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Observatory of Strasbourg

The Observatory of Strasbourg is an astronomical observatory in Strasbourg, France. Following the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, the city of Strasbourg became part of the German Empire; the University of Strasbourg was refounded in 1872 and a new observatory began construction in 1875 in the Neustadt district. The main instrument was a 50 cm Repsold refractor, which saw first light in 1880. At the time this was the largest instrument in the German Empire. In 1881, the ninth General Assembly of the Astronomische Gesellschaft met in Strasbourg to mark the official inauguration; the observatory site was selected for instruction purposes and political symbolism, rather than the observational qualities. It was a low-lying site, prone to mists. During the period up until 1914, the staff was too small to work the instruments and so there was little academic research published prior to World War I; the main observations were of variable stars. After 1909, the instruments were used to observe binary stars and perform photometry of nebulae.

The observatory is the home for the Centre de données astronomiques de Strasbourg, a database for the collection and distribution of astronomical information. This includes SIMBAD, a reference database for astronomical objects, VizieR, an astronomical catalogue service and Aladin, an interactive sky atlas; the modern extension of the building houses Planétarium de Strasbourg. The observatory is surrounded by the Jardin botanique de l'Université de Strasbourg. In the vaulted basement below the observatory, a University-administered museum is located. Called Crypte aux étoiles, it displays old telescopes and other antique astronomical devices such as clocks and theodolites. Julius Bauschinger Adolf Berberich André Danjon William Lewis Elkin Ernest Esclangon Ernst Hartwig Carlos Jaschek Pierre Lacroute Otto Tetens Friedrich Winnecke Carl Wilhelm Wirtz Walter Wislicenus Media related to Strasbourg Observatory at Wikimedia Commons Official website of the Observatory Official website of the Planetarium

Alphonse Paré

Alphonse-Arthur "Al" Paré was a Canadian mining engineer. Paré was born in 1885 to Dr. Louis-Alphonse Paré and his wife, Josephine Timmins, daughter of Henriette Miner and Noël Timmins, a merchant, who had emigrated from England with his parents, Joseph Timmins and Marguerite Hirschbeck, the latter being of German and French descent — her mother, Louise-Amable Morin, was a direct descendant of 17th-Century settlers Noël Morin and his wife, Hélène Desportes, the latter of whom is counted as the first white child born in Canada. Both Miner and Timmins maternally descend from several early French-Canadian settler families, include Boucher, Guyon, Gagné, Merlot and Martin. Paré's mother, was the sister of Noah Timmins and Henry Timmins, each of whom married a sister of Dr. Paré's, so that three Timmins siblings were wed to three Paré siblings. Growing up in the prairies on his uncle's ranch, Paré was an excellent horseback rider, pushed by his sister, he applied to the Royal Military College in Kingston.

Upon graduation, he was offered a commission as a captain with the British Army in India, which he accepted, but he was dissuaded from this course by his uncles and aunts in Montreal. Instead, they encouraged him to apply to McGill University. Noah Timmins and his nephew, Alphonse "Al" Paré, had negotiated with Alex Gillies, Benny Hollinger, who had uncovered what became known as the Hollinger Gold Mine. Paré was a Royal Military College of Canada graduate studying mining engineering at McGill University at the behest of his Timmins uncles, with whom he had grown close. Al Paré described the find: "It was as if a giant cauldron had splattered the gold nuggets over a bed of pure blue quartz crystals as a setting for some magnificent crown jewels of inestimable value." On the strength of his nephew's information, Noah committed himself to paying $530,000. Noah put Paré, who had assessed the Hollinger Mine's potential, in charge of its operation for two years after incorporation. Hollinger Mines became known as one of the "Big Three" Canadian mines, together with the Dome Mine and the McIntyre Mines.

Although the family company explored stakes and mining operations all over the world, their greatest development remained the important Hollinger Mine in Timmins, Ontario founded as a company town to house miners, which Paré had named after his uncle, Noah, in 1912. Paré married Lucy Victoria Griffith, daughter of Irish-born Edward Arthur Griffith, who became a mining attorney, had migrated with his family to Australia in 1871 where, in 1887, he had secretly married Australian Lucy Jane Armstrong. Despite a Griffith family history of a happy union resulting from a clandestine wedding; the parents of Richard Griffith, MP were kinsmen who had secretly married in 1751. Richard Griffith, Sr. was wed to celebrated 18th-century Irish dramatist, fiction writer and actress, Elizabeth Griffith — the great-great-grandmother of Lucy Griffith Paré. Lucy's father, E. A. Griffith had ventured from his home in Melbourne to the Eastern Goldfields of the Western Australian Goldfields in the Goldfields-Esperance region, to assuage the financial hardship that had resulted from family estrangement over his marriage, settling in Kalgoorlie and finding success as an attorney for North-Western Associated Gold Mines, Limited.

