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-Food For Thought-

Take a dive down that rabbit hole to see what the world was like all the way back to 10,000 years ago. 

These are really quick grabs of history that are bite size!


Food for Thought: 25 Years Ago

Here we go for another epic spin through one year of history and with so much happening this is just a snapshot of the chaos!


Starting with the “bad stuff” fighting between Russian soldiers and Chechnyan rebels intensifies. In Niger a military coup outs the democratically elected government. In Sri Lanka a terrorist attack sees a explosives truck ram the Central Bank. At least 86 people are killed and over 1,400 are injured.


In London an IRA ceasefire ended when a bomb is exploded in the Docklands. Two people are killed and a few months later the IRA set off a bomb in Manchester injuring over 200.


Over in Bosnia the Bosnian Government declares the end of the Sarajevo siege and later in the year the European Union recognises the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia.


The Israeli Government launches an operation against Lebanon in retaliation to terrorist attacks and in one of their first strikes 100 Lebanese civilians are killed when Israeli troops shell a UN compound.

In amongst all of this a peace conference was held in Egypt to discuss the increasing terrorist activity in the Middle East.


At home in Australia the Port Arthur massacre occurred on 28 April with the death of 35 people at the historic site. One key result was that just a month later the Australian government bans the owning of private firearms.


Just off the coast of New York a Boeing 747 explodes killing all 230 on board and later in the year a Saudi Arabian airlines plane collides mid-air with a Kazakhstan airlines flight killing 349. In Africa, an Ethiopian airlines flight is hijacked before crashing off the coast of Comoros killing 125. With a number of other plane incidents in 1996 I’ll mention just one more.


Three hundred people were killed when a cargo plane crashed into a crowded market in the capital city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.


In Indonesia over 100 people drown when a ferry sinks and a few months later almost 1,000 are killed when a ferry capsizes and sinks in Tanzania (it should be noted that it had a capacity of just 430). On Christmas day, at least 283 migrants drown when a ferry sinks off the coast of Sicily, Italy.


If manmade disasters were not enough mother nature contributed as well. In the USA 150 people die in a blizzard. 322 people are killed and over 17,000 are injured in an earthquake in South-west China. In Papua, Indonesia 166 die in an earthquake and subsequent tsunami. Thunderstorms and a tornado in Bangladesh kill 600.


The most famous face to pass away during the year was Gene Kelly.

Braveheart wins best picture at the Oscars that were hosted by Whoopi Goldberg and in Australia the Wiggles release that song everyone knows “wake up Jeff”.

The summer Olympics are held in Atlanta, Georgia, USA where another bombing took place.

The Tamagotchi is released in Japan and Dolly the Sheep, the first mammal to be successfully cloned is born.


To finish the year South Korea witnessed the largest organized strike in history with employees Walking off the job in response to changes to labour laws. The strike would end the next month when the laws were amended.


Food for Thought: 50 Years Ago

50 years ago, 1971 is thought of as a time for hippies and major world change but what actually happened in this year?

To date the year brought the greatest rise in the human population on record – with the world population rising by 2.1%.

The Aswan Dam is opened in Egypt, Rolls-Royce is declared bankrupt, Starbucks is founded, and the South Tower of the World Trade Centre becomes the second tallest building in the world.

East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) declares independence and the 1971 Indo-Pakistani War begins.

In Uganda Idi Amin comes to power in a coup while in Greece a civilian government takes control.

Qatar gains independence from the UK and elects to remain independent of the Arab unions. Oman also gains independence from the British.

In the USA protests against the Vietnam War gained momentum while President Nixon declared the start of the US War on Drugs simultaneously. Australia and New Zealand make the decision to withdraw from Vietnam in this year.

Portugal resigns from UNESCO and Greenpeace is founded in Canada. The UN admits the People’s Republic of China and expels the Republic of China (Taiwan).

The micronation of Freetown Christiania in Denmark was established and still remains in existence today (stay tuned for more on this).

