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Darien scheme

The Darien scheme was an unsuccessful attempt at establishing a Scottish colony on the Isthmus of Panama on the Gulf of Darién in the late 1690s. The aim was for the colony to have an overland route that connected the Atlantic oceans. From its contemporary time to the present day, claims have been made that the undertaking was beset by poor planning and provisioning, divided leadership, a lack of demand for trade goods caused by an English trade blockade, devastating epidemics of disease, collusion between the English East India Company and the English government to frustrate it, a failure to anticipate the Spanish Empire's military response, it was abandoned in March 1700 after a siege by Spanish forces, which blockaded the harbour. As the Company of Scotland was backed by 20% of all the money circulating in Scotland, its failure left the entire Lowlands in substantial financial ruin and was an important factor in weakening their resistance to the Act of Union; the land where the Darien colony was built, in the modern province of Guna Yala, is uninhabited today.

The late 17th century was a difficult period for Scotland. Scotland's economy was small, its range of exports limited and it was in a weak position in relation to England, its powerful neighbour. In an era of economic rivalry in Europe, Scotland was incapable of protecting itself from the effects of English competition and legislation; the kingdom had no reciprocal export trade and its once thriving industries such as shipbuilding were in deep decline. Moreover, the Navigation Acts further increased economic dependence on England by limiting Scotland's shipping, the Royal Scots Navy was small. A series of domestic conflicts, including the 1639-51 Wars of the Three Kingdoms and unrest related to religious differences between 1670-1690 exhausted the people and diminished their resources; the so-called "seven ill years" of the 1690s saw widespread crop failures and famine, while Scotland's deteriorating economic position led to calls for a political or customs union with England. However, the stronger feeling among Scots was that the country should become a great mercantile and colonial power like England.

In response a number of solutions were enacted by the Parliament of Scotland: in 1695 the Bank of Scotland was established. In the face of opposition by English commercial interests, the Company of Scotland raised subscriptions in Amsterdam and London for the scheme. For his part, King William II of Scotland and III of England had given only lukewarm support to the whole Scottish colonial endeavour. England was at war with France and hence did not want to offend Spain, which claimed the territory as part of New Granada. One reason for English opposition to the Scheme was the prevalent economic theory of Mercantilism, a concept as widespread and accepted as capitalism is today. Modern economics assumes a growing market but mercantilism viewed it as static; this meant the Darien Scheme was not competition but an active threat to English merchants. England was under pressure from the London-based East India Company, who were keen to maintain their monopoly over English foreign trade, it therefore forced the Dutch investors to withdraw.

Next, the East India Company threatened legal action on the grounds that the Scots had no authority from the king to raise funds outside the English realm, obliged the promoters to refund subscriptions to the Hamburg investors. This Scotland itself. Returning to Edinburgh, the Company of Scotland for Trading to Africa raised £400,000 sterling in a few weeks, with investments from every level of society, totalling about a fifth of the wealth of Scotland, it was, for Scotland, a massive amount of capital. Scottish-born trader and financier William Paterson had long promoted a plan for a colony on the Isthmus of Panama to be used as a gateway between the Atlantic and Pacific – the same principle which, much would lead to the construction of the Panama Canal. Paterson was instrumental in getting the company off the ground in London, he had failed to interest several European countries in his project but, in the aftermath of the English reaction to the company, he was able to get a hearing for his ideas.

The Scots' original aim of emulating the East India Company by breaking into the lucrative trading areas of the Indies and Africa was forgotten, the ambitious Darien scheme was adopted by the company. Paterson fell from grace when a subordinate embezzled funds from the company, which took back Paterson's stock and expelled him from the Court of Directors. Many former officers and soldiers, who had little hope of other employment, eagerly joined the Darien project. Many of them were acquainted from serving in the army and several – Thomas Drummond, for example – were notorious for their involvement in the Massacre of Glencoe. In some eyes they appeared to be a clique, this was to cause much suspicion among other members

Port of Varna

Port of Varna is the largest seaport complex in Bulgaria. Located on the Black Sea's west coast on Varna Bay, along Lake Varna and Lake Beloslav, it comprises the outlying port of Balchik, it has a significant further development potential with 44 km of sheltered inland waterfront on the lakes alone accessible by road and railroad and adjacent to Varna International Airport. There are two anchorages at Varna roadstead: winter. If violent northeasterly wind and wave conditions make the anchorages hazardous, a foul weather anchorage is available west of the 70 m high Cape Kaliakra 26 nautical miles east-northeast of Varna. Two inland canals connect the sea and Port of Varna East with Lake Varna, Lake Beloslav and Port of Varna West: Channel 1 with draft 11.5 m and Channel 2 with draft 11.0 m. The canals form an island on which a deepwater oil terminal, among other port facilities, is located; the depths of the ship berths and the approaches allow the handling of vessels of capacity up to 50,000 gross tonnes.

In view of the stated safe canal depths, only vessels of draft less than 9.9 m and airdraft up to 46 m are allowed to Varna West. Vessels with load over 200 m, beam over 26 m, or over 20,000 gross tonnes are required to pass the channels during daylight hours only; the largest vessel handled is the Norwegian Dream cruise ship. Port of Varna offers full service: loading, stevedoring, freight forwarding and various intermodal services. For its 40 berths, it operates 65 electric cranes and about 400 other pieces of ship and warehouse port facilities; the port open-air storage area is 454,000 m2 and the warehouses 76,000 m2. It has a well-forked road network; the existing port facilities allow the handling of all kinds of solid bulk, break-bulk and some liquid-bulk cargoes. Principal exports include urea, soda ash, clinker, fertilisers, containers and ro-ro. Principal imports are coal, metals and ore concentrates, phosphates, molasses, containers and ro-ro. Since 2006, Port of Varna serves as a hub for German wind turbine manufacturer Saga.

In 2008, the port posted a 57% growth in overall tonnage handled, at times in late summer it was stretched beyond capacity, due to redirected cargo from striking ports in the region and the year's record export of wheat from northeastern Bulgaria. The updated general plan for the Port of Varna to 2020 was approved in 1999. Major projects for new construction and modernization include: a deepwater container terminal and a ro-ro terminal on the island under the Asparuhov most bridge, a grain terminal on the north shore of Lake Varna south of the Dry Port storage base, a liquid chemicals terminal and a cement and clinker terminal at Varna West, modernization of the passenger and ro-ro terminals at Varna East. In 2007, new plans were disclosed to relocate the container terminal from Varna East to a new larger basin on the northeastern shore of Lake Varna and to redevelop old port Varna East, located in the city centre, into a large marine attractions zone with a new cruise terminal, yacht marina, hotels, museums, exhibitions and other tourist facilities.

In 2008, plans were disclosed for another deepwater container terminal on the south side of the island for vessels carrying over 2500 twenty-foot equivalent units. A liquified petroleum gas terminal is being developed at Beloslav. Amidst the gas crisis of early 2009, discussions started of a new liquified natural gas terminal on 30 hectares on the northwestern shore of Lake Varna at Ezerovo. In 2008, discussions were resumed of a 192-kilometre navigable canal Rousse–Varna connecting the lower Danube with the Varna lakes and the Black Sea. Other existing port terminals include the Cruise Terminal. Varna St. Nikolai, Varna July Morning, a tradition among young Bulgarians that originated from Port of Varna - Port of Varna, Пристанище Варна - LIFE International Seafarers Centres-Varna Panorama photos of the Port of Varna Cruise Terminal, Port of Varna Yacht Club and the quay - Format: Apple QTVR

Le Grand Macabre

Le Grand Macabre is the only opera by Hungarian composer György Ligeti. The opera has two acts, its libretto – based on the 1934 play La balade du grand macabre by Michel De Ghelderode – was written by Ligeti in collaboration with Michael Meschke, director of the Stockholm puppet theatre; the original libretto was written in German as Der grosse Makaber but for the first production was translated into Swedish by Meschke under its current title. The opera has been performed in English, Italian and Danish. Only a few notes need be changed to perform the opera in any of these languages. Le Grand Macabre was premiered in Stockholm on 12 April 1978 and has received more than 30 productions. In preparation for a 1997 production at the Salzburg Festival, Ligeti made substantial revisions to the opera in 1996, tightening the structure by means of cuts in scenes 2 and 4, setting some of the spoken passages to music and removing others altogether; the revised version was premiered in Salzburg on 28 July 1997, in a production directed by Peter Sellars.

The composer was annoyed by Sellars's production, which opposed Ligeti's desire for ambiguity by explicitly depicting an apocalypse set in the framework of the Chernobyl disaster. Three arias from the opera were prepared in 1992 for concert performances under the title Mysteries of the Macabre. Versions exist for soprano or for trumpet, accompanied by orchestra, reduced instrumental ensemble, or piano. Le Grand Macabre falls at a point when Ligeti's style was undergoing a significant change—apparently effecting a complete break with his approach in the 1960s. From here onward, Ligeti adopts re-examining tonality and modality. In the opera, however, he does not forge a new musical language; the music instead is driven by quotation and pastiche, plundering past styles through allusions to Claudio Monteverdi, Gioachino Rossini, Giuseppe Verdi. Ligeti calls for a diverse orchestra with a huge assortment of percussion in his opera: The vast percussion section uses a large variety of domestic items, as well as standard orchestral instruments: Scene 1 This opens with a choir of 12 jarring car horns, played with pitches and rhythms specified in the score.

These suggest abstractly, a barren modern landscape and a traffic jam of sorts. As the overture ends, Piet the Pot, "by trade wine taster," in the country of Breughelland, appears to deliver a drunken lament, complete with hiccups, he is accompanied by bassoons. The focus switches to two lovers and Amando, who are played by two women though they represent an opposite-sex couple. Nekrotzar, prince of Hell, subtly joins their duet; the lovers, discover Piet and become enraged, believing he is spying on them. Piet protests that he "spoke no word, so who spoke? The almighty?" The lovers hide in the tomb to make out. Nekrotzar emerges, singing a motif, exclaiming "away, you swagpot! Lick the floor, you dog! Squeak out your dying wish, you pig!" Piet responds in kind, with confused drunken statements, until Nekrotzar at last tells him to "Shut up!". Piet must retrieve all of his "instruments" from the tomb; as Nekrotzar's threats grow deadlier, Piet accepts them with only amused servility, until he is told his throat is to be "wracked with thirst."

He objects, because his master had "spoke of death, not punishment!" As Nekrotzar explains his mission, accompanied by percussive tone clusters in the lowest octave of the piano and the orchestra, a choir joins in, admonishing "take warning now, at midnight thou shalt die." Nekrotzar claims. A lone metronome, whose regular tempo ignores that of the rest of the orchestra, joins in. Nekrotzar, making frenzied proclamations, dons his gruesome gear, accompanied by more chaotic orchestra, women's choir, a bass trombone hidden on a balcony, his characteristic instrument, he insists that Piet must be his horse, Piet's only protest is to give his final cry, "cock-a-doodle-doo!" As they ride off on their quest, the lovers emerge and sing another duet, vowing to ignore the end of time and enjoy each other's company. Scene 2 This begins with a second car horn prelude, which announces a scene change to the household of the court astronomer and his sadistic wife, Mescalina. "One! Two! Three! Five!" Exclaims Mescalina, beating her husband with a whip to the rhythm of shifting, chromatic chords.

Astramadors, dressed in drag, unenthusiastically begs for more. She forces him to lift his skirt, strikes him with a spit. Convinced she has killed him, she begins to mourn wonders if he's dead, she summons a spider her pet, accompanied by a duo for harpsichord and organ – Regal stops. Astradamors rises, protesting that "spiders always give nausea." As punishment for attempting to fake death, she forces him to take part in an apparent household ritual, a rhythmic dance termed "the Gallopade." This ends with the astronomer kissing her behind. Mescalina orders her husband to his telescope. "Observe the stars, right. What do you see up there? By the way, can you see the planets? Are they all still there, in the right order?" She addresses Venus with an impassioned plea for a better man, accompanied by an oboe d'amour. As she falls asleep, Astradamors claims he would

Cedar-Bank Works

Cedar-Bank Works is group of Adena culture earthworks located in Ross County, Ohio in the United States. It is located five miles north of the town of Chillicothe, Ohio. Cedar-Bank is Adena in its design and style, is believed to have been built before the sites at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, it remains unknown. The site was surveyed in 1845 by Edwin Hamilton Davis, they reported about their survey in their 1848 publication, Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley. They describe the site as consisting of a "wall and an outer ditch, which constitute three sides of a parallelogram; the fourth side is protected by a natural bank or bluff, 70 feet high, so steep as to admit of no ascent, except at one point where it has been gullied by the flow of water." They surveyed the three walls as measuring at six feet high with 40 foot bases. The ditches were noted as being five feet by 40 feet wide; the eastern wall was reported as having a ditch. This ditch was measured at ranging from eight to ten feet deep.

The eastern wall itself was 1,400 feet long. The other built walls, the northern and southern walls, were both the same size, measuring in at 1,050 feet in length, they were placed on right angles. The south ended at the hill and the north stopped 25 feet from the southern wall. Squier and Davis believed that a fourth wall may have been built, only to have been destroyed by the natural elements. Two entrances were noted, one on the north side and the other on the south side, each placed in the center of each side, they describe a four foot tall "elevated square" as "covering the northern gateway and two hundred feet interior to it." The square is noted as being 250 feet by 150 feet wide. They compare the square to the pyramids located at the Marietta Earthworks. Squier and Davis described parallel walls, 300 feet away from the main site; the walls were measured at 870 feet in length and 70 feet apart from each other. The two walls lack ditches; the two men noted that the walls were destroyed by the Chillicothe Turnpike that passed through the site.

