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Showing posts from 2016

On This Day

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18th December

1946 - Stephen Bantu Biko was born.  

Today

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16th December

Is Christmas Jumper Day - In the UK, for the last 3 years, people wear a Christmas themed woolly / pullover / jumper / sweater to work on this day, and donate to Save the Children.

On This Day

19th December

1948 - The General Assembly of the United Nations adopted and proclaimed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Today

9th December

Christmas Card Day - In honor of the first commercial Christmas card from Sir Henry Cole (1818 - 1874).  If you haven't posted your cards yet, you'd better get a shift on.

On This Day

8th December

1980 - Former Beatle John Lennon was shot to death outside his apartment building in New York City. He was 40.

On This Day

1984 - The world's worst industrial disaster took place when 42 tonnes of toxic methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas leaked from the Union Carbide subsidiary pesticide plant in the city of Bhopal, India. More than 500,000 people were exposed to the toxic gases, with the symptoms bearing all the hallmarks of cyanide poisoning.

The first official death toll was 2,259. A more probable figure is that 8,000 people died within two weeks. It is estimated that around 20,000 people have died from gas-related diseases since the disaster.

http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/11/28/india-bhopal-gas-union-carbide-dow-idINKCN0JC0WC20141128





1992 - The first text message was sent.

On This Day

29th November

2008 - Playwright, William Gibson died.

On This Day

26th November

1865 - Lewis Carrroll (Charles Dodgson) published the book Alice in Wonderland (aka Alice's Adventures in Wonderland).

1984 - US troops withdrew from the Lebanese capital, Beirut.

1987 - The Church of England's General Synod voted by a huge majority in favour of the ordination of women priests.

On This Day

23rd November

2006 - Russian dissident and writer Alexander Litvinenko died in London of radiation poisoning.

On This Day

22nd November

1963 - John F. Kennedy, the thirty-fifth U.S. President, was assassinated (murdered) in Dallas.

Today

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21st November is World Hello Day. Say "Hello" to at least 10 people.

Hello. Bonjour. Guten Tag. Hola. Ciao. Ola. Szia. Namaste. Salaam. Marhaba. Zdras-tvuy-te. Konnichiwa. Merhaba. Jambo. Ni Hau. Halo.


Interesting Food - Coffee

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Mathematicians from the University of Limmerick are working out a mathematical formula for the perfect cup of coffee.

(They have found that size does matter, and flavour is linked to the coffee grain's surface are.  The method of extraction describes the movement of the coffee from its solid form as a bean into its liquid form when it dissolves into hot water, and they have found that small grains give a more bitter taste, whilst large grains result in a weak brew.

Earlier in 2016 some chemists got together to create this video:-

Reactions goes on a quest for better coffee through chemistry.

)

Interesting Fact - Television

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The first TV licence in the UK cost 10 shillings (that's 50p in today's money).







(The licence was originally known as a wireless licence, and today it costs £145.50 for a colour TV. That's inflation for you.)


On This Day

2nd November

1936 - The BBC opened the world's first regular high-definition (not HDTV) television service, from Alexandra Palace (affectionately known as Ally Pally).  

http://www.alexandrapalace.com/whats-on/the-worlds-first-high-definition-television-service-80th-anniversary/

On This Day

1st November

1956 - Premium Bonds came into being.

(You buy some bonds, you get entered into a monthly draw, you win - or not - as the case may be. The great thing about them is that you don't lose your initial investment.)

On This Day

1958 - Paddington Bear first appeared.

(Sitting on his suitcase at Paddington railway station in London, wearing a duffel coat with a note attached, which read, "Please look after this bear. Thank you.)


Today

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7th October 2016
World Smile Day.

Today

Today is balloon day.


Interesting Food - Marmite

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Marmite is quintessentially British, but did you know it wasn't invented by a Brit? It was invented by a German.

(Justus von Liebig was looking for an inexpensive nutrition source for the poor of Europe, and his discovery that yeast could be concentrated and eaten, led to the manufacture of Marmite.

I'm not sure if that should be celebrated, or not.)

Today

Today is Marmite Day!


Today

Is ask a stupid question day.

On This Day

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22nd September

1977 - Steve Biko, the leader of the black consciousness movement in South Africa, died in police custody.


On This Day

18th September

1970 - Music Legend Jimi Hendrix died after collapsing at a party in London.

On This Day

9th August

1173 – Construction of the campanile of the Cathedral of Pisa (now known as the Leaning Tower of Pisa) began. It took two centuries to complete.

1483 – The Sistine Chapel opened in Rome with the celebration of a mass.

1842 – The Webster–Ashburton Treaty was signed, establishing the United States–Canada border east of the Rocky Mountains.

1892 – Thomas Edison received a patent for a two-way telegraph.

1902 – Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark are crowned King and Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1922 – Philip Larkin, English poet and author was born.

1936 – The Summer Olympic Games aka Games of the XI Olympiad were held in Berlin. Jesse Owens won his fourth gold medal at the games becoming the first American to win four medals in one Olympiad.

1942 – Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi was arrested in Bombay by British forces, launching the Quit India Movement.

1945 – World War II: Nagasaki, Japan was devastated when an atomic bomb, Fat Man, was dropped…

On This Day

8th August

1503 – King James IV of Scotland married Margaret Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII of England at Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh, Scotland.

1585 – John Davis entered the Cumberland Sound in search of the Northwest Passage.

1709 – Bartolomeu de Gusmão demonstrated the lifting power of hot air in an audience before the King of Portugal in Lisbon, Portugal

1786 – Mont Blanc on the French – Italian border was climbed for the first time by Jacques Balmat and Dr. Michel-Gabriel Paccard.

1793 – The insurrection of Lyon occured during the French Revolution.

