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639148.  Sun Nov 22, 2009 12:59 am Reply with quote

Harvest customs are practices associated with the celebration of the gathering of agricultural crops. The gathering of the harvest—the climax of the year's labors wherever the soil is cultivated—has been celebrated from ancient times, by both primitive and civilized people, with merrymaking or with the performance of symbolic rites of a religious or magical significance.

The corn mother, symbolizing the spirit of the grain, was a common figure of harvest time. Usually made of the last or the best sheaf cut, her image was carried in triumph from the field, drenched with water to invoke rain for the next season. Other harvest customs, such as the baking of a loaf in the figure of a child, suggest ancient sacrificial rites of harvest time.

An important feature of ancient Greek religion was the worship of Demeter, the grain goddess, her daughter Kore (Persephone), and the god Dionysus. The Romans adopted this worship, identifying the Greek deities with their own indigenous crop deities, Ceres (from whom the word cereal derives), Libera, and Liber.

Pagan rites associated with the harvest continued into Christian times, and such religious festivals as Corpus Christi, All Saints, and the Festival of Lughnasa in Ireland retain traces of the ancient customs. The Jewish feasts of Shavuot and Sukkoth are harvest festivals. In the United States the harvest season is annually celebrated on Thanksgiving Day.

639235.  Sun Nov 22, 2009 10:21 am Reply with quote

A child (plural: children) is a human between the stages of birth and puberty. The legal definition of "child" generally refers to a minor, otherwise known as a person younger than the age of majority. "Child" may also describe a relationship with a parent or authority figure, or signify group membership in a clan, tribe, or religion; it can also signify being strongly affected by a specific time, place, or circumstance, as in "a child of nature" or "a child of the Sixties."

639424.  Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:10 am Reply with quote

Human rights are universal rights held to belong to individuals by virtue of their being human, encompassing civil, political, economic, social, and cultural rights and freedoms, and based on the notion of personal human dignity and worth. Conceptually derived from the theory of natural law and originating in Greco-Roman doctrines, the idea of human rights appears in some early Christian writers' works and is reflected in the Magna Carta (1215). The concept winds as a philosophical thread through 17th- and 18th-century European and American thought, including the Declaration of Independence (1776) and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man and Citizen (1789). The United Nation's Commission on Human Rights, with Eleanor Roosevelt as chair, created the UN's Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948), which reasserted the concept of human rights after the horrors of World War II. Human rights have since become a universally espoused yet widely disregarded concept.

Organizations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch promote human rights and denounce human-rights abuses. In addition, such abuses around the world are monitored and documented by independent investigators ("special rapporteurs") appointed by the UN Human Rights Council, which, in turn, rebukes cited nations for their human-rights failures. (The council replaced the UN Human Rights Commission, which had been accused of protecting human-rights violators, in mid-2006; similar accusations have been leveled at the new council.) The charging in 1998 by a Spanish court of former Chilean president Augusto Pinochet with human-rights violations and the 1999 British ruling that he could be extradited to Spain, as well as the indictment and arrest (2000) in Senegal of former Chadian president Hissène Habré for human-rights violations during his presidency (although charges were later dropped, he was subsequently rearrested on a Belgian warrant), were regarded as small steps forward in the international protection of human rights.

639720.  Tue Nov 24, 2009 3:06 am Reply with quote

World War II, or the Second World War (often abbreviated WWII or WW2), was a global military conflict which involved most of the world's nations, including all great powers, organized into two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. The war involved the mobilization of over 100 million military personnel, making it the most widespread war in history. In a state of "total war," the major participants placed their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities at the service of the war effort, erasing the distinction between civilian and military resources. Over seventy million people, the majority civilians, were killed, making it the deadliest conflict in human history.

639750.  Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:04 am Reply with quote

Axis: Bold as Love is the second studio album by The Jimi Hendrix Experience. Under pressure from their record company to follow-up the successful debut of their May 1967 album Are You Experienced, Axis: Bold as Love was released on Track Records in the UK in December 1967. It reached #5 in the UK and later, #3 in the US.

The album was recorded to fulfill the band's contract, which stated that they must produce two albums in 1967. Even so, it was not released in the USA until 1968 due to fears that it might have disturbed the sales of the first album. Bassist Noel Redding has noted that this was his favourite of three Experience albums. He plays eight string bass on some tracks.

Just before the album's completion, Hendrix left the master tapes of side 1 in a taxi. They were never found again, and thus the A-side had to be mixed again quickly.

In 2003, the album was ranked number 82 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

639759.  Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:40 am Reply with quote

James Daniel May (born 16 January 1963) is a British television presenter and award-winning journalist.

May is best known as co-presenter of the motoring programme Top Gear alongside Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond. He also writes a weekly column for The Daily Telegraph's motoring section. On Top Gear, his nickname is Captain Slow, owing to his 'careful' driving style. He has, however, carried out some exceptionally high-speed driving (including taking a Bugatti Veyron to its top speed (of 408km/h or 253.5mph) during an episode of Top Gear.)

639765.  Tue Nov 24, 2009 5:53 am Reply with quote

January is the first month of the year in the Julian and Gregorian calendars, and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. The first day of the month is known as New Year's Day. It is, on average, the coldest month of the year within most of the Northern Hemisphere and the warmest month of the year within most of the Southern Hemisphere.

639782.  Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:31 am Reply with quote

The Gregorian calendar is the internationally accepted civil calendar. It was first proposed by the Calabrian doctor Aloysius Lilius, and decreed by Pope Gregory XIII, after whom the calendar was named, on 24 February 1582 by the papal bull Inter gravissimas. It was adopted later that year by a handful of countries, with other countries adopting it over the following centuries.

