Friday, August 31, 2007

Foreign aid
Aid (or "international aid", "overseas aid", or "foreign aid", especially in the United States) is the help, mostly economic, which may be provided to communities or countries in the event of a humanitarian crisis or to achieve a socioeconomic objective. Humanitarian aid is therefore primarily used for emergency relief, while development aid aims to create long-term sustainable economic growth. Wealthier countries typically provide aid to economically developing countries.

Sources and distribution
(The use of the term "given" in this section is potentially misleading. Almost all aid from multilateral donors (e.g. World Bank) is in the form of loans.)

Project aid: Aid is given for a specific purpose e.g. building materials for a new school.
Programme aid: Aid is given for a specific sector e.g. funding of the education sector of a country.
Budget support: A form of Programme Aid that is directly channelled into the financial system of the recipient country.
Sectorwide Approaches (SWAPs): A combination of Project aid and Programme aid/Budget Support e.g. support for the education sector in a country will include both funding of education projects (like school buildings) and provide funds to maintain them (like school books).
Food aid: Food is given to countries in urgent need of food supplies, especially if they have just experienced a natural disaster.
Technical assistance: Educated personnel, such as doctors are moved into developing countries to assist with a program of development. Can be both programme and project aid.
Emergency aid: This is given to countries in the event of a natural disaster or human event, like war, and includes basic food supplies, clothing and shelter. Types of aid

Official Development Assistance (ODA): Aid provided to Part I DAC list of aid recipients developing countries with the clear aim of development.
Official Aid (OD): Aid provided to Part II DAC aid recipients. It includes both countries not considered a developing country and contributions to international organizations. (See ODA)
Other Official Flows (OFF): All other official transactions to DAC list of aid recipient countries not covered by the previous two. (See ODA) Aid terms related to DAC members

Tied aid: Aid that has geographical limitations on where it is used.
Disbursements: Aid that is actually provided, as opposed to the amount promised (commitment). Other Terms

Main article: Humanitarian aid Humanitarian aid

Main article: Development aid Development aid
The economist William Easterly and others argue that aid can often distort incentives in poor countries in various harmful ways. Aid can also involve inflows of money to poor countries that have some similarities to inflows of money from natural resources that provoke the resource curse.

Food given as aid often ended up on markets being sold privately
The government receiving aid often had secret bank accounts in which it hid foreign aid money for private purposes Notes

Håkan Malmqvist (2000), "Development Aid, Humanitarian Assistance and Emergency Relief", Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Sweden [1]
The White Man's Burden : Why the West's Efforts to Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good by William Easterly
Andrew Rogerson with Adrian Hewitt and David Waldenberg (2004), "The International Aid System 2005–2010 Forces For and Against Change", ODI Working Paper 235 [2]
"The US and foreign aid assistance" [3]
Millions Saved A compilation of case studies of successful foreign assistance by the Center for Global Development.
ActionAid, May 2005, "Real Aid" - analysis of the proportion of aid wasted on consultants, tied aid, etc

Thursday, August 30, 2007

A monk (Greek monachos (μοναχός, derived from Greek monos, alone), in modern parlance also referred to as a "monastic", is a person who practices religious asceticism, the conditioning of mind and body in favor of the spirit, and does so living either alone or with any number of like-minded people, whilst always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose. The concept is ancient and can be seen in many religions and in philosophy.
In the Greek language the term can apply to men or women; but in modern English it is in use only for men, while nun is used for female monastics.
Although the term monachos-"monk" is of Christian origin, in the English language it tends to be used analogously or loosely also for ascetics from other religious or philosophical backgrounds.
The term "monk" is generic. In some religious or philosophical traditions it therefore may be considered interchangeable with other generic terms such as ascetic. However, being generic, it is not interchangeable with terms that denote particular kinds of monk, such as cenobite, hermit, anchorite, hesychast, solitary.

A monk (Greek: μοναχός, monachos, Latin: monachus) is a general term for a person that leads the "monastic life" in a "monastery".
Nowadays it tends to be wrongly assumed that it signifies a monk living in community, who is, however, merely a kind of monk, namely a cenobite.
From early Church times there has been a lively discussion of the meaning of the term monk (Greek: monos, alone), namely whether it denotes someone living alone/away from the rest of society, or someone celibate/focused on God alone. The Western rule giver Benedict of Nursia understood it as meaning the latter, namely a celibate dedicated to God. This is evident from the fact that his list of the four kinds of monks includes hermits.
The four kinds of monks identified by Benedict of Nursia in chapter 1 of his Rule for Monks as well as in the Rule of the Master are the following:
1. The cenobites live in community in a monastery, serve God under a religious rule and do so under the leadership of an abbot (or in the case of a community of women, an abbess). Benedict points out in ch. 1.13 that they are the "strong kind", which by logic of the context must mean the larger number rather than the better kind. 2. The hermits and anchorites have thorough experience as cenobites in a monastery. "They have built up their strength and go from the battle line in the ranks of their brothers to the single combat of the desert; self-reliant now, without the support of another, they are ready with God's help to grapple single-handed with the vices of body and mind". Benedict himself twice lived for prolonged periods as a hermit, which may account for the comparative length of the characterics of their life in this list. 3. The serabites, censured by Benedict as the most detestable kind of monks, are pretenders that have no cenobitic experience, follow no rule and have no superior. 4. The gyrovagues, censured by Benedict as worse than sarabaites, are wandering monks without stability in a particular monastery.
In the English language, but not in German and French, a distinction is made between monks and friars, the latter being members of mendicant orders.

