Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba to the east, the Red Sea to the east and south, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, and across from the Sinai Peninsula lies Saudi Arabia, although Jordan and it is the worlds only contiguous Afrasian nation. Egypt has among the longest histories of any country, emerging as one of the worlds first nation states in the tenth millennium BC. Considered a cradle of civilisation, Ancient Egypt experienced some of the earliest developments of writing, urbanisation, organised religion and central government. One of the earliest centres of Christianity, Egypt was Islamised in the century and remains a predominantly Muslim country. With over 92 million inhabitants, Egypt is the most populous country in North Africa and the Arab world, the third-most populous in Africa, and the fifteenth-most populous in the world.
The great majority of its people live near the banks of the Nile River, an area of about 40,000 square kilometres, the large regions of the Sahara desert, which constitute most of Egypts territory, are sparsely inhabited. About half of Egypts residents live in areas, with most spread across the densely populated centres of greater Cairo, Alexandria. Modern Egypt is considered to be a regional and middle power, with significant cultural and military influence in North Africa, the Middle East and the Muslim world. Egypts economy is one of the largest and most diversified in the Middle East, Egypt is a member of the United Nations, Non-Aligned Movement, Arab League, African Union, and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation. Miṣr is the Classical Quranic Arabic and modern name of Egypt. The name is of Semitic origin, directly cognate with other Semitic words for Egypt such as the Hebrew מִצְרַיִם, the oldest attestation of this name for Egypt is the Akkadian
Sir John Fowler, 1st Baronet
Sir John Fowler, 1st Baronet, KCMG, LLD, FRSE was an English civil engineer specialising in the construction of railways and railway infrastructure. In the 1850s and 1860s, he was engineer for the worlds first underground railway, Londons Metropolitan Railway, in the 1880s, he was chief engineer for the Forth Railway Bridge, which opened in 1890. Fowlers was a long and eminent career, spanning most of the 19th centurys railway expansion and he was the youngest president of the Institution of Civil Engineers, between 1865 and 1867, and his major works represent a lasting legacy of Victorian engineering. Fowler was born in Wadsley, Yorkshire, England, to land surveyor John Fowler and he was educated privately at Whitley Hall near Ecclesfield. He trained under John Towlerton Leather, engineer of the Sheffield waterworks, from 1837 he worked for John Urpeth Rastrick on railway projects including the London and Brighton Railway and the unbuilt West Cumberland and Furness Railway. He worked again for George Leather as resident engineer on the Stockton, Fowler initially established a practice as a consulting engineer in the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire area, but, a heavy workload led him to move to London in 1844.
He became a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1847, the year the Institution was founded, on 2 July 1850 he married Elizabeth Broadbent, daughter of J. Boadbent of Manchester. Fowler established a practice, working on many railway schemes across the country. In 1853, he became engineer of the Metropolitan Railway in London. Constructed in shallow cut-and-cover trenches beneath roads, the line opened between Paddington and Farringdon in 1863, Fowler was engineer for the associated District Railway and the Hammersmith and City Railway. Today these railways form the majority of the London Undergrounds Circle line, for his work on the Metropolitan Railway Fowler was paid the great sum of £152,000, with £157,000, from the District Railway. Other railways that Fowler consulted for were the London Tilbury and Southend Railway, the Great Northern Railway, the Highland Railway, following the death of Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1859, Fowler was retained by the Great Western Railway.
His various appointments involved him in the design of Victoria station in London, Sheffield Victoria station, St Enoch station in Glasgow, Liverpool Central station and Manchester Central station. The latter stations 210-foot wide train shed roof was the second widest unsupported iron arch in Britain after the roof of St Pancras railway station. Fowlers consulting work extended beyond Britain including railway and engineering projects in Algeria, Belgium, France, Germany and the United States. In 1870 he provided advice to an Indian Government inquiry on railway gauges where he recommended a narrow gauge of 3 feet 6 inches for light railways and he visited Australia in 1886, where he made some remarks on the break of gauge difficulty. As part of his projects, Fowler designed numerous bridges. In the 1860s, he designed Grosvenor Bridge, the first railway bridge over the River Thames, both remain in use today carrying railway lines across the River Severn
Tay Bridge disaster
The Tay Bridge disaster occurred during a violent storm on 28 December 1879 when the first Tay Rail Bridge collapsed while a train was passing over it from Wormit to Dundee, killing all aboard. The bridge—designed by Sir Thomas Bouch—used lattice girders supported by piers, with cast iron columns. The piers were narrower and their cross-bracing was less extensive and robust than on similar designs by Bouch. There were other flaws in detailed design, in maintenance, and in quality control of castings, all of which were, at least in part, Bouch died within the year, with his reputation as an engineer ruined. Future British bridge designs had to allow for wind loadings of up to 56 pounds per square foot, Bouchs design for the Forth Bridge was not used. Construction began in 1871 of a bridge to be supported by brick piers resting on bedrock, trial borings had shown the bedrock to lie at no great depth under the river. At either end of the bridge, the girders were deck trusses. However, in the section of the bridge the bridge girders ran as through trusses above the pier tops in order to give the required clearance to allow passage of sailing ships to Perth.
