Curling is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area, segmented into four concentric circles. It is related to bowls and shuffleboard. Two teams, each with four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones called rocks, across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a circular target marked on the ice; each team has eight stones, with each player throwing two. The purpose is to accumulate the highest score for a game. A game consists of eight or ten ends; the curler can induce a curved path by causing the stone to turn as it slides, the path of the rock may be further influenced by two sweepers with brooms, who accompany it as it slides down the sheet and sweep the ice in front of the stone. "Sweeping a rock" decreases the friction, which makes the stone travel a straighter path and a longer distance. A great deal of strategy and teamwork go into choosing the ideal path and placement of a stone for each situation, the skills of the curlers determine the degree to which the stone will achieve the desired result.
This gives curling its nickname of "chess on ice". Evidence that curling existed in Scotland in the early 16th century includes a curling stone inscribed with the date 1511 uncovered when an old pond was drained at Dunblane, Scotland; the world's oldest curling stone and the world's oldest football are now kept in the same museum in Stirling. The first written reference to a contest using stones on ice coming from the records of Paisley Abbey, Renfrewshire, in February 1541. Two paintings, "Winter Landscape with a Bird Trap" and "The Hunters in the Snow" by Pieter Bruegel the Elder depict Flemish peasants curling, albeit without brooms; the word curling first appears in print in 1620 in Perth, Scotland, in the preface and the verses of a poem by Henry Adamson. The sport was known as "the roaring game" because of the sound the stones make while traveling over the pebble; the verbal noun curling is formed from the Scots verb curl. Kilsyth Curling Club claims to be the first club in the world, having been formally constituted in 1716.
Kilsyth claims the oldest purpose-built curling pond in the world at Colzium, in the form of a low dam creating a shallow pool some 100 by 250 metres in size. The International Olympic Committee recognises the Royal Caledonian Curling Club as developing the first official rules for the sport. In the early history of curling, the playing stones were flat-bottomed stones from rivers or fields, which lacked a handle and were of inconsistent size and smoothness; some early stones had holes for the thumb, akin to ten-pin bowling balls. Unlike today, the thrower had little control over the'curl' or velocity and relied more on luck than on precision and strategy; the sport was played on frozen rivers although purpose-built ponds were created in many Scottish towns. For example, the Scottish poet David Gray describes whisky-drinking curlers on the Luggie Water at Kirkintilloch. In Darvel, East Ayrshire, the weavers relaxed by playing curling matches using the heavy stone weights from the looms' warp beams, fitted with a detachable handle for the purpose.
Many a wife would keep her husband's brass curling stone handle on the mantelpiece, brightly polished until the next time it was needed. Central Canadian curlers used'irons' rather than stones until the early 1900s. Outdoor curling was popular in Scotland between the 16th and 19th centuries because the climate provided good ice conditions every winter. Scotland is home to the international governing body for curling, the World Curling Federation in Perth, which originated as a committee of the Royal Caledonian Curling Club, the mother club of curling. Today, the sport is most established in Canada, having been taken there by Scottish emigrants; the Royal Montreal Curling Club, the oldest established sports club still active in North America, was established in 1807. The first curling club in the United States was established in 1830, the sport was introduced to Switzerland and Sweden before the end of the 19th century by Scots. Today, curling is played all over Europe and has spread to Brazil, Australia, New Zealand and Korea.
The first world championship for curling was limited to men and was known as the Scotch Cup, held in Falkirk and Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1959. The first world title was won by the Canadian team from Regina, skipped by Ernie Richardson. Curling was one of the first sports, popular with women and girls. Curling has been a medal sport in the Winter Olympic Games since the 1998 Winter Olympics, it includes men's, women's and mixed doubles tournaments. In February 2002, the International Olympic Committee retroactively decided that the curling competition from the 1924 Winter Olympics (originally called Semaine des Sports d'Hiver, or Int
The Netherlands is a country located in Northwestern Europe. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve separate provinces that border Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, the North Sea to the northwest, with maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium and the United Kingdom. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean Sea—Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba— it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the official language is Dutch, but a secondary official language in the province of Friesland is West Frisian. The six largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, The Hague, Utrecht and Tilburg. Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General and Supreme Court; the Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, the largest in any country outside Asia. The country is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union.