1794 – Joseph Whidbey led an expedition to search for the Northwest Passage near Juneau, Alaska.

1876 – Thomas Edison received a patent for his mimeograph.

1908 – Wilbur Wright made his first flight at a racecourse at Le Mans, France. It was the Wright Brothers' first public flight.

1929 – The German airship Graf Zeppelin began a round-the-world flight.

1942 – The Quit India Movement was launched in India against the British r…

On This Day

1503 – King James IV of Scotland married Margaret Tudor, daughter of King Henry VII of England at Holyrood Abbey in Edinburgh, Scotland.

1709 - The first documented balloon flight in Europe was demonstrated by Bartolomeu de Gusmão, in Lisbon. It did not end well, but he was the first.

1942 – The Quit India Movement was launched in India against British rule in response to Mohandas Gandhi's call for "swaraj" or complete independence.

1945 - The Nuremberg trials began.

1963 - The Great Train Robbery took place.

1969 – At a zebra crossing in London, photographer Iain Macmillan took the photo that became the cover of the Beatles album Abbey Road.

1974 – President Richard Nixon announced his resignation from the office of the President of the United States.

1991 - Beirut hostage John McCarthy was freed after more than five years in captivity.

1991 – The Warsaw radio mast, at one time the tallest construction ever built, collapsed.

2010 - A mudslide in Zhugqu County, Gansu, C…

On This Day

6th August

1926 - The American Olympic athlete, Gertrude Ederle, became the first woman to swim across the English Channel. It took her 14 hours, 39 minutes to swim the 56 kilometers from France to England. She held the record for 35 years.

1945 - The world's first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima. An estimated 140,000 people were killed by the bomb and its aftermath.

On This Day

5th August

1858 - After several unsuccessful attempts, the first telegraph line across the Atlantic Ocean was completed.

1962 - Marilyn Monroe was found dead.

1973 - Three people were killed and 55 wounded when two gunmen opened fire in a crowded passenger lounge at Athens airport.

Interesting Words - Dictionary Additions

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The Oxford English Dictionary (OED) has added over 1,000 words.

(New entries include air-punching - the act of thrusting a clenched fist into the air in elation or triumph.

Agender for designating people who do not identify themselves as a particular gender.

Bovver - part of the catchphrase of comedian Catherine Tate's teenage character Lauren (Bovvered?)

Budgie smugglers - close-fitting swimming trunks

Dudettes - the female form of dude.

Fro-yo - the short form for frozen yoghurt.

Starter marriages are short-lived first marriages.

*Stupid o'clock - used to describe a time outside normal waking hours.

*See!  I told you it would make it in eventually.)

A couple of new abbreviations were added too:-

ICYMI (in case you missed it)
FWIW (for what it's worth)

Interesting Fact - Families

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According to a report by Sainsbury's bank, daughters are more expensive than sons.

(This isn't due to any costs of getting married, dowries etc., it's purely on the basis of raising the children.

Girls cost thousands of pounds more than boys to bring up
0 to 5 boys cost £5,475 a year, and girls £5,7676 to 13 boys cost £6,414 a year, and girls £7,79414 to 18 boys cost £7,172 a year, and girls £7,747  The biggest issue is that clothing costs more for girls, so I would say from the ages 0 to 13, it's the parent's fault.  Pink stuff probably costs more than blue stuff.)

On This Day

7th July

1543 – French troops invade Luxembourg.

1947 – The Roswell UFO incident took place.

1967 – The civil war in Biafra began.

1969 – In Canada, the Official Languages Act was adopted making the French language equal to the English language throughout the Federal government.

1978 – The Solomon Islands became independent from the United Kingdom.

2005 - Four bombs were set off on the London public transport system during the morning rush hour, killing 56 people, and injuring 700. It was the deadliest single act of terrorism in the UK since the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 in 1988, which killed 270 people. A group called "Al Qaeda in Europe" claimed responsibility for the attacks.

2006 – The Western Black Rhinoceros, the rarest of the Black Rhino subspecies, was declared extinct by the World Conservation Union, due to poaching.

Interesting Fact - The Chilcot Report

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The Chilcot report into the Iraq war cost £10,375,000.00. It consists of 12-volumes containing 2.6 million words.

(The inquiry was launched on 30 July 2009, to cover the period of 2001 to the end of July 2009.  Over 100 witnesses were called.

The findings of the report were that British military action was not the last resort, that policy on Iraq was made on the basis of flawed intelligence that was never challenged, and that the overall severity of the threat posed by Iraq, particularly the existence of weapons of mass destruction, was grossly overstated, and presented with a certainty that was not justified.)

The whole report can be downloaded here: http://www.iraqinquiry.org.uk/

Today

6th July 2016

The Chilcot report was published.

On This Day

4th July

1776 - The Declaration of Independence was adopted. However, the 4th of July was not declared a public holiday in the USA until 1941.  (PS - Idependence Day is not celebrated in the UK.)

1865 - Alice in Wonderland was first published.

On This Day

3rd July

1844 – The last nesting pair of Great Auks was killed. They were found incubating an egg off Iceland. Jón Brandsson and Sigurður Ísleifsson strangled the adults and Ketill Ketilsson smashed the egg with his boot.

1884 – The Dow Jones published its 1st stock average.

1928 - The first colour television transmission took place in London.

1969 - Former Rolling Stones guitarist, Brian Jones (born Lewis Brian Hopkin-Jones) drowned.

1971 - Jim Morrison, the lead singer of American rock group The Doors, was found dead in a bathtub in Paris of heart failure. He was only 27.

1976 - Israeli commandos rescued 103 hostages held by Arab militants at Entebbe airport, Uganda.

