26 Jan 2013

January 26th


The exciting news about the finding of 300 year-old cannon believed to be from the Battle of Passaro in 1718 rouses thoughts of treasure. Five large cannon were found off the coast of Sicily, at the tip of Italy. However, this instance isn't about buccaneers but rather a desperate battle involved more than 60 ships which ended in defeat for the Spanish.
The cannon, which were barely covered by sand, were brought up and cleaned. The condition was so good that in parts the metal gleamed. The divers found the partial word LONDO on the handle of a piece of cutlery, decorated with what looked like a rose, nearby.
British fleet under Sir George Byng defeated a Spanish fleet, destroying or capturing seventeen Spanish warships. They were intent on driving the Spanish out of Sicily. Britain was not yet at war with Spain but was already committed to supporting the ambitions in southern Italy of the Emperor Charles VI.
Politics at work—the same now as then. In the latest news, countries are sending more men, equipment and aid to Syria. The U.K. has just agreed to gift them £21 million in funds.
Although Syria is in a desperate plight, I'd rather look after the poor in our own country than pledge resources we can little afford to another. If we each cared for those around us, the world would be a better place. The ripples would spread and link around the globe.
Human nature being the way it is, I don't think that will happen any time soon.

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