Another Monday Quiz!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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It’s another Monday quiz, but you are quite at liberty to try it any day of the week that you want.

Some quite easy questions in this selection, but also some that will make you stop and think.

If you get stuck the answers are, as always, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down below, but please NO cheating!

Enjoy and good luck.

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Quiz 07

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Q.  1:  What animal sleeps standing up?

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Q.  2:  By what common name is solid carbon dioxide known?

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Q.  3:  The name of what flower means ‘fleshlike’?

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Q.  4:  In golf, what term is given to completing a hole in two under par?

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Q.  5:  This word is the name of a chain of hills or mountains, a Spanish mackerel, and a word used in communications to represent the letter ‘S’, what is it?

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Q.  6:  Which element has the atomic Number 1?

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Q.  7:  What is the distance between the two rails on a railway track called?

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Q.  8:  Mauritius is found in which ocean?

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Q.  9:  Who was the first, and who is the current, President of the Russian Federation? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you name both correctly.)

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Q. 10:  The ‘sackbut’ was a precursor to which musical instrument?

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Q. 11:  Which 1851 novel was first published in Britain under the title ‘The Whale’? (A bonus point is available if you can also correctly name the author.)

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Q. 12:  What is the traditional date for the founding of Rome?

            a)  735BC                b)  753BC               c)  573BC

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Q. 13:  Who painted ‘The Laughing Cavalier’? (You can have a bonus point if you know why he was laughing.)

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Q. 14:  The ‘Spanish Steps’ are found in which city?

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Q. 15:  What type of tree is often found in churchyards?

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Q. 16:  Relating to flat-screen televisions and monitors, what does ‘LCD’ stand for?

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Q. 17:  What is the highest digit that can appear in an ‘Octal’ number system?

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Q. 18:  Which gladiator led a two-year slave revolt against the Romans?

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Q. 19:  In weather, regions of high pressure are also known as what?

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Q. 20:  Who was ‘Dreaming’ about ‘California’ in 1965?

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ANSWERS

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Q.  1:  What animal sleeps standing up?

A.  1:  A horse.

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Q.  2:  By what common name is solid carbon dioxide known?

A.  2:  It is known as ‘Dry Ice’.

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Q.  3:  The name of what flower means ‘fleshlike’?

A.  3:  The carnation.

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Q.  4:  In golf, what term is given to completing a hole in two under par?

A.  4:  It is called an ‘Eagle’.

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Q.  5:  This word is the name of a chain of hills or mountains, a Spanish mackerel, and a word used in communications to represent the letter ‘S’, what is it?

A.  5:  Sierra.

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Q.  6:  Which element has the atomic Number 1?

A.  6:  Hydrogen.

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Q.  7:  What is the distance between the two rails on a railway track called?

A.  7:  It is known as the ‘Gauge’.

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Q.  8:  Mauritius is found in which ocean?

A.  8:  In the Indian Ocean.

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Q.  9:  Who was the first, and who is the current, President of the Russian Federation? (A point for each correct answer and a bonus point if you name both correctly.)

A.  9:  The first President of the Russian Federation was Boris Yeltsin (1991–1999) and the current President is, of course, Vladimir Putin (2nd tenure 2012–present).

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Q. 10:  The ‘sackbut’ was a precursor to which musical instrument?

A. 10:  The trombone.

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Q. 11:  Which 1851 novel was first published in Britain under the title ‘The Whale’? (A bonus point is available if you can also correctly name the author.)

A. 11:  Moby Dick written by Herman Melville.

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Q. 12:  What is the traditional date for the founding of Rome?

            a)  735BC                b)  753BC               c)  573BC

A. 12:  The correct answer is b) 753BC.

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Q. 13:  Who painted ‘The Laughing Cavalier’? (You can have a bonus point if you know why he was laughing.)

A. 13:  The artist was Frans Hals (and I have no idea why the Cavalier was laughing, a well earned bonus point if you do.)

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Q. 14:  The ‘Spanish Steps’ are found in which city?

A. 14:  Rome.

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Q. 15:  What type of tree is often found in churchyards?

A. 15:  The Yew tree.

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Q. 16:  Relating to flat-screen televisions and monitors, what does ‘LCD’ stand for?

A. 16:  Liquid Crystal Display.

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Q. 17:  What is the highest digit that can appear in an ‘Octal’ number system?

A. 17:  7.

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Q. 18:  Which gladiator led a two-year slave revolt against the Romans?

A. 18:  Spartacus.

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Q. 19:  In weather, regions of high pressure are also known as what?

A. 19:  Anticyclones.

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Q. 20:  Who was ‘Dreaming’ about ‘California’ in 1965?

A. 20:  The Mamas & the Papas.

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FAREWELL 2014

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi folks,

Last day of this year and time for my recollections of 2014’s main events.

As always this is by no means meant to be a complete coverage of all the events that happened during 2014, just a personal blog post about some of the things I remember, and a few that I had forgotten until I started to compile this list.

I hope you enjoy.

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farewell 2014

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The Weather

We will start off with the weather since so many of us seem to be obsessed with it.

  • In the United States there were weather extremes. In California, for example, January was the warmest and driest on record in San Francisco, San Jose and Los Angeles. Only four other Januaries since 1878 had been completely dry in Los Angeles until January 2014. Alaskans experienced their third warmest January in 96 years of record, according to NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center.

California drought 2014

  • In many parts of the Midwest, on the other hand, 2014 was the coldest winter since the late 1970s or early 1980s. And some southern states of the US became the victims of, firstly, winter storm Kronos which brought a rare blanket of snow as far south as Louisiana, and sleet as far south as Harlingen, Texas and Pensacola, Fla. in late January, and then, just days later, a second winter storm, Leon, hit many of the same areas causing commuter chaos in both Birmingham, Ala. and Atlanta. Leon also spread ice and sleet to the Gulf Coast, including the Florida Panhandle, and the Low country of South Carolina.
  • And worse was on the way. Winter Storm Pax deposited an inch or more of ice in a swath from east-central Georgia into South Carolina, including Augusta, Ga. and Aiken, S.C. Pax was the second heaviest ice storm dating to 1947 in Wilmington, N.C. The accumulation of ice from Pax claimed the famed “Eisenhower tree” at the Augusta National Golf Club. Pax marked the first time since January 1940 that Columbia, S.C. saw snowfall for three straight days.

