Sunday, July 15, 2012

Clouds of Witness cont

                As Lord Peter approached the door of the farm his spirits rose. He enjoyed paying this kind of visit. Although he had taken to detecting as he might, with another conscience or constitution, have taken to Indian hemp—for its exhilarating properties—at a moment when life seemed dust and ashes, he had not primarily the detective temperament.
Broad-leafed Cannabis indica plants in India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan are traditionally cultivated for the production of hashish. 

Wimsey came back from World War I with a little bit of shell-shock. He also dated a woman named Barbara, who dumped him. At this point in time he took up detective work as a hobby.
He expected next to nothing from inquiries at Grider's Hole, and, if he had, he might probably have extracted all the information he wanted by a judicious display of Treasury notes to the glum man at the gate.
In the United States, treasury notes are government notes. In England, treasury notes are pounds. Normal currency.
                 Parker would in all likelihood have done so; he was paid to detect and to do nothing else, and neither his natural gifts nor his education (at Barrow-in-Furness Grammar School) prompted him to stray into side-tracks at the beck of an ill-regulated imagination.
Barrow-in-Furness, ( commonly known as Barrow) historically a part of Lancashire, is a large industrial town and seaport which forms about half the territory of the wider Borough of Barrow-in-Furness in the county of Cumbria, England. It lies 49 mi (79 km) north of Liverpool, 59 mi (95 km) northwest of Manchester and 54 mi (87 km) southwest from the county town of Carlisle. The town is situated at the tip of the Furness peninsula bordered by Morecambe Bay, the Duddon Estuary and the Irish Sea. It has a population of 59,182 whilst the wider borough is home to 71,981 people.

In the Middle Ages, Barrow was a small hamlet within the parish of Dalton-in-Furness. Furness Abbey, on the outskirts of the modern day town, controlled the local economy before its dissolution in 1537. Even as late as 1843 there were still only 32 dwellings including two pubs. The iron prospector Henry Schneider arrived in Furness in 1839 and, with other investors, opened the Furness Railway in 1846 to transport iron ore and slate from local mines to the coast. Further hematite deposits were discovered in 1850, of sufficient size to develop factories for smelting and exporting steel. By the late 19th century, Barrow was home to the largest steelworks in the world.

Barrow's location and the availability of steel allowed the town to develop into a significant producer of naval vessels, a shift that was accelerated during World War I and the local yard's specialisation in submarines. The original iron- and steel- making enterprises closed down after World War II, leaving Vickers shipyard as Barrow's main industry and employer. The Royal Navy flagships HMS Hermes, HMS Invincible and HMS Albion as well as all four Vanguard-class submarines, which carry Trident nuclear weapons, were manufactured at the facility. From the 1960s the shipyard increasingly specialised in the construction of nuclear-powered submarines. However with the end of the Cold War and subsequent decrease in military spending the town suffered high unemployment through lack of contracts, despite this the shipyard remains operational and the only submarine production facility in the UK.

Today Barrow is a hub for energy generation and handling. Several wind farms located off the coast of the town form one of the highest concentrations of wind turbines in the world, while Rampside Gas Terminal and Roosecote Power Station utilise gas from the Irish Sea gas fields. A significant percentage of the local population work at the nearby nuclear facilities at Sellafield and Heysham. A large biomass power station is also being planned by Centrica in the suburb of Roose which has met fierce opposition across the town.
                But to Lord Peter the world presented itself as an entertaining labyrinth of side-issues. He was a respectable scholar in five or six languages, a musician of some skill and more understanding, something of an expert in toxicology, a collector of rare editions, an entertaining man-about-town, and a common sensationalist. He had been seen at half-past twelve on a Sunday morning walking in Hyde Park in a top-hat and frock-coat, reading the News of the World.
The News of the World was a national red top newspaper published in the United Kingdom from 1843 to 2011. It was at one time the biggest selling English language newspaper in the world, and at closure still had one of the highest English language circulations.

Originally established as a broadsheet by John Browne Bell, the Bells sold to Lascelles Carr in 1891; in 1969 it was bought from the Carrs by Rupert Murdoch's media firm News Limited. Reorganised into News International, itself a subsidiary of News Corporation, it was transformed into a tabloid in 1984. News of the World was the Sunday sister paper of The Sun. The newspaper concentrated on celebrity-based scoops and populist news. Its fondness for sex scandals gained it the nicknames News of the Screws and Screws of the World.[5] It had a reputation for exposing national or local celebrities as drug users, sexual peccadilloes, or criminals, setting up insiders and journalists in disguise to provide either video or photographic evidence, and phone hacking in ongoing police investigations. Sales averaged 2,812,005 copies per week in October 2010.

From 2006, allegations of phone hacking began to engulf the newspaper. These culminated in the revelation on 4 July 2011 that, nearly a decade earlier, a private investigator hired by the newspaper had intercepted and deleted the voicemail of missing British teenager Milly Dowler, who was later found murdered. However, a Scotland Yard spokesperson later admitted at the Leveson Inquiry that it had not been a private investigator who had deleted Dowler's voicemail.

Amid a public backlash and the withdrawal of advertising, News International announced the closure of the newspaper on 7 July 2011. The scandal deepened when the paper was alleged to have hacked into the phones of families of British service personnel killed in action. Senior figures on the newspaper have been held for questioning by police investigating the phone hacking and corruption allegations. Arrested on 8 July 2011 were former editor Andy Coulson and former News of the World royal editor Clive Goodman, the latter jailed for phone hacking in 2007. The former executive editor Neil Wallis was arrested on 15 July 2011 and former editor Rebekah Brooks, the tenth person held in custody, on 17 July 2011.

On a visit to London on 17 February 2012, Murdoch announced he was soon to launch a Sunday edition of The Sun, widely seen as a successor to the News of the World. On 19 February 2012 it was announced that the first edition of The Sun on Sunday would be printed on 26 February 2012. It would employ a number of former News of the World journalists.

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