Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Steve Jobs Quotes

“Sometimes when you innovate, you make mistakes. It is best to admit them quickly, and get on with improving your other innovations.”
- Steve Jobs

“Being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me … Going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful… that’s what matters to me.” – Steve Jobs as quoted in The Wall Street Journal (Summer 1993).

“We’ve gone through the operating system and looked at everything and asked how can we simplify this and make it more powerful at the same time.” – ABC News, Jobs on Mac OS X Beta

“Be a yardstick of quality. Some people aren’t used to an environment where excellence is expected.”

“I want to put a ding in the universe.”

"We're gambling on our vision, and we would rather do that than make "me too" products. Let some other companies do that. For us, it's always the next dream."

- Interview about the release of the Macintosh (24 January 1984)
"What a computer is to me is the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds."
- Memory and Imagination: New Pathways to the Library of Congress (1991)

"Unfortunately, people are not rebelling against Microsoft. They don’t know any better."
- Interview in Rolling Stone magazine, no. 684 (16 June 1994)

"We think basically you watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on."
- Interview in Macworld magazine (February 2004)

“I was worth over $1,000,000 when I was 23, and over $10,000,000 when I was 24, and over $100,000,000 when I was 25, and it wasn’t that important because I never did it for the money.”

“Bill Gates‘d be a broader guy if he had dropped acid once or gone off to an ashram when he was younger.” – The New York Times, Creating Jobs, 1997

“The only problem with Microsoft is they just have no taste. They have absolutely no taste. And I don’t mean that in a small way, I mean that in a big way, in the sense that they don’t think of original ideas, and they don’t bring much culture into their products.” – YouTube

“It’s not about pop culture, and it’s not about fooling people, and it’s not about convincing people that they want something they don’t. We figure out what we want. And I think we’re pretty good at having the right discipline to think through whether a lot of other people are going to want it, too. That’s what we get paid to do.” – CNNMoney

“So when a good idea comes, you know, part of my job is to move it around, just see what different people think, get people talking about it, argue with people about it, get ideas moving among that group of 100 people, get different people together to explore different aspects of it quietly, and, you know – just explore things.” – CNNMoney

“When I hire somebody really senior, competence is the ante. They have to be really smart. But the real issue for me is, Are they going to fall in love with Apple? Because if they fall in love with Apple, everything else will take care of itself. They’ll want to do what’s best for Apple, not what’s best for them, what’s best for Steve, or anybody else.”

“We don’t get a chance to do that many things, and every one should be really excellent. Because this is our life. Life is brief, and then you die, you know? And we’ve all chosen to do this with our lives. So it better be damn good. It better be worth it.” – Fortune

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Funny Sign Photos

Idle is a town in Yorkshire.

Funny Sign

This page is not blank

Funny Sign

Anorexic's are not needed here.

Funny Sign in Portland

So which part of free don't you understand? A whole new meaning of the world free

Funny traffic signs

Careful does it.

Funny sign

A child is not just for Christmas.

the old internet classic.


Friday, April 29, 2011

Photos from Royal Wedding 2011

Man and Wife

During the service.

Man and Wife

With this ring

Man and Wife
Happily married couple

Man and Wife

Dress designed by Sarah Burton


The Royal Wedding of Catherine 'Kate' Middleton and Prince William

Policing at the Royal Wedding
Policing during event

Royal Wedding Crowd

Expectant crowds

Man and Wife
Bridegroom and best man. (Prince Harry)

Royal Wedding Flags Go Up On Regents Street, London 20/04/2011

Scenes from Street party, Regents Street.

Photos Creative Commons, Flickr top 4 Beacon Radio

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

The Beauty of the Rising Sun

Christ Church Meadow Dawn

Before Dawn

Christ Church Meadow Dawn

mist rising over Port Meadow

Christ Church Meadow Dawn

Mist and Magdalen college

Christ Church Meadow Dawn

Christ Church Meadow Dawn

sun creeping over horizon

Christ Church Meadow Dawn

Mist over Christ Church Meadow

Christ Church Meadow Dawn


Christ Church Meadow Dawn
sun in the sky


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Does Religion Create Conflict?

Oxford Light Evening
"Blessed [are] the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Religion has been used for a variety of purposes. It has been used to justify war, it has been used to inspire men to higher ideals.

Religion is tool that can be used in various ways. With a knife we can stab our neighbour, we can also use it to cut an apple in half and share.

The essence of a divine religion is to love God, and love the truth. If we love God and our fellow men, how can we use it to create conflict? If we see our religion as superior and the only right religion, then this attitude does invariably create conflict.

Often the prophets of God are misunderstood. Jesus told us to love our fellow man as ourself. He told us to love even our enemies. But have those who professed the Christain faith always followed this teaching?

Now whose fault is that - the prophet who teaches love or the adherent who listens primarily to his own ego?

Related readings

Monday, March 7, 2011

Women Breaking Down Barriers

Women farming during World War I

Women tractor farmers were featured in the June 22, 1918 issue of Country Gentleman magazine

Land Girls at Eaglescairnie Farm, WW2

Land Girls The Women's Land Army was formed in June 1939, to help combat the agricultural labour shortage, caused by men enlisting at the outbreak World War II. Between eighty and ninety thousand women worked on farms up and down the country, many carrying out tasks they were unused to or untrained for. These women helped to ensure that vital domestic food supplies were available throughout the war years

The Suffragettes


Emmeline Pankhurst, leading suffragette who was sent to jail several times for violent protest to raise support for women's vote.

Women in Boat Race

Women power

Rural women take part in a traditional boat race challenging male members of the village in West Bengal, India.

Women in Côte d'Ivoire Celebrate International Women's Day
Women from all over Côte d'Ivoire gather to celebrate International Women's Day at the Palais de la Culture in Abidjan. 8/Mar/2005. Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire. UN Photo/Ky Chung


Friday, March 4, 2011

Symbols of Peace


Lotus Flower.


Picasso Symbol of Peace

Eternal Peace Flame, Oslo

"A smile is the beginning of peace."
- Mother Teresa

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Adam Smith Quotes

By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it.

- Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations (1776)

It is the great multiplication of the productions of all the different arts, in consequence of the division of labour, which occasions, in a well-governed society, that universal opulence which extends itself to the lowest ranks of the people.

The Wealth Of Nations, Book I, Chapter I, p. 22, para. 10.

The importation of gold and silver is not the principal, much less the sole benefit which a nation derives from its foreign trade.

- Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations (1776)

To found a great empire for the sole purpose of raising up a people of customers, may at first appear a project fit only for a nation of shopkeepers. It is however, a project altogether unfit for a nation of shopkeepers; but extremely fit for a nation whose government is influenced by shopkeepers.

- Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations (1776)

Wherever there is great property, there is great inequality.

- Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations (1776)

"In general, if any branch of trade, or any division of labour, be advantageous to the public, the freer and more general the competition, it will always be the more so."

The Wealth Of Nations, Book II, Chapter II, p.329, para. 106.

The tolls for the maintenance of a high road, cannot with any safety be made the property of private persons.

- Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations (1776)

"It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker, that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our necessities but of their advantages."

The Wealth Of Nations, Book I, Chapter II, pp. 26-7, para 12.

Though the principles of the banking trade may appear somewhat abstruse, the practice is capable of being reduced to strict rules. To depart upon any occasion from these rules, in consequence of some flattering speculation of extraordinary gain, is almost always extremely dangerous, and frequently fatal to the banking company which attempts it.

- Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations (1776)

Nothing but the most exemplary morals can give dignity to a man of small fortune.

- Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations (1776)

"The subjects of every state ought to contribute towards the support of the government, as nearly as possible, in proportion to their respective abilities; that is, in proportion to the revenue which they respectively enjoy under the protection of the state."

- Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations (1776)

* It is unjust that the whole of society should contribute towards an expence of which the benefit is confined to a part of the society.

- Adam Smith The Wealth of Nations (1776)

"This disposition to admire, and almost to worship , the rich and powerful, and to despise , or , at least neglect persons of poor and mean conditions, though necessary both to establish and to maintain the distinction of ranks and the order of society, is, at the same time, the great and most universal cause of the corruption of our moral sentiments."

- Adam Smith The Theory of Moral Sentiments

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Robert Burns Quotes

Beauty's of a fading nature
Has a season and is gone!

- Robert Burns, Will Ye Go and Marry Katie? (1764)

* Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O, what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
Wi' bickering brattle!

- To a Mouse, st. 1 (1785)

* I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union.

- To a Mouse, st. 2 (1785)

* The best laid schemes o' mice and men
Gang aft a-gley;
And leave us naught but grief and pain
For promised joy.

- To a Mouse, st. 7 (1785)

* Nature's law,
That man was made to mourn.

- Man Was Made to Mourn, st. 4 (1786)

Man's inhumanity to man
Makes countless thousands mourn.
Man was made to Mourn.

- Man Was Made to Mourn, st. 4 (1786)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to min'?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' auld lang syne?

- Auld Lang Syne, st. 1 (1788)

For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne!

- Auld Lang Syne, chorus (1788)

The voice of Nature loudly cries,
And many a message from the skies,
That something in us never dies.

- New Year's Day, st. 3 (1790)

When Nature her great masterpiece designed,
And framed her last, best work, the human mind,
Her eye intent on all the wondrous plan,
She formed of various stuff the various Man.

- To Robert Graham, st. 1 (1791)

- Robert Burns Biography
Famous Scots

Friday, February 18, 2011

Eleanor Roosevelt Quotes

eleanor roosevelt
"Do what you feel in your heart to be right — for you'll be criticized anyway. You'll be "damned if you do, and damned if you don't."
- Eleanor Roosevelt

"It isn't enough to talk about peace. One must believe in it. And it isn't enough to believe in it. One must work at it."

-Eleanor Roosevelt - Voice of America broadcast (11 November 1951)

"Life was meant to be lived, and curiosity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life."

Preface (December 1960) to The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt (1961), p. xix

"A woman is like a teabag. You never know how strong she is until she gets into hot water."

Eleanor Roosevelt - The Wit and Wisdom of Eleanor Roosevelt (1996), p. 199

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."

Eleanor Roosevelt

"One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility."
Eleanor Roosevelt

"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."

Eleanor Roosevelt This Is My Story (1937)

"The mobilization of world opinion and methods of negotiation should be developed and used by every nation in order to strengthen the United Nations."

"If the use of leisure time is confined to looking at TV for a few extra hours every day, we will deteriorate as a people."

Eleanor Roosevelt (5 November 1958)

"It takes courage to love, but pain through love is the purifying fire which those who love generously know. "

Eleanor Roosevelt My Day (1935 - 1962)

"We stand today at the threshold of a great event both in the life of the United Nations and in the life of mankind. This declaration may well become the international Magna Carta for all men everywhere. We hope its proclamation by the General Assembly will be an event comparable to the proclamation in 1789 [of the French Declaration of the Rights of Man], the adoption of the Bill of Rights by the people of the U.S., and the adoption of comparable declarations at different times in other countries..."

- Eleanor Roosevelt on UNHR


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Oscar Wilde Facts

  • Oscar Wilde was born in Dublin. His parents were well known for their extravagant lifestyles. They were also sympathetic to Irish nationalism.
  • Oscar Wilde was a talented student and gained a scholarship to Trinity Collge, Dublin and later Magdalen College, Oxford.
  • He was sent down from Magdalen after turning up to college three weeks later.
  • After moving to London, Wilde became well a well known celebrity mixing with high society and impressing many with his wit and flamboyance.
“I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying.”
- Oscar Wilde
  • Oscar Wilde married Constance Lloyd. Together they had two sons.
  • Oscar Wilde had several homosexual relationships. He was particularly close to Lord Alfred Douglas (Bosie)
  • Wilde became well known as a playwright. His plays offered sharp satires on life and people. His most popular included: The Importance of Being Earnest, His only novel was The Picture of Dorian Gray. Lady Windermere's Fan, A Woman of No Importance, and An Ideal Husband
  • The father of Alfred Douglas, the Marquess of Queensberry, disliked Wilde and hinted Oscar Wilde was homosexual. Wilde launched a libel action against his father, but it soon fell apart. This led to Wilde being tried for the crime of sodomy.
  • Wilde was sentenced to two years in Reading Gaol. Afterwards he moved to Paris, where he lived in relative anonymity until his death in 1900.
I never saw a man who looked
With such a wistful eye
Upon that little tent of blue
Which prisoners call the sky.
- Ballad of Reading Gaol - Oscar Wilde

After his experience in gaol, he became interested in religion. He applied for a six month Jesuit retreat, but was turned down. He received the last sacraments on his bedside before his death.

