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Basilica della Santa Casa

The Basilica della Santa Casa is a shrine of Marian pilgrimage in Loreto, Italy. The basilica is known for enshrining the house in which the Blessed Virgin Mary is believed by some Catholics to have lived. A legend claims the same house was flown over by Angelic beings from Nazareth to Tersatto to Recanati before arriving at the current site. Pope Benedict XV designated the Blessed Virgin Mary under the same title to be Patroness of air passengers and auspicious travel on 24 March 1920. Accordingly, Pope Pius XI granted a Canonical Coronation to the image of Our Lady of Loreto made of Cedar of Lebanon on 5 September 1922, replacing the torched image consumed in fire on 23 February 1921; the basilica is a Late Gothic structure continued by Giuliano da Maiano, Giuliano da Sangallo and Donato Bramante. It is 93 meters long, 60 meters wide, its campanile is 75.6 meters high. The façade of the church was erected under Sixtus V, who in 1586 fortified Loreto and gave it the privileges of a town. Over the principal doorway there is a lifesize bronze statue of the Virgin and Child by Girolamo Lombardo.

The doors and hanging lamps are by the same artists. The richly decorated campanile, by Vanvitelli, is of great height; the interior of the church has mosaics by Domenichino and Guido Reni and other works of art, including statues by Raffaello da Montelupo. In the sacristies on each side of the right transept are frescoes, on the right by Melozzo da Forlì, on the left by Luca Signorelli and in both there are some fine intarsias; the main attraction of Loreto is the Holy House itself. It has been a Catholic pilgrimage destination since at least the 14th century and a popular tourist destination for non-Catholics as well; the "house" itself is a plain stone building, 8.5 m by 3.8 m and 4.1 m high. Around the house is a tall marble screen designed by Bramante and executed under Popes Leo X, Clement VII and Paul III, by Andrea Sansovino, Girolamo Lombardo, Guglielmo della Porta and others in the baroque style; the four sides represent the Annunciation, the Nativity, the Arrival of the Santa Casa at Loreto and the Nativity of the Virgin, respectively.

The treasury contains a large variety of curious votive offerings. The architectural design is finer than the details of the sculpture; the apse is decorated with 19th-century German frescoes. The documented history of the house can only be traced as far back as the close of the Crusades, around the 14th century. An early brief reference is made in the Italia Illustrata of Flavius Blondus, secretary to Popes Eugene IV, Nicholas V, Calixtus III and Pius II; the town has been a popular pilgrimage site since the 13th century. Late medieval religious traditions developed suggesting that this was the house in which the Christian Holy Family had lived when in Judea at the start of the first millennium c.e. and, miraculously flown over to Loreto by four angels just before the final expulsion of the Christian Crusaders from the Holy Land in order to protect it from muslim soldiers. According to this narrative, the house at Nazareth in which Mary had been born and brought up received the Annunciation, had lived during the Childhood of Christ and after his Ascension, was converted into a church by the Twelve Apostles.

In 336, Empress Helena made a pilgrimage to Nazareth and directed that a basilica be erected over it, in which worship continued until the fall of the Kingdom of Jerusalem. However, there is no firm historical evidence; the tale further states that, threatened with destruction by Muslim soldiers, the house was miraculously carried by angels through the air and deposited in 1291 on a hill at Tersatto, where an appearance of the Virgin and numerous miraculous cures attested to its sanctity. These miracles were said to have been confirmed by investigations made at Nazareth by messengers from the governor of Dalmatia. In 1294, angels again carried it across the Adriatic Sea to the woods near Recanati. From this spot it was afterwards removed to the present hill in 1295, with a slight adjustment being required to fix it in its current site, it is this house. Bulls in favour of the Shrine at Loreto were issued by Pope Sixtus IV in 1491, by Julius II in 1507, the last alluding to the translation of the house with some caution.