A monastery is the dwelling of one or more monks.
The term monastery is already used by the Jewish philosopher Philo (c. 20 BCE - 50 CE, resident in Alexandria, Egypt) in his description of the life of the Therapeutae and Therapeutides, people with common religious aspirations who then were dwelling on a low-lying hill above the Mareotic Lake near Alexandria in houses at a distance of each other that safeguards both solitude and security (cf. On the Contemplative Life ch. III, in the Loeb Classical Library edition see §25).
In each house there is a consecrated room which is called a sanctuary or closet (monastērion), and closeted (monoumenoi) in this they are initiated into the mysteries of the sanctified life. They take nothing into it, either drink or food or any other of the things necessary for the needs of the body, but laws and oracles delivered through the mouth of prophets, and hymns and anything else which fosters and perfects knowledge and piety. They keep the memory of God alive and never forget it … Twice every day they pray, at dawn and at eventide … The interval between early morning and evening is spent entirely in spiritual exercise. They read the holy scriptures and seek wisdom from their ancestral philosophy … For six days they seek wisdom by themselves in solitude in the closets (monastēriois) mentioned above … But every seventh day they meet together as for a general assembly … (in a) common sanctuary … (Philo, On The Contemplative Life, ch. III).

Christian monks
Monasticism drew its origin from the examples of the Prophet Elias and John the Baptist who both lived alone in the desert. Jesus himself dwelt in solitude in the desert for forty days, and the Gospels record other times in which he retired for periods of solitary prayer. In the early church, individuals would live ascetic lives, though usually on the outskirts of civilization. Communities of virgins are also mentioned by early church authors, but again these communities were either located in towns, or near the edges of them.
The first famous Christian known to adopt the life in a desert was St. Anthony the Great (251 - 356), sometime in the latter part of the 3rd century. He lived alone as an anchorite in the Egyptian desert until he attracted a circle of followers, after which he retired further into the desert to escape the adulation of men. In the beginning, St. Anthony had an experienced ascetic who gave him advice, but he also lived near the town. St. Anthony was the first to go out into the desert for the sole purpose of pursuing God in solitude. As the idea of devoting one's entire life to God grew, more and more monks joined him, even in the far desert. Under St. Anthony's system, they each lived in isolation. Later, loose-knit communities began to be formed, coming together only on Sundays and major feast days for Holy Communion. These are referred to as sketes, named after the location in Egypt where this system began. The concept of monks all living together under one roof and under the rule of a single abbot is attributed to St. Pachomios (ca. 292 - 348), who lived in the beginning of the 4th century, and is referred to as coenobitic monasticism. At this same time, St. Pachomios' sister became the first abbess of a monastery of women (convent). Christian monasticism spread throughout the Eastern Roman Empire. At its height it was not uncommon for coenobitic monasteries to house upwards of 30,000 monks.
As Christianity grew and diversified, so did the style of monasticism. In the East, monastic norms came to be regularized through the writings of St. Basil the Great (c. 330 - 379) and St. Theodore the Studite (c. 758 - c. 826), coalescing more or less into the form in which it is still found today. In the West, there was initially some distrust of monasticism, due to fears of extremism previously observed in certain heretical groups, most notably Gnosticism. Largely through the writings of St. John Cassian (c. 360433) monasticism came to be accepted in the West as well. St. Benedict of Nursia (c. 480547) set forth the very first monastic rule in the west. In the beginning, Western monasticism followed much the same pattern as its Eastern forebears, but over time the traditions diversified.

History of Christian monasticism
In the Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Churches, monasticism holds a very special and important place. Far more common than in the Roman Catholic Church, the spiritual health of the Orthodox Church can be measured by the quality of its monks and nuns. Orthodox monastics separate themselves from the world in order to pray unceasingly for the world. They do not, in general, have as their primary purpose the running of social services, as is common in Western Christianity, but instead are concerned with attaining theosis, or union with God. However, care for the poor and needy has always been an obligation of monasticism, so Orthodox monasteries are not normally "cloistered" like some contemplative Western houses are, though the level of contact will vary from community to community. Orthodox hermits, on the other hand, have little or no contact with the outside world.
Orthodox monasticism does not have religious orders as are found in the West, nor do they have Rules in the same sense as the Rule of St. Benedict. Rather, Eastern monastics study and draw inspiration from the writings of the Desert Fathers as well as other Church Fathers; probably the most influential of which are the Greater Asketikon and Lesser Asketikon of St. Basil the Great and the Philokalia, which was compiled by St. Nikodemos of the Holy Mountain and St. Makarios of Corinth. Hesychasm is of primary importance in the ascetical theology of the Orthodox Church.
Most communities are self-supporting, and the monastic's daily life is usually divided into three parts: (a) communal worship in the catholicon (the monastery's main church); (b) hard manual labour; and (c) private prayer, spiritual study, and rest when necessary. Meals are usually taken in common in a sizable dining hall known as a trapeza (refectory), at elongated refectory tables. Food is usually simple and is eaten in silence while one of the brethren reads aloud from the spiritual writings of the Holy Fathers. The monastic lifestyle takes a great deal of serious commitment and hard work, it forces the person to overcome their own flaws and weaknesses; those newcomers with romantic notions about this sort of lifestyle usually do not last more than a few days. Within the coenobitic community, all monks conform to a common way of living based on the traditions of that particular monastery. In struggling to attain this conformity, the monastic comes to realize his own shortcomings and is guided by his spiritual father in how to deal honestly with them. Attaining this level of self-discipline is perhaps the most difficult and painful accomplishment any human being can make; but the end goal, to become like an angel on earth (an "earthly angel and a heavenly man", as the church hymns put it), is the reason monastics are held in such high esteem. For this same reason, Bishops are almost always chosen from the ranks of monks.
Eastern monasticism is found in three distinct forms: anchoritic (a solitary living in isolation), coenobitic (a community living and worshiping together under the direct rule of an abbot or abbess), and the "middle way" between the two, known as the skete (a community of individuals living separately but in close proximity to one another, who come together only on Sundays and feast days, working and praying the rest of the time in solitude, but under the direction of an elder). One normally enters a coenobitic community first, and only after testing and spiritual growth would one go on to the skete or, for the most advanced, become a solitary anchorite. However, one is not necessarily expected to join a skete or become a solitary; most monastics remain in the cenobuim the whole of their lives. The form of monastic life an individual embraces is considered to be his vocation; that is to say, it is dependent upon the will of God, and is revealed by grace.
In general, Orthodox monastics have little or no contact with the outside world, including their own families. The purpose of the monastic life is union with God, the means is through leaving the world (i.e., the life of the passions). After tonsure, Orthodox monks and nuns are never permitted to cut their hair. The hair of the head and the beard remain uncut as a symbol of the vows they have taken, reminiscent of the Nazarites from the Old Testament. The Tonsure of monks is the token of a consecrated life, and symbolizes the cutting off of their self-will.

