Monday, October 19, 2015

Health benefits for those who stick to their knitting

(excerpted from The Sacramento Bee...by Sammy Caiola - scaiola@sacbee.com)

As almost autumnal breezes rustle browning trees, a comfy couch by the hearth soon could become your regular after-work destination. But before you plop down, experts recommend you find a hand-based craft such as knitting or crocheting to keep spirits high during chilly times.
 

Saturday, October 17, 2015

The Sherlock HOlmes Book...New

We thought you might be interested in the only illustrated book that analyzes everything Sherlock Holmes, from the award-winning Big Ideas Simply Explained series.
sherlock
Fans of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and the hit film and TV shows starring Robert Downey Jr. and Benedict Cumberbatch will love The Sherlock Holmes Book. It is packed with witty illustrations, clear graphics, and memorable quotes that make it the perfect Sherlock Holmes guide, covering every one of the world's greatest detective’s cases, from A Study in Scarlet to The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place, placing the stories in a wider context. Stories are accompanied by at-a-glance flowcharts that show how Holmes reaches his conclusions through deductive reasoning, and character guides provide handy reference for readers and an invaluable resource for fans

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Statue of Pendle Witch Alice Nutter to be commissioned

  • 15 November 2011

  • BBC News  From the section Lancashire

  • Roughlee sign
    Image caption Roughlee village is one of several in Lancashire with links to the Pendle witches
    A statue of a Lancashire woman accused of being a witch is to be placed in her former village to commemorate the 400th anniversary of her death.
    Alice Nutter was one of the Pendle witches, a group of women tried for murder by witchcraft in 1612.
    Her statue will sit in Roughlee, where she lived before being taken to Lancaster Castle for trial.
    Parish councillor James Starkie said the work would "raise awareness of the true story of the witches".
    The statue, which will be placed on Blacko Bar Road on ground donated by a descendant of Ms Nutter, is yet to be designed and the parish council has asked interested artists to get in touch.
    Strict guidelines have been set about what any sculptor should consider when designing it, including an insistence that the artwork "needs to celebrate a resident who was unfairly treated" and "should represent 1612".
    Mr Starkie said the piece, which must also include somewhere for people to sit, was "to commemorate the leaving of Roughlee village by a gentlewoman".
    The wonderful discovery of witches book
    Image caption An account of the Pendle witches was published at the time of their trials
    He said it was a chance to "move on" from her image as a witch.
    "Alice was slightly different [from the other women] - it was a case of her being in the wrong place at the wrong time," he said.
    The Pendle Trials were some of the most famous witch trials in English history and records show that Alice was perceived as different from the others being judged.
    She was wealthier than the rest and barely spoke at her trial, offering no plea or defence against the accusation of murdering Henry Mitton by witchcraft.
    She was found guilty and executed at Lancaster Castle on 20 August, 1612, for having bewitched to death "by devilish practices and hellish means".
    The statue of Alice Nutter is expected to be completed by April 2012 to be installed ahead of the 400th anniversary of her execution.

    'Witch's cottage' unearthed near Pendle Hill, Lancashire

    Engineers have said they were "stunned" to unearth a 17th Century cottage, complete with a cat skeleton, during a construction project in Lancashire.
    The cottage was discovered near Lower Black Moss reservoir in the village of Barley, in the shadow of Pendle Hill.
    Archaeologists brought in by United Utilities to survey the area found the building under a grass mound.
    Historians are now speculating that the well-preserved cottage could have belonged to one of the Pendle witches.
    The building contained a sealed room, with the bones of a cat bricked into the wall.
    It is believed the cat was buried alive to protect the cottage's inhabitants from evil spirits.

    'Tutankhamen's tomb'

    Carl Sanders, United Utilities' project manager, said: "It's not often you come across a fairytale cottage complete with witch's cat.
    "The building is in remarkable condition. You can walk through it and get a real sense that you're peering into the past.


