Issue #484 - 13th July 2018
|^ WORD OF THE WEEK
^ ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Friday 13th July - William I of Scotland was captured during the Revolt of 1173-74, 1174. Jadwiga, Queen of Poland, died, 1399. John Dee, astronomer, astrologer & mathematician, born, 1527. Charlotte Corday murdered French Revolution theorist, journalist & politician Jean-Paul Marat [see also Tuesday, below], 1793. With the signing of the Treaty of Berlin Serbia, Montenegro & Romania became independent of the Ottoman Empire, 1878. Historian Kenneth Clark born, 1903. Artist Frida Kahlo died, 1954. The Live Aid concerts took place in London & Philadelphia, and other countries around the world, 1985. Equestrian Charlotte Dujardin born, 1985. Saturday 14th July - Eorcenberht, king of Kent, died, 664. Louis VIII acceded to the French throne, 1223. Poet Poliziano born, 1454. Parisians stormed the Bastille, 1789. American suffragist Kate M. Gordon born, 1861. Outlaw Billy the Kid was shot dead by Pat Garrett, 1881. Howard Hughes completed a record 91-hour flight around the world, 1938. Victoria, Crown Princess of Sweden, born, 1977. Actress Meredith MacRae died, 2000. Bastille Day in France & dependencies. Sunday 15th July - The Roman army under Titus breached the walls of Jerusalem following a siege, 70. Russian prince Vladimir the Bold born, 1353. Lisa del Giocondo, subject of the Mona Lisa, died, 1542. The Rosetta Stone was discovered in Egypt, 1799. Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst born, 1858. Playwright Anton Chekhov died, 1904. The first 18 of 52 Nobel laureates signed the Mainau Declaration against nuclear weapons, 1955. Drummer Jason Bonham born, 1966. Actor Martin Landau died, 2017. Monday 16th July - The coronation of Richard II of England, 1377. Artist Andrea del Sarto born, 1486. Writer & poet Anne Askew burned at the stake, 1546. Swedish bank Stockholms Banco issued the first banknotes in Europe, 1661. Journalist & civil rights activist Ida B. Wells born, 1862. Mary Todd Lincoln, First Lady of the United States 1861-65, died, 1882. The Atomic Age began with the successful Trinity Test detonation in New Mexico, 1945. Actress Faye Grant born, 1957. Filmmaker George Romero died, 2017. Holocaust Memorial Day in France. Tuesday 17th July - Anglo-Saxon king Edward the Elder died, 924. The Fourth Crusade captured Constantinople, 1203. Italian noblewoman Maria Salviati born, 1499. Catherine II became tsar of Russia, 1762. Philanthropist John Jacob Astor born, 1763. Charlotte Corday, murderer of Jean-Paul Marat [Friday, above], guillotined, 1793. Willis Carrier created the first air conditioner, 1902. Actress Catherine Schell born, 1944. Weapons inspector Dr David Kelly died under mysterious circumstances, 2003. World Day for International Justice. World Emoji Day 🙌. Wednesday 18th July - The Great Fire of Rome began, 64. Chinese emperor Zhu Wen assassinated, 912. Astronomer & music theorist Hermann of Reichenau born, 1013. England & France agreed to the Truce of Leulinghem, leading to a 13-year peace during the Hundred Years' War, 1389. Artist Caravaggio died, 1610. Writer William Makepeace Thackeray born, 1811. Nadia Comăneci scored the first perfect 10 in Olympics gymnastics history, 1976. Actress Kristen Bell born, 1980. Singer-songwriter Nico died, 1988. Nelson Mandela Inernational Day. Thursday 19th July - Scholar Muhammad al-Bukhari born, 810. Poet Petrarch died, 1374. The warship Mary Rose sank off Portsmouth; it would be salvaged 437 years later, 1545. Firearms manufacturer Samuel Colt born, 1814. Brunel's SS Great Britain, the largest ship at the time and the first ocean-going iron-hulled & screw propeller-driven vessel, was launched, 1843. Journalist & women's rights advocate Margaret Fuller died, 1850. Musician & astrophysicist Brian May born, 1947. Joe Walker flew an X-15 hypersonic aircraft to an altitude of 106,010m (347,800'), above the internationally agreed Kármán line marking the boundary of space, thus becoming America's 7th man in space, 1963. Actor James Garner died, 2014.
^ THE WISDOM OF...
This week, William Makepeace Thackeray:A good laugh is sunshine in a house.
^ FILM QUIZ
A selection of quotations from films with a common actor or actress. Answers next issue or from the regular address.
Last issue's quotations were from films starring Jim Carrey:
- You got me hotter than Georgia asphalt.