Oscar Wilde Biography

Monday, February 14, 2011

John Lennon Facts

  • John Winston Lennon was born in Liverpool to Julia Lennon after 30 hours of labour on October 9, 1940, during a German air raid.
  • John was inspired to become a pop star by listening to the music of Elvis Presley.
  • Without glasses, John was legally blind.
  • John loved cats, owning several at different times.
  • John formed his first band, The Quarrymen in 1956.
  • John didn't want George Harrison in The Quarrymen, at first, because he was too young.
  • John Lennon married Cynthia Powell on August 23, 1962, after finding out she was pregnant.
  • John and Yoko first met in 1966.
  • On the road, John would room with George Harrison, and Paul McCartney would room with Ringo.
  • John became increasingly interested in politics, and his music had a political slant.
"My role in society, or any artist's or poet's role, is to try and express what we all feel. Not to tell people how to feel. Not as a preacher, not as a leader, but as a reflection of us all."
  • John spent time with the Yogi Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in India.
  • John Lennon became embroiled in controversy on a visit to the US after he was quoted as saying 'the Beatles were bigger than Jesus Christ'. It led to many record burnings in the South of US.
  • In November 1968, John divorced his first wife Cynthia.
  • John and Yoko were married in March 1969.
  • John ate very little after a reporter labelled him "the fat Beatle" in 1965.
  • The Beatles broke up in 1970, they are estimated to have sold more than a billion records worldwide.
  • John drank 20 to 30 cups of tea or coffee every day.
  • John frequently chose to wear no clothing, even when he had visitors in his home.
  • John Lennon released his solo album 'Imagine' in 1971. It has frequently been voted most popular song in the world.
  • By 1978, John Lennon weighed only 130 pounds compared to over 165 pounds earlier in the year.
  • Mark Chapman shot John as he was walking into his apartment building around 10:50 p.m. on Monday, December 8, 1980. He had signed his autograph for Mark Chapman six hours earlier.
  • Yoko had John's body cremated on Wednesday, December 10, 1980.
John Lennon Biography

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Top 10 Writers for Children

  1. J.K.Rowling (1960)- Harry Potter Series. The books which helped lead to a boom in reading by children.
  2. Enid Blyton - (1897–1968) Noddy books, The Famous Five and The Secret Seven Series.
  3. Lewis Carroll (1832–1898) - Alice in Wonderland adventures
  4. J.R.R. Tolkien (1892–1973) - The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings
  5. Roald Dahl (1916–1990) - James and Giant Peach, Matilda, Charlie and Chocolate Factory
  6. Beatrix Potter (1866–1943) - Tale of Peter Rabbit
  7. Mark Twain (1835–1910) - The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Huckleberry Finn
  8. C.S. Lewis (1898–1963) - Chronicles of Narnia
  9. Douglas Adams - - Hitchikers Guide to Galaxy Series
  10. Kenneth Grahame (1859–1932) - The Wind in the Willows

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Inspiring People of Today

Old Lady stops some bank robbers. What a great achievement!

Child Prodigy of 6 years old

An A-Z of Inspirational People

More Inspiring people of today

Inspirational Leaders

"If we can stand up to him, all Europe may be free and life of the world may move forward into broad, sunlit uplands. But if we fall, then the whole world, including the United States, including all that we have known and cared for, will sink into the abyss of a new Dark Age made more sinister, and perhaps more protracted, by the lights of perverted science."
- Winston Churchill.
  • Winston Churchill (1874 - 1965) Prime Minister of Great Britain during Second World War. Churchill embodied courage, resolve and absolute determination to fight against the very powerful Nazi regime when they had conquered most of Europe.
  • Mikhail Gorbachev (1931 - ) Leader of Soviet Union who oversaw the transition from Communism in Eastern Europe. Gorbachev was an inspirational leader because he was willing to change a system that wasn't working. Gorbachev didn't seek to hold onto power, but move the country in a way which helped promote democracy and end of the cold war.
  • Martin Luther King (1929 - 1968) Non-violent civil rights leader
  • Nelson Mandela (1918 - ) Anti-apartheid leader. Nelson Mandela was an inspirational leader because he endured many decades of injustice without becoming bitter and seeking retribution. On becoming President of a democratic South Africa, he sought to promote reconciliation with the white population that had previously kept him in jail for many years. His leadership helped keep the country together.
  • Woodrow Wilson (1856 – 1924)- President of US during WWI. Woodrow Wilson sought to keep the US out of the First World War. But, finally felt America needed to fight. After the war, Wilson had the vision for an international League of Nations which would come together to resolve conflict peacefully.
  • George Washington (1732 –, 1799 - 1st President of US. The undoubted figurehead of the newly independent nation of the United States.
  • Franklin D. Roosevelt(1882 - 1945) US President 1932-1945. Led his country through the Great Depression and then through the Second World War.
  • Charles de Gaulle (1890- 1970) French leader who offered French opposition to the Nazi occupation.
  • Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865) President of US during the civil war. Strove to keep the nation united and helped end slavery.
  • Mahatma Gandhi (1869 - 1948) - Indian nationalist and politician. Through non-violent opposition and protest, he helped gain Indian independence. Sought to unite different religious groups in India through appreciating the best in different Indian religions.
  • John F. Kennedy (1917 – 1963) - US President
  • Jesus Christ (c.5BC - 30AD) Not a conventional leader, but sought to inspire his fellow men through offering a gospel of love and forgiveness.
  • Thomas Jefferson (1743- 1826) 3rd President of US. Principle author of Declaration of Independence.

Important People in History

[Abraham Lincoln, U.S. President.  Seated portrait, facing right] (LOC)
Abraham Lincoln posing for an early photo
A selection of the most notable and important people in history. This lists important people by category, e.g. important scientists, important military leaders and people who have had the most influence on the world.

Who were the most important people in history?

This is a list of 100 people who changed the world.

Famous by Nationality

Famous by religion


Friday, February 4, 2011

Mary Wollstonecraft Quotes

"No man chooses evil because it is evil; he only mistakes it for happiness, the good he seeks."

- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Men (1790)

"The endeavor to keep alive any hoary establishment beyond its natural date is often pernicious and always useless."

- Mary Wollstonecraft, The French Revolution, Bk. V, ch. 4 (1794)

"Taught from their infancy that beauty is woman's sceptre, the mind shapes itself to the body, and roaming round its gilt cage, only seeks to adorn its prison."

- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman

"Women are systematically degraded by receiving the trivial attentions which men think it manly to pay to the sex, when, in fact, men are insultingly supporting their own superiority."

- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman Ch. 3

"Till women are more rationally educated, the progress in human virtue and improvement in knowledge must receive continual checks.
It is justice, not charity, that is wanting in the world."

- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) Ch 3.

"Independence I have long considered as the grand blessing of life, the basis of every virtue; and independence I will ever secure by contracting my wants, though I were to live on a barren heath."

- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) Dedication

"To be a good mother — a woman must have sense, and that independence of mind which few women possess who are taught to depend entirely on their husbands. Meek wives are, in general, foolish mothers; wanting their children to love them best, and take their part, in secret, against the father, who is held up as a scarecrow. "

- Mary Wollstonecraft, A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) Dedication

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Facts Joan of Arc

  • Joan of Arc often was born in 1412 Domremy, France.
  • Joan of Arc is also known as Jeanne d'Arc(French) and The Maid of Orléans
  • In 1415 King Henry V of England had invaded France and defeated the French army at Agincourt. This left France divided and large parts under an English occupation.
  • From the age of 13, she reported hearing 'voices from God' - entrusting her with an important mission.
"I was thirteen when I had a Voice from God for my help and guidance. The first time that I heard this Voice, I was very much frightened; it was mid-day, in the summer, in my father's garden. ”
- Joan of Arc from her trial transcript.
  • The Dauphin of France was Charles de Ponthieu, he was considered weak and an ineffective rule, but after meeting Joan of Arc the fortunes of the French changed.
  • The Dauphin was crowned King Charles VII on 17 July 1429.
  • In 1430 Joan was captured by the Burgundian forces (French forces not loyal to Charles) at Compiegne and sold to the English.
  • During her time in the army and at the trial, Joan wore men's clothing, which was very unusual for the time.
  • She was tried for witchcraft and convicted. Pierre Cauchon was the leading Churchman responsible for trying Joan.
  • The trial was transcribed giving a large source of primary material. At the trial, Joan defended herself with great intellect, despite being denied legal support.
  • "Asked if she knew she was in God's grace, she answered: 'If I am not, may God put me there; and if I am, may God so keep me."
  • At the time it was heresy to claim you were in God's Grace. By this answer she deftly avoided implicating herself, without saying yes or no.
  • After a guilty verdict was given, she temporarily retracted her statements to escape death by burning. But, later she changed her mind and restated her belief in statements at trial.
  • Twenty years after her trial, the verdict was overturned.
  • Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920. She was made a patron saint of France.

Inspirational Religious People

"Be fearless and pure; never waver in your determination or your dedication to the spiritual life. Give freely. Be self-controlled, sincere, truthful, loving, and full of the desire to serve...Learn to be detached and to take joy in renunciation."
- Sri Krishna Sri Krishna was a key figure in Hinduism. Revered as a Spiritual Teacher, he gave his disciple Arjuna the immortal discourse of the Bhagavad Gita.
"Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment."
- Buddha - The Buddha was a young prince who gave up the comforts of palace life to seek the meaning of life meditating in the forests.
“You have heard the law that says, ‘Love your neighbor’ and hate your enemy. But I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven."
- Jesus Christ. Prophet and inspiration of Christianity. Taught a message of love, forgiveness and faith.
  • Mother Teresa - A modern day saint who sought to identify with and offer compassion to the unloved and destitute.
  • Pope John Paul II - Lived through two totalitarian regimes eventually becoming priest and then the first Polish pope.
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Christian theologian who opposed Nazism
  • Mahatma Gandhi - Gandhi was the principle figurehead of the Indian independence movement.
  • St Therese Lisieux - A Carmelite nun, who died aged 24, unknown to the world
  • William Wilberforce. After undergoing a religious conversation, became committed to improving social conditions. In particular, he fought tirelessly to end the slave trade.
  • Joan of Arc - Received 'messages from God' to inspire her fellow countrymen to reunite France and overcome English occupiers.
  • Archbishop Desmond Tutu - Nobel Peace Prize winner. Campaigner against apartheid and supporter of human rights and justice. Helped to heal wounds left from old apartheid regime.
  • Martin Luther - Martin Luther was the most influential figure in the Protestant reformation of the sixteenth century.
  • Swami Vivekananda - Hindu Monk who spoke at the World Parliament of Religions in 1893 with great clarity on the unity of the world religions
  • C S Lewis - Well known Christian apologist.
  • St Teresa of Avila. Christian mystic, poet and writer.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

George Bernard Shaw Facts

"My speciality is being right when other people are wrong."
George Bernard Shaw - You Never Can Tell, Act IV

George Bernard Shaw was known for his wit, it even led to creation of a Shawism - witty phrase:
"My way of joking is to tell the truth. It's the funniest joke in the world."
- George Bernard Shaw
  • George Bernard Shaw was an iconoclastic playwright, journalist, polemicist, scintillating public speaker, arts reviewer and campaigning socialist,
  • Shaw actually hated the George in his name, and used just Bernard Shaw
  • With Sidney and Beatrice Webb, and Graham Wallas, George Bernard Shaw was a co-founder of the London School of Economics.
  • George Bernard Shaw was a leading member of the Fabian society (a, along with luminaries such as Annie Besant and the Webbs
George Bernard Shaw was
  • A committed vegetarian
  • A socialist
  • Opponent of First World War
  • Supported belief in Eugenics.

  • Despite nearly dieing from smallpox, Shaw joined a public campaign in opposition to vaccination against smallpox.
  • Shaw helped T.E. Lawrence, with his book the Seven Pillars of Wisdom
  • Shaw was a keen amateur photographer.
  • He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize for Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938) for work on transcribing Pygmalion (adaption of his play of the same name).
  • He married but it was never consummated and he had no children
  • When George Orwell asked George Bernard Shaw for permission to quote from one of his works in a BBC interview for the 'Voice', magazine programme, to be broadcast by the Indian Service Shaw responded with the terse refusal "I veto it ruthlessly".
  • In George Orwell's Animal Farm, Mr. Whymper a man hired by Napoleon to represent Animal Farm in human society, is loosely based on George Bernard Shaw who visited the U.S.S.R. in 1931 and praised Stalin and what he found.
  • George Bernard Shaw rejected many honours during his lifetime. He only accepted the Nobel Prize at the behest of his wife who thought it would bring honour to Ireland.
  • Shaw was a strident critic of contemporary education. in his Treatise on Parents and Children he considered the curriculum useless.
  • George Bernard Shaw had no particular religion, but was receptive to a range of religious views: "(my) religious convictions and scientific views cannot at present be more specifically defined than as those of a believer in creative revolution."
He spoke warmly of religions such as Hinduism.
"The apparent multiplicity of Gods is bewildering at the first glance; but you presently discover that they are all the same one God in different aspects and functions and even sexes. There is always one uttermost God who defies personification."
George Bernard Shaw and Churchill

George Bernard Shaw telegrammed Winston Churchill just prior to the opening of Major Barbara: "Have reserved two tickets for first night. Come and bring a friend if you have one."

