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GeForce -- robin hasan, 07:29:38 02/13/16 Sat 
GeForce is a brand of graphics processing units (GPUs) designed by Nvidia. As of 2013, there have been twelve iterations of the design. The first GeForce products were discrete GPUs designed for add-on graphics boards, intended for the high-margin PC gaming market, and later diversification of the product line covered all tiers of the PC graphics market, ranging from cost-sensitive GPUs integrated on motherboards, to mainstream add-in retail boards. Most recently, GeForce technology has been introduced into Nvidia's line of embedded application processors, designed for electronic handhelds and mobile handsets.
With respect to discrete GPUs, found in add-in graphics-boards, Nvidia's GeForce and AMD's Radeon GPUs are the only remaining competitors in the high-end market. Along with its nearest competitor, the AMD Radeon, the GeForce architecture is moving toward GPGPU (General Purpose-Graphics Processor Unit). GPGPU is expected to expand GPU functionality beyond the traditional rasterization of 3D graphics, to turn it into a high-performance computing device able to execute arbitrary programming code in the same way a CPU does, but with different strengths (highly parallel execution of straightforward calculations) and weaknesses (worse performance for complex decision-making code).
The "GeForce" name originated from a contest held by Nvidia in early 1999 called "Name That Chip". The company called out to the public to name the successor to the RIVA TNT2 line of graphics boards. There were over 12,000 entries received and 7 winners received a RIVA TNT2 Ultra graphics card as a reward.
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Terminology of homosexuality -- robin hasan, 07:25:53 02/13/16 Sat 
The terminology of homosexuality has been a contentious issue since the emergence of LGBT social movements in the mid-19th century. The choice of terms regarding sexual orientation may imply a certain political outlook, and different terms have been preferred at different times and in different places. In English, some terms in widespread use have been sodomite, Sapphic, Uranian, homophile, lesbian, gay, two-spirit, same-sex attracted and homosexual. Some of these words are specific to women, some to men, and some can be used of either. Gay people may also be identified under the umbrella terms queer and LGBT.
Not all of the terms that have been used to describe same-sex sexuality are synonyms for the modern term homosexuality. The word homosexual itself had different connotations for those who used it 100 years ago to what it does today; Anna Rüling, one of the first women to publicly defend gay rights, considered gay people a third gender, different from both men and women. Terms such as gynephilia and androphilia have tried to simplify the language of sexual orientation by making no claim about the individual's own gender identity.
In addition to the stigma, the terminology of homosexuality has been influenced by taboos around sex in general, producing a number of euphemisms; someone may be described as "that way", "a bit funny", "on the bus", "batting for the other team", "a friend of Dorothy", or "wearing comfortable shoes" (for women), although such euphemisms are becoming less common as homosexuality becomes more visible.
A variety of LGBT slang terms for various topics have been used historically and contemporarily within the LGBT community, with the most established languages (sometimes known as cants) being Polari in Britain, Swardspeak in the Philippines, Bahasa gay in Indonesia, and Kaliardá in Greece.
The term homosexual can be used as an adjective to describe the sexual attractions and behaviors of same-sex oriented persons. Author and gay pioneer Quentin Crisp said that the term should be "homosexualist," adding that no one says "I am a sexual." Some gay people argue that the use of homosexual as a noun is offensive, arguing that homosexual people are people first, homosexual being merely an attribute of their humanity. Even if they do not consider the term offensive, some people in same-sex relationships may object to being described as homosexual because they identify as bisexual, pansexual, or another orientation.
Indeed, some style guides recommend that the terms homosexual and homosexuality be avoided altogether, lest their use cause confusion or arouse controversy. In particular the description of individuals as homosexual may be offensive, partially because of the negative clinical association of the word stemming from its use in describing same-sex attraction as a pathological state before homosexuality was removed from the American Psychiatric Association's list of mental disorders in 1973. The Associated Press and New York Times style guides restrict usage of the terms.
Same-sex oriented people seldom apply these terms to themselves, and public officials and agencies often avoid them. For instance, the Safe Schools Coalition of Washington's Glossary for School Employees advises that gay is the "preferred synonym for homosexual", and goes on to advise avoiding the term homosexual as it is "clinical, distancing and archaic":
Sometimes appropriate in referring to behavior (although same-sex is the preferred adjective). When referring to people, as opposed to behavior, 'homosexual' is considered derogatory and the terms 'gay' and 'lesbian' are preferred. Homosexual places emphasis on sexuality and is to be avoided when describing a person. 'Gay' man or lesbian are the preferred nouns which stress cultural and social matters over sex.
The New Oxford American Dictionary, says that "gay" is the preferred term.
Likewise, the use of homosexuality to describe human sexual behaviors between people of the same sex may be inaccurate, although it is not perceived as being as offensive as homosexual.
People with a same-gender sexual orientation generally prefer the terms gay, lesbian and bisexual. The most common terms are gay (both men and women) and lesbian (women only). Other terms include same gender loving and same-sex-oriented.
Among some sectors of homosexual sub-culture, same-gender sexual behavior is sometimes viewed as solely for physical pleasure instead of romantic. Men on the down-low (or DL) may engage in covert sexual activity with other men while pursuing sexual and romantic relationships with women.
History of homosexual terminology
Historian Michel Foucault has argued that homosexual and heterosexual identities didn't emerge until the 19th century; before that time terms described practices and not identity. Foucault cites "Westphal's famous article of 1870 on 'contrary sexual sensations'" as the "date of birth" of the categorization of the homosexual.
In his Symposium, the ancient Greek philosopher Plato described (through the character of the profane comedian Aristophanes) three sexual orientations, and provided explanations for their existence using an invented creation myth. Aristophanes' fable is only one of many perspectives on love in the Symposium, and should not be considered identical with Plato's own ideas. Most of the Symposium's speeches are intended to be flawed in different ways, with the wise Socrates coming in at the end to correct their errors.
Main article: Tribadism
Although this term refers to a specific sex act between women today, in the past it was commonly used to describe female-female sexual love in general, and women who had sex with women were called Tribads or Tribades. As author Rictor Norton explains:
The tribas, lesbian, from Greek tribein, to rub (i.e. rubbing the pudenda together, or clitoris upon pubic bone, etc.), appears in Greek and Latin satires from the late first century. The tribade was the most common (vulgar) lesbian in European texts for many centuries. ‘Tribade’ occurs in English texts from at least as early as 1601 to at least as late as the mid-nineteenth century before it became self-consciously old-fashioned—it was in current use for nearly three centuries.
Fricatrice, a synonym for tribade that also refers to rubbing but has a Latin rather than a Greek root, appeared in English as early as 1605 (in Ben Jonson's Volpone). Its usage suggests that it was more colloquial and more pejorative than tribade. Variants include the Latinized confricatrice and English rubster.
Main article: Sodomy
Though sodomy has been used to refer to a range of homosexual and heterosexual "unnatural acts", the term sodomite usually refers to a homosexual male. The term is derived from the Biblical tale of Sodom and Gomorrah, and Christian churches have referred to the crimen sodomitae (crime of the Sodomites) for centuries; the modern association with homosexuality can be found as early as AD 96 in the writings of the Jewish historian Josephus. Jerome in the early 5th century uses the forms Sodoman, in Sodomis, Sodomorum, Sodomæ, Sodomitæ. The modern German word Sodomie and the Norwegian sodomi refer to bestiality. "Sodomy" in historical biblical reference may not pertain to the acts of homosexuality, but the acts of bestiality and female and male castration for the purpose of sexual slavery.
The word homosexual translates literally as "of the same sex", being a hybrid of the Greek prefix homo- meaning "same" (as distinguished from the Latin root homo meaning human) and the Latin root sex meaning "sex".
The first known appearance of the term homosexual in print is found in an 1869 German pamphlet 143 des Preussischen Strafgesetzbuchs und seine Aufrechterhaltung als 152 des Entwurfs eines Strafgesetzbuchs für den Norddeutschen Bund ("Paragraph 143 of the Prussian Penal Code and Its Maintenance as Paragraph 152 of the Draft of a Penal Code for the North German Confederation"). The pamphlet was written by Karl-Maria Kertbeny, but published anonymously. The pamphlet advocated the repeal of Prussia's sodomy laws. Kertbeny had previously used the word in a private letter written in 1868 to Karl Heinrich Ulrichs. Kertbeny used Homosexualität (in English, "homosexuality") in place of Ulrichs' Urningtum; Homosexualisten ("male homosexualists") instead of Urninge, and Homosexualistinnen ("female homosexualists") instead of Urninden.
The first known use of homosexual in English is in Charles Gilbert Chaddock's 1892 translation of Richard von Krafft-Ebing's Psychopathia Sexualis, a study on sexual practices. The term was popularized by the 1906 Harden-Eulenburg Affair.
Although some early writers used the adjective homosexual to refer to any single-gender context (such as an all-girls school), today the term implies a sexual aspect. The term homosocial is now used to describe single-sex contexts that are not of a romantic or sexual nature.
The colloquial abbreviation "homo" for "homosexual" is a coinage of the interbellum period, first recorded as a noun in 1929, and as an adjective in 1933.
It is today often considered a derogatory epithet and mainstream media outlets restrict its usage.
Used by Edward Carpenter.
Other late 19th and early 20th century sexological terms
Antipathic sexual instinct
The intermediate sex
Similisexualism or similsexualism
Harry Hay frequently stated that in the 1930s–1940s gay people referred to themselves as temperamental.
Main article: Homophile
Popular in the 1950s and 1960s (and still in occasional use today, particularly in writing by Anglican clergy), the term homophile was an attempt to avoid the clinical implications of sexual pathology found with the word homosexual, emphasizing love (-phile) instead.
In Norway, the term is still widely used.
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LGBT people -- robin hasan, 07:22:13 02/13/16 Sat 
LGBT or GLBT is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. In use since the 1990s, the term is an adaptation of the initialism LGB, which was used to replace the term gay in reference to the LGBT community beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s. Activists believed that the term gay community did not accurately represent all those to whom it referred.
The initialism has become mainstream as a self-designation; it has been adopted by the majority of sexuality and gender identity-based community centers and media in the United States, as well as some other English-speaking countries. The term is used also in some other countries, particularly those which languages use the initialism, such as Argentina, France and Turkey.
The initialism LGBT is intended to emphasize a diversity of sexuality and gender identity-based cultures. It may be used to refer to anyone who is non-heterosexual or non-cisgender, instead of exclusively to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. To recognize this inclusion, a popular variant adds the letter Q for those who identify as queer or are questioning their sexual identity; LGBTQ has been recorded since 1996. Those who wish to include intersex people in LGBT groups suggest an extended initialism LGBTI. This initialism is used in all parts of "The Activist's Guide" of the Yogyakarta Principles in Action. Some people combine the two acronyms and use the term LGBTIQ.
Whether or not LGBT people openly identify themselves may depend on local political concerns and whether they live in a discriminatory environment, as well as on the status of LGBT rights where they live. Some research, conducted anonymously and online and including the 'Q' category, found that more adolescents and young adults identified as 'Q' (questioning) compared with other LGBTQ categories. That may reflect the uncertainty and external pressures surrounding human sexuality.
Before the sexual revolution of the 1960s, there was no common non-derogatory vocabulary for non-heterosexuality; the closest such term, third gender, traces back to the 1860s but never gained wide acceptance in the United States.
The first widely used term, homosexual, originally carried negative connotations. It was replaced by homophile in the 1950s and 1960s, and subsequently gay in the 1970s; the latter term was adopted first by the homosexual community. Lars Ullerstam promoted use of the term sexual minority in the 1960s,(sv) as an analogy to the term ethnic minority for non-whites.
As lesbians forged more public identities, the phrase "gay and lesbian" became more common. The Daughters of Bilitis folded in 1970 due to disputes over their direction: whether to focus on feminism or gay rights issues. As equality was a priority for lesbian feminists, disparity of roles between men and women or butch and femme were viewed as patriarchal. Lesbian feminists eschewed gender role play that had been pervasive in bars, as well as the perceived chauvinism of gay men; many lesbian feminists refused to work with gay men, or take up their causes. Lesbians who held a more essentialist view, that they had been born homosexual and used the descriptor "lesbian" to define sexual attraction, often considered the separatist, angry opinions of lesbian-feminists to be detrimental to the cause of gay rights. Bisexual and transgender people also sought recognition as legitimate categories within the larger minority community.
After the elation of change following group action in the Stonewall riots in New York, in the late 1970s and the early 1980s, some gays and lesbians became less accepting of bisexual or transgender people. Critics said that transgender people were acting out stereotypes and bisexuals were simply gay men or lesbian women who were afraid to come out and be honest about their identity. Each community has struggled to develop its own identity including whether, and how, to align with other gender and sexuality-based communities, at times excluding other subgroups; these conflicts continue to this day.
From about 1988, activists began to use the initialism LGBT in the United States. Not until the 1990s within the movement did gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people gain equal respect . Although the LGBT community has seen much controversy regarding universal acceptance of different member groups (bisexual and transgender individuals, in particular, have sometimes been marginalized by the larger LGBT community), the term LGBT has been a positive symbol of inclusion. Despite the fact that LGBT does not nominally encompass all individuals in smaller communities (see Variants below), the term is generally accepted to include those not specifically identified in the four-letter initialism. Overall, the use of the term LGBT has, over time, largely aided in bringing otherwise marginalized individuals into the general community. Transgender actress Candis Cayne in 2009 described the LGBT community "the last great minority", noting that "We can still be harassed openly" and be "called out on television."
In response to years of lobbying from users and LGBT groups to eliminate discrimination, the online social networking service Facebook, in February 2014, widened its choice of gender variants for users. In June 2015, after the US Supreme Court verdict granting equal marriage rights, Facebook introduced a filter allowing users to color their profile pictures rainbow in celebration of LGBT equality.
Many variants exist including variations that change the order of the letters; LGBT or GLBT are the most common terms and the ones most frequently seen. Although identical in meaning, LGBT may have a more feminist connotation than GLBT as it places the "L" (for "lesbian") first. When not inclusive of transgender people, it is sometimes shortened to LGB. LGBT may also include additional "Q"s for "queer" or "questioning" (sometimes abbreviated with a question mark and sometimes used to mean anybody not literally L, G, B or T) producing the variants "LGBTQ" and "LGBTQQ"". In the United Kingdom, it is sometimes stylized as LGB&T, whilst the Green Party of England and Wales uses the term LGBTIQ in its manifesto and official publications.
The order of the letters has not been standardized; in addition to the variations between the positions of the initial "L" or "G", the mentioned, less common letters, if used, may appear in almost any order. Initialisms related to LGBTQ people are sometimes referred to as "alphabet soup." Variant terms do not typically represent political differences within the community, but arise simply from the preferences of individuals and groups.
The terms pansexual, omnisexual, fluid and queer-identified are regarded as falling under the umbrella term bisexual (and therefore are considered a part of the bisexual community). Likewise, the terms transsexual and intersex are regarded by some people as falling under the umbrella term transgender, though many transsexual and intersex people object to this. Some intersex people prefer the initialism LGBTI, while others insist that they are not a part of the LGBT community and would rather that they not be included as part of the term. In Australia, where LGBTI is increasingly used, and organizations representing cross-community interests have a history of collaboration including through a National LGBTI Health Alliance, anti-discrimination legislation recognizes that intersex is a biological attribute distinct from both gender identity and sexual orientation.
