Cover of Francesco Sizzi's work

Jupiter's moons are invisible to the naked eye and therefore can have no influence on the Earth, and therefore would be useless, and therefore do not exist.

Francisco Sizzi, an Italian astronomer who lived during the 17th century, argued against the existence of the Galilean satellites of Jupiter, discovered by Galileo in 1610. In 1611, he published a book, Dianoia astronomica, optica, physica, qua Syderei Nuncij rumor de quatuor planetis à Galilaeo Galilaeo mathematico celeberrimo recens perspicillì cuiusdam ope conspectis, vanus redditur. Auctore Francisco Sitio Florentino, ("Understanding of astronomy, optics, and physics, about a rumour in Sidereus Nuncius about the four planets seen by the very celebrated mathematician Galileo Galilei with his telescope, shown to be unfounded."). His main argument was an astrological one (book page 16). In the macrocosm, there are seven planets: two favourable (beneficas) ones, two unfavorable (maleficas) ones, two luminaries, and unique Mercury, erratic (vagum) and indifferent (indifferens). In the microcosm, the human head has seven openings: two nostrils, two eyes, two ears, and one mouth. He also noted that there are seven days in the week, seven metals, etc. Given all these corresponding sets of seven, there was clearly no place for the extra planets that Galileo had claimed to have discovered. So they do not exist.

Although Sizzi's book was largely dismissed, Galileo was forgiving and Sizzi did go on to contribute to science, being credited with being the first to notice the annual movement of sunspots.

Sources: Wikipedia and Even geniuses make mistakes, New Scientist and Galileo Gleanings III, A Kind Word for Sizzi, Stillman Drake

Jupiter's moons are invisible...therefore do not exist - Francesco Sizzi, 1610

The phlogiston theory is a superseded scientific theory that postulated that a fire-like element called phlogiston is contained within combustible bodies and released during combustion. The name comes from the Ancient Greek φλογιστόν phlogistón (burning up), from φλόξ phlóx (flame). It was first stated in 1667 by Johann Joachim Becher and then put together more formally by Georg Ernst Stahl. The theory attempted to explain processes such as combustion and rusting, which are now collectively known as oxidation.

Phlogiston legacy

In the 1770s Carl Scheele was one of the first to identify hydrogen and oxygen (as well as molybdenum, tungsten, barium and chlorine), but because he followed the phlogiston theory, assumed that hydrogen was composed of phlogiston (a reducing principle lost when objects were burned) plus heat. Scheele speculated that his fire air or oxygen (which he found the active part of air, estimating it to compose one quarter of air) combined with the phlogiston in objects to produce either light or heat (light and heat were presumed to be composed of differing proportions of phlogiston and oxygen).

Joseph Priestley independently isolated oxygen from mercury oxide, which he called dephlogisticated air, rather than believing it to be a new element.

In France Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794) performed similar experiments with the same substances. He got the same results as Priestley, but he was seeking a new explanation of combustion, so he saw his results from a different perspective. Lavoisier suggested that rather than phlogiston being given off when a metal rusted, or a substance burned, a more simple explanation was that Priestley's new gas, which he called oxygen, was being absorbed from the air.

Also during this time Henry Cavendish recognised the elemental nature of hydrogen. In the 1780s he accurately measured the composition of air where he concluded that "common air consists of one part of dephlogisticated air [oxygen], mixed with four of phlogisticated [nitrogen]".

It was not until the twentieth century that the last legacy of phlogiston was explained away with the new theory of combustion where heat was revealed to be a form of energy.
Death of Union Major General John Sedgwick - Statue at the U.S. Military Academy West Point (NY)

Why are you dodging like this? They couldn't hit an elephant at this distance!

John Sedgwick (September 13, 1813 - May 9, 1864) was a military officer and Union Army general during the American Civil War.

He was wounded three times at the Battle of Antietam while leading his division in an unsuccessful assault against Confederate forces, causing him to miss the Battle of Fredericksburg. Under his command, the VI Corps played an important role in the Chancellorsville Campaign by engaging Confederate troops at the Second Battle of Fredericksburg and the Battle of Salem Church. His corps was the last to arrive at the Battle of Gettysburg and thus did not see much action. Sedgwick was killed by a sharpshooter at the Battle of Spotsylvania Court House on May 9, 1864, making him and Major Generals James B. McPherson, Joseph K. Mansfield and John F. Reynolds the highest-ranking Union soldiers to be killed in the war. He is remembered for his ironic last words.

