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Alpini

The Alpini, are a specialised mountain warfare infantry corps of the Italian Army. They are organized in two operational brigades, which are subordinated to the Alpine Troops Headquarters. Established in 1872, the Alpini are the oldest active mountain infantry in the world, their original mission was to protect Italy's northern mountain border with France and Austria-Hungary. In 1888 the Alpini deployed on their first mission abroad, in Africa, a continent where they returned on several occasions and during various wars of the Kingdom of Italy, they emerged during World War I as they fought a three-year campaign on the Alps against Austro-Hungarian Kaiserjäger and the German Alpenkorps in what has since become known as the "War in snow and ice". During World War II, the Alpini fought alongside the Axis forces across the Eastern Front and in the Balkans Campaigns. After the end of the Cold War, the Italian Army was reorganised in the 1990s. Three out of five Alpini brigades and many support units were disbanded.

The Alpini are deployed in Afghanistan. To honour the Alpini, a park in the northern Illawarra suburb of Tarrawanna in Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia was dedicated to them. In 1872, Captain Giuseppe Perrucchetti published a study in the May edition of the Military Review. In the study, he proposed to assign the defence of mountain borders of the established Kingdom of Italy to soldiers recruited locally. Indeed, thanks to their knowledge of the surroundings and personal attachment to the area, they would be capable and better motivated defenders. Perrucchetti drew on the work of Lieutenant General Agostino Ricci, who in 1868 had organised exercises in the mountains to assess the feasibility of a specialised mountain infantry corps. Five months after Perrucchetti's article, the first 15 Alpini companies were formed by Royal decree no. 1056. The units became active on October 15, 1872, making the Alpini the oldest active Mountain Infantry in the world. At first the Alpini were organized as a militia, capable of defending Italy's northern mountainous borders.

Austria's surrender in the Austro-Prussian War of 1866 resulted in Italy annexing the province of Venetia, the northern borders of which coincided in large part with the Alpine Arch. Prior to gaining the new northern borders, homeland defence was based on the so-called Quadrilatero strategy; that outdated strategy, ignored the geopolitics of the new Italian Kingdom. It called for primary defence of the Po Valley region farther to the southwest, but left the Alpine region undefended. Recruiting Italy's mountain valleys locals and organising them into a special corps was indeed an innovative idea, they possessed superior knowledge of mountain territory and greatest adaptability to Alpine conditions. At the beginning, the mountain regions were divided into seven military districts, each commanded by an Officer and home to at least two Alpini companies, each consisting of 120 personnel. Soldiers were equipped with the Vetterli 1870 rifle. In 1873 nine more companies were added, thus totalling 24. In 1875, the companies doubled in size, having 250 soldiers and 5 officers, which were organised into 7 Alpini battalions.

Each battalion was named after one of the seats of the seven military districts: 1° Cuneo, 2° Mondovi, 3° Torino, 4° Torino, 5° Como, 6° Treviso, 7° UdineIn 1877, five Alpini mountain artillery batteries were formed and - in the following year - the Alpini had grown to 36 mountain infantry companies organised into 10 battalions. On November 1, 1882, the Alpini organisation doubled in size to 72 companies and a total of 20 Alpini battalions; the latter plus 8 Alpini mountain artillery batteries were now organized into six numbered Alpini regiments and two Alpini mountain artillery brigades. Each battalion was named after the area it was required to defend in case of war: The numbers used earlier to distinguish the battalions were dropped while - at the same time - the companies were now numbered from 1 to 72. In order to distinguish the battalions and non-commissioned officers were issued thread tufts of various colors, which were added to the Cappello Alpino: white for the First Bn. red for the Second Bn. and Green for the Third Bn. of each regiment.

