Friday, November 30, 2007

SludgeSludge Background

Main article: sewage treatment The treatment process
The treatment process reduces the water content of the sludge. The basic principal is the cleaner the water is after the sludge is removed, the more toxic the sludge is going to be. This has been proven when random samplings of treated sludge are found to be filled with heavy metals, as well as chemical residues that are not removed by the treatment process. The treatment process does not remove 100% of the pathogens, and in many cases pathogen regrowth after spreading is significant.

Benefits of treatment
Treated biosolids can be produced in cake, granular, pellet[1] or liquid form and are spread over land before being incorporated into the soil or injected directly into the soil by specialist contractors.


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Brooke Lisa Burke (born September 8, 1971) is an American television personality and model, known for hosting Wild On! (1999-2002) and Rock Star. (2005-present)

Burke was born as the fourth of seven children in Hartford, Connecticut to Donna and George Burke, and was raised in Tucson, Arizona. She is Jewish (through her mother) and was raised in the Jewish religion; she also has Irish, French and Portuguese ancestry. She studied broadcast journalism at UCLA, but was signed to top modeling agencies, including the renowned Ford Models Agency, and subsequently appeared in prominent television commercials for Bally Fitness clubs, Coca-Cola, and Discover Card. She went to both Palo Verde and Sahuaro high school in Tucson,Az.

Brooke Burke Personal life

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Acts of English Parliament to 1601 Acts of English Parliament to 1641 Acts and Ordinances (Interregnum) to 1660 Acts of English Parliament to 1699 Acts of English Parliament to 1706 Acts of Parliament of Scotland Acts of Irish Parliament to 1700 Acts of Irish Parliament to 1800
1707–1719 | 1720–1739 | 1740–1759 1760–1779 | 1780–1800 | 1801–1819 1820–1839 | 1840–1859 | 1860–1879 1880–1899 | 1900–1919 | 1920–1939 1940–1959 | 1960–1979 | 1980–1999Bubble Act 2000–Present
The Bubble Act of 1720 (Officially titled the Royal Exchange and London Assurance Corporation Act 1719) was an Act of the Parliament of Great Britain (citation 6 Geo. 1, c. 18) that forbade all joint-stock companies not authorised by royal charter. While a common misconception is that the Act was passed to prevent a repeat of the South Sea Bubble, in reality the Act was passed to prevent other companies from competing with the South Sea Company for investors' capital. In fact, the Act was passed in June 1720, before the peak of the bubble. The Act was repealed in 1825.
Under the terms of the act, the Royal Exchange Assurance Corporation and the London Assurance Corporation were granted charters to write marine insurance. Until 1824 they remained the only joint-stock firms with such a charter.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The principal role of the Bank of Canada, as defined in the Bank of Canada Act, is "to promote the economic and financial welfare of Canada." The bank's current mission statement is:
The Bank of Canada's responsibilities focus on the goals of low and stable inflation, a safe and secure currency, financial stability, and the efficient management of government funds and public debt.
In practice, however, it has a more narrow and specific internal definition of that mandate: to keep the rate of inflation between 1% and 3%. This objective has been criticized as hurting Canada's working class, because companies tend to lay off workers when interest rates rise.
Since 1998, it has also nearly totally abandoned its management of the foreign exchange rate of the Canadian Dollar.

Roles and Responsibilities
The Bank is not a government department as it performs its activities at arm's-length from the government. The Governor and Senior Deputy Governor are appointed by the Bank's Board of Directors. The Deputy Minister of Finance sits on the Board of Directors but does not have a vote. The Bank submits its spending to the Board of Directors, while federal departments submit their spending estimates to the Treasury Board. Its employees are regulated by the Bank and not the federal public service agencies. Its books are audited by external auditors who are appointed by Cabinet on the recommendation of the Minister of Finance, not by the Auditor General of Canada.
Reserves: Canada does not have a set amount that they must keep in reserves. They do have a desired reserve ratio meaning they are free to determine the prudent level of reserves.

Bank of Canada Type of Government Institution
The head of the Bank of Canada is the Governor, who is appointed by the bank's board of directors. The governor is appointed for a seven-year term, and cannot be dismissed by the government. In case of a profound disagreement between the government and the bank, the Minister of Finance can issue written instructions for the bank to change its policies. This has never actually happened in the history of the bank to date. In practice, the governor sets monetary policy independently of the government.

Bank of Canada Governors

Canadian dollar
List of banks in Canada

Monday, November 26, 2007

Ticker-tape parade
A ticker-tape parade is a parade event, held in a downtown urban setting, allowing the jettison of large amounts of shredded paper products from nearby office buildings onto the parade route, creating a triumphal effect by the snowstorm-like flurry.
The term originated in New York City after a spontaneous celebration held on October 29, 1886 during the dedication of the Statue of Liberty, and is still most closely associated with New York City. The term ticker-tape referred originally to the use of the paper output of ticker tape machines, which were remotely-driven devices used in brokerages to provide updated stock market quotes. Nowadays, the paper products are largely waste office paper that have been cut using conventional shredders.
In New York City, ticker-tape parades are not annual events but are reserved for special occasions. Soon after the first such parade in 1886, city officials realized the utility of such events and began to hold them on triumphal occasions, at first only for extraordinary events, such as the return of Theodore Roosevelt from his safari in Africa [1], and Charles Lindbergh's trans-Atlantic flight. Following World War II several ticker tape parades were given in honor of victorious generals and admirals including Eisenhower and Nimitz. However, the largest ticker tape parade of all, was given for World War II and Korean War General Douglas MacArthur in 1951.
Up through the 1950s, they were commonly given to any visiting head of state, such as Habib Bourguiba representing the fight over colonalisation, but in the 1960s, following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, they became increasingly rare. They are generally reserved now for space exploration triumphs, military honors and sports championships. The section of lower Broadway through the Financial District that serves as the parade route for these events is colloquially called the "Canyon of Heroes". Lower Broadway in New York City has plaques in the sidewalk at regular intervals to celebrate each of the city's ticker-tape parades.

