Monday, 15 September 2014

The Firewall's Top 10 Oliver Stone Movies a.k.a. Happy Birthday Oliver Stone

Today (15th September),Writer and Director Oliver Stone turns 68.Stone has come a long way since his first feature length film in 1974,which was a horror flick called Seizure.Stone has seemingly made the conscious decision to make movies about some of the most controversial characters and subjects in history.His hard work has led to some of the most memorable movies of the last 30 years.As a writer,Stone has been nominated for five Oscars (winning one),four Golden Globes (winning two) and three BAFTA's.As a director,he has been nominated for three Oscar's (winning two),four Golden Globes (winning three) and a BAFTA (which he won).So,why wait any longer to give Oliver Stone a Top 10 from The Firewall,so here it is,The Firewall's Top 10 Oliver Stone Movies.
Prefer to watch instead of scroll? Here's the YouTube version of this post:

10)W. (2008)
W. is a historical biography surrounding the life of George W. Bush,it documents his life from college until the end of his 8 years as President of the United States.Josh Brolin is cast as Bush and puts in an excellent performance.It's an interesting look at one of the most controversial people in recent history.
IMDb Rating:6,4
Running Time:129 min

9)U Turn (1997)
After running into car trouble while on route to Las Vegas to pay off his Mafia debts,Bobby Cooper,played by Sean Penn,is forced to stop off in a small town while he waits for his car to get repaired.During this time,he runs into a series of characters who are looking to make his stay in the town as uncomfortable as possible.It also stars Jennifer Lopez,Nick Nollte,Billy Bob Thornton, Jon Voight,,Clare Danes and Joaquin Phoenix.
IMDb Rating:6,8
Running Time:125 min

8)Nixon (1995)
13 years before Oliver Stone took on George W. Bush,he made a biopic about another controversial President,that President was Richard Nixon.With a 3 hour running time,this is a detailed examination into the life of Nixon whose presidency ended with his resignation after a loss of support following the Watergate scandal.Anthony Hopkins takes on the iconic role of Nixon and gives a terrific performance which resulted in both an Oscar nomination and Golden Globe nomination for Best Actor in a Leading Role.
IMDb Rating:7,1
Running Time:192 min

7)Heaven & Earth (1993)
Heaven & Earth was the last of Stone's Vietnam trilogy to be released and depicts the life of a woman in Vietnam who struggles through the chaos caused by the war. She is forced to constantly adapt to survive and her trust in people during this period is almost completely destroyed.
IMDb Rating: 6,8
Running Time:140 min

6)Born On The Fourth of July (1989)
The second Oliver Stone movie with the Vietnam war firmly in the spotlight is Born On The Fourth of July.It tells the true story of Ron Kovic,who went from a pro-war student,who signed up to join the army to fight in Vietnam,to a political activist who would go on to protest against the war.Tom Cruise's performance is powerful and the role would see him nominated for an Oscar and a BAFTA award for Best Actor,and he won a Golden Globe.Oliver Stone won both a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Director.
IMDb Rating:7,2
Running Time:145 min

5)Savages (2012)
In order to put pressure on two California pot growers to allow a Mexican cartel to get in on their business,the shared girlfriend of the weed dealers is kidnapped.In response the boys have to come up with a plan to get close to the cartel leader to bring her down and get back their girlfriend.Similar to U Turn,Savages is not the type of film that you are used to seeing from Oliver Stone,but it is well executed and despite seeming to fly under the radar,is a solid movie!
IMDb Rating:6,6
Running Time:131 min

4)The Doors (1991)
Another historic character Oliver Stone captured in one of his movies is the lead singer of 1960's band The Doors.While the film does revolve around the goings on in the band in general,Val Kilmer as Morrison is certainly the main focus.After rising to fame,and then facing legal action for his controversial on-stage persona,Morrison died at the age of 27.Jim Morrison,the man,the myth,the legend is still celebrated decades after his death,and Oliver Stone's The Doors,despite facing a bit of a backlash about how real its depiction of the band was,is a great watch for any long time fan or newcomer to The Doors.
IMDb Rating: 7,2
Running Time: 140 min

