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Wednesday, February 15, 2006


For more general information see Bubonic plague. Bubonic plague is an infectious disease that is believed to have caused several epidemics or pandemics throughout history. A major pandemic in historic times, called the Third Pandemic, began in China in 1855, spreading the bubonic plague to all inhabited continents, and ultimately killing more than 12 million people in India and China alone. Casualty patterns indicate that waves of this pandemic may have been from two different sources. The first was primarily bubonic and was carried around the world through ocean going trade, through transporting infected persons, rats and cargos harboring fleas. The second, more viralent strain, was primarily pnuemonic in character with a strong person to person contagion. This strain was largely confined to Manchuria and Mongolia. Researchers during the Third Pandemic identified plague vectors and the plague bacillus. In 1896, bacteriologist Alexandre Yersin isolated the responsible bacterium (yersinia pestis) and determined the common mode of transmission. The disease is caused by a bacterium usually transmitted by the bite of fleas from an infected host, often a black rat. The bacteria are transferred from the blood of infected rats to the rat flea (Xenopsylla cheopsis). The bacillus multiplies in the stomach of the flea, blocking it. When the flea next bites a mammal, the consumed blood is regurgitated along with the bacillus into the bloodstream of the bitten animal. Any serious outbreak of plague is started by other disease outbreaks in the rodent population. During these outbreaks, infected fleas that have lost their normal hosts seek other sources of blood. The bacterium which causes this disease, the Yersinia pestis, was named for Yersin. His discoveries led in time to modern treatment methods.


Kelly, John. The Great Mortality, An Intimate History of the Black Death, the Most Devastating Plague of All Time. HarperCollins Publisher Inc., New York, NY, 2005, ISBN 0-06-000692-7.
McNeill, William H. Plagues and People. Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, Inc., New York, NY, 1976, ISBN 0-385-12122-9.
Orent, Wendy. Plague, The Mysterious Past and Terrifying Future of the Worlds Most Dangerous Disease., Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, NY, 2004, ISBN 0-7432-3685-8.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


Quantum entanglement is a quantum mechanics phenomenon in which the quantum states of two or more objects have to be described with reference to each other, even though the individual objects may be space. This leads to correlations between observable physical properties of the systems. For example, it is possible to prepare two particles in a single quantum state such that when one is observed to be spin-up, the other one will always be observed to be spin-down and vice versa, this despite the fact that it is impossible to predict, using quantum mechanics, which set of measurements will be observed. As a result, measurements performed on one system seem to be instantaneously influencing other systems entangled with it. However, information cannot be transmitted through entanglement faster than the speed of light. Quantum entanglement is the basis for emerging technology such as quantum computer, quantum cryptography and has been used for experiments in quantum teleportation. At the same time, it produces some of the more theoretically and philosophically disturbing aspects of the theory, as one can show that the correlations predicted by quantum mechanics are inconsistent with the seemingly obvious principle of local hidden variable theory, which is that all objects have a well defined state and information about that state should not be transferred instantaneously. Different views of what is actually occurring in the process of quantum entanglement give rise to different interpretations of quantum mechanics.


Entanglement is one of the properties of quantum mechanics which caused Albert Einstein and others to dislike the theory. In 1935, Einstein, Podolsky, and Rosen formulated the EPR paradox, demonstrating that entanglement makes quantum mechanics a non-local theory. Einstein famously derided entanglement as spooky Action-at-a-distance-(physics). On the other hand, quantum mechanics has been highly successful in producing correct experimental predictions, and the strong correlations associated with the phenomenon of quantum entanglement have in fact been observed. One apparent way to explain quantum entanglement is an approach known as hidden variable theory, in which unknown deterministic microscopic parameters would cause the correlations. However, in 1964 John Stewart Bell showed that such a theory could not be local, the quantum entanglement predicted by quantum mechanics being experimentally distinguishable from a broad class of local hidden-variable theories. Results of subsequent experiments have overwhelmingly supported quantum mechanics. It is known that there a number of Bell test loopholes in these experiments, but these are generally considered to be of minor importance. Entanglement produces some interesting interactions with the principle of relativity that states that information cannot be transferred faster than the speed of light. Although two entangled systems can interact across large spatial separations, no useful information can be transmitted in this way, so causality cannot be violated through entanglement. This occurs for two subtle reasons: (i) quantum mechanical measurements yield probability results, and (ii) the no cloning theorem forbids the statistical inspection of entangled quantum states. Although no information can be transmitted through entanglement alone, it is possible to transmit information using a set of entangled states used in conjunction with a classical information channel. This process is known as quantum teleportation. Despite its name, quantum teleportation cannot be used to transmit information faster than light, because a classical information channel is involved.


