Issue #510 - 18th January 2019
|^ WORD OF THE WEEK
^ ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
Friday 18th January - King Henry VII of England married Elizabeth of York, 1486. Catherine, Duchess of Braganza, born, 1540. Politician Jan van Riebeeck, founder of Cape Town, South Africa, died, 1677. The First Fleet began to arrive at Botany Bay, Australia, 1788. Writer Edward Bulwer-Lytton died, 1873. Writer A.A. Milne born, 1882. Scientists identified the bacterium that causes Legionnaire's Disease, 1977. Actor & screenwriter Jason Segel born, 1980. Artist & TV presenter Tony Hart died, 2009. Saturday 19th January - Frankish king Dagobert I died, 639. Rouen surrendered to Henry V of England in the Hundred Years' War, 1419. Playwright William Congreve died, 1729. Engineer James Watt born, 1736. Verdi's Il trovatore premiered in Rome, 1853. Artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp born, 1889. Brain, the first IBM PC computer virus, was released, 1986. Tennis player Petra Martić born, 1991. Actress, mathematician & inventor Hedy Lamarr died, 2000. The birthday of Edgar Allan Poe, commemorated by the Poe Toaster. Sunday 20th January - Chinese emperor Shi Zong died, 1189. The first English parliament to include representatives of major towns as well as lords convened in the Palace of Westminster, 1265. Cartographer & cosmologer Sebastian Münster born, 1488. Architect John Soane died, 1837. British forces occupied Hong Kong Island, 1841. Musician & songwriter Lead Belly born, 1888. Senior officials of Nazi Germany met in Wannsee to discuss the "Final Solution to the Jewish question", 1942. Sophie, Countess of Wessex, born, 1965. Singer-songwriter Etta James died, 2012. Monday 21st January - King Charles I of France born, 1338. Explorer Juan de Grijalva killed, 1527. Sweden and Prussia signed the Treaty of Stockholm, 1720. King Louis XVI of France executed, 1793. Artist Harriet Backer born, 1845. The first Monte Carlo Rally took place, 1911. Tenor Plácido Domingo born, 1941. Writer George Orwell died, 1950. Concorde began its commercial service, 1976. Tuesday 22nd January - Danelaw Vikings defeated a West Saxon army under Æthelred I at the Battle of Basing, 871. Explorer, courtier & poet Sir Walter Raleigh born, 1552. Composer Christofano Malvezzi died, 1599. An army of 3,000-4,000 Zulu warriors attacked a garrison of around 150 British and Colonial troops at Rorke's Drift; the attack would be repelled by the end of the next day, 1879. Filmmaker Sergei Eisenstein born, 1898. Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom died, 1901. Actress Diane Lane born, 1965. Apple introduced the Macintosh personal computer with an iconic television commercial during Super Bowl XVIII, 1984. Writer Ursula K. Le Guin died, 2018. Wednesday 23rd January - Roman Emperor Theodosius I declared his 8-year-old son Honorius co-emperor, 393. Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, died, 1002. Mogolian emperor Biligtü Khan Ayushiridara born, 1349. The Royal Exchange in London opened, 1571. John Hancock, 1st governor of Massachusetts & notable signer of the Declaration of Independence, born, 1737. Brewer Arthur Guinness died, 1803. Elizabeth Blackwell was awarded her M.D. in New York, becoming the first female doctor in the U.S., 1849. Actress Jeanne Moreau born, 1928. Artist Salvador Dalí died, 1989. Thursday 24th January - Roman Emperor Caligula was assassinated by the Praetorian Guards, who declared Claudius as Emperor, 41. Joanna of Austria, Grand Duchess of Tuscany, born, 1547. King Charles II of England dissolved the Cavalier Parliament, 1679. Writer Edith Wharton born, 1862. Lawyer & politician Lord Randolph Churchill died, 1895. Robert Baden-Powell organised the first Boy scout troop, 1908. Actor Ernest Borgnine born, 1917. Artist Amedeo Modigliani died, 1920.
^ THE WISDOM OF...
This week, Edward Bulwer-Lytton, the opening sentence of Paul Clifford:It was a dark and stormy night; the rain fell in torrents - except at occasional intervals, when it was checked by a violent gust of wind which swept up the streets (for it is in London that our scene lies), rattling along the housetops, and fiercely agitating the scanty flame of the lamps that struggled against the darkness.
^ FILM QUIZA 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 Rose Byrne:
- Spiders... the spiders... they want me to tap-dance. And I don't want to tap-dance!
- If a dragon falls in the forest and nobody gets to hear about it, does it make a thud?
- You're being very undude.
- - Welcome to jolly old London.
- It's hideous!
- Yeah, it's not for everybody.
- I promise you, that I'll look after him as closely as you've done, I'll respect him and all the care that you've taken with him. And if I can, I'll return him to your care.
