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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
27th November 1975
The assassination of Ross McWhirter
Twins Ross and Norris McWhirter both became sports journalists in 1950. In 1951, they published "Get to Your Marks", and earlier that year they had founded an agency to provide facts and figures to Fleet Street, setting out, in Norris McWhirter's words "to supply facts and figures to newspapers, yearbooks, encyclopaedias and advertisers".
While building up their accounts, they both worked as sports journalists. One of the athletes they knew and covered was runner Christopher Chataway, an employee at Guinness who recommended them to Hugh Beaver. After an interview in 1954 in which the Guinness directors enjoyed testing the twins' knowledge of records and unusual facts, the brothers agreed to start work on the book that would become The Guinness Book of Records. In August 1955, the first slim green volume – 198 pages long – was at the bookstalls, and in four more months it was the UK's number one non-fiction best-seller. Both brothers were regulars on the BBC show The Record Breakers. They were noted for their encyclopedic memories, enabling them to provide detailed answers to questions from the audience about entries in The Guinness Book of Records.
Ross McWhirter developed right-wing political views and became active in the Conservative Party. In particular, he developed a strong hatred of the IRA. He advocated restrictions on the Irish community in Britain such as making it compulsory for all Irish people in Britain to register with the local police and to provide signed photographs of themselves when renting flats or booking into hotels and hostels. In addition, McWhirter offered a £50,000 reward for information leading to a conviction for several recent high-profile bombings in England that were publicly claimed by the IRA. In doing so, McWhirter recognised that he could then be a target himself.
Sure enough the IRA Army Council took exception to McWhirter's activities, particularly at this "bounty" placed on the heads of its volunteers. On 27 November 1975, McWhirter was assassinated by two IRA volunteers, Harry Duggan and Hugh Doherty, both of whom were members of what became known as the Balcombe Street Gang, the group for whose capture McWhirter had offered the reward. He was shot at close range in the head and chest outside his home in Village Road, Bush Hill Park, Enfield, Middlesex. He was taken to Chase Farm Hospital, but died soon after being admitted. His killers were captured and charged with his and nine other murders. They were sentenced to life imprisonment but freed in 1999 under the terms of the Good Friday Agreement. Duggan remained unrepentant, stating: "McWhirter thought he lived in Texas. He put a bounty on our heads. He asked to be killed."
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
Shift 1 of the Weekend Job
TV comedy night
Twitter Followers = 2,041 (up 2)
Non-followed eliminated = 1
Unfollowers eliminated = 0
New Followers followed back = 1
Spammers not followed back = 2
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
The answer is of course obvious - IT MUST BE TO DO WITH THEM. It ties in beautifully with the best piece of wisdom I was ever given - it's not you, it's ALWAYS them! If you make a stand for something, if you take any decisive action, it attracts both supporters and detractors. Sometimes the detractors are disappointing because you wanted them as supporters. That however is not something you can control, and not something to change course for.
When you have the courage to carve out a destiny for yourself, you will attract to yourself those who can support you in it, and shed those who would sabotage it. I have learned all this much later than my preference, but, now I've got it, I will carry on giving my heart to the supporters, baring fangs to the detractors and kindness to the neutrals.
Though the wider Blonder family has torn itself apart, there are I notice common traits. Our love is conditional on a return, we bear grudges for life, we don't forgive and we don't forget. We are mentally fragile, emotional and sensitive, creative, introverted and intelligent. Male Blonders are loyal to their supporters and attract feisty driven unstable women, and female Blonders, who are themselves feisty, driven and unstable, end up with quieter loyal men. What divides us is that some of us have courage, empathy and an open progressive mind, and some of us do not.
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
Do you have the courage to make enemies
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
A cloudy mild start
Heavy rain arrives in the afternoon and will persist into late evening
It will be dry, cold and clear overnight
A moderate to strong south-westerly will swing westerly in the evening
Max Temp = 10 degC at noon
Min Temp = 3 degC at midnight
Sunrise at 07:55
Sunset at 15:54
Weathertrack: A warm sector over Britain will be swept away by a strong cold front with much colder air behind it
Air Pressure: 1009 millibars and falling
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
"..::. :.:.. ::...: .:. :.:: ::.: ..::. :: ::.:..." - Stevie Wonder
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
Arielle Scarcella - Stuff lesbians can do that straight girls can't
A Buddhist vegetarian (su vegetarianism) will not eat any animal products nor vegetables in the Allium family—such as onion, garlic, leeks, chives, and shallots—because the smell of these fetid vegetables is offensive and “angers up the blood.”
9. ZEN WISDOM
One thing is certain: That is that the power of belief, the power of thought, will move reality in the direction of what we believe and conceive of it. If you really believe you can do something, you can.