    "Pendle Hill has a real aura about it, and it's hard not to be affected by the place.
    "Even before we discovered the building, there were lots of jokes from the lads about broomsticks and black cats. The find has really stunned us all."
    Simon Entwistle, an expert on the Pendle witches, said: "In terms of significance, it's like discovering Tutankhamen's tomb.
    "We are just a few months away from the 400th anniversary of the Pendle witch trials, and here we have an incredibly rare find, right in the heart of witching country. This could well be the famous Malkin Tower - which has been a source of speculation and rumour for centuries.
    "Cats feature prominently in folklore about witches. Whoever consigned this cat to such a horrible fate was clearly seeking protection from evil spirits."

    'Something special'

    United Utilities routinely brings in experts before turning the topsoil in areas believed to have archaeological significance.
    Frank Giecco, from NP Archaeology, who unearthed the building, said: "It's like discovering your own little Pompeii. We rarely get the opportunity to work with something so well preserved.
    The remains of the building
    Image caption The engineering project has been put on hold while archaeologists investigate the site
    "As soon as we started digging, we found the tops of doors, and knew we were on to something special.
    "The building is a microcosm for the rise and fall of this area, from the time of the Pendle witches to the industrial age. There are layers of local history right before your eyes."
    The engineering project has been put on hold while the archaeologists complete their investigation of the site.
    The building also contains a 19th Century kitchen range, still in its original position.
    Many artefacts from the building's latter years, such as Victorian crockery, a tin bath and a bedstead, were discovered around the site.

     

    The witch trial that made legal history

    By Frances Cronin BBC News

    In recent years children as young as three have given evidence in court cases, but in the past children under 14 were seen as unreliable witnesses. A notorious 17th Century witch trial changed that.
    Nine-year-old Jennet Device was an illegitimate beggar and would have been lost to history but for her role in one of the most disturbing trials on record.
    Jennet's evidence in the 1612 Pendle witch trial in Lancashire led to the execution of 10 people, including all of her own family.
    In England at that time paranoia was endemic. James l was on the throne, living in fear of a Catholic rebellion in the aftermath of Guy Fawkes' gun powder plot. The king had a reputation as an avid witch-hunter and wrote a book called Demonology.
    "It was a mandate for the British to fight witches," explains Prof Ronald Hutton from the University of Bristol.
    At the time Lancashire had a reputation for being full of trouble-makers and subversives. Jennet lived with her mother Elizabeth, her grandmother Demdike, older sister Alizon and brother James in the shadow of the Pendle hill. Villagers dubbed Demdike a "cunning woman".
    In March 1612, Alizon cursed a pedlar who would not give her any pins. The pedlar collapsed and his son reported it to an ambitious local magistrate, Roger Nowell.
    He interviewed Alizon, who confessed to bewitching the pedlar but also accused their neighbours, who the family were having a feud with, of bewitching and killing four people.
    The neighbours pointed the finger straight back at Demdike, accusing her of witchcraft.
    "Nowell was extremely zealous," says Prof Malcolm Gaskill from the University of East Anglia.
    "He sees his route to success in his career is to identify non-conformists, that could be Catholics or witches, and bring them to justice."
    He arrested Alizon, granny Demdike, as well as their neighbours Anne Whittle (also known as Chattox) and her daughter Anne Redferne.
    Jennet's mother then hosted a party on Good Friday, when all "good citizens" should have been in church. A local constable heard rumours of a meeting of witches, so arrested everyone present. The family also implicated others and all were accused of trying to plot to kill a man using witchcraft.
    Alice Nutter, from a respectable land-owning family, her sister-in-law, nephew and friend were among those arrested.
    "At that time they were a strong Catholic family. I think [Nowell] thought he would curry favour with the King and the powers that be if he was catching Catholics as well," says Colin Nutter, a descendant of Alice who still lives near the Pendle hill.
    "She was used as a pawn for his own ends really."
    In his book Demonology, James l wrote: "Children, women and liars can be witnesses over high treason against God." This influenced the justice system and led to Nowell using Jennet as his key witness.
    The clerk of the court, Thomas Potts, wrote a book of all the notes he made of the trial, which became a bestseller and spread the story far and wide.
    In The Wonderful Discoverie of Witches in the Countie of Lancaster, Potts recounted how Jennet's mother Elizabeth screamed out when her daughter entered the court. Jennet demanded her mother be removed and then climbed on a table and calmly denounced her as a witch.
    Her convincing evidence was believed by the jury and after a two-day trial all her family and most of her neighbours were found guilty of causing death or harm by witchcraft.
    The day after they were hanged at Gallows Hill.
    But Jennet's influence went far beyond Lancashire. Thomas Potts' writings and Jennet's evidence were included in a reference handbook for magistrates, The Country Justice.
    The book was used by all magistrates, including those in the colonies in America, and led them to seek the testimony of children in trials of witchcraft.
    So at the notorious Salem witch trials in 1692, most of the evidence was given by children. Nineteen people were hanged.
    There had been earlier cases of children being witnesses in witch trials, but the law stated those under 14 were not credible witnesses because they could not be sworn under oath. Jennet's testimony changed all that.
    Today children of any age can be called to give evidence as their competence depends upon their understanding not their age.
    Ultimately though, Jennet fell victim to the very precedent she set herself in 1633.
    Twenty years after the trial she too was accused of witchcraft along with 16 others by 10-year-old Edmund Robinson.
    They were found guilty by a jury but the judges were not happy and it was referred to the Privy Council. England had become more sceptical over time and physical evidence was demanded.
    Edmund eventually admitted lying because of the stories he had heard about the Pendle witch trial.
    The last known record of Jennet Device was in 1636.
    Despite having been acquitted she was not allowed to leave Lancaster Castle until she had paid for her board for the time she had spent there on trial. For someone like Jennet, that could have been impossible.