It is a reform of the Julian calendar. Gregory's bull does not ordain any particular year-numbering system, but uses the Anno Domini system which counts years from the traditional Incarnation of Jesus, and which had spread throughout Europe during the Middle Ages. That is the same year-numbering system that is the de facto international standard today.

The Gregorian calendar modifies the Julian calendar's regular cycle of leap years, years exactly divisible by four, including all centurial years, as follows:

Every year that is exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except for years that are exactly divisible by 100; the centurial years that are exactly divisible by 400 are still leap years. For example, the year 1900 is not a leap year; the year 2000 is a leap year.

639785.  Tue Nov 24, 2009 6:43 am Reply with quote

Ole Bornemann Bull, 1810-80, was a Norwegian violinist. After his debut in Paris (1832) he toured in Europe and in the United States, playing mainly his own compositions and Norwegian folk music. He founded a theatre for national drama at Bergen (1849), and in 1852 he attempted to found a Norwegian settlement in Pennsylvania.

640203.  Wed Nov 25, 2009 7:37 am Reply with quote

Bergen-Belsen (or Belsen) was a Nazi concentration camp in Lower Saxony in northwestern Germany, southwest of the town of Bergen near Celle. Originally established as the prisoner of war camp Stalag XI-C, in 1943 it became also a concentration camp on the orders of Heinrich Himmler, where Jewish hostages were held with the intention of exchanging them for German prisoners of war held overseas. Later still the name was applied to the displaced persons camp established nearby, but it is most commonly associated with the concentration camp it became as conditions deteriorated between 1943-1945. During this time an estimated 50,000 Russian prisoners of war and a further 50,000 inmates died there, up to 35,000 of them dying of typhus in the first few months of 1945.

The camp was liberated on April 15, 1945 by the British 11th Armoured Division. 60,000 prisoners were found inside, most of them seriously ill, and another 13,000 corpses lay around the camp unburied.

640278.  Wed Nov 25, 2009 3:01 pm Reply with quote

Typhus is the term used for any of a group of infectious diseases caused by microorganisms classified between bacteria and viruses, known as rickettsias. Typhus diseases are characterized by high fever and an early onset of rash and headache. They respond to antibiotic treatment with tetracycline and chloramphenicol and can be prevented by vaccination. Epidemic typhus, the most serious in the group, is caused by Rickettsia prowazeki, which is transmitted in the faeces of body lice. It occurs in crowded, unsanitary conditions and has historically been a major killer in wartime. It occurs more commonly in cooler climates and seasons. Brill's disease, also called recrudescent typhus, is believed to be a milder recurrence of epidemic typhus. Endemic murine typhus is primarily a disease of rodents and is spread to humans by rat fleas. The symptoms are milder than those of epidemic typhus. Scrub typhus (Tsutsugamushi fever) is carried to humans by infected mites. It occurs primarily in East Asia and the Southeast Pacific islands.

640528.  Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:25 am Reply with quote

The Pacific Islands comprise 20,000 to 30,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean. Those islands lying south of the tropic of Cancer are traditionally grouped into three divisions: Melanesia, Micronesia and Polynesia.

Pacific islands are also sometimes collectively called Oceania (although Oceania is sometimes defined as also including Australasia and the Malay Archipelago),

Melanesia means black islands. These include New Guinea (the largest Pacific island, which is divided into the sovereign nation of Papua New Guinea and the Indonesian provinces of Maluku, Papua and West Papua), New Caledonia, Zenadh Kes (Torres Strait Islands),Vanuatu, Fiji, and the Solomon Islands.

Micronesia means small islands. These include the Marianas, Guam, Wake Island, Palau, the Marshall Islands, Kiribati, Nauru, and the Federated States of Micronesia. Most of these lie north of the equator.

Polynesia means many islands. These include New Zealand, the Hawaiian Islands, Rotuma, the Midway Islands, Samoa, American Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu, the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Easter Island. It is the largest of the three zones.

640531.  Thu Nov 26, 2009 4:01 am Reply with quote

The Torres Strait is the passage between the island of New Guinea and Australia's Cape York Peninsula. It connects the Coral Sea and the Arafura Sea. It was discovered in 1606 by Spanish navigator Luis Vaez de Torres. About 80 miles (130 km) wide, it has many reefs, shoals, and islands, including the Torres Strait Islands, and is treacherous to navigate.

640628.  Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:46 am Reply with quote

Fernando José Torres Sanz (born 20 March 1984) is a Spanish footballer who plays for Premier League club Liverpool and the Spanish national team as a striker.

Torres started his career with Atlético Madrid, progressing through their youth ranks. He made his professional debut in 2001 and finished his career with the club having scored 75 goals in 174 La Liga appearances, earning the nickname El Niño ("The Kid"). Prior to his La Liga debut, Torres played two seasons in the Segunda División, making 40 appearances and scoring seven goals. He joined Liverpool in 2007, after signing for a club record transfer fee. He marked his first season at Anfield by being Liverpool's first player, since Robbie Fowler in 1995–96, to score more than 20 league goals in a season.

He is also a Spanish international and made his debut for the country against Portugal in 2003. He has since participated in three major tournaments, UEFA Euro 2004, 2006 FIFA World Cup and UEFA Euro 2008. He did not score a goal at Euro 2004, but he scored three at World Cup 2006. Torres scored the winning goal for Spain in their 1–0 win over Germany in the UEFA Euro 2008 Final.

640908.  Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:17 am Reply with quote

Liverpool is a suburb in south-western Sydney, in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Liverpool is located 32 kilometres south-west of the Sydney central business district, and is the administrative centre of the local government area of the City of Liverpool. It was identified in the New South Wales Government's Sydney Metropolitan Strategy as a Regional City, placing it alongside Parramatta and Penrith as one of the major centres in the Greater Sydney area. Liverpool is colloquially known as 'Livo'.


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