Iron Curtain

The Iron Curtain was a non-physical boundary dividing Europe into two separate areas from the end of World War II in 1945 until the end of the Cold War in 1991. The term symbolizes the efforts by the Soviet Union to block itself and its satellite states from open contact with the West and its allied states. On the east side of the Iron Curtain were the countries that were connected to or influenced by the Soviet Union, while on the west side were the countries that were NATO members or nominally neutral. Separate international economic and military alliances were developed on each side of the Iron Curtain, it became a term for the 7,000-kilometre long physical barrier of fences, walls and watchtowers that divided the "east" and "west". The Berlin Wall was part of this physical barrier; the nations to the east of the Iron Curtain were Poland, East Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria and the USSR. Countries that made up the USSR were Russia, Latvia, Estonia, Armenia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Lithuania and Kazakhstan.

The events that demolished the Iron Curtain started with peaceful opposition in Poland, continued into Hungary, East Germany and Czechoslovakia. Romania became the only communist state in Europe to overthrow its government with violence; the use of the term Iron Curtain as a metaphor for strict separation goes back at least as far as the early 19th century. It referred to fireproof curtains in theaters. Although its popularity as a Cold War symbol is attributed to its use in a speech Winston Churchill gave on the 5 March 1946 in Fulton, Nazi German Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels had used the term in reference to the Soviet Union. Various usages of the term "iron curtain" pre-date Churchill's use of the phrase; the concept goes back to the Babylonian Talmud of the 3rd to 5th centuries CE, where Tractate Sota 38b refers to a "mechitza shel barzel", an iron barrier or divider: "אפילו מחיצה של ברזל אינה מפסקת בין ישראל לאביהם שבשמים‎". The term "iron curtain" has since been used metaphorically in two rather different senses – firstly to denote the end of an era and secondly to denote a closed geopolitical border.

The source of these metaphors can refer to either the safety curtain deployed in theatres or to roller shutters used to secure commercial premises. The first metaphorical usage of "iron curtain", in the sense of an end of an era should be attributed to British author Arthur Machen, who used the term in his 1895 novel The Three Impostors: "...the door clanged behind me with the noise of thunder, I felt that an iron curtain had fallen on the brief passage of my life". The English translation of a Russian text shown below repeats the use of "clang" with reference to an "iron curtain", suggesting that the Russian writer, publishing 23 years after Machen, may have been familiar with the popular British author. Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians used the term "Iron Curtain" in the context of World War I to describe the political situation between Belgium and Germany in 1914; the first recorded application of the term to Soviet Russia, again in the sense of the end of an era, comes in Vasily Rozanov's 1918 polemic The Apocalypse of Our Times, it is possible that Churchill read it there following the publication of the book's English translation in 1920.

The passage runs: With clanging and squeaking, an iron curtain is lowering over Russian History. "The performance is over." The audience got up. "Time to put on your fur coats and go home." We looked around. The first English-language use of the term iron curtain applied to the border of Soviet Russia in the sense of "an impenetrable barrier" was used in 1920 by Ethel Snowden, in her book Through Bolshevik Russia. G. K. Chesterton used the phrase in a 1924 essay in The Illustrated London News. Chesterton, while defending Distributism, refers to "that iron curtain of industrialism that has cut us off not only from our neighbours' condition, but from our own past"; the term appears in England, Their England, an 1933 satirical novel by the Scottish writer A. G. Macdonell; the iron curtain was down". Sebastian Haffner used the metaphor in his book Germany: Jekyll & Hyde, published in London in 1940, in introducing his discussion of the Nazi rise to power in Germany in 1933: "Back to March 1933. How, a moment before the iron curtain was wrung down on it, did the German political stage appear?"All German theatres had to install an iron curtain as an obligatory precaution to prevent the possibility of fire spreading from the stage to the rest of the theatre.

