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Cognac

Cognac is a variety of brandy named after the commune of Cognac, France. It is produced in the surrounding wine-growing region in the departments of Charente and Charente-Maritime. Cognac production falls under French appellation d'origine contrôlée designation, with production methods and naming required to meet certain legal requirements. Among the specified grapes, Ugni blanc, known locally as Saint-Emilion, is most used; the brandy must be twice distilled in copper pot stills and aged at least two years in French oak barrels from Limousin or Tronçais. Cognac matures in the same way as whiskies and wines barrel age, most cognacs spend longer "on the wood" than the minimum legal requirement. Cognac is a type of brandy, after the distillation and during the aging process, is called eau de vie, it is produced by twice distilling white wines produced in any of the designated growing regions. The white wine used in making cognac is dry and thin. Though it has been characterized as "virtually undrinkable", it is excellent for distillation and aging.

It may be made only from a strict list of grape varieties. For it to be considered a true cru, the wine must be at least 90% Ugni blanc, Folle blanche and Colombard, while up to 10% of the grapes used can be Folignan, Jurançon blanc, Meslier St-François, Sélect, Montils, or Sémillon. Cognacs which are not to carry the name of a cru are freer in the allowed grape varieties, needing at least 90% Colombard, Folle blanche, Jurançon blanc, Meslier Saint-François, Montils, Sémillon, or Ugni blanc, up to 10% Folignan or Sélect. After the grapes are pressed, the juice is left to ferment for 2-3 weeks, with the region's native, wild yeasts converting the sugar into alcohol. At this point, the resulting wine is about 7 to 8% alcohol. Distillation takes place in traditionally shaped Charentais copper alembic stills, the design and dimensions of which are legally controlled. Two distillations must be carried out. Once distillation is complete, it must be aged in Limousin oak casks for at least two years before it can be sold to the public.

It is put into casks at an alcohol by volume strength around 70%. As the cognac interacts with the oak barrel and the air, it evaporates at the rate of about 3% each year losing both alcohol and water; this phenomenon is called locally la part des anges, or "the angels' share". When more than ten years pass in the oak barrel, the cognac's alcohol content decreases to 40% in volume; the cognac is transferred to "large glass bottles called bonbonnes" stored for future "blending." Since oak barrels stop contributing to flavor after four or five decades, longer aging periods may not be beneficial. The age of the cognac is calculated as that of the youngest component used in the blend; the blend is of different ages and from different local areas. This blending, or marriage, of different eaux de vie is important to obtain a complexity of flavours absent from an eau de vie from a single distillery or vineyard; each cognac house has a master taster, responsible for blending the spirits, so that cognac produced by a company will have a consistent house style and quality.

In this respect, it is similar to the process of blending whisky or non-vintage Champagne to achieve a consistent brand flavor. A small number of producers, such as Guillon Painturaud and Moyet, do not blend their final product from different ages of eaux de vie, so produce a "purer" flavour. Hundreds of vineyards in the Cognac AOC region sell their own cognac; these are blended from the eaux de vie of different years, but they are single-vineyard cognacs, varying from year to year and according to the taste of the producer, hence lacking some of the predictability of the better-known commercial products. Depending on their success in marketing, small producers may sell a larger or smaller proportion of their product to individual buyers, wine dealers and restaurants, the remainder being acquired by larger cognac houses for blending. According to the Bureau National Interprofessionnel du Cognac, the official quality grades of cognac are: V. S. or ✯✯✯ designates a blend in which the youngest brandy has been aged for at least two years in a cask.

V. S. O. P. or Reserve designates a blend in which the youngest brandy is aged for at least four years in a cask. Napoléon designates a blend. XO The minimum age of the youngest brandy used in an XO blend was increased to 10 years in April 2018; the Napoleon designation unofficial, is used to denote those blends with a minimum age of six years that do not meet the revised XO definition. Hors d'âge is a designation which BNIC states is equal to XO, but in practice the term is used by producers to market a high-quality product beyond the official age scale; the names of the grades are in English because the historical cognac trade in the 18th century involved the British. Cognac is classified by crus defined geographic denominations where the grapes are grown, their distinctive soils and microclimates produce eaux de vie with characteristics particular to their specific location. Grande Champagne The soils in Grande Champagne and Petite Champagne are characterized as sha

Tecpatl

In the Aztec culture, a tecpatl was a flint or obsidian knife with a lanceolate figure and double-edged blade, with elongated ends. Both ends could be rounded or pointed, but other designs were made with a blade attached to a handle, it can be represented with the top half red, reminiscent of the color of blood, in representations of human sacrifice and the rest white, indicating the color of the flint blade. It was the sign of the eighteenth day, the twentieth day of the month of the Aztec calendar and the beginning of one of the twenty trecenas of the tonalpohualli; the Tecpatl knife was traditionally used for human sacrifice by the Aztecs, but it was the short-range weapon of the jaguar warriors. Although it may have seen only limited use on the battlefield, its sharp edges would have made it an effective sidearm. Tecpatl, is one of the most complex iconographic symbols of Aztec mythology; this knife expresses multiple meanings that carry a complex view of the world which are associated with the notions of origin and human sacrifice.