3)Platoon (1986)
Platoon was the first of Oliver Stone's Vietnam war trilogy to be released.It stars Charlie Sheen as a soldier who is pushed to the limit when faced with the questionable conduct of his fellow soldiers and superiors in Vietnam.Stone won a BAFTA,Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Director,and was nominated for an Oscar and Golden Globe for Best Screenplay.
IMDb Rating: 8,2
Running Time: 120 min

2)JFK (1991)
JFK sees Oliver Stone take on the conspiracy surrounding the assassination of John F Kennedy.When a New Orleans District Attorney starts investigating further into the facts of the assassination,and starts coming up with his own theory,he comes up against fierce political figures who will attempt to destroy his reputation.For JFK,Stone was nominated for an Oscar and won a Golden Globe for Best Director.
IMDb Rating: 8,0
Running Time: 189 min

1)Natural Born Killers (1994)
It was Quentin Tarantino who wrote the story for this film and it does feel like it would be much more at home on a Tarantino top 10,but for some reason it was given to Oliver Stone and it has become a cult classic.This is a visually stunning movie about oddball couple,Mickey and Mallory Knox,who go on a killing spree,which the media then glamorizes,before reporter Wayne Gale finds himself a bit too close for comfort.The performances in this brutal bloody film are excellent from Woody Harrelson,Juliette Lewis and Robert Downey Jr.,and Oliver Stone was nominated for a Best Director Golden Globe.It may not be his most decorated film,but Natural Born Killers was always going to be the number one for The Firewall's Top 10.
IMDb Rating:7,3
Running Time:118 mins

Thanks for reading! If you liked this post,you might be interested in The Firewall's Top 10 Edward Norton Movies,here:

Did I miss anything? What would you have had in your Oliver Stone top 10? Leave any thoughts or comments below.You can find and Like The Firewall on Facebook here:

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

The Firewall's Favourite Leo Tolstoy Quotes

Today (9th September) is 186 years since the birth of Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy a.k.a. Leo Tolstoy.Tolstoy was a Russian writer and philosopher whose works have inspired many.His strong belief in non-violent resistance would have a huge impact on Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr.Along with his non-fiction philosophical works,Tolstoy wrote short stories,plays and novels,with perhaps the most well known being War and Peace,and Anna Karenina.He was a Christian and would often mention God and religion in his writings. Tolstoy died on 20th November 1910 at the age of 86. The cause of death was pneumonia,after he left his home in the middle of winter to escape his jealous wife.He had been heading south when he was discovered at Astapovo train station.The Firewall has put together its favourite quotes from Tolstoy,these quotes and many many more can be found on Wikiquote,which The Firewall uses since it actually gives the sources of the quotes.Enough Wikiquote promotion,here are the The Firewall's Favourite Leo Tolstoy Quotes.

Sevastopol In May (1855)
The hero of my tale, whom I love with all the power of my soul, whom I have tried to portray in all his beauty, who has been, is, and will be beautiful, is Truth.

Family Happiness (1859)

I wanted feeling to guide us in life, and not life to guide us in feeling.

There is only one enduring happiness in life—to live for others.

War and Peace (1865-1869)

The only thing that we know is that we know nothing — and that is the highest flight of human wisdom.

Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly. It is the one thing we are interested in here.

You will die and find out everything — or cease asking.

Everything comes in time to him who knows how to wait.

The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.

As it is now, war is the favourite pastime of the idle and frivolous.

Love hinders death. Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. Everything is, everything exists, only because I love. Everything is united by it alone. Love is God, and to die means that I, a particle of love, shall return to the general and eternal source.

Modern history is like a deaf person who is in the habit of answering questions that no one has put to them.

Confession (1882)

The only absolute knowledge attainable by man is that life is meaningless.

