Wednesday, 31 December 2014

New Year Celebrations around the globe

New Year's Eve around the world

After a turbulent year marred by terror woes, Ebola outbreaks and a horrific series of airline disasters, many could be forgiven for saying good riddance to 2014 and gratefully ringing in a new year.

Across the globe, revelers converged on the beaches of Brazil, the shores of Sydney harbor and New York's Times Square to welcome 2015.

SHANGHAI (Reuters) -

In Shanghai, a stampede killed at least 35 people and injured 43 during New Year's Eve celebrations in Shanghai, on the city's famed waterfront tourist strip known as the Bund, authorities said.

The Shanghai government said that large crowds started to stampede in Chen Yi Square on the Bund just before midnight, with authorities working to rescue and aid the wounded.


In Iraq's war-scarred capital, Baghdad authorities ordered a one-off lifting of the overnight curfew in force for more than a decade to allow the city's revelers to stay out late on the streets.

Traffic was unusually heavy starting shortly after sunset and authorities closed commercial streets to vehicles in the city's center as a precaution against possible suicide bombings by militants of the Islamic State terror group.


In Sydney, More than 1.5 million revelers crowded along the shores of the city's harbor in warm summer weather to watch the vivid eruption of light over the Harbour Bridge, Opera House and other points.

At midnight, the crowd cheered as a 12-minute firework display was launched. A tribute to two hostages killed in the December siege inside a downtown cafe was displayed on the pylons of the Harbour Bridge during the main fireworks display.

Jennifer Lopez: Famed and Rich But Loveless at 45

Chunk of Jennifer Lopez net worth came from her successful films including biopic “Selena,” “Anaconda,” “Out of Sight,” “The Wedding Planner,” “An Unfinished Life” and more.
 Jennifer Lopez . (Photo : getty images)

Inspite of Jennifer Lopez net worth today of $300 million according to Celebrity Net Worth, she has remained alone after her failed relationships. The most recent break up was with her dancer and choreographer Casper Smart.

The "bootylicious" singer-dancer-actress also married Criss Judd for a year in 2001 and after two years, JLo married her longest relationship with Marc Anthony that started in 2004 and ended in a divorce this year. She and Marc Anthony have twins, Max and Emme.

But amidst all her love, JLo admitted in Today Show with Maria Shriver that her biggest heartbreak was with Ben Affleck in 2004 when she was already engaged with the actor-director.

The 45-year-old singer also admitted that she fall in love easily and has a bad habit of entering into new relationship without self introspection.

Jennifer Lopez net worth ramped to its height in 2012 where she was ranked no#1 by Forbes during her "American Idol" times as judge. She received a huge amount of $12 million yearly. This year, as her love life seemed troubled, her earnings fell landing her at 33rd place in the Celebrity 100 list by Forbes.

Chunks of Jennifer Lopez net worth came from her successful films including biopic "Selena," "Anaconda," "Out of Sight," "The Wedding Planner," "An Unfinished Life" and more.
Aside from films and singing career, Jennifer Lopez net worth was also formed by her business engagements including her clothing line JLo and her first fragrance "Glow."

With Jennifer Lopez net worth of $300 million, she remained loveless after series of heartbreaks. The actress- singer stated, "I think it's better to just be on my own for a minute and learn more about myself."

Sunday, 28 December 2014

George Weah wins Liberian Senate seat

George Weah in a file photo.
George Weah
George Weah political struggle to win election in Liberia has finally paid off as he won a seat in Liberia’s Senate to represent the capital. Mr. Weah won the Montserrado County seat that includes the capital Monrovia with 78 per cent of the vote, defeating Robert Sirleaf, the son of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf,

Mr. Weah, leader of the country’s largest opposition party, the Congress for Democratic Change, lost the 2005 presidential election to Ms. Sirleaf and lost again in 2011 when he was a vice presidential candidate. He is expected to stand again in 2017

Friday, 26 December 2014

Rice ball, a different way to enjoy rice this season

Rice and chicken is a must this season, I think Christmas will be complete with it. Rice comes in a variety of ways, jollof rice, fried rice, rice and stew or sauce, but what is not common is rice ball.

Add, this recipe to your list of different ways to prepare rice.

What you need:

1. 1 deric of rice

2. Pepper

3. Tomatoes

4. Onion

5. salt

6. Thyme

7. Canned beef

8. Eggs (2)

9. Groundnut oil for frying.


Boil rice until soft but not mushy.

Saute pepper, tomatoes and onion.

Add the pepper mixture and corned beef to the rice season well

Bind rice mixture with some beaten egg.

shape on a floures board

Coat in beaten egg

Fry in hot oil

Thursday, 25 December 2014

Celebrating the light of the world.

Christmas is an annual festival celebrated among billions of people around the world to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. Christmas is widely observed on December 25 as a religious and cultural feast. Christmas Day is a public holiday in many of the world's nations,
Nativity tree2011.jpg
depiction of the Nativity of Jesus with a Christmas tree backdrop
Today as always, christians turned out en mass to celebrate the child that was born to be the light of the world, the prince of peace.

Merry Christmas to all. Have a fun filled celebration.
Adoration of the Shepherds by Gerard van Honthorst depicts the nativity of Jesus

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

An Argentinian town bans beauty contests

Making a stand: Beauty pageants are popular in the South America but one city has decided they won't hold the competition anymore
Beauty contestants
Beauty contest is one event that attracts poms and pageantry world over, there have been commendation and condemnation of the event, many countries are rising up and trying to make changes in the way it is being organised

However, a town in Argentine, the city of Chivilcoy became the first to ban beauty contests calling them sexist and discriminatory. They say the practice is damaging to women as it forces them to live up to a 'stereotypical' ideal of beauty which can lead to them developing eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia.