- See that clock on the wall? In five minutes you are not going to believe what I've told you.
- - God creates dinosaur. God destroys dinosaur. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaur.
- Dinosaur eats man. Woman inherits the earth.
- As an early Hanukkah present, I'm going to send you and Pam a box of these musical condoms.
- Sure Dr. Von Braun is a great scientist, but he isn't my hero.
- There's a giant blow dryer in my pool.
-- Earth Girls Are Easy 
- Adults are, like, this mess of sadness and phobias.
-- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind 
- Good morning, and in case I don't see ya, good afternoon, good evening, and good night!
-- The Truman Show 
- Our love is like a red, red rose... and I am a little thorny.
-- The Mask 
- - How in the hell do you lose a five hundred pound fish? ... What?
- I'm sorry sir, I was just going to say, that it's not a fish, it's a mammal.
- Thank you, Miss Jacques Cousteau.
-- Ace Ventura: Pet Detective 
^ WEIRD WORLD NEWS
Strange stories from around the world, some of which might be true...
- HISTORY! A 118-year-old tin containing chocolate sent on behalf of Queen Victoria to soldiers fighting in the Boer War has been discovered in a cupboard, after its owner was motivated to hunt for it following the auction of a World War I tin of chocolate last month. The Boer War chocolate's owner had run a collectibles shop and kept the tin after the shop closed down 25 years ago. The tin was due to be auctioned this week. ● Facebook's algorithm for detecting questionable posts has run foul of a small Texas community newspaper which decided to post daily excerpts from the US Declaration of Independence in the run-up to Independence Day last week. The first nine excerpts appeared without issue, but the tenth was blocked and the paper received a notice from Facebook that its post went against FB's standards on hate speech. The relevent passage referred to "merciless Indian savages". Facebook later apologised and allowed the post ● Argentinian paleontologists have found the fossil evidence of the earliest-known "giant" dinosaur, pushing back the previously accepted date for the evolution of "gigantism" by 30 million years. The herbivorous dinosaur, dubbed Ingentia prima ("the first giant") weighed around 10 tons, was up to 33' (10m) long and lived 210 million years ago, in the Triassic Period.
- NATURE! A Southern Californian man was looking forward to a relaxing afternoon with a drink in his hot tub, only to see (and film) a bear climbing over his fence, soaking in the tub for a while then drinking his margherita and wandering off. He later saw the bear sleeping it off in a tree before heading down the street. ● Northern Australian rangers have finally captured a massive crocodile almost ten years after it was first spotted. The 60-year-old (estimated) croc weighed 600kg (1,300lb) and was 4.71m (15.5') long, not the longest-known saltwater crocodile, but the longest captured. It was taken to a 'croc farm' to live out its life. ● A driver who spent a day out at Brimham Rocks, near Harrogate, felt a bump while driving home, but the car seemed alright and there was nothing on the road behind him, so he continued on the 25-mile trip back to York, only to discover, when he got home, a live pheasant stuck in his car's front grille. The RSPCA were called and rescued the bird which was shocked but "didn't seem to be injured" according to officer Helen Martindale, before releasing it back into the wild. The grille was badly damaged.
- SCIENCE! Swiss research institute, l'Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne has bought a supercomputer for its Blue Brain initiative which aims to model the thalamus and neocortex of a mouse brain. The thalamus relays motor and sensory signals to the brain while the neocortex is involved with motor commands, spatial awareness and sensory perception. It is hoped that studies using the system will help with the diagnosis and treatment of brain diseases, as well as the development of neurorobotics. ● NASA's moon landings between 1969 & 1972 answered a lot of mysteries about the moon, but created one too. The Apollo 15 & 17 missions left probes at two locations to record subsurface temperatures and transmit data back to Earth. In 1974 the probes recorded an unexpected temperature rise of 1.8oF (1oC), but the tapes holding the data for the following 3 years were lost, leaving scientists unable to do more than speculate as to what happened. A team of researchers has finally located the lost tapes and scientists have been able to conclude that the heat rise at the locations was caused by the astronauts themselves, who disturbed the regolith, or fine dust, covering the lunar surface when they walked or drove the lunar rover over it, darkening it slightly and allowing heat to be absorbed better. Outside the areas where the astronauts had been active there was little or no effect. ● Ecologists at Ghent University in Belgium have studied footage of the Liège-Bastogne-Liège cycling race going back over 36 years to 1980 to create a unique record of seasonal change. Because the route has remained unaltered and the race date fixed, they were able to note whether a particular group of trees were bare or had started to sprout leaves. The records confirmed that as the planet has warmed leaf emergence - and, effectively, Spring, has jumped forwards almost two weeks, a result in line with independent findings from other institutions. Footage of the race exists as far back as 1929 (though in black and white) so it might be possible to construct a longer record.
