The Meeting Place

Today's Chat, No Set Topic


.........................................Something comes into your mind? share it, as everyone is different so all topics have followers :) Happy thoughts, sad thoughts or just reflective thoughts - let's enjoy chatting without agro or nastiness. Who knows what we might learn from each other..........................................:) 

(A combination of Lets Chat and Today in memory of Gerry, Geomac and Seth.) 

Please keep it general so all can be included not about subjects that can aggravate like Politics or Religion. 

Today's Date Sunday 7th May 2017   

Many thanks to RnR and Toot for making this into such an interesting topic on past events for us all to learn so much. 

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13 January

On this day:

532 – Nika riots in Constantinople: A quarrel between supporters of different chariot teams, the Blues and the Greens, in the Hippodrome escalates into violence almost destroying the city.
1822 – The design of the Greek flag is adopted by the First National Assembly at Epidaurus.
1851 – Charles Augustus FitzRoy commissioned as "Governor-General of all Her Majesty's Australian possessions". This position was a forerunner of the Governor-General of Australia.
1888 – The National Geographic Society is founded in Washington, D.C.
1893 – Roy Cazaly, Australian rules footballer and coach is born.
1910 – The first public radio broadcast takes place; a live performance of the operas Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci are sent out over the airwaves from the Metropolitan Opera House in New York.
1929 – H. B. Higgins, Irish-Australian judge and politician, 3rd Attorney-General for Australia dies.
1939 – The Black Friday bush fires burn 20,000 square kilometres of land in Victoria, claiming the lives of 71 people.

Nika riots

The Nika riots took place against Emperor Justinian I in Constantinople over the course of a week in AD 532. They were the most violent riots in the city's history, with nearly half Constantinople being burned or destroyed and tens of thousands of people killed.

Reconstruction of the Hippodrome of Constantinople by Antoine Helbert.

The ancient Roman and Byzantine empires had well-developed associations which supported the different factions or teams under which competitors in certain sporting events took part; this was particularly true of chariot racing. By the Byzantine era the only teams with any influence were the Blues and Greens. Emperor Justinian I was a supporter of the Blues.

The team associations had become a focus for various social and political issues for which the general Byzantine population lacked other forms of outlet. They frequently tried to affect the policy of the emperors by shouting political demands between races.

In 531 some members of the Blues and Greens had been arrested for murder in connection with deaths that occurred during rioting after a recent chariot race. Relatively limited riots were not unknown at chariot races, similar to modern day football hooliganism. The murderers were to be hanged, and most of them were.

But on 10 January 532, two of them, a Blue and a Green, escaped and were taking refuge in the sanctuary of a church surrounded by an angry mob. Justinian declared that a chariot race would be held on January 13 and commuted the sentences to imprisonment.

Mosaic of Emperor Justinian and his entourage. Basilica of San Vitale, Ravenna.

On January 13, 532, a tense and angry populace arrived at the Hippodrome for the races. The Hippodrome was next to the palace complex, and thus Justinian could watch from the safety of his box in the palace and preside over the races. From the start, the crowd had been hurling insults at Justinian. By the end of the day, at race 22, the partisan chants had changed from "Blue" or "Green" to a unified Nikα, meaning "Win!!" "Victory!" or "Conquer!"

The crowds broke out and began to assault the palace. For the next five days, the palace was under siege. The fires that started during the tumult resulted in the destruction of much of the city, including the city's foremost church, the Hagia Sophia which Justinian would later rebuild.

The Nika Riots after the race of January 13, 532.

Some of the senators saw this as an opportunity to overthrow Justinian and declared a new emperor, Hypatius, who was a nephew of former Emperor Anastasius I, to be crowned in the Hippodrome.

In response, Justinian created a plan that involved Narses, a popular eunuch, as well as the generals Belisarius and Mundus. Carrying a bag of gold given to him by Justinian, the slightly built eunuch entered the Hippodrome alone and unarmed, against a murderous mob that had already killed hundreds. Narses went directly to the Blues' section, where he approached the important Blues and reminded them that Emperor Justinian supported them over the Greens.

Men traditionally identified as Narses and Belisarius, from the mosaic in Ravenna.

Narses also reminded them that the man they were crowning, Hypatius, was a Green. Then, he distributed the gold. The Blue leaders spoke quietly with each other and then they spoke to their followers. Then, in the middle of Hypatius's coronation, the Blues stormed out of the Hippodrome. The Greens sat, stunned. Then, Imperial troops led by Belisarius and Mundus stormed into the Hippodrome, killing the remaining rebels.

The ruins of Constantinople’s Hippodrome in 1453. Engraving by Onofrio Panvinio in De Ludis Circensibus. The spina that stood at the centre of the chariot racing circuit was still visible then. In modern Istanbul, only three of the ancient monuments remain.

About thirty thousand rioters were reportedly killed. Justinian also had Hypatius executed and exiled the senators who had supported the riot. He then rebuilt Constantinople and the Hagia Sophia, and was free to establish his rule. He was also free to pursue his ultimate dream of a united Roman Empire.

Flag of Greece

The national flag of Greece, popularly referred to as the "sky-blue-white" or the "blue-white", officially recognised by Greece as one of its national symbols, is based on nine equal horizontal stripes of blue alternating with white. There is a blue canton in the upper hoist-side corner bearing a white cross; the cross symbolises Eastern Orthodox Christianity, the established religion of the Greek people of Greece and Cyprus.

The origins of today's national flag with its cross-and-stripe pattern are a matter of debate. Every part of it, including the blue and white colours, the cross, as well as the stripe arrangement can be connected to very old historical elements; however, it is difficult to establish "continuity", especially as there is no record of the exact reasoning behind its official adoption at the first meeting of the Greek National Assembly in January 1822.

Charles Augustus FitzRoy

Sir Charles Augustus FitzRoy KCB KH (1796–1858) was a British military officer, politician and member of the aristocracy, who held governorships in several British colonies during the 19th century. Charles was born in England, the eldest son of General Lord Charles FitzRoy and Frances Mundy.

His grandfather, Augustus FitzRoy, 3rd Duke of Grafton, was the Prime Minister of Great Britain from 1768 to 1770. Charles' half brother Robert FitzRoy would become a pioneering meteorologist and surveyor, Captain of HMS Beagle, and later Governor of New Zealand.

Governor of New South Wales Sir Charles FitzRoy by Henry Robinson Smith, circa 1855.

Sir Charles was chosen as the tenth Governor of the colony of New South Wales by Lord Stanley in 1845. FitzRoy, his wife and his son George arrived in the colony on board HMS Carysfort on 2 August 1846. After sixteen months in the colony, Sir Charles' wife Mary was killed in a coach accident on 7 December 1847. A distraught FitzRoy considered resigning and returning to England, but his finances did not permit it.

A memorial to Lady Mary Fitzroy in St James' Church, Sydney.

The need for some type of federation between the various colonies was recognised, and as a step towards this, on 13 January 1851 FitzRoy received new commissions as governor of NSW, Van Diemen’s Land, SA and Vic and as ‘Governor General of all Her Majesty’s Australian possessions, including the colony of Western Australia’. As their superior he had the right both to advise the lieutenant-governors and to assume the function of governor in all colonies except WA.

National Geographic Society

The National Geographic Society, headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States, is one of the largest non-profit scientific and educational institutions in the world. Founded on 13 January 1888, its interests include geography, archaeology and natural science, the promotion of environmental and historical conservation, and the study of world culture and history. In partnership with 21st Century Fox, the Society operates the National Geographic magazine, TV channels, a website that features extra content and worldwide events, and other media operations.

Historical emblem of the National Geographic Society. The National Geographic Society’s current logo is a yellow portrait frame. Magazine 1939.

The National Geographic Society began as a club for an elite group of academics and wealthy patrons interested in travel. On January 13, 1888, 33 explorers and scientists gathered at the Cosmos Club, a private club then located on Lafayette Square in Washington, D.C., to organise "a society for the increase and diffusion of geographical knowledge." After preparing a constitution and a plan of organisation, the National Geographic Society was incorporated two weeks later on January 27.

Gardiner Greene Hubbard became its first president and his son-in-law, Alexander Graham Bell, succeeded him in 1897.

In 1899, Bell's son-in-law Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor was named the first full-time editor of National Geographic magazine and served the organisation for fifty-five years (until 1954), and members of the Grosvenor family have played important roles in the organisation since. Bell and Gilbert Hovey Grosvenor devised the successful marketing notion of Society membership and the first major use of photographs to tell stories in magazines.

Roy Cazaly

Roy Cazaly (13 January 1893 – 10 October 1963) was an Australian rules footballer who played for South Melbourne and St Kilda in the Victorian Football League (VFL). He also represented Victoria and Tasmania in interstate football, and after his retirement as a player, turned to coaching. Known for his ruck work and high-flying marks, he inspired the common catchphrase "Up there, Cazaly!", which became a popular song of the same name, securing his place in Australian folklore.

Cazaly taking a one-handed mark.

Cazaly was famous for his ability to take spectacular marks despite his small stature, and at South Melbourne a teammate, Fred "Skeeter" Fleiter, would often yell "Up there, Cazaly", a phrase that would become synonymous with Australian rules football. He initially developed his marking ability by jumping at a ball strung up in a shed at his home, and held his breath as he jumped, an action that he believed lifted him higher. He also possessed the capacity to kick a football over 65 metres.

In 2009 The Australian nominated Cazaly as one of the 25 greatest footballers never to win a Brownlow Medal.

