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gncxxOffline
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PostPosted: 31-03-2014 16:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nothing beats the inside of a tauntaun to warm the joints.
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 31-03-2014 17:33    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ronson8 wrote:
I blame Jonah.


He had a whale of a time.
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 02-04-2014 08:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

rynner2 wrote:
The Titanic disaster is far from forgotten (especially this centenary year), but this personal account account has been overlooked for decades:

Vivid account of how the Titanic sank by survivor Jack Thayer, 17, resurfaces in time for centenary
The dramatic first-hand account of Jack Thayer, a 17-year-old survivor of the sinking of the Titanic, is to be published next month after lying almost forgotten for decades.
...
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/9164976/Vivid-account-of-how-the-Titanic-sank-by-survivor-Jack-Thayer-17-resurfaces-in-time-for-centenary.html

Titanic last letter to be auctioned

A letter written on board the Titanic and dated the day it struck the iceberg in 1912, is to be auctioned.
Survivor Esther Hart wrote the letter to her mother in Chadwell Heath, East London, but it was never sent.
She reportedly found it in her husband's jacket after she and her seven-year-old daughter, Eva, were rescued.
Her husband, Benjamin, was one of more than 1,500 people who died in the tragedy.

The letter, embossed with the White Star Line flag, is due to be auctioned by Henry Aldridge & Son of Devizes, Wiltshire, next month.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said the importance of the letter could not be overstated, "being the only known surviving example of its type to have been written on that fateful day, surviving the sinking, and having belonged to such a well-known survivor".

The paper is headed "On Board RMS Titanic" and dated "Sunday afternoon".
In it, Mrs Hart describes being sick the day before and unable to eat or drink.
She said she had since recovered and had been to a church service with her daughter Eva that morning, on Sunday 14 April.
She wrote that Eva had sung "so nicely" to the hymn 'Oh God Our Help In Ages Past' and they were both due to sing in a concert on board "tomorrow night".

Remarking on the stability of the ship, which was not supposed to roll, Mrs Hart wrote: "Anyhow it rolls enough for me."
She added: "Well, the sailors say we have had a wonderful passage up to now."

The Titanic sank on the night of Sunday 14 April 1912, on the fifth day of its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York, after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-26837109
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 18-05-2014 12:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

Illustrations and vid at link. Darien by John Prebble is well worth reading; not just about the fall of the Colony burt also the recriminations afterwards. It draws from the self-serving tracts published contemporaneously.

Quote:
The Caribbean colony that brought down Scotland

As Scotland prepares for an independence referendum I decided to look back at the late 1690s when an independent Scotland launched an ambitious but ultimately doomed plan to create a colony in what is now Panama.

We landed near the border with Colombia, close to where the Isthmus of Panama is at its narrowest, on a little airstrip wedged between the blue sparkle of the Caribbean and the green intensity of an impenetrable forest, and boarded a little fibreglass boat with a single outboard motor.

We made our way west, parallel to the coast, bouncing roughly in the surging surf, until we came to the island that is still called Caledonia.

"In the time of our forefathers," a village elder told us, "white people came here - Scottish and Spanish people. We liked the Scottish more than the Spanish, for the Spanish attacked us and drove us inland away from the coast and the Scots did not. But there were battles and many ships were sunk".

The story of the ill-fated Scots colony at Darien survives in the oral history of the Kuna Indians, who are the only people who have ever settled successfully in this inhospitable place.

In 1698, a fleet of five ships sailed from Leith docks near Edinburgh carrying 1,200 settlers to found a colony in Panama.

It was a place where the poet John Keats would later locate "stout Cortez" gazing at the Pacific for the first time, "and all his men looked at each other with a wild surmise, silent upon a peak in Darien".

The Scots found a large sheltered harbour with a supply of fresh water. They went ashore and built a fort they called Fort St Andrew.

Three centuries on, we hacked our way through the forest and found a trench they had dug to provide the fort with a defensive moat.

It is a wide gash, filled with sea water, cut through solid coral rock by 17th Century hands - the first canal in Panama, possibly, built by Scotsmen under a punishing tropical sky. It is pretty much all that is left of the colony they named Caledonia, and the town they called New Edinburgh.

Between a quarter and a half of the available wealth of Scotland was spent, and lost”

For even before they made landfall, the colonists had begun to die.

Tropical diseases - malaria, yellow fever, something they called the bloody flux - cut them down even faster on land.

Somewhere beneath the tangle we hacked through, there is a Scottish cemetery with hundreds of graves. No-one has ever found it. ...
http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-27405350
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kamalktkOffline
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PostPosted: 05-07-2014 16:13    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not much information, but pretty interesting.

