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Sunday, 30 November 2014


Edinburgh has been recognized as the capital of Scotland since the 15th century. It replaced Scone as the capital in 1437.

Edinburgh Castle is built on the site of an extinct volcano.

In 1715 a group of Jacobites tried to take Edinburgh Castle but failed because their rope ladders were six feet too short.

The first ever skating club was formed in Edinburgh in 1742. To qualify as a member, early regulations stipulated that applicants had to prove their ability to skate a complete circle and on either foot to jump first over one, then two and, finally, three hats.

Edinburgh consists of The Old Town, the oldest part of the city, and the 18th-century New Town. Work begun on Edinburgh's New Town, to the design of the 23-year-old James Craig in 1767.

The first modern extinguisher, the Extincteur, was invented in 1818 after George William Manby saw firemen struggling to put out a blaze on the top floors of a house fire in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh was the first city in the world to have its own fire service.

Burke and Hare carried out a series of infamous murders in Edinburgh in the 1820s, with the aim of supplying dissection subjects to Dr Robert Knox, the anatomist. Hare turned king's evidence, and died a beggar in London in the 1860s; Burke was hanged, to the general satisfaction of the crowd.

Charles Darwin studied medicine at Edinburgh University 1825-27. He dropped out as he could not stomach the operating theatre. Darwin found the two years there to be “intolerably dull”.

One of the first Scottish railways was opened between Edinburgh and Dalkeith in 1831. It contained Britain’s first railway tunnel stretching 350 yards under the southern edge of Holyrood Park.

Chloroform was used for the first time as a general anesthetic by the Scottish obstetrician Dr James Simpson (1811-1870), the private physician to Queen Victoria during her stays in Scotland, in 1847. The baby Wilhelmina Carstairs, born in Edinburgh, became the first child to be born after a mother giving birth had been anesthetized by the pungent anesthetic.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859-1930) was born at 11 Picardy Street, Edinburgh.

The inspiration for Sherlock Holmes was the Edinburgh surgeon Dr Joseph Bell (1837-1911) who used his powers of observation to help his diagnosis. It was claimed that sometimes he could diagnose a patient's problems purely by looking at him or her. Bell had taught Conan Doyle medicine at Edinburgh University.

The first international rugby game was played in 1871 between England and Scotland at Raeburn Place in Edinburgh.

The Edinburgh International Festival was first held in 1947. It consists mainly of a programme of high-profile theatre productions and classical music performances,. It has since been overtaken both in size and popularity by the Edinburgh Fringe.

During the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the population of the Scottish capital doubles from 500,000 to one million.

At the age of nine, Sean Connery supported his impoverished family with a milk run in his hometown of Edinburgh.

J.K. Rowling completed the manuscript of her first Harry Potter story, called Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, in 1995, having written some of it in local cafés in Edinburgh, where she was an unemployed single mother living on state benefits.

In 1996 two British scientists, Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell cloned a lamb, Dolly, from an adult sheep at the Roslin Institute in Edinburgh.

Edinburgh’s Royal Mile is actually one mile long.

Source Daily Express

Anthony Eden

Anthony Eden (1897-1977) was appointed Foreign Secretary in 1935 by Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain, and resigned in 1938 in protest at Chamberlain's appeasement of Adolf Hitler. He was Churchill's Foreign Secretary during World War II, and again in 1951–1955.

Eden was considered in the 1930s as one of the best-dressed members of the House of Commons. He regularly wore a Homburg hat (similar to a trilby but more rigid), which became known in Britain as an "Anthony Eden".

In 1952 he married Winston Churchill's niece, Clarissa Spencer-Churchill (b. 1920). It was his second marriage.

Eden had operation to remove gallstones in 1953. The operation went wrong, and his health was ruined.

When Eden took over from Churchill as Prime Minister in 1955, he was still ill and dependent upon the Benzedrine, which caused him to make poor decisions and to be bad- tempered.


During the Suez Crisis, Sir Anthony Eden took 'purple heart' pills, or Drinamyl, which were half-barbiturate (to calm him down) and half- amphetamine (to perk him up).

Anthony Eden resigned as Prime Minister on January 9, 1957 following his failure to retake the Suez Canal from Egyptian sovereignty. Doctors had warned him his life was at stake if he continued in office.

Sir Anthony Eden died from liver cancer in Salisbury on January 14, 1977, at the age of 79. Born in the year of Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, he thus died in the year of Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee.

Mary Baker Eddy

Mary Baker Eddy was born in a farmhouse in Bow, New Hampshire,on July 16, 1821

Eddy's birthplace

Mary's parents were Mark Baker and Abigail Barnard Baker, née Ambrose. Mark Baker was a strongly religious farmer from a Protestant Congregationalist background.

Mary spent much of her New Hampshire youth in the 1830s sick with obscure nervous disorders Regular physicians did her no good, but she found relief by homeopathy and mesmerism.

Inspired by a miraculous healing Eddy experienced after reading the account in Matthew 9 of how Jesus healed the paralytic, her success led her to developing her own system.

Mary Baker Eddy

In 1875 Mary Baker Eddy after years of thought, healing and study of the Bible published her book, Science and Health. It regarded sickness as a mere illusion to be overcome by right thinking and becomes the textbook of the sect Christian Science, which she founded four years later in 1879.

Having founded the mother church in Boston in 1879, Eddy devoted her remaining years to the development of her Christian Science movement, which she built up through her healing work.

Eddy died of pneumonia on the evening of December 3, 1910 at her home at 400 Beacon Street, in the Chestnut Hill section of Newton, Massachusetts.


The word Ecumenism is derived from Greek oikoumene, which means "the whole inhabited world", and was historically used with specific reference to the Roman Empire.

The Edinburgh World Missionary Conference linking Protestant missions held in 1910 was the precursor of the ecumenical movement. Chaired by John Mott, over 1,000 delegates from many different denominations met together at this momentous conference.
At this time this was a rare meeting of Christians from different traditions, however for a number of years there had been a steadily increasing wish among many to reclaim their shared denominational heritage.
Already there had been signs of unity such as the formation of the Free Church Council in England in 1892 and the interdenominational Gideon movement in the United States. When John Mott solemnly declared to the delegates how startling it was that at his point in “ the Great Command of Jesus Christ to carry the Gospel to all mankind is still so largely unfulfilled”, the need for denominational barriers to come down became even more apparent.

