22 May 2018 - THE GALLIPOLI CAMPAIGN


THE 
GALLIPOLI 
CAMPAIGN

G'day folks,

The Gallipoli peninsula is located in the southern part of East Thrace, the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles strait to the east. It is also where thousands of soldiers died.

The Gallipoli Campaign of 1915-16, also known as the Battle of Gallipoli or the Dardanelles Campaign, was an unsuccessful attempt by the Allied Powers to control the sea route from Europe to Russia during World War I. The campaign began with a failed naval attack by British and French ships on the Dardanelles Straits in February-March 1915 and continued with a major land invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula on April 25, involving British and French troops as well as divisions of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). Lack of sufficient intelligence and knowledge of the terrain, along with a fierce Turkish resistance, hampered the success of the invasion. By mid-October, Allied forces had suffered heavy casualties and had made little headway from their initial landing sites. Evacuation began in December 1915, and was completed early the following January.




Launch of the Gallipoli Campaign 

With World War I stalled on the Western Front by 1915, the Allied Powers were debating going on the offensive in another region of the conflict, rather than continuing with attacks in Belgium and France. Early that year, Russia’s Grand Duke Nicholas appealed to Britain for aid in confronting a Turkish invasion in the Caucasus. (The Ottoman Empire had entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers, Germany and Austria-Hungary, by November 1914.) In response, the Allies decided to launch a naval expedition to seize the Dardanelles Straits, a narrow passage connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara in northwestern Turkey. If successful, capture of the straits would allow the Allies to link up with the Russians in the Black Sea, where they could work together to knock Turkey out of the war.




 Spearheaded by the first lord of the British Admiralty, Winston Churchill (over the strong opposition of the First Sea Lord Admiral John Fisher, head of the British Navy), the naval attack on the Dardanelles began with a long-range bombardment by British and French battleships on February 19, 1915. Turkish forces abandoned their outer forts but met the approaching Allied minesweepers with heavy fire, stalling the advance. Under tremendous pressure to renew the attack, Admiral Sackville Carden, the British naval commander in the region, suffered a nervous collapse and was replaced by Vice-Admiral Sir John de Robeck. On March 18, 18 Allied battleships entered the straits; Turkish fire, including undetected mines, sank three of the ships and severely damaged three others.




Gallipoli Land Invasion Begins 

In the wake of the failed naval attack, preparations began for largescale troop landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula. British War Secretary Lord Kitchener appointed General Ian Hamilton as commander of British forces for the operation; under his command, troops from Australia, New Zealand and the French colonies assembled with British forces on the Greek island of Lemnos. Meanwhile, the Turks boosted their defenses under the command of the German general Liman von Sanders, who began positioning Ottoman troops along the shore where he expected the landings would take place. On April 25, 1915, the Allies launched their invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula. Despite suffering heavy casualties, they managed to establish two beachheads: at Helles on the peninsula’s southern tip, and at Gaba Tepe on the Aegean coast. (The latter site was later dubbed Anzac Cove, in honor of the Australian and New Zealand troops who fought so valiantly against determined Turkish defenders to establish the beachhead there.)

 After the initial landing, the Allies were able to make little progress from their initial landing sites, even as the Turks gathered more and more troops on the peninsula from both the Palestine and Caucasus fronts. In an attempt to break the stalemate, the Allies made another major troop landing on August 6 at Sulva Bay, combined with a northwards advance from Anzac Cove towards the heights at Sari Bair and a diversionary action at Helles. The surprise landings at Sulva Bay proceeded against little opposition, but Allied indecision and delay stalled their progress in all three locations, allowing Ottoman reinforcements to arrive and shore up their defences.





Decision to Evacuate Gallipoli 

With Allied casualties in the Gallipoli Campaign mounting, Hamilton (with Churchill’s support) petitioned Kitchener for 95,000 reinforcements; the war secretary offered barely a quarter of that number. In mid-October, Hamilton argued that a proposed evacuation of the peninsula would cost up to 50 percent casualties; British authorities subsequently recalled him and installed Sir Charles Monro in his place. By early November, Kitchener had visited the region himself and agreed with Monro’s recommendation that the remaining 105,000 Allied troops should be evacuated.




The British government authorized the evacuation to begin from Sulva Bay on December 7; the last troops left Helles on January 9, 1916. In all, some 480,000 Allied forces took part in the Gallipoli Campaign, at a cost of more than 250,000 casualties, including some 46,000 dead. On the Turkish side, the campaign also cost an estimated 250,000 casualties, with 65,000 killed.



Clancy's comment: The futility of war. 

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21 May 2018 - JOYCELYN ELDERS


JOYCELYN 
ELDERS


G'day folks,

Welcome to some background on another high achiever. Joycelyn Elders became the first African-American United States Surgeon General in 1993 and only the second woman to hold the position.

