The Friday Post ~ 2nd February 2018

Hello and Happy Second of February to you.  Did you say ‘White Rabbits’ yesterday?  If not, please say it right now.  This very moment.  Although it’s a little late, it might still work and give you the chance of a happy February. Just play along – even if you don’t believe.  What harm can it do, eh?

But anyhoo …  you’ve come for your Friday Edumacation Lessons, so please find your seats and settle down.  We shall begin. . . .

On this Day in History

1653 – New Amsterdam (later renamed The City of New York) is incorporated. New Amsterdam (Dutch: Nieuw Amsterdam) was a 17th century Dutch colonial settlement that later became New York City.

The town developed outside of Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island in the New Netherland territory (1614–1674) which was situated between 38 and 42 degrees latitude as a provincial extension of the Dutch Republic as of 1624. Provincial possession of the territory was accomplished with the first settlement which was established on Governors Island in 1624. A year later, in 1625, construction of a citadel comprising Fort Amsterdam was commenced on the southern tip of Manhattan and the first settlers were moved there from Governors Island.

Earlier, the harbour and the river had been discovered, explored and charted by an expedition of the Dutch East India Company captained by Henry Hudson in 1609. From 1611 through 1614, the territory was surveyed and charted by various private commercial companies on behalf of the States General of the Dutch Republic and operated for the interests of private commercial entities prior to official possession as a North American extension of the Dutch Republic as a provincial entity in 1624.

The town was founded in 1625 by New Netherland’s second director, Willem Verhulst who, together with his council, selected Manhattan Island as the optimal place for permanent settlement by the Dutch West India Company. That year, military engineer and surveyor Krijn Frederiksz laid out a citadel with Fort Amsterdam as centrepiece. To secure the settlers’ property and its surroundings according to Dutch law, Peter Minuit created a deed with the Manhattan Indians in 1626 which signified legal possession of Manhattan. He was appointed New Netherland’s third director by the local council after Willem Verhulst was recalled to patria and sailed away in November 1626.

The city, situated on the strategic, fortifiable southern tip of the island of Manhattan was to maintain New Netherland’s provincial integrity by defending river access to the company’s fur trade operations in the North River, later named Hudson River. Furthermore, it was entrusted to safeguard the West India Company’s exclusive access to New Netherland’s other two estuaries; the Delaware River and the Connecticut River. Fort Amsterdam was designated the capital of the province in 1625 and developed into the largest Dutch colonial settlement of the New Netherland province, now the New York Tri-State Region, and remained a Dutch possession until September 1664, when it fell provisionally and temporarily into the hands of the English.

The Dutch Republic regained it in August 1673 with a fleet of 21 ships, renaming the city New Orange. New Netherland was ceded permanently to the English in November 1674 by treaty.

The 1625 date of the founding of New Amsterdam is now commemorated in the official Seal of New York City (formerly, the year on the seal was 1664, the year of the provisional Articles of Transfer, ensuring New Netherlanders that they “shall keep and enjoy the liberty of their consciences in religion”, negotiated with the English by Petrus Stuyvesant and his council).

1709 – Alexander Selkirk is rescued from shipwreck on a desert island, inspiring the book Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe.

1812 – Russia establishes a fur trading colony at Fort Ross, California.

1887 – In Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania the first Groundhog Day is observed.

1901 – Queen Victoria’s funeral takes place. Victoria (Alexandrina Victoria; 24 May 1819 – 22 January 1901) was from 20 June 1837 the Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and from 1 May 1876 the first Empress of India of the British Raj until her death. Her reign as the Queen lasted 63 years and seven months, was longer than that of any of her predecessors.  The period centred on her reign is known as the Victorian era, a time of industrial, political, and military progress within the United Kingdom.

