Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Muhammad Ali Greatest Speeches

Muhammad Ali The Greatest Video

"I'm not the greatest; I'm the double greatest. Not only do I knock 'em out, I pick the round."
- Muhammad Ali

Mary Seacole Facts

Mary Seacole - Jamaican nurse

  • Mary Seacole was a nurse in the Crimean war who gained a great reputation for helping injured British soldiers.
  • During her lifetime, her renown rivalled Florence Nightingale, but, after her death, she was largely overshadowed by her illustrious fellow nurse.
  • She was born in Kingston, Jamaica in 1805
  • Her father was Scottish and an officer in the British army. Her mother was a free Jamaican lady, making her of mixed race.
  • On hearing of a call for nurses to travel to the Crimea, she was initially refused. She went on her own initiative and using her own funds.
  • Mary Seacole often visited soldiers on the front line to offer food, drinks and medicine. She was known as Mother Seacole amongst the troops.
  • Shortly after 7 September 1855, Seacole fulfilled a bet, and became the first woman to enter Sevastopol after it fell
  • Florence Nightingale was a contemporary of Mary Seacole. But, Florence did not offer much praise for her work and in some later letters cast doubts over her character.
  • When she returned to London bankrupt and ill, a charity gala was held for her over four nights attended by more than 80,000 people.
  • A campaign to erect a statue of Seacole in London was launched on 24 November 2003, chaired by MP Clive Soley, Baron Soley .

Monday, January 25, 2010

Top 10 Great Explorers

  1. Christopher Columbus
 (1451 – 20 May 1506) Said to be the first Westerner (apart from Viking exploration) to come to the new World of the American continent. Initiated widespread contact with native Indians.
  2. Sir Ernest Shackleton - (1874–1922) Antarctic explorer
 who attempted to cross the Antarctic from one side to the other via the South Pole.
  3. Captain James Cook - (1728 – 14 February 1779) The great 18th Century explorer and adventurer who joined the British navy and made great progress in mapping the Pacific Islands and the continent of Australasia.
  4. Captain Scott - Antarctic explorer -Great Antarctic explorer who explored the Antarctic extensively. Became the second person to reach the south pole on his tragic last mission in 1912.
Sir Edmund Hilary. With Sherpa Tensing, Sir Edmund Hilary became the first person to climb Mount Everest.
  6. David Livingstone - explored the heart of the African subcontinent. Becoming the first westerner to come across the Victoria Falls
  7. Sir Francis Drake, 1542-1596 - Made the first successful circumnavigation of the world by boat. 

  8. Sir Walter Raleigh, (1554-1618) 
During his own lifetime, Walter Raleigh (Raleigh) was one of the best-known men in England. He was a courtier, politician, soldier, seaman, explorer, businessman, philosopher, historian and poet.
  9. Marco Polo (c. 1254 – January 8, 1324) Made legendary exploration through Acre, into China and to the Mongol court.
  10. Alexander the Great - Led his army over Asia into heart of India

Victoria Falls and David Livingstone

Victoria Falls was discovered by British explorer, David Livingstone

Until, Livingstone, the falls was called the great waterfall Mosi-oa-Tunya ("the smoke that thunders") waterfall by local Africans.

- author Zest-pk CC license

The Victoria falls is located in southern Africa on the Zambezi River between the countries of Zambia and Zimbabwe.

It is claimed to be the largest waterfall in the world with a width of 1,708 metres (5,600 ft)[4] and height of 108 meters (360 ft)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Enoch Powell Facts