The bedrock actually lay much deeper than the trial borings had shown, the pier foundations were now constructed by sinking brick-lined wrought-iron caissons onto the riverbed, and filling these with concrete. To reduce the weight these had to support, Bouch used open-lattice iron skeleton piers, wrought iron horizontal braces and diagonal tiebars linked the columns in each pier to provide rigidity and stability. The basic concept was known, but for the Tay Bridge. For the higher portion of the bridge, there were 13 girder spans, in order to accommodate thermal expansion, at only 3 of their 14 piers was there a fixed connection from the pier to the girders. There were therefore 3 divisions of linked high girder spans, the spans in each division being structurally connected to each other, the southern and central divisions were nearly level, but the northern division descended towards Dundee at gradients of up to 1 in 73. The bridge was built by Hopkin Gilkes and Company, a Middlesbrough company which had worked previously with Bouch on iron viaducts.
Gilkes, having first intended to produce all ironwork on Teesside, used a foundry at Wormit to produce the cast-iron components, Gilkes were in some financial difficulty, they ceased trading in 1880, but had begun liquidation in May 1879, before the disaster. The change in design increased cost and necessitated delay, intensified after two of the high girders fell when being lifted into place in February 1877, the first engine crossed the bridge in September,1877. A Board of Trade inspection was conducted three days of good weather in February 1878, the bridge was passed for use by passenger traffic. The bridge was opened for services on 1 June 1878
Sir William Arrol was a Scottish civil engineer, bridge builder, and Liberal Unionist Party politician. The son of a spinner, he was born in Houston, Renfrewshire and he started training as a blacksmith by age 13, and went on to learn mechanics and hydraulics at night school. In 1863 he joined a company of manufacturers in Glasgow, but by 1872 he had established his own business. In the late 1870s he went on to found Sir William Arrol & Co. a leading civil engineering business. In 1878, he secured the contract for the Caledonian Railway Bridge over the Clyde, and in 1882 he was awarded the contract for the Tay Rail Bridge. His company went on to construct the Forth Bridge which was completed in 1890, at the time, the Tay and Forth bridges were the largest of their type in the world. They were notable not just for their size but the use of steel in the Forth Bridge, the bridge is, even today, regarded as an engineering marvel. It is 2.5 km in length, and the track is elevated 46 m above high tide.
It consists of two spans of 1,710 ft, two side spans of 675 ft,15 approach spans of 168 ft, and five of 25 ft. Each main span comprises two 680 ft cantilever arms supporting a central 350 ft span girder bridge, the three great four-tower cantilever structures are 340 ft tall, each 70 ft diameter foot resting on a separate foundation. The southern group of foundations had to be constructed as caissons under compressed air, at its peak, approximately 4,600 workers were employed in its construction. Initially, it was recorded that 57 lives were lost, after research by local historians. Both bridges are known for their high safety factors, a result of the under-design of the first Tay bridge by Thomas Bouch. Other notable bridges followed, Tower Bridge in London, construction started in 1886 and took eight years with five major contractors Sir John Jackson, Baron Armstrong, William Webster, Sir H. H. Bartlett, and Sir William Arrol & Co. E W Crutwell was the resident engineer for the construction, two massive piers, containing over 70,000 tons of concrete, were sunk into the river bed to support the construction.
