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S. N. Balagangadhara

S. N. Balagangadhara was a professor at the Ghent University in Belgium, director of the now derelict India Platform and the Research Centre Vergelijkende Cutuurwetenschap. Balagangadhara was a student of National College and moved to Belgium in 1977 to study philosophy at Ghent University, where he obtained his doctorate under the supervision of Etienne Vermeersch, his doctoral thesis was entitled Comparative Science of Cultures and the Universality of Religion: An Essay on Worlds without Views and Views without the World. Balagangadhara has been researching the nature of religion, his central area of inquiry has been the study of Western culture against the background of Indian culture. His research programme is called in Dutch "Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap," which translates into "Comparative Science of Cultures", he has held the co-chair of the Hinduism Unit at the American Academy of Religion. He gives lectures to the general public in Europe and India on issues such as the current understanding of Indian culture and the search for happiness.

His work became controversial. From the 1980s onwards, S. N. Balagangadhara has developed the research programme Vergelijkende Cultuurwetenschap to study cultural differences. On the one hand, he analyses western culture and intellectual thought through its representations of other cultures, with a particular focus on the western representations of India. On the other, Balagangadhara attempts to translate the knowledge embodied by the Indian traditions into the conceptual language of the twenty-first century. In his first work, The Heathen in his Blindness... Balagangadhara focused on religion and cultural difference, he is known for the controversial claim that religion is not a cultural universal. According to the author, Christianity had a profound influence on western culture. Balagangadhara argued that the analytical tools with which the West has understood other cultures like India, are therefore, intrinsically shaped by Semitic and Christian theology; the Semitic doctrine that God gave religion to humankind, Balagangadhara argued, lies at the heart of the ethnographic belief in the universality of religion: In the name of science and ethnology, the Biblical themes have become our regular stock-in-trade: that God gave religion to humankind has become a cultural universal in the guise that all cultures have a religion.

And so the list goes on, on, on. Theme after theme from the pages of the Bible has become the ‘but of course!’ of intellectuals—whether Jew, Dinka, or Brahmin. Balagangadhara proposes therefore a novel analysis of religion, the Roman'religio', the construction of'religions' in India, the nature of cultural differences, his second major work, Reconceptualizing India Studies, appeared in 2012 and argues that post-colonial studies and modern India studies are in need of a rejuvenation. After Said's Orientalism, post-colonialism, as a discipline, has not contributed much to human knowledge. A strange form of unproductive self-reflection and impenetrable jargon has come to stand for and replace theory building and knowledge production; the book attempts to chalk out a potential direction for the social-scientific study of Indian culture. Stressing the need for an alternative understanding of Western culture, Balagangadhara argues that Hinduism, caste system, secularism are not colonial constructs but entities within the Western cultural experience.

He argues that the so-called facts about India and her traditions are a result of colonial consciousness. In 2014, Manohar publishers brought out a condensed and shortened version of The Heathen in his Blindness... entitled Do all Roads Lead to Jerusalem? The Making of Indian Religions, he was the co-chair of the Hinduism Unit at the American Academy of Religion from 2004 to 2007. On 1 October 2013, University of Pardubice awarded him with its honorary doctorate, "doctor honoris causa", the gold medal for: the outstanding development of the comparative science of cultures and religions, the development of the collaborations between European and Indian universities, his contribution to the development of the Studies of religions at the Faculty of Arts and Philosophy at the University of Pardubice; the development of the Centre for the Study of Local Cultures at Kuvempu University, India. India Platform The Academy of Social Sciences and Humanities; the five-year Rethinking Religion in India conference cluster.

Balagangadhara, S. N.. "The Heathen in his Blindness..." Asia, the West, the Dynamic of Religion. Leiden, New York: E. J. Brill. P. 563. ISBN 978-90-04-09943-2. | | Preview at Google Books | Find in libraries near youBalagangadhara, S. N.. Reconceptualizing India Studies. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-808296-5. | Balagangadhara, S. N.. Do All Road Lead to Jerusalem?: The Making of Indian Religions. New Delhi: Manohar. ISBN 978-93-5098-061-3. | Balagangadhara, S. N. & Claerhout, Sarah "De antieken en het vroege christendom: een heidense visie uit India" in D. Praet

Mount St. Peter Church

Mount Saint Peter Church is a Roman Catholic Church at 100 Freeport Road in New Kensington, Pennsylvania. The church is located along the Allegheny River and is 25 mi north-east of the city of Pittsburgh within the Diocese of Greensburg; the congregation was founded by Italian immigrants in the early 1900s and the current building was constructed by hand by parish members during World War II using materials from the recently dismantled Richard B. Mellon 60-room mansion in Pittsburgh; the church was dedicated on July 4, 1944. In 1998, the building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places; as of 2009, the congregation had 5,000 members. The church is regionally known for its annual Festa Italiana, at which there is homemade Italian food, games for children, gambling for adults; this festival is organized by volunteers from the church and takes place on the church grounds during the first weekend in August. The mission statement of the church emphasizes the congregation's Italian heritage.