The undisturbed parts of the walls, which were in forested areas of the site, were two to three feet high. They surveyed, a third of a mile south of the main work, a truncated pyramid along with a small circle; the pyramid is measured at 120 feet square at the base and nine feet tall. The pyramid's location matches the cardinal directions, they excavated the pyramid, no remains were found. The circle is measured at 250 feet in diameter with a gateway on the south side of it; the gateway is 30 feet wide. There is a ditch inside the circle and an embankment, which matches the height of the circle wall on the side without the gateway. Squier and Davis note that they have seen this type of build in other works, but do not name which sites; this type of open circle would be described, by contemporary archaeologists as being a "C-form" earthwork. They compliment the location of the pyramid and circle as having a "fine view" of the river and being "well chosen," by the builders, they believed that the land that the square and circle works were built on was intentionally smoothed out by the builders.

They did note that they discovered "inconsiderable remains, consisting of small, low terraces, little mounds and circles." No additional major mounds were discovered on the site. Upon completion of their survey and Davis could not determine the use of the earthworks, they believed. However, the large gateways on the site were "hardly consistent with the hypothesis of military origin." The men reported that there must have been some type of significance in the placement of walls, suggesting that the space was used for "celebration of certain games" or religious ceremony. The Ohio Historical Society reported its findings on excavations at the site in the 1902 book, Archæological History of Ohio: The Mound Builders and Later Indians by Gerard Fowke. Fowke notes that when the site was built, the river most flowed high enough to be at the edge of the earthworks, he noted young white oak being found at the site and that, as of the time of publishing, no other excavations had taken place since Squier and Davis visited the site in 1845.

Based on casual observation, Fowke noted that the "south wall had been worn away," but it is unknown what happened. He suggested that the river washed away the loose soil and gravel that the wall was built upon, causing it to fall apart, he noted that the river was "much further away," than at the time Squier and Davis had visited. He theorizes that a ditch near "Prairie Run" may have been one source for the soil used to build the works, he cites cultivation as the source of the walls being destroyed in most areas, showing a considerable change from the time that Squier and Davis had been there in 1845. He states that the pyramid that Squier and Davis describe was described incorrectly by them. Fowke states that the grounds were not purposefully smoothed out by the builders, that the ground is like that and that the ground is no more special than the ground that surrounds it without works built upon it. Media related to Cedar-Bank Works at Wikimedia Commons

Troy Brosnan

Troy Brosnan is an Australian professional racing cyclist specialising in downhill mountain bike racing. As a junior, he was twice world champion, once Oceanian champion, once Australian national champion in the downhill. In the elite category he has twice been third overall in the world cup and is a four-time Australian champion. Brosnan was junior downhill world champion in 2010 and 2011, he won the overall junior world cup in 2010 and 2011 and was Australian national downhill champion in 2011. He was junior continental champion of Oceania in 2011. Brosnan has competed in the elite category since 2012, he was third overall in the downhill world cup in 2014 and won the third round of the series in Fort William, Scotland. He won the bronze medal in the downhill at the 2014 world championships in Norway, he was again third overall in the world cup series in 2015. Once again, he was third overall in the 2016 Downhill World Cup Series. In 2017 he won the fourth round of the 2017 Downhill World Cup in Vallnord and sits second in the overall series after the fifth round.

Brosnan was Australian national downhill champion in 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017. Troy Brosnan's official website

American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists

The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists is an international learned society devoted to the scientific studies of ichthyology and herpetology. The primary emphases of the society are to increase knowledge about these organisms, to communicate that knowledge through publications and other methods, to encourage and support young scientists who will make future advances in these fields; the programs of the American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists are part of a global effort to interpret and conserve the Earth's natural diversity and to contribute to the wise use of natural resources for the long-term benefit of humankind. On December 27, 1913, John Treadwell Nichols published the first issue of Copeia, a scientific journal dedicated to the knowledge of fish and amphibians. Nichols named Copeia to commemorate Edward Drinker Cope, a prominent 19th-century ichthyologist and herpetologist; the first edition of Copeia was comprised five articles. In an effort to increase the publication of Copeia and communication among ichthyologists and herpetologists, Nichols met with Henry Weed Fowler and Dwight Franklin in New York City.

Together, the three men founded the American Society of Herpetologists. By 1923, the Society accommodated around 50 members. Furthermore, the length of Copeia extended to 120 pages and an editorial staff established by the society assumed responsibility for the mass publication and expansion of this quarterly journal. Presently, the society has more than 2,400 members and Copeia features 1,200 pages of informative content and is found in over 1,000 institutional libraries.. Official website American Society of Records, c. 1978-1983 from the Smithsonian Institution Archives