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Rugby World Cup

The Rugby World Cup is a men's rugby union tournament contested every four years between the top international teams. The tournament was first held in 1987, when the tournament was co-hosted by New Zealand and Australia; the winners are awarded the Webb Ellis Cup, named after William Webb Ellis, the Rugby School pupil who, according to a popular legend, invented rugby by picking up the ball during a football game. Four countries have won the trophy. South Africa are the current champions, having defeated England in the final of the 2019 tournament in Japan; the tournament is administered by the sport's international governing body. Sixteen teams were invited to participate in the inaugural tournament in 1987, however since 1999 twenty teams have taken part. Japan hosted the 2019 Rugby World Cup and France will host the next in 2023. On 21 August 2019, World Rugby announced that gender designations would be removed from the titles of the men's and women's World Cups. Accordingly, all future World Cups for men and women will bear the "Rugby World Cup" name.

The first tournament to be affected by the new policy will be the next women's tournament to be held in New Zealand in 2021, which will be titled as "Rugby World Cup 2021". Qualifying tournaments were introduced for the second tournament, where eight of the sixteen places were contested in a twenty-four-nation tournament; the inaugural World Cup in 1987, did not involve any qualifying process. In 2003 and 2007, the qualifying format allowed for eight of the twenty available positions to be filled by automatic qualification, as the eight quarter-finalists of the previous tournament enter its successor; the remaining twelve positions were filled by continental qualifying tournaments. Positions were filled by three teams from the Americas, one from Asia, one from Africa, three from Europe and two from Oceania. Another two places were allocated for repechage; the first repechage place was determined by a match between the runners-up from the Africa and Europe qualifying tournaments, with that winner playing the Americas runner-up to determine the place.

The second repechage position was determined between the runners-up from the Asia and Oceania qualifiers. The current format allows for 12 of the 20 available positions to be filled by automatic qualification, as the teams who finish third or better in the group stages of the previous tournament enter its successor; the qualification system for the remaining eight places is region-based, with a total eight teams allocated for Europe, five for Oceania, three for the Americas, two for Africa, one for Asia. The last place is determined by an intercontinental play-off; the 2015 tournament involved twenty nations competing over six weeks. There were a pool and a knockout. Nations were divided into A through to D, of five nations each; the teams were seeded before the start of the tournament, with the seedings taken from the World Rankings in December 2012. The four highest-ranked teams were drawn into pools A to D; the next four highest-ranked teams were drawn into pools A to D, followed by the next four.

The remaining positions in each pool were filled by the qualifiers. Nations play four pool games. A bonus points system is used during pool play. If two or more teams are level on points, a system of criteria is used to determine the higher ranked; the winner and runner-up of each pool enter the knockout stage. The knockout stage consists of quarter- and semi-finals, the final; the winner of each pool is placed against a runner-up of a different pool in a quarter-final. The winner of each quarter-final goes on to the semi-finals, the respective winners proceed to the final. Losers of the semi-finals contest for third place, called the'Bronze Final'. If a match in the knockout stages ends in a draw, the winner is determined through extra time. If that fails, the match goes into the next team to score any points is the winner; as a last resort, a kicking competition is used. Prior to the Rugby World Cup, there was no global rugby union competition, but there were a number of other tournaments. One of the oldest is the annual Six Nations Championship, which started in 1883 as the Home Nations Championship, a tournament between England, Ireland and Wales.

It expanded to the Five Nations in 1910. France did not participate from 1931 to 1939, during which period it reverted to a Home Nations championship. In 2000, Italy joined the competition. Rugby union was played at the Summer Olympic Games, first appearing at the 1900 Paris games and subsequently at London in 1908, Antwerp in 1920, Paris again in 1924. France won the first gold medal Australasia, with the last two being won by the United States; however rugby union ceased to be on Olympic program after 1924. The idea of a Rugby World Cup had been suggested on numerous occasions going back to the 1950s, but met with opposition from most unions in the IRFB; the idea resurfaced several times in the early 1980s, with the Australian Rugby Union in 1983, the New Zealand Rugby Union in 1984 independently proposing the establishment of a world cup. A proposal was again put to the IRFB in 1985 and this time passed 10–6; the delegates from Australia, New