- PEOPLE! Millenials rejoice! Computer security bods despair! A company - the Conran Shop, no less - is now selling a (paper) notebook specifically marketed, and labelled as such in big thief-friendly letters, for people to write their login IDs & passwords in, despite decades of warning about the perils of writing down such sensitive information, and more recent attempts to do away with passwords altogether in favour of biometrics. ● After firefighters had to rescue a 24-year-old man when his leg allegedly sank "thigh deep" into a road surface which, according to the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service "had become very soft during the current heatwave and had melted" Newcastle Council hastily issued a statement that the accident had been caused by "a small existing void" below the surface, and the roads were not melting, and did not require any special treatment in the hot weather. The man himself was uninjured, which rescuers put down to him wearing "his grandad's Dr Martens". ● When Belfast resident Stephen Law bought a second-hand book he discovered a signed letter folded inside it from Irish poet Seamus Heaney. He posted an image of the letter to Twitter asking if the original owner would like their letter back. Within 30 minutes, and with help from Queen's University Belfast special collections library, he had a response from Sophia Hillen confirming that "I am the Sophia Hillan who was at Irish Studies and would love to have it back. I am pleased and touched that the finder thought to contact me. Seamus was a kind and loyal friend until his untimely death."
- CRIME! A burglar broke into the NW Escape Experience in Vancouver, where paying teams of customers attempt to find their way out of escape rooms, only to become trapped and have to call the police to get him out. He was not stuck in an escape room, but he had damaged the back door so badly when he broke in that he could not open it again at first, and when he eventually did he ran into a police officer who had responded to his call, and was arrested. Owner Rob Bertrand told reporters that "once we got down there and realised the damage was minimal, we just thought it was hilarious. [..] We're going to start claiming that we're the only escape room in the nation that has 100% capture rate for criminals." ● When Lindsay Durdle died of cancer in May her husband went about notifying relevant companies, including sending online payments service PayPal copies of her death certificate, her will and his ID. In response he received a letter addressed to his late wife, headlined "Important: You should read this notice carefully" before saying that she owed the company about £3,200 ($4,250) and "are in breach of condition 15.4(c) of your agreement with PayPal Credit as we have received notice that you are deceased... this breach is not capable of remedy." PayPal has since apologised to Mr Durdle, cancelled the debt, and said they are looking into the matter "as a priority". ● Dutch YouTuber Paul Davids, whose music-based videos show him playing famous guitar riffs and teaching various skills is used to occasionally receiving automated emails from the online video service saying that he is infringing someone's copyright, but he recently got one saying that he was infringing his own copyright after someone took one of his tracks, added vocals and additional guitar and uploaded it as their own. A brief and polite email exchange with the other musician ended with Davids allowing the new track to be kept, as the money the other man was making from it was probably not going to be that much anyway.
IN BRIEF: Over 600 sightings of a meteor fireball made across various US states on Sunday night. ● Raccoon stood on live connectors at Seattle City Light substation, knocking out power to large chunk of city for several hours. ● YouGov poll to find Britain's favourite ice lolly results in fierce Twitter arguments over results - Magnum won, Solero 3rd, Feast 5th with many saying they are not ice lollies, but ice creams - and the definition of 'ice lolly'. ● All children and coach rescued from flooded Thai cave system [see last TFIr] after threat of worsening weather. ● China reportedly develops military laser rifle. ● Australian property developers name their new community 'Gilead', not a new name but perhaps unfortunately the name of the totalitarian theocratic anti-free-speech women-repressing republic in The Handmaiden's Tale. ● Surrey now hit by seventh quake of swarm in just over 12 weeks. ● Hull of the RRS Sir David Attenborough, the ship formally known as 'Boaty McBoatface', to be launched on Saturday. ● YouTube to add "authoritative links" alongside conspiracy theory videos. ● Crowdfunded nappy-clad, small-handed Donald Trump balloon to go on world tour after flying in Parliament Square during his (at time of writing) imminent visit to UK.
