31 May 2009

Victoria Cross: C. R. G. Bassett


Corporal, New Zealand Divisional Signal Company, New Zealand Expeditionary Force

Born: 3 January 1892, Mount Eden, Auckland, New Zealand
Died: 9 January 1983, Stanley Point, Devonport, New Zealand

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery and devotion to duty on the Chunuk Bair Ridge in the Gallipoli Peninsula on 7th August, 1915.
After the New Zealand Infantry Brigade had attacked and established itself on the ridge, Corporal Bassett, in full daylight and under a continuous and heavy fire, succeeded in laying a telephone line from the old position to the new one on Chunuk Bair. He has subsequently been brought to notice for further excellent and most gallant work connected with the repair of telephone lines by day and night under heavy fire.

(London Gazette Issue 29328 dated 15 Oct 1915, published 15 Oct 1915.)

Medal of Honor: W. Wilson


Sergeant, Company I, 4th US Cavalry

Born: 1847, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died: 22 December 1895

Citation: In pursuit of a band of cattle thieves from New Mexico [on 28 March 1872, at Colorado Valley, Texas].

Citation: Distinguished conduct in action with Indians [on 29 September 1872], Red River, Tex.

Note: One of 19 men to be awarded the Medal of Honor twice.

29 May 2009

DC and US Territories quarters

The last five coins in the series of quarters commemorating the fifty states were released last year. What didn't get a lot of press, though, was that six more quarters are being released this year, for the District of Columbia and five US Territories. I found my first one, a DC coin, this morning.

The District of Columbia was established on 16 Jul 1790 to serve as the capital of the new United States, as authorised by Section Eight of the First Amendment. On 9 Sep 1791,the federal city to be constructed within the district was named in honour of George Washington, and the district was named the Territory of Columbia. The obverse of the coin, released on 26 January, shows jazz musician Edward Kennedy "Duke" Ellington (29 Apr 1899–24 May 1974), who was born and raised in Washington DC, along with the inscription "Justice For All."

The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, consisting of the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands and keys, became a US territory after the Spanish-American War, in 1898. The coin, released on 30 March, shows a view of the sea from a sentry box in Old San Juan, hibiscus flowers, and the inscription "Isla del Encanto" (Isle of Enchantment).

Guam also became a US territory after the Spanish-American War. The coin, released on 26 May, shows a map of the island of Guam, along with a sailing vessel known as a flying Proa and a Latte, a stone pillar used in ancient houses. The accompanying inscription reads "Guåhan Tånó I Man Chamorro" (Guam, Land of the Chamorro).

American Samoa has been a US territory since 1899, when the Tripartite Convention divided the Samoan archipelago between Germany and the United States. The coin, scheduled for release on 27 July, shows an ava bowl, a whisk and a staff, items used in special Samoan ceremonies, with a background image of the coastline. The inscription reads "Samoa Muamua Le Atua" ("Samoa, God is First").

The US Virgin Islands were purchased from Denmark, which had held them since the 17th century, in 1917. The coin, to be released on 28 September, shows a bananaquit (Coereba flaveola), a yellow elder (Tacoma stans) flower and a Tyre palm (Coccothrinax alta); in the background is an outline of the three main islands, St Croix, St John and St Thomas.

The Northern Mariana Islands have been administered by the United States since 1945, as part of the United Nations Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands; commonwealth status was achieved in 1978. The coin, scheduled for release on 30 November, shows a Latte amongst coconut trees, wild plants, native birds, and a proa; beneath these is a Carolinian mwar (head lei), composed of plumeria, ylang ylang, peacock flower and teibwo (Pacific basil).

NASA news

Four NASA press releases from the last week, beginning with this one dated 24 May:
NASA's Space Shuttle Returns to Earth after Hubble Mission

Space shuttle Atlantis and its crew landed at 8:39 a.m. PDT Sunday at Edwards Air Force Base, Calif., completing the final servicing mission to the Hubble Space Telescope. Atlantis' astronauts conducted five successful spacewalks during their STS-125 flight to enhance and extend the life of the orbiting observatory.