Queen Victoria

Though Victoria ascended the throne at a time when the United Kingdom was already an established constitutional monarchy in which the king or queen held few political powers and exercised its influence by the prime minister’s advice, she still served as a very important symbolic figure of her time. The Victorian era represented the height of the Industrial Revolution, a period of significant social, economic, and technological progress in the United Kingdom. Victoria’s reign was marked by a great expansion of the British Empire; during this period it reached its zenith, becoming the foremost global power of the time.

1922 – Ulysses by James Joyce is published. Ulysses is a novel by James Joyce, first serialised in parts in the American journal The Little Review from March 1918 to December 1920, then published in its entirety by Sylvia Beach on February 2, 1922, in Paris.  It is considered one of the most important works of Modernist literature.

Ulysses chronicles the passage through Dublin by its main character, Leopold Bloom, during an ordinary day, June 16, 1904. The title alludes to the hero of Homer’s Odyssey (Latinised into Ulysses), and there are many parallels, both implicit and explicit, between the two works (e.g., the correspondences between Leopold Bloom and Odysseus, Molly Bloom and Penelope, and Stephen Dedalus and Telemachus). June 16 is now celebrated by Joyce’s fans worldwide as Bloomsday.

Ulysses totals about 265,000 words from a vocabulary of 30,030 words and is divided into 18 “episodes”. The book has been the subject of much controversy and scrutiny since its publication, ranging from early obscenity trials to protracted textual “Joyce Wars.” Ulysses’ stream-of-consciousness technique, careful structuring, and experimental prose—full of puns, parodies, and allusions—as well as its rich characterisations and broad humour, have made the book perhaps the most highly regarded novel in the Modernist pantheon. In 1999, the Modern Library ranked Ulysses first on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the 20th century.

1935 – Leonarde Keeler tests the first polygraph machine.  Leonarde Keeler (1903–1949) was the co-inventor of the polygraph.

On February 2, 1935, Detective Keeler conducted the first use of his invention, the Keeler Polygraph—otherwise known as the lie detector. Keeler used the lie detector on two criminals in Portage, Wisconsin, who were later convicted of assault when the lie detector results were introduced in court.

1940 – Frank Sinatra debuts with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra.

1959 – Nine experienced ski hikers in the northern Ural Mountains in the Soviet Union die under mysterious circumstances.

1971 – Idi Amin replaces President Milton Obote as leader of Uganda.  Idi Amin Dada (c.1925 – 16 August 2003), commonly known as Idi Amin, was a Ugandan military dictator and the president of Uganda from 1971 to 1979.  Amin joined the British colonial regiment, the King’s African Rifles, in 1946, and advanced to the rank of Major General and Commander of the Ugandan Army.  He took power in a military coup in January 1971, deposing Milton Obote.  His rule was characterized by human rights abuses, political repression, ethnic persecution, extrajudicial killings and the expulsion of Asians from Uganda.  The number of people killed as a result of his regime is unknown; estimates from human rights groups range from 100,000 to 500,000.

From 1977 to 1979, Amin titled himself as “His Excellency, President for Life, Field Marshal Al Hadji Doctor Idi Amin Dada, VC, DSO, MC, Lord of All the Beasts of the Earth and Fishes of the Seas and Conqueror of the British Empire in Africa in General and Uganda in Particular.”  In 1975–1976, despite opposition, Amin became the Chairman of the Organisation of African Unity, a pan-Africanist group designed to promote solidarity of the African states.  During the 1977–1979 period, Uganda was appointed to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.

Dissent within Uganda, and Amin’s attempt to annex the Kagera province of Tanzania in 1978, led to the Uganda-Tanzania War and the fall of his regime in 1979.  Amin fled to Libya, before relocating to Saudi Arabia in 1981, where he died in 2003.

