Blog Archive

Thursday, January 31, 2008

Gilbert Wakefield
Gilbert Wakefield (1756 - 1801), scholar and controversialist, born at Nottingham, educated at Cambridge, took orders, but becoming a Unitarian renounced them and acted as classical tutor in various Unitarian academies.
He was a strong defender of the French Revolution, and was imprisoned for two years for writing a seditious pamphlet. He published editions of various classical writers, and among his theological writings are Early Christian Writers on the Person of Christ (1784), An Examination of Paine's Age of Reason (1794), and Silva Critica (1789-95), illustrations of the Scriptures.
This article incorporates public domain text from: Cousin, John William (1910). A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature. London, J.M. Dent & sons; New York, E.P. Dutton.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Lawrence County is a county located in the U.S. state of Illinois. As of 2000, the population is 15,452. Its county seat is Lawrenceville.

Lawrence County, IllinoisLawrence County, Illinois Geography

Crawford County to the north
Knox County, Indiana to the east
Wabash County to the south
Richland County to the west History
Nine townships make up Lawrence County. They are:

Russell Townships
As of the census of 2000, there were 15,452 people, 6,309 households, and 4,252 families residing in the county. The population density was 16/km² (42/mi²). There were 7,014 housing units at an average density of 7/km² (19/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 97.97% White, 0.76% Black or African American, 0.14% Native American, 0.12% Asian, 0.27% from other races, and 0.74% from two or more races. 0.89% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 6,309 households out of which 28.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.90% were married couples living together, 9.00% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.60% were non-families. 29.20% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.36 and the average family size was 2.89.
In the county the population was spread out with 22.70% under the age of 18, 7.60% from 18 to 24, 26.20% from 25 to 44, 23.40% from 45 to 64, and 20.10% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females there were 91.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $30,361, and the median income for a family was $37,050. Males had a median income of $28,428 versus $18,727 for females. The per capita income for the county was $17,070. About 10.70% of families and 13.70% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.30% of those under age 18 and 8.50% of those age 65 or over.

Cities and towns

Sand Barrens

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Ottonian dynasty was a dynasty of Germanic Kings (919-1024), named after its first emperor but also known as the Saxon dynasty after the family's origin. The family itself is also sometimes known as the Liudolfings, after its earliest known member Liudolf and one of its primary leading-names. The Ottonian rulers are also regarded as the first dynasty of the Holy Roman Empire, as successors of the Carolingian dynasty and Charlemagne, who is commonly viewed as the original founder of a new (Frankish) Roman Empire.
Although never Emperor, Henry I the Fowler, Duke of Saxony, was arguably the founder of this imperial dynasty, since his election as German king made it possible for his son, Otto the Great to take on the imperium. Since Otto I most of the German kings were also crowned Holy Roman Emperor. Under the reign of the Ottonian rulers, the kingdom of the Eastern Franks finally became Germany with the conclusion of the unification of the duchies of Lorraine, Saxony, Franconia, Swabia, Thuringia and Bavaria into one empire. Also the union of Germany with the Holy Roman Empire, which dominated the German history until 1806, began with the coronation of Otto I the Great in Rome in 962. But the projected restoration of the Roman Empire failed already under Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor.
After the extinction of the Ottonian dynasty with the death of Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor in 1024 the crown passed to the Salian dynasty. Luitgard, a daughter of Emperor Otto I had married the Salian Duke Conrad the Red of Lorraine. His great-grandson was Conrad II, Holy Roman Emperor.
Ottonian Kings and Emperors:
Some other famous members of the Liudolfing or Ottonian House:

Henry I the Fowler, King of the Germans and Duke of Saxony, died 936
Otto I the Great, Holy Roman Emperor and Duke of Saxony, died 973
Otto II, Holy Roman Emperor, died 983
Otto III, Holy Roman Emperor, died 1002
Saint Henry II, Holy Roman Emperor, died 1024
Liudolf, Count of Saxony, died 864/866
Saint Altfrid, Bishop of Hildesheim, died 874
Brun, Duke of Saxony, died 880
Otto the Illustrious, Duke of Saxony, died 912
Gerberge of Saxony, died 954
Henry I, Duke of Bavaria, died 955
Liudolf, Duke of Swabia, died 957
Hedwige of Saxony, died 965
Bruno I, Archbishop of Cologne and Duke of Lotharingia, died 965
William, Archbishop of Mainz, died 968
Mathilda, Abbess of Quedlinburg
Otto, Duke of Swabia and Bavaria, died 982
Henry II, Duke of Bavaria, the Wrangler, died 995
Bruno, Bishop of Augsburg, died 1029

Monday, January 28, 2008

Harvard International Review
The Harvard International Review is a quarterly journal of international relations published by the Harvard International Relations Council, Inc. The HIR offers commentary on global developments in politics, economics, business, science, technology, and culture.
Founded in 1979 to "cover that middle ground between academic scholarship and journalism," the HIR is a widely distributed journal across the United States and around the world in more than 70 countries.
According to its mission statement, "The HIR features underappreciated topics in the international affairs discourse and underappreciated perspectives on more widely discussed topics. The HIR aims to serve as a trend-setter among similar publications by directing rather than following the public's attention."
The magazine is composed of the following sections: Features, Perspectives, World in Review, Global Notebook, Interview, Endpaper, Correspondence, and Review. The website includes exclusive content and special features such as a blog.
The HIR has featured scholars and policymakers from around the world, including Nelson Mandela, Samuel P. Huntington, Aung San Suu Kyi, Jeffrey Sachs, Shimon Peres, Paul Krugman, Chen Shui-bian, Amartya Sen, John Kenneth Galbraith, Jimmy Carter, Zbigniew Brzezinski, Bill Clinton, Dick Cheney, Ban Ki-moon and Javier Solana.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

