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September 6, 2000
[corrections] From the Guardian’s Corrections and clarifications page: ‘Lady Birdwood whose death was reported in a brief item on page 6, June 29, appeared repeatedly before the courts for anti-semitic pamphleteering, not anti-semitic profiteering.’ Who was The Dowager Lady Birdwood? ‘In a memorably fatuous observation in 1994, Judge Henry Pownall told Birdwood he accepted that she did not intend to stir up racial hatred. “You are not a wicked old woman in that sense,” he added. Birdwood had been convicted of distributing a pamphlet, which denied the holocaust, and proclaimed a Jewish conspiracy to subvert society. She had also suggested Jews drank the blood of gentile children. Judge Pownall sentenced her to a three-month suspended sentence.’ [via Beesley]
August 2, 2000
[war] The Man Who Dropped The Bomb — Newsweek interviews Paul Tibbets who dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima fifty-five years ago … ‘Oftentimes, in Tibbets presence, I would see men and women in their seventies and eighties come up to him (once they figured out who he was) with tears in their eyes, to thank him for letting them live full lives. The men had been young American soldiers on their way to a land invasion of Japan. Because of what Tibbets did, they came home instead, and raised their families. They cry now, when they meet him.’
July 26, 2000
[news] BBC News reports that Chinese claim invention of Flush Toilet. ‘The invention of the flush toilet is widely attributed to London plumber Thomas Crapper, who patented a U-bend siphoning system for flushing the pan in the late 19th century, and who also installed toilets for Queen Victoria.’
July 11, 2000
[vikings] The BBC wants to find out if you are a Viking.
June 15, 2000
[stuff] This is kind of site you can waste an afternoon on: 200 Most Entertaining Moments of the Millenium. “#126 Anyone who remembers watching the CNN coverage of the Gulf War, gape-jawed, can’t help but to have been impressed by missiles flying down ventilation shafts. Obviously war is terrible, but buildings blowing up will continue to be cool forever.”
June 8, 2000
[news] Michelangelo’s David has a squint! The trick of perspective – which has taken 500 years to rumble – was a typical stroke of Michelangelo genius, according to Marc Levoy, the computer scientist from Stanford University, California, who made the discovery. He suspects it went unnoticed for so long because David’s more obvious attribute – his genitalia – blinded successive generations to the “flaw”.
June 4, 2000
[history] People are still looking for lost Nazi treasure. The haul is believed to contain top-secret Nazi documents detailing how assets from the Third Reich were deposited in Swiss bank accounts, as well as art objects, gold and the records of the Sachsenhausen concentration camp near Berlin. Documents detailing the assistance of the Vatican in transferring funds to South America, and some gold, are also believed to be concealed there.”
May 28, 2000
[history] BBC News reports on the myth of Dick Turpin. “Michelle Petyt, assistant curator of social history at the museum, said research suggested he was a “quiet and dour man” and that stories of his good looks were definitely untrue. Professor James Sharpe, criminal history lecturer at York University – who is preparing a book about Turpin – said Turpin’s crimes were equally unappealing. He said: “Any ideas that he is a romantic, dashing figure are a nonsense. He had a quick temper and a violent streak.””
May 13, 2000
[quote] “I am myself a Norfolk man.. and glory in being so.”Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson
May 5, 2000
[history] newsUnlimited asks: Did Britain poison Napoleon? [Text Only] …when his remains were brought back to France in 1840 prior to ceremonial burial in Les Invalides, his body appeared perfectly preserved. At the time it was seen as a miracle. Today scientists say the phenomenon is symptomatic of arsenic poisoning.
April 25, 2000
[history] newsUnlimited reports on six men who survived for seven months on the Antarctic coast in 1912 after being left by the ill fated Captain Scott with rations for seven weeks and no winter clothing. [Text Only] “What, after all, are a few months of darkness and blubber lamps,” Levick asks, “when we have an allowance of a couple of pipes a day to console us?”

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