The history of the Mount St. Peter parish is woven with the history of Alcoa and the emergence of New Kensington as an industrial city in the early twentieth century. In 1890, the Burrell Improvement Company considered the advantages of the level land south of its home in Lower Burrell, they named the area New Kensington, surveyed it, laid out avenues, running parallel to the Allegheny River, numbered streets running perpendicular to the river. Fourth and Fifth streets were the primary commercial streets. Once the land was surveyed and plotted, the company opened the land to bidding; the first large company to purchase land, the Pittsburgh Reduction Company, acquired a 3.5-acre property by the riverfront. Other companies acquired sites for commercial and industrial development: Adams Drilling and Lowerburg, New Kensington Milling, New Kensington Brewing, Logan Lumber, Keystone Dairy, to name a few; the presence of Pittsburgh Reduction Company provided a boon for development. On Thanksgiving Day 1888, with the help of Alfred E. Hunt, Charles Martin Hall developed an experimental smelting plant on Smallman Street in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

In 1891, the company established its production facility in New Kensington. By 1910, the city was the home of a car manufacturing company, the New Kensington Automobile Company. In addition, the Pittsburg Motor Car Company had established a production plant for its Pittsburg Six model in New Kensington. By 1904, the American Tin Plate Company had established the six facilities of the Pittsburgh Mills and six of the Pennsylvania Mills in New Kensington; the Diocese of Greensburg, to which Mount Saint Peter now belongs, was established on March 10, 1951, by Pope Pius XII. Records show that the first Mass in the area was celebrated in the Allegheny Mountains in 1749 by a French priest serving as chaplain to French troops. Demetrius Augustine Gallitzin, the second priest ordained in territories that became the United States, arrived in Loretto, Pennsylvania in 1799. Father Boniface Wimmer came to Latrobe from Germany and established the first Benedictine presence in the region of Saint Vincent in 1846.

Prior to the United States' Civil War, Catholicism grew in America, but afterward, it became more widespread as Catholic immigrants from eastern Europe moved to the four counties, which include Armstrong, Fayette and Westmoreland, to mine coal and produce coke to fire steel mills in Pittsburgh. This influx of Catholic immigrants resulted in the creation of more than 80 parishes and missions in the counties between 1865 and 1917. By 1900, the burgeoning industrial town had 4,600 residents and two years Reverend Bonaventure Piscopo, a member of the Apostolic Band for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Pittsburgh, formed a new congregation in New Kensington to serve the immigrant work force, many of whom were Italian Catholics; the church was named after the first pope. The parishioners of this new congregation were Italians living in and around New Kensington and Parnassus, which became a part of the city of New Kensington; these immigrants needed a place to worship and in 1903, the St. Peter congregation began holding Mass with a resident pastor, Reverend Vincenzo Maselli in a small building on the corner of Second Avenue and Tenth Street in New Kensington.

Soon after, on September 28, 1903, the congregation relocated to the basement of St. Mary's Polish Church, located in New Kensington. Here, the first parish register was created; the first recorded event in the new parish was a marriage on December 27, 1903. Soon after, the Burrell Improvement Company donated land on the corner of Ridge Avenue and Constitution Boulevard. On July 4, 1905, the cornerstone of St. Peter Church was laid and on September 25, 1905, Bishop Regis Canevin dedicated the new church. In 1908, the number of attendees at St. Peter Church began to dwindle. Many of the priests who had served the congregation had been reassigned a few years earlier. In 1908, a popular priest, Father Sacchi, was sent to Mother of Sorrows Church in McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania. Parishioners formed a committee to go speak to the Bishop on Father Sacchi's behalf. Although Father Sacchi was not allowed to return to St. Peter, Reverend James Vocca, at St. Peter prior to his reassignment, was brought back to the church.

At this time, the priests who were part of St. Peter were doing the best they could to keep the faith alive in their congregation; the priests were smart men who had attended school in Italy prior to their immigration, but most were unable to speak fluent English. At a time when immigrants were trying to fi

2013 Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils football team

The 2013 Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils football team represented Mississippi Valley State University in the 2013 NCAA Division I FCS football season. The Delta Devils were led by fourth year head coach Karl Morgan and played their home games at Rice–Totten Field, they were a member of the East Division of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Mississippi Valley State entered the season with a new offensive coordinator Karl Morgan, in his third season overall with the staff, after former offensive coordinator Ramon Flanigan became the head coach at The Lincoln University. On Media Day, Mississippi Valley State State was picked to finish fourth in the Eastern Division of the SWAC, they had two players, Defensive Lineman Robert Simpson and Defensive Back Kevin Euegene, selected to the Pre-Season All-SWAC 1st Team Defense. 2 additional players: wide receiver Julian Staford and offensive lineman Antonio Griggs, were selected as part of the All-SWAC 2nd Team Offense. They finished the season 2 -- 7 in SWAC play.

