Forty-Four Mouth-Watering Facts About Curry.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I’ve done ‘peanut butter‘ and ‘chocolate‘ and ‘coffee‘ in other posts. Today it is another fasab food favorite, the curry.

A curry, properly made, has to be one of the most delicious foods in the world.

I have spent many happy evenings with friends enjoying this delicacy in one form or another. Personally I like it with some naan bread or sometimes with rice. Either way is socially acceptable and extremely tasty.

Mouth watering already?

Very good, let’s get straight to the facts.

Enjoy.

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dishes of curry

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The word curry comes from a Tamil word ‘kari’ or ‘karil’, meaning spices or sautéd vegetables.

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The meaning changed when Portuguese traders used it for the sauces with which rice was served.

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Essentially, the term curry was invented by the English administrators of the East Indian Trading Co. and later continued by British government employees.

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The British army in India further changed the meaning as its liking for hot sauces introduced the modern idea of curries being hot.

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Surprisingly, the term ‘curry’ isn’t used very much in India. There are many types of curry-style dishes, which have their own characteristic regional variations.

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Curry Powder is a mix of spices, rather than a spice in its own right. It usually consists of turmeric, coriander, cardamom, cumin, sweet basil, and red pepper.

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Some of the most common types of curry are ‘Korma’, ‘Massala’, ‘Dhansak’, ‘Phall’, ‘Rogan Josh’, ‘Dopiaza’, ‘Madras’ and ‘Vindaloo’.

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Curry is said to have a number of valuable health benefits, including the prevention of cancer, protection against heart disease, reducing Alzheimer’s disease symptoms, easing pain and inflammation, boosting bone health, protecting the immune system from bacterial infections, and increasing the liver’s ability to remove toxins from the body.

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In addition to being an established and firm favorite in Britain. and increasing popular throughout Europe and the United States, curry forms a major element of the diets of several Asian countries including India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Maldives, Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Japan and Fiji.

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Chili (or Chilli) is the most popular spice in the world and can help combat heart attacks and strokes and extends blood coagulation times preventing harmful blood clots.

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Contrary to common western belief, curries are not always ‘hot’, they can be mild, medium and hot.

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curry with rice

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The earliest known curry was made in Mesopotamia in around 1700 BC, the recipe for meat in a spicy sauce appearing on tablets found near Babylon.

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The Scoville scale is the measurement of the pungency (spicy heat) of chili peppers or other spicy foods.

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The ‘Bhut Jolokia Chilli Pepper’ (also known as the ‘Naga Jolokia’), is the hottest pepper in the world, accompanied with its own health warning! This pepper is also known as the ‘Ghost Chilli’ or ‘Ghost Pepper’, and is grown in the Indian states of Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.

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The first commercial curry powder appeared in about 1780.

In Britain Indian food now surpasses Chinese food in popularity, with Indian restaurants outnumbering Chinese restaurants by two to one.

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The word ‘balti’ means bucket. Balti is more a style of cooking than one particular curry.

In specialist ‘Balti Houses’ the balti is a meal in itself which contains both meat and vegetables and is eaten straight from the karahi using curled up pieces of naan bread. In standard Indian restaurants the balti is more of a stir-fried curry containing plenty of fried green peppers and fresh cilantro (also known as coriander).

South Indian food is more spicy than North Indian food.

The first curry recipe in English appeared in Hannah Glasse’s ‘The Art Of Cookery’ in 1747.

The world’s biggest ever curry was a 13 tonne Biryani, including 187lb of chilies and 6600lb of rice. It took 60 chefs to make in New Delhi in June 2008. And required three cranes to move the container and a 3ft high furnace to cook it!

In Western Europe and the U K, curry powders available contain more turmeric than anything else, and tend to be toned down to palates used to bland food.

curry with naan bread

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The tallest poppadom stack in the world stands at a massive 282 poppadoms. The record was set by a chef from the Jali Indian Restaurant in Blackpool.

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In 2008, Bath and North East Somerset Council advised a man to sprinkle curry powder on his wife’s grave to keep squirrels and deer away.

Tim Stobbs, aged 42 years, currently holds the world record for munching an impressive 15 poppadoms in 5 minutes! The annual World Championships, in aid of Cancer Research UK Scotland, is held every year at St Andrews University.

There are about 10,000 Indian restaurants serving curry in the UK, the vast majority of which are run by people from Bangladesh, not India.

To make a ‘hot’ curry mild, just add some coconut milk.

The word ‘masala’ means spice mix.

In 1846, William Makepeace Thackeray wrote ‘A Poem To Curry’, as part of his Kitchen Melodies.

Britain’s first curry house, called the Hindustani Coffee House and located in London’s Portman Square, opened in 1809. Now there are more curry houses in London, England than in Mumbai, India.

Chili can help combat heart attacks and strokes.

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One of the hottest curry dishes ever made is known as the Bit Spicy 3 Chili Phall which is even hotter than the infamous ‘Chicken Naga’, made with a high volume of Naga pepper seeds. More than 100 times hotter than jalapeño peppers!

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People crave a curry because the spices arouse and stimulate the taste buds.

curry powder

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Vindaloo was originally a Portuguese dish which took its name from the two main ingredients which were ‘vinho’, wine/wine vinegar, and ‘alhos’, garlic. Over time it was spiced up, hotted up and otherwise changed by the indigenous peoples of the ex-Portuguese colony of Goa.

The ‘Big Jim’, a large chili hailing from New Mexico, currently holds the world record for the largest chili ever grown. This plant frequently produces chilies that are over a foot in length, which is hugely impressive considering that the plant itself never grows more than two feet!

The town of North Curry is in Somerset while West Curry is in Cornwall.

Madras and pathia are both hot and sour dishes. Kashmiri a more subtle and creamy dish usually made with lychees or bananas – or both.

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Scientists at Nottingham Trent University have discovered that people begin to crave for a curry because the spices arouse and stimulate the taste buds.

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One in seven curries sold in the UK is a chicken tikka masala, making it the most popular Indian restaurant dish in the UK. It is thought to have originated in Britain after an enterprising Indian chef had the idea of adding a tomato and onion paste to the grilled chicken to satisfy the British preference for food that isn’t dry.

The largest naan bread ever made was a whopping 2.75m in diameter and contained meat dumplings – the equivalent of 167 normal sized naan breads. The bread took over ten hours to finish and required twelve chefs, 30kg mutton, 125kg flour, 16kg onion and 90kg of water to cook it.

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Southeastern Asian cultures have always mixed a number of spices to flavor their dishes, usually according to recipes handed down from generation to generation.

