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Alcester is a market town and civil parish of Roman origin at the junction of the River Alne and River Arrow in Warwickshire, England 8 miles west of Stratford-upon-Avon, 8 miles south of Redditch, close to the Worcestershire border. The 2011 census recorded a population of 6,273; the poet and antiquary John Leland wrote in his Itinerary that the name Alcester was derived from that of the River Alne. The suffix'cester' is derived from the Saxon word'ceaster', which meant a Roman fort or town, derived from the Latin'castrum', from which the modern word'castle' derives. Alcester was founded by the Romans in around AD 47 as a walled fort; the walled colonia named. It was sited on Icknield Street, a Roman road that ran the length of Britannia from the north east near Hadrian's Wall to southwest England; the town was just north of the Fosse Way, another important thoroughfare in Roman Britain. Alauna, a bustling market town, was within the commercial sphere of Salinae, where rock salt and brine was extracted and processed.

Archaeological investigations shows the colonia had streets and workshops. Investigations into Alcester's Roman history began with local businessman B. W. Davis in the 1920s. Recent excavations have shown that a substantial part of the Roman town was built outside its defensive walls in the 3rd century AD. In the Early medieval period, Alencestre had become a Saxon market town in the Kingdom of Mercia. Alcester was the site of Alcester Abbey, a Benedictine monastery founded in 1138 by Ralph le Boteler. Richard de Tutbury, the last abbot, resigned his office in 1467 and Alcester Abbey was absorbed into the neighbouring Evesham Abbey. By 1515 Alcester Abbey was in ruins as a result of the neglect of various abbots, during the Dissolution of the Monasteries under Henry VIII it was demolished; the ruins were granted to the local Greville family, who used much of the stone to rebuild their family seat of Beauchamp Court. Today the town features architecture from the Medieval, Georgian, Victorian eras and the 20th century.

The oldest house appears to be The Old Malthouse at the corner of Church Street and Malt Mill Lane, which dates from about 1500. The clock on St Nicholas's Church is in an unusual position on the south-west corner of the 14th-century tower, so as to make it visible from the High Street; the church houses the tomb of Fulke Greville, grandfather of Fulke Greville, 1st Baron Brooke. The church's Georgian nave with Doric columns and plastered ceiling is believed to have been designed by Francis Smith of Warwick, supervisor of its rebuild by the Woodward brothers of Chipping Camden in 1729. Alcester was served by Alcester railway station belonging to the Midland Railway, on the Gloucester Loop Line, branching off the Birmingham and Gloucester Railway main line at Ashchurch, passing through Evesham railway station and Redditch and rejoining the main line at Barnt Green, near Bromsgrove; the loop was built to address the fact that the main line bypassed most of the towns it might otherwise have served, but it took three separate companies to complete, Alcester being on the Evesham and Redditch Railway prior to absorption by the Midland.

In addition a branch line provided by the Alcester Railway company ran from Alcester to Bearley, thus giving access to Stratford-upon-Avon. This line, was an early casualty, closing in September 1939; the Midland loop was due to close between Ashchurch and Redditch in June 1963 but the poor condition of the track led to all trains between Evesham and Redditch being withdrawn in October 1962 and replaced by a bus service for the final eight months. Redditch to Barnt Green remains open on the electrified Birmingham suburban network. Alcester is served by buses from Redditch and Stratford upon Avon. Alcester is known for two nearby stately homes. To the north is Coughton Court, the family seat of the Throckmorton baronets as well as a National Trust property. To the south-west is Ragley Hall, the home of the Marquis of Hertford, whose gardens contain a children's adventure playground. Kinwarton, just north of Alcester, contains a church of Anglo Saxon origin and a historic dovecote, Kinwarton Dovecote, a National Trust property.

Alcester is a significant town on the 100-mile-long Heart of England Way long-distance walking route. Recent developments, carried out by a multi-agency partnership, include'Roman Alcester', a museum exhibiting locally found archaeological artifacts from the 1st to 4th century AD. In early June Alcester holds the Court Leet charity street market with a procession and competitions for best stall and best fancy dress. On the first Monday and Tuesday in October Alcester holds an annual mop fair where amusement rides, side stalls and food booths line the High Street, Church Street and Henley Street; the mop fair has decreased in size over a period of years an external influence since the people of Alcester still flock to the streets during the two nights. The Alcester and Forest of Arden Food Festival is held every October; the St Nicholas Night Fair is held on 6 December each year. The rivers Arrow and Alne, which join on the outskirts of Alcester, have flooded and on a few occasions engulfed part of the town.

