Archive for the ‘england’ Tag

01/22/2022 The Seven Wonders X 4   Leave a comment

The first mention of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World was in the 5th century BCE. They were some of the greatest human achievements at that time. The list was used over the centuries by many medieval writers but was mainly concerned with the accomplishments of the Greek or Roman empires. At that time very little was known of faraway cultures and their creations. Here is the traditional list of seven:

Giza Pyramids (Egypt), The Hanging Gardens of Babylon (Iraq), Temple of Artemis (Turkey), Statue of Zeus (Greece), the Mausoleum of Halicarnassus (Turkey), the Colossus of Rhodes (Greece), and the Pharos of Alexandria (Egypt).

While these seven were indeed a wonder, there were many other places elsewhere on the globe with achievements worthy of mention. Here are just a few to make my point:

The Great Wall (China), Angkor Wat (Cambodia), Machu Picchu (Peru), the Taj Mahal (India), the Moai Statues (Easter Island), the Aztec Temple of Tenochtitlan (Mexico), the Shwedagon Pagoda (Myanmar), and the Coliseum (Italy).

These were just a few. I could easily have named at least two dozen more. Let’s change categories now to name the Seven Wonders of the Industrial Age.

The Transcontinental Railroad (USA), the London Sewer System England), the Panama Canal (Panama), Hoover Dam (USA), the Three Gorges Dam (China), the Banaue Rice Terraces (Philippines), and the Bell Rock Lighthouse (Scotland).

What about the modern world and it’s wonders? Here are seven more to consider:

Itaipu Dam (Brazil), the Channel Tunnel (England/France), the Twin Towers (USA), the Zuider Zee Dam (Netherlands), the Petronas Towers (Indonesia), the CN Tower (Canada), and the Burj Khalifa (UAE).

I’ve offered up a lot of information here and many will likely disagree with some of my choices. The point of this historical rampage was to show that creativity and wonder aren’t limited to one country or one continent. The wonders of the world are too numerous to list, and every country has their own favorites. I find it amazing that as a species we have so many similarities and so little understanding of each other. Maybe someday it will improve.

WE CAN ONLY HOPE

10/19/2021 Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Remembered   Leave a comment

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle died on July 7, 1940 in Sussex, England of a heart attack. Six years and one month later I was born. Approximately twelve years after my birth I read my first Sherlock Holmes story and later saw my first Hollywood movie version starring Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce. I’ve been hooked ever since.

Through the years I was able to find and read the occasional Holmes story but it wasn’t until I was stationed in Korea in the 1960’s that I happened upon a complete volume of the Sherlock Holmes mysteries. It was left at the hooch of a Korean business girl by an American G.I. who had since returned to the states. She couldn’t read a word of English and gladly gave me the book. In the intervening years I’ve read the entire Holmes collections many times. That book I found in Korea actually piqued my interest in crime and criminal investigations.

After leaving Korea I joined the Pennsylvania State police and began a thirty year career first as a police officer, then a private investigator, and lastly as a corporate investigator. I’m not saying that Sherlock Holmes was the inspiration for my career but I can’t tell you how many times when I first initiated a case I thought to myself, “Watson, the game is afoot.” Rest in peace Sir Arthur, your legacy lives on.

THANK GOD FOR MY KINDLE, HOLMES IS WITH ME EVERYWHERE

12-06-2013 More Beer Trivia   2 comments

My better-half has an addiction. It’s one of those addictions that isn’t one that is so terrible that rehab becomes an issue.  Her addiction is more like being madly in love rather than addicted.   I kid her about it a lot but it’s always in good, clean fun. I dedicate this posting to her and the huge garbage bag of bottle caps she’s been saving for the last thirty years. At this rate we may have enough to build her a small drinking establishment made completely of bottle caps.  If we do build something like that I think it should look something like this so all of her male friends, family, and co-workers can be totally comfortable.

 bestbar

Now let’s get started with a list of some of her most favorite topics which are always beer related.

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The ’33’ on a bottle of Rolling Rock was originally a printer’s error. It refers to the 33 words in the original slogan. It has generated enough mystery over the years that the company left it in the label.

Many years ago in England, pub frequenters had a whistle baked into the rim of their ceramic cups. When they needed a refill, they used the whistle to get some service. “Wet your whistle” is the phrase inspired by this practice.

In the Czech Republic, beer is cheaper than Coke. A half liter at the local pub costs just 30 cents (10.50 CZK) while a half liter of Coke costs 85 cents (30 CZK). Beer is a little more expensive than club soda (which costs 29 cents, or 10 CZK, for a half liter).

A labeorphilist is a collector of beer bottles.

A tegestologist is a collector of beer mats.

