Saturday, 20 May 2017


Korea is in north-eastern Asia.

In the 4th century Korea adopted Buddhism as its religion.

The Silla kingdom became a tribal state of China in 658 and ruled a unified Korea for 200 years.

Koryo Kingdom ruled from 918 and when a civil war broke out it ended its supremacy in 1392.

Under the Yi dynasty from 1392 till 1910 Korea was very much influence by Ming China. Confucianism replaced most of Buddhism and a new capital was built Seoul.

During the Russo-Japanese War from 1904 till 1905; Korea was a battleground and became a Japanese colony.

In 1945 when the Second World War finally found its end the Allies divided Korea into a Soviet controlled zone north of the 38th parallel and the US controlled the south.

Plan to reunify the country was not successful. In 1948, the communist declared the north as Democratic People’s Republic and the south being supported by the West became Republic of Korea.

The US withdrew its troops in 1949 and on June 25, 1950 the North Korean troops launched a surprise attack and soon overrun most of the south.

The conflict became part of the larger Cold War and the invasion was condemned by the United Nations. The Soviet Union delegation was not attending the meeting at the UN and it was voted to assist the south.

General Douglas McArthur, supreme commander of a 16-nation UN force landed in south Korea in September 1950. At the end of October 1950, the North Korean were pushed back to the border of Communist China. China sent troops to support the North Korean.

January 1951, the two armies reached the South Korean capital Seoul but by the time spring arrived they were driven back behind the 38th parallel.

Eventually, after many months of fighting it reached a deadlock.

General Mathew Ridgway, replacing General McArthur’s, started peace negotiation. It lasted till 1953 when an armistice was signed at Panmunjom. The confrontation cost four million people’s lives or being wounded.

A ceasefire was agreed and a demilitarised buffer zone was established between the north and south at the 38th parallel.

Today, it causes the biggest fear of a Nuclear war. President Kim Jong-un managed to develop nuclear rockets and threatens USA, Japan and the rest of the world with it.

Russia and China are on the side of North Korea but both super powers are trying to calm the situation down.

The threat of a Nuclear War was never so real.

Monday, 15 May 2017


Scientist established the extinct “hobbits” are not an early form of modern man, as it was first thought, but another species.

The bones of Homo floresiensis were found in 2003 on the Indonesian island of Flores where it was named after.

A bone study by the Australian National University discovered Homo floresiensis were related to Homo habilis. Homo habilis is an older ancestor of man and lived in Africa 1.75 million years ago.

They were only 3ft 6in tall and resembled hobbits.

Team member Dr Debbie Argue said: “Homo floresiensis was likely a sister species of Homo habilis.”

It is believed that Hobbits lived on Flores until, as recently as, 54,000 years ago and it is after modern humans arrived.

There was even the suggestion they could be linked to myths of the ebu gogo or “hungry grannies”. A hairy 3ft humanoids roaming the forests into the 20th century stealing food and snatching children.

It is even thought that in remoted areas there could still be humans living who developed from Homo floresiensis.

Saturday, 13 May 2017



History is always interesting and is there to be learned from. Looking back to merchants who transformed London by trading globally nearly 500 years ago.

The merchants in Elizabethan’s time sold their cloths and bought luxury goods and spices in European markets. Only a few decades later London’s merchants fitted out ships to sail to Russia, Persia, Indonesia, India and Japan.

Now, we are concern about being almost too interconnected but 400 years ago London’s trade discoveries changed the world.

London’s population increased fourfold and people became concerned by thousands of protestants seeking refuge from warn-torn Europe. It teaches us that immigration is nothing new. The rich became concerned about their status and privileges would be reduced by immigrants; apprentices and the poor resented incoming people who wanted jobs.

People in Elizabethan’s times hated changes and at the same time welcomed it just like today.

In Europe at that time war and rebellion flourished. Powerful Spain rampaged through the Netherlands. France was held back by religious civil war and Londoners were conscripted in other countries’ wars.

Therefore, London’s merchants were found themselves excluded from their usual markets in Europe. The merchants were forced to find other markets. They used their money and financed expeditions across the world. For the first time, investors were able to buy shares in these expeditions.

Corporations Russia Company, Levant Company and the famous East India Company were born and with it a whole new way of merchandizing and finance began. Although changes in finance exploded, including unscrupulous financiers, merchants were using money like any other commodity. They lent it for a fair price and won at the end.

