Dice are small throwable objects that can rest in multiple positions, used for generating random numbers. Dice are suitable as gambling devices for games like craps and are used in non-gambling tabletop games. A traditional die is a cube, with each of its six faces showing a different number of dots from one to six; when thrown or rolled, the die comes to rest showing on its upper surface a random integer from one to six, each value being likely. A variety of similar devices are described as dice, they may be used to produce results other than one through six. Loaded and crooked dice are designed to favor some results over others for purposes of cheating or amusement. A dice tray, a tray used to contain thrown dice, is sometimes used for gambling or board games, in particular to allow dice throws which do not interfere with other game pieces. Dice have been used since before recorded history, it is uncertain where they originated; the oldest known dice were excavated as part of a backgammon-like game set at the Burnt City, an archeological site in south-eastern Iran, estimated to be from between 2800–2500 BC.
Other excavations from ancient tombs in the Indus Valley civilization indicate a South Asian origin. The Egyptian game of Senet was played with dice. Senet was played before 3000 BC and up to the 2nd century AD, it was a racing game, but there is no scholarly consensus on the rules of Senet. Dicing is mentioned as an Indian game in the Rigveda and the early Buddhist games list. There are several biblical references to "casting lots", as in Psalm 22, indicating that dicing was commonplace when the psalm was composed, it is theorized that dice developed from the practice of fortunetelling with the talus of hoofed animals, colloquially known as "knucklebones", but knucklebones is not the oldest divination technique that incorporates randomness. Knucklebones was a game of skill played by children. Although gambling was illegal, many Romans were passionate gamblers who enjoyed dicing, known as aleam ludere. Dicing was a popular pastime of emperors. Letters by Augustus to Tacitus and his daughter recount his hobby of dicing.
There were two sizes of Roman dice. Tali were large dice inscribed with one, three and six on four sides. Tesserae were smaller dice with sides numbered from one to six. Twenty-sided dice date back to the 2nd century AD and from Ptolemaic Egypt as early as the 2nd century BC. Dominoes and playing cards originated in China as developments from dice; the transition from dice to playing cards occurred in China around the Tang dynasty, coincides with the technological transition from rolls of manuscripts to block printed books. In Japan, dice were used to play a popular game called sugoroku. There are two types of sugoroku. Ban-sugoroku is similar to backgammon and dates to the Heian period, while e-sugoroku is a racing game. Dice are thrown onto a surface either from a container designed for this; the face of the die, uppermost when it comes to rest provides the value of the throw. One typical dice game today is craps, where two dice are thrown and wagers are made on the total value of the two dice.
Dice are used to randomize moves in board games by deciding the distance through which a piece will move along the board. The result of a die roll is determined by the way it is thrown, according to the laws of classical mechanics. A die roll is made random by uncertainty in minor factors such as tiny movements in the thrower's hand. To mitigate concerns that the pips on the faces of certain styles of dice cause a small bias, casinos use precision dice with flush markings. Common dice are small cubes most 1.6 cm across, whose faces are numbered from one to six by patterns of round dots called pips. Opposite sides of a modern die traditionally add up to seven, implying that the 1, 2 and 3 faces share a vertex; the faces of a die may be placed counterclockwise about this vertex. If the 1, 2 and 3 faces run counterclockwise, the die is called "right-handed", if those faces run clockwise, the die is called "left-handed". Western dice are right-handed, Chinese dice are left-handed; the pips on dice are arranged in specific patterns.
Asian style dice bear similar patterns to Western ones, but the pips are closer to the center of the face. One possible explanation is. In some older sets, the "one" pip is a colorless depression. Non-precision dice are manufactured via the plastic injection molding process; the pips or numbers on the die are a part of the mold. The coloring for numbering is achieved by submerging the die in paint, allowed to dry; the die is polished via a tumble finishing process similar to rock polishing. The abrasive agent scrapes off all of the paint except for the indents of the numbering. A finer abrasive is used to polish the die; this process creates the smoother, rounded edges on the dice. Precision casino dice may have a polished or sand finish, making them transparent or translucent res
Heraldry is a broad term, encompassing the design and study of armorial bearings, as well as related disciplines, such as vexillology, together with the study of ceremony and pedigree. Armory, the best-known branch of heraldry, concerns the design and transmission of the heraldic achievement; the achievement, or armorial bearings includes a coat of arms on an shield and crest, together with any accompanying devices, such as supporters, heraldic banners, mottoes. Although the use of various devices to signify individuals and groups goes back to antiquity, both the form and use of such devices varied and the concept of regular, hereditary designs, constituting the distinguishing feature of heraldry, did not develop until the High Middle Ages, it is often that the use of helmets with face guards during this period made it difficult to recognize one's commanders in the field when large armies gathered together for extended periods, necessitating the development of heraldry as a symbolic language but there is little actual support for this view.
