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Château de Loches

The Château de Loches is a castle located in the département of Indre-et-Loire in the Loire valley in France. Built some 500 metres away from the Indre River, the huge castle, famous for its massive square keep, dominates the town of Loches; the castle was captured by King Philip II of France in 1204. In 1985 it was converted into a museum, has one of the most extensive collections of medieval armour in France; the castle was occupied by Henry II of England and his son, Richard the Lionheart during the 12th century, it withstood the assaults by the French king Philip II in their wars for control of France until it was captured by Philip in 1204. Construction work upgraded Loches into a huge military fortress; the castle would become a favourite residence of Charles VII of France, who gave it to his mistress, Agnès Sorel, as her residence. It would be converted for use as a State prison by his son, King Louis XI who had lived there as a child but preferred the royal castle in Amboise. In December 1699 Henriette-Julie de Murat was involved in a scandal when a report was circulated accusing her of "shocking practices and beliefs" including lesbianism.

She was estranged from her husband and disinherited by her mother, forced to take a hiatus from publishing, exiled to the Château de Loches in 1702. She tried to escape from the Château de Loches in 1706 wearing men's clothing, she was transferred to two other prisons before being brought back to the Château de Loches in 1707. In 1709 she obtained partial liberty from the Countess d'Argenton on the condition that she return to her aunt's home. During the American Revolution, France financed and fought with the Americans against England and King Louis XVI used the castle of Loches as a prison for captured Englishmen. At the time of the French Revolution, the château was ransacked and damaged; some major restoration began in 1806 but today there are parts visible as ruins only. Owned by the Commune of Loches, the castle and the adjacent ancient Church of Saint-Ours are open to the public; the Château de Loches has been recognised as a monument historique since 1861 and is listed by the French Ministry of Culture.

The 11th-century keep – built by Fulk III, Count of Anjou – measures 23.3 by 15.4 metres with walls 2.8 m thick. Its four storeys stand 37 m high; each floor was a single room. As was typical of most keeps, the ground floor was likely used for storage. List of castles in France Tuffeau Notes Bibliography Ministry of Culture database entry for Château de Loches Ministry of Culture photos French website about castle Loches with a lot of pictures and a full history The Royal City of Loches in Google Cultural Institute

Portmeirion Pottery

Portmeirion is a British pottery company based in Stoke-on-Trent, England. Portmeirion Pottery began in 1960 when pottery designer Susan Williams-Ellis and her husband, Euan Cooper-Willis, took over a small pottery-decorating company in Stoke-on-Trent called A. E. Gray Ltd. Susan Williams-Ellis had been working with A. E. Gray for some years, commissioning designs to sell at the gift shop in Portmeirion Village, the items bearing the backstamp "Gray's Pottery Portmeirionware". In 1961, the couple purchased a second pottery company, Kirkhams Ltd, that had the capacity to manufacture pottery, not only decorate it; these two businesses were combined and Portmeirion Potteries Ltd was born. Susan Williams-Ellis' early Portmeirion designs included Moss Agate and Talisman. In 1963, she created the popular design Totem, an abstract pattern based on primitive forms coupled with a cylindrical shape, she created Magic City and Magic Garden, but arguably Portmeirion's most recognised design is the Botanic Garden range, decorated with a variety of floral illustrations adapted from Thomas Green's Universal or-Botanical and Agricultural Dictionary, looking back to a tradition begun by the Chelsea porcelain factory's "botanical" designs of the 1750s.

