Saturday, August 27, 2011

The West Indian Monster: New York's 1893 Hurricane

The New York Times screamed that it was 'the West Indian monster." It certainly acted like one. The hurricane of August, 1893 hit New York with devastating force.

Gale-force winds and heavy rain lashed the city. The winds tore roofs and chimneys off. Storm surges rose to over thirty feet. Floods swept through low-lying areas. Brooklyn and Queens were devastated. Several buildings and piers on Coney Island were destroyed. More than one hundred trees were torn up by their roots. Dozens of sailors were killed.

Parks were filled with birds killed by the storm. Immigrant boys collected the dead sparrows and plucked their feathers. Some of the birds were sold to restaurants.

The Category 2 hurricane even destroyed a whole island. Hog Island was a resort where people enjoyed eating at restaurants and bathing. The 1893 hurricane is believed to be the only hurricane that actually destroyed an island.

However, the hurricane wasn't as bad as the 1938 hurricane which killed 6000 people in New York and New England.

Flooding on New York's 12th Avenue caused by Irene.
(Ennupoet at Flickr)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Greater Toronto Contractors Provide The Best Design And Renovation Options

Greater Toronto Contractors is a trustworthy firm that has an excellent reputation for design and renovation. Their expert team is committed to providing customers with professional renovations at reasonable prices within their budgets. Dealing with this firm of Toronto contractors has many advantages, including flexible financing, and an excellent warranty. You can even obtain a free estimate of how much your project will cost within 24 hours.

This firm is noted for their Toronto renovations. They can undertake complete renovations and are noted for building beautiful homes. The team has contacts with most of the flooring and fixture suppliers in Toronto so that you can receive great discounts on these items. The expert design team can show you a picture of the finished design in 3D, a wonderful idea. You can see exactly what your renovation will look like before it is delivered.

Greater Toronto Contractors also has a good reputation for their Toronto kitchen renovations. The kitchen is usually an important place for families. It is usually a place in which families gather to talk for snacks or coffee and tea, so it is imperative that it is a warm and beautiful room. You can leave the schedules, trades, and material suppliers to Greater Toronto Contractors while choosing the lay-out and design. Their team will show you the design in 3D so that you can see what the finished kitchen will look like.

Why not fill out the free estimate form on the website or call Greater Toronto Contractors today?

We Waited

We waited...and waited until it finally arrived and it was certainly worth it! Downton Abbey was superbly acted, had beautiful settings, and exquisite clothes. There were also some very handsome men in it who pleased the eye.

There were some rather grating modern expressions at times, such as: "Pardon me for living". I doubt that an Edwardian would have used that expression!

I am not sure whether I prefer Upstairs, Downstairs or Downton Abbey. Upstairs, Downstairs was more subtle and authentic, I think. Downton Abbey had more scandals and backstabbing!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Magic Lantern Shows

Imagine the excitement as you and your parents enter the hall filled with people and the lights darken. You are seven years old and about to see your first magic lantern show. It is Christmas and the show features a happy family enjoying the snow and welcoming their 'prodigal son' who arrives just in time for Christmas dinner. The slides flicker and change and you are lost in the magic of this other

Magic lantern shows were popular well into the twentieth century. They were presented at halls, schools and even churches. The largest could have eight operators and audiences of up to 2000 people. Sometimes they consisted of 'song slides' - picture shows with actors which accompanied popular songs. Photomontages and primitive special effects were sometimes used.

The shows in churches and schools were for educational purposes or special treats for the children. They could show scenes from different lands or missionaries educating foreign children. Sometimes these shows would have a narrator.

Until the First World War magic-lantern slides were also used to present the news at the cinema. Slide shows were presented of depictions by artists of Boer War battles, for example. Slide shows also told the story of the Titanic disaster.

Slides were also shown at the cinema to encourage good behaviour from the audience. For example, gentlemen were asked not to smoke or to remove their hats.

You can find many short Edwardian slideshows on the Internet. I enjoyed this one.

Bishop Auckland Slideshow

Friday, August 19, 2011

Oxford Medical Prepares UK Doctors For Interviews And Teaching

Oxford Medical has been established since 2004 and an excellent reputation for teaching interview skills, medical management courses, and medical teaching courses. The company's courses include the Consultant Interview Course, the Medical Teaching Course, the Medical Management Course, and the Teach the Teacher Course.

The Consultant Interview Course is held in London and Oxford. It is taught by expert NHS trainers who have experience in the medical interview process. They can prepare U.K. doctors for consultant interviews, GPST interviews, and CT/ST interviews. The course is taught to small groups so each student can have personal attention. The recorded mock interviews and excellent feedback from the teachers is extremely helpful for students. Students also receive the benefits of free post course support and training.

The Medical Teaching Course is held by Oxford Medical in Oxford and London. It takes two days. It can be extremely important for doctors to know how to teach doctors and staff. This course teaches doctors the latest educational theories and prepares doctors to feel confident about teaching. It satisfies the Train the Trainer requirements of the profession.

The Medical Management Course takes three days and is taught by expert clinicians and managers. It is also taught in small groups and has received excellent reviews. The course uses the Medical Excellence Competency Leadership Framework.

The Teach the Teacher Course is taught in Oxford and London. It provides doctors with formal training in teaching. Students learn important skills, such as how to prepare thorough presentations and how to deal with difficult students. This course has an excellent reputation and is considered the best Teach the Teacher medical course in the U.K.

Oxford Medical has a well-deserved reputation for its medical interview and medical management courses.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Miracle of Echterdingen

Count von Zepplin, 59 years old and a retired army officer, had reached the age when many people retire. This did not deter him from his big ambition. It was a huge decision for an aged man with no knowledge of mechanical engineering.

The Count wanted to develop airships for military purposes and made a careful study of the engineering involved. The Count was interested in building rigid airships which would consist of cylinders charged by smaller vessels containing hydrogen-gas. He began his company in 1895 and started work at Friedrichshafen on the shores of Lake Constance.

He was able to make test flights over the Bodensee of his first Zeppelin which was 420 feet long and 38 feet in diameter. The first ascents were unsuccessful - the airships had several breakdowns. One descended rapidly and its envelope was ripped on a piling. However, the Kaiser and the King of Wurtemberg were interested in the Count's achievements so the Count was able to build larger airships capable of aerodynamic flight. He undertook further flights in 1905 and 1906.

By 1908 Count von Zeppelin had developed a very large craft containing two motors which could develop 170 horse-power. The King of Wurtemberg and his wife, Queen Charlotte, even flew in the Zeppelin in July 1908.

The LZ-4 flew over the Alps to Zurich and Lucerne and back to Lake Constance at 35 miles an hour. This was a trip of 235 miles. The Kaiser was very impressed and promised the Count much support if he could keep the Zeppelin in the air for 24 hours.

The Count's dream was almost wrecked soon after this. After staying aloft for several hours the Zeppelin was struck by a sudden squall and caught fire at Echterdingen.

The Kaiser and the King of Wurtemberg sent letters of sympathy. Luckily, the public support for the Count was so great that a public appeal raised more than six million marks for his company within a few weeks. Count von Zepplin could continue achieving his dream.