click links in text for more info

Swimming at the 2000 Summer Olympics

The swimming competitions at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney took place from 16 to 23 September 2000 at the Sydney International Aquatic Centre in Homebush Bay. It featured 32 events, a total of 954 swimmers from 150 nations; the swimming program for 2000 was expanded from 1996, with the inclusion of the semifinal phase in each of the events except for some special cases. Long-distance swimming events and all relays still maintained the old format with only two phases: heats and final; because of the radical changes in the competition format, it was extended into an eight-day program and thereby continued into the present era. Swimmers from the United States were the most successful, winning 14 golds, 8 silver, 11 bronze to lead the overall medal count with 33. Meanwhile, Australia had produced a total of 18 medals to claim the second spot in the tally. A total of fourteen world records and thirty-eight Olympic records were set during the competition; the following events were contested: Freestyle: 50, 100, 200, 400, 800 and 1500.

A total of 954 swimmers from 150 nations would compete in swimming events at these Olympic Games. Aruba, Côte d'Ivoire, Dominican Republic, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea, Laos, Federated States of Micronesia, Niger, Rwanda, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and Tajikistan made their official debut in swimming. Nations with swimmers at the Games are: * Swimmers who participated in the heats only and received medals. * Swimmers who participated in the heats only and received medals. Official Olympic Report 2000 Sydney Olympics Coverage – ABC News Australia

Williamson's model of managerial discretion

Oliver E. Williamson hypothesised that profit maximization would not be the objective of the managers of a joint stock organisation; this theory, like other managerial theories of the firm, assumes that utility maximisation is a manager’s sole objective. However it is only in a corporate form of business organisation that a self-interest seeking manager maximise his/her own utility, since there exists a separation of ownership and control; the managers can use their ‘discretion’ to frame and execute policies which would maximise their own utilities rather than maximising the shareholders’ utilities. This is the principal–agent problem; this could however threaten their job security, if a minimum level of profit is not attained by the firm to distribute among the shareholders. The basic assumptions of the model are: Imperfect competition in the markets. Divorce of ownership and management. A minimum profit constraint exists for the firms to be able to pay dividends to their share holders; the managerial utility function includes variables such as salary, job security, status, dominance and professional excellence of managers.

Of these, salary is the only quantitative variable and thus measurable. The other variables are non-pecuniary; the variables expenditure on staff salary, management slack, discretionary investments can be assigned nominal values. Thus these will be used as proxy variables to measure the real or unquantifiable concepts like job security, status, dominance and professional excellence of managers, appearing in the managerial utility function. Utility function or "expense preference" of a manager can be given by: U = U where U denotes the Utility function, S denotes the “monetary expenditure on the staff”, M stands for "Management Slack" and ID stands for amount of "Discretionary Investment". "Monetary expenditure on staff" include not only the manager's salary and other forms of monetary compensation received by him from the business firm but the number of staff under the control of the manager as there is a close positive relationship between the number of staff and the manager's salary. "Management slack" consists of those non-essential management perquisites such as entertainment expenses, lavishly furnished offices, luxurious cars, large expense accounts, etc. which are above minimum to retain the managers in the firm.

These perks if not provided would not make the manager quit his job, but these are incentives which enhance their prestige and status in the organisation in turn contributing to efficiency of the firm's operations. The Management Slack is a part of the cost of production of the firm. "Discretionary investment" refers to the amount of resources left at a manager's disposal, to be able to spend at his own discretion. For example, spending on latest equipment, decoration material, etc, it gives them a sense of pride. These give a boost to the manager's status in the organisation; such investments are above the amount required for the survival of the firm. The various concepts of profit used in the model needs to be understood before moving to the main model. Williamson has put forth four main concepts of profits in his model: Π = R − C − S where R is the total revenue, C is the cost of production and S is the staff expenditure. Π r = Π − M where Π is the actual profit and M is the management slack.