The Qantas bomber incident occurred in Australia – this crazy hoax is worthy of a daytime TV drama so make sure to Google it! Also, this year the first McDonalds was opened in Australia.

The first ever one-day cricket match is played in Melbourne, Australia to mixed reactions while in Glasgow, Scotland 66 people are killed in a stadium crush. This is something often associated with places in Africa not in the UK.

The film we all love, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory featuring Gene Wilder was released. Walt Disney World opens in Florida and Intel releases the worlds first microprocessor. The TV show Sesame Street finally made it to Australian televisions.

The top song of the year was “My Sweet Lord” by George Harrison. John Lennon’s “Imagine” ranked second with Rod Stewart’s “Maggie May” coming in third.

With so much happening this is just a small snapshot of a year that marked significant change culturally, politically and environmentally.


Food for Thought: 75 Years Ago

75 years ago, 1946; World Wat Two had come to and end and the United Nations met for the first time. New nations were formed while old ones deteriorated. Monarchies returned to power while Republic’s became the norm. To say there was stability in Europe would be a lie.

UNICEF was founded by the UN – the United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund.

Nuclear testing became a common occurrence while on a lighter note the bikini made its debut. A number of well-known faces were born including Dolly Parton, Alan Rickman, Liza Minnelli, David Suchet, Cher, Sylvester Stalone, Barry Gibb, Freddie Mercury and Steven Spielberg to name a few. It was also a year for US Presidents with Donald Trump, George W Bush and Bill Clinton all born.

In Australia, “Foundation Day” is renamed Australia Day. Orange in NSW’s west was named a city and the UN grants Australia trusteeship of New Guinea and PNG.

Is the world and historic events starting to look more like today?

melb 1921.jpg

Food for Thought: 100 Years Ago

A century ago….is that really that long ago? It seems like a lifetime ago, especially when we look at some of the things that were happening around the world but in comparison to 150 years before that look like an eternity!

The most rapid historic change took place during the years of the industrial revolution, this sped up progress BUT when you look at the last 100 years this is eclipsed.

So what was happening in 1921?

In a nutshell Marxism and communism was taking grip of Eastern Europe with different factions established across wider Europe. Hitler becomes Fuhrer of the Nazi Party in Germany. In China the Communist Party is also established.

Red Russia invaded Georgia. White Russia invaded Mongolia. France and Turkey were at war.

The Republic of Abkhazia was declared and to this day is not recognised as an independent Republic but rather part of Georgia.

The Irish War of Independence ends but we all know that story continues for many more decades.

So even though the First World War was over there was by no means peace in Europe; rather the stage for World War Two was already being set.

The first of three Women’s Olympiad’s (the next two held in 1922 and 1923) was held in response to the IOC decision to not include any female events at the 1924 Olympics (prior to this woman could only compete in a few limited sports). Only France, Italy, Switzerland and the UK sent athletes to compete, but this would later develop into the Women’s World Games that were held in 1922, 1926, 1930 and 1934 (the IOC objected to the use of the world Olympic, so the name was changed). Across the four editions of the event over 570 women competed representing around 20 different countries. For more visit my Olympics page. 

To finish this review of 1921 on a lighter note, for those fashion fans, it was in this year that the Gucci brand was founded.


Food for Thought: 250 Years Ago

250 years ago in 1771 Australia had yet to be established as a British Colony but James Cook’s first voyage did conclude and it had taken in part of the Aussie coast.

The first water-powered textile mill, invented by Richard Arkwright, began to be used in the UK which led to a vast expansion of the industrial age.

There was a rebellion known as the War of Regulation taking place in North Carolina between citizens and colonial officials.

The bubonic plague ripped through Russia with over 52,000 people dying in Moscow alone.

George III aka the mad king was on the British throne. In 1771 he was just 11 years into a 60 year reign.

The question is has much changed in 250 years and the simple answer is just look at the development of the Australian continent since 1771!


Food for Thought: 500 Years Ago

When put into context 500 years does not seem like that long ago but the world of 1521 is very different to today.

