30 June 2009

Daily Chat 30/06/09

The Spanish were expelled from Tenochtitlan on this day in 1520. Tower Bridge opened in 1894. Albert Einstein published On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies in 1905 and the crew of Soyuz 11 were killed in 1971 when their air supply escaped due to a faulty valve. Celebrating birthdays: Swedish rocker Yngwie Malmsteen, überWAG Cheryl Cole and smokin' US swimmer Michael Phelps. It is Independence Day in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

29 June 2009

Daily Chat 29/06/09

Wow. There is virtually nothing that happened on this date in history worth typing. In 1613, the Globe Theatre burned to the ground. Beyond that, just really trivial crap, in my judgment. The only three living slebs having birthdays today that I recognise are Harmon Killebrew (baseball player from my childhood), Gary Busey (nutjob actor), and Colin Hay (of 80s Aussie group Men at Work). It's Independence Day in the Seychelles. I guess that's exciting if you live in the Seychelles.

28 June 2009

Daily Chat 28/06/09

The coronation of Queen Victoria took place on this day in 1838. Infamous Australian outlaw Ned Kelly was captured on this day in 1880. Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were assasinated on this day in 1914. The Irish Civil War began on this day in 1922 and the Stonewall Riots took place on this day in 1969. Celebrating birthdays today: Mel Brooks, Hans Blix, Kathy Bates, Alice Krige, and John Cusack. Today is the feast day of St. Vitus in the Orthodox Church.

27 June 2009

Daily Chat 27/06/09

Precious little happened on this day in history and no one terribly interesting is having a birthday today, so I'm just going to dedicate the day to SwiftyBoy and any other British veterans or servicemen known and loved to readers of the Untrusted with sincerest thanks.

26 June 2009

Daily Chat 26/06/09

Legend has it that the Pied Piper led 130 children from the village of Hamelin on this day in 1284. Richard III was crowned on this day in 1483 and on this day in 1976, two FBI agents and one member of the American Indian Movement were killed on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Celebrating birthdays today: Mick Jones, Chris Isaak, Terri Nunn, Andy O'Brien, and Samir Nasri. It is Independence Day in Madagascar.

25 June 2009

Daily Chat 25/06/09

Elena Cornaro Piscopio became the first woman to receive a PhD on this day in 1678. The Battle of Little Big Horn, also known as Custer's Last Stand, took place on this day in 1876 and Kim Campbell became Canada's first female Prime Minister on this day in 1993. Celebrating birthdays today: Eric Carle, Carly Simon, Ricky Gervais, Phil Jupitus and George Michael. It's Independence Day in Mozambique.

24 June 2009

Daily Chat 24/06/09

On this day in 1314, Scottish forces let by Robert the Bruce defeated the English in the Battle of Bannockburn. Eton College was founded on this day in 1441 and in 1916, Mary Pickford became the first actress to be signed to a $1 million contract. Celebrating birthdays today: Jeff Beck, Mick Fleetwood, Curt Smith, erstwhile Bolton Wanderers captain Kevin Nolan and Lionel Messi. It's St. Jean-Baptiste Day in Quebec. Hmmm... Which music legend to feature today?

23 June 2009

Daily Chat 23/06/09

On this day in 1180, the Genpei War of Japan was begun with the first Battle of Uji. On this day in 1888, Frederick Douglass became the first black man to be nominated as a candidate for President of the United States. And on this day in 1985, a bomb explodes on Air India flight 182 off the coast of Ireland, killing all 329 people aboard the plane. Celebrating birthdays: Frances McDormand, Colin Montgomerie, Zinedine Zidane, KT Tunstall, Patrick Vieira, and Duffy. It is the Grand Duke's official birthday in Luxembourg.

22 June 2009

Daily Chat 22/06/09

Galileo Galilei was forced to recant his assertion that the sun was the centre of the universe on this day in 1633. Parliament ended feudalism in British North America in 1825 and the Cuyahoga River caught fire on this day in 1969. Celebrating birthdays today: Prunella Scales, Kris Kristofferson, Esther Rantzen, Todd Rundgren, Meryl Streep, Graham Green, Cyndi Lauper, Garry Gary Beers and Jimmy Somerville. It's Teachers' Day in El Salvador.