It is the amount of profit after tax deducted which should be paid to the shareholders of the firm, in the form of dividends, to keep them satisfied. If the minimum level of profit cannot be given out to the shareholders, they might resort of bulk sale of their shares which will transfer the ownership to other hands leaving the company in the risk of a complete take over. Since the shareholders have the voting rights, they might vote for the change of the top level of management, thus the job security of the manager is threatened. Ideally the reported profits must be either equal to or greater than the minimum profits plus the taxes, as it is only after paying out the minimum profit that the additional profit can be used to increase the managerial utility further. Π r ≥ Π 0 + T where Πr is the reported profit, Π0 is the minimum profit and T is the tax. It is the entire amount of profit left after minimum profits and tax, used to increase the manager’s utility, that is, to pay out managerial emoluments as well as allow them to make discretionary investments.

Π D = Π − Π 0 − T where ΠD is the discretionary profit, Π is the actual profit, Π0 is the minimum profit and T is the tax amount. However, what appears in the managerial utility function is discretionary investments and not discretionary profits, thus it is important to distinguish between the two as further in the model we would have to maximize the managerial utility function given the profit constraint. I D = Π r − Π 0 − T where Πr is the reported profit, Π0 is the minimum profit and T is the tax amount, thus it can be seen that the differ

Tomb of Alexander the Great

The location of the tomb of Alexander the Great is an enduring mystery. Shortly after Alexander's death in Babylon, the possession of his body became a subject of negotiations between Perdiccas, Ptolemy I Soter, Seleucus I Nicator. According to Nicholas J. Saunders, while Babylon was the "obvious site" for Alexander's resting place, some favored interring the ruler in the Argead burial at Aegae, modern Vergina. Aegae was one of the two proposed resting places, according to Saunders, the other being Siwa Oasis and in 321 BC Perdiccas chose Aegae; the body, was hijacked en route by Ptolemy I Soter. According to Pausanias and the contemporary Parian Chronicle records for the years 321–320 BC, Ptolemy buried Alexander in Memphis. In the late 4th or early 3rd century BC, during the early Ptolemaic dynasty, Alexander's body was transferred from Memphis to Alexandria, where it was reburied; the so-called Alexander Sarcophagus, unrelated to Alexander's body and once thought to be the sarcophagus of Abdalonymus, is now believed to be that of Mazaeus, a Persian governor of Babylon.

According to Quintus Curtius Rufus and Justin, Alexander asked shortly before his death to be interred in the temple of Zeus Ammon at Siwah Oasis. Alexander, who requested to be referred to and perceived as the son of Zeus Ammon, did not wish to be buried alongside his actual father at Aegae. Alexander's body was placed in a coffin of "hammered gold", according to Diodorus, "fitted to the body"; the coffin is mentioned by Strabo and Curtius Rufus. Alexander's wish to be interred in Siwa was not honored. In 321 BC, on its way back to Macedonia, the funerary cart with Alexander's body was hijacked in Syria by one of Alexander's generals, Ptolemy I Soter. In late 322 or early 321 BC Ptolemy diverted the body to Egypt where it was interred in Memphis, the center of Alexander's government in Egypt. While Ptolemy was in possession of Alexander's body and Eumenes had Alexander's armor and royal scepter. According to Plutarch, who visited Alexandria, Python of Catana and Seleucus were sent to a serapeum to ask the oracle whether Alexander's body should be sent to Alexandria and the oracle answered positively.

In the late 4th or early 3rd century BC Alexander's body was transferred from the Memphis tomb to Alexandria for reburial. Ptolemy Philopator placed Alexander's body in Alexandria's communal mausoleum; the mausoleum was called the Sema, which means "body" in Greek. By 274 BC Alexander was entombed in Alexandria; the Tomb of Alexander became the focal point for the Ptolemaic cult of Alexander the Great. In 48 BC Alexander's tomb was visited by Caesar. To finance her war against Octavian, Cleopatra took gold from the tomb. Shortly after the death of Cleopatra, Alexander's resting place was visited by Octavian, said to have placed flowers on the tomb and a golden diadem upon Alexander's head. According to Suetonius, Alexander's tomb was partially looted by Caligula, who removed his breastplate. In AD 199 Alexander's tomb was sealed up by Septimius Severus during his visit to Alexandria. In 215 some items from Alexander's tomb were relocated by Caracalla. According to chronicler John of Antioch, Caracalla removed Alexander's tunic, his ring, his belt with some other precious items and deposited them on the coffin.

