Monday, December 31, 2007

List of countries by GDP (PPP) per capita
This article includes two lists of countries of the world all of the figures are for the year 2006. Sovereign territories are ranked.
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database, April 2007, for the year 2006: Countries, EU(27) GDP/pop.
The World Factbook, Central Intelligence Agency. CIA source link. Data refers to various years from 1993 till 2006.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Beemster Population centres
Around 800 AD the area of the modern municipality of Beemster was covered in peat. The name "Beemster" has been derived from "Bamestra" (see Groenedijk, 2000), the name of a small river in the area. In the period 1150-1250 peat-digging by people, and storm floods, enlarged that small river into an inland sea, a lake in open connection with the Zuiderzee. Around 1605 private investors started to drain the Beemster lake. In 1610, this was almost complete, but the lake re-filled because of a break in the Zuiderzee dikes. It was decided to make the ring-dike a meter high above the surrounding country. In 1612 the polder was dry and the country was divided among the investors. In the earlier days of the polder, farmers occupied its lands for growing the crops necessary for long sea journeys by the VOC to the East Indies. It turned out that the farmland was so good that the project was considered then to be an economic success, in contrast to e.g. the Heerhugowaard. Since 1999 the entire Beemster polder has been on the UNESCO world heritage list.
The Beemster polder is home to the world famous CONO Kaasmakers, maker of the Beemster brand of cheeses. This co-op was formed in 1901 to create cheese made only from the unique milk that comes from the Beemster polder. Today [1] Beemster cheese is sold not only in Europe, but in the USA, Canada, Japan and China.

World Heritage Site
The municipal council of Beemster consists of 13 seats, which are divided as follows:
The Mayor is Harry Brinkman.

Beemster Polder Partij - 5 seats
PvdA - 3 seats
VVD - 3 seats
CDA - 2 seats

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sallah is a fictional character, a friend and colleague to Indiana Jones. Played by John Rhys-Davies, he appears in two of the four Indiana Jones movies; in Raiders of the Lost Ark and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. In addition, he also appears in the preshow video in the Disneyland attraction Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye, and voices the safety advisory in the attraction.

Raiders of the Lost Ark
In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Sallah fails in rescuing Marcus Brody from the Nazis, who captured him for the map that leads to the Holy Grail. Sallah takes Jones and his father, Henry Jones Sr. to the Nazi convoy. He later secures some camels for the trip back home, although Indy told him horses. It's revealed that Sallah has a brother-in-law after the Nazis blow up his brother-in-law's car. He captures camels instead of horses for compensation.

Deleted Scenes
Sallah will not be returning in the upcoming Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, as Davies was not requested to appear in the film. This will be the second of four movies to not feature the character.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Political parties Elections
The Austrian Freedom Party (Freiheitliche Partei Österreichs, abbreviated to FPÖ) is a right-wing political party in Austria. Its current leader is Heinz-Christian Strache. The FPÖ is generally regarded as a populist party and often classed as a german-nationalist party. It promises stronger anti-immigration laws, stricter law enforcement and more funds for families.
In April 2005, former party leader Jörg Haider and other leading party members seceded from the FPÖ to form a new party, the Alliance for the Future of Austria (BZÖ).

Origins and history

Main article: Jörg Haider Jörg Haider
In the 1999 parliamentary election, the FPÖ received 27% of the votes, more than in any election before; they even beat the ÖVP (the conservative "People's Party") by a small margin (about 400 votes, with 4.6 million Austrians voting), which had until then always taken first or second place in national elections.
In early 2000, the FPÖ joined a coalition government with Wolfgang Schüssel's ÖVP. The Freedom Party had to take a junior part in the coalition, as otherwise the ÖVP would have continued their coalition with the SPÖ. There was a great degree of outrage both within the country and internationally. The heads of government of the other 14 EU members decided to cease cooperation with the Austrian government, as it was felt in many countries that the cordon sanitaire against coalitions with parties considered as right-wing extremists, which had mostly held in Western Europe since 1945, had been breached. For example, for several months, other national leaders refused to shake hands and socialize with members of the Schüssel government. This was described as "sanctions" by representatives of the ÖVP and FPÖ, and supporters of the government often blamed social democrats and President Thomas Klestil for them, and questioned their loyalty to the country. The EU leaders soon saw that their measures were counterproductive, and returned to normality during the summer of 2000, even though the coalition remained unchanged.
In February 2000, Haider stepped down from the leadership of the Freedom Party. This was widely seen as a cynical move to appease foreign criticism, as he was alleged to control the party from behind the scenes. He retained the governorship of Carinthia.
Even though the FPÖ members of the government and the party leadership at that time consisted largely of politicians such as Susanne Riess-Passer and Karl-Heinz Grasser, whose career had so far depended entirely on Haider's populism, Haider himself appeared to be increasingly discontent with the situation, as his party began to lose in regional and local elections, since it was no longer in the position to gain votes by criticizing the government. This caused a dispute within the party, which escalated at a special party convention at Knittelfeld that caused three leading members of the government to resign (so-called Knittelfeld Putsch).
In the November 2002, general elections in Austria resulted in a landslide victory (42.27% of the vote) for the People's Party. The Freedom Party, which had been stronger than the People's Party in 1999 , was reduced to 10.16% of the vote, less than half its previous share. Nevertheless, the coalition government of the People's Party and Freedom Party (now with 79+18=97 seats in Austria's 183-seat parliament, down from 52+52=104 in 1999) was renewed in February 2003.
In September 2003, regional elections, notably in Upper Austria, also brought heavy losses, with the Austrian Green Party for the first time receiving more votes than the Freedom Party. The elections to the European Parliament in June 2004 reduced the Freedom Party's share of the vote to a mere 6%. Similar results were achieved at several state and local elections.
The FPÖ seemed to have largely lost its appeal to voters, except in Carinthia, where it gained 42.5% in the state elections of March 7, 2004. However, that success, most likely resting entirely on Haider's personal charisma, appeared to be rapidly losing its effectiveness in the rest of the country.

