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Second Battle of El Alamein

The Second Battle of El Alamein was a battle of the Second World War that took place near the Egyptian railway halt of El Alamein. The First Battle of El Alamein and the Battle of Alam el Halfa had prevented the Axis from advancing further into Egypt. In August 1942, General Claude Auchinleck had been sacked as Commander-in-Chief Middle East Command and his successor, Lieutenant-General William Gott was killed on his way to replace him as commander of the Eighth Army. Lieutenant-General Bernard Montgomery was led the Eighth Army offensive; the Allied victory was the beginning of the end of the Western Desert Campaign, eliminating the Axis threat to Egypt, the Suez Canal and the Middle Eastern and Persian oil fields. The battle revived the morale of the Allies, being the first big success against the Axis since Operation Crusader in late 1941; the battle coincided with the Allied invasion of French North Africa in Operation Torch on 8 November, the Battle of Stalingrad and the Guadalcanal Campaign.

Panzer Army Africa, composed of German and Italian tank and infantry units, had advanced into Egypt after its success at the Battle of Gazala. The Axis advance menaced British control of the Middle East and its oil resources. General Claude Auchinleck withdrew the Eighth Army to within 80 km of Alexandria where the Qattara Depression was 64 km south of El Alamein on the coast; the depression meant that any attack had to be frontal. Eighth Army counter-attacks in July failed, as the Axis forces dug in and regrouped. Auchinleck called off the attacks at the end of July to rebuild the army. In early August, the Prime Minister, Winston Churchill and General Sir Alan Brooke, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, visited Cairo and replaced Auchinleck as Commander-in-chief Middle East Command with General Harold Alexander. Lieutenant-General William Gott was made commander of the Eighth Army but was killed when his transport aircraft was shot down by Luftwaffe fighters. Lacking reinforcements and depending on small, underdeveloped ports for supplies, aware of a huge Allied reinforcement operation for the Eighth Army, Rommel decided to attack first.

The two armoured divisions of the Afrika Korps and the reconnaissance units of Panzerarmee Afrika led the attack but were repulsed at the Alam el Halfa ridge and Point 102 on 30 August 1942 during the Battle of Alam el Halfa and the Axis forces retired to their start lines. The short front line and secure flanks favoured the Axis defence and Rommel had time to develop the Axis defences, sowing extensive minefields with c. 500,000 mines and miles of barbed wire. Alexander and Montgomery intended to establish a superiority of force sufficient to achieve a breakthrough and exploit it to destroy Panzerarmee Afrika. Earlier in the Western Desert Campaign, neither side had been able to exploit a local victory sufficiently to defeat its opponent before it had withdrawn and transferred the problem of over-extended supply lines to the victor; the British had an intelligence advantage because Ultra and local sources exposed the Axis order of battle, its supply position and intentions. A reorganisation of military intelligence in Africa in July had improved the integration of information received from all sources and the speed of its dissemination.

With rare exceptions, intelligence identified the supply ships destined for North Africa, their location or routing and in most cases their cargoes, allowing them to be attacked. By 25 October, Panzerarmee Afrika was down to three days' supply of fuel, only two days' worth of which were east of Tobruk. Harry Hinsley, the official historian of British intelligence wrote in 1981 that "The Panzer Army... did not possess the operational freedom of movement, essential in consideration of the fact that the British offensive can be expected to start any day". Submarine and air transport somewhat eased the shortage of ammunition and by late October, there was sixteen days' supply at the front. After six more weeks, the Eighth Army was ready. Montgomery's plan was for a main attack to the north of the line and a secondary attack to the south, involving XXX Corps and XIII Corps, while X Corps was to exploit the success. With Operation Lightfoot, Montgomery intended to cut two corridors through the Axis minefields in the north.

One corridor was to run south-west through the 2nd New Zealand Division sector towards the centre of Miteirya Ridge, while the second was to run west, passing 2 mi north of the west end of the Miteirya Ridge across the 9th Australian and 51st Division sectors. Tanks would pass through and defeat the German armour. Diversions at Ruweisat Ridge in the centre and the south of the line would keep the rest of the Axis forces from moving northwards. Montgomery expected a 12-day battle in three stages: the break-in, the dogfight and the final breaking of the enemy. For the first night of the offensive, Montgomery planned for four infantry divisions of XXX Corps to advance on a 16 mi front to the Oxalic Line, over-running the forward Axis defences. Engineers would clear and mark the two lanes through the minefields, through which the armoured divisions from X Corps would pass to gain the Pierson Line, they would rally and consolidate their position just west of the infantry positions, bloc