21 June 2009

Daily Chat 21/06/09

On this day in 524, the Burgundians defeated the Franks in the Battle of Vézeronce. The Franks have never forgiven those bastard Burgundians. Ten Irish immigrants who belonged to the secret society known as the Molly Maguires were executed in Pennsylvania. And in 1964, three young men from New York; Andrew Goodman, Mickey Schwerner and James Chaney, were murdered in Neshoba County, Mississippi. Celebrating birthdays today: Jane Russell, Lalo Schifrin, Ray Davies, Steven AND Elyse Keaton (aka Michael Gross and Meredith Baxter), Nils Lofgren, Michel Platini and Prince William. Today is Solstice Day. It is also Fathers' Day, so a big "Happy Fathers' Day" to all the dads.

20 June 2009

Daily Chat 20/06/09

Oxford University received its charter on this day in 1214. That's 795 years of churning out pompous gits - amazing. In 1631, the Irish village of Baltimore was sacked by Algerian pirates - or is that Arrrish village? Queen Victoria ascended the throne on this day in 1837. We were not amused. And the 'Red Phone' was established between the Soviet Union and the United States in 1963. Celebrating birthdays today: Olympia Dukakis, Martin Landau, Stephen Frears, Brian Wilson, Anne Murray - the Canadian songbird, Lionel Richie, John Goodman, Vikram Seth, John Taylor - the prettiest Durannie, Nicole Kidman (no word if she'll be wearing a turquoise tasseled bikini today), and Frank Lampard, who we can only hope will not be wearing a turquoise tasseled bikini today. It is World Refugee Day.

19 June 2009

Daily Chat 19/06/09

On this day in 1269, Louis IX of France ordered that any Jew not wearing a yellow badge in public would be fined 10 livres of silver. In 1865, slaves in Galveston, Texas finally learned of the Emancipation Proclamation a full two years late. The day is celebrated as Juneteenth in Texas and 13 other states to this day. The first Fathers' Day was celebrated in Spokane, Washington, in 1910 and in 1982, the body of Roberto Calvi was found hanging beneath Blackfriars Bridge. Celebrating birthdays today: Louis Jourdan, Niels Bohr, Aung San Suu Kyi, Salman Rushdie, Ann Wilson, Kathleen Turner and Boris Johnson. In addition to being Juneteenth in parts of the US, it is Labour Day in Trinidad and Tobago.

18 June 2009

Daily Chat 18/06/09

On this day in 1178, five monks in Canterbury reported seeing "two horns of light" coming from the moon. Modern scientists speculate that they were witnessing the formation of the Giordano Bruno crater. In 1429, Joan of Arc defeated the main English army in the Battle of Patay and in 1984, around 5,000 police and a similar number of miners clash in Orgreave, South Yorkshire, during the miners' strike. Celebrating birthdays: Delia Smith, Paul McCartney, Thabo Mbeki, Fabio Capello, Lech and Jaroslaw Kaczynksi, Isabella Rosellini and Alison Moyet. It is Autism Pride Day.

17 June 2009

Daily Chat 17/06/09

The Battle of Deptford Bridge took place on this day in 1497. In 1631, Mumtaz Mahal died in childbirth. Her husband, Shah Jahan I took 20 years to build a suitable memorial. The Statue of Liberty arrived at the port of New York in 1885. Celebrating birthdays today: Ken Loach, Barry Manilow, Ken Livingstone, Jello Biafra, Venus Williams and my friend Chris. If you're in Bradford today and you run into Chris, tell him "Happy Birthday". It is Icelandic Independence Day.

16 June 2009

Daily Chat 16/06/09

In an odd little P.S. to the War of the Roses, the Battle of Stoke Field took place on this day in 1487. Abraham Lincoln gave his famous "A House Divided" speech to the Illinois senate in 1858. In 1963, Valentina Tereshkova became the first woman in space and during the Soweto Uprising in 1976, police opened fire on a peaceful protest of 15,000 students, killing 566 children. Celebrating birthdays today: Dame Eileen Atkins, Joyce Carol Oates, Lamont Dozier and Cobi Jones. It's Bloomsday wherever there are fans of James Joyce.

15 June 2009

Daily Chat 15/06/09

Today's Daily Chat guest-written by Andysays:

Interesting day in English political history; in 1215, King John put his seal to the Magna Carta. Exactly 166 years late, in 1381, Wat Tyler leader or at least figurehead of the Peasants’ Revolt was killed at Smithfield while parlaying with King Richard II. He now has a country park, a pub and at least two roads named after him; that dude endures too.

More recently, in 1785, two Frenchmen became the first ever casualties of an air crash after their hot air balloon exploded during an attempt to cross the English Channel. One of them, Jean Francois Pilatre de Rozier, had been the co-pilot of the first ever manned flight two years previously. Should have been content with just one entry in that big Guinness book.

