Thursday, December 6, 2007

A Darwin Award is a tongue-in-cheek honor named after evolutionary theorist Charles Darwin. "Awards" have been given for people who "remove themselves from the Gene pool" i.e. lose the ability to reproduce as early as 1863. It is for people who kill, or in rare cases, sterilize themselves accidentally by attempting to do stupid feats. As described in the Darwin Award books: The Awards honour people who ensure the long-term survival of the human race by removing themselves from the gene pool in a sublimely idiotic fashion. While an attempt is made to disallow urban legends from the awards, some older winners have been 'grandfathered' to keep their awards.

Examples of Darwin award winners include
Northcutt's Darwin Awards site gives "Honorable Mentions" to people who manage to survive their misadventures with their reproductive capacity intact. One notable example is Lawnchair Larry, who attached helium filled weather balloons to a lawn chair and floated far above Long Beach, California, in July 1982.

juggling active hand grenades (Croatia, 2001), Darwin Awards Examples
Each year, one award is selected as being much more "honourable" than the rest, and it is crowned as the "Darwin Award of the Year" or "[year] Darwin Award Winner".

Special Winners

2000: Darwin Awards: Evolution in Action, ISBN 0-525-94572-5 & ISBN 0-452-28344-2
2001: Darwin Awards II: Unnatural Selection, ISBN 0-525-94623-3 & ISBN 0-452-28401-5
2003: Darwin Awards III: Survival of the Fittest, ISBN 0-525-94773-6 & ISBN 0-452-28572-0
2006: Darwin Awards IV: Intelligent Design, ISBN 0-525-94960-7 Movie

List of inventors killed by their own inventions
Ig Nobel Prize
McCandless Phenomenon
Everett Ruess

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Artes mechanicae
The Artes Mechanicae (mechanical arts) are a medieval concept juxtaposed to the seven Artes liberales. Already Johannes Scotus Eriugena (9th century) divides them somewhat arbitrarily into seven parts,
vestiaria (tailoring, weaving), agricultura (agriculture), architectura (architecture, masonry), militia and venatoria (warfare and hunting, "martial arts"), mercatura (trade, commerce), coquinaria (cooking), metallaria (blacksmithing, metallurgy)
Hugh of St Victor includes navigation, medicine and theatrical arts instead of commerce, agriculture and cooking.
The classification of the Artes Mechanicae as applied geometry was introduced to Western Europe by Dominicus Gundissalinus under the influence of his readings in Arabic scholarship.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Ketley is a suburb of the new town of Telford in the borough of Telford and Wrekin and ceremonial county of Shropshire, England. East Ketley is currently being re-developed as part of the Telford Millennium Community, part of the Millennium Communities Programme. It will consist of around 750 new homes and some live/work units, a new primary school, some small offices and retail and leisure services.
The site is currently home to a terrace of Victorian houses amid old mineshafts, colliery spoil, a golf course (which was later used as a driving range) and playing fields. Most of the site has been left fallow for many years and some areas have become locally important habitats for wildlife. Ketley was formally the home of Ketley Iron works. William Reynolds (the ironmaster of said works in the late 18th century) undertook to construct three tub boat canals. The Wombridge Canal, the Ketley Canal and the Shropshire Canal.

Monday, December 3, 2007

On 5 and 9 July 1941 he ordered the machine gunning of survivors of attacks by HMS Torbay.

Anthony Miers Further information
His Victoria Cross is displayed at the Imperial War Museum (London, England).

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Homewood is a village in Cook County, Illinois, United States. The population was 19,543 at the 2000 census.

As of the census of 2000, there were 19,543 people, 7,552 households, and 5,256 families residing in the village. The population density was 1,451.1/km² (3,755.5/mi²). There were 7,827 housing units at an average density of 581.2/km² (1,504.1/mi²). The racial makeup of the village was 78.14% White, 17.51% African American, 0.10% Native American, 1.57% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 1.06% from other races, and 100% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.05% of the population.
There were 7,552 households out of which 35.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.7% were married couples living together, 11.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.4% were non-families. 27.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.55 and the average family size was 3.14.
In the village the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 5.4% from 18 to 24, 26.8% from 25 to 44, 24.3% from 45 to 64, and 16.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 85.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.3 males.
The median income for a household in the village was $57,213, and the median income for a family was $70,941. Males had a median income of $50,689 versus $35,978 for females. The per capita income for the village was $26,074. About 3.2% of families and 4.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.1% of those under age 18 and 6.5% of those age 65 or over.

Homewood is in Illinois' 2nd congressional district.

