Saturday, July 24, 2021




The prolific Mr Graham E has sent me another email (actually, he has sent me quite a few) with information and material for Bytes posts.

I will post G’s other material in future, even though I feel like the site name should be permanently changed to the G Spot.

There is a limerick which goes:

There once was a sad Maitre d'hotel
Who said, "They can all go to hell!
What they do to my wife --
Why it ruins my life;
And the worst is they all do it well."

To paraphrase that:

Mr G sends me stuff that is swell,
That clogs my emails and Bytes all to hell.
He should get a life.
To lessen emails so rife
But the worst is he does it so well.

And that’s the truth of it!

(By the way, I am always grateful for reader contributions, although not everything will necessarily be posted, or it may be posted at later dates).


G’s email:

Hi Mr O,

Glad you enjoyed the snippets of scintillating scuttlebutt, and here are some more.


Mr G

Before posting Graham’s material, the following may be of interest:

Meaning a tiny piece, it dates from the 1660s and comes from snip, with its Low German and Dutch root snippen, "to snip or shred." Linguists believe its origin is imitative of the sound made by a quick cut.

Meaning animated; vivacious; effervescent (as in a scintillating personality), and witty; brilliantly clever (as in scintillating dialogue in a play), it dates from the 1620s from the Latin scintllationem, "the emitting of sparks or spark-like flashes," specifically the twinkling of stars in the night sky.

And in case you’re wondering . . .

Titillate means to excite someone's imagination, especially in a sexual way. Titillate comes from a Latin verb that means "tickle," and that's what something that titillates does to the imagination.

Meaning rumour or gossip, it comes from the nautical term for a cask for storing water on board ship. It was scuttled by making a hole in it to enable water to be withdrawn. When sailors gathered at the scuttlebutt for a drink they exchanged gossip and rumours, eventually giving rise to the name of scuttlebutt for the rumours and information itself.


Some comparisons in time, from Graham . . . 

Chinese guns and the Battle of Crecy

We tend to think of weapons development as fairly linear, but history shows that is anything but the case.

The earliest known bronze gun, one that employed gunpowder, was from the Yuan dynasty, in China in 1332.

14 years later the Battle of Crecy, fought by the French and English in 1346, was revolutionary for its use of the crossbow, a brand-new weapon at the time.


Death by firing squad and 'Toy Story 3'

In 2004, Utah became the last American state to change its death sentencing laws by outlawing death by firing squad.

Ronnie Lee Gardner, found guilty of murder and was sentenced to death in 1985, was prior to the law change and still had death by firing squad as an option for his execution.

He chose this route and died on 18th June, 2010, the same day that “Toy Story 3” premiered in theatres across the U.S.


British Colonization of America and Shakespeare

Widely regarded as the greatest English-language writer of all time, William Shakespeare died on April 23, 1616, in Stratford-upon-Avon.

This means that the poet and playwright was still alive when England began colonizing America at Jamestown in 1607.

The colonists landed in Massachusetts on 26th April, 3 days after Shakespeare’s 43rd birthday, and named Jamestown after King James I of England, a year after “Macbeth” was first staged and three years before “The Tempest”, a play inspired by the loss of the “Sea Venture” (a ship of the colonising fleet) in Bermuda.

The Tempest is a social commentary on the effects of colonialism, not only on the native people, who were invaded and forced to convert to Christianity, but also the effects it had on the conquerors themselves.


Black lives matter and 1927

1927 has turned out to be a very important year for African-American equality, as many of their leading and most vocal leaders were born. They included
  • Coretta Scott King, civil rights leader and wife of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr;
  • Harry Belafonte, Jamaican born musician, actor, and civil rights activist;
  • Sidney Poitier, Bahamian born actor, film director and first black male to receive a “Best Actor” Academy Award;
  • Leontyne Price the first African American soprano to receive international acclaim;
  • George Taliaferro the first African American drafted by a National Football League (NFL) team; and
  • Eartha Kitt, singer, actress, comedienne, dancer, and activist.

Starry, Starry Nights and the Eiffel Tower

On May 6th 1889, the World Fair opened in Paris featuring the Eiffel Tower which was built as the entrance archway to the exhibits.

On 18th June, Vincent van Gogh painted “The Starry Night” at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and, like the tower, they have become some of the most recognized images in the world. The painting has also inspired other artists, like Don McLean who composed his 1971 hit "Vincent" as a tribute to the artist. The imagery was also used as the theme for the 2011 Woody Allen film “Midnight in Paris”.

Additionally in 1889 the Savoy Hotel opened in London ,the Nintendo Company founded in Japan and the Moulin Rouge cabaret opened in Paris.


Dr Who and John F Kennedy’s assassination

The 22nd November 1963 will always be remembered as the day the American President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

However, the following night saw the debut of the Time Lord played by William Hartnell, in the first episode of “Dr. Who” on the BBC. The episode was repeated the following week as the media coverage surrounding JFK's death largely overshadowed the 25-minute episode, titled “An Unearthly Child”. Also overshadowed by the President’s death were the deaths on the same day of British author Aldous Huxley (Brave New World) and Irish author C. S. Lewis (The Chronicles of Narnia).

It was also the day that The Beatles released their second album, “With the Beatles”.


Thanks Mr G.

More G Spot moments in the future.



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