He is known to have played 378 senior matches (including 13 interstate matches for Victoria and 5 for Tasmania). Throughout his career he stood at just 180 centimetres (5 feet 11 inches) and was incredibly fit. He retired from competitive football in 1941 at the age of 48.

Birth of public radio broadcasting

The birth of public radio broadcasting is credited to Lee de Forest who transmitted the world’s first public broadcast in New York City on January 13, 1910. This broadcast featured the voices of Enrico Caruso and other Metropolitan Opera stars. Members of the public and the press used earphones to listen to the broadcast in several locations throughout the city. This marked the beginning of what would become nearly universal wireless radio communication.

Lee de Forest. 1910 The New York Times advertisement for the wireless radio.

The few radio receivers able to pick up this first-ever "outside broadcast" were those at the De Forest Radio Laboratory, on board ships in New York Harbour, in large hotels on Times Square and at New York city locations where members of the press were stationed at receiving sets. Public receivers with earphones had been set up in several well-advertised locations throughout New York City. There were members of the press stationed at various receiving sets throughout the city and the public was invited to listen to the broadcast.

Early radio broadcast by Mme. Mariette Mazarin of the Manhattan Opera Company, Lee de Forest on left. Forest’s 1925 receivers.

Lee De Forest's Radio Telephone Company manufactured and sold the first commercial radios in the demonstration room at the Metropolitan Life Building in New York City for this public event. The wireless transmitter had 500 watts of power. It is reported that this broadcast was heard 20 km away on a ship at sea. The broadcast was also heard in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

The New York Times reported on January 14th, 2010: Opera broadcast in part from the stage of the New York City Metropolitan Opera Company was heard on January 13, 1910, when Enrico Caruso and Emmy Destinn sang arias from Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci, which were “trapped and magnified by the dictograph directly from the stage and borne by wireless Hertzian waves over the turbulent waters of the sea to transcontinental and coastwise ships and over the mountainous peaks and undulating valleys of the country.”

H. B. Higgins

Henry Bournes Higgins KC (30 June 1851 – 13 January 1929), known by his initials, was an Australian lawyer, politician, and judge. He served on the High Court of Australia from 1906 until his death. He was elected to the Victorian Legislative Assembly in 1894, and represented Victoria at the Australasian Federal Convention, where he helped draft the new federal constitution. He nonetheless opposed the final draft, making him one of only two delegates to the convention to campaign against federation.

Henry Bournes Higgin at the 1898 Australasian Federal Convention. John Rickard’s book.

In 1901, Higgins was elected to the new federal parliament as a member of the Protectionist Party. He was sympathetic to the labour movement, and in 1904 briefly served as Attorney-General in the Labor Party minority government led by Chris Watson. Higgins was an awkward colleague for the Protectionist leadership, and in 1906 Deakin appointed him as a Justice of the High Court of Australia as a means of getting him out of politics, although he was undoubtedly qualified for the post.

He also served as president of the Commonwealth Court of Conciliation and Arbitration from 1907 to 1921. In 1907, Higgins delivered a judgement which became famous in Australian history, known as the "Harvester Judgement". The case involved one of Australia's largest employers, Hugh McKay, a manufacturer of agricultural machinery. Higgins ruled that McKay was obliged to pay his employees a wage that guaranteed them a standard of living that was reasonable for "a human being in a civilised community," regardless of his capacity to pay. This gave rise to the legal requirement for a basic wage, which dominated Australian economic life for the next 80 years.

Black Friday bushfires

The Black Friday bushfires of 13 January 1939, in Victoria, Australia, were among the worst natural bushfires in the world. Almost 20,000 square kilometres of land was burned, 71 people died, several towns were entirely destroyed and the Royal Commission that resulted from it led to major changes in forest management.

Main street Woods Point. Glen Guest House.

Over 1,300 homes and 69 sawmills were burned, and 3,700 buildings were destroyed. It was calculated that three-quarters of the State of Victoria was directly or indirectly affected by the disaster. The Royal Commission noted that "it appeared the whole State was alight on Friday, 13 January 1939".

Noojee main street. Wye River.

In the days preceding the fires Melbourne experienced some of its hottest temperatures on record at the time: 43.8 °C on 8 January and 44.7 °C on 10 January. On the day of the fires, temperatures reached 45.6 °C , which stood as the hottest day officially recorded in Melbourne for the next 70 years. The summer of 1938–39 had been hot and dry, and several fires had broken out. By early January, fires were burning in a number of locations across the state.

Then, on Friday 13 January, a strong northerly wind hit the state, causing several of the fires to combine into one massive front.

Noojee railway bridge. Refugees from the Ada Mill near Noojee make their way out.

The most damage was felt in the mountain and alpine areas in the northeast and around the southwest coast. The Acheron, Tanjil and Thomson Valleys and the Grampians, were also hit. Five townships – Hill End, Narbethong, Nayook West, Noojee (apart from the Hotel), Woods Point – were completely destroyed and not all were rebuilt afterwards.

The towns of Omeo, Pomonal, Warrandyte (though this is now a suburb of Melbourne, it was not in 1939) and Yarra Glen were also badly damaged.


 Ruins of the Hippodrome of Constantinople. Photo by "Gryffindor"; made available through the GNU Free Documentation License

What a great story about Emperor Justinian and the chariot races, his wife saved the day by telling him not to run away from the rioters and like a good husband he took her advice.

Aftermath of the Nika Revolt

The death toll and the extensive destruction of Constantinople were horrific, and it would take years for the city and its people to recover. Arrests were ongoing after the revolt, and many families lost everything due to their connection to the rebellion. The Hippodrome was shut down, and races were suspended for five years.

But for Justinian, the results of the riots were very much to his advantage. Not only was the emperor able to confiscate a number of wealthy estates, he returned to their offices the officials he'd agreed to remove, including John of Cappadocia -- although, to his credit, he did keep them from going to the extremes they'd employed in the past. And his victory over the rebels garnered him new respect, if not true admiration. No one was willing to move against Justinian, and he was now able to go forward with all his ambitious plans -- rebuilding the city, reconquering territory in Italy, completing his law codes, among others. He also began instituting laws that curbed the powers of the senatorial class that had so looked down on him and his family.

The Nika Revolt had backfired. Though Justinian had been brought to the brink of destruction, he had overcome his enemies and would enjoy a long and fruitful reign.

The text of this document is copyright ©2012 Melissa Snell. You may download or print this document for personal or school use, as long as the URL below is included. 

The URL for this document is:


A very important part of our history.

......Higgins ruled that McKay was obliged to pay his employees a wage that guaranteed them a standard of living that was reasonable for "a human being in a civilised community," regardless of his capacity to pay. This gave rise to the legal requirement for a basic wage, which dominated Australian economic life for the next 80 years.

The Black Friday bushfires in 1939 were shocking with 71 lives lost, but the Black Saturday bushfires in Victoria in 2009 were even worse, when 173 people died and 414 injured - still remember driving through the blackened countryside dumbstruck.  

I enjoyed reading about the Nika Riots. Amazing stuff. Thanks for all the extra info on the aftermath Toot.

H.B. Higgins was certainly one of Australia's more remarkable characters.

Re Victorian bushfires. Like you we drove though the Healesville, Kinglake, Marysville areas late in 2009. Just awful, as we drove I could imagine being trapped on the ever-winding, bush-enclosed roads. Frightening even on a beautiful day, nowhere to go.


Once again thanks for the great read RnR, we've had bad bushfires over here as well over the years.. I could just imagine how hard it would have been putting out that Black Friday bushfire way back when without the assistance the Firies have in this day and age....



Ta RnR, a good read.

Back from visiting the eye ball stabber.

We agreed a stab was not necessary.

I have discovered with male dentists and eyeball stabbers the level of pain can be controlled by reaching down and taking a firm grip on their nether regions whilst they are bent over and engaged with either fang or focus, whatever their bent may be. As the pain level increases so up the level of squeeze. Stare into their eyes as tears are a good indication that the squeeze level is right up there.

This approach can result in an almost painless procedure for the patient. It is known as the Christmas Grip, a handful of nuts.

Did I say that ?

Take it easy.



Very funny Shaggy, hate dentists, wish I had false teeth, they not only terrify me but stun me when it's over and I go to pay the bill.  Vets and dentists - a licence to print money.

Just had thought - there is no way I would let anyone stick a needle in my eye, no way, ever!!

SD so you must have macular degeneration -- I have a friend that has it also I think it is the  'dry' type???    he has to have a needle in his eye every 6 weeks or so too -- but at least it gives him his eye sight.

I agree with you about the Xmas hold, LOL-- heard that years ago and made me chuckle



I do have an upper denture.

Prior to having this done many years ago I did ask an old mate who had false choppers as to his experience with artificial gnashers.

" Best thing ever " he replied. I did ask why.

He said " Every night I take them out , place them in a glass of water, then two big spoon fulls of sugar on top. And then sit back and laugh whilst the bastards ache."

True story, would I lie to you?

Take it easy.


LOL again at SD




No nothing so serious.

I have damaged my peepers a bit over the years, rocks , bits of metal, the occasional fist etc.

The starboard one developed a bit of a bleed a year or two back, the same eye has also had laser surgery to repair some damage back a bit. I drove the 1000K in one day that time. Drove over, had it zapped and then drove home.

The injections have been to assist in the healing. It does appear to have healed and it is seven months or more since I have had an injection so it is more of a monitoring thing. A checkup every three months from now on.

