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Onion

The onion known as the bulb onion or common onion, is a vegetable, the most cultivated species of the genus Allium. Its close relatives include the garlic, leek and Chinese onion; this genus contains several other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion, the tree onion, the Canada onion. The name "wild onion" is applied to a number of Allium species, but A. cepa is known from cultivation. Its ancestral wild original form is not known, although escapes from cultivation have become established in some regions; the onion is most a biennial or a perennial plant, but is treated as an annual and harvested in its first growing season. The onion plant has a fan of hollow, bluish-green leaves and its bulb at the base of the plant begins to swell when a certain day-length is reached; the bulbs are composed of shortened, underground stems surrounded by fleshy modified scale that envelop a central bud at the tip of the stem. In the autumn, the foliage dies down and the outer layers of the bulb become dry and brittle.

The crop is harvested and dried and the onions are ready for use or storage. The crop is prone to attack by a number of pests and diseases the onion fly, the onion eelworm, various fungi cause rotting; some varieties of A. cepa, such as shallots and potato onions, produce multiple bulbs. Onions are used around the world; as a food item, they are served cooked, as a vegetable or part of a prepared savoury dish, but can be eaten raw or used to make pickles or chutneys. They are pungent when contain certain chemical substances which irritate the eyes; the onion plant known as the bulb onion or common onion, is the most cultivated species of the genus Allium. It was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1753 work Species Plantarum. A number of synonyms have appeared in its taxonomic history: Allium cepa var. aggregatum – G. Don Allium cepa var. bulbiferum – Regel Allium cepa var. cepa – Linnaeus Allium cepa var. multiplicans – L. H. Bailey Allium cepa var. proliferum – Regel Allium cepa var. solaninum – Alef Allium cepa var. viviparum – Mansf.

A. Cepa is known from cultivation, but related wild species occur in Central Asia; the most related species include A. vavilovii and A. asarense from Iran. However and Hopf state that "there are doubts whether the A. vavilovii collections tested represent genuine wild material or only feral derivatives of the crop."The vast majority of cultivars of A. cepa belong to the "common onion group" and are referred to as "onions". The Aggregatum group of cultivars includes both shallots and potato onions; the genus Allium contains a number of other species variously referred to as onions and cultivated for food, such as the Japanese bunching onion, Egyptian onion, Canada onion. Cepa is accepted as Latin for "onion" and has an affinity with Ancient Greek: κάπια and Albanian: qepë and is ancestral to Aromanian: tseapã, Catalan: ceba, Occitan: ceba, Spanish: cebolla, Italian: cipolla, Romanian: ceapă; the English word chive is derived from the Old French cive, which derived from cepa. The onion plant has been selectively bred in cultivation for at least 7,000 years.

It is a biennial plant, but is grown as an annual. Modern varieties grow to a height of 15 to 45 cm; the leaves are yellowish - to bluish green and grow alternately in a fan-shaped swathe. They are fleshy and cylindrical, with one flattened side, they are at their broadest about a quarter of the way up, beyond which they taper towards a blunt tip. The base of each leaf is a flattened white sheath that grows out of a basal disc. From the underside of the disc, a bundle of fibrous roots extends for a short way into the soil; as the onion matures, food reserves begin to accumulate in the leaf bases and the bulb of the onion swells. In the autumn, the leaves die back and the outer scales of the bulb become dry and brittle, so the crop is normally harvested. If left in the soil over winter, the growing point in the middle of the bulb begins to develop in the spring. New leaves appear and a long, hollow stem expands, topped by a bract protecting a developing inflorescence; the inflorescence takes the form of a globular umbel of white flowers with parts in sixes.

The seeds are glossy triangular in cross section. The average pH of an onion is around 5.5. Because the wild onion is extinct and ancient records of using onions span western and eastern Asia, the geographic origin of the onion is uncertain, with domestication worldwide. Onions have been variously described as having originated in Iran, western Indian subcontinent and Central Asia. Traces of onions recovered from Bronze Age settlements in China suggest that onions were used as far back as 5000 BCE, not only for their flavour, but the bulb's durability in storage and transport. Ancient Egyptians revered the onion bulb, viewing its spherical shape and concentric rings as symbols of eternal life. Onions were used in Egyptian burials, as evidenced by onion traces found in the eye sockets of Ramesses IV. Pliny the Elder of the first century CE wrote about the use of onions and cabbage in Pompeii, he documented Roman beliefs about the onion's ability to improve ocular ailments, aid in sleep, heal everything from oral sores and toothaches

Mike Defensor

Michael "Mike" Tan Defensor is a Filipino politician. He finished elementary, Bachelor of Arts in History, Masters in Public Administration at the University of the Philippines where he became a member of the UP Alpha Sigma Fraternity, he finished his secondary education at Niles McKinley High School in Ohio. He is married to Julie Rose Tactacan Defensor. Defensor was elected as a Quezon City councilor in the 1992 elections at the age of 23, making him the youngest member of that body. Defensor ran for congressman of the third district of Quezon City in the 1995 election, subsequently winning, he won reelection in 1998. Defensor was part of the Spice Boys of the House of Representatives that spearheaded the filing of the impeachment case against then-president Joseph Estrada. After Edsa II,Defensor was appointed as Secretary of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, he held that post until August 2004 when he was appointed Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

In the 2004 presidential election, he served as the official campaign spokesperson of President Arroyo. After his tenure as DENR Secretary he was appointed Presidential Chief of Staff, he resigned that post on February 2007 to campaign for a post in the senate. In June 2008 he was appointed head of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport International Passenger Terminal 3 by virtue of the June 9, Executive Order No. 732 The order provides for the NAIA-3 opening based on decisions of the Supreme Court and applicable laws. On October 9, 2008, Defensor was named acting chairman of the Philippine National Railways. Defensor was among the first to file for candidacy for the senate on February 12, 2007, he employed popular gossip show host Boy Abunda as his campaign manager. Mike Defensor, on July 4, 2008 filed 6-page perjury lawsuit Friday versus Rodolfo Noel Lozada for "testifying under oath that he had paid Lozada P 50,000 to change his statement that he was not kidnapped at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport when he arrived from Hong Kong at the height of the Philippine National Broadband Network controversy."