The beauty and pageantry of heraldic designs allowed them to survive the gradual abandonment of armour on the battlefield during the seventeenth century. Heraldry has been described poetically as "the handmaid of history", "the shorthand of history", "the floral border in the garden of history". In modern times, individuals and private organizations, cities and regions use heraldry and its conventions to symbolize their heritage and aspirations. Various symbols have been used to represent groups for thousands of years; the earliest representations of distinct persons and regions in Egyptian art show the use of standards topped with the images or symbols of various gods, the names of kings appear upon emblems known as serekhs, representing the king's palace, topped with a falcon representing the god Horus, of whom the king was regarded as the earthly incarnation. Similar emblems and devices are found in ancient Mesopotamian art of the same period, the precursors of heraldic beasts such as the griffin can be found.
In the Bible, the Book of Numbers refers to the standards and ensigns of the children of Israel, who were commanded to gather beneath these emblems and declare their pedigrees. The Greek and Latin writers describe the shields and symbols of various heroes, units of the Roman army were sometimes identified by distinctive markings on their shields; until the nineteenth century, it was common for heraldic writers to cite examples such as these, metaphorical symbols such as the "Lion of Judah" or "Eagle of the Caesars" as evidence of the antiquity of heraldry itself. The Book of Saint Albans, compiled in 1486, declares that Christ himself was a gentleman of coat armour, but these fabulous claims have long since been dismissed as the fantasy of medieval heralds, for there is no evidence of a distinctive symbolic language akin to that of heraldry during this early period. The medieval heralds devised arms for various knights and lords from history and literature. Notable examples include the toads attributed to Pharamond, the cross and martlets of Edward the Confessor, the various arms attributed to the Nine Worthies and the Knights of the Round Table.
These too are now regarded as a fanciful invention, rather than evidence of the antiquity of heraldry. The development of the modern heraldic language cannot be attributed to a single individual, time, or place. Although certain designs that are now considered heraldic were evidently in use during the eleventh century, most accounts and depictions of shields up to the beginning of the twelfth century contain little or no evidence of their heraldic character. For example, the Bayeux Tapestry, illustrating the Norman invasion of England in 1066, commissioned about 1077, when the cathedral of Bayeux was rebuilt, depicts a number of shields of various shapes and designs, many of which are plain, while others are decorated with dragons, crosses, or other heraldic figures, yet no individual is depicted twice bearing the same arms, nor are any of the descendants of the various persons depicted known to have borne devices resembling those in the tapestry. An account of the French knights at the court of the Byzantine emperor Alexius I at the beginning of the twelfth century describes their shields of polished metal, utterly devoid of heraldic design.
A Spanish manuscript from 1109 describes both plain and decorated shields, none of which appears to have been heraldic. The Abbey of St. Denis contained a window commemorating the knights who embarked on the Second Crusade in 1147, was made soon after the event. In England, from the time of the Norman conquest, official documents had to be sealed. Beginning in the twelfth century, seals assumed a distinctly heraldic character. A notable example of an early armorial seal is attached to a charter granted by Philip I, Count of Flanders, in 1164. Seals from the latter part of the eleventh and early twelfth centuries show no evidence of heraldic symbolism, but by t
Milton Keynes, locally abbreviated to MK, is a large town in Buckinghamshire, about 50 miles north-west of London. It is the principal settlement of the Borough of a unitary authority. At the 2011 Census, its population was 229,000; the River Great Ouse forms its northern boundary. 25% of the urban area is parkland or woodland and includes an SSI. In the 1960s, the UK Government decided that a further generation of new towns in the South East of England was needed to relieve housing congestion in London; the New Town of Milton Keynes was to be the biggest yet, with a target population of 250,000, in a "designated area" of about 22,000 acres. At designation, its area incorporated the existing towns of Bletchley and Stony Stratford, along with another fifteen villages and farmland in between; these settlements had an extensive historical record since the Norman conquest. The government established a Development Corporation to deliver this New City; the Corporation decided on a softer, more human-scaled landscape than in the earlier new towns but with an emphatically modernist architecture.
