Wales Rally GB

The Wales Rally GB is the largest and most high-profile motor rally in the United Kingdom. It is a round of the FIA World Rally Championship and was a round of the MSA British Rally Championship and is based in North Wales. From its first running in 1932 until the 53rd event in 1997, it was known as the RAC Rally until adopting its current name in 2003 except in 2009 when it was Rally of Great Britain; the inaugural event was the 1932 Royal Automobile Club Rally, the first major rally of the modern era in Great Britain. Of the 367 crews entered, 341 competitors in unmodified cars started from nine different towns and cities The Official Programme explained: Different routes are followed from the nine starting points, each 1,000 miles long, but all finishing at Torquay. On every route there are four controls in addition to the starting and finishing controls, these are open for periods varying from seven to four hours. Competitors may report at these controls at any time during the hours of opening....

At the final control they must check in as near their fixed finishing time as possible, any considerable deviation from this time results in loss of marks. As well as completing the route to a time schedule the competitors were required to perform a special test involving slow running and braking. Additionally a Concours d'Elegance was held at the finish in Torquay. There was no official winner, although Colonel A. H. Loughborough in a Lanchester 15/18 was recorded as having the fewest penalty points in the decisive test at the finish; the following year's RAC Rally followed a similar format, but with Hastings as the chosen finish. Over three hundred competitors entered, this time Miss Kitty Brunel, driving an AC Ace, was the driver with the fewest penalties; the rally was run annually until 1939, after which the outbreak of the Second World War forced its suspension. However, it resumed in 1951, has been contested every year since with only two exceptions: 1957 and 1967; this latter incident was on the eve of the event, so competitors staged a mock rally at the Bagshot proving ground as consolation for the press and television.

In 1960, organising secretary Jack Kemsley negotiated with the Forestry Commission to allow a two-mile section of forest road in Argyll, Scotland to be used as a competitive section. It proved enormously successful, the following year forest roads all over the country were opened up to the drivers. This, combined with the introduction of special timing clocks and seeding of entries, secured the rally's future, cemented its reputation as one of the most gruelling and unpredictable fixtures on the calendar. In 2016 an agreement was reached between the MSA and Natural Resources Wales to continue to use Welsh forest stages for three years. In 1971,'Spectator Stages' were introduced and, by 1975 had become an important part of the event at stately homes and other public venues like Sutton Park; the first day was, by devoted to these stages. Drivers did not enjoy them, referred to them disparagingly as "Mickey Mouse stages" because of the lack of challenge they offered, but nonetheless they contributed to the results.

For example, in 1998 championship leader Tommi Mäkinen crashed out of the rally on one of these stages, nearly lost that year's world championship. More they have given way to the'Super Special Stages', which are maligned by the drivers, but just as popular with spectators; the 1986 RAC Rally was the last European event for Group B vehicles. These tuned turbocharged cars were to be banned as they were deemed too powerful and dangerous, in light of the various accidents in which they were involved. In the end, the Peugeot 205 T16 Evo. 2s of Timo Salonen, Juha Kankkunen and Mikael Sundström took three of the top four places, with only Markku Alén's second position in the Lancia Delta S4 preventing a monopoly of the podium. There were 83 finishers out of 150 starters in 1986, compared to year of worst attrition in 1981 when only 54 of the 151 starters reached the end; this was in stark contrast to the early years: in 1938, there were only 6 retirements from 237 starters. For many years the rally has traditionally been the last round of the World Championship, therefore has staged many famous down-to-the-wire showdowns.

In 1991 the world championship came down-to-the-wire in the British forests, with Lancia driver Juha Kankkunen edging out Toyota’s Carlos Sainz after the Spaniard suffered engine issues and went off the road in Kielder Forest and damaged his car. One year and Sainz and Kankkunen returned to the RAC along with Frenchman Didier Auriol to fight for the 1992 title. Auriol’s challenge would end with engine failure, Kankkunen’s hopes were dashed when he went off and damaged his steering on the final day of the rally in southern Scotland. Sainz won the rally and with it claimed his second world title. In 1995, it was estimated that around 2 million fans lined the forests to witness Scotsman Colin McRae win his second consecutive RAC Rally, in the process beat teammate Carlos Sainz to take his first and only world title in front of thousands of fans at Chester Racecourse. McRae would have less fortune in future years; the Scot would come up short again in 2001 when he crashed out of an early lead, gifting the championship to his English rival Richard Burns.

