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Pierre Louis Maupertuis

Pierre Louis Moreau de Maupertuis was a French mathematician and man of letters. He became the Director of the Académie des Sciences, the first President of the Prussian Academy of Science, at the invitation of Frederick the Great. Maupertuis made an expedition to Lapland to determine the shape of the Earth, he is credited with having invented the principle of least action. His work in natural history is interesting in relation to modern science, since he touched on aspects of heredity and the struggle for life. Maupertuis was born at France, to a moderately wealthy family of merchant-corsairs, his father, Renė, had been involved in a number of enterprises that were central to the monarchy so that he thrived and politically. The son was educated in mathematics by a private tutor, Nicolas Guisnée, upon completing his formal education his father secured him a honorific cavalry commission. After three years in the cavalry, during which time he became acquainted with fashionable social and mathematical circles, he moved to Paris and began building his reputation as a mathematician and literary wit.

In 1723 he was admitted to the Académie des Sciences. His early mathematical work revolved around the vis viva controversy, for which Maupertuis developed and extended the work of Isaac Newton and argued against the waning Cartesian mechanics. In the 1730s, the shape of the Earth became a flashpoint in the battle among rival systems of mechanics. Maupertuis, based on his exposition of Newton predicted that the Earth should be oblate, while his rival Jacques Cassini measured it astronomically to be prolate. In 1736 Maupertuis acted as chief of the French Geodesic Mission sent by King Louis XV to Lapland to measure the length of a degree of arc of the meridian, his results, which he published in a book detailing his procedures settled the controversy in his favour. The book included an adventure narrative of the expedition, an account of the Käymäjärvi Inscriptions in Sweden. On his return home he became a member of all the scientific societies of Europe. After the Lapland expedition, Maupertuis set about generalising his earlier mathematical work, proposing the principle of least action as a metaphysical principle that underlies all the laws of mechanics.

He expanded into the biological realm, anonymously publishing a book, part popular science, part philosophy, part erotica: Vénus physique. In that work, Maupertuis proposed a theory of generation in which organic matter possessed a self-organizing “intelligence”, analogous to the contemporary chemical concept of affinities, read and commented upon favourably by Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon, he developed his views on living things further in a more formal pseudonymous work that explored heredity, collecting evidence that confirmed the contributions of both sexes and treated variations as statistical phenomena. In 1740 Maupertuis went to Berlin at the invitation of Frederick II of Prussia, took part in the Battle of Mollwitz, where he was taken prisoner by the Austrians. On his release he returned to Berlin, thence to Paris, where he was elected director of the Academy of Sciences in 1742, in the following year was admitted into the Académie française. Returning to Berlin in 1744, again at the desire of Frederick II, he was chosen president of the Royal Prussian Academy of Sciences in 1746, which he controlled with the help of Leonhard Euler until his death.

His position became awkward with the outbreak of the Seven Years' War between his home country and his patron's, his reputation suffered in both Paris and Berlin. Finding his health declining, he retired in 1757 to the south of France, but went in 1758 to Basel, where he died a year later. Maupertuis's difficult disposition involved him in constant quarrels, of which his controversies with Samuel König and Voltaire during the latter part of his life are examples. "The brilliance of much of what he did was undermined by his tendency to leave work unfinished, his failure to realise his own potential. It was the insight of genius that led him to least-action principle, but a lack of intellectual energy or rigour that prevented his giving it the mathematical foundation that Lagrange would provide... He reveals remarkable powers of perception in heredity, in understanding the mechanism by which species developed in immunology, but no elaborated theory, his philosophical work is his most enthralling: bold, well argued."

Some historians of science point to his work in biology as a significant precursor to the development of evolutionary theory the theory of natural selection. Other writers contend that his remarks are cursory, vague, or incidental to that particular argument. Mayr's verdict was "He was neither an evolutionist, nor one of the founders of the theory of natural selection he was one of the pioneers of genetics". Maupertuis espoused a theory of pangenesis, postulating particles from both mother and father as responsible for the characters of the child. Bowler credits him with studies on heredity, with the natural origin of human races, with the idea that forms of life may have changed with time. Maupertuis was a strong critic of the natural theologians, pointing to phenomena incompatible with a concept of a good and wise Creator, he was one of the first to consider animals in terms of variable populations, in opposition to the natural history tradition that emphasised description of indivi

Shadow trevally

The shadow trevally known as the shadow kingfish, twothread trevally or Aldabra trevally, is a species of inshore marine fish in the jack family Carangidae. The species is patchily distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian and west Pacific Oceans, from South Africa in the west to Japan and Samoa in the east, reaching as far south as Indonesia and New Caledonia, it is most distinguished from similar species by as series of dark rectangular blotches under the second dorsal fin, giving a'shadowed' appearance, from which its common name is derived. The shadow trevally is a reasonably large fish, growing to 85 cm in length and at least 2.6 kg in weight. It inhabits shallow coastal waters, including reefs and estuaries, where it takes small fish and benthic crustaceans as prey. Nothing is known of the species' ecology and reproductive biology, it is of little importance to fisheries, is taken by bottom trawls and other artisanal fishing gear. The shadow trevally is classified within the genus Carangoides, one of a number of groups of fish referred to as jacks and trevallies.