Due to road works it took close to 6 hours each way this time , bugger all traffic. At least I didn' have an altercation with Skippy this trip.

Take it easy.


Pleased all went well SD -- long trip for you  and a pain with the road works,

Tell me does the injection hurt a lot?

Ha ha ha  SD, glad to see you're back home safe and sound, roadworks are a necessary pain,  the word must have got around among the Skippy family, Look out here her comes


Thanks SD. Your descriptions crack me up. Glad all is well with your eye and you didn't have any Skippy adventures.


No it does not. The amusing part is you see a bubble float through you vision and feel like a human spirit level.

The eye is very red and gritty for a few days after and eye (I) end up with jealous eyes for a short time. Cross eyed, the eyes keep watching  each other.

I usually wear an eye patch, carry a cutlass, borrow a cocky to sit on my shoulder and mock wooden leg completes the outfit along with exclamations such as " splice  the main brace, yohoho, up there me hearties and other meaningless crap"

That reminds me of a nautical ditty.

"There was a young sailor named Bates

Who did the Fandango on skates

A fall on his cutlass

Rendered him nutless

And practically useless on dates."

Where was I ?

No worse than a dental injection, possibly a lot less.

Time to go things to do.

Have a good one !


Image result for lol gif animated

LOL AGAIN SD -- loved that one and I really did LOL


Yes my Friend said his eye injection did not hurt and gave much the same description as you did


Just looked out my lounge room window and noticed the last young Magpie had been killed by that darn cat  --- it used to roam around there to see if I was around to throw it some food,  it must have happened a day or so ago as it was full of magots.

I tell you I am over these cats that roam-- I am going to set the trap again and it will be GONE, cats have killed 2 Blueies/ 2 Baby Maggies and a Rozella in the last month and a few months ago a young Frog Mouth.

In NSW, all cats and dogs, other than exempt cats and dogs, must be microchipped by 12 weeks of age or before being sold or given away, whichever happens first.

Report them to your Council

Yes but mico chipped does NOT keep them inside and the council has no rules for them to be kept inside -- I have been onto the council and they really could not care less -- I have spoken to the owner and neither do they -- so it is trap time -- cats kill for kicks day AND night -- cats kill all the time --

As much as I love cats. (I love all animals) I wouldn't have one as we live near birdlife, water birds etc, we have all kinds of small native animals as well so not fair to have a cat here, unfortunately the neighbours don't see it quite like that and have their cats BUT they are supposed to keep them inside at night by law but that doesn't happen either... how do the councils police it? they work 9-5. Feel for you PlanB, nothing worse than finding dead animals/birds on the property....

Plus they kill DAY and NIGHT --

We have always had two cats so of course love our cats. Peter has always made our yards 'cat escape proof' but unlike all the Orientals we have had, the two new ones we have, can scale a 7ft. wall straight up, and also jump from the ground onto a shed and even across to the roof of our high roofed house ho hum :(

We hunted the net and found a tall, wide, long enclosure and painstakingly have put it up right near one of our back doors with heaps of goodies for them to play in/on. Spent around $650 on the structure alone, and although the pair are not quite so rapped in it, they will have to get used to it, as we would never allow cats in our family to kill birds and small animals.

Penny and Poppy have the run of our large renovated older style home, so they have heaps of room inside anyway, and change different bedrooms/beds to sleep in lol. Our new little Maltipoo is lauding it over them a bit, as she can go anywhere but she can only jump about 12 inches lol.

Life with animals makes for a great life for us. We have never owned a little, dog previously, but 'oh my goodness this little Pebbles has made my life an absolute joy every day/night, and she is with me almost 24/07 as I am 'it' for her lol.




Phyl I adore Animals but I can not alloow this to keep happening,  it is not the Cats fault -- it is the irresponsible owners

14 January

On this day:

83 BC– Mark Antony, Roman general and politician is born.
1761 – The Third Battle of Panipat is fought in India between the Afghans under Ahmad Shah Durrani and the Marathas.
1815 – William Cox completes the road crossing the Blue Mountains.
1957 – Humphrey Bogart, American actor dies.
1960 – The Reserve Bank of Australia, the country's central bank and banknote issuing authority, is established.
1968 – Poet Dorothea Mackellar dies. Her most well known work is My Country.
1972 – Queen Margrethe II of Denmark ascends the throne, the first Queen of Denmark since 1412 and the first Danish monarch not named Frederick or Christian since 1513.
1973 – Elvis Presley's concert Aloha from Hawaii is broadcast live via satellite, and sets the record as the most watched broadcast by an individual entertainer in television history.

Mark Antony

Marcus Antonius (January 14, 83 BC – August 1, 30 BC), commonly known in English as Mark or Marc Antony, was a Roman politician and general who played a critical role in the transformation of the Roman Republic from an oligarchy into the autocratic Roman Empire.

Mark Antony's eulogy to Julius Caesar.

Antony was a supporter of Julius Caesar, and served as one of his generals during the conquest of Gaul and the Civil War. Antony was appointed administrator of Italy while Caesar eliminated political opponents in Greece, North Africa, and Spain. After Caesar's death in 44 BC, Antony joined forces with Marcus Aemilius Lepidus, another of Caesar's generals, and Octavian, Caesar's great-nephew and adopted son, forming a three-man dictatorship known to historians as the Second Triumvirate.

The Triumvirs defeated Caesar's murderers, the Liberatores, at the Battle of Philippi in 42 BC, and then divided the Roman Republic among themselves and ruled as military dictators. Antony was assigned Rome's eastern provinces, including the client kingdom of Egypt, then ruled by Cleopatra VII Philopator, and was given the command in Rome's war against Parthia.

A denarius of Marcus Antonius struck in 42 BC. Bust of Mark Antony in Vatican City.

Relations among the triumvirs were strained as the various members sought greater political power. Civil war between Antony and Octavian was averted in 40 BC, when Antony married Octavian's sister, Octavia. Despite this marriage, Antony carried on a love affair with Cleopatra, who bore him three children, further straining Antony's relations with Octavian. Lepidus was expelled from the association in 36 BC, and in 33 BC disagreements between Antony and Octavian caused a split between the remaining Triumvirs.

Their ongoing hostility erupted into civil war in 31 BC, as the Roman Senate, at Octavian's direction, declared war on Cleopatra and proclaimed Antony a traitor. Later that year, Antony was defeated by Octavian's forces at the Battle of Actium. Antony and Cleopatra fled to Egypt, where they committed suicide.

The Battle of Actium by Laureys a Castro, painted 1672, National Maritime Museum, London. Octavian, later Augustus first Roman emperor.

With Antony dead, Octavian was the undisputed master of the Roman world. In 27 BC, Octavian was granted the title of Augustus, marking the final stage in the transformation of the Roman Republic into an empire, with himself as the first Roman emperor.

Third Battle of Panipat

The Third Battle of Panipat took place on 14 January 1761 at Panipat, about 97 kilometres north of Delhi, between a northern expeditionary force of the Maratha Empire and invading forces of the King of Afghanistan, Ahmad Shah Abdali, founder of the modern state of Afghanistan, supported by two Indian allies—the Rohilla Afghans of the Doab, and Najib ad-Dawlah, the Nawab of the Awadh region.

Militarily, the battle pitted the artillery and cavalry of the Marathas against the heavy cavalry and mounted artillery of the Afghans and Rohillas led by Abdali and Najib-ud-Daulah, both ethnic Afghans. The battle is considered one of the largest and bloodiest fought in the 18th century with the largest number of fatalities in a single day.

Ahmad Shah Abdali leading the Afghan army. Unknown source.

The battle lasted for several days and involved over 125,000 troops. Protracted skirmishes occurred, with losses and gains on both sides. The forces led by Ahmad Shah Abdali came out victorious after destroying several Maratha flanks. The extent of the losses on both sides is heavily disputed by historians, but it is believed that between 60,000–70,000 were killed in fighting, while the numbers of injured and prisoners taken vary considerably.

According to the single best eyewitness chronicle, about 40,000 Maratha prisoners were slaughtered in cold blood the day after the battle. Shejwalkar, whose monograph Panipat 1761 is often regarded as the single best secondary source on the battle, says that "not less than 100,000 Marathas perished during and after the battle." The Afghan cavalry and pikemen ran wild through the streets of Panipat, killing tens of thousands of Maratha soldiers and civilians. The women and children seeking refuge in streets of Panipat were hounded back in Afghan camps as slaves.

Third battle of Panipat 14 January 1761. A Faizabad style drawing circa 1770. The centre of the image is dominated by the twin arcs of the lines of guns firing at each other with smoke and devastation in between.

The result of the battle was the halting of further Maratha advances in the north, and a destabilisation of their territories, for roughly ten years. This period is marked by the rule of Peshwa Madhavrao, who is credited with the revival of Maratha domination following the defeat at Panipat.

In 1771, ten years after Panipat, he sent a large Maratha army into northern India in an expedition that was meant to re-establish Maratha domination in that area and punish refractory powers that had either sided with the Afghans, such as the Rohillas, or had shaken off Maratha domination after Panipat.

It was the last major battle between indigenous South Asian military powers until the creation of Pakistan and India in 1947.

The road over the Blue Mountains

William Cox arrived in the Colony in 1800 as paymaster with the NSW Corps. He resigned his commission in 1811 and became a magistrate in Windsor where he also began constructing a number of government buildings. In July 1814 Cox was commissioned by Governor Macquarie to build a road from Emu Plains to the Bathurst Plains, following as far as possible the route established by Blaxland and surveyed by Evans.

