Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Remembering: Alexander The Great

In 356 BC, one of the most influential people to ever live was born.

Alexander, son of King Phillip II of Macedonia and Queen Olympias and taught by Aristotle, would become known as The Great well before his death.

At the age of sixteen he was leading troops in his father's army, and by eighteen helped his father conquer Greece.

Phillip was assassinated in 336 BC, and Alexander took the throne.

Two years later he invaded Persia, facing superior and larger forces, Alexander simply out maneuvered and used extremely efficient strategy to beat his foes, never losing a single battle.

By 330 BC all of Persia and Asia Minor had been made part of his empire, and by 327 northern India and much of Central Asia as well.

As he went he founded cities and spread Greek culture, political structure, and economics.

In 326 his army refused to continue, they were simply tired of fighting and wanted to go home.

Whilst back in Babylon, building a fleet to return home, Alexander became ill, and on June 13, 323 BC Alexander the Great died.

He had never declared a successor, and his only child was yet unborn.

By 322 his army and empire had split into factions, who constantly tried to conquer each other.

Much of Taiwan Under Water

Many areas of the island of Taiwan, including the capital Taipei, are under water.

Torrential rains have caused flash flooding, bringing knee to waist high standing water in some areas.

At least four people have been killed in mudslides in the hills.

More than 3,000 people have been forced to evacuate.

Rains continue to plague the island and may not stop til Thursday evening.

Spain Trying to Retake Gibraltar Via The UN

Spain is pushing for Britain to give up control of Gibraltar, and surrender The Rock and it's people to Spanish rule.

Just bigger than two and a half miles, the city is home to around 30,000 people, who are considered British citizens.

Spain gave the strategic location to England in the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht, but lately has decided they really want the place back.

In recent years, arguments over fishing rights have arisen, and Spain has expressed anger over new tax laws that Gibraltar started using.

But on Tuesday night the city held celebrations that were part of Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee.

During the celebration a giant image of the Queen and a Union Jack were projected onto the face of The Rock of Gibraltar.

The image was very visible in bordering Spain, and the Spanish are responding by taking their attempts to claim the city to the UN.

The UN is unlikely to aid Spain in the matter, but it shows an almost desperate air in the Spanish attitude.

Spain is not the only country trying to take British territory.

Argentina has been trying to threaten it's way into taking the Falkland Islands from the United Kingdom.

Thirty years ago the two fought a war over the islands, after Argentina invaded and occupied them.

Honda Recalling 50,000 2012 Civics

Honda has announced a recall of 50,000 of the 2012 Civic.

Apparently the drive shaft may have been assembled wrong.

Concerns are that it could disconnect from the wheel.

If that happens while you're driving it could easily lead to a crash.

Honda said:
Honda will voluntarily recall approximately 50,000 model-year 2012 Civic vehicles in the United States to inspect and, if necessary, replace the left driveshaft. The left (driver's side) driveshaft in certain vehicles may not have been properly assembled, potentially allowing it to separate from the outer CV joint while in operation.
If separation occurs, the engine will no longer propel the vehicle in any gear, and the vehicle may roll away if the parking brake has not been set when the gear selector has been placed in the Park position, increasing the risk of a crash or personal injury. No crashes or injuries have been reported related to this issue.
Honda is announcing this recall to encourage owners of all affected vehicles to take their vehicles to an authorized dealer as soon as they receive notification of this recall from Honda. Mailed notification to customers will begin in late-June 2012.
In addition to contacting customers by mail, in late-June, owners of these vehicles will be able to determine if their vehicles require repair by going on-line to or by calling 800-999-1009, and selecting option 4.

Vending Machine Pizza

It's gone over extremely well in Europe, and this fall it will be available in the US.

What is it? Fresh pizza from a vending machine.

A1 Concepts, out of Amsterdam, started distributing machines in 2009, and they're now going to cross the Atlantic.

For six dollars you get a ten and a half inch pizza, with your choice of choice of margherita, pepperoni, ham or bacon as toppings.

All ingredients are fresh, including the dough, and the machines are connected to the internet, so they can self reorder when running low.

Customers can also pay for a pizza cutter and napkins.

At this point it is unknown where in the US the machines will first appear, but they're supposed to be in every major metro by the end of 2012.

The company has put out a video showing how the machine works.

Firefighters Gaining Ground in Colorado and New Mexico

As the High Park Fire, in Colorado, nears 50,000 acres, new evacuation notices continue to be sent out.

Others are slowly being allowed in as the fire stops threatening some areas.

About 1,000 personnel are fighting the fire, having reached ten percent containment.

Around twenty aircraft, including Colorado National Guard helicopters are involved in trying to stop the fire, which has killed one.

At least one hundred homes have been damaged or destroyed by the flames.

Meanwhile in New Mexico fire fighters are near thirty-five percent containment on the Little Bear Fire.

Thirty-seven thousand acres and two hundred and twenty-four homes have burned down there.

Twenty-five hundred people have been evacuated, with nine thousand on standby.

Four hundred New Mexico National Guardsmen have joined six hundred others in fighting it.

The Little Bear Fire is in the same area as a fire that in 1944 brought fame to a bear cub, as he became Smokey the Bear.