Travel across America by following the giant concrete arrows
http://whenonearth.net/travel-across-america-giant-concrete-arrows/

How did people ever survive before the invention of the GPS? Did they just meander around aimlessly until they finally happened upon their destination? Was there anything at all to point them in the right direction?

Actually, it turns out that there was. Would you believe that there is a trail of giant concrete arrows stretching all the way across the United States for that very purpose? Yes you should.

In 1920, the first transcontinental air mail route was started. Back in those days, not even radio existed that would help guide the airborne mailmen along their path, making it very difficult for them to fly at night or in bad weather. To help them along, in 1924, the federal government funded the construction of a trail of enormous concrete arrows, laid out on the ground along the air mail route. They were painted bright yellow and accompanied by tall, lighted beacon towers to ensure their visibility. Now, the pilots could simply look at the ground and know they were heading in the right direction.

It turns out that most of them are located in pretty sparsely populated places, so it makes sense that not many people have come across them and spread the word about them. Nowadays, most of the beacon towers are gone and the yellow paint has faded away, but efforts are being made to preserve what’s left of these navigational helpers from the past.
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 05-07-2014 16:37    Post subject: Reply with quote

kamalktk wrote:
Not much information, but pretty interesting.

Travel across America by following the giant concrete arrows
http://whenonearth.net/travel-across-america-giant-concrete-arrows/

Not heard of that before, but the pictures answer a question that immediately popped into my head: were the arrows identified?

Yes, it seems they were, by code letters and numbers painted on the roofs of the nearby huts. An arrow by itself only gives a direction, but an identifiable arrow shows how far along the route you are. This could be vital if one or more arrows were missed in fog, sandstorms, forest fire smoke, etc.

In Europe, before WWII created RDF, planes used to navigate by following rivers or canals.

And Francis Chichester, a flier before he became a sailor, invented techniques that he even used over the sea.
http://www.amazon.com/Alone-Over-The-Tasman-Sea/dp/0736612548
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Francis_Chichester
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markrkingston1Offline
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PostPosted: 05-07-2014 17:58    Post subject: Reply with quote

kamalktk wrote:
Not much information, but pretty interesting.

Travel across America by following the giant concrete arrows
http://whenonearth.net/travel-across-america-giant-concrete-arrows/

How did people ever survive before the invention of the GPS? Did they just meander around aimlessly until they finally happened upon their destination? Was there anything at all to point them in the right direction?

Actually, it turns out that there was. Would you believe that there is a trail of giant concrete arrows stretching all the way across the United States for that very purpose? Yes you should.


This reminds me of the giant "LH" together with an arrow painted on the side of the huge gas holder in Southall (west London). The arrow points the way to Heathrow! Yes, it really is intended as a visual reference for pilots to find Heathrow.

I understand that the reason for the LH and arrow pointing to Heathrow is to help avoid pilot confusion with Northolt a few miles to the north of Heathrow.

You can see the giant LH from the Southall Broadway side. An ideal position to view the LH is from Trinity Road.

Google Streetmap view: >click<

**edit**

Corrected and added Google Streetmap view.


Last edited by markrkingston1 on 06-07-2014 23:05; edited 2 times in total
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 05-07-2014 18:20    Post subject: Reply with quote

markrkingston1 wrote:
This reminds me of the giant "LH" together with an arrow painted on the side of the huge gas holder in Southall (west London). The arrow points the way to Heathrow! Yes, it really is intended as a visual reference for pilots to find Heathrow.

That Google URL is too long - it mucks up the page. Evil or Very Mad
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markrkingston1Offline
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PostPosted: 05-07-2014 18:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

rynner2 wrote:
markrkingston1 wrote:
This reminds me of the giant "LH" together with an arrow painted on the side of the huge gas holder in Southall (west London). The arrow points the way to Heathrow! Yes, it really is intended as a visual reference for pilots to find Heathrow.

That Google URL is too long - it mucks up the page. Evil or Very Mad


Looks and works fine for me here (Firefox). What are you reading with/in?

I'll prettify it anyway. (Now done)
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 05-07-2014 19:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

markrkingston1 wrote:
rynner2 wrote:
markrkingston1 wrote:
This reminds me of the giant "LH" together with an arrow painted on the side of the huge gas holder in Southall (west London). The arrow points the way to Heathrow! Yes, it really is intended as a visual reference for pilots to find Heathrow.

That Google URL is too long - it mucks up the page. Evil or Very Mad


Looks and works fine for me here (Firefox). What are you reading with/in?

