Lake Burley Griffin

Lake Burley Griffin is an artificial lake in the centre of Canberra, the capital of Australia. It was completed in 1963 after the Molonglo River—which ran between the city centre and Parliamentary Triangle—was dammed, it is named after Walter Burley Griffin, the American architect who won the competition to design the city of Canberra. Griffin designed the lake with many geometric motifs, so that the axes of his design lined up with natural geographical landmarks in the area. However, government authorities changed his original plans and no substantial work was completed before he left Australia in 1920. Griffin's proposal was further delayed by the Great Depression and World War II, it was not until the 1950s that planning resumed. After political disputes and consideration of other proposed variations, excavation work began in 1960 with the energetic backing of Prime Minister Robert Menzies. After the completion of the bridges and dams, the dams were locked in September 1963. However, because of a drought, the lake's target water level was not reached until April 1964.

The lake was formally inaugurated on 17 October 1964. The lake is located in the approximate geographic centre of the city, is the centrepiece of the capital in accordance with Griffin's original designs. Numerous important institutions, such as the National Gallery, National Museum, National Library, Australian National University and the High Court were built on its shores, Parliament House is a short distance away, its surrounds, consisting of parklands, are popular with recreational users in the warmer months. Though swimming in the lake is uncommon, it is used for a wide variety of other activities, such as rowing and sailing; the lake is an ornamental body with a length of 11 kilometres and a width, at its widest, of 1.2 kilometres. It has a maximum depth of about 18 metres near the Scrivener Dam, its flow is regulated by the 33-metre-tall Scrivener Dam, designed to handle floods that occur once in 5,000 years. In times of drought, water levels can be maintained through the release of water from Googong Dam, located on an upstream tributary of the Molonglo River.

Charles Robert Scrivener recommended the site for Canberra in 1909, to be a planned capital city for the country. One of the reasons for the location's selection was its ability to store water "for ornamental purposes at reasonable cost". In 1911, a competition for the design of Canberra was launched, Scrivener's detailed survey of the area was supplied to the competing architects; the Molonglo River flowed through the site, a flood plain and Scrivener's survey showed in grey an area representing an artificial lake—similar to the lake created—and four possible locations for a dam to create it. Most of the proposals included artificial bodies of water; the American architect Walter Burley Griffin won the contest and was invited to Australia to oversee the construction of the nation's new capital after the judges' decision was ratified by King O'Malley, the Minister for Home Affairs. Griffin's proposal, which had an abundance of geometric patterns, incorporated concentric hexagonal and octagonal streets emanating from several radii.

His lake design was at the heart of the city and consisted of a Central Basin in the shape of circular segment, a West and East Basin, which were both circular, a West and East Lake, which were much larger and irregularly shaped, at either side of the system. The East Lake was supposed to be 6 metres higher than the remaining components. Griffin's proposal was "the grandest scheme submitted, yet it had an appealing simplicity and clarity; the lakes were deliberately designed so that their orientation was related to various topographical landmarks in Canberra. The lakes divided the city in two; this was designed so that looking from Capital Hill, the War Memorial stood directly at the foot of Mount Ainslie. At the southwestern end of the land axis was Bimberi Peak; the straight edge of the circular segment that formed the central basin was designated the water axis, it extended northwest towards Black Mountain, the highest point in Canberra. A line parallel to the water axis, on the northern side of the city, was designated the municipal axis.

The municipal axis became the location of Constitution Avenue, which linked City Hill in Civic Centre and Market Centre. Commonwealth Avenue and Kings Avenue were to run from the southern side from Capital Hill to City Hill and Market Centre on the north and they formed the western and eastern edges of the central basin; the area enclosed by the three avenues was known as the Parliamentary Triangle, was to form the centrepiece of Griffin's work. Scrivener, as part of a government design committee, was responsible for modifying Griffin's winning design, he recommended changing the shape of the lake from Griffin's geometric shapes to a much more organic one using a single dam, unlike Griffin's series of weirs. Griffin lobbied for the retention of the pure geometry, saying that they were "one of the reasons d'etre of the ornamental waters", but he was overruled; the new design included elements from several of the best design submissions and was criticised as being ugly. The new plan for the lake

The Eagle's Conquest

The Eagle's Conquest is a 2001 novel by Simon Scarrow, about the Roman invasion of Britain in 43 AD. It is the second book in the Eagles of the Empire series; the book opens after the events of Under the Eagle, with the troops relaxing and watching prisoners of war fight to the death in a makeshift arena. Optio Cato is bequeathed an ivory-hilted sword by the chief centurion, mortally wounded in the British ambush and respected Cato for his tenacity. Meanwhile, the legate of the Second Legion, worries about his wife Flavia back in Rome, whom he has learned has connections to "The Liberators", a group of conspirators who want the feeble-minded Emperor Claudius out of power. Soon afterwards the Legion moves off again; as the Britons under Caratacus have fortified the opposite bank and Cato are ordered to scout ahead for a ford upstream. Cato finds one, the next day the attack goes in; the Ninth Legion, supported by artillery fire from triremes on the river and assault the enemy ramparts. After sustaining heavy losses, the attack falters, only the Second Legion's intervention saves the day.

