Celebrating will likely be different where you are due to Covid-19 and its lockdown restrictions, but as the world slowly starts to get back to normal, we are reminded of what we miss and how we would usually celebrate this occasion.
There’s always an atmosphere in the air on St Patrick’s Day: people wearing green clothing, leprechauns, overcrowded pubs and Irish bars. Whilst this year will be different, there are plenty of content you can enjoy. Read our blog here, about how to celebrate St Patrick’s Day. You’ll feel nostalgia and excitement for next year. Click here for fun facts on the background of St Patrick’s Day.
There is plenty to keep you occupied during lockdown. In the meantime, everyone at Pilot wishes you a happy St Patrick’s Day!
The 5th of May this year will mark the 200th anniversary of Napoleon’s death on the isolated island of St Helena where he had been exiled after his defeat by the Duke of Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo.
Although Napoleon remains a divisive figure, plans are underway in France to commemorate the milestone.
Much of the urban footprint of modern Paris, including thoroughfares and monuments such as the Arc de Triomphe, was the work of Napoleon. He also established the Banque de France and the civil and legal “Code Napoleon” which is still in use in France today.
But Napoleon also sewed chaos and carnage throughout Europe caused by expansionist wars.
The Roman Empire’s first Emperor, Augustus, built his mausoleum when he was only 34 years old, but it was another 40 years before he was laid to rest there.
Caesar’s adopted son and heir left many great monuments in the Eternal City and beyond, but his gigantic cylindrical mausoleum was sacked by the Visigoths in 410, fell into ruin and by the end of the 10th century was little more than an earthen mound overgrown with trees.
Declared an archaeological site by Mussolini, it has now only just been restored after a 12 year project costing more than 12 million Euros.
Following the cycling booms that occurred during lockdowns right the way across Europe, Cardiff in Wales has been named the UK’s most bike friendly city by route-finding app Komoot!
Participants were asked to rate a range of factors including cycling infrastructure, such as cycle lanes and signage, local cycling facilities, countryside accessibility and their sense of personal safety when it comes to cycling in the city.
The Food of Quarantine
The BBC took a look at the kind of foods being delivered to the rooms of those quarantining around the world. Spoiler: It largely resembles a cross between plane food, hospital food and a classic British school dinner… Yum?
Let us know on Twitter if you experienced this kind of quarantine food and what you thought of it!
Other Coronavirus News & Statistics
India, who otherwise make and distribute around 60% of the world’s vaccines, have announced that they are just weeks away from beginning to export their own vaccine for the coronavirus.
Main image: Cardiff Ajax and Arbis heading for top 10s, Jun, Flickr Creative Commons
Borderlines: Stop the Spread!
Following the emergence of an allegedly more contagious strain of COVID-19, multiple nations have put the shutters down with the UK.
After a hard year of restrictions of varying degrees, in places all around the globe, it is time to revisit the ever changing history of the world’s borders and barriers!
This episode of the Globe Guides explores the theme of Borderlines!
From Historic walled cities such asFez and Jerusalem, to divided capitals such as Berlin and Nicosia, this show uncovers the history behind these division and the reason why many of them remain to this day.
Megan McCormick visits theGreat Wall of China while Ian Wright takes a trip to the DMZ in Korea. Justine Shapiro and Megan both learn about the history and future of the Berlin wall in Germany, while Zay Harding see one of the world’s most recently constructed walls, the West Bank barrier, and learns about the effect that its construction has caused.
Healthcare providers in the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States among others have ramped up efforts to vaccinate vulnerable people against the Coronavirus since a number of vaccines, each from different pharmaceutical companies and research teams, have been approved for use.
Meanwhile, the so-called COVAX initiative has set out to help provide poorer nations with a share of the global supply.
Run, Forrest! Run!
More Coronavirus News & Statistics
Europe tightens COVID restrictions ahead of Christmas. Germany will return to a national lockdown until January 10th, but with the restrictions relaxed slightly from 24 to 26 December, allowing a limited amount of festive household mixing.
Main image: B-18007 China Airlines with special Boeing livery Boeing 777-309(ER) coming in from Taipei (TPE) @ Frankfurt (FRA) / 01.06.2018, Oliver Holzbauer, Flickr Creative Commons
Remembrance, Veterans and Armistice Day 2020
November 11, 2020
Remembrance Day, as it is known in the Commonwealth, and Veterans Day, as it is known in the Americas, is celebrated every November 11.
Remembrance Day has its roots in the Armistice signed at the end of WWI, becoming immortalized as the day the Great War ended. However, the Armistice – agreement to ceasefire on both sides – which was signed on 11 Novermber 1918, did not formally become the end of the war until the Treaty of Versailles was signed on 28 June 1919. The ceasefire did however last for the full duration between the armistice and the peace treaty being signed.
Following the outbreak of WWII, the Commonwealth nations decided to change the name from Armistice Day to Remembrance Day to honour all the fallen and not just those of WWI.