Two early ecumenical initiatives were the Conferences on Life and Work, which came from the concept of churches uniting in service to the world and the Faith and Order movement, which held conferences in Lausanne in 1927 and Edinburgh in 1937.

In 1937 the two movements agreed to merge to form the World Council of Churches. Though its establishment was delayed by World War II, in 1948 the World Council of Churches was founded at Amsterdam. It reflected the post-World War II, desire for peace and harmony among the nations.

In 1959 Pope John XXIII met for about an hour with the Church of England Archbishop of Canterbury, Geoffrey Fisher. It was the first time in over 400 years, since the excommunication of Elizabeth I, that the Archbishop of Canterbury had met with the Pope.

In 1965 the Orthodox Eastern Church and the Western Catholic Church agreed to retract the excommunications cast on each other in 1054 which formalized the Great Schism.


The city of Quito in Ecuador was founded by 204 Spanish settlers led by Sebastián de Belalcázar on December 6, 1534. 29 years later, Quito became the seat of a Real Audiencia (administrative district) of Spain and became part of the Viceroyalty of Peru.

View of Quito from El Panecillo.

In 1819, Ecuador, together with Colombia, Venezuela and Panama declared independence from Spain, and formed a federation called "Gran Colombia". Venezuela and Ecuador separated from Gran Columbia on May 13, 1830.

The national flag of Ecuador, which consists of horizontal bands of yellow (double width), blue and red, was first adopted by law on 1835 and later on September 26, 1860. The design of the current flag was finalized in 1900 with the addition of the coat of arms in the center of the flag.

At its peak in the mid-1950s, Ecuador was the largest banana-producing nation in the world.

The 2008 Constitution of Ecuador recognized nature as an entity with legally enforceable rights, making it the first country in the world to do so.

On April 2, 2017, Lenin Moreno was elected President of Ecuador defeating banker Guillermo Lasso in the Ecuadorian presidential round-off with 51% of the vote to Lasso's 49%. As a paraplegic, Moreno became the world’s only head of state in a wheelchair.

In Guayaquil, Ecuador, there is a statue in honour of the Ecuadorian poet, Jose Olemedo. It is really a statue of Lord Byron purchased because it would have cost too much to commission a statue of the poet himself.

The highest point on the Earth is Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador in the Andes mountain chain. It’s about 2.4 kilometers higher than Mt. Everest.

The "Mitad del Mundo" monument a 100-foot statue about 15 miles outside Quito was built in 1979 to mark the equator. It has a bold yellow line marking the line of zero degrees latitude.

Ecuador introduced compulsory voting for all citizens aged 18 to 65 years old in 1936. Only the illiterate are excused.

All countries in South America use their own currency, except Ecuador.

As of 2011, 14,440,000 people lived in Ecuador.



In 1776 The Scottish philosopher, Adam Smith published his Wealth of Nations, which heralded the birth of modern economics with its advocation of free trade (or Laissez Faire) rather than duties on imports.

Kenneth Arrow is the youngest person to have received Nobel Prize in Economics at the age of 51.


Chinese royal astronomers Hsi and Ho were beheaded in 2134 BC as punishment for failing to predict an eclipse.

A Syrian clay tablet, in the Ugaritic language, recorded a solar eclipse which occurred on March 5, 1223 B.C.

The Eclipse of Bur-Sagale was observed in Assyria on June 15, 763 BC, the earliest solar eclipse mentioned in historical sources that has been successfully identified.  It was later used to fix the chronology of Mesopotamian history.

The Battle of Halys between the Medes and the Lydians was being fought on May 28, 585 BC near the Halys River in what is now central Turkey when an eclipse of the sun was seen by both sides. Stunned, both armies laid down their weapons, and they agreed to a truce.

The 585 BC eclipse had been predicted by the Greek philosopher and scientist Thales of Miletus , who forewarned the Ionians of it, fixing for it the very year in which it actually took place.

By Eclipse Predictions by Fred Espenak and Jean Meeus (NASA's GSFC) - NASA, Wikipedia Commons

Because astronomers can calculate the dates of historical eclipses, some describe the Battle of Halys as the earliest historical event whose date is known with precision to the day

Th Greek philosopher, Pappus of Alexandria, observed an eclipse of the Sun om October 18, 320 AD and wrote a commentary on The Great Astronomer.

By I, Luc Viatour, CC BY-SA 3.0, Wikipedia Commons

Charlemagne's third son Louis the Pious (778 – 840) died when an eclipse quite literally frightened him to death.

During his fourth voyage westwards Christopher Columbus was anchored off Jamaica and rations were low (the natives wouldn't trade him any.)  The explorer learned from his Zacuto almanac that on 29/2/1504 there was to be an eclipse of the moon. Columbus summoned the Jamaican chiefs and told them if they don’t give him food he had the power to blot out the moon. They laughed but then the eclipse begun. The terrified natives begged him to bring the moon back and they would give him what he wanted.

French astronomer Pierre Jules César Janssen discovers helium in 1868, while analyzing the chromosphere of the sun during a total solar eclipse in Guntur, India.

On August. 21, 2017, a total solar eclipse was visible across the United States. The previous total solar eclipse visible from the U.S. mainland happened on February 26, 1979, but this one was different. The eclipse’s ‘path of totality’ was completely within U.S. soil for the first time since 1776.

Jupiter can have a triple eclipse, in which three moons cast shadows on the planet simultaneously.

Ebola Virus

The Ebola disease is thought to have originated in fruit bats.

The first identifiable case of the Ebola virus in humans occurred on June 27, 1976 on a storekeeper in a cotton factory in Nzara, Sudan, who was hospitalized on June 30 and died on July 6.

The Sudan outbreak infected 284 people and killed 151 between June and November 1976.

