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rynner2Offline
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PostPosted: 29-03-2013 12:50    Post subject: Reply with quote

100 years of carmaking in Oxford

Picture show - but it's too tricky to copy any of the text!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-21953578
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PostPosted: 13-04-2013 08:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very long article:

Casino Royale: 60 years old today
Ian Fleming's James Bond novel Casino Royale was first published on April 13 1953 and there is an intriguing tale behind the original screenplay of the 007 film adaptation.
By Jeremy Duns
8:00AM BST 13 Apr 2013

Sixty years ago, the first 5000 copies of a novel by a new author were printed. The novel was Casino Royale by Ian Fleming, published April 13, 1953.

When he took the part of Dr No in the first James Bond film, Joseph Wiseman had no inkling that the franchise would become such a success. As he admitted in 1992, he thought he’d signed up for "another Grade-B Charlie Chan mystery". How wrong. Last November, 50 years after the premiere of Dr No, the 23rd Bond film was released, directed by Oscar-winner Sam Mendes, co-written by Oscar-nominated John Logan and starring Daniel Craig as the bare-knuckled Bond he debuted in 2005’s Casino Royale.

The Bond films have come a long way since 1962. The likes of Mendes, Logan, Paul Haggis and Marc Forster signing up to be involved is worlds away from even a decade ago, when the series seemed to be heading into self-parody.
Much of the creative renaissance of the past decade stems from the decision to return to the spirit of Fleming’s novels. Craig’s Casino Royale was an adaptation of Fleming’s first novel. The book merged the traditions of vintage British thrillers with the more realistic and brutal style of hardboiled American writers such as Dashiell Hammett.

But Craig’s debut (below) was not the first attempt to film the novel, but the third. The first was a one-hour play performed live on American television in October 1954: Barry Nelson starred as crew-cut American agent "Jimmy Bond" out to defeat villain Le Chiffre, played by Peter Lorre, at baccarat to ensure he will be executed by Soviet agency Smersh for squandering their funds. Due to the format, this was a much-simplified version of Fleming’s novel, with little of its extravagance or excitement.

The book features a wince-inducing scene in which Le Chiffre, desperate to discover where Bond has hidden the cheque for 40 million francs that he needs to save his life, ties Bond naked to a cane chair with its seat cut out and proceeds to torture him by repeatedly whacking his testicles with a carpet-beater. This could clearly not be shown on television, so instead Bond was placed in a bath, his shoes removed, and viewers watched him howl with pain as, off-screen, Le Chiffre’s men attacked his toenails with pliers.

The second attempt to film Casino Royale was altogether different. Also in 1954, Gregory Ratoff bought a six-month film option on the novel, and the following year bought the rights outright. An extravagant bear of a man who had fled Russia at the time of the Bolshevik Revolution, Ratoff was a well-known actor, producer and director – he had directed Ingrid Bergman's first Hollywood film, Intermezzo, in 1939. He was also a close friend of Charles K. Feldman, the playboy producer and super-agent.

In January 1956, the New York Times announced that Ratoff had set up a production company with actor-turned-agent Michael Garrison, and planned to film Casino Royale that summer in England, Estoril and San Remo, with Twentieth Century-Fox slated to release it. The article mentioned that Fleming himself had written an adaptation of the novel, but that Ratoff was instead negotiating with a "noted scenarist" to write a new script.

Ratoff died in December 1960, and his widow sold the film rights to Casino Royale to Charles Feldman. The long-dormant project soon became a potential goldmine. In March 1961, Life magazine listed From Russia, With Love as one of John F Kennedy’s 10 favourite books, and the Bond novels rapidly became best-sellers in the United States. Three months later, one of Feldman’s former employees at Famous Artists, Albert "Cubby" Broccoli, formed EON Productions with Canadian producer Harry Saltzman after buying the rights to the rest of Fleming’s novels.

In response to the growing popularity of Bond, Feldman turned to Ben Hecht (below) to write a script for Casino Royale. Known as "the Shakespeare of Hollywood", Hecht was a novelist, poet and playwright who had written or co-written several classic scripts, including The Front Page, based on a play he had co-written; Underworld, for which he won the first best screenplay Oscar in 1927; the original Scarface; and Hitchcock’s Spellbound and Notorious. Hecht also worked uncredited on dozens of other screenplays, including Gone With The Wind, Foreign Correspondent and a few other Hitchcock films.

etc...

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/jamesbond/9988216/Casino-Royale-60-years-old-today.html
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PostPosted: 08-05-2013 06:52    Post subject: Reply with quote

70 years on: Britain remembers Battle of the Atlantic

The Battle of the Atlantic, the longest continuous military campaign in World War II, is to be commemorated in a series of events starting on Wednesday.

Three Royal Navy warships will arrive in London before a special evensong in St Paul's Cathedral at 17:00 BST.
The events mark the 70th anniversary of the climax of the battle, May 1943, when Germany's submarine fleet suffered heavy losses in the Atlantic.

