Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor

Otto II, called the Red, was Holy Roman Emperor from 973 until his death in 983. A member of the Ottonian dynasty, Otto II was the youngest and sole surviving son of Otto the Great and Adelaide of Italy. Otto II was made joint-ruler of Germany in 961, at an early age, his father named him co-Emperor in 967 to secure his succession to the throne, his father arranged for Otto II to marry the Byzantine Princess Theophanu, who would be his wife until his death. When his father died after a 37-year reign, the eighteen-year-old Otto II became absolute ruler of the Holy Roman Empire in a peaceful succession. Otto II spent his reign continuing his father's policy of strengthening Imperial rule in Germany and extending the borders of the Empire deeper into southern Italy. Otto II continued the work of Otto I in subordinating the Catholic Church to Imperial control. Early in his reign, Otto II defeated a major revolt against his rule from other members of the Ottonian dynasty who claimed the throne for themselves.

His victory allowed him to exclude the Bavarian line of the Ottonians from the line of Imperial succession. This strengthened his authority as Emperor and secured the succession of his own son to the Imperial throne. With domestic affairs settled, Otto II would focus his attention from 980 onward to annexing the whole of Italy into the Empire, his conquests brought him into conflict with the Byzantine Empire and with the Muslims of the Fatimid Caliphate, who both held territories in southern Italy. After initial successes in unifying the southern Lombard principalities under his authority and in conquering Byzantine-controlled territory, Otto II's campaigns in southern Italy ended in 982 following a disastrous defeat by the Muslims. While he was preparing to counterattack Muslim forces, a major uprising by the Slavs broke out in 983, forcing the Empire to abandon its major territorial holdings east of the Elbe river. Otto II died in 983 at the age of 28 after a ten-year reign, he was succeeded as Emperor by his three-year-old son Otto III, plunging the Empire into a political crisis.

Otto II was born in 955, the third son of the King of Germany Otto I and his second wife Adelaide of Italy. By 957, Otto II's older brothers Henry and Bruno had died, as well as Otto I's son from his first wife Eadgyth, the Crown Prince Liudolf, Duke of Swabia. With his older brothers dead, the two-year-old Otto became the Kingdom's crown prince and Otto I's heir apparent. Otto I entrusted his illegitimate son, Archbishop William of Mainz, with Otto II's literary and cultural education. Margrave Odo, commander of the Eastern March, taught the young crown prince the art of war and the kingdom's legal customs. Needing to put his affairs in order prior to his descent into Italy, Otto I summoned a Diet at Worms and had Otto II elected, at the age of six, co-regent in May 961. Otto II was crowned by his uncle Bruno the Great, Archbishop of Cologne, at Aachen Cathedral on May 26, 961. While Otto I had secured succession of the throne, he had violated the Kingdom's unwritten law that succession rights could only be granted to a child who has reached the age of majority.

He was motivated by the high-risk associated with his expedition into Italy to claim the Imperial title from the Pope. Otto I crossed the Alps into Italy, while Otto II remained in Germany, the two Archbishops and William, were appointed as his regents. After a three and a half year absence in Italy, Otto I returned to Germany early in 965 as Holy Roman Emperor. In order to give the hope of dynastic continuity after his death, Otto I again confirmed Otto II as his heir on February 2, 965, the third anniversary of Otto I's coronation as Emperor. Though Otto I was crowned Emperor in 962 and returned to Germany in 965, the political situation in Italy remained unstable. After two years in Germany, Otto I made a third expedition to Italy in 966. Bruno was again appointed regent over the eleven-year-old Otto II during Otto I's absence. With his power over northern and central Italy secured, Otto I sought to clarify his relationship with the Byzantine Empire in the East; the Byzantine Emperor objected to Otto's use of the title "Emperor".

The situation between East and West was resolved to share sovereignty over southern Italy. Otto I sought a marriage alliance between the Eastern Macedonian dynasty. A prerequisite for the marriage alliance was the coronation of Otto II as Co-Emperor. Otto I sent word for Otto II to join him in Italy. In October 967, father and son together marched through Ravenna to Rome. On December 25, 967, Otto II was crowned Co-Emperor by Pope John XIII, securing Otto II's succession to the Imperial crown following his father's death. Otto II's coronation allowed marriage negotiations to begin with the East. Only in 972, six years under the new Byzantine Emperor John I Tzimiskes, was a marriage and peace agreement concluded, however. Though Otto I preferred Byzantine Princess Anna Porphyrogenita, daughter of former Byzantine Emperor Romanos II, as she was born in the purple, her age prevented serious consideration by the East; the choice of Emperor John I Tzimisces was his niece Theophanu, the soldier-emperor's niece by marriage.

