Friday 19th August - Architect Andrea Palladio died, 1580. Elizabeth Stuart, the "Winter queen" of Bohemia, born, 1596. The Samlesbury witches went on trial at the Lancaster Assizes, 1612. Astronomer John Flamsteed born, 1646. The French government announced that Louis Daguerre's photographic process would be "free to the world", 1839. Academic and politician Mo Mowlam died, 2005. World Humanitarian Day. Saturday 20th August - Poet Agnes Bulmer died, 1835. Charles Darwin's theory of evolution was published in The Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, 1858. Writer H.P. Lovecraft born, 1890. Astronomer Joan Voûte died, 1963 Actress Amy Adams born, 1974. The Voyager 2 spacecraft was launched, 1977. Sunday 21st August - Japanese general Shimazu Yoshihiro born, 1535. Noblewoman and convicted serial killer Elizabeth Báthory, "Countess Dracula", died, 1614. Forces of William of Orange defeated the Jacobites at the Battle of Dunkeld, 1689. Poet and author Ruth Manning-Sanders born, 1886. Former Louvre employee Vincenzo Peruggia stole the Mona Lisa, 1911. Businessman and electronic music pioneer Robert Moog died, 2005. Monday 22nd August - King Richard III of England was defeated and killed at the Battle of Bosworth Field, 1485. King Charles I of England raised his standard in Nottingham, beginning the English Civil War, 1642. Engineer and machine tool innovator Henry Maudslay born, 1771. The Devil's Island penal colony was permanently closed, 1953. Singer-songwriter Tori Amos born, 1963. Actress Colleen Dewhurst died, 1991. Tuesday 23rd August - Scottish rebel leader William Wallace was hung, drawn and quartered, 1305. The Golden Horde besieged Moscow, 1382. Louis XVI, the final king of France, born, 1754. The Albert Bridge in London opened, 1873. Sailor Saskia Clark born, 1979. Artist Elizabeth Blackadder died, 2021. International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition (UNESCO). Wednesday 24th August - The Visigoths began pillaging Rome, 410. Pirate and mercenary Eustace the Monk was executed, 1217. Philanthropist and politician William Wilberforce born, 1759. American Revolutionary War spy and wife of Benedict Arnold Peggy Shippen died, 1804. British troops burned the White House, the Capitol and other buildings in Washington, D.C., 1814. Actress Jennifer Lien born, 1974. International Strange Music Day. Thursday 25th August - Chinese empress Yang Yan died, 274. The Honourable Artillery Company, the oldest surviving regiment of the British Army, was formed, 1537. Artist George Stubbs born, 1724. Allied forces liberated Paris, 1944. Actress Joanne Whalley born, 1961. Astronaut Neil Armstrong died, 2012.
^ THE WISDOM OF...
This week, Sen no Rikyū:The Way of Tea is naught but this: first you boil water, then you make the tea and drink it.
^ FILM QUIZ
A selection of quotations from films containing the word 'dead' in the title, either as a whole word or part of a word. Answers next issue or from the regular address.
Last issue's voyaging quotations were from:
- I had another Liam Neeson nightmare. I kidnapped his daughter and he just wasn't having it. They made three of those movies. At some point you have to wonder if he's just a bad parent.
- - Do you want anything from the shop?
- Mr. Meeks, time to inherit the earth.
- Hello, snotface. Yuck what happened to you? You're all older, you're even uglier! Look, I'm sorry but I'm going to have to be sick all over you, immediately. Lie down.
- Just room for one inside, sir.
- Oh, you're a boat in a magical land. Can't you row yourself?
-- The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader 
- The medieval philosophers were right. Man is the center of the universe. We stand in the middle of infinity between outer and inner space, and there's no limit to either.
-- Fantastic Voyage 
- A spinster aunt is an ideal person to select presents for young girls.
-- Now, Voyager 
- You pace the deck like a caged beast; for one who enjoys the hashish you should be more at peace.
-- The Golden Voyage of Sinbad 
- Admiral, there be whales here!
-- Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home 
^ WEIRD WORLD NEWS
Strange stories from around the world, some of which might be true...