As in Elizabethan’s time and today, people saw politics and money can give incredible power but merchant saw through monarchs and that wars, blockades, dynastic confrontations and politics were all hindering trade.  

They knew the prosperity and their wealth would come from negotiations, benefits of treaties, deals across Europe and the world not wars.

During following centuries Antwerp overtook Bruges as financial capital and then London overtook Antwerp. In the 17th century Amsterdam became a global capital powerhouse.

In Elizabethan’s London Sir Thomas Gresham established the Royal Exchange. Many merchants of other nations came and done their dealings there.

Now the UK is at a stage where they want to cut loose of EU by the request of the people. True Brussels became too dictatorial and forced many useless or damaging trade laws. Brussels’ finance is in chaos and even the auditors will not sign their account being in at least £95trillion unaccountable. Brussels also keeps demanding more and more other fees on top of the £19billion membership per year while people in the UK are starving, homeless.

All these facts forced the people to demand a referendum to opt in/out of the EU and they voted for opting out.
Unfortunately, the history of British ruling and trading world-wide, which began in the 16th century, gives us no answer to what the future will be. There is still the Common World and Britain’s name for quality still exists but the last seven year of Tory Government many of the great names of manufacturing and establishments were sold or destroyed which now could have a backlash.

Labour is trying, in its manifesto for GE2017, to reverse all the damage that was done which would be very important in future trade negotiations.

Thursday, 2 February 2017


Scientists discovered evidence of an ancient “lost Continent” under the Indian Ocean island Mauritius.

The continent which geologists call Mauritia was part of today’s Madagascar and India. It is assumed that the continent sank into the sea about 84 million years ago.

“We are studying the break-up process on the continents in order to understand the geological history of the planet.” said study leader author Lewis Ashwal of the University Witwatersrand of South Africa.

It seems that it was part of a gigantic supercontinent Gondwana which broke up to be Antarctica, Africa, Australia and South America.

Ashwal and his colleges discovered minerals in the rocks which were in the lava coming from volcanic eruptions and were far too old to belong to the island of Mauritius. He explained further that earth is made up of two parts of the continent old and oceans are young.

Rocks can be billions of years old but nothing is found like that in the oceans.

Mauritius is only a few billion years old. The discovered zircon crystals on the island are estimated three trillion years old.

The scientists explained further that the found zircons of this age proves that there are much older crustal materials under Mauritius that could only originated from a continent.

It is now assumed that there are likely more pcs of various sizes of “undiscovered continents named together Mauritia spread over the Indian Ocean.

A full article is in the British journal Nature Communications.

Sunday, 29 January 2017


It was on 4 January 1967 when Donald Campbell tried to achieve 300mph average on the lake Coniston with his beloved Bluebird speed boat.

Donald Campbell was born in 1921 as an only son of Malcolm Donald a famous racing driver who achieved land and water speed records. Donald adored his father but Malcolm was a rather distant family man, interested only in his speed records.

Malcolm discouraged his son, whether it was for the  known danger or selfishness, we will never know but Donald was bitten by the seed bug and could not resist the temptation.

Between 1955 and 1959 he broke the water speed record six times.
In 1964 in Australia he broke the water and land speed record. He achieved 276mph on water and 403mph on land.

At that time, the space race was on and Campbell felt he did not get the full recognition which he deserved.

Bluebird K7 speed boat, a veteran of earlier success, was improved with a RAF gnat training jet engine and by November 1966 she was ready.

Campbell planned to break the water speed record on Lake Coniston but the English weather played up. Donald was a great patriot and competing against the Americans.

The attempt was held up for weeks because of terrible weather. The water in the lake had to be perfectly calm. On Christmas Day Bluebird achieved 280mph.

On 4 January, 1967 bad weather went, the lake was absolutely calm and Bluebird was ready.

Donald Campbell knew it was now or never, Sponsorship’s money tried up, he also was obsessed by measuring up to his father’s standard and so the attempt went ahead.

Campbell arrived at 7,30am, looked at the mirror smooth water, Bluebird was launched and he climbed in at 8,10am. At 8.46am she was started up and he accelerated on the two times runs over one kilometre. It counted towards the record. His average speed was 297.9mph and the top speed was 315mph.

It happened on the return leg that Bluebird lifted off and was airborne several time and the flipped over and catapulted. The boat was broken in half and just behind the cockpit, smashed back into the water and sank.

In 2001 Bill Smith, as diver, located the wreck and Campbell’s body. Mr Smith is also behind the restoration of Bluebird.

