Sarah Palin is the only woman who can make Tony Romo WIN a playoff.

calendar   Tuesday - January 21, 2014

‘It is time – for a Guinness’

Caught this today in morning paper ..... found it of interest.  Nothing else to say about it.

Guinness planned to advertise in Nazi Germany with posters featuring Zeppelins and Swastika flags

Campaign drawn up by company in 1936 - the year of the Berlin Olympics

Pictures featured Berlin stadium with Swastika flags and a Nazi soldier

Guinness’ London office vetoed the plans, but Irish office asked for posters

The artwork, which is now thought to be worth £1.2million, was never used

By Chris Pleasance and Chris Brooke


These days, it’s known as the quintessential Irish drink and is a firm favourite in British pubs. But Guinness almost faced a very different fate – as the tipple of choice for Nazi Germany.

These draft posters, found by former brewer David Hughes and dating back to 1936, reveal the firm’s planned advertising campaign for the Third Reich.

Drawn by John Gilroy, who produced most of the company’s classic advertising, the collection was produced in 1936, the same year as the Berlin Olympics.

The images, which were never used, include a smiling German soldier holding a pint of stout with the slogan ‘It is time – for a Guinness’.

One picture features a Wehrmacht soldier holding a pint with the caption, ‘It’s time for a Guinness’, while another features toucans with beer glasses balanced on their beaks flying above the Olympic stadium which is draped in Swastika flags.

The paintings are all originals, made using oil on canvas, and would have been used to mass-produce poster copies, but were never actually used.

The images, which are now thought to be worth £1.2million, feature in a new book, Gilroy Was Good For Guinness, written by former Guinness brewer David Hughes.


In the book is a memo from executives at the drink maker to SH Benson, their longtime advertising partner, which shows that the Irish and London offices did not agree on the campaign.

It says: ‘Dear John. Another hot potato, I’m afraid. This one comes from St James’s Gate [Guinness’s Dublin headquarters], who are busy wooing an importer in Berlin.

Speaking to the Sunday Times, Hughes said he believes it is unlikely that Guinness, SH Benson and Gilroy were aware of the true horrors of Adolf Hitler’s Nazi regime.

He said: ‘In 1936, people were a bit naïve about Nazi symbolism and what it came to mean.

‘People were starting to believe the Germans were dangerous. Guinness in London did not favour getting into the German market but in Ireland there was a somewhat ambivalent attitude towards Nazi Germany.’



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 01/21/2014 at 06:58 AM   
Filed Under: • AdvertisingArt-PhotographyBig BusinessHistory •  
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calendar   Tuesday - December 10, 2013


Something interesting on TV tonight I might catch on puter tomorrow.

It’s called “Hidden Killers: The Victorian Home”

Here’s a brief list of things. Some is old news and a few items were unknown to me. I think I’ll have to see the documentary cos it seems like an interesting subject. Sure is a different post for me at bmews.
I won’t list all ten.  If you’re curious there’s a link below.


1. Bread adulterated with alum

When basic staples like bread started to be produced cheaply and in large quantities for the new city dwellers, Victorian manufacturers seized on the opportunity to maximise profit by switching ingredients for cheaper substitutes that would add weight and bulk. Bread was adulterated with plaster of Paris, bean flour, chalk or alum. Alum is an aluminium-based compound, today used in detergent, but then it was used to make bread desirably whiter and heavier. Not only did such adulteration lead to problems of malnutrition, but alum produced bowel problems and constipation or chronic diarrhoea, which was often fatal for children.


3. Exploding toilets

Source: BBC History

The bathroom as we know it is a Victorian invention, but at first, it was a dangerous place. Besides horrible cases of scalding in the bath, newspapers reported deaths from cases of lavatories spontaneously exploding. The reason was that flammable gases such as methane and hydrogen sulphide, emanating from human waste, built up in the sewers and, in early toilets, leaked back into the home, where they could easily be ignited by the naked flame of a candle. It wasn’t until Thomas Crapper invented the siphon valve that such gases could be kept out of the house.

5. Flammable parkesine

An oft-forgotten British inventor is Alexander Parkes, who invented the mouldable material that we today call plastic. He christened it parkesine but it quickly became known by its American name of celluloid. Such early plastics were highly desirable because they allowed everything from brooches and hair combs to billiard balls, previously only available in expensive ivory, to be made cheaply. It was even used to make collars and cuffs that could be easily cleaned. Unfortunately, parkesine is also highly flammable - as it degrades, it can self-ignite and is explosive on impact. Not ideal for a billiard ball.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 12/10/2013 at 12:22 PM   
Filed Under: • History •  
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calendar   Thursday - December 05, 2013

One Less Commie Terrorist

Nelson Mandela, Dead at 95

Be prepared for A SOLID WEEK OR TWO of hearing 24-7 what a wonderful, brave, magnificent, super dooper extra special supercalifragilistic expialidocious saint-and-a-half he was.