The village of Homewood is located in the south suburbs of Chicago. Although some of the southern suburbs have fallen victim to urban poverty and blight, due to gentrification in Chicago, Homewood and its neighboring community of Flossmoor have withstood these pressures and remain communities for the middle class and moderately wealthy, due to the strength and excellence of their educational systems.
Homewood sits on the edge of Lake Chicago, which was formed by a retreating glacier long before Lake Michigan. Of one the main east-west roads through the town, Ridge Road, got its name because it runs along what used to be the ridge of the lake. The area is rich in limestone deposits, and neighbors Thornton Quarry. In its beginning, the area featured excellent topsoil making it an appealing place for farmers to settle.
James and Sally Hart were the first confirmed settlers in the area in 1834. They were New Englanders, as were the families that immediately followed them; the Butterfields, the Campbells, the Clarks, and the Hoods. In 1839, German and Dutch families began to move into the area as well. The town began to use the name of Hartford.
The first store in Homewood was Hasting's General Store; Dr. William Doepp was its first doctor. Attracted by the country life after his Chicago practice was burned down, he moved to the area in 1851. His practice extended from Crown Point, Indiana to New Lenox, Illinois, and he was required to keep two teams of horses in order to make all his calls.
In 1853, the Illinois Central Railroad (IC) established a station in Hartford, calling it Thornton Station, as most of the passengers came from nearby Thornton. This began a serious period of confusion, as mail for the two separate towns was regularly mixed up. In 1869, settlers petitioned the post office to be renamed as Homewood, after the woods that the residents lived among.
The 1870s brought a new era to Homewood, ushered in by trains and by the crowded conditions of the city. Country clubs such as the Homewood Country Club (later changed to Flossmoor Country Club), Dixmoor, Ravisloe, Idlewild and Calumet brought in trains just for golfers. The IC established the Calumet station specifically for their convenience. Wealthy families impressed by the area, and ease of getting to the city, established residences in the area, as permanent or summer homes.
At the beginning of the twentieth century, it was determined that the small two-room schoolhouse that had been built in the 1880s was inadequate. The Standard school was built in 1904 on Dixie Highway and Hickory for a cost of fourteen thousand dollars. It had four classrooms, two cloakrooms, a tiny office, attic and basement storage. It provided the community with a variety of entertainments in the form of spelling bees, box socials, school entertainment, and a play festival. As many of the children were expected to become farmers, garden and corn clubs were established. Nearby land was turned into gardening plots, but a dry season kept the project from being successful. However, one student, Elizabeth Szanyi made a total of fifty-nine dollars from her produce patch.
Enrollment for the schools continued to grow, and in 1914 the school was forced to convert the cloakrooms into classrooms. In 1918, a nearby residence, the Zimmer house, was rented to house primary grades. In 1923, construction on Central school began. The new school had three more classrooms, an assembly hall, a teacher's room, and a room for health services. By 1928, there were enough students in the district to make a kindergarten class feasible, and extensive additions were made to the school. These renovations included eight new classrooms and a gymnasium-auditorium.
In the 1920s, Homewood became an important railroad depot, and many IC workers and their families moved to the area. Automobiles became a common sight on the streets of downtown. As traffic in the area continued to increase, village officials decided to install the town's first manually operated traffic signal at the corner of Ridge Road and Dixie Highway. This period marks the change from Homewood as a farming community to Homewood as a suburb, as families began to use stores and businesses to supply their needs. The population of town increased from seven hundred and thirteen (730) to fifteen hundred and ninety-three (1593). Thirteen housing developments were recorded in Homewood from 1905 to 1930.
With the crash of the stock market in 1929, life in Homewood changed dramatically. People who worked in factories in Harvey and Chicago Heights lost their jobs, and many almost lost their homes. The Homewood State Bank was closed in the spring of 1932. Optimistic residents who had invested money in the bank until the day before it closed lost everything they had. The flood of trains to and from the city trickled down to three or four trains daily. Those people trying to make an income by bootlegging were raided, and shut down. Transients were common, and the police officers gave them a place to stay at night, a cup of coffee and a donut before they left in the morning. In 1932 alone, the jail housed twelve hundred and twenty-four people (1224). The schools, which had already been operating in the red, scraped through by cutting programs and by the determined efforts of the PTA, which opened a thrift shop as a fundraiser. The village was reduced to issuing scrip notes to its employees that could not be honored by local business; however, a rental of a large parcel of land by the Illinois Jockey Association ended this problem.
As the factories slowly began to reopen, the city began to tear down old buildings and replace them with new businesses. The most important of these was the Homewood Theater. At its "typical Hollywood opening" it was said, "bright lights will flood the sky, bands will blare, and the theatre will be officially presented to Mayor Fred Borgwordt of the town of Homewood." The opening picture was "Double or Nothing" with Bing Crosby and Martha Raye. The theater seemed to symbolize the return of hope to the city, and remained an important landmark for many years. In 1983, Richard Haas painted a mural on the backs of several buildings in the business district, matching their fronts to their backs. Most famous among these was on the back of the Homewood Theater, depicting it with three young women waiting to view It's a Wonderful Life. It was demolished in 1992, despite the comparison made by a local student of "throwing away the Mona Lisa just because the frame is broken."