The last occurrences were in 1956, 10 April 1998 and on 21 July 2007 when 200 homes were left uninhabitable. In response to the severe flooding of 2007 Alcester flood scheme completed an underground storage tank with a 3.25 million litre capacity in June 2011

Arts et Métiers (Paris Métro)

Arts et Métiers is a station on Line 3 and Line 11 of the Paris Métro. It takes its name from the Musée des Arts et Métiers, served by the station, it opened on 19 October 1904 as part of the first section of Line 3 opened between Père Lachaise and Villiers. The Line 11 platforms opened as part of the original section of the line from Châtelet to Porte des Lilas on 28 April 1935. To mark the bicentenary of the Conservatoire National des Arts et Métiers in 1994, the Line 11 platforms was redesigned by Belgian comics artist François Schuiten in a steampunk style reminiscent of the science fiction works of Jules Verne. Roland, Gérard. Stations de métro. D’Abbesses à Wagram. Éditions Bonneton. Station information and photographs at the Musée des Artes et Métiers website


Ameliella is a genus of lichenized fungi in the Lecanoraceae family. Described in 2008, the genus contains two species, A. andreaeicola and A. grisea, that were collected from high elevations in the Scottish Highlands. The two species have been found in single instances in British Columbia and Northern Norway; the generic name is derived from the Greek ameleo, meaning "neglected" or "overlooked". Ameliella appears to have some similarity with the lichen genus Miriquidica. In the genus Ameliella, the lichen thalli are small, grey-brown in color, covered with warts or projections that resemble warts; the thalli form patches that are 1 to 2 centimetres in diameter. There are copious apothecia that cover much of the thallus; the spores are translucent, ranging in shape from narrowly ellipsoid to spindle-shaped to oblong to ellipsoid. The spore dimensions are 10–24 by 5–7 μm. Based on the collection sites of the two known species, Ameliella is restricted to locations near oceans. Other than the Scottish Highlands, A. andreaeicola is known only from single collections in British Columbia and Norway, while A. grisea has only been collected once in Norway.

The Norway collection location is known for a rich lichen species diversity, considered unusual for such northern latitudes

University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore

The University of Agricultural Sciences is located in Bengaluru, India. It was established in 1964 as UAS Bangalore by a legislative act; the rulers of Mysore kingdom felt the need to establish research units in the field of agriculture and donated about 30 acres of land to set up an Experimental Agricultural Station at Hebbal, appointed German chemist Lehmann to initiate research on soil crop response with Laboratory in the Directorate of Agriculture around 1900. In 1906, Leslie Coleman, a Canadian Entomologist and Mycologist succeeded Lehmann and served for 25 years. What began on a 30-acre land in 1899 was soon extended to about 1,300 acres; the increasing reputation of this experimental station as a training center led to the foundation of the Mysore Agricultural College at Hebbal in 1946 affiliated to the Mysore University. This was soon followed by the Agricultural College at Dharwad in 1947, affiliated to Karnataka University. In 1958, veterinary science as a discipline was started with the establishment of the Veterinary College at Hebbal affiliated to Mysore University.

With growing impetus given by the Indian Government for the agricultural sector, leading to what has been termed the Green Revolution, many agricultural universities were established throughout the country. The Mysore State Government through its Act No. 22 passed in 1963 provided for the creation of the University of Agricultural Sciences. The university came into existence on 21 August 1964 with operational jurisdiction over the entire state of Karnataka; the UAS was inaugurated on 21 August 1964 by Vice President of India Zakir Hussain in the presence of Chester Bowles, United States Ambassador to India and S. Nijalingappa, Chief Minister of Karnataka. On 12 July 1969, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi inaugurated GKVK campus; the University included the agricultural colleges at Hebbal and Dharwad, Veterinary College at Hebbal and 35 research stations located in different parts of the state along with 45 ICAR projects which were with the State Department of Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Fisheries.

