click links in text for more info


Middle-earth is the fictional setting of much of British writer J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium; the term is equivalent to the term Midgard of Norse mythology, describing the human-inhabited world, that is, the central continent of the Earth in Tolkien's imagined mythological past. Tolkien's most read works, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, take place in Middle-earth, Middle-earth has become a short-hand to refer to the legendarium and Tolkien's fictional take on the world. Within his stories, Tolkien translated the name "Middle-earth" as Endor and Ennor in the Elvish languages Quenya and Sindarin respectively. Middle-earth is the north continent of Earth in an imaginary period of the Earth's past, in the sense of a "secondary or sub-creational reality". Tolkien's Middle-earth stories focus on the north-west of the continent; this part of Middle-earth is reminiscent of Europe, with the environs of the Shire intended to be reminiscent of England. Tolkien's stories chronicle the struggle to control the world and the continent of Middle-earth: on one side, the angelic Valar, the Elves and their allies among Men.

In ages, after Morgoth's defeat and expulsion from Arda, his place was taken by his lieutenant Sauron. The Valar withdrew from direct involvement in the affairs of Middle-earth after the defeat of Morgoth, but in years they sent the wizards or Istari to help in the struggle against Sauron; the most important wizards were Gandalf the Saruman the White. Gandalf proved crucial in the fight against Sauron. Saruman, became corrupted and sought to establish himself as a rival to Sauron for absolute power in Middle-earth. Other races involved in the struggle against evil were Dwarves and most famously Hobbits; the early stages of the conflict are chronicled in The Silmarillion, while the final stages of the struggle to defeat Sauron are told in The Hobbit and in The Lord of the Rings. Conflict over the possession and control of precious or magical objects is a recurring theme in the stories; the First Age is dominated by the doomed quest of the elf Fëanor and most of his Noldorin clan to recover three precious jewels called the Silmarils that Morgoth stole from them.

The Second and Third Age are dominated by the forging of the Rings of Power, the fate of the One Ring forged by Sauron, which gives its wearer the power to control or influence those wearing the other Rings of Power. In ancient Germanic mythology, the world of Men is known by several names, such as Midgard, Middenheim and Middengeard; the Old English middangeard descends from an earlier Germanic word and so has cognates such as the Old Norse Miðgarðr from Norse mythology, transliterated to modern English as Midgard. The term "Middle-earth" or "middle-world," is found throughout the Modern English period as a development of the Middle English word middel-erde, which developed in turn, through a process of folk etymology, from middanġeard ). By the Middle English period, middangeard was written as middellærd, midden-erde, or middel-erde, indicating that the second element had been reinterpreted, based on its similarity to the word for "earth"; the shift in meaning was not great, however: middangeard properly meant "middle enclosure" instead of "middle-earth".

Tolkien first encountered the term middangeard in an Old English fragment he studied in 1914: Éala éarendel engla beorhtast / ofer middangeard monnum sended. Hail Earendel, brightest of angels / above the middle-earth sent unto men; this quote is from the second of the fragmentary remnants of the Crist poems by Cynewulf. The name Éarendel was the inspiration for Tolkien's mariner Eärendil, who set sail from the lands of Middle-earth to ask for aid from the angelic powers, the Valar. Tolkien's earliest poem about Eärendil, from 1914, the same year he read the Crist poems, refers to "the mid-world's rim". Tolkien considered the concept of middangeard to be the same as a particular usage of the Greek word οἰκουμένη – oikoumenē, "the abiding place of men". Tolkien wrote: Middle-earth is... not my own invention. It is a modernization or alteration... of an old word for the inhabited world of Men, the oikoumene: middle because thought of vaguely as set amidst the encircling Seas and between ice of the North and the fire of the South.

O. English middan-geard, mediaeval E. midden-erd, middle-erd. Many reviewers seem to assume. However, the term "Middle-earth" is not found in Tolkien's earliest writings about the subject, dating from the early 1920s and published in The Book of Lost Tales. Nor is the term used in The Hobbit. Tolkien began to use the term "Middle-earth" in the late 1930s, in place of the earlier terms "Great Lands", "Outer Lands", "Hither Lands"; the term "Middle-earth" appears in drafts of The Lord of the Rings, the first published appearance of the word "Middle-earth" in Tolkien's works is in the Prologue to that work: "... Hobbits had, in fact, lived in Middle-earth for many long years before other folk became aware of them." The