Ticker-tape parade Trivia

Jenny Owen Youngs mentions confetti and a ticker-tape parade in her song 'Lightning Rod' from her album Batten the Hatches.
Regina Spektor mentions a ticker-tape parade toward the end of her song 'Pavlov's Daughter' from her album 11:11.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Ubykh or Ubyx is a language of the Northwestern Caucasian group, spoken by the Ubykh people up until the early 1990s.
The word is derived from /wəbəx/, its name in the Abdzakh Adyghe (Circassian) language. It is known in linguistic literature by many names: variants of Ubykh, such as Ubikh, Ubıh (Turkish) and Oubykh (French); and Pekhi (from Ubykh /tʷaχə/) and its Germanicised variant Päkhy.

Major features

See Ubykh phonology for information on the phonetics of Ubykh.

Ubykh is agglutinative and polysynthetic: /ʃəkʲʼaajəfanamət/ we shall not be able to go back, /awqʼaqʼajtʼba/ if you had said it. Ubykh is often extremely concise in its word forms.
The boundaries between nouns and verbs in Ubykh is somewhat blurred. Any noun can be used as the root of a stative verb (/məzə/ child, /səməzəjtʼ/ I was a child), and many verb roots can become nouns simply by the use of noun affixes (/qʼa/ to say, /səqʼa/ my speech, what I say).

The noun system in Ubykh is quite simple. Ubykh has three noun cases (the oblique-ergative case may be two homophonous cases with differing function, thus presenting four cases in total):
The instrumental (-/awn(ə)/ by means of, by using) was also treated as a case in Dumézil (1975). Another pair of postpositions, -/laaq/ to(wards) and -/ʁaafa/ for, have been noted as synthetic datives (/aχʲəlaaq astʷadaw/ I will send it to the prince), but their status as cases is also best discounted.
Nouns do not distinguish grammatical gender. The definite article is /a/- the: /atət/ the man. There is no indefinite article directly equivalent to the English a or an, but /za/-(root)-/gʷara/ (literally one-(root)-certain) translates French un and Turkish bir: /zanaynʃʷgʷara/ a certain young man.
Number is only marked on the noun in the ergative case, with -/na/. The number marking of the absolutive argument is either by suppletive verb roots (e.g. /akʷən blas/ he is in the car vs /akʷən blaʒʷa/ they are in the car) or by verb suffixes: /akʲʼan/ he goes, /akʲʼaan/ they go. Interestingly, the second person plural prefix /ɕʷ/- triggers this plural suffix regardless of whether that prefix represents the ergative, the absolutive or the oblique argument:
Note that in this last sentence, the plurality of it (/a/-) is obscured; the meaning can be either I give it to you all or I gave them to you all.
Adjectives, in most cases, are simply suffixed to the noun: /tʃəbʒəja/ pepper with /pɬə/ red becomes /tʃəbʒəjapɬə/ red pepper. Adjectives do not decline.
Postpositions are rare; most locative semantic functions, as well as some non-local ones, are provided with preverbal elements: /asχʲawtxqʼa/ you wrote it for me. However, there are a few postpositions: /səʁʷa səgʲaatɕʼ/ like me; /aχʲəlaaq/ near the prince.

direct or absolutive case, marked with the bare root; this indicates the subject of an intransitive sentence and the direct object of a transitive sentence (/tət/ a man)
oblique-ergative case, marked in -/n/; this indicates either the subject of a transitive sentence, targets of preverbs, or indirect objects which do not take any other suffixes (/məzən/ (to) a child)
locative case, marked in -/ʁa/, which is the equivalent of English in, on or at.
/ɕʷastʷaan/ I give you all to him (abs.)
/səɕʷəntʷaan/ he gives me to you all (obl.)
/asəɕʷtʷaan/ you all give it/them to me (erg.) Nouns
(Dumézil 1975 passim) A past-present-future distinction of verb tense exists (the suffixes -/qʼa/ and -/awt/ represent past and future) and an imperfective aspect suffix is also found (-/jtʼ/, which can combine with tense suffixes). Dynamic and stative verbs are contrasted, as in Arabic, and verbs have several nominal forms. Morphological causatives are not uncommon. The conjunctions and and but are usually given with verb suffixes, but there is also a free particle for each:
Pronominal benefactives are also part of the verbal complex, marked with the preverb /χʲa/-, but a benefactive cannot normally appear on a verb that has three agreement prefixes already.
Gender only appears as part of the second person paradigm, and then only at the speaker's discretion. The feminine second person index is /χa/-, which behaves like other pronominal prefixes: /wəsχʲantʷən/ he gives (it) to you (normal; gender-neutral) for me, but compare /χasχʲantʷən/ he gives (it) to you (feminine) for me.

