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Metropolitan Borough of Oldham

The Metropolitan Borough of Oldham is a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester, England. It has a population of 235,623, spans 55 square miles; the borough is named after its largest town, but includes the outlying towns of Chadderton, Failsworth and Shaw and Crompton, the village of Lees, the parish of Saddleworth. Although a 20th-century creation, the borough has Bronze Age and Roman heritage, it encompasses several former mill towns, which expanded and coalesced during the late 19th century as a result of population growth and advances in textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. Although some parts contiguous with the city of Manchester are industrialised and densely populated, about two-thirds of the borough is composed of rural open space. For its first 12 years the borough had a two-tier system of local government. Since the Local Government Act 1985 Oldham Council has been a unitary authority, serving as the sole executive and legislative body responsible for local policy, setting council tax, allocating budget in the district.

The Metropolitan Borough of Oldham has 20 electoral wards. Noted as one of the more unpopular amalgamations of territory created by local government reform in the 1970s, the Oldham borough underwent a £100,000 rebranding exercise in early 2008; the town has no listed buildings with a Grade I rating, the borough's architecture has been described as "mediocre". There have been calls for the borough to be renamed, but that possibility was dismissed during the rebranding of 2008. Part of Oldham is rural and semi-rural, with a quarter of the borough lying within the Peak District National Park, it has high-density urban areas and suburbs and is a ‘Gateway to the Pennines’, located between the cities of Manchester and Leeds. The Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale lies to the north-west, the Metropolitan Borough of Kirklees to the east, the Metropolitan Borough of Tameside to the south; the City of Manchester lies directly to the south west and the Derbyshire Borough of High Peak lies directly to the south east, but Derbyshire is only bordered by high moorland near Black Hill and is not accessible by road.

Following both the Local Government Act 1888 and Local Government Act 1894, local government in England had been administered via a national framework of rural districts, urban districts, municipal boroughs and county boroughs, shared power with strategic county councils of the administrative counties. The areas that were incorporated into the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham in 1974 had formed part of Chadderton Urban District, Crompton Urban District, Failsworth Urban District, Lees Urban District and Royton Urban District from the administrative county of Lancashire, Saddleworth Urban District from the West Riding of Yorkshire, the politically independent County Borough of Oldham. By the early 1970s, this system of demarcation was described as "archaic" and "grossly inadequate to keep pace both with the impact of motor travel, with the huge increases in local government responsibilities". After the exploration of reform, such as the proposals made by the Redcliffe-Maud Report in the late 1960s, the Local Government Act 1972 restructured local government in England by creating a system of two-tier metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties and districts throughout the country.

The act formally established the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham as a local government district of the new metropolitan county of Greater Manchester on 1 April 1974. The district was granted honorific borough status on 23 November 1973 by Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom, which allowed the council to have a mayor; the new dual local authorities of Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council and Greater Manchester County Council had been running since elections in 1973 however. The leading article in The Times on the day the Local Government Act came into effect noted that the "new arrangement is a compromise which seeks to reconcile familiar geography which commands a certain amount of affection and loyalty, with the scale of operations on which modern planning methods can work effectively"; the borough is noted as one of the more unpopular amalgamations of territory created by local government reform in the 1970s. This being true of residents of the parish of Saddleworth who viewed the new arrangement as a "retrograde step".

It had been proposed in a government White paper that the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham include the former mill town of Middleton. However this was given to the Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale once it was decided that Rochdale and Bury would not be merged. Before its creation, it was suggested that the metropolitan borough be named New Oldham, but, rejected. In the early 20th century, following some exchanges of land, there were attempts to amalgamate Chadderton Urban District with the County Borough of Oldham. However, this was resisted by councillors from Chadderton Urban District Council; the Oldham borough underwent a rebranding exercise in 2008 with a view to improving cross-community unity. Officials believed the borough's image was outdated and that "often negative" national media coverage held and continues to hold back businesses and hampers attempts to attract new investors and external funding. There had been calls for the borough to be renamed to a "settlement-neutral" name as part of the rebranding.

