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Vala (Middle-earth)

The Valar are characters in J. R. R. Tolkien's legendarium, they are "gods" subordinate to the one God. For this reason they are referred to as "the Powers of the World." They are mentioned in The Lord of the Rings, but were developed earlier in material published posthumously in The Silmarillion and The History of Middle-earth. The term Valar is applied by Tolkien to include all of the Ainur who entered the world, but more to refer to the fourteen greatest of them, the "Lords and Ladies of the Valar". Eru Ilúvatar first revealed to the Ainur his great vision of The World through musical themes.... Unfolding a history whose vastness and majesty had never been equalled... — The Music of the Ainur, The Silmarillion. This World, fashioned from his ideas and expressed as the Music of Ilúvatar, was refined by thoughtful interpretations by the Ainur, who created their own themes based on each unique comprehension. No one Ainu understood all of the themes. Instead, each elaborated individual themes, singing of mountains and subterranean regions, from themes for metals and stones.

The themes of Ilúvatar's music were elaborated, the Ainur added creative touches to blend with the themes of other Ainur. Melkor, added discordant themes: he strove against the Music. Once the Music was complete, including Melkor's interwoven themes of vanity, Ilúvatar gave the Ainur a choice—to dwell with him, or to enter the world that they had mutually created; those that chose to enter the world became known as the Valar, the'Powers of Arda', though the Elves reserved that term for the more powerful of them. Among the Valar were some of the most powerful and wise of the Ainur, including Manwë, the Lord of the Valar, Melkor, his brother; the two are distinguished by the selfless love of Manwë for the Music of Ilúvatar, the selfish love that Melkor bore for himself and no other—least of all for the Children of Ilúvatar, as the Elves and Men became known. Melkor arrived in the World first, he would have been one of the Valar. As the others arrived, they saw how Melkor's presence would destroy the integrity of Ilúvatar's themes.

And with the aid of the Vala Tulkas, who entered Arda last, Melkor was temporarily overthrown, the Valar began shaping the world and creating beauty to counter the darkness and ugliness of Melkor's discordant noise. The Valar dwelt on the Isle of Almaren in the middle of the world, but after its destruction and the loss of the world's symmetry, they moved to the western continent of Aman and founded Valinor; the war with Melkor continued: the Valar realized many wonderful subthemes of Ilúvatar's grand music, while Melkor poured all his energy into Arda and the corruption of creatures like Balrogs and orcs. Most terrible of the early deeds of Melkor was the destruction of the Two Lamps, with them the original home of the Valar, the Isle of Almaren. Melkor was captured and chained for many ages in the fastness of Mandos until he was pardoned by Manwë. With the arrival of the Elves in the world and in Valinor, a new phase of the regency of the Valar began. Summoned by the Valar, many Elves abandoned Middle-earth and the eastern continent for the West, where the Valar concentrated their creativity.

There they made the Two Trees, their greatest joy because it gave light to the beauty of Valinor and pleased the Elves. At Melkor's instigation, Ungoliant destroyed the Trees. Fëanor, a Noldorin Elf, with great forethought and love, captured the light of the Two Trees in three Silmarils, the greatest jewels created. Melkor stole the Silmarils from Fëanor and killed his father, Finwë, chief of the Noldor in Aman, thereupon fled to Middle-earth. Many of the Noldor, in defiance of the will of the Valar, set out in pursuit; this event, the poisonous words of Melkor that fostered mistrust among the Elves, led to the exile of the greater part of the Noldor to Middle-earth: the Valar closed Valinor against them to prevent their return. For the remainder of the First Age, Ulmo alone of the Valar visited the world beyond Aman. Ulmo directly influenced the actions of Tuor, setting him on the path to find the hidden city of Gondolin. At the end of the First Age, the Valar sent forth a great host of Maiar and Elves from Valinor to Middle-earth, who fought the War of Wrath in which Melkor was defeated.

