Daily Update: Thursday, January 14th, 2016

01-14 - Ratification of the Treaty of Paris

With no Saints to honor, we note that today is the anniversary of the ratification of the Treaty of Paris (ending the Revolutionary War) on January 14th, 1784 at the Maryland State House in Annapolis, Maryland by the Confederation Congress.

The Ratification of the Treaty of Paris in 1784 officially ended the American Revolution and established the United States as a sovereign entity. The Journals of the Continental Congress had reported that the Confederation Congress issued a proclamation on April 11th, 1783, “Declaring the cessation of arms” against Great Britain. The preliminary articles of peace were approved by Congress on April 15th, 1783, and the Treaty was concluded and signed in Paris on September 3rd, 1783. Due to the severe winter of 1783-1784 (now known to be a consequence of the volcanic eruption of Laki in Iceland) only delegates from seven of the thirteen states were present when Congress convened in January 1784. According to the Articles of Confederation nine states (out of the thirteen) were required to enter into a treaty. One faction believed that seven states could ratify the treaty, arguing that they were merely ratifying and not entering into a treaty. Furthermore, it was thought unlikely that the required delegates could reach Annapolis before the ratification deadline. However, Thomas Jefferson’s faction believed that a full nine states were required to ratify the treaty. Any less would be trickery which Britain would eventually find out, giving it an excuse to nullify the treaty, and would be a “dishonorable prostitution” of the Great Seal of the United States. Jefferson was elected to head a committee of members of both factions and arrived at a compromise. Assuming that only seven states were present, Congress would pass a resolution stating that the seven states present were unanimously in favor of ratification of the treaty, but were in disagreement as to the competency of Congress to ratify with only seven states. Therefore, although only seven states were present, their unanimous agreement in favor of ratification would be used to secure peace, and the vote would not set a precedent for future decisions. The document would be forwarded to the United States ministers in Europe who would be told to wait until a treaty ratified by at least nine states could arrive, and to request a delay for three months. However, if Britain refused to wait, then the Ministers should use the seven-state ratification, pleading that a full Congress was not in session. In the event, delegates from Connecticut and South Carolina arrived at the last moment, so that nine states were able to ratify the treaty after all. Copies were sent back to Europe for ratification by the other parties involved, the first reaching France in March. British ratification occurred on April 9th, 1784, and the ratified versions were exchanged in Paris on May 12th, 1784. It was not for some time, though, that the Americans in the countryside received the news, due to the lack of communication.

Last night our LSU Men’s Basketball team won their game with Mississippi by the score of 90 to 81 (our Tigers will next play Arkansas on January 16th), and our New Orleans Pelicans won their game with the Sacramento Kings by the score of 109 t0 97.

Before I woke up Richard went to the funeral home for the wake for his friend Chookie’s father; Richard then called me (waking me up) and asked if I wanted a bacon biscuit (which I did). I got up at about 9:00 am, did my Bathroom Devotional Reading, then did my Internet Devotional Reading while eating my bacon biscuit. I then read the Thursday papers and ate my breakfast toast. I then got on the computer and did a couple of Advance Daily Update Drafts (Richard did not feel well, and did not go to the funeral for Chookie’s father), uploaded my December 2015 photos from my phone to the hard drive of my computer, then I finished reading The Ionian Mission by Patrick O’Brian, and did my Book Review of the book for this weblog and for my Goodreads and Facebook accounts. I will finish this Daily Update early; at 4:30 pm we will eat red beans and rice with cornbread while watching Jeopardy!, and then I will head for bed. Our LSU Women’s Basketball team will be playing a home game with Vanderbilt tonight; I will record the score of the game in tomorrow’s Daily Update.

Tomorrow is another day with no Saints to honor; instead we will recall that tomorrow is Louisiana Arbor Day for this year. Richard and I will return to the casino for the start of yet another Friday-to-Tuesday work week. On my breaks tomorrow I will start reading Tell The Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt. And our New Orleans Pelicans will be playing a home game with the Charlotte Hornets; I will record the score of the game in Saturday’s Daily Update.

