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Mount Lykaion

Mount Lykaion is a mountain in Arcadia, Greece. Lykaion has two peaks: Stefani to the north and St. Ilias to the south where the altar of Zeus is located; the northern peak is 1,421 m, than the southern, 1,382 m. Mount Lykaion was sacred to Zeus Lykaios, said to have been born and brought up on it, was the home of Pelasgus and his son Lycaon, who were said to have founded the ritual of Zeus practiced on its summit; this seems to have involved a human sacrifice and a feast in which the man who received the portion of a human victim was changed to a wolf, as Lycaon had been after sacrificing a child. The altar of Zeus consists of a great mound of ashes with a retaining wall, it was said that no shadows fell within the precincts and that any who entered it died within the year. The sanctuary of Zeus played host to athletic games held every four years, the Lykaia. Archaeological excavations were first carried out in 1897 by K. Kontopoulos for the Greek Archaeological Service, followed by K. Kourouniotes between 1902 and 1909.

The Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project, a joint effort of the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Arizona began work at the site in 2004, with the aim of continuing the topographical survey begun in 1996 and carrying out a full topographical and architectural analysis not only of the altar and temenos, but of the nearby valley where the Lykaian Games were held; the detailed digital records and drawings of every architectural stone block. To date, a complete map of the area has been made, including not only the Ash Altar and temenos, but two fountains, including the Hagno fountain mentioned by Pausanias, the hippodrome, the stadium, a building, a bathhouse, the xenon, a stoa, several rows of seats, a group of statue bases. Many of these buildings seem to have been planned in relation to each other: the baths at the northern end of the hippodrome are on the same alignment as it is, the stoa, the xenon, the lower fountain, the rows of seats all appear to have been built in an intentionally similar alignment.

Just to the north of the stoa four rows of seats were excavated, with the remains of a group of stelae and statue bases nearby. These would have bordered the hippodrome's southern edge, correspond to an earlier excavated row of seats on the south-eastern edge of the racetrack; the majority of the spectators of events in the hippodrome, would have sat on the surrounding hills. Mt. Lykaion, its religious significance, its quadrennial athletic games appear with some frequency in the ancient literary sources; the 2nd-century Greek geographer Pausanias provides the greatest amount of information in the eighth book of his Description of Greece, where he discusses Lykaion's mythological and physical characteristics in detail. More isolated references occur, however, in sources ranging from Plato to Virgil. Pausanias states that the Arcadians claimed Cretea atop Mt. Lykaion as the birthplace of Zeus, although tradition had handed down at least two other locations for Zeus’ birth. Lycaon, son of Pelasgus, the mythical founder of the Greek race, is said to have instituted the worship of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion, giving the god the epithet Lykaios and establishing games in his honor.

The Bibliotheca, a Roman-era mythological compendium, adds the story that Lycaon attempted to test Zeus’ omniscience by tricking him into eating a sacrifice mixed with human flesh. In punishment, Zeus slew his fifty sons. Other sources, including the Roman poet Ovid, claim instead that Lycaon's punishment was transformation into a wolf, an early example of lycanthropy. According to Pausanias and the Greek historian Polybius, an inscribed pillar was erected near the altar of Zeus on Mt. Lykaion during the Second Messenian War, a revolt against the Spartans; the inscription commemorated the execution of Aristocrates of Arcadia, who had betrayed the Messenian hero Aristomenes at the battle of the Great Trench. Thucydides, a Greek historian of the Peloponnesian War, writes that the Spartan king Pleistoanax lived on Mt. Lykaion while in exile from the mid-440s BC until 427, where he built a house straddling the sacred region of Zeus to avoid further persecution. In his Stratagems, the 2nd-century Macedonian rhetorician Polyaenus describes a battle between the Spartans and Demetrius of Macedon in 294 BC.

