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Saint Helier

Saint Helier is one of the twelve parishes of Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands in the English Channel. St Helier has a population of about 33,500 34.2% of the total population of Jersey, is the capital of the Island. The urban area of the parish of St Helier makes up most of the largest town in Jersey, although some of the town area is situated in adjacent St Saviour, with suburbs sprawling into St Lawrence and St Clement; the greater part of St Helier is rural. The parish covers a surface area of 4.1 square miles. The parish arms are two crossed gold axes on a blue background, the blue symbolising the sea, the axes symbolising the martyrdom of Helier at the hands of Saxon pirates in 555 AD, it is thought. The medieval hagiographies of Helier, the patron saint martyred in Jersey and after whom the parish and town are named, suggest a picture of a small fishing village on the dunes between the marshy land behind and the high-water mark. Although the Parish Church of St Helier is now some considerable distance from the sea, at the time of its original construction it was on the edge of the dunes at the closest practical point to the offshore islet called the Hermitage.

Before land reclamation and port construction started, boats could be tied up to the churchyard wall on the seaward side. An Abbey of St Helier was founded in a tidal island adjacent to the Hermitage. Closed at the Reformation, the site of the abbey was fortified to create the castle that replaced Mont Orgueil as the Island's major fortress; the new Elizabeth Castle was named after the Queen by the Governor of Jersey 1600-1603, Sir Walter Raleigh. Until the end of the 18th century, the town consisted chiefly of a string of houses and warehouses stretching along the coastal dunes either side of the Church of St Helier and the adjacent marketplace. La Cohue stood on one side of the square, now rebuilt as the Royal Court and States Chamber; the market cross in the centre of the square was pulled down at the Reformation, the iron cage for holding prisoners was replaced by a prison gatehouse at the western edge of town. George II gave £200 towards the construction of a new harbour - boats would be beached on a falling tide and unloaded by cart across the sands.

A statue of the king by John Cheere was erected in the square in 1751 in gratitude, the market place was renamed Royal Square, although the name has remained Lé Vièr Marchi to this day in Jèrriais. Many of St Helier's road names and street names are bilingual English/French or English/Jèrriais, but some have only one name; the names in the various languages are not translations: distinct naming traditions survive alongside each other. The Royal Square was the scene of the Battle of Jersey on 6 January 1781, the last attempt by French forces to seize Jersey. John Singleton Copley's epic painting The Death of Major Pierson captures an imaginative version of the scene; as harbour construction moved development seaward, a growth in population meant that marshland and pasture north of the ribbon of urban activity was built on speculatively. Settlement by English immigrants added quarters of colonial-style town houses to the traditional building stock. Continuing military threats from France spurred the construction of a citadel fortress, Fort Regent, on the Mont de la Ville, the crag dominating the shallow basin of St Helier.

Military roads linking coastal defences around the island with St Helier harbour allowed farmers to exploit Jersey's temperate micro-climate and use new fast sailing ships and steamships to get their produce to the markets of London and Paris before the competition. This was the start of Jersey's agricultural prosperity in the 19th century. From the 1820s, peace with France and better communications by steamships and railways to coastal ports encouraged an influx of English-speaking residents. Speculative development covered the marshy basin north of the central coastal strip as far as the hills within a period of about 40 years, providing the town with terraces of elegant town houses. In the second half of the 19th century, hundreds of trucks laden with potatoes and other export produce needed access to the harbour; this prompted a programme of road-widening which swept away many of the ancient buildings of the town centre. Pressure for redevelopment has meant that few buildings remain in urban St Helier which date to before the 19th century, giving the town a Regency or Victorian character.

Pierre Le Sueur, reforming Constable of St Helier, was responsible for installing sewerage and provision of clean water in St Helier following outbreaks of cholera in the 1830s. An obelisk with fountain in the town centre was raised to his memory following his premature death in office from overwork. In the 1960s, income from the Jersey States Lottery was used to excavate a two-lane road tunnel under Fort Regent, enabling traffic from the harbour to the east coast towns to avoid a torturous route around the fort. About the same time, the Fort was converted into a major leisure facility and was linked to the town centre by a gondola cableway - closed and demolished in the 1990s. In the 1970s, a programme of pedestrianisation of the central streets was undertaken. In 1995, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Jersey's liberation from Nazi occupation, thus 50 years of peace, a sculpture was erected in what i

