Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls is a group of three waterfalls at the southern end of Niagara Gorge, spanning the border between the US state of New York and the Canadian province of Ontario. The largest of the three is Horseshoe Falls known as Canadian Falls, which straddles the international border between Canada and the United States; the smaller American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls lie within the United States. Bridal Veil Falls are separated from Horseshoe Falls by Goat Island and from American Falls by Luna Island, with both islands situated in New York as well. Located on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario, the combined falls have the highest flow rate of any waterfall in North America that has a vertical drop of more than 50 metres. During peak daytime tourist hours, more than 168,000 m3 of water goes over the crest of the falls every minute. Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North America; the falls are 27 kilometres north-northwest of Buffalo, New York, 121 kilometres south-southeast of Toronto, between the twin cities of Niagara Falls and Niagara Falls, New York.

Niagara Falls was formed when glaciers receded at the end of the Wisconsin glaciation, water from the newly formed Great Lakes carved a path through the Niagara Escarpment en route to the Atlantic Ocean. Niagara Falls is famed both as a valuable source of hydroelectric power. Balancing recreational and industrial uses has been a challenge for the stewards of the falls since the 19th century; the Horseshoe Falls drop about 57 metres, while the height of the American Falls varies between 21 and 30 metres because of the presence of giant boulders at its base. The larger Horseshoe Falls are about 790 metres wide; the distance between the American extremity of the Niagara Falls and the Canadian extremity is 3,409 feet. The peak flow over Horseshoe Falls was recorded at 6,400 cubic metres per second; the average annual flow rate is 2,400 cubic metres per second. Since the flow is a direct function of the Lake Erie water elevation, it peaks in late spring or early summer. During the summer months, at least 2,800 cubic metres per second of water traverses the falls, some 90% of which goes over the Horseshoe Falls, while the balance is diverted to hydroelectric facilities.

This is accomplished by employing a weir – the International Control Dam – with movable gates upstream from the Horseshoe Falls. The falls' flow is further halved at night, during the low tourist season in the winter, remains a minimum of 1,400 cubic metres per second. Water diversion is regulated by the 1950 Niagara Treaty and is administered by the International Niagara Board of Control; the verdant green colour of the water flowing over the Niagara Falls is a byproduct of the estimated 60 tonnes/minute of dissolved salts and "rock flour" generated by the erosive force of the Niagara River itself. The features that became Niagara Falls were created by the Wisconsin glaciation about 10,000 years ago; the retreat of the ice sheet left behind a large amount of meltwater that filled up the basins that the glaciers had carved, thus creating the Great Lakes as we know them today. Scientists argue there is an old valley, St David's Buried Gorge, buried by glacial drift, at the approximate location of the present Welland Canal.

When the ice melted, the upper Great Lakes emptied into the Niagara River, which followed the rearranged topography across the Niagara Escarpment. In time, the river cut a gorge through cuesta; because of the interactions of three major rock formations, the rocky bed did not erode evenly. The top rock formation was composed of erosion-resistant limestone and dolomite of the Lockport Formation; that hard layer of stone eroded more than the underlying materials. The aerial photo on the right shows the hard caprock, the Lockport Formation, which underlies the rapids above the falls, the upper third of the high gorge wall. Below the hard-rock formation, comprising about two-thirds of the cliff, lay the weaker, sloping Rochester Formation; this formation was composed of shale, though it has some thin limestone layers. It contains ancient fossils. In time, the river eroded the soft layer that supported the hard layers, undercutting the hard caprock, which gave way in great chunks; this process repeated countless times carving out the falls.