The milestone is also being marked in Londonderry and Liverpool.
Commemorations take place in London between 8 and 13 May, in Derry between 10 and 12 May, and in Liverpool between 24 and 27 May.

The Battle of the Atlantic was fought for control of vital supply routes, beginning as war broke out in 1939.
German submarines were the Allies' principal threat at sea. Winston Churchill once said: "The only thing that really frightened me during the war was the U-boat peril."

Skirmishes in the Atlantic continued until the war ended in 1945, but the Allies sank particularly large numbers of U-boats in May 1943, effectively winning the Battle of the Atlantic.
Over the course of the battle, thousands of merchant ships and tens of thousands of lives were lost.

In an interview with the BBC, Derek Traylen, who was a teenage signalman in the transatlantic convoys of supply ships, recalled: "I was on watch, and I saw a torpedo coming straight for us... it went straight ahead of us; missed us by yards.

"It went into the convoy, and it hit a ship in the second column, because they always put the dangerous ships like ones carrying fuel or ammunition [there], and it hit one. And nothing seemed to happen for a minute, and then suddenly it blew up completely and disappeared.
"Not a case of sinking down into the sea. No, it disappeared completely. Of course, everyone was lost on it. But you got to that state of mind, 'Oh well. this is war.' "

The organisers of the commemoration have planned fly-pasts, memorial services and parades to honour those who lost their lives.
Thousands of veterans are expected to take part in the events in Liverpool, the wartime home of the Western Approaches Command, which co-ordinated the effort to protect merchant shipping from the German navy in World War II.

The Ministry of Defence said in 2003 that the 60th anniversary would be the final official commemoration of the battle.

Liverpool hosted the 60th anniversary events, during which nearly 2,000 guests, including hundreds of veterans and former merchant seamen, attended a memorial service at the city's Anglican Cathedral.

---------------------------------------------------

KEY COMMEMORATION EVENTS

In London:

Fly-pasts over Greenwich on 9 and 11 May at 19:00 BST
Memorial service at the Merchant Navy Memorial in Trinity Square Gardens, Tower Hill, from 13:00 BST on 11 May
Warships open to the public on 11 and 12 May
The HQS Wellington, a ship permanently docked near Temple Tube station, hosts a Master Mariners Battle of the Atlantic exhibition from 12 May

In Londonderry:

The Royal Naval Association dedicates a new statue, the International Sailor, on 11 May in Ebrington Square to those who lost their lives in the battle
A guard of honour and a band service in Ebrington Square on 11 May
A parade in Ebrington Square on 12 May
Laying of wreaths on the River Foyle on 12 May

In Liverpool:

Up to 25 ships from the Royal Navy and from Russia, Canada, Germany, Poland, France and Belgium to converge on the city. Some will be open to the public
Charity Royal Marines Band concert at the Philharmonic Hall on 25 May
Service of commemoration to be held at Liverpool Anglican Cathedral on 26 May
Parade and fly-past on 26 May
Full details on the Royal Navy website

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22434753
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PostPosted: 01-06-2013 07:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

The time when sweets were strictly rationed

The sweet-toothed British public were so keen to taste sugary treats when seven years of sweet rationing ended briefly in 1949 that the government quickly had to reintroduce restrictions for another three-and-a-half years because there was such demand.

Here - as IWM North and Horrible Histories open a new Big Picture Show to celebrate the 60th anniversary of sugar and sweets finally coming off the ration - take a nostalgic look back at how food restrictions affected lives during and after WWII.

Terry Charman, of the Imperial War Museum, sets the scene - and Chesterfield confectioner Roy Willett recalls the days of rationing at his family company, which is still producing old-fashioned sweets today.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22706432

6m 40s video slide show

Fascinating stuff! Carrot on a stick, anyone?
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PostPosted: 15-06-2013 06:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blackadder at 30: how the cunning plan worked
‘The Black Adder’ began on June 15, 30 years ago. Despite a chaotic start, it became a hit. The rest, says Dominic Cavendish, is history.
By Dominic Cavendish, Comedy Critic
2:10PM BST 14 Jun 2013

"It was a great lesson in vanity and egotism,” says veteran producer John Lloyd, looking back on The Black Adder, the first series of what became simply Blackadder. June 15, 2013, brings the 30th anniversary of the first episode’s broadcast on BBC One. History, the fabric of which Blackadder draws from, however tongue-in-cheekily, has started to weave the show into its own tapestry.

And yet it’s worth remembering how narrowly Blackadder avoided being trampled underfoot in the onward march of televisual endeavour. Lloyd – one of Britain’s most successful producers of comedy on radio and television, responsible for Spitting Image and QI, among much else – has previously admitted to the angst, setbacks and accidental saving graces that went into the programme’s DNA.

