me silly  …  and they scare my animals and all the animals everywhere.  Horrible – legal – explosives.  I would rather see these vile things allowed only at proper organised events, which have responsible, fully trained staff.  Having them available to buy from a variety of stores and shops just leads to the possibility of a child or youth getting their hands on them and causing a situation which could be life changing or even fatal.

Aw … I sound exactly like a Bah Humbug kind of person, and I’m really not.  I just think those things are way too dangerous to be so easily, publicly available.

Anyhoo

Like any great school, I like to give you a little fun at the end of your lessons, and today is no different.  The video I give to you now is just 2 minutes and 25 seconds long.  But … it will have you stumped.  I promise that there’s nothing scary going to suddenly happen (you should know me better by now to KNOW for sure that I wouldn’t give you any video which will scare the wotsit out of you) … but it will astound you and have you wondering:  “How the heck did he do that?”.  Watch, play along and have some fun.

Till we meet again, may the weather be kind, and life treat you nicely.

Sending love, and squidges. Oh .. and …  Remember to be AWESOME!

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The Friday Post ~ 27th October 2017

HAAA PEE FRI-Daaaay!

Now if that didn’t wake you up, nothing will! 

As we bring another week to a close, I’ve come to educationamalise you with some useless  useful information that you can impress your friends with.  If you can come out with three of the things you are about to learn, I think you’ll definitely go up in their estimation and they’ll think you’re really Edumacationed.  Perfick.

So … shall we crack on?  Ready?  Fasten your seat-belts, we’re going in!

Friday Edumacation

On this Day in History

312 – Constantine the Great is said to have received his famous Vision of the Cross. Flavius Valerius Aurelius Constantinus, commonly known as Constantine I, Constantine the Great, or Saint Constantine was Roman Emperor from 306, and the undisputed holder of that office from 324 to his death. Best known for being the first Christian Roman Emperor, Constantine reversed the persecutions of his predecessor, Diocletian, and issued (with his co-emperor Licinius) the Edict of Milan in 313, which proclaimed religious toleration throughout the empire.

On the evening of October 27, with the armies preparing for battle, Constantine had a vision which lead him to fight under the protection of the Christian God. The details of that vision, however, differ between the sources reporting it. It is believed that the sign of the cross appeared and Constantine heard “In this sign, you shall conquer” in Greek.

Lactantius (an early Christian author) states that, in the night before the battle, Constantine was commanded in a dream to “delineate the heavenly sign on the shields of his soldiers”. He obeyed and marked the shields with a sign “denoting Christ”.  Lactantius describes that sign as a “staurogram”, or a Latin cross with its upper end rounded in a P-like fashion.

1662 – Charles II of England sold the coastal town of Dunkirk to King Louis XIV of France.

1880 – Theodore Roosevelt married Alice Lee.

1904 – The first underground New York City Subway line opens; the system becomes the biggest in United States, and one of the biggest in world.

1936 – Mrs Wallis Simpson filed for divorce from her second husband Ernest, which would eventually allow her to marry King Edward VIII of the United Kingdom, thus forcing his abdication from the throne.
1938 – Du Pont announced a name for its new synthetic yarn: nylon.

1952 – The BBC screened part one of the 26 part series ‘Victory At Sea’, Britain’s first TV documentary.
1954 – Benjamin O. Davis Jr. becomes the first African-American general in the United States Air Force.
1958 – First transmission of the BBC children’s television programme Blue Peter.

1962 – Major Rudolph Anderson of the United States Air Force became the only direct human casualty of the Cuban Missile Crisis when his U-2 reconnaissance airplane was shot down in Cuba by a Soviet-supplied SA-2 Guideline surface-to-air missile.

1964 – Ronald Reagan delivers a speech on behalf of Republican candidate for president, Barry Goldwater. The speech launched his political career and came to be known as “A Time for Choosing”.

A Time for Choosing, also known as “The Speech,” was presented on a number of speaking occasions during the 1964 U.S. presidential election campaign by future-president Ronald Reagan on behalf of Republican candidate Barry Goldwater.
Many versions of the speech exist, as it was altered during many stops, but two are best known:

• 1964 Republican National Convention – San Francisco, California – Given as a nomination speech for Goldwater.

• As part of a pre-recorded television program titled “Rendezvous with Destiny”, broadcast on October 27, 1964.

Following the speech, Ronald Reagan was asked to run for governor of California. To this day, this speech is considered one of the most effective ever made on behalf of a candidate. Reagan was later called the “great communicator” in recognition of his effective communication skills.

1967 – Britain passed the Abortion Act, allowing abortions to be performed legally for medical reasons. The Abortion Act 1967 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom to regulate abortion by registered practitioners, and the free provision of such medical practices through the National Health Service (NHS).

It was introduced by David Steel as a Private Member’s Bill, but was backed by the government, and after a heated debate and a free vote passed on 27 October 1967, coming into effect on 27 April 1968.

The act made abortion legal in the UK up to 28 weeks gestation. In 1990, the law was amended by the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act: abortion became legal only up to 24 weeks except in cases where it was necessary to save the life of the woman, there was evidence of extreme fetal abnormality, or there was a grave risk of physical or mental injury to the woman.

