Monday, July 21, 2014

Monday Miscellany: Some Odds, Ends and Personals

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An email from daughter Acacia:

As regards aerial pic of Venice that had the caption “Venice, Spain”

You know Venice is in Italy right?

As regards aerial view of the Dubai coastline (Acacia lives in Dubai):

This is an artist's impression. The other palms aren’t finished yet. 

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Email from Byter Doug as regards the post on Napalm Girl and Paris Hilton:

Hi Otto, 
It’s a very interesting Bytes, as always 
I have mixed feelings about the picture of Paris Hilton. On one hand, she is a private citizen, with all the expectations of privacy that can be reasonably expected. On the other hand, Paris Hilton relentlessly and aggressively seeks out publicity, which she then converts into personal financial gain. It’s therefore a bit contradictory to seek to maximise publicity, yet expect privacy. It’s either one or the other. 
I also disagree with the comment that there weren’t any pictures of the war in Iraq. In fact, there were many, many pictures taken by regular soldiers (as well as professional news organisations). One of the differences is that quite a bit of military technology has gone into reducing the power of weapons, in order to minimise civilian casualties. The emotional impact of the 1972 picture is in part due to a civilian family being destroyed by a military mistake. In contrast, in Iraq and elsewhere, an Allied bomb could destroy a building and leave the buildings in close proximity relatively undamaged. 
Of course, mistakes happen and civilians are killed even now (e.g., those four Palestinian children accidentally killed while they played on the beach). However, a Western army wouldn’t drop napalm close to civilians nowadays. Technology has improved quite a bit from the 70s, with a corresponding reduction in civilian deaths. The results are better for the civilians, but worse for the newspapers. 

Thanks Doug.

Is Doug right, that there is less newspaper coverage because technology has improved the ability to detect, target and kill?  Or has the military also become media savvy?  Or both?

From Wayne as regards Napalm Girl:

This is one part of that era that I have never forgotten.

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From Byter David as regards the joke about Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson camping:

The Lancashire comedian Les Dawson -- --
used to tell a joke obviously influenced by your first Sherlock joke: "The other day I was gazing up at the night sky, a purple vault fretted with myriad points of light twinkling in wondrous formation, while shooting stars streaked across the heavens, and I thought: I really must repair the roof on this toilet."

Thanks David.

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From Nadia as regards the views of places from above:

Hi Otto, 
Bourtange, Vlagtwedde, Netherlands  
Check out Palmanova in Italy. Same sort of design. Was there in May this year. As you drive around the outskirts of Palmanova, you can't see it from the road, apart from a couple of modern buildings, which some "clever" town planner thought was a good idea at the time. 
See attached photo. Sorry about quality, taken with iphone. 

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From son Thomas, as regards the story about Cecil Chubb buying Stonehenge as a present for his wife Mary, who didn't like it so he gave it to the nation:

Mary Chubb’s a bit of alright, isn’t she?


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From spouse Kate (yes, she does send me emails) in response to Sue’s comments last week about songs sung by her dad on long driving trips, including “Stewball”, with the following link:

Stewball was the first song I learned on the guitar when I was about 12 - warbling away to that and to "feeling groovy" was much more fun than practising classical pieces.

My wife was surprised that I had never heard the song, nor heard of it.

Apparently Stewball, aka Skewball, was a racehorse that won numerous races in England and Ireland in the 18th century. The song is about a major race when Stewball beats the mighty favourite, a grey mare. The oldest recorded broadside lof the song is 1784, the real Stewball was foaled in 1741. The song came to America in 1829 and was adopted and sometimes varied by slaves in the Southern states. 

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Byter Charles Z mentioned last week that he is from Pennsylvania. This prompted Sue to write:

Interestingly, my Dad was born in Pennsylvania in 1902!

Btw #1
Pennsylvania, meaning “Penn’s woodland”, was the subject of a land grant by Charles 11 to William Penn to repay a debt of £16,000 (around £2,100,000 in 2008, adjusting for retail inflation) owed to William's father, Admiral William Penn. This was one of the largest land grants to an individual in history. The grant refers to Pennsylvania by name.  Contrary to the wishes of William Penn, who wanted it called New Wales or Sylvania Penn was embarrassed at the name, fearing that people would think he had named it after himself but King Charles would not rename the grant.

Btw #2
26-year-old William Penn receipt from King Charles II of the charter to Pennsylvania in 1681 was as repayment of a debt owed to his deceased father Admiral Sir William Penn, who captured Jamaica and defeated the Dutch navy. A student at Oxford, William Penn was expelled for having his own prayer services in his dorm room instead of attending the Anglican chapel. Penn converted to Quakerism and was imprisoned in the Tower of London. His colony was a “holy experiment” for persecuted Europeans, one of the few original colonies to accept Mennonites, Amish, Catholics and Jews. Emphasizing his plan of Christian tolerance, William Penn named the city “Philadelphia,” Greek for “Brotherly Love.” History records that since William Penn insisted on treating the Delaware Indians honestly, paying a fair sum for the land, his city of Philadelphia was spared the Indian attacks and scalpings that other colonial settlements experienced.

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One final item, as the FIFA World Cup fades into the memory, some internet images referring to Brazil's loss to Germany 7 - 1:

Brazil's new flag

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