South African president Jacob Zuma announced the death of former South African President Nelson Mandela this evening at approximately 6:30pm ET.

(CNN)—Freedom fighter, statesman, moral compass and South Africa’s symbol of the struggle against racial oppression.

That was Nelson Mandela, who emerged from prison after 27 years to lead his country out of decades of apartheid.

He died Thursday night at age 95.

His message of forgiveness, not vengeance, inspired the world after he negotiated a peaceful end to segregation and urged forgiveness for the white government that imprisoned him.

“As I walked out the door toward the gate that would lead to my freedom, I knew if I didn’t leave my bitterness and hatred behind, I’d still be in prison,” Mandela said after he was freed in in 1990.

(CNN)—Nelson Mandela’s willingness to forgive and forget helped peacefully end an era of white domination in his native South Africa. But as news of his death spread, mourners there and around the world professed that he, himself, would never be forgotten.

“Mandela’s biggest legacy ... was his remarkable lack of bitterness and the way he did not only talk about reconciliation, but he made reconciliation happen in South Africa,” said F.W. de Klerk, South Africa’s last white president before giving way to Mandela, the country’s first black leader.

The African National Congress—the political party long associated with Mandela—said “our nation has lost a colossus, an epitome of humility, equality, justice, peace and the hope of millions.”

“The large African Baobab, who loved Africa as much as he loved South Africa, has fallen,” the party said in a statement, comparing Mandela to a sturdy tree found in Africa. “Its trunk and seeds will nourish the earth for decades to come.”

... and that’s just the beginning.  Wait until the superlatives really come out.

And while Mandela may have been instrumental in changing the government and direction of South Africa, let’s not take a peek at how the nation - once the greatest success story in African history - is doing today. Don’t bother reading anything any former SA citizens who are also former bloggers may have to say(Kim). The reality of current South Africa, now just a few short steps above Zimbabwe, the former Rhodesia, doesn’t matter. What matters is that the bad old white folks been pushed aside, so proper BLACK South Africa ( a land which [surprise!!] was largely empty before the colonial Europeans came by ) is now free and in charge of it’s own destiny ... blood soaked, corruption riddled, disease encrusted ... straight into the crapper.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 12/05/2013 at 09:29 PM   
Filed Under: • AfricaHistory •  
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calendar   Saturday - November 23, 2013

Annie Oakley’s gun and charm bracelet will be up for auction Sunday

Our kinda woman but ....

Is that a shotgun she’s holding?  Doesn’t look like it but with my eyes, it’s hard to tell.  Had em less than a week and trying to get used to these new glasses. Paid enuff but like the old ones. Anyway ....  the DM does take liberty their facts when doing captions and headlines ,I have found over time.
I’d never read or heard of her referred to as, a gunslinger, which really denotes another thing altogether.

Take a look.  Some nice photos at the link.


‘Wild West’ gunslinger Annie Oakley’s 130-year-old shotgun on sale for $100,000

Annie Oakley’s gun and charm bracelet on sale for nearly $100,000 each

She toured with Buffalo Bill Cody’s traveling Wild West show

Oakley was so confident, she once shot Kaiser Wilhelm II’s cigarette from his mouth
Auction in Dallas on Sunday

By Daily Mail Reporter

A shotgun once owned by Wild West sharpshooter Annie Oakley is expected to fetch at least £60,000 at auction.

Oakley was just 25 when she literally shot herself to fame as the top attraction in Buffalo Bill Cody’s travelling Wild West show. She drew huge crowds with her remarkable skills.

Her most famous trick was shooting a playing card facing side-on, then hitting the pieces again as they fell to the floor –from 90ft away.

The 1893 16-gauge Parker hammer shotgun is thought to be Oakley’s first proper gun and came to be one of her favourites.

She used it to wow audiences around the world for 20 years before retiring from the show to take up acting.

During her time on the road she performed for dignitaries including Queen Victoria and Kaiser Wilhelm II.

She was so sure of her talent that for one daring stunt she shot the Kaiser’s cigarette from his mouth.