It was launched in 1972 and, with new designs added periodically, is still made today, the most successful ceramics series of botanical subjects. More recent designs have included Dawn Chorus. On 23 April 2009, Portmeirion Potteries Ltd purchased the Royal Worcester and Spode brands, after they had been placed into administration the previous November. Portmeirion Potteries has since changed its company name to Portmeirion Group to reflect this acquisition; the purchase did not include the manufacturing facilities of Royal Spode. The manufacture of much of Spode's ware was returned to Britain from the Far East, to the Portmeirion Group's factory in Stoke-on-Trent. In 2019 the Victoria and Albert Museum mounted an exhibition of Portmeirion pottery. Jenkins, Stephen, & Mckay, Stephen 2000. Portmeirion Pottery. Richard Dennis. ISBN 0-903685-78-7. Official website Resource website for Grays Pottery Portmeirion Pottery Collectors' Website

Monument of Piazza Mentana

The Monument of Piazza Mentana or Monument to those fallen at the Battle of Mentana is an early-20th century outdoor bronze statue located the said square of Florence, Italy. The monument displays two patriotic fighters of Garibaldi's units, one wounded, the other fighting, in a dramatic scene; the commission was assigned in 1898 after a contest sponsored by the Società dei Reduci Garibaldini. The statuary group was sculpted by Oreste Calzolari, it was inaugurated on April 27, 1902, it is meant to honor the 150 soldiers, who fighting with Garibaldi against the Franco-papal forces, died at the Battle of Mentana and the next day at Monterotondo. The plaque reads: "To the Brave who fell at Mentana, consecrating Rome to Free Italy"; the bronze group depicts two soldiers: one holding aloft and aiming a revolver, while he holds a wounded companion who still raises a flag or standard. Critics noted the similarities of the subject to the Monument to the Cairoli Brothers by Ercole De Rosa, a statue located near the Spanish Steps in Rome, which display a similar dramatic event with two soldiers..

Both statues seem to cite the well-known Hellenistic statue of Menelaus supporting the body of Patroclus, as interpreted in the Loggia dei Lanzi in Florence. On the base are two bronze bas-reliefs depicting the retreat from Monterotondo and the battle of Mentana. A plaque states these were donated by donors from Trieste and Trentino

Ace High (1968 film)

Ace High is a 1968 Italian Spaghetti Western film directed and written by Giuseppe Colizzi and starring Terence Hill, Bud Spencer and Eli Wallach. The film is the second in a trilogy started with God Forgives... I Don't! and ended with Boot Hill. The first in the trilogy ended with Cat and Hutch driving a horse wagon in which they possessed the gold from a train robbery in God Forgives... I Don't. Bill had died near the end of that movie in a dynamite blast. Aces High starts with Cat and Hutch arriving in El Paso in wagon with that gold. In El Paso they unsuccessfully try to get bounty for Bill San Antonio from his last earthly remains – no more than Bill's boots and hat though they have no body or body parts. Without that bounty they go to the bank manager Harold – which Bill in the first film disclosed as his partner in setting up the robberies – and announce themselves as Bill to see if they are received. After using physical force they are received and convince him to make them a cashier’s check to be paid out in gold.

The banker visits the condemned man Cacopoulos, to be hanged the next day, offers to help him escape if he restores the money. At night the deputy is knifed by two men, he shoots the two. He tests the dead men's boots to find a pair that fits, he pays a visit to the bank manager. Cacopoulos reminds the manager that he and two others put him in jail for 15 years, on his release framed him for murder with a stolen knife, that again was used to kill the deputy tonight, he wants guarantees that he will not be tricked again. Harold throws the knife but Cacopoulos swings the chair so it strikes in the back swings back around and shoots the manager, adding that it is guaranty enough! Dressed as a peon on a donkey Cacopoulos meets Cat and Hutch and robs them, they follow his trail south to Mexico and encounter people that he has given money – and a high wire performer Thomas, assistant, that he offered money. They catch up with him in a village during a fiesta. While Cat is lured away looking for him elsewhere, playing a joke on Hutch, appears before him and, in a quieter place, tells him about Harold and the other two ”friends” who shot his horse so he got caught after a bank robbery, framed him for murder.