1972 – The British embassy in Dublin is destroyed in protest over Bloody Sunday.  Bloody Sunday (Irish: Domhnach na Fola) is the term used to describe an incident in Derry, Northern Ireland, on 30 January 1972 in which 27 civil rights protesters were shot by members of the 1st Battalion of the British Parachute Regiment during a Northern Ireland Civil Rights Association march in the Bogside area of the city.   External Link:  BBC Coverage

1980 – Reports surface that FBI were targeting Congressmen in the Abscam operation.  Abscam (sometimes ABSCAM) was a United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) sting operation run from the FBI’s Hauppauge, Long Island, office in the late 1970s and early 1980s.  The operation initially targeted trafficking in stolen property but was converted to a public corruption investigation.

1982 – Hama Massacre: Syria attacks the town of Hama.
1989 – Soviet war in Afghanistan: The last Soviet Union armoured column leaves Kabul.
1989 – Satellite television service Sky Television plc launched.

1990 – Apartheid:  F.W. de Klerk allows the African National Congress to legally function and promises to release Nelson Mandela.

Apartheid (meaning separateness in Afrikaans cognate to English apart and hood) was a system of legal racial segregation enforced by the National Party government of South Africa between 1948 and 1994.  Apartheid had its roots in the history of colonisation and settlement of southern Africa, with the development of practices and policies of separation along racial lines and domination by European settlers and their descendants.  Following the general election of 1948, the National Party set in place its programme of Apartheid, with the formalisation and expansion of existing policies and practices into a system of institutionalised racism and white domination.

Apartheid was dismantled in a series of negotiations from 1990 to 1993, culminating in elections in 1994, the first in South Africa with universal suffrage.  The vestiges of apartheid still shape South African politics and society.  External Link:  Apartheid at Wikipedia

❤  ~  ❤  ~  ❤

Born on this Day

1585 – Judith Quiney.  William Shakespeare’s youngest daughter (d. 1662)

1585 – Hamnet Shakespeare.  William Shakespeare’s only son (d. 1596)

1650 – Nell Gwynne, English actress and royal mistress (d. 1687

1882 – James Joyce, Irish author (d. 1941)

1925 – Elaine Stritch, American actress (d. 2014)

1931 – Les Dawson, British comedian (d. 1993)

1940 – David Jason, English actor

1942 – Graham Nash,  British-born American musician – born in Lancashire, England and known for his light tenor vocals and for his songwriting contributions with the British pop group The Hollies, and with the folk-rock band Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

1944 – Geoffrey Hughes, British actor. (d.  27 July 2012).  Mr. Hughes provided the voice of Paul McCartney in the 1968 animated film Yellow Submarine, and rose to fame for portraying much-loved binman Eddie Yeats in the British soap: Coronation Street. He also appeared in the popular British television sitcom Keeping Up Appearances,  playing lovable slob Onslow – husband of Daisy, who was the sister of thewonderful social-climbing snob Hyacinth Bucket (pronounced ‘Bouquet’).  Daisy was the sister without the  large house, Mercedes, sauna, Jacuzzi, swimming pool and Daisy didn’t have room for a pony either.   It was sister Violet who had all these things – plus she also had a musical bidet.   (I include this information for those of us who are lovers of the programme – and I know there are plenty of us! lol)

1947 – Farrah Fawcett, American actress (d. 2009)

1954 – Christie Brinkley, American model

1963 – Eva Cassidy, American singer (d. 1996)

1972 – Dana International, Israeli singer.

1977 – Shakira, Colombian singer

Died on this Day and remembered here

1969 – Boris Karloff, English actor (b. 1887)

1970 – Bertrand Russell, English mathematician and philosopher, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1872)

1979 – Sid Vicious, English musician (Sex Pistols) (b. 1957)

1980 – William Howard Stein, American biochemist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (b. 1911)

1987 – Alistair MacLean, Scottish novelist and screenwriter (b. 1922)

1995 – Fred Perry, British former tennis player (b. 1909)

1995 – Donald Pleasence, English actor (b. 1919)

1996 – Gene Kelly, American dancer, actor, and director (b. 1912)

2007 – Billy Henderson, American singer (The Spinners) (b. 1939)

[end of school bell sounds]

PLAYTIME!  (These are the jokes folks!)

