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Blue Beetle

Blue Beetle is the name of three fictional superheroes who appear in a number of American comic books published by a variety of companies since 1939. The most recent of the companies to own rights to the Blue Beetle is DC Comics who bought the rights to the character in 1983, using the name for three distinct characters over the years; the original Blue Beetle was created by Fox Comics and owned by Charlton Comics. The first Beetle was Dan Garret, who gained super powers from a special vitamin, changed to gaining powers from a "sacred scarab"; the original Blue Beetle was featured not only in his own comic but a weekly radio serial. The second Blue Beetle was created by Charlton and taken over by DC Comics, the successor to Dan Garrett known as Ted Kord. Kord "jumped" to the DC Comics universe during the Crisis on Infinite Earths alongside a number of other Charlton Comics characters; the second Blue Beetle starred in his own 24 issue comic. Kord never used science to create various devices to help him fight crime.

He became a member of the Justice League of America and was killed during DC Comics' Infinite Crisis cross over. The third Blue Beetle, created by DC Comics, is Jaime Reyes, a teenager who discovered that the original Blue Beetle scarab morphed into a battle suit allowing him to fight crime and travel in space. Over the years Reyes starred in two Blue Beetle comic series. In DC Comics' 2011 "New 52" reboot, Jaime Reyes was the primary Blue Beetle character, only referring to past versions. However, with the subsequent continuity revision "DC Rebirth", the previous versions were restored; the original Blue Beetle, Dan Garret, first appeared in Fox Comics' Mystery Men Comics #1, with art by Charles Nicholas Wojtkoski. A rookie police officer, he wore a special bulletproof costume and took "Vitamin 2X" which endowed him with super-energy, he was assisted by a neighborhood pharmacist in his fight against crime. Blue Beetle starred in a comic book series, comic strip and radio serial, but like most Golden Age superheroes, he fell into obscurity in the 1950s.

The comic book series saw a number of anomalies in publication: 19 issues, #12 through #30, were published through Holyoke Publishing. In the mid-1950s, Fox Comics went out of business and sold the rights to the Blue Beetle to Charlton Comics; that company published a few sporadic adventures of the Golden Age character before revamping the hero in 1964. Charlton tried three times to use the character to carry a self-titled series. Two of the attempts retained the numbering of a previous title; these were replaced with new titles that carried on the numbering. The new series was short-lived, in the pages of Captain Atom #83 through #86, Charlton introduced Ted Kord, a student of Dan Garrett's who took on the role when Garrett died. Kord was an inventor hero; this Beetle received his own series in 1967, but the entire Charlton "Action Heroes" line of comic books ceased publication in 1968. With the rest of the Charlton line-up, he was sold to DC Comics in 1983 and appeared with several incarnations of the Justice League.

In 2006, DC introduced a new Blue Beetle, teenager Jaime Reyes, whose powers are derived from the scarab, now revealed as a piece of advanced alien technology. The series was written by Keith Giffen and John Rogers, with artist Cully Hamner. Giffen left in issue #10 and Rogers took over full writing duties, joined by a new artist, Rafael Albuquerque. Rogers left the title with issue # 25. After three fill-in issues, Matt Sturges became the main writer in issue #29, but the series was cancelled with issue #36. Editor Dan DiDio put the cancellation down to poor sales and said that Blue Beetle was "a book that we started with high expectations, but it lost its audience along the way." In June 2009, Blue Beetle was brought back as a "co-feature" of the more popular Booster Gold comic. In September 2011, a new Blue Beetle comic was launched as part of The New 52 initiative, with Jaime Reyes' history being rebooted with a new origin and without any apparent history of Kord or Garrett as prior Blue Beetles.