Source: Wikipedia

They couldn’t hit an elephant at this distance! - General Sedgwick, 1864

Lord Kelvin.jpg

William Thomson, Baron Kelvin,  (26 June 1824 – 17 December 1907) was an Irish mathematical physicist and engineer. He determined he temperature of absolute zero at -273.15C and the unit of absolute temperature is named in his honour. 

On 8th November, 1895, the German mechanical engineer Wilhelm Rontgen produced and detected electromagnetic radiation in a wavelength range know as X-rays. "Lord Kelvin was entirely skeptical, and regarded the announcement as a hoax."  

X-rays are hoax - Lord Kelvin, 1895

Wilhelm Röntgen Jackie Sleper Schalkwijkstraat Utrecht.jpg

 On 17 January 1896, having read Rontgen's Memoirs and seen the photographs, Kelvin wrote Röntgen a letter saying that "I need not tell you that when I read the paper I was very much astonished and delighted. I can say no more now than to congratulate you warmly on the great discovery you have made." 

Kelvin would have his own hand X-rayed in May 1896 and Rontgen went on to win the first Nobel Prize in Physics for his discovery in 1901.  

Guiglielmo Marconi

The coming of the wireless era will make war impossible, because it will make war ridiculous.

Guglielmo Giovanni Maria Marconi, 1st Marquis of Marconi FRSA (25 April 1874 – 20 July 1937) was an Italian inventor and electrical engineer, known for his pioneering work on long-distance radio transmission, development of Marconi's law, and a radio telegraph system. He is credited as the inventor of radio, and he shared the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics with Karl Ferdinand Braun "in recognition of their contributions to the development of wireless telegraphy".

Source: Wikipedia

The coming of the wireless era will make war impossible... - Guglielmo Marconi, 1912

Military conflict took place during every year of the 20th Century. There were only short periods of time that the world was free of war. The total number of deaths caused by war during the 20th Century has been estimated at 187 million and is probably higher.

The following list includes some of the wars fought by the armed forces of the United Kingdom, the British Empire and the British Commonwealth since 1900.

  • The Second Anglo-Boer War, 1899–1902
  • The First World War, 1914–1918
  • The Russian Civil War, 1917–1922
  • The Irish War of Independence, 1919–1921
  • The Irish Civil War, 1922–1923
  • The Second World War, 1939–1945
  • The Korean War, 1950–1953
  • The Kenya Emergency, 1952–1960
  • The Suez Crisis, 1956
  • The Malayan Emergency, 1948–1960
  • The Aden Emergency, 1963–1967
  • The Troubles, 1968–1998
  • The Falklands War, 1982
  • The Gulf War, 1990–1991
  • The Bosnian War, 1992–1995
  • The Kosovo War, 1998–1999
  • The Global War on Terrorism, 2001–2013
  • The War in Afghanistan, 2001–2014
  • The Iraq War and Insurgency, 2003–2011

Taken from Imperial War Museum website.

Book cover of Clara's War

Clara's War autobiography by Clara Kramer End of page 21

Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin (born Ioseb Besarionis dzе Jugashvili 18 December 1878 – 5 March 1953) was the ruler of the Soviet Union from the mid-1920s until his death in 1953. He served as the general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952) and premier of the Soviet Union (1941–1953). Despite initially governing the Soviet Union as part of a collective leadership, he eventually consolidated power to become the country's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin formalised these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies are known as Stalinism.