Freedom Party of Austria The coalition government
In early 2005, the FPÖ was increasingly ridden by internal strife between populist and nationalist factions. Its bargaining position within the coalition government has already been considered to be low by many political observers for some time, which has allowed chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel to pursue largely policies favoured by his own party.
On April 4, 2005, several prominent party members (among them former chairman Jörg Haider, his sister and current chairwoman Ursula Haubner, vice chancellor Hubert Gorbach, as well as most of the 18 representatives in parliament) left the party and founded a new party called "Alliance for the future of Austria" (Bündnis Zukunft Österreich" — BZÖ). Regional party organizations seem to be split between the two factions. In Haider's stronghold Carinthia the old FPÖ completely became an organization of the BZÖ. Austria's chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel immediately changed his coalition with the FPÖ into a cooperation with the BZÖ.
On April 23, 2005, Heinz-Christian Strache was elected as new chairman of the party, following Hilmar Kabas, who had taken this position temporarily after Ursula Haubner's resignation.
In the first election where FPÖ and BZÖ competed against each other (state of Styria, October 2, 2005), the FPÖ lost all its seats in the regional parliament (Landtag), but still obtained a far larger number of votes (4.6%) than Haider's BZÖ (1.7%). It was reduced to a share of 5.7% in the Burgenland elections one week later, where the BZÖ did not run.
However, the FPÖ did reasonably well in the Vienna elections on October 23, where Heinz-Christian Strache was the leading candidate and ran a campaign directed strongly against immigration. It took a share of 14.9% (down from more than 20%), while the BZÖ only gained 1.2%. As a result, the BZÖ has been all but eliminated in all states except for Carinthia and the federal level.
The FPÖ did reasonably well in the 2006 elections and gained a further 3 seats (21 in total). However the Greens gained 4 seats and, tied on seats the Greens became the 3rd largest party on absentee votes. The BZÖ only just made it past the 4% threshold needed to enter parliament and received 7 seats.
The Grand Coalition between SPÖ and ÖVP leaves both far-right parties in opposition.

Secession of Jörg Haider and the BZÖ
The platform of the Freedom Party is based on five main points [1]:

No accession of Turkey into the European Union.
No intrusion of EU policy in Austria.
No increase in the Austrian contribution to the EU.
Restrict Austrian citizenship law.
Stop the misuse of the asylum system.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Island Nights' Entertainments
Island Nights' Entertainments (also known as South Sea Tales) is a collection of short stories by Robert Louis Stevenson, first published in 1893. It would be some of his last finished works before he died in 1894.
It contains three stories:
The Beach of Falesa
The Bottle Imp
The Isle of Voices

Monday, December 24, 2007

Theodore Roosevelt "Ted" Lilly (born January 4, 1976 in Lomita, California), is a left-handed starting pitcher for the Chicago Cubs. He bats and throws left-handed. The 6'1" Lilly attended Yosemite High School in Oakhurst, California, and Fresno City College.
Lilly is a fly-ball pitcher. His fastball is usually in the range of 87-91 MPH, although it can reach 94 at times. It feels faster from the hitter's perspective because Lilly's pitching motion hides the ball well. He also throws a slider and a useful change-up. His favorite out pitch is a slow, looping curveball; however, his command of this pitch is very inconsistent, and hanging curveballs tend to account for many of his hits allowed. He can also tend to take too many pitches to get through innings and thus often fails to last beyond the sixth inning despite his ability to pitch well late into his starts. On days when Lilly does spot his curveball and challenges opposing hitters with strikes, he is a formidable adversary for any lineup and can be downright unhittable (see Red Sox, below).

Montreal Expos (1999)
New York Yankees (2000-2002)
Oakland Athletics (2002-2003)
Toronto Blue Jays (2004-2006)
Chicago Cubs (2007-present) Professional career
Lilly broke into the majors with the Montreal Expos in 1999, pitching in only nine games that year before being traded to the New York Yankees as part of a trade involving Hideki Irabu. Lilly played two plus years for the Yankees before being dealt to the Oakland Athletics in a three team deal that included pitchers Jeff Weaver heading to New York and Jeremy Bonderman going to the Detroit Tigers. Lilly was in the starting rotation for Oakland, and pitched in the American League Division Series in both 2002 and 2003.

Early Years
Lilly was traded from the Athletics to the Blue Jays for Bobby Kielty. He made the American League All-Star team in 2004 as the Jays' lone representative that year.
The highlight of his career as a Blue Jay was a start on August 23, 2004 against the Boston Red Sox. He pitched a complete-game shutout and struck out 13 batters in a three-hit 3-0 victory.

Ted Lilly 2006 Season
In his first start for the Cubs, Lilly defeated the Cincinnati Reds in a strong outing, taking a no hitter into the fifth inning, and only yielding one earned run over seven innings.