Monasticism in Eastern Christianity

Main article: Degrees of Orthodox monasticism Degrees of monasticism

Monasticism in Western Christianity
The religious vows taken in the West were first developed by St. Benedict of Nursia who wrote the very first monastic rule. These vows were three in number: obedience, conversion of life, and stability. Among later Western religious orders, these developed into the solemn vows of obedience, poverty, and chastity.
To become a monk, one had to first become an oblate or a novice. To become an oblate, one had to be given to the monastery by one's father. Then, if one was old enough, one could take their first vows and become a novice. Then, after several years, if the abbot (head of the monastery) allows, one could become a monk.
The monks in the Middle Ages lived in a monastery, similar to a modern boarding school. Most monasteries were shaped like a cross so they would remember Jesus Christ, who died on a cross. The monastery had three vows: obedience, chastity, and poverty, which made up the evangelical counsels. Obedience meant that monks were willing to obey the Catholic Church, as represented by the abbot (head of the monastery), chastity meant that since they were willing to dedicate their lives to God, they sacrifice the love between men and women and would not marry; poverty meant they lived their lives of sharing, and shared all their possessions within the community and for the poor and would not hold back for themselves.
Monks grew their own food and shared their work in the monastery. Some of the more qualified monks were set to more challenging tasks, while others did mundane work according to their abilities. The monks spent on average about seven hours work every day, except Sundays, which was the day of rest.
Monks wore a plain brown or black cape and a cross on a chain around their neck; underneath, they wore a hair shirt to remind themselves of the suffering Christ had undergone for them. A man became a monk when he felt a call to God and when he wanted to dedicate his life in God's service for the poor and gain knowledge of God. There could be other reasons individuals felt called into the monastery, such as wanting to be educated, as the monasteries were some of the only places in the world where one was taught to read and write.
The monks called each other "brother" to symbolize their new brotherhood within their spiritual family. The monasteries usually had a strict timetable that they were required to adhere to. They grew their food for themselves and ate it in complete silence. The monks were not allowed to talk to each other anywhere, except in very special places. The monks even had a hospital for the sick.

Roman Catholic monks in the Middle Ages
A small but hugely influential aspect of Anglicanism is its religious orders of monks. Shortly after the beginning of the revival of the Catholic Movement in the Church of England, there was felt to be a need for a restoration of the contemplative life. In the 1840s, Anglican priest John Henry Newman established a community of men at Littlemore near Oxford. From then on, there have been (re-)established many communities of monks, friars and other religious communities for men in the Anglican Communion. There are Anglican Benedictines, Franciscans, Cistercians, and in the Episcopal Church in the USA, Dominicans), as well as home grown orders such as the Society of Saint John the Evangelist, among many more in almost every Province of the Anglican Communion.
Anglican religious life at one time boasted hundreds of orders and communities, and thousands of religious. An important aspect of Anglican religious life is that most communities of both men and women lived their lives consecrated to God under the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience (or in Benedictine communities, Stability, Conversion of Life, and Obedience) by practicing a mixed life of reciting the full eight services of the Breviary in choir, along with a daily Eucharist, plus service to the poor. The mixed life, combing aspects of the contemplative orders and the active orders remains to this day a hallmark of Anglican religious life.
Anglican monks proceed through their religious life first by responding to an inner call to the particular life. Then after counseling with his parish priest, the seeker makes a visit to a monastery and tests his vocation. Usually he must spend some time with the community as an aspirant, then he becomes a postulant, then novice, then come first profession, and usually life vows.
Some communities are contemplative, some active, but a distinguishing feature of the monastic life among Anglicans is that most practice the so-called "mixed life." They keep the full round of liturgical and private worship, but also usually have an active ministry of some sort in their immediate community. This activity could be anything from parish work to working with the homeless, retreats or any number of good causes.
Since the 1960s, there has been a sharp falling off in the numbers of religious in many parts of the Anglican Communion. Many once large and international communities have been reduced to a single convent or monastery comprised of elderly men or women. In the last few decades of the 20th century, novices have for most communities been few and far between. Some orders and communities have already become extinct.
There are however, still several thousand Anglican monks working today in approximately 200 communities around the world.
The most surprising growth has been in the Melanesian countries of the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea. The Melanesian Brotherhood, founded at Tabalia, Guadalcanal, in 1925 by Ini Kopuria, is now the largest Anglican Community in the world with over 450 brothers in the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines and the United Kingdom. The Sisters of the Church, started by Mother Emily Ayckbown in England in 1870, has more sisters in the Solomons than all their other communities. The Community of the Sisters of Melanesia, started in 1980 by Sister Nesta Tiboe, is a growing community of women throughout the Solomon Islands. The Society of Saint Francis, founded as a union of various Franciscan orders in the 1920s, has experienced great growth in the Solomon Islands. Other communities of religious have been started by Anglicans in Papua New Guinea and in Vanuatu. Most Melanesian Anglican religious are in their early to mid 20s, making the average age 40 to 50 years younger than their brothers and sisters in other countries. This growth is especially surprising because celibacy was not traditionally regarded as a virtue in Melanesia.
Another important development in Anglican monasticism are religious communities that allow both single and married people interested in the monastic lifestyle to become first order monks and nuns. An example of this is the Cistercian Order of the Holy Cross [1], an Order in full Anglican Communion with a traditional period of postulancy and noviceship for applicants in the Roman, Anglican or Orthodox faith traditions.