Churchill wired back, "Impossible to come to first night. Will come to second night, if you have one."

George Bernard Shaw Quotes

"Patriotism is, fundamentally, a conviction that a particular country is the best in the world because you were born in it…"

George Bernard Shaw - The World (15 November 1893)

"My speciality is being right when other people are wrong."

George Bernard Shaw - You Never Can Tell, Act IV

"There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it."

- George Bernard Shaw - Plays Pleasant and Unpleasant, Vol. II, preface (1898)

"All great truths begin as blasphemies."

George Bernard Shaw - Annajanska (1919)

"Political necessities sometimes turn out to be political mistakes."

George Bernard Shaw - Saint Joan : A Chronicle Play In Six Scenes And An Epilogue (1923) -

"God is on the side of the big battalions."

George Bernard Shaw - Saint Joan : A Chronicle Play In Six Scenes And An Epilogue (1923)

"Must then a Christ perish in torment in every age to save those that have no imagination?"

George Bernard Shaw - Saint Joan : A Chronicle Play In Six Scenes And An Epilogue (1923)

"No public man in these islands ever believes that the Bible means what it says: he is always convinced that it says what he means."

George Bernard Shaw- Our Theatres In The Nineties (1930)

"The apparent multiplicity of Gods is bewildering at the first glance; but you presently discover that they are all the same one God in different aspects and functions and even sexes. There is always one uttermost God who defies personification."

George Bernard Shaw - Letter to the Reverend Ensor Walters (1933),

"There are two tragedies in life. One is to lose your heart's desire. The other is to gain it."

George Bernard Shaw- Man and Superman (1903)

"My way of joking is to tell the truth. It's the funniest joke in the world."

George Bernard Shaw - John Bull's Other Island (1907) Act II

"It is more dangerous to be a great prophet or poet than to promote twenty companies for swindling simple folk out of their savings."

George Bernard Shaw Misalliance (1910)

"Life does not cease to be funny when people die any more than it ceases to be serious when people laugh. "

George Bernard Shaw - The Doctor's Dilemma (1911)

"It is impossible for an Englishman to open his mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him. "

George Bernard Shaw - Pygmalion (1912)

"Women upset everything. When you let them into your life, you find that the woman is driving at one thing and you're driving at another. "

George Bernard Shaw -Pygmalion (1912)

George Bernard Shaw Biography

Monday, January 31, 2011

Shelley's Ghost Exhibition Bodleian Oxford


Shelley's Ghost is an exhibition about Percy Bysshe Shelley in the Bodleian Library Exhibition Room, Old Schools Quad.

It is a small but worthwhile exhibition about Shelley, and his second wife, Mary - who came from a strongly literary family. The parents of Mary were William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft.

After the tragic early death of Shelley, Mary played a key role in selecting various parts of his writings for publication. In 1893, the Shelley family passed many valuable items on to the Bodleian.

It is interesting to see several handwritten letters, in particular one from John Keat to Shelley. It makes you realise how vivid and passionate handwritten letters can be compared to the electronic screen, society is inexorably moving towards.

Shelley had a large heart, which is reflected in his political ideals, but also the way he treated his friends. He remained a staunch supporter of John Keats, even when he was critically unappreciated during his life.

Photography of the exhibition is not allowed. The above photo is taken of the inner court at the Bodleian.

Quotes by Shelley

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Percy Bysshe Shelley Quotes

"How wonderful is Death,
Death and his brother Sleep!

Percy Bysshe Shelley
- Queen Mab (1813)

"To suffer woes which Hope thinks infinite;
To forgive wrongs darker than Death or Night;
To defy Power, which seems Omnipotent;
To love, and bear; to hope, till Hope creates
From its own wreck the thing it contemplates;
Neither to change nor falter nor repent;
This, like thy glory, Titan! is to be
Good, great and joyous, beautiful and free;
This is alone Life; Joy, Empire, and Victory!"

Percy Bysshe Shelley - Prometheus Unbound (1818-1819), Act IV.

"I silently laugh at my own cenotaph,
And out of the caverns of rain,
Like a child from the womb, like a ghost from the tomb,
I arise and unbuild it again."

Percy Bysshe Shelley - The Cloud (1820)

"Poor captive bird! Who, from thy narrow cage,
Pourest such music, that it might assuage
The rugged hearts of those who prisoned thee,
Were they not deaf to all sweet melody."

Percy Bysshe Shelley - Epipsychidion (1821)

"If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?"

Percy Bysshe Shelley

"Man who man would be, must rule the empire of himself."

Percy Bysshe Shelley

" Till the Future dares
Forget the Past, his fate and fame shall be
An echo and a light unto eternity!"

Percy Bysshe Shelley - Adonais (1821)

"The One remains, the many change and pass;
Heaven's light forever shines, Earth's shadows fly;
Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass,
Stains the white radiance of Eternity,
Until Death tramples it to fragments."

Percy Bysshe Shelley - Adonais (1821)

Quotes on Love

"All love is sweet,
Given or returned. Common as light is love,
And its familiar voice wearies not ever."

Percy Bysshe Shelley - Prometheus Unbound (1818-1819)

"Love is free: to promise for ever to love the same woman, is not less absurd than to promise to believe the same creed: such a vow in both cases, excludes us from all enquiry. "

Percy Bysshe Shelley (notes

Nothing in the world is single,
All things by a law divine
In one another's being mingle —
Why not I with thine?

Percy Bysshe Shelley - Love's Philosophy, st. 1 (1819)

"The good want power, but to weep barren tears.
The powerful goodness want: worse need for them.
The wise want love; and those who love want wisdom;
And all best things are thus confused to ill."

Percy Bysshe Shelley - Prometheus Unbound (1818-1819)

Age cannot Love destroy,
But perfidy can blast the flower,
Even when in most unwary hour
It blooms in Fancy’s bower.

- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Quotes on Religion

"Jesus Christ represented God as the principle of all good, the source of all happiness, the wise and benevolent Creator and Preserver of all living things. But the interpreters of his doctrines have confounded the good and the evil principle."