A flood of beer swept through the streets of St. Giles, England, on 17 October 1814. Caused by a rupture in a brewery tank containing 3500 barrels of beer, the tidal wave killed nine people and demolished two houses.

The first six-pack of beer was produced by the Pabst Brewery in the 1940s. The brewery conducted numerous studies, which found six cans were the ideal weight for the average housewife to carry home from the store.

In eleventh-century England, a bride would distribute ale to her wedding guests in exchange for donations to the newlyweds. This brew, known as Bride Ale, is the origin of the word ‘bridal’.

One method of checking a beer’s quality is the way in which the foam adheres to the side of the glass after each sip. Beer connoisseurs call this “Brussels lace.”

In 1888 citizens of Munich took to the streets and rioted after a beer price increase was announced.

Czechs drink the most beer in the world per capita – an average of 160 liters a year per person.

In merry old England, town inns paid a government tax known as a ‘scot’ for serving beer. Beer lovers who left town to drink at rural pubs were said to be drinking ‘scot free’.

Beer recipes have been found on Babylonian clay tablets from over 6000 years ago.

Guinness sells an average of 7 million glasses a day.

The British Army supplied its men with a cash allowance for beer, considered a vital nutritional staple on long overseas missions. With this allowance of one penny, soldiers enjoyed six pints of ale every day.

In Egypt, two containers of beer were the minimum wage for a day’s labour.
Beer was often served for breakfast in medieval England.

It was customary in the 13th century to baptize children with beer.

A barrel contains 31 gallons of beer. What Americans commonly refer to as a keg is actually 15.5 gallons, or a half-barrel.

The Budweiser Clydesdales weight up to 2,300 pounds and stand nearly 6 feet at the shoulder.

12 oz. of a typical American pale lager actually has fewer calories than 2 percent milk or apple juice.

The world’s strongest beer is ‘Samuel Adams’ Triple Bock, which has reached 17% alcohol by volume. To obtain this level, however, they had to use champagne yeast.

The oldest known written recipe is for beer.

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This posting should kick off her holiday celebration  this year.  I’ll be helping her stock up on her beer inventory because the worst thing that can happen is for her to run out too early.  We’ll have to search diligently for a proper beer that’s special enough to be left out for Santa.  To hell with that milk and cookies nonsense.  In this house it’s beer and pretzels.

Little does she know that I was awake last Christmas eve when she slid quietly out of bed and drank all of Santa’s beer.  My parents couldn’t fool me with the milk and cookies scam and she needs to know she can’t either.  On top of everything else I hate waking up Christmas morning with a bed full of salt and pretzel chunks.  They can hurt!

11-09-2013 American Geography Trivia Quiz   2 comments

Being a lover of history and geography started for me when I was no more than seven or eight years old.  I loved map reading and studied the world map for years and even copied it twice by hand.  I was like a gigantic sponge when it came to learning anything new on those two subjects.  I loved reading about this country and the people who helped create it.

I find these days that attempting to converse about our history is difficult. People either lack the knowledge entirely or what they do know is incorrect. It seems that academia spends more time teaching them what might be wrong with this country than what is good.  I’ll go so far as to say that many of our younger citizens couldn’t even pass the citizenship test that all immigrants are required to pass if they wish to become an American citizen. A number of years ago I recall some sort of half-assed poll that indicated that our own children couldn’t find the United States on a world map.  I found that shocking then but I’m afraid the situation hasn’t improved much.

I’m going to post something today which may be a total waste of time.  I thought maybe a short and intense American Geography Trivia quiz might be just the thing.  Some of you will know every answer, some will know most, and some will be totally stumped.  Where do you think you’ll score?  Let’s see.

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1.  Two states bill themselves as the “Sunshine State. Can you name?

2.  What US city is almost the same latitude as Mexico City?

3.  What U.S. canyon is the deepest gorge on the North American continent?

4.  What are the numbers of the three interstate highways that run coast-to-coast?

5.  How many official time zones are there in the United States – including Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and American Samoa?

6.  What for state capitals are named after cities in England to Mark

7.  What city is more than 2 1/2 times the size of Rhode Island and is America’s largest in area?

8.  What is the only place below sea level in the United States that is not located in the California desert? Hint: it’s a major city.

9.  How many states were created in part or in their entirety from the Louisiana Territory, purchased from France in 1803?

10. What was the name of the first permanent settlement in Kentucky, established in 1775 by frontiersman Daniel Boone?

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I  get to brag a little today after taking this quiz. I scored seven correct answers out of ten and amazed myself. As always, the correct answers will be posted tomorrow along with a limerick or two and a dirty joke if  I can find a good one.

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