Saturday, January 27, 2018

Pics and Info

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Beginning a new category: interesting pics and related information, background.

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Kathrine Switzer:

Jock Semple tries to push Kathrine Switzer off the Boston Marathon course in 1967, Tom Miller pushes Semple aside.
  • Long before women were allowed to take part in boxing and weightlifting, being thought to be too delicate and fragile, they were not even allowed to compete in marathon running. 
  • This didn’t sit well with Kathrine Switzer, who wanted to run the Boston Marathon. Even her own coach didn’t think that she was capable of doing so. In 1967, aged 20, she entered the Boston Marathon under the name K V Switzer. The entry form did not ask for gender to be specified, it was understood that females were not allowed to enter.
  • As happens today in a lot of high profile running events, people would participate unofficially, often dressed in costumes. Things were no different in 1967.
  • Jock Semple was the race co-ordinator, a man notorious for gruff attitude and being a stickler for what he perceived to be the rules. He was known to have had a long-time habit of physically attacking those he perceived to be "non serious" runners competing in the race, whether officially entered or running the course unofficially. In a 1968 interview with Sports Illustrated, he called them "These screwballs! These weirdies! These MIT boys! These Tufts characters! These Harvard guys!" According to fellow race official Will Cloney: "He hurls not only his body at them, but also a rather choice array of epithets... Jock's method of attack is apt to vary." In 1957, Semple had narrowly escaped arrest for assault after attempting to tackle a runner in swim fins and a snorkeling mask.
  • When Switzer started the race in 1967 and Semple realised that she was a female, he attempted to physically remove her from the race while shouting, "Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers!" Switzer's boyfriend, Tom Miller, an ex-All American football player and nationally ranked hammer thrower who was running with her, shoved Semple aside and sent him flying to the pavement, allowing her to proceed. Photographs taken of the incident made world headlines.
  • Afterward, Boston Athletic Association director Will Cloney was asked his opinion of Switzer competing in the race. Cloney said, "Women can't run in the Marathon because the rules forbid it. Unless we have rules, society will be in chaos. I don't make the rules, but I try to carry them out. We have no space in the Marathon for any unauthorized person, even a man. If that girl were my daughter, I would spank her."
  • Switzer had not been the first female to run the Boston Marathon, she was the first who was officially entered. In 1966 Bobbi Gibb ran the race unofficially, being the fastest women’s competitor in 1966, 1967 (she bettered Switzer’s time by almost an hour) and 1968.
  • Women were not allowed to officially run the Boston Marathon until 1972, at which time the women’s winners for 1966-1971 were also recognised.
  • Switzer was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame in 2011 for creating a social revolution by empowering women around the world through running. Since 1967, she has worked to improve running opportunities for women in different parts of the world.
  • For the 2017 Boston Marathon, bib number 261, the same number Switzer was assigned in 1967, was assigned to her as "Switzer, Kathrine V." This marked the 50th anniversary of her historic marathon. She finished in 4:44:31 and the Boston Athletic Association announced it would not assign bib number 261 to any future runners, as an honour for Switzer.
Switzer finishes the Boston Marathon in 2017

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Diavik Diamond Mine:


  • One of the TV shows I like watching is Ice Road Truckers, which is about BFT’s (big trucks) being driven over ice on top of lakes and other water bodies to transport big loads.
  • The Diavik Diamond Mine is one of the ice road collection points. Located in the extreme sub-Arctic north of Canada, it produces approximately 7 million carats (1,400 kg/3,100 lb) of diamonds annually. 
  • Construction began in 2001. In the winter, the ice roads leading to and from the mine are the only connection between the massive hole and the newly constructed Diavik Airport.
  • In 2010 underground mining began, in addition to the existing open cut mining.
  • In December 2015, the mine announced discovery of the 187.7 carat Diavik Foxfire diamond, one of the largest rough gem quality diamonds ever produced in Canada. The Diavik Foxfire was bestowed an indigenous name, Noi?eh Kwe, which, in the Tlicho First Nation language means caribou crossing stone.

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Gas masks in the UK, WW2:

  • World War 2 began on 1 September 1939 when Germany invaded Poland, Britain and France declaring war on Germany 2 days later. As a result of Britain’s declaration of war, Australia and other countries of the British Commonwealth were also at war. The US joined the war after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour on 7 December 1941.
  • After the failure by September 1940 of Hitler’s attempt at daylight aerial supremacy in the Battle of Britain, Germany commenced a bombing offensive known as The Blitz, the German word for “lightning”. The 1940-1941 offensive consisted of mass air attacks against industrial targets, towns and cities, beginning with raids on London. From 7 September 1940, London was systematically bombed by the Luftwaffe for 56 out of the following 57 days and nights.
  • The Luftwaffe also Liverpool, Hull, Bristol, Cardiff, Portsmouth, Plymouth, Southampton, Swansea, Birmingham, Belfast, Coventry, Glasgow, Manchester and Sheffield. 
  • More than 40,000 civilians were killed by Luftwaffe bombing during the war, almost half of them in the capital, where more than a million houses were destroyed or damaged.
  • Because of fears that the Germans would launch gas attacks, all UK citizens were issued with gas masks and were subjected to regular drills in their use. Gas masks were issued to men, women and children and has to be carried at all times. The masks themselves were oppressively uncomfortable and children were made to participate in gas attack drills at school. However the kids took delight in discovering they could make fart noises by exhaling sharply through the mask.
  • The pics may look amusing today but the fears were deadly earnest at the time.



Tear gas exercise, 1941


Music hall dancer, 1940


A mother cradles her newborn baby in bed, shortly after giving birth in 1941. The mother is wearing her civilian respirator, while the baby is encased in a baby gas helmet, which buckles up around the baby’s bottom. The mother is demonstrating how the bellows on her baby’s gas mask are pumped to supply the baby with air.

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Court briefs:


In 1983, three exotic dancers, aka strippers, were charged with violating US Pinellas County anti-nudity ordinance which outlawed topless dancers and strippers from doing their thing. The exotic dancers were arrested for allegedly exposing their vaginas to undercover cops.

Not so, said one of the dancers to presiding judge David A Demers, before whom the charge was listed. 

To prove her point, she bent over to show the judge that her bikini briefs were too large to show any of her goods.

He accepted her presentation and the charges were dismissed.

This photo then went out to appear in Playboy’s issue of “The Year in Sex.” The judge was glad to learn that you could barely see his name on the nameplate, saying “Whew, I’m glad to hear that!”

Demers served as a judge until 2007 and was also associate dean of the Florida Judicial College until 2007. 

The internet remembers him as the judge who copped on eyeful on the bench.

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