Matchbox (brand)

Matchbox is a popular British toy brand, introduced by Lesney Products in 1953, is now owned by Mattel, which purchased the brand in 1997. The brand was given its name because the original die-cast Matchbox toys were sold in boxes similar to those in which matches were sold; the brand grew to encompass a broad range of toys, including larger scale die-cast models, plastic model kits, action figures. During the 1980s, Matchbox began to switch to the more conventional plastic and cardboard "blister packs" that were used by other die-cast toy brands such as Hot Wheels; the box style packaging was re-introduced for the collectors' market in recent years with the release of the "35th Anniversary of Superfast" series in 2004. The Matchbox name originated in 1953 as a brand name of the British die-casting company Lesney Products, whose reputation was moulded by John W. "Jack" Odell, Leslie Charles Smith, Rodney Smith. The name Lesney was a portmanteau of Rodney Smith's first names, their first major sales success was the popular model of Queen Elizabeth II's coronation coach, which sold more than a million models.

Lesney co-owner Jack Odell created a toy that paved the way for the company's future success, designed for his daughter. Her school only allowed children to bring toys that could fit inside a matchbox, so Odell crafted a scaled-down version of the Lesney green and red road roller; this toy became the first of the 1-75 miniature range. A dump truck and a cement mixer completed the original three-model release that marked the starting point for the mass-market success of the Matchbox series; the company decided thus yielding the name of the series. Additional models continued to be added to the line throughout the decade, including cars such as an MG Midget TD, a Vauxhall Cresta, a Ford Zodiac, many others; as the collection grew, it gradually became more international, including models of Volkswagens, a Citroën, American makes. To make such miniatures, the designers took detailed photographs of the real models obtaining some original blueprints; this enabled them to make models with high levels of detail, despite the small scale.

The size of the models allowed Matchbox to occupy a market niche touched by the competition. In the earliest years of the regular, or 1-75 series — well before the series numbered 75 models — Lesney was marketed/distributed by Moko. Boxes in that era mentioned this, with the text "A Moko Lesney" appearing on each. Lesney gained its independence from Moko in 1959 by buying out Moko's share in the joint enterprise, leading to a period of growth, both in sales and in size. Early models did not feature windows or interiors, were made of metal, were about 2" in length. By 1968, Matchbox was the biggest-selling brand of small die-cast model cars worldwide. By this time, the average model in their collection featured plastic windows, interiors and occasional accessories; some featured steering, including the pressure-based AutoSteer system debuting in 1969. The line was diverse, including lorries, tractors and trailers as well as standard passenger cars; the three dominant brands in the world at the time, all British-made -, were successful.

Each had its own market niche and its own strong reputation, while innovations and advances by one were adopted by the others within a matter of a few years. Each expanded to some extent into the others' territory, though this never seemed to affect the sales of any brand's core series; as part of Lesney's expansion activities, four further die-cast model ranges were introduced during the 1950s and 60s. The Models of Yesteryear, introduced in 1956, were renditions of classic vehicles from the steam and early automotive eras; these were about 3½-4" in length. Accessories Packs were introduced in 1956 and included petrol pumps and the like. Major Packs, which were larger-scale models of construction vehicles, were added in 1957; the King Size series of larger-scale trucks and tractors was added in 1960 and was diversified from 1967 onwards to include passenger car models in a scale similar to that used by Corgi and Dinky. Major Packs had been absorbed into the King Size range by 1968. However, the main focus at Matchbox continued to be their smaller cars.