Homewood, Illinois Early history (pre-1945)
World War II brought a time of great change to the area, although life in the village during the war was about the same as life anywhere. The number of Homewood men who entered the service is unknown, but the village maintains a complete list of the men who died and the circumstances of their death. After the war, the veterans returned home to a rapidly growing Homewood. The desire of young couples to own a home of their own provided for a phenomenal growth and development of suburbs everywhere. To reflect these changes, the school board expanded the schools once again. In 1948, ground was broken for the new Ridge school, which was located immediately west of the Central school. It was immediately followed by the construction of Willow school, in 1953. In 1958, a junior high school was built and named after the area's first settler James Hart.
At the same time as the grade school expansion, a group of residents in Homewood and the neighboring community of Flossmoor worked to bring about a long time dream of having a local high school, instead of sending students to Thornton, Bloom, Rich or Bremen Township High Schools. Homewood-Flossmoor High School opened its doors in 1959. Almost immediately afterward, in 1962 and 1966, large additions were made to the school. The student body grew so large that students were taught on half-day schedules until a second building to house them could be built in 1974.
The businesses of the area boomed, with the building of Westgate shopping center, Ridge-Mar shopping center, Northgate shopping center, Cherry Creek, Washington Square Plaza, Southgate Shopping Center and the West Homewood Commons. Washington Square Plaza was torn down in the nineties. A recent boom in business along Halsted Street (Illinois Route 1) has provided Homewood-area residents with a large number of chain stores. The downtown area has also been on the rise, with new stores moving in, and the recent announcement of the Chestnut Square development along Harwood Avenue at Chestnut Road, behind the village hall.
In 1981, the first Homewood Fine Art Fair was held in the center of the Village, on Ridge Road. Founder Barbara D. Smith (Homewood's first female Chamber of Commerce President) spent two years learning the recruiting, organizational and judging processes from a variety of experts, and ushered it through its first five years. The official portrait artist of Princess Grace of Monaco -- Mohamed Drisi -- observed the fair's progress for the first two years, after which he volunteered to bolster the status of the institution. The HFAF continues to be held each June in Marie Irwin Park, and is considered a backbone of the south suburban art scene. Not without controversy, Ms. Smith has expressed her concern at deviating from the original vision of "fine art only", and has been critical of what she terms downgrading to arts and crafts from juried fine art. Still, a testament to this new tradition is underscored by the fact that some of the original juried artists she procured continue to exhibit.
In 1993, Homewood celebrated its centennial. Summer saw scores of festivals, parades, and a play celebrating the history of Homewood.

Recent history (1945- )
Children in grades K-8 attend schools under the jurisdiction of Homewood public school district 153. School District 153 has four schools: Winston Churchill Elementary, Willow Elementary, Millenium School, and James Hart Junior High School. Children in grades K-2 attend Willow, then move on to Churchill for grades 3 and 4, then move on to Millenium for grades 5 and 6, and finish up grades 7 and 8 at James Hart.
The majority of students in the area then go on to attend the local public high school, Homewood-Flossmoor High School. Homewood-Flossmoor High School is its own school district, school district 233. H-F is a twenty-time winner of the U.S. Department of Education's Blue Ribbon Award for excellence.
The most common destination for students after high school is the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. About 10 percent of H-F's graduating class goes there every year.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Attrition · Guerilla · Maneuver Siege · Total war · Trench
Economic · Grand · Operational
Formations · Ranks · Units
Equipment · Materiel · Supply line
Military history is composed of the events in the history of humanity that fall within the category of conflict. This may range from a melee between two tribes to conflicts between proper militaries to a world war affecting the majority of the human population. Military historians record (in writing or otherwise) the events of military history.
Military activity has been a constant process over thousands of years. However, there is little agreement about when it began (Otterbein 2004). Some believe it has always been with us; others stress the lack of clear evidence for it in our prehistoric past, and the fact that many peaceful, non-military societies have and still do exist (See Otterbein, Fry and Kelly in bibliography below).
The essential tactics, strategy, and goals of military operations have been unchanging throughout the past 5,000 years of our 90,000-year human history. As an example one notable maneuver is the double envelopment, considered to be the consummate military maneuver, executed by Hannibal at the Battle of Cannae in 216 BC, over 2,200 years ago. This maneuver was also later effectively used by Khalid ibn al-Walid at the Battle of Walaja in 633 AD, and was earlier described by the Chinese military theorist Sun Tzu, who wrote at roughly the same time as the founding of Rome. By the study of history, the military seeks to not repeat past mistakes, and improve upon its current performance by instilling an ability in commanders to perceive historical parallels during battle, so as to capitalize on the lessons learned. The main areas military history includes are the history of wars, battles, and combats, history of the military art, and history of each specific military service.
There are a number of ways to categorize warfare. One categorization is conventional versus unconventional, where conventional warfare involves well-identified, armed forces fighting one another in a relatively open and straightforward way without weapons of mass destruction. "Unconventional" refers to other types of war which can involve raiding, guerrilla, insurgency, and terrorist tactics or alternatively can include nuclear, chemical, or biological warfare.
All of these categories usually fall into one of two broader categories: High intensity and low intensity warfare. High intensity warfare is between two superpowers or large countries fighting for political reasons. Low intensity warfare involves counterinsurgency, guerilla warfare and specialized types of troops fighting revolutionaries.