One of the most dramatic showdowns was 1998, when championship l

Leo Choirosphaktes

Leo Choirosphaktes, sometimes Latinized as Choerosphactes and known as Leo Magistros or Leo Magister, was a Byzantine official who rose to high office under Emperor Basil I the Macedonian and served as an envoy under Emperor Leo VI the Wise to Bulgaria and the Abbasid Caliphate. Choirosphaktes was a well-educated and prominent scholar and writer, many of whose works and correspondence survive; the date of Choirosphaktes's birth is not clear. Paul Magdalino, rejects a birth date in the 820s, for Choirosphaktes was still alive in 913 and died after 920, his family was well established in aristocratic circles. Through his wife, he was a relative of Zoe Karbonopsina, Emperor Leo VI's mistress after circa 903 and eventual fourth wife, he himself married a lady related to the Byzantine imperial family, with whom he had two daughters. Nothing is known of Choirosphaktes's early life before circa 865, when he dedicated a major theological work, the Theology in a Thousand Lines to Emperor Michael III.

Under Michael's successor, Basil I the Macedonian, Choirosphaktes rose to high state offices, being named mystikos and kanikleios, both confidential positions in close proximity to the emperor. Choirosphaktes continued to be favoured by Basil's son and successor, Leo VI, who awarded him the high dignities of anthypatos and patrikios by 896. In 895–896, Emperor Leo sent Choirosphaktes in a series of embassies to the Bulgarian ruler Symeon, to conclude the ongoing war between the two states, his surviving diplomatic correspondence is a valuable source for these events. The Bulgarians had been hard pressed due to the successful raids of the Magyars, allies of Byzantium, who had taken many prisoners and handed them over to the Byzantines. Confident of a favourable settlement after this, Leo stood down the Byzantine forces, but Symeon, once relieved of pressure on two fronts imprisoned Choirosphaktes, carried on negotiations with him in his cell; these Symeon dragged out until the Pechenegs, attacked the Magyars in the rear.

After the Magyars were defeated, the Bulgarian ruler issued an ultimatum demanding the release of all Bulgarian prisoners as a precondition of peace. Emperor Leo, pressed at the same time by the Arabs in the East, accepted his demand. Choirosphaktes returned to Constantinople with the Bulgarian envoy Theodore, the prisoners were released. Soon, hostilities resumed, after a severe Byzantine defeat at the Battle of Bulgarophygon in summer 896, Choirosphaktes was again dispatched to Symeon, he managed to negotiate a treaty, which set free a large number of Byzantine prisoners, secured peace in exchange for the restoration of Bulgaria's trade privileges, the payment of an annual tribute by the Byzantines to Symeon, some border concessions. That peace would last until 913, with the exception of a brief moment in 904, when, in the aftermath of a series of Byzantine setbacks at the hands of the Arabs—most notably the sack of Thessalonica, the Byzantine Empire's second city—Symeon decided to press his advantage: he appeared with his army in front of Thessalonica, demanded concessions in return for not occupying the defenseless city.

Choirosphaktes again was the Byzantine ambassador sent to negotiate with him. Symeon secured much territory in Macedonia and Thrace, although Choirosphaktes managed to recover a belt of about 30 fortresses around the Byzantine Empire's Adriatic stronghold of Dyrrhachium. In 905/906, Emperor Leo sent Choirosphaktes as an envoy to the emirs of Tarsos and Malatya, as well as to the Abbasid court in Baghdad, hoping to achieve a peace treaty, but to gather grants of economy by the eastern patriarchs for the emperor's fourth marriage forbidden by canon law. Shortly after his return, circa 907, Choirosphaktes fell into disfavour and was exiled to a location called Petra indicating some involvement in the contemporary revolt of Andronikos Doukas. During this period of disgrace, he sent repeated letters to the emperor pleading his case, he was the subject of a vehement attack by the bishop Arethas of Caesarea in the latter's work Choirosphaktes or Wizard-hater, where he was accused of being a "Hellene".

He was pardoned and rehabilitated, either by Emperor Leo himself or by his brother and successor, for at the time of Alexander's death he was back in Constantinople, was implicated in the conspiracy and failed coup d'état of the general Constantine Doukas. Following the coup's suppression, Choirosphaktes sought sanctuary in the Hagia Sophia. There he was captured and confined to the Monastery of Stoudios, where he died shortly after 919. Alongside his letters, Choirosphaktes composed theological works and epigrams; the attribution of some of the works, however, is disputed. Among them are many celebratory anacreontic poems: two on one of the marriages of Leo VI, one on a new palace bath built by the same emperor, one on the marriage of Emperor Constantine VII with Helena Lekapene in 920, poems on the deaths of prominent figures of his time, such as Leo the Mathematician and the patriarchs Photios and Stephen I. Throughout his works, Choirosphaktes praises the intellectual qualities of his heroes, e