1987 - Nazi war criminal Klaus Barbie was sentenced to life imprisonment at a court in Lyon.

1988 - Missiles fired from an American naval warship, the USS Vincennes, brought down an Iranian passenger jet in the Persian Gulf, killing all 290 people aboard.

1996 – The Stone of Scone was returned to Scotland.

2005 –…

On This Day

2nd July

862 – St. Swithun, Bishop of Winchester died.

1698 – Thomas Savery patented the first steam engine.

1776 – The Continental Congress adopted a resolution severing ties with Great Britain although the wording of the formal Declaration of Independence was not approved until July 4.

1777 – Vermont became the first American territory to abolish slavery.

1839 - 53 African slaves being transported to Cuba on the Spanish merchant ship La Amistad revolted against their captors led by Joseph Cinque.

1850 – The self-contained gas mask was patented by Benjamin J. Lane.

1853 – The Russian Army invaded Turkey, beginning the Crimean War.

1881 – Charles J. Guiteau shot and fatally wounded U.S. President James Garfield, who eventually died on September 19.

1897 – Italian scientist Guglielmo Marconi obtained a patent for radio in London.

1900 - The world's first rigid airship was demonstrated by Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin on Lake Constance near Friedrichshafen, Germany.

1937 - U.S. avia…

Today

1st July

The nation remembers those who died and were injured at the Somme during the First World War.

At 7:28 am The Lochnagar mine, which had been placed under the German lines, was detonated, creating the largest man-made mine crater created in the First World War. At 7:30am a whilstle was blown and hundreds of soldiers "went over the top" in what is now called Zero Hour, only to be mown down by machine gun fire.  No one seems to know how many German soldiers were killed in the explosion.

By the end of the day thousands had died, and the Battle of the Somme continued for 141 days, at the end of which an estimated million soldiers were killed and wounded. The bodies of 72,000 men were never recovered.

You can read more about the Lochnagar crater here.

Interesting Fact - Marriage

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Christina Estrada, a former model, is claiming nearly £200million in her divorce from Sheikh Walid Juffali, a Saudi multi-billionaire.


(In a divorce settlement case that has more twists and turns than a game of snakes and ladders, he actually tried to prevent her claim in the British courts on the grounds that he was entitled to legal immunity because of his diplomatic status as permanent representative to the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) of the Caribbean island of St Lucia, she is demanding such a huge sum as it "reflects the standard of living she enjoyed during her marriage to the Sheikh".

She is trying to justify her rather large claim for the following expenses:-

£55million for a new London home with annual staff costs of £335,558, which would cover a live-in butler, housekeeper, chauffeur, a nanny for the London home together with two cleaners, a chef, a reserve nanny and an office manager.
£4.4million for a second house at Henley.
£2.1million annual tra…

Today

30th June

Social Media Day

Celebrate by sharing.

On This Day

30th June

1860 – The 1860 Oxford evolution debate at the Oxford University Museum of Natural History took place.

1908 – The Tunguska event occured in Siberia.

1936 - Gone with the Wind was published.

1934 – The Night of the Long Knives, Adolf Hitler's violent purge of his political rivals in Germany, took place.

1953 – The first Chevrolet Corvette rolled off the assembly line in Flint, Michigan, USA. (I wonder if it was a little red one.)

1960 – Congo gained independence from Belgium.

1963 – A car bomb, intended for Mafia boss Salvatore Greco, killed seven police and military officers near Palermo.

1969 – Nigeria banned Red Cross aid to Biafra, leaving over 4 million people to face starvation.

1971 - Three Russian cosmonauts were found dead in their Soyuz 11 space capsule after it made what looked like a perfect landing in Kazakhstan.

1985 - 39 Americans being held captive by the Shia Muslim Amal militia in Lebanon were released, after almost three weeks in captivity.

1990 – E…

Interesting Fact - Drugs

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An advert for Nurofen painkillers, has been banned in the UK for falsely claiming it targets specific types of pain.

(The Advertising Standards Authority received complaints about TV adverts that suggested that Nurofen could target back pain. In one ad which showed a woman experiencing back pain, a voiceover said: “Just a single dose of Nurofen Joint and Back provides you with constant targeted pain relief for up to eight hours.”

In an interesting use of language RB UK Commercial, which owns the Nurofen brand, said the advert did not state or imply specific pain could be targeted and that it was “disappointed” with the ruling. A spokesperson said: “Nurofen pain-specific products were introduced to provide easy navigation of pain-relief options for consumers experiencing a specific type of pain." Please note, they didn't use the word "targeted pain relief".

Actually the term painkiller is misleading.)

Interesting Fact - Shopping

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A couple of shopping centres in the UK are going to trial the removal of mirrors in the changing rooms.

(Their rather twisted logic for a mirror-free shopping experience is that 71% of women in the UK decide not to buy an outfit after they see themselves in the mirror!

What? That's because the outfit either doesn't fit them, or doesn't suit them!

I can see a big #fail coming here.)

On This Day

28th June

1922 - 18 year old Ralph Samuelson slapped a pair of sticks on his feet, grabbed hold of a rope behind a boat, and became the world's first waterskier. (His brother Ben operated the powerboat that pulled Ralph along. He broke the original skis in one landing, but his slightly-modified second pair still can be seen at the Water Ski Hall of Fame museum in Winter Haven, Florida.)

1960 - 45 men were killed in a gas explosion at a coal mine in Monmouthshire, Wales.

2004 - The United States handed power back to the Iraqi people at a low-key ceremony in Baghdad.

Interesting Fact - Smoking

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According to a Freedom of Information request from the BBC, since the introduction of UK legislation in October 2015 that bans anyone from smoking in cars with children present, no fines have been issued.

