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Things we thought were facts

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Marco Polo
In 1271, the Venetian merchant Marco Polo set off with his father and uncle on a legendary trek across Asia. Over the course of his 24-year journey, Polo would become one of the first Europeans to chronicle the cities, cultures and technology of the Far East. Discover 11 fascinating facts about the life of one of history’s greatest explorers.
but
 There is no real record of the explorer Marco Polo. 
  • Nowhere is he mentioned in Chinese writings and the Chinese were well known for documentation  and certainly they would have documented at least something about Marco Polo especially as he was claimed to be a mayor of some small province.
  • A Man called Marco Polo did live in Venice but that was not the Marco Polo we learned about.
  • What a disappointment!

In a book published in 1995, “Did Marco Polo Go to China?”, Frances Wood, the head of the Chinese section at the British Library, also argued that he probably did not make it beyond the Black Sea.

She pointed out that despite being an acute observer of daily life and rituals, there is no mention in Marco Polo’s chapters on China of the custom of binding women’s feet, chopsticks, tea drinking, or even the Great Wall.

“There’s nothing in the Venetian archives to say that the Polo family had direct contact with China at all,” Dr Wood told The Daily Telegraph. “Nothing from China has ever been found in the possessions they left behind.

“One theory is that Marco Polo copied a sort of guide book on China written by a Persian merchant. Only about 18 sentences in the entire manuscript are written in the first person – it is extremely rare for him to say ‘I saw this with my own eyes’.

“I believe that rather than being one person’s account, it’s a sort of medieval database of European knowledge of the Far East at the time.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/8691111/Explorer-Marco-Polo-never-actually-went-to-China.html

you can also read all about MP in Wikipedia of course. That is if you never read his travels.

Masters of the Game

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A really enjoyable film was The Imitation Game

The Bletchley Park codebreakers depicted in the film The Imitation Game (this year’s Oscar winner for Best Adapted Screenplay) worked around the clock to crack the secret of Nazi communications during World War II. Based on the book ‘Alan Turing: The Enigma’ by Andrew Hodges

The fascinating difference between fact and fiction you can read here:- http://www.historyvshollywood.com/reelfaces/imitation-game/

But it is true that the  codebreakers could crack the secret of Nazi communications was kept a secret for 50 years Amazing!

But now I read in mental_floss that these guys were not just excellent codebreakers they also were skilled at palindromes.

palindrome is a word, phrase, number, or other sequence of characters which reads the same backward or forward. Allowances may be made for adjustments to capital letters, punctuation, and word dividers.

 

As the author says It makes sense that those with a talent for uncovering meaning from patterns in strings of symbols would have a knack for creating palindromes. (A nut for a jar of tuna).

 

As for Birdman winning the Oscar, I had to go and read up all about it on the internet.  It was either a superb version of superhero films or a big batch of self congratulatory nonsense!

 

BUT MY FAVORITE Actor must be!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hollywood superstar Joaquin Phoenix is using his voice to help more people learn about how dogs are bludgeoned and killed so their skins can be turned into leather items to be sold around the world. http://petauk.org/b393

joaquin_phoenix

 http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/joaquin-phoenix-stars-peta-dog-778087

Am I a racist?

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Watch this if you have not seen it before,

 

Do you believe in ghosts?

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Watched a ghost story on DSTV travel last night.

Elva Zona Heaster, the murder victim, was born in Greenbrier County sometime around 1873

The story goes that 3 months after they got married the bride fell down the stairs and died. The husband was so overwhelmed with grief that he did not want to leave his departed wife alone for a single moment; the coroner could not even perform a proper autopsy. He even dressed her in her best outfit (unusual for that was the task of the women of the church) and put a beautiful scarf round her neck.

Not long after her death her ghost appeared to her mother showing her that she was strangled  by her abusive and cruel husband and had marks around her neck to prove it. This happened three times after which mother went to the police and insisted on having her daughter’s body exhumed and a proper autopsy be performed.