Successful tests with 100mph and Bluebird 90 per cent body restored. Bill says: “It’s a bit of a history and I can’t help feeling the ghost of Donald Campbell is looking down on me.”

On the 4 January 2017 there was a great celebration at the Ruskin Museum and around the Lake Coniston with the RAF flying over.

Monday, 23 January 2017



Seven queens of Egypt were named Cleopatra. They were all intelligent and determined women but it was the last one who was the most celebrated.

William Shakespeare called her “the serpent of the Nile”.

The seventh Cleopatra (69-30BC) was unkindly treated by some historian especially by her Roman enemies.

In fact, she was a clever, well-educated, ambitious woman. She ruled her country wisely and was determined to regain the provinces Egypt had lost  Palestine and Syria.

Cleopatra came from Macedonia and Greek was her main language but she was the first one to learn Egyptian

Macedonia’s founder was Ptolemy I, who was one of Alexander the Great’s generals.  After Alexander’s death the empire broke apart and Ptolemy took Egypt. After Cleopatra was born her father Ptolemy XII, was just a puppet of Rome.


In 51 BC Cleopatra ruled with her brother-husband, Ptolemy XII. She married him age 18 and he was 10 years. Cleopatra soon fell out with his council and left Alexandra.

When Julius Caesar arrived looking for his rival Pompey. Cleopatra returned. According to historians, she arrived in a tiny boat wrapped in a carpet and was smuggled into the palace.

She persuaded Caesar to act as an arbiter and then as a champion in her quarrel with her brother.

He died during a following war, Cleopatra married her other brother, Ptolemy XIV, but Caesar was the father of her son Caesarion.

When Ptolemy died by sheer chance, she made the baby co-ruler as Ptolemy XV. Cleopatra joined Caesar in Rome. She stayed there till he was murdered in  44 BC.

Caesar installed a gold statue of Venus in the images of Cleopatra and Rome was scandalised.

Cleopatra’s downfall

Cleopatra was still determined to regain the province Palestine and Syria and used Roman might. She went to Tarsus (now Turkey) to meet Mark Antony. He was joined ruler with Julius Caesar’s great nephew Octavius. the emperor Augustus.

Mark Antony fell in love with Cleopatra and they had three children. His divorced of Augustus’s sister Octavia. It caused Augustus to declare war on her in 32 BC.

After the defeat at the battle of Actium in 31 BC, Cleopatra and Mark fled to Egypt where they both committed suicide in 30 BC.

Thursday, 19 January 2017


Indigenous people crossed into America when the two continents were joined by a land bridge which is now called the Bering Strait. They came from north-east Asia between 50,000 and 12,000 years ago.

The earliest evidence suggests the American continent was inhabited around 15000 years ago.

In Mexico, Chile and Brazil finds are dated as early as 30,000 or even earlier.

Indigenous people are usually classified as Mongoloid peoples and seen as a distinct racial group. The Inuits (Eskimos) and Aleuts (inhabitants of the Aleutian Islands) who are definite Mongoloid. They inhabited the New World before the first explorers landed in the late 15th century.

Archaeological findings show that there may have been several colonisations. The first colonisers had little more than stone tools. The hunters and gatherers spread south killing the plentiful games with their stone-pointed lances.

These indigenous people are now named Amerindians and slowly started agriculture. They developed differently to the Old Wold. It is assumed that it started 7000 or more years ago. It was mainly maize, squash and beans. Cassava being grown in tropical forest regions.


It was a slow progress with no domestic animals, apart from llamas and guinea pigs and no draught animals to pull the plough.

Farmers in the Andes developed skills in working metal from 1000 BC.

Complex societies started in South and Central America. They developed into highly sophisticated civilisations such as the Aztecs and Incas. However, they were destroyed by the arrival of the Conquistadores (Spanish) and other European explorers during the 16th century.

The worst killing of Indian tribes were happening during the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries when the USA government gave their land to European settlers. If they were not killed right-out they were forced into reservation with very poor land or no land at all relying on food supply from the US government which were handled through agents. These agents were mostly crooks and sold their supply to fil their own pockets.
To demoralise them further and to increase starvation; the US Army killed all the buffaloes on the Great Plain which was the Indians' source for meat and clothing. The huge herds of buffaloes kept the grass growing; nowadays it is a dust bowl. Well done politicians.  
They also discovered, now, that buffaloes' meat is the best with the least fat.