The following discussion builds on the theoretical framework developed in the articles bra-ket notation and mathematical formulation of quantum mechanics. Consider two noninteracting systems A and B, with respective Hilbert spaces HA and HB The Hilbert space of the composite system is the tensor product H-A otimes H-B If the first system is in state psi angle-A and the second in state phi angle-B the state of the composite system is psi angle-A otimes phi angle-B, which is often also written as psi angle-A, phi angle-B. States of the composite system which can be represented in this form are called separable states. Pick observables (and corresponding Hermitian operators) OA acting on HA and OB acting on HB According to the spectral theorem, we can find a basis (linear algebra) i>A} for HA composed of eigenvectors of OA and a basis j>B} for HB composed of eigenvectors of OB We can then write the above pure state as left(sum-i a-i i angle-A ight) left(sum-j b-j j angle-B ight) for some choice of complex coefficients ai and bj This is not the most general state of H-A otimes H-B which has the form sum-{i,j} c-{ij} i angle-A, j angle-B If such a state is not separable, it is known as an entangled state. For example, given two basis vectors 0>A 1>A} of HA and two basis vectors 0>B 1>B} of HB the following is an entangled state: {1 over sqrt{2 bigg(mid0 angle-A otimes mid 1 angle-B - mid 1 angle-A otimes mid 0 angle-B bigg) If the composite system is in this state, it is impossible to attribute to either system A or system B a definite pure state. Instead, their states are superposed with one another. In this sense, the systems are entangled. Now suppose Alice is an observer for system A, and Bob is an observer for system B. If Alice performs the measurement OA there are two possible outcomes, occurring with equal probability: Alice measures 0, and the state of the system collapses to 0>A 1>B Alice measures 1, and the state of the system collapses to 1>A 0>B If the former occurs, any subsequent measurement of OB performed by Bob always returns 1. If the latter occurs, Bobs measurement always returns 0. Thus, system B has been altered by Alice performing her measurement on system A., even if the systems A and B are spatially separated. This is the foundation of the EPR paradox. The outcome of Alices measurement is random. Alice cannot decide which state to collapse the composite system into, and therefore cannot transmit information to Bob by acting on her system. (There is a possible loophole: if Bob could make multiple duplicate copies of the state he receives, he could obtain information by collecting statistics. This loophole is closed by the no cloning theorem, which forbids the creation of duplicate states.) Causality is thus preserved, as we claimed above.


Quantifying entanglement is an important step towards better understanding the phenomenon. The method of density matrix provides us with a formal measure of entanglement. Consider as above systems A and B each with a Hilbert space HA HB Let the state of the composite system be Psi angle in H-A otimes H-B. As indicated above, in general there is no way to associate a pure state to the component system A. However, it still is possible to associate a density matrix. Let ho-T Psi angle, langle Psi which is the projection operator onto this state. The state of A is the partial trace of T over the basis of system B: ho-A equiv sum-j langle j -B left(Psi angle langle Psi ight) j angle-B hbox{Tr}-B, ho-T For example, the density matrix of A for the entangled state discussed above is ho-A (1/2) bigg(0 angle-A langle 0 -A + 1 angle-A langle 1 -A bigg) and the density matrix of A for the pure state discussed above is ho-A psi angle-A langle psi -A This is simply the projection operator of >A Note that the density matrix of the composite system, T also takes this form. This is unsurprising, since we assumed that the state of the composite system is pure. Given a general density matrix, we can calculate the quantity S - k hbox{Tr} left(ho ln{ ho} ight) where k is Boltzmanns constant, and the trace is taken over the space H in which acts. It turns out that S is precisely the entropy of the system corresponding to H. The entropy of any pure state is zero, which is unsurprising since there is no uncertainty about the state of the system. The entropy of any of the two subsystems of the entangled state discussed above is kln 2 (which can be shown to be the maximum entropy for a one-level system). If the overall system is pure, the entropy of its subsystems can be used to measure its degree of entanglement with the other subsystems. It can also be shown that unitary operators acting on a state (such as the time evolution operator obtained from the Schr�dinger equation) leave the entropy unchanged. This associates the reversibility of a process with its resulting entropy change, which is a deep result linking quantum mechanics to information theory and thermodynamics.


