The Smithsonian Institution, founded on August 10, 1846 "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge," is a group of museums and research centers administered by the Government of the United States. The institution is named after British scientist James Smithson. Organized as the "United States National Museum," that name ceased to exist as an administrative entity in 1967. Termed "the nation's attic" for its eclectic holdings of 154 million items, the Institution's nineteen museums, nine research centers, zoo include historical and architectural landmarks located in the District of Columbia. Additional facilities are located in Arizona, Massachusetts, New York City, Texas and Panama. More than 200 institutions and museums in 45 states, Puerto Rico, Panama are Smithsonian Affiliates; the Institution's thirty million annual visitors are admitted without charge. Its annual budget is around $1.2 billion with two-thirds coming from annual federal appropriations. Other funding comes from the Institution's endowment and corporate contributions, membership dues, earned retail and licensing revenue.
Institution publications include Air & Space magazines. The British scientist James Smithson left most of his wealth to his nephew Henry James Hungerford; when Hungerford died childless in 1835, the estate passed "to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an Establishment for the increase & diffusion of knowledge among men", in accordance with Smithson's will. Congress accepted the legacy bequeathed to the nation, pledged the faith of the United States to the charitable trust on July 1, 1836; the American diplomat Richard Rush was dispatched to England by President Andrew Jackson to collect the bequest. Rush returned in August 1838 with 105 sacks containing 104,960 gold sovereigns. Once the money was in hand, eight years of Congressional haggling ensued over how to interpret Smithson's rather vague mandate "for the increase and diffusion of knowledge." The money was invested by the US Treasury in bonds issued by the state of Arkansas, which soon defaulted.
After heated debate, Massachusetts Representative John Quincy Adams persuaded Congress to restore the lost funds with interest and, despite designs on the money for other purposes, convinced his colleagues to preserve it for an institution of science and learning. On August 10, 1846, President James K. Polk signed the legislation that established the Smithsonian Institution as a trust instrumentality of the United States, to be administered by a Board of Regents and a Secretary of the Smithsonian. Though the Smithsonian's first Secretary, Joseph Henry, wanted the Institution to be a center for scientific research, it became the depository for various Washington and U. S. government collections. The United States Exploring Expedition by the U. S. Navy circumnavigated the globe between 1838 and 1842; the voyage amassed thousands of animal specimens, an herbarium of 50,000 plant specimens, diverse shells and minerals, tropical birds, jars of seawater, ethnographic artifacts from the South Pacific Ocean.
These specimens and artifacts became part of the Smithsonian collections, as did those collected by several military and civilian surveys of the American West, including the Mexican Boundary Survey and Pacific Railroad Surveys, which assembled many Native American artifacts and natural history specimens. In 1846, the regents developed a plan for weather observation; the Institution became a magnet for young scientists from 1857 to 1866, who formed a group called the Megatherium Club. The Smithsonian played a critical role as the U. S. partner institution in early bilateral scientific exchanges with the Academy of Sciences of Cuba. Construction began on the Smithsonian Institution Building in 1849. Designed by architect James Renwick Jr. its interiors were completed by general contractor Gilbert Cameron. The building opened in 1855; the Smithsonian's first expansion came with construction of the Arts and Industries Building in 1881. Congress had promised to build a new structure for the museum if the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition generated enough income.
It did, the building was designed by architects Adolf Cluss and Paul Schulze, based on original plans developed by Major General Montgomery C. Meigs of the United States Army Corps of Engineers, it opened in 1881. The National Zoological Park opened in 1889 to accommodate the Smithsonian's Department of Living Animals; the park was designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. The National Museum of Natural History opened in June 1911 to accommodate the Smithsonian's United States National Museum, housed in the Castle and the Arts and Industries Building; this structure was designed by the D. C. architectural firm of Hornblower & Marshall. When Detroit philanthropist Charles Lang Freer donated his private collection to the Smithsonian and funds to build the museum to hold it, it was among the Smithsonian's first major donations from a private individual; the gallery opened in 1923. More than 40 years would pass before the next museum, the Museum of History and Technology, opened in 1964.
