Deyner´s Notes!

Investing, Cryptocurrencies, Prediction Markets, Old Photography, Weird History, Funny Stories...and MORE!

⌛ Reading time: 7 minutes

Being a fan of Bitcoin through the Lightning Network (BTCLN) has led me to discover some gems within this world, some of which we have already talked about here. Lightning Network (LN) is the technology whose purpose is to accelerate the adoption of Bitcoin as a payment and exchange method by proposing a layer 2 protocol where when carrying out a transaction, a P2P communication link is established between two payment channels in such a way that users can carry out off-chain transactions, fast, almost with zero fees and safe.

Since the inception of Lightning Network many developers have coded apps (known as LApps) seizing the power of small, fast and secure payments with the leading cryptocurrency of the entire world: Bitcoin. Today i want to briefly introduce you, dear reader, to one of such LApps which i find it personally quite useful and a very good example of what can be achieved when programming apps over LN technology.

Meet Microlancer! defines itself as a microtasks app powered by Bitcoin over Lightning Network. Launched first in October 2018 (originally known as “Ask for Bitcoin”), is an app coded, designed and operated by a single person, trying to help make freelancing a more open and free place.

Contrary to what may be believed, Microlancer is designed for all types of tasks, and not only for Bitcoin or Lightning Network related tasks. Building and deplying Microlancerhas been possible by leveraging the low-fee microtransactions payment network built using Bitcoin smart contracts (Lightning Network)....payments are made in Bitcoin, off-chain, with almost no fees, and really quick **:)**

The tool is a way to pay or get paid by doing small tasks, or microtasks, to earn Bitcoin in exchange for your tiny efforts. You need to have first a LN powered Wallet of course (Wallet of Satoshi, lntxbot, Bitpie) loaded with some BTCLN if you want to post a task and pay people to do it or if you want to simply earn BTCLN you just need to set up a LN wallet...and start doing some tasks to receive your payments.

Basically the app is quite simple with 4 menus at the top of the page: Account, Tasks, Services and Activity.

Fig 1. Microlancer LApp as seen once you have logged in.

** Account is basically your home page in the site. From here you can access other parts of the app like your profile, user preferences, security, etc.

** Tasks menu lists all the tasks available in the system for people to do. Tasks are organized in such way that you can view first those “boosted tasks” (people pay a bit of BTCLN to promote their tasks to the top of the list so they can get more visibility: the more you pay, the higher up in the task feed your tasks will be shown). Here you can see the title of the task, the amount of Bitcoin that you can earn by doing that task and the amount of offers received to do it.

Fig 2. A detailed view of part of the Task feed.

Here we can find almost any kind of tasks: from testing apps to reviewing products or signing up to websites. The amount to be paid for each task is freely chosen by the creator of such tasks and it is upon on you to choose if it´s worth or not to do a given task taking into account its complexity and what you will gain.

**Services menu showcase just that: the services you are able to lend in exchange for BTC. Services and Tasks are like an opposite thing: while Tasks showcase things that you want others to do for you and that people will be paid to do that, Services showcase those things you are able to lend to community and want to get paid for doing that.

Fig 3. A detailed view of part of the Services feed.

Here you can find Services like those shown above where someone asks for 10 000 satoshis to create for you some nice memes from your photos.

**Activity is the menu that acts like a notification center where you will find all those new notifications regarding people interested in doing your Tasks or people interested in hiring you, given some Service you are offering in the system.

Whole App is full of filters where you can filter Tasks and Services by tags, by username, by amount to be paid or by category. And it is designed as a Single Page Application, Ajax powered, so users will find a comfortable space to do their work by posting tasks or hiring people in exchange for BTC over LN.

*So how does it works*? **:)**

The concept is really simple.

Askers post a task or question they need help with.

Others users place offers to help with the task.

The asker accepts an offer.

The asker deposit the funds in Microlancer´s escrow and wait for the tasker feedback when doing the task.

Once the task is done the tasker (the user doing the task) give feedback to the asker so he can be able to check how the task was done.

If successful, the aasker marks the task as completed and release the funds from the escrow.

The tasker receive its payment for a job well done!

If there are any disoute, Microlancer support will arbitrate the issue.

...and that is the whole process! It is simple right! **:)**

The system it is not a rigid system per se, so once you have posted a task or a service you can chat with some users and agree on the amount of BTC you are willing to pay in order to get things done on time and with the quality you need. This way you can pay less or more depending on the type of feedback you have for some users offers, making it a fair system for both, the asker and the tasker.

Microlancer tries to be a self-sustaining system by charging some fees for using some features of the platform. But at first glance we can realize that those fees are really really low compared with fees collected by other microtasks apps:

Fig 4. Microlancer´s fees.

Posting a task in Microlancer is really easy as well as collecting payments from the services you provide once those services are executed. At the end i think it is an App that worth a try....Now that you got the info on the whole scenario, it is up to you dear reader, to test it or not...

Final now

Microlancer is a well designed App, with low fees, useful and with a valid use case that we can seize to post our tasks and see them done in exchange for a bit of money in form of BTC over Lightning Network...or we can post our skills and wait to be hired, this way maybe we can earn a bit by doing what we already know and love.

I think it worth a try if you want to get some tasks done in exchange for a bit of money, because, let´s be honest: there is not such a thing like a free beer in this the end, you get what you pay for... **:)**

One final note is that you need to be aware that malicious people are always just around the corner. As this is an App where you get paid to do certaing things like testing apps, someone could certainly pay you to download one app and getting installed to your device spreading things like viruses, so you need to be careful when choosing the tasks to complete.

If you are an enthusiast of historical photograph and amazing discoveries and stories do not forget to follow me at because i will be releasing soon new and impressive contents about it!!!

...and if you valuate our work and want to support good and amazing content exclusively for you, do not forget to get a Coil is a small fee to get great content for you and learn a lot!!!



Blockchain powered cellphones...the FUTURE?

Web Monetization in the context of Lightning Network

Decentralized Applications (Dapps)...can be HACKED?

Lightning Network: achievements and challenges for 2020

⌛ Reading time: 8 minutes

Have been a fan of ancient photography for a while by now and each day i surf the Internet can't stop marveling on how humans have evolved the art of painting and photography since old days to recent days giving, from time to time, touches of reality closer and closer to the reality itself.

Today, digital photography has made us forget those efforts made by early pioneers in the field of transmitting reality through paintings but; by fortune, there still some examples that remind us that in early days, there were people worried about this idea and they gave the best of themselves trying to show us real faces, faces that convey feelings, feelings that make us think today that today human beings are not so different than people living 2000 years ago.

Mummy portraits are real people portraits

Archeologists have gotten used to discover all kinds of mummies spreaded all over Egypt. It seemed that nothing they could discover in the arid sands of that country could alter the original mummified burial concept that has always been had of the Egyptians through history. So what a BIG surprise for the British archaeologist W.M. Flinders Petrie when excavating around the Egyptian city of Fayum in the late 1800´s he discovered the first mummmmies with a living portrait of the mummy inside incorporated into the part of the deceased's face.....Whaaaat!? **:o**

Fig 1. *A Fayum-style mummy with its typical portrait in the front of the face (*

This was a totally different concept of what was believed until that moment the usual mummification and burial process among common egyptians took place. It was a mystery? Why those mummies had those portraits? Who painted those portraits?

The history of the Fayum mummies can be traced even years before Mr. Petrie excavated around the city of Fayum when first Fayum portrait mummies were found by Pietro della Valle in 1615. Years later, an Austrian businessman and art collector named Theodor Graf (1840-1903), bought several of those portraits taken from the cemeteries at er-Rubayat and elsewhere, exposing them across Europe raising people's curiosity around those so uncommon artifacts. Then years later Mr. Petrie led a british expedition for the Egypt Exploration Fund excavating cementeries near the site of Hawara finding several of those mummies with such portraits...He was amazed by his discoveries and fascinated by the ancient eyes staring back at him: the rest of the world would be too.

Fig 2. A portrait of a Fayum mummy: a look from the afterlife (

Most of those mummies and their respective portraits can be dated back to the Imperial Roman era, from the late 1st century BC or the early 1st century AD onwards. They belong to the time when Egypt was starting to become a roman province and many Romans citizens began settling there and adopted local practices including the mortuary ritual of egyptian mummification, mixing ancient egyptian myths with their own funerary traditions.

Fig 3. *The evolution of Egyptian coffins: from the coffin of Henutmehyt, New Kingdom between 1550-1070 BCE to complete painted Fayum portrait and mummy of Artemidorus (*

The study of several of those portraits tell us a lot about the people depicted there: 75 percent of the panels studied were painted on linden wood, which wasn’t native to Egypt. So mummy painters, apparetly, imported the material all the way from Northern Europe. A manufactured red pigment identified in the works was traced to southern Spain. And the use of indigo across the paintings potentially indicates that the deep-blue pigment was mass produced.

Fig 4. *A portrait of a Fayum-style mummy of a young woman where we can see a wide use of red pigments that are believed to have been brought from southern Spain (*

Some conservators even noticed small fibers embedded in the dye, which suggests that it was recycled from Egypt’s textile industry. This kind of information clearly indicate that not everyone could have had that kind of portrait in their mummy as those imported materials were extremely expensive, so the people buried in the Fayum cementry must have been important (or rich) people in their time.