The ruling has caused heated debate in the country where beauty pageants are a common element in regional festivals where a 'queen' is chosen to represent the town for a year.

This decision was supported by the mayor of Chivilcoy and several NGOs, and passed by the local council. Outlining the reasons for its decision the councillors said such contests 'reinforce the idea that women must be valued and rewarded exclusively by their physical appearance, based on stereotypes'.

They added that they are 'a discriminatory and sexist practice', and an 'act of symbolic and institutional violence against women and children.'

Also, the French government banned beauty contests for girls under the age of 16 on grounds that participants are subjected to hyper-sexualisation.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Elton John marries long time lover

Elton John and David Furnish
Elton John and David Furnish               (Instagram)

Sir Elton John and his long time partner David Furnish have finally tie the knot of marriage to become husband and husband.

Elton John who opened an Instagram account to post invitation and pictures of the event was very happy, the event was made possible as a result of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Britain. According to him, "I'm very proud of Britain and the laws that we've seen come into existence since we've been together,"

They had a civil partnership ceremony in 2005, after 12 years together.

They have two children — Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John and Elijah Joseph Daniel Furnish-John

Today in History, December 21, the invention of the first crossword puzzle

December 21 is the 355th day of the year. There are 10 days remaining until the end of the year.
crossword puzzle

Today's Highlight in History.
1913 – Arthur Wynne's "word-cross", the first crossword puzzle, is published in the New York World.

A crossword is a word puzzle that normally takes the form of a square or a rectangular grid of white and black shaded squares. The goal is to fill the white squares with letters, forming words or phrases, by solving clues which lead to the answers. In languages that are written left-to-right, the answer words and phrases are placed in the grid from left to right and from top to bottom. The shaded squares are used to separate the words or phrases.

Arthur Wynne was a British-born inventor, best known for the invention of the crossword puzzle in 1913. He created a page of puzzles for the "Fun" section of the Sunday edition of the New York World. For the December 21, 1913, edition, he introduced a puzzle with a diamond shape and a hollow center, the letters F-U-N already being filled in. He called it a "Word-Cross Puzzle."

Although Wynne's invention was based on earlier puzzle forms, such as the word diamond, he introduced a number of innovations, like the use of horizontal and vertical lines to create boxes for solvers to enter letters. He subsequently pioneered the use of black squares in a symmetrical arrangement to separate words in rows and columns. With the exception of the numbering scheme, the form of Wynne's "Word-Cross" puzzles is used for modern crosswords.

A few weeks after the first "Word-Cross" appeared, the name of the puzzle was changed to "Cross-Word" as a result of a typesetting error.Wynne's puzzles have been known as "crosswords" ever since.
Arthur Wynne became a naturalized US citizen in the 1920s.He died in Clearwater, Florida, on January 14, 1945.
On December 20, 2013, he was honored with an interactive Google Doodle commemorating the "100th anniversary of the first crossword puzzle" with a puzzle by Merl Reagle. Numerous other constructors also created tribute puzzles to Wynne to commemorate the anniversary.

World Events

1913 – Arthur Wynne's "word-cross", the first crossword puzzle, is published in the New York World.
1919 – American anarchist Emma Goldman is deported to Russia.
1923 – United Kingdom and Nepal formally signed an agreement of friendship, called the Nepal–Britain Treaty of 1923, which superseded the Sugauli Treaty signed in 1816.
1973 – The Geneva Conference on the Arab–Israeli conflict opens.
1988 – A bomb explodes on board Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland, killing 270.
1992 – A Dutch DC-10, flight Martinair MP 495, crashes at Faro Airport, killing 56.
1994 – Mexican volcano Popocatépetl, dormant for 47 years, erupts gases and ash.
1995 – The city of Bethlehem passes from Israeli to Palestinian control.
2004 – Iraq War: A suicide bomber killed 22 at the forward operating base next to the main U.S. military airfield at Mosul, Iraq, the single deadliest suicide attack on American soldiers.
2012 – The world was predicted to end on December 21, 2012 according to some calendars.
2012 – The Walt Disney Company completed its acquisition of Lucasfilm and of the Star Wars franchise.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Today in History December 19 - A Christmas Carol, a story of life transformation

December 19 is the 353rd day of the year. There are 12 days remaining until the end of the year.

Charles Dickens in 1842,
 the year before the publication
A Christmas Carol

1843 – A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, a novella about the miser Ebenezer Scroogeand his transformation after being visited by three Christmas ghosts, was first published.
A Christmas Carol is a novella written by Charles Dickens. It was first published in London by Chapman & Hall on 19 December 1843. The novella was an instant success and a critical acclaim.

A Christmas Carol tells the story of a bitter old miser named Ebenezer Scrooge and his transformation into a gentler, kindlier man after visitations by the ghost of his former business partner Jacob Marley and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Yet to Come.
First edition cover

Dickens divides the book into five chapters, which he labels "staves", that is, song stanzas or verses, in keeping with the title of the book.

Dickens' sources for the tale appear to be many and varied, but are, principally, the humiliating experiences of his childhood, his sympathy for the poor, and various Christmas stories and fairy tales.

Dickens' Carol was one of the greatest influences in rejuvenating the old Christmas traditions of England, but, while it brings to the reader images of light, joy, warmth and life, it also brings strong and unforgettable images of darkness, despair, coldness, sadness, and death Scrooge himself is the embodiment of winter, and, just as winter is followed by spring and the renewal of life, so too is Scrooge's cold, pinched heart restored to the innocent goodwill he had known in his childhood and youth.A Christmas Carol remains popular—having never been out of print and has been adapted many times to film, stage, opera, and other media.


