Timbuktu is a city in Mali, situated 20 km north of the Niger River. The town is the capital of one of the eight administrative regions of Mali, it had a population of 54,453 in the 2009 census. Timbuktu started out as a seasonal settlement and became a permanent settlement early in the 12th century. After a shift in trading routes, Timbuktu flourished from the trade in salt, gold and slaves, it became part of the Mali Empire early in the 14th century. In the first half of the 15th century, the Tuareg tribes took control of the city for a short period until the expanding Songhai Empire absorbed the city in 1468. A Moroccan army made Timbuktu, rather than Gao, their capital; the invaders established a new ruling class, the Arma, who after 1612 became independent of Morocco. However, the golden age of the city, during which it was a major learning and cultural centre of the Mali Empire, was over, it entered a long period of decline. Different tribes governed until the French took over in 1893, a situation that lasted until it became part of the current Republic of Mali in 1960.

Presently, Timbuktu suffers from desertification. In its Golden Age, the town's numerous Islamic scholars and extensive trading network made possible an important book trade: together with the campuses of the Sankore Madrasah, an Islamic university, this established Timbuktu as a scholarly centre in Africa. Several notable historic writers, such as Shabeni and Leo Africanus, have described Timbuktu; these stories fuelled speculation in Europe, where the city's reputation shifted from being rich to being mysterious. Over the centuries, the spelling of Timbuktu has varied a great deal: from Tenbuch on the Catalan Atlas, to traveller Antonio Malfante's Thambet, used in a letter he wrote in 1447 and adopted by Alvise Cadamosto in his Voyages of Cadamosto, to Heinrich Barth's Timbúktu and Timbu'ktu. French spelling appears in international reference as "Tombouctou"; as well as its spelling, Timbuktu's toponymy is still open to discussion. At least four possible origins of the name of Timbuktu have been described: Songhay origin: both Leo Africanus and Heinrich Barth believed the name was derived from two Songhay words: Leo Africanus writes the Kingdom of Tombuto was named after a town of the same name, founded in 1213 or 1214 by Mansa Suleyman.

The word itself consisted of two parts: tin and butu. Africanus did not explain the meaning of this Butu. Heinrich Barth wrote: "The town was so called, because it was built in a hollow or cavity in the sand-hills. Tùmbutu means hole or womb in the Songhay language: if it were a Temáshight word, it would be written Timbuktu; the name is interpreted by Europeans as well of Buktu, but tin has nothing to do with well." Berber origin: Malian historian Sekene Cissoko proposes a different etymology: the Tuareg founders of the city gave it a Berber name, a word composed of two parts: tim, the feminine form of In and bouctou, a small dune. Hence, Timbuktu would mean "place covered by small dunes". Abd al-Sadi offers a third explanation in his 17th-century Tarikh al-Sudan: "The Tuareg made it a depot for their belongings and provisions, it grew into a crossroads for travelers coming and going. Looking after their belongings was a slave woman of theirs called Timbuktu, which in their language means'lump'.

The blessed spot where she encamped was named after her." The French Orientalist René Basset forwarded another theory: the name derives from the Zenaga root b-k-t, meaning "to be distant" or "hidden", the feminine possessive particle tin. The meaning "hidden" could point to the city's location in a slight hollow; the validity of these theories depends on the identity of the original founders of the city: as as 2000, archaeological research has not found remains dating from the 11th/12th century within the limits of the modern city given the difficulty of excavating through metres of sand that have buried the remains over the past centuries. Without consensus, the etymology of Timbuktu remains unclear. Like other important Medieval West African towns such as Djenné, Dia, Iron Age settlements have been discovered near Timbuktu that predate the traditional foundation date of the town. Although the accumulation of thick layers of sand has thwarted archaeological excavations in the town itself, some of the surrounding landscape is deflating and exposing pottery shards on the surface.

A survey of the area by Susan and Roderick McIntosh in 1984 identified several Iron Age sites along the el-Ahmar, an ancient wadi system that passes a few kilometers to the east of the modern town. An Iron Age tell complex located 9 kilometres southeast of the Timbuktu near the Wadi el-Ahmar was excavated between 2008 and 2010 by archaeologists from Yale University and the Mission Culturelle de Tombouctou; the results suggest that the site was first occupied during the 5th century BC, thrived throughout the second half of the 1st millennium AD and collapsed sometime during the late 10th or early 11th-century AD. Timbuktu was a regional trade center in medieval times, where caravans met to exchange salt from the Sahara Desert for gold and slaves from the Sahel, which could be reached via the nearby Niger River; the population swelled from 10,000 in the 13th century to about 50,000 in the 16th century after the establishment of a major Islamic university, which attracted scholars from throughout the Muslim world.