Yet when I catch up with him, he’s more than usually emphatic about how deficient those early episodes were: “Richard [Curtis], Rowan [Atkinson] and I had come off Not the Nine O’Clock News, which was a triumph – we’d won two Baftas for the last series,” he recalls. “We were young, we thought ‘We’re brilliant, we can do anything,’ and we bit off more than we could chew.”

In the documentary trip down memory lane conducted to mark the 25th anniversary, Blackadder Rides Again, Atkinson and Lloyd retrod their steps around Alnwick Castle, Northumberland – the location for the first series’ mock-authentic version of late-medieval history, in which Brian Blessed’s Richard, Duke of York, father to Atkinson’s Edmund (“The Black Adder”), gained the English throne at the Battle of Bosworth.

Filming was a logistical nightmare and Lloyd shudders at the memory. “I was standing there in the freezing cold, looking at the dogs and the horses, surrounded by snow, thinking ‘What on Earth have we done?’ Richard and I used to stay up all night writing the scripts. We weren’t ready.”

The big joke about The Black Adder back at Television Centre was that it was the show that looked like a million dollars – and cost a million pounds (these being the days when the pound had clout). “It took months to edit,” Lloyd says. “I think one of the actors died, we took so long to edit it. We had to do retakes the whole time.” Although a second series was commissioned – despite mixed reviews – the arrival of Michael Grade as BBC One controller in 1984 spelt the bloody axe. He took one look at the cost and the ratings (not great), and cancelled the show.

The cavalry had arrived, though, in the shape of Ben Elton – nephew, it’s worth noting, of the venerated Tudor historian GR Elton. Taking over as joint scriptwriter, his whizzo idea was to get out of the boggy, lice-ridden misery of the Middle Ages and cut a sexier, punkier dash in the Elizabethan era.

It was a decision that, at a stroke, unlocked the show’s full potential for rapier wit, silly costumes, light-of-touch satire and richly detailed characterisation built around the intricacies and hypocrisies of class and power. One frantic weekend spent lopping off anything in the scripts that would require more than a minimal budget, one concerted plea for a reprieve, and the rest is the stuff of golden memories, reissued DVDs and repeats until doomsday.

Blackadder II begat Blackadder the Third – set in the Regency period – which begat Blackadder Goes Forth, bringing things from the mire and gore of the Middle Ages to the mud and blood of the First World War trenches. Lavish location shoots had given way to a studio set-up, with the scripts all the tighter and better for it. Having started out trying to subvert the traditional sitcom, the team – the talent of which no subsequent generation has yet matched – produced comedy’s answer to a cathedral, robust and built to last.

In explaining Blackadder’s enduring power, aside from the fashion-proof nature of its historical settings, we should point to its unique combination of guile and guilelessness, of perfectionism and on-the-fly invention. In artistic terms, it’s Edmund and Baldrick rolled into one.

In a neat final twist of behind-the-scenes irony, the most hallowed moment of the series came about by accident rather than design. The haunting last scene of the final series shows Blackadder and his not so merry men – Tony Robinson’s hangdog Private Baldrick, Hugh Laurie’s asinine but suddenly anxious Lieutenant George and Tim McInnerny’s ever-twitchy Captain Darling – getting felled by machine-gun fire as they go over the top.

Time itself seems to slow to a standstill – and past laughter turns into a silent act of remembrance punctuated only by birdsong. Having begun on a parodic Shakespearean note in the very first episode – with a rewrite of Richard III, performed by Peter Cook – the magnum opus arrives at a place as poignant as anything in the Histories.

The series’s knowing send-up of a simplistic Ladybird view of English history grows organically into a humble indictment, in grim monochrome fading into the blood-red of a poppy field, of the supposedly educated few whose idiocy led to such senseless slaughter.

Those closing moments were the result of happenstance. The final take was a rushed, botched job, with no time or inclination for another go. It was only in the editing suite that the possibilities of snatching artistic victory from the jaws of a deadly shambles dawned. Having started out biting off more than they could chew, they reached the apotheosis of “less is more”.

“Suddenly we were all standing there in awe,” Lloyd remembers. “My only contribution was to say ‘We’ve touched something here. Quite by accident we’ve done something extraordinary. It would be impertinent to put credits on this. We will take them off.’” And that’s what they did.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/10117710/Blackadder-at-30-how-the-cunning-plan-worked.html
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PostPosted: 16-06-2013 08:15    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anniversary for 820 Naval Air Squadron
[Video - A Royal Navy squadron which was integral in the attack on the German battleship the Bismarck is celebrating its 80th anniversary]

A Royal Navy squadron which was integral in the attack on the German battleship the Bismarck is celebrating its 80th anniversary.
The Cornwall-based 820 Naval Air Squadron was formed in 1933 and is one of the Navy's oldest.
It was involved in World War II, the Falklands War and has recently returned from the Middle East.
In recent years the squadron has also been involved in anti-piracy work off Somalia.