    Sunday, October 4, 2015

    New title just published....

    My latest book, Out of the Cauldron, is now on Amazon as an ebook and a print version.




     Here's a blurb:

    “All witchcraft comes from (desires), which in women is insatiable…Wherefore for the sake of fulfilling their (desires) they consort even with devils.”

    There was a time in Europe when one could detect the sickening smell of roasted flesh throughout the countryside; when a ride through a town included dead bodies hanging from trees and scaffolds in the town square; a time when distrust and finger pointing were the staples of neighbors, siblings, and even a best friend; when screams of pain and torment could be heard above the cacophony of village life. This was a time when thousands of people, most of them women, were accused of witchcraft, of loving the Devil, of taking part in sabbats, of flying through the air on their broomsticks, of putting curses on those they didn't like, and of kidnapping babies from their cradles. The Catholic Church and men of power were the major contributors to this extermination; and with the addition of superstition and general ignorance, you had a perfect but tragic picture of one of the worst holocausts in history.
    Out of the Cauldron includes quotes from the Malleus Malificarum or the Witches Bible, one of the most important sources of information for witch-hunters, in addition to quotes from other important works including the Bible.

    The print version has more than 20 pictures of woodcuts from Medieval time, depicting the lives of the people at this time, however, the ebook version does not.

    If you read it, please leave me a review...thanks.

    Radiant II Art Course

    Hi, Art Lovers and Doers....just want to tell you about a wonderful online course in art journaling.  It will run until May 2016 and is chock full of lessons and videos from active multi-media artists.  Very excited to begin this course.  Will let you know from time to time what is happening.  Meanwhile go to the link and learn about this lovely person, Effy, and the incredible course she has designed.

    http://effywild.com/radiant





    Wednesday, September 23, 2015

    taken from BBC news on September 23, 2015

     

    Russia exhumes bones of murdered Tsar Nicholas and wife

    • 2 hours ago
    • From the section Europe
    Russian royal family, 1914Image copyright PA
    Image caption The Romanovs in 1914: From left: Olga, Maria, Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, Anastasia, Tsarevich Alexei and Tatiana
    Russian investigators have exhumed the remains of the last tsar and his wife, as they re-examine the 1918 murder of the imperial family.
    Samples were taken from Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Alexandra, and from the bloodstained uniform of Alexander II, Nicholas's grandfather, killed in 1881.
    The murdered Romanov family members are buried at a St Petersburg cathedral.
    Revolutionary Bolsheviks killed the family in a cellar. But the Orthodox Church wants the remains checked again.
    The long-running murder case had been closed in 1998, after DNA tests authenticated the Romanov remains found in a mass grave in the Urals in 1991.