-/gʲə/ and (free particle /ve/, borrowed from Turkish);
-/gʲəla/ but, however, although (free particle /aʁʷa/ Verbs
A few meanings covered in English by adverbs or auxiliary verbs are given in Ubykh by verb suffixes:

/asfəpχa/ I need to eat it
/asfəfan/ I can eat it
/asfəgʲan/ I eat it all the time
/asfəlan/ I am eating it all up
/asfətɕʷan/ I eat it too much
/asfaajən/ I eat it again Adverbials
Questions may be marked grammatically, using verb suffixes or prefixes:
Other types of questions, involving the pronouns where and what, may also be marked only in the verbal complex: /maawkʲʼanəj/ where are you going?, /saawqʼaqʼajtʼəj/ what had you said?

Yes-no questions with -/ɕ/: /wana awbjaqʼaɕ/? did you see that?
Complex questions with -/j/: /saakʲʼa wəpʼtsʼaj/? what is your name? Questions
Many local, prepositional, and other functions are provided by preverbal elements providing a large series of applicatives, and it is in this that Ubykh is hideously complex. Two main types of preverbal elements exist in Ubykh: determinants and preverbs. The number of preverbs is limited, and mainly show location and direction. The number of determinants is also limited, but the class is more open; some determinant prefixes include /tʃa/- with regard to a horse and /ɬa/- with regard to the foot or base of an object.
For simple locations, there are a number of possibilities that can be encoded with preverbs, including (but not limited to):
There is also a separate directional preverb meaning towards the speaker: j-, which occupies a separate slot in the verbal complex. However, preverbs can have meanings that would take up entire phrases in English. The preverb /jtɕʷʼaa/- signifies on the earth or in the earth, for instance: /ʁadja ajtɕʷʼaanaaɬqʼa/ they buried his body (lit. they put his body in the earth). Even more narrowly, the preverb /faa/- signifies that an action is done out of, into or with regard to a fire: /amdʒan zatʃətʃaqʲa faastχʷən/ I take a brand out of the fire.

above and touching
above and not touching
below and touching
below and not touching
at the side of
through a space
through solid matter
on a flat horizontal surface
on a non-horizontal or vertical surface
in a homogeneous mass
in an upward direction
in a downward direction
into a tubular space
into an enclosed space Preverbs and determinants

Ubykh syllables have a strong tendency to be CV, although VC and CVC also exist. Consonant clusters are not so large as in Abzhui Abkhaz or in Georgian, rarely being larger than two terms. Three-term clusters exist in two words - /ndʁa/ sun and /psta/ to swell up, but the latter is a loan from Adyghe, and the former more often pronounced /nədʁa/ when it appears alone. Compounding plays a large part in Ubykh and, indeed, in all Northwest Caucasian semantics. There is no verb to love, for instance; one says I love you as /tʂʼanə wəzbjan/ I see you well.
Reduplication occurs in some roots, often those with onomatopoeic values (/χˁaχˁa/ to curry(comb) from /χˁa/ to scrape; /kʼərkʼər/, to cluck like a chicken (a loan from Adyghe); /warqwarq/, to croak like a frog).
Roots and affixes can be as small as one phoneme. The word /wantʷaan/ they give you to him, for instance, contains six phonemes, and each is a separate morpheme:
However, some words may be as long as seven syllables (although these are usually compounds): /ʂəqʷʼawəɕaɬaadətʃa/ staircase.

/w/ - 2nd singular absolutive
/a/ - 3rd singular dative
/n/ - 3rd ergative
/tʷ/ - to give
/aa/ - ergative plural
/n/ - present tense Ubykh language Native vocabulary
As with all other languages, Ubykh is replete with idioms. The word /ntʷa/ door, for instance, is an idiom meaning either magistrate, court or government. However, idiomatic constructions are even more common in Ubykh than in most other languages; the representation of abstract ideas with series of concrete elements is a characteristic of the Northwest Caucasian family. I love you translates literally as I see you well; you please me is literally you cut my heart. The term /wərəs/ Russian, a Turkish loan, has come to be a slang term meaning infidel, non-Muslim or enemy (see section History).

Slang and idioms
The majority of loanwords in Ubykh are derived from either Adyghe or Turkish, with smaller numbers from Persian, Abkhaz and the South Caucasian languages. Towards the end of Ubykh's life, a large influx of Adyghe words was noted; Vogt (1963) notes a few hundred examples. The phonemes /g/ /k/ /kʼ/ were borrowed from Turkish and Adyghe. /ɬʼ/ also appears to be an Adyghe loan, although at a greater time depth. It is possible, too, that /ɣ/ is a loan from Adyghe, since most of the few words with this phoneme are obvious Adyghe loans: /paaɣa/ proud, /ɣa/ testis.
Many loanwords have Ubykh equivalents, but were dwindling in usage under the influence of Turkish, Circassian and Russian equivalents:
Some words, usually much older ones, are borrowed from less influential stock: Colarusso (1994) sees /χˁʷa/ pig as a borrowing from a proto-Semitic *huka, and /agʲarə/ slave from an Iranian root.

