Gunpowder known as black powder to distinguish it from modern smokeless powder, is the earliest known chemical explosive. It consists of a mixture of sulfur and potassium nitrate; the sulfur and charcoal act as fuels. Because of its incendiary properties and the amount of heat and gas volume that it generates, gunpowder has been used as a propellant in firearms, artillery and fireworks, as a blasting powder in quarrying and road building. Gunpowder was invented in 9th-century China as one of the Four Great Inventions, spread throughout most parts of Eurasia by the end of the 13th century. Developed by the Taoists for medicinal purposes, gunpowder was first used for warfare about 904 AD. Gunpowder is classified as a low explosive because of its slow decomposition rate and low brisance. Low explosives deflagrate at subsonic speeds, whereas high explosives detonate producing a supersonic shockwave. Ignition of gunpowder packed behind a projectile generates enough pressure to force the shot from the muzzle at high speed, but not enough force to rupture the gun barrel.
Gunpowder thus makes a good propellant, but is less suitable for shattering rock or fortifications with its low-yield explosive power. However, by transferring enough energy a bombardier may wear down an opponent's fortified defenses. Gunpowder was used to fill fused artillery shells until the second half of the 19th century, when the first high explosives were put into use. Gunpowder is no longer used in modern weapons, nor is it used for industrial purposes, due to its inefficient cost compared to newer alternatives such as dynamite and ammonium nitrate/fuel oil. Today gunpowder firearms are limited to hunting, target shooting, bulletless historical reenactments; the first confirmed reference to what can be considered gunpowder in China occurred in the 9th century AD during the Tang dynasty, first in a formula contained in the Taishang Shengzu Jindan Mijue in 808, about 50 years in a Taoist text known as the Zhenyuan miaodao yaolüe. Based on a 9th-century Taoist text, the invention of gunpowder by Chinese alchemists was an accidental byproduct from experiments seeking to create the elixir of life.
This experimental medicine origin of gunpowder is reflected in its Chinese name huoyao, which means "fire medicine". The first military applications of gunpowder were developed around 904 AD; the earliest chemical formula for gunpowder appeared in the 11th century Song dynasty text, Wujing Zongyao, however gunpowder had been used for fire arrows since at least the 10th century. In the following centuries various gunpowder weapons such as bombs, fire lances, the gun appeared in China. Saltpeter was known to the Chinese by the mid-1st century AD and was produced in the provinces of Sichuan and Shandong. There is strong evidence of the use of sulfur in various medicinal combinations. A Chinese alchemical text dated 492 noted saltpeter burnt with a purple flame, providing a practical and reliable means of distinguishing it from other inorganic salts, thus enabling alchemists to evaluate and compare purification techniques; the first reference to the incendiary properties of such mixtures is the passage of the Zhenyuan miaodao yaolüe, a Taoist text tentatively dated to the mid-9th century: "Some have heated together sulfur and saltpeter with honey.
The Chinese word for "gunpowder" is Chinese: 火药/火藥. In the following centuries a variety of gunpowder weapons such as rockets and land mines appeared before the first metal barrel firearms were invented. Explosive weapons such as bombs have been discovered in a shipwreck off the shore of Japan dated from 1281, during the Mongol invasions of Japan; the Chinese Wujing Zongyao, written by Zeng Gongliang between 1040 and 1044, provides encyclopedia references to a variety of mixtures that included petrochemicals—as well as garlic and honey. A slow match for flame throwing mechanisms using the siphon principle and for fireworks and rockets is mentioned; the mixture formulas in this book do not contain enough saltpeter to create an explosive however. The Essentials was however written by a Song dynasty court bureaucrat, there is little evidence that it had any immediate impact on warfare. However, by 1083 the Song court was producing hundreds of thousands of fire arrows for their garrisons. Bombs and the first proto-guns, known as "fire lances", became prominent during the 12th century and were used by the Song during the Jin-Song Wars.