(Of course this does not mean that people have suddenly stopped blowing smoke into their children's lungs, it simply means this is yet another unenforceable piece of legislation.)

On This Day

27th June

1967 - The world's first ATM was installed by Barclay's Bank in North London. (We also call the a hole in the wall or a cash machine.)

1986 - The International Court of Justice found the United States guilty of violating international law by supporting Contra rebels in Nicaragua.

1991 - Yugoslav tanks, troops and aircraft rolled into the small republic of Slovenia, 48 hours after it declared independence.

Interesting Fact - Technology

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Brits are spending more more than £900 million a year simply keeping our smartphones and tablets charged.
(If that's not bad enough, we waste £134 million a year by overcharging them: According to research commissioned by insurance provider Row.co.uk, part of the problem is overcharging which happens when users plug in their devices overnight.

A massive nine in ten owners keep gadgets on permanent charge, often unaware that overcharging batteries can reduce their lifespan, and under certain conditions lithium-ion batteries can pose a safety hazard. The figures suggest that around 85,000 tonnes of CO2 could be saved if people disconnected as soon as charging was complete.)

Average charging times:-
Mobile Phone - 2 hours Laptop, with Express Charge - 2 hours Hand-held vacuum cleaner - 3.5 hours Mp3 player - 4 hours Digital Camera - 2 hours

On This Day

26th June

1284 – The legendary Pied Piper led 130 children out of Hamelin, Germany.

1483 – Richard III was crowned king of England.

1870 – The Christian holiday of Christmas was declared a federal holiday in the United States.

1917 – The first U.S. troops arrived in France to fight alongside Britain, France, Italy, and Russia against Germany, and Austria-Hungary in World War I.

1945 – The United Nations Charter was signed in San Francisco.

1948 – The Western allies began an airlift to Berlin after the Soviet Union blockaded West Berlin.

1960 – The former British Protectorate of Somaliland British Somaliland gained its independence.

1963 – John F. Kennedy spoke the famous words "Ich bin ein Berliner" (I am a doughnut), on a visit to West Berlin.

1974 - The bar code, allowing for the electronic scanning of prices, was used for the first time on a pack of gum at a supermarket in Troy, Ohio.

1977 – The Yorkshire Ripper killed 16 year old shop assistant Jayne MacDonald in Leeds,…

On This Day

25th June

1678 – Elena Cornaro Piscopia became the first woman to be awarded a doctorate of philosophy.

1876 – Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer died at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

1947 – The Diary of Anne Frank was published.

1951 - The first colour TV broadcast took place on America's CBS Network.

1991 – Croatia and Slovenia declared their independence from Yugoslavia.

1996 – The Khobar Towers bombing in Saudi Arabia killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

2006 – Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was kidnapped in a cross-border raid from the Gaza Strip in Palestine.

2007 – Severe flooding hit England. Parts of Lincolnshire and Yorkshire flooded including Louth, Horncastle and worst affected, Hull.

2009 - Michael Jackson died.

Today

The UK voted to leave the European Union.  (It wasn't announced until 24th June, but it was on this day that the polls closed and the seal was set on the breakup of the UK. Watch this space.)

Interesting Food - Cake

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According to the Professor Nigel Hunt at the Royal College of Surgeons, “cake culture” in the UK workplace is fuelling the obesity epidemic and contributing to poor dental health.

(As a healthy alternative they are suggesting that workers should bring fruit platters into the office instead of doughnuts, cookies and biscuits. He said, “Cake culture poses difficulties for those who are trying their hardest to lose weight or become healthier - how many of us have begun such diets only to cave in to the temptation of the doughnuts, cookies or the triple chocolate biscuits?”

I agree in principal, but I wouldn't want to be the one to bring a box of apples to work on my birthday, I don't want to be known as Lynney no friends.)

On This Day - 1973 to 2004

23rd June

1973 – A fire at a house in Hull, England, which killed a six year old boy was passed off as an accident; it later emerged that it was the first of 26 deaths by fire caused over the next seven years by arsonist Peter Dinsdale.

1983 - Pope John Paul II privately met banned union leader Lech Walesa, the founder of Solidarity, on a visit to Poland.

1984 - An auction of John Lennon's possessions raised $430,000, including $19,000 for a guitar used while Lennon was with the Beatles.

1985 – A terrorist bomb brought a Boeing 747 down off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 people on board.

1988 – James Hansen testified to the U.S. Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources that it was 99% probable that global warming had begun.

1991 – Moldova declared independence.

1992 - New York crime boss John Gotti (the Teflon Don) was sentenced to life imprisonment with no chance of parole.

1996 - The Nintendo 64 went on sale in Japan.

2004 - A U.S. lawyer sued Germany in…

On This Day - 1314 to 1972

23rd June

1314 – The Battle of Bannockburn began.

1532 – Henry VIII and François I signed a secret treaty against Emperor Charles V.

1713 – The French residents of Acadia were given one year to declare allegiance to Britain or leave Nova Scotia, Canada.

1757 – 3,000 British troops under Robert Clive defeated a 50,000 strong Indian army under Siraj Ud Daulah at Plassey.

1758 – British forces defeated French troops at Krefeld in Germany.

1794 – Empress Catherine II of Russia granted Jews permission to settle in Kiev.

1845 - The Congress of the Republic of Texas agreed to annexation by the United States.

1860 - The U.S. Secret Service was created.

1868 – Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for Type-Writer.

1894 – The International Olympic Committee was founded at the Sorbonne, Paris, at the initiative of Baron Pierre de Coubertin.

1942 – The first selections for the gas chamber at Auschwitz took place on a train load of people from Paris.