Submerged in the river in the lower valley, hidden from view, is the Queenston Formation, composed of shales and fine sandstones. All three formations were laid down in an ancient sea, their differences of character deriving from changing conditions within that sea. About 10,900 years ago, the Niagara Falls was between present-day Queenston and Lewiston, New York, but erosion of their crest has caused the waterfalls to retreat 6.8 miles southward. The Horseshoe Falls, which are about 2,600 feet wide, have changed their shape through the process of erosion. Just upstream from the falls' current location, Goat Island splits the course of the Niagara River, resulting in the separation of the Canadian Horseshoe Falls to the west from the American and Bridal Veil Falls to the east. Engineering has slowed recession; the current rate of erosion is a

Ford Taurus (third generation)

The third-generation Ford Taurus is an automobile, manufactured by Ford from 1995 to 1999. The third generation of Ford Taurus was the first to be redesigned from the ground up, used a rounded, oval-derived design, controversial at the time, considered to be the main reason for this model's downfall in the market, it was designed to appeal to buyers of the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord — both of which were styled — as well as to make Ford a design leader in the North American market, a title, attributed to the Chrysler Corporation. Among the most controversial features of the design were both the front fascia, composed of separate circular headlights, circular turn signals and the oval shaped rear window; this generation of Taurus was released for sale in late 1995 to mixed reactions from consumers. It managed to retain its status as the best selling car in America through the 1996 model year; because of this, the Taurus lost its bestseller status in 1997 to the Toyota Camry. It was replaced by the more conservatively styled fourth-generation Ford Taurus in 1999.

Development for the third-generation Taurus began in 1991, its designers and engineers believed that they were faced with a daunting task. Like the first-generation Taurus, the new Taurus was developed by a team effort, in which the exterior and interior designers and marketing staff had input on the new car. Many designs were considered during the development process, from designs that resembled the second generation cars, to more radically styled cars, they decided on a radical new styling scheme based upon oval derived design elements in April 1992, which would prove to be the car's Achilles heel in the marketplace. Chief designer Jack Telnack, who oversaw the development of the first and second generation Taurus, said that his Taurus was designed the way it was to stand out in the marketplace, that the use of the oval was becoming the new global design theme for Ford. Breaking down and testing competing cars, as well as listening to customer input played a large part in the development of the third-generation Taurus, just like it did during the development of the first generation.

Many competing cars were broken down and extensively tested in order for the Taurus to be designed to be superior to them in terms of comfort and refinement. Most notably, the Toyota Camry and Honda Accord were extensively tested, the Taurus' suspension was designed to emulate these cars' ride and handling techniques. Customer input played a large part into the design of the third generation Taurus' interior; the dashboard's design originated from a large number of complaints from customers that the previous Taurus' radio and climate control modules were cluttered with many small and similar feeling buttons, as well as small graphics, which caused the driver to have to look away from the road to be able to operate them properly. As a result, a large portion of the third generation's dash was devoted to the radio and climate control, with each button on these modules containing a unique design, making it easier for the driver to operate the radio and climate control without taking their eyes off the road.

This would lead to the creation of the Integrated Control Panel. Making the new Taurus pleasing to the senses was a recurring theme throughout the third-generation Taurus' development. Ford's engineers specially tuned every panel and component, so that every sound that the Taurus made, from the doors closing to the engine running, was acoustically pleasing. Ford's trim designers specially selected every one of the Taurus' interior materials, so that every surface, as well as every button and control, was pleasing to the touch; the third-generation Taurus and Sable sedans were unveiled at the Cobo Center during the 1995 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, garnered more attention from journalists and publications than any other car at the show. The wagon was unveiled on February 9, 1995 at the Chicago Auto Show, garnered similar amounts of attention. After their respective unveilings, both vehicles became among the most anticipated new cars of the 1996 model year, similar to the first generation Taurus.

The first third-generation Taurus rolled off the assembly line on July 12, 1995 at the Chicago Assembly Plant. Ford Chairman Alexander Trotman, who took part in the ceremonies, was joined by state and local politicians and union and plant officials in dipping their hands in yellow paint to "autograph" the hood of the first Taurus off the line; the hood is earmarked for permanent display at the plant. The Taurus was released to showrooms on September 24 of that year, sales began a week on October 1; the Taurus was released a week than the Sable, as Ford designers consulted a $500 Sherman Oaks, California astrologer to figure out the best solstice date to release the car. Reception to the new Taurus by automotive publications was positive. Road & Track gave the Taurus a good review upon its release, found its handling and refinement impressive. Motor Trend gave the Taurus a positive review, although they found the oval styling awkward at first glance. Despite this, they found it to have many redeeming qualities.

