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Sunday, 20 January 2013


Bongos are a pair of small drums fastened together; Afro-American origin, possibly Afro-Cuban; drum shells are wooden and open at bottom; drum heads covered with animal skin; heads about 5 in. (13 cm) and about 7 in. (18 cm) across; played by hand, mainly as accompaniment to Latin American dance music.

Africa can lay claim to inventing the bongo drums, although no one can pinpoint exactly where on the continent and when in the late 1800s the history of bongo drums began.

During this time, the bringing of slaves from Africa to South America included the migration of bongo drums. Cuba was and is enamoured with the bongo drum, as evidenced in the musical genres of changui and son.

The drum heads on the bongos are usually made of animal skins but are sometimes made of plastic. The body of the drums are metal, wood and sometimes ceramic. One drum is bigger than the other. The bigger drum is called a "hembra" and means "female" in Spanish. The smaller of the two drums is called a "macho" and means "male" in Spanish.

Bongo drumming historically relates to "Changui and Son," a well-known Cuban style of music. Changui and Son first came into existence in eastern Cuba in the late 1800s when slavery was abolished. The drum heads on the bongos were initially tacked and tuned with a heat source. But in the 1940s, metal tuning lugs were created to support faster, more efficient and easier tuning.

The first recorded use of the word bongo for a pair of Cuban drums held between the knees and played with the fingers was in 1920.

The term "bongocero" meant that a bongo player had mastered the instrument and had the ability to teach others. Top bongocerros have earned a name in the music business, most notably Willie Bobo, Frank Colon and Nils Fischer. Jack Constanzo was a bongocero who became a teacher of several Hollywood movie
stars including James Dean and Marlon Brando.

Sources http://www.ehow.comDaily Express

Bonfire Night

Bonfire Night or Guy Fawkes night, is a British celebration whose origins go back to the early 17th century. On November 5th 1605, Guy Fawkes was discovered hiding in a cellar beneath the Houses of Parliament in close proximity to 20 or more barrels of gunpowder, a length of slow match and a lantern. He was taken to the Tower of London where he was agonizingly tortured on the rack until he named his co-conspirators. Since then the British have celebrated this escape from the Houses of Parliament being blown up. On November 5th every year, they light up bonfires, place effigies of Guy Fawkes on the fire and combine this with a firework display.

The fireworks display at South Street, during Lewes Bonfire 2013

November 5th is also celebrated by the National Association of Ted Heath Burners.

The traditional cake eaten on Bonfire Night is Parkin cake, made from oatmeal, ginger, treacle and syrup.

Though the gunpowder plot happened in 1605, the now traditional “searching of the cellars” before each new session of parliament didn’t start until 1678.

Until 1806, the effigy burnt in England on November 5 was that of Pope Paul V who, after 1605, refused to allow Catholics to take the Oath of Allegiance to the Crown.

The word "bonfire" was originally "bone fire" - signifying the "bones" of the effigy burned.

November 5 is also known as "Ringing Night" (many torchlight processions held on the day feature bells being rung).

In the 1590s, Guy Fawkes served in the Spanish army.

Until 1959, it was illegal not to celebrate Bonfire Night in Britain.

The British tradition of lighting bonfires on November 5th not only commemorates the failure of the Gunpowder plot but also perpetuates the Celtic festival of Samain when fires were lit to ensure the Sun's return after winter. 

Other traditions celebrate Bonfire Night on different days. Some of the most popular instances include Northern Ireland's Eleventh Night, a precursor to The Twelfth. Also a similar bonfire tradition survives in parts of Scandinavia and is known as Walpurgis Night.



A newborn baby has around 300 bones. Many of these fuse together to leave an adult's 206.

About 20 per cent of human body weight derives from the 206 bones that make up the skeleton.

The feet account for one quarter of all the bones in a human body.

The smallest bone in the human body is the stapes bone which is located in the middle ear. It is only 1/10 of an inch long.

The femur, or thigh-bone, is the longest bone in the human body. It is also the strongest bone in your body.

A cubic inch of bone is approximately four times as strong as concrete.

The hardest bone in the human body is the jawbone.

Human bones are 31% water.

44% of  humans have broken a bone.

Bone cells burn about 2.3 calories per kilogram.

Bones without enough calcium intake can self-destruct.

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the bones in a skull and cross-bones are thigh-bones.

The upper lip bone of a blue whale is the largest bone ever known. The art of carving on whale bones is called 'scrimshaw'.

Fibrodysplasia ossificans progressiva is a rare genetic disease that gradually turns your entire body into bone. Surgical removal of the bone only causes more bone to grow in its place.

Bones aren't white, but are a creamy beige like color range in color. The bones in museums are a solid white because they have been boiled and cleaned. 

James Bond

Ian Fleming modeled the character of James Bond after Merlin Minshall, a man who worked for Mr. Fleming during World War II, as a spy.

Sir William Samuel Stephenson, Kt, CC, MC, DFC (January 23, 1897 – January 31, 1989) was a Canadian/British fighter pilot, entrepreneur and spymaster, who was the senior representative of British intelligence for the entire western hemisphere during World War II. Many people believe he was the inspiration for James Bond. Ian Fleming himself once wrote, "James Bond is a highly romanticized version of a true spy. The real thing is ... William Stephenson."

It has been said that the fictional Goldfinger's raid on Fort Knox was inspired by a Stephenson plan (never carried out) to steal $2,883,000,000 in Vichy French gold reserves from the French Caribbean colony of Martinique,

Sir William Stephenson, passport photo

Fleming got the name 'James Bond' from a real-life ornithologist from Philadelphia who was named 'James Bond'. Fleming had a copy of his book: The Birds of the West Indies and took a liking for that name.

Fleming said that he wanted Bond to be a “dull, uninteresting man to whom things happened,” and James Bond was “the dullest name I ever heard”.

James Bond was originally going to be called James Secretan.

According to James Bond's authorized biography, James Bond was born on November 11, 1920,

But who really is "James Bond"? The son of Andrew Bond and Monique Delacroix, James Bond’s father was Andrew Bond, a Scottish businessman. His mother was Monique Delacroix, from Switzerland.

