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Thursday, 30 October 2014

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The second of seven children in Moscow, Fydor Dostoyevsky (1821-1881) was born at the Mariinsky Hospital for the Poor in Moscow on November 11, 1881 where his father was an army doctor.

 Portrait of Dostoyevsky by Vasily Perov, 1872  Google Art Project {{PD-US}} 
Fyodor's cruel and despotic father, Mikhail, was a military surgeon in a Moscow hospital and also a musician.

Fyodor's mother, Maris. died of an illness in 1837 and his father two years later. Mikhail Dostoevsky was murdered by his own serfs, who reportedly became enraged during one of his drunken fits of violence, restrained him, and poured vodka into his mouth until he drowned.

Fyodor and his brother Mikhail were sent to the Military Engineering Academy at St. Petersburg Technical studies bored Fyodor and on graduation in 1843 (as a lieutenant) he decided to become a writer.

Dostoyevsky's first published work was a 1844 translation of Balzak's Eugene Grandet.

Dostoyevsky's first novel 1846's Poor Folk made him famous overnight. It was a short story about the life of a humble government clerk who loved amongst oppressed folk.

In 1848 Dostoyevsky joined a group of young intellectuals who read and debated French socialist theories and other forbidden circulated texts from the west. The Liberal Petrashevsky Circle also voiced their opposition to serfdom and censorship.

Dostoyevsky was arrested with 33 others on April 1, 1849 as a Social Revolutionary, after a police informer had slipped into his socialist discussion groups. Originally he was sentenced to be executed on December 22, 1849. At the stake in front of the squad he was told his sentence was a joke and he was to be sent to Siberia for four years instead.  Dostoyevsky was incarcerated at a penal settlement where they were packed in "like herrings in a barrel".

A sketch of the Petrashevsky Circle mock execution

As a child Dostoyevsky had suffered from slight epilepsy but it worsened during his time in prison. There his jumbled nerves gave him epilepsy so severe that his seizures would hurl him howling to the ground foaming at the mouth. Frequently he ended up in the prison hospital tormented by agonizing rheumatism as well as the epilepsy.

In 1853  Dostoyevsky was exiled to a Siberian military camp. He spent five years as a corporal (and latterly lieutenant) in the Regiment's Seventh Line Battalion stationed at the fortress of Semipalatinsk in Kazakhstan. Dostoyevsky was pardoned in 1859.

In his 1861 book Memoirs of the House of Dead Dostoyevsky described his time in prison humorously. It revealed how he changed his outlook to a more spiritual one.

Dostoyevsky's experience in Siberia, closeted with murderers and other hardened criminals, where the New Testament was the only book he possessed, made him realize people can only become redeemed after a change inside. He consequently threw out his Western influenced atheistic socialist beliefs and became a novelist with a religious mission and a lover of the Russian Orthodox Church.

In 1860 Dostoyevsky founded the journal Time with his brother Mikhail. It serialised several of his works.

When Time was suppressed in 1864 because of a supposedly subversive article, the brothers started The Epoch, another short-lived review.

In 1857 Dostoyevsky met and married a consumptive young widow named Marie Isaeva with a young son. They returned to St Petersburg together but Dostoyevsky’s epilepsy and general slovenliness repulsed Marie.

In 1862 Dostoyevsky travelled to England, France, Germany and Italy. It was his first trip abroad, fulfilling a long-held ambition. His feelings about the trip recorded in the essay Winter Notes on Summer Impressions (1863), emphasized the soullessness of Western European culture.

To escape creditors in Saint Petersburg, Dostoevsky made a second trip to Western Europe. in 1863 There, he attempted to rekindle a love affair with Polina Suslova, a young university student with whom he had had an affair several years prior, but she refused his marriage proposal.

In 1864 Marie died of tuberculosis. They'd been separated for several years,

By the middle of 1864 Dostoyevsky was losing heavily at gambling and Epoch had been closed by the authorities. He sold all the rights of present and future writings to his publisher, Stellovsky and set off for Wiesbaden with his "can't lose" system for winning at roulette. He lost everything.

Dostoyevsky started his novel about a law student haunted by a murder, Crime and Punishment, in a hotel room at Wiesbaden. It was originally serialised in the Russian Herald.

Dostoyevsky's unscrupulous publisher Stellovsky would obtain copyrights to all his past work if he did not produce a new novel by a certain date. He started working on The Gambler, inspired by his own gambling experiences but suffered from writer’s block and procrastinated until three weeks before the deadline.

Dostoyevsky hired a nineteen-year-old stenographer Anna Grigorieva Snitkina (1846-1918) to write out The Gambler as he dictated it. She wrote down every word, worked through the night, then went home to copy it out and returned with an edited manuscript the next day. The Gambler was delivered two hours before the deadline.

Dostoyevsky married Anna on February 15, 1867 in Trinity Cathedral, Saint Petersburg.

The 7,000 rubles Dostoyevsky had earned from Crime and Punishment did not cover their debts, forcing Anna to sell her valuables. On April 14, 1867 they began a delayed honeymoon in Western Europe with the money gained from the sale.

Their honeymoon lasted for four years. They lived in Geneva for a time, then Florence, Vienna, Prague and finally Dresden. Originally it was supposed to last only a few short months, but the trip continued until 1871 after Dostoevsky gambled away most of the couples' money and possessions.

Anna is credited with making her husband's life more serene by relieving him of the day to day chores. She felt no physical attraction to Dostoyevsky who was 25 years her senior and an unkempt widower, with a weakness for alcohol and gambling however their marriage was happy and fulfilling.

Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina-Dostoevskaya's portrait (1846-1918), spouse of the Russian writer Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Anna on her husband: "It seems to me that he has never loved that he has only imagined that he has loved, that there has been no real love on his part. I even think that he is incapable of love."

When Dostoyevsky was writing his novel The Devils in 1872, he returned secretly to St Petersburg in order to retrieve the papers of his murdered stepson Pavel. Pavel had been a member of the anarchist group, Nechaev Gang, and elements of this were included in the book.

In 1880 Dostoyevsky wrote The Brothers Karamazov, a religious novel, which is about how the death of a dominating father affects his sons and their differing responses to their ensuring guilt.

During his later years,  Dostoyevsky lived much of the time at the resort of Staraya Russa which was closer to St Petersburg and less expensive than German resorts.

Dostoyevsky was terrified of being buried alive, presumed dead and would often leave a note to his hosts to double check he was dead before burying him when away from home.

Fyodor Dostoyevsky died for proper of a lung hemorrhage in Saint Petersburg on February 9, 1881. His last words were a quotation of Matthew 3:14–15: "But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? And Jesus answering said unto him, Suffer it to be so now: for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness", He then said: "Hear now—permit it. Do not restrain me!"

