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The Odonata are an order of flying insects, the dragonflies and damselflies. Like most of the flying insects, they evolved in the early Mesozoic era, their prototypes, the giant dragonflies of the Carboniferous, 325 mya, are no longer put in the Odonata. These are now called Meganisoptera; the two suborders are distinguished: Dragonflies: they are Anisoptera Damselflies: they are Zygoptera All Odonata have aquatic larvae called'nymphs', all of them and adults, are carnivorous. The adults can land, but walk, their legs are specialised for catching prey. They are entirely insectivorous. Fabricius coined the term Odonata from the Ancient Greek ὀδών odṓn'tooth' because they have teeth on their mandibles though most insects have toothed mandibles; the word dragonfly is sometimes used to refer to all Odonata, but odonate is a more correct English name for the group as a whole. Odonata enthusiasts avoid ambiguity by using the term true dragonfly, or Anisopteran, when referring to just the Anisoptera; the term Warriorfly has been proposed.

Some 5,900 species have been described in this order. This order has traditionally been grouped together with the mayflies and several extinct orders in a group called the "Paleoptera", but this grouping might be paraphyletic. What they do share with mayflies is the nature of how the wings are articulated and held in rest. In some treatments, the Odonata are understood in an expanded sense synonymous with the superorder Odonatoptera but not including the prehistoric Protodonata. In this approach, instead of Odonatoptera, the term Odonatoidea is used; the systematics of the "Palaeoptera" are by no means resolved. The Anisoptera was long treated as a suborder, with a third suborder, the "Anisozygoptera". However, the combined suborder Epiprocta was proposed when it was found that the "Anisozygoptera" was paraphyletic, composed of extinct offshoots of dragonfly evolution; the four living species placed in that group are in the infraorder Epiophlebioptera, whereas the fossil taxa that were there are now dispersed about the Odonatoptera.

World Odonata List considers Anisoptera as a suborder along with Zygoptera and Anisozygoptera as well-understood and preferred terms. Tarsophlebiidae is a prehistoric family of Odonatoptera that can be considered either a basal lineage of Odonata or their immediate sister taxon; the phylogenetic tree of the orders and suborders of odonates according to Bechly: The largest living odonate is the giant Central American helicopter damselfly Megaloprepus coerulatus with a wing span of 191 mm. The heaviest living odonates are Tetracanthagyna plagiata with a wing span of 165 mm, Petalura ingentissima with a body length of 117 mm and wing span of 160 mm; the longest extant odonate is the Neotropical helicopter damselfly Mecistogaster linearis with a body length of 135 mm. Sometimes the giant Hawaiian darner Anax strenuus is claimed to be the largest living odonate with an alleged wing span of 190 mm, but this seems to be a myth as only 152 mm wing spans are scientifically documented. Odonata and their ancestors come from one of the oldest winged insect groups.

The fossils of odonates and their cousins, including Paleozoic "giant dragonflies" like Meganeuropsis permiana from the Permian of North America, reached wing spans of up to 71 cm and a body length of 43 cm, making it the largest insect of all time. This insect belonged to the order Meganisoptera, the griffinflies, related to odonates but not part of the modern order Odonata in the restricted sense, they have one of the most complete fossil records going back 319 million years. The smallest living dragonfly is Nannophya pygmaea from east Asia, with a body length of 15 mm and a wing span of 20 mm; the smallest damselflies are species of the genus Agriocnemis with a wing span of only 17–18 mm. These insects characteristically have large rounded heads covered by well-developed, compound eyes, legs that facilitate catching prey in flight, two pairs of long, transparent wings that move independently, elongated abdomens, they have short antennae. The mouthparts include simple chewing mandibles in the adult.

Flight in the Odonata is direct, with flight muscles attaching directly to the wings. This allows active control of the amplitude, angle of attack and twist of each of the four wings independently. In most families there is a structure on the leading edge near the tip of the wing called the pterostigma; this is a thickened, hemolymph–filled and colorful area bounded by veins. The functions of the pterostigma are not known, but it most has an aerodynamic effect and may have a visual function. More mass at the end of the wing may reduce the energy needed to move the wings up and down; the right combination of wing stiffness and wing mass could reduce the energy consumption of flying. A pterost


Rinspeed is a Swiss automobile manufacturer and tuning designer. It specialises in restoring classic cars, tuning and modifying modern cars such as Porsches and Subarus. Since 1991, they have designed exotic concept and special vehicles for the Geneva Motor Show and other car shows each year, but do not enter into production. Rinspeed was founded in 1979 by Frank Rinderknecht. Rinspeed zaZen is a Rinspeed concept car shown for the first time at the 2006 Geneva Motor Show, it is based on the Porsche 911 Carrera S platform and developed in collaboration with Bayer MaterialScience. The zaZen is powered by a flat-6 engine that has a displacement of 3,824 cubic centimetres and develops a maximum power of 355 bhp at 6600 rpm; the car is able to reach the top speed of 182 mph. Built around a Lotus Elise, the Rinspeed sQuba is a concept car that can'fly' underwater and has zero emissions, it debuted at the 2008 Geneva Motor Show, 30 years after its inspiration: the movie The Spy Who Loved Me. The sQuba was featured in the first episode of 14th season of UK motoring show Fifth Gear.