Granted I never looked for it or made a study on the subject but ... I never saw a photo among the many I have seen over many years, of the Kaiser with a cigarette in his one good hand. If he smoked at all I tend to think it would have been a cigar, which in those days was considered a more manly smoke. But even then, I never saw a photo of him with a cigar either.  Now I am aware that just cos I didn’t see it does not mean it didn’t take place. Only that I never noticed it.

Following the outbreak of the First World War, she wrote a letter to the Kaiser requesting a second shot but he didn’t reply.

Oakley retired in 1913 and died in Ohio in 1926 aged 66.

Also up for sale is Oakley’s treasured charm bracelet boasting trinkets from her admirers including one from Buffalo Bill.

Experts have tipped both the gun and the charm bracelet to fetch about $97,000 each when they go under the hammer.

They are being sold by Oakley’s great grand niece Bess Edwards, 90, who in 1984 established the Annie Oakley Foundation in her memory.

‘Annie Oakley is remembered as an incredibly talented trick shooter who was the star performer with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show for almost 20 years. Tom Slater, an expert in Americana at auctioneers Heritage, said.

‘She was so popular that arguably she made Buffalo Bill’s show famous, not the other way round.

‘Annie was skilled with a gun from an early age and was named Little Sure Shot by Native American chief Sitting Bull who also toured with the show.

‘She would use all manner of guns in her act but she favored shotguns because their scatter-spray meant it was slightly easier to hit targets.

‘She bought this gun in 1883 and there is no evidence of her owning a gun before this one.

‘Parker guns were the best you could get and she used this gun throughout her time with the Wild West show.

more to see, more to read. source

The Kaiser had one good hand, the other was withered from accident at birth. He was always conscience of the deformity, his mother didn’t help any and was embarrassed by it. People had vastly different views and attitudes then. So anyway .... it doesn’t seem to me that the Kaiser would have ever taken part in what would have been for him, an undignified stunt.  His persona wouldn’t allow for that I don’t think.  Stiff and formal and of military bearing. I don’t think that lends itself to what is described in this article. His generation remember was more of the 19th then the 20th century.


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 11/23/2013 at 05:14 AM   
Filed Under: • Guns and Gun ControlHistoryUSA •  
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calendar   Sunday - November 03, 2013

king tut in the news again …

While the subject of ancient Egypt is always interesting and I know for Drew even more so, I find this article somewhat hard to swallow whole.

Lots of times I find stuff and then have to print it all out and read it that way first. Can’t do that a lot tho. Anyway ....  see what you make of this.  I don’t see how they would know, to begin with.  And I always thought the ancients removed things like the brain and other organs first.  And as for spontaneous combustion, well.  That’s a bit science fictiony I think.

Here. Look at this.


The mummified body of Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun burst into flames inside his sarcophagus after a botched attempt to embalm him, according to scientists in a new documentary.

After his death in 1323 BC, Tutankhamun was rapidly embalmed and buried, but fire investigators believe a chemical reaction caused by embalming oils used on his mummy sparked the blaze.

A fragment of flesh from the boy pharaoh, whose tomb was discovered in 1922 by Howard Carter and the Earl of Carnarvon, was tested by researchers who confirmed his body was burnt while sealed in his coffin.


I thought they wrapped the body and then placed in what these folks are calling a coffin. So how does fire start and then burn with no air ?


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 11/03/2013 at 10:32 AM   
Filed Under: • Archeology / AnthropologyHistory •  
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calendar   Monday - August 26, 2013

reader rabbit

Been busy here. On top of doing all the things that need doing every weekend, I’ve been stealing time to read three books at once. Still working on A Durable Peace. Gave Pratchett’s Unseen Academicals another go. And I’ve started on the most wonderful and rare little book about a very very old piece of English history and an interesting theory about it.

Sometimes people write a book because they have an idea they want to send out. Sometimes they write a book that has almost no target audience, and they pay to have a single print run done. I don’t know how many copies that entails. 100? 200? 50? But I know that I found reference to a certain book in several forums, that quite a number of people had heard about but no one had actually seen. So I set about finding a copy. The internet is chock full of book shops. New books, old books, second hand ones, super expensive ancient antique ones, you name it. And all these places had an entry for this particular book, but not one of them had any copies nor had a glimmer of hope of getting any more ever. And then I found a guy selling half a dozen or so copies, new, on eBay in the UK. Cheap. So now Peiper has a copy, and my copy arrived in the mail Friday. What with figuring out international shipping and all, I had a couple of emails back and forth with the seller. Who turned out to be the author. So my copy of this one and only printing, first edition, got autographed.

