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West African Vodun

Vodun is practiced by the Fon people of Benin, southern and central Togo. It is distinct from the various traditional African religions in the interiors of these countries and is the main source of religions with similar names found among the African diaspora in the Americas, such as Haitian Vodou. Vodun cosmology centers around the vodun spirits and other elements of divine essence that govern the Earth, a hierarchy that range in power from major deities governing the forces of nature and human society to the spirits of individual streams and rocks, as well as dozens of ethnic vodun, defenders of a certain clan, tribe, or nation; the vodun are the center of religious life. Perceived similarities with Roman Catholic doctrines such as the intercession of saints and angels allowed Vodun to appear compatible with Catholicism, helped produce syncretic religions such as Haitian Vodou. Adherents emphasize ancestor worship and hold that the spirits of the dead live side by side with the world of the living, each family of spirits having its own female priesthood, sometimes hereditary when it's from mother to blood daughter.

Patterns of worship follow various dialects, practices and rituals. The divine Creator, called variously Mawu or Mahu, is a female being, she is an elder woman, a mother, gentle and forgiving. She is seen as the god who owns all other gods and if there is no temple made in her name, the people continue to pray to her in times of distress. In one tradition, she bore seven children. Sakpata: Vodun of the Earth, Xêvioso: Vodun of Thunder associated with Divine Justice, Agbe: Vodun of the Sea, Gû: Vodun of Iron and War, Agê: Vodun of Agriculture and Forests, Jo: Vodun of Air, Lêgba: Vodun of the Unpredictable; the Creator embodies a dual cosmogonic principle of which Mawu the moon and Lisa the sun are the female and male aspects portrayed as the twin children of the Creator. Lisa is the sun god who brings the day and the heat, strength and energy. Mawu, the moon goddess, provides the cool of the night, peace and rain. To give this in a summed aspect, a proverb says ` Mawu forgives. Legba is represented as a phallus or as a man with a prominent phallus.

Known as the youngest son of Mawu, he is the chief of all Vodun divinities. Being old he is seen as wise, but when seen as a child he is one, rebellious, it is only through contact with Legba that it becomes possible to contact the other gods, for he is the guardian at the door of the spirits. Dan, Mawu's androgynous son, is represented as a rainbow serpent, was to remain with her and act as a go-between with her other creations; as the mediator between the spirits and the living, Dan maintains balance, order and communication. Other popular Lwa, or spiritual entities, include Azaka who rules over agriculture, Erzuli has domain over love, Ogoun, in charge of war and who stands on guard. All creation therefore contains the power of the divine; this is how medicines such as herbal remedies are understood, explains the ubiquitous use of mundane objects in religious ritual. Vodun talismans, called "fetishes", are objects such as statues or dried animal or human parts that are sold for their healing and spiritually rejuvenating properties.

They are objects inhabited by spirits. The entities that inhabit a fetish are able to perform different tasks according to their stage of development. Fetish objects are combined together in the construction of "shrines", used to call forth specific vodun and their associated powers; the Queen Mother is the first daughter of a matriarchal lineage of a family collective. She holds the right to lead the ceremonies incumbent to the clan: marriages and funerals, she is one of the most important members of community. She will lead the women of a village, they take part in the organisation and the running of markets and are responsible for their upkeep is vitally important because marketplaces are the focal points for gatherings and social centres in their communities. In the past when the men of the villages would go to war, the Queen Mothers would lead prayer ceremonies in which all the women attended every morning to ensure the safe return of their menfolk; the high priestess is the woman chosen by the oracle to care for the convent.

Priestesses, like priests, receive a calling from an oracle, which may come at any moment during their lives. They will join their clan's convent to pursue spiritual instruction, it is an oracle that will designate the future high priest and high priestess among the new recruits, establishing an order of succession within the convent. Only blood relatives were allowed in the family convent. In modern days, some family members to enter what is described as the first circle of worship. Strangers are allowed to worship only the spirits of the standard pantheon. About 17% of the population of Benin, some 1.6 million people, follow Vodun. In addition, many of the 41.5% of the population that refer to themselves as "Christian" practice a syncretized religion, not dissimilar from Haitian Vodou or Brazilian Candomblé.