SGL ("same gender loving") is sometimes favored among gay male African Americans as a way of distinguishing themselves from what they regard as white-dominated LGBT communities. MSM ("men who have sex with men") is clinically used to describe men who have sex with other men without referring to their sexual orientation.
The gender identity "transgender" has been recategorized to trans* by some groups, where trans (without the asterisk) has been used to describe trans men and trans women, while trans* covers all non-cisgender (genderqueer) identities, including transgender, transsexual, transvestite, genderqueer, genderfluid, non-binary, genderfuck, genderless, agender, non-gendered, third gender, two-spirit, bigender, and trans man and trans woman.
Other variants may have a "U" for "unsure"; a "C" for "curious"; another "T" for "transvestite"; a "TS", or "2" for "two-spirit" persons; and/or an "SA" for "straight allies". However, the inclusion of straight allies in the LGBT acronym has proven controversial as many straight allies have been accused of using LGBT advocacy to gain popularity and status in recent years, and various LGBT activists have criticised the heteronormative worldview of certain straight allies.
Some may also add a "P" for "polyamorous", an "H" for "HIV-affected", and/or an "O" for "other". Furthermore, the initialism LGBTIH has seen use in India to encompass the hijra third gender identity and the related subculture.
The initialism LGBTTQQIAAP (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, intersex, asexual, ally, pansexual) has also resulted, although such initialisms are sometimes criticized for being confusing and leaving some people out, as well as issues of placement of the letters within the new title. However, adding the term "allies" to the initialism has sparked controversy, with some seeing the inclusion of "ally" as opposed to "asexual" a form of asexual erasure. There is also the acronym QUILTBAG (queer and questioning, intersex, lesbian, transgender and two-spirit, bisexual, asexual and ally, and gay and genderqueer).
The magazine Anything That Moves coined the acronym FABGLITTER from fetish (such as the BDSM community), allies or poly-amorous (as in polyamorous relationships), bisexual, gay, lesbian, intersex, transgender, transsexual engendering revolution or inter-racial attraction; however, this term has not made its way into common usage.
Wesleyan University used the initialism LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM for "lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer, questioning, flexual,[clarification needed] asexual, gender-fuck, polyamorous, bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism".
The initialisms LGBT or GLBT are not agreeable to everyone that they encompass. For example, some argue that transgender and transsexual causes are not the same as that of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) people. This argument centers on the idea that transgender and transsexuality have to do with gender identity, or a person's understanding of being or not being a man or a woman irrespective of their sexual orientation. LGB issues can be seen as a matter of sexual orientation or attraction. These distinctions have been made in the context of political action in which LGB goals, such as same-sex marriage legislation and human rights work (which may not include transgender and intersex people), may be perceived to differ from transgender and transsexual goals.
Many people have looked for a generic term to replace the numerous existing initialisms. Words such as queer (an umbrella term for sexual and gender minorities that are not heterosexual, or gender-binary) and rainbow have been tried, but most have not been widely adopted. Queer has many negative connotations to older people who remember the word as a taunt and insult and such (negative) usage of the term continues. Many younger people also understand queer to be more politically charged than LGBT. "Rainbow" has connotations that recall hippies, New Age movements, and organizations like Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition in the United States. Some people advocate the term "minority sexual and gender identities" (MSGI, coined in 2000), or gender and sexual/sexuality minorities (GSM) so as to explicitly include all people who are not cisgender and heterosexual, or gender, sexual, and romantic minorities (GSRM) which is more explicitly inclusive of minority romantic orientations and polyamory, but those have not been widely adopted either. Other rare umbrella terms are Gender and Sexual Diversities (GSD), MOGII (Marginalized Orientations, Gender Identities, and Intersex) and MOGAI (Marginalized Orientations, Gender Alignments and Intersex).
A reverse to the above situations is evident in the belief of "lesbian & gay separatism" (not to be confused with the related "lesbian separatism"), which holds that lesbians and gay men form (or should form) a community distinct and separate from other groups normally included in the LGBTQ sphere. While not always appearing of sufficient number or organization to be called a movement, separatists are a significant, vocal, and active element within many parts of the LGBT community. In some cases separatists will deny the existence or right to equality of nonmonosexual orientations and of transsexuality. This can extend to public biphobia and transphobia. In contrasts to separatists, Peter Tatchell of the LGBT human rights group OutRage! argues that to separate the transgender movement from the LGB would be "political madness", stating that "Queers are, like transgender people, gender deviant. We don’t conform to traditional heterosexist assumptions of male and female behaviour, in that we have sexual and emotional relationships with the same sex. We should celebrate our discordance with mainstream straight norms."
The portrayal of an all-encompassing "LGBT community" or "LGB community" is also disliked by some lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people. Some do not subscribe to or approve of the political and social solidarity, and visibility and human rights campaigning that normally goes with it including gay pride marches and events. Some of them believe that grouping together people with non-heterosexual orientations perpetuates the myth that being gay/lesbian/bi/asexual/pansexual/etc. makes a person deficiently different from other people. These people are often less visible compared to more mainstream gay or LGBT activists. Since this faction is difficult to distinguish from the heterosexual majority, it is common for people to assume all LGBT people support LGBT liberation and the visibility of LGBT people in society, including the right to live one's life in a different way from the majority. In the 1996 book Anti-Gay, a collection of essays edited by Mark Simpson, the concept of a 'one-size-fits-all' identity based on LGBT stereotypes is criticized for suppressing the individuality of LGBT people.
Writing in the BBC News Magazine in 2014, Julie Bindel questions whether the various gender groupings now, "bracketed together" . . . "share the same issues, values and goals?" Bindel refers to a number of possible new initialisms for differing combinations and concludes that it may be time for the alliances to be reformed or finally we go, "our separate ways".
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Gangnam Style -- robin hasan, 07:18:23 02/13/16 Sat 
"Gangnam Style" (Korean: 강남스타일, IPA: [kaŋnam sʰɯtʰail]) is the 18th K-pop single by the South Korean musician Psy. The song was released on July 15, 2012, as the lead single of his sixth studio album Psy 6 (Six Rules), Part 1, and debuted at number one on South Korea's Gaon Chart. On December 21, 2012, "Gangnam Style" became the first YouTube video to reach one billion views. The song's music video has been viewed over 2.51 billion times on YouTube, and has been YouTube's most watched video since November 24, 2012, when it surpassed the music video for "Baby" by Justin Bieber.
The phrase "Gangnam Style" is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District of Seoul. The song and its accompanying music video went viral in August 2012 and have influenced popular culture worldwide since then. "Gangnam Style" received mixed to positive reviews, with praise going to its catchy beat and Psy's amusing dance moves (which themselves have become a phenomenon) in the music video and during live performances in various locations around the world. In September 2012, "Gangnam Style" was recognized by Guinness World Records as the most "liked" video on YouTube. It subsequently won Best Video at the MTV Europe Music Awards held later that year. It became a source of parodies and reaction videos by many different individuals, groups and organizations.
By the end of 2012, the song had topped the music charts of more than 30 countries including Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. As the song continued to rapidly gain popularity and ubiquity, its signature dance moves were attempted by many notable political leaders such as the British Prime Minister David Cameron, U.S. President Barack Obama, and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who hailed it as a "force for world peace". On May 7, 2013, at a bilateral meeting with South Korea's President Park Geun-hye at the White House, U.S. President Barack Obama cited the success of "Gangnam Style" as an example of how people around the world are being "swept up" by the Korean Wave of culture.
"Gangnam Style" is a Korean neologism that refers to a lifestyle associated with the Gangnam District of Seoul, where people are trendy, hip and exude a certain supposed "class". The term was listed in Time's weekly vocabulary list as a manner associated with lavish lifestyles in Seoul's Gangnam district. Psy likened the Gangnam District to Beverly Hills, California, and said in an interview that he intended in a twisted sense of humor by claiming himself to be "Gangnam Style" when everything about the song, dance, looks, and the music video is far from being such a high class:
People who are actually from Gangnam never proclaim that they are—it's only the posers and wannabes that put on these airs and say that they are "Gangnam Style"—so this song is actually poking fun at those kinds of people who are trying very hard to be something that they're not.
The song talks about "the perfect girlfriend who knows when to be refined and when to get wild". The song's refrain "오빤 강남 스타일 (Oppan Gangnam style)" has been translated as "Big brother is Gangnam style", with Psy referring to himself. During an interview with The New York Times, Psy revealed that the Korean fans have huge expectations about his dancing, so he felt a lot of pressure. In order to keep up with expectations, he studied hard to find something new and stayed up late for about 30 nights to come up with the "Gangnam Style" dance. Along the way, he had tested various "cheesy" animal-inspired dance moves with his choreographer, including panda and kangaroo moves, before settling for the horse trot, which involves pretending to ride a horse, alternately holding the reins and spinning a lasso, and moving into a legs-shuffling side gallop.
During an interview with Reuters, Psy claimed that "Gangnam Style" was originally produced only for local K-pop fans. On July 11, Psy and his music label YG Entertainment started releasing several promotional teasers for "Gangnam Style" to their subscribers on YouTube. On July 15, 2012, the full music video of "Gangnam Style" was uploaded onto YouTube and was immediately a sensation, receiving about 500,000 views on its first day. However, in Germany, an ongoing dispute between YouTube and the GEMA (the country's performance rights organization) regarding copyright issues has led to thousands of music videos including "Gangnam Style" being blocked in the country.[
According to the news agency Agence France-Presse, the success of "Gangnam Style" could be considered as part of the Korean Wave, a term coined by Chinese journalists to refer to the significant increase in the popularity of South Korean entertainment and culture since the late 1990s.
Korean popular music (K-pop), considered by some to be the most important aspect of the Korean Wave, is a music genre that relies on cultural technology to adapt to the tastes of foreign audiences and has now grown into a popular subculture among teenagers and young adults in many places around the world. Although it has spread to the Middle East, Eastern Europe, and parts of South America, its reception in the Western world has so far been lukewarm. However, social media networks such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter have made it easier for K-pop musicians to reach a wider audience in the West. According to Mark James Russell from Foreign Policy, while the Korean Wave "may not (yet) turn heads in Los Angeles or London", this could soon change because of "Gangnam Style".
The song has received mixed to positive ratings from music critics. Billboard K-Town columnist Jeff Benjamin became one of the first music critics to review the song when he published an article and reported that "Gangnam Style" has gone viral on the Internet. In his article, Benjamin introduced the reader to a couple of popular K-pop songs and wrote that "Gangnam Style" in particular, plays all the right moves sonically while "borrowing from LMFAO along the way".
The next day, Hallie Sekoff of The Huffington Post quoted from the video's official YouTube video description that the song is characterized by its "strongly addictive beats", and wrote that this is not too far-fetched, considering "how obsessed we've found ourselves." London's mayor Boris Johnson considered the song to be the greatest cultural masterpiece of 2012.
Despite its popularity, a few music critics including Robert Copsey from Digital Spy criticized the song for being monotonous. Cospey wrote that "you could slap an LMFAO tag on the cover and few would know the difference" and Paul Lester of The Guardian similarly labelled it as "generic ravey Euro dance with guitars". Lester described the song as "Pump Up the Jam meets the Macarena with a dash of Cotton Eye Joe" while Robert Myers of The Village Voice dismissed "Gangnam Style" as an "inspired piece of silliness".
South Korea and Japan
Cha Woo-jin, a South Korean music critic, told The Chosun Ilbo that "Gangnam Style"'s sophisticated rendering and arrangement has made it very appealing to the general public. Choe Kwang-shik, the South Korean Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, told reporters that "Gangnam Style" had played an important role in introducing the Korean culture, language, and lifestyle to the rest of the world. However, some have criticized the song for failing to accurately represent South Korean culture. Oh Young-Jin, managing editor of The Korea Times, wrote that the dance has more to do with Americans than Koreans.
In Japan, the song has met with considerable criticism. When "Gangnam Style" first appeared in Japanese TV shows in July, the reaction from viewers was negative. As a result, Psy's Japanese record label YGEX cancelled a previously planned Japanese language re-release of "Gangnam Style". According to The Dong-a Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper, the song's lukewarm reception in Japan could have been caused by a diplomatic conflict between the two countries and the newspaper accused the Japanese media of keeping its people "in the dark". However, Jun Takaku of the Japanese daily newspaper Asahi Shimbun explained that "Gangnam Style" had caused "barely a ripple in Japan" because Psy does not conform to the image of other "traditionally polished" K-pop acts popular in Japan such as Girls' Generation and TVXQ. Erica Ho from Time magazine similarly noted that despite the K-pop musical genre being very popular in Japan, the country seemed to be "immune to PSY Mania" and she advised her readers who dislike the song to "pack your bags for Japan".
Immediately after its release, "Gangnam Style" was mentioned by various English-language websites providing coverage of Korean pop culture for international fans, including Allkpop and Soompi. Simon and Martina Stawski, a Canadian couple living in Seoul who were among the first to parody "Gangnam Style" in late July, wrote that the song has the potential to become "one of the biggest songs of the year". However, during an interview with Al Jazeera a few weeks later, Martina Stawski claimed that the worldwide popularity of "Gangnam Style" has been viewed negatively by some K-pop fans, because "they [the fans] didn't want K-pop being liked by other people who don't understand K-Pop". This view is also supported by the British journalist and K-pop fan Promi Ferdousi, who wrote that the song has managed to "find its way into our clubs" while the best K-pop songs are limited to niche groups on social media websites.
Following the release of "Gangnam Style", Psy made several performances on television and at concerts in Korea. Early performances included his appearance on the weekly South Korean music program, The Music Trend. Psy also performed at several concerts prior to his departure to the United States, including during "The Heumbbeok Show" and the Summer Stand Concert in Seoul. After returning to South Korea, Psy performed "Gangnam Style" during a free concert that he held outside the Seoul City Hall. More than 80,000 fans attended the event, leading to the closure of part of the city center and an increase in subway operations. While Psy was in the US, it was announced that he, as ambassador of the Formula One Korean Grand Prix, would perform "Gangnam Style" at the event during the 2012 edition. At the event Psy taught Formula One drivers Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel how to perform the dance.
On November 28, Psy visited Thailand and held his concert "Gangnam Style Thailand Extra Live" at the SCG Stadium in Muang Thong Thani, Bangkok. At the show, a part of celebration for the 85th birthday of Thai's King Bhumibol Adulyadej, he performed the song along with his other hits. During the 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards held in Hong Kong on November 30, he performed the song on stage, joined by the video's co-star Hyuna and Yoo Jae-Seok look-alikes in yellow suits. The track was one of three-song setlist on Psy's free showcase, held at the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore on December 1, 2012.
On February 11, 2013, Psy arrived at the Malaysian state of Penang and performed "Gangnam Style" at a concert in front of more than 100,000 guests, including the Prime Minister of Malaysia Mohd Najib Abdul Razak as well as other high-ranking politicians from the country's ruling Barisan Nasional party.