The new book was drawn by Ig Guara. Both Blue Beetles reappeared in the third issue of Americomics, a title published by AC Comics in 1983/1984. In the first story in this issue, Ted Kord fought a bogus Dan Garrett, but the second story was more significant, it revealed that the original 1940s Dan was reincarnated as the Silver Age version by some unspecified "gods" the ones responsible for his mystic scarab. The gods subsequently resurrected Dan again and sent him off to save Ted Kord's life After this adventure, Kord turned the Blue Beetle name back over to Dan. Americomics was canceled after issue #6, so far this story has never been referenced by any other publisher. Another Blue Beetle crossover story depiction revolving around the Blue Beetles is depicted in Booster Gold #6 by DC Comics; the original Golden Age Blue Beetle is son of a police officer killed by a criminal. This Fox Feature Syndicate version of the character debuted in Mystery Men Comics #1, and

Space of flows

The space of flows is a high-level cultural abstraction of space and time, their dynamic interactions with digital age society. The concept was created by the sociologist and cybernetic culture theoretician Manuel Castells to "reconceptualize new forms of spatial arrangements under the new technological paradigm"; the space of flows first was mentioned in The Informational City: Information Technology, Economic Restructuring, the Urban Regional Process. Castells defines the concepts as follows: "The material arrangements that allow for simultaneity of social practices without territorial contiguity, it is not purely electronic space... It is made up first of all of a technological infrastructure of information systems, telecommunications, transportation lines". Traditionally, the concept of space is considered a passive entity, while time is considered a separate and active entity. Space should not be disconnected from time. Castells rejected the contention that space will disappear upon the creation of the global city, because space is "the material support of time-sharing social practices".

Thus, the space of flows is "the material organization of time-sharing social practices that work through flows". In 2001, Castells wrote: "the space of flows... links up distant locales around shared functions and meanings on the basis of electronic circuits and fast transportation corridors, while isolating and subduing the logic of experience embodied in the space of places". Space is the physical support of the way. Real world time, the space-and-time to which people are accustomed, is the "space of places", unlike the "space of flows" because it lacks the three elements of a proper flow medium, the proper items composing the flow traversing through it, the organisational nodes through which these flows circulate; the space of flows concept comprehends human action and interaction occurring dynamically and at a distance—effected via telecommunications technology containing continuous flows of time-sensitive communications, the nodes of global computer systems. These informational flows connect people to a continuous, real-time cybernetic community that differs from the global village because the groups' positions in time become more important than their places.

Castells, Manuel. "An Introduction to the Information Age" in The Information Society Reader, Frank Webster, Raimo Blom, Erkki Karvonen, Harri Melin, Kaarle Nordenstreng, Ensio Puoskari, editors. London and New York: Routledge, 2004. Pp 138–49. Stalder, Felix; the Status of Objects in the Space of Flows, Diss. University of Toronto. 13 February 2006 <>

Alexander Windsor, Earl of Ulster

Major Alexander Patrick Gregers Richard Windsor, Earl of Ulster is a former British Army officer and only son of Prince Richard, Duke of Gloucester, Birgitte, Duchess of Gloucester. As heir apparent to the dukedom of Gloucester, he is accorded the courtesy title Earl of Ulster, but is known as Alex Ulster. Lord Ulster was born in 24 October 1974 at St Mary's Hospital, the eldest child and only son of the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. At birth he was ninth in the line of succession to the British throne but is now 28th as of May 2019. Educated at Eton College, Lord Ulster went up to King's College London where he read War Studies, graduating in 1996 as BA, before attending the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Ulster was commissioned in the King's Royal Hussars on 10 April 1998 as a subaltern with seniority from 14 April 1995, he was promoted to Lieutenant on 10 April 1998 with seniority from 14 April 1997, to the rank of Captain on 16 October 2000. He saw Kosovo in 2002, as well as Iraq. Serving as an information operations staff officer in MND, at Basrah he was responsible for advising on divisional level KLE, monitoring atmospherics within the city and advising on the communications strategy pertinent to the handover of Basrah Palace.

