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Pacific swift

The Pacific swift is a species of bird, part of the Swift family. It breeds in eastern Asia, it is migratory, spending the northern hemisphere's winter in Southeast Asia and Australia. The general shape and blackish plumage recall its relative, the common swift, from which it is distinguished by a white rump band and marked underparts; the sexes are identical in appearance, although young birds can be identified by pale fringes to the wing feathers that are absent in adults. This swift's main call is a screech typical of its family, it is one of a group of related Asian swifts regarded as one species. The Pacific swift is found in a wide range of climatic habitats, it breeds under the roofs of houses. The nest is a half-cup of dry grass and other fine material, gathered in flight, cemented with saliva and attached to a vertical surface; the two or three white eggs are incubated for about seventeen days to hatching. Subsequently, the chicks have a long but variable period in the nest before they are fledged.

When the parents cannot find sufficient food in bad weather, the young can survive for days without being fed by metabolising body fat. Like all members of its family, the Pacific swift feeds on insects caught in flight, it tends to hunt higher than most of its relatives other than the white-throated needletail. The Pacific swift has a large population and extensive breeding area, faces few threats from predators or human activities, it is classed as being of least concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. It has occurred as far afield as the US and New Zealand, it is a rare vagrant in Europe; the swifts form the bird family Apodidae, divided into several genera. The Pacific swift is in the Old World genus Apus, characterised by dark, glossy plumage, a forked tail and pointed wings; until the Pacific swift was considered to have five subspecies, but three have now been elevated to full species status as part of a "fork-tailed swift" superspecies. The proposed name of the superspecies was a synonym for the Pacific swift.

A 2011 study proposed the following treatment. The long-tailed birds from the Tibetan Plateau with a narrow white throat patch are separated as Salim Ali's swift, A. salimali, the small swifts with narrow white rumps from the Himalayas of India and Bhutan become Blyth's swift, A. leuconyx, the population that breeds in limestone caves in northern Southeast Asia, characterised by a green iridescence and shallow tail fork, is split as Cook's swift, A. cooki. The remaining subspecies are the southern race A. p. kurodae. This arrangement has been accepted by the International Ornithological Committee, but not the International Union for Conservation of Nature. A 2012 paper showed that cooki is related to the dark-rumped swift, A. acuticauda, which should therefore be included in the pacificus clade, but made no further taxonomic recommendations. This swift was first described by John Latham in 1801 as Hirundo pacifica. Scopoli separated the swifts from the swallows as the genus Apus in 1777. Apus, like Apodidae, is derived from the Greek απους, meaning "without feet", a reference to the small, weak legs of these most aerial of birds, pacificus refers to the Pacific Ocean.

At 17–18 cm in length, the Pacific swift is the largest of the Apus swifts. It has a 43-to-54-cm wingspan. Females are heavier than males, averaging 44.5 g against 42.5 g. It is similar in general shape to the common swift, although longer-winged and with a more protruding head; the fork of the tail is deeper, the rump is broader. The upperparts are black, apart from a somewhat greyer head; the underparts are black, although white fringes to the feathers gives the belly a scaly appearance when seen well from below. The tail and the upper wings are black, the underwings are brown; the eyes are brown and the small bill and short legs are black. The sexes are identically plumaged, juveniles differ from the adults only in that the feathers show pale fringes on the wings; the southern subspecies, A. p. kurodae, has a narrower white rump, a grey throat and blacker underparts. Juveniles of migratory Apus swifts have a partial moult prior to migration, but retain the larger wing feathers; the moult is completed in the wintering grounds.

This species is straightforward to identify. The white-rumped swift is similar to Pacific swift, but its slender body and long forked tail make it appear quite different from its more powerfully built relative. A possible pitfall is a leucistic common swift with a white rump; the Pacific swift can be distinguished with care by its deeper tail fork, longer wings, bigger head, larger white throat patch and patterned underparts. In parts of Southeast Asia, migrating Pacific swifts pass through the resident ranges of former subspecies, good views are necessary to be sure of correct identification; the calls given by flocks near the breeding areas are typical swift screams, including a trilled tsiririri or harsher spee-eer. They are softer and less wheezy. Pacific swifts are less vocal on the wintering grounds, but produce a variety of twitters and buzzes; the nominate subspecies, A. p. pacificus, breeds in eastern Asia from the Ob River northeast to Kamchatka and east to the Kuril Islands and Japan.