Percy Bysshe Shelley - Essay on Christianity (1859)

"If a person's religious ideas correspond not with your own, love him nevertheless. How different would yours have been, had the chance of birth placed you in Tartary or India!"

Percy Bysshe Shelley - "Declaration of Rights" (1812), article 25

" Fear not the future, weep not for the past."

Percy Bysshe Shelley - The Revolt of Islam, Canto XI, st. 18

"If he is infinitely good, what reason should we have to fear him?
If he is infinitely wise, why should we have doubts concerning our future?
If he knows all, why warn him of our needs and fatigue him with our prayers?
If he is everywhere, why erect temples to him?
If he is just, why fear that he will punish the creatures that he has filled with weaknesses?"

Percy Bysshe Shelley - The Necessity of Atheism (1811)

Political Quotes

"Nature rejects the monarch, not the man; the subject, not the citizen... The man of virtuous soul commands not, nor obeys."

Percy Bysshe Shelley - Queen Mab (1813)

War is the statesman's game, the priest's delight,
The lawyer's jest, the hired assassin's trade.

Percy Bysshe Shelley - Queen Mab (1813)

"GOVERNMENT has no rights; it is a delegation from several individuals for the purpose of securing their own. It is therefore just, only so far as it exists by their consent, useful only so far as it operates to their well-being."

Percy Bysshe Shelley - "Declaration of Rights" (1812), article 1

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Samuel Taylor Coleridge Quotes

"If a man could pass through Paradise in a dream, and have a flower presented to him as a pledge that his soul had really been there, and if he found that flower in his hand when he awake — Aye, what then?"

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge

"He prayeth best, who loveth best
All things both great and small;
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all."

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Part VII, st. 23

"The fair breeze blew, the white foam flew,
The furrow followed free:
We were the first that ever burst
Into that silent sea."

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner (1798) Part II, st. 5

"Water, water, every where,
And all the boards did shrink;
Water, water, every where,
Nor any drop to drink."

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, The Rime of the Ancient Mariner Part II, st. 9

"Alone, alone, all, all alone,
Alone on a wide wide sea!
And never a saint took pity on
My soul in agony."

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Kubla Khan Part IV, st. 3

"Looking to the Heaven, that bends above you,
How oft! I bless the Lot, that made me love you.
It was a miracle of rare device,
A sunny pleasure-dome with caves of ice!"

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Kubla Khan

"Flowers are lovely; love is flower-like;
Friendship is a sheltering tree."

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge"Youth and Age", st. 2 (1823-1832)

In many ways doth the full heart reveal
The presence of the love it would conceal.

- Samuel Taylor ColeridgePoems Written in Later Life, motto (1826)

"Not the poem which we have read, but that to which we return, with the greatest pleasure, possesses the genuine power, and claims the name of essential poetry.

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge Ch. I Biographia Literaria (1817)

"No man was ever yet a great poet, without being at the same time a profound philosopher."
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Ch. XV

"An idea, in the highest sense of that word, cannot be conveyed but by a symbol."
- Samuel Taylor Coleridge Ch. IX

"Shakespeare, no mere child of nature; no automaton of genius; no passive vehicle of inspiration possessed by the spirit, not possessing it; first studied patiently, meditated deeply, understood minutely, till knowledge became habitual and intuitive, wedded itself to his habitual feelings, and at length gave birth to that stupendous power by which he stands alone, with no equal or second in his own class; to that power which seated him on one of the two glorysmitten summits of the poetic mountain, with Milton аs his compeer, not rival."

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Biographia Literaria (1817)

Beneath this sod
A poet lies, or that which once seemed he —
Oh, lift a thought in prayer for S.T.C!
That he, who many a year, with toil of breath,
Found death in life, may here find life in death.

- Samuel Taylor Coleridge "Epitaph", written for himself (1833)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oxford Colleges Reputation

Christ Church

The outside of Christ Church College, Oxford. Christ Church was built with the support of King Henry VIII. It has retained its reputation as the most prestigious college. Its alumni include John Locke, John Wesley and William Gladstone. It is also home to the UK's smallest cathedral for the diocese of Oxford.

ALL souls

All Souls is the most academically demanding college. It does not take under-graduates, but only offers post-graduate places to the top finalists from within the university. It is also one of the most beautiful colleges, with the Hawksmoor towers dominating parts of the Oxford skyline.

Queens College Oxford
Queen's College was founded with the intention of providing bursaries to students from the North of England.

New College
New College, one of the oldest colleges, founded in the twelfth century.
Magdalen College
Magdalen college, the most visited college set in a deer park by the River Cherwell. Former college of Oscar Wilde.

    Monday, January 24, 2011

    Best Italian Film

    The Best of Youth, is an epic 6 hour Italian film, directed by Marco Tullio Giordana. Starring Luigi Lo Cascio, Alessio Boni, Maya Sansa it follows the lives of two brothers growing up in Italy in 1960s up until the 2000s. In short is a beautiful and powerful film, which is a real joy to watch. The quality of acting is impeccable, I have never seen such consistently superb acting throughout a film. All the characters are fascinating and interesting in their own way, but especially Giorgia (Jasmine Trinca) a patient from a mental hospital; and Giulia the girlfriend of Nicola who is drawn into the Red Brigade faction.

    There are no contorted plot lines, it is the story of Italian people against a backdrop of Italian society. We become aware of significant developments in Italian modern history, but it is at a distance, and the film never loses sight of the main object which is to offer an intimate portrait of those lives involved.

    The film will move you to both tears and laughter. It is engrossing, though sad, it is also uplifting and makes you consider how your decisions can affect those around you.

    It reminds me of the famous scene in The Third Man.
    Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly.
    Yes, Italy has had a turbulent history, but this film shows its also very capable of producing the highest cultural output.

