Thursday, 28 May 2015

5 Fun Facts About The British Parliament

5 Fun Facts About The British Parliament - Part One.

1. The British Parliament is made up of two houses:

The House of Commons is where elected members of parliament sit, and The House of Lords is where really old guys who wet themselves sit.
And they do have to sit, as they can't stand. They're really old. And smell of pee.
Nope, that actually isn't true anymore. It used to be true, though. The House of Lords really did stink of wee.
The Lords used to be all landed gentry and, as such, all had tweed jackets. These were treated "fixed" with urine to make them more durable and strong.
Unfortunately, when it rained, it gave off an aroma of piddle.
Nowadays, there are chemicals that are used instead. Plus, the old gentry don't tend to sit in the Lords anymore. Most of the chamber is full of appointed Lords instead.

2. The two chambers hate each.

In fact, they hate each other so much, neither the House of Commons, nor the House of Lords, refer to each other by their names.

It's always "The Other Place."

They don't say, "Oh, did you guys hear what they got up to in the House of Commons the other day? They had a blooming bouncy castle."

Instead, they would say, "The Other Place degraded themselves a day before the last day of yesterday week by propelling themselves upwards by use of a method of jumping on an air inflated cushion. Oh, what fun, rather. Jolly good, old chap."

3. There are no names used in the House of Commons.

Nope, Members of Parliament don't refer to each other by name when talking in parliament.

"Hi, Dave, how's it hanging?" is wrong.

Not least, because he's the Prime Minister, and you wouldn't call the Prime Minister, Dave. And you certainly wouldn't ask him how it is hanging.

Obviously, it's to the right, as he's a conservative.

Because there are no names used in Parliament, Call-Me-Dave is always referred to by his title, the Prime Minister.

If he wasn't Prime Minister, it still wouldn't be Dave, or Call-Me-Dave, or Smug-Git. He would be the Honourable Member for "Insert whatever constituency he represents", which, I believe is Whitney, Oxfordshire.

Yep, I had to look that up.

4. Everyone in the House of Commons is honourable.

Yeah, who really believes that? It may not be true that all Members of Parliament are honourable, but they have to refer to each other as "Honourable" regardless.

This tradition dates back at least 150 years, but may go back further than that.

The reason "Honourable" is used, is to maintain the dignity of the House of Commons and its members.

Yeah, dignity seems a little strange to anyone who has watched a session of parliament. But, well, that's the reason.

It is also to ensure any criticisms or comments seem less direct and hurtful.

So, instead of saying, "Dave, you're wrong, you little toadface git," which is direct and hurtful, you would say, "May I suggest, the Prime Minister, the Right Honourable Member for Whitney, has a striking resemblance in his facial structure to that of a small jumping creature. What-a-git."

5. Strangers in the night.

Until 1845 the general public wasn't allowed into the House of Commons. After that date, the public were allowed into certain areas, but if caught outside those areas, or misbehaving, then you could have your head chopped off by Royal Decree.

If it was a really bad offence, then you'd be taken into a specially constructed soundproof room and made to listen to One Direction songs all day.

Up until the Modernisation Committee did away with it in 2004, the general public were always referred to as "The Strangers".

You could view the debates from the Strangers Gallery, now renamed the Public Gallery, or have a bite to eat at the Strangers Cafeteria, now known as the Terrace Cafeteria.

The Strangers Dining room and Strangers Bar haven't changed their names yet.

Although the general public can watch the debates, if a member of parliament shouts, "I Spy Strangers," then the public is removed, the recording devices and television cameras are shut off, and the house then "sits" in private.

This usually means they have a bouncy castle and want some privacy to elevate themselves repeatedly into the air by way of a giant air filled cushion.

The last time Strangers were Spied, and the house sat in private without witness, was in 2001 when the chamber debated the Anti-Terrorism, Crime, and Security Bill.

There are stranger tides, though. But that will wait until part two.

Monday, 25 May 2015

5 Facts About Memorial Day

Image result for memorial day1. Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day. Yep, it's Memorial Day in America, and that means a three day holiday weekend. But, as well as a nice long break from work, picnics, parades, family barbeques, it's also a day of remembrance for those who have fallen in battle defending the country against those who meant it harm. The tradition of commemorating those who died in service can be traced back hundreds, if not thousands of years. The Greek and Romans had their own celebrations, as did the Egyptians. But it wasn't until the US Civil War that the practice became widespread in American. After the Civil War, General John A. Logan called for a holiday to commemorate fallen soldiers, and suggested May 30th. It wasn't until 1971 that Memorial Day was moved to the last Monday in May each year and became a proper holiday.

