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Geography of Afghanistan

Afghanistan is a landlocked mountainous country located within South Asia and Central Asia. The country is the 40th largest in the world in size. Kabul is largest city of Afghanistan, located in the Kabul Province. Strategically located at the crossroads of major trade routes, Afghanistan has attracted a succession of invaders since the sixth century BCE; the Hindu Kush mountains, running northeast to southwest across the country, divide it into three major regions: 1) the Central Highlands, which account for two thirds of the country's area. Land elevations slope from northeast to southwest, following the general shape of the Hindu Kush massif, from its highest point in the Pamir Mountains near the Chinese border to the lower elevations near the border with Uzbekistan. To the north and southwest there are no mountain barriers to neighboring countries; the northern plains pass into the plains of Turkmenistan. In the west and southwest, the plateaus and deserts merge into those of Iran. Afghanistan is located on the Eurasian Tectonic Plate.

The Wakhan Corridor and the rest of northeastern Afghanistan, including Kabul, are situated in a geologically active area. Over a dozen earthquakes occurred there during the twentieth century; the greater part of the northern border and a small section of the border with Pakistan are marked by rivers. The northern frontier extends 1,689 km southwestward, from the Pamir Mountains in the northeast to a region of hills and deserts in the west, at the border with Iran; the border with Iran runs southward from the Hari River across swamp and desert regions before reaching the northwestern tip of Pakistan. Its southern section crosses the Helmand River. Afghanistan is bounded by six different countries, its longest border is the Durand Line, accounting for its entire southern and eastern boundary with Pakistan. The shortest one, bordering China's Xinjiang province, is a mere 76 km at the end of the Wakhan Corridor, a narrow sliver of land 241 km long that extends eastward between Tajikistan and Pakistan.

At its narrowest point it is only 11 km wide. The border with Pakistan runs eastward from Iran through the Chagai Hills and the southern end of the Registan Desert northward through mountains, it follows an irregular northeasterly course before reaching the Durand Line, established in 1893. This line continues on through mountainous regions to the Khyber Pass area. Beyond this point it rises to the crest of the Hindu Kush, which it follows eastward to the Pamir Mountains; the Durand Line divides the Pashtun tribes of the region between Pakistan. Its creation has caused much dissatisfaction among Afghans and has given rise to political tensions between the two countries. Rainfall in Afghanistan is scarce, only affects the northern highlands, arriving in March and April. Rainfall in the more arid lowlands is rare, can be unpredictable. Marked characteristics are the great differences of summer and winter temperature and of day and night temperature, as well as the extent to which change of climate can be attained by slight change of place.

The Afghanistan climate is a dry one. The sun shines for three-fourths of the year, the nights are clearer than the days. Taking the highlands of the country as a whole, there is no great difference between the mean temperature of Afghanistan and that of the lower Himalaya. However, a remarkable feature of the Afghan climate is its extreme temperature range within limited periods; the smallest daily range in the north is. For seven months of the year this range exceeds 17 °C daily. Waves of intense cold occur, lasting for several days, one may have to endure temperatures of −24 °C, rising to a maximum of −8 °C. At Ghazni the snow has been known to stay long beyond the vernal equinox. Oral tradition tells the destruction of the entire population of Ghazni by snowstorms more than once. On the other hand, the summer temperature is exceedingly high in the Oxus regions, where a shade maximum of 45–50 °C is not uncommon; the summer heat is strong in the Sistan Basin and Turkestan. The simoom wind occurs in Kandahar province during the summer.

The hot season is rendered more intense by strong winds. In Kabul the heat is tempered by cool breezes from the Hindu Kush, the nights are cool. In Kandahar snow falls on the plains or lower hills; the summer rains that accompany the southwest monsoon in India, beat along the southern slopes of the Himalaya, travel up the Kabul valley as far as Laghman, though they are more felt in Bajour and Panjkora, under the Hindu Kush, in the eastern branches of Safed Koh. Rain falls at this season at the head of Kurram valley. South of this the Suliman mountains may be taken as the western limit of the monsoon's action, it is not felt in the rest of Afghanistan, in which, as in the rest of western Asia, the winter rains are the most considerable. The spring rain, though less copious, is more important to agriculture than the winter rain, unless where the latter falls in the form of snow. In the absence of monsoon influences there are steadier weather indications t