Ted Lilly MLB Stats

Montreal Expos all-time roster

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Pali Canon
The Vibhanga (vibhaṅga) is a Buddhist Scripture, part of the Pali Canon of Theravada Buddhism, where it is included in the Abhidhamma Pitaka.
Translation: The Book of Analysis, tr U Thittila, 1969, Pali Text Society[1], Lancaster
The book is in 18 chapters, each dealing with a particular topic. A typical chapter is in three parts:
Sutta method: often consisting of quotations from the Sutta Pitaka
Abhidhamma method: variously by lists of synonyms, numerical classifications, ...
Question method: this applies the matika of the Dhammasangani, asking how many are ...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Turner County is a county located in the U.S. state of Georgia. It was created on August 18, 1905. As of 2000, the population is 9,504. The 2005 Census Estimate shows a population of 9,474 [1]. The county seat is Ashburn, Georgia.

Turner County, Georgia History
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 751 km² (290 mi²). 741 km² (286 mi²) of it is land and 10 km² (4 mi²) of it (1.32%) is water.


Interstate 75
U.S. Highway 41
Georgia State Route 32
Georgia State Route 107
Georgia State Route 112
Georgia State Route 159

Friday, December 21, 2007

This is a list of James Bond allies in the film For Your Eyes Only.

List of James Bond allies in For Your Eyes Only Recurring Allies
Milos Columbo is a fictional character from the 1981 James Bond film For Your Eyes Only. The character was named after Gioacchino Colombo, a Ferrari engine designer, specifically the supercharged Ferrari 125, which Fleming admired .
He was portrayed by Chaim Topol.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Fortingall Yew
The Fortingall Yew is an ancient yew (Taxus baccata) in the churchyard of the village of Fortingall in Perthshire, Scotland. Various estimates have put its age at between 2000 and 5000 years; recent research into yew tree ages (Harte 1996, Kinmonth 2006) suggests that it is likely to be nearer the lower limit of 2,000 years. This still makes it the oldest tree in Europe.
The yew is nothing spectacular to look at — it is of no great height, and its once massive trunk (16 metres, or 52 feet in girth in 1769, of unknown original height) is split into a number of separate stems, giving the impression of several smallish trees. This is a result of the cutting out of pieces of its wood as tourist trinkets in the nineteenth century and the natural decay of the ancient heartwood, which has reduced the centre of the trunk down to ground level. Other than this the tree is still in good health and may last for many centuries yet. It is now protected by a low wall, but can still be easily viewed.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Cajun Jitterbug is a style of Cajun dancing with two variations. The main style is a classic two-step form of a six-count East Coast Swing, which is differentiated from the one-step Cajun Jig. The other is considered a cowboy-style of Jitterbug or swing dance, also referred to as the Lake Charles Slide, the Cowboy Jitterbug and the Whiskey River Jitterbug.
Cajun Two Step is a style of Cajun dancing, also with two variations, and is arguably the most traditional. It is very similar to the country western two-step. The traditional Cajun two-step doesn't have as many fancy turns and spins as their country western cousin.
Some Cajun dance moves are initiated from one of two basic positions: the open-handed position and the cross-handed position. In the open-handed position, the partners face each other and join right hand to left (and left to right) slightly below waist level. Cross-handed position is identical, except the hands are crossed (right hands joined on top, left hands below).
Traditional Cajun Jig, the newest form of Cajun dance features a "hobble step" alternating feet like you are stepping on and off a curb, and lots of underarm turns popular with country and western dance.
One form of the Cajun dance features stepping or walking, in time to the music, with alternating feet. In an exaggerated form, most often seen in newer dancers, this resembles a "hobble step", as if stepping on and off a curb. In reality, it is a subtle weighting down of one foot/leg (right for men, left for woman) which allows the opposite leg to move about. The effect is to facilitate turns and swings reminiscent of jitterbug and swing dancing, or versions of Country Western dancing.
One usage of the term, "Cajun Jitterbug", alludes to the style of Cajun dancing which contains more turns and spins, regardless of the basic step pattern.
Cajun Jitterbug

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

In metaphysics, particulars are, one might say, identified by what they are not: they are not abstractions, not multiply-instantiated--i.e. they are concrete. (There are, however, theories of abstract particulars or tropes.) Hence, Socrates is a particular (there's only one Socrates-the-teacher-of-Plato and one cannot make copies of him, e.g., by cloning him, without introducing new, distinct particulars). Redness, by contrast, is not a particular, because (it is held by metaphysical realists) it is abstract and multiply-instantiated (my bicycle, this apple, and that girl's hair are all red).
The fact of the matter is that all such terms are used by philosophers with a rough-and-ready idea of how they work. If there is confusion or lack of agreement about the specifics, that is a reflection of the fact that philosophers have many competing metaphysical theories that inform more precise, but idiosyncratic, accounts of the meanings of these terms. Hence, for example, for convenience in formulating a solution to the problem of universals, 'particular' can be pressed into service in describing the particular instance of redness of a particular apple--even though redness (being abstract) is precisely the sort of thing that is not supposed to be particular. See philosophical jargon.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Eruption (disambiguation)
Eruption can refer to:
Volcanic eruption
The eruption of teeth through the gum
Eruption (band), a British disco/R&B band in the 1970s and 1980s
Eruption (German band), a short lived German experimental band
Eruption (album), by Kluster
Eruption (song), from Van Halen's first album.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania (Romanian: Comisia Prezidenţială pentru Analiza Dictaturii Comuniste din România), also known as the Tismăneanu Commission (Comisia Tismăneanu), is a commission instituted in Romania by President Traian Băsescu in order to carry out an investigation of the Communist regime and provide a comprehensive report allowing for the condemnation of Communism as experienced by Romania. Created in April 2006 as a panel presided over by political scientist Vladimir Tismăneanu, it focused on examining the activity of institutions that enforced and the perpetuated the communist dictatorship, "the methods making possible the abuses, the murders, the felonies of the dictatorship, the flagrant violations of human rights and the role of some political figures in the maintaining and the functioning of the totalitarian regime in Romania".
The Commission presented its final report to Parliament on December 18 of the same year — it has been adopted as an official document of the Romanian Presidency, and published on its website. The report confirms Romania as the first former Eastern Bloc country to officially condemn its Сommunist regime.