All Delta Devils games will once again be carried live on WVSD radio and can be heard online through Christiannet Cast

Suffrajitsu: Mrs. Pankhurst's Amazons

Suffrajitsu: Mrs. Pankhurst's Amazons is a graphic novel trilogy published by Jet City Comics, portraying the adventures of an all-women secret society of bodyguards who protect the leaders of the radical suffragette movement during early 1914. Suffrajitsu was written by Tony Wolf, with art by Joao Vieira, colors by Josan Gonzales and lettering by Ed Dukeshire. Artwork and lettering were supervised by Jasmine Amiri and Dafna Pleban of BOOM! Studios. Issue #1 was published on January 28, 2015, with Issues #2 and #3 being released on February 25 and March 25. Initial publication was as a series of e-books via the Amazon Kindle app, with individual issues becoming available to both US and international readers via As of May 2015, collected editions became available via both comiXology; the Suffrajitsu trilogy is part of the Foreworld Saga, a shared-world secret history transmedia franchise initiated by speculative fiction authors Neal Stephenson and Mark Teppo via the Subutai Corporation in 2010.

A printed collector's anthology edition including two other Foreworld graphic novels, The Dead God and Symposium, was published as Blood and Honor: The Foreworld Saga Graphic Novels on July 29, 2015. The majority of characters featured in the Suffrajitsu trilogy are fictionalized versions of real people and many events and locations shown are closely based on real history; the trilogy is set during the height of the English women's suffrage protests of the early 20th century, which included acts of mass civil disobedience and riots as pro- and anti-suffragists battled over the right of women to vote in national elections. During this period, many suffragettes were imprisoned on charges ranging from vandalism and assault to sedition. In response to the so-called Cat and Mouse Act legislation, which allowed hunger-striking incarcerated suffragettes to be temporarily released from prison and re-arrested when their health had sufficiently recovered, the Women's Social and Political Union established an all-women bodyguard team.

Trained by Edith Margaret Garrud, the team - known within the WSPU as "The Bodyguard" and dubbed "jujitsuffragettes" and "Amazons" by the media - clashed with the police, employing decoy and subterfuge tactics as well as hand-to-hand combat to protect fugitive suffragettes from arrest and assault. The Suffrajitsu trilogy refers to numerous circa 1914 events and social movements notably including eugenics, composer Alexander Scriabin's Mysterium and the controversial White Feather campaign, which protagonist Persephone Wright rejects on ethical grounds. Issue #1 of the trilogy follows Amazon leader Persephone Wright and her team as they engage in escalating conflicts with the police in London and Glasgow during early 1914. Most of the key events depicted in Issue #1 are based on real history, including sections of speeches by the politician William Cremer and both Emmeline and Christabel Pankhurst. In Issues 2 and 3 the plot diverges from real history, although major elements and characters are inspired by history.

In Issue #2 the Amazons embark on a daring rescue mission in the Austrian Alps, battling with members of a eugenic cult called the Order of New Templars and in Issue 3 they must race to prevent a terrorist attack that may have dire consequences for the entire world. Persephone Wright: a "fallen woman", expert strategist and the field leader of the Amazons. Emmeline Pankhurst: the leader of the radical Women's Social and Political Union, a fugitive from the law when the story begins. Christabel Pankhurst: Emmeline's daughter, the second-in-command of the WSPU. Edward William Barton-Wright: Persephone's uncle. Florence "Flossie" Le Mar: a New Zealand-born adventuress. Toupie Lowther: an aristocratic, cross-dressing lesbian motorist and jujitsu exponent who serves as Mrs. Pankhurst's getaway driver and chauffeuse. Judith Lee: an amateur detective and expert lip-reader of Anglo-Chinese descent. Katharina "Sandwina" Brumbach: an Austrian professional wrestler and circus strongwoman. Miss Sanderson: a silent femme fatale, an expert at self-defense with umbrellas and parasols.

