Jyväskylä is a city and municipality in Finland in the western part of the Finnish Lakeland, some 130 km north-east from Tampere. It is the largest city on the Finnish Lakeland. Elias Lönnrot, the compiler of the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala, gave the city the nickname "Athens of Finland"; this nickname refers to the major role of Jyväskylä as an educational centre. The works of the most famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto can be seen throughout the city; the city hosts the Neste Oil Rally Finland, part of the World Rally Championship. It is home of the annual Jyväskylä Arts Festival; as of 31 January 2019, Jyväskylä had a population of 141,374. The city has been one of the fastest growing cities in Finland during the 20th century. In 1940, there were only 8,000 inhabitants in Jyväskylä; the Jyväskylä sub-region includes Jyväskylä, Laukaa, Petäjävesi and Uurainen. The second part of the city's name, kylä, means village; the first part of the city's name, jyväs-, looks like the stem of an adjective *jyvänen, derived from jyvä, "grain".
Alternatively, it has been associated with Taxus, a genus of yews, the Old Prussian word juwis. It has been speculated that the word jyväs refers to the sun's reflection of the surface of the water. In the Jyväskylä region, there are archeological findings from the Stone Age. According to the oldest available taxation documents, there were seven estates on the Jyväskylä region in 1539. One of them, the estate of Mattila, alone possessed the areas stretching from the village of Keljo to the villages of Vesanka and Palokka; the oldest estate in Jyväskylä continuously held by the same family is the estate of Lahti, which emerged when the estate of Mattila was split between two brothers in 1600. The history of the estate of Lahti and the family of Lahti have had a significant impact on the development of Jyväskylä region. Lahdenrinne, in the south-west corner of Jyväsjärvi lake, belongs to the old heartland of the estate of Lahti; the City of Jyväskylä was founded on 22 March 1837, when Emperor of Russia and Grand Duke of Finland, Nicholas I of Russia, signed the charter of the city and the infrastructure was built from scratch.
At the times Finnish military battalion Suomen kaarti participated under his rule in military operations against the Polish November Uprising and in Hungary and Bessarabia. While Nicholas I of Russia abolished many autonomous areas, it has been argued, that the loyalty of Finnish military influenced his approach towards Finnish autonomy; the original town was built between Lake Jyväsjärvi and the Jyväskylä ridge, consisted of most of the current grid-style city centre. The establishment of schools in the 1850s and 1860s proved to be the most significant step in regards to the development of Jyväskylä; the first three Finnish-speaking schools in the world were founded in Jyväskylä, the lycée in 1858, the teachers’ college in 1863, the girls’ school in 1864. Well-trained teaching staff and pupils from different parts of the country changed the atmosphere of Jyväskylä irrevocably. In the early 20th century, the town expanded several times. Most of today's Jyväskylä was built after the Continuation War, when refugees from Karelia and other parts of the country moved to the city, housing was badly needed.
During the 21st century Jyväskylä has grown fast – by over 1,000 inhabitants every year. Säynätsalo was consolidated with Jyväskylä in 1993, Jyväskylän maalaiskunta and Korpilahti, for their part, on January 1, 2009. Jyväskylä is located on the northern coast of Lake Päijänne, 147 kilometres north-east of Tampere and 270 kilometres north of Helsinki; the hilly and forested terrain in Jyväskylä is surrounded by hundreds of lakes. To reach Jyväskylä from East, one needs to go through or pass the hill Kanavuori, which used to host a military depot full of ammunition and armaments. Jyväskylä is located in the Finnish Lakeland. There are 328 lakes in the city, lakes and rivers constitute 20,1% of the total area of the city; the city's largest lakes are Päijänne, Leppävesi, Tuomiojärvi, Palokkajärvi, Luonetjärvi, Alvajärvi-Korttajärvi. The city center is located on the shores of a small Jyväsjärvi; the landscape in Jyväskylä is hilly and full of waters. The architect Alvar Aalto compared the hilly landscape of Jyväskylä to Toscana in Italy: "The slope of Jyväskylä ridge is like the mountain vineyards of Fiesole".
