Anniversaries & Events in Academia & Elsewhere
This day in 1493, Christopher Columbus, having “discovered America” in 1492 – though, more accurately, having discovered that the Americas were still there some five centuries after Leif Erikson had first come across them and, even then, not hitting the mainland until 1502 and America itself not at all – this day our intrepid explorer (who had been looking for Asia) reported seeing three female forms that “rose high out of the sea” and which he naturally assumed to be mermaids, though, somewhat ungallantly, describing them as “not half so beautiful as they are painted.” Hardly surprising really, seeing that what he was actually looking at were manatees (which, for once, he was first to discover), creatures weighing in at nearly six hundred kilos, with grey wrinkled flesh and whiskers, and also known as Sea Cows. Easy mistake to make. What odds that his next comment was, “Don’t fancy yours much”?
9 January 1522 and Adriaan Boeyens is elected Pope number two hundred and eighteen, and thus begins what will become a mostly unremarkable papacy, not to mention a short one, ending with his death on 14 September 1523, less than two years in. His reign wasn’t a total washout, however, seeing that it was marked by his being the only Dutch Pope ever, the last non-Italian one until John Paul II of Poland became Pope in 1978, and the fact that he, along with Marcellus II (1555, who only managed a dismal twenty two days at it), are the only two to have retained their actual names into popery.
1 Corinthians 2:9 at him, was he?) that, there and then, he declared his own faith. Which may be the point at which he spotted the flaw in this policy, seeing he himself was then immediately subjected to a particularly excruciating taste of his own medicine before being put to death. The guards, not quite satisfied that they’d squeezed every last drop of brutality out of the situation, then wanted to burn his body but, right on cue, a storm blows up and quenches the fire. Adrian’s wife did, however, manage to salvage his severed arm, which is why he is often depicted having only the one arm. It’s clear the Catholics aren’t without a sense of humour, as he is now patron saint of guards, soldiers, plague and epilepsy. And butchers. Oh, and (would you believe it) of arms dealers …
Talking of which, what did you put? What you should have is: ‘England Expects That Every Man Will Do His Duty.’ Which more or less says, Yep, England is pretty confident our blokes will do what has to be done. Unlike the commonly misquoted version of ‘England Expects Every Man To Do His Duty,’ which is much more your command; nor either is it ‘England expects that every man this day will do his duty,’ which comes from a popular song and has the extra words to make it fit the metering. It may even have started life beginning with, ‘Nelson confides that...’ (Nelson has confidence), except partypooping signaller John Pasco pointed out that there was no code for Nelson or for confides so they’d have to spell them out letter by letter. As it was, even using codewords, it still took six separate hoists to make the entire signal. The signal is still flown on HMS Victory every Trafalgar Day.
Meanwhile, this day in 2001, Apple announced iTunes and then followed that up in 2007 by announcing the iPhone. Whilst Apple has grown fat on the profits ever since, commuters worldwide have daily to live with the ghastly consequences …
Philip IV & Family: Isabella's French family, depicted in 1315: l-r: Isabella's brothers, Charles and Philip, Isabella herself, her father, Philip IV, her brother Louis, and her uncle, Charles of Valois.[Public Domain]
Philip V: By Anonymous [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Edward II & Gaveston: By Marcus Stone (Kunst für Alle) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Joan the Lame: By Jean de Vignay [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Columbus: By Jose Maria Obregon (Own work, ClarkSui, 2013-02-12) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Adrian VI: Jan van Scorel [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Nicholas Breakspear: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Balloon: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Blanchard: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
Blanchard Ballooning: By Watteau de Lille (dit), Watteau Louis Joseph (1731-1798) (Europeana) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons
Mrs Blanchard: wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/54/Early_flight_02561u_(7).jpg
Death of Nelson: Daniel Maclise [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
England Expects: By Ipankonin (Vectorized from raster image) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Humphry Davy: By Thomas Phillips (died 1845) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons