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31 Oct 1892 "The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes" by Arthur Conan Doyle published

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On 31 Oct 1892, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, by Arthur Conan Doyle, was published. The book was the first collection of Holmes stories, which Conan Doyle had been publishing in magazines since 1887.
Conan Doyle was born in Scotland and studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh, where he met Dr. Joseph Bell, a teacher with extraordinary deductive power. Bell partly inspired Doyle’s character Sherlock Holmes years later.

After medical school, Conan Doyle moved to London, where his slow medical practice left him ample free time to write. His first Sherlock Holmes story, “A Study in Scarlet,” was published in Beeton’s Christmas Annual in 1887. Starting in 1891, a series of Holmes stories appeared in The Strand magazine, and Conan Doyle was able to give up his medical practice and devote himself to writing. Later collections include The Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes (1894), The Return of Sherlock Holmes (1905), and The Casebook of Sherlock Holmes (1827).

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Image courtesy natedsanders.com

22 Sep 1914 - German U-boat devastates British squadron, sinking three cruisers in one hour

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In the North Sea on September 22, 1914, the German submarine U-9 sinks three British cruisers, the Aboukir, the Hogue and the Cressy, in just over one hour.
In the first two months of war, the German High Seas Fleet made little effort to move from its headquarters in Wilhelmshaven. The one naval battle, fought at Heligoland Bight in late August, ended in a convincing British victory, with three German battleships sunk, three more damaged and 1,200 German sailors killed or wounded.

In the wake of Heligoland Bight, Kaiser Wilhelm and the German leadership concluded that the navy should be kept off the open seas, as its best use was as a defensive weapon. As the war continued, Germany’s greatest weapon at sea would not be its light cruisers but its lethal U-boat submarine, which was far more sophisticated than those built by other nations at that time. The typical U-boat was 214 feet long, carried 35 men and 12 torpedoes and could travel underwater for two hours at a time.

The one-sided battle on September 22, which claimed three British cruisers and the lives of 1,400 sailors, alerted the British to the deadly effectiveness of the submarine, which had been generally unrecognized up to that time. In the first few years of World War I, German U-boats took a terrible toll on Allied shipping. By 1917, however, the continued unrestricted U-boat attacks on American vessels traveling to Britain prompted the previously neutral United States to declare war on Germany. The infusion of American ships, troops and arms into World War I, as well as the economic support the U.S. supplied to the Allied powers, would eventually turn the tide of the war against Germany.  read more »

Tipping point: population growth, climate change and environmental damage pushing Earth toward calamitous, irreversible changes

*update* April 4, 2013 In Sign of Warming, 1,600 Years of Ice in Andes Melted in 25 Years

A coal power station in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.

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Earth may be near tipping point, scientists warn
A group of international scientists is sounding a global alarm, warning that population growth, climate change and environmental destruction are pushing Earth toward calamitous — and irreversible — biological changes.

In a paper published in Thursday's edition of the journal Nature, 22 researchers from a variety of fields liken the human impact to global events eons ago that caused mass extinctions, permanently altering Earth's biosphere. "Humans are now forcing another such transition, with the potential to transform Earth rapidly and irreversibly into a state unknown in human experience," wrote the authors, who are from the U.S., Europe, Canada and South America.  read more »

Diving Line: prosperity or debt / ww3? 2012 landmark election rolling beyond US boundary: Dr. Ron Paul with CNN on Iran

Question from apolitical minds who have no clue but simply follow instinct: Does Dr. Ron Paul sound like George Washington leading peasants across the Delaware River fighting the Battle of Trenton? Jefferson (together with other Founding Fathers Adams, Franklin...) writing the US Constitution? Churchill stubbornly holding the floor without audience (deserted by his British Parliament peers), insisting on warning about looming WWII? Or Ronald Reagan (who once said, veteran and physician doctor "Ron Paul is one of the outstanding leaders fighting for a stronger national defense. As a former Air Force officer, he knows well the needs of our armed forces, and he always puts them first. We need to keep him fighting for our country!")?

*UPDATE March 19, 2012*
Wikipedia: "Greece public debt-to-GDP ratio: 159.1% of nominal GDP"; "US public debt-to-GDP ratio: 115% since Feb/2012”
http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/
"US Outstanding Public Debt as of 19 Mar 2012 is: $15,580,446,972,442
The estimated population of US is 312,429,020
Each citizen's share of this debt is $49,868.76.
The National Debt has continued to increase an average of $4.02 billion per day since Sept. 28, 2007!"


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1000 Palestinian children form Pablo Picasso's Dove of Peace: Peace on Earth, "love all", Mount of Temptation, Jericho,West Bank

it took some 1000 children from United Nations schools to create Pablo Picasso's dove outside the West Bank city of Jericho, produced as part of the ‘Peace on Earth’ project

Top: Pablo Picasso’s Peace Dove; Bottom: Palestinian students at UN schools stand to form image as dove of peace

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Palestinian children stand to form Pablo Picasso's Dove of Peace as part of a project by British aerial artist John Quigley and the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA), at the foot of the Mount of Temptation in the West Bank city of Jericho November 25, 2011. It took some 1000 children from United Nations schools to create the project produced as part of the "Peace on Earth" project, a global musical prayer for peace which will be broadcast globally from Bethlehem's Manger Square on Christmas day, a U.N. press release said.

Palestinian pupils at UN schools form group image as dove of peace
25 November 2011 - Hundreds of children from United Nations-run schools in the Jericho area of the occupied Palestinian territory today created a massive aerial image jointly with the renowned artist John Quigley to send out a peace message to the world.  read more »

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