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Underwater Demolition Team

The Underwater Demolition Teams were a special-purpose force established by the United States Navy during World War II. They came to be considered tactical during the Korean and Vietnam Wars, their primary WWII function began with the reconnaissance and removal of natural or man-made obstacles on beaches prior to amphibious landings. They were assigned to assist in the recovery of Space capsules/astronauts after splash down in the Mercury and Apollo space flight programs; the United States Navy's Underwater Demolition Teams were pioneers in underwater demolition, closed-circuit diving, combat swimming, midget submarine operations. Commando training was added making them the forerunner to the United States Navy SEAL program that exists today. In 1983, after additional SEAL training, the UDTs were re-designated as SEAL Teams or Swimmer Delivery Vehicle Teams. SDVTs have since been re-designated SEAL Delivery Vehicle Teams; the United States Navy studied the problems encountered by the disastrous Allied amphibious landings during the Gallipoli Campaign of World War I.

This contributed to the experimentation of new landing techniques in the mid-1930s. In August 1941, landing trials were performed and one hazardous operation led to Army Second Lieutenant Lloyd E. Peddicord being assigned the task of analyzing the need for a human intelligence capability; when the U. S. entered World War II, the Navy realized that in order to strike at the Axis powers the U. S. forces would need to perform a large number of amphibious attacks. The Navy decided that men would have to go in to reconnoiter the landing beaches, locate obstacles and defenses, as well as guide the landing forces ashore. In August 1942, Peddicord set up a recon school for his new unit, Navy Scouts and Raiders, at the amphibious training base at Little Creek, Virginia. In 1942, the Army and Navy jointly established the Amphibious Scout and Raider School at Fort Pierce, Florida. Here Lieutenant Commander Phil H. Bucklew, the "Father of Naval Special Warfare", helped organize and train what became the Navy's'first group' to specialize in amphibious raids and tactics.

Pressure to further implement human intelligence gathering prior to landings heightened after Naval amphibious landing craft were damaged by coral reefs during the Battle of Tarawa in November 1943. Aerial reconnaissance incorrectly showed the reefs were submerged deep enough to allow the landing craft to float over. Sailors and Marines were forced to abandon their craft in chest deep water a thousand yards from shore, helping Japanese gunners inflict heavy U. S. casualties. After that experience, Rear admiral Kelley Turner, Commander of the V Amphibious Corps, directed that 30 officers and 150 enlisted men be moved to Waimanalo ATB to form the nucleus of a reconnaissance and demolition training program, it is here. In war, the Army Engineers passed down demolition jobs to the U. S. Navy, it became the Navy's responsibility to clear any obstacles and defenses in the near shore area. A memorial to the founding of the UDT has been built at Bellows Air Force Station near the original Amphibious Training Base Waimanalo.

In early 1942 it became apparent that the Navy needed that capability to destroy submerged obstacles, natural or man-made, for amphibious landings. In late 1942, a group of Navy salvage personnel received a one-week concentrated course on demolitions, explosive cable cutting and commando raiding techniques; the Navy Scouts and Raiders unit was first employed in Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa in November 1942. During Torch, this unit cut the cable and net barrier across a river in North Africa, allowing Rangers to land upstream and capture an airfield. In early May 1943, a two-phase "Naval Demolition Project" was directed by the Chief of Naval Operations "to meet a present and urgent requirement"; the first phase began at Amphibious Training Base Solomons, Maryland with the establishment of Operational Naval Demolition Unit No. 1. Six Officers and eighteen enlisted men reported from NTC Camp Peary dynamiting and demolition school for a four-week course; those Seabees were sent to participate in the invasion of Sicily where they were divided in three groups that landed on the beaches near Licata and Scoglitti.

In 1943 the Navy decided to create a component dedicated to the removal of amphibious obstructions. It was to be known as a Naval Combat Demolition Unit consisting of one junior Civil Engineer Corps officer and five enlisted. A NCDU was to clear beach obstacles for an invasion force with the team coming ashore in an LCRS inflatable boat. On May 7, Admiral Ernest J. King, the CNO, picked Lieutenant Commander Draper L. Kauffman USNR to lead the training; the first six classes graduated from "Area E" at NTC Camp Peary between mid-July. From Camp Peary the NCDU training was moved to Fort Pierce with the first class beginning there mid-July. Despite the move, Camp Peary was Kauffman's primary source of manpower. "He would go up to Camp Peary's Dynamite School and assemble the Seabees in the auditorium saying: "I need volunteers for hazardous and distant duty." Kauffman's other volunteers came from the U. S. Marines, U. S. Army combat engineers. Training commenced with one grueling week designed to "separate the men from the boys".