Dostoyevsky was buried in Alexander Nevsky Monastery Graveyard, St. Petersburg.

Constance Garnett made the first major English translation of Dostoyevsky’s novels between 1912 and 1920.

Sources Enarta Encyclopedia,, Soul Survivor by Philip Yancey

Wednesday, 29 October 2014


The Romans were so fond of eating dormice that the upper classes raised them domestically. The rodents were kept in specially designed cages and are fed a mixture of nuts.

Only one species of dormouse normally lives in the British Isles, so in British English "dormouse" usually means the Hazel Dormouse.

The dormouse can hibernate six months out of the year, or even longer if the weather does not become warm enough, sometimes waking for brief periods to eat food they had previously stored nearby.

Their name is based on this trait; it comes from Anglo-Norman dormeus, which means "sleepy (one)";

During the summer, the dormice accumulates fat in their bodies, to nourish them through the hibernation period.

Sources Wikipedia, Food For Thought by Ed Pearce


William Murdoch, a Scottish inventor, was one of the first people to have a doorbell. Installed as part of his house built in Birmingham in 1817, it worked using a piped system of compressed air.

A precursor to the electric doorbell, specifically a bell that could be rung at a distance via an electric wire, was invented by Joseph Henry around 1831

British children over the centuries have always enjoyed ringing doorbells and then running away. However they are breaking the law according to the Town Police Causes Act of 1847.

Orville Wright died from a heart attack while fixing the doorbell to his home in Oakwood, Ohio in 1949.

82% of teenagers don’t ring the doorbell, they text or call to say they’re outside instead.

Source Wikipedia 


The ancient Greeks developed several ways of allowing a door to be unlocked from the outside as well as from the inside. One improvement consisted of a rope attached to a pivoted bar and passed through a hole in the door. A tug on the rope lifted the bar from its cleats.

The saying “when one door closes, another opens" is an Alexander Graham Bell quote which he then followed by saying "but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us.”

The world’s first revolving door was the Van Kannel Revolving Storm Door, patented on August 7, 1888 by Theophilus van Kannel of Philadelphia. Van Kannel came up with idea for revolving doors because he hated opening doors for women. The patent drawing by Theophilus Van Kannel below was for a "Storm-Door Structure."

Theophilus Van Kannel's patent drawing for a revolving door, 1888

A total of 60 doors were destroyed by Jack Nicholson for his iconic "Here's Johnny!" scene in The Shining.

When the studio behind Star Trek received a letter from a builder asking how to make automatic sliding doors that opened and closed as fast as on the Enterprise, the reply explained that the doors were manually operated by an offstage crewman. If too late, cast would hit unopened doors.

The Foley sound effect for automatic doors in Star Wars was created by sliding a piece of paper out of an envelope.

Every door frame in Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace had to be taken down and rebuilt when they proved to be too low for 6’4 tall Liam Neeson. It cost the set-crew an extra $150,000.

At 456 feet high, the world's largest door is taller than the Statue of Liberty and owned by NASA.

Cellar door has been cited as the most beautiful phrase in the English language based purely in terms of its sound.

Vancouver banned doorknobs, even in private homes, in favor of levers, which are easier for the elderly and disabled to maneuver.

Using horizontal push bars instead of regular door knobs/handles is too prevent a crowd from smashing into a door and preventing its ability to open. It's called panic hardware.

Poorly designed doors (doors that aren't obvious if you push, pull, turn a handle, etc to open) are called "Norman Doors" and are named after Don Norman who writes about how it should be obvious as to how everyday items function.

Source Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia

John Donne

John Donne was born on January 22,. 1572 in London, the third of six children. His father, also named John Donne, was of Welsh descent and a warden of the Ironmongers Company in the City of London. The Donne family were Roman Catholics when practice of that religion was illegal in England.

A portrait of Donne as a young man, c. 1595, artist unknown, in the collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London

In 1601, John Donne eloped with Anne More, the seventeen-year-old niece of his employer, Sir Thomas Egerton. Donne was promptly arrested and imprisoned for marrying a minor without the consent of her guardians.

Donne wrote his young bride a letter from prison, saying, "John Donne, Anne Donne, Undone."

Anne bore John twelve children in sixteen years of marriage (including two stillbirths); indeed, she spent most of her married life either pregnant or nursing.

Donne served as a member of parliament in 1601 and in 1614.

In 1615, he became an Anglican priest, although Donne did not want to take Anglican orders. He did so because King James I persistently ordered it.

King James I employed Donne as a private chaplain in 1619. Two years later, on November 22, 1621, Donne was appointed the Dean of St Paul's Cathedral in London.

John Donne

For many years Donne was recognized as the most brilliant and eloquent preacher around. Listening to a spellbinding preacher was one of the most popular entertainments available to the common people at the time and many flocked to listen to famous preachers such as Donne. Crowds including the King himself came to hear sermons, which often last several hours.

Donne suffered a nearly fatal illness in late 1623. During his convalescence he wrote a series of meditations and prayers on health, pain, and sickness that were published as a book in 1624 under the title of Devotions upon Emergent Occasions. Divided into 23 parts, the book traced the "stations" of Donne's illness. Each part consisted of three sections—a meditation in which Donne pondered a specific aspect of his illness or the human condition, an expostulation in which he debates or wrestles with God.

One of these meditations, Meditation XVII, later became well known for its phrases "No man is an Iland" (often modernised as "No man is an island") and "...for whom the bell tolls".

Two months before his death Donne preached his legendary “Death’s Duell,” his so-called funeral sermon."We celebrate our own funeral with cries, even at our birth," preached the poet, who was seemingly obsessed with the subject for his entire life.

John Donne died on March 31, 1631, most likely of stomach cancer, He was buried in old St Paul's Cathedral, where a memorial statue of him was erected with a Latin epigraph probably composed by himself. Donne's monument survived the 1666 Fire of London, and is on display in the present building.

Memorial to John Donne, St Paul's Cathedral

In 1962, his works were cited by physicist Robert Oppenheimer as having been the inspiration for choosing the code name "Trinity" for the first nuclear bomb test.

Sources Christian History, Wikipedia

Tuesday, 28 October 2014


The donkey of Mediterranean lands is thought to be a descendant of the wild ass of Western Asia.


Donkeys came to England with the Roman invasion of Britain in 43AD.

The ass was brought to the New World by the Spanish colonists and is known in Mexico and the southwestern United States by its Spanish name, burro.

Donkey handlers in 19th century UK seaside resorts faced fines of five shillings for allowing overweight punters a ride.