It was designed by the world-renowned firm of Mead & White. The Anacostia Community Museum, an "experimental store-front" museum created at the initiative of Smithsonian Secretary S. Dillon Ripley, opened in the Anacostia neighborhood of
Central Africa is the core region of the African continent which includes Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda. Middle Africa is an analogous term that includes Angola, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, the Republic of the Congo, São Tomé and Príncipe. All of the states in the UN subregion of Middle Africa, plus those otherwise reckoned in Central Africa, constitute the Economic Community of Central African States. Since its independence in 2011, South Sudan has been included in the region; the Central African Federation called the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, was made up of what are now the nations of Malawi and Zimbabwe. The Anglican Church of the Province of Central Africa covers dioceses in Botswana, Malawi and Zimbabwe, while the Church of Central Africa, Presbyterian has synods in Malawi and Zimbabwe; these states are now considered part of East or Southern Africa. The basin of Lake Chad has been ecologically significant to the populations of Central Africa, with the Lake Chad Basin Commission serving as an important supra-regional organization in Central Africa.
Archeological finds in Central Africa have been discovered dating back over 100,000 years. According to Zangato and Holl, there is evidence of iron-smelting in the Central African Republic and Cameroon that may date back to 3000 to 2500 BCE. Extensive walled settlements have been found in Northeast Nigeria 60 km southwest of Lake Chad dating to the first millennium BCE. Trade and improved agricultural techniques supported more sophisticated societies, leading to the early civilizations of Sao, Bornu, Shilluk and Wadai. Around 1000 BCE, Bantu migrants had reached the Great Lakes Region in Central Africa. Halfway through the first millennium BCE, the Bantu had settled as far south as what is now Angola; the Sao civilization flourished from ca. the sixth century BCE to as late as the sixteenth century CE in northern Central Africa. The Sao lived by the Chari River south of Lake Chad in territory that became part of Cameroon and Chad, they are the earliest people to have left clear traces of their presence in the territory of modern Cameroon.
Today, several ethnic groups of northern Cameroon and southern Chad but the Sara people claim descent from the civilization of the Sao. Sao artifacts show that they were skilled workers in bronze and iron. Finds include bronze sculptures and terra cotta statues of human and animal figures, funerary urns, household utensils, jewelry decorated pottery, spears; the largest Sao archaeological finds have been made south of Lake Chad. Note: BCE is the same as BC and CE is the same as AD; the Kanem-Bornu Empire was centered in the Chad Basin. It was known as the Kanem Empire from the 9th century CE onward and lasted as the independent kingdom of Bornu until 1900. At its height it encompassed an area covering not only much of Chad, but parts of modern southern Libya, eastern Niger, northeastern Nigeria, northern Cameroon, parts of South Sudan and the Central African Republic; the history of the Empire is known from the Royal Chronicle or Girgam discovered in 1851 by the German traveller Heinrich Barth.
Kanem rose in the 8th century in the region to the east of Lake Chad. The Kanem empire went into decline, in the 14th century was defeated by Bilala invaders from the Lake Fitri region; the Kanuri people led by the Sayfuwa migrated to the west and south of the lake, where they established the Bornu Empire. By the late 16th century the Bornu empire had expanded and recaptured the parts of Kanem, conquered by the Bulala. Satellite states of Bornu included the Damagaram in the west and Baguirmi to the southeast of Lake Chad; the Shilluk Kingdom was centered in South Sudan from the 15th century from along a strip of land along the western bank of White Nile, from Lake No to about 12° north latitude. The capital and royal residence was in the town of Fashoda; the kingdom was founded during the mid-fifteenth century CE by Nyikang. During the nineteenth century, the Shilluk Kingdom faced decline following military assaults from the Ottoman Empire and British and Sudanese colonization in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan.
The Kingdom of Baguirmi existed as an independent state during the 16th and 17th centuries southeast of Lake Chad in what is now the country of Chad. Baguirmi emerged to the southeast of the Kanem-Bornu Empire; the kingdom's first ruler was Mbang Birni Besse. In his reign, the Bornu Empire conquered and made the state a tributary; the Wadai Empire was centered on the Central African Republic from the 17th century. The Tunjur people founded the Wadai Kingdom to the east of Bornu in the 16th century. In the 17th century there was a revolt of the Maba people. At first Wadai paid tribute to Bornu and Durfur, but by the 18th century Wadai was independent and had become an aggressor against its neighbors. Following the Bantu Migration from Western Africa, Bantu kingdomes and empires began to develop in southern Central Africa. In the 1450s, a Luba from the royal family Ilunga Tshibinda married Lunda queen Rweej and united all Lunda peoples, their son Mulopwe Luseeng expanded the kingdom. His son Naweej expanded the empire further and is known as the first Lunda emperor, with the title Mwata Yamvo, the "Lord of Vipers".