Many experts have debated about the real use case of these paintings beyond accompanying the deceased to the afterlife. It is assumed that when one of those people died, his relatives before burying him, preferred to keep his mummified body for some time in their own homes and then ordered this type of mortuary portrait that would serve first as a way to give some life to those inert bodies, as a reminder of who he/she was, or what he/she looked like in life. After a time the deceased was buried according to Egyptian funerary rites, always accompanied by the painting that represented the person in life.

One of the key aspects of such kind of portraits is the fact that they show us not only a wide diversity of the people who once lived in Roman Egypt but also the intricacies of hairstyles, clothing, and jewellery that were popular two thousand years ago helping archeologists to develop their work uncovering the customs of people who lived by that time. Those portraits also represent a great percent of the few preserved examples of ancient Greek-style paintings we have nowadays. They are a rare type of mixed art between the Egyptian, Greek and Roman styles, one of a kind.

For generations amazing many people around the world; many those paintings are so real that the creator of such artworks perhaps inadvertently ended up transmitting even feelings, something that the flat Egyptian painting never dreamed of producing or transmitting.

Fig 5. We can see the quality of those paintings, reaching the point of transmitting feelings even (

Today we can find several of those paintings with their respective mummies spreaded around the finest history museums around the whole world. For the history, only about a thousand Fayum-style mummies have survived centuries of vandalism and looting, which is often considered a really small amount of those rare artifacts given the fact that Rome ruled Egypt for centuries.

Final now

There are still many unanswered questions about the Fayum mummies and their portraits: ...did the portraitist paint from memory when death had already arrived? ...was he inspired by the corpse and added a few touches of life? ...was the model the person still alive, who had himself portrayed so that in the future that face would serve other people to remeber them as they were?

The truth is that we may never know, but the fact is that these types of portraits are truly incredible artworks, preserved for posterity thanks to the aridity of the desert where they were discovered. By looking those so realistic paintings, we cannot avoid to think on that ancient society so far in time and, at the same time, so close in feelings; a proof that despite the passing of the years humanity is still one.

If you are an enthusiast of historical photograph and amazing discoveries and stories do not forget to follow me at because i will be releasing soon new and impressive contents about it!!!

...and if you valuate our work and want to support good and amazing content exclusively for you, do not forget to get a Coil is a small fee to get great content for you and learn a lot!!!

** Incredible #FIRST photographs of all times(Series) – Part 1.

** Forgotten heroes of WWI: different skin color but single coloured soul!

** Russian last Tsar Nicholas II was a funny pal!

** Amazing old photos of rare sports that you will never believe existed! – Part 2

Reading time: 7 minutes

As you maybe know, apparently the DeFi boom, together with increased adoption and on-chain activity over the Ethereum network has brought with a huge increase in “fees” paid each time a user makes a transaction over that blockchain. That´s why it is always useful to check the gas price before we decide to send a transaction over that network.

Many people spend most of their time checking places like ETH Gas Station, ETH or using some notification service so they can be informed by the time those fees are at their lowest point and then, they can transfer or trade (still safe) some ETH coins or tokens without the need to pay an excessive amount of money to do it.

The Internet is plenty of tools, sites and services to do that but today i will teach you how to build a simple, customized Telegram bot to alert you when ETH gas fees are at a certain point that you want, adapted to your financial needs.

Now, thanks to HAL and Chainlink we can do it! A quick setup, a bit of magic and voilá! You will have your own customized tool to get alerts about those ETH gas fees that suits you. :)

What do we need?

Simple.... We will need Telegram running on any platform(Web, Desktop or Cellphone), an Ethereum Wallet (i recommend MetaMask) and a HAL account (you can sign up with GitHub or Google).

At this point, you maybe all know what is Telegram and what is Metamask. But maybe most of you do not know what is HAL so, allow me then to quickly introduce you to HAL...

HAL is a place where you can create customized triggers… using their web wizard or GraphQL APIs without the need of coding anything. You can connect decentralized and centralized technologies by using “recipes” they provide based on conditional structures like “IF -this- THEN -do this –” seizing the power of smart contracts and oracles like Chainlink this website will allow us to create “magic” like watching an incoming transaction to our wallets, tracking new token pool pair creation on Uniswap or getting an alert via Telegram, E-mail, Discord, Slack, Twitter, and even a webhook when ETH gas fees are on a threshold you want. You can do many more things of course, that´s why i encourage you, dear reader, to take quick look at HAL´s website and explore all the “recipes” they provide...we never know what do we will need in a future isn´t? **;)**


As said before, seizing the power of Telegram and HAL tools it will be easy to build this bot to stay informed about ETH gas fees on a given threshold or value.


First we will need to create a Telegram bot allowing us to receive and post the message HAL will be sending to.

❶ Open Telegram and start a conversation with @BotFather which will allow you to create a new bot.

Just type-in the /newbot command and then reply each request made by BotFather by providing the name and the username for your bot.

❷ Save the token provided as we will be using it later.

❸ Now we will need to create a new Telegram group where our bot will be able to post the messages HAL will be sending regarding the ETH gas fees.

Once the group is created, assign it a name and invite the bot we’ve just created (@ethGasTrack_Bot in my case). Make it Administrator of your chat room.

❹ Now you will need to get the Chat_ID of the group you recently created. Send a message to the Group and start and send a message to the bot. Then go to:<YourBOTToken>/getUpdates

...where is the token of the bot you´ve created with BotFather.

You will see something like this:

Grab the chat_id provided and you´re done!

It is time to move to HAL´s website to finish the magic! Let´s go!


First we will need to create a trigger on HAL’s website that will send us a message when the gas price is below a certain value. After signing up to HAL’s website by using our Github or Google account we will need to:

❶ Go to the “Chainlink” card → “Explore Recipes”

❷Then click on “Track Gas Price” recipe.

❸ Once there we will find a screen with two sections: one with both keywords of the “IF- THEN” structure we will need to provide info to the triggers to execute and the second and last section allowing us to name that trigger(create, preview or reset).

Here we will need to tell HAL “WHEN” to execute the trigger. You can enter the value that suits you better and you will be notified when ETH gas price be less, equal or over the value you choose.

...and here we will need to tell HAL “WHERE” to send the message we want. In our case is a Telegram message which you will find it lower in the list.

❹ Choose “Send using Telegram” option

...and fill “BOT TOKEN” with the token of your newly created bot and “CHAT ID” with the chat_id you previously saved in steps above and choose a “MESSAGE FORMAT” that suits you better (i recommend to choose HTML)

Finally setup a name for your trigger and just click on“Create” button...and that’s all! You will get a notification on the group you created on Telegram via your own bot when the gas price matches your desired price...HAL will check it for you given some Chainlink data...Awesome!

Final now

At this point you may be asking yourself why to build a customized tool with HAL to be informed about ETH gas fees if you have several options already built on the Internet. Well...i can say that build your own tool customized to your needs sounds somehow fascinating and will allow you to learn how to use those recipes on HAL´s website also.

Besides, as it will be a tool built by you, you will have the chance to improve it when you need to do it without pay for it or ask other to do it for you...It is just a learning process that will introduce you to the world of HAL´s recipes and link them to your favorite centralized tool to stay up to date with the latest news and info on the cryptosphere.

Just test the other will be amazed!! **;)**

If you are an enthusiast of historical photograph and amazing discoveries and stories do not forget to follow me at because i will be releasing soon new and impressive contents about it!!!

...and if you valuate our work and want to support good and amazing content exclusively for you, do not forget to get a Coil is a small fee to get great content for you and learn a lot!!!



** Fibonacci Retracements: ancient mathematicians helping today traders.

** Web Monetization in the context of Lightning Network

** Decentralized Applications (Dapps)...can be HACKED?

** Micropayments: beyond content creators.

Reading time: 8 minutes

I've been a prediction markets enthusiast for years. Since entering the crypto world, i hungrily looked for ways to somehow “predict&earn” (which could turn into “predict&lose” of course ;) ), by seizing the wide range of possibilities cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum give regarding security and decentralization. From my point of view, betting into something by using cryptocurrencies it is much better than betting into something with fiat money: it is faster and you can have (and feel) some freedom degree that you can't definitely have when using your debit/credit card or bank account when betting to an outcome.

The cryptocurrency world is full of examples of betting places where you can predict and bet on a given outcome: sports, eSports, politics, market movements, stocks prices....dumb questions? **:)** But it wasn't until the arrival of some DeFi projects that people really began to take a better look at these types of markets....and started participating actively on many of them.

The truth is that the DeFi awakening has brought with a bunch of possibilities to customize predictions markets. Today we can find centralized predictions markets coining their own cryptocurrency to reward predictors, we can find also other places where you predict and you are rewarded with someone else cryptocurrency ...but, undoubtedly, the most successful predictions markets out there are those predictions markets born from the bowels of the DeFi world.

Today i want to introduce you, dear reader, to one of those amazing projects which promises to change the traditional method of making predictions and betting on an outcome. But first, let's quickly see what is you can understand better.

Ummmm... DeFi?

Yes, it sounds like something related to science-fiction maybe? **:)** But wait...NO!, we are talking about cryptocurrencies here and, in general about crypto world. So, DeFi is the acronym for Decentralized Finances which is... “an open financial ecosystem where several small financial tools and services can be built in a decentralized way, which can even be combined, modified and integrated according to existing needs.”

In other words, DeFi is a set of tools allowing you to “decentralize your finances” based on a series of digital assets, protocols, smart contracts and dApps(Decentralized Apps) built on blockchain technology.

