Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Looking Back - Avalanche Hits Royal Ski Party

On this day in1988, the Prince of Wales (Pictured) narrowly avoided death on the ski slopes of Switzerland in an avalanche that killed one of his closest friends.
Major Hugh Lindsay, former equerry to the Queen, was sent plunging 400m down the mountainside when the avalanche hit the royal party as they were ski-ing off piste above the resort of Klosters.
Another member of the royal party, Patti Palmer-Tomkinson, suffered serious leg injuries in the accident.
The Prince and several other members of the group, including their guide, were able to ski to safety.
As soon as the danger had passed, Prince Charles, the guide and a Swiss police officer, who was ski-ing with the party, raced back to help the victims, digging with their bare hands in the snow to reach them.
Mrs Palmer-Tomkinson and Major Lindsay were flown to the local hospital at Davos, where the Major was declared dead.
Major Lindsay's wife, Sarah, who works in the Buckingham Palace press office was informed of her husband's death. She is six months pregnant.
One eye-witness, Marie Griffiths, said she saw the Prince being airlifted off the mountain.
She said: "As far as I know he hadn't been injured. He looked very distressed, somebody said he was crying, but he did walk to the helicopter so he looked uninjured."
After the accident, the Prince and the remainder of the royal party returned to the chalet where they had been staying. The Princess of Wales and Duchess of York had spent the afternoon there.
The Royal group is cutting short its holiday and will fly home tomorrow.
Prince Charles and his friends were ski-ing on the Wang run, known as one of the most difficult runs in the area. Today was the first time it had been open this season.
The Prince is a very experienced skier and the group had with them one of the best local guides, Bruno Sprecher.
The Queen was told of the accident during a visit to the Queen's tennis club in London where she was attending the centenary celebrations of the Lawn Tennis Association.
Major Lindsay had accompanied the Queen on many official engagements and was said to be a great favourite of hers. She has sent a private message of sympathy to his widow.
The Royal party flew home to London the following day, bringing the body of Major Hugh Lindsay.
The Prince issued a statement in which he confirmed the party had been ski-ing off piste at their own risk.
He praised the actions of their guide, Bruno Sprecher. He said Mr Sprecher had helped save the life of Mrs Palmer-Tomkinson by giving her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Unfortunately Major Lindsay had been killed outright.
The Prince first learned to ski at the age of 14. Since then he has taken regular ski-ing holidays - mostly at Klosters. In recent years, he has returned there with his sons Princes William and Harry.
In 2002, the Prince cut short a trip to Klosters following the death of the Queen Mother.

Animal Crackers

I've heard of sausage dogs, but this is ridiculous!


Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish, is a natural site in south-western Turkey in the Denizli Province. The city contains hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. It is located in Turkey's Inner Aegean region, in the River Menderes valley, which has a temperate climate for most of the year.
The ancient city of Hierapolis was built on top of the white "castle" which is in total about 2,700 metres (8,900 ft) long and 160 metres (520 ft) high. It can be seen from the hills on the opposite side of the valley in the town of Denizli, 20 km away.
Tourism is and has been a major industry. People have bathed in its pools for thousands of years. As recently as the mid 20th century, hotels were built over the ruins of Heropolis, causing considerable damage. An approach road was built from the valley over the terraces, and motor bikes were allowed to go up and down the slopes. When the area was declared a world heritage site, the hotels were demolished and the road removed and replaced with artificial pools. Wearing shoes in the water is prohibited to protect the deposits.
Pamukkale's terraces are made of travertine, a sedimentary rock deposited by water from the hot springs.
In this area, there are 17 hot water springs in which the temperature ranges from 35 °C (95 °F) to 100 °C (212 °F). The water that emerges from the spring is transported 320 metres (1,000 ft) to the head of the travertine terraces and deposits calcium carbonate on a section 60 to 70 metres (200 to 230 ft) long covering an expanse of 240 metres (790 ft) to 300 metres (980 ft). When the water, supersaturated with calcium carbonate, reaches the surface, carbon
dioxide degases from it, and calcium carbonate is deposited. The depositing continues until the carbon dioxide in the water balances the carbon dioxide in the air. Calcium carbonate is deposited by the water as a soft jelly, but this eventually hardens into travertine.
This reaction is affected by the weather conditions, ambient temperature, and the flow duration. Precipitation continues until the carbon dioxide in the thermal water reaches equilibrium with the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Measurements made at the source of the springs find atmospheric levels of 725 mg/l carbon dioxide, by the time this water flows across the travertines, this figure falls to 145 mg/l. Likewise calcium carbonate falls from 1200 mg/l to 400 mg/l and calcium 576.8 mg/l to 376.6 mg/l. From these results it is calculated that 499.9 mg of CaCO3 is deposited on the travertine for every liter of water. This means that for a flow rate of 1 ı/s of water 43191 grams are deposited daily. The average density of a travertine is 1.48 g/cm3 implying a deposit of 29.2 dm3. Given that the average flow of the water is 465.2 l/s this implies that it can whiten 13584 m2 a day, but in practice this areal coverage is difficult to attain. These theoretical calculations indicate that up to. 4.9 km2 it can be covered with a white deposit of 1 mm thickness.

The terraces became damaged after years of tourists climbing on them

The former Roman Bath of the ancient city of Hierapolis has been used as the site of the Hierapolis Archaeology Museum since 1984.
In this museum, alongside historical artifacts from Hierapolis, there are also artifacts from Laodiceia, Colossae, Tripolis, Attuda and other towns of the Lycos (Çürüksu) valley. In addition to these, the museum has a large section devoted to artifacts found at Beycesultan Hüyük that includes some of the most beautiful examples of Bronze Age craft.
Artifacts from the Caria, Pisidia and Lydia regions are also on display in this museum. The museum’s exhibition space consists of three closed areas of the Hierapolis Bath and the open areas in the eastern side which are known to have been used as the library and gymnasium. The artifacts in open exhibition space are mostly marble and stone.

Tourist attraction
Pamukkale is a tourist attraction. It is recognized as a World Heritage Sites together with Hierapolis. A few other places in the world resemble it, including the Mammoth Hot Springs in the USA and Huanglong in Sichuan Province of China (another UNESCO World Heritage Site). Hierapolis-Pamukkale was made a World Heritage Site in 1988.

The underground volcanic activity which causes the hot springs also forced carbon dioxide into a cave, which was called the Plutonium meaning place of the god, Pluto. This cave was used for religious purposes by priests of Cybele, who found ways to appear immune to the suffocating gas.
Tadpoles can be found in the pools.

Why Is It Better To Be A Man Than A Woman?

Why Do We Say That?

This phrase is believed to be derived from the old words will-ye. nill-ye (or will-he, nill-he) meaning whether you want to or not (or whether he wants to or not).

In the 18th century sticking your tongue in your cheek was a sign of contempt. It is not clear how speaking with your tongue in your cheek took on this modest meaning.

In the Middle Ages a gauntlet was the glove in a suit of armour. Throwing down your gauntlet was a way of challenging someone to a duel.

If a person we admire has a fatal weakness we say they have feet of clay. This phrase comes from the Bible. King Nebuchadnezzar dreamed of a statue. It had a head of gold, arms and chest of silver, belly and thighs of bronze and its legs were of iron. However its feet were made of a mixture of iron and clay. A rock hit the statue's feet and the whole statue was broken. The prophet Daniel interpreted the dream to be about a series of empires, all of which would eventually be destroyed. (Daniel 2:27-44)