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Sita

Sita is the central female character and one of the central figures in the Hindu epic and its other versions. She is described as the daughter of the earth goddess, Bhūmi and the adopted daughter of King Janaka of Videha and his wife, Queen Sunaina, she has a younger sister and the female cousins Mandavi and Shrutakirti. Sita is known for her dedication, self-sacrifice and purity. Sita, in her youth, chooses Rama, the prince of Ayodhya as her husband in a swayamvara—bride choosing the best from a crowd of suitors after a contest, where Rama proves his heroism and valor and martial power and "defeats" the other seekers for Seeta's hand in marriage. After the swayamvara, she accompanies her husband to his kingdom, but chooses to accompany her husband, along with her brother-in-law Lakshmana, in his exile. While in exile, the trio settles in the Dandaka forest from where she is abducted by Ravana, the Rakshasa king of Lanka, she is imprisoned in Ashoka Vatika in Lanka. After the war, in some versions of the epic, Rama asks Sita to undergo Agni Pariksha by which she proves her purity before she is accepted by Rama, which for the first time makes his brother Lakshmana get angry at him.

In some versions of the epic, the fire-god Agni creates Maya Sita, who takes Sita's place and is abducted by Ravana and suffers his captivity, while the real Sita hides in the fire. During the Agni Pariksha, Maya Sita and the real Sita exchange places again. While some texts say that Maya Sita is destroyed in the flames of Agni Pariksha, others narrate how she is blessed and reborn as the epic heroine Draupadi or the goddess Padmavati; some scriptures mention her previous birth being Vedavati, a woman Ravana tries to molest. After proving her purity and Sita return to Ayodhya, where they are crowned as king and queen. After a few months, Sita becomes pregnant, to which a washerman makes insensitive comments on Sita to his wife, which Rama in disguise hears. Rama sends Sita away on exile. Lakshmana is the one. Years Sita returns to the womb of her mother, the Earth, for release from a cruel world as a testimony of her purity after she reunites her two sons Kusha and Lava with their father Rama.

The goddess is derived from the Sanskrit word sīta, furrow. According to Ramayana, Janaka adopted her; the word Sīta was a poetic term, its imagery redolent of fecundity and the many blessings coming from settled agriculture. The Sita of the Ramayana may have been named after a more ancient Vedic goddess Sita, mentioned once in the Rigveda as an earth goddess who blesses the land with good crops. In the Vedic period, she was one of the goddesses associated with fertility. A Vedic hymn recites: In Harivamsa, Sita is invoked as one of the names of the goddess Arya: The Kausik-sutra and the Paraskara-sutra associate her as the wife of Parjanya and Indra. Sita is known by many epithets, she is called Jānaki as the daughter of Maithili as the princess of Mithila. As the wife of Rama, she is called Ramā, her father Janaka had earned the sobriquet Videha due to his ability to transcend body consciousness. Devi Sita while playing with her sisters in childhood had unknowingly lifted the table over which the bow had been placed.

This incident was however observed by Janaka and he decided to make it a backdrop for Swayamvara because he wanted a son-in-law, as strong as his daughter. The birthplace of Sita is disputed; the Sita Kund pilgrimage site, located in present-day Sitamarhi district,Bihar, India is viewed as the birthplace of Sita. Apart from Sitamarhi, Janakpur, located in the present-day Province No. 2, Nepal, is described as Sita's birthplace. Valmiki's Ramayana: In Valmiki's Ramayana and its Tamil version Kamban's Ramavataram, Sita is said to have been discovered in a furrow in a ploughed field, believed to be Sitamarhi in Mithila region of present-day Bihar, for that reason is regarded as a daughter of Bhūmi Devi, she was discovered and brought up by Janaka, king of Mithila and his wife Sunaina. Ramayana Manjari: In Ramayana Manjari, North-western and Bengal recensions of Valmiki Ramayana, it has been described as on hearing a voice from the sky and seeing Menaka, Janaka expresses his wish to obtain a child, when he finds the child, he hears the same voice again telling him the infant is his Spiritual child, born of Menaka.