2. You're actually legally obligated to observer a minute silence at 3pm. (Imagine my best Michael Caine impression for the next sentence) Not a lot of people know that. Nope, no they don't. It's the law. The US Congress passed the law in 2000, requiring every American in the country to stop what they are doing at 3pm local time to remember and honour those who have fallen.

3. Waterloo, New York, was the first to officially recognise Memorial Day as a holiday. Although that fact is hotly disputed. Over 20 towns claim to be Memorial Day's birthplace, but it is Waterloo, New York, that is officially recognised. It was Lyndon Johnson who dedicated Waterloo as the official birthplace of Memorial Day/Decoration Day, on May 26th 1966.

4. From the 1950s, the US Infantry placed small American flags on each of the half a million gravestones in the Arlington National Cemetery on the Thursday before Memorial Day. They then guard the Cemetery to make sure all the flags are still standing and not disturbed.

5. Around the world each country commemorates those who have fallen on different dates, and in different ways. Each year, in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and many of the Commonwealth countries, Remembrance Day is commemorated on the 11th November, at 11am, which marks the date and time of the end of the First World War in 1918. It is often called Poppy Day, as the Poppy has become the emblem of Remembrance Day because of the poem by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, In Flanders Fields.

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Saturday, 23 May 2015


Fun Facts About King Henry I Of England

1. Henry-Yes-There-Actually-Was-A-First was the fourth and youngest son of William the Conqueror.

Or, as William the Conqueror used to be known, William the Bastard (see this post for details).

However, it would seem William the Conqueror wasn't the only bastard in the family. Henry wasn't exactly a shining light of niceness. In fact, he was a right git.

2. Henry was born around the 1068/1069 mark. 

No one is quite sure of the exact date. He was born as Henry Beauclerc. He had three older brothers, Robert Curthose, William Rufus, and the other one who died, so he doesn't count.

3. When Henry's father, William the Bastard Conqueror, died, Henry inherited diddly-squat.

However, his remaining two older brothers did.

Sheesh, sucks to be the youngest.

Robert inherited Normandy, and England went to William, who became William-The-Second-My-Back-Is-Turned-You'll-Shoot-Me-Won't-You?

4. Henry had to purchase land from his big brother.

Henry, who was completely landless, and totally depressed at not being Daddy's favourite, because, you know, isn't the youngest meant to be the favourite? went and bought the County of Cotentin in western Normandy from his brother, Robert.

Yippee, not landless no more.

However, William-The-Second-Should've-Been-Nice-To-His-Younger-Brother and Robert-No-Number, invaded Henry's little corner of Normandy in 1091 and deposed him.

Sheesh, and I thought my older sister was a git for taking my pacifier (dummy if you're in the UK).
5. Henry gets his own back on his big brother, William-The-Second-Arrow-Wasn't-An-Accident-Was-It?

The two brothers arranged for a little hunting trip on August 2nd 1100.

See, doesn't matter what went before, family is family, and brothers can make up and be friends again.

Well, as it turns out, hunting trips can be dangerous. And lethal. Henry "accidentally" shot his brother, William, in the head with an arrow.


William died. Henry was no doubt distraught with grief.

Nope, not in the slightest.

Henry rode to Winchester Castle, occupied it, and seized the Royal treasury.

6. Three days later, on the 5th August 1100, Henry was crowned King of England.

Henry was crowned King at Westminster Abbey by Maurice, the Bishop of London. The ceremony would have been conducted by Anselm, the Archbishop of Canterbury, but he'd been exiled.

The next highest church figure, Thomas, Archbishop of York, was in Ripon. It's up north, and a heck-of-a commute.

Henry didn't have time to wait for the Archbishop of York to book his train tickets online, which was the way to purchase train tickets in 1100, and so got the Bishop of London to do the deed.

7. Henry married Matilda, daughter of Malcolm-The-Third-Not-Middle of Scotland.

It was an attempt to secure his northern boarders from invasion.

Henry's marriage didn't stop him from dillydallying with a truck load of mistresses, though.