2017 Fed Cup Europe/Africa Zone

The Europe/Africa Zone is one of three zones of regional competition in the 2017 Fed Cup. Venue: Tallink Tennis Centre, Estonia Date: 8–11 FebruaryThe fourteen teams were divided into two pools of three teams and two pools of four teams; the four pool winners took part in promotional play-offs to determine the two nations advancing to the World Group II Play-offs. The nations finishing last in their pools took part in relegation play-offs, with the two losing nations being relegated to Group II for 2018. Seeding: The seeding was based on the Fed Cup Rankings of 14 November 2016. Serbia and Great Britain were promoted to 2017 Fed Cup World Group II Play-offs Israel and Bosnia and Herzegovina were relegated to Europe/Africa Zone Group II in 2018 Venue: Šiauliai Tennis School, Šiauliai, Lithuania Date: 19–22 AprilThe eight teams were divided into two pools of four teams; the two nations placing first and second took part in play-offs to determine the two nations advancing to Group I. The nations finishing third and last in their pools took part in relegation play-offs, with the two losing nations being relegated to Group III for 2018.

Seeding: The seeding was based on the Fed Cup Rankings of 13 February 2017. Slovenia and Sweden were promoted to Europe/Africa Zone Group I in 2018 Lithuania and South Africa were relegated to Europe/Africa Zone Group III in 2018 Venue: National Tennis School & Tennis Club Acvila, Chișinău, Moldova Date: 13–17 JuneThe fifteen teams were divided into one pool of three teams and three pools of four teams; the four nations placing first took part in play-offs to determine the two nations advancing to Group II. Seeding: The seeding was based on the Fed Cup Rankings of 24 April 2017. Greece and Moldova were promoted to Europe/Africa Zone Group II in 2018. Fed Cup Result, 2017 Europe/Africa Group I Fed Cup Result, 2017 Europe/Africa Group II Fed Cup Result, 2017 Europe/Africa Group III Fed Cup website

Hans Andersen (speedway rider)

Hans Nørgaard Andersen is a motorcycle speedway rider who captained the Denmark speedway team that won the Speedway World Cup in 2006 and 2008. Despite being left out of the 2006 Speedway Grand Prix series, he replaced the retired Tony Rickardsson winning two Grand Prix meetings and finishing sixth in the final standings, he became only the third rider to win a GP as a wild card. In 2007, Andersen became Danish National Champion for the first time. Andersen left his British club, Peterborough Panthers, mid-season in July 2008 after it emerged that the club had not paid him wages amounting to several thousand pounds. Shortly afterwards he signed for Coventry Bees and teamed up with Chris Harris to win the Elite League Pairs Championship. Andersen rode for the Poole Pirates in 2009, moved on to join the Belle Vue Aces for the 2010 season, he returned to the Peterborough Panthers team towards the end of the 2011 season, replacing Nicki Pedersen. Andersen led Swindon Robins to Elite League glory in 2012, on 28 January he was able to ride for the Wiltshire side again in 2013 following a winter-long battle with parent club Peterborough.

In 2016, he signed for Poole Pirates, he was with them again in 2017. He was with Leicester Lions in 2018 before riding with Peterborough Panthers in 2019. Denmark national speedway team List of Speedway Grand Prix riders Official website

1983 American League Championship Series

The 1983 American League Championship Series was played between the Chicago White Sox and the Baltimore Orioles from October 5 to 8. The Orioles won the series three games to one. Although the White Sox took Game 1 by a score of 2–1, the Orioles came back to win the last three games of the series; the Orioles went on to defeat the Philadelphia Phillies in five games in the 1983 World Series. In the regular season the White Sox won the West Division by twenty games with a 99–63 record; the Orioles won the East Division by six games with a 98–64 record. Baltimore won the series, 3–1. Wednesday, October 5, 1983, at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland Playing in their first postseason game since the 1959 World Series, the White Sox jumped out to a 1–0 ALCS lead behind a complete-game victory by LaMarr Hoyt, the American League Cy Young Award winner. In the third, Rudy Law singled with two outs and after another single, scored the game's first run on a Tom Paciorek infield single off of Scott McGregor.