While the medical staff involved in the Sudan outbreak were aware that they were dealing with a heretofore unknown disease, the naming of the virus did not occur until some months later when a second outbreak began in Yambuku, a small rural village near the Ebola River in Mongala District in northern Zaire (now known as the Democratic Republic of the Congo).

The team studying the newly-identified virus didn't want to name it after the village where it was found, so they named it after the closest river they could see on a map, which was the Ebola River.

Village school headmaster Mabalo Lokela began displaying symptoms on August 26, 1976 having visited the Ebola River in Northern Zaire between August 12 and 22. Lokela died on September 8, fourteen days after he began displaying symptoms. In total, 318 cases were of Ebola were identified in Zaire, and 280 resulted in death.

Two nurses standing near Mayinga N'Seka, a nurse with Ebola virus disease in the 1976 outbreak in Zaire. N'Seka died a few days later.

A 2000 epidemic of the Ebola virus disease in Uganda hit its tourist industry due to its 70% mortality rate. The outbreak affected 425 and killed 224;

In March 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported a major Ebola outbreak in Guinea, a western African nation. Researchers traced the outbreak to a two-year old child who died December 2013.The disease then rapidly spread to the neighboring countries of Liberia and Sierra Leone. It is the largest Ebola outbreak ever documented, and the first recorded in the region.

Ebola treatment unit in Liberia. Author CDC Global 
Band Aid 30's single "Do They Know It's Christmas," released to raise money for the Ebola crisis in 2014, went straight to #1 in the UK.

Tweets regarding the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in the summer of 2014 reached more than 60 million people three days faster than officials did.

Ebola cannot be caught through the air, or by being near sick people.

The virus spreads by direct contact with blood or other body fluids of an infected human or other animal. This means Ebola can be caught by touching a sick person's blood, saliva, mucus, semen, diarrhea, vomit, or other fluids that come out of a sick person's body. It can also be caught by touching water that has been touched by sick people.

Ebola survivors in Sierra Leone are greeted by spiritual songs, dancing, and a goody bag when they leave the hospital.

The World Health Organization announced the end of the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa on January 14, 2016.  A total of 28,638 suspected cases and 11,315 deaths had been reported by that date, though the WHO believed that this substantially understated the magnitude of the outbreak.


eBay inc  was started in 1995 by French-Iranian-American entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar.

Omidyar was 28 when he wrote the original computer code for what eventually became eBay.

Pierre Omidyar, founder of eBay. By Joi 15:42, 2 August 2007. Wikipedia Commons

The site was launched on Labor Day, September 4 1995, under the more basic name “Auction Web.”

One of the first items sold on the site was a broken laser pointer. A collector of broken laser pointers bought it for $14.83.

The name 'eBay' came later when Omidyar tried to register a domain name for his planned name EchoBay. It was already taken so he shortened the name to 'eBay'.

eBay headquarters in San Jose, California

The most expensive item ever sold on eBay is the "Gigayacht", which auctioned off for $168 million in 2006.

It was estimated in 2015 that there are approximately 107 million items for sale at any given time on eBay.


On average, a person swallows 295 times while eating a meal.

An average American will eat 350 cows, 310 hogs, and 225 lambs in a lifetime.

New Year's Day is the worst possible time to start a new diet (if you live in the Northern hemisphere)—humans have an evolutionary urge to maintain their body fat during the winter.

Eau de Cologne

Cologne water, a mildly perfumed toilet water also known as Eau de Cologne, has been made in Cologne, West Germany since 1709.

The original Eau de Cologne is a spirit-citrus perfume launched in Cologne in 1709 by Giovanni Maria Farina (1685–1766), an Italian perfume maker from Santa Maria Maggiore Valle Vigezzo. He named the fragrance after his new hometown. (Eau de Cologne means water from Cologne).

The miracle water composed by Farina was used only as a perfume and delivered to the royal houses in Europe.

Farina's ability to produce a constantly homogeneous fragrance consisting of dozens of monoessences was seen as a sensation at the time.

A single vial of Eau de Cologne cost half the annual salary of a civil servant in the 18th century.

The most popular scent in early America, it was sent as a gift to Lafayette by George Washington while he was President.

The most famous Original Eau de Cologne is 4711, which developed in the late 18th century by Wilhelm Mülhens in Cologne. The scent was named after the house number assigned to the Mulhens Family perfumery's shop during the 1794 French occupation of Cologne.

Napoleon used to bathe in a diluted version of this scent.

On 12 December 2006, the perfumes and cosmetics company Mäurer & Wirtz took over 4711 from Procter & Gamble and expanded it to a whole brand.

Clint Eastwood

Clint Eastwood was born in San Francisco, California on May 31. 1930. His parents were Clinton Eastwood Sr. (1906–1970), a steelworker and migrant worker, and his wife, Margaret Ruth (née Runner) Eastwood (1909–2006), an IBM factory worker.

He was nicknamed "Samson" by the hospital nurses at birth as he weighed 11 pounds 6 ounces (5.2 kg)

After Eastwood enrolled at Oakland Technical HS in California, he was held back a year due to poor academic scores and graduated in 1949.

Eastwood was a logger, steel furnace stoker and gas station attendant before becoming an actor.

His first starring role was Rowdy Yates in the US TV Western series Rawhide.

Publicity photo for Rawhide, 1961

He wore the same poncho, without ever having washed it, in all three of his "Man with No Name" Westerns.

The boots that he wore in Unforgiven (1992) are the same ones he wore in the TV series Rawhide (1959).

When Eastwood was in Rawhide in the early sixties, he recorded a series of pop singles to capitalize on his heart-throb status. None charted.

Clint Eastwood was offered the role of James Bond but turned it down because he believed the character should be played by an English actor.

He was the mayor of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California for two years. Eastwood was elected on April 8, 1986, with twice the voter turn out showing up, Clint got a whopping 72.5 % of the vote.

As mayor Eastwood adopted a pro-business and tourism stance. He overturned, for instance, a local law banning the sale and consumption of ice cream on Carmel's streets.