The lands were changed, the Elves were again called to Valinor. During the Second Age, the Valar's main deeds were the creation of Númenor as a refuge for the Edain, who were denied access to Aman but given dominion over the rest of the world; the Valar, now including Ulmo, remained aloof from Middle-earth, allowing the rise of Morgoth's lieutenant, Sauron, to power as a new Dark Lord. Near the end of the Second Age, Sauron convinced the Númenóreans to attack Aman itself. Manwë upon the Mountain called upon Ilúvatar, for that time the Valar laid down their government of Arda. — Akallabêth, The Silmarillion. With the Akallabêth, the destruction of Númenor, Aman was removed from the earth. In the Third Age the Valar sent the Istari to Middle-earth to aid in the battle against Sauron; these are the names and attributes of the chief Valar as they were kno

Graff (jewellers)

Graff is a British multinational jeweller based in London. It was founded by British jeweller Laurence Graff in 1960. A vertically integrated company, Graff operations comprise the design and retail distribution of jewellery and watches. Graff was founded in London in 1960 by Laurence Graff. Graff adheres to the Kimberley Process, never knowingly buying or trading rough diamonds from areas where this would encourage conflict or human suffering; the majority of Graff diamonds are laser engraved with unique Gemological Institute of America tracking numbers, which whilst invisible to the naked eye, allow for their origin to be traced. Graff’s cutting and polishing processes are carried out in Johannesburg by the South African Diamond Corporation, a division of Graff; the Windsor Yellows were acquired by Laurence Graff in 1987 in Geneva during the auction of the jewels belonging to Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor. The Duchess was photographed wearing the Windsor Yellows, a pair of clips of fancy yellow pear shaped diamonds of 51.01 and 40.22 carats respectively.

"I bought another pair of clips the Duchess had owned," Laurence Graff explains. "Of course they needed re-cutting to bring them to their full potential, I bought all four, repolished them, made the Windsor earrings."The Paragon diamond was acquired by Graff in 1989. The Paragon is a 7-sided diamond of 137.82 carats and was worn as part of "millennium" necklace of round, pink and yellow diamonds by Naomi Campbell in 1999. The Lesotho Promise was acquired as a rough 603-carat stone for $12.4 million in 2006. The stone was cut by a team of 35 using computer-controlled lasers into 26 D-flawless diamonds totaling 223.35 carats, the highest yield from a single diamond. In July 2007 the finished stones were unveiled; the largest gem cut from the diamond was a 75-carat pear-shaped diamond. In all, twenty-six stones were fashioned from the rough gem, figuring as seven pear shapes, four emerald cuts, thirteen round brilliants and one heart shape; the finished gems total 224 carats. The Letseng Legacy diamond was unearthed from the same mine as the Lesotho Promise Letseng diamond mine in 2008 and totalled 493cts.

Acquired by Graff for $10.4 million, they yielded 20 diamonds totaling 231.67cts from the one rough stone. The Wittelsbach-Graff Diamond is a 31.06-carat fancy deep-blue diamond with internally flawless clarity purchased by Laurence Graff in 2008 for £16.4 million. The Delaire Sunrise is, at 118.08 carats, the largest square emerald cut Fancy Vivid Yellow diamond in the world. Discovered in 2008 at an alluvial mine in South Africa, the 221.81 carat rough diamond. When Laurence Graff unveiled the finished diamond, he named it "the Delaire Sunrise"; the Constellation is, at 102.79 carats, the largest round shaped, D colour, Internally Flawless diamond to be graded by the Gemological Institute of America. The Graff Pink was acquired by Graff in November 2010. A pink diamond with a type IIa classification and modified emerald cut shape, the diamond was held in a private collection for over 60 years; the diamond displayed 25 natural flaws. The recut 23.88 carat diamond displayed new colour and internal flawlessness.

The Graff Sweethearts were two rough diamonds weighing 196 carats and 184 carats discovered at the Letseng Mine in Lesotho. After cutting they produced a 51.53 ct D colour Flawless type IIa and a 50.76 ct D colour Flawless type IIa, both heart-shaped. The Sultan Abdul Hamid II is a 70.54 carat light yellow acquired by Graff in 1981. It has been suggested that this stone may have been cut from "The Ottoman I" which belonged to Suleyman the Magnificent of Turkey; the Graff Lesedi La Rona, a 302.37 carat D color high-clarity emerald cut diamond. It is the main stone cut from the Lesedi La Rona, bought by Graff in 2017 and cut in 2019; the cutting of the rough stone produced 66 smaller stones. According to Graff, the stone is the "largest highest clarity, highest color diamond graded by the Gemological Institute of America". Taking the form of a peacock with a display of fanned tail feathers, this diamond brooch features a collection of coloured diamonds. A total of 120.81 carats of diamonds adorn the brooch.