The defined climate is a subarctic continental. Because of its northern location, winters are long, snowy and dark. During midwinter, the city receives daylight for only around five hours. Summers are mild, with the average daily maximum temperature being 22 °C in July. During the summer, Jyväskylä experiences long daylight and white nights i.e. midnight twilight. Jyväskylä was the fastest growing Finnish city in the 20th century; the population has continued to grow in the 21st century. 96.7% of the population spoke Finnish as their first language in 2010. The share of Swedish speakers was 0.2%. Other languages made up the remaining 3% of the population. In year 2014, there were about 3,700 foreigners in Jyväskylä; the largest immigrant groups in Jyväskylä are Russians and Afghans. Jyväskylä hosts the headquarters of Finnish Air Force, in Tikkakoski; as a central location, it has traditionally been important base for military operations. Jyväskylä got known as major firearms manufacturer during the world wars, producing machine guns and ammunition.
According to reporting in Helsingin Sanomat, since the 1990s Jyväskylä has served as a signals intell
Estonia the Republic of Estonia, is a country in North East Europe. It is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland with Finland on the other side, to the west by the Baltic Sea with Sweden on the other side, to the south by Latvia, to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia; the territory of Estonia consists of a mainland and 2,222 islands in the Baltic Sea, covering a total area of 45,227 km2, water 2,839 km2, land area 42,388 km2, is influenced by a humid continental climate. The official language of the country, Estonian, is the third most spoken Finno-Ugric language; the territory of Estonia has been inhabited since at least 9,000 B. C. Ancient Estonians were some of the last European pagans to be Christianized, following the Livonian Crusade in the 13th century. After centuries of successive rule by Germans, Swedes and Russians, a distinct Estonian national identity began to emerge in the 19th and early 20th centuries; this culminated in independence from Russia in 1920 after a brief War of Independence at the end of World War I.
Democratic, after the Great Depression Estonia was governed by authoritarian rule since 1934 during the Era of Silence. During World War II, Estonia was contested and occupied by the Soviet Union and Germany being incorporated into the former as the Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic. After the loss of its de facto independence, Estonia's de jure state continuity was preserved by diplomatic representatives and the government-in-exile. In 1987 the peaceful Singing Revolution began against Soviet rule, resulting in the restoration of de facto independence on 20 August 1991; the sovereign state of Estonia is a democratic unitary parliamentary republic divided into fifteen counties. Its capital and largest city is Tallinn. With a population of 1.3 million, it is one of the least-populous member states of the European Union since joining in 2004, the economic monetary Eurozone, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, Schengen Area, of the Western military alliance of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.
It is a developed country with an advanced, high-income economy, among the fastest-growing in the EU. Estonia ranks high in the Human Development Index, performs favourably in measurements of economic freedom, civil liberties and press freedom. Estonian citizens are provided with universal health care, free education, the longest-paid maternity leave in the OECD. One of the world's most digitally advanced societies, in 2005 Estonia became the first state to hold elections over the Internet, in 2014 the first state to provide e-residency. In the Estonian language the oldest known endonym of the Estonians was maarahvas, meaning "country people" or "people of the soil"; the land inhabited by Estonians was called Maavald meaning "Country Realm" or "Land Realm". One hypothesis regarding the modern name of Estonia derives it from the Aesti, a people described by the Roman historian Tacitus in his Germania; the historic Aesti were Baltic people, whereas the modern Estonians are Finno-Ugric. The geographical areas of the Aesti and of Estonia do not match, with the Aesti living farther south.
Ancient Scandinavian sagas refer to an area called Eistland, as the country is still called in Icelandic, with close parallels to the Danish, Dutch and Norwegian terms Estland for the country. Early Latin and other ancient versions of the name include Hestia. Esthonia was a common alternative English spelling before 1921. Human settlement in Estonia became possible 13,000 to 11,000 years ago, when the ice from the last glacial era melted; the oldest known settlement in Estonia is the Pulli settlement, on the banks of the river Pärnu, near the town of Sindi, in south-western Estonia. According to radiocarbon dating it was settled around 11,000 years ago; the earliest human inhabitation during the Mesolithic period is connected to the Kunda culture, named after the town of Kunda in northern Estonia. At that time the country was covered with forests, people lived in semi-nomadic communities near bodies of water. Subsistence activities consisted of hunting and fishing. Around 4900 BC appear ceramics of the neolithic period, known as Narva culture.