The Rinspeed Splash is a concept amphibian vehicle with hydrofoil design capable of 45 knots on water or nearly 200 km/h on land. Propelled by a 750 cc two cylinder turbo-charged engine burning natural gas which supplies 140 hp at 7000 rpm and weighing just 825 kg, this strange-looking vehicle can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in just 5.9 seconds. It premiered at the 2004 Geneva Motor Show; the Splash was featured in an episode of Top Gear. In 2006 it set a record for crossing the English Channel in a hydrofoil car, making the journey in 3 hours 14 minutes; the iChange is a concept car that changes shape and configuration based on the number of passengers inside, up to three. It was unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show; the car features are controlled by an Apple iPhone and it is powered by a 150 kW electric motor. The iChange has a 0–100 km/h speed of over four seconds, hit a top speed of 136 mph; the Rinspeed UC is a micro concept electric car, presented at the Geneva Motor Show 2010. The name UC stands for "Urban Commuter" or "You see".

It is a 2.5 metres long micro vehicle, operated with a central joystick. The electric motor delivers 124 Nm of torque; the concept car can reach a top speed of 110 km/h, on-board batteries enable the car a capable of 120 km range in one charge. Budii concept displayed at 2015 Geneva motor show is worked around the future possibilities of self driven cars. Budii displays experiments to include vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-infrastructure radio-based communications and motion sensing systems including advanced camera monitoring, it is equipped with telescoping laser scanner on the roof called TrackView which can be raised by 70 centimeters and delivers a precise 3D perspective by combining data from all the various sensors to map the surrounding terrain. Concept Ʃtos is a concept presented in the Consumer Electronics Show in 2016, it had as basis the BMW i8. Announced late in 2016 and first shown at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January 2017, the Rinspeeed Oasis concept car takes Rinspeed's 2015 Budii and 2016 Etos concept cars farther, integrating state-of-the art autonomous vehicle technologies, social media, Mobility as a Service into a compact car described as a "living room" on wheels.

It features floor to ceiling glass doors, a battery-electric engine, retractable steering wheel, solar panels integrated into the roof, an augmented reality display. An unusual feature, for a car, is the dash-mounted garden with sensors to advise the user when to feed the plants, it was shown at the Detroit Motor Show. Partners on the project included Kostal, WayRay among a wide range of other firms. In 2005, Rinspeed modified a Subaru Forester to make it appear more feminine - Forester Lady 2006 In 2007, Rinspeed offers a modified 997 911 Turbo, transformed into a Le Mans 600. Rinspeed Official site Rinspeed Editorial Video.

Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities

The Association of Presbyterian Colleges and Universities is a private, not-for-profit organization of colleges and universities associated with the Presbyterian Church, a Mainline Protestant Christian religious denomination. Agnes Scott College Alma College Arcadia University Austin College Barber–Scotia College Belhaven University Blackburn College Bloomfield College Buena Vista University Carroll University Centre College Coe College The College of Idaho College of the Ozarks The College of Wooster Cook College and Theological School Davidson College Davis and Elkins College Eckerd College Hampden–Sydney College Hanover College Hastings College Illinois College Interamerican University of Puerto Rico Johnson C. Smith University King University Knoxville College Lake Forest College Lees–McRae College Lindenwood University Lyon College Macalester College Mary Baldwin University Maryville College Millikin University Missouri Valley College Monmouth College Muskingum College Presbyterian College Queens University of Charlotte Rhodes College Rocky Mountain College Schreiner University Sheldon Jackson College St. Andrews University Sterling College Stillman College Trinity University Tusculum College Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico University of Dubuque University of Jamestown University of Pikeville University of the Ozarks University of Tulsa Warren Wilson College Waynesburg University Westminster College Westminster College Westminster College Whitworth University William Peace University Wilson College Official website

