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Longbow

A longbow is a type of bow, tall – equal to the height of the user – allowing the archer a long draw. A longbow is not recurved, its limbs are narrow so that they are circular or D-shaped in cross section. Flatbows can be just as long. Longbows for hunting and warfare have been made from many different woods by many cultures; the historical longbow was a self bow made of a single piece of wood, but modern longbows may be made from modern materials or by gluing different timbers together. Organisations that run archery competitions have set out formal definitions for the various classes; some archery clubs in the US classify longbows as bows with strings that do not come in contact with their limbs. According to the British Longbow Society, the English longbow is made so that its thickness is at least ​5⁄8 of its width, as in Victorian longbows, is widest at the handle; this differs from the Medieval longbow. The Victorian longbow does not bend throughout the entire length, as does the medieval longbow.

The earliest known example of a longbow was found in 1991 in the Ötztal Alps with a natural mummy known as Ötzi. His bow was 1.82 metres long. Forty longbows have been discovered in a peat bog at Nydam in Denmark which date from the 4th century AD. In the Middle Ages the Welsh and English were famous for their powerful longbows, used en masse to great effect against the French in the Hundred Years' War, with notable success at the battles of Crécy, Agincourt. During the reign of Edward III of England, laws were passed allowing fletchers and bowyers to be impressed into the army and enjoining them to practice archery; the dominance of the longbow on the battlefield continued until the French began to use cannon to break the formations of English archers at the Battle of Formigny and the Battle of Castillon. Their use continued in the Wars of the Roses however and they survived as a weapon of war in England well beyond the introduction of effective firearms; the average length of arrow shafts recovered from the 1545 sinking of the Mary Rose is 75 cm/30 in.

In 1588, the militia was called out in anticipation of an invasion by the Spanish Armada and it included many archers in its ranks. The first book in English about longbow archery was Toxophilus by Roger Ascham, first published in London in 1545 and dedicated to King Henry VIII. Although firearms supplanted bows in warfare, wooden or fibreglass laminated longbows continue to be used by traditional archers and some tribal societies for recreation and hunting. A longbow has practical advantages compared with a modern compound bow. However, other things being equal, the modern bow will shoot a faster arrow more than the longbow; the Battle of Flodden was "a landmark in the history of archery, as the last battle on English soil to be fought with the longbow as the principal weapon..." The Battle of Tippermuir, in Scotland, may have been the last battle involving the longbow in significant numbers. The last recorded use of the longbow in war was by British Lt. Col. Jack Churchill, who used it to kill a German soldier in World War II.

Because the longbow can be made from a single piece of wood, it can be crafted easily and quickly. Amateur bowyers today can make a longbow in about ten to twenty hours, while skilled bowyers, such as those who produced medieval English longbows, can make wooden longbows in just a few hours. One of the simpler longbow designs is known as the self bow, by definition made from a single piece of wood. Traditional English longbows are self bows made from yew wood; the bowstave is cut from the radius of the tree so that sapwood becomes the back and forms about one third of the total thickness. Yew sapwood is good only in tension. However, compromises must be made when making a yew longbow, as it is difficult to find perfect unblemished yew; the demand for yew bowstaves was such that by the late 16th century mature yew trees were extinct in northern Europe. In other desirable woods such as Osage orange and mulberry the sapwood is useless and is removed entirely. Longbows, because of their narrow limbs and rounded cross-section, need to be less powerful, longer or of more elastic wood than an equivalent flatbow.

In Europe the last approach was used, with yew being the wood of choice, because of its high compressive strength, light weight, elasticity. Yew is the best widespread European timber that will make good self longbows, has been the main wood used in European bows since Neolithic times. More common and cheaper hard woods, including elm, oak, hi

Centurion-class battleship

The Centurion-class battleships were a pair of pre-dreadnought battleships built for the Royal Navy in the 1890s. They were rated as second-class battleships because they were less armed and armoured than the first-class battleships, they were designed for service abroad and were given higher speed and longer range to counter the armoured cruisers being built as commerce raiders. Completed in 1894, Centurion and Barfleur spent most of their careers assigned to the China Station or the Mediterranean Fleet, with Centurion serving as the flagship of the former; the sister ships participated in the suppression of the Boxer Rebellion in mid-1900. They were rebuilt from 1901 to 1905 and assigned to the Reserve Fleet in 1905 as increasing cruiser speeds made them obsolete. Barfleur served as the flagship of the Portsmouth Division of the Reserve Fleet for several years, they were sold for scrap the following year. Authorised by the Naval Defence Act 1889, the Centurion class was designed by William White, Director of Naval Construction, to meet an Admiralty requirement for ships suitable for use as flagships on the China and Pacific Stations, able to defeat the most powerful foreign ships to be encountered there.