James was raised in the highlands of Scotland near Glencoe, but spent much of his early youth living abroad because of his father’s job selling arms to private companies and foreign governments. Both of his parents were killed in a mountain climbing accident during a holiday in the French Alps when he was only 11, and he was returned to the United Kingdom to be raised by his aunt and complete his education.

The Bond family coat of arms has the motto Orbis Non Sufficit (The World Is Not Enough).

James Bond was educated at Eton, like Ian Fleming.

007 drank as much as 92 units of alcohol each week, four times the recommended amount, according to research into Ian Fleming’s James Bond novels.

The first actor to play Bond on screen was Barry Nelson in a 1954 US television adaptation of Casino Royale.

The first James Bond movie was Dr. No, which premiered at the London Pavilion on October 5, 1962. Based on the 1958 novel of the same name by Ian Fleming, it not only debuted the successful series of Bond films, but it also launched a successful genre of "secret agent" films that flourished in the 1960s.

Wikipedia Commons

Sean Connery was the first movie James Bond. As a boy, Connery supported his impoverished family with a milk run in his hometown of Edinburgh. On his round the Scottish youngster delivered to Fettes School, which according to Ian Fleming, was the same school, which James Bond attended following his expulsion from Eton.

Richard Todd (1919-2009) best known for his role in The Dam Busters, was Ian Fleming’s personal choice to play 007 in the first James Bond film

From Russia With Love was the last film President John F Kennedy ever saw.

In Thunderball it was established that there was always a minimum of nine 00 agents — meaning those with a ‘licence to kill’.

David Niven and George Lazenby were the only two actors who played James Bond only once.

Both Clint Eastwood and Burt Reynolds turned down the role of James Bond, stating that it should always be played by a Brit.

Before the merger with MGM in 1981, eight of the top ten movies released by United Artists were James Bond films.

Pierce Brosnan was contractually forbidden from wearing a full tuxedo in any non-James Bond movie from 1995-2002.

The plot of the 2006 film Casino Royal centres on a game of poker but in the original Ian Fleming book of Casino Royal the card game was baccarat.

The title of the 19th Bond film, The World Is Not Enough, was taken from the 1658 motto of the wealthy financier Sir Thomas Bond, who gave his name to Bond Street, London. They appear on a dust cover of Ian Fleming's novel On Her Majesty's Secret Service, in which Bond comments that “it is an excellent motto which also certainly adopt.”

When Roger Moore returned to the role of Bond in A View To The Kill aged 57, he became the oldest actor to ever play 007.

The scene in Skyfall where Bond breaks into M’s house was filmed in a former home of John Barry, composer of the James Bond theme.

Spectre is the first Bond in which the entire cast was born after the 1962 release of Dr No.

At 50 years of age, Monica Belluci (who plays Lucia Sciarra in Spectre) is the the oldest Bond girl in history.

Spectre entered the Guinness World Record books for featuring the largest film stunt explosion in cinema history. The 7.5 second scene was shot in Morocco and created by Oscar-winner Chris Corbould, who used 68,470 kg of TNT equivalent. It was the result of detonating 8,418 litres of kerosene with 33 kg of powder explosives.

For his time as James Bond, Daniel Craig has the privilege of taking any Aston Martin from the factory for the rest of his life.

The only Bond films to win Academy Awards are Goldfinger (sound effects), Thunderball (visual effects).and Skyfall (sound editing and original song),

The opening shot in the James Bond films was actually filmed through the barrel of a gun.

James Bond has killed 369 people in 24 films. Pierce Brosnan was the deadliest Bond (he killed 47 people in Golden Eye and 135 people in total — an average of 34 per movie.)

Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond used more gadgets per film than any of the other Bonds, an average of 14 per movie.

In the films Bond has a drink every 10 minutes 53 seconds on average.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 1,007 people named James Bond.

Here's a link to some James Bond movie theme songs on

Sources, Songplaces Daily Express



The first dropping of a bomb from an aircraft in combat happened on November 1, 1911, during the Italo-Turkish War.

In 1919, posing for publicity shots, silent movie star Harold Lloyd lost a finger and thumb when the prop ‘bomb’ he was holding exploded. It had been thought the prop was designed just to emit smoke.

A rabbit was the only casualty of the first bomb in World War II to fall on British soil.

The term Molotov cocktail was coined by the Finns during the 1939-40 Winter War. Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov claimed that bombs used on the Finnish was humanitarian aid, so Finns started calling them "Molotov bread baskets". When using incendiaries to counter Soviet tanks, they called them "a drink to go with the food"

James Isbister was the first person killed in a German bombing raid on the UK during World War II. He died during a raid on Scapa Flow in the Orkney Islands on March 16, 1940.

During World War II, the very first bomb dropped on Berlin by the Allies killed the only elephant in the Berlin Zoo.

A raid by the 8th Air Force on the Focke Wulf factory at Marienburg, Germany (1943).

A blockbuster was a bomb used in World War II in air raids in Germany. It could destroy buildings in one explosion. Now, thankfully, the most common blockbusters are films and novels so powerful that in slang terms they ‘blow your mind’.

Bat bombs were an experimental World War II weapon developed by the United States. The bomb consisted of  large bomb casings that would open above cities and release bats with small, timed incendiary bombs. The bats would find somewhere to roost, and the Japanese city that was the intended target would burn down.

Mary Babnik Brown donated her hair during World War II and later received a personal letter of thanks from Ronald Reagan (who had a clerical job with the military during the war). He explained that her hair had been the perfect fit for a complex device used by military aircraft to accurately drop bombs called a Norden sight. Both wire and spider silk had been used beforehand, and neither worked as well.

Hitler addressed his Reichstag on May 4, 1941 in a 72-minute speech in which he referred to night bombing. "Churchill," he said, "is determined to continue this kind of warfare. We, also, are resolved to continue, and are prepared to drop 100 bombs for each British bomb until Britain gets rid of this criminal and his methods."

The first of more than 9,000 German V1 flying bombs, nicknamed doodlebugs, was fired on June 13, 1944. It struck London next to the railway bridge on Grove Road, Mile End and eight civilians were killed in the blast. 9,000 doodlebugs were fired at Britain during the latter stages of World War II, killing more than 6,000 people and injuring more than 18,000.