When John Chrysostom visited Alexandria in AD 400, he asked to see Alexander's tomb and remarked, "his tomb his own people know not". Authors, such as Ibn'Abd al-Hakam, Al-Masudi and Leo the African, report having seen Alexander's tomb. Leo the African, who visited Alexandria as a young man, wrote: "In the midst of the ruins of Alexandria, there still remains a small edifice, built like a chapel, worthy of notice on account of a remarkable tomb held in high honor by the Mahometans. An immense crowd of strangers come thither from distant countries, for the sake of worshipping and doing homage to the tomb, on which they frequently bestow considerable donations". George Sandys, who visited Alexandria in 1611, was shown a sepulchre there, venerated as the resting place of Alexander; the Egyptian Supreme Council for Antiquities has recognized over 140 search attempts for Alexander's tomb. Mahmoud el-Falaki, who compiled the map of ancient Alexandria, believed Alexander's tomb is in the center of Alexandria, at the intersection of the Via Canopica and the ancient street labeled R5.

Since several other scholars such as Tasos Neroutsos, Heinrich Kiepert and Ernst von Sieglin placed the tomb in the same area. In 1850 Ambroise Schilizzi announced the discovery of alleged Alexander's mummy and tomb inside the Nabi Daniel Mosque in Alexandria. In 1879 a stone worker accidentally broke through the vaulted chamber inside the basement of that mosque; some granite monuments with an angular summit were discerned there, but the entrance was walled up and the stone worker was asked not to disclose the incident. In 1888 Heinrich Schliemann attempted to locate Alexander's tomb within the Nabi Daniel Mosque, but he was denied permission to excavate. In 1993, Triantafyllos Papazois developed the theory that it is not Philip II of Macedon, buried in the royal tomb II at Vergina, but


The tetarteron was a Byzantine term applied to two different coins, one gold circulating from the 960s to 1092 in parallel to the histamenon, one copper used from 1092 to the second half of the 13th century. Since Emperor Constantine I, the Byzantine Empire's main coinage had been the high-quality solidus or nomisma, which had remained standard in weight and gold content through the centuries; the Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas, introduced a new coin, a 2 carats lighter than the original nomisma, which now became known as the histamenon. The exact reason for the introduction of the tetarteron is unclear. According to the historian Zonaras, this was done to increase state revenues: the taxes were to be paid as before in the histamenon, while the state paid its own expenses in the less valuable tetarteron, rated as equal to the full histamenon, instead. Modern scholars have alternatively suggested that the tetarteron was an imitation of the Muslim gold dinar, for use in the eastern provinces conquered from the Arabs, or an element of an abortive monetary reform that intended to replace the histamenon altogether.

At any rate, the tetarteron was issued only in small quantities in the 10th century, only from the mid-11th century on was it minted in quantity approaching the histamenon. The two coins were indistinguishable, except in weight. During the reign of Basil II, the tetarteron began to be minted in a thicker and smaller form, while the histamenon conversely became thinner and wider. Only during the sole rule of Constantine VIII, did the two coins become iconographically distinct as well. By the mid-11th century, the tetarteron measured 18 mm wide and its weight standardized at 3.98 grams, i.e. three carats less than the histamenon, which now measured 25 mm in diameter and had acquired a concave form. However, starting with Michael IV, a former money lender, the gold content began to be lowered and the coins debased. After a period of relative stability in circa 1055–1070, the gold content declined in the period of crisis in the 1070s and 1080s. During the first eleven years of the reign of Alexios I Komnenos, the last gold/electrum tetarterons were issued.

