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Geography of Mauritania

Mauritania, a country in the western region of the continent of Africa, is flat, its 1,030,700 square kilometres forming vast, arid plains broken by occasional ridges and clifflike outcroppings. It borders the North Atlantic Ocean, between Senegal and Western Sahara and Algeria, it is considered part of the Maghreb. A series of scarps face southwest, longitudinally bisecting these plains in the center of the country; the scarps separate a series of sandstone plateaus, the highest of, the Adrar Plateau, reaching an elevation of 500 metres. Spring-fed oases lie at the foot of some of the scarps. Isolated peaks rich in minerals, rise above the plateaus; the concentric Guelb er Richat is a prominent feature of the north-central region. Kediet ej Jill, near the city of Zouîrât, is the highest peak. Three-fourths of Mauritania is desert or semidesert; as a result of extended, severe drought, the desert has been expanding since the mid-1960s. The plateaus descend toward the northeast to the barren El Djouf, or "Empty Quarter," a vast region of large sand dunes that merges into the Sahara Desert.

To the west, between the ocean and the plateaus, are alternating areas of clayey plains and sand dunes, some of which shift from place to place moved by high winds. The dunes increase in size and mobility toward the north. Belts of natural vegetation, corresponding to the rainfall pattern, extend from east to west and range from traces of tropical forest along the Sénégal River to brush and savanna in the southeast. Only sandy desert is found in the north of the country; the climate is characterized by meager and irregular rainfall. Annual temperature variations are small; the harmattan, a hot and dust-laden wind, blows from the Sahara throughout the long dry season and is the prevailing wind, except along the narrow coastal strip, influenced by oceanic trade winds. Most rain falls during the short rainy season, from July to September, average annual precipitation varies from 500 to 600 millimetres in the far south to less than 100 millimetres in the northern two-thirds of the country. Mauritania has four ecological zones: the Saharan Zone, the Sahelian Zone, the Senegal River Valley, the Coastal Zone.

Although the zones are markedly different from one another, no natural features delineate the boundaries between them. Sand, varying in color and composition, covers 40 percent of the surface of the country, forming dunes that appear in all zones except the Senegal River Valley. Fixed sand dunes are composed of coarse, fawn-colored sand, while shifting dunes consist of fine, reddish-colored sands that can be carried by the wind. Plateaus are covered with heavier blue and black sands that form a crusty surface over layers of soft, loose sand; the Saharan Zone makes up the northern two-thirds of the country. Its southern boundary corresponds to the isohyet that represents annual precipitation of 150 millimetres. Rain falls during the hivernage, which lasts from July to September. Isolated storms drop large amounts of water in short periods of time. A year, or several years, may pass without any rain in some locations. Diurnal variations in temperature in the Saharan Zone may be extreme, although annual variations are minimal.

During December and January, temperatures range from an early morning low of 0 °C to a midafternoon high of 38 °C. During May and July, temperatures range from 16 °C in the morning to more than 49 °C by afternoon. Throughout the year, the harmattan causes blinding sandstorms; the administrative regions of Tiris Zemmour in the north, Adrar in the center, northern Hodh ech Chargui in the east, which make up most of the Saharan Zone, are vast empty stretches of dunes alternating with granite outcroppings. After a rain, or in the presence of a well, these outcroppings may support vegetation. In the populated Adrar and Tagant plateaus and wells provide water for pasturage and some agriculture. In the western portion of the Saharan Zone, extending toward Nouakchott, rows of sand dunes are aligned from northeast to southwest in ridges from two to twenty kilometres wide. Between these ridges are depressions filled with limestone and clayey sand capable of supporting vegetation after a rain. Dunes in the far north shift with the wind more than those in the south.

The Saharan Zone has little vegetation. Some mountainous areas with a water source support small-leafed and spiny plants and scrub grasses suitable for camels; because seeds of desert plants can remain dormant for many years, dunes sprout sparse vegetation after a rain. In depressions between dunes, where the water is nearer the surface, some flora—including acacias, soapberry trees and swallowwort—may be found. Saline areas have a particular kind of vegetation chenopods, which are adapted to high salt concentrations in the soil. Cultivation is limited to oases; the Sahelian Zone extends south of the Saharan Zone to within 30 kilometres of the Senegal River. It forms an east–west belt with its axis running from Boutilimit through'Ayoûn el'Atroûs to Néma, including the Aoukar basin; the area is made up of steppes and savanna grasslands. Herds of cattle and goats move across this zone in search of pasturage; the hivernage begins e

Geoff Lawson (designer)

Geoff Lawson was a British car designer and was Design Director for Jaguar from 1989 until his death in June 1999. He was succeeded at Jaguar by Ian Callum. Lawson was born in Leicester, England in 1944, he studied Design at the Leicester College of Art before completing a master's degree in furniture design at the Royal College of Art, London. A man of diverse hobbies and interests, he was interested in American cars and shooting, model making, guitar playing and guitar design, mountain biking, abstract art and sculpture. After graduating from the RCA, he joined the British subsidiary of General Motors, Vauxhall, as a designer, where he worked on various passenger cars and commercial vehicles, his work included many European and American projects and he progressed to Chief Designer level. In 1984, he joined Jaguar as Director of Styling, where he arguably produced his best known and most influential work, he joined at a time when Jaguar was haemorrhaging money and its reputation of design and manufacturing excellence was fading after decades of neglect, forcing a subsequent takeover by Ford in 1989.

