The Friday Post ~ 15th December 2017

OK …. let’s get this over and done with.  It’s unpleasant, and I know that it will cause you some anguish and pain, and even cause you to close all the curtains and lie down with either a cake, a bar of chocolate or a stiff drink ….  or maybe all three if the first one doesn’t work …  so we’ll just do it and get it over with, OK?

Get ready. Sit up straight and gird your loins.

We know that this may be dangerous or difficult for your brain to compute, but we’re going to do it because we is ADULTS!

Ready?

Deep breath in …..  let it out slowly as if you are blowing down a straw ….

….  ….  ….  there are … … … …  nine days till Christmas (not counting today or the day itself).

I know… I know.  Some of you will find that a thoroughly unpleasant thought.  But we have to face it at some point.  No good skirting around it or believing that, if no one mentions it then it’s not really that close.  Your advent calendar should be telling you the truth!  Look on me as your unpaid for, not stolen, loving,  living, breathing, caring, Advent Calendar.

So anyhoo … we’ve got that over and done with so shall we get on with some edumacation?  Good.  Let’s get on with it then . . .

On This Day in History

1791 – The United States Bill of Rights becomes law when ratified by the Virginia legislature.

1863 – Romania used for the first time a mountain railway (from Anina to Oravita). A mountain railway is a railway that ascends and descends a mountain slope that has a steep grade.  Such railways can use a number of different technologies to overcome the steepness of the grade. Mountain railways commonly have a narrow gauge to allow for tight curves in the track and reduce tunnel size and structure gauge, and hence construction cost and effort.

1891 – James Naismith introduces the first version of basketball, with thirteen rules, a peach basket nailed to either end of his school’s gymnasium, and two teams of nine players.

1905 – The Pushkin House is established in St. Petersburg to preserve the cultural heritage of Alexander Pushkin. Alexander Sergeevich Pushkin (June 6 1799 – February 10 1837) was a Russian Romantic author who is considered to be the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. Pushkin pioneered the use of vernacular speech in his poems and plays, creating a style of storytelling – mixing drama, romance, and satire – associated with Russian literature ever since and greatly influencing later Russian writers.

Born in Moscow, Pushkin published his first poem at the age of fifteen, and was widely recognized by the literary establishment by the time of his graduation from the Imperial Lyceum in Tsarskoe Selo. Pushkin gradually became committed to social reform and emerged as a spokesman for literary radicals; in the early 1820s he clashed with the government, which sent him into exile in southern Russia. While under the strict surveillance of government censors and unable to travel or publish at will, he wrote his most famous play, the drama Boris Godunov, but could not publish it until years later. His novel in verse, Eugene Onegin, was published serially from 1825 to 1832.

Pushkin and his wife Natalya Goncharova, whom he married in 1831, later became regulars of court society. In 1837, while falling into greater and greater debt amidst rumors that his wife had started conducting a scandalous affair, Pushkin challenged her alleged lover, Georges d’Anthe’s, to a duel. Pushkin was mortally wounded and died two days later.

Because of his liberal political views and influence on generations of Russian rebels, Pushkin was portrayed by Bolsheviks as an opponent to bourgeois literature and culture and a predecessor of Soviet literature and poetry. In 1937, the town of Tsarskoe Selo was renamed Pushkin in his honor.

1914 – Gas explosion at Mitsubishi Hojyo coal mine Japan, 687 killed. This accident is the worst coal mine disaster in Japanese history.

1939 – Gone with the Wind premiered at Loew’s Grand Theater in Atlanta, GA, USA. Gone with the Wind is a 1939 American dramatic-romantic-war film adapted from Margaret Mitchell’s 1936 novel of the same name and directed by Victor Fleming (Fleming replaced George Cukor).  The epic film, set in the American South in and around the time of the Civil War, stars Vivien Leigh, Clark Gable, Leslie Howard, and Olivia de Havilland, and tells a story of the Civil War and its aftermath from a white Southern viewpoint.

