Birmingham Oratory

The Birmingham Oratory is an English Catholic religious community of the Congregation of the Oratory of St. Philip Neri, located in the Edgbaston area of Birmingham; the community was founded in 1849 by Cong. Orat; the first house of that congregation in England. Part of the complex of the Oratory is the Parish Church of the Immaculate Conception referred to as the Oratory Church, it now serves as the national shrine to Newman. Saint John Henry Newman, the founder of the Birmingham Oratory, after his conversion to the Catholic Church was seeking a way of life to live out his vocation. In common with a colleague from the Oxford Movement and fellow convert, Frederick William Faber, he had felt drawn to the way of life of the community founded by St. Philip Neri in Italy in the 16th century; when Saint Newman went to Rome in 1845 to become a Catholic priest, he was authorised by Pope Pius IX to establish a community of the Oratory in England. Returning to England in 1847, Saint Newman gathered a small community of his followers who wished to live this life.

They found a home in Birmingham at the Church of St. Anne on Alcester Street, which became the first house of an Oratorian community in England in 1849. A more suitable location was located in Birmingham, construction was begun of a residence and church; the Oratorian community relocated there in 1852. It became a parish church for the local area and has served the congregation in various ways through the decades. Upon the second death within the Oratorian community, Newman realised. Through a donation given to him by the Catholic population of New York City in a show of support, he had been able to acquire property in the rural location of Rednal, where the community established a cemetery for the deceased of the congregation and built a small summer house; the Oratory has a heritage of the promotion of great music in its worship. This goes back to its founder, St. Philip Neri, who believed in the power of music for bringing out the good in people; the original Oratory in Rome was one of the great centres of sacred music for the city.

The most celebrated singers and composers of the day would perform there. From this heritage comes the word oratorio. Right from its founding, the Birmingham Oratory has been noted for the high level of its music, due to the active interest of Newman himself; the parish continues to provide services which use the music of Palestrina, William Byrd, Tomás Luis de Victoria, Mozart, as well as modern composers. Newman founded the Oratory School there in 1859, as a Catholic alternative to Eton College, it relocated to near Reading in 1922. In 1887 two priests of the Oratory took over an existing school intended to provide an education to the poor Catholic boys of the area; this became St. Philip's School, which operated until 1995; the current church was constructed between 1907 and 1910 in the Baroque style to replace the original structure as a memorial to Newman. It was designed by the architect Edward Doran Webb, it is familiarly called the Little Rome in Birmingham. Prior to a final determination regarding the beatification of Newman, the Holy See gave instructions that his remains were to be transferred from the Oratorian cemetery in the West Midlands to the Oratory Church.

A marble tomb was not installed in the church. When church and civil authorities opened the grave in October 2008, they found no human remains from his grave; the Grade II* listed church continues to serve the Congregation of the Oratory there. Elsewhere in England, there are communities of the Congregation at the Brompton Oratory in London and the Oxford Oratory. In February 2012, the church suffered the theft of a large metal cross from its roof; the loss was valued at £30,000. The Birmingham Oratory was to play a major role in the life of J. R. R. Tolkien, the author of The Lord of the Rings, a parishioner there for about nine years during his childhood. After the unexpected death of their father in South Africa, their mother, Mabel Suffield Tolkien, began to seek a spiritual home where she could find support in her struggle as a widow and single mother of little financial means. Fifty years after the establishment of the Oratorian community there, she started to attend the Church of St. Anne.

The family was received into the Catholic Church in the spring of 1900, provoking opposition from the Tolkien family as well as her own. A small gift from a relative enabled the young Ronald Tolkien to enroll in the prestigious King Edward's School in Birmingham; this required the family to relocate. Not finding the spiritual support she needed in the local Catholic parish there, Mabel Tolkien began to take her two boys on long walks into the country on Sundays. Through these she came to know the Oratory, found a friend in the community in the person of Fr. Francis Xavier Morgan, Cong. Orat; the young Ronald had enrolled in the school without having been given a scholarship, the tuition and fees weighed upon the family income. When Father Morgan became aware of this, he made arrangements for the boy to transfer to the St. Philip's School. That, along with tutoring by his mother at home, allowed Ronald to gain a scholarship and to return to King Edward's School; when Mabel Tolkien's health began to decline as a result of diabetes, Francis Morgan used his personal income to provide a home for the family in the vicinity of their rural house.