During his 15 years at Jaguar he was responsible for shaping the entire Jaguar line up, including the 1992 XJ220 supercar, the 1995 XJ luxury saloon, the 1996 XK grand tourer and the 1998 S-Type mid-size saloon. Before his death, he supervised the styling of the 2001 X-Type compact saloon and the new aluminium-bodied 2004 XJ. Lawson played a significant role in the commercial revival of the company, which in the last decade went from basket case to record sales and a new-found reputation for good quality; this turnaround led to parent-company Ford and Jaguar's chairman, Wolfgang Reitzle, to set ambitious sales targets in the belief that Jaguar could become a major luxury car manufacturer in the mould of Audi, BMW, Mercedes-Benz. He won numerous awards for his designs at Jaguar and led a major expansion of the company’s styling resources and facilities at their Whitley Engineering Centre. In June 2000, Jaguar opened the Geoff Lawson Studio in his memory in Whitley, responsible for producing future Jaguar concept cars.

In addition, Jaguar endowed a scholarship at the RCA,'The Geoff Lawson Jaguar Scholarship' in his honour to celebrate his achievements at Jaguar. Http://

Malin Kundang

Malin Kundang, Si Tanggang called Nakhoda Manis, is a Southeast Asian folktale about retribution on an ungrateful son. A sailor from a poor family, the protagonist sneaks onto a trading ship becoming rich, marrying a princess, acquiring his own galleon. On his return to his home village, he is ashamed of his humble origins and refuses to recognise his elderly mother, she curses him, when he sets sail, he and his ship are turned to stone. In Indonesia, the story is called Malin Kundang, the legend is based in West Sumatra. Air Manis, a beach near Padang, has a rock formation called Batu Malin Kundang, said to be the remains of his ship. Another Indonesian folk story, alike but take the different location is the legend of Sampuraga; the legend is based in Central Borneo. Belantikan Hulu, a remote area along the river Lamandau, has a rock formation called Bukit Sampuraga, believed to be the ruins of his ship. In Brunei, the local variant of the story is called Nakhoda Manis and is associated with a prow-like rock, Jong Batu, in the Brunei River.

In Malaysia and Singapore, the story is known as Si Tenggang or Si Tanggang’’ One unique Malaysian variant is Cerita Megat Sajobang in which the main character, Tenggang or Tanggang, is an orang asli who assimilates himself into Malay society and refuses to receive his loincloth-wearing parents. As a parable on family responsibility, the story is popular in Southeast Asia as a theme for animations, film and literature until today. For example: a black and white Malay movie was produced in 1961. Malin Kundang Nakoda Manis ASEAN Stories Project

Gros Ventre Wilderness

The Gros Ventre Wilderness is located in Bridger-Teton National Forest in the U. S. state of Wyoming. Most of the Gros Ventre Range is located within the wilderness. U. S. Wilderness Areas do not allow mechanized vehicles, including bicycles. Although camping and fishing are allowed with proper permit, no roads or buildings are constructed and there is no logging or mining, in compliance with the 1964 Wilderness Act. Wilderness areas within National Forests and Bureau of Land Management areas allow hunting in season. Etymology: In French, Gros Ventre means big belly / big stomach. List of U. S. Wilderness Areas "Gros Ventre Wilderness"; the National Wilderness Preservation System. Retrieved 2006-08-16. "USGS Darwin Peak Topo Map Quad". TopoQuest. Retrieved 2008-06-30. "Wilderness Legislation: The Wilderness Act of 1964". The National Wilderness Preservation System. Retrieved 2006-08-16

Castell de ferro

Castell de Ferro, located in the province of Granada, is known principally for its tourism, its agriculture and its conservation of traditional constructions. However, the beachfront is full of modern apartments. Castell de Ferro is situated in the central part of Granada's coast. Near this location we can find El Calahonda y La Mamola; the Castell de Ferro's coast is characterized for its beaches. According to Manuel Sanchis guarner, Castell de Ferro comes from the mozarab autochthon evolution that conserves archaisms such us the no diphthongization of the Latin letter É; the survival of these archaisms, is explained by the greater fidelity to the Latin Andalusian romance. It has been attempted sometimes to justify, without much foundation, the influence in the toponomy of emigrants arrived after the Christian conquest; this same phenomenon occurs in other names such as Ferreira or Poqueira, which are believed to have similarities with the galician language The origin of Castell de Ferro dates back to Phoenician times, according to some historians.