Janka's real daughter: In Ramopkhyana of the Mahabharata and in Paumachariya of Vimala Suri, Sita has been depicted as Janaka's real daughter. According to Rev. Fr. Camille Bulcke, this motif that Sita was the real daughter of Janaka, as described in Ramopkhyana Mahabharata was based on the authentic version of Valmiki Ramayana; the story of Sita miraculously appearing in a furrow was inserted in Valmiki Ramayana. Reincarnation of Vedavati: Some versions of the Ramayana suggest that Sita was a reincarnation of Vedavati. Ravana tried to molest Vedavati and her chastity was sullied beyond Ravana's redemption when she was performing penance to become the consort of Vishnu. Vedavati immolated herself on a pyre to escape Ravana's lust, vowing to return in another age and be the cause of Ravana's destruction, she was duly reborn as Sita. Reincarnation of Manivati: According to Gunabhadra's Uttara Purana of the ninth century BCE, Ravana disturbs the asceticism of Manivati, daughter of Amitavega of Alkapuri, she pledges to take revenge on Ravana.

Manivati is reborn as the dau

Toulon (horse)

Toulon, was a Thoroughbred racehorse and sire, bred in Britain and trained in France. In a career which lasted from October 1990 until October 1992, he ran eleven times and won four races, he recorded his most important success when winning the Classic St. Leger Stakes as a three-year-old in 1990, the same year in which he won the Chester Vase and the Prix Maurice de Nieuil as well as finishing fourth in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe. In the following season he failed to win in four races in Europe and had limited success when racing in California in 1993, he was retired to stud, where he proved to be a successful sire of National Hunt horses. Toulon was a bay horse with a white star, bred in the United Kingdom by his owner, Khalid Abdulla's Juddmonte Farms organisation, he was one of the best horses sired by Top Ville, the Irish-bred winner of the 1979 Prix du Jockey Club. Toulon's dam, Green Rock was a daughter of Infra Green, who won Prix Ganay and produced good winners including Infrasonic and Greensmith.

The colt was sent into training with André Fabre at Chantilly. He was ridden in all but his first and last races European races by the veteran Irish jockey Pat Eddery. Toulon did not appear on a racecourse until the late autumn of 1990. On 25 October he ran against two opponents in the Prix de Sablonville over 1800m at Longchamp. Ridden for the only time by Cash Asmussen, he won by a neck from Sarajoudin. On his first appearance of 1991, Toulon was stepped up in class for the Group Two Prix Greffulhe at Longchamp, in which he was ridden for the first time by Pat Eddery, he took the lead in the straight but was overtaken by Suave Dancer who won comfortably by four lengths, with Toulon in third. With Suave Dancer being aimed at the Prix du Jockey Club, Toulon's connections targeted The Derby and sent him to England for the Chester Vase on 7 May. Eddery held up the French-trained colt for a late challenge, but struggled to obtain a clear run and was badly hampered before Toulon broke clear to win from Luchiroverte.

Toulon's Chester win saw him regarded as a major contender for the Derby, Epsom on 5 June, he started 4/1 joint favourite for the race against twelve opponents. He was towards the back of the field from the start and never challenged the leaders, finishing ninth behind Generous. In July, Toulon returned to France to race against older horses in the Prix Maurice de Nieuil at Maisons-Laffitte Racecourse. Toulon took the lead 200m from the finish and went clear of his opponents before being eased down in the final strides to win by two lengths from the Irish four-year-old Topanoora. On 14 September Toulon started 5/2 favourite for the St Leger over fourteen and a half furlongs at Doncaster Racecourse. Eddery restrained Toulon in the early stages before moving him up to challenge the leader Saddler's Hall in the straight; the two colts drew fifteen lengths clear of the rest of the runners, with Toulon being "driven out" by Eddery to prevail by one and a half lengths. On his final start of the season, Toulon was brought back in distance to face Suave Dancer and eleven others in the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.