Over 11,000 tons of steel provided the framework for the towers and this was clad in Cornish granite and Portland stone, both to protect the underlying steelwork and to give the bridge a pleasing appearance. Arrol built the Nile Bridge in Egypt, the Hawkesbury Bridge in Australia, the extant but at-risk Warrington Transporter Bridge is an Arrol construction. Like the ships themselves, the crane was one of the largest built at the time, comparing with transporter bridges in length, height
In Greek mythology Sisyphus was the king of Ephyra. He was punished for his craftiness and deceitfulness by being forced to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it come back to hit him. Through the classical influence on culture, tasks that are both laborious and futile are therefore described as Sisyphean. R. S. P. Beekes has suggested a pre-Greek origin, otto Gruppe thought that the name derived from sisys, in reference to a rain-charm in which goats skins were used. Sisyphus was the son of King Aeolus of Thessaly and Enarete and he was the founder and first king of Ephyra. He was the father of Glaucus, Ornytion and Thersander by the nymph Merope, the brother of Salmoneus, King Sisyphus promoted navigation and commerce but was avaricious and deceitful. He killed travellers and guests, a violation of xenia and he took pleasure in these killings because they allowed him to maintain his iron-fisted rule. Sisyphus and his brother Salmoneus were known to each other. From Homer onward, Sisyphus was famed as the craftiest of men, King Sisyphus betrayed one of Zeus secrets by revealing the whereabouts of Aegina to her father in return for causing a spring to flow on the Corinthian acropolis.
Zeus ordered Thanatos, Death, to chain King Sisyphus down below in Tartarus, Sisyphus was curious as to why Hermes, whose job it was to guide souls to the Underworld, had not appeared on this occasion. King Sisyphus slyly asked Thanatos to demonstrate how the chains worked, as Thanatos was granting him his wish, Sisyphus seized the opportunity and trapped Thanatos in the chains instead. Once Thanatos was bound by the chains, no one died on earth. This caused an uproar especially for Ares, and so he intervened, the exasperated Ares freed Thanatos and turned King Sisyphus over to Thanatos. In another version, Hades was sent to chain Sisyphus and was chained himself, as long as Hades was tied up, nobody could die. Because of this, sacrifices could not be made to the gods, the gods finally threatened to make life so miserable for Sisyphus that he would wish he were dead. He had no choice but to release Hades, before King Sisyphus died, he had told his wife to throw his naked body into the middle of the public square.
This caused King Sisyphus to end up on the shores of the river Styx, complaining to Persephone that this was a sign of his wifes disrespect for him, King Sisyphus persuaded her to allow him to return to the upper world. Once back in Ephyra, the spirit of King Sisyphus scolded his wife for not burying his body, when King Sisyphus refused to return to the Underworld, he was forcibly dragged back there by Hermes
Order of St Michael and St George
It is named in honour of two military saints, St Michael and St George. People are appointed to the Order rather than awarded it, British Ambassadors to foreign nations are regularly appointed as KCMGs or CMGs. It is the award for members of the FCO. The Orders motto is Auspicium melioris ævi and its patron saints, as the name suggests, are St. Michael the Archangel, and St. George, patron saint of England. One of its symbols is that of St Michael trampling over. The third of the aforementioned Orders—which relates to Ireland, no longer fully a part of the United Kingdom—still exists but is in disuse, the last of the Orders on the list, related to India, has been in disuse since that countrys independence in 1947. In 1864, the protectorate ended and the Ionian Islands became a part of Greece, numerous Governors-General and Governors feature as recipients of awards in the order. In 1965, the order was open for women, with Evelyn Bark becoming the first CMG, the British Sovereign is the Sovereign of the Order and appoints all other members of the Order.
The next-most senior member is the Grand Master, the office was formerly filled by the Lord High Commissioner of the Ionian Islands, however, Grand Masters are chosen by the Sovereign. Members of the Royal Family who are appointed to the Order do not count towards the limit, the Orders King of Arms is not a member of the College of Arms, like many other heraldic officers. The Usher of the Order is known as the Gentleman Usher of the Blue Rod, he not, unlike his Order of the Garter equivalent. On the left side is a representation of the star, the mantle is bound with two large tassels. The collar, worn only by Knights and Dames Grand Cross, is made of gold and it consists of depictions of crowned lions, Maltese Crosses, and the cyphers SM and SG, all alternately. In the centre are two winged lions, each holding a book and seven arrows, at less important occasions, simpler insignia are used, The star is an insignia used only by Knights and Dames Grand Cross and Knights and Dames Commanders. It is worn pinned to the left breast, the Knight and Dame Grand Cross star includes seven-armed, silver-rayed Maltese Asterisk, with a gold ray in between each pair of arms.