Gone with the wind

It received ten Academy Awards, a record that stood for twenty years. In the American Film Institute’s inaugural Top 100 American Films of All Time list of 1998, it was ranked number four, although in the 2007 10th Anniversary edition of that list, it was dropped two places, to number six. In June 2008, AFI revealed its 10 top 10 the best ten films in ten American film genres after polling over 1,500 persons from the creative community. Gone with the Wind was acknowledged as the fourth best film in the Epic genre. It has sold more tickets in the U.S. than any other film in history, and is considered a prototype of a Hollywood blockbuster. Today, it is considered one of the greatest and most popular films of all time and one of the most enduring symbols of the golden age of Hollywood. (I haven’t ever managed to watch this film all the way through. I’ve seen bits of it, but never seen the film from start to finish, in full).

1960 – Richard Paul Pavlick is arrested for attempting to blow up and assassinate the U.S. President-Elect, John F. Kennedy only four days earlier. Richard Paul Pavlick (February 13, 1887 ¨C November 11, 1975) was a retired postal worker from New Hampshire who stalked and then attempted to assassinate U.S. President-Elect John F. Kennedy on Sunday, December 11, 1960 in Palm Beach, Florida. He failed, but 3 years later in Dallas, Texas, Kennedy was killed by Lee Harvey Oswald.

Richard Paul Pavlick The Cobweborium

Richard Paul Pavlick

Pavlick, 73 years old at the time of the assassination attempt, had previously lived in the small town of Belmont, New Hampshire with no family. He became known at local public meetings for his angry political rants, which included complaints that the American flag was not being displayed appropriately, and also criticized the government and disparaged Catholics, focusing much of his anger on the Kennedy family and their wealth. On one occasion, Pavlick’s anger erupted when he met the supervisor of the local water company at his home with a gun, which was then confiscated.

Pavlick’s enmity toward John F. Kennedy boiled over after the close 1960 U.S. Presidential election, in which Kennedy had defeated Republican Richard Nixon by 118,000 votes. Turning over his run-down property to a local youth camp, Pavlick disappeared after loading his meager possessions into his 1950 Buick.

After Pavlick left town, Thomas M. Murphy, the 34-year-old U.S. Postmaster of the town of Belmont, New Hampshire began receiving bizarre postcards from Pavlick that stated the town would hear from him soon “in a big way.” Murphy soon noticed that the postmarked dates coincided with visits by John F. Kennedy to the communities and he then called the local police. The local police, in turn, contacted the Secret Service, who interviewed locals and learned of his previous outbursts. In the midst of these conversations, they also found out that Pavlick had purchased dynamite.

During his travels, Pavlick had visited the Kennedy compound at Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, photographing the Kennedy home while also checking out the compound’s security.

Shortly before 10 a.m. on Sunday, December 11, as John F. Kennedy was preparing to leave for Mass at St. Edward Church in Palm Beach, Pavlick waited in his dynamite-laden car hoping to crash his car into Kennedy’s vehicle to cause a fatal explosion. However, Pavlick changed his mind after seeing John F. Kennedy with his wife, Jacqueline, and the couple’s two small children.

While waiting for another opportunity over the next few days, Pavlick visited the church to learn its interior, but the Secret Service had informed local Palm Beach police to look for Pavlick’s automobile.

Four days after the attempt, on Thursday, December 15, Palm Beach, police officer, Lester Free, spotted Pavlick’s vehicle as he entered the city via the Flagler Memorial Bridge into Royal Poinciana Way. Police immediately surrounded the car (which still contained 10 sticks of dynamite) and arrested him. After his arrest, Pavlick said, “Kennedy money bought the White House and the presidency. I had the crazy idea I wanted to stop Kennedy from being President.”

On January 27, 1961, Pavlick was committed to the United States Public Health Service mental hospital in Springfield, Missouri, then was indicted for threatening Kennedy’s life seven weeks later.

In a tragically ironic twist, charges against Pavlick were dropped on December 2, 1963, ten days after Kennedy’s assassination in Dallas. Judge Emmet C. Choate ruled that Pavlick was unable to distinguish between right and wrong in his actions, but kept him in the mental hospital. The federal government also dropped charges in August 1964, and Pavlick was eventually released from the New Hampshire State Mental Hospital on December 13, 1966.

Pavlick died at the age of 88 on November 11, 1975 at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Manchester, New Hampshire-eleven days short of the 12th anniversary of Kennedy assassination.

1973 – John Paul Getty III, grandson of J. Paul Getty, American billionaire is found alive near Naples, Italy, after being kidnapped by an Italian gang on July 10, 1973.

