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Canal du Midi

The Canal du Midi is a 240 km long canal in Southern France. Named the Canal royal en Languedoc and renamed by French revolutionaries to Canal du Midi in 1789, the canal was at the time considered one of the greatest construction works of the 17th century; the canal connects the Garonne to the Étang de Thau on the Mediterranean and along with the 193 km long Canal de Garonne forms the Canal des Deux Mers, joining the Atlantic to the Mediterranean. The canal runs from the city of Toulouse down to the Étang de Thau near the Mediterranean. Speaking, "Canal du Midi" refers to the portion constructed from Toulouse to the Mediterranean – the Deux-Mers canal project aimed to link together several sections of navigable waterways to join the Mediterranean and the Atlantic: first the Canal du Midi the Garonne, more or less navigable between Toulouse and Bordeaux the Garonne Lateral Canal built and the Gironde estuary after Bordeaux. Jean-Baptiste Colbert authorized the start of work by royal edict in October, 1666, with the aim of developing the wheat trade, under the supervision of Pierre-Paul Riquet, construction lasted from 1666 to 1681, during the reign of Louis XIV.

The Canal du Midi is one of the oldest canals of Europe still in operation. The challenges in these works are related to the challenges of inland water transport today; the key challenge, raised by Pierre-Paul Riquet, was to convey water from the Montagne Noire to the Seuil de Naurouze, the highest point of the canal. The Canal du Midi was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996; the Canal du Midi is located in the south of France, in the departments of Hérault and Haute-Garonne. Its course runs for 240 kilometres between Marseillan, at a place called Les Onglous, where the canal opens into the étang de Thau near Sète and Toulouse at Port de l'Embouchure; the Canal du Midi is a summit-level canal, climbing from Toulouse on the Atlantic side over a distance of 52 km to the Seuil de Naurouze or summit level, where the feeder canal enters. The total rise is 57.18 m, the summit level is at an altitude of 189.43 m. This difference in level down to the sea is covered over the remaining distance of 188 km from Naurouze to Les Onglous on the Étang de Thau.

The design canal depth is 2 m with a minimum of 1.80 m. The draft allowed is 1.50 m although regular users advise that with 1.40 m boats will touch the bottom because of silt deposits in many places. The width on the surface is 20 m on average with variations between 20 m; the width of the canal bed is 10 m. This longitudinal profile of the Canal du Midi shows it rising from Toulouse to the Seuil de Naurouze dropping down to Castelnaudary, Carcassonne and Trèbes; the canal continues to Béziers after the passing through the Fonserannes Locks Agde, to finish at Sète on the étang de Thau. The longest canal pound is 53.87 kilometres between Argens Lock and the Fonserannes Locks, while the shortest Canal pound is 105 m between the two Fresquel locks. For historical reasons, the Canal du Midi has a unique legal status, codified in 1956 in the Public Code of waterways and inland navigation in the General code of the property of public persons. Under Article L. 2111-11 of the Code, the public domain of the canal is determined by reference to the fief once granted to Pierre-Paul Riquet and limits were set by the official report drawn up in 1772.

The staff quarters and warehouses, as well as the Lampy reservoir, were added. Articles L. 2124-20 to L. 2124-25 set out the rules relating to the maintenance of the canal, the responsibility of the public entity that owns it, with the participation of communes and, in some cases, waterside residents. Under the Act of 27 November 1897, the State of France owns the Canal du Midi and its management is delegated to the public body Voies Navigables de France, attached to the Ministry of Transport; the building of a canal was an old idea. Numerous and sometimes utopian projects were devised to build a canal between the Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Leaders such as Augustus, Charlemagne, François I, Charles IX and Henry IV had dreamed of it, as it is a true political and economic issue. King François I brought Leonardo da Vinci to France in 1516 and commissioned a survey of a route from the Garonne at Toulouse to the Aude at Carcassonne; the construction of such a structure would save vessels and goods from sailing around the Iberian Peninsula which could take a month to complete.