Anglican monks
Main article at Bhikkhu
People of the Pali canon
Community of Buddhist Disciples
BhikkhuBhikkuṇī Sikkhamānā SamaṇeraSamaṇerī
MonkNun Nun trainee Novice (m., f.)
Upāsaka, Upāsikā Gahattha, Gahapati Agārika, Agāriya
Lay devotee (m., f.) Householder Layperson
Related Religions
SamaṇaMonk Ājīvaka Brāhmaṇa Nigaṇṭha
Wanderer Ascetic Brahmin Jain ascetic
Although the European term monk is applied also on Buddhism, the situation of ordination is more complicated than that.
There are trial periods in becoming a buddhist monk to see if you would want to become a buddhist monk, if you in fact do, you stay there. In Theravada Buddhism, bhikkhus is the name of monks. Their disciplinary code is called the patimokkha, which is part of the larger Vinaya. They live lives of mendicancy, and go on a morning almsround (Pali: pindapata) every day. The local people give food for the monks to eat. The monks live in monasteries, and have an important function in traditional Asian society. Young boys can ordain as samaneras. Both bhikkhus and samaneras eat only in the morning, and are not supposed to lead a luxurious life. Their rules forbid the use of money, although this rule is nowadays not kept by all monks. The monks are part of the Sangha, the third of the Triple Gem of Buddha, Dhamma, Sangha.
In Vajrayana Buddhism, monkhood is part of the system of 'vows of individual liberation'; these vows are taken in order to develop one's own personal ethical discipline. The monks and nuns form the (ordinary) sangha. In Mahayana Buddhism, the term 'Sangha' is in principle restricted to those who have achieved certain levels of understanding (they are therefore called 'community of the excellent ones', Tib. <mchog kyi tshogs>); these in turn need not be monks (i.e., hold such vows), however. Several Mahayana orders accept female practitioners as monks, instead of using the normal title of "nun", and they are considered equal to male ascetics in all respects
As for the Vajrayana vows of individual liberation, there are four steps: A lay person may take the 5 vows called 'approaching virtue' (in Tibetan 'genyen' <dge snyan>). The next step is to enter the monastic way of life (Tib. rabjung) which includes wearing monk's or nun's robes. After that, one can become a 'novice' (Pali samanera, Tib. getshül); the last and final step is to take all vows of the 'fully ordained monk' (gelong). This term 'gelong' (Tib. <dge long>, in the female form gelongma) is the translation of Skt. bikshu (for women bikshuni) which is the equivalent of the Pali term bhikkhuni; bhikkhu is the word used in Theravada Buddhism (Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand).
Chinese Buddhist monks have been traditionally linked with the practice of the Chinese martial arts or Kung fu and monks are frequently important characters in martial arts films. This association is focused around the Shaolin Monastery. The Buddhist monk Bodhidharma, traditionally credited as the founder of Zen Buddhism in China, is also claimed to have introduced Kung fu to the country. This latter claim has however been a source of much controversy (see Bodhidharma, the martial arts, and the disputed India connection).

Buddhist monks
Main article: Hare Krishna
Similar in appearance to Buddhist monks, monks from the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), or Hare Krishnas as they are popularly known, are the best known Vaishnava monks outside India. They are a common sight in many places around the world. Their appearance—simple saffron dhoti, shaved head with sikha, Tulasi neckbeads and tilaka markings—and social customs (sadhana) date back many thousands of years to the Vedic era with its varnasrama society. This social scheme includes both monastic and lay stages meant for various persons in various stages of life as per their characteristics (guna) and work (karma).
ISKCON started as a predominantly monastic group but nowadays the majority of members live as lay persons. Many of them, however, spent some time as monks. New persons joining ISKCON as full-time members (living in its centers) first undergo a three-month Bhakta training, which includes learning the basics of brahmacari (monastic) life. After that they can decide if they prefer to continue as monks or as married Grihasthas.
Brahmacari older than fifty years can become sannyasi. Sannyasa, a life of full dedication to spiritual pursuits, is the highest stage of life in the varnasrama society. It is permanent and one cannot give it up. A Sannyasi is given the title Swami. Older grihastha with grown-up children are traditionally expected to accept vanaprastha (celibate retired) life.
The role of monastic orders in Indian and now also Western society has to some extent been adapted over the years in accordance with ever-changing social structures.
Madhvaacharya (Madhvacharya), the Dwaita philosopher, established ashta matha (Eight Monastries). He appointed a monk (called swamiji or swamigalu in local parlance) for each matha or monastery who has the right to worship Lord Krishna by rotation. Each matha's swamiji gets a chance to worship after fourteen years.This ritual is called Paryaya.

Monks in fiction

Ashta matha
Bhikkhu/Bhikshu — Buddhist monk
Into Great Silence — documentary about Catholic monks
Book of the First Monks
Lay brothers
Monk (RPG class)
Monk Seal
Religious order
Rule of St Benedict
Sea monk
Monk (TV Series)

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Charles Sherwood Stratton
For the similarly named governor of New Jersey, see Charles C. Stratton.
General Tom Thumb was the stage name of Charles Sherwood Stratton (January 4, 1838July 15, 1883), a midget who achieved great fame under circus pioneer P.T. Barnum. Stratton was a son of a Bridgeport, Connecticut, carpenter. He was born in Bridgeport, CT.

