Alien vs. Predator (film)
Alien vs. Predator is a 2004 science fiction action film written and directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, starring Sanaa Lathan, Raoul Bova, Lance Henriksen and Ewen Bremner, it is the first installment of the Alien vs. Predator franchise, adapting a crossover bringing together the eponymous creatures of the Alien and Predator serieses, a concept which originated in a 1989 comic book written by Randy Stradley and Chris Warner. Anderson, together with Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett, wrote the story, Anderson and Shane Salerno adapted the story into a screenplay, their writing was influenced by Aztec mythology, the comic book series, the writings of Erich von Däniken. Set in 2004, the film follows a group of archaeologists assembled by billionaire and self-taught engineer Charles Bishop Weyland for an expedition to Antarctica to investigate a mysterious heat signal detected by his satellites. Weyland hopes to claim the find for himself and be remembered for it, his group discovers an ancient pyramid below the surface of an old and abandoned whaling station.
Hieroglyphs and sculptures reveal that the pyramid is a hunting ground for young Predators who kill Aliens as a rite of passage. The humans are caught in the middle of a battle between the two species and attempt to prevent the Aliens from reaching the surface. Alien vs. Predator was released on August 2004, in North America. In spite of receiving negative reviews, the film grossed over $172 million at the worldwide box office. A sequel, Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem, was released three years in 2007. In 2004, a satellite detects a mysterious heat bloom beneath Bouvetøya, an island about one thousand miles off the coast of Antarctica. Wealthy industrialist Charles Bishop Weyland discovers through thermal imaging that there is a pyramid buried 2000 feet beneath the ice, he attempts to claim it for his multinational communications company, Weyland Industries, a subsidiary of the Weyland Corporation, assembles a team of experts to investigate. The team includes archaeologists, linguistic experts, mercenaries, a guide named Alexa "Lex" Woods.
As a Predator ship reaches Earth's orbit, it fires an energy beam aimed at the pyramid site. When the team arrives at the abandoned whaling station above the heat source, they find a circular, unnatural tunnel running directly beneath the ice towards the pyramid. Weyland shows the team satellite images showing; the exploration team descend the tunnel and locate the mysterious pyramid and begin to explore it, soon finding evidence of a prehistoric civilization and what appears to be a sacrificial chamber filled with human skeletons. Inexplicably, all the skeletons appear to have ruptured rib cages. Meanwhile, three Predators consisting of Scar and Chopper arrive and kill the remaining team members on the surface, they make their way down to the pyramid and arrive just as the team unwittingly activates the structure and are trapped within it. The Alien Queen begins to produce eggs; when the eggs hatch, several facehuggers attach themselves to humans trapped in the sacrificial chamber. Chestbursters emerge from the humans and grow into adult Xenomorphs.
Conflict erupts between the Predators and humans, resulting in several deaths. Celtic and Chopper are killed by a Xenomorph, Weyland buys Lex and Italian archaeologist Sebastian De Rosa enough time to escape from Scar, giving his life in the process; the two witness Scar kill a facehugger and a Xenomorph with a shuriken before unmasking and marking himself with the blood of the facehugger. After Lex and Sebastian leave, another facehugger attaches itself to Scar due to him not wearing his mask. Through translation of the pyramid's hieroglyphs and Sebastian learn that the Predators have been visiting Earth for thousands of years, it was they who taught early human civilizations how to build pyramids, were worshiped as gods. Every 100 years they visit Earth to take part in a rite of passage by which several humans sacrifice themselves as hosts for the Xenomorphs, creating the "ultimate prey" for the Predators to hunt; as a fail-safe, if overwhelmed, the Predators would activate a self-destruct device to eliminate the Xenomorphs and themselves.
The two deduce that this is why the current Predators are at the pyramid, that the heat bloom was a ruse to attract humans to the site for the sole purpose of making new Xenomorphs to hunt. Lex and Sebastian decide that the Predators must be allowed to succeed in their hunt so that the Xenomorphs do not escape to the surface. Sebastian is captured by a Xenomorph, leaving only Scar to fight the Aliens. Scar uses parts of a dead Alien to the two form an alliance; the Xenomorph Queen, using her own acidic blood, is freed from her restraints and, along with the other Xenomorphs, begins pursuing Lex and Scar. Just as they are about to escape, Scar detaches and uses bomb in his wrist module to destroy the pyramid and the remaining Xenomorphs and eggs. Lex and Scar reach the surface, however the Xenomorph Queen has survived and continues chasing them, they defeat the Queen by hooking her chains to the exploration team's water supply tank and pushing it over a cliff, dragging her to the ocean floor. Scar, had been impaled by the Xenomorph Queen's tail and succumbs to his wounds, dying.