After her death in 1904, fearing that their relations might force the boys to give up their Catholic faith, Mabel Tolkien appointed Father Morgan as their legal guardian. Morgan supported the Tolkien boys out of his own pocket, paying Mabel's sister to house the boys, they found a real home, howe


Polymera is a genus of crane fly in the family Limoniidae. Subgenus Polymera Wiedemann, 1820P. Aitkeni Alexander, 1978 P. albiditarsis Alexander, 1953 P. albitarsis Williston, 1896 P. albogeniculata Alexander, 1926 P. albogenualis Alexander, 1939 P. anticalba Alexander, 1939 P. arawak Alexander, 1964 P. brachyneura Alexander, 1962 P. bruchi Alexander, 1926 P. cavernicola Alexander, 1964 P. chiriquiensis Alexander, 1941 P. cinereipennis Alexander, 1926 P. cingulata Alexander, 1969 P. clausa Alexander, 1939 P. crystalloptera Alexander, 1921 P. furiosa Alexander, 1950 P. fusca Wiedemann, 1828 P. fuscitarsis Alexander, 1937 P. geniculata Alexander, 1915 P. georgiae Alexander, 1911 P. grisea Alexander, 1913 P. hirticornis P. honesta Alexander, 1940 P. inornata Alexander, 1913 P. leucopeza Alexander, 1940 P. melanosterna Alexander, 1945 P. microstictula Alexander, 1930 P. minutior Alexander, 1942 P. monosticta Alexander, 1948 P. neoclausa Alexander, 1967 P. nimbipennis Alexander, 1946 P. niveipes Alexander, 1979 P. niveitarsis Alexander, 1913 P. nodulifera Alexander, 1940 P. obscura Macquart, 1838 P. ominosa Alexander, 1938 P. parvicornis Alexander, 1932 P. pleuralis Alexander, 1913 P. prolixicornis Alexander, 1927 P. pulchricornis Alexander, 1914 P. regina Alexander, 1926 P. rogersiana Alexander, 1929 P. scelerosa Alexander, 1948 P. sordidipes Alexander, 1938 P. stenoptera Alexander, 1949 P. subsuperba Alexander, 1926 P. superba Alexander, 1913 P. thoracica Alexander, 1913 P. tibialis Alexander, 1922 P. unipunctata Alexander, 1921 P. verticillata Alexander, 1948 P. zeylanica Alexander, 1958Subgenus Polymerodes Alexander, 1920P.

Catharinae Alexander, 1931 P. conjuncta Alexander, 1913 P. conjunctoides Alexander, 1920 P. evanescens Alexander, 1948 P. leucostropha Alexander, 1966 P. minutissima Alexander, 1945 P. parishi Alexander, 1920 P. tasioceroides Alexander, 1948 Catalogue of the Craneflies of the World

Adélie penguin

The Adélie penguin is a species of penguin common along the entire coast of the Antarctic continent, its only habitat. It is the most spread penguin species, as well as the most southerly distributed of all penguins, along with the emperor penguin, it is named after Adélie Land, in turn named for Adèle Dumont d'Urville, the wife of French explorer Jules Dumont d'Urville, who first discovered this penguin in 1840. Adélie penguins obtain their food by both predation and foraging, with a diet of krill and fish; the Adélie penguin is one of three species in the genus Pygoscelis. Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA evidence suggests the genus split from other penguin species around 38 million years ago, about 2 million years after the ancestors of the genus Aptenodytes. In turn, the Adélie penguins split off from the other members of the genus around 19 million years ago; these penguins are mid-sized, being 3.6 to 6.0 kg in weight. Distinctive marks are the white ring surrounding the feathers at the base of the bill.