On 14 January 2003, he transferred from a Short Service Commission to an Intermediate Regular Commission. On 28 April 2008, he was appointed to the Reserve of Officers, signalling his retirement from the British Army with the rank of acting Major. Since leaving the Army, Lord Ulster has worked in non-governmental organisation roles, is a director of Transnational Crisis Project. Ulster married Claire Alexandra Booth, a physician, on 22 June 2002 at the Queen's Chapel, St. James's Palace. Born in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, Booth went to King's College, London to study medicine, graduating with an MBBS degree in 2001, she subsequently graduated from University College, London with an MSc in 2007 and PhD degree in 2012. She is the elder child of Robert Booth, FCMI, Barbara. Lady Ulster qualified as a paediatric specialist registrar, after which she became a consultant paediatrician. Lord and Lady Ulster have two children: Xan Richard Anders Windsor, Lord Culloden, 29th in line to the British throne Lady Cosima Rose Alexandra Windsor, 30th in line to the British throne.

General Service MedalNATO Kosovo MedalIraq MedalQueen's Golden Jubilee MedalQueen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal

2017 Albanian presidential election

Indirect presidential elections were held in Albania on 19, 20, 27 and 28 April 2017, the eighth such elections since the collapse of the communist regime in 1991. In the first through third round, no candidates were proposed and no vote took place in the Parliament of Albania. In the fourth round, the incumbent Chairperson and then-Prime Minister of Albania, Ilir Meta was elected as the eighth President of Albania with 87 votes; the Opposition of Albania did not take part in the election, due to the general boycott of the Parliament announced during the 2017 opposition protest. The President of Albania is elected through a secret vote and without debate by the Parliament of Albania by a majority of three-fifths majority of all its members; the Constitution of Albania sets a limit to a maximum of two terms in office. When this majority is not reached in the first round of voting, a second round takes place within seven days. If such a majority is still not reached, a third round must take place within a further period of seven days.

If in the first three rounds no candidate has attained the necessary majority, a further two rounds must be held within seven days, with the majority needed to win being reduced to an absolute majority or 50% +1 vote of the total Members of the Parliament. If after five rounds of voting no candidate has attained the necessary majority outlined for each round of voting in the Parliament, the Parliament will be dissolved and a general election must occur within 60 days. During the first round on 19 April 2017, the second round on 20 April 2017 and the third round on 27 April 2017, no voting took place because no candidates were proposed. A three-fifths majority of 87 votes out of 140 Members of the Parliament was necessary for a candidate to be elected in the first three rounds. At the fourth round on 28 April 2017, Ilir Meta of the Socialist Movement for Integration was elected as President of Albania, in which only an absolute majority of 71 votes out of 140 Members of the Parliament was necessary for a candidate to be elected.

87 of the members of the Parliament voted for only 2 against. Politics of Albania President of Albania

Jordan Academy of Arabic

The Jordan Academy of Arabic is one of the Arabic language regulators based in Amman, Jordan. Besides the Jordan Academy of Arabic, there are 10 other Arabic language and literature regulators in the world, it has been set up to start by 1924, but could only be in real-life by 1976. It has a biannual journal named: "The Journal of Jordan Academy of Arabic". Many dictionaries and occasional publications have been produced by this Academy, as its interest covers Arabization of technical and professional terms, facilitating the use of Arabic in tertiary education as well as regulating the Arabic language and literature; the founding of the Jordan Academy of Arabic was published in the Journal of the Arab Scientific Academy in Damascus in January, 1924. It was the second Arabic language regulator to be founded in the Arab world after the Arab Scientific Academy in Damascus, founded in 1919. Due to the scarcity of financial and human resources, it was short-lived. A royal decree to re-establish the Jordan Academy of Arabic was issued in 1976.

It assumed its responsibilities as of the first of October 1976, joined the Cairo-based Union of Arab Scientific and Language Academies in 1977. Jordanian Arabic Arabic literature List of language regulators Official website the Jordan Academy of Arabic website


Vranas or Branas is a surname attested from the Byzantine and post-Byzantine period, still used in Greece and other Balkan countries. In the Byzantine period the family of Vranas became notable from the 11th century till the end of the Empire. According to some historians the family was of Slavonic descent, but according to others of Greek origin. Notable people in history with this surname include the following: Marianos Vranas, general-rebel against Emperor Vasilios II and Protospatharios under Emperor Constantine IX Monomachos. Michael Vranas and, Byzantine general under emperor Manuel I Komnenos. Alexios Branas, son of Michael, who decisively defeated the Normans at the Battle of Demetritzes, near Serres, in 1185. Theodore Branas son of Alexios, Byzantine archon Lord of Adrianople and Caesar in the service of the Latin Empire of Constantinople, the third husband of empress Anna/Agnes of Francia. Georgios Vranas, Byzantine general under emperor Manuel I Komnenos. Participated in the Byzantine wars against the Hungarians.