Campbell v. City of Oakland

Timothy Scott Campbell, et al. v. City of Oakland, et al. is an ongoing civil rights lawsuit in the US District Court of Northern California. Scott Campbell was video recording members of the Oakland Police Department during an Occupy Oakland protest on the night of November 2–3, 2011. Shortly before 1am on November 3, he was shot by police using a less-lethal round while he was filming a stationary line of police in riot gear, hours after the 2011 Oakland general strike but during ongoing street clashes between protestors and police in what the San Francisco Chronicle described as "chaos after midnight. Masked vandals shattered windows, set fires and plastered downtown businesses with graffiti before police moved in, dispersing crowds with tear gas and flash-bang grenades and making dozens of arrests."The unprovoked shooting of Campbell was documented by the resulting point-of-view video from his own camera. University of South Carolina criminal justice professor Geoffrey Alpert said that unless something occurred off-camera to provoke the officer, the shooting was "one of the most outrageous uses of a firearm" he'd seen.

"Unless there's a threat that you can't see in the video, that just looks like absolute punishment, the worst type of excessive force," Alpert told the Oakland Tribune. Campbell and co-plaintiffs filed suit in Federal Court in November 2011. In 2013, the City of Oakland approved a $1.17 million settlement to Scott Campbell and 11 other Occupy Oakland protestors who were injured by police. Campbell v. City of Oakland at Justia Initial Complaint dated Nov 14, 2011 and press release from ACLU


Rumicucho or Pucara de Rumicucho is an archaeological site of the Inca Empire in the parroquia of San Antonio de Pichincha, in Quito Canton, Pichincha Province. Ecuador. Rumicucho is a pucara located 23 kilometres in a straight-line distance north of the city of Quito at an elevation of 2,401 metres. Rumicucho in the Quechua language means "stone corner" referring to its strategic location between the territory of the Yumbo people to the east and the chiefdoms of the Pais Caranqui to the north; the Incas built Rumicucho between 1480 and 1500 and ruled this area until the Spanish conquest in the 1530s. Rumicucho has been called Lulumbamba, a reference to the valley to its west, now urbanized but intensely cultivated. Rumicucho is a popular site for tourists to visit. Rumicucho is one of more than 100 known pucaras in northern Ecuador, far more than in any other region of the Inca Empire which indicates the severity of the resistance by the local people to the advance northward by the Incas. Many of the pucaras were built by the Indigenous people long before the Inca Empire.

The Incas established or strengthened existing pucaras as bases to conquer the chiefdoms of the Pais Caranqui of whom the Cayambe may have been the most powerful. The Inca war against the Pais Caranqui lasted for years two or three decades; the Inca conquest of northern Ecuador was not completed until the early 16th century. The archaeological site occupies an area 75 metres wide; the site was occupied by pre-Inca cultures, with the Incas adding their customary styles to the existing buildings and walls. Unlike many pucaras Rumicucho is not on a high point of the landscape, but rather is located on a small hill, its setting identifies it as a crossroads as well as being a fortress. Rumicucho is one of the few pucaras in Ecuador where a substantial amount of Inca material has been found, including domestic items such as cloth, ceramic pots for making Chicha, the fermented Inca drink, implements made of camelid bone and metal objects. Rumicucho was a multi-functional base for residence and ceremonies and control of transit and trade as well as defense.

The archaeological site consists of 5 terraces stair-stepping up the hill, each with its own particular purpose. The first and second terraces were used for feasts. Rumicucho was probably used for astronomy and to observe solar events, it is about 1 kilometre from the equator and lines up with the snow-capped volcanoes Cayambe 50 kilometres east and Cotopaxi, 80 kilometres to the south, suggesting that it was a sacred site. The Incas and pre-Inca peoples had an extensive knowledge of astronomy and located their installations in places appropriate for observations of solar events, including the equatorial solstice, which they called "the day when man has no shadow."

North American Datum

The North American Datum is the horizontal datum now used to define the geodetic network in North America. A datum is a formal description of the shape of the Earth along with an "anchor" point for the coordinate system. In surveying and land-use planning, two North American Datums are in use for making lateral or "horizontal" measurements: the North American Datum of 1927 and the North American Datum of 1983. Both are geodetic reference systems based on different assumptions and measurements. Vertical measurements, based on distances above or below Mean High Water, are calculated using the North American Vertical Datum of 1988. NAD 83, along with NAVD 88, is set to be replaced with a new GPS- and gravimetric geoid model-based geometric reference frame and geopotential datum in 2022. In 1901 the United States Coast and Geodetic Survey adopted a national horizontal datum called the United States Standard Datum, based on the Clarke Ellipsoid of 1866, it was fitted to data collected for regional datums, which by that time had begun to overlap.

