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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
22nd October 1962
The Cuban Missile Crisis
With clear evidence that the Soviet Union was installing nuclear missile launch sites on Cuba, US President Kennedy held a long discussion with his advisors how to respond. These discussions boiled down to two options - an air strike or a blockade.
Under international law, both options were considered acts of war, but Kennedy rightly believed that the Soviet Union would not consider a blockade sufficient reason to declare war. It was decided to impose a blockade on Cuba and this was announced in a broadcast to the public on 22nd October.
The politburo of the Soviet Union considered this hypocrisy as the USA had nuclear missiles in Italy and Turkey. The official response of the Soviet Union was therefore that any interception of their ships was piracy and an act of war. The superpowers were now at their closest point to all-out nuclear war.
On 25th October came the first test of the blockade - a tanker was allowed through unchallenged and a freighter was boarded but allowed through after an inspection found no military equipment. The Soviet Union decided to ease the tension by turning back 14 ships that did contain military equipment.
However, there were already fully-functional launch sites on Cuba and the Soviet Union showed no public intention to dismantle them. The Americans thus began plans for a full-scale invasion of Cuba to remove them by force. Such an invasion was unacceptable to the Soviet Union, which meant that war seemed inevitable.
On 27th October Kruschev the Russian leader proposed a resolution that was ultimately accepted - that the Cuban missiles would be dismantled if the US missiles in Turkey and Italy were also dismantled and the USA pledged not to invade Cuba. On 28th October both governments made statements that stated their intention to carry out their respective parts of the deal, though the US missile withdrawal was kept secret. The crisis was effectively over.
In the Soviet Union, the deal was seen as a humiliation. Many in the politburo blamed Kruschev for both causing and mishandling the crisis - he was ousted from power two years later. Cuba had been excluded from negotiations and considered this a betrayal. The "hawks" in the US military, most notably general Curtis Le May, considered the result a defeat and a missed opportunity to deal with Cuba once-and-for-all. However, war had been averted, Cuba had been saved from invasion and the "hotline", a direct telephone link between the White House and the Kremlin was established to resolve future crises more quickly and easily.
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
Business promotional work
Quality Missus Time
Twitter Followers = 2,026 (up 1)
Non-followed eliminated = 1
Unfollowers eliminated = 0
New Followers followed back =2
Spammers not followed back = 0
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
Yesterday, I left a full shopping bag hooked at the back of my shopping trolley and went home without it. Fortunately another kind shopper handed it in, but I lost two precious hours of my life retrieving it. Hoofing it back to ASDA confidently enough, I then encountered a physical aspect of ageing, the loss of muscle tone. I had now already walked 6 miles that day and my body declared it had enough - I had to fork out for a bus home and spent the rest of the day in fatigue-recovery.
In the overall scheme of things, this incident wasn't in itself a big deal, just annoying. However what it signifies is more alarming - a clear decline in short-term memory function. I just wouldn't have done these things a decade ago. Of course, there's nothing I can do about it, other than take countermeasures. For failing eyesight I use reading glasses, for erectile dysfunction I take Viagra, and now for short-term memory malfunction I am having to set up written checking routines. For failing muscle-tone, I avoid jerking movement, observe good posture and know when to have a rest.
I am, like everyone else over 30, dying. It happens slowly and gently enough in most cases to accept and adapt to it. However, most people, I notice, like to pretend ageing is an illness like a cold rather than something terminal. I do not wish to be so foolish. Only information is eternal, and the purpose of this character is to pass on the information I have gathered while there is still time, and this is mainly in the form of making a difference.
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
Are you reacting in the best way to what is happening to you?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
A windy morning across all parts with gale gusts possible, although it will be dry and bright with variable cloud and sunny spells. Winds are likely to ease somewhat during in the afternoon.
After dark it will remain dry with clear spells overnight, and winds continuing to ease. Cloud may thicken by dawn, especially in the west, with a southerly breeze developing again.
Max Temp = 11 degC at 11am
Min Temp = 9 degC at midnight
Sunrise at 07:47
Sunset at 17:55
Weathertrack: A cold front carried on very strong winds will quickly pass and then an anticyclone will build and approach from the south
Air Pressure: 1009 millibars and rising rapidly
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
I Iove putting on undies straight from the tumble dryer. They're warm & cozy, plus it's fun to look round the laundrette to see whose they are. :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
Bears can hit a top running speed of 40 mph, as fast as a galloping horse. Usian Bolt, the fastest recorded man in history, only has a top speed of 27mph
9. ZEN WISDOM
No matter how wonderful our dreams, how noble our ideals, or how high our hopes, ultimately we need courage to make them a reality. Without action, it’s as if they never existed.