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Opole is a city located in southern Poland on the Oder River and the historical capital of Upper Silesia. With a population of 128,137, it is the capital of Opole Voivodeship and the seat of Opole County. With its long history dating back to the 8th century, Opole is one of the oldest cities in Poland, it is the smallest city in Poland to be the largest city in a voivodeship. The origins of the first settlement are connected with the town being granted Magdeburg Rights in 1217 by Casimir I of Opole, the great-grandson of Polish Duke Bolesław III Wrymouth. During the Medieval Period and the Renaissance the city was known as a centre of commerce due to its position on the intersection of several main trade routes, which helped to generate steady profits from transit trade; the rapid development of the town was caused by the establishment of a seat of regency in Opole in 1816. The first railway connection between Oppeln and Breslau was opened in 1843 and the first manufacturing plants were constructed in 1859, which contributed to the city's regional significance.

The city's extensive heritage entails all cultures of Central Europe including years of Polish, Bohemian and German rule. Opole formally became part of Poland again in 1945 under the Potsdam Agreement. Many German Upper Silesians and Poles of German ancestry still reside in the Opole region. Today there are four higher education establishments in the city: The Opole University, Opole University of Technology, a Medical College and the private Higher College of Management and Administration; the National Festival of Polish Song has been held here annually since 1963 and each year new regular events, fairs and competitions take place. Opole is sometimes referred to as "Polish Venice", because of its picturesque Old Town and several canals and bridges connecting parts of the city; the name Opole originated from the medieval Slavic term for a group of settlements. Names for the city in other relevant languages include Lower Silesian: Uppeln, Czech: Opolí, Latin: Oppelia, Oppolia or Opulia. Opole's history begins in the 8th century.

At this time, according to the archeological excavations, the first settlement was founded on the Ostrówek - the northern part of the Pasieka Island in the middle of the Oder river. In the early 10th century it developed into one of the main "gords" of the West Slavic Opolans tribe. At the end of the century Silesia was ruled by the Piast dynasty. From the 11th-12th centuries it was a castellany. After the death of Duke Władysław II the Exile, Silesia was divided in 1163 between two Piast lines- the Wrocław line in Lower Silesia and the Opole-Racibórz of Upper Silesia. Opole would become a duchy in 1172 and would share much in common with the Duchy of Racibórz, with which it was combined. In 1281 Upper Silesia was divided further between the heirs of the dukes; the Duchy of Opole was temporarily reestablished in 1290. In the early 13th century, Duke Casimir I of Opole decided to move the settlement from the Pasieka Island into the right shore of the Oder river. All of the inhabitants had to be moved in order to make place for the castle, built in the place of the old city.

Former inhabitants of Ostrówek together with German merchants that immigrated here from the West, received first town rights as early as around 1217, although this date is disputed. Opole received German town law in 1254, expanded with Neumarkt law in 1327. Opole developed during the rule of duke Bolko I of Opole. In this time the castle was completed and new buildings, including the city walls and the Holy Cross Church, were constructed. Along with most of Silesia, in 1327 the Duchy of Opole came under the sovereignty of the Kingdom of Bohemia, itself part of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1521 the Duchy of Racibórz was inherited by the Duchy of Opole, by also known by its German equivalent - Oppeln; the second castle of Opole was founded in the 14th century by duke Vladislaus II, though some sources claim that it was a wooden stronghold of Opole's castellan dating into 12th century. With the death of King Ludvík II of Bohemia at the Battle of Mohács, Silesia was inherited by Ferdinand I, placing Opole under the sovereignty of the Habsburg Monarchy of Austria.

The Habsburgs took control of the region in 1532 after the last Piast duke of Opole - Jan II the Good died. In those days the city was still Polish-speaking, with other nationalities represented by Germans and Jews; the last two dukes of Opole, Nicholas II and Janusz II the Good, did not master the German language. Beginning in 1532 the Habsburgs pawned the duchy to different rulers including several monarchs of Poland. After the Swedish invasion of Poland, in 1655 the King of Poland, John II Casimir Vasa, stayed with the entire court in Opole. In Opole in November 1655, the Universal of Opole was issued by the King, calling for Poles to rise against the Swedes, who at that time occupied a large part of Poland. With the abdication of King John II Casimir of Poland as the last Duke of Opole in 1668, the region passed to the direct control of the Habsburgs. At the beginning of the 18th century the German population of Opole was estimated at around 20%. King Frederick II of Prussia conquered most of Silesia from Austria in 1740 during the Silesian Wars.