Oklahoma Sam, a four-year-old American Mammoth Jackstock, is the tallest living donkey on the planet. She measures 5 feet 1 inch from hoof to withers.

Donkeys have incredible memories and can recognize other donkeys they knew as long as 25 years ago.

They can hear another donkey in a desert environment calling up to 60 miles away.

The need companions and get depressed on their own.


A female donkey is known as a jenny and a male donkey is known as a jack.

Domesticated donkeys are found around the world; wild donkeys are seen only in North Africa.

China has more donkeys than any other country, though they are threatened by the use of donkey skins in traditional medicine.

Donkeys are often kept with horses due to a perceived calming effect they have on nervous horses.

Donkeys can be used to guard livestock from coyotes and wolves. They instinctively attack, by biting and kicking and if they get the chance they will even kill.

Donkeys are said to kill more people annually than plane crashes.

A donkey was jailed in Mexico for assault and battery in 2008 after it bit and kicked two men.

A female donkey is normally pregnant for about twelve months, and usually gives birth to a single foal; twins are rare.

A donkey can eat as much as 6,000lbs of food per year, which is why they are in such demand to keep grasslands under control.

Donkeys have very efficient digestion, utilizing up to 95 per cent of the energy they consume. This makes their poo not much use as a fertilizer.

The placement of a donkey's eyes in its head enables it to see all four feet at all times.

Sources Daily ExpressDaily Mail

Doner Kebab

Doner kebab is primarily a Levantine Arab meat preparation. Iskandar Efendi, who lived in Bursa in the 19th century, claimed to have invented it along with his uncle and grandfather. The Greeks call it ‘gyro’.

Wikipedia Commons

The first Doner kebab shop opened in the UK in 1966 in London, and was called the Hodja Nasrettin and owned by Cetin Bukey.

In Japan, doner kebabs are now quite common, especially in Tokyo. They are predominantly made of chicken but occasionally beef, and are often sold from parked vans.

Simon Langley-Evans, a professor of human nutrition at Nottingham University states that doner is a healthier choice of fast food, as it brings together meat, wholemeal bread and vegetables.

An avaerage doner kebab contains 148 per cent of your daily saturated fat allowance. It also boasts 1,000 calories, half a woman’s recommended daily intake.

A kebab measuring a record 194 metres (636 ft) was shared by 2,500 people at a hotel in Langfang, in China’s Hebei Province in October 2015.

The Donation of Constantine

The Donation of Constantine claimed that on his baptism by Pope Sylvester in 324 the Emperor Constantine presented the pope with Rome, Italy and other Roman provinces. Some doubted the validity of this document as Constantine was in fact baptized by the Arian bishop, Eusebius of Nicomedia, in 337.

In 860 Pope Nicholas 1 used the document to buttress the papal claims to supremacy in the church and over secular authority by predating the civil power of the papacy before it was actually granted by Pepin the Short and Charlemagne.

After this the Papacy used the Donation of Constantine to strengthen their claim for sovereign rule in Italy. In 1493 on Columbus' homeward voyage from his first journey, bad weather forced him to dock at Lisbon enabling King John II of Portugal to hear of the Italian explorer's discoveries before the King of Spain. The Portuguese immediately assumed rights of all land west of Africa. The Spanish applied to the Spanish-born Pope Alexander VI to intervene.

Even though it had been known for over fifty years the Donation of Constantine was a forgery, the Papacy still had great influence in such matters. The corrupt pope gave the Spanish dominion of all land 300 miles west of the Azores-  in other words all of America. The Portuguese threatened war, so the Spanish agreed to modify the position giving Portugal the very east of America, what was to become Brazil


3,344 people played dominoes together on January 22, 2012 breaking the world record for most people playing dominoes. The event was organised by Luis Alberto Ramirez Feliz in Santo Domingo, Distrito Nacional, Dominican Republic.

Any domino can be used to knock over something 1.5 times its size. So you can build up from small things to knock over pretty much anything if you have the time. If you started with a domino the size of a carbon atom, you could knock over the Burj Khalifa with a 1.22 kilometer tall domino in just 74 steps.

The reason why any domino can knock over another object up to 1.5 times its size is due to gravitational potential energy.

The dots on dominoes are called 'pips'.

Monday, 27 October 2014


The order of Dominicans was  founded by Saint Dominic in 1215. Dominic established himself with six followers, in a house given by Peter Seila, a rich resident of Toulouse.

With the approval of Pope Innocent III in 1216, Dominic's order was called The Order of Preachers or more popularly known as the Dominican Order.

Dominic insisted on the importance of education. His friars studied theology at the University of Paris and canon law at the University of Bologna.

His Dominican order were strategically placed both to open schools and to lecture on scripture and theology in the new universities which were springing up around Europe.

The Dominicans were nicknamed "The Black Friars" on account of the black mantle worn over their white habit.

Sister Miriam Michael Stimson, was both a Dominican nun and a scientist. Her research contributed to James Watson and Francis Crick's understanding of the structure of DNA.

Source Encarta Encyclopedia

Dominican Republic

The first time that Christopher Columbus saw part of the present Dominican Republic was on January 4, 1493 when he saw a headland that he named Monte Cristi ("Mountain of Christ"). That mountain is called now El Morro and is near the city of Monte Cristi.

When Christopher Columbus defied the commonsense of the day and sailed west instead of east to find India, he gave as one reason for doing so to take the gospel to the heathen. Clergymen accompanied him in his voyages and the first of many churches was erected at La Isabela in present day Dominican Republic in 1494.

Christopher Columbus' brother, Bartholomew, founded the city of Santo Domingo, the oldest permanent European city in the Americas in 1496.

The Dominican Republic occupies 64 per cent of the Caribbean island of Hispaniol, Haiti the other 36 per cent.

Spain quickly seized control of the island, bringing with them infectious diseases to which the native Taino people had no resistance.

Within ten years, more than 90 per cent of the native population had died and the Spanish began to import slaves from Africa.

The first university in the New World, the Universidad Santo Tomás de Aquino, was established in 1538 in what is now the Dominican Republic.

In the Dominican Republic a drink called “kill-devil” or “rumbullion” was made by the natives by the distillation from sugar cane. 16th century Colonists only drink the rough spirits (which they referred to by its shortened name “rum”) in the absence of anything better.

The Dominican Republic gained independence from Haiti on February 27, 1844. Its first Constitution was modeled after the United States Constitution.

