Wednesday, 12 August 2009

Looking Back - Hundreds Dead In Boeing Crash

On this day in 1985, a Japan Airlines jumbo jet crashed on a remote mountainside 70 miles (112km) from Tokyo in Japan. There were 15 crew and 509 passengers on board, mostly holidaymakers. There were no reports of survivors.

It was the worst disaster involving a single airliner and the second major accident involving a Boeing 747 in the past two months. In June a Boeing of the Air India fleet crashed into the Atlantic off southern Ireland killing all 329 people on board.

The Japan Airline's jet came down during a 50-minute flight from Tokyo to Osaka.

Ten minutes into the journey the pilot told air traffic control that a door at the rear of the plane was damaged. He said he was going to turn back and make an emergency landing. Minutes later he reported he had lost control of the aircraft. The pilot's last message was that he was lost and the plane disappeared off the radar screen. It crashed into Mount Osutaka where rescuers discovered debris spread over a wide area.

Accident investigators from Boeing were expected to assist in trying to ascertain cause of the crash. A key factor would be locating the planhear es two flight recorders from the Jumbo's tail section.

Four survivors were rescued nearly 15 hours after the crash.

After a lengthy investigation it was established that the principal cause was an incorrect fuselage repair carried out seven years earlier. Faulty splicing of two bits of fuselage had left the section up to 70% less resistant to decompression.

If you wish to see and listen to more of the Japanese air disaster click on the following video link:

Petrol Prices

Poem - Ireland With Emily (John Betjeman)

In Tulira in County Galway, Betjeman met Lord Hemphill and his beautiful American wife Emily. She had met her husband while riding in the Borghese Gardens in Rome in 1926. Though a brilliant horsewoman, she had taken a fall, Lord Hemphill, riding by, had instantly leapt from his horse and run to her assistance. A year later they married in New York and moved to Tulira, the Victorian house built by Edward Martyn and immortalised in George Moore's Hail and Farewell.

Emily was in love with a man not her husband when she met Betjeman - and she subsequently married him - Ion Villiers-Stuart. Betjeman was obliged to worship from afar, but on one afternoon he went for a bicycle ride with her through the strange primeval-looking landscape of the Burren in County Clare. It produced one of the best evocations of Irish landscape, and of the 'feel' of rural Ireland ever written - 'Ireland with Emily'

Ireland with Emily

Stony seaboard, far and foreign,
Stony hills poured over space,
Stony outcrop of the Burren,
Stones in every fertile place,
Little fields with boulders dotted,
Grey-stone shoulders saffron-spotted,
Stone-walled cabins thatched with reeds,
Where a Stone Age people breeds
The last of Europe's stone age race,

Has it held, the June warm weather?
Draining shallow-seapools dry,
When we bicycled together
Down the bohreens fuchsia-high.
Till there rose, abrupt and lonely,
A ruined abbey, chancel only,
Lichen-crusted time-befriended,
Soared the arches, splayed and splendid,
Romanesque against the sky ...
John Betjeman
When the Betjeman's left Ireland, Betj continued to write to Emily, saying he would cross the water for her, but this was a dream, and in England he found other, more available female company.

Today's Smile

Why Do We Say That?

This old saying comes from the Bible. In Ecclesiastes 10:1 the writer says that dead flies give perfume a bad smell (in old versions of the Bible the word for perfume is translated 'ointment').

This comes from cricket. Once a bowler who took three wickets in successive deliveries was given a new hat by his club.

This means to have no choice at all. In the 16th century and the early 17th century if you went on a journey you could hire a horse to take you from one town to another and travel using a relay of horses. (That was better than wearing out your own horse on a long journey over very poor roads). In the early 1600s Thomas Hobson was a man in Cambridge who hired out horses. However he would not let customers choose which horse they wanted to ride. Instead they had to ride whichever horse was nearest the stable entrance. So if you hired a horse from him you were given 'Hobson's choice'.

In Tudor times and before when a merchant or tradesman made a bargain it was the custom for him to give some money for the other man's wife or daughter 'for pins'. (Tudor women needed lots of pins to hold their clothes together).

In the Middle Ages saints days were marked in red in calendars. People did not work on some saint's days or holy days. Our word holiday is derived from holy day.


Da End Is Near!!!

Reverend Boudreaux was the part-time pastor of the local Cajun Baptist Church. Thibodaux was the minister of the Covenant Church across the road. They were standing by the road, pounding a sign into the ground that read:

As a car sped past them, the driver leaned out of his window and yelled, "You religious nuts." From the curve of the bend they heard screeching tyres, a big splash and then silence ..... Boudreaux turns to Thibodaux and asks, "Do ya tink maybe da sign should jussay ..... Bridge Out?"