And it turns out to be highly readable. I wasn’t expecting that. I was expecting some scholarly work, done up in high falootin’ Ivy Tower phraseology, loaded down with cfs, untranslated Latin phrases, things in Fwench and other impossible tongues, and $20 words that even the best dictionaries have a hard time with. Surprise surprise, the author can actually write, and tells his story in a way normal folks can follow. Well done, that scrivener. To the best of my knowledge, unless he has another stash hidden away, there are about 6 new copies left in all the world for sale. The book can be found on the American eBay as well, same seller.


image Peiper and I trade books back and forth all the time. I’m sure he’s going to enjoy this one; after all, it’s the story of a local boy made good. And then made even better.

Alfred The Great was the king of Wessex. Wessex was the kingdom of the Gewisse , the West Saxons who wore those seax belt knives I wrote about a few posts back, who carved out a kingdom and brought a bit of peace and security to their corner of that Green and Pleasant Land in the darkest part of the Dark Ages after the fall of the Roman Empire. Eventually Alfred joined most of the island into one nation and fought off The Great Heathen Army, a massive invasion of Vikings.

The capital of Wessex was Winchester, right down the road from Peiper’s house, where some of the walls and buildings Alfred made still stand. And after that? Well as they say ...


King Arthur’s Round Table, Winchester Castle

Coming rather late to the party, Winchester Castle was built by William the Conqueror in 1067

... the rest is history. Or an approximation thereof. Which is what this book is all about.

PS - Astute truss fans will click the above link and then click the picture there for a really big version of the above picture, and will immediately notice that the roof is held up by a (horizontally braced) scissors truss. Pretty impressive and very modern for it’s day, considering that the hammerbeam truss was invented just around the corner, in Pilgrims Hall, albeit 240 years later ... which is mere yards from the little church of St. Swithun’s upon Kingsgate that Peiper visited and posted on here a couple years ago. St. Swithun is thought to have been Alfred’s tutor when he was a boy, though somehow across the centuries he has become the Punxsutawney Phil of Winchester. Go figure.

Neck deep in history, that corner of the world is. Lucky Peiper. 


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/26/2013 at 11:22 AM   
Filed Under: • Fun-StuffHistoryUK •  
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calendar   Saturday - August 24, 2013

Seax Appeal

There is a nice little post over at Stoaty the Weasel’s blog today on the seax.

A seax is the name of a single edged knife carried by free men and women in ancient northern Europe. It was usually hung horizontally from a belt, and worn in front for easy access. Blade length varied from a few inches up to about two feet. So a seax was anything from a small eating/utility blade up to a short sword. And given the state of armor and swords in the 800s, a seax with a 22” blade wasn’t that great a disadvantage against a 28” sword. In other words, the common folk were mostly as well armed as the military.

The name Saxon is derived from seax; Saxons literally are “the people of the knife”. This goes way back to the Dark Ages, maybe even earlier. But the concept is more than just the knife. The concept is that this was the mark of free people. They went about armed, to some extent, at all times. That concept, and something quite like the seax, survives today in modern Finland, where nearly everyone carries a small sheath knife called a puukko (puko) at all times. Because they are free adults.

So you can see where our Second Amendment comes from. A thousand years before our Constitution was written, the right of free men and women to arms was an old, old principle. At least in northern Europe, where all those horrible White people and their ideas came from. English Common Law and that whole Enlightenment thing.

A modern seax, and a modern puukko. Pretty similar overall.



Posted by Drew458   United States  on 08/24/2013 at 10:22 AM   
Filed Under: • FREEDOMHistoryTypical White People: Stupid, Evil, Willfully Blind •  
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calendar   Wednesday - July 31, 2013

eye candy of a long ago age. well, maybe not exactly eye candy. ok it isn’t eye candy for us.

I’m sure you’ve seen something like this before. It isn’t new but, it still fascinates and holds my interest. The material of the age could not have been very comfortable either.

I think you enjoy looking backward again.  Click the pretty ladies for more and their friends having fun.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 07/31/2013 at 05:46 AM   
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calendar   Monday - July 29, 2013

No More Gay Penalty

Only 60 years after he was driven to suicide ...

Alan Turing, credited with ending WWII, to be given posthumous pardon

The “Father of Computer Science” — who played a key role in defeating the Nazis during World War II — is set to be posthumously pardoned of his gross indecency conviction, according to a new report.