/bərwə/ to make a hole in, to perforate (Turkish) = /pɕaatχʷ/
/tʃaaj/ tea (Turkish) = /bzəpʂə/
/wərəs/ enemy (Turkish) = /bˁaqˁʼa/ Foreign loans
In the scheme of Northwest Caucasian evolution, despite its parallels with Abkhaz, Ubykh forms a separate third branch of the family. It has fossilised palatal class markers where all other Northwest Caucasian languages preserve traces of an original labial class: the Ubykh word for heart, /gʲə/, corresponds to the reflex /gʷə/ in Abkhaz, Abaza, Kabardian and Adyghe. Ubykh also possesses groups of pharyngealised consonants otherwise found in the Northwest Caucasian family only in some dialects of Abkhaz and Abaza. All other NWC languages possess true pharyngeal consonants, but Ubykh is the only language to use pharyngealisation as a feature of secondary articulation.
With regard to the other languages of the family, Ubykh is closer to Abkhaz than to any other member, but shares many features with Adyghe due to geographic and cultural influence; many Ubykh speakers were bilingual in Ubykh and Adyghe.

While not many dialects of Ubykh existed, one divergent dialect of Ubykh has been noted (in Dumézil 1965:266-269). Grammatically, it is similar to standard Ubykh, but has a very different sound system, which had collapsed into just 62-odd phonemes:

/dʷ/ /tʷ/ /tʷʼ/ have collapsed into /b/ /p/ /pʼ/.
/ɕʷ/ /ʑʷ/ are indistinguishable from /ʃʷ/ /ʒʷ/.
/ɣ/ seems to have disappeared.
Pharyngealisation is no longer distinctive, having been replaced in many cases by geminate consonants.
Palatalisation of the uvular consonants is no longer phonemic. Dialects
Ubykh was spoken in the eastern coast of the Black Sea around Sochi until 1864, when the Ubykhs were driven out of the region by the Russians. They eventually came to settle in Turkey, founding the villages of Hacı Osman, Kırkpınar, Masukiye and Hacı Yakup. Turkish and Circassian eventually became the preferred languages for everyday communication, and many words from these languages entered Ubykh in that period.
The Ubykh language died out on October 7, 1992, when its last fluent speaker (Tevfik Esenç) died in his sleep. Fortunately, before that time thousands of pages of material and many audio recordings had been collected and collated by a number of linguists, including Georges Charachidzé, Georges Dumézil, Hans Vogt and George Hewitt, with the help of some of its last speakers, particularly Tevfik Esenç and Huseyin Kozan. Ubykh was never written by its speech community, but a few phrases were transcribed by Evliya Celebi in his Seyahatname, and a substantial portion of the oral literature, along with some cycles of the Nart saga, was transcribed. Tevfik Esenç also eventually learned to write Ubykh in the transcription that Dumézil devised.
Julius von Mészáros, a Hungarian linguist, visited Turkey in 1930 and took down some notes on Ubykh. His work Die Päkhy-Sprache was extensive and accurate to the extent allowed by his transcription system (which could not represent all the phonemes of Ubykh), and marked the foundation of Ubykh linguistics.
The Frenchman Georges Dumézil also visited Turkey in 1930 to record some Ubykh, and would eventually become the most celebrated Ubykh linguist of all time. He published a collection of Ubykh folktales in the late 1950s, and the language soon attracted the attention of linguists for its small number (two) of phonemic vowels. Hans Vogt, a Norwegian, produced a monumental dictionary that, in spite of its many errors (later corrected by Dumézil), is still one of the masterpieces and essential tools of Ubykh linguistics.
Later in the 1960s and into the early 1970s, Dumézil published a series of papers on Ubykh etymology in particular and Northwest Caucasian etymology in general. Dumézil's book Le Verbe Oubykh (1975), a comprehensive account of the verbal and nominal morphology of the language, is another cornerstone of Ubykh linguistics.
Since the 1980s, Ubykh linguistics has slowed drastically. No other major treatises have been published; however, the Dutch linguist Rieks Smeets is currently trying to compile a new Ubykh dictionary based on Vogt's 1963 book, and a similar project is also underway in Australia. The Ubykh themselves have shown interest in relearning their difficult language.
People who have published literature on Ubykh include

Brian George Hewitt
Catherine Paris
Christine Leroy
Georg Bossong
Georges Dumézil
Hans Vogt
John Colarusso
Julius von Mészáros
Rieks Smeets
Tevfik Esenç
Wim Lucassen Samples of Ubykh

Caucasian languages

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal is a canal in the Midlands of England, passing through the counties of Staffordshire and Worcestershire. It runs for 46 miles (74 km) from the River Severn at Stourport in Worcestershire to the Trent and Mersey Canal at Haywood Junction by Great Haywood.
Built between 1766 and 1771 the canal was opened to trade in 1772. It was engineered by James Brindley as part of his Grand Cross plan for waterways connecting Hull, Liverpool and Bristol.
Trade declined when the newer Worcester and Birmingham Canal opened in the early 1800's.
In 1959 the canal was planned to be closed, but was saved through the efforts of a volunteer group - the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Society.

Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal Linked canals
The canal is linked (in order, from the Severn) to:
The canal today forms part of the Stourport Ring, which is one of the popular cruising rings for leisure boating.