Well, probably a dozen truck loads and a large container ship. This accounts for the (at least) two dozen illegitimate children Henry fathered. At least 9 sons and 13 daughters.

8. Henry did have two legitimate children with Matilda.

They had a son called William, who died whilst on a drunken cruise across the English Channel, and a daughter, Matilda, who would go on to cause a complete breakdown in England and a succession crisis and civil war known as The Anarchy.

But, well, girls will be girls.
9. Henry's kingdom of England was invaded by his other brother.

In 1101, a year after being crowned King Henry-First-But-Not-The-Last, his last remaining older brother, Robert, currently Duke of Normandy, with aspirations to be King of England, invaded.

It didn't go that well for Robert, so he decided to negotiate a settlement which confirmed Henry as king.

Henry rejoiced and accepted the settlement and forgave his big brother. All was well and friendly and then ... wham!

10. Henry, out for more revenge, invaded the Duchy of Normandy in 1105.

The following year, Henry defeated Robert at the Battle of Tinchebray.

Henry took Robert prisoner and held him for the rest of his life, thirty odd years, in a dungeon at Devizes Castle, and then Cardiff.

Probably thought no one would accept two hunting accidents in the same family.

11. Henry finally popped-his-clogs in 1135 after suffering from a serious case of Ate-Too-Many-Eels.

Yep, he was killed by a Lamprey, a type of eel, through food poisoning.

Dates for your diary

1068 (Unknown exact date) Henry I of England was born as Henry Beauclerc.

24th May, 1886: Henry was knighted by his father, William the Conqueror.

2nd August, 1100: King William II of England shot and killed by an arrow (perhaps arranged by Henry). Henry becomes unofficial King.

5th August, 1100: Henry is crowned king of England at Westminster Abbey becoming King Henry I of England.

11th November, 1100: Henry married Matilda, daughter of King Malcom III of Scotland.

20th July, 1101: Robert, Henry's big brother and Duke of Normandy, landed at Portsmouth for an invasion of England to claim the throne from Henry.

17th August, 1101:: Treaty of Alton is signed between the warring brothers, which recognised Henry as King of England in exchange for a yearly stipend.

7th February 1102: Birth of Henry's daughter Matilda, later to be known as the Empress Matilda.

5th August, 1103: Birth of Henry's son, William Adelin, later to be known as "if you hadn't died young, and without kids, then there wouldn't have been a succession crisis in England called THE ANARCHY." (Or Willy for short).

12th July, 1106:: Henry invaded Normandy (for the second time).

28th September, 1106: The Battle of Tinchebray. Henry defeats his big brother, Duke Robert, and has him captured and imprisoned.

1st December 1135: King Henry I of England died after a week of illness.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Fun Facts And Advice On Temper Tantrums

Fun Facts And Advice On Temper Tantrums
Image result for tantrumsTemper

Tantrums Are normal. All children Get Temper Tantrums. You're hot, you're bothered, you're being dragged around the supermarket when all you want to do is get to the pub for a few pints of the good stuff. What's a guy to do? You scream and cry and stamp your feet. Maybe even try falling on the floor and flailing your arms and legs about in the air like an epileptic octopus, all whilst crying and screaming, perhaps with the added bonus of bellowing, "I hate you. You're not my real Mom."

Oh, wait, hang on a minute. We're talking about temper tantrums in toddlers. Oops. Ignore everything I said above. I don't do that. Not at all. Wow, this is so embarrassing.

Anyways, the first thing to remember: Temper Tantrums are normal. Every child will suffer from a tantrum or ten in their childhood. Or even per day, sometimes. And pretty much all parents will have to suffer through them.

Or, just let me go to the pub, and I'll stop. Simples. On average, 80% of children will have a tantrum once a week. A fifth of two-year-olds will have them more than twice a day.

Don't Feed the Need. When I want to have a Temper Tantrum, I much prefer having an audience. It's much more likely to be effective if there are people watching. Even more effective if you're actually watching.

Separate them from watchers. And that's all watchers. Including you.

Lock them in the dungeon, deep down inside a pit where no one can hear them scream. Or space. Yep, space is better. Definitely can't hear them scream in space.

Okay, maybe not to that extreme, but at least move them into their bedroom, or bathroom, just a room away from you and anyone else, preferably one that has no dangerous objects inside that they can harm themselves. The armoury wouldn't be a great choice. Or the chocolate emporium. They'd like that. And liking having a tantrum is the last thing your want to encourage.

