Friday 1st July - In the Year of Four Emperors, Roman legions in Alexandria were ordered to swear allegiance to Vespasian as Emperor, 69. Carpenter and builder Peter Street born, 1553. The nation of Canada came into being with the passing of the British North America Act, 1867. Author Harriet Beecher Stowe died, 1896. Singer-songwriter and actress Debbie Harry born, 1945. Humanitarian Nicholas Winton died, 2015. Canada Day in Canada. Saturday 2nd July - Otto I became King of East Francia, 936. Astrologer and seer Nostradamus died, 1566. Elizabeth de Vere, Countess of Derby and the first female Lord of Mann, born, 1575. The last radio message from Amelia Earhart was received as she flew over the Pacific in an attempt at the first equatorial round-the-world flight, 1937. Nobel laureate biologist and neuroscientist Richard Axel born, 1946. Actor James Stewart died, 1997. Sunday 3rd July - William the Conqueror became Duke of Normandy, 1035. Architect Robert Adam born, 1728. American tribal leader Little Crow was killed by settlers, 1863. The Mallard set the still-held world speed record for a steam locomotive of 125.88mph (202.58km/h), 1938. Singer-songwriter Laura Branigan born, 1952. Actress Diana Douglas died, 2015. Monday 4th July - Chinese, Japanese, Arab and possibly Amerindian and European skywatchers recorded seeing the supernova SN 1054, which formed the Crab Nebula, 1054. Surveyor George Everest born, 1790. Thomas Jefferson, 3rd President of the United States, died, 1826. Lewis Carroll told Alice Liddell and her sisters the story that would become Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, 1862. Nobel laureate physicist and chemist Marie Curie died, 1934. Tennis player Pam Shriver born, 1962. Independence Day in the USA. Tuesday 5th July - Joan of the Tower, Queen consort of King David II of Scotland, born, 1321. John Guy and 39 other colonists set sail from Bristol for Newfoundland, 1610. Showman P.T. Barnum born, 1810. Nicéphore Niépce, creator of the first known photograph, died, 1833. The Hormel Foods Corporation introduced the Spam luncheon meat, 1937. Actress Katy Jurado died, 2002. Tynwald Day on the Isle of Man. Wednesday 6th July - Mathematician, writer and architect Antonio Manetti born, 1423. England and Scotland signed the Treaty of Edinburgh, 1560. Artist Frida Kahlo born, 1907. Social reformer and the first female graduate from Bombay University Cornelia Sorabji died, 1954. Teenagers John Lennon and Paul McCartney met for the first time at Woolton Fete, three years before The Beatles were formed, 1957. Composer Ennio Morricone died, 2020. Thursday 7th July - The Scots routed the English at the Raid of the Redeswire, the last major battle between the two nations, 1575. Merchant Joseph Marie Jacquard, inventor of the Jacquard loom, born, 1752. Boarding house owner Mary Surratt and three others were hanged for conspiring in the assassination of Abraham Lincoln, 1865. The Chillicothe Baking Company sold the first sliced bread, 1928. Writer Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died, 1930. Computer scientist Adele Goldberg born, 1945. World Chocolate Day.
^ THE WISDOM OF...
This week, Elaine Sherman:Chocolate causes certain endocrine glands to secrete hormones that affect your feelings and behavior by making you happy. Therefore, it counteracts depression, in turn reducing the stress of depression. Your stress-free life helps you maintain a youthful disposition, both physically and mentally. So, eat lots of chocolate!
^ FILM QUIZ
A selection of quotations from films containing 'fish' in the title, either as a whole word or part of a word. Answers next issue or from the regular address.
Last issue's quotations were from films released in 2013:
- For someone the NSA once listed as the most dangerous hacker in America, you sure don't look like much.
- Some billionaire's got the Holy Grail in his library on Fifth Avenue.
- I love robbing the English, they're so polite.
- Blind terror in a fight can easily pass for courage.
- Sometimes, the only way to catch an uncatchable woman is to offer her a wedding ring.
- - What are you going to do when you're not saving the world? Have you given any thought to that?
- I have, actually. I gotta find a job where I can keep my ear to the ground. Where people won't look twice when I want to go somewhere dangerous and start asking questions.
-- Man of Steel
- You stood by me when other monkeys would have flown away.
-- Oz the Great and Powerful
- - Hey, lemme ask you something. Do you go looking for trouble, or does it always find you?
- You know, after all these years, I'm still asking myself the same question.
-- A Good Day to Die Hard
- The early bird gets the worm, but it's the second mouse that gets the cheese.
