Babylon 5

Babylon 5 is an American space opera television series created by writer and producer J. Michael Straczynski, under the Babylonian Productions label, in association with Straczynski's Synthetic Worlds Ltd. and Warner Bros. Domestic Television. After the successful airing of a test pilot movie on February 22, 1993, Babylon 5: The Gathering, in May 1993 Warner Bros. commissioned the series for production as part of its Prime Time Entertainment Network. The show premiered in the US on January 26, 1994, ran for five seasons. Unusual for the time, Babylon 5 was conceived as a "novel for television", with a defined beginning and end. A coherent five-year story arc unfolds over five 22-episode seasons. Tie-in novels, comic books, short stories were developed to play a significant canonical part in the overall story; the series follows the human military staff and alien diplomats stationed on a space station, Babylon 5, built in the aftermath of several major inter-species wars as a neutral focal point for galactic diplomacy and trade.

Babylon 5 was an early example of a television series featuring story arcs which spanned episodes or whole seasons. Whereas contemporary television shows tended to confine conflicts to individual episodes, maintaining the overall status quo, each season of Babylon 5 contains plot elements which permanently change the series universe. Babylon 5 utilized multiple episodes to address the repercussions of some plot events or character decisions, episode plots would at times reference or be influenced by events from prior episodes or seasons. Many races of sentient creatures are seen frequenting the station, with most episodes drawing from a core of around a dozen species. Major plotlines included Babylon 5's embroilment in a millennia-long cyclical conflict between ancient, powerful races, inter-race wars and their aftermaths, intrigue or upheaval within particular races, including the human characters who fight to resist Earth's descent into totalitarianism. Many episodes focus on the effect of wider events on individual characters, with episodes containing themes such as personal change, subjugation, corruption and redemption.

Babylon 5, set between the years 2257 and 2262, depicts a future where Earth has a unifying Earth government and has gained the technology for faster-than-light travel. Colonies within the solar system, beyond, make up the Earth Alliance, which has established contact with other spacefaring species. Ten years before the series is set, Earth itself was nearly defeated in a war with the spiritual Minbari, only to escape destruction when the Minbari unexpectedly surrendered at the brink of victory. Among the other species are the imperialist Centauri. Several dozen less powerful species from the League of Non-Aligned Worlds have diplomatic contact with the major races, including the Drazi, Vree and pak'ma'ra. An ancient and secretive race, the Shadows, unknown to humans but documented in many other races' religious texts, malevolently influence events to bring chaos and war among the known species; the Babylon 5 space station is located in the Epsilon Eridani system, at the fifth Lagrangian point between the fictional planet Epsilon III and its moon.

It is 0.5 -- 1.0 mile in diameter. The station is the last of its line, it contains living areas which accommodate various alien species, providing differing atmospheres and gravities. Human visitors to the alien sectors are shown using breathing equipment and other measures to tolerate the conditions. Babylon 5 featured an ensemble cast which changed over the course of the show's run: Michael O'Hare as Commander Jeffrey Sinclair: The first commander of Babylon 5 assigned to be Earth's ambassador to Minbar. Bruce Boxleitner as Captain John Sheridan: Sinclair's replacement on Babylon 5 after his reassignment, a central figure of several prophecies within the Shadow war. Claudia Christian as Lt. Commander Susan Ivanova: Second in command to Babylon 5. Jerry Doyle as Michael Garibaldi: Babylon 5's Chief of Station Security. Mira Furlan as Delenn: The Minbari ambassador to Babylon 5. Born Minbari, she uses a special artifact at the start of the 2nd season to become a Minbari-human hybrid. Richard Biggs as Doctor Stephen Franklin: Babylon 5's chief medical officer.