RA 8313, An Act upgrading the Quirino Memorial Medical Center RA 8976, An Act Requiring the Fortification of Processed Foods with Essential Micronutrients An Act Creating the Department of Housing and Urban Development Dangerous Drugs Act of 1998 Act Amending the Magna Carta of the Disabled Persons Act Mandating the Nationwide Rabies Vaccination Program Chairperson, Kabataang Liberal ng Pilipinas Chairperson, National Movement of Young Legislators Chairperson, National Union of Students in the Philippines Lord Chancellor, Alpha Sigma Fraternity Program Director, Youth Council of the Philippines On December 4, 2007, Mike Defensor joined / was nominated to the board of directors of Petron Corporation. Defensor had been frequenting Macau. Boncodin stated that Mike was invited to the board by Nicasio Alcantara, government’s team head / Chair, Petron. Membership in the Petron board is a lucrative job, as Defensor was offered a board seat in sequestered United Coconut Planters Bank. Defeated administration candidate, former senator Ralph Recto joined the board of Union Bank, controlled by the Aboitiz family.

Mike Defensor official website Mike Defensor website Profile of Michael T. DefensorNotes

Watford Junction railway station

Watford Junction is a railway station that serves Watford, Hertfordshire. The station is on the West Coast Main Line, 17 miles 34 chains from London Euston and the Abbey Line, a branch line to St Albans. Journeys to London take between 16 and 52 minutes depending on the service used: shorter times on fast non-stop trains and slower on the stopping Watford DC line services. Trains run to Clapham Junction and East Croydon via the West London Line; the station is a major hub for local bus services and the connecting station for buses to the Harry Potter studio tour. The station is located north of a viaduct over the Colne valley and south of Watford Tunnel; the first railway station to open in Watford was situated on the north side of St Albans Road 200 metres further up the line from the present-day station. This small, single-storey red-brick building was built 1836-7 when the first section of the London and Birmingham Railway was opened between London and Boxmoor; the station provided first and second-class waiting rooms, a departure yard, a carriage shed and engine house.

The platforms were situated in a deep cutting, accessed via a staircase. In its 21 years of operation it served as a station for royalty; the old station closed when it was replaced by a new, larger station, which opened on 5 May 1858. The new Watford Junction station was located south of St Albans Road in order to accommodate the newly constructed branch line to St Albans; the junction station was rebuilt in 1909, was extensively redeveloped in the 1980s. The Grade-II-listed Old Station House still stands at 147A St Albans Road, a rare surviving example of architecture from the beginning of the railway age, today the building is occupied by a second-hand car dealership. In 1862, the Watford and Rickmansworth Railway opened a route from Watford to Rickmansworth. Now closed, this route began by running south and west to a more central station on Watford's High Street, which remains in use. From 1846, the L&BR was absorbed into the London and North Western Railway and Watford Junction was now run by this large, ambitious company.

Seeking to compete with local buses and trams, the LNWR built an additional suburban line from Euston to Watford in the early years of the 20th century, now known as the Watford DC Line. This veered away from the main line at Bushey to loop around Watford to pass through the High Street station. A second suburban branch line was built from High Street west towards Croxley Green to serve new housing developments in that area. Both branches were electrified as part of this improvement plan, on the same DC three-rail system; the Rickmansworth branch was connected to the Main Line via two through platforms with a junction to the north. At one time tube-style trains were used on the branches to counter the low voltage caused by the lack of a sub-station near Rickmansworth; the Bakerloo line was extended to Watford Junction in 1917, giving a shared service north of Willesden Junction with the main line electric trains which served Euston and Broad Street stations. However, since 1982 the line north of Harrow & Wealdstone has only been served by what is now the London Overground service from Euston station.

Oyster Card capability was extended to this station on 11 November 2007 on both the London Overground and Southern. It was extended to London Midland services on 18 November 2007. However, the station is outside London fare zones special fares apply. With the electrification of the entire West London Line in the 1990s, it became practical to run services from Watford Junction to Clapham Junction, allowing passengers to cross London without changing trains. Southern rail now operate an hourly service from Milton Keynes through Watford to East Croydon with connections to Brighton and Gatwick. There is a well known expression "North of Watford", used to mean the north of England a place remote from London; the alternative variant phrase "North of Watford Junction" was used with similar meaning in the past, referring to Watford Junction railway station. The expression reflects the station's position as the last urban stop on the main railway line out of London to the north of England. In more recent years it has been suggested that the phrase references Watford Gap services on the M1, however the original saying was in existence well before its opening in 1959.

The LNWR built a locomotive depot at the station in 1856, replaced by a larger building in 1872, further enlarged in 1890. It was closed by British Railways in March 1965. In 1984 the Victorian station buildings were demolished and the station was rebuilt in a modern architectural style with a travel centre and a large office block above the station, occupied by the lorry and bus manufacturing company Iveco; some 19th-century waiting rooms survived, but were demolished in 1987. To enlarge the car park and provide more space, the St. Albans branch line was realigned northwards, with the original St. Albans platforms becoming a single terminating bay now used by Southern services; the station forecourt was extensively remodelled in 2013.