"This mission highlights what the challenges of spaceflight can bring out in human beings," said Bill Gerstenmaier, associate administrator for Space Operations at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "This mission required the absolute best from the shuttle team, the Hubble science and repair teams, and the crew. The results are a tribute to the entire team and the years of preparation."

Atlantis' nearly 13-day mission of almost 5.3 million miles rejuvenated Hubble with state-of-the-art science instruments designed to improve the telescope's discovery capabilities by as much as 70 times, while extending its lifetime through at least 2014.


Scott Altman commanded the shuttle flight and was joined by Pilot Gregory C. Johnson and Mission Specialists Megan McArthur, John Grunsfeld, Mike Massimino, Andrew Feustel and Michael Good. McArthur served as the flight engineer and lead for robotic arm operations, while the remaining mission specialists paired up for challenging spacewalks on Hubble.

Weather concerns prevented the crew from returning to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the primary end-of-mission landing site. In seven to 10 days, Atlantis will be transported approximately 2,500 miles from California to Florida on the back of a modified 747 jumbo jet. Once at Kennedy, the shuttle will be separated from the aircraft to begin processing for its next flight, targeted for November 2009.

The STS-125 mission was the 126th shuttle flight, the 30th for Atlantis and the second of five planned for 2009. Hubble was delivered to space on April 24, 1990, on the STS-31 mission. Atlantis' landing at Edwards was the 53rd shuttle landing to occur at the desert air base.


With Atlantis and its crew safely home, the focus will shift to the launch of STS-127, targeted for June 13. Endeavour's 16-day flight will deliver a new station crew member and complete construction of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency's Kibo laboratory. Astronauts will attach a platform to the outside of the Japanese module that will serve as a type of "back porch" for experiments that require direct exposure to space.

Next, this one dated 27 May:
New Station Crew Launches on Soyuz; Briefing From Space on June 1

The International Space Station crew is awaiting the arrival of three new members that will usher in an era of six-person crews aboard the orbiting laboratory. Russian cosmonaut Roman Romanenko, European Space Agency astronaut Frank De Winne and Canadian Space Agency astronaut Bob Thirsk launched aboard a Soyuz spacecraft Wednesday morning from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan.

The Soyuz is scheduled to dock with the station at 8:36 a.m. EDT Friday, May 29. The trio will join station Commander Gennady Padalka and Flight Engineers Mike Barratt of NASA and Koichi Wakata of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) to form the Expedition 20 crew. It will mark the first time all five partner agencies are represented by astronauts on the station at the same time.

And this one, also dated 27 May:
NASA Selects Student's Entry as New Mars Rover Name

NASA's Mars Science Laboratory rover, scheduled for launch in 2011, has a new name thanks to a sixth-grade student from Kansas. Twelve-year-old Clara Ma from the Sunflower Elementary school in Lenexa submitted the winning entry, "Curiosity." As her prize, Ma wins a trip to NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Pasadena, Calif., where she will be invited to sign her name directly onto the rover as it is being assembled.

A NASA panel selected the name following a nationwide student contest that attracted more than 9,000 proposals via the Internet and mail. The panel primarily took into account the quality of submitted essays. Name suggestions from the Mars Science Laboratory project leaders and a non-binding public poll also were considered.

"Students from every state suggested names for this rover. That's testimony to the excitement Mars missions spark in our next generation of explorers," said Mark Dahl, the mission's program executive at NASA Headquarters in Washington. "Many of the nominating essays were excellent and several of the names would have fit well. I am especially pleased with the choice, which recognizes something universally human and essential to science."


The naming contest was conducted in partnership with Disney-Pixar's animated film "WALL-E." The activity invited ideas from students 5 - 18 years old enrolled in a U.S. school. The contest started in November 2008. Entries were accepted until midnight Jan. 25.

Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures supplied the prizes for the contest, including 30 for semifinalists related to "WALL-E." Nine finalists have been invited to provide messages to be placed on a microchip mounted on Curiosity. The microchip also will contain the names of thousands of people around the world who have "signed" their names electronically via the Internet. Additional electronic signatures still are being accepted via the Internet.

And finally, this one dated 29 May:
NASA's Space Shuttle Atlantis Set to Return to Florida

After landing at Edwards Air Force Base in California on May 24 following the successful Hubble Space Telescope servicing mission, space shuttle Atlantis is about to start its cross-country journey back to NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

Mounted on a modified Boeing 747 shuttle carrier aircraft, Atlantis is expected to begin its journey from NASA's Dryden Flight Research Center in Edwards, Calif., to Kennedy as early as Sunday, May 31. The exact date and time of departure have yet to be set because of changing weather conditions and the fluid nature of preparing Atlantis for the flight.

CAPT Altman (USN, ret). CAPT Johnson (USN, ret). Dr McArthur. Dr Grunsfeld. Dr Massimino. Dr Feustel. COL Good (USAF). Maj Romanenko (Russian AF). Brig Gen De Winne (Belgian AF). Dr Thirsk. Col Padalka (Russian AF). Dr Barratt. Dr Wakata.

26 May 2009

Ties and the Hardy boys

The past, it is said, is another country; they do things differently there.

The Secret of the Old Mill is the third book in the Hardy Boys series. Written by Leslie McFarlane* (using the Stratemeyer house name of "Franklin W Dixon"), it was originally published by Grosset & Dunlap in 1927. In 1959 they began updating the earliest volumes in the series, condensing and changing them to make them more familiar to a younger audience than the original readers.

In 1991, Applewood books began offering reprints of the original texts of the earliest Hardy Boys (and Nancy Drew) books, complete with original illustrations and flap copy. Our local library has this edition of The Secret of the Old Mill, and as I'd never read either version of it I decided to borrow it. It bears almost no resemblance to the plot summary at Wikipedia....

Typical Hardy Boys action, with Frank and Joe and their friends getting into various adventures before finally solving the mystery. But the big surprise came in chapter V, when Frank, Joe, Tony Prito, Biff Hooper, Chet Morton, Jerry Gilroy and Phil Cohen go for a walk in the country - wearing neckties! Neckties? On high-school boys? For a walk in the country? Surely you jest.

But wait - there are illustrations. The original cover (by Walter S Rogers) was included on the reprint. It shows two of the boys (still out in the countryside) in a scene from chapter VII, by the millrace; they're both wearing khaki pants and what look like plaid flannel shirts. And neckties. Rogers also did a frontispiece, which illustrates a scene from chapter XXII. The brothers have gone out in the middle of the night to break into the mill. Frank is wearing a plaid shirt again, whilst Joe has a rather nice-looking cardigan and a plain shirt. And again, they're both wearing ties.

Wow. Glad I didn't have to wear a tie all the time when I was a kid! Maybe I should check out the Nancy Drew reprints, too....

* McFarlane's autobiography, The Ghost of the Hardy Boys (now out of print, alas, but available from used-book dealers and presumably also from libraries), is recommended reading for fans of the series.

24 May 2009

George Cross: B. J. Harrison


Stewardess, British Overseas Airways Corporation

Born: 24 May 1945, Bradford, Yorkshire
Died: 8 April 1968, Heathrow Airport, London