Starting from around 3200 BC the Corded Ware culture appeared. The Bronze Age started around 1800 BC, saw the establishment of the first hill fort settlements. A transition from hunting-fishing-gathering subsistence to single-farm-based settlement started around 1000 BC, was complete by the beginning of the Iron Age around 500 BC; the large amount of bronze objects indicate the existence of active communication with Scandinavian and Germanic tribes. A more troubled and war-ridden middle Iron Age followed, with external threats appearing from different directions. Several Scandinavian sagas referred to major confrontations with Estonians, notably when Estonians defeated and killed the Swedish king Ingvar. Similar threats appeared in the east. In 1030 Yaroslav the Wise established a fort in modern-day Tartu. Around the 11th century, the Scandinavian Viking era around the Baltic Sea was succeeded by the Baltic Viking era, with seaborne
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
Gymnastics is a sport that includes exercises requiring balance, flexibility, agility and endurance. The movements involved in gymnastics contribute to the development of the arms, shoulders, back and abdominal muscle groups. Alertness, daring, self-confidence and self-discipline are mental traits that can be developed through gymnastics. Gymnastics evolved from exercises used by the ancient Greeks that included skills for mounting and dismounting a horse, from circus performance skills The most common form of competitive gymnastics is artistic gymnastics which consists of floor, vault and uneven bars. For boys they have floor, rings, parallel bars and horizontal bar. Other FIG disciplines include rhythmic gymnastics and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics, aerobic gymnastics and parkour. Disciplines not recognized by FIG include wheel gymnastics, aesthetic group gymnastics, men's rhythmic gymnastics, TeamGym and mallakhamba. Participants can include children as young as 1 years old doing kindergym and children's gymnastics, recreational gymnasts of ages 2 and up, competitive gymnasts at varying levels of skill, world-class athletes.
The word "gymnastics" derives from the common Greek adjective γυμνός, by way of the related verb γυμνάζω, whose meaning is to "train naked", "train in gymnastic exercise" "to train, to exercise". The verb had this meaning, because athletes in ancient times exercised and competed without clothing, it came into use in the 1570s, from Latin gymnasticus, from Greek gymnastikos "fond of or skilled in bodily exercise," from gymnazein "to exercise or train". Gymnastics developed in ancient Greece, in Sparta and Athens, was used as a method to prepare men for warfare. In Sparta, among the activities introduced into the training program was the Agoge or exhibition gymnastics made up of gymnastic elements in the form of the Pyrrhic-a dance in a military style-performed for state dignitaries in the final year of a student's training; the maneuvers were performed naked except for the tools of war. Athens combined this more physical training with the education of the mind. At the Palestra, a physical education training center, the discipline of educating the body and educating the mind were combined allowing for a form of gymnastics, more aesthetic and individual and which left behind the form that focused on strictness, the emphasis on defeating records, focus on strength.
Don Francisco Amorós y Ondeano, was born on February 19, 1770, in Valencia and died on August 8, 1848, in Paris. He was a Spanish colonel, the first person to introduce educative gymnastic in France. John promoted the use of parallel bars and high bars in international competition; the Federation of International Gymnastics was founded in Liege in 1881. By the end of the nineteenth century, men's gymnastics competition was popular enough to be included in the first "modern" Olympic Games in 1896. From on until the early 1950s, both national and international competitions involved a changing variety of exercises gathered under the rubric, that included, for example, synchronized team floor calisthenics, rope climbing, high jumping and horizontal ladder. During the 1920s, women participated in gymnastics events; the first women's Olympic competition was limited, only involving synchronized calisthenics and track and field. These games were held in Amsterdam. By 1954, Olympic Games apparatus and events for both men and women had been standardized in modern format, uniform grading structures had been agreed upon.
At this time, Soviet gymnasts astounded the world with disciplined and difficult performances, setting a precedent that continues. Television has helped initiate a modern age of gymnastics. Both men's and women's gymnastics now attract considerable international interest, excellent gymnasts can be found on every continent. In 2006, a new points system for Artistic gymnastics was put into play. With an A Score being the difficulty score, which as of 2009 is based on the top 8 high scoring elements in a routine; the B Score, is the score for execution, is given for how well the skills are performed. The following disciplines are governed by FIG. Artistic Gymnastics is divided into Men's and Women's Gymnastics. Men compete on six events: Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Still Rings, Parallel Bars, Horizontal Bar, while women compete on four: Vault, Uneven Bars, Balance Beam, Floor Exercise. In some countries, women at one time competed on the rings, high bar, parallel bars. In 2006, FIG introduced a new points system for Artistic gymnastics in which scores are no longer limited to 10 points.