I'll prettify it anyway. (Now done)

That's better! Very Happy
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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 14-08-2014 08:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

Right-handed Admiral Lord Nelson letter found in house

An early letter Admiral Lord Nelson wrote using his right hand - two years before he lost his right arm in battle - has been discovered.
The letter is dated 16 August 1795, when Nelson was 36, and 10 years before he was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Hansons Auctioneers in Derbyshire sold a Nelson letter for £54,500 last year.
Charles Hanson, manager of the auctioneers, discovered the most recent letter at a house in Derby.
It was written in Vado Bay, Italy, and sent to Francis Drake, the British minister in Genoa.

The letter's 'remarkable' postscript
"If you could, without great inconvenience, come for a day to Vado I should like to know from you the exact plans which the army is to follow, at present I am completely in the dark."

Mr Hanson said the letter's postscript was "remarkable", because Nelson wrote that he was "completely in the dark" about the plans the army was to follow.
Mr Hanson said: "The letter highlights that even our greatest maritime war hero was often 'in the dark' as to the movements the army were to follow.
"We always perceive Nelson to be at the helm of every battle and conflict and clearly in this letter he was somewhat concerned."

Mr Hanson hopes the letter will go on to reside at a museum or private collection when sold on 27 September.
"Received by Francis Drake's secretary as is noted on the letter, it clearly shows Nelson's determination and potential to rise through the ranks," he said.
"The letter also reflects the fact that Nelson was not always in the know as to certain movements and clearly in this letter vents his frustration."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-28769662

This story interests me for two reasons; firstly it's something new about Nelson, and secondly the letter was found by Charles Hanson, a regular expert on BBC's Bargain Hunt!

As for Nelson being 'in the dark', it's always amazed me how well the British Navy ran when messages took days, weeks, or months to get about! (Speed of Light communication was possible by flags or semaphore, but only over limited distances!)


EDIT: Coincidentally, Charles Hanson was on Bargain Hunt this lunchtime! Cool
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Naughty_FelidOffline
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PostPosted: 15-08-2014 11:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

rynner2 wrote:
Right-handed Admiral Lord Nelson letter found in house

An early letter Admiral Lord Nelson wrote using his right hand - two years before he lost his right arm in battle - has been discovered.
The letter is dated 16 August 1795, when Nelson was 36, and 10 years before he was killed at the Battle of Trafalgar.

Hansons Auctioneers in Derbyshire sold a Nelson letter for £54,500 last year.
Charles Hanson, manager of the auctioneers, discovered the most recent letter at a house in Derby.
It was written in Vado Bay, Italy, and sent to Francis Drake, the British minister in Genoa.

The letter's 'remarkable' postscript
"If you could, without great inconvenience, come for a day to Vado I should like to know from you the exact plans which the army is to follow, at present I am completely in the dark."

Mr Hanson said the letter's postscript was "remarkable", because Nelson wrote that he was "completely in the dark" about the plans the army was to follow.
Mr Hanson said: "The letter highlights that even our greatest maritime war hero was often 'in the dark' as to the movements the army were to follow.
"We always perceive Nelson to be at the helm of every battle and conflict and clearly in this letter he was somewhat concerned."

Mr Hanson hopes the letter will go on to reside at a museum or private collection when sold on 27 September.
"Received by Francis Drake's secretary as is noted on the letter, it clearly shows Nelson's determination and potential to rise through the ranks," he said.
"The letter also reflects the fact that Nelson was not always in the know as to certain movements and clearly in this letter vents his frustration."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-derbyshire-28769662

This story interests me for two reasons; firstly it's something new about Nelson, and secondly the letter was found by Charles Hanson, a regular expert on BBC's Bargain Hunt!

As for Nelson being 'in the dark', it's always amazed me how well the British Navy ran when messages took days, weeks, or months to get about! (Speed of Light communication was possible by flags or semaphore, but only over limited distances!)


EDIT: Coincidentally, Charles Hanson was on Bargain Hunt this lunchtime! Cool


OK I'll say it, anyone else go "well that must be fake Francis Drake was long dead by then!"

only to reread and do a spot of googling?
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 30-08-2014 12:19    Post subject: Reply with quote

ramonmercado wrote:
But who shot Michael Collins?

We enter the realm of conspiracy theories. Major General Emmett Dalton (who accompanied Collins) was an MI5 agent who assassinated Collins. DeValera was on the grassy knoll, he shot Collins.

The reality is likely to be more mundane: Collins was either killed by a sniper or a ricochet. Sonny O'Neill, a member of the ambush party, reported that he had shot a tall officer. He didn't know it was Collins.


Now we have a tale of Collins committing suicide.

http://www.indymedia.ie/article/104965
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ramonmercadoOffline
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PostPosted: 03-09-2014 13:18    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Secret FBI project trained Alaskans in preparation for Soviet invasion

Declassified documents reveal that in the 1950s the FBI trained Alaskan residents to become agents behind enemy lines if the Soviets invaded. No women, Eskimo, Indians or Aleuts were included, with native peoples considered unreliable.

