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Van, Turkey

Van is a city in eastern Turkey's Van Province, located on the eastern shore of Lake Van. The city has a long history as a major urban area, it has been a large city since the first millennium BC as Tushpa, the capital of the kingdom of Urartu from the 9th century BC to the 6th century BC, as the center of the Armenian kingdom of Vaspurakan. Today, Van has a sizeable Turkish minority. In 2010 the official population figure for Van was 367,419, but many estimates put it much higher with a 1996 estimate stating 500,000 and former Mayor Burhan Yengun is quoted as saying it may be as high as 600,000; the Van Central district stretches over 2,289 square kilometres. Archaeological excavations and surveys carried out in Van province indicate that the history of human settlement in this region goes back at least as far as 5000 BC; the Tilkitepe Mound, on the shores of Lake Van and a few kilometres to the south of Van Castle, is the only source of information about the oldest culture of Van. Under the ancient name of Tushpa, Van was the capital of the Urartian kingdom in the 9th century BC.

The early settlement was centered on the steep-sided bluff now known as Van Castle, close to the edge of Lake Van and a few kilometers west of the modern city. Here have been found Urartian cuneiform inscriptions dating to the 8th and 7th centuries BC. In the trilingual Behistun inscription, carved in the order of Darius the Great of Persia, the country referred to as Urartu in Babylonian is called Armenia in Old Persian; the name'Van' comes from the Urartian Biaina. The region came under the control of the Orontids in the 7th century BC and later the Persians in the mid 6th century BC; the Van Fortress located outside Van holds an inscribed stereotyped trilingual inscription of Xerxes the Great from the 5th century BC upon a smoothed section of the rock face, some 20 metres above the ground near the fortress. The inscription survives in near perfect condition and is divided into three columns of 27 lines written in Old Persian and Elamite. In 331 BC, Van was conquered by Alexander the Great and after his death became part of the Seleucid Empire.

By the early 2nd century BC it was part of the Kingdom of Armenia. It became an important center during the reign of the Armenian king, Tigranes II, who founded the city of Tigranakert in the 1st century BC. In the early centuries BC, it fell to the emerging Arsacid dynasty of Parthia until the 3rd century AD. However, it fell once to the Arsacid Dynasty of Armenia in this timespan. In the History of Armenia attributed to Movses Khorenatsi, the city is called Tosp, from Urartian Tushpa. Following the fall of the Parthians and the emergence of the Neo-Persian Empire, better known as the Sassanian Empire, the town fell into the possession of the latter. During the over 700 years lasting Roman-Persian Wars, some of the wars razed at or around the location of modern-day Van; the Byzantine Empire held the region from 628 to 640, following the victory in the climactic Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628, after which it was invaded by the Muslim Arabs, who consolidated their conquests as the province of Arminiya.

Decline in Arab power allowed local Armenian rulers to re-emerge, with the Artsruni dynasty soon becoming the most powerful. Dependent on the rulers of the Kingdom of Ani, they declared their independence in 908, founding the Armenian Kingdom of Vaspurakan; the kingdom had no specific capital: the court would move as the king transferred his residence from place to place, such as Van city, Aghtamar, etc. In 1021 the last king of Vaspurakan, John-Senekerim Artsruni, ceded his entire kingdom to the Byzantine empire, who established the Vaspurakan theme on the former Artsruni territories. Incursions by the Seljuk Turks into Vaspurakan started in the 1050s. After their victory in 1071 at the battle of Manzikert the entire region fell under their control. After them, local Muslim rulers emerged, such as the Ayyubids. For a 20-year period, Van was held by the Anatolian Seljuk Sultanate until the 1240s when it was conquered by the Mongols. In the 14th century, Van was held by the Timurids, followed subsequently by the Turkoman Kara Koyunlu and Ak Koyunlu confederations.

The first half of the 15th century saw the Van region become a land of conflict as it was disputed by the Ottoman Empire and the neighboring Persian Safavid Empire. The Safavids captured Van in 1502, as it went with all former territories of the Ak Koyunlu; the Ottomans took the city in 1515 following the climactic Battle of Chaldiran and held it for a short period. The Safavids retook it again in 1520 but the Ottomans gained an definite hold of it in 1548 during another Ottoman-Safavid War. Ottoman control over the town got confirmed in the 1555 Peace of Amasya which came as a result after the end of the war, they first made Van into a sanjak dependent on the Erzurum eyalet, into a separate Van eyalet in about 1570. In 1602, the Safavids under king Abbas the Great recaptured Van alongside other swaths of lost territories in Eastern Anatolia. However, Ottoman control over it was at last now made final and definite in 1639 with the Treaty of Zuhab. During the early 1900s, the city of Van had ten Turkish schools.

Towards the second half of the 19th century Van began to play an increased role in the politics of the Ottoman Empire due to its location near the borders of the Persian and Ottoman Empire, as well as its proximity to Mosul. During the period leading up to the breakup of the Ottoman Empire, Armenians were well represented in the local administration

Doug Rhodes

Doug Rhodes, is an American multi-instrumentalist, who performed with 1960s rock bands the Music Machine and the Millennium. Growing up in Garden Grove, Rhodes began his music career as a jazz saxophonist at the age of 16, playing with older brother Robbie Rhodes, he became the member of a band called The Spats, for whom he played organ. He was kicked out of the band late in 1965. After moving to L. A. in January 1966, Rhodes met producer Curt Boettcher. He played celeste for the Association's No. 1 hit "Cherish". In the summer of 1966, Rhodes joined the rock band the Music Machine, for whom he played the organ and provided backing vocals. After the release of the band's first LP, The Music Machine, a promotional tour, four of the five members, including Rhodes, quit the group, leaving only singer/songwriter Sean Bonniwell. According to Rhodes, there was conflict over money and Bonniwell's attitude toward the other members. Bonniwell continued to use the band name and released a second album of older recordings on which Rhodes had performed.