    Book Cover The Best of Youth
    Famous Italian Painters

    Facts about Wilfred Owen

    • Wilfred Owen (18 March 1893 – 4 November 1918) is best known as one of the most powerful war poets, who depicted the reality and horrors of the First World War.
    • He was born in Oswestry, Shropshire, England - where there is now a memorial to him.
    • Owen was influenced by the great romantic poets of Keats, Byron, Shelly, Coleridge and Wordsworth.
    • When war broke out, Owen was teaching in France. He even considered joining the French army but joined the British army in 1915.
    • Owen's first experience of the war was in hospitals treating the wounded soldiers - often without anaesthetic.
    • Wilfred Owen was invalided out of the army in 1916 suffering from shell shock.
    • Recuperating in an Edinburgh hospital, Wilfred Owen became close friends with poet Siegfried Sassoon. Sassoon played a key role in encouraging the young war poet.
    • When Owen returned to the front in 1918, he hid the fact from his friend Siegfried Sassoon, who didn't want him to return.
    • His poem 'Anthem for Doomed Youth' is one of the best-known war poems of all time.
    • What passing-bells for these who die as cattle?
      Only the monstrous anger of the guns.
      Only the stuttering rifles' rapid rattle
      Can patter out their hasty orisons.
    • In his preface to his collection of war poetry, Owen writes this fitting analogy:
    'My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity.'
    • His famous poem "Dulce et Decorum est" takes its first line from a poem of Horace.
    Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori  translates at: "It is sweet and right to die for your country."

    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
    Of tired, outstripped  Five-Nines  that dropped behind.
    Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,

    To children ardent for some desperate glory,
    The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
    Pro patria mori.
    • Owen's poetry was influenced by his friend Siegfried Sasson, in particular, the use of satire and sarcasm in his poetry. For example, "The ecstasy of fumbling' for gas masks is turning the use of the word ecstasy on its head.
    • Wilfred Owen was killed in battle during the last month of the war - November 1918. He died exactly one week (almost to the hour) before the signing of the Armistice which ended the war.
    • His parents received a telegram on Armistice day 1918, as the bells were ringing in celebration at the end of the war.
    • After his death, he was awarded the Military Cross. Owen wanted this medal to make his anti-war poetry appear even stronger.
    • Wilfred Owen is buried between two privates in the corner of a village cemetery at Ors. His grave is marked with a simple cross and gravestone. 
    • His life and relationship with Siegfried Sassoon is the subject of Pat Barker's 1991 historical novel Regeneration
    • More on Wilfred Owen at Biography of Wilfred Owen
    photo: by huwowenthomas - Flickr cc

    Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    Heroes of First World War

    Amidst the slaughter of the First World War, countless people displayed acts of great courage and bravery. Many of these actions were lost in the turmoil of the trenches. These people stand as a representation of the human spirit in the most testing of circumstances

    Nurse Edith Cavell. Edith Cavell was working as a nurse in Brussels, Belgium, when the Germans invaded and occupied in 1914. With the help of others, she aided many British servicemen to safety. For helping British servicemen to escape she was executed by the German occupying army. Before her execution, amongst her last recorded words were. 'Patriotism is not enough, I must have no hatred or bitterness to anyone." - Nurse Edith Cavell

    Wilfred Owen. Wilfred Owen was decorated with the military cross for bravery in action. However, he is best remembered as one of the greatest war poets. His poems poignantly reflected the paradox between hope and reality of the war.
    Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
    Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
    Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
    - From Dulce et Decorum Est, Wilfred Owen

    Wilfred Owen was killed by a bullet to the head, shortly before the armistice in November 1918.

    Baron Manfred Von Richthofen. Widely known as the 'Red Baron' he was the top flying ace of the war, with over 80 credited kills. He became a great hero in his native Germany and was well known on the Allied side. Amongst airmen, there was a mutual respect and a certain code of honour was kept to. He died in April 1918, towards the end of the war.

    T.E. Lawrence. 'Lawrence of Arabia' T.E.Lawrence was a British officer posted to the Middle East. Against great odds, he raised an Arab revolt against the Turkish army. With a small cache of arms, they harried the Turks; and in one of the most daring attacks of the war, took a small Arab army through the desert to surprise the Turks at Aqaba. Lawrence displayed great love for both Britain and his Arab allies who looked to him as a natural leader.

    Woodrow Wilson. Perhaps the most idealistic person of the war. Wilson strived to keep America neutral, as he had a deep dislike for war. When Germany began unrestricted submarine warfare, and rumours of a German alliance with Mexico began, Wilson reluctantly took his country into war. Perhaps his biggest contribution was in trying to shape the peace. His 14 points sought to create a peace based on common principles of justice. He was also a proponent of a new association - The League of Nations, which he hoped would prevent future wars.

    Siegfried Sassoon. A great war poet and fearless soldier. He was known for his reckless courage in the face of action. But, grew increasingly disenchanted with the horrors of trench warfare. He wrote a letter to the Times, criticising the conduct of the war. Coming from a celebrated poet and military hero, this was quite a shock.

    David Lloyd George. In 1916, David Lloyd George took over from Asquith as Prime Minister of Great Britain. There were concerns that Asquith was not up to the task of being a war leader. With great enthusiasm and energy, Lloyd George reorganised British industry and put the country on a path to total war. He also played a pivotal role in persuading the Navy to adopt the convoy system. This convoy system was crucial in protecting Allied shipping against the devastating losses of the German U-Boat campaigns.

    Marshall Petain. Petain was the hero of Verdun. In the bitter fighting of 1916, there was a real danger the Germans would break through at the fortress of Verdun. However, Petain rallied the embittered French army in a last-ditch defence, which ultimately held out. In 1917, the exhausted French army mutinied, fed up with a series of defeats and difficult conditions. Petain was made commander of the army and succeeded in restoring the morale and overcoming the mutiny.

    Ataturk. The Turkish general who held off the allied attack at Gallipoli. If the Allies had broken through, Istanbul could easily have fallen. Turks fought with great spirit, and there existed a mutual respect amongst the competing armies - despite the dreadful scale of the slaughter.

    John J. Pershing. Commander in Chief of the American army in France. Though criticised for being slow to release American troops to the war, he later achieved success in the final Allied advance of the war. Like Woodrow Wilson, he was highly critical of the Treaty of Versailles.


    Monday, January 17, 2011

    Tragedy of the First World War

    Book Cover
    Have been watching the remarkable BBC series - The Great War, really great production. Very thought provoking about the forces that was motivating people at the time.

    Arrogance. Everywhere in the First World War we see tremendous arrogance. On the outbreak of war there was almost a universal confidence that God was on their side and they would win. Germany expected the war to be over by Christmas. So did the allies. Even after millions of dead, and repeated failed attacks, generals on both sides remained of their ability to create one final push which would sweep the opposition into the sea. It was this arrogance, which led to so many repeated mistakes.

    Enthusiasm for War. When war broke out, there was tremendous enthusiasm for war. People flocked to join their armies, worried only the war would be over before they got their chance. Some saw war in a different light but they were in a minority. After declaring War to the House of Commons, a colleague came up to congratulate the British foreign minister, Sir Edward Grey, but he replied - what is there to celebrate? I hate war. Woodrow Wilson feared too that when he took the US into war, there would be a great enthusiasm for war.

