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Yangzhou

Yangzhou, postal romanization Yangchow, is a prefecture-level city in central Jiangsu Province, China. Sitting on the north bank of the Yangtze, it borders the provincial capital Nanjing to the southwest, Huai'an to the north, Yancheng to the northeast, Taizhou to the east, Zhenjiang across the river to the south, its population was 4,414,681 at the 2010 census and its urban area is home to 2,146,980 inhabitants, including three urban districts in the agglomeration. Yangzhou was one of the wealthiest cities in China, known at various periods for its great merchant families, poets and scholars, its name refers to its former position as the capital of the ancient Yangzhou prefecture in imperial China. Yangzhou was one of the first cities to benefit from one of the earliest world bank loans in China, used to construct Yangzhou thermal power station in 1994; the prefecture-level city of Yangzhou administers six county-level divisions, including three districts, two county-level cities and one county.

Accordingly, they are further divided into 98 township-level divisions, including 87 towns and townships, 11 subdistricts. Guangling, the first settlement in the Yangzhou area, was founded in the Autumn period. After the defeat of Yue by King Fuchai of Wu, a garrison city was built 12 m above the water level on the north bank of the Yangtze c. 485 BC. This city in the shape of a three by three li square was named Hancheng; the newly built Han canal formed a moat around east sides of the city. The purpose of Hancheng was to protect Suzhou from naval invasion from Qi. During the Han dynasty, Guangling was the seat of Guangling Commandery, it constituted a part of the Xu Province, rather than the Yang Province, covered the entire southeastern part of China then. In 590, the city was made the capital of a newly established Yang Prefecture, began to be referred to with its current name. Under Emperor Yang of Sui, Yangzhou was the southern capital of China, it was called Jiangdu upon the completion of the Grand Canal until the fall of the Sui dynasty.

By the mid 610s, a combination of fruitless attempts to conquer the Korean kingdom of Goguryeo, together with natural disasters and provincial unrest, ensured many people Emperor Yang had lost the legitimacy of his monarchy. As revolts spread across China in 616, the Emperor abandoned the North and meanwhile withdrew to Jiangdu, where he remained until his assassination in 618; the city has remained a leading economic and cultural center and major port of foreign trade and external exchange since the Tang dynasty. Many Arab and Persian merchants lived in the city in the 7th century, but they were massacred in the thousands in 760 during the An Lushan Rebellion by Tian Shengong's rebel insurgents during the Yangzhou massacre. During the Tang dynasty, many merchants from Silla lived in Yangzhou; the city, still known as Guangling, was made the capital of Wu during the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period. Yangzhou was the temporary seat of the Song dynasty government between 1128 and 1129, when most of North China had been conquered by the Jurchens during the Jin–Song Wars.

The Song had retreated south to the city from their original capital in Kaifeng after it was captured by the Jurchen in the Jingkang Incident of 1127. From Yangzhou, the Song moved to Hangzhou in 1129 establishing it as the capital of the Southern Song. In 1280, Yangzhou was the site of a massive gunpowder explosion when the bomb store of the Weiyang arsenal accidentally caught fire; this blast killed over a hundred guards, hurled debris from buildings into the air that landed ten li away from the site of the explosion, could be felt 100 li away as tiles on roofs shook. Marco Polo claimed to have served the Yuan dynasty in Yangzhou under Kubilai Khan in the period around 1282–1287. Although some versions of Polo's memoirs imply that he was the governor of Yangzhou, it is more that he was an official in the salt industry, if indeed he was employed there at all. Chinese texts offer no supporting evidence for his claim; the discovery of the 1342 tomb of Katarina Vilioni, member of an Italian trading family in Yangzhou, however, suggest the existence of a thriving Italian community in the city in the 14th century.