Charles Sherwood Stratton Under Barnum
Stratton's marriage on February 10, 1863, to another little person, Lavinia Warren, was front-page news. The wedding took place at Grace Episcopal Church and the wedding reception was held at the Metropolitan Hotel.They stood atop a grand piano in New York City's Metropolitan Hotel to greet some 2,000 guests. The best man at the wedding was George Washington Morrison ("Commodore") Nutt, another midget performer in Barnum's employ. The maid of honor was Minnie Warren, Lavinia's even smaller sister. Following the wedding, the couple was received by President Lincoln at the White House. In 1868, Stratton was 2 feet 11 inches tall and finally reached 3 feet in the early 1870s.
Under Barnum's management, Stratton became a wealthy man. He owned a house in the fashionable part of New York and a steam yacht and had a wardrobe of fine clothes. He owned a specially adapted home on one of Connecticut's Thimble Islands. When Barnum got into financial difficulty, Stratton bailed him out. Later, they became business partners. Stratton made his final appearance in England in 1878.
On January 10, 1883, Stratton was staying at the Newhall House in Milwaukee when a fire began on the first floor. More than 71 people died in what Milwaukee historian John Gurda calls "one of the worst hotel fires in American history." Luckily, Tom and Lavinia were saved by their manager, Sylvester Bleeker. Over 10,000 people attended the funeral. P.T. Barnum purchased a life-sized statue of Tom Thumb and placed it as a grave stone at Mountain Grove Cemetery, Bridgeport. Lavinia Warren is interred next to him with a simple grave stone that reads "His Wife".
It is very likely that Stratton's extreme shortness was caused by damage to, or the malfunctioning of, his pituitary gland. X-rays were not discovered until 1895, 12 years after Stratton died, so no one during his lifetime was able to determine the medical cause of his growth problems. It wasn't until 1915 that it was determined that the pituitary gland was responsible for the Human Growth Hormone.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Versailles (pronounced /vɛʀsaj/ in French), formerly de facto capital of the kingdom of France, is now a wealthy suburb of Paris and is still an important administrative and judicial center. The city (commune) of Versailles, located in the western suburbs of Paris, 17.1 km. (10.6 miles) from the center of Paris, is the préfecture (capital) of the Yvelines département.
The population of the city according to 2005 estimates was 86,400 inhabitants, down from a peak of 94,145 inhabitants in 1975. Versailles is made world-famous by the Château de Versailles, from the forecourt of which the city has grown.

Versailles Name
Versailles was the unofficial capital city of the kingdom of France from May 1682 (King Louis XIV moves the court and government permanently to Versailles) until September 1715 (death of Louis XIV and regency, with the regent Philippe d'Orléans returning to Paris), and then again from June 1722 (when Louis XV returned to Versailles permanently) to October 1789 (when Louis XVI was forced to move back to Paris by the people of Paris). During the entire period, Paris remained the official capital city of France, and the official royal palace was the Palace of the Louvre, but in practice government affairs were conducted from Versailles, and Versailles was regarded as the real capital city.
Versailles became again the unofficial capital city of France from March 1871 (French government takes refuge in Versailles due to the insurrection of the Paris Commune) until November 1879 (newly elected left-wing republicans relocate government and parliament to Paris).
Versailles was made the préfecture (capital) of the Seine-et-Oise département at its inception in March 1790 (Seine-et-Oise had approximately 100,400 inhabitants at its creation). By the 1960s, with the growth of the Paris suburbs, the Seine-et-Oise département had reached almost 3 million inhabitants and was deemed too large and ungovernable, and thus it was split into three départements in January 1968. Versailles was made the préfecture of the Yvelines département, the largest chunk of the former Seine-et-Oise département. At the 1999 census the Yvelines département had 1,354,304 inhabitants.
Versailles is the seat of a Roman Catholic diocese (bishopric) which was created in 1790. The diocese of Versailles is subordinate to the archdiocese of Paris.
In 1975 Versailles was made the seat of a Court of Appeal whose jurisdiction covers the western suburbs of Paris.
Since 1972, Versailles has been the seat of one of France's 30 nationwide académies (districts) of the Ministry of National Education. The académie de Versailles, the largest of France's 30 académies by its number of pupils and students, is in charge of supervising all the elementary schools and high schools of the western suburbs of Paris.
Versailles is also an important node for the French army, a tradition going back to the monarchy, with for instance the military camp of Satory and other institutions.

A seat of power
Versailles is located 17.1 km (10.6 miles) west-southwest from the center of Paris (as the crow flies). The city sits on an elevated plateau, 130 to 140 meters (425 to 460 ft) above sea-level (whereas the altitude of the center of Paris is only 33 m (108 ft) above sea level), surrounded by wooded hills: in the north the woods of Marly and Fausses-Reposes, and in the south the forests of Satory and Meudon.
The city of Versailles (commune) has an area of 26.18 km² (10.11 mile², or 6,469 acres), which is a quarter of the area of the city of Paris. In 1999, the city of Versailles had a population density of 3,275/km² (8,481/mile²), whereas the city of Paris had a density of 20,164/km² (52,225/mile²).
Born out of the will of a king, the city has a rational and symmetrical grid of streets. For the standards of the 18th century, Versailles was a very modern European city. Versailles was used as a model for the building of Washington DC by Pierre Charles L'Enfant.