Who Is Joycelyn Elders?

Joycelyn Elders was born on August 13, 1933 in Schaal, Arkansas. She was the daughter of sharecroppers but despite growing up in poverty, she graduated as valedictorian of her high school class and became the first in her family to attend college, the first person in the state of Arkansas to become board certified in pediatric endocrinology, and the first African-American public health administrator. In 1993, she became the 15th United States Surgeon General, making her the first African American and only the second woman to hold the position. Her controversial opinions about sexual health, including her U.N. conference statements regarding masturbation, caused great controversy, and ultimately led to her forced resignation. Elders is currently a professor emerita of pediatrics at the University of Arkansas School of Medicine and participates in numerous public speaking events promoting the legalization of marijuana and improvements to sexual education and public health. 




Husband and Family

While obtaining her medical degree from the University of Arkansas and giving physical examinations to the local high school basketball team, she met her husband, Oliver Elders, who was the basketball coach. Within two months, the couple married in 1960. They have two sons, Eric, born in 1963, and Kevin, born in 1965.




 Accomplishments

 

First African-American U.S. Surgeon General 

In September 1993, then-president Bill Clinton appointed Elders as the 15th United States Surgeon General, making her the first African American and only the second woman (following Antonia Novello) to hold the position. During her brief time as U.S. Surgeon General, she continued her open, frank, and often controversial crusades for improving sexual health education. Elders also helped develop the Office of Adolescent Health, which is now part of the Department of Health and Human Services. She advocated for increased access to health care and assistance for drug and alcohol abuse to her list of major concerns as well as the legalization of marijuana and other drugs. On these fronts and others, Elders was ahead of the curve on many public health issues that we have seen come to fruition today. 

 At a 1994 United Nations Conference, her controversial statement about masturbation as “a part of something that perhaps should be taught” to prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS among teens led to her forced resignation. After serving only 15 months as U.S. Surgeon General, Elders resigned in December 1994.




Lifelong Activism in Sex, Drugs, and Healthcare

During her early work as a physician and pediatric endocrinologist, Elders was treating adolescents with juvenile diabetes when she began to take notice of the extreme dangers of early pregnancy for diabetic girls. Elders then began teaching her young patients about the importance pregnancy prevention, providing them with birth control and condoms. Throughout the next several decades, she published well over a hundred papers related to juvenile diabetes and sexual behavior and dedicated her life to public health and access to sexual education. 

 In 1987, then-governor Bill Clinton appointed Elders as Director of the Arkansas Department of Health, making her the first African-American woman to hold this position. Always an advocate for adolescent health and responsible decision-making, Elders was branded a “rabble rouser” by president of the Arkansas Medical Society due to her controversial opinions on sexual education and birth control. She was even given the nickname the “condom queen” because she kept a “condom tree” on her government desk. During her time in office, she successfully reduced teen pregnancy, expanded the availability of HIV services, and worked hard to promote sex education. In 1992, she was elected President of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers and a year later, appointed as U.S. Surgeon General.




Awards

Elders is the recipient of numerous awards including the Woman of Distinction Award from Worthen Bank, the Arkansas Democrat’s Woman of the Year, the National Governor’s Association Distinguished Service Award, the American Medical Association’s Dr. Nathan Davis Award, the De Lee Humanitarian Award, the National Coalition of 100 Black Women’s Candace Award for Health Science, and the Career Development Award from the National Institute of Health. Elders was also featured in the Changing the Face of Medicine exhibition, which honors the lives and accomplishments of women in medicine, and is featured in the Arkansas Women’s Hall of Fame. 

 In 2016, the “Joycelyn Elders Clinic” was launched by Brighter Brains Institute, a USA nonprofit, to serve students attending Garama Humanist Secondary School in the village of Kisinga, in western Uganda. In the spirit of Dr. Elders’ work, the Clinic offers sex education classes, free male and female condoms, free AFRIpads (washable, reusable sanitary pads that last for one year), and medicine for common diseases (malaria, parasitic worms, peptic ulcer disease, infections, etc.).

Elders currently participates in numerous public speaking events promoting the legalization of marijuana and improvements to sexual education and public health. Elders is also active in fight for racial equality in medicine.



 Education 

 

Elders was the first in her family to attend college and she did so at age 15 on an earned four-year scholarship with assistance from her brothers and sisters who picked extra cotton to help pay the $3.83 bus fare she needed to get to school every day. In 1952, she received a B.S. in Biology from Philander Smith College in Little Rock, Arkansas. Her original plan was to become a lab technician but after hearing a speech by Edith Irby Jones, the first African-American student at the University of Arkansas School of Medicine, Elders — who hadn’t even seen a doctor until she went to college — decided she wanted to become a physician “to improve the lives of children.” 

