Pope Benedict XIV

Pope Benedict XIV, born Prospero Lorenzo Lambertini, was head of the Catholic Church from 17 August 1740 to his death in 1758. One of the best scholars to sit on the papal throne, yet overlooked, he promoted scientific learning, the baroque arts, reinvigoration of Thomism, the study of the human form. Committed to carrying out the decrees of the Council of Trent and authentic Catholic teaching, Benedict removed changes made to the Breviary, sought peacefully to reverse growing secularism in European courts, invigorated ceremonies with great pomp, throughout his life and his reign published numerous theological and ecclesiastical treatises. In governing the Papal States, he reduced taxation on some products, but raised taxes on others. A scholar, he created the Profane Museums, now part of the present Vatican Museum. Benedict XIV, to an extent can be considered a polymath due to his numerous studies of ancient literature, the publishing of ecclesiastical books and documents, his interest in the study of the human body, his devotion to art and theology.

Horace Walpole described him as "loved by papists, esteemed by Protestants, a priest without insolence or interest, a prince without favorites, a pope without nepotism, an author without vanity, a man whom neither intellect nor power could corrupt." Lambertini was born into a noble family of Bologna, the third of five children of Marcello Lambertini and Lucrezia Bulgarini. At the time of his birth, Bologna was the second largest city in the Papal States, his earliest studies were with tutors, he was sent to the Convitto del Porto, staffed by the Somaschi Fathers. At the age of thirteen, he began attending the Collegio Clementino in Rome, where he studied rhetoric, Latin and theology. During his studies as a young man, he studied the works of St. Thomas Aquinas, his favorite author and saint. While he enjoyed studying at Collegio Clementino, his attention turned toward canon law. Soon after, in 1694 at the age of nineteen, he received the degree of Doctor of Sacred Theology and Doctor Utriusque Juris.

Lambertini became an assistant to Msgr. Alessandro Caprara, the Auditor of the Rota. After the election of Pope Clement XI in November 1700, he was made a consistorial advocate in 1701. Shortly after, he was created a Consultor of the Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition, in 1708 Promoter of the Faith; as Promoter of the Faith, he achieved two major successes. The first was the canonization of Pope Pius V; the second was the composition of his treatise on the process of the beatification and canonization of saints. In 1712 Lambertini was named Canon Theologus of the Chapter of the Vatican Basilica and member of the Sacred Congregation of Rites. On 12 June 1724, only two weeks after his election, Pope Benedict XIII appointed Lambertini titular bishop of Theodosia. Lambertini was consecrated a bishop in Rome, in the Pauline Chapel of the Vatican Palace, on 16 July 1724, by Pope Benedict XIII; the co-consecrators were Giovanni Francesco Nicolai, titular Archbishop of Myra, Nicola Maria Lercari, titular Archbishop of Nazianzus.

In 1725, he served as the Canonist at the Roman Synod of Pope Benedict XIII. In 1718, the Istituto delle scienze ed Arti Liberali in Bologna had begun construction of a chapel for everyday convenience dedicated to the Annunication of the Virgin Mary. In 1725, Bishop Prospero Lambertini of Theodosia, working in the Roman Curia but was mindful of his origins, ordered the chapel to be painted, he handed over the work to Carlo Salarolo. Lambertini ordered and paid for the painting above the main altar, an image of the Virgin being greeted by the angel, the work of Marcantonio Franceschini, he was made Bishop of Ancona on 27 January 1727, was permitted to retain the title of Archbishop, as well as all the offices which he had been granted. He was allowed to continue as Abbot Commendatory of the Camaldolese monastery of S. Stefano di Cintorio in the diocese of Pisa. In 1731, the new bishop had the choir of the cathedral restored and renovated. Once he became pope, Lambertini remembered his former diocese, sending an annual gift to the Church of Ancona, of sacred vessels of gold or silver, altar appointments and other items.

Bishop Lambertini was created a Cardinal on 9 December 1726, though the public announcement of his promotion was postponed until 30 April 1728. He was assigned the titular church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme on 10 May 1728, he participated in the 1730 conclave. On 30 April 1731 Cardinal Lambertini was appointed Archbishop of Bologna by Pope Clement XII. During his time as archbishop, he composed an extensive treatise in three volumes, De synodo dioecesana, on the subject of the diocesan synod, presenting a synthesis of the history, Canon Law and procedures for the holding of those important meetings of the clergy of each diocese, he was in fact preparing the ground for the holding of a synod of his own for the diocese of Bologna, an expectation he first announced in a Notificazione of 14 October 1732. When the first edition of the De Synodo was published in 1748, the synod still had not taken place, he continued in the office of Archbishop of Bologna after he became Pope, not resigning until 14 January 1754.

After the death of Pope Clement XII on 6 February 1740, Cardinal Lambe

Tad Williams

Robert Paul "Tad" Williams is an American fantasy and science fiction writer. He is the author of the multivolume Memory and Thorn series, Otherland series, Shadowmarch series as well as the standalone novels Tailchaser's Song and The War of the Flowers. Most Williams published The Bobby Dollar series. Cumulatively, over 17 million copies of Williams's works have been sold. Williams's work in comics includes, he wrote Aquaman: Sword of Atlantis issue #50 to #57. Other comic work includes Mirrorworld: Rain and The Helmet of Fate: Ibis the Invincible #1. Williams is collaborating on a series of young-adult books with his wife, Deborah Beale, called The Ordinary Farm Adventures; the first two books in the series are The Secrets of Ordinary Farm. Robert Paul “Tad” Williams was born in San Jose, California on March 14, 1957, he grew up in the town that grew up around Stanford University. He attended Palo Alto Senior High School, his family was close, he and his brothers were always encouraged in their creativity.