  • Enoch Powell Voted for the Labour Party in 1945 in protest over the Conservative party's policy of appeasement to Hitler's Germany in the late 1930s
  • Enoch Powell learnt 12 languages during his lifetime, his last language he learnt was Hebrew.
  • Enoch Powell was a staunch critic of American Foreign Policy, criticising war and foreign policy in Vietnam, Iraq, Iran and other the nuclear deterrent.
  • Powell described the American boycott of the 1980s Moscow Olympics 'pathetic to the point of farce' - over the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
  • Powell voted against the death penalty and for reform on homosexual law.
  • In 1939, Powell returned to England to join the armed forces. He bought a Russian dictionary saying "Russia would hold the key to our survival and victory, as it had in 1812 and 1916"
  • In 1941, he helped plan the attack on Rommel's forces in Africa at the Battle of El Alamein.
  • At the end of the war Powell had been promoted to brigadier.
  • As a youngster, his greatest ambition was to be viceroy of India
  • After Indian independence in 1947, Powell changed his mind over the British Empire, he now thought Britain should give up the whole Empire.
  • In 1959, Powell gave an emotional defence of Mau Mau Kenyans that some MPs had described as sub human
  • Denis Healey, MP later said that speech was "the greatest parliamentary speech I ever heard... it had all the moral passion and rhetorical force of Demosthenes".
  • In 1960 Powell was made health minister. He took little if any action over babies deformed by the drug thalidomide,
  • Powell is best remembered for his "Rivers of Blood" Speech made in 1968
  • "As I look ahead, I am filled with foreboding. Like the Roman, I seem to see 'the River Tiber foaming with much blood'.
  • In 1968, Powell also spelt out a radical free-market economic policy in Morecambe - foreshadowing the Monetarist experiment of the 1980s.
  • At the age of 80, he was diagnosed as having Parkinson's disease.
  • Powell produced four published collections of poetry: First Poems; Casting Off; Dancer's End; and The Wedding Gift. His Collected Poems appeared in 1990
  • Between Oct 1974–1987 Enoch Powell was Ulster Unionist Member of Parliament for South Down, Northern Ireland.
  • In 1974 Powell turned down an invitation to stand for the National Front

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Quotes about the Desert

"This creed of the desert seemed inexpressible in words, and indeed in thought."
- T.E.Lawrence
"All sunshine makes a desert"
- Arab Proverb
In the desert water is worth more than gold
-Arab Proverb
"It is the sandstorms that shape the stone statues of the desert
It is the struggles of life that form a person's character."
-Native American Proverb
"The sun gives life to everything;
but in the desert it is the angel of death.:

- Traditional Bedouin saying
"In the desert of the heart,
Let the healing fountain start;
In the prison of his days,
Teach the free man how to praise.

- W.H.Auden

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Lawrence of Arabia Quotes

T.E.Lawrence, often popularly known as Lawrence of Arabia was a unique character and influential military leader. Winston Churchill described him as one of the greatest living people he knew.
"The world looks with some awe upon a man who appears unconcernedly indifferent to home, money, comfort, rank, or even power and fame. The world feels not without a certain apprehension, that here is some one outside its jurisdiction; someone before whom its allurements may be spread in vain; some one strangely enfranchised, untamed, untrammelled by convention, moving independent of the ordinary currents of human action."
-Winston Churchill (3 October 1936); as quoted in Lawrence of Arabia: The Authorized Biography of T.E. Lawrence (1989) by Jeremy M Wilson

Yet, for all his fame T.E. Lawrence remained modest of his achievements.
"I've been & am absurdly over-estimated. There are no supermen & I'm quite ordinary, & will say so whatever the artistic results. In that point I'm one of the few people who tell the truth about myself."
- T.E.Lawrence

and Lawerence sought to hide from the glare of the media spotlight - even it meant changing his name.
"To have news value is to have a tin can tied to one’s tail."
Letter (1 April 1935); published in The Letters of T.E. Lawrence (1988), edited by Malcolm Brown.

Selected Quotes by T.E.Lawrence
"You wonder what I am doing? Well, so do I, in truth. Days seem to dawn, suns to shine, evenings to follow, and then I sleep. What I have done, what I am doing, what I am going to do, puzzle and bewilder me. Have you ever been a leaf and fallen from your tree in autumn and been really puzzled about it? That's the feeling."
- Letter to Eric Kennington (6 May 1935)

"Do not try to do too much with your own hands. Better the Arabs do it tolerably than that you do it perfectly. It is their war, and you are to help them, not to win it for them. Actually, also, under the very odd conditions of Arabia, your practical work will not be as good as, perhaps, you think it is."
The Evolution of A Revolt (1920)

"Nine-tenths of tactics are certain, and taught in books: but the irrational tenth is like the kingfisher flashing across the pool, and that is the test of generals."

Article in The Army Quarterly and Defence Journal (October 1920) Full text online

"The printing press is the greatest weapon in the armoury of the modern commander..."

"In fifty words: Granted mobility, security (in the form of denying targets to the enemy), time, and doctrine (the idea to convert every subject to friendliness), victory will rest with the insurgents, for the algebraical factors are in the end decisive, and against them perfections of means and spirit struggle quite in vain."
- Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1922)

"This creed of the desert seemed inexpressible in words, and indeed in thought."

"All men dream: but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible. This I did."

