Saturday, April 08, 2006



Ooh, my first* meme! Spotted over at Will’s:

Go to Wikipedia. Type in your birth date (but not year). List three events that happened on your birthday. List two important birthdays and one interesting death. Post this in your journal.
I’ve customised this one for October 30th to suit my blog…

Three political events:
1270 - The Eighth Crusade and siege of Tunis end by an agreement between Charles I of Sicily (brother to King Louis IX of France, who had died months earlier) and the Sultan of Tunis.

1905 - Tsar Nicholas II grants Russia's first constitution, creating a legislative assembly.

1947 - The General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which is the foundation of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), is founded.
Three important events:
1925 - John Logie Baird creates Britain's first television transmitter.

1938 - Orson Welles broadcasts his radio play of H. G. Wells' The War of the Worlds, causing a nationwide panic (in the USA, obviously).

2002 - British digital terrestrial television (DTT) service Freeview starts transmitting throughout parts of the United Kingdom.
Three events that aren’t in the Wikipedia list:
1965 – The third episode of the Doctor Who story The Myth Makers is transmitted. In those days (and again in the 21st Century), each episode had an individual title rather than the more prosaic ‘Part Three’. This one always entertains me as, in a story taking a largely comedic look at the Trojan Wars, the author wanted it to be called ‘Is There A Doctor In the Horse?’ Po-faced Auntie Beeb wouldn’t let him, and called it ‘Death of a Spy’ instead.

1967 – The Times announces that Linda Thorson has succeeded Diana Rigg as the female lead in The Avengers.

1976 – The third episode of the Doctor Who story The Deadly Assassin is transmitted. It’s still my favourite story, and at the time it was, of course, my favourite ‘birthday present’ (I can think of a better one since, but not on a public blog).
1735 - John Adams, American revolutionary leader and President of the United States (d. 1826)

1956 - Juliet Stevenson, English actress (otherwise known as Flora Matlock, MP)
And I must add an extra one from 1882 - Günther von Kluge, German field marshal, of whom I had never heard but who has a fantastic name.

1979 - Barnes Wallis, British aeronautical engineer (b. 1887)
Having once been a good Catholic boy, I’m further adding to the meme the Calendar of Saints (feast days of Roman Catholic Saints), and offering up thanks to my parents - should they ever read my blog, which might entail giving way to the nagging from their children and actually switching on the computer I gave them a couple of years ago - for not naming me after:
St. Zenobius & Zenobia
Esoteric meme-related factoid:
The Doctor Who story The End of the World (2005) takes place aboard a space station which forbids the use of those dangerous constructs “weapons, teleportation and religion”. The villain of the piece conspicuously makes use of weapons and teleportation but, more subtly, has monklike catspaws known as ‘the Adherents of the Repeated Meme’ – which sounds rather like a definition of religion.
Richard also points out two clues that link the adherents to the villain behind them: a villain with no arms has to use these ARMs to do the dirty work; and, given that the villain is monumentally self-obsessed, repeating ‘meme’ sounds very like “me me me me me me me me me me me me…” – which is curiously appropriate to the blogospheric use of the term.
And finally, one from Richard and my anniversary:
1881 - The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral takes place at Tombstone, Arizona.

*Technically it isn’t, of course, but it’s the first time I’ve filled out one of these viral blog questionnaires of that name.

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