Eight Generations of Monarchs
History Meme- 1/3 Inventions
The first experimental cellphones were built in the Soviet Union between 1957 and 1961. Science fiction novels dating back to the ’30s had speculated that one day people might have phones they could take with them.
The first cellular system, that made it possible for people in select areas to actually use their phones while out and about, was introduced in 1978 in North America.
In the 1980s, cellphones that required a suitcase-sized battery were sold commercially, mainly marketed to high-powered business people who needed to be able to take calls all the time. They were expensive, bulky, and service was bad.
Cellphones didn’t become mainstream until the mid-1990s, when they could be produced in a more portable format, and the increased demand led to more cellphone towers being built. This led to reliable cellphone service in more areas.
By the mid-2000s cellphones were a key part of daily life in most of the developed world, and revolutionized the speed of how we communicate with each other. The technology used to create portable phones adapted well to the inclusion of cameras, text messaging, and eventually access to the internet.
History Meme- 2/2 Natural Disasters
“I could not speak. I became unconscious. I could not open my mouth because then I smelled something terrible. I heard my daughter snoring in a terrible way, very abnormal. I collapsed and fell… I was surprised to see that my trousers were red, had some stains like honey. I saw some… starchy mess on my body. My arms had some wounds; I didn’t really know how I got these wounds. I wanted to speak, my breath would not come out. I went into my daughter’s bed, thinking that she was still sleeping. I slept till it was 4:30 p.m. in the afternoon. My daughter was already dead. I managed to go over to my neighbors’ houses. They were all dead.”
-Joseph Nkwain, describing the horrific events that took place on August 21, 1986.
Lake Nyos is a crater lake in Northwest Cameroon, formed by a series of volcanic explosions, the most recent taking place only four or five centuries ago, though the exact date is not known.
Scientists still debate over what exactly triggered the tower of water,one hundred fee tall, that emerged from Lake Nyos that horrible night. It could have been a small, otherwise in significant volcanic eruption. It could have been the result of a small earthquake or landslide that altered the chemical balance of the lake. Or it could have been something as simple as a rainy summer raising the water level.
The water was just the beginning. A cloud of some horrible poison filled the air. It was as though people were being suffocated by a ghost. Their bodies were burned. In the twenty-five miles surrounding Lake Nyos, the people, and the animals, gasped desperately for air until they stopped moving. It was nighttime, so most were in their beds. Perhaps many simply never woke up. Seventeen-hundred and forty-six people perished. In the village closest by, only six out of eight-hundred survived.
It was shortly afterwards that science, as it usually does, explained away the horrific event. Crater lakes, like Lake Nyos, are produced by volcanos. Volcanoes also produce magma, which produces carbon dioxide. Typically, this is not a problem. Small amounts of carbon dioxide naturally occur in the environment, and humans are used to breathing it. When the percentage in the air gets above 10%, that can be fatal. The amount that would be normally released by a crater lake would not pose a danger. But there is something horribly unique about Lake Nyos. The gas was trapped in cold water at the bottom of the lake. It built up over time, become more and more dangerous. Then, on that dark, horrible night in August, it exploded.
It’s called a limic eruption. Only two have been documented in history, though local legends suggest it had happened more often. In August of 1984, about sixty-miles south of Lake Nyos, Lake Monoun similarly exploded, but the consequences were far less devastating and only thirty-seven lives were lost. In the years since, pipes have been built under both lakes to pump out the carbon dioxide and prevent this bizarre phenomena from reoccurring. Even so, there is still something deeply unsettling about the idea of a lake killing over a thousand people without even getting them wet.
History Meme- 1/2 Natural Disasters
The Chesapeake-Potomac Hurricane of 1933 was one of the most devastating hurricanes to hit the Mid-Atlantic coast in the 20th Century. It made landfall at Nag’s Head in Northeast North Carolina at 4am on August 23, 1933, and quickly travelled up the coast to hit Norfolk, Richmond, and Washington D.C. by nightfall. There were not a lot of evacuations because it was very unclear where the hurricane would have the strongest effect. It was predicted to hit the coast anywhere from South Carolina to Boston. Though the storm was only a category one by the time it struck the cities affected, the flooding caused by the storm did extensive damage, especially in the Norfolk area, and in the nation’s capitol, where an overflow from the Potomac River flooded streets and most of the city’s many tunnels. Ocean City was also severely damaged, and the storm even reshaped parts of the Maryland coastline.
