Latvia the Republic of Latvia, is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe. Since its independence, Latvia has been referred to as one of the Baltic states, it is bordered by Estonia to the north, Lithuania to the south, Russia to the east, Belarus to the southeast, shares a maritime border with Sweden to the west. Latvia has 1,957,200 inhabitants and a territory of 64,589 km2; the country has a temperate seasonal climate. After centuries of Swedish and Russian rule, a rule executed by the Baltic German aristocracy, the Republic of Latvia was established on 18 November 1918 when it broke away and declared independence in the aftermath of World War I. However, by the 1930s the country became autocratic after the coup in 1934 establishing an authoritarian regime under Kārlis Ulmanis; the country's de facto independence was interrupted at the outset of World War II, beginning with Latvia's forcible incorporation into the Soviet Union, followed by the invasion and occupation by Nazi Germany in 1941, the re-occupation by the Soviets in 1944 to form the Latvian SSR for the next 45 years.
The peaceful Singing Revolution, starting in 1987, called for Baltic emancipation from Soviet rule and condemning the Communist regime's illegal takeover. It ended with the Declaration on the Restoration of Independence of the Republic of Latvia on 4 May 1990, restoring de facto independence on 21 August 1991. Latvia is a democratic sovereign state, parliamentary republic and a highly developed country according to the United Nations Human Development Index, its capital Riga served as the European Capital of Culture in 2014. Latvian is the official language. Latvia is a unitary state, divided into 119 administrative divisions, of which 110 are municipalities and nine are cities. Latvians and Livonians are the indigenous people of Latvia. Latvian and Lithuanian are the only two surviving Baltic languages. Despite foreign rule from the 13th to 20th centuries, the Latvian nation maintained its identity throughout the generations via the language and musical traditions. However, as a consequence of centuries of Russian rule and Soviet occupation, Latvia is home to a large number of ethnic Russians, some of whom have not gained citizenship, leaving them with no citizenship at all.
Until World War II, Latvia had significant minorities of ethnic Germans and Jews. Latvia is predominantly Lutheran Protestant, except for the Latgale region in the southeast, predominantly Roman Catholic; the Russian population are Eastern Orthodox Christians. Latvia is a member of the European Union, Eurozone, NATO, the Council of Europe, the United Nations, CBSS, the IMF, NB8, NIB, OECD, OSCE, WTO. For 2014, the country was listed 46th on the Human Development Index and as a high income country on 1 July 2014. A full member of the Eurozone, it began using the euro as its currency on 1 January 2014, replacing the Latvian lats; the name Latvija is derived from the name of the ancient Latgalians, one of four Indo-European Baltic tribes, which formed the ethnic core of modern Latvians together with the Finnic Livonians. Henry of Latvia coined the latinisations of the country's name, "Lettigallia" and "Lethia", both derived from the Latgalians; the terms inspired the variations on the country's name in Romance languages from "Letonia" and in several Germanic languages from "Lettland".
Around 3000 BC, the proto-Baltic ancestors of the Latvian people settled on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea. The Balts established trade routes to Byzantium, trading local amber for precious metals. By 900 AD, four distinct Baltic tribes inhabited Latvia: Curonians, Selonians, Semigallians, as well as the Finnic tribe of Livonians speaking a Finnic language. In the 12th century in the territory of Latvia, there were 14 lands with their rulers: Vanema, Bandava, Duvzare, Megava, Pilsāts, Upmale, Sēlija, Jersika, Tālava and Adzele. Although the local people had contact with the outside world for centuries, they became more integrated into the European socio-political system in the 12th century; the first missionaries, sent by the Pope, sailed up the Daugava River in the late 12th century, seeking converts. The local people, did not convert to Christianity as as the Church had hoped. German crusaders were sent, or more decided to go on their own accord as they were known to do. Saint Meinhard of Segeberg arrived in Ikšķile, in 1184, traveling with merchants to Livonia, on a Catholic mission to convert the population from their original pagan beliefs.
Pope Celestine III had called for a crusade against pagans in Northern Europe in 1193. When peaceful means of conversion failed to produce results, Meinhard plotted to convert Livonians by force of arms. In the beginning of the 13th century, Germans ruled large parts of today's Latvia. Together with Southern Estonia, these conquered areas formed the crusader state that became known as Terra Mariana or Livonia. In 1282, the cities of Cēsis, Limbaži, Koknese and Valmiera, became part of the Hanseatic League. Riga became an important point of east-west trading and formed close cultural links with Western Europe. After the Livonian War, Livonia fell under Lithuanian rule; the southern part of Estonia and the northern part of Latvia were ceded to the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and formed into the Duchy of Livonia. Gotthard Kettler, the last Master of
Hemispheres of Earth
In geography and cartography, the hemispheres of Earth refer to any division of the globe into two hemispheres. The most common such divisions are by latitudinal or longitudinal markers: North–South Northern Hemisphere, the half that lies north of the Equator Southern Hemisphere, the half that lies south of the Equator East–West Eastern Hemisphere, the half that lies east of the prime meridian and west of the 180th meridian Western Hemisphere, the half that lies west of the prime meridian and east of the 180th meridianThe East–West division can be seen in a cultural sense, as a division into two cultural hemispheres. However, other schemes have sought to divide the planet in a way that maximizes the preponderance of one geographic feature or another in each division: Land–Water Land Hemisphere, the hemisphere on Earth containing the largest possible area of land Water Hemisphere, the hemisphere on Earth containing the largest area of water The Earth may be split into hemispheres of day and night by the terrestrial terminator.
