Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Ingvar Ambjørnsen
Ingvar Even Ambjørnsen-Haefs (born May 20, 1956 in Larvik) is a Norwegian writer. He is best known for his "Elling" tetralogy: Utsikt til paradiset (1993), Fugledansen (1995), Brødre i blodet (1996), and Elsk meg i morgen (1999).
Brødre i blodet ("Blood brothers") was turned into a successful movie, entitled Elling, which received an Oscar nomination in the Best Foreign Film category in 2001. The English translation of the novel is called Beyond the Great Indoors.
His debut novel was a semi-autobiography called 23-salen ("The 23rd Row"), in which he criticized Norway's efforts to take care of psychically challenged individuals. In all his novels he has spoken the outsiders' cause, as he did in his break-through novel Hvite Niggere ("White Niggers") in 1986. The novel is about a young man who leads a life somewhat on the edges of normal society.
He is also known for the youth's book series "Pelle og Proffen" which circles around two detective teenagers, getting involved in all kinds of mysteries or crimes, for example drugs, pollution and Nazism. He started this project after having read some of Franklin W. Dixon's books about The Hardy Boys which he thought vas kind of miserable. The books Døden på Oslo S, Giftige Løgner, and De Blå Ulvene of this series were also turned into successful movies. In 2005 the book Drapene i Barkvik ("The murders in Barkvik") appeared, about the teenager Fillip Moberg attempting to solve an axe murder in a small Norwegian village.
Ambjørnsen has received many prizes for his writing. Among them is the prize for the 80s best book for children and young adults (Pelle and Proffen books), the Tabu prize in 2001, Telenor's culture prize 2002, and the Brage prize 1995.
His three Samson and Roberto books have become particularly popular in Russia, in part due to the splendiferous illustrations by Nikolai Vorontsov, which also contribute carefully orchestrated local Russian-related colloquialisms to the stories.
He now lives in Hamburg with his German wife and translator Gabriele Haefs, where he has lived since 1985.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

A male DVI-I (dual link) connector A male DVI-I (dual link) connector.
The Digital Visual Interface (DVI) is a video interface standard designed to maximize the visual quality of digital display devices such as flat panel LCD computer displays and digital projectors. It was developed by an industry consortium, the Digital Display Working Group (DDWG). It is designed for carrying uncompressed digital video data to a display. It is partially compatible with the High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) standard in digital mode (DVI-D).

The data format used by DVI is based on the PanelLink serial format devised by the semiconductor manufacturer Silicon Image Inc. This uses Transition Minimized Differential Signaling (TMDS). A single DVI link consists of four twisted pairs of wire (red, green, blue, and clock) to transmit 24 bits per pixel. The timing of the signal almost exactly matches that of an analog video signal. The picture is transmitted line by line with blanking intervals between each line and each frame, and without packetization. No compression is used and there is no support for only transmitting changed parts of the image. This means that the whole frame is constantly re-transmitted. The specification (see below for link) does, however, include a paragraph on "Conversion to Selective Refresh" (under 1.2.2), suggesting this feature for future devices.
With a single DVI link, the largest resolution possible at 60 Hz is 2.75 megapixels (including blanking interval). For practical purposes, this allows a maximum screen resolution at 60 Hz of 1915 x 1436 pixels (standard 1.33 ratio), 1854 x 1483 pixels (1.25 ratio) or 2098 x 1311 (widescreen 1.6 ratio). The DVI connector therefore has provision for a second link, containing another set of red, green, and blue twisted pairs. When more bandwidth is required than is possible with a single link, the second link is enabled, and alternate pixels may be transmitted on each, allowing resolutions up to 4 megapixels at 60 Hz. The DVI specification mandates a fixed single link maximum pixel clock frequency of 165 MHz, where all display modes that require less than this must use single link mode, and all those that require more must switch to dual link mode. When both links are in use, the pixel rate on each may exceed 165 MHz. The second link can also be used when more than 24 bits per pixel is required, in which case it carries the least significant bits. The data pairs carry binary data at ten times the pixel clock reference frequency, maximum 1.65 Gbit/s x 3 data pairs for a single DVI link.
Like modern analog VGA connectors, the DVI connector includes pins for the display data channel. DDC2 (a newer version of DDC) allows the graphics adapter to read the monitor's extended display identification data (EDID). If a display supports both analog and digital signals in one input, each input can host a distinct EDID. If both receivers are active, analog EDID is used.
There is a length limitation of 15-foot (4.6m) in DVI cables. For longer distances, to eliminate the video degradation, the use of a DVI booster is recommended. DVI boosters may or may not use an external power supply.