In the 1600s, a combination of a purge by a monarch

Oklahoma Victory Dolls

The Oklahoma Victory Dolls is a women's flat track roller derby league based in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Founded in 2007, the league consists of two competitive teams which compete internationally against teams from other leagues, as well as home teams; the current league is a result of two previous mergers: with the OKC Outlaws in 2015, Oklahoma City Roller Derby in 2016. They consisted of four home teams that competed against each other. Oklahoma Victory Dolls is a member of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association; as a 5013 non-profit organization, the Victory Dolls donate a portion of their profits to local charities and have organized fundraisers for injured skaters. They have participated in local events, such as Mardi Gras. In January 2017, the league announced it was merging with Oklahoma City Roller Derby and the new organization would continue under the Oklahoma Victory Dolls name. Oklahoma City Roller Derby was founded by eight local women in March 2006 as the "Tornado Alley Rollergirls".

More skaters joined in April, the league grew rapidly. By the end of the year, the league had four teams comprising a total of around 40 skaters, was bouting regularly. However, in 2007, the majority of two of the teams left the league: most of the Cell Block 9 team founding the Red Dirt Rebellion banked track league, most of the Victory Dolls forming the Oklahoma Victory Dolls league. In 2008, the league adopted the Oklahoma City Roller Derby name, with Tornado Alley Rollergirls becoming a team name, it was accepted into the Women's Flat Track Derby Association Apprentice Program in July 2010, became a full member of the WFTDA in March 2011. The Oklahoma Victory Dolls were the youngest league to be accepted as full members of the Women's Flat Track Derby Association at the time of their induction in September 2008, they were a part of the South Central Region of the WFTDA from 2008 to 2012. When the WFTDA changed to a Divisions-based ranking system in 2013, the Oklahoma Victory Dolls debuted in Division 2, ranked at 55.

In 2013, Oklahoma Victory Dolls first qualified for WFTDA Playoffs, entering the Division 1 tournament in Asheville, North Carolina as the ninth seed, taking seventh place with a 200-131 victory over the Nashville Rollergirls. As the eighth seed in Salt Lake City in 2014, Oklahoma finished in tenth place with an overtime loss to Tri-City Roller Derby, 190-185. In 2015, Oklahoma City dropped into Division 2 Playoffs in Cleveland as the ninth seed and came out in eighth place after a 179-137 loss to Jet City Rollergirls of Everett, Washington. Oklahoma City returned to Playoffs for the Division 2 Playoffs and Championship in 2017 as the fifth seed in Pittsburgh, finished the weekend in seventh place

Donald McPherson (figure skater)

John Donald McPherson was a Canadian figure skater. He is the 1963 Canadian national champion, he represented Canada at the 1960 Winter Olympics, where he placed 10th at the age of 15. He turned 15 years old during the Olympic figure skating competition. Donald McPherson started to skate with the age of 4, he represented the Stratford Figure Skating Club in Ontario, was coached by Dennis Silverthorne. He won the 1963 World Figure Skating Championships at the age of 18, becoming the youngest men's World Champion. McPherson won his World title skating on an unusual pair of skates with small serrations in the blades. Following that win, he turned professional, starring in Dick Button's Ice-Travanganza at the 1964 New York World's Fair, he toured for 11 years for Holiday on Ice, won the 1965 World Professional Figure Skating Championships. He was inducted into the Canadian Sports Hall of Fame in 1963 and the Canadian Figure Skating Hall of Fame in 1996. Donald McPherson was inducted into the Stratford Sports Hall of Fame in the Athlete's Section on Saturday April 16, 2011 along with Howie Morenz, Larry Landreth and Jodeyne Higgins' Also inducted were the 1977 JS News Peewees Baseball team and the 1952 Stratford Indians Senior Men's Hockey team in the Team Category.

Denis'Dinny' Flanagan was inducted in the builder's category. In life, he moved to Munich, Germany, he died of complications arising from diabetes in Munich on November 24, 2001. J = Junior level "Skate Canada Results Book - Volume 1 - 1896 - 1973". Archived from the original on November 22, 2010. "Skate Canada Results Book: Canadian National Championships Medallists". Archived from the original on September 20, 2009