Winter Storm Pax Washington

  • In complete contrast, the week after Pax, Columbia, S.C. tied its all-time February high of 84 degrees. Augusta, Ga. warmed into the 80s two straight days on Feb. 19-20.
  • Elsewhere in the world, severe Atlantic winter storms took their toll on many parts of England which in 2014 experienced storms and rain not seen since the late 19th century.

Atlantic winter storms Cornwall England

  • In Tokyo, Japan, which usually averages only about 4 inches of snow each year, there were also severe snow storms. In February, snow blanketed the city with 11 inches of snow in less than a week, the heaviest snowfall in 45 years for Tokyo and in 60 years for the city of Kumagaya, northwest of Tokyo. The following weekend, parts of eastern Japan, including parts of the Tokyo metro area, received another round of snow. Some smaller communities were isolated by more than 3 feet of snow.
  • And in the southern hemisphere, Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology reported that more than 10 percent of Queensland and almost 15 percent of New South Wales experienced their record hottest day on Jan. 3. A second heat wave hit parts of southern Australia in mid-January, with temperatures peaking above 41 degrees Celsius (just under 106 degrees Fahrenheit) for four straight days from Jan. 14-17, and reaching a sizzling 43.9 degrees C (111 degrees F) on both Jan. 16 and 17.

australia heat wave 2014

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Business and Technology

  • In the world of business and technology 2014 was the year the Obama administration decided to stop inversion deals, where US companies bought foreign domiciled businesses and moved their profit centers to a much more tax friendly location.
  • In technology buys, one of the largest was Facebook’s purchase of smartphone application WhatsApp for $19 Billion.

14.02.19-Facebook-WhatsApp

  • In other sectors 2014 saw world oil price plunge to around $50 per barrel, good news for consumers, not so good for producers.
  • Under pressure from the fall in oil and gas prices, along with the economic sanctions imposed by the west because of the ongoing situation in the Ukraine, the Russian Ruble went into free fall in December.

APphoto_Russia Economy

  • Also in 2014, in March, the United Nations International Court of Justice ruled that Japan’s Antarctic whaling program was not scientific but commercial and refused to grant further permits.
  • With Quantitative Easing having been ended in the US (for the moment anyway) Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe announced plans for a new $29 billion fresh stimulus, including subsidies and job-creating programs, to help pull the world’s third-largest economy out of recession.

Quantitative Easing cartoon

  • After their embarrassing foul up last Christmas, this year both FedEx and UPS managed to deliver more than 99 percent of express packages as promised on Dec. 22 and Dec. 23, according to shipment tracker ShipMatrix.
  • South Korean prosecutors arrested a government official who allegedly leaked information about an investigation into former Korean Air Lines executive Cho Hyun-ah, who forced a flight to return over a bag of macadamia nuts. Most of the rest of the world tends to think that the idiot executive should suffer the consequences of her stupidity, not the whistleblower.

korean-air-lines-macademia-nut-scandal Cho Hyun-ah

  • And finally, after their embarrassing hack attack and cringe-worthy capitulation to what amounted to a terrorist cyber attack which was rightly criticized publicly by President Obama, Sony finally decided to release its movie ‘The Interview’.

Rogan Franco The-Interview

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Conflicts, Wars & Terrorism

Unfortunately 2014 saw many conflicts and acts of terrorism.

  • In April an estimated 276 girls and women were abducted and held hostage from a school in Nigeria. The following month, Boko Haram militants killed approximately 300 people in a night attack on Gamboru Ngala and terrorists in Nigeria detonated bombs at Jos, killing 118 people.

Boko Haram militants killed approximately 300 people Gamboru Ngala

  • June saw the emergence of a Sunni militant group called the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’ (also known as the ‘ISIS’ or ‘ISIL’). It began an offensive throughout northern Iraq, with the aim of eventually capturing the Iraqi capital city of Baghdad and overthrowing the Shiite government led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The group has been responsible for beheading of hundreds of people including several from the United States.

Sunni militant group called the ‘Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’

  • In July and August tensions between Israel and Hamas grew following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in June and the revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager in July. Israel launched ‘Operation Protective Edge’ on the Palestinian Gaza Strip starting with numerous missile strikes, followed by a ground invasion a week later. In 7 weeks of fighting, 2,100 Palestinians and 71 Israelis were killed.
  • Also in July, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a Boeing 777, crashed in eastern Ukraine, killing all 298 souls on board. There are conflicting claims as to who was responsible, some blaming pro Russian forces for a missile strike and others blaming Ukrainian forces.

Malaysia Airlines Flight 17

  • In August and September the United States military began an air campaign in northern Iraq to stem the influx of ISIS militants and the following month the United States and several Arab partners began an airstrike campaign in Syria.

Expect more on these stories during 2015.

Departures

During 2014 we said farewell to many well know people from various walks of life. Here is just my selection of those I remember.

From Literature

Sue Townsend

British novelist and playwright (b. 1946)

SueTownsend

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P. D. James

British writer and life peer

(b. 1920)

P. D. James

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From Movies & TV

Roger Lloyd-Pack

British actor

(b. 1944)

Roger Lloyd-Pack

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Maximilian Schell

Austrian-Swiss actor

(b. 1930)

Maximilian Schell

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Philip Seymour Hoffman

American actor

(b. 1967)

Philip Seymour Hoffman

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Shirley Temple

American actress and diplomat

(b. 1928)

shirley_temple

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Sid Caesar

American actor

(b. 1922)

Sid Caesar

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Harold Ramis

American film director,

writer, and actor

(b. 1944)

Harold Ramis

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Mickey Rooney

American actor

(b. 1920)

Mickey Rooney

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Bob Hoskins

British actor

(b. 1942)

Bob Hoskins

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Efrem Zimbalist, Jr.