In early October 2012, Psy travelled to Sydney, Australia and performed "Gangnam Style" on The X Factor, a reality TV music competition, where Melanie Brown joined him in performing the "horse dance" on stage. The following day, he performed on breakfast TV show Sunrise in Martin Place, Sydney.
Psy's first public performance in Europe was on November 5, 2012 in France, where he and 20,000 fans danced "Gangnam Style" in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris during a flashmob organized by NRJ Radio. Then, he travelled to Oxford and performed a short rendition of "Gangnam Style" with students from the Oxford Union, before moving on to the Yalding House in London where he danced "Gangnam Style" with the BBC's radio DJ Scott Mills. Shortly afterwards, Psy left for Cologne and met up with the German comedian and television host Stefan Raab during the popular late-night show TV total, where Psy gave an interview and performed "Gangnam Style" for Raab. During the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards held in Frankfurt on November 11, Psy delivered a performance of "Gangnam Style" which featured a David Hasselhoff appearance and backup dancing of Psy look-alikes.
In early 2013, Psy returned to France for the 2013 NRJ Music Awards at the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes, where he began performing "Gangnam Style" on the red carpet before finishing the rest of the choreography on stage and leaving the ceremony with 3 awards.
Following the viral success of his music video, Psy left for the United States and performed "Gangnam Style" in various locations. On August 20, Psy posted on Twitter "Bringing #GangnamStyle to the Dodgers–Giants game this evening". Dodger Stadium presented a segment called "Psy Dance Cam" where they showed clips of the music video, followed by live shots of baseball fans dancing, and then Psy, who waves and does the dance. Two days later, Psy appeared on VH1's Big Morning Buzz Live show, and taught television hosts Carrie Keagan and Jason Dundas how to dance "Gangnam Style".
On September 6, Psy appeared at the 2012 MTV Video Music Awards performing his "Gangnam Style" dance alongside comedian Kevin Hart. After the event, he would make several more appearances on US TV programs. On September 10, he appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in Burbank, California, introducing himself as "Psy from Korea", before teaching Britney Spears the dance. He described the dance as "pretending to bounce like riding on an invisible horse" and when Ellen told Britney she would have to remove her high-heeled shoes to perform the dance Psy protested that no, the point was, 'to dress classy, and dance cheesy.' On September 14, he appeared on NBC's morning program Today in New York City for its Toyota Concert Series, where he performed the song and also taught the anchors the dance. The September 15 season premiere episode of Saturday Night Live featured a sketch based on the song and its video. Bobby Moynihan portrayed Psy, but was joined mid-sketch by Psy himself. He also made his second appearance on The Ellen Show's September 19 episode to perform the song along with his backup dancers. On September 22, Psy made an appearance at the iHeartRadio Music Festival to perform "Gangnam Style". Psy, dressed in a black jacket, blue pants, two-tone shoes and his signature shades, appeared on the US national TV show The View on October 25 and performed the song for Barbara Walters and the ladies of the show who donned sunglasses and got out of their seats.
On November 13, he joined the American recording artist Madonna on stage during her concert at Madison Square Garden in New York City and they performed a mashup of the song and her 2008 hit "Give It 2 Me". Psy later told reporters that his gig with Madonna had "topped his list of accomplishments". On November 18, Psy, who rocked out in traditional Hammer pants, closed out the 40th American Music Awards show with a performance of "Gangnam Style", joined by surprise guest MC Hammer who brought in his own moves and Psy's horse-riding dance as the song mashed into his 1990s hit "2 Legit 2 Quit". Jason Lipshutz of Billboard commented that "Psy's feverish rendition of 'Gangnam Style' accomplished what so few award show performances can: a palpable sense of excitement. The combination of the K-pop star and MC Hammer...was a stroke of genius that very few could have seen coming", choosing it as the best performance of the night. The Tonight Show with Jay Leno did a special Thanksgiving broadcast with an all-military audience on November 22, and Psy dropped by as the musical guest. The singer sang the song and danced alongside the soldiers, going into the crowd for part of his performance.
Psy performed "Gangnam Style" during the second night of KIIS-FM Jingle Ball concert at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on December 3, 2012. He―wearing an all-red outfit including a sparkling, sequined top―sang the song at TNT's Christmas in Washington special, attended by the US President Barack Obama and his family, and held at the National Building Museum On December 9. On December 16, he performed the song at the halftime show of the NFL game between the Buffalo Bills and Seattle Seahawks in Toronto. During the Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve event at Times Square in Manhattan on December 31, 2012, more than one million people witnessed a live "Gangnam Style" performance by Psy as he was joined on stage by characters (Yoo Jae-Seok, Noh Hong-chul) from the song's video for the first part of the performance, before MC Hammer appeared to perform a mash-up of the song and "2 Legit 2 Quit".
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Gamma ray -- robin hasan, 07:13:13 02/13/16 Sat 
Gamma radiation (sometimes called gamma ray), denoted by the lower-case Greek letter gamma (γ), is extremely high-frequency electromagnetic radiation and therefore consists of high-energy photons. Paul Villard, a French chemist and physicist, discovered gamma radiation in 1900 while studying radiation emitted by radium. In 1903, Ernest Rutherford named this radiation gamma rays. Rutherford had previously discovered two other types of radioactive decay, which he named alpha and beta rays.
Gamma rays are ionizing radiation, and are thus biologically hazardous. Decay of an atomic nucleus from a high energy state to a lower energy state, a process called gamma decay, produces gamma radiation. This is what Villard had observed.
Natural sources of gamma rays on Earth include gamma decay of radionuclides and secondary radiation from atmospheric interactions with cosmic ray particles. Rare terrestrial natural sources produce gamma rays that are not of a nuclear origin, such as lightning strikes and terrestrial gamma-ray flashes. Additionally, gamma rays are produced by a number of astronomical processes in which very high-energy electrons are produced, that in turn cause secondary gamma rays via bremsstrahlung, inverse Compton scattering, and synchrotron radiation. However, a large fraction of such astronomical gamma rays are screened by Earth's atmosphere and can only be detected by spacecraft. Gamma rays are produced by nuclear fusion in stars including the Sun (such as the CNO cycle), but are absorbed or inelastically scattered by the stellar material before escaping and are not observable from Earth.
Gamma rays typically have frequencies above 10 exahertz (or >1019 Hz), and therefore have energies above 100 keV and wavelengths less than 10 picometers (10−11 meter), which is less than the diameter of an atom. However, this is not a strict definition, but rather only a rule-of-thumb description for natural processes. Electromagnetic radiation from radioactive decay of atomic nuclei is referred to as "gamma rays" no matter its energy, so that there is no lower limit to gamma energy derived from radioactive decay. This radiation commonly has energy of a few hundred keV, and almost always less than 10 MeV. In astronomy, gamma rays are defined by their energy, and no production process needs to be specified. The energies of gamma rays from astronomical sources range to over 10 TeV, an energy far too large to result from radioactive decay. A notable example is extremely powerful bursts of high-energy radiation referred to as long duration gamma-ray bursts, of energies higher than can be produced by radioactive decay. These bursts of gamma rays, thought to be due to the collapse of stars called hypernovae, are the most powerful events so far discovered in the cosmos.
History of discovery
The first gamma ray source to be discovered historically was the radioactive decay process called gamma decay. In this type of decay, an excited nucleus emits a gamma ray almost immediately upon formation (it is now understood that a nuclear isomeric transition, however, can produce inhibited gamma decay with a measurable and much longer half-life). Paul Villard, a French chemist and physicist, discovered gamma radiation in 1900, while studying radiation emitted from radium. Villard knew that his described radiation was more powerful than previously described types of rays from radium, which included beta rays, first noted as "radioactivity" by Henri Becquerel in 1896, and alpha rays, discovered as a less penetrating form of radiation by Rutherford, in 1899. However, Villard did not consider naming them as a different fundamental type. Villard's radiation was recognized as being of a type fundamentally different from previously named rays, by Ernest Rutherford, who in 1903 named Villard's rays "gamma rays" by analogy with the beta and alpha rays that Rutherford had differentiated in 1899. The "rays" emitted by radioactive elements were named in order of their power to penetrate various materials, using the first three letters of the Greek alphabet: alpha rays as the least penetrating, followed by beta rays, followed by gamma rays as the most penetrating. Rutherford also noted that gamma rays were not deflected (or at least, not easily deflected) by a magnetic field, another property making them unlike alpha and beta rays.
Gamma rays were first thought to be particles with mass, like alpha and beta rays. Rutherford initially believed that they might be extremely fast beta particles, but their failure to be deflected by a magnetic field indicated that they had no charge. In 1914, gamma rays were observed to be reflected from crystal surfaces, proving that they were electromagnetic radiation. Rutherford and his coworker Edward Andrade measured the wavelengths of gamma rays from radium, and found that they were similar to X-rays, but with shorter wavelengths and (thus) higher frequency. This was eventually recognized as giving them also more energy per photon, as soon as the latter term became generally accepted. A gamma decay was then understood to usually emit a single gamma photon.
Sources of gamma rays
Natural sources of gamma rays on Earth include gamma decay from naturally occurring radioisotopes such as potassium-40, and also as a secondary radiation from various atmospheric interactions with cosmic ray particles. Some rare terrestrial natural sources that produce gamma rays that are not of a nuclear origin, are lightning strikes and terrestrial gamma-ray flashes, which produce high energy emissions from natural high-energy voltages. Gamma rays are produced by a number of astronomical processes in which very high-energy electrons are produced. Such electrons produce secondary gamma rays by the mechanisms of bremsstrahlung, inverse Compton scattering and synchrotron radiation. A large fraction of such astronomical gamma rays are screened by Earth's atmosphere and must be detected by spacecraft. Notable artificial sources of gamma rays include fission such as occurs in nuclear reactors, and high energy physics experiments, such as neutral pion decay and nuclear fusion.
The distinction between X-rays and gamma rays has changed in recent decades. Originally, the electromagnetic radiation emitted by X-ray tubes almost invariably had a longer wavelength than the radiation (gamma rays) emitted by radioactive nuclei. Older literature distinguished between X- and gamma radiation on the basis of wavelength, with radiation shorter than some arbitrary wavelength, such as 10−11 m, defined as gamma rays. However, with artificial sources now able to duplicate any electromagnetic radiation that originates in the nucleus, as well as far higher energies, the wavelengths characteristic of radioactive gamma ray sources vs. other types, now completely overlap. Thus, gamma rays are now usually distinguished by their origin: X-rays are emitted by definition by electrons outside the nucleus, while gamma rays are emitted by the nucleus. Exceptions to this convention occur in astronomy, where gamma decay is seen in the afterglow of certain supernovas, but other high energy processes known to involve other than radioactive decay are still classed as sources of gamma radiation
Naming conventions and overlap in terminology
In the past, the distinction between X-rays and gamma rays was based on energy, with gamma rays being considered a higher-energy version of electromagnetic radiation. However, modern high-energy X-rays produced by linear accelerators for megavoltage treatment in cancer often have higher energy (4 to 25 MeV) than do most classical gamma rays produced by nuclear gamma decay. One of the most common gamma ray emitting isotopes used in diagnostic nuclear medicine, technetium-99m, produces gamma radiation of the same energy (140 keV) as that produced by diagnostic X-ray machines, but of significantly lower energy than therapeutic photons from linear particle accelerators. In the medical community today, the convention that radiation produced by nuclear decay is the only type referred to as "gamma" radiation is still respected.
Because of this broad overlap in energy ranges, in physics the two types of electromagnetic radiation are now often defined by their origin: X-rays are emitted by electrons (either in orbitals outside of the nucleus, or while being accelerated to produce bremsstrahlung-type radiation), while gamma rays are emitted by the nucleus or by means of other particle decays or annihilation events. There is no lower limit to the energy of photons produced by nuclear reactions, and thus ultraviolet or lower energy photons produced by these processes would also be defined as "gamma rays". The only naming-convention that is still universally respected is the rule that electromagnetic radiation that is known to be of atomic nuclear origin is always referred to as "gamma rays," and never as X-rays. However, in physics and astronomy, the converse convention (that all gamma rays are considered to be of nuclear origin) is frequently violated.
In astronomy, higher energy gamma and X-rays are defined by energy, since the processes that produce them may be uncertain and photon energy, not origin, determines the required astronomical detectors needed. High energy photons occur in nature that are known to be produced by processes other than nuclear decay but are still referred to as gamma radiation. An example is "gamma rays" from lightning discharges at 10 to 20 MeV, and known to be produced by the bremsstrahlung mechanism.
Another example is gamma-ray bursts, now known to be produced from processes too powerful to involve simple collections of atoms undergoing radioactive decay. This has led to the realization that many gamma rays produced in astronomical processes result not from radioactive decay or particle annihilation, but rather in much the same manner as the production of X-rays. Although gamma rays in astronomy are discussed below as non-radioactive events, in fact a few gamma rays are known in astronomy to originate explicitly from gamma decay of nuclei (as demonstrated by their spectra and emission half life). A classic example is that of supernova SN 1987A, which emits an "afterglow" of gamma-ray photons from the decay of newly made radioactive nickel-56 and cobalt-56. Most gamma rays in astronomy, however, arise by other mechanisms. Astronomical literature tends to write "gamma-ray" with a hyphen, by analogy to X-rays, rather than in a way analogous to alpha rays and beta rays. This notation tends to subtly stress the non-nuclear source of most astronomical "gamma-rays".
Units of measure and exposure
The measure of gamma rays' ionizing ability is called the exposure:
The coulomb per kilogram (C/kg) is the SI unit of ionizing radiation exposure, and is the amount of radiation required to create 1 coulomb of charge of each polarity in 1 kilogram of matter.
The röntgen (R) is an obsolete traditional unit of exposure, which represented the amount of radiation required to create 1 esu of charge of each polarity in 1 cubic centimeter of dry air. 1 röntgen = 2.58×10−4 C/kg
However, the effect of gamma and other ionizing radiation on living tissue is more closely related to the amount of energy deposited rather than the charge. This is called the absorbed dose:
The gray (Gy), which has units of (J/kg), is the SI unit of absorbed dose, and is the amount of radiation required to deposit 1 joule of energy in 1 kilogram of any kind of matter.
The rad is the deprecated CGS unit, equal to 0.01 J deposited per kg. 100 rad = 1 Gy.
The equivalent dose is the measure of the biological effect of radiation on human tissue. For gamma rays, it is equal to the absorbed dose.
The sievert (Sv) is the SI unit of equivalent dose, which for gamma rays is numerically equal to the gray (Gy).
The rem is the deprecated CGS unit of equivalent dose. For gamma rays it is equal to the rad or 0.01 J of energy deposited per kg. 1 Sv = 100 rem.
See also: Radiation protection § Electromagnetic radiation
Shielding from gamma rays requires large amounts of mass, in contrast to alpha particles, which can be blocked by paper or skin, and beta particles, which can be shielded by foil. Gamma rays are better absorbed by materials with high atomic numbers and high density, although neither effect is important compared to the total mass per area in the path of the gamma ray. For this reason, a lead shield is only modestly better (20–30% better) as a gamma shield than an equal mass of another shielding material, such as aluminium, concrete, water or soil; lead's major advantage is not in lower weight, but rather its compactness due to its higher density. Protective clothing, goggles and respirators can protect from internal contact with or ingestion of alpha or beta emitting particles, but provide no protection from gamma radiation from external sources.