◦ Introductory Chapter. Seven Pillars of Wisdom (1922)

"Some Englishmen, of whom Kitchener was chief, believed that a rebellion of Arabs against Turks would enable England, while fighting Germany, simultaneously to defeat Turkey. Their knowledge of the nature and power and country of the Arabic-speaking peoples made them think that the issue of such a rebellion would be happy: and indicated its character and method. So they allowed it to begin..."

"The desert was held in a crazed communism by which Nature and the elements were for the free use of every known friendly person for his own purposes and no more."

"Some of the evil of my tale may have been inherent in our circumstances. For years we lived anyhow with one another in the naked desert, under the indifferent heaven. By day the hot sun fermented us; and we were dizzied by the beating wind. At night we were stained by dew, and shamed into pettiness by the innumerable silences of stars. We were a self-centred army without parade or gesture, devoted to freedom, the second of man's creeds, a purpose so ravenous that it devoured all our strength, a hope so transcendent that our earlier ambitions faded in its glare."

- Seven Pillars of Wisdom

"The Beduin could not look for God within him: he was too sure that he was within God."

"Feisal asked me if I would wear Arab clothes like his own while in the camp. I should find it better for my own part, since it was a comfortable dress in which to live Arab-fashion as we must do. "

Quotes on T.E.Lawrence

"There is no other man I know who could have achieved what Lawrence did. As for taking undue credit for himself, my own personal experience with Lawrence is that he was utterly unconcerned whether any kudos was awarded him or not."

* Edmund Allenby, commander of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force to Lowell Thomas.

"I deem him one of the greatest beings alive in our time... We shall never see his like again. His name will live in history. It will live in the annals of war... It will live in the legends of Arabia."

- Winston Churchill

Wiki quote T.E.Lawrence

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Greatest Cricket Catch

An amazing piece of athleticism. Paul Collingwood of England scopes a ball from over his head and catches Matthew Hayden

Friday, January 15, 2010

Top 10 Achievements of Mankind

What are the greatest achievements of humanity? It is hard to choose but here are 10 achievements which are examples of some of the finest achievements of mankind. Undoubtedly there are many more we could have chosen. For example, not least, would be the more intangible achievements of lasting peace of mind and peace between peoples.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of humanity is exemplified by the greatest sages and saints such as the Lord Buddha quietening his mind under the Bodhi Tree. But, here are ten more worldly achievements.

  1. Declaration of Human Rights. - The idea of equality, liberty, and justice
  2. Understanding Nature of Human existence - From Aristotle, to Newton and Einstein. The greatest minds have helped better understand the place of human beings in the greater cosmos through the laws of gravity and other scientific discoveries.
  3. Climbing Mount Everest - Symbolising the adventurous spirit of man
  4. Development of Modern Medicine and Vaccinations
  5. Moon Landing
  6. Ave Maria Bach / Schubert
  7. Leonardo Da Vinci's Mona Lisa
  8. Building the Great Pyramids
  9. The Works of William Shakespeare
  10. The First Flight by the Wright brothers 1901
Further Reading - more detailed explanation of some of the greatest achievements of mankind

Suggest a Great achievement of mankind in comments section below.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

People Who Made a Difference in Health Care

  1. Hippocrates  460BC - 377BC) - Hippocrates was a great doctor of ancient Greece. Through his careful examination of patients, treatments and success rates he was able to vastly improve medical practise and treatment. He built up one of the great libraries of medical science in Kos. Also credited with the Hippocratic oath which is still sworn today by medical practitioners which includes among other things to do everything in the doctors power to save a life.
  2. Florence Nightingale (1820-191) - Pioneering nurse who helped change attitudes to nursing and the treatment of the wounded. Also undertook statistical analysis of different hospital procedures.
  3. Clara Barton (1821-1912) - A nurse in the civil war, Clara Barton helped improve treatment of wounded soldiers. After working with the international Red cross in Europe, she returned to US where she set up the American Red Cross.
  4. Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) - Through her work as a nurse in New York's Lower east side in 1912, Margaret Sanger worked hard to improve birth control practise to prevent unwanted pregnancies. This ground breaking shift in attitude led to the foundation of the American Birth Control League.
  5. Mary Seacole (1805-1881) A pioneering nurse from Jamaica who travelled to England and eventually funded her own passage to the Crimea to help in the treatment of the wounded soldiers on both sides.
  6. Marie Curie (1867-1934) - Development of Radiotherapy and X Ray
  7. Alexander Fleming - Discovery of Penicillin
  8. Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield's. Taken together for their joint invention in magnetic resonance imaging, which allows doctors to see inside a patient's body without cutting it open first.
  9. Sir James Young Simpson - discovered use of chloroform - one of first anaesthetics and used it in medical practise
  10. Louis Pasteur - Developed many antidotes to dangerous illness' such as rabies
  • Edward Jenner - developed inoculation for smallpox, which led to future inoculations for many infectious diseases.
  • Elizabeth Fry - Although best known for her work in improving conditions in prison, Elizabeth Fry also set up a pioneering operation to train nurses in Victorian Britain. This