Pretty in Pink

Pretty in Pink is a 1986 American teen romantic comedy film about love and social cliques in American high schools in the 1980s. A cult classic, it is identified as a "Brat Pack" film, it was directed by Howard Deutch, produced by Lauren Shuler Donner, written by John Hughes, who served as co-executive producer. It was named after the song by The Psychedelic Furs; the film's soundtrack has been rated as one of the best in modern cinema. It features a re-recorded version of the title song by The Psychedelic Furs. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark's "If You Leave" became an international hit and charted at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in May 1986. High school senior Andie Walsh lives with her underemployed working class father, Jack, in a Chicago suburb. Andie's best friend, Phil "Duckie" Dale, is in love with her, but is afraid to tell her how he feels. In school and Andie, along with their friends, are harassed and bullied by the arrogant "richie" kids Benny Hanson and her boyfriend Steff McKee, who finds Andie attractive and secretively resents having been rejected by her.

While working after school at TRAX, a new wave record store, Andie starts talking about her school's senior prom to her manager Iona, who advises Andie to go, despite not having a date. Blane McDonough, one of the preppy boys and Steff's best friend, starts talking to Andie and asks her out. On the night of the date, Andie waits for Blane at TRAX. Duckie comes in and asks Andie to go out with him. Feeling like she got stood up, Iona gives Andie a pep talk, while Duckie, still oblivious, asks what's wrong; when Blane arrives, Duckie is upset and starts an argument with Andie, with Duckie trying to convince her that Blane will only hurt her. Duckie storms off and Andie goes on with her date. Blane suggests going to a house party Steff is throwing, but Andie is mistreated by everybody, including a drunken Steff and Benny. Andie, in turn, suggests going to the local club, where they discover Iona sitting with Duckie, hostile towards Blane. After another argument with Duckie and Blane walk out of the club.

Andie, feeling that their night didn't go so well, tells Blane that she wants to go home, but when Blane offers to take her home, she refuses, admitting that she doesn't want him to see where she lives. She allows him to drop her off and he asks her to the prom, which she accepts and they share their first kiss. Andie visits Iona at her apartment the next day to talk about the date. Meanwhile, pressured by Steff and all Blane's rich friends, begins distancing himself from Andie. Jack comes home one night and surprises Andie with a pink dress he bought for her. Questioning how he was able to afford it, Andie tells him that she knows he has been lying about going to a full-time job, they have a big argument until Jack breaks down, revealing that he is still bitter and depressed about his wife having left him. At school, Andie confronts Blane for avoiding her and not returning her calls; when asked about prom, he claims that he had asked somebody else but had forgotten. Andie calls Blane a liar and tells him that he is ashamed of being seen with her because he knows Steff and all Blane's rich friends won't approve.

Andie runs away. Duckie attacks him in the hallway; the two fight. Andie goes to Iona and telling her about what happened, asks for Iona's old prom dress. Using the fabric from Iona's dress and the dress her father bought, Andie creates a new pink prom dress; when she arrives at the prom, Andie has second thoughts about braving the crowd on her own until she sees Duckie. They walk into the ballroom hand in hand; as a drunk Steff begins mocking the couple, Blane confronts him and realizes that Steff resents Andie because she had turned down his advances. Blane approaches the two, shaking Duckie's hand and apologizing to Andie, telling her that he always believed in her and that he will always love her, kissing her cheek before walking out. Duckie concedes that Blane is not like the other rich kids at school and advises Andie to go after him, joking that he'll never take her to another prom if she doesn't. Duckie sees a girl smiling at him, signaling him to come over and dance with her. Andie catches up with Blane in the parking lot and they kiss.

Charlie Sheen was considered for the role of Blane, but Ringwald convinced the filmmakers to cast McCarthy for the role instead. The film portrayed Andie and Duckie ending up together. Executives at Paramount were apprehensive about the original ending as they were worried that the message of the film could end up coming across as classist and suggest that wealthy people and poor people should never interact. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark had selected "Goddess of Love" from the album The Pacific Age for the original ending. With only two days before going on tour, OMD wrote "If You Leave" in less than 24 hours for the newly re-shot Andie/Blane ending; the film was adapted into a novel, written by H. B. Gilmour and Randi Reisfield and released in 1986, it was published by Bantam Books. The book was written before the last scene was changed, so it has the original ending, in which Andie winds up with Duckie instead of Blane; the film was the top-grossing film for the week of March 12, 1986. The film earned US$6.1 million during its opening weekend and $40.5 million during its theatrical run.

It was the 22nd highest-grossing film in 1986. Rotten Tomatoes, a review aggregator, reported as of December 20