Friday, April 27, 2007
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
1986 : Nuclear explosion at Chernobyl
On this day, April 26th in 1986, the world’s worst nuclear accident to date occurs at the Chernobyl nuclear plant near Kiev in Ukraine. The full toll from this disaster is still being tallied, but experts believe that thousands of people died and as many as 70,000 suffered severe poisoning. In addition, a large area of land may not be livable for as much as 150 years. The 18-mile radius around Chernobyl was home to almost 150,000 people who had to be permanently relocated.
The Soviet Union built the Chernobyl plant, which had four 1,000-megawatt reactors, in the town of Pripyat. At the time of the explosion, it was one of the largest and oldest nuclear power plants in the world. The explosion and subsequent meltdown of one reactor was a catastrophic event that directly affected hundreds of thousands of people. Still, the Soviet government kept its own people and the rest of the world in the dark about the accident until days later.
At first, the Soviet government only asked for advice on how to fight graphite fires and acknowledged the death of two people. It soon became apparent, however, that the Soviets were covering up a major accident and had ignored their responsibility to warn both their own people and surrounding nations. Two days after the explosion, Swedish authorities began measuring dangerously high levels of radioactivity in their atmosphere.
Years later, the full story was finally released. Workers at the plant were performing tests on the system. They shut off the emergency safety systems and the cooling system, against established regulations, in preparation for the tests. Even when warning signs of dangerous overheating began to appear, the workers failed to stop the test. Xenon gases built up and at 1:23 a.m. the first explosion rocked the reactor. A total of three explosions eventually blew the 1,000-ton steel top right off of the reactor.
A huge fireball erupted into the sky. Flames shot 1,000 feet into the air for two days, as the entire reactor began to melt down. Radioactive material was thrown into the air like fireworks. Although firefighting was futile, Pripyat’s 40,000 people were not evacuated until 36 hours after the explosion. Potentially lethal rain fell as the fires continued for eight days. Dikes were built at the Pripyat River to contain damage from contaminated water run-off and the people of Kiev were warned to stay indoors as a radioactive cloud headed their way.
On May 9, workers began encasing the reactor in concrete. Later, Hans Blix of the International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed that approximately 200 people were directly exposed and that 31 had died immediately at Chernobyl. The clean-up effort and the general radioactive exposure in the region, however, would prove to be even more deadly. Some reports estimate that as many as 4,000 clean-up workers died from radiation poisoning. Birth defects among people living in the area have increased dramatically. Thyroid cancer has increased tenfold in Ukraine since the accident.
And the authorities in Finland did not recognise anything until everybody else published their reports...
From The History Channel website
Administrative Professionals' Day (previously known as Secretary's Day) is an unofficial secular holiday observed on the third or fourth Wednesday of April (i.e. April 26, 2006; April 25, 2007; April 23, 2008), to recognize the work of clerical employees such as administrative assistants, receptionists, paralegals, etc. It is celebrated as part of a larger Administrative Professionals Week, which takes place during the last full week of April.
National Professional Secretaries Week and National Secretaries' Day was created in 1952 through the work of Harry F. Klemfuss of Young and Rubicam. Klemfuss recognized the importance and value of the position to a company or business. His goal was to encourage more women to become administrative assistants (called secretaries at the time). Using his skill and experience in public relations, Klemfuss promoted the values and importance of the job of administrative assistants. In doing so, he also created the holiday in recognition of the importance of these assistants.
Have to buy flowers for my Assistant...
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
| I scored as Hedonist. My life is guided by the principles of Hedonism: I believe that pleasure is a great, or the greatest, good; and I try to enjoy life’s pleasures as much as I can.|
“Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die!”
What philosophy do you follow?
created with QuizFarm.com
Kaohsiung, Taiwan, April 11, 2007—Armed and dangerous, a Nile crocodile prowls the Kaohsiung zoo (top). Veterinarian Chang Po-yu was reaching through iron bars to remove tranquilizer darts before treating the 440-pound (200-kilogram) reptile when the inadequately sedated animal bit the vet's forearm off.
But for the vet, it wasn't quite a farewell to arm.
After being shot at twice, but apparently unhit, the croc dropped the arm. After seven hours of surgery, doctors successfully reattached the appendage, shown at bottom on a smiling Chang on April 12.
The largest African crocodile species, the Nile croc may be threatened in some parts of its range, according to the World Conservation Union. The reptiles can reach 16 feet (5 meters) in length and are estimated to kill 200 people a year.
National Geografic News
Monday, April 23, 2007
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Sunday, April 15, 2007
World Voice Day, celebrated on 16th April of every year, is a day dedicated to increasing awareness of the importance of vocal health.