The language of density matrices is also used to describe quantum statistical ensemble, or a collection of identical quantum systems. Consider a black-box apparatus that spits electrons towards an observer. The electrons Hilbert spaces are identical particles. The apparatus might produce electrons that are all in the same state, in this case, the electrons received by the observer are then called a pure ensemble. However, the apparatus could produce electrons in different states. For example, it could produce two populations of electrons: one with state z+> (spin (physics) aligned in the positive z direction), and the other with state y-> (spins aligned in the negative y direction.) Generally, there can be any number of populations, each corresponding to a different state. This is a mixed ensemble. We can describe an ensemble as a collection of populations with weights wi and corresponding states i The density matrix of the ensemble is defined as ho sum-i w-i alpha-i angle langle alpha-i All the above results for density matrices and the quantum entropy remain valid with this definition. Motivated by this, as well as the Everett many-worlds interpretation, many physicists now believe that all mixed ensembles can be explained as entangled quantum states. The Reeh-Schlieder theorem of quantum field theory is sometimes seen as the QFT analogue of Quantum entanglement.


Brian G. Marsden is an astronomer, the longtime director of the Minor Planet Center. He specializes in celestial mechanics and astrometry, collecting data on the positions of asteroids and comets and computing their orbits, often from minimal observational information. Marsden has helped recover once-lost comets and asteroids. Some asteroid and comet discoveries of previous decades were lost because not enough observational data had been obtained at the time to determine a reliable enough orbit to know where to look for re-observation at future dates. Occasionally, a newly discovered object turns out to be a rediscovery of a previously lost object, which can be determined by calculating its orbit backwards into the past and matching calculated positions with the previously recorded positions of the lost object. In the case of comets this is especially tricky because of nongravitational forces that can affect their orbits (emission of jets of gas from the comet nucleus), but Marsden has specialized in calculating such nongravitational forces. Notably, he successfully predicted the 1992 return of the once-lost periodic comet Comet Swift-Tuttle. He once proposed that Pluto (planet) should be cross-listed as both a planet and a minor planet and assigned the asteroid number 10000, however, this proposal was not accepted. In 1989, Marsden was awarded the George Van Biesbroeck Prize by the American Astronomical Society in honor of his long-term service to astronomy. The asteroid 1877 Marsden was named in his honour. Asteroids discovered: 1 37556 Svyaztie August 28 1982 with N. S. Chernykh stub

Monday, February 13, 2006


The Isthmian League First Division (also known for sponsorship reasons as the Ryman League First Division) is part of the Isthmian League, an England association Football (soccer) league. The first division ranks below the leagues Isthmian League Premier Division and above a variety of local leagues in southeastern England including the Isthmians own Isthmian League Second Division. As part of the 2004 restructuring of the National League System, the two First Divisions of the Isthmian League that had existed since 2002 are being recombined to become one of four Step 4 leagues of the NLS, making them part of the eighth overall tier of the English football league system. Promotion from the Isthmian First will be to either the Isthmian Premier or the Dr Martens Southern League (football) Premier Division depending on a teams geographic location. Top-placed teams meeting the necessary ground and financial standards will be promoted, along with teams emerging from playoffs. The May 9, 2004 restructuring meeting of The Football Association assigned the following teams as the members of the Isthmian League First Division for the 2004/2005 season:
AFC Wimbledon
Ashford Town F.C. (Kent)
Banstead Athletic F.C. F.C. F.C. Hill Town F.C. bhtfc
Corinthian Casuals F.C. Wanderers F.C. Athletic F.C. F.C.
Dorking F.C. Hamlet F.C. United F.C. F.C. F.C. Police F.C.
Molesey F.C.
Newport IOW F.C. F.C. & Mitcham United F.C. & Hersham F.C. F.C. June 2004 it was announced that Sittingbourne would be returning to the Southern League and Fleet Town F.C. after 2003/2004) would replace them in the Isthmian League First Division. Football in England


Sequoyah County is a county located in the U.S. state of Oklahoma. As of 2000, the population is 38,972. Its county seat is Sallisaw, OklahomaGeographic references.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,852 square kilometer (715 square mile). 1,745 km� (674 mi�) of it is land and 106 km� (41 mi�) of it is water. The total area is 5.74% water.