The Dominican Republic flag was adopted on November 6, 1863. The blue on the flag stands for liberty, the white for salvation, and the red for the blood of heroes.  In the center is a shield, which contains a Bible with a small cross above it flanked by three spears. The Bible is said to be opened to the Gospel of John, chapter 8, verse 32, which reads "Y la verdad os hará libres" ("And the truth shall make you free"). The Dominican Republic is the only country to have a Bible on its national flag.

In 1869, Republican President Ulysses S. Grant tried to annex the Dominican Republic to use it as a safe haven for blacks fleeing persecution. Although the Caribbean country agreed to the annexation treaty, it ultimately failed to pass the Senate.

The first public performance of the Dominican National Anthem, "Himno Nacional,"  took place on August 17, 1883. Its music was composed by José Rufino Reyes Siancas and its lyrics were authored by Emilio Prud'Homme .Though the music was an instant success, several objections were made to the lyrics for having various historical inaccuracies. In 1897, Prud'homme submitted revised lyrics which stand to this day.

By Cheposo -Wikipedia Commons

The Dominican Republic offered to take 100,000 Jews in 1938. Only 645 made it. Everyone was given eighty acres of land, ten cows, a mule and horse.

In 1959 a group of Dominican exiles departed from Cuba and landed in the Dominican Republic with the intent of overthrowing the totalitarian government of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina. Save for four of them, all are killed and/or executed.

Civil war broke out in the Dominican Republic on April 24, 1965 when Colonel Francisco Caamaño, overthrew the triumvirate that was in power.

US soldiers push a child underneath a Jeep to protect him during a firefight in Santo Domingo 

The war was ended by U.S. military occupation and was followed by the authoritarian rule of Joaquín Balaguer, 1966–1978. 

Saint Dominic

Saint Dominic was born to a pious noble family in Caleruega, halfway between Osma and Aranda de Duero in Old Castile, Spain.

He was named after Saint Dominic of Silos, who is said to be the patron saint of hopeful mothers.

Dominic was educated first by an uncle who was a priest.  At the age of 17 Dominic entered the University of Palencia, where he studied theology and philosophy.

As a student Dominic once sold his books (a huge sacrifice in the days before printing) to provide food for the poor during a famine. For him poverty was a virtue.

In 1196 Dominic became canon of the Cathedral of Osma, in Castile, and was soon actively engaged in local ecclesiastical reform. He rose to sub- prior.

In 1203 Dominic accompanied his superior, Didacus of Acebes, bishop of Osma, on a religious mission to Rome in 1203. During his journey he struck by the hold the Gnostic Cathar heresy (who believed that Jesus was an angel rather than incarnated man) had on the people of southern France.

Dominic decided to bring the Cathars back into the church by founding an order of wandering preachers who  would preach the Word of God and demonstrate the virtues of poverty to them.

In 1208 A crusade was launched against the Cathar heretics in southern France led by the baron, Simon de Montfort. Dominic acts as a spiritual advisor. Sadly this resulted in violent pillaging and looting in the area by knights from the north of France. At the siege of Toulouse, Dominic was credited with saving around 40 English pilgrims whose boats had capsized on a river by the fervour of his prayers, when he was called to the shore.

In 1216 Pope Honorius III officially sanctioned Dominic’s Dominican order. They were to be a preaching order whose main emphasis was to counteract, by means of teaching, preaching, and the example of austerity, the heresies that were prevalent at the time.

Dominic's diet often consisted of only a small piece of fish or a couple of egg yolks.

Blessed Cecilia Caesarini, who was received by St. Dominic into his new order, described him as "...thin and of middle height. His face was handsome and somewhat fair. He had reddish hair and beard and beautiful eyes. ...His hands were long and fine and his voice pleasingly resonant. He never got bald, though he wore the full tonsure, which was mingled with a few grey hairs.”

Saint Dominic, portrayed in the Perugia Altarpiece by Fra Angelico.

Dominic was in northern Italy, where he was about to set off on a mission to Hungary. He fell fatally ill, worn out by continuous travels on foot, little food and lack of sleep.  The saint died in Bologna on August 6, 1221.

Dominic admitted on his deathbed that he was a virgin, yet had preferred talking to girls rather than old ladies.

Dominic was canonised in 1234. His feast day is August 8th.

In 1963, "Soeur Sourire", the Singing Nun of Belgium, scored a US #1 hit with the song "Dominique", about St Dominic.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Domestic Animal

The dog was the first animal domesticated by humans. Its bones are common in campsites of the late Neolithic that date back more than 10,000 years. At least five different kinds of dogs similar to the household pets of today have been identified from these remains.

The association may have developed gradually as wild dogs took to hanging around encampments to pilfer scraps, and humans began to rely on the dogs for warning of any approaching danger.

Wild cats began to cross paths with humans when farming developed in Western Asia. Cats came more frequently into villages where grain stocks attracted mice and man began to realize that that could use cats for reducing the number of mice.

We know that cattle were domesticated in Asia first, as their bones have been found in settlements there earlier than anywhere else.

Shorthorn cattle were introduced into Europe from Central Asia when the long-horned urus (now extinct) was still running wild. The urus and the Celtic ox were domesticated later than the Asian breeds of cattle.

In North America before the arrival of the Europeans, the only domesticated animal among the Native Americans was the dog.

Not one new species has been domesticated in the past 4,000 years, unless laboratory animals such as mice, rats, and monkeys can be considered domesticated.

The cat is the only domestic animal not mentioned in the Bible.

Sources Encyclopedia Britannica, Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc., 

Domesday Book

The Domesday book, a summary of William the Conqueror's survey of England was completed in 1086. It was a complete census of all land and livestock in England to help the king know the scope of his kingdom so that he could levy tax.

It was made up of two books, one 382 pages, (“Little Domesday covering Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex) and the other 450 pages  ("Great Domesday" covering much of the remainder of England and parts of Wales). Both were written in Latin.

It was claimed "no hide nor yard of land was there left out", This was not strictly true as four northern shires and a number of towns such as Lincoln were missed. Also no surveys were made of London and Winchester, probably due to their tax-exempt status.

In the Domesday Book, the total rental value of the land (most of England and Wales) was an estimated £73,000 a year: about £2.6 billion ($4.2 billion) in today’s money.

A page of Domesday Book for Warwickshire

William the Conqueror himself never read it, as he was illiterate.

The Domesday book lists over 5,500 water mills used to grind grain to produce flour for the population south of the River Severn  and Trent. It also mentions Britain’s first named cheese, Cheshire cheese.

The Domesday Book wasn’t known as the Domesday Book for a hundred years after it was written. Richard FitzNeal wrote circa 1179 in the Dialogus de Scaccario:

When this book is appealed to ... its sentence cannot be quashed or set aside with impunity. That is why we have called the book 'the Book of Judgement' ... because its decisions, like those of the Last Judgement, are unalterable.