Two male friends talking to each other, and the one says:  “I’m certain there are female hormones in beer. When I drink too much, I talk nonsense and I cannot control my car”.

I’ve read so many horrible things about eating chocolate and drinking wine recently that I made a new, firm New Year’s resolution: NO MORE READING!

Has anyone else noticed that the  ‘&’  symbol looks like a dog dragging its bottom over the floor?

I heard the Secret Service had to change their commands.  They can’t say “Get down!” anymore when the President is under attack.   Now it’s “Donald! Duck!”

Two immigrants arrive in the United States and are discussing the difference between their country and the U.S.

One of them mentions he’s heard that people in the U.S. eat dogs, and if they’re going to fit in, they better eat dogs as well.  So they head to the nearest hot dog stand and order two ‘dogs.’

The first guy unwraps his, looks at it, and nervously looks at his friend.

“Which part did you get?”

Four elephants go for a walk on a stormy day. They only have one umbrella between them. How come they none of them get wet?

Well did anybody say it was raining?

Thought for the Day

Did you know that in an average day it’s estimated that we have roughly 60,000 thoughts?  I wonder, out of all those thoughts, how many of them are happy ones. 

I know, for myself, that happy thoughts create happy perceptions.  I know that when I’m happy, I seem to have this glow.  People seem to notice something about me – I have no idea what it is, but this happy feeling inside seems to show and glow on the outside of me.  I also seem to be able to conjure up this never-ending circle of happiness that just attracts more happiness into my life.

However, I also know that if I think negatively, or are pestering over something, worrying, or am angry or fearful about something, all the warmth goes out of my life.  And that ‘glow’ that I have when I’m happy, seems to totally disappear.

If we think negatively, or are angry or fearful, then those feelings seem to take us away from our pathway in life.  These negative thoughts seem to strip us of all of our power and out ability to negotiate life effectively  We seem to become afraid of everything and even act defensively in some situations that normally, we wouldn’t.  In return, this pushes away all the good things in life, like friends and the ability to see possibilities and then we just become even more negative which eventually leads to us being lonely and even more negative.  It’s like a vicious circle.

So …  I guess that the way to a happy you, is via your thoughts.  Not just because you instantly begin to feel better and brighter, but you also become stronger and have a more solid and stable foundation to your whole life.

Have a happy day, think happy …  and remember that you’re in control of those thoughts, not the other way round. 

You won’t be bounced around by life if you’re in the driving seat!

❤  ~  ❤  ~  ❤

Well that’s me done and dusted.  All that’s left for me to say is …  Thank you so much for coming and having a coffee moment with me.

May your day be blessed with peace, joy and all those things which will make your face smile and your heart happy.

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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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Trees of Three in Blue not Green!

Nearly at the end of Christmas Card making!  HURRAY! I hear you shout.    I haven’t bombarded you with them all, only the ones I thought might entertain you or, like this one today, were a bit different.  I can’t believe how late I am with the making of my Christmas cards this year . . .  and I still have family ones to make!  eeek.

Mr. Cobs is being aaahhhmazing!  He’s put the Christmas tree up all by himself.  Moved the furniture around so that everything flows. The tree still has to be decorated (lights and pretty things) but everything is in place and waiting.  He is such a blessing.  Quite frankly I don’t think, if it were up to me, I’d have bothered putting up a tree this year.  It all felt like an effort too far.  (Not me being a bah humbug, but just the back problem).

I’ve tried to keep most of the cards I’ve made for Christmas this year, very simple, and also flat enough to go into a normal envelope as I really didn’t want to be making boxes on top of making the cards.  This one fills the remit of simple and ‘flattish’.