This piece is priced at $100 million. At the heart of the brooch, sits a 20.02 carat deep blue pear shape diamond. The piece features an additional clasp to the rear, allowing the blue diamond centerpiece to be removed and worn two ways. Graff has over 50 stores around the world including New York, Las Vegas, Monte Carlo, Kiev and Taipei. Graff has corporate offices in London, New York, Hong Kong and Tokyo. Graff's bi-annual magazine "Graffiti' was launched in 2009 and is distributed globally to Graff's customers in both English and Simplified Chinese. Graff has been the target of several high-profile robberies. In 1980, two Chicago-based gangsters armed with a handgun and a hand grenade stole jewellery valued at £1.5 million from the Sloane Street premises. Mafiosi Joseph Scalise and Arthur Rachel, who took "less than a minute" to commit the crime, were apprehended eleven hours in the United States and were extradited to England where they were tried and imprisoned for nine years, their haul had included the 26 carat Marlborough diamond, worth £400,000 at the time, which has never been recovered.

In 1993, the firm's Hatton Garden workshop premises was robbed of jewellery valued at £7 million. The robbery was attributed to a group of armed robbers known as The Rascal Gang due to the Bedford Rascal vans they used. In 2003, the New Bond Street premises was robbed by two men from the Pink Pan

Simon Mailloux

Simon Mailloux is a serving officer in the Canadian Forces. He was injured on 16 November 2007 in an IED incident in Afghanistan; as a result, his left leg was amputated. In November 2009, Mailloux redeployed to Afghanistan becoming the first Canadian amputee to deploy to a war zone as a combatant. Born in 1983 and raised in Quebec City, Quebec, he is an alumnus of the Royal Military College of Canada and the University of Glasgow. During the summer of 2005, he received an international exchange scholarship from the Canada Corps initiative launched by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada on behalf of the Canadian International Development Agency, his research took place at the École de Maintien de la Paix, of Kulikovo, the Institut de Recherche sur le Développement, of Bamako in Mali during four months. Upon graduation, he was posted to the 3e Bataillon Royal 22e Régiment in Valcartier and joined the deploying formation as a platoon commander. Mailloux was injured by an IED explosion on 16 November 2007 which killed two soldiers, an interpreter and wounded several others.

Mailloux underwent several months of rehabilitation. Following this, he was appointed Aide de Camp to the Governor General of Canada at Rideau Hall in Ottawa and participated in the Presidential visit of Barack Obama to Ottawa, the 2009 visit to Haïti and the Emperor and Empress of Japan visit to Canada. In 2009, he joined the Task Force Kandahar Headquarters as a Brigade staff and worked as a staff with the Counter-IED Task Force in Ottawa. In 2013, he was appointed as one of the honorary Aide-de-Camp to the Quebec Lieutenant-Governor; the Prime Minister of Canada announced a National Day of Honour to be held across Canada on the 9th of May 2014. This celebration was to mark the end of the mission in Afghanistan and the ceremony on Parliament Hill, presented live on all major news channels, was to be Emceed by Rick Hansen, Honorary Colonel, a representative from the Canadian Forces. On the May 6, 2014, the Prime Minister Stephen Harper announced that Mailloux would be the second emcee for this national event.

Harper mentioned that "Captain Mailloux’s unwavering commitment to duty and fellow Canadian Armed Forces Veterans has earned him tremendous respect and admiration among military personnel and across Canada. His true grit, strength and dedication are inspirational and serve to remind us all of the fortitude required to serve as a member of the Canadian Armed Forces." He is serving in a unit with the Royal 22nd Regiment. Since February 2008, Mailloux appeared in many provincial and national media outlets explaining his experience and promoting the support of the Canadian Forces veterans, he was one of the first francophone soldier to be injured and played a similar role as Paul Franklin from Edmonton, injured in January 2006, in becoming a nationally known advocate for serving amputee soldiers. On 2 March 2008, he participated in the popular Quebec talk show Tout le Monde en Parle and was on the cover of the February 2008 edition of the magazine L'Actualité. Mailloux participated in the 2012 Army Run taking place in Ottawa and won first place of the 5 km run in the Amputee category.

The prize was awarded by Commander of the Canadian Army. When his return to Afghanistan was announced in September 2009 Mailloux made an appearance on the talk show Canada AM, the Quebec show Dumont 360, the cover of Le Soleil newspaper, CBC Newsworld, the Los Angeles Times and many others. Mailloux is quoted in General Rick Hillier's book, A Soldier First, as a "young wounded lieutenant that asked if he could return with his comrades". Mailloux was heralded by a Winnipeg Free Press editorial as an example that a serious injury is not stopping a soldier from serving its country and that more place should be made for them. Many questions remained on the intention the CF wanted to achieve by sending Mailloux back in Afghanistan. Mailloux was the guest of the George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight on CBC for Remembrance Day 2013, he was being interviewed on many different topics, but to explain his story and what remembrance Day meant for him. On the same day, he was featured on the 24/60 show on Radio-Canada speaking on behalf of the injured.