2008 Virginia Tech Hokies football team

The 2008 Virginia Tech Hokies football team represented Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University during the 2008 NCAA Division I FBS football season. The team's head coach was Frank Beamer. Prior to the season, the Hokies were expected to be in a rebuilding mode, recovering after the graduation of several key players. Despite that fact, Tech was picked to win the Atlantic Coast Conference's Coastal Division in the annual preseason poll of media covering the ACC; the Hokies were ranked the No. 15 team in the country at the start of the season, but suffered an upset loss to East Carolina in their first game. Tech recovered and won five consecutive games following the loss, the ACC Championship, the Orange Bowl. Source: ACC During the 2007 college football season, Virginia Tech accumulated an 11–3 record that ended with a 21–24 loss to the Kansas Jayhawks in the 2008 Orange Bowl; the Hokies won the 2007 ACC football championship, but were not predicted to repeat that success in 2008. In the annual preseason football poll of media covering ACC football, Tech was picked second in the conference, behind the Clemson Tigers.

The Hokies were picked to finish first in the ACC's Coastal Division, but lose to Clemson in the ACC Championship Game. The reason for that second-place prediction was the loss of several key players from Tech's ACC-champion 2007 team. Virginia Tech lost its top four receivers, its leading rusher, seven starters from a defense that ranked fourth nationally in total defense. Eight players from the 2007 team were taken in the 2008 NFL Draft, Tech's 2008 team featured just 10 players who started during the previous season. Making matters more difficult for Virginia Tech, the Hokies suffered several preseason injuries and multiple players were kicked off the team for disciplinary reasons. On August 26, Tech head coach Frank Beamer announced his intention to redshirt backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor, keeping him in reserve for the 2008 season. Following Virginia Tech's loss to East Carolina in the first game of the season, Beamer removed the redshirt and Taylor played in Tech's second game in the season.

After he proved successful in that game, Taylor was named the team's starting quarterback for the remainder of the season, supplanting first-game starter Sean Glennon. The Virginia Tech Hokies' first game of the season was its first loss of the season. In a neutral-site game at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, Tech was upset 27–22 by the East Carolina Pirates. East Carolina, members of Conference USA, became the first team from that conference to win a game against a Bowl Championship Series member school since 2002; the game got off to a slow start. With 12:19 remaining before halftime, Virginia Tech scored the first points of the game with a 30-yard fumble return by defender Ryan Barnett #40 FR. out of Sulphur, Louisiana. Four minutes Virginia Tech's offense scored, extending the Hokies' lead to 14–0. East Carolina answered with a touchdown before halftime, but Virginia Tech led 14–7 at the beginning of the second half; the Pirates' offense scored another touchdown with 10:05 remaining in the third quarter, but the extra point kick was blocked and returned for a defensive score by Tech's Stephan Virgil.

If the extra point had been successful, the teams would have been tied at 14 points apiece. Instead, Virginia Tech kept a 16 -- 13 lead. Early in the fourth quarter, Tech's offense extended the Hokies' lead to 22–13 with a touchdown; the extra point kick was missed. Both teams were held scoreless for the next ten minutes before East Carolina's Patrick Pinkney ran three yards for a touchdown; the score and extra point cut the Hokies' lead to 22–20 with less than four minutes remaining in the game. Tech attempted to run out the clock; the kick was blocked and East Carolina's T. J. Lee returned the loose ball for a game-winning touchdown. With the limited time remaining in the game, Tech was unable to answer the touchdown, East Carolina clinched a 27–22 victory. Virginia Tech's second game of the season came against the Football Championship Subdivision Furman Paladins at Virginia Tech's home stadium, Lane Stadium, in Blacksburg, Virginia. Despite the loss to East Carolina, Tech came into its home opener favored and lived up to that expectation by beating the Paladins, 24–7.

For the game, Virginia Tech wore a throwback uniform honoring former Tech coaches Jerry Claiborne, Charlie Coffey, Jimmy Sharpe and Bill Dooley. The Hokies used backup quarterback Tyrod Taylor alongside starter Sean Glennon beginning with the fifth play of the game. Despite that change in offensive strategy, the Hokies were held scoreless in the first quarter. Tech's defense held firm, kept Furman from scoring in the first quarter as well. In the second quarter, both teams were again held scoreless until just 29 seconds before halftime, when Virginia Tech placekicker Dustin Keys kicked a field goal for the Hokies, giving them a 3–0 lead at halftime. In the third quarter, Virginia Tech's offense hit its stride. With 8:41 remaining in the quarter, Sean Glennon completed a 10-yard touchdown pass to running back Kenny Lewis, Jr. giving the Hokies a 10–0 lead after the extra point. Tech added two more touchdowns before the end of the quarter, making the game 24–0 with one quarter remaining; the Paladins scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter, closing the gap to 24–7 and avoiding a shutout, but were unable to further catch up to the Hokies.

