A monument to the Irish Regiment of Canada was proposed, which would have used stones from the Giant’s Causeway

documents concerning William Perkins Bull’s mysteriously aborted attempt to erect a monument dedicated to the Irish Regiment of Canada in Toronto’s Armoury using imported stones from Ireland’s Giant’s Causeway.



Stephen Hawking says that maybe in a parallel universe, One Direction still has its lead singer


What is the cosmological effect of singer Zayn Malik leaving the best-selling boy band One Direction and consequently disappointing millions of teenage girls around the world?

The advice of British cosmologist Stephen Hawking to heartbroken fans is to follow theoretical physics, because Malik may well still be a member of the pop group in another universe.

The physicist took a break from speaking about his work as one of the world’s leading scientists to answer the question from one upset fan during a talk at Sydney Opera House on the weekend.

“Finally a question about something important,” Hawking, who appeared via hologram, said to loud laughs from the audience.

“My advice to any heartbroken young girl is to pay attention to the study of theoretical physics because, one day, there may well be proof of multiple universes.

“It would not be beyond the realms of possibility that somewhere outside of our own universe lies another, different universe and, in that universe, Zayn is still in One Direction.”

And in that universe, Stephen Hawking is NOT asked anything about One Direction, ever. 😉

Can I go live in that one? 😉

What if the Japanese had colonized North America, Australia, and expanded into Southeast Asia?

Somebody fleshed out such an alternate history here.

The death of Yi Sun-sin sometime prior to Toyotomi Hideyoshi’s invasion of Korea leads to Japanese victory. This, in turn, promotes an expansionist, rather than isolationist, Japan. Under the leadership of the Toyotomi family, holding the court titles of Quampaku and Sexxô, the Japanese compete with the great European powers for colonies.

Japan and her former colonies form a large, if loose, union covering large areas of the world. The growth of the Empire began as they expanded Northward to Siberia and then westward until colliding with the Russians, and across the Bering Straits into Aresuka, and down the Pacific coast. They also expanded into Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and into Australia (Xinnoranda).

Today, most Japanese colonies retain at least a nominal connection to Japan proper.

In the Americas, Christian and Buddhist missionaries came into frequent contact, sometimes resulting in violence, but eventually the two religions came to co-exist relatively peacefully. Japan’s involvement in the world meant that Christianity was moderately successful in Japan, though still a minority religion, while Buddhist missionaries made their way into Europe.

Haven’t read it in full, but looks interesting, anyway.

Could Vietnam have been nuked in 1954?

What might have been…

Sixty years ago this week, French troops were defeated by Vietnamese forces at Dien Bien Phu. As historian Julian Jackson explains, it was a turning point in the history of both nations, and in the Cold War – and a battle where some in the US appear to have contemplated the use of nuclear weapons.

“Would you like two atomic bombs?” These are the words that a senior French diplomat remembered US Secretary of State John Foster Dulles asking the French Foreign Minister, Georges Bidault, in April 1954. The context of this extraordinary offer was the critical plight of the French army fighting the nationalist forces of Ho Chi Minh at Dien Bien Phu in the highlands of north-west Vietnam.

If only; that would have meant not only the defeat of anti-colonial Indochinese rebels, but perhaps other rebels against colonialism, elsewhere, as well – and no rise of the Viet Cong…