For more details on this topic, see Prehistoric warfare. Prehistoric warfare

For more details on this topic, see Ancient warfare. Ancient warfare

For more details on this topic, see Medieval warfare. Gunpowder warfare

For more details on this topic, see Industrial warfare.Military history Industrial warfare

For more details on this topic, see Modern warfare. Modern warfare
New weapons development can dramatically alter the face of war.
In prehistoric times, fighting occurred by usage of clubs and spears, as early as 35,000 BC.
World War II gave rise to even more technology. The worth of the aircraft carrier was proved in the battles between the United States and Japan like the Battle of Midway. Radar was independently invented by the Allies and Axis powers. It used radio waves to detect nearby objects. Molotov cocktails were invented by the Finns in 1939, during the Winter War. The atomic bomb was developed by the Manhattan Project and launched at Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945, ultimately ending World War II.
During the Cold War, even though fighting did not actually occur, the superpowers- the United States and Russia- engaged in a race to develop and increase the level of technology available for military purposes. In the space race, both nations attempted to launch human beings into space to the moon. Other technological advances centered around intelligence (like the spy satellite) and missiles (ballistic missiles, cruise missiles). Nuclear submarine, invented in 1955. This meant submarines no longer had to surface as often, and could run more quietly. They evolved into becoming underwater missile platforms. Cruise missiles were invented in Nazi Germany during World War II in the form of the V-1.

Knight (see also: Chivalry)
Flag of England Drebbel's submarine (1620)
Turtle (1775)
Brandtaucher (1850)
Plongeur (1863)
Ictineu II (1864)
Submarino Peral (1888)
Gymnote (1888)
USS Holland (1897)
Type XXI Elektroboote (1943)
USS Albacore (AGSS-569) (1953)
USS Nautilus (SSN-571) (1954)
Zulu-class SSB (1955)
USS Narwhal (1967)
Alfa-class SSN (1977)
Type 212 submarine (1998) Technological evolution
Gaining an accurate assessment of past military encounters may prove difficult because of bias, even in ancient times, and systematic propaganda in more modern times. Descriptions of battles by leaders may be unreliable due to the inclination to minimize mention of failures and exaggerate when boasting of successes. Further, military secrets may prevent some salient facts from being reported at all; scholars still do not know the nature of Greek fire, for instance. Despite these limitations, wars are some of the most studied and detailed periods of human history.
Homer, in the Iliad, described the Trojan War. However, the historicity of the Iliad is doubtful, as many historians believe that the Iliad is essentially legendary. Others believe that it is partly historical.
Herodotus (484 BC - 425 BC) wrote the The Histories. He is, along with Thucydides, often known as the "father of history".
Xenophon (430 BC - 355 BC) is most known for Anabasis, in which he records the expedition of Cyrus the Younger into Turkey. It was one of the first books centered around the analysis of a leader.
Julius Caesar (100 BC - 44 BC) authored several military books, such as Commentarii de Bello Gallico and Commentarii de Bello Civili, in which he comments upon his campaigns.
Some other more recent prominent military historians include:

Hans Delbrück (1848-1929)
Charles Oman (1860-1946)
Basil Liddell Hart (1895-1970)
Martin van Creveld (1946)
John Keegan (1934)
William Ledyard Rodgers (d. 1944)
Lynn Montross (d. 1961)
Cornelius Ryan
R. Ernest & Trevor N. Dupuy (a.k.a. Dupuy & Dupuy)
John Terraine (1921-2003)
George F.G. Stanley (1907-2002)
Victor Davis Hanson Historiography

Historical reenactment
Manuel de Landa's War in the Age of Intelligent Machines (1991)
Military science
Prisoner of war
Prisoner-of-war camp
Weapon Military history See also
 Only recognised by Turkey.

By region

Fry, Douglas P., 2005, The Human Potential for Peace: An Anthropological Challenge to Assumptions about War and Violence, Oxford University Press.
Kelly, Raymond C., 2000, Warless Societies and the Origin of War, University of Michigan Press.
Otterbein, Keith, 2004, How War Began. Texas A&M University Press. Other

Friday, November 30, 2007

Realm of New Zealand
This article is part of the series: Politics and government of New Zealand
The Realm of New Zealand is the territory in which the Queen in right of New Zealand is head of state. The Realm comprises the Cook Islands, New Zealand, Niue, Tokelau and New Zealand's Ross Dependency in Antarctica. The term "Realm of New Zealand" is described in the Letters Patent constituting the office of Governor-General of New Zealand of 1983 in article I.