Other brands, including Husky/Corgi Junior and Cigar Box, attempted to compete with Matchbox, but none were successful until American toy giant Mattel introduced the revolutionary low-friction "racing" wheels on its Hot Wheels line of cars. These models, although less true to scale and featuring fantasy vehicles, were attractive, painted in bright metallic colours and fitted with racing-style "mag" wheels and slick tires, were marketed aggressively and with numerous accessory products, such as race track sets and the like; the Hot Wheels line featured models that were decidedly American. In 1969, a second competitor based in the US, Johnny Lightning, entered the market, the bottom fell out of Lesney's US sales. At the same time, the other major market was under attack by competitors. Lesney's response to this was quick — but not quick enough to avoid major financial worries — by creating the "Superfast" line; this was a transformation of the 1969 line to include low-fri

Operation Meghdoot

Operation Meghdoot was the code-name for the Indian Armed Forces operation to capture the Siachen Glacier in the Kashmir region, precipitating the Siachen Conflict. Launched on 13 April 1984, this military operation was the first assault launched in the highest battlefield in the world; the military action resulted in Indian troops gaining control of the entire Siachen Glacier. Today, the Indian Army deployment to forward positions along what is known as the Actual Ground Position Line is sometimes inaccurately referred to as Operation Meghdoot. Up to ten infantry battalions each of the Indian Army and Pakistani Army are deployed in altitudes up to 6,400 metres; the Siachen Glacier became a bone of contention following a vague demarcation of territories in the Karachi Agreement of July 1949 which did not specify who had authority over the Siachen Glacier area. Indian interpretation was that Pakistan territory extended only to about the Saltoro Ridge based on the Simla agreement where the territorial line's route after the last demarcated Point NJ9842 was "thence north to the glaciers."

Pakistan interpretation was that their territory continued northeast from Point NJ9842 to the Karakoram Pass. As a result, both nations claimed the Siachen Glacier. In the 1970s and early 1980s, Pakistan permitted several mountaineering expeditions to climb the peaks in the Siachen region from the Pakistani side in an attempt to reinforce their claim on the area as these expeditions received permits obtained from the Government of Pakistan and in many cases a liaison officer from the Pakistan army accompanied the teams. In 1978, the Indian Army allowed mountaineering expeditions to the glacier, approaching from its side; the most notable one was the one launched by Colonel Narinder "Bull" Kumar of the Indian Army, who led an expedition to Teram Kangri, along with medical officer Captain A. V. S. Gupta; the Indian Air Force provided valuable support to this expedition in 1978 through logistic support and supply of fresh rations. The first air landing on the glacier was carried out on 6 October 1978 when two casualties were evacuated from the Advance Base Camp in a Chetak helicopter by Sqn Ldr Monga and Flying Officer Manmohan Bahadur.

Contention over the glacier was aggravated by these expeditions, through both sides asserting their claims. Notably, when Pakistan gave permission to a Japanese expedition to scale an important peak in 1984, it further fueled the suspicion of the Indian Government of Pakistani attempts to legitimize their claim; the peak, located east of the Siachen Glacier overlooks the northwestern areas of the Aksai Chin area, controlled by China but claimed by India. The Indian military believed that such an expedition could further a link for a trade route from the northeastern to the southwestern side of the Karakoram Range and provide a strategic, if not tactical, advantage to the Pakistani Armed Forces; the Indian military decided to deploy troops from Northern Ladakh region as well as some paramilitary forces to the glacier area. Most of the troops had been acclimatized to the extremities of the glacier through a training expedition to Antarctica in 1982 before launching the operation to occupy complete glacier.

In 1983, Pakistani generals decided to stake their claim through troop deployments to the Siachen glacier. After analysing the Indian Army's mountaineering expeditions, they feared that India might capture key ridges and passes near the glacier, decided to send their own troops first. Islamabad ordered Arctic-weather gear from a London supplier, unaware that the same supplier provided outfits to the Indians; the Indians were informed about this development and initiated their own plan, providing them with a head start. The Indian Army planned an operation to control the glacier by 13 April 1984, to preempt the Pakistani Army by about 4 days, as intelligence had reported that the Pakistani operation planned to occupy the glacier by 17 April. Named for the divine cloud messenger, from the 4th century AD Sanskrit play by Kalidasa, Operation Meghdoot was led by Lieutenant General Prem Nath Hoon; the task of occupying the Saltoro ridge was given to 26 Sector, commanded by Brigadier Vijay Channa, tasked with launching the operation between April 10 and 30.