Mt. Lykaion extended between the camps of the two sides, causing some consternation among the Macedonians due to their unfamiliarity with the terrain. Demetrius’ forces won the battle with relative ease. Polybius and Plutarch, a Greek author writing under the Roman empire, cite a battle at Mt. Lykaion in 227 BC between the Achaean League under Aratus and the Spartans under Cleomenes III. Although the details are vague, both authors make it clear that the Achaeans were defeated and that Aratus was believed to have been killed. Mt. Lykaion was an important site of religious worship in ancient Greece. Pausanias describes a sanctuary of Pan surrounded by a grove of trees. At the sanctuary were bases of statues, which by Pausanias’ time had been deprived of the statues themselves, as well as a hippodrome, where the athletic games had once been held. References to Lykaian Pan are abundant in Latin poetry, as for instance in Virgil's epic, the Aeneid: “Lupercal / Parrhasio dictum Panos de more Lycaei,” “...the Lupercal, named after the Parrhasian worship of Lykaian Pan,” and in Horace's Odes: “Velox amoenum saepe Lucretilem / mutat Lycaeo Faunus,” “Often swift Faunus exchanges Lykaion for pleasant Lucretilis.”

Pausanias records the presence of a mound of earth on the highest point of the mountain, an altar to Zeus Lykaio

2010 Winter Paralympics cross-country skiing men's 1 × 4 km and 2 × 5 km Relay

The Men's 1 × 4 km + 2 × 5 km relay cross-country skiing competition of the Vancouver 2010 Paralympics was held at Whistler Olympic Park in Whistler, British Columbia. The competition was held on Thursday, March 20, it was the first time a Men's 1 × 4 km + 2 × 5 km Relay was held at the Paralympics, although a men's 1 × 3.75 km + 2 × 5 km relay had been held in Torino 2006, a men's 1 × 2.5 km + 2 × 5 km relay in Salt Lake 2002. Each team used three skiers with a disability, it was an open class event, visually impaired and sitting classifications. An athlete with a visual impairement has a sighted guide. Guides are an integral part of cross-country skiing for athletes with a visual impairment, are medal contenders. Cross-country skiing at the 2010 Winter Olympics – Men's 4 × 10 kilometre relay 2010 Winter Paralympics schedule and results, at the official website of the 2010 Winter Paralympics in Vancouver

Earl B. Dickerson

Earl B. Dickerson was a prominent African American attorney, community activist and business executive who argued before the U. S. Supreme Court in Hansberry v. Lee. Earl Burrus Dickerson was born on June 22, 1891 in Canton, the son of Edward and Emma Garrett Fielding Dickerson, his maternal grandfather, Benjamin Franklin Garrett, was born a slave and, before the Civil War ended, purchased himself and his wife, Eliza Montgomery, out of slavery. Earl's father died in 1896 and Earl was raised by his mother, his mother's mother, a half-sister from his father's first marriage, Gertrude. Dickerson first moved to Chicago in 1907 and spent most of the next 10 years there, graduating from a University of Chicago-sponsored prep school in 1909, he married Inez Moss in 1912 and earned a BA from the University of Illinois in 1914. During his time spent studying at the University of Illinois, Dickerson helped establish the Beta chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity. Dickerson's legal studies were interrupted by World War I.

He served in the American Expeditionary Forces in France. After the conclusion of the war, Dickerson became a founding member of the American Legion and organized the George L. Giles Post 87 in Chicago. Returning to the University of Chicago, Dickerson completed his legal studies in 1920, becoming one of the first African Americans to graduate from the Law School; the University of Chicago Black Law Students Association is named in his honor. In 1921, Dickerson accepted a position as general counsel of the newly formed Supreme Life Insurance Company, which became the largest African American owned insurance company in the North; this was not his first association with the company. In 1919, while still a law student, he had helped draft the company's articles of incorporation. While working for Supreme Life Insurance, Dickerson started a law firm with fellow law school graduate Wendell E. Green, who became a Circuit Court judge. At the same time, Dickerson began to take an active role in civil rights.