A V-1 on display in Musée de l'Armée

The flammable liquid napalm was developed in 1942 in a secret laboratory at Harvard University, by a team led by chemist Louis Fieser. Napalm incendiary bombs were dropped on July 17, 1944 for the first time by American P-38 pilots on a fuel depot at Coutances, near Saint-Lô, France.

The U.S. Army Air Force bomber Enola Gay dropped an atomic bomb named Little Boy on Hiroshima, Japan, killing as many as 140,000 people.

The Hiroshima atom bomb explosion was generated by matter weighing no more than a paper clip.

The name of the B-29 Bomber that dropped the Atom Bomb on Nagasaki was Bock's Car.

The Nagasaki bomb was known as ‘Fat Man’.

Nagasaki wasn't the original target but Kokura, the first choice, was obscured by heavy cloud.

After the atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, 13% of the US people were in favor of "killing off" all Japanese people. And after Japan surrendered, 22.7% of Americans wished more atomic bombs had been dropped.

The USA detonated the worlds first thermonuclear weapon, the hydrogen bomb, on Eniwetok atoll in the Pacific on November 1, 1952.

A hydrogen bomb known as the Tybee Bomb was lost by the US Air Force off the coast of Savannah, Georgia in February 1958, It was never recovered.

The Soviet hydrogen bomb Tsar Bomba, the largest nuclear weapon ever detonated, was set off over Novaya Zemlya Island in the Arctic Ocean as a test on October 30, 1961. At 50 megatons of yield, it is still the largest explosive device ever detonated, nuclear or otherwise.

Tsar Bomba had a yield of 50 megatons, a force equivalent to 1,400 times the combined power of the two nuclear weapons dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in World War II—or approximately 1.4 percent of the power output of the Sun. The resulting seismic shock was measurable even on its third passage around the Earth.

The mushroom cloud that formed from the Tsar Momba was 64 km high, 168 times higher than the Empire State Building.

Napalm-B, used in the Vietnam War, was synthesized with only three ingredients: polystyrene, gasoline, and benzene.

In 2008, over 100 countries came together and agreed to ban the use of cluster bombs. Collateral damage to civilians was found to high (98% of victims were civilian, of that, 27% children) Unfortunately, two countries refused to agree to this ban, Russia and the United States.

The United States dropped 26,171 bombs during 2016 - An average of three bombs every hour, 24 hours a day.


Despite what modern cartoons would have you believe, it’s been 150 years since bombs looked like black spheres with burning wicks.

An ordinary TNT bomb involves atomic reaction, and could be called an atomic bomb. What we call an A-bomb involves nuclear reactions and should be called a nuclear bomb.

Grenades take their name from the French word for pomegranate, the fist-sized fruit that bursts forth with seeds when you open it.

Every Swiss citizen is required by law to have a bomb shelter or access to a bomb shelter.

There is a museum on the site of the first atomic bomb testing site in New Mexico. Due to radiation it’s only open 12 hours per year.

A suicide bomber planning on detonating in central Moscow on New Year's Eve 2012, used her phone as the trigger. When her mobile phone company sent her a spam message, wishing her a happy new year, the bomb detonated, killing only herself.

Bees can be trained to detect bombs.

Sources March Hares and Monkeys’ Uncles by Harry Oliver,

Usain Bolt

Usain Bolt's full name is Usain St. Leo Bolt.

He was born on August 21, 1986, in the rural town of Sherwood Content in Trelawny parish, Cornwall county, Jamaica. His parents Jennifer and Wellesley ran the local grocery store. Usain spent much of his free time as a child playing soccer and cricket with his brother Sadeeki.

Usain attended the Waldensia Primary and All-Age School as a boy.

While competing at the 2002 World Junior Championships in Jamaica at the age of 15, Bolt became so nervous from the crowd's expectations that he put his shoes on the wrong feet. Nevertheless, he won the race, becoming the world's youngest junior gold medallist.

Bolt was 6 feet 5 inches when he won his gold medal at the 2002 World Junior Championships.

Despite failing at the Athens Olympics in 2004 was offered track scholarships by several U.S. schools . He refused all offers, prefering to stay in Jamaica and train at Kingston's University of Technology despite its primitive facilities.

He was the first and only junior athlete to run a sub-20-second 200 metres.

After his prowess on the track, Bolt’s nickname is “Lightening Bolt.” The nickname actually started during the run up to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Before his first world record breaking run in New York City, there was a lightning storm leading the media to bestow Bolt with the aforementioned moniker.

Usain Bolt set a world record for the 100m in the men's final at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. So, what did he eat before pulling off that athletic feat? It was chicken nuggets. 

Usain Bolt ate 1,000 Chicken McNuggets over 10 days during the 2008 Beijing Olympics. This was because he was afraid to eat anything else in China.

That very same 100m race where Bolt set the world record on a stomach full of chicken nuggets, he ran into a slight headwind with his shoes untied the entire time.

Usain Bolt’s world record of 9.58 seconds for 100 metres equals an average speed of 23.35mph.  His 200 metres speed is just slower at 23.31mph but his top speed has been measured at 27.44mph.

Bolt during the 200 m final at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu.By Erik van Leeuwen, attribution: Erik van Leeuwen (bron: Wikipedia). -, GFDL, $3

When Bolt won the 100 meters in London in 2012, he became the first person since Carl Lewis to defend an Olympic sprint title. After winning the 200, Bolt became the first to defend two titles.

Usain Bolt’s world record of 9.58 seconds for 100 metres equals an average speed of 23.35mph.  His 200 metres speed is just slower at 23.31mph but his top speed has been measured at 27.44mph.

Bolt won three gold medals at three consecutive Olympic Games, also known as the "triple-triple", and has a 100% win record in finals.

At 6ft 5in tall, Usain Bolt is the tallest and heaviest Olympic 100m champion of all time.

Usain Bolt's running gait is asymmetrical due to scoliosis, which has resulted in his left leg being longer than his right leg. Scientists aren't sure if his record-breaking sprint speeds are because of this or in spite of this.