East–West dichotomy North–South divide Media related to Earth's hemispheres at Wikimedia Commons
A geographical pole is either of the two points on a rotating body where its axis of rotation intersects its surface. As with Earth's North and South Poles, they are called that body's "north pole" and "south pole", one lying 90 degrees in one direction from the body's equator and the other lying 90 degrees in the opposite direction from the equator; every planet has geographical poles. If, like the Earth, a body generates a magnetic field, it will possess magnetic poles. Perturbations in a body's rotation mean that geographical poles wander on its surface; the Earth's North and South Poles, for example, move by a few metres over periods of a few years. As cartography requires exact and unchanging coordinates, the averaged locations of geographical poles are taken as fixed cartographic poles and become the points where the body's great circles of longitude intersect. Antipodes Equatorial bulge Polar regions of Earth Poles of astronomical bodies Polar wander
Santa Barbara, California
Santa Barbara is 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 2014, the city had an estimated population of 91,196, 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 and train service is provided by Amtrak the Pacific Surfliner which runs from San Diego to San Luis Obispo). U. S. Highway 101 connects the Santa Barbara area with Los Angeles to the southeast and San Francisco 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 building up the town, so they were honored by having streets after them. After the forced secularization of the Missions in 1833
Finland the Republic of Finland, is a country in Northern Europe bordering the Baltic Sea, Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland, between Norway to the north, Sweden to the northwest, Russia to the east. Finland is situated in the geographical region of Fennoscandia; the capital and largest city is Helsinki. Other major cities are Espoo, Tampere and Turku. Finland's population is 5.52 million, the majority of the population is concentrated in the southern region. 88.7% of the population is Finnish and speaks Finnish, a Uralic language unrelated to the Scandinavian languages. Finland is the eighth-largest country in Europe and the most sparsely populated country in the European Union; the sovereign state is a parliamentary republic with a central government based in the capital city of Helsinki, local governments in 311 municipalities, one autonomous region, the Åland Islands. Over 1.4 million people live in the Greater Helsinki metropolitan area, which produces one third of the country's GDP. Finland was inhabited when the last ice age ended 9000 BCE.
The first settlers left behind artefacts that present characteristics shared with those found in Estonia and Norway. The earliest people were hunter-gatherers; the first pottery appeared in 5200 BCE. The arrival of the Corded Ware culture in southern coastal Finland between 3000 and 2500 BCE may have coincided with the start of agriculture; the Bronze Age and Iron Age were characterised by extensive contacts with other cultures in the Fennoscandian and Baltic regions and the sedentary farming inhabitation increased towards the end of Iron Age. At the time Finland had three main cultural areas – Southwest Finland and Karelia – as reflected in contemporary jewellery. From the late 13th century, Finland became an integral part of Sweden through the Northern Crusades and the Swedish part-colonisation of coastal Finland, a legacy reflected in the prevalence of the Swedish language and its official status. In 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as the autonomous Grand Duchy of Finland.
In 1906, Finland became the first European state to grant all adult citizens the right to vote, the first in the world to give all adult citizens the right to run for public office. Following the 1917 Russian Revolution, Finland declared itself independent. In 1918, the fledgling state was divided by civil war, with the Bolshevik-leaning Red Guard supported by the new Soviet Russia, fighting the White Guard, supported by the German Empire. After a brief attempt to establish a kingdom, the country became a republic. During World War II, the Soviet Union sought to occupy Finland, with Finland losing parts of Karelia, Kuusamo and some islands, but retaining their independence. Finland established an official policy of neutrality; the Finno-Soviet Treaty of 1948 gave the Soviet Union some leverage in Finnish domestic politics during the Cold War era. Finland joined the OECD in 1969, the NATO Partnership for Peace in 1994, the European Union in 1995, the Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council in 1997, the Eurozone at its inception, in 1999.
Finland was a relative latecomer to industrialisation, remaining a agrarian country until the 1950s. After World War II, the Soviet Union demanded war reparations from Finland not only in money but in material, such as ships and machinery; this forced Finland to industrialise. It developed an advanced economy while building an extensive welfare state based on the Nordic model, resulting in widespread prosperity and one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. Finland is a top performer in numerous metrics of national performance, including education, economic competitiveness, civil liberties, quality of life, human development. In 2015, Finland was ranked first in the World Human Capital and the Press Freedom Index and as the most stable country in the world during 2011–2016 in the Fragile States Index, second in the Global Gender Gap Report, it ranked first on the World Happiness Report report for 2018 and 2019. A large majority of Finns are members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church, freedom of religion is guaranteed under the Finnish Constitution.