A Predator ship uncloaks and several Predators appear. They retrieve their fallen comrade and an elite Predator presents Lex with one of their spear weapons as a gift; the other Predators recognize her for her skill as a warrior symbolized by the alien blood
Sierra Entertainment, Inc. was an American video game developer and publisher. Founded in 1979 as On-Line Systems, by Ken and Roberta Williams, Sierra was known for their graphic adventure game series such as King's Quest, Space Quest, Police Quest, Gabriel Knight, Quest for Glory. Sierra On-Line was acquired by CUC International in February 1996 and became part of CUC International's newly established CUC Software. In June 2004, after months of significant downsizing and restructuring at the company, Sierra Entertainment was disestablished as a company in August that year. Sierra continued to operate as a division of Vivendi Games through June 2008, when Vivendi Games merged with Activision and formed Activision Blizzard, with Sierra becoming part of Activision Blizzard's Activision subsidiary, though shut down that year; the "Sierra" brand name was revived by Activision in 2014 to re-release former Sierra titles as well as some independently-developed games. Sierra Entertainment was founded in 1979 as On-Line Systems in Simi Valley, California, by Ken and Roberta Williams.
Ken Williams, a programmer for IBM, bought an Apple II microcomputer which he planned to use to develop a Fortran compiler for the Apple II. At the time, his wife Roberta Williams was playing text adventure games on the Apple II. Dissatisfied with the text-only format, she realized that the graphics display capability of the Apple II could enhance the adventure gaming experience. After initial success, On-Line Systems was renamed Sierra On-Line in 1982, the company moved to Oakhurst, California. By early 1984 InfoWorld estimated that Sierra was the world's 12th-largest microcomputer-software company, with $12.5 million in 1983 sales. In 1980, On-Line Systems released their first game in Mystery House. Roberta Williams wrote the script for the adventure game in three weeks presented it to Ken Williams. At this point, Roberta Williams convinced Ken Williams to help her develop the game in the evenings after work, she worked on the text and the graphics, told Ken Williams how to put it all together to make it the game she wanted.
They worked on it for about three months and, on May 5, 1980, Mystery House was ready for shipment. Mystery House was an instant hit, it was the first computer adventure game to have graphics, although they were crude, static line drawings. It sold about 15,000 copies and earned $167,000; the Hi-Res Adventure series continued with Mission Asteroid, released as Hi-Res Adventure #0, despite being the second release. The next release and the Princess known as Adventure in Serenia, is considered a prelude to the King's Quest series in both story and concept. Through 1981 and 1982, more games were released in the series including Cranston Manor and the Golden Fleece, Time Zone, The Dark Crystal. A simplified version of The Dark Crystal, intended for a younger audience, was written by Al Lowe and released as Gelfling Adventure. Many of Sierra's most well known series began in the 1980s. In 1983, Sierra On-Line was contacted by IBM to create a game for its new PCjr. IBM would fund the entire development of the game, pay royalties for it, advertise for the game.
Ken and Roberta Williams started on the project. Roberta Williams created a story featuring classic fairy-tale elements, her game concept included animated color graphics, a pseudo 3D-perspective where the main character was visible on the screen, a more competent text parser that would understand advanced commands from the player, music playing in the background through the PCjr sound hardware. For the game, a complete development system called. In the summer of 1984, King's Quest: Quest for the Crown was released to much acclaim, beginning the King's Quest series. While working to finish The Black Cauldron, programmers Mark Crowe and Scott Murphy began to plan for an adventure game of their own. After a simple demonstration to Ken Williams, he allowed them to start working on the full game, named Space Quest: The Sarien Encounter; the game, released in October 1986, was an instant success and would spawn many sequels in the following years as part of the Space Quest series. Al Lowe, working at Sierra On-Line for many years, was asked by Ken Williams to write a modern version of Chuck Benton's Softporn Adventure from 1981, the only pure text adventure that the company had released.