Some said that "the men had sense enough to quit, leaving Kauffman with the boys." It was and is still considered the first "Hell Week." At the beginning of November 1943, six men from Kauffman's Naval Combat Demolition Unit Eleven were sent to England to start preparations for Operation Overlord. All told, the NCDUs had 34 teams in England for the invasion of Normandy

Zein-o-din Caravanserai

The Zein-o-Din Caravanserai is located in Zein-o-din, Iran. The caravanserai is situated on the ancient Silk Road, it is one of 999 such inns that were built during the reign of Shah Abbas I to provide facilities to travelers. Of these, Zein-o-din is one of two caravanserais built with circular towers. After its refurbishment, it has operated as an inn. A built caravanserai near Esfahan is in ruins; the caravanserai is situated on the Silk Road which was, until 1500, the main trade route between Europe and Asia. A motorway to Yazd passes through Zein-o-din. In earlier centuries, it was reached after a two-day camel ride from south of Yazd, about 60 kilometres on the main road to Kerman; the caravanserai's exterior view appears like a "derelict ruin" though its interior is well furbished in its original form making it an "atmospheric and fascinating" place to stay. The first caravanserais were reported 2,500 years ago, when Persia was ruled by the Achaemenid Empire. During the Safavid period in Iran, caravanserais were established at convenient sites at a distance of every 20 to 30 miles along the trade routes across the country.

Many such buildings were built on old and new caravan routes under the direction of Shah Abbas I and Shah Abbas II. The caravanserai is one of the 999 such hostels built to promote trade. An entry fee was charged along with a daily fee for an 8 ft-square room; the rooms were fitted with a fireplace, servants had a separate place in which to stay. The caretaker of the caravanserai was authorized to collect sales tax and oversee all transactions, it was incumbent on the caretakers to provide security to the merchants and their goods against theft. The running of the caravanserais in Iran was considered at par with those that were run during the Ottoman Empire; the caravanserai is a two-storied structures, square in plan, with a 16-sided courtyard and a water pool. Only two caravanserais have been built with circular towers. One of these is the Zeinodin Caravanserai and the other, in a ruined state, is near Esfahan; this caravanserai has withstood inclement weather as it was well built. Its recent renovation took three years to complete, included the use of 13,000 pumice stones to remove the grime on the interior walls.

Restored to a near original state, the rooms are on a raised base and mattresses are provided on the floor, which are covered with carpets. There is no door separating the rooms from the corridor, with only a curtain providing privacy to the occupants. However, the common bathroom facility is well fitted; the building accommodates 60 to 80 tourists daily. As the caravanserai is located away from the city, the noise level is minimum and the night skies are clear and star studded. An amateur astronomer conducts astronomy lectures on the rooftop. BibliographyLevi, Scott Cameron; the Indian Diaspora in Central Asia and Its Trade: 1550 – 1900. BRILL. ISBN 978-90-04-12320-5. Burke, Andrew. Lonely Planet Iran. Lonely Planet. ISBN 978-1-74321-320-9

Chamber of Digital Commerce

The Chamber of Digital Commerce is an American advocacy group that promotes the emerging industry behind blockchain technology, digital currency and digital assets. Headquartered in Washington, D. C. the organization was founded in July 2014 by Perianne Boring. In October 2014, the chamber received 501 non-profit status from the Internal Revenue Service. In 2015, economist and former JPMorgan Chase executive Blythe Masters was appointed to the advisory board. In December 2019, Former Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Christopher Giancarlo, was appointed to the advisory board of the chamber. In August 2014, political news site The Hill reported that the Chamber had registered a political action committee with the United States Federal Election Commission; as The Hill piece noted, “formation of the PAC is a sign of increasing maturity for Bitcoin and a signal that politicians could face political pressure to support virtual currencies.” To date, the PAC has only raised $10,000 of which only $2,700 has been contributed to a candidate.

Official website

2016 Red Bull Air Race World Championship

The 2016 Red Bull Air Race World Championship was the eleventh Red Bull Air Race World Championship series. Reigning champion Paul Bonhomme and inaugural champion Péter Besenyei retired from the sport following the final round of the 2015 season. Petr Kopfstein and Peter Podlunšek made their debuts in the Master Class, having finished equal 1st and 5th in the previous years' Challenger Class standings. Cristian Bolton stepped up to the Master Class following the death of Hannes Arch before the Indianapolis round of the series. All Challenger Cup Pilots used an Extra 330LX. Mélanie Astles, Kevin Coleman, Luke Czepiela and Ben Murphy will make their debuts in the Challenger Class. Astles will become the first female pilot to compete in a Red Bull Air Race event; the eight-event calendar for the 2016 season was announced on 16 December 2015. Master Class scoring system* Arch finished 4th but was excluded from the results. ** The final four wasn't held because of bad weather, 75% of points were awarded for this situation.