Steller's jay

The Steller's jay is a jay native to western North America related to the blue jay found in the rest of the continent, but with a black head and upper body. It is known as the long-crested jay, mountain jay, pine jay, it is the only crested jay west of the Rocky Mountains. It is sometimes colloquially called a "blue jay" in the Pacific Northwest, but is distinct from the blue jay of eastern North America. Steller's jay is about 30–34 cm long and weighs about 100–140 g. Steller's jay shows a great deal of regional variation throughout its range. Blackish-brown-headed birds from the north become bluer-headed farther south; the Steller's jay has a more slender bill and longer legs than the blue jay and has a much more pronounced crest. It is somewhat larger; the head is blackish-brown, black, or dark blue, depending on the latitude of the bird, with lighter streaks on the forehead. This dark coloring gives way from lower breast to silvery blue; the primaries and tail are a rich blue with darker barring.

Birds in the eastern part of its range along the Great Divide have white markings on the head over the eyes. Steller's jay is one of two species in the other species being the blue jay. There are 17 subspecies of Steller's jays ranging from Alaska to Nicaragua, with 8 found north of Mexico with areas of low or non-existent presence of the species separating the subspecies. At least some of the variation in the species is due to different degrees of hybridization between Steller's jays and blue jays. To name a few: C. s. macrolopha C. s. stelleri C. s. carlottae, the largest subspecies. The genus Cyanocitta is part of the passerine family Corvidae, which consists of the crows, rooks, jays, treepies and nutcrackers; the Steller's jay occurs in most of the forested areas of western North America as far east as the eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains from southern Alaska in the north to northern Nicaragua replacing the blue jay prevalent on the rest of the continent in those areas. Its density is lower in the central Rocky Mountain region plus the desert or scrubland areas of the Great Basin.

Some hybridization with the blue jay in eastern foothills of the Rocky Mountains Colorado, has been reported. It is found in Mexico occurring through the interior highlands in northwestern Mexico as well as patchy populations in the rest of Mexico; the jay is found in Mexico's interior highlands from Chihuahua and Sonora in the northwest southward to Jalisco, as well as other patchy populations found throughout Mexico. Jays are found in south-central Guatemala, northern El Salvador and Nicaragua. Although the Steller's jay lives in coniferous forests it can be found in other types of forests as well, they can be found from low to moderate elevations, on rare occasions to as high as the tree line. Steller's jays are common in agricultural areas with nearby forests. Steller's jays are omnivores, they gather food both from trees. The Steller's jay's diet includes a wide range of seeds, nuts and other fruit, they eat many types of invertebrates, small rodents and nestlings such as those of the marbled murrelet.

There are some accounts of them eating both snakes and lizards. Acorns and conifer seeds are staples during the non-breeding season, they exploit human-provided food sources scavenging picnics and camp sites, where it competes with the Canada jay. Steller's jays will visit feeders and prefer black-oil sunflower seeds, white striped sunflower seeds, cracked corn, shelled raw peanuts, are attracted to whole raw peanuts. Suet is consumed but in the winter season. Jays breed in monogamous pairs; the clutch is incubated by the female for about 16 days. The male feeds the female during this time. Though they are known to be loud both day and night, during nesting they are quiet in order to not attract attention; the nest is in a conifer but is sometimes built in a hollow in a tree. Similar in construction to the blue jay's nest, it tends to be a bit larger, using a number of natural materials or scavenged trash mixed with mud. Between two and six eggs are laid during breeding season; the eggs are oval in shape with a somewhat glossy surface.