    Repeating the Same Mistakes
    . Nothing exemplifies the First world war better than the Battle of the Somme. Soldiers going over the top to be mown down by machine guns. This led to popular phrase 'lions led by donkeys' - often with reference to General Douglas Haig. Yet after the first wave, more and more waves were sent over the top, despite the impregnability of the defensive positions. Tactics did slowly evolve, but, there was an inflexibility on both sides.

    Distorted View

    As the war progressed, the experience of the soldiers actually fighting became very different to the perspective of the people back home. Back home, the public retained an enthusiastic and sanitised view of the war. When soldiers returned home, they found they couldn't share the reality of trench warfare because the non-fighting public didn't want to hear about how bad conditions were, they preferred to maintain the myth of a romantic war.

    Kinship amidst the slaughter.

    Despite the widespread scale of shooting, there was a surprising lack of animosity between the actual soldiers on opposing sides. In 1914, the spontaneous Christmas truce between the two sides was both unplanned, but also poignant in showing that individually the soliders could see the 'enemy' as a human being just like themselves. Certainly, there was great pain caused by seeing comrades die, but this wasn't usually directed at other soldiers. When prisoners were taken, generally they were reasonably well treated, at least by the front line troops.

    War Profiteers

    The one thing front line troops hated was the cafe philosophers and war profiteers back in the comfort of Paris or other city. Whilst French soldiers were facing the reality of war for five sous a day, people back home were very able about talking about the greatness of this war without taking part.

    Fear of the Enemy Within.

    War often brought the worst fears of people to the fore. In Britain, anti-German sentiment led to violence and retaliation against anyone with German roots (except the Royal family, who just changed their name to get rid of their German past). This fear of the enemy within was capitalised on with great fury in Turkey, where it was used as an opportunity to kill ethnic Armenians, an ethnic group which law in both Turkey and their now enemy, Russia.

    It was the fear of the enemy within which led to tragic miscarriages of justice. For example, the dancer Mata Hari executed on flimsy charges of spying.

    Lack of Tolerance. Despite the sense of slaughter, those who opposed the war in either camp were given little tolerance. Conscientious objectors were despised and intellectuals who expressed misgivings about the war were closely watched (Bertrand Russell) or forced to flee the UK, like D.H.Lawrence.


    Saturday, January 15, 2011

    Laws That Changed The World

    The Ten Commandments. Taken down by Moses, leader of the Jewish people in exile. This became a key feature of western civilisation.

    1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
    2. Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.
    3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
    4. Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    5. Honour thy father and thy mother.
    6. Thou shalt not kill.
    7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
    8. Thou shalt not steal.
    9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
    10. Thou shalt not covet.

    Solonian Constitution

    Introduced by Solon, an Athenian statesman in the 6th Century BC. They reversed harsher more oppressive laws currently operating in Athens. They abolished debt and debt slaves. It reduced the power of the old aristocracy creating positions based on wealth and merit rather than birth.

    Magna Carta

    This ground-breaking set of laws was first signed in 1215 AD. It can be seen as an important step in placing limits on the power of kings who previously had 'divine authority'. However, the Magna Carta required the King to proclaim certain rights to his subjects. Some of the key rights included in the Magna Carta included right to a fair trial, Habeas Corpus and the right to appeal against unlawful imprisonment.

    Sharia Law

    The legal aspect of Islam, the world's second largest religion. It provides a legal framework for a legal system based on Islamic principles from business, family to the criminal system. Sharia law is implemented to various degrees in Islamic countries such as Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Sudan. It has created differences of opinion with more liberal concepts of justice and human rights.

    The Napoleonic Code.

    A comprehensive and formal set of laws that carefully noted a wide range of legal laws. This overcame a previously haphazard system of laws and customs that enabled more miscarriages of justice. With the success of Napoleon and the French army, the Napoleonic code spread throughout Europe and became a very significant development in modern law as we know. The Napoleonic code forbade privileges based on heredity birth. It allowed freedom of religion and said government jobs should go to the most privileged.

    Other Key Individual Laws

    Conscription. - Requiring men to fight for their country or risk imprisonment or even death. e.g. in US during World War One, World War Two, and Vietnam.

    One Man One Vote. Laws that enshrine the equality of the people in a society. e.g. South Africa 1994 - first free and fair elections since system of apartheid.

    Universal Suffrage. Giving women the vote was a key development in twentieth century democracy.
    • UK women were given right to vote in some local elections in 1869. Married women over 30 in 1919. Universal suffrage in 1928
    • New Zealand 1893 was the first major countries to give universal suffrage to women
    Welfare State. The idea the government was responsible for giving aid to the destitute and unemployed. e.g. the Liberal government's pension

    e.g. National Insurance Act 1911 - health and unemployment insurance
    1913, Trade Union Act helped recognise legal status of trades unions and the right to strike.
    Old Age Pensions Act 1908

    Though welfare reforms were not comprehensive and sometimes did not cover the most vulnerable. They did mark a shift away from a 'laissez faire' state to that where government took responsibility.


    Top 10 Dutch People

    Self portrait of Rembrandt, one of the greatest painters of all time. In the field of art, the Netherlands has one of the richest artistic legacies. In the Dutch Golden Age of the Seventeenth Century, the Netherlands produced artists such as Rembrandt, Vermeer, Pieter de Hooch, and Frans Hals. In the twentieth Century, Vincent Van Gogh became perhaps the best known and most influential painter.

    Great Dutch philosophers include Spinoza, Erasmus, and Thomas A Kempis (Imitation of Christ)

    In the field of sport, the Dutch football team has often been one of the most admired team. The 1970s team led by Johan Cruyff which introduced a new type of 'total football' were seen as one of the greatest teams, despite losing in the final.

    This is my top 10 Dutch People.
    1. Vincent Van Gogh - artist
    2. Rembrandt - artist
    3. William of Nassau, "the Silent", Prince of Orange, (1533-1584), stadtholder, founder of The Netherlands
    4. Johan Cruyff - footballer
    5. Jan Vermeer - artist
    6. Anne Frank writer and diarist
    7. William III of England. King of Holland and England
    8. Desiderius Erasmus - writer, polemicist, humanist Protestant Reformation
    9. Baruch de Spinoza, philosopher
    10. Ruud Gullit (born 1962), football player and coach