American actor

(b. 1918)

Efrem Zimbalist, Jr

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Rik Mayall

British comedian,

writer and actor

(b. 1958)

Rik Mayall

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Casey Kasem

American radio host

and voice actor

(b. 1932)

Casey Kasem

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Eli Wallach

American actor

(b. 1915)

Eli Wallach

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Elaine Stritch

American actress and singer

(b. 1925)

Elaine Stritch

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James Garner

American actor

(b. 1928)

James Garner

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Menahem Golan

Israeli filmmaker

(b. 1929)

Menahem Golan

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Robin Williams

American actor and comedian

(b. 1951)

Robin Williams

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Lauren Bacall

American actress

(b. 1924)

Lauren Bacall

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Richard Attenborough

British actor and film director

(b. 1923)

Richard Attenborough

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Joan Rivers

American comedian, actress,

and television host

(b. 1933)

Joan Rivers

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Richard Kiel

American actor (b. 1939)

Richard Kiel

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Polly Bergen

American actress

(b. 1930)

Polly Bergen

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Ken Takakura

Japanese actor

(b. 1931)

Ken Takakura

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Warren Clarke

English actor

(b. 1947)

Warren-Clarke

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Glen A. Larson

American television producer

and writer

(b. 1937)

Glen A. Larson

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Virna Lisi

Italian actress

(b. 1936)

Virna Lisi

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Billie Whitelaw

English actress

(b. 1932)

Billie Whitelaw

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Luise Rainer

Golden Age actress

“The Great Ziegfeld”

(b. 1910)

Luise Rainer with oscars

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From Music

Pete Seeger

American singer, songwriter,

musician, and activist

(b. 1919)

Pete Seeger

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Johnny Winter

American singer and guitarist

(b. 1944)

Johnny Winter

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Glenn Cornick

British bass guitarist

(b. 1947)

Glenn Cornick

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Jack Bruce

British rock bassist

(b. 1943)

Jack Bruce

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Acker Bilk

British jazz clarinetist

(b. 1929)

Acker Bilk

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Joe Cocker

English singer

(b. 1944)

Joe Cocker

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From Politics

Zbigniew Messner

9th Prime Minister of the

People’s Republic of Poland

(b. 1929)

Zbigniew Messner

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Ariel Sharon

11th Prime Minister of Israel

(b. 1928)

Ariel Sharon

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Tony Benn

British politician and diarist

(b. 1925)

Tony Benn

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Adolfo Suárez

138th Prime Minister of Spain

(b. 1932)

Adolfo Suárez

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James R. Schlesinger

American economist and politician

(b. 1929)

James R. Schlesinger

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A. N. R. Robinson

3rd President of Trinidad and Tobago

(b. 1926)

A. N. R. Robinson

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Howard Baker

American politician and diplomat

(b. 1925)

Howard Baker

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Eduard Shevardnadze

2nd President of Georgia

(b. 1928)

Eduard Shevardnadze

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Albert Reynolds

Irish Taoiseach (prime minister)

(b. 1932)

Albert Reynolds

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Ian Paisley

British politician and

First Minister of Northern Ireland

(b. 1926)

Ian Paisley

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Nicholas Romanov

Prince of Russia

(b. 1922)

Nicholas Romanov

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Jean-Claude Duvalier

41st President of Haiti

(b. 1951)

Jean-Claude Duvalier

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John Spencer-Churchill

11th Duke of Marlborough,

British peer and educator

(b. 1926)

John Spencer-Churchill, 11th Duke of Marlborough

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Gough Whitlam

21st Prime Minister of Australia

(b. 1916)

Gough Whitlam

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From Space Exploration

Valeri Kubasov

Soviet cosmonaut

(b. 1935)

Valeri Kubasov

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Wubbo Ockels

Dutch astronaut and physicist

(b. 1946)

Wubbo Ockels

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Henry Hartsfield

American colonel and astronaut

(b. 1933)

Henry Hartsfield

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Anatoly Berezovoy

Soviet cosmonaut

(b. 1942)

Anatoly Berezovoy

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From Sport

Eusébio

Portuguese footballer

(b. 1942)

Eusébio

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Mae Young

American professional wrestler

(b. 1923)

Mae Young

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Louise Brough

American tennis player

(b. 1923)

Louise Brough

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Tom Finney

English footballer

(b. 1922)

Tom Finney

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Nelson Frazier, Jr.

American professional wrestler

(b. 1971)

Nelson Frazier, Jr

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Jimmy Ellis

American boxer

(b. 1940)

Jimmy_Ellis

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Jack Brabham

Australian race car driver

(b. 1926)

Jack Brabham

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Malcolm Glazer

American businessman,

owner of Manchester United

(b. 1928)

Malcolm Glazer

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Valentin Mankin

Ukrainian sailor, Olympic triple champion

and silver medalist

(b. 1938)

Valentin Mankin

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Fernandão

Brazilian footballer and manager

(b. 1978)

Fernandão

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Alfredo Di Stéfano

Argentine-Spanish footballer

(b. 1926)

Alfredo-Di-Stefano-Dies-at-Age-88

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Andriy Bal

Ukrainian football player and coach

(b. 1958)

Andriy Bal

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Björn Waldegård

Swedish rally driver

(b. 1943)

Björn Waldegård

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Andrea de Cesaris

Italian race car driver

(b. 1959)

Andrea de Cesaris

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Health

  • The big health scare of 2014 that dominated the headlines was the of the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa in February, that initially infected over 19,000 people and killing at least 7,000, the most severe both in terms of numbers of infections and casualties.

ebola_map Africa

  • In other news, also in February, Belgium became the first country in the world to legalize euthanasia for terminally ill patients of any age.