WWII hero Alan Turing is widely credited with hastening the falls of the Nazis because he cracked the German Enigma, which allowed U-boats to securely communicate in the North Atlantic.

Turing, who was gay, was later convicted under anti-homosexuality legislation and sentenced to chemical castration.

In 1954, Turing, 41, was found dead of cyanide poisoning — a half-eaten apple sitting on his bedside table.

The government signalled on Friday that it is prepared to support a backbench bill that would pardon Turing, who died from cyanide poisoning at the age of 41 in 1954 after he was subjected to “chemical castration”.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, a government whip, told peers that the government would table the third reading of the Alan Turing (statutory pardon) bill at the end of October if no amendments are made. “If nobody tables an amendment to this bill, its supporters can be assured that it will have speedy passage to the House of Commons,” Ahmad said.

The announcement marks a change of heart by the government, which declined last year to grant pardons to the 49,000 gay men, now dead, who were convicted under the 1885 Criminal Law Amendment Act. They include Oscar Wilde.

Turing broke German ciphers using the bombe method, which allowed the code-breakers to crack the German Enigma code. His colleague Tommy Flowers built the Colossus computer. [Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, a government whip] Ahmad described Turing as “one of the fathers, if not the father, of computer science”.

[ Liberal Democrat peer Lord ]Sharkey has campaigned for a pardon after being taught mathematics at Manchester University in the 1960s by Robin Gandy, Turing’s only doctoral student, who became a close friend and was the executor of his will.

Sharkey said: “As I think everybody knows, he was convicted in 1952 of gross indecency and sentenced to chemical castration. He committed suicide two years later. The government know that Turing was a hero and a very great man. They acknowledge that he was cruelly treated. They must have seen the esteem in which he is held here and around the world.”

[long retired Bletchley Park aide] Lady Trumpington told peers: “The block I worked in was devoted to German naval codes. Only once was I asked to deliver a paper to Alan Turing, so … I cannot claim that I knew him. However, I am certain that but for his work we would have lost the war through starvation.”

If I recall my ancient computer history properly, Turing was also adept at riding a unicycle and playing the accordion. No word yet on whether the UK has finally decriminalized those activities as well.

And headlines being what they are, obviously Turing didn’t end the war all by himself. But he did break the code, and that was invaluable in ending the Blitz ... although it was Churchill’s decision to let Coventry be bombed.

link to the Alan Turing story

Minor Update: a somewhat contrary view from Max Hastings: these were the laws of the time, so by what right does today’s UK go about pardoning or apologizing for past wrongs? Or, as former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton might put it, “At this point, what difference does it make?” Not that she, or her husband for that matter, are any strangers themselves to meaningless apologies.

Well, I suppose the point is that it’s never too late to try and do the right thing. Granted, 60 years after the guy is dead is rather pushing the envelope.

The secondary argument, “what about the other 49,000 homosexuals also convicted?” may be moot; the way I read the Guardian article it seems as if all of them could be cleared of their long-ago offenses.

And when you come right down to it, the Allies were only too happy to forgive a bunch of Nazis and take them on board. Almost all of the early brains in NASA had earlier worked for Adolf (eg SS Major Werner von Braun). Revisionism can downplay their involvement, but come on. They didn’t NOT know. So what’s a little power bottom action compared to that? What they ought to be apologizing for is not standing up for their man, who saved the lives of millions by shortening the war by a year or more. But not one of them did; not a single string was pulled for Turing. That’s abhorrent. Things should have been swept under the rug as they were done for so many others with far more “dirt” in their dustpans.


Posted by Drew458   United States  on 07/29/2013 at 12:32 PM   
Filed Under: • Computers and CyberspaceHistoryWar-Stories •  
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calendar   Tuesday - June 25, 2013

1,800 yr old walls as part of your house. could you ask for more?

ok, it isn’t a castle but it may be a lot cheaper to maintain. And it’s all yours for only £8million.
In dollars it’s only $12,338,439.81. Hey, a bargain. I remember when the dollar pound ratio was 2 to 1. Which means that house could go for 16 million.
who-ha. such a bargain!

I could see living in a house like this. You’d need staff of course, and have to hire Drew to do the windows.

This house happens to be located in a very pretty part of this country.

Country manor house with 1,800-year-old Roman walls which could be yours for £8million

Whitestaunton Manor has recently undergone a £5million renovation
The home was built in 15th century on grounds of third century Roman villa
Property, including 83 acres of land, is now up for sale for £8million

By James Rush

A unique country pile which features 1,800-year-old Roman-built walls has been put on the market for £8 million.

