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Julian Barnes

Julian Patrick Barnes is an English writer. Barnes won the Man Booker Prize for his book The Sense of an Ending, three of his earlier books had been shortlisted for the Booker Prize: Flaubert's Parrot, England and Arthur & George, he has written crime fiction under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh. In addition to novels, Barnes has published collections of short stories. In 2004 he became a Commandeur of L'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, his honours include the Somerset Maugham Award and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize. Barnes was born in Leicester, although his family moved to the outer suburbs of London six weeks afterwards. Both of his parents were French teachers, he has said that his support for Leicester City Football Club was, aged four or five, "a sentimental way of hanging on" to his home city. He was educated at the City of London School from 1957 to 1964. At the age of 10, Barnes was told by his mother that he had "too much imagination". In 1956, the family moved to Northwood, the'Metroland' of his first novel.

He went on to Magdalen College, where he studied Modern Languages. After graduation, he worked as a lexicographer for the Oxford English Dictionary supplement for three years, he worked as a reviewer and literary editor for the New Statesman and the New Review. During his time at the New Statesman, Barnes suffered from debilitating shyness, saying: "When there were weekly meetings I would be paralysed into silence, was thought of as the mute member of staff". From 1979 to 1986 he worked as a television critic, first for the New Statesman and for The Observer, his first novel, Metroland, is the story of Christopher, a young man from the London suburbs who travels to Paris as a student returning to London. The novel deals with themes of idealism and sexual fidelity, has the three-part structure, a common recurrence in Barnes' work. After reading the novel, Barnes' mother complained about the book's "bombardment" of filth, his second novel Before She Met Me features a darker narrative, a story of revenge by a jealous historian who becomes obsessed by his second wife's past.

Barnes's breakthrough novel Flaubert's Parrot departed from the traditional linear structure of his previous novels and featured a fragmentary biographical style story of an elderly doctor, Geoffrey Braithwaite, who focuses obsessively on the life of Gustave Flaubert. In reference to Flaubert, Barnes has said, "he’s the writer whose words I most tend to weigh, who I think has spoken the most truth about writing." Flaubert's Parrot was published to great acclaim in France, it helped established Barnes as one of the pre-eminent writers of his generation. In 1980, under the name Dan Kavanagh, published the first of four crime novels about Duffy, one of Britain's first gay male detectives. Barnes was quoted as calling the use of a pseudonym, "liberating in that you could indulge any fantasies of violence you might have". While Metroland published in 1980 took Barnes eight years to write, Duffy took less than two weeks - an experiment to test "what it would be like writing as fast as I possible could in a concentrated way".

Staring at the Sun followed in 1986, another ambitious novel about a woman growing to maturity in post-war England who deals with issues of love and mortality. In 1989 Barnes published A History of the World in 10½ Chapters, a non-linear novel, which uses a variety of writing styles to call into question the perceived notions of human history and knowledge itself. In 1991, he published Talking It Over, a contemporary love triangle, in which the three characters take turns to talk to the reader, reflecting over common events; this was followed by a sequel, etc, which revisited the characters ten years on. Barnes's novel The Porcupine again deals with a historical theme as it depicts the trial of the former leader of a collapsed Communist country in Eastern Europe, Stoyo Petkanov, as he stands trial for crimes against his country. England, England is a humorous novel that explores the idea of national identity as the entrepreneur Sir Jack Pitman creates a theme park on the Isle of Wight that resembles some of the tourist spots of England.

Arthur & George, a fictional account of a true crime, investigated by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, launched Barnes's career into the more popular mainstream. It was the first of his novels to be featured on the New York Times bestsellers list for Hardback Fiction. Barnes is a keen Francophile, his 1996 book Cross Channel is a collection of 10 stories charting Britain's relationship with France, he returned to the topic of France in Something to Declare, a collection of essays on French subjects. In 2003, Barnes undertook a rare acting role as the voice of Georges Simenon in a BBC Radio 4 series of adaptations of Inspector Maigret stories. Barnes' eleventh novel, The Sense of an Ending, published by Jonathan Cape, was released on 4 August 2011. In October of that year, the book was awarded the Man Booker Prize; the judges took 31 minutes to decide the winner and head judge, Stella Rimington, said The Sense of an Ending was a "beautifully written book" and the panel thought it "spoke to humankind in the 21st Century."

The Sense of an Ending won the Europese Literatuurprijs and was on the New York Times Bestseller list for several weeks. In 2013 Barnes published Levels of Life; the first section of the work gives a history of early ballooning and aerial photography, describing the work of Gaspard-Félix Tournachon. The second part is a short story about Fred Burnaby and the French actor Sarah Bernhardt, both balloonists; the third part is an essay discussing Barnes' grief over the death of his w

Baháʼí statistics

Sources such as Encyclopædia Britannica or the World Christian Encyclopedia have listed Baháʼí membership as over 7 million. More conservative estimates produced by the Baháʼí World News Service reports a Baháʼí membership of more than 5 million worldwide, in "virtually every country" and many territories; as such, the Baháʼí Faith is recognized as the second-most geographically widespread religion after Christianity, the only religion to have grown faster than the population of the world in all major areas over the last century. Membership data on a new, worldwide religion are difficult to arrive at; the religion is entirely contained in a single, organised community, but the Baháʼí population is spread out and not in a majority anywhere. Populations are not assigned a Baháʼí religious adherence by birth, as is the case with other major religions such as Islam and Christianity. Few religious surveys include the Baháʼí Faith due to the high sample size required to reduce the margin of error, those that have included the Baháʼí Faith are known to underestimate or overinflate many proportionally small groups.

