Daily Archives: July 6, 2011

This Day in History: Explosion and Fire Destroy Piper Alpha Drilling Platform (1988)


Explosion and Fire Destroy Piper Alpha Drilling Platform (1988)

Piper Alpha was a North Sea oil production platform operated by Occidental Petroleum that sank into the sea after a series of explosions and a massive fire, killing 167 men. Only 59 of the workers survived. The initial blast is believed to have resulted from the activation of a pump that was missing a safety valve. A poorly planned evacuation process exacerbated the disaster. Why did nearby platforms continue to pump gas and oil to Piper Alpha after it was engulfed in flames? More… Discuss

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Today’s Birthday: Annette Kellerman (1887)


Annette Kellerman (1887)

Kellerman was an Australian professional swimmer, vaudeville and film star, and writer. Her 1907 performance of “water ballet” is often credited with popularizing the sport of synchronized swimming. Kellerman was also known for advocating the right of women to wear one-piece bathing suits and was once famously arrested for indecency for doing so herself. In 1908, a Harvard University professor named her the “Perfect Woman” because of the similarity of her physical attributes to what figure? More… Discuss

The Stone Of Scone


The Stone of Scone

The Stone of Scone is an oblong block of red sandstone upon which the kings of Scotland were once crowned. According to tradition, the stone was used by Jacob as a pillow when he dreamt of a ladder to heaven and was the coronation stone of early kings of Ireland. It was taken to Scotland and housed in Scone Abbey near Perth until Edward I of England took it to London’s Westminster Abbey in 1296 and had it fitted into the Coronation Chair. In what year was the Stone of Scone returned to Scotland? More… Discuss