  • Queen Elizabeth II

    • Hon. Anand Satyanand
      Executive Council

      • Cabinet

        • Prime Minister

          • Rt Hon. Helen Clark

            • House of Representatives

              • Speaker of the House
                Official Opposition

                • Leader of the Opposition

                  • Electoral system
                    Supreme Court

                    • Chief Justice
                      Court of Appeal
                      High Court
                      Regional authorities
                      Territorial authorities
                      Unitary authority
                      Political parties
                      Political topics
                      Māori politics
                      Foreign relations Governor-General
                      The Realm itself is a collection of former British colonies and protectorates. New Zealand was a British colony formed in 1840 and became a dominion in 1907. The Cook Islands and Niue were former British protectorates which were transferred to New Zealand administration in the early twentieth century. The Ross Dependency was put under New Zealand administration in 1923, and Tokelau was transferred to New Zealand from the Gilbert and Ellice Islands colony in 1925.

                      Sovereignty within the Realm
                      Both the Cook Islands and Niue are said to be self-governing in free association with New Zealand. The New Zealand Parliament is not empowered to unilaterally pass legislation in respect of these countries. In foreign affairs and defence issues New Zealand acts on behalf of these countries but only with their advice and consent.
                      As the Governor-General is resident in New Zealand, the Cook Islands Constitution provides for the distinct position of Queen's Representative. This individual is not subordinate to the Governor-General and acts as the local representative of the Queen in right of New Zealand. As of 2005 Sir Frederick Goodwin is the Queen's Representative to the Cook Islands.
                      According to the Niue's Constitution of 1974, the Governor-General of New Zealand acts as the Queen's representative.
                      In the Cook Islands and Niue the New Zealand High Commissioner is the diplomatic representative from New Zealand. As of 2005, John Bryan is the New Zealand High Commissioner to the Cook Islands and Anton Ojala is the New Zealand High Commissioner to Niue.
                      Despite their close relationship to New Zealand, both the Cook Islands and Niue maintain some diplomatic relations in their own name. Both countries maintain High Commissions in New Zealand and have New Zealand High Commissioners resident in their capitals. In Commonwealth practice, High Commissioners represent their governments, not the Head of State.

                      New Zealand
                      Tokelau has a lesser degree of de jure independence than the Cook Islands and Niue have, and is presently moving toward free association status. New Zealand's representative in Tokelau is the Administrator of Tokelau and has the power to overturn rules passed by the general fono.

                      New Zealand's claim to the Ross Dependency is held in abeyance, per the Antarctic Treaty System. The Governor-General of New Zealand, however, is also the Governor of the Ross Dependency. MFAT Speech of 23-Apr-02, Antarctic Conference The Ross Dependency claim includes McMurdo Station, operated by the United States.

                      Ross Dependency

                      Future of the Realm

                      Dominion of New Zealand
                      Commonwealth Realm

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Married to the Mob
Married to the Mob is a 1988 comedy film. It was directed by Jonathan Demme and starred Michelle Pfeiffer, Matthew Modine, Dean Stockwell and Mercedes Ruehl.
A FBI agent, Mike Downey, (played by Modine) is trying to infiltrate a mafia family. He sees a chance when Angela de Marco (played by Pfeiffer) tries to leave the criminal lifestyle after her gangster husband, Frank de Marco (Alec Baldwin), is murdered.
The story is complicated by the mafia boss, Tony "The Tiger" Russo (played by Stockwell), who is romantically pursuing Angela but was also the person who killed her husband Frank over a dalliance with his mistress. The plot is further complicated by the mobster's jealous wife, Connie Russo, (played by Mercedes Ruehl) and her suspicions about her husband. Further complication evolves with Mike Downey's romantic interest in the Angela character. Later an attempted assassination against Tony takes places at a "Burger World" drive-through.
Downey eventually goes out with Angela, though Tony eventually finds out about the FBI sting (and Downey's cover). Oliver Platt plays one of the agents tailing Tony.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