Technical discussion
In Radeon HD, audio signals are carried through DVI when the video card detects a connected HDMI display, which is connected via the HDMI adapter which is optionally supplied by the manufacturer (it appears that the 2400 Pro models do not come with the required adaptor).[1]

The DVI connector usually contains pins to pass the DVI-native digital video signals. In the case of dual-link systems, additional pins are provided for the second set of data signals.
As well as digital signals, the DVI connector includes pins providing the same analog signals found on a VGA connector, allowing a VGA monitor to be connected with a simple plug adapter. This feature was included in order to make DVI universal, as it allows either type of monitor (analog or digital) to be operated from the same connector.
The DVI connector on a device is therefore given one of three names, depending on which signals it implements:
The connector also includes provision for a second data link for high resolution displays, though many devices do not implement this. In those that do, the connector is sometimes referred to as DVI-DL (dual link).
The long flat pin on a DVI-I connector is longer than the same pin on a DVI-D connector, so it is not possible to connect a male DVI-I to a female DVI-D by removing the 4 analog pins. It is possible, however, to connect a male DVI-D cable to a female DVI-I connector. Many flat screen LCD monitors have only the DVI-D connection so that a DVI-D male to DVI-D male cable will suffice when connecting the monitor to a computer's DVI-I female connector.
DVI is the only widespread video standard that includes analog and digital transmission options in the same connector. Competing standards are exclusively digital: these include a system using low-voltage differential signaling (LVDS), known by its proprietary names FPD (for Flat-Panel Display) Link and FLATLINK; and its successors, the LVDS Display Interface (LDI) and OpenLDI.
Some new DVD players, TV sets (including HDTV sets) and video projectors have DVI/HDCP connectors; these are physically the same as DVI connectors but transmit an encrypted signal using the HDCP protocol for copy protection. Computers with DVI video connectors can use many DVI-equipped HDTV sets as a display; however, due to Digital Rights Management, it is not clear whether such systems will eventually be able to play protected content, as the link is not encrypted.
USB signals are not incorporated into the connector, but were earlier incorporated into the VESA Plug and Display connector used by InFocus on their projector systems, and in the Apple Display Connector, which was used by Apple Computer until 2005.

DVI-D (digital only)
DVI-A (analog only)
DVI-I (digital & analog) Specifications
GTF (General Timing Formula) is a VESA standard which can easily be calculated with the Linux gtf utility.

Minimum clock frequency: 21.76 MHz
Maximum clock frequency in single link mode: Capped at 165 MHz (3.7 Gbit/s)
Maximum clock frequency in dual link mode: Limited only by cable quality (more than 7.4 Gbit/s)
Pixels per clock cycle: 1 (single link) or 2 (dual link)
Bits per pixel: 24
Example display modes (single link):

  • HDTV (1920 × 1080) @ 60 Hz with 5% LCD blanking (131 MHz)
    UXGA (1600 × 1200) @ 60 Hz with GTF blanking (161 MHz)
    WUXGA (1920 × 1200) @ 60 Hz (154 MHz)
    SXGA (1280 × 1024) @ 85 Hz with GTF blanking (159 MHz)
    WXGA+ (1440 x 900) @ 60 Hz (107 MHz)
    WQUXGA (3840 × 2400) @ 17 Hz (164 MHz)
    Example display modes (dual link):

    • QXGA (2048 × 1536) @ 75 Hz with GTF blanking (2×170 MHz)
      HDTV (1920 × 1080) @ 85 Hz with GTF blanking (2×126 MHz)
      WQXGA (2560 × 1600) @ 60 Hz with GTF blanking (2x174 MHz) (30" Apple, Dell, HP, Quinux, and Samsung LCDs)
      WQUXGA (3840 × 2400) @ 33 Hz with GTF blanking (2x159 MHz) Analog

      ADC – Apple Display Connector, a similar, now-obsolete connector that can still be found on some older Macs. Based on DVI, with USB and power capabilities included.
      VGA connector, analog video (an older standard, though very common on current computer hardware)
      High-Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI), a forward-compatible standard, that also includes digital audio transmission
      Unified Display Interface (UDI), a proposed future standard to replace both DVI and HDMI
      DisplayPort, another proposed standard, incompatible with DVI and HDMI
      DMS-59, a way to combine 2 analog and 2 digital signals in one connector. Commonly used to give 2 x DVI outputs from one graphics card connector.
      DFP, an older type of digital video link
      M1-DA, a proprietary plug used in some projectors and sometimes labeled as DVI-M1
      LCD TV
      List of display interfaces

Monday, December 3, 2007

Jahiliyyah Jahiliyya in Muslim Societies
Jahiliyyah has come to have a particular function in some radical Islamic circles, analogous to the idea of false consciousness in secular radical movements.
The threat this 'disease' poses to the survival of Islam might justify a more militant attitude towards Western influence in Islam's heartlands, and can be seen as permitting 'real' Muslims to attack Muslims who have succumbed to Jahiliyyah — who are therefore no longer true Muslims.