Fig 1. *Decentralized Finances' components (*

Until the arrival of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technologies all money transactions and financial operations that were executed around the world could be considered “centralized” because everything, including the coins we use to trade, are issued, regulated and quantified by central authorities such as banks for example. That way a central organization (banks, governments) can control and regulate everything...until years ago, where the DeFi concept came into the fighting arena to help us “decentralize” our finances and the risks we face when investing, or betting, isn't?

Being Ethereum the choosen blockchain “par excellence” where people used to develop Defi applications, it is not a surprise to know that most of those applications live there. But today, this blockchain it is not the only one allowing to develop such apps, and, with time, many developers have developed new dApps or even migrated existing dApps to other blockchains like Polkadot, Binance Smart Chain and Matic, each one providing a set of tools and protocols to develop more robust and complex DeFi apps.

The DeFi world has come to stay and develop, no doubts. Many successful projects developed here have brought for many people some kind of “financial peace of mind” gaining thousands of followers worldwide, allowing a full new niche to develop inside the vast arena of crypto world. And if you want, dear reader, to start somewhere where predicting, betting, playing and learning from the hand of a DeFi tool becomes really fun and profitable, allow me to recommend you and introduce you to DeFi Of Thrones.

It's no winter yet!...No, it's DeFi Of Thrones! :)

The popular HBO series has already finished but we have now another battlefield to cover: several kingdoms will face each other in epic battles in the DeFi arena to see which one performs better during a timelapse....there can only be one winner...

DeFi Of Thrones is a newcomer in the DeFi world with a simple but at the same time, interesting concept. It aims to create a kind of gamified prediction market in which players can join a house (another DeFi or Crypto related project) and earn cryptocurrencies (token) when their house wins by outperform the another one in the market and all of this developed in a beautifully designed “fighting” environment. As you can see this is a simple but at the same time a very interesting concept since gamification, visual appealing and graphics are not the key points of other prediction tools.

Fig 2. *Every week a couple of new DeFi projects face off.(*

First launched on the Ethereum network a few months ago, it has its own token called DoTx, which is an utility token used to bet on the platform. Every week a prediction (in the near future will be several) contest is launched where the contenders are DeFi projects and having previously connected your Wallet (I personally recommend MetaMask) you can buy tickets, the cost of each one is 10 DoTx. Then you can bet those tickets to one of two houses and follow their performance during the time the battle will last to see if your house will emerge victorious from this confrontation.

Fig 3. *A sneak peek to main screen of DeFi Of Thrones dApp. (*

Once you has bought the tickets you will be able to buy more tickets to bet only in the original house you bet at the beginning, however if you want to betray your house and switch sides, you can always pay a “betrayal fee”, corresponding to 1% of the tickets you have already bought. :)

How rewards will be calculated?... it's simple!: from the total amount of DoTx that was bet on the losing house, a 5% will be deducted and this amount will correspond to tokens that will be “burned”(yes this is a deflationary token **:)** ), minus another 5% of DoTx that will be sent to what is known as “Throne Vault” (a kind of vault in which DoTx tokens will be accumulated to somehow reward those users who take more risks for betting earlier than others and in greater amounts) .... After deducting this general 10%, the system will calculate what percentage your bet DoTx represent of the total DoTx bet on the winning house and then you will get that same percentage of DoTx tokens but from the total tokens bet on the losing house.

Of need to win to earn(the house you bet on must outperform the other house), otherwise you will loose your bet you need to be careful and why not, make some technical studies on markets movements predictions, watch the markets everyday, betray if you think you need to do so **:)**

New version of DeFi Of Thrones dApp will come beautifuly redesigned and full of new features. NFT's, Early Pool, Mana Pool, several wars per week, internal Chatroom and the list goes on.....

DeFi Of Thrones is going to be integrated into Polygon(former Matic) environment so people can use DoTx and bet without the need to pay high transaction fees like in Ethereum network each time they bet. So this way it will be easy for people to bet without spending too much on fees and will allow at the same time to focus in the most important part of the platform: the Wars...

NFT's will be an important part of the platform and the workflow. Team has realized that graphics designs in the platform representing some DeFi or Crypto projects can be converted into NFT collectible cards which can be awarded, sold, or hold into the system to get some extra “powers”.

Fig 4. NFT's will be one of the great revelations of this project

*and one of its greatest attractions.(*

You will be able to claim your NFT by stacking LP points (points given to all users who provide liquidity in a Uniswap pool – in this case in the ETH/DoTx pool) and by participating in wars. You will have to earn a specific number of points to be able to “claim” those cards...or you can buy them on OpenSea...on way or another i think this is a very interesting concept (linking a gamified prediction market with NFT) that will bring a great degree of exposure for the project on social channels as DeFi Of Thrones is the first one of its kind into applying this concept to the real life.

So, dear you can see there is so much behind this project that can be seized to power up your prediction skills, earn, learn and all of this in a beautifuly gamified environment powered by an “almost zero fee network” i think its worth a try!...don't you?

Final now

Given the facts, i think this is a good platform for those people who already move in the Crypto world so that they can exercise their technical trading knowledge in a different way... a gamified one. A place where you can win, learn and socialize. I think it is a good place to consider to spend some quality time while having fun.

So why not to try it? I'm in...and you? :)

If you are an enthusiast of historical photograph and amazing discoveries and stories do not forget to follow me at because i will be releasing soon new and impressive contents about it!!!

...and if you valuate our work and want to support good and amazing content exclusively for you, do not forget to get a Coil is a small fee to get great content for you and learn a lot!!!




1- No affiliate links were provided in the article. The purpose of this article is introduce you to DeFi Of Thrones dApp.

2- My words are my own so, even while i personally drop here my financial thoughts about this project, nothing i say here can or should be taken as investment advice. INVEST AWARE!



Social networks needs to be social...The problem with centric concepts!

Web Monetization in the context of Lightning Network

Decentralized Applications (Dapps)...can be HACKED?

** Blockchain powered cellphones...the FUTURE?

** Reading time: 9 minutes

I can bet by now not a single person in the whole world has not seen (or at least heard of) the movie “Titanic” directed by James Cameron and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet.

In that film (and others films as well) is depicted how another ship (RMS Carpathia) come to the aid of a sinking Titanic in the middle of the cold night of April 14, 1912. As we all know RMS Carpathia arrived somehow later to help most of the people already dying in the cold waters of north Atlantic despite the efforts made to speed up the rescue mission. However, due to RMS Carpathia efforts many lives were saved that day that otherwise would have been lost in those hours of despair.

That awful night that ship was like 60 miles away from Titanic and when the Carpathia’s wireless operator heard the Titanic’s S.O.S and C.Q.D. calls, its Captain, Mr. Arthur H. Rostron, ordered go quickly to the place where the signal came from. But did you know that the same night there was another ship even closer to the place where Titanic was fact...20 miles away?

It was the SS Californian, another British steamship operated by British Leyland Line company. Curiously, this two ships were somehow near the Titanic sinking place that night but despite having both received the help signals, only the RMS Carpathia helped. That why the Carpathia is known as “The Ship That Rescued Titanic's Survivors” while the Californian is know as “The Ship Who Watched Titanic Sink”...Much has been written about the RMS Carpathia but the SS Californinan history is poor documented and very little has really been said about it.

So, what happened? Let's take a quick look at the history of both ships and then lets go back in time to the night of April 14, 1912 to see what happened according to some facts.

....Mysterious isn't? Let´s go, put on your life jacket and your coat...we go back in time ... NOW!

RMS Carpathia

According to The Irish Post and the Wikipedia page dedicated to RMS Carpathia, this ship was launched by the Sawn Hunter & Wigham Richardson Company from their shipyard in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1902. It initially operated as a transatlantic service for immigrants eager to travel to America before being refitted as a cruise ship in 1905. It was a tiny ship for 1912 standards with just 541 feet long and 64 feet wide with a service speed of 15 knots.

Fig 1. *The RMS Carpathia (*

By January 1912, the Carpathia was operating under the command of Captain Arthur H. Rostron, making some transatlantic crossings that brought poor immigrants to America and the wealthy to the Mediterranean for pleasure cruises and exotic expeditions. By April 11th, 1912 it found itself making one of such journeys to America with some 700 people on board.

It successfully took part in the rescue of the survivors left behind after the sinking of the Titanic and arrived to New York Harbor on the morning of April 18 carrying 705 survivors of the tragedy. The crew, officers and the Captain received honors and medals from both the United States government and the British one.

Fig 2. *Another photo of the RMS Carpathia (*

Two years later, in 1914, the First World War began and Carpathia was transformed into a troopship, transporting Canadian and American troops into Europe during the war. It remained on the Liverpool-New York route without major incidents from 1915 until 17 July 1918, when it was torpedoed and sunk by German submarine U55, 170 miles west of Bishop Rock. Five crew were killed, but the remaining 215 on board, including 57 passengers, were rescued by HMS Snowdrop.

SS Californinan

This steamship owned by the Leyland Line was constructed in Scotland in the Dundee Docks. Launched in November 26, 1901, it was designed primarily to transport cotton, but also had the capacity to carry 47 passengers and 55 crew members.

