The Friday Post ~ 15th September 2017

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

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

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

Hmpffft.  Very well.

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

On this Day in History

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1972 – A magnitude 4.5 earthquake shakes Northern Illinois.

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

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

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

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

Born on this Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

1946 – Tommy Lee Jones, American actor.

1972 – Jimmy Carr, English comedian

1977 – Sophie Dahl, English model

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

Died on this Day and Remembered here

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

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

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

Thought for the Day

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

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