Carangoides is further classified in the family Carangidae, the Carangidae are part of the order Carangiformes. The species was first scientifically described and named by the Dutch ichthyologist Pieter Bleeker in 1851 based on a specimen collected from the waters off Jakarta, located on Java in Indonesia, designated to be the holotype, he named this new species Carangoides dinema, with the specific name derived from the Latin dis, meaning two and the Greek nema, meaning thread, referring to the fin anatomy of the species. This classification in Carangoides is still considered to be correct, although other authors have at times transferred the species to Caranx and Carangichthys; the species was independently renamed once by David Starr Jordan and Alvin Seale in 1908, who applied the name Caranx deani to the species. This naming is considered invalid under the ICZN nomenclature rules and is rendered a junior synonym; the species is quite unique in the comparatively simple taxonomic history it has, with other related species renamed and transferred between genera many times.

The species is most termed the'shadow trevally' or'shadow kingfish' in reference to a series of small dark blotches positioned on the upper side, underneath the second dorsal fin, giving the appearance of shadow from the fin itself. Other names used for the species include'two-thread trevally' and'Aldabra trevally'; the shadow trevally is similar in form to a number of other jacks in the family Carangidae, having an ovate compressed body. It is large fish, growing to a maximum known length of 85 cm and a recorded weight of 2.6 kg. The dorsal profile is convex, while the ventral profile is less so tending to be concave between the snout and the anal fin, while the nape is elevated and straight in profile. There are two separate dorsal fins, the first consisting of 8 spines and second of a single spine and 17 to 19 soft rays; the lobe of the second dorsal fin is elongated. The anal fin is composed of two anteriorly detached spines followed by a single spine and 15 to 17 soft rays; the lateral line has a moderate arch anteriorly, with the junction of the curved and straight sections below the tenth or twelfth soft rays of the second dorsal fin.

The curved section of the lateral line is longer than the straight section, contains 60 to 63 scales, while the straight part contains no to six scales followed by 23 to 30 scutes. The breast is devoid of scales ventrally to behind the pelvic fin origin and up to the pectoral fin base, although in rare cases this is interrupted by a lateral band of scales. Both jaws contain bands of small teeth, with the bands becoming wider anteriorly, the upper jaw has an irregular outer series of moderately large teeth, with large specimens showing this in the lower jaw, it has a total of 24 vertebrae. In life, the shadow trevally is a bluish-green colour above, fading to a silvery white on the underside, it takes its common name from a series of small black-brown rectangular blotches which become larger posteriorly on its back between the bases of the second dorsal fin rays. A dark-brown, diffuse blotch is present on the operculum; the spinous dorsal fin is pale to dusky, while the second dorsal fin lobe is dusky with the ray tips yellowish.

The anal fin distal margin is whitish-blue, the caudal fin has a yellowish upper lobe and pale trailing edges and lower lobe tip. The pectoral fins are hyaline and the pelvic fins are whitish to dusky; the shadow trevally is distributed patchily throughout the tropical to subtropical waters of the Indian and west Pacific Oceans. The species' westernmost limit is a section of the east African coast from South Africa to Tanzania. No records exist for the species further north until Sri Lanka. In the Pacific, the species is known from China, Southeast Asia, the Indonesian and Philippines island chains, its easternmost limit extends to Taiwan and Japan in the north and a number of small island groups including Tonga and Samoa in the south. The shadow trevally inhabits coastal waters at depths less than 15 m, it is known to Kruise in small schools along the shallow edge of steep reef drop-offs, has been recorded from bays and estuaries. The species has been recorded around shipwrecks, one study showed it was one of the first fish to move in after a ship was scuttled.