Fig 3. *The SS Californian photographed on the morning after Titanic sank (*

This ship completed its sea trials on 23 January 1902 and sailed without a Marconi wireless apparatus until 1912 when it was installed one of this devices in a refitted cabin. The year 1911 saw Captain Stanley Lord became master of the ship. In April 14th, 1912 the SS Californian constantly contacted Titanic and some other near ships to inform about some ice fields with which the Californian nearly collided with. While keeping the distance, is a known fact that the Californian was once so close to Titanic like 5 miles away, so close that Captain Lord was able to spotted the Titanic's lights on the horizon. Hours later, somehow, it refused to assist a sinking Titanic arriving to the sinking site even later that RMS Carpathia.

Fig 4. *Another photo of the SS Californian (*

Days later it arrived to Boston starting then the nightmare of having to explain why they did not help and assisted on time to Titanic survivors. Captain Lord would spend the rest of his life trying to clean up the image the rest of the world had upon him. The SS Californian continued in normal commercial service until World War I, when the British government took control of it. On November 9th, 1915 it was torpedoed twice (first time by U-34 and the second time by U-35) and sank near Cape Matapan, Greece.

Unlike RMS Carpathia which wreckage has been discovered already and explored several times, Californian's wreck remains undiscovered...maybe forgotten by history as a way to collect a debt.

So what happened then? Conspiracy theory?

To be completely honest we maybe never know for sure what happened that awful night in the cold waters of north Atlantic. There are some key facts which can be analyzed to somehow find out why one ship helped the Titanic while the other didn't help at all.

We all know that unwritten sea rules state that in case of sinking any ship near the sinking location must help survivors to get out of the water and render first aid. SS Californian indeed headed its way to the sinking place just to find the RMS Carpathia gathering all the survivors and rendering first, this was not the problem with the behavior of this ship, the problem was why they didn't show up on time being the nearest ship, receiving Titanic messages of help and seeing several rockets lunched from the place of the disaster?

Fig 5. *Californian's close proximity to Titanic that night. Less than 20 nautical miles Northwest of the sinking ship. (*

This has been a mystery since the very beginning of this story. In the first place it highly contrasts the attitude of each captain.

Captain Rostron from the Carpathia was summoned from his cabin in the middle of the night after received the Titanic’s S.O.S in the wireless operator cabin and he immediately ordered the ship to assist the sinking ship. While this ship made its way to the Titanic, Captain Rostron issued a series of orders to prepare the Carpathia for rescue operations: extra rooms, officers’ quarters and common rooms were prepared to receive survivors, dining rooms were transformed into makeshift hospitals, hot water and steam supply to passenger cabins were cut to increase the ship’s top speed which went from 14.5 knot to 18 knots – helping the Carpathia go faster and save an hour of journey.

As soon as the Carpathia approached to the place of sinking Captain Rostron ordered to fire green starburst rockets to alert the sinking ship, or its survivors, beginning then the rescue mission in the middle of the night. Having rescued 705 survivors the Carpathia was dangerously over capacity, however Captain Rostron decided to take his chances and they set sail for New York arriving a few days later.

On the other hand Captain Stanley Lord ordered the Californian to stop for the night, concluding it was too dangerous to proceed because the high amount of ice fields they've found. Once spotted several rockets fired from Titanic the Californian's crew woke up Captain Lord who suggested to establish a contact via morse lamp. No effort was ever made to wake the wireless operator. He suggested that the rockets were company signals of some kind while his officers believed there was a more serious nature behind the rockets.

After seeing about 8 rockets fired, the Californian crew began to worry and this was reported to Captain Lord who did nothing. When the radio operator woke up he heard the news about the Titanic sinking and then informed to the Captain the bad news. Stanley Lord ordered the Californian to go to Titanic's position but instead of a direct route, he ordered a twisted, longer route that he would later claim, in the inquiry, was to Titanic's last broadcasted many bad decisions in one night.

Fig 6. *A photo depicting SS Californian arriving to Titanic' s sinking place (from the perspective of RMS Carpathia) (*

As many of the later inquiries concluded, it is almost sure that it was a fault from Captain Stanley Lord, his irresponsibility and mishandling of the situation lead to many more lives lost that night. Some people said he was cowardly and despite knowing the reality of the situation he preferred not to involve his ship and crew in a dangerous mission in the middle of the night with so many icebergs floating. The truth is that Captain Lord's testimony was inconsistent with the testimony of the rest of the crew where it is clearly seen that the whole crew thought about a disaster while the Captain thought about it like “a different way for a ship belonging to another company to communicate with another ship of the same shipping company”.

More incriminating evidence upon Captain Lord, or a suspicious lack thereof, came in the form of Californian's logs. Its scrap log mysteriously disappeared sometime between the night of the disaster and Californian's arrival in Boston. The official log gave no mention of Titanic, a nearby ship, or rockets of any kind.

Another thing people asked years later was why once gathered in the place of the disaster both the RMS Carpathia and the SS Californian, Captain Lord did not take any survivors into his ship to relieve the overweight that the Carpathia had...question unanswered yet....

Fig 7. *Taken by a passenger on board Carpathia on April 15, 1912 showing one of Titanic's collapsible boats and some survivors (*

Final now

Over the years many conspiracy theories have appeared due to, somehow, the lack of information (or misinformation) about the inactivity of the SS Californian. The truth is that, in practice, if Captain Lord had acted immediately, many more lives would have been saved that night, although the Titanic would have irretrievably sunk.

Many people led by films and novels written about that historical fact, do not know about the existence of the SS Californian and what it could have done to assist the survivors...simply because in those novels and films it is not mentioned at all unlike the RMS Carpathia which took direct action on the events that happened that night. Now that you, dear reader, know about the existence of this ship, you can image maybe a different end to the James Cameron's film...maybe a happy end where Rose and Jack save their lives, arriving to New York Harbor on the deck of the Californian and living together forever ever.

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** Remembering Nazi Holocaust and taking a close look at other historical genocides

** Worst years in History: past, present and....future?

** U-176: mystery in the Caribbean Sea

Forgotten heroes of WWI: different skin color but single coloured soul!

** Reading time: 8 minutes

January 27.... a day recognized as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day by all nations belonging to the UN organization. UN chose this day to honor the six million Jewish victims of the Holocaust and millions of other victims of the Nazi regime because a day like today, but in 1945, the infamous Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp was liberated, freeing thousands of survivors who would later tell the terrible stories of their lives lived in that human flesh grinding machine.

It is a day to remember and learn and it is commonly used to bring awareness and to develop educational programs to help prevent future genocides.

Nazi Holocaust was terrible, no doubt about it. Numbers speak by themselves. According to 6 million Jews were killed by different means throughout the whole period the Holocaust. However not only Jews suffered during this period as many other population groups and nationalities suffered the unpleasant consequences of the expansion of Nazism and nationalism at that time as we can see in the following table extracted from

Fig 1. Current best estimates of civilians and captured soldiers killed by the Nazi regime and its collaborators.

The worst was not being concentrated and even displaced from their original places but the inhuman conditions and despicable treatment to which these people were subjected, finally reaching a painful death after years of living in misery and hopelessness all the time....That's why we need to remember year after year to help prevent a future like this past.

In my own way i want to remember this day bringing some attention not only to the Nazi Holocaust but taking a look and remembering at all other holocausts and genocides around the world; without the intention of comparing, i can say that they brought, for other nationalities, the same misfortune, fate and the suffering that the Jews suffered in their day. Let's remember them all together as if they were one...because they are...a crime against the whole human race.

❶ Cuban Concentration Camps (1896)

Many people do not know that the term “concentration camps” was coined by the spanish occupation forces during the second part of the “Ten Years War” fought between Cuban Rebel Forces and the Colonialist Spanish Army cantoned in Cuba.

As a state policy, the “Reconcentración” (Reconcentration – in english) was an idea of the spanish general Valeriano Weyler back in 1896 that sent thousands of Cubans into concentration camps. Under his policy, the rural population had 8 days to move into designated camps located in fortified towns; any person who failed to obey was shot.

The housing in these areas was typically abandoned, decaying, roofless, and virtually unihabitable. Food was scarce and famine and disease quickly swept through the camps. By 1898, one third of Cuba's population had been forcibly sent into the concentration camps. By the end of the War over 400,000 Cubans died as a result of the Spanish Reconcentration Policy.

Fig 2. *Spanish General Valeriano Weyler and some victims of the reconcentration process in Cuba during the Independence Wars (*

This policy aimed to prevent the Cuban rebel forces to get some help from the rest of the people livig in the countryside and apparently preserve the life of thousands of innocent people by pushing them away from the battlefields. However it actually got the opposite effect by killing thousand of innocent people and yet Spain finally lost the war leaving Cuba devastated and with a big black spot in its history.

❷ South Africa: Second Boer War Concentration Camps (1899 – 1902)

During the Anglo-Boer War between 1899 and 1902 the British army stablished concentration camps as part of their military campaign against two small Afrikaner republics: the ZAR (Transvaal) and the Orange Free State (both Boer states) to house Boer families forcibly displaced by Britain's scorched-earth policies.

As we can imagine, those camps lacked the minimum conditions to care for a large number of displaced people. Apparently the British Army followed the same thoughts that the Colonialist Spanish Army cantoned in Cuba back in 1896 when they stablished their concentration camps, the idea was quite clear: remove the main source of support for the Boer commandos.

At least 40 concentration camps were constructed, holding in all some 150,000 Boer refugees (white people) and another 60 camps were constructed to house the 115,000 native Africans who had worked as servants for the Boers...nearly 300 000 people concentrated living under the minimun aceptable conditions and mostly in tents hurriedly constructed to house them: diseases and hunger took their toll really quickly.

