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I stayed in a really old hotel last night. They sent me a wake-up letter.

January 2, 2009

Burglar scared off by man dressed as Thor

thor

Torvald Alexander, the Norse god of thunder!
A builder scared off a house-breaker by running at him dressed as the Norse god Thor.

The terrified intruder leapt from a first floor window to escape Torvald Alexander, who was dressed as the Norse god of thunder in a red cape and silver helmet and breastplate.

Mr Alexander had just returned from a New Year’s Eve fancy dress party when he discovered the man in his home in Inverleith, Edinburgh.

He said he acted instinctively to chase the intruder away, and believed his costume may have added impact.

Mr Alexander, 39, said: “We were both startled but then the instant reaction was that I ran at him and he just jumped straight out of the window.

“I think I would be quite scared if someone looking almost like a gladiator ran at them.

“He might have thought the property was empty.

“He probably would not have expected to meet a strong builder, especially dressed in tinfoil and silver.”

The house-breaker did not steal anything but left behind his shoes and the garden fork he used to break in.

He landed on a pitched roof outside the window which broke his fall, and made his escape. Mr Alexander, whose name has Norwegian roots, was inspired to dress as Thor by the Marvel comics series.

He made his costume himself, using large quantities of tinfoil.

The Norse believed that Thor rode through the heavens during thunderstorms on his chariot, which was pulled by two goats.

Lightning flashed whenever he threw his hammer Mjollnir, which magically returned to him. He was usually depicted as a big, powerful man with eyes of lightning and a red beard.

Mr Alexander, who runs building firm Alexander & Summers, said he will report the incident to police.

Lothian and Borders Police said they have not yet received a report.

 

Balloon priest wins Darwin Award for stupidity

priest balloons

There he goes: Di Carli, the balloon priest

A daredevil Catholic priest who was killed after floating out to sea suspended by 1,000 helium-filled party balloons has been honoured for his idiocy.

Reverend Adelir Antonio di Carli had been trying to break a record for the longest time in-flight with party balloons when he disappeared.

Three months later his body was discovered off the south-eastern coast of Brazil.

But now he has won the 2008 Darwin Awards which commemorates people who die in a stupid fashion.

 

 

priest balloons

Di Carli: blowing in the wind

 

Rev di Carli planned to use the money raised in his attempt to break the 19-hour record to fund a “spiritual” rest-stop for truckers in Paranagua, home to Brazil’s largest grain port.

Second place went to Italian Ivece Plattner, 68, who got trapped in between a level crossing in his beloved Porsche.

It took Plattner a while to realise he was stuck, according to witnesses. Finally, he jumped from the car and started to run – towards the oncoming train, waving his arms in an attempt to save his car.

The attempt was successful. The car received less damage than its owner

1777American Revolutionary War: American forces under the command of George Washington repulsed a British attack at the Battle of the Assunpink Creek near Trenton, New Jersey.

The Battle of the Assunpink Creek also known as The Second Battle of Trenton was an American Victory in a battle that took place on January 2, 1777, during the American Revolutionary War.

Lieutenant General Charles Cornwallis had left 1,400 British troops under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Charles Mawhood in Princeton, New Jersey. Following a surprise victory at the Battle of Trenton early in the morning of December 26, 1776, General George Washington of the Continental Army and his council of war expected a strong British counter-attack. Washington and his council decided to meet this attack in Trenton.

Washington established a defensive position south of the Assunpink Creek, just south of Trenton. Cornwallis’ moved from Princeton to Trenton on January 2, but his army was delayed by riflemen under the command of Edward Hand, and the advanced guard did not even reach Trenton until twilight. After assaulting the American positions three times, and being repulsed each time, Cornwallis decided to wait and finish the battle the next day. Washington moved his army and attacked Mawhood at Princeton the next day, forcing the British to evacuate New Jersey.