The department is part of the current region of Midi-Pyrénées and is surrounded by the French departments of Haute-Garonne, Aude, and Pyrénées-Orientales, as well as Spain and Andorra on the south.
The geography is dominated by the Pyrenees mountains, which form the border between France and Spain. There are hundreds of miles of well marked paths which lead you to explore the magnificent Pyrenees mountains. The high mountains are easily accessible via good roads, cable cars or by foot. There are a number of lodges providing high level mountain accommodation that is comfortable, warm with good meals, at 2000m!
AriègeAriège There are also a number of fresh water lakes which provide a variety of activities including, walking, swimming, fishing, canoeing, sailboarding and also picnicing.
The Ariege has several of its own downhill ski resorts, the three largest being Ax-Bonascre, Les Monts D'Olmes and Guzet. There are many cross country ski-ing resorts, one of the best being at Plateau de Beille, near Les Cabannes.
The Pyrenees mountain range forms a fantastic backdrop to the entire Ariege Department, rising some 10000 feet (3000m) along the border with Andorra and Spain. The highest peaks are clearly visible visible from Toulouse in the Haute Garonne. It is one of the least populated and most unspoiled regions of France. The locals enjoy keeping old traditions alive, especially farming techniques. Consequently, as less insecticides, for example, have been used, the flora and fauna of the area are rich in diversity and number. Butterflies are seen in huge numbers, birds are numerous, particularly noticeable are the large birds of prey, including the magnificent Griffon vultures.

The inhabitants of the department are called Ariégeois.
The Ariege department is a largely unknown department which is situated next to the Aude in the most southern part of the Midi-Pyrenees department and shares its borders with the Aude, Andorra, Haute Garonne and the Pyrenees Orientales. This is predominantly a farming area as the soil is rich and fertile abd yet more than 50% of the Ariège is mountainous, with 490 965 hectares is covered by forests.


Cantons of the Ariège department
Communes of the Ariège department
Arrondissements of the Ariège department

Friday, January 25, 2008

Role of a cricket captain
The captain of a cricket team is a player who, during the course of a match, has several additional roles and responsibilities over and above those of a regular player. As in other sports, the captain is usually an experienced cricketer with good communication skills, who is likely to be one of the most regular members of the team; indeed the captain often has a say in team selection. Before the game the captains toss for innings. During the match each captain decides the team's batting order, who will bowl each over, and where each fielder will stand. While the captain has the final say, decisions are often collaborative. A captain's knowledge of the complexities of cricket strategy and tactics, and shrewdness in the field, may contribute significantly to the team's success.

Captain's responsibilities

During a match
Before the start of a match the home captain tosses a coin and the away captain calls heads or tails. The captain who wins the toss is given the choice of whether to bat or bowl first. The decision usually depends on the condition of the pitch and whether it is likely to deteriorate, the weather conditions, the weather forecast

The toss
The captain sets where the fielders will stand, in consultation with the bowler and sometimes other senior players. The fielding positions will usually be dictated by the type of bowler, the batsman's batting style, and the captain's assessment of the state of the match (and hence whether to set an attacking or a defensive field).

Fielding positions
From July 7, 2005 the captain decides when to take Powerplay 2 and 3 in ODI matches. If the batting team's run rate is high after Powerplay 1 then the captain might choose to take the other two power plays later on the innings to slow the run rate down. He may take them when the attacking batsmen are out, or when the run rate has been reduced.

The captain decides when each bowler will bowl. If a batsman is seeking to dominate the current bowler, the captain may ask someone else to bowl; alternatively, keeping the bowler on may be deemed the best chance of getting the batsman out. If the regular bowlers are not achieving the desired results, the captain may decide to use non-regular bowlers to attempt to unsettle the batsmen. The captain may also change the bowlers around to introduce variation, and to prevent the batsmen getting "set".
In limited overs cricket the captain additionally has to make certain that bowlers bowl no more than their allotted maximum number of overs, and that experienced bowlers are available at the end of the batting side's innings, when the batsmen are usually looking to take risks to attack and score quickly.
In the longer forms of cricket, when a new ball becomes available the captain decides whether to use it.

When the team bats, the captain decides the batting order. In professional cricket the captain usually changes the established batting order only for exceptional reasons, because batsmen tend to specialize in batting at certain positions. However, in certain circumstances it may be in the team's interest to change the batting order. If quick runs are needed, a naturally attacking batsman may be promoted up the order. A player who is 'in form' may be promoted to a higher batting position, at the expense of a player who is 'out of form'.
If a wicket falls near the end of a day's play, especially if the light is failing, or if the bowlers seem particularly confident, the captain may choose to send in a non-specialist batsman, referred to as a nightwatchman. If the night wathchman does not get out before the end of play then the specialist batsman will have been protected, and will not need to bat until the following day when conditions are likely to have improved. If the nightwatchman does get out, the cost of losing a late wicket will have been minimized, because the specialist batsman is still available to bat.

Batting order
The captain may declare the team's innings closed at any time, but usually only does so as an attacking ploy, for instance if the captain thinks the team has enough runs to win the match, or if a sudden change in conditions has made it advantageous to bowl rather than bat.

In a two-innings match, if the situation arises the captain decides whether to impose the follow on.

As well as decisions taken either immediately before or during a match, captains also often have some responsibility for the good running of the cricket club. For instance, he or she may decide when the team is to practice, and for how long. In professional cricket the captain often has some say in who will form the squad from which teams are selected, and may also decide how young up-and-coming players are to be encouraged and improved, and how members of the squad who are not regularly selected for first-team matches are to gain match practice to be kept match-fit.

Role of a cricket captain Other duties
The captain may be assisted by a vice-captain. This is particularly useful when the captain is forced to leave the field of play during fielding, due to injury or illness (etc). Some teams also allocate the vice-captain a more or less formal role in assisting with team selection, discipline, field-setting etc.