For many years Eastwood was the owner of the nation's largest known hardwood tree, a bluegum eucalyptus, until a larger version of the tree was discovered in 2002.

Clint Eastwood became the oldest person to win the Best Director Academy Award when on February 27, 2005, at age of 74, he won the Oscar for Million Dollar Baby.

Clint Eastwood composed the scores to a number of his films, and was nominated for a Grammy in 2006 for Best Score Soundtrack Album for Million Dollar Baby.

Brad Paisley's 2011 instrumental “Eastwood” features some whistling by the movie legend.

He was the guest speaker at the 2012 Republican National Convention.

Clint Eastwood is also a hotelier, owning a 31-room resort in Carmel.

Clint Eastwood keeps a wide variety of pets, including rabbits, tortoises and chickens. He also has a 'rat room.'

Though he spent half his career in the saddle, Clint Eastwood is allergic to horses.

Despite how many of Clint Eastwood's characters smoke, the actor has never personally picked up the habit.

Though he has always been an agnostic,  Eastwood has been practicing meditation for over 40 years.

Married twice, Eastwood has seven children by five women.

"Clint Eastwood" is an anagram of "Old West Action."

Source IMDB/div>

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Eastern Orthodox Church

Christianity developed into two big branches in the Middle Ages. The Western part later became the Roman Catholic Church. The Eastern part is known as the Eastern Orthodox Church. During the centuries views on politics and theology developed differently in several ways. The issues that divided  the Eastern and Western Christians came to a head in 1054 with the Great Schism, where each Church excommunicated the other.

The Nea Ekklesia was inaugurated in Constantinople in 880, setting the model for all later cross-in-square Orthodox churches.

In 1965 the Orthodox Eastern Church and the Western Catholic Church agreed to retract the excommunications cast on each other in 1054 which formalized the Great Schism.

Pope John Paul II traveled to Romania in 1999 becoming the first pope to visit a predominantly Eastern Orthodox country since the Great Schism in 1054.

The Eastern Orthodox Church – with a permanent church in Antarctica – is the only religion with a church on every continent.

There are about 300 million Orthodox Christians in the world. 

Easter Egg

The custom of giving eggs at Easter dates back to an ancient Egyptian practice associating eggs with a symbol of life returning in spring.

People first decorated eggs for Easter in the 13th century.

Pysanka is the term used for the practice of Easter egg painting.

King Edward I of England popularised Easter Eggs. He had 450 eggs covered in gold leaf as gifts for Easter in 1290

The Victorians had eggs filled with Easter gifts and chocolates that.were made out of cardboard and covered with satin.

The UK's first ever Easter egg was made in Bristol by chocolatiers J.S Fry & Sons in 1873 at their Union Street factory. Cadbury's created its first egg two years later.

The tradition of a White House Easter Egg Roll on the front lawn was created in 1878 by President Rutherford B. Hayes and First Lady Lucy Hayes after Congress passed a law in 1877 banning an Easter Egg Roll at the Capitol.

Emanuel Snowman was famous for dealing in Easter eggs, One of these was the 1913 Winter egg, which was the most expensive ever made, and which sold for a world record $9.6 million at Christie's in New York in 2002.

The Diamond Stella, the most expensive edible Easter egg ever produced, was encrusted with 100 0.5 carat diamonds and sold by La Maison du Chocolat for £50,000 ($100,000)  in 2006.

The largest ever Easter egg hunt took place at the Cypress Gardens Adventure Park in Winter Haven, Florida, USA, on April 1, 2007. It consisted of 501,000 eggs that were searched for by 9,753 children.

The world’s biggest Easter egg was made in Cortenuova, Italy. The chocolate egg was measured on April 16, 2011 and was found to be 34 feet tall with a circumference of 64.3 feet at its widest point. It weighed 15,873 pounds.

The world's biggest handmade Easter egg was unveiled in Argentina in April 2015. It was made using 8,000kg of chocolate and stood 28 feet (8.5m) high.

There are Easter eggs for blind children. They beep, so kids will be able to find them.

43 per cent of children say they eat their first chocolate egg before Easter Sunday.

The average time for children to eat their first Easter egg on Easter Sunday is 11am.

The term "Easter egg" to describe a hidden message in online media originated from was coined in 1979. It was used to describe a hidden message in the Atari video game Adventure that led Atari to encourage further hidden messages in later games, treating them as Easter eggs for players to find.


Easter Bunny

Originating among German Lutherans, the 'Easter Hare' originally played the role of a judge, evaluating whether children were good or disobedient in behavior at the start of the season of Eastertide.

In the 1700s German immigrants brought stories to the United States about “Osterhase,” an early Easter Bunny, who brought baskets filled with colored eggs, candy and toys to the homes of good children on the night before Easter.

Chocolate Easter bunnies became popular in the 1890s. Sales started to take off after a Pennsylvania man named Robert L. Strohecker featured a 5-foot-tall chocolate rabbit in his drugstore as an Easter promotion.

About 90 million chocolate bunnies are made during Easter time every year.

76 percent of chocolate bunny eaters go for the ears first, according to a survey by the National Confectioners Association.


Easter is the yearly festival observed by Christians to commemorate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The name Easter owes its origin from Eastre, the Anglo-Saxon goddess of spring, who symbolized hares and eggs. Only the Venerable Bede mentions her.

Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection occurred after he went to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, the Jewish festival commemorating the ancient Israelites’ exodus from slavery in Egypt.

In Spanish, Easter is known as 'Pascua'; in French, 'Paques.' These words are derived from the Greek and Latin 'Pascha' or 'Pasch,' for Passover.

33 AD was the possible year of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection, according to the Bible and earthquake research reported in the International Geology Review in 2012.

Jesus is the only revered figure of a religion to have risen from the dead.

Resurrection of Christ by Hans Rottenhammer

The word “Easter” occurs only once in the King James Bible (Acts 12:4). Elsewhere in the King James version, the word “Passover” is used.

There are records of Christians celebrating the resurrection of Christ as early as the second century.