A Problematic Term

Arabic poetry
The Power of Nightmares, the first part of which also talks about an extremist interpretation of Jahiliyyah
Affluena - according to The Power of Nightmares, jahiliyyah is the muslim view on the painful, contagious, socially transmitted condition of overload, debt, anxiety and waste resulting from the dogged pursuit of more, also known as Affluenza.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Mount Darwin (Andes)
Mount Darwin, the highest peak in Tierra del Fuego at 2,488 metres (8,163 ft), forms part of the Cordillera of the Andes, South America, just to the north of the Beagle Channel. It is formed of crystalline schists and has massive glaciers down its steep southern slopes.
It is best climbed in late December, January, February and March, and was first climbed in 1961 by Eric Shipton, E. Garcia, F. Vivanco and C. Marangunic.
It was given its name during the voyage of the Beagle by HMS Beagle's captain Robert FitzRoy to celebrate Charles Darwin's 25th birthday on 12 February 1834. A year earlier Fitzroy had named an expanse of water to the southwest of the mountain the Darwin Sound to commemorate Darwin's quick wit and courage in saving them from being marooned when waves from a mass of ice splitting off a glacier threatened their boats.

External link

Mount Darwin, a climbers challenge and the highest peak in Tierra del Fuego

Saturday, December 1, 2007


1087 - John II Comnenus, Byzantine Emperor (d. 1143)
1475 - Cesare Borgia, Italian aristocrat (d. 1507)
1502 - John Leland, English antiquarian (d. 1552)
1520 - William Cecil, 1st Baron Burghley, English statesman (d. 1598)
1604 - William Brereton, English soldier and politician (d. 1661)
1739 - Grigori Potemkin, Russian statesman (d. 1791)
1766 - Samuel Wilson, possible namesake of Uncle Sam (d. 1854)
1775 - Laura Secord, Canadian war heroine (d. 1868)
1802 - Arnold Ruge, German philosopher and writer (d. 1880)
1813 - John Sedgwick, American Civil War general (d. 1864)
1819 - Clara Schumann, German pianist and composer (d. 1896)
1830 - Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach, Austrian writer (d. 1916)
1842 - John H. Bankhead, U.S. Senator (d. 1920)
1851 - Walter Reed, American physician and biologist (d. 1902)
1857 - Michał Drzymała, Polish peasant rebel (d. 1937)
1857 - Milton S. Hershey, American confectioner (d. 1945)
1860 - John J. Pershing, American general (d. 1948)
1863 - Arthur Henderson, British politician and union leader, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize (d. 1935)
1873 - Constantin Carathéodory, Greek mathematician (d. 1950)
1874 - Henry Fountain Ashurst, American politician (d. 1962)
1874 - Arnold Schoenberg, Austrian-born composer (d. 1951)
1876 - Sherwood Anderson, American writer (d. 1941)
1877 - Wilhelm Filchner, German explorer (d. 1957)
1877 - Stanley Lord, captain of the SS Californian the night of the Titanic disaster (d. 1962)
1882 - Ramón Grau, Cuban president (d. 1969)
1885 - Wilhelm Blaschke, Austrian geometer (d. 1962)
1886 - Sir Robert Robinson, British chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1975)
1886 - Amelie Beese, German aviator and sculptor. (d. 1925)
1887 - Lavoslav Ruzicka, Croatian chemist, Nobel laureate (d. 1976)
1893 - Larry Shields, American musician (d. 1953)
1894 - J.B. Priestley, English playwright and novelist (d. 1984)
1894 - Julian Tuwim, Polish poet (d. 1953)
1895 - Morris Kirksey, American rugby player (d. 1981)
1899 - Corneliu Zelea Codreanu, leader of the Iron Guard (d. 1938)
1903 - Claudette Colbert, French-born actress (d. 1996)
1911 - Bill Monroe, American singer (d. 1996)
1916 - Roald Dahl, British writer (d. 1990)
1918 - Dick Haymes, Argentine vocalist (d. 1980)
1917 - Robert Ward, American composer
1922 - Charles Brown, American singer and pianist (d. 1999)
1923 - Edouard Boubat, French photographer (d. 1999)
1924 - Scott Brady, American film actor (d. 1985)
1924 - Maurice Jarre, French composer
1925 - Mel Tormé, American singer (d. 1999)
1926 - Emile Francis, Canadian ice hockey player and executive
1929 - Nicolai Ghiaurov, Bulgarian opera singer (d. 2004)
1930 - Robert Gavron, Baron Gavron, British printing millionaire
1931 - Barbara Bain, American actress
1933 - Eileen Fulton, American actress