On 7 July 1814 Cox commenced building the 163 kilometre road, starting at Captain Woodruff’s Farm, opposite Emu Plains. The work was completed in a staggering 27 weeks on the 14 January 1815.

Cox had a work party of 30 convicts and eight guards and some freemen, including Richard Lewis and John Tighe who had accompanied Evans’ survey party. The road was between 3.6 metres and 4.8 metres wide. Two carts could pass each other easily. Trees and bushes along the road were cleared back about 6 metres. Tree stumps were removed up to 3.6 metres from the road, and holes were filled.

Building the road was hard and dangerous. The strong winds added to the dangers of cutting down the trees and the hard timber blunted the axes. Removing the tree roots was also difficult and tiring. The large rocks that could not be moved out of the way by block and tackle were cleared by explosives. Stone and timber bridges were built along the road.

Conditions for the convicts were hard. Within a month, their shoes needed mending. Tents were not provided for them, so they had to find their own shelter. Rain often wet their blankets. They complained of colds, sprained ankles and splinters in arms and legs.

The Convict Road Builders Memorial in Katoomba NSW by Terrance Plowright, 2007.

On 26 April 1815 Governor Macquarie, accompanied by his wife and a party of dignitaries set out on a coach trip to travel across the Blue Mountains on the newly completed road. On the way Macquarie named Springwood, Blackheath, Mount York, Cox’s Pass, Vale of Clywdd, Cox’s River and then Bathurst, on the banks of the Macquarie River on 7 May.

He commended Cox and stated that the project would have taken three years if it had been done under a contract. As a reward Cox was awarded 2,000 acres of land near Bathurst. The road became known as Cox's Road and over time much of it has been bypassed in favour of easier grades.

Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey DeForest Bogart (December 25, 1899 – January 14, 1957) was an American screen and stage actor whose performances in 1940s noir films such as The Maltese Falcon, Casablanca, and The Big Sleep earned him status as a cultural icon.

Bogart with Cagney in The Roaring Twenties 1939, the last film they made together.

Bogart began acting in 1921 after a hitch in the U.S. Navy in World War I and little success in various jobs in finance and the production side of the theatre. Gradually he became a regular in Broadway shows in the 1920s and 1930s. When the stock market crash of 1929 reduced the demand for plays, Bogart turned to film. His first great success was as Duke Mantee in The Petrified Forest, 1936, and this led to a period of typecasting as a gangster with films such as Angels with Dirty Faces, 1938.

Bogart and Bergman in Casablanca 1942.

Bogart's breakthrough as a leading man came in 1941 with High Sierra and The Maltese Falcon. The next year, his performance in Casablanca, Oscar nomination 1943, raised him to the peak of his profession and, at the same time, cemented his trademark film persona, that of the hard-boiled cynic who ultimately shows his noble side.

Other successes followed, including To Have and Have Not 1944, The Big Sleep 1946, Dark Passage 1947, and Key Largo 1948, all four with his wife Lauren Bacall; The Treasure of the Sierra Madre 1948; In a Lonely Place 1950; The African Queen 1951 (Oscar winner); Sabrina 1954; The Caine Mutiny 1954 (Oscar nomination) and We're No Angels 1955. His last film was The Harder They Fall 1956.

Bogart and Bacall in The Big Sleep 1946.

During a film career of almost 30 years, Bogart appeared in more than 75 feature films. In 1999, the American Film Institute ranked Bogart as the greatest male star of Classic American cinema. Over his career, he received three Academy Award nominations for Best Actor, winning one for The African Queen.

Reserve Bank of Australia

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), on 14 January 1960, became the Australian central bank and banknote issuing authority, when the Reserve Bank Act 23 April 1959 removed the central banking functions from the Commonwealth Bank.

H. C. Coombs is the only governor to have headed both the Commonwealth Bank and the Reserve Bank of Australia. He was the first Governor of the RBA, in office from 1960 to 1968.

The bank has the responsibility of providing services to the Government of Australia in addition to also providing services to other central banks and official institutions. It currently consists of the Payments System Board, which governs the payments system policy of the bank, and the Reserve Bank Board, which governs all other monetary and banking policies of the bank.

RBA headquarters, 65 Martin Place, Sydney. Logo. Dr Philip Lowe, current Governor of the RBA.

Both boards consist of members of both the bank, the Treasury, other Australian government agencies, and leaders of other institutions that are part of the economy. The structure of the Reserve Bank Board has remained consistent ever since 1951, with the exception of the change in the number of members of the board.

The governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia is appointed by the Treasurer and chairs both the Payment Systems and Reserve Bank Boards and when there are disagreements between both boards, the governor resolves them.

Dorothea Mackellar

Isobel Marion Dorothea Mackellar, OBE (1 July 1885 – 14 January 1968) was an Australian poet and fiction writer. Her poem My Country is widely known in Australia. The third child and only daughter of physician and parliamentarian Sir Charles Mackellar and Marion MacKellar she was born in the family home "Dunara" at Point Piper, Sydney, Australia in 1885.

She was educated at home and travelled extensively with her parents, becoming fluent in French, Spanish, German and Italian, and also attended some lectures at the University of Sydney. Her youth was protected and highly civilised. She moved easily between the society of Sydney's intellectual and administrative elite, life on her family's country properties, and among their friends in London.

Dorothea Mackellar dressed as one of the Graces for Mrs. T.H. Kelly's Italian Red Cross Day tableaux at the Palace Theatre, 20 June 1918. Dunara, Mackellar's childhood home in Point Piper.

A woman of independent means, she published poetry and other works between 1908 and 1926 and was active in the Sydney literary scene of the 1930s. In her later years she ceased writing and, suffering poor health, her last eleven years were spent in a nursing home in Randwick where she died in 1968, aged 82. She is buried in Waverley Cemetery, in Sydney's Eastern suburbs.

Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Statue in Gunnedah. My Country.

Although she was raised in a professional urban family, Mackellar's poetry is usually regarded as quintessential bush poetry, inspired by her experience on her brothers' farms near Gunnedah, in the north-west of New South Wales.

Her best-known poem is My Country, written at age 19 and first published in the London Spectator in 1908 under the title Core of My Heart. Four volumes of her collected verse were published: The Closed Door 1911, contained the first appearance of My Country; The Witch Maid, and Other Verses 1914; Dreamharbour 1923 and Fancy Dress 1926. In addition to writing poems, Mackellar also wrote novels, one by herself, Outlaw's Luck 1913, and at least two in collaboration with Ruth Bedford, The Little Blue Devil 1912 and Two's Company 1914.

Margrethe II of Denmark

Margrethe II (born 16 April 1940) is the Queen of Denmark. She is also the supreme authority of the Church of Denmark and Commander-in-Chief of the Danish Defence. Born into the House of Glücksburg, a royal house with origins in Northern Germany, she was the eldest child of Frederick IX of Denmark and Ingrid of Sweden.

Margrethe II succeeded her father upon his death on 14 January 1972, having become heir presumptive to her father in 1953, when a constitutional amendment allowed women to inherit the throne.

On her accession, Margrethe became the first female monarch of Denmark since Margaret I, ruler of the Scandinavian kingdoms in 1375–1412 during the Kalmar Union. In 1967, she married Henri de Laborde de Monpezat, with whom she has two sons: Crown Prince Frederik, born 1968, and Prince Joachim, born 1969. She has been on the Danish throne for 45 years, becoming the second-longest-reigning Danish monarch after her ancestor Christian IV.

Her Majesty surrounded by her family waving to crowds on her 70th birthday on 16 April 2010. L to R: The Crown Princess, Prince Felix, the Crown Prince, Prince Christian, the Queen, Prince Nikolai, Prince Consort Henrik, Prince Joachim and Princess Isabella.

Elvis Presley's concert Aloha from Hawaii

Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite is a concert that was headlined by Elvis Presley, and was broadcast live via satellite on January 14, 1973. The concert took place at the Honolulu International Centre in Honolulu and aired in over 40 countries across Asia and Europe (who received the telecast the next day, also in primetime).

Despite the satellite innovation, the United States did not air the concert until 4 April 1973, because the concert took place the same day as Super Bowl VII. Viewing figures have been estimated to be between 1 and 1.5 billion viewers worldwide. The show was the most expensive entertainment special at the time, costing $2.5 million.

Presley taped a January 12 rehearsal concert as a fail-safe in case anything went wrong with the satellite during the actual broadcast. For both shows, Presley was dressed in a white "American Eagle" jumpsuit designed by Bill Belew. The broadcast was directed by Marty Pasetta, who was then in charge of directing the Oscar ceremonies.

Audience tickets for the January 14 concert and its January 12 pre-broadcast rehearsal show carried no charge. Each audience member was asked to pay whatever he or she could afford. The performance and concert merchandise sales raised $75,000 for the Kui Lee Cancer Fund in Hawaii.

Video: Elvis Presley In Concert Aloha From Hawaii January 14, 1973  [HD]

Roman politics is so complicated, it's hard to remember all the treachery that went on but Cleopatra must have been a real beauty, she had so many powerful men under her spell, including Anthony who was so smitten, he stabbed himself to death when he heard she was dead.  And when Octavian arrived and she failed to seduce him, she knew the game was up and also killed herself, possibly with an asp, a poisonous Egyptian serpent and symbol of divine royalty.