Citation: On April 8th, 1968, soon after take-off from Heathrow Airport, No. 2 engine of B.O.A.C. Boeing 707 G-ARWE caught fire and subsequently fell from the aircraft, leaving a fierce fire burning at No. 2 engine position. About two and a half minutes later the aircraft made an emergency landing at the airport and the fire on the port wing intensified. Miss Harrison was one of the stewardesses in this aircraft and the duties assigned to her in an emergency were to help the steward at the aft station to open the appropriate rear door and inflate the escape chute and then to assist the passengers at the rear of the aircraft to leave in an orderly manner. When the aircraft landed Miss Harrison and the steward concerned opened the rear galley door and inflated the chute, which unfortunately became twisted on the way down so that the steward had to climb down it to straighten it before it could be used. Once out of the aircraft he was unable to return; hence Miss Harrison was left alone to the task of shepherding passengers to the rear door and helping them out of the aircraft. She encouraged some passengers to jump from the machine and pushed out others. With flames and explosions all around her and escape from the tail of the machine impossible she directed her passengers to another exit while she remained at her post. She was finally overcome while trying to save an elderly cripple who was seated in one of the last rows and whose body was found close to that of the stewardess. Miss Harrison was a very brave young lady who gave her life in her utter devotion to duty.

[London Gazette issue 44913 dated 7 Aug 1969, published 8 Aug 1969.]

Note: One of only four women to be awarded the George Cross directly. The others - Noor Inayat Khan, Violette Szabo and Odette Sansom - were all SOE agents in France during World War II.

Victoria Cross: W. H. Metcalf


Lance-Corporal, 16th Battalion Manitoba Regiment, Canadian Expeditionary Force

Born: 29 January 1885, Waige, Maine, USA
Died: 8 August 1968, South Portland, Maine, USA

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery, initiative and devotion to duty in attack [at Arras, France, on 2 September 1918], when, the right flank of the battalion being held up, he realised the situation and rushed forward under intense machine-gun fire to a passing Tank on the left. With his signal flag he walked in front of the Tank, directing it along the trench in a perfect hail of bullets and bombs. The machine-gun strong points were overcome, very heavy casualties were inflicted on the enemy, and a very critical situation was relieved.
Later, although wounded, he continued to advance until ordered to get into a shell hole and have his wounds dressed.
His valour throughout was of the highest standard.

(London Gazette issue 31012 dated 15 Nov 1918, published 12 Nov 1918.)

Medal of Honor: G. E. Day


Colonel (then Major), US Air Force

Born: 24 February 1925, Sioux City, Iowa
Died: TBD

Citation: On 26 August 1967, Col. Day was forced to eject from his [North American F-100 Super Sabre] aircraft over North Vietnam when it was hit by ground fire. His right arm was broken in 3 places, and his left knee was badly sprained. He was immediately captured by hostile forces and taken to a prison camp where he was interrogated and severely tortured. After causing the guards to relax their vigilance, Col. Day escaped into the jungle and began the trek toward South Vietnam. Despite injuries inflicted by fragments of a bomb or rocket, he continued southward surviving only on a few berries and uncooked frogs. He successfully evaded enemy patrols and reached the Ben Hai River, where he encountered U.S. artillery barrages. With the aid of a bamboo log float, Col. Day swam across the river and entered the demilitarized zone. Due to delirium, he lost his sense of direction and wandered aimlessly for several days. After several unsuccessful attempts to signal U.S. aircraft, he was ambushed and recaptured by the Viet Cong, sustaining gunshot wounds to his left hand and thigh. He was returned to the prison from which he had escaped and later was moved to Hanoi after giving his captors false information to questions put before him. Physically, Col. Day was totally debilitated and unable to perform even the simplest task for himself. Despite his many injuries, he continued to offer maximum resistance. His personal bravery in the face of deadly enemy pressure was significant in saving the lives of fellow aviators who were still flying against the enemy. Col. Day's conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty are in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Air Force and reflect great credit upon himself and the U.S. Armed Forces.

Note: Col Day was released on 14 March 1973, after 67 months in captivity.