The background colour of the egg shell tends to be pale variations of greenish-blue with brown- or olive-coloured speckles. Like other jays, the Steller's jay has variable vocalizations. One common call is a harsh SHACK-Sheck-sheck-sheck-sheck-sheck series. Call sounds exactly like an old-fashioned pump handle, its alarm call is a nasal wah. Some calls are sex-specific: females produce a rattling sound, while males make a high-pitched gleep gleep; the Steller's jay also

Stars Football League

The Stars Football League was an American football league that operated in Florida from 2011 to 2013. The league was headquartered in Grosse Pointe, Michigan; the league followed standard American football rules, with two exceptions. Field goals of over 50 yards were awarded four points instead of three, as in NFL Europe; the league offered a three-point conversion from ten yards, just as the original XFL did in its playoffs. These rule changes were intended to help teams that fall behind in a game to catch up more quickly; the league did not use instant replay. The league used a shorter play clock. Teams were restricted to 35 or 36 players on each roster, with any person 18 years of age or older eligible to play, its level of play could be classified somewhere between minor league and semi-professional. The League awarded charter memberships to eight cities in seven states. Teams were awarded to Las Vegas Little Rock, New Orleans, Charleston, along with Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale. For reasons unknown the Las Vegas Gamblers, Little Rock Ironmen, Charleston Admirals and the Mobile Gladiators never made it to play.

The Michigan Coyotes, having a much greater distance between themselves and the rest of the league, were declared a traveling team for their two games in the 2011 season. Had any home games been scheduled the team was to play at the Silverdome. Fort Lauderdale played its first season at Lockhart Stadium and Daytona Beach at Municipal Stadium; the league released its 2011 schedule on July 2, 2011. In the end, each of the four teams played two of the other three teams at least once, with Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale playing each other three times, due to their proximity to each other. Winners of each game are underlined. June 30, 2011 Daytona Beach 26 @ Fort Lauderdale 13 July 16, 2011 Fort Lauderdale 22 @ Daytona Beach 4 July 22, 2011 Fort Lauderdale 9 @ New Orleans 15 July 23, 2011 Michigan 18 @ Daytona Beach 38 August 4, 2011 Fort Lauderdale 29 @ Daytona Beach 31 August 12, 2011 Michigan 6 @ New Orleans 21 The 2012 season was scheduled to begin on Armed Forces Day and continue through July.

New Orleans left the league and joined other semi-pro leagues. In Florida, the SFL proposed a team named the "Orange" and a team based at South County Stadium in Port St. Lucie, neither of which came to fruition. In the end, of the eight teams announced as participants in the 2012 SFL season, only three would make it to play: Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, in addition to the Fort Myers Swampdogs, who played the season at Bishop Verot High School. Daytona Beach's lone home game would be held at Lawnwood Stadium in Fort Pierce; the season began on June 9, 2012, with a matchup between Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale in Fort Pierce. Fort Lauderdale won the contest on a last-second field goal, by Garrett Ewald of Coral Springs. Fort Myers played its first game June 16. June 9, 2012 Fort Lauderdale 13 @ Daytona Beach 10 in Fort Pierce June 16, 2012 Fort Myers 14 v. Fort Lauderdale 0 in Fort Pierce June 30, 2012 Daytona Beach 16 @ Fort Myers 9 July 7, 2012 Daytona Beach 6 @ Fort Lauderdale 0 July 14, 2012 Fort Myers 10 @ Fort Lauderdale 21 July 28, 2012 Daytona Beach 16 @ Fort Lauderdale 14 After numerous proposals and another erroneous draft schedule was released in the 2012-13 offseason, by the time of the April 2013 training camps the league had settled on an expansion to four teams for the 2013 season, adding the Miami Ironmen.

The league began play on June 8, 2013 with a baseball-style doubleheader in Fort Lauderdale. Two days before the start of the season, the league announced that all six of the SFL's scheduled games for 2013 will take place at Central Broward Regional Park; the Swampdogs were nonetheless renamed the "Pompano Swampdogs" despite no connection to that city. The schedule is single round-robin, with each team playing each other once. June 8, 2013 Swampdogs 8 v. Daytona Beach 6 June 8, 2013 Miami 18 @ Fort Lauderdale 14 June 15, 2013 Swampdogs 14 @ Fort Lauderdale 22 June 15, 2013 Daytona 6 v. Miami 42 June 27, 2013 Swampdogs 2 v. Miami 10 June 27, 2013 Daytona 0 @ Fort Lauderdale 7 July 2, 2013 Miami 14 @ Daytona 0 July 2, 2013 Sw