Adjacent counties

Cherokee County, Oklahoma & Adair County, Oklahoma (north)
Crawford County, Arkansas (east)
Sebastian County, Arkansas (southeast)
Le Flore County, Oklahoma (south)
Haskell County, Oklahoma (southwest)
Muskogee County, Oklahoma (west)


As of the censusGeographic references 2 of 2000, there are 38,972 people, 14,761 households, and 10,982 families residing in the county. The population density is 22/km� (58/mi�). There are 16,940 housing units at an average density of 10/km� (25/mi�). The racial makeup of the county is 68.12% Race (U.S. census), 1.86% Race (U.S. census) or Race (U.S. census), 19.64% Race (U.S. census), 0.22% Race (U.S. census), 0.03% Race (U.S. census), 0.74% from race (U.S. census), and 9.39% from two or more races. 2.03% of the population are Race (U.S. census) or Race (U.S. census) of any race. There are 14,761 households out of which 34.20% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.20% are Marriage living together, 11.90% have a female householder with no husband present, and 25.60% are non-families. 22.40% of all households are made up of individuals and 10.20% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.61 and the average family size is 3.05. In the county, the population is spread out with 27.40% under the age of 18, 8.20% from 18 to 24, 26.90% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 13.50% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 36 years. For every 100 females there are 97.30 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 92.50 males. The median income for a household in the county is $27,615, and the median income for a family is $32,673. Males have a median income of $26,613 versus $19,751 for females. The per capita income for the county is $13,405. 19.80% of the population and 16.10% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 24.80% of those under the age of 18 and 18.10% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Cities and towns

Akins, Oklahoma
Belfonte, Oklahoma
Brent, Oklahoma
Brushy, Oklahoma
Carlile, Oklahoma
Dwight Mission, Oklahoma
Evening Shade, Oklahoma

Flute Springs, Oklahoma
Gans, Oklahoma
Gore, Oklahoma
Long, Oklahoma
Marble City Community, Oklahoma
Marble City, Oklahoma
McKey, Oklahoma

Moffett, Oklahoma
Muldrow, Oklahoma
Notchietown, Oklahoma
Paradise Hill, Oklahoma
Pinhook Corners, Oklahoma
Redbird Smith, Oklahoma
Remy, Oklahoma

Roland, Oklahoma
Sallisaw, Oklahoma
Short, Oklahoma
Stony Point, Oklahoma
Sycamore, Sequoyah County, Oklahoma
Vian, Oklahoma

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Alain de Benoist (born 11 December 1943) is a France academic and head of the French think-tank Nouvelle Droite (English: New Right). A celebrated intellectual who attended the Sorbonne, de Benoist is little known outside his native France but his writing have been highly influential on right-wing anti-globalization thought. He attacks globalisation, unrestricted mass immigration and liberalism as being ultimately fatal to the existence of nation-states through their divisivenss and internal faults. He has said that he hopes to see free-debate and greater popular participation in democracy.


The Adventures of Milo and Otis is a 1989 live action film starring an Orange (colour) tabby cat named Milo and a white pug named Otis. Initially filmed as Koneko Monogatari (A Kittens Story or The Adventures of Chatran) in Japan, the film was completely revamped, trimmed and USnized with added narration by Dudley Moore. Director Masanori Hata and associate director Kon Ichikawa edited the film together from 400,000 feet of footage. They used several different cats, from a kitten to a fully grown adult, to give the illusion of the progression of time over several seasons. The film is controversial in some circles for what is perceived to be animal cruelty in certain scenes.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