On April 14, 972, the sixteen-year-old Otto II was married to the fourteen-year-old Eastern princess, Theophanu was crowned empress by the Pope. After his coronation, Otto II remained in the shadow of his overbearing father. Though the nominal co-ruler of the Empire, he was denied any role in its administration. Unlike his earlier son Liudolf, whom Otto I named Duke of Swabia in 950, Otto II was granted no area of responsibility. Otto II was confined to northern Italy during his father's tim

Bishopstone railway station

Bishopstone railway station is on the western side of the town of Seaford, East Sussex, England. It is situated close to the coast, about 1 mile from the hamlet of Bishopstone after which it is named. Train services from the station are provided by Southern, the station is on the Seaford Branch of the East Coastway Line, 58 miles 3 chains measured from London Bridge. Before this station opened the first Bishopstone station was 0.6 miles further west at Tide Mills. That was closed in 1938 when the current station opened, but was subsequently reopened under the name of Bishopstone Beach Halt, survived as such until 1942; the present station was designed by the architect James Robb Scott and opened on 26 September 1938, the same day that the original Bishopstone station at Tide Mills was first closed. The Art Deco design is said to be inspired by that of Arnos Grove tube station, designed by Charles Holden, was intended to be the centrepiece of a proposed residential development that never took place due to the outbreak of the Second World War.

The main building of the station is symmetrical, with an octagonal central booking hall and two extended wings. One of these wings contained the ticket office and parcels office, the other contained a waiting room and toilets; as built, the station had two side platforms in a cutting, accessed by stairs from a footbridge linking to the main station building. In 1940 a pair of pillboxes was built on the roof of the main station building, flanking its octagonal tower. Despite the times, considerable effort was made to blend these into the original structure, they are thus well camouflaged; the last member of staff to work at the station was withdrawn in 1988. Today the old booking office and parcel office is occupied by a small newsagents, the remaining station facilities are disused; the line was singled in 1975 and all trains now use the former up platform. Bishopstone Station is a grade II listed building; because it is unstaffed and unsupervised, the fact that it is boarded up and disused, it is on English Heritage's at-risk register.

As of May 2011 the typical off-peak service is: 2 trains per hour to Brighton 2 trains per hour to SeafordThere are two through trains to London Victoria on weekday mornings, one in the opposite direction in the evening. All trains which pass through Bishopstone, call at the station, except for one early-morning Saturday-only service from Brighton to Seaford. On 3 July 1940 Luftwaffe fighter aircraft machine-gunned and bombed a train near Bishopstone Station; the train driver was killed and several passengers were wounded. Train times and station information for Bishopstone railway station from National Rail

Thrombin time

The thrombin time known as the thrombin clotting time is a blood test that measures the time it takes for a clot to form in the plasma of a blood sample containing anticoagulant, after an excess of thrombin has been added. It is used to diagnose blood coagulation disorders and to assess the effectiveness of fibrinolytic therapy; this test is repeated with pooled plasma from normal patients. The difference in time between the test and the'normal' indicates an abnormality in the conversion of fibrinogen to fibrin, an insoluble protein; the thrombin time compares the rate of clot formation to that of a sample of normal pooled plasma. Thrombin is added to the samples of plasma. If the time it takes for the plasma to clot is prolonged, a quantitative or qualitative defect is present. In blood samples containing heparin, a substance derived from snake venom called batroxobin is used instead of thrombin. Batroxobin has a similar action to thrombin but unlike thrombin it is not inhibited by heparin. Normal values for thrombin time are 12 to 14 seconds.

If batroxobin is used, the time should be between 20 seconds. Thrombin time can be prolonged by heparin, fibrin degradation products, fibrinogen deficiency or abnormality. After separating the plasma from the whole blood by centrifugation, bovine thrombin is added to the sample of plasma. Clot formation is detected optically or mechanically by a coagulation instrument; the time between the addition of the thrombin and the clot formation is recorded as the thrombin clotting time. Whole blood is taken with either oxalate additive; as with other coagulation assays, the tube must not be over- or under-filled in order to ensure the correct anticoagulant-to-blood ratio: one part anticoagulant per nine parts blood. The reference ranges of the thrombin clotting time is <22 seconds, from 14 to 16 seconds. Laboratories calculate their own ranges, based on the method used and the results obtained from healthy individuals from the local population. Separate ranges are used for infants. Blood samples that are more than eight hours old can give inaccurate results.

Coagulation cascade Partial thromboplastin time, or activated partial thromboplastin time Prothrombin time