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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
9th November 1989
The Fall Of The Berlin Wall
The Berlin Wall had been erected in August 1961, officially to stop NATO infiltration of East Germany, but in reality to stop the mass migration of its citizens to West Germany via the West German enclave of West Berlin. This migration was reaching critical levels by 1961.
In 1989 East German officials formally opened the Berlin Wall, allowing travel from East to West Berlin. The following day, celebrating Germans began to tear the wall down. One of the ugliest and most infamous symbols of the Cold War was soon reduced to rubble that was quickly snatched up by souvenir hunters. The East German action followed a decision by Hungarian officials a few weeks earlier to open the border between Hungary and Austria. This effectively ended the purpose of the Berlin Wall, since East German citizens could now circumvent it by going through Hungary, into Austria, and thence into West Germany.
The decision to open the wall was also a reflection of the immense political changes taking place in East Germany, where the old communist leadership was rapidly losing power and the populace was demanding free elections and movement toward a free market system.The action also had an impact on President George Bush (Senior) and his advisors. After watching television coverage of the delirious German crowds demolishing the wall, many in the Bush administration became more convinced than ever that Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s statements about desiring a new relationship with the West must be taken more seriously. Unlike 1956 and 1968, when Soviet forces ruthlessly crushed protests in Hungary and Czechoslovakia, respectively, Gorbachev actually encouraged the East German action.
However, Gorbachev had not anticipated that what would follow was the complete collapse of all European Communist regimes and then in 1991 the collapse of the Soviet Union itself, ending the "Second Cold War" that had begun with the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1980
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
Twitter Followers = 2,036 (up 2)
Non-followed eliminated = 0
Unfollowers eliminated = 0
New Followers followed back = 2
Spammers not followed back = 0
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
I had mixed feelings about this. Obviously, I had better things to do and I am annoyed with my own mind that in its panic it simply didn't look in the most obvious place. On the other hand, there was a certain relief that I hadn't subconsciously moved it to an unnatural place. With a recent history of leaving stuff in places where they should not be, it was great to find I hadn't done it again!
One of the disadvantages of abundance is there's so much stuff to keep track of! With age, I am losing the ability to do this subconsciously, so I am setting up placement and behaviour regimes so I can instantly put my hand on items that live in their natural homes! For example, from now on my small collection of USB memory sticks live in a neat row next to the Consulting Room computer monitor!
The most obvious signs of my age is that I'm never without reading glasses (I have a pair in most rooms in the house and a pair that hangs on my Medic-Alert pendant) and a pen and pocket notebook comes with me everywhere, serving as my "external memory"
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
Are you responding in the right way to the situations you are facing?
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
Heavy rain and south-westerly gales all day
Rain and wind will gradually ease in the evening
Max Temp = 14 degC at 9pm
Min Temp = 8 degC at 7am
Sunrise at 07:22
Sunset at 16:19
Weathertrack: A strong jetstream over Britain will drive gales and weather fronts across the country
Air Pressure: 1014 millibars and falling
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
Ageing gracefully is a polite way of saying you're slowly looking worse :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
Johnny Beehner on healthy eating
In Ancient Rome, an olive branch would be hung from the front door of a house if a boy was born, and a strip of woolen fabric was hung if the child was a girl. Eighteenth-century London houses hung strips of ribbon on their doorknockers: pink for a girl and blue for a boy.
9. ZEN WISDOM
Dialogue starts from the courageous willingness to know and be known by others. It is the painstaking and persistent effort to remove all obstacles that obscure our common humanity.