1. In Greek mythology, Bianor was a son of Heracles. He founded Mantua. 2. Bianor of Bithynia is the author of twenty-two epigrams in the Greek Anthology One of them is on the destruction of Sardis by an earthquake in A.D. 17. Bianor lived during the period when Greece was under Rome, from the establishment of the Empire to the decay of art and letters after the death of Marcus Aurelius, B.C. 30-A.D. 180. 3. In 4th century the martyrdom of Saints Bianor and Sylvanus inspired a Greek legend, but their extant acta are uncertain. They were beheaded in Pisidia, Asia Minor (Benedictines). 4. A spider: Bianor aurocinctus, albobimaculatus, pullus, japonicus. Found in Europe, North of Mexico, and Japan. It is a small jumping spider, with a size between 3 and 4 mm. A boreal species, dark and shiny and robust. The robust shiny body and northerly distribution are distinctive.The male spider can be easily recognized by his swollen fore legs, females have orange legs. 5. A butterfly: Papilio bianor, by Cramer in 1777. Found in S.China, NE.Burma, Shan States, N.Laos, N.Vietnam, Sakhalin, Kurile Islands, S.Ussuri, Taiwan. 6. A software professional services company Bianor, p://www.bianor.com


Mansfield Township is a township located in Iron County, Michigan. As of the 2000 census, the township had a total population of 243.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 278.9 square kilometer (107.7 square mile). 257.2 km� (99.3 mi�) of it is land and 21.7 km� (8.4 mi�) of it is water. The total area is 7.78% water.


As of the censusGeographic references 2 of 2000, there are 243 people, 104 households, and 71 families residing in the township. The population density is 0.9/km� (2.4/mi�). There are 236 housing units at an average density of 0.9/km� (2.4/mi�). The racial makeup of the township is 95.06% White (U.S. Census), 0.82% African American (U.S. Census), 0.41% Native American (U.S. Census), 0.41% Asian (U.S. Census), 0.00% Pacific Islander (U.S. Census), 2.06% from Race (U.S. Census), and 1.23% from two or more races. 2.06% of the population are Hispanic (U.S. Census) or Latino (U.S. Census) of any race. There are 104 households out of which 17.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.6% are Marriage living together, 4.8% have a female householder with no husband present, and 30.8% are non-families. 27.9% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.34 and the average family size is 2.81. In the township the population is spread out with 15.6% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 20.2% from 25 to 44, 36.2% from 45 to 64, and 20.2% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 49 years. For every 100 females there are 122.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 118.1 males. The median income for a household in the township is $36,458, and the median income for a family is $46,250. Males have a median income of $36,042 versus $26,250 for females. The per capita income for the township is $17,154. 5.3% of the population and 0.0% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 0.0% of those under the age of 18 and 8.1% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Adelphi is a village located in Ross County, Ohio. As of the 2000 census, the village had a total population of 371.


Adelphi is located at 39�2758 North, 82�4445 West (39.466041, -82.745707) GR 1. According to the United States Census Bureau, the village has a total area of 0.7 square kilometer (0.3 square mile). 0.7 km� (0.3 mi�) of it is land and none of the area is covered with water.


As of the census GR 2 of 2000, there are 371 people, 156 households, and 111 families residing in the village. The population density is 511.6/km� (1,343.3/mi�). There are 176 housing units at an average density of 242.7/km� (637.3/mi�). The racial makeup of the village is 96.23% White (U.S. Census), 2.96% African American (U.S. Census), 0.00% Native American (U.S. Census), 0.00% Asian (U.S. Census), 0.00% Pacific Islander (U.S. Census), 0.00% from Race (U.S. Census), and 0.81% from two or more races. 0.54% of the population are Hispanic (U.S. Census) or Latino (U.S. Census) of any race. There are 156 households out of which 28.2% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.8% are Marriage living together, 12.2% have a female householder with no husband present, and 28.8% are non-families. 26.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.2% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.38 and the average family size is 2.83. In the village the population is spread out with 22.4% under the age of 18, 9.7% from 18 to 24, 28.8% from 25 to 44, 25.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 38 years. For every 100 females there are 101.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.3 males. The median income for a household in the village is $33,125, and the median income for a family is $37,143. Males have a median income of $30,250 versus $24,375 for females. The per capita income for the village is $14,657. 13.6% of the population and 13.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 18.4% of those under the age of 18 and 23.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


Government spending consists of government purchases, including transfer payments, which can be financed by seigniorage (the creation of money for government funding), taxes, or government debt. It is considered to be one of the major components of gross domestic product. John Maynard Keynes was one of the first economists to advocate government deficit spending as a way to cure an recession. In Keynesian economics, increased government spending is thought to raise aggregate demand and increase consumption.

