click links in text for more info
SUMMARY / RELATED TOPICS

Direct3D

Direct3D is a graphics application programming interface for Microsoft Windows. Part of DirectX, Direct3D is used to render three-dimensional graphics in applications where performance is important, such as games. Direct3D uses hardware acceleration if it is available on the graphics card, allowing for hardware acceleration of the entire 3D rendering pipeline or only partial acceleration. Direct3D exposes the advanced graphics capabilities of 3D graphics hardware, including Z-buffering, W-buffering, stencil buffering, spatial anti-aliasing, alpha blending, color blending, texture blending, culling, atmospheric effects, perspective-correct texture mapping, programmable HLSL shaders and effects. Integration with other DirectX technologies enables Direct3D to deliver such features as video mapping, hardware 3D rendering in 2D overlay planes, sprites, providing the use of 2D and 3D graphics in interactive media ties. Direct3D contains many commands for 3D computer graphics rendering. Microsoft strives to continually update Direct3D to support the latest technology available on 3D graphics cards.

Direct3D offers full vertex software emulation but no pixel software emulation for features not available in hardware. For example, if software programmed using Direct3D requires pixel shaders and the video card on the user's computer does not support that feature, Direct3D will not emulate it, although it will compute and render the polygons and textures of the 3D models, albeit at a degraded quality and performance compared to the hardware equivalent; the API does include a Reference Rasterizer, which emulates a generic graphics card in software, although it is too slow for most real-time 3D applications and is only used for debugging. A new real-time software rasterizer, WARP, designed to emulate complete feature set of Direct3D 10.1, is included with Windows 7 and Windows Vista Service Pack 2 with the Platform Update. As part of DirectX, Direct3D is available for Windows 95 and above, is the base for the vector graphics API on the different versions of Xbox console systems; the Wine compatibility layer, a free software reimplementation of several Windows APIs, includes an implementation of Direct3D.

Direct3D's main competitor is its follow-on Vulkan. Fahrenheit was an attempt by Microsoft and SGI to unify OpenGL and Direct3D in the 1990s, but was cancelled. Direct3D 6.0 – Multitexturing Direct3D 7.0 – Hardware Transformation and Lighting Direct3D 8.0 – Pixel Shader 1.0 & Vertex Shader 1.0 Direct3D 8.0a - Pixel Shader 1.1, Pixel Shader 1.2, Pixel Shader 1.3 Direct3D 8.1 – Pixel Shader 1.4 & Vertex Shader 1.1 Direct3D 9.0 – Shader Model 2.0 Direct3D 9.0b – Pixel Shader 2.0b Direct3D 9.0c – Shader Model 3.0, GPGPU Direct3D 9.0L – Windows Vista only, Direct3D 9.0c, Shader Model 3.0, Windows Graphics Foundation 1.0, DXVA 1.0, GPGPU Direct3D 10.0 – Windows Vista/Windows 7, Shader Model 4.0, Windows Graphics Foundation 2.0, DXVA 2.0, GPGPU Direct3D 10.1 – Windows Vista SP1/Windows 7, Shader Model 4.1, Windows Graphics Foundation 2.1, DXVA 2.1, GPGPU Direct3D 11.0 – Windows Vista SP2/Windows 7, Shader Model 5.0, Multithreaded rendering, Compute shaders, implemented by hardware and software running Direct3D 9/10/10.1, GPGPU Direct3D 11.1 – Windows 7 SP1/Windows 8, Stereoscopic 3D Rendering, GPGPU Direct3D 11.2 – Windows 8.1, Tiled resources, GPGPU Direct3D 11.3 – Windows 10, Shader Model 5.1, GPGPU Direct3D 12.0 – Windows 10, low-level rendering API, Shader Model 6.0, GPGPU In 1992, Servan Keondjian and Doug Rabson started a company named RenderMorphics, which developed a 3D graphics API named Reality Lab, used in medical imaging and CAD software.