17 May 2009

Victoria Cross: L. J. Keyworth


Lance-Corporal, 24th (County of London) Battalion, The London Regiment (The Queen's), Territorial Force

Born: 12 August 1893, Lincoln, Lincolnshire
Died: 19 October 1915, Abbeville, France

Citation: For most conspicuous bravery at Givenchy on the night of 25th-26th May, 1915.
After the successful assault on the German position by the 24th Battalion, London Regiment, efforts were made by that Unit to follow up their success by a bomb-attack, during the progress of which 58 men out of a total of 75 became casualties.
During this very fierce encounter Lance-Corporal Keyworth stood fully exposed for two hours on the top of the enemy's parapet, and threw about 150 bombs amongst the Germans, who were only a few yards away.

(London Gazette Issue 29215 dated 3 Jul 1915, published 2 Jul 1915.)

Medal of Honor: J. Morris


Corporal, US Marine Corps; USS Lancaster

Born: 25 January 1855, New York, New York
Died: unknown

Citation: For leaping overboard from the U.S. Flagship Lancaster, at Villefranche, France, 25 December 1881, and rescuing from drowning Robert Blizzard, ordinary seaman, a prisoner, who had jumped overboard.

10 May 2009

Victoria Cross: A. H. A. Anson


Captain, 84th Regiment

Born: 5 March 1835, Pembroke, Pembrokeshire, Wales
Died: 17 December 1877, Cannes, France

Citation: For conspicuous bravery at Bolundshahur on the 28th September, 1857. The 9th Light Dragoons had charged through the town, and were reforming in the Serai; the enemy attempted to close the entrance by drawing their carts across it, so as to shut in the cavalry and form a cover from which to fire upon them. Captain Anson, taking a lance, dashed out of the gateway, and knocked the drivers off their carts. Owing to a wound in his left hand, he could not stop his horse, and rode into the middle of the enemy, who fired a volley at him, one ball passing through his coat. At Lucknow, at the assault of the Secundra Bagh, on 16th November, 1857, he entered with the storming party on the gates being burst open. He had his horse killed, and was himself slightly wounded. He has shewn the greatest gallantry on every occasion, and has slain many enemies in fight.

(London Gazette Issue 22212 dated 24 Dec 1858, published 24 Dec 1858.)

Medal of Honor: E. Ringold


Coxswain, US Navy; USS Wabash

Born: 1827, Baltimore, Maryland
Died: unknown

Citation: Served as coxswain on board the U.S.S. Wabash in the engagement at Pocataligo, [South Carolina,] 22 October 1862. Soliciting permission to accompany the howitzer corps, and performing his duty with such gallantry and presence of mind as to attract the attention of all around him, Ringold, knowing there was a scarcity of ammunition, went through the whole line of fire with his shirt slung over his shoulder filled with fixed ammunition which he had brought from 2 miles to the rear of the lines.

08 May 2009

Atlantis to launch on 11 May

ZUI this NASA press release, dated 30 April:
NASA managers completed a review Thursday of space shuttle Atlantis' readiness for flight and selected an official launch date for the STS-125 mission to upgrade the Hubble Space Telescope. Commander Scott Altman and his six crewmates are scheduled to lift off at 2:01 p.m. EDT, May 11, from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.


Atlantis' 11-day mission will include five spacewalks to refurbish Hubble with state-of-the-art science instruments. After the astronauts' visit, the telescope's capabilities will be expanded and its lifetime extended through at least 2014.


For more information about the STS-125 crew and its mission, visit:

STS-125 was originally scheduled to launch last fall, but was delayed. Scott Altman will command STS-125, with Gregory C. Johnson serving as pilot. Mission specialists are veteran spacewalkers John Grunsfeld and Mike Massimino, and first-time space fliers Andrew Feustel, Michael Good and Megan McArthur.

Children's Book Week

...is next week (11-17 May). Elaine of Wild Rose Reader has plenty of links here.

H/T to Jen.

06 May 2009


College Student Shoots, Kills Home Invader

'Nuff said.

Recovery of WWI dead begins

As I noted earlier, the remains of British and Australian soldiers buried in First World War mass graves at Fromelles, France, are to be moved. Work has begun. See this article from the MOD Defence News:
Work has begun to recover the bodies of up to 400 British and Australian soldiers believed to have been buried at the First World War mass graves at Fromelles in northern France.