Leisure Suit Larry in the Land of the Lounge Lizards was a great hit and won the Software Publishers Association's Best Adventure Game award of 1987. A long series of Leisure Suit Larry games would follow in the coming years. Ken Williams befriended a retired highway patrol officer named Jim Walls, asked him to produce an adventure series based on a police theme. Walls proceeded to create Police Quest: In Pursuit of the Death Angel, released in 1987. Several sequels followed, the series was touted for its adherence to police protocol, presenting some real-life situations encountered by Walls during his career as an officer. Quest for Glory is a series of hybrid adventure/role-playing video games designed by Corey and Lori Ann Cole; the first game in the series, Quest for Glory: So You Want to Be a Hero, was released in 1989. The series combined humor, puzzle elements and characters borrowed from various legends and memorable characters, creating a five-part series of the Sierra stable. Altho
The Xbox is a home video game console and the first installment in the Xbox series of consoles manufactured by Microsoft. It was released as Microsoft's first foray into the gaming console market on November 15, 2001, in North America, followed by Australia and Japan in 2002, it is classified as a sixth generation console, competing with Sony's PlayStation 2 and Nintendo's GameCube. It was the first console produced by an American company since the Atari Jaguar ceased production in 1996. Announced in 2000, the Xbox was graphically powerful compared to its rivals, featuring a 733 MHz Intel Pentium III processor, a processor that could be found on a standard PC, it was noted for its PC-like size and weight, was the first console to feature a built-in hard disk. In November 2002, Microsoft launched Xbox Live, a fee-based online gaming service that enabled subscribers to download new content and connect with other players through a broadband connection. Unlike online services from Sega and Sony, Xbox Live had support in the original console design through an integrated Ethernet port.
The service gave Microsoft an early foothold in online gaming and would help the Xbox become a competitor in the sixth-generation of consoles. The popularity of blockbuster titles such as Bungie's Halo 2 contributed to the popularity of online console gaming, in particular first-person shooters. Despite this, being in second position by the sales numbers—ahead of Nintendo's GameCube and Sega's Dreamcast—sales of the Xbox were always well behind Sony's PlayStation 2. Xbox's successor and the next console in the series, the Xbox 360, was launched in November 2005 as part of the seventh generation; the Xbox was discontinued soon after, beginning with Japan, Microsoft's worst-performing market, in 2005. Other countries followed suit in 2006; the last Xbox game in Europe was Xiaolin Showdown, released in June 2007, the last game in North America was Madden NFL 09 from EA Sports, released in August 2008. Support for out-of-warranty Xbox consoles was discontinued on March 2, 2009. Support for Xbox Live on the console ended on April 15, 2010.
In 1998, four engineers from Microsoft's DirectX team, Kevin Bachus, Seamus Blackley, Ted Hase and DirectX team leader Otto Berkes, disassembled some Dell laptop computers to construct a prototype Microsoft Windows-based video game console. The team hoped to create a console using a standardized set of hardware to compete with Sony's upcoming PlayStation 2, luring game developers away from the Windows platform; the team approached Ed Fries, the leader of Microsoft's game publishing business at the time, pitched their "DirectX Box" console based on the DirectX graphics technology developed by Berkes's team. Fries decided to support the team's idea of creating a Windows DirectX based console. During development, the original DirectXbox name was shortened to Xbox. Microsoft's marketing department did not like the Xbox name, suggested many alternatives. During focus testing, the Xbox name was left on the list of possible names to demonstrate how unpopular the Xbox name would be with consumers. However, consumer testing revealed that Xbox was preferred by far over the other suggested names and "Xbox" became the official name of the product.
It was Microsoft's first video game console after collaborating with Sega to port Windows CE to the Dreamcast console. Microsoft delayed the console, first mentioned publicly in late 1999 during interviews with Microsoft's then-CEO Bill Gates. Gates stated: "we want Xbox to be the platform of choice for the best and most creative game developers in the world"; the Xbox was announced at the Game Developers Conference on March 10, 2000. Audiences were impressed by the console's technology. At the time of Gates's announcement, Sega's Dreamcast sales were diminishing and Sony's PlayStation 2 was just going on sale in Japan. Gates was in talks with Sega's late chairman Isao Okawa about the possibility of Xbox compatibility with Dreamcast games, but negotiations fell apart over whether or not the Dreamcast's SegaNet online service should be implemented; the Xbox was unveiled to the public by Gates and guest professional wrestler The Rock at CES 2001 in Las Vegas on January 3, 2001. Microsoft announced Xbox's release prices at E3 2001 in May.
Most Xbox launch titles were unveiled at E3, most notably Halo: Combat Evolved and Dead or Alive 3. Due to the immense popularity of gaming consoles in Japan, Microsoft delayed the release of the Xbox in Europe to focus on the Japanese video game market. Although delayed, the European release proved to be more successful than the launch of the Xbox in Japan; some of Microsoft's plans proved effective. In preparation for its launch, Microsoft acquired Bungie and used Halo: Combat Evolved as its launch title. At the time, GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo 64 had been one of the few hit FPS games to appear on a console, as well as titles such as Perfect Dark and Medal of Honor. Halo: Combat Evolved proved a good application to drive the Xbox's sales. In 2002, Microsoft made the second place slot in consoles sold in North America; the Xbox Live service gave Microsoft an early foothold in online gaming and would help the Xbox become a relevant competitor to other sixth-generation consoles. In 2002, the Independent Television Commission banned a television advertisement for the Xbox in the United Kingdom after complaints that it was "offensive, shocking and in bad taste".
It depicted a mother giving birth to a baby boy, fired like a projectile through a window aging as he flies through the air. The advertisement ends with an old man crash-landing into his own grave and the slogan, "Life is short. Play more." The Xbox's successor, the Xbox 360, was announced on May 12, 2005 on MTV. It was the first n
The leopard is one of the five extant species in the genus Panthera, a member of the Felidae. It occurs in a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa, in small parts of Western Asia, on the Indian subcontinent to Southeast and East Asia, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because leopard populations are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, are declining in large parts of the global range. In Hong Kong, Kuwait, Libya and most in Morocco, leopard populations have been extirpated. Contemporary records suggest. Leopards are hunted illegally, their body parts are smuggled in the wildlife trade for medicinal practices and decoration. Compared to other wild cats, the leopard has short legs and a long body with a large skull, its fur is marked with rosettes. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, but has a smaller, lighter physique, its rosettes are smaller, more densely packed and without central spots. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic are known as black panthers; the leopard is distinguished by its well-camouflaged fur, opportunistic hunting behaviour, broad diet and its ability to adapt to a variety of habitats ranging from rainforest to steppe, including arid and montane areas.
It can run at speeds of up to 58 kilometres per hour. The earliest known leopard fossils excavated in Europe are estimated 600,000 years old, dating to the late Early Pleistocene. Leopard fossils were found in Japan; the common name'leopard' is derived from the Old English word'leuparz' used in the poem The Song of Roland written in the late 8th century. It is thought to be a Greek compound of λέων'leōn' meaning lion and πάρδος'pardos'; the word'panther' is derived from the Latin word'panther' and the ancient Greek πάνθηρ'pánthēr'. The phonetically similar sounding Sanskrit word पाण्डर'pând-ara' means'pale yellow, white'; the specific name pardus is derived from the Greek πάρδαλος'pardalos' meaning'spotted'. The leopard's skin colour varies between individuals from pale yellowish to dark golden with dark spots grouped in rosettes, its belly is whitish and its ringed tail shorter than its body. Its pupils are round. Leopards living in arid regions are pale cream, yellowish to ochraceous and rufous in colour.
Spots fade toward lower parts of the legs. Rosettes are circular in East African leopard populations, tend to be squarish in Southern African and larger in Asian leopard populations; the fur tends to be grayish in colder climates, dark golden in rain forest habitats. The pattern of the rosettes is unique in each individual, its fur is soft and thick, notably softer on the belly than on the back. It tends to grow longer in colder climates; the guard hairs protecting the basal hairs are short, 3–4 mm in face and head, increase in length toward the flanks and the belly to about 25–30 mm. Juveniles have woolly fur, appear dark due to the densely arranged spots, its white-tipped tail is about 60–100 cm long, white underneath and with spots that form incomplete bands toward the tail's end. The leopard's rosettes differ from those of the jaguar, which are darker and with smaller spots inside; the cheetah has small round spots without any rosettes. The leopard is sexually dimorphic, males are heavier than females.
