Glastonbury Tor

Posted by Great Uncle Bimbo on
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With the Glastonbury Festival about to start I thought it would be a good time to take a look at the history and myths concerning Glastonbury – none more so than Glastonbury Tor. The Tor is a hill at Glastonbury site at the top if which is situated the roofless St Michael’s Tower, a Grade I listed building. The whole site is managed by the National Trust, and has been designated a scheduled monument. The slopes of the hill are terraced, but the method by which they were formed remains unexplained. Artefacts from human visitation have been found, dating from the Iron Age to Roman eras.

Dinosaurs In Decline Before Asteroid Hit

Posted by Davidd on
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The dinosaurs were already in decline 50 million years before the asteroid strike that finally wiped them out, a new study suggests. The assessment adds further fuel to a debate on how dinosaurs were doing when a 10km-wide space rock slammed into Earth 66 million years ago. A team suggests the creatures were in long-term decline because they could not cope with the ways Earth was changing. Researchers analysed the fossil remains of dinosaurs from the point they emerged 231 million years ago up to the point they went extinct. To begin with, new species evolved at an explosive rate. But things started to slow about 160 million years ago, leading to a decline in the number of species which commences at about 120 million years ago.

Happy Anniversary Albert

Posted by Davidd on
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Today is the sixty-first anniversary of the death of the great scientist Albert Einstein but despite this his legend still lives on. He is widely regarded as the most famous scientist ever, Einstein’s name is synonymous with problem solving and a genius-like intellect. With his shock of white hair and bushy moustache, he is instantly recognisable, but for all this it is one small equation that has ensured his legacy lives on. In 1905, the German published his now famous theory of special relativity – E=mc2. It is an equation that is known all around the world and one that adorns posters, t-shirts and has even been turned into tattoos. But what is it, how does it help us today and what does it actually mean?

Spitfire’s 80th Anniversary

Posted by Davidd on
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Aflypast to mark the 80th anniversary of the Spitfire’s first flight has taken place over the Hampshire coast. The first prototype, K5054, designed by RJ Mitchell, took off from Eastleigh Aerodrome on 5th March 1936. A Spitfire flew over Southampton Water and the site of the Supermarine factory in Woolston, where thousands of the World War Two fighters were made. Southampton Airport managing director Dave Lees said the plane “continues to enthral people today”. The plane took off from the airport shortly before 12:00 GMT having been delayed by cloudy weather conditions.

Where Do Red Phone Boxes Go To Die?

Posted by Davidd on
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The red telephone box is a much-cherished symbol of Britishness. But most have been removed from the nation’s streets, with more due to disappear. They’re battered, rusting and flaky, some having stood in the sun, rain, wind and snow without any attention for decades. A few have weeds poking through gaps that once housed glass panels… but where do they all go?

How To Get Your Revenge

Posted by Einstein Bear on
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Back in 1994 a photograph of the Loch Ness Monster was confirmed as a hoax. The story began in 1933 when a big-game hunter by the name of Marmaduke Wetherell was employed by the Daily Mail newspaper to investigate the story of the Loch Ness Monster. He went to Loch Ness and claimed to have found some footprints. However, when they were sent to scientists for analysis, they turned out to be hippopotamus footprints. A prankster had used a hippopotamus’ foot umbrella-stand to make the footprints and Wetherell had been taken in by the hoax. However, this did not stop the Daily Mirror from ridiculing Mr Wetherell in the newspaper.

Coca Cola

Posted by Einstein Bear on
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Would you believe that when Coca Cola was first launched in 1886, its two key ingredients were cocaine and caffeine? The cocaine was derived from the coca leaf and the caffeine from kola nut, leading to the name Coca-Cola. The original recipe called for five ounces of coca leaf per gallon of syrup, a significant dose; in 1891, Candler claimed his formula (altered extensively from Pemberton’s original) contained only a tenth of this amount. Coca-Cola once contained an estimated nine milligrams of cocaine per glass. In 1903, it was removed.