click links in text for more info

Lorenzo de' Medici

Lorenzo de' Medici was an Italian statesman, de facto ruler of the Florentine Republic and the most powerful and enthusiastic patron of Renaissance culture in Italy. Known as Lorenzo the Magnificent by contemporary Florentines, he was a magnate, diplomat and patron of scholars and poets; as a patron, he is best known for his sponsorship of artists such as Michelangelo. He held the balance of power within the Italic League, an alliance of states that stabilized political conditions on the Italian peninsula for decades, his life coincided with the mature phase of the Italian Renaissance and the Golden Age of Florence; the Peace of Lodi of 1454 that he helped maintain among the various Italian states collapsed with his death. He is buried in the Medici Chapel in Florence. Lorenzo's grandfather, Cosimo de' Medici, was the first member of the Medici family to lead the Republic of Florence and run the Medici Bank simultaneously; as one of the wealthiest men in Europe, Cosimo spent a large portion of his fortune on government and philanthropy, for example as a patron of the arts and financier of public works.

Lorenzo's father, Piero di Cosimo de' Medici, was at the centre of Florentine civic life, chiefly as an art patron and collector, while Lorenzo's uncle, Giovanni di Cosimo de' Medici, took care of the family's business interests. Lorenzo's mother, Lucrezia Tornabuoni, was a writer of sonnets and a friend to poets and philosophers of the Medici Academy, she became her son's advisor after the deaths of his uncle. Lorenzo, considered the most promising of the five children of Piero and Lucrezia, was tutored by a diplomat and bishop, Gentile de' Becchi, the humanist philosopher Marsilio Ficino, he was trained in Greek by John Argyropoulos. With his brother Giuliano, he participated in jousting, hawking and horse breeding for the Palio, a horse race in Siena. In 1469, aged 19, he won first prize in a jousting tournament sponsored by the Medici; the joust was the subject of a poem written by Luigi Pulci. Niccolò Machiavelli wrote of the occasion sarcastically, that he won "not by way of favour, but by his own valour and skill in arms".

He carried a banner painted by Verrocchio, his horse was named Morello di Vento. Piero sent Lorenzo on many important diplomatic missions when he was still a youth, including trips to Rome to meet the pope and other important religious and political figures. Lorenzo was described as rather plain of appearance and of average height, having a broad frame and short legs, dark hair and eyes, a squashed nose, short-sighted eyes and a harsh voice. Giuliano, on the other hand, was regarded as handsome and a "golden boy", was used as a model by Botticelli in his painting of Mars and Venus. Lorenzo's close friend Niccolo Valori described him as homely, saying, "nature had been a stepmother to him in regards to his personal appearance, although she had acted as a loving mother in all things concocted with the mind, his complexion was dark, although his face was not handsome it was so full of dignity as to compel respect." Lorenzo, groomed for power, assumed a leading role in the state upon the death of his father in 1469.

Drained by his grandfather's building projects and stressed by mismanagement and political expenses, the assets of the Medici Bank contracted during the course of Lorenzo's lifetime. Lorenzo, like his grandfather and son, ruled Florence indirectly through surrogates in the city councils by means of payoffs and strategic marriages. Rival Florentine families harboured resentments over the Medicis' dominance, enemies of the Medici remained a factor in Florentine life long after Lorenzo's passing; the most notable of the rival families was the Pazzi. On Easter Sunday, 26 April 1478, in an incident known as the Pazzi conspiracy, a group headed by Girolamo Riario, Francesco de' Pazzi, Francesco Salviati, attacked Lorenzo and his brother and co-ruler Giuliano in the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in an attempt to seize control of the Florentine government. Shockingly, Salviati acted with the blessing of his patron Pope Sixtus IV. Giuliano was killed, brutally stabbed to death, but Lorenzo escaped with only a minor wound to the neck, having been defended by the poet Poliziano.

News of the conspiracy spread throughout Florence and was brutally put down by the populace through such measures as the lynching of the archbishop of Pisa and members of the Pazzi family who were involved in the conspiracy. In the aftermath of the Pazzi conspiracy and the punishment of supporters of Pope Sixtus IV, the Medici and Florence earned the wrath of the Holy See, which seized all the Medici assets that Sixtus could find, excommunicated Lorenzo and the entire government of Florence, put the entire Florentine city-state under interdict; when these moves had little effect, Sixtus formed a military alliance with King Ferdinand I of Naples, whose son, Duke of Calabria, led an invasion of the Florentine Republic, still ruled by Lorenzo. Lorenzo rallied the citizens. However, with little support from the traditional Medici allies in Bologna and Milan, the war dragged on, only diplomacy by Lorenzo, who traveled to Naples and became a prisoner of the king for several months resolved the crisis.