Current Captains

Ricky Ponting Australia

Mohammad Ashraful Bangladesh

Michael Vaughan (Test)
Paul Collingwood (ODI) & (Twenty20) Captain England

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (ODI) & (Twenty20) Captain
Rahul Dravid (Resigned as Test Captain; incumbent yet to be chosen) India

Trent Johnston Ireland

Steve Tikolo Kenya

Shoaib Malik Pakistan

Daniel Vettori (Recently took over from Stephen Fleming as Captain of New Zealand in all formats of the game after a decade at the helm for the latter) New Zealand

Graeme Smith South Africa

Mahela Jayawardene West Indies

Prosper Utseya

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Merkinch is an area of the city of Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. One of the Inverness's oldest areas, it is located in the north-west of the city, flanked by the Caledonian Canal to the west and the River Ness to the east.
Originally, Merkinch was home to Inverness's shipbuilding industry and the Kessock Ferry sailed across the Moray Firth from a pier in South Kessock, to the north of Merkinch. Distilling was another important industry with a number of distillaries located in the area. Today, industrial activity still takes place in the Carse Industrial Estate and Telford Retail Park. Also in Merkinch is Grant Street Park, home to Clachnacuddin Football Club, and Merkinch Primary School, one of the oldest in the city.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Saint Margaret the Virgin
Saint Margaret, also known as Margaret of Antioch (in Pisidia), virgin and martyr, is celebrated by the Roman Catholic and Anglican Churches on July 20. Her historical existence is dubious; she was declared apocryphal by Pope Gelasius in 494, but devotion to her revived in the West with the Crusades. She was reputed to have promised very powerful indulgences to those who wrote or read her life, or invoked her intercession; these no doubt helped the spread of her cult.
According to the Golden Legend, she was a native of Antioch, daughter of a pagan priest named Aedesius. She was scorned by her father for her Christian faith, and lived in the country with a foster-mother keeping sheep. Olybrius, the praeses orientis, offered her marriage at the price of her renunciation of Christianity. Her refusal led to her being cruelly tortured, and after various miraculous incidents, one of which involved getting swallowed by Satan in the shape of a dragon, from which she escaped alive, when the cross she carried irritated the dragon's innards, she was put to death in A.D. 304. The Golden Legend, in an atypical moment of scepticism, describes this last incident as "apocryphal and not to be taken seriously" (trans. Ryan, 1.369).
The Greek church knows Margaret as Marina, and celebrates her festival on 17 July. She has been identified with Saint Pelagia – "Marina" being the Latin equivalent of the Greek name "Pelagia" – who, according to a legend, was also called Margarito. We possess no historical documents on St Margaret as distinct from St Pelagia. The Greek Marina came from Antioch, Pisidia, but this distinction was lost in the West.
An attempt has been made, but without success, to prove that the group of legends with which that of Saint Margaret is connected is derived from a transformation of the pagan divinity Aphrodite into a Christian saint. The problem of her identity is a purely literary question.
The cult of Saint Margaret became very widespread in England, with more than 250 churches are dedicated to her. Believers consider her a patron saint of pregnancy. In art, she is usually pictured escaping from the dragon.
Although her cult was suppressed in 1969, traditional devotions to her remain in effect. Margaret is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. She is one of the Saints who appeared to Joan of Arc.
If Margaret has been a historical person, an explanation for the dragon could be a rock python (Python sebae), which can grow to length of up to 6 m (20 ft). It was known to Romans, and often seen in circuses. Rock pythons are known to have attacked and even swallowed humans, and if Margaret had been of smallish stature, the snake could well have devoured her and later vomited.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

A cappella
A cappella (Italian: "in the church style") music is vocal music or singing without instrumental accompaniment, or a piece intended to be performed in this way. A cappella is Italian for "in the style of the chapel", and was originally intended to differentiate between Renaissance polyphony and Baroque concertato style. In the 19th century a renewed interest in Renaissance polyphony coupled with an ignorance of the fact that vocal parts were often doubled by instrumentalists led to the term coming to mean unaccompanied vocal music. In modern usage, a cappella often refers to an all-vocal performance of any style, including barbershop, doo wop, and modern pop/rock.

Religious traditions
Present-day Christian religious bodies known for conducting their worship services without musical accompaniment include some Presbyterian churches devoted to the regulative principle of worship, Old Regular Baptists, Primitive Baptists, Plymouth Brethren, most congregations among the churches of Christ, the Old German Baptist Brethren , the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church and the Amish. Many Mennonites also conduct some or all of their services without instruments. Sacred Harp, a type of religious "folk" music, is an a cappella style of religious singing, but is more often sung at singing conventions than at church services.
Christian a cappella polyphony began to be developed in Europe around the late 1400s; early works are often identified with Josquin des Prez. The early a cappellas seem to have had an accompanying instrument, although this instrument doubled the singers and were not independent. By the 1500s, a cappella polyphony had been fully developed; Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina's works are considered excellent examples. After Palestrina, the cantata began to take the a cappella's place.

Traditional Jewish religious services do not include musical instruments. The use of instruments is traditionally forbidden on the Sabbath out of concern that players would be tempted to repair their instruments, which is forbidden on those days. (This prohibition has been relaxed in many Reform and some Conservative congregations.) Similarly, when Jewish families and larger groups sing traditional Sabbath songs known as zemirot outside the context of formal religious services, they usually do so a cappella, and Bar and Bat Mitzvah celebrations on the Sabbath sometimes feature entertainment by a cappella ensembles. Moreover, many Jews consider the 49-day period of the counting of the omer between Passover and Shavuot to be a time of semi-mourning when instrumental music is not allowed. This has led to a tradition of a cappella singing sometimes known as sefirah music.