Fig 3. Boer mother with her dead child living in a tent in one of the concentration camps built by the British Army during the Boer Wars (

Between July 1901 and February 1902 death rate was, on average, 247 per 1000 per annum in the white camps being lower in the camps hosting black servants to the surprise of the military even. By the end of the war at least 28 000 white people and 20 000 black people died in various camps in South Africa, 80% of them children.

❸Armenian Genocide: Deir ez-Zor camps (1915)

The Deir ez-Zor Camps were concentration camps in the heart of the Syrian desert where many thousands of Armenian refugees were forced into death marches during the Armenian Genocide. Those Armenians who survived the genocide were forced to march in two directions they were able to “choose”: to Damascus or to a desert zone along the Euphrates to Deir ez-Zor.

By the end of the armenian Genocide almost 30,000 Armenians were encamped in various camps outside the town of Deir ez-Zor ruled by then by the Arabs whose governor, Haj Fadel Al-Aboud, provided them with food and housing and means of livelihood and security, however they were too many. Despite the efforts made by the town's governor still many refugees were arriving, including women and children, it was by that time when the real nightmare began: they cooked grass, ate dead birds, and although there was a cave near the Deir ez-Zor for prisoners to store until they starved, no “camp” seems ever to have been planned for the Armenians.

Fig 4. *Armenian leader Papasyan seeing what's left after the horrendous murders by Der-ez-Zor in 1915-1916 (*

“For Armenians, Deir ez-Zor has come to have a meaning approximate to Auschwitz” – wrote once Peter Balakian“it was a vast and horrific open-air concentration camp”....almost 150 000 people died there according to some studies....the truth is that we will never known the exact number as nobody took the trouble to count the dead...

❹ Russian Gulags: forced labor camps (1930-1953)

During the reign of Joseph Stalin in the Soviet Union, between 14 and 18 million people ended up in a Soviet gulag, where they were forced to literally work themselves to death. Gulag was rçthe acronym for Glavnoe Upravlenie Lagerei – Main Administration of Corrective Labor Camps and they were the place where millions of post-war prisoners, disaffected to the Stalin regime, political prisoners, common criminals and prosperous peasants, known as kulaks met the end of their lives in a miserable way.

Gulag prisoners could work up to 14 hours per day under heavy weather conditions with even worse feeding treatment and almost an inexistent healthcare system. People worked literally to the bone, using usually outdated supplies to do intense labor in a heavy and deadly environment.

Fig 5. *The dead bodies of political prisoners, murdered by the secret police, lie inside of a prison camp in Tarnopil, Ukraine, 1941 (*

No one was really safe from going to a gulag, even women and children. Female prisoners were often the victims of rape and violence at the hands of both inmates and guards. Many of the gulag children (who were born there) were shipped to distant orphanages and papers were destroyed making a future meeting almost impossible.

By the time the last Soviet gulag closed its gates, millions had died. Some worked themselves to death, some had starved, and others were simply dragged out into the woods and shot. According to some studies between 1.5 and 1.7 million people died as a result of their incarceration in the Gulags system.

Final now

There is no doubt that the Nazi Holocaust has been the most documented, explained and covered of all genocides in the whole world; however, as you can see, dear reader, it was not the only one. It seems like the human being has some kind of predisposition for making their peers suffer a lot.

From my point of view, Nazi Holocaust cannont or should not be seen as something appart. Despite the fact that it is widely covered each year by news media and has its own day to remember those lives lost, we, as humans must remember on this day not only the tragedy and death caused by Nazis but we should take this day to remember, and never forget, all those lives lost across the whole human story as part of different genocides....Let's do it....let's make one minute of silence....for all of them....


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** Worst years in History: past, present and....future?

Forgotten heroes of WWI: different skin color but single coloured soul!

Concentration Camps: Nazis were not the first ones....

Gangs and organized crime in the shadows of III Reich

⌛ Reading time: 9 minutes

Contrary to what is believed, 2020 is not the worst year in the history of mankind. It has been so far a very bad year for every people in every corner of planet Earth, but the truth is that there have been many bad years throughout the history of mankind...moments in which it was a real nightmare to live on.

This year 2020, started with high expectations for almost everyone: a beginning of a brand new decade at which the entire world looked at with optimism.....just to see those high expectations disappear like the morning mist swiped by a hot and shiny sun: Australia on fire with more than 46 million acres burned to the ground, Brazil rainforest wildfires affecting a wide range of biodiversity with more than 32 000 hotspots “alive” in the world’s largest rainforest, a disastrous North American wildfire season implanting a new record for the state of California and the United States as a whole with more than 8 million acres burned so far, the awakening of racial unrest in USA leading to large demonstrations and vandalism in many states of the North American Union, a super active Hurricane Season being the busiest season in history since records began....and, in case all of that wasn't enough at all, the world was beaten the hard way by a very infectious disease: Covid19; a deadly pandemic that has already claimed the lives of more than a million and a half people worldwide (so far) :(

For many people maybe this 2020 has been the worst year of their lifes, and maybe so it is, but, as stated before, there have been (in the past) years that have punctually marked humanity by the disastrous consequences they brought for the planet and actually, the whole mankind. Wanna know about what years i am talking about? Come check it out!

☹ 536 AD: Volcano Eruption and a Plague

Usually, unanimously taken by most historians as the worst year in mankind history, 536 AD was a year to be forgotten. According to many experts like Michael McCormick 536 AD “... was the beginning of one of the worst periods to be alive, if not the worst year.” That year an Icelandic volcano (or maybe another one) erupted and the ashes that this eruption released into the sky hid the sun for about 2 years depriving whole Europe, the Middle East, and parts of Asia of natural light...a complete darkness. 24 hours a day for about 18 months the sun light was perceived as if it had been as “moon light” – wrote Byzantine historian Procopius.

Fig 1. Simulated summertime (June-August) average temperature changes in 536. (Credit: Matt Toohey, *GEOMAR*)

Temperatures fell to 2.5°C and 1.5°C even in the mid of the summer, starting a mini “ice age” leading to a big failure in the normal farming cycle. Famine was a common thing and crops failed all across Europe, Africa and Asia...millions of people died. If, by that time, this was not enough at all, by the year 541 AD, an outbreak of Bubonic Plague (Plague of Justinian) spreaded by parts of Middle East and Europe, which led to the death of nearly 100 million people and almost half of the Byzantine Empire.

☹ 1316 AD: Great Flood and Great Famine

During the summer and autumn of 1314 it rained almost non-stop day after day in many parts of Europe. Subsequent years, 1315 and 1316 were not good either with unstoppable floods devastating crops and grass. In fact, it rained so much that rising seas swallowed entire coastal communities, leaving many people homeless and forcing them to seek shelter inland, joining strained and starving communities.

The hunger was such that many people abandoned their children to their fate and there are stories that say that many of these abandoned children ended up becoming food for other villagers...a widespread example of cannibalism. Perhaps the story of Hansel and Gretel have its roots in real facts taken from harrowing experiences from that time.

Fig 2. *Areas affected by The Great Famine 1314-1317 (*

In affected regions of Europe 10–25% of population died of starvation, or of diseases like pneumonia or bronchitis attacking weakened bodies. “The Great Famine”, as it was later known, impacted around 30 million people across much of Europe, especially affecting areas from Britain and Scandinavia...was not a good time to live in i guess... **:(**

☹ 1347 AD: Peak of the Bubonic Plague (Black Death)

Curiously, showing some similarities with our brand new Covid19 disease regarding its origins, this outbreak of Bubonic Plage also began somewhere in “the East” and arrived in the west in Italy, which had the worst initial outbreak, spreading itself very quickly all over the European continent.

Fig 3. *A medieval doctor treating some Bubonic Plague victims (*

Between the years 1347 and 1348 an estimated 30 to 50 per cent of the European population was killed by this pandemic with many more victims across Russia and Middle East. Between 25 to 50 million people were affected by this disease with a high degree of mortality; besides Jewish communities suffered a lot given some conspiracy theories stating that Jews had poisoned the wells, hence the probable cause of that pandemic.

According to some experts, in the middle of the most powerful outbreak of the Bubonic Plage, consistently, Jews were slaughtered, burned, killed and hunted in several European countries and kingdoms. By 1351, 60 major and 150 smaller Jewish communities in northern Europe had been destroyed....awful year may i say!

☹ 1520: the Native American population almost disappeared

When Spanish explorers anchored in Mexico in the year 1520, they carried a disease that soon after will almost wipe out the native American population: smallpox. Over centuries of recurring smallpox epidemics, much of the European population had acquired immunity to the disease. This disease was totally unknown in the recently discovered continent so, Native populations had zero immunity to smallpox... a disaster was coming.

Fig 4. *Drawing accompanying the 16th-century text known as the “Florentine Codex”, showing Nahua of conquest-era central Mexico suffering from smallpox. (*

Just in the city of Veracruz, Mexico between the months of April and October, 1520, half of the population died from this disease.

And it wouldn't stop the colonization process continued the spreading of the smallpox was something common among native communities who had contacted Europeans: between 60 to 90% of the Aztec Empire was wiped out by this disease and muskets in a year...the same fate was shared by The Incas a few years later.

☹ 1918: End of the WWI and the start of Spanish Flu

After 4 years of fighting the World War I was coming to an end with more than 20 million deaths and 21 million wounded people all over the world when another misfortune started again: a novel avian influenza virus made started to infecting humans causing a deadly pandemic that lasted for more than a year....was later known as “The Spanish Flu”.