Hot cross buns were among the earliest Easter treats, made by European monks and given to the poor during Lent.

Easter Bonnets are a throwback to the days when the people denied themselves the pleasure of wearing fine clothes for the duration of Lent.

The white lily is the official flower of Easter. This is because the flower represents grace and purity, which is why many churches and homes decorate with the white lily for the holiday.

An estimated $18.4 billion was spent in the USA on Easter in 2017.

Jellybeans did not become an Easter tradition until the 1930s.

Americans buy more than 700 million Marshmallow Peeps, making them the most popular non-chocolate Easter candy.

Children's shoes were not big enough to hold all of the goodies, so Easter baskets became the popular place to hide holiday Easter treats.

In Guatemala, people make carpets of sawdust and flowers that measure up to a mile in length for Easter. The carpet is incredibly detailed and takes weeks to make. People walk over the carpet on their way to church.

Easter Day falls on the first Sunday after the full moon following the Spring Equinox (the time when the sun crosses the equator and day and night are equal).

Easter Sunday may fall on any date between March 22nd and April 25th.

Easter Sunday coincided with April Fool's day in 2018 for the first time since 1956.

Polish Americans celebrate Easter Day as "Dyngus Day". The origin of that name is unclear. Part of the Dyngus Day celebrations in Poland involves boys pouring water over their girlfriends.

The oldest reference to Dyngus Day dates back to 1410 when the Archbishop of Poznan issued a "Dingus Prohibetur" edict banning it.

Ten per cent of the annual spending on chocolate in the UK takes place over Easter.

Here is a list of Easter songs.

Sources Daily Express,

East–West Schism

For centuries, the Eastern Orthodox Church had been drifting apart from the Roman Catholic Church. By the mid eleventh century there was a major problem due to the papacy's rigid assertion of authority over all the eastern bishops, including the leader of the Orthodox church. Also the Eastern church objected to the Nicene Creed being altered to the "Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and the Son". They believed it should read "The Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father" only.

In 1054 Pope Leo IX sent a legation to Constantinople, which turned into a diplomatic disaster mainly due to the cultural differences between the two camps. The leader of the pope's legation, the high-handed Cardinal Humbert lost patience and flanked by his fellow legates, he marched up the Hagia Sophia aisle during the divine liturgy and slammed down onto the high altar a Bull of Excommunication against the Constantinople archbishop Michael Cerularius. The Archbishop responded in kind thus prompting the Great Schism, the formal breaking up of the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

In 1965 the Orthodox Eastern Church and the Western Catholic Church agreed to retract the excommunications cast on each other in 1054 which formalized the Great Schism.

Pope Francis, leader of the Roman Catholic Church, and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, leader of the Russian Orthodox Church signed an Ecumenical Declaration on February 12, 2016. The meeting, which took place in a VIP room at José Martí International Airport in Havana, Cuba was the first since the East–West Schism in 1054.

East Timor

East Timor comprises the eastern half of the island of Timor, the nearby islands of Atauro and Jaco, and Oecusse, an enclave on the northwestern side of the island, within Indonesian West Timor.

East Timor gets its name from the Malay word for "east", timur.

East Timor flag

East Timor was colonised by Portugal in the 16th century, and was known as Portuguese Timor until Portugal's decolonisation of the country.

During the Second War World, the Japanese occupied the region, encountered strong resistance to their attempts to force the population to grow foods for their troops and export. At the time 30% of the population died.

In late 1975, East Timor declared its independence but on December 7th it was invaded and occupied by Indonesia and was declared Indonesia's twenty seventh province the following year.

In 1999, following the United Nations-sponsored act of self-determination, Indonesia relinquished control of the territory, and East Timor became the first new sovereign state of the 21st century on May 20, 2002.

East Timor is one of only two predominantly Christian nations in Southeast Asia, the other being the Philippines.


Earthworms have five hearts.

Earthworms don't have eyes or ears.

Earthworms are hermaphrodites.  When two worms mate, both worms produce children.

One adult worm can produce 96 baby worms in as little as 6 months

Baby robins eat 14 feet of earthworms every day.

An earthworm consumes decomposing material equal to its body weight each day throughout the summer.

Earthworms force air through the underground tunnels they create, thereby aerating the soil as they work.

The average length of a South African earthworm is about 6 feet long. The largest one ever found so far was found on a road side in 1967 and was 22 feet long,

Australia is home to the giant Gippsland earthworm, which can grow to some six feet long and can be heard underfoot when it burrows.

The average fully detached American home has about two tonnes of earthworms crawling through the soil in the yard.

A farmland based on an acre of fertile soil is inhibited by 1,750,000 earthworms.

It was Charles Darwin who told the world about he important function of the earthworm in breaking down leaves and turning earth into fertile soil.

As a child, Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll) tried to encourage modern warfare among earthworms by giving them small pieces of clay pipe for weapons.

The North American Bait Company organised a Cooking with Worms competition in 1986. The winner was Earthworm Applesauce Surprise Cake.

Earthworms are 82% protein, pair well with curry and cumin and apparently taste like bacon.


Earthquakes are necessary to open up veins of useful metals that were originally in accessible, deep inside the Earth in this planet's past. The tremors used to be much more volatile than they are now. This was in order to throw up layers of minerals and metals so that once humans appeared they could access them..

A living planet can't be completely still. The slow continental drift causes a few earthquakes, which sometimes causes terrible suffering. But on the whole we have learnt how to avoid these dangers. We can now construct earthquake proof buildings - like those in Tokyo, which experiences two or three earthquakes every day.

Zhang Heng (AD 78-139) of China invented the world's first seismometer, which discerned the cardinal direction of an earthquake 500 km (310 miles) away.

The deadliest earthquake in history, the Shaanxi earthquake, hit Shaanxi province, China on January 23, 1556. A 520 mile-wide (840-km) area was destroyed and in some counties as much as 60% of the population was killed. Most of the population in the area at the time lived in yaodongs, artificial caves in loess cliffs, many of which collapsed with catastrophic loss of life. The death toll may have been as high as 830,000.