It is muscular, with short limbs and a broad head. Males stand 60 -- 70 cm at the shoulder; the head-and-body length is between 90 and 190 cm. While males weigh 37–90 kg, females weigh 28–60 kg; these measurements vary geographically. Leopards are larger in areas where they are at the top of the food chain, without competitive restriction from larger predators such as the lion and tiger. Alfred Edward Pease accounted to have seen leopards in North Africa nearly as large as Barbary lions. In 1913, an Algerian newspaper reported of a leopard killed that measured about 275 cm. To compare, male lions measure 266–311 cm from head to end of tail; the maximum weight of a leopard is about 96 kg, recorded in Southern Africa. It was matched by an Indian leopard killed in Himachal Pradesh in 2016. Melanistic leopards are called black panthers. Melanism in leopards is inherited as a recessive trait to the spotted form. Interbreeding in melanistic leopards produces a smaller litter size than is produced by normal pairings.
The black panther is common in the equatorial rainforest of the Malay Peninsula and the tropical rainforest on the slopes of some African mountains such as Mount Kenya. Between January 1996 and March 2009, Indochinese leopards were photographed at 16 sites in the Malay Peninsula in a sampling effort of more than 1,000 camera trap nights. Of the 445 photographs of melanistic leopards, 410 were taken in study sites south of the Kra Isthmus, where the non-melanistic morph was never photographed; these data indicate the near fixation of the dark allele in the region. The expected time for the fixation of this recessive allele due to genetic drift alone ranged from about 1,100 years to about 100,000 years. Pseudomelanist leopards have been reported. In India, nine pale and white leopards were reported between 1905 and 1967. Leopards exhibiting erythrism were recorded between 1990 and 2015 in South Africa's Madikwe Game Reserve and in Mpumalanga; the cause of this morph known as'strawberry' leopard or'pink panther', is not well understood.
Felis pardus was the scientific na
Europe is a continent located in the Northern Hemisphere and in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south, it comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Since around 1850, Europe is most considered to be separated from Asia by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas and the waterways of the Turkish Straits. Although the term "continent" implies physical geography, the land border is somewhat arbitrary and has been redefined several times since its first conception in classical antiquity; the division of Eurasia into two continents reflects East-West cultural and ethnic differences which vary on a spectrum rather than with a sharp dividing line. The geographic border does not follow political boundaries, with Turkey and Kazakhstan being transcontinental countries. A strict application of the Caucasus Mountains boundary places two comparatively small countries and Georgia, in both continents.
Europe covers 2 % of the Earth's surface. Politically, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a total population of about 741 million as of 2016; the European climate is affected by warm Atlantic currents that temper winters and summers on much of the continent at latitudes along which the climate in Asia and North America is severe. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast. Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization; the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 AD and the subsequent Migration Period marked the end of ancient history and the beginning of the Middle Ages. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era. Since the Age of Discovery started by Portugal and Spain, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at various times the Americas all of Africa and Oceania and the majority of Asia.
The Age of Enlightenment, the subsequent French Revolution and the Napoleonic Wars shaped the continent culturally and economically from the end of the 17th century until the first half of the 19th century. The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to radical economic and social change in Western Europe and the wider world. Both world wars took place for the most part in Europe, contributing to a decline in Western European dominance in world affairs by the mid-20th century as the Soviet Union and the United States took prominence. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the West and the Warsaw Pact in the East, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1949 the Council of Europe was founded, following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill, with the idea of unifying Europe to achieve common goals, it includes all European states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, a separate political entity that lies between a confederation and a federation.
The EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The currency of most countries of the European Union, the euro, is the most used among Europeans. In classical Greek mythology, Europa was a Phoenician princess; the word Europe is derived from her name. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, "wide, broad" and ὤψ "eye, countenance", hence their composite Eurṓpē would mean "wide-gazing" or "broad of aspect". Broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it. There have been attempts to connect Eurṓpē to a Semitic term for "west", this being either Akkadian erebu meaning "to go down, set" or Phoenician'ereb "evening, west", at the origin of Arabic Maghreb and Hebrew ma'arav. Michael A. Barry, professor in Princeton University's Near Eastern Studies Department, finds the mention of the word Ereb on an Assyrian stele with the meaning of "night, sunset", in opposition to Asu " sunrise", i.e. Asia.