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A common way to categorize Thai curry is by the color of the curry paste used to make the curry dish. Green and red curry paste are the most typical. Yellow and sour curries (also sometimes known as orange curry, gaeng sohm) are also well known. Each has its own particular combination of herbs and spices to make up the curry paste that makes it unique.

‘Panang’ and ‘masaman’ curry are probably the most popular Thai curries in the West, because of their rich tastes.

Finally, if you are eating a curry which is just too hot for you, don’t drink water, that only makes it hotter!

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today The Number Is Sixty-Four 64

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Another significant numbers day.

In case you are wondering these numbers are picked quite randomly. Only after it makes itself known does the search start for things associated with it.

Sometimes there is a lot, sometimes not so much. Sixty-four seems to be a well used number so a lot of information below.

If you are into numbers, enjoy.

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The Number Sixty-Four  64

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64

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In religion

  • The 64th word of the King James Version of the Bible’s Old Testament Genesis is “light”;
  • King David prays for deliverance from his enemies in the 64th Psalm;
  • The 64 Dakinis or Yoginis are 8 Mother goddesses each with 8 attendants in India religious traditions; each of the 64 can be further correlated to the currents or winds of the human “etheric” body;
  • The Lord Shiva has 64 forms or manifestations.

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In mathematics

  • Sixty-four is the square of 8, the cube of 4, and the sixth power of 2;
  • Sixty-four is the smallest number with exactly seven divisors;
  • Sixty-four is the lowest positive power of two that is adjacent to neither a Mersenne prime nor a Fermat prime;
  • Sixty-four  is the sum of Euler’s totient function for the first fourteen integers;
  • Sixty-four is also a dodecagonal number and a centered triangular number;
  • In base 10, no integer added up to its own digits yields 64, hence it is a self number;
  • Sixty-four is a super-perfect number – a number such that s(s(n))=2n.

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  • Base64
  • Base64 is a group of similar binary-to-text encoding schemes that represent binary data in an ASCII string format by translating it into a radix-64 representation. The term Base64 originates from a specific MIME content transfer encoding.
  • Base64 encoding schemes are commonly used when there is a need to encode binary data that needs to be stored and transferred over media that are designed to deal with textual data. This is to ensure that the data remain intact without modification during transport.
  • Base64 is commonly used in a number of applications including email via MIME, and storing complex data in XML.

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  • Graham’s number
  • Graham’s number, named after Ronald Graham, is unimaginably larger than other well-known large numbers such as a googol, googolplex, and even larger than Skewes’ number and Moser’s number.
  • The number gained a degree of popular attention when Martin Gardner described it in the “Mathematical Games” section of Scientific American in November 1977, writing that, “In an unpublished proof, Graham has recently established … a bound so vast that it holds the record for the largest number ever used in a serious mathematical proof.” The 1980 Guinness Book of World Records repeated Gardner’s claim, adding to the popular interest in this number.
  • Specific integers known to be far larger than Graham’s number have since appeared in many serious mathematical proofs (e.g., in connection with Friedman’s various finite forms of Kruskal’s theorem).

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In Computing

  • 64-bit
  • In computer architecture, 64-bit computing is the use of processors that have datapath widths, integer size, and memory addresses of 64 bits (eight octets) wide. Also, 64-bit CPU and ALU architectures are those that are based on registers, address buses, or data buses of that size. From the software perspective, 64-bit computing means the use of code with 64-bit virtual memory addresses

64 bit is the future

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  • Commodore 64
  • The Commodore 64, commonly called C64, CBM 64 (for Commodore Business Machines), or VIC-64, is an 8-bit home computer introduced in January 1982 by Commodore International.
  • Volume production started in the spring of 1982, with machines being released on to the market in August at a price of US$595.
  • Preceded by the Commodore VIC-20 and Commodore PET, the C64 took its name from its 64 kilobytes (65,536 bytes) of RAM, and had favorable sound and graphical specifications when compared to contemporary systems such as the Apple II, at a price that was well below the circa US$ 1200 demanded by Apple.
  • For a substantial period (1983–1986), the C64 dominated the market with between 30% and 40% share and 2 million units sold per year, outselling the IBM PC compatibles, Apple Inc. computers, and Atari 8-bit family computers.
  • Sam Tramiel, a later Atari president and the son of Commodore’s founder, said in a 1989 interview “When I was at Commodore we were building 400,000 C64s a month for a couple of years.”

C64 computer

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  • Dragon 64
  • The Dragon 32 and Dragon 64 are home computers that were built in the 1980s. The Dragons are very similar to the TRS-80 Color Computer (CoCo), and were produced for the European market by Dragon Data, Ltd., in Port Talbot, Wales, and for the US market by Tano of New Orleans, Louisiana.
  • The model numbers reflect the primary difference between the two machines, which have 32 and 64 kilobytes of RAM, respectively.

Dragon-64 computer

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In science

  • Sixty-four is the Atomic Number of Gadolinium (Gd), discovered by Jean de Marignac 1880 (Switzerland), and named after the mineral gadolinite;
  • Sixty-four is the Atomic Weight of Copper (Cu).
  • There are 64 codons in the RNA codon table under genetic code.

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In space

  • Messier object M64, is a magnitude 9.0 galaxy in the constellation Coma Berenices, also known as the Black Eye Galaxy;
  • The New General Catalogue object NGC 64, a barred spiral galaxy in the constellation Cetus;
  • WOH G64 is a red hypergiant in the Large Magellanic Cloud. With 1540 times the radius of the Sun, it is one of the largest known stars and the largest known in the LMC. The physical parameters are still poorly known due to the distance, visual faintness, several solar masses of shrouding dust, and the possibility of a bright hot companion.

WOH_G64_Particular

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  • STS-64
  • STS-64 was a Space Shuttle Discovery mission, launched from Kennedy Space Center, Florida, on 9 September 1994, to perform multiple experiment packages.
  • STS-64 marked the first flight of Lidar In-space Technology Experiment (LITE) and first untethered U.S. extravehicular activity (EVA) in 10 years. LITE payload employs lidar, which stands for “light detection and ranging”, a type of optical radar using laser pulses instead of radio waves to study Earth’s atmosphere.
  • On day five of the mission, the Shuttle Pointed Autonomous Research Tool for Astronomy-201 (SPARTAN-201) free flyer was released using the Remote Manipulator System arm.
  • STS-64 was the first mission to see the use of the new full-pressure Advanced Crew Escape Suit, which eventually replaced the partial-pressure Launch Entry Suit.

sts-64-patch

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In politics

  • Department of State Form DS-64 is the one US Citizens need if they lose or have your passport stolen;
  • Department of Labor Chapter 64 regulates the employment of workers with disabilities at special wages;
  • In the United States presidential election of 1964, held on Tuesday, November 3, 1964, Democratic candidate and incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson who had come to office less than a year earlier following the assassination of his predecessor, John F. Kennedy, and who had successfully associated himself with Kennedy’s popularity, won 61.1% of the popular vote, the highest won by a candidate since 1820.