That success enabled Lorenzo to secure constitutional changes within the government of the Florentine Republic that further enhanced his own power. Thereafter, like his grandfather Cosimo de' Medici, pursued a policy of maintaining peace, balancin

Boxing at the 2011 Pan American Games – Women's light welterweight

The women's light welterweight competition of the boxing events at the 2011 Pan American Games in Guadalajara, was held between October 22 and 29 at the Expo Guadalajara Arena. Light welterweights were equal to 60 kilograms; this will be the first time. Like all Pan American boxing events, the competition was a straight single-elimination tournament. Both semifinal losers were awarded bronze medals, so no boxers competed again after their first loss. Bouts consisted with one-minute breaks between rounds. Punches scored only if the white area on the front of the glove made full contact with the front of the head or torso of the opponent. Five judges scored each bout; the winner of the bout was the boxer. All times are Central Standard Time

The Toys Sing "A Lover's Concerto" and "Attack!"

The Toys Sing “A Lover's Concerto” and “Attack!” was the sole album of the girl group The Toys. It was released in 1966 right after the success of the group's first two hits, both of which are mentioned in the album's title. “Yesterday” is the only cover song on the album. The rest of the tracks are all original material that were written by the Toys' producers, Sandy Linzer and Denny Randell. Although Barbara Harris sang lead for the majority of the album, Barbara Parritt and June Montiero are each given a chance to sing lead as well, the former on “Hallelujah” and the latter on “Yesterday”. Parritt and Harris share the lead vocal duties on "Back Street." The album was re-released on November 1994 on CD by Sundazed Records. The CD version was produced by Bob Irwin and included two bonus tracks, both of which were released as singles following the album. According to Barbara Harris, these two songs were intended to be featured on The Toys' second album, never released. All tracks composed by Denny Randell.


Sapientza or Sapienza is a Greek island off the southern coast of the Peloponnese, near the city of Methóni. It is administratively part of the municipality of Pylos-Nestor, in Messenia; the 2011 census reported a population of two inhabitants. Sapientza is the second largest island of the Messenian Oinousses, a small group island which consists of three small islands, its name is of Italian origin and means wisdom. The Calypso Deep, the deepest point of the Mediterranean Sea at 5,267 metres, is located south-west of Sapientza; the island has seen many shipwrecks because it is located over the main sea route between Italy and the Middle East. Some of the wrecks carried important cargo, such as a Toman wreck that carried granite columns from the peristyle of Herod's temple in Caesarea Maritima. In the south of the island there is an important lighthouse built in 1885, its height is 8 meters. Sapientza has lush vegetation with dense shrubland and perennial hollies and other Mediterranean plants. For this reason and the other Messenian Oinousses have been included in the Natura 2000 Network, with code GR2550003.

Sapientza is known for the Treaty of Sapienza in 1209, between the Republic of Venice and the Principality of Achaea. With this treaty Methoni and Corone remained under Venetian rule and the remainder of the Peloponnese was ceded to Villehardouin. In 1354, the Venetian and Genoese fleets fought the Battle of Sapienza. After the Greek War of Independence, Sapienza became a part of the Greek state; the British claimed Sapienza during the Pacifico case, as part of the United States of the Ionian Islands

Western Switzerland Railways

The Western Switzerland Railways, were a joint operation of three Swiss railway companies, but these companies merged on 1 January 1872. The company was called the Western Switzerland–Simplon Railways from 28 June 1881; the SOS merged with the Bernese Jura Railways to form the Jura–Simplon Railways on 1 January 1890. In the early 1860s, the rail links between Romandy and German-speaking Switzerland were controlled by three railway companies, the West Switzerland Company, the Franco-Swiss Company and the Lausanne–Fribourg–Bern Railway. One of the lines ran from Lausanne along the southern foot of the Jura to Biel/Bienne and on to Herzogenbuchsee, where it met the competing line running via Fribourg and Bern; the West Switzerland and Franco-Swiss were thus opponents of the Lausanne–Fribourg–Bern, which owned the western-most Geneva–Versoix line. This harsh competitive situation was compounded by financial difficulties due to construction cost overruns. After long and difficult negotiations, the three railway companies formed a business association under the name of the Association des chemins de fer de la Suisse Occidentale on 1 January 1865.