-- Iron Man 3
- We keep everything locked in here. Feel free to look around. Just don't touch anything.
-- The Conjuring
^ WEIRD WORLD NEWS
Strange stories from around the world, some of which might be true...
- A soccer match between the Chile and Venezuala national women's teams at La Granja stadium in Curicó, Chile, was interrupted earlier this week by a large black dog that demanded pats and belly rubs from the Chilean goalkeeper and a referee, ran the length of the pitch and back then tried to get a few more belly rubs before a player carried it off the field. ● Staff at Marwell Zoo in Hampshire are celebrating the birth of a rare Przewalski's foal, a species of horse that was extinct in the wild until its reintroduction from captive stock in the 1990s, and which is still considered endagered. The male foal has been named Basil after the first male Przewalski's horse kept at the zoo. ● An Indonesian man who captured a 14.1' (4.3m) crocodile using just a rope had been praised by his fellow villagers. The man, named as just Usman, told reporters that the crocodile, which had been in the area for two days, would have prevented locals from going into the rice fields or fishing in drainage channels. The crocodile was released back into the wild well away from the village. ● An 18' (5.5m), 215lb (97.5kg) Burmese python has been captured by biologists in Florida. It is the biggest example of the species ever caught in the state. ● Scientists working in a Caribbean mangrove swamp have discovered the largest bacterium ever known. Thiomargarita magnifica is the size of a human eyelash and can be seen with the naked eye. It is 5,000 times larger than the biggest bacterium previously identified.
- NASA has issued a software update to the MARSIS instrument on the Mars Express probe orbiting the red planet since 2003. The instrument uses low frequency radio to map the surface of the planet and analyse the strata up to 1.2 miles (2km) down, including looking for the presence of water. Part of the challenge with the update was developing the code itself; it has originally been written using a coding environment running on the long-defunct Microsoft Windows 98 platform. ● Last Friday anyone getting up early under a clear sky had an opportunity to see a rare planetary conjuction, with Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn all visible to the naked eye. The conjuction lasted until Monday, and on Friday it was also joined by a crescent Moon. It will not happen again until 2040. ● NASA's Curiosity Martian rover has detected traces of organic carbon in amounts comparable to that found in rocks in inhositable places on Earth. While saying that it could have been left by ancient lifeforms, the agency is keen to stress that they cannot determine its actual source.
- Paleobotanists have found the oldest evidence of a wildfire in charred remains trapped in mudstone. The remnants date to around 430 million years ago, in the Silurian Period, when plants were beginning to appear. The remains are thought to have been from Prototaxites, a giant fungus that grew up to 26' (8m) high, rather than a woody plant, and were discovered in South Wales. ● A new dating process is suggesting that human fossils dug up around the Sterkfontein Caves near Johannesburg, South Africa, nicknamed the "Cradle of Humankind", may be a million years older than previously thought. ● A miner in Canada's Yukon has found a whole mummified baby woolly mammoth, only the second to be found in the world after one was discovered in the Siberian permafrost in 2007. The mammoth has been named Nun cho ga, meaning "big baby animal" in the Tr'ondek Hwech'in First Nation language as it was found in their territory. ● A list of 12,000 former Nazis and their sympathisers who fled to Argentina, which was recently discovered in a warehouse having been thought to have been burned years ago, has reignited the search for $1,000,000,000 (£823,570,600) ransacked from Jewish victims of the Holocaust. Investigators believe the bulk of the money is held in a secret account at the Credit Suisse bank set up by its then-manager Ludwig Freude, and have requested access to its archives. A spokesman for the bank told Bild that they had not been able to locate such an account; if it was in the name of a company rather than Freude's (who died in 1956) it would be almost impossible to identify. ● A 101-year-old man has become the oldest person convicted of being an SS guard and assisting in the murder of thousands of prisoners at the Sachsenhausen concentration camp in World War II. The man, identifed as Josef S, denied having been a guard, but was found guilty of assisting in the shooting of Soviet prisoners of war and the murder of others using Zyklon B gas over a 3-year period. ● Pompeii is known for its preserved forms of humans killed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79CE but archaeologists at the site have also found the remains of dogs and horses and, now, a female tortoise complete with her egg. ● Billionaire Texan explorer Victor Vescovo has discovered the deepest shipwreck ever identified, that of the USS Samuel B Roberts which sank making an heroic final stand off the Philippines during the Battle of Leyte Gulf in October 1944 and now lies in two parts 4.28 miles (6,895m) below sea level.