Some Muslims have also adopted the idiom of a cappella music. Muslim a cappella songs are called anasheed.

A cappella Emulating instruments

Monday, January 21, 2008

Apache AxKit is an XML Apache publishing framework run by the Apache foundation written in Perl.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Jat Area
Jat Area is a term of Jute cultivation that indicates the inner North-Estern part of Bangladesh. This geographical area comprises part of the districts of Dhaka, Mymensingh, Tangail, and Comilla of Bangladesh.
The area annually receives fresh deposit of silts carried down by the flood water. Soils are acidic, the texture varies from sand loam to clay loam. According to commercial quality, the best quality Jute, the Jat type, grows in this area.
Due to high quality jute in the world, Adamjee Jute Mills was established in this region at Narayanganj. Later, the mill became the largest jute mill in the world. However, the mill closed its doors in 2002.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

La Mesa is a city in San Diego County, California, United States. The population was 54,749 at the 2000 census. It was founded in 1869 and officially incorporated as a city on February 16, 1912. It is the hometown of NBA legend Bill Walton.

As of the census of 2000, there were 54,749 people, 24,186 households, and 13,374 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,282.8/km² (5,909.9/mi²). There were 24,943 housing units at an average density of 1,040.0/km² (2,692.5/mi²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.64% White, 4.86% African American, 0.66% Native American, 4.09% Asian, 0.40% Pacific Islander, 5.08% from other races, and 4.27% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.52% of the population.
There were 24,186 households out of which 24.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 39.8% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.7% were non-families. 34.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.86.
In the city the population was spread out with 19.8% under the age of 18, 9.9% from 18 to 24, 32.9% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 89.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.2 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $41,693, and the median income for a family was $50,398. Males had a median income of $37,215 versus $30,413 for females. The per capita income for the city was $22,372. About 5.2% of families and 9.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.4% of those under age 18 and 6.2% of those age 65 or over.

According to estimates by the San Diego Association of Governments, the median household income of La Mesa in 2005 was $55,609 (not adjusted for inflation). When adjusted for inflation (1999 dollars; comparable to Census data above), the median household income was $45,156.

History and Government
The schools in La Mesa are operated by two districts. The La Mesa-Spring Valley district operates the elementary and middle schools in the city, while the Grossmont district operates Helix High School and the Gateway day schools.


Rolando Elementary School (La Mesa-Spring Valley School District)
La Mesa Dale Elementary School (La Mesa-Spring Valley School District)
Maryland Avenue Elementary School (La Mesa-Spring Valley School District)
Murdock Elementary School (La Mesa-Spring Valley School District)
Murray Manor Elementary School (La Mesa-Spring Valley School District)
Northmont Elementary School (La Mesa-Spring Valley School District)
Lemon Avenue Elementary School (La Mesa-Spring Valley School District) La Mesa, California Elementary schools

Parkway Middle School (La Mesa-Spring Valley School District)
La Mesa Middle School (La Mesa-Spring Valley School District) High schools

Gateway Community Day (Grossmont Union High School District)
Gateway West Community Day (Grossmont Union High School District)

Friday, January 18, 2008

Coinage Act of 1792
The Coinage Act or the Mint Act, passed by the United States Congress on April 2, 1792, established the United States Mint and regulated coinage of the United States. The long title of the legislation is An act establishing a mint, and regulating the Coins of the United States. This act established the dollar as the unit of money in the United States, declared it to be lawful tender, and created a decimal system for U.S. currency.
By the Act, the Mint was to be situated at the seat of government of the United States. The five original officers of the U.S. Mint were a Director, an Assayer, a Chief Coiner, an Engraver, and a Treasurer (not the same as the Secretary of the Treasury). The Act allowed that one person could perform the functions of Chief Coiner and Engraver. The Assayer, Chief Coiner and Treasurer were required to post a $10,000 bond with the Secretary of the Treasury.

The Act authorized production of the following coins:
The coins were to contain the following markings:
The Act defined the proportional value of gold and silver as 15 units of pure silver to 1 unit of pure gold. Standard gold was defined as 11 parts pure gold to one part alloy composed of silver and copper. Standard silver was defined as 1485 parts pure silver to 179 parts copper alloy.
Any person could bring gold or silver bullion and have it coined free of charge or for a nominal fee exchange it immediately for equivalent value of coin.
Quality control measures were implemented in that from each separate mass of gold or silver used to produce coins, three coins were set aside by the treasurer. Each year on the last Monday in July, under the inspection of the Chief Justice, the Secretary and Comptroller of the Treasury, the Secretary of State, and the Attorney General, the coins were to be assayed and if the coins did not meet established standards, the officers were disqualified from office. Further, the penalty for fraud or embezzlement by officers or employees of the mint was death.
The Act also specified the dollar as the "money of account" of the United States, and directed that all accounts of the federal government be kept in dollars, "dismes," cents, and "milles," a mille being one-tenth of a cent or one-thousandth of a dollar.

One side was to have an impression emblematic of liberty, with the inscription "Liberty," and the year of the coinage.
The reverse side of each of the gold and silver coins was to have the figure or representation of an eagle with the inscription "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA."
The reverse of the copper coins was to have an inscription expressing the denomination.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

ESPN, formerly an acronym for Entertainment and Sports Programming Network, is an American cable television network dedicated to broadcasting sports-related programming 24 hours a day. It was founded by Scott Rasmussen and his father, Bill Rasmussen, and launched on September 7, 1979 under the direction of Chet Simmons, who was the network's first President and CEO (and the United States Football League's (USFL) first commissioner). The current president, since November 19, 1998, of ESPN is George Bodenheimer. Bodenheimer is also the current head of ESPN on ABC, having been named to that position on March 3, 2003. Its signature telecast, SportsCenter, debuted with the network and aired its 30,000th episode on February 11, 2007. ESPN broadcasts primarily out of its studios in Bristol, Connecticut; it also operates offices out of Charlotte, San Francisco, and Los Angeles which will open in 2009. The network is available in over 100 million homes in the United States and over 150 countries and territories via ESPN International. The name of the sport company was lengthened to "ESPN Inc." in February 1985.
ESPN unofficially refers to itself as "The Worldwide Leader in Sports"; the slogan appears on nearly all company media, though its origin is unknown.