The name of Versailles appears for the first time in a medieval document dated A.D. 1038. In the feudal system of medieval France, the lords of Versailles came directly under the king of France, with no intermediary overlords between them and the king; yet they were not very important lords. In the end of the 11th century the village curled around a medieval castle and the Saint Julien church. Its farming activity and its location on the road from Paris to Dreux and Normandy brought prosperity to the village, culminating in the end of the 13th century, the so-called "century of Saint Louis", famous for the prosperity of northern France and the building of gothic cathedrals. The 14th century brought the Black Plague and the Hundred Years' War, and with it death and destruction. At the end of the Hundred Years' War in the 15th century, the village started to recover, with a population of only 100 inhabitants.
In 1561, Martial de Loménie, secretary of state for finances under King Charles IX, became lord of Versailles. He obtained permission to establish four annual fairs and a weekly market on Thursdays. The population of Versailles was 500 inhabitants. Martial de Loménie was murdered during the St. Bartholomew's Day massacre (August 24, 1572). In 1575 Albert de Gondi, a man from Florence who had come to France along with Catherine de' Medici, bought the seigneury of Versailles. Henceforth Versailles was the possession of the family of Gondi, a family of wealthy and influential parliamentarians at the Parlement of Paris. Several times during the 1610s, the Gondi invited King Louis XIII to hunt in the large forests of Versailles. In 1622 the king became the owner of a piece of wood in Versailles for his private hunting. In 1624 he bought some land and ordered Philibert Le Roy to build there a small hunting "gentleman's chateau" of stone and red bricks with a slate roof. In this small castle happened the famous historical event called the Day of the Dupes, on November 10, 1630, when the party of the queen mother was defeated and Richelieu was confirmed as prime minister. Eventually, in 1632, the king obtained the seigneury of Versailles altogether from the Gondi. The castle was enlarged between 1632 and 1634. At the death of Louis XIII in 1643 the village had 1,000 inhabitants. King Louis XIV, his son, was only five years old.
It was only 20 years later, in 1661, when Louis XIV started his personal reign, that the young king showed interest in Versailles. The idea of leaving Paris, where as a child he had experienced first-hand the insurrection of the Fronde, had never left him. Louis XIV commissioned his architect Le Vau and his landscape architect Le Nôtre to transform the castle of his father, as well as the park, in order to accommodate the court. In 1678, after the Treaty of Nijmegen, the king decided that the court and the government would be established permanently in Versailles, which happened on May 6, 1682.
At the same time, a new city was emerging from the ground, resulting from an ingenious decree of the king dated May 22, 1671, whereby the king authorized anyone to acquire a lot in the new city for free. There were only two conditions to acquire a lot: 1- a token tax of 5 shillings (5 sols) per arpent of land should be paid every year (in 2005 US dollars, that's $0.03 per 1,000 ft² per year); 2- a house should be built on the lot according to the plans and models established by the Surintendant des Bâtiments du Roi (architect in chief of the royal demesne). The plans provided for a city built symmetrically with respect to the Avenue de Paris (which starts from the entrance of the castle). The roofs of the buildings and houses of the new city were not to exceed the level of the Marble Courtyard, at the entrance of the castle (built above a hill dominating the city), so that the perspective from the windows of the castle would not be obstructed. The old village and the Saint Julien church were destroyed to make room for buildings housing the administrative services managing the daily life in the castle. On both sides of the Avenue de Paris were built the Notre-Dame neighborhood and the Saint-Louis neighborhood, with new large churches, markets, aristocratic mansions, buildings all built in very homogeneous style according to the models established by the Surintendant des Bâtiments du Roi. Versailles was a vast construction site for many years. Little by little came to Versailles all those who needed or desired to live close to the political power. At the death of the Sun King in 1715, the village of Versailles had turned into a city of approximately 30,000 inhabitants.
When the court of King Louis XV returned to Versailles in 1722, the city had 24,000 inhabitants. With the reign of Louis XV, Versailles grew even further. Versailles was the capital of the most powerful kingdom of Europe, and the whole of Europe admired the new architecture and design trends coming from Versailles. Soon enough, the strict building rules decided under Louis XIV were not respected anymore, real estate speculation flourished, and the lots that had been given for free under Louis XIV were now on the market for hefty prices. By 1744 the population reached 37,000 inhabitants. The cityscape changed considerably under kings Louis XV and Louis XVI. Buildings were now taller. King Louis XV built a Ministry of War, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (where the Treaty of Paris (1783) ending the American Revolutionary War was signed in 1783 with the United Kingdom), and a Ministry of the Navy. By 1789 the population had reached 60,000 inhabitants, In 1919, at the end of the First World War, Versailles was put in the limelight again as the various treaties ending the war were negotiated and signed in the castle proper and in the Grand Trianon. After 1919, as the suburbs of Paris were ever expanding, Versailles was absorbed by the urban area of Paris and the city experienced a strong demographic and economic growth, turning it into a large suburban city of the metropolitan area of Paris. The role of Versailles as an administrative and judicial center has been reinforced in the 1960s and 1970s, and somehow Versailles has become the main centre of the western suburbs of Paris.
The centre of the town has kept its very bourgeois atmosphere, while more middle-class neighborhoods have developed around the train stations and in the outskirts of the city. Versailles is a chic suburb of Paris well linked with the center of Paris by several train lines. However, the city is extremely compartmented, divided by large avenues inherited from the monarchy which create the impression of several small cities ignoring each other. Versailles was never an industrial city, even though there are a few chemical and food processing plants. Essentially, Versailles is a place of services, such as public administration, tourism, business congresses, and festivals.

Versailles' primary cultural attraction is, of course, the Palace, with its ornately decorated rooms and historic significance. However, the town has other points of cultural notability; in recent times, its position as an affluent suburb of Paris has meant that it forms a part of the Paris artistic scene, and musical groups such as Phoenix and Daft Punk have some link to the city .



Sunday, August 26, 2007

Part of a series on Economic systems Primitive communism Capitalist economy Corporate economy Fascist economy Laissez-faire Mercantilism Natural economy Socialist economy Communist economy Closed economy Dual economy Gift economy Informal economy Market economyAutarky Mixed economy Open economy Participatory economy Planned economy Subsistence economy Underground economy Virtual economy Anglo-Saxon economy American School Global economy Hunter-gatherer economy Information economy New industrial economy Palace economy Plantation economy Social market economy Token economy Traditional economy Transition economy An autarky is an economy that limits trade with the outside world, or an ecosystem not affected by influences from the outside, and relies entirely on its own resources. In the economic meaning, it is also referred to as a closed economy.

Additional characteristics of autarkies
Mercantilism was a policy followed by empires, especially in the 17th and 18th centuries, forbidding or limiting trade outside the empire. In the 20th century, autarky as a policy goal was sought by Nazi Germany in the 1930s, by maximizing trade within its economic bloc and minimizing trade outside it.
Today, complete economic autarkies (or autarchies) are rare. An example of a current autarky is North Korea, based on the government ideology of Juche (self-reliance). However, even North Korea has a small amount of trade with the People's Republic of China and Japan. Bhutan, seeking to preserve an economic and cultural system centered around the dzong, has until recently maintained an effective economic embargo against the outside world, and has been described as an autarky. With the introduction of roads and electricity, however, the kingdom is being forced into trade relations as its citizens seek modern manufactured goods.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Peter's Friends
Peter's Friends (1992) is a British comedy-drama film written by Rita Rudner and her husband Martin Bergman, and directed and produced by Kenneth Branagh.
It starred Hugh Laurie, Alphonsia Emmanuel, Imelda Staunton, Richard Briers, Stephen Fry, Rita Rudner, Tony Slattery, Phyllida Law, Alex Lowe, Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh.