The Long Earth (series)

The Long Earth is a collaborative science fiction work by British authors Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter. Both authors signed contracts for a total of 5 books in the series. At the time of Pratchett's death, three novels had been released, with a fourth published on 23 June 2015 and the fifth published on 30 June 2016; the original basis for the series was Pratchett's then-unpublished short story "The High Meggas", which he wrote as a starting point for a potential series while his first Discworld novel, The Colour of Magic, was undergoing publication. The success of The Colour of Magic prompted Pratchett to put the story aside in favour of working on The Light Fantastic; the idea resurfaced in late 2010 following a dinner conversation with his assistant and American agent, discussion with Stephen Baxter prompted the development of the first book in the series, The Long Earth, the collaboration between the two authors. Pratchett and Baxter write in different fields of literature. Baxter has written in fields of evolutionary speculation and alternative history.

Although Pratchett has written some science fiction, he is known for his fantasy series of Discworld novels. Although both authors spoke publicly about the outline for the novel, no public readings of any material were given. In 2010, they planned only two books but following the completion of the first draft of the first volume in December 2011, they split it in two, presented their publishers with a plan for a pentalogy. Pratchett announced on Twitter the completion of the first draft of The Long Earth in December 2011; the book was released in the United States on 19 June 2012. A sequel titled The Long War was released on 20 June 2013, The Long Mars was published on 17 June 2014; the third sequel The Long Utopia was released on 18 June 2015, the final book in the pentalogy, The Long Cosmos, was published on 30 June 2016. The "Long Earth" is a name given to a infinite series of parallel worlds that are similar to Earth, which can be reached by using an inexpensive device called a "Stepper".

The "close" worlds are identical to "our" Earth, while others differ in greater and greater details. All share one similarity: on none are there, or have there been, Homo sapiens - although the same cannot be said for earlier hominid species Homo habilis; the books explore the theme of how humanity might develop when freed from resource constraints: one example Pratchett has cited is that wars result from lack of land, he was curious as to what would happen if there was no shortage of land or other resources. The Long Earth The Long War The Long Mars The Long Utopia The Long Cosmos Sliders Terry Pratchett and Stephen Baxter talking about The Long Earth, Royal Institution video, 21 June 2012

Shunji Dodo

Shunji Dodo is a Japanese photographer of the Kii Peninsula and other subjects. Dodo was born in Osaka in 1947, he graduated in fine arts from Kyushu Sangyo University in 1970, started teaching at Tōkyō Shashin Senmon Gakkō. Two years he started work as a teacher of photography at Ōsaka Shashin Senmon Gakkō. Dodo was present when the film director Naomi Kawase, who had first been a student of his and was teaching at Visual Arts Senmon Gakkō, had her first baby on 24 April 2004, in Nara; this was filmed as Dodo photographed the event. Dodo's book of large-format black-and-white photographs A Radiant Land: Kii Peninsula won the PSJ's Annual Award for 1995; the latter work won him the Ina Nobuo Award in 1999. Dodo has said that his major influences were Shōmei Tōmatsu his Ryūkyū series "Pencil of the Sun", Yutaka Takanashi, for the way in which Takanashi's concentration on Tokyo showed Dodo his own possibilities in Osaka. Among the photographers he admires are William Klein. Ina Nobuo Award, 1999. Hidano Kazuemon Award, 2011.

1978 "Ōsaka, Tennōji". Nikon Salon. 1985 "Shinsekai: Mukashi mo ima mo". Nikon Salon. 1992 "Shujō yūraku, Bankoku". Nikon Salon. 1995–96 "Rakudo Kii hantō". Konica Plaza. 1999 "Sennen rakudo". Nikon Salon. 2000 "Sennen rakudo Kii hantō". Nara City Museum of Photography. 2002 ".com New York". Nikon Salon. 2004 "Sharasōju". Visual Arts Gallery. 2006 "Haha". Gallery Out of Place. 2007 "Ha ha". Galerie Focale. 2007 "Haha + vegetable". Gallery Bauhaus. 2007 "Ha ha". Focale Galerie. 2010 "Osaka". Nikon Salon. 2010 "Kamagasaki/Shinsekai: Life in the shadow of the economic miracle". Zen Foto Gallery. Photographs of Shinsekai and Kamagasaki by Dodo and Seiryū Inoue. 2010 "Osaka". Tokio Out of Place. Coproducer, The Mourning Forest. Actor, Tsunagari-yuku mono / Things Passed Down. Dodo plays the gruff photographer father in this long commercial for Nikon. Chihei / Horizon. Issues 1–10. 1971–77. Shinsekai: Mukashi mo ima mo. Osaka: Chōseisha, 1986. Black-and-white photographs of Shinsekai, Osaka. Horizon, 1993. A joint work. Shashin "Ningen no machi" 93/94 / Faces of Humanity 93/94.

