Saturday Scenes

Thu 29 December 2011

The Eggnog Riot

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 18:45

On the 24th of December in 1826, a celebration at the north barracks of West Point got a little bit out of hand.

The military academy was concerned that the cadets were drinking too much and it was decided that this year’s Christmas party would be alcohol-free.

This did not much appeal to the cadets, who promptly planned to smuggle in a half-gallon of whiskey to add to the eggnog. One group purchased two gallons of whiskey. Another brought in a gallon of rum. And on the evening of the 24th, another cadet got a further gallon of whiskey in case they ran out. And then the party began.

There were multiple attempts to quiet down the cadets in the early hours of the morning but this was met with resistance. At four am, three drunken cadets were found rummaging around the barracks. They were searching for drums and a fife in order to lead the mutiny.

By 5am, the cadets were openly rioting.

The Eggnog Riot | Article | The United States Army

A few of the cadets took Thayer’s regulations as a challenge and intended to outsmart the superintendent and his staff by having the best holiday celebration West Point had seen. The term “celebration” may not apply in this case, but the incident of the “Eggnog Riot” was something West Point had never experienced. At least seventy cadets took part in the shenanigans, resulting in assaults on two officers and destruction of North Barracks, as some of the students, in their inebriated state, had smashed several windows.

The Eggnog Riot resulted in nineteen cadets and one soldier court-martialled. The moral of the story: if you are enjoying a tipple this holiday season, please do try to avoid playing the fife. It causes no end of trouble.t

Meanwhile, on the 24th of December in 2011, Saturday celebrations took place around the world! Take a look:

And these are the top-of-the-class photographers who took them:

Next Saturday is the last Saturday of the year! Make sure to take a photograph so you can join us for the end of year celebration!

All you need to do is take a photograph on Saturday and tweet it to @SatScenes with your location. It’s easy and fun and a great way to end 2011.

Fri 23 December 2011

Celebrating Saturnalia

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 14:18

In ancient Roman times, the 17th of December was the day of the festival in honour of the deity Saturn, the god of seed and sowing. 17 December was (then) the first day of the astrological sign Capricorn, when the sun entered the constellation of Capricornus. Capricorn is ruled by the planet Saturn.

Saturnalia, described as “the best of days”, was traditionally focused on reversals – celebrating the opposite of what was normal. Schools and businesses were closed and a feast was served for the slaves who dressed in their masters’ clothes. Evening dress was worn all day and dice games, normally prohibited, were enjoyed by all. Gifts were given, commonly candles but “gag gifts” of low value were also popular, especially in later times.

Saturnalia – Wikipedia

In his many poems about the Saturnalia, Martial names both expensive and quite cheap gifts, including writing tablets, dice, knucklebones, moneyboxes, combs, toothpicks, a hat, a hunting knife, an axe, various lamps, balls, perfumes, pipes, a pig, a sausage, a parrot, tables, cups, spoons, items of clothing, statues, masks, books, and pets.

So if you still have last-minute Christmas shopping to do, perhaps you can steal some ideas from the ancient Romans! I’d be quite happy with a writing tablet and a sausage, really.

Meanwhile, in a lucky coincidence, the 17th of December of 2011 took place on a Saturday, which comes from dies Saturni which of course means Saturn’s Day.

We all celebrated by taking photographs! Take a look:

And these are the capricious people who took them:

Next Saturday, why don’t you join us?

All you need to do is take a photograph on Saturday and tweet it to @SatScenes with your location. It’s easy and fun, so what’s stopping you?

Fri 16 December 2011

300 Million Yen Robbery

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 18:38

On the 10th of December in 1968, three hundred million yen were stolen from the Kokubunji branch of the Nihon Shintaku Ginko bank in what is the single largest heist in Japanese history. With inflation, that would be worth about 25 million British pounds or 38 million US dollars today.

That morning, four employees were transporting metal boxes full of yen out into the bank transport car. A man in uniform on a police motorcycle waved the car down and told them that their branch manager’s house had been blown up. The police, he told them, had received a warning that dynamite was planted in the transport car. The employees retreated as the man crawled under the car to locate the bomb. He swiftly rolled back out, surrounded by smoke and flames, and said that the bomb was about to explode. As the employees took cover, the man jumped into the car and drove away.

Just as the men were praising the bravery of the policeman, they realised his motorcycle was not, in fact, a police vehicle. They had been tricked.

The police released a list of suspects which included 110,000 names. Nine hundred million yen was spent on the investigation, yet the case remains unsolved. The statute of limitations on the crime passed in 1975 and it was hoped that that thief would step forward and tell the story. One reporter claimed he had traced a 500-yen-note and through it discovered the culprit, Yuji Ogata.