It is migratory, wintering

Crookston, Minnesota

Crookston is a city in the U. S. state of Minnesota. It is the county seat of Polk County; the population was 7,891 at the 2010 census. It is part of the "Grand Forks, ND–MN Metropolitan Statistical Area" or "Greater Grand Forks". Crookston is the episcopal seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Crookston. Crookston is a commuter town to the larger city of Grand Forks, North Dakota; the Crookston area was unoccupied until European contact and remained little more than a hunting ground associated with the Pembina settlements until the 1860s. The land in Crookston's immediate vicinity is not connected with any verifiable Native American or European historic events or circumstances until transfer in the Treaties of Old Crossing in 1863–64. Before that, the territory now included in Crookston was part of Rupert's Land and Assiniboia before becoming part of the United States as a result of the boundary settlement in the Treaty of 1818; the Crookston area was traversed by trappers and traders, including Ojibwa and Lakota Indians, Métis, other mixed-race people as well as white men between 1790 and 1870.

A branch of the Red River Trails passed nearby. The present-day site of Crookston first saw settlement by non-Indian people around 1872, it was the site of a federal land office by 1876 and sited on a portion of the Great Northern Railway that began operation by 1880. The town was incorporated on April 1, 1879 as "Queen City". By the end of that year, the town had a jail, graded streets, a few plank sidewalks. Soon it was decided. Two factions emerged supporting two different names. One wished to honor the town's first mayor, Captain Ellerey C. Davis, with the name Davis. Another group picked the name Crookston to honor Colonel William Crooks, a soldier and railroad builder; the name was chosen by coin toss. Soon Scandinavian and German immigrants began populating Crookston. At one point, eight different railroad lines reached the town, it became a center of commerce and manufacturing. Crookston sits in the fertile Red River Valley, once a part of glacial Lake Agassiz; as Lake Agassiz receded, it left behind rich mineral deposits.

This made the area around Crookston prime for agricultural uses. Grains such as wheat and other crops, including sugar beets and potatoes grow well in the area around Crookston. Crookston has a flat landscape; the Red Lake River turns. The riverbank has eroded somewhat. U. S. Highway 2, U. S. Highway 75, Minnesota Highway 102, Minnesota Highway 9 are four of the main routes in the community. Crookston is the northern terminus of the Agassiz Recreational Trail, a 53-mile multi-use trail built on an abandoned railroad grade that has its southern terminus at Ulen. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 5.15 square miles, all of it land. Crookston has not seen major population growth since the 1970s; the economy has suffered due to a lack of well-paying jobs, a trend accelerated by a larger influx of individuals and families low on the socioeconomic scale. As of the 2010 census there were 7,891 people, 3,109 households, 1,743 families living in the city; the population density was 1,532.2 inhabitants per square mile.

There were 3,303 housing units at an average density of 641.4 per square mile. The racial makeup of the city was 90.2% White, 1.4% African American, 1.7% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 2.8% from other races, 2.3% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 11.0% of the population. There were 3,109 households. 40.3% were married couples living together, 11.1% had a female householder with no husband present, 4.7% had a male householder with no wife present, 43.9% were non-families. 36.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.3% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.27 and the average family size was 2.97. The median age in the city was 35.1 years. 22.3% of residents were under the age of 18. The gender makeup of the city was 50.6 % female. As of the 2000 census there were 8,192 people, 3,078 households, 1,819 families living in the city; the population density was 1,658.8 people per square mile. There were 3,382 housing units at an average density of 684.8 per square mile.