In 1913, Canada and Mexico adopted that datum, so it was renamed the North American Datum. As more data were gathered, discrepancies appeared, so the datum was recomputed in 1927, using the same spheroid and origin as its predecessor; the North American Datum of 1927 was based on surveys of the entire continent from a common reference point, chosen in 1901, because it was as near the center of the contiguous United States as could be calculated: It was based on a triangulation station at the junction of the transcontinental triangulation arc of 1899 on the 39th parallel north and the triangulation arc along the 98th meridian west, near the geographic center of the contiguous United States. The datum declares the Meades Ranch Triangulation Station to be 39°13′26.686″ north latitude, 98°32′30.506″ west longitude. NAD 27 is oriented by declaring the azimuth from Meades Ranch to Waldo to be 255°28′14.52″ from north. The latitude and longitude of every other point in North America is based on its distance and direction from Meades Ranch: If a point was X meters in azimuth Y degrees from Meades Ranch, measured on the Clarke Ellipsoid of 1866 its latitude and longitude on that ellipsoid were defined and could be calculated.

†By definition. ††Calculated. These are the defining dimensions for NAD 27, but Clarke defined his 1866 spheroid as a = 20,926,062 British feet, b = 20,855,121 British feet; the conversion to meters uses Clarke's 1865 inch-meter ratio of 39.370432. The length of a foot or meter at the time could not be benchmarked to better than about 0.02 mm. Most USGS topographic maps were published in NAD 27 and many major projects by the United States Army Corps of Engineers and other agencies were defined in NAD 27, so the datum remains important, despite more refined datums being available; because Earth deviates from a perfect ellipsoid, the ellipsoid that best approximates its shape varies region by region across the world. Clarke 1866, North American Datum of 1927 with it, were surveyed to best suit North America as a whole. Most regions of the world used ellipsoids measured locally to best suit the vagaries of Earth's shape in their respective locales. While ensuring the most accuracy locally, this practice makes integrating and disseminating information across regions troublesome.

As satellite geodesy and remote sensing technology reached high precision and were made available for civilian applications, it became feasible to acquire information referred to a single global ellipsoid. This is because satellites deal with Earth as a monolithic body. Therefore, the GRS 80 ellipsoid was developed for best approximating the Earth as a whole, it became the foundation for the North American Datum of 1983. Though GRS 80 and its close relative, WGS 84, are not the best fit for any given region, a need for the closest fit evaporates when a global survey is combined with computers and software able to compensate for local conditions. †By definition. ††Calculated. A point having a given latitude and longitude in NAD 27 may be displaced on the order of many tens of meters from another point having the identical latitude and longitude in NAD 83, so it is important to specify the datum along with the coordinates; the North American Datum of 1927 is defined by the latitude and longitude of an initial point, the direction of a line between this point and a specified second point, two dimensions that define the spheroid.

The North American Datum of 1983 is based on a newer defined spheroid. NOAA provides a converter between the two systems; the practical impact is that if you use current GPS device set to work in NAD 83 or WGS 84 to navigate to NAD 27 coordinates in Seattle, you would be off by about 95 meters, you'd be about 47 meters off in Miami, whereas you would be much closer for points near Chicago. The definition of NAD 83 is based on the GRS 80 spheroid, as was WGS 84, so many older publications indicate no difference. WGS 84 subsequently changed to a less flattened spheroid. Subsequent measurements therefore produce a difference on the order of a meter over much of the United States; each datum has undergone refinements with more accurate and measurements. In addition, NAD 83 is defined to remain constant over time for points on the North American Plate, whereas WGS 84 is defined with respect to the average of stations all over the world, thus the two systems diverge over time

San Vicente, Palawan

San Vicente the Municipality of San Vicente, is a 1st class municipality in the province of Palawan, Philippines. According to the 2015 census, it has a population of 31,232 people, it is located in the north-western side of the main island of Palawan and is 186 kilometres from Puerto Princesa City. It occupies a total land area of 146,294 hectares. San Vicente's 14.7 kilometres of beachfront, popularly called the Long Beach, is being converted into an emerging tourist destination that will be the beneficiary of government spending on infrastructure. The Long Beach have two rocky cliffs interrupting the continuous expanse of 14.7 kilometers of sugary white sand beach dividing it into three coves. It is the flagship of the Municipality; the Long Beach spans to the coastline of four barangays namely Poblacion, New Agutaya, San Isidro and Alimanguan. In 1952, migrants from Manamoc, an island of the Cuyo Archipelago, arrived in a place called Malagnang a sitio of Kemdeng part of Puerto Princesa City.