In 1909, Representatives from England, Australia and South Africa met at Lord’s to form the Imperial Cricket Conference.

Celebrating birthdays today, Edward the Black Prince, Prince of Wales (1330), Nicolas Poussin, French painter (1594), and Mary Carey, American pornographic actress (1980).

Mourning deaths, the families and friends of Theophanu, Empress of the Holy Roman Empire (991), Marguerite De Launay, Baronne Stall, French writer (1750), and Ella Fitzgerald (1996).

If you’re either an actor or an epileptic, today’s the day of your patron saint, St Vitus.

For all those in Denmark, today’s the day for you to get out your flags and wave them.

And finally, on a more personal note, today is the final day for all students in their second and final year of the Countryside Management National Diploma at Capel Manor College to hand in their assignments. See you in the library, and maybe in the Pied Bull afterwards for a quick drink.

14 June 2009

Daily Chat 14/06/09

Two things special to me in todays events and birthdays. First, the Battle of Naseby took place on this day in 1645, just over the hill from my 'home' in Leicestershire. Also occuring on this day, in 1839, the first Royal Regatta was held at Henley and in 1938, Action Comics published its first issue and introduced Superman to the world. Today's birthdays: Rowan Williams, Boy George, Steffi Graf and (this is the special one) Steffen Brandt, lead singer of Danish band TV-2. It's Liberation Day in the Falkland Islands. Here's some TV-2 for you:

13 June 2009

Daily Chat 13/06/09

On this day in 1525, Martin Luther married Katarina von Bora, defying the Roman Catholic Church's celibacy rule for priests and nuns. In 1774, Rhode Island became the first British colony in North America to ban the import of slaves. And in 1981, Marcus Sarjeant fires six blank shots at Queen Elizabeth at the Trooping of the Colour ceremony. Celebrating birthdays: Malcolm McDowell, Ban Ki-moon, Richard Thomas, Ally Sheedy, Darius Vassell, Florent Malouda and the Olsen twins (Mary Kate and Ashley). In the Roman Catholic Church, today is the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua.

12 June 2009

Not for comment, just enjoy the image

The "poison dwarf". Just marvel at how small and disturbing she is. I got sent the photo as an attachment so didnt know how to link it as weblink, but wanted to share it with the UT. But we'll keep daily chat on the pig thread, we all remember how confused we got when we had more than one chat thread going at a time (simple folk, us UT crowd...)

11 June 2009

Show them the pigs

“This is Bessie,” I say proudly, “and that’s Derek, Beryl and this little’n is Gertrude. They haven’t been fed for 3 days. These fine pigs have been chosen by the British public via referendum, to make up for the numerous referenda you promised us and then failed to deliver on.”

“But it was a treaty, not a constit-“

“No, no, Hazel, the time has passed for all that, long passed.” I reply, “Come this way, we still have Jenny, Boris and Des to visit, they are in the other enclosure, along with the honorary boar – Snowball, a two tonne gargantuan. You Napoleons are going to be the special guests of the feast.”

They are lead onwards, single file, towards the second enclosure. Blair leads, followed by Brown, Blears, Miliband, Balls, Smith, Harman, Campbell, Cooper, Flint, Straw and Purnell.

“Hazel, you will be first. Not today, but at the end of the week. We, the people, wanted dearly for you all to spend at least a few days thinking about your demise and to help you visualise that moment we brought you here, to the enclosure. We wanted to show you the pigs in advance. Come Friday, it’ll be feeding time. It was the only punishment we thought suitable for the crimes of you honourable members.”

Mandy breaks down, he falls to his knees and wails. Whimpering breaks out along the line. Purnell vomits. Blears maintains her robotic grin throughout, the only sign of inner fright is a twitching, restless hand.

Taken back to their cells, they each sit in solitude for their final days, constantly plagued by images of Bessie and Timmy pottering about the enclosure. Only a month prior they had been forcibly dragged from Westminster by a 2 millions strong crowd, the chant of “show them the pigs!” still rang in their ears…

That’s the current dream, it’s not quite Martin Luther-King yet but it’s a work in progress.

I cant help but think that one of the major problems with British politics is that the pigs have never been unveiled. Or rather, parliament gave the monarchy a tour of the farmyard in the 17th century, but the people have never extended the same courtesy to our parliamentarians, we have neglected their needs and so in turn they neglect ours.

As i listen to Brown's snivelling proposals for "radical reform", or see smarmy Dave giving a heartfelt monologue on the beauty of the FPTP system, i just cant stop thinking about the pigs...