In 1927, Dickerson was instrumental in establishing Burr Oak Cemetery, one of the few African American cemeteries in southwestern Cook County. During the Great Depression, Dickerson helped persuade Supreme Life to step in and save the cemetery after Burr Oak defaulted on its mortgage. On June 15. 1930 he married Kathryn Kennedy Wilson. Dickerson was known as "the dean of Chicago’s Black lawyers," and in 1933 became the first African American appointed as Illinois Assistant Attorney General under Governor Henry Horner. Dickerson served in that role until 1939. In 1939, he became the first African American Democrat to serve on the Chicago City Council; the following year he argued before the U. S. Supreme Court in the landmark Hansberry v. Lee case, which addressed the issue of restrictive covenants, it involved the Chicago home purchased by real estate broker Carl Augustus Hansberry, father of playwright Lorraine Hansberry, with money borrowed from the Supreme Life Insurance Company. In 1947 Dickerson was elected President of the National Bar Association, an organization that included most of the 1,500 black lawyers practicing in the United States.

In 1952, Dickerson became president of Supreme Life Insurance Company. Other positions Dickerson held during his lifetime include head of the National Bar Association, board member of the national NAACP, grand polemarch of the Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity, president of the Chicago Urban League, president of the National Lawyers Guild; when Dickerson was elected president of the National Lawyers Guild from 1951 to 1954, he became the first African American president of an integrated Bar association. He died in his Chicago home on September 1, 1986 and was buried next to his wife Kathryn in Burr Oak, the cemetery he helped found. Blakely, Robert J.. Earl B. Dickerson: A Voice for Freedom and Equality. Evanston, Illinois: Northwestern University Press, 2006

Johan August Lundell

Johan August Lundell was a Swedish linguist, professor of Slavic languages at Uppsala University. He is known for his work on Swedish dialects and for developing Landsmålsalfabetet, a phonetic alphabet used in dialect research. Lundell's parents were Carolina Olsdotter, he began his studies at Uppsala University in 1871 and received his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1876. In years 1880 - 1885, he worked as amanuensis at the Uppsala University Library, it was during the studies in Uppsala. He created Landsmålsalfabetet in 1878. In the same year, he founded the annual journal Svenska landsmål och svenskt folkliv, which as of 2010 is still published, he was editor in chief of the journal for many years. In 1882, Lundell became the first Swedish associate professor in phonetics, in 1891 the first professor in Slavic languages. In Uppsala, he taught Bulgarian, Old Church Slavonic, Serbian and Russian. In 1893, he received an honorary degree at Uppsala University. In 1892, Lundell founded a private secondary school in Uppsala.

Since 1960, when it was transformed into a public school, it has been known as Lundellska skolan. Lundell married Marie-Louise Jönsson in 1882. Works by or about Johan August Lundell at Internet Archive


In religion, a blessing is the infusion of something with holiness, spiritual redemption, or divine will. The modern English language term bless derives from the 1225 term blessen, which developed from the Old English blǣdsian; the term appears in other forms, such as blēdsian, blētsian from around 725 and blesian from around 1000, all meaning to make sacred or holy by a sacrificial custom in the Anglo-Saxon pagan period, originating in Germanic paganism. Due to this, the term is related to the term blōd. References to this indigenous practice, Blót, exist in related Icelandic sources; the modern meaning of the term may have been influenced in translations of the Bible into Old English during the process of Christianization to translate the Latin term benedīcere meaning to "speak well of", resulting in meanings such as to "praise" or "extol" or to speak of or to wish well.'To be blessed' means to be favored by God, the source of all blessing. Blessings, are directly associated with, are believed to come from, God.

Thus, to express a blessing is like bestowing a wish on someone that they experience the favor of God, to acknowledge God as the source of all blessing. A biblical damnation, in its most formal sense, is a negative blessing. In the Bible and negative blessings are related. One of the first incidences of blessing in the Bible is in Genesis, 12:1-2 where Abram is ordered by the God to leave his country and is told: "I will bless you, I will make your name great." The Priestly Blessing is set forth at Numbers 6:24-26: May Adonai bless you, guard you. In Rabbinic Judaism, a blessing is recited at a specified moment during a prayer, ceremony or other activity before and after partaking of food; the function of blessings is to acknowledge God as the source of all blessing. A berakhah of rabbinic origin starts with the words, "Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe..." Rabbinic Judaism teaches that food is a gift of the one great Provider and that to partake of food legitimately one should express gratitude to God by reciting the appropriate blessing of rabbinic origin prior, while torah mandates an informal blessing afterwards.