Special Bn. and Fourth Bn. were issued blue tufts. Soldiers of the Mountain Artillery units were issued a green tuft with a black patch in the middle onto which the number of the battery was written in yellow numbers. On June 7, 1883, the green flames collar patch was introduced, thus making the Alpini a specialty within the Italian infantry corps; the Cappello Alpino, with its black raven feather, was introduced at that time. The distinctive headdress led the Alpini to be nicknamed "The Black feathers". Officers hats had the black feather replaced with a white eagle feather. At first, the hat was a black felt hat, but as soon as the new green-grey uniform was adopted in 1909 the hat was changed to the distinctive grey felt still in service today; the Alpini were distinguished by the green cuffs on the dark blue tunics worn for full dress and barrack dress until 1915, by green piping on their light blue/grey trousers. When grey-green service uniforms were trialled by the Alpini in 1906, before being adopted by the entire army in 1909, the distinctive green collar patches and typical headdress were retained.

The materials and equipment of each battalion were stored in the major village of a specific area they were required to defend in case of war. Soldiers of a battalion were only recruited from that area

Hamish and Andy's Gap Year

Hamish & Andy's Gap Year is a Logie Award winning comedy series following Hamish Blake and Andy Lee, a pair of Australian comedians, on their trips to various international locations. The first season saw the boys visiting America for ten episodes and broadcast their show weekly from New York City. In its second season in 2012, the show was titled "Hamish & Andy's Euro Gap Year" and seven episodes were broadcast from The Lord Stanley, a disused pub in East London, England; the third season known as "Hamish and Andy's Gap Year Asia" in 2013 was broadcast from a bar in Bangkok, called'The Raintree'. The fourth season was known as Andy's gap year South America; the concept for the show was created when the Nine Network hired comedians Hamish Blake and Andy Lee for two series in two years. They came across the idea of "Gap Year" when they realised they never took a gap year after high school, so they would film their many adventures overseas as it was'ironic' that they had just received a contract for TV.

The show featured the American band Moon Hooch in 2011. A number of regular segments appear throughout the series: Safari: Hamish and Andy visit various interesting locations and meet interesting people. For these adventures, the boys dress in purpose-built safari costumes. Hamish versus Andy: This involves various competitions between Hamish and Andy; the segment features Ryan Shelton as a correspondent. Ultimate Wingman: Hamish struggles to find Andy a girlfriend, by acting as his wingman. Cultural Eating: Introduced in season 2, the segment involves one of the boys will offer the other an unusual local delicacy. Interviews: Hamish and Andy interviewed various celebrities, either in the studio or in hotel rooms. R2-To-Do: This robot featured on the show provides a list of goals for Hamish and Andy to achieve on their journey. 100-second New York lesson: Taken by Ryan Shelton where he would take the viewers on various tours of different culture and places in New York, each timed to 100 seconds.

Hamish and Andy would make cameo appearances in each of the segments. To date, four seasons of Hamish & Andy's Gap Year have aired; this season was issued as an edited "Best Of" version on DVD, unlike other season which were left unedited. The shows were broadcast from the fictional Lord Stanley pub in East London; the shows were broadcast from a bar in Bangkok, called'The Raintree'. The shows were broadcast from Argentina, they decided to include all of Latin America, rather than just South America, so they could go to Mexico and Central America. Hamish & Andy have won 5 Logie Awards from 16 nominations for their work on Hamish & Andy's Gap Year. Official website Hamish and Andy

Pushmonkey (album)

Pushmonkey is the second studio album by the American band Pushmonkey, released in 1998. All songs composed by Pushmonkey "Lefty" – 4:23 "Now" – 5:12 "No Dumb Wrong" – 3:52 "Cut the Cord" – 4:30 "Handslide" – 3:25 "Caught My Mind" – 3:56 "Ashtray Red" – 3:42 "Spider" – 3:11 "Limitless" – 5:50 "Loner" – 4:14 "Maybe" – 4:24 Tony Park – lead vocals, trumpet Darwin Keys – drums, vocals Will Hoffman – guitar, vocals Pat Fogarty – bass, vocals Howie Behrens – guitar, vocals