……Octavian then executed her son Caesarion, annexed Egypt into the Roman Empire, and used Cleopatra’s treasure to pay off his veterans. In 27 B.C., Octavian became Augustus, the first and arguably most successful of all Roman emperors. He ruled a peaceful, prosperous, and expanding Roman Empire until his death in 14 A.D. at the age of 75.

I only know of Dorothea Mackellar's second verse of her famous poem.  This will bring back a few memories.!/media/104826/dorothea-mackellar-s-my-country-as-a-song



I feel so proud of Princess Mary and how she fitted so well into the Danish royal family, what a delightful girl she is.

Loved Humphry Bogart's movies but could't stand Elvis.

Thanks Toot. Roman times were pretty brutal in politics. Seems like it was the norm until recently ... the more I do this history thing, the more it makes me appreciate we live in this era.

Thanks for that Dorothea Mackellar video. Amazing.


Totally agree with you Toot about Mary.  She could not have fitted into the role more perfectly if she had been born into it.

An absolute credit to her upbringing and if I was her father (sadly her Mum passed away before all this) I would be so thrilled.  I think he and the step mother now live in Denmark (but I stand to be corrected on this).

Hope everyone is evacuated before the big blow if it comes soon.

15 January

On this day:

1559 – Elizabeth I is crowned Queen of England in Westminster Abbey, London, England.
1759 – The British Museum opens.
1842 – Mary MacKillop, the only Australian to be canonised, is born in Fitzroy, Victoria.
1919 – Great Molasses Flood: A wave of molasses released from an exploding storage tank sweeps through Boston, Massachusetts, killing 21 and injuring 150.
1929 – Martin Luther King, Jr., American minister and activist, Nobel Prize laureate is born.
1947 – The Black Dahlia murder: the dismembered corpse of Elizabeth Short was found in Los Angeles.
2001 – Wikipedia, a free wiki content encyclopedia, goes online.
2009 – Captain Sully (Chesley Sullenberger) emergency landed a US Airways Flight 1549 in the Hudson River saving all 155 passengers after the plane collided with birds few minutes after take-off.

Elizabeth I of England

Elizabeth I (1533–1603) was Queen of England and Ireland from 17 November 1558 until her death on 24 March 1603. Sometimes called The Virgin Queen, Gloriana or Good Queen Bess, Elizabeth was the last monarch of the House of Tudor.

The Lady Elizabeth in about 1546, by an unknown artist.

Elizabeth was the daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, his second wife, who was executed two-and-a-half years after Elizabeth's birth. Anne's marriage to Henry VIII was annulled, and Elizabeth was declared illegitimate. Her half-brother, Edward VI, ruled until his death in 1553, bequeathing the crown to Lady Jane Grey and ignoring the claims of his two half-sisters, Elizabeth and the Roman Catholic Mary, in spite of statute law to the contrary. Edward's will was set aside and Mary became queen, deposing Lady Jane Grey. During Mary's reign, Elizabeth was imprisoned for nearly a year on suspicion of supporting Protestant rebels.

Elizabeth I in her coronation robes, patterned with Tudor roses and trimmed with ermine.

The coronation of Queen Elizabeth I as queen regnant of the Kingdom of England took place at Westminster Abbey, London, on 15 January 1559.

As her triumphal progress wound through the city on the eve of the coronation ceremony, she was welcomed wholeheartedly by the citizens and greeted by orations and pageants, most with a strong Protestant flavour. Although Elizabeth was welcomed as queen in England, the country was still in a state of anxiety over the perceived Catholic threat at home and overseas, as well as the choice of whom she would marry. It was expected that Elizabeth would marry and produce an heir to continue the Tudor line. She never did, despite numerous courtships.

Elizabeth and her favourite, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester, c. 1575. Pair of stamp-sized miniatures by Nicholas Hilliard. The Queen's friendship with Dudley lasted for over thirty years, until his death.

In government, Elizabeth was more moderate than her father and half-siblings had been. She depended heavily on a group of trusted advisers, led by William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley. One of her first actions as queen was the establishment of an English Protestant church, of which she became the Supreme Governor. In religion, she was relatively tolerant and avoided systematic persecution.

Elizabeth was cautious in foreign affairs, manoeuvring between the major powers of France and Spain. By the mid-1580s, England could no longer avoid war with Spain. England's defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588 associated Elizabeth with one of the greatest military victories in English history.

Silver sixpence, struck 1593, Royal Mint. Portrait of Elizabeth from Emanuel van Meteren.

Elizabeth's reign is known as the Elizabethan era. The period is famous for the flourishing of English drama, led by playwrights such as William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe, and for the seafaring prowess of English adventurers such as Francis Drake. After the short reigns of Elizabeth's half-siblings, her 44 years on the throne provided welcome stability for the kingdom and helped forge a sense of national identity.

British Museum

The British Museum, located in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection, numbering some 8 million works, is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence and originates from all continents, illustrating and documenting the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present.

Sir Hans Sloane. Montagu House, circa 1715. The Rosetta Stone on display in the British Museum in 1874.

The British Museum was established in 1753, largely based on the collections of the physician and scientist Sir Hans Sloane. The museum first opened to the public on 15 January 1759, in Montagu House, on the site of the current building.

Its expansion over the following two and a half centuries was largely a result of expanding British colonisation and has resulted in the creation of several branch institutions, the first being the British Museum of Natural History in South Kensington in 1881 It is nowadays simply called the Natural History Museum, and is separate and independent.

Facade of the British Museum today.

In 1973, the British Library Act 1972 detached the library department from the British Museum, but it continued to host the now separated British Library in the same Reading Room and building as the museum until 1997. The museum is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and as with all other national museums in the United Kingdom it charges no admission fee, except for loan exhibitions.

Mary MacKillop

Mary Helen MacKillop RSJ (15 January 1842 – 8 August 1909) was an Australian nun who has been declared a saint by the Catholic Church, as St Mary of the Cross MacKillop. Of Scottish descent, she was born in Melbourne but is best known for her activities in South Australia. Together with the Reverend Julian Tenison Woods, she founded the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart (the Josephites), a congregation of religious sisters that established a number of schools and welfare institutions throughout Australasia, with an emphasis on education for the rural poor.

Woods-MacKillop School House.

In 1860 MacKillop took a job as governess at the estate of her aunt and uncle, Alexander and Margaret Cameron in Penola, South Australia where she was to look after their children and teach them. This brought her into contact with Fr Woods, a parish priest in the area. Fr Woods had been very concerned about the lack of education and particularly Catholic education in South Australia.

In 1866, he invited MacKillop and her sisters Annie and Lexie to come to Penola and to open a Catholic school. Woods was appointed director of education and became the founder, along with MacKillop, of a school they opened in a stable there. After renovations by their brother, the MacKillops started teaching more than 50 children. At this time MacKillop made a declaration of her dedication to God and began wearing black.

Mary MacKillop, Mother Mary of the Cross, 1869.

On 21 November 1866, the feast day of the Presentation of Mary, several other women joined MacKillop and her sisters. MacKillop adopted the religious name of Sister Mary of the Cross and she and Lexie began wearing simple religious habits. The small group began to call themselves the Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart and moved to a new house in Grote Street, Adelaide. Dedicated to the education of the children of the poor, it was the first religious institute to be founded by an Australian.

Mother Mary MacKillop, 1890.

Pope Leo XIII gave the final approval to the Sisters of Saint Joseph of the Sacred Heart in 1888.

Although still living through alms, the Josephite sisters had been very successful. In South Australia, they had schools in many country towns. MacKillop continued her work for the Josephites in Sydney and tried to provide as much support as possible for those in South Australia. In 1883 the order was successfully established at Temuka in New Zealand, where MacKillop stayed for over a year. In 1889 the Josephite were also established in Victoria. MacKillop died on 8 August 1909 at the Josephite convent in North Sydney.

Mary MacKillop museum on Mount Street, North Sydney. Mary MacKillop Chapel in North Sydney, which holds MacKillop's tomb.

The process to have MacKillop declared a saint began in the 1920s, and she was beatified in January 1995 by Pope John Paul II. Pope Benedict XVI prayed at her tomb during his visit to Sydney for World Youth Day 2008 and in December 2009 approved the Catholic Church's recognition of a second miracle attributed to her intercession. She was canonised on 17 October 2010, during a public ceremony in St Peter's Square at the Vatican.

She is the first and only Australian to be recognised by the Catholic Church as a saint.

Great Molasses Flood

The Great Molasses Flood, also known as the Boston Molasses Disaster or the Great Boston Molasses Flood, occurred on 15 January 1919 in the North End neighbourhood of Boston, Massachusetts. A large molasses storage tank burst and a wave of molasses rushed through the streets killing 21 and injuring 150. The event entered local folklore and for decades afterwards residents claimed that on hot summer days the area still smelled of molasses.

Aftermath of the disaster.

The disaster occurred at the Purity Distilling Company facility on January 15, 1919. The temperature had risen above 4 °C, climbing rapidly from the frigid temperatures of the preceding days. At about 12.30 in the afternoon a molasses tank 15 m tall and 27 m in diameter containing as much as 2,300,000 US gal of molasses, collapsed. The collapse unleashed a wave of molasses 8 m high at its peak, moving at 56 km/h.

The molasses wave was of sufficient force to damage the girders of the adjacent Boston Elevated Railway's Atlantic Avenue structure and tip a railroad car momentarily off the tracks. Author Stephen Puleo describes how nearby buildings were swept off their foundations and crushed. Several blocks were flooded to a depth of 60 to 90 cm. About 150 people were injured; 21 people and several horses were killed. Some were crushed and drowned by the molasses. The wounded included people, horses, and dogs; coughing fits became one of the most common ailments after the initial blast.