Edited by Shunji Dodo, George Hashiguchi, Naomi Yanagimoto. Published by the editors, 1994. Much of the text is in English as well as Japanese. On pp. 156–65 Dodo presents his own series, "Kaosu 1969–1970", photographs of people from US military bases and of protests against these. Rakudo: Kii hantō / A Radiant Land: Kii Peninsula. Osaka: Brain Center, 1995. ISBN 4-8339-0525-6. Large-format black-and-white photographs of the Kii Peninsula. Sennen rakudo / A Radiant Land with Thousands of Years. Osaka: Brain Center, 2000. ISBN 4-8339-0530-2. Large-format colour photographs of the Kii Peninsula. Sharasōju / Shara. Nara: Sento/Kumie, 2003. With Naomi Kawase. Haha. Nara: Gallery Out of Place, 2006. Saien + sakura / A Vegetable Garden, Sakura. Osaka: Vacuum Press, 2009. ISBN 978-4-9903288-4-9. Black-and-white photographs of the products of Dodo's vegetable garden, of cherry blossoms. Ōsaka (大阪 / Osaka. Kyoto: Seigensha, 2010. ISBN 978-4-86152-255-0. Large-format black-and-white photographs of Osaka. Haruka na chihei (遙かなる地平 / Horizon far and away 1968–1977.

Tokyo: Akaakasha, 2012. ISBN 978-4-903545-87-5. Numerous series of Dodo's older photographs. Nihonkai (日本海 / Japan Sea. Tokyo: Akaakasha, 2014. ISBN 978-4-86541019-8. Photographs of the Sea of Japan coastal area. First of a series of five photographs from Haha. Publisher's page for Osaka, with sample photographs. Publisher's page for Saien + sakura, with sample photographs. Transcript of a short MBS program about Dodo, broadcast on 21 May 2010

Surveyor General of India

The Surveyor General of India is the Head of Department of Survey of India, a Department under the Ministry of Science and Technology of Government of India. He happens to be the senior most member of the Survey of India Service, an organized engineering service under the Union of India; the current Surveyor General is Lt. General Girish Kumar, VSM; the East India Company appointed James Rennell to survey the Bengal Presidency in 1767. Lord Clive appointed him as Surveyor General. Colin Mackenzie was appointed Surveyor General of Madras Presidency in 1810 but these posts were abolished in 1815 and Mackenzie was made the first Surveyor General of India. Sources: on Additional Current Duty Charge Superintending Surveyor Trigonometrical Survey of India Official list of Surveyors General

Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad

Ghiyath al-Din Muhammad, was sultan of the Ghurid dynasty from 1163 to 1202. During his reign, the Ghurid dynasty became a world power. During his early reign, he defeated the Ghurid claimants to the throne and fought with the Khwarazmian Empire over the lordship of Khorasan, he occupied Herat in 1176 and went on to establish control over most of what is now Afghanistan and the surrounding areas by 1200, as far west as Bastam and Gurgan. His brother, Mu'izz al-Din, helped manage and expand the eastern part of the empire and served Ghiyath with utmost loyalty and deference. Ghiyath was succeeded by his brother Mu'izz al-Din. Ghiyath was born in 1139. Ghiyath had a younger brother named Mu'izz al-Din. During his early life, Ghiyath along with Mu'izz al-Din were imprisoned by their uncle Ala al-Din Husayn but were released by the latter's son Sayf al-Din Muhammad; when Sayf died in 1163, the Ghurid nobles supported Ghiyath, helped him ascend the throne. When Ghiyath ascended to the throne, he was aided by his brother in the killing of a rival Ghurid chief named Abu'l Abbas.