My Religion (1884)

Error is the force that welds men together; truth is communicated to men only by deeds of truth.

I know that my unity with all people cannot be destroyed by national boundaries and government orders.

The Death Of Ivan Ilych (1886)

Ivan Ilych's life had been most simple and most ordinary and therefore most terrible.

Writings on Civil Disobedience and Nonviolence (1886)

A man can live and be healthy without killing animals for food; therefore, if he eats meat, he participates in taking animal life merely for the sake of his appetite. And to act so is immoral.

I sit on a man's back, choking him, and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his lot by any means possible, except getting off his back.

What Is To Be Done? (1886)

The vocation of every man and woman is to serve other people.

The First Step (1892)

If a man aspires towards a righteous life, his first act of abstinence is from injury to animals.

The Kingdom Of God Is Within You (1894)

The most difficult subjects can be explained to the most slow-witted man if he has not formed any idea of them already; but the simplest thing cannot be made clear to the most intelligent man if he is firmly persuaded that he knows already, without a shadow of doubt, what is laid before him.

Armies are necessary, before all things, for the defense of governments from their own oppressed and enslaved subjects.

Christianity and Patriotism (1895)

In all history there is no war which was not hatched by the governments, the governments alone, independent of the interests of the people, to whom war is always pernicious even when successful.
The government assures the people that they are in danger from the invasion of another nation, or from foes in their midst, and that the only way to escape this danger is by the slavish obedience of the people to their government. This fact is seen most prominently during revolutions and dictatorships, but it exists always and everywhere that the power of the government exists. Every government explains its existence, and justifies its deeds of violence, by the argument that if it did not exist the condition of things would be very much worse. After assuring the people of its danger the government subordinates it to control, and when in this condition compels it to attack some other nation. And thus the assurance of the government is corroborated in the eyes of the people, as to the danger of attack from other nations.

Patriotism and Christianity (1896)

It is only needful that we should not succumb to the erroneous, already defunct, public opinion of the past, which governments have induced artificially; it is only needful that each individual should say what he really feels or thinks, or at least that he should not say what he does not think.

We all complain of the senseless order of life, which is at variance with our being, and yet we refuse to use the unique and powerful weapon within our hands — the consciousness of truth and its expression; but on the contrary, under the pretext of struggling with evil, we destroy the weapon, and sacrifice it to the exigencies of an imaginary conflict'.

Patriotism,Or Peace? (1896)

Tell people that war is an evil, and they will laugh; for who does not know it? Tell them that patriotism is an evil, and most of them will agree, but with a reservation. "Yes," they will say, "wrong patriotism is an evil; but there is another kind, the kind we hold." But just what this good patriotism is, no one explains.

Patriotism and Government (1900)

It will be said, "Patriotism has welded mankind into states, and maintains the unity of states." But men are now united in states; that work is done; why now maintain exclusive devotion to one's own state, when this produces terrible evils for all states and nations? For this same patriotism which welded mankind into states is now destroying those same states. If there were but one patriotism say of the English only then it were possible to regard that as conciliatory, or beneficent. But when, as now, there is American patriotism, English, German, French, Russian, all opposed to one another, in this event, patriotism no longer unites, but disunites.

Three Methods Of Reform (1900)

There can be only one permanent revolution — a moral one; the regeneration of the inner man.
How is this revolution to take place? Nobody knows how it will take place in humanity, but every man feels it clearly in himself. And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself.

The Meaning Of The Russian Revolution (1906)

Not only does the action of Governments not deter men from crimes; on the contrary, it increases crime by always disturbing and lowering the moral standard of society.

One might think that it must be quite clear to people not deprived of reason, that violence breeds violence; that the only means of deliverance from violence lies in not taking part in it.

A Letter To A Hindu (1908)

Amid this life based on coercion, one and the same thought constantly emerged among different nations, namely, that in every individual a spiritual element is manifested that gives life to all that exists, and that this spiritual element strives to unite with everything of a like nature to itself, and attains this aim through love.