Gaiety is the outstanding feature of the Soviet Union - Josef Stalin, 1935

2012-13 Art Exhibition at Saatchi Gallery

Humor is the merit of our nation. Caustic and bitter, simple-hearted and intricate, Russian humor has lived through the most ferocious, most desperate years. And I wish to believe, as long as we are able to joke, that we remain a great nation!Sergei Dovlatov

Truman holding the Chicago Tribune showing the headline: Dewey defeats Truman

Dewey defeats Truman - Chicago Tribune

W.C. Hueper

"If excessive smoking actually plays a role in the production of lung cancer, it seems to be a minor one"

Dr. Wilhelm Carl Hueper, MD (b. November 4, 1894 - d. December 1, 1978) was a German medic in World War I and self-proclaimed pacifist. He completed medical school in 1920 at Rostock University, before finally moving to the United States in 1934.

Dr. Hueper was the first director of the Environmental Cancer Section of the National Cancer Institute, holding that post from 1938 to 1964. He tried throughout his career to bring attention to corporate efforts to disguise and hide occupational cancers caused by chemicals, especially industrial dyes, and asbestos. His 1942 work "Occupational Tumors and Allied Diseases" is recognized as the first medical textbook listing cancers and their occupational causes. He is the author of over 300 medical articles, editorials, chapters of books, and books on occupational and environmental cancer and in "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson, Hueper is credited with being the first person to recognize the connection between pollution, occupationally-used chemicals and cancer.

In 1953 the Tobacco Industry Research Committee was formed by a group of tobacco companies and the public relations firm Hill and Knowlton. Their aim was to promote negative claims against the dangers of cigarettes. Part of their strategy involved identifying sympathetic scientists and encouraging their cooperation with the industry’s public relations campaign. When Hueper was to give a paper discussing “the lack of a proven link between lung cancer and smoking” at the Sixth International Cancer Congress in São Paulo, Brazil, in 1954, Hill and Knowlton contacted him. It was agreed that copies of Hueper’s paper would be distributed to media representatives and that the paper would be included in a standard public relations packet.

However, Hueper's arguments were intimately connected to his involvement in litigation over asbestos and other occupational carcinogens at the time. A defense commonly employed by the asbestos industry was to call attention to the victim’s smoking habits and argue that his lung cancer could have followed from his smoking rather than his asbestos exposure.

Sources: Wikipedia and Public Health Then and Now by Mark Parascandola, PhD

WHO on tobacco

Eddie Bond

Eddie Bond (July 1, 1933 – March 20, 2013) was an American rockabilly singer and guitarist. When he was almost 21 and established on the music scene in Memphis, a 16-year-old fellow band member, Ronnie Smith, invited a 19 year old Elvis Presley to audition to sing with the group in May 1954 at the Hi Hat Club on South Third Street. Presley, drinking a Coke with his girlfriend, Dixie Locke, waited nervously to go on.

Bond asked Elvis what he did for a living, and Elvis said he drove a truck for Crown Electric. Presley then sang two songs on stage, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar. Afterward, he and Bond spoke out of earshot of others. A few years later, Eddie Bond told a friend that he had told Presley to stick with his day job, “because you’re never going to make it as a singer.”

Source: Wikipedia and The New York Times

Stick to your day job. You’re never going to make it as a singer - Eddie Bond, 1954

Elvis Presley in Heart America

Eddie Bond told many people that he was simply conveying to Presley the assessment of the club owners, but the conversation apparently stuck with the future king of rock ’n’ roll.

In 1957, as Presley was about to film “Jailhouse Rock,” he told a friend that Mr. Bond “broke my heart.” Travelling by train to Hollywood, he said, “I wonder what Eddie Bond thinks now.”

A 2007 conservative estimate was that Elvis has sold over one billion records worldwide, more than anyone else in the history of the record business.

Variety Magazine cover

Rock'n'Roll? It'll be gone by June - Variety Magazine, 1955

T.A.M. Craven

There is practically no chance communications satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television or radio service inside the United States. - T.A.M. Craven, commissioner of the Federal Communications Commission and Vice-President of Iowa Broadcasting Company, claimed in August 1961. 

Telstar 1 launched July 10, 1962

See quote at 35s

I don't think there will be a woman PM in my lifetime - Margaret Thatcher, 1972

Having drawn the 1973-74 series in the West Indies, England started the 1976 series at home against the West Indies in confident mood, with their captain Tony Greig proclaiming before TV cameras that England would make West Indies "grovel". Greig was never allowed to forget that comment, although in a subsequent interview many years later he recounted that his comment was born out of frustration with the journalist interviewing him at Hove in early season 1976. Greig felt that the interviewer was concentrating too much on the West Indies fast bowling attack and not discussing England's strengths. Even in an interview with Sky Sports "Saturday Story" only around a year before Greig died, he was prepared to apologise on camera for his remark - even some 35 years after he had originally made it.

