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Hibiscus acetosella

Hibiscus acetosella, the cranberry hibiscus or African rosemallow, is a flowering plant of the genus Hibiscus or rosemallow. The word acetosella is of Latin origin and is derived from an old name for sorrel which comes from the sour taste experienced when eating the young leaves of the plant. Hibiscus acetosella is known colloquially as false roselle, maroon mallow, red leaved hibiscus, red shield hibiscus, it is one of the 200–300 species that are seen in sub-tropic and tropic regions. This ornamental is found in abandoned fields or open areas and forest clearings. Cranberry hibiscus is a member of a perennial group known as hardy hibiscus. In contrast to the tropical hibiscus, hardy hibiscus can tolerate colder conditions, are more vigorous, longer lasting, have larger flowers. In colder climates, Hibiscus acetosella is an annual, but is regarded as a perennial to zone 8–11. During one season, the plant can grow 90 -- 170 75 cm wide as a shrub-subshrub; the foliage of cranberry hibiscus is similar to that of the Japanese maple.

It has dicot leaves which vary in shape from 3-5-lobed to un-lobed or undivided in the upper leaves of the plant and are the size of a small child's hand, about 10×10 cm. They tend to be alternate and cut with crenate or jagged edges. Leaf color is observed as a dark maroon to a patchy red/green appearance. Stipules are linear, measured 1.5 cm in length. Both stems and petioles are smooth or free from hair. Acetosella is further divided into a section called Furcaria, a group of 100 species that have non-fleshy calyx or sepals; the sepals contain 10 veins. Stems tend to be variegated. Flowers sit atop a 1 cm long pedicel, they vary in color and are most the dark maroon, characteristic of the foliage with darker vein-like markings. Flowers are yellow in color and are about 5 cm deep; each flower contains numerous stamens at about 2 cm in length. The cranberry hibiscus is thought to be self-pollinating, it produces seeds that are reniform and dark brown with dimensions of 3×2.5 mm. Hibiscus acetosella is an allotetraploid with a genome composition of AABB.

It is used to transfer genetic resistance to root-knot nematodes with compatible Hibiscus species. Cranberry hibiscus is grown after tomatoes and potatoes and related species of which are not resistant to nematodes Hibiscus acetosella is thought to have come about via hybridization between Hibiscus asper Hook.f. and Hibiscus surattensis L. secondary to their cultivation. It was first recognized in 1896 by French botanists as a distinct plant and given the name it has; the plant was first found growing around African villages in the southern DR Congo-Angola-Zambia region. The crop was brought to Brazil and South-East Asia where it was most used as sustenance for slaves, it is now considered more popular in Brazil than its original location in Africa, where it is now cultivated and eaten as a spinach-like green. Cranberry hibiscus is cultivated in medium altitudes in areas of high rainfall although it does do well in droughts, it requires a range of partial shade to full sun exposure. The plant does well in acidic conditions with a soil pH between 6.1 and 6.5.

Cranberry hibiscus tends to flower late in season. Flowers open for a few hours during the late fall to early winter at midday. Although the plant itself remains in bloom for a few weeks, once open, a flower remains so for just one day. Plants succumb to cold weather in the Midwest prior to flowers appearing Seeds germinate within 3–4 days in a container but tend to grow rapidly. Light is not required for germination. Cranberry hibiscus propagates well with cuttings, which will take root in water; the plant can be maintained in an oval form by cutting it back during the summer. Otherwise, it will have one dominant stem. Cranberry hibiscus is known for its sour or pleasantly tart young leaves which are used as a vegetable, either raw or cooked. In South America, the leaves are used sparingly in stir-fries. Leaves are eaten in small quantities due to acid content. Cranberry hibiscus leaves contribute to the décor of various dishes since they retain their color after being cooked. Flowers are used to make other drinks where they contribute color rather than taste.

In Central America the flowers are combined with ice, lemon, or lime juice and water to make a purple lemonade. The root is edible however thought of as distasteful. Contrary to similar species such as the Hibiscus sabdariffa, the calyx or sepals of Hibiscus acetosella is non-fleshy and not eaten. In Angola a tea made from the leaves of cranberry hibiscus are used as a post-fever tonic and to treat anemia; the plant is utilized to treat myalgias by crushing leaves into cold water to bathe children. The plant is thought to contain polyphenols, a compound that may combat inflammation and is used to treat inflammatory diseases. Dressler, S.. "Hibiscus acetosella". African plants – a Photo Guide. Frankfurt/Main: Forschungsinstitut Senckenberg

Colin Fairservice

Colin Fairservice was an English professional cricketer. He played for Kent County Cricket Club from 1929 to 1933 and for Middlesex County Cricket Club in 1936, making a total of 74 first-class cricket appearances in his career. Fairservice was born in Hadlow in Kent in 1909, the son of Bill Fairservice who made over 300 first-class appearances for Kent between 1902 and 1921, he attended Newcastle Royal Grammar School. Having played for Northumberland Juniors, Fairservice first played for Kent Second XI in the Minor Counties Championship in 1927, he made his first-class debut in 1929 against Derbyshire at Chesterfield. After playing for the county in 1929 and 1930 he became a regular in the First XI in 1931 and was awarded his county cap in that season. Fairservice made a total of 59 appearances for Kent before leaving the county at the end of the 1933 season, he spent the following two years qualifying to play for Middlesex, during which he made occasional first-class appearances for MCC. During 1936 he played six times for Middlesex before ending his first-class career.