In a simple yet poignant ceremony held yesterday, Tuesday 5 May 2009, at Pheasant Wood in the small village of Fromelles, Reverend Ray Jones from St George's Memorial Church in Ypres and Fromelles' parish priest Father Duprez blessed the site of the five mass burial pits, before the turning of the first soil began.

The process of recovering the bodies will last until September 2009 and it is hoped by both the UK and Australian Governments that identification of some of the fallen will be possible. DNA will be taken from a small cross-section of remains to test for viability.


The existence of the mass graves was confirmed in 2008 and a decision was made by the British and Australian Governments to conduct a full archaeological excavation of the site, with the cost of the recovery operation shared equally.

The soldiers' remains will initially be stored in temporary mortuary facilities and DNA samples will be extracted from a small cross-section to determine the viability of a larger testing programme, and the potential to match with surviving relatives.

By the end of the project in 2010 all the bodies will be permanently laid to rest in individual graves at a new Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery at Fromelles, the first to be constructed in fifty years. Wherever it has been possible to identify the remains, named graves will be provided.

ZUI also this article, dated 21 April:
Members of the public who believe they may be related to British soldiers buried at the First World War mass graves at Fromelles in northern France are being urged to check a list of names on a new website.

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission has launched the new website to help identify the bodies of the soldiers who died in one of the most tragic battles of the First World War.


Members of the public who believe they may be related to British soldiers buried at Fromelles can check the list of names at http://www.cwgc.org/fromelles/ or contact Historic Casualty Casework, Joint Casualty and Compassionate Centre, Service Personnel and Veterans Agency, Imjin Barracks, Gloucester GL3 1HW. Tel: 01452 712612 Extensions 6303 or 7330, or email SPVA-JCCC-fromelles-GroupMailbox@spva.mod.uk

The Battle of Fromelles began on 19 July 1916 and was the first major battle on the Western Front involving Australian troops.

Within a twenty-four hour period the 5th Australian Division had suffered 5,533 casualties, of which 1,780 were killed, and the 61st British Division suffered losses of 1,547 men killed, wounded or taken prisoner.


The full list of names of those servicemen who may be among those buried at Fromelles is available from the Commission press office.

The Australian Army has developed a working list of the First Australian Imperial Forces soldiers it believes may be buried at the site and is encouraging relatives to register their details. Further information is available at http://www.defence.gov.au/fromelles/

04 May 2009

A contest - if you're quick!

A S King, author of the YA pirate/fantasy novel The Dust of 100 Dogs, is running a contest. The winner gets a signed copy of the book, along with a VOG (very odd gift). One other person will also receive a signed copy and a VOG, and a third will receive a VOG Care Package.

Only one catch - the deadline is 2359 EDT today (Monday 4 May).

The rules, copied from her blog so you don't have to waste time looking them up:
Challenge: Write a story (beginning, middle & end) that is 100 words or less.

Rule #1 = The story must begin with this line: "Janet didn't like him."

Rule #2 = The story must end with this line: "As the creature lifted into the dark sky, she could see it dangling from his talons."

To enter, leave your story and an email address as a comment on her announcement of the contest.

03 May 2009

Victoria Cross: C. Anderson and T. Monaghan


Private, 2nd Dragoon Guards

Born: 1826, Liverpool
Died: 19 April 1899, Seaham Harbour, County Durham


Trumpeter, 2nd Dragoon Guards

Born: 18 October 1833, Abergavenny, Monmouthshire
Died: 10 November 1895, Woolwich, London