The first to arrive were the Dandal brothers, Alberto Radam, Marcelino Gadiano with their families. After sometime their relatives followed forming a small community which gave rise to the election of Anastascio Dandal as the first Barrio Lieutenant; the small ethnic group of Agutaynon and Cuyunon increased in number and with the increase disputes emerged in the choice of the Town’s Patron Saint. The Cuyunon wanted Saint Vincent Ferrer; the group decided to resolve the issue by drawing a lot. The name of Saint Vincent Ferrer was drawn thus; the municipality of San Vicente was created on June 21, 1969, by virtue of Republic Act 5821. It functioned as distinct municipality on January 2, 1972. San Vicente is nestled in the north-west of Palawan’s mainland, bounded by the Philippine West Sea in the West, the municipality of Taytay in the north, Roxas in the East and City of Puerto Princesa in the Southwest. With a forest area of 82,080.09 hectares and 22 identified islands and islets within its municipal boundaries.

San Vicente is located in the north-western side of the main island of Palawan and is 186 kilometers from Puerto Princesa City. It occupies a total land area of 165,797.6525 hectares. San Vicente is politically subdivided into 11 barangays. Alimanguan Binga Caruray New Villa Fria New Agutaya New Canipo Port Barton Poblacion Panindigan San Isidro Santo Niño In the 2015 census, the population of San Vicente, was 31,232 people, with a density of 21 inhabitants per square kilometre or 54 inhabitants per square mile. In the 2010 NSO Census, San Vicente had a total population of 30,919 at a growth rate of 6%. Population increased by 3,500 from 27,065 in 2008 based on CBMS survey within a 2-year gap; the total number of households was 6,460 with average household size of 5 members. As with the general climate of the Philippine Archipelago, San Vicente's dry season begins in December, lasting until the month of May while the onset of the wet or rainy season is in June drying up again in November. Northestern winds, the amihan prevail from November to May.

Rough coastal waters characterize the south-western winds. Fishing and farming are the major economic activities in San Vicente wherein 29.50% and 25.77% are engaged in it. Rice and coconut are the major agricultural crops and fish products are adequate in the municipality. San Vicente is predominantly fishing and a farming municipality and now gaining recognition as a center of interest for Tourism. San Vicente can offer a diverse range of attractions for nature enthusiasts. Roads and other infrastructure support facilities are now on its implementation process through the help of the National Government; as San Vicente Palawan emerges to become one of the tourism hot spot in the Philippines, the real industry sector becomes stronger. Many land owners who have more than tens of thousand hectare properties have earned millions of pesos on selling their lots to investors. Beach front properties sell like pancakes in the real estate market. Many millionaires have ventured into land banking in San Vicente Palawan with its robust potential, earning exponentially from re-selling their acquired properties.

Rice field properties were sold at P300,000 per hectare in 2014. Three years an hectare big costs P3,000,000, with another increase after the San Vicente Airport started servicing small commercial planes; the introduction of the San Vicente Flagship TEZ was initiated with the marking of a Memorandum of Agreement between the TIEZA and the nearby government unit of San Vicente in 2013 – a fearless advance of the neighborhood organization to uphold association and set the course into tourism improvement. To meet the vision proclamation as the Flagship TEZ and to be a model goal, a Tourism Master Plan was defined to coordinate and accomplish adjusted formative pushes and methodologies of the LGU towards an independent capable and stable group; the Tourism Master Plan expects to advance and encourage feasible and reasonable improvement in the region. In light of the Integrated Tourism Master Plan for the Long Beach range, the Flagship TEZ should be zoned by its attributes and into topics to create tourism items, for example, however not restricted to sun and shoreline and stimulation, recreational and sports tourism, eco-tourism and agri-tourism.

