Bam! A man known as James Dean is dead and leaves one of America's most good looking corpses behind.
September 30th, 1955 ¦¦ Highway 466 heading westbound, near Cholame, California. A silver Porsche 550 Spyder approaches the State Route 41 junction around 5:30pm when a black-and-white 1950 Ford Custom Tudor coupe, driven from the opposite direction by 23-year-old student Donald Turnupseed, moves to take the fork to SR 41 and crosses into the Porsche's lane...
Bam! A man known as James Dean is dead and leaves one of America's most good looking corpses behind.
September 12th, 1977 ¦¦ Steven Biko is found dead on the floor of a jail cell in Pretoria. Police officials claim that Biko probably suffered the fatal injuries when he 'fell out of bed'...
The South African anti-apartheid activist and former student leader had co-founded the Black Consciousness Mouvement in the 60's and didn't make only friends with this new 'club'. And therefore he slept really bad and he most certainly had a very agitated sleep behaviour...
June 16th, 1959 ¦¦ After an entertaining evening with friends at his home, George Reeves, who played the title character in the original Superman TV series, goes upstairs to his bedroom and apparently shoots himself. Must have been boring friends...
May 31st 1962 ¦¦ For crimes against humanity, the nation of Israel hangs Nazi war criminal Adolf Eichmann in Ramleh prison. He headed the Gestapo Department IV B4 for Jewish Affairs, serving as a self proclaimed 'Jewish specialist' and was responsible for keeping the trains rolling from all over Europe to death camps during the Final Solution. He is later cremated and his ashes scattered in the Mediterranean Sea...OUTSIDE the territorial waters of the Jewish state. Seems like they really wanted to be sure he's not coming back...
April 16th, 73 ¦¦ With the Romans about to breach the gates of their mountaintop fortress, about 1000 Sicarii Jews (the dominant revolutionary Jewish party) commit mass suicide at Masada. The radical cult presumably selected a couple of swordsmen by lottery to perform the killing. Once the job was done, a second lottery was held to end it all and kill the remaining nine after the majority of the buildings had been set ablaze together with goods and food reserves. The last one finally fell on his own sword. It's a tough job but someone's gotta do it.
April 5th 1994 ¦¦ Kurt Cobain shoots himself. He was found on April 8th in his Seattle home with a shotgun wound to the head and with three times the lethal amount of heroin in his system. A note lay at the scene. The verdict was suicide. Others are skeptical. Nevermind...
March 26th, 1830 ¦¦ Joseph Smith (founder of the Mormon Church) publishes The Book of Mormon, after translating it from golden plates turned over by the angel Moroni. Smith maintained that the text contained in the tablets were written in Reformed Egyptian which he read by means of two magic stones made famous in the Old Testament...
Yes...ok...of course you could also prefer to believe that a cosmic Jewish zombie that is his own father can make you live forever if you symbolically eat his flesh and telepathically admit that he's your master in order for him to remove an evil force from your soul; a force that is inherent in humanity since a woman made out of a man's rib was convinced by a talking snake to eat from a magical tree...it's up to you.
March 25th, 1957 ¦¦ the Treaties of Rome are signed, paving the road to a new Europe: peaceful, U.S. influenced, consumption addicted and totally submitted to an imaginary currency.
It all started in 1951 with the signature of the Paris Treaty creating the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC / CECA – Communauté Européenne du Charbon et de l'Acier). The Treaty of Paris was an international treaty based on international law, designed to help reconstruct the economies of the European continent, prevent war in Europe and ensure a lasting peace.
The idea was apparently conceived by a senior civil servant from France. Today you'll find plenty of streets and buildings named after him. His name was Jean Monnet. His idea of an international cooperation in the production of coal and steel was presented on May 9th 1950 by the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman who has also a lot of streets and buildings named after him. Pooling the Franco-German coal and steel production was then believed to be a plausible guarantee for political stability as this was the basis of Europe's industry at that time and also the clearest manifestation of their economic streght. The aim was to avoid a new muscle show that could result in new military conflicts...
