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Mallabia is an elizate and municipality located in the province of Biscay, in the Basque Country, northern Spain. Mallabia is part of the comarca of Durangaldea and has a population of 1.135 inhabitants as of 2006 and according to the Spanish National Statistics Institute. The etymology of the word Mallabia may come from the Basque word malla and bi refers to the place with "two levels" or "two heights"; as it is common with the elizates, the date of foundation of Mallabia is unknown. Its origin is linked with the old Tierra Llana of the ancient merindad of Durango. At some point, it split from the elizate of Zenarruza. Since 1635, Mallabia had voice and right to vote in the Juntas of Guerediaga, where it occupied the seat number three; the local church was opened in the 11th century, it was reconstructed in the 16th century and finished in 1750. The municipality of Mallabia is located in the eastern part of Biscay, it limits at north with the municipalities of Markina-Xemein and Etxebarria, at south with Zaldibar at east with Eibar and Ermua and at west with Berriz.

The town is crossed by the roads BI-3301, BI-633 and the N-634, which connects the town with Bilbao, Donostia and Eibar, among others. The nearest highway is the AP-8; the narrow-gauge regional railways Euskotren does not have a station in the town, despite crossing near to it. Gorka Arrizabalaga, cyclist Mikel Pradera, cyclist Durangaldea Biscay MALLABIA in the Bernardo Estornés Lasa - Auñamendi Encyclopedia

Ring-necked snake

Diadophis punctatus known as the ring-necked snake or ringneck snake, is a harmless species of colubrid snake found throughout much of the United States, central Mexico, southeastern Canada. Ring-necked snakes are secretive, nocturnal snakes, so are seen during the day time, they are venomous, but their nonaggressive nature and small, rear-facing fangs pose little threat to humans who wish to handle them. They are best known for their unique defense posture of curling up their tails, exposing their bright red-orange posterior, ventral surface when threatened. Ring-necked snakes are believed to be abundant throughout most of their range, though no scientific evaluation supports this hypothesis. Scientific research is lacking for the ring-necked snake, more in-depth investigations are needed, it is the only species within the genus Diadophis, 14 subspecies are identified, but many herpetologists question the morphologically based classifications. Ring-necked snakes are similar in morphology throughout much of their distribution.

Its dorsal coloration is solid olive, bluish-gray to smoky black, broken only by a distinct yellow, red, or yellow-orange neck band. A few populations in New Mexico and other distinct locations do not have the distinctive neck band. Additionally, individuals may have reduced or colored neck bands that are hard to distinguish. Head coloration tends to be darker than the rest of the body, with tendencies to be blacker than grey or olive. Ventrally, the snakes exhibit a yellow-orange to red coloration broken by crescent-shaped black spots along the margins; some individuals lack the distinct ventral coloration, but retain the black spotting. Do individuals lack both the ventral and neck band coloration. Size varies across the species' distribution. Adults measure 25–38 cm in length, except for D. p. regalis, which measures 38–46 cm. First-year juvenile snakes are about 20 cm and grow about 2–5 cm a year depending on the developmental stage or resource availability. Ring-necked snakes have smooth scales with 15–17 scale rows at midbody.

Males have small tubercles on their scales just anterior to the vent, which are absent in females. Ring-necked snakes are common throughout much of the United States extending into southeastern Canada and central Mexico. Eastern populations cover the entire Eastern Seaboard from the Gulf of Saint Lawrence continuous through the Gulf Coast of Texas. Distribution moves inland into northern Minnesota, continuing diagonally through the US to include all of Iowa, eastern Nebraska, most of Kansas. In the western US, the distribution is less continuous, with spotty, distinct population segments through most of the Pacific Northwest. Populations extend from south-central Washington continuing along the extreme West Coast into Mexico. Population segments extend inland into western Idaho, through southern Nevada, into central Utah, continuing south through Arizona and central Mexico. Ring-necked snakes occur in a wide variety of habitats. Preference seems to be determined by areas with abundant denning locations.

Northern and western subspecies are found within open woodlands near rocky hillsides, or in wetter environments with abundant cover or woody debris. Southern subspecies exist within riparian and wet environments in more arid habitats. Stebbins identified the species as a snake of moist habitats, with moist soil conditions the preferred substrate. Ring-necked snakes are not found above an elevation of 2,200 m. In northern regions, dens are important in identifying suitable ring-necked snake habitat. Dens are shared communally, are identifiable by an existent subsurface crevasse or hole deep enough to prevent freezing temperatures. Since it is a woodland reptile, it can commonly be found under wood or scraps; because of hot weather, they tend to make holes and burrows, or they hide under rocks or any suitable material. They are found in flatland forests; the diet of the ring-necked snake consists of smaller salamanders and slugs, but they sometimes eat lizards and some juvenile snakes of other species.

The frequency at which prey species are chosen is dependent on their availability within the habitat. Ring-necked snakes use a combination of envenomation to secure their prey; the snakes do not have a true venom gland, but they do have an analogous structure called the Duvernoy's gland derived from the same tissue. Most subspecies are rear-fanged with the last maxillary teeth on both sides of the upper jaw being longer and channeled; the venom is produced in the Duvernoy's gland located directly behind the eye. It drains out of an opening at the rear of the maxillary tooth. Ring-necked snakes first strike and secure the prey using constriction. Next, they maneuver their mouths forward, ensuring the last maxillary tooth punctures the skin and allowing the venom to enter the prey's tissue. Ring-necked snakes are aggressive to larger predators, suggesting their venom evolved as a feeding strategy rather than a defense strategy. Rather than trying to bite a predator, the snake winds up its tail into a corkscrew, exposing its brightly colored belly.