Final report
The report identifies several individuals as responsible for officially-endorsed violent methods. Several of them have their biographies reviewed as part of the 660 pages long text. Among those identified as main supporters of the communist regime are several present-day political figures (former Romanian President Ion Iliescu, and senators Corneliu Vadim Tudor and Adrian Păunescu), as well as the Commission President's own father, Leonte Tismăneanu.
In the category comprising those found to be "guilty of enforcing and perpetuating a regime built on crimes" are named Gheorghe Gheorghiu-Dej, Ana Pauker, Gheorghe Apostol, Gheorghe Rădulescu, Manea Mănescu and Ion Iliescu.
Among those found responsible for political indoctrination are Ion Iliescu, Mihai Roller, Paul Niculescu-Mizil, Valter Roman, and Silviu Brucan.
A special category comprises those participants in the cultural life who were found to have actively supported the Сommunist regime. The Report mentions Eugen Barbu, Corneliu Vadim Tudor, Dan Zamfirescu, Ion Dodu Bălan, Dinu Săraru, Adrian Păunescu, Ilie Bădescu, Mihai Ungheanu, Nicolae Dan Fruntelată, Arthur Silvestri and Ilie Purcaru. The Săptămâna magazine, directed by Eugen Barbu and Corneliu Vadim Tudor, was considered "the main platform for manipulative pseudo-nationalism during the late years of the Ceauşescu regime".
The report imentions Mihai Bujor Sion and Leonte Tismăneanu among the main activists of the Romanian Communist Party. Those identified as involved in the regime's propaganda apparatus are Matei Socor (head of the Agerpres news agency), Paul Niculescu-Mizil, Leonte Răutu, Eugen Florescu and Ion Iliescu.
Ghizela Vass and Ştefan Andrei were identified as main agents of the Communist regime involved in policies pertaining to external affairs.

Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania Pillars, enforcers, and supporters of Communism
The report also contradicts President Băsescu's earlier assertion (a thesis also supported also by the Left and nationalist groupings of the Romanian political spectrum) that the Communist secret police, the Securitate, can be divided into two distinct sections - one serving the regime, the other ensuring the nation's security. Vladimir Tismăneanu was quoted by Adevărul saying:
"We [the Commission] reject on a scientific basis the existence of two kinds of Securitate, one of before 1965, Cominternist and anti-patriotic, and the other one devoted to the people and to the patriotic values".

Anti-Communist dissidents Victor Frunză and Ionel Cana have published a protest letter. The report fails to account for the widespread abuses and murders perpetrated by the regime against the Orthodox Church. The report is considered unscientific and blatantly biased, given that it characterizes Orthodox theologian Dumitru Stăniloae as an author of "lousy works" praising the action of the regime. According to Dan Ciachir, the article has its starting point in an article by historian Florin Constantiniu, which states that the Tismaneanu commission responds to a political need, not a scientific one.

Presidential Commission for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Romania The moral authority of the commission
Some critics point out that:
Important dissident leaders are omitted from the report.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Levanter may refer to

A Levanter, a person who was born in the Levant, especially one of mixed European-Oriental ancestry
Viento de Levante, a wind that blows in the western Mediterranean Sea
The Levanter, a novel by Eric Ambler

Friday, December 14, 2007

Holy Corner
Holy Corner is a colloquial name for a small area of Edinburgh, Scotland, and (along with Church Hill) is actually part of the area more properly known as Burghmuirhead, itself part of the lands of Greenhill. Holy Corner lies between the areas of Bruntsfield and Morningside. It is well-known to local people (and most Edinburgh taxi drivers) and has borne the name for a long while, but never appears on maps or in addresses, being really just a nickname.
The name derives from the crossroads, where Morningside Road, Colinton Road and Chamberlain Road meet; on each of the corners of the crossroad is a church (although two are slightly set back.) Church Hill is the small area to the south, with Morningside beyond, and the north end of the crossroads leads into Bruntsfield Place. Merchiston is to the west.
The churches in question are: Christ Church (Scottish Episcopal Church), Morningside United (Church of Scotland and United Reformed Church) and Morningside Baptist Church (Baptist Church). The latter is to move its Sunday services to the former Braid Church (Church of Scotland) building further south in Morningside from mid-May 2006, but intends to keep the Holy Corner building. The fourth of the churches has been turned into the Eric Liddell centre (ELC). The area's "holiness" has been enhanced in recent years by having a Christian "centre of healing", an Iyengar yoga centre, and also the Edinburgh base of the "Western Buddhist Order" group (until 2005) in the vicinity. There is also a Bank of Scotland branch in the north west corner.
Adding to the count of nearby churches, a short distance away atop Church Hill is the Church Hill Theatre which was built as a church, and not far beyond that is the former Morningside Parish Church (Church of Scotland) which is now a part of Napier University, the congregation having been merged with another church towards the south of Morningside in the late 1980s.
Other notable features in the immediate area include Napier University's Merchiston campus, which incorporates Merchiston Castle (or tower), former home of and birthplace of John Napier, the mathematician and alleged necromancer. Merchiston Tower is also the ancient seat of Clan Napier.
The former site of a garden centre in the north west corner, next to a branch of the Bank of Scotland, was transformed into a compact "metropolitan" supermarket for Tesco, with adjacent coffee house and furniture shop, in 2006.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A hairdresser is someone whose occupation is to cut or style hair, in order to change or maintain a person's image as they desire. This is achieved using a combination of hair coloring, hair cut and hair texture techniques.