At his top speed of 27.44mph, Usain Bolt could run the distance to the Moon in just under a year.

A domestic cat can run faster than Usain Bolt but an elephant at top speed is slower.

Bolt covers 10 metres faster than an Olympic diver covers 10 metres.

Usain Bolt was offered a position as wide receiver in the NFL, and rejected it due to the hits NFL players take.

Usain Bolt demands his ad shoots are filmed in Jamaica to bring money to his country

Usain is a hardcore video gamer. He often plays Call Of Duty: Black Ops online.

Sources, F, Daily Express


The Indian movie industry, Bollywood, is the largest film industry in the world. It produces over 800 movies a year, almost twice as many as Hollywood.

Bollywood only refers to Indian films made in Hindi—there's also Tollywood and Kollywood, which make films in the Telugu and Tamil language. 

Bollywood was born 11 years before Hollywood. Bollywood’s first production was an 1899 short film, whereas Hollywood’s first film came out in 1910.

Raja Harishchandra the first full-length Indian feature film was released on May 3, 1913. With a storyline based on the legend of Raja Harishchandra, it marked the beginning of the Indian film industry.

The naming scheme for "Bollywood" was inspired by "Tollywood", the name that was used to refer to the cinema of West Bengal dating back to 1932.

Alam Ara, the first Indian film with sound, was released.on March 14, 1931. The story was based on a very successful Parsi play of the same name and was a major commercial success.

Indra Sabha (1932) is the movie with the most number of songs - a whopping 71. The plot of the film revolved around a benevolent king whose moral character is tested by celestial powers.

India was not too quick in catching up to the coloured film trend and seemed content with black and white movies. Kisan Kany, a 1937 film directed by Moti Gidwani was the first colored film in Bollywood.

Ab Tumhare Hawale Watan Saara is a 20-minute ballad and the longest Bollywood song ever to be featured in a film.

3 Idiots is a 2009 comedy-drama film, which became both the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time in India and the highest-grossing Bollywood film of all time in overseas markets. As of February 2012, 3 Idiots grossed roughly 385 crore (US$96.77 million).


Monday, 7 January 2013


The city of Nuestra Señora de La Paz (Our Lady of Peace), commonly known as La Paz, was founded on October 20, 1548 by the Spanish conquistadors at the site of the Native American settlement, Laja.

On July 16, 1809 the city of La Paz declared its independence from the Spanish Crown during the La Paz revolution and formed the Junta Tuitiva, the first independent government in Spanish America, led by Pedro Domingo Murillo.

The Republic of Bolivia was created in 1825 at the Congress of Upper Peru. Until 1825 Bolivia was known as the region of Charcas. 

When Juan Evo Morales Ayma was inaugurated as the 80th President of Bolivia on January 22, 2006, he became the country's first democratically elected, fully Amerindian leader.

In 2011 Bolivia passed its Law of Mother Earth, granting all of nature equal rights to humans.

In 2014, the 54-year-old Morales became the oldest active professional soccer player in the world after signing a contract for 214 dollars a month with Sport Boys Warnes, a team based in the south-eastern province of Santa Cruz.

Evo Morales. Photo by Roberto Stuckert Filho/

The highest navigable lake in the world is found in Bolivia at 3810 meters above sea level (that's 12,382.5 feet above sea level.) It takes six hours to cross Lake Titicaca on a fast hydrofoil. It's also one of the deepest lakes in the world.

The largest deposit of salt on the planet can be found in Bolivia. The Salar de Uyuni (Uyuni salt beds or salt flats) contain over 64 million tons of salt.

The Palacio de Sal Hotel and Spa in Uyuni, Bolivia is completely made out of salt.

The largest deposit of lithium in the world is found under all that salt. Major battery manufacturers are now interested in Bolivia because they want to extract the lithium to make long-lasting batteries for cars and monile phones.

Bolivia is home to the Cerro Mutún, located in the department of Santa Cruz. It is the world's largest iron ore mine.

Bolivia is also home to the world's one and only known bolivianita mine. Bolivianita (ametrine) is a precious stone or gem that is partially yellow and partially purple. It's produced when citrine and amethyst combine.

Bolivia contains 40% of ALL animal and plant life in the world (called biodiversity). The country's tropical rainforests and Pantanal Wetlands are some of the most biologically abundant ecosystems in the world.

The most dangerous road in the world is in Bolivia — “The Road of Death.” Only about 30% of all roads in Bolivia are paved (mostly in the cities).

Bolivia is home to the two highest cities in the world. Potosí is the highest, and La Paz (see below) is the second highest and also the highest capital city In the 1570's Potosí was also the most populated city in the world.

La Paz, Bolivia, was the first South American city to get an electricity supply. It was powered by llama dung.

Over 60% of the population is of Indian descent. -The biggest groups are the Quechua, Aymara, and Guarani Indians. -The Quechuas are descended from the Incas.

Bolivia has 37 official languages: Spanish and 36 indigenous languages, some of which are extinct. 

Many homes in Bolivia have a dried llama fetus buried under their foundations for good luck and protection.

The main exporter of Brazil nuts is not Brazil. It's Bolivia.

Native Bolivians eat saltenas. One of their delicacies is guinea pig. They also eat armadillo.

, Daily Express

Simon Bolivar

Simon Bolivar was born in a house in Caracas, Venezuela, on July 24, 1783. His father, Coronel Don Juan Vicente Bolívar y Ponter, was a wealthy aristocratic landowner who had married into Spanish aristocracy. His mother was Doña María de la Concepción Palacios y Blanco . He had two older sisters and a brother: María Antonia, Juana, and Juan Vicente. Another sister, María del Carmen, died at birth.

Bolívar's father died when Simon was two and a half years old and his mother passed away when he was approaching nine years of age. He then was placed in the custody of a severe instructor, Miguel José Sanz, but this relationship did not work out and he was sent back to his home.

He was educated by private tutors in Caracas and also in Spain, which Bolivar completed in 1799. The most influential of his tutors was Don Simón Rodríguez, who understood young Simon's personality and inclinations, and tried from the very beginning to be an empathetic friend. They took long walks through the countryside and climbed mountains. Don Simón taught the youngster how to swim and ride horses, and, in the process, taught him about liberty, human rights, politics, history, and sociology.

