On Western Civilisation

“What do I think of Western civilisation? I think it would be a very good idea.”

– Mohandas Gandhi

On Non-violence

I first learned the concepts of non-violence in my marriage.

– Mohandas Gandhi

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Garden gnomes were introduced to Britain by Sir Charles Isham (1819-1903).

[Monte Carlo, from Fort Antoine, Monaco (Rivie...

Monte Carlo harbour, as seen from Fort Antoine

Mahatma Gandhi was the fourth son of his father’s fourth wife. He was married at 13, had his first child at 18 and took a vow of celibacy aged 37.

All the numbers on a roulette wheel added together come to 666.

Citizens of Monaco are not allowed to gamble in the casino at Monte Carlo.

The letter G was invented by a Roman called Spurius Carvilius Ruga.

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There are 47 species of feline, including lions, tigers, pumas, bobcats, ocelots, jaguars, leopards, cougars, cheetahs, lynxes and domestic cats.

English: James III and his wife Margaret of De...

James III and his wife Margaret of Denmark

Feathers are made of keratin – the same stuff that human hairs and nails, wool, horn, claws, tortoises’ shells, birds’ beaks, horses’ hooves and the scales of reptiles are made of.

January 30 is a moving day in history: in 1649, Charles I was beheaded for treason, outside the Banqueting Hall in the Palace of Whitehall, London; in 1948, Indian nationalist leader Mohandas Gandhi was assassinated by Hindu extremist Nathuram Godse in Delhi; and in 1972, British paratroops shot 13 people dead during a civil rights march in Londonderry – known as the Bloody Sunday.

Shrek is the Yiddish word for fear, alarm or dismay.

In 1468, Shetland and its neighbouring islands were pledged by Christian I of Norway to Scotland as a security for the payment of the dowry of his daughter Margaret who was betrothed to James III of Scotland. As the money was never paid by the Norwegian King, the connection with the crown of Scotland soured. In response, in 1471, the Northern Isles of Shetland and Orkney were annexed by the Crown of Scotland, a process confirmed by Parliament in 1472.

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According to Madagascan folklore every animal has been responsible for planting a tree. In that, the Baobab tree was planted by the Hyena who mistakenly planted it upside down.

Nederlands: Staphorster farmhouse in authentic...

Staphorster farmhouse in authentic colours, The Netherlands

Homosexuality has been labelled by some communists as a product of bourgeois decadence.

On the streets of the orthodox protestant Dutch village of Staphorst, ‘to receive the pillow’ or ‘to get the sack’ from a girl meant you were invited to have sex with her. This was not just out of promiscuity, but also to see if the girl was fertile – which would in turn make her a good candidate for marriage. This premarital sex was often supervised and thus condoned by the parents.

In Irish, fear means man and bean means woman.

Gandhi‘s father was State Prime Minister of Porbander in India. Two years before his father died, Gandhi was married off to a 14-year-old girl. Gandhi was 13 at the time.