Isparta is a city in western Turkey and the capital of Isparta Province. The city's population was 222,556 in 2010 and its elevation is 1035 m, it is known as the "City of Roses". Isparta is well-connected to other parts of Turkey via roads. Antalya lies 130 km to the south and Eskişehir is 350 km to the north. Süleyman Demirel University has introduced thousands of youths from varied backgrounds to the city's conservative fabric in recent years; the city's football team, plays in Group 7 of the Turkish Regional Amateur League. Isparta is a Turkish spelling of Greek Sparta, by prothesis declustering. Isparta was said to correspond to the ancient city of Baris, a namesake and was part of the Roman province of Pisidia. A theory has it instead as the Byzantine fortress Saporda. GE Bean characterized the situation thus: "These perpetually shifting conceptions leave the reader quite bewildered." Modern scholars locate Baris near Kılıç, in Isparta province. At an early stage it became a Christian bishopric, a suffragan of the Metropolitan see of Antioch of Pisidia, the capital of the province.

The names of two of its bishops are known with certainty: Heraclius participated in the First Council of Nicaea in 325 and Leo in the Second Council of Nicaea in 787. In addition, Paulus was at the Council of Constantinople and Stephanus was at the Council of Constantinople, but one or both of these may have been of the Baris in the Roman province of Hellespontus. Like most sees in Asia Minor, it faded. 1203: Conquered by the Seljuq Turks. Late 13th century: Becomes part of the Hamidids. 1381: Isparta is sold to the Ottoman sultan Murad I by the Hamidid Emir. Late 19th century: Muslim refugees from the Balkans settle around Isparta; the Bulgarian refugees brought the knowledge of kazanlik rosewater production with them, leading to Isparta's nickname: city of roses. 1914: According to the 1914 Ottoman population statistics, the district of Isparta had a total population of 54.465, consisting of 46.698 Muslims, 6.648 Greeks and 1.119 Armenians. 1922: The Christian inhabitants of the area were forced to flee to Greece under the Greco-Turkish population exchange.

On November 30, 2007, Atlasjet Flight 4203 crashed on approach to Isparta Süleyman Demirel Airport, killing all 57 passengers and crew. The city is thus prone to violent earthquakes; some historical buildings and houses remain from the 19th century, but are rare compared to the number of modern buildings. There are several important mosques in Isparta, including the pre-Ottoman Hızır Bey Mosque, the Kutlubey or Ulu Mosque and Hacı Abdi Mosque; the city boasts a mosque by the Ottoman royal architect Mimar Sinan — the 16th century's Firdevs Pasa mosque. It is known as Mimar Sinan Mosque. There are several remains of Greek Orthodox churches from the Byzantine and Ottoman periods; the Byzantine fortress is in ruins. No longer a residential bishopric,'Baris in Pisidia' is today listed by the Catholic Church as a titular bishopric, nominal suffragan of Nicomedia, since the diocese was nominally restored in 1933: Latin adjective Baren in Pisidia, it has been vacant for decades, having had the following incumbents, so far of the fitting Episcopal rank: Alfred Bertram Leverman as Auxiliary Bishop of Halifax.

