Tag Archives: Charles Darwin

The Darwin Murders

A short time ago, I was invited by a friend to write a short piece for an upcoming anthology, published online, called The Darwin Murders. Participants were asked to write a 250 word piece in which they could kill of a character of their choosing, provided the poor unfortunate didn’t/doesn’t exist in real life. (No killing Hitler or Stalin, okay?)

I choose the bane of modern-day small screen viewing, the horror that is the television licence inspector. The editors liked my story so much that I was one of two authors who had their pieces put aside for special mention.

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If you want to find out how and why I murdered a television licence inspector, pop over to Amazon and see for yourself. And don’t stop at me, either. Other writers in the anthology harbour secret desires to bump off their nemeses. At the end of the day, we each have our dark sides.

Don’t forget to look behind you – you could be next.

 

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On This Day…24 August

It’s only four days to the weekend. The countdown begins now. I bet you can hardly wait.

Anyway, today is 24 August 2010. Throughout history, on this day in…

1456 – The printing of the Gutenberg Bible is completed. Booklovers the world over contemplated the mystery that is the semi-colon; see, I used it there. I’m clever, aren’t I?

1682 – William Penn receives the area that is now the state of Delaware, and adds it to his colony of Pennsylvania. 400 years later, his descendant Sean wins an Oscar. (I made that bit up.)

Sean takes after him

1831 – Charles Darwin is asked to travel on HMS Beagle. His request to change the name to HMS Snoopy is denied.

1892 – Goodison Park in Liverpool, England, one of the world’s first purpose-built football grounds, opens. It is still the home ground of Everton FC today

1932 – Amelia Earhart is the first woman to fly across the United States non-stop (from Los Angeles to Newark, New Jersey). Whatever happened to Amelia remains a mystery to this day.

1968 – France explodes its first hydrogen bomb, thus becoming the world’s fifth nuclear power. (Bloody cheese-eating, surrender-monkeys!)

Who are you calling a Dwarf?

2006 – The International Astronomical Union (IAU) redefines the term “planet” such that Pluto is considered a Dwarf Planet. Mickey and Minnie are inconsolable.

Birthday wishes are sent to:

Orson Scott Card, 59 today.

Stephen Fry, the celebrated actor, comedian,  writer and manic depressive, is 53.

And Ron Weasley. aka Rupert Grint, is all of 22-years-old today. Rupert, my friend, I hope you have a successful career, once the Harry Potter movies have finished.

A personal favourite of mine of mine when I was growing up was the actress Yootha Joyce. She was Mildred to Brian Murphy’s George in the classic English sit-com, George & Mildred. Yootha died on this day in 1980. She was 63.

On This Day…20 August

Thank God it’s Friday. I wish you and yours the very best today, 20 August 2010.

So many eventful …um…events occurred on this day. Events like

1804 – Lewis and Clark Expedition: the “Corps of Discovery”, exploring the Louisiana Purchase, suffers its only death when sergeant Charles Floyd dies, apparently from acute appendicitis. I wonder if poor Charles had insurance. Remember, it’s LEWIS and CLARK, not LOIS and CLARK.

Not LEWIS and CLARK.

1858 – Charles Darwin first publishes his theory of evolution in The Journal of the Proceedings of the Linnean Society of London, alongside Alfred Russel Wallace’s same theory. Creationists everywhere have a hissy fit.

1920 – The National Football League, (NFL), is founded in the United States. The rest of the world wonders spends the next decade working out the rules. (See also cricket).

1991 – Collapse of the Soviet Union, August Coup: more than 100,000 people rally outside the Soviet Union’s parliament building protesting the coup aiming to depose President Mikhail Gorbachev. The rest of the world rejoices…except for thriller writers.

1998 – U.S. embassy bombings: the United States military launches cruise missile attacks against alleged al-Qaida camps in Afghanistan and a suspected chemical plant in Sudan in retaliation for the August 7 bombings of American embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.

Born on this day:

Robert Plant, Led Zeppelin singer, is 62.

Limp Bizkit frontman, Fred Durst is 40.

James Marsters, “Spike” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is an eternally young 48.

James Marsters as Spike

Enjoy what is definitely my favourite Zeppelin song, “Stairway to Heaven.”