Notodoris gardineri

Notodoris gardineri is a sea slug, a species of nudibranch, a shell-less marine gastropod mollusc in the family Aegiridae. Notodoris gardineri can reach more than 10 cm long. In different geographical regions the background color of the animal can vary. In the archipelagoes of the Maldives and Laccadives, the body is black with yellow spots while in the rest of the distribution range the body is yellow with black spots; the size and numbers of spots vary from one individual to another. The gills are situated in the center of the dorsal side, they are yellow and protected by three round lobes; the body is stiff and protected by small spicules. The rhinophores are smooth, simple and retractable. Notodoris gardineri can be mistaken for Notodoris minor, whose body colour is yellow with black markings except that in the latter the black forms lines on the body and not spots; this species occurs in the tropical Indo-West Pacific. This nudibranch lives on the external slope or top of coral reefs at 7 to 15 m depth.

Notodoris gardineri feeds according to the actual observations, on sponges of the family of Leucettidae as Pericharax heterographis or Leucetta primigenia. This Notodoris is diurnal, moves at sight without fear of being taken for a prey. Fahey S. J. & Gosliner T. M. 2004. A phylogenetic analysis of the Aegiridae Fischer, 1883 with descriptions of eight new species and a reassessment of Phanerobranch relationships. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, 55: 613–689 Yonow N. Opisthobranchs from the western Indian Ocean, with descriptions of two new species and ten new records. ZooKeys 197: 1–129 ITIS, Notodoris gardineri P. L. Beesley, G. J. B. Ross & A. Wells, "Mollusca - The Southern Synthesis", vol.5, CSIRO, 1998, ISBN 0-643-05756-0 David Behrens,"Nudibranch behaviour", Newworld Publication INC. 2005, ISBN 978-1878348418 Gary Cobb & Richard Willan,"Undersea jewels- a colour guide to nudibranchs", Australian Biological Resources Study, 2006, ISBN 0642568472 Neville Coleman, "Marine life of Maldives", Atoll editions, 2004, ISBN 187-6410-361 Andrea & Antonnella Ferrrari,"Macrolife", Nautilus publishing, 2003, ISBN 983-2731-00-3

Konrul

In Turkic mythology, Konrul Kongrul and Konqrul is a long-lived bird, cyclically regenerated or reborn, similar to a phoenix. Konrul is depicted as a winged creature in the shape of a bird, gigantic enough to carry off an elephant, it appears as a peacock with the claws of a lion. It has an enmity towards snakes and its natural habitat is a place with plenty of water, its feathers are said to be the color of copper, though it was described as being a dog-bird it was shown with either the head of a dog. Konrul has a twin named "Toghrul". In one account a hero rescues Konrul's offspring by killing a serpent, crawling up the tree to feed upon them; as a reward, Konrul gives him three of her feathers which the hero uses to call her for help by burning them. Konrul carries him to a distant land. In another, Konrul carries the hero out of the netherworld. Turul and Konrul as intimate twins are known as Buğdayık and Kumayık or Semrük and Kerkes and sometimes Züzülö and Öksökö, they roost in the "Tree of Life".

Konrul is identified with the Greek Phoenix or Persian Simurg. It has many striking similarities with the Indian Garuda. Anka spelled Ankha or Angha and known as Simurgh, is a benevolent, mythical flying creature and common figure in Middle Eastern cultures; the figure can be found in all periods of Greater Iranian art and literature, is evident in the iconography of medieval Armenia, the Byzantine Empire, other regions that were within the sphere of Persian cultural influence. The mythical bird is found in the mythology of the Turkic peoples of Central Asia and is called Semrug, Semurg and Samruk. Simurgh is shortened to "Sīmīr" in the Kurdish language. Konrul goes by the name of Zumrud meaning "emerald". In Azeri folklore, a hero named Malik Mammad was the son of one of the wealthiest kings of Azerbaijan who owned a large garden. In the center of the garden was a magic apple tree which yielded apples every day. An ugly giant called; the king sends Malik Mammad and his elder brothers to fight the giant whence Malik Mammad saves Zumrud's babies from an Azhdaha.

Zumrud, pleased with Malik Mammad, decides to help him. When Malik Mammad wanted to pass from the "Dark World" into the "Light World", Zumrud asks him to provide "forty half carcasses of meat and forty wineskin filled with water". Zumrud puts the water on its left wing and the meat on the other and Malik Mammad is able to enter the "Light World". Phoenix Simurg Turul Oksoko