Prepare to disappoint. Some tantrums can be avoided. Not all, mind you, but some.

The little snot-machine is watching television, or playing pool with their mates, or whatever activity they are completely focused on enjoying, such as drawing, or colouring in, but you need them to stop for whatever reason. Probably because you're an evil SOB who wants to destroy our fun. Their fun. I meant, their fun. Why? Why would you do that? Do you hate me? Hate them. Sheesh. Got to keep it straight who we're talking about here. It's the kids. Yep, kids.

Don't just tell darling-poops-a-lot-but-never-in-the-toilet to stop. Not at first. Prepare the disappointment of their activity ending by telling them they have five more minutes. Then again at four minutes. And at two minutes. Then at one minute. Only twenty seconds, then you're cleaning your room.

Or painting the fence, digging up part of the lawn for a flower bed, taking the bins out, cleaning the car, fixing the loose door on the cupboard. Come on, all that is boring. The television is much more fun.

In Preparing To Disappoint, they are prepared, know what's coming, and it's not a shock to the system. It's shocks to the system that'll bring on the tantrum. If they know what's coming, they're less likely to rage against the machine.

Distract From the Act. You'd be surprised how often a distraction can help stop an almost tantrum from becoming an atomic bomb in the milk aisle.

Sometimes this can be as simple as "Was that Mickey Mouse kicking Pluto in the nuts?" What? Where? Can't even remember wanting to go to the pub now. Must confirm status of Pluto's fun sacks.

See, distract.

Works almost all of the time. "Hey, can you help lift this into the shopping trolley for me? You're a big boy now, you can carry the basket. Bet you can't balance on your right foot for more than five seconds whilst shoving two fingers up your nose."

Any kind of distraction will work. You just have to find the right one for your child. If they like Star Wars, change the name of a food product on the shelf to make it more Star Wars-y. Oreo Kenobi. Princess Pea-ah. You get the idea.

But, seriously, is Pluto okay? I got kicked there once and it wasn't pleasant. Perhaps Mickey should seriously consider apologising. What an evil little rat.

Let them choose. As Eddie Izzard said: Cake or death? The Spanish Inquisition would have been a lot more friendly if they'd have given them a choice.

Oh, I'll have cake, please. Dammit. You were meant to choose death.

We're leaving for school. NOW. Leave. LEAVE NOW. Nope, those aren't choices.


Instead: Which shoe would you like to put on first, left or right? Is left right, or is right right? You choose which is right to put on first? Choose right. It's right. Has to be, right, right? What-the-Chuck? Left? You chose left? You little git. Why do you never listen to me?

Or perhaps: Would you like to open the door, or do you want Mommy or Daddy to do it? Would you like to get dressed first, or brush your teeth first?

Give them the choice and wait for them to choose. This doesn't just help you get what you want, as in, them out of the friggin door. You're already late for school and I need to get to the pub when they open the doors. 

With this, they are also learning to make decisions. They are choosing for themselves. And, to them, it feels like they are choosing, rather than being dictated to all the time.

Challenge them. If all else fails, it could be because your little Oh-Carp-On-A-Stick-Get-Your-FLOCKING-FROCK-ON-AND-GET-IN-THE-CARPING-CAR needs to be challenged instead.

And I don't mean "Either you get in that car, NOW, or we'll replace you with that nice kid down the road and feed you to the witch living in the corner house on the next street.

Yeah, you know what house."

But, rather, "Hey, bet you can't put your jacket on whilst standing on one leg?" Challenge them. It does work, and helps with their development. "Can you make it to the car in only six steps?"

Any tedious activity that is Boring Boris is Bored, can be made less so by keeping your child's mind active by challenging them.

"You're Grandmother said there were twenty-three street lamps on this road. I don't think she's right. Can you count them to check if she's right?"

Be imaginative in your challenges, and it will keep your little Sir-Picks-His-Nose-A-Lot from getting bored as it will fire up his own imagination. It's great for their development, too. "Who is better at keeping off the cracks in the pavement, you or Daddy?"

Share any advice or experience you have on temper tantrums in the comments section below.

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5 Handy Parenting Tips

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

11 Fun Facts

Image result for kangaroo
1. The Queen is the legal owner of one-sixth of the planet's land surface.