The system is used in the US for elite level competition. Unlike the old code of points, there are two separate scores, an execution score and a difficulty score. In the previous system, the "execution score" was the only score, it was and still is out except for short exercises. During the gymnast's performance, the judges deduct this score only. A fall, on or off the event, is a 1.00 deduction, in elite level gymnastics. The introduction of the difficulty score is a significant change; the gymnast's difficulty score is based on what elements they perform and is subject to change if they do not perform or complete all the skills, or they do not connect a skill meant to be connected to another. Connection bonuses are where deviation happens most common between the intended and actual difficulty scores, as it can be difficult to connect multiple flight elements, it is ha
Odense is the third-largest city in Denmark. It has a population of 178,210 as of January 2016, is the main city of the island of Funen. By road, Odense is located 45 kilometres north of Svendborg, 144 kilometres to the south of Aarhus and 167 kilometres to the southwest of Copenhagen; the city is the seat of Odense Municipality and was the seat of Odense County until 1970, Funen County from 1970 until 1 January 2007, when Funen County became part of the Region of Southern Denmark. Odense has close associations with Hans Christian Andersen, remembered above all for his fairy tales, he spent his childhood years there. There has been human settlement in the Odense area for over 4,000 years, although the name was not mentioned in writing until 988, by 1070, it had grown into a thriving city. Canute IV of Denmark considered to be the last Viking king, was murdered by unruly peasants in Odense's St Alban's Priory on 10 July 1086. Although the city was burned in 1249 following a royal rivalry, it recovered and flourished as a centre of commerce in the Middle Ages.
After a period of decline, large-scale plans for development were made during the 18th century, which led to the rebuilding of Odense Palace and the building of a canal to the Port of Odense, facilitating trade. In 1865, one of the largest railway terminals in Denmark was built, further increasing the population and commerce, by 1900, Odense had reached a population of 35,000. Odense's Odinstårnet was one of the tallest towers in Europe when built in 1935 but was destroyed by the Nazis during World War II; the University of Southern Denmark was established in 1966. In the present day, Odense remains the commercial hub of Funen, has a notable shopping district with a diversity of stores. Several major industries are located in the city including the Albani Brewery and GASA, Denmark's major dealer in vegetables and flowers; the city is home to Odense Palace, erected by King Frederik IV who died there in 1730, the Odense Theatre, the Odense Symphony Orchestra, the Hans Christian Andersen Museum, situated in the house, the birthplace of Hans Christian Andersen.
In sports, Odense has a number of football clubs including OB, BM, B1909, B1913, the Odense Bulldogs professional ice hockey team, the city hosts the H. C. Andersen Marathon. Odense is served by Hans Christian Andersen Airport and Odense station, which lies on the line between Copenhagen and the Jutland peninsula. For the Catholic ecclesiastical history, see Roman Catholic bishopric of Odense The name Odense is derived from Odins Vé, meaning "Odin's sanctuary" as the area was known as a sanctuary for worshippers of the Nordic god, Odin. Odense is one of Denmark's oldest cities. Archaeological excavations in the vicinity show proof of settlement for over 4,000 years since at least the Stone Age; the earliest community was centred on the higher ground between the Odense River to the south and Naesbyhoved Lake to the north. Nonnebakken, one of Denmark's former Viking ring fortresses, lay to the south of the river. Today, Odense's Møntergården Museum has many artefacts related to the early Viking history in the Odense area.
The Vikings built numerous fortifications along the river banks to defend it against invaders coming in from the coast. The city celebrated its thousandth anniversary in 1988, commemorating the first mention of the town's name in a letter dated 18 March 988 from the German Emperor Otto III which granted rights to Odense and neighbouring settlements; the first church in Odense appears to have been St Mary's built in the late 12th century. The territory part of the vast Archbishopric of Hamburg, was created a Catholic diocese in 988; the first recorded bishops of Odense were Odinkar Hvide and Reginbert, consecrated by Archbishop Æthelnoth of Canterbury, in 1022. Recent excavations have shown that from the early 11th century, the town developed in the area around Albani Torv, Fisketorvet and Vestergade. By 1070, Odense had grown into a city of stature in Denmark. Canute IV of Denmark considered to be the last Viking king, was murdered by unruly peasants, discontent with the high taxes he imposed on the town, in Odense's St Alban's Priory on 10 July 1086.
He was canonized in 1100. The priory no longer exists, although a church has been situated on the site since about 900. At the beginning of the 12th century, Benedictine monks from England founded St Canute's Abbey, it was here the English monk Ælnoth wrote Vita et Passio S. Canuti. Canute's shrine in Odense Cathedral attracted pilgrims throughout the Middle Ages. In the Middle Ages, a number of churches and monasteries were built in the town. St Canute's Church, now the cathedral, dates from the end of the 13th century and was connected to the Benedictine Order; the town's other old churches are St John's with its adjacent monastery. Greyfriars Monastery was founded by the Franciscans in 1279. In 1247 Odense was burned by Abel of Denmark during conflicts with his brother King Erik IV; the cathedral had to be rebuilt. The town continued to flourish as a commercial centre, was charted in 1335; the city thrived economically during the Middle Ages, attracting many merchants and craftsman who traded their goods.