The earliest written appearance of the name Finland is thought to be on three runestones. Two have the inscription finlonti; the third was found in Gotland. It dates back to the 13th century; the name can be assumed to be related to the tribe name Finns, mentioned at first known time AD 98. The name Suomi has uncertain origins, but a candidate for a source is the Proto-Baltic word *źemē, meaning "land". In addition to the close relatives of Finnish, this name is used in the Baltic languages Latvian and Lithuanian. Alternatively, the Indo-European word * gʰm-on "man" has been suggested; the word referred only to the province of Finland Proper, to the northern coast of Gulf of Finland, with northern regions such as Ostrobothnia still sometimes being excluded until later. Earlier theories suggested derivation from suomaa or suoniemi, but these are now considered outdated; some have suggested common etymology with saame and Häme, but that theory is uncertain
The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon that occurs in the summer months in places north of the Arctic Circle or south of the Antarctic Circle, when the Sun remains visible at the local midnight. Around the summer solstice, the Sun is visible for given fair weather; the number of days per year with potential midnight sun increases the closer towards either pole one goes. Although defined by the polar circles, in practice the midnight sun can be seen as much as 55 miles outside the polar circle, as described below, the exact latitudes of the farthest reaches of midnight sun depend on topography and vary year-to-year; because there are no permanent human settlements south of the Antarctic Circle, apart from research stations, the countries and territories whose populations experience the midnight sun are limited to those crossed by the Arctic Circle: the Canadian Yukon and Northwest Territories. A quarter of Finland's territory lies north of the Arctic Circle, at the country's northernmost point the sun does not set at all for 60 days during summer.
In Svalbard, the northernmost inhabited region of Europe, there is no sunset from 19 April to 23 August. The extreme sites are the poles; the North Pole has midnight sun for 6 months from late March to late September. The South Pole experiences this from 23 September to 20 March; the opposite phenomenon, polar night, occurs in winter, when the Sun stays below the horizon throughout the day. Since the axial tilt of the Earth is considerable, the Sun does not set at high latitudes in local summer; the Sun remains continuously visible for one day during the summer solstice at the polar circle, for several weeks only 100 km closer to the pole, for six months at the pole. At extreme latitudes, the midnight sun is referred to as polar day. At the poles themselves, the Sun sets only once each year on the equinox. During the six months that the Sun is above the horizon, it spends the days continuously moving in circles around the observer spiralling higher and reaching its highest circuit of the sky at the summer solstice.
Because of atmospheric refraction, because the Sun is a disc rather than a point, the midnight sun may be experienced at latitudes south of the Arctic Circle or north of the Antarctic Circle, though not exceeding one degree. For example, Iceland is known for its midnight sun though most of it is south of the Arctic Circle. For the same reasons, the period of sunlight at the poles is longer than six months; the northern extremities of Scotland experience twilight throughout the night in the northern sky at around the summer solstice. Observers at heights appreciably above sea level can experience extended periods of midnight sun as a result of the "dip" of the horizon viewed from altitude; the term "midnight sun" refers to the consecutive 24-hour periods of sunlight experienced north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle. Other phenomena are sometimes referred to as "midnight sun", but they are caused by time zones and the observance of daylight saving time. For instance, in Fairbanks, south of the Arctic Circle, the Sun sets at 12:47 am at the summer solstice.
This is because Fairbanks is 51 minutes ahead of its idealized time zone and Alaska observes daylight saving time. This means. If a precise moment for the genuine "midnight sun" is required, the observer's longitude, the local civil time and the equation of time must be taken into account; the moment of the Sun's closest approach to the horizon coincides with its passing due north at the observer's position, which occurs only at midnight in general. Each degree of longitude east of the Greenwich meridian makes the vital moment 4 minutes earlier than midnight as shown on the clock, while each hour that the local civil time is ahead of coordinated universal time makes the moment an hour later; these two effects must be added. Furthermore, the equation of time must be added: a positive value on a given date means that the Sun is running ahead of its average position, so the value must be subtracted; as an example, at the North Cape of Norway at midnight on June 21/22, the longitude of 25.9 degrees east makes the moment 103.2 minutes earlier by clock time.
The equation of time at that date is -2.0 minutes. Therefore, the sun's lowest elevation occurs 120 - 103.2 + 2.0 minutes after midnight: at 00.19 Central European Summer time. On other nearby dates the only thing different is the equation of time, so this remains a reasonable estimate for a considerable period; the Sun's altitude remains within half a degree of the minimum of about 5 degrees for about 45 minutes either side of this time. Locations where the Sun remains less than 6 degrees below the horizon—above 60° 34’ latitude south of the Arctic Circle or north of the Antarctic Circle—experience midnight twilight instead of midnight