United States

As of 2004, the U.S. Congressional Budget Office reported that federal government spending for 2004 was projected to be $2,293 billion, or slightly less than 20% of the GDP. Of that, $159 billion was for net interest, $486 billion for defense (military), $492 billion for Social Security (United States), $473 billion for Medicare (United States) and Medicaid, $191 billion for various welfare programs, $136 billion for retirement and disability benefits, and $64 billion was projected to be spent elsewhere.


Congressional Budget Office. CBOs Current Budget Projections. 1944&sequence 0. November 24, 2004.

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Arp is a city located in Smith County, Texas. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 901.


Arp is located at 32�1333 North, 95�319 West (32.225794, -95.055140) GR 1. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 6.3 square kilometer (2.5 square mile). 6.3 km� (2.5 mi�) of it is land and none of the area is covered with water.


As of the census GR 2 of 2000, there are 901 people, 361 households, and 259 families residing in the city. The population density is 142.0/km� (367.6/mi�). There are 405 housing units at an average density of 63.8/km� (165.2/mi�). The racial makeup of the city is 95.34% White (U.S. Census), 3.22% African American (U.S. Census), 0.11% Native American (U.S. Census), 0.00% Asian (U.S. Census), 0.00% Pacific Islander (U.S. Census), 0.44% from Race (U.S. Census), and 0.89% from two or more races. 2.55% of the population are Hispanic (U.S. Census) or Latino (U.S. Census) of any race. There are 361 households out of which 32.1% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.3% are Marriage living together, 8.6% have a female householder with no husband present, and 28.0% are non-families. 26.3% of all households are made up of individuals and 13.3% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.50 and the average family size is 2.97. In the city the population is spread out with 25.2% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 14.9% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 37 years. For every 100 females there are 91.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 89.3 males. The median income for a household in the city is $33,750, and the median income for a family is $38,807. Males have a median income of $27,443 versus $22,202 for females. The per capita income for the city is $16,619. 4.9% of the population and 4.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 5.5% of those under the age of 18 and 6.2% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.


Minorca (Menorca both in Catalan and Spanish and increasingly in English usage, from Latin insula minor, later Minorica minor island) is one of the Balearic Islands (Illes Balears Catalan language official name, Islas Baleares in Spanish language), located in the Mediterranean Sea, and belonging to Spain. It takes its name from being smaller than nearby island of Majorca. The island has a population of approximately 82,000. The local dialect of Catalan is called Menorqu�: it uses es for masculine the where Catalan uses els and Spanish el. It also has some English language loan words dating back to the British occupation such as grevi taken from gravy. Minorca was annexationed to the Caliphate of C�rdoba, Spain in 903. The island was conquered by Alfons III of Aragon on January 17, 1287, Minorcas national day, and until 1344 was part of the Kingdom of Majorca, before being annexed to Aragonese Empire and thus becoming later part of Spain. During the 16th century, Turkish naval attacks destroyed Mahon and the then capital Ciutadella. Captured by the Royal Navy in 1708 during the War of the Spanish Succession, it became for some 70 years a Great Britain dependency (and Mahon harbour a Mediterranean naval base) in the 18th century. The capital was moved to Mahon. The British influence can be seen in local architecture with elements such as sash windows. During the Seven Years War, the failure to relieve a French siege of Minorca in 1756 led to the execution of Admiral John Byng. It was restored to British control by the Treaty of Paris (1763). During the American Revolutionary War, Spanish and French forces defeated British forces and captured the island on February 5, 1782, but it was recovered by the British in 1798 during the French Revolutionary Wars. It was finally and permanently ceded to Spain by the Treaty of Amiens in 1802, one story is that Horatio Nelson, 1st Viscount Nelson preferred to hold a base at Malta so as to be closer to Emma Hamilton in Naples. In the Spanish Civil War, Minorca supported the Republicans, while Majorca supported the Nationalists. It did not see combat, and when the Nationalists won in 1939, the British navy assisted a peaceful transfer of power in Minorca and the evacuation of some political refugees. The island had applied membership for the International Island Games Association to be the 25th member. The chairman of the International Island Games Association Executive, Bo Frykenstam, and his vice-chairman, Brian Partington, have received an invitation from Presidenta del Consell Insular de Menorca to visit the Island between January 19-23, 2005. There, they will meet political representatives as well as those from sports federations, potential sponsors and the media. There will also be an opportunity of viewing the Island�s sports facilities. Famous megalithic stone monuments: navetes and talaiots. See also: sobrassada (typical sausage with paprika), gin (strong liquor, a vestige of the British period), Ma� cheese (original cheese of the island). The major towns are Ciutadella and Ma�. The island is administratively divided into these municipalities:
Alaior, Balearic Islands
Es Castell, Balearic Islands (Spanish Villacarlos)
Ciutadella de Menorca, Balearic Islands (Spanish Ciudadela), previously the capital of Minorca
Ferreries, Balearic Islands
Mahon, the capital of Minorca and the city from which mayonnaise gets its name (Menorqu�n Ma�, Spanish Mah�n), became the capital because of its deep-water harbour
Es Mercadal, Balearic Islands
Es Migjorn Gran, Balearic Islands or Es Mitjorn Gran (Spanish Sant Crist�bal but now little used) hometown of Joan Riudavets
Sant Llu�s, Balearic Islands