Politics

  • On January 1, Latvia officially adopted the Euro as its currency and became the 18th member of the Eurozone.
  • In February, the Ukrainian parliament voted to remove President Viktor Yanukovych from office, replacing him with Oleksandr Turchynov, after days of civil unrest that left around 100 people dead in Kiev. The pro-Russian unrest lead to the annexation of Crimea by the Russian Federation and an insurgency in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

President Viktor Yanukovych

  • In March, Nicolás Maduro, the President of Venezuela, severed diplomatic and political ties with Panama, accusing it of being involved in a conspiracy against the Venezuelan government.
  • Also in March, an emergency meeting, involving the United Kingdom, the United States, Italy, Germany, France, Japan, and Canada temporarily suspended Russia from the G8.
  • In April, also in response to the Crimean crisis, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) passed a resolution temporarily stripping Russia of its voting rights; its rights to be represented in the Bureau of the Assembly, the PACE Presidential Committee, and the PACE Standing Committee; and its right to participate in election-observation missions.
  • The same month, United States President Barack Obama began new economic sanctions against Russia, targeting companies and individuals close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin Obama

  • In May the Royal Thai Army overthrew the caretaker government of Niwatthamrong Boonsongpaisan after a failure to resolve the political unrest in Thailand.
  • Back in Europe, in June, King Juan Carlos I of Spain abdicated in favor of his son, who ascended the Spanish throne as King Felipe VI.
  • And the political year ended on a positive note, with U.S. President Barack Obama announcing the resumption of normal relations between the U.S. and Cuba after more than half a century.

normal relations between the U.S. and Cuba

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Space

  • The major space event of 2014 happened in November when the European Space Agency’s Rosetta Philae probe successfully landed on Comet 67P, the first time in history that a spacecraft has landed on such an object.

Rosetta Philae

Sport

  • The two major world sporting events of 2014 were the XXII Olympic Winter Games, held in Sochi, Russia in February, and the 2014 FIFA World Cup held in Brazil, and won by Germany, during June and July.

world-cup-2014-champions-germany-trophy

  • In American sport the Super Bowl was won by the Seattle Seahawks, the MLB World Series  winners were the San Francisco Giants and in basketball the San Antonio Spurs came out on top.
  • Ice Hockey had three champions in 2014, Canada becoming Olympic champions, Russia world champions and in the NHL the Los Angeles Kings were the victors.
  • In tennis at the world famous Wimbledon Tournament in England Novak Djokovic became Men’s Singles Champion and Petra Kvitova Ladies Singles Champion, while the men’s and women’s winners of the US Open were Marin Čilić  and Serena Williams respectively.

novak-djokovic-with-wimbledon-crown

  • In Soccer, as noted above, Germany won the 2014 World Cup. The European Champions League winners were Real Madrid and the English Premiership was won by Manchester City.
  • The Formula 1 motor racing champion for 2014 was British driver Lewis Hamilton, who also picked up the award of the BBC Sports Personality of the Year.
  • In golf’s major championships, the Masters Tournament, held in April, was won by Bubba Watson by three strokes. It was his second Masters championship.
  • May saw the BMW PGA Championship where young Northern Ireland man Rory McIlroy birdied the 18th hole to win by one stroke over Irishman Shane Lowry, who also birdied the 18th hole.
  • In June, U.S. Open winner was Martin Kaymer who won by eight strokes to become the first German player to win the U.S. Open, and the first player to win the Players Championship and the U.S. Open in the same year.
  • In July, the Open Championship Northern Ireland man Rory McIlroy, was on top again winning by two strokes over Rickie Fowler and Sergio García. It was his third career major championship, and his first Open Championship. With the win, he became the fourth player ever of 25 years old or under to have won at least three majors.
  • In August, McIlroy was back, winning the PGA Championship by one stroke over Phil Mickelson. He was having quite a year, it was his fourth career major and his second PGA Championship.PGA Champion Rory McIlroy
  • Then in September, in the Ryder Cup, Team Europe (also including McIlroy) defeated Team USA by a score of 16½ – 11½. It was the third consecutive Ryder Cup victory for Europe, and also Europe’s fifth consecutive home victory in the Ryder Cup.

Tragedies

  • In March Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a Boeing 777 airliner en route to Beijing from Kuala Lumpur, disappears over the Gulf of Thailand with 239 people on board. The aircraft is presumed to have crashed into the Indian Ocean.
  • In April Korean ferry MV Sewol capsized and sunk after an unmanageable cargo shift. More than 290 people were killed, mostly high school students.

south-korea-ferry MV Sewol

  • In May hundreds of workers were killed in mining accident in Turkey.
  • In July, Air Algérie Flight 5017 crashed in Mali, killing all 116 people on board.
  • And just a few days ago AirAsia flight QZ8501 crashed, wreckage has been found off the coast of Indonesia’s Kalimantan coast.

indonesia-airplane AirAsia flight flight QZ8501 airport notice board

 

Dogs, Dickens And Drink! – It’s Fact Day.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Hi and thanks for stopping by my blog.

Today’s post is another assortment of random facts, at least some of which I hope you find interesting.

And they do include dogs, Dickens and drink!

Enjoy.

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did you know4

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Research indicates that 42% of Americans

have tried marijuana at least once.

smoking_joint

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The Old Course at St. Andrews, Scotland

is considered to be the birth place of modern golf;

it has been played there since the 15th century.

Old-Course-Hotel-with-Golfe

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At the time ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ was filmed,

the actress who played Hogwarts student ‘Moaning Myrtle’

was 37 years old.

Moaning Myrtle

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At any given time approximately 0.7%

of the world population is drunk,

in other words about 50 million people

are drunk right now.

Cheers!

drunks

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The town of Gibsonton, Florida is

a favorite retirement spot and official home of

people who have worked (or still do) in the circus industry.

The town is also famous for its many exceptional museums

on the carnival and circus lifestyle.

Gibsonton, Florida

.

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It has been estimated that

as many as 800,000 people

were involved in the construction

of the Great Wall of China.

Great Wall of China

.

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Orlando Serrell is what is known as an “acquired savant”.

He began to exhibit enhanced mental skills

after being hit on the side of the head by a baseball

when he was ten years old.

Since the accident he has been able to

remember the weather of every single day.

Orlando Serrell

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There are more than 12,000 known species of ants,

ranging in shape and color and size

from just 0.03 to 2 inches in length

ants

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Pluto’s surface is one of the coldest places in the solar system

at roughly minus 375 degrees F (minus 225 degrees C).

Pluto's surface

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 ‘Sergeant Stubby’ is the most decorated war dog of World War I

and the only dog in US history that was promoted to sergeant

because of his time in combat.

Stubby served for eighteen months and participated

in seventeen battles on the Western Front

during the course of which he saved his regiment

from many unexpected mustard gas attacks

and found and comforted several wounded soldiers.

It is also said that he once caught

a German spy by the seat of his pants,

holding him there until American soldiers

found and captured him.  