World Events

1907 – Two hundred thirty-nine coal miners die in a mine explosion in Jacobs Creek, Pennsylvania.
1924 – The last Rolls-Royce Silver Ghost is sold in London, England.
1983 – The original FIFA World Cup trophy, the Jules Rimet Trophy, is stolen from the headquarters of the Brazilian Football Confederation in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
1986 – Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the Soviet Union, releases Andrei Sakharov and his wife from exile in Gorky.
1995 – The United States Government restores federal recognition to the Nottawaseppi Huron Band of Potawatomi Indian tribe.
1997 – SilkAir Flight 185 crashes into the Musi River, near Palembang in Indonesia, killing 104.
1998 – President Bill Clinton is impeached by the United States House of Representatives, becoming the second President of the United States to be impeached.
2000 – The Leninist Guerrilla Units wing of the Communist Labour Party of Turkey/Leninist attack a Nationalist Movement Party office in Istanbul, Turkey, killing one person and injuring three.
2001 – A record high barometric pressure of 1085.6 hPa (32.06 in Hg) is recorded at Tosontsengel, Khövsgöl, Mongolia.
2001 – Argentine economic crisis: December 2001 riots – Riots erupt in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
2012 – Park Geun-hye is elected the first female president of South Korea

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Welcome to Christmas Island

Poon Saan in the evening

Christmas Island is actually the name of a territory in Australia, it is so named because it was discovered on Christmas day by Captain William Mynors of the Royal Mary, an English East India Company vessel, when he sailed past it on Christmas Day, in 1643.

The 2011 Australian census, estimated resident population on Christmas Island to be 2,072,, these population are spread out in three settlement areas, namely Flying Fish Cove (also known as Kampong), Silver City,Poon Saan, and Drumsite.

The majority of the population on Christmas Island is Chinese Australian who made up 70% of the populace followed by European, with 20% and Malay 10%. also, the religion of the people is predominantly Buddhism with about 75%, then Christianity 12%, Islam 10%, and other 3%.

Christmas Island is a non-self-governing territory of Australia, currently administered by the Department of Regional Australia, Regional Development and Local Government. Administration was carried out by the Attorney-General's Department until 14 September 2010, and prior to this by the Department of Transport and Regional Services before 29 November 2007. The legal system is under the authority of the Governor-General of Australia and Australian law. An administrator appointed by the Governor-General represents the monarch and Australia.

A unicameral Shire of Christmas Island with nine seats provides local government services and is elected by popular vote to serve four-year terms. Elections are held every two years, with four or five of the members standing for election.

Christmas Island residents who are Australian citizens also vote in federal elections. The residents are represented in the House of Representatives through the Northern Territory Division of Lingiari and in the Senate by Northern Territory senators.

From the late 1980s and early 1990s, boats carrying asylum seekers, mainly departing from Indonesia, began landing on the island. In December 2010, 48 asylum-seekers died just off the coast of the island in what became known as the Christmas Island boat disaster when the boat they were on hit rocks off Flying Fish Cove, and then smashed against nearby cliffs

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Shocking, “It is permissible to buy, sell or give as a gift female captives and slaves, for they are merely property.” says ISIS

People in Mosul, the Iraqi city now under control of the group calling itself the Islamic State , were handed a color-printed pamphlet titled “Question and Answers on Female Slaves and their Freedom,”

The pamphlet contained questions and answers on how non- Muslim girls and women captured as slaves should be treated and the militants have justified their actions to be in God’s name.
In the document, for instance, it is explained that capturing women is permissible if they are “non-believers.” It adds, “Female slaves are the women that Muslims took from their enemies.”

Much of the pamphlet talks about ISIS’ policy on having sexual intercourse with a female slave, something that the group cites the Quran to justify.

Can you take non-Muslim women and children captive? Yes, says ISIS, young and old, the captors have full control of their captives.

Can you have sex with them, even prepubescent girls? Yes, according to the extremist group. “It is permissible to have intercourse with the female slave who hasn’t reached puberty if she is fit for intercourse,” the document reads. “However, if she is not fit for intercourse, he (the owner) can only enjoy her without intercourse.”

Can you sell them or give them as gifts to others? The answer is yes, once again, the ISIS document claims, “It is permissible to buy, sell or give as a gift female captives and slaves, for they are merely property.”

“If she was a virgin, he (the owner) can have intercourse with her immediately after the ownership is fulfilled,” ISIS explains. “If she was not a virgin, her uterus must be purified (wait for her period to be sure she is not pregnant.)”

In this document, the group cites the Quran and the Sharia law as the basis of their rules, however, most Muslim leaders and the world continue to condemn ISIS and find its alien interpretation of Islam and Sharia law grotesque and abhorrent.


Saturday, 13 December 2014


As some will argue, Christ was not born on 25th December, probably, but the truth still stands; Christ was born. He was born on this earth and he was born for a reason not for a season. The season is not as important as the reason, but today we value and give reverence to the season while relegating the reason of His birth to the background.

Most of our preparations for the commemoration for the birth of Christ are physical and never spiritual; it all boards on new dresses, new shoes, new cars, and new jewelries; in fact new everything to show off. Of course, the birth of Christ is actual a cause for celebration, because of the reason for His birth. However, it should be a celebration with a tint of sobriety, a reflection of where we are with Christ and a contemplation of what His birth stands for as well as what it meant to our lives as Christians.