Kullal Chickappu Naik was the first Vice Chancellor of this new university. On the Marine Product Processing Training Centre at Mangalore and Krishi Vignana Kendra, Dharwad were transferred to the university; the university established the Fisheries College at Mangalore in 1969 to provide degree level training and the Agricultural Engineering Institute at Raichur in the same year to offer a three-year diploma course in Agricultural Engineering. The Home Science College was started to impart education on rural based home science at Dharwad campus in 1974, besides establishing a College of Basic Sciences and Humanities and College of Post Graduate Studies at Hebbal; the phenomenal growth of the university, the differences in agroclimate in the parts of the state, led to the bifurcation of the university into two agricultural universities. An amendment to the University of Agricultural Sciences Act in 1986 saw the birth of the second university for agriculture in the state; the University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore was entrusted territorial jurisdiction over 15 southern districts of Karnataka comprising nearly fifty percent of the total area of the state, while the University of Agricultural Sciences, was given jurisdiction over the remaining area in the northern districts of the state.

In 2005, with the needed to provide better autonomy to the veterinary education and research in the state, the Veterinary and Animal sciences faculty was bifurcated form both the Universities of Agricultural Sciences - Bangalore and Dharwad and placed under the single university - Karnataka Veterinary and Fisheries Sciences University with its headquarters in the northern district of Karnataka, Bidar by the passing of the Karnataka Veterinary and Fisheries Sciences University Bill, 2004 in the Legislative Assembly on 10 February 2004. The University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore has administrative headquarters at the Gandhi Krishi Vigyana Kendra on the Bangalore-Hyderabad Highway, it has the following colleges: College of Agriculture, Bengaluru at Gandhi Krishi Vigyana Kendra College of Agriculture, Mandya College of Agriculture, Hassan College of Sericulture, Chintamani College of Basic Science and Humanities, Bengaluru at Gandhi Krishi Vigyana Kendra College of Agricultural Engineering, Gandhi Krishi Vigyana Kendra, Bengaluru College of Agriculture, Chamrajnagar In 2001, the university was recognised as the best agricultural university in India by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research for which it was conferred the Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR Institution Award for excellence in teaching and extension.

In 2008, UAS was ranked third among state agriculture universities. In 2012, the university was recognised as the best agricultural university in India by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research for which it was conferred the Sardar Patel Outstanding ICAR Institution Award for excellence in teaching and extension; the university had two-degree programmes covering broadly agriculture and veterinary disciplines. Over the years, attempts have been made to diversify agricultural education by starting specialized undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes in various branches of agricultural sciences. Presently the university offers nine-degree programmes covering Agriculture, Fisheries, Dairy Sciences, Agricultural Marketing and Co-operation, Forestry and Agriculture Engineering disciplines and master's degree programmes in 47 disciplines and Ph. D. programmes in 34 disciplines. Sonny Ramaswamy, Administrator of the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture Kalidas

Dasht-e Kavir

Dasht-e Kavir (Persian: دشت كوير‎, lit.'Low Plains' in classical Persian, from khwar, dasht known as Kavir-e Namak and the Great Salt Desert, is a large desert lying in the middle of the Iranian plateau. It is about 800-kilometre-long by 320-kilometre-wide with a total surface area of about 77,600 km2, making it the Earth's 24th largest desert; the area of this desert stretches from the Alborz mountain range in the north-west to the Dasht-e Lut in the south-east. It is partitioned among the Iranian provinces of Khorasan, Tehran and Yazd In the center of the desert lies the Kavir Buzurg, about 320 km long and 160 km wide. In the western part of the desert lies the Daryahcheh-e Namak, 1,800 km2, it contains some large salt plates in a mosaic-like shape. It is part of a 4,000 km2 protected ecological zone, the Kavir National Park. One of the most desolate parts of Dasht-e Kavir is the Rig-e Jenn. Dasht-e Kavir's climate is arid. However, the mountains that surround it provide plenty of runoff—enough to create vast seasonal lakes and playas.

