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1. ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY
29th January 1856
Establishment of the Victoria Cross
The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest military decoration awarded for valour "in the face of the enemy" to members of the armed forces of various Commonwealth countries, and previous British Empire territories. It is first in the order of wear in the United Kingdom honours system, and takes precedence over all other orders, decorations, and medals, including the Order of the Garter. It may be awarded to a person of any military rank in any service and to civilians under military command. The VC is usually presented to the recipient or to their next of kin by the British monarch at an investiture held at Buckingham Palace.
The VC was introduced on 29 January 1856 by Queen Victoria to honour acts of valour during the Crimean War. Since then, the medal has been awarded 1,358 times to 1,355 individual recipients. Only 15 medals, 11 to members of the British Army, and four to the Australian Army, have been awarded since the Second World War. The traditional explanation of the source of the metal from which the medals are struck is that it derives from Russian cannon captured at the Siege of Sevastopol. Some research suggested a variety of origins for the material actually making up the medals themselves. Research has established that the metal for the medals came from two Chinese cannons that were captured from the Russians in 1855.
Owing to its rarity, the VC is highly prized and the medal has fetched over £400,000 at auction. A number of public and private collections are devoted to the Victoria Cross. The private collection of Lord Ashcroft, amassed since 1986, contains over one-tenth of all VCs awarded. Following a 2008 donation to the Imperial War Museum, the Ashcroft collection went on public display alongside the museum's Victoria and George Cross collection in November 2010
2. TODAY IN MY LIFE
Shift 1 of the Weekend Job
TV Comedy Night
Twitter Followers = 2,069 (no change)
Non-followed eliminated = 0
Unfollowers eliminated = 0
New Followers followed back = 0
Spammers not followed back = 0
3. TODAY'S SELF-OBSERVATION
On the character front, the aim continues to be personal development, particularly in my Practice. I have identified that "being very interesting to talk to" is a different thing to getting hired! I need to examine deeper why one is not always leading to the other. This will be a project for the next few months.
On the spiritual front, I have the same ongoing aim - total internal silence, letting intuition "run the show". As time has gone on, my spirituality has become increasingly less spiritual and more scientific. I increasingly attribute "what's going on" to activity within the brain itself rather than spiritual forces beyond it. However, I remain firmly Nondualist in outlook - that seems to me to fit best with scientific understanding of the universe.
I retain however a broader concept of consciousness than simply electrical activity in a nervous system - I would argue that even plants have consciousness - an awareness of their environment and can communicate with each other. What makes human beings special is that they can process and store knowledge of things beyond themselves. Human beings are superconscious - conscious of consciousness itself - they can see the "bigger picture" although they can also decide not to!
4. TODAY'S QUESTION FOR YOU
What does being "you" actually mean
5. TODAY'S WEATHER IN BRADFORD
Air Pressure: 1006 millibars and static
6. TODAY'S ONELINER
Someone needs to invent an alarm clock that, if you hit snooze more than three times, will call in sick for you. :D
7. NOW THAT'S FUNNY!
The Graham Norton Show - Feisty Cher and Hashtag Howlers
Because Pluto’s moon Charon and Pluto orbit each other, Charon appears to stand still in Pluto’s sky an the same sides of Pluto and Charon always face each other.
9. ZEN WISDOM
Our hopes, desires and ambitions are powerful forces existing within us for the shaping of the future. They are the generating forces that create the future. To lose hope or give up one’s goals because of the setbacks of the moment is to diminish one’s own life potential. Hopes, dreams, faith and sense of mission enable us to open up our lives.