Tech earned its first win of the season, bringing its overall season record to 1–1. The Hokies' third game of the season was their first Atlantic Coast Conference game of the season a

1449 Virtanen

1449 Virtanen, provisional designation 1938 DO, is a stony Florian asteroid from the inner regions of the asteroid belt 9.2 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 20 February 1938, by Finnish astronomer Yrjö Väisälä at Turku Observatory in Southwest Finland, named for Finnish biochemist Artturi Virtanen. Virtanen is a member of the Flora family, one of the largest collisional populations of stony asteroids in the main-belt, it orbits the Sun in the inner main-belt at a distance of 1.9–2.5 AU once every 3 years and 4 months. Its orbit has an inclination of 7 ° with respect to the ecliptic. In 1928, Virtanen was first identified as 1928 DC at Heidelberg, extending the body's observation arc by 10 years prior to its official discovery at Turku. In the Tholen taxonomy, Virtanen is classified as a common S-type asteroid. Virtanen's first rotational lightcurve was obtained by astronomers Pierre Antonini and Silvano Casulli in May 2007, followed by Australian astronomer Julian Oey at Leura and Kingsgrove Observatory in June 2008.

The lightcurves gave a rotation period of 30.5 hours with a brightness variation of 0.6 magnitude. Additional periods were obtained from photometric observation in the R and S-band at the Palomar Transient Factory, from modeled data using the Lowell photometric database and other data sources, which gave two spin axis of and in ecliptic coordinates, respectively. According to the survey carried out by NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer with its subsequent NEOWISE mission, Virtanen measures between 9.15 and 9.947 kilometers in diameter, its surface has an albedo between 0.285 and 0.36. The Collaborative Asteroid Lightcurve Link assumes an albedo of 0.24 – derived from 8 Flora, the largest member and namesake of its family – and calculates a diameter of 10.31 kilometers with an absolute magnitude of 12.1. This minor planet was named for famous Finnish biochemist Artturi Virtanen, recipient of the 1945 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and president of the Academy of Finland for many years; the official naming citation was published by the Minor Planet Center on 15 February 1970.

Asteroid Lightcurve Database, query form Dictionary of Minor Planet Names, Google books Asteroids and comets rotation curves, CdR – Observatoire de Genève, Raoul Behrend Discovery Circumstances: Numbered Minor Planets - – Minor Planet Center 1449 Virtanen at AstDyS-2, Asteroids—Dynamic Site Ephemeris · Observation prediction · Orbital info · Proper elements · Observational info 1449 Virtanen at the JPL Small-Body Database Close approach · Discovery · Ephemeris · Orbit diagram · Orbital elements · Physical parameters

Voris (designer)

Voris was the professional name of Voris Marker, an American designer of suede sportswear who won the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award in 1942 for her work. As Voris Marker, she worked as a sculptor. Born Voris Linthacum in Baker City, Oregon according to her marriage certificate, but growing up on a ranch near Billings, Voris worked as a copywriter for an advertising agency in Chicago after finishing school in Montana. While in Chicago, she had to have an operation on her leg, which led to her returning home as an invalid. Whilst recuperating, Voris came across a piece of soft chamois leather, which inspired her to use it to make up clothing, she made a golf skirt for a Spokane woman to wear in a tournament. Other players and spectators noticed the skirt, asked Voris to make them leather garments too, she founded her business, Suedes by Voris, in 1933, by 1940, had shops in Hollywood and across the Southwest, selling a wide range of clothing made in suede. Her range included day and evening wear, hats and men's jackets and ties, made in a wide range of colors.

One noted. When the couturier Elsa Schiaparelli visited Neiman Marcus and was invited to choose any one thing she wanted from the store, it has been suggested that this inspired the decision to award Voris the Neiman Marcus Fashion Award in 1942. Voris gave up the business to dedicate herself to sculpting. Following her receipt of the Neiman Marcus award, she was commissioned to create a bronze portrait of Herbert Marcus, the co-founder of the store, she made a memorial bust of Gary Cooper for the Friars Club of Beverly Hills in 1961. On 29 November 1936, Voris married Clifford H. Marker who went on to become President of the Board of Water and Power Commissioners in the early 1960s, she died on 22 May 1973