It has many architectural remains of Arab origin or Roman. It has a tremendous tower overlooking the town from the hill, which may have that Phoenician source, although it has Arabic characteristics. Over the Marsa al-Firruy, al-Idrisi wrote, during the 12th century, about discovering the path that led from Málaga to Almería along the coast. Muslims said that the city was "A port with a little pond." By his role was port. The stronghold does not seem to be documented until the fifteenth century, some sources refer to it with the term "Castil"; this curious name seems to have romance origins, but after an Arabic adaptation it ended up with the name of Castil de fierro. It ended up with its actual name due to the influence of the local fishermen, who pronounced Castel de Ferro. Since the 60s it has experienced agricultural development. According to the National Statistical Institute of Spain, in 2014 Castell de Ferro had 2964 registered inhabitants, representing 59.58% of the total population of the municipality.

Among the architectural elements Castell de Ferro has because of its history, its Moorish castle stands out. It has Nazari origins and its unfinished. Other elements of the period are three watchtowers that were lookouts and defenses against the Barbary pirates who came to their shores, la Torre de Cambriles, la Torre de la Estancia and la Torre del Zambullón. With Roman origins according to scholars of heritage, we can find the Torre de la Rijana, located a few kilometers from Castell de Ferro, who heads a small side creek appreciated by tourism and has become famous for the filming of the movie " Al sur de Granda”; this part of the Costa Tropical is the least known by foreign tourists. Castell de Ferro, known for its clear waters, has some of the most beautiful beaches among the mediterranean coast. With its lack of infrastructure, this beach is still untouched, it is an area of crops and intensive farming of high quality, such as cucumbers, zucchini and avocados, most of which are for export to Northern Europe and other areas of Spain.

One of the most visited beaches is la Rijana, were you can go for a relaxed swim among with other visitants and tourists. The Rijana despite being located in the Costa Tropical of Granada, has always been named one of the best and most voted beaches of the Costa del Sol

Juan Pons

Joan Pons Álvarez is a Spanish operatic baritone, known internationally as Juan Pons. Pons made his international début in 1980 at the Teatro alla Scala of Milan with Falstaff, staged by Giorgio Strehler and conducted by Lorin Maazel. Since he has been a guest of the most important theatres all over the world, including the Metropolitan Opera House of New York, the Vienna Staatsoper, Covent Garden in London, the Opéra of Paris, Zürich, the Liceo in Barcelona and the Arena of Verona, his repertoire includes all the main baritone roles. Besides Falstaff, a role he played in 1993 at the La Scala under Riccardo Muti on the occasion of the centennial anniversary of its first performance, he has interpreted many of Verdi's most important baritone roles in Il trovatore, Ernani, Un ballo in maschera, Rigoletto, La forza del destino, La traviata, Simon Boccanegra and Macbeth, he has performed in Leoncavallo's Pagliacci, Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana and Puccini's Tosca, Gianni Schicchi, Il tabarro, La fanciulla del West and Madama Butterfly.

Besides the mainstream repertoire, Juan Pons has sung less well-known works such as Aroldo, Hérodiade, Roberto Devereux and Respighi's La fiamma. As of 2011, Juan Pons has sung 337 performances at the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City. In the 1997–98 season he was in a production of Sly by Wolf-Ferrari alongside José Carreras, as well as in Giordano's La Cena delle Beffe, both productions presented at the Zurich Opera. Furthermore, he sang Aida at the Teatro Real of Madrid. In the summer of 1998 he sang in a production of Pagliacci staged by Liliana Cavani and conducted by Riccardo Muti alongside Plácido Domingo at the Ravenna Festival, to which he returned in 2001 as Falstaff, once again under the baton of Muti. In 2002 he appeared in Sly and Rigoletto at the Metropolitan Opera House, in Madama Butterfly in Tokyo under the baton of Myung-whun Chung and in Simon Boccanegra at the Opéra Bastille of Paris, his commitments for 2003 included: Madama Butterfly at the Teatro Comunale in Florence, Andrea Chénier and Simon Boccanegra at the Teatro Regio di Torino, La Gioconda and Don Carlos at the Zurich Opera, Otello at the New National Theatre Tokyo, Aida at the Liceo of Barcelona.

During 2004 he sang Aida, Cavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci at the Metropolitan Opera, Macbeth at the Liceo of Barcelona, Madama Butterfly at the Arena of Verona, at the Torre del Lago Puccini Festival and on a tour in Japan with the same festival, La fanciulla del West and La traviata at the Zurich Opera and Aida and Tosca at the Vienna Staatsoper. In 2005 he recorded Puccini's Edgar with Plácido Domingo with Deutsche Grammophon. James Levine's 25th Anniversary Metropolitan Opera Gala, Deutsche Grammophon DVD, B0004602-09 Antoni Pizà, Bartomeu Amengual, Luciano Pavarotti: Bravo Joan Pons ISBN 84-95694-23-9 Official webpage Video of Juan Pons in I Pagliacci