Dry stone

Dry stone, sometimes called drystack or, in Scotland, drystane, is a building method by which structures are constructed from stones without any mortar to bind them together. Dry stone structures are stable because of their unique construction method, characterized by the presence of a load-bearing façade of selected interlocking stones. Dry stone construction is best known in the context of stone walls, traditionally used for the boundaries of fields and churchyards, or as retaining walls for terracing, but dry stone sculptures, buildings and other structures exist; the art of dry stone walling was inscribed in 2018 on the UNESCO representative list of the intangible cultural heritage of humanity, for dry stone walls in countries such as France, Italy, Croatia and Spain. Some dry stone wall constructions in north-west Europe have been dated back to the Neolithic Age; some Cornish hedges are believed by the Guild of Cornish Hedgers to date from 5000 BC, although there appears to be little dating evidence.

In County Mayo, Ireland, an entire field system made from dry stone walls, since covered in peat, have been carbon-dated to 3800 BC. The cyclopean walls of the acropolis of Mycenae, have been dated to 1350 BC and those of Tiryns earlier. In Belize, the Mayan ruins at Lubaantun illustrate use of dry stone construction in architecture of the 8th and 9th centuries AD. Great Zimbabwe in Zimbabwe, Africa, is a large city "acropolis" complex, constructed from the 11th to the 15th centuries AD. Terminology varies regionally; when used as field boundaries, dry stone structures are known as dykes in Scotland. Dry stone walls are characteristic of upland areas of Britain and Ireland where rock outcrops or large stones exist in quantity in the soil, they are abundant in the West of Ireland Connemara. They may be found throughout the Mediterranean, including retaining walls used for terracing; such constructions are common where large stones are plentiful or conditions are too harsh for hedges capable of retaining livestock to be grown as reliable field boundaries.

Many thousands of miles of such walls exist. In the United States they are common in areas with rocky soils, such as New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, are a notable characteristic of the bluegrass region of central Kentucky as well as Virginia, where they are referred to as rock fences or stone fences, the Napa Valley in north central California; the technique of construction was brought to America by English and Scots-Irish immigrants. The technique was taken to Australia and New Zealand. Similar walls are found in the Swiss–Italian border region, where they are used to enclose the open space under large natural boulders or outcrops; the higher-lying rock-rich fields and pastures in Bohemia's south-western border range of Šumava are lined by dry stone walls built of field-stones removed from the arable or cultural land. They serve both as the lot's borders. Sometimes the dry stone terracing is apparent combined with parts of stone masonry that are held together by a clay and pine needle "composite" mortar.

The dry stone walling tradition of Croatia was added to the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in November 2018, alongside those of Cyprus, Greece, Slovenia and Switzerland. In Croatia, dry stone walls were built for a variety of reasons: to clear the earth of stone for crops; some walls date back to the Liburnian era. Notable examples include the island of Baljenac, which has 23 kilometres of dry stone walls despite being only 0.14 square kilometres in area, the vineyards of Primošten. In Peru in the 15th century AD, the Inca made use of otherwise unusable slopes by building dry stone walls to create terraces, they employed this mode of construction for freestanding walls. Their ashlar type construction in Machu Picchu uses the classic Inca architectural style of polished dry stone walls of regular shape; the Incas were masters of this technique, in which blocks of stone are cut to fit together without mortar. Many junctions are so perfect that not a knife fits between the stones.

The structures have persisted in the high earthquake region because of the flexibility of the walls, because in their double wall architecture, the two portions of the walls incline into each other. A wall's style and method of construction will vary, depending on the type of stone available, its intended use and local tradition. Most older walls are constructed from stones and boulders cleared from the fields during preparation for agriculture but many from stone quarried nearby. For modern walls, quarried stone is always used; the type of wall built will depend on the nature of the stones available. One type of wall is called a "double" wall and is constructed by placing two rows of stones along the boundary to be walled; the foundation stones are ideally set into the ground so as to rest on the subsoil. The rows are composed of large flattish stones. Smaller stones may be used as chocks in areas; the walls are built up to the desired height layer-by-layer and, at intervals, large tie-stones or through stones are placed which span both faces of the wall and sometimes project.