The same naming motive according to "cartographic convention" appears in Greek Ἀνατολή. Martin Litchfield West stated that "phonologically, the match between Europa's name and any form of the Semitic word is poor." Next to these hypotheses there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning "darkness", which produced Greek Erebus. Most major world languages use words derived from Europa to refer to the continent. Chinese, for example, uses the word Ōuzhōu. In some Turkic languages the Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa; the prevalent definition of Europe as a geographical term has been in use since the mid-19th century. Europe is taken to be bounded by large bodies of water
North America is a continent within the Northern Hemisphere and all within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea. North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers, about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, the fourth by population after Asia and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands are included. North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge 40,000 to 17,000 years ago; the so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago. The Classic stage spans the 6th to 13th centuries.
The Pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, the transatlantic migrations—the arrival of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the Early Modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves and their descendants. Owing to the European colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak English, Spanish or French, their culture reflects Western traditions; the Americas are accepted as having been named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci by the German cartographers Martin Waldseemüller and Matthias Ringmann. Vespucci, who explored South America between 1497 and 1502, was the first European to suggest that the Americas were not the East Indies, but a different landmass unknown by Europeans. In 1507, Waldseemüller produced a world map, in which he placed the word "America" on the continent of South America, in the middle of what is today Brazil, he explained the rationale for the name in the accompanying book Cosmographiae Introductio:... ab Americo inventore... quasi Americi terram sive Americam.
For Waldseemüller, no one should object to the naming of the land after its discoverer. He used the Latinized version of Vespucci's name, but in its feminine form "America", following the examples of "Europa", "Asia" and "Africa". Other mapmakers extended the name America to the northern continent, In 1538, Gerard Mercator used America on his map of the world for all the Western Hemisphere; some argue that because the convention is to use the surname for naming discoveries, the derivation from "Amerigo Vespucci" could be put in question. In 1874, Thomas Belt proposed a derivation from the Amerrique mountains of Central America. Marcou corresponded with Augustus Le Plongeon, who wrote: "The name AMERICA or AMERRIQUE in the Mayan language means, a country of perpetually strong wind, or the Land of the Wind, and... the can mean... a spirit that breathes, life itself." The United Nations formally recognizes "North America" as comprising three areas: Northern America, Central America, The Caribbean.
This has been formally defined by the UN Statistics Division. The term North America maintains various definitions in accordance with context. In Canadian English, North America refers to the land mass as a whole consisting of Mexico, the United States, Canada, although it is ambiguous which other countries are included, is defined by context. In the United States of America, usage of the term may refer only to Canada and the US, sometimes includes Greenland and Mexico, as well as offshore islands. In France, Portugal, Romania and the countries of Latin America, the cognates of North America designate a subcontinent of the Americas comprising Canada, the United States, Mexico, Greenland, Saint Pierre et Miquelon, Bermuda. North America has been referred to by other names. Spanish North America was referred to as Northern America, this was the first official name given to Mexico. Geographically the North American continent has many subregions; these include cultural and geographic regions. Economic regions included those formed by trade blocs, such as the North American Trade Agreement bloc and Central American Trade Agreement.
Linguistically and culturally, the continent could be divided into Latin America. Anglo-America includes most of Northern America and Caribbean islands with English-speaking populations; the southern North American continent is composed of two regions. These are the Caribbean; the north of the continent maintains recognized regions as well. In contrast to the common definition of "North America", which encompasses the whole continent, the term "North America" is sometimes used to refer only to Mexico, the United States, Greenland; the term Northern America refers to the northern-most countries and territories of North America: the United States, Bermuda, St. Pierre and Miquelon and Greenland. Although the term does not refer to a unifie
Samurai were the military nobility and officer caste of medieval and early-modern Japan. In Japanese, they are referred to as bushi or buke. According to translator William Scott Wilson: "In Chinese, the character 侍 was a verb meaning'to wait upon','accompany persons' in the upper ranks of society, this is true of the original term in Japanese, saburau. In both countries the terms were nominalized to mean'those who serve in close attendance to the nobility', the Japanese term saburai being the nominal form of the verb." According to Wilson, an early reference to the word samurai appears in the Kokin Wakashū, the first imperial anthology of poems, completed in the first part of the 10th century. By the end of the 12th century, samurai became entirely synonymous with bushi, the word was associated with the middle and upper echelons of the warrior class; the samurai were associated with a clan and their lord, were trained as officers in military tactics and grand strategy. While the samurai numbered less than 10% of Japan's population, their teachings can still be found today in both everyday life and in modern Japanese martial arts.