- Rangers at a national park in Turkey have had to rescue a brown bear cub after it ate "mad honey", or rhododendron honey, which contains a hallucinogen. The dazed and wobbly bear was treated by a vet before being released back into the park. ● A rare Rothschild giraffe calf has been born at Chester Zoo; there are fewer than 2,500 of the sub-species in the wild. ● Two people exploring the 22+ mile- (35km)-long Tom Moore Cave system in Missouri discovered an elderly dog about 500' (152m) below ground. Given her age and apparent ill-health they put the cooperative canine in a duffel bag with her head sticking out and passed her between themselves as they climbed "a very tight, awkward, vertical climb" back out. They then went from door to door locally to try to find her owner, which they did. The dog, called Abby, had been missing since June 9th. ● Two weeks after Nam Pang, a red panda at Paradise Wildlife Park in Hertfordshire, died in June, keepers noticed that his mate, Tilly, was nesting and this week she gave birth to a cub. Red pandas are endagered in the wild. ● Wausau, Wisconsin, police have released a video online of their efforts to catch a wild turkey that had broken into an apartment. After repeatedly eluding them, the turkey was eventually caught and released into the wild. ● For the last couple of months a walrus - known as Freya - has been clambering onto boats - sometimes sinking them - to sunbathe in a fjord near Oslo, Norway. Authorities repeatedly asked people not to get too close to the 1,300lb (600kg) animal, for both their and her welfare, but the warnings fell on deaf ears with people throwing food at her and both standing and swimming close to her to get selfies; the Norwegian fisheries ministery announced this week that they had had to euthenise Freya "for one's own safety and with animal welfare in mind." ● A kelp gull had been seen in Britain for the first time. Common in the southern hemisphere there have been a few sightings in western Europe over the last decade. ● A mountain rescue team on Ben Nevis were called out to rescue a dog that was refusing to go any further as her owner and friends came back down the mountain. The group of three women had tried carrying her but were forced to admit defeat halfway down, so a stretcher party equipped with chicken stick treats carried her the rest of the way. ● Microscopic crustaceans called ostracods have been discovered in the Smoo Cave in Sutherland and the Allt nam Uamh Stream Cave in Assynt. It is the first time they have been found in Scotland, and comes after a six-year search. ● Caterpillars of death's-head hawkmoths - best known for their appearance in The Silence of the Lambs - have been found in a Bridgend, south Wales, garden. While not rare, they are uncommon in the UK. ● A group of scientists in Australia and the US are working to recreate the thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, which became extinct in the 1930s. They plan to take stem cells from a living marsupial with similar DNA and use gene-editing technology to "bring back" the species, or at least create a close approximation, which they hope could be reintroduced to the wild within ten years. The multi-milion dollar project has been met with scepticism and widely dismissed as science-fiction.
- NASA has moved its new Moon rocket to the launch pad at the Kennedy Space Centre for its first - unmanned - test flight, scheduled for August 29th. The Space Launch System (SLS) is 328' (99.9m) tall, shorter than the Apollo era Saturn V rocket, but with 15% more thrust and a larger crew capsule. The first crewed mission back to the Moon is planned for 2024 with the first landing since 1972's Apollo 17 in 2025. It will also see the first female astronaut to walk on the Moon. ● Meteorites that originated on the Moon have been found to contain traces of neon and helium trapped in microscopic particles of glass. The finding supports the theory that the Moon formed from matter ejected from the Earth in a massive impact event. Because they were trapped in glass they must have originated from within the Moon rather than been deposited by the solar wind. The search is now on to find rarer gases like krypton and xenon as well as compounds such as halogens.
- Divers 40 miles (64km) off the coast of the Isles of Scilly, west of Land's End, Cornwall, have found the wreck of the USS Jacob Jones (DD-61) 377' (115m) below sea level. The ship was a US destroyer armed with guns and torpedoes, launched in May 1915. On December 6th 1917 she was steaming from Brest, France, to Queenstown, Ireland, when she was torpedoed and sunk by a U-boat, becoming the first US destroyer sunk by enemy action. Of the 150 crew, 66 were killed in the attack; the rest took to lifeboats in the 8 minutes before the ship sank. The U-boat surfaced and took two badly-injured crewmen aboard, and its captain radioed Queenstown to report the location of survivors - although one group, unaware of this, set off for the Scillies. ● A New Zealand family who bought a trailer-load of goods being auctioned off from an abandoned storage unit noticed a foul smell coming from the trailer when they got home. A neighbour, who had worked at a crematorium, instantly recognised the smell. Police discovered human remains in a suitcase included in the lot and are trying to identify the deceased.