1993 – History of Northern Ireland: The Downing Street Declaration is issued by British Prime Minister John Major and Irish Taoiseach Albert Reynolds. The Downing Street Declaration was a joint declaration issued on December 15, 1993 by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, John Major and Albert Reynolds, the Taoiseach of Ireland. It affirmed the right of the people of Northern Ireland to self-determination, and that the province would be transferred to the Republic of Ireland from the United Kingdom if and only if a majority of its population was in favour of such a move. It included for the first time in the history of Anglo-Irish relationships, as part of the prospective of the so-called Irish dimension, the principle that the people of the island of Ireland, North and South had the exclusive right to solve the issues between North and South by mutual consent. The latter statement was key to produce a positive change of attitude by the Republicans towards a negotiated settlement.

The joint declaration also pledged the governments to seek a peaceful constitutional settlement, and promised that parties linked with paramilitaries (such as Sinn Fein) could take part in the talks, so long as they abandoned violence.

The declaration, after it was ‘clarified’ by the Northern Ireland Office, was considered sufficient by the Provisional Irish Republican Army to announce a ceasefire on August 31, 1994 which was then followed on October 13, by an announcement of a ceasefire from the Combined Loyalist Military Command.

2001 – The Leaning Tower of Pisa reopens after 11 years and $27,000,000 to fortify it, without fixing its famous lean. The Leaning Tower of Pisa (Italian: Torre pendente di Pisa) or simply The Tower of Pisa (La Torre di Pisa) is the campanile, or freestanding bell tower, of the cathedral of the Italian city of Pisa. It is situated behind the cathedral and is the third oldest structure in Pisa’s Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square) after the cathedral and the baptistry.

Although intended to stand vertically, the tower began leaning to the southeast soon after the onset of construction in 1173 due to a poorly laid foundation and loose substrate that has allowed the foundation to shift direction. The tower presently leans to the southwest.

The height of the tower is 55.86 m (183.27 ft) from the ground on the lowest side and 56.70 m (186.02 ft) on the highest side.  The width of the walls at the base is 4.09 m (13.42 ft) and at the top 2.48 m (8.14 ft).  Its weight is estimated at 14,500 metric tons (16,000 short tons).  The tower has 296 or 294 steps; the seventh floor has two fewer steps on the north-facing staircase.  The tower leans at an angle of 3.97 degrees.  This means that the top of the tower is 3.9 metres (12 ft 10 in) from where it would stand if the tower were perfectly vertical.   BBC News on the Day – The Leaning Tower of Pisa

2005 – The 2005 Atlantic Power Outage began. The Atlantic Power Outage of 2005 caused hundreds of thousands of people along the Atlantic coast of the United States to suffer power outages. Winter ice storms caused power cuts starting on December 15, 2005.

Electricity was not restored in many places until December 20, 2005, by which time one death was blamed on the outage.

 

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Born on This Day

1892 – J. Paul Getty, American oil tycoon (d. 1976)

1939 – Cindy Birdsong, American singer (The Supremes)

1942 – Dave Clark, English musician (The Dave Clark Five)

1948 – Cassandra Harris, Australian actress (d. 1991) – Born Sandra Colleen Waites in Sydney, Australia, Harris was a student of NIDA acting school from 1960 to 1963 and performed in the successful Sydney stage production of Boeing Boeing from 1964 to 1965. She appeared in The Greek Tycoon (1978), Rough Cut (1980), and the James Bond film, For Your Eyes Only as the Countess Lisl von Schlaf, the ill-fated mistress of Milos Colombo (played by Israeli actor Topol). While she was filming this movie, her third husband, Pierce Brosnan, met James Bond series producer Albert R. Broccoli, which eventually led to his casting as the new James Bond with starring roles in four James Bond films. Harris had allegedly always wanted to see her husband portray James Bond, but her death occurred prior to his selection for the role in “Golden Eye.”

1949 – Don Johnson, American actor

1955 – Paul Simonon, English bassist (The Clash)

1963 – Andrew Luster, Max Factor heir

1970 – Frankie Dettori, Italian jockey

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Died on this Day and Remembered here

1944 – Glenn Miller, American musician (later declared dead on this date, exact date of death unknown) (b. 1904)

1962 – Charles Laughton, English actor (b. 1899)

1966 – Walt Disney, American animator (b. 1901)

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Thought for the Day

Every book starts with just one word.

Every great idea is sparked by a single thought.

Every morning sees a new sunrise.