2. Everybody expected the Spanish Inquisition. They were legally obligated to give 30 days notice.

3. In 2008, a man was arrested in Ohio for having sex with a picnic table.

4. William the Conqueror was called William the Bastard before he conquered England. Click here for 5 Fun Facts About William the Conqueror

5. American Airline saved $40,000 in 1987 by eliminating one olive from each salad in first class.

6. There are 1.6 million ants on the planet per one human being.

7. Kangaroos have three vaginas.

8. When Julius Caesar was a young man, he was kidnapped by pirates. Click here for 5 Fun Facts About Julius Caesar

9. Despite its size, a hippo can run faster than a human being.

10. You can't sneeze with your eyes open. It's impossible.

11. In Greek mythology, the god Zeus was raised by a goat to hide him from his father who wanted to eat him. Click for 5 Fun Facts About Zeus

Monday, 18 May 2015

5 Handy Parenting Tips

Some handy parenting advice and tips.
Image result for boy tantrum1. So, your little angel is misbehaving. It's perfectly normal, they are testing to see how far they can push you, and how much they can get away with. However, it's friggin annoying. And, apparently, you can't duct tape your four-year-old to the wall. Which means you have to come up with some imaginary ways to play on their gullibility. Such as: Santa is watching to see if you make it onto the naughty or nice lists. If you have an alarm motion sensor in your room, then tell your kids that every time it flashes red, Santa is watching to see if they are being good.

2. It's the evening, it's getting on, and your angel-with-the-devil's-tail isn't asleep yet. And, even worse, they want to carry on watching cartoons. All you want to do is relax with a glass of wine and watch a grown up program. So, what to do? Simples. "I want to watch cartoons, too, snookums-shookums. But we have to watch this grown up program because there aren't any cartoons at night. It's when all the cartoon characters go to sleep. And we can't wake them up or they won't be around for you to watch tomorrow. Yeah, it's a real shame, but can't be helped."

3. You need some space from the kids. Nothing wrong with that. They are great, and awesome, and overwhelming and demanding and attention seeking little brats. Solution: Have a night out. Just for Mommy and Daddy. But the little toe-rag wants to come along. What do you do? Simples: "We'd love to take you to the restaurant with us, little honeybear. But the waiters are allergic to your shampoo and we don't want to make them ill, do we? Nope, of course we don't. Maybe we can change your shampoo for the next time we go out."

4. Not sure I agree with using the next one, as I want ice-cream more than the kids. But, what the heck, it's advice for those who think their kids eat too much of the nice stuff and not enough apples. "What? Oh, no, that's terrible. The ice-cream van's music is playing. That means they're all out of ice cream."

5. If you've got young kids, then you'll have encountered the "trying to get them out of the house in the morning" problem. There are a few levels of solutions to this problem. It just depends on how much you want to scare the carp out of your kids. "If you're not ready for school in five minutes, I'll leave without you. And, remember, when I leave and set the alarm, that's when the ghosts/goblins/monsters know it's okay to come out."

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Fun Facts And Advice On Temper Tantrums

Sunday, 17 May 2015

5 Animal Facts That Are Wrong

5 Animal Facts That Are Wrong

Image result for elephants jumping1. Elephants are the only animals that can't jump. Well, they can't jump, which is why you never see them playing basketball. However, stick them on a bouncy castle and those things can launch themselves into space. Although it's true that elephants can't jump, they aren't the only animals. Hippos can't jump, neither can rhinos, giraffes, penguins, and white men.

Image result for bats
2. Blind as a Bat. Yep, bats are blind. Nope, they actually aren't. It's so confusing. They don't have great eyesight, but all species of bats can see. They have adapted to use their sense of smell and hearing to get around, and use a sophisticated and very accurate echo-location to navigate the treacherous tunnels of Wayne Manor. In fact, their inbuilt sonar is better than the sonar arrays on a naval warship. It's probably why the Australian Navy haven't developed their own SONAR, and instead duct-tape thousands of bats to the bottom of their ships wearing SCUBA gear.