Joint citation: For saving the life of Lieutenant-Colonel Seymour, C.B., commanding the regiment, in an attack made on him on the 8th of October, 1858, by mutinous sepoys, in a dense jungle of sugar canes, from which an attempt was made to dislodge them. The mutineers were between 30 and 40 in number. They suddenly opened fire on Lieutenant-Colonel Seymour and his party at a few yards distance, and immediately afterwards rushed in upon them with drawn (native) swords. Pistolling a man, cutting at him, and emptying with deadly effect at arm's length every barrel of his revolver, Lieutenant-Colonel Seymour was cut down by two sword cuts, when the two men above recommended, rushed to his rescue, and the Trumpeter shooting a man with his pistol in the act of cutting at him, and both Trumpeter and Dragoon driving at the enemy with their swords, enabled him to arise, and assist in defending himself again, when the whole of the enemy were dispatched.
The occurrence took place soon after the action fought near Sundeela, Oudh, on the date above-mentioned.

(London Gazette issue 22680 dated 11 Nov 1862, published 11 Nov 1862.)

Medal of Honor: M. L. Brown


Private First Class, US Army; Company D, 8th Engineer Combat Battalion

Born: 1931, Mahaffey, Pennsylvania
Died: 4 September 1950, near Kasan, Korea

Citation: Pfc. Brown, Company D distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. While his platoon was securing Hill 755 (the Walled City), [near Kasan, Korea, on 4 September 1950] the enemy, using heavy automatic weapons and small arms, counterattacked. Taking a position on a 50-foot-high wall he delivered heavy rifle fire on the enemy. His ammunition was soon expended and although wounded, he remained at his post and threw his few grenades into the attackers causing many casualties. When his supply of grenades was exhausted his comrades from nearby foxholes tossed others to him and he left his position, braving a hail of fire, to retrieve and throw them at the enemy. The attackers continued to assault his position and Pfc. Brown weaponless, drew his entrenching tool from his pack and calmly waited until they 1 by 1 peered over the wall, delivering each a crushing blow upon the head. Knocking 10 or 12 enemy from the wall, his daring action so inspired his platoon that they repelled the attack and held their position. Pfc. Brown's extraordinary heroism, gallantry, and intrepidity reflect the highest credit upon himself and was in keeping with the honored traditions of the military service. Reportedly missing in action and officially killed in action, September 5, 1950.

01 May 2009

Canadian Public Service Announcement

The Taliban consider it a sin for a man to see a naked woman who is not his wife. So, next Sunday at 2:00 PM Eastern time, all Canadian women are asked to walk out of their house, completely naked, to help weed out any neighborhood terrorists.... Circling your block for one hour is recommended for this anti-terrorist effort. All men are to position themselves in lawn chairs in front of their house to prove they are not Taliban, demonstrating that they think it’s okay to see nude women, other than their wives, and to show support for all Canadian women. And, since the Taliban also does not approve of alcohol, a cold six-pack at your side is further proof of your anti-Taliban sentiment. The Canadian Government appreciates your efforts to root out terrorists and applauds your participation in this Anti-Terrorist activity.

God Bless Canada!

H/T to Kyla.

Book list - Apr 09

The Wonga Coup - African history, by Adam Roberts
The Dogs of War - thriller, by Frederick Forsyth *
Tulku - YA historical fiction, by Peter Dickinson (Carnegie Medal, 1979)
Dragon Mage - fantasy, by Andre Norton and Jean Rabe
River Boy - YA, by Tim Bowler (Carnegie Medal, 1997)
The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume One, 1929-1964 - SF (short stories), edited by Robert Silverberg
Blackbringer - YA fantasy, by Laini Taylor
Emmy and the Incredible Shrinking Rat - children's, by Lynne Jonell
Invincible Louisa: The Story of the Author of Little Women - children's biography, by Cornelia Meigs (Newbery Medal, 1934)

Only nine books this month (one being a reread) - got held up by reading a couple of books with 400+ pages. To reach my goal of 209 books this year, I'll have to average 17.417 per month, so I'm currently (50) over a month behind track (69). No fear....

The one Newbery Medal winner bring my total thus far up to 76 of 88, and the two Carnegie Medal winners bring me up to 16 of 69.