Jewish law does not reserve recitation of blessings to only a specific class of Jews. Blessings and curses of Christ appear in the New Testament, as recounted in the Beatitudes of Luke 6:20-22. Within Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Anglicanism and similar traditions, formal blessings of the church are performed by bishops and deacons. Particular formulas may be associated with papal blessings. In Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox and Lutheran churches blessings are bestowed by bishops and priests in a liturgical context, raising their right hand and making the sign of the cross with it over persons or objects to be blessed, they give blessings to begin divine services and at the dismissal at the end. In the Eastern Orthodox Church liturgical blessings are performed over people, objects, or are given at specific points during divine services. A priest or bishop blesses with his hand, but may use a blessing cross, candles, an icon, the Chalice or Gospel Book to bestow blessings, always making the Sign of the Cross therewith.

When blessing with the hand, a priest uses his right hand, holding his fingers so that they form the Greek letters IC XC, the monogram of Jesus Christ. A bishop does the same, except he uses both hands, or may hold the crozier in his left hand, using both to make the Sign of the Cross. A bishop may bless with special candlesticks known as the dikirion and trikirion; when blessing an object, the rubrics instruct Orthodox bishops and priests to make use of such substances as incense and holy water. Formal ecclesiastical permission to undertake an action is referred to as a "blessing"; the blessing may be bestowed by one's own spiritual father. When an Orthodox layperson bestows a blessing, he or she will hold the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand together, make the sign of the cross over the person or object they are blessing. In the Methodist tradition, the minister blesses the congregation during the concluding part of the service of worship, known as the benediction. With regard to house blessings, the Methodist The Book of Worship for Church and Home contains "An Office for the Blessing of a Dwelling".

In the Roman Catholic Church a priest or bishop blesses the faithful with the Blessed Sacrament in the monstrance during Benediction of the Blessed Sacrament. According to the guidelines given by the Vatican's Congregation for the Discipline of the Sacraments that govern the procedures for liturgical ceremonies, if a Roman Catholic layperson or any non-ordained religious leads a Sunday service, such as Eucharistic adoration, the Rosary, or celebration of the Liturgy of the Hours, he or she does not perform rites or sacraments reserved to the clergy and does not solemnly bless the people as a bishop, priest, or de

Cuba–Iran relations

Iran-Cuba relations, which are characterized by economic and diplomatic cooperation, are quite friendly. Iran has a productive trade balance with Cuba; the two governments signed a document to bolster cooperation in Havana in January 2006. President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad called relations "progressive" over the past three decades. According to the Christian Science Monitor, relations had been growing "has been under way for some years prior to Ahmadinejad's ascendancy to the presidency." Observers of Cuba point to the fact Iran used an electronic jamming station outside Havana which Cuba blocks broadcasting by the US-backed Radio Marti. Iran worked with Cuba expertise to jam American broadcasting into its borders. Cuba has helped build a genetic laboratory in Iran. According to the above-mentioned January 2006 document and Cuba expanded cooperation in several commercial, agriculture and cultural fields; the two countries stated they will expand cooperation in areas of the sugar industry, biotechnology, transportation, development projects, tourism, information technology and communications and water resources.

The document asks for Iran and Cuba to provide more facilities in banking cooperation with an aim of promoting economic and trade ties and making use of mutual scientific and industrial capabilities. In 2006 trading between the two countries reached US$5 million. In 2008, Iran granted Cuba a 200-million-Euro credit line to undertake several different projects. Cuba supports Iran's program to develop nuclear technology for peaceful purposes though the countries agreed to stop the proliferation of nuclear weapons. Former President of Cuba Fidel Castro spoke admiringly of Iran "increasing its ability to fight big powers by the day."