However, unlike the first-generation Taurus, it fell short of their Car of the Year award, instead awarded to the redesigned 1996 Dodge Caravan. Consumer reaction was mixed, however. Detractors of the new design pejoratively refer to this generation as the "Bubble" Taurus o

Thirteenth Siege of Gibraltar

The Siege of Gibraltar of 1727 saw Spanish forces besiege the British garrison of Gibraltar as part of the Anglo-Spanish War. Depending on the sources, Spanish troops numbered between 12,000 and 25,000. British defenders were 1,500 at the beginning of the siege, increasing up to about 5,000. After a five-month siege with several unsuccessful and costly assaults, Spanish troops gave up and withdrew. Following the failure the war drew to a close, opening the way for the 1728 Treaty of El Pardo and the Treaty of Seville signed in 1729. On 1 January 1727 the Marquis of Pozobueno, Spanish ambassador to the Court of St. James's, sent a letter to the Duke of Newcastle explaining why the Spanish Crown believed that Article X of the Treaty of Utrecht had been nullified by infractions by the British: The cession which his Majesty made precedently of that Place is become null, because of the infractions made in the conditions on which it was permitted that the English garrison should remain in the possession of Gibraltar.

The letter was tantamount to a declaration of war. Spain, was not in a advantageous position to capture Gibraltar in 1727. At the last attempt to retake Gibraltar in 1704, Spain had a strong Navy and the additional assistance of French warships. However, following their defeat at the battle of Cape Passaro and the capture of Vigo and Pasajes, the Spanish Navy was weakened; the Royal Navy had complete naval supremacy in the Straits, ruling out a Spanish landing in the south, ensuring that the British garrison would be well supplied through a siege. Any attempt to scale the Rock from the east was now impossible as the British had destroyed the path; the only option of attack open to the Spanish was along a narrow funnel that ran between the sea and the western side of the North Face of the Rock. This narrow strip of land would come under fire from three sides: Willis's battery to the east, the Grand Battery to the south, the Devil's Tongue Battery on the Old Mole to the west. A number of Philip V's senior military advisers warned the King that the recapture of Gibraltar was, at the present, near impossible.

The Marquis of Villadarias had warned that it would be impossible to take the Rock without naval support. The senior Flemish engineer, George Prosper Verboom, agreed with this opinion, and'gave it as his considered opinion that the only plan with any possibility of success was of a seaborne attack from the south.' However, the King was impressed by the Count de las Torres de Alcorrín, Viceroy of Navarre, who vowed that he could:'in six weeks deliver Spain from this noxious settlement of foreigners and heretics'. The disagreement between Verboom and de las Torres was to continue throughout the siege, indeed, so noticeably that when the siege was underway, a diarist within Gibraltar wrote that a Spanish deserter had reported:'that a dispute hath happen'd betwixt two Generals about storming us, upon which the one... is going to Madrid to complain to the King." Despite Verboom's doubts, the King gave. The count began to muster the besieging troops at San Roque at the start of 1727, in total thirty infantry battalions, six squadrons of horse, seventy-two mortars and ninety-two guns.

Large parts of the army were not themselves Spanish. Of the thirty infantry battalions nineteen were foreign mercenaries: three battalions of Walloons, three French Belgian, four Irish, two Savoyard, two Neapolitan, one Swiss, one Corsican, one Sicilian. Serving alongside the Jacobite Irish was the infamous Duke of Wharton. A notorious libertine and founder of the original Hellfire Club, Wharton had fled England and joined the cause of the Old Pretender, he attained permission from Philip V to serve as volunteer aide-de-camp to the Count de las Torres, was something of an embarrassment to both sides.'The Duke of Wharton never comes into the trenches but when he is Drunk, that and only he is mightily valiant.' He was to be badly injured in the leg during the siege and he was declared an outlaw by the British Government. Both the Governor of Gibraltar and the Lieutenant Governor were in England when the Spanish began to amass their forces. Colonel Richard Kane, the British commander of Menorca, was in temporary command of the sparsely defended British garrison of 1,200 men from the 5th Regiment, the 13th, the 20th and the 30th.

Kane expelled the 400 Spanish residents of Gibraltar and continued to improv