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West Wales

West Wales is not defined as a particular region of Wales. Some definitions of West Wales include only Pembrokeshire and Carmarthenshire, which comprised the Welsh principality of Deheubarth and was called "South West Wales" in the Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics. Other definitions exclude Ceredigion; the "West Wales and the Valleys" NUTS area includes more westerly parts of North Wales. The preserved county of Dyfed covers what is considered to be West Wales; the term West Wales was applied to the Kingdom of Cornwall during the Anglo-Saxon invasion of Britain and the period of the Heptarchy. The Old English word Wealas, a Germanic term for inhabitants of the Western Roman Empire, which the Anglo-Saxons came to apply to the Britons, gave its name to Wales and is the origin of the second syllable in the name Cornwall. West Wales Line Heart of Wales Line Cambrian Line Gwili Railway Llanelli and Mynydd Mawr Railway Teifi Valley Railway Vale of Rheidol Railway Geography of Wales South West Wales South Wales Mid Wales North Wales Principality of Deheubarth Kingdom of Dyfed West Wales Raiders

Oku Yasukata

Count Oku Yasukata was a Japanese field marshal and leading figure in the early Imperial Japanese Army. Born in Kokura to a samurai family of the Kokura domain in Buzen Province, Oku joined the military forces of the nearby Chōshū Domain during the Boshin War in their struggle to overthrow the Tokugawa shogunate and bring about the Meiji Restoration. Appointed a commander of the new Imperial Japanese Army, Oku fought against the disgruntled samurai insurgents during the Saga Rebellion of 1871, he was a survivor of the Taiwan Expedition of 1874. During the Satsuma Rebellion, he defended Kumamoto Castle during its siege as commander of the 13th Infantry Regiment. During the First Sino-Japanese War Oku succeeded General Nozu Michitsura commander of the IJA Fifth Division of the IJA First Army, he successively held posts as commander of the Imperial Guards and Governor-general for the defense of Tokyo. He was elevated to the title of danshaku under the kazoku peerage system in 1895, was promoted to army general in 1903.

During the Russo-Japanese War, Oku went to the front as commanding general of the IJA 2nd Army and was noted for his role in the Battle of Nanshan, Battle of Shaho, Battle of Mukden, other campaigns. Oku was awarded the Order of the Golden Kite in 1906, elevated from baron to hakushaku in 1907. In 1911, he received the honorary rank of Field Marshal. Oku refused to attend strategy and staff meetings, thereby gained a reputation for being both a "lone wolf" and a brilliant tactician capable of independent action. However, Oku's reluctance to attend the staff meetings was due to his partial deafness, inability to comprehend and contribute to the discussions. Oku had no interest in politics, lived in virtual seclusion after the war; when he died in 1930, many people were astonished. Craig, Albert M. Chōshū in the Meiji Restoration. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1961. Dupuy, Trevor N.. Encyclopedia of Military Biography. I B Tauris & Co Ltd. ISBN 1-85043-569-3. Harries, Meirion. Soldiers of the Sun: The Rise and Fall of the Imperial Japanese Army.

Random House. ISBN 0-679-75303-6. Keane, Donald. Emperor Of Japan: Meiji And His World, 1852–1912. Columbia University Press. ISBN 0-231-12341-8. Paine, S. C. M.. Sino-Japanese War of 1894–1895: Perception and Primacy. Cambridge University Press. Jukes, Geoffry; the Russo-Japanese War 1904–1905. Osprey Essential Histories. ISBN 978-1-84176-446-7. National Diet Library. "Oku Yasukata". Portraits of Modern Historical Figures

Sun (Belinda Carlisle song)