Each railway company provided rolling stock. Revenue was distributed according to a fixed ratio; the business community was managed by a three-member operating committee—with each company nominating a representative—and a supervisory board. Three members of the Supervisory Board were appointed by the Western Switzerland and two each by Franco-Swiss and the canton of Fribourg; the association paid 8,000 francs per kilometre per year to the firm of Comp. The financial situation of the three western Swiss railways stabilised and from 1868 onwards the association was able to pay a modest dividend. Financial and construction matters remained the responsibility of individual railway companies; the map shows the ownership structure of the network of the Association of French-Swiss Railways at the end of 1871 before its merger as the Western Switzerland Railways. The three railways agreed to intensify their cooperation in 1871; the business run directly. Under pressure from the French-speaking cantons Vaud, the three West Swiss railways merged on 1 January 1872.

The new Western Switzerland Railway Company now had the largest route network of any Swiss rail company with 315 kilometres of line. The cantons used their influence to help the Western Switzerland build the Palezieux–Payerne–Fräschels line and the Fribourg–Yverdon railway; these lines were intended to form the western end of the Swiss National Railway. The shares of the merged railway companies were exchanged for those of the Western Switzerland Railway, depending on the share price, additional payments were made in the form of bonds totalling Swiss francs 14 million; the capital of the Western Switzerland was composed of shares worth CFF 85 million and bonds worth CFF 102 million at the end of 1876 following the closing of this financial transaction. The Swiss Central Railway and the Swiss Northeastern Railway, together with a banking group, responsible for funding the expansion of rail networks, attempted unsuccessfully to raise the necessary funds for the Western Switzerland and to form a joint operation between the three railways.

The funding was provided by the Societe Suisse pour l'industrie des chemins de fer, which forced the SO to reorganise the administration. Its board of four members was replaced by a single director in 1875. In 1872, the Western Switzerland acquired a significant stake in the Jougne-Eclépens Railway, which had a direct connection to the network of the French Chemins de fer de Paris à Lyon et à la Méditerranée; the SO wanted to prevent a competitor taking over the JE, fighting financial problems. The Jougne-Eclépens Railway went bankrupt in 1876 and was taken over by the Western Switzerland. There were four deaths and three injuries after a collision in Palézieux on 7 July 1876; the Western Switzerland–Simplon Railways was created on 26 June 1881 as a result of the purchase of the Simplon Company by the Western Switzerland at a price of around CFF 13.2 million. Since the Simplon Company was financially too weak to promote the construction of a Simplon tunnel, the canton of Vaud in particular pushed for a merger of the two railways.

The SOS, with investment capital of CHF 248 million and a network length of 581 kilometres, was the largest railway company in Switzerland at the time. The Geneva–Lausanne–Brig routes and the extensions from Lausanne via Romont to Bern and via Yverdon and Neuchâtel to La Neuveville formed its main route network, its strategically most important goal was the building of a connection from Brig to Domodossola by tunnelling under the Simplon Pass, but this did not proceed for the time being. The SOS invested around CFF 670,000 in preparatory work in 1886 alone; the SOS commissioned the Saint-Gingolph–Saint-Maurice railway, the Swiss

Walls (Circus)

"Walls" is a song written by Tom Petty and recorded by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. It was released in July 1996 as the first single from their soundtrack album Songs and Music from "She's the One"; the song features Lindsey Buckingham on background vocals. The song peaked at number 69 on the U. S. Billboard Hot 100 chart; the song was recorded at Sound City Studios by engineer Sylvia Massy. An alternate arrangement of the song, played at a faster tempo, was included on the soundtrack under the title "Walls"; the song was covered by Glen Campbell on his 2008 album Meet Glen Campbell and by The Lumineers on the first anniversary of Petty's death. Maxine Bahns, Edward Burns and Jennifer Aniston appeared in the video; the music video was directed by Phil Joanou and was premiered in July 1996. Track 12 on the album is a faster, more mellow version titled "Walls", it has the same lyrics and melody, but the intro is different and the song in general has less emphasis on the instruments