He says that he will give back their money, including what he has spent, if Hutch helps him collect his debts with the remaining two. The first one is Paco, a ”revolutionary” shown presiding over a kangaroo court condemning men to death for ”not fighting for country and freedom.” His men capture Cacopoulos and Hutch, but Cat enlists help from another ”revolutionary,” Canganceiro, by telling him about Cacopoulos´ ”treasure.” Together they defeat Paco’s men and the latter is killed by Cacopoulos, who in his wrath forgets to make him give back any money. After some pillaging by his men, Canganceiro starts another kangaroo court that executes people for ”fighting for country and freedom.” Cacopoulous is jailed. Caco attempts to escape by lulling the guards to sleep by telling the story of his heritage, he told of how his father raised his family in a small mining town until he was mysteriously murdered, how his grandfather, carrying little Caco, had to take his own son's body back to his own tribe.

Hutch and Cat help Cacopoulos escape, but he shoots off their saddles, quoting his grandfather that one partner is too little, two are too many. They take their horses, they now follow Cacopoulos in the opposite direction, encountering dead Canganceiro men along the way, the last ones with their leader just outside Memphis. In Memphis they find Caco washing dishes in a saloon, together with the acrobat and assistant – because in this town people are only interested in gambling; that is substantiated by the fact that Cacopoulos has lost all his money while he was looking for Drake the third ”partner.” Cat and Hutch visit Drake’s casino. Hutch loses all his money, they put up Hutch to win money in a prizefight, buy weapons and give the rest to Cacopoulos with instruction for him to show up with it in the casino tomorrow. That night, with some acrobatic prowess Thomas and Cat gain entrance to a room in the attic of the casino. There is the peek-hole down to the roulette table and a voice tube down to a basement room where a magnet can guide the roulette ball.

Cat and Hutch take positions in the two rooms. Cacopoulos however, seeks the company of a saloon girl and awakes in the morning robbed of his cash, he hastily replenishes it by forcibly inviting a bill collector to a ”game” of cards that Cacopoulos ”wins.” So Cacopoulos enters the casino, where he puts the money on 13 until he breaks the bank with a $360,000 win. Drake and his men confront Cacopoulos leading to a showdown; the opposing parties wait for the roulette ball to stop, while the customers lie down on the floor and a Viennese Waltz is played. Drake’s men are shot and he is wounded, taken by the vengeful customers, who realize they have been swindled. Cacopoulos faints from the shoot-out, but only his arm was wounded, he leaves together with Cat and Hutch. In his investigation of narrative structures in Spaghetti Western films, Fridlund writes that all the Colizzi westerns present clever variations on several different kinds of partner

Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show

The Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show took place on February 1, 2004 at the Relian Stadium in Houston, Texas as part of Super Bowl XXXVIII. It featured Janet Jackson, Justin Timberlake, P. Diddy, Kid Rock, Jessica Simpson The halftime show was produced by MTV and was focused the network's Choose or Lose campaign. Immense controversy arose from an incident during the show in which Janet Jackson's breast – adorned with a nipple shield. In 2002, Entertainment Weekly reported that Jackson was the original choice to perform at the halftime show for Super Bowl XXXVI. In September 2003, the NFL announced that Jackson would be the headline performer of the Super Bowl XXXVIII halftime show; because the event was occurring during an election year, MTV decided that the show's theme would focus on the network's "Choose or Lose" campaign, which encouraged younger viewers to be politically active and register to vote. Prior to the incident, Timberlake had attended Jackson's Rhythm Nation Tour as an adolescent, Jackson's energetic dance routines and daring performing style made a deep impression on him.

While Timberlake was a member of pop group'N Sync, Jackson selected the boy band as the opening act for many dates of her blockbuster Velvet Rope World Tour, which helped promote and introduce the then-relatively unknown group and Timberlake to the public worldwide. While on the tour, Jackson further promoted the group by performing with'N Sync on several dates, including joining the group for a live a cappella duet of Stevie Wonder's "Overjoyed". Following the tour and Jackson became "good friends", with Jackson praising Timberlake. Timberlake recreated Jackson's "That's the Way Love Goes" video with'N Sync and was inspired by Jackson's performing style; when asked who he thought was "the sexiest woman on the planet", Timberlake had said "I've thought Janet Jackson has nothing but sex appeal, so I'd say her." Timberlake asked Jackson to sing backing vocals on " Take Me Now", a song from his debut solo album Justified. AOL Topspeed spent $10 million to sponsor the halftime show. Recounting of the acoustics in the stadium during the performance, the performance's sound engineer Patrick Baltzell would recount, “It was a disaster.