Stourbridge Canal at Stourton Junction
BCN Main Line at Aldersley Junction
Shropshire Union Canal at Autherley Junction
Hatherton Canal, curently derelict but under proposals for restoration) at Hatherton Junction

Friday, November 23, 2007

Filipino martial arts
Filipino martial arts (FMA) integrates a "system-of-systems" approach to combat readiness. Filipinos have made significant sacrifices to develop their arts. Throughout the ages multi-cultural, multi-national invaders of the Philippines imposed new dynamics for human conflict and combat. FMA, the "system-of-systems" transformed itself as a direct result of an appreciation of their ever changing environment and circumstance. The Filipinos' intrinsic need for self-preservation was the evolutionary genesis of these analogous systems. They learned often out of necessity how to prioritize, allocate and utilize common resources in combative situations. Filipinos have been heavily influenced by the phenomenon of cultural and language mixture. The multitude of languages spoken in the 7,107 islands have not only diverged into dialects, but they have been constantly mixing with one another on all levels: vocabulary, grammar, syntax, and usage (see Languages of the Philippines). As a result, Filipino martial arts and its homogeneous systems comprise a vocabulary of heterogeneous terms. Change is the norm. Some of the specific mechanisms responsible for cultural and martial change extend from phenomena such as war, political systems, social systems, technology and trade. For over three hundred years the Spanish had control over much of the Philippines. The Spanish regime often enforced royal laws and decrees limiting and prohibiting weapons use by the indigenous people. These restrictions of use were partly responsible for secretive and underground nature of FMA. Spaniards often employed Filipino warriors known as eskrimadors for various battles and wars. The Filipinos' battle-tested tactics proved strategically effective from angle of old world weaponry and hand to hand conflict. Highly skilled Filipino martial artists are often characterized by a state of "flow" that is decisively responsive, deployable, agile, versatile, lethal, survivable, and sustainable. In 1972, the Philippine government included Filipino martial arts into the "Palarong Pambansa" or National Sports arena. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sports also included it as part of the physical education curriculum for high school and college students. Knowledge of the Filipino martial arts is mandatory in the Philippine military and police. Today, the traditional Filipino martial systems continue to grow, new ones emerge, and new transitional FMA stylists continue to arrive on the martial arts scene.
Note: This page is meant to serve as broad overview of the core components and advanced capabilities supporting the Filipino martial arts. The three major branches of Filipino martial arts are "Arnis" typically from the northern Luzon regions, "Escrima" or "Eskrima" from the central Visayas regions, and "Kali" from the southern Mindanao regions. Within these branches dwell a long line of masters, families, systems and history. Most Filipino systems will associate with one of these terms and their respective Regions of the Philippines.
Ranking systems, proficiency levels and terminology can differ greatly from system to system, organization to organization. FMA instructors employ a wide range of training methods to demonstrate the knowledge, skill and best practices necessary to address a situation and to assess their students understanding and proficiency. Mastery is not identical. Thus, higher or lower levels of proficiency can be applied to each assessment/training method depending upon the maturity of a particular student. These individual exchanges/assessments can then be used to identify gaps in proficiency for individuals within specific areas.
Martial arts ranking systems are a modern adaptation that developed during the commercialization eras of karate. For example: Shotokan Karate master Gichin Funakoshi's original ranking system consisted of: white belt: five kyūs; brown belt: three kyus; black belt: five dans.
FMA has not become a highly commercialized art, therefore it has retained its traditional forms hierarchy: master/instructor/student; or grandfather/father/son. Some FMA systems have adopted or created their own ranking systems.

Filipino martial arts - Basic training and tactical methods
List of eskrima systems

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Murasaki Shikibu
Murasaki Shikibu (紫式部 c. 973–c. 1014 or 1025) was a Japanese novelist, poet, and a maid of honor of the imperial court during the Heian period. She was born about 973 in Kyoto, Japan. "Murasaki Shikibu" was not her real name; her actual name is unknown, though some scholars have postulated that her given name might have been Takako (for Fujiwara Takako). Her diary states that she was nicknamed "Murasaki" ("purple wisteria blossom") at court, after a character in The Tale of Genji. "Shikibu" refers to her father's position in the Bureau of Ceremony (shikibu-shō). She was born in a family of minor nobility and a member of the northern branch of the Fujiwara clan. She either died in 1014, when records show that her father suddenly returned to Kyoto from his governor's mansion, or between 1025 and 1031, when she would have been in her mid-50s, fairly old by Heian standards.


Sei Shōnagon - court rival and fellow contemporary diarist
Ono no Takamura - an earlier Japanese poet whose grave is situated across from Lady Murasaki's

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Coordinates: 50.383° N 4.183° W
Her Majesty's Naval Base (HMNB) Devonport (HMS Drake), is one of three operating bases for the Royal Navy (the others being HMNB Clyde and HMNB Portsmouth). HMNB Devonport is located in Devonport, in the west of the city of Plymouth in Devon. It is the largest naval base in Western Europe and is the sole nuclear repair and refuelling facility for the Royal Navy. The adjacent Royal Dockyard is owned and operated by Devonport Management Limited (DML) and is commonly called Devonport Dockyard.
In 2006 the Ministry of Defence announced that a review would be undertaken to examine the future of the three Naval Bases. The Naval Base Review is seeking to examine the long term future needs of the Royal Navy, with the most likely outcome being either retaining the three current Naval Bases, but with reduced capacity in each, or closing one of the two on the south coast of England. The results of the review, released in 2007, have stipulated no base closures.
HM Naval Base Devonport is the home port of the largest ship in the Royal Navy HMS Ocean.