However, consultants cited that this idea came from a "vocal minority" wishing to distance themselves

Bill Hitch

John William "Bill" Hitch, born Radcliffe, Lancashire, on 7 May 1886, died at Cardiff on 7 July 1965, was a cricketer who played for Surrey and England. A Lancastrian, Hitch was bowling for a club in Cambridgeshire when he was spotted by Surrey's batsman Tom Hayward and recommended to The Oval. From his debut in 1907, he established himself as one of the fastest bowlers in first-class cricket, his rumbustious lower-order batting and general enthusiasm made him a favourite with the crowds. In 1908 he took 58 wickets including 13 in a remarkably heavy win against Kent at the Oval, but it was not until the latter part of 1910 that Hitch entered the public eye, his aggressive hitting brought him such innings as 74 against Middlesex on a difficult wicket, whilst at Northampton he made 54 and took 9 for 101 - bowling unchanged with Razor Smith throughout both innings apart from one over. However, it was Hitch's brilliant close catching that garnered the critics' attention and helped Smith to a bag of wickets unrivalled for Surrey except by Tom Richardson in his great days between 1893 and 1897.

In the abnormally dry summer of 1911, Hitch was the third-highest wicket-taker in England but it was felt he should have done better and was not as accurate as a top-class bowler should be. Nonetheless, Hitch toured Australia in 1911-12 and played for England both and during the 1912 Triangular Tournament, he played Tests against Warwick Armstrong's all-conquering Australian cricket team both home and away in 1920-21 and 1921. But in seven matches Hitch took only 11 wickets, his most notable achievement was an innings of 51 in just 40 minutes at The Oval in 1921. 1912 - a summer in which fast bowlers had an impossible task just to get a foothold - saw Hitch against Essex at Leyton produce some of the fastest and most difficult bowling in the history of the game - at a speed of around 95 miles per hour. In 1913, Hitch improved his accuracy enough to take 174 wickets, including seven hauls of ten in a match, be a Wisden Cricketer of the Year for 1914, he maintain this form in 1914 and 1919 but fell off as a bowler afterwards as he lost some of his terrific speed, but compensated in 1921 by scoring over a thousand runs at an average over thirty.

His batting feats included 74 in 35 minutes against Nottinghamshire and his highest score of 107 against Somerset at Bath in 1922 was made in just 70 minutes. As well as being a superb bowler and dangerous batsman, he was a brilliant fielder at short leg. After retiring in 1925, Hitch played Lancashire League cricket for four years before becoming coach at Glamorgan, he served as a first-class umpire during this period. Bill Hitch at CricketArchive

Port Blair Port

Port Blair Port is a seaport in South Andaman District of Andaman and Nicobar in India, near the city of Port Blair. Located on the Andaman Sea, it is one of major ports in India; the port opareted by Port Blair Port Trust. All major provisions of the Major Port Trusts Act, 1963, have become applicable to the major port of Port Blair from June 1, 2010. With this, the Port Blair becomes the 13th major port in India and only major port in Andaman and Nicobar; the Port Blair port would have territorial jurisdiction over 23 other ports in Andaman and Nicobar, including East Island Port, Mayabunder Port, Elphinston Harbour Rangat Port, Havelock Port, Neil Island Port, Chowra Port, Teressa Port and Nancowry Harbour Port. The harbor of this port is natural; the Anchorage depth of the port is 12.5m-13.7m and Oil terminal depth of the port is 7.1m - 9.1m. 500 meter long ship can Anchoraged in the port

The Elephant in the Room (album)

The Elephant in the Room is the eighth studio album by American rapper Fat Joe. The album was released on March 2008, by Terror Squad, Virgin Records and Imperial Records. Production for the album was done by Scott Storch and Dre, Danja, DJ Khaled, DJ Premier, Swizz Beatz, The Alchemist, Streetrunner & The Hitmen, guest contributions came from artists like Beatz, Lil Wayne, J. Holiday and KRS-One; the album received a positive reception but critics felt it was inconsistent in its mixture of production and lyricism. The Elephant in the Room debuted at number 6 on the Billboard 200 and spawned two singles: "I Won't Tell" and "Ain't Sayin' Nothin'"; the Elephant in the Room garnered positive reviews but music critics were divided by the production and lyrical content. Nathan Slavik of DJBooth praised the album's varied production for allowing Joe to deliver different topics through various regional flows, saying that, "While Joe has never produced a classic album, Elephant In The Room proves that his contributions to the game have been significant and long-lasting."

