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BBC Two

BBC Two is the second flagship television channel of the British Broadcasting Corporation in the United Kingdom, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. It covers a wide range of subject matter, but tends to broadcast more "highbrow" programmes than the more mainstream and popular BBC One. Like the BBC's other domestic TV and radio channels, it is funded by the television licence, is therefore free of commercial advertising, it is a comparatively well-funded public-service network attaining a much higher audience share than most public-service networks worldwide. Styled BBC2, it was the third British television station to be launched, from 1 July 1967, Europe's first television channel to broadcast in colour, it was envisaged as a home for less mainstream and more ambitious programming, while this tendency has continued to date, most special-interest programmes of a kind broadcast on BBC Two, for example the BBC Proms, now tend to appear on BBC Four instead. British television at the time of BBC2's launch consisted of two channels: the BBC Television Service and the ITV network made up of smaller regional companies.

Both channels had existed in a state of competition since ITV's launch in 1955, both had aimed for a populist approach in response. The 1962 Pilkington Report on the future of broadcasting noticed this, that ITV lacked any culturally relevant programming, it therefore decided that Britain's third television station should be awarded to the BBC. Prior to its launch, the new BBC2 was promoted on the BBC Television Service: the soon to be renamed BBC1; the animated adverts featured the campaign mascots "Hullabaloo", a mother kangaroo, "Custard", her joey. Prior to, several years after, the channel's formal launch, the channel broadcast "Trade Test Transmissions", short films made externally by companies such as Shell and BP, which served to enable engineers to test reception, but became cult viewing; the channel was scheduled to begin at 19:20 on 20 April 1964, showing an evening of light entertainment, starting with the comedy show The Alberts, a performance from Soviet comedian Arkady Raikin, a production of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, culminating with a fireworks display.

However, at around 18:45 a huge power failure, originating from a fire at Battersea Power Station, caused Television Centre, indeed much of west London, to lose all power. BBC1 was able to continue broadcasting via its facilities at Alexandra Palace, but all attempts to show the scheduled programmes on the new channel failed. Associated-Rediffusion, the London weekday ITV franchise-holder, offered to transmit on the BBC's behalf, but their gesture was rejected. At 22:00 programming was postponed until the following morning; as the BBC's news centre at Alexandra Palace was unaffected, they did in fact broadcast brief bulletins on BBC2 that evening, beginning with an announcement by the newsreader Gerald Priestland at around 19:25. There was believed to be no recording made of this bulletin, but a videotape was discovered in early 2003. By 11:00 on 21 April, power had been restored to the studios and programming began, thus making Play School the first programme to be shown on the channel; the launch schedule, postponed from the night before, was successfully shown that evening, albeit with minor changes.

In reference to the power cut, the transmission opened with a shot of a lit candle, sarcastically blown out by presenter Denis Tuohy. To establish the new channel's identity and draw viewers to it, the BBC decided that a promoted, lavish series would be essential in its earliest days; the production chosen was The Forsyte Saga, a no-expense-spared adaptation of the novels by John Galsworthy, featuring well-established actors Kenneth More and Eric Porter. Critically for the future of the fledgling channel, the BBC's gamble was hugely successful, with an average of six million viewers tuning in per episode: a feat made more prominent by the fact that only 9 million were able to receive the channel at the time. Unlike BBC1 and ITV, BBC2 was broadcast only on the 625 line UHF system, so was not available to viewers still using sets on the 405-line VHF system; this created a market for dual standard receivers. Set manufacturers ramped up production of UHF sets in anticipation of a large market demand for the new BBC2, but the market did not materialise.

The early technical problems, which included being unable to transmit US-recorded videotapes due to a lack of system conversion from the US NTSC system, were resolved by a committee headed by James Redmond. On 1 July 1967, during the Wimbledon Championships, BBC2 became the first channel in Europe to begin regular broadcasts in colour, using the PAL system; the thirteen part series Civilisation was created as a celebration of two millennia of western art and culture to showpiece the new colour technology. BBC1 and ITV joined BBC2 on 625-line UHF band, but continued to simulcast on 405-line VHF until 1985. BBC1 and ITV introduced PAL colour on UHF on 15 November 1969, although they both had broadcast some programmes in colour "unofficially" since September 1969. In 1979, the station adopted the first computer-generated channel identification in Britain, with its use of the double striped, orange'2' logo; the ident, created in house by BBC engineers, lasted until March 1986 and heralded the start of computer-generated logos.

As the switch to digital-only terrestrial transmission progressed, BBC Two was the first analogue TV channel to be replaced with the BBC multiplex, at first four two weeks ahead of the other four channels. This was required for those relay transmitters that had no current

Hawea Mataira

Hawea Karepa Mataira was a dual-code rugby football player who represented New Zealand in both rugby union and rugby league. Mataira made his first class debut in 1932 made his debut for Hawke's Bay, he went on to play 35 first class matches for Hawke's Bay between 1932 and 1936. In 1934 he made his All Blacks debut on a tour of Australia; the next year he was a surprise omission from the 1935–36 tour of Great Britain. Mataira represented New Zealand Māori. In 1936 Mataira became involved in a dispute with a teammate over a jersey, his teammate, E. B. Rogers was knocked down during the fight and suffered a fractured skull after striking his head as he fell, he died from his injuries. Mataira was charged with manslaughter but was acquitted after it was found that Rogers had been the aggressor and Mataira had tried hard to avoid coming to blows. Mataira switched codes in 1937, moving to Auckland and joining the City Rovers club in the Auckland Rugby League competition. Mataira joined the Manukau club.

He was selected for the New Zealand national rugby league team 1939 tour of Great Britain and France but the tour was cancelled before any Test matches were played due to the outbreak of World War II. After the War, Mataira represented New Zealand Māori against several touring sides

Trams in Tbilisi

The Tbilisi tramway network operated in the Georgian capital city of Tbilisi between 1883 and 2006. In 1986 it extended to 105 km of track covering 12 different routes; the tram service was opened in April 1883. It was electrified between June 1904 and August 1905, the system, established as a private enterprise, was taken over by the municipality in 1915; the original metre gauge track was replaced between 1933 and 1942 with a broad gauge, which corresponded with the Soviet standard. The early post-war period saw further expansion, with the extent of the network reaching 105 km, up to 300 tramcars in use; the system used RWZ-6 tramcars from the Rīga Train and Tram Works and Russian KTM-5s. However, after the 1960s the city's tram network declined and contracted, faced by competition from the new Tbilisi Metro and a shortage of available cash for investment and infrastructure maintenance. While tram lines in downtown were one by one dismantled the network expanded in newly built suburbs till 1986.

By 2000 only 8 tramlines were operating, down to 2 lines by 2003. By 2005 just one line was operating, this remained in service till near the end of 2006. On 4 December 2006 tram system together with trolleybus system was closed, most of the remaining Tbilisi tram rails, as well as the city's trolleybus infrastructure, were removed in few years. A few isolated tram rails remain in place, along with some of the overhead cabling. Many of the supporting poles have found alternative uses as mounting posts for street lights. A few of the historical tramcars are used as street cafes. Plans exist to reactivate the Tbilisi tram network, with the construction of new lengths of dedicated track for a modern light-rail system. Tram Tbilisi