Fire lances were first recorded to have been used at the Siege of De'an in 1132 by Song forces against the Jin. In the early 13th century the Jin utilized iron-casing bombs. Projectiles were added to fire lances, re-usable fire lance barrels were developed, first out of hardened paper, metal. By 1257 some fir
Goshen and Little North Mountain Wildlife Management Area is a protected area located in Rockbridge and Augusta counties, Virginia. At 33,697 acres, it is the largest Wildlife Management Area managed by the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries; the area comprises two parcels of land bisected by the Maury River. Three major mountains are found within the forested area, in addition to a lesser amount of native herbaceous habitat. Goshen and Little North Mountain Wildlife Management Area lies adjacent to George Washington National Forest and the Goshen Pass Natural Area Preserve, it is open to the public for hunting, fishing, horseback riding, primitive camping. Access for persons 17 years of age or older requires a valid hunting or fishing permit, or a WMA access permit. List of Virginia Wildlife Management Areas Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries: Goshen and Little North Mountain Wildlife Management Area
Paul A. Cantor is an American literary and media critic, he is the Clifton Waller Barrett Professor in the English Department at the University of Virginia. As a young man Cantor attended Ludwig von Mises' seminars in New York City, he went on to study English literature at Harvard, where he studied politics with Harvey Mansfield. Cantor has taught for many years at the University of Virginia, where he is the Clifton Waller Barrett Professor of English. Cantor has written on a wide range of subjects, including Shakespeare, Christopher Marlowe, Ben Jonson, Jane Austen, Shelley, Romanticism, Oscar Wilde, H. G. Wells, Leo Strauss, Samuel Beckett, Salman Rushdie, Tom Stoppard, Don Delillo, New Historicism, Austrian economics, postcolonial novels, contemporary popular culture, relations between culture and commerce. Cantor has published extensively on Shakespeare. In Shakespeare's Rome: Republic and Empire, a revision of his doctoral thesis, he analyzes Shakespeare's Roman plays and contrasts the austere, republican mentality of Coriolanus with the bibulous and erotic energies of Antony and Cleopatra.
He returns to the Roman plays in Shakespeare's Roman Trilogy: The Twilight of the Ancient World In Shakespeare: Hamlet, he depicts Hamlet as a man torn between pagan and Christian conceptions of heroism. In his articles on Macbeth, he analyzes "the Scottish play" using similar polarities. Cantor has published articles on many other Shakespeare plays, including As You Like It, The Merchant of Venice, Henry V, King Lear, Timon of Athens, The Tempest. Cantor's second book and Creator: Myth-Making and English Romanticism, includes discussions of Rousseau, Blake and the Shelleys. Cantor is best known for his writings on popular culture. In Gilligan Unbound: Pop Culture in the Age of Globalization, he analyzes four popular American television shows: Gilligan's Island, Star Trek, The Simpsons, The X-Files. A 2004 article in Americana described Cantor as "a preeminent scholar in the field of American popular culture studies." His most recent book on the subject is The Invisible Hand in Popular Culture: Liberty vs. Authority in American Film and TV.
He has published many articles, most of which are listed on his webpage at the University of Virginia. Cantor has combined his interest in literature with an interest in Austrian Economics. Literature and the Economics of Liberty: Spontaneous Order in Culture, a collection of essays Cantor edited with Stephen Cox, explores ways in which one can use Austrian economics to understand works of literature. Cantor has presented his work at the Ludwig von Mises Institute and in 1992 received the Ludwig von Mises Prize for Scholarship in Austrian Economics. Webpage at UVA: Paul Cantor's faculty profile on the University of Virginia English Department website, with some bibliography. Videos featuring Paul A. Cantor: A series of ten audio/video lectures by Paul A. Cantor on Commerce and Culture at the Mises Institute in Auburn, Alabama, USA. A series of twenty five video lectures by Paul A. Cantor on the theme of Shakespeare and Politics, recorded in the government department of Harvard University. Conversations with Bill Kristol, with focus on Shakespeare Conversations with Bill Kristol, with focus on contemporary popular culture, Deadwood, Breaking Bad, etc.
Conversations with Bill Kristol, with focus on Cantor's recommendations for literary works in favor of libertyOnline publications by Paul A. Cantor: Austrian economic and culture: An interview with Paul Cantor Cantor's articles at reason.com Cantor's texts at mises.org Cantor's article "This Is Not Your Father's FBI" Conversation with Paul A. Cantor on popular American culture Cantor's article "Popular Culture and Spontaneous Order or How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Love the Tube" Cantor's review article "Economic and Cultural Globalization" Cantor's recent book, co-edited with Stephen Cox: Literature and the Economics of Liberty: Spontaneous Order in Culture. An hour-long audio-presentation of the above book by Paul A. Cantor A short REASON. TV-interview with Cantor about the above book Cantor's essay on "The Apocalyptic Strain in Popular Culture" Paul Cantor interviewed by William Kristol on popular culture and Shakespeare