He finished fourth, six lengths behind Suave Dancer, but ahead of important winners including In the Groove, Quest for Fame, Miss Alleged, Jet Ski Lady and Snurge. Toulon was well-beaten in all four of his races in 1992, he was third when favourite for the Jockey Club Stakes at Newmarket and finished last of the six runners in the Prix Jean de Chaudenay. He ran fourth in the Grand Prix d'Evry in June and was off the course until autumn. On his final European appearance he was sent to Germany and finished fourth of the five runners in the Preis der Spielbanken des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen at Düsseldorf in October, a race in which he was ridden by Paul Eddery. In 1993, Toulon was sent to be trained by Bobby Frankel in California, he produced two "dismal" performances at Santa Anita Park before winning the Jim Murray Memorial Handicap at Hollywood Park Racetrack Toulon retired to stud in Ireland where he sired four crops of foals before his death in 1998. Toulon was much more successful as a National Hunt stallion.

His best winners included the steeplechaser Kingscliff and the Irish-trained mare Solerina who won twenty-two races including three runnings of the Hatton's Grace Hurdle

Vickrey auction

A Vickrey auction is a type of sealed-bid auction. Bidders submit written bids without knowing the bid of the other people in the auction; the highest bidder wins but the price paid is the second-highest bid. This type of auction is strategically similar to an English auction and gives bidders an incentive to bid their true value; the auction was first described academically by Columbia University professor William Vickrey in 1961 though it had been used by stamp collectors since 1893. In 1797 Johann Wolfgang von Goethe sold a manuscript using a second-price auction. Vickrey's original paper considered auctions where only a single, indivisible good is being sold; the terms Vickrey auction and second-price sealed-bid auction are, in this case only and used interchangeably. When either a divisible good or multiple identical goods are sold in a single auction, these terms are used differently. In the case of multiple identical goods, the bidders submit inverse demand curves and pay the opportunity cost.

Vickrey auctions uncommon in practice. Generalized variants of the Vickrey auction for multiunit auctions exist, such as the generalized second-price auction used in Google's and Yahoo!'s online advertisement programmes and the Vickrey-Clarke-Grove Auction. In a Vickrey auction with private values each bidder maximizes their expected utility by bidding their valuation of the item for sale; these type of auctions are sometimes used for specified pool trading in the agency mortgage-backed securities market. A Vickrey auction is decision efficient under the most general circumstances, it is only ex-post efficient if the seller is included as "player zero," whose transfer equals the negative of the sum of the other players' transfers. It does not allow for price discovery, that is, discovery of the market price if the buyers are unsure of their own valuations, without sequential auctions. Sellers may use shill bids to increase profit; the Vickrey–Clarke–Groves mechanism has the additional shortcomings: It is vulnerable to bidder collusion.

If all bidders in Vickrey auction reveal their valuations to each other, they can lower some or all of their valuations, while preserving who wins the auction. It is vulnerable to a version of shill bidding in which a buyer uses multiple identities in the auction in order to maximize its profit, it does not maximize seller revenues. If the purpose of holding the auction is to maximize profit for the seller rather than just allocate resources among buyers VCG may be a poor choice; the seller's revenues are non-monotonic with regard to the sets of offers. The non-monotonicity of seller's revenues with respect to bids can be shown by the following example. Consider 3 bidders A, B, C, two homogeneous items bid upon, Y and Z. A wants both items and bids $2 for the package of Y and Z. B and C both bid $2 each for a single item, as they want one item but don't care if they have the second. Now, Y and Z are allocated to B and C, but the price is $0, as can be found by removing either B or C respectively.

If C bid $0 instead of $2 the seller would make $2 instead of $0. Because the seller's revenue can go up when bids are either increased or decreased, the seller's revenues are non-monotonic with respect to bids; the dominant strategy in a Vickrey auction with a single, indivisible item is for each bidder to bid their true value of the item. Let v i be bidder i's value for the item. Let b i be bidder i's bid for the item; the payoff for bidder i is { v i − max j ≠ i b j if b i > max j ≠ i b j 0 otherwise The strategy of overbidding is dominated by bidding truthfully. Assume that bidder i bids b i > v i. If max j ≠ i b j < v i the bidder would win the item with a truthful bid as well as an overbid. The bid's amount does not change the payoff. If max j ≠ i b j > b i the bidder would lose the item either way so the strategies have equal payoffs in this case. If v i < max j ≠ i b j < b i only the strategy of overbidding would win the auction. The payoff would be negative for the strategy of