Mailloux was being filmed training in a gym. Mailloux is seen running the annual Army Run taking place in Ottawa along with other Canadian war veterans, he is involved with the Canadian Forces Soldier On program in raising funds to buy adaptative equipment for wounded soldiers across the country. Mailloux has visited many injured soldiers in hospitals and rehabilitation centres in Edmonton, Quebec City and Ottawa and takes a continuing interest in activities for wounded soldiers. On 6 February 2012, Mailloux among other deserving Canadians received one of the first 60 diamond jubilee medal recognizing "his leadership within the Canadian Forces and his efforts to help the soldiers injured during the war in Afghanistan which were given by the Governor General and the Prime Minister of Canada. Mailloux was the gala dinner keynote speaker for the Canadian Institute for Military and Veterans Health Research during the 2013 Forum held in Edmonton. Mailloux was introduced by the Minister of Veterans Affairs, Julian Fantino, "spoke about his experience with losing a limb in Afghanistan, how he was able to rehabilitate and return to combat.

His story was inspirational to all who attend the Forum." The following year, Mailloux published an article in the Canadian Military Journal in which he make recommendations to improve the return to work programs for soldiers using lessons he learned during his rehabilitation. Mailloux's experience as an amputated serving soldier is respected among the

Anne-Marie McDermott

Anne-Marie McDermott is an American classical music pianist, member of the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center. She is the artistic director of the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, Artistic Director of the Ocean Reef Chamber Music Festival in Key Largo, FL and the Avila Chamber Music Celebration in Curaçao, she has been the recipient of the Avery Fisher Career Development Award, the Andrew Wolf Memorial Chamber Music Award, the Joseph Kalichstein Piano Prize, the Paul A. Fish Memorial Prize, the Bruce Hungerford Memorial Prize, the Mortimer Levitt Career Development Award for Women Artists. McDermott's recordings include the complete Piano Sonatas of Prokofiev" and the complete works for piano and orchestra of George Gershwin", her recording of Bach English Suites and Partitas was named Gramophone Magazine’s Editor’s Choice". She commissioned works of Charles Wuorinen ) and Clarice Assad, which were premiered in May 2009 at Town Hall in New York. Ms. McDermott studied at the Manhattan School of Music.

Official website Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center bio Bio at the Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival Bio at Opus 3 Artists

Carbon footprint

A carbon footprint is defined as the total greenhouse gas emissions caused by an individual, organization, or product, expressed as carbon dioxide equivalent. Greenhouse gases, including the carbon-containing gases carbon dioxide and methane, can be emitted through the burning of fossil fuels, land clearance and the production and consumption of food, manufactured goods, wood, buildings and other services. In most cases, the total carbon footprint cannot be calculated because of inadequate knowledge of and data about the complex interactions between contributing processes, including the influence of natural processes that store or release carbon dioxide. For this reason, Wright and Williams proposed the following definition of a carbon footprint: A measure of the total amount of carbon dioxide and methane emissions of a defined population, system or activity, considering all relevant sources and storage within the spatial and temporal boundary of the population, system or activity of interest.

Calculated as carbon dioxide equivalent using the relevant 100-year global warming potential. Most of the carbon footprint emissions for the average U. S. household come from "indirect" sources, e.g. fuel burned to produce goods far away from the final consumer. These are distinguished from emissions which come from burning fuel directly in one's car or stove referred to as "direct" sources of the consumer's carbon footprint. An individual's, nation's, or organization's carbon footprint can be measured by undertaking a GHG emissions assessment, a life cycle assessment, or other calculative activities denoted as carbon accounting. Once the size of a carbon footprint is known, a strategy can be devised to reduce it, e.g. by technological developments, energy efficiency improvements, better process and product management, changed Green Public or Private Procurement, carbon capture, consumption strategies, carbon offsetting and others. For calculating personal carbon footprints, several free online carbon footprint calculators exist including a few supported by publicly available peer-reviewed data and calculations including the University of California, Berkeley's CoolClimate Network research consortium and CarbonStory.

These websites ask you to answer more or less detailed questions about your diet, transportation choices, home size and recreational activities, usage of electricity and heavy appliances such as dryers and refrigerators, so on. The website estimates your carbon footprint based on your answers to these questions. A systematic literature review was conducted to objectively determine the best way to calculate individual/household carbon footprints; this review identified 13 calculation principles and subsequently used the same principles to evaluate the 15 most popular online carbon footprint calculators. A recent study's results by Carnegie Mellon's Christopher Weber found that the calculation of carbon footprints for products is filled with large uncertainties; the variables of owning electronic goods such as the production and previous technology used to make that product, can make it difficult to create an accurate carbon footprint. It is important to question, address the accuracy of Carbon Footprint techniques due to its overwhelming popularity.

