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Ashkenazi Jews

Ashkenazi Jews known as Ashkenazic Jews or, by using the Hebrew plural suffix -im, are a Jewish diaspora population who coalesced in the Holy Roman Empire around the end of the first millennium. The traditional diaspora language of Ashkenazi Jews is Yiddish, developed after they had moved into northern Europe: beginning with Germany and France in the Middle Ages. For centuries they used Hebrew only as a sacred language, until the revival of Hebrew as a common language in Israel. Throughout their time in Europe, Ashkenazim have made many important contributions to its philosophy, literature, art and science; the term "Ashkenazi" refers to Jewish settlers who established communities along the Rhine river in Western Germany and in Northern France dating to the Middle Ages. Once there, they adapted traditions carried from Babylon, the Holy Land, the Western Mediterranean to their new environment; the Ashkenazi religious rite developed in cities such as Mainz and Troyes. The eminent French Rishon rabbi Shlomo Itzhaki would have a significant influence on the Jewish religion.

In the late Middle Ages, due to religious persecution, the majority of the Ashkenazi population shifted eastward, moving out of the Holy Roman Empire into the areas part of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, comprising parts of present-day Belarus, Latvia, Moldova, Russia and Ukraine. In the course of the late 18th and 19th centuries, those Jews who remained in or returned to the German lands generated a cultural reorientation; the Holocaust of the Second World War decimated the Ashkenazim, affecting every Jewish family. It is estimated that in the 11th century Ashkenazi Jews composed three percent of the world's total Jewish population, while an estimate made in 1930 had them as 92 percent of the world's Jews. Prior to the Holocaust, the number of Jews in the world stood at 16.7 million. Statistical figures vary for the contemporary demography of Ashkenazi Jews, ranging from 10 million to 11.2 million. Sergio Della Pergola, in a rough calculation of Sephardic and Mizrahi Jews, implies that Ashkenazi Jews make up 65-70% of Jews worldwide.

Other estimates place Ashkenazi Jews as making up about 75% of Jews worldwide. Genetic studies on Ashkenazim—researching both their paternal and maternal lineages, as well as autosomal DNA—suggest that they are of both Middle Eastern and European descent; these studies have arrived at diverging conclusions regarding both the degree and the sources of their European and Middle Eastern ancestry, with some focusing on the extent of the European genetic origin observed in Ashkenazi maternal lineages, in contrast to the predominant Middle Eastern genetic origin observed in Ashkenazi paternal lineages. Ashkenazi Jews are popularly contrasted with Sephardi Jews, who descend from Jews who settled in the Iberian Peninsula, Mizrahi Jews, who descend from Jews who remained in the Middle East; the name Ashkenazi derives from the biblical figure of Ashkenaz, the first son of Gomer, son of Japhet, son of Noah, a Japhetic patriarch in the Table of Nations. The name of Gomer has been linked to the ethnonym Cimmerians.

Biblical Ashkenaz is derived from Assyrian Aškūza, a people who expelled the Cimmerians from the Armenian area of the Upper Euphrates, whose name is associated with the name of the Scythians. The intrusive n in the Biblical name is due to a scribal error confusing a vav ו with a nun נ. In Jeremiah 51:27, Ashkenaz figures as one of three kingdoms in the far north, the others being Minni and Ararat corresponding to Urartu, called on by God to resist Babylon. In the Yoma tractate of the Babylonian Talmud the name Gomer is rendered as Germania, which elsewhere in rabbinical literature was identified with Germanikia in northwestern Syria, but became associated with Germania. Ashkenaz is linked to Scandza/Scanzia, viewed as the cradle of Germanic tribes, as early as a 6th-century gloss to the Historia Ecclesiastica of Eusebius. In the 10th-century History of Armenia of Yovhannes Drasxanakertc'i Ashkenaz was associated with Armenia, as it was in Jewish usage, where its denotation extended at times to Adiabene, Khazaria and areas to the east.