1936 - Stefano Delle Chiaie, Italian neo-Nazi
1937 - Don Bluth, American animator
1938 - Judith Martin, American etiquette writer
1938 - John Smith, Labour Party Leader 1992 - 1994. (d. 1994)
1939 - Richard Kiel, American actor
1940 - Óscar Arias, Costa Rican politician, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize
1941 - Tadao Ando, Japanese architect
1941 - Ahmet Necdet Sezer, 10th President of Turkey
1941 - David Clayton-Thomas, Canadian singer (Blood, Sweat & Tears)
1942 - Hossein Khosrow Ali Vaziri, aka Iron Sheik, professional wrestler
1944 - Jacqueline Bisset, British actress
1944 - Peter Cetera, American musician (Chicago)
1945 - Noël Godin, Belgian humorist
1945 - Andres Küng, Swedish-Estonian politician, journalist (d. 2002)
1946 - Frank Marshall, American film producer
1948 - Nell Carter, American actress (d. 2003)
1948 - Dimitri Nanopoulos, Greek physicist
1949 - Fred Sonic Smith, American musician (MC5) (d. 1994)
1950 - Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz, Polish politician
1951 - Jean Smart, American actress
1951 - Linda Wong, Asian adult actress (d. 1987)
1952 - Randy Jones, American musician (The Village People)
1952 - Raymond O'Connor, American actor
1952 - Don Was, American singer
1955 - Joe Morris, American musician
1957 - John G. Trueschler, American politician.
1957 - Vinny Appice, American musician (Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven and Hell)
1960 - Greg Baldwin, American voiceover actor (Avatar: The Last Airbender)
1961 - Dave Mustaine, American musician (Megadeth)
1961 - KK Null, Japanese musician
1961 - Peter Roskam, Republican Congressman from Illinois
1962 - Tõnu Õnnepalu, Estonian poet and author
1965 - Zak Starkey, British musician
1965 - Annie Duke, American poker player
1966 - Maria Furtwängler, German physician
1967 - Michael Johnson, American athlete
1967 - Tim 'Ripper' Owens, American singer (Iced Earth, ex-Judas Priest)
1968 - Emma Sjöberg, Swedish model
1968 - Bernie Williams, Puerto Rican baseball player
1969 - Tyler Perry, American actor
1969 - Shane Warne, Australian cricketer
1970 - Louise Lombard, British actress
1970 - Jason Scott Sadofsky, American programmer
1970 - Yuki Matsuoka, Japanese voice actress
1971 - Goran Ivanišević, Croatian tennis player
1971 - Manabu Namiki, Japanese composer
1971 - Stella McCartney, English fashion designer
1973 - Christine Arron, French runner
1973 - Fabio Cannavaro, Italian footballer
1973 - Kelly Chen, Chinese singer
1973 - Marcelinho Paulista, Brazilian footballer
1974 - Craig Rivet, Canadian ice hockey player
1974 - Keith Murray, American rapper
1974 - Éric Lapointe, Canadian football player
1975 - Joe Don Rooney, American musician (Rascal Flatts)
1975 - Akihiro Asai, Japanese racing driver
1976 - Giorgos Koltzos, Greek footballer
1976 - Craig McMillan, New Zealand cricketer
1976 - José Théodore, Canadian ice hockey player
1977 - Fiona Apple, American singer
1977 - Ivan De Battista, Maltese Actor, singer and composer
1977 - Daisuke Tsuda, Japanese singer (Maximum the Hormone)
1978 - Megan Henning, American actress
1978 - Darren Kenton, English footballer
1979 - Geike Arnaert, Belgian singer (Hooverphonic)
1979 - Ivan Miljković, Serbian volleyball player
1979 - Catalina Cruz, American Pornstar
1980 - Han Chae Young, South Korean actress
1980 - Daisuke Matsuzaka, Japanese baseball player
1980 - Evangelos Nastos, Greek footballer
1980 - Viren Rasquinha, Indian field hockey player
1980 - Ben Savage, American actor
1980 - Michelle Nolan, American musician (Straylight Run)
1980 - Teppei Teranishi, American guitarist (Thrice)
1981 - Koldo Fernández, Spanish cyclist
1981 - Angel Williams, Canadian wrestler
1982 - Nenê, Brazilian basketball player
1982 - Rickie Weeks, American baseball player
1982 - Miha Zupan, Slovenian basketball player
1983 - James Bourne, English musician
1986 - Kamui Kobayashi, Japanese racing driver
1986 - Sean Williams, American basketball player
1987 - Luke Fitzgerald, Irish rugby union International
1988 - Keith Treacy, Irish footballer September 13thSeptember 13th Deaths

Roman festivals - epulum Iovis ("banquet of Jupiter"), on the Ides, during the Ludi Romani.
RC Saints - St John Chrysostom.
Also see September 13 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics).

