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Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara is a coastal city in, the county seat of, Santa Barbara County in the U. S. state of California. Situated on a south-facing section of coastline, the longest such section on the West Coast of the United States, the city lies between the steeply rising Santa Ynez Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Santa Barbara's climate is described as Mediterranean, the city has been promoted as the "American Riviera"; as of 2018, the city had an estimated population of 91,350, up from 88,410 in 2010, making it the second most populous city in the county after Santa Maria. The contiguous urban area, which includes the cities of Goleta and Carpinteria, along with the unincorporated regions of Isla Vista, Mission Canyon, Hope Ranch and others, has an approximate population of 220,000; the population of the entire county in 2010 was 423,895. In addition to being a popular tourist and resort destination, the city economy includes a large service sector, technology, health care, agriculture and local government.

In 2004, the service sector accounted for 35% of local employment. Education in particular is well-represented, with four institutions of higher learning on the south coast; the Santa Barbara Airport serves the city, Santa Barbara Aviation provides jet charter aircraft, train service is provided by Amtrak, which operates the Pacific Surfliner. U. S. Highway 101 connects the Santa Barbara area with Los Angeles 100 miles to the southeast and San Francisco around 325 miles to the northwest. Behind the city, in and beyond the Santa Ynez Mountains, is the Los Padres National Forest, which contains several remote wilderness areas. Channel Islands National Park and Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary are located 20 miles offshore. Evidence of human habitation of the area begins at least 13,000 years ago. Evidence for a Paleoindian presence includes a fluted Clovis-like point found in the 1980s along the western Santa Barbara County coast, as well as the remains of Arlington Springs Man, found on Santa Rosa Island in the 1960s.

An estimated 8,000 to 10,000 Chumash lived on the south coast of Santa Barbara County at the time of the first European explorations. Five Chumash villages flourished in the area; the present-day area of Santa Barbara City College was the village of Mispu. Portuguese explorer João Cabrilho, sailing for the Kingdom of Spain, sailed through what is now called the Santa Barbara Channel in 1542, anchoring in the area. In 1602, Spanish maritime explorer Sebastián Vizcaíno gave the name "Santa Barbara" to the channel and to one of the Channel Islands. A land expedition led by Gaspar de Portolà visited around 1769, Franciscan missionary Juan Crespi, who accompanied the expedition, named a large native town "Laguna de la Concepcion". Cabrillo's earlier name, however, is the one; the first permanent European residents were Spanish missionaries and soldiers under Felipe de Neve, who came in 1782 to build the Presidio. They were sent both to fortify the region against expansion by other powers such as England and Russia, to convert the natives to Christianity.

Many of the Spaniards brought their families with them, those formed the nucleus of the small town – at first just a cluster of adobes – that surrounded the Presidio of Santa Barbara. The Santa Barbara Mission was established on the Feast of Saint Barbara, December 4, 1786, it was the tenth of the California Missions to be founded by the Spanish Franciscans. It was dedicated by Padre Fermín Lasuén, who succeeded Padre Junipero Serra as the second president and founder of the California Franciscan Mission Chain; the Mission fathers began the slow work of converting the native Chumash to Christianity, building a village for them on the Mission grounds. The Chumash laborers built a connection between the canyon creek and the Santa Barbara Mission water system through the use of a dam and an aqueduct. During the following decades, many of the natives died of diseases such as smallpox, against which they had no natural immunity; the most dramatic event of the Spanish period was the powerful 1812 earthquake, tsunami, with an estimated magnitude of 7.1, which destroyed the Mission as well as the rest of the town.

The Mission was rebuilt by 1820 after the earthquake. Following the earthquake, the Mission fathers chose to rebuild in a grander manner, it is this construction that survives to the present day, the best-preserved of the California Missions, still functioning as an active church by the Franciscans. After the Mexican government secularized the missions in the 1830s, the baptismal and burial records of other missions were transferred to Santa Barbara, now found in the Santa Barbara Mission Archive-Library. C-SPAN has produced a program on the mission archive-library; the Spanish period ended in 1822 with the end of the Mexican War of Independence, which terminated 300 years of colonial rule. The flag of Mexico went up the flagpole at the Presidio, but only for 24 years. Santa Barbara street names reflect this time period as well; the names de le Guerra and Carrillo come from citizens of the town of this time. They were instrumental in buildin