Coverage from The Boston Post. The molasses tank, date unknown. Damage to the Boston Elevated Railway caused by the flood.

A Boston Post report stated, “Molasses, waist deep, covered the street and swirled and bubbled about the wreckage ... Here and there struggled a form‍—‌whether it was animal or human being was impossible to tell. Only an upheaval, a thrashing about in the sticky mass, showed where any life was ... Horses died like so many flies on sticky fly-paper. The more they struggled, the deeper in the mess they were ensnared. Human beings‍—‌men and women‍—‌suffered likewise.”

Note: Saturday, 13 January 2017. Workplace investigators are on the scene at a central Queensland transport company in Sarina after two men reportedly died while they were cleaning a molasses tank. The Daily Mercury reported the men, aged 52 and 48, died after being affected by fumes while cleaning the tank. SBS news.

Martin Luther King Jr.

Martin Luther King Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was an American Baptist minister and activist who became the most visible spokesperson and leader in the civil rights movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using the tactics of nonviolence and civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs and inspired by the nonviolent activism of Mahatma Gandhi.

King in 1964.

King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, he led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia, and helped organise the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama. He also helped to organise the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous "I Have a Dream" speech.

Lyndon B. Johnson and Robert F. Kennedy with civil rights leaders, 22 June 1963.

On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. In 1965, he helped to organise the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year he and SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, he expanded his focus to include opposition towards poverty and the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled "Beyond Vietnam".

March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, 28 August 1963. King is most famous for his "I Have a Dream" speech, given in front of the Lincoln Memorial during the 1963 march.

In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People's Campaign, when he was assassinated by James Earl Ray on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. King's death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities. Ray, who fled the country, was arrested two months later at London Heathrow Airport. Ray was sentenced to 99 years in prison for King's murder, and died in 1998 from hepatitis while serving his sentence.

Martin Luther King and Coretta Scott King's sarcophagus, located on the grounds of the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site in Atlanta, Georgia.

King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971, and as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986.

Black Dahlia

Elizabeth Short (July 29, 1924 – January 14 or 15, 1947), known posthumously as "the Black Dahlia", was an American woman who was found murdered in the Leimert Park neighbourhood of Los Angeles, California. Her case became highly publicised due to the graphic nature of the crime, which entailed her corpse having been mutilated and severed at the waist.

Elizabeth Short, circa 1946.

On January 9, 1947, Short returned to her home in Los Angeles after a brief trip to San Diego with Robert Manley, a 25-year-old married salesman she had been dating. Manley stated he dropped Short off at the Biltmore Hotel located at 506 South Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, and that Short was to meet her sister, who was visiting from Boston, that afternoon. Shortly after, she was allegedly seen by patrons of the Crown Grill Cocktail Lounge at 754 South Olive Street, approximately half a mile away from the Biltmore Hotel.

The murder scene.

On the morning of January 15, 1947, Short's naked body was found severed in two pieces on a vacant lot on the west side of South Norton Avenue in Leimert Park, Los Angeles.

At the time, the neighbourhood was largely undeveloped. Short's severely mutilated body was completely severed at the waist and drained entirely of blood, leaving its skin a pallid white. Medical examiners determined that she had been dead for around ten hours prior to the discovery. The body obviously had been washed by the killer. Her face had been slashed from the corners of her mouth to her ears, creating an effect known as the "Glasgow smile." The corpse had been "posed," with her hands over her head.

After the discovery of her body, the Los Angeles Police Department began an extensive investigation that produced over 150 suspects, but yielded no arrests. On January 21, 1947, a person claiming to be Short's killer placed a phone call to the office of James Richardson, the editor of the Los Angeles Examiner, congratulating Richardson on the newspaper's coverage of the case, and stated he planned on eventually turning himself in, but not before allowing police to pursue him further. Additionally, the caller told Richardson to "expect some souvenirs of Beth Short in the mail."

Envelope addressed to the Los Angeles Examiner from the alleged murderer.

On January 24, a suspicious manila envelope was discovered by a U.S. Postal Service worker addressed to "The Los Angeles Examiner and other Los Angeles papers" with individual words that had been cut-and-pasted from newspaper clippings; additionally, a large message on the face of the envelope read: "Here is Dahlia's belongings, letter to follow".

The envelope contained Short's birth certificate, business cards, photographs, names written on pieces of paper, and an address book with the name Mark Hansen embossed on the cover. Police quickly deemed Mark Hansen a suspect, however he was cleared of suspicion in the case. A total of 750 investigators from the LAPD and other departments worked on the case during its initial stages, including 400 sheriff's deputies and 250 California State Patrol officers.

Robert Manley identifies Short's purse in the Black Dahlia murder case.

On January 26, another letter was received by the Examiner, this time handwritten, which read: "Here it is. Turning in Wed., Jan. 29, 10 am. Had my fun at police. Black Dahlia Avenger." The letter also named a location at which the supposed killer would turn himself in. Police waited at the location on the morning of January 29, but the alleged killer did not appear. Instead, at 1:00pm, The Examiner offices received another cut-and-pasted letter, which read: "Have changed my mind. You would not give me a square deal. Dahlia killing was justified."

On February 1, the Los Angeles Daily News reported that the case had "run into a Stone Wall", with no new leads for investigators to pursue. The Examiner continued to run stories on the murder and the investigation, which was front-page news for 35 days following the discovery of the body. By the spring of 1947, Short's murder had become a cold case, with few new leads.

Another note sent to the Los Angeles Herald-Express claiming to be from the killer.

The notoriety of Short's murder has spurred a large number of confessions over the years, many of which have been deemed false. Since the initial investigation, over 500 people have confessed to the crime, some of whom were not even born at the time of her death. Sergeant John P. St. John, a detective who worked the case until his retirement, stated, "It is amazing how many people offer up a relative as the killer."


Wikipedia is a free online encyclopedia with the mission of allowing anyone to edit articles. Wikipedia is the largest and most popular general reference work on the Internet, and is ranked the fifth-most popular website. Wikipedia is owned by the nonprofit Wikimedia Foundation.

Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger

Wikipedia was launched on January 15, 2001, by Jimmy Wales and Larry Sanger.

Sanger coined its name, a portmanteau of wiki and encyclopedia. A wiki is a website on which users collaboratively modify content and structure directly from their web browser. There was only the English-language version initially, but similar versions in other languages quickly developed, which differ in content and in editing practices.

With 5,550,290 articles, the English Wikipedia is the largest of the more than 290 Wikipedia encyclopedias. Overall, Wikipedia comprises more than 40 million articles in 299 different languages.

The Wikipedia logo contains an incomplete spherical puzzle with each piece having a different glyph on it.

An initial design of the logo was created by Paul Stansifer, a then 17-year-old Wikipedia user, whose entry won a design competition run by the site in 2003. Another Wikipedia user, David Friedland, subsequently improved the logo by changing the styling of the jigsaw pieces.

US Airways Flight 1549

US Airways Flight 1549 was an Airbus A320-214 which, in the climbout after takeoff from New York City's LaGuardia Airport on January 15, 2009, struck a flock of Canada geese just northeast of the George Washington Bridge and consequently lost all engine power. Unable to reach any airport, pilots Chesley Sullenberger and Jeffrey Skiles glided the plane to a ditching in the Hudson River off Midtown Manhattan.

All 155 people aboard were rescued by nearby boats and there were few serious injuries.

The accident came to be known as the "Miracle on the Hudson", and a National Transportation Safety Board official described it as "the most successful ditching in aviation history." The Board rejected the notion that the pilot could have avoided ditching by returning to LaGuardia or diverting to nearby Teterboro Airport.

Crew of US Airways Flight 1549. Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger and First Officer Jeffrey B. Skiles with flight attendants Donna Dent, Doreen Welsh and Sheila Dail. Smithsonian Institution.

The pilots and flight attendants were awarded the Master's Medal of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators in recognition of their "heroic and unique aviation achievement”. Sullenberger retired on March 3, 2010, after thirty years with US Airways and its predecessor, Pacific Southwest Airlines. At the end of his final flight he was reunited with Skiles and a number of the passengers from Flight 1549.


What an amazing life and horrific childhood Elizabeth1 had and how important was she in our religious history?

Elizabeth was only 2 years and eight months old when her mother Anne Boleyn was beheaded.  Luckily she was too young to understand what a creep her father really was – he had her mother beheaded so he could marry Jane Seymour a week later.

She’s declared illegitimate and removed from the royal succession.  Neglected for many years, Henry’s last wife Catherine Parr had the good sense to have her educated to the highest standards and taught the art of public speaking.

She is 13 when Henry dies and her 9 year old half brother Edward becomes King.  When Edward dies prematurely, Elizabeth’s older half-sister Mary becomes queen who returns the country to Catholicism.

Accused of planning a plot to get rid of Mary, she is imprisoned in the Tower.  In a letter to Mary she writes “Remember your last promise and my last demand that I be not condemned without answer and due proof.” 

But fate stepped in and when Mary dies, Elizabeth becomes queen at the age of 25 and Catholicism was banished from the country and she reinstates the Church of England.  She removes the Pope as head of the English church and instead becomes its Supreme Governor.

Reminds me of the word WASP - a word describing a privileged group of people - it means White, Anglo Saxon Protestant - if you were one, you were considered to be very lucky.