George VI (Albert Frederick Arthur George; 14 December 18956 February 1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions from 11 December 1936 until his death. He was the last Emperor of India (until 1947) and the last King of Ireland (until 1949).
As the second son of King George V, he was not expected to inherit the throne and spent his early life in the shadow of his elder brother, Edward. He served in the Royal Navy during World War I, and after the war took on the usual round of public engagements. He married Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923, and they had two daughters, Elizabeth (who succeeded him as Queen Elizabeth II) and Margaret.
At the death of their father in 1936, his brother ascended the throne as Edward VIII. However, less than a year later Edward expressed his desire to marry the twice-divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson. For political and religious reasons, the British Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, informed Edward that he could not marry Mrs. Simpson and remain king. So, Edward abdicated to marry. By reason of this abdication, unique in 2000 years of British history, George VI ascended the throne as the third monarch of the House of Windsor.
Within 24 hours of his accession the Irish parliament (the Oireachtas) passed the External Relations Act, which essentially removed the power of the monarch in Ireland. Further events greatly altered the position of the monarchy during his reign: three years after his accession, his realms, except Ireland, were at war with Nazi Germany. In the next two years, war with Italy and the Empire of Japan followed. A major consequence of World War II was the decline of the British Empire, with the United States and the Soviet Union rising as pre-eminent world powers. With the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, and the foundation of the Republic of Ireland in 1949, King George's reign saw the acceleration of the break-up of the British Empire and its transition into the Commonwealth of Nations.

Birth and family
As a great-grandson of Queen Victoria, Albert was styled His Highness Prince Albert of York from birth. In 1898, Queen Victoria issued Letters Patent that granted the children of the eldest son of the Prince of Wales the style Royal Highness. So, at age two, Albert became His Royal Highness Prince Albert of York.
He often suffered from ill health and was described as "easily frightened and somewhat prone to tears".
Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901, and the Prince of Wales succeeded her as King Edward VII. The Duke of York became the new Prince of Wales. Prince Edward was then second in line for the throne, and Prince Albert was third.

Early life
From 1909, Albert attended the Royal Naval College, Osborne as a naval cadet. He came bottom of the class in the final examination, but despite this he progressed to the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth in 1911.

Military career and education
In a time when royals were expected to marry fellow royals, it was unusual that Albert had a great deal of freedom in choosing a prospective wife. In 1920 he met Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the youngest daughter of Claude Bowes-Lyon, 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne and Cecilia Cavendish-Bentinck. He became determined to marry her.

On 20 January 1936, King George V died and Prince Edward ascended the throne as Edward VIII. As Edward had no children, Albert was the heir presumptive to the throne until his unmarried brother had any legitimate children, or died. George V had had severe reservations about Edward, saying, "I pray God that my eldest son will never marry and that nothing will come between Bertie and Lilibet and the throne."

Reluctant king
Albert assumed the style and title King George VI to emphasise continuity with his father and restore confidence in the monarchy.
In 1945, in an echo of Chamberlain's appearance, the King invited Churchill to appear with him on the balcony of Buckingham Palace for the VE Day celebrations.

Empire to Commonwealth
The stress of the war had taken its toll on the King's health, In 2002, the remains of his wife Queen Elizabeth and the ashes of his daughter, Princess Margaret, were interred in the King George VI Memorial Chapel in St George's Chapel alongside him.

Illness and death
There are a number of geographical features, roads, and institutions named after George VI. These include King George Hospital in London; the King George VI Highway, including the King George Station, in the Metro Vancouver district of British Columbia; George VI Sound in Antarctica; and the King George VI Chase, a horse race in the United Kingdom.


Titles, styles and honours
Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
and, occasionally, outside of the United Kingdom, and with regard to India (until the King ceased to use the imperial title upon India's independence)
Isle of Man:
Islands of Guernsey & Jersey:

1895–1898: His Highness Prince Albert of York
1898–1901: His Royal Highness Prince Albert of York
1901: His Royal Highness Prince Albert of Cornwall and York
1901–1910: His Royal Highness Prince Albert of Wales
1910–1920: His Royal Highness The Prince Albert
1920–1936: His Royal Highness The Duke of York

  • in Scotland: May 1929: His Grace The Lord High Commissioner
    1936–1952: His Majesty The King
    1936–1947: His Imperial Majesty The King–Emperor
    1936–1952: Lord of Mann
    1936–1952: Duke of Normandy Titles
    From his brother's ascension to the throne, on 20 January 1936, until his own accession, on 11 December 1936, Prince Albert held the style His Royal Highness, The Prince Albert, Duke of York, Earl of Inverness and Baron Killarney.
    His full style as king was, from 11 December 1936, George the Sixth, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India. Following 1948 the style Emperor of India was dropped, and the King was styled George the Sixth, by the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith.


    Main article: List of the honours and appointments of George VI of the United KingdomGeorge VI Honours

    Notes and sources

    Bradford, Sarah (1989). King George VI. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. ISBN 0297796674. 
    Howarth, Patrick (1987). George VI. Hutchinson. ISBN 0091710006. 
    Matthew, H. C. G. (2004), "George VI (1895–1952)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press)
    Sinclair, David (1988). Two Georges: the Making of the Modern Monarchy. Hodder and Staughton. ISBN 0340332409. 
    Wheeler-Bennett, Sir John (1958). King George VI: His Life and Reign. New York: Macmillan. 