Sergeant Stubby Wearing Military Medals

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Fear on an empty glass

is called Cenosillicaphobia.

empty glass

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Every year in Finland, since 1992, there is a

‘Wife Carrying World Championship’

in which male competitors race through a

special obstacle course in the fastest time

while each carrying a female teammate.

Most competitors use the piggyback or fireman’s carry

technique, though a few prefer to go Estonian-style

where the wife hangs upside-down with her

legs around the husband’s shoulders,

holding onto his waist.

Wife Carrying World Championship

.

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In Tribeca, New York,

there is a Japanese Ninja Restaurant

where your meal will include Kung fu fire tricks,

sword-carrying waiters and exploding food.

Japanese Ninja Restaurant

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Charles Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe were pen friends

and even met once in Philadelphia

when Poe was 34-year-old and Dickens was 31.

Charles Dickens and Edgar Allen Poe

.

.

On July 16, 1959, the Juno II rocket which was

meant to take the Explorer S1 satellite into orbit

was launched but after a few seconds the rocket

performed a near 180 degree flip

and hurtled back towards the launch pad.

The safety officer exploded the rocket

to protect those at the site.

From December 1958 to May 1961, five out of ten

Juno II rockets malfunctioned during launch.

.

.

=========================================

.

Ivory hunters, tsk tsk.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Tsk, tsk indeed. What a terrible thing to do.

But what is also terrible, and the more terrible the better it seems, are puns.

It’s word play day.

Enjoy or endure!!!

.

rofl

.

When it comes to making money,

I’ve got to hand it to my wife.

All of it.

cartoon handing money to wife

.

.

Apprehended:

The new App that reminds

you your hen is dead.

Apprehended

.

.

I had an argument with my neighbor

about my trees growing over his fence.

When I extended the olive branch

it only made matters worse.

trees growing over fence

.

.

I went into a bar and said to the guy serving,

‘How much is a pint of lager?’

He replied,

‘Five hundred and sixty-eight millilitres.’

pint v milliliters

.

.

My identical twin was hit by a bus last year.

He’s not been the same since.

twins

.

.

I got lost on my first day of college,

which is when I met my wife.

She was lost too, and neither I nor she knew

what class we were supposed to be in.

And as I stared into her eyes,

I knew that we had chemistry.

chemistry

.

.

I brewed 5 gallons of homebrew.

It was pretty weak so my friend offered me ten bucks 

if I could drink the lot in one session…

I was going to accept, but in the end I bottled it.

homebrew_equipment

.

.

I live for my alarm clock collection,

it’s the only reason I get up in the morning.

alarm clock collection

.

.

I just fired my limousine driver.

I don’t know why,

because I have nothing to chauffeur it.

limousine driver

.

.

Just had lunch at an excellent Christian restaurant

called “The Lord Giveth”.

They also do takeaways.

takeaways

.

.

My wife was preparing lunch today when she asked,

“Sweetheart, where’s the cheese grater?”

“Some would say France, others would say England,” I replied.

cheese

.

.

I bought some really odd shaped eggs

but now i can’t find them.

I think they’ve been mislaid.

odd shaped eggs

.

.

Me and my girl plan to recreate every position

from the Kama Sutra tonight using only Lego bricks.

The excitement is building.

Kama Sutra Lego bricks

.

.

I asked my son what his sexuality was.

He replied ”bi”.

Ironically, his answer forced me

to say the exact same thing.

bye

.

.

Eminem goes to check the weather

It’s rainy and gray outside

He goes back to watch TV

Checks weather back in 10 minutes

Still shady

.

.

=========================================

.

I’m Starting A One-Man Band – Email Me If You’re Interested.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Welcome to the last Pun Day….

Of this July that is, I hope you didn’t get your hopes up too high.

Anyway here are the latest offerings.

Enjoy or endure!

.

 

rofl

 

.

This nice weather doesn’t fool me one bit.

It’s just a front.

warm front

.

.

What do you call a couple

who go fishing together?

Rod and Annette.

Rod and Annette

.

.

I hate jokes about Vietnam.

They really Hanoi me.

Hanoi map

.

.

My new book about Poltergeists

is flying off the shelves.

Poltergeists

.

.

I was touched by my Granddad

when I was a little boy.

His tear jerking tales of world war two

were simply heartbreaking.

Granddad

.

.

I was telling the police officer

how local youths had thrown

a milk bottle at me and just missed.

He asked, “Skimmed past your face?”

I replied, “No, full fat over my shoulder.” 

milk

.

.

‘My post box’

has got nine letters in it.

australia post box

.

.

I told my fiancee and friends that I wanted

to racially segregate our wedding.

They didn’t really warm to it.

I was met with a mixed reception.

wedding reception

.

.

Age isn’t

“just a number”

– it’s quite clearly a word

age

.

.

People who confuse

the metaphorical and the factual

make my head literally explode.

head literally explode

.

.

My girlfriend was disappointed when

I bought her New York flights for her birthday.

But not as disappointed as I was when

I found out she didn’t even play darts.

darts New York flights

.

.

I’ve just stolen loads of swimming inflatables.

I’d better lilo.   

lilo

.

.

I went to see my new doctor this morning about my piles.

He told me to drop my trousers and pants and bend over.

As I pulled my cheeks apart, he said,

“I’m going to need your whole name.”

I said, “I just call it my asshole.”

man with trousera down

.

.

Gordon Ramsay reminds me of a newspaper.

Only with more headlines.

Gordon Ramsay headlines

.

.

Time traveller’s convention next June.

I’m there.

Time traveller's convention

.

========================================

.

The Last Post – Of 2013.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

The Last Post Of 2013

31st December has rolled round again and so it’s time to bring 2013 to a close.

This is always an appropriate time to reflect on what has happened during the previous twelve months.

These are just some of the things I remember about 2013. It’s a personal choice and you may have thought of other things that could have been mentioned, but, in spite of the fact that the time seems to fly, a lot happens in the space of a year so only so much can be included.

Hope you find something of interest.

Enjoy.

.

.

The Weather

As good a place as any to start since the weather is a constant topic of conversation at all times of the year.

Statistically 2013 appears to have been a year where major weather events were at a minimum. Not much comfort to those at the extreme end of that distribution curve and who suffered hardship and discomfort as the result of extreme weather.

