The Balinese Room was a famous nightclub in Galveston, United States built on a pier stretching 600 feet from the Galveston Seawall over the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. For decades a dance hall and illegal casino, the Balinese Room was remodeled and reopened in 2001 without the gambling. Operated by Sicilian immigrant barbers-turned-bootleggers Sam and Rosario Maceo, the Balinese Room was an elite spot in the 1940s and 1950s, featuring entertainment by Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, George Burns, The Marx Brothers and other top acts of the day. Patrons of the private club included Howard Hughes, Sophie Tucker and wealthy oil barons from nearby Houston. In 1997, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places. During the early morning hours of September 13, 2008, the structure was destroyed by Hurricane Ike; the Balinese is featured in pop culture. The Maceos took over "Chop Suey," a small restaurant at the intersection of 21st Street and Seawall Boulevard, in 1929 they opened "Maceo's Grotto" at that location.
It was one of many entertainment venues. In 1932, the "Grotto" was remodeled into a Chinese restaurant called "Sui Jen", a 200-foot pier stretching out over the Gulf was added to the building; the pier location, across 21st Street from the Galvez, made the restaurant/club an easy walk for those Galveston visitors who preferred to stay in one of the city's most exclusive hotels. The Oriental-sounding name was changed to the more exotic sounding Balinese Room in 1942, after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, the decor was modified accordingly; the pier was expanded to 600 feet. The Balinese Room's private back room was equipped with the most modern gaming equipment, the Maceos' advertisements invited high rollers to "Come Down and Play on Galveston Island." During this period it became Balinese Room lore that head bartender Santos Cruz “invented” the Margarita for singer Peggy Lee in 1948. He named it after the Spanish version of her name, it's been a hit since. However, there is an account from 1936 of Iowa newspaper editor James Graham finding such a cocktail in Tijuana, years before any of the other margarita "creation myths".
The club's illegal gambling made it a hub of mob activity. It was well known that the casino, at the far end of the pier, was operating in violation of the law, but the Maceos had many allies in the local government and on the police force, so charges were never filed. The sheriff of Galveston County at the time, when called before the Texas Legislature to testify about why the club remained open, replied that he wasn’t a member of the private club so he couldn’t get in. In 1956, Will Wilson was elected as Texas Attorney General after campaigning to "close down Galveston" and its illegal casinos using the Texas Rangers; the Rangers set up shop in a hotel near the club, raided the casino often. But their efforts were thwarted by the length of the pier, known as the "Rangers Run". By the time they ran down to the tail end of the long, narrow club, tables and chips had disappeared into secret wall and floor pockets; the band would strike up the song "The Eyes of Texas" upon their arrival. At first the Rangers attempted to disrupt the business without heavy-handed tactics – they sat in the casino all day, every day.
Customers, intimidated by the Rangers' presence, were less frequent and business suffered. The club stayed open; the Rangers launched an undercover operation. Ranger Clint Peoples managed to pose as a customer and was admitted to the club and witnessed the gambling, his work coordinated with a raid enabled the gambling equipment in the club to be seized. The club closed its doors on May 30, 1957. In 1961, Hurricane Carla damaged the structure. Many of the piers that supported the structure had been washed away, over following years, the building continued to decay; the Balinese Room is celebrated in a 1975 song by the band ZZ Top. The 1989 film Night Game featured the Balinese Room as a filming location; the 1993 film Dazed and Confused played an excerpt of the aforementioned ZZ Top song "Balinese". After sitting vacant for 20 years, the Balinese Room and its pier became the property of the State of Texas. A local attorney, Scott Arnold, took out a 60-year lease on the pier, in 2001, reopened the Balinese Room for business.
In addition to the Balinese Room itself, used for live music and weekend public dining, the pier had a salon, retail shops and a massage therapy room with a glass floor. Much of the original Balinese structure and decor had been either modified or destroyed over the years, but the south seas interior decor of the large ballroom survived and was restored to match its 1940s appearance; the hallway of the long pier was lined with autographed photos of past performers and other memorabilia. As Hurricane Ike approached Galveston on Friday, September 12, 2008, the storm surge raised the water level to a point where waves were topping the Galveston Seawall, sending water and debris onto Seawall Boulevard; that night and early Saturday morning, Hurricane Ike barreled ashore, with the eye of the storm tracking into Galveston Bay. Although the pier was higher than the seawall, Ike's storm surge and wind were more than the seventy-nine-year-old structure could handle. After having survived hurricanes Carla and numerous smaller storms, the famous old club was destroyed.