Two versions of this API were released. Microsoft bought RenderMorphics in February 1995, bringing Keondjian on board to implement a 3D graphics engine for Windows 95; the first version of Direct3D shipped in DirectX 2.0 and DirectX 3.0. Direct3D implemented both "retained mode" and "immediate mode" 3D APIs. Like other DirectX APIs, such as DirectDraw, both were based on COM; the retained mode was a scene graph API. Game developers clamored for more direct control of the hardware's activities than the Direct3D retained mode could provide. Only two games that sold a significant volume, Lego Island and Lego Rock Raiders, were based on the Direct3D retained mode, so Microsoft did not update the retained mode after DirectX 3.0. For DirectX 2.0 and 3.0, the Direct3D immediate mode used an "execute buffer" programming model that Microsoft hoped hardware vendors would support directly. Execute buffers were intended to be allocated in hardware memory and parsed by the hardware to perform the 3D rendering.

They were considered awkward to program at the time, hindering adoption of the new API and prompting calls for Microsoft to adopt OpenGL as the official 3D rendering API for games as well as workstation applications. Rather than adopt OpenGL as a gaming API, Microsoft chose to continue improving Direct3D, not only to be competitive with OpenGL, but to compete more with other proprietary APIs such as 3dfx's Glide. From the beginning, the immediate mode supported Talisman's tiled rendering with the BeginScene/EndScene methods of the IDirect3DDevice interface. No substantive changes were planned to Direct3D for DirectX 4.0, scheduled to ship in late 1996 and cancelled. In Decemb

Kenn, Somerset

Kenn is a small village and civil parish in county of Somerset, England. It falls within the area of the North Somerset unitary authority, it lies on the B3133 road near Clevedon in the North Somerset Levels. The parish has a population of 431; the parish was part of the Winterstoke Hundred. In the 19th century, Kenn was described as follows: "The village is small and situated in marshy ground, it belonged to the Kenns, one of whom was the nonjuring bishop, composer of the'Morning Hymn'. The soil is loamy with subsoil clay; the vicarial tithes have been commuted for a rent-charge of £90. The living is a perpetual curacy in the diocese of Bath and Wells, in the patronage of the Vicar of Yatton; the church is a stone structure rebuilt in 1861. In the interior are several ancient monuments, among, that of Christopher Kenn; the register dates from 1543."Kenn is notable as the site in 1830 of the last public hangings in the UK to be carried out at the scene of the crime. Three arsonists who had set fire to a local farmer's hay were hanged, another three being transported to Tasmania.

The parish council has responsibility for local issues, including setting an annual precept to cover the council’s operating costs and producing annual accounts for public scrutiny. The parish council evaluates local planning applications and works with the local police, district council officers, neighbourhood watch groups on matters of crime and traffic; the parish council's role includes initiating projects for the maintenance and repair of parish facilities, such as the village hall or community centre, playing fields and playgrounds, as well as consulting with the district council on the maintenance and improvement of highways, footpaths, public transport, street cleaning. Conservation matters and environmental issues are of interest to the council; the parish falls within the unitary authority of North Somerset, created in 1996, as established by the Local Government Act 1992. It provides a single tier of local government with responsibility for all local government functions within their area including local planning and building control, local roads, council housing, environmental health and fairs, refuse collection, cemeteries, leisure services and tourism.

They are responsible for education, social services, main roads, public transport, Trading Standards, waste disposal and strategic planning, although fire and ambulance services are provided jointly with other authorities through the Avon Fire and Rescue Service and Somerset Constabulary and the South Western Ambulance Service. North Somerset's area covers part of the ceremonial county of Somerset but it is administered independently of the non-metropolitan county, its administrative headquarters are in the town hall in Weston-super-Mare. Between 1 April 1974 and 1 April 1996, it was the Woodspring district of the county of Avon. Before 1974 that the parish was part of the Long Ashton Rural District; the parish is represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom as part of the North Somerset constituency. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election Liam Fox of the Conservative Party. Nearby is the Kenn Church, Kenn Pier & Yew Tree Farm SSSI, a geological Site of Special Scientific Interest, listed in the Geological Conservation Review because it consists of a complex sequence of Pleistocene sediments, including coarse glacial outwash gravels at the base overlain by a complex sequence of interglacial freshwater and marine sands.

The sequence is capped by aeolian coversands and Holocene silts. The Church of St John The Evangelist has a Norman tower, with much of the rest of the church dating from around 1300, it has been designated as a Grade II* listed building. Yatton Moor Team Ministry

Dendropsophus phlebodes

Dendropsophus phlebodes, the San Carlos tree frog, is a species of frog in the family Hylidae. It is found in western Colombia, Costa Rica and Panama, its natural habitats are tropical moist lowland forests, but it may occur in disturbed habitats. It is threatened by habitat loss; the San Carlos tree frog is a small, sturdy species with the female growing to a snout-to-vent length of 28 millimetres while the males are smaller. This frog has a blunt snout and a wide head and the tympanum is concealed by a fold of skin. There is a pair of vocal slits; the fore-legs are short and the long, slender fingers have large flattened pads at the tips. The hind legs are short but powerful and the long toes are webbed and have expanded tips; the skin on the dorsal surface has a pale brown colour with slight darker patterning. The ventral surface yellow on the inside of the thighs; the iris is yellowish-bronze and during the breeding season, the male's vocal sac is yellow. The San Carlos tree frog is a nocturnal, lowland species found on Pacific northwestern Colombia and Panama, as well as on the Atlantic slopes of Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua.

Its natural habitat is humid forest. It does not occur at greater elevations than 700 metres above sea level, it is often found in cultivated land, swampy meadows, drainage ditches. The San Carlos tree frog is a generalist predator feeding on small terrestrial invertebrates such as spiders, moth larvae and fly larvae, it is an "explosive breeder", the main reproductive period starting with the arrival of the rainy season. The males are stimulated by heavy rain to congregate, calling from low vegetation beside temporary pools or flooded fields. Many males may synchronise their calls and in Panama, this species is joined by Dendropsophus microcephalus and Dendropsophus ebraccatus in a joint chorus; the eggs are laid in clusters of about four hundred eggs and deposited among plants growing in shallow water. The San Carlos tree frog is listed as being of "Least Concern" in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, it is considered to have a stable population, is common over a wide range and is adaptable.

Its greatest threat may be pollution of the waters in which it breeds

Strangers with Candy (film)

Strangers with Candy is a 2005 comedy film directed by Paul Dinello, written by Dinello, Stephen Colbert, Amy Sedaris, Mitch Rouse, serves as a prequel to their 1999-2000 Comedy Central television series of the same name. Colbert co-produced the film alongside executive producer David Letterman; the film grossed $2.3 million. 46-year-old former high school dropout and self-described "junkie whore" Jerri Blank is released from prison and returns to her childhood home. She discovers her mother has died, her father, has remarried to the hateful Sara Blank, she has an arrogant half-brother Derrick. To make matters worse, her father is in a "stress-induced coma". Taking the suggestion of the family doctor Jerri decides to pick her life back up where she left it, beginning her high school all over again as a freshman at Flatpoint High. Jerri joins Chuck Noblet's science fair team, the Fig Neutrons, along with her new friends, Megawatti Sucarnaputri and Tammi Littlenut. Noblet is not pleased to learn that Principal Onyx Blackman has hired a ringer for their team, Roger Beekman, to ensure that Flatpoint wins, so Noblet creates a second team.

As she struggles to fit in and make her teammates proud, Jerri discovers that though the faces may have changed, the hassles of high school are just the same. Sedaris admitted in an interview that they never intended on making a film after the series was cancelled, explaining, "Paul, I were working on our book Wigfield... We kept coming up with funny Jerri Blank stuff to say, so it would go into a file, by the end of the book, Paul opened the file and there was all this Blank stuff, he said,'Oh, it would be so funny to write a movie.' That's how it happened." Orlando Pabotoy looked too old to reprise his series role as Orlando Pinatubo. His character was replaced by the similar Megawatti Sukarnoputri. Larc Spies did not return for the role of Derrick because, according to Sedaris, "he looks like a longshoreman now." Several other characters were recast because the original actors looked too old to believably play high schoolers. The only original student to return was Thayer as redhead Tammi Littlenut.

Roberto Gari did not reprise the role of Guy, instead portrayed by Hedaya, who portrayed Guy's character differently than Gari. The film opened in two venues on June 28, 2006, earning $43,141 in its debut and ranking #42 in the North American box office and fifth among the week's new releases, its widest number of theaters being 109, the film ended its run on September 21, 2006, having grossed $2,072,645 domestically and $181,479 overseas for a worldwide total of $2,254,124. Strangers with Candy holds a 54% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 98 reviews; the site's consensus states: "Occasionally funny, but little more than a jumbled, overextended episode of the TV show. Still, Candy devotees won't be disappointed." Metacritic reports a 57 out of 100 rating based on 28 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Strangers with Candy on IMDb Strangers with Candy at Box Office Mojo Strangers with Candy at Rotten Tomatoes Strangers with Candy at Metacritic

