“ Patrick Gibson was an Irishman, born on 24 July 1720 at ‘Magraphan’ (possibly Graffin ?), County Tipperary. At the age of 17, while staying at Waterford on the Irish east coast, he was pressed into the Navy in which he later became a purser - a warrant officer rank that required a head for business and a degree of personal capital: purser’s managed supplies on board ship, but also sold some comforts to the crew on their own account.” (x)
A master juggler was Petyr Baelish. Oh, he was clever. He did not simply collect the gold and lock it in a treasure vault, no. He paid the king’s debts in promises, and put the king’s gold to work. He bought wagons, shops, ships, houses. He bought grain when it was plentiful and sold bread when it was scarce. He bought wool from the north and linen from the south and lace from Lys, stored it, moved it, dyed it, sold it. The golden dragons bred and multiplied, and Littlefinger lent them out and brought them home with hatchlings.
And in the process, he moved his own men into place. The Keepers of the Keys were his, all four. The King’s Counter and the King’s Scales were men he’d named. The officers in charge of all three mints. Harbormasters, tax farmers, customs sergeants, wool factors, toll collectors, pursers, wine factors; nine of every ten belonged to Littlefinger. They were men of middling birth, by and large; merchants’ sons, lesser lordlings, sometimes even foreigners, but judging from their results, far more able than their highborn predecessors.
A Clash of Kings
I love this excerpt because it’s like GRRM draws the curtain back a little to reveal the royal accounting system, and it’s so much more than the typical fantasy idea of ~locking it in a treasure vault~. (I’m looking at you, Gringotts.)
I didn’t know the wiki used BoD as a source of information, but whatever, I’ll take it:
The four Keepers of the Keys control the keys that open certain doors and chests that belong to the royal household and oversee the items that these locks guard. One holds charge of the king’s jewels, another has charge of the king’s purse – those funds that the king keeps purely for his own interests – another commands the key to the Red Keep’s armory, and the last holds the keys to the king’s manors outside of King’s Landing. Their responsibilities include hiring of assistants, overseeing investments of personal wealth, and acquiring such things as the king desires.
King’s Counter - Subordinate most directly involved in managing the taxation of the realm, making sure that all that ought to be coming in in tax revenue comes in as intended. Royal tax assessors, tax farmers (men who pay to “farm” the royal tax for a lump sum, on the expectation that they’ll be able to turn a profit), and so on are in their employment. This is a Major Office.
Tax Assessors - Individuals tasked with assessing royal taxes and seeing to their collection. Licenses to carry out this task are often sold, with those purchasing the license allowed to keep what they collect, in which case they are called tax farmers and are not direct subordinates of anyone. This is a Lesser Office.
King’s Scales - Official keeper of the royal weights and measures, and enforcing them as the standard throughout the realm. Various kinds of factors – wool, wine, spice factors – are in his employment, and they play a more direct role in assessing tariffs and duties. This is a Major Office.
Factors - The various factors under the King’s Scales range in levels of importance. However, the chief factors help to sell various goods produced by the royal lands – wool from the king’s flocks, wine from the king’s few vineyards, and so on. They also purchase such goods for the king’s household, particularly spices, which is almost entirely imported. This is a Minor Office.
Officers of the Royal Mints - The three royal mints lie in King’s Landing, Lannisport, and Oldtown. The officers oversee the minting of money, and arrange the shipment and protection of specie. This is a Minor Office.
Some questions I have:
Do the three mints each specialize in a particular metal? For example, are all the gold dragons minted in Lannisport, all the silver stags minted in King’s Landing, and all the copper stars and pennies minted in Oldtown? Or does each mint produce a mixture of coins?
What are the manors that the fourth keeper of the keys has keys to? (That sounds like the beginning of a tongue twister.) For example, during the Targaryen reign, would the fourth keeper of the keys hold the keys to Summerhall? Holding the keys to the king’s manors seems more symbolic than the other ones.
