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Interesting Fact - The equals sign

The = sign was invented by 16th Century Welsh mathematician Robert Recorde, who was fed up with writing "is equal to" in his equa...

Interesting Words - Dictionary Additions

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

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 £5,767
  • 6 to 13 boys cost £6,414 a year, and girls £7,794
  • 14 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

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 – A national law legalizing same-sex marriage took effect in Spain.

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. aviator Amelia Earhart and navigator Frederick Noonan were reported lost over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first equatorial round-the-world flight. They were never heard from again.

1961 - Author Ernest Hemingway, 61, shot himself at his home in Ketchum, Idaho.

1962 – The first Wal-Mart store opened for business in Rogers, Arkansas.

1964 - U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed into law the Civil Rights Act, meant to prohibit segregation in public places.

1966 – The French military exploded a nuclear test bomb codenamed Aldébaran in Mururoa, their first nuclear test in the Pacific.

1976 – North and South Vietnam, divided since 1954, reunited to form the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.

1976 - The Supreme Court ruled the death penalty was not inherently cruel or unusual.

1990 - A stampede in a pedestrian tunnel at the Muslim holy city of Mecca during the annual Hajj killed 1,426 pilgrims.

1993 - South African President F.W de Klerk and African National Congress leader Nelson Mandela announced that South Africa's first election open to all races would be April 27, 1994.

1994 - The Colombian soccer player who inadvertently scored a goal for the United States, contributing to his team's loss in World Cup competition, was shot to death in Medellin, Colombia.

1997 – James Stewart died.

2005 - Egypt's new ambassador to Iraq was abducted in Baghdad, reportedly by Al-Qaida. He was later murdered.

2008 – Ingrid Betancourt and 14 other FARC hostages were rescued by the Colombian armed forces, she had been held for six and a half years.

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.