Whitestaunton Manor is a seven bedroom 15th century home situated near Chard, Somerset.

But it was constructed on the grounds of a third century Roman villa and includes structural masonry from that period in its walls.


The home, which could be the only one of its type to boast genuine Roman features, was today described as one of the nation’s finest country homes.

Grade I listed Whitestaunton Manor has been put up for sale with Savills Estate Agents for £8 million - making it the one of the most expensive residential properties for sale in Somerset.

It follows a decade-long, £5million renovation with the home now boasting a combination of classic architecture and modern technology spanning 1,800 years.

The home features seven bedrooms, three reception rooms, a grand hall which houses a hammerbeam roof, a three bedroom lodge house and an outdoor swimming pool.


Despite being made of hamstone, there is underfloor heating while lighting comes courtesy of LEDs.

It is also one of only a few private residences in the UK with a medieval hammerbeam roof - which was completed in 1438 but only discovered during its renovation.

A pond flows to the north of the property where the remains of the Roman baths can be found. These were uncovered and featured in an episode of Time Team in 2003.


The Deeds of The Manor include a family pew on the north side of the Parish Church of Whitestaunton, near Chard, Somerset.

The property also comes with 83 acres of land, stables, garaging and a three-bedroom lodge.

The gardens surround the house on three sides and are dominated by a variety of beech, ancient copper beech and willow trees.

‘The Romans had free rein when they came over here and they chose the spot because it was so beautiful. Its position and setting is stunning.

‘As for the house, a lot of people make the mistake of thinking a 15th century home would be dark and you would bang your head on the ceiling. This is different - it is well proportioned and bright.

‘The owner has spent £5 million doing it up, he is a real purist and his attention to detail is second to none.

‘It is very unusual to have Roman walls in the home and this is possibly the only one in the country.

hammerbeam roof see this and more here

I do believe I see a bridge across that pond. Drew will take note.
btw ... Ponds “flow?” I always thought they were still water.  Yes? No?


Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 06/25/2013 at 12:13 PM   
Filed Under: • Archeology / AnthropologyArchitectureHistoryUK •  
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calendar   Monday - June 24, 2013

a departure I need to make more often?  I think maybe so. Not sure. Have your say.

I got a bit carried away this morning looking at castles.  There was something in the paper that mentioned one and had a few other recommends and a small

photo. So naturally I went on line to look it up and WOW!  I ended up looking at a lot of them, and in one place because I read, most of the old castles are located in a place called Wales.

Whose spelling and language is totally incomprehensible to all but a few natives.  I’ve been there, once a long time ago.

Don’t think we saw one castle on that trip.  The article says that Wales “has some of the finest castles in Britain.”

I’ve been trolling castles almost all day.

Google Welsh Castles. Great stuff.

My next visit will be Scotland and then England and I’m sure there has to be one or two or more in Ireland too.

Caerphilly Castle (Welsh: Castell Caerffili) is a medieval fortification in Caerphilly in South Wales. The castle was constructed by Gilbert de Clare in the 13th century as part of his campaign to conquer Glamorgan, and saw extensive fighting between Gilbert and his descendants and the native Welsh rulers. Surrounded by extensive artificial lakes – considered by historian Allen Brown to be “the most elaborate water defences in all Britain” – it occupies around 30 acres (120,000 m2) and is the second largest castle in Britain.  It is famous for having introduced concentric castle defences to Britain and for its large gatehouses.
Gilbert began work on the castle in 1268 following his occupation of the north of Glamorgan, with the majority of the construction occurring over the next three years at a considerable cost. The project was opposed by Gilbert’s Welsh rival Llywelyn ap Gruffudd, leading to the site being burnt in 1270 and taken over by royal officials in 1271. Despite these interruptions, Gilbert successfully completed the castle and took control of the region. The core of Caerphilly Castle, including the castle’s luxurious accommodation, was built on what became a central island, surrounding by several artificial lakes, a design Gilbert probably derived from that at Kenilworth. The dams for these lakes were further fortified, and an island to the west provided additional protection. The concentric rings of walls inspired Edward I’s castles in North Wales, and proved what historian Norman Pounds has termed “a turning point in the history of the castle in Britain”.