I’m a sadist and I kept reading past the chapter break and I have to go back from lunch but I’m just
In the two seconds after the colonel in charge of the flight deck realises there’s something wrong and raises the alarm, Foster goes into loving detail describing the UTTER CHAOS on the ship, and how “every single department was raised”
Really, we really went and got the Accounts Department out of bed to deal with this new threat? We got the Quartermaster and the Purser out of bed to help stop this fleeing prisoner? What about the ship’s cook and all the kitchenhands, did they have to stop making the grey slop for five minutes and rush forward with their spoons?
And it’s talking about ALL THE CONTRADICTORY ORDERS FLYING like dude the alarm sounded like two seconds ago at most, how has the very regimented and very organised First Order descended into such wild anarchy in two seconds because honestly, Poe has barely even turned on the engines yet and this has ALL ALREADY HAPPENED
Anyway, lunch break over, more complaining to come at a later time (I’m at nearly 200 pages of 933 and Poe and Finn still haven’t escaped what the fuck is going to be skipped over because this is honestly still the first five minutes of the film??? And it’s taken 200 pages???)
“No, you can’t get a dancing monkey with the ship’s money.” Molly said to whoever came by her, keeping up the act, even though she’d really want to see a dancing monkey too. She held a little pouch as she sat by a table, being labelled the purser for this game, not really wanting to throw herself into the sea of people anytime soon. But it wasn’t too hard though, basically like handling the production money whenever someone wants to buy something ridiculous like a 40 bucks Starbucks drink.
What if someone lost theirs? What if they deserted? Mutinied? It was hard enough to keep a crew of 800 souls together and functional, how did one keep track of 800 damned souls? Slumped amongst the pursers barrels (useless now, what did undead need for food stores?) Theodore turned his coin over and over in his hands. He isn’t wish to return to his bunk - there was a small hand mirror there, and couldn’t go above decks, it would soon be dark.
As usual when he was nervous his hands shook and of course he dropped the coin. Then panicked. The sound it made upon hitting the deck, Groves imagined, was louder then it should have been. He only breathed again when it was found. He dropped his chin to his chest and sighed.
Footsteps. Quickly Groves gathered himself and feigned inspecting the stores, especially at a time like this - God - an officer mustn’t be out of sorts.
Neerja Bhanot biopic is a reminder of the glamorous lives of '80s Indian air hostesses
Some people called them “glorified ayahs”, while they were patronisingly referred to in Hindi as hawayi sundaris. Yet, in the
1970s and ’80s, Indian air hostesses were also envied as glamourous, elite women who looked like film stars, jet-setted across the world and enjoyed exotic holidays that
few others could afford.
In September 1986,
when 23-year-old Neerja Bhanot died trying to save passengers of the ill-fated Pan Am
Flight 73 from the bullets of hijackers, Indians saw – perhaps for the first
time – that an air hostess could also be a hero.
York Pan Am flight was hijacked during a lay-over in Karachi by Palestinian
militants from the Abu Nidal Organisation. In the 17 hours that followed,
Bhanot took charge as the head purser, saving scores of lives by hiding the passports of American citizens, helping passengers escape through an emergency
exit and, eventually, shielding three children from a rain of bullets. After
her death, she became the youngest Indian to be awarded the Ashok Chakra for
Now, 30 years
later, filmmaker Ram Madhvani is reviving Bhanot’s story for a new generation
with his biopic Neerja. The film,
starring Sonam Kapoor as Bhanot, will be released on February 19. “Whether in
1986 or today, a whole bunch of flight attendants do their duty so that we can
do ours – and we rarely show gratitude for that,” Madhvani said. “In some ways,
the film is a tribute to them.”