The Domesday Book is now held at The National Archives at Kew, London. In 2011 the Open Domesday site made the manuscript available online.

Domain name

The first registered internet domain name was . It was registered on March 15, 1985.

The Soviet Union lasted long enough to be given it's own internet domain name, .su, which it received only 15 months before dissolving.

Up until September 14, 1995, registering an online domain name was free of charge. When Network Solutions were granted the authority to charge for domain names, they charged $100 for two years registration. The fee was imposed on all domains and 30% of this revenue went to the NSF to create an "Internet Intellectual Infrastructure Fund.

Yhe domain name ".tv" is the domain representing the country of Tuvalu. In 1998, Tuvalu signed a contract for the exclusive marketing rights for the domain name, allowing it to finally raise enough money to join the United Nations.

The longest place name in Europe and the longest valid, single-word internet domain name in the world is the Welsh village of, Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch.

Microsoft owned, and wanted At the same time, a man named Bob owned, and wanted So they swapped.

Coca-Cola owns every domain variation of , from 2 H's up to 62 H's.

Over 100,000 internet domains are registered every day.

When Montenegro declared independence from Yugoslavia in 2006, its Internet domain suffix was changed from .yu to .me.


The name 'dolphin' comes from the Ancient Greek delphis meaning "with a womb", because it was first thought to be a fish with a womb. It is now known to be a mammal.

Killing a dolphin in ancient Greece was considered sacrilegious and was punishable by death.

A dolphin named Pelorus Jack regularly guided ships in New Zealand through treacherous waters until his disappearance in 1912.

In Laguna, Brazil, dolphins herd fish towards local fishermen and then signal the fishermen to throw their nets. The dolphins feed on the escaping fish. They were not trained for this behavior, the collaboration has been going on at least since 1847.

Dolphins don't automatically breathe, they have to tell themselves to breathe. Every breath is a conscious effort.

The dolphin that played Flipper on the TV show committed suicide by refusing to breathe.

When humans take a breath, they replace only 15% of the air in their lungs with fresh air. When dolphins take a breath, they replace 90% of the air in their lungs with fresh air.

Air can be forcefully expelled from a dolphin's blowhole at a speed of 100 mph.

Dolphins can stay up to 15 minutes under water, but they cannot breathe under the water.

Dolphins sleep in the water with one eye open to watch for predators while they sleep.

Dolphins can swim at speeds of up to 37 mph.

Dolphins that are tagged by scientists swim 11 percent slower because of the drag from the object on their bodies.

The brain of a dolphin is like a human brain in size and development.

Dolphins shed the top layer of their skin every two hours.

Male dolphins are called "bulls", and females "cows".

When dolphins give birth, the babies come out tail first.

Male dolphins have been known to separate female dolphins from their families and deny them food until they agree to mate.

Dolphins have "bromances" in which two males may pair up for as long as 15 years and help each other hook up with females.

Dolphins can communicate over telephone and appear to know who they're talking to.

Dolphins can recognize the distinct whistle of their old friends even after 20 years of being separated.

Dolphins can recognize themselves in the mirror, and they love to admire themselves.

Humans and dolphins are the only species that have sex for pleasure.

The US Navy has 75 trained dolphins to detect enemy swimmers and underwater mines.

Though killer whales are considered whales by most people, they are actually members of the Delphinidae (dolphin) family.


In the 1700’s, you could sell a fresh deerskin of a buck for one dollar – hence, the term “buck.”

New Orleans businessman Oliver Pollock created the dollar symbol ($) in 1778 by adding a vertical line through a capital "S."

The dollar was unanimously chosen as the official currency for the United States on July 6, 1785.

President Andrew Jackson, who appears on the U.S. twenty-dollar bill, was hugely opposed to paper money.

The United States $500, $1,000, $5,000 and $10,000 bills were officially withdrawn from circulation in 1969.

The US dollar is the official currency of Ecuador, El Salvador and Panama.

There are 293 ways to make change for a dollar.

Iron ink is used when printing dollar bills. When a cashier uses their special marker to validate the bill, it reacts to the iron in the ink, turning yellow. If a bill is counterfeit, there will be no iron in the ink, and the marker will turn it black.

There are 11 lampposts and four vehicles on the back of a $10 bill.

A stack of one million U.S. one-dollar bills is 361 ft high and weighs exactly a ton.

$1 coins exist but have not gained popularity due to it weighing more than a $1 bill. Adoption would save taxpayers $4.4 billion due to its durability over paper/cotton bills.

It takes about 4000 double folds before a U.S. dollar bill will tear.


Dolls may be the world’s oldest toys. Examples have been found in Egyptian tombs from 2000 BC.

Early in the sixteenth century, Dorothy became a fashionable name in Britain, remaining so for almost 200 years. Its popularity led people to shorten it to Dolly or Doll. It was not surprising that eventually children's playthings were also called by this well-liked name. The first documented instance is found as early as 1700.

The earliest records of dolls’ houses or “baby houses” date back to the 16th century.

In the US the first mass-produced dolls were marketed in 1800.

In 1903 Beatrix Potter designed and patented a Peter Rabbit doll – making Peter Rabbit the world’s oldest licensed character.

Queen Mary of England was gifted a 1:12 scale doll house in 1924. It had books that were especially written by writers for the library, bottles filled with the appropriate drinks in the wine cellar, working lights and model cars made by Rolls Royce. Even the toilets had working plumbing.

The Barbie Doll made her debut at the New York Toy Fair in March 1959 and took toy stores across the US by storm-more than 351,000 dolls were sold that year at $3 (£1.50) each.

Hasbro Toys introduced in 1964 GI Joe, an 11½-inch "action figure" that sold for $4.00. The doll was inspired by the 1945 Robert Mitchum movie, The Story of GI Joe.

Hasbro coined the term "Action Figure", to market their G.I. Joe toys to boys who would not play with "dolls."

Snake Eyes, one of the 16 original G.I. Joe action figures, was designed to save Hasbro money. As a ninja, the character was completely molded from black plastic, even given a mask to prevent detailing a face. The figure wasn't even painted, but became one of the most popular G.I. Joe figures.

Handmade, cloth-faced Cabbage Patch Kids were created by 21 year old art student Xavier Roberts 1978. Beginning in mid-1983, a less expensive, vinyl-faced version became available. More than 3 million were sold, that year.

The first ever Cabbage Patch Dolls arrived in the UK in 1983, each complete with their own “adoption papers”.