Recognising how traditional towns and cities had become choked in traffic, they established a'relaxed' grid of distributor roads about 1 kilometre between edges, leaving the spaces between to develop more organically. An extensive network of shared paths for leisure cyclists and pedestrians criss-crosses through and between them. Again rejecting the residential tower blocks, so fashionable but unloved, they set a height limit of three stories outside the planned centre. Facilities include a 1,400 seat theatre, an art gallery, multiplex cinemas, a 400 seat concert hall, a teaching hospital, a 30,500 seat football stadium and a 65,000 capacity open-air concert venue. There are five railway stations; the Open University is based here and there is a campus of the University of Bedfordshire. Most sports are represented at amateur level; the Peace Pagoda overlooking Willen Lake was the first such to be built in Europe. Milton Keynes has one of the more successful economies in the UK, ranked on a number of criteria.
As one of the UK's top five fastest growing centres, it has benefited from above-average economic growth. It has the fifth highest number of business startups per capita, it is home to several major international companies. However, despite this economic success and personal wealth for some, there are pockets of nationally significant poverty. In the 1960s, the UK Government decided that a further generation of new towns in the South East of England was needed to relieve housing congestion in London. Since the 1950s, overspill housing for several London boroughs had been constructed in Bletchley. Further studies in the 1960s identified north Buckinghamshire as a possible site for a large new town, a new city, encompassing the existing towns of Bletchley, Stony Stratford and Wolverton; the New Town was to be the biggest yet, with a target population of 250,000, in a "designated area" of 21,883 acres The name "Milton Keynes" was taken from that of an existing village on the site. On 23 January 1967, when the formal new town designation order was made, the area to be developed was farmland and undeveloped villages.
The site was deliberately located equidistant from London, Leicester and Cambridge, with the intention that it would be self-sustaining and become a major regional centre in its own right. Planning control was taken from elected local authorities and delegated to the Milton Keynes Development Corporation. Before construction began, every area was subject to detailed archaeological investigation: doing so has exposed a rich history of human settlement since Neolithic times and has provided a unique insight into the history of a large sample of the landscape of North Buckinghamshire; the Corporation's modernist designs were featured in the magazines Architectural Design and the Architects' Journal. MKDC was determined to learn from the mistakes made in the earlier New Towns, revisit the Garden City ideals, they set in place the characteristic grid roads that run between districts, as well as the intensive planting and parkland that are so evident today. Central Milton Keynes was not intended to be a traditional town centre but a central business and shopping district to supplement Local Centres in most of the grid squares.
This non-hierarchical devolved city plan was a departure from the English New Towns tradition and envisaged a wide range of industry and diversity of housing styles and tenures across the city. The largest and the last of the British New Towns, Milton Keynes has'stood the test of time far better than most, has proved flexible and adaptable'; the radical grid plan was inspired by the work of Californian urban theorist Melvin M. Webber, described by the founding architect of Milton Keynes, Derek Walker, as the "father of the city". Webber thought that telecommunications meant that the old idea of a city as a concentric cluster was out of date an
The Chronicles of Amber
The Chronicles of Amber is a series of fantasy novels by American writer Roger Zelazny. The main series consists of each five novels in length. Additionally, there are a number of other works; the Amber stories take place in two contrasting "true" worlds and Chaos, in shadow worlds that lie between the two. These shadows, including our Earth, are parallel worlds that exist in, were created from, the tension between opposing magical forces of Amber and Chaos; the Courts of Chaos are situated at the edge of an Abyss. Members of the royal family of Amber, after walking a Pattern, central to Amber, can travel through the Shadows. While traveling between Shadows, one can alter reality or create a new reality by choosing which elements of which Shadows to keep or add, which to subtract. Nobles of the Courts of Chaos who have traversed the Logrus are able to travel through Shadow. Ten Amber novels were written by Roger Zelazny; the series of books was published over the years from 1970 to 1991. Portions of the first novel, Nine Princes in Amber, had been published in Kallikanzaros.