1955 - The Queen Elizabeth ocean liner s…

On This Day

22nd June

1633 – The Holy Office in Rome forced Galileo Galilei to recant his view that the Sun, not the Earth, is the center of the Universe.

1907 – The London Underground's Charing Cross, Euston and Hampstead Railway opened.

1922 – 19 strikebreakers and 2 union miners were murdered in Herrin, Illinois.

1941 - Hitler invaded the Soviet Union.

1969 – The Cuyahoga River, in Northeast Ohio in the United States, caught fire, which triggered a crack-down on pollution in the river. Time magazine described the Cuyahoga as the river that "oozes rather than flows" and in which a person "does not drown but decays."

1969 – Judy Garland died.

1978 – Charon, a satellite of the dwarf planet Pluto, was discovered.

1981 - Mark Chapman changed his plea to guilty and admitted he murdered John Lennon in December 1980.

1984 – Virgin Atlantic Airways launched. Its first flight was from London Heathrow Airport.

1987 – Fred Astaire died.

2002 – An earthquake in western Iran measu…

On This Day

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21st June

1305 – King Wenceslaus II of Bohemia and Poland died.

1377 – King Edward III of England died.

1652 – Inigo Jones died.

1905, Jean-Paul Sartre was born.

1948 – Columbia Records introduced the long-playing record album (LP) in a public demonstration at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City.

1964 – Three civil rights workers, Andrew Goodman, James Chaney and Mickey Schwerner, were murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi, United States, by members of the Ku Klux Klan.

1982 – Princess Diana gave birth to Prince William, heir to the throne.

1985 - Scientists announced that skeletal remains exhumed in Brazil were those of Nazi war criminal Josef Mengele.

2001 – John Lee Hooker died.

2004 – SpaceShipOne became the first privately funded spaceplane to achieve spaceflight.

2009 – Self-rule was introduced in Greenland.

On This Day

20th June

451 – Flavius Aetius' defeated Attila the Hun.

1214 – The University of Oxford received its charter.

1631 – The Irish village of Baltimore was attacked by Algerian pirates.

1685 – James Scott, 1st Duke of Monmouth declared himself King of England at Bridgwater.

1756 – A British garrison was imprisoned in the Black Hole of Calcutta.

1782 – The U.S. Congress adopted the Great Seal of the United States.

1791 – King Louis XVI of France and his immediate family began the Flight to Varennes during The French Revolution.

1837 – Queen Victoria succeeded to the British throne.

1840 – Samuel Morse received the patent for the telegraph.

1976 - Hundreds of Americans and Britons were moved from Beirut and taken to safety in Syria by the US military, following the murder of the US ambassador.

1979 – ABC News correspondent Bill Stewart was shot dead by a Nicaraguan soldier under the regime of Anastasio Somoza Debayle. The murder was caught on tape and sparked international outcry agai…

Interesting Date - Fathers Day

According to research company Mintel, Britons spend around £510 million on Mother's Day gifts in 2015, but only £350 million on Father's Day gifts.

(Poor dads!)

On This Day

19th June

1269 – King Louis IX of France ordered all Jews found in public without an identifying yellow badge to be fined ten livres of silver.

1306 – The Earl of Pembroke's army defeated Bruce's Scottish army at the Battle of Methven.

1865 – Over two years after the Emancipation Proclamation, slaves in Galveston, Texas, United States, were finally informed of their freedom. The anniversary is still officially celebrated in Texas and 13 other contiguous states as Juneteenth.

1961 – Kuwait declared independence from the United Kingdom.

1964 – The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was approved after surviving an 83-day filibuster in the United States Senate.

1970 - Edward Heath became prime minister after a surprise victory for the Conservatives in the general election.

1975 - An inquest jury decided Lord Lucan murdered the 29-year-old nanny of his three young children.

1978 – Garfield comic strip was first published. It has grown to over $1 billion in revenue, and is distributed to ove…

Interesting Fact - Physics

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According to researchers at Kyoto University cats have a rudimentary understanding of physics.







(The researchers showed how cats would react differently when they shook boxes with something in them, than when they shook empty boxes.

Amazing! Cats reacted to a rattling sound? I don't suppose it occured to them that the shake of a cat  treats container has preconditioned cats to this.)

On This Day

18th June

1429 – French forces under the leadership of Joan of Arc defeated the main English army under Sir John Fastolf at the Battle of Patay. This turned the tide of the Hundred Years' War.

1767 – Samuel Wallis, an English sea captain, sighted Tahiti and is considered the first European to reach the island.

1812 - The United States declared war on on the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1815 – The Battle of Waterloo led to Napoleon Bonaparte abdicating the throne of France for the second and final time.

1858 – Charles Darwin received a paper from Alfred Russel Wallace that included nearly identical conclusions about evolution as Darwin's own. This prompted Darwin to publish his theory.

1873 – Susan B. Anthony was fined $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 US presidential election. (The 19th Amendment (Amendment XIX) to the United States Constitution, which prohibits each of the states and the federal government from denying any citizen the right to vote beca…

Interesting Word - Flip Flops

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The term flip-flop is an onomatopoeiac word based on the sound made by the sandals when walking in them.

(Flip flops are no heel strap sandals, and although this style of sandal has been worn for centuries, the modern day flip flops have been worn in America and Britain since the 1970s. Sometimes the word is written flip-flops, and flipflops.

They are called thongs in Australia, jandals (originally a trademarked name derived from "Japanese sandals") in New Zealand, slops in South Africa, and tsinelas in the Philippines.)

Today

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17th June

Flip flop day.


(This one is for +april sis+Im Bubbly ,  +Marianne Heredge , Natasha, Shiny et al.)

On This Day

17th June

1579 – Sir Francis Drake claimed a land he called "Nova Albion" (modern California) for England.