His contemporary Saadia Gaon identified Ashkenaz with the Saquliba or Slavic territories, such usage covered the lands of tribes neighboring the Slavs, Eastern and Central Europe. In modern times, Samuel Krauss identified the Biblical "Ashkenaz" with Khazaria. Sometime in the Early Medieval period, the Jews of central and eastern Europe came to be called by this term. Conforming to the custom of designating areas of Jewish settlement with biblical names, Spain was denominated Sefarad, France was called Tsarefat, Bohemia was called the Land of Canaan. By the high medieval period, Talmudic commentators like Rashi began to use Ashkenaz/Eretz Ashkenaz to designate Germany, earlier known as Loter, where in the Rhineland communities of Speyer and Mainz, the most important Jewish communities arose. Rashi uses leshon A

Harold Fox (basketball)

Harold Fox is a former professional basketball player who played in the National Basketball Association for the Buffalo Braves. As a high school player at Northwestern High School in Prince George's County, Fox was one of the best high school players to come out of the Washington metro area, he was a First Team All-Metropolitan selection and led Northwestern to the Maryland State Basketball Championship his senior season. He was named the 1968 High School Player of the Year in the Washington Metro Area. In his freshman year of college, Fox played for Brevard Community College where he averaged 27.7 points per game in 29 appearances. After his sophomore year, Fox transferred to Jacksonville University. In his two seasons at Jacksonville, Fox averaged 6.5 assists per game. Fox was drafted with the third pick in the second round of the 1972 NBA Draft, he played in 10 games for the Buffalo Braves in the 1972–73 NBA season and averaged 3.1 points per game, 1.0 assists per game and 0.8 rebounds per game

E127 series

The E127 series is a DC electric multiple unit train type operated on local services by East Japan Railway Company in Japan since 1995, by the third-sector railway operator Echigo Tokimeki Railway since March 2015 as the ET127 series. The design is derived from the 209 series commuter EMU. E127-0 series: 13 x 2-car sets built for the Niigata area E127-100 series: 12 x 2-car sets for Matsumoto area ET127 series: 10 x former E127-0 series 2-car sets operated by Echigo Tokimeki Railway since March 2015Both types use the same bogies as the 701 series EMUs: DT61A motor bogies and TR246A trailer bogies; as of 1 April 2017, E127 series train sets are used on the following lines. E127-0 series Yahiko Line Echigo Line E127-100 series Oito Line Shinetsu Main Line/Shinonoi Line Chuo Main Line ET127 series Myoko Haneuma Line Shinetsu Main Line E127-0 series Shinetsu Main Line Hakushin Line Uetsu Main Line Thirteen two-car sets were built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Tokyu Car, delivered to Niigata Depot in March 1995 and November 1996 for use on Echigo Line, Hakushin Line, Uetsu Main Line local services.

They entered service on 8 May 1995. The sets can be operated as up to six-car formations, can be used on wanman driver only operation services. From 14 March 2015, ten E127-0 series sets were transferred to the ownership of the third-sector railway operating company Echigo Tokimeki Railway for use on the newly named Myoko Haneuma Line, reclassified as ET127 series. Set V3 was withdrawn in October 2014, leaving just two sets, V12 and V13, in the ownership of JR East; these two sets are used on Yahiko Line and Echigo Line services. As of 1 April 2016, two two-car sets, V12 and V13, are in operation, based at niigata Depot, formed as shown below, with one motored "Mc" car and one non-powered trailer "Tc" car; the KuMoHa E127 car has one PS30 cross-arm type pantograph. The KuHa E126 car has a wheelchair space. Twelve two-car sets were built by Kawasaki Heavy Industries, JR East, Tokyu Car, delivered to Matsumoto Depot in November and December 1998 for use on Ōito Line and Shinonoi Line local services.