With 14 dry docks (Docks Numbered 1 to 15, but there is no 13 Dock) , four miles (6km) of waterfront, 25 tidal berths, five basins and an area of 650 acres (2.6 km²) the Royal Navy Dockyard is the largest naval base in Western Europe and is the base for seven of the Trafalgar class nuclear powered hunter killer submarines and the main refitting base for all Royal Navy nuclear submarines. Work was completed by Carillion in 2002 to build a refitting dock to support the Vanguard class Trident missile nuclear ballistic missile submarines.
Locals and tourists have long been able to visit the Dockyard during Navy Days, a three day event where visitors can tour the facility, go on active naval ships and watch various displays of naval prowess. Among the most popular attractions is the nuclear powered submarine HMS Courageous, used in the Falklands War.
Devonport serves as headquarters for Flag Officer Sea Training, which is responsible for the training of all the ships of the Navy and Royal Fleet Auxiliary, along with many from foreign naval services.

Many ships are based at the port, known as the Devonport Flotilla. This includes the Navy's assault ships HMS Ocean, HMS Albion and HMS Bulwark. It also serves as home port to most of the hydrographic surveying fleet of the Navy, the Trafalgar-class submarines and a substantial number of Type 22 and Type 23 frigates.

Seinfeld Devonport Flotilla

HMS Ocean Landing Platform Helicopter (LPH)
HMS Albion Landing Platform Dock (LPD)
HMS Bulwark LPD Amphibious Ships

HMS Campbeltown
HMS Cornwall
HMS Chatham
HMS Cumberland Trafalgar class submarines
Navy Days happens once every two years when for three days at the end of August a large percentage of Devonport dockyard is open to the general public. There is an opportunity of view the facilities at the naval base as well as the large number of Royal Navy vessels present. There are a large number of stands and displays present which provide a large amount of information on some the less well know aspects of the Royal Navy, for example the Royal Navy submarine rescue service.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Nikolai Luzin
Nikolai Nikolaevich Luzin, Russian: Никола́й Никола́евич Лу́зин (December 9, 1883, IrkutskJanuary 28, 1950, Moscow), was a Soviet/Russian mathematician. He was noted for his work in descriptive set theory and aspects of mathematical analysis with strong connections to point-set topology. He was the eponym of Luzitania, a loose grouping of young Moscow mathematicians in the first half of the 1920s. They adopted his set-theoretic orientation, and went on to apply it in other areas of mathematics.
He started studying mathematics in 1901 at Moscow University, where his advisor was Dimitri Egorov. From 1910 to 1914 he studied at Göttingen, where he was influenced by Edmund Landau. He then resurned to Moscow and received Ph.D. in 1915. During Russian Civil War (19181920) Luzin left Moscow for the Polytechnical Institute Ivanovo-Voznesensk (now called Ivanovo State University of Chemistry and Technology). He returned to Moscow in 1920.
In the 1920s Luzin organized a famous research seminar at Moscow University. His doctoral students included some of the most famous Soviet mathematicians: Pavel Aleksandrov, Nina Bari, Aleksandr Khinchin, Andrey Kolmogorov, Alexander Kronrod, Mikhail Lavrentyev, Lazar Lyusternik, Pyotr Novikov, Lev Schnirelmann, and Pavel Urysohn.
In July-August 1936 Luzin was criticised in Pravda in a series of articles. It was alleged that he published "would-be scientific papers," "felt no shame in declaring the discoveries of his students to be his own achievements," stood close to the ideology of the "black hundred", orthodoxy, and monarchy "fascist-type modernized but slightly." Luzin was claimed at a special trial of a Commission of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR which endorsed all accusitions of Luzin as an enemy under the mask of a Soviet citizen. The method of political insinuations and slander was used against the old Muscovite professorship many years before the article in Pravda. The declaration of November 21, 1930 of the "initiative group" of the Moscow Mathematical Society which consisted of L. A. Lyusternik, L. G. Shnirelman, A. O. Gelfond , and L. S. Pontryagin claimed that "there appeared active counter-revolutionaries among mathematicians." Some of these were pointed out, namely, D. F. Egorov who had been arrested shortly before the declaration.
The political offensive against Luzin was launched by not only Stalin's repressive ideological authorities but also a group of Luzin's students headed by Pavel Alexandrov. Althought the Commission convicted Luzin, he was not expelled from the Academy nor arrested, presumably due to an oral direction of Stalin. However, he was never rehabilitated even after the death of Stalin. His students, participating in his political execution, never showed any remorse. The Luzin case was a prologue to the years of Stalin's repressions and political attacks on genetics, relativity, and other trains of free scientific thought.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Lesser Antilles, also known as the Caribbees, are part of the Antilles, which together with the Bahamas and Greater Antilles form the West Indies. The islands are part of a long volcanic island arc, most of which wraps around the eastern end of the Caribbean Sea on the western boundary with the Atlantic Ocean, and some of which lies on the southern fringe of the sea just north of South America. The Lesser Antilles more or less coincide with the outer edge of the Caribbean Plate, and many of the islands were formed by subduction, as one or more other plates slipped under the Caribbean Plate.