1631 – Mumtaz Mahal died during childbirth. Her husband, Mughal emperor Shah Jahan I, then spent more than 20 years building her tomb, the Taj Mahal.

1882 - Igor Stravinsky, the Russian composer, was born.

1885 – The Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbour aboard the French ship Isere.

1939 – Last public guillotining in France took place. Eugen Weidmann, a convicted murderer, was guillotined in Versailles outside the prison Saint-Pierre.

1940 – The three Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania fell under the occupation of the Soviet Union.

1944 – Iceland declared independence from Denmark and became a republic.

1947 - Pan Am Airways was chartered as the world's first worldwide passenger airline.

1950 - The first documented kidney transplant took place in Chicago, on Ruth Tucker, a 44-year-old woman with polycystic kidney disease. Unfortunately the …

On This Day

16th June

1487 – The Battle of Stoke Field was fought. The final battle of the Wars of the Roses.

1586 – Mary Queen of Scots recognizes Philip II of Spain as her heir.

1779 – Spain declared war on Great Britain, and the siege of Gibraltar began.

1871 – The University Tests Act allowed students to enter the Universities of Oxford, Cambridge and Durham without religious tests, except for courses in theology.

1883 – Panic broke out at The Victoria Hall theatre, killing 183 children.

1903 – The Ford Motor Company was incorporated.

1915 – The British Women's Institute was founded.

1963 – Russian Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space.

1972 – Red Army Faction member Ulrike Meinhof was captured by police in Langenhagen.

1976 – A non-violent march by 15,000 students in Soweto, South Africa turned into days of rioting when police opened fire on the crowd and kiled 566 children.

1992 - Andrew Morton's explosive new book about Princess Diana, including claims …

Interesting Food - Food Waste

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Anyone who was attended the sessions on food waste in Kitely will not be surprised to learn that supermarket giant Tesco has revealed that it generated 59,400 tonnes of food waste in 2015.

(To put this into perspective this is the equivalent of nearly 119 million meals.

In their defense, they are the only supermarket to publish the figures, and they have pledged to redistribute all edible food waste from stores to charities by the end of 2017.)

Today

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June 15th

Happy Beer Day Britain

On This Day

15th June

1215 – King John of England put his seal to the Magna Carta.

1667 – The first human blood transfusion was administered by Dr. Jean-Baptiste Denys.

1752 – Benjamin Franklin proved that lightning is electricity.

1785 – Jean-François Pilâtre de Rozier, co-pilot of the first-ever manned flight (1783), and his companion, Pierre Romain, became the first-ever casualties of an air crash when their hot air balloon exploded during an attempt to cross the English Channel.

1844 – Charles Goodyear received a patent for vulcanization, a process to strengthen rubber.

1877 – Henry Ossian Flipper became the first African American cadet to graduate from the United States Military Academy.

1909 – Representatives from England, Australia and South Africa met at Lord's and formed the ICC (Imperial Cricket Conference).

1911 – Tabulating Computing Recording Corporation (IBM) was incorporated.

1919 – John Alcock and Arthur Brown complete the first nonstop transatlantic flight at Clifden, County…

On This Day

14th June

1381 – Richard II met leaders of the Peasants' Revolt on Blackheath.

1381 - The Tower of London was stormed by rebels who entered without resistance.

1645 – Battle of Naseby – 12,000 Royalist forces were beaten by 15,000 Parliamentarian soldiers.

1648 – Margaret Jones was hanged in Boston for witchcraft.

1777 – The Stars and Stripes was adopted by Congress as the Flag of the United States.

1789 – Bounty mutiny survivors including Captain William Bligh and 18 others reached Timor after a nearly 7,400 km (4,000-mile) journey in an open boat.

1789 – Whisky distilled from corn was first produced by American clergyman the Rev Elijah Craig. He called it Bourbon because he lived in Bourbon County, Kentucky.

1822 – Charles Babbage proposed a difference engine in a paper to the Royal Astronomical Society entitled "Note on the application of machinery to the computation of astronomical and mathematical tables".

1839 – The village of Henley, on the River Thames in Oxford…

Interesting Fact - Work

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According to a survey by the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) 1 in 10 Brits are walking from home - in bed!

(19% work from the sofa on their laptop, but now chiropractors are warning against the impact this could be having on the health of their back.

Now, as some of you know, I work from home, but I get up and go into the office when I'm running sessions. 

PS - I am writing this on the sofa.)


The BCA have put together a video on computer posture: http://www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk/For-You-89-Computer-Posture-119-ms.aspx

On This Day

10th June

1184 BC – The city of Troy was sacked and burned.

1509 – Henry VIII of England married Catherine of Aragon.

1692 - Salem Village. Bridget Bishop, the first colonist tried in the Salem witch trials, was hanged after being found guilty of the practice of witchcraft. (In 1956 the Massachusetts General Court passed an act exonerating her. Well that's alright then.)

1776 - Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert R. Livingston were appointed to the Committee of Five to draft the American declaration of independence.

1788 – Russian explorer Gerasim Izmailov reached Alaska.

1955 – Eighty-three people were killed and at least 100 injured after an Austin-Healey and a Mercedes-Benz collided at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

1959 - The Hovercraft, invented by Christopher Cockerell, was officially launched in Southampton.

1962 – Frank Morris, John Anglin and Clarence Anglin became the only prisoners to successfully escape from Alcatraz Island prison.

1…

Interesting Fact - Sleep

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According to the Sleep Council, the average Brit goes to bed at 11:15pm and gets just 6 hours and 35 minutes sleep per night.

(Yes, not all Brits are lightweights like me.)

On This Day

9th June

62 – Claudia Octavia commited suicide.