The biggest earthquake ever felt in Britain was on April 6, 1580. It damaged houses and churches and falling stones killed two children  It caused a tsunami and flooding in France, Flanders and England in which 120 people drowned.

Shakespeare’s referred to the quake in Romeo and Juliet, which he wrote in 1591 when the Nurse says, “Tis since the earthquake now eleven years.”

After the 1755 Great Earthquake of Lisbon, which killed around 30,000 people, some American ministers proclaimed it was a punishment for the heresy of using lightening rods to avert the wrath of God. They had recently been developed by Benjamin Franklin, to avert the wrath of God.

An earthquake on December 16, 1811 caused parts of the Mississippi River to flow backwards.

An earthquake struck the coast of Northern California including San Francisco (see below) at 5:13 a.m. on April 18, 1906 with a moment magnitude of 7.8. Devastating fires broke out in the city that lasted for several days. As a result, about 3,000 people died and over 80% of San Francisco was destroyed. The death toll from the earthquake and resulting fire remains the greatest loss of life from a natural disaster in California's history.

The Great Kantō earthquake devastated Tokyo and Yokohama on September 1, 1923, killing about 105,000 people. This earthquake devastated Tokyo, the port city of Yokohama, and the surrounding prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka, and caused widespread damage throughout the Kantō region. The damage from this natural disaster was the greatest sustained by prewar Japan.

The force of The Great Kantō earthquake was so great in Kamakura, over 37 miles (60 km) from the epicenter, it moved the Great Buddha statue, which weighs about 93 short tons (84,000 kg), almost two feet.

Destruction of the area around Sensō-ji temple in Asakusa

In 1960, the Japanese government declared September 1, the anniversary of the quake, as an annual "Disaster Prevention Day".

The 1960 Valdivia earthquake of May 22, 1960 was the most powerful earthquake ever recorded, rating a magnitude of 9.5. The epicenter was near Lumaco, Chile, south of Santiago, with Valdivia being the most affected city. The resulting tsunami affected southern Chile, Hawaii, Japan, the Philippines, eastern New Zealand, southeast Australia and the Aleutian Islands. Various estimates of the total number of fatalities from the earthquake and tsunamis have been published, ranging between 1,000 and 6,000 killed.

A Valdivia street after the earthquake of 22 May 1960

The Good Friday Earthquake, the most powerful earthquake in USA history at a magnitude of 9.2, killed 125 people in South Central Alaska on March 27, 1964 and inflicted massive damage to the city of Anchorage.

Damage to Fourth Avenue,, Anchorage

An earthquake in the Indian ocean off the coast of Sumatra, Indonesia on December 26, 2004 was the second largest in recorded history, with a magnitude of 9.3. One of the largest observed tsunamis followed, with waves over 100 feet high, which killed approximately 250,000 people in the coastal areas of South East Asia and Indonesia.

An earthquake occurred off the coast of central Chile on February 27, 2010  at 03:34 local time with a magnitude of 8.8. The intense shaking lasting for about three minutes and it caused the city of Concepción to move 10 feet to the west. The quake triggered a tsunami which struck Hawaii shortly after.

An earthquake hit central Chile on March 11, 2010. It struck just minutes before Economist and businessman Sebastián Piñera was sworn in as the country's President at the National Congress of Chile (see below). It measured  magnitude 6.9 and was centered next to Pichilemu, capital of Cardenal Caro Province. President Piñera cancelled the ceremonial lunch with his visitors and traveled to Rancagua, one of the cities most affected by the earthquake.

By Gobierno de Chile, CC BY 3.0 cl, Wikipedia Commons

Cats are extremely sensitive to vibrations. They are said to detect earthquake tremors 10 or 15 minutes before humans can.

According to recent research, both rats and toads flee an area before an earthquake hits.

The Earth experiences about 50,000 earthquakes each year.

Seismophobia is the fear of earthquakes.

A -.2 magnitude earthquake releases the energy equivalent of 30 matches being lit.

The power of a magnitude nine earthquake is equal to 4 trillion pounds of TNT exploding.

The moon is seismically active, so it experiences moonquakes that last for up to 10 minutes. Because it’s so dry and dense, they make it vibrate like a tuning fork.

Source Daily Express

Earth Day

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 every year to honor the Earth, peace and demonstrate support for environmental protection.

San Francisco Mayor Joseph Alioto issued the first-ever Earth Day proclamation on March 21, 1970. Mayor Alioto's action was inspired by John McConnell, a San Francisco publisher and peace activist, who had proposed an international holiday focused on environmental stewardship and preservation.

The first widespread Earth Day Celebration took place a month later on April 22, 1970.  20 million Americans filled parks and took to the streets in a nationwide teach-in and protest about critical environmental issues facing the world.

The April 22, 1970 Earth Day fell by coincidence on the 100th anniversary of Lenin's birthday, which led some Americans to denounce it as a communist plot.

April 22, 1970 is often cited as the start of the modern environmental movement.


The Earth


Earth's name comes from the Anglo-Saxon word erda which means ground or soil.

The Earth is the only planet in the solar system not named after a Greek or Roman god.

In the days of Moses it was taught that the Earth was carried around on a great big strong man's back and when he sneezed this created an earthquake. Later as time went on it was taught the Earth was carried around on the back of a turtle.

Though ancient people believed that the Earth was flat and you could fall off the edge of the globe, the Old Testament has several verses indicating it was round.  (Job 26:7 — "He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing, " Isaiah 40:22 — "It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in.")

Parmenides of Elea, a Greek philosopher who lived in the 5th century BC, is thought to be the first person to realise that the Earth is a sphere.

Aristarchus of Samos (3rd century BC) was the first to argue that the Earth orbits the Sun rather than the other way around.

A Greek called Eratosthenes (276-194 BC) estimated the Earth’s circumference to an accuracy of about 2 per cent .

The fact that the Earth is round was evident to most people of Columbus' time, especially other sailors and navigators.

The first photograph clearly showing the curve of the earth’s surface was taken from a balloon 72,395 ft above South Dakota on November 11, 1935.