During WWII and in the many wars that would follow, including the Vietnam war, the Gulf war, Afghanistan and Iraq, millions more would perish as servicemen from all around the world fought for their countries.
Hence, Remembrance and Veterans Day celebrate the bravery of these service personnel, both fallen and returned heroes, and gives thanks and recognition for the service that they have given.
Large celebrations and commemorations often take place, including ‘Remembrance Sunday’ across the Commonwealth, the Sunday closest to the 11th of November, where crowds gather to mark their respect with a 2 minute display of silence, and Veterans festivals in the US such as the celebrations we visited in San Diego.
Main image: World War I Cemetery in The Somme Valley, Pilot Productions.
Where next? Travel beyond the COVID-Zone
Leaving aside the all-consuming question of when, we’ve been thinking about all of the places that we just can’t wait to travel to.
Amsterdam, The Netherlands
One of Europe’s most unique cities, Amsterdam is known for its relaxed, liberal atmosphere, beautiful historic canals and its love of cycling. With a wealth of diverse, rich museums, lush green parks and thriving nightlife, Amsterdam is one of the most tourist-friendly cities in the world, accommodating to a variety of different tastes. There really is something for everybody here.
China’s capital is one of the oldest cities in the world, with a rich, extensive history stretching back over three millennia. This history is exemplified by the plethora of physical relics, which convey a rich portrait of the city’s long, illustrious history. However, Beijing is not just a blast from China’s past but a thriving, massive modern city. The ancient and the ultra-modern sit side by side in one of the most world’s most culturally and historically rich cities.
One of the oldest cities in the world, Athens is also one of the most culturally and historically rich. The birthplace of democracy and by extension Western Civilization, Athen’s evolution has been critical to the culture of the world around it, and it remains a more vital destination than ever. In addition to the unparalleled wealth of ancient treasures it still houses, the city has emerged as one of Europe’s premier modern cultural destinations.
Mexico City is the biggest and most densely populated city in the whole of the Americas, its vast size matched by its rich cultural and historical identity. A bustling cosmopolitan city, Mexico City is a thriving centre for contemporary culture and the site of several breathtaking historical sites.
One of Indonesia’s most beautiful islands, Sumatra is known for its jaw-dropping natural landscapes and diverse range of wildlife. With many of the endemic species under threat due to deforestation and natural disasters, the island is definitely worth a visit to glimpse some of the world’s rarest creatures while you still can.
Being the coffee obsessives that we are, we’re very keen to drink some of the highly sought after Sumatra speciality crop. In fact, the highest rated coffees in the whole of Indonesia come from northern Sumatra where the Gayo Mountain, Lintong, and Mandheling coffees take top prizes as among the best in the world.
The historical capital of Peru and the Incan Empire, Cuzco is the country’s most historically and culturally rich city, which has cemented its status as one of the country’s premier tourist destinations. With both Incan and Spanish Colonial relics adorning the city, Cuzco is a must-see destination for those travelling to Peru.
World Health Organization director-general has warned against allowing coronavirus to spread in the hope of achieving so-called herd immunity, saying the idea is “scientifically and ethically problematic”.
Texas has overtaken California as the state with the second highest Coronavirus death toll, after New York.
Trump returns to campaign trail less than 2 weeks after positive Coronavirus test. On Sunday, 11 days post positive test, Trump’s doctor said he was no longer a COVID transmission risk to others and said later on Monday that his most recent tests had all come back negative.
President Trump and First Lady contract coronavirus
U.S President Donald Trump tested positive for the COVID-19 on Thursday sparking widespread alarm and concern for his health. The President, who has previously expressed skepticism of the coronavirus, spent three nights in hospital receiving treatment before quickly reappearing to put on a strong face for the American public.
The president himself has expressed in a number of statements that he is feeling better. With the presidential election looming, he has made it clear that the show must go on.
Aside from the condition of his health, a number of people have criticised the President for maintaining a busy schedule whilst remaining potentially contagious to others.
Other world leaders who previously contracted the virus include Brazil’s Jair Bolsanaro and the UK’s Boris Johnson.
Air pollution in New Delhi expected to worsen COVID-19
India’s capital is bracing itself for its annual ‘air pollution season’ where officials expect the poor air quality and other pollution related health issues to exacerbate the already serious coronavirus health crisis.
The air quality in New Delhi drastically deteriorates between October and December — to levels which are often considered ‘hazardous’ — due to various factors including stubble burning after the harvest, vehicle pollution, cold weather and post-monsoon low atmospheric pressure.
Cycling is still wheelie popular in Europe
A combination of a summer of fantastic weather, the desire to avoid public transport, and err… the pandemic… have proved the perfect series of events for the cycling industry.
Other Coronavirus News & Statistics
Paris has once again closed bars and restaurants as officials raise their coronavirus alert level to maximum.
Virgin Atlantic has become the first UK airline to introduce COVID-19 pre-flight testing at its Heathrow base for its cabin crew and pilots.