In the 21st century the voice is as important as ever; it is a vital resource at work, in social interaction and for pleasure. Voice problems can affect anyone. The entertainment sector has long appreciated the need for voice preservation and recognised the role of ENT surgeons, speech and language therapists and other professionals involved in caring for the voice. Yet the general public is generally unaware of what is needed to maintain vocal health or where to turn when a problem occurs.
The mission of this awareness day is to raise public awareness of common voice disorders, and how they can be treated; to educate about medical disorders that can affect voice quality and can cause problems with the voice (such as overuse of alcohol, tobacco, or speaking too loudly! A trait all to familiar with the Latin culture); and to highlight the importance of paying attention to possible ‘early warning signals’, such as persistent hoarseness, that could be indicators of serious health issues.
The idea for World Voice Day originated in 1999 in Brazil, when numerous outreach activities were organised, directed at improving awareness of voice problems and the availability of care for the voice to the public. The key question was ‘How Can I Look After My Voice?’ Since then, the European Laryngological Society and American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) have become involved in fostering World Voice Day as a major event. Due to this, a determination has recently been fostered worldwide to increase public recognition of voice disorders and the importance of vocal health. April 16th, World Voice Day, has been dedicated to this important task.
Sorry this entry is a few days late. Couldn't publish it earlier.
On this day, the luxury liner R.M.S. Titanic sinks just two hours after hitting an iceberg in the North Atlantic.
When it first left port at Southampton, England, the Titanic barely escaped a collision with the steamer New York. The regal ship, which carried 2,200 passengers and crew, was considered the most luxurious ever built and unsinkable. However, just before midnight on April 14, 1912, the Titanic collided with an iceberg about 400 miles from the coast of Newfoundland. Slightly over two hours later, in the early hours of April 15, the ship sank. The ship was woefully unprepared for such an emergency, and more than 1,500 people died aboard the ship as it went down or froze to death in the icy North Atlantic waters. Most of the 700 survivors were women and children.
Don't worry you American taxpayers! You still have one day more!
John Trever, New Mexico, The Albuquerque Journal
Taxpayers Have Until April 17 to File and Pay
IR-2007-15, Jan. 24, 2007
WASHINGTON — Taxpayers across the nation will have until Tuesday, April 17, 2007, to file their 2006 returns and pay any taxes due, the Internal Revenue Service announced today.
Taxpayers will have extra time to file and pay because April 15 falls on a Sunday in 2007, and the following day, Monday, April 16, is Emancipation Day, a legal holiday in the District of Columbia.
This means the entire country has an April 17 deadline. Previously, the April 17 deadline applied just to individuals in the District of Columbia and six eastern states who are served by an IRS processing facility in Massachusetts, where Patriots Day will be observed on April 16.
This really doesn't concern me but had to publish this because many calendars have Tax Day put on Monday. And how else could the Americans get the message...
nicked from Anniina
Saturday, April 14, 2007
1865: President Lincoln assassinated
At Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C., actor John Wilkes Booth fatally shoots U.S. President Abraham Lincoln. The attack came only five days after the American Civil War effectively ended with the surrender of Confederate General Robert E. Lee at Appomattox. Born in a log cabin in backwoods Kentucky, Lincoln was nominated as the first presidential candidate of the Republican Party in 1860. The election of the anti-slavery Lincoln brought about the secession of the Southern states, and in April 1861 the Civil War began. In 1863, as the tide turned against the Confederacy, he emancipated the slaves and won reelection in 1864. For preserving the Union and bringing an end to slavery, and for his unique character and powerful oratory, Lincoln is widely regarded as the greatest American president.
Friday, April 13, 2007
Before the 19th century, though the number 13 was considered unlucky, and Friday was considered unlucky, there was no link between them. The first documented mention of a "Friday the 13th" is generally listed as occurring in the early 1900's.
However, documentation aside, many popular stories exist about the origin of the concept:
The Last Supper, with stories that Judas was the thirteenth guest, and that the Crucifixion of Jesus occurred Friday.
That the biblical Eve offered the fruit to Adam on a Friday, and that the slaying of Abel happened on a Friday (though the Bible does not identify the days of the week when these events occurred).
That it started on Friday, October 13, 1307, the date that many Knights Templar were simultaneously arrested in France, by agents of King Philip IV.
However, historically, there is no true date that the Friday the 13th superstition can be linked to.