Most of the cast are actually old university friends who attended Cambridge University together. Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Emma Thompson, and Tony Slattery were all in the Cambridge Footlights, a student comedy troupe similar to the one portrayed in the film. Co-writer Martin Bergman was also in Footlights.
At the time the film was made, Branagh was married to Thompson, who had also dated Laurie while at university. Phyllida Law is Thompson's mother and along with Richard Briers, Imelda Staunton and Alex Lowe appeared with Branagh and Thompson in Branagh's adaptation of Much Ado About Nothing the following year. Laurie and Staunton, who play the married Roger and Mary, would again appear as a married couple in 1995's Sense and Sensibility, penned by Thompson.

Friday, August 24, 2007

A chondrosarcoma is a particular cancer of the bone. Chondrosarcoma is a cartilage based tumor and is in a category of cancers called sarcomas. Chondrosarcoma is a rare cancer that can affect people (and animals) of any age. The aggressiveness of chondrosarcoma is graded based on how fast it grows and its likelihood to metastasize or spread to other parts of the body. Grade 1 is a low grade (slow growing) cancer, and grades 2 and 3 are higher grades (fast growing) cancers. Depending on the grading system used by your medical facility, it's also possible to have grade 4 which would be even more aggressive than lower grade tumors. The most common bones for chondrosarcoma to grow are the pelvic and shoulder bones along with the superior regions of the arms and legs. [1] But they can also be found in any bones of the body, even in the base of the skull.
Nearly all chondrosarcoma patients appear to be in good health. Since it is not like other cancers, it doesn't affect the whole system. Many patients are not aware that there is a tumor growing inside them until there is a noticeable lump or pain. Sometimes a patient has no symptoms and no awareness of any lump and perhaps, by having a test for something else gets diagnosed accidentally. Sometimes an unexpected fracture will be the first indication of a bone tumor.[2]

Thursday, August 23, 2007

François Faber
François Faber (26 January 18879 May 1915) was a Luxembourgian cyclist. He was born in France, but because his father was a Luxembourger, he was able to receive Luxembourgian nationality.
In 1906 he participated in the Tour de France for the first time. He didn't finish. The next year, he was 7th and in 1908 he took second place and won two stages. In 1909 he dominated the Tour. He won five consecutive stages, a record that went unbroken for almost a century.
He won 19 Tour de France stages, Paris-Brussels, Bordeaux-Paris, Sedan-Brussels, Paris-Tours (twice), Paris-Roubaix and the Giro di Lombardia.
When the First World War broke out Faber joined the French Foreign Legion. On 9 May 1915 at Carency near Arras he received a telegram saying his wife had given birth to a daughter. One story says that, cheering, he jumped out of the trench and was killed by a German bullet. Another, more commonly accepted, is that he was shot while carrying an injured colleague back from no-man's land during fighting at the Chemin de Dames battlefield near Lens, France.
The GP François Faber, a small race in Luxembourg, is named after him. There is also a plaque in his memory in the church of Nôtre Dame de Lorette in the French national war cemetery near Lens.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Sigismund of Austria
For the 17th-century Archduke, see Archduke Sigismund Francis of Austria.
Sigismund of Austria, Duke, then Archduke of Further Austria (October 26, 1427March 4, 1496) was a Habsburg archduke of Austria and ruler of Tirol from 1446 to 1490.
Sigismund (or Siegmund, sometimes also spelled Sigmund) was born in Innsbruck; his parents were Frederick IV, Duke of Austria and Anna of Brunswick. He was a first cousin of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor.
In 1446, upon the death of his father, he acceded to rulership over Tirol and (other) Further Austria Vorderösterreich, which included the Sundgau in the Alsace, the Breisgau, and some possessions in Swabia. In 1449, he married Eleanor Stuart, the daughter of James I, king of Scotland.
For much of his reign, Sigismund was engaged in disputes with Nicholas of Cusa, then bishop of Brixen, for the control of the Isarco, Pustertal and Inn valleys. In 1460, when he had Nicholas imprisoned, he was excommunicated by Pope Pius II. The bishop fled to Todi, but died before the archduke surrendered in order to receive the papal pardon.
In 1469, he sold his lands on the Rhine and in the Alsace to Charles, Duke of Burgundy. Sources are unclear whether he sold them due to his debts he had accumulated owing to his luxury lifestyle or just "rented" them because he wanted to have them protected better against the expansion of the Old Swiss Confederacy. In any case, he bought back these possessions in 1474, and together with the Swiss (with whom he had concluded a peace treaty in Konstanz) and the Alsatian cities, he sided against Charles in the Battle of Héricourt.
In 1477, Frederick III made him archduke. Three years later, Eleanor died, and 1484, Sigismund married the 16-year-old Katharina of Saxony, daughter of Albert, Duke of Saxony. He had no offspring from either marriage.
In the later years of the 1470s and early 1480s Sigismund issued a decree that instituted a radical coinage reformation that eventually led up to the creation of the world's first really large and heavy silver coin in nearly a millennium, the guldengroschen, which the Habsburgs in Bohemia developed later into the thaler. This coin was the ancestor of many the major European coin denominations to come later. Using new mining methods and technology, the largely quiescent silver mines in Tirol were brought back into production and soon numerous surrounding states were re-opening old mines and minting similar coins. This production of large coinage exploded as silver from the Spain's colonies in the Americas flooded the European economy. It is from these reforms in part that Sigismund acquired the nickname of der Münzreiche, or "rich in coin".
Sigismund was easily swayed by the bad advice of his council and in March 1487 entered into a pointless war with the Republic of Venice, sometimes called the War of Rovereto. Tirolese forces quickly seized silver mines in the Valsugana valley owned by Venice, and in April 1487 Sigismund outraged Venice further when he imprisoned 130 Venetian merchants travelling to the fair at Bozen (modern Bolzano) and confiscated their goods. Tirol stormed the Pass of Calliano and later besieged the castle at Rovereto using a massive bombard, one of the earliest times such a large piece had been used in warfare. The war continued through summer but ended with no decisive victory for either side. One notable casualty of the conflict was the condottiero Roberto Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno.
By 1490 the opposition of the population of Tirol compelled Sigismund hand over the rulership to Archduke Maximilian I, who later became Holy Roman Emperor. Whether Sigismund voluntarily handed over power to Maximilian or was strongly coerced by the latter is not clear.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Zamboanga Sibugay Demographics
The leading industries are in the areas of bakery, rice and corn milling, food processing, and rattan and wood furniture production. New industries include concrete products, garments, wax and candle factory, and other cottage industries.
Major crops produced include rice, corn, coconuts, rubber, fruit trees, vegetables, tobacco, coffee, cacao, and root crops. Livestock and poultry productions are predominantly small-scale backyard operations.