What does it profit you after toiling all months only to squander it at this season?  What is the gain of soiling your hands with evil and all manners of dubiousness just because you want to celebrate this season? If truly you understand the reason for this season then you would not involve yourself in any unreasonably acts or actions just for the season.

The seasons of Christmas come and go, but the reasons for Christmas stand for eternity. Let your reason for celebrating Christmas stand above the season. The season is not about you, so do not adore yourself, your family with new apparels, it is a season of peace and goodwill, that is the essence of His birth. Step out of the crowd, look beyond you and reach out to those in need of Christ, give love to the loveless, preach the gospel of peace not just with your mouth but with your acts and actions and spread goodwill to all men.


Two youngsters attempt to rob a bank with toy guns

Image result for M-16 assault rifle
M-16 assault rifle
Two boys, age 12 and 13 years old entered a bank in Rishon Lezion a suburb of Tel Aviv, Israel, with fake M-16 assault rifles and made a bold attempt to rob the bank as they shouted, "This is a holdup"

Apparently their nerves failed them as they botched their attempt and run out of the bank without any money.

Security camera footage of the boys showed them entering the bank wearing hooded sweatshirts, one had a schoolbag on his back and the fake rifle on one hand.

According to a police spokes man, the youngster were identified with the help of the security camera and arrested later.

Friday, 12 December 2014

Today in History December 12 - Jomo Kenyatta, the founding father of Kenya

December 12 is the 346th day of the year. There are 19 days remaining until the end of the year.

Jomo Kenyatta 1978.jpg
Jomo Kenyatta, 1st President of Kenya
Today's Highlight in History
1964 – Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta becomes the first President of the Republic of Kenya.

Jomo Kenyatta was Kenya's leader from independence in 1963 untill his death in 1978. He was first a Prime Minister before, he was elected president of the Kenya African Union (KAU) In 1947. He is considered the founding father Kenyan.
Jomo Kenyatta was born Kamau wa Ngengi to parents Muigai wa Kung'u and Wambui in the village of Gatundu. After the death of both his parents, he lived with his grandfather and trained himself through school doing odd jobs. He worked as a houseboy and cook for a white settler to pay his school fees at a mission school.

When he completed his mission school education, he became an apprentice carpenter, before he went to work as a clerk for an Asian contractor, In 1922 Kamau began working, as a store clerk and water-meter reader for the Nairobi Municipal Council Public Works Department.

His love for education took him to London where he enrolled in University College London, he studied social anthropology under Bronisław Malinowski at the London School of Economics (LSE).
A statue of Kenyatta at the KICC in Nairobi

Kenyatta was a well-educated intellectual who authored several books, and is remembered as a Pan-Africanist. He is also the father of Kenya's fourth and current President, Uhuru Kenyatta.

President Kenyatta died in Mombasa of natural causes attributable to old age and was buried on 31 August 1978 in Nairobi in a state funeral at a mausoleum on Parliament grounds.

He had so many things named after him. Nairobi's Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Kenyatta International Conference Centre, Nairobi's main street and main streets in many Kenyan cities and towns, numerous schools, two universities (Kenyatta University and Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology), the country's main referral hospital, markets and housing estates are named after him.

A statue in Nairobi city center and monuments all over Kenya stand in his honour. Kenya observed a public holiday every 20 October in his honour until the 2010 constitution abolished Kenyatta Day and replaced it with Mashujaa (Heroes') day. Kenyatta's face adorns Kenyan currency notes and coins of all denominations except the 40 shilling coin.

One of his famous words : “When the Missionaries arrived, the Africans had the land and the Missionaries had the Bible. They taught us how to pray with our eyes closed. When we opened them, they had the land and we had the Bible.”


World Events

1870 – Joseph H. Rainey of South Carolina becomes the second black U.S. congressman, the first being Hiram Revels.
1897 – Belo Horizonte, the first planned city in Brazil, is founded.
1901 – Guglielmo Marconi receives the first transatlantic radio signal (the letter "S" [***] in Morse Code), at Signal Hill in St John's, Newfoundland.
1911 – Delhi replaces Calcutta as the capital of India.
1941 – Adolf Hitler declares the imminent extermination of the Jews at a meeting in the Reich Chancellery
1950 – Paula Ackerman, the first woman appointed to perform rabbinical functions in the United States, leads the congregation in her first services.
1958 – Guinea joins the United Nations.
1963 – Kenya gains its independence from the United Kingdom.
1964 – Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta becomes the first President of the Republic of Kenya.
1984 – Maaouya Ould Sid'Ahmed Taya becomes the third president of Mauritania after a coup d'état against Mohamed Khouna Ould Haidalla while the latter is attending a summit.
1985 – Arrow Air Flight 1285, a McDonnell Douglas DC-8, crashes after takeoff in Gander, Newfoundland, killing all 256 people on board, including 236 members of the United States Army's 101st Airborne Division.
1988 – The Clapham Junction rail crash kills thirty-five and injures hundreds after two collisions of three commuter trains—one of the worst train crashes in the United Kingdom.
1991 – The Russian Federation gains independence from the USSR.
2000 – The United States Supreme Court releases its decision in Bush v. Gore.

Woman who derives pleasure from eating toilet paper

“Delicious” ... a UK mother has confessed to snacking on toilet paper, saying it “fills m
 Picture: Supplied Source: ThinkStock
Strange things do happen, what will push a woman to crave for toilet tissue and find it delicious to eat? You may wonder.

This is the case of Jade Sylvester, a 25-years old mother in U.K, who derives pleasure from eating a roll of tissue paper every day. According to her, she developed the craving to eat clean toilet paper when she was two months pregnant with her youngest son, and after giving birth, her strange appetite for toilet paper continued.
Sylvester said she usually ate about eight sheets of toilet paper at a time and admitted to going to “the bathroom just to get some toilet roll”.