Friday, November 30, 2007

You may be looking for the God-Emperor from the game Warhammer 40,000.
God Emperor of Dune is a science fiction novel by Frank Herbert published in 1981, the fourth in the Dune series.
3,500 years have passed since Paul Atreides became the messiah of the Fremen and the Emperor of the universe. His son, Leto Atreides II, sees the path that his father Muad'Dib also saw, a future that secures the continuation of human life throughout the universe. That future, however, requires an aberrant act of selflessness: becoming a hybrid of man and sandworm. Leto II accepts this mantle of godhead from the Fremen and transforms himself into a monster of the desert, a sandworm, that will dominate the ecology of the planet Arrakis (known as Dune) for millennia. This is an act his father had been unwilling to do. Leto essentially accepts the terrible price of saving humanity which his father rejected. The novel records Leto II's attempts to consummate the Golden Path, which delivers the volition of humanity by scattering it beyond the perceived safety of Imperium's known universe, and also by destroying the possibility of the Imperium's control by any single entity, including himself.
Stylistically, the novel is permeated by quotations from, and speeches by its main character, Leto, to a degree unseen in any of the other Dune novels. In part, this stylistic shift is an artifact of how Herbert wrote it: the first draft was written almost entirely in the First-person narrative voice, only being revised in later drafts to insert more third-person narration of events.

God Emperor of Dune Notable parody

Touponce, William F. (1988), Frank Herbert, Boston, Massachusetts: Twayne Publishers imprint, G. K. Hall & Co, ISBN 0-8057-7514-5; PS3558.E63Z89

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms
The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms (also known as The Charter of Rights and Freedoms or simply The Charter) is a bill of rights entrenched in the Constitution of Canada. It forms the first part of the Constitution Act, 1982. The Charter guarantees certain political and civil rights of people in Canada from the policies and actions of all levels of government. It is designed to unify Canadians around a set of principles that embody those rights.
The Charter was preceded by the Canadian Bill of Rights, which was enacted in 1960. However, the Bill of Rights was only a federal statute, rather than a constitutional document. As a federal statute, it was limited in scope, it was easily amendable by Parliament and it had no application to provincial laws. The Supreme Court of Canada also narrowly interpreted the Bill of Rights and the Court was reluctant to declare laws inoperative. The British Parliament formally enacted the Charter as a part of the Canada Act 1982 at the request of the Parliament of Canada in 1982, the result of the efforts of the Government of Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau.
One of the most notable effects of the adoption of the Charter was to greatly expand the scope of judicial review, because the Charter is more explicit with respect to the guarantee of rights and the role of judges in enforcing them than was the Bill of Rights. The courts, when confronted with violations of Charter rights, have struck down unconstitutional federal and provincial statutes and regulations or parts of statutes and regulations, as they did when Canadian case law was primarily concerned with resolving issues of federalism. However, the Charter granted new powers to the courts to enforce remedies that are more creative and to exclude more evidence in trials. These powers are greater than what was typical under the common law and under a system of government that, influenced by Canada's mother country the United Kingdom, was based upon Parliamentary supremacy. As a result, the Charter has attracted both broad support from a majority of the Canadian electorate and criticisms by opponents of increased judicial power. The Charter only applies to government laws and actions (including the laws and actions of federal, provincial, and municipal governments and public school boards), and sometimes to the common law, not to private activity.

Many of the rights and freedoms that are protected under the Charter, including the rights to freedom of speech, habeas corpus and the presumption of innocence,

Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms History
The task of interpreting and enforcing the Charter falls to the courts, with the Supreme Court of Canada being the ultimate authority on the matter.
With the Charter's supremacy confirmed by section 52 of the Constitution Act, 1982, the courts continued their practice of striking down unconstitutional statutes or parts of statutes as they had with earlier case law regarding federalism. However, under section 24 of the Charter, courts also gained new powers to enforce creative remedies and exclude more evidence in trials. Courts have since made many important decisions, including R. v. Morgentaler (1988), which struck down Canada's abortion law, and Vriend v. Alberta (1998), in which the Supreme Court found the province's exclusion of homosexuals from protection against discrimination violated section 15. In the latter case, the Court then read the protection into the law.
Courts may receive Charter questions in a number of ways. Rights claimants could be prosecuted under a criminal law that they argue is unconstitutional. Others may feel government services and policies are not being dispensed in accordance with the Charter, and apply to lower-level courts for injunctions against the government (as was the case in Doucet-Boudreau v. Nova Scotia (Minister of Education)). A government may also raise questions of rights by submitting reference questions to higher-level courts; for example, Prime Minister Paul Martin's government approached the Supreme Court with Charter questions as well as federalism concerns in the case Re Same-Sex Marriage (2004). Provinces may also do this with their superior courts. The government of Prince Edward Island initiated the Provincial Judges Reference by asking its provincial Supreme Court a question on judicial independence under section 11.
In several important cases, judges developed various tests and precedents for interpreting specific provisions of the Charter. These include the Oakes test for section 1, set out in the case R. v. Oakes (1986), and the Law test for section 15, developed in Law v. Canada (1999). Since Re B.C. Motor Vehicle Act (1985), various approaches to defining and expanding the scope of fundamental justice (the Canadian name for natural justice or due process) under section 7 have been adopted. (For more information, see the articles on each Charter section).
In general, courts have embraced a purposive interpretation of Charter rights. This means that since early cases like Hunter v. Southam (1984) and R. v. Big M Drug Mart (1985), they have concentrated not on the traditional, limited understanding of what each right meant when the Charter was adopted in 1982, but rather on changing the scope of rights as appropriate to fit their broader purpose. This is tied to the generous interpretation of rights, as the purpose of the Charter provisions is assumed to be to increase rights and freedoms of people in a variety of circumstances, at the expense of the government powers. Constitutional scholar Peter Hogg has approved of the generous approach in some cases, although for others he argues the purpose of the provisions was not to achieve a set of rights as broad as courts have imagined.
Public interest groups frequently intervene in cases to make arguments on how to interpret the Charter. Some examples are the Canadian Civil Liberties Association, the Canadian Mental Health Association, the Canadian Labour Congress, the Women's Legal Education and Action Fund (LEAF), and REAL Women of Canada. The purpose of such interventions is to assist the court and to attempt to influence the court to render a decision favourable to the legal interests of the group.
A further approach to the Charter, taken by the courts, is the dialogue principle, which involves greater participation by elected governments. This approach involves governments drafting legislation in response to court rulings and courts acknowledging the effort if the new legislation is challenged.