- Two women have been arrested at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport after x-rays of their two suitcases revealed animals inside them. Wildlife officials recovered two white porcupines, two armadillos, 35 turtles, 50 lizards and 20 snakes - 109 live animals. The women were due to fly to Chennai, India. ● Two twin sisters in China have been arrested, accused of using each other's passports to travel abroad, evading visa restrictions, over 30 times. ● A man who admitted almost falling for a WhatsApp scam told reporters that he realised the message asking for money was not genuinely from his son as it contained basic grammatical and punctuation errors which his son, who is an English teacher, would not have made. ● Police in Florida have caught a man who routinely drove along a pavement to avoid road congestion during rush hour. ● Also in Florida, a man who went looking for a chicken that had escaped his yard found a skull buried in a neighbouring vacant lot. Police later uncovered the entire skeleton in a shallow grave and are working to identify it. ● Leeds YouTuber Adeel Habib, 25, ran a channel containing videos of himself driving high performance cars at high speeds on public roads. This week he pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and encouraging dangerous driving, in Crown Court; Yorkshire Police had become aware of his channel while targeting illegal car meets. ● Ike Ekweremadu, a Nigerian senator, and his wife have been arrested in London and charged with plotting to bring a 15-year-old boy into Britain to harvest his organs. ● A man who tried to avoid £496 ($602) in long-stay parking charges at Stansted Airport by driving around barriers got his car stuck. Police called to the scene found that he had also been disqualified from driving. He was arrested, his car seized and he still owes the charges. ● Police Inspector Shaun Flavell was taking part in a public council meeting in Stockport when he looked out of the window and saw a suspected shoplifter fleeing an Iceland store. Breaking off from answering questions on a possible neighbourhood speedwatch system he told councillors to "look after my stuff" and ran from the room to pursue the suspect. Councillor Lisa Smart, chairing the meeting, later said that "I do not recall anything like that happening during a council meeting before." The alleged shoplifter dropped the stolen goods and no arrest was made, but inquiries are continuing. ● Frances Noble, 66, who convinced Hertfordshire County Council that she was bedridden and was granted a 'direct payment care package' to fund carers and equipment and settle bills, instead spent most of the £624,047.15 ($757,733) she received over 13 years on luxury family holidays to America and Canada. Suspicions were raised when she was seen walking her dog early in the morning and, later, receiving and unpacking a Tesco home delivery. Noble, who moved to Germany in 2019, pled guilty to fraud by false representation. ● An hour after meeting with drink driving victims, Redland, Australia, mayor Karen Williams crashed her car while drunk.
- A study of Antarctic midges, the only insect species native to Antarctica, has found that they are facing extinction as a result of climate change. The midges have a 2-year life cycle and researchers tested their larvae's responses to simulated six-month winters at three temperatures - current, warmer and colder and found that their survival rate fell in warmer temperatures. ● The largest ever bleaching of sea sponges off New Zealand - millions of sponges across eight sites have been affected - is being blamed on extreme ocean temperatures several degrees higher than previously recorded. ● Fatbergs, accumulations of kitchen waste, disposable nappies and wet wipes, have become a regular problem in England's sewers over recent years, but now a 3'- (1m)-high mass of wet wipes the size of two tennis courts has been found on a bank of the River Thames near Hammersmith in London. So large is the mass that the course of the river has altered. Fleur Anderson, MP, has tabled legislation to ban plastic wet wipes. ● Research published in Nature Climate Change has found that the number of hurricanes, typhoons and tropical storms has decreased by about 13% since the start of the 20th Century in all ocean basins except the North Atlantic where it increased.
- After the US Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v Wade judgement and allowed states to limit or ban access to abortions, Fox News host Tucker Carlson [a man whose right-wing views are so extreme Fox have labelled his show as 'entertainment' rather than 'news'] went on air to rail against companies planning to help their female workers meet travel costs to access abortions across state lines. Artist Jenny Holzer took a screenshot from the May 11th 2021 episode where Carlson had told senator Ron Johnson, while discussing Johnson's intention not to receive a COVID-19 vaccination, "Well, of course, it's your body, your choice, as we've heard for almost fifty years" above a chyron reading "Making an informed choice regarding your own body shouldn't be controversial", and sold it as an NFT (non-fungible token; an online collectible, essentially) raising $14,500 (£11,800) for groups including Planned Parenthood and the Center for Reproductive Rights. Gillian Branstetter, who had shared the original screenshot on Twitter will receive a percentage of the sale price, which will be donated to the DC Abortion Fund. Carlson's reaction to his image being used to raise money for abortion rights is not known...
