48 tons of silver recovered from shipwreck off the coast of Galway

19 07 2012

1,203 bars of silver bullion weighing a total of 48 tons has been recovered from theshipwreck of the SS Gairsoppa which was sunk in February 1941 300 miles off the coast of Galway, Ireland

Florida based deep ocean exploration firm Odyssey Marine Exploration made the recovery which at 1.4  million troy is the heaviest ever recovery of precious metals.  At a depth of over 3 miles this is also the deepest ever recovery.

Greg Stemm, Odyssey chief executive, said it was a complex operation in international waters.

“Our capacity to conduct precision cuts and successfully complete the surgical removal of bullion from secure areas on the ship demonstrates our capabilities to undertake complicated tasks in the very deep ocean,” he said.

“This technology will be applicable to other modern shipwreck projects currently being scheduled as well as our deep ocean mineral exploration activities.”

Apparently the precious cargo has now been transported to a secure location in the UK.

The Gairsoppa was a merchant ship torpedoed by a German U-boat during  WWII while it was being used by the British government under their War Risk Insurance programme.

An insurance payout of £325,000 – the value of the bullion in 1941 – was made by the government to the owners of the cargo which allows the state to claim ownership of all goods recovered.

Some sources, including Lloyd’s War Losses, indicate a total amount of silver cargo worth £600,000 may have been lost in 1941, indicating the existence of a second load of government-owned silver.

Odyssey expects to now move their efforts in an attempt to recover a further 600,000 ounces of silver believed to be on the wreck of another ship, the SS Mantola, located 100 miles from the first wreck.

The company said the silver recovered to date from the Gairsoppa represents about 43% of the insured silver bars, or a fifth of the total silver cargo which its research indicated may have been on board.

Odyssey is conducting the project under contract with the UK Department for Transport and the rest of the search is expected to be completed in the autumn. The company will retain 80% of the net value of the cargo after recovering its expenses.

 





John Terry on Jeremy Kyle Show

12 07 2012

I laughed so much I just had to share with all you good, good people.





Shinji Kagawa and his pornstar squeeze

10 07 2012

New Manchester United signing Shinji Kagawa brings more than just his football skills to Old Trafford.

He also brings his Japanese pornstar girlfriend Ameri Ichinose.

Kagawa has been plying his trade in Europe for around two years now and it is during his time with Borussia Dortmund that he became involved with Ichinose who has also appeared under the names Ayaka Misora and Erika Kurisu.

I am sure that she will fit right in amongst the other WAGs in the players lounge. Maybe Coleen Rooney can give her some fashion tips. Like where to buy some clothes that cover more than 5% of your body:P





Tallest building in Europe opens in London

6 07 2012

Standing at 1,016ft the Shard in London is officially the tallest building in Europe.

 

After 3 years of construction and more than 12 years of planning and design the “vertical city” was the site of a fantastic laser light show to mark its opening.

The Shard was first conceived by entrepreneur Irvine Sellar and Italian architect Renzo Piano, with funding for the project coming from the Qatari royal family.

Earlier the governor of Qatar Central Bank, Abdullah Saoud Al-Thani, said the Shard marked the Arab state’s “belief and commitment to London both today and in the future”.

“It is a symbol of Qatar’s belief and commitment to London both today and in the future,” he said. “We have a long heritage and continued commitment to invest and build in the UK for the long term and The Shard highlights this close relationship.”

All that to one side it is actually kind of cool to have something like this in London. I am just sad enough to make a point of buying the new Guinness Book of Records each year and love all the little stats and facts like who is fattest or what is tallest.

The fact that it will cost a modest 25 quid for a view from the top just shows the enterprising view which my home city takes towards tourists and their hard-earned cash and once again makes me proud to be a Londoner 😉





Red and White Securities letter to the Arsenal board…Jabba the Hutt strikes back

6 07 2012

Below is the full text of the open letter which Alisher Usmanov and Red and White Securities sent to the Arsenal board yesterday in the wake of Robin Van Persie’s announcement regarding his future at the club.

I will leave you all to make your own minds up on the contents.

However I will say this, if Mr. Usmanov honestly loves the club as he states and wants nothing but the best for Arsenal Football Club on and off the field then maybe he can make some moves to remove some of the mystery and secrecy cloaking his own past dealings and stop issuing solicitors letters and gagging orders as if they were penny sweets.

Maybe then he would be in a better position to question others and would have more support amongst the fans.





God particle discovered

5 07 2012

Scientists at CERN have announced that they have discovered the elusive Higgs Boson   otherwise known as the “God Particle”  Scientists say it is a 5 sigma result which means they are 99.999% sure they have found a new particle.

The historic announcement came in a progress report from the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator.

Professor John Womersley, chief executive of the Science and technology Facilities Council, told reporters at a briefing in London: “They have discovered a particle consistent with the Higgs boson.

“Discovery is the important word. That is confirmed. It’s a momentous day for science.”

Finding the God Particle is akin to finding the missing piece of a jigsaw puzzle, it fills a gaping hole in the Standard Model, the theory that describes all the particles, forces and interactions that make up the universe.

Had the Higgs been shown not to exist, it would have meant revisiting the entirety of the  Standard Model and going back to the drawing board.

Stephen HawkingWhilst most scientists are partying like it 1999 not everyone is happy, Stephen Hawking , theoretical physicist and über-brain extraordinaire, says he threw down $100 on a bet that the God Particle wouldn’t be found….Oops backed the losing horse there didn’t you!

I guess what is of more interest to me is how some people are managing to get themselves all bent out of shape that the discovery of the God Particle somehow proves the existence of God.

I think they are somehow missing the point as in a lot of ways it proves the exact opposite, oh well back to looking for Jesus’ face on a naan bread then guys.





Aftermath

1 07 2012

Well things have started to settle down a bit after the surprise events of last Thursday.

The flood waters have subsided, the cleanup has begun and in a lot of ways Clonakilty is back to normal.  A lot of shops have bounced back surprising quickly, there are more than a few premises with stacks of debris outside showing the red and green Clon flag and displaying signs saying flooded but still open.

There are however more than a few scars showing. The number of houses with piles of ruined furniture and personal belongings  sat outside on the side of the road is staggering. What is really saddening though is when you realise just how many of these families aren’t insured or have insurance which won’t cover them.

More than 125 cars have been destroyed and will have to be written off, in the majority of cases the payout received will fall far short of the cost of finding a safe, reliable, roadworthy replacement.
To give you an example, in the case of my mother she has been told she will be lucky to get €700 after the €250 excess has been taken into account.

Now whilst I am sure there are some bargains out there for a €700 car most vehicles in such a price bracket will be an absolute turd on wheels.

Moving away from Clonakilty itself and the more obvious costs of the flooding a lot of rural roads have been absolutely destroyed. We aren’t just talking damaged we are talking decimated.

These pictures are of the back road from Rossmore to the Clonakilty technology park which I use for work each day, it looks less like flood damage and more like the after effect of carpet bombing- apologies for the quality of the pics it was lashing down with rain so I took them from the car.

Fun hey? Let’s seem them fix this with a bucket of tar and a shovel!

 








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