San Vicente Palawan Master Plan contains significant information about San V


Declinism is the belief that a society or institution is tending towards decline. It is the predisposition due to cognitive bias, such as rosy retrospection, to view the past more favourably and future negatively. "The great summit of declinism," according to Adam Gopnick, "was established in 1918, in the book that gave decline its good name in publishing: the German historian Oswald Spengler's best-selling, thousand-page work The Decline of the West." The belief has been traced back to Edward Gibbon's work, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, published between 1776 and 1788, where Gibbon argues that Rome collapsed due to the gradual loss of civic virtue among its citizens, who became lazy and inclined to hire foreign mercenaries to handle the defence of state. He believed that that reason must triumph over superstition to save Europe's superpowers from a similar fate to the Roman Empire. Spengler's book The Decline of the West, which gave Declinism its popular name, was released in the aftermath of the First World War and captured the pessimistic spirit of the times.

Spengler wrote that history had seen the rise and fall of several "civilizations". He claimed these go in cycles spanning 1,000 years. Spengler believed that decline is inevitable; the United States in particular has a history of predicting its own downfall, beginning with European settlement. So called American declinism has been a recurring topic in the politics of the United States since the 1950s. "America is prone to bouts of'declinism,'" The Economist has noted. Historian Victor Davis Hansen has identified several successive stages of American declinism. During the Great Depression, out-of-work Americans viewed the proud, dynamic "New Germany" with envy. In the 1950s, the success of Sputnik 1 and the spread of Communism led Americans to fear they were falling behind the Soviet Union. In the 1970s, Americans fretted over Japan's economic boom. In the 21st century, America's worries have focused on the rise of China, with its massive exports and new megacities, yet one after another of these concerns, Hansen points out, proved unfounded: "Fascism was crushed.

The first had come "with the'Sputnik Shock' of 1957," the second with the Vietnam War, the third with Jimmy Carter's "malaise" and the rise of Japan, the fourth with the ascendancy of China. American declinism can overtake commentators who had taken a sanguine view of the country's prospects. Robert Kagan has noted, for example, that the pundit Fareed Zakaria, who in 2004 "described the United States as enjoying a'comprehensive uni-polarity' unlike anything seen since Rome" had, by 2008, begun "writing about the'post-American world' and'the rise of the rest.'"In a piece which appeared in The Nation on 13 June 2017, author Tom Engelhardt claimed that Donald Trump was America's "first declinist candidate for president". Declinism has been found to be rather widespread in the United Kingdom. In a 2015 survey, 70% of Britons agreed with the statement that "things are worse than they used to be," though at the time Britons were in fact "richer and longer-living than before." However, it was mentioned that many of the things that older people mourn from their youths were no longer existent in modern society.

British historian Robert Tombs suggested that the United Kingdom has faced several'bouts' of Declinism, as far back as the 1880s when German competition in manufactured goods was first felt and again in the 1960s and 1970s, with economic worries, rapid decolonisation and a perception of dwindling power and influence in every field. Tombs however, concluded that "Declinism is at best a distortion of reality" and denied suggestions that Britain was no longer the great power it once was. In France, declinism has been described as a "booming industry" with popular authors such as Michel Onfray writing books and articles exploring failings of France and the West. French Declinsim has been related to the counter-Enlightenment of the early 19th century, to the late 1970s with the end of three decades of post World War 2 economic growth. In modern times, the phenomenon has picked up velocity and cut across the political spectrum with several variations of "déclinisme" emerging, from Catholic reactionaries to nonreligious thinkers questioning national identity and political corruption.

Declinism has been described as "a trick of the mind" and as "an emotional strategy, something comforting to snuggle up to when the present day seems intolerably bleak."One factor in declinism is the so-called "reminiscence bump," meaning that older people tend "to best remember events that happened to them at around the ages of 10-30." As one source puts it, "he vibrancy of youth, the thrill of experiencing things for the first time, creates a'memory bump' compared with which life does seem a bit drab." Gopnick suggests that "the idea of our decline is magnetic, because life is a long slide down, the plateau just passed is easier to love than the one coming up." Citing the widespread love of "old songs," he writes: "The long look back is part of the long ride home. We all believe in yesterday."Another factor is the so-called positivity effect, meaning that "as people get older, they tend to experience fewer negative emotions, they're more to remember positive things over negative things."

Both of these factors c