But being an air
hostess in the ’80s was, in many ways, vastly different from being a flight
attendant today. It was an era of fewer airlines, more luxury and greater
glamour. Despite the alarming number of aircraft attacks and hijackings
taking place through the ’70s and ’80s, it was an age far less obsessed with
security than the post-9/11 world.
had to know our wine and cheese’
"When I started
out, we were trained to focus on service, not safety and security,” said Elfin
Fernand, a Mumbai resident who joined Air India as a hostess in 1974 at the
age of 21 and retired in 2009. “We had to know our wines and cheese and how
to look after the passenger’s comfort. Today’s flight attendants have to be
constantly alert, so even while talking to a passenger their eyes dart all over
took off at a time when the perception of air hostesses had rapidly begun to
change in India. Earlier, the women almost always came from Anglo-Indian,
Catholic or Parsi families. In the rest of Indian society, flying, serving
passengers and working with men was not looked upon as a respectable profession
for a young woman.
“Many of the
Hindu girls who came for air hostess interviews in the ’60s and early ’70s
either had to fight with their parents or lie to them,” said Mahrukh
Chikliwala, a veteran Air India flight attendant who flew from 1969 to 2009 and
retired as a trainer for younger staff. “But many people also envied our work,
because it didn’t need a lot of educational qualifications but paid very well.”
By the time
women like Neerja Bhanot – who came from an educated Punjabi family in Mumbai –
joined the field, young girls across India were dreaming of a life as an air
hostess. One of them was Suneeta Sodhi-Kanga, who wanted to be an air hostess
since she was six and was actively encouraged by her family.
“I was always
fascinated with the glamour of flying – the elegance and charm of the well-groomed
hostesses, their confidence and the prospect of travelling the world,” said
Kanga, who worked with Air India from 1988 to 1996 and now trains corporate
professionals in grooming, etiquette, fine dining and wine appreciation. In
1989, after Kanga won the Miss World Airline pageant held in Paris, she became
the face of Air India at various cultural and publicity events.
weight gain, no acne, no glasses
that air hostesses received for their grooming and beauty, however, came with a
heavy dose of gender discrimination. Male flight attendants were hardly ever spoken about, but air hostesses were objects of fascination, and their looks a subject of much discussion.
In 1971, the Illustrated Weekly of India did a cover story on air hostesses that featured a telling classification of the women employed with the three main airlines operating in the country:
“BOAC [British Overseas Airways Corporation] lays stress on the healthy, nurse-like mantronly look…Air-India goes in for youth and glamour and patronises both the campus and the harem look. Indian Airlines goes in for the ‘desi’ demeanour – in the India-can-do-it fervour…Glamour with a campus touch and a come-hither look is a general characteristic of the Air-India hostess.”
“We women could be taken off cabin duty if we put on weight, wore glasses or developed acne, but this did not apply to male attendants,” Chikliwala said. “The men had no restrictions on marriage, but when I joined, air hostesses were not allowed to marry. Even divorcees were a problem.”
In 1979, after
taking their case to court, Air India’s women cabin crew won the right to marry
without losing their jobs or being grounded to do off-flight duties. They
had to fight further to be allowed at least two children, but many other
battles had to continue.
As an employee
of Pan Am, an American airline, Bhanot was able to climb from the post
of a cabin attendant to a head purser – the senior-most cabin manager – within
just a year of flying. Had she been working for an Indian airline, Bhanot would
never have been even a junior purser, simply because she was a woman.
At Air India,
right up to the mid-2000s, only male flight attendants were allowed to take on
positions requiring management and supervision in an aircraft. “The men were
called pursers and the women were hostesses,” said Francis Monteiro, a retired
Air India flight attendant from Mumbai who flew with the airline from 1977 to
2011. “The senior pursers could work in the galley and supervise, but hostesses
worked only in the cabin. They were the face of the airline.”
hostesses, says Monteiro, joined the field by the time they were 18. Most men
joined at the age of 21. “Often, this meant that men would be supervising women
their own age even though the women were more experienced,” he said.