Magnificent Conway Castle, has been described as ‘one of the great fortresses of medieval Europe’, and is without doubt one of the most impressive of Welsh castles.
The castle was was built on the site of an earlier Welsh monastery, founded by Welsh prince Llewelyn Fawr and was designed by the king’s master architect-mason, James of St. George, being built between 1283-1289.
The castle stands in a strategic position perched on a rock and dominates the Conwy estuary, on approach it conveys a deep sense of strength and impregnability. Conwy Castle was one of Edward I’s most expensive projects and originally had a coat of whitewash.
The castle provides the visitor with the opportunity of walking the top portions of the soaring curtain walls, from which the views over the town, its Medieval walls and the Conwy Estuary are stunning.


Cfon Castle


I even have a bridge for Drew



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 06/24/2013 at 09:44 AM   
Filed Under: • ArchitectureHistoryUK •  
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calendar   Monday - June 17, 2013

Somebody Cue Fats Domino

Easter Island Heads May Have Walked Into Position


Symbolic defense, or part of the toughest chess game in history? Nobody really knows.

An idea suggesting massive stone statues that encircle Easter Island may have been “walked” into place has run into controversy.

In October 2012, researchers came up with the “walking” theory by creating a 5-ton replica of one of the statues (or “moai"), and actually moving it in an upright position, and have published a more thorough justification in the June issue of the Journal of Archaeological Science. If the statues were walked into place, then the islanders didn’t need to cut down the island’s palm trees to make way for moving the massive carvings, the researchers argue.

The findings may help dismantle the traditional storyline of Easter Island, or Rapa Nui: that a “crazed maniacal group destroyed their environment,” by cutting down trees to transport gigantic statues, said study co-author Carl Lipo, an anthropologist at California State University, Long Beach.

I never did like that greenie thesis. Of course the islanders may have cut down all their trees for firewood, like in modern Haiti and Madagascar. But for some oddball stone carving game? Not likely.


Along the road to the platforms are moai whose bases curved so they couldn’t stand upright, but instead would topple forward, meaning the ones in transit would have to be modified once they reached the platform. That made the researchers wonder why the statues weren’t made to stand upright in the first place if they were meant to be rolled into place, not walked, Lipo said

And the statues found on the roads to the platforms all had wider bases than shoulders, which physical models suggested would help them rock forward in an upright position.

To see whether the statues may have been walked, the team transformed photos of one 10-foot-tall statue into a 3D computer model, and then created a 5-ton concrete replica. Last October, on a NOVA documentary, the team tried walking the replica, using people holding ropes on each side to rock the statue forward and back on a dirt path in Hawaii.

The statue moved easily. ... The movers walked the replica about 328 feet in 40 minutes.

“It goes from something you can’t imagine moving at all, to kind of dancing down the road,” Lipo told LiveScience.

You know, this just makes sense. And the counter argument that the islanders had to deal with hills and valleys and sharp corners in the road doesn’t hold water with me. I use the walking method to move heavy things all the time. We’ve got a set of speakers that must weigh 250lb, along with plenty of other big pieces of furniture. And I’ve moved them all up and down stairs, through narrow doorways, etc. You just wobble the things a bit, spin them a little, then wobble them the other way. And pretty quickly you can Weeble™ them right up a flight of stairs or across a room, and you never really have to lift anything. It’s a natural idea, and it works.

And for a primitive culture, I’m sure a stone man being released from the earth (by carving), getting up and walking across the island to his assigned spot, greatly enhanced the symbolism. That’s magic.

I wonder if it worked in ancient Egypt too? Can’t you just see a long line of workers with ropes, stretching back to the horizon, dancing a thousand massive stone blocks up the road and building a giant pyramid ... in about 5 years?

A&R Monday? That’s not how we do things around here. Thursdays, as a rule. But ... what the hell. Let me dig around and see if I can’t find something freckle-tastic.

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 06/17/2013 at 08:44 AM   
Filed Under: • Archeology / AnthropologyEye-CandyFun-StuffHistory •  
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calendar   Tuesday - June 04, 2013

the article calls it the world’s biggest ship graveyard.The ghost fleet of Truk Lagoon

Not a thing for me to add here. Just interesting war story and photos that speak for themselves.

The ghost fleet of Truk Lagoon: World’s biggest ship graveyard discovered at site of WW2 battle where US crushed Japanese fleet

Over three days in 1944, more than 60 Japanese warships and 200 aircraft sank after an attack by Allied forces
During the Second World War Chuuk Lagoon was Japan’s main base in the South Pacific
American bombardment of the base wiped out their supplies and reduced Japanese threat
The lagoon is now considered one of the top wreck diving destinations in the world

By Jill Reilly

In the Second World War Chuuk Lagoon was Japan’s main base in the South Pacific, but in 1944, American forces launched an attack and over a two day bombardment more than 60 warships ended up on the floor of the lagoon.

