The Friday Post ~ Edumacation for 23rd February

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

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

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

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

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

23rd February

On this Day in History

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

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

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

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

J accuse

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pinocchio

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

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

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

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

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

plutonium

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

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

raising the flag

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Born on this Day

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

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

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

1817 – George Watts London, painter & sculptor

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

1952 – Brad Whitford, – American musician (Aerosmith)

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

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

1983 – Emily Blunt, English actress

1994 – Dakota Fanning, American actress

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Died on this Day (and remembered here)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Playtime Bell Rings!  ~

These are the jokes folks!

Knock knock.

Who’s there?

Yoda lady.

Yoda lady who?

wow, Great yodeling!

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

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

What’s the biggest pan in the world?
Japan

What do snowmen do in their spare time?  Chill.

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

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

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

Should pregnant women actually be called … body builders?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cup of Coffee

Thought for the Day

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

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

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

~  ❤  ~ ❤  ~  ❤  ~

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

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

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

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

Sig coffee copy

 

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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 ~

sig-coffee-copy

 

The Friday Post ~ 10th November 2017

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

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

On This Day in History

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

1775 – The United States Marine Corps was founded.

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

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

Fastnet Rock lighthouse

Fastnet Rock Lighthouse

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

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

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

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

1

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

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

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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.

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

5

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

6

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Born on this Day

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

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

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

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

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

1944 – Sir Tim Rice, English lyricist

1956 – Sinbad, American actor

1963 – Hugh Bonneville, English actor

Poppy

 

Thought for the Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

We shall remember them.

Poppy

 

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

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

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The Friday Post ~ 3rd November 2017

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

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

On this Day in History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2014 – One World Trade Center officially opens.


Born on this Day

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

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

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

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

1933 – Michael Dukakis, American politician

1948 – Lulu, British actress and singer

1949 – Anna Wintour, English-American journalist

1952 – Roseanne Barr, American actress and comedian

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

1954 – Adam Ant, English singer

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

1973 – Ben Fogle, English television host and author

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Thought for the Day

You are innocent until proven Awesome.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anyhoo

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

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

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

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The Friday Post ~ 22nd September 2017

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

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

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

On this Day in History.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Born on this Day

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

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

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

1940 – Anna Karina, Danish born actress

1948 – Denis Burke, Australian politician

1948 – Jim Byrnes, American actor and musician

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

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

1958 – Andrea Bocelli, Italian tenor

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

1961 – Catherine Oxenberg, British actress

1971 – Chesney Hawkes, English singer

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

Thought for the Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Have a blessed rest of your day!

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