Our Parting Quote this Thursday afternoon comes to us from Darren Shahlavi, English martial arts actor. Born in 1972 in Stockport, Cheshire, his parents were Iranian immigrants. At the age of 7 he started studying Judo in a rented acting theatre, and would arrive early to peek at the actors performing. After discovering Bruce Lee and Jackie Chan films he dreamed of being in action films and continued to train in Shotokan Karate at the age of 14 under Sensei Dave Morris and Horace Harvey, and later trained in boxing, kickboxing and Muay Thai at Master Toddy’s gym in Manchester. At the age of sixteen Shahlavi started to pursue a career in film and got the attention Hong Kong action cinema expert Bey Logan in the early 1990s; according to Bey Logan’s commentary on the Tai Chi Boxer DVD, Shahlavi would spend time at Logan’s home watching and studying and copying martial art films from Logan’s personal collection. In an interview with the Persian Mirror, Shahlavi mentioned that Logan wrote a script for him to star in, and off he went to Malaysia. However, upon arrival it became apparent there was no money in place, and Logan’s partner Mark Houghton put Shahlavi to work as a stuntman. After moving to Hong Kong in the mid-1990s to pursue a career in action cinema Shahlavi was discovered by famed martial arts choreographer and director Yuen Woo-ping, who signed him to play the bad guy opposite Jacky Wu in Tai Chi Boxer; at the time Shahlavi was working as a nightclub bouncer and a bodyguard for visiting celebrities. After Tai Chi Boxer was released in Hong Kong cinemas, Seasonal Films Corporation boss Ng See-yuen and director Tony Leung Siu-hung saw potential in Shahlavi and signed him for their Hong Kong and United States film Bloodmoon (1997); what the film lacks in plot it more than makes up for in the action scenes with Shahlavi as the villain, stars Gary Daniels and Chuck Jeffreys, and remains a favourite with hardcore martial arts film fans. He then moved into the horror genre, working with cult German gore master and splatter filmmaker Olaf Ittenbach (whose films are often banned for their extreme and graphic violence). Shahlavi starred in and choreographed fights in the films Legion of the Dead and Beyond the Limits; it is difficult to get these films in uncut form. He married Canadian kickboxer Luraina Undershute in 2000. They had no children and divorced in 2003. He also did stunts in studio films such as Universal Studios The Chronicles of Riddick, 20th Century Fox’s Night at the Museum, and Warner Bros’ 300. He often made an on-screen cameo as an inside joke, such as the sleeping guard who can’t fight in In the Name of the King: A Dungeon Siege Tale in which he was the stunt double for Ray Liotta for the fighting scenes with Jason Statham which were choreographed by Ching Siu-tung. In an interview, Shahlavi had expressed a desire to get back to making martial arts films after completing work on a film with action star Mark Dacascos, and also appeared on Intelligence, and as a guest star on the American series Reaper. In 2010 Shahlavi landed a major role in the film Ip Man 2 starring Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, Lynn Hung, and Huang Xiaoming as the villain Taylor “The Twister” Milos. Although he only appeared in the latter part of the film, his boxing fights with Hung and his eventual defeat by Yen form the climax of the film and eventually serves as the film’s main antagonist. Shahlavi appeared in the psychological dark tale thriller film Red Riding Hood, and appeared in Mortal Kombat: Legacy as Kano. Shahlavi played Devon in the 2013 film The Package alongside Dolph Lundgren and WWE Hall of Famer Stone Cold Steve Austin. Shahlavi played Cazel in the 2013 film The Marine 3: Homefront, along with Neal McDonough and WWE star Mike “The Miz” Mizanin. He appeared in his final film in the 2015 film as Eric Sloane in Kickboxer, a remake of the 1989 film of the same name, along with MMA fighter Alain Moussi, former WWE superstar Dave Bautista and original Kickboxer film star Jean-Claude Van Damme. He died in his sleep at the age of 42; the cause of death was a fatal heart attack caused by atherosclerosis (died 2015): “I only ever look back to lock my doors.”

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