The novels Sign of the Unicorn, The Hand of Oberon, The Courts of Chaos first appeared in abridged, serialized versions in Galaxy Science Fiction. The Guns of Avalon and five "Merlin Cycle" Amber novels were not serialized or excerpted. Several Chronicles of Amber omnibus volumes have been published, collecting the five novels of the original "Corwin Cycle" in one volume, the five novels of the "Merlin Cycle" in another volume, all ten novels in a single volume; the first five novels are narrated in first person by Corwin, a prince of Amber, as he describes his adventures and life upon re-encountering his family after a loss of memory and an absence of centuries. Corwin wakes up from a coma in a hospital in New York with amnesia, he soon discovers that he's part of a superhuman royal family that can wander among infinite parallel worlds, who rule over the one true world, Amber. He meets members of this newly rediscovered family, later is shown and walks the Pattern, a labyrinth inscribed in the dungeons of Castle Amber which gives the multiverse its order.
Walking the Pattern of Rebma restores his abilities to travel through shadow. In alliance with his brother Bleys, he attempts to conquer Amber, ruled by his elder brother Eric, who took power after the disappearance of their father, Oberon, their attempt fails. Bleys falls from the side of Kolvir and Corwin is captured and imprisoned. Thanks to his genetic regenerative ability, his eyes regrow and he regains his vision. Dworkin Barimen, the mad sorcerer who created the Pattern, enters Corwin's prison through the walls of Corwin's prison cell, draws on the wall the door through which Corwin escapes. Corwin has escaped the dungeons of Amber, where he was imprisoned by his hated brother Eric, who had seized the throne of Amber. All of Corwin's siblings believe, but Corwin has secret knowledge: in the shadow world of Avalon, where he once ruled, there exists a jeweler's rouge that will function in Amber as gunpowder should. Corwin plans to raise a legion of shadow soldiers, arm them with automatic rifles from the shadow world Earth.
While gathering these forces Corwin discovers a more sinister problem growing among the shadows. He meets Dara, a woman claiming to be his great-grandniece, discovers a threat to Amber: a black road which runs across universes from the Courts of Chaos to Amber. With his newly trained army, Corwin marches on Castle Amber only to find it under siege. Eric passes the Jewel of Judgment to Corwin, making Corwin Regent; the immediate danger passes, but Dara threatens greater peril after walking the Pattern and revealing herself to be a creature of the Courts of Chaos, intent on destroying both Amber and the Shadows. Eric is dead, Corwin now rules Amber as Regent, but someone has framed Corwin. This leads to questions about other missing members of the royal family. Corwin's brother, tells of his attempts to rescue their brother and Corwin decides to find out what happened to the latter. After many intrafamily exchanges, Brand is rescued but is stabbed by one of the family in the attempt. In the midst of the ensuing intrigue, an assassination attempt is made on Corwin and he finds himself incapacitated on Earth.
Before returning to Amber he hides the Jewel of Judgment on Earth. After Brand recovers, he tells Corwin of several incidents leading up to his capture. Corwin travels to Tir-na Nóg'th, the mysterious, moonlit Amber-in-the-sky where he hopes to gain insight into the situation, upon his return finds himself at the Primal Pattern rather than Amber. Corwin finds the Primal Pattern damaged, with a dark stain obscuring parts of it. On further investigation it is found that the blood of one of the members of his family has created the stain. Corwin descends back to the dungeons and meets with Dworkin, who explains how the Pattern might be repaired. After being chased from the Pattern, Corwin discovers that Brand is responsible for the damage and that he now has the Jewel of Judgment. Corwin must now prevent Brand from attuning himself to the jewel, or Brand's plot to destroy the Pattern will succeed. Corwin and his family band together to prevent this recover the jewel, discover that their father Oberon, the true King of Amber, still lives
A psychic is a person who claims to use extrasensory perception to identify information hidden from the normal senses involving telepathy or clairvoyance, or who performs acts that are inexplicable by natural laws. Although many people believe in psychic abilities, the scientific consensus is that there is no proof of the existence of such powers, describe the practice as pseudoscience; the word "psychic" is used as an adjective to describe such abilities. In this meaning, this word has two synonyms, which are metapsychic. Psychics encompass people in a variety of roles; some are theatrical performers, such as stage magicians, who use various techniques, e.g. prestidigitation, cold reading, hot reading, to produce the appearance of such abilities for entertainment purposes. A large industry and network exists whereby people advertised as psychics provide advice and counsel to clients; some famous psychics include Edgar Cayce, Ingo Swann, Peter Hurkos, Janet Lee, Jose Ortiz El Samaritano, Miss Cleo, John Edward, Sylvia Browne, Tyler Henry.