Hairdresser History

Alex Dizon
Rodolfo Valentin
Oscar Blandi
Frédéric Fekkai
Jonathan Antin
Anthony Mascolo
Vidal Sassoon
Darren Rundle
Jay Sebring
Toni & Guy
John Barrett
John Frieda
Paul Mitchell
Jose Eber
Barbara Lee Rodriguez

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Battle of May Island
Operation E.C.1, usually called by the sardonic name of the Battle of May Island, or sometimes the geographically correct Battle of the Isle of May, was a disastrous series of accidents amongst Royal Navy ships on their way from Rosyth in Scotland to fleet exercises on the misty night of 31 January to 1 February 1918. This saw the loss of two submarines, damage to three other submarines and a light cruiser, and the deaths of over 100 men, all of the Royal Navy. Although it took place during the First World War it was an entirely accidental tragedy and no enemy forces were present.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ontario County is a county located in the U.S. state of New York. The county seat is the city of Canandaigua. The name is a corruption of the Iroquois word meaning "beautiful lake." The population of Ontario County in the 2000 census was 100,224, up from 95,101 at the 1990 census.
Progressive Farmer rated Ontario County as the 2006 "Best Place to Live" in the U.S., for its "great schools, low crime, excellent health care" and its proximity to Rochester.


Wayne County, New York - northeast
Seneca County, New York - east
Yates County, New York - south
Steuben County, New York - south
Livingston County, New York - west
Monroe County, New York - northwest Ontario County, New York Adjacent Counties
The county is governed by a Board of Supervisors, and uses the Board-Administrator system with a County Administrator. The Board of Supervisors has twenty-one members, one from each town, two from the city of Canandaigua, and three from the city of Geneva. As of 2004 the county government has over 800 full time employees (augmented by another 360 seasonal or available part-time workers), and a budget of $136 million.


East Bloomfield
South Bristol
West Bloomfield
Clifton Springs

Monday, December 10, 2007

Bengali cinema
Bengali cinema
Assamese cinema
Bengali cinema
Karnataka cinema
Marathi cinema
Malayalam cinema
The history of cinema in Bengal dates back to the 1890s, when the first "bioscopes" were shown in theatres in Calcutta. Within a decade, the first seeds of the industry was sown by Hiralal Sen, considered a stalwart of Victorian era cinema Dhirendra Nath Ganguly (Known as D.G) established Indo British Film Co, the first Bengali owned production company, in 1918. However, the first Bengali Feature film, Billwamangal, was produced in 1919, under the banner of Madan Theatre. Bilat Ferat was the IBFC's first production in 1921. The New Theatre production of Dena Paona was the first Bengali talkie. A long history has been traversed since then, with stalwarts such as Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen and Ritwik Ghatak and others having earned international acclaim and securing their place in the movie history.
Today, there are two Bengali film industries, one in Kolkata, India and the lesser known one in Dhaka, Bangladesh (called Dhallywood). The film industry based in Kolkata is sometimes referred to as Tollywood, a portmanteau of the words Tollygunge, the area of South Kolkata where this industry is based, and Hollywood.

Cinema of Afghanistan
Cinema of Bangladesh
Cinema of India
Cinema of Nepal
Cinema of Pakistan
Cinema of Sri Lanka Early history
List of Bengali films

Bangladesh Movie Industry

Sunday, December 9, 2007

In zoology, a taxon is usually assigned to a rank in a hierarchy. The ICZN divides names in "family-group names", "genus group-names" and "species-group names". The ICZN explicitly mentions:
- - - superfamily
- - - subfamily
- - - tribe
- - - subtribe
- - - subgenus
- - - subspecies
The rules in the 'Code' of the ICZN apply to the ranks of superfamily to subspecies, and only to some extent to those above the rank of superfamily. In the "genus group" and "species group" no further ranks are allowed. Among zoologists, additional ranks such as species group, species subgroup, species complex and superspecies are sometimes used for convenience as extra, but unofficial, ranks between the subgenus and species levels in taxa with many species (e.g. the genus Drosophila).
Ranks of taxa at lower levels may be denoted in their groups by adding the prefix "infra," meaning lower, to the rank. For example infraspecies or infrasubspecies. Infraspecific taxa then include all divisions of the species into subspecies or lower taxa.