Interpretation and enforcement
Some Canadian Members of Parliament saw the movement to entrench a charter as contrary to the British model of Parliamentary supremacy. Others would say that the European Convention on Human Rights has now limited British parliamentary power to a greater degree than the Canadian Charter limited the power of the Canadian Parliament and provincial legislatures. Hogg has speculated that the British adopted the European Convention partly because they were inspired by the similar Canadian Charter.

Comparisons with other human rights instruments
The Charter was intended to be a source for national values and national unity. As Professor Alan Cairns noted, "The initial federal government premise was on developing a pan-Canadian identity."

The Charter and national values
While the Charter has enjoyed a great deal of popularity, with 82% of Canadians describing it as a "good thing" in opinion polls in 1987 and 1999,

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hank Aaron Stadium
Hank Aaron Stadium is a baseball stadium in Mobile, Alabama, United States. It hosts the Mobile BayBears, a minor-league professional team in the Southern League. The stadium, which opened in 1997, has a capacity of 4,000. The ballpark was named after Major League Baseball's all-time home run king and Mobile native Hank Aaron.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

"The Adventure of the Copper Beeches", one of the 56 short Sherlock Holmes stories written by British author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and the last of the twelve collected in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes. It was first published in Strand Magazine in June 1892.

The Adventure of the Copper BeechesThe Adventure of the Copper Beeches Synopsis
Violet Hunter asks Holmes whether to accept a job as governess, with very strange conditions. She is enticed by the phenomenal salary which, as originally offered, is £100 a year, later increased to £120 when Miss Hunter balks at having to cut her long hair off, which is one of many peculiar provisos to which she must agree. The employer, Jephro Rucastle, seems pleasant enough, yet Miss Hunter obviously has her suspicions.
She announces to Holmes, after the raised salary offer, that she will take the job, and Holmes suggests that if he is needed, a telegram will bring him to Hampshire, where Mr. Rucastle's country estate, the Copper Beeches, is situated.
In about a fortnight, Holmes receives such a message, beseeching him to come and see her in Winchester. Once Holmes and Watson arrive, Miss Hunter tells them one of the most singular stories that they have ever heard. Mr. Rucastle would sometimes have Miss Hunter wear an electric blue dress and sit in the front room reading, with her back to the front window. She began to suspect that she was not supposed to see something outside the window, and a small mirror shard hidden in her handkerchief showed her that she was right: there was a man standing there on the road looking towards the house.
At another such session, Mr. Rucastle told a series of funny stories that made Miss Hunter laugh until she was quite weary. The one astonishing thing about this was that Mrs. Rucastle not only didn't laugh, but didn't even smile.
There were other unsavoury things about the household. The six-year-old child that she was supposed to look after was astonishingly cruel to small animals. The servants, Mr. and Mrs. Toller, were quite a sour pair. A great mastiff was kept on the property, and always kept hungry. It was let out to prowl the grounds at night and Miss Hunter was warned not to cross the threshold after dark. Also, Toller, who was quite often drunk, was the only one who had any influence over this brute.
There was also the odd discovery by Miss Hunter of her own tresses in a locked drawer. Upon checking her own luggage, however, they turned out to be another woman's, but identical in every way to Miss Hunter's, even to the unusual colour.
However, the most unsavoury thing of all about the household was the mystery wing. Miss Hunter had observed that there was a part of the house that did not seem to be used. The windows were either dirty or shuttered, and once she saw Mr. Rucastle coming out of the door leading into the wing looking most perturbed. Later, he explained that he used the rooms for his photography hobby, but Miss Hunter was not convinced.
She sneaked into the wing one evening, and had a truly frightening experience there. She thought she saw someone. Running out of the room, she found herself right in Mr. Rucastle's clutches. He seemed convinced that she had seen nothing of the prisoner in the forbidden wing. He also threatened to throw her to the mastiff if she ever went into the wing again.
It seems clear to Holmes that Miss Hunter has been hired to impersonate someone who looks very much like her, and he surmises quite reasonably that it is probably Mr. Rucastle's daughter by his first marriage, Alice. The story has been that she moved to Philadelphia. Holmes further surmises that the man watching the house is likely Alice's lover, or perhaps even her fiancé. The purpose of hiring Miss Hunter seems clear: she is to convince the man watching from the road that Alice is no longer interested in seeing him.
Holmes and Watson send Miss Hunter back to the Copper Beeches with certain instructions, and then arrive there in the evening with the intent of searching the forbidden wing. Holmes turns out to be right in most of his deductions, but the wing is empty. Someone has been there before him. Mr. Rucastle shows up as well, and in his anger, lets the mastiff loose, which has not been fed in two days (for Toller has been quite drunk). The mastiff attacks Rucastle. Even though he survives, Rucastle is a broken man, having paid hard for his evil intentions.
Rucastle's daughter has escaped with her fiance, and they marry soon after. Watson notes, at the end of the story, that Holmes appears to have been drawn to Miss Hunter. However, to his disappointment, Holmes does not show any interest in Miss Hunter after the mystery had been solved, which was the real force behind his feelings.