United States presidential election  1964

  • In Chinese the “Six Four Incident” refers to Tiananmen Square protests of 1989.

tiananmen-square-1989

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In sport

  • There are 64 teams participating in the NCAA Basketball Tournament;
  • In chess or draughts, there are a total of 64 black (dark) and white (light) squares on the game board;
  • The Knight’s Tour of a chessboard is a sequence of moves by a knight so that each of the 64 squares is visited only once. The numbers of the knight’s moves form a magic square where each row and column adds up to 260;
  • 64 is the name of the premier Russian chess magazine;
  • NFL Hall of Famers with jersey #64 include Dave Wilcox, Linebacker (Boise Junior College, Oregon) and 1964-1974 San Francisco 49ers; George Blanda, Quarterback-Kicker, 1949, 1950-58 Chicago Bears, 1950 Baltimore Colts, 1960-66 Houston Oilers, 1967-1975 Oakland Raiders; Joe Delamielleure, Guard, 1973-1979, 1985 Buffalo Bills, 1980-1984 Cleveland Browns; Randall McDaniel, Guard, 1988-1999 Minnesota Vikings, 2000-01 Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Y.A. Tittle, Quarterback, 1948-1950 Baltimore Colts (AAFC/NFL), 1951-1960 San Francisco 49ers, 1961-1964 New York Giants.

Y A Tittle

  • In the National Hockey League, jersey #64 is used by James Robert McGinn IV is a Canadian professional ice hockey player currently playing for the Colorado Avalanche.

James McGinn

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In books, movies, music and TV

  • The $64,000 Question is an American game show broadcast from 1955–1958, which became embroiled in the scandals involving TV quiz shows of the day. The $64,000 Challenge (1956–1958) was its popular spin-off show.
  • When I’m 64 is a song by John Lennon & Paul McCartney from The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album (1967).


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In militaria

  • HMS Vansittart
  • HMS Vansittart was an Admiralty modified W class destroyer built for the Royal Navy. She was ordered in January 1918 from William Beardmore & Company with the 13th Order for Destroyers of the Emergency War Program of 1918-19. She was the second Royal Navy ship to carry the name which was first used in 1821 for a hired packet.

HMS_Vansittart (D64)

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  • HMS Beverley (H 64)
  • Completed in July 1920 as USS Branch (DD 197) for the US Navy, on 8 Oct, 1940 she was transferred to the Royal Navy and renamed HMS Beverley (H 64).
  • On 9 Apr, 1943, during WWII convoy duty in the North Atlantic, HMS Beverley had been seriously damaged in a collision with the British steam merchant Cairnvalona and had taken station in the rear of the convoy. When it was subsequenty attaced by a German U-Boat, U-188, 30 hours later she was hit by torpedos and sunk. HMS Clover (K 134) (Lt P.H. Grieves, RNR) later picked up five survivors and recovered two bodies, but one of the survivors later died on board.

hms_beverley

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  • HMS Fencer (D64)
  • The USS Croatan (CVE-14) (originally AVG-14 then ACV-14) was transferred to the United Kingdom on 20 February 1943 under lend-lease where she served as HMS Fencer (D64). As an anti-submarine warfare carrier, Fencer escorted Atlantic, Russian and African convoys, even participating in a strike on the German battleship Tirpitz before being transferred to the Pacific.
  • Following World War II, she returned to the United States 21 December 1946, stricken for disposal on 28 January 1947 and sold into merchant service 30 December as Sydney.
  • The ship went through a series of renamings, first to Roma in 1967, then Galaxy Queen in 1970, Lady Dina in 1972 and finally Caribia in 1973 before being scrapped in Spezia in September 1975.

HMS_Fencer_D64

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  • HMS Scorpion (D64)
  • HMS Scorpion (D64) was a Weapon-class destroyer of the British Royal Navy. Originally named HMS Centaur, the ship was renamed Tomahawk and finally Scorpion (in September 1943) before her launch.
  • Scorpion was the only Weapon-class ship fitted with the Limbo depth charge mortar rather than the older Squid.
  • In 1953 she took part in the Fleet Review to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

HMS Scorpion D64

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  • HMS Theseus (R64)
  • HMS Theseus (R64) was a Colossus-class light fleet aircraft carrier of the Royal Navy, launched on 6 July 1944.
  • Theseus was laid down to serve in the Second World War, but was not completed before peace was declared in 1945. She was utilized as a training vessel until the outbreak of the Korean War when she was deployed to Korea, commencing standard carrier operations.
  • In 1956, Theseus was used as an emergency commando carrier, along with her sister-ship Ocean, during the Suez Crisis. From November to December, helicopters from Theseus transported troops ashore, as well as evacuating wounded soldiers. Compared to her actions during the Korean War, her role at Suez was relatively quiet. The following year she was placed in reserve. She was subsequently broken up at Inverkeithing in 1962.

HMS Theseus (R64)

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  • USS Wisconsin (BB-64)
  • The USS Wisconsin (BB-64), “Wisky” or “WisKy”, is an Iowa-class battleship, the second ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the U.S. state of Wisconsin. She was launched on 7 December 1943 (the second anniversary of the Pearl Harbor raid).
  • During her career, Wisconsin served in the Pacific Theater of World War II, where she shelled Japanese fortifications and screened United States aircraft carriers as they conducted air raids against enemy positions.
  • During the Korean War, Wisconsin shelled North Korean targets in support of United Nations and South Korean ground operations, after which she was decommissioned.
  • She was reactivated 1 August 1986, modernised and participated in Operation Desert Storm in January and February 1991.
  • Wisconsin was last decommissioned in September 1991, having earned a total of six battle stars for service in World War II and Korea, as well as a Navy Unit Commendation for service during the January/February 1991 Gulf War.
  • She currently functions as a museum ship operated by Nauticus, The National Maritime Center in Norfolk, Virginia. .

Uss_wisconsin

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  • USS Constellation (CV-64)
  • The USS Constellation (CV-64), a Kitty Hawk–class supercarrier, was the third ship of the United States Navy to be named in honor of the “new constellation of stars” on the flag of the United States and the only naval vessel ever authorized to display red, white, and blue designation numbers.
  • One of the fastest ships in the Navy, as proven by her victory during a battlegroup race held in 1985, she was nicknamed “Connie” by her crew and officially as “America’s Flagship”.
  • She was launched 8 October 1960 and delivered to the Navy 1 October 1961, and commissioned 27 October 1961, with Captain T. J. Walker in command. At that time, she had cost about US$264.5 million. Constellation was the last U.S. aircraft carrier (as of 2010) to be built at a yard other than Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock Company.

