Athletics Oscar Pistorius (b1986) was born in the Transvaal, South Africa. As a toddler he was diagnosed with the rare medical condition, Fibular Hem­imelia. At a year old, both his legs were amputated below the knees. He studied at Pretoria Boys High School, and played rugby. Oscar only stopped competitive rug­by when he sev­erely hurt…

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Brides of Christ appeared on TV in 1991, giving the ABC national broad­caster its biggest-ever audience for a non-sporting programme. The series became an international hit, att­ract­ing c8 million viewers in the US and UK. Critics lavished the series with praise and secondary school students read it in English classes. The history of the series…

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The book Anne of Green Gables, a children’s novel by Canadian author Lucy Maud Mon­t­gomery (1874-1942), was published in 1908. Born in Cavendish in the Gulf of St Lawrence off the Canadian coast, Montgomery wrote a charming growing up story about a highly spirited orphan girl who found a home with elderly siblings; it became…

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Note the influence of British royal names in England and Wales of 2020. George was very popular, after the Duke and Duchess of Cam­bridge chose it for their first son. Archie, the name chosen by the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for their son, entered the top 10 for the first time since records began. Harry and…

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Rio de Janeiro is Brasil’s second city and was its capital from 1763-1960, when Brasilia took over. I was at an academic conference in Rio and only had time to visit the following tourist attractions, based on usnews.Christ the RedeemerChrist the Redeemer is an iconic landmark. Recognised as one of the Seven Wonders of the…

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In the 1960s, a group of unwed mothers wrestled with their decisions to give birth in secret at St Paul Minnesota’s Booth Memorial Hosp­ital. With the help of revealing interviews, historian Kim Heik­k­ila told their stories and shed light on the consequences of the mid-C20th’s devastating sexual double standard. In 1952-6 alone, c1.5 million babies…

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Arrest of Guy Fawkes at the Houses of Parliament 5th Nov 1605, GettyWhy was Guy Fawkes Night so popular? The first reason was the spect­ac­ular nature of the event that it comm­emorated. Had the Gunpowder Plot of 1605 succeeded, it would have killed much of the English political nation, including some of the royal fam­ily, aristocracy…

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Clacton PierJohn Hannavy's book coverTaking the waters, fresh air and exercise were so popular for the Georgian moneyed classes that Jane Austen featured spa towns in her novels. These trips were an excuse for high soc­iety to mingle, since they could stay at lovely hotels, attend the theatre and wear fashionable clothes. Coastal towns offered a…

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Vancouver actually started in Gastown, the core of the city na­med for Gassy Jack Deighton. He was a Yorkshire seaman, steam­boat cap­tain and bar­keep who arrived in 1867 to open the area’s first saloon. The town soon prosp­ered as the site of Hastings Mill sawmill and seaport, and quick­ly became a general centre of trade and…

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Candy Feldt 73 passed in Phoenix AZ this year, from kidney failure, surrounded by family. She was born in Nov 1947, to Florence and Max Feldt in Temple Texas. She grew up in Temple and Stamford TX, and went to high school in Denver CO. She won a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Music from…

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Newspaper coverage on their execution dayLos Angeles TimesRead Anne Sebba’s biography, Ethel Rosenberg: A Cold War Tragedy (2021). Ethel came from modest Belarusian imm­ig­­rants, leaving school at 16 to support her fam­ily during the Great Depression and singing only at fund­raisers. In 1936 the love­ly young soprano Ethel Green­glass (b1915) was invited to perform at…

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James Cook (1728-79) lived in a thatched cottage in Marton Yorkshire during his youngest years. Shortly after, Cook Snr left Aireyholme to become a stonemason and in 1736, they all moved to Ayton. Until young James left Ayton to enter his apprent­ice­ship with a grocer in Staithes in 1745.Cottage belonging to Capt Cook's parentsGreat Ayton…

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When the Irish Experiment was conceived at the Melbourne Football Club in the early 1980s, Gaelic Football was seen as more like Australian Rules than soccer, rugby or gridiron. The experiment was very positive, especially for Jim Stynes (1966-2012) who was born into a large Dublin family. Jim attended Ballyroan Boys School and as an 8-year-old…

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L-R: Maria & Franz Marc, Bernhard Koehler, Heinrich Campendonk, Thomas von Hartmann, Vasily Kandinsky (seated),  Munich, 1911Franz Marc (1880–1916) and Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) were the main figures in the new Expressionist art group called Der Blaue Reiter (1911-4). Strong forms and colours were the external expressions of their creat­ive spirit, and they were the influence on younger men joining…

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Lady Mary Wortley Montagu (1689-1762) was born in London, oldest child of the Duke and Duchess of Kingston-upon-Hull. Given access to her fam­il­y’s huge home library, this clever child taught herself Lat­in, cor­r­es­ponded with bishops, charmed her social circle, and quickly decided to become a writer. And she was independ­ent enough to reject her fat­h­er’s…

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Tsar Peter the Great (1672-1725) ruled alone from 1694. Although Rus­sia was huge, its navy was weak at a time when European powers like Britain and the Dutch were exploring and colonising the globe, and ex­p­and­ing their bor­­ders. So to learn from European nations’ suc­cess­es, Peter spent 1697-8 travel­l­ing in Europe in a Grand Embassy.Peter…

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Thank you to the Jewish Writers’ Festival in Sydney who will be discus­sing this book on Zoom at 8 PM Thurs 14th October 2021.sisters Berta and Katka Kohút, 1941 and 2013Times of IsraelAmid the horror of the Holocaust, a select group of hand-picked Jewish women and girls, were segregated from their peers in Auschwitz. They set…

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King Gustavus Adolphusfighting in Battle of Breitenfeld, 1631Christina of Sweden (1626-89) was born in Tre Kronor castle, only surviving child of King Gustavus Adolphus and Maria Eleonora of Brand­enburg, last of the Vasa dynasty to rule Sweden.King Gustavus had made Protestant Sweden into a great European power. He was a major leader in the Thirty Years’…

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 Tainionkosken kansakoulu perustettiin jo vuonna 1897 AB Tornator Oy:n toimesta. Vuonna 1899 koulu alkoi saada valtion avustusta ja samalla se otettiin valtion valvontaan. Ensimmäinen virallinen lukuvuosi oli 1900-1901. Alkuvuosina koulu oli tehtaan koulu, ja se oli tarkoitettu vain Tornatorin tehtaan väen lapsille. Tuolloin koulu toimi Tainionkosken torin läheisyydessä, Vuoksen rannan tuntumassa puurakennuksessa, joka on sittemmin…

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As I discussed, Charles Darwin (1809-82) was sick all his life, but he had no idea why. It wasn’t until 2013 that John Hayman solved the problem in Charles Darwin’s Mitochondria. Charles’ ill­ness, his brother's, mother's and others on the mother’s side showed a gen­etic pattern of maternal in­her­it­ance that was the hallmark of mitochon­d­rial mutations. The…

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