Fig 5. *Hospital beds in the Great Hall of the Exhibition Building during the Spanish flu pandemic. Australia, 1919. (*

Unlike our modern Coronavirus, the avian virus causing the Spanish Flu specially attacked children and young people. Adults between 20 to 40 years old were specially affected by this pandemic. With no vaccine and any kind of treatment the disease quickly spreaded by vast regions of North America, Europe and Asia. In the span of one year The Spanish Flu took the life of more than 50 millions people worldwide, bringing awareness on some basic hygiene rules encouraging the technique that we know now as mask-wearing.

☹ 1943: The worst year of WWII

Years between 1933 and 1945 starting with the Nazi Party seizing the power in Germany and finishing with the end of World War II, brought misery, devastation, death, starvation and hopelessness for the entire world population. The year 1943 was especially hard among all other years, mainly because the application in all its facets of the mass extermination process that we know now as “The Holocaust” where millions of people (Jews, LGBT people, Slavs, and anyone else the Nazi deemed unworthy to live) were killed in concentration camps.

Fig 6. *Experts say that Winston Churchill’s policies caused the 1943 Bengal Famine (*

Besides, by this year the WWII reached a fever pitch and a turnover in favor of the Allies with with Nazi forces fighting back with all of their strength. By this year, and following the efforts dedicated to war, Great Britain increased the volume of food it took from its Indian colonies, especially Bengal where this fact unleashed a famine later known as “Bengal Famine” where 3 million people died of starvation in a span of a year.

☹ 2020: Covid19 Pandemic

Some “2020 worst year facts” were summarized at the beginning of this article. However and with no doubts at all, this year will be remembered always by the initial outbreak and subsequent expansion of what we know as the Covid19 Pandemic. A deadly disease affecting the whole world which have took the life of more than 1.7 million people worldwide (so far).

Fig 7. *Virgen de Lourdes cemetery outside Peru's capital has become a monument to the pandemic's devastating toll among the poor. (*

The economic losses have also been quite large....According to a report given by IMF: ”...the COVID-19 pandemic will cost the world economy $28 trillion in lost output over the next five years while is predicted a severe disruption of labour markets for the foreseeable future”.

Disease, death, economical problems, forest fires, racial issues leading to huge demonstrations and vandalism somehow and more have made this year stand out among other really bad years we have had in the is, no doubts at all, one of the worst years that humanity has had for a long time....and it will be remembered as such.

Final now

We can say, without a doubt, that mankind has faced many many bad years along its history. A single article would not have enough space to list them all. Hopefully for all of us, mankind has always found the way to overcome those situations and all together as a single race or entity, we have given ourselves a new opportunity to live and develop.

The truth is that sometimes a bad year in one region of the planet means maybe a good year for the other's like natural or physical laws perhaps, but we can´t never forget that WE ARE ALL ONE and at the end of the day we all live in a single piece of rock floating in the, if we want to survive as a species we need to help each other and growth strong, united...

Mankind says goodbye to this year with the hope that one of the vaccines already approved to counter this disease will work properly. However, there is no way to know what does the future holds.

If you are an enthusiast of historical photograph and amazing discoveries and stories do not forget to follow me at because i will be releasing soon new and impressive contents about it!!!

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** Lessons from Ancient Outbreaks that could help fight the Covid19 Pandemic.

** Face masks history...from ancient times to present days

** Ancient Pandemics: their effects on the prevailing World order

** Patient Zero: the beginning of different Pandemics.

We have seen some of the worst years mankind have had along its history so far...from Ancient World´s volcano eruptions to Modern Era Coronavirus outbreak....but...would be possible that there are really bad years still to come? What some nasty predictions say about it?

Let´s see a couple of them!


⌛ Reading time: 8 minutes

In a world that moves inexorably towards the digitization of almost everything in life, traditional libraries are expected to have not place in tomorrow's society. Is this true? Could traditional libraries disappear as we know it today in a futuristic society?

Much has been written (maybe not that much **:)** ) about traditional libraries vs digital ones. The mere purpose of this article is to summarize some key aspects about this matter as well as give my personal point of view as an avid reader and lover of good old hardcover books and digital ones.

Why to bother?

This is one of the questions many people tend to ask themselves about the fact that traditional libraries could disappear in a near future being replaced by digital ones. Many people think that this is the normal process in a world where almost everything is on its way to be digitized. This may be really true but at the same time, this does not imply that something that is not digitized should be completely removed.

Good old hardcover books have been with humanity since old days. What we know now as traditional books became popular after the appearance of the Gutenberg printing press and the first widely distributed book was precisely the Gutenberg Bible. However the oldest printed book in history is “The Diamond Sutra”, printed on May 11, 868, in China; 600 years before the Gutenberg Bible came to life.

Fig 1. *“The Diamond Sutra”, the oldest printed book that is preserved today (*

Through the years, printed books have evolved along with the technology that created them to become a high valuable asset regarding the fact of storing knowledge and distributing it. From difficult ways to print a great book to fast and inexpensive ways to print an entire arsenal in a matter of hours and distributing it.

Fig 2. The evolution of books from papyrus to electronic texts (

The fact here is that evolution is unstoppable, no matter what and we cannot stop it for sure. Over the past years the introduction of technology in different spheres of life as well as the appearance of the Internet, have made possible some achievements that otherwise could never have been achieved. Traditional libraries have not been able to escape this “new wave” and most of them have been replaced by digital ones, others have been in the need to reinvent themselves and tried to adapt the best way they can to this digital era trying to avoid the oblivion and falling into disuse with the consequent total disappearance from our lives.

Digital libraries, digital books (ebooks), digital catalogs...all of this sounds good enough not to notice. Traditional books vs electronic ones have been a comparison scheme in many online forums, discussion boards and even from the experts points of views, there have been discussions regarding this issue. The fact here is that traditional libraries have been with us for a very long time and many people think that it is time to move on and embrace digital ones as a full replacement.

There are many advantages of digital libraries over traditional ones: you can find a book (even a rare one, collector´s edition, etc...) from the comfort of your home, just by accessing the Internet, you can buy it and get it delivered to your home in just few days or you can pay just to read online the pages you need and not for the access to the entire book, saving money this way...Digital mechanisms are here to stay and improve our life!

According to The British Council website: “There are an estimated 315,000 public libraries in the world, 73 per cent of them in developing and transitioning countries”. So many libraries we have isn´t? We need to think that that digitization is here to allow that huge amount of information to reach faster and cheaper a wide range of people around the world and not to replace at all the places containing that information...Is been said that traditional libraries need to transform themselves and embrace the digital “thing”...I AGREE....However, in one side we have the practical aspect of this matter but sometimes we need to think in other aspects as well.

Let´s take a look at one example: the social aspect of traditional and public libraries. Going to a public library gives you the possibility to share physical space with other people. Socializing has been the catalyst that has propelled the human race to what it is today. The human being is a social being par excellence....and traditional libraries are good places to meet other people with the same interests that you have. Many people have found even the love of their lives in such places...You can find people in digital places, yes, and you can even socialize, but at the end, the need for a close encounter becomes latent and the virtual space ends up giving space to the physical one...Digital libraries can´t beat traditional ones in this aspect.

Other aspect where digital libraries can´t replace traditional ones it is in the sentimental aspect. Many people still believe in that feeling that reading a physical book can bring to you. Sometimes the smell, the touch, the brightness, the contrast, the sensation of leafing through a book with your own hands makes reading an experience that goes beyond known dimensions and limits. Reading a book can be pleasant, no matter if it is digital or physical, but there is no doubt that physical form has unmatched nuances that make the experience of reading and learning more welcoming and even more personal.

A survey conducted by Pew Research Center about the books format people preferred to read back in 2016 yielded the following results:

Fig 3. Book Reading 2016 according to Pew Research Center (

...showing that a growing share of Americans are reading e-books, but print books remain much more popular than books in digital formats.

Then again in 2019 the same research center conducted nother survey asking the same questions and this was the result:

Fig 4. Book Reading 2019 according to Pew Research Center (

...showing that still a big percent of Americans prefer to read printed books than digital ones. 3 years passed and the reading technology improved (including the rise of audiobooks) but the acceptance on reading digital not raised at all ... why?

Maybe is because we still refuse to get rid of old ways, maybe is the social aspect where we find it useful somehow to share the same space and interests with other people and socialize when reading or could be even the sentimental one where we feel comfortable in the comfort and privacy of our home when reading a good old hardcover book, borrowed from a library or even bought from a bookstore.

People still have their own private small libraries at home while search the Internet looking for content they need....if you have the Internet at your disposal then why to have a “dusty” library at home? You tell me....

Pacific Standard Magazine published a research article back in 2017 explaining why home libraries (traditional libraries) provide huge educational advantage in today´s world. After examining statistics from 27 nations, they concluded that “A child from a family rich in books is 19 percentage points more likely to complete university than a comparable child growing up without a home library.” While other researchers have found that reading digitized content (being online or not) can effectively reduce the absorption of content by the brain due to the physical aspect of the reading since brightness, contrast and even distractions (when online) cause less attention to be paid to what is read.

Giving these pieces of information...should we bother on traditional libraries destiny...or not?

Personal thoughts?

Yes...many people who know me, and they know i am a techie guy, could think that i prefer reading digitized content over printed books and yes i prefer reading that way when i am looking for technological content and need to find quickly the piece of information that could help me solve a given situation but when i want to spoil myself with a good piece of adventure story, sci-fi, mystery or drama i undoubtedly return to my old loved printed books. Nothing like ink and paper to give you a break from bits and bytes!