When Simon was fourteen, Don Simón had to abandon the country, as he was accused of being involved in a conspiracy against the Spanish government in Caracas. Thus, Simon entered the military academy of the Milicias de Veraguas, which his father had directed as colonel years earlier. Through these years of military training, he developed his fervent passion for armaments and military strategy, which he later would employ on the battlefields of the wars of independence.

For a time Bolívar was part of Napoleon's retinue during which he witnessed the coronation of the French Emperor in Notre Dame, and this majestic event left a profound a impression upon him. From that moment he wished that he could emulate similar triumphant glory for the people back home in Venezuela.

While in Madrid during 1802, he married María Teresa Rodríguez del Toro y Alaysa, who was the daughter of a nobleman. However on a brief return visit to Venezuela the following year, she succumbed to yellow fever. Bolívar never married again.

Bolívar was a Freemason. He was initiated in 1803 in Cadiz, Spain's Masonic Lodge Lautaro. It was in this lodge that he first met some of his revolutionary peers, such as José de San Martín. In May 1806 he was conferred the rank of Master Mason in the "Scottish Mother of St. Alexander of Scotland" in Paris.

Bolivar had a long, thin face, long sideburns, dark hair.

He was brought up in the Catholic Church but got himself excommunicated and became an atheist.

In 1814 during his exile in Jamaica Bolívar wrote Letter From Jamaica, a vision of what he hoped Latin America might become.

Bolivar freed much of South America from Spanish occupation. On December 17, 1819 he proclaimed the republic of Gran Columbia, comprising the territories of present-day Colombia, Venezuela, Ecuador, Panama, northern Peru, western Guyana and northwest Brazil.

The Republic of Bolivia was created in 1825 at the Congress of Upper Peru. Bolívar is thus one of the few men to have a country named after him.

In the last eight years of his life, Bolívar had a relationship with Manuela Sáenz (1797 – 1856), the illegimate daughter of a Spanish nobleman in Quito, Ecuador. She married a wealthy English merchant in 1817 and became an aristocrat and socialite in Lima, Peru, where she became active in support of revolutionary efforts. Leaving her husband in 1822, she soon began an eight-year collaboration and intimate relationship with Bolívar that lasted until his death in 1830.

After Manuela prevented an 1828 assassination attempt against her lover and facilitated his escape, Bolivar began to call her, "Libertadora del Libertador", the liberator of the liberator and she was celebrated and given many honors.

Bolívar resigned his presidency of Columbia on April 27, 1830, intending to leave the country for exile in Europe or the Caribbean."America," Bolívar said on his deathbed, " is ungovernable. Those who have served the revolution, have ploughed the sea."

He died a disillusioned man on December 17, 1830, at a friend’s estate in Columbia after a painful battle with tuberculosis.

His remains were buried in the cathedral of Santa Marta. Twelve years later, in 1842, at the request of President José Antonio Páez, they were moved from Santa Marta to Caracas, where a monument was set up for his interment in the National Pantheon of Venezuela. The 'Quinta' near Santa Marta has been preserved as a museum with numerous references to his life.

Brazil, Chile, Guyana and Suriname are the only countries in South America that do not have cities, towns or provinces named after Bolivar.

The Bolívar, Venezuela’s basic unit of currency is named after him.

He fought over 200 battles in his military career.

Sources Wikipedia and my knowledge.

Sunday, 6 January 2013

Anne Boleyn

Anne Boleyn was born sometime between 1501 - 1507 at Blicking Hall, Norfolk. A lack of parish records from the period has made it impossible to establish Anne's exact date of birth.

Her father, Sir Thomas Boleyn, Earl of Wiltshire (1477-1539), was a wealthy diplomat whose offices included ambassador to France and Envoy to Holy Roman Emperor. Anne's mother, Elizabeth Howard was the daughter of the 2nd Duke of Norfolk. Later tradition would claim that the Boleyns were practically middle-class, but recent research has proven that Anne Boleyn was born a "great lady". Her great-grandparents included a Lord Mayor of London, a duke, an earl, two aristocratic ladies and a knight.

Anne was brought up at Hever Castle in Kent, her family having purchased it in 1462.

Before she'd reached her teens, Anne was invited to join the schoolroom of Margaret of Austria, daughter of Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor. Margaret was so impressed with Anne that she offered her a place in her household. Anne stayed with Margaret from spring 1513 until her father arranged for her to attend King Henry VIII's sister Mary, who was about to marry Louis XII of France in October 1514.  She went on to be a maid of honor to Queen Claude of France, with whom she stayed nearly seven years.

Margaret of Austria loved music and was a patron of many European composers. Also at the French court, musicianship was held in high esteem. It was during her time in France that Anne compiled the songbook that she kept with her at all times, which may well have been a source of comfort to her before her execution.

In her younger days Anne created a recipe for a small tart with an almond, curd cheese and lemon filling. Henry was so enchanted he named the creator of the cake maid of honor.

Anne's older sister, Mary was a mistress to Henry VIII for four years, before Anne and the king began their relationship.

It was on Shrovetide 1526 that Henry VIII  began pursuing Anne. She refused to become the King's mistress, but began a correspondence with him, (The Vatican library preserves 12 love letters he wrote to her). Fluent in French, some of Anne's love letters between her and Henry were in French.

Henry proposed marriage to her sometime in 1527 (probably around New Year), while he sought a divorce from Catherine of Aragon. After some hesitation, she agreed.

It was in order to marry Anne that Henry divorced his first wife, Catherine of Aragon and thus initiated the quarrel with the Pope that led to the English reformation. In other words if Anne had been born with a double chin and cauliflower ears maybe the Church of England would never have been born.

Once she became the king's mistress, Anne became the victim of a public hate campaign, mobilised by Katherine of Aragon's supporters, and in 1531 a crowd of 8,000 women marched through the streets of London in an attempt to lynch her.

When, in 1532, Henry gave her the title Marchioness of Pembroke, it was the first time a woman had ever been created a peer in her own right.