Such fires were rather common because the decor was flammable. In case of fire, a metal wall would separate the stage from

Liverpool Overhead Railway electric units

The Liverpool Overhead Railway opened on 6 March 1893 with 2-car electric multiple units, the first to operate in the world. Each lightweight car had a 60 horsepower motor. In 1902 these were replaced with two 100 horsepower motors. After 1945 some trains were modernised, replacing the timber body with aluminium and plywood and fitting power operated sliding doors under control of the guard; the trains were all removed from service when the railway closed in 1956. An original example was retained by the Museum of Liverpool and an example of a modernised carriage is stored at the Electric Railway Museum, Warwickshire; the Liverpool Overhead Railway was an elevated railway operating in and around the dockside of Liverpool that opened on 6 March 1893 with the first electric multiple units operating in the world. The railway opened with 15 two-car trains, built by Brown, Marshall & Co, each lightweight car with a 60 horsepower motor and 45 feet long, 8 feet 6 inches wide with seating for 41 in second class and 16 in first.

Power was provided by a third rail between the tracks and air brakes were fitted, the pressure topped up at terminus stations. In the early days, a single motor coach would run off-peak. Leather high-backed seating was provided in the first class compartment, while third class consisted of wooden seating in bays of six, with hanging straps for standees during peak times. A further 4 two-car trains were built in 1894, these were only 40 feet long, followed by enough motor cars and trailers were built in 1896 to allow 15 two-car trains and 8 three-car trains to be formed; these newer motor cars were fitted with 70 horsepower motors. To meet competition from the electric tramways that offered a faster service, in 1902 the motor cars were fitted with two Dick, Kerr & Co. 100 horsepower motors, which reduced the travel time from end to end from 32 minutes to 20 minutes. At the same time, ten motor cars were widened to 9 feet 4 inches to increase accommodation. First and second class accommodation was provided, but after the L&YR began running over the railway in 1905 this became first and third.

The conductor rail was moved from the central position to outside the running rails at the same time. The two-car trains were lengthened to three-car with additional trailers built in 1916–18; the cars were now arranged with transverse seating, the unpowered central coach was fitted with leather-covered seats for first class passengers. The motors were replaced in 1919 by 75 horsepower motors, the travel time increased to 31 minutes. In 1945–47 a three car train was modernised, replacing the timber body with aluminium and plywood and fitting power operated sliding doors under control of the guard. New trains were considered too expensive; the trains were all removed from service when the railway closed in 1956. An original example was retained by the Museum of Liverpool and an example of a modernised carriage is stored at the Electric Railway Museum, Warwickshire. Gahan, John W.. Seventeen Stations to Dingle. Countrywise. ISBN 0907768202. Marsden, Colin J.. The DC Electrics. Ian Allan. ISBN 978-0-86093-615-2

Antonio Dal Monte

Antonio Dal Monte is an Italian physician, former Scientific Director and Head of the Department of Physiology and Biomechanics Institute of Sports Science of the Italian National Olympic Committee. Dal Monte was Scientific Director and Head of the Department of Physiology and Biomechanics Institute of Science of the Italian National Olympic Committee Sport, he is considered one of the founders of Science of functional evaluation of Athlete, of which he was a teacher at the School of Specialization in Sports Medicine for Doctor of the University of Rome La Sapienza, of the Catholic University of Sacred Heart of Rome and of the University of L'Aquila. Dal Monte graduated from the faculty of Medicine and Surgery at the University of Rome obtained a teaching qualification in Physiology Human and Sports Medicine, he is a specialist in Pneumology, Occupational Medicine and in aerospace medicine. For more than 35 years, Del Monte has consulted with Fiat in the field of vehicle seat and on-board instrumentation design as well as the ergonomic study of the driving position and posture of race vehicles, motorboats and gliders — to understand and optimize the operational relationship of man and machine.

Consulting with Fiat, Del Monte designed seats for the Fiat Idea using biometric principles developed at the Italian National Olympic Committee's sport medicine institute. Del Monte carried out scientific work in the field of evaluation cardio-circulatory, respiratory and biomechanical of athletes, reflected in the publication of several books and scientific works, he designed numerous devices an ergometer for the field study of athlete and for the laboratory simulation of the sporting gesture. 2006 Honorary Doctorate in Sciences and Techniques of Sports