St. Petersburg Institute of Jewish Studies

St. Petersburg Institute of Jewish Studies is a private institution of higher education in the area of Jewish Studies in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Leningrad Jewish University was established in 1989 as a continuation of the Baron Günzburg's Courses for Oriental Studies and the Petrograd / Leningrad Jewish University; the latter was closed by the Soviet Authorities as "unnecessary" in 1925. The new Leningrad Jewish University was created in 1989 during the new Soviet policy of Perestroika by enthusiasts and Jewish Activists, Ilya Dvorkin, Vaniamin Lukin, Khava Korzakova, others. During its first year'89/90 only evening classes were offered of Hebrew, Torah studies, as well as seminars on Ethnography and Local History, several others. Since 1991, morning and day classes were offered and a four-year educational program was established, aiming to prepare Bachelors of Arts in Hebrew and education; the university was recognized and accredited. The first alumni graduated in 1996. In 1997 the name of the university was changed to St. Petersburg Institute of Jewish Studies.

Prof. Dmitri Elyashevich became the rector of the institute in 1997, Prof. Alexander Kobrinsky is the vice-Rector / Provost; the institute worked at various addresses, including the Jewish Community Center of St. Petersburg and became a prominent part of the Jewish community of St. Petersburg; the institute is a home of a largest Jewish library in the Former Soviet Union. Several scientific conferences on Jewish education and other aspects of Jewish Studies were organized by the university; the journal Evreyskaya Shkola was published in 1992-1996. The series "Trudy po Iudaike" are published since 1993; the Institute for the Studies of Jewish Diaspora organized numerous expeditions and field trips to Ukraine, Baltic States, the Central Asia and the Caucasus. The materials are kept in the Archive of the Institute. Dmitri Elyashevish Ilya Dvorkin Alexander Kobrinsky Hava Korzakova Boris Haimovich Leonard Hertzenberg

Sakizaya people

The Sakizaya are Taiwanese Aborigines with a population of 5,000–10,000. They live in the cities/counties of Keelung, Taoyuan City, New Taipei, as well as on Hualien, where their culture is centered; the Sakizaya are an Austronesian people related to other Taiwanese Aborigines and have cultural and genetic ties to other Austronesian ethnic groups, such as those from the Philippines, Indonesia and Oceania. Though their language is their most defining feature; the Sakizaya traditionally practiced ancestor worship, which includes the worship of a pantheon of gods and ancestral spirits. However, most have converted to Christianity, their society is matrilinear, women have the authority. On 17 January 2007, the Taiwan government recognized the community as a distinct ethnic group. Before this, the people was classified as Amis, the group where they "hid" after they, their Kavalan allies, fought a devastating battle against Qing invaders during the late 19th century. Due to their intermingling within other peoples, the original genetic identity of the Sakizaya is uncertain.

According to one study, they are intimately related to the Middle Amis. They seem to share certain genetic traits with other indigenous groups, as well as with the Taiwanese Han, though this may have been a result of intermarriage; the C2 and C3 haplogroups are absent in their population. Much of the history of the Sakizaya is unknown, it is unclear when their ancestors, first arrived in Taiwan. According to some experts, the first human inhabitants of the island arrived 15,000 years ago and were dependent on marine life for survival. Neolithic peoples began arriving 6,000 years ago, which allowed the advent of agriculture, domestic animals, polished stone adzes, pottery; the presence of these adzes imply a relation with the Penghu islands, where these objects are common. The first contact with the community outside of Formosa occurred during the 17th century, when the Dutch and the Spanish arrived, it was during this time when a 1636 Spanish document was written about the name and activities of the people.

Since there were not any reports of external contact until the 19th century. In 1878, the Sakizaya, their Kavalan allies, fought a devastating battle against Qing invaders; this event ended in disaster for both communities causing many of their members to be slaughtered in an event called the "Takobowan Incident". Others were displaced by Han settlers; the remaining Sakizaya, were forced to blend with other peoples, such as the Ami, with the intention of protecting their identity. When the Japanese ruled Taiwan in 1895, anthropologists classified the people as a subgroup of the Amis; the people, discreetly maintained their own culture and language which continued during the next century. In 2004, the community presented a petition for official ethnic group status to the Council of Indigenous Peoples based on historical and cultural data; this was filed on 13 October 2005. The petition was approved on 17 January 2007, recognizing them as a distinct ethnic group. Like other Taiwanese Aborigines, the Sakizaya face contemporary economic challenges.

These include urbanization of a phenomenon that may affect their culture. The Sakizaya language was classified as a dialect of Nataoran Amis, a Formosan language that belongs to the Austronesian language family. However, the National Chengchi University opened the classification to debate, stating that Sakizaya remains 60–70 percent different from the Amis language despite the two groups living together. There are about 2,000 speakers of the language; the people speaks several other languages. These include languages spoken by the peoples where they have hidden such as Amis, Mandarin, the official language of the country; the Sakizaya practice a variety of religions. These include traditional beliefs that mixes aspects of ancestor animism; some may practice Christianity. The traditional religious beliefs of the Sakizaya are experiencing external pressures since many of the tribesmen may have converted to Christianity; the threat is heightened by the increasing importance of Christianity to the community.