The plan was to put the production of these two countries under a higher authority within the framwork of an organisation that would be open to any other European country willing to participate to this pool of production. Some were interested indeed. The early negociators of what we call 'European Union' today were: France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. The establishment of the ESCS was signed on April 18th, 1951 for a duration of 50 years and came to an end on July 23rd, 2002.
The French with Jean Monnet as president of the High Autority, then proposed two other communities: the European Defence Community (EDC) and the European Political Community (EPC). Federal Europe, here we come! Quite amusing that it is prcisely the French parliament that rejected the EDC proposal drawn up by the ECSC parliamentary chambre, its Common Assembly lead by a Frenchman. Mister Monnet resigns in protest after this vote and begins working on alternative communities based on economic integration and collaboration rather than trying to imagine a political common ground. A wise man, he was.
The global energy cisis causing problems to the incredibly active European industry (reconstruction of homes, cities and factory networks, development of new technologies) lead to the proposal of extending the powers of the ECSC to other sources of energy. [Quiz: What two European countries were strongly involved in the pooling of the European Energy Industry and have today the greatest networks of nuclear power plants in Europe producing more energy than they need ans systematically exporting it?] Shortly after, a study was ordered into the prospects of nuclear power use in Europe. The report of course concluded that further nuclear development was needed to fill the deficit left by by the exhaustion of coal deposits and to reduce dependence on oil producers (who we are still totally depend on today in 2011).
The Benelux states (maybe because they had no money, nore space, nore need to develop and build nuclear power facilities) insisted the need to create a global common market. Idea rejected by the protectionist French. Export nuclear power and industrial & war machinery – YES ; sharing the benefits of a common market and letting French consumers discover that virtually EVERYTHING is cheaper and better outside France – NO WAY...like a spoiled child...
Following his idea of alternative communities and, in an attempt to satisfy a maximum of interests, Jean Monnet proposed to create both as separate organisations. As a result of the Messina Conference of 1955, Paul-Henri Spaak was appointed as chairman of a preparatory committee (Spaak Committee) charged with the preparation of a report on the creation of a common European market and the French and German could continue to work on their respective civil and military nuclear programs. As long as everybody is happy...
The Spaak Report drawn up by the Spaak Committee provided the basis for further progress and was accepted at the Venice Conference (May 1956) where the decision was taken to organise an Intergovernmental Conference. The report formed the cornerstone of the Intergovernmental Conference held at Val Duchesse later in 1956.
The outcome of the conference was that new communities would share the Common Assembly (newly Parliamentary Assembly) with the ECSC, as it would with the Court of Justice. However they would not share the ECSC's Council of High Authority. In other words: it's the same for those for those who want it to be the same and it's very different for those who prefer the two communities to be something different. Politics is no easy thing to understand. Also, the two new High Authorities would be called 'Commissions'. First of all this sounds nice and it also implies that they have less power as a commission sounds more consultative; which was a fact indeed aaaaand important decisions would have to be approved by the Council. France was anyway reluctant to agree to more supranational powers. At that point this was not only the best but also the only solution to keep France on board. Remember, it all started with the intention to bring Franco and Germany closer together – no need to argue now.
The conference eventually led to the signature, on March 25th, 1957, of the Treaties of Rome at the Palazzo dei Conservatori on Capitoline Hill in Rome. The rest of the story is pretty easy and obvious: a strong EUR leads to good export conditions for the U.S. (these are probably the interests from the Marshall Plan); European wars are exported (Lybia 2011); Romanians are said to take Frenchmen's jobs – the French are pissed; Turks are believed to steel Germans' job – the German are pissed... we have been sold the fact that being able to buy your dishwasher in a another country with the same currency as in your home country might contribute to peace (inside Europe) but it IS NOT freedom, is it?!...do you feel safer now?
In March 2007, the BBC's Today radio programme reported that delays in printing the treaty meant that the document signed by the European leaders as the Treaty of Rome consisted of blank pages between its frontispiece and page for the signatures. It's a fake world.