Next time you read some offensive guff from any of our esteemed representatives you too can calm yourself by going to your "happy place", be it having the honour of personally leading the pig parade, or, as Annetan suggested, burying them alive in a rubbish dump.

For therapy of a different kind, you can read "The triumph of the political class", by Peter Oborne. He apparently writes for the Mail but dont hold that against him. In fact do, but read the book anyway. I was so frothing with primal contempt for New Labour that i was certain i could never again hate anything as much as i hated those ministers, but with the help of Oborne's book i am finding a whole new world of disdain and loathing. If you want to plumb new depths of despair, if you want to find the limits of your disgust, you can do it all with Oborne's help.

Daily Chat 11/06/09

Henry VIII married Catherine of Aragon on this day in 1509 and in 1919, Sir Barton won the Belmont Stakes and the first Triple Crown of American horse racing. Celebrating birthdays today: Athol Fugard, Gene Wilder, Jackie Stewart and Hugh Laurie. It's Kamehameha Day in Hawaii.

10 June 2009

Daily Chat 10/06/09

On this day in 1190, Frederick I Barbarossa drowned in the River Saleph. The Battle of Glen Shiel took place on this day in 1719 and in 1935, Alcoholics Anonymous was founded in Akron, Ohio. There's a meeting near you. Celebrating birthdays today: Phil the Greek, Maurice Sendak, João Gilberto, Carlo Ancelotti, Maxi Priest, Liz Hurley and David Platt. It is Dia de Camões in Portugal.
Here's João's lovely erstwhile wife, Astrud, to get your morning going:

09 June 2009

Daily Chat 09/06/09

Sheesh! Talk about slow news days... On this day in 1534, Jacques Cartier becomes the first European to find the St. Lawrence River. In 1928, Charles Kingford Smith completes the first trans-Pacific flight and in 1958, Gatwick Airport officially opens. Celebrating birthdays: Michael J. Fox, Johnny Depp and Natalie Portman. It's Heroes Day in Uganda.

08 June 2009

Daily Chat 08/06/09

On this day in 793, Vikings raided the abbey at Lindisfarne. In 1789, the US Bill of Rights was ratified. And in 1949, George Orwell's 1984 was published. Celebrating birthdays today: Nancy Sinatra is still walkin' in those boots, Colin Baker, Bonnie Tyler, Mick Hucknall*, Nick Rhodes, Juliana Margulies, Derek Trucks and Javier Mascherano. Today is Bounty Day on Norfolk Island. (Damn, makes me want a Bounty candy bar...)

*I'm not making this up: I typed that as Mick Yucknall at first. Almost let it stand.

07 June 2009

Daily Chat 07/06/09

Slow day for history. In 1628, Charles I granted Royal Assent to the Petition of Right and in 1965, the US Supreme Court rules that married couples may use contraception. Celebrating birthdays: Tom Jones, Liam Neeson, Prince, Dave Navarro and Cafu. It is Sette Giugno in Malta.

06 June 2009

From Bitterweed: The National Anthem of the Soviet Union

The National Anthem of the Soviet Union replaced The Internationale as the national anthem on March 15, 1944. The lyrics were written by Sergey Mikhalkov in collaboration with G. El-Registan and the music was composed by Alexander Alexandrov.
It was believed that Soviet soldiers would respond more to an anthem that was dedicated only to the Soviet Union rather than to a worldwide movement.
It was adopted as national anthem after a competition in 1943. But what puzzles me is why this was chosen, when in that same 1943 competition, there was an offering from Dmitri Shostakovich, which finally aired some seventeen years later with hardly an alteration, as Novorossiysk Chimes.
Novorossiysk Chimes was finally presented in 1960, for the war memorial in the city of Novorossiysk. It has been playing nonstop at Heroes Square (pictured) in Novorossiysk since its opening on September 27, 1960.
Novorossiysk is a city in southern Russia, the main Russian port and highly important oil terminus on the Black Sea, in Krasnodar Krai. It is one of the few cities honoured with the Soviet title of the Hero City.
In 1942, the town was occupied by the Wehrmacht, but a small unit of Soviet sailors defended one part of the town, known as Malaya Zemlya, for 225 days, until it was liberated by the Red Army on September 16, 1943.
The heroic defense of the port by the Soviet sailors allowed to retain possession of the city's bay, which prevented the Nazis from using the port for supply shipments.
Novorossiysk was awarded the title Hero City in 1973.
Now, to my rhetorical question: Clearly, Shostakovich was in and out of trouble with the authorities. He received denunciations in 1936 and again in 1948. Commissions dried up, his income plummetted and the political climate, courtesy of Pravda, made performance impossible. Yet – and I am no historian nor musicologist – how would anyone with any political savvy, who was judging that competition, not recognise the perfect simultaneous combination of loyalty, solemnity for the dead, but also praise towards an indefatigabe human spirit ? Surely, with suitable lyrics, it could serve as a tour-de-force hymn to, well, pretty much anything ? How could it fail to be popular and win battles in hearts and minds ?
Forget for a moment any feelings you may or may not have about Shostakovich’s disputed personal motives and allegiances, or towards the Soviet era, or even Joseph Stalin. Just imagine for three and a half minutes it’s the anthem of your people, whatever that means to you. Because, on one level it is rooted in the grim, infinitely regrettable geopolitics of its time. But on another, at least for me, it speaks of a universal, undefeatable and intrinsically good, human spirit. It raises emotions I can still barely put into words after first hearing it fifteen years ago. My observation is that: no matter who it was written by, nor for what reason, a piece of music this good can say as simply and eloquently as any speech:
“You are human. Stand up and be counted.”