And every journey begins with a single step.

So now, knowing all of this, why are you waiting for whatever you’re waiting for?

If you don’t begin, you can’t win!

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And finally . . .

I think it’s time, since it’s only NINE DAYS TILL CHRISTMAS DAY, to break out the old joke book and give you a few smiles to take out into your day, and annoy other people with.  Obviously, given the time of year, it’s going to be Christmas Jokes, so whine all you like,  I shall simply end up asking you if you’d like a little cheese with that whine.

What does Santa suffer from if he gets stuck in a chimney?
Claustrophobia!

What do you call an elf who sings?
A wrapper!

Why does Santa have three gardens?
So he can ‘ho ho ho’!

Why does Santa Claus go down the chimney on Christmas Eve?
Because it soot’s him

Why did Santa go to the doctor?
Because of his bad “elf”!

Why are Christmas trees so fond of the past?
Because the present’s beneath them.

What kind of motorbike does Santa ride?
A Holly Davidson!

What do you call a cat in the desert?
Sandy Claws!

And that, indeed, is ‘all folks’!

Thank you so much for coming and having a coffee moment with me.  I so love it when we all get together around the table and have a few giggles and laughs over a coffee, and a bit of an Ooooh and Aaaah, over the history of the day.

May your Friday be wonderful.  I hope the day gently does what Fridays normally do – get to the end and give you a sigh.  May you find some fun in the day, and see that the mood you’re in was a choice.  When you realise this, you can then decide to make a better choice.  Choose your mood wisely.  Who knows what might be dependant upon what mood you’re in.

Sending you my warmest wishes during this cold December that most of us are experiencing.  Stay warm, dress right for the weather, and come home safely.

Have a truly blessed day, my fabulous friends ~

sig-coffee-copy

 

 

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The Friday Post ~ 8th December 2017

Is it really actually a week since I was last here with last Fridays Post?  Are we really sure that some form of trickery isn’t at work here? – for I don’t feel like I’m in receipt of a full weeks worth of days.  Something fishy is going on, I swear to Dog.  Perhaps it’s Fairy Trickery?  Maybe Trickery of the Harry Potter design.  Or is it …. our Governments playing with time and doing that Men in Black gadget thing and wiping out brains and inserting a little widgety type of thing telling us that we’ve all had Sunday or Tuesday – when we really haven’t at all.

Something’s going on, and we need to get to the bottom of it.  Followers Don your Men/Women in Black outfits;  put on your sunglasses and make sure you have all the equipment you need,  for we are about to get to the bottoms of our Governments and find out exactly what they are doing with time.  We all know they’re fiddling with it in some way – we just have to find out what the way is, and put it right again!

Aaanyhoo …. in the meantime, shall we all get some extra edumacation?  Note books and pens on the desk please. Pin back your ears for we are about to begin…..

On This Day in History

1841 – Prince Albert Edward, later King Edward VII, became the Prince of Wales.

1863 – The world’s first heavyweight boxing championship took place at Woodhurst, Kent, between Tom King (England) and John C Heenan (US). King was the Champion.

1864 – The Clifton Suspension Bridge over the River Avon is officially opened. The Clifton Suspension Bridge is a suspension bridge, spanning the Avon Gorge and linking Clifton in Bristol to Leigh Woods in North Somerset, England.  Designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel, it is a landmark that is used as a symbol of Bristol.  It is a grade I listed building.

1941 – World War II: The Japanese invade the British Crown Colony of Hong Kong, Malaya and the Dutch East Indies. They also invade the portions of Shanghai administered by European powers and bomb American bases in the Philippines.  Because of the time difference, these events – which took place west of the International Date Line – happened while it was still December 7 to the east of this line.
1941 – World War II: Pacific War – After the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor the U.S. Congress passes a declaration of war against Japan.
1941 – World War II: Pacific War – the Republic of China officially declares war against Japan.

1941 – Holocaust: Gas vans are first used as a means of execution, at the Chelmno extermination camp near Lodz in Poland. The gas van was an extermination method devised by Nazi Germany to kill their victims during the Holocaust.

Holocaust Gas vans

A Gas Van

It was a vehicle with an air-tight compartment for victims into which exhaust fumes were transmitted while the engine was running. As a result the victims were gassed with carbon monoxide, resulting in death by the combined effects of carbon monoxide poisoning and suffocation.