WORLD CUP WEIRDNESS: Clothes retailer Marks & Spencer sell out of waistcoats ahead of "Waistcoat Wednesday" when England play Croatia in the semi-finals, because team manager Gareth Southgate wears a waistcoat on the touchline. ● Actors in Titanic: The Musical stop performance to rail at two front row audience members who were watching England's game against Colombia on their phones and cheering at the penalty shoot-out goals despite front of house staff having asked for all phones to be switched off. [Could be worse - I was at a performance of Macbeth many years ago where someone took a flash photo only for the actor playing Macbeth to charge into the audience with daggers drawn to confront them... -Ed] ● Justin Bieber arranged for O2 Arena to open early ahead of his concert on Thursday night so fans - and he - could watch the England v Croatia match on the big screen. ● England fan Teddy Allen spent 4 hours getting large picture of Harry Kane and "Sir Harry", "World Cup Winners 2018" tattooed on his thigh ahead of semifinal game. [As of 10:00pm on Wednesday night he's probably regretting it... -Ed]
^ ENTERTAINMENT BRIEFS
Banksy mural on disused Hull bridge to be cut out and stored safely to allow for demolition of bridge deemed a danger to shipping; ultimate relocation site undecided. ● Benidorm creator Derren Litton confirms cancellation of show after most recent, 10th series; story to continue in stage play opening September. ● Ant Man and the Wasp holds #1 US box office spot on second weekend. ● Drake's Scorpion becomes fastest album to rack up 1 billion streams in a week. ● DJ Khaled absent from Wireless festival for "travel issues" then "scheduling conflict" hours after tweeting that he was "still on vacation." ● Elvis Costello forced to cancel tour after surgery to remove "very aggressive" tumour. ● Gal Gadot makes surprise visit to Virginia children's hospital in full Wonder Woman costume. ● George Ezra holds off Drake for UK #1 single spot; this week's chart appears to be contest between football anthem The Lightning Seeds' "Football's Coming Home" in wake of [at time of writing] ongoing England success at World Cup and Green Day's "American Idiot" in advance of UK visit by "small-handed orange sex pest." ● Gin festivals across UK cancelled after organiser goes into administration. ● Set of signed Harry Potter first deluxe editions auctioned, reached estimated value of £9,000-£15,000 ($12,000-20,000). ● Joaquin Phoenix confirmed to star in green-lit Joker origins film. ● Ed Sheeran, Beyonce, Jay-Z, Chris Martin to play at inaugural Global Citizen Festival in Johannesburg, marking centenary of Nelson Mandela's birth. ● Emmanuelle Seigner, actress wife of Roman Polanski, turns down invitation to join AMPAS (Oscars-awarding organisation) in wake of their expulsion of Polanski a few weeks earlier, accuses them of "unsufferable hypocrisy". ● Keri Russell joins cast for Star Wars: Episode IX. ● Emily Eavis says Glastonbury 2019's Sunday afternoon legend slot will be a female performer, but does not say who. ● Fourth Robert Galbraithe (aka J.K. Rowling) Cormoran Strike novel, Lethal White to be published on 18 September. ● Plans for film about Thai cave rescue already underway. ● Andrew Davies to adapt unpublished Jane Austen novel Sandition for ITV. ● Filming wraps on Captain Marvel. ● The BBC iPlayer crashed during England's World Cup quarter-final match, as across all platforms 20m people watched. ● Sony accidentally uploaded entire Khalid the Killer film to YouTube instead of trailer; did not remove it until several hours later by which time it had thousands of views. ● Adam Kay to adapt This is Going to Hurt for BBC2. ● Speculation, despite no official word, that there might be a Doctor Who Christmas special after all, this year.
Former Thai Navy SEAL diver Saman Gunan (Tham Luang cave rescue, 38), cult leader Shoko Asahara (1995 Tokyo sarin attack, 63) & 7 followers, racehorse trainer John Dunlop (Shirley Heights, Erhaab, 78), cinematographer Robert Müller (Paris, Texas, Breaking the Waves, 78), choreographer Alan Johnson (Young Frankenstein, The Producers, triple Emmy winner, 81), actor/singer Tab Hunter (The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, Damn Yankees, "Young Love", 86), comic book artist Steve Ditko (co-creator of Spider-Man, 90), documentary director Claude Lanzmann (Shoah, 92), politician Peter Carrington, 6th Baron Carrington (UK Foreign Secretary 179-1982, last-surviving member of Winston Churchill's 1950s government, 99).
^ DUMBLEDORE BEAR'S LOTTERY PREDICTOR!
Dumbledore Bear, our in-house psychic predicts that the following numbers will be lucky:7, 12, 13, 14, 22, 27[UK National Lottery, number range 1-59]
You can get your very own prediction at http://www.simonlamont.co.uk/tfir/dumbledore.htm.
^ AND FINALLY...
The class were having a maths lesson. "Alright," the teacher said, "Little Jennifer, if you had eight chocolates and Little Simon took two of them, what would you have?"
Little Jennifer pouted. "A fight, Miss!"
^ ...end of line