Background

On December 25, 1776, George Washington, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army crossed the Delaware River with his army, and attacked the Hessian Garrison at Trenton.  The Hessian garrison was surrounded and quickly defeated. Washington crossed the river again and went back to his camp in Pennsylvania.  On December 30, Washington moved his army to Trenton and stationed his men on the south side of the Assunpink Creek.

Prelude

Washington’s Appeal

At Trenton Washington faced a dilemma. All but a handful of men’s enlistments would be up on December 31, and he knew that the army would collapse unless he convinced them to stay. So, on the 30th, Washington appealed to his men to stay one month longer for a bounty of ten dollars. He asked any men who wanted to volunteer to poise their firelocks, but not a man turned out. Washington then wheeled his horse around and rode in front of the troops, saying “My brave fellows, you have done all I asked you to do, and more than could be reasonably expected; but your country is at stake, your wives, your houses and all that you hold dear. You have worn yourselves out with fatigues and hardships, but we know not how to spare you. If you will consent to stay only one month longer, you will render that service to the cause of liberty and to your country which you probably never can do under any other circumstances.” At first, still, no one stepped forward, but then one soldier stepped forward, and he was followed by most of the others, leaving only a few in the original line.

Preparations

On January 1, money from Congress arrived in Trenton and the men were paid. Washington also received a series of resolves from Congress including one that gave Washington the power of a Military Dictator. Washington decided that he would stand and fight at Trenton, and ordered General John Cadwalader, who was at Crosswicks with 1,800 Militia, to join him in Trenton. On the 31, Washington had learned that an army of 8,000 men under the command of General Lord Cornwallis was going to attack him at Trenton.

Washington ordered his men to build earthworks that were parallel to the south bank of the Assunpink Creek. The lines extended about three miles down the south end of the stream. However, one of Washington’s aides, Joseph Reed, pointed out that there were fords up stream that the British could cross, and then they would be in position to drive in Washington’s right flank. Washington could not escape across the Delaware because all of his boats were a few miles up stream. Washington told his officers than he planned to move the army and that their current position was only temporary.

British Movement

Cornwallis, who had been planning to return to Britain, had his leave canceled. Cornwallis rode to Princeton to catch up with General James Grant, who had moved with 1,000 troops to reinforce Princeton. Cornwallis arrived, and was convinced by Grant and Carl von Donop to attack Trenton with their combined forces.

Cornwallis left Princeton to march 11 miles to Trenton before dawn on January 2, 1777. He left Colonel Charles Mawhood in Princeton with the 17th, 40th and 55th regiments with some cannon as the rear guard, and Cornwallis instructed Mawhood to join him in Trenton the next day. Cornwallis’s army had 28 cannon and marched in three columns. When Cornwallis reached Maidenhead he detached Colonel Alexander Leslie with 1,500 men and ordered them to remain there until the following morning.

The Battle

Delaying Actions

Out in front of his army, Cornwallis placed a skirmish line of Hessian Jagers and British light infantry. Two days before, Washington had placed an outer defensive line halfway between Trenton, in order to delay the British advance. As the British approached, Fermoy returned to Trenton, drunk. Colonel Edward Hand took his place.

As the British came within range, the American riflemen opened fire. The American riflemen took cover in the woods, ravines and even in bends in the road, and each time the British would line up in a battle line, the riflemen would fall back and fire from cover. After Hand was forced to abandon the American position along Five Mile Run, he took up a new position, a heavily wooded area on the south bank of Shabbakonk Creek. Hand deployed his men in the trees and they were so well protected from view that the British could not see them as they crossed the bridge over the stream, and the riflemen fired at them from point-blank range. The intense fire confused the British into thinking that the entire American army was up against them and they formed into battle lines, bringing up their cannon. The British searched the woods for a half an hour looking for the Americans, but Hand had already withdrawn to a new position.