- An Australian tourist has been charged with unauthorised access after being caught riding his moped through Pompeii, where tourist vehicles are banned to protect the archaeologically-important site, famously destroyed by Vesuvius in 79 AD. ● A thief who stole a sunbather's bag on Barcelona's beach failed to notice a TV crew interviewing another tourist behind him. The thief was clearly shown behind the interviewee as he stole the bag, and was promptly identified and arrested by the Guàrdia Urbana, Barcelona's police force. ● A Brazilian woman has been arrested after allegedly hiring a psychic to persuade her mother, the widow of one of the country's leading art collectors, that 16 particularly valuable paintings were cursed and needed to be taken away to be "prayed over". ● Millionaire Graham Wildin, 70, has been jailed after refusing to demolish a home sport and leisure building - described as "Britain's best man cave" - he had built behind his house without planning permission. The structure houses a bowling alley, squash court, mini-casino, cinema and bar. Wilkin, who claimed he could not afford to hire workers to pull the building down - will have 18 weeks to do so after he is released from his six weeks in jail. ● When police officers went to arrest suspected car thief Joshua Dobson, 18, there was no sign of him at his home - until they noticed that a 5' (1.5m) teddy bear sitting in a corner appeared to be breathing... Dobson had cut a hole in the bear's backside and climbed inside. Greater Manchester Police later commented that Dobson had been "stuffed behind bars" and that they hoped his time in jail would be "bearable". ● An Italian man who had to be rescued from a collapsed tunnel under a road near the Vatican was arrested as police suspected he - and an accomplice - were part of a gang trying to tunnel into a bank. ● Just after Spokane County, Washington, deputies ordered a man caught rifling through a church's audio equipment, to put his hands up and lie face down on the ground a wild skunk came round the corner and sprayed the prone suspect. ● A West Midlands student police officer who invented a fictitious girlfriend and claimed she had died of cancer in order to get compassionate leave from work has been told that he would have been sacked for gross misconduct had he not already resigned. ● A group of five men who had a barbecue at Dovestone Reservoir near Saddleworth, Manchester, during the recent hot weather face fines of up to £2,500 ($3,014) for breaching the Public Spaces Protection Order because of the risk of fire. In Norfolk two men have been charged with arson with intent to damage property after throwing their disposable barbecue into woodland at Bawsey Country Park near King's Lynn. The barbecue started a small fire which could have grown out of control had quick-thinking members of the public not been able to extinguish it.
- Mark Hardingham, chair of the UK's National Fire Chiefs' Council, has said that there have already been nearly 500 more wildfires reported across the country this year than in the whole of 2021. ● Death Valley in California, normally one of the hottest places on Earth, has been hit by flash flooding. ● Climate activists in France, protesting at golf clubs being granted exemptions from water bans to keep their greens green, have been sneaking onto courses at night to fill the holes with cement. ● Global Forest Watch has released data showing that enough trees to cover an area the size of Portugal were lost to forest fires in 2021. ● Stretches of the Rhine in Germany have fallen to just 5' (1.5m) depth, leaving ferry services at a standstill and cargo barges uneconomical as they have too little clearance when laden. ● The Hoover Dam at the Nevada-Arizona border can generate 2,080 megawatts of hydroelectricity, but water levels on Lake Mead [more on that below] are so low it is running at just 1,076 megawatts; if the water level drops another 90' (27.4m) the generators will be unable to operate. ● The recent heatwave left much of the River Avon running through the Avon Gorge in Bristol a muddy trickle. ● Melting ice on Austria's second largest glacier, the Gepatschferner, has revealed the mummified remains of a 'goatelope', an extinct species of chamois goat with similarities to an antelope, that lived 500 years ago. ● A fifth set of human remains has been found as Lake Mead's waters recede, the third such at Swim Beach. As one online wag put it, "If you're someone given to hiding bodies in lakes, you should be very nervous now." ● The drought in Galicia, Spain, has revealed a 2000-year-old Roman camp, most of its wall intact, normally submerged under a lake. ● The ruins of a lost church have been revealed by falling water levels in Ladybower Reservoir, Derbyshire. The spire of the church, in the village of Derwent, was originally left intact as a memorial, but was demolished for safety reasons in 1947. The village was abandoned before the area was flooded to form the reservoir in the 1940s. ● In Yorkshire the remains of the hamlet of Baitings, including an intact ancient packhorse bridge have reappeared 70 years after being abandoned to make way for Baitings Reservoir in the 1950s.