Anne and Henry finally slept together for the first time in late 1532 at Calais, and her reasons for submitting at this point are difficult to fathom. They married in secret on January 25, 1533 and Archbishop Cranmer blessed the marriage a few months later.

Anne's coronation on June 1, 1533 was marked by the people's hostility, and the crowds refused to remove their hats as a sign of respect for their new queen. When asked what she had made of London at her coronation, Anne replied, "I liked the City well-enough, but I saw few caps in the air and heard few tongues."

Despite being a Catholic herself, Anne was sympathetic towards the new Bible-based Protestantism and Martin Luther viewed her rise to the throne as a positive sign.

Anne was unable to supply a male heir for Henry, there were only several miscarriages, a still birth and the illegitimate Elizabeth, who was conceived before they married.  However, Anne's lack of success on the child bearing front was causing concern and when she miscarried for the last time, Henry thought the marriage was damned.

Anne had beautiful coal black eyes with long dark hair, long neck, swarthy complexion, middling to pert stature. She wasn't a physical beauty but had the ability to exploit her vivacious personality.

By Unknown 

Anne played an enormous role in England's international position, by solidifying the French alliance in 1531. She established an excellent rapport with the French ambassador, de la Pommeraye, who was completely captivated by her and paid tribute to her formidable intellect and influence over English foreign policy.

The diplomat John Barlow was devoted to Anne, and spied for her in Rome. Later in life this ability to attract fanatical male devotion back-fired spectacularly when she found herself the object of feverish unrequited love from a Dutch musician in her household called Marc Smeaton.

Anne had a rather off-putting habit, first observed during her coronation banquet, of vomiting during meals. So one of her ladies in waiting had to hold up a sheet to shield her from other diners at appropriate moments.

Her enemies exaggerated her defects, claiming Anne was a witch with six fingers. In fact she had two finger tips on the end of one finger.

Anne's personality was complex, and it has been greatly distorted by those opposed to her marriage and religious views. She was also a very loyal woman who gave generously to charity and, contrary to popular myth, was extremely emotional.

Anne was gifted musically - her extra finger tip must have made her a mean harpsichord player. Ole dark eye's ballads included "O Deathe oche me on Sepe" which is said to have moved her husband.

William Forrest, author of a contemporary poem about Catherine of Aragon, complimented Anne's "passing excellent" skill as a dancer. "Here", he wrote, "was [a] fresh young damsel, that could trip and go."

Anne was quite sporty and went riding and hunting with Henry. However during one deer shoot with the king, she shot a cow

An early-20th-century painting of Anne Boleyn, depicting her deer hunting with the King

Anne was a great card player and she won lots of money and other things when she played with Henry.

She knew that her failure to produce a male heir for Henry had placed her in a tricky position. On April 26, 1536, Anne met with her chaplain, the Protestant reformer Matthew Parker, and asked him to watch over her daughter if anything happened to her.

Anne Boleyn was watching a game of real tennis on May 2, 1536 when she was arrested for incest with her half brother, infidelity with four others, treason and witchcraft. When told of the charge Anne said "Oh, Lord help me as I am guiltless of that where I am charged." She was imprisoned in the Tower of London.

Anne was sentenced to be beheaded at Tower Green, London on May 19, 1536. She requested to be executed by sword and the service of a skilled executioner of Calais was engaged, who used a sword for the beheading according to French practice instead of the axe used by English executioners. Anne rehearsed the beheading the night before and the execution itself had to be delayed so she had to walk around the block weeping and laughing in turns.

She was a great animal lover and had a dog called Purkoy. While Anne was awaiting execution, Purkoy fell from a window and died. None of her ladies-in-waiting could break the news.

Anne had a wolfhound called Vrian who was allegedly beheaded along with her

Her last words were probably sarcastic about her husband, "A gentler or more merciful prince was there never. To me he was ever a good, gentle and sovereign lord. Christ have mercy on my soul."

Anne refused to be blindfolded and the executioner found her so disarming he persuaded someone to attract her attention so he could steal up silently behind her to carry out the death penalty.

Meanwhile Henry was in Epping Forest taking part in a hunt waiting for a signal to proclaim the news that "it" had been done.

Henry wore white to Anne's funeral. A day later he was betrothed to Jane Seymour.

Anne was buried in the chapel of St Peter at the Tower of London in a box that had contained arrows. When the chapel was restored in 1876, Queen Victoria had the 1,500 bodies buried there exhumed and properly reburied including Anne.

Charles Darwin, Winston Churchill and PG Wodehouse could all trace their ancestry back to the Boleyn family.

You may not be aware of the 1936 novelty song "With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm" but its worth checking out. Click here to listen to the ditty and read its songfacts.

Almost 500 years after their relationship, new legislation was introduced in 2015 allowing Irish citizens to trash talk Anne Boleyn for marrying Henry VIII.


For much of the Victorian "age of steam", the only material used for boilermaking was the highest grade of wrought iron, with assembly by rivetting. In the 20th century, design practice instead moved towards the use of steel, which is stronger and cheaper, with welded construction, which is quicker and requires less labour.

The pressure vessel in a boiler is usually made of steel (or alloy steel), or historically of wrought iron. Stainless steel is virtually prohibited (by the ASME Boiler Code) for use in wetted parts of modern boilers, but is used often in superheater sections that will not be exposed to liquid boiler water.

A boiler that has a loss of feed water and is permitted to boil dry can be extremely dangerous. If feed water is then sent into the empty boiler, the small cascade of incoming water instantly boils on contact with the superheated metal shell and leads to a violent explosion that cannot be controlled even by safety steam valves. The Hartford Loop was invented in 1919 by the Hartford Steam Boiler and Insurance Company as a method to help prevent this condition from occurring, and thereby reduce their insurance claims.

Why is a temperature pressure gauge on a boiler called a tridacator? Tri means three; temperature is one, pressure is two, and the third one is the height of the water, in feet, which is above the pressure gauge.

Source Wikipedia


Bogotá, originally called Bacatá by the Muiscas, was the center of their civilization before the Spanish conquest, and sustained a large population.

The European urban settlement was founded in August 6, 1538, by Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada and was named "Santa Fé de Bacatá" after his birthplace Santa Fé and the local name.