Gas vans were used, particularly at Chemno extermination camp, until gas chambers were developed as a more efficient method for killing large numbers of people.

1952 – Her Majesty the Queen announced that she would permit her coronation to be televised.

1953 – Dwight D. Eisenhower gives the Atoms for Peace speech.  “Atoms for Peace” was the title of a speech delivered by U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower to the UN General Assembly in New York City on December 8, 1953.

Pres.Eisenhower

“I feel impelled to speak today in a language that in a sense is new—one which I, who have spent so much of my life in the military profession, would have preferred never to use.
That new language is the language of atomic warfare.”

The United States then launched an “Atoms for Peace” program that supplied equipment and information to schools, hospitals, and research institutions within the U.S. and throughout the world.

The speech was possibly a tipping point for international focus on peaceful uses of atomic energy, even during the early stages of the Cold War. It could be argued that Eisenhower, with some influence from Albert Einstein, was attempting to convey a spirit of comfort to a terrified world that the horror of Hiroshima and Nagasaki would not be experienced again.

It presents an ostensible antithesis to brinksmanship, the international intrigue that subsequently kept the world at the edge of war.

Eisenhower’s invoking of “…those same great concepts of universal peace and human dignity which are so clearly etched in…” the UN Charter, placed new emphasis upon the US’s grave responsibility for its nuclear actions— past, present and future. In a large way, this address laid down the rules of engagement for the new kind of warfare, the cold war.

In the heavy field of today’s superpower politics and technological progress, one might recall:

“It is with the book of history, and not with isolated pages, that the United States will ever wish to be identified.  My country wants to be constructive, not destructive.  It wants agreement, not wars, among nations.  It wants itself to live in freedom, and in the confidence that the people of every other nation enjoy equally the right of choosing their own way of life.”

• “To the making of these fateful decisions, the United States pledges before you — and therefore before the world — its determination to help solve the fearful atomic dilemma — to devote its entire heart and mind to find the way by which the miraculous inventiveness of man shall not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life.”

1963 – Pan Am Flight 214 crashes outside Elkton, Maryland with a loss of 81 people.
1969 – An Olympic Airways Douglas DC-6 crashes in Keratea during a storm, killing 93 people.

1972 – United Airlines Flight 553 crashes near Chicago Midway Airport, killing 45 people.

1980 – Mark David Chapman shoots and kills John Lennon in front of The Dakota department building.  

John Lennon in 1980, shortly before his death

John Lennon in 1980, shortly before his death

Mark David Chapman (born May 10, 1955 in Fort Worth, Texas) murdered English musician and activist John Lennon on December 8, 1980 in New York City.

The entrance to the Dakota building where Lennon was shot

The entrance to the Dakota building where Lennon was shot

Chapman shot Lennon four times in the back outside The Dakota apartment building, in the presence of Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono and others. Chapman remained at the scene until arrested by police.

Mark David Chapman best known for murdering John Lennon outside New York City apartment building in1980

Mark David Chapman – who shot and killed John Lennon

A scheduled jury trial did not go ahead because Chapman changed his plea from not guilty by reason of insanity to guilty of second degree murder, against the advice of his lawyer. He had been raped in jail 5 times and assessed as delusional and possibly psychotic, and the defense team argued that Chapman was not competent to make the decision.

Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York, where Chapman was imprisoned from 1981 to 2012

Attica Correctional Facility in Attica, New York

However, Chapman was sentenced to a prison term of 20 years to life and remains incarcerated at Attica State Prison in New York, having been denied parole five times. His applications for parole have been opposed by Yoko Ono, as well as by an online grassroots public campaign.

Mark David Chapman's mug shot June 2013

Mark David Chapman’s mug shot June 2013.

Chapman has been widely associated with the book The Catcher in the Rye, which he carried with him at the time and claimed would explain his perspective.  Various specific motivations have also been suggested.  Chapman has since stated that what he did was wrong.  There have been a number of interviews, books and films concerning Chapman and the murder of Lennon.

Chapman’s ninth parole application was denied in 2016, at which Chapman said he now saw his crime as being “premeditated, selfish and evil”.

His next parole hearing is scheduled for August 2018.

1982 – Activist Norman Mayer threatens to blow up the Washington Monument, before being killed by United States Park Police.  Norman David Mayer (March 31, 1916 – December 9, 1982) was an American anti-nuclear weapons activist who was shot and killed by the United States Park Police after threatening to blow up the Washington Monument.