Lesser Antilles Regional terminology
The two main groups of the Lesser Antilles are the Windward Islands in the south and the Leeward Islands in the north. The Windward Islands are called such because they were more windward to sailing ships arriving in the New World than the Leeward Islands, given that the prevailing trade winds blow east to west. The trans-Atlantic currents and winds that provided the fastest route across the ocean brought these ships to the rough dividing line between the Windward and Leeward Islands. The Netherlands Antilles, divided into two groups, one off the coast of Venezuela and one in the Leeward Islands, is also a part of the Lesser Antilles.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

For other meanings see Zygote (disambiguation).
A zygote (Greek: ζυγωτόν) is a cell that is the result of fertilization. That is, two haploid cells—usually (but not always) an ovum from a female and a sperm cell from a male—merge into a single diploid cell called the zygote (or zygocyte).
Animal zygotes undergo mitotic cell divisions to become an embryo. Other organisms may undergo meiotic cell division at this time (for more information refer to biological life cycles).

ZygoteZygote In other species
A biparental zygote is a Chlamydomonas zygote that contains chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) from both parents.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Eaton Hodgkinson
Eaton A. Hodgkinson (February 26, 1789 - June 18, 1861) was an English engineer, a pioneer of the application of mathematics to problems of structural design.

Scientific work
Hodgkinson was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1841 and, in 1847, he became professor of the mechanical principles of engineering at University College London. In 1849, he was appointed by the UK Parliament to participate in a Royal Commission to investigate the application of iron in railroad structures, performing some early investigations of metal fatigue.
Towards the end of his life, his mental faculties failed and he died at Higher Broughton, Salford.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Ernest Thomas
Ernest Thomas may refer to:
Ernest Thomas, the actor from the television series What's Happening!!
Ernest Thomas of the "Groveland Four" who were accused of rape in 1949.
Sgt. Ernest Ivy Thomas, Jr..

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Andrew "Drew" John Lachey (born August 8, 1976 in Cincinnati, Ohio) is an American singer and actor, best known as a member of 98 Degrees, the winner of the second season of Dancing with the Stars, and the younger brother of Nick Lachey.

Drew Lachey Biography
Lachey was a member of the pop group 98 Degrees, alongside his brother Nick, and other band members, Justin Jeffre and Jeff Timmons. Prior to 98 Degress, he was a combat medic in the United States Army, worked in a deli, and was a camp counselor. Since 98 Degrees, Lachey made a guest appearance on Hollywood Squares in 2001, performed on Broadway as Mark Cohen in the musical Rent from January 3 to March 21, 2005, and has also had several guest appearances on Nick's MTV show Newlyweds: Nick and Jessica.
Lachey was a celebrity contestant on the second season of Dancing with the Stars with professional dance partner Cheryl Burke. At the beginning of the sixth week of competition (aired in February of 2006), Lachey and Burke earned a perfect score of 30 with their tango. In the eighth and final week, they earned a score of 30 on each of their two dances, the Paso Doble and freestyle, giving them the highest score for the week. On February 26, 2006, they were crowned the champions of Dancing with the Stars.
Lachey co-hosted the 2006 Miss USA pageant with Access Hollywood star Nancy O'Dell. The pageant aired live on NBC from Baltimore, Maryland on April 21, 2006.
Lachey married Lea Dellecave on October 14, 2000. They were childhood and high school sweethearts and she was the choreographer for 98 Degrees, as well as one of the dancers. Their first child, daughter Isabella Claire Lachey, was born on March 23, 2006 in Los Angeles, California, weighing 7lbs. 2oz.
From December 2006 to February 2007, Drew toured both Canada and USA for the Dancing with the Stars Tour. On the April 17, 2007 results show, Lachey made a surprise appearance to reprise his Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy freestyle dance with Cheryl Burke.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Uncle Vanya
Uncle Vanya is a tragicomedy by the Russian playwright Anton Chekhov published in 1899. Its first major performance was in 1900 under the direction of Konstantin Stanislavski.
Uncle Vanya is unique among Chekhov's major plays because it is essentially an extensive reworking of a play published a decade earlier, The Wood Demon. By elucidating the specific revisions Chekhov made during the revision process, including reducing the cast-list from almost two-dozen down to a lean nine, changing the climactic suicide of the The Wood Demon into the famous failed homicide of Uncle Vanya, and altering the original happy ending into a more problematic, less final resolution, critics such as Donald Rayfield, Richard Gilman, and Eric Bentley have sought to chart the development of Chekhov's dramaturgical method through the 1890s.
Uncle Vanya was published in 1899, but it is difficult to determine when the work was originally finished, or when the revision process took place. Rayfield cites recent scholarship suggesting Chekhov revisited The Wood Demon during his trip to the island of Sakhalin, a prison colony in Eastern Russia, in 1891.

Several well-known film versions of Uncle Vanya exist.
Actors who have appeared in notable stage productions of Uncle Vanya include Constantin Stanislavsky, Olga Knipper, Anthony Sher, Ian McKellen, William Hurt, George C. Scott and Trevor Eve.