While, like most miracles


TestU01 is a software library, implemented in the ANSI C language, that offers a collection of utilities for the empirical randomness testing of random number generators. The library was first introduced in 2007 by Pierre L’Ecuyer and Richard Simard of the Université de Montréal; the library implements several types of random number generators, including some proposed in the literature and some found in used software. It provides general implementations of the classical statistical tests for random number generators, as well as several others proposed in the literature, some original ones; these tests can be applied to the generators predefined in the library, user-defined generators, streams of random numbers stored in files. Specific tests suites for either sequences of uniform random numbers in or bit sequences are available. Basic tools for plotting vectors of points produced by generators are provided as well. An initial battery of randomness tests for RNGs was suggested in the 1969 first edition of The Art of Computer Programming by Donald Knuth.

Knuth's tests were supplanted by George Marsaglia's Diehard tests consisting of fifteen different tests. The inability to modify the test parameters or add new tests led to the development of the TestU01 library. TestU01 offers four groups of modules for analyzing RNGs: Implementing RNGs; when a specific test is applied to a sample of size n produced by an RNG, the p-value of the test will remain reasonable as the sample size increases until the sample size hits n0, say. After that, the p-value diverges to 1 with exponential speed. Module 4 allows the researcher to study the interaction between a specific test and the structure of the point sets produced by a given family of RNGs; this technique can be used to determine how large the sample size should be, as a function of the generator's period length, before the generator starts to fail the test systematically. TESTU01 offers several batteries of tests including "Small Crush", "Crush", "Big Crush"; the specific tests applied by each battery are detailed in the user's guide.

On a 1.7 GHz Pentium 4 running Red Hat Linux 9.0, for a simple RNG, Small Crush takes about 2 minutes. Crush takes about 1.7 hours. Big Crush takes about 4 hours. For a more complex RNG, all these times increase by a factor of two or more. For comparison, the Diehard tests take about 15 seconds to run. TestU01 only accepts 32-bit inputs, interprets them as values in the range [0, 1); this causes it to be more sensitive to flaws in the most-significant bits than the least significant bits. It is important to test general-purpose generators in bit-reversed form, to verify their suitability for applications which use the low-order bits. Generators which produce 64 bits of output additionally require separate tests for their high and low halves. Randomness tests Diehard tests PractRand

Julian Nott (balloonist)

Julian Nott was a British balloonist who lived in Santa Barbara, California, USA. He was known for his achievements in record-setting exploits. Nott set 79 world ballooning records and 96 British aviation records, was involved in developing balloons for flights at Solar System destinations Titan, he flew a working prototype Titan balloon at minus 175 Celsius the temperature of Titan's atmosphere. He argued that the Nazca Lines geoglyphs could have been with guidance from Nazca culture tribal leaders as long as two millennia ago, aloft in what could have been the earliest hot air balloon flights in human history. Nott pioneered the use of hybrid energy for lift, where solar power is a significant heat source, in 1981 he crossed the English Channel. In March 2019, following the successful test flight of an experimental balloon over Warner Springs, the cabin became loose and fell down the hillside upon which it was situated with Nott inside, causing serious injuries from which he died in hospital.

"Balloon breakthrough," Geographical, February 2003. Julian Nott website Intellectual Courage and Scientific Ballooning - Exploring Landscapes Near & Far Archive - Dead link Who's Who of Ballooning Archive FAI website, search records for Julian Nott

Kapichira Hydroelectric Power Station

The Kapichira Power Station is a hydroelectric power plant on the Shire River in Malawi. It has an installed capacity of 128 megawatts, enough to power over 86,000 homes, with four 32 megawatts generating sets; the power was developed in stages, with the first phase involving the installation of the first two 32 megawatts-generating turbines. Phase I of the power station was opened in September 2000. In January 2014, in a ceremony attended by the president of Malawi at that time, Joyce Banda, the second phase of the Kapichira hydropower project was switched on, doubling the hitherto 68 megawatts to the maximum capacity of 128 megawatts; the power station is located across the Shire River, in Chikwawa District, in the Southern Region of Malawi 70 kilometres, by road, south-west of Blantyre, the financial capital and largest city in the country. The geographical coordinates of this power station are: 15°53'45.0"S, 34°45'14.0"E. Each unit operates at discharge of 67 cubic metres per second; the power station was built in two phases, with the first phase completed in 2000.