Some probably tell the story better...
Major asteroid impacts are expected to occur less often than every 100000 years. The general acceptance of the Alvarez hypothesis, explaining the Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction of the dinosaurs as the result of a large object impact event, raised the awareness of the possibility of future Earth impacts with other objects that cross the Earth's orbit. Another catastrophic event that took place during the summer of 1994 on one of neighbour planets justified this newly gained awareness with an extremely brutal demonstration of what can happen when a wide body collides with a planet. The Shoemaker-Levy 9 comet gravitating around Jupiter had disintegrated and it's course was leading the series of fragments ranging up to 2 km in diameter into Jupiter's southern hemisphere. The collisions took place between July 16th and July 22nd, 1994. The recorded speeds were mindblowing: approximately 60 km/s (215000 km/h). The prominent scars from the impacts were more easily visible than the Great Red Spot the giant gas planet is famous for and persisted for many months. Debries from the collision flew thousands of km into space...The Shoemaker-Levy 9 collision was filmed and observed by many scientists on Earth. It was the first time in recorded history that such a collision took place in our solar system, giving a unique and hopefully rare oportunity to study such an event from the very first row.
On March 23rd, 1989 a roughly 300 meter wide asteroid named '4581 Asclepius' (1989 FC) missed the Earth by only 700,000 kilometers. This might seem like a lot but in practice, this means that the giant rock was passing through the exact position where the Earth was only 6 hours before. If the asteroid had impacted it would have created the largest explosion in recorded history - thousands of times more powerful than the Tsar Bomba (50 megatons), the most powerful nuclear bomb ever exploded by man. Early calculations estimated its passage being as close as 64,000 kilometers from the Earth. Due to large uncertainties in these calculations, the possibility of it striking the Earth was no foolish scenarios. Therefore this event attracted widespread attention in the media and amongst political leaders.
Recent hits recorded:
1908: Tunguska event
It is now commonly believed that on June 30th, 1908 a stony asteroid exploded over Tunguska with the energy of the explosion of 10 megatons of TNT. The explosion occurred at a height of 8.5 kilometers. The object that caused the explosion has been estimated to have had a diameter of 45–70 meters.
1979: Vela Incident
September 22nd, 1979: an event recorded as occurring near the junction of the South Atlantic and the Indian Ocean was possibly a low-yield nuclear test, but was also initially thought to have been caused by the possible impact of an extraterrestrial object. The event, which became known as the 'Vela Incident', was identified by a U.S. Vela defence satellite in Earth orbit. The event alarm triggered multi-year investigations by several organizations which could not conclusively determine if the explosion was of nuclear or non-nuclear origin.
2002: Eastern Mediterranean event
On June 6th, 2002 an object with an estimated diameter of 10 meters collided with Earth. The collision occurred over the Mediterranean Sea, between Greece and Libya, at approximately 34°N 21°E and the object exploded in mid-air. The energy released was estimated (from infrasound measurements) to be equivalent to 26 kilotons of TNT, comparable to a small nuclear weapon.
2008: Sudan event
On October 6th, 2008, scientists calculated that the small Near-Earth asteroid '2008 TC3' just sighted that night should impact the Earth the day after over Sudan, at 0246 UTC, 5:46 local time. The asteroid arrived as predicted. This is the first time that an asteroid impact on Earth has been accurately predicted. However, no reports of the actual impact have so far been published since it occurred in a very sparsely populated area. A systematic search for fragments found a total of 600 fragments, with a mass of 10.5 kilograms. The object is confirmed to have entered Earth's atmosphere above northern Sudan at a velocity of ... 12.8 kilometres per second (+46000 km/h) ... That's were most of the energy of these objects comes from when they impact another celestial body.
Recent dangerous approaches recorded:
On August 10th, 1972 a 3-10 meter small meteor that became known as 'The Great Daylight 1972 Fireball' was witnessed by many people moving north over the Rocky Mountains from the U.S. Southwest to Canada. It was an Earth-grazing meteoroid that passed within 57 kilometres of the Earth's surface. It was filmed by a tourist at the Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming with an 8-millimeter color movie camera (see video above).