By three in the afternoon, the British had reached a ravine known as Stockton Hollow, about a half a mile from Trenton where the Americans were forming another line of defense. Washington wanted to hold the British off until nightfall, when darkness would prevent the British from attacking his defenses on the south side of Assunpink Creek. The British, with artillery in position, attacked Hand’s new position, and he gave way, slowly falling back into Trenton. Along the way, Hand had his troops fire from behind houses. As Hand’s troops came to the creek, the Hessian charged at them with bayonets fixed, causing chaos among the Americans. Washington, seeing the chaos, rode out through the crowd of men crossing the bridge, and shouted that Hand’s rear guard pull back and regroup under the cover of the American artillery.

British Assault

As the British prepared to attack the American defenses, cannon and musket fire was exchanged between the opposing sides. The British moved across the bridge, advancing in solid columns, and the Americans all fired together. The British fell back, but only for a moment. The British charged the bridge again, but the cannon fire drove them back. The British charged one final time, but the Americans fired with canister this time, and the British lines were raked with fire. One soldier said “the bridge looked red as blood, with their killed and wounded and their red coats.

American withdrawal

Cornwallis’ Decision

When Cornwallis arrived in Trenton with the main army, he called a council of war as to whether or not he should continue to attack. Cornwallis’ quartermaster general, William Erskine, urged Cornwallis to strike right away and said that “If Washington is the General I take him to be, his army will not be found there in the morning.” But James Grant disagreed, and argued that there was no way for the Americans to retreat, and that the British troops were worn out and it would be better for them to attack in the morning when they were rested. Cornwallis did not want to wait until morning, but he decided that it would be better than sending his troops out to attack in the dark. Cornwallis said “We’ve got the old fox safe now. We’ll go over and bag him in the morning.” Cornwallis then moved his army, for the night, to a hill north of Trenton.

Washington’s Decision

During the night, the American artillery, under the command of Henry Knox, occasionally fired shells into Trenton to keep the British on edge. As Cornwallis had, Washington also called for a council of war. Washington knew that there was a road that would lead to Princeton, and his council of war agreed to move to, and take Princeton. By 2am the army was on its way to Princeton. Washington left behind 500 men and two cannon to keep the fires burning and to make noise with picks and shovels to make the British think they were digging in. By morning, these men too had evacuated, and when the British came to attack, all of the American troops were gone.

Aftermath

By morning, Washington had reached Princeton. After a brief battle, the British were decisively defeated and most of the garrison under command of Mawhood captured. With their third defeat in ten days, Howe evacuated the army from New Jersey and pulled it into New York.

1788Georgia becomes the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution.

Flag of Georgia                                 State seal of Georgia

The State of Georgia is a state in the United States and was one of the original Thirteen Colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution. It was the last of the Thirteen Colonies to be established, in 1733. It was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788. It seceded from the Union on January 21, 1861 and was one of the original seven Confederate states. It was the last state to be readmitted to the Union, on July 15, 1870. Georgia is the ninth-largest state in the nation by population, with an estimated 9,544,750 residents as of July 1, 2007. It is also the fourth fastest growing state in terms of numeric gain and ninth in terms of percent gain, adding 162,447 residents at a rate of 1.7 percent. From 2006 to 2007, Georgia had 18 counties among the nation’s 100 fastest-growing counties, the most of any state. Georgia is also known as the Peach State and the Empire State of the South. Atlanta is the most populous city, and the capital.

Georgia is bordered on the south by Florida; on the east by the Atlantic Ocean and South Carolina; on the west by Alabama and by Florida in the extreme southwest; and on the north by Tennessee and North Carolina. The northern part of the state is in the Blue Ridge Mountains, a mountain range in the vast mountain system of the Appalachians. The central piedmont extends from the foothills to the fall line, where the rivers cascade down in elevation to the continental coastal plain of the southern part of the state. The highest point in Georgia is Brasstown Bald, 4,784 feet (1,458 m); the lowest point is sea level.