Ogata openly admitted that he and a cohort were able to sneak the money past police roadblocks using a light truck transporting glass panes. Soon afterward they fled to opposite ends of the archipelago.

But Focus (Jan. 27) responded by shooting numerous holes in Shukan Hoseki’s story, citing a lack of convincing evidence and attacking Ogata’s credibility. ‘He always has been a bit of a windbag,’ remarks the wife of his alleged cohort.

We will probably never know the mastermind who planned the perfect theft and got away with it. Maybe he is keeping quiet in case there’s a chance to plan another!

Meanwhile, on the 10th of December in 2011, the following masterminds perpetrated amazing and artistic photography upon Twitter. Take a look:

And here are the incredibly clever people who admitted to taking the photos:

Would you like to be listed too? It’s easy to join in!

1) Take a photo on a Saturday and upload it to a photo hosting site or your blog so we can see it


Twitter the url for your photograph to @SatScenes


Watch for the next post on Twitter Blog to see a great set of all the photographs together.

I’m looking forward to seeing your scenes!

Thu 8 December 2011

Tell Me That Again

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 20:55

On the 3rd of December in 1927, a two-reel silent film was released. It was called Putting Pants on Philip and it was the first film to star Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy as a comedy duo. Stan Laurel played Philip, a Scot who has come to visit his uncle Piedmont Mumblethunder. The Uncle (Oliver Hardy of course) is embarrassed by Philip’s kilt and takes the boy to get a proper pair of trousers.

The two men soon became a sensation and famous for their slapstick comedy, especially their tit-for-tat cartoonish fights. But their famous catch phrase, “Well, here’s another fine mess you’ve gotten me into,” is actually a misquote – it’s another nice mess.

The misquoted version of the phrase was never used by Hardy on film; the misunderstanding stems from the title of their film Another Fine Mess (1930). Numerous variations of the quote appeared on film. In Chickens Come Home (1931), Ollie says impatiently to Stan, “Well….” with Stan replying, “Here’s another nice mess I’ve gotten you into.” In Thicker than Water (1935) and The Fixer-Uppers (1935), the phrase becomes “Well, here’s another nice kettle of fish you pickled me in!” In Saps at Sea (1940) it becomes “Well, here’s another nice bucket of suds you’ve gotten me into!”

Meanwhile, on the 3rd of December in 2011, well, all I can say is… Well, here’s another fine Saturday you filled with submissions! Take a look:

And here is the nice kettle of fish that took them:

Encourage your friends join us next weekend! It’s easy:

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the url

I’m looking forward to seeing your corner of the world on Saturday!

Thu 1 December 2011

Be still now and listen

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 23:15

On the 26th of November in 1977 at 17:12, the early evening news on local ITV televsion station Southern Television was unexpectantly interrupted by a six minute transmission from an unknown source.

The speaker claimed to be an extra-terrestrial being representing the Intergalactic Association.

Here is the message he wished to share with the British public:

1977 Vrillon of the Ashtar Galactic Command Incident

This is the voice of Vrillon, a representative of the Ashtar Galactic Command, speaking to you. For many years you have seen us as lights in the skies. We speak to you now in peace and wisdom as we have done to your brothers and sisters all over this, your planet Earth.

We come to warn you of the destiny of your race and your world so that you may communicate to your fellow beings the course you must take to avoid the disaster which threatens your world, and the beings on our worlds around you. This is in order that you may share in the great awakening, as the planet passes into the New Age of Aquarius. The New Age can be a time of great peace and evolution for your race, but only if your rulers are made aware of the evil forces that can overshadow their judgments.

Be still now and listen, for your chance may not come again.

The statement ended with the broadcast returning to normal shortly before the end of a Looney Tunes cartoon. Southern Television later apologised for the “breakthrough in sound” and confirmed that “a hoaxer jammed our transmitter in the wilds of North Hampshire by taking another transmitter very close to it.” However, they were unable to determine the exact source and did not find the person who sent it.

Public opinion was very clear: if they did not know who had done it, how on earth did they know it was a hoax? Vrillon (or Asteron or Gillon – opinions as to his name varies) could have been a real extra-terrestrial visiting North Hampshire.

On the 27th of November in 2011, these astronomically-good photographs appeared on Twitter. I am unable to determine the exact source for most of them – they could be photographs taken by extra-terrestrials:

Could it be that aliens are using Twitter to interact with us? These are the star-studded submitters:

You should join us next weekend! It’s easy:

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the url

I’m looking forward to seeing your Saturday Scene in the next edition!

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