Elizabeth Short mystery was interesting, it amazes me why people confess to murdering someone when they didn't do it, 500 crazies owned up to this murder.

I love Wiki and use it all the time, over the Christmas period they asked for donations so I sent $5, if everyone who uses it regularly did the same, they should be pretty happy today lol. 

Another great learning day, thanks RnR

What convoluted times early monarchs had.

The Black Dahlia case was weird I reckon. So much publicity and no conviction.

I love Wikipedia too and donate annually.

Amazing landing in the Hudson.

That molasses flood sounds awful. The fumes must be very powerful as evidenced by the case below.

George Vella, pictured below, died on Saturday night with his brother Frank at their haulage business in Sarina, central Queensland, after being overcome by fumes when cleaning a tank used to hold molasses.

Full ABC story.

Shocking, I wonder how it happened, these two men were experienced so I wonder why they couldn't get out.

16 January

On this day:

378 – General Siyaj K'ak' conquers Tikal, enlarging the domain of King Spearthrower Owl of Teotihuacán.
1120 – The Council of Nablus is held, establishing the earliest surviving written laws of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem.
1547 – Ivan the Terrible becomes Czar of Russia.
1796 – Australia's first theatre opens in Sydney.
1862 – Hartley Colliery disaster: Two hundred and four men and boys killed in a mining disaster, prompted a change in UK law which henceforth required all collieries to have at least two independent means of escape.
1945 – Adolf Hitler moves into his underground bunker, the so-called Führerbunker.
1962 – Frank Hurley, the first official Australian Imperial Force photographer, dies.
1964 – Hello, Dolly! opened on Broadway, beginning a run of 2,844 performances.

Siyaj K'ak' and Tikal

Siyaj K'ak', also known as Fire is Born, was a prominent political figure mentioned in the glyphs of Classic Period, 250-800 C.E., Maya civilisation monuments, principally Tikal which he conquered on January 16, 378.

Originally from Teotihuacan or very closely allied with that city, Siyaj K'ak' was a warlord in the Maya heartland of the Petén during the fourth century. In 378 and 379 he oversaw the replacing of the kings of important Maya states such as Tikal, Uaxactun and Copan with new rulers who claimed descent from Spearthrower Owl, probably the ruler of Teotihuacan. As Fire is Born, he caused himself to be portrayed wearing Teotihuacano battle dress.

Siyaj K'ak’, modern depiction. Various ancient glyphs representing “Fire is Born”, “Overlord” and Siyaj K'ak’.

Tikal is the ruin of an ancient city, which was likely to have been called Yax Mutal, found in a rainforest in Guatemala. It is one of the largest archaeological sites and urban centres of the pre-Columbian Maya civilisation. The site is part of Guatemala's Tikal National Park and in 1979 it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Aerial view of Tikal. Tikal Temple I rises 47 metres high.

Tikal was the capital of a conquest state that became one of the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient Maya. Though monumental architecture at the site dates back as far as the 4th century BC, Tikal reached its apogee during the Classic Period, 200 to 900 AD.

During this time, the city dominated much of the Maya region politically, economically, and militarily, while interacting with areas throughout Mesoamerica such as the great metropolis of Teotihuacan in the distant Valley of Mexico.

The North Acropolis. The Lost World Pyramid.

By the late Classic Period, a network of sacbeob or causeways linked various parts of the city, running for several kilometres through its urban core. The Great Plaza lies at the core of the site; it is flanked on the east and west sides by two great temple-pyramids. On the north side it is bordered by the North Acropolis and on the south by the Central Acropolis.

There are thousands of ancient structures at Tikal and only a fraction of these have been excavated, after decades of archaeological work. The most prominent surviving buildings include six very large pyramids, labelled Temples I – VI, each of which support a temple structure on their summits. Some of these pyramids are over 60 metres high.

The Temple of the Great Jaguar sits in the Grand Plaza.

Following the end of the Late Classic Period, no new major monuments were built at Tikal and there is evidence that elite palaces were burned. These events were coupled with a gradual population decline, culminating with the site’s abandonment by the end of the 10th century.

Tikal is the best understood of any of the large lowland Maya cities, with a long dynastic ruler list, the discovery of the tombs of many of the rulers on this list and the investigation of their monuments, temples and palaces.

Council of Nablus

The Council of Nablus was a council of ecclesiastic and secular lords held on January 16, 1120 in the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem. The council was convened at Nablus by Warmund, Patriarch of Jerusalem, and King Baldwin II of Jerusalem. It established twenty-five canons dealing with both religious and secular affairs, the first written laws for the kingdom.

Coat of arms of the kingdom of Jerusalem. The coronation of Baldwin II.

The canons begin with the reasons for calling the council: Jerusalem had been plagued with locusts and mice for the past four years, and the Crusader states in general were suffering from repeated attacks from the Muslims. It was believed that the sins of the people needed to be corrected before Jerusalem could prosper.

Canons 1-3 deal with tithes to the church.
Canons 4-7 deal with adultery.
Canons 8-11 establish punishments for sodomy.
Canons 12-15 pertain to sexual relations with Muslims, an important question in the Kingdom, where Muslims far outnumbered their Latin overlords.
Canon 16 prohibits Muslims from dressing like Christians.
Canons 17-19 deal with bigamy, another important subject, as many crusaders had abandoned their families.
Canons 20-21 deal with clerics.
Canon 22 simply forbids false accusations.
Canons 23-25 pertain to theft.
Details of punishments.

Ivan the Terrible

Ivan IV Vasilyevich (1530–1584), commonly known as Ivan the Terrible or Ivan the Fearsome (Ivan Grozny; a better translation into modern English would be Ivan the Formidable), was the Grand Prince of Moscow from 1533 to 1547, then "Tsar of All the Russias" from 16 January 1547 to 28 March 1584. The last title was used by all his successors.

Portrait of Ivan IV by Viktor Vasnetsov, 1897. Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow. Ivan's throne of ivory, metal and wood.

During his reign, Russia conquered the Khanates of Kazan, Astrakhan and Sibir, becoming a multiethnic and multicontinental state spanning approximately 4,050,000 square kilometres. He exercised autocratic control over Russia's hereditary nobility and developed a bureaucracy to administer the new territories. He transformed Russia from a medieval state into an empire, though at immense cost to its people, and its broader, long-term economy.

Historic sources present disparate accounts of Ivan's complex personality: he was described as intelligent and devout, yet given to rages and prone to episodic outbreaks of mental instability that increased with his age. In one such outburst in 1581, he killed his son and heir Ivan Ivanovich. This left his younger son, the pious but politically ineffectual Feodor Ivanovich, to inherit the throne.

Ivan the Terrible and his son Ivan on November 16th, 1581. Painting by Ilya Repin, 1885.

In 1581 Ivan beat his pregnant daughter-in-law Yelena Sheremeteva for wearing immodest clothing, and this may have caused a miscarriage. His second son, also named Ivan, upon learning of this, engaged in a heated argument with his father, resulting in Ivan's striking his son in the head with his pointed staff, fatally wounding him.

Ivan was an able diplomat, a patron of arts and trade, and founder of the Moscow Print Yard, Russia's first publishing house. He was popular among Russia's commoners, except possibly the people of Novgorod and surrounding areas (see Massacre of Novgorod), and he is also noted for his paranoia and harsh treatment of the Russian nobility.

Australia's first theatre

Australia's first theatre opened on 16 January 1796 in Sydney. Lieutenant-Governor David Collins, who wrote a journal of his time in early Sydney, recorded his impressions of it. It had been built by ‘some of the more decent class of prisoner’ and the convicts had ‘fitted up the house with more theatrical propriety than could have been expected, and their performance was far above contempt’.

A direct north general view of Sydney Cove circa 1794. State Library of NSW.

Collins expresses mild surprise at the accomplishment of the building and the actors. Such back-handed compliments were common fare as the penal community banded together to provide themselves with the familiar social customs and culture that they enjoyed.

The first theatre was a simple structure. A basic rectangular hall, constructed of timber, with a pit formed by a stepped floor, and a front box and gallery. It’s not known exactly where this first theatre was. It was down around Circular Quay or the Rocks, possibly in Bent Street or George Street.

Playbill from the Theatre, 30 July 1796. National Library of Australia.

The theatre was known simply as “The Theatre” or “Sidaway’s Theatre”. Robert Sidaway, who opened operated the theatre, was a convict and baker. It seems that he got a bit of a taste for the arts and became something of a philanthropist for Sydney’s culture.

When he died in 1809 the Sydney Gazette recorded, “He was one of the first inhabitants of this Colony; during his very long residence in which he ever supported the reputation of a true philanthropist, and in all other respects a valuable member of society, in which he was universally respected.”

Hartley Colliery disaster

The Hartley Colliery disaster was a coal mining accident in Northumberland, England that occurred on Thursday 16 January 1862 and resulted in the deaths of 204 men. The beam of Hartley’s Hester Pit pumping engine broke and fell down the shaft, trapping the men below. The disaster prompted a change in UK law that henceforth required all collieries to have at least two independent means of escape.

Drawing of the fractured cast iron beam. Illustrated London News, 1 Feb 1862.

In common with many collieries of the period and locality at Hester Pit only a single 12 feet diameter shaft was dug. Coal, men, and materials traveled up and down the shaft, which also accommodated the pumps. In addition, the shaft provided vitally important fresh air ventilation and extraction of the firedamp.