Rank (zoology) Names of zoological taxa

a taxon above the rank of species gets a scientific name in one part (a uninominal name)
a species (a taxon at the rank of species) gets a name composed of two names (a binominal name or binomen : generic name + specific name; for example Panthera leo)
a subspecies (a taxon at the rank of subspecies) gets a name composed of three names (a trinominal name or trinomen : generic name + specific name + subspecific name; for example Felis silvestris catus, the house cat). As there is only one rank below that of species no connecting term to indicate rank is used.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

For the Battle of Alam Halfa, which is also often termed the Second Battle of El Alamein, see Battle of Alam Halfa
The Second Battle of El Alamein marked a significant turning point in the Western Desert Campaign of World War II. The battle lasted from October 23 to November 5, 1942. Following the First Battle of El Alamein, which had stalled the Axis advance, General Bernard Montgomery took command of the British Empire's Eighth Army from Claude Auchinleck in August 1942.
Success in the battle turned the tide in the North African Campaign. Allied victory at El Alamein ended Axis hopes of occupying Egypt, controlling access to the Suez Canal, and gaining access to the Middle Eastern oil fields. The defeat at El Alamein marked the end of Axis expansion in Africa.

With Operation Lightfoot, Montgomery hoped to cut two corridors through the Axis minefields in the north. Armour would then pass through and defeat the German armour. Diversionary attacks in the south would keep the rest of the Axis forces from moving northwards. Montgomery expected a twelve-day battle in three stages: "The break-in, the dog-fight and the final break of the enemy."
For the first night of the offensive, Montgomery planned that four infantry divisions would advance to an objective codenamed the Oxalic Line, overrunning the forward Axis defences. Engineers would meanwhile clear and mark lanes through the minefields, through which the armoured divisions would pass to gain the Skinflint Report Line (where they would check and report their progress), and the Pierson Bound (where they would rally and temporarily consolidate their position) in the depths of the Axis defences.
The Commonwealth forces practised a number of deceptions in the months prior to the battle to wrong-foot the Axis command, not only as to the exact whereabouts of the forthcoming battle, but as to when the battle was likely to occur. This operation was codenamed Operation Bertram. In September, they dumped waste materials (discarded packing cases etc.) under camouflage nets in the northern sector, making them appear to be ammunition or ration dumps. The Axis naturally noticed these, but as no offensive action immediately followed and the "dumps" did not change in appearance over time, they subsequently ignored them. This allowed Eighth Army to build up supplies in the forward area unnoticed by the Axis, by replacing the rubbish with ammunition, petrol or rations at night. Meanwhile, a dummy pipeline was built, the construction of which would lead the Axis to believe the attack would occur much later than it in fact did, and much further south. To further the illusion, dummy tanks consisting of plywood frames placed over jeeps were constructed and deployed in the south. In a reverse feint, the tanks destined for battle in the north were disguised as supply lorries by placing removable plywood superstructures over them.

Allied plan
With the failure of the Axis offensive at Alam Halfa, the Axis forces were seriously depleted. The German and Italian armies were over-stretched and exhausted and were relying on captured Allied supplies and equipment. In August, Rommel still had an advantage in men and materials but this was quickly turning against him as no major reinforcements were being sent to him and the British Commonwealth forces were being massively re-supplied with men and materials from the United Kingdom, India, Australia, and some tanks and trucks from the USA. Rommel continued to request equipment and supplies but the main focus of the German war machine was on the Eastern Front and very limited supplies reached North Africa.
Rommel knew full well that the British Commonwealth Forces would soon be strong enough to launch an offensive against his army. His only hope now relied on the German forces fighting in the Battle of Stalingrad quickly defeating the Soviet forces and moving south through the Trans-Caucasus and threatening Persia (Iran) and the Middle East.
This would require large numbers of British Commonwealth forces to be sent from the Egyptian front to reinforce British forces in Persia, leading to the postponement of any British Commonwealth offensive against his Army.
Using this pause Rommel could urge the German High Command to reinforce his forces for the eventual link-up between his Afrika Korps and German armies battling their way through southern Russia enabling them to finally defeat the British and Commonwealth armies in North Africa and the Middle East.
In the meantime, his forces were dug-in and waiting for the eventual attack by the British Commonwealth forces or the defeat of the Soviet Army in Stalingrad. They had laid around half a million mines, mainly anti-tank, in what was called the Devil's gardens. (Many of these mines were of British origin, captured at Tobruk). Anti-personnel mines (such as the S-mine) were mixed with the anti-tank mines.
Rommel alternated German and Italian infantry formations in the forward lines. Rommel's reserves consisted of two German panzer divisions and one motor infantry division, and an Italian force of the same nominal size. Because the Allied deception measures had confused the Axis as to the point of attack, they had to be spread over the entire front. This would delay their concentration against any Allied attack, and also force them to use large amounts of fuel, which Rommel lacked.

Axis plan
The Battle of El Alamein is usually divided into five phases, consisting of the break-in (October 23-24), the crumbling (October 24-25), the counter (October 26-28), Operation Supercharge (November 1-2) and the breakout (November 3-7). No name is given to the period from October 29 to the 30th when the battle was at a standstill.