“It does fill me up quite a bit,” she said.
“At first I used to eat a couple of squares at a time, but I keep eating more and more.”

Jade Sylvester does not know what made her feel that way, but she seems to like savouring the dry texture of the soft paper.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Female Suicide Bombers Strike in Kano, Northern Nigeria

The aftermath of  the market bombing in Kano State (AFP Photo/Aminu Abubakar)
Two female suicide bombers detonated explosives in Kantin Kwari textile market located in the center of Kano, Wednesday, killing four and injuring seven

The two female bombers are suspected to be part of Nigeria's Islamic extremist group Boko Haram .

This incident indicates the rising wave of of female bombers in Nigeria, and the worrisome part is that these girls are very young girls who have been brain washed into carrying out such dastardly acts.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Woman sells breast Milk for a whopping $20 per 5-ounce bottle

Hudson on ITV’s “This Morning.” Photo by REX USA/Ken McKay/ITV/Rex

I think it is a touch of ingenuity for this woman who found market for her excess breast milk. Rebecca Hudson, a mother of four, told ITV’s This Morning that her breast milk goes for a whopping $20 per 5-ounce bottle, which has earned her a total of $4,750 this year.

According to her, she has eight regular clients include chefs who are using the milk as an ingredient and bodybuilders looking for extra protein. “What they do with the milk is up to them; I’m not going to discriminate,” she said during the interview.

Hudson gave birth to her youngest daughter, Milly, 10 weeks premature, and initially had trouble producing milk. But when it started, it arrived in “bucket loads,” she said, more than her daughter could drink or she could store in her freezer.

She initially denoted it to a local hospital but it was rejected, when she heard it was a booming market in the U.S, she went online  an discovered that there are several women in the U.S. that were selling it off.. Hudson took this step, according to her, “I didn’t want to pour it away because it takes a lot of work to produce breast milk,” she said. “It takes energy and time.”  she told the This Morning hosts. 

Monday, 8 December 2014

The Ugandan maid who tortured an 18-month-old baby in Kampala asked for forgiveness.

This footage of Jolly Tumuhiirwe, 22, was from a video which went viral, drawing an outpouring of condemnation and outrage.

Thanks to the installation of a Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) camera in the living room which captured her maltreatment of the child.

Today, she stands in court and pleads for forgiveness, she desires mercy, but was she merciful to the 18-months baby that was kept in her care?

Her action sent ripples of fear through all parents, especially those who leave their children in the care of nannies and maids

Today in History: December 8 - John Winston Lennon, founder of the rock band, the Beatles, killed by a crazy fan

December 8 is the 342nd day of the year. There are 23 days remaining until the end of the year.

John Lennon, 1969

Today's Highlight in History
1980 – John Lennon is murdered by Mark David Chapman in front of The Dakota in New York City.

John Winston Lennon, was an English musician, singer and songwriter who rose to worldwide fame as a founder/ member of the rock band the Beatles, the most commercially successful band in the history of popular music.

John Winston Lennon was born on October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, Merseyside, England, during a German air raid in World War II.

As a teenager Lennon became involved in the skiffle craze. At age 15, Lennon formed the Quarrymen band in September 1956, named after his school, Quarry Bank High School. By the summer of 1957, the Quarrymen played a "spirited set of songs" made up of half skiffle and half rock and roll. Lennon first met Paul McCartney at the Quarrymen's second performance, held in Woolton on 6 July at the St. Peter's Church garden fête, after which he asked McCartney to join the band.

The fledgling band usually rehearsed in McCartneys' front room at 20 Forthlin Road. During this time, Lennon who was 18-year-old, wrote his first song, "Hello Little Girl", a UK top 10 hit for nearly five years later.George Harrison joined the band as lead guitarist at 14 years old. Stuart Sutcliffe, Lennon's friend from art school, later joined as bassist. Lennon, McCartney, Harrison and Sutcliffe became "The Beatles" in early 1960.
Lennon (right) performing
All You Need Is Love" with The Beatles
 in 1967 to 400 million viewers of Our World
The Beatles were discovered by Brian Epstein in 1961 at Liverpool's Cavern Club, where they were performing on a regular basis. As their new manager, Epstein secured a record contract with EMI. With a new drummer, Ringo Starr (Richard Starkey), and George Martin as producer, the group released their first single, "Love Me Do," in October 1962. It peaked on the British charts at No. 17.

They recorded their debut album, Please Please Me, in under 10 hours on 11 February 1963
Monochrome image of The Beatles performing on a stage wearing dark suits.
Lennon (right) performing with the Beatles in
1964 at the height of 

John Lennon and Paul McCartney, formed a songwriting partnership that is one of the most celebrated of the 20th century. The partnership yielded eight of its fourteen tracks. He later said, "We were just writing songs ... pop songs with no more thought of them than that—to create a sound. And the words were almost irrelevant".

In a 1987 interview, McCartney said that the other Beatles idolised John: "He was like our own little Elvis ... We all looked up to John. He was older and he was very much the leader; he was the quickest wit and the smartest".

Lennon left the Beatles in September 1969, just after the group completed recording Abbey Road. The news of the break-up was kept secret until McCartney announced his departure in April 1970, a month before the band released Let It Be, recorded just before Abbey Road.