However, this was not the end of Ghurid family disputes. However, the coalition was defeated by Mu'izz al-Din at Ragh-i Zar. Ghiyath defeated and killed the Seljuq governor during the battle, thereafter proceeded to conquer Zamindawar, Badghis and Guzgan, he restored him as the ruler of Bamiyan. Fakhr al-Din died and was succeeded by his son Shams al-Din Muhammad ibn Masud, who seized Balkh, Vakhsh, Jarum and Shighnan from the Kara-Khitan Khanate, was thus given the title of Sultan by Ghiyath. In 1173, Ghiyath invaded Ghazni and defeated the Oghuz Turks, who had taken the city from the Ghaznavids, he installed his brother Mu'izz al-Din as the ruler of Ghazni. Two years he seized Herat and Pushang from its Seljuq governor, Baha al-Din Toghril. Shortly thereafter, the ruler of Sistan, Taj al-Din Harb ibn Muhammad, acknowledged the sovereignty of Ghiyath, so did the Oghuz Turks controlling Kirman. During the same period, the Khwarazmian prince Sultan Shah, expelled from Khwarezm by his brother Tekish, took refuge in Ghor and requested military aid from Ghiyath.

Ghiyath, did not help the latter. Instead, Sultan Shah managed to get help from the Kara-Khitan Khanate, began plundering the northern Ghurid domains. In 1186, along with Mu'izz al-Din, dissolved the Ghaznavid dynasty after having captured Lahore, where they had the Ghaznavid ruler Khusrau-Malik executed. With the aid of the rulers of Bamiyan and his brother Mu'izz al-Din, Ghiyath defeated the forces of Sultan Shah at Marw al-Rudh in 1190, he annexed most of the latter's territories in Khorasan. Shortly after war broke out between the Khwarazmian Shahs and the Ghurids. Both, however, defeated by Ghiyath. In 1200, Tekish was succeeded by Muhammad Khan. Among the first to hear of this were Ghiyath and Mu'izz al-Din. Within weeks the two brothers had moved their armies westwards into Khorasan. Once they had captured Nishapur, Mu'izz al-Din was sent on an expedition towards Ray, but he let his troops get out of control and got little further than Gurgan, earning criticism from Ghiyath which led to the only reported quarrel between the brothers.

Ghiyath appointed the son of Fakhr al-Din Masud, Taj al-Din Zangi, as the governor of Sarakhs, while another Ghurid named Nasir al-Din Muhammad Kharnak was appointed as governor of Merv. Ghiyath died at Herat in 1202 after months of illness, he was succeeded by his brother Mu'izz al-Din, who had returned to Ghor from India and obtained the support of Ghurid nobles. They crowned him as Sultan of the Ghurid Empire at Firuzkuh. C. Edmund, Bosworth. "GHURIDS". Encyclopaedia Iranica, Online Edition. Retrieved 5 January 2014. Bosworth, C. E.. "The Political and Dynastic History of the Iranian World". In Frye, R. N.. The Cambridge History of Iran, Volume 5: The Saljuq and Mongol periods. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pp. 1–202. ISBN 978-0-521-06936-6. "G̲h̲ūrids". Leiden and New York: BRILL. 2012. ISBN 9789004161214

Luca Parmitano

Luca Parmitano is an Italian engineer and astronaut in the European Astronaut Corps for the European Space Agency. He was selected as an ESA astronaut in May 2009. Parmitano is a Colonel and test pilot for the Italian Air Force. Parmitano is the youngest astronaut to undertake a long-duration mission, at 36 years and eight months old on the launch day of his mission. Parmitano considers Catania his hometown, he has two daughters. He is an active scuba diver and enjoys snowboarding, weight training and swimming. Other interests include listening to water music. Parmitano graduated from the Liceo Scientifico Statale "Galileo Galilei" in Catania, Italy, in 1995. Parmitano spent a year as an exchange student at Mission Viejo High School in Mission Viejo, California in the United States with AFS Intercultural Programs. In 1999, he completed a master's degree in political sciences at the University of Naples Federico II, with a thesis on international law. In 2000, he graduated with Sparviero IV academic course, from the Italian Accademia Aeronautica, in Pozzuoli, Italy.