Bionics Institute

The Bionics Institute is a biomedical research institute focusing on medical bionics. The Institute's three core research themes are bionic hearing through cochlear implants, bionic vision through stimulation of the optic nerve and neurobionics through deep brain stimulation; the Bionics Institute is located in Australia. The Institute is dedicated to translational research leading to clinical outcomes. Recent examples of clinical trials the Institute has been involved in include deep brain stimulation of a patient with intractable obsessive compulsive disorder; the Bionic Ear Institute was founded in 1984 by Graeme Clark, one of the original developers of the cochlear implant. Professor Clark founded the Institute with the goal of improving the device which he first implanted into a human in 1978. Professor Clark built the Institute into a leading independent cochlear implant research center and was its Director until 2005. By the early 2000s the Institute was working towards projects outside of hearing and in 2005 and 2007 received significant philanthropic grants totaling $1.5m to undertake a proof-of-concept study into a bionic eye.

It was the success of this study that led to a 2009 grant of $42 million from the Australian Research Council to fund the Bionic Vision Australia consortium, tasked with developing two bionic eye designs in Australia. In June 2011 the Bionic Ear Institute renamed itself the Bionics Institute to reflect its broader focus which included research into deep brain stimulation, bionic vision and continued work in hearing. Rob Shepherd became director after Clark's departure in 2005. Positions on the Bionics Institute Board have been held by ballet dancer and author Li Cunxin, former Victorian Premier Steve Bracks; the Bionics Institute has two campuses, one located in East Melbourne and the other in nearby Fitzroy. Mollison House is the site of the Institute's administrative team as well as the bulk of its human research; the second campus exists in the Daly Wing of St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne which houses the Institute's wet labs and materials fabrication facilities. The Bionics Institute's research follows three primary themes: bionic hearing, bionic vision, deep brain stimulation.

The Institute undertakes bionic hearing research in four main project areas: Improving clinical outcomes for hearing-impaired children and adults – Automatic programming for cochlear implants, predicting the benefit gained with hearing devices, improving music perception and appreciation in hearing device users, improving cochlear implants through novel stimulation strategies, Understanding the hearing brain – opening windows on the listening brain, measuring and harnessing brain plasticity to improve hearing device benefit. Preventing progressive hearing loss, Treating other inner ear disorders Bionic vision research is undertaken as part of Bionic Vision Australia in two areas: firstly, to support the separate research and development of the supra-choroidal wide-view and epiretinal high acuity devices. Being novel implanted medical devices, each requires substantial commitment from a large multidisciplinary team. Other research into bionic vision relates to computer simulation of retina and brain neurons to electrical stimulation.

Increasing device resolution with the use of current steering and psychophysical research into implantee percepts of electrical stimulation are two other key research areas. Neurobionics research at the Institute relates to the treatment of nervous system disorders with deep brain stimulation; the aim of the Institute's deep brain stimulation research program is to improve the performance of existing DBS devices, gain a greater understanding of how positive therapeutic outcomes are achieved through DBS, to develop its own advanced DBS system based on cochlear type implant technology. To this end, the Institute has active projects in stimulation for control of Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, movement disorders, obsessive compulsive disorder; the Institute is developing an epilepsy treatment device, which monitors the electrical activity of the brain and can improve diagnosis and lead to better treatment options. Institute Staff are recruited from disciplines including neuroscience, medicine and acoustic engineering, signal processing, computer science.

Past experience with the cochlear implant platform is the basis upon which much of this present work is being undertaken. The Bionics Institute has partnerships with Cochlear Ltd. and its Clinical Research Fellows who are either clinicians or surgeons who work with the Institute on an Honorary basis. Staff include: Hugh Joseph McDermott, sound processing engineer The Bionics Institute is funded through a combination of government funding, private donations, contract research. In 2014, the Institute's annual expenditure was A$7.5 million. The NHMRC awarded The Bionics Institute grants totalling over A$2 million in the 2014 funding round. Projects in receipt of NHMRC grants include ‘determining the safety and efficiency of the bionic eye’, ‘restoring binaural processing to bilateral cochlear implant users’. Bionic Enterprises is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Bionics Institute which focusses on fast-tracked commercialisation of neurobionic devices based on the neuroBi platform with applications for Parkinson's disease, epilepsy.