Challenger Class scoring system Red Bull Air Race official website

The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1

The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 is an album by the band Earth, Wind & Fire issued in 1978 by Columbia Records. The album Billboard 200 charts respectively; the Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 has been certified Quintuple Platinum in the US by the RIAA. The album has been certified Platinum in the UK by the BPI and in Canada by Music Canada respectively; the album produced two singles. The LP's first single, "Got to Get You into My Life", preceded the album by a few months and was first included on the 1978 soundtrack Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band from the feature film with the same title; the single reached 9 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs and Hot 100 charts respectively. Got to Get You into My Life was Grammy nominated in the category of Best Pop Vocal Performance by a Duo, Group or Chorus; the song went on to win a Grammy for Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalist. The second single, "September" rose to Nos. 1 & 8 on the Billboard Hot Soul Songs and Hot 100 respectively.

September got to No. 3 on the UK Singles chart. AllMusic described The Best of Earth, Wind & Fire, Vol. 1 as "a strong encapsulation of EWF the funk innovators" that "makes for an excellent listen." Robert Christgau of The Village Voice noted on the LP "ten exquisitely crafted pop tunes" where "the passion and resonance of black music tradition are blended into a slick and sumptuous concoction". The Los Angeles Times proclaimed the album as an "excellent package"; the New York Daily News called the LP "a well paced showcase". Credits are adapted from the album’s text. Philip Baileyvocals, percussion Rhamlee Michael Davistrumpet, flugelhorn Larry DunnMoog synthesizer, organ Johnny Grahamguitar, percussion Michael Harris – trumpet, flugelhorn Alan Hewittkeyboards Ralph Johnsondrums, percussion Al McKay – vocals, percussion Don Myrick – additional saxophone Louis Satterfieldtrombone Dick Smith – guitar Charles Stepney - piano Fred White – drums Maurice White – vocals, kalimba Verdine White – vocals, bass guitar, percussion Andrew Woolfolksoprano saxophone, flute Earth, Wind & Fire – musical arrangements Philip Bailey – liner notes George Calle – producer, recording engineer, audio mixing Mauro DeSantis – producer, recording engineer, audio mixing Larry Dunn – production assistant Howard Fritzson – art direction David Gahr – Photography Alan Hewitt – music programming, recording engineer, audio mixing Paul Klingberg – producer, recording engineer, audio mixing Art Macnow – director Cameron Marcarelli – assistant engineer Al McKay – producer Shusei Nagaoka – artwork Steve Newman – design Joseph M. Palmacciomastering Leo Sacks – producer, reissue producer, liner notes Richard Salvato – director Jim Shea – photography Charles Stepney – producer, musical arrangements, synthesizer programming Tom Tom 84 – horn arrangements, string arrangements Chris Walter – photography Maurice White – producer, musical arrangements, recording engineer, audio mixing, liner notes Verdine White – production assistant, liner notes Mark Wilder – audio mastering Joseph Wissert – producer

Spring Street Park

Spring Street Park is a small triangular park in the lower Manhattan neighborhood of Hudson Square in New York City. The park is bounded by Spring Street on the north, Broome Street on the south, Avenue of the Americas on the east, on the west by a narrow two-block street considered to be a spur of Sixth Avenue; as a pedestrian plaza, the triangle was known as SoHo Square. SoHo Square was created when Sixth Avenue was extended south of Carmine Street, one of several similar squares to come into existence in that way. In keeping with the renaming of the avenue as the "Avenue of the Americas" in 1945, it contains a larger-than-lifesize statue of General José Artigas, a Uruguayan independence leader and national hero; the statue is a second cast from a statue by Uruguayan sculptor José Luis Zorrilla de San Martín, the first of which stands in front of the Uruguayan National Bank in Montevideo, where it has been since 1949. The land is owned by the New York City Department of Transportation and is maintained by the Hudson Square Business Improvement District and the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

Starting in April 2017, the park was redeveloped by the Hudson Square BID. The redesign and renovation was funded by $3 million from the BID, $2 million from the New York City Economic Development Corporation and $1 million from the New York City Council; the redevelopment provided 160 places to sit, including "swivel seats", customized energy-efficient lighting, a total of 42 trees plus other plantings. In addition, the statue of General Artigas was moved to a more central location within the park; the aim of the redesign was to create "a world-class green space that residents and visitors will enjoy for generations," according to City Council member Corey Johnson. The redesign of the plaza into a park is the centerpieces of the BID's streetscape improvement plan for the Hudson Square neighborhood; the park was reopened in August 2018 and reopened two months later. The Dahesh Museum of Art, the Chelsea Career & Technical Education High School, the NYC iSchool, the HERE Arts Center are all located around the park