Only plywood, rubble and the famed red door were l
Flora is the plant life occurring in a particular region or time the occurring or indigenous—native plant life. The corresponding term for animal life is fauna. Flora and other forms of life such as fungi are collectively referred to as biota. Sometimes bacteria and fungi are referred to as flora, as in the terms gut flora or skin flora; the word "flora" comes from the Latin name of Flora, the goddess of plants and fertility in Roman mythology. The technical term "flora" is derived from a metonymy of this goddess at the end of the sixteenth century, it was first used in poetry to denote the natural vegetation of an area, but soon assumed the meaning of a work cataloguing such vegetation. Moreover, "Flora" was used to refer to the flowers of an artificial garden in the seventeenth century; the distinction between vegetation and flora was first made by Jules Thurmann. Prior to this, the two terms were used indiscriminately. Plants are grouped into floras based on region, special environment, or climate.
Regions can be distinct habitats like mountain vs. flatland. Floras can mean plant life of a historic era as in fossil flora. Lastly, floras may be subdivided by special environments: Native flora; the native and indigenous flora of an area. Agricultural and horticultural flora; the plants that are deliberately grown by humans. Weed flora. Traditionally this classification was applied to plants regarded as undesirable, studied in efforts to control or eradicate them. Today the designation is less used as a classification of plant life, since it includes three different types of plants: weedy species, invasive species, native and introduced non-weedy species that are agriculturally undesirable. Many native plants considered weeds have been shown to be beneficial or necessary to various ecosystems; the flora of a particular area or time period can be documented in a publication known as a "flora". Floras may require specialist botanical knowledge to use with any effectiveness. Traditionally they are books.
Simon Paulli's Flora Danica of 1648 is the first book titled "Flora" to refer to the plant world of a certain region. It describes medicinal plants growing in Denmark; the Flora Sinensis by the Polish Jesuit Michał Boym is another early example of a book titled "Flora". However, despite its title it covered not only plants, but some animals of the region, China and India. A published flora contains diagnostic keys; these are dichotomous keys, which require the user to examine a plant, decide which one of two alternatives given best applies to the plant. Biome — a major regional group of distinctive plant and animal communities Fauna Fauna and Flora Preservation Society Herbal Horticultural flora Megaflora Pharmacopoeia The Plant List Vegetation — a general term for the plant life of a regionCategoriesFlora by continent Flora by country Flora by region eFloras — a collection of on-line floras Chilebosque — checklist of Chilean native flora Flora of NW Europe with descriptions and a quiz to test your knowledge Flora of Australia Online Flora of New Zealand Series Online
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti
Bear Creek Pioneers Park
Bear Creek Pioneers Park is a 2,154-acre park located in the U. S. city of Houston, Texas at 3535 War Memorial Drive. It is sometimes called "Harris County Bear Creek Park", or "Bear Creek Park." Between 1946 and 1948, the Addicks Reservoir was constructed by the United States Army Corps of Engineers to prevent a repetition of the sort of disastrous flooding that Houston experienced in 1935. Bear Creek Pioneers Park occupies a portion of this reservoir; the park land had been occupied since the 1840s by German immigrant farmers and their descendants. Harris County began to develop the park; the park has paved roads and parking spaces that visitors can use. The park has walking trails, an equestrian trail, a small zoo and aviary, soccer fields, little league and softball fields, four lighted tennis courts, eight picnic pavilions, horseshoe courts, hundreds of picnic tables and grills. Near the aviary ducks can be seen walking around a pond; the park has restrooms all around the park and drinking water fountains.
The park is open. There is no cost to enter the park but pavilions must be reserved before use. Picnic tables and grills do not need to be reserved; the park has no visitors must bring their own food if they plan on eating or drinking. Bear Creek Pioneers Park gets its name from one of the creeks. Langham Creek bisects the entire park; when East Texas was first settled, the Louisiana black bear was widespread. Today though, despite the name of the creek and park, there are none in the area. Bears disappeared from the Houston vicinity by the late 1800s. No bears are kept at the park's wildlife habitat. So, what might have been named Langham Creek Pioneers Park was named Bear Creek Pioneers Park. Sounds lots more exciting than does Langham Creek Park; the Harris County War Memorial is found in this park, next to the Eldridge Parkway entrance. The Memorial was built in 1985 to honor known residents who lost their lives in World War I and the wars since. Memorial services are held at the War Memorial every Memorial Day at 2:00 p.m.
The wildlife habitat located in the park consists of a duck and goose pond, an aviary, exhibits for various animals including birds of prey, bison, pot bellied pigs, white-tailed deer, donkeys and goats. Official website
Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with annual rainfall in the case of tropical rainforests between 250 and 450 centimetres, definitions varying by region for temperate rainforests. The monsoon trough, alternatively known as the intertropical convergence zone, plays a significant role in creating the climatic conditions necessary for the Earth's tropical rainforests. Around 40% to 75% of all biotic species are indigenous to the rainforests. There may be many millions of species of plants and microorganisms still undiscovered in tropical rainforests. Tropical rainforests have been called the "jewels of the Earth" and the "world's largest pharmacy", because over one quarter of natural medicines have been discovered there. Rainforests are responsible for 28% of the world's oxygen turnover, sometimes misnamed oxygen production, processing it through photosynthesis from carbon dioxide and consuming it through respiration; the undergrowth in some areas of a rainforest can be restricted by poor penetration of sunlight to ground level.
If the leaf canopy is destroyed or thinned, the ground beneath is soon colonized by a dense, tangled growth of vines and small trees, called a jungle. The term jungle is sometimes applied to tropical rainforests generally. Rainforests as well as endemic rainforest species are disappearing due to deforestation, the resulting habitat loss and pollution of the atmosphere. Tropical rainforests are characterized by a warm and wet climate with no substantial dry season: found within 10 degrees north and south of the equator. Mean monthly temperatures exceed 18 °C during all months of the year. Average annual rainfall is no less than 168 cm and can exceed 1,000 cm although it lies between 175 cm and 200 cm. Many of the world's tropical forests are associated with the location of the monsoon trough known as the intertropical convergence zone; the broader category of tropical moist forests are located in the equatorial zone between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. Tropical rainforests exist in Southeast Asia to the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and Sri Lanka.
Tropical forests have been called the "Earth's lungs", although it is now known that rainforests contribute little net oxygen addition to the atmosphere through photosynthesis. Tropical forests cover a large part of the globe, but temperate rainforests only occur in few regions around the world. Temperate rainforests are rainforests in temperate regions, they occur in North America, in Europe, in East Asia, in South America and in Australia and New Zealand. A tropical rainforest has a number of layers, each with different plants and animals adapted for life in that particular area. Examples include the emergent, canopy and forest floor layers; the emergent layer contains a small number of large trees called emergents, which grow above the general canopy, reaching heights of 45–55 m, although on occasion a few species will grow to 70–80 m tall. They need to be able to withstand the hot temperatures and strong winds that occur above the canopy in some areas. Eagles, butterflies and certain monkeys inhabit this layer.
The canopy layer contains the majority of the largest trees 30 metres to 45 metres tall. The densest areas of biodiversity are found in the forest canopy, a more or less continuous cover of foliage formed by adjacent treetops; the canopy, by some estimates, is home to 50 percent of all plant species. Epiphytic plants attach to trunks and branches, obtain water and minerals from rain and debris that collects on the supporting plants; the fauna is similar to that found in the emergent layer, but more diverse. A quarter of all insect species are believed to exist in the rainforest canopy. Scientists have long suspected the richness of the canopy as a habitat, but have only developed practical methods of exploring it; as long ago as 1917, naturalist William Beebe declared that "another continent of life remains to be discovered, not upon the Earth, but one to two hundred feet above it, extending over thousands of square miles." True exploration of this habitat only began in the 1980s, when scientists developed methods to reach the canopy, such as firing ropes into the trees using crossbows.
Exploration of the canopy is still in its infancy, but other methods include the use of balloons and airships to float above the highest branches and the building of cranes and walkways planted on the forest floor. The science of accessing tropical forest canopy using airships or similar aerial platforms is called dendronautics; the understory or understorey layer lies between the forest floor. It is home to a number of birds and lizards, as well as predators such as jaguars, boa constrictors and leopards; the leaves are much larger at this level and insect life is abundant. Many seedlings that will grow to the canopy level are present in the understory. Only about 5% of the sunlight s
A convention center is a large building, designed to hold a convention, where individuals and groups gather to promote and share common interests. Convention centers offer sufficient floor area to accommodate several thousand attendees. Large venues, suitable for major trade shows, are sometimes known as exhibition centres. Convention centers have at least one auditorium and may contain bon concert halls, lecture halls, meeting rooms, conference rooms; some large resort area hotels include a convention center. 1850 Bingley Hall, England 1851 The Crystal Palace, England 1855 Palais de l'Industrie, France 1873 Alexandra Palace, England 1876 Memorial Hall, Pennsylvania, United States 1878 Exhibition Place, Canada 1878 La Rural, Buenos Aires, Argentina 1878 Music Hall, Ohio, United States 1879 Garden Palace, Australia 1880 Royal Exhibition Building, Australia 1898 Aberdeen Pavilion, Canada 1898–1903 Beurs van Berlage, Netherlands 1900 Grand Palais, France 1909 Festhalle, Germany 1955 McCormick Place, Illinois, USA 1959 Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA 1974 Kenyatta International Convention Centre, Kenya 1976 Georgia World Congress Center, Georgia, USA 1979 Internationales Congress Centrum, Germany 1981 Moscone Center, San Francisco, California, USA 1983 Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong, China 1988 Washington State Convention Center, Washington, USA 1990 Colorado Convention Center, Colorado, USA 1993 Pennsylvania Convention Center, Pennsylvania, USA 1997 Tokyo International Forum, Japan 2001 Bethlehem Convention Palace, Bethlehem 2008 BT Convention Centre, Liverpool, UK 2008 Raleigh Convention Center, North Carolina, USA 2017 AU Convention Center, India Stadium List of convention and exhibition centers List of convention centers named after people Historic Conference Centres of Europe
A public aquarium is the aquatic counterpart of a zoo, which houses living aquatic animal and plant specimens for public viewing. Most public aquariums feature tanks larger than those kept by home aquarists, as well as smaller tanks. Since the first public aquariums were built in the mid-19th century, they have become popular and their numbers have increased. Most modern accredited aquariums stress conservation issues and educating the public; the first public aquarium was opened in London Zoo in May 1853. P. T. Barnum followed in 1856 with the first American aquarium as part of his established Barnum's American Museum, located on Broadway in New York City before it burned down. In 1859, the Aquarial Gardens were founded in Boston. A number of aquariums opened in Europe, such as the Jardin d'Acclimatation in Paris and the Viennese Aquarium Salon, the Marine Aquarium Temple as part of the Zoological Garden in Hamburg, as well as aquariums in Berlin and Brighton; the old Berlin Aquarium opened in 1869.