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Top 10 Famous Outlaws

A list of 10 Famous Outlaws

  1. Billy The Kid (1859-1881) It is said he killed 21 people, for each year of his life. This included his first killing at the age of 12. He was convicted of four murders, including two officers of the law.
  2. Butch Cassidy. Butch Cassidy led a notorious including Kid Curry and the Sundance Kid. They became famous for the huge sums they managed to steal over $200,000.
  3. Robin Hood (13th Century) A famous legend of an outlaw who - "stole from the rich and gave to the poor" - fighting the Sheriff of Nottingham. Difficult to know how much is legend and how much is true.
  4. Sam Bass (1851-1878) - held up Trains in Texas taking a huge haul of cash
  5. Thomas Dun - An outlaw in Bedforshire, England robbing travellers on the Great North Road. Escaped justice for 20 years, in part because of sympathies of the local peasants who Dun was generous to.
  6. Henry Plummer (1832-1864). Henry Plummer became a sheriff in Montana and helped to clean up crime in the area. All crime except a notorious highway robbery gang who Henry Plummer was the secret leader of. Eventually caught, Henry was sent to the gallows.
  7. Juro Janosik (1690-1713) - Described as the Slovak Robin Hood. He served in the Hapsburg army before deserting and becoming leader of a bandit gang who stole from Hapsburg officials distributing some to local peasants.
  8. Jesse James (1847-1882) On the outbreak of civil war, Jesse James joined a confederate guerrila army which terrorised the north. After the war, Jesse James led a gang which made many bank robberies, before being shot by a fellow gang member seeking the high price on Jesse James' head.
  9. Bonnie and Clyde - A pair of lovers who became famous in depression hit America as they travelled through America holding up banks and being involved in many crimes.
  10. Dick Turpin. Famous English highwayman.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

10 Famous Spies

A list of 10 famous spies.
  1. Mata Hari (1876-1917) famous exotic dancer known to have had relationships with military officers. She came from neutral Netherlands. She was arrested by the British in 1916, who were convinced she worked for the French. She was later arrested by the French as a German spy. She was tried and executed. There is considerable doubt as to her guilt. She is said to have said before her execution 'Harlot yes, but traitor, never'
  2. Garbo - One of the most successful British agents who double crossed the Germans sending false information to German intelligence. Helped fool Germany into thinking main invasion would be at Calais and not Normandy. Masterminded by John Cecil Masterman.
  3. Guy Burgess (1911-1963). Cambridge student who became a committed Communist and a spy for the Soviet Union. He fled to the Soviet Union in 1951
  4. Donald Maclean (1913-1983) Another member of the British spy ring. Donald Maclean was at the heart of the British establishment and a noted art critic.
  5. Kim Philby The most active member of the Cambridge spy ring.
  6. Richard Sorge (1895-1944) Half russian, half German. He became a committed Communist and spied for the Soviet Union in Japan. He famously discovered Japan's plan to attack Pearl Harbour in December 1941
  7. John Walker (1937. A US naval officer who spied for the Soviet Union from 1968 to 1985, selling state secrets to fund his gambling debts. His said to have earned over $1million. Eventually caught by FBI and sentenced to life imprisonment.
  8. Rose O'Neal Greenhow (1817-1864) Rose O'Neal lived in Washington when the civil war broke out. However, she sympathised with the confederacy and used her contact to pass on information to the Southern armies.
  9. Odette Sanson was one of many female secret agents who risked their lives to enter into occupied France during WW2. Worked as radio operator before being captured by the Nazi's and sent to Ravensbruck concentration camp where she survived the war.
  10. Violette Szabo another British female agent sent to occupied France during World War

Friday, January 1, 2010

Top 10 Dutch Artists


The City of Delft by Jan Vermeer

A list of the top 10 Dutch Artists (including Dutch and Flemis)
  1. Rembrandt
  2. Jan Vermeer
  3. Vincent Van Gogh
  4. Piet Mondriaan
  5. Jacob van Ruisdael
  6. Jan van Scorel
  7. Frans Hals
  8. Pieter de Hooch
  9. Theo van Doesburg
  10. Pieter Claesz