Using the ford upstream, the legionaries are able to surprise the Britons and attack them from behind, overrunning their encampment. While recuperating, he strikes up a friendship with the North African surgeon, a Carthaginian called Nisus, they discover that the lead shot the British were using in their slings came from the Legion's stores, indicating there is a traitor placed high in the army command, supplying the British with arms in an attempt to undermine the campaign. Over the next few days, the British are pushed back to the North Kent marshes, on the banks of the Tamesis river; the Second Legion is ordered to clear the southern bank in preparation for a crossing, but as twilight approaches, the Legion is scattered and lost in the marshes. Macro's unit, with Cato in tow, is ambushed by a war band; when the roll-call is held, Macro is declared missing, presumed dead. Cato, in a fit of anguish, volunteers to be in the first wave of the troops crossing the river, it is a suicide mission, he does not expect to live, but he is able to survive long enough for the second wave of Romans to reach him.

Macro reappears, having survived his ordeal in the marshes, chastises Cato for being a fool. Cato renews his friendship with Nisus the surgeon, who lets slip some of his bitterness at being a Carthaginian in the Roman army. Meanwhile, the army has received orders to halt on the far side of the Tamesis so that Emperor Claudius can arrive and take command in person for the final assault in the British capital at Camulodunum. While waiting for the Emperor to arrive, tribune Vitellius and Cato's nemesis, is plotting to assassinate him, he enlists Nisus, playing on his Carthaginian patriotism, uses him as a liaison with the British tribes who resist Rome. While crossing the lines one night, Nisus is accidentally killed by a sentry, Cato, present, takes a bandage from his body. All thought of it is put out of his mind, when Claudius arrives, escorted by the Praetorian Guard and elephants to overawe the Britons, he insists on taking charge in the coming battle. Despite the Emperor's buffoonery, the final battle is won and the legions march into Camulodunum.

To celebrate'his' victory, Claudius orders a lavish banquet to be held in his honour. Vespasian gets to spend some time with his wife, Cato renews his relationship with the slave girl Lavinia, she is allied with Vitellius, having consorted with him whilst in the ownership of Tribune Plinius. She agrees to smuggle an ornate dagger into the banquet hall, believing it to be a gift for the Emperor. Before she does this, she decides to break up with Cato, aware that she is cheating on him with Vitellius. While she does this, Cato is fiddling with the late Nisus's bandage; when it is rolled up in a certain way, the markings become a coded message. When he is woken by Macro, Lavinia has disappeared; the only hope of saving the Emperor is to warn Vespasian, at the feast, hope he believes them. They get there in time to see Lavinia being presented to the emperor. Thanks to Cato's intervention, the Emperor's bodyguards are able to catch the assassin and mortally wound him. Vitellius finishes him off before he can talk, discreetly murders Lavinia as he leaves.

A distraught Cato is taken away by Macro before he is recognised as the Emperor's saviour, Vitellius, as in the last book, gets all the credit. He is given a position on the Emperor's staff, leaves with Claudius for Rome, leaving the legions to pacify the last remnants of resistance. Vespasian is tasked with an independent command for the coming months; as for Cato, he is distracted by Macro, who promises to introduce him to his latest conquest - a young Briton called Boudicca... Battle of the Medway The Oxford Times stated, "Has all the hallmarks of Bernard Cornwell at his best." The author's web page on the book may be found here

Tristan Ballance

Tristan George Lance Ballance was an English first-class cricketer and British Army officer. Ballance attended the University of Oxford, where he played first-class cricket for Oxford University Cricket Club from 1935–37. After graduating he became a schoolteacher, before serving in the Second World War with the Durham Light Infantry, he died of wounds sustained in action in December 1943, three months after being decorated with the Military Cross. The son of Sir Hamilton Ashley Ballance and his wife, Ruth Ballance, he was born at Norwich in April 1916, he was educated before going up to Brasenose College, Oxford. While studying at Oxford, he made his debut in first-class cricket for Oxford University against Worcestershire at Oxford in 1935, he made nine appearances for Oxford in 1935, taking 27 wickets at an average of 35.96, with best figures of 5 for 30. He gained his blue in his debut season. A expensive bowler, Ballance lost his place in the Oxford side during the 1936 season, making just three appearances.

He regained his place in the Oxford side for the 1937 season, making ten appearances and taking 28 wickets at an average of 27.12, with best figures of 5 for 42. Ballance made a total of 23 first-class appearances for Oxford, taking 61 wickets with his slow left-arm orthodox bowling, at an average of 30.73. A tailend batsman, Ballance scored 190 runs and had one innings of note, making 63 against Leicestershire in 1936. In addition to playing first-class cricket, Ballance played minor counties cricket for Norfolk from 1932–39, making fifty appearances in the Minor Counties Championship. After graduating from Oxford, he became a schoolteacher at Brighton College. While teaching at the college he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the college contingent of the Officers' Training Corps. Ballance served in the Second World War with the Durham Light Infantry, being commissioned in May 1940, he was awarded the Military Cross for gallant and distinguished services during the Battle of Sedjenane, at which point he held the temporary rank of captain.

His was the Durham Light Infantry's first Military Cross of the war. He took part in the Italian Campaign in late 1943, during which he died of wounds sustained in actions against the Winter Line near Monte Cassino in December 1943, he was buried at the Minturno War Cemetery. His elder brother, had been killed the previous year while in serving with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve aboard HMS Trinidad. Tristan Ballance at ESPNcricinfo