Rugby league in the West Indies

Rugby league is a team sport, growing in popularity in the West Indies. Rugby league participation in the Caribbean has only been possible as as 2005, with the introduction of the JRLA National Preimership. Despite the sports early beginnings, it has proved to be a large success, surpassing the most optimistic hopes of the games administrators; the sport is most popular among young male adults. Jamaica is the only country to have a competition and enough interest to sustain future events. However, there are plans to bring similar competitions to the islands of Tobago. Plans to run the first Caribbean rugby league competition had to be brought forward 12 months in 2005 because of the large amounts of interest shown in the sport; the sport in Jamaica is making good in roads which consists of 5 teams split into two divisions in the National Premiership. The West Indies rugby league team represents the Caribbean and the West Indies region in the sport of rugby league; the West Indies were first introduced to Rugby League with the formation of the West Indies Rugby League Federation in 2003.

One of the first things the WIRLF did was to find and invite league players from England who had a Caribbean back ground to join the West Indies team in future representative competitions. The first games to be played by the West Indies team was the Middlesex Nines in 2004. In 2004 and 2005 they would compete in the York Nines competition; the first thirteen-a-side game the West Indies played was against the South African Wild Dogs in London, September 24, 2004. During 2005 the first local rugby league competition in the Caribbean took place in Jamaica, being hailed as a huge success for the WIRLF; the competition consists of the Vauxhall Vultures, Duhaney Park Sharks, Olympic Angels and the Jamaica Defence Force Warriors. The JRLA National Premiership consists of five teams: The Duhaney Park Sharks The Vaxhaull Vultures The Olympic Garden Angels The Army Warriors The Jamaica Constabulary KnightsEach team has a team playing in the Open Division competition. All the teams are based within the nation’s capital of Kingston.

There are many players who are from adjoining parishes such as St Andrew. For further information visit Jamaica Rugby League Association 2005 Grand Final - Vauxhall Vultures defeated the Duhaney Park Sharks 32 - 20 Other Rugby League Playing Nations West Indies Rugby League Federation

Kwan Swee Lian

Kwan Swee Lian is a Malaysian chef and businessperson. Known as the "nasi lemak queen", she is recognised for establishing Sakura, a restaurant famous for its nasi lemak and beef rendang. Sakura prompted the opening of Madam Kwan's, now led by her son Rudy; the seventh child of the family, Kwan was born 1933 in Kluang, Malaysia. Kwan's father was a labourer and her mother was a homemaker, she studied at Kuan Cheng Girls' School in Kuala Lumpur. After two years of secondary education, Kwan decided to pursue a professional career. Starting out as a salesperson, she established Sakura, a hair salon, around 1958. Sakura was subsequently converted into a restaurant some two decades later. Due to unspecified bad choices, Kwan had to sell Sakura around the year 2000; the new owners of the restaurant sacked her, leaving Kwan with just a little cash. Deciding to work from a rented food stall, Kwan suffered another setback. Instead, large losses were incurred due to the cost of the ingredients; as a "tribute" to Kwan, her youngest son Rudy decided to forgo his career in the stock market and establish Madam Kwan's, a Malaysia-based restaurant selling similar food items as Sakura does, in 1999.

The rendang sold at Madam Kwan's is cooked by Kwan, alongside other food items. The restaurant is recognised for its beef rendang and nasi lemak, the latter selling around a thousand plates a day. Kwan serves as a food taster for Madam Kwan's. Kwan wed Foo Lum Choon, a medical doctor, in 1962. Born 1917, Foo died in 2007, they had four children: a daughter. Among the three sons, two of them have died as of 2013; the surviving son, Rudy, is the head of Madam Kwan's. Their daughter Shirley is a homemaker. Kwan is an avid hat collector with about twenty in her collection, she labels herself as a "perfectionist"