The second phase with the same capacity of 64 megawatts as the first phase,was completed in 2014 and was commissioned on 31 January 2018. The first phase of the power station was built with funds borrowed from several international development partners, including KfW the European Investment Bank the Commonwealth Development Corporation and the World Bank the Netherlands Development Finance Company; the development partners jointly loaned US$131.1 million and the government of Malawi invested US$21.9 million, for a total of US$153 million. The second phase was contracted to China Gezhouba Group Corporation and included the installation of two new turbines, each of capacity generation of 32 megawatts. Work was completed in January 2014. List of power stations in Malawi List of power stations in Africa Energy supply in Malawi: Options and issues As of May 2015

Austin Metro

The Metro is a supermini car a city car, produced by British Leyland and the Rover Group from 1980 to 1998. It was launched in 1980 as the Austin Mini Metro, it was intended to complement and replace the Mini, was developed under the codename LC8. The Metro was named by What Car? as Car of The Year in 1983 as an MG, again as a Rover in 1991. During its 18-year lifespan, the Metro wore many names: MG Metro and Rover Metro, it was rebadged as the Rover 100 series in December 1994. There were van versions known as the Morris Metro and Metrovan. At the time of its launch, the Metro was sold under the Austin brand. From 1982, MG versions became available. During 1987, the car lost the Austin name, was sold as the Metro. From 1990 until its withdrawal in 1998, the Metro was sold only as a Rover. Although the R3 generation Rover 200 had been designed as a replacement for the Metro, it was not marketed as such after its launch; the Rover 100 ceased production in 1998, being outlived by the original Mini that it was meant to replace.

2,078,218 Metros of all types were built. On 8 October 1980, BL introduced the Austin Mini Metro; the roots of the Metro lay in an earlier project denoted as ADO88, intended to be a direct replacement for the Mini. However, poor reception to the ADO88 design at customer clinics, coupled to the realisation within BL that Mini-sized cars were evolving into larger "superminis", such as the Ford Fiesta, Fiat 127, Renault 5 and Volkswagen Polo, forced a major reappraisal of the project after 1975. In late 1977, ADO88 was given an eleventh hour redesign, to make it both larger and less utilitarian in appearance, whilst the Mini itself would now remain in production in smaller numbers alongside it as a low-priced model; the beginning of Metro production saw a reduction in volumes for the larger Allegro. The revised project was given the new designator LC8, the definitive Metro design would emerge under the leadership of BL's chief stylists David Bache and Harris Mann. Plans for a replacement for the Mini had been afoot within BL since the early 1970s, but none of the concepts conceived got beyond the initial design stages due to a shortage of funds at British Leyland, its eventual bankruptcy and government bail-out in 1975.

The modern supermini market had evolved during the 1970s, with earlier mini-cars like the Mini and Hillman Imp being followed by larger cars with the "hatchback" bodystyle – beginning with the Fiat 127 in 1971 and Renault 5 in 1972, with the next five years seeing the arrival of similar cars including the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo, as well as the Vauxhall Chevette from General Motors, available as a saloon and estate as well as a hatchback. These cars gained a decent sized market share in most other European markets. Following the Ryder Report, which prioritized the ADO88/LC8 project, Longbridge would be expanded in 1978 with a £200m robotised body assembly line to enable it to produce the new model which it was hoped would sell 100,000 or more units a year in Britain alone; some of the Mini's underpinnings were carried over into the Metro, namely the 998 cc and 1275 cc A-Series engines, much of the front-wheel drivetrain and four-speed manual gearbox, suspension subframes. The Metro used the Hydragas suspension system found on the Allegro but without front to rear interconnection.

