FIFA 2010 – 2 million tickets sold

There are approximately 3million tickets on offer for this years Football World Cup to be held in South Africa during June and July.

Having already sold two thirds of them must surely be a feather in the cap for the organisers. I of course have applied for 14 of them

Continue reading “FIFA 2010 – 2 million tickets sold”

On this Day – 31st January 1606

Guy Fawkes Signature on His Confession

On the 31st of January 1606, Guy Fawkes was taken from the Tower of London to the Garden of St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster, where he was hung, drawn and quartered.

Guy Fawxe was born on the 13th of April 1570 and baptised on the 16th of April that years at Saint Michael-le-Belfrey, York. He was the only son of Edward Fawkes and Edith Blake. Edward was proctor of the ecclesiastical courts and advocate of the consistory court of the Archbishop of York.  Guy’s paternal grandmother was the daughter of a merchant, one time mayor of York. When she died in 1575 she left Guy her ‘best whistle and an angel of Gold’.

Guy went to St  Peter’s School in York, where possibly  John and Christopher Wright, both conspirators of the Gunpowder Plot, were also educated.  At St Peter’s, Guy was taught by John Pulleyn, who was a suspected Catholic. How much influence he may have had on Guy cannot be determined at this stage, but it is clear that Guy’s parents were staunch Protestants and brought their son up in that faith.

Edward Fawkes died intestate in 1579 and his property went to Guy.  Continue reading “On this Day – 31st January 1606”

The rain in Spain

The weather has been awful in Gibraltar for most of this past week with a very rough sea  which forced those ships anchored off-shore to move farther out. The odd thing is that there was almost no wind here, so obviously somewhere else in the Med was getting a good blow. There was also some torrential rain, which the ladies at the bus stop assured me “non es normalo”. When the sunshine returned a couple of days ago we could see that there was snow on some of the Spanish hills much closer than the Sierra Nevada.

Yesterday’s visit to Europa Point was disappointing, apart from the bus ride which gave us a look over the western edge and the harbour to Algeciras, and the view over to North Africa.

Too many tatty breezeblock buildings labelled MOD property.  No attempt to make the area attractive for tourists of whom there was a steady stream in sight-seeing minibuses.

On this Day – 30th January 1649

Execution of Charles I

On the 30th of January 1649, Charles Stuart, was beheaded at Whitehall, London.

Charles was the second son of  James VI (of Scotland) and James I (of England) and Anne of Denmark. He was born in Scotland in 1600 and was unable to walk or talk until he was three years old. Charles became heir to the throne in 1612 after his older brother, Henry, died of typhoid. He ascended the throne in 1625. Continue reading “On this Day – 30th January 1649”

Slavoj Zizek – A Philosopher of Our Time

Slavoj Zizek

Until recently I haven’t found many that impress me among contemporary political and social theorists, but Slavjo Zizek is cut from an entirely different cloth.

At first glance the man is hard to listen to, he has a slight lisp, an East European accent and an over active mind that his ability to relate can’t keep up with. Physically he is a bear of a man, looks like an unkempt slob and could easily be dismissed as a total crank.

Here is a man who believes in the purity of film as a medium for social aspiration. An uncluttered dreamsacape in which anything is possible, given the right articulation. He believes it is the purest form of aspiration.

Zizek is also a man who against the flow predicted the economic crash based upon the greed of capitalism and the intensive farming of shareholders. He is a man with many confounding and conflicting ideals but he is right.

Continue reading “Slavoj Zizek – A Philosopher of Our Time”

On This Day 29th January 1820

George III at the End of his Life

On the 29th of January 1820 George III, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, died at Windsor.  He was born in  1738 and was the son of Frederick, Prince of Wales and Augusta of Saxe-Gotha.  He became heir to the throne when his father died in 1751, and succeeded  his grandfather, George II, in 1760. He married Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz in 1761, by whom he had 15  (troublesome!) children.

George was the first Hanoverian monarch to use English as his first language. He was also the first British monarch to study science systematically: chemistry, physics, astronomy, and mathematics.

George was determined to recover the prerogative lost to the ministerial council by the first two Georges, but bouts of madness and the way he handled the American Revolution eroded his support and the power of the Crown was granted again to the Prime Minister. Continue reading “On This Day 29th January 1820”

The Afghan Chronicles

The Afghan Chronicles

I was struck by how MyT has re-filed all of my blogs and any page references to stories on ‘Afghanistan’ have been suppressed and tucked away in obscurity. In locating them and reading back I am amazed at how relevant and fair these accounts are of some of the key issues of the day and how they continue to be topical points of discussion in the war on terror. I thought it would therefore be worth publishing the back catalogue here for DNMT (Dynamite) bloggers to enjoy, so I have grouped the page links together in date order and I hope this will help to stimulate our own debate in light of the current London conference. If you are going to attempt these all at once, get yourself a nice coffee and allow yourself a bit of time – you have been warned!

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On This Day – 28th January 1547

Henry VIII (Cornelis Metsys)

On the 28th of January 1547 Henry VIII of England died at Whitehall.

Henry had ruled England since 1509, and was only 55 when he died. He was certainly a prime candidate for NewLab’s  drive against obesity, however, one can just  imagine what he would have told them, had they dared to  mention his outrageous size!  It has long been known that Henry did not suffer from syphilis, but I was interested to read that it that he may well have suffered from Type 2 diabetes.

Much has been said about Henry’s marital adventures, but it should, perhaps, be remembered  that the succession wars, poetically named “The Wars of the Roses” , were  neither poetic nor brief. The first major battle was in 1455 and the final episode was the executions of Perkin Warbeck and Edward, Earl of Warwick, in 1499.   Continue reading “On This Day – 28th January 1547”

Strays

Here he is in the back of my car.

On my way home this evening, there were three locals chasing this dog through the bush. Fortunately I drive a 4×4.

Off I went, after them, they scattered.

One of the layabouts had the cheek to walk up (after the dog was safely in my car) and ask me if it was my dog, I told him in no uncertain terms to piss off.

The dog fortunately had a collar and ID, he was reunited with his owner (who walked up to my house) an hour ago.