1987 – The Queen Street Massacre: Frank Vitkovic shoots and kills 8 people at the offices of Australia Post in Melbourne, Australia before being killed himself. 22-year old Frank Vitkovic, a former law student, wanted to murder a former school friend, Con Margellis, who worked in the building, and then to take out as many others as possible before ending his own life. Earlier that day he had travelled to the University of Melbourne with the same murderous intent, but his intended target was not on-campus, thus he proceeded to Queen Street.

At around 4:00pm, Vitkovic walked into the building in Melbourne’s Queen Street holding a brown paper bag and carrying a sawn-off shotgun. He opened fire at the offices in Australia Post, leaving 8 fatalities and 5 injuries.

On entering the fifth floor office where the second intended victim worked, Vitkovic pulled a sawn-off shotgun from the bag and began firing at fleeing workers, killing a young woman office worker. The friend chosen as the original target escaped unharmed. Vitkovic then moved from floor to floor, where he walked through office areas picking his targets randomly, shooting some workers at close range execution style as they cowered under their desks, as well as murdering those in the elevators.

The massacre ended on the 11th floor, in the finance department, when the gun was wrestled from Vitkovic by office worker Frank Carmody, and hidden in a refrigerator by another worker. Vitkovic then took his own life, despite valiant attempts from the postal workers to save him, by breaking a window and diving to his death. This was witnessed by numerous onlookers, from all floors of the Australia Post building, since the building opposite was mirrored glass, as well as by others from the viewpoints of the opposite buildings, and others outside the building. Carmody was recommended for a bravery award after his actions in disarming the killer.

Victorian Police Minister Race Mathews and Attorney General Jim Kennan also witnessed the event from a building diagonally opposite while gathered for a meeting.

The murderer’s death was also seen in detail by many who had barricaded themselves inside the 18 floors of the Australia Post building, because the building opposite was a mirrored glass building. All these workers were barricaded in their offices from 4:00pm until 8:00pm. They had heard gunshots echoing up the stairwells around 4:00pm and, at first believing that the philatelic section was being robbed, had been told by management to barricade themselves in the safest of their offices. All these people had no knowledge of what was really occurring, and their only information, over these four hours, was misinformation from televisions in their offices, which were reporting that many gunshots had been heard, that people were barricaded in their offices, that scores of people may have been murdered or lay dying, and that police were not entering the building because of the possibility of terrorists. The police only entered the building around 8:00pm, after the murderer threw himself to his death. During these four hours, many people were severely traumatized, and continue to suffer debilitating post traumatic stress disorder to this day.

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Born on this Day

1542 – Mary Queen of Scots (d. 1587) Scottish Queen who ascended to the throne aged seven.  A rebellion led to her abdication and later Elizabeth I imprisoned her for the plot to restore the Roman Catholic religion and to take the throne from her

1922 – Lucian Freud, English painter

1925 – Sammy Davis Jr., American actor and singer (d. 1990)

1933 – Flip Wilson, American comedian (d. 1998)

1936 – David Carradine, American actor

1939 – Jerry “The Iceman” Butler, American soul singer

1939 – Sir James Galway, Northern Irish flautist

1941 – Sir Geoff Hurst, English footballer

1943 – Jim Morrison, American singer (The Doors) (d. 1971)

1951 – Bill Bryson, American author

1953 – Kim Basinger, American actress

1964 – Teri Hatcher, American actress

1966 – Sinéad O’Connor, Irish musician

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Thought for the day

I read recently about the top 50 things that people wanted to do before they died.  On that list were things like:  swim with dolphins.  Go wing-walking.  Gallop a horse along a beachoh … and lose weight was on there too!

It feels like there’s a new list of *this*  –  *that*  or  *the other* published almost every day.  As well as the ‘things to do before I die’  or ‘bucket list’ …  there are albums we must hear;  or the places we must visit;  books we must read;  places we must see;  events we must attend;  cars we must test drive;  clothes we must wear this season;  …  and the list of lists goes on and on and … (sigh).  All these lists tell us goals that we must set for ourselves if we are to feel that we are people truly living life.   And … if we’re not sure what our goals should be, then there are plenty of people absolutely dying to share their lists with us.

