Wikinews:Audio Wikinews/News Briefs/Workspace/archive/May30-31
May 30, 2010
This is the heading for the May 30 show. All files and conversations for this show will take place here. Today's cut-off time is 23:30 UTC.
May 31, 2010
This is the heading for the May 31 show. All files and conversations for this show will take place here. Today's cut-off time is 22:30 UTC. If you wish to contribute to today's show, I need to know before 21:00 UTC. I will be logged in around 19:00 UTC. If you want to add links to the stories you wish to read / write, please do so. Turtlestack (talk) 20:18, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
- BTW, it's an absolutely beautiful day out today so I will be back and forth from the computer to enjoy the nice weather :) Turtlestack (talk) 20:18, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
- segment completed
- segment completed
- completed segment
- We should all be made honorary members of the USGS (wikiquake) because nobody reports on more earthquakes than we do :)
- completed segment
- adding "On February 14, Jamie McMurray won the Daytona 500 driving for a Ganassi team and hours after Franchitti took the checkerd flag and had the ceremonial winner's milk drink, Jamie McMurray took second at the NASCAR Coca Cola 500, just 1 second behind Kurt Busch." : I'm a huge racing fan so this is self reporting with no quoted source since I watched all the races and remember the stats :) Turtlestack (talk) 22:03, 31 May 2010 (UTC)
On This Day In History
- Music Credit Serenade/Divertimento by Edward Elgar
In 1669, citing poor eyesight, English naval administrator and Member of Parliament Samuel Pepys recorded his last entry in his diary, one of the most important primary sources for the English Restoration period.
Pepys was born on Fleet Street in London in 1633 to his father John, a tailor, and his mother Margaret who was the daughter of a Whitechapel butcher. He was fifth of 11 children but child mortality in the age was high and he was soon the eldest.
From a young age, Pepys suffered from kidney stones in his urinary tract and he was almost never without pain, as well as other symptoms, including "blood in the urine". By the time of his marriage, the condition was very severe and probably had a serious effect on his ability to engage in sexual intercourse.
In 1657, Pepys decided to undergo surgery and upon consulting Thomas Hollier, a surgeon; on 26 March 1658, his operation took place in a bedroom at the house of Pepys's cousin, Jane Turner. This cannot have been an easy option, as the operation was known to be especially painful as well as hazardous, not to mention it would be roughly 200 more years before the use of anesthesia, however, Pepys' stone was successfully removed and he resolved to hold a celebration on every anniversary of the operation, which he did for several years. There were long-term effects from the operation: the incision on his bladder broke open again late in his life, and the procedure may have left him sterile – though there is no direct evidence for this, as he was childless before the operation.
Though his immediate family was of humble origins, his father's first cousin, Sir Richard Pepys, was a member of parliament for Sudbury and for a time Samuel lived with another of his father's cousins, Sir Edward Montagu, who would later be made 1st Earl of Sandwich. Possibly this combination of a hard working, middle class upbringing and influential connections allowed Pepys, who had no maritime experience, to rise by patronage, hard work and his talent for administration, to be the Chief Secretary to the Admiralty under both King Charles II and subsequently King James II.
What sets Pepys apart in history, however, is his diary. Beginning on January 1st, 1660, he recorded his daily life the women he pursued, his friends and his dealings for almost ten years. His diary reveals his jealousies, insecurities, trivial concerns, and his fractious relationship with his wife, Elisabeth de St Michel, a decendent of French Protestant immigrants, whom he married when she was 14 years old. The diary is an important account of London in the 1660s and the juxtaposition of his commentary on politics and national events, alongside the very personal, can be seen from the beginning.
Robert Latham, the editor of the definitive edition of the diary, has remarked that 'His descriptions of the Great Plague of 1665, and of the Great Fire of London in 1666 are agonizingly vivid and achieve their effect by being something more than superlative reporting; they are written with compassion. As always with Pepys it is people, not literary effects, that matter.
His account of the Great Fire of London is quite vivid as he had taken a boat and observed the fire for over an hour. In his diary, Pepys recorded this observation on Sunday, September 2nd 1666 :
"I down to the water-side, and there got a boat and through bridge, and there saw a lamentable fire. Poor Michell's house, as far as the Old Swan, already burned that way, and the fire running further, that in a very little time it got as far as the Steeleyard, while I was there. Everybody endeavouring to remove their goods, and flinging into the river or bringing them into lighters that layoff; poor people staying in their houses as long as till the very fire touched them, and then running into boats, or clambering from one pair of stairs by the water-side to another. And among other things, the poor pigeons, I perceive, were loth to leave their houses, but hovered about the windows and balconys till they were, some of them burned, their wings, and fell down. Having staid, and in an hour's time seen the fire: rage every way, and nobody, to my sight, endeavouring to quench it, but to remove their goods, and leave all to the fire, and having seen it get as far as the Steele-yard, and the wind mighty high and driving it into the City; and every thing, after so long a drought, proving combustible, even the very stones of churches, and among other things the poor steeple by which pretty Mrs.————lives, and whereof my old school-fellow Elborough is parson, taken fire in the very top, an there burned till it fell down"
Pepy's was, after all, also very human and he engaged in a number of extramarital liaisons with various women, which he too chronicled in his diary, often in some detail, and generally using a cocktail of languages (English, French, Spanish and Latin) when relating the intimate details. The most dramatic of these encounters was with Deborah Willet, a young woman engaged as a companion for his wife, Elisabeth. On 25 October 1668 Pepys was surprised by his wife whilst embracing Deborah and he writes that Elisabeth "coming up suddenly, did find me imbracing the girl con my hand sub su coats; and endeed I was with my main in her cunny. I was at a wonderful loss upon it and the girl also...." Following this event, he was characteristically filled with remorse but (equally characteristically) this did not prevent his continuing to pursue Willet when she had been dismissed from the Pepys household.
Throughout the period of the diary, Pepys's health suffered from the long hours he worked. Specifically, he believed that his eyesight had been affected by the work he had done. At the end of May 1669, he reluctantly concluded that, for the sake of his eyes, he should completely stop writing and, from then on, only dictate to his clerks which meant he could no longer keep his diary. Pepys and his wife took a holiday to France and the Low Countries in June–October 1669; on their return, Elisabeth fell ill and died on 10 November 1669. Pepys erected a monument to her in the church of St Olave's, Hart Street, in London.
On May 26, 1703 Pepys died at a house at Clapham owned by his friend William Hewer but his diary, as well as 3,000 volumes of his personal library, still one of the most important surviving 17th century private libraries, is on display at the Pepys Library of Magdalene College, Cambridge.