68 - Roman Emperor Nero commited suicide.

1934 – Donald Duck makes his debut in The Wise Little Hen.

1958 – Queen Elizabeth II officially opened London Gatwick Airport, (LGW).

1975 - BBC radio broadcast the first live transmission from the House of Commons.

1978 – The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (The Mormons) opened its priesthood to "all worthy men", ending a 148-year-old policy excluding black men.

1985 – Thomas Sutherland was kidnapped in Lebanon (he was not released until 1991).

1999 – The Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and NATO (The North Atlantic Treaty Organization) signed a peace treaty.

Interesting Animal - Fish

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According to research published in the Nature journal Scientific Reports, fish can remember faces.

(By training archerfish with food pellets as a reward,  with a random sequence of 44 faces, scientists were able to teach them to spit at a particular face, with an average accuracy of between 81 and 86 percent.  A researcher Cait Newport said "Obviously the first takeaway is that they could do it. They were distinguishing something really complicated. This also shows that the fish have surprisingly good memories. It certainly challenges the whole idea of a fish with a 30-second memory."

Did she really use the word takeaway?  I hope she hasn't trained her fish to recognise English.)


Source

On This Day

8th June

1949 - George Orwell's book 1984 (Nineteen eighty-four) was published.

Interesting Food - Red Wine

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According to wine expert Jancis Robinson, author of The 24 Hour Wine Expert, any open bottle of wine – even a red – should be kept in the fridge.



(Seemingly the old adage of serving red wine at "room temperature" was coined before the advent of central heating. Nowadays room temperature tends to be too warm, and we are drinking tepid red wine. According to the experts, refrigerating lighter reds such as beaujolais and pinot noir brings out all their fresh fruit flavours, and full-bodied reds such as cabernet sauvignon, shiraz and malbec benefit from being served cooler (around 17 or 18°C).

Of course, it's unlikely we have any left in the bottle to store, but I'm going to try out this advice this weekend.)

On This Day

6th June

1944 - Thousands of Allied troops began landing on the beaches of Normandy in northern France.

1966 - James Meredith, the first black man to brave the colour bar at the University of Mississippi, was shot in the back and legs while on a civil rights march.

1975 - British voters backed the UK's continued membership of the EEC by two-to-one in a nationwide referendum.

1984 - Nearly 300 people were killed as Indian troops stormed the Golden Temple in Amritsar, India, which was being held by Sikh militants.

Interesting Fact - The Common Good

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In a survey that examines the good each country does for humanity as well as what it takes away, Britain has ranked 4th.

(The Good Country Index placed Sweden first, Denmark second, and the Netherlands third, but the UK came above France and Germany because Britain does more “good” and less harm than more than 150 countries around the world.

Britain came top for its global contribution to science and technology, thanks to the high number of journal exports, Nobel prizes and international publications it has produced,  was ranked 2nd on its global contribution to health and wellbeing, but it scored poorly on international security and peace, coming 64th out of 163 countries.

Simon Anholt, who created the Good Country Index, said that while countries must serve the interests of their people it should not be at the expense of other populations.  I think we could apply that to ourselves as individuals too.)

On This Day

5th June

1963 - The Secretary of State for War, John Profumo, resigned from government, resigns over a sex scandal, admitting he lied to Parliament about his relationship with a call girl.

On This Day

3rd June

1539 – Hernando De Soto, Spanish explorer and conquistador, claimed Florida for Spain.

1839 – Lin Tse-hsü destroyed 1.2 million kg of opium in Humen, confiscated from British merchants, providing Britain with a Casus belli to open hostilities with China, resulting in the First Opium War.

1924 – Franz Kafka died.

1937 – The Duke of Windsor married Wallis Simpson.

1940 – The Luftwaffe bombed Paris.

1946 - The first (modern) bikini bathing suit was displayed in Paris. Where else?

1956 – British Rail renamed 'Third Class' passenger facilities as 'Second Class'. Second Class facilities had been abolished in 1875, leaving just First Class and Third Class. (That's Britain for you.)

1989 – Troops attempted to force protesters out of Tiananmen Square after seven weeks of occupation.

Interesting People - Gillian Scott

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Maybe the title of this should be boring people, as Ms Scott, an English teacher, has been struck off the teaching register in Scotland for two years after pupils and parents complained about her “boring” lessons.

(She has been removed following a seven-day hearing in Edinburgh where it was reported that she had spent three lessons reading a novel to one class without allowing them to ask questions, set the same essay task - titled "what I did in activities week" - for several different year groups, and shown one class a clip of Jurassic Park before making them copy what she said about characterisation in relation to the film.

Pupils at the school dubbed the lessons the "puni class" due to the disproportionate number of punishment exercises handed out.

To be fair, her lesson plans sound very similar to the ones I had to sit through in English literature.)

!Note - if you are struck off you are removed, from a position of power or responsibility after having done so…

On This Day

2nd June

455 – The Vandals entered Rome, and plundered the city for two weeks.

1692 – Bridget Bishop was the first person to go to trial in the Salem witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts.

1793 – Jean-Paul Marat recited the names of 29 people to the French National Convention. Almost all of these people were guillotined, followed by 17,000 more over the course of the next year during the Reign of Terror.

1924 – U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signed the Indian Citizenship Act into law, granting citizenship to all Native Americans born within the territorial limits of the United States.

1946 – Italians voted to turn Italy from a monarchy into a Republic. After the referendum the king of Italy Umberto II di Savoia was exiled.

1953 - Queen Elizabeth II was crowned.

1966 - The United States landed a spacecraft on the Moon on its first try (four months behind the Soviet Union).