The Knight and Dame Commanders star is a slightly smaller eight-pointed silver figure formed by two Maltese Crosses, it does not include any gold rays, in each case, the star bears a red cross of St George. In the centre of the star is a blue ring bearing the motto of the Order. Within the ring is a representation of St Michael trampling on Satan, the badge is the only insignia used by all members of the Order, it is suspended on a blue-crimson-blue ribbon
Its first line connected the main-line railway termini at Paddington and Kings Cross to the City. It opened to the public on 10 January 1863 with gas-lit wooden carriages hauled by steam locomotives, the line was soon extended from both ends, and northwards via a branch from Baker Street. Harrow was reached in 1880, and the line extended to Verney Junction in Buckinghamshire, more than 50 miles from Baker Street. Electric traction was introduced in 1905 and by 1907 electric multiple units operated most of the services, unlike other railway companies in the London area, the Met developed land for housing, and after World War I promoted housing estates near the railway using the Metro-land brand. On 1 July 1933, the Met was amalgamated with the Underground Electric Railways Company of London, former Met tracks and stations are used by the London Undergrounds Metropolitan, District, Hammersmith & City and Jubilee lines, and by Chiltern Railways. In the first half of the 19th century the population and physical extent of London grew greatly, only Fenchurch Street station was within the City.
The congested streets and the distance to the City from the stations to the north, none were successful, and the 1846 Royal Commission investigation into Metropolitan Railway Termini banned construction of new lines or stations in the built-up central area. The concept of a railway linking the City with the mainline termini was first proposed in the 1830s. Charles Pearson, Solicitor to the City, was a promoter of several schemes. The scheme was rejected by the 1846 commission, but Pearson returned to the idea in 1852 when he helped set up the City Terminus Company to build a railway from Farringdon to Kings Cross. Although the plan was supported by the City, the companies were not interested. The Bayswater and Holborn Bridge Railway Company was established to connect the Great Western Railways Paddington station to Pearsons route at Kings Cross, a bill was published in November 1852 and in January 1853 the directors held their first meeting and appointed John Fowler as its engineer. After successful lobbying, the company secured parliamentary approval under the name of the North Metropolitan Railway in the summer of 1853 and this dropped the City terminus and extended the route south from Farringdon to the General Post Office in St.
Martins Le Grand. The route at the end was altered so that it connected more directly to the GWR station. Permission was sought to connect to the London and North Western Railway at Euston and to the Great Northern Railway at Kings Cross, the companys name was to be changed again, to Metropolitan Railway. Royal assent was granted to the North Metropolitan Railway Act on 7 August 1854, construction of the railway was estimated to cost £1 million. Initially, with the Crimean War under way, the Met found it hard to raise the capital, while it attempted to raise the funds it presented new bills to Parliament seeking an extension of time to carry out the works. In July 1855, an Act to make a connection to the GNR at Kings Cross received royal assent
Manhattan is the most densely populated borough of New York City, its economic and administrative center, and the citys historical birthplace. The borough is coextensive with New York County, founded on November 1,1683, Manhattan is often described as the cultural and financial capital of the world and hosts the United Nations Headquarters. Many multinational media conglomerates are based in the borough and it is historically documented to have been purchased by Dutch colonists from Native Americans in 1626 for 60 guilders which equals US$1062 today. New York County is the United States second-smallest county by land area, on business days, the influx of commuters increases that number to over 3.9 million, or more than 170,000 people per square mile. Manhattan has the third-largest population of New York Citys five boroughs, after Brooklyn and Queens, the City of New York was founded at the southern tip of Manhattan, and the borough houses New York City Hall, the seat of the citys government.
The name Manhattan derives from the word Manna-hata, as written in the 1609 logbook of Robert Juet, a 1610 map depicts the name as Manna-hata, twice, on both the west and east sides of the Mauritius River. The word Manhattan has been translated as island of hills from the Lenape language. The United States Postal Service prefers that mail addressed to Manhattan use New York, NY rather than Manhattan, the area that is now Manhattan was long inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans. In 1524, Florentine explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano – sailing in service of King Francis I of France – was the first European to visit the area that would become New York City. It was not until the voyage of Henry Hudson, an Englishman who worked for the Dutch East India Company, a permanent European presence in New Netherland began in 1624 with the founding of a Dutch fur trading settlement on Governors Island. In 1625, construction was started on the citadel of Fort Amsterdam on Manhattan Island, called New Amsterdam, the 1625 establishment of Fort Amsterdam at the southern tip of Manhattan Island is recognized as the birth of New York City.
In 1846, New York historian John Romeyn Brodhead converted the figure of Fl 60 to US$23, variable-rate myth being a contradiction in terms, the purchase price remains forever frozen at twenty-four dollars, as Edwin G. Burrows and Mike Wallace remarked in their history of New York. Sixty guilders in 1626 was valued at approximately $1,000 in 2006, based on the price of silver, Straight Dope author Cecil Adams calculated an equivalent of $72 in 1992. In 1647, Peter Stuyvesant was appointed as the last Dutch Director General of the colony, New Amsterdam was formally incorporated as a city on February 2,1653. In 1664, the English conquered New Netherland and renamed it New York after the English Duke of York and Albany, the Dutch Republic regained it in August 1673 with a fleet of 21 ships, renaming the city New Orange. Manhattan was at the heart of the New York Campaign, a series of battles in the early American Revolutionary War. The Continental Army was forced to abandon Manhattan after the Battle of Fort Washington on November 16,1776.
