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Silenus

In Greek mythology, Silenus was a companion and tutor to the wine god Dionysus. He is older than the satyrs of the Dionysian retinue, sometimes older, in which case he may be referred to as a Papposilenus; the plural sileni refers to the mythological figure as a type, sometimes thought to be differentiated from a satyr by having the attributes of a horse rather than a goat, though usage of the two words is not consistent enough to permit a sharp distinction. The original Silenus resembled a folkloric man of the forest, with the ears of a horse and sometimes the tail and legs of a horse; the sileni were drunken followers of Dionysus bald and fat with thick lips and squat noses, having the legs of a human. Still, the plural "sileni" went out of use and the only references were to one individual named Silenus, the teacher and faithful companion of the wine-god Dionysus. A notorious consumer of wine, he was drunk and had to be supported by satyrs or carried by a donkey. Silenus was described as the oldest and most drunken of the followers of Dionysus, was said in Orphic hymns to be the young god's tutor.

This puts him in a company of phallic or half-animal tutors of the gods, a group that includes Priapus, Hermaphroditus and Chiron, but includes Pallas, the tutor of Athena. When intoxicated, Silenus was said to possess the power of prophecy; the Phrygian King Midas was eager to learn from Silenus and caught the old man by lacing a fountain with wine from which Silenus drank. As Silenus fell asleep, the king's servants took him to their master. Silenus shared with the king a pessimistic philosophy, according to which "the best thing for a man is not to be born, if born, to die as soon as possible". An alternative story was that when lost and wandering in Phrygia, Silenus was rescued by peasants and taken to Midas, who treated him kindly. In return for Midas' hospitality Silenus told him some tales and the king, enchanted by Silenus' fictions, entertained him for five days and nights. Dionysus offered Midas a reward for his kindness towards Silenus, Midas chose the power of turning everything he touched into gold.

Another story was that Silenus had been captured by two shepherds, regaled them with wondrous tales. In Euripides's satyr play Cyclops, Silenus is stranded with the satyrs in Sicily, where they have been enslaved by the Cyclopes, they are the comic elements of the story, a parody of Homer's Odyssey IX. Silenus refers to the satyrs as his children during the play. Silenus may have become a Latin term of abuse around 211 BC, when it is used in Plautus' Rudens to describe Labrax, a treacherous pimp or leno, as "...a pot-bellied old Silenus, bald head, bushy eyebrows, twister, god-forsaken criminal". In his satire The Caesars, the emperor Julian has Silenus sitting next to the gods to offer up his comments on the various rulers under examination, including Alexander the Great, Julius Caesar, Marcus Aurelius, Constantine I. Silenus figures in Roman bas-reliefs of the train of Dionysus, a subject for sarcophagi, embodying the transcendent promises of Dionysian cult. Silenus as member of the Dionysian entourage Papposilenus is a representation of Silenus that emphasizes his old age as a stock character in satyr play or comedy.

In vase painting, his hair is white, as in statuettes he has a pot belly, flabby breasts and shaggy thighs. In these depictions, it is clear that the Papposilenus is an actor playing a part, his costuming includes a body stocking tufted with hair that seems to have come into use in the mid-5th century BC. A theme in Greek philosophy and literature is the wisdom of Silenus which posits an antinatalist philosophy: "You, most blessed and happiest among humans, may well consider those blessed and happiest who have departed this life before you, thus you may consider it unlawful, indeed blasphemous, to speak anything ill or false of them, since they now have been transformed into a better and more refined nature; this thought is indeed so old. Moreover, you know what is so said and passes for a trite expression. What is that, he asked? He answered: It is best not to be born at all. Pertinently to this they say that Midas, after hunting, asked his captive Silenus somewhat urgently, what was the most desirable thing among humankind.

At first he could offer no response, was obstinately silent. At length, when Midas would not stop plaguing him, he erupted with these words, though unwillingly:'you, seed of an evil genius and precarious offspring of hard fortune, whose life is but for a day, why do you compel me to tell you those things of which it is better you should remain ignorant? For he lives with the least worry; this should be our choice. It is plain therefore, that he declared the condition of the dead to be better than that of the living." – Aristotle, surviving fragment quoted in Plutarch, Moralia. Consolatio ad Apollonium, sec. xxvii This passage is redolent of Theognis' Elegies. Silenus' wisdom appears in the writings of Arthur Schopenhauer. Via Scho

2018 Longman by-election

A by-election for the Australian House of Representatives seat of Longman took place on Saturday 28 July 2018, following the resignation of incumbent Labor MP Susan Lamb. In early counting, within an hour of the close of polls, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's psephologist Antony Green's electoral computer had predicted Labor to retain the electorate with an increased margin; the Liberal National Party's failure to win this seat for the ruling Coalition has been cited for the downfall of Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull a month on August 24. Due to the High Court ruling against Senator Katy Gallagher on 9 May 2018 as part of the ongoing parliamentary eligibility crisis and three other MPs in the same situation announced their parliamentary resignations that day, while the Perth incumbent resigned for family reasons; the Speaker announced on 24 May 2018 that he had scheduled the by-elections to occur on 28 July 2018. Popularly labelled "Super Saturday", the occurrence of five simultaneous federal by-elections is unprecedented in Australian political history.