Temperatures can reach 50 °C in summer, the average temperature in January is 22 °C. Daytime and nighttime temperatures can vary by as much as 70 °C over the course of a year. Rain falls in winter; the desert soil is covered with sand and pebbles. The hot temperatures cause extreme vaporization, which leaves the marshes and mud grounds with large crusts of salt. Heavy storms occur and they can cause sand hills reaching up to 40 m in height; some parts of Dasht-e Kavir have a more steppe-like appearance. 3,000 years ago, at the start of the post-glacial era, the Kavir was a series of vast lakes: the Asian monsoon reached deep into central Iran, bringing heavy summer rain that formed numerous lakes in the closed basins of the central Iranian Plateau that today comprises the Kavir and other deserts in the area. There are inscriptions at teppeh Sialk noting that a local queen had traveled to visit the ruler of a town by "sailing the sea"! Copious shorelines at various elevations still extant in the Kavir are telltale signs of the post-glacial, monsoonal lakes in central Iran, where desert now dominates.

Vegetation in the Dasht-e Kavir is adapted to the hot and arid climate as well as to the saline soil in which it is rooted. Common plant species like shrubs and grasses can only be found on mountain tops; the most widespread plant is mugwort. The Persian ground jay is a bird species living in some parts of the desert plateaus, along with Hairy bustards and sandgrouses. Persian gazelles live in parts of desert areas of the central plateau. Wild sheep, camels and Persian leopards are common in mountainous areas. Night life brings on wild cats, wolves and other carnivores. In some parts of the desert, the Persian onager and sometimes the Asiatic cheetah can be seen. Lizards and snakes live in different places in the central plateau; the extreme heat and many storms in Dasht-e Kavir cause extensive erosion, which makes it impossible to cultivate the lands. The desert is uninhabited and knows little exploitation. Camel and sheep breeding and agriculture are the sources of living to the few people living on its soil.

Human settlement is restricted to some oases, where wind-blocking housing constructions are raised to deal with the harsh weather conditions. For irrigation, Iranians developed a sophisticated system of water-wells known as qanats; these are still in use, modern globally used water-revenue systems are based on their techniques. Dasht-e Lut Geography of Iran International rankings of Iran List of deserts by area

Niko Lekishvili

Nikoloz "Niko" Lekishvili is a Georgian politician, former State Minister and Mayor of Tbilisi, member of the Parliament of Georgia. Lekishvili was born on April 1947 in Tbilisi, Georgia, he graduated from Georgian Polytechnic Institute with a degree in Heat and Energy Engineering in 1971. He started working for the same institute as a scientific associate and senior scientific associate of the High Temperature Physics Department from 1971 through 1972. In 1972-1973, he was the instructor of Tbilisi City Komsomol Committee. In 1973-1974, he was the secretary and the first secretary of the Pervomaysky District Komsomol Committee in Tbilisi. From 1974 through 1977, he worked as the secretary and the first secretary of Tbilisi City Komsomol Committee. Starting from 1977 until 1990, he held supervisory positions in Georgia's Communist Party and Soviet government bodies, serving as the second and the first secretary of the Party Committee of Pervomaysky District and as the district's Chairman of the Executive Committee from 1977 through 1989, as second and first secretary of the Party Committee from 1989 through 1990.

In the midst of his governmental activities, he graduated from Moscow Economy Academy in 1988. At the end of 1990, Lekishvili founded Galo G. M. Co Ltd, merging it with Kavkasioni Co Ltd in 1991, restructured and incorporated into Coca Cola Bottlers, Georgia. In 1994, Lekishvili family took control of the management of the company. In 1990, Lekishvili was elected the Chairman of the City Executive Committee of Tbilisi and in 1990-1991 served as the Deputy Chairman of Supreme Council of Georgia. From January through November 1992, he served as the State Advisor to the Cabinet of Georgia, he was elected deputy to the Parliament of Georgia during 1992 parliamentary elections, serving as an MP until November 1995. From September until October 1993, he was the representative of the Prime Minister of Georgia. In October 1993, he was appointed Mayor of Tbilisi. On December 8, 1995 he was appointed Prime Minister of Georgia by President Eduard Shevardnadze; as a result of criticism by the government over economic policies and the issue of Abkhazia, Lekishvili resigned from his post on July 26, 1998.

Lekishvili was re-elected to the parliament and was a member of Regional Politics and Local Government Committee. He was the leader of Majority coalition in the parliament since 1999 and one of the leaders of Citizen's Union of Georgia; until late 2004, he chaired the Economic Policy Committee of the parliament. After the Rose Revolution in 2004, Lekishvili left the parliament. Lekishvili is married and has two daughters