My take is that traditional libraries will not disappear at all but they will evolve to a more advanced form containing the best of both worlds: hybrid everyone will be happy finally. **:)**

It is a matter of taste and choice but i am sure many of you, dear readers, will agree with me that we need a combo of the past and the present to make sure of a nice future for all of us, not only regarding the way we access the information we need or want but for everything else.

Final now

Denying the evolution of traditional libraries into a more advanced form it is something not plausible or feasible: it is the way the world develops. What would ancient manuscript writers have thought when told that the printing press would replace them? The best way i can imagine they thought is: well, let's learn to handle that printing press and bring the best of both worlds to secure a better future.

More than 5 centuries later, time proved that they were not wrong at is time for a new jump but always keeping the old ways!

If you are an enthusiast of historical photograph and amazing discoveries and stories do not forget to follow me at because i will be releasing soon new and impressive contents about it!!!

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** Reading time: 15 minutes

Who have not played ever a war game and wanted to be a fabulous sniper? Snipers depicted in video games are commonly tough guys (or girls) who perform difficult maneuvers to achieve a final result: hitting the target no matter what. Many people still do not believe that the acting and behavior of a sniper in the real life is quite similar to the behavior of a character depicted in a video game...but it is. Real life snipers are high trained personnel that sometimes exceed the normal level of patience, waiting and nerves of steel that a normal person usually has.

Here we have the example of Lyudmila Pavlichenko, who is considered the world's deadliest female sniper, waiting in the same position among rocks and grass for 24 hours till her opponent revealed himself and was finally shot. Or the famous (some people consider it a myth) duel between the Russian sniper Vasili Záitsev and the German Maj. Erwin Konig...all those are well know examples of famous modern era snipers. But history also includes examples of expert shooters who marked a before and after due to their actions. History remembers them for sure, but by the time their achievements were made, the press and general media was not so developed as we know it today and the interest of the general population in the action of snipers was not high so, sometimes they went unnoticed despite their incredible actions. Let's make some justice and remember some of those marksmen and their most remarkable shoots.

❶ The Longest Sniper shot of the Civil War...

It happened at Fort Sumter...during the Civil War fought between The Union States of North America and The Confederate States of North America. Fort Sumter, located in South Carolina, was famous for having suffered the first shots of the Civil War in April 1861, but this time it would go down in history for an event that is recognized today as the 19th longest sniper kill in history.

Fig 1. *Real photo of the interior view of Fort Sumter depicting considerable damage. The image was taken between the end of 1863 and the beginning of 1864. (*

On June, 1863, after months of sturdy resistance, the Confederate position of Battery Gregg on Morris Island had finally become untenable because of fierce attacks and consistent Union siege operations. General Beauregard ordered an ordered withdrawal which was carried out with great skill and stealth with part of the troops withdrawing towards Fort Sumter.

On December 5, 1864 an unidentified Confederate soldier in Fort Sumter saw a Union soldier moving in Battery Gregg, 1390 yards away. The Confederate soldier was likely using a Whitworth Rifle when he pointed directly at the Unionist soldier he saw in the distance and fired, killing him instantly. Unfortunately, History did not collect the name of the southerner that made that incredible shot. Today's specialists recognized that although that kind of rifle could made that shot easier, the skill and luck needed to kill an enemy at 1,390 yards by that time was still great.

Whitworth Rifles are considered the first real sniper rifle, capable of accurate fire at 800 yards. Its hexagonal rounds could penetrate a sandbag to kill an enemy standing behind it and tested at 1,400 yards, 10 shots of 9 hit target with no problem.

Fig 2. *Photo showing the former Confederate Battery Gregg, which later became Fort Putnam. The Unionist killed was standing here at 1390 yards away.(*

❷ From farmer to sniper: the history of Jack Hinson.

This is a sad story that tells us how a gentle farmer takes revenge by turning himself from a peaceful farmer to a fiercd and experienced sniper.

Jack Hinson was a prosperous farmer in Stewart County, Tennessee. He was, at the beginning of American Civil War, a non-political man described by relatives and neighbors as a peaceable farmer, yet despite all this, he would end up going on a one-man killing spree....a personal vendetta.

Fig 3. *The only known image of Jack Hinson (*

The trigger for his character change was the brutal killing of two of his sons in the hands of Unionist soldiers. Two of Jack Hinson’s sons, George and Jack, went into the woods with rifles in late-1862 to hunting deer, as they always did, when they came across a Union patrol who suspected them of being “bushwhackers”. By that time many farmers in that region decided not to join the Confederate Army but fight the Union Army by turning themselves into a kind of night vigilantes hiding in the bushes to hunt down Unionist soldiers: the bushwhackers.

This kind of vigilantes spread like a plague throughout the region and the Unionists troops feared them a lot because by the day they were peaceful farmers collaborating with both Unionists and Confederates but in the darkness of the night they became feared shooters.

Both Jack's sons were taken as bushwhackers, tied to a tree and then shot to death. Later, they were beheaded and both heads sent to Hinson's farm as an example of the Union’s zero-tolerance policy toward resistance. Jack Hinson could not believe what was happening then because of he was a peaceful man who had instilled the same passivity in his family despite having the two eldest sons joined to Confederate Army and a militia group.

Then Jack, calm on the outside, collected the bodies of both sons and buried them, sent the rest of his relatives and slaves to a more distant city to keep them safe and commissioned a special 0.50 caliber rifle with double triggers, one for cocking and one hair trigger for pinpoint accuracy, huge caliber, customized with a 41” long octagonal barrel that weighed 17 pounds. He turned into a bushwhackers at the age of 57.

Fig 4. *Hinson's original customized rifle. He gave his rifle away to Confederate General Nathan B. Forrest at the end of the war. Major Charles Anderson's descendants have it today.(*

Fig 5. *Hinson's rifle customized with double triggers.(*

The first two victims he took were the lieutenant who ordered the shooting of his two boys and the soldier who beheaded them. From that moment on he began searching out targets of opportunity, focusing his attacks on the vital river trade up and down the Tennessee River. It's been said that the effectiveness of his shots usually ranged from 800 to 1000 yards which is an impressive distance given the status of the rifles made by that time.

Hiding himself in caves and helped by many local supporters he was never caught despite the manhunt released by the Union Army. Hinson only tracked the officers he killed, marking a circle on the barrel of his rifle for each officer he killed: he marked 36 circles in total, although the Union Army assigned him a number between 100 and 130 dead men until his retirement. After the war he gifted his rifle to Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Forrest and returned to private life dying peacefully in 1874.

❸ The shot of the Century: Billy Dixon

Adobe Walls is a ghost town in Hutchinson County, 17 miles northeast of Stinnett, in the U.S. state of Texas. Right now it is a ghost town but in the past it was established as a trading post by the year 1843. In those hard times it was common for hordes of Native Americans to attack those trading posts where the first settlers carried out their trades: Adobe Walls was attacked massively twice in a span of 10 years.

On June 27, 1874, Billy Dixon was a 24-year-old buffalo hunter at Adobe Walls by the time of the second massive attack made by the Comanche, Kiowa, Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes. A force of 250 warriors led by a Comanche Chief started the attack against 28 men and one woman defending the trading post. The first attack was repelled only losing two men who were asleep in a wagon, then the buffalo hunters started to long shot the attackers by using their long-range Sharps rifles.

Fig 6. *Billy Dixon (*

Among the defenders of that trading post that day were also the famous Bat Masterson and Billy Dixon shooting both their Sharp rifles against the attackers. Given the effectiveness of those long shots, Native Americans gather at a distance to plan next attacks. By the third day of fight, still at the distance, many native american warriors were surrounding the trading post still reconsidering a good strategy to defeat the defenders of that place when at the behest of one of the hunters, William “Billy” Dixon, a well known sharpshooter, grab his .50-90 “Big Fifty” Sharps rifle, pointed to the distance and performs what is known today as “The Shot of the Century” dismounting a Comanche chief off his horse at about 1,000 yards. With the chief dead, especially at such extreme range, the Comanches called it quits and left.

Fig 7. *1874 Sharps rifle. With this model of rifle Billy Dixon made his incredible +1000 yards shot (*

Later, the Army sent a team to verify the distance. It was 1,538 yards. Years later, Dixon admitted it was a lucky shot but also saying that the shoot was made, “...with confidence in my marksmanship.” No one can argue that i guess! **:)**

❹ A matter of guts: Billy Sing

William “Billy” Sing was born in 1886 to an English mother and Chinese father. When World War I broke out in 1914, Billy rushed to sign up being accepted into the 5th Light Horse Regiment. He was sent to Egypt in December 1914 and to Gallipoli in May 1915, where he was renowned among all the snipers ANZAC had there. He was nicknamed: “the Murderer” or “the Assassin” for his skill as a sniper.

Fig 8. *Australian sniper, William “Billy” Sing, of the 5th Light Horse(*

With more than 200 Turkish soldiers killed, he became a real nightmare, a problem, to the Turkish Army, so the Ottoman officers found a relatively nice solution to the problem: they brought in their own crack shot, a man known to the Australians as “Abdul the Terrible”. This man's rifle was called by the Ottoman press the “Mother of Death” because it gave “birth to bullets which destroy the lives of men.” If there was anyone who could end Sing, it was Abdul.