Rhodes continued to work with Curt Boettcher, forming the band the Millennium along with two other former Music Machine members. The Millennium's debut LP was released by Columbia Records in 1968. After the short-lived Millennium dissolved, Rhodes kept busy as a session musician, playing for the likes of the Association, Taj Mahal and Jeremy, Tommy Roe, Van Dyke Parks, he was involved in the Millennium-splintered group Bigshot, signed to Together records, the label set-up by Gary Usher and Boettcher in 1969. The others members of Bigshot included drummer Ron Edgar, guitarist Michael Fennelly, ex-Goldebriars guitarist Murray Planta; some demos were never issued. The producer of those sessions was Joey Stec. In 1971, Rhodes moved to Canada, he continued to play around with various musicians, including Valdy. He settled in Victoria, B. C. became a professional at piano tuning and restoration, as well as playing 1920s style jazz with an orchestra called The Belevedere Broadcasters. He has a son, Davis Lamar Rhodes, a daughter, Sasha Marie Rhodes.

As of 2015 he plays with a Klezmer band, led by Marion Siegel. An interview with Doug Rhodes Rhodes interview with Ugly Things

Erectile dysfunction

Erectile dysfunction known as impotence, is a type of sexual dysfunction characterized by the inability to develop or maintain an erection of the penis during sexual activity. ED can have psychological consequences as it can be tied to relationship difficulties and self-image. A physical cause can be identified in about 80% of cases; these include cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus, neurological problems such as following prostatectomy and drug side effects. Psychological impotence is where penetration fails due to thoughts or feelings. In psychological impotence, there is a strong response to placebo treatment; the term erectile dysfunction is not used for other disorders such as priapism. Treatment involves addressing the underlying causes, lifestyle modifications, addressing psychosocial issues. In many cases, a trial of pharmacological therapy with a PDE5 inhibitor, such as sildenafil, can be attempted. In some cases, treatment can involve inserting prostaglandin pellets into the urethra, injecting smooth muscle relaxants and vasodilators into the penis, a penile implant, a penis pump, or vascular reconstructive surgery.

It is the most common sexual problem in men. ED is characterized by the regular or repeated inability to achieve or maintain an erection of sufficient rigidity to accomplish sexual activity, it is defined as the "persistent or recurrent inability to achieve and maintain a penile erection of sufficient rigidity to permit satisfactory sexual activity for at least 3 months." ED has an impact on the emotional well-being of both men and their partners. Many men do not seek treatment due to feelings of embarrassment. About 75% of diagnosed cases of ED go untreated. Causes of or contributors to ED include the following: Prescription drugs Neurogenic disorders Cavernosal disorders Hyperprolactinemia Psychological causes: performance anxiety and mental disorders Surgery Aging: It is four times more common in men aged in their 60s than those in their 40s. Kidney failure Lifestyle habits smoking, a key risk factor for ED as it promotes arterial narrowing. Surgical intervention for a number of conditions may remove anatomical structures necessary to erection, damage nerves, or impair blood supply.

ED is a common complication of treatments for prostate cancer, including prostatectomy and destruction of the prostate by external beam radiation, although the prostate gland itself is not necessary to achieve an erection. As far as inguinal hernia surgery is concerned, in most cases, in the absence of postoperative complications, the operative repair can lead to a recovery of the sexual life of people with preoperative sexual dysfunction, while, in most cases, it does not affect people with a preoperative normal sexual life. ED can be associated with bicycling due to both neurological and vascular problems due to compression; the increase risk appears to be about 1.7-fold. Concerns that use of pornography can cause ED have little support in epidemiological studies, according to a 2015 literature review. Penile erection is managed by two mechanisms: the reflex erection, achieved by directly touching the penile shaft, the psychogenic erection, achieved by erotic or emotional stimuli; the former involves the peripheral nerves and the lower parts of the spinal cord, whereas the latter involves the limbic system of the brain.

In both cases, an intact neural system is required for a complete erection. Stimulation of the penile shaft by the nervous system leads to the secretion of nitric oxide, which causes the relaxation of the smooth muscles of the corpora cavernosa, subsequently penile erection. Additionally, adequate levels of testosterone and an intact pituitary gland are required for the development of a healthy erectile system; as can be understood from the mechanisms of a normal erection, impotence may develop due to hormonal deficiency, disorders of the neural system, lack of adequate penile blood supply or psychological problems. Spinal cord injury causes sexual dysfunction, including ED. Restriction of blood flow can arise from impaired endothelial function due to the usual causes associated with coronary artery disease, but can be caused by prolonged exposure to bright light. In many cases, the diagnosis can be made based on the person's history of symptoms. In other cases, a physical examination and laboratory investigations are done to rule out more serious causes such as hypogonadism or prolactinoma.

One of the first steps is to distinguish between physiological and psychological ED. Determining whether involuntary erections are present is important in eliminating the possibility of psychogenic causes for ED. Obtaining full erections such as nocturnal penile tumescence when asleep, tends to suggest that the physical structures are functionally working. Performance with manual stimulation, as well as any performance anxiety or acute situational ED, may indicate a psychogenic component to ED. Other factors leading to ED are diabetes mellitus, a well-known cause of neuropathy). ED is related to poor physical health, poor dietary habits and most cardiovascular disease, such as coronary artery disease and peripheral vascular