They entered service on 8 December 1998. The external styling differs from the earlier E127-0 series. Sets A7 to A12 have a second de-icing pantograph on the KuHa trailer car; as of 1 April 2016, twelve two-car sets, A1 to A12, are in operation, based at Matsumoto Depot, formed as shown below, with one motored "Mc" car and one non-powered trailer "Tc" car, car 1 at the Matsumoto end. Car 1 has one PS34 single-arm pantograph. Car 2 has a wheelchair space. From 14 March 2015, ten former JR East E127-0 series sets were transferred to the ownership of the third-sector railway operating company Echigo Tokimeki Railway for use on the newly named Myoko Haneuma Line, reclassified as ET127 series; as of 1 April 2016, ten ET127 series two-car trainsets are operated by Echigo Tokimeki Railway, numbered V1 to V10, based at Naoetsu Depot, formed as shown below, with one motored "Mc" car and one non-powered trailer "Tc" car. The ET127 car has one cross-arm type pantograph; the build histories of individual sets are as follows JR East E127 series

Gift Ngoepe

Mpho' Gift Ngoepe is a South African professional baseball shortstop and second baseman for the Sydney Blue Sox of the Australian Baseball League. He played in Major League Baseball for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Toronto Blue Jays. In 2017, he became the first native of continental Africa to reach the Major Leagues. A native of Randburg, Ngoepe became the first black South African, the sixth South African to sign a professional baseball contract when he signed in October 2008; when Ngoepe was growing up, his mother was a clubhouse attendant for the Randburg Mets, they lived in one of the clubhouse rooms. He was invited to Major League Baseball's academy in Tirrenia, where the Pirates signed him. In 2009, Ngoepe played for the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League Pirates, batted.238/.341/.281 with one home run, nine runs batted in, 13 stolen bases in 47 games. He was a member of the South Africa national baseball team at the 2009 World Baseball Classic. At the 2009 WBC, he hit consecutive triples off of Mexico's Elmer Dessens in a 14–3 loss to Mexico.

On 10 August 2009, Sports Illustrated published an article on Ngoepe titled "A Gift From Africa" which covered how he started his baseball career, his upbringing, time with the Pirates since moving from South Africa. In 2010, he played 64 games with the Short Season-A State College Spikes and two with the Advanced-A Bradenton Marauders, batting a combined.206/.316/.318 with one home run, 20 RBI, 11 stolen bases. Ngoepe played only 27 games in 2011 due to a hamate injury, he batted.297/.354/.440 with two home runs and five RBI before the injury. Ngoepe played the entire 2012 season with Bradenton, in a career-high 124 games played he hit.232/.330/.338 with nine home runs and 36 RBI and a career-high 22 stolen bases. He played 16 games for the Scottsdale Scorpions of the Arizona Fall League. In 2013, he again began the season with Bradenton, playing 28 games and batting.292/.424/.427 before being promoted to the Double-A Altoona Curve, where he played 72 games. In Altoona, Ngeope batted.177/.278/.282 with three home runs, 16 RBI, 10 stolen bases.

He made his second trip to the Arizona Fall League at the end of the season, playing 17 games for Scottsdale. In 2014, Ngeope set career-highs in games played and RBI, playing 131 games with Altoona and batting.238/.319/.380 with nine home runs, 52 RBI, 13 stolen bases. He was invited to 2015 spring training by the Pirates on 9 January 2015, he played for the Indianapolis Indians of the Triple-A International League in 2016. On 26 April 2017, the Pirates promoted Ngoepe to the major leagues from Indianapolis. Indeed, he was the first continental African to reach the Major Leagues; some point out that Canary Islands-born Al Cabrera played for the St. Louis Cardinals in 1913. While the Canary Islands are part of Spain and have been since before Cabrera played in the Major Leagues, the archipelago is located off the coast of northwestern Africa. Regardless, Ngoepe made his Major League debut that day, recorded his first career hit, a single off Cubs' starting pitcher Jon Lester; because of time zone differences, Ngoepe's MLB debut fell on the early morning of 27 April in South Africa, observed in that country as Freedom Day, memorializing the 1994 election, the first in which the country's black population was allowed to vote.