The main economic activities of Isparta are the production of handmade carpets. Tourism, both local and international due to "biblical tourism", is becoming an important source of revenue. In the early 20th century, carpetmaking was a major industry in Isparta. Isparta has a hot summer Mediterranean climate with some continental influences. Winters are cool and rainy, summers are dry; the lakes around the city have important influence on the climate. Rainfall occurs in January and December. Monthly rainy days reduce until August. Rainy days increase again with September. Zeki Demirkubuz, film director, screenwriter and film editor Süleyman Demirel, former prime minister and president of Turkey, was born in the village of Islamköy close to Isparta Said Nursî, Islamic thinker who spent the last decade of his life in this city Mustafa Doğan, footballer Hussein Avni Pasha, Ottoman Grand Vizier Halil Hamid Pasha, Ottoman Grand Vizier Isparta is twinned with: Anatolian Tigers Borani Hunt for clues in Turkish crash Isparta City Portal – All about Isparta GCatholic – bishopric

Egil Olsen

Egil Roger Olsen, nicknamed Drillo, is a Norwegian football manager and former footballer. He is best known as a successful manager of the Norway national football team, he has since been manager of the Iraq national football team, his departure from which caused considerable attention. In January 2009, he made a comeback as manager for the Norway national team. Olsen was a successful player with 16 caps for the national team, earning the nickname "Drillo" from his dribbling skills and technical ability. According to close friend Nils Arne Eggen, Olsen would have been awarded with more caps as a player, had it not been for Willi Kment, Norway's manager at the time, who did not approve of Olsen's long hair and scruffy appearance, as well as his left-wing political views. Olsen was a formidable bandy player, while playing football, he managed the Norway national team from 1990 to 1998, guiding them to World Cup final tournaments in 1994 and 1998, with Norway peaking at number two on the FIFA ranking.

He worked from 2005 to 2007 as an analyst for Vålerengens IF before joining In 1995 as Norway manager Egil Olsen used one of his three votes to nominate Norway women's football star Hege Riise as the FIFA World Player of the Year; the first time a woman player had been nominated in. In June 1999, the 57-year-old Olsen made his appearance in English football, when he was named as manager of Wimbledon, he turned down an approach from Celtic to take charge of the London club, becoming the first Norwegian to manage in the Premier League. Olsen has stated, he remained in charge for less than a year, was sacked just before the club was relegated from the Premier League, having been top division members since 1986. Club captain Robbie Earle said that "Olsen just didn't know how to get the best out of us". On 19 May 2007, Olsen rejected an offer to manage the Iraq national football team citing a busy schedule. However, the Iraqi football president vowed not to give up on his signature and on 17 September, Olsen signed a three-year contract.

In February 2008, Iraq sacked Olsen without telling him. He had tried to contact them by several means, but received the message when a new manager was installed, this action on the Iraqis part was unexpected and their reason was said to be that they did not believe Olsen was strict enough. On 14 January 2009, it was announced that Olsen would once again manage the Norway national football team in an interim period until a successor for Åge Hareide could be found. In their first game under his management, they beat Germany 0–1 in a friendly away game in Düsseldorf, it is the first time Norway has won since the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin. With Olsen as manager Norway rose from No. 59 in 2009 to No. 11 in 2011 on the FIFA rankings. On 27 September 2013, Olsen agreed to stand down as coach following the World Cup qualifying at home defeat to Switzerland. Olsen has at times been referred to as a "football professor" for his scientific approach to the game, an early user of video analysis of matches.

He has collected statistical data to find out. As Norway manager, he argued that as Norway didn't have the players to beat the best teams, they needed a smarter playing style than them, one that fit Norway's skills, he found that breakaways played an important role to making goals, that quick counter-attacks caught opponents off guard to organize defense. Olsen believes that getting the ball down the field through the air to the attackers or flank players gave less chance for losing control, his use of a player with good heading abilities as a target man on the flank, such as Jostein Flo, was a major break with the established idea that all flank players should be small and good dribblers. He is opposed to stationary offensive players, argues that offensive runs should be carried out as as possible when one's team has the ball, as multiple simultaneous runs are difficult to defend against, he holds the idea that breakthrough passes to the area behind the opponent's defensive line should be sought out often, that frequent offensive runs towards this area is important.