USS_Constellation_CV-64

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  • USS Gettysburg (CG-64)
  • The USS Gettysburg (CG-64) is a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser in the United States Navy, built at the Bath Iron Works in Maine and named for the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.
  • With her guided missiles and rapid-fire cannons, she is capable of facing and defeating threats in the air, on the sea, or ashore, and underneath the sea. She also carries two Seahawk LAMPS multi-purpose helicopters, but mainly for anti-submarine warfare (ASW).
  • She is based in Mayport, Florida.

USS_Gettsyburg_(CG-64)

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  • U-64
  • The first U-64 was a Type U-63 class submarine in the Kaiserliche Marine that served during World War I. She was built in 1916 and served in the Mediterranean Sea.
  • On 19 March 1917, while on patrol in the Tyrrhenian Sea, U-64 torpedoed and sank the French battleship Danton 30 miles south of Sardinia, with the loss of 296 men. She herself was lost on 17 June 1918.

u_64_u_63_type_u_boot 1915-1918

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  • In 1937 another German submarine U-64, a Type IXB U-boat of the Nazi German Kriegsmarine, was ordered in July 1937 and launched in September 1939.
  • This U-64 had a very short career and sank no enemy vessels. Having left her home port of Wilhelmshaven for her first war patrol on 6 April 1940, she was intercepted by Allied aircraft seven days later off the coast of Norway during the invasion of that country and was sunk by a bomb from a Fairey Swordfish aircraft of HMS Warspite. Of her crew of 46, eight men died and 38 escaped from the sinking submarine.

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  • K-64
  • The K-64 Designation was first given to the first Alfa Class Submarine, launched on April 22, 1969.
  • In 1972, the submarine suffered a major reactor problem in the form of a leak of liquid metal coolant. The superheated metal solidified on contact with the colder outside air, freezing and damaging internal components of the reactor. She was removed from service and towed to Severodvinsk.
  • The K-64 designation was again given to a Delta IV class submarine launched on February 2, 1986 as the fourth ship of its class, entered in service in the Russian Northern Fleet. The sub was laid down in December 1982 and was built at Sevmash plant in Severodvinsk.
  • This ship is still in active service.

Soviet submarine K-64

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  • P-64
  • P-64 was the designation assigned by the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) to the North American Aviation NA-68 fighter, an upgraded variant of the NA-50 developed during the late 1930s.
  • Six NA-68s ordered by the Royal Thai Air Force were seized before export by the US government in 1941, after the Franco-Thai War and growing ties between Thailand and the Empire of Japan. These aircraft were used by the USAAC as unarmed fighter trainers.
  • Seven NA-50s were purchased by the Peruvian Air Force, which nicknamed it Torito (“Little Bull”). The Peruvian NA-50s subsequently saw action during the Ecuadorian-Peruvian War of 1941.

na_p-64

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  • The Grumman G-64/111 Albatross
  • The Albatross is easily the largest of Grumman’s series of utility amphibians, and was the only one originally developed specifically for military service.
  • The Albatross resulted from a late 1940s US Navy requirement for a general purpose amphibious transport. The first Albatross prototype flew for the first time on October 24 1947, with more than 400 production HU-16s subsequently delivered to the US Navy, US Coast Guard and 12 other nations. Military Albatross missions included general reconnaissance, maritime patrol, anti submarine warfare (in which role it could be armed with torpedoes and depth charges) and search and rescue.
  • In the late 1970s, Grumman and major US flying boat operator Resorts International began work on a program to convert the Albatross for civil airline service. The conversion incorporated numerous changes to the basic Albatross, including a 28 seat passenger interior, a galley and provision for a flight attendant, upgraded avionics and other improved systems.
  • In all only 13 aircraft were converted, 12 for Resorts International, and 1 for Conoco Oil/Pelita which operated from Singapore. Several of these are still active, together with ex military examples.

Grumman albatross

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  • AH-64 Apache
  • The Boeing AH-64 Apache is a four-blade, twin-engine attack helicopter with a tailwheel-type landing gear arrangement, and a tandem cockpit for a two-man crew.
  • Originally, the Apache started life as the Model 77 developed by Hughes Helicopters for the United States Army’s Advanced Attack Helicopter program to replace the AH-1 Cobra, and was first flown on 30 September 1975.
  • The AH-64 was introduced to U.S. Army service in April 1986.
  • The AH-64 Apache features a nose-mounted sensor suite for target acquisition and night vision systems; is armed with a 30-millimeter (1.2 in) M230 Chain Gun carried between the main landing gear, under the aircraft’s forward fuselage; and has four hardpoints mounted on stub-wing pylons, typically carrying a mixture of AGM-114 Hellfire missiles and Hydra 70 rocket pods. The AH-64 has a large amount of systems redundancy to improve combat survivability.
  • The first production AH-64D Apache Longbow, an upgraded version of the original Apache, was delivered to the Army in March 1997. Production has been continued by Boeing Defense, Space & Security; over 1,000 AH-64s have been produced to date.
  • The U.S. Army is the primary operator of the AH-64; it has also become the primary attack helicopter of multiple nations, including Greece, Japan, Israel, the Netherlands and Singapore; as well as being produced under license in the United Kingdom as the AgustaWestland Apache. U.S. AH-64s have served in conflicts in Panama, the Persian Gulf, Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Israel used the Apache in its military conflicts in Lebanon and the Gaza Strip; both British and U.S. Apaches have seen deployments in Afghanistan and Iraq.

AH-64D_Apache_Longbow

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  • Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane
  • The Sikorsky S-64 Skycrane is an American twin-engine heavy-lift helicopter, the civil version of the United States Army’s CH-54 Tarhe. The S-64 Aircrane is the current production version, manufactured by the Erickson Air-Crane company.
  • Erickson Air-Crane purchased the type certificate and manufacturing rights in 1992 and since that date they have become the manufacturer and world’s largest operator of S-64 Aircranes. The Aircrane can be fitted with a 2,650-gallon (~10,000 litre) fixed retardant tank to assist in the control of bush fires, and it has proved itself admirably in this role.
  • Erickson is manufacturing new S-64s, as well as remanufacturing existing CH-54s, with each being assigned an individual name, the best-known being “Elvis”, used in fighting fires in Australia alongside “The Incredible Hulk” and “Isabelle”.
  • Other operators, such as Siller Brothers, have followed with their Sikorsky S-64E, Andy’s Pride. The Erickson S-64E nicknamed “Olga” was used to lift the top section of the CN Tower into place in Toronto, Canada.
  • The S-64 is the first helicopter built with a rear-facing pilot’s seat—this allows the pilot to watch exactly where the load is being placed as he’s flying the helicopter. The feature came in handy in 1993, when an S-64 removed and replaced the Statue of Freedom from the US Capitol building during a renovation. When transporting a big load like that, the S-64 uses an anti-rotation rigging system that prevents the aircraft from twisting and swaying.