But here are some of what I think are the most memorable weather events of 2013.

In January Malaysia, Indonesia and South-East Africa saw major flooding events caused by monsoon and other heavy rainstorms. It also saw Australia’s hottest month on record.

Malaysia floods

February saw the largest snowfall from a single storm ever recorded in the North-eastern United States. Major winter storms also affected central US states and even the Texas panhandle.

snow-snow-snow

In March New Zealand saw its worst drought in more than 30 years. China had its second warmest recorded March temperature, while in usually sunny Spain they had their wettest March on record with three times the average for the previous three decades.

New Zealand drought 2013

Contrast was the name of the game in the US in April with California experiencing drought conditions while in the Central US there was widespread flooding.

May was the wettest ever seen in China for forty years. Indeed it was a month of extremes with more than 1 million people evacuated from their homes as Tropical Cyclone Mahasan struck Bangladesh, while in the US the widest ever observed tornado hit Oklahoma bringing more than 20 deaths and widespread devastation.

oklahoma-tornado-wallpaper-2013

June was the hottest ever, Portugal, China, Hungary, Finland, and Britain, all recorded heat-waves, and the temperature in Death Valley, California hit 129.2F (54.0C), the hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth during June.

In July in the US 19 firefighters were killed trying to contain wildfires in Prescot Arizona.

Arizona firefighters

More contrasts later in the year with the 2013 Atlantic Ocean hurricane season being one of the weakest recorded in 50 years, with no major hurricanes in the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico or the Atlantic basin. Only Ingrid and Humberto out of the 13 named storms reached hurricane strength.

In the western-north Pacific on the other hand, 30 major storms had been recorded by early November, 13 of them typhoon-strength. The biggest was typhoon Haiyan, possibly the most powerful tropical cyclone to make landfall in recorded history, which smashed into the southern Philippines, killing at least 6,000 people and wreaking massive damage.  

typhoon Haiyan 2013

The end of the year saw the focus change to Europe, where a major depression moved eastwards from northwest Scotland to southern Sweden bringing strong winds of up to 142 mph and a massive tidal surge that affected coastal areas around the North Sea. In the UK thousands of people had to evacuate their homes along the east coast, where the coastal surge was the worst since 1953 with local flooding and some houses being washed into the sea as cliffs gave way. At least six people died by the time the winds moved finally down over northeast Europe.

storms uk 2013

.

.

Scandals

2013 has been noted as a great year for scandal and corruption. Here are some of the highlights (or low lights perhaps?).

 .

In the food industry we had the Aflatoxin scandal, where throughout much of Europe contaminated milk and other food products were found to be ‘infested’ with this toxin.

Major supermarket retailers were the subject of another major scandal in the UK when they were found to be selling meat products labeled “100% beef” which were actually horse meat.

horse meat scandal

.

In sport several Major League Baseball players were accused of obtaining performance-enhancing drugs, specifically human growth hormone, from the now-defunct rejuvenation clinic Biogenesis of America.

.

However, undoubtedly the biggest scandal of 2013 was perpetrated by the US Government.

It was discovered during 2013, as the result of documents released by whistleblower Edward Snowden, that US Government agencies, in particular the NSA, had been guilty of a widespread snooping and spying campaign, even on its own citizens.

It was reminiscent of the old Soviet Union and the KGB, but it was happening in the “Land of the Free”. The snooping projects included “PRISM”, a clandestine mass electronic surveillance data mining program that collects stored Internet communications based on demands made to Internet companies such as Google; “Dropmire”, a secret surveillance program of surveillance of foreign embassies and diplomatic staff, including those of NATO allies; “Fairview”, a secret mass surveillance program used to collect phone, internet and e-mail data in bulk from the computers and mobile telephones of foreign countries’ citizens; “Hemisphere”, a mass surveillance program conducted by US telephone company AT&T and paid for by the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy and the Drug Enforcement Administration; “MUSCULAR”, a surveillance program jointly operated by Britain’s Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) and the NSA that was used to secretly break into the main communications links that connect Yahoo and Google data centers around the world; and “XKeyscore”, a formerly secret computer system used by the United States National Security Agency for searching and analyzing Internet data about foreign nationals across the world.

nsa-spying-scandal

.

In 2013, the United States Department of Justice, under Attorney General Eric Holder, also came under scrutiny from the media and some members of Congress for subpoenaing phone records from the Associated Press and naming Fox News reporter, James Rosen, a “criminal co-conspirator” under the Espionage Act of 1917 in order to gain access to his personal emails and phone records.

.

And the IRS was also condemned when it was revealed that it had targeted political groups applying for tax-exempt status for closer scrutiny based on their names or political themes.

.

All in all a bad year for the reputation and standing of the US Government.

.

.

In other countries perhaps the worst scandal of 2013 was “Danielgate”, a political scandal in which Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco, issued a pardon for a Spanish convicted serial child-rapist named Daniel Galván who was serving a 30 years prison sentence for the rape of at least 11 Moroccan children in Kenitra—a city where he had been living in since 2004.

The Pardon sparked unprecedented popular outrage in Morocco where several protests were held denouncing the monarch’s decision.

It was revealed later that this wasn’t the first time Mohammed VI had pardoned a convicted foreign paedophile, having pardoned Hervé Le Gloannec, a French citizen convicted of child rape and child pornography in 2006.

.

In India a Ponzi scheme operated by the Saradha Group financial Group, a consortium of Indian companies that was believed to be running a wide variety of collective investment schemes, collapsed causing an estimated loss of INR 200–300 billion (US$4–6 billion) to over 1.7 million depositors.

.

In politics there was the usual sex and drugs scandals during 2013. In May videos were exposed that showed Toronto Mayor Rob Ford smoking crack cocaine and commenting on political issues. Rob Ford consistently denied the existence of the video, and denied that he uses crack cocaine, remaining Mayor despite calls for him to step down. On November 5, 2013, Ford eventually admitted to smoking crack cocaine “probably in one of my drunken stupors”, and to hiding his drug abuse from his family, his staff and the people of Toronto, but pledged to continue on as Mayor.

Toronto Mayor Bob Ford

.