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


Janusz Onyszkiewicz (born 1937) is a Poland mathematician, alpinist, politician and a vice-president of the European Parliament (since 20 July, 2004).

Biographical note

Janusz Onyszkiewicz was born on 18 December 1937 in Lw�w (now Lviv in Ukraine). He graduated in mathematics from the Warsaw University. He became a famous Polish mathematician and a himalaist in the 1970s. In the 1980s he became the spokesman for Solidarity anti-communist movement. He became somehow popular among foreign journalists because of his fluent English language. After the introduction of martial law in Poland on December 13, 1981, he was arrested and interned. After the fall of communism in 1989 Onyszkiewicz became a Member of the Polish Sejm. He served all subsequent terms from May 1989 until 2001. Initially he was a member of Obywatelski Klub Parlamentarny, then Unia Demokratyczna and Unia Wolnosci. In the spring of 1990 Onyszkiwicz and Bronislaw Komorowski became the first civilian vice-ministers of defence in the communist-dominated Ministry of Defence. Later Onyszkiewicz was the Minister of Defence twice: in the cabinets of Hanna Suchocka (1992-1993) and Jerzy Buzek (1997-2000). On 13 June 2004 Onyszkiewicz was elected to the European Parliament as a candidate of Unia Wolnosci in the 10th constituency (Lesser Poland Voivodship+Swietokrzyskie Voivodships) receiving 50 155 votes (6,37%). On July 20, 2004 he was elected a Vice-President of the European Parliament.


For many years, as a measure to prevent the spread of syphilis, states in the United States required a Wassermann test of the bride and groom prior to marriage, and the term became synonymous with syphilis testing. The Wassermann test was an early serological test for syphilis, based on complement fixation, developed by August von Wassermann in 1906. It tests for specific antibodies. In the 1930s the Hinton test, developed by William Hinton, and based on flocculation, was shown to have fewer false positive reactions than the Wasserman. Subsequent syphilis tests, such as the Rapid Plasma Reagin (RPR) and Venereal Disease Research Laboratory (VDRL) test, and others based on monoclonal antibodies and immunofluorescence, are used in place of the Wassermann and Hinton tests today.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006


The Tanganyika sardine is really two species (Limnothrissa miodon and Stolothrissa tanganicae) both of which are small, planktivorous, pelagic, freshwater clupeid originating from Lake Tanganyika in East Africa. They form the major biomass of pelagic fish in Lake Tanganyika, swimming in large schools in the open lake, feeding on copepods and potentially jellyfish. Their major predators are four species of Lates which are also endemic to Lake Tanganyika, and are related to (but not the same as) the Nile Perch in Lake Victoria. All of these pelagic fish have suffered from overfishing in the last 2 decades. The local names are Kapenta in Zambia, or Dagaa or Ndgaa elsewhere. Limnothrissa miodon has been successfully introduced in both natural and artificial African lakes. Large kapenta fisheries now take place in the Kariba Dam (Zambia/Zimbabwe) and Cahora Bassa (Mozambique). stub