Unfortunately not only were the rulers, who were considered supernatural beings, benefited by having the peoples in subjection, but as a result of the belief in, and during the rule of, these pseudodivine beings, ever larger and larger circles of people grouped and established themselves around them, and under an appearance of governing took advantage of the people. And when the old deception of a supernatural and God-appointed authority had dwindled away these men were only concerned to devise a new one which like its predecessor should make it possible to hold the people in bondage to a limited number of rulers.

A commercial company enslaved a nation comprising two hundred millions. Tell this to a man free from superstition and he will fail to grasp what these words mean. What does it mean that thirty thousand men, not athletes but rather weak and ordinary people, have subdued two hundred million vigorous, clever, capable, and freedom-loving people? Do not the figures make it clear that it is not the English who have enslaved the Indians, but the Indians who have enslaved themselves?

As soon as men live entirely in accord with the law of love natural to their hearts and now revealed to them, which excludes all resistance by violence, and therefore hold aloof from all participation in violence — as soon as this happens, not only will hundreds be unable to enslave millions, but not even millions will be able to enslave a single individual.

When an individual passes from one period of life to another, a time comes when he cannot go on in senseless activity and excitement as before, but has to understand that although he has out-grown what before used to direct him, this does not mean that he must live without any reasonable guidance, but rather that he must formulate for himself an understanding of life corresponding to his age, and having elucidated it must be guided by it. And in the same way a similar time must come in the growth and development of humanity.

In the spiritual realm nothing is indifferent: what is not useful is harmful.

Path of Life (1909)

Memento mori—remember death! These are important words. If we kept in mind that we will soon inevitably die, our lives would be completely different. If a person knows that he will die in a half hour, he certainly will not bother doing trivial, stupid, or, especially, bad things during this half hour. Perhaps you have half a century before you die—what makes this any different from a half hour?

People try to do all sorts of clever and difficult things to improve life instead of doing the simplest, easiest thing—refusing to participate in activities that make life bad.

Entry In Tolstoy's Diary

God is not love, but the more there is of love, the more man manifests God, and the more he truly exists...

Tolstoy's Diaries (1985)

Progress consists, not in the increase of truth, but in freeing it from its wrappings. The truth is obtained like gold, not by letting it grow bigger, but by washing off from it everything that isn't gold.

Tolstoy (1988)

The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens ... Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere.

Thanks for reading.

If you liked this,you might be interested in reading The Death Of Princess Diana:A Conspiracy? here:

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Sunday, 31 August 2014

The Death of Princess Diana:A Conspiracy?

On this day (31st August),17 years ago,Diana,Princess Of Wales was killed in a car crash in Paris.Her death was followed by shock and mourning worldwide.However,not long after the tragedy,an alternative theory regarding the cause and circumstances that led to her death started to appear.In this post,I'll do my best to present the official story and the conspiracy theories.

The Official Story
After having dinner at The Ritz hotel in Paris,Diana,boyfriend Dodi Al Fayed and bodyguard Trevor Rees-Jones were being driven to Dodi's flat by chauffeur Henri Paul.Henri Paul is intoxicated and their Mercedes is being pursued by paparazzi when,at 12:25am, it hits a pole travelling 70mph in the Pont de l'Alma road tunnel.An hour after the crash,an ambulance carrying Diana leaves for the hospital,Dodi Al Fayed and Henri Paul both die at the scene of the accident.At 2:06am the ambulance arrives at the hospital which is located less than 4 miles away from the crash site.Doctors note that Diana's pulmonary vein has torn,which makes it unlikely that she will survive.After 2 hours of heart massage,Diana is pronounced dead at 4am.

After Diana's Death-A Timeline

1st September 1997 - Blood tests taken from Henri-Paul reveal that he was nearly three times over the legal drink-drive limit,with a carbon monoxide level of 20.7%.