To separate the shaft, a timber brattice (partition) was built from the top of the shaft to the bottom. Men and materials passed up and down on the downcast side, the pumps worked in the upcast. At Hartley a furnace was kept burning in the yard seam with the rising hot gasses passing up the furnace drift to join and draw foul air up the upcast side of the shaft. The vulnerability of such an arrangement had already been identified and publicised before the shaft was dug.

Hartley Colliery Disaster, the dead are brought up to their families. L’llustration, 1862, p 101.

On 16 January 1862 the fore shift went on duty at 02:30. At 10:30 the same morning the back shift were taking over from the fore shift, so most men of both shifts were at the coal face. As the first eight men were ascending, the beam of the pumping engine snapped and fell down the shaft. Although much of the brattice was destroyed, the first part seems to have deflected the beam away from the cage. Other debris did fall on the cage snapping two of the four support chains. Four of the eight men fell, the others managed to cling on. The beam came to rest jammed in the shaft and other falling debris created a blockage 27 metres deep between the yard seam and the high main.

Funeral Procession Leaving Colliery. Antique Print 1862.

The initial rescue attempt saved two miners. Further rescue attempts were hindered by escaping fumes of carbon monoxide from the upcast furnace and from measures it had ignited. The last attempts found all the miners dead, and the rescuers were themselves severely affected by the gas. The task was now recovery of bodies and by Sunday all were recovered.

The heroism of the volunteers who attempted to rescue the victims was marked by a special medal, the Hartley Disaster Medal. Hester pit was never reopened. On 7 August 1862, just 6 months after the inquest and less than 7 months from the disaster, the Act to Amend the Law Relating to Coal Mines of 1862 was passed. This required all new mines to have two shafts and all existing mines to ensure access to a second shaft before the end of 1864.


The Führerbunker was an air-raid shelter located near the Reich Chancellery in Berlin, Germany. It was part of a subterranean bunker complex constructed in two phases which were completed in 1936 and 1944. It was the last of the Führer Headquarters used by Adolf Hitler during World War II.

July 1947 photo of the rear entrance to the Führerbunker in the garden of the Reich Chancellery.

Hitler and Eva Braun were cremated in a shell hole in front of the emergency exit at left; the cone-shaped structure in the centre served as the exhaust, and as a bomb shelter for the guards.
Hitler took up residence in the Führerbunker on 16 January 1945 and it became the centre of the Nazi regime until the last week of World War II in Europe. Hitler married Eva Braun here during the last week of April 1945, shortly before they committed suicide.

Ruins of the bunker after demolition in 1947.

After the war both the old and new Chancellery buildings were levelled by the Soviets. Despite some attempts at demolition, the underground complex remained largely undisturbed until 1988–89. During reconstruction of that area of Berlin, the sections of the old bunker complex that were excavated were for the most part destroyed.

The site remained unmarked until 2006, when a small plaque with a schematic diagram was installed. Some corridors of the bunker still exist, but are sealed off from the public.

Frank Hurley

James Francis "Frank" Hurley, OBE (15 October 1885 – 16 January 1962) was an Australian photographer and adventurer. He participated in a number of expeditions to Antarctica and served as an official photographer with Australian forces during both world wars. His artistic style produced many memorable images. He also used staged scenes, composites and photographic manipulation.

Frank Hurley, circa 1914. Frank Hurley filming a Weddell seal with his J A Prestwich cine camera.

Hurley was the third of five children to parents Edward and Margaret Hurley and was raised in Glebe, a suburb of Sydney, Australia. He ran away from home at the age of 13 to work on the Lithgow steel mill, returning home two years later to study at the local technical school and attend science lectures at the University of Sydney.

When he was 17 he bought his first camera, a 15 shilling Kodak Box Brownie which he paid for at the rate of a shilling per week. He taught himself photography and set himself up in the postcard business, where he gained a reputation for putting himself in danger in order to produce stunning images, including placing himself in front of an oncoming train to capture it on film.

Iconic shot of the Endurance lit by flares at night. Photo by Frank Hurley 1914-1917.

Frank Hurley spent more than four years in Antarctica. At the age of 23, in 1908, Hurley learned that Australian explorer Douglas Mawson was planning an expedition to Antarctica; fellow Sydney-sider Henri Mallard in 1911, recommended Hurley for the position of official photographer to Mawson's Australasian Antarctic Expedition, ahead of himself.

Hurley asserts in his biography that he then cornered Mawson as he was making his way to their interview on a train, using the advantage to talk his way into the job. Mawson was persuaded, while Mallard, who was the manager of Harringtons (a local Kodak franchise) to which Hurley was in debt, provided photographic equipment. The Expedition departed in 1911, returning in 1914. On his return, he edited and released a documentary, Home of the Blizzard, using his footage from the expedition.

Colour plate from 1914-1916 Antarctic expedition. State Library of NSW.

Hurley was also the official photographer on Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition which set out in 1914 and was marooned until August 1916; Hurley produced many pioneering colour images of the Expedition using the then-popular Paget process of colour photography. He photographed in South Georgia in 1917. He later compiled his records into the documentary film South in 1919. His footage was also used in the 2001 IMAX film Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure.

Manipulated photograph consisting of several photographs from the Battle of Zonnebeke in Belgium during the first World War. State Library of NSW.

In 1917, Hurley joined the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) as an honorary captain and captured many stunning battlefield scenes during the Third Battle of Ypres. In keeping with his adventurous spirit, he took considerable risks to photograph his subjects, also producing many rare panoramic and colour photographs of the conflict.

For the 1918 London exhibition Australian War Pictures and Photographs he employed composites for photomurals to convey drama of the war on a scale otherwise not possible using the technology available. This brought Hurley into conflict with the AIF on the grounds that montage diminished documentary value. Charles Bean, official war historian, labelled Hurley's composite images "fake". 

Chateau Wood, Ypres, 1917 by Frank Hurley. State Library of NSW.

Hurley also served as a war photographer during World War II.

Hello, Dolly!

Hello, Dolly! is a 1964 musical with lyrics and music by Jerry Herman and a book by Michael Stewart, based on Thornton Wilder's 1938 farce The Merchant of Yonkers, which Wilder revised and retitled The Matchmaker in 1955.

The musical follows the story of Dolly Gallagher Levi, a strong-willed matchmaker, as she travels to Yonkers, New York, to find a match for the miserly "well-known unmarried half-a-millionaire" Horace Vandergelder. In doing so she convinces his niece, his niece's intended, and Horace's two clerks to travel to New York City.

1964 Broadway poster. Milo Boulton and Carol Channing in one of several national tours, 1966.

Hello, Dolly! was first produced on Broadway by David Merrick in 1964, winning a record-tying, with South Pacific, 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, a record held for 37 years. The show album Hello, Dolly! An Original Cast Recording was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2002. The album reached number one on the Billboard album chart on June 6, 1964 and was replaced the next week by Louis Armstrong's album Hello, Dolly!

Carol Channing in the original Broadway show.

The show has become one of the most enduring musical theatre hits, with four Broadway revivals and international success. It was also made into the 1969 film Hello Dolly! that was nominated for seven Academy Awards, and won three.

Imagine finding the lost city, overgrown and hidden in the jungle for centuries and not discovered until the 1850s.  Historians disagree on why the Maya civilization collapsed but I would love to know.  The last recorded date on a Tikal monument is 869 A.D. and historians think that by 950 A.D. the city was essentially abandoned.

Holy Moly, the Council of Nablus was tough.

Canons 4-7 deal with adultery. Canon 4 outlines punishments for a man who is suspected of committing adultery with the wife of another man; first, he is to be forbidden from visiting the woman, and if he visits her again, he is to come before the church and be subjected to the ordeal of hot iron to prove his innocence. If he is proven to have committed adultery, canon 5 decrees that "eviretur" - he should have his penis cut off - and then he should be exiled. The punishment for the adulterous woman is mutilation of the nose, a familiar Byzantine punishment, unless her husband takes pity on her, in which case they should both be exiled. Canon 6 deals with a similar situation for clerics: if a man suspects a cleric from visiting his wife, the cleric should firstly be forbidden from visiting her; a second offense should be pointed out to a church magistrate, and a third offense will result in the de-ordination of the cleric. He will then be subject to the same punishments described in canon 5. Canon 7 forbids a pimp or a prostitute from "corrupting a wife with words" and causing her to become an adulterer. The punishments in canon 5 apply here as well.

Ivan the terrible was obviously mentally ill as were many other important figures in history, but because they were so powerful, they were allowed to run amok.  Maybe all famous leaders (thinking of our friend Donald) have an element of mental illness somewhere hidden in their character, who knows?

Great photo of WW1 diggers and the ruins of Hitler's bunker still sends chills, thanks RnR

Thanks Toot. Lots to think about today.

 Bed Bugs on British Airways

Days after it was reported that a British Airways business class flyer was bitten countless times by bed bugs, another case of bed bugs on BA has come to light.

A British Airways (BA) flight scheduled between Heathrow and Ghana was forced to ground as the aircraft was infested with bedbugs.

According to The Sun, the aircraft was taken out of service as soon as the authorities were made aware of the situation and a replacement flight was arranged for passengers. The cabin crew refused to fly the now grounded craft shortly before takeoff.

Sources told the British news outlet that the insects were seen all over the seats. "The cabin crew saw bedbugs crawling over the seats — visible to the naked eye. They said it was unacceptable to work on that aircraft."


Couldn't imagine much worse on a flight than being attacked by bed bugs onboard, or getting off and finding them in your luggage.

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