Calculating the carbon footprint of industry, product, or service is a complex task. One tool industry uses Life-cycle assessment, where carbon footprint may be one of many factors taken into consideration when assessing a product or service; the International Organization for Standardization has a standard called ISO 14040:2006 that has the framework for conducting an LCA study. ISO 14060 family of standards provides further sophisticated tools for quantifying, monitoring and validating or verifying of GHG emissions and removals. Another method is through the Greenhouse Gas Protocol, a set of standards for tracking GHG emissions. Predicting the carbon footprint of a process is possible through estimations using the above standards. By using Emission intensities/Carbon intensities and the estimated annual use of fuel, chemical, or other inputs, the carbon footprint can be determined while a process is being planned/designed; the concept and name of the carbon footprint derive from the ecological footprint concept, developed by William E. Rees and Mathis Wackernagel in the 1990s.

While carbon footprints are reported in tons of emissions per year, ecological footprints are reported in comparison to what the planet can renew. This assesses the number of "earths" that would be required if everyone on the planet consumed resources at the same level as the person calculating their ecological footprint; the carbon footprint is one part of the ecological footprint. The carbon part was popularized by a large campaign of BP in 2005. Carbon footprints are more focused than ecological footprints since they measure emissions of gases that cause climate change into the atmosphere. Carbon footprint is one of a family of footprint indicators, which include water footprint and land footprint. Direct carbon emissions come from sources that are directly from the site, producing a product; these emissions can be referred to as scope 1 and scope 2 emissions. Scope 1 emissions are emissions that are directly emitted from the site of the service. An example for industry would be the emissions related to burning a fuel on site.

On the individual level, emissions from personal vehicles or gas burning stoves would fall under scope 1. Scope 2 emissions are the other emissions related to purchased electricity, and/or steam used on site. In the US, the EPA has broken down electricity emissio

Laupheim–Schwendi railway

The Railway line Laupheim WestSchwendi in Germany connected the town of Laupheim with the village of Schwendi. The railway line was opened by the Royal Württemberg State Railways on 17 May 1904, it branched off from the Württemberg Southern Railway. The length of the railway line was 16 km; the railway line had the classification number of 4510. The steam locomotive used on the line, received the nickname Rottalmolle by the local population, referring to the course of the railway line through the valley of the river Rot; the transport of passengers between the city station of Laupheim and Schwendi was discontinued on 23 May 1971, the transportation of goods on 28 September 1984. Afterwards the railway tracks were dismantled. Passenger trains on the part leading from Laupheim to Laupheim-West were discontinued on 27 May 1983. However, unlike the tracks leading to Schwendi, the tracks to Laupheim-West were left intact and re-opened on 30 May 1999 for public transport. Direct trains operate from Laupheim to Ulm Hauptbahnhof, without passengers having to change at Laupheim-West.

Works to implement long-established plans for a new southern route, enabling direct connections to Biberach an der Riß, started in 2009 and were completed in 2011. The opening of the southern route took place on 11 June 2011, extending the route from Langenau to Biberach. In order to facilitate railway traffic a second railway platform was built at Laupheim city station during the same period of time. Beck, Schwäbische Eisenbahn – Bilder von der Königlich Württembergischen Staatseisenbahn, Tübingen: Metz, ISBN 3-921580-78-1 Diemer, Laupheim. Stadtgeschichte, Weißenhorn: Konrad, ISBN 3-87437-151-4 Hammer, Schwendi. Heimatbuch einer Gemeinde in Oberschwaben, Weißenhorn: Konrad Mühl, Albert. Geschichte eines schwäbischen Dorfes im Rottal, Buxheim: Martin-Verlag Berger, ISBN 3-7865-0134-3 Schenk, Laupheim: Geschichte - Land und Leute, Weißenhorn: Konrad, ISBN 3-87437-136-0 Schmidt, Die Südbahn. Eisenbahn und Industrialisierung in Ulm und Oberschwaben, Ulm: Süddeutsche Verlagsgesellschaft, ISBN 3-88294-342-4 Walz, Die Eisenbahn in Baden-Württemberg: Geschichte der Bahnen in Baden und Württemberg 1840 bis heute, Stuttgart: Motorbuch-Verlag, ISBN 3-87943-716-5 Picture documentary over state of former railway line in 2007