These were most to be the Russian 8-inch gunned armoured cruisers entering service that were intended to attack British merchant shipping in the event of war. The Admiralty required a speed no less than 16.5 knots, a shallow draught no greater than 26 feet to pass through the Suez Canal and for navigation on Chinese rivers, a range equal to that of the armoured cruiser Imperieuse, most a cost 30% less than that of the first-class battleship Royal Sovereign. White's design was a scaled-down Royal Sovereign with 10-inch and 4.7-inch guns substituted for the 13.5-inch and 6-inch guns of the larger ships. The Centurions had an overall length of 390 feet 9 inches and a length between perpendiculars of 360 ft, a beam of 70 feet, their draught at normal load was 25 ft 8 in and 26 feet 9 inches at deep load. They displaced 10,634 long tons at 11,200 long tons at deep load; the ships had a metacentric height of 4.1 feet at deep load. In view of the paucity of docking facilities large enough to handle them in their intended operating areas, their steel hulls were sheathed in wood and copper to reduce biofouling and lengthen the time between bottom cleanings.

Their crews numbered 620 officers and ratings in 1895 and 600 after they were rebuilt in the early years of the 20th century. The ships were considered good seaboats; the Centurion-class ships were powered by a pair of three-cylinder vertical triple-expansion steam engines, each driving a single propeller, using steam provided by eight cylindrical boilers at a working pressure of 155 psi. The engines were designed to produce a total of 9,000 indicated horsepower, intended to allow the ships to make a speed of 17 knots using natural draught; the engines proved to be more powerful than anticipated and the ships reached 17.1 knots from 9,703–9,934 ihp during their sea trials. Using forced draught, they attained 18.5 knots from 13,163–13,214 ihp although this damaged the boilers and was discouraged. The Centurions carried a maximum of 1,420–1,440 long tons of coal, enough to steam 5,230 nautical miles at 10 knots; the four 32-calibre, breech-loading 10-inch Mk III guns of the main battery were mounted in two twin-gun, circular barbettes, one forward and one aft of the superstructure.

These barbettes were the first ones in the Royal Navy to be capable of loading at all angles of traverse and thus were circular rather than pear-shaped like those on the Royal Sovereigns and earlier battleships, which saved a considerable amount of weight. A steam engine was fitted to allow the gun turntable to traverse at one revolution per minute, but it proved too weak in service to stop the mounting in one place and tended to creep; the turntable could be rotated manually by a system of gears, but it was inadequate to the task. Maximum elevation was +35°, although a small piece of armour had to be removed to prevent the recoiling guns from striking it; the guns were hand-cranked up and down, although Barfleur was equipped with Siemens electric motors as an experiment that could move the guns through their full range of elevation in 14 seconds. The Mk III guns fired shells that weighed 500 pounds with a muzzle velocity of 2,040 ft/s that had a maximum range of 10,100 yards when fired at an elevation of +12°05'.

When raised to their maximum elevation, the guns could only be fired with a half-load of propellant, which gave them a muzzle velocity of 1,393 ft/s and a range of 11,522 yards. Their secondary armament consisted of ten 40-calibre quick-firing 4.7-inch guns in single mounts. Half a dozen of these guns were mounted on the upper deck, protected by gun shields, the remaining guns were mounted in casemates in the sides of the hull, they fired a 45-pound shell at a muzzle velocity of 2,125 ft/s. Defence against torpedo boats was provided by eight QF six-pounder, 2.2-inch guns and a dozen QF three-pounder Hotchkiss guns. These latter guns fired a 3-pound-3-ounce shell at a muzzle velocity of 1,867 ft/s; the ships were armed with seven 18-inch torpedo tubes, two on each broadside and one in the stern above water and one on each

Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B

Aaliyah: The Princess of R&B is a 2014 made for television biographical film, directed by Bradley Walsh and based on the biography Aaliyah: More than a Woman by Christopher John Farley. The film premiered on the Lifetime Channel on November 15, 2014 and was met with criticism in its early stages of production due to Aaliyah's family's disapproval of Lifetime's choice to create the film; the film drew 3.2 million viewers upon its premiere, making it the second highest rated television film of 2014, despite overwhelmingly negative reviews. The film beings with 10 year old Aaliyah - an aspiring singer and actress, hoping to pursue a career in both aspects, like Cher and Barbara Streisand - making her debut tv appearance on Star Search in 1989 performing a rendition of "My Funny Valentine". Aaliyah's mother Diane Haughton once aspired to pursue a career in singing of her own, but is now wiling to do anything to help her daughter's take off. Aaliyah's uncle Barry Hankerson - Dianne's brother - is a record producer and record label founder and owner.