As of 2005, abortions after 24 weeks were extremely rare, fewer than 200 a year, accounting for 0.1% of all abortions.  There are continual pushes to reduce this time limit greatly, but so far, no changes have been made.

The act does not extend to Northern Ireland. Abortion is illegal there unless the doctor acts “only to save the life of the mother”. The situation is the same as it was in England before the introduction of the Abortion Act. The Offences Against the Person Act 1861 and the Criminal Justice Act remain in full force.

1968 – In Great Britain, Police clashed with anti-war protesters as trouble flared in Grosvenor Square, London, after an estimated 6,000 marchers faced up to police outside the United States Embassy.
BBC News Report on the Day complete with Timeline of Events

1986 – The United Kingdom Government suddenly deregulates financial markets, leading to a total restructuring of the way in which they operate in the country, in an event now referred to as the Big Bang.

1992 – United States Navy radio man Allen R. Schindler, Jr. is brutally murdered by shipmates for being gay, precipitating first military, then national debate about gays in the military that resulted in the United States “Don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy.
1997 –  The 1997 mini-crash: Stock markets around the world crash because of fears of a global economic meltdown. The Dow Jones Industrial Average plummets 554.26 points to 7,161.15. For the first time, the New York Stock Exchange activated their “circuit breakers” twice during the day eventually making the controversial move of closing the Exchange early.

Born on this Day

1782 – Niccolò Paganini, Italian violinist and composer (d. 1840)

1728 – Captain James Cook, English naval officer and one of the greatest navigators in history. His voyages in the Endeavour led to the European discovery of Australia, New Zealand and the Hawaiian Islands. Thanks to Cook’s understanding of diet, no member of the crew ever died of scurvy, the great killer on other voyages.

1811 – Isaac Singer, American inventor (d. 1875) made important improvements in the design of the sewing machine and was the founder of the Singer Sewing Machine Company.

1854 – Sir William Smith, Scottish founder of the Boys’ Brigade (d. 1914)

1858 – Theodore Roosevelt, 26th President of the United States, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1919)

1873 – Emily Post, American etiquette author (d. 1960)

1896 – Edith Brown, survivor of the Titanic (d. 1997)

1914 – Dylan Thomas, Welsh poet (d. 1953)

1939 – John Cleese, British actor and writer

1951 – K.K. Downing, English guitarist (Judas Priest)

1953 – Peter Firth, British actor

1957 – Glenn Hoddle, English footballer

1958 – Simon Le Bon, English singer (Duran Duran)

1978 – Vanessa-Mae, Singapore musician

1984 – Kelly Osbourne, English television personality and daughter of Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne.

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Thought for the Day

Attitude.  The longer I live the more I realise the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude to me, is more important than facts.  More important than the past, education, money, circumstances, failure, success, that what other people think, or say, or do.

It’s more important than appearance,  giftedness or skill.  It will make or break a hobby;   a business;  a friendship;  a relationship;  a love;  a marriage;  a Church;  a home;  a nation.

The remarkable thing is that we have a choice, every day, regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.  We cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way and sometimes the way they act is inappropriate.

We cannot change the inevitable – nothing I can do will stop the hands of time from turning my hair grey;  my body ageing;  a wrinkle appearing on my face;  getting older and developing the aches and pains that come with age …  but just because I have a pain, doesn’t mean I have to BE a pain!

We cannot change the fact that bad things will happen to good people.  A great deal of life happenings are beyond our control.

The one thing we can do though, is play on the one string we have … and that, is our attitude.

I’m convinced that life is 10% what happens to me, and 90% how I react to it.  And so it is with you.  We are each in charge of our own attitude.

What attitude are you going to choose today?  And …  when you’ve chosen it,  remember – people will react to your attitude – so if they react badly, maybe it isn’t down to them, but down to you and your attitude.

Remember this, and if you find yourself continually getting what you don’t want . . .  maybe you need to change your attitude towards people, and towards your life in general.

If you keep doing what you’re doing – you’ll keep getting what you’re getting.​

PLAYTIME!!!

No edumacation facility is worth its weight unless it gives it’s pupils something to play with,  so …. here it comes:

Want to make a glass of water freeze instantly on command? What is this supernatural power and who can use it? Discover the secrets to Ice-bending … in real life.  Watch the video in the following link.  It will teach you all you want to know, and then you’ll REALLY be able to amaze friends and family, and they’ll all wonder how on earth you did it! (link will open in a new window for you):   My Science Academy

coffee cupI learnt this week that Potatoes have two more chromosomes than people, the same as gorillas!  And … that Rice has almost twice as many genes as human beings!  Not sure how this fit’s into the lives of people I know but there is a relative I would perhaps call a couch potato.  But … now I’m wondering if I’m paying them a compliment! LOL. 

Did you learn anything new this week?  Do share … you can edumacate me then!

I hope you have a truly fabulous Friday, and a remarkable weekend. 

Sending squidges ~

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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 ~

sig-coffee-copy

 

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

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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.

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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!

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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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