The recently declassified FBI and Air Force documents show that in the early stage of the Cold War the US government feared that the Soviet Union was planning an intervention and occupation of Alaska. The US military believed that the Soviet invasion would be airborne, with bombing preceding dropping of paratroopers to Alaska’s major inhabited localities, namely Anchorage, Fairbanks, Nome and Seward.

To cope with the eventuality that there was no way to rebuff the invasion, in 1951 FBI director J. Edgar Hoover initiated a highly classified project, code-named "Washtub," organizing a human intelligence network, recruiting and training citizens across Alaska to provide the American military with intelligence in case of war with Moscow.

Under the plan, "stay-behind agents" would hide in so-called survival caches – bunkers loaded with food, warm clothes, message-coding material and radios – and report on enemy movements.

The covert network consisted of fishermen, bush pilots, trappers and people of other professions. But there were restrictions – no one from the indigenous population was included.

“Eskimo, Indian and Aleut groups in the Territory should be avoided in view of their propensities to drink to excess and their fundamental indifference to constituted governments and political philosophies. It is pointed out that their prime concern is with survival and their allegiance would easily shift to any power in control,” insisted the founders of the program.

After being secretly screened by the FBI for disloyalty – at least some recruits were fingerprinted – the recruited citizens were offered up to $3,000 a year fees (equivalent to $30,000 in today’s money) which was supposed to double “after an invasion has commenced.” However, it is not said in the records how much was actually paid to the recruits.

All participants underwent a range of specialized training such as the parachutes, “guerilla techniques and close fighting,” scouting, patrolling, methods of interview and interrogation, “Arctic survival,” and, also coding and decoding messages. The latter did not always go well, as learning these techniques was “an almost impossible task for backwoodsmen to master in 15 hours of training,” one document said.

“Agents should be trained singly and their identities withheld from each other,” the declassified document reads. ...

http://rt.com/usa/184164-soviet-invasion-alaska-washtub/
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OneWingedBirdOffline
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PostPosted: 08-09-2014 11:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure there's some love for Beryl further back in this thread from Mr Whitehead... here's some more:

Quote:
Late Leeds cycling legend Beryl Burton OBE is to join the likes of Nelson Mandela in being awarded the city’s highest civic honour.

Regarded as one of the greatest riders that cycling has ever seen, the mother-of-one will join illustrious names on the Freedom of the City board at Leeds Civic Hall on Wednesday from 1pm.

The 13-time national champion cyclist, who held the British Best All-Rounder title for 25 consecutive years, is being lauded 18 years after she passed away aged 58.

In the year her home city hosted the Tour de France, Burton’s memory will also be recognised by cycling lessons and simulators organised by go:cycling in Millennium Square from 10am to 4pm.

Her daughter Denise Burton-Cole, who represented Great Britain alongside her mother at the 1972 World Championships, said: “She was a true Yorkshire woman who came from the Leeds area and was very proud to be from here.

“She would have taken this with the highest honour, she’d also think ‘wow, why me?’ in a way, but what she’s done speaks for itself. We are humbled.”

Beryl Burton, who lived in Morley, is a former member of Morley Cycling Club and Knaresborough Cycling Club who inspired generations of cyclists with feats including holding the men’s world 12-hour time trial record from 1967 to 1969. She pedalled over 277 miles in 12 hours.

The late cyclist’s daughter Denise and husband Charlie, who live in Yorkshire, plan to attend the Leeds ceremony.

Burton’s story was marked through the Beryl theatre production by actor-turned-writer Maxine Peake, which debuted at the West Yorkshire Playhouse earlier this year as part of the Yorkshire Festival.

Coun Keith Wakefield, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “After hosting a truly unforgettable Grand Depart earlier this year which will live long in the history of both our city and indeed the Tour de France, it is only right that we recognise Beryl Burton OBE for her amazing deeds in the sport that were pivotal in first putting Leeds on the international cycling map.”

CAREER IN NUMBERS

Beryl Burton’s career spanned over five decades and included numerous records and countless titles including:

- 25 consecutive British Best All-Rounder time trial titles from 1959 to 1983.

- 122 national titles over five decades.

- Holder of the men’s 12-hour world time trial record from 1967 to 1969, after she pedalled 277.25 miles in 12 hours.

- Her record for the 10-mile time trial of 21 minutes 25 seconds stood, set in 1973, stood for 20 years.

- Her record for the 25-mile time trial of 53 minutes 21 seconds, set in 1981, stood for 10 years.


YEP

One of the old guys at a local open mike night does a song about her... I do hope someone has managed to record it.
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