 Elders went on to work briefly as a nurse’s aide at a Veterans Administration hospital in Milwaukee and then joined the U.S. Army’s Women's Medical Specialist Corps in 1953. 

She was the only African-American person in her class at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. She was stationed at Letterman Army Hospital in San Francisco, treating wounded soldiers returning home from the Korean War. In April 1954, Elders was licensed as a physical therapist and transferred to Fitzsimmons Hospital in Denver where she treated President Dwight D. Eisenhower after his 1955 heart attack.

Discharged from the U.S. Army in 1956, Elders went on to attend the University of Arkansas Medical School with assistance from the G.I. Bill. As 1 of 3 African Americans at the time of her entry into medical school, Elders was not allowed to eat in the “whites only” cafeteria. Despite the systematic racism she experienced, Elders obtained her M.D. in 1960 and M.S. in Biochemistry in 1967. In 1978, Elders became the first person in the state of Arkansas to receive board certification as a pediatric endocrinologist. Dr. Elders graduated from the University of Arkansas Medical School and then became its first African-American resident, its first African-American chief resident, and finally its first African-American professor. Elders worked at the University of Arkansas School of Medicine as an assistant, associate, and full professor of pediatrics from the 1960s to 1987 and later returned as a professor emerita.





Early Life 

Elders was born Minnie Lee Jones on August 13, 1933 in Schaal, Arkansas. She was the daughter of sharecroppers, Haller Reed and Curtis Jones and the eldest of eight children. The family lived in poverty, sometimes without plumbing and electricity. Throughout her childhood, she and her siblings worked the cotton fields with their parents and helped with other farming tasks. 

Even so, education was important to her family. One of Elders' earliest memories is being taught to read by her mother, who had an eighth grade education, which was quite extraordinary for an African-American woman at that time. Elders first attended Bright Star Elementary, a segregated one-room school 13 miles from her home. A gifted child, Elders later transferred to Howard County Training School in Tollette, Arkansas and graduated as its valedictorian at age 15, earning her a full tuition scholarship. She changed her name to Minnie Joycelyn Lee in college and but later stopped using the name “Minnie,” which was her grandmother’s name. 



Clancy's comment: This lady sure made some great comments, and she was not scared to speak out on important issues. Good for her!

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20 May 2018 - SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT GRASSHOPPERS


SOME INTERESTING 
FACTS ABOUT 
GRASSHOPPERS

G'day folks,

Welcome to some facts about the best bait I've ever used to catch trout.

The grasshopper is a medium to large sized insect and the grasshopper is found (close to grass) all over the world. Grasshoppers are best known for their ability to jump incredible heights and distances.


Most grasshopper individuals grow to about 2 inches long although larger grasshoppers are found on a fairly regular basis that grow to more than 5 inches in length. The grasshopper has wings meaning it can migrate over long distances when the weather gets too cold.





There are 11,000 thousand known species of grasshopper on Earth, that live in grassy areas such as fields and meadows and forest and woodland. Like all insects, all species of grasshopper have a three-part body that is made up of the grasshopper's head, it's thorax and the abdomen. Grasshoppers also have six legs, two pairs of wings, and two antennae. 





The antennae of the grasshopper are known to be remarkably long and can often be longer than the grasshopper's body, although the grasshopper's antennae and the grasshopper's body are normally about the same size. Grasshoppers use their long antennae in order to make sense of their surroundings.




 Grasshoppers have six jointed legs that are incredibly powerful for such a small creature, as grasshoppers are able to jump extraordinary distances. The two back legs of the grasshopper are long and powerful and are just for jumping, where the four front legs of the grasshopper are primarily used to hold onto prey and to help it to walk.

Despite their large size, grasshoppers are herbivores animals and have a diet that consists solely of plant matter. Grasshoppers eat grasses, weeds, leaves, shrubs, bark and numerous other species of plants that surround them.

The grasshopper is also a stable food source for many predators around the world including reptiles, insects, small mammals and birds. It is common for humans to eat grasshoppers in places like Asia and Africa where the bigger species of grasshopper are found, and there is a less readily available alternative protein source. 




The female grasshopper lays an egg pod that contains a couple of dozen grasshopper eggs in the late autumn to early winter depending on the area. The female grasshopper inserts her egg pod into the soil so that it is a couple of inches underground. The grasshopper eggs can take up to 9 months to hatch as they wait until the weather has warmed before breaking into the outside world. 





When the first baby grasshopper (known as a nymph) hatches out of it's egg, it tunnels through the soil and up to the surface, and the remaining grasshopper nymph follow. As they get older, the grasshoppers will increase in size until they are adults. The grasshopper only remains in this stage (young and adult) for a few months before it dies meaning that most grasshopper individuals spend the majority of their lives inside an egg.



Clancy's comment: And, if you are in South East Asia, they taste good too. 

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