The Spanish conquistador Gonzalo Jiménez de Quesada, founder of the city

"Bacatá" had become the modern "Bogotá" by the time it was made the capital of the vice-royalty of New Granada, and the city soon became one of the centers of Spanish colonial power and civilization in South America.

Bogotá citizens declared independence from Spain on July 20, 1810 and set up a government of their own, but had to contend with Spanish military loyalists, who controlled the city until 1819, when Simón Bolívar captured the city after his victory at Boyacá.

Bogotá was then made the capital of Gran Colombia, a federation combining the territories of modern Panama, Colombia, Venezuela, and Ecuador. When that republic was dissolved into its constituent parts, Bogotá remained the capital of New Granada, which later became the Republic of Colombia.

Bogotá in 1887

In August 2000 the capital's name was officially changed back from "Santa Fé de Bogotá" to the more usual "Bogotá".

Bogotá is the largest and most populous city in Colombia, and the fourth largest city in South America, with more than seven million residents.

Bogotá is the largest city in the world without a working passenger station.

Bogotá is located at an altitude of 2,640 m (8,660 ft) above sea level. The city is situated at the base of two mountains, Guadalupe and Montserrat. The high altitude has also given it the position of the third highest major city in the world.

The motto of the city is "2600 meters closer to the stars" (in reference its altitude above sea level).

The city average temperature is 14°C (57 °F), varyi ng from 9ºC (48°F) to 22ºC (71°F).

Bogotá houses the Festival Iberoamericano de Teatro, the biggest theater festival in the world every two years.

Bogotá is also known as "La Atenas Suramericana," the South American Athens, given the locals' penchant for education and manners.

The city has institutionalized a day without cars on the streets, called "El Día sin Carro" (The Day without Cars). It takes place every first Thursday of February.


Humphrey Bogart

Humphrey Bogart was born on December 25, 1899 in New York City. He used to joke that he was cheated out of a present every year because of his birth date.

For many years it was rumored that Humphrey Bogart’s birthday had been moved by 336 days, from January 23rd to Christmas Day, because Warner Brothers thought it more ‘romantic’ for their leading man. When he died, it was discovered that December 25th was his birthday after all.

As a boy, Humphrey Bogart was teased for his curls, his tidiness, the "cute" pictures his mother had him pose for, the Little Lord Faunteloy clothes she dressed him in—and the name "Humphrey."

Humphrey Bogart enlisted in the Us Navy in 1918 and spent much of his service ferrying troops back home from the Western Front.

Humphrey Bogart repeatedly clashed with  his studio chief Jack Warner. He said that when he refused to appear on set, he would receive a letter from Jack, "saying that if I didn’t report, he’d cut my throat. He’d sign it 'Love to Betty'." [Bogart’s wife, Lauren Bacall].

Casablanca, the movie starring Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman, premiered in New York City on November 6, 1942. Contrary to common belief, Rick Blaine (Humphrey Bogart) never said “Play it again, Sam” in Casablanca. 

Greenstreet and Bogart

Humphrey Bogart played chess by mail with GIs during World War II.

Though a poor student, Bogart was a lifelong reader. He could quote Plato, Pope, Ralph Waldo Emerson and over a thousand lines of Shakespeare. He admired writers, and some of his best friends were screenwriters.

Humphrey Bogart “I came out here with one suit and everybody said I looked like a bum. Twenty years later Marlon Brando came out with only a sweatshirt and the town drooled over him. That shows how much Hollywood has progressed."

In 1956, while still in the prime of his career, Bogart was diagnosed with esophageal cancer. Surgery failed to remove the cancerous growth and he died of esophageal cancer in Los Angeles on January 14, 1957.  Humphrey Bogart was 57 years old. His attributed last words were "I should never have switched from scotch to martinis."

Humphrey Bogart is buried with a silver whistle bearing the legend "If you need anything just whistle," a constant reminder of the first film he made with his wife, Lauren BacallTo Have and Have Not.

Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall

Humphrey Bogart was related to Princess Diana.

Anicius Manlius Severinus Boethius

In 523 Boethius (480-524), who was the head of the civil service and chief of the palace officials for Theodoric The Great in Rome was arrested on suspicion of secret dealings with Theodoric’s enemies in Constantinople. During his time in prison awaiting execution, he wrote The Consolation of Philosophy, which encouraged man to find consolation through meditation and prayer.

In The Consolation of Philosophy, a lady, Philosophy, responds to Boethius' account of his misfortunes with Stoic, Platonic, and Christian advice. 

Boethius also wrote five theological treatises, which systematically applied the logic of Aristotle to Christian theology. They earned him the label of the first of the scholastic philosophers- one who attempts to use philosophy to explain Christian faith.

Boethius famously claimed that it is wrong to say what God is. Instead we should say what God is not, since the moment we say what he is we reduce him, thus diminishing him to the level of our inadequate thoughts and even more inadequate language.

Boethius' On Music introduced Greek music theory to the West, notoriously mixing up the modes (e.g. ancient Phrygian become modern Dorian) . It would be Western standard for 1,000 years.

During the Middle Ages The Consolation of Philosophy was a much-revered work and English translations were written by Alfred the Great, Geoffrey Chaucer, and Queen Elizabeth I.  

The Boer War

The Boers were European settlers of the land now called the Republic of South Africa. They fought for, and lost, some of their land in the Boer War, which was fought from 1899 to 1902.

The origins of the war lie in an incident when "Jameson's raiders," a group of British Uitlanders, tried to take over Johannesburg, the capital of Transvaal, in 1895. They failed, but Brit­ish troops gathered along the Transvaal border in support of the British settlers. Transvaal and the Orange Free State then declared war on Great Britain.

After the Boer War broke out a student called Alexander Fleming and two of his brothers joined a Scottish regiment. This turned out to be as much a sporting club as anything; they spent their time honing their shooting, swimming, and even water polo skills, and never made it to the Transvaal

The Boers had about 60,000 men, who were fine horsemen and good shots with their guns. The British had old-fashioned weapons and not enough horses. They suffered many defeats before they defeated the Boers.

British soldiers fighting in the Boer War were issued with the first composite emergency ration packs containing two tins to be used only in extremity. One held four ounces of beef concentrate and the other five ounces of cocoa paste.