Moreover, both in The Travels of Marco Polo and in the History of Yuan there is documentation about a Nestorian Christian, who funded two churches in China during the three years he served as an official of the emperor: this functionary is named "Mar Sarchis" by Marco Polo and "Ma Xuelijisi" in the History of Yuan. He served as a supervisor in the province of a region neighboring Yangzou. In fact, it is well-documented that Kublai Khan trusted foreigners more than Chinese subjects in internal affairs. There were Arabic inscriptions from the 13th and 14th centuries, indicating the presence of a Muslim community. During the Ming dynasty until the 19th century Yangzhou acted as a major trade exchange center for salt and silk; the Ming were responsible for building the city as it now stands and surrounding it with 9 km of walls. After the fall of Beijing and northern China to the Manchus in 1644, Yangzhou remained under the control of the short-lived Southern Ming based in Nanjing. Qing forces led by Prince Dodo reached Yangzhou in the spring of 1645, despite the heroic efforts of its chief defender, Shi Kefa, the city fell on May 20, 1645, after a brief siege.

The ten-day Yangzhou massacre followed, in

Allston DIY Fest

Allston D. I. Y. Festival is an annual community event in Allston, Massachusetts which takes place during one Saturday each July. Founded in 2010, it was promoted as a free, all-ages, sober festival celebrating do-it-yourself culture. Founded on a punk, anarchist & anti-capitalist ethos, the festival discouraged the use of money and was organized non-hierarchically in a series of open meetings; the festival showcased many emerging music acts in the area. Notable artists include: Fat History Month, Mornin' Old Sport, Doomstar!, Arvid Noe, The Rodeo Church, Chris North, Melodeego. Featuring two stages, one acoustic and one electric, the festival included skillshares, artists, a free market; the event takes place in Ringer Park, close to the Allston Street MBTA station. Allston DIY Fest official website

Wildfire history of Cape Cod

The wildfire potential of the forests of Cape Cod, located in southeastern Massachusetts, has been described as being the third most flammable area in the nation, behind southern California and the New Jersey Pine Barrens. With the development of the Cape from the 1960s to the present, the wildfire danger has diminished but thousands of acres are still capable of burning. Before Europeans settled the Cape, the forests were periodically burned by lightning strikes and the Wampanoag version of the prescribed burn; this kept the amount of underbrush to a minimum, thus allowing the Cape to experience few, if any, major wildfires. Excavations of charcoal and sediment from Mary Dunn Pond, in Barnstable show that the Wampanoag practiced periodic burns; the area around the Indian Ponds of Barnstable, including Mystic Lake, Middle Pond, Hamblin Pond used to be burned by natives who would subsequently use the land in small plots to farm. In the 1620s, the Cape was forever altered by the settlement of Europeans.

The settlers did not like periodic fires in their backyards, they put out any fire before it could burn and do damage. This, massive deforestation by the initial settlers, led to a large amount of brush accumulating in the surviving woods of the Cape. For the settlers, this caused fires, when they occurred, to burn and explode instead of burning along the ground; the forests of this time were small and spread out so there was not much potential for disaster, but that changed after industrialization. The discovery of the New World led to newfound industries to many Europeans. One was shipbuilding; this was important on the Cape because the tall trees which survived the mass deforestation of the initial settlement, led to the major expansion of the shipbuilding industry. This, along with the decreased farming of the land, created an opportunity for pitch pine and scrub oak to grow in abundance; this land was divided up into individual firewood plots. Some of this wood was bought up by the Boston and Sandwich Glass Company, which operated from 1825 to 1888 and the Barnstable Brick Company, which operated from 1878 to 1929.

This led to many fires burning many acres because the forests began to connect. In the early 1900s, the Cape started to become part of the state's fire lookout tower network. Towers were constructed in many towns to make it easier to coordinate firefighting. Massive burns occurred in larger than any seen since pre-colonial times; this was true on the Upper Cape, where the forests had matured more than the rest of Cape Cod. Modern techniques for fighting these fires include the clearing of brush; the discontinuation of live firing at the Massachusetts Military Reservation has contributed to the decrease in the intensity of the fires. The military has helped with the hazard by periodically burning portions of the land to prevent these massive fires. According to a study published in 2003, the Cape has a fire that burns on the hundreds to thousands of acres size every 30 to 50 years. Camp Edwards was excluded from this research. Changes in the Land: Indians and the Ecology of New England Wildland Fire and Preparedness Plan For West Barnstable Conservation Area and Adjacent Open Space Lands Mass.

DCR Forest Fire Control page