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Measure for Measure is a play by William Shakespeare, originally classified in the First Folio as a comedy. This is one of the playwright's three problem plays, so-called because they cannot be easily classified by modern editors.

Measure for Measure was written in 1603 or 1604. The play was first published in 1623 in the First Folio.

Measure For Measure Date and text
The earliest recorded performance of Measure for Measure took place on "St. Steven's night", December 26, 1604. During the Restoration, Measure was one of many Shakespearean plays adapted to the tastes of a new audience. Sir William Davenant inserted Benedick and Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing into his adaptation, called The Law Against Lovers. Samuel Pepys saw the hybrid play on 18 February 1662; he describes it in his Diary as "a good play, and well performed"—he was especially impressed by the singing and dancing of the young actress who played Viola, Beatrice's sister (Davenant's creation). Davenant rehabilitated Angelo, who is now only testing Isabella's chastity; the play ends with a triple marriage. This, among the earliest and clumsiest of Restoration adaptations, appears not to have succeeded on stage.
Charles Gildon returned to Shakespeare's text in a 1695 production at Lincoln's Inn Fields; he removed Beatrice and Benedick, but he also removed all of the low-comic characters. Moreover, by making both Angelo and Mariana, and Claudio and Juliet, secretly married, he eliminates almost all of the illicit sexuality that is so central to Shakespeare's play. Gildon also offers a partly facetious epilogue, spoken by Shakespeare's ghost, who complains of the constant revisions of his work. Like Davenant's, Gildon's version did not gain currency and was not revived.
John Rich presented a version closer to Shakespeare's original in 1720.
Notable recent productions of Measure for Measure are Peter Brook's 1950 staging at the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre with John Gielgud as Angelo, Charles Laughton as Angelo at the Old Vic Theatre in 1933, and a 1976 New York Shakespeare Festival production featuring Meryl Streep as Isabella and John Cazale as Angelo. The play has only been produced on Broadway once, in a 1973 production that featured David Ogden Stiers as Vincentio and Kevin Kline in the small role of Friar Peter.

The Duke The central figure is the Duke, who spends most of his time dressed as a friar, Lodovic, in order to observe what is happening in his absence. He is seemingly unfailingly virtuous, good, and kind-hearted. He has tended to rule a little softly, which is why he has enlisted Angelo's help. In the First Folio, The Duke is listed in the Dramatis Personae as "Vincentio," but this name appears nowhere else in the play.
Isabella, a novice nun, is a virtuous and chaste young woman who faces a difficult decision when her brother is sentenced to death for fornication. Isabella does not approve of her brother's actions, but she pleads for his life out of loyalty, sisterly devotion, and a belief that the punishment is too harsh for the crime. Ultimately she would rather her brother die and go to heaven, than she herself live a life of hell: "more than our brother is our chastity".
Claudio is Isabella's brother, a young man sentenced to death for impregnating an unmarried woman. He was engaged to her by a common-law agreement, but they had sexual intercourse before the legal marriage took place. According to the play, by the letter of the law this was punishable by death, but the more recent sentence had been to force two 'fornicators' to marry.
Angelo is the villain of the play, a man who rules strictly and without mercy. He has his own weaknesses, however, and he is loathsome more for his hypocrisy than for anything else. He presents Isabella with a difficult proposition, to sleep with him in exchange for her brother's life, but then does not hold up his end of the bargain when he believes she has held hers.
Escalus is a wise lord who advises Angelo to be more merciful. He is loyal to the Duke and seeks to carry out his orders justly, but cannot go against Angelo's will. As his name suggests (Scales) he takes a balanced decision to everything, which in turn makes him one of the most wise characters in the play.
Lucio, described by Shakespeare as a "fantastic," is a flamboyant bachelor who provides much of the play's comedy. He is a friend of Claudio, and tries to help him. He is a bawd himself, but would rather die than marry the 'whore' who is pregnant with his child.
Mariana was intended to marry Angelo, but he called the wedding off when she lost her dowry in a shipwreck that killed her brother.
Mistress Overdone runs a brothel in Vienna.
Pompey is a clown who works for Mistress Overdone.
The Provost runs the prison, and is responsible for carrying out all of Angelo's orders.
Elbow is a dim-witted constable who arrests people for misconduct, particularly of the sexual variety. He provides some comic relief through his frequent use of malapropisms in his speech.
Barnardine is a long-term prisoner in the jail, sentenced to be executed. The Duke originally considers him hopeless and therefore dispensable but later changes his mind.
Juliet is Claudio's lover, pregnant with his child.