In 1900, Queen Victoria sent her New Year's greetings to the British troops stationed in South Africa during the Boer War in the form of a specially molded chocolate bar.

Robert Baden Powell, the founder of the Scout movement first won fame during the Boer War as the defender of Mafeking. The siege of the British garrison at Mafeking by Boer forces lasted 217 days and was finally broken on May 17, 1900. Colonel Robert Baden Powell was the British garrison command.

Picture from The Graphic of Boers firing from their trenches at the siege.

The color khaki was first used in the Afghan War in 1880 — the color was considered good camouflage. It was not until the Boer War that the khaki battle dress was universally adopted.
The Treaty of Vereeniging ended the Boer War and ensured British control of South Africa. It was signed at Melrose House, Pretoria, on May 31, 1902. Transvaal and the Orange Free State became British colonies.

Peace conference at Vereeniging

The Boer leaders were not punished for their part in the war. Several of them held posts in the colonial governments. Four years later the two colonies were granted independent government, which led to the formation of the Union of South Africa.

Sources, Food For Thought: Extraordinary Little Chronicles Of The World by Ed Pearce

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

The Boeing Company

William Edward Boeing and George Conrad Westervelt incorporated Pacific Aero Products in Seattle, Washington on July 15, 1916. It later became the Boeing Aircraft company.

This first Boeing airplane was assembled in a lakeside hangar located on the northeast shore of Seattle's Lake Union. Many of Boeing's early planes were seaplanes.

Replica of Boeing's first plane, the Boeing Model 1, at the Museum of Flight
During World War II  Boeing had a huge hidden factory camouflaged with a fake town on its roof.  it was camouflage for Boeing’s Plant No. 2, where thousands of B-17 bombers were produced.

1959 American Airlines opened the jet age in the U.S. with the first scheduled transcontinental flight of a Boeing 707.

The first Boeing 737 took its maiden flight on April 9, 1967 piloted by Brien Wygle and Lew Wallick During the two-and-half-hour test flight, Wygle and Wallick checked out the airplane's handling characteristics and maneuverability before declaring that it handled beautifully. The airplane landed at Paine Field in Everett, Washington. It eventually became the most ordered and produced commercial passenger jet airliner in the world.

The 10,000th Boeing 737 came off the production line in March 2018 setting a Guinness World Records title for the Most produced commercial jet aircraft model.

An early-production Boeing 737-100 of Lufthansa in 1968. By Ralf Manteufel  

The world's first "jumbo jet," the Boeing 747 jetliner made its maiden commercial voyage on January 22, 1970 for launch customer Pan American Airways when it flew from John F. Kennedy International Airport to London Heathrow Airport. The flight had been scheduled for the previous evening, but was delayed by engine overheating.

The Boeing 747 would hold the passenger capacity record for 37 years.

A Boeing 747's wingspan is longer than the Wright brother's first flight.

A Boeing 747 uses around 207 liters of fuel a minute at maximum cruising speed.

A Boeing 747 uses a gallon of fuel every 1.27 seconds (at 570 miles per hour).

 British Airways 747-400 during takeoff with its landing gear retracting.

A Boeing 747 airliner holds 57,285 gallons of fuel - that's equivalent to 2,713 baths.

There are six million parts in the Boeing 747-400.

The Boeing 767 aircraft is a collection of 3.1 million parts from 800 different suppliers around the world.

The Boeing 777 airliner made its first flight on June 12, 1994.

Boeing 777

A single Boeing 777 Engine delivers twice the horsepower of all the Titanic's steam engines combined.

In 2003, two men stole an empty Boeing 727 from the Luanda International Airport, Angola, and flew it into the sunset. They have never been found.

The Boeing 787 Dreamliner received certification from the EASA and the FAA in August 26, 2011. Boeing's most fuel-efficient airliner, it is also a pioneering airliner with the use of composite materials as the primary material in the construction of its airframe. The Dreamliner made its maiden commercial flight from Tokyo Narita to Hong Kong on All Nippon Airways on October 26, 2011.

 By All_Nippon_Airways_Boeing_787-8_Dreamliner_Wikipedia

Most Boeing 777's and 787's have a secret stairway that leads to a set of windowless bedrooms for the crew. In the Boeing 777, pilots have their own overhead sleeping compartments which feature two roomy sleeping areas, two business-class seats, and enough room for a closet, sink, or lavatory.

When the Sultan of Brunei bought a Boeing 747 for at least $100 million, he had it fitted with sinks made of solid gold.

A retired electrical engineer named Bruce Campbell had an old Boeing 727 delivered to the woods near Portland, Oregon and converted it to his home where he lives full time. Campbell paid $100,000 for the old plane back in 1999. The costs of moving it and what he’s spent since total another $120,000.

In 2014 a retired Boeing jumbo jet was turned into a 33-room Jumbo Stay Hotel in Stockholm, Sweden.

A Boeing 787 has over 2.3 million parts, and workers on the 747 have to drill a million holes during its assembly.



Our eyes are always the same size from birth, but our nose and ears never stop growing.

A human's earlobes and nipples are perfectly aligned.

Babies are born without knee caps. They don't appear until the child reaches 2-6 years of age.

65 percent of your body is water.

When you remove water from grapes, you get raisins, and when you remove water from your body, you get wrinkles.

Very near 90 percent of your body is completely remade by the foods you eat.

Your brain makes up about 2% of your bodyweight.

The average temperature of a bee hive and the human body are the same.

In half an hour, the human body can produce enough heat to boil a half gallon of water.

Every year, about 98% of the atoms in your body are replaced.

The human body has enough fat for seven bars of soap.

The amount of gold in the human body is 0.2mg. 

The most sensitive parts of the human body are the lips and fingertips.

The gut is the only part of the human body that could function alone. It has as many neurons as a cat brain.

Our bodies actually glow in the dark, but the light we emit is 1,000 times weaker than what our eyes can detect.

All humans have lines on the body called Blaschko's lines, which are only visible under certain conditions such as under UV light.

You replace every particle in your body every seven years. You are literally not the same person you were seven years ago.