In 2017 with Pittsburgh he batted.222/.323/.296. On 20 November 2017, Ngoepe was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays for cash considerations or a player to be named later, he earned a spot on the active roster to begin the season, was optioned to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons on 20 April, with whom he batted.168/.304/.252. With Toronto he had one hit in 19 at bats, he was designated for assignment on 3 May 2018. Ngoepe was released from the organization on 13 August 2018. On 30 August 2018, Ngoepe signed with the Sydney Blue Sox of the Australian Baseball League for the 2018/19 season, he batted.357/.451/.700. On 11 January 2019, Ngoepe signed a minor league contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, he played for the Class AAA Lehigh Valley IronPigs, batted.221/.296/.410 with 5 home runs and 21 RBIs in 122 at bats, playing second base, third base, shortstop. He was released on 20 June 2019. On 29 June 2019, Ngoepe signed a minor league contract with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was assigned to the Double-A Altoona Curve.

He batted.100/.289/.100 in 30 at bats. He was released on 30 July 2019. On August 6, 2019, Ngoepe signed with the Lancaster Barnstormers of the independent Atlantic League of Professional Baseball, he batted.289/.317/.632 with three home runs and seven RBIs for them in 38 at bats, playing seven games at shortstop and four games at second base. Ngoepe returned to the Sydney Blue Sox of the Australian Baseball League for the 2019/20 season. Ngoepe's younger brother, plays in the Pirates organization. Career statistics and player information from MLB, or ESPN, or Baseball-Reference, or Fangraphs, or Baseball-Reference, or Retrosheet

1998–99 Calgary Flames season

The 1998–99 Calgary Flames season was the 19th National Hockey League season in Calgary. The Flames opened their season up at "home", in Tokyo, Japan, as the NHL scheduled a two-game series in the Asian country between the Flames and the San Jose Sharks; the Flames were plagued by numerous injuries to their goaltenders, including both starter Ken Wregget and backup Tyler Moss at the same time. The Flames were forced to recall Tyrone Garner from his junior team on an emergency basis before signing Fred Brathwaite, playing in Europe with the Canadian National team; the popular Brathwaite recorded a shutout against the Dallas Stars in his first start, allowing the Flames goaltending situation to stabilize. In all, the Flames used six different goaltenders. February 28, 1999, marked the end of an era for the Flames, as diminutive star Theoren Fleury was dealt to the Colorado Avalanche in a five player trade that saw prospect Robyn Regehr come to the Flames as part of the deal. Fleury was the Flames' all-time leading scorer.

The deal was made as the small-market Flames felt they would be unable to meet Fleury's contract demands, as he was set to become an Unrestricted Free Agent in the summer. Despite losing their top star, the Flames proceeded to win seven of their first ten games without Fleury, propelling them into a playoff position. Calgary would win only two of their last eleven games, falling to 9th in the conference and missing the playoffs by six points. Before being dealt, Fleury represented the Flames at the 1999 NHL All Star Game, recording two assists for the North American team. During this season, the Flames introduced the "flaming horse" third jerseys in conjunction with the "Year of the Cowboy."Prior to the season, the Flames lost defenceman Joel Bouchard to the Nashville Predators in the 1998 NHL Expansion Draft. In addition, the Flames dealt Jim Dowd to the Preds in exchange for a promise not to draft a goaltender in the draft. Divisions: CEN – Central, PAC – Pacific, NW – Northwest bold – Qualified for playoffs.