2nd September 1997 - The French investigation into the crash begins.

5th September 1997 - A spokesman for Mohamed Al Fayed (Dodi's father) shows CCTV footage from the night of the crash to prove that Henri-Paul was not drunk or drugged.An Eyewitness claims to have seen a "flash of light" just before the crash. This is the first time anyone comes forward against the official story and these claims ignite conspiracy theories.

6th September 1997 - Diana's funeral.

10th September 1997 - At the request of Mohamed Al Fayed,a second blood test is conducted.It came back with a similar blood alcohol level,with the addition of traces of Prozac,which treats depression, and Tiapridal,which treats alcohol dependency.A sample taken from the groin showed lower levels of carbon monoxide.

18th September 1997 - A description of a white Fiat is given to French police by eyewitnesses,who believe it was acting suspiciously.The eyewitnesses say:
"A white Fiat zigzagged as it came out of the tunnel, so much so that it almost hit us." They continue, "The driver seemed to be perturbed by something in his rear-view mirror. He was transfixed by whatever he was looking at."

19th September 1997 - Trevor Rees-Jones,the only survivor of the crash,says that he is suffering from amnesia and can't recall the crash.

2nd October 1997 - French police confirm evidence found at the scene of the crash which points to the involvement of a white Fiat.The search for the car begins.

12th February 1998 - Mohamed Al Fayed makes further claims that the crash was not an accident,and that Diana and Dodi were on their way to celebrate their engagement.

13th February 1998 - Private detectives working for Mohamed Al Fayed claim to have found the white Fiat,and that it belongs to paparazzi photographer James Andanson.

21st April 1998 - Mr Rees-Jones quits his job as a bodyguard working for Mohamed Al Fayed.

2nd August 1998 - Francois Levistre,an eyewitness who had previously claimed to have seen a massive flash which may have blinded Henri Paul,now claims that he saw a motorcycle swerve in front of the Mercedes which may have caused the crash.

23rd August 1998 - Mohamed Al Fayed says that it was the "incompetence and unprofessional practice" of Mr Rees-Jones and Mr Wingfield,another bodyguard,which led to the death of his son and Princess Diana.

30th August 1998 - Richard Tomlinson,a former British spy,tells a British tabloid of a MI6 plot to kill the Serbian President which involved a bright flash and a tunnel,and that Diana's accident seems to mirror this plot.

3rd September 1999 - The official French report on the crash is published.It blames Henri Paul driving at excessive speeds while under the influence for the crash.None of the photographers arrested after the crash are charged.

30th August 2003 - Mohamed Al Fayed makes further claims that Diana had called him the night she died to inform him that she was pregnant with Dodi's baby.

14th December 2006 - A report by Lord Stevens on the deaths of Princess Diana and Dodi Al Fayed is published and supports the findings of the French report.

7th April 2008 - The jury at the Royal Courts of Justice,which has held an inquest into the crash decide that Diana and Dodi were unlawfully killed due to the "gross negligence" of Henri Paul and the paparazzi.

Conspiracy - For & Against 

Perhaps the most interesting part of this story and the strongest indication of a conspiracy,is that in October 1993,10 months after her and Prince Charles separated,Diana wrote a letter to butler,Paul Burrell,claiming that Charles was "planning an accident" involving her car,"brake failure & severe head injury".If you don't believe in coincidences,then this prediction,followed by the manner in which Diana died,is more than a tad suspicious.

There were almost 4 years between when Diana wrote that letter and her actual death,why would it take so long for them to carry out the plan? Also,Diana claims in the letter that the reason Charles would kill her is to "make the path clear for him to marry Tiggy (the former nanny of Princes William & Harry)" and that "Camilla is nothing but a decoy." Camilla Parker Bowles would go on to marry Prince Charles.If Diana was wrong about that aspect,there's a chance she could have been wrong about the plot to have her killed.