Back in the US former member of the United States House of Representatives from New York City,  Anthony Weiner, was involved in another sexual scandal relating to sexting, or sending explicit sexual material by cell phone. First caught in the Weinergate scandal in 2011 that led to his resignation as a congressman, this idiot has learned nothing. During his attempt to return to politics as candidate for mayor of New York City,  Weiner admitted having sexted again, after more explicit pictures were published in July 2013.

Weiner Scandal Headlines

.

.

Departures

As every year, 2013 saw many departures. Here are some of the better known faces that passed on during the year.

.

Astronauts, C. Gordon Fullerton and Scott Carpenter.

astronauts fullerton-carpenter

.

From politics, Ed Koch, U.S. Representative from New York (1969–1977) and Mayor of New York City (1978–1989), later a television judge in “The People’s Court”.

ed_koch 

Margaret Thatcher aka “The Iron Lady”, daughter of a greengrocer who became the first woman Prime Minister of the UK. 

 Margaret Thatcher

Hugo Chávez, Venezuelan politician and military officer and President since 1999.

Chavez

.

Television and the movies also lost many well known characters including,

Conrad Bain, Canadian born and usually cast as the erudite gent, advice-spouting father or uptight, pompous neighbor, included roles in “Diff’rent Strokes”.

conrad-bain 

Michael Winner a director best known for dramatic and violent movies like “Death Wish” starring Charles Bronson.

Michael Winner 

Richard Briers, television comedy actor well known on British sitcoms such as “The Good Life” and “Ever Decreasing Circles”.

Richard Briers 

Dale Robertson who, after service during WWII in North Africa and Europe, became an actor and made his name in television Westerns in the 1950s and ’60s.

dale-robertson 

Richard Griffiths, a British character actor who came from radio and the classical stage.

Richard Griffiths 

Steve Forrest began his screen career as a small part contract player with MGM and made his name as an action man in the 1960’s and 70’s. He is a brother of star Dana Andrews.

Steve Forrest 

New Jersey-born James Gandolfini began acting in the New York theater, making his Broadway debut was in the 1992 revival of “A Streetcar Named Desire” with Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin. James’ breakthrough role was his portrayal of Virgil the hitman in Tony Scott’s “True Romance”, but the role that made him a household name was as Tony Soprano in the award winning television series “The Sopranos”.

James-Gandolfini 

Gary David Goldberg was born in Brooklyn, New York but moved to Hollywood to try to make it as a writer. He was responsible for the hit series “Spin City”.

gary_david_goldberg 

Although Dennis Farina did not start acting until he was 37 years old, he achieved success as a character actor, often being cast as a cop or gangster.

Dennis Farina 

Eileen Brennan was a supremely gifted, versatile player who could reach dramatic depths, as exemplified in her weary-eyed, good-hearted waitress in “The Last Picture Show”, or comedy heights, as in her sadistic drill captain in “Private Benjamin”. Perhaps one of her best remembered performances was in the hit movie “The Sting” with Paul Newman and Roberts Redford and Shaw.

Eileen Brennan 

Lisa Robin Kelly first made her acting debut, at age 21, in a 1992 episode of “Married with Children”, and went on to guest-star in many popular television shows, such as “Murphy Brown”, “The X Files”, “Sisters and Silk Stalkings”. She got her biggest break in “Days Of Our Lives”.

Lisa Robin Kelly 

David Frost achieved success on both sides of the Atlantic, first in the UK and then in America. He is most remembered for his political interviews, particularly those with former US President Richard Nixon.

David_Frost 

In a film career that has extended for over four decades, Ed Lauter has starred in a plethora of film and television productions since making his big screen debut in the western “Dirty Little Billy”.

ed-lauter 

Hal Needham was the highest paid stuntman in the world. In the course of his career suffered many injuries breaking 56 bones, including his back twice, punctured a lung and knocked out a few teeth. His career has included work on 4500 television episodes and 310 feature films as a stuntman, stunt coordinator, 2nd unit director and ultimately, director. He wrote and directed some of the most financially successful action comedy films.

Hal Needham 

Robin Sachs, 61, was an English actor who made it into American television series such as “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”, “Galaxy Quest” and “Babylon 5”.

Robin Sachs 

Frank Thornton, was a British actor best remembered fot his role as “Captain Peacock” in the long running sitcom “Are You Being Served?”. He also appeared in “Last of the Summer Wine” and “Gosford Park”.

frank-thornton-capt-peacock 

Bryan Forbes, was another Briton and an accomplished actor (“The League of Gentlemen”), director (“The Stepford Wives”) and screenwriter (“Chaplin”)

brian_forbes 

Lewis Collins, was most famous and best loved for his role as action man “Bodie” in the television series “The Professionals”. He also starred in the terrorist hostage movie “Who Dares Wins” loosely based on the dramatic Iranian Embassy siege in London in 1980.

Lewis-Collins 

Paul William Walker who was killed in a car accident was an American actor and the founder of Reach Out Worldwide. He became famous in 1999 after his role in the hit film “Varsity Blues”, but later garnered fame as “Brian O’Conner” in “The Fast and the Furious” film series. His other well known works are “Eight Below”, “Running Scared”, “The Lazarus Project”, “Into the Blue”, “Joy Ride”, “She’s All That”, “Takers”, and “Hours”.

Paul-Walker 

Peter O’Toole, was a British-Irish actor with a reputation as a bit of a hell-raiser. Among his movie credits he starred in “Lawrence of Arabia”, “The Lion in Winter”, “Becket”, and “Troy”.

Peter O'Toole

.

.

The music scene too has lost a few well known names during 2013. They include,

. 

Patti Page (born Clara Ann Fowler) toured the US in the late 1940s with Jimmy Joy, and notably sang with the Benny Goodman band in Chicago.

patti-page 

Patty Andrews and her sisters, Maxene and Laverne, were “The Andrews Sisters”, an American close harmony singing group of the swing and boogie-woogie eras. They accumulated 19 gold records and sales of nearly 100 million copies.

 patty_andrews_sisters

Lou Reed formed the group “The Velvet Underground” with Welsh multi-instrumentalist John Cale, second guitarist Sterling Morrison, and drummer Maureen Tucker in New York in 1965. The group soon became a part of Andy Warhol’s Factory scene, which housed a great number of experimental artists at the time.

 lou-reed

Never as famous as his namesake Elvis, Reg Presley was a British singer and songwriter. His group was called “The Troggs” and among many other hits, he composed “Love Is All Around” which was first a hit for the Troggs but made real fame by the group “Wet Wet Wet” when it featured in the movie “Four Weddings And A Funeral” and spent 15 weeks at number one in the UK charts in 1994.

reg-presley

.