The people are known to practice ancestor worship. They believe on a pantheon of ancestral spirits and deities known as dito, similar to the kawas of the Amis, as well as the anito of the Filipinos, they are considered to be "fickle as the weather" so priests or mapalaway are necessary to communicate with them. They are invisible to most people. Several beliefs are associated with these spirits, such as death; the homeland of the dito is Meilun Mountain in Hualien, the place where the deceased pass through before resting in the sea. The Sakizaya have several gods. A few examples include Malataw‧Otoki, the deity the spirit of the world, the god that "drives away illnesses", Talaman or Takonawan, the god of the poor. An individual's personal dito become the god of death. Rituals are practiced to appease the dito and mimic rituals performed by other Austronesian peoples; the practice of these are dictated according to the seasons: spring or pasavaan, summer or ralod, fall or sadinsing, winter or kasinawan.

An example of these is the Palamal or the "Worship of the Fi

Pierre & Vacances

Groupe Pierre & Vacances Center Parcs specializes in tourism services, providing holiday and entertainment villages, leisure activity residences and hotels under the brands Pierre & Vacances, Center Parcs and Adagio. The headquarters of the company is in France and the core area of the company's activities is France, but it has facilities in Belgium, the Netherlands, Austria, Germany and Spain. In 1967, Gerard Brémond and Jean Vuarnet entered partnership to open a skiing "village" and resort, called Avoriaz, which adopted innovative concepts. Vehicles were forbidden inside the village and children had their own sectors; the style of the buildings was designed to harmonize with the surrounding landscape. Interest in the resort increased in 1973; the company adopted the name Pierre & Vacances in 1975, developing more resorts in the mountains and on the coast. This new development area brought it accusations of being a company that "filled up the French coast with cement." By the end of the 70s, the company started to leave the real estate development and refocused itself on tourist services.

It introduced a concept called "Nouvelle Propriété", which let the tourists own properties inside the Pierre & Vacances' vacation villages at a low cost. The new owners received a small, but guaranteed, percentage from rental fees and could exchange their properties with anyone within the Pierre & Vacances network; the new concept enabled the company to grow without taking on debt. In 1988, Pierre & Vacances started to acquire rival companies; the first purchases included Port du Crouesty. Pierre & Vacances emerged unscathed from economic crisis in the 1990s, accelerated its expansion by purchasing struggling rivals such as Société des Montagnes de l'Arc, Rocher Soleil Sofap Loisirs and Pont-Royal. Pont-Royal was a key piece in the company's growth, because it had been granted by the French State to construct over 20,000 square metres in the Provence region; the company adapted to the new market demands. In 1998, it launched the "eco-village" in the Picardy region and opened its first facilities outside France, in Martinique and Guadeloupe.

Pierre & Vacances became a holding company. In 1999, Pierre & Vacances was listed on the Paris stock exchange. In March of that year, it purchased the resort chain Orion from Westmont Hospitality, it entered into a joint venture with Beni Stabili with the aim of purchasing properties in Italy. In April 2000, Pierre & Vacances acquired Grand Dorado, one of the leading companies in the Benelux's tourism accommodation market. In March 2001, in a joint venture with Deutsche Bank, it acquired Center Parcs Europe, a large resort parks company. In July 2001, it acquired the ski resort operations of Groupe Washington at the Valmoral resort and, in September of that year, Club Méditerranée's Maeva SA; this operation made Vacances the leader in the French market. In 2002, the Italian company Valtur was added to Vacances' portfolio. In 2003, the Pierre & Vacances' holding became the sole owner of Central Parcs. In 2007, Pierre & Vacances and Accor formed a joint venture to create a new company, called Adagio, with the aim of developing city residences in Europe.

That year it acquired a real estate development company focused on Mediterranean style villages for elderly people and the Sunparks Group. In 2009, the name was changed from "Groupe Pierre & Vacances" to "Groupe Pierre & Vacances Central Parcs"; the company operates 51,000 hotels, apartments and similar accommodation. It is still present in the property development sector through the subsidiaries PV-CP Support Services BV, Pierre & Vacances Investissement XXXXVIII, Pierre & Vacances Investissement XXXXIX and Les Senioriales SA. Groupe Pierre & Vacances Central Parcs is controlled by Gerard Brémond using a complex system of holding companies as shareholders. Adagio City Apartment Hotels