Sikorsky S64

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  • T-64
  • The T-64 is a Soviet main battle tank, introduced in the early 1960s. It was a more advanced counterpart to the T-62: the T-64 served tank divisions, while the T-62 supported infantry in motor rifle divisions. Although the T-62 and the famed T-72 would see much wider use and generally more development, it was the T-64 that formed the basis of more modern Soviet tank designs like the T-80.

T-64 tank

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  • W64 nuclear warhead
  • The W64 nuclear warhead was the Los Alamos Laboratory’s entry into a brief competition between Lawrence Livermore Laboratory and Los Alamos to design an “enhanced-radiation” nuclear warhead (i.e., a “neutron bomb”) for the United States Army’s MGM-52 Lance tactical surface-to-surface missile.
  • The Los Alamos design, the W64, was canceled in September 1964 in favor of Livermore’s W63. In November 1966, the W63 was canceled in favor of the W70, the model that finally entered production.

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  • L64
  • The L64 was an intermediate calibre British bullpup layout prototype assault rifle developed in the 1970s. The British Army had considered bullpup designs with intermediate calibre rounds in the 1950s, and officially adopted one of these as .280 British in 1951 in the EM-2 and Taden gun. However, US intransigence during NATO standardization efforts, and Winston Churchill’s interest in standards above all, led to the adoption of the significantly more powerful 7.62×51mm NATO round and the British and Canadian armies adopted the L1A1 SLR, a licensed version of the FN FAL, itself originally designed for the .280.
  • In the late 1960s a new L64/65 “Individual Weapon” was developed, outwardly similar to the earlier EM-2, but adopted a firing mechanism very similar to ArmaLite’s latest AR-18 design. The first examples were available in 1972.
  • By 1976, NATO was ready to standardize on a small calibre round, and testing of the various rounds head-to-head started in 1977. As designed, the British round out-performed the standard US 5.56 mm. However Fabrique Nationale’s entry based on the 5.56 mm, the “SS-109” performed as well as the British cartridge. In the end it was selected largely due to its similarity with existing US ammunition.
  • The L64 pattern was later developed into the SA80 family of weapons, which entered service with the UK in the 1980s.

L64-Enfield_bullpup_prototype

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  • P-64 Pistol
  • The P-64 is a Polish 9mm semi-automatic pistol designed to fire the 9x18mm Makarov cartridge. The pistol was developed in the late 1950s at the Institute for Artillery Research, which later became the Military Institute of Armament Technology.

P64 pistol

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In other fields

  • Cities situated on longtitude 64 degree west are:  Charlotte Amalie,  US Virgin Islands; Hamilton,  Bermuda; Road Town,  British Virgin Islands; and Córdoba, Argentina.
  • Cities situated on latitude 64 north are:  Fairbanks, Alaska; Skellefteå, Sweden; Anadyr and Arkhangelsk, Russia; Nuuk (Godthåb), Greenland; and Reykjavík, Iceland.
  • There are 64 gems in total number in a standard Bejeweled game board.
  • 64 is the code for international direct dial calls to New Zealand.
  • There are 64 Braille characters in the old 6-dot system.
  • Since 1996, the number 64 has been an abbreviation or slang for Nintendo 64 (though N64 is more common) along with the games Super Mario 64, Mario Kart 64 and more.

Nintendo_64_Logo

  • 64 is the maximum number of strokes in any Chinese character.
  • There are 64 hexagrams in the I Ching.
  • There are 64 sexual positions in the Kama Sutra.
  • There are 64 demons in the Dictionnaire Infernal.
  • There are 64 classical arts listed in many Indian scriptures. They include: singing, dancing, painting, poetry, playing cards, making arguments, making flower garlands, etc.
  • The 64th French department is Pyrénées-Atlantiques.
  • Unsurprisingly it is the number of crayons in the popular Crayola 64 pack.
  • 64 is the maximum stack size in the popular game Minecraft.
  • 64 (dog) is a character in the Donald Duck comics universe.
  • Number of golden disks in the myth of the Tower of Hanoi.
  • The S64-1.25 MW has a well-suited ratio of rotor diameter to generator for most sites in a medium wind speed regime. The wind turbine concept is based on robust design and is efficiently handled by the Suzlon controller. These technologies are all well-known in the wind power industry and have proven themselves over time.

Suzlon_S64-1.25-MW

  • PARALOID B-64 solid grade acrylic resin provides an outstanding combination of hardness, flexibility, and adhesion to various substrates. This general-purpose resin permits wider latitude in formulating in solvents that are suitable for specific applications.
  • Group f/64 was a group of seven 20th century San Francisco photographers who shared a common photographic style characterized by sharp-focused and carefully framed images seen through a particularly Western (U.S.) viewpoint. In part, they formed in opposition to the Pictorialist photographic style that had dominated much of the early 20th century, but moreover they wanted to promote a new Modernist aesthetic that was based on precisely exposed images of natural forms and found objects.
  • 64 is the slang term referring to a 1964 Chevrolet Impala, often configured as a lowrider, a popular subject among early-90’s gangsta rap.

1964_chevrolet_impala_ss_convertible front_view

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I Can Hardly Believe it, They’re Getting Dumber – More Quiz Show Answers

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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What I said in the title of today’s selection of quiz show answers is very true. They are getting dumber!

Another thing that we can establish beyond reasonable doubt is that stupid people should not be allowed near bicycles.

Here’s this week’s lot, you’ll see what I mean.

Enjoy.  

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Q: In books that are written in English, each line is printed and read starting at which side of the page?     

A: The right      

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Q: The song by Elvis that on its reissue in 2005 became the 1000th number one single in UK chart history is entitled “One…” what?   

A: A Little Less Conversation     

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Q: In solid geometry, What H is the name given to half a sphere?            

A: Half a circle  

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Q: Which iconic cartoon family made their film debut in 2007, 20 years after their show was first broadcast on American television?        

A: The Osbournes

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Q: How many wheels does a unicycle have?       

A: Two 

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Q: In medicine, the phrase “contagious disease” literally means an illness that is spread by which of the five senses?        

A: Sight.          

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Q: In science, what was the surname of the German physicist who is credited with the invention of the mercury thermometer?            

A: Mercury       

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Q: In slang, which three-letter word precedes “shop” to make a rhyming term for a police station? 