    Hail of bullets

    Tsar Nicholas II, Alexandra, their four daughters - grand duchesses Anastasia, Maria, Olga and Tatiana - their son the Tsarevich Alexei and four royal staff members were murdered in the cellar of a house in Yekaterinburg in 1918.
    One night they were lined up as if for a family photo, and then a Bolshevik firing squad killed them in a hail of bullets, according to witness accounts. Those who did not die immediately were bayonetted.
    The DNA tests did not convince some Russian Orthodox Church members, because the remains of two - Tsarevich Alexei and Grand Duchess Maria - were only found in 2007, at a different spot in the Urals.
    The Investigative Committee, a state body, says new checks are needed in order to authenticate the remains of those two.
    Russia plans to rebury Alexei and Maria alongside the rest of the family in St Petersburg's Peter and Paul Cathedral. But for that to happen the Church wants to be certain about the remains.
    Russian royal family, 1914
    Image caption The four Romanov princesses with their brother Alexei

    Treated as saints

    The royal couple and three daughters were formally reburied on 17 July 1998 - the 80th anniversary of the murder. They were canonised by the Russian Orthodox Church in 2000.
    Alexei and Maria are also likely to be canonised before the 100th anniversary in 2018. Their remains are currently kept at the Russian State Archives.
    The new investigation also involves taking samples from Alexandra's sister the Grand Duchess Elizabeth Fyodorovna, buried in Jerusalem. Only now can Russian investigators get access to those remains.
    Russian royals with Rasputin - circa 1911Image copyright Getty Images
    Image caption Rasputin (second from left), a self-styled holy man, exerted great influence at the Romanov court
    Russian royal family, 1916Image copyright Getty Images
    Image caption The tsar and his family at Tsarskoye Selo palace near St Petersburg in 1916
    The Romanovs were ousted from power and exiled in 1917, shortly before the communist Bolsheviks overthrew the provisional government.
    Documents from the so-called "White Guards Investigation" concerning the family's 1918 murder will also be studied. They came to light in the past four years.
    Tsar Alexander II was killed by a bomb thrown by a "People's Will" revolutionary in 1881, and buried in his military uniform in the Peter and Paul Cathedral.
    A lawyer for Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna, a descendant of the murdered Romanovs, said she supported the new investigation.
    Quoted by Russia's Tass news agency, lawyer German Lukyanov said "not all aspects of the imperial family's murder were explained in the case, and not all the Russian Orthodox Church's questions were answered fully and clearly".
    "The grand duchess hopes that the examination of the Yekaterinburg remains will be scientific... The truth must be established in this case, with an answer to the main question: whose are these remains?"

    Thursday, April 16, 2015

    Motive for Revenge...book recommendation


    If you are in the mood for a psychological suspense book, do pick up Mel Parish's latest book called Motive for Revenge in print and online at Amazon.com.


                                                           cover designer - Jonny Gillard 


    The book opens when Jake Cornish, on vacation in Maine with his wife and children, is eating in a diner when he spots someone who makes the blood drain from his face; someone who he never thought he would see ever again. The reader is slowly let in on the fact that three years ago Jake was kidnapped, tortured, and held for ransom while on vacation with his family in Hong Kong.  Now, here in Maine, in a diner, and again on vacation, he sees one of his captors, Alicia, a woman who he impregnated during his captivity. Jake follows her home knowing that if she is in Maine, his other captors are not far behind. The idea of revenge is sweet as he plans on how and when to get his revenge.

