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Musket

A musket is a muzzle-loaded long gun that appeared as a smoothbore weapon in the early 16th century, at first as a heavier variant of the arquebus, capable of penetrating heavy armor. By the mid-16th century, this type of musket went out of use as heavy armor declined, but as the matchlock became standard, the term musket continued as the name given for any long gun with a flintlock, its successors, all the way through the mid-1800s; this style of musket was retired in the 19th century when rifled muskets became common as a result of cartridged breech-loading firearms introduced by Casimir Lefaucheux in 1835, the invention of the Minié ball by Claude-Étienne Minié in 1849, the first reliable repeating rifle produced by Volcanic Repeating Arms in 1854. By the time that repeating rifles became common, they were known as "rifles", ending the era of the musket. According to the Etymology Dictionary, firearms were named after animals, the word musket derived from the French word mousquette, a male sparrowhawk.

An alternative theory is that derives from the 16th century French mousquet, -ette, from the Italian moschetto, -etta, meaning the bolt of a crossbow. The Italian moschetto is a diminutive of a fly; the first recorded usage of the term "musket" or moschetto appeared in Europe in the year 1499. Evidence of the musket as a type of firearm does not appear until 1521 when it was used to describe a heavy arquebus capable of penetrating heavy armor; this version of the musket fell out of use after the mid-16th century with the decline of heavy armor. The differences between the arquebus and musket post-16th century are therefore not clear, the two have been used interchangeably on several occasions; the musket first came about as a variant of the matchlock arquebus, which had appeared in the Ottoman Empire in the first half of the 15th century, in Europe around 1475. The arquebus was used in high ratios by the Ottoman army against the Hungarians in the mid-15th century, in Hungary under king Matthias Corvinus.

In response to firearms, thicker armor was produced, from 15 kg in the 15th century to 25 kg in the late 16th century. Armour, 2 mm thick required 2.9 times as much energy to penetrate as armour, 1 mm thick. The heavy arquebus known as the musket appeared in the Ottoman Empire by 1465, in Europe by 1521. During the siege of Parma in 1521, many Spanish soldiers used an "arquebus with rest", a weapon much larger and more powerful than the regular arquebus. However, at this point, long-barreled, musket-caliber weapons had been in use as wall-defence weapons in Europe for a century; the musketeers were the first infantry to give up armour entirely. Musketeers began to take cover behind walls or in sunken lanes and sometimes acted as skirmishers to take advantage of their ranged weapons. In England, the musket barrel was cut down from 4 feet to 3 feet around 1630. According to Sir John Smythe, muskets were first used around 1530 in Italy, where they had been "devised to encounter armed opponents, for the defence of towns and fortresses."Muskets of the 16th–19th centuries were accurate enough to hit a target of 20x20 inches at a distance of 100 meters.

The maximum range of the bullet was 1100 meters. At 100 metres, the musket bullets penetrated a steel bib about 4 millimetres thick or a wooden shield about 5 inches thick; the speed of the bullets was between 450–540 m/s, the kinetic energy was 3000–4000 J. The heavy musket went out of favor around the same time the snaphance flintlock was invented in Europe, in 1550. After the arrival of the snaphance, the "true" flintlock in the late 17th century, the arquebus died out as a term for firearms and flintlocks are not associated with arquebuses; the term "musket" itself however, stuck around as a general term for'shoulder arms' fireweapons into the 1800s. The differences between the arquebus and musket post-16th century are therefore not clear, the two have been used interchangeably on several occasions; the number of musketeers relative to pikemen increased because they were now more mobile than pikemen. An intermediate between the arquebus and the musket was the caliver, a standardized arquebus deriving from the English corruption of "calibre", which appeared in Europe around 1567-9.