These long feathers hide most of the red bill. The tail is a little longer than other penguins' tails; the appearance looks somewhat like a tuxedo. They are a little smaller than most other penguin species. Adélie penguins swim at around 5 miles per hour, they are able to leap some 3 metres out of the water to land on rocks or ice. Adult Adélie penguins are preyed upon by leopard seals. South polar skuas, in particular, Giant petrels kill many chicks and eat eggs as well. Giant Petrels and orcas will kill adult Adelie penguins. Kelp gulls and snowy sheathbills prey on chicks and eggs. Based on a 2014 satellite analysis of fresh guano-discoloured red/brown coastal areas, 3.79 million breeding pairs of Adélie penguins are in 251 breeding colonies, a 53% increase over a census completed 20 years earlier. The colonies are distributed around the coastline of the Antarctic ocean. Colonies have declined on the Antarctic Peninsula since the early 1980s, but those declines have been more than offset by increases in East Antarctica.

During the breeding season, they congregate in large breeding colonies, some over a quarter of a million pairs. Individual colonies can vary in size, some may be vulnerable to climate fluctuations; the Danger Islands have been identified as an "important bird area" by BirdLife International because it supports Adélie penguin colonies, with 751,527 pairs recorded in at least five distinct colonies. In March 2018, a colony of 1.5 million was discovered. Adélie penguins breed from October to February on shores around the Antarctic continent. Adélies build rough nests of stones. Two eggs are laid; the chicks remain in the nest for 22 days before joining crèches. The chicks go out to sea after 50 to 60 days. Apsley Cherry-Garrard was a survivor of Robert Falcon Scott’s ill-fated British Antarctic Expedition of 1910, he documented details of penguin behavior in his book The Worst Journey in the World. "They are extraordinarily like children, these little people of the Antarctic world, either like children or like old men, full of their own importance."

George Murray Levick, a Royal Navy surgeon-lieutenant and scientist who accompanied Scott, commented on displays of selfishness among the penguins during his surveying in the Antarctic: "At the place where they most went in, a long terrace of ice about six feet in height ran for some hundreds of yards along the edge of the water, here, just as on the sea-ice, crowds would stand near the brink. When they had succeeded in pushing one of their number over, all would crane their necks over the edge, when they saw the pioneer safe in the water, the rest followed."One writer observed how the penguin's curiosity could endanger them, which Scott found a particular nuisance: The great trouble with has been due to the fatuous conduct of the penguins. Groups of these have been leaping onto our floe. From the moment of landing on their feet their whole attitude expressed devouring curiosity and a pig-headed disregard for their own safety, they waddle forward, poking their heads to and fro in their absurd way, in spite of a string of howling dogs straining to get at them.

"Hulloa!" they seem to say, "here’s a game – what do all you ridiculous things want?" And they come a few steps nearer. The dogs make a rush as far as their leashes allow; the penguins are not daunted in the least, but their ruffs go up and they squawk with semblance of anger.… Then the final fatal steps forward are taken and they come within reach. There is a spring, a squawk, a horrid red patch on the snow, the incident is closed. Others on the mission to the South Pole were more receptive of this element of the Adélies' curiosity. Cherry-Garrard writes: Meares and Dimitri exercised the dog-teams out upon the larger floes when we were held up for any length of time. One day a team was tethered by the side of the ship, a penguin sighted them and hurried from afar off; the dogs became frantic with excitement as he neared them: he supposed it was a greeting, the louder they barked and the more they strained at their ropes, the faster he bustled to meet them. He was angry with a man who went and saved him from a sudden end, clinging to his trousers with his beak, furiously beating his shins with his flippers.… It was not an uncommon sight to see a little Adélie penguin standing within a few inches of the nose of a dog, frantic with desire and passion.

Cherry-Garrard held the birds in