Daily Post : 18th December, 2013

Quote of the day :

You must lose everything in order to gain anything.
~ Brad Pitt (who has his 50th birthday today (born 18/Dec/63))


Picture of the day :

Seeing as we’ve just had howling wind, rain and hail we had around here tonight, here’s a shot of some melting snow.

winter-melt


Youtube video of the day :

Given the birthdays today, couldn’t decide between two, so you can have both, at least until they get removed! If, or more probably when then do, let me know and I’ll find replacements. (Rinse and repeat!). Blathering done, the first is Robson And Jerome in a black and white clip singing the much covered Unchained Melody. After that you can enjoy the Animals with ‘House of the Rising Sun.


On this day…

Born today :

  • Author, Michael Moorcock
    (Think I met him once in the 80’s, backstage at a Hawkwind concert!)
  • Director, Steven Spielberg
  • Electrical engineer, Edwin Howard Armstrong
    (Gave us FM radio, amongst other inventions).
  • Singer, songwriter, guitarist (etc), Keith Richards
  • Singer, Christina Aguilera
  • Actor, Ray Liotta
  • Actor and producer, Brad Pitt (1963)
  • Actor and singer, Robson Green
  • Actress, Katie Holmes
    (Was married to Tom Cruise)
  • Actress, Betty Grable
  • Actor and playwright, Ossie Davis
  • Bass guitarist and producer, Chas Chandler
    (With the The Animals (House of the Rising Sun). He went on to sign up Jimi Hendrix and Slade)

Also born today in Manchester, 1856, was physicist J.J. Thomson, a Nobel Prize winner whose research led to the discovery of electrons, isotopes and the invention of the mass spectrometer. His students included Oppenheimer and Rutherford.
Doesn’t that just stir up memories of peering through a microscope in class to watch Brownian Motion?


Also on this day in history

In 1271 Genghis Khan’s grandson, Kublai Khan, became the first non-Chinese emperor of China, establishing the Yuan Dynasty.

Less well know, according to Douglas Adams, is his descendant, Mr Prosser, the council worker who, ironically, demolishes Mr Dent’s house to make way for a bypass – just in time for the Vogans to demolish the Earth for their bypass.

1892: Tchaikovsky’s ballet The Nutcracker premiered at the Mariinsky Theatre, St Petersburg, double-billing with his opera, Iolanta.

In 1958, given a friendly boost from an Atlas rocket, Project SCORE was realised. SCORE, the world’s first communications satellite, was launched into orbit and played a pre-recorded message back, letting the US catch up in the space race with the USSR (who had launched their Sputnik 1 a year earlier).

I remember seeing this next one at the cinema when it first came out in 1968, though not, of course, at it’s New York premiere: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang.

One for was web editors – in 1997 the W3C published HTML 4.0, replacing the earlier 3.2 version.

Little snippet from computer history – in 1991 IBM and Siemens announced a prototype 64Mb DRAM chip for PCs. Put into perspective, a new smartphone typically has 2,000Mb of RAM (and 64,000Mb of storage. If instead you go back a decade to 1983, then even 0.25 Mb was a lot.)


Trending at this moment:

Burning a hole through Twitter at the moment is #foodbankdebate, prompted by a televised parliament debate on the same topic after the number applying for handouts from food banks trebled in the past year. This is my snapshot view, based on hundreds of tweets flashing by. Essentially it comes down to a very poor turnout for it, with little or no presence from the DWP, Tories seen and heard laughing over it and pro Labour and other parties using it for point scoring instead of focusing on the real issue.

Just my tuppence here and a wake-up call for whichever side of the fence you rally with or rant against…

Firstly, the country, like the rest of the world is in hock forever after bailing out the banks. Labour were in power and so at fault here, but the other parties could have done more. And you can repeat that across the globe.

Secondly are all the arguments that we are a first class country, we shouldn’t have food banks. America has far more wealth than the UK or almost anyone else and they’ve had food banks and kitchens for as long as I can remember. The difference being over there, if you are out of work your welfare cheques only last so long – unlike the lunacy we have in this country.

Thirdly, due in great part to the first point, while everything else is getting ever more expensive – fuel, heating and utilities ridiculously so, wages and benefits are at a standstill (unless you are an MP, then you get offered 11% !).

Fourthly – and contentious – for all those genuinely claiming, there will be a percentage after ‘owt for nowt’. The more they see promotions for free stuff, the more this minority will come out of the woodwork. Fact of life.

Next, and equally flameworthy, it’s amazing the number of poverty-stricken individuals that apparently can’t afford food, clothes, heating etc – but can find enough for life’s other ‘essentials’ like cigarettes, beer, smartphones and even make-up. I’m not saying the majority fall into the latter, they don’t, but enough do that skew the facts.

Finally, and most important to remember, this is a houses of parliament debate we are talking about, people. I mean, really, do you think any of them – of any party in the country or politicians the world over – really have a clue what it’s like on minimum wage now, or benefits. And even if they do know, how many of they actually, genuinely care – verses how many instead many look down on us while looking jealously across at another mp, wondering how they can have their bigger constituency instead, or that ministerial post, get away with claiming this, that and the other, while… You get the idea.

Not ranting, just telling it like it is.

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