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Ophrys apifera

Ophrys apifera, known in Europe as the bee orchid, is a perennial herbaceous plant of the family Orchidaceae. It is remarkable as an example of sexually-deceptive pollination and floral mimicry as well as of a highly-selective and evolved plant-pollinator relationship. Ophrys apifera grows to a height of 15–50 centimetres; this hardy orchid develops small rosettes of leaves in autumn. They continue to grow during winter. Basal leaves are ovate or oblong-lanceolate, upper leaves and bracts are ovate-lanceolate and sheathing; the plant blooms from mid-April in continental Europe, but in the United Kingdom it flowers June to July. A flower spike is composed from one to twelve flowers; the flowers have large sepals, with a central green rib and colour varying from white to pink, while petals are short, yellow to greenish. The labellum is trilobed, with two pronounced humps on the hairy lateral lobes, the median lobe is hairy and similar to the abdomen of a bee; the labellum is remarkable for displaying at least four distinct colours, in addition to the two colours of the sepals and petals.

Pattern of labellum colouration is quite variable. The gynostegium is with an elongated apex. Chromosomes 2n=36 Ophrys apifera is widespread across central and southern Europe, as well as North Africa and the Middle East, its range stretches from Portugal and Denmark east to Iran and the Caucasus. It is quite common in the Mediterranean region eastwards to the Black Sea, but is less common in its northern range being uncommon or local in Germany and Ireland. In the UK, it has a distinct southeastern preference, it has been found in the southwest of England in Butleigh near Glastonbury in Somerset. It is common in the northeast of England and in recent years large numbers have appeared in the grass verges surrounding the Metro Centre in Gateshead. In Scotland, it was thought to be extinct, but was rediscovered in Ayrshire in 2003. In some countries the plants have protected status, they are unusual in that in some years they appear in great numbers sometimes only reappear after an absence of many years.

Ophrys apifera grows on semi-dry turf, in grassland, on limestone, calcareous dunes or in open areas in woodland. It prefers well-drained calcareous soils, low in nutrients, in bright dim light, it is a major colonizer of sites disturbed by human activity, such as old quarries, roadside verges and airfields. O. apifera is one of the most European orchid species to establish itself within towns and cities. Ophrys apifera relies upon a symbiotic relationship with mycorrhizal fungi in the genus Tulasnella, other genera, to extract sufficient nutrient from the soil it grows in; this makes it vulnerable to chemicals fungicides, but other chemical applications which could reduce the prevalence of Tulasnella fungi. This species of orchid is threatened by mowing when it occurs during flowering or before seed has been released. However, it also disappears from sites when they become overgrown with shrubs and/or trees, as it fails to compete with these large plants for light. For these reasons it is found on the edge of areas that are mown, beside paths or within areas that are mown infrequently.

The Sussex Wildlife Trust recommends mowing at the end of July and removing the cuttings to benefit bee orchids. In prehistory, the species relied upon seasonal grazing pressure, or was limited to early succession habitats and permanent grassland. Ophrys apifera has been considered to preferentially practice self-pollination; the flowers are exclusively self-pollinating in the northern ranges of the plant's distribution, however pollination by the solitary bee Eucera longicornis occurs in the Mediterranean region, where Ophrys apifera is more common. The plant attracts these insects by producing a scent. In addition, the lip acts. Pollen transfer occurs during the ensuing pseudocopulation; the flowers emit allomones that attract the bee species Eucera pulveraceae. Eucera longicornis males have been observed attempting to copulate with the flowers, it is believed that male bees would preferentially select orchids with the most bee-like lips and attempt to mate with them, transferring pollen in the process.