The higher the energy of the gamma rays, the thicker the shielding made from the same shielding material is required. Materials for shielding gamma rays are typically measured by the thickness required to reduce the intensity of the gamma rays by one half (the half value layer or HVL). For example, gamma rays that require 1 cm (0.4″) of lead to reduce their intensity by 50% will also have their intensity reduced in half by 4.1 cm of granite rock, 6 cm (2½″) of concrete, or 9 cm (3½″) of packed soil. However, the mass of this much concrete or soil is only 20–30% greater than that of lead with the same absorption capability. Depleted uranium is used for shielding in portable gamma ray sources, but here the savings in weight over lead are larger, as portable sources' shape resembles a sphere to some extent, and the volume of a sphere is dependent on the cube of the radius; so a source with its radius cut in half will have its volume reduced by a factor of eight, which will more than compensate uranium's greater density (as well as reducing bulk). In a nuclear power plant, shielding can be provided by steel and concrete in the pressure and particle containment vessel, while water provides a radiation shielding of fuel rods during storage or transport into the reactor core. The loss of water or removal of a "hot" fuel assembly into the air would result in much higher radiation levels than when kept under water.
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Flag of the Isle of Man -- robin hasan, 07:09:25 02/13/16 Sat 
The flag of the Isle of Man, or flag of Mann (Manx: brattagh Vannin), is a triskelion, composed of three armoured legs with golden spurs, upon a red background. It has been the official flag of Mann since 1 December 1932 and is based on the Manx coat of arms, which dates back to the 13th century. The three legs are known in Manx as ny tree cassyn ("the three legs"). The triskelion is an ancient symbol, used by the Mycenaeans and the Lycians. It is not known for certain why the symbol was originally adopted on the Isle of Man. Before its adoption in 1932, the official flag of the Isle of Man was the Union Jack.
There is also a civil ensign for the Isle of Man. This flag was first authorised on 27 August 1971. Another Manx flag is the flag of the Tynwald, which has flown outside the Legislative Buildings since 1971
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Three hares -- robin hasan, 07:05:59 02/13/16 Sat 
The three hares is a circular motif appearing in sacred sites from the Middle and Far East to the churches of Devon, England (as the "Tinners' Rabbits"), and historical synagogues in Europe. It is used as an architectural ornament, a religious symbol, and in other modern works of art or a logo for adornment (including tattoos), jewelry and a coat of arms on an escutcheon. It is viewed as a puzzle, a topology problem or a visual challenge, and has been rendered as sculpture, drawing, and painting.
The symbol features three hares or rabbits chasing each other in a circle. Like the triskelion, the triquetra, and their antecedents (e.g., the triple spiral), the symbol of the three hares has a threefold rotational symmetry. Each of the ears is shared by two hares, so that only three ears are shown. Although its meaning is apparently not explained in contemporary written sources from any of the medieval cultures where it is found, it is thought to have a range of symbolic or mystical associations with fertility and the lunar cycle. When used in Christian churches, it is presumed to be a symbol of the Trinity. Its origins and original significance are uncertain, as are the reasons why it appears in such diverse locations. That the image's meaning changes depending upon the context and the viewer could be characterized as being analogous to pareidolia; its widespread appeal may be characterized as being a meme.
Origins in Buddhism and diffusion on the Silk Road
The earliest occurrences appear to be in cave temples in China, dated to the Sui dynasty (6th to 7th centuries). The iconography spread along the Silk Road, and was a symbol associated with Buddhism. The hares have been said to be "A hieroglyph of 'to be'." In other contexts the metaphor has been given different meaning. For example, Guan Youhui, a retired researcher from the Dunhuang Academy, who spent 50 years studying the decorative patterns in the Mogao Caves, believes the three rabbits—"like many images in Chinese folk art that carry auspicious symbolism—represent peace and tranquility." See Aurel Stein. The hares have appeared in Lotus motifs.
The Three Hares appear on 13th century Mongol metalwork, and on a copper coin, found in Iran, dated to 1281.
Another appears on an ancient Islamic-made reliquary from southern Russia. Another 13th or early 14th century box, later used as a reliquary, was made in Iran under Mongol rule, and is preserved in the treasury of the Cathedral of Trier in Germany. On its base, the casket has Islamic designs, and originally featured two images of the three hares. One was lost through damage.
One theory pertaining to the spread of the motif is that it was transported from China across Asia and as far as the south west of England by merchants travelling the silk road and that the motif was transported via designs found on expensive Oriental ceramics. This view is supported by the early date of the surviving occurrences in China. However the majority of representations of the three hares in churches occur in England and northern Germany. This supports a contrary view that the Three Hares occurred independently as English or early German symbols.
Some claim that the Devon name, Tinners' Rabbits, is related to local tin miners adopting it. The mines generated wealth in the region and funded the building and repair of many local churches, and thus the symbol may have been used as a sign of the miners' patronage. The architectural ornament of the Three Hares also occurs in churches that are unrelated to the miners of South West England. Other occurrences in England include floor tiles at Chester Cathedral, stained glass at Long Melford, Suffolk[A] and a ceiling in Scarborough, Yorkshire.
The motif of the Three Hares is used in a number of medieval European churches, particularly in France (e.g., in the Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière in Lyon) and Germany. It occurs with the greatest frequency in the churches of Devon, England. The motif appears in illuminated manuscripts, architectural wood carving, stone carving, window tracery and stained glass. In South Western England there are over thirty recorded examples of the Three Hares appearing on 'roof bosses' (carved wooden knobs) on the ceilings in medieval churches in Devon, (particularly Dartmoor). There is a good example of a roof boss of the Three hares at Widecombe-in-the-Moor, Dartmoor, with another in the town of Tavistock on the edge of the moor. The motif occurs with similar central placement in Synagogues. Another occurrence is on the ossuary that by tradition contained the bones of St. Lazarus.
Where it occurs in England, the Three Hares motif usually appears in a prominent place in the church, such as the central rib of the chancel roof, or on a central rib of the nave. This suggests that the symbol held significance to the church, and casts doubt on the theory that they may have been a masons' or carpenters' signature marks. There are two possible and perhaps concurrent reasons why the Three Hares may have found popularity as a symbol within the church. Firstly, it was widely believed that the hare was hermaphrodite and could reproduce without loss of virginity. This led to an association with the Virgin Mary, with hares sometimes occurring in illuminated manuscripts and Northern European paintings of the Virgin and Christ Child. The other Christian association may have been with the Holy Trinity, representing the "One in Three and Three in One" of which the triangle or three interlocking shapes such as rings are common symbols. In many locations the Three Hares are positioned adjacent to the Green Man, a symbol commonly believed to be associated with the continuance of Anglo-Saxon or Celtic paganism. These juxtapositions may have been created to imply the contrast of the Divine with man's sinful, earthly nature.
In Judaism, the "shafan" in Hebrew has symbolic meaning.[B] Although rabbits are listed as a non-kosher animal in the Bible— they are a ruminant lacking cloven hooves— rabbits can carry very positive symbolic connotations, like lions and eagles. 16th century German scholar Rabbi Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, saw the rabbits as a symbol of the Diaspora. The replica of the Chodorow Synagogue from Poland (on display at the Museum of the Jewish Diaspora in Tel Aviv) has a ceiling with a large central painting which depicts a double headed eagle holds two brown rabbits in its claws without harming them. The painting is surrounded by a citation from the end of Deuteronomy:
.כנשר יעיר קינו על גוזליו ירחף. יפרוש כנפיו יקחהו ישאהו על אברתו
— Deuteronomy 32:11, The Song of Moses
This may be translated: "As an eagle that stirreth up her nest, hovereth over her young, spreadeth abroad her wings, taketh them, beareth them on her pinions (...thus is G'd to the Jewish people)."
The hare frequently appears in the form of the symbol of the "rotating rabbits". An ancient German riddle describes this graphic thus:
Three hares sharing three ears,
Yet every one of them has two.
This curious graphic riddle can be found in all of the famous wooden synagogues from the period of the 17th and 18th century in the Ashknaz region (in Germany) that are on museum display in Beth Hatefutsoth Museum in Tel Aviv, the Jewish Museum Berlin and The Israel Museum in Jerusalem. They also appear in the Synagogue from Horb am Neckar (donated to the Israel Museum). The three animals adorn the wooden panels of the prayer room from Unterlimpurg near Schwäbisch Hall, which may be seen in replica in the Jewish Museum Berlin. They also are seen in a main exhibit of the Diaspora Museum in Tel Aviv. Israeli art historian Ida Uberman wrote about this house of worship: "... Here we find depictions of three kinds of animals, all organized in circles: eagles, fishes and hares. These three represent the Kabbalistic elements of the world: earth, water and fire/heavens... The fact that they are always three is important, for that number . . . is important in the Kabbalistic context".
Not only do they appear among floral and animal ornaments, but they are often in a distinguished location, directly above the Torah ark, the place where the holy scriptures repose.
They appear on headstones in Sataniv (Сатанів), Khmelnytsky Oblast, western Ukraine.
As an optical illusion or puzzle
The logo presents a problem in topology. It is a strange loop or rendered as a puzzle
Jurgis Baltrusaitis's (1955) Le Moyen-Âge fantastique. Antiquités et exotismes dans l'art gothique includes a 1576 Dutch engraving with the puzzle given in Dutch and French around the image. It notes:
The secret is not great when one knows it.
But it is something to one who does it.
Turn and turn again and we will also turn,
So that we give pleasure to each of you.
And when we have turned, count our ears,
It is there, without any disguise, you will find a marvel.
"These are the oldest known dated examples of the Three Rabbits as a puzzle." One commentator believes its being a puzzle is likely reason for the image's popularity.
One recent philosophical book poses it as a problem in perception and an optical illusion—an example of contour rivalry. Each rabbit can be individually seen as correct—it is only when you try to see all three at once that you see the problem with defining the hares' ears. This is similar to "The Impossible Tribar" by Roger Penrose, originated by Oscar Reutersvärd. Compare M.C. Escher's Impossible object.
Other uses and related designs
The Community of Hasloch's arms is blazoned as: Azure edged Or three hares passant in triskelion of the second, each sharing each ear with one of the others, in chief a rose argent seeded of the second, in base the same, features three hares. It is said, "The stone with the image of three hares, previously adorned the old village well, now stands beside the town hall." Hasloch is in the Main-Spessart district in the Regierungsbezirk of Lower Franconia (Unterfranken) in Bavaria, Germany.
Hares and rabbits have appeared as a representation or manifestation of various deities in many cultures, including: Hittavainen, Finnish god of Hares; Kaltes-Ekwa, Siberian goddess of the moon; Jade Rabbit, maker of medicine on the moon for the Chinese gods, depicted often with a mortar and pestle; Ometotchtli (Two Rabbits,) Aztec god of fertility, etc., who led 400 other Rabbit gods known as the Centzon Totochtin; Kalulu, Tumbuka mythology (Central African) Trickster god; and Nanabozho (Great Rabbit,) Ojibway deity, a shape-shifter and a cocreator of the world. See generally, Rabbits in the arts.
Tinners' Rabbits is the name of a Border Morris dance of many forms involving use of sticks and rotation of three, six or nine dancers.
The hare is rarely used in British armory; but "Argent, three hares playing bagpipes gules" belongs to the FitzErcald family of ancient Derbyshire. Parenthetically, in heraldry the "Coney", that is the rabbit, is more common than the hare. Three coneys appear in the crests of the families: Marton, co. Lincoln; Bassingthorpe co. Lincoln; Gillingham co. Norfolk and Cunliffe co. Lancashire 
Ushaw College (St Cuthbert's College, Ushaw) is a Roman Catholic seminary which includes "Three coneys" in its crest. This adornment is from the family coat of arms of William Allen.
The French crest of the family Pinoteau—dating from the first Baron Pinoteau (1814–1815) and which includes historian Hervé Pinoteau (former vice president of the Académie Internationale d'Héraldique)—includes three rabbits.[C] See generally, Nobility of the First French Empire.
Other coats of arms of English and Irish families have three conies or hares.
"Three Conies Inn" was the name of a 17th-century inn, and three rabbits feeding was used as a motif on the obverse of its trade token. "The property is believed to date from at least the 17th century; the stone sundial above the former front door shows the date 1622. One of the earliest documented references to the property is an advertisement for the sale of a dwelling in the Northampton Mercury in September 1738. The 1777 Militia List also refers to the 'Thre Coneys'".
Among hunters, a collection of three hares ("a brace and a half" or tierce) – or three creatures of any kind, especially greyhounds, foxes, bucks – is called "a leash".
The cover art for alternative rock band AFI's album Decemberunderground features three hares, albeit in a different configuration.
The Japanese manga Cat Shit One, retitled in the United States as Apocalypse Meow focuses on the fate of three rabbit soldiers.
Three hares are the cover art of a book of poetry by the same name by Caroline Carver
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Galician Jews -- robin hasan, 07:03:34 02/13/16 Sat 
Galician Jews or Galitzianers are a subdivision of the Ashkenazim geographically originating from Galicia, from western Ukraine (current Lviv, Ivano-Frankivsk, and Ternopil regions) and from the south-eastern corner of Poland (Podkarpackie and Lesser Poland voivodeships). Galicia proper, which was inhabited by Ukrainians, Poles and Jews, was a royal province within the Austro-Hungarian empire. Galician Jews primarily spoke Yiddish.
All calculations lead to the conclusion that in Galicia, Jews were the third most numerous ethnic group and composed at least 10 percent of the entire Galician population.
Most of Galician Jewry lived poorly, largely working in small workshops and enterprises, and as craftsmen—including tailors, carpenters, hat makers, jewelers and opticians. Almost 80 percent of all tailors in Galicia were Jewish. The main occupation of Jews in towns and villages was trade: wholesale, stationery and retail. However, the Jewish inclination towards education was overcoming barriers. The number of Jewish intellectual workers proportionally was much higher than that of Ukrainian or Polish ones in Galicia. Of 1,700 physicians in Galicia, 1,150 were Jewish; 41 percent of workers in culture, theaters and cinema, over 65 percent of barbers, 43 percent of dentists, 45 percent of senior nurses in Galicia were Jewish, and 2,200 Jews were lawyers. For comparison, there were only 450 Ukrainian lawyers. Galician Jewry produced four Nobel prize winners: Isidor Isaac Rabi (physics), Roald Hoffman (chemistry), Georges Charpak (physics) and Shmuel Agnon (literature).
Under Habsburg rule, Galicia's Jewish population increased sixfold, from 144,000 in 1776 to 872,000 in 1910, due to a high birth rate and a steady stream of refugees fleeing pogroms in the neighboring Russian Empire. They constituted one third of the population of many cities and came to dominate parts of the local economy such as retail sales and trade. They were also successful in the government; by 1897, Jews constituted 58 percent of Galicia's civil servants and judges. During the 19th century Galicia and its main city, Lviv (Lemberg in Yiddish), became a center of Yiddish literature. Lviv was the home of the world's first Yiddish-language daily newspaper, the Lemberger Togblat.