1985 - English clubs were banned from playing in Europe indefinitely, after the riot at Brussels' Heysel stadi…

Interesting Food - Coffee

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According to the British Coffee Association around 2,000,000,000 cups of coffee are consumed worldwide every day.

(According to market researchers, Mintel, in the UK we drink over 70 million cups a day, but 3/4 (74%) of all UK adults drink instant coffee, compared to around 1/2 (48%) who drink fresh coffee.

I stopped drinking instant when I left England, and I've never wanted to go back to the brown sludge.)

On This Day

1st June

193 – Roman Emperor Didius Julianus was murdered.

1495 – Friar John Cor recorded the first known batch of scotch whisky.

1533 – Anne Boleyn was crowned Queen of England.

1794 – The battle of the Glorious First of June was fought, the first naval engagement between Britain and France during the French Revolutionary Wars.

1869 – Thomas Edison received a patent for his electric voting machine.

1910 – Robert Falcon Scott's South Pole expedition left England.

1922 – The Royal Ulster Constabulary was founded.

1935 – The first driving tests were introduced in the United Kingdom.

1941 – The Farhud, a pogrom against Iraqi Jews, took place in Baghdad.

1942 – The Warsaw paper Liberty Brigade published the first news of the concentration camps.

1967 – The groundbreaking Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album by The Beatles was released.

1970 - British Prime Minister Harold Wilson was egged.

1974 – The Heimlich maneuver for rescuing choking victims was published in the journ…

Today

31st May

World No Tobacco Day

On This Day

31st May

1578 – King Henry III* laid the first stone of the Pont Neuf (New Bridge), in Paris. It is now the oldest bridge there.

1669 – Citing poor eyesight, Samuel Pepys recorded the last event in his diary.

1946 - Heathrow International airport opened for civilian use.

1985 - The Football Association, supported by Margaret Thatcher, banned English football clubs from playing in Europe following the Heysel stadium tragedy.

*Henry III of France of course.

Interesting Place - Bristol

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The Theatre Royal, (home to the Bristol Old Vic) is the oldest continuously working theater in the English speaking world.


(It first opened its doors on 30th May 1766, the same year that Bonnie Prince Charlie became a claimant to the throne of Great Britain.)

On This Day

30th May

1766 -  The Theatre Royal, Bristol opened.

On This Day

1660 – Charles II was restored to the throne of Great Britain. (It was his birthday too.)

1913 – Igor Stravinsky's ballet score; The Rite of Spring premiered in Paris, France, provoking a riot.

1914 – Ocean liner RMS Empress of Ireland sank in the Gulf of St. Lawrence; 1,024 people died.

1919 – Einstein's theory of general relativity was tested (and later confirmed) by Arthur Eddington's observation of a total solar eclipse in Principe and by Andrew Crommelin in Sobral, Ceará, Brazil.

1942 – Bing Crosby, the Ken Darby Singers and the John Scott Trotter Orchestra recorded Irving Berlin's "White Christmas", the best-selling Christmas single in history.

1953 – Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay became the first people to reach the summit of Mount Everest, on Tenzing Norgay's (adopted) 39th birthday.

1968 - Manchester Utd Football Club won the European Cup becoming the first English club to do so.

1972 – 26 people were killed and dozens more injur…

Interesting People - Dr Henry Heimlich

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Dr Henry Heimlich, the surgeon who gave his name to the simple but dramatic procedure used to rescue people from choking, managed to save someone’s life using the technique himself for the first time since he invented it in 1974.
(His technique, called the Heimlich manoeuvre, is used for dislodging food or objects caught in people’s throats, and has been credited with saving thousands of lives around the world: On noticing a fellow resident at the senior assisted living centre where he lives, choking on a piece of meat, Heimlich, a spritely 96-year-old, calmly stepped in.

After her brush with death, the resident in question, 87-year-old Patty Ris, wrote Dr Heimlich a note, saying: "God put me in the seat next to you.")




On This Day

28th May

1503 – James IV of Scotland and Margaret Tudor were married according to a Papal Bull by Pope Alexander VI. A Treaty of Everlasting Peace between Scotland and England signed on that occasion resulted in a peace that lasted ten years.

1533 – The Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer declares the marriage of King Henry VIII of England to Anne Boleyn valid.

1859 – Big Ben was drawn on a carriage pulled by 16 horses from Whitechapel Bell Foundry to the Palace of Westminster.

1934 – The Glyndebourne festival in England was inaugurated.

1937 – Neville Chamberlain became British Prime Minister.

1942 – In retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich, Nazis in Czechoslovakia killed over 1800 people.

1952 – Women in Greece were given the right to vote.

1959: Two monkeys, Abe and Baker, became the first living creatures to survive a space mission. (Able died from the effects of anesthesia given for removal of implanted electrodes.)

1964 – The Palestine Liberation Organizati…

Interesting Fact - Studying

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According to a study by Bournemouth University schoolchildren who don't wear shoes in their lessons are likely to obtain better grades and behave better than those who do.

(Experts believe that by leaving their shoes outside the classroom pupils feel more at home, and relaxed.

An added bonus is that it cuts down on cleaning bills.  No more muddy floors, although holey socks might be an embarrasment.)

Next session online, everyone must take their shoes off.

Today

25th May

Towel Day

Interesting Fact - Religion

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According to research carried out on the 2014 census study 48.8% of the population of England and Wales say they don't identify with any religion.

(The number of 'nones' is now above 50 per cent, almost double the figure of 25% recorded in the census just three years earlier. People defining themselves as Christian, including Anglicans, Catholics and other denominations, made up 43.8% of the population.

The Church of England expects congregations to continue to fall for another 30 years as the population ages and younger generations shun faith.

I just think they should put a reply on the census that says, "Mind your own business". )



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