Is well known that Abdul came very close to fulfilling his mission. In August 1915 he killed Sing's spotter and wounded Billy in a shoulder. But in the end, it was Billy who shot and killed Abdul... by putting a bullet between Abdul's eyes after a long day of a one-on-one hunt. There we have: the problem had solved the solution.

❺ From a mast to a tree: skill has no limits

The last two examples of “almost forgotten” snipers of our list are both remembered because of their targets were famous people(in both cases, famous military men).

  • Snipers in the Sea

During the early 1800s the British were in serious danger of being overrun by France. This was the historical context where the Battle of Trafalgar took place. In 1805, Vice Admiral Horatio Nelson commanded a fleet of 27 British ships against 33 French and Spanish vessels. During naval battles, British officers often led their men in person wearing lavish, flashy uniforms. That's why they become an “easy” target for seasoned french snipers who look for costumes decked out in the crowd and pulled the trigger into the distance.

French captain Jean-Jacques Lucas had an elite team of sea snipers, experts on shooting from ship masts. Horatio Nelson, decked out to lead his men in a challenging battle, was that day a big bull's-eye for french snipers. Nobody knows where it come from or who took that shot but almost at the end of the battle a sniper's bullet struck the British Admiral in the left shoulder, “cut down through his lung, and came to a rest at the base of his spine.”

Nelson lived long enough to learn that the British had triumphed and stopped Napoleon's desire to invade the British Islands.

Fig 9. *Lord Nelson's uniform with bullet hole from the Battle of Trafalgar(*

Fig 10. *William Beatty's locket with the bullet that killed Horatio Nelson. He was the surgeon on board HMS Victory who extracted the bullet from Nelson's shoulder.(*

The million dollar question right now is: who killed Horatio Nelson? Probably we never know. Many people think that a French sergeant named Robert Guillemard was responsible for shooting the bullet that took Nelson's life but as far as we know that Sergeant could be a fictional character created by someone trying to get some attention. The truth is that “the shot” was incredible hard to achieve due to natural ship movements on sea, the fury and hopelessness of battle and the distance, which is something we never can despise. Whoever he was, he was surely a skilled marksman who had more than good luck in taking that shot.

  • The Saratoga Tree Sniper

During the the Second Battle of Saratoga (aka the Battle of Bemis Heights) in October 7th, 1777, there was a shot that helped swing the war's momentum in America's favor. That day Timothy Murphy, a rifleman and expert sniper in the American Revolutionary War, expected to be on the winning side. But what he could never have imagined is that he would be the one who somehow defined the course of the battle by gunning down two British generals, at 300 yards.

Murphy was said to be capable of hit a seven-inch target at 250 yards...he was an experienced sharpshooter indeed and used his own custom-made double-barrel rifle during the whole war, which enabled him to fire two consecutive shots before reloading.

Fighting in the Siege of Boston and the Battle of Long Island, Murphy was promoted to the rank of sergeant in the Continental Army's 12th Pennsylvania Regiment and fought then at the battles of Trenton and Princeton. By 1777, he joined Daniel Morgan's newly formed Morgan's Riflemen mainly because his skills as a marksman. Later, his unit was sent specifically to Sartoga fields to help stop General John Burgoyne and the British Army.

That day at Saratoga fields, British Brigadier General Simon Fraser boldly rode onto Bemis Heights trying to gather groups of scattered soldiers. American Major General Benedict Arnold saw him at the battlefield and quickly sent Murphy to do his job. Murphy scaled a nearby tree and fired four times. He missed the first two but the third one hit the mark: Fraser tumbled from his horse, shot through the stomach. General Fraser did not die at that very instant but died later that night. The fourth shot killed instantly British Senior officer Sir Francis Clerke, General Burgoyne's chief aide-de-camp, who entered into the field with a message. Two for the price of one at 300 yards away...The British troops finally quit leaving the Continental Army with a clear victory.

Fig 11. *This piece is believed to be the Timothy Murphy's original rifle used on the Second Battle of Saratoga (*

These two well-placed shots earned Timothy Murphy the nickname “Sure Shot Tim” and won the battle that turned the tide of the war and what's even more: French allies joined the War efforts entering the War with thousands of soldiers, artillery and sea power; for the first time, it was apparent that Americans could really win this war.

300 yards may seem like too little for today's modern rifles, but back in 1700´s, hit the target at that distance with the rifles of that time was an incredible feat...and Murphy did it...twice!

Final now

Nowadays there are tons of different sniper rifles capable of hitting a small target many miles away. So we could say that being a sniper today is easy ... but it's not. Developing sniper's skills takes time, practice, eagle's eyes and to be honest, personally, it hink that many of those skills born with the person; so being a sniper today it is not an easy task after you can imagine then being a sniper those old days when rifles used pellets instead of bullets and they were heavy moles with heartbreaking recoil.

Those tough snipers of XVIII, XIX and early XX century, by using a mix of skill and luck made history and many times even went so far as to alter it by the effects of their shots ... today they deserve to be remembered.

If you are an enthusiast of historical photograph and amazing discoveries and stories do not forget to follow me at because i will be releasing soon new and impressive contents about it!!!

...and if you valuate our work and want to support good and amazing content exclusively for you, do not forget to get a Coil is a small fee to get great content for you and learn a lot!!!



Forgotten heroes of WWI: different skin color but single colored soul!

Remembering D-Day: photos from the other side of the Atlantic

U-176: mystery in the Caribbean Sea

Gangs and organized crime in the shadows of III Reich

Meet the deadliest sniper of World War I and take a look at some curiosities about first snipers...did you know that snipers in US Civil War wore ...glasses?!...Come and check it out! :o


Reading time: 4 minutes

For those ones of you that are not System Administrators in the IT world maybe the name “Norton Ghost” won't tell you anything; but for IT Systems and Networks Administrators, those two words means a lot when dealing with data backups in the broad sense of the word.

Norton Ghost (NGhost from now on **:)** ) is a tool that allows data cloning. According to Symantec-Norton website (the owner of NGhost):

*“If you need to create disk images, for instance to install the same set of data and applications on different computers, then Norton Ghost is the product you are looking for.” (*Symantec-Norton Website)

So NGhost has many advantages and can do many different things regarding data cloning, SysAdmins know that, but its most recognized use is for cloning HDD partitions (or even entire disks) and then replicate(restore) the same image over and over again on other computers sharing the same technical specifications than source Personal Computers (PC from now on) from the original data was extracted.

Fig 1. *Norton Ghost main interface when running from a Live CD (*

This is quite useful if you have a large number of PCs to install the OS and you have few time to get the task done (they need to share the same technical specifications as said before, to avoid hardware conflicts with the resident cloned OS). You can then just install the Os and some basic program and utilities commonly used by everyone in the network and then you can clone the HDD active partition of that PC, grab the image (a file with .GHO extension) and then revert the process by restoring the image to a newer active HDD partition in other twin can do this over and over again as long as all PCs share the same specifications.

It is a time saving tool that can improve your work by manually installing new PCs for your company in a significant way. :)

Recently i needed to install a set of 8 PCs all with same tech specifications. The Operative System choosen was Windows 7 64-bit Professional version. So i was happy to have on hand a Live CD with a handful of tech tools and one of them was NGhost on its latest version. I proceeded with installing the base OS and a serie of programs and utilities commonly used by most users in the enterprise network i manage...took my Live CD, ran NGhost and cloned the active (bootable) partition of my base HDD. Then i grabbed the nex PC in the queue, created a primary active partition with same size as the base one and restored the Windows 7 image...everything was ok until the moment i restarted the second PC. Ouch! It didn't boot at all! **

Just in case that the same thing happened to not panic ok...just keep reading!

What happened was that NGhost cloned the entire partition but for some reason corrupted the Master Boot Record (MBR) and the Boot Configuration Data (BCD) file. All what you need to do is to execute step by step the following instructions to get the problem solved:

Boot the second PC from the same Windows 7 installation DVD or USB stick you used when installing the first PC.

When the Windows setup wizard shows up, simultaneously press the Shift + F10 keys on your keyboard. This keyboard shortcut opens Command Prompt before boot.

Fig 2. *Pressing Shift+F10 keys bring the command prompt in windows 7 installation wizard (*

Execute on Command Prompt the following instructions:

bootrec.exe /fixmbr

bootsect.exe /nt60 all /force

attrib -h -s C:\boot\BCD

del C:\boot\BCD

bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd

Restart the computer and remove the source installation media.


Those commands create a new Master Boot Record, update the partition bootsector code, delete the old corrupted Boot Configuration Data file and create a new one. Easy peasy!

Now, what's left to you is to repeat the process for each of the PCs you want to restore the master image. **:)**

Final now

This is the second part of my Grumpy Window$ series of articles where i want to share with you, dear reader, some tips and tricks thay may help you solve some issues that can happen in the day to day work of an IT guy like me. As you can see, using Norton Ghost is really time saving, however last minute problems can show up and those ones, sometimes, can easily be solved with the use of the command line tool and a few lines of codes: you just need to arm yourself with patience and trust what you know!

So, if you are an enthusiast of historical photograph, tech side of the things and amazing discoveries do not forget to follow me at because i will be releasing soon new and impressive contents about it!!!

...and if you valuate our work and want to support good and amazing content exclusively for you, do not forget to get a Coil is a small fee to get great content for you and learn a lot!!!



Grumpy Window$: Upgrade Windows 10 to a different language...while keeping your apps and settings!