Psychic powers are asserted by psychic detectives and in practices such as psychic archaeology and psychic surgery. Critics attribute psychic powers to self-delusion. In 1988 the U. S. National Academy of Sciences gave a report on the subject and concluded there is "no scientific justification from research conducted over a period of 130 years for the existence of parapsychological phenomena". A study attempted to repeat reported parapsychological experiments that appeared to support the existence of precognition. Attempts to repeat the results, which involved performance on a memory test to ascertain if post-test information would affect it, "failed to produce significant effects", thus "do not support the existence of psychic ability", is thus categorized as a pseudoscience. Psychics are featured in science fiction; the Star Wars franchise, for example, features "Force-sensitive" beings that can see into the future and move objects telepathically. People with psychic powers appear in fantasy fiction, such as in some of the works of Stephen King or Dungeons & Dragons, amongst many others.
The word "psychic" is derived from the Greek word psychikos, refers in part to the human mind or psyche. The Greek word means "soul". In Greek mythology, the maiden Psyche was the deification of the human soul; the word derivation of the Latin psȳchē is from the Greek psȳchḗ "breath", derivative of psȳ́chein, to breathe or to blow. French astronomer and spiritualist Camille Flammarion is credited as having first used the word psychic, while it was introduced to the English language by Edward William Cox in the 1870s. Elaborate systems of divination and fortune-telling date back to ancient times; the most known system of early civilization fortune-telling was astrology, where practitioners believed the relative positions of celestial bodies could lend insight into people's lives and predict their future circumstances. Some fortune-tellers were said to be able to make predictions without the use of these elaborate systems, through some sort of direct apprehension or vision of the future; these people were known as seers or prophets, in times as clairvoyants and psychics.
Seers formed a functionary role in early civilization serving as advisors and judges. A number of examples are included in biblical accounts; the book of 1 Samuel illustrates one such functionary task when Samuel is asked to find the donkeys of the future king Saul. The role of prophet appeared perennially in ancient cultures. In Egypt, the priests of the sun deity Ra at Memphis acted as seers. In ancient Assyria seers were referred to as nabu, meaning "to call" or "announce"; the Delphic Oracle is one of the earliest stories in classical antiquity of prophetic abilities. The Pythia, the priestess presiding over the Oracle of Apollo at Delphi, was believed to be able to deliver prophecies inspired by Apollo during rituals beginning in the 8th century BC, it is said that the Pythia delivered oracles in a frenzied state induced by vapors rising from the ground, that she spoke gibberish, believed to be the voice of Apollo, which priests reshaped into the enigmatic prophecies preserved in Greek literature.
Other scholars believe records from the time indicate that the Pythia spoke intelligibly, gave prophecies in her own voice. The Pythia was a position served by a succession of women selected from amongst a guild of priestesses of the temple; the last recorded response was given in 393 AD, when the emperor Theodosius I ordered pagan temples to cease operation. Recent geological investigations raise the possibility that ethylene gas caused the Pythia's state of inspiration. One of the most enduring historical references to what some consider to be psychic ability is the prophecies of Michel de Nostredame Latinized to Nostradamus, published during the French Renaissance period. Nostradamus was a French apothecary and seer who wrote collections of prophecies that have since become famous worldwide and have been out of print since his death, he is best known for his book Les Propheties, the first edition of which appeared in 1555. Taken together, his written works are known to have contained at least 6,338 quatrains or prophecies, as well as at least eleven annual calendars.