Calgary failed to qualify for the playoffs for the third straight season. Note: GP = Games played. Stats reflect time with the Flames only. Note: GP = Games played. Stats reflect time with the Flames only; the Flames were involved in the following transactions during the 1998–99 season. Calgary's picks at the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, held in New York; the Baby Flames finished the 1998–99 AHL season with a record of 31–40–8–1, fourth in the Atlantic Division with 71 points. They proceeded to shock the division winning Lowell Lock Monsters in the first round of the playoffs 3 games to 0; the Flames would be swept themselves by the Fredericton Canadiens. Martin St. Louis led the Flames in both points. Saint John used five different goaltenders as a result of Calgary's injury woes in goal. Jean-Sebastien Giguere played the most games; the Flames signed a secondary affiliation deal with the Johnstown Chiefs of the East Coast Hockey League prior to the start of the season. They finished 27–34–9, last, in the Northeast Division.

The Chiefs missed the playoffs. 1998–99 NHL season Diamond, Dan, ed.. Total Hockey. Kingston, NY: Total Sports. ISBN 1-892129-85-X. Dinger, Ralph, ed.. The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Toronto, ON: Dan Diamond & Associates. ISBN 978-1-894801-22-5. Dryden, Steve, ed.. Century of hockey. Toronto, ON: McClelland & Stewart Ltd. ISBN 0-7710-4179-9. Fischler, Stan; the Hockey Chronicle: Year-by-Year History of the National Hockey League. Lincolnwood, IL: Publications International Inc. ISBN 0-7853-9624-1. Player stats: 2006–07 Calgary Flames Media Guide, p. 113. Game log: Flames 1998–99 results,, accessed January 12, 2007. Team standings: 1998–99 NHL standings Trades: Player pages. Notes

Marco Benefial

Marco Benefial was an Italian, proto-Neoclassical painter active in Rome. Benefial is best known for his repudiation of 18th century decorative Rococo styles pre-eminent in the Rome dominated by Carlo Maratta pupils, his paintings portrayed tangible human figures, with complex treatment of space, luminous, warm colors. Along with the altarpieces and frescoes, he painted many portraits; because he partnered with some inferior artists who subsequently received credit, some of his paintings have been misidentified. Marco Benefial was born in Rome in 1684, died there in 1764; when at the age of 19 years, one of his paintings, an altarpiece with Apotheosis of San Filippo Neri, was rejected for exhibition at the yearly Pantheon show in 1703, Benefial became incensed and displayed it in a pharmacist's window, to much commotion. In 1720, he protested the Accademia di San Luca's decree that only members or those meeting the approval of the painter's guild could teach drawing; the decree required students to provide the academy with a fee equal to a pound of wax.

His appeal to the councils of Pope Clement XI succeeded in having the ruling revoked. After Benefial was elected into the Accademia di San Luca at the age of 57, he soon denounced its members' mediocrity and ignorance. In 1716, he had painted a San Saturnino for the church of Santi Giovanni e Paolo, his 1718 papal commission for a Jonah, painted for Basilica of St. John Lateran, was rewarded by the papacy with the title of Cavaliere. During 1720-27, he completed painting on the Story of san Lorenzo for the Duomo of Viterbo. In 1721, he completed a Pieta with angels & symbols of the passion for the church in the monastery of Santa Maria dei Sette Dolori, he painted for the church of Santa Maria alle Fornaci, two lunettes on the story of John the Baptist. From 1722-1727, he completed four canvases for the Collegiata del Crocifix in Monreale. In 1729-1732, he painted two canvases of Santa Margherita da Cortona for the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, as commissioned by cardinal Pietro Marcello Corradini.

He collaborated in paintings with Filippo Evangelista. His initial training in Rome was under Bonaventura Lambert, a pupil of Carlo Cignani, he helped in the painting of the Chapel of the Sacrament in Saint Peter's Basilica and in the Carmelite Convent of San Alberto, he is remembered for urging a return to the classical foundations of Italian painting, as exemplified by Raphael, del Sarto, Carracci. Among his pupils were Anton Raphael Mengs, Antonio Liozzi, Giovanni Battista Ponfredi, Gioacchino Martorana, Mariano Rossi. Wittkower, Rudolf. Pelican History of Art. Art and Architecture Italy, 1600-1750. 1980. Penguin Books Ltd. p. 468