- In recent years there has been a trend of porting the classic 1993 first-person shooter (FPS) game Doom (or its 1995 sequel) to various odd devices, including the 48x48 pixel display on a single Optimus Maximus keyboard key, a Roomba vacuum cleaner, an ATM, a Nordic Track treadmill, a TI-84 Plus calculator, a LEGO brick, an ultrasound scanner ["Er, no, ma'am, that's not a cyberdemon, it's your baby..." -Ed], a 1998 digital camera and the centre console of a Porsche 911. To that list can now be added the on-board display of a John Deere 4240 tractor. ["E-I-E-I-DIE, DEMONS!" -Ed] ●
IN BRIEF: Harry Winstanley drove buses in Manchester for 52 years. His funeral procession this week included historic buses of types he drove and his coffin was carried aboard the last bus he drove. ● Bury Council are being mocked for the new roadsigns at a recently installed toucan crossing. The poles, which carry small circular notices for pedestrians near their tops are about 15' (4.5m) tall, some obscured by trees. They should be 7'6" (2.3m). ● French freediver Arnaud Jerald has set a new world record of 393' (120m) for diving without breathing apparatus and using bi-fins. He has broken the record seven times. ● A TikTok video showing a home worker apparently setting up a green screen (presumably to video-overlay an interior background for Zoom conference calls) behind him as he sat on a beach with his laptop has gone viral. ● Marathon runner Robert Pope has become the first person (at least on record) to run the width of Ireland in less than 24 hours. Starting at Galway City and ending in Dublin he took 23 hours 39 minutes to run the 134 mile (215km) route. He drank a pint of Guinness before setting off and another when he finished.
UPDATES: Nick Gardner, 82, has completed his ascent of all 282 of Scotland's Munros - mountains more than 3,000' (914m). Family and friends joined him for the final climb up Gairn Gorm, which he completed under a row of arched trekking poles. ● First it was BMW charging for extras that are already built into their cars, now General Motors is to charge a mandatory $1,500 (£1,244) three-year "add-on" subscription for new vehicles whether owners want to use the features or now.
Walrus Freya (viz. Weird World News, above, age unknown), Northern Rockhopper penguin Mrs Wolowitz (Edinburgh Zoo's oldest penguin, 35), actress Anne Heche (Another World, Donnie Brasco, Cedar Rapids, 53), drummer Frederick Waite, Jr (Musical Youth, "Pass the Dutchie", 55), actress Denise Dowse (Beverly Hills 90210 [1991-2000], Guess Who, Rocket Power, 64), author Nicholas Evans (The Horse Whisperer, The Loop, The Brave, 72), antiques expert Allan Blackburn (Antiques Road Trip, Salvage Hunters, founder of GB Antiques, 75), director Wolfgang Petersen (Das Boot, Outbreak, The NeverEnding Story, 81), actor and comedian Duggie Brown (Coronation Street, Last of the Summer Wine, The Comedians, 82), actor Bruce Montague (Butterflies, 80,000 Suspects, Oliver! [London Palladium], 83), actress Valerie James (Without Walls, The Sid James Show, widow of actor Sid James, 93).
^ DUMBLEDORE BEAR'S LOTTERY PREDICTOR!
Dumbledore Bear, our in-house psychic predicts that the following numbers will be lucky:9, 11, 15, 36, 51, 56[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 wanted a biscuit before supper. "Well, alright," her mother said, "but don't spoil your appetite or you won't want any dinner."
Little Jennifer took the biscuit tin, opened it and started wolfing down biscuits. "Little Jennifer! What do you think you're doing?"
Little Jennifer swallowed a mouthful of biscuit, looked up at her mother and smiled as only she could. "I'm trying to eat as many as I can before I spoil my appetite!"
^ ...end of line