Throughout World War II the squadron operated in the Mediterranean, Norway, the Atlantic and the China Seas.
One of its Swordfish aircraft launched a torpedo which damaged the steering of the Bismarck.
The order came from Winston Churchill to destroy the ship, after it had sunk HMS Hood three days earlier.
Hundreds were killed on both sides during the sinking of HMS Hood and the German ship.

During 1958, the squadron made the transition to helicopters and in 1964 moved to the Royal Naval Air Station Culdrose in west Cornwall.

In 1982, it was involved in reclaiming the Falkland Islands and one of its pilots was HRH Prince Andrew.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cornwall-22905096
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PostPosted: 16-06-2013 19:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Full text & images at link.

Quote:
First Lady of Space: Tereshkova’s flight TIMELINE
http://rt.com/news/tereshkova-first-space-timeline-726/

First woman in space Soviet cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova is seen during a training session aboard a Vostok spacecraft simulator on January 17, 1964. (AFP Photo / RIA Novosti)

It is 50 years since the Vostok-6 rocket took Valentina Tereshkova to orbit, making her the first ever female to conquer space. RT brings the reconstructed timeline of the Russian's historic mission.


Read the full story here

The selection of candidates for the mission began in early 1962. The first female cosmonaut had to meet certain criteria: a parachute jumper, younger than 30, less than 170 cm (5’ 7”) tall, and less than 70kg (154lbs).

Soviet Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova, born on March 6, 1937, in the Soviet village of Maslennikovo, Yaroslavl Region
Parents had migrated from Belarus. Father was a tractor-driver, mother worked at a textile plant
Tereshkova became the first woman in space on June 16,1963
Hero of the Soviet Union, awarded on June 22, 1963
First woman in the Russian Army to get a rank of Major-General, 1995 (in retirement since April 1997)
State Duma deputy, member of the majority United Russia party
Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs
Got married to the 3rd Soviet cosmonaut Andrian Nikolaev in November 1963
On June 8, 1964, she gave birth to their daughter Elena - the first child in the world whose parents were both cosmonauts
Divorced since 1982
Finally, out of several hundred candidates, five were selected, including 26-year-old Valentina Tereshkova – a regional champion in skydiving who had 90 jumps under her belt.

On March 12, 1962, Tereshkova became a member of the cosmonaut corps and, along with the other four candidates, began months of tough training which included days spent in the complete silence of a soundproof chamber, zero-gravity tests and exhausting exercises in a heat chamber.

Tereshkova was last on the list of the candidates, but in the 1960s, political factors mattered a lot, and it was the “proletarian” background, which scored her points.

On June 16, 1963, Tereshkova became the first woman in space. She spent almost three days (70 hours 50 minutes) on the Vostok-6 spacecraft, which was launched from Baikonur Cosmodrome, in present-day Kazakhstan. She orbited the earth 49 times. Another Soviet spacecraft, Vostok-5 piloted by Valery Bykovsky, was in space at the same time.

RT reconstructed the timeline of Tereshkova’s historic flight, based on open sources, Tereshkova’s after-mission report and interviews, and the published diaries of Nikolay Kamanin, assistant commander-in-chief of the Air Force for space missions from 1960 to 1971, who supervised cosmonauts' training.

June 19, 1963
11:20 MSK: The Vostok-6 space capsule safely landed near Baevo, in Altai, 620 km north-east of Karaganda.

“Both space craft landed 2 degrees north of the estimated landing point,” Kamanin recalled.

“Communication and search teams made a lot of mistakes. We received reports about the cosmonauts’ state of health only several hours after the landing. We heard about Tereshkova through the land communication lines; and the commander of the aviation wing that circled over the landing site reported on Bykovsky – he saw the space craft, a crowd of people, some vehicles and the cosmonaut. After receiving verified reports on the cosmonauts’ health condition, Korolyov called Moscow and reported the safe landing. By night, it was clear that the second group space flight of the Soviet cosmonauts – including the first woman in space – was successfully completed.”

The U.S.S.R. Pilot-Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova just after landing in the Vostok-6 spaceship. (RIA Novosti)

Tereshkova’s report: “After deployment of the parachute, I saw the spacecraft underneath. The spacecraft and the seat landed near me. We have to come up with a way to control the parachute canopy, because I landed on my back. Some people ran up to me and tried to help. The spacecraft was 400 meters away. A jet came in an hour, two parachutists descended. In three hours, I was on the phone with Khrushchev, reporting the successful completion of the flight.”

According to Rossiyskaya Gazeta newspaper, Tereshkova’s landing was quite harsh. The space capsule was shaped like a ball, so it didn’t have the lift-to-drag ratio. Her descent had a ballistic trajectory; therefore the first female cosmonauts had to deal with a wide landing radius. Also they were ejected at 7 km, but the space capsule parachute deployed only at 4 km.