The hatchback body shell was one of the most spacious of its time and this was a significant factor in its popularity. The space efficient interior was lauded for the novel 60/40 split rear seat, standard on higher specification models; the original Mk.1 Metros featured David Bache's signature "symmetric" dashboard design, where the main dashboard moulding consists of a shelf, onto which the instrument binnacle is mounted on the left or the right hand side – this arrangement saves the tooling cost of two separate dashboard mouldings for right and left-hand drive. The Metro was sold as a three-door hatchback only, with a choice of 998cc or 1275cc petrol engines; the name was chosen through a ballot of BL employees. They were offered a choice of three names, Maestro or Metro. Once the result was announced, the manufacturer of trains and buses, Metro Cammell, objected to the use of the Metro name by BL; the issue was resolved by BL promising to advertise the car only as the "Mini Metro", although after a while the Mini Metro name disappeared.

There were van versions, introduced in late 1982, known as the Morris Metro. From late 1985, after the Morris name had been discontinued, it was sold as the Austin Metro 310, after the Austin badge was dropped it became the Metrovan 310. A two-door saloon model was included in the Metro's development, which would have been similar in concept to the Vauxhall Chevette saloon as well as the Volkswagen Polo based Derby. However, by the time production of the Metro began, it was decided not to include a saloon version. BL's last all-new mass-produced car before the Metro's launch was the 1976 Rover SD1. One of the consequences was

Yves Rodier

Yves Rodier is a Franco-Québécois comic strip creator known for his many pastiches of The Adventures of Tintin. Rodier always loved comics, but first set out to become a cinematographer, he soon returned to comics. He started out by imitating the work of his favorite author, Hergé, creating pastiches of The Adventures of Tintin; these copies were illegal and did not earn him much money, though this allowed him to meet many other cartoonists, like Bob de Moor, Jacques Martin and Michel "Greg" Regnier. In 1995, he met Daniel and Richard Houde, in their magazine Pignouf he started his comic series Pignouf et Hamlet, about a boy and his pig; the magazine only lasted for five issues. Rodier always had a passion for The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé and so he embarked on writing some Tintin stories of his own; these are Tintin pastiches, meaning that they try to imitate the style of Hergé. They are illegal, as they breach the Tintin copyright owned by the Hergé Foundation, but some have been published, they are all found circulating on the Internet.

The unfinished Tintin book Tintin and Alph-Art was unofficially completed by Rodier in black-and-white. Several groups have coloured it, such as'Alph-junis', have translated it into English, it was published in Autumn 1986 and presented to Moulinsart. Rodier asked that it become an official book but Moulinsart refused. In 1991, Rodier met Bob de Moor, together they asked for permission to re-draw the book. Moulinsart still disagreed and De Moor died in 1992. Rodier re-drew certain parts of it to make them more akin to the style of Hergé, it was only released on CD-ROM, as opposed to being printed like the other edition. Hergé once suggested. However, he chose to set it in the art world instead and produced Tintin and Alph-art. Rodier started out a new book called A Day at the Airport though it was abandoned, with the first page leaking onto the web; the plot involves a character from the Tintin stories, General Alcazar, being shot by Dr. Müller, a villain from the Tintin series. Rodier did an extra page for Hergé's Tintin in Tibet which Hergé deleted from his comic.

The origin of the story lies in a scenario for a drawing contest in the Journal de Spirou number 1027, from December 19, 1957. Twenty years Yves Rodier used the story for another drawing contest, converted it as a Tintin plot and drew 6 half-pages of a story that takes place right before "Tintin and The soviets"; those pages explains. For the story Rodier didn't win the contest as he was disqualified for using existing characters; this seven-page story was thought up by Rodier and is sometimes called The Sorcerers Lake. It is set before Tintin in Tibet. Yves Rodier's version of Le Thermozéro is an inking from page 4 of sketches made from Hergé; the stories of a boy and his pig. Neither have been translated into English, they were published by David. The Wild Band — The first book was published in 2000; the Claw of the Tiger — The second book was abandoned when Rodier took up his next series. Some of it can be seen on the Internet; this series is published by François Corteggiani. Decimates and the Screw The Demons of Petransac The Cursed Exposure