During the Depression era, many people living in coastal areas in Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland had poorly build wooden houses that were easily destroyed by the winds and in some cases even swept out to sea. Near Alexandria, a train was knocked off its tracks and killed ten people. In Suffolk, Virginia, families who lived in houses on stilts in the middle of the Nansemond River saw their homes and all of their possessions swept away in a gust of wind, though the death toll for the entire Hampton Roads area was only eight people.
The storm is still the subject of legend in South-East Virginia, where pretty much every person living in the area suffered property damage.
The above GIFS are from old newsreel footage of Norfolk and what is now the City of Virginia Beach found in this video, while the photo is from the Virginian Pilot, and shows young men canoeing down Granby Street in Norfolk, where 2/3 of the city was flooded.
More information and images:
History Meme- 1/1 War
World War I, known by contempories as The Great War, started on July 28, 1914. Traditionally historians have credited the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand as the cause of the war, but long-standing tensions between European nations and the imperialistic policies of most of the major players seemingly made some kind of conflict inevitable. A ceasefire was finally reached at 11am on November 11, 1918. The date and time was highly symbolic; the war ended at the “eleventh hour” or the last possible time.
About twenty million people died, which is an especially high number considering the world population around the turn of the century was about one-fourth of the world population today. At least twenty million more were seriously wounded. The death toll was far higher than in previous wars mainly due to new technology such as tanks, poison gas, artillery, submarines, and machine guns. Soldiers lived and fought in trenches, developing deep bonds with their cohorts and suffering alternately from boredom and terror.
The lasting effects of the war were absolutely staggering. Germany, which was blamed as the primary aggressor, was severely punished financially. That led to a complete economic collapse, widespread poverty and starvation, and eventually the rise of fascism in Germany. The way World War I was resolved almost guaranteed there would eventually be another war of equal magnitude. The men who returned had severe physical and mental scars, and some countries (such as Great Britain) lost such a large percentage of their young men that it resulted in a noticeable gender imbalance. After leaving behind everything to go fight, many returning soldiers also found that there were no jobs waiting for them. Many of the world’s oldest monarchies fell during the conflict or in the immediate aftermath, and all of the great empires of the 19th century either fell entirely or were severely weakened by the war.
In the aftermath of the war there was a great cultural renaissance and some of the greatest writers, artists, and filmmakers in history emerged to create masterpieces from the ashes of destruction. But hardly anyone who had returned from the trenches would have seen that as a fair trade-off.
Check your local listings! It’s called “Edward and George, Two Brothers, One Throne” and I haven’t seen it.
Thanks to Marcia from TheRoyalFanzine for the tip!
Wallis writing to David, February 1937
Lot of shade getting thrown on poor Bertie. See, if I was making this kind of dig I would say call him instead of writing him because he’s too dumb to read, but Wallis’s comment is probably more insulting.
Day Seven: Post your all time favorite photo of your OTP together.
There are so many great photos of Wallis and David together. I’m happy that they’re one of the only royal couples of that era who were willing to show affection and emotion in public. This is my favorite photo because of how flirty Wallis looks. The way she’s looking at her husband is just adorable. David’s looking at the camera all smarmy too! I love both their outfits and general expressions here as well.
Day Six: Post the photo of your OTP where both parties look the most attractive.
I think they both look pretty nice here. David looks like an old-timey movie gangster with that carnation in his button-hole. Also, I suspect he is whispering something dirty into Wallis’s ear.
Day Five: Post the most feels inducing photo of your OTP.
This picture is definitely my choice! Look how they’re smiling, and how close they are. This is a couple who’ve been together almost half their lives, and everyone wanted their marriage to fail. Yet here they are, more happy and in-love than ever. They grew old together. Very sweet and heart-warming, I think.