The battle
On a calm, clear evening under the bright sky of a full moon, Operation Lightfoot began with 882 field and medium guns firing a barrage that continued for five and a half hours, at the end of which each gun had fired about 600 rounds. During that period of time, 125 tons of shells fell on the enemy gun positions. Legend has it that the noise was so great that the ears of the gunners bled.
There was a reason for the name Operation Lightfoot. The infantry had to attack first. Many of the anti-tank mines would not be tripped by soldiers running over them since they were too light (hence the code-name). As the infantry attacked, engineers had to clear a path for the tanks coming up in the rear. Each stretch of land cleared of mines was to be 24 feet wide, which was just enough to get tanks through in single file. The engineers had to clear a five-mile route through the 'Devil's Garden'. It was a difficult task and one that essentially failed because of the depth of the Axis minefields.
The Allied plan called for the XIII Corps to make a feint attack to the south, engaging the German 21st Panzer Division and Italian Ariete Armoured Division which were both tank divisions, while XXX Corps in the north attempted to forge a narrow pathway through the German minefield for the armoured divisions of X Corps.
At 10 p.m., the infantry of XXX Corps began to move. The objective was an imaginary line in the desert where the strongest enemy defenses were situated. Once the infantry reached the first minefields, the mine sweepers (sappers) moved in to create a passage for the tanks. At 2 a.m., the first of the 500 tanks crawled forward. By 4 a.m. the lead tanks were in the minefields, where they stirred up so much dust that there was no visibility at all, and traffic jams developed as the tanks got bogged down.

Second Battle of El AlameinSecond Battle of El Alamein PHASE 1: The break-in
The morning of Saturday 24 October brought disaster for the German headquarters. The accuracy of the barrage destroyed German communications and Georg Stumme, who commanded the Axis forces while Rommel was in Germany, died of a heart attack. Temporary command was given to General Ritter von Thoma.
Meanwhile, XXX Corps had only dented the first minefields. Not enough of the minefields had been cleared to enable X Corps to pass through, so all day long the Allied Desert Air Force attacked Axis positions, making over 1,000 sorties.
Panzer units attacked the British 51st (Highland) Division just after sunrise, only to be stopped in their tracks. By 4:00 p.m. there was little progress. At dusk, with the sun at their backs, Axis tanks from the German 15th Panzer Division and Italian Littorio Division swung out from Kidney Ridge to engage the Australians, and the first major tank battle of El Alamein was joined. Over 100 tanks were involved in this battle and by dark, half were destroyed while neither position was altered.
While the Australians were fighting the 15th Panzer, the Highlanders, on their left, were engaging in the first tank versus infantry battle at El Alamein. It was to last for two days with many casualties, but when it was over the Allies held Kidney Ridge.
D Plus 2: Sunday, October 25, 1942
The initial thrust had ended by Sunday. Both armies had been fighting non-stop for two days. The Allies had advanced through the minefields in the west to make a six mile wide and five mile deep inroad. They now sat atop Miteriya Ridge in the southeast, but at the same time the Axis forces were firmly entrenched in most of their original battle positions and the battle was at a standstill. Hence, General Bernard Montgomery ordered an end to conflict in the south, the evacuation of Miteriya Ridge, and a swing north toward the sea. The battlefield would be concentrated at the Kidney and Tel al-Eissa until a breakthrough occurred. It was to be a gruesome seven days.
By early morning, the Axis forces launched a series of attacks using the 15th Panzer and Littorio divisions. The Afrika Korps was probing for a weakness, but they found none. When the sun set, the Allied infantry went on the attack. Around midnight, the 51st Division launched three attacks, but no one knew exactly where they were. Pandemonium and carnage ensued, resulting in the loss of over 500 Allied troops, and leaving only one officer among the attacking forces.
While the 51st was operating around the Kidney, the Australians were attacking Point 29, a 20 foot high Axis artillery observation post southwest of Tel al-Essa. This was the new northern thrust Montgomery had devised earlier in the day, and it was to be the scene of heated battle for days to come. The 26th Australian Brigade attacked at midnight. The air force dropped 115 tons of bombs and the Allies took the position and 240 prisoners. Fighting continued in this area for the next week, as the Axis tried to recover the small hill that was so vital to their defence.