"When I was ejected and saw what was underneath, I got terrified, because there was a lake down there,” Valentina Tereshkova said later. “My first thought was – darn, they send one woman and now this woman will end up in the water!”

Tereshkova also remembers that it was very windy. “I had to remove the locks and unstrap the parachute. But it was impossible to control it, the canopy was huge, and the harness lines – very long. I was carried by the wind. So I had to ‘stand on my head’ for a little bit, finally I unstrapped the parachute, but ended up with a big bruise on my nose,” she recalled.

“Doctors had to conceal this bruise, because the beautiful lady wouldn’t look good in front of all the bosses with a shiner,” Tereshkova explained.

Some sources also claim that Tereshkova was almost unconscious when she landed. The woman was immediately transported to a hospital in Moscow. In the evening, the doctors reported that she was out of the woods health wise.

So the next day they reenacted the landing and filmed it. They put Tereshkova in the capsule and actors played the people running up to it. One of the actors opened the capsule, and Tereshkova was sitting there, smiling. This footage was then shown all over the world.



Pilot-cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova in the cabin of the Vostok-6 spacecraft. (RIA Novosti)

09:39 MSK: A command to activate the automatic landing cycle was sent to Vostok-6 spacecraft.

‘Seagull’ performed manual orientation for landing and was maintaining the spacecraft in this position for 15 minutes.

“Tereshkova was extremely pleased and reported she had gotten through with her attitude control task,” Kamanin recalled.

Tereshkova’s report: “I have carried out all preparations for the landing and reported readiness. Solar orientation control system went on when the spacecraft was still in the Earth’s shadow. I could hardly hear the retro pack went on. I reported on having performed the commands via radiograms. The Earth was behind my back. The modules detached abruptly. First the spacecraft was moving steadily, but then it started swaying. When the surface of the ship was burning, I could see flames flying past the viewing port. After retraction, the cabin was filled with smoke and wads. The chair quickly detaches and exits the spacecraft in a very slow movement.”

June 18, 1963
10:00 MSK: Baikonur has started preparing all the data for the landings of both Vostoks. It was decided that Seagull will land on the 49th pass through the orbit, and Hawk – on the 82nd.

Tereshkova’s report: “I didn’t feel the spacesuit on me for the first 24 hours. On the second day I got nagging pain in my right shank, and on the third – it started troubling me. Full-pressure helmet was uncomfortable and tight on my shoulder, and the intercom headset was tight on my left ear... I could feel pain and itching on my head underneath the device. Air conditioning system worked well throughout the flight. At the takeoff the temperature inside the cabin was 30 degrees, at the end of the first 24 hours – 23 degrees. Then it fell to 12 degrees and maintained this temperature.”

Even though by the third day in space, Tereshkova was exhausted, she would not admit that. The mission control center tried to reach her for the last communication session before landing, but she would not receive calls. When the ground team turned the camera on, they found her asleep and had to wake her up to discuss upcoming landing and manual orientation.

Pilot-cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova. Photo reproduction. (RIA Novosti)

Tereshkova had tried orienting the spacecraft manually once, but then honestly admitted she had failed to do that. She was trying to turn Vostok-6 towards the Earth, but each time it would face the opposite direction. It aroused great concerns, as in case automatic orientation breaks down, returning the spaceship to the Earth would become impossible.

Tereshkova had been keeping silent about that emergency situation on board for many years. Just last week, she finally made public that there was an error in the control program that made the spaceship ascend from orbit instead of descending. She reported it to the MCC.

“I entered the data that I got from the Earth into the program,” she told the journalists last week.

Later, after the successful landing, Sergey Korolyov came up to her and asked, as Valentina recalls: “My little Chayka, please, don’t tell anybody about that”.

And she did not, for decades.

Tereshkova’s report: “Sanitary wipes are not wet enough and are tiny. It would be great to have something for teeth cleaning. I witnessed thunderstorms in the sky above South America. At night you can easily distinguish cities. The Earth and the clouds are beautifully lit by the moonlight. Constellations are difficult to make out.”

June 17, 1963
10:07 MSK: Vostok-6 flew from North-West to South-East over the cosmonauts’ house at Baikonur and two communication sessions with Tereshkova were held.

The correspondent of the Komsomolskaya Pravda newspaper told Tereshkova he had just had a phone conversation with her mother, who had said she was proud of her daughter and was looking forward to meeting her on Earth. Valentina responded: “Kisses for my mom, the dearest person to me.”

Tereshkova’s report: "Working with the equipment is hard: I couldn’t reach the globe and other devices, so I had to loosen the harness. I was filming cities, clouds and the Moon. Filming and simultaneously putting down what you see is extremely difficult. I haven’t carried out biological tests as I failed to get the samples."

The zero gravity did not cause any discomfort for the cosmonaut.