Demetrios Vranas, Byzantine admiral and army officer, brother of Georgios Vranas. He was captured during the Hungarian wars. Nikolaos Vranas, Byzantine general of the 11th century, mentioned by Anna Komnene in the Alexiad. Ioannes Vranas, Byzantine general under emperor Andronikos. Vranas or Vranillos or Brana Conte or Hamza, balkanian army officer under sultan Murad II. Son of Stanisha Castrioti, was converted to Muslim with the name "Hamza". In 1443 after the battle of Niš fled with George Kastrioti-Skanderbeg to the united Christian army and converted to Christianity taking the name "Vranas". Georgios Vranas, Athenian bishop of the 15th century, member of the famous Byzantine House of Vranas, he became Bishop of Dromore and Bishop of Elphin in Ireland. Cortesios Vranas, Greek Unitan priest and author of the 16th century, he four epigrams to Alessandro Farnese. Lamprinos Vranas, he fought in the Macedonian Wars during the last years of the Ottoman Empire, against the Bulgarians; the name is common in modern Greece.

Notable contemporary persons bearing this surname include: Andreas Vranas, painter Sperantza Vrana, actress Russos Vranas and journalist. Giorgos Vranas, Cretan folk musician. Charles Branas, American epidemiologistIn the village of Pappados, there is the Museum - Olive Press Vranas, established in 1887 by Vranas Nikolaou, bought over by the "Archipelagos" company, restored and it operates as a museum of olive oil processing. There are many derivatives of the name produced by various prefixes and suffixes, such as Vranakis, Papavranas etc. in Greek and Vranic, Vranof etc. in Slavonic languages. Notable Greek persons with derivatives of the name Vranas are: Dimitrios Vranopoulos, member of the Greek Parliament and Minister Leandros Vranousis philologist and historian specializing in the history of Epirus, author of many history books and articles, member of the Academy of Athens Epameinondas Vranopoulos, 20th-century historian and teacher of history, author of history books. There are four theories about the etymology of this word and, most the surname is a blend of more than one of them.

“Quilt-maker”: The word «βρανάς» originates from «βρανιά», a kind of traditional quilt in Thrace. The etymology of this word is prandeum. “Wound/Burn Scar”: The word «βρανάς» relates to a Sanskrit root and refers to “wound” or to “burn scar”. The only problem with this theory is that no similar types have been found in any other Indo-European languages, raising the question of how one linguistic form survived in two so distant languages. If this theory holds water it is most the oldest creation of a word that leads to the family name. “Black/Crow”: The word "vranas" is related to an Indo-European root that means "black bird" or "crow" and an ancient Thracian root that points to "black" – the common origin of “vranas” and “black”/”crow” was mentioned by historian Sp. Asdrahas and, leading to the explanation that the name Vranas was attributed as a nickname in the old times to dark-skinned people. Based on this and combining it with the theory that in words that commence with μ- plus vowel plus -λ- produce another type where the μ- transforms into β- and the vowel drops off and having as base that the word μέλας is the root, as is demonstrated by the Latvian word melns/melna, it is theorised that: In "μέλας" the μ- transforms into β- and the vowel drops off and the "intermediate" form is obtained.

However, for reasons that not explainable, in some words the -λ- transforms into -ρ- into the root of the word creating a second form a phenomenon which might be explained by the fact that in the syllabographic Linear Script B the syllables'la' &'ra','le' &'re','li' &'ri','lo' &'ro' and'lu' &'ru' were spelt by a common symbol for each pair. Therefore, the "intermediate" form could have a seco