The roots of ESPN can be traced to Bill Rasmussen, a television sports reporter for WWLP, the NBC affiliate in Springfield, MA. In the mid-1970s, Rasmussen worked for the World Hockey Association's New England Whalers, selling commercial time for their broadcasts. His son Scott, a former high school goaltender, was the team's public-address announcer. Both were fired in 1977 and Rasmussen sought a new business venture. His original idea was a cable television network (then a fairly new medium) that focused on covering sports events in the state of Connecticut (for example, the Hartford Whalers and the Connecticut Huskies). When Rasmussen was told that buying a continuous 24-hour satellite feed was less expensive than buying several blocks of only a few hours a night, he expanded to a 24-hour nationwide network. The channel's original name was ESP, for Entertainment and Sports Programming, but it was changed prior to launch.

Early years
In 1983, The United States Football League (USFL) made its debut on ESPN and ABC. The league, which lasted three years and originally consisted of 12 teams, was ESPN's first taste of professional sports.
In 1987, ESPN gained partial rights to the National Football League. The league agreed to the deal as long as ESPN agreed to simulcast the games on local television stations in the participating markets, which continues today. ESPN Sunday Night Football would last for 19 years and symbolize ESPN's rise from novelty network to TV institution. In the 2006-2007 ABC's Monday Night Football, long considered the showcase game of the NFL's week, began to be broadcast on ESPN. This was done to increase viewership of the Sunday night game and make it the "showcase" game.
In 1990, ESPN added Major League Baseball to its lineup. MLB games are still on ESPN today and are scheduled to continue through 2011. Jon Miller and Joe Morgan were named as the broadcasters, and that team also continues to this day.
ESPN at one time has broadcast each of the four major professional sports league in North America until deciding not to renew the deal with the National Hockey League after the lockout, citing ratings for original programming was comparable to those of NHL broadcasts.

Professional sports arrive
The 1990s and early 2000s saw considerable growth within the company. In 1993, ESPN2 was founded, with Keith Olbermann and Suzy Kolber launching the network with SportsNite. Three years later, ESPNEWS was born, with Mike Tirico as the first anchor. (Today, Tirico is play-by-play announcer on Monday Night Football.) In 1997, ESPN purchased Classic Sports Network and renamed it ESPN Classic. The latest ESPN network in the U.S., ESPNU, began on March 4, 2005.
ESPN International began in the early 1990s to take advantage of the growing satellite markets in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. In Canada, ESPN, Inc. purchased a minority share of TSN and RDS (in fact, the current corporate logo of both looks similar to ESPN's). In 2004, ESPN finally entered the European market by launching a version of ESPN Classic, and in December 2006, it agreed to purchase North American Sports Network. SportsCenter's primary three broadcasts each day are at 1 a.m. ET (which re-airs usually until about noon ET), 6 p.m. ET, and 11 p.m. ET.
With the increasing costs of live sports entertainment, such as the U.S.$8.8 billion costs for NFL football broadcasts rights for 8 years, "scripted entertainment has become a luxury item for ESPN", says David Carter, director of the Sports Business Institute at the University of Southern California.

As mentioned, William Rasmussen founded the network. Just before ESPN launched, Getty Oil Company (later purchased by Texaco, now ChevronTexaco) agreed to buy a majority stake in the network. Nabisco and Anheuser-Busch also bought minority stakes.
In 1984, ABC made a deal with Getty Oil to acquire ESPN. They retained an 80% share, and sold 20% to Nabisco. The Nabisco shares were later sold to The Hearst Corporation, who retain a 20% stake currently. In 1986, ESPN became part of the Capital Cities - ABC group when ABC was purchased for $3.5 billion by Capital Cities Communications. In 1995, Disney purchased Capital Cities - ABC for $19 billion and picked up an 80% stake in ESPN at that time. Disney currently holds controlling shares in the network.

ESPN Ownership history
In 2004, ESPN opened its High Definition center in Bristol, Connecticut. All Bristol based studio shows, including Sportscenter, Baseball Tonight, NFL Live, "NFL PrimeTime" "Sunday NFL Countdown", "Outside The Lines" "Kia NBA Shootaround", "NBA Fastbreak", "College GameNight" and others are broadcast in HD. Also, many of the games that ESPN televises are broadcast in HD. The first program ever broadcast in HD on ESPN was an NCAA basketball game in 2002, at the University of Dayton Arena. The first broadcast from the Digital Center was the 11 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter with Linda Cohn and Rece Davis on June 7, 2004.
ESPN Major League Baseball
ESPN Major League Soccer
The Arena Football League on ESPN
Little League World Series
WNBA on ESPN (Originally the WNBA on ESPN2)
PGA Tour on ESPN
PBA Tour presented by Denny's on ESPN
Champ Car World Series on ESPN
ESPN College Football
ESPN College Basketball
Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest: 2003-2007

1987–1989 (Exclusive Cable; Sunday Night; 2nd Half of Season Only)
1990–1997 (2nd Half of Season Only; Sunday Night; TNT carried early season)
1998–2005 (Exclusive Cable; Sunday Night; full season)
2006–2013 (Monday Night Football)
FIFA World Cup: 1994, 1998, 2002, 2006, 2010, 2014
UEFA Champions League: 1994-2009
UEFA European Football Championship: 2008
1997–2000 (Contracts with individual races)
2001-2013 (Contract with NHRA)
1985–1988 (National television deal, agreements with individual clubs as early as 1979)
Bowl Games: 1982— (Contracts with individual bowl games)
ACC: 1998-2010
Big 10: 1979-2017
Big East: 1991-2013
C-USA: -2010
MAC: 2003-2007
Pac-10: Selected non-conference games from 2005-2011
SEC: (?)-2009
Sun Belt: (?)-2007
WAC: (?)-2009
NCAA Division I FCS (formerly Division I-AA), Division II, and Division III playoffs (selected games) and championship games.
NCAA Tournament: 1980–1990 (Contract with NCAA)
Big 10: 1979-2017, ESPN-Plus
Big 12: ESPN-Plus
Big East: 1979-2013, ESPN-Plus ESPN significant programming rights
ESPN has had its own theme music for quite a few years, but early on it used source music.