After World War I, Galicia served as a battleground between Ukrainian and Polish forces. During this conflict, Galician Jews were generally neutral although a 1,200-man all-Jewish battalion (Zhydivs’kyy Kurin’ UHA) served in the Ukrainian Galician Army and Jews were allotted 10% of the seats in the parliament of the West Ukrainian People's Republic, matching their population. The West Ukrainian government fought antisemitic acts by punishing robbery with execution, and respected Jewish declared neutrality during the Polish-Ukrainian conflict. By the orders of president Yevhen Petrushevych it was forbidden to mobilize Jews against their will or to otherwise force them to contribute to the Ukrainian military effort. Both Ukrainians and Jews suffered from violence at the hands of Poles as they captured Galicia from Ukrainian forces. The Council of Ministers of the West Ukrainian People's Republic provided assistance to Jewish victims of the Polish pogrom in Lviv.
As of 1920, Galicia passed to Poland. The Polish government prohibited both Galician Jews and Ukrainians from working in the state enterprises, institutions, railway, post, telegraph etc. These measures were applied in their strictest form. Galician Jews and Ukrainians experienced ethnic oppression by undergoing a forceful Polonization.
In September 1939, most of Galicia passed to Soviet Ukraine. The majority of Galician Jews perished during the Holocaust. Most survivors immigrated to Israel, the United States, the United Kingdom or Australia. A small number have remained in Ukraine or Poland.
In the popular perception, Galitzianers were considered to be more emotional and prayerful than their rivals, the Litvaks, who thought of them as irrational and uneducated. They, in turn, held the Litvaks in disdain, derogatively referring to them as tseylem-kop ("cross heads"), or Jews assimilated to the point of being Christian. This coincides with the fact that Hasidism was most influential in Ukraine and southern Poland but was fiercely resisted in Lithuania (and even the form of Hasidism that took root there, namely Chabad, was more intellectually inclined than the other Hasidic groups).
The two groups diverged in their Yiddish accents and even in their cuisine, separated by the "Gefilte Fish Line." Galitzianers like things sweet, even to the extent of putting sugar in their fish.
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Galicia (Eastern Europe) -- robin hasan, 07:01:31 02/13/16 Sat 
Galicia (Ukrainian: Галичина, Halychyna; Polish: Galicja; Czech: Halič; German: Galizien; Hungarian: Galícia/Kaliz/Gácsország/Halics; Romanian: Galiția/Halici; Russian: Галиция/Галичина, Galitsiya/Galichina; Rusyn: Галичина, Halychyna; Slovak: Halič; Yiddish: גאַליציע, Galytsye) is a historical and geographic region in Eastern Europe, once a small kingdom, that straddles the modern-day border between Poland and Ukraine. The area, which is named after the mediaeval city of Halych, was first mentioned in Hungarian historical chronicles in the year 1206 as Galiciæ.
The nucleus of historic Galicia lies within the modern regions of western Ukraine: Lviv, Ternopil and Ivano-Frankivsk near Halych. In the 18th century, territories that later became part of the modern Polish regions of Lesser Poland Voivodeship, Subcarpathian Voivodeship and Silesian Voivodeship were added to Galicia.
There is considerable overlap between Galicia and south-west Ruthenia (Rusyn: Русь Rus', Ukrainian: Русь Rus', Slovakian: Rus), especially a cross-border region (centred on Zakarpattia Oblast, the Transcarpathian Region of present-day Ukraine) that is inhabited by various nationalities, including the Rusyn minority. In this modern sense, "Ruthenia" straddles western Ukraine, Poland and Slovakia.
Origins and variations of the name
In the 13th century, King Andrew II of Hungary claimed the title Rex Galiciae et Lodomeriae ("King of Galicia and Lodomeria") – a Latinised version of the Slavic names Halych and Volodymyr, the major cities of the principality of Halych-Volhynia, which the Hungarians ruled from 1214 to 1221. Halych-Volhynia cut a swathe as a mighty principality under the reign of Roman the Great in 1170–1205. After the expulsion of the Hungarians in 1221, Ruthenians took back rule of the area. Roman's son Daniel of Galicia was crowned king of Halych-Volhynia. He founded Lviv (Leopolis), named in honour of his son Leo I, who later moved the capital from Halych to Lviv.
The Ukrainian name Halych (Галич) (Halicz in Polish, Галич in Russian, Galic in Latin) comes from the Khwalis or Kaliz who occupied the area from the time of the Magyars. They were also called Khalisioi in Greek, and Khvalis (Хваліс) in Ukrainian. Some historians[a] speculated it had to do with a group of people of Thracian origin (i.e. Getae) that during the Iron Age moved into the area after Roman conquest of Dacia and may have formed the Lypytsia culture with the arrived Venedi people who moved in the region at the end of Le Tene period (La Tene culture). The Lypytsia culture supposedly replaced the existing Thracian Hallstatt (see Thraco-Cimmerian) and Vysotske cultures. Connection with Celtic peoples supposedly explains its relation to many similar place names found across Europe and Asia Minor, such as ancient Gallia or Gaul (modern France, Belgium, and northern Italy) and Galatia (modern Turkey), the Iberian Peninsula's Galicia, and Romanian Galaţi. Others[who?] assert that the name has Slavic origins – from halytsa, meaning "a naked (unwooded) hill", or from halka which means "jackdaw". The jackdaw was used as a charge in the city's coat of arms and later also in the coat of arms of Galicia. The name, however, predates the coat of arms, which may represent canting or simply folk etymology.
Although the Hungarians were driven out from Halych-Volhynia by 1221, Hungarian kings continued to add Galicia et Lodomeria to their official titles. In 1527, the Habsburgs inherited those titles, together with the Hungarian crown. In 1772, Empress Maria Theresa, Archduchess of Austria and Queen of Hungary, decided to use those historical claims to justify her participation in the first partition of Poland. In fact, the territories acquired by Austria did not correspond exactly to those of former Halych-Volhynia. Volhynia, including the city of Volodymyr-Volynskyi (Włodzimierz Wołyński) – after which Lodomeria was named – was taken by Russia, not Austria. On the other hand, much of Lesser Poland – Nowy Sącz and Przemyśl (1772–1918), Zamość (1772–1809), Lublin (1795–1809), Kraków (1846–1918) – did become part of Austrian Galicia. Moreover, despite the fact that the claim derived from the historical Hungarian crown, Galicia and Lodomeria was not officially assigned to Hungary, and after the Ausgleich of 1867, it found itself in Cisleithania, or the Austrian-administered part of Austria-Hungary.
The full official name of the new Austrian province was Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria with the Duchies of Auschwitz and Zator. After the incorporation of the Free City of Kraków in 1846, it was extended to Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, and the Grand Duchy of Kraków with the Duchies of Auschwitz and Zator (German: Königreich Galizien und Lodomerien mit dem Großherzogtum Krakau und den Herzogtümern Auschwitz und Zator).
Each of those entities was formally separate; they were listed as such in the Austrian emperor's titles, each had its distinct coat-of-arms and flag. For administrative purposes, however, they formed a single province. The duchies of Auschwitz (Oświęcim) and Zator were small historical principalities west of Kraków, on the border with Prussian Silesia. Lodomeria, under the name Volhynia, was not ruled by Austria but by the Russian Empire.
Ethnographic groups of Polish Galicia
Mountain Dwellers (larger kinship group): Żywczaki or Gorals of Żywiec (pl: górale żywieccy), Babiogórcy or Gorals of Babia Góra, Gorals of Rabka or Zagórzanie, Kliszczaki, Gorals in Podhale (pl: górale podhalańscy), Gorals of Nowy Targ or Nowotarżanie, Górale pienińscy or Gorals of Pieniny and Górale sądeccy (Gorals of Nowy Sącz), Gorals of Spisz or Gardłaki, Kurtacy or Czuchońcy (Lemkos, Rusnaks), Boykos (Werchowyńcy), Tucholcy, Hutsuls (Czarnogórcy).
Dale Dwellers (larger kinship group): Krakowiacy, Mazury, Grębowiacy (Lesowiacy or Borowcy), Głuchoniemcy, Bełżanie, Bużanie (Łopotniki, Poleszuki), Opolanie, Wołyniacy, Pobereżcy or Nistrowianie
In Roman times the region was populated by various tribes of Celto-Germanic admixture, including Celtic-based tribes – like the Galice or "Gaulics" and Bolihinii or "Volhynians" – the Lugians and Cotini of Celtic, Vandals and Goths of Germanic origins (the Przeworsk and Púchov cultures). During the Great Migration period of Europe (coinciding with the fall of the Roman Empire), a variety of nomadic groups invaded the area. Overall, Slavs (both West and East Slavs, including Lendians as well as Rusyns) came to dominate the Celtic-German population.
In the 12th century a Rurikid Principality of Halych (Halicz, Halics, Galich, Galic) formed there, which merged in the end of the century with the neighbouring Volhynia into the Principality of Halych Volhynia. Galicia and Volhynia had originally been two separate Rurikid principalities, assigned on a rotating basis to younger members of the Kievan dynasty. The line of Prince Roman the Great of Vladimir-in-Volhynia had held the principality of Volhynia, while the line of Yaroslav Osmomysl held the Principality of Halych (later adopted as Galicia). Galicia–Volhynia was created following the death in 1198 or 1199 (and without a recognised heir in the paternal line) of the last Prince of Galicia, Vladimir II Yaroslavich; Roman acquired the Principality of Galicia and united his lands into one state. Roman's successors would mostly use Halych (Galicia) as the designation of their combined kingdom. In Roman's time Galicia–Volhynia's principal cities were Halych and Volodymyr-in-Volhynia. In 1204 he captured Kiev. Roman was allied with Poland, signed a peace treaty with Hungary and developed diplomatic relations with the Byzantine Empire.
In 1205 Roman turned against his Polish allies, leading to a conflict with Leszek the White and Konrad of Masovia. Roman was subsequently killed in the Battle of Zawichost (1205), and his dominion entered a period of rebellion and chaos. Thus weakened, Galicia–Volhynia became an arena of rivalry between Poland and Hungary. King Andrew II of Hungary styled himself rex Galiciæ et Lodomeriæ, Latin for "king of Galicia and Vladimir [in-Volhynia]", a title that later was adopted in the Habsburg Empire. In a compromise agreement made in 1214 between Hungary and Poland, the throne of Galicia–Volhynia was given to Andrew's son, Coloman of Lodomeria.
In 1352 when the principality was divided between the Polish Kingdom and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the territory became subject to the Polish Crown. With the Union of Lublin in 1569 Poland and Lithuania merged to form the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, which lasted for 200 years until conquered and divided up by Russia, Prussia, and the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Upon the partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1772, the south-eastern part of the former Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth was awarded to the Habsburg Empress Maria-Theresa, whose bureaucrats christened it the Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria, after one of the titles of the princes of Hungary, although its borders coincided but roughly with those of the former medieval principality. Known informally as Galicia, it became the largest, most populous, and northernmost province of the Austrian Empire until the dissolution of that monarchy at the end of World War I in 1918, when it ceased to exist as a geographic entity.
During the First World War Galicia saw heavy fighting between the forces of Russia and the Central Powers. The Russian forces overran most of the region in 1914 after defeating the Austro-Hungarian army in a chaotic frontier battle in the opening months of the war. They were in turn pushed out in the spring and summer of 1915 by a combined German and Austro-Hungarian offensive.
In 1918, Western Galicia became a part of the restored Republic of Poland, which absorbed the Lemko-Rusyn Republic. The local Ukrainian population briefly declared the independence of Eastern Galicia as the "West Ukrainian People's Republic". During the Polish-Soviet War the Soviets tried to establish the puppet-state of the Galician SSR in East Galicia, the government of which after couple of months was liquidated.
The fate of Galicia was settled by the Peace of Riga on March 18, 1921, attributing Galicia to the Second Polish Republic. Although never accepted as legitimate by some Ukrainians, it was internationally recognized on May 15, 1923.
The Ukrainians of the former eastern Galicia and the neighbouring province of Volhynia, made up about 12% of the Second Polish Republic population, and were its largest minority. As Polish government policies were unfriendly towards minorities, tensions between the Polish government and the Ukrainian population grew, eventually giving the rise to the militant underground Organization of Ukrainian Nationalists.
In 1773, Galicia had about 2.6 million inhabitants in 280 cities and market towns and approximately 5,500 villages. There were nearly 19,000 noble families, with 95,000 members (about 3% of the population). The serfs accounted for 1.86 million, more than 70% of the population. A small number were full-time farmers, but by far the overwhelming number (84%) had only smallholdings or no possessions.
Galicia had arguably the most ethnically diverse population of all the countries in the Austrian monarchy, consisting mainly of Poles and "Ruthenians"; the peoples known later as Ukrainians and Rusyns, as well as ethnic Jews, Germans, Armenians, Czechs, Slovaks, Hungarians, Roma and others. In Galicia as a whole, the population in 1910 was estimated to be 45.4% Polish, 42.9% Ukrainian, 10.9% Jewish, and .8% German. This population was not evenly distributed. The Poles lived mainly in the west, with the Ukrainians predominant in the eastern region ("Ruthenia"). At the turn of the twentieth century, Poles constituted 78.7% of the whole population of Western Galicia, Ukrainians 13.2%, Jews 7.6%, Germans 0.3%, and others 0.2%. The respective data for Eastern Galicia show the following numbers: Ukrainians 64.5%, Poles 21.0%, Jews 13.7%, Germans 0.3%, and others 0.5%. Of the 44 administrative divisions of Austrian eastern Galicia, Lviv (Polish: Lwów, German: Lemberg) was the only one in which Poles made up a majority of the population
Linguistically, the Polish language was predominant in Galicia. According to the 1910 census 58.6% of the combined population of both western and eastern Galicia spoke Polish as its mother tongue compared to 40.2% who spoke the Ukrainian language.
 The number of Polish-speakers may have been inflated because Jews were not given the option of listing Yiddish as their language.
The Jews of Galicia had immigrated in the Middle Ages from Germany. German-speaking people were more commonly referred to by the region of Germany where they originated (such as Saxony or Swabia). For inhabitants who spoke different native languages, e.g. Poles and Ruthenians, identification was less problematic, but widespread multilingualness blurred the borders again.
It is, however, possible to make a clear distinction in religious denominations: Poles were Roman Catholic, the Ruthenians belonged to the Ruthenian Greek Catholic Church (now split into several sui juris Catholic churches, the largest of which is the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church). The Jews represented the third largest religious group. Galicia was the center of the branch of Orthodox Judaism known as Hasidism.