When he left the group, Lennon embarked on a solo career that produced the critically acclaimed albums John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band and Imagine, and iconic songs such as "Give Peace a Chance" and "Working Class Hero". After his marriage to Yoko Ono in 1969, he changed his name to John Ono Lennon. Lennon disengaged himself from the music business in 1975 to raise his infant son Sean. He emerged from retirement in October 1980 with the single "(Just Like) Starting Over", followed the next month by the album Double Fantasy.
Lennon and Chapman.jpg
John Lennon (left) autographing a copy of Double Fantasy for Chapman (right),
6 hours before the killing.

He was murdered three weeks after its release.At around 10:50 pm on 8 December 1980, as Lennon and Ono returned to their New York apartment in the Dakota, Mark David Chapman shot Lennon in the back four times at the entrance to the building. Lennon was taken to the emergency room of nearby Roosevelt Hospital and was pronounced dead on arrival at 11:07 pm. Earlier that evening, Lennon had autographed a copy of Double Fantasy for Chapman.

Lennon married Cynthia Powell in August 1962. The couple had one son together, Julian, who was named after Lennon's mother. Cynthia was forced to keep a very low profile during Beatlemania. She and Lennon divorced in 1968. He remarried the following year, on March 20, 1969, to Japanese avant-garde artist Yoko Ono, whom he had met at the Indica Gallery in November 1966.

As of 2012, Lennon's solo album sales in the United States exceeded 14 million and, as writer, co-writer or performer, he is responsible for 25 number-one singles on the US Hot 100 chart. In 2002, a BBC poll on the 100 Greatest Britons voted him eighth and, in 2008, Rolling Stone ranked him the fifth-greatest singer of all time. He was posthumously inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 1987 and into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994.
The entrance to the Dakota buildin
where Lennon was shot

Mark David Chapman pleaded guilty to killing John Lennon on December 8, 1980. Chapman shot Lennon outside The Dakota apartment building in New York City. Chapman remained at the scene reading J. D. Salinger's novel The Catcher in the Rye until the police arrived and arrested him.
Chapman was imprisoned in 1981 and has been denied parole eight times amidst campaigns against his release. Chapman's eighth parole application was denied in August 2014. After the hearing, Chapman said, "I am sorry for being such an idiot and choosing the wrong way for glory." "I have peace now in Jesus," he continued. "He has forgiven me and loves me. He has helped me in my life like you wouldn't believe." Chapman's next scheduled parole hearing will be in August 2016.


World Events 

1813 – Premier of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony.
1854 – In his Apostolic constitution Ineffabilis Deus, Pope Pius IX proclaims the dogmatic definition of Immaculate Conception, which holds that the Virgin Mary was conceived free of original sin.
1927 – The Brookings Institution, one of the United States' oldest think tanks, is founded through the merger of three organizations that had been created by philanthropist Robert S. Brookings.
1941 – World War II: U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declares December 7 to be "a date which will live in infamy", after which the U.S. declares war on Japan.
1941 – World War II: Japanese forces simultaneously invade Malaya, Thailand, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and the Dutch East Indies. (See December 7 for the concurrent attack on Pearl Harbor in the Western Hemisphere.)
1949 – The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East is established to provide aid to Palestinian refugees who left their homes during the 1948 Palestinian exodus.
1953 – U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivers his "Atoms for Peace" speech, which leads to an American program to supply equipment and information on nuclear power to schools, hospitals, and research institutions around the world.
1962 – Workers at four New York City newspapers (this later increases to nine) go on strike for 114 days.
1963 – Pan Am Flight 214, a Boeing 707, is struck by lightning and crashes near Elkton, Maryland, killing all 81 people on board
1974 – A plebiscite results in the abolition of monarchy in Greece.
1980 – John Lennon is murdered by Mark David Chapman in front of The Dakota in New York City.
1988 – A United States Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II crashes into an apartment complex in Remscheid, Germany, killing 5 people and injuring 50 others.
1991 – The leaders of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine sign an agreement dissolving the Soviet Union and establishing the Commonwealth of Independent States.
1991 – The Romanian Constitution is adopted in a referendum.
1998 – Eighty-one people are killed by armed groups in Algeria.
2004 – The Cusco Declaration is signed in Cusco, Peru, establishing the South American Community of Nations.
2007 – Three unidentified gunmen storm an office of Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party in Balochistan. Three PPP supporters are killed.
2009 – Bombings in Baghdad, Iraq, kill 127 and injure 448.
2010 – With the second launch of the SpaceX Falcon 9 and the first launch of the SpaceX Dragon, SpaceX becomes the first private company to successfully launch, orbit and recover a spacecraft.
2010 – The Japanese solar-sail spacecraft IKAROS passes the planet Venus at a distance of about 80,800 km.

Sunday, 7 December 2014

Today in History December 7- The Winecoff Hotel, advertised as "absolutely fireproof." went up in flames

December 7 is the 341st day of the year. There are 24 days remaining until the end of the year.
The  Winecoff Hotel in flame

Today's Highlight in history
1946 – A fire at the Winecoff Hotel in Atlanta, Georgia, kills 119 people, the deadliest hotel fire in U.S. history.

The Winecoff Hotel, advertised in advertisements and on its stationery as "absolutely fireproof." went up in flames on Dec. 7, 1946. The early morning fire claimed the lives of 119 people, including the hotel's owners. It was the deadliest hotel fire in United States history . Winecoff Hotel
The Winecoff Hotel,(now the Ellis Hotel) Located at 176 Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta, Georgia, USA, opened in 1913 as one of the tallest buildings in Atlanta.

The steel-framed structure was built on a small lot measuring 62.75 feet (19.13 m) by 70 feet (21 m), While the hotel's steel structure was for protection against the effects of fire, the hotel's interior finishes were combustible, and the building's exit arrangements consisted of a single stairway serving all fifteen floors.The single stairway, of non-combustible construction, was not enclosed with fire-resistant doors.