The city, greatly damaged by the Great Fire of New York during the campaign, became the British political, British occupation lasted until November 25,1783, when George Washington returned to Manhattan, as the last British forces left the city
Pangbourne is a large village and civil parish on the River Thames in the English county of Berkshire. Pangbourne has its own shops, schools, a station on the Great Western Line. Outside of its developed area is an independent school, Pangbourne College. The two villages are connected by both Whitchurch Bridge and by the weir of Whitchurch Lock, though the latter is not for public use. Pangbourne railway station is a stop on the Great Western Main Line and has stopping services to Oxford via Didcot Parkway. The Pang flows through the centre of Pangbourne village before joining the Thames between Whitchurch Lock and Whitchurch bridge and its water voles are thought to have inspired author Kenneth Grahames character Ratty and his book The Wind in the Willows. Pangbourne has its own shops, primary schools, a station on the Great Western Line. Outside of its developed area is an independent school, Pangbourne College. Pangbourne is a parish with an elected parish council. The parish covers the immediate agricultural green buffer and a woodland and this rural area contains no other significant settlements and includes Pangbourne College.
The parish shares boundaries with the Berkshire parishes of Purley-on-Thames, Tidmarsh with Sulham, Englefield, along the River Thames to the north, there is a boundary with the Oxfordshire parish of Whitchurch-on-Thames. The parish is in the area of the authority of West Berkshire. The parish council and the authority are responsible for different aspects of local government. Pangbourne forms part of the Reading West parliamentary constituency, the parish is twinned with Houdan in France. Pangbournes name is recorded from 844 as Old English Pegingaburnan, which means the stream of the people of Pǣga and this name was shortened to make the name of the Pang. In Norman times, the manor was given to Reading Abbey, the last abbot, Hugh Cook Faringdon, was arrested there in 1539 and subsequently executed in Reading. The manor was purchased by Sir John Davis, the Elizabethan mathematician. His monument is in the Church of England parish church of Saint James the Less, other monuments and hatchments in the church are mostly to the Breedon family, John Breedon senior bought the manor in 1671
Tondu is a village in Bridgend County Borough, located about 3 miles north of the town of Bridgend. Tondu lies on the A4063 from Bridgend to Maesteg, and was established in the late 18th century as a mining village servicing the Parc Slip Colliery. The brick works was demolished in 1977, the association with the coal industry was reflected in the large area office of the National Coal Board in the village and a centre for the Mines Rescue Service. The village has several lines and provided access to collieries in Wern-Tarw. All were closed to traffic in the 1960s. They were used extensively by coal trains until the closures in the 1980s. The Wern-Tarw line was disused and lifted first, followed by the Ogmore line sometime afterwards, the Garw line is disused, but still extant. During the early 1990s the Bridgend to Maesteg line was re-opened to passenger traffic, occasional steel trains run via the Margam to Tondu and Tondu to Bridgend branch lines. The Margam line is now used by the new Parc Slip opencast mine for coal, the village is served by Tondu railway station.
The River Llynfi flows alongside Tondu on its way to its confluence with the River Ogmore, the Llynfi at this point has had a history of severe pollution. Historically, the pollution started with the coal industry, the coal seams in this part of the South Wales Valleys are quite wet and the coal itself is rich in pyrites and thus rich in sulphur. Such mine waters have a high burden of coal and rock solids and contain heavy metals such as nickel, iron. Sir Robert had ambitions as an ironmaster and began to develop an ironworks alongside the Dyffryn Llynvi and he traded as the Glamorgan Coal and Iron Company. Progress was initially due to a trade recession in the early 1840s, but there was a revival in 1843. The year 1843 was significant for the Tondu district as extensive reserves of black-band ironstone were discovered six miles to the north in the Maesteg area during that year. However, because of the progress made during the years 1843-1847 and that potential was recognised by the Lancashire firm of John Brogden and Sons who bought the Tondu property in 1854.
In February 1854 John Brogden sent his fourth son James, aged 22, to revive, in July 1854, John Brogden signed a new 99-year lease with Jane Nicholl. James rapidly reorganised and expanded the works, James rebuilt Tondu House between 1854 and 1857