There was 1 hour and 43 minutes between the time of the crash and Diana's arrival at the hospital less than 4 miles away. It is claimed that Diana was pregnant and the reason for the time taken to get to the hospital is that she was given a forced abortion on the side of the road.This could be the only way that an autopsy would come back negative for pregnancy.While this seems like a particularly sinister part of this plot,I can't help but think anyone willing to go to such lengths to have such a high profile target killed,would go that bit further.

Apart from it seeming unlikely that anyone involved in this plot could have known about Diana's pregnancy,considering Mohamed Al Fayed claims he only found out the day of her death,which makes it even less likely that they would have been prepared to give Diana an abortion on the side of the road.Rosa Monckton,a friend of Diana's,says that Diana had had her period just 10 days prior to her death while the two were on holiday together.The length of time between the crash and Diana's arrival at the hospital seems to be quite easily explained.In France,unlike England,after an accident the focus is more centred around giving someone expert treatment at the site of the accident,in Diana's case,this is said to have lasted around an hour, and while it is true that the ambulance did stop en route to the hospital,it is reported that this was so the doctor could administer dopamine to prevent cardiac arrest. These factors combined with the 20 minutes it took to get Diana out of the vehicle,means that the actual journey from the site of the crash to the hospital only took around 25 minutes.

The main reason that seems to show up over and over again for someone wanting to have Diana killed is that,despite their relationship only having begun a few weeks beforehand,Dodi was planning to propose to Diana,and the powers that be wouldn't want the mother of the future King of England to be married to a Muslim.Indeed,a ring was found in Dodi's apartment after his death.Sadly,it doesn't seem all that far fetched,especially in the 1990's, that these attitudes might exist among the British monarchy and the powerful organisations which run the country, in which the majority of its citizens are Christian.It may,also,have been Dodi's reputation of fast cars,beautiful women and financial instability which caught the attention of those who would come up with such a plot,but is a lavish lifestyle and religious prejudice enough to sentence three people to a death sentence?


The problem with the religious prejudice motive is that after Diana and Charles' separation,Diana entered into a relationship with a Pakistani Muslim heart surgeon,this relationship lasted for 2 years and they were still involved when Diana and Dodi's whirlwind romance started.Why would those in power overlook a 2 year relationship,but draw the line with Dodi Al-Fayed? Also,a week before her death,Diana made a statement against the idea of another marriage,she told her friend Lady Annabel Goldsmith "I need marriage like a rash on my face."

It is believed that if there was a plot against Diana that Henri Paul must have been involved.It was revealed after the crash that Paul was a low-level unpaid informer for the French internal security service,that was his official position,could it be possible that he had a different role in reality than what it says on paper? With Paul in control of the car,he made the decision to go through the tunnel.A tunnel is the perfect place for an assassination,it is a controlled environment with few witnesses. It was Paul's personal wealth and the large some of money he had in his pocket (approx 1500 euros) at the time of the crash which spawned the rumours of his involvement.

Even if Henri Paul would have been on the payroll of a security agency,and given the job of crashing the car,would Paul really have put his own life on the line for a paycheck? That's making a transition from assassin to martyr.I can't imagine Paul being that dedicated to the cause.Also,friends of Paul's have attempted to justify the large some of money he had at the time by saying that it was the nature of his job and that he would receive large tips from his wealthy clients.

If we rule out Henri Paul causing the crash on purpose,then the other options given are that Paul was drugged which could have caused him to either collapse at the wheel or be in a condition which is more likely to lead to a crash.The final option would be that the Mercedes at some point prior to the crash being stolen and fitted with a device which would have allowed an outside controller to override the drivers actions.This is an idea which seems like it would be relatively easy to execute in 2014,and I can imagine in 1997,the top agencies already having access to such technology.This theory would give the plotters much more control over the situation.With the surviving passenger in the car suffering from amnesia,he would be neither able to confirm or deny whether Paul had control of the car when it crashed.