Image result for toads3. Toads give you warts. Oh, boy, never ever touch a toad, or a frog, for that matter. Those little devils can give you warts. Sheesh, the lies you're told as a child. There is no evidence whatsoever that touching a toad will give you warts. In fact, if you stroke a toad, you'll be safe on the road. Yeah, some people will believe anything. Warts are caused by the Human Papilloma Virus and is passed on by touching other humans. So stay away from those creatures, they're friggin dangerous. HPV is actually very contagious, and you don't even need to touch someone else who has it to get it yourself.
As the NHS website says: The infection can also be transmitted indirectly from contaminated objects or surfaces, such as the area surrounding a swimming pool. You are more likely to get infected if your skin is wet or damaged. After you become infected, it can take weeks or even months for a wart or verruca to appear.

Image result for ostrich4. Ostriches will bury their heads in the sand when they are frightened. Not sure how this myth became a fact, but it isn't true in the slightest. If an ostrich, or any other animal, including a human, were to bury their head in the sand when scared or threatened by an attacker, it would only serve two purposes: One, you wouldn't be hiding from the predator which is about to eat you. Out of sight, out of mind, doesn't work. It just lets the predator get to you quicker. Two, the ostrich wouldn't be able to breath if it had its head buried in the sand. Not unless it had some elaborate breathing apparatus.

Image result for cheetah5. Cheetahs are the fastest animals on the planet. Nope, not even close. That title goes to a fat man who hasn't eaten in three days chasing a cheeseburger that's been left on a car's roof. But, in all seriousness, cheetahs are actually the fastest land animal, and clock speeds of up to 68 miles an hour. The spine tailed swift has achieved speeds of 69 mph at level flight, which makes it faster than the cheetah. The fastest fish is the sailfish, and has equalled the cheetah's speed of 68mph.

Saturday, 16 May 2015


5 Fun Facts About Famous and Infamous Pirates

Image result for captain william kidd1. Captain William Kidd was a famous 17th century pirate. That's Captain William Kidd. Not to be confused with Billy The Kid, who was a cowboy, not a pirate. Although Captain William Kidd's level of piracy is very much disputed. Kidd was employed by the Governor of the Island of Nevis to sail his ship, Blessed William, with a small fleet of likeminded Captains, to protect the English settlement against the French. They were given permission and the authority to pillage the French ships of whatever plunder they wanted. He was later tasked with hunting enemy pirates and capturing or destroying their ships. So, far from being a pirate himself, he was actually hunting them down. He did this for a number of years and had a reputation for being a cruel Captain who didn't think twice about killing his crew or captives. He came unstuck when he captured an American flagged ship, carrying French papers. Normally, it would have been a good prize (at the time England was at war with France and an American ship carry French passes was basically a French ship). Unfortunately, the ship was actually captained by an Englishman. Word got around and his actions were considered to be piracy on the high seas. A fleet was sent after him, and he was captured and brought back to England to stand trial in front of Parliament itself. It didn't go well for him. He was tried, found guilty, and executed on the 23rd May 1701. His body was then gibbeted over the river Thames for three years, as a warning to anyone else that would dare to be a pirate. Out of all the pirates mentioned, and those who haven't been, Kidd is the only documented pirate who is confirmed as having hidden buried treasure. He hid it when he found out he was being hunted, and planned to use it as a bargaining tool at his trial. The loot has yet to be found.

2. Francois L'Olannais was a notorious French Pirate in the mid to late 17th Century. He began his life as an indentured servant, working on an American plantation. He mulled along for a while until he decided to turn to piracy. And when he put his mind to something, he butchered the carping carp out of the idea. L'Olannais was a vicious, sadistic pirate who was particularly good at land attacks. He raided a boat load of towns, including Maracaibo in Venezuela. He tore through the town killing whoever he came across and stole over 200,000 Spanish dollars. That was a heap of cash back then. During one of his attacks, he is known to have eaten a Spanish soldier's heart. Yeah, not one of the nice, cuddly pirates we've all come to know and love from Disney. Don't worry, though, he got his comeuppance. He sailed his ship, by accident, onto a sandbar off the coast of Panama. Unable to break free, he and his crew were forced to make an expedition onto land for food. They were captured and the locals took quite a taste to L'Olannais and his crew. They ate them.