Pilot-Cosmonaut Valentina Tereshkova inside Vostok spacecraft simulator. (RIA Novosti)

“My hands were floating in the air, so I felt like putting them away under the harness, and during training I felt like leaning against the chair,” Tereshkova said later, in her report.

Food in tubes, though, appeared to be quite a challenge.

"The bread is stale – I didn’t eat it. I was craving for black bread, potatoes and onions. The water is chilly and pleasant. Juices and beefsteaks were also fine. I vomited once, but that was not because of vestibular disturbance, that was because of the food," Tereshkova wrote.

Tereshkova didn’t keep the logbook as her two pencils had broken.

On the same day, Vostok-5 pilot Bykovsky said “Connection with Chaika is excellent; she is humming songs to me.”

“During the first day we had excellent connection with Hawk, on the second day until the afternoon it was satisfactory, and then we lost it. But I could hear the ground talk to him, so it was amazing to know Hawk was soaring in space somewhere next to me.”
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PostPosted: 18-06-2013 20:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Truscott writes: Maritime line celebrates 150th year
1:00pm Monday 17th June 2013 in News

This year sees the 150th anniversary of one of the most important developments in the area's history. It has long since become an essential part of local life and, appropriately enough, has rarely been in better health.

I refer to the opening of the Truro-Falmouth branch railway line, no less, coincidentally completed at the same time as the first section of the London Underground.

The new Cornish rail link was immensely exciting and significant, marking the area's economic fightback after the devastating loss of the Packet service (after which this newspaper takes its name, of course) to Southampton.

Amazing as it might now seem, the Truro-Falmouth branch line was originally perceived as a main line route through from London, before Penzance won that battle.

For many years, the Falmouth terminus station had three long platforms, plenty of goods facilities and a striking overall roof - while Penzance boasted just one short platform and limited goods facilities.

Our line has had its fair share of drama, not least in 1899, when the up mail train came off the rails near Hill Head, Penryn, rolling down the steep bank and killing the engine driver.

In more recent times, the line's entire future has repeatedly been in doubt. The 1960s saw the infamous Beeching cuts, when Truro-Falmouth at least survived but lost all its goods facilities en route except for those of Falmouth Docks.

Then it was proposed for closure in all the options contained in the 1983 Serpell Report, which was eventually shelved.

Now, thanks chiefly to the Falmouth University “revolution,” it is one of Britain's most popular branch lines and, passenger-wise at least, has no doubt rarely been busier in its entire history.

http://www.falmouthpacket.co.uk/news/10483138.Mike_Truscott_writes__Maritime_line_celebrates_150th_year/?ref=mr

A very brief account! It doesn't even mention the recent doubling of the track at Penryn, to allow trains to pass there, which increased the number of trains possible each way. (Old photos of Penryn station show two complete lines there in times past.)
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PostPosted: 29-06-2013 18:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another railway anniversary:

Mallard anniversary: Steam locomotive Bittern marks record run

A 1937 steam locomotive has run along the section of track where a another locomotive set an unbeaten world record 75 years ago.
Bittern, an A4-class engine, a contemporary of Mallard, the world's fastest steam locomotive, set off from King's Cross station for York.
Mallard set a record speed of 126mph near Grantham on 3 July 1938, which remains unbeaten to this day.

Up to 250 people were on board the train, which reached 92.8mph.
It had been given special permission by authorities for the run to exceed the 75mph limit for steam trains.
Steam locomotives were phased out in the late 1960s.

Bittern set off from platform four at King's Cross, stopping at Potters Bar in Hertfordshire, to pick up more passengers.

Richard Corser, general manager at organiser Locomotive Services Ltd, said: "Today is the culmination of a lot of months of preparation to make this happen, to go at a high speed and to give the passengers a bit of a flavour of what high-speed steam was like.
This country's very famous for its engineering skills and steam was its cradle."

Bittern and Mallard are two of 35 A4s designed by engineer Sir Nigel Gresley, but only six survive.
The surviving locomotives will be reunited at the National Railway Museum in York to celebrate the 75th anniversary of Mallard's record on 3 July.

Dominion of Canada was shipped from Montreal last October while Dwight D Eisenhower has reached York from the US and both have been restored for the anniversary.
Union of South Africa and the Sir Nigel Gresley will also join them at the museum.

Anthony Coulls, the museum's senior curator of rail vehicle collections, said: "What we're planning is a major celebration - people will be coming from four corners of the Earth.
"The gathering of the six locomotives is the jewel in the crown."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23109971

Is this a good idea? IIRC, the attempt to gather together all the Rings of Power (in 'Lord of the Rings'), led to all sorts of unpleasantness! Shocked
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rings_of_Power

Those big wheels, driven by the power of steam, are clearly Rings of Power!
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PostPosted: 02-07-2013 07:26    Post subject: Reply with quote

Magnificent Mallard: The world's fastest steam locomotive
[Video presentation - great photos]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-23137106
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PostPosted: 30-08-2013 07:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

While politicians froth off about the usual trivia, it's time to consider something really important:

Lava lamp creators mark 50 years of 1960s icon
By Zoe Kleinman, Technology reporter, BBC News

A quick drink in a pub in the heart of Hampshire's New Forest was to give the world an iconic symbol of the psychedelic 1960s that is still going strong as it marks its 50th anniversary.