In 1482 Bishop Karl Rønnov brought the German printer Johann Snell to Odense to print a short prayer book, Breviarium Ottoniense, considered to be the first work to be printed in Scandinavia. In parallel Snell printed De obsidione et bello Rhodiano, an acco
The United Kingdom the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, sometimes referred to as Britain, is a sovereign country located off the north-western coast of the European mainland. The United Kingdom includes the island of Great Britain, the north-eastern part of the island of Ireland, many smaller islands. Northern Ireland is the only part of the United Kingdom that shares a land border with another sovereign state, the Republic of Ireland. Apart from this land border, the United Kingdom is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, with the North Sea to the east, the English Channel to the south and the Celtic Sea to the south-west, giving it the 12th-longest coastline in the world; the Irish Sea lies between Great Ireland. With an area of 242,500 square kilometres, the United Kingdom is the 78th-largest sovereign state in the world, it is the 22nd-most populous country, with an estimated 66.0 million inhabitants in 2017. The UK is constitutional monarchy; the current monarch is Queen Elizabeth II, who has reigned since 1952, making her the longest-serving current head of state.
The United Kingdom's capital and largest city is London, a global city and financial centre with an urban area population of 10.3 million. Other major urban areas in the UK include Greater Manchester, the West Midlands and West Yorkshire conurbations, Greater Glasgow and the Liverpool Built-up Area; the United Kingdom consists of four constituent countries: England, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Their capitals are London, Edinburgh and Belfast, respectively. Apart from England, the countries have their own devolved governments, each with varying powers, but such power is delegated by the Parliament of the United Kingdom, which may enact laws unilaterally altering or abolishing devolution; the nearby Isle of Man, Bailiwick of Guernsey and Bailiwick of Jersey are not part of the UK, being Crown dependencies with the British Government responsible for defence and international representation. The medieval conquest and subsequent annexation of Wales by the Kingdom of England, followed by the union between England and Scotland in 1707 to form the Kingdom of Great Britain, the union in 1801 of Great Britain with the Kingdom of Ireland created the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Five-sixths of Ireland seceded from the UK in 1922, leaving the present formulation of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. There are fourteen British Overseas Territories, the remnants of the British Empire which, at its height in the 1920s, encompassed a quarter of the world's land mass and was the largest empire in history. British influence can be observed in the language and political systems of many of its former colonies; the United Kingdom is a developed country and has the world's fifth-largest economy by nominal GDP and ninth-largest economy by purchasing power parity. It has a high-income economy and has a high Human Development Index rating, ranking 14th in the world, it was the world's first industrialised country and the world's foremost power during the 19th and early 20th centuries. The UK remains a great power, with considerable economic, military and political influence internationally, it is sixth in military expenditure in the world. It has been a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council since its first session in 1946.
It has been a leading member state of the European Union and its predecessor, the European Economic Community, since 1973. The United Kingdom is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, the Council of Europe, the G7, the G20, NATO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the World Trade Organization; the 1707 Acts of Union declared that the kingdoms of England and Scotland were "United into One Kingdom by the Name of Great Britain". The term "United Kingdom" has been used as a description for the former kingdom of Great Britain, although its official name from 1707 to 1800 was "Great Britain"; the Acts of Union 1800 united the kingdom of Great Britain and the kingdom of Ireland in 1801, forming the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland. Following the partition of Ireland and the independence of the Irish Free State in 1922, which left Northern Ireland as the only part of the island of Ireland within the United Kingdom, the name was changed to the "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
Although the United Kingdom is a sovereign country, Scotland and Northern Ireland are widely referred to as countries. The UK Prime Minister's website has used the phrase "countries within a country" to describe the United Kingdom; some statistical summaries, such as those for the twelve NUTS 1 regions of the United Kingdom refer to Scotland and Northern Ireland as "regions". Northern Ireland is referred to as a "province". With regard to Northern Ireland, the descriptive name used "can be controversial, with the choice revealing one's political preferences"; the term "Great Britain" conventionally refers to the island of Great Britain, or politically to England and Wales in combination. However, it is sometimes used as a loose synonym for the United Kingdom as a whole; the term "Britain" is used both as a synonym for Great Britain, as a synonym for the United Kingdom. Usage is mixed, with the BBC preferring to use Britain as shorthand only for Great Britain and the UK Government, while accepting that both terms refer to the United K
A trampoline is a device consisting of a piece of taut, strong fabric stretched between a steel frame using many coiled springs. People bounce on trampolines for competitive purposes; the fabric that users bounce on is not elastic itself. A game similar to trampolining was developed by the Inuit, who would toss blanket dancers into the air on a walrus skin one at a time during a spring celebration of whale harvest. There is some evidence of people in Europe having been tossed into the air by a number of people holding a blanket. Mak in the Wakefield Second Shepherds' Play and Sancho Panza in Don Quixote are both subjected to blanketing – however, these are non-voluntary, non-recreational instances of quasi-judicial, mob-administered punishment; the trampoline-like life nets once used by firefighters to catch people jumping out of burning buildings were invented in 1887. The 19th-century poster for Pablo Fanque's Circus Royal refers to performance on trampoline; the device is thought to have been more like a springboard than the fabric-and-coiled-springs apparatus presently in use.