Andrea Thompson as Talia Winters: A commercial Psi-Corps telepath that works aboard the station. Stephen Furst as Vir Cotto: Diplomatic aide to Centauri Ambassador Londo Mollari. Bill Mumy as Lennier: Diplomatic aide to Minbari Ambassador Delenn. Tracy Scoggins as Captain Elizabeth Lochley: Babylon 5's station commander following Ivanova's departure. Jason Carter as Marcus Cole: A Ranger, one of a group of covert agents who fight against the Shadows. Caitlin Brown and Mary Kay Adams as Na'Toth: Diplomatic aide to Narn Ambassador G'Kar. Robert Rusler as Warren Keffer: Commander of the Zeta Wing, one of Babylon 5's small fighter fleets. Jeff Conaway as Zack Allan: A sergeant within the Babylon 5 security force. Patricia Tallman as Lyta Alexander: A commercial Psi-Corps telepath that

George Salting

George Salting was an Australian-born British art collector. He had inherited considerable wealth from his father, he left his paintings to the National Gallery, London and drawings to the British Museum, the remainder to the Victoria & Albert Museum, requesting that the collection be displayed intact rather than divided among the museum's departments. Salting was born in Sydney, the son of Severin Knud Salting, a Dane who had extensive business interests in New South Wales. In 1858 he made a gift of £500 to the University of Sydney to found scholarships to be awarded to students from Sydney Grammar School. George Salting's mother was née Fiellerup. George Salting was educated locally and moved with his family to England and studied at Eton College. In 1853 the family returned to New South Wales, Salting entered the newly founded University of Sydney. There he won prizes for compositions in Latin hexameters in 1855 and 1857, in Latin elegiacs in 1856, 1857 and 1858, for Latin essays in 1854 and 1856.

Salting graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1857. In 1858 the Salting family again travelled to England. Severin Salting settled in Kent, where he died in 1865. Severin Salting made a large fortune in sheep-farming and sugar-growing which he bequeathed to his son. Influenced by the connoisseur, Louis Huth, Salting began collecting Chinese porcelain, developing a fine discriminating taste for it, his collection extended and included English furniture, majolica, hard stones, miniatures, pictures and other items which might be found in a good museum. Salting was a careful buyer, as a rule dealing only with two or three dealers whom he felt he could trust, though he sometimes bought at auction, he obtained expert advice and his own knowledge was always growing. As a consequence he made few mistakes, these were corrected by the pieces being exchanged for better specimens. Salting lived modestly in London, occupying just two living rooms. Except for an occasional few days shooting, he made collecting, its associated research and study, his occupation.

Salting never married and he did not give to charities. In spite of his large expenditure on collecting, his fortune increased during his lifetime. Salting is buried in Brompton Cemetery, his will was sworn at over £1,300,000. Of this he bequeathed £10,000 to London hospitals, £2000 to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital at Sydney, £30,000 to relatives and others; the residue of his estate went to the heirs of his brother. Salting left his entire collection of paintings, Oriental china and miniatures, valued at from $5,000,000 to $20,000,000, to British museums, he bequeathed his paintings to the National Gallery and his prints and drawings to the British Museum as the respective trustees might select. The remainder of his art collection went to the Victoria and Albert Museum, with a proviso that it was to be kept together and not distributed over the various departments, it is a notable collection to have been put together by one person, the standard being extraordinarily high. The Chinese pottery and porcelain belonged to the dynasties, but much of the work of the great T'ang period was unobtainable when Salting was collecting.