- This won't be like anything you've ever done before, little brother.
-- Patriot Games 
- We're going to get you. We're going to get you. Not another peep. Time to go to sleep.
-- The Evil Dead 
- - Can I do anything for you?
- You do too much - college, a job, all this time with me... You're not Superman, you know.
-- Spider-Man 
- You stood by me when other monkeys would have flown away.
-- Oz the Great and Powerful 
- Three years ago, three of my colleagues, my friends, began investigating a case. Two died mysteriously, and one disappeared. They had been investigating the murders at that house.
-- The Grudge 
^ WEIRD WORLD NEWS
Strange stories from around the world, some of which might be true...
- HISTORY! Nicolas Aujula, 33, claims to be a psychic astrologer and to have been an Egytian queen, a falcon, an alien, a French school teacher and a witch doctor (among other things) in past lives, and has revealed his predictions for 2019. According to him Nicole Kidman will fall pregnant, Madonna will face criticism for her charity work, Taylor Swift will become engaged and Prince Harry and Meghan will have a baby girl. ● The discovery of flecks of blue lapis lazuli paint on the teeth of a medieval German nun has shed new light on the involvement of women in preparing illuminated sacred texts, as the paint most probably came from her licking the tip of her brush to straighten it. The researchers who made the discovery were analysing medieval skeletons to investigate diet and health. ● A 16th century painting which had been donated to a church in the Flemish town of Zele and initially thought to be worth €10,000 (£8,850; $11,400) was stolen last week. The piece was suspected by the pastor of being a lost Michelangelo - or possibly one of his pupils - as it bore notable similarities to a drawing by the Italian artist held in the collection of the Duke of Portland. It was due to be examined by a Michelangelo expert shortly after the theft, and initial suspicion fell on the church council who were the only people the pastor had told of his suspicions about the painting, which was the only thing taken in the theft. Had it been authenticated its value would have risen ten-fold.
- NATURE! Evesham Golf Club in Worcestershire has an unusual resident. A 6'- (1.83m)-tall rhea, a flightless bird similar to an ostrich, which is thought to have escaped from the village of Harvington, arrived on the course last October and has settled there. The bird, nicknamed Linford, after sprinter Linford Christie because of its speed, spent the mild winter evading recapture and foraging for itself, becoming a "star" according to club members. Club secretary Fraser Williamson said that Linford's welfare was being monitored with the help of animal charities. ● A 298'- (91m)-wide ice disk has formed on the Presumpscot River as it passes through the city of Westbrook, Maine. Ice disks form at bends in rivers where faster-flowing water causes ice build-ups to spin and chips off edges, forming a disk. The disk has become a tourist attraction and a raft for birds including ducks. ● A male Sehuenca water frog, believed to be the last of its species, has spent 10 years in isolation at a Bolivian aquarium, but an expedition to a cloud forest in the country has discovered five more living specimens in a stream, and herpetologists are now hoping to breed a new colony of the frogs which will be released back into the wild.
- SCIENCE! CERN, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, operates the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), which straddles the France-Switzerland border near Geneva and, at 17 miles (27km) in circumference is the largest particle accelerator in the world, but they have bigger ambitions. CERN have published their plans for the LHC's successor, which will be an accelerator 100km in circumference. The Future Circular Collider, to give it its working name, will be ten times more powerful than the LHC, and cost £20bn ($25.75bn) to build. If it gets the go-ahead, CERN hopes to be hunting for new sub-atomic particles by 2050. ● China's Cheng'e-4 has made headlines for being the first mission to land on and explore the far side of the Moon, and sending back pictures of both the lander and the rover, but it has accomplished another first - cotton seeds carried in soil in sealed containers on the lander have sprouted, becoming the first biological matter to be grown on the moon, hopefully paving the way for plants to be grown both in potential moon bases and on manned missions beyond the Earth-Moon system, initially to Mars, a trip to which would take approximated 30 months. ● A NASA study has found that Antarctica is losing more than six times as much ice every year than it did in the 1979 as a result of climate change. Between 1979 and 1990 Antarctica lost an average of 40bn tons of ice a year, while between 2009 and 2017, as warming accelerated, it was losing 252bn tons a year. The study used satellite and aircraft imaging across 18 different regions of the continent. The study also showed that ice loss was significant in all parts of Antarctica, not just the western ice shelves, as had been thought.