Foyle's War

Foyle's War is a British detective drama television series set during the Second World War, created by Midsomer Murders screenwriter and author Anthony Horowitz and commissioned by ITV after the long-running series Inspector Morse ended in 2000. It began broadcasting on ITV in October 2002. ITV director of programmes Simon Shaps cancelled Foyle's War in 2007, but complaints and public demand prompted Peter Fincham to revive the programme after good ratings for 2008's fifth series; the final episode was broadcast on 18 January 2015, after eight series. Detective Chief Superintendent Christopher Foyle, a widower, is quiet, sagacious, scrupulously honest and underestimated by his foes. Many of his cases concern profiteering, the black market and murder, he is called on to catch criminals who are taking advantage of the confusion created by the war. Although Foyle comes up against high-ranking officials in the British military or intelligence services who would prefer that he mind his own business, he seeks justice tenaciously.

Throughout the series, he is assisted by his driver, Samantha "Sam" Stewart, Detective Sergeant Paul Milner. The first six series are set during the Second World War in Hastings, England, in series seven, Foyle works after retirement for MI5 on Cold War espionage; the stories are self-contained. There are some running plot strands involving the career of Foyle's son Andrew Foyle – a fighter pilot in the Royal Air Force – or Foyle's relationships with minor characters; each episode runs for 90 to 100 minutes, filling a two-hour time slot on ITV when commercials are included. In a newspaper article and an interview accompanying the series-one DVD set, Horowitz explained that he was seeking a name which evoked the early 1940s, he thought of Foyles bookshop in London's Charing Cross Road, once known for its archaic business practices and its owner, Christina Foyle. After Christina Foyle's death, control of Foyles passed in 1999 to her nephew Christopher. Christopher Foyle made a cameo appearance in the episode "Bad Blood", although his scene was cut from PBS airings in the US.

The series is notable for its attention to historical detail, the drama is moved along by historical events of the Second World War. Horowitz considered that to honour the veterans of the war it was important to get the details correct; as the series progressed, he became more interested in the "murder mystery" format than the portrayal of history and exploration of the Home Front. However, the Imperial War Museum is credited in an advisory capacity in some episodes. After five series, Foyle's War was cancelled abruptly by ITV director of programmes Simon Shaps; this forced Horowitz to discard scripts set during most of 1943 and 1944, resulting in time jumps of nine months to a year between episodes. In April 2008, the presumed final episode, "All Clear" was broadcast. On 9 April 2008, however, ITV announced that it was negotiating with Horowitz and Greenlit Productions to revive the series and continue Foyle's adventures beyond VE Day; when the audience figures for the final episode were released, ITV confirmed that it had entered "early discussions" with Horowitz and Greenlit.

The negotiations led to Foyle's War's recommissioning for an additional three series. Series six began filming in February 2009 and premiered on UK television on 11 April 2010. Series seven was filmed in Ireland and London from late August to December 2012, was broadcast in the UK in March and April 2013. Series eight, three two-hour episodes, aired in the UK in January 2015. Episode numbers in parentheses are a running count used in the following table, "Main Characters". † Episode numbers as per the preceding table, "Episodes" Detective Chief Superintendent Foyle introduces himself with the phrase, "My name's Foyle. Foyle is a widower of long standing. Foyle's concern for Andrew's safety as a fighter pilot in the RAF is a recurring theme, his wife, died in 1932. Foyle is the son of a policeman. A World War I veteran who fought at Passchendaele, he once told Andrew that his three years of military service were the worst of his life and reluctantly admitted killing enemy soldiers. Foyle requests a transfer to the War Office several times in the first two series, but by the end of the third series he seems to have accepted his lot.