Alexios reformed the whole Byzantine coinage in 1092 and eliminated the gold/electrum tetarteron and gold/electrum histamenon. In its place he introduced. In 1092, Alexios I Komnenos reformed the imperial coinage, introducing the hyperpyron gold coin instead of the devalued histamena and tetartera. Alexios instituted a new copper coinage to replace the old follis. Due to its similar dimensions and fabric to the gold tetarteron, it was named tetarteron or tarteron, it has, however been suggested that its name derives from it being worth one quarter of the late, debased follis of the 1080s. The new coin, weighing circa 4 grams and valued at 864 to the gold hyperpyron, was struck in great quantities and in a large variety of designs in the 12th century. A half-tetarteron was minted. Both coins remained stable in weight, but begin to appear less towards the turn of the 13th century. In the 13th century, copper tetartera were issued by the rulers of the Empire of Thessalonica in the 1230s and 1240s, as well as by the Empire of Nicaea.

In the restored Byzantine Empire, from 1261 on, they appear to have been replaced by a new type of copper coins named assaria after the ancient Roman coins. Grierson, Philip. Byzantine Coins. London: Methuen. ISBN 978-0-416-71360-2. Grierson, Philip. Byzantine Coinage. Washington, DC: Dumbarton Oaks. ISBN 978-0-88402-274-9. Hendy, Michael F.. Studies in the Byzantine Monetary Economy c. 300–1450. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-24715-2. Kazhdan, Alexander, ed.. The Oxford Dictionary of Byzantium. Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-504652-6. Димов, Г. Провалите и фалшификациите във византийската монетна политика през X век. Появата на тетартерон и диотетартетон номизма. - В: Mediaevalia, 3, 2011, 237-245

Brighton tornado

The Brighton tornado is the strongest storm recorded in Melbourne to date. On the afternoon of 2 February 1918, with prevailing north-westerly winds and hot sultry weather. After a severe storm formed and moved off Port Phillip, two tornadoes struck Brighton beach at 5:45 pm and proceeded inland, converging near the junction of Halifax and Church Streets. Five minutes a third tornado struck; the tornadoes tracked east over open fields. Damage retrospectively rated. Two people were killed a man and a boy, while the drowning of a woman at St Kilda beach is believed to be related to the same storm cell. Over 6 were injured in the Brighton area; the tornado destroyed the Hawthorn Road Methodist church, rebuilt. Numerous homes were demolished; the tornado badly damaged the Brighton Baths, tore the roof off Royal Terminus Hotel and destroyed the verandah of Grimley's Hotel. Extensive damage was incurred to infrastructure on the Sandringham railway line. Several community and sporting facilities were destroyed including the cricket club grandstand and a bandstand.

It damaged the burial monument of Adam Lindsay Gordon in the Brighton general cemetery. Extreme weather events in Melbourne List of tornadoes and tornado outbreaks List of Southern Hemisphere tornadoes and tornado outbreaks

Needful Things (film)

Needful Things is a 1993 American horror film based on Stephen King's 1991 novel of the same name. The film was directed by Fraser C. Heston and stars Ed Harris, Max von Sydow, Bonnie Bedelia, J. T. Walsh. A mysterious proprietor named Leland Gaunt, claiming to be from Akron, arrives in the small town of Castle Rock, Maine in a sinister-looking black car and opens a new antique store called "Needful Things"; the store sells various items of great personal worth to the residents. Gaunt demands payment both in cash and in small "favors" pranks played by his customers on their neighbors. Gaunt's first customer is a boy named Brian Rusk who buys a rare baseball card featuring Mickey Mantle in exchange for 95 cents and a prank on his neighbor Wilma Wadlowski Jerzyck. Gaunt makes an impression on the town's people, who he has pull some pranks. One of whom is a corrupt boat salesman and gambler named Danforth Keeton who embezzled $20,000 of the town people's tax money to pay off his gambling debts. Keeton finds out from Sheriff Alan Pangborn that people are on to him and in turn he relays his fears to Gaunt and his hatred of those who refer to him as'Buster' Keeton.