Fairservice coached cricket and rugby at The King's School, Canterbury between 1954 and 1975. He coached, amongst David Gower who would go on to captain the England cricket team, he died at Canterbury in 1999 aged 90. Colin Fairservice at ESPNcricinfo

Kaspersky Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition

The Kaspersky Commonwealth Antarctic Expedition was a Commonwealth of Nations expedition in which seven women from six Commonwealth member countries skied to the South Pole in 2009 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the founding of the Commonwealth. They had been selected among over 800 candidates, it took the expedition 38 days to reach the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, skiing six to ten hours a day, covering an average of 24 km a day. In total, they covered 904 km, they reached their destination on December 29. The team took a day off on Christmas Day. Team leader Felicity Aston, of the United Kingdom, explained: "Half of the team don’t celebrate Christmas so the others are having great fun teaching them Christmas songs and explaining why they have to hang their smelly socks outside the tent on Christmas Eve"; the expedition marked several firsts. Era Al-Sufri, Reena Kaushal Dharmshaktu, Sophia Pang, Stephanie Solomonides and Kylie Wakelin were the first Bruneian woman, the first Indian woman, the first Singaporean woman, the first Cypriot and the first New Zealand woman to ski to the South Pole.

United Kingdom - Felicity Aston Brunei - Era Al-Sufri India - Reena Kaushal Dharmshaktu Singapore - Sophia Pang Cyprus - Stephanie Solomonides United Kingdom - Helen Turton New Zealand - Kylie Wakelin Ghana - Barbara Yanney. Contracted malaria before departure. Recovered, but was unable to take part. Jamaica - Kim-Marie Spence. Pulled out on the third day, due to frostbite on her fingers. Official website

Smrekovec Lodge

The Smrekovec Lodge is a mountain hostel on the southern slope of the Smrekovec Mountains in the Kamnik–Savinja Alps. The first lodge was built in 1933, but it was burned down during World War II. A new lodge was built in 1951, expanded in 1976–77. 3h: from the town of Črna na Koroškem, 4½h: by car from the town of Šoštanj 3½h: by car from the town of Ljubno ob Savinji 2½h: the Mozirje Lodge at Golte 5h: the Loka Lodge at Raduha, passing the Travnik Lodge 2½h: the Andrej Lodge at Sleme 4½h: the Mount Ursula Lodge ½h: Smrekovec 2h: Komen Slovenian Mountain Hiking Trail Slovenska planinska pot, Planinski vodnik, PZS, 2012, Milenko Arnejšek - Prle, Andraž Poljanec ISBN 978-961-6870-04-7 Routes, Description & Photos Description

Operation Finery

Operation Finery was a British plan for military intervention in Zanzibar following the 1964 revolution. It was a replacement for the earlier operations Parthenon and Boris and airborne assaults. Finery circumvented the reliance of the earlier plans on bases in Kenya, where government and local support for an intervention were not forthcoming. Instead Finery would have utilised the commando carrier HMS Bulwark to land Royal Marines on Zanzibar to protect Karume's government; because of delays in the deployment of Bulwark Finery was supplemented by Operation Shed, that could be launched at shorter notice. The expected coup did not occur and Finery was scrapped on 29 April 1964, although Operation Shed remained in place; the Zanzibar Revolution had occurred on 12 January 1964 and since British forces had kept a presence in the area to safeguard European citizens. Since 30 January British forces had been kept on standby to launch a military intervention in the event that the radical left-wing Umma Party staged a coup to overthrow the President Abeid Karume's moderate Afro-Shirazi Party which controlled the governing Revolutionary Council.

The first operation with this objective was Operation Parthenon which would have used two aircraft carriers, four other ships, 34 aircraft and elements of the Scots Guards, the Parachute Regiment and 45 Commando of the Royal Marines to launch an amphibious and airborne assault on the main, southern island of Unguja before taking the northern island of Pemba. Parthenon remained in place until around 20 February when it became known that the forces of the Revolutionary Council may have received military training from communist troops, it was decided by the British Defence Council that a different mix of forces was required, thus Parthenon was replaced by Operation Boris. Boris would have made use of British airfields in Kenya to launch the attack, however it was decided that secrecy could not be maintained in Kenya where some of the population sympathised with the Zanzibaris and so, on 9 April, Operation Finery was developed as a replacement. Finery would have involved a helicopter assault on Unguja, the main base of revolutionary power, by Royal Marines from the commando carrier HMS Bulwark.

The plan circumvented the need to operate from Kenya, where secrecy could not be guaranteed and the government did not support intervention, but as Bulwark was required for operations in the Middle East it would take 14 days for Finery to be launched once it had been ordered. In order to provide a more immediate response plans were put in place for a smaller scale operation which could be launched within 24 hours should evacuation of remaining British citizens in Zanzibar be required; the merger of Zanzibar with Tanganyika to form Tanzania on the 23 April may have provided the catalyst for the Umma Party to attempt a coup and so from around this date Finery was supported by Operation Shed, an airlift of a battalion of troops, accompanied by scout cars, to seize Unguja's airfield and protect Karume's government. The expected coup did not occur and Finery was scrapped on 29 April 1964, although Operation Shed remained in place. Sheriff, Abdul. Speller, Ian, "An African Cuba? Britain and the Zanzibar Revolution, 1964.", Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History, 35: 1–35