"Sun" is the first single released by American singer Belinda Carlisle in 15 years and is included on a new US compilation album, ICON: The Best Of and a new UK compilation album The Collection. On March 13, 2013, following a lengthy break from releasing solo material, Carlisle announced that she would release a new single titled "Sun" and a new greatest hits compilation called ICON: The Best of in the United States on March 19, 2013, she had been performing the song live since early 2012, including during the live recording of her "Live from Metropolis Studios" in May 2012. This was released on CD and DVD in September 2013; the song, written by singer-songwriter Gabe Lopez, was introduced to Carlisle by her son James and was sent to fellow Go-Go's singer Jane Wiedlin, who tweaked the lyrics. Lopez and Wiedlin are listed as songwriters; the song was released in the UK on 20 May 2013 by Demon Music Group and received regular airplay on BBC Radio 2, hitting the Top 40. The video was filmed during her live performance at Live from Metropolis Studios in May 2012.

Carlisle released the video for "Sun" on April 1, 2013, via her VEVO account'Radio Creme Brulee' gave the song 4.5 out of 5, saying "Sun is hands down Belinda’s best single in over two decades" Clare Heal of'Daily Express' said Sun is "an infectious slice of electro-pop as memorable as anything from her heyday". "Sun"

Michael Bilton

Michael Bilton was an English actor best known for his roles in the British television sitcoms To the Manor Born and Waiting for God. He attended Hull. In the Second World War he was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant and was wounded at the Battle of El Alamein. After his recovery he began his acting career in repertory theatre, he had a strong comedic bent and featured in Keeping Up Appearances, One Foot in the Grave and Grace and Favour. He appeared in Pennies From Heaven, The Saint, The Avengers, The Prisoner, Quatermass II and The Champions, He appeared as the doorman at a hotel in Terry and June, he featured in the Doctor Who stories The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve, Pyramids of Mars and The Deadly Assassin. He appeared as the butler Stephens in "The Adventure of Shoscombe Olde Place" episode of The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes. Bilton's film appearances included A Taste of Honey, The Thirty Nine Steps and The Fourth Protocol, as Kim Philby. Bilton appeared in a well-remembered Yellow Pages television commercial as an elderly gardener receiving a sit-on lawnmower from a couple with a large rear garden.

The male half of the couple was played by David Hargreaves, who appeared in the BBC drama series Juliet Bravo. Bilton's final role was that of Basil Makepeace in the BBC Sitcom Waiting for God. Basil grew in importance throughout the first four series becoming the main supporting character, his final appearance was in the last episode of Series 4. He died shortly after completing filming. In the Christmas episode 1993, his absence was explained by his character having gone on an "Icelandic wife-swapping cruise" and he is not mentioned again; the character of Basil was "replaced" by Jamie Edwards, Jane's spirited Irish grandfather, played by Paddy Ward. Mr. Bilton was married twice: Valerie Newbold Sally West Bilton died on 5 November 1993 in Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire. Michael Bilton on IMDb Michael Bilton at British Film Institute

Háj u Aše

The Háj u Aše is the highest elevation in the Bohemian part of the Fichtelgebirge mountains. It is the local mountain of the town of Aš in the Czech Republic; the Háj rises northeast of the town of Aš in the Bohemian Vogtland. Other settlements in the area Dolní Paseky and Podhradí which belong to the borough of Aš. On the summit is a mountain inn with an observation tower. On 19 June 1904 the 34-metre-high stone observation tower on the summit was opened, it was designed by Wilhelm Kreis. The tower still stands and is one of the three Bismarck towers on the territory of the Czech Republic. From the tower there are good views over the Fichtelgebirge and Ore Mountains. Departure points for a visit of the mountain are the town of Aš and the village of Podhradí. A blue signed walking trail joins both locations. Media related to Háj u Aše at Wikimedia Commons Description of the Bismarck Tower


A siheyuan is a historical type of residence, found throughout China, most famously in Beijing and rural Shanxi. Throughout Chinese history, the siheyuan composition was the basic pattern used for residences, temples, family businesses, government offices. In ancient times, a spacious siheyuan would be occupied by a single large and extended family, signifying wealth and prosperity. Today, remaining siheyuan are still used as subdivided housing complexes, although many lack modern amenities. Siheyuan refers to a courtyard surrounded by buildings on all four sides, it appears in English translation as courtyard houses and, less as Chinese quadrangles. Siheyuan dates back as early as the Western Zhou period, has a history of over 2,000 years, they exhibit fundamental characteristics of Chinese architecture. They are the template for most Chinese architectural styles. Siheyuan serves as a cultural symbol of Beijing and a window into its old ways of life. Modern Beijing's population boom has made housing one of city's biggest challenges.