Critics say a plot against Diana would be unlikely due to the unpredictability of Diana and Dodi's movements that night with almost every aspect of their travel plans subject to last minute changes.These changes include the car,driver and point of departure.A plan was put together which would see the couple attempt to avoid the press who were waiting for them outside the Ritz.Henri Paul had gone off-duty at 7pm that night,but was called back to drive the Mercedes,the fact that he was called back would fit with the idea that he had gone off duty,had a few drinks,and didn't want to say no when asked to return to work. With so many changes,it seems hard to believe that an assassination plot could have been adapted to work under these new circumstances.My cynicism thinks that the changes may well have been part of the plan,however,it is said that it was Dodi who insisted on the changes and I'm pretty sure we can rule him out as being part of the plot.

Finally,and perhaps most compelling is the fact that not a single CCTV camera captured any video or images of the Mercedes between the Ritz and the tunnel. In the time we live in now,this fact seems absurd.There were an estimated 10 CCTV cameras on the route the vehicle took,and 14 CCTV cameras in the tunnel,none of which recorded the fatal collision.

An investigation into the CCTV cameras found that there were 10 CCTV cameras between the Ritz and the Pont de l'Alma underpass,but they are security cameras which were privately owned and facing the entrances of buildings.As for the camera inside the tunnel,it was operated by the Paris urban traffic unit which closed at 11pm and didn't have any night staff. This meant that the camera continued to broadcast images in real time and could be viewed but not controlled by officers in the Police Headquarters information and command centre,but none of them were watching that particular camera at the time of the crash.

So,there you have it.You've got some of the arguments for a conspiracy,some against,you can make your own mind up what you think happened.While I'm not convinced of a conspiracy myself,it is not because I don't think British intelligence agencies are capable of it because they certainly are,and if such orders were handed down, I don't think there would be much hesitation to act on them.So,questioning the official story is a good idea,but I'm not sure the evidence is there to back it up on this occasion.Disagree? Leave any thoughts or comments in the section below.

If you liked this then you might be interested in Kelly Thomas' story,you can see that here:

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Tuesday, 26 August 2014

10 Deadliest Volcanic Eruptions

On 26th August 1883,Indonesian volcanic island Krakatoa erupted.Krakatoa is responsible for some of the most violent eruptions in recorded history,which inspired The Firewall to make a 10 Deadliest Volcanic Eruptions list.There were a couple of eruptions not included,due to the time they occurred leading to a lack of solid statistics about them.Volcanic eruptions occur as a result of magma rising through cracks in the Earth's crust,this leads to a build up of pressure,a volcano is essentially a vent through which the magma can escape to ease the pressure. When you see VEI, it stands for Volcanic Explosivity Index,which has been used to measure volcanic eruptions since 1982.

10)Santa Maria (24th October 1902)

  • Prior to the eruption,Santa Maria had been dormant for at least 500 years.
  • Santa Maria erupted 5.5 Cubic kilometres of magma over 2 days.
  • The debris from the climactic eruption fell over 273000 square kilometres.
  • The eruption was followed by a malaria outbreak which killed many more.

Elevation:3772 m (12375 ft)
Fatalities:5000 - 6000
VEI:6 (Colossal)

9)Mount Kelud (1586)

  • There have been more than 30 Mount Kelud eruptions since 1000 AD
  • It is notorious for violent and deadly eruptions.

Elevation:1731 m (5679 ft)
Location:East Java,Indonesia
Fatalities:10000 people

8)Mount Unzen (21st May 1792)

  • The east flank of Mayu-Yama (one of Mount Unzen's volcanic peaks) collapsed causing a landslide.
  • The landslide led to a mega tsunami which reached up to 100 metres (330 ft) in height.
  • The majority of fatalities from this eruption were caused by the tsunami.
  • This is Japan's worst volcanic related eruption.

