Saturday Scenes

Wed 26 May 2010

Detective Work

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 19:27

There are so many wonderful coincidences if you are just willing to go out and look for them.

On the 22nd of May 1859, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born. He practised as a doctor until 1891, studying with Dr. Joseph Bell who was the model for Sherlock Holmes, the hero of his timeless detective stories. Sherlock Holmes was given now-famous fictional lodgings at an almost-22 : 221b Baker Street. The stories later gave rise to one more 22: a television show called Sherlock Holmes in the 22nd Century.

It gets better.

On the 22nd of May 1981, Peter Sutcliffe, known as the Yorkshire Ripper, was jailed for life, convicted of 13 counts of murder and 7 counts of attempted murder. The Yorkshire Police spent nearly six years on the investigation which was severely hampered by the fact that there was no centralised repository of information.

As a result of these difficulties, a new computer system was developed. This system launched in 1986 (sadly not on 22nd of May) and was called the Home Office Large Major Enquiries System, or HOLMES for short. HOLMES was replaced in 1994 with HOLMES 2, which is still in use.

For general enquiries regarding HOLMES 2, you can contact the Support team located on Bakers Road.

OK, yeah, maybe I’m pushing it now. Moving right along…

On the 22nd of May 2010, many astounding photographs were taken all over the world. Take a look:

And it doesn’t take a detective to find out who took them:

Saturday Scenes is a great way to see the world from someone else’s point of view! Taking part is easy:

1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
2. Send it to @SatScenes on Twitter
3. Wait for the webpage to get updated
4. Oooh and aah over all the great submissions from all over the world!

So take a photograph this weekend and send it to @SatScenes!

Thu 20 May 2010

Machine Guns and Tinned Food

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 17:33

On the 15th of May, 1718, James Puckle applied to the Patent Office of the United Kingdom for a patent for a gun. He called it the Defence Gun but it was better known as the Puckle Gun and was the first documented rapid-fire gun. His patent included a full description of the gun, with plates and chambers.

James Puckle – Wikipedia

Puckle demonstrated two versions of the basic design: one, intended for use against Christian enemies, fired conventional round bullets, while the second variant, designed to be used against the Muslim Turks, fired square bullets, which were considered to be more damaging and would, according to its patent, convince the Turks of the “benefits of Christian civilization.

I’m not sure I’m comfortable with the usage of “civilization” in this context, really. Although George Orwell supposedly said that “We may find in the long run that tinned food is a deadlier weapon than the machine-gun.” So that’s hopeful…

Don’t despair! The good news is we have a great collection of civilised scenes from all over the world, each one taken on the 15th of May 2010:

You can find out what all of these great people are up to simply by checking the Saturday Scenes list which includes everyone who has participated this year.

And if you’d like to join in, just take a photograph on Saturday and send the link to @SatScenes with the location! It’s easy and fun and we love seeing new sights.

Thu 13 May 2010

It’s the Real Thing

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 16:26

On the 8th of May 1886, John Pemberton first sold his carbonated beverage which he created as a result of his search for a cure for morphine addiction. Coca-cola, his non-alcoholic alternative to French Wine Coca, was originally sold for medicinal purposes.

John Pemberton – Wikipedia

With public concern about drug addiction, depression and alcoholism among veterans, and ‘neurasthenia’ among ‘highly-strung’ Southern women, his medicinal concoction was advertised as being particularly beneficial for “ladies, and all those whose sedentary employment causes nervous prostration, irregularities of the stomach, bowels and kidneys, who require a nerve tonic and a pure, delightful diffusable stimulant”.

I wasn’t around on Saturday; I was travelling and thus unable to watch over the images sent to @SatScenes. As a result I was somewhat nervous and I think I would have definitely benefited from a pint or two of Coca-Cola by Sunday morning. But I needn’t have worried.

On the 8th of May, 2010, these dynamic photographs showing scenes from all over the world came pouring in:

Pop by and say hello to all the lovely people who submitted their photographs:

It’s easy to take part!

  1. Take a photo on a Saturday and upload it to the photo site of your choice.
  2. Twitter the url for your photograph to @SatScenes.
  3. Watch for the next episode of Saturday Scenes to see your photo here!

The photo should be taken on a Saturday but you don’t need to let me know until Tuesday (although as soon as possible is always nice) when I collate them all. I would love to see your scenes from next Saturday.

Thu 6 May 2010

Operation Mincemeat

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 10:12

On the 1st of May in 1943, a fisherman found a waterlogged corpse on a Spanish beach near Huelva. The corpse was dressed in British military attire and had a briefcase chained to his wrist. He was identified as Major William Martin of the British Royal Marines. The Spanish passed the body and the briefcase back to the British but first they gave German intelligence agents a chance to go through the paperwork. The briefcase included correspondence to the Commander-in-Chief in the Mediterranean detailing Operation Husky: plans for an Allied invasion of Europe via Sardinia, Corsica and Greece.

Mincemeat and the Imaginary Man

Upon learning of the letter, Adolph Hitler took decisive action based on the information it disclosed. On May 12, he sent out an order: “Measures regarding Sardinia and the Peloponnese take precedence over everything else.” He diverted significant defenses away from Sicily to the indicated points of hostile ingress, including an extra Waffen SS brigade, several Panzer divisions, patrol boats, minesweepers, and minelayers. But when the day of the attack came, all was relatively quiet on the beaches of Sardinia, Corsica, and Greece. The Germans had fallen for an elaborate deception designed to draw Nazi defenses away from the true Allied target: Sicily. Major Martin – the dead man the fisherman found on the beach – never existed.

The idea to plant false military documents on a dead man and let them fall into the hands of the Germans was conceived by Lt. Cmdr. Ewen Montagu at British naval intelligence. His was a variation of an earlier idea proposed by Flight Lt. Charles Cholmondeley of the counter-intelligence service MI5. Cholmondeley had suggested that a wireless radio could be placed on a dead soldier whose parachute was rigged to appear to have failed, which would provide the Allies with a channel to provide disinformation to the enemy. But his plan was deemed impractical, so Montagu’s death-at-sea ruse was implemented instead, and dubbed Operation Mincemeat.

The British had only insisted on the return of the body to further the hoax. It was successful: the Germans spent weeks anticipating an attack that never came. Meanwhile, the real Operation Husky conquered Sicily with ease, as the bulk of the German forces had been moved out.

On the 1st of May in 2010, Operation SatScenes was also a success, with these beautiful images from all over the world:

Be sure to pop by these Twitterstreams to find out more about our brilliant photographers:

Why don’t you join us?

Simply take a photograph on Saturday and tweet it as a mention to @SatScenes with your location. It’s easy and fun.

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