Remember, Remember The Fifth Of November.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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“Remember, remember the fifth of November,” is something that kids used to chant on this day in Britain as a memento of a character called Guy Fawkes, whose claim to immortality was that he tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London, England in what became known as the Gunpowder Plot.

Guy_Fawkes_portrait
portrait of Guy Fawkes

It all took place in 1605 and was a failed attempt to assassinate King James I of England and VI of Scotland by a group of provincial English Roman Catholics led by Robert Catesby.

They had planned to blow up the House of Lords during the State Opening of England’s Parliament on 5 November 1605, when the King would be certain to be in attendance. That event was then supposed to trigger a popular revolt in the English Midlands during which James’s nine-year-old daughter, Princess Elizabeth, was to be installed as the Roman Catholic head of state.

Catesby’s fellow plotters were John Wright, Thomas Wintour, Thomas Percy, Guy Fawkes, Robert Keyes, Thomas Bates, Robert Wintour, Christopher Wright, John Grant, Ambrose Rookwood, Sir Everard Digby and Francis Tresham.

gun_powder_plot_conspirators

Fawkes, who is remembered while most of the others have been forgotten, was a man with some military service and was therefore chosen to be in charge of the explosives.

The plot failed when an anonymous letter was sent to William Parker, 4th Baron Monteagle, on 26 October 1605 and a subsequent search of the House of Lords at midnight on 4 November 1605, revealed Guy Fawkes guarding 36 barrels of gunpowder.

He was arrested and in good conspiratorial fashion his comrades fled from London leaving him to face the consequences alone. One or two did try to make a stand against the pursuing Sheriff of Worcester and his men at a place called Holbeche House, and in the ensuing battle Catesby was one of those shot and killed.

At the trial of those who survived, held on 27 January 1606, eight conspirators, including Guy Fawkes, were convicted and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered, a particularly cruel form of punishment used for traitors in those days. (Think of the final scenes from the Mel Gibson movie Braveheart and you will understand the gruesome process.)

Immediately before his execution on 31 January, Guy Fawkes jumped from the scaffold where he was to be hanged and broke his neck, thus avoiding the agony of the mutilation that followed.

The failure of the Gunpowder Plot was commemorated for many years afterwards by special sermons and other public events such as the ringing of church bells. This evolved into the present tradition of ‘Bonfire Night’ when effigies of Guy Fawkes are traditionally burned on bonfires, accompanied by fireworks. Many such displays which will be held throughout Britain later today.

Interestingly, the ‘anonymous’ face mask currently in use by many anti government groups is based on the visage of Guy Fawkes.

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anonymous face mask

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Ants In Your Pants? There’s Plenty Of ‘Em!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi and welcome to fact day which does, as the title suggests, include an amazing fact about the number of ants ib the world. They may not be in your pants, but keep a look out just in case!

And now for the facts.

Enjoy.

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did you know2

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Halloween, which we’ve all just endured another year,

is thought to have originated around 4000 B.C.,

which means Halloween has been around for over 6,000 years

and is one of the oldest celebrations in the world.

happy halloween

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Most vegetables and almost all fruits contain

a small amount of alcohol in them.

Cheers!

vegetables

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Some scientific studies suggest there are about

10,000,000,000,000,000 individual ants

alive on Earth at any given time.

Ants are estimated to represent about 15–20%

of the total terrestrial animal biomass,

which exceeds that of the vertebrates.

Ant from_a_bugs_life

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When Pluto was discovered it was initially

believed to be larger than Earth.

Now astronomers know that it’s about

1,455 miles (2,352 kilometers) across,

less than 20 percent as big as the Earth.

planets in our solar system smaller than earth

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Thomas Stewart Armistead was a Confederate officer

who fought bravely in the American Civil War.

After being wounded at the Battle of the Wilderness he

was captured and placed in a camp near Morris Island

where the Union authorities used him as a human

shield to prevent fire from nearby Confederate artillery batteries.

Thomas Stewart Armistead and 599 other Confederate officers

who had also been captured became known as “The Immortal 600.”

When, on November 16, 1922, Armistead died at the age of 80 he

was the last survivor and member of “The Immortal 600.”

Thomas Stewart Armistead

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The American football team the Baltimore Ravens are named

in honor of Edgar Allan Poe’s classic poem ‘The Raven’.

Baltimore_Ravens_logo

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The construction of the Great Wall of China took over 2 thousands years,

the very first parts being built as early as in the 8th century BC.

Great Wall of China

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Table for one, sir?

Amsterdam´s restaurant At Eenmaal,

founded by social designer Marina van Goor,

has become famous because the only type of table

that you can find in the restaurant is a table for one.

restaurant At Eenmaal

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The largest thermometer in the world is 134-feet-tall (40.843m)

and was built by businessman Willis Herron in Baker, California.

The thermometer is supposed to serve as a memento of

the highest recorded temperature in the U.S.

measured in nearby Death Valley

– 134 degrees Fahrenheit (56.6 Celsius) in 1913.

The thermometer is no longer in operation,

and was put up for sale in January 2013.

largest thermometer in the world

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In 410 A.D. Alaric the Visigoth demanded that Rome give

him three thousand pounds of pepper as ransom,

an amount not to be sneezed at.

Alaric the Visigoth

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Abu Nasr Isma’il ibn Hammad al-Jawhari was an author of

a notable Arabic dictionary containing about 40,000 entries.

He is also remembered in Arabic history for

his attempt to fly with wooden wings.

He leapt from the roof of a mosque in the old town of Nishapur,

whereupon gravity took control and

he promptly hit the ground and was killed.

Abu Nasr Isma'il ibn Hammad al-Jawhari

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If you spray an antiseptic spray on a polar bear,

its fur will turn purple.

I wonder who got close enough to find that one out?

antiseptic spray on a polar bear

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The Japanese Empire was the largest maritime empire in history,

spanning more than 7 million square kilometers and gained such

notoriety that it took atomic bombings in Hiroshima and Nagasaki

plus plenty of other battles to defeat it.

Japanese Empire

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The movie that grossed the most money that was

adapted from a T.V. cartoon is Scooby-Doo

scooby-doo

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Quite often when a book is made into a movie a lot of things get changed.

Sometimes this spoils the story for those who have read the book,

other times it can improve it.

In Robert Bloch’s novel  the main character ‘Norman Bates’

was short, fat, older, and very dislikable.

In Alfred Hitchcock’s movie version, however,

he was young, handsome, and sympathetic, and one

of the most well-known characters in film history.

Here are a couple of clips….

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