A: Nick

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Q: The role of the plump teenager Tracy Turnblad, played by Nikki Blonsky in the 2007 film “Hairspray,” was played in the 1988 original by Ricki who?        

A: Tomlinson

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Q:  Name the funny men who once entertained kings and queens at court. 

A:  Lepers.

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Q:  Which French Mediterranean town hosts a famous film festival every year? 

A:  I don’t know, I need a clue.

Q.:  OK. What do beans come in?

A:  Cartons?

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Q:  Who had a worldwide hit with What A Wonderful World? 

A:  I don’t know.

 

Q:  I’ll give you some clues: what do you call the part between your hand and your elbow?

A:  Arm.

 

Q:  Correct. And if you’re not weak, you’re . . .?

A:  Strong.

 

Q:  Correct – and what was Lord Mountbatten’s first name?

A:  Louis.

 

Q:  Well, there we are then. So who had a worldwide hit with the song What A Wonderful

World?

A:  Frank Sinatra?

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Q:  What is the capital of Italy? 

A:  France.

 

Q:  France is another country. Try again.

A:  Oh, um, Benidorm.

 

Q:  Wrong, sorry, let’s try another question. In which country is the Parthenon?

A:  Sorry, I don’t know.

 

Q:  Just guess a country then.

A:  Paris.

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Q:  What is another name for ‘cherrypickers’ and ‘cheesemongers’? 

A:  Homosexuals. 

Q:  No. They’re regiments in the British Army who will be very upset with you.

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Q:  Oscar Wilde, Adolf Hitler and Jeffrey Archer have all written books about their experiences in what: prison, or the Conservative Party? 

A:  The Conservative Party.

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Q: How many wheels are there on a unicycle? 

A:  Three.

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Q:  In traffic, what ‘J’ is where two roads meet?

A:  Jool carriageway

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Q:  How many metres are there in a kilometre? 

A:  Three.

 .

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Q:  How many wheels does a tricycle have? 

A:  Two.

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Q:  What was Gandhi’s first name?

A:  Goosey, goosey

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Significant Number Factoid Friday – Today Number Fifty-Two 52

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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They’ve been ‘beautiful’,  they’ve been ‘big’  and they’ve been ‘unusual’.  Today we have another ‘significant’ number, fifty-two, so-called because of its use and the beliefs surrounding it.

Enjoy.

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52 Fifty-Two

52

 

Fifty-two first came to mind because it is the number of weeks in a year. Simple enough. But, as usual, with these significant numbers there is more to fifty-two than you might at first imagine.

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In Religion

  • The 52nd word of the King James Version of the Bible’s Old Testament Genesis is ‘God’
  • Saint Thomas, one of the twelve disciples of Jesus, is believed to have landed in Kodungallur, India to preach the Gospel.
  • Nag Hammadi is a set of 52 religious & philosophical texts, hidden in an earthenware jar for 1,600 years, and accidentally unearthed in the village of Nag Hammadi in Upper Egypt in December 1945. Written in Coptic, this corpus of 1200 pages include the Gospel of Thomas recording the secret sayings of Christ. 
Nag Hammadi
Nag Hammadi
  • The ancient Mexicans divided the time in periods of 52 years, waiting the end of the world to the term of each of they. It is the number of the Aztec century, 13 x 4, called the small cycle. We find it in the ligature of the years for the duration of the suns, in particular the first and the fourth sun, which have a duration of 676 years, are considered as being the most perfect since they contain only the two numbers 13 and 52 whose product gives 676.
  • The Mayan Calendar moves through a complete cycle every 52 years. (until near the end of December this year GULP!)

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In Mathematics

  • Fifty-two is the 6th Bell number and a decagonal number.
  • It is an untouchable number, since it is never the sum of proper divisors of any number, and it is a noncototient since it is never the answer to the equation x – f(x).
  • The number of different ways a complete pack of playing cards may be rearranged is 52! or 52 factorial which is 52 x 51 x 50 x 49 x…
  • This number is very large; For example it would take light approximately 14 billion billion billion billion billion billion years to travel 52! miles.

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In Science

  • The Atomic Number of Tellurium (semi-metallic with silvery lustrous grey color) is 52 
  • Atomic Weight of Chromium (Cr) is 52 

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In Space 

  • Messier object M52, a magnitude 8.0 open cluster in the constellation Cassiopeia
Messier object M52
Messier object M52

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In Sport

  • For over twenty years, 52 was the best-known car number of retired NASCAR driver Jimmy Means.
Jimmy Means Racing
Jimmy Means Racing

 

  • Ray Lewis, is possibly the most famous sportsman to currently wear the number 52 jersey. He plays for the Baltimore Ravens, is a dominant linebacker and force on the premier defense in the NFL. He also has a really unique (and entertaining,) dance he does when entering the stadium field.

Ray Lewis

 

  • But perhaps the most interesting story is that of Michael Lewis “Iron Mike” Webster who was an American football player who played center in the National Football League from 1974 to 1990 with the Pittsburgh Steelers and Kansas City Chiefs. He is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. “Iron Mike” anchored the Steelers’ offensive line during much of their run of four Super Bowl victories from 1974 to 1979 and is considered by some as the best center in NFL history.
  • His career ended after the 1990 season, with a total of 245 games played at center. At the time of his retirement, he was the last active player in the NFL to have played on all four Super Bowl winning teams of the 1970s Steelers. He played more seasons as a Steeler than anyone in franchise history (15 seasons), one season ahead of Hines Ward.
  • While the Steelers no longer officially retire jerseys, Webster’s #52 has not been reissued by the team since he retired and it is generally understood that no Steeler will wear that number again.
  • Webster was proven to have been disabled before retiring from the NFL. After retirement, he  suffered from amnesia, dementia, depression, and acute bone and muscle pain. He lived out of his pickup truck or in train stations between Wisconsin and Pittsburgh, even though his friends and former teammates were willing to rent apartments for him. In his last years Webster lived with his youngest son, Garrett, who though only a teenager at the time, had to act as the parent to his father. Webster’s wife divorced him six months before his death in 2002. He was only 50 years old.
  • Webster is quoted as an example of the difficulties American football players suffer when their careers are over. Other players who retired because of the effects of concussion or other head injuries include Johnny Unitas, Roger Staubach, Merril Hoge, Troy Aikman, Steve Young, Dave Pear, Wayne Chrebet, and Al Toon.
  • After his death, Mike Webster was diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a neurodegenerative disease. Bennet Omalu, a forensic neuropathologist, examined tissue from Webster and eight other NFL players and determined they all showed the kind of brain damage previously seen in people with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia, as well as in some retired boxers. Omalu’s findings were largely ignored by the NFL until Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver Chris Henry was diagnosed with CTE shortly after his death in 2009.
  • It has been speculated that Webster’s ailments were due to wear and tear sustained over his playing career; some doctors estimated he had been in the equivalent of “25,000 automobile crashes” in over 25 years of playing football at high school, college and professional levels.
  • Webster’s estate brought a lawsuit in Maryland’s U.S. District Court against the National Football League. The estate contended that Webster was disabled at the time of his retirement, and was owed $1.142 million in disability payments under the NFL’s retirement plan. On April 26, 2005, a federal judge ruled that the NFL benefits plan owed Webster’s estate $1.18 million in benefits. With the addition of interest and fees, that amount was estimated to exceed $1.60 million. The NFL appealed the ruling, but on December 13, 2006, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit in Richmond, Virginia affirmed the Baltimore federal judge’s 2005 ruling that the league’s retirement plan must pay benefits reserved for players whose disabilities began while they were still playing football.
Iron Mike Webster
Iron Mike Webster