Blood Heir

Blood Heir is a 2019 debut young adult novel by Amélie Wen Zhao, published by Delacorte Press. Prior to its publication, the book was subject to controversy due to accusations of racial insensitivity and plagiarism; the controversy received widespread media coverage, including write-ups in the New York Times, Slate and The New Yorker. Blood Heir was published in November 2019. Zhao, a Chinese woman who had immigrated to the United States at age 18, matched with her literary agent after participating in an budding author event on Twitter for writers of marginalized backgrounds, her proposed fantasy series sold at auction for a high six-figure deal. The initial date of publication was to be June 2019. Circa January 2019, while revision of the book was underway, several users on Twitter accused the author of writing a book that lacked sensitivity towards African-Americans, based upon passages about slaves being sold at an auction. There were accusations of plagiarism; the author asked the publisher to not publish at the time.

According to Zhao, the slavery passages were based on examples of indentured labor and human trafficking in Asia, including from her native country, rather than American slavery. Aja Hoggatt of Slate wrote. Katy Waldman of The New Yorker wrote that "f anything, the damning readings of Blood Heir seem guilty of something that the Y. A. community mitigates against: the misapprehension of a cultural context unfamiliar to one’s own."In April 2019, Zhao announced that the publication had been rescheduled. Despite her views on the prior criticism, she made further revisions; the publisher asked people who were to examine the work for possible representations of racial groups which would upset readers, asked scholars to review it. Blood Heir was released in November 2019. In its review of the novel, Kirkus Reviews concluded that there was "no new ground broken," but that it was "a good read for those looking for bloody action and twisty politics." Publishers Weekly wrote that "Zhao’s plot imperils its protagonists time and again, leading the arc to feel repetitive and the protagonists less than capable," concluding that the novel "may garner readership despite the melodrama."

Diversity in young adult fiction

John Nugent (journalist)

John Nugent, Irish journalist and U. S. government agent, c.1821 – March 29, 1880), Nugent was born in County Galway but travelled with his parents to the USA at an early age. He was educated at a Catholic college in New Jersey. In the 1840s, he worked as a journalist with the New York Herald. In 1848, Nugent was leaked a copy of Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo; the treaty would end the Mexican -- American War after it approved by the Senate. Nugent did not reveal his source. Subsequently, Nugent traveled with a party of Forty Niners from New York that traveled to California from Texas, led by John Coffee Hays from San Antonio to California over the Southern Route through El Paso across New Mexico Territory to Fort Yuma; this party pioneered a shortcut on Cooke's Wagon Road. That route became known as the Tucson Cutoff. Nugent's Pass and Nugent's Springs, on that route, were named for Nugent, who gave his notes of the journey to aid Lt. John G. Parke in his expedition to find a railroad route from the Pima Villages to the Rio Grande.

In 1851, Nugent became owner-editor of The San Francisco Herald. In 1856 he opposed the re-establishment of the San Francisco Committee of Vigilance, an extra-legal organization for the preservation of law and order, his failure to support it was an unpopular editorial decision that caused the paper to collapse a few years in 1860. This was an event from which his career never recovered although he continued in journalism and an unsuccessful run for the U. S. Senate; the part of his career, of most interest to historians began in 1858 when President James Buchanan appointed Nugent special agent to New Caledonia. Buchanan wanted to see how Americans and their interests were faring in the area in light of the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush. Nugent discovered that there was little tension and good relations between the Americans and the British. Nugent appears to have created a rift through a dispute with Governor James Douglas over the treatment of American citizens in the courts, he further suggested that the Americans would intervene if conflict arose.

This came out of the feeling he had that New Caledonia and Vancouver Island should and would be annexed to the United States. The diplomatic difficulties were not great and the negativity fell on John Nugent personally. In life John Nugent married and had children, he married Magdalena Estudillo on August 26, 1860. Magdalena was the daughter of the owner of the Rancho San Leandro; the Estudillos were the founders of the city of California. John and his wife, lived with her mother at 550 West Estudillo Avenue, the site of St. Leander's Church; the couple had four children. Nugent was unsuccessful. At the end of the 1870s, Nugent worked on his memoirs, died on March 29, 1880 in San Leandro, California. Biography at the Dictionary of Canadian Biography Online Tharoor, Ishaan. "The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo Scandal". Time