Days of Yore

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10 Years Ago

"Olde Plokta's Almanack for 1998" included predictions such as: "Jan 2nd -- Film of Starship Troopers opens. Simon Bradshaw reconsiders the wisdom of marrying Bug. ... Apr 25th -- Last chance to vote in the 1998 westbound TAFF race (Chris Bell/Bridget Hardcastle/Maureen Kincaid-Speller). ... Apr 26th -- TAFF three-way tie resolved when Chris Bell changes his name to Hold-Over Funds. ... Aug 5th-9th -- Bucconeer is held in Baltimore. Plokta cabal take Hugos in three categories, but have to give them back to Dave Langford. ... Oct 20th -- Pam Wells dies of a surfeit of treacle and is instantly sanctified by the Pope as patron saint of sparkly shoes. Heretical followers of St Lucy the Huntzinger form a schism. .. Nov 7th -- Feast of the blessed Novacon somewhere in the West Midlands. Banana Wings wins Best Fanzine Nova. Plokta comes third yet again. Sulk!"

Through some fault of prophecy, the last actually turned out to be true.

100 Years Ago

Bright and early on the morning of June 30th, 1908 (June 17th Julian) [online correction-- the print version had it backwards], residents of a region around the Podkamennnaya Tunguska River in Siberia heard an explosion and saw a huge flash of blue light. Word was a little slow getting back to Moscow what with all the various revolutions and wars going on, and so the first organized expedition was not until 1927.

1000 Years Ago

Mahmud of Ghazni was getting nowhere in his campaign to conquer India. At the second battle of Peshawar, he faced the combined forces of the states of Ujjayn, Gwalior, Kalinjar, Kannawj, Delhi, and Ajmer. Just when it looked like time to retreat, the elephant carrying Anandpala, son of the displaced king of Lahore, suddenly started running in the wrong direction, starting a panic in the Indian ranks, giving Mahmud the victory with another 16 years of happy raiding to go.

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