ESPN has become a part of popular culture since its inception. The name is constantly referenced throughout the media in movies and television. While the announcers may be actual personalities, in many films where there is a sporting event, the coverage is by ESPN. People who do not even watch sports are familiar with ESPN. Often this comes in the form of a lampoon of the number of channels ESPN operates. A few examples:

In the Brad Paisley music video "I'm Gonna Miss Her (The Fishing Song)", Dan Patrick is seen broadcasting a fictional bass fishing tournament on SportsCenter.
In the movie Zathura, Walter is watching SportsCenter on ESPN while Danny is pestering him, and the TV ends up being destroyed during the first spin of the game by a meteor.
In the movie Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story, ESPN's growth and addition of new channels is parodied when a major dodgeball tournament is broadcast by ESPN 8 ("The Ocho"): "If it's almost a sport, we've got it!" (There currently is no ESPN 8). The joke behind this being that in the earlier days ESPN 2 was referred to as "The Deuce" by the network.
In the Adam Sandler remake of The Longest Yard, ESPN2 broadcasts the football game between the criminals and the guards. Also Dan Patrick, ESPN personality, plays a cop who arrests Sandler's character.
In the Farrelly Brothers comedy There's Something About Mary, the character Mary—played by Cameron Diaz—invites her date inside, saying "You want to watch SportsCenter?"
In the DVD special features in the movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, there is a skit that contains the "interview" of fictional anchorman Ron Burgundy (Will Ferrell) to work at ESPN in 1979; he states that the idea of a twenty-four-hour sports network would be ludicrous. This first appeared on
The short-lived 1998 TV series Sports Night (by West Wing creator Aaron Sorkin) was based on an ESPN-style network, with the same witty banter between anchors.
A common joke is to mistake ESPN for ESP. In an In Living Color skit, ESPN interviewed "next year's Super Bowl Champions" and covered other similar stories. Also, Amanda Seyfried's character in "Mean Girls" mentions her ability to predict the weather, or "ESPN".
In Jerry Maguire, ESPN was present in the NFL Draft scene, and one of the last scenes of the movie was an Up Close interview with Rod Tidwell, Cuba Gooding Jr.'s character.
ESPN is referenced in a Simpsons' episode: Homer flips through various channels and stops on a channel which clearly lampoons ESPN, except the network's initials are PENS (an anagram of ESPN).
The film Days of Thunder features several segments of fictional ESPN reporting, along with several actual ESPN NASCAR commentators. Tom Cruise's character Cole Trickle claims to have learned much about NASCAR "by watching ESPN."
Many jokes have been made by comedians about fake obscure sports that are shown on ESPN. Dennis Miller mentioned watching "sumo rodeo", while George Carlin stated that ESPN showed "Australian dick wrestling". On an episode of Saturday Night Live, a skit features ESPN 2 airing a show called Scottish Soccer Hooligan Weekly, which includes a fake advertisement for "Senior Women's Beach Lacrosse".
In the movie Talladega Nights, staring Will Ferrell, the fictional character Ricky Bobby is interviewed by an ESPN reporter.
Several SportsCenter anchors are featured in the Hootie & the Blowfish video for "Only Wanna Be With You".
In the movie Mr. 3000 Stan Ross is frequently talked about on ESPN shows like SportsCenter, and PTI. After Stan got 2 hits, one away from 3000, ESPN went from talking bad about him, to interviewing him and apologizing. Angela Bassett's character, Maureen Simmons, is an assignment reporter for ESPN. The last game of the season is on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball.
In the movie Baseketball ESPN personalities Dan Patrick and Kenny Mayne discuss the Denslow Cup championship on Sportscenter.
In the movie The Waterboy ESPN Sportscenter shows coverage of a University of Michigan football game as they try to use their towel boy at wide receiver in response to Bobby Boucher's success.
In the movie The Sentinel, the main character wakes up and is working out in front of a t.v., which Sportcenter is on.
There are at least four children named after the network. ESPN in popular culture

ESPN business ventures (1995–present) (2005-present) (1998-present)
ESPN The Magazine (1998–present)
ESPN Deportes La Revista (2005–present)
ESPN Original Entertainment (2001–present)
ESPN Books (2004–present)
ESPN Zone (1998–present)
ESPY Awards (1993–present)
ESPN Integration (2006–present)
ESPN Online Games (2006–present)
ESPN Broadband (2002–present)
Partial interest in the Arena Football League (2006–present, in exchange for television rights). Current

Mobile ESPN (2006) Former

The ESPN family of networks

ESPN (1979–present)
ESPN on ABC (2006-present, replacing ABC Sports)
ESPN International (1989–present)
ESPN2 (1993–present)
ESPNEWS (1996–present)
ESPN Classic (1997–present)
ESPNU (2005–present)
ESPN Deportes (2004–present)
ESPNHD (2003–present)
ESPN2HD (2005–present)
ESPN Plus (–present)
ESPN PPV (–present) Television

ESPN Motion (2003–present)
ESPN 360 (2005–present) Radio

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Political satire
Political satire is a subgenre of general satire that specializes in gaining entertainment from politics, politicians, and public affairs. It has also been used with subversive intent where political speech and dissent are forbidden by a regime, as a method of advancing political arguments where such arguments are expressly forbidden.