Ophrys apifera is the County flower of Bedfordshire. This species has appeared on postage stamps in many countries including Belgium, Czech Republic, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Slovenia, the United Kingdom and the USSR. In 2009 the bee orchid appeared in a series of stamps printed in the United Kingdom to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species; the name Ophrys derives from the Greek word ophrys, meaning "eyebrow", while the Latin specific epithet apifera means "bee-bearing" or "bee-bringing" and refers to the bee-shaped lip of the orchid. The genus Ophrys is the most species-rich genus of orchids in Europe and the Mediterranean with over 200 species, according to'Orchids of Britain and Europe' by Pierre Delforge. Ophrys apifera var. apifera Ophrys apifera var. bicolor Ophrys apifera var. botteronii Ophrys apifera var. friburgensis Ophrys apifera var. immaculata Ophrys apifera var. trollii Ophrys apifera var. fulvofusca Ophrys apifera var. belgarum Ophrys apifera var, jurana Ophrys apifera var. atrofuscus Floral parts display the presence of quercetin and kaempferol glycosides, which are supposed to be acylated, as well as cinn

Teseo Tesei

Major Teseo Tesei was an Italian naval officer, who invented the human torpedo used by the Regia Marina during World War II. Teseo Tesei was born in Elba in 1909, the son of Ulisse Tesey and Rosa Carassale. After attending the Collegio degli Scolopi in Florence, he entered the Livorno Naval Academy in 1931, where he distinguished himself for perseverance and inventiveness, he was commissioned as a lieutenant and graduated from the Naval engineering school in Naples in 1933. He subsequently had several posts on both surface submarines, he was a volunteer in the Spanish Civil War with the rank of captain. In 1929, Tesei had the idea of the manned torpedo, from the Italian device used to sink the Austrian Battleship Viribus Unitis during World War I, invented for the Italian Regia Marina what was called the Maiale. In 1931: He entered the Naval Academy of Livorno. Together with Elios Toschi he designed a human torpedo called Siluro a lenta corsa nicknamed the Maiale. 1936: He improved the attack performance of his creation, the "Maiale", using an enhanced system to breathe under water for two hours.

The SLC was extensively used in World War II by the Italian Navy, obtained the sinking of two British battleships in Alexandria. The British developed another kind of manned torpedo, called a "Chariot", from one of his captured "Maiali". 1938: He was one of the officers with Prince Valerio Borghese who organized the Decima Flottiglia MAS. 21 August 1940: Tesei was the only survivor when the Italian submarine Iride was sunk. 26 July 1941: Tesei died riding a manned torpedo attacking Malta. Teseo Tesei was posthumously awarded the Italian Gold Medal for Military Honor for this military action; the modern Italian commando frogmen group COMSUBIN is named after him. Decima Flottiglia MAS Battle of the Mediterranean Historical Diving Times, pp 6–11, issue 39. ISSN 1368-0390 Greene, Jack The Black Prince and the Sea Devils: The Story of Valerio Borghese and the Elite Units of the Decima Mas. Da Capo Press. Cambridge/Mass. 2004 ISBN 0-306-81311-4 Schofield, William. Frogmen First Battles. New York, 2000 ISBN 0-8283-2088-8

Movie Town Haikou

Movie Town Haikou is an artificial town, movie studios, guest apartments, administration buildings 8 km south of Haikou, China. The town, located beside Mission Hills Haikou golf resort, was created as a movie and television filming location and tourist attraction; some of the buildings still under construction are the town buildings and the movie studios with accompanying filming facilities. The town opened on December 29, 2013 and was expected to be completed in 2014; as of May 2015 construction continues. It is a joint venture between Huayi Brothers Media Group; the entire site is 1,400 acres containing 96 buildings along streets with such names as Socialism Street and Nanyang Street. Parts of the area were designed to resemble scenes from the film Back to 1942. Areas within the town include: 1942 Street - contains 91 buildings built to appear like those in the Republican Era in Chongqing, they include Chiang Kai-shek's residence, the Xishan Bell Tower, Chongqing Cathay Theatre, the Shanghai Rong Guang Theatre.