Source Daily Express

Dogs in Wartime

Sergeant Stubby (July 21, 1916 – March 16, 1926),  was the most decorated dog of World War I and the only dog to be promoted by combat. He saved his regiment from mustard gas attacks comforted the wounded and notified his troop of oncoming artillery. Back home, his exploits were front page news in major newspapers.

Sergeant Stubby wearing military uniform and decorations.

After the war, Sergeant Stubby led parades across the country met three presidents and became a university mascot.

Canaan dogs were developed in the late 1930s as guard dog for kibbutzim. They were trained for mine detection in World War II.

Most war dogs trained for World War II were German shepherds or Labrador retrievers (for their superior noses), but the 3rd War Dog Platoon consisted of all Dobermans.

In the battle of Guam, a Doberman named Kurt saved the lives of 250 Marines when he warned them of Japanese troops ahead.

Gunner (born c. August 1941) was a stray Australian male kelpie who was found under a destroyed mess hut at Darwin Air Force base on February 19, 1942, His hearing was so acute that he could warn air force personnel of incoming Japanese planes 20 minutes before they came and before they showed up on radar. Gunner could also differentiate the sounds between allied and enemy planes.

Gunner and his handler Percy Leslie Westcott

Judy (born Shanghai 1936, died Tanzania 1950) was a ship's dog on a Royal Navy vessel before and during World War II. An English pointer, she was known for pointing out the approach of hostile Japanese aircraft long before any of the human crew could hear them.

Later on when the ship was sunk in action, and the crew became Prisoners of War, Judy, as an honorary POW, would do what she could to help out, such as finding food,. She was the only animal to have been officially registered as a Japanese prisoner of war.

Judy was adopted by Frank Williams (1919–2006) and smuggled back to England after liberation. She was awarded the Dickin Medal, "the animals' VC", in May 1946. 

Dog Show

The first modern selected breed dog show was held in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, in June 1859. The only breeds scheduled were pointers and setters.

The first all-breeds show in the United States was held in Detroit in 1875, although Chicago, was the site a year earlier of a show exclusively for sporting dogs.

The Westminster Show first opened on May 8, 1877 at Gilmore's Garden (Madison Square Garden) in New York. It was initiated by a group of hunters who met regularly at the Westminster Hotel in Manhattan and was originally a show for gun dogs, primarily Setters and Pointers.

The "First Annual New York Bench Show of Dogs" was such a great success that they added a fourth day to the competition.

The New York Times reported that at the first Westminster Show there was a "fine collection of canines".

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is now a two-day event held on the second Monday and Tuesday in February in New York City and is the second-longest continuously held sporting event in the United States behind only the Kentucky Derby, which was first held in 1875.

The Westminster Kennel Club logo

The First Great Terrier Show, precursor to the Cruft’s Dog Show, was organised by Charles Cruft. His show opened at the Royal Aquarium in Westminster, London on March 10, 1886.

Crufts exhibition 1891

Charles Cruft was for many years general manager of Spratt's, the world's first large-scale manufacturer of dog biscuits.

It was in 1891 that Cruft opened the contest to all breeds and used his name as its title. There were 2,437 entries in the first official Crufts at the Royal Agricultural Hall in Islington, London.

Charles Cruft continued to run a further 45 shows until his death in 1938

Dogs in History

The dog was the first of man's domesticated animals.  A 50,000-year-old cave painting in Europe seems to show a dog-like animal hunting with men.

The Ancient Egyptians adopted the dog, calling it by individual names. Early hieroglyphic signs refer to it by the syllables b and w which anticipated by thousands of years the children's custom of speaking of the dog as a bow wow.

Egyptian beliefs portrayed dogs as companions of their master at home and in the field. Mummified bodies of dogs were found in Egyptian graves, showing how they venerated the canine species.

Abuwtiyuw is one of the earliest domestic animals whose name is known. A lightly built Egyptian hunting dog similar to a greyhound, with erect ears and a curly tail, he is believed to have been a royal guard dog of the 6th Dynasty (2345–2181 BC). He received an elaborate ceremonial burial in the Giza Necropolis at the behest of an unknown pharaoh.

The Egyptians were  responsible for developing many breeds by crossing dogs with foxes, jackals, and wolves

The first dogs to hunt in packs and the first small companion breeds were probably bred in ancient China. Written records more than 4,000 years old from China show that dog trainers were held in high esteem and that kennel masters raised and looked after large numbers of dog.

Andean tribes around Peru in 1000 BC used to eat dogs, a custom that was condemned by the royal Incas.

The Persians loved the dog so much that anyone killing one was severely punished.

Homer, the Greek author of the Odyssey in the 9th century BC, is believed to be one of the first to write about dogs. They were mentioned often in his classic epic.

Homer described how when Odysseus arrived home after an absence of 20 years, disguised as a beggar, the only one to recognize him was his aged dog Argos, who wagged his tail at his master, and then died.

The ancient Greeks believed that the gates of the underworld were guarded by a savage three-headed dog named Cerberus. The belief might have been derived from the widespread practice in Greece of using watchdogs.

Alexander the Great had a faithful dog, Peritas, named after the Macedonian name for the month of January. It is thought that Peritas, who Alexander raised from a puppy, was one of the now-extinct Mollosian breed, a sort of giant Rottweiler. When the conqueror was fighting the army of Darius III of Persia , Peritas leaped forward and bit the lip of an elephant charging his master. The loyal mutt was rewarded by having a city named after him.

It is likely that herding dogs were brought to England by Julius Caesar during his 55 BC invasion and that specimens were left behind and interbred with the local dogs.

The ancient Romans relied on watchdogs. So many dogs were kept in the larger Roman cities that any house with a watchdog was required to have a sign warning "Cave Canem" (Beware the Dog).

The Romans also used dogs for military purposes, some as attack dogs and some as messengers.

The greater Swiss mountain dog originated by Roman armies, who left it behind in Switzerland, where it was used as draft dog for pulling carts or sleds.

The once popular dog name “Fido” is from Latin and means “fidelity.”

Saur, or Suening was a dog that was "king" of Norway for three years during the 11th century AD. The Norwegian king, angry that his subjects once deposed him, put Saur on the throne and demanded that it be treated regally.

By the Middle Ages dogs wore coats of mail just as knights did.

Some of the most popular dog names in Medieval times were Nosewise, Smylfeste, Bragge, and Holdfast.

The only dog required to appear on stage in a play by Shakespeare is Launce’s dog, which is called Crab, in The Two Gentlemen Of Verona.

A Mr John Pickard was appointed “Dogwhipper” in Exeter Cathedral, England in the mid 19th century. The office of dogwhipper was to keep order among the sheepdogs and other working dogs that were bought to church by their owners and if need be eject any particularly woofsome canines. This had been a common appointment.