- PEOPLE! The 2019 Flat Earther International Conference is due to be "the biggest, boldest, best adventure yet" according to publicity, and will be held aboard a cruise ship. Forensic marine expert and former cruise ship captain Henk Keijer pointed out one slight flaw in their plans to The Guardian - modern cruise ships rely on GPS and navigational equipment that is based on a spherical Earth. The Flat Earth Society dismisses the existence of satellites, including the 24 which are used for GPS positioning, as fictions invented by agencies and governments to procure tax dollars, with imaging being either artistic renderings or wide-eye lens photography. Presumably, then, if the cruise ship makes it past the end of the harbour the voyagers will not be wanting to tour the bridge... ● More than 200 adults have attended classes at a swimming pool in Espoo, near Helsinki, Finland, where they have learned to swim like mermaids (or mermen), donning monofin flippers and costumes that hold their legs together. Maija Mottonen, 28, a former kindergarten teacher who runs the classes, said that "it's my childhood dream come true." Markus Parviainen, 29, a construction worker who takes part in the classes admitted that it had raised eyebrows with his work colleagues because of the assumption that it was only for women, but said that he disagreed, as "this is for everyone ... as long as you love swimming." The technique involved requires undulating the entire body like a snake before doing a dolphin kick with the flipper to move forwards. ● A YouGov survey has confirmed that Americans fail to comprehend the British love of passive-aggressive sarcasm in humour. The survey takers showed a number of British expressions to Americans and asked how they interpreted them, the best example being "with the greatest respect" which almost half of Americans suurveyed took to mean "I am listening to you" but most British people understand as "I think you are an idiot".
- CRIME! The McDonald's outlet in Shepherd's Bush, London, has found an innovative way to reduce anti-social behaviour in the restaurant. They cut free wi-fi and started playing classical music at certain hours of the day, which totally changed the ambience and reduced the reports of crime in and around the outlet last year. Classical music has also been employed at certain London Underground stations to calm travellers and reduce incidents of crime. ● Chilstone, a Langton Green company which makes bespoke garden ornaments for customers including the National Trust and Royal Palaces, had one of their most conspicuous pieces stolen from the showgarden last week - a 6'7"- (2m)-long ¾-tonne bronze statue of a hippopotamus. The hippo took five people to move it under normal circumstances, and police think it might have been hoisted onto a flatbed truck with a crane. They have appealed for anyone who might have seen the "hugely distinctive" hippo being transported to contact them. ● Police in Salinas, California are looking for a man who was caught on household security cameras standing outside a family home and licking the doorbell for three hours. The clarity of the image allowed police to quickly identify him as 33-year-old Roberto Daniel Arroyo, who was also filmed relieving himself and moving a cable in the garden. Arroyo is thought to have also visited a neighbouring property, and is wanted for petty theft and prowling.
IN BRIEF: Namibian artist Max Siedentopf sets up sound installation in Namib Desert to play Toto's "Africa" on loop. ● Astronomers believe they may finally have seen a dying star transforming into a black hole - some 200 million years ago. ● Plymouth City Council apologises for playground display of planets that has Uranus in the wrong position after it was pointed out to them - 10 years after installation. ● Picture of an egg becomes most-liked on Instagram with over 29 million likes after campaign to beat previous record holder Kylie Jenner's baby announcement picture (18 million likes); Jenner responds with good humour by posting video of her smashing an egg. ● Market Harborough, Leicestershire, bridge closed after being hit by too-tall lorry; repaired and reopens, then is hit by another lorry within hours. ● Nike launches self-lacing trainers controlled by phone app. ● Oxford police trying to recapture loose emu "causing a few road issues". ● Planned sculpture of Satan for Segovia, Spain, aqueduct - to mark local legend about the devil being tricked into building the bridge - panned for appearing "too friendly". ● Stowaway mynah bird discovered on Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore to London 12 hours into trip; eventually caught safely. ● Utah police urge people not to attempt stunts while blindfolded in the manner of hit Netflix film Bird Box after teenager with her hat pulled over her eyes crashed her car into oncoming traffic. ● Oklahoma woman bragged to stranger on dating app about illegally killing a buck after the end of hunting season; the man she was communicating with was a game warden, who managed to get enough information about her identity to have her charged and fined $2,400 (£1,885) - she avoided jail because she pleaded guilty and accepted the fine.