Dyadya Vanya, an exceptional Russian film version, adapted and directed by Andrei Mikhalkov-Konchalovsky in 1972
A film version of the star-studded 1963 Chichester Festival stage production, directed for the stage and starring Sir Laurence Olivier ("The finest Uncle Vanya we shall ever see in English," according to one critic.)
Country Life, an Australian adaptation, stars Sam Neill as the country doctor.
Sir Anthony Hopkins directed and starred in August, an English film adaptation.
A 1994 American film version, adapted by David Mamet and directed by Louis Malle, was titled Vanya on 42nd Street. It stars Wallace Shawn and Julianne Moore. This version was originally a little-known studio production, and was later adapted for the screen, where it garnered wider acclaim.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Sixto Lezcano
Sixto Joaquin Lezcano Curras (born November 28, 1953 in Arecibo, Puerto Rico) is a retired baseball player who played for 12 seasons as an outfielder in the Major Leagues between 1974 and 1985. He played for 5 different teams in the Majors and won a Gold Glove during his career.
Lezcano was originally signed as an amateur in 1970 by the Milwaukee Brewers. After developing in their minor league system, Lezcano reached the big leagues for the first time in 1974. He became the Brewers' starting right fielder in 1975, a job he would hold for the next 6 seasons. He showed a particularly strong throwing arm in right field, and led American League outfielders in assists in 1978.
His best offensive numbers came in 1979, when he finished among the top 10 in the AL in batting average and home runs, and finished with the third-highest slugging percentage in the American League. That season, he was honored for his defensive skills with the only Gold Glove of his major league career.
After the 1980 season, he was part of a blockbuster 7-player trade with the St. Louis Cardinals, being one of four players traded in exchange for Rollie Fingers, Pete Vuckovich, and Ted Simmons. He wasn't able to consistently crack the starting lineup in St. Louis, and batted .266 with the Cardinals in 1981.
He was involved in another major trade after the 1981 season, being traded to the San Diego Padres with Garry Templeton for Ozzie Smith. He hit well in his first year with the Padres, and was among the top 10 in the NL in on base percentage. However, his numbers fell off with the Padres in the 1983 season, and he lost his job in right field to a young Tony Gwynn. He was eventually traded to the Philadelphia Phillies late in the year in exchange for 4 players to be named later.
Lezcano joined a Phillies team which would go on to win the National League pennant in 1983. He platooned with Joe Lefebvre during the postseason, and homered off of Rick Honeycutt during the NLCS. He had one base hit in eight at-bats in the Phillies' World Series loss.
He continued to platoon with Philadelphia in 1984 before leaving the team as a free agent. He signed for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1985 and served as one of the team's pinch hitters. The Pirates released him in spring training before the 1986 season, which would end his Major League career.
His cousin, Carlos Lezcano, played for two seasons in the Major Leagues.
Lezcano was mentioned by name in the the song "Sixto (That's Who the Happy People Know').

Milwaukee Brewers (1974-1980)
St. Louis Cardinals (1981)
San Diego Padres (1982-1983)
Philadelphia Phillies (1983-1984)
Pittsburgh Pirates (1985)
Gold Glove Award (AL OF): 1979
National League pennant: 1983 See also

Top 500 home run hitters of all time

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Tysnesøy is an island in Hordaland county, Norway. It is located in Tysnes municipality. Its area is 198 km².
Coordinates: 60°00′N 5°35′E / 60, 5.583

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Michael Patrick MacDonald
Michael Patrick MacDonald (born March 9, 1966) is an Irish-American activist against crime and violence and author of his memoir, All Souls: A Family Story From Southie. He was born in South Boston, Massachusetts in 1966. Since being involved in activism, he helped to start Boston's gun-buyback program, founded the South Boston Vigil Group and helps survivor families and youth against violence all over the country. Michael has been awarded an Anne Cox Chambers Fellowship at the MacDowell Colony, a Bellagio Center Fellowship through the Rockefeller Foundation, and residencies at Blue Mountain Center and Djerassi Artist Residency Program.
He currently lives in Brooklyn, New York, and devotes all of his time to writing and public speaking on topics ranging from "Race and Class in America" to "Trauma, Healing, and Social Change."

Michael Patrick MacDonald All Souls: A Family Story From Southie
Michael Patrick MacDonald is the author of the national bestseller All Souls: A Family Story From Southie (Ballantine, October 2000), which won an American Book Award and a New England Literary Lights Award, as well as The Myers Outstanding Book Award administered by the Myers Center for the Study of Bigotry and Human Rights in North America. All Souls has been optioned for film by Crossroads Films, and Michael is writing the screenplay for director Ron Shelton.
With "All Souls" MacDonald writes a gripping memoir about his life growing up in the Old Colony housing projects in South Boston, a predominantly Irish Catholic neighborhood. He writes about the crime, drugs and violence in his neighborhood in the years following Boston's busing riots, and of his brothers and sisters, many of whom fell prey to drugs, crime, suicide and murder. The book introduces his mother, Helen King, a feisty woman who managed to raise ten kids, despite having abusive relationships and living in the projects. Additionally, the book discusses Whitey Bulger, a gangster and FBI informant in Southie, who brought drugs into the neighborhood, contributing to the deaths of hundreds of young people due to suicides, murders, and overdoses. Despite all that is bad, MacDonald writes about how proud and loyal the residents were to be from Southie, including MacDonald himself, and how some of the best elements of the neighborhood have been wiped out along with the worst due to gentrification.