Image result for francis drake3. Sir Francis Drake. He sailed under the Queen's protection (Elizabeth I), which meant he was called a privateer not a pirate. This is basically a pirate without the parrot, wooden leg, Yo-Ho-Ho and Shiver me Timbers. His voyages were legendary. He was second in command of the English fleet against the Spanish Armada in 1588, and was a national hero. To the Spanish, on the other hand, he was a right git. Drake plundered, pillaged or destroyed a rum-tum-tum of Spanish ships. In Spain he was a pirate of the worst kind. They called him El Draque, which means, well, err, probably The Drake. A totally fearsome pirate name. King Phillip II offered a handsome reward for Drake's capture or death by hedgehog implantation, a popular torture technique in the King's hometown of El Loserville.

Image result for captain henry morgan4. Captain Morgan. Nope, not the bottle of rum, but the pirate, Captain Sir Henry Morgan. Coincidentally, the brand of rum, Captain Morgan, is named after the pirate, Captain Sir Henry Morgan. How strange. Morgan was a Welsh pirate of the highest calibre. Or is that the rum? He was, in fact, one of the most successful pirates/privateers in history. He terrorised the Caribbean during the late 1600s, with full permission and protection of England. Well, he did, but it was a secret, so don't tell anyone. He was put in charge, and made an Admiral, oh wow, an Admiral of the Fleet, and tasked with pillaging, plundering and generally making a complete nuisance of himself in regards to the Spanish. He did this with gusto. But killed Mario and Dario. Captain Morgan is known to have pillaged, captured, or destroyed over four hundred ships. Now, that's a lot of plundering. He wasn't going to stop at ships, though. He captured Panama City with thirty ships and 1200 men and plundered the plunder right out of the place. It was this victory that brought his doom, though. He was arrested and returned to England to stand trial. However, England and Spain resumed their hostilities and King Charles II decided to set Morgan free, and knighted him as a reward. As a bonus, he was appointed deputy governor of Jamaica, as well. Which royally peeved the Spanish off.

Image result for blackbeard5. Blackbeard, also known as, Edward Teach. When we think of pirates, apart from Johnny Depp, we think of Edward Teach, the fearsome Blackbeard, an infamous English pirate who sailed the West Indies and the east coast of the American colonies. Edward Teach had been a pirate for years when he captured a French merchant vessel, renaming her Queen Anne's Revenge. He refitted the ship from head to toe, stern to bow, and installed 40 guns. Teach pirated the living daylights out of anything and everything he could. Movies, music, Game of Thrones. He didn't care what he pirated. His reputation for ruthlessness spread and soon every ship that sailed the seven seas, and some rivers, feared him. The guy was actually crazy. Nutso-Whacko-Jacko. To give an example, he tied lit fuses under his hat to frighten his enemies. "You were only supposed to blow the bloody hat off. Not my whole head." Teach hated using force and generally didn't. He let his reputation speak for itself. Most of his prey surrendered quickly once they found out who they were up against. In fact, there is no known record of him ever killing any of his captives. The guy was a pussycat. Although, seriously, lit fuses on your hat? Bonkers.

Near to the end, he formed an alliance with other pirates and they blockaded the port of Charleston, South Carolina. After the Pirate Group had ransomed the townsfolk for all they could get, Teach decided to call it a day. He sailed the Queen Anne's Revenge aground on a sandbar and retired with a royal pardon. The quiet life didn't agree with him, though. He returned to sea, as it's a pirate's life for me. Yo-Ho-Ho, and a bottle of rum, me matey. He was killed on the 22nd November 1718 after the ferocious battle of battles.

Cannons fired through the morning mist lighting up the fog with splashes of red fire. A deafening silence crossed the water as everyone held their breath. They knew the carnage that followed those flashes. They were dead. Every single one of them. A second later, the silence was broken. Thunder raged between the ships. Bang after bang. The enemy were relentless in their attack. The cannons kept firing. There was no time to get to their own guns. The cannonballs slammed into the ship. It lurched to the side with each impact. Timbers exploded sending wooden splinters cutting through the air, and anyone nearby. The crew cried out, screams of agony slicing the air with the sound of death. A moment later, they were muffled by the explosions and forgotten. Fight to the last, he said. Teach would. He was crazy. Batshit crazy. He fell amidships, a sword in his hand, another in his belly. The small forced had boarded in the chaos, hidden by the smoke and fog. Teach looked up at the blade protruding from his own amidships, and then beyond at Lieutenant Robert Maynard. "You have killed me, Sir." Maynard nodded. "You are relieved, Captain. To Davy Jones locker, you go."