^ ENTERTAINMENT BRIEFSCBS All Access confirms development of Star Trek: Discovery series fronted by Michelle Yeoh. ● Aquaman becomes first DC superhero film to pass $1bn (£0.78bn) box office takings since The Dark Knight. ● Martin Scorsese to direct Bob Dylan tour documentary for Netflix. ● Louise Redknapp pulls out of 9 to 5 stage musical after fracturing wrist. ● Liesl Tommy to direct Aretha Franklin biopic Respect starring Jennifer Hudson. ● Fox holding off on greenlighting Avatar 4 and 5 pending seeing takings for 2 and 3. ● Filming underway on Will Smith, Martin Lawrence film Bad Boys 3, 15 years after Bad Boys 2. ● Deadpool creator Rob Liefeld says Disney-Fox merger has killed off proposed X-Force film. ● Dwayne Johnson accuses The Daily Star newspaper of fabricating interview and anti-millenial quotations. ● Saw writers Patrick Melton & Marcus Dunstan writing Final Destination reboot. ● Teaser trailer for final season of Game of Thrones released. ● New Ghostbusters sequel, set in present-day original universe to be directed by Jason Reitman (son of 1984 original director Ivan), not yet known whether surviving original cast will be involved; 2020 release planned. ● American Mythology Comics due to launch Laurel and Hardy series. ● Plans to rework West End production of Les Miserables as touring show slammed by fans for diluting show's power. ● The Who to record first album since 2006's Endless Wire. ● Kanye West reportedly pulls out of Coachella because they will not build him his own stage. ● Missy Elliott becomes first female rapper to be inducted into Songwriters Hall of Fame. ● Bros to follow success of documentary with Brixton Academy gig. ● Playstation 4 games console nearing 100 million sales worldwide. ● African American Film Critics Association to honour Quincey Jones, Jason Blum with Special Achievement awards. ● OOOH ARRR Productions to refund all customers who paid to see sold out pantomime at Neeld Community and Arts Centre, Chippenham, advertised as boasting a "sparkling set and glittering costumes", described by one audience member as "there were only three people, no scenery, they couldn't sing or dance." ● The Rolling Stones to headline 50th New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival. ● "Amicable" ending reached in lawsuit against Chilling Adventures of Sabrina brought by the Satanic Temple over inclusion of copyrighted, 'appropriated', Baphomet statue; terms not disclosed. ● Family Guy writers to tone down LGBT jokes. ● Paramount cancels Star Trek 4 'indefinitely', director S.J. Clarkson to work on Game of Thrones prequel pilot instead. ● Disney renews Star Wars Resistance for second season. ● Stellan Skarsgård joins Dune cast. ● The Cranberries releasing final album including Dolores O'Riordan to mark anniversary of her death. ● The Greatest Showman soundtrack retakes #1 spot on UK album chart, has now topped chart for record 26 non-consecutive weeks. ● Alicia Keys to host Grammys. ● Aaron Sorkin hints at sequel to The Social Network. ● Tidal streaming service under investigation in Norway for inflating listening figures for albums including ones by Kanye West & Beyonce. ● Classical music UK sales rose by 10% last year making it the fastest-growing genre. ● Captain Marvel co-writer Jac Schaeffer attached to The Vision and Scarlet Witch Marvel Cinematic Universe TV spin-off. ● Steven Spielberg casts 17-year-old Colombian-American high school student Rachel Zegler as Maria in West Side Story remake.
Costa Book Awards: First Novel: Stuart Turton, The 7½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle; Novel: Sally Rooney, Normal People; Biography: Bart van Es, The Cut Out Girl; Poetry: J.O. Morgan, Assurances; Children's Book: Hilary McKay, The Skylarks' War.
Specsavers National Book Awards: Overall Winner: Adam Kay, This is Going to Hurt; Popular Fiction: Gail Honeyman, Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine; Crime and Thriller: Belinda Bauer, Snap; Autobiography: Dolly Alderton, Everything I Know About Love; U.K. Author: Philip Pullman, The Book of Dust; International Author: Sally Rooney, Normal People; L.B.C. Audiobook: Carlo Rovelli, The Order of Time; Young Adult: Scarlett Curtis, Feminist Don't Wear Pink and Other Lies; Children's: Ben Brooks, Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different; Food and Drink: Yotam Ottolenghi, Simple.
^ OBITUARIESBroadcaster & weather presenter Dianne Oxberry (The 8:15 From Manchester, Inside Out North West, North West Tonight, 51), musician Willie Murphy (Running, Jumping, Standing Still, 75), mathematician Professor Sir Michael Atiyah (Fields Medal, former Royal Society president, the Atiyah-Singer index theorem, 89), voice actor Bradley Bolke (Underdog, The Year Without a Santa Claus, The New Caspar Cartoon Show, 93), Navajo code talker Alfred K. Newman (94), actress Carol Channing (Hello Dolly, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, 97).
^ DUMBLEDORE BEAR'S LOTTERY PREDICTOR!Dumbledore Bear, our in-house psychic predicts that the following numbers will be lucky:3, 21, 25, 33, 51, 58[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...
Little Jennifer's parents were taking her out for their weekly fast food night. "Where would you like to go, Little Jennifer?" her mother asked.
"McDonald's please, Mummy," Little Jennifer said.
Her father looked at his daughter. "I tell you what, Little Jennifer, we'll go to McDonald's if you can spell it correctly."
Little Jennifer thought for a moment and smiled at her parents as only Little Jennifer could. "Can we go to KFC instead?"
^ ...end of line