    Unfortunately, he has never told his wife the entire truth about his captivity, especially about his laision with Alicia, so he now has to be silent about who he saw and why he suddenly seems distracted and on edge.  He begins to stalk Alicia while planning his revenge on the men who kidnapped him.  However, when the police arrest him for a crime/attack at the house he has been watching, he starts to trap himself in lie after lie in order to keep the truth from his wife and from the police because he has no proof of the kidnapping. The nail-biting tension increases as the reader knows about the hell that this guy is going through, all because he is keeping secrets that he perhaps should have come clean about three years ago; as deeper and deeper he digs a hole that may eventually bury him.




    Wednesday, March 25, 2015

    10 Historical Inventions Patented by Women

    10 Historical Inventions You Probably Didn’t Know Were Patented by Women

    These Brilliant Inventions by Women Changed the World as We Know It

    10 Incredible Things You Might Not Know Were Invented by Women
    Photo credit: Living Vintage
    When you think about great inventors, you likely think of men such as Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and even Bill Gates. Though these men and others innovated new products that changed our modern lives for the better, they often overshadow brilliant women inventors whose incredible contributions should also be acknowledged and praised.
    In honor of Women’s History Month, we decided to showcase some amazing things you might not know were invented by women and we use in our daily lives.

    1. Liquid Paper – Bette Nesmith Graham

    Liquid Paper Inventor Bette Nesmith Graham
    In the 1950s, Bette Nesmith Graham was an executive secretary at Texas Bank and Trust. Electric typewriters had just hit the scene, but their carbon ribbon used to correct typing errors didn’t work very well. Because of this, secretaries had to retype documents even if just a small mistake was made. But Bette was very bright and used white tempera paint to disguise the errors in her typing. She perfected the formula in her own kitchen and patented her secretarial secret as Liquid Paper in 1958.

    2. Square-Bottomed Paper Bag – Margaret Knight

    Square-Bottomed Paper Bag Inventor Margaret Knight
    Photo credit: Silicon India
    Margaret Knight may have been an ordinary cotton mill worker in the 1860s, but by 1868 she invented a machine that took brown paper bags to the next level. The machine created bags with square bottoms so they could stand upright. We still use these bags today — and the machines based on her idea are still used as well. Not only did she fight to patent this invention and win in 1871, but this innovative woman received over 20 patents and thought up nearly 100 inventions throughout her lifetime.

    3. Dishwasher – Josephine Cochran

    Josephine Cochran Inventor of the Dishwasher
    Photo credit: KPL Bookaneers
    In 1886, Josephine Cochran invented something that would leave dishes squeaky clean without ever having to wash and rinse by hand again: the first practical dishwashing machine. We love it to this day, but it wasn’t well received back in 1893 when Josephine presented her invention at the World’s Fair. It wasn’t until the 1950s that people took notice. Once they did, Josephine founded a manufacturer to build the dishwashers which we now know as KitchenAid.

    4. COBOL Programming Language – Admiral Grace Murray Hopper

    Grace Hopper Inventor of COBOL Language
    Photo credit: Flickr
    In 1943, Admiral Hopper joined the U.S. military where she was stationed at Harvard University. While there, she worked on the first large-scale computer in the U.S. – IBM’s Harvard Mark I. And in the 1950s, the compiler was invented by Admiral Hopper — a significant advancement for computer programmers that translates English commands into computer code. Not only that, Admiral Hopper would eventually oversee the development of one of the very first computer programming languages: the Common Business-Oriented Language, or COBOL. She is considered by many as the “mother of the computer.”

    5. Windshield Wiper – Mary Anderson

    Windshield Wiper Inventor Mary Anderson
    Photo credit: Jalopnik.com
    During Mary Anderson’s first trip to New York City at the start of the 20th century, she noticed that the driver of her tram had to stop quite frequently in order to wipe snow from the front window. This was commonplace at the time. But when Mary returned home, she thought of a way to help her tram driver — and every other driver around the world. Mary invented the very first windshield wiper, an invention made up of a squeegee on a spindle that attached to the inside of a vehicle. All the driver had to do was pull the handle on her contraption and the front window would be cleared. The windshield wiper was patented by Mary in 1903 and a decade later, thousands of cars were sold equipped with her incredibly helpful idea.