With an area of 59,424 square miles (153,909 km²), Georgia is ranked 24th in size among the 50 U.S. states. Georgia is the largest state east of the Mississippi River in terms of land area, although it is the fourth largest (after Michigan, Florida, and Wisconsin) in total area, a term which includes expanses of water claimed as state territory

Early history

The local moundbuilder culture, described by Hernando de Soto in 1540, completely disappeared by 1560. Early on, in the course of European exploration of the area, a number of Spanish explorers visited the inland region of Georgia.

The conflict between Spain and England over control of Georgia began in earnest in about 1670, when the English founded the Carolina colony in present-day South Carolina. Nearly a century earlier, the Spanish of Spanish Florida had established the missionary provinces of Guale and Mocama on the coast and Sea Islands of present-day Georgia. After decades of fighting, the Carolinians and allied Indians permanently destroyed the Spanish mission system during the invasions of 1702 and 1704. After 1704, Spanish control was limited to St. Augustine and Pensacola, both in nowadays Florida. The Florida peninsula was subjected to raids as far as the Florida Keys. The coast of Georgia was occupied by now British-allied Indians such as the Yamasee until the Yamasee War of 1715-1717, after which the region was depopulated, opening up the possibility of a new British colony. In 1724, it was first suggested the British colony there be called Province of Georgia in honor of King George II.

British interest in establishing a colony below South Carolina came from varied sources. Spanish Florida was a threat to South Carolina and a haven for runaway slaves. The French in the 1720s established a fort near present-day Montgomery, Alabama, also a threat to British interests in the region. Traders from Charleston, South Carolina, had established trading posts as far west as the Ocmulgee River, near present-day Macon, Georgia. The British trading network kept the Creek Indians allied with them; the French move threatened to wrest these Indians’ trade away from the British. These strategic interests made the British government interested in establishing a new colony that would reinforce the British influence in the border country that had been open to Spanish and French penetration.

Meanwhile, many members of the British Parliament had become concerned about the plight of England’s debtors. A parliamentary committee investigated and reported on conditions in Britain’s debtor prisons. A group of philanthropists organized themselves to establish a colony where the “worthy poor” of England could reestablish themselves as productive citizens. This goal was seen as both philanthropic, helping these distressed people, and patriotic, simultaneously relieving Britain of the burden of the imprisoned debtors and augmenting Britain’s vital mercantile empire by planting new, industrious subjects to strengthen her trade. This goal went unfulfilled as Georgia was ultimately not settled by debtors or convicts.

In 1732, a group of these philanthropists were granted a royal charter as the Trustees of the Province of Georgia. They carefully selected the first group of colonists to send to the new colony. On 12 February 1733, 113 settlers aboard the Anne landed at what was to become the city of Savannah. This day is now known as Georgia Day, which is not a public holiday but is observed in schools and by some local civic groups. James Edward Oglethorpe, one of the trustees of the colony, traveled with the first group of colonists, laid out the design of the town of Savannah, and acted as governor of the colony, although technically under the trustees there was no “governor.” Oglethorpe acted as the only trustee present in the colony. When he returned to Britain, a series of disputes ended his tenure governing the colony; Georgia was then led by a series of presidents named by the trustees.

At the time Georgia was founded in 1732, the number of non-English immigrants to the colonies was at an all time high. Although religious toleration was not valued in itself, the pragmatic need to attract settlers led to broad religious freedoms. South Carolina wanted German Lutherans, Scottish Presbyterians, Moravians, French Huguenots and Jews, whom they valued as a counter to the French and Spanish Catholic and absolutist presence to the south. When the Moravians turned out to be pacifists who refused to serve in the colonial defense, they were expelled in 1738. Catholics were denied the right to own property. Jewish immigrants fleeing the Spanish Inquisition, which was being carried out by the Spanish colonies in the New World, were allowed in after some debate, owing to the leadership of James Oglethorpe. In 1733, over forty Jews fleeing persecution arrived in Savannah, the largest such group to enter an American colony up to that time. Among them was Dr. Samuel Nunez, who was the first doctor in Georgia. He immediately showed his value as a citizen by playing an invaluable role in curbing an epidemic that had already killed scores of settlers, and was credited with saving the colony by General Oglethorpe.