His mother gave him the nickname “Tad” after the young characters in Walt Kelly’s comic strip Pogo. The semi-autobiographical character Pogo Cashman, who appears in some of his stories, is a reference to the nickname. Before becoming a full time fiction author Williams held many jobs including delivering newspapers, food service, shoe sales, branch manager of a financial institution, drawing military manuals. In his mid twenties, he turned to writing and submitted the manuscript of his novel Tailchaser's Song to DAW Books. To get his publishers to look at his first manuscript he spun a story about needing a replacement copy because his had been destroyed, it worked. DAW Books published it, beginning a long association that continues to this day. Williams continued working various jobs for a few more years, including three years from 1987 to 1990 as a technical writer at Apple Computer’s Knowledge Engineering Department, taking problem-solving field material from engineers and turning it into research articles, before making fiction writing his full-time career.

"The band was called'Idiot' and I still regret that we fell apart just when we were all out of school and might have done something. There was a lot of creativity there, a lot of talent—several of the members are still professionally making music—but most of all, there was no one else like us. We were our own weird animal… We wrote songs about bowling and voles and luxury camper vans and the end of the world. We were a little ahead of our time, it was fun." Idiot's band members—Andrew Lawrence Jackson and rhythm guitar. Williams worked for a college radio station; as an occasional DJ and station music director, he played whatever music the community working at KFJC thought cool and interesting from the late 1970s to 80s. KFJC—Foothill College radio station—was a home to punk/new wave music, one of the first of its kind in California. From 1979 to 1990, Williams hosted a talk show called "One Step Beyond." His interests on the show were politics with an emphasis on the clandestine. "Valley Vision" was a show about a local TV station.

A pilot was shot featuring several people who would go on to become Bay Area acting alumni, including Greg Proops, Mike McShane, Joan Mankin, Marga Gomez and several members of the San Francisco Mime Troupe. For ten years Williams worked in community and professional theatre in the college town of Palo Alto, he began at the Palo Alto Children's Theatre progressed to TheatreWorks, Palo Alto's long-established professional theatre company. Williams acted and sang in many productions, as well as writing and working with make-up and wardrobe. While at Apple, Williams developed an interest in interactive multi-media, he and his colleague Andrew Harris created a company, Telemorphix, in order to produce it; the result was "M. Jack Steckel's 21st Century Vaudeville", broadcast on San Francisco Bay Area local TV in 1992 and 1993. People at the station and viewers were asked to provide images of themselves, which were animated at the mouth: viewers phoned in to the show and could be these characters.

The action was a mix of improvisational performance and storylines which Williams created M. Jack Steckel himself—the host—was played by Andrew Harris. Williams and his wife and partner Deborah Beale live in Northern California with their two children and "far more cats, turtles, pet ants and banana slugs than they can count." Writing long stories was an early hallmark for Williams. "I remember one'folktale' assignment when I was thirteen, supposed to be three pages, I wound up writing a seventeen-page sword-and-sorcery epic with illustrations, etc." His first attempt at professional writing was "a rather awful science-fiction screenplay called The Sad Machines that I’ve never shown to anyone outside my family, I think. The only interesting thing about it now is that its main character, Ishmael Parks, was a definite precursor to Simon in the Osten Ard books."Williams traces his interest in the science fiction and fantasy genre back to the books his mother read to him when he was a child, that he read to himself: E. Nesbit, The Wind in the Willows, of course Tolkien.

A long list of authors have influenced and inspired Williams's work: Ray Bradbury, Theodore Sturgeon, Fritz Leiber, Michael Moorcock, Roger Zelazny

Somali ostrich

The Somali ostrich known as the blue-necked ostrich, is a large flightless bird native to the Horn of Africa. It was considered a subspecies of the common ostrich, but was identified as a distinct species in 2014. Molecular evidence indicates that the East African Rift has served as a geographic barrier to isolate the taxon from the nominate subspecies, the North African ostrich S. c. camelus, while ecological and behavioural differences have kept it genetically distinct from the neighbouring Masai ostrich S. c. massaicus. An examination of the mitochondrial DNA of Struthio taxa, including the extinct Arabian ostrich S. c. syriacus, has found that the Somali ostrich is phylogenetically the most distinct, appearing to have diverged from their common ancestor some 3.6 to 4.1 million years ago. Though similar to other ostriches, the skin of the neck and thighs of the Somali ostrich is blue, becoming bright blue on the male during the mating season; the neck lacks a typical broad white ring, the tail feathers are white.

The females are larger than the males and browner in plumage than other female ostriches. The Somali ostrich is similar in size to other ostriches so far as is known averaging marginally smaller in body mass than some subspecies of common ostrich. Somali ostriches in captivity weigh about 105 kg but this may not be an accurate weight for wild birds as captive animals have feeding accesses not available to wild ostriches, it is thus one of the two largest extant bird species. The Somali ostrich is found in Horn of Africa in north-eastern Ethiopia and across all of Somalia; the Somali ostrich is differentiated ecologically from the common ostrich, with which there is some range overlap, by preferring bushier, more thickly vegetated areas, where it feeds by browsing, whereas the latter is a grazer on open savanna. There are reports of interbreeding difficulties between the two taxa. A report to the IUCN in 2006 suggests that the Somali ostrich was common in the central and southern regions of Somalia in the 1970s and 1980s.

However, following the political disintegration of that country and the lack of any effective wildlife conservation, its range and numbers there have since been shrinking as a result of uncontrolled hunting for meat, medicinal products and eggs, with the bird facing eradication in the Horn of Africa. In Kenya it is farmed for meat and eggs