1976 - West Indies cricket tour

West Indian cricket team in England in 1976
 WestIndiesCricketFlagPre1999.svg Flag of England.svg
  West Indies England
Dates 12 May – 17 August
Captains Clive Lloyd Tony Greig
Alan Knott (1st ODI)
Test series
Result West Indies won the 5-match series 3–0
Most runs Viv Richards (829) David Steele (308)
Most wickets Michael Holding (28) Derek Underwood (17)
One Day International series
Results West Indies won the 3-match series 3–0
Most runs Viv Richards (216) Derek Randall (127)
Most wickets Andy Roberts (8) Derek Underwood (5)
Player of the series Derek Randall (Eng) and Viv Richards (WI)
Terry Kath

Don't worry about it ... Look, the clip is not even in it

Terry Alan Kath was a guitarist and singer for the band Chicago. In the 1970s he was mixing a liking for guns with drug and alcohol abuse.

On January 23, 1978, after a party at the home of roadie and band technician Don Johnson, in Woodland Hills, Los Angeles, California, Kath began to play with his .38 revolver, spinning on his finger, putting it to his temple, and pulling the trigger. The gun was not loaded. Johnson warned Kath several times to be careful. Kath then picked up a semi-automatic 9-mm pistol and, leaning back in a chair, said to Johnson, "Don't worry about it ... Look, the clip is not even in it." Kath showed Johnson the empty magazine, replaced the magazine in the gun, put the gun to his temple and pulled the trigger. Apparently unknown to Kath, the semi-automatic had a round in the chamber. He died instantly from the gunshot, eight days before his 32nd birthday.

Source: Wikipedia

Don't worry about it ... Look, the clip is not even in it - Terry Kath, 1978

Manchester United win Premiership

Blockbuster turn down Netflix

Harold Egbert Camping (July 19, 1921 – December 15, 2013) was an American Christian radio broadcaster, author and evangelist.

He first predicted that the Judgment Day would occur on or about September 6, 1994. When it failed to occur, he revised the date to September 29 and then to October 2.

In 2005, Camping predicted the Second Coming of Christ in May 21, 2011. Those saved would be taken up to heaven in the rapture, and that "there would follow five months of fire, brimstone and plagues on Earth, with millions of people dying each day, culminating on October 21, 2011, with the final destruction of the world."

Source: Wikipedia

Judgement Day on 21 May 2011 - Harold Camping, 2011

After May 21 passed without the predicted events, Camping said he believed that a "spiritual" judgment had occurred on that date, and that the physical Rapture would occur on October 21, 2011, simultaneously with the final destruction of the universe by God. Except for one press appearance on May 23, 2011, Camping largely avoided press interviews after May 21, particularly after he suffered a stroke in June 2011. After October 21, 2011 passed without the predicted apocalypse, the mainstream media labelled Camping a false prophet and commented that his ministry would collapse after the "failed 'Doomsday' prediction".

Camping was reported to have retired from his position at Family Radio on October 16, 2011, only days before his final prediction for the end of the world. However, his daughter later clarified that he had not retired outright, but was maintaining a role at Family Radio while working from home. Camping admitted in a private interview that he no longer believed that anybody could know the time of the Rapture or the end of the world, in stark contrast to his previously staunch position on the subject. In March 2012, he stated that his attempt to predict a date was "sinful", and that his critics had been right in emphasizing the words of Matthew 24:36: "of that day and hour knoweth no man". He added that he was now searching the Bible "even more fervently...not to find dates, but to be more faithful in [his] understanding".

After the failure of his prophecies, Family Radio suffered a significant loss of assets, staff and revenue. Camping died on December 15, 2013 after complications sustained from a fall in his home two weeks earlier.

UK Coronvirus preparations

Matt Hancock ventilator tweet

Current US Coronavirus deaths