The racial makeup of the city was 90.5% White, 0.50% African American, 1.54% Native American, 0.49% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 4.64% from other races, 1.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.18% of the population. There were 3,078 households, of which 30.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.5% were married couples living together, 9.6% had a female householder with no husband present, 40.9% were non-families. 34.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.5% had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.37 and the average family size was 3.10. The city's age distribution shows 24.2% under the age of 18, 14.9% from 18 to 24, 23.8% from 25 to 44, 19.5% from 45 to 64, 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 93.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.5 males. The median income for a household in the city was $34,609, the median income for a family was $44,157.

Males had a median income of $30,564 versus $21,021 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,219. About 7.5% of fami

DragoČ™, Voivode of Moldavia

Dragoș known as Dragoș Vodă, or Dragoș the Founder was the first Voivode of Moldavia, who reigned in the middle of the 14th century, according to the earliest Moldavian chronicles. The same sources say that Dragoș came from Maramureş while chasing an aurochs or bison across the Carpathian Mountains, his descălecat, or "dismounting", on the banks of the Moldova River has traditionally been regarded as the symbol of the foundation of the Principality of Moldavia in Romanian historiography. Most details of his life are uncertain. Historians have identified him either with Dragoș of Bedeu or with Dragoș of Giulești, who were Vlach, or Romanian, landowners in the Kingdom of Hungary. Most Moldavian chronicles write that Dragoș came to Moldavia in 1359, but modern historians tend to propose an earlier date. Dragoș became the head of a march of the Kingdom of Hungary, which emerged after a Hungarian army inflicted a crushing defeat on a large army of the Golden Horde in 1345. Early sources say that he founded Baia and Siret, invited Saxon settlers who introduced viticulture in Moldavia.

According to the traditional dating, he died in 1361, but earlier years have been suggested by historians. Dragoș did not establish a royal dynasty, because his grandson, was expelled from Moldavia by Bogdan of Cuhea, another Vlach landowner from Maramureş; the early 16th-century Moldo-Russian Chronicle, which contains the most detailed description of the foundation of Moldavia, described Dragoș as one of the "Romans" who had received estates in Maramureș from "King Vladislav of Hungary". According to the chronicle, the king invited the "Romans" to fight against the Tatars and settled them in Maramureș after their victory over the invaders. Modern historians' attempts to determine Dragoș's family connections and to describe his early life have not produced a broad consensus. According to a scholarly theory, he was identical with Dragoș of Bedeu, mentioned in a royal charter, issued in late 1336. In that charter, Charles I of Hungary instructed the Eger Chapter to determine the boundaries of the domain of Bedeu that he had donated to the brothers Drag and Dragoș.

Drag and Dragoș were mentioned as the king's "servants", showing that they were directly subjected to the sovereign, like all noblemen in the Kingdom of Hungary. Historian Radu Carciumaru says that the identification of Dragoș of Bedeu with Dragoș, the first ruler of Moldavia has not been convincingly proven. A second scholarly hypothesis suggests that another Vlach lord, Dragoș of Giulești, was the founder of Moldavia, he was the son of one Giula, son of Dragoș, to whom Charles I of Hungary granted two estates in Maramureș – Giulești and the nearby Nireș – at an unspecified date, according to a royal charter, dated to 15 September 1349. Giula and his six sons remained loyal to Charles I's son and successor, Louis I of Hungary when two other Vlach lords, Bogdan of Cuhea and Stephen, son of Iuga, tried to persuade them to turn against the sovereign. In revenge, Bogdan of Cuhea and Stephen expelled them from their estates. In his diploma, King Louis ordered John, the Vlach voivode of Maramureș, to reinstate Dragoș of Giulești and his family in the possession of their estates.

Historians Victor Spinei and István Vásárhelyi say that Dragoș of Giulești and Dragoș, voivode of Moldavia were not identical. Based on the similarity of certain place names in Maramureș and Moldavia, taking into account local folklore, historian Ștefan S. Gorovei proposes that Dragoș was a member of the Codrea family who held the domain of Câmpulung in Maramureș, he says that parallel toponyms – for instance, Bedeu in Maramureș and Bădeuți in Moldavia – show that Vlach groups from the region of Câmpulung settled in the basin of the Siret River. According to Carciumaru, no documentary evidence substantiates Gorovei's theory; the Ragusan historian, Jacob Luccari, who completed his chronicle in 1601, wrote that Dragoș had been "the baron of Khust, a town in Transylvania" before moving to Moldavia. Khust was a fortified town in Maramureș in the 14th century; the Drágffys, who were descended from Dragoș, held Khust for a short period at the end of the century, but no document proves that Dragoș had held the same town.