Years later the Japanese still pay their respects at the watery graves each year, but now the site, formally known as Truk Lagoon due to a mispronunciation, offers scuba divers a chance to explore a piece of living history.


The codename for the assault on Chuuk Lagoon was ‘Operation Hailstone’ and the attack began on 17 February, lasting for two bitter and bloody days.

The American armada included five fleets carriers and four light carriers - they were also seven battleships, submarines, destroyers and over 500 aircraft.

Over 250 Japanese aircraft were destroyed - most of them had not had a chance to take off as they had only just arrived from Japan and were partly dissembled.


The few Japanese aircraft that did take off were claimed destroyed - the U.S. lost twenty-five aircraft during the attack, mainly due to the intense anti-aircraft fire from Truk’s defenses.

Very few of the troops aboard the sunken ships survived - the attacks ended Chuuk Lagoon as a major threat to Allied operations in the central Pacific.

Most of the wrecks were left untouched for nearly 25 years since people feared setting off the thousands of sunken bombs.

Many of the shipwrecks in the scuba diving paradise have full cargo holds full of fighter aircraft, tanks and bulldozers.

They also have spooky reminders of human life such as perfectly preserved porcelain cups positioned next to skulls.



Posted by peiper   United Kingdom  on 06/04/2013 at 08:00 AM   
Filed Under: • HistoryUSA War-Stories •  
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calendar   Thursday - May 23, 2013

Today’s Bit Of Rare History

I never knew they existed ...


You’re looking at the trunnion stamping of a Model 1861 3 inch rifle. A cannon. Cast from steel. From the Civil War. One like this


The trunnions are the round stubs that stick out the side of the middle of the barrel and are used as the hinge pins to attach the gun to it’s carriage. Up until the start of that conflict, cannons had been made from either cast bronze or cast iron. The rifled field piece in the lower picture was made by the Phoenix Iron Company (who later became famous bridge builders) and is made from roller forged laminated strips of helical wrapped wrought iron. Because wrought iron has much greater tensile (stretching) strength than cast iron, these cannons were much stronger than their cast iron brethren, and almost never blew up when you fired them. And that’s a very good thing!

Unfortunately, making cannons with Damascus style forged iron barrels was quite a bit more involved than filling a mold with molten metal and then letting it cool for a week or two. And while the Bessemer process for creating steel had been invented in England a few years before the War, it hadn’t really made it across the ocean much at that point. So only a very few foundries, such as Singer, Nimick & Company of Pittsburgh, were able to use crucible steel in the volume required to make artillery. But the steel guns they cast, all 6 of them, were just as strong, durable, and light as the wrought iron ones made by PIC. Except they cost twice as much.

6 were built. One, this one, hangs on the wall at the theater in Gettysburg. (It weighs a bit over 860 pounds. Strong wall!) Two others are in McDonald Field in the battlefield park at Chickamauga; these are the two captured by Beford Forrest’s troops near Lexington Tennessee 12/18/1862. The other three have been lost to time, either melted down for scrap, buried to avoid capture and then forgotten, or in some town park somewhere covered over with a coat of paint whereupon they look just like ever other Model 1861 gun out there, and there were lots.

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Posted by Drew458   United States  on 05/23/2013 at 01:37 PM   
Filed Under: • HistoryMilitary •  
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Not that very many people ever read this far down, but this blog was the creation of Allan Kelly and his friend Vilmar. Vilmar moved on to his own blog some time ago, and Allan ran this place alone until his sudden and unexpected death partway through 2006. We all miss him. A lot. Even though he is gone this site will always still be more than a little bit his. We who are left to carry on the BMEWS tradition owe him a great debt of gratitude, and we hope to be able to pay that back by following his last advice to us all:
  1. Keep a firm grasp of Right and Wrong
  2. Stay involved with government on every level and don't let those bastards get away with a thing
  3. Use every legal means to defend yourself in the event of real internal trouble, and, most importantly:
  4. Keep talking to each other, whether here or elsewhere
It's been a long strange trip without you Skipper, but thanks for pointing us in the right direction and giving us a swift kick in the behind to get us going. Keep lookin' down on us, will ya? Thanks.


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GNU Terry Pratchett

Oh, and here's some kind of visitor flag counter thingy. Hey, all the cool blogs have one, so I should too. The Visitors Online thingy up at the top doesn't count anything, but it looks neat. It had better, since I paid actual money for it.
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