On March 18th, 2004, a 30 meter asteroid, '2004 FH', is announced to pass the Earth that day at only 42,600 km (about only 1/10 the distance to the moon, and the closest miss ever noticed). Estimation determined that similar sized objects come as close about every two years...nice!!
On March 31st, 2004, two weeks after 2004 FH, meteoroid '2004 FU162' set a new record for the closest recorded approach, passing Earth only 6,500 km away (about only 1/60 of the distance to the Moon). Because it was very small (6 meters), FU162 was detected only hours before its closest approach. If it had collided with Earth, it probably would have harmlessly disintegrated in the atmosphere. That's what they say...
On March 2nd, 2009, near-Earth asteroid 2009 DD45 flew by Earth at about 13:40 UT. The estimated distance from Earth was 72,000 km, approximately twice the height of a geostationary communications satellite. The estimated size of the space rock was about 35 meters wide...a nice chunk of rock already...
On January 13th, 2010 at 12:46 UT, near-Earth asteroid 2010 AL30 passed at about 122,000 km. It was approximately 10–15 m wide. If 2010 AL30 had entered the Earth's atmosphere, it would have created an air burst equivalent to between 50 and 100 kilotons. The Hiroshima 'Little Boy' atom bomb had a yield between 13-18 kilotons.
Silent terminators are on their way...
Although there have been a few false alarms, a number of objects have been known to be threats to the Earth. 2002 NT7 was the first asteroid with a positive rating on the Palermo Technical Impact Hazard Scale, with an approximate value of 1/1000000 and a potential impact date on January 31st, 2019.
Asteroid 1950 DA was lost after its discovery in 1950 since not enough observations were made to allow the plotting of its orbit, and then rediscovered on December 31st, 2000. The chance it will impact Earth on March 16th, 2880 during its close approach has been estimated as 1/300 (astronomically speaking this is super likely). This chance of impact for such a large object is roughly 50% greater than that for all other such objects combined between now and the year 2880. It has a diameter of about a kilometer...80-90% of all living things on Earth would probably not survive a collision with it...
What's more a relatively large number of asteroids like 2004 MN4, 2007 VK184 or 2008 AF4 have had above-normal rankings on the Torino Scale.
Keep watching the skies...
March 22nd, 1895 ¦¦ two French brothers, the LUMIERE Bros. (Auguste & Louis), show their first movie.
The cinématographe was apparently first patented in 1892 as 'Cinématographe Léon Bouly' by French inventor Léon Bouly. The wealthy brothers eventually bought Bouly's patent in 1895 as Bouly was facing financial problems and was not able to pay for the patent anymore. The new Lumière cinematograph patent is dated February 13th, 1895 and the first footage ever to be recorded using it was recorded on March 19th the same year. This first film shows workers leaving the Lumière factory.
The projection took place in Paris, at the 'Society for the Development of the National Industry', in front of an invited audience of 200 people - among which Leon Gaumont, then director of the 'Comptoir de la Photographie'. The main focus of this conference by Louis Lumière were the recent developments in the photograph industry, mainly the research on polychromy (color photography). It was much to Lumière's surprise that the moving black-and-white images retained far more attention than the boring colored still photographs. The 7th art and an new industry was born.
This is not the first movie ever made, but it is the earliest existing copyrighted motion picture, and the earliest copyright registration for a movie, 'Record of a Sneeze' recorded with a Kinetoscope. The series of pictures, running in sequence from top to bottom, was made by W. K. L. Dickson in the Edison laboratory in West Orange, New Jersey, in 1893. It depicts Fred Ott, an employee of Edison’s Kinetoscope Company. Many early movies, whose original movie stock has deteriorated or been lost, have been painstakingly reconstructed from the copyright registrations of such still photos.
banner pics by Mike Stimpsons