Satire can be traced back throughout history; wherever organized government has existed, so has satire. The oldest example that has survived till today is Aristophanes. The Roman period, for example, gives us the satirical poems and epigrams of Martial while some social satire exists in the writings of Paul of Tarsus in the New Testament of the Bible. During the 20th century, satire moved from print media (in cartoons as political cartoons with heavy caricature and exaggeration, and in political magazines) and the parallel exposure of political scandals to performances (including television shows). Examples include musicians such as Tom Lehrer, live performance groups like the Capitol Steps, and public television and live performer Mark Russell. Additional subgenres include such literary classics as Gulliver's Travels and Animal Farm, and more recently, internet Ezine and website sources such as The Onion,, and the Happening Happy Hippy Party. Some websites exist solely to poke fun at politicians, per the examples below.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Field-Marshal Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig, KT, GCB, OM, GCVO, KCIE, ADC (June 19, 1861January 29, 1928) was a British soldier and senior commander (Field Marshal) during World War I. He commanded the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) during the Battle of the Somme and the 3rd Battle of Ypres. His tenure as commander of the BEF made Haig one of the most controversial military commanders in British history.

Early life
Haig first saw overseas service in India, in 1887, where he was appointed as the regiment's adjutant in 1888, giving Haig his first administrative experience.
He saw his first active service in Kitchener's Omdurman Campaign in 1898, where he was attached to the cavalry forces of the Egyptian Army, acting as Chief of Staff to brevet Lieutenant-Colonel Robert George Broadwood.
He served in the Boer War in further administrative positions with the cavalry, acting first as the Deputy Assistant Adjutant General in 1899. Haig was employed briefly as Chief Staff Officer to Major-General John French during the Colesburg operations, then as Assistant Adjutant General of the Cavalry Division. He was mentioned in despatches four times. His service in South Africa gained him prominence and the attention of French and Kitchener, both of whom would have important roles in World War I.
In 1901, he became the commanding officer of the 17th Lancers, which he commanded until 1903. He was appointed Aide-de-Camp to King Edward VII in 1902, remaining in this position until 1904. After leaving the 17th Lancers, Haig returned to India after Lord Kitchener was appointed Commander-in-Chief, India, and became Inspector-General of Cavalry. Having been a captain until the age of thirty-eight, five years later in 1904 he became the youngest major-general in the British Army at that time.
The following year, Haig married Dorothy Maud Vivian; they would have four children - Alexandra (born 1907), Victoria (born 1908), George (born 1918), and Irene (born 1919).
Haig returned to England in 1906 as the Director of Military Training on the General Staff at the War Office]. During this time, Haig assisted Secretary of State for War Richard Haldane in his reforms of the British Army, which was intended to prepare the army for a future European war. He took up the post of Director of Staff Duties in the War Office in 1907. A second return to India came in 1909, when he was appointed as Chief of the Indian General Staff. He was appointed GOC Aldershot from 1912 to 1914 and Aide-de-Camp to King George V in 1914.
In the Army Manoeuvres of 1912 he was decisively beaten by Sir James Grierson despite having the odds in his favour.

Upon the outbreak of war in August 1914, Haig helped organise the British Expeditionary Force (BEF), commanded by Field-Marshal John French. As planned, Haig's Aldershot command was formed into I Corps, giving him command of half of the BEF.
Tensions quickly arose between Haig and French. Haig and Lord Kitchener, who was now Secretary of State for War, clashed with French over the positioning of the BEF. French argued to the war council that it should be positioned in Belgium, where he had confidence in the country's many fortresses, while Haig and Kitchener proposed that the BEF would be better positioned to counter-attack in Amiens, stating that the BEF would have to abandon its positions in Belgium once the poorly-equipped Belgian Army collapsed, forcing the BEF into retreat with the loss of much of its supplies. During a royal inspection of Aldershot, Haig told King George V that he had "grave doubts" about French military competence.
The BEF landed in France on 14 August and advanced into Belgium, where John French intended to meet General Lanrezac's French Fifth Army at Charleroi. During the advance the BEF experienced their first encounter with the Germans at Mons on 23 August. The Germans were bloodied in the battle but the BEF began a withdrawal after Lanzerac ordered his army into retreat exposing the BEF's right flank.
The retreats of I and II Corps had to be conducted separately because of the Forest of Mormal. Both corps were supposed to meet at Le Cateau but I Corps under Haig got no further than Landrecies, leaving a large gap between the two corps. Haig's reactions to his corps' skirmish with German forces at Landrecies led to him sending an exaggerated report to John French, causing French to panic. The following day 26 August, Horace Smith-Dorrien's II Corps had to make a stand at Le Cateau unsupported by Haig. This battle further delayed Germany's advance. The French commander Joseph Joffre had ordered his forces to retreat to the Marne on 25 August, compelling the BEF to undertake a lengthy and arduous withdrawal to conform to the French movements. John French's faltering belief in the competence of his Allies caused further indecision and led to him deciding to pull the BEF out of the war by withdrawing south of the Seine. Lord Kitchener intervened on 1 September, making a visit to dissuade French and order him to continue cooperation with Joffre's forces. The stand to defend Paris began on 5 September, in the Battle of the Marne. The BEF weren't able to participate in the battle until 9 September. The battle ended the following day; the German advance was defeated, prompting them to initiate a withdrawal to the Aisne that signified the abandonment of the Schlieffen Plan.
Following defensive successes at Battle of Mons and Ypres (1st Battle of Ypres), Haig was promoted to full General and in December 1914 the I Corps was transformed into the British First Army of which Haig received command.
In December 1915, Haig replaced French as Commander-in-Chief of the BEF, with French returning to Britain. Haig had been intriguing for the removal of French as commander of the BEF and had told King George V that French was "a source of great weakness to the army and no one had confidence in him any more". He directed several British campaigns, including the British offensive at the Somme, in which the forces under his command sustained over 300,000 casualties taking little ground but inflicting casualties on the German army it could not afford and the campaign at Passchendaele (3rd Battle of Ypres). Haig's tactics in these battles are still considered controversial by many, including the then Prime Minister Lloyd George, arguing that he incurred unnecessarily large casualties for little tactical gain. (When he asked the Canadian Corps commander Arthur Currie to capture Passchendaele Ridge during the final month of the battle, Currie flatly replied "It's suicidal. I will not waste 16,000 good soldiers on such a hopeless objective".
Haig had frequent disagreements and strained relations with both his Prime Minister and his French counterparts, particularly Robert Nivelle and Ferdinand Foch. He also had a rivalry of sorts with General Edmund Allenby dating back to their service in the Boer War, and was instrumental in having him transferred to the Middle East.