At that time shipping was fraught with dangers such as the Barbary pirates. The most realistic projects were presented to the King in the 16th century. A first draft was presented by Nicolas Bachelier in 1539 to the Estates of Languedoc a second in 1598 by Pierre Reneau and a third project was proposed by Bernard Aribat de Béziers in 1617; these projects were abandoned because they did not give enough thought to the water supply for the canal and provided a system of diversion of water from Pyrénées rivers too complex or impossible to implement. In 1650 another engineer proposed to divert water from the Ariège to Cintegabelle to bring a non-navigable canal to Pech-David near Toulouse. Again, the question arose of how to carry water to the Seuil de Naurouze at a greater height than that of Toulouse; the projects were not launched for fear of losing too much money and conviction of the human impossibility to dig such a canal. The major problem was how to supply the summi

Choctaw Capitol Building

The Choctaw Capitol Building is a historic building built in 1884 that housed the government of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma from 1884–1907. The building is located in Pushmataha County, two miles north of Tuskahoma; the site includes the Choctaw Nation Council House and the Old Town Cemetery of Tuskahoma. A United States Post Office operated here as Council House, Indian Territory from February 6, 1872 to June 30, 1880. Postal operations were carried on at nearby Lyceum, site of the Choctaw girls’ academy, Tuskahoma. During the days of the Indian Territory the Council House was located in Wade County, Choctaw Nation. After several decades of constitutional experimentation, during which the Choctaw Indians moved their national capital among several locations, the National Council in 1883 authorized construction of a permanent seat of government at Tushka Homma; the name means “home of the red warrior” in the Choctaw language, its spelling has since been standardized as Tuskahoma. The Capitol was completed in September 1884, built of red native brick and nearby timber for $30,000.

It is 72'-11" long by 62'-4" feet wide, stands 54'-2" tall to the chimneys. It consists of a mansard roof attic. In the fall of 1884 the Indian Journal at Muskogee, Indian Territory wrote, “The capitol building is the finest structure in the Territory…” Inside the Capitol were rooms for the Senate, House of Representatives, Principal Chief, Supreme Court, constitutional officers, including the National Attorney and National Auditor; the Capitol was in use from 1884 until 1907, when the Choctaw Nation was abolished and Oklahoma became a state. After statehood the building fell into disrepair; the Capitol has achieved new life as the national museum of the reconstituted Choctaw Nation, whose executive offices are now located in Durant, Oklahoma. The Choctaw Nation holds its annual Labor Day festival there, which attracts nationally known country-western singers and bands, draws in excess of 100,000 attendees. A Choctaw war veterans' memorial is on the Capitol grounds, it includes a special section in tribute to the famous Choctaw Code Talkers, who pioneered the use of Native American languages as military code.

Their initial exploits were during World War I, were repeated by Choctaws and additional tribes during World War II. The Capitol is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. More information on the Capitol and the Choctaw Nation may be found in the Pushmataha County Historical Society. Choctaw Nation Museum - Travel OK

St Catherine's School, Twickenham

St Catherine's School is a Catholic independent school for girls in Twickenham, London. The school is next to the River Thames and about two-thirds of a mile from both Strawberry Hill and Twickenham railway stations. Founded in a large house near Twickenham Green, St Catherine's moved to Orford Lodge and in 1919 to Pope's Villa, on the site of Alexander Pope's original villa. By 1961 it was recognised by the Ministry of Education as a grammar school. In 1948 the school bought a house on Cross Deep known as The Lawn, where it is located. Up until 1991 the school was home to a number of Sisters who were members of the staff, they moved out and the school became a charitable trust managed by lay persons in 1992. It is the only independent Roman Catholic girls' school in the Richmond area and is within the Archdiocese of Westminster, it takes students of all religious affiliations. It has a senior school. Nearly one-third of the pupils are of minority ethnic groups, but more than ninety per cent of the pupils have English as a first language.

Olivia Hallinan Patsy Kensit Bonnie Langford Annie NightingaleDirk Bogarde Phoebe McCulloch, noted linguist and philanthropist List of schools in Twickenham School Website Profile on the Independent Schools Council website Profile on MyDaughter OFSTED entry for St Catherine's School 2011 ISI Inspection Reports