The building site was to be Unter den Linden, in the centre of town, not at the Berlin Zoo. The aquarium's first director, Alfred Brehm, former director of the Hamburg Zoo from 1863 to 1866, served until 1874. With its emphasis on education, the public aquarium was designed like a grotto, part of it made of natural rock; the Geologische Grotte depicted "the strata of the earth's crust". The grotto featured birds and pools for seals; the Aquarium Unter den Linden was a three-story building. Machinery and water tanks were on aquarium basins for the fish on the first floor; because of Brehm's special interest in birds, a huge aviary, with cages for mammals placed around it, was located on the second floor. The facility closed in 1910; the Artis aquarium at Amsterdam Zoo was constructed inside a Victorian building in 1882, was renovated in 1997. At the end of the 19th century the Artis aquarium was considered state-of-the-art, as it was again at the end of the 20th century. Prior to its closing on September 30, 2013, the oldest American aquarium was the National Aquarium in Washington, D.
C. founded in 1873. This was followed by the opening of other public aquariums: San Francisco, Woods Hole, New York, La Jolla, Detroit, San Francisco, Chicago. For many years, the Shedd Aquarium was the largest aquarium in the United States until the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta opened 2005. Entertainment and aquatic circus exhibits were combined as themes in Philadelphia's Aquarama Aquarium Theater of the Sea and Camden's re-invented Adventure Aquarium 2005 the New Jersey State Aquarium; the first Japanese public aquarium, a small freshwater aquarium, was opened at the Ueno Zoo in 1882. In 2005, the Georgia Aquarium, with more than 8 million U. S. gallons of marine and fresh water, more than 100,000 animals of 500 different species opened in Atlanta, Georgia. The aquarium's notable specimens include whale sharks and beluga whales. Modern aquarium tanks can hold millions of litres of water and can house large species, including dolphins, sharks or beluga whales; this is accomplished through clear acrylic glass windows.
Aquatic and semiaquatic mammals, including otters and seals are cared for at aquariums. Some establishments, such as the Oregon Coast Aquarium or the Monterey Bay Aquarium, have aquatic aviaries. Modern aquariums include land animals and plants that spend time in or near the water. For marketing purposes, many aquariums promote special exhibits, in addition to their permanent collections; some have aquatic versions of a petting zoo. The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a shallow tank filled with common types of rays which visitors are encouraged to touch; the South Carolina Aquarium lets visitors feed the rays in their Saltmarsh Aviary exhibit. Most public aquariums are located close to the ocean, for a steady supply of natural seawater. An inland pioneer was Chicago's Shedd Aquarium that received seawater shipped by rail in special tank cars; the early Philadelphia Aquarium, built in the city's disused water works, had to switch to treated city water when the nearby river became too contaminated. The opened Georgia Aquarium filled its tanks with fresh water from the city water system and salinated its salt water exhibits using the same commercial salt and mineral additives available to home aquarists.
The South Carolina Aquarium pulls the salt water for their exhibits right out of the Charleston harbor. In January 1985, Kelly Tarlton began construction of the first aquarium to include a large transparent acrylic tunnel, Kelly Tarlton's Underwater World in Auckland, New Zealand. Construction cost NZ$3 million; the 110-metre tunnel was built from one-tonne slabs of German sheet plastic that were shaped locally in an oven. A moving walkway now transports visitors through, groups of school children hold sleepovers there beneath the swimming sharks and rays. Public aquariums are affiliated with oceanographic research institutions or conduct their own research programs, sometimes specialize in species and ecosystems that can be found in local waters. For example, the Vancouver Aquarium in Vancouver, BC is a major center for marine research and marine animal rehabilitation, particularly