After a 42-minute rain delay in the fourth inning, the White Sox made it 2–0 when Paciorek walked to lead off the sixth, moved to third when Greg Luzinski reached on an Eddie Murray error and scored when Rookie of the Year Ron Kittle grounded into a double play. In the bottom of the ninth, Tito Landrum doubled with two outs before Cal Ripken Jr. denied Hoyt's shutout with two outs in the bottom of the ninth by driving in Landrum with a single for the Orioles' only run. Thursday, October 6, 1983, at Memorial Stadium in Baltimore, Maryland Mike Boddicker evened the series with a dominant performance, striking out fourteen batters while allowing just five singles and three walks in a shutout victory. Gary Roenicke doubled to lead off the second off of Floyd Bannister scored on an error on Ken Singleton's groundball. In the fourth, Roenicke walked with one out scored on Singleton's double. Roenicke capped the game's scoring with a two-run home run in the sixth to give the Orioles a 4–0 win. Friday, October 7, 1983, at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois With the series shifting to Chicago, White Sox starter Rich Dotson was rocked for six runs, all earned, over five innings, as the Orioles pushed Chicago to the brink of elimination.

Eddie Murray hit a three-run homer in the top of the first to start the scoring. Next inning, Rick Dempsey scored on Al Bumbry's double; the White Sox scored their only run of the game in the bottom of the second off of Mike Flanagan when Ron Kittle hit a leadoff double and scored on Vance Law's single. In the fifth, a two-out hit-by-pitch and subsequent walk was followed by a two-run double by John Lowenstein. In the eighth, Todd Cruz's RBI single with two on off of Dick Tidrow made it 7–1 Orioles. In the ninth, the Orioles load the bases off of Jerry Koosman on a double and two walks. Dennis Lamp in relief walked Gary Roenicke to force in a run left fielder Jerry Hairston's error on Joe Nolan's fly ball allowed two more runs to score before Rich Dauer's sacrifice fly capped the scoring at 11–1 Orioles. Flanagan pitched five innings. Saturday, October 8, 1983, at Comiskey Park in Chicago, Illinois After nine scoreless innings, Baltimore eliminated Chicago with a three-run outburst in the top of the 10th, advancing to the World Series for the first time since 1979.

White Sox manager Tony LaRussa decided to save Hoyt for a potential Game 5 start and went with Britt Burns instead. Burns pitched nine shutout innings, but the Sox could not push across a run, with shortstop Jerry Dybzinski making a critical baserunning mistake that cost Chicago the potential winning run. With one out in the 10th, Tito Landrum hit a homer. Salome Barojas in relief allowed three straight singles. Benny Ayala's sacrifice fly off of Juan Agosto capped the scoring at 3–0 Orioles. Chicago scored one run in the final 30 innings of the series. Four of the team's starters, Harold Baines, Carlton Fisk, Vance Law and Greg Luzinski, hit below.200. Baltimore hit but.217 and had the same number of hits as the White Sox did, but outscored them 19-3. The Orioles would go on to win the 1983 World Series, while the White Sox would not make the playoffs again until 1993; this would be the last postseason game in the Old Comiskey Park. This is the Orioles' most recent pennant to date. 1983 ALCS: Baltimore Orioles over Chicago White Sox 1983 ALCS at Baseball-Reference

Concept (album)

Concept is the ninth album by the Los Angeles, California-based R&B group the Sylvers. Released in October 1981, this would be their only album for SOLAR Records label, it reunited them with older brother and former member Leon Sylvers III as he was working for SOLAR at the time. The album's two singles were not as successful, with "Come Back, Come Back" reaching #63 on Billboard's dance singles chart and "Take It to the Top" failing to chart. "Reach Out" – 6:14 "Come Back Lover, Come Back" – 5:00 "Just When I Thought It Was Over" – 4:37 "Take It to the Top" – 4:29 "I'm Getting Over" – 4:20 "Taking Over" – 3:55 "P. S." – 4:08 "Heart Repair Man" – 5:05 "There's a Place" – 3:40 The Sylversvocals, background vocals Leon Sylvers III – bass, vocals Foster Sylvers – bass, percussion James Sylvers – keyboards Ricky Sylvers – keyboards, guitar Patricia Sylvers – keyboards Ed Greene, Fred Alexander, Melvin Gentry, Wardell Potts – drums Ernest "Pepper" Reed, Richard Randolph, Stephen Shockley – guitar William Simmons, Bo Watson, Joey Gallo, Kevin Spencer, Lawrence Hilton-Jacobs, Norman Beavers, Rickey Smith, Sylvester Rivers – keyboards Kenny Hudson – percussion Concept at Discogs