The biology and ecology of the shadow trevally is poorly known. It is known to live either in small schools or individually, is a predatory fish, taking small fish and benthic crustaceans. Nothing is known of its mo

Florida Gators women's tennis

The Florida Gators women's tennis team represents the University of Florida in the sport of tennis. The Gators compete in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletics Association and the Southeastern Conference, they play their home matches in Linder Stadium on the university's Gainesville, Florida campus, are led by head coach Roland Thornqvist. In the thirty-nine-year history of the Gators women's tennis program, the team has won twenty-five SEC championships and seven NCAA national tournament championships; the origins of the Florida Gators women's tennis team date to 1960, when Florida undergraduate Alice Tym organized and led a successful intercollegiate women's tennis club team. As Title IX expanded opportunities for women in college sports, the University of Florida sponsored its first intercollegiate varsity women's tennis team in 1972–1973. In the early years of the program, the Lady Gators were a perennial top-ten team in the national championship tournaments sponsored by the Association for Intercollegiate Athletics for Women, including a second-place finish in the 1980 AIAW tournament.

Since the NCAA began sponsoring national championships in women's sports in 1981–1982, the Lady Gators have won five NCAA team championships, four NCAA singles championships, four NCAA doubles championships. In addition to their five NCAA team championships, the Lady Gators have finished second in the NCAA national championships tournament seven times, including 1988, 1990, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2002 and 2010; as a team, the Gators have failed to qualify for the AIAW and NCAA national championship tournaments only three times. The Gators have dominated the Southeastern Conference, winning twenty-five conference championships and seventeen SEC tournament titles since the SEC sanctioned women's tennis as a conference sport in 1980. Led by their fourth-year coach, Andy Brandi, the Florida Gators women's tennis team made its first appearance in the NCAA championship tournament finals in Los Angeles, California in 1988; the Lady Gators entered the tournament the top-seeded team, but were decisively upset by the Stanford Cardinal women's tennis team, five matches to two, in the final of the team championship.

The Gators' No. 1 singles player, Shaun Stafford, was upset in the team championships, but recovered to win the individual NCAA singles championship by defeating her teammate Halle Cioffi in the championship final. The Lady Gators hosted the NCAA national championship tournament on their home courts at Linder Stadium in Gainesville for the first time in 1990. Led by their top singles players, freshman Andrea Farley and junior Nicole Arendt, the second-seeded Gators battled to the championship finals before falling to the top-seeded Stanford Cardinal women, five matches to one; the Gators won their first NCAA national team championship in Palo Alto, California in 1992. Led by star freshman Lisa Raymond, the Gators beat the Texas Longhorns women's tennis team five matches to three. Raymond won the individual 1992 NCAA championship in singles. In 1995, for the fourth time in eight seasons, the Lady Gators reached the championship finals of the NCAA tournament, held in Malibu, California. After blazing through the first three rounds of the tournament without losing a single match, the Texas Longhorns edged the Gators in the finals, five matches to four, in one of the most evenly matched championship finals held.

In 1996, Brandi's top-ranked and undefeated Gators earned their second NCAA team championship in Tallahassee, Florida. Lady Gators Jill Craybas, Dawn Buth, Lisa Pugliese and Stephanie Nickitas won their singles matches, Craybas and Lori Ann Freedman won the doubles match, as the team decisively defeated the Stanford Cardinal women five matches to two; the Lady Gators' previous record against the Cardinal in NCAA tournament play was 0–3. Craybas claimed the individual 1996 NCAA singles championship, Buth and Nickitas won the 1996 NCAA doubles title—only the second time in NCAA history that a women's team won the national team and doubles titles in the same season; the Gators finished the season 31–0 in team matches, defeated twenty college teams ranked among the top twenty-five in the country. The top-seeded Gators reached the championship finals of the NCAA tournament for the third straight year in 1997, before falling to the Stanford Cardinal, five matches to one, in Palo Alto. Brandi's undefeated Lady Gators claimed their third NCAA team championship in 1998 by crushing the Duke Blue Devils women's tennis team, five matches to one, in South Bend, Indiana.

Led by seniors Bonnie Bleecker and Stephanie Nickitas, the second-seeded Gators won the doubles match and four of the five singles matches in the tournament final. At the 1999 NCAA tournament held in Gaiensville, the top-seeded Gators women's tennis team returned to the championship finals for the fifth consecutive season, but lost to its national rival, the Stanford Cardinal, five matches to two, for the fourth time since 1988. During Brandi's seventeen-year tenure, three individual Gators won four NCAA singles championships: Shaun Stafford in 1988. In NCAA doubles championship play, three Gators doubles teams have won four NCAA doubles championships: Jillian Alexander and Nicole Arendt in 1991. In his first season the Lady Gators' new head coach, Roland Thornqvist returned the Gators to the finals of the 2002 NCAA championship tournament in Palo Alto, California; the top-seeded Gators faced the Stanford Cardinal women's tennis team for the second consecutive year in the NCAA tournament, suffered the same fate: a 4–1 loss to the Cardinal.

The Gators won their fou