Edward Craven Walker was inspired to create the lava lamp after admiring an oil and water-based ornament he had spotted on display in the country inn - and in September 1963 he set up a company, now known as Mathmos, to research, develop and most importantly market his invention.

Mathmos - named after the lava-like substance which features in the cult film Barbarella - will celebrate its 50th birthday next month with the installation of a gigantic 200-litre lamp at London's Royal Festival Hall and the launch of a limited edition model designed by Mr Craven Walker's widow, Christine Baehr.

"Edward was very focused, driven, full of ideas," said Ms Baehr. "When he had an idea he would see it through to the end."

Long before the days of crowd-funding and Dragons' Den, persuading investors to get on board was no mean feat.
"Because it was so completely new we had to convince people it was worth going with, particularly when it came to selling," Ms Baehr recalled. "Some people thought it was absolutely dreadful."

The Sixties were also less connected times. "We didn't have any online technology," she told the BBC. "We literally had to go around in a van."
Nonetheless, word soon spread about the brightly coloured lamps with their mesmerising wax shapes that formed, rose and sank because of the heat of tungsten bulbs.

In 1968, they made their first TV appearance on the set of Doctor Who. Another sci-fi series, The Prisoner, followed and in 1980 Hollywood called - the Craven Walkers were asked to deliver bespoke models to the set of Superman III. Cool

"When did we realise things were going really well? The day a store in Birkenhead phoned to say that Ringo Starr had just been in and bought a lava lamp," said Ms Baehr.
"Suddenly we thought, 'Wow, we have hit it.'"

The initial appeal of the lava lamp was in part a rebellion against the post-war drudgery of interior design, when bright colours were too expensive to manufacture on a wide scale, believes architect Dan Hopwood, council member of the British Institute of Interior Design.

"Suddenly there were all these new printing and dying methods - all those acid colours started coming in - it was quite exciting," he said of the beginning of the trend for psychedelia.
"Have you ever been inside an original 1940s interior? It looks like mud."

But like all fashions, the trend eventually came to an end. In the mid-1980s, a quiet time for lava lamp lovers, Cressida Granger stumbled upon them in a hunt for some new merchandise for her vintage furniture stall in London's Camden Market.
When she saw how well they sold she contacted the manufacturer, coincidentally based in her own birthplace of Poole in Dorset.
By the late 1980s, Ms Granger was managing director of the firm she decided to rebrand Mathmos.

One of her first issues was a problem corporations still battle with today - the patent the Craven Walkers had taken out to protect their invention had expired after a standard period of 20 years.
However, luckily for Ms Granger, the world had not yet noticed - and round the corner was a new generation of lava lamp lovers, the British university students of the 1990s.
"People didn't realise the patents had run out," she said.
"When people did realise then we had lots of competition to deal with but we did have a lovely period of monopoly in the 90s. It was a case of right time, right place, right product."
Ms Granger believes the firm sold more during this period of revival than the original burst of interest in the 1960s.

Despite the company's secrecy over the exact ingredients of its lava lamp formula, cheaper copies soon started to appear from Asia.
Mathmos, however, decided to stay put.

"It would be much cheaper to make lava lamps in China," said Ms Granger, adding that some of the company's other LED lighting products are no longer made in the UK.
"But I think it's special to make a heritage thing in the place it's always been made. The bottles are made in Yorkshire, the bases are made in Devon, the bottles are filled in Poole and the lamps assembled to order in Poole."

While much of the manufacturing process would still be familiar to Edward Craven Walker, who died in 2000, one element of it now involves a helping hand from across the Atlantic, as the financial collapse of Detroit has incongruously benefited the production of lava lamps.

"The metal spinning [of the bases] has changed," said Ms Granger.
"We now have robots working alongside hand-spinners.
"The metal bashers of Detroit were selling their kit very cheaply... and some of those robots have ended up in rural Devon, making lava lamps." Very Happy

But the final stage, in which the lamp bottle itself is filled with lava formula, is still done by hand - it takes around a day and a half for one member of staff to fill a batch of 400 lamps.
"We're not aiming to be the cheapest lava lamps in the world - we are aiming to be the best," said Ms Granger.
That is reflected in the cost of the product - prices for a Mathmos lamp begin at £50 on its own website, compared with $15 (£9.50) from a US website called Lava World.

The collectors market, however, is also flourishing, according to collector Anthony Voss, who runs the website Flow of Lava.
"The most valuable tend to be ones which were limited production runs - ones that weren't so commercially successful. Also rare colours, limited edition astro lamps, pieces which are historical - very early lamps from 1963, '64, '65," he told the BBC.
"We're talking about several hundred pounds. Giant floor lamps will go for thousands."