To help Keeton with his problems, Gaunt sells him a toy race-horse that predicts the outcome of any horse-race from which he might re-coup the $20,000 and replace the money before the towns-folk find out officially. Gaunt sells Frank Jewett a first edition of Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson, he learns of the rivalry between the Catholic priest, Father Meehan and Baptist minister, Reverend Willie Rose when he sells each of them objects from his shop. The first hint of Gaunt's true nature is when he has Brian throw muck from the turkey farm onto the newly laundered crisp white sheets hanging on the washing-lines at the house of Wilma Jerzyck. On returning home, Wilma assumes, she loudly accuses her of this at Nettie's workplace, the Castle Rock diner. Brian Rusk meets Gaunt at the Lighthouse where he informs Brian he has not repaid his debt and expects payment in full right away. Brian throws apples at her house to smash all the windows. Nettie Cobb has'bought' a Hummel figurine from Gaunt, identical to one her violent ex-husband had smashed in a fit of rage.

In return she goes to Dan Keeton's house and places Post-it notes from Deputy Sheriff Norris Ridgewick all around the interior, accusing him of all his misdemeanors. In the meantime, Gaunt has Hugh Priest kill Nettie's dog, in return for a 1950s jacket like he wore at college; this sparks a violent fight between Wilma, which gets them both killed. Gaunt takes a personal measure towards Alan by giving a necklace to his fiancée Polly Chalmers that cures her crippling arthritis. Gaunt tells Polly for it to work. Keeton is found by Gaunt cowering in his shop with a gun, he tells Gaunt that he is thinking of killing Norris Ridgewick to stop him telling everyone about his misdemeanors. Gaunt takes the gun off him. Brian witnesses the investigation at Wilma Jerzyk's house and hears the sheriff musing over where all the apples came from. Brian is shocked that his actions might in some way have caused this tragedy and tries to talk to Alan about what Gaunt had him do, but is too scared to do so. At this point it becomes apparent that Gaunt is enjoying what is happening to the townsfolk and is not human, but a demon.

Alan approaches Brian when he's alone at the lighthouse and asks what's got him so scared. Brian explains; the gun goes off but the sheriff manages to save the boy and Brian is hospitalized. Meanwhile, Alan begins to suspect. Father Meehan slashes the tires on Hugh Priest's truck. Hugh Priest sees what has happened to his truck when he is thrown out of the bar for being too drunk. Alan returns from meeting with Brian and is now suspicious of Gaunt, he tries to warn Polly and asks her to get rid of the necklace. After Alan has gone she tries prying the necklace open to see what is inside and gets an electric shock which throws the necklace across the room. Polly is crippled by her arthritis and cannot reach to pick up the necklace. Gaunt replaces the necklace on Polly's neck, he states the price for necklace will be a small prank. Polly is so grateful, she pays him and is mesmerized by Gaunt who seduces her. After which he states that Alan is corrupt and has been embezzling money from the town with Keeton for years.

Gaunt convinces Polly to go to Alan's yacht to look for the money. She sees lots of money strewn over her fiance's desk. Polly phones Alan from the yacht, accuses him of the crime, in disgust calls off the engagement. Keeton becomes afraid that everyone including his wife Myrtle is out to get him, Gaunt convinces him that he is his only ally. Gaunt has Keeton attack deputy Norris Ridgewick at the police station. Alan manages to subdue Keeton by handcuffing Keeton to his car. Shortly after this, Keeton manages to escape Ridgewick by kicking him in the groin, he drives home where he accuses his wife of having an affair with Norris and kills her with a hammer. The phone rings and it is Gaunt, he tells Keeton to come to see him. Hugh Priest