See also: Poverty in Austrian Galicia
The new state borders had cut Galicia off from many of its traditional trade routes and markets of the Polish sphere, resulting in stagnation of economic life and decline of Galician towns. Lviv lost its status as a significant trade centre. After a short period of limited investments, the Austrian government started a fiscal exploitation of Galicia and drained the region of manpower through conscription to the imperial army. The Austrians decided that Galicia should not develop industrially but remain an agricultural area that would serve as a supplier of food products and raw materials to other Habsburg provinces. New taxes were instituted, investments were discouraged, and cities and towns were neglected. The result was significant poverty in Austrian Galicia. Galicia was the poorest province of Austro-Hungary,  and according to Norman Davies, could be considered "the poorest province in Europe"
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Caligula -- robin hasan, 06:58:13 02/13/16 Sat 
Caligula (/kəˈlɪɡjələ/) was the popular nickname of Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus (31 August AD 12 – 24 January AD 41), Roman emperor (AD 37–41). Born Gaius Julius Caesar (not to be confused with Gaius Julius Caesar), Caligula was a member of the house of rulers conventionally known as the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Caligula's father Germanicus, the nephew and adopted son of Emperor Tiberius, was a very successful general and one of Rome's most beloved public figures. The young Gaius earned the nickname "Caligula" (meaning "little soldier's boot", the diminutive form of caliga, hob-nailed military boot) from his father's soldiers while accompanying him during his campaigns in Germania.
When Germanicus died at Antioch in AD 19, his wife Agrippina the Elder returned with her six children to Rome, where she became entangled in a bitter feud with Tiberius. The conflict eventually led to the destruction of her family, with Caligula as the sole male survivor. Untouched by the deadly intrigues, Caligula accepted the invitation to join the Emperor in AD 31 on the island of Capri, where Tiberius had withdrawn five years earlier. With the death of Tiberius in AD 37, Caligula succeeded his grand uncle and adoptive grandfather as emperor.
There are few surviving sources about the reign of Emperor Caligula, although he is described as a noble and moderate ruler during the first six months of his reign. After this, the sources focus upon his cruelty, sadism, extravagance, and sexual perversity, presenting him as an insane tyrant. While the reliability of these sources is questionable, it is known that during his brief reign, Caligula worked to increase the unconstrained personal power of the emperor, as opposed to countervailing powers within the principate. He directed much of his attention to ambitious construction projects and luxurious dwellings for himself, and initiated the construction of two aqueducts in Rome: the Aqua Claudia and the Anio Novus. During his reign, the empire annexed the Kingdom of Mauretania as a province.
In early AD 41, Caligula was assassinated as a result of a conspiracy by officers of the Praetorian Guard, senators, and courtiers. The conspirators' attempt to use the opportunity to restore the Roman Republic was thwarted: on the day of the assassination of Caligula, the Praetorian Guard declared Caligula's uncle, Claudius, the next Roman emperor.
Roman imperial dynasties
Augustus 27 BC – 14 AD
Tiberius 14–37 AD
Caligula 37–41 AD
Claudius 41–54 AD
Nero 54–68 AD
Julio-Claudian family tree
Roman Republic Followed by
Year of the Four Emperors
See Julio-Claudian family tree.
Gaius Julius Caesar (named in honor of his famous relative) was born in Antium (modern Anzio and Nettuno) on 31 August 12 AD, the third of six surviving children born to Germanicus and his second cousin Agrippina the Elder. Gaius had two older brothers, Nero and Drusus, as well as three younger sisters, Agrippina the Younger, Julia Drusilla and Julia Livilla. He was also a nephew of Claudius, Germanicus' younger brother and future emperor.
Agrippina the Elder was the daughter of Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa and Julia the Elder. She was a granddaughter of Augustus and Scribonia on her mother's side. Through Agrippina, Augustus was the maternal great-grandfather of Gaius.
As a boy of just two or three, Gaius accompanied his father, Germanicus, on campaigns in the north of Germania. The soldiers were amused that Gaius was dressed in a miniature soldier's outfit, including boots and armour. He was soon given his nickname Caligula, meaning "little (soldier's) boot" in Latin, after the small boots he wore. Gaius, though, reportedly grew to dislike this nickname.
Suetonius claims that Germanicus was poisoned in Syria by an agent of Tiberius, who viewed Germanicus as a political rival.
After the death of his father, Caligula lived with his mother until her relations with Tiberius deteriorated. Tiberius would not allow Agrippina to remarry for fear her husband would be a rival. Agrippina and Caligula's brother, Nero, were banished in 29 AD on charges of treason.
The adolescent Caligula was then sent to live with his great-grandmother (and Tiberius's mother) Livia. After her death, he was sent to live with his grandmother Antonia. In 30 AD, his brother, Drusus Caesar, was imprisoned on charges of treason and his brother Nero died in exile from either starvation or suicide. Suetonius writes that after the banishment of his mother and brothers, Caligula and his sisters were nothing more than prisoners of Tiberius under the close watch of soldiers.
In 31 AD, Caligula was remanded to the personal care of Tiberius on Capri, where he lived for six years. To the surprise of many, Caligula was spared by Tiberius. According to historians, Caligula was an excellent natural actor and, recognizing danger, hid all his resentment towards Tiberius. An observer said of Caligula, "Never was there a better servant or a worse master!"
Caligula claimed to have planned to kill Tiberius with a dagger in order to avenge his mother and brother: however, having brought the weapon into Tiberius's bedroom he did not kill the Emperor but instead threw the dagger down on the floor. Supposedly Tiberius knew of this but never dared to do anything about it. Suetonius claims that Caligula was already cruel and vicious: he writes that, when Tiberius brought Caligula to Capri, his purpose was to allow Caligula to live in order that he "... prove the ruin of himself and of all men, and that he was rearing a viper for the Roman people and a Phaethon for the world."
In 33 AD, Tiberius gave Caligula an honorary quaestorship, a position he held until his rise to emperor. Meanwhile, both Caligula's mother and his brother Drusus died in prison. Caligula was briefly married to Junia Claudilla, in 33, though she died in childbirth the following year. Caligula spent time befriending the Praetorian prefect, Naevius Sutorius Macro, an important ally. Macro spoke well of Caligula to Tiberius, attempting to quell any ill will or suspicion the Emperor felt towards Caligula.
In 35 AD, Caligula was named joint heir to Tiberius's estate along with Tiberius Gemellus.
When Tiberius died on 16 March 37 AD, his estate and the titles of the principate were left to Caligula and Tiberius's own grandson, Gemellus, who were to serve as joint heirs. Although Tiberius was 78 and on his death bed, some ancient historians still conjecture that he was murdered. Tacitus writes that the Praetorian Prefect, Macro, smothered Tiberius with a pillow to hasten Caligula's accession, much to the joy of the Roman people, while Suetonius writes that Caligula may have carried out the killing, though this is not recorded by any other ancient historian. Seneca the elder and Philo, who both wrote during Tiberius's reign, as well as Josephus record Tiberius as dying a natural death. Backed by Macro, Caligula had Tiberius's will nullified with regards to Gemellus on grounds of insanity, but otherwise carried out Tiberius's wishes.
Caligula accepted the powers of the principate as conferred by the senate and entered Rome on 28 March amid a crowd that hailed him as "our baby" and "our star", among other nicknames. Caligula is described as the first emperor who was admired by everyone in "all the world, from the rising to the setting sun." Caligula was loved by many for being the beloved son of the popular Germanicus, and because he was not Tiberius. Suetonius said that over 160,000 animals were sacrificed during three months of public rejoicing to usher in the new reign. Philo describes the first seven months of Caligula's reign as completely blissful.
Caligula's first acts were said to be generous in spirit, though many were political in nature. To gain support, he granted bonuses to the military, including the Praetorian Guard, city troops and the army outside Italy. He destroyed Tiberius's treason papers, declared that treason trials were a thing of the past, and recalled those who had been sent into exile. He helped those who had been harmed by the imperial tax system, banished certain sexual deviants, and put on lavish spectacles for the public, including gladiatorial games. Caligula collected and brought back the bones of his mother and of his brothers and deposited their remains in the tomb of Augustus.
In October 37 AD, Caligula fell seriously ill, or perhaps was poisoned. He soon recovered from his illness, but many believed that the illness turned the young emperor toward the diabolical: he started to kill off or exile those who were close to him or whom he saw as a serious threat. Perhaps his illness reminded him of his mortality and of the desire of others to advance into his place. He had his cousin and adopted son Tiberius Gemellus executed – an act that outraged Caligula's and Gemellus's mutual grandmother Antonia Minor. She is said to have committed suicide, although Suetonius hints that Caligula actually poisoned her. He had his father-in-law Marcus Junius Silanus and his brother-in-law Marcus Lepidus executed as well. His uncle Claudius was spared only because Caligula preferred to keep him as a laughing stock. His favorite sister Julia Drusilla died in 38 AD of a fever: his other two sisters, Livilla and Agrippina the Younger, were exiled. He hated being the grandson of Agrippa and slandered Augustus by repeating a falsehood that his mother was actually conceived as the result of an incestuous relationship between Augustus and his daughter Julia the Elder.
In AD 38, Caligula focused his attention on political and public reform. He published the accounts of public funds, which had not been made public during the reign of Tiberius. He aided those who lost property in fires, abolished certain taxes, and gave out prizes to the public at gymnastic events. He allowed new members into the equestrian and senatorial orders.
Perhaps most significantly, he restored the practice of democratic elections. Cassius Dio said that this act "though delighting the rabble, grieved the sensible, who stopped to reflect, that if the offices should fall once more into the hands of the many ... many disasters would result".
During the same year, though, Caligula was criticized for executing people without full trials and for forcing his supporter Macro to commit suicide.
Financial crisis and famine
According to Cassius Dio, a financial crisis emerged in AD 39. Suetonius places the beginning of this crisis in 38. Caligula's political payments for support, generosity and extravagance had exhausted the state's treasury. Ancient historians state that Caligula began falsely accusing, fining and even killing individuals for the purpose of seizing their estates.
Historians describe a number of Caligula's other desperate measures. In order to gain funds, Caligula asked the public to lend the state money. He levied taxes on lawsuits, weddings and prostitution. Caligula began auctioning the lives of the gladiators at shows. Wills that left items to Tiberius were reinterpreted to leave the items instead to Caligula. Centurions who had acquired property by plunder were forced to turn over spoils to the state.
The current and past highway commissioners were accused of incompetence and embezzlement and forced to repay money. According to Suetonius, in the first year of Caligula's reign he squandered 2.7 billion sesterces that Tiberius had amassed. His nephew Nero Caesar both envied and admired the fact that Gaius had run through the vast wealth Tiberius had left him in so short a time.
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A.D. The Bible Continues -- robin hasan, 06:55:35 02/13/16 Sat 
A.D. The Bible Continues is a television miniseries, based on the Bible, and a sequel to the 2013 miniseries, The Bible. It is produced by Roma Downey, Mark Burnett, and Richard Bedser. The limited series began airing on NBC on Easter Sunday, April 5, 2015, in twelve weekly one-hour episodes. The story takes place immediately after the events of The Bible miniseries, beginning with the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus, and continues with the first ten chapters of the Acts of the Apostles. On July 3, 2015, NBC cancelled A.D. The Bible Continues after one season. However, producers Burnett and Downey plan future biblical productions on their OTT digital channel
Juan Pablo Di Pace as Jesus
Adam Levy as Peter
Richard Coyle as Caiaphas
Vincent Regan as Pontius Pilate
James Callis as Herod Antipas
Greta Scacchi as Mother Mary
Babou Ceesay as John
Chipo Chung as Mary Magdalene
Will Thorp as Cornelius the Centurion
Emmett J. Scanlan as Saul of Tarsus
Jodhi May as Leah, wife of Caiaphas
Joanne Whalley as Claudia, wife of Pontius Pilate
Ken Bones as Annas
Kevin Doyle as Joseph of Arimathea
Helen Daniels as Maya, daughter of Peter
Fraser Ayers as Simon the Zealot
Andrew Gower as Caligula
Claire Cooper as Herodias
Chris Brazier as Reuben
Jóhannes Haukur Jóhannesson as Thomas
Kenneth Collard as Barnabas
Pedro Lloyd Gardiner as Matthew
Denver Isaac as James brother of John
George Georgiou (de) as Boaz
Farzana Dua Elahe as Saint Joanna
Joe Dixon as Philip
Jim Sturgeon as Chuza
Marama Corlett as Tabitha
Alastair Mackenzie as James the Just
Kenneth Cranham as Tiberius
Reece Ritchie as Stephen
Stephen Walters as Simon the Sorcerer
Michael Peluso as Herod Agrippa
Struan Rodger as Gamaliel
Nicholas Sidi as Ananias of Damascus
Peter De Jersey as Ananias, husband of Sapphira
Indra Ové as Sapphira
Colin Salmon as Gabra the Ethopian
Francis Magee as Levi, the leader of the Zealots
John Benfield as Yitzhak, student of Simon the Sorcerer
John Ioannou as Melek, a healed cripple
Lex Shrapnel as Jonathan, son of Annas
On December 17, 2013, it was announced that there would be a follow-up miniseries to The Bible in 2015.
In anticipation of the global event, a number of companion materials were released in an effort by Palam Fidelis Publishing to engage thoughtful, religious discussion by offering "Family Discussion Guides" for each episode.
A.D.: The Bible Continues has received mixed reviews from critics. On the aggregate website Metacritic, eleven critics have given it a score of 55 out of 100, based on "mixed or average reviews". On Rotten Tomatoes, the miniseries received a 4.8 out of 10 rating from twelve reviewers. Their consensus states, "Attempts to offer a fresh look at a traditional tale notwithstanding, A.D.: The Bible Continues doesn't do enough to set itself apart from its many predecessors." Viewers tended to be more favorable, with 77% out of 90 viewers liking the series; with an average rating of 4 out 5.
In Australia, the series premiered on July 5, 2015 on the Nine Network, as A.D. Kingdom and Empire. It premiered to a mere 472,000 viewers, losing 828,000 viewers from its 60 Minutes lead-in
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Gagak Item -- robin hasan, 06:53:34 02/13/16 Sat 
Gagak Item ([ɡaˈɡaʔ iˈtəm]; Vernacular Malay for Black Raven, also known by the Dutch title De Zwarte Raaf) is a 1939 bandit film from the Dutch East Indies (now Indonesia) directed by Joshua and Othniel Wong for Tan's Film. Starring Rd Mochtar, Roekiah, and Eddy T. Effendi, it follows a masked man known only as "Gagak Item" ("Black Raven"). The black-and-white film, which featured the cast and crew from the 1937 hit Terang Boelan (Full Moon), was a commercial success and received positive reviews upon release. It is likely lost.
Gagak Item was directed by brothers Joshua and Othniel Wong; filming the work in black-and-white, they also handled sound editing. It was produced by Tan Khoen Yauw of Tan's Film and starred Rd Mochtar, Roekiah, Eddy T. Effendi, and Kartolo. The Wongs and cast had first worked together on Albert Balink's 1937 blockbuster Terang Boelan (Full Moon), before joining Tan's Film in 1938 for the highly successful Fatima; Gagak Item was their second production with the company, which hoped to mirror Terang Boelan's success. Through these prior films Mochtar and Roekiah had become an established screen couple.