The first photograph of the Earth from outer space was taken abroad The  V-2 No. 13 rocket on October 24, 1946. The famous photograph was taken with an attached DeVry 35 mm black-and-white camera.

The first photo of Earth from space, taken aboard the V-2 No. 13.

The Apollo 17 astronauts took the photograph of the Earth known as The Blue Marble on December 7, 1972. It is one of the most widely distributed photographic images in existence.

The Blue Marble—Earth as seen by Apollo 17 in 1972

The Pale Blue Dot photograph of planet Earth was taken on February 14, 1990, by the Voyager 1 space probe from a record distance of about 3. 7 billion miles (6 billion kilometers). In the photograph, Earth's apparent size is less than a pixel; the planet appears as a tiny dot against the vastness of space, among bands of sunlight scattered by the camera's optics.

Seen from about 6 billion kilometers, Earth appears as a tiny dot (the blueish-white speck approximately halfway down the brown band to the right) within the darkness of deep space


Juan Sebastian del Cano: (?-1526) was the first man to circumnavigate the Earth. In 1519 he sailed with Magellan in command of the Concepción. After Magellan's death in the Philippines, he safely navigated the Victoria home to Spain, arriving in 1522.

The first solo circumnavigation of the Earth was completed by Joshua Slocum from Briar Island, Nova Scotia in 1898.

Wiley Post became the first person to fly solo around the world in 1933 traveling 15,596 miles (25,099 km) in 7 days, 18 hours and 45 minutes.

Australian adventurer Ben Carlin became the first (and only) person to circumnavigate the world by amphibious vehicle when he arrived in Montreal, Canada on May 13, 1958. Carlin had traveled over 17,000 kilometers (11,000 miles) by sea and 62,000 kilometers (39,000 miles) by land during a ten-year journey.

The United States Navy nuclear submarine USS Triton completed the first submerged circumnavigation of the globe on April 25, 1960. The 30,000 mile journey took 60 days.

Captain Beach traces the route of Triton's submerged circumnavigation

When British yachtsman Sir Robin Knox-Johnston won the Sunday Times Golden Globe Race on April 22, 1969, he completed the first solo non-stop circumnavigation of the world.

American world trekker Steven Newman became on April 1, 1987 the first man to walk around the world. It was a four year, 15,000-mile trek.

Steven Newman By Sherab - Own work, Wikipedia Commons

On July 12, 1994 English adventurer Jason Lewis set off to complete the world's first human-powered circumnavigation of the Earth. He successfully ended his 4,833-day expedition on October 6, 2007, having traveled 46,505 miles (74,842 kilometers).

Deepsea Challenger, a submersible vehicle, completed the first solo voyage to reach the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, the deepest point on Earth in 2012.


The Earth resonates at B flat.

The length of a day on Earth is increasing by about 17 milliseconds per century.

Deserts represent about one-fifth of the Earth's total surface.

70.8 per cent of the Earth’s surface is covered by water.

The earth's inner core is moving faster than the Earth's surface.

The Earth is almost a perfect sphere: its diameter at the Equator is about 27 miles more than the pole-to-pole diameter.

Because of the Earth's bulge, if you weigh 150lb at the Equator you’ll weigh 151lb at the North Pole.

The polar diameter of the Earth is almost exactly half a billion inches.

If there was no space between any of its atoms, the Earth would be the size of a baseball.

If a billiard ball and the earth were the same size, earth would be smoother than the ball.

The Earth weighs 5,980,000,000,000,000,000,000 tonnes (about 6 million, billion, billion kilograms).

The Earth gets 40,000 tons heavier every year due to falling meteoroids — space dust, gravel and rocks — according to NASA

The main elements in the composition of the Earth are iron, oxygen and silicon (in that order), which together comprise 77 per cent of its mass.

The usual date of Earth’s aphelion, when its orbit takes it furthest from the Sun, is July 4.

The Earth travels through space at 660,000 mph.

The Earth has traveled more than 5,000 miles in the past five minutes.

If the Earth stopped for one second and you weren't belt-buckled to the Earth, you would fall over and roll 800 mph due east.

If the earth didn't have the moon, our days would only be 6 -8 hours long and there’d be between 1,100-1,400 days in a year.

The Earth spins at 1,000 mph.

90% of the world's people live in the Northern Hemisphere.

If you were to spread a map of the world flat the town of Ludbreg in Croatia would be in the centre.

The average temperature on Earth is between 14-16 degrees Celsius.

There are estimated to be at least 8.7 million species of life on Earth, of which 86 per cent on land, and 91 per cent in the oceans, have not yet been fully described or classified.

Source Daily Express


Back in the seafaring days of wooden ships many sailors used to wear gold earrings so that they could afford a proper burial when they died.

Centuries ago many pirates pieced their ears and wore earrings because they believed it improved their vision.

According to the most reliable portrait, William Shakespeare wore a gold earring in his left ear.

Lynda Bird (b 1944), daughter of Lyndon Johnson, wears earrings made up of two tiny cages, each containing a live bird

Wyatt Earp

Wyatt Earp (1848- 1929) was at different times in his life a constable, city policeman, county sheriff, teamster, buffalo hunter, bouncer, saloon-keeper, gambler, brothel owner, pimp, miner, and boxing referee.

Earp spent his early life in Iowa. He landed in the cattle boomtown of Wichita, Kansas, where he became a deputy city marshal for one year and developed a solid reputation as a lawman. In 1876 he followed his brother James to Dodge City, Kansas, where he became an assistant city marshal.

Wyatt Earp at age 21[22] in 1869 or 1870,
The "Gunfight at the OK Corral" took place at about 3:00 p.m. on October 26, 1881 in Tombstone, Arizona, Wyatt Earp, his two brothers, and Doc Holliday shot it out with Ike Clanton's gang. Three members of Clanton's gang were killed; Earp's brothers were wounded. It is generally regarded as the most famous shootout in the history of the American Wild West.
Tombstone, Arizona in 1881 photographed by C. S. Fly.