It would seem that three things attract us to these lists:  a desire to get hold of something good;  a lack of time to choose what is good;  and a concern that we are not achieving enough in life.

According to the people who support these lists, they are perfect for anxious professionals who have no time to embark on spiritual quests.  They provide us with a kind of short cut to ‘meaningful achievement and self-fulfilment‘.

But …is the setting of these personal goals and achieving them, going to bring fulfilment and peace?  Or will we – like the addicted consumer – be left with a nagging sense of there ‘being something else’ – some other goal that maybe can’t be reduced to a grocery list;  a goal that isn’t about self-fulfilment and that requires us to find and choose what is good?

In another age, a busy, anxious professional man asked Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life.  Jesus referred the man to a well-known ‘life list’.  One made up of things we shouldn’t, as well as should, do.

The man proudly replied check‘ to each one of the commandments, but, he told Jesus, he suspected there was more than just that list of do’s and don’ts.

So he asked what he still lacked.  Jesus’ answer wasn’t  ‘go memorise the Torah’  or  ‘white water raft the Jordan’  – but instead “go sell your possessions and follow me.“.  It was a goal way too challenging for the man and we are told he went away sad and unfulfilled.  The man was expecting a  ‘things to do before you die’  list, and instead what he got was a  ‘die first and then discover your life‘  list.

If you feel you don’t have enough of whatever you think you should have . . .  imagine, just for a moment,  a hurricane sweeping through the land you currently live in.  Imagine this hurricane is SO strong that it sweeps your life clean of everything.  Every single thing you currently hold dear to you.  Your house?  Gone.  Your Car?  Gone.  Your Family?  All Gone.  Your Job?  Gone.  All your money (however little of it there is)?  Gone.  Your Clothes?  Gone.

Actually feel how that would feel.  Imagine being stood there, with NOTHING.  Nothing in the world to call your own, other than the clothes you’re wearing right now.  No one.  Just emptiness.

Feel that awful, dreadful feeling of being totally alone, with no one you know and no one who knows you.  No food, no money, no home, no family, friends, job, car, nothing.

Now imagine that one by one, things began to come back.  What would appear first?  How would that feel to have *that* back?  Then the next thingand the next …. and … on and on until eventually, over a short period of time, all your things came back.  Home, family, friends, car, clothes, happiness, joy, love, contentment.

Now ….  do you still think you aren’t blessed?  Do you really need to go and follow that bucket list in order to feel fulfilled?  Or do you recognise that everything you really actually want, is right there where you are.  You already have everything you need.

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There are 17 days till Christmas except there aren’t.  We can’t count Christmas day (as we discussed a couple of weeks ago) so there are only 16 days left till Christmas.  UNLESS … you’re reading this at the end of  Friday the 8th December – which in that case, you can’t really count the 8th so that would mean there were only 15 days till Christmas.  Getting closer all the time, eh?  😀

Now then … before I go, I read this ‘funny’ in a magazine the other day:

After a long Thanksgiving Day of eating and playing, a 3-year-old daughter asked her mother to carry her.  When I asked if her legs were broken, the little girls answered  “Yes, they’re out of batteries.”

Now this tickled the heck out of me because …  when my own two (now very grown up) girls were little and they wanted me to do something I really hadn’t got the energy to do (such as run around the garden with them to see who won) …  I would say (with a groan and a rubbing motion on my leg) …  Oh, but I can’t sweetheart.  I have a bone in my leg!  …  and this one sentence would work wonders and I could get out of the odd game of running, or chase.  Only occasionally mind – use it too much and it would soon wear thin because these girls were born with more brain cells than they have caused me to lose!

But like all children, these two darlings picked up some ‘useful’ things from their mother and took them forward into their own lives, and I fairly recently discovered that Daughter No. 2 (mother of Little Cobs) – has been using this very same excuse in her mummy role and has developed a ‘bone in her leg’ too.

I’m not sure whether to laugh gleefully and be proud, or tut tut tut and tell her off for shirking her ‘motherly duties’.  LOLOL.

Ahh  kids!  Gotta love ’em.  😉

Wishing you a wonderful Friday and a terrific weekend.  Thank you so much for coming and for sharing a coffee with me, while we sat at the table and had a few laughs.

Sending you much love and many squidges ~

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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.
2

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!

coffee cup

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.

🍒  🍒  🍒

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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