Siheyuan today are used as housing complexes, hosting multiple families, with courtyards being developed to provide extra living space. The living conditions in many siheyuan are quite poor, with few having private toilets. In the 1990s, systematic demolition of old urban buildings took place in Beijing under rapid economic development. Many siheyuan are being torn down to address the problem of overcrowding, have been replaced by modern apartment blocks. According to the Beijing Municipal Administration of Cultural Heritage, there are over 500 historic courtyards preserved in the Cultural and Historical Conservation Areas as important cultural monuments. Many of these are public museums, preserved historical siheyuans include Lu Xun Memorial, Guo Moruo Memorial, Mao Dun Memorial, Mei Lanfang Memorial, Lao She Memorial and many others. A study by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme in 2008 estimates that there are still about 400,000 residential courtyards remaining in Beijing; the sales market of siheyuan has been booming in recent years.

A report in 2005 finds there are around 7,000 to 9,000 residential siheyuans that are on the market for sale, many are priced at 7,000 to 10,000 yuan per square meter. However, the prices vary based on the market. For residential siheyuans in the Dongcheng and Xicheng districts in 2009, the prices can go up to 40,000 yuan per square meter. For siheyuans near the Houhai and Shichahai area, the prices can go up to between 100,000 and 150,000 yuan per square meter. A 2,000 square meter siheyuan near the Shichahai area was sold for 40 million yuan in 2005; the four buildings of a siheyuan are positioned along the north-south and east-west axis. The building positioned to the north and facing the south is considered the main house; the buildings adjoining the main house and facing east and west are called side houses. The northern and western buildings are connected by beautifully decorated pathways; these passages serve as shelters from the sunshine during the day, provide a cool place to appreciate the view of the courtyard at night.

The building that faces north is known as the opposite house. Behind the northern building, there would be a separate backside building, the only place where two-story buildings are allowed to be constructed for the traditional siheyuan; the entrance gate painted vermilion and with copper door knockers on it, is at the southeastern corner. There is a screen wall inside the gate, for privacy. A pair of stone lions are placed outside the gate; some large siheyuan compounds would have two or more layers of courtyards and private gardens attached to them. Such is a sign of status in ancient times; the courtyard dwellings were built according to the traditional concepts of the five elements that were believed to compose the universe, the eight diagrams of divination. The gate was made at the southeast corner, the “wind” corner, the main house was built on the north side, believed to belong to “water”, an element to prevent fire; the layout of a simple courtyard represents traditional Chinese morality and Confucian ethics.

In Beijing, four buildings in a single courtyard receive different amounts of sunlight. The northern main building receives the most, thus serving as the living room and bedroom of the owner or head of the family; the eastern and western side buildings receive less, serve as the rooms for children or less important members of the family. The southern building receives the least sunlight, functions as a reception room and the servants' dwelling, or where the family would gather to relax, eat or study; the backside building is for unmarried daughters and female servants: because unmarried girls were not allowed direct exposure to the public, they occupied the most secluded building in the siheyuan. A more detailed and further stratified Confucian order was followed in ancient China; the main house in the north was assigned to the eldest member of the family, i.e. the head of the family grandparents. If the main house had enough rooms, a central room would serve as a shrine for ancestral worship.

When the head of the household had concubines, the wife would reside in the room to the eastern end of the main house, while the concubines would reside in the room to the western end of the main house. The eldest son of the family and his wife would resid