The Sogdian alphabet is derived from Syriac alphabet, the descendant script of Aramaic alphabet. It is occasionally known as the sutra script, was similar to the script of the Ancient Letters used in writing on papyri. Many Buddhism, Manichaeism, Nestorianism, and Zoroastrianism texts as well as all secular material such as letters, legal documents, coin legends, and inscriptions were written in this script. Sogdian was written either in horizontal and sometimes in vertical direction, the latter probably under Chinese language influence, but with first vertical line starting from the left side, not from the right one as in Chinese, most probably because right-to-left writing direction was used in horizontal writing. Mongolian alphabet proper still uses this kind of vertical writing, introduced by Sogdians.

Monday, February 06, 2006


Margaret Dumont was the stage-name of United States comic actor Daisy Juliette Baker (October 20, 1889 - March 6, 1965), remembered mostly for being the straight man to Groucho Marx in seven of the Marx Brothers movies. Groucho called her practically the fifth Marx brother. (There were in fact five Marx brothers, but only a maximum of four ever performed together.) Dumont played wealthy high-society widows whom Groucho alternately insulted and romanced for their money. They include Mrs Rittenhouse in Animal Crackers, Mrs Claypool in A Night at the Opera (movie), Mrs Gloria Teasdale in Duck Soup, Martha Phelps in The Big Store, Mrs Susan Dewkesbury in At the Circus, and Emily Upjohn in A Day at the Races (movie). Groucho once said a lot of people believed they were married in real life, but they were not. Over the course of her lifetime she played in 40 film, not including some minor silent work. Her first feature film was the Marx Brothers movie The Cocoanuts in 1929 in which she played Mrs Potter, the same role she played in the stage version from which the film was adapted. Her last movie was What a Way to Go in 1964, in which she played Shirley MacLaines mother. She also played the same type with W.C. Fields (in Never Give a Sucker an Even Break), Abbott and Costello, Laurel and Hardy, Jack Benny and Danny Kaye. She also played some dramatic parts. In her interviews and press profiles she preserved the myth of her on-screen character - the rich, regal woman who never quite understood the joke - and claimed she had returned reluctantly to acting as a result of widowhood. But as a young actress she had specialised in straight female-leads in musical comedies, where the cardinal rule was to make space for the featured comedian. Perhaps the joke was not entirely on her.


The United Kingdom uses as its national flag the Royal Banner commonly known as the Union Jack, or more properly Union Flag as it only becomes a Maritime flags when flown at sea. The current design of the Union Flag or Jack dates from the 1801 Act of Union with the formation of the United Kingdom. The history and nomenclature of this flag, the pre-1801 version, and its use other than as a flag for the United Kingdom (eg. in Australia), and the white bordered Pilot Jack (now permitted for civilian use as a jack) are treated more fully under the article Union Jack. The Court of the Lord Lyon, which has criminal jurisdiction in heraldic matters in Scotland, confirms that the Union Flag popularly called The Union Jack, is the correct flag for all citizens and corporate bodies of the United Kingdom to fly to demonstrate their loyalty and their nationality. Its correct proportions are 1:2. However, the version officially used by the British Army modifies the proportions to 3:5. A careful examination of the flag shows that, contrary to popular belief, the flag is not symmetrical and has a right side and a wrong side up. A mnemonic to remind those flying the flag which end is up is Wide white top - the broad white stripe (composing part of the cross of Saint Andrew) should be above the red stripe (the cross of Saint Patrick) in the upper hoist of the flag (the hoist is the half of the flag near the flagpole). This is particularly important because the flag is flown upside down as a distress signal. The so-called Cross of Saint Patrick was invented to fit the Union Flag, possibly drawing from the FitzGerald arms. Little evidence of its use in Ireland with any association to Patrick exists, although the proto-fascist Blue Shirts of the 1930s did adopt it as a symbol.