These may not be the true antecedents of the modern sport of trampolining, but indicate that the concept of bouncing off a fabric surface has been around for some time. In the early years of the 20th century, some acrobats used a "bouncing bed" on the stage to amuse audiences; the bouncing bed was a form of small trampoline covered by bedclothes, on which acrobats performed comedy routines. According to circus folklore, the trampoline was first developed by an artiste named du Trampolin, who saw the possibility of using the trapeze safety net as a form of propulsion and landing device and experimented with different systems of suspension reducing the net to a practical size for separate performance. While trampoline-like devices were used for shows and in the circus, the story of du Trampolin is certainly apocryphal. No documentary evidence has been found to support it. William Daly Paley of Thomas A. Edison, Inc. filmed blanket tossing initiation of a new recruit in Company F, 1st Ohio Volunteers in 1898.
The first modern trampoline was built by George Nissen and Larry Griswold in 1936. Nissen was a gymnastics and diving competitor and Griswold was a tumbler on the gymnastics team, both at the University of Iowa, United States, they had observed trapeze artists using a tight net to add entertainment value to their performance and experimented by stretching a piece of canvas, in which they had inserted grommets along each side, to an angle iron frame by means of coiled springs. It was used to train tumblers but soon became popular in its own right. Nissen explained. Nissen had heard the word on a demonstration tour in Mexico in the late 1930s and decided to use an anglicized form as the trademark for the apparatus. In 1942, Griswold and Nissen created the Griswold-Nissen Trampoline & Tumbling Company, began making trampolines commercially in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; the generic term for the trademarked trampoline was a rebound tumbler and the sport began as rebound tumbling. It has become a generic trademark.
Early in their development Nissen anticipated trampolines being used in a number of recreational areas, including those involving more than one participant on the same trampoline. One such game was Spaceball—a game of two teams of two on a single trampoline with specially constructed end "walls" and a middle "wall" through which a ball could be propelled to hit a target on the other side's end wall. During World War II, the United States Navy Flight School developed the use of the trampoline in its training of pilots and navigators, giving them concentrated practice in spatial orientation that had not been possible before. After the war, the development of the space flight programme again brought the trampoline into use to help train both American and Soviet astronauts, giving them experience of variable body positions in flight; the first Trampoline World Championships were organised by Ted Blake of Nissen, held in London in 1964. The first World Champions were both Dan Millman and Judy Wills Cline.
Cline went on to dominate and become the most decorated trampoline champion of all time. One of the earliest pioneers of trampoline as a competitive sport was Jeff Hennessy, a coach at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. Hennessy coached the United States trampoline team, producing more world champions than any other person. Among his world champions was his daughter, Leigh Hennessy. Both Jeff and Leigh Hennessy are in the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame; the competitive gymnastic sport of trampolining has been part of the Olympic Games since 2000. On a modern competitive trampoline, a skilled athlete can bounce to a height of up to 10 metres, performing multiple somersaults and twists. Trampolines feature in the competitive sport of Slamball, a variant of basketball, Bossaball, a variant of volleyball. There are a number of other sports that use trampolines to help develop and hone acrobatic skills in training before they are used in the actual sporting venue. Examples can be found in diving and freestyle skiing.
One main advantage of trampolining as a training tool for other acrobatic sports is that it allows repetitive drill practice for acrobatic experience every two seconds or less, compared with many minutes with sports that involve hills, ramps or high platforms. In some situations it can be safer compared to landings on the ground. There are two generic types of trampoline and rec