In 1752, after the government failed to renew subsidies that had helped support the colony, the Trustees turned over control to the crown. Georgia became a crown colony, with a governor appointed by the British king. However, even after Georgia eventually became a royal colony (1752), there were so many dissenters (Protestants of minority denominations, that is, non-Anglican) that the establishment of the Church of England was successfully resisted until 1752. These dissenting churches were the mainstay of the Revolutionary movement, culminating in the War for Independence from Britain, through the patriotic and anti-authoritarian sermons of their ministers, and the use of the churches to organize rebellion. Whereas the Anglican Church tended to preach stability and loyalty to the Crown, other Protestant sects preached heavily from the Old Testament and emphasized freedom and equality of all men before God, as well as the moral responsibility to rebel against tyrants.

Georgia was one of the thirteen colonies that revolted against British rule in the American Revolution by signing the 1776 Declaration of Independence, despite a large population of people loyal to the crown. Since Georgia was a relatively new colony at the time compared to the other twelve colonies, Georgia was not as active in the war. Also, the Georgian militia was not fully developed, which led to the capture of Savannah by British forces in December of 1778. American forces under the command of General Benjamin Lincoln combined with French forces under the command of Charles Henri Comte d’Estaing to lay siege to Savannah in 1779. The attempt was incredibly unsuccessful, and Savannah remained in British hands until the end of the war. During the war, nearly one-third of the slaves, more than 5,000 enslaved African Americans, exercised their desire for independence by escaping and joining British forces, where they were promised freedom. Some went to Great Britain or the Caribbean; others were resettled in Canada provinces. Other estimates show an even greater impact from the war, when slaves escaped during the disruption. “The sharp decline between 1770 and 1790 in the proportion of the population made up of blacks (almost all of whom were slaves) [went] from 45.2 percent to 36.1 percent in Georgia.”

Following the war, Georgia became the fourth state of the United States of America after ratifying the United States Constitution on 2 January 1788. Georgia established its first state constitution in 1777. The state established new constitutions in 1788, 1799, 1861, 1865, 1868, 1877, 1945, 1976, and 1983, for a total of 10 — more constitutions than any other state, except for Louisiana, which has had 11.

2008Massachusetts decriminalizes the recreational use of marijuana.

Heather O’Reilly

Heather Ann O’Reilly (born January 2, 1985 in New Brunswick, New Jersey and a graduate of both Saint Bartholomew’s School and East Brunswick High School), is an American women’s soccer player. Her father is an assistant track coach at St. Joseph High School in Metuchen, New Jersey. She also has three other brothers, one of which ran track and cross country at the Air Force Academy. She was a striker at the University of North Carolina, where she majored in education, and the New Jersey Wildcats, a W-League team. O’Reilly was allocated to Sky Blue FC of Women’s Professional Soccer in 2008.

International

O’Reilly made her first appearance with the US Women’s National Team, on March 1, 2002 against Sweden.

On August 23, 2004, O’Reilly scored the game-winning goal in the Olympics quarterfinal match against Germany, propelling the United States into the final, in which they defeated Brazil for the gold medal.

In the 2007 FIFA Women’s World Cup, O’Reilly made a critical score against North Korea in the 69th minute, tying the game at 2-2 and saving the Americans from a devastating opening-round loss. USA ended up taking the bronze medal, where O’Reilly scored a goal during the 4-1 win against Norway. As of November 2007, she has 15 career international goals. O’Reilly now wears the No. 9 jersey for the national team, a number made famous by Mia Hamm.

Club

On 16 September 2008 the initial WPS player allocation was conducted; O’Reilly was allocated to Sky Blue FC with fellow US Women’s National Team players Natasha Kai and Christie Rampone.

Personal

O’Reilly was nominated as Sports Illustrated‘s 2007 Sportsman of the year.

On February 24 of 2008, had her jersey, # 20, retired from UNC’s women’s soccer team

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