Leena Dhingra

Leena Dhingra is a British Asian actress. She graduated from the University of East Anglia with an MA in Creative Writing in 1991 and a PhD in 2001, she has appeared in soap operas Doctors as Nina Parmar, Coronation Street as Mina Parekh and EastEnders as Manju Patel. Her role as Manju was only supposed to be for two episodes but due to an internet campaign, EastEnders made her a recurring character in the soap from autumn 2007. Furthermore, Dhingra has done the rounds of popular British TV by making appearances in The Bill, Peak Practice, Cutting It, Silent Witness, Prime Suspect and Doctor Who, she has appeared in comedy shows Life Isn't All Ha Ha Hee Hee as Auntie Bindu and Grease Monkeys as Pinky Alluwahlia, film East is East as Mrs. Shah. Official website Leena Dhingra on IMDb

National Science Foundation: Under the Microscope

National Science Foundation: Under the Microscope was a 73-page report released on May 26, 2011 by US Senator Tom Coburn, a conservative Republican from Oklahoma, accusing the National Science Foundation of poor management and practices, various research projects, the social sciences. Mainstream press coverage generated a stir in academia; the May 26, 2011 report "National Science Foundation: Under the Microscope" was critical of the National Science Foundation. Conservative Republican Senator Tom Coburn from Oklahoma) argued that poor management and practices at NSF, "waste, fraud and mismanagement" have resulted in losses of over $1.2 billion, with a further $1.7 billion in unspent funds. The report fingered several studies that exemplify "waste and duplication" in its press release: An "$80,000 study on why the same teams always dominate March Madness", a "$315,000 study suggesting playing FarmVille on Facebook helps adults develop and maintain relationships", a study costing "$1 million for an analysis of how parents respond to trendy baby names", a study costing "$50,000 to produce and publicize amateur songs about science, including a rap called "Money 4 Drugz," and a misleading song titled "Biogas is a Gas, Gas".

Ineffective management examples, cited in the report, included "ineffective contracting", "$1.7 billion in unspent funds sitting in expired, undisbursed grant accounts", "at least $3 million in excessive travel funds", "a lack of accountability or program metrics to evaluate expenditures" and "inappropriate staff behavior including porn surfing and Jello wrestling and skinny-dipping at NSF-operated facilities in Antarctica". The report has recommended to clarify and establish guidelines on what is meant by "transformative science", measure success and ensure accountability, improve grant accountability, reduce duplication, consolidate the Directorate for Education & Human Resources and most controversially, eliminate the Social and Economics Directorate which receives a total of $200–300 million per year; the press release noted that "The social sciences should not be the focus of our premier basic scientific research agency". Coburn questioned whether "these social sciences represent obvious national priorities that deserve a cut of the same pie" as the natural sciences.

In 2011, NSF replied to the report, saying that it "has been diligent about addressing concerns from members of Congress about workforce and grant management issues, NSF's excellent record of tracking down waste and prosecuting wrongdoing is apparent" from the report itself, that some of the cases featured in the press release, like the inappropriate actions in the Antarctica facility, were internally reviewed and dealt with within the NSF. It was pointed out that NSF's budget of about $7 billion represents about 0.5% of the projected 2011 federal deficit. NSF has stated the report's claim for the biggest saving in unused money, is based on a "misreading of federal statutes", or an accounting misunderstanding. According to NSF, it is money obligated for multiyear grants. Controversy arose from the fact that the report highlighted many studies as pointless or wasteful, made fun of them as "silly", or arguably "serious science". Undervaluing the social sciences such as economics, political science, psychology and others, for example, collecting demographic statistics and other data on the US population, used in public policy and decision making.

Commentators have noted that attacks on "silly science" have a long tradition during economic downturns: in the 1970s a notable example was the Golden Fleece Awards established by Senator William Proxmire. Several professional associations of academics, such as the American Political Science Association and the Association for Psychological Science criticized the report. Academics allege that the report had inaccurate descriptions of their research misinterpreted them, or lacked the understanding of the underlying goals. Others described it as "flat-out inaccurate". Professor John Hibbing noted, it is "legitimate to ask what kind of scientific research is important and what isn't", but a nonscientific report by a politician may not be the best way to achieve this goal. On July 11, 2011, the American Association for the Advancement of Science opposed in a letter to the House Appropriations Committee, to reduce funding for the NSF Directorate for Social and Economic Sciences, stating, as an example, that the work of social scientists had been part of the development of geographic information systems that could be used in responses to disasters such as the September 11 attacks.

The report started a controversy, which resulted in a Congressional inquiry and one-year long study, with Texas Republican Lamar Smith chairing the House Science Committee. And a 2014 Congressional proposal to limit NSF's grant-writing authority. IN April 2014 the NSF board responded and broke its tradition of not commenting on pending legislation; the National Science Foundation: Under the Microscope