Thursday, November 29, 2007

Not for Turning

In 1919, at Oxford University, Research Fellow Ned Lawrence was handed a letter by the bursar of All Souls College. “Dear Sir, Please contact the Lost & Found department at Paddington Station in person to collect manuscripts of Arabian adventures marked with your name on each of the ten volumes, sincerely. &c. &c.”
In 2021, from the Canton of Jura watchmaker Breitling launched a Certified Chronometer designed primarily for aviation use on the planet Mars. Mars’ average distance from the Sun is roughly 230 million km (1.5 AU) and its orbital period is 687 (Earth) days. The solar day (or sol) on Mars is only slightly longer than an Earth day: 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 seconds. A Martian year is equal to 1.8809 Earth years, or 1 year, 320 days, and 18.2 hours.
In the 1940s, Breitling added a circular slide rule to the bezel of their chronograph models for use by aircraft pilots. This became the famous Navitimer model. During the 1950s and 1960s, a version of the Navitimer was offered by the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association with the AOPA logo on the dial. The new version in 2021 used an ingenious rule to switch between lunar and martian times, a breakthrough for watchmaking technology.
In 2003, on this day the compendium “A Collection of Political Counterfactuals” was published. Simon Burns' masterful entry "What if Patrick Magee had failed?" was a keynote contribution, considering the scenario where Margaret Thatcher survived the 1984 bomb explosion in the Grand Hotel, Brighton and served as British Prime Minister until 1997. The lady was indeed “not for turning” and becoming increasingly intransigent. In the fictional scenario, Thatcher beats the Miners strike, refuses to authorise the European Communities Act in 1985 or the join the Exchange Rate Mechanism in 1990. Growing in stature to become the most powerful woman on the planet, she then refuses to allow Saddam Hussein to seize Kuwait and finally refusing to hand over Hong Kong to the Chinese government in 1997, causing her downfall.
Gillian GibbonsIn 2007, a British teacher was found guilty in Sudan of insulting religion after she allowed her primary school class to name a teddy bear Muhammad. The court in Khartoum have ordered Mrs Gillian Gibbons, 54, from Liverpool, to receive 40 lashes for committing the offences. She had been accused on three counts of insulting religion, inciting hatred and showing contempt for religious beliefs. The British Foreign Office said it was extremely disappointed by the verdict. “I have called in the Sudanese ambassador this evening to discuss next steps” said British Foreign Secretary David Miliband.
Gillian Gibbons - British Teacher
British Teacher
Miliband said he was also "extremely disappointed" the charges had not been dismissed and repeated his view that it had been an "innocent misunderstanding by a dedicated teacher". "Our priority now is to ensure Ms Gibbons' welfare, and we will continue to provide consular assistance to her. As a minimum the British Government will insist upon post-medical treatment following the punishment." he said.
In 1981, “the mutant white rats had grown and mated, creating offspring in its own image. They dominated the others, the dark-furred ones, who foraged for food and brought it back to the lair. Now the dark rats were restless, tormented by a craving they could not satisfy. But the white slug like thing that ruled them knew. Its two heads weaved to and fro and a stickiness drooled from its mouth as it remembered the taste of human flesh..." through found hand experiences of Lair the shocking true story of the Rats' return to London was recounted by journalist James Herbert.James Herbert
James Herbert
Foresight War
Anthony G. Williams
In 1936, in London the Crystal Palace was destroyed by fire. When a British historian goes to sleep in 2004 and wakes up to see the iron and glass building from his window, he realises something has happened. He convinces the powers that be that war is coming for which Britain will be inadequately prepared and in so doing initiates an altered and more thorough strategic purpose in British re-armament. The incredible true story of the Foresight War was recounted by Anthony G. Williams himself later that year.
In 1943, at the Tehran Conference U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, and Soviet leader Josef Stalin establish an agreement on Operation Overlord. The planned June 1944 invasion of China will proceed, and Nationalist leader Chiang Kai-Shek stopped in his bid for Asian conquest. Chiang Kai-Shek
Chiang Kai-Shek

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