Projectiles in smoothbore firearms are quite loose in the barrel. The last contact with the barrel gives the ball a spin around an axis at right angles to the direction of flight; the aerodynamics result in the ball veering off in a random direction from the aiming point. The practice of rifling, putting grooves in the barrel of a weapon, causing the projectile to spin on the same axis as the line of flight, prevented this veering off from the aiming point. Rifles were used as sporting weapons and had little presence in warfare. However, by 1611, rifles were starting to see some use in warfare by Denmark. From around 1750, rifles began to be used by skirmishers, but the slow rate of fire of muzzle-loading rifles restricted their use until the invention of the Minié ball in 1849, ending the smoothbore musket era. Rifled muskets of the mid-19th century, like the Springfield Model 1861, were more accurate, with the ability to hit a man sized target at a distance of 500 yards or more; the smoothbore musket allowed no more tha

Taiwan, China

"Taiwan, China", "Taiwan, Province of China", or "Taiwan Province, China" are a set of politically controversial and ambiguous terms that characterize Taiwan and its associated territories as a province or territory of "China". The term "Taiwan, China" is used by Chinese media whenever Taiwan is referenced though the People's Republic of China ―, recognized by the international community as the legitimate representative of "China" ― does not exercise jurisdiction over areas controlled by the Republic of China. In English, "China" is inserted after "Taiwan" by adding ", China", per English grammar rules. In the Chinese language, the Chinese characters 中國 would be inserted in front of "台灣" per Chinese convention to indicate the larger and higher-level entity first. For example, the word "China" would be inserted into video captions on television, whenever a person mentions the word "Taiwan" but the characters 中國 would be inserted in front of "Taiwan" despite the fact that the person never said the word "China", to propagandize to the audience that Taiwan is part of China.

The term "Taiwan, Province of China" sometimes appears in the drop-down menu of websites and computer software that show a list of ISO 3166-1 country names. The terms are contentious and ambiguous because they relate to the controversial issues of the political status of Taiwan and Cross-Strait relations between "Taiwan" and "China", in that whether they are two separate countries or "two areas of one country". Since 1949, two countries with the name "China" exist, namely the Republic of China and the People's Republic of China. However, only one "China" rules Taiwan, namely Republic of China, has an administrative division called "Taiwan Province" but refers to it as "Taiwan Province, Republic of China"; the use of this term is and politically sanctioned by the Communist Chinese government as a way to claim and propagandize that Taiwan is under its sovereignty, since the PRC claims to be the legitimate government of "all China", according to its own definition, includes Taiwan despite its lack of control.

Some of the ROC government disputes the PRC position and it, along with many of the Taiwanese people, considers this term incorrect and offensive, in that its use is a lie which denies the ROC's sovereignty and existence, reducing Taiwan's status to a province of the PRC, objects to its use. The term is offensive to supporters of Taiwan Independence and want to disassociate Taiwan with "China" and a Chinese identity, consider it an oxymoron, i.e. in the view that Taiwan and China are different countries, that the legitimacy of the ROC's rule of Taiwan is disputed in the first place. The dispute and ambiguity over the meaning of "China" and which "China" stemmed from the division of Republic of China into two Chinas at the "end" of the Chinese Civil War in 1955; the term "China" meant the various regimes and imperial dynasties which controlled territories in mainland Asia prior to 1911, when the imperial system was overthrown and the Republic of China was established as the first republic in Asia.

In 1927, the Chinese Civil War started between the Kuomintang and the Communist Party of China, a rebel force at the time. The Chinese Communists won control of most of ROC's original territory in 1949, when they proclaimed the "People's Republic of China" on that territory. Since two Chinas have existed, although the PRC was not internationally recognized at the time; the Republic of China government received Taiwan in 1945 from Japan fled in 1949 to Taiwan with the aim to retake mainland China. Both the ROC and the PRC still claim mainland China and the Taiwan Area as part of their respective territories. In reality, the PRC rules only Mainland China and has no control of but claims Taiwan as part of its territory under its "One China Principle"; the ROC, which only rules the Taiwan Area, became known as "Taiwan" after its largest island. It stopped active claim of mainland China as part of its territory after constitutional reform in 1991. However, since the 2008 election of Ma Ying-jeou, he again asserted that mainland China is part of Republic of China territory according to its constitution, and, in 2013, he stated that relations between PRC and ROC are not between countries but "regions of the same country".