The Luba political system was retained, conquered peoples were integrated into the system. The mwata
Brazil the Federative Republic of Brazil, is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers and with over 208 million people, Brazil is the world's fifth-largest country by area and the fifth most populous. Its capital is Brasília, its most populated city is São Paulo; the federation is composed of the union of the 26 states, the Federal District, the 5,570 municipalities. It is the largest country to have Portuguese as an official language and the only one in the Americas. Bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the east, Brazil has a coastline of 7,491 kilometers, it borders all other South American countries except Ecuador and Chile and covers 47.3% of the continent's land area. Its Amazon River basin includes a vast tropical forest, home to diverse wildlife, a variety of ecological systems, extensive natural resources spanning numerous protected habitats; this unique environmental heritage makes Brazil one of 17 megadiverse countries, is the subject of significant global interest and debate regarding deforestation and environmental protection.
Brazil was inhabited by numerous tribal nations prior to the landing in 1500 of explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who claimed the area for the Portuguese Empire. Brazil remained a Portuguese colony until 1808, when the capital of the empire was transferred from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. In 1815, the colony was elevated to the rank of kingdom upon the formation of the United Kingdom of Portugal and the Algarves. Independence was achieved in 1822 with the creation of the Empire of Brazil, a unitary state governed under a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary system; the ratification of the first constitution in 1824 led to the formation of a bicameral legislature, now called the National Congress. The country became a presidential republic in 1889 following a military coup d'état. An authoritarian military junta came to power in 1964 and ruled until 1985, after which civilian governance resumed. Brazil's current constitution, formulated in 1988, defines it as a democratic federal republic. Due to its rich culture and history, the country ranks thirteenth in the world by number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Brazil is considered an advanced emerging economy. It has the ninth largest GDP in the world by nominal, eight and PPP measures, it is one of the world's major breadbaskets, being the largest producer of coffee for the last 150 years. It is classified as an upper-middle income economy by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country, with the largest share of global wealth in Latin America. Brazil is a regional power and sometimes considered a great or a middle power in international affairs. On account of its international recognition and influence, the country is subsequently classified as an emerging power and a potential superpower by several analysts. Brazil is a founding member of the United Nations, the G20, BRICS, Union of South American Nations, Organization of American States, Organization of Ibero-American States and the Community of Portuguese Language Countries, it is that the word "Brazil" comes from the Portuguese word for brazilwood, a tree that once grew plentifully along the Brazilian coast.
In Portuguese, brazilwood is called pau-brasil, with the word brasil given the etymology "red like an ember", formed from brasa and the suffix -il. As brazilwood produces a deep red dye, it was valued by the European textile industry and was the earliest commercially exploited product from Brazil. Throughout the 16th century, massive amounts of brazilwood were harvested by indigenous peoples along the Brazilian coast, who sold the timber to European traders in return for assorted European consumer goods; the official Portuguese name of the land, in original Portuguese records, was the "Land of the Holy Cross", but European sailors and merchants called it the "Land of Brazil" because of the brazilwood trade. The popular appellation eclipsed and supplanted the official Portuguese name; some early sailors called it the "Land of Parrots". In the Guarani language, an official language of Paraguay, Brazil is called "Pindorama"; this was the name the indigenous population gave to the region, meaning "land of the palm trees".
Some of the earliest human remains found in the Americas, Luzia Woman, were found in the area of Pedro Leopoldo, Minas Gerais and provide evidence of human habitation going back at least 11,000 years. The earliest pottery found in the Western Hemisphere was excavated in the Amazon basin of Brazil and radiocarbon dated to 8,000 years ago; the pottery was found near Santarém and provides evidence that the tropical forest region supported a complex prehistoric culture. The Marajoara culture flourished on Marajó in the Amazon delta from 800 CE to 1400 CE, developing sophisticated pottery, social stratification, large populations, mound building, complex social formations such as chiefdoms. Around the time of the Portuguese arrival, the territory of current day Brazil had an estimated indigenous population of 7 million people semi-nomadic who subsisted on hunting, fishing and migrant agriculture; the indigenous population of Brazil comprised several large indigenous ethnic groups. The Tupí people were subdivided into the Tupiniquins and Tupinambás, there were many subdivisions of the other gro
Gemological Institute of America
The Gemological Institute of America, or GIA, is a nonprofit institute dedicated to research and education in the field of gemology and the jewelry arts. Founded in 1931, GIA's mission is to protect all buyers and sellers of gemstones by setting and maintaining the standards used to evaluate gemstone quality; the institute does so through research, gem identification and diamond grading services and a variety of educational programs. Through its world-renowned library and subject experts, GIA acts as a resource of gem and jewelry information for the trade, the public and worldwide media outlets. In 1953 the GIA developed its International Diamond Grading System and the Four Cs as a standard to compare and evaluate the quality of diamonds. Today, the institute is headquartered in Carlsbad and operates out of 13 countries, with 11 campuses, 9 laboratories and 4 research centers worldwide; the story of the GIA starts back in the 1920s with a man named Robert M. Shipley. Shipley had been enjoying a successful career as a jeweler, but was coming to realize the unfortunate state of the gem and jewelry industry: a typical jeweler in the US, himself included, had a surprising lack of expertise when it came to jewelry and precious stones.