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In Militaria

The B-52

  • By far the best know aircraft with the 52 designation is the Boeing B-52 Stratofortress. It is a long-range, subsonic, jet-powered strategic bomber, built to carry nuclear weapons for Cold War-era deterrence missions, and was a replacement for the Convair B-36.
  • It has been operated by the United States Air Force (USAF) since the 1955. The bomber carries up to 70,000 pounds (32,000 kg) of weapons.
  • Beginning with their successful contract bid in June 1946, the Boeing B-52 design evolved from a straight-wing aircraft powered by six turboprop engines to the final prototype YB-52 with eight turbojet engines and swept wings.
  • The B-52 took its maiden flight in April 1952. Although a veteran of several wars, the Stratofortress has dropped only conventional munitions in combat. Its Stratofortress name is rarely used outside of official contexts; it has been referred to by Air Force personnel as the BUFF (Big Ugly Fat/Flying Fucker/Fellow).
  • Superior performance at high subsonic speeds and relatively low operating costs have kept the B-52 in service despite the advent of later aircraft, including the cancelled Mach 3 North American XB-70 Valkyrie, the variable-geometry Rockwell B-1B Lancer, and the stealthy Northrop Grumman B-2 Spirit.
  • The B-52 marked its 50th anniversary of continuous service with its original operator in 2005 and after being upgraded between 2013 and 2015 it will serve into the 2040s.
B-52 in flight and on the ground with ordnance display
B-52 in flight and on the ground with ordnance display

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 The Junkers Ju 52

  • The Junkers Ju 52 (nicknamed Tante Ju (“Auntie Ju”) and Iron Annie) was a German trimotor transport aircraft manufactured from 1932 to 1945.
  • It saw both civilian and military service during the 1930s and 1940s.
  • In a civilian role, it flew with over 12 air carriers including Swissair and Deutsche Luft Hansa as an airliner and freight hauler.
  • In a military role, it flew with the Luftwaffe as a troop and cargo transport and briefly as a medium bomber.
  • The Ju 52 continued in postwar service with military and civilian air fleets well into the 1980s.
Junkers Ju 52
Junkers Ju 52

 

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Ka-52

  • Another notable air machine with the 52 designation is the multi-role all-weather combat Ka-52 “Alligator” helicopter.  First revealed at 1995 Paris Air Show, this is a twin-seat derivative of the attack Ka-50. It is intended for a wide range of combat tasks in daytime and night conditions, in any time of the year with the use of all destruction means of the Ka-50.
  • The Ka-52 has a coaxial design with unique manoeuvrability that allows the helicopter to perform combat maneuvers within the minimum air area and the shortest time to gain an advantageous attack position.
  • From the point of view of the weapons power the “Alligator” is comparable with the “Black Shark” helicopter and is superior to all existing combat helicopters.
The multi-role all-weather combat Ka-52 'Alligator' helicopter
The multi-role all-weather combat Ka-52 ‘Alligator’ helicopter

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USS Barry (DDG 52)

  • The fourth ‘Barry’, the DDG 52, was launched on 10 May 1991 by Ingalls Shipbuilding Inc. and was commissioned into the U.S. Atlantic Fleet on 12 December 1992.
  • The USS Barry DDG 52 has taken part in Operation Support Democracy in Haiti in November 1993; the backdrop for the 50th anniversary of D-Day in the Mediterranean in 1994; the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas served as “Red Crown” in support of the No-Fly Zone over Bosnia-Herzegovina; the Persian Gulf in 1994 in response to Iraq’s massing of troops on the Kuwaiti border; Operation Vigilant Warriors escort of both the George Washington and an amphibious assault group to anchorage off Kuwait City and as alternate Persian Gulf Anti-Air Warfare Coordinator (AAWC), and principal Tomahawk strike platform during the crisis. 
  • The USS Barry received a Meritorious Unit Commendation, the Southwest Asia Service Medal, the Armed Forces Service Medal, and the NATO Medal for her actions
  • In October of 2004, Barry was again in the Persian Gulf in support of Operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring Freedom as part of the USS Harry S. Truman (CVN 75) Carrier Strike Group and also participated in Somalia Operations in the Horn of Africa (HOA).
USS Barry DDG52
USS Barry DDG52

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CZ 52

  • The CZ 52 (also known by the Czechoslovakian military designations vz. 52, for “model of 1952”, and CZ 482) is a semi-automatic pistol designed by two brothers, Jan and Jaroslav Kratochvíl, in the early 1950s for the Czechoslovakian military.
  • Around 200,000 vz. 52s were made by Ceská Zbrojovka in Strakonice from 1952 to 1954.
  • The vz. 52 replaced the 7.65 mm Browning caliber (.32 ACP) Vz.50, which had acquired a reputation for unreliability and was underpowered for its role as a military service sidearm.
  • After 30 years of military service, the vz. 52 was eventually replaced by the 9x18mm Makarov caliber vz. 82. Cz-USA began exporting to the US market in January 1998 with the designation CZ 52.
The Czech CZ-52 semi-automatic pistol
The Czech CZ-52 semi-automatic pistol

 

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AA-52

  • The AA-52 (full designation in French: Arme Automatique Transformable Modèle 1952, “Transformable automatic weapon model 1952”), also known as “La Nana” is one of the first French-produced guns of the post-World War II era.
  • It was manufactured by the French government-owned MAS company.
  • The AA-52 is still used today as a vehicle-mounted weapon due to large quantities in service, but has been replaced in the helicopter role by the Belgian FN MAG, starting with the EC 725 Caracal of the Special Operations units and the Air Force Search and Rescue teams.
  • The AA-52 had been largely phased out for infantry use in favour of the lighter FN Minimi. The AA-52 is still in use in Afghanistan.
Arme Automatique Transformable Modèle 1952
Arme Automatique Transformable Modèle 1952