It hosts several intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are centered in The Hague, dubbed'the world's legal capital'. Netherlands means'lower countries' in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with only about 50% of its land exceeding 1 metre above sea level, nearly 17% falling below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 16th century. With a population of 17.30 million people, all living within a total area of 41,500 square kilometres —of which the land area is 33,700 square kilometres —the Netherlands is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. It is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture; the Netherlands was the third country in the world to have representative government, it has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848.
The country has a tradition of pillarisation and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised abortion and human euthanasia, along with maintaining a progressive drug policy. The Netherlands abolished the death penalty in 1870, allowed women's suffrage in 1917, became the world's first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001, its mixed-market advanced economy had the thirteenth-highest per capita income globally. The Netherlands ranks among the highest in international indexes of press freedom, economic freedom, human development, quality of life, as well as happiness; the Netherlands' turbulent history and shifts of power resulted in exceptionally many and varying names in different languages. There is diversity within languages; this holds for English, where Dutch is the adjective form and the misnomer Holland a synonym for the country "Netherlands". Dutch comes from Theodiscus and in the past centuries, the hub of Dutch culture is found in its most populous region, home to the capital city of Amsterdam.
Referring to the Netherlands as Holland in the English language is similar to calling the United Kingdom "Britain" by people outside the UK. The term is so pervasive among potential investors and tourists, that the Dutch government's international websites for tourism and trade are "holland.com" and "hollandtradeandinvest.com". The region of Holland consists of North and South Holland, two of the nation's twelve provinces a single province, earlier still, the County of Holland, a remnant of the dissolved Frisian Kingdom. Following the decline of the Duchy of Brabant and the County of Flanders, Holland became the most economically and politically important county in the Low Countries region; the emphasis on Holland during the formation of the Dutch Republic, the Eighty Years' War and the Anglo-Dutch Wars in the 16th, 17th and 18th century, made Holland serve as a pars pro toto for the entire country, now considered either incorrect, informal, or, depending on context, opprobrious. Nonetheless, Holland is used in reference to the Netherlands national football team.
The region called the Low Countries and the Country of the Netherlands. Place names with Neder, Nieder and Nedre and Bas or Inferior are in use in places all over Europe, they are sometimes used in a deictic relation to a higher ground that consecutively is indicated as Upper, Oben, Superior or Haut. In the case of the Low Countries / Netherlands the geographical location of the lower region has been more or less downstream and near the sea; the geographical location of the upper region, changed tremendously over time, depending on the location of the economic and military power governing the Low Countries area. The Romans made a distinction between the Roman provinces of downstream Germania Inferior and upstream Germania Superior; the designation'Low' to refer to the region returns again in the 10th century Duchy of Lower Lorraine, that covered much of the Low Countries. But this time the corresponding Upper region is Upper Lorraine, in nowadays Northern France; the Dukes of Burgundy, who ruled the Low Countries in the 15th century, used the term les pays de par deçà for the Low Countries as opposed to les pays de par delà for their original
Huizen is a municipality and a village in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. The name "Huizen" is Dutch for "houses" and this usage has been linked to the belief that the first stone houses in the region appeared here. Huizen is part of the metropolitan area of Amsterdam. Huizen was an agricultural village, about 2 kilometres from the sea. During wintertime the farmers went fishing. On it developed to coastal village, with a thriving fishing industry, stimulated by building the harbor about 1850. After the damming of the Zuider Zee by the Afsluitdijk in 1932, the old sea was degraded to a mere freshwater lake, economical activities shifted towards industry and commerce. In the 1960s the town was designated to build large residential areas, to overcome the housing shortage in the region. From on, the village took on an influx of people and grew rapidly. Where the Phohi-flat now stands in Huizen was, before World War II, the site of a large transmitter intended for contacting the Dutch East Indies, some 12.000 km away.
A post mill that stood in Huizen was dismantled in 1916. It was re-erected in 1919 at the Netherlands Open Air Museum, Gelderland. Huizen is part of the area'Het Gooi'.'Het Gooi' is known in the Netherlands as the home of the rich and famous. Dutch Topographic map of Huizen, March 2014; the municipal council of Huizen consists of 27 seats, which are divided as follows: VVD - 5 seats CDA - 5 seats D66 - 4 seats Dorpsbelangen Huizen - 3 seats PvdA - 3 seats GroenLinks - 2 seats ChristenUnie - 2 seats Leefbaar Huizen - 2 seats SGP - 1 seat With its population of 42,000, Huizen is one of the larger towns without railway connection. On a national level, it's preceded by Oosterhout. Media related to Huizen at Wikimedia Commons Official website