05 June 2009

Daily Chat 05/06/09

5 June has been an eventful date:  In 1257, Kraków received city rights; 1849, Denmark becomes a constitutional monarchy; 1915, Denmark passes women's suffrage; 1963, John Profumo resigns; 1968, Robert Kennedy is assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan in Los Angeles; 1977, Apple II goes on sale as the first practical personal computer; 1981, the weekly Morbidity & Mortality Report of the Centers for Disease Control reports on the first 5 recognised cases of AIDS.  Celebrating birthdays today:  Margaret Drabble, Richard Butler (Psychedelic Furs), and Mark Wahlberg (please don't call him Marky Mark anymore).  I don't normally include anniversaries of deaths, but in this case, I'll make an exception: Ronald Reagan died on this day in 2004.  And, it is both Constitution Day and Father's Day in Denmark.  Lykkelig Farsdag, scherfig!

04 June 2009

Daily Chat 04/06/09

On this day in 1584, Sir Walter Raleigh established a colony on Roanoke Island, off the coast of what is now the state of North Carolina.  In 1792, Captain George Vancouver claimed the Puget Sound area for Great Britain.  Celebrating birthdays:  Geoffrey Palmer, Michelle Phillips, Sean Pertwee, Russell Brand, Angelina Jolie, Emmanuel Eboué and Lukas Podolski.  It is Emancipation Day in Tonga.

03 June 2009

Daily Chat 03/06/09

In 1140, Peter Abelard is found guilty of heresy.  In 1889, the Canadian Pacific Railroad is completed.  In 1937, the Duke of Windsor marries gold-digging American hussy, Wallis Simpson. Celebrating birthdays:  Tony Curtis, Ian Hunter, Suzi Quatro, Susannah Constantine and Rafael Nadal.  It is the feast day of the Ugandan Martyrs in the Roman Catholic and Anglican churches.

Now, I'm sorry, but I have to do this:

02 June 2009

Can I start a new post?

Hmm, let's see if this works:

pen, you seem to be having some trouble on CiF, so before they start deleting us for being off-topic, lets move here, what's up, and what can we at the untrusted do for you?


Daily Chat 02/06/09

The first Siege of Antioch ended on this day in 1098.  No word on if they had to use the Holy Hand Grenade to achieve this.  In 1780, Diomed, a horse owned by Sir Charles Bunbury won the first ever Derby.  And in 1896, Guglielmo Marconi received a patent for the radio.  Celebrating birthdays today:  Norton Juster (author of my favourite children's book, The Phantom Tollbooth), Charlie Watts, Lasse Hallström, Tony Hadley, and Freddy Adu.  Italy celebrates the Festa della Repubblica today.

01 June 2009

Daily Chat 01/06/09

On this day in 987, Hugh Capet became King of France.  In 1495, the first written record of whisky appeared in the Exchequer Rolls of the Scottish court.  Friar John Cor received "eight bolls of malt...wherewith to make aquavitae".  In 1925, Lou Gehrig played the first of what would become a record 2,130 consecutive games of Major League baseball that would be unbroken until 1995.  And the UK ban on smoking in public places is two years old today.  Celebrating birthdays:  Morgan Freeman, Jonathan Pryce, Ron Wood, Jason Donovan, Heidi Klum and Michael Rasmussen.  It's Madaraka Day in Kenya.