Nanyang Street - a 300-metre-long street with 70 buildings Traditional Beijing Street - built in the style of Beijing in the 1950s to 1960s Church and Square - This area is built to resemble European cities. Park View Area - This area's buildings were designed to resemble those in Feng Xiaogang's Hesui movies, such as If You Are the One, The Banquet, A World Without Thieves Avenue of Stars - This tourist street displays autographs of 80 Chinese and international celebrities. Around half a kilometre to the east are the four studios, they comprise three, white buildings with one building housing both studio 3 and 4. The total area of the studios is 8,000 square metres. Official website


Peraves AG is a Swiss manufacturer of high-end aerodynamically-enhanced cabin motorcycles. It won the Automotive X Prize for its electric X-Tracer in 2010. Peraves AG was founded in 1972 by Swissair Pilot Arnold Wagner. Wagner finished his original prototype of a enclosed motorcycle in 1982, was able to convince the Swiss government to make it street legal in 1985; the vehicle, christened the Ecomobile, was approved by the TÜV, which allowed it to be sold in the EU in 1991. Peraves produced 90 Ecomobiles from 1991 to 2005 until the main factory in the Czech Republic burned down. In response, Peraves decided to commit to redesigning the Ecomobile; the new, more affordable design was named the MonoTracer. It was named number 41 in Time's list of the 50 best inventions of 2008. In 2010, Peraves won the $2.5 million Progressive Insurance Automotive X-Prize with an electric powered version of the MonoTracer, renamed the X-Tracer, capable of driving up to 150 miles per hour and accelerating from 0 to 60 in under four seconds.

The design was suggested by Stefano Parris, an aero-mechanical engineer who saw the gas version on display. In 2013, the X-Tracer was blocked from entering the United States while at the Port of Los Angeles by the EPA, United States Customs, the Transportation Department because the vehicle didn't comply with government regulations. Electric vehicle advocate Paul Scott commented, “For the EPA to be in the way of this is as bizarre at it gets.” Official Website

The Spell (novel)

The Spell is a 1998 novel by British author Alan Hollinghurst. A civil servant thereby discovers Ecstasy. Robin is doing research in the United States, he goes into a bar where he meets Sylvan, calls Jane. The novel flashes forward to 1995 where the main protagonist, Alex, is visiting Justin, an ex-boyfriend, his partner, he drives to their house in the country. Robin's son, Danny, is there. After a flashback to Simon's AIDS related death, the plot goes back to Justin and Robin's cottage where the men are drinking and play with their young attractive neighbour Terry. Whilst driving Alex to see the local picturesque cliffs, Robin scares everyone by accelerating and only stopping right before the cliff's edge. Danny and Alex meet-up in Soho where they walk into Aubrey and Hector, it is clear that Danny slept with most of them. The two men go on to have dinner in a nice restaurant, followed by dancing at a club, where Alex is given his first pill of ecstasy by Danny, his desire blurs as he is unsure if it is the drug or his attraction to Danny that allows him to kiss the younger man.

Justin is bored alone in his house. He calls Terry for casual sex. Danny and his older friend George are driving to a party – Danny confesses to being bored with Alex. Alex and Hugh talk about Alex's drug use. Danny is organising a party and Alex wonders if he didn't waste his youth by not going to raves. Robin and George pick up their friends at the station. Danny's birthday party looks like a gay nightclub, as it is filled with attractive gay men doing drugs. Robin has a sexual encounter with Lars. Danny gets a new job as a nocturnal security guard, to Alex's annoyance, he takes cocaine from a man he is caught with it. He goes clubbing after he is fired, he returns home and Alex comes over. Robin suggests Danny and Alex stay in Robin and Justin's cottage whilst they are separated. There, they make take to going for walks. Alex explains how Justin's father died when they were away on holiday together, how this was the end of their relationship, they take ecstasy. Robin tells Tony, he walks round the house looking back towards the past, Terry pops in – they make love.