He therefore took it upon himself to bring change to the jeweler’s trade, restore the public’s trust therein. After traveling to Europe and completing the Great Britain National Association of Goldsmiths gemological correspondence course, Shipley returned to Los Angeles, it was here that he launched his own preliminary course in gemology on September 16, 1930, seeking to train and certify jewelers. The jewelers he certified would serve to form a national guild of jewelers, dedicated to providing the public with a superior sense of professionalism within the gem and jewelry field; the first GIA gemological laboratory was established in Los Angeles in 1931. The jeweler's profession was transformed, with the introduction of the "Certified Gemologist" professional designation and the legitimization of gemology as a recognized science. Over the years, the group has brought many significant new developments to the industry, including the following: 1934: GIA patents a jeweler’s loupe with triple aplanatic lenses.
1937: GIA patents the world’s first gemological microscope, allowing gemologists to properly examine the insides of gemstones. 1953: The diamond grading system based on Shipley’s Four C’s becomes an international standard for determining diamond quality. 1955: GIA issues the first diamond grading reports, which are accepted as an international benchmark for the jewelry industry. 1956: GIA finds a reliable way to detect diamonds that have been irradiated to artificially enhance their color. 1960: The GIA Diamond Dictionary is published, becoming an international industry reference. 1987: The Liddicoat Gemological Library and Information Center amasses the largest collection of books on gemology in the world. 1991: GIA hosts its first annual Career Fair, which becomes the industry’s most significant recruiting event. 1999: GIA identifies a way to detect diamonds that have been decolorized by high pressure and high temperatures. 2003: GIA identifies a way to detect sapphires made from beryllium-diffusion techniques, diamonds made from chemical vapor deposition.
2005: GIA creates a system for grading the cut of round brilliant diamonds in the D-to-Z color range. 2007: GIA introduces a Synthetic Diamond Grading Report. 2014: GIA introduces DiamondCheck, capable of differentiating between natural and treated or synthetic diamonds. GIA is engaged in research to advance the science of gemology. Research has focused on developing methods and technologies to identify and characterize gems; this research has produced significant advances in the ability to differentiate gems and identify simulants. GIA was responsible for the first modern diamond grading reports, where it introduced grading methodologies for diamond color and diamond clarity. Today, these scales and methods are the standard within the gem trade for characterization of diamonds. Current research at gemological laboratories concerns the development of improved detection techniques for treated and synthetic diamonds, as well as for treated sapphires and pearls; the GIA Laboratory provides a variety of gem identification reports.
Diamond grading reports for unmounted natural and synthetic diamonds determine their key characteristics: color, clarity and carat weight. GIA issues two types of the more complete being the Diamond Grading Report; the reports contain a number of measurements, including of carat weight as well as a diagram of where and what types of inclusions are located in the diamond. Diamond grading reports are now demanded by most consumers purchasing diamonds over a certain size for over 0.5 carat, always for over 1.0 carat, are considered an important tool in guaranteeing that a diamond is represented to a potential buyer. GIA colored stone identification reports may include a comment about any treatments detected and an opinion of country of origin for ruby, sapphire and tourmaline. Pearl reports specify the weight, shape, color and presence of treatments. GIA offers several programs and courses online through an interactive eLearning format, through its 12 campus locations around the world; the institute offers corporate training programs and works with trade organizations worldwide to provide technical training in gemstones and jewelry.
The Graduate Gemologist diploma offers a comprehensive education