.

Sports best known departure during 2013 was former WBC world heavyweight champion boxer Ken Norton, remembered for his trilogy of fights with Muhammad Ali. He defeated Ali in their first bout by a fifteen round split-decision, a fight in which Norton famously broke Ali’s jaw. Norton also fought a classic battle with Larry Holmes over fifteen brutal rounds in 1978, a fight which ranks as one of the greatest heavyweight contests in boxing history. 

KEN_NORTON

.

.

The world of Pubishing & Books saw several famous departures during 2013.

.   

Tom Clancy whose fiction works, “The Hunt for Red October”, “Patriot Games”, “Clear and Present Danger”, and “The Sum of All Fears”, have been turned into commercially successful movies with actors Alec Baldwin, Harrison Ford, and Ben Affleck as Clancy’s most famous fictional character “Jack Ryan”.

Tom_Clancy_at_Burns_Library 

Robert Kee, British writer, journalist and broadcaster best known for his historical works on World War II and Ireland.

Robert Kee 

Steven Utley, was an American writer of poems, humorous essays and other non-fiction, but best known for his science fiction stories.

Steven Utley 

Dave Hunt was a Christian Evangelist speaker, radio commentator and author, in full-time ministry from 1973 until his death. He wrote numerous books on theology, prophecy, cults, and other religions, including critiques of Catholicism, Islam, Mormonism, and Calvinism, among others.

dave hunt 

Richard Matheson, was an American author and screenwriter, primarily in the fantasy, horror, and science fiction genres. Known best as the author of “I Am Legend”, a 1954 horror novel that has been adapted for the screen four times, five more of his novels or short stories have also been adapted as major motion pictures, namely “The Shrinking Man”, “Hell House”, “What Dreams May Come”, “Bid Time Return” (filmed as “Somewhere in Time”), “A Stir of Echoes” and “Button, Button”. Matheson also wrote numerous television episodes of “The Twilight Zone” for Rod Serling, including “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” and “Steel”. He later adapted his 1971 short story “Duel” as a screenplay which was promptly directed by a young Steven Spielberg, for the television movie of the same name.

Richard Matheson

William Stevenson, was a British-born Canadian writer, whose 1976 book “A Man Called Intrepid” was a best-seller and made into a 1979 mini-series starring David Niven. Stevenson followed it up with a 1983 book titled “Intrepid’s Last Case”. He published his autobiography in 2012. Stevenson is also noted for having set a record with another 1976 book, “90 Minutes at Entebbe”, about Operation Entebbe where Israeli commandos secretly landed at night at Entebbe Airport in Uganda and succeeded in rescuing the passengers of an airliner hi-jacked by Palestinian militants, while incurring very few casualties. The remarkable record is that in the pre-internet age Stevenson’s “instant book” was written, edited, printed and available for sale within weeks of the event it described.

Wm Stevenson

.

.

Other notable people who died during 2013 include,

. 

Mikhail Kalashnikov, a Russian arms designer responsible for the AK-47 rifle, millions of which have been produced.

Mikhail Kalashnikov 

Roy Brown Jr., an American car design engineer responsible for designs such as the Edsel, and the much more successful Ford Consul and Ford Cortina

Roy Brown Jr with the Edsel

.

========================================================================

.

More Facts – And That’s A Fact!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Welcome to another selection of random facts and the chance to prepare yourself for questions that you may never be asked.

Enjoy.

.

did you know4

.

While in Alcatraz, Al Capone was inmate 85.

Alcatraz

.

.

The airport scene at the end of classic movie “Casablanca”

was produced using a cardboard model of a plane

and little people actors in the background!!

casablanca5

.

.

Donkeys kill more people than plane crashes.

donkey-kick

.

.

The White House has 32 bathrooms,

and 6 levels to accommodate all the people

who live in, work in, and visit the White House.

There are also 412 doors, 147 windows,

28 fireplaces, 7 staircases, and 3 elevators.

white house

.

.

Hummingbirds are the only animals that can fly backwards.

hummingbird

.

.

In the great fire of London in 1666 half of London was burnt down

but only 6 people were injured.

Great Fire Of London

.

.

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

woman eye

.

.

Each year there is one ton of cement poured

for each man woman and child in the world.

pouring concrete

.

.

The most common name in Italy is Mario Rossi.

Mario Rossi

.

.

Fingernails grow nearly 4 times faster than toenails!

fingernails

.

.

Rugby, North Dakota is the geographical center of North America.

Rugby, North Dakota

.

.

Butte County, South Dakota is the geographical center of the U.S.

Geographic-Center-of-the-US-Speafish-SD

.

.

No matter where you stand in Michigan,

you are never more than 85 miles from a Great Lake.

michigan map

.

.

The number “four” is considered unlucky in Japan

because it is pronounced the same as “death”.

4

.

.

Sylvia Miles had the shortest performance

ever nominated for an Oscar with “Midnight Cowboy.”

Her entire role lasted only six minutes.

Sylvia-Miles

.

.

You’re more likely to get stung by a bee

on a windy day than in any other weather.

CARTOON_Bee-full

.

.

The world’s deepest hole is the Sakhali I oil well in Russia

(part owned by Exxon Mobil) which is 12.345 Km. deep (7.67 miles).

Previously to this the Al Shaheen oil well (12.29km or 7.64 miles)

dug in Qatar was the deepest oil well.

kola2

.

.

Spain leads the world in cork production

wine-cork

.

.

A jail in Brazil allows its inmates to pedal exercise bikes

to power lights in a nearby town in exchange for reduced sentences.

bike charger

.

.

The Boston University Bridge

(on Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts)

is the only place in the world where a boat can sail under a train

driving under a car driving under an airplane.

Boston University Bridge

.

==================================

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