Mr Voss plans to launch a virtual museum dedicated to all things lava lamp later in the year.
"On eBay there's a massive market," he said. "I was contacted by a guy who lives in Singapore - he has 10,000 lamps. It's crazy but once you get one it's a bit addictive, you want to collect them all." Very Happy

The next challenge for Mathmos, the lava lamp grande dame, is likely to be the phasing out of tungsten bulbs, used to heat the fluid but now considered to be energy-inefficient.
"We have a patent pending on a new way of operating lava lamps," said Cressida Granger enigmatically.
"We are getting R&D funding from the government for that."

But how about the collectors and their priceless originals?
"We're also stockpiling bulbs," Ms Granger added.
"We reckon we've got enough to keep people going for a while."

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-23754303
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PostPosted: 14-09-2013 11:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

George Best made his Manchester United debut 50 years ago today
- in a 1-0 Division 1 home win v West Brom on 14 September 1963

Doesn't time fly? Sad
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PostPosted: 07-10-2013 06:57    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another footie one:

Buckingham Palace to host its first football match

Buckingham Palace is to host its first official football match later, to mark the Football Association's 150th anniversary.
The competitive fixture involving two amateur sides was the idea of the Duke of Cambridge, President of the FA.

London sides Civil Service FC, the sole survivor of the 11 teams that formed the FA on 26 October 1863, will take on Polytechnic FC, set up in 1875.
Prince William will host the event and also present medals to 150 volunteers.

The Queen gave permission for the Southern Amateur League fixture to take place.
Wembley groundsman Tony Stones worked with royal household gardeners to create the 110 yards x 65 yards (100m x 60m) pitch in the 39-acre (16 hectares) garden.
The lawn was seeded in parts to repair wear and tear following a busy summer which saw the grounds host garden parties and the Coronation Festival.

The pitch started to be marked out last month.
Since then the royal gardeners have been mowing the ground three times a week and creating a criss-cross pattern in the turf to mirror the Wembley stadium pitch.
But the turf - made up of rye, bents and fescues - is a mixture of finer grasses than Wembley. And unlike any top flight ground, it also contains patches of camomile, a plant found on the site of Buckingham Palace for centuries.

Premier League referee Howard Webb, who officiated at the 2010 World Cup final match in South Africa, will be in charge of the fixture.

etc...

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-24423342
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PostPosted: 08-10-2013 07:36    Post subject: Reply with quote

Torquay Alpine Ski Club celebrates 50 years of dry slope skiing

The UK's first artificial ski slope has celebrated its 50th anniversary.
The Torquay Alpine Ski Club opened on 5 October 1963 and is believed to be the oldest surviving dry slope still operating in the world, the club said.

Hundreds of thousands of people have learnt to ski on the slope, which provided accessible and affordable skiing to the general public for the first time.
Since then nearly 100 slopes have been built all over the country.

To celebrate, three times Olympian and world cup ski racer Chemmy Alcott and Olympic ski jumper Eddie the Eagle Edwards visited the slope before attending an anniversary dinner.
They were joined by members of the club who were present at opening of the slope and who were part of the first ever group to qualify as UK Artificial Slope Ski Instructors.

The club started with a healthy total of 138 members Ralph Howle, chairman at the ski club, said: "It's been an absolutely amazing achievement.
"It's been a fantastic day for the club and for all those people involved in the creation of the club back in 1963, those visionary pioneers that said 'Let's create a dry ski slope here in Torbay'."

The all-year round slope was built at Pontins Barton Hall after the particularly harsh winter of 1962-63.
The heavy snow had encouraged dozens of skiers in Torbay and Exeter to make the most of the conditions and indulge themselves in the sport.
When the snow finally melted, enough local interest had been created to prompt an open meeting at which the feasibility of building an artificial ski slope was discussed.

The location for the slope was provided by holiday camp owner Fred Pontin, who handed responsibility for its operation to the Wessex Ski Association, now the Torquay Alpine Ski Club.
A grand opening ceremony saw demonstrations by members of the British Ski Team and European Ski Instructors from the Swiss Resort of Champery.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-24429116
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PostPosted: 21-10-2013 06:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's Trafalgar Day! An attractive 6 min slide show is here:

The brutal world of the Nelson-era Navy

The 18th Century was a tumultuous period for the Royal Navy. From bustling dockyards to ferocious sea battles - and from jolly Jack Tars to Admiral Lord Nelson's elevation to one of the best-known figures in British history.

The National Maritime Museum explores how the Navy secured its place in the fabric of the nation in Nelson, Navy, Nation - a new permanent exhibition opening on Trafalgar Day, 21 October 2013. Take a look with co-curator Quintin Colville.

Nelson, Navy, Nation can be seen at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Admission free.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24566266
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