This, too, was a
battle that Air India’s hostesses had to fight in court, and victory came rather
late in the day. “In 2006, I became the first woman to be made a flight
in-charge, three years before I retired,” said Mahrukh Chikliwala.
Along with Elfin
Fernand, Chikliwala was among the women who also fought for parity with male
cabin crew in the case of retirement age. While men could retire at 58, women
had to retire at 35 in the 1970s and ’80s – a figure that Air India raised
to 45 in 1990 and 50 in 1993. By the time the women’s retirement age was raised
to 58, it was already 2003, 14 years after Indian Airlines, the government’s
domestic carrier, implemented the same decision.
gender disparities in a field that inherently sexualises women, flight
attendants of the time also had to grapple with the dangers of flying. The ‘70s
and ‘80s saw a peak in aircraft explosions and hijackings,
particularly because of the political instability in the Middle East and Cuba.
Closer to home, Sikh militants from the Khalistan movement made at least four
attempts to attack or hijack flights during those two decades.
In 1985, a year
before Bhanot was killed by Palestinian hijackers, a Sikh militant group bombed
Air India’s Emperor Kanishka flight en route from Canada to London. The plane
exploded over the Atlantic Ocean at 31,000 feet, killing all 329 people on
incredibly scary because it could easily have been me on that flight,” said
Francis Monteiro, who had been on the staff of the same flight during its
Frankfurt-Toronto leg a week before the attack. “I lost several colleagues and
two batch-mates in that explosion.”
during emergency situations, however, is something almost all flight attendants
imbibe during their training and years of experience. Often, cabin crew members
found it harder to remain calm while dealing with insolent passengers –
something that has not changed much in all these years.
passengers are particularly rude – many of them treat flight attendants like
their domestic servants,” said Tehmi Ghadialy, who served as an Indian Airlines
hostess from 1968 to 1988 and now works as a Japanese interpreter and tourist
guide in Mumbai. “I’ve told off some Bollywood celebrities and ministers for
being rude to the cabin crew.”
flipside, though, retired flight attendants are clear that they loved their
jobs more than anything else, because the field had so much excitement to
offer. Flight frequencies were lower in the ‘80s, so after a long international
flight, crew members got up to a week’s break in different parts of the world,
with five-star accommodation and opportunities to travel for free.
“It was quite a fashionable
life. I had my favourite places to shop everywhere, from Cairo to Mauritius to
Beirut,” said Elfin Fernand. A huge rock music fan, Fernand often requested for
specific flights based on the schedules of major rock concerts. “I’ve seen
every major band perform live around the world, including Led Zeppelin.”
Of course, for
flight attendants, romance was also often “in the air”. Francis Monteiro fell
in love with his wife, an air hostess and junior colleague, while at work in
the ‘80s, and the couple now have two grown daughters. More famously, Parmeshwar
Godrej and Maureen Wadia – wives of business tycoons Adi Godrej and Nusli Wadia
respectively – were once Air India hostesses who are said to have met their
spouses while hosting them on flights.
“Oh, there are
many cases of air hostesses marrying first-class passengers,” said Monteiro.
Such hitching, however, was not really a two-way street. “Which first-class
woman passenger would pay attention to male pursers?”
Ivan ran without answering, huffing as the physical strain began to wear on him. His masked purser seemed rather… Insane to be blunt. He hadn’t wanted to stay to find out what would have happened. But of course, it looked as if he was about to be cornered and he was in no shape to run for much longer. At a loss for what to do, he turned around. He felt like he was going to fall over at any moment.
Brave-heart Neerja third Chandigarh personality to feature in Bollywood film
Chandigarh, Feb 11 (IANS) Chandigarh may not be a historical city but the courage and determination of three personalities from here have put them on the country’s cinematic map.
“Neerja”, a film based on the youngest of these three, will release on February 19. It deals with the heroics of the then 23-year-old Pan Am chief flight purser Neerja Bhanot, who sacrificed her life to save the lives of several passengers from terrorists during a hijack on the ground at Karachi on September 5, 1986.