    6. Bulletproof Vest Material – Stephanie Kwolek

    Bulletproof Vest Material inventor Stephanie Kwolek
    Photo credit: The Best You Magazine
    In 1946, Stephanie Kwolek took a position at DuPont to save money for medical school expenses, but in 1964, she still saw herself there — and for good reason. Stephanie was caught up in her research on turning polymers into extra strong synthetic fibers. After trying, trying and trying again, Stephanie came up with a fiber that was as strong as steel which we now know as Kevlar, the material used to make bulletproof vests and other seemingly unbreakable products.

    7. Scotchgard Stain Repellent – Patsy Sherman

    Patsy Sherman Scotchgard Inventor
    Photo credit: 123Articles.com
    1n 1952, Patsy Sherman was hired by 3M Company to work as a research chemist. One of the few women in the field, her specialty was fluorochemicals. While in the lab one day, synthetic latex was spilled by an assistant and it landed on the assistant’s canvas shoes. Patsy and her lab partner were thrilled with what they found out from the spill: the substance wouldn’t wash away and repelled water and oil. Patsy worked on further developments with this discovery over the years and In 1956, Scotchgard was born from what could’ve been overlooked as just a mishap.

    8. The Refrigerator – Florence Parpart

    Florence Parpart Inventor of Refrigerator
    Though we know little about the Hoboken, New Jersey housewife named FlorenceParpart, we do know that she won a patent in 1914 for an important invention that we use every day in our modern lives — the refrigerator. Her invention went on to replace numerous iceboxes in homes that were equipped with electricity.

    9. Paper Coffee Filters – Melitta Bentz

    Ceramic Melitta Model
    Photo credit: Stumptown Coffee
    In 1908, Melitta Bentz was just a German homemaker who was tired of bitter coffee. She sought to fix this problem and create a cleaner-tasting cup of coffee by using a piece of blotting paper from her son’s school notebook and puncturing a brass pot with holes. Not only did this new type of coffee filter and brewing method produce a great-tasting cup o’ joe, but also a more efficient disposal of the coffee grounds. Melitta patented her incredible invention in 1908. The Melitta company is still around today and ran by her grandchildren in Germany.

    10. Chocolate Chip Cookies – Ruth Wakefield

    Ruth Wakefield Chocolate Chip Cookie Inventor
    Though the chocolate chip cookie was an accidental invention, it’s also one of the most delicious inventions ever created. In 1930, Ruth Wakefield stumbled upon this sweet invention while whipping up a batch of Butter Drop Do cookies for guests inside the kitchen of her inn and restaurant — which was once a toll house. Melted chocolate was needed in the cookie recipe, but Ruth was out of baker’s chocolate. She instead crumbled up a Nestle chocolate bar to add to the batter. The chocolate pieces were meant to melt like baker’s chocolate, but this wasn’t so. Instead those crumbled pieces kept their shape and the Nestle Toll House Chocolate Chip Cookie was invented.
    borrowed from History and Women

    Friday, March 13, 2015

    Youngest Female Chess Master Ever

    Carissa Yip: Youngest Female Master Ever!


    She just keeps breaking records.
    Carissa Yip, 11, is already in the record books for beating a grandmaster at age 10. Now she is also the youngest American girl to become a national master.
    She broke the record set less than a year ago by Annie Wang, whose mark was eclipsed by about four months.
    Carissa beat two masters in the Legends of Chess Tournament in Boston, Massachusetts on February 21, 2015 en route to earning the title. Her only "blemish" was a first-round bye; even so 3.5/4 was good enough to tie for first!
    Less than a year ago, Carissa also broke an esteemed record. She defeated localGrandmaster Alex Ivanov in a classical game. Research suggests she was the youngest in the world ever to do so.
    She was days shy of her 11th birthday, while GM Judit Polgar's Wikipedia page lists GM Lev Gutman as her first grandmaster scalp. Polgar was 12. GM Irina Krush, now the top American woman, didn't defeat her first GM (Alex Stripunksy) until she was 13, according to USCF records.
    Carissa was also the youngest USCF Expert in history at the age of nine.