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British Army

  • Part of the British Army forces is 52 Infantry Brigade which has a proud and long history as a fighting brigade.
  • Its reputation during both the World Wars earned it the nickname of ‘The Fighting 52nd’ and its recent deployment to Afghanistan enabled the Brigade to re-establish its fighting credentials as one of the British Army’s fully deployable Type A Brigades.
52 Infantry Brigade 'The Fighting 52nd'
52 Infantry Brigade ‘The Fighting 52nd’

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US Army

  • The 52nd Infantry Regiment
  • The 52nd Infantry Regiment (“Ready Rifles”) is an infantry unit of the United States Army.
  • The coat of arms was originally approved for the 52d Infantry Regiment on June 29, 1921. It was redesignated for the 52d Armored Infantry Regiment on September 29, 1942. The insignia was redesignated for the 52d Armored Infantry Battalion on January 6, 1944.
  • It was redesignated for the 52d Infantry Regiment on October 31, 1958.
52d Infantry Regimental Colors with streamers
52d Infantry Regimental Colors with streamers

 

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  • 1st Battalion, 52d Aviation Regiment
  • The 1st Battalion, 52d Aviation Regiment is known as the “Flying Dragons.”
  • The battalion headquarters is located at Fort Wainwright, Alaska.
  • The battalion provides aviation support to USARAK (United States Army Alaska) with UH-60A Blackhawks and CH-47 Chinooks. On order, deploy and conduct full spectrum aviation operations in support of Combatant Commanders.
52d Aviation Regiment "Flying Dragons" patch
52d Aviation Regiment “Flying Dragons” patch

 

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Other Stuff 

  • A standard piano has 52 white keys

K-52-piano 

  • Fifty-two is the approximate number of weeks in a year. 52 weeks is 364 days, while the tropical year is 365.24 days long. According to ISO 8601, most years have 52 weeks while some have 53.

 calendar

  • There are 52 cards in a standard deck of playing cards, not counting Jokers or advertisement cards

card fan 

  • There is a 52 Plus Joker Club that was formed to facilitate, the collection and trading of antique and collectible playing cards and related items; the advancement of knowledge about the history, manufacture and artistic aspect of playing cards; and the promotion of fellowship among members with similar interests.

 

  • DC Comics has a weekly comic series entitled 52 that has 52 issues, with a plot spanning one full year.

 DC Comics The New 52

  • In finance one of the vital statistics always quoted in stocks/shares summaries is the 52 week High/Low trading price

 

  • Patolli is an Aztec board game utilizing 52 squares arranged in a cross form. Its name came from the Aztec word for bean— patolli, meaning fava or kidney bean. The game is played on a curious diagonal cross-shaped board with red and blue markers and five beans (or occasionally four beans) as dice. The game’s goal is to return the pieces back to the original starting position. Patolli was most likely also used in a religious and ritualistic sense for divination— the throw of the beans was thought to be able to tell the future.
Ancient Aztec game called Patolli
Ancient Aztec game called Patolli
  • Cities located at 52o latitude: Berlin, Germany; Hannover, Germany; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Warsaw, Poland; and Birmingham, UK.
  • And finally, the  Morden Blush Rose, bred in Canada, has 52 petals.
52 Petal Morden Blush Rose
52 Petal Morden Blush Rose

The Life And Times Of Col Dan Raschen

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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I’m sure you have never heard of Col Dan Raschen. I would guess that very few have. I only found out about him and his series of autobiographical works thanks to a mention by Mr Stephen Pile in his Heroic Failures book. Born in 1925, Raschen was in the British Army for thirty-three years and retired with the rank of Colonel.

Whilst Col Raschen cannot be classed as either stupid or a failure, he does nevertheless rate a mention in the fasab blog because his journey through the military ranks was not without a few bumps and bruises.

His four books of autobiography are written with a self-effacing modest humour and if you are interested in that kind of work, well worth a read.

They include adventures such as…..

After Wellington College and Peterhouse, Cambridge his service in the Royal Engineers took him, at the end of World War II, first to a new campaign in the East Indies then back to India for the country’s partition from Pakistan (Book, “Wrong Again Dan!”).

 

Wrong Again Dan
Wrong Again Dan

When he was on his way to India to join his regiment he lost all his underwear and his only pair of pyjamas while washing them out of a porthole. All the ship’s cutlery went the same way when he threw out a basin of dishwater. The troops had to eat with their fingers for the rest of the voyage.

On arrival he was instantly accused of murder. The case only foundered when he pointed at his supposed victim grinning cheerfully in the growing crowd of onlookers.

So enthusiastic was his performance during tests for a commission that after the obstacle course he had to wait for other less interesting candidates to finish so they could come back and rescue him from beneath a railway sleeper.

Whilst in charge of three amphibious tanks, he lost all them in one week. Two got stuck in a pond and one went through the wall of his own accommodation.

After completing his degree at Cambridge, Dan volunteered for the Korean War, where the pheasant shooting was of high repute. Because the pheasants lived in or near minefields, which were Dan’s particular concern, he managed to combine pleasure with eighteen months of war (Book, “Send Port & Pyjamas!”).

Send Port & Pyjamas
Send Port & Pyjamas

For one so exquisitely disaster prone a career in explosives was the inevitable course.

Back in England efforts were made to train Dan in military technology, and his subsequent soldiering was unusually varied in scope. After a spell in a weapons design team, he went to the Central Pacific to command an independent unit and to advise on coral blasting (Book, “Don’t Step on a Stonefish!”).

 

Don't Step On A Stonefish
Don’t Step On A Stonefish

After an intense period of training he arrived at the South Pacific to blow up some coral reef, never having attempted it before. His finest hour came when he moored his own boat to the very bit of reef that was receiving his closest attention.

In his own words he says, ‘One likes to think that there have been people who have been worse, but admittedly it does seem unlikely’.

Home again, Dan was an ammunition instructor before returning to Cambridge to command the University Officers Training Corps. His second command was of a Royal Engineers regiment in Germany. Then he and his wife, Judy, were delighted to spend three years in Sweden with Dan being the British Military Attaché (Book, “Diplomatic Dan”).

 

Diplomatic Dan
Diplomatic Dan

On his return to England Dan was Project Manager for Infantry Weapons, and then a Colonel at the Royal Military College of Science, Shrivenham, Oxfordshire. After retiring from the army in 1979, he continued to work at the College as a scientific civil servant for a further twelve years. While there he invented “Raschen Bags”, an indestructible cushion for use under mortars.

 

Dan Raschen
Dan Raschen

 

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