Monday, November 26, 2007

St. Elizabeth's flood (1421)
The St. Elizabeth's flood of 1421 was a flooding of an area in what is now the Netherlands. It takes its name from the feast day of Saint Elisabeth of Hungary which was formerly November 19.
During the night of November 18 to November 19, 1421 a heavy storm near the North Sea coast caused the dikes to break in a number of places and the lower lying polder land was flooded. A number of villages were swallowed by the flood and were lost, causing either 2,000 or 10,000 casualties. The dike breaks and floods caused widespread devastation in Zeeland and Holland. This flood separated the cities of Geertruidenberg and Dordrecht which had previously fought against each other during the Hook and Cod (civil) wars.
Most of the area remained flooded for several decades. Reclaimed parts are the Island of Dordrecht, the Hoeksche Waard island, and north-western North Brabant (around Geertruidenberg). Most of the Biesbosch area has been flooded since.
The cause of the flood was not a spring tide like in the great flood of 1953 (see North Sea flood of 1953), but water from the storm in the North Sea surged up the rivers causing the dikes to overflow and break through.

See also

St. Elizabeth's flood (1404)
Floods in the Netherlands
list of disasters

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Penal labour or penal servitude is a form of unfree labour. The term may refer to two different notions: labour as a form of punishment and labour as a form of occupation of convicts.

Punitive labour
Convict or prison labour (also called hard labour) is another classic form of unfree labour used in both past and present as an additional form of punishment beyond imprisonment alone.
Convicts subjected to forced labour have often been regarded with lack of sympathy, because of the social stigma attached to people regarded as "common criminals" and a general perception that it must be deserved through the severity of the crime. In some countries and historical periods, however, prison labour has been forced upon people who have been: victims of prejudice, convicted of political crimes, convicted of "victimless crimes", or people who committed theft or related offences because they lacked any other means of subsistence — categories of people for whom compassion is typically called for.
In the UK in the 19th century, for instance, hard labour became a standard feature of penal servitude as penal transportation was phased out. Although it was prescribed for severe crimes (e.g. rape, attempted murder, malicious wounding, per the 1861 Offences against the Persons Act) it was also widely applied in cases of minor crime such as petty theft and vagrancy, as well as victimless behaviour deemed harmful to the fabric of society. Notable recipients of forced labour under British law include Oscar Wilde (after his conviction for gross indecency) and John William Gott (a terminally ill trouser salesman convicted of blasphemy).
The British penal colonies in Australia between 1788 and 1868 are probably the best examples of convict labour, as described above: during that period, Australia received thousands of transported convict labourers, many of whom had received harsh sentences for minor misdemeanours in Britain or Ireland.
Sometimes authorities turn prison labour into an industry, as on a prison farm. In such cases, the pursuit of income from their productive labour may even overtake the preoccupation with punishment and/or reeducation as such of the prisoners, who are then at risk of being exploited as slave-like cheap labour (profit may be minor after expenses, e.g. on security).
The British Penal Servitude Act of 1853 substituted penal servitude for transportation. Sentences of penal servitude were served in convict prisons and were controlled by the Home Office and the Prison Commissioners. After sentencing, convicts would be classified according to the seriousness of the offence of which they were convicted and their criminal record. First time offenders would be classified in the Star class; persons not suitable for the Star class, but without serious convictions would be classified in the intermediate class; and habitual offenders would be classified in the Recidivist class. Care was taken to ensure that convicts in one class did not mix with convicts in another.

Penal labour Non-punitive prison labour

Galley slave
Convict lease
Chain gang

Saturday, November 24, 2007

William Howard School
The William Howard School is a co-educational comprehensive secondary school on Longtown Road (A6071) in Brampton, Cumbria, England for pupils aged 11-18.

Tanzanian Link
The school is named after Lord William Howard (1563–1640), who was the third son to Thomas Duke of Norfolk. He married Elizabeth, the daughter and co-heiress of William Lord Dacres, from whom the Carlisle branch of the Howard Family is descended.
The school used to be known as the Irthing Valley Secondary Modern School. It merged with another school in Brampton called the White House Grammar School situated on Main Street, in 1980 when comprehensive education replaced the selective education system. The newsreader Anna Ford was a head girl of White House Grammar School in 1961.

Friday, November 23, 2007

During his lifetime, he donated $100 million, mostly to the University of Rochester and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (under the alias "Mr. Smith"). The Rochester Institute of Technology has a building dedicated to Mr. Eastman, in recognition of his support and substantial donations. He endowed the Eastman School of Music of the University of Rochester.
MIT has a plaque of Eastman (the rubbing of which is traditionally considered by students to bring good luck) in recognition of his donation. Eastman also made substantial gifts to the Tuskegee Institute and the Hampton Institute. Upon his death, his entire estate went to the University of Rochester, where his name can be found on the Eastman Quadrangle of the River Campus. His former home at 900 East Avenue in Rochester, New York was opened as the George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film in 1949. On the 100th anniversary of his birth in 1954, Eastman was honored with a postage stamp from the United States Post Office.
Eastman had a very fine business sense. He focused his company to making film when competition heated in the camera industry. By providing quality and affortable film to every camera manufacturer, Kodak managed to turn all competition into more business.

George Eastman See also