So indeed she was strangled, her windpipe broken and to cut a long story short husband was found guilty and sent to prison.

Fact or Fiction? Well I do not believe in ghosts and think the mother suspected the husband of murder but had to convince the public prosecutor in some way. It still makes for a nice story though.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenbrier_Ghost

greenbrier ghost

Compassion, in our DNA?

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Is Human compassion part of (some of) the human race’s DNA? And of course the animal DNA, let’s not leave animals out please!

Read an interesting article in Live Science about a 100 000 year old human skull of a child that was so badly brain damaged that he /she could not possibly have looked after itself. Yet it lived with care for another decade.  Which means there must have been compassion to care for the helpless?

 skull-fracture

Read more about it here 

Big bullies

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Are also the greatest  cowards!

It is part of the personality make-up

Think of Himmler, think of Hitler…. Long list here!

holocaust

Easy way not to face the music?

Kill before you are killed.

If the Monster of Springs had more brain cells and more power, imagine!

But then most suicides are not cowardice.

It could also be a great act of courage!cleopatra

 

 

Is America Burning???

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Talking about Nero – Who fiddled while Rome burned? History repeats itself does it not!

 

obama_marthas2

A Really VERY good blog

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Everyone’s memory is tricky and mine’s a little trickier than most — Lillian Hellman

“A foremost literary fabulator of her generation, Lillian Hellman invented her life, so that by the end even she was uncertain about what had been true,” Joan Mellen.

In January 1980, a seemingly off the cuff remark by Mary McCarthy regarding Lillian Hellman sparked off a literary feud and a debate about truth, particularly in memoirs, that has raged on till this day.

McCarthy was a guest on the Dick Cavett show on PBS. The interview was begging to flag when Cavett asked McCarthy what writers she thought were overrated. Among the writers that she mentioned were Pearl S. Buck, John Steinbeck and Hellman who McCarthy said, “who I think is tremendously overrated, a bad writer, a dishonest writer, but she really belongs to the past.” Cavett, of course, asked McCarthy what was overrated about Hellman. McCarthy replied that “Everything. I once said in an interview that every word she writes is a lie, including ‘and’ and ‘the.'”

Read the rest here:-

http://scandalouswoman.blogspot.com/2008/08/uncivil-wars-lillian-hellman-vs-mary.html

About a Queen (in drag?)

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The bones of Elizabeth I, Good Queen Bess, lie mingled with those of her sister, Bloody Mary, in a single tomb at Westminster Abbey. But are they really royal remains — or evidence of the greatest conspiracy in English history?

If that is not the skeleton of Elizabeth Tudor, the past four centuries of British history have been founded on a lie.

Bram Stoker  most famous as the author of Dracula had heard persistent stories that a coffin had been discovered by a clergyman at Bisley during the early 1800s, with the skeleton of a girl dressed in Tudor finery, even with gems sewn onto the cloth.

It seemed to chime with local legends persisting for centuries that an English monarch had been, in reality, a child from the village.

Elizabeth I

Above all, Stoker believed, it was the most plausible explanation why Elizabeth, who succeeded to the throne in 1558, aged 25, never married.

American author Steve Berry believes Elizabeth could have been telling the literal truth — that she had the heart of a man, because her body was male. He has spent 18 months researching the conspiracy for his novel The King’s Deception, a Dan Brown-style thriller set in 21st-century London.

 I don’t read Dan the man but does that mean I have to skip Steve too?

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2337774/Is-proof-Virgin-Queen-imposter-drag-Shocking-new-theory-Elizabeth-I-unearthed-historic-manuscripts.html#ixzz2VvD49tcL

 

The king's deception3

Very Famous Faces – A Word a Week

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http://suellewellyn2011.wordpress.com/2013/05/18/a-word-a-week-challenge-face/

Maybe you have seen this before…

If not :-

This can be addictive so be careful.

It kept me up one night.

How many famous  faces can you identify?

famous-faces-big_1367237a

Click on the picture or

Click here for the big picture

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