World War I
After the war, Haig was created 1st Earl Haig (with a subsidiary viscountcy and a subsidiary barony) and received the thanks of both Houses of Parliament and a grant of £100,000 (1919).
From July 1919 to January 1921, he was Commander-in-Chief of the Home Forces in Great Britain
He devoted the rest of his life to the welfare of ex-servicemen, travelling throughout the British Empire to promote their interests. He was instrumental in setting up the Haig Fund for the financial assistance of ex-servicemen and the Haig Homes charity to ensure they were properly housed; both continue to provide help many years after they were created. He was involved in the creation of the Royal British Legion, which he was president of until his death and was chairman of the United Services Fund from 1921 until his death.
He maintained ties with the British Army after his retirement; he was honorary colonel of the 17th/21st Lancers (having been honorary colonel of the 17th Lancers from 1912), Royal Horse Guards, The London Scottish and the King's Own Scottish Borderers. He was also Lord Rector and, eventually, Lord Chancellor of the University of St Andrews.

Douglas Haig, 1st Earl Haig Later life

Lieutenant (February 1885)
Captain (1891)
Major (1899)
Lieutenant-Colonel (1901)
Colonel (1903)
Major-General (1904)
Lieutenant-General (1910)
General (November 1914)
Field-Marshal (1 January 1917) Haig's funeral
After the war Haig was often criticised for issuing orders which led to excessive casualties of British troops under his command, particularly on the Western Front, earning him the nickname "Butcher of the Somme". Haig's critics include many younger officers who served in the First World War, making the criticism that they "fail[ed] to understand" the actual combat conditions of the war ring hollow - Haig himself never actually visited the main front though in his dispatches he described the appalling conditions of the Somme accurately..
Along with John Terraine and Gary Sheffield, historians such as Richard Holmes, and Gordon Corrigan are sympathetic towards Haig, Gordon Corrigan in particular arguing that if Haig had really been the blinkered uncaring incompetent of popular legend then he would not have delivered victory. They point out that he faced enormous problems, notably the inexperienced New Armies, the lack of effective battlefield communication (radios then being too large for the battlefield but telephone wires impossible to lay under artillery barrage, so that senior generals had little choice but to command from chateaux miles behind the front lines), the lack of a decisive arm, the application of new technology and political interference.
Historians favourable to Haig also argue, as did British generals such as Sir William Robertson and Haig at the time, that the Western Front (where a defeat for either side would have exposed either Paris or the Ruhr to occupation) was the decisive theatre of war, where the Germans deployed roughly two-thirds of their army - between 150 and 200 divisions - in well-developed positions, and argue that Lloyd George's schemes to engage the Germans on other fronts such as Palestine and Italy did little to bring Germany nearer defeat. Additionally, in the second half of the war the forces under Haig's command took over the main burden of the Allied offensive on the Western Front.
Modern historians also make the point that mass warfare between Western Armies in World War I (and indeed World War II, in which the most serious land fighting was done by the Soviets rather than the Western Allies) invariably led to huge casualties and that if there was an easy, cheap way to break the trench stalemate, no-one else found it on either side. The only occasion during WWII when Britain took a leading role in breaking the Axis armies in a major area of operations was the breakout from Normandy. On a unit-for-unit basis casualty rates were proportionately higher than the battles of World War One.

Haig's tactics were a running joke on the 1989 BBC comedy series Blackadder Goes Forth, where Stephen Fry's role as General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett, nicknamed 'Insanity' Melchett, with his vast moustache and callous disregard for the lives of his men is a popular caricature of British leadership, with elements of Haig and Lord Kitchener, although his personality is most like that of Sir Edmund 'The Bull' Allenby, without the latter's ability. Field Marshal Haig, played by Geoffrey Palmer, makes an appearance in the final episode, shown setting up toy soldiers on a battle map and then pushing them over, before sweeping them up with a dustpan and brush and throwing them in the bin. In the series, he is portrayed as a complete idiot. His battle plans include 'climbing out of the trench and walking very slowly towards the enemy'. Despite using this plan, Haig cannot understand why the men always seem depressed.
Haig was also played by Sir John Mills in Richard Attenborough's 1969 film, Oh! What a Lovely War, in which he is portrayed as being indifferent to the fate of the troops under his command, his goal being to wear the Germans down even at the cost of enormous losses and to prevail since the Allies will have the last 10,000 men left.
In Anthony Powell's novel A Buyer's Market (book 2 in A Dance to the Music of Time), the narrator attends a dinner party where a controversy over a proposed statue to Haig is discussed, in which one character suggests that the sculptor should show him in a car rather than on a horse.