Justin is house-hunting with the aid of Charles. In his hotel he has sex with Carlo, an escort. After seeing another house, he goes into a bar in Soho, he returns home and Robin is there. Danny goes to Dorset to see his father and his lover, they are hanging by the beach. At a party, whilst playing cricket, Danny says he is going to visit his mother in San Diego, to Alex's surprise, he proceeds to break up with him. A little Alex and Danny are off to visit a castle. Alex craves the pleasures, he attempts to call a drug dealer to no avail but walks into Lars on the street, who says he can get him anything he wants. The novel ends with Alex and his new, more stable boyfriend Nick standing at the cliff's edge, admiring the beauty of stopping before going over. Robin Woodfield: An architect in his forties, he enjoys rowing. Justin: Robin's younger lover. Danny: Robin's twenty-two-year-old son. Alexander Nichols: Justin's ex-boyfriend, he works in the Foreign Office. Victor: The person who picks up Robin whilst he is hitchkihing in America.

Sylvan: A man Robin meets in a bar. Janey: A woman Robin has had intercourse with, pregnant with his child. Simon: A late lover of Robin's. Terry Badgett: A friend of Justin's, who gets paid for casual sex. Tony Bowerchalke Mrs Bunce Aubrey: A friend of Dan's. Hector: A friend of Dan's. Hugh: A friend of Alex's. Dobbin: A friend of Dan's. George: A friend of Dan's, who takes cocaine. Lars: A Norwegian gay man. Margery Hall: A friend of Robin's. Mike Hall: A friend of Robin's. A retired bursar of a military college. Gordon Charles: An attractive estate agent. Carl: A local Dorset lad. Les: A local Dorset lad. Heinrich: A gay bartender. Adrian Ringrose Frederick: Hugh's Nigerian lover; this is a later-in-life gay bildungsroman since Alex is growing and changing in similar ways as an adolescent would. He is exploring his community. Danny loses Alex's necklace during a threesome with two other men, it symbolises a loss of Alex, or a tossing aside of something that no longer has value though it wasn't a conscious decision.

Danny embodies narcissism and casual sexual encounters that might be seen as a homophobic stereotype. Other writers and works mentioned are: John Dowland's Fine Knacks for Ladies, Thomas Hardy's Tess of the d'Urbervilles and An Assignation – Old Style, Oscar Wilde, William Makepeace Thackeray's Vanity Fair, William Shakespeare's Hamlet and A Midsummer Night's Dream, Arthur Conan Doyle, Alfred Tennyson, Anthony Trollope, Algernon Charles Swinburne; the visual arts mentioned are: Quinlan Terry, Bernard Leach. The music mentioned is: Giuseppe Verdi's La traviata, Let's Hear It for the Boy, Robert Schumann, George Frideric Handel, Joseph Haydn, Joe Puma, Ralph Vaughan Williams, John Barbirolli, Girolamo Frescobaldi, Frédéric Chopin, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, The Doors, the Incredible String Band, The Kinks, Gustav Mahler, Ludwig van Beethoven, Van Morrison, ABBA, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Madonna's "Bedtime Story"

2015 San Antonio Scorpions season

The 2015 San Antonio Scorpions FC season was the club's fourth season of existence and its fourth and last season in the North American Soccer League, the second division of the American soccer pyramid. Including the San Antonio Thunder soccer franchise of the original NASL, this was the 6th season of professional soccer in San Antonio; the Scorpions entered the 2015 NASL season as the reigning league champions after defeating the Fort Lauderdale Strikers 2-1 in the 2014 Soccer Bowl. The 2015 season was sponsored by San Antonio-based deeproot Funds through a partnership. Where a player has not declared an international allegiance, nation is determined by place of birth. Squad correct as of October 1, 2015. Kickoff times are in CDT unless shown otherwise Kickoff times are in CDT unless shown otherwise The spring season will last for 10 games beginning on April 4 and ending on June 13; the schedule will feature a single round robin format with each team playing every other team in the league a single time.

All teams will play 5 home games and 5 away games. The winner of the spring season will automatically qualify for the 2015 NASL Playoffs. Kickoff times are in CDT unless shown otherwise Win Loss Draw The fall season will last for 20 games beginning on July 4 and ending on October 21; the schedule will feature a double round robin format with each team playing every other team in the league two times. All teams will play 10 home games and 10 away games; the winner of the fall season will automatically qualify for the 2015 NASL Playoffs. Kickoff times are in CDT unless shown otherwise Win Loss Draw