He coined the phrase "å være best uten ball" which gained some fame in Norway. It was said about Øyvind Leonhardsen, a player doing an exceptional number of runs during games. Olsen is an ardent supporter of zone defense, as opposed to man-to-man marking, he argues that players with extreme skills, as opposed to players with only good all-round skills, are important in football. His long-ball philosophy, use of the 4–5–1 system and his teams' extremely successful defending was considered boring by some, but Olsen's direct attacking style would be praised whenever it was successful - notably in Norway's wins against Brazil in 1997 and 1998, his thoughts, together with those of Nils Arne Eggen, have had a strong impact on Norwegian football. Olsen was a member of the Norwegian Workers' Communist Party, he is known for his immense knowledge of geographical trivia, proven by his 2002 published factbook "Drillos Verden" published by Erling Kagge's publishing house Kagge Forlag. As of 15 October 2013

Mather, Dixon and Company

Mather and Company was an engineering firm in Liverpool, England. It was established in 1826 at the Bath Street Foundry to build marine and stationary steam engines. Production of steam locomotives began in 1827; the first engine was a small four-coupled tank locomotive in 1827, in addition to a steam traverser and two mobile cranes. These were for their main business being marine and stationary engines, they received contracts from Edward Company for three engines for the Petersburg Railroad. Two were four coupled and the other was a four-wheeled single, completed in 1833; the following year a number of orders were fulfilled for tank engines among other equipment. In 1836 they had four designs for six wheeled engines: 2-2-2, 0-4-2, 0-6-0 and 0-4-2, which they built for display purposes. Between 1836 and 1839 they supplied engines for the London and Birmingham Railway, the Liverpool and Manchester Railway and the Birmingham and Derby Junction Railway among others; these were all "Bury" types. Some two dozen in all.

However they built broad gauge engines for the Great Western Railway with seven and eight foot drivers. In 1839 the company moved in William Street, Bootle. In 1842, John Grantham joined the company, renamed Mather and Grantham. After 1840, trade had declined and, although six engines had been built for stock, the firm closed down in 1843, having built seventy five locomotives in all. Lowe, J. W. British Steam Locomotive Builders, Guild Publishing

Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat

Argenteuil Basin with a Single Sailboat is an oil on canvas autumn scene of the basin at Argenteuil, painted by French Impressionist artist Claude Monet in 1874. The piece was created during Monet's residence at Argenteuil, a town on the banks of the Seine, on the outskirts of Paris. Here Monet purchased a boat to be used as a floating studio and painted many scenes of the surrounding area; the painting was purchased by Irish playwright and activist Edward Martyn in 1899, on the advice of his cousin, George Moore. It was bequeathed to the National Gallery of Ireland in 1924, it is valued at €10m. At around 11am on 29 June 2012 a visitor to the gallery, Andrew Shannon, punched the painting causing "huge damage, shocking damage" with "an extensive three-branched tear". After 18 months of restoration work, on 1 July 2014, the painting was re-hung in the gallery, behind protective glass; the restoration saw 7% of the damaged area being lost, in a process that involved sewing microscopic threads back together.

Shannon was jailed for 5 years for the attack. National Gallery of Ireland information, National Gallery of Ireland restoration process

Smoke Squadron

The Aerial Demonstration Squadron, popularly known as Smoke Squadron is the Brazilian Air Force's air demonstration squadron. Its first display was on 14 May 1952 over Copacabana beach, using the North American T-6 Texan; the team used the T-6 from its formation until 1968, when it switched to the French Aérospatiale CM.170-2 Super Magister jet, called T-24 in FAB service. However, this model proved unsuitable to Brazilian conditions and, in 1972, the squadron reverted to the T-6, used until 1977; the EDA was disbanded in 1977, but reformed on 8 December 1983 using Neiva T-25 Universal piston-powered aircraft, soon to be replaced by the then-new Embraer EMB-312 Tucano turboprop trainer. At the time the EDA's aircraft were painted a bright red scheme, which has since been superseded by the current gloss blue; the aircraft used by the EDA have been, in chronological order: North American T-6 Texan for 1225 displays. In the subsequent two years, Super Tucanos have replaced the Tucano in the Smoke Squadron To bring together civilian and military aeronautical communities To contribute towards a better integration between the Air Force and the other Armed Forces To represent the Brazilian Air Force in Brazil and abroad To encourage youngsters to take up civilian and military aeronautical careers To show the quality of the Brazilian aerospace industry To show the capabilities of the Brazilian Air Force crews.

Official website Official website Video showing the Esquadrilha da Fumaça in action