Super Bowl Sound:. You couldn’t understand a single lyric.” The shape of Reliant Stadium and its P. A. system produced a muffled sound, stadium ownership as well as the NFL refused to allow Baltzell to play temporary speakers in locations that might block any fan's view of the stadium's video screens. The performance was preceded with a video montage encouraging people to vote; the montage featuring celebrities such as Beyoncé, Tony Hawk, Jennifer Lopez, Elijah Wood, Chris Rock, Julia Roberts, Muhammad Ali, Jay-Z, Tom Cruise and others declaring things people can "choose", concluding with a urging that viewers choose to vote. The performance began with a brief introduction by Jessica Simpson who shouted, "Houston, choose to party"; this was followed by a joint performance of "The Way You Move" by the marching bands Spirit of Houston, from the University of Houston, the "Ocean of Soul" of Texas Southern UniversityJackson took stage to perform "All for You". At the start of the song, she descended in a stage elevator.

Following this, light dimmed and P. Diddy took stage on a secondary stage, located elsewhere on the field, emerging from a cloud of stage fog, he proceeded to perform "Bad Boy for Life". He was joined by cheerleaders who perform a version of the song "Mickey", which substituted "Diddy", "Nelly", for "Mickey". Nelly entered in a car, joining Diddy on stage to perform "Hot in Herre", during which the cheerleaders proceed to remove articles of their clothing. Following this, Diddy performed "Mo Money Mo Problems". Following this, Kid Rock took stage on yet another secondary stage, located elsewhere on the field, performed "Bawitdaba" followed by "Cowboy", he did so wearing an American Flag as a poncho. Jackson took stage on the main stage again performing "Rhythm Nation" with the song's music video choreography, she donned the same outfit she had during "All for You", with some differences, such as different skirt than before. Timberlake joined her, performed "Rock Your Body" with her, at the end of which song he tore off a part of her top revealing her breast.

The show ended with voiceovers, declaring things to "choose", including getting involved. "The Way You Move" "All for You" "Bad Boy for Life" "Diddy" to the tune of "Mickey" "Hot in Herre" "Mo Money Mo Problems" "Bawitdaba" "Cowboy" "Rhythm Nation" "Rock Your Body" Sources: Major controversy arose from the exposure of Jackson's breast. Jackson and Timberlake denied the incident was intentional, with Timberlake characterizing the incident as a "wardrobe malfunction"; the controversy had long-lasting impacts on media and pop culture. Kid Rock received Veterans of Foreign Wars and Senator Zell Miller for wearing the American flag with one slit in the middle as a poncho during his performance. Kid Rock was accused of "desecrating" the flag


Rödermark is a town in the Offenbach district in the Regierungsbezirk of Darmstadt in Hesse, southeast of Frankfurt am Main and northeast of Darmstadt. The town lies in the Messeler Hügelland, a part of the Lower Main Plain with gentle hills. Differences in elevation are slight, reaching from about 130 m above sea level on the Rodau riverside flats east of Ober-Roden up to about 200 m above sea level on the Bulau. Rödermark is surrounded by greenbelts, found in the area of the river Rodau; the Rodau crosses the municipal area from west to east. The northern areas of Bulau and Waldacker have a residential function, whereas the main centres of Ober-Roden and Urberach offer a complete infrastructure; the nearest Autobahn interchanges are ten kilometres away, Frankfurt Airport some 25 km away. Rödermark lies within the area covered by the Rhein-Main-Verkehrsverbund, on the grounds of Rödermark-Ober-Roden station’s favourable location, it is the terminus of Rhine-Main S-Bahn line S1 and a station on RMV line 61.