After losing Star Search, Hankerson's ex-wife, Gladys Knight requests to perform with Aaliyah during a five-night stint in Las Vegas. In 1991 Aaliyah is informed by her uncle that she has been offered a record deal with his label Blackground Records and a signing with Jive Records. Aaliyah chooses her stage name as "Aaliyah" - like "Cher" or "Madonna" - rather than her full name Aaliyah Haughton. After a successful performance of Bobby Brown's "My Prerogative" at her school Detroit High School For Performing Arts, Aaliyah approaches her Uncle Barry at Blackground Records, eager to take her career to a further level than just school talent shows and plays and commence with recording an album. Hankerson subsequently approaches one of his biggest clients R. Kelly the considered King of R&B, whom he asks to write and produce for his niece, though Kelly seems disinterested in producing for "just some kid", Hankerson convinces him to come to studio to meet Aaliyah and hear her sing. Upon being introduced to the 14-year-old, Kelly - who has just finished remixing "Any Time, Any Place" for Janet Jackson - shows little engagement and interest, more concerned and preoccupied with other projects, such as "You Are Not Alone" for Michael Jackson.

But after performing "Save The Best For Last" by Vanessa Williams, Aaliyah wins Kelly's approvable to write and produce her album Age Ain't Nothing But A Number. Whilst working together and Kelly begin to bond and form a close friendship, obliviously falling for each other. Aaliyah's older brother Rashad Haughton begins to suspect that his sister is falling for Kelly, to which she angrily denies. Upon the release of her debut single "Back & Forth" in May, 1994, Aaliyah becomes a teen success, with "Age Ain't Nothing But A Number" hitting number one, setting to embark on a European tour with Keith Sweat and Blackstreet. Rumours about Aaliyah and Kelly dating start spreading, although Aaliyah continues to deny any status beyond friendship with Kelly, she is secretly in love with him, confesses her love to him upon next visiting her mentor, who subsequently confirms to harbour the same feelings for her as she does for him, it is revealed that the two illegally married with Aaliyah lying about her age as 18 rather than 15.

Aaliyah's angry parents swear to have the marriage annulled and Aaliyah and Kelly's relationship both personal and professional ended, threatening to have Kelly charged with statutory rape and arrested otherwise. Aaliyah is left heartbroken and depressed, isolating herself from her family and refusing to eat, but makes amends with her father, Michael Haughton, who forced Kelly out of her life for her own protection. On, Aaliyah's Uncle Barry arranges a meeting with his niece, informing her that Blackground Records' new distributor Atlantic Records have arranged a meeting to discuss plans for her next album. Aaliyah is still depressed and heartbroken, fears her second album won't fair as well without Kelly producing for her, but commences with her career regardless, remaining as successful and publicly adored as before. Upon meeting with Atlantic Records, Aaliyah requests to work with Timbaland and Missy Elliott, eager to create "a new sound" like "nothing on the radio right now". Meanwhile, Aaliyah's heart is crushed once again after discovering through the news that her former lover Kelly is now married to his backing dancer, Andrea Lee.

In Los Angeles and her mother meet with an agent, hoping to take her career to the next level in pursuing some mainstream acting roles. The agent states that it's difficult for black actresses to land leads in big studio movies, although Whitney Houston did it with The Bodyguard, she's of a different music scene to Aaliyah, starred alongside Kevin Costner, one of the biggest stars in Hollywood; the agent accepts to aid Aaliyah in her acting career, agreeing to take it one step at a time. Aaliyah's second album One In A Million - featuring the single "Got to Give It Up" performed by Marvin Gaye - is released, ranking successfully, making Aaliyah one of the biggest names in music and guaranteeing her title as The Princess of R&B. Aaliyah is approached by her agent and asked to record "Journey To The Past", the theme song to the film Anastasia, which she subsequently performs at the Oscars, she is offered a role as Trish O'Day in the film Romeo Must Die, co-starring Jet Li. Meanwhile, Aaliyah's mother becomes concurred for her daughter's personal life, tries to convince her to start dating, but Aaliyah is still disheartened from her separation with Kelly.

Aaliyah attends the Hollywood premier of Romeo Must Die, where she states her next