    Tuesday, March 10, 2015

    Never Say Never

    (Reuters) - Of 14 sorties flown by British World War Two pilots supplying anti-fascist fighters in Albania on Oct. 29, 1944, 12 returned to base in Italy, one failed to discharge its load and "the other is missing and assumed to have crashed", according to military records.
    For seven decades, the Handley Page Halifax bomber was believed to be at the bottom of the Adriatic Sea. Then, last October, a British and U.S. team climbed 6,000 feet (1,829 meters) into the Albanian mountains to locate its wreckage, which had been spotted by a villager out collecting herbs.
    "Clearly what we found was enough to suggest we had found the remains of a big four-engine bomber," said Chris Casey, a doctor at the U.S. embassy in Tirana and part of the expedition.
    A British-born aviation enthusiast, Casey trawled the Internet but was frustrated in his attempts to pinpoint the identity of the plane or its crew.
    The vital clue would come in the form of a gold ring, engraved "Joyce & John" and held in safe keeping by an Albanian villager and then his son.
    Jaho Cala found the ring in 1960 while collecting metal and wood in the mountains, when Albania was shut off from the outside world by the Stalinist regime of Enver Hoxha.
    "He gave it to me when I got married in 1971, but told me clearly the ring did not belong to our family and I was to return it to its owner after communism ended," Jaho's son, Xhemil Cala, told Reuters.
    Twenty years later, with Albania rid of communism, Cala took to wearing the ring while serving as a police officer. But he had not given up returning it to its rightful owner. He said the ring would not stay put on his finger, twisting as he slept.
    "It is not yours, that is why," Cala quoted a Muslim cleric as telling him.
    "OVERWHELMED"
    Cala tried to intercept a visiting British envoy to pass him the ring, but was shooed away by defense ministry guards. When his commanding officer visited Britain, Cala gave him the ring but he brought it back saying he had no luck finding the owner.
    Finally, he appealed to a regional government official, who alerted the British embassy more than two years ago.
    "The ring ... really helped us to solve this riddle," said Casey said.
    A flight engineer, Sergeant John Thompson and Joyce Mozley got married in June 1944 but only spent a weekend together before he was posted overseas, Alan Webster, Thompson's nephew, told Reuters at a ceremony in Tirana on Monday.
    Gerd Kaceli, a military assistant at the British embassy, said Thompson's plane had dropped supplies to the Biza valley, but on turning west to return to Italy it clipped the top of the mountain and crashed, killing the crew.
    Kaceli said Thompson's widow had remarried after the war and had died in 1995. He also spoke of "mystical" powers that had combined to shed light on the fate of the plane.
    At the ceremony in Albania's Defence Ministry, Cala kneeled as he handed the ring to Thompson's 92-year-old sister, Dorothy Webster, along with a fuel gauge from the aircraft and a piece of rock from the mountain that brought it down.
    "Your brother helped to liberate my country. He will never be forgotten," Defence Minister Mimi Kodheli told Webster.

    "I remember him very well, as if it were yesterday," Webster told Reuters, adding she was "overwhelmed ... getting all these keepsakes that we never thought we would ever get".

    Monday, March 9, 2015

    So you think you know about Shakespeare???

    Take a look: ten things you didn't know about Shakespeare.
    [wpe_video]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEWA59LAIjg[/wpe_video]
    Here's something else you may not have known about Shakespeare: he had a cousin with the same name who came to stay at his lodgings in Bishopsgate in 1593 and went on to become London's first private detective.

    Saturday, January 3, 2015

    No more Fear of Flying....

    How wonderful it would be if the safety instructions before a flight made you laugh instead of scaring the bejeezus out of you....See below...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxNrizGdhtY&app=desktop[/wpe_video]
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TxNrizGdhtY&app=desktop[/wpe_video]