The "Turnspit Dog" was a now extinct dog that was short-legged, long-bodied and bred to run on a wheel that would turn meat over a fire. They were also used as foot warmers in church and Queen Victoria kept retired turnspit dogs as pets.

In 1860 Mrs Mary Tealby founded a 'Temporary Home for Lost and Starving Dogs' in Holloway, and in 1871 it moved to its present premises in Battersea.

Abraham Lincoln's pet dog Fido, was the first Presidential mutt to be photographed in 1861.


The Kennel Club was founded in 1873, the oldest and first official registry of purebred dogs in the world.

When the Titanic sank in 1912, three dogs survived. They were traveling in the first class cabins with their owners. Two were Pomeranians.

The first dog to star in an American movie was Jean the Vitagraph Dog, a Border Collie mix, who made his first film in 1910.

In 1924 in Japan, the dog Hachikō waited every day for his owner Ueno to return from work. Even after Ueno suddenly passed away, Hachikō visited the station every day for nine years, nine months and fifteen days, awaiting his return.

President Calvin Coolidge described his beloved white collie Rob Roy as a "stately gentleman of great courage and fidelity".

Rob Roy

Balto (1919 – March 14, 1933) was a Siberian husky and sled dog who led his team on the final leg of the 1925 serum run to Nome, Alaska in which diphtheria antitoxin was transported to combat an outbreak of the disease. Balto was present for the unveiling of his own statue in Central Park on December 17, 1925.

A dog called Rover (real name Blair) was the first British film star. The sensationally popular film Rescued by Rover resulted in many puppies being christened by that name.

The first dog movie star was Rin Tin Tin who signed his own contracts for the 22 films he made with a paw print.

The american rock group Blondie named themselves after Hitler’s dog Blondi.

Laika, a stray dog from the streets of Moscow, was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik II  and become the first living creature in space. Launched on November 3, 1957. Sputnik II was the second spacecraft launched into Earth orbit. The dog died when Sputnik's air supply ran out; no provision had been made for recovering the craft.

Source From Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc.

Dog Food

In 1781, an encyclopedia mentioned an earlier practice of removing the liver, heart, and blood of a downed stag and mixing it with milk, cheese, and bread; and then giving it to dogs.

The earliest reference to “dog biscuits” in the Oxford English Dictionary refers to “An advertisement of dog biscuits manufactured by Mr Smith of Maidenhead” in 1823.

The first to market dog biscuits worldwide was James Pratt, an electrical and lightning rod salesman of Ohio around 1860.

One employee at Pratt’s factory in London was Charles Cruft who later founded Cruft’s Dog Show.

An American electrician, James Spratt, concocted the first dog treat. Living in London at the time, he witnessed dogs around a shipyard eating scraps of discarded biscuits. Shortly thereafter he introduced his dog food, made up of wheat meals, vegetables and meat. By 1890 production had begun in the United States and became known as “Spratt's Patent Limited”.

The first tinned dog food in the UK was Chappie, which started in 1934 when US giant Mars took over Chappel Bros Ltd, a small pet food company in Manchester.

In the United States alone, dog owners spent over $8.5 billion on commercially manufactured dog food in 2007.

The word's largest dog biscuit weighed 279.87 kg (617 lb) and was made by Hampshire Pet Products (USA) in Joplin, Missouri, USA, on July 8, 2011. The biscuit was 19 ft (5.79m) long, 3.8 ft, (1.16 m) wide, and 1.63 in (0.04 m) deep. It required a total of 10 bakers to bake it.

If the word “with” is used in a dog food's name, it only has to contain at least 3% of that item—so “Dog Food With Beef” is 3% beef.

Dogs are commonly eaten in Asia with around 15 million pooches eaten every year there, or around nearly 4% of the world’s dog population

About 8% of people in China eat dog meat—it's believed to ward off heat in the summer months.

Sources Daily ExpressWikipedia 

Dog Collar (Clergy)

Until the 19th century the clergy dressed much as other men, wearing dark clothes with the white high stock of the country gentleman as neckwear. They would change these stocks for ‘preaching bands’ when necessary (the white tabs worn by some clergy and barristers today.)
As fashion changed, the stock was superseded by the stiff high collar of the Victorian era, known as the all-rounder, which by 1870 had come to be known as a ‘dog collar’.

Source Daily Mail

Dog Collar (Canine)

Spiked dog collars were invented in ancient Greece and were originally designed to protect dog's throats from wolves, coyotes, and other predators.

There is a dog collar museum at Leeds Castle in Kent, England with 130 dog collars in its collection. Dogs are not admitted except guide dogs and hearing dogs.



The oldest known domesticated breed is the Saluki, a large, athletic hound thought to have emerged in 329 BC.

"Beware of dog" signs have been found in ancient Roman buildings, usually in the form of a mosaic.

Kublai Khan, who established the Yuan Dynasty of China, had the possession of 5,000 Mastiffs - the most dogs ever owned by one person,

There are 339 breeds of dog, according to the World Canine Organisation.

The largest breed of dog is the Irish Wolfhound. The smallest dog breed is the Chihuahua. The St. Bernard is the heaviest.

There are over 52.6 million dogs in the US.

The world’s smallest dog was Sylvia, a tiny Yorkshire terrier who died aged two in 1945. She was 2.5 inches tall at the shoulder and 3.5 inch from nose to tail when she passed away. Sylvia was owned by Arthur Marples of Blackburn, England,

The world record holder for tallest dog is a Great Dane called Freddy from Essex in England. He stands at 7ft 6in on his hind legs and weighs 92kg, Freddy has an appetite to match his stature, devouring entire roast chickens in one sitting. He costs his owner Claire Stoneman around £12,500 pounds a year in maintenance and feeding costs.

The heaviest dog on record is an Old English Mastiff from London named Zorba, who was bred by Mrs I Prosser on September 26, 1981. He weighed 343 pounds and measured 8 feet and 3 in. from nose to tail. When the record was set in 1989, Zorba was aged eight.

The oldest ever dog was Bluey, a Cattle Dog from Australia, who lived to 29 years and 5 months. His owner, Les Hall of Rochester, Victoria, finally put Bluey to sleep on November 14, 1939.

The newest dog breed is the Bull Boxer, first bred in the United States in 1990-91.

The world record for the highest jump cleared by a dog is 1.72 metres (5ft 8in), achieved by Cinderella May, a Holly Grey. Owned by Kate Long and Kathleen Conroy of Miami, Florida, USA, the greyhound achieved the leap at the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge National Finals, Gray Summit, Missouri, USA on October 7, 2006.