Most of the quatrains deal with disasters, such as plagues, wars, invasions, murders and battles – all undated. Nostradamus is a controversial figure, his many enthusiasts, as well as the popul
Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz. The name comes from the Koine Greek ἀμέθυστος amethystos from ἀ- a-, "not" and μεθύσκω methysko / μεθύω methyo, "intoxicate", a reference to the belief that the stone protected its owner from drunkenness; the ancient Greeks wore amethyst and carved drinking vessels from it in the belief that it would prevent intoxication. Amethyst is a semiprecious stone used in jewelry and is the traditional birthstone for February. Amethyst is a purple variety of quartz and owes its violet color to irradiation, impurities of iron and in some cases other transition metals, the presence of other trace elements, which result in complex crystal lattice substitutions; the hardness of the mineral is the same as quartz. Amethyst occurs in primary hues from a light pinkish violet to a deep purple. Amethyst may exhibit one or both secondary hues and blue; the best varieties of amethyst can be found in Siberia, Sri Lanka and the far East. The ideal grade is called "Deep Siberian" and has a primary purple hue of around 75–80%, with 15–20% blue and red secondary hues.
‘Rose de France’ is defined by its markedly light shade of the purple, reminiscent of a lavender/lilac shade. These pale colors, were once considered undesirable but have become popular due to intensive marketing. Green quartz is sometimes incorrectly called green amethyst, a misnomer and not an appropriate name for the material, the proper terminology being prasiolite. Other names for green quartz are lime citrine. Of variable intensity, the color of amethyst is laid out in stripes parallel to the final faces of the crystal. One aspect in the art of lapidary involves cutting the stone to place the color in a way that makes the tone of the finished gem homogeneous; the fact that sometimes only a thin surface layer of violet color is present in the stone or that the color is not homogeneous makes for a difficult cutting. The color of amethyst has been demonstrated to result from substitution by irradiation of trivalent iron for silicon in the structure, in the presence of trace elements of large ionic radius, and, to a certain extent, the amethyst color can result from displacement of transition elements if the iron concentration is low.
Natural amethyst is dichroic in reddish violet and bluish violet, but when heated, turns yellow-orange, yellow-brown, or dark brownish and may resemble citrine, but loses its dichroism, unlike genuine citrine. When heated, amethyst can result in ametrine. Amethyst can fade in tone if overexposed to light sources and can be artificially darkened with adequate irradiation. Amethyst was used as a gemstone by the ancient Egyptians and was employed in antiquity for intaglio engraved gems; the Greeks believed amethyst gems could prevent intoxication, while medieval European soldiers wore amethyst amulets as protection in battle in the belief that amethysts heal people and keep them cool-headed. Beads of amethyst were found in Anglo-Saxon graves in England. Anglican bishops wear an episcopal ring set with an amethyst, an allusion to the description of the Apostles as "not drunk" at Pentecost in Acts 2:15. A large geode, or "amethyst-grotto", from near Santa Cruz in southern Brazil was presented at a 1902 exhibition in Düsseldorf, Germany.
In the 19th century, the color of amethyst was attributed to the presence of manganese. However, since it can be altered and discharged by heat, the color was believed by some authorities to be from an organic source. Ferric thiocyanate has been suggested, sulfur was said to have been detected in the mineral. Synthetic amethyst is produced by a synthesis method called hydrothermal growth, which grows the crystals inside a high-pressure autoclave. Synthetic amethyst is made to imitate the best quality amethyst, its chemical and physical properties are the same to that of natural amethyst and it can not be differentiated with absolute certainty without advanced gemmological testing. There is one test based on "Brazil law twinning" which can be used to identify synthetic amethyst rather easily, it is possible to synthesize twinned amethyst, but this type is not available in large quantities in the market. Single-crystal quartz is desirable in the industry for keeping the regular vibrations necessary for quartz movements in watches and clocks, where a lot of synthetic quartz is used.
Treated amethyst is produced by gamma ray, X-ray or electron beam irradiation of clear quartz, first doped with ferric impurities. On exposure to heat, the irradiation effects can be cancelled and amethyst becomes yellow or green, much of the citrine, cairngorm, or yellow quartz of jewelry is said to be "burnt amethyst"; the Greek word "amethystos" may be translated as "not drunken", from Greek a-, "not" + methustos, "intoxicated". Amethyst was considered to be a strong antidote against drunkenness, why wine goblets were carved from it. In his poem "L'Amethyste, ou les Amours de Bacchus et d'Amethyste", the French poet Remy Belleau invented a myth in which Bacchus, the god of intoxication, of wine, grapes was pursuing a maiden named Amethyste, who refused his affections. Amethyste prayed to the gods to remain chaste, a prayer which the chaste goddess Diana answered, transforming her into a white stone. Humbled by Amethyste's desire to remain chaste, Bacchus poured wine over the stone as an offering, dyeing the crystals purple.