It was suggested at the time of his death that as his wealth had been drawn from Australia, some of his collection should be donated to the Australian galleries. Nothing came of this, he gave three paintings to the National Gallery during his life, bequeathed an additional 192 in his will. Of those 31 have since been transferred to the Tate Gallery, his collection of paintings included: Dieric Bouts and Child Robert Campin, The Virgin and Child before a Firescreen Canaletto, Venice: The Piazza San Marco from Two Views of Piazza San Marco Petrus Christus, Portrait of a Young Man Cima da Conegliano and Jonathan and The Virgin and Child Joos van Cleve, The Holy Family John Constable, Salisbury Cathedral and Leadenhall from the River Avon and Weymouth Bay: Bowleaze Cove and Jordon Hill Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot, A Wagon in the Plains of Artois, The Wood Gatherer, The Leaning Tree Trunk, Evening on the Lake, Cows in a Marshy Landscape, Souvenir of a Journey to Coubron, A Flood Charles-François Daubigny, River Scene with Ducks, The Garden Wall and Alders Gaspard Dughet, Landscape with a Cowherd Domenico Ghirlandaio, Portrait of a Young Man in Red Jan van Goyen, A Windmill by a River, A River Scene, with Fishermen laying a Net and A Scene on the Ice Frans Hals, Portrait of a Woman with a Fan and Portrait of a Man holding Gloves Meindert Hobbema, Cottages in a Wood and A Road winding past Cottages Hans Memling, A Young Man at Prayer Gabriël Metsu, The Interior of a Smithy and An Old Woman with a Book Jean-François Millet, The Whisper Adriaen van Ostade, A Peasant holding a Jug and a Pipe, A Peasant courting an Elderly Woman and'The Interior of an Inn Sebastiano del Piombo, The Daughter of Herodias Paulus Potter and Sheep in a Stormy Landscape Francesco Raibolini, Bartolomeo Bianchini Théodore Rousseau, Sunset in the Auvergne Peter Paul Rubens, Aurora abducting Cephalus Jacob Isaakszoon van Ruisdael, A Cottage and a Hayrick by a River, A Rocky Hill with Three Cottages, a Stream at its Foot, Vessels in a Fresh Breeze, A Road leading into a Wood, A Ruined Castle Gateway and An Extensive Landscape

Torres (board game)

Torres is a German-style board game designed by Wolfgang Kramer and Michael Kiesling and published in 1999 by FX Schmid in German and by Rio Grande Games in English. The game influenced Kramer and Kiesling's Mask Trilogy of games, but is not considered to be a part of the trilogy; the game has since been reprinted. Game play revolves around constructing an abstract set of castles set on a grid; each player is allotted several knight pieces. The higher the knights' placement during a scoring round, the greater the payoff for the controlling player; the number of points a player receives per phase is based on the height times the surface area of the highest point of the castle that the knight is standing upon. If the knight is on the 3rd level of a castle, the castle occupies 5 squares on the board, the player receives 15 points. A King piece is placed on the board and acts as a bonus modifier to any knights that occupy the same level and castle as the King at the end of a phase; the game is composed of three different phases, with each phase having three to four rounds each depending on the number of players.

Each player has five action points. The following moves may be performed during a round: Place a new knight All new knights must be adjacent to existing knights, may only occupy a level equal to or lower than the existing knight on the board. Place a new castle piece Castle pieces must be placed next to or on top of existing castle pieces. A castle's level cannot exceed the surface area, i.e. a castle occupying two squares on the map may only reach two levels in height. New castle pieces may not join two existing castles. Pick up an action card There are 40 different action cards which allow the player to perform special moves, such as moving the King piece, moving castle pieces, or moving knights diagonally. In the master version, each player begins with a full set of action cards in their hand. Purchasing an action card is no longer a possible action. Move a knight Knights may move one square per AP point spent, but may only move up one level, may not move diagonally. Knights can go down any number of levels without spending AP.

Gain one victory point. Players receive three or four stacks of castle pieces per phase with two or three pieces per stack, depending on the current phase and number of players. A player may only use pieces from one stack per phase, but may transfer unused pieces to another stack for the next phase. After the last phase is reached all unused castle pieces are returned to the common supply and points are calculated; the king gives ten, or fifteen points based on the scoring phase. The number of victory points per player is kept by individual markers on the edge of the game board. Since no two markers can occupy the same victory point number, the last player to occupy the space will automatically be moved ahead by one victory point; the person in last place after each scoring phase may move the King piece to another castle. After the third phase, all victory points are calculated and the person with the highest number of points wins the game. Torres at BoardGameGeek Torres e-Games