Bionic Enterprises is part of the Institute's commercialisation pathway. In 2015, the Bionics Institute focused towards undertaking contract research

The Sword of Skelos

The Sword of Skelos is a fantasy novel written by Andrew J. Offutt featuring Robert E. Howard's sword and sorcery hero Conan the Barbarian, the third and final volume in a trilogy beginning with Conan and the Sorcerer and continuing with Conan the Mercenary, it was first published in paperback in May 1979 by Bantam Books, reprinted in August 1981. Editions were issued by Ace Books and Tor Books; the first British edition was published by Sphere Books in 1989. In Shadizar, Conan encounters Khassek, an agent for the Shah of Iranistan, whose master wants to obtain the'Eye of Erlik, now in the barbarian's possession. Conan accompanies him on Kassek's excursion towards Iranistan. However, their journey is interrupted by his rival Isparana, on the run with Sarid, a renegade soldier from Turan. Both Khassek and Sarid are killed in their confrontation with a giant scorpion. Soon, Conan abandons his mission, joins forces with Isparana, travels instead for Zamboula. They're attacked by a band of raiders, who in turn are attacked by another tribe of raiders, the Shanki, victorious, escort the couple back to their oasis.

At their village, Akhimen Khan, leader of the Shanki, welcomes the two and sends them on to Zamboula. Things are not well in Zamboula, however; the ruler, Akter Khan, has been corrupted by the power of his sorcerer, who has enchanted two swords with his magic, one of, in the possession of Khan. Secretly, Zafra is conspiring against him with the Khan's mistress Chia. Both the Khan and Zafra desire the'Eye of Erlik. Magically aware of its approach, Zafra has his soldiers intercept Isparana near a canyon. Soon, the soldiers escort them the remainder of their way to the city, where they present the artifact to Akter Khan. Soon Zafra poisons the khan's mind against them and persuades the khan to imprison rather than reward them. Isparana is taken. Learning of the khan's ill-will, he joins forces with the rebel Balad and the tribesman Hajimen, son of his Shanki host, both of whom have grievances against the ruler. Conan is captured attempting to rescue Isparana, Zafra attempts to dispatch him with his magic sword, which fights of its own accord.

Conan staves off the flying sword long enough that it turns on its own master, as its enchantment requires it be slaked with blood. With the sorcerer out of the picture, the barbarian goes on to free Isparana; the two confront the khan, who attempts to slay them with his own magic sword only to find it ineffective, as Zafra had tricked him, binding it to his will alone. Meanwhile, the Zamboulan guards have been overcome by the forces of Hajimen and Balad, the latter of whom slays Ahkter Khan and claims the throne for his own. Balad, proving no better than his predecessor, turns against Conan, only to fall victim to the mortally wounded Zafra, crawling into the room, commands the late khan's sword to attack; as Balad is the closest person to the weapon, it dispatches him. The rulership of Zamboula now passes to Akter Khan's son Jungir, to whom Isparana promptly attaches herself. Conan leaves the city. Catherine Wiseman notes that "In this version of Conan - unlike in several others - there is some sympathetic attention for the unimportant pawns on the complicated chessboard.

For example, a certain Sarid who appears for a total of four paragraphs in the entire book. We learn, but things did turn out otherwise - i.e. the beautiful and cunning Isparana turned all her seductive power on him, which a much stronger character would have found it difficult to resist. For the crucial plot twist dreamed up by the author, it was necessary that this poor little pawn end up a bloody corpse getting stiff on the desert floor; the main characters move on and there is no further occasion to mention the poor Sarid. Still, for a moment a reader could have felt some compassion for him and his ruined life". Don D'Ammassa calls the novel "The weakest of Offutt's three pastiches," writing "Conan manages to survive two attempts to use the swords to kill him, one by an absurd trick that had me shaking my head, the other through a hidden rule of magic that we didn't know about." The story was adapted by Roy Thomas and John Buscema in issues #56-58, cover-dated September–November 1980, of the Marvel Comics magazine series The Savage Sword of Conan.

The Thomas/Buscema tale was reprinted in the 2009 Dark Horse Comics trade paperback The Savage Sword of Conan Volume 5. Fantastic Fiction entry for The Sword of Skelos