Ring-necked snakes are nocturnal or crepuscular, though some diurnal activity has been observed. Individuals are sometimes found during the day on cloudy days, sunning

Malibongwe Drive

Malibongwe Drive known as Hans Strijdom Drive, is a major road that runs through an industrial area in the northwest of Johannesburg, South Africa. It connects Randburg with Northgate. Malibongwe is said to mean "be praised" or blessed and which the Johannesburg Development Agency says refers to the 1956 Women's March, a woman's march against the carrying of passes. Hans Strijdom Drive, as well as another major Randburg road, Hendrik Verwoerd Drive, were renamed due to their strong ties to Apartheid. Despite the most popular suggestion for the new name being Nelson Mandela Drive, Nkululeko Drive emerging as the chosen replacement, Hans Strijdom Drive was renamed Malibongwe Drive at the end of September 2007; the reaction from businesses along Hans Strijdom Drive was negative, with only 20 percent supporting the name change. Most businesses cited the high cost of having business cards etc. made. The Damelin Randburg campus is located on Malibongwe Drive. Malibongwe Drive is part of the R512 Route, which connects Randburg with Lanseria International Airport, from the N1 Western Bypass junction northwards.

The change was part of an ongoing plan by the city of Johannesburg to create politically neutral names to replace "upsetting" reminders of South Africa's racial past. Many of the name changes in South Africa have been met with opposition as some citizens claim the changes to be all black-politically motivated as in OR Tambo, yet the new name changes have included white historical figures as well, such as Beyers Naude and Bram Fischer. Of course, both were anti-apartheid activists


The Albufera, or L'Albufera de València, is a freshwater lagoon and estuary on the Gulf of Valencia coast of the Valencian Community in eastern Spain. It is the main portion of the Parc Natural de l'Albufera de València, with a surface area of 21,120 hectares; the natural biodiversity of the nature reserve allows a great variety of flora and fauna to thrive and be observed year-round. Though once a saltwater lagoon, dilution due to irrigation and canals draining into the estuary and the sand bars increasing in size had converted it to freshwater by the seventeenth century; the Valencian Albufera Nature Park and lagoon lies just 11 kilometers south of Valencia in the municipal areas of 13 towns and four pedanies adjoined to the capital city. Its proximity to the capital city of the Valencian Land and easy access facilitate nature experiences and birdwatching. Since 1990, the Valencian Albufera Nature Reserve has been included as a Ramsar Site in the list of wetlands of international importance for birds, established in the Ramsar Convention of 1971.

Since 1991 the Parc Natural de l'Albufera de València has been included in the Special Protection Areas. The most important human use of the lagoon continues to be fishing. From prehistoric times the rich fishing has attracted people specializing in this activity there. Fishing was recognised in year 1250, when regulations were laid down for the El Palmar Fishing Association and which would be applied to the fisheries of Silla and Catarroja; until the lagoon's catchment area started to become industrialised, fishing generated substantial profits, as the clean waters of the lake provided a great diversity and abundance of fish. At present, catches of bass and eels have dropped while those of mullet and American blue crab have increased. Rice growing is another traditional use, though more recent; these rice paddies provide food and shelter for many birds. L'Albufera is dominated by Cyanobacteria Synechococcus; the natural microbial population of Albufera has been described. Index: Special Protection Areas of Spain List of Ramsar sites in Spain Parque Natural de la Albufera Parc Natural de L'albufera de València English audio guide

Whistler Mountain

Whistler Mountain is a mountain in the Fitzsimmons Range of the Pacific Ranges of the Coast Mountains, located on the northwestern edge of Garibaldi Provincial Park. It is the town of Whistler, British Columbia; the mountain was called London Mountain, named after a mining claim in the area. The locality was called Alta Lake before the creation of the Resort Municipality of Whistler in the 1970s, but the mountain's name had been changed in 1965 as the associations with London's bad weather were deemed to be bad for advertising purposes. With the advent of the ski resort in the late 1960s the name was changed to "Whistler" to represent the whistling calls of the marmots, which are known as "whistlers", that live in the alpine areas of the mountain; because of the mountain's proximity to Garibaldi Provincial Park, ski lifts are used to access the alpine, ski tour into the park. The summit is home to the Whistler Peak chair, this makes it one of the most traveled summits in BC; the mountain forms part of a major snowboard resort.

Whistler Mountain contains shale. This same shale formation forms rocks in other locations throughout southwestern British Columbia; the most common rocks that comprise Whistler Mountain are andesite and dacite lava flows. These lava flows and the associated shale form part of a rock assemblage called the Gambier Group; this geologic group was created within a shallow underwater basin about 100 million years ago during the Early Cretaceous period. Granular material, such as clay and silt, was carried into the ancient ocean by rivers that existed during the Cretaceous period; as Cretaceous rivers continuously sent granular material into the former ocean, it was deposited yearly to form layers of sedimentary material. Once the sedimentary material was compressed, it created the shale that now forms portions of Whistler Mountain; the andesite and dacite lava flows were deposited when volcanic eruptions created a series of volcanic islands and produced lava flows in the ancient ocean. Once the volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Gambier Group were formed, they began to deform and uplift due to the extreme pressures created by movement of the North American Plate and the tectonic plates in the Pacific Ocean.

The large masses of solidified lava that created the volcanic island chain and underwater lava flows yielded by demolishing into massive, mountain-sized blocks while the less dense, thinly layered shale was compressed and crushed between the associated lavas. In contrast, nearby volcanic landforms in the Garibaldi Lake area, such as The Black Tusk, are of recent volcanic origin and form part of a chain of volcanoes called the Garibaldi Volcanic Belt. Whistler, British Columbia Whistler Blackcomb Flute Summit Piccolo Summit "Whistler Mountain".