PHASE 2: The crumbling
D Plus 3: Monday, October 26, 1942
Rommel returned to North Africa on the evening of the 25th, and immediately assessed the battle. He found that the Italian Trento Division had lost half of its infantry, the 164 Light Division had lost two battalions, most other groups were under strength, all men were on half rations, a large number were sick, and the entire Axis army had only enough fuel for three days.
The offensive was stalled. Churchill railed, "Is it really impossible to find a general who can win a battle?" A counterattack began at 3 p.m. against Point 29 near Tel al-Eissa. Rommel was determined to retake the position and moved all the tanks from around Kidney to the battle site. Air and ground power poured into the area as Rommel moved the 21st Panzer and Ariete Armoured Division up from the south along the Rahman Track. That turned out to be a mistake. The British held the position and Rommel's troops could not retire for lack of fuel, and were therefore stuck on open ground at the mercy of air attacks.
However, back at Kidney, the British failed to take advantage of the missing tanks. Each time they tried to move forward they were stopped by anti-tank guns.
On a brighter note for the British, Beaufort torpedo bombers of No.42/47 Squadron Royal Air Force sank the tanker Proserpina at Tobruk, which was the last hope for resupplying Rommel's thirsty machines.
D Plus 4: Tuesday, October 27, 1942
By now, the main battle was concentrated around Tel al-Aqaqir and Kidney Ridge. The 2nd Battalion of The Rifle Brigade, belonging to the British 1st Armoured Division, was at a position codenamed Snipe, to the southwest of the Kidney. The stand at Snipe is one of the legends of the Battle of El-Alamein. Phillips, in his Alamein records that:
"The desert was quivering with heat. The gun detachments and the platoons squatted in their pits and trenches, the sweat running in rivers down their dust-caked faces. There was a terrible stench. The flies swarmed in black clouds upon the dead bodies and excreta and tormented the wounded. The place was strewn with burning tanks and carriers, wrecked guns and vehicles, and over all drifted the smoke and the dust from bursting high explosives and from the blasts of guns."
Mortar and shell fire was constant all day long. Around 4 p.m., British tanks accidentally opened fire against their own position, killing many. At 5 p.m., Rommel launched his major attack. German and Italian tanks moved onward. With only four guns in operation, the Rifle Brigade was able to score continual broad-side hits against forty tanks of the 21st Panzer Division, knocking out thirty-seven of them. The remaining three withdrew and a new assault was launched. All but nine tanks in this assault were also destroyed. The Rifle Brigade was down to three guns with three rounds each, but the Germans had given up on this assault.
D Plus 5-6: Wednesday, Thursday, October 28-29, 1942
The Australian 9th Division was to continue pushing northwest beyond Tel al-Eissa to an enemy-held location south of the railway known as Thompson's Post and force a breakthrough along the coast road. By the end of the day, the British had 800 tanks still in operation, while the Axis had 148 German and 187 Italian tanks. With the tanker Luisiano sunk outside Tobruk harbor, Rommel told his commanders, "It will be quite impossible for us to disengage from the enemy. There is no gasoline for such a maneuver. We have only one choice and that is to fight to the end at Alamein."
D Plus 7-9: Friday-Sunday, October 30 - November 1, 1942
The night of October 30 saw a continuation of previous plans, with the 9th Australian attacking. This was their third attempt to reach the paved road, which they took on this night. On the 31st, Rommel launched four retaliatory attacks against Thompson's Post. The fighting was intense and often hand to hand, but no ground was gained by the Axis forces. On Sunday, November 1, Rommel tried to dislodge the Australians once again, but the brutal, desperate fighting resulted in nothing but lost men and equipment. By now, it had become obvious to Rommel that the battle was lost. He began to plan the retreat and anticipated retiring to Fuka, a few miles west. Ironically, 1,200 tons of fuel arrived, but it was too late and had to be blown up.

PHASE 4: Operation Supercharge
Erwin Rommel sent a message to Hitler explaining his untenable position and seeking permission to withdraw, but Rommel was told to stand fast. Von Thoma told him, "I've just been around the battlefield. 15th Panzer's got ten tanks left, 21st Panzer only fourteen and Littorio seventeen." Rommel read him Hitler's message, so he left to take command at the head of the Afrika Korps.
When 150 British tanks came after the remaining members of the nearly vanquished 15th and 21st Panzers, Von Thoma stood with his men. He was in the command tank at the spot where the two panzer units joined, and there he remained until the last tank was destroyed. At the end, when all was lost, Von Thoma stood alone beside his burning tank at the spot that was to become known as the "panzer graveyard".
Despite the desperate situation, Rommel's men stood their ground. Entire units were destroyed, but the remnants continued to fight. A 12 mile wide hole had been cut in the Axis line. "If we stay put here, the army won't last three days... If I do obey the Fuhrer's order, then there's the danger that my own troops won't obey me... My men come first!" Rommel ordered the massive retreat against Hitler's orders.
D Plus 12, November 4, 1942
On November 4, the final assaults were underway. The British 1st , 7th and 10th armoured divisions passed through the German lines and were operating in the open desert. The Allies had won the battle. The Axis were in retreat. This day saw the liquidation of the Ariete Division, the Littorio Division and the Trieste Motorised Division.
So far, Rommel had lost nearly 23,000 men and 1,000 tanks, and had only 80 working tanks left. The Allies also suffered heavy losses: 13,500 men were killed, missing or wounded.John Currie of the 9th Armoured Brigade pointed to twelve tanks when asked where his regiments were. "There are my armoured regiments". Major-General Douglas Wimberley swore, "Never again."

PHASE 5: The break-out
Montgomery had always envisioned the battle as being one of attrition, similar to those fought in the Great War and had correctly predicted both the length of the battle and the number of Allied casualties . Commonwealth artillery was superbly handled but armoured tactics displayed the cavalry mentality that repeatedly cost Allied forces dearly as they attacked in open country in mass formation with insufficient infantry and air support. Commonwealth air support was therefore of limited use, but contrasted with the Luftwaffe and Regia Aeronautica who offered little or no support to ground forces, preferring to engage in air-to-air combat.
In the end the Allies' victory was all but total. El Alamein was the first great offensive against the Germans in which the Allies were victorious. Winston Churchill famously summed up the battle on 10 November 1942 with the words, "Now this is not the end, it is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning." It was Montgomery's greatest triumph; he took the title "Viscount Montgomery of Alamein" when he was raised to the peerage.
Rommel was driven directly all the way to the Tunisian highlands where his forces were supplied with men and materials after Hitler had learned of Operation Torch and the subsequent betrayal of the Vichy French government to the Allies. These supplies would have been very helpful during the Battle of El Alamein. Rommel now faced a war on two fronts with the Commonwealth forces pursuing him from the east and the British, French and Americans from the west. The prospect of a short campaign against the Axis forces was thwarted by the mistakes made by the inexperienced American forces and this ensured that the Tunisian Campaign would be a long, hard and costly engagement.

Analysis and aftermath
Rommel did not lose hope in Africa till the end of the Tunisia Campaign. Even so, El Alamein was a significant Allied victory and the most decisive with respect to closing of a war front. After three years the African theatre was cleared of Axis forces and the Allies could look northward to the Mediterranean.


Jon Latimer, Alamein, London: John Murray, 2002