Parmitano completed basic training with the U. S. Air Force at the Euro-NATO Joint Jet Pilot Training Program at Sheppard Air Force Base in Texas in the United States in 2001, he completed the JCO/CAS course with the United States Air Forces in Europe in Sembach, Germany, in 2002. In 2003, he qualified as Electronic Warfare Officer at the Reparto Supporto Tecnico Operativo Guerra Elettronica in Pratica di Mare, Italy, he completed the Tactical Leadership Programme in Florennes, Belgium, in 2005. In July 2009, Parmitano completed a master's degree in experimental flight test engineering at the Institut Supérieur de l'Aéronautique et de l'Espace, in Toulouse, France. In 2007 Parmitano was awarded the Medaglia d'Argento al Valore Aeronautico by the President of the Italian Republic after safely landing his AMX in an emergency due to a bird strike. Asteroid 37627 Lucaparmitano is named after him. Parmitano is an Astronaut of the European Space Agency, he has logged more than 2000 hours flying time, is qualified on more than 20 types of military aircraft and has flown over 40 types of aircraft.

Following completion of undergraduate pilot training in 2001, Parmitano flew the AMX aircraft with the 13th Squadron, 32nd Wing in Amendola, from 2001 to 2007. During that time, he obtained all the qualifications on that aircraft, including Combat Ready, Four Ship Leader, Mission Commander/Package Leader. Within the 13th Squadron, he served as Chief of Training Commander of the 76th Flight, he was the 32nd Wing Electronic Warfare Officer. In 2007, he was selected by the Italian Air Force to become a test pilot and qualified as Experimental Test Pilot at EPNER, the French test pilot school in Istres. In May 2009, Parmitano was selected as an ESA astronaut as part of the 2009 class. In July 2015, Parmitano became an aquanaut. In February 2011, he was assigned as a flight engineer to Expedition 36/37, which launched aboard Soyuz TMA-09M on 28 May 2013 and arrived at the ISS on 29 May, his mission is called Volare, which means "to fly" in Italian and is reminiscent of a famous song by the Italian singer Domenico Modugno.

In May 2013 Parmitano partnered with his 15-year-old mentee Abigail Harrison to have her serve as his Earth liaison during his mission on Expedition 36 and Expedition 37. Harrison shared Parmitano's experience of living in space on the International Space Station with her online community on social media and her blog, where she is known as "Astronaut Abby". On 9 July 2013, he became the first Italian to take part in a spacewalk as he and Chris Cassidy conducted an EVA out of the ISS' quest airlock to install power cables, retrieve material research samples and accomplish a number of maintenance tasks. During the EVA, Parmitano got to ride on the ISS' Mobile Servicing System for the installation of a couple of radiator grapple bars flown up on SpaceX' CRS-2 mission; the EVA was part of preparations for the new Russian multipurpose module planned to replace the Pirs docking compartment by the end of 2013. In 2013, AOL's BermanBraun listed his space selfie taken during this spacewalk as one of the 50 best space photos of the year.

His second EVA on July 16, 2013 was terminated after only 1 hour and 32 minutes, when the helmet of his Extravehicular Mobility Unit suit started filling with water. Water in his helmet posed the danger of drowning and made his return to the airlock more difficult, as orbital sunset had occurred just before he started to return. Engineers found that contamination had clogged one of the suit's filters, causing water from the suit's cooling system to back up. On 15 January 2016, astronaut Timothy Kopra experienced a water leak in the same spacesuit. Parmitano returned to Earth on 11 November 2013 aboard Soyuz TMA-09M. In May 2018 ESA announced that Parmitano would return to the space station onboard the Soyuz MS-13 mission, to serve as Flight Engineer on Expedition 60 and Commander on Expedition 61. Parmitano arrived at the International Space Station on the same day, he became the first DJ in space on 13 August 2019, when he played a set of electronic music from the ISS for a music festival audience in Ibiza.

On 15 November he ventured outside the ISS for the first time since his ill-fated spacewalk in 2013, on the first of at least four spacewalks to repair the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer. Parmitano conducted the spacewalks t