Two other blockbuster movies, “Border” (1997) had featured the battle of Longewala in which Chandigarh resident Brigadier Kuldip Singh Chandpuri (retired) had earned laurels, and in the more recent “Bhag Milkha Bhag” (2013), a biopic on ‘Flying Sikh’ and Chandigarh resident Milkha Singh, had highlighted his athletic racing days.
“I am happy that three people from Chandigarh have been featured prominently in Bollywood movies. It is a great coincidence. It is good to highlight achievements of people who have contributed for the country,” Brigadier Chandpuri, who was the first person from Chandigarh (population one million) on whom a Bollywood movie was made, told IANS at his Sector 33 residence here.
Chandpuri, who was a major during the 1971 India-Pakistan war, had held his post through the night in the famous battle of Longewala in Rajasthan with just 120 men against a full-fledged attack by advancing Pakistani Patton tanks. He was decorated with the Maha Vir Chakra (MVC) - the second highest award for bravery in battle - for the heroic stand-off against the tanks and forcing the enemy to retreat.
“This is a nice coincidence that films have been made on three people from Chandigarh. It is very good that a film has been made on the courage shown by Neerja,” her brother Aneesh Bhanot told IANS here.
“By bringing the story back to the youth, the film is doing great service to the community. Many youths don’t even know her (Neerja’s) story. The film tells them that there is nothing to fear, even as a woman, from terrorists or anyone,” Aneesh said, adding that Neerja’s family, which resides in Sector 46 here, was very happy that her story was being recreated on screen.
While “Border” was based on real-life incidents, “Bhag Milkha Bhag” and “Neerja” are biopics.
The story of legendary athlete Milkha Singh, a resident of Chandigarh’s Sector 8, was highlighted in the Farhan Akhtar-starrer directed by Rakyesh Omprakash Mehra. The film was the top grosser in 2013.
As for braveheart Neerja Bhanot, her part in the film is being played by actress Sonam Kapoor. Director Ram Madhvani said that he was content with Sonam’s performance. Leading fashion photographer Atul Kasbekar has produced the film.
“Sonam has done complete justice to her performance in 'Neerja’,” Madhvani said in Mumbai recently.
Neerja, who was the chief flight purser of Pan-Am 73 (Bombay-Karachi-Frankfurt-New York) flight, was killed in the shootout following the hijack. Libyan terrorists had entered the aircraft posing as Pakistani police personnel, carrying arms and hand grenades.
The hijack had left 20 people dead and 150 others injured after a bloodbath at the Karachi airport. There were around 200 Indian passengers on the flight, of whom 13 died while over 100 were injured.
Following her act of bravery and supreme sacrifice, Neerja was posthumously conferred the Ashoka Chakra, India’s highest peacetime gallantry award for bravery, in 1987. She became the youngest and first woman recipient of the gallantry award.
(Jaideep Sarin can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
The link above is a list of 8 Native American who identify as LGBT.
One of the stories is about “Heather Purser (shown above), a 29-year-old seafood diver for Washington’s Suquamish Tribe, who spent four years pushing for her tribe to adopt a law recognizing same-sex marriages.”
Evan Adams inSmoke Signals
Another more recognizable name is “Evan Adams,a Coast Salish from the Sliammon Band in Canada, became an overnight sensation when the 1998 sleeper hit Smoke Signals opened in theaters.”
Click the link at the top of the post to find out about the other 6 LGBT Native Americans…
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Houzz Tour: London Warehouse Becomes a Luxurious Modern Apartment (8 photos)
Converting an old Victorian warehouse from a commercial space into a luxury apartment created challenges, as well as exciting opportunities, for architect Gideon Purser, a partner at Chris Dyson Architects. “The top floor of the building was basically a [wood] shed,” he says. “Removing this gave us the…