Saeroen, a journalist-turned-screenwriter for Terang Boelan and Fatima, returned to write the script to Gagak Item. The film, a love story, followed a girl and a masked man known as "Gagak Item" ("Black Raven") and was set in rural Buitenzorg (now Bogor).[a] The titular bandit was similar to Zorro, a character popular in the Indies at the time; such figures had been a staple of travelling theatre troupes beginning in the early 1930s. When writing the script Saeroen continued the formula he had used in Terang Boelan, including action, music, beautiful vistas and physical comedy. The film had six songs performed by Hugo Dumas' musical troupe Lief Java; the troupe was known for its keroncong performances, mixing traditional music with Portuguese influences. Gagak Item featured vocals by kroncong singer Annie Landouw.
Release and reception
Gagak Item was released in late 1939 and was screened in Batavia (now Jakarta), the capital of the Indies; Medan, North Sumatra; and Surabaya, eastern Java. Some screenings of the film, also advertised under the Dutch title De Zwarte Raaf, had Dutch-language subtitles.[b] A novelisation of the film, published by the Yogyakarta-based Kolff-Buning, soon followed. Gagak Item was one of four domestic productions released in 1939; the film industry had undergone a significant downturn following the onset of the Great Depression, during which time cinemas mainly showed Hollywood productions, and had only begun recovering following the release of Terang Boelan.
Gagak Item was a commercial and critical success, although not as much as Tan's earlier production. An anonymous review in Bataviaasch Nieuwsblad praised the film, especially its music. The reviewer opined that the film would be a great success and that the film industry in the Indies was showing promising developments. Another review in the same paper found that, although "one may shake one's head over the cultural value of indigenous films",[c] the film was a step forward for the industry. The review praised Roekiah's "demure"[d] acting.
Following the success of Gagak Item the Wongs, Saeroen, Roekiah, and Mochtar continued to work with Tan's Film. Their next production, Siti Akbari (1940), was similarly successful, although again not as profitable as Terang Boelan or Fatima. Saeroen, Joshua Wong, and Mochtar left the company in 1940: Wong and Mochtar after payment disputes, and Saeroen to return to journalism. Through 1941 Tan's Film produced fewer movies than its competitors, and was ultimately shut down following the Japanese occupation in early 1942.
Gagak Item was screened as late as January 1951. The film is likely lost. Movies in the Indies were recorded on highly flammable nitrate film, and after a fire destroyed much of Produksi Film Negara's warehouse in 1952, old films shot on nitrate were deliberately destroyed. The American visual anthropologist Karl G. Heider writes that all Indonesian films from before 1950 are lost. However, JB Kristanto's Katalog Film Indonesia (Indonesian Film Catalogue) records several as having survived at Sinematek Indonesia's archives, and film historian Misbach Yusa Biran writes that several Japanese propaganda films have survived at the Netherlands Government Information Service.
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Seven Sister States -- robin hasan, 06:50:36 02/13/16 Sat 
The Seven Sister states are the contiguous states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura in northeastern India. These states cover an area of 255,511 square kilometres (98,653 sq mi), or about seven percent of India's total area. As of 2011 they had a population of 44.98 million, about 3.7 percent of India's total. Although there is great ethnic and religious diversity within the seven states, they bear similarities in the political, social and economic spheres.
When India became independent from the United Kingdom in 1947, only three states covered the area. Manipur and Tripura were princely states, while a much larger Assam Province was under direct British rule. Its capital was Shillong (present day Meghalaya's capital). Four new states were carved out of the original territory of Assam in the decades following independence, in line with the policy of the Indian government of reorganizing the states along ethnic and linguistic lines. Accordingly, Nagaland became a separate state in 1963, followed by Meghalaya in 1972. Mizoram became a Union Territory in 1972, and achieved statehood - along with Arunachal Pradesh in 1987.The indigenous tribes of North Eastern India are the Bodo, the Nishi people, the Garo people, the Nagas, Bhutia and many others.
Ethnic and religious composition
Except for Assam, where the major language is Assamese, and Tripura, where the major language is Bengali, the region has a predominantly tribal population that speak numerous Sino-Tibetan and Austro-Asiatic languages. Meithei, the third most spoken language in this region is a Sino-Tibetan language. The large and populous states of Assam, Manipur and Tripura remain predominantly Hindu, with a sizable Muslim minority in Assam. Christianity is the major religion in the states of Nagaland, Mizoram and Meghalaya.
The region has suffered from Insurgency and intra-tribal warfare, including terrorism and government-sponsored violence, for decades; from 2005 to 2015 about 5,500 have died from political violence. The Indian government passed a law, the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958 that applies to just the seven states and grants security forces the power to search properties without a warrant, and to arrest people, and to use deadly force if there is "reasonable suspicion" that a person is acting against the state; a similar law applies to Jammu & Kashmir.
The Main industries in the region are tea-based, crude oil and natural gas, silk, bamboo and handicrafts. The states are heavily forested and have plentiful rainfall. There are beautiful wildlife sanctuaries, tea-estates and mighty rivers like Brahmaputra. The region is home to one-horned rhinoceros, elephants and other endangered wildlife. For security reasons, including intertribal tensions, widespread insurgencies, and disputed borders with neighboring China, there are restrictions on foreigners visiting the area, hampering the development of the potentially profitable travel tourism and hospitality industry. The North Eastern Council developed a marketing tagline, "Paradise Unexplored".
A compact geographical unit, the Northeast is isolated from the rest of India except through the Siliguri Corridor, a slender corridor, flanked by foreign territories. Assam is the gateway through which the sister states are connected to the mainland. Tripura, a virtual enclave almost surrounded by Bangladesh, strongly depends on Assam. Nagaland, Meghalaya and Arunachal depend on Assam for their internal communications. Manipur and Mizoram's contacts with the main body of India are through Assam's Barak Valley. Raw material requirements also make the states mutually dependent. All rivers in Assam's plains originate in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland and western Meghalaya. Manipur's rivers have their sources in Nagaland and Mizoram; the hills also have rich mineral and forest resources. Petroleum is found in the plains.
The plains depend on the hills also on vital questions like flood control. Flood control in the plains requires for soil conservation and afforestation in the hills. The hills depend on the plains for markets for their produce. They depend on the plains even for food grains because of limited cultivable land in the hill.
To provide a forum for collaboration towards common objectives, the Indian government established in 1971 the North Eastern Council that nowadays includes Sikkim too. Each state is represented by its Governor and Chief Minister. The Council has enabled the Seven Sister States to work together on numerous matters, including the provision of educational facilities and electric supplies to the region.
Origin of the sobriquet "The Land of Seven Sisters"
The sobriquet, the Land of the Seven Sisters, had been originally coined to coincide with the inauguration of the new states in January, 1972, by Jyoti Prasad Saikia, a journalist in Tripura in the course of a radio talk show later compiled a book on the interdependence and commonness of the Seven Sister States, and named it the Land of Seven Sisters. It has been primarily because of this publication that the nickname has caught on.
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Gangtok -- robin hasan, 06:44:56 02/13/16 Sat 
Gangtok (About this sound /ˈɡæŋtɒk/ (help·info)) is a municipality, the capital and the largest town of the Indian state of Sikkim. It also is the headquarters of the East Sikkim district. Gangtok is located in the eastern Himalayan range, at an elevation of 1,650 m (5,410 ft). The town's population of 100,000 belongs to different ethnicities such as Nepali, Lepchas and Bhutia. Nestled within higher peaks of the Himalaya and enjoying a year-round mild temperate climate, Gangtok is at the centre of Sikkim's tourism industry.
Gangtok rose to prominence as a popular Buddhist pilgrimage site after the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840. In 1894, the ruling Sikkimese Chogyal, Thutob Namgyal, transferred the capital to Gangtok. In the early 20th century, Gangtok became a major stopover on the trade route between Lhasa in Tibet and cities such as Kolkata (then Calcutta) in British India. After India won its independence from Britain in 1947, Sikkim chose to remain an independent monarchy, with Gangtok as its capital. In 1975, after the integration with the union of India, Gangtok was made India's 22nd state capital.
The precise meaning of the name Gangtok is unclear, though the most popular meaning is "hill top". Today, Gangtok is a centre of Tibetan Buddhist culture and learning, with the presence of several monasteries, religious educational institutions, and centres for Tibetology.
See also: History of Sikkim
Like the rest of Sikkim, not much is known about the early history of Gangtok. The earliest records date from the construction of the hermitic Gangtok monastery in 1716. Gangtok remained a small hamlet until the construction of the Enchey Monastery in 1840 made it a pilgrimage center. It became the capital of what was left of Sikkim after an English conquest in the mid-19th century in response to a hostage crisis. After the defeat of the Tibetans by the British, Gangtok became a major stopover in the trade between Tibet and British India at the end of the 19th century. Most of the roads and the telegraph in the area were built during this time.
In 1894, Thutob Namgyal, the Sikkimese monarch under British rule, shifted the capital from Tumlong to Gangtok, increasing the city's importance. A new grand palace along with other state buildings was built in the new capital. Following India's independence in 1947, Sikkim became a nation-state with Gangtok as its capital. Sikkim came under the suzerainty of India, with the condition that it would retain its independence, by the treaty signed between the Chogyal and the then Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru. This pact gave the Indians control of external affairs on behalf of Sikkimese. Trade between India and Tibet continued to flourish through the Nathula and Jelepla passes, offshoots of the ancient Silk Road near Gangtok. These border passes were sealed after the Sino-Indian War in 1962, which deprived Gangtok of its trading business. The Nathula pass was finally opened for limited trade in 2006, fuelling hopes of economic boom.
In 1975, after years of political uncertainty and struggle, including riots, the monarchy was abrogated and Sikkim became India's twenty-second state, with Gangtok as its capital after a referendum. Gangtok has witnessed annual landslides, resulting in loss of life and damage to property. The largest disaster occurred in June 1997, when 38 were killed and hundreds of buildings were destroyed.
Gangtok is located at 27.3325°N 88.6140°E (coordinates of Gangtok head post office). It is situated in the lower Himalayas at an elevation of 1,650 m (5,410 ft). The town lies on one side of a hill, with "The Ridge", a promenade housing the Raj Bhawan, the governor's residence, at one end and the palace, situated at an altitude of about 1,800 m (5,900 ft), at the other. The city is flanked on east and west by two streams, namely Roro Chu and Ranikhola, respectively. These two rivers divide the natural drainage into two parts, the eastern and western parts. Both the streams meet the Ranipul and flow south as the main Ranikhola before it joins the Teesta at Singtam. Most of the roads are steep, with the buildings built on compacted ground alongside them.
Most of Sikkim, including Gangtok, is underlain by Precambrian rocks which contains foliated phyllites and schists; slopes are therefore prone to frequent landslides. Surface runoff of water by natural streams (jhora) and man-made drains has contributed to the risk of landslides. According to the Bureau of Indian Standards, the town falls under seismic zone-IV (on a scale of I to V, in order of increasing seismic activity), near the convergent boundary of the Indian and the Eurasian tectonic plates and is subject to frequent earthquakes. The hills are nestled within higher peaks and the snow-clad Himalayan ranges tower over the town from the distance. Mount Kanchenjunga (8,598 m or 28,208 ft)—the world's third-highest peak—is visible to the west of the city. The existence of steep slopes, vulnerability to landslides, large forest cover and inadequate access to most areas have been a major impediment to the natural and balanced growth of the city.
There are densely forested regions around Gangtok, consisting of temperate, deciduous forests of poplar, birch, oak, and elm, as well as evergreen, coniferous trees of the wet alpine zone. Orchids are common, and rare varieties of orchids are featured in flower shows in the city. Bamboos are also abundant. In the lower reaches of the town, the vegetation gradually changes from alpine to temperate deciduous and subtropical. Flowers such as sunflower, marigold, poinsettia, and others bloom, especially in November and December.
The hospitality industry is the largest industry in Gangtok as the city is the main base for Sikkim tourism. Summer and spring seasons are the most popular tourist seasons. Many of Gangtok's residents are employed directly and indirectly in the tourism industry, with many residents owning and working in hotels and restaurants.
Ecotourism has emerged as an important economic activity in the region which includes trekking, mountaineering, river rafting and other nature oriented activities. An estimated 351,000 tourists visited Sikkim in 2007, generating revenue of about Rs 50 crores (Rs 500 millions).
The Nathula Pass, located about 50 km (31 mi) from Gangtok, used to be the primary route of the wool, fur and spice trade with Tibet and spurred economic growth for Gangtok till the mid-20th century. In 1962, after the border was closed during the Sino-Indian War, Gangtok fell into recession. The pass was reopened in 2006 and trade through the pass is expected to boost the economy of Gangtok. The Sikkim government is keen to open a Lhasa–Gangtok bus service via Nathula pass. Sikkim's mountainous terrain results in the lack of train or air links, limiting the area's potential for rapid industrial development. The government is the largest employer in the city, both directly and as contractors. Gangtok's economy does not have a large manufacturing base, but has a thriving Cottage industry in watch-making, country-made alcohol and handicrafts. Among the handicrafts are the handmade paper industry made from various vegetable fibres or cotton rags. The main market in Gangtok provides many of the state's rural residents a place to offer their produce during the harvest seasons. The majority of the private business community is made up of Marwaris and Biharis. As part of Sikkim, Gangtok enjoys the status of being an income-tax free region as per the state's 1948 Income tax law. As Sikkim is a frontier state, the Indian army maintains a large presence in the vicinity of Gangtok. This leads to a population of semi-permanent residents who bring money into the local economy. The Sikkim government started India's first online lottery Playwin to boost government income, but this was later closed by a ruling from the Sikkim High Court.
In 2013 premier Indian publishing company Thomson Digital opened its production unit in Gangtok. Thus becoming first MNC to venture there and paving path for future private companies to explore potential of young workforce of Gangtok.
Gangtok is administered by Gangtok Municipal Corporation along with the various departments of Government of Sikkim, particularly the Urban Development and Housing Department (UDHD) and Public Health Engineering Department (PHED). These departments looked after the civic functions such as garbage disposal, water supply, tax collection, license allotments, and civic infrastructure. An administrator appointed by the state government headed the UDHD.
As the headquarters of East Sikkim district, Gangtok houses the offices of the district collector, an administrator appointed by the Union Government of India. Gangtok is also the seat of the Sikkim High Court, which is India's smallest High Court in terms of area and population of jurisdiction. Gangtok does not have its own police commissionerate like other major cities in India. Instead, it comes under the jurisdiction of the state police, which is headed by a Director General of Police, although an Inspector General of Police oversees the town. Sikkim is known for its very low crime rate. Rongyek jail in Gangtok is Sikkim's only central jail.
Gangtok is within the Sikkim Lok Sabha constituency that elects a member to the Lok Sabha (Lower House) of the Indian Parliament. The city elects one member in the Sikkim state legislative assembly, the Vidhan Sabha. The Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) won both the parliamentary election in 2009 and the state assembly seat in the 2009 state assembly polls.
Electricity is supplied by the power department of the Government of Sikkim. Gangtok has a nearly uninterrupted electricity supply due to Sikkim's numerous hydroelectric power stations. The rural roads around Gangtok are maintained by the Border Roads Organisation, a division of the Indian army. Several roads in Gangtok are reported to be in a poor condition, whereas building construction activities continue almost unrestrained in this city lacking proper land infrastructure. Most households are supplied by the central water system maintained and operated by the PHED. The main source of PHED water supply is the Rateychu River, located about 16 km (9.9 mi) from the city, at an altitude of 2,621 m (8,599 ft). Its water treatment plant is located at Selep. The river Rateychu is snow-fed and has perennial streams. Since there is no habitation in the catchment area except for a small army settlement, there is little environmental degradation and the water is of very good quality. 40 seasonal local springs are used by the Rural Management and Development Department of Sikkim Government to supply water to outlying rural areas.