Unlike his lawmen brothers Virgil and James, and Doc Holliday, Wyatt was never wounded in any of the gunfights, which only added to his mystique after his death.

Wyatt Earp was also a boxing referee. His reputation suffered irreparably when he refereed the Fitzsimmons-Sharkey boxing match in 1896 and called a foul that led everyone to believe he fixed the fight.

In 1901, Earp moved to Southern California. In his later years he became friends with a young actor named Marion Morrison, or more famously, John Wayne. Earp became a fixture on silent Western sets, telling stories of his younger years.

The black-and-white 1923 Western Wild Bill Hickok starring William Hart was the first film to depict Wyatt Earp.

Wyatt Earp at home on August 9, 1923, at age 75. Picture by John H. Flood Jr
When he died in Los Angeles on January 13, 1929, Earp was better known for his notorious handling of the Fitzsimmons-Sharkey fight than the O.K. Corral shoot out. An extremely flattering, largely fictionalized, bestselling biography, Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal, published after his death created his reputation as a fearless lawman.

Wyatt Earp: Frontier Marshal omitted Earp's common-law wife of 46 years after his widow threatened to sue the author.

Source Wikipedia


Chester Greenwood of Farmington, Maine patented the the age of 15. He grew frustrated at trying to protect his ears from the bitter cold while testing a new pair of ice skates and made two ear-shaped loops from wire. Greenwood then asked his grandmother to sew fur on them.

Greenwood patented an improved earmuff with a steel band which held them in place. In the patent document No.188,292,  the invention is described as “Improvement in Ear-Mufflers”.

Having patented Greenwood’s Champion Ear Protectors, he established Greenwood’s Ear Protector Factory, which by 1883 was making 50,000 pairs a year.
Earmuffs’ as one word was first used in 1889

By the time of Chester Greenwood's death in 1937, he had over 100 patents including a folding bed, a tea kettle, a steel tooth rake, an advertising matchbox, and a mousetrap that used fake cheese.

Every year, on the first Saturday of December, the town of Farmington celebrates "Chester Greenwood Day" with a variety of activities. A parade in Greenwood's honor is a part of the festivities. Everyone participating in the parade must wear earmuffs.

Sources, Daily Express

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Amelia Earhart

Amelia Earhart was born on July 24, 1897 in Atchison, Kansas, in the home of her maternal grandfather, Alfred Gideon Otis, a former federal judge, president of the Atchison Savings Bank and a leading citizen in the town.

Amelia was the second child of German American Samuel "Edwin" Stanton Earhart (1867-1930) and Amelia "Amy" Otis Earhart (1869–1962), after an infant stillborn in August 1896.

Amelia Earhart as a child

Amelia Earhart was known as “Millie” in her youth.

As a child, Milly spent long hours playing with her younger sister Pidge, climbing trees, hunting rats with a rifle and "belly-slamming" her sled downhill.

Earhart wasn't impressed the first time she saw an airplane at the age of 10. In Last Flight, a collection of diary entries published posthumously, she recalled feeling unmoved by “a thing of rusty wire and wood” at the Iowa State Fair in 1908.

Amelia graduated from Chicago’s Hyde Park High School in 1916. She is listed in the school’s yearbook as “the girl in brown who walks alone.”

Earhart volunteered as a nurse's aide for returning World War I soldiers and for victims of the influenza epidemic of 1918. She also worked early jobs as a telephone operator and tutor.

Earhart found her passion for aviation years later, when she worked as a nurse’s aide at Toronto’s Spadina Military Hospital. She and some friends would spend time at hangars and flying fields, talking to pilots and watching aerial shows.

Earhart didn't actually get on a plane herself—and then only as a passenger—until 1920.

She bought her first plane within six months of her first flying lesson. Earhart named it The Canary. The used yellow Kinner Airster biplane was the second one ever built.

Earhart was a social worker at Denison House in Boston when she was invited to fly across the Atlantic for the first time on June 18, 1928. (She was a passenger; Wilmer Stultz, the pilot and Lou Gordon the mechanic). When they landed at Burry Port, near Llanelli, Wales, she became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.

Amelia Earhart completed  the first transatlantic solo flight by a woman on May 21, 1932. She took off in her Lockheed Vega 5B from Trepassey Harbor, Newfoundland on May 20th and bad weather forced her to land in a pasture in Derry, Northern Ireland, approximately 15 hours later the next day.

The New York Times reported that Earhart packed one vacuum bottle of hot soup and three cans of tomato soup for sustenance and a toothbrush for the journey.

Lockheed Vega 5B as seen on display at the National Air and Space Museum. By Sergio Caltagirone Wikipedia Commons

Amelia Earhart became the first person to fly solo from Hawaii to California on January 11, 1935. Although this transoceanic flight had been attempted by many others, her trailblazing flight was mainly routine, with no mechanical breakdowns. In her final hours, Earhart even relaxed and listened to "the broadcast of the Metropolitan Opera from New York."

Earhart was among the first aviators to promote commercial air travel through the development of a passenger airline service. Along with Charles Lindbergh, she represented Transcontinental Air Transport (TAT) and invested time and money in setting up the first regional shuttle service between New York and Washington, DC.

Earhart studied sewing as a girl and for a number of years had sewn her own clothes. Amelia Earhart Fashions were affordable separates sold exclusively at Macy's and Marshall Field's, for which she made her own samples.

She married publisher George P. Putnam, who was known as GP, on February 7, 1931, in Putnam's mother's house in Noank, Connecticut. Earhart insisted on an open marriage to the point where she included the stipulation in her prenup.

Earhart and Putnam in 1931

Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan vanished over the Pacific Ocean while attempting to make the first equatorial round-the-world flight on July 2, 1937. Earhart was declared dead on January 5, 1939.

Amelia Earhart likely survived and sent distress signals for weeks after disappearing, but the authorities immediately presumed all signals to be hoaxes with no further investigation. It is believed Earhart and Noonan landed safely on an uninhabited atoll in the southwestern Pacific republic of Kiribati and ultimately died as castaways.

Sources, Wikipedia,