Following the Battle of Hakusukinoe against Tang China and Silla in 663 AD which led to a retreat from Korean affairs, Japan underwent widespread reform. One of the most important was that of the Taika Reform, issued by Prince Naka-no-Ōe in 646 AD; this edict allowed the Japanese aristocracy to adopt the Tang dynasty political structure, culture and philosophy. As part of the Taihō Code of 702 AD, the Yōrō Code, the population was required to report for the census, a precursor for national conscription. With an understanding of how the population was distributed, Emperor Monmu introduced a law whereby 1 in 3–4 adult males were drafted into the national military; these soldiers were required to supply their own weapons, in return were exempted from duties and taxes. This was one of the first attempts by the Imperial government to form an organized army modeled after the Chinese system, it was called "Gundan-Sei" by historians and is believed to have been short-lived. The Taihō Code classified most of the Imperial bureaucrats into 12 ranks, each divided into two sub-ranks, 1st rank being the highest adviser to the Emperor.
Those of 6th rank and below were dealt with day-to-day affairs. Although these "samurai" were civilian public servants, the modern word is believed to have derived from this term. Military men, would not be referred to as "samurai" for many more centuries. In the early Heian period, during the late 8th and early 9th centuries, Emperor Kanmu sought to consolidate and expand his rule in northern Honshū, sent military campaigns against the Emishi, who resisted the governance of the Kyoto-based imperial court. Emperor Kanmu introduced the title of sei'i-taishōgun, or shōgun, began to rely on the powerful regional clans to conquer the Emishi. Skilled in mounted combat and archery, these clan warriors became the Emperor's preferred tool for putting down rebellions. Though this is the first known use of the title shōgun, it was a temporary title and was not imbued with political power until the 13th century. At this time, the Imperial Court officials considered them to be a military section under the control of the Imperial Court.
Emperor Kanmu disbanded his army. From this time, the emperor's power declined. While the emperor was still the ruler, powerful clans around Kyoto assumed positions as ministers, their relatives bought positions as magistrates. To amass wealth and repay their debts, magistrates imposed heavy taxes, resulting in many farmers becoming landless. Through protective agreements and political marriages, the aristocrats accumulated political power surpassing the traditional aristocracy; some clans were formed by farmers who had taken up arms to protect themselves from the Imperial magistrates sent to govern their lands and collect taxes. These clans formed alliances to protect themselves against more powerful clans, by the mid-Heian period, they had adopted characteristic Japanese armor and weapons; the Emperor and non-warrior nobility employed these warrior nobles. In time they amassed enough manpower and political backing, in the form of alliances with one another, to establish the first samurai-dominated government.
As the power of these regional clans grew, their chief was a distant relative of the Emperor and a lesser member of either the Fujiwara, Minamoto, or Taira clans. Though sent to provincial areas for fixed four-year terms as magistrates, the toryo declined to return to the capital when their terms ended, their sons inherited their positions and continued to lead the clans in putting down rebellions throughout Japan during the middle- and later-Heian period; because of their rising military and economic power, the warriors became a new force in the politics of the Imperial court. Their involvement in the Hōgen Rebellion in the late Heian period consolidated their power, which pitted the rivalry of Minamoto and Taira clans against each other in the Heiji Rebellion of 1160; the victor, Taira no Kiyomori, became an imperial advisor and was the first warrior to attain such a position. He seized control of the central government, establishing the first samurai-dominated government and relegating the Emperor to figurehead status.
However, the Taira clan was still conservative when compared to its eventual successor, the Minamoto, instead of expanding or stre