In the case of Greece, Tuesday, April 13, 1204 was the date that Constantinople was sacked by the crusaders of the fourth crusade. The first ever fall of the richest then Christian city, and the looting that followed, allegedly gave Tuesday 13 its bad meaning. Ironically enough, Constantinople fell for the second time in its history on Tuesday, May 29, 1453, to the Ottoman Turks, a date that puts an end to the Byzantine empire, and to Greek sovereignty for several centuries, and therefore reinforcing Tuesday as an unlucky day in the Greek world.
Many modern stories (including The Da Vinci Code) claim that when King Philip IV had many Templars simultaneously arrested on October 13, 1307, that started the legend of the unlucky Friday the 13th. However, closer examination shows that though the number 13 was indeed considered historically unlucky, the actual association of Friday and 13 seems to be an invention from the early 1900s.
Maybe you're not a paraskevidekatriaphobe. That's the fancy Greek term for people who fear Friday the 13th. Paraskevi is the Greek word for Friday, and dekatria is how Greeks say 13. I know I ain't.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Todday when I opened my blog everything was in Dutch! I do not have anything against Dutch as such but I have to admit that my languagr skills do not cope with that particular language. So I had to change it. Not into Finnish, which is now available (Jeee!) but back to English. Being a Finn I do not have anything against Finnish either but the Finnish terms looked quite funny.
Wednesday, April 11, 2007
Then I just want to listen to some appropriate music. Like these. That's all I ask of you.
This version is by Sarah Brightman and Michael Ball (the best Marius EVER in Les Mis). I'm sorry I could not find a good one with Sarah Brightman and Michael Crawford. They are the by far best performing this sad but oh so beautiful lovesong. Say what you like about Andrew Lloyd Webber, this song is fabulous!
Afterwards one can cool off by listening to The Music of The Night! Michael Crawford is by far the best Phantom if you ask me.
And if you really want to dwell in sadness here is one for desert:
(from Les Miserables)
Sniff. Have to go to bed.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
A new kind of personality test has been developed. It is free, fun, fast and accurate. The test has been designed by a team of professional psychologists. It employs innovative answering techniques, allowing for increased accuracy and an enjoyable process. Try the test now and see how you score. I have to admit that I was impressed!
I was a Benevolent Inventor:
My imagination, self-reliance, openness to new things, and appreciation for utility combine to make me an INVENTOR.
I have the confidence to make my visions into reality, and I am willing to consider many alternatives to get that done.
The full spectrum of possibilities in the world intrigues me—I'm not limited by pre-conceived notions of how things should be.
Problem-solving is a specialty of mine, owing to my persistence, curiosity, and understanding of how things work.
My vision allows you to identify what's missing from a given situation, and my creativity allows me to fill in the gaps.
My awareness of how things function gives me the ability to come up with new uses for common objects.
It is more interesting for me to pursue excitement than it is to get caught up in a routine.
Although understanding details is not difficult for me, I specialize in seeing the bigger picture and don't get caught up in specifics.
I tend to be more proactive than reactive— I don't just wait for things to come to me.
I'm not afraid to let my emotions guide me, and I am generally considerate of others' feelings as well.
I tend to believe that things happen for a reason, and that not everything is under our control.
There was even more, but do the test yourself and you see that this test is no bull.
Take The Test
Monday, April 9, 2007
Thursday, April 5, 2007
Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like and then just stay together? I guess that wouldn't work. Someone would leave. Someone always leaves. Then we would have to say good-bye. I hate good-byes. I know what I need. I need more hellos. Charles M. Schulz
Missing you already, AJ.
Tuesday, April 3, 2007
Monday, April 2, 2007
"Virpominen" is an old Karelian custom on Palm Sunday. The Finnish verb ‘virpoa’ comes from the Russian ‘verba’ meaning ‘willow.’ It has it's root in the Latin ‘verbanae,’ or ‘holy branches’.
Nowadays two old customs are mixed: In the western part of Finland people used to light big bonfires in the spring time to scare off bad witches. Over the years the witches stopped being bad in people's minds and children started to dress up as ones already in 19th century. In the mainly orthodox eastern Finland people used to wish good luck and health to each other by "virpominen". When you went to do that, you tapped your relatives, friends or neihgbours with willow twigs blessed in church on Saturday.
Yesterday, on Palm Sunday, you could see children dressed up as witches, holding decorated willow twigs in their hands, walking towards the houses in the area. One usually gets chocolate eggs, other candy or even some money for pay when one does the "virpominen".
In Eastern Finland you got the pay after a week, on Easter Saturday. Today you normally get it right away. That's probably the reason why it's so popular in Finland among children. Some people don't like the mixture of these two traditions very much and would prefer the "virpominen" being done without the witch costumes.