Guest rooms extended from the third to the fifteenth floors, with fifteen rooms on a typical floor. Corridors on guest floors were arranged in an H-shape, with two elevators and the upward flights of stairs opening into the cross halls, and opposing downward runs of stairs converging on a single landing from the legs of the H.

The fire's point of origin was on the third floor west hallway, where a mattress and chair had been temporarily placed in the corridor, close to the stairway to the fourth floor. The assumption was that a dropped cigarette may have ignited the mattress or other combustibles in the corridor. The fire was first noticed about 3:15 AM by a bellboy went to the fifth floor to help a guest, However, the first (and only) call to the fire department was made at 3:42 AM by the night manager.

The first engine and ladder companies arrived within thirty seconds of the call. By that time people were already jumping from windows. Fire department ladders could extend only part way up the building, but many guests were rescued in this manner. Ladders were placed horizontally across the alley from an adjoining building, allowing some rescues to be effected.

All of the hotel's occupants above the fire's origin on the third floor were trapped, and the fire's survivors either were rescued from upper-story windows or jumped into nets held by firemen. A number of guests tied bedsheets together and tried to descend. The fire was notable for the number of victims who jumped to their deaths.
The former Winecoff Hotel,
 now the Ellis Hotel

Arnold Hardy, a 24-year-old Georgia Tech graduate student, who captured the fall of Daisy McCumber from the building won the 1947 Pulitzer Prize for Photography,

Out of the 304 guests in the hotel that night, 119 died, about 65 were injured and about 120 were rescued uninjured. The hotel's original owners, the Winecoffs, who lived in an apartment in the hotel, died in the apartment. 32 deaths were among those who jumped, or who fell while trying to descend ropes made of sheets tied together.

Also in the hotel were forty high school students on a State YMCA of Georgia ("Y" Clubs) sponsored trip to Atlanta for a state youth-in-government legislative program, thirty of whom died.The students had mostly been placed two to a room at the back of the hotel next to the alley, where many of the windows had been covered by louvered shutters for privacy. The occupants of the shuttered rooms were killed on every floor above the fifth floor.
The fire, which followed the June 5, 1946 La Salle Hotel fire in Chicago with 61 fatalities, and the June 19, 1946 Canfield Hotel fire in Dubuque, Iowa with 19 fatalities, spurred significant changes in North American building codes, most significantly requiring multiple protected means of egress and self-closing fire-resistive doors for guest rooms in hotels.

The building is now the Ellis Hotel, which stands at the corner of Peachtree and Ellis streets.

World Events

1732 – The Royal Opera House opens at Covent Garden, London, England.
1869 – American outlaw Jesse James commits his first confirmed bank robbery in Gallatin, Missouri.
1917 – World War I: The United States declares war on Austria-Hungary.
1972 – Imelda Marcos survives an assassination attempt using a bolo knife against her.
1971 – Pakistan President Yahya Khan announces the formation of a coalition government with Nurul Amin as Prime Minister and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as Deputy Prime Minister.
1972 – Apollo 17, the last Apollo moon mission, is launched. The crew takes the photograph known as The Blue Marble as they leave the Earth.
1982 – In Texas, Charles Brooks, Jr., becomes the first person to be executed by lethal injection in the United States.
1983 – An Iberia Airlines Boeing 727 collides with an Aviaco DC-9 in dense fog while the two airliners are taxiing down the runway at Madrid–Barajas Airport, killing 93 people.
1987 – Pacific Southwest Airlines Flight 1771 crashes near Paso Robles, California, killing all 43 on board, after a disgruntled passenger shoots his ex-boss traveling on the flight, then shoots both pilots and himself.
1988 – Spitak Earthquake: In Armenia an earthquake measuring 6.9 on the Richter scale kills more than 25,000, injures 30,000 and leaves 500,000 homeless out of a population of 3,500,000.
1988 – Yasser Arafat recognizes the right of Israel to exist.
1993 – The Long Island Rail Road massacre: Passenger Colin Ferguson murders six people and injures 19 others on the LIRR in Nassau County, New York.
1995 – The Galileo spacecraft arrives at Jupiter, a little more than six years after it was launched by Space Shuttle Atlantis during Mission STS-34.
1999 – A&M Records, Inc. v. Napster, Inc.: The Recording Industry Association of America sues the peer-to-peer file-sharing service Napster, alleging copyright infringement.
2005 – Rigoberto Alpizar, a passenger on American Airlines Flight 924 who allegedly claimed to have a bomb, is shot and killed by a team of U.S. federal air marshals at Miami International Airport.
2006 – A tornado strikes Kensal Green, North West London, seriously damaging about 150 properties.
2007 – The Hebei Spirit oil spill begins in South Korea after a crane barge that had broken free from a tug collides with the Very Large Crude Carrier, Hebei Spirit.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

Today in History December 6 - Washington Monument, built to commemorate George Washington, the first American president.

December 6 is the 340th day of the year. There are 25 days remaining until the end of the year.
Washington Monument November 2014 photo D Ramey Logan.jpg
Washington Monument

Today's highlight in History
1884 – The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., is completed.

The Washington Monument is an obelisk on the National Mall in Washington, DC, built to commemorate George Washington, once commander-in-chief of the early Continental Army and the first American president.

George Washington (1732–1799) was hailed as the father of his country, and the leader who was "first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen", He was the dominant military and political leader of the new United States of America from 1775 to 1798.

At his death in 1799 he left a critical legacy: he exemplified the core ideals of the American Revolution and the new nation: republican virtue and devotion to civic duty.Washington was the unchallenged public icon of American military and civic patriotism.