The Moldavian chronicles preserved several variants of the legend of Dragoș's hunting for an aurochs or bison, ending with his "dismounting" by the Moldova River, which gave rise to the development of Moldavia. The Anonymous Chronicle of Moldavia contains a short summary: "In the year 6867 Dragoș Voivode came from the Hungarian country, from Maramureș, hunting an aurochs...". The Moldo-Polish Chronicle preserved a more detailed story: "By the will of God, the first voivode, Dragoș, came from the Hungarian country from the town and river of, hunting an aurochs which he killed on the river Moldova. There he feasted with his noblemen, liking the country he remained there, bringing from Hungary as colonists...". According to the most comprehensive Moldo-Russian Chronicle, after the hunting Dragoș returned to Maramureș to persuade the local Vlachs to accompany him back to Moldavia. On the other hand, the 17th-century Grigore Ureche did not mention Dragoș when narrating the legend of the "dismounting".

According to Ureche's version, Transylvanian shepherds chased the aurochs and killed it at Boureni whose name is connected to the Romanian word for aurochs. Ureche stated that the head of an aurochs was put on the coat-of-arms of Moldavia on this occasion. Scholar Mircea Eliade dedicated a separate chapter to "Voivode D

Simon Baker (pilot)

Simon Baker is an aviator and the Chief Flying Instructor at Freedom Sports Aviation. He has three times been six times British Champion, he has taken part in several microlighting expeditions, including filming a Channel 4 documentary over Iceland in 1983, flying in the Himalayas near Everest in 1986, was a pilot/spotter for the ThrustSSC team in Jordan and in Black Rock Desert, Nevada. Fédération Aéronautique Internationale Diamond Colibri award for outstanding Microlight or Paramotor achievement, 2008. World Microlight Champion, Gold 2003 British Champion 2001 Silver Medal of the Royal Aero Club, 1999 World Champion, Gold, World Championships 1999 Kecskemet, Hungary British Champion, 1998 World Champion, British Team Gold, Gold, 1996 World Microlight Championships

Kawasaki Superbike Challenge

Kawasaki Superbike Challenge is a multiplatform racing video game where the player takes the role of a Kawasaki factory rider in an unnamed fictional racing series. Kawasaki Superbike Challenge is a motorcycle racing game that uses the same engine as the Sega Genesis game, F1, it includes 14 standard-length race tracks, plus the Suzuka 8 Hours endurance race, available in both training and Championship modes. The game is unlicensed, so all riders and teams are fictional; the game has more polygonal roadside objects than F1, there is still a Turbo mode, allowing for faster racing at the expense of some of the detail. Players are given the ability to turn off weather; the number of laps on each course can be 5, 10 or 15, there are four skill levels. Some changes have been made to. Reviewing the Genesis version, GamePro praised the numerous options, responsive controls, complex tracks, balanced challenge with "enough variety to suit all skill levels", but criticized the undetailed landscapes, "blocky" polygons, lack of visual effects to accentuate the action.

They more wholeheartedly approved of the Game Gear version, applauding the graphics, fast pace, two-player mode, most the numerous modes and customization options, concluding that "Handheld racing doesn't get much better than this."A critic for Next Generation panned the Super NES version, chiefly for the lack of any sense of speed. He further remarked that "Flat-shaded'polygon' blocks dot the sides of the road, which only serves to confuse rather than decorate, the'first-person' perspective rather hides the road, you could describe the control as sluggish, except that sluggish isn't strong enough a word." He gave it one out of five stars. Next Generation reviewed the Genesis version of the game, rating it two stars out of five, stated that "eventually the redundant, mundane races and lack of character traits in bikers make this game uninteresting."