Snuppy, the world's first cloned dog, was born in South Korea in 2005.

The world’s most expensive dog is a Tibetan Mastiff pup sold for £1.2 million in China in 2014.

Konjo, a half Papillon, quarter Jack Russell, quarter Chihuahua from Tusti, California broke the world record for fastest five metres on front paws by a dog with a time of 2.39 seconds. The attempt took place at Tustin Sports Park, Tustin, California, on December 22, 2014.

A song “A Very Silent Night” was recorded at a frequency audible only to dogs in 2007. It was the first single designed to be heard by an animal’s ear rather than human's. Designed as a fund-raising stunt for the country’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, it caught on topping the New Zealand charts in Christmas 2007.


A dog’s nose is 40 times more sensitive to smells than that of a human, thanks in part to an organ in the roof of its mouth that we don’t have, which allows the canine to ‘taste’ smells.

The nose prints of a dog are as unique as a person’s fingerprints and can be used to positively identify a specific dog.

Using their swiveling ears like radar dishes, experiments have shown that dogs can locate the source of a sound in 6/100ths of a second.

Dogs only sweat from the bottoms of their feet, the only way they can discharge heat is by panting.

Dogs have about 100 different facial expressions, most of them made with the ears.

Dogs have about ten vocal sounds.

There is a dog that can't bark, a basenji, an African wolf dog.

Contrary to popular belief, dogs aren't color blind; they can see shades of blue, yellow, green and gray. The color red registers on a gray scale in a dog's vision.

Most domestic dogs are capable of reaching speeds up to about nineteen miles per hour when running at full speed.

A dog’s normal body temperature is 101 degrees Fahrenheit.


Dogs and elephants are the only animals that seem to instinctively understand pointing.

An estimated 1 million dogs in the US have been named the primary beneficiary in their owner's will.

In Tokyo, they sell toupees for dogs.

Some stray dogs in Moscow have figured out how to use the subway system in order to travel to more populated areas in search of food.

Dogs will yawn in order to express that there is a conflict of interest between their own ideas or desires and those of their owners.

When dogs lay down and do that funny leg stick-out thing, it's called a sploot.


The first year of canine life is equal to 21 years of human life — in other words, the puppy grows to adulthood. Every additional dog year is equivalent to four human years.

"Kukur Tiharm," the second day of a week-long festival in Nepal, is dedicated solely to thanking dogs for their loyalty and friendship.

The cost of raising a medium-size dog to the age of eleven is $6,400.


The origin of the word dodo is unclear. Some say it is from the Dutch ‘dodoor’, meaning ‘sluggard’. Another theory is that it comes from ‘dodaerse’ (knot-bum), referring to a knot of feathers on the dodo’s rear end, or the Portuguese ‘doudo’ (crazy).

The Dodo was first seen by Portuguese sailors in about 1507. They hunted it for food, killing large numbers with clubs. Pigs and rats, taken to Mauritius by European settlers, devoured dodo eggs, which presumably were laid on the ground.

The last dodos in Mauritius were killed by English sailors in 1680. It was among the first animals to become extinct in the modern period.

In 1755, Oxford University burned a taxidermied Dodo bird, unaware that it was the last complete specimen in the world.

Dodos were about a metre tall and weighed around 45lb.

The Dodo in Alice in Wonderland is based on the author, Charles Dodgson, who had a stammer and would introduce himself as “Do-do-dogson.”

The earliest known use of the phrase ‘dead as a dodo’ was in 1904. 'Extinct as the dodo,' dates back to 1870.

According to a 2010 statistical analysis, there is a three in a million chance dodos are not extinct.

The Dodo appears on the coat of arms of Mauritius.

The closest living relative of the dodo is thought to be the Nicobar pigeon of the Malay archipelago.

Sources Daily Express,  Compton's Interactive Encyclopedia © 1998 The Learning Company, Inc.


The Dodge Brothers Company was created by brothers Horace and John Dodge in 1900.

John (1864-1920) and Horace (1868-1920) Dodge began as bicycle manufacturers in Ontario, Canada, before moving to Detroit in 1901 to open a machine shop for the manufacture of automobile parts.

In 1914 the Dodge brothers expanded to make their own automobiles.

1915 Dodge Brothers Model 30-35 touring car. Wikipedia Commons

The Dodge Brothers vehicles won acclaim for durability while in service with the U.S. Army's Pancho Villa Expedition into Mexico.

Their innovations included the use of conveyor belts in manufacturing, and an all-steel body construction.

The Dodge Brothers sued Henry Ford in 1919 on the grounds that a company should act in the interests of its shareholders and not for the good of society, its customers or its employees

Dodge Brothers cars continued to rank second place in American sales in 1920, however both brothers died suddenly that year.

Dodge Brothers Inc was sold to Dillon, Read & Co. on April 30, 1925 for US$146 million plus $50 million for charity, before being sold to Chrysler in 1928.

There were 321 ‘General Lee’ orange Dodge Charger cars used during filming of the eighties TV show The Dukes Of Hazzard. Almost all were wrecked in the show’s stunts but one that survived was bought by American golfer Bubba Watson at an auction for US$110,000 (US$121,000 after buyer premium).

Ken Dodd

English comedian Ken Dodd was born on November 8, 1927 in Knotty Ash, Liverpool.

He was the second of three children of a coal merchant, Arthur Dodd, and wife Sarah (née Gray).

Dodd with his "tickling sticks"
Ken Dodd is an accomplished ventriloquist. His first 'dummy pal' was called Charlie Brown.

In 1965 Ken Dodd topped the UK singles charts for five weeks with his version of the 1930s ballad “Tears.”

"Tears" was the biggest hit in UK in 1965, selling 1,521,000 copies. There was a certain irony that the best selling record of the year was not by The Beatles but still by a Liverpudlian.

In 1967 Ken Dodd set a world record for the longest joke-telling session, telling 1,500 jokes in three and a half hours.

In 1989, during a trial for tax evasion — for which he was acquitted —  Ken Dodd admitted to keeping £ 336,000 in his attic, describing it as ‘a nest egg’.

Ken Dodd keeps a ‘giggle map’ of Britain to record which jokes go down best in which parts of the country.

He once played a record-breaking of 42 sold-out weeks at the London Palladium

Ken Dodd lived in his childhood home in Knotty Ash, Liverpool all his life.

Dodd married his partner of 40 years, Anne Jones, on March 9, 2018 at their home in Knotty Ash, after being released from hospital following six weeks of treatment for a chest infection.. He died two days later on March 11, 2018.

Source Wirral Globe