The others are: 2018 Braddon by-election 2018 Fremantle by-election 2018 Mayo by-election 2018 Perth by-electionMark Latham, Labor leader between December 2003 and January 2005, voiced a robocall authorised by Pauline Hanson, in an attempt to discourage Labor voting and instead encouraged minor party voting. Key dates in relation to the by-election are: Thursday, 10 May 2018 – Speaker acceptance of resignation Friday, 15 June 2018 – Issue of writ Friday, 22 June 2018 – Close of electoral rolls Thursday, 5 July 2018 – Close of nominations Friday, 6 July 2018 – Declaration of nominations Tuesday, 10 July 2018 – Start of early voting Saturday, 28 July 2018 – Polling day Friday, 10 August 2018 – Last day for receipt of postal votes Sunday, 23 September 2018 – Last day for return of writs List of Australian federal by-elections 2017–18 Australian parliamentary eligibility crisis 2018 Longman by-election website: Australian Electoral Commission 2018 Longman by-election guide: Antony Green ABC 2018 Longman by-election guide: The Poll Bludger 2018 Longman by-election guide: The Tally Room By-elections aplenty: The Poll Bludger 10 May 2018 Super Saturday July 28: The Poll Bludger 24 May 2018

Akyatan Lagoon

Akyatan Lagoon is a 14700-hectare wetland ecosystem, designated as Wetland of International Importance by Ramsar Convention. A major stop over for migrating birds, Akyatan is recognized as an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International, it is the single largest green turtle rookery at the Mediterranean, holding 43% of the Mediterranean nesting population. The lagoon is located at the northeastern edge of Mediterranean Sea, 30 km south of the city of Adana, in Çukurova region of Turkey; the entrance to the lagoon is either through Küçük Karataş Village. Akyatan lake and the lagoons were formed during the 4th era when water levels at the Mediterranean started changing; as the rivers that make the delta flooded, a large swamp came into being at the location where there is Akyatan lake. The swamp disconnected from the sea and took its shape today with the sand brought by the waves that formed a cord, it is a typical alluvial dam lake. With the decrease in the amount of water that feeds the lake and with high levels of evaporation, the area of the lake shrinks during summer.

At the dried areas, mud surfaces form and by the end of summer the lake dries. Mud surfaces are seen at the west and northeast part of the lake. Around Kapı village, some islets reach the land; the lake has a connection to the sea through a 2 km narrow canal on the southwest side. There is a flow of water from the canal to the sea; when the water levels on the lake is low, the flow is from the sea to the lake. This results in the salt ratio of the lake varying throughout the year. In winter and spring, the lake water is fresh with the waters carried by drainage canals. In the summer time, lake is salty due to the high evaporation and the water flow from sea to the lake. Salt ratio is high at the areas close to the sea connection, low at the northern sections of the lake where the drainage waters and leakage is effective. Turkey's largest sand dunes are in the area between the sea; the dunes rise as high as 20 meters. In between the dune hills, that line up along the coast, depression goes below the sea level.

At the shores of the lake, there are swamps and reedbeds which vary in size depending on the fresh water leakage. North of the lake is surrounded with vast farmland. Deltas in the conservation area are one of the most fertile lands in the world, where the micro and the macro flora production reaches high levels; the food network, formed by high fertility and shelters a rich wildlife with wide variety of species waterfowls. Deltas are places for fish to lay their eggs and young fish to get protected. Two-thirds of the fish that come to the dinner tables live most of their lives at deltas and other wetlands; this makes deltas important in terms of the future of fishing. In winter, as the wetlands in Central Anatolia freezes, many waterfowls inhabit the wetlands of Akyatan. Being on the migration route, Akyatan hosts huge flocks of birds from many different species; this makes Akyatan lake important. Variety of habitats and rich plant and animal collection makes Akyatan an outdoor laboratory for scientific studies.

Akyatan with the function of balancing base water and preventing salty water from the sea entering into the interior, has contribution in regulating region's water regime. Akyatan lagoon acts as a multipurpose wetland ecosystem, serving the surrounding communities by creating economy through fishing and by providing recreation. Recreation activities at the lagoon are wildlife watching and recreational fishing. Turkish-Iranian and Mediterranean plant geography dominates the area that Akyatan lagoon is situated. Variety of living environments, provides the evolution of plant species that have different ecological inclination; the most interesting section of the nature reserve in terms of plants are the sand dunes between the lake and the sea. Oleander and acantholimon dominates the section, from the lagoons climbing up to the dune hills. At the inner section, kidney weed, common vetch and alfalfa is plenty; the shrub species of the reserve are myrtle and common smilax. The dune valleys are covered with early spider orchid and orchis spitzelii.

Afforestation project started in 1955 for stabilizing the dunes and so far, 3687 hectares of dune area has been afforested. Eucalyptus, acacia saligna, stone pine, Turkish pine and cupressus is used for afforestation. At the section that are affected by fresh water, there are rush, water lily and yellow iris. At the salty water swamps, tamarix and sueda spp. is common. Islets near Kapı village are covered with narcissus. At the meadows around the villages and grass lily dominates. Clear water surfaces, reedbeds and salty swamps, fresh water ponds, small lakes, wide dune ecosystems and shores provide habitats with different ecological characters which attracts wide variety of wildlife waterfowls; the wide dunes between the lake and the sea, shrub areas are suitable living environments for carnivorous mammals. The most common in the area is golden jackal; the other common species are red fox, jungle cat, European hare, wild boar, European badger and hedgehog. Mongoose is common at lake shores and at the small lakes which are formed by ancient river tributaries.

The region is the western most location of its Asian dispersion. At the rich wetland habitats of Akyatan, marsh frog and European green toad can be observed in large numbers. There are records of observed European otter; the area is rich with reptiles. Green turtle is a globally endangered speci