Katherine "Kitty" Marshall: a quick-witted teenager who keeps her suffragette activism secret from her family. Vernon Waldegrave Kell: the Director-General of the newly formed British Security Service. Edith Margaret Garrud: the Amazons' jiujitsu instructor and leader of the Palladium Irregulars, a reserve unit of suffragette bodyguards. During 2014 Suffrajitsu author Tony Wolf organised a scheme that produced two novellas and two short stories inspired by the Suffrajitsu trilogy and licensed and published via the Kindle Worlds platform; the stories included: The Pale Blue Ribbon, by John Longenbaugh The Isle of Dogs, by Michael Lussier Carried Away, by Ray Dean The Second-Story Girl, by Mark Lingane With the closure of the Kindle Worlds platform in July of 2018, these short stories and novellas are no longer available. The Jujitsu Suffragette Suffrajitsu! Edith Garrud: A public vote for the suffragette who taught martial arts Radio interview with the author Inspired by a true story... no Suffrajitsu: How the suffragettes fought back using martial arts The Suffragettes Who Learned Martial Arts to Fight For the Vote (Article on the s

Wavelength selective switching

Wavelength selective switching components are used in WDM optical communications networks to route signals between optical fibres on a per-wavelength basis. A WSS comprises a switching array that operates on light, dispersed in wavelength without the requirement that the dispersed light be physically demultiplexed into separate ports; this is termed a ` switch' configuration. For example an 88 channel WDM system can be routed from a “common” fiber to any one of N fibers by employing 88 1 x N switches; this represents a significant simplification of a demux and switch and multiplex architecture that would require a non-blocking switch for 88 N x N channels which would test the manufacturability limits of large-scale optical cross-connects for moderate fiber counts. A more practical approach, one adopted by the majority of WSS manufacturers is shown schematically in Figure 1; the various incoming channels of a common port are dispersed continuously onto a switching element which directs and attenuates each of these channels independently to the N switch ports.

The dispersive mechanism is based on holographic or ruled diffraction gratings similar to those used in spectrometers. It can be advantageous, for achieving resolution and coupling efficiency, to employ a combination of a reflective or transmissive grating and a prism – known as a GRISM; the operation of the WSS can be bidirectional so the wavelengths can be multiplexed together from different ports onto a single common port. To date, the majority of deployments have used a fixed channel bandwidth of 50 or 100 GHz and 9 output ports are used; the simplest and earliest commercial WSS were based on movable mirrors using Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems. The incoming light is broken into a spectrum by a diffraction grating and each wavelength channel focuses on a separate MEMS mirror. By tilting the mirror in one dimension, the channel can be directed back into any of the fibers in the array. A second tilting axis allows transient crosstalk to be minimised, otherwise switching from port 1 to port 3 will always involve passing the beam across port 2.

The second axis provides a means to attenuate the signal without increasing the coupling into neighbouring fibers. This technology has the advantage of a single steering surface, not requiring polarization diversity optics, it works well in the presence of a continuous signal, allowing the mirror tracking circuits to dither the mirror and maximise coupling. MEMS based WSS produce good extinction ratios, but poor open loop performance for setting a given attenuation level; the main limitations of the technology arise from the channelization that the mirrors enforce. During manufacturing, the channels must be aligned with the mirrors, complicating the manufacturing process. Post-manufacturing alignment adjustments have been limited to adjusting the gas pressure within the hermetic enclosure; this enforced channelization has proved, so far, an insurmountable obstacle to implementing flexible channel plans where different channel sizes are required within a network. Additionally the phase of light at the mirror edge is not well controlled in a physical mirror so artefacts can arise in the switching of light near the channel edge due to interference of the light from each channel.

Liquid crystal switching avoids both the high cost of small volume MEMS fabrication and some of its fixed channel limitations. The concept is illustrated in Figure 3. A diffraction grating breaks the incoming light into a spectrum. A software controlled binary liquid crystal stack, individually tilts each optical channel and a second grating is used to spectrally recombine the beams; the offsets created by the liquid crystal stack cause the resulting spectrally recombined beams to be spatially offset, hence to focus, through a lens array, into separate fibers. Polarization diversity optics ensures low Polarization Dependent Losses; this technology has the advantages of low cost parts, simple electronic control and stable beam positions without active feedback. It is capable of configuring to a flexible grid spectrum by the use of a fine pixel grid; the inter-pixel gaps must be small compared to the beam size, to avoid perturbing the transmitted light significantly. Furthermore each grid must be replicated for each of the switching stages creating the requirement of individually controlling thousands of pixels on different substrates so the advantages of this technology in terms of simplicity are negated as the wavelength resolution becomes finer.

The main disadvantage of this technology arises from the thickness of the stacked switching elements. Keeping the optical beam focused over this depth is difficult and has, so far, limited the ability of high port count WSS to achieve fine granularity. Liquid Crystal on Silicon LCoS is attractive as a switching mechanism in a WSS because of the near continuous addressing capability, enabling much new functionality. In particular the bands of wavelengths which are switched together need not be preconfigured in the optical hardware but can be programmed into the switch through the software control. Additionally, it is possible to take advantage of this ability to reconfigure channels while the device is operating. A schematic of an LCoS WSS is shown in Figure 4. LCoS technology has enabled the introduction of more flexible wavelength grids which help to unlock the full spectral capacity of optical fibers. More surprising features rely on the phase matrix nature of the