He argues. With high moral standards, Foyle is scrupulously incisive, his speech is straightforward, peppered with dry wit. Foyle is open-minded for a man of his time, he is compassionate when he learns that one of Andrew's friends is homosexual and reluctant to prosecute an attempted suicide. Foyle is reluctant to harass a left-wing activist for his political views, he alone opposes the imposition of a temporary colour bar in Hastings when tensions

Govans, Baltimore

Govans is a neighborhood located in northeast Baltimore, Maryland. It includes the communities of Mid-Govans, Lothian, Woodbourne McCabe, Winston-Govans and Richnor Springs; the area of Govans, was granted to William Govane, a wealthy Baltimore shipowner, in 1755 by Frederick Calvert the sixth Lord of Baltimore. Govans named his land “Drumquehastle,” after the family’s estate in Scotland. William’s son, William James Govane inherited the estate, built a store around the current intersection of York Road and Woodbourne Avenue; the Govane estate was divided up and sold off after James’ death in 1807, yet the Govane name remained, the area became known as Govanstown and Govans. In 1808 the York-town turnpike, running from York, Pennsylvania to Baltimore harbor was established through in the area over a historic Indian route. Soon the road was one of the main thoroughfares out of Baltimore and the area of Govans became a popular resting destination for traveling farmers from Pennsylvania; the oldest remaining building in Govans is the former Govanstown Hotel, built in 1840 to house the area’s influx of travelers.

Bellona Avenue became another important route from the large Bellona Gunpowder Mills North of Govans on the Jones Falls. However, most of Govans was still a rural agricultural farmland that lured some of the city’s most prominent citizens; the Perine family owned an extensive estate in present-day Homeland, while on the other side of Govans, Baltimore businessman and philanthropist Enoch Pratt owned 95 acres of agricultural land where he built his “Tivoli” house. Just north was estate; the neighborhood was home to a thriving flower-growing horticultural industry. The York-town turnpike was expanded by the Yorktown Turnpike Railway in 1863 which began streetcar traffic. In 1890 electric cars replaced the horse drawn cars and improved transportation from Baltimore into the expanding suburbs. Towards the beginning of the 20th century, Govans was becoming urban, including expanding residential neighborhoods and business blocks along the York Road corridor; the automobile replaced the streetcar and connect Baltimore further into the surrounding county.

In 1918, Baltimore annexed Govans part of a 35 square mile expansion to the city limits. After the Great Depression, York Road undertook new developments such as the grand Art Deco Senator Theatre built in 1939. In 1948, Baltimore department store, Kohn, opened their second branch location in Govans at the corner of York Road and Belvedere Avenue, in what was deemed one of Baltimore’s most prosperous neighborhoods, yet by the mid-1960s, Govans was facing the economic hardships prevalent throughout the city. The neighborhood experienced an influx of black residents, countered by white flight from the area; the Hochschild Kohn store closed in 1984, along with dozens of other stores along the York Road corridor. The Belvedere Market was built in 1987, but closed in 1995. Over the last couple of decades, community activists and organizations have helped bring new development and finances into Govans. Belvedere Square reopened in 2003 and the Senator Theatre reopened after extensive renovations in 2013.

In 2013, the York Road Corridor Collective, led by nearby Loyola University Maryland, hired a consulting team to blueprint long term improvements for Govans and the York Road corridor


Berzona is a village and former municipality in the canton of Ticino, Switzerland. In 2001 the municipality was merged with the other, neighboring municipalities Auressio and Loco to form a new and larger municipality Isorno. Berzona is first mentioned in 1265 as Berzona; the village section of Seghelina is located directly on the main road, while the main village is above the road. During the Middle Ages it was part of the Squadra of Onsernone; the church of S. Defendente was built in 1564 and became a parish church when it separated from Loco in 1777; the section of Seghelina has the chapels of S. Maria Lauretana; the political municipality was created at the same time as the Canton of Ticino in 1803. After World War II, much of the village population sold their properties to outsiders. Many people who bought houses in Berzona were well known personalities from the arts and culture, such as Alfred Andersch, Golo Mann, Jan Tschichold and Max Frisch. Today, the village is shrinking as few jobs in farming and grazing remain and most of the working population have moved to Locarno.

The historical population is given in the following table: Berzona in German and Italian in the online Historical Dictionary of Switzerland