He chose April 13 an lucky date, because it was the Vaisakhi day, when the Pakistanis would be least expecting the Indians to launch an operation. Preparations for Operation Meghdoot started with the airlift of Indian Army soldiers by the Indian Air Force; the Air Force used Il-76, An-12 and An-32 to transport stores and troops as well to airdrop supplies to high altitude airfields. From there Mi-17, Mi-8 and HAL Chetak helicopters carried provisions and personnel to the east of the hitherto unscaled peaks; the first phase of the operation began in March 1984 with the march on foot to the eastern base of the glacier. A full battalion of the Kumaon Regiment and units from the Ladakh Scouts, marched with full battle packs through an ice-bound Zoji La pass for days; the units under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel D. K. Khanna were moved on foot to avoid detection of large troop movements by Pakistani radars; the first unit to establish position on the heights of the glacier was led by Major R. S. Sandhu.

The next unit led by Captain Sanjay Kulkarni secured Bilafond La. The remaining forward deployment units marched and climbed for four days under the command of Captain P. V. Yadav to secure the remaining heights of the Saltoro Ridge. By April 13 300 Indian troops were dug into the critical peaks and passes of the glacier. By the

Palm Cove, Queensland

Palm Cove is a coastal suburb of Cairns in the Cairns Region, Australia. It is 27 kilometres north of the city of Cairns, it is named after the palm trees. Palm Cove is located in Far North Queensland on the Australian coast, it has a long sandy beach along most of its seafront except for the rocky headland around Buchan Point in the north of the suburb. Arlington Reef is the closest section of The Great Barrier Reef to Palm Cove being around 30 kilometres offshore; the reef shelters the inshore waters from the Coral Sea swells creating calm waters between the reef and the beach. To the west of Palm Cove is the Macalister Range National Park, part of the Wet Tropics World Heritage Area. Since Palm Cove is located in a tropical climate, the average summer temperature is between 24 and 33 degrees Celsius; the town of Buchan is within the Palm Cove locality, but the use of the name Buchan has fallen into disuse over the years. Shortly before World War I in 1918, the land, today Palm Cove was bought by Albert Veivers from Archdeacon Campbell.

Archdeacon Campbell had been known as a priest at Cairns church who experimented with bringing different agricultural crops to the Cairns region. Veivers was important in the advancement of Palm Cove by having the first road built; the creation of the road led property values in Palm Cove to increase leading to more prosperity for the community. Shortly after World War II, in which Palm Cove was used as a training base for Australian soldiers, the number of people traveling to Palm Cove increased; the opening of the Ramada Reef Resort in 1986 marked the first international hotel chain to be located in Palm Cove and the town has continued to increase in national and international recognition since. At the 2006 census, Palm Cove had a population of 1,215. Due to the small size of Palm Cove, the community does not offer many public services of its own; the closest airport to Palm Cove is the Cairns International Airport. The only method of direct transportation to Palm Cove is along the Captain Cook Highway which stretches from Cairns in the south to Mossman in the north.

Palm Cove has no schools and children go to public or private schools in the surrounding suburbs of Kewarra Beach, Trinity Beach, Smithfield. Palm Cove does not offer many options for shopping; the closest shopping centre is at Clifton Beach. The major industry for Palm Cove is tourism. Palm Cove is a tourist destination due to its proximity to the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Palm Cove is the location of many world-renowned resorts and hotels such as the Drift Resort, the Mantra Amphora Resort, Peppers Beach Club, the Reef House; the pristine beaches and palm tree lined paths are used by joggers and cyclists and netted life guard patrol swimming enclosures offer safe access to the sea all year round. The Palm Cove jetty is one of the regions most popular fishing spots where anglers catch species such as mackerel, Giant Trevally or "G. T's" and shark. University of Queensland: Queensland Places:Palm Cove