Kalahari Desert

The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid sandy savanna in Southern Africa extending for 900,000 square kilometres, covering much of Botswana, parts of Namibia and regions of South Africa. It is not to be confused with the Angolan and South African Namib coastal desert, whose name is of Khoekhoegowab origin and means "vast place". Kalahari is derived from the Tswana word Kgala, meaning "the great thirst", or Kgalagadi, meaning "a waterless place". Drainage of the desert is by dry valleys, seasonally inundated pans and the large salt pans of the Makgadikgadi Pan in Botswana and Etosha Pan in Namibia; the only permanent river, the Okavango, flows into a delta in the northwest, forming marshes that are rich in wildlife. Ancient dry riverbeds—called omuramba—traverse the central northern reaches of the Kalahari and provide standing pools of water during the rainy season. A semi-desert, with huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains, the Kalahari supports more animals and plants than a true desert, such as the Namib Desert to the west.

There are small amounts of rainfall and the summer temperature is high. The driest areas receive 110–200 millimetres of rain per year, the wettest just a little over 500 millimetres; the surrounding Kalahari Basin covers over 2,500,000 square kilometres extending further into Botswana and South Africa, encroaching into parts of Angola and Zimbabwe. Numerous pans exist within the Kalahari, including the Groot-vloer Pan and Verneukpan where evidence of a wetter climate exists in the form of former contouring for capturing of water; this and other pans, as well as river bottoms, were written about extensively at Sciforums by an article by Walter Wagner regarding the extensive wet areas of the Kalahari. The Kalahari is extensive and extends further north where abandoned extensive roadways exist. North and east where the dry forests and salt lakes prevail, the climate is sub-humid rather than semi-arid. South and west, where the vegetation is predominantly xeric savanna or a semi-desert, the climate is "Kalaharian" semi-arid.

The Kalaharian climate is subtropical, is semi-arid with the dry season during the "cold" season, the coldest six months of the year. It is the southern tropical equivalent of the Sahelian climate with the wet season during summer; the altitude has been adduced as the explanation. For example, winter frost is common from June to August, something seen in the warmer Sahelian regions. For the same reason, summer temperatures can be hot, but not in comparison to regions of low altitude in the Sahel or Sahara, where some stations record average temperatures of the warmest month around 38 °C, whereas the average temperature of the warmest month in any region in the Kalahari never exceeds 29 °C, though daily temperatures reach up to close to 45 °C; the dry season lasts eight months or more, the wet season from less than one month to four months, depending on location. The southwestern Kalahari is the driest area, in particular a small region located towards the west-southwest of Tsaraxaibis; the average annual rainfall ranging from around 110 mm to more than 500 mm in some areas of the north and east.

During summer time in all regions rainfall may go with heavy thunderstorms. In the driest and sunniest parts of the Kalahari, over 4,000 hours of sunshine are recorded annually on average. In the Kalahari, there are two main mechanisms of atmospheric circulation, dominated by the Kalahari High anticyclone: The North and North-west of the Kalahari is subject to the alternation "Intertropical Convergence Zone /"Continental Trade winds"; the ITCZ is the meeting area of the boreal trade winds with their austral counterparts what meteorologists call "Meteorological equator" and the sailors "Doldrum" or "Pot-au-noir": the ITCZ generates rains in the wet season, whereas the continental trade winds cause the dry season. There are huge subterranean water reserves beneath parts of the Kalahari; such reserves may be in part the residues of ancient lakes. The ancient Lake Makgadikgadi dominated the area, covering the Makgadikgadi Pan and surrounding areas, but it drained or dried out some 10,000 years ago.

It may have once covered as much as 120,000 square kilometres. In ancient times, there was sufficient moisture for farming, with dikes and dams collecting the water; these are now filled with sediment, breached, or no longer in use, though they can be seen via Google Earth. The Kalahari has had a complex climatic history over the past million or so years, in line with major global changes. Changes in the last 250,000 years have been reconstructed from various data sources, provide evidence of both former extensive lakes and periods drier than now. During the latter the area of the Kalahari has expanded to include parts of western Zimbabwe, Zambi

Michael Gallagher (guitarist)

Michael Gallagher is an American guitarist, best known for his work with post-metal band Isis. He joined them in 1999 for their debut LP Celestial, having been a member of Cast Iron Hike, he has an ambient project known as MGR. He plays a'78 Les Paul Custom, which he bought through a Fryette Sig: x Amplifier. While playing in Isis he tuned his guitar down to Dropped B, like his bandmate Aaron Turner, he hails from Pennsylvania. Watch it Burn Cast Iron Hike Sawblade Isis / Pig Destroyer Celestial SGNL>05 Oceanic Panopticon Oceanic: Remixes & Reinterpretations In the Fishtank 14 In the Absence of Truth Wavering Radiant Nova Lux Wavering on the Cresting Heft 22nd of May Creative Eclipse interview with Gallagher Interview with Gallagher at PopMatters Interview with Gallagher at Punknews

1995 Fed Cup

The 1995 Fed Cup was the 33rd edition of the most important competition between national teams in women's tennis, the first to bear the name Fed Cup. Major changes to the tournament's structure went into effect for 1995; the format was changed to a multi-tiered league system similar to the Davis Cup, a Group II was added to the existing Group I at Zonal level. The World Group I was reduced to eight teams and the World Group II was added with another eight teams. Ties were played at home sites rather than all in one location as before. Play-offs determined promotion and relegation between World Group and World Group II and Zonal Group I. Two singles rubbers were added to the ties; the final took place on 25–26 November, with Spain defeating the United States to give Spain their third title. The four losing teams in the World Group first round ties, four winners of the World Group II ties entered the draw for the World Group Play-offs. Date: 22–23 July The World Group II was the second highest level of Fed Cup competition in 1995.

Winners advanced to the World Group Play-offs, loser played in the World Group II Play-offs. Date: 22–23 April The four losing teams from World Group II played off against qualifiers from Zonal Group I. Two teams qualified from Europe/Africa Zone, one team from the Asia/Oceania Zone, one team from the Americas Zone. Date: 22–23 July Nations in bold advanced to the higher level of competition. Nations in italics were relegated down to a lower level of competition. Venue: Caracos Sports Club, Venezuela Dates: 11–15 April Participating Teams Venue: Trinidad C. C. Maraval, Port of Spain and Tobago Dates: 27–30 March Participating Teams Nations in bold advanced to the higher level of competition. Nations in italics were relegated down to a lower level of competition. Venue: Jang Choong Tennis Centre, Jung-gu, South Korea Dates: 18–22 April Participating Teams Venue: Maharashtra L. T. A. Mumbai, India Dates: 8–11 March Participating Teams Nations in bold advanced to the higher level of competition. Nations in italics were relegated down to a lower level of competition.

Venue: La Manga Club, Spain Dates: 17–21 April Participating Teams Venue: Nairobi Club, Kenya Dates: 8–13 May Participating Teams Fed Cup