In 1832. That year, which marked the 100th anniversary of Washington's birth, a large group of concerned citizens formed the Washington National Monument Society. In 1836, after they had raised $28,000 in donations ($15,700,000 in 2012, they announced a competition for the design of the memorial.

Excavation for the foundation of the Monument began in early 1848. The cornerstone was laid as part of an elaborate Fourth of July ceremony hosted by the Freemasons, an organization to which Washington belonged. Speeches that day showed the country continued to revere Washington. One celebrant noted, "No more Washingtons shall come in our time ... But his virtues are stamped on the heart of mankind. He who is great in the battlefield looks upward to the generalship of Washington. He who grows wise in counsel feels that he is imitating Washington. He who can resign power against the wishes of a people, has in his eye the bright example of Washington."

The monument, made of marble, granite, and bluestone gneiss,is both the world's tallest stone structure and the world's tallest obelisk, standing 555 feet 5

1⁄8 inches (169.294 m) tall. Taller monumental columns exist, but they are neither all stone nor true obelisks.
2003 view of monument, surrounded by
 a ring of Jersey barriers. The White House is visible at the upper right
. The Lincoln Memorial is beyond the frame, at left.

Construction of the monument began in 1848, was halted from 1854 to 1877, and was finally completed in 1884. The hiatus in construction happened because of co-option by the Know Nothing party, a lack of funds, and the intervention of the American Civil War. A difference in shading of the marble, visible approximately 150 feet (46 m) or 27% up, shows where construction was halted. Its original design was by Robert Mills, an architect of the 1840s, but his design was modified significantly when construction resumed.

Construction resumed in 1879 under the direction of Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Lincoln Casey of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Casey redesigned the foundation, strengthening it so it could support a structure that ultimately weighed more than 40,000 tons. He then followed the society's orders and figured out what to do with the commemorative stones that had accumulated. Though many people ridiculed them, Casey managed to install most of the stones in the interior walls — one stone was found at the bottom of the elevator shaft in 1951. The bottom third of the monument is a slightly lighter shade than the rest of the construction because the marble was obtained from different quarries.
The monument undergoing restoration in 1999.

The cornerstone was laid on July 4, 1848; the capstone was set on December 6, 1884, and the completed monument was dedicated on February 21, 1885. It officially opened October 9, 1888. Upon completion, it became the world's tallest structure, a title previously held by the Cologne Cathedral. The monument held this designation until 1889, when the Eiffel Tower was completed in Paris, France.

The monument stands due east of the Reflecting Pool and the Lincoln Memorial.
Crack in a stone at the top of the monument after the 2011 Virginia earthquake
Crack in a stone at the top of the
 monument after the 
 Virginia earthquake

On August 23, 2011, the Washington Monument sustained damage during the 2011 Virginia earthquake;over 150 cracks were found in the monument. A National Park Service spokesperson reported that inspectors discovered a crack near the top of the structure, and announced that the monument would be closed indefinitely. A block in the pyramidion also was partially dislodged, and pieces of stone, stone chips, mortar, and paint chips came free of the monument and "littered" the interior stairs and observation deck.

The monument remained closed to the public while the structure was assessed and repaired. After 32 months of repairs, the National Park Service reopened the Washington Monument to visitors on May 12, 2014. Repairs to the monument cost US$15,000,000, with taxpayers funding $7.5 million of the cost and The Carlyle Group funding the other $7.5 million.

World Events

1768 – The first edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica is published.
1790 – The U.S. Congress moves from New York City to Philadelphia.
1865 – The Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution is ratified, banning slavery.
1877 – The first edition of The Washington Post is published.
1884 – The Washington Monument in Washington, D.C., is completed.
1897 – London becomes the world's first city to host licensed taxicabs.
1967 – Adrian Kantrowitz performs the first human heart transplant in the United States.
1969 – Meredith Hunter is killed by Hells Angels during a Rolling Stones concert at the Altamont Speedway in California.
1971 – Pakistan severs diplomatic relations with India following New Delhi's recognition of Bangladesh.
1973 – The Twenty-fifth Amendment: The United States House of Representatives votes 387 to 35 to confirm Gerald Ford as Vice President of the United States. (On November 27, the Senate confirmed him 92 to 3.)
1977 – South Africa grants independence to Bophuthatswana, although it is not recognized by any other country.
1988 – The Australian Capital Territory is granted self-government.
1989 – The École Polytechnique massacre (or Montreal Massacre): Marc Lépine, an anti-feminist gunman, murders 14 young women at the École Polytechnique in Montreal.
1991 – In Croatia, forces of the Yugoslav People's Army bombard Dubrovnik after laying siege to the city since May.
1992 – The Babri Masjid in Ayodhya, India, is demolished, leading to widespread riots causing the death of over 1,500 people.
1997 – A Russian Antonov An-124 cargo plane crashes into an apartment complex near Irkutsk, Siberia, killing 67.
2005 – Several villagers are shot dead during protests in Dongzhou, China.
2005 – An Iranian Air Force C-130 military transport aircraft crashes into a ten-floor apartment building in a residential area of Tehran, killing all 84 on board and 44 more on the ground.
2006 – NASA reveals photographs taken by Mars Global Surveyor suggesting the presence of liquid water on Mars.
2008 – The 2008 Greek riots break out upon the killing of a 15-year-old boy, Alexandros Grigoropoulos, by a police officer.

Fighting Emotion (3)

Chapter 3 Ifeoma suddenly found Fred dogging her heels; it was most likely for him to fall into step with her on her way back ...