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The trees are made using the left over ‘hole’ from a die cut tree.  I used the left over cut out as a stencil in order to make all three trees.  Using three different coloured ink pads, and some dried baby wipes, I built all three trees by simply dabbing the dried baby wipe onto the ink pad and then dabbing the inky wipe onto my glass mat in order to distribute the colour so that I could gently rub the inky pad through the ‘stencil’.  Once you’ve done one tree, either find a clean bit of the dried baby wipe and use it for the next colour of tree, or simply use another wipe.  Once you’ve got all three in place, you could leave it right there if you wished to.

The sentiment reads ‘Oh Christmas Tree’ – but it looks a little fuzzy on the photo because the camera was focused on the trees instead of the sentiment.  (my fault I’m afraid because I told it to do that.  (A case of eyes wide open but without supervision,  and the brain was closed for lunch.)

The ‘snow’ effect is made used Sweet Poppy glossy white texture paste, along with Pinflair Snow – which you need so little of that I’ve had my pot of snow for a couple of Christmas’s and still have half a pot.  It goes a long way.

The sequins, in silver, blue for the trees and some clear but iridescent ones used for snowflakes, I dotted around and fixed in place using Pinflair Glue Gel.

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The lovely twinkly stars atop of each tree …  I found in the crafty section of my local charity shop.  There were hundreds of them in a bag, and I couldn’t believe my luck when I found them.  I think they cost me something like 50p (I think that works out at about 60 cents USA).

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To give the card a little interest on the inside,  I inked up another blue tree, using the same method I used on the others – only on this one, I used a fine nib glue pen and squiggled all over it, then shook a little glitter dust over it so that it caught on the squiggly bits, added an iridescent sequin to the top and voila!  Finished.

So … how do you fancy a bit of “Things you might not know about Christmas”?

It may not be as popular these days but in the times of Charles Dickens, and as far back as Washington Irving, telling ghost stories was a Christmas tradition.  One of the most famous – “A Christmas Carol” – was written by Dickens himself, but he’d already had some practise. In “The Pickwick Papers” (1836), his first novel, he includes  “The Story of the Goblins Who Stole a Sexton,”  a Christmas-themed horror tale.

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Denny’s, the US diner chain famous for being ‘Always Open,’ decided to close for Christmas in 1988 to give hard-working employees the day off.  Amazingly, it turned out that many of the restaurants actually had no locks.  Well, they’d never needed them before.  According to the New York Times,  700 branches needed to be fitted with locks so the staff could spend Christmas with their families.

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Wondering what to with your Christmas tree after the festive period?  Why not see if your nearest zoo wants it?  Many animals find them great fun to play with. In 2014,  a zoo in Cambridgeshire, UK,  compared the trees to “catnip for lions.”

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Although the modern image of Santa Claus – the “right jolly old elf” of popular culture – is now widespread, he hasn’t always been seen that way.  Earlier depictions of Saint Nicolas have him as a serious, religious man (the original Saint Nicolas was Bishop of Myra, in modern-day Turkey).  Sinterklaas, a holiday celebrated on Dec. 5 in the Netherlands, Belgium and parts of France,  portray him as an elderly man in bishop’s clothing.

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And finally . . . .

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Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and their Christmas Tree.

Thank Prince Albert for your tree.

The Germans are credited with first bringing evergreens into their homes and decorating them,  a tradition which made its way to the United States in the 1830s.  But it wasn’t until Germany’s Prince Albert introduced the tree to his new wife, England’s Queen Victoria, that the tradition really took off.  The couple were sketched in front of a Christmas tree in 1848 — and royal fever did its work.

Well … that’s me done and dusted!

Hope you like the blue Christmas Trees card, and that at least one of the Christmas ‘Factoids’ taught you something you might not already know.  You can go off and impress friends, relatives and anyone you happen to run into today, with your knowledge of Useless Information About Christmas Taught to you in Mini Lessons from Cobs.  (And you didn’t even have to pay for the class!  lol)

Have a truly lovely last Monday before Christmas. 

Sending squidges from my corner to yours ~

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