The fiftieth parallel of north latitude passes through the municipal area. Rödermark borders in the north on the town of Dietzenbach, in the east on the town of Rodgau, in the south on the communities of Eppertshausen and Messel and in the west on the town of Dreieich. Rödermark’s Stadtteile are Messenhausen with 796 inhabitants, Ober-Roden with 12,749 inhabitants, Urberach with 11,537 inhabitants, Waldacker with 2,885 inhabitants and Bulau; the community of Ober-Roden, which until 1977 was self-administering, is today the biggest of the five constituent communities. Through suburbanization in the 1960s and 1970s, Ober-Roden became an important residential community for commuters; the town library, the cultural hall, the daycare centre and the primary school all stand right on the brook, the Rodau, in Ober-Roden’s centre and together with the stately Gothic Parish Church of St. Nazarius, some timber-frame houses and a comfortable outdoor café lend the town centre a certain flair. Ober-Roden is the location of the comprehensive school and Europaschule Oswald-von-Nell-Breuning-Schule Ober-Roden is a local rail transport hub.

From here begins line S 1 of the Rhine-Main S-Bahn towards Wiesbaden by way of Offenbach Ost, Frankfurt Hbf and Frankfurt-Höchst. Found in Ober-Roden is an operational midpoint on the Dreieich Railway offering links to Urberach and Dreieich and serving Dieburg in the other direction. From there connections are available to Aschaffenburg and places in the Odenwald. In connection with the plans for the Regionaltangente West project, running the Dreieichbahn with RTW trains was in the past considered. For Ober-Roden this would have meant a direct rail link with Frankfurt Airport; the financing for the needed line expansion, however, is long-term, the project, at least for the present, does not appear in the general transport plan. Urberach was until 31 December 1976 a self-administering community in what was the Dieburg district. Since municipal reform came into force in Hesse on 1 January 1977, Urberach has been a constituent community of Rödermark, since has belonged to the Offenbach district.

Urberach dwellers today still feel more of a connection with Dieburg and Darmstadt than with Offenbach. Rödermark has developed itself in all its constituent communities into an attractive residential and living area. Adding to the town’s attractiveness are in particular the new work done on part of the town core in 2003 and 2004, the many shops there together with the market halls on the outskirts, a bathhouse with sauna facilities and greenspace, the hilly location of Bulau with its great worth as a recreation area and other similar things. Urberach was in the past a centre for the potter’s craft. A pottery museum, a pottery market and the clay vessel in Urberach’s coat of arms all recall this great tradition. Urberach has been since 2002 the seat of the newly founded Berufsakademie Rhein-Main, a professional academy whose focus is on economics and business informatics. Urberach dwellers call themselves Orwischer. 1998: 25,787 1999: 25,814 2000: 26,049 2001: 26,126 2002: 26,285 2003: 26,289 2004: 28,189 2005: 28,107 2006: 26,161 2008: 27.858 2011: 26.297 2012: 27.805 2013: 26.494 2015: 27.242 Rödermark was founded on 1 January 1977 out of the up until this point self-administering communities of Ober-Roden and Urberach.

On 23 August 1980, Rödermark was granted town rights. The name goes back to the late mediaeval communal forest known as the Rödermark. Celtic finds have been unearthed in archaeological digs in town. There is some likelihood that there was once a convent in the community, put under the Lorsch Abbey by Abbess Aba in 786, but final proof of this is still lacking; the settlement of Rotaha had its first documentary mention in 790 in a donation to the Lorsch Abbey. Furthermore, a Frankish nobleman named Erlulf donated all his holdings in Ober-Roden, Nieder-Roden and Bieber to the Lorsch Abbey on 22 April 791. In 903, the Rotaha monastery was confirmed as the Lorsch Abbey’s tenant; the parish church in Ober-Roden is, like the abbey itself, consecrated to Saint Nazarius, was Mother Church for Urberach, Nieder-Roden and Dudenhofen. As part of the Amt of Steinheim, the village was sold in 1425 by the former landlords, the Lords of Eppstein, to Electoral Mainz. For the next several centuries the Electoral Prince-Archbishop of Mainz was the landlord.

In 1576 there were