The Pope excommunicated Martin Luther and many wars were taking place across medieval Europe. To be honest the medieval period was very much coming to an end but the concept of noble Knights would continue on for centuries more.

While conflict continued on the continent Europeans had begun exploring the rest of the world. It was this year that Ferdinand Magellan, famed for the first round-the-world trip, died before that famed trip was completed. Yes, the man remembered for sailing around the world first never made it. He was killed in the Philippines however many conspiracy theories remain that he indeed survived.

In a random fact from 1521, it was this year that the Principality of Ryazan fell. Where is Ryazan or more correct where was Ryazan? Today it is located in what we know as Russia. From the late 11th century until 1521 it was an independent principality. It survived the Mongol invasion, only just but it was eventually annexed by Moscow with the Grand Duke fleeing to Lithuania.

Back in England the King was arguably one of the most well-known, Henry VIII. In 1521 he was still married to Catherine and their daughter Mary was just 5 years old. His affair with Anne Boleyn was five years away. How the world would change in just a few more years!


Food for Thought: 1,000 Years Ago

When you look at the world 1,000 years ago compared to 2,000 years ago a lot changes dramatically. England was under the rule of the Danish Cnut and across Europe the Holy Roman Emperor reigned supreme. The Byzantine Empire, with its capital in Constantinople, was under the rule of Macedonians and military campaigns dominate the history of this era.

The first known novel was written this year, 1021, by Princess Murasaki Shikabu of the Japanese Imperial Court. The Tale of Genji is a story of love and set in the royal court. I’m keen to read this novel soon!


Food for Thought: 2,000 Years Ago

2,000 years ago, 21AD, doesn’t really sound like that long ago but was it?

Emperor Tiberius of Rome was the supreme leader, and we all know how terrifying his reign was.

He was just the second emperor of Rome and if you take a closer look at his childhood and even the influence of the first emperor on his adulthood you begin to sort of understand how he turned into such a fearful, dark and tyrant type of ruler.

It was during the year 21 AD that Tiberius saw a buffer state established in Quadi, southern Slovakia to strengthen the Roman hold on the region.

Also, in Rome writing implements, such as pens, began to be manufactured which is one of the reasons why history is much more succinctly recorded from this point onwards.


Food for Thought: 5,000 Years Ago
2,979 BC

5,000 years ago, c. 3000BC the Egyptian Pharaohs created the world’s first state with the leader considered to have descended from the Gods. This state developed around the Nile River. The first pharaoh, who united the upper and lower portions of Egypt creating the state, is believed to have been Menes (also known as Narmer) who ruled from 2,575 – 2,134 BC. Interestingly history records that he was killed by a hippopotamus.

During this era the Neolithic period came to an end as human development saw the first steps towards the bronze age begin. From this point onwards human development would increase at a rapid rate.

Building of Stonehenge began and across the world more and more city states begin to develop. The potter’s wheel is developed in China while in Egypt hieroglyphics are introduced for writing.


Food for Thought: 10,000 Years Ago
7,979 BC

Just 10,000 years ago human civilization was in its infancy. The “Cradle of Civilization” was just beginning to emerge in the Middle East, specifically around Jericho.

If we are to be specific this era, 10,000 years ago, has been termed the “Pre-Pottery Neolitic B” and evidence is disputed as to whether modernisation grew spontaneously or developed due to migration from other nearby areas.

What defined people of this period? They began to depend more on domesticated animals (not dogs and cats in the domesticated term we think but rather animals such as sheep and cows that produce food and by being domesticated, i.e. in one place, humans didn’t have to be nomadic and travel in search of their prey). Homes also began to change from being circular in shape to built with right-angels and they used limestone for construction. This is illustrated in the main archaeological site investigated from this era at Tell es-Sultan, Jericho.


In most people’s minds 10,000 years ago is the stone age but that isn’t the case! In 7979 BC the centre of civilization, Jericho would have seen humans wearing clothes made of much more substantial than animal hide or plants. While clothing was indeed simple it was varying with tunics or skirts as the basis but with sleeves, no sleeves and even belts.

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