Jianzhi Sengcan is known as the Third Chinese Patriarch of Chán after Bodhidharma and thirtieth Patriarch after Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha. He is considered to be the Dharma successor of Dazu Huike. Sengcan is best known as the putative author of the famous Chán poem, Xinxin Ming 信心銘; the year and place of Sengcan's birth is unknown. It is said that Sengcan was over forty years old when he first met Huike in 536 and that he stayed with his teacher for six years, it was Huike. The Transmission of the Lamp entry on Sengcan begins with a koan-like encounter with Huike: Sengcan: I am riddled with sickness. Please absolve me of my sin. Huike: Bring your sin here and I will absolve you. Sengcan: When I look for my sin, I cannot find it. Huike: I have absolved you. You should live by the Buddha, the Dharma, the Sangha. There are discrepancies; the Transmission of the Lamp records that he “attended Huike for two years” after which Huike passed on the robe of Bodhidharma and Bodhidharma’s Dharma, making him the Third Patriarch of Chan.

According to Dumoulin, in 574 the accounts say that he fled with Huike to the mountains due to the Buddhist persecution underway at that time. However, the Lamp records claim that after giving Sengcan Dharma transmission, Huike warned Sengcan to live in the mountains and “Wait for the time when you can transmit the Dharma to someone else.” As a prediction made to Bodhidharma by Prajnadhara, the twenty-seventh Chan ancestor in India, foretold of a coming calamity. After receiving transmission, Sengcan lived in hiding on Wangong Mountain in Yixian and on Sikong Mountain in southwestern Anhui. Thereafter, for ten years he wandered with no fixed abode, he met Daoxin, a novice monk of just fourteen, in 592. Daoxin attended Sengcan for nine years and received Dharma transmission when he was still in his early twenties. Subsequently, Sengcan spent two years at Mount Luofu before returning to Wangong Mountain, he died sitting under a tree before a Dharma assembly in 606. Dumoulin notes that a Chinese official, Li Ch’ang found Sengcan’s grave in Shu-chou in 745 or 746.

Sengcan received the honorary title Jianzhi 鑑智 from the Tang dynasty emperor Xuan Zong. Sengcan, like Bodhidharma and Huike before him, was reputed to be a devotee and specialist in the study of the Lankavatara Sutra, which taught the elimination of all duality and the “forgetting of words and thoughts”, stressing the contemplation of wisdom. However, McRae describes the link between Bodhidharma and the Lankavatara Sutra as “superficial”; the link between this sutra and the “Bodhidharma school” is provided in Tao-hsuan’s Further Biographies of Eminent Monks where, in the biography of Fa-ch’ung he “stresses that Hui-k’o was the first to grasp the essence of the Lankavatara Sutra” and includes Sengcan as one who “discoursed on but did not write about the profound message of the Lankavatara Sutra. Due to the lack of authentic evidence, comments on Sengcan's teachings are speculative. Although Sengcan has traditionally been honored as the author of the Xinxin Ming, most modern scholars dismiss this as improbable.

The historical record of Sengcan is limited. Of all the Chan patriarchs, Sengcan is the most ambiguous and the least known: We have no certain information regarding Seng-ts’an; the course of his life lies in darkness.” The earliest recorded note naming Sengcan is in Further Biographies of Eminent Monks by Daoxuan where Sengcan is named after Huike’s name, as one of seven disciples of Huike in a biographical entry of the Lankavatara sutra master, Fa-ch’ung No further information is given. It was not until the Records of the Transmission of the Dharma-treasure, compiled about 710 and drawing on the stories in the Further Biographies of Eminent Monks, that a teaching “lineage” for Chan was created; some have speculated that it was the fact that Sengcan’s name followed Huike’s name in the latter work that led to him being named as the Third Patriarch of Chan. Therefore, the biography that follows is garnered from traditional biographies of Sengcan the Transmission of the Lamp. Most of what is known about his life comes from the Wudeng Huiyuan, compiled in the early 13th century by the monk Puji at Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou.

The first of the five records in the compendium is a text referred to as the Transmission of the Lamp and it is from this text that most of the information about Sengcan is garnered. However, it should be kept in mind that most modern scholars have some doubts about the historical accuracy of the Lamp records. Yampolsky, Philip Ch'an-A Historical Sketch in Buddhist Spirituality: Later China, Korea and the Modern World, Takeuchi Yoshinor ed. SCM Press, ISBN 0-334-02779-9 Yampolsky, Philip The Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch: the text of the Tun-Huang manuscript, translated with notes by, Columbia University Press, ISBN 0-231-08361-0 Foster, Nelson.