AllMusic editor David Jeffries praised Joe for changing his flow when switching from street tracks to radio singles, despite finding the drug talk monotonous and a lack of cohesion between him and the producers, concluding with, "Still, Joe warns the listener right at the beginning that he's more Eazy-E than Ice Cube -- and for three-fourths of the album, he's spot on." Latifah Muhammad of AllHipHop found a lack of cohesion between Joe and the producers on the record but felt that he managed to deliver tracks both commercially and artistically, saying that it "manages to show off Joes'’ clever mixture of street anthems and radio shiny tunes."HipHopDX staff writer Mcooper found a lack of consistency throughout the album, praising some tracks for its mixture of new-school production and lyrics reminiscent of old-school hip-hop but found the rest of it weak and hollow, saying that "Joe has the talent to put out a classic caliber album, but as long as he wants to stay current with the downloads and ringtones, that vision may not come to pass."

Ben Westhoff of The Phoenix was mixed about the record, finding the lyrical content generic but felt that Joe added some needed empathy in his material, saying that "What makes it work is his vulnerability, a rare commodity in hip-hop. Unlike associate Rick Ross, who keeps letting you know that he’s the “boss,” Joe just wants to entertain you." Jesal Padania of RapReviews felt that Joe copied the formula from Me, Myself & I for the album, criticizing the production for being mediocre at best and not allowing him to make good use of them, saying that "In other words, can I recommend you purchasing this album? Not - and I would class myself as a Fat Joe fan. I will recommend that you purchase a few of the songs from iTunes, but, the best I can do." The Elephant in the Room debuted at number 6 on the Billboard 200 and sold 47,125 copies in its first week. Two weeks it dropped below the top 50 at numbers 56 and 74 before leaving the chart. Credits for The Elephant in the Room adapted from AllMusic


Ruscus is a genus of six species of flowering plants, native to western and southern Europe, northwestern Africa, southwestern Asia east to the Caucasus. In the APG III classification system, it is placed in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Nolinoideae. Like many lilioid monocots, it was classified in the family Liliaceae; the species are evergreen shrub-like perennial plants, growing to 1 metre tall. They have branched stems that bear numerous cladodes 2 to 18 centimetres long and 1 to 8 centimetres broad; the true leaves are minute, scale-like, non-photosynthetic. The flowers are small, white with a dark-violet centre, situated on the middle of the cladodes; the fruit is a red berry 5 to 10 millimetres in diameter. Some species are monoecious. Ruscus is spread by means of underground rhizomes, it can colonise extensive patches of ground. Ruscus aculeatus. Europe, Azores. Ruscus colchicus. Caucasus. Ruscus hypoglossum. Central and Southeast Europe, Turkey. Ruscus hypophyllum. Iberia, northwest Africa.

Used in the floral trade as foliage. Ruscus hyrcanus Woronow An relict bush in the Talish Mountains, Azerbaijan. Protected in the Hirkan national Park. Ruscus microglossus. Southern Europe. Ruscus streptophyllus. Madeira. Flora Europaea: Ruscus

Imperial Guards (Qing China)

The Imperial Guards of the Qing dynasty were a select detachment of Manchu and Mongol bannermen responsible for guarding the Forbidden City in Beijing, the emperor, the emperor's family. The Imperial Guards were divided into three groups: the Guard Corps, the Vanguard, the Imperial Bodyguard; the Guard Corps was assigned to protect the imperial palace. Soldiers from the Manchu and Mongol banners would be admitted to serve in the unit; the Guard corps was about ten times the size of the Vanguard and Imperial Bodyguards, was the largest formation of the Imperial Guards. The Vanguard corps was assigned to march ahead of the emperor. Soldiers from the Manchu and Mongol banners could join; the Vanguard consisted of about 1500 men. The Imperial Bodyguard corps was assigned to protect the emperor at all times. Only Manchu bannermen could join, most members came from the upper three banners. Like the Vanguard, the Imperial Bodyguard consisted of about 1500 men. Manchukuo Imperial Guards Imperial Guards Shuai jiao Wu Chien-ch'uan Wu Quanyou Yang Luchan Elliott, Mark C.

The Manchu Way: The Eight Banners and Ethnic Identity in Late Imperial China, Stanford University Press, ISBN 9780804746847Rawski, Evelyn S. The Last Emperors: A Social History of Qing Imperial Institutions, University of California Press, ISBN 9780520926790