The Tecpatl was born in the height of heaven shaped as a knife, was thrown down by his brother, it was destined to descend from heaven to earth. It falls in Chicomoztoc primary array of peoples, fragmenting into 1600 pieces, from those fragments a thousand and six hundred gods emerge, the first gods here on earth; these gods emerging from the Seven Caves are the Centzonmimixcoa. This is confirmed by another version of the myth where the Flint serves as a temporary event marker, appearing as a calendar date, as a carrier of the year Centzonmimixcoa are born: "In year 1 Tecpatl Centzonmimixcoa were born, Iztac Chalchiuhtlicue begat the fourhundreth mixcohua, they went into a cave. In the version of the Legend of the Five Suns, Tecpatl becomes temporal marker of the birth of the Centzonmimixcoa, the name of the mother goddess switches to Iztac Chalchiuhtlicue. According to Bernardino de Sahagún and Diego Durán they present the homology between this myth and ritual. "Among the ornaments worn by the women representing Cihuacoatl at parties, they brought a crib on their back, so to bring your child in it, stood in the tianguis among the other women, disappearing left the crib there.

When the other women looked at what was in it, it was a flint and iron were sandeel, with which they killed those whom they sacrificed." Meanwhile, Duran tells his priests" sought a child cot and put into it a flint knife with which they sacrificed the one they called the son of Cihuacoatl." In the version where the Centzonmimixcoa are born from the Tecpatl, the mother's name is Citlalinicue. In the version, temporary marker Tecpatl birth, the mother is Iztac Chalchiuhtlicue, in rites the mother of Tecpatl is Cihuacoatl. Three different invocations of the primordial mothers: skirt stars, She of the Jade Skirt, the snake woman, at once a warrior deity, Tecpatl mother of the fourhundreth Centonmimixcoa born, the first gods on earth, in Chicomoztoc, the womb of the peoples. In Aztec mythology, the tecpatl was sometimes drawn as a simple flint blade, sharpened with some notches on the edge, in the Codex Borgia it appears red. Tecpatl was associated with Northern cardinal point; the dark place of eternal stillness and rest of the dead.

The ancient Anahuac, considered the Tecpatl as a symbol of Xiuhtecuhtli tletl, being the oldest method to produce sparks by colliding two flints. It relates to Ehecatl, since in the codices it's represented by high winds, meaning that the air cuts like razor, so it represented xopantla, the time of high winds. According to Diego Durán, the former Anahuac considered the tecpatl as the worst sign of the zodiac, because the men and women born under this sign were happy but prone to infertility; the image of the tecpatl therefore ruled agricultural events. Their patron gods were: Tezcatlipoca. In the trecena of Ce Tecpatl, the gods were Mictlantecuhtli. On day Ce Tecpatl, there was a festival dedicated to patron god of Tenochtitlan. Tecpatl Year 1: the Aztec people left their place of origin, Aztlán, to undertake a long and difficult journey through the arid northern lands, part of what is now known as Mexico City; the tecpatl or sacrificial knife, was an important element in Aztec rituals. The tecpatl was used by Aztec priests to open the chest of the victims of human sacrifice to extract the heart that would feed the gods, in the hope that the offerings would bring blessings to mankind.

The most widespread sacrificial procedure among Aztecs, was removal of the heart. There were different types of knives, some of them allude to human sacrifice, being carved as a skull silhouette, where the nose was used as the cutting edge of the weapon. In the few técpatls that have survived, there are some representations of deities in their handles. A famous pre-Columbian example is the carved image of a figure using circular plugs in its ears and a big bow ornament made out of feathers, which associates this figure with Tonatiuh, the sun god. Tonatiuh's arms appears to be holding the knife's blade; this particular knife, emphasizes the importance of human sacrifices to feed the gods the sun god, who illuminates the earth and sustains life. The flint knife, is represented in the following sections of the Sun Stone: The tongue of the central face representing Tonatiuh; the date Ce Tecpatl, sculpted between the image of Nahui Ocelotl. Here the flint carries a glyph of Tezcatlipoca. T

London East (European Parliament constituency)

Prior to its uniform adoption of proportional representation in 1999, the United Kingdom used first-past-the-post for the European elections in England and Wales. The European Parliament constituencies used under that system were smaller than the regional constituencies and only had one Member of the European Parliament each; the constituency of London East was one of them. It consisted of the Westminster Parliament constituencies of Barking, Hornchurch, Ilford North, Ilford South, Newham North East, Romford and Wanstead and Woodford. David Boothroyd's United Kingdom Election Results