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Belfast urged to mark CS Lewis’ 50th anniversary – Northern Ireland, Local & National – Belfasttelegraph.co.uk

December 4, 2012 Leave a comment

The 50th anniversary of the death of CS Lewis should be marked in his native Belfast in honour of the legacy of the renowned writer, it has been urged.

Politicians and experts on the author, famous for his Narnia books, maintain that it would be both a “missed opportunity” and “affront to his memory” if it is not commemorated by a significant event in Northern Ireland.

The comments come after it was announced a memorial stone will be erected in Westminster Abbey’s Poets’ Corner next year in his honour.

DUP MLA Robin Newton said there is now 12 months to organise a significant event fitting to his legacy.

“There will be other small exhibitions and events organised, but we need something of significance to recognise his contribution— across all the communities,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure said both Libraries NI and the Linenhall Library are organising a programme of events including exhibitions, talks, readings and workshops.

via Belfast urged to mark CS Lewis’ 50th anniversary – Northern Ireland, Local & National – Belfasttelegraph.co.uk.

Poor choice of materials made Titanic more vulnerable – Quirks and Quarks

An image of knocking off time at Harland & Wol...

Studies of the steel that made up the hull and rivets of Titanic have shown that the ship was made with lower-grade metals that were more brittle, suggesting that lives might have been saved had the vessel been constructed with better material.

As memorial services this weekend mark the 100th anniversary of the famous disaster at sea, scientists who have studied samples of the hull brought up from the wreck have found the ship was built with sub-standard steel. They suggest that there might have been less damage from the collision with the iceberg had the ship been made with a higher grade of metal.

Titanic might have stayed afloat longer if the damage has been less severe, allowing more time for rescue ships to arrive before the ship slipped beneath the waves.

The problems with steel quality arose from the attempt by the builders of Titanic – Harland and Wolff – to construct two other vessels of equal size at the same time, Britanic and Olympic, intended to be the largest passenger ships in the world. But this massive feat of construction was hard on suppliers of steel and rivets, causing shortages that were greatest during the construction of Titanic.

When pieces of hull were brought up from the famous wreck on the ocean floor, laboratory tests in the 1990s showed the steel contained higher levels of sulfur than was customary for ship construction at the time. It made the metal more brittle, especially in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. The edges of the steel fragments were also jagged, indicating that it had shattered on impact, rather than being bent and torn as lower-sulfur steel would have been.

In addition to a shortage of steel plates for the hull, there was a shortage of steel rivets and expert riveters to piece the hull together. The company was forced to use lower grade wrought iron rivets which, under impact tests, also turned out to be more brittle.

via Poor choice of materials made Titanic more vulnerable – Quirks and Quarks.

Strange Random Steel Quote:

“Men are like steel. When they lose their temper, they lose their worth.” – Chuck Norris

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Wellington Airport named one of world’s scariest landings | NATIONAL News

January 11, 2012 Leave a comment

An aerial photo of the Wellington Internationa...

A British travel journalist has named Wellington Airport in a list of the 15 scariest airport landings.

The article published in The Telegraph said conditions in the capital are exceptionally difficult due to the short runway, a tricky approach through hilly landscape, and frighteningly strong crosswinds.

It said that combination of factors can make for “a terrifyingly turbulent landing”.

via Wellington Airport named one of world’s scariest landings | NATIONAL News.

Strange Random Landing Quote:

“There is a story that when incoming jets throttle back for the approach to Belfast’s Aldergrove Airport, the pilots tell their passengers to put their watches back to local time – 1690” – Russell Miller

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White Christmas odds plummet – and Santa fails to fly | UK news

December 19, 2010 Leave a comment
Queen's Park in winter, looking towards Queen'...

Image via Wikipedia

If you’re in the UK right now and dreaming of a White Christmas (just like the ones you used to know), then you’re very much in luck, although ironically there’s no money to be made this year. Life’s like that …

William Hill has slashed the odds against a white Christmas in every UK city. A month ago, the bookmaker was offering odds of 8-1 in most cities; now it rates a white Christmas as odds on in Scotland. The odds around the nation are: Aberdeen 8-11; Edinburgh 4-5; Glasgow 4-5; Newcastle, Leeds, Manchester, York, all evens; Belfast 11-10; Birmingham, Liverpool, evens; Cardiff, Exeter, London, Cambridge, Bristol, Lincoln, Norwich, Oxford, all 5-4.

via White Christmas odds plummet – and Santa fails to fly | UK news | guardian.co.uk.

Strange Random Snow Quote:

There’s one good thing about snow, it makes your lawn look as nice as your neighbor’s. – Clyde Moore

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1,300 ways to say the same thing | Education | The Guardian

Speech Accent Archive“Please call Stella. Ask her to bring these things with her from the store: six spoons of fresh snow peas, five thick slabs of blue cheese, and maybe a snack for her brother Bob. We also need a small plastic snake and a big toy frog for the kids. She can scoop these things into three red bags, and we will go meet her Wednesday at the train station.”

You can hear these words recited 1,300 times at the online speech accent archive at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia – and every one is different.

via 1,300 ways to say the same thing | Education | The Guardian.

You can listen to people from a specific country or browse by native language, which may be more useful if you’re a language student. To give you an idea of the possibilities, compare the following native speakers (all links open in a new window):

Do you want to add to the archive? It’s as easy as recording a good quality file and sending it to them, although you will have to fill in a form and agreement first ;-)

Get all the information you need here.

Strange Random Accent Quote:

I shouldn’t be saying this – high treason, really – but I sometimes wonder if Americans aren’t fooled by our accent into detecting brilliance that may not really be there. – Stephen Fry

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