Around 40% of the population has access to sewers. However, only the toilet waste is connected to the sewer while sullage is discharged into the drains. Without a proper sanitation system, the practice of disposing sewage through septic tanks and directly discharging into Jhoras and open drains is prevalent. The entire city drains into the two rivers, Ranikhola and Roro Chu, through numerous small streams and Jhoras. Ranikhola and Roro Chu rivers confluence with Teesta River, the major source of drinking water to the population downstream. The densely populated urban area of Gangtok does not have a combined drainage system to drain out the storm water and waste water from the buildings. The estimated solid waste generated in Gangtok city is approximately 45 tonnes. Only around 40% of this is collected by UDHD, while the remainder is indiscriminately thrown into Jhora, streets and valleys. The collected waste is disposed in a dump located about 20 km (12 mi) from the city. There is no waste collection from inaccessible areas where vehicles cannot reach, nor does any system of collection of waste exist in the adjoining rural areas. The city is under a statewide ban on the use of polythene bags.[
Taxis are the most widely available public transport within Gangtok. Most of the residents stay within a few kilometres of the town centre and many have their own vehicles such as two-wheelers and cars. The share of personal vehicles and taxis combined is 98% of Gangtok's total vehicles, a high percentage when compared to other Indian cities. City buses comprise less than one percent of vehicles. Those travelling longer distances generally make use of share-jeeps, a kind of public taxis. Four wheel drives are used to easily navigate the steep slopes of the roads. The 1 km (0.6 mi) long cable car with three stops connects lower Gangtok suburbs with Sikkim Legislative assembly in central Gangtok and the upper suburbs.
Gangtok is connected to the rest of India by an all-weather metalled highway, National Highway 31A, which links Gangtok to Siliguri, located 114 km (71 mi) away in the neighbouring state of West Bengal. The highway also provides a link to the neighbouring hill station towns of Darjeeling and Kalimpong, which are the nearest urban areas. Regular jeep, van, and bus services link these towns to Gangtok. Gangtok is a linear city that has developed along the arterial roads, especially National Highway 31A. Most of the road length in Gangtok, is of two lane undivided carriageway with footpath on one side of the road and drain on the other. The steep gradient of the different road stretches coupled with a spiral road configuration constrain the smooth flow of vehicular as well as pedestrian traffic.
The nearest railhead connected to the rest of India is the station of New Jalpaiguri in Siliguri, situated 124 km (77 mi) away from Gangtok. Work has commenced for a broad gauge railway link from Sevoke in West Bengal to Rangpo in Sikkim that is planned for extension to Gangtok.
The closest airport is Bagdogra Airport, (IATA airport code IXB) in Siliguri, 16 km (10 mi) from Siliguri Town. Gangtok is linked to Bagdogra airport by a daily helicopter service that operates only once a day and carries four passengers. Pakyong Airport, a greenfield airport, southeast of Gangtok.
According to the Provisional Population Totals 2011 census of India, the population of Gangtok Municipal Corporation has been estimated to be 98,658. Males constituted 53% of the population and females 47%. The Gangtok subdivision of the East Sikkim district had a population of 281,293, Gangtok has an average literacy rate of 82.17%, higher than the national average of 74%: male literacy is 85.33%, and female literacy is 78.68. About 8% of Gangtok's population live in the nine notified slums and squatter settlements, all on Government land. More people live in areas that depict slum-like characteristics but have not been notified as slums yet because they have developed on private land. Of the total urban population of Sikkim, Gangtok Municipal Corporation has a share of 55.5%. Including Gangtok, East District has a share of 88% of the total urban population. The quality of life, the pace of development and availability of basic infrastructure and employment prospects has been the major cause for rapid migration to the city. With this migration, the urban services are under pressure, intensified by the lack of availability of suitable land for infrastructure development.
Ethnic Nepalis, who settled in the region during British rule, comprise the majority of Gangtok's residents. Lepchas, native to the land, and Bhutias also constitute a sizeable portion of the populace. Additionally, a large number of Tibetans have immigrated to the town. Immigrant resident communities not native to the region include the Marwaris, who own most of the shops; the Biharis, who are employed in mostly blue collar jobs and the Bengalis.
Hinduism and Buddhism are the most significant religions in Gangtok. Gangtok also has a sizeable Christian population and a small Muslim minority. The North East Presbyterian Church, Roman Catholic Church and Anjuman Mosque in Gangtok are places of worship for the religious minorities. The town has not been communist, having never witnessed any sort of inter-religious strife in its history. Nepali is the most widely spoken language in Sikkim as well as Gangtok. English and Hindi being the official language of Sikkim and India respectively, are also widely spoken and understood in most of Sikkim, particularly in Gangtok. Other languages spoken in Gangtok include Bhutia (Sikkimese), Tibetan and Lepcha.
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Barjees Tahir -- Hasanur Rahman, 22:37:27 02/11/16 Thu 
Ch. Muhammad Barjees Tahir (چوھدری محمد برجیس طاہر: born 20 April 1949 in Sangla Hill) is a prominent national politician, parliamentarian, Governor of Gilgit–Baltistan, and a Federal Minister of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit Baltistan in the 2013 Sharif-led cabinet from Pakistan Muslim League (N). A key Member of Parliament in Pakistan and a lawyer by profession, he graduated with masters in Law and Political Science from the University of the Punjab.
He started his political career from Lahore as a student activist. Later on he was elected as a member of the National Assembly of Pakistan (MNA). He was elected to the National Assembly of Pakistan for the terms of 1990–1993, 1993–1997, and 1997–1999, 2008-2013 and 2013 – present. At his tenure as MNA, many social, economical, educational and infrastructure developments were carried out in Sangla Hill and Sheikhupura. From 1990–1993, he served as Federal Parliamentary Secretary in the ministry of interior during Nawaz Sharif 1990–1993 government. Later he served as a chairman of standing committee of communication. He was also famous for conducting an inquiry concerning a helicopter scandal in 1998, in which former President Farooq Leghari and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto were interrogated for their alleged role. Moreover, he represented Pakistan on numerous occasions at UN, IPU (Inter-Parliamentary Union) and other international forums.
After the overthrow of the Pakistan Muslim League (N) government in 1999 in a coup de'tat orchestrated by General Pervez Musharraf, he became one of the most vocal critic of the totalitarian military regime. He was arrested and harassed by the military regime on several occasions, and was also pressurised to join the PML (Q), the ruling party, but he refused and decided to stay loyal to PML (N). He was also an activist in the Alliance for Restoration of Democracy (ARD), and in 2004 he was the candidate for the Senate of Pakistan, a vacated seat by Shaukat Aziz who later became the Prime Minister of Pakistan. Recently, he won in the general election 2008, from NA-135 constituency. His party PML (N) is campaigning for the establishment of democracy in the country and he is also a federal joint secretary of Pakistan Muslim League (N).
Chaudhry Muhammad Barjees Tahir is married and has three daughters and a son.
In 2008-13 Parliament, he served on four Parliamentary Standing Committees and one subcommittee:
Information Technology Committee (Chairman).
Housing and Works Committee
Petroleum and Natural Resources Committee
Subcommittee on LPG on Petroleum and Natural Resources Committee (Convener) 
National Assembly's Business Advisory Committeehttps://ugbnewsnetwork.wordpress.com/2015/02/17/another-source-said-the-decision-was-taken-upon-the-recommendation-of-an-influential-leader-of-pml-n-in-g-b-who-wants-to-be-elevated-as-governor-in-case-he-loses-the-assembly-elections-where-he-has/
In 1998–1999 he was appointed by the Public Accounts Committee of the Parliament to investigate the matter regarding the purchase of the helicopter. The case involves defrauding substantive sum of $2.168 million and $1.1 million public money. The record shows that the case was not pursued properly and diligently. FIR No 1 of 1998 was registered with Federal Investigation Agency State Bank Circle Rawalpindi on the complaint of Cabinet Division.
Thorough investigation was conducted by the committee headed by Chaudhry Muhammad Barjees Tahir and two other members, namely Faridullah Jamali and Jamshaid Ali Shah. During this investigation the committee chairman (Muhammad Barjees Tahir) summoned the former President Farooq Leghari and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto along with others and they were investigated. The case received extensive media coverage both inside and outside Pakistan. The recommendations of the committee, obtained from the file, are as under:
6.1: FIR may be lodged against (1) Malik Allah Yar Khan of Kalabagh (2) Zia Pervez Hussain (3) Dr M.A. Khan and criminal proceedings be instituted against them defrauding the government.
6.2: The amount of $2.168 million be recovered from Malik Allah Yar Khan, Zia Pervez Hussain and Dr M.A. Khan by attaching their properties etc. in Pakistan or abroad for this purpose. FIA may be directed to take steps to recover this money through Interpol, if necessary. Any banker or foreign national involved in this fraud may also be taken to task by the Federal Investigation Agency.
6.3: As Benazir Bhutto, she is clearly responsible for this loss to exchequer as major decisions in respect of this contract were taken with her approval or direction and passed on to Cabinet Division through former PS PM (Ahmad Sadiq). FIR may be registered against her for causing loss to state by misuse of her authority as PM, and criminal proceedings be initiated.
6.4: Farooq Leghari knows that his name has visibly come up in this case. He has tried to plead innocent. It is unimaginable that those operating in this scandal could have easy access to the top bureaucrats like Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and even to the Prime Minister herself without the backing and active support of the President. FIR against him must also be registered and criminal proceedings initiated.
6.5: As for the senior civil servants involved in the case, Ahmad Sadiq former PS PM, Humayun Faiz Rasul and Sahibzada Imtiaz former Cabinet Secretary, no action can be taken against them at this stage as they already stand retired/superannuated.
The case was further referred to the National Accountability Bureau in 2000–02 but no action was taken. In 2008, the case was closed under NRO issued by President Musharaf.
Privatisation of PTCL
The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on IT and Telecom criticised PTCL’s administration over its inability to fulfil obligations made to the government. On 20 December 2010, the committee met under the chairmanship of Barjees Tahir, at the parliament house to probe into the privatisation of PTCL. After hearing the officials of both the ministries, the committee declared that despite having outstanding financial portfolio, PTCL was privatised to an entity which did not fulfill contractual obligations despite the grant of concessions by the government.
On 1 Jan 2011, The Federal Minister for Privatisation Senator Waqar Ahmed Khan Wednesday revealed before the National Assembly that the privatisation deal of PTCL with Etisalat was not transparent and made in violation of rules and procedures.
“The part of the privatisation of PTCL was not transparent. It was made in violation of the rules and procedures, said the minister replied to a question, and later, the House referred the matter to the National Assembly Standing Committee on Privatisation for sin.
It was told to the House that the SPA is completed and the transaction was made without the privatisation of the Commission Council in confidence, adding that Etisalat 800 million U.S. dollars has kept the sport of land issue be transferred to the UAE-based company. Also, it was found out that around 3,500 properties were to be transferred to Etisalat which also comprise lands not even owned by federal or any provincial government rather either those are private properties are under litigation.
In June 2005, Etisalat $2.6 billion bid beat those of Singapore Telecom and China mobile for the purchase of a 26 per cent stake in PTCL, Pakistan’s telecom operator. Etisalat has management control with 26 per cent shares of PTCL, which was in 2006 for US$2.6 billion and is withholding $ 799,000,000 worth of initial payments to the Pakistani Government, part of the company’s 2006 properties with the acquisition in PTCL registered in name.
The Performance under control to Etisalat, PtCl wealth declined. For four years, before privatisation, profit after tax increased from approximately 18 billion to more than 27 billion rupees, which is the rate corresponding to 11 percent annually.
The committee expressed its reservations over the entire privatisation process and said, “it seems as if the previous government wanted to get rid of PTCL which was a profit earning entity at the time of its privatisation.”
The committee also expressed reservations over the exclusion of Telephone Industries of Pakistan from the privatisation process, which was a subsidiary of PTCL.
Matter is still under investigation by the committee under his chairmanship and house is waiting for the committee's report.
Subcommittee investigation on LPG quota’s distribution
On 25 November 2011, the National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources constituted a sub-committee to investigate distribution and grant of liquified petroleum gas (LPG) quota among different companies. The sub-committee would comprise Barjees Tahir as convener and Abdul Wasim and Syed Anayt Ali Shah, MNA as its members.
The LPG quota has been monopolized by certain companies and the committee emphasized upon the need that in order to break out the hold of illegal cartels on the LPG quotas.
Meanwhile, the committee observed that grant and distribution of LPG quota is not in accordance with the regulation and justice due to which the majority grant of LGP is being made discriminately. Gross violations of rules and regulations have been made by the authorities in the allotment of LPG quota in the last three decades. This has been stated in a report submitted by sub-committee which was constituted by the National Assembly Standing Committee on Petroleum and Natural Resources. “The Sub-committee said that those involved in shabby deals should not be allowed to go escort free and the responsible officers, persons, irrespective of their position and status in the society, must be taken to task”, the document revealed.
The report says the decision of the SSGC to set up an LPG extraction plant and awarding the contract to “the only one such pre-qualified bidder who even submitted the bid without a bid bond” seems to be lacking transparency and negation of rules.
It adds the OGDCL temporarily allocated LPG quota in the year 2004 to 15 companies without open bidding and the temporary arrangement continued for almost five years which is undoubtedly gross violation of rules and smacks of underhand dealings and corruption. The then management cannot go from its responsibilities and the ministry of petroleum and natural resources should be directed to initiate corruption cases against the then management in relevant courts with a view to nab the corruption mafia and to nip the evil in the bud.
The committee unanimously adopted the report which has directed the ministry of petroleum and natural resources to pursue the court cases vigorously regarding the misuse of powers in the grant of LPG quota prior to the LPG deregulation period.
Matter is still under subcommittee's investigation.
Banning obscene words and websites
The National Assembly (NA) Standing Committee on IT and Telecom under his chairmanship instructed the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) Telecom regulated authority in Pakistan to address the obscene words and websites issues. On 14 November 2011, PTA distributed a list of 1,695 "obscene" words (1,109 in English and 586 in Urdu) to mobile network operators and gave them 7 days to mandatory implement SMS filtering. Many of the banned words were expletives or sexual slang, but the list included medical terms (such as "athlete's foot") and other words (such as "Jesus" and "Budweiser"). Following widespread ridicule, particularly on social media, PTA backed down and promised more consultation on the final list of banned words.
The Standing Committee on IT and Telecom has summoned the PTA on its 30 November 2011 meeting for explanation.
Appointment of Governor of Gilgit-Baltistan
On 14 February 2015, a summary initiated by the Ministry of Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan, President Mamnoon Hussain has approved the Prime Minister’s advice to appoint Ch. Muhammad Barjees Tahir, Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan as Governor of Gilgit-Baltistan, on ex-officio basis and signed the “Commission of Appointment” in his favour.
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