IN BRIEF: Within minutes of the Colorado Avalanche ice hockey team winning this year's Stanley Cup finals right wing Nicolaus Aube-Bukel lost his footing and dropped the 35.25" (89.54cm), 34.5lb (15.5kg) trophy on the ice, denting its base. ● Gwynnedd Council has revealed that nobody has applied for two vacancies to work as dog wardens on its (widely viewed as among the best in Britain) beaches. ● Skye islanders rallied to help an American couple who had flown there for their wedding, which they had spent two years planning, only for their luggage - including the wedding dress - to be lost by the airline, providing a dress, full kilt set for the groom and other items for the big day. ● A Japanese man who works for a company providing benefits to tax-exempt households got drunk on a night out with colleagues and woke up to discover that he had lost a USB stick containing the personal details - names, birth dates and addresses, as well as tax details, bank account numbers and social security information - of nearly half a million residents of Amagasaki, northwest of Osaka; city officials later said that the data was encrypted and there was no evidence of attempts to access it, but still offered a formal apology to residents. ● Veteran rock band Kiss ended their recent concert in Vienna by displaying the message "Kiss loves you, Vienna" on a screen behind them, the letters decorated with the flag of... Australia, not Austria. ● As reported in an earlier issue, this year's Dorset knob-throwing contest [it's a biscuit - Ed] was cancelled, but last weekend's World Nettle Eating Competition went ahead in Bridport. The idea is to eat as many raw stinging nettles as possible in an hour, with vomiting leading to disqualification... ● New York actress Bailey McCall has shared on TikTok how, while staying in an AirBnB in an undisclosed country [we presume Britain -Ed] she had put the kettle on a gas hob to boil water for a French pressed coffee only to find that it was an electric kettle and she had melted off its plastic base. [We have covered US v. UK hot drink making differences in earlier issues -Ed] ● A man who shared a video of his long service 'thank you' gifts from Burger King, where he has worked for 27 years - a movie ticket, a bag of candy, a coffee tumbler, lanyard and some pens - has been given more than $131,136 (£108,000) raised by 4,000 strangers who viewed the video and thought he deserved better [for the record, he had said he had no complaints about the original gifts]. ● Coach Andrea Fuentes is being praised for diving into the water to rescue artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez who fainted during her routine at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, sinking unconscious to the bottom of the pool. ● John Bream, a former paratrooper, has made a successful parachute jump from just 85' (26m) to claim the world record for the lowest parachute jump.
UPDATES: A couple of weeks ago we reported that a human had won the Man v Horse race at Llanwrtyd Wells, Wales, for the first time since 2007. What we did not report was his name. It was the nominally determinative Ricky Lightfoot...
Cancer campaigner Dame Deborah James (You, Me and the Big C podcast, her Bowelbabe fund raised more than £1.5m ($1.8m) in 24 hours for cancer research [at the time of writing it is nearing £7m ($8.5m)], 40), actress Mary Mara (ER, Ray Donovan, Star Trek: Enterprise, 61), journalist and broadcaster Harry Gration (BBC Look North, Match of the Day, Grandstand, 71), producer, unit production manager and assistant director Duncan Henderson (Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Dead Poets Society, 72), anthropologist Yves Coppens (director of the expedition that discovered the "Lucy" Australopithicus afarensis skeleton in 1974, 87), voiceover artist Graham Skidmore (Blind Date's 'Our Graham', Vic & Bob's Shooting Stars, The Day the Earth Caught Fire, 90), actor Frank Williams (Dad's Army, You Rang, M'Lord?, The Worker, 90), artist Margaret Keane ('big eye' paintings, won a court-ordered 'paint-off' against her ex-husband to prove she was the artist behind the paintings, subject of Tim Burton's Big Eyes , 94).
^ DUMBLEDORE BEAR'S LOTTERY PREDICTOR!
Dumbledore Bear, our in-house psychic predicts that the following numbers will be lucky:17, 23, 25, 26, 33, 39[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 mother walked into the kitchen to find her daughter sitting at the table with a teaspoon in her mouth and an open jar of peanut butter in front of her. "Little Jennifer!" she said, "What do you think you're doing with that teaspoon?"
Little Jennifer took the teaspoon out of her mouth, licked it clean and smiled at her mother as only she could. "Well, Mummy," she said, "the bigger spoons wouldn't fit into the jar!"
^ ...end of line