Tag Archives: Giant

Daily Mail story about sunrises being shown on big screens in Beijing was made up

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the Daily Mail!)

I’m well aware a blogpost about the Daily Mail making up a story is a bit ‘dog bites man‘ as far as news goes but I couldn’t allow this to pass unnoticed.

A few days ago a Daily Mail article went viral about Beijing residents having to watch fake sunrises on giant TV screens because the pollution there is so bad (warning – link to Daily Mail dross):

China starts televising the sunrise on giant TV screens because Beijing is so clouded in smog

Well no prizes for guessing the article was completely made up.

Here’s the full story from Tech in Asia:

No, Beijing residents are NOT watching fake sunrises on giant TVs because of pollution

Is it really too much to expect our newspapers to contain at least some real news?

An amusing postscript to this is a short Twitter…

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Almanac – March 04

1193 – Salāh al-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb died.  Better known in the Western world as Saladin,  he was the first Sultan of Egypt and Syria and the founder of the Ayyubid dynasty.

A Muslim of Kurdish origins, Saladin led Islamic opposition against the European Crusaders in the Levant. At the height of his power, his sultanate included Egypt, Syria, Mesopotamia, Hejaz, Yemen, and parts of North Africa.

Saladin died of a fever. In his  possession at the time of his death were 1 piece of gold and 47 pieces of silver. He had given away his great wealth to his poor subjects leaving nothing to pay for his funeral. He was buried in a mausoleum in the garden outside the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus, Syria.

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1702 – Jack Sheppard born. Notorious English robber, burglar and thief of early 18th-century London. He was arrested and imprisoned five times in 1724 but escaped four times, making him a notorious public figure, and wildly popular with the poorer classes. Ultimately, he was caught, convicted, and hanged at Tyburn, ending his brief criminal career after less than two years.

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1878 – Peter D. Ouspensky born. Russian esotericist known for his expositions of the early work of the Greek-Armenian teacher of esoteric doctrine George Gurdjieff, whom he met in Moscow in 1915.

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1950 – Adam Rainer died. The only man in recorded human history  to have been both a dwarf and a giant.

Born in Graz, Austria-Hungary in 1899,  in 1917, at age 18, he was measured at  4 ft 0.25 in. – a  typical defining characteristic of dwarfism is an adult height below 4 ft 10 in.

Then, probably  as a result of a pituitary tumor, he had a dramatic growth spurt so that by 1931 he had reached a height of 7 ft 2 in.

As a result of his gigantism he became bedridden for the rest of his life. When he died in 1950 he had reached a height of7 ft 8 in.

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Almanac – October 16

1384 – Although a woman, Jadwiga is crowned King of Poland. She is venerated by the Roman Catholic Church as Saint Hedwig, where she is the patron saint of – ironically enough – queens.

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1793 – Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI, is guillotined at the height of the French Revolution.

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1854 – Oscar Wilde born. Irish writer and poet. After writing in different forms throughout the 1880s, he became one of London’s most popular playwrights in the early 1890s. Today he is remembered for his epigrams and plays, and the circumstances of his imprisonment which was followed by his early death.

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1869 – The Cardiff Giant , one of the most famous hoaxes in United States history made its appearance. It was a 10-foot (3.0 m) tall purported “petrified man” uncovered on October 16, 1869 by workers digging a well behind the barn of William C. “Stub” Newell in Cardiff, New York.

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1938 – Nico born. German singer, lyricist, composer, musician, fashion model, and actress, who initially rose to fame as a Warhol Superstar in the 1960s. She is known for both her vocal collaboration on The Velvet Underground‘s debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico (1967), and her work as a solo artist from the late 1960s through the early 1980s. She also had roles in several films, including a cameo in Federico Fellini‘s La Dolce Vita (1960) and Andy Warhol‘s Chelsea Girls (1966), as herself.

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Almanac – September 30

Today is Blasphemy Day.
Blasphemy Rights Day International, on  which individuals and groups are encouraged to openly express their criticism of, or even disdain for, religion. It was founded in 2009 by the Center for Inquiry  in Amherst, New York.

Ronald Lindsay, president and CEO of the Center for Inquiry said regarding Blasphemy Day, “We think religious beliefs should be subject to examination and criticism just as political beliefs are, but we have a taboo on religion,” in an interview with CNN.  The day was set on September 30, to coincide with the anniversary of the publication of satirical drawings of Muhammad in a Danish newspaper, resulting in the Jyllands-Posten Muhammad cartoons controversy.

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Evidently a good day to premiere something…

The Magic Flute [Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart] in Vienna in 1791.
The Pearl Fishers [Georges Bizet] in Paris, 1863.
Porgy & Bess [George Gershwin], Boston, 1935
– The first demonstration film of Cinerama – the imaginatively titled This Is Cinerama – in New York, 1952.

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1888 – The deaths of  Elizabeth Stride and Catherine Eddowes, generally considered the third and fourth victims of Jack the Ripper, though its theorised that Stride may not have been a Ripper victim.

 

 

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1955 – James Dean died. American film actor and  a cultural icon of teenage disillusionment, as expressed in the title of his most celebrated film, Rebel Without a Cause (1955), in which he starred as troubled Los Angeles teenager Jim Stark. The other two roles that defined his stardom were as loner Cal Trask in East of Eden (1955), and as the surly ranch hand, Jett Rink, in Giant (1956). Dean’s enduring fame and popularity rests on his performances in only these three films, all leading roles. His premature death in a car crash cemented his legendary status.

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1967 –  The BBC’s  Light Programme, Third Programme and Home Service were replaced with BBC Radio 2, 3 and 4 respectively.
BBC Radio 1 – the official answer to the outlawed  pirate pop stations –  was also launched with Tony Blackburn (himself an ex-pirate) presenting the first show, and the first record played was…

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