The Universe is all of space and time and their contents, including planets, stars and all other forms of matter and energy. While the spatial size of the entire Universe is unknown, it is possible to measure the size of the observable universe, estimated to be 93 billion light years in diameter. In various multiverse hypotheses, a universe is one of many causally disconnected constituent parts of a larger multiverse, which itself comprises all of space and time and its contents; the earliest scientific models of the Universe were developed by ancient Greek and Indian philosophers and were geocentric, placing Earth at the center of the Universe. Over the centuries, more precise astronomical observations led Nicolaus Copernicus to develop the heliocentric model with the Sun at the center of the Solar System. In developing the law of universal gravitation, Isaac Newton built upon Copernicus' work as well as observations by Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler's laws of planetary motion. Further observational improvements led to the realization that the Sun is one of hundreds of billions of stars in the Milky Way, one of at least hundreds of billions of galaxies in the Universe.
Many of the stars in our galaxy have planets. At the largest scale galaxies are distributed uniformly and the same in all directions, meaning that the Universe has neither an edge nor a center. At smaller scales, galaxies are distributed in clusters and superclusters which form immense filaments and voids in space, creating a vast foam-like structure. Discoveries in the early 20th century have suggested that the Universe had a beginning and that space has been expanding since and is still expanding at an increasing rate; the Big Bang theory is the prevailing cosmological description of the development of the Universe. Under this theory and time emerged together 13.799±0.021 billion years ago and the energy and matter present have become less dense as the Universe expanded. After an initial accelerated expansion called the inflationary epoch at around 10−32 seconds, the separation of the four known fundamental forces, the Universe cooled and continued to expand, allowing the first subatomic particles and simple atoms to form.
Dark matter gathered forming a foam-like structure of filaments and voids under the influence of gravity. Giant clouds of hydrogen and helium were drawn to the places where dark matter was most dense, forming the first galaxies and everything else seen today, it is possible to see objects that are now further away than 13.799 billion light-years because space itself has expanded, it is still expanding today. This means that objects which are now up to 46.5 billion light-years away can still be seen in their distant past, because in the past when their light was emitted, they were much closer to the Earth. From studying the movement of galaxies, it has been discovered that the universe contains much more matter than is accounted for by visible objects; this unseen matter is known as dark matter. The ΛCDM model is the most accepted model of our universe, it suggests that about 69.2%±1.2% of the mass and energy in the universe is a cosmological constant, responsible for the current expansion of space, about 25.8%±1.1% is dark matter.
Ordinary matter is therefore only 4.9% of the physical universe. Stars and visible gas clouds only form about 6% of ordinary matter, or about 0.3% of the entire universe. There are many competing hypotheses about the ultimate fate of the universe and about what, if anything, preceded the Big Bang, while other physicists and philosophers refuse to speculate, doubting that information about prior states will be accessible; some physicists have suggested various multiverse hypotheses, in which our universe might be one among many universes that exist. The physical Universe is defined as all of their contents; such contents comprise all of energy in its various forms, including electromagnetic radiation and matter, therefore planets, stars and the contents of intergalactic space. The Universe includes the physical laws that influence energy and matter, such as conservation laws, classical mechanics, relativity; the Universe is defined as "the totality of existence", or everything that exists, everything that has existed, everything that will exist.
In fact, some philosophers and scientists support the inclusion of ideas and abstract concepts – such as mathematics and logic – in the definition of the Universe. The word universe may refer to concepts such as the cosmos, the world, nature; the word universe derives from the Old French word univers, which in turn derives from the Latin word universum. The Latin word was used by Cicero and Latin authors in many of the same senses as the modern English word is used. A term for "universe" among the ancient Greek philosophers from Pythagoras onwards was τὸ πᾶν, tò pân, defined as all matter and all space, τὸ ὅλον, tò hólon, which did not include the void. Another synonym was ho kósmos. Synonyms are found in Latin authors and survive in modern languages, e.g. the German words Das All and Natur for Universe. The same synonyms are found in English, such as everything, the cosmos, the world (as in the many-worlds interpr