In 1971, the People's Republic of China won the United Nations seat as "China" and use of the name and expelled the ROC from the UN. Since the term "Taiwan, China" is a designation used in international organizations like the United Nations and its associated organs under pressure from the PRC to accommodate its claim and to give the false impression that Taiwan belongs to the PRC. However, the political status of Taiwan is a complex and

Dougal Dixon

Dougal Dixon is a Scottish palaeontologist, geologist and author. As a science writer, Dixon has written most of them about dinosaurs; these dinosaur books, many of them for children, have been credited with attracting many to the study of the prehistoric animals and have won Dixon several awards. He is most famous for his fictional "zoologies of the future", books in which Dixon explores imagined future and alternate worlds with realized imaginary ecosystems; these books, After Man, The New Dinosaurs, Man After Man and Greenworld, all use their fictional settings to explain actual natural processes, with a heavy focus on evolution and natural selection. Through these books, Dixon is considered to be the founder of the modern speculative evolution genre. Dixon was born in Dumfries on May 1947 to parents Thomas Bell and Margaret Dixon, he spent most of his younger years in the Scottish borderlands. Dixon credits the beginning of his writing career as being spawned from his love of creating stories in the form of comic strips, as a child.

In 1970, Dixon graduated from the University of St. Andrews with honors, having studied geology and palaeontology. Dixon's first experiences with publishing came when he worked as the geological consultant for Mitchell/Beazley Ltd. in London from 1973 to 1978. From 1978 to 1980 he worked as a book editor for Blandford Press in Dorset and from 1980 onwards he has worked as a freelance editor and writer, he has partaken in several geological expeditions in Iceland and England and has been present at paleontological expeditions in the United States. In addition to his writing career, Dixon has been director and projectionist of a movie theatre, the Rex Cinema in Wareham, he has created claymation advertisements that screen before the films. From 1986 to 1990, he worked as a civilian instructor for the Air Training Corps, a British volunteer-military youth organisation. Dixon was a chairman and a member of the board of governors at Sandford Middle School and Sandford First School in the 1980s. Dixon is a science fiction enthusiast and has attended several conventions as a speaker.

On April 3, 1971 he married Jean Mary Young. Together they have two children. Dixon has had a successful career writing non-fiction books on paleontology, geology and other subjects, several of which have won awards. Most of his over 200 books are short children books, the majority focus on Dixon's favorite subject, dinosaurs. Through writing books on the subject on several different levels, reviewers has credited him with attracting many to the study of dinosaurs; as a result of his knowledge on the subject, Dixon has worked as a consultant on several dinosaur programmes. Though not as many in number, Dixon's works on other subjects, such as biology and geology, have been praised by critics. Dixon is by far best known for his illustrated works of speculative fiction, which concern "zoologies of the future", featuring his own visions of how human beings and animals might evolve in millions of years' time; as a child, Dixon was inspired by H. G. Wells' The Time Machine the far future creatures featured in the book, to create his own imaginary future animals descended from creatures of the modern day.

In the 1960s, Dixon was influenced by the contemporary conservationist movements a campaign to save the tigers. Dixon began to ponder that should the tiger and other endangered animals go extinct, something would take their place. After seeing a "Save the Whale" badge on a friend in the late 1970s, the idea materialized again; the result was After Man: A Zoology of the Future, published in 1981, which explored an imagined Earth 50 million years in the future, featuring complete ecosystems populated by future descendants of modern day animals. The book used these imagined animals to explain various natural processes, most prominently evolution and natural selection. Reviews for After Man were positive, which allowed Dixon to go on publicity tours throughout Britain and the United States; the success of the book inspired Dixon to work on further books that used fictional examples to explain real natural processes. His second such work, The New Dinosaurs: An Alternative Evolution, explained the concept of zoogeography using a fictional world in which the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event never happened and his third, Man After Man: An Anthropology of the Future, explained climate change through the eyes of future human descendants, genetically engineered to cope with it.

Dixon made smaller-scale projects during the writing and development of the three books, such as contributing to an 1982 article in the magazine Omni, titled Visions of Man Evolved, which featured Dixon's concepts of a future human descendant. Through these three books, Dixon is considered to be the founder of the modern speculative evolution movement; the fact that Dixon created entire fictional worlds, which were made accessible through books with color illustrations printed by mainstream publishing companies had a large impact and his ideas have been repurposed or used as inspirations for numerous similar projects on the internet. The books spawned several adaptations; the New Dinosaurs was adapted into a Japanese manga series in 2008. Since the publication of Man After Man in 1990, Dixon has been involved in numerous other projects rel