Elevation:1500m (4921 ft)

7)Mount Vesuvias (24th August 79AD)

  • The eruption lasted two days.
  • Around 1044 casts made from impressions of bodies in the ash deposits have been found in and around Pompeii.
  • Inspired 2014's movie Pompeii (not to be watched if you're looking to be educated about the event).
  • This has become one of the most famous eruptions of all time.
  • The Thermal Energy released from this eruption was a hundred thousand times more than Hiroshima bombing.
  • The ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum were destroyed by pyroclastic flows and buried under dozens of feet of tephra.

Elevation:1281m (4203 ft)

6)Nevado del Ruiz (13th November 1985)

  • This is Columbia's worst natural disaster.
  • Despite experts seeing signs of an eruption,they could not accurately predict when an eruption would occur and authorities wouldn't take costly preventative measures with no evidence of imminent danger.
  • Along with the fatalities,there were a further 5000 injured and 5000 homes destroyed

Elevation:5321m (17457 ft)

5)Mount Pelée (8th May 1902)

  • This eruption is noted as being the worst volcanic disaster of the 20th Century.
  • It is the only major volcanic disaster in the history of France and its territories.
  • Despite activity since April 23rd,the Governor saw no cause for concern and refused civilians permission to leave the town,even threatening them with arrest.
  • A second similar eruption on May 20th 1902 killed 2000 rescuers,mariners and engineers.

Elevation:1397m (4583 ft)
Location:Martinique,Lesser Antilles

4)Krakatoa (26th August 1883)

  • Activity prior to this eruption started on May 20th with explosions and eruptions of ash cloud.
  • The loudest explosion on August 27th could be heard 3110km (1930 mi) away in Perth,Australia.
  • The volcanic explosions caused tsunamis over 30 metres (98 ft) in height.
  • The final explosion was so powerful that it ruptured the eardrums of sailors around the Sunda Strait region. 
  • 20 million tons of sulfur from the volcano were releasd into the atmosphere leading to a volcanic winter which lasted 5 years.
  • Some estimate the actual death toll to be closer to 120000.

Elevation:813m (2667 ft)
Location:Sunda Strait,Indonesia

3)Mount Tambora (10th April 1815)

  • This is the only volcanic eruption with a confirmed VEI of 7 since Lake Taupo in 180 AD,which makes it one of the largest volcanic eruption in recorded history.
  • Of the fatalities,only between 11000-12000 are thought to have been killed directly from the eruption itself,with the rest dying from starvation and disease which came as a result of the eruption.
  • The eruption caused "the year without summer" in 1816 due to its impact on global weather.It caused a volcanic winter,which led to the worst famine of the 19th century.
  • 4 times the energy of the 1883 Krakatoa eruption were released by Mount Tambora.

Elevation:2850m (9350ft)

2)Huaynaputina (19th February 1600)

  • In 1599,Father Alonso Ruiz of Arequipa predicted a "hit from heaven" due to lack of sacrifices being made to appease Supay,god of death.
  • When the volcano showed signs of activity in 1600,locals prepared girls,pets and plants for sacrifice.
  • Within 24 hours of the explosion Arequipa was covered with 25 cm (10 in) of ash.
  • Regional agriculture took 150 years to fully recover from the eruption.
  • While the eruption itself killed 1500 people,in 2008,geologists linked the Russian famine of 1601-1603 to the Huaynaputina eruption.The famine resulted in the deaths of an estimated 2 million people.

Elevation:4850m (15900 ft)
Fatalities:2 million

1)Lakagígar (1783)

  • This is the deadliest eruption in historical times.
  • The eruption released 8 million tons of hydrofluoric acid and 120 million tons of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere.
  • The effect the Lakagígar eruption had on temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere led to crop failures in Europe and droughts in India.
  • The 8 months emission of sulfuric aerosols makes this eruption one of the most important climatic and socially repercussive events of the last millennium.
  • It is estimated that 23000 people in the UK may have died from the spreading of the poison gas in the air.

Elevation:1725m (5659 ft)
Fatalities:6 million

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