Zamboanga Sibugay has an approximate total land area of 3228.3 km² accounting for about 37.82% of the mother province of Zamboanga del Sur. It is geographically located at 123o 04' 49.75" longitude and at 7o 42' 14.89" latitude. To the north it intersects the common municipal boundaries of Kalawit, Tampilisan, and Godad in Zamboanga del Norte. In the west, it is bounded by the municipalities of Siraway, Siocon, and Balinguian, and the province of Zamboanga del Norte. On the south it is bounded by Sibuguey Bay. In the east, the municipalities of Bayog and Kumalarang both in the province of Zamboanga del Sur bound it. It is further bounded on the southwest by Zamboanga City.

Zamboanga Sibugay Geography
Zamboanga Sibugay is subdivided into 16 municipalities.
These municipalities are further subdivided into 389 barangays. The province comprises a single congressional district.

Roseller Lim
Tungawan Physical
The area of Zamboanga Sibugay was formerly a part of Zamboanga del Sur. Attempts to divide Zamboanga del Sur into separate provinces date as far back as the 1960s. Several bills were filed in congress, but remained unacted. The new province was finally created by Republic Act No. 8973 on February 22, 2001.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Chris Anderson (The Long Tail)
Chris Anderson is editor-in-chief of Wired Magazine, which has won a National Magazine Award under his tenure. He coined the phrase The Long Tail in an acclaimed Wired article, which he expanded upon in the book The Long Tail: Why the Future of Business Is Selling Less of More (2006). He currently lives in Berkeley, California with his wife and four young children.
Before joining Wired in 2001, he worked at The Economist, where he launched their coverage of the Internet. He also has a degree in physics from George Washington University and did research at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He has also worked at the journals Nature and Science.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. It is often colloquially referred to as the Congressional Medal of Honor because the President presents the award "in the name of the Congress".

The Medal of Honor has evolved in appearance since its creation in 1862. The present Army medal consists of a gold star surrounded by a wreath, topped by an eagle on a bar inscribed with the word "Valor." The medal is attached by a hook to a light blue moired silk neckband that is 1 3⁄16 inches in width and 21¾ inches in length.

On October 23, 2003, Pub.L. 107-248 was enacted, modifying 36 U.S.C. § 903, authorizing a Medal of Honor flag to be presented to recipients of the decoration.

There are two distinct means for awarding the Medal of Honor. The first and most common is nomination by a service member in the chain of command, followed by approval at each level of command. The other method is nomination by a member of Congress (generally at the request of a constituent) and approval by a special act of Congress. In either case, the Medal of Honor is presented by the President on behalf of the Congress. Although commonplace, The law authorizing the society has since been transferred to Title 36, Chapter 405 of the U.S. Code.

Awarding the medal
A year after President Abraham Lincoln signed Public Resolution 82 into law on December 21, 1861, a similar resolution for the Army was passed. Six Union soldiers who hijacked the General, a Confederate locomotive were the first recipients. Raid leader James J. Andrews, a civilian hanged as a Union spy, did not receive the medal because it was originally awarded only to enlisted men. Army officers first received them in 1891 and Naval officers in 1915. Many Medals of Honor awarded in the 19th century were associated with saving the flag, not just for patriotic reasons, but because the flag was a primary means of battlefield communication. During the Civil War, no other military award was authorized, which explains some of the less notable actions that were recognized by the Medal of Honor. The criteria for award tightened after World War I. In the post-World War II era, many eligible recipients might instead have been awarded a Silver Star, Navy Cross or similar award.
During the Civil War, Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton promised a Medal of Honor to every man in the 27th Regiment, Maine Infantry who extended his enlistment beyond the agreed upon date. Many stayed four days extra, and then were discharged. Due to confusion, Stanton awarded a Medal of Honor to all 864 men in the regiment.

The U.S. Army Medal of Honor was first authorized by a joint resolution of Congress on July 12, 1862. The specific authorizing statute was 10 U.S.C. § 3741, effective January 26, 1998:
Later authorizations created similar medals for other branches of the service.
The Medal of Honor confers special privileges on its recipients, both by tradition and by law. By tradition, all other soldiers, sailors, Marines, and airmen—even higher-ranking officers up to the President of the United States—initiate the salute. In the event of an officer encountering an enlisted member of the military who has been awarded the Medal of Honor, officers by tradition salute not the person, but the medal itself, thus attempting to time their salute to coincide with the enlisted members'. By law, recipients have several benefits: Medal of HonorMedal of Honor Authority and privileges
Until late 2006, the Medal of Honor was the only service decoration singled out in federal law to protect it from being imitated or privately sold. The Stolen Valor Act of 2005, enacted December 20, 2006, extended some of these protections to other military awards as well.

The following United States decorations bear similar names to the Medal of Honor, but are separate awards with different criteria for issuance.
Several United States law enforcement decorations also bear the name "Medal of Honor". The Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor, established by Congress in 2001, "the highest national award for valor by a public safety officer", is also awarded by the President,

Cardenas Medal of Honor: decoration of the Revenue Cutter Service, merged into the United States Coast Guard
Chaplain's Medal of Honor: awarded posthumously for a single action to four recipients
Congressional Gold Medal
Congressional Space Medal of Honor: despite its name, not equal to the Medal of Honor
Presidential Medal of Freedom