The estranged younger brother of Lucy's father, Arthur Hill Griffith, for whom Griffith, New South Wales is named, became a Member of Parliament under the Labour Party, was Minister for Public Works Minister of Public Education. A. H. Griffith encouraged the 1915 establishment of the Newcastle steelworks negotiating the project with the Broken Hill Proprietary Co. Ltd.. The Alphonse and Lucy Griffith Paré Foundation was founded by the nine children of Al and Lucy Paré. Paré's legacy is recounted in Lucy Griffith Paré's autobiography, The Seeds: The Life Story of a Matriarch, published in 1984. Son Jules-Arthur Paré was Professor Emeritus of McGill University Faculty of Medicine, his granddaughter– the great-granddaughter of Al and Lucy Paré –is actress Jessica Paré, who rose to fame in the cast of Mad Men. and Alphonse Paré's great-grandson, is David de Burgh Graham, member of the Parliament of Canada for Laurentides--Labelle. Porcupine Gold Rush Timmins Daily Press Porcupine Prospectors and Developers Association Hollinger Incorporated

Classification yard

A classification yard or marshalling yard is a railway yard found at some freight train stations, used to separate railway cars onto one of several tracks. First the cars are taken to a track, sometimes called a lead or a drill. From there the cars are sent through a series of switches called a ladder onto the classification tracks. Larger yards tend to put the lead on an artificially built hill called a hump to use the force of gravity to propel the cars through the ladder. Freight trains that consist of isolated cars must be made into trains and divided according to their destinations, thus the cars must be shunted several times along their route in contrast to a unit train, which carries, for example, cars from the plant to a port, or coal from a mine to the power plant. This shunting is done at the starting and final destinations and in classification yards. Flat yards are constructed on a gentle slope. Freight cars are pushed by a coast to their required location. Hump yards are the largest and most effective classification yards, with the largest shunting capacity several thousand cars a day.

The heart of these yards is the hump—a lead track on a small hill over which an engine pushes the cars. Single cars, or a block of coupled cars, are uncoupled just before or at the crest of the hump, roll by gravity onto their destination tracks in the tracks where the cars are sorted, called the classification bowl; the speed of the cars rolling down from the hump into the classification bowl must be regulated according to whether they are full or empty, heavy or light freight, varying number of axles, whether there are few or many cars on the classification tracks, varying weather conditions, including temperature, wind speed and direction. As concerns speed regulation, there are two types of hump yards—without or with mechanisation by retarders. In the old non-retarder yards braking was done in Europe by railroaders who laid skates onto the tracks; the skate or wheel chock was manually placed on one or both of the rails so that the treadles or rims of the wheel or wheels caused frictional retardation and resulted in the halting of the railway car.

In the United States this braking was done by riders on the cars. In the modern retarder yards this work is done by mechanized "rail brakes" called retarders, which brake the cars by gripping the wheels, they are operated either pneumatically or hydraulically. Pneumatic systems are prevalent in the United States, Belgium and China, while hydraulic systems are used in Germany and the Netherlands. Classification bowls in Europe consist of 20 to 40 tracks, divided into several fans or balloons of tracks with eight classification tracks following a retarder in each one 32 tracks altogether. In the United States, many classification bowls have more than 40 tracks, which are divided into six to ten classification tracks in each balloon loop. Bailey Yard in North Platte, United States, the world's largest classification yard, is a hump yard. Other large American hump yards include Argentine Yard in Kansas City, the second-largest in the world, Robert Young Yard in Elkhart, Clearing Yard in Chicago, Englewood Yard in Houston and Waycross Rice Yard in Waycross, Georgia.

Notably, in Europe and China, all major classification yards are hump yards. Europe's largest hump yard is that of Maschen near Germany; the second largest is in the port of Belgium. Most hump yards are single yards with one classification bowl, but some very large, hump yards have two of them, one for each direction, thus are double yards, such as the Maschen, Antwerp and Bailey yards. According to the PRRT&HS PRR Chronology, the first hump yard in the United States was opened May 11, 1903 as part of the Altoona Yards at Bells Mills. Other sources report the PRR yard at Youngwood, PA which opened in the 1880s to serve the Connellsville coke fields as the first U. S. hump yard. Gravity yards are operated to hump yards but, in contrast to the latter, the whole yard is set up on a continuous falling gradient; when they were invented in the 19th century, saving shunting engines and instead letting the cars roll by gravity was seen as a major benefit, whereas the larger amount of manual work required to stop the rolling cars in the classification tracks was judged to be not that important.

Gravity yards were a historical step in the development of classification yards and were judged as inferior to hump yards, because it became clear that shunting engines were needed anyway, because manual labour was getting more and more expensive. Thus, only few gravity yards were built, sometimes requiring massive earthwork. Most gravity yards were built in Germany and Great Britain, a few in some other European countries, for example Łazy yard near Zawiercie on the Warsaw-Vienna Railway. In the USA, there were only few old gravity yards. All gravity yards have been retrofitted with humps and are worked as hump yards. Examples include Nürnberg Rbf, both in Germany. Goods station List of rail yards Rail yard Siding Shunting Refuge Sidings, Exchange S