Additionally, Baháʼí membership data does not break out active participation from the total number of people who have expressed their belief. The official estimate of "more than five million Baháʼís" in the world was arrived at in 1991 by the Baháʼí World Centre and has not changed since; the official agencies of the religion have focused on publishing more concrete data, such as numbers of local and national spiritual assemblies and territories represented and tribes represented, publishing trusts. In the 1930s the Baháʼís of the United States and Canada began requiring new adherents to sign a declaration of faith, stating their belief in Baháʼu'lláh, the Báb, ʻAbdu'l-Bahá, an understanding that there are laws and institutions to obey; the original purpose of signing a declaration card was to allow followers to apply for lawful exemption from active military service. The signature of a card became optional in Canada, but in the US is still used for records and administrative requirements. Many countries follow the pattern of the Canada.

Other than signing a card and being acknowledged by a Spiritual Assembly, there is no initiation or requirement of attendance to remain on the official roll sheets. Members receive regular mailings; the fact that the religion is diffuse and proportionally small are major barriers to demographic research by outsiders. In the United States, where significant resources are dedicated to gathering data, the Baháʼí Faith is omitted from religious surveys due to the high sample size required to reduce the margin of error. In some countries the Baháʼí Faith is illegal and Baháʼís endure some degree of persecution, making it difficult for Baháʼís to maintain a count. Adherents.com, a website dedicated to collecting statistics on world religions, made the following comments about Baháʼí membership: As with most religious groups, organizationally reported adherent counts include significant numbers of nominal members, or people who no longer participate, yet still identify themselves as adherents. There are valid arguments that some of the "mass conversions" have resulted in adherents with little or no acculturation into the new religious system.

As is typical with a religious group made up of converts, Baha'is who drift from active participation in the movement are less to retain nominal identification with the religion -- because it was not the religion of their parents or the majority religion of the surrounding culture. On the other hand, there are no countries in which people are automatically assigned to the Baha'i Faith at birth, so their numbers aren't inflated with people who have never willingly participated in or been influenced by the religion while adults. On balance, while official Baha'i figures are not a measure of active participants, the proportion of participating adherents among claimed adherents is thought to be higher than average among the "major religions" on this list; the Baha'i community is remarkably active and influential in religious matters on both global and local levels given their small numbers compared to some other religions. Most denominations make no effort at all to maintain a national membership database and must rely on local churches or surveys of the general population.

Local church membership rolls are maintained poorly because there may be no need for an official membership list and local congregations sometimes do not provide their denomination's membership data when asked. As early as 1991 official estimates were of "more than five million Baháʼís", still in use as of 2017; the Department of Statistics, Baháʼí World Centre, does not provide an estimated total, but publishes more concrete statistics, such as the representation among countries and tribes. In 2001 the department claimed there were 11,740 local Spiritual Assemblies, 127,381 localities in 236 countries and territories. A 1997 statement by the NSA of South Africa wrote: "…the Baháʼí Faith enjoys a world-wide following in excess of six million people." In 1989 the journal Religion published an article by Baháʼís Moojan Peter Smith. They observed; the vast majority of these lived in Iran." And by the end of the 1960s, "we'guestimate' that there may now have been about one million Baháʼís." A 1987 report, published in the United States Baháʼí News reports 4.74 million Baháʼís in 1986 growing at a rate of

British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines

British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines or BCPA, was an airline registered in New South Wales, Australia in June 1946 with headquarters in Sydney. It was formed by the governments of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom to pursue trans-Pacific flights. BCPA was taken over by Qantas. BCPA was formed by treaty through an "Agreement between the Governments of Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom for the Formation of British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines Limited" with an initial capital of 10,000 Australian Pounds; the initial agreement was signed on 4 August 1947, with ownership restrictions between the governments removed on 27 October 1949. The original BCPA route was Sydney – AucklandFijiCanton IslandHawaiiSan FranciscoVancouver and included Melbourne. BCPA chartered all flights to Australian National Airways, which used its Douglas DC-4s; the inaugural flight departed from Sydney on 15 September 1946. In late 1948, BCPA took delivery of the first of four Douglas DC-6 aircraft, outfitted as Pullman-type sleepers, bundling board options with small port holes bedside.

Each aircraft was named for one of the four sailing vessels of Captain Cook, Discovery and Endeavour. The airline had ordered six de Havilland Comet jet airliners in 1952 for delivery in 1954. In 1953 it had agreed to buy three Comet IIs for delivery at the end of 1956 and retain two of the DC-6s for tourist-class carriage. In October 1953 discussions were held by the three governments to allow the airline to be taken over by Qantas Empire Airways. In 1954 it was announced that Qantas Empire Airways would take over the BCPA services between Australia and North America and would take over the order for three Comets. A Douglas DC-6 operating BCPA Flight 304 crashed on approach to San Francisco International Airport on 29 October 1953. Among the passengers killed in the crash was American concert pianist William Kapell whose estate sued BCPA, BOAC, Qantas, which had taken over BCPA. In 1964 Kapell's widow and two children were awarded US$924,396 damages; this was retracted and the Kapell family received only the standard $7,000 internationally agreed award.

Moore, Harry M. Silver Wings in Pacific Skies: Australia's First Trans-Pacific Airline: British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines. Brisbane, Qld: Boolarong Publications. ISBN 0864391641. Media related to British Commonwealth Pacific Airlines at Wikimedia Commons