Monday, November 26, 2007

The Second Opium War or Arrow War was a war of the United Kingdom and France against the Qing Dynasty of China from 1856 to 1860.

The war may be viewed as a continuation of the First Opium War (1839-1842), thus the title of the Second Opium War.
On 1856-10-08, Qing officials boarded the Arrow, a Chinese-owned ship that had been registered in Hong Kong and was suspected of piracy and smuggling. Twelve Chinese subjects were arrested and imprisoned. The British officials in Guangzhou demanded the release of the sailors, claiming that because the ship had recently been British-registered, it was protected under the Treaty of Nanjing. Only when this was shown to be a weak argument did the British insist that the Arrow had been flying a British ensign and that the Qing soldiers had insulted the flag. Faced with fighting the Taiping Rebellion, the Qing government was in no position to resist the West militarily. This has come to be known as the "Arrow Incident".
The British Parliament decided to seek redress from China based on the report about the "Arrow Incident" submitted by Harry Parkes, British Consul to Guangzhou. France, the USA, and Russia received requests from Britain to form an alliance. France joined the British action against China, prompted by the execution of a French missionary, Father August Chapdelaine ("Father Chapdelaine Incident"), by Chinese local authorities in Guangxi province. The USA and Russia sent envoys to Hong Kong to offer help to the British and French, though in the end they sent no military aid.
The British and the French joined forces under Admiral Sir Michael Seymour. The British army led by Lord Elgin, and the French army led by Gros, attacked and occupied Guangzhou in late 1857. Ye Mingchen was captured, and Bo-gui, the governor of Guangdong, surrendered. A joint committee of the Alliance was formed. Bo-gui remained at his original post in order to maintain order on behalf of the victors. The British-French Alliance maintained control of Guangzhou for nearly four years. Ye Mingchen was exiled to Calcutta, India, where he starved himself to death.
The coalition then cruised north to briefly capture the Taku Forts near Tianjin in May, 1858.

Second Opium War Outbreak
In June 1858 the first part of the war ended with the Treaties of Tianjin, to which France, Russia, and the United States were party. These treaties opened eleven more ports to Western trade. The Chinese initially refused to ratify the treaties.
The major points of the treaty were:

Britain, France, Russia, and the United States would have the right to establish diplomatic legations (small embassies) in Peking (a closed city at the time)
Ten more Chinese ports would be opened for foreign trade, including Niuzhuang, Danshui, Hankou, and Nanjing
The right of all foreign vessels including commercial ships to navigate freely on the Yangtze River
The right of foreigners to travel in the internal regions of China, which had been formerly banned
China was to pay an indemnity to Britain and France in 2 million taels of silver each
China was to pay compensation to British merchants in 2 million taels of silver for destruction of their property Treaty of Aigun
In June 1858, shortly after the Qing Court agreed to the humiliating treaties, more hawkish ministers prevailed upon the Xianfeng Emperor to resist encroachment by the West. On June 2, 1858, the Xianfeng Emperor ordered the Mongolian general Sengge Rinchen to guard the Dagu Fort in Tianjin. Sengge Richen reinforced the Dagu Forts with added artillery. He also brought 4,000 Mongolian cavalry from Chahar and Suiyuan.
In June, 1859, a British naval force with 2,200 troops and 21 ships, under the command of Admiral Sir James Hope sailed north from Shanghai to Tianjin with newly-appointed Anglo-French envoys for the embassies in Beijing. They sailed to the mouth of the Hai River guarded by the Dagu Fort near Tianjin and demanded to continue inland to Beijing. Sengge Rinchen replied that the Anglo-French envoys may land up the coast at Beitang and proceed to Beijing but refused to allow armed troops to accompany them to the Chinese capital. The Anglo-French forces insisted landing at Dagu instead of Beitang and escorting the envoy to Beijing. On the night of June 24, 1859, a small batch of British forces blew up iron obstacles that the Chinese had placed in the Baihe River. The next day, the British forces sought to forcibly sail into the river, and shelled Dagu Fort. They encountered fierce resistance from Singge Rinchen's positions. After one day and one night's fighting, four gunboats were lost and two others severely damaged. The convoy withdrew under the cover of fire from a naval squadron commanded by Commodore Josiah Tattnall. Tattnall's intervention violated U.S. neutrality in China. For a time, anti-foreign resistance reached a crescendo within the Qing Court.
In the summer of 1860, a larger Anglo-French force (11,000 British, 6,700 French) with 173 ships sailed from Hong Kong and captured the port cities of Yantai and Dalian to seal the Bohai Gulf. Then they carried out a landing near at Bei Tang(also spelled Pei Tang), some 3 kilometres (2 mi) from the Dagu Fort on August 3, which they captured after three weeks' on August 21. After taking Tienstin on August 3, the Anglo-French forces marched inland toward Beijing. The Xianfeng Emperor then dispatched ministers to for peace talks, but relations broke down completely when a British diplomatic envoy, Harry Parkes, was arrested during negotiations on September 18. He and his small entourage were imprisoned and tortured (some were murdered by the Chinese in a fashion that infuriated British leadership upon discovery in October). The Anglo-French invasion clashed with Singge Rinchen's Mongolian cavalry on September 18 near Zhangjiawan before proceeding toward the outskirts of Beijing for a decisive battle in Tongzhou District. At Baliqiao, Sengge Rinchen's 10,000 troops including elite Mongolian cavalry were completely annhilated after several doomed frontal charges against concentrated firepower of the Anglo-French forces, which entered Beijing on October 6.
With the Qing army devastated, Emperor Xianfeng fled the capital, leaving his brother, Prince Gong, to be in charge of negotiations. Xianfeng first fled to the Summer Palace in Chengde and then to Jehol in Manchuria., as it was his own father, Thomas Bruce (1776–1841), who, from 1799 to 1803, removed from the Acropolis in Greece what are now known as the Elgin Marbles to Britain, where they remain to this day, a subject of rancor between the Greek and British governments.

Continuation of the war
After the Xianfeng emperor and his entourage fled Beijing, the June 1858 Treaty of Tianjin was finally ratified by the emperor's brother, Yixin, the Prince Gong, in the Convention of Peking on October 18, 1860, bringing The Second Opium War to an end.
The British, French and - thanks to the schemes of Ignatiev - the Russians were all granted a permanent diplomatic presence in Beijing (something the Qing resisted to the very end as it suggested equality between China and the European powers). The Chinese had to pay 8 million taels to Britain and France. Britain acquired Kowloon (next to Hong Kong). The opium trade was legalized and Christians were granted full civil rights, including the right to own property, and the right to evangelize.
The content of the Convention of Peking included:
Two weeks later, Ignatiev convinced the Manchu to sign a "Supplementary Treaty of Peking", in which the Manchu signed away some 300,000 to 400,000 square miles (777,000–1,036,000 km²) of land to the Russians. The defeat of the Imperial army by a small Anglo-French military force (outnumbered at least 10 to 1 by the Manchu army) coupled with the flight (and subsequent death) of the Emperor and the burning of the Summer Palace was a shocking blow to the once powerful Qing Dynasty. "Beyond any doubt, by 1860 the ancient civilization that was China had been thoroughly defeated and humiliated by the West."

China's recognition of the validity of the Treaty of Tianjin
Opening Tianjin as a trade port
Cede No.1 District of Kowloon (south of present day Boundary Street) to Britain
Freedom of religion established in China
British ships were allowed to carry indentured Chinese to the Americas
Indemnity to Britain and France increasing to 8 million taels of silver a piece
Legalization of the opium trade Second Opium War Further reading

Fraser, George MacDonald (1986). Flashman and the Dragon. New York, NY: Knopf. ISBN 0-394-55357-8.  — A portion of the memoirs of the fictional Harry Paget Flashman recounting his adventures during the Second Opium War and Taiping Rebellion.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Royal Academy does not receive financial support from the state or crown. One of its principal sources of revenue is hosting temporary public art exhibitions. These are of the highest quality, comparable to those at the National Gallery, the Tate Gallery and leading art galleries outside the United Kingdom. In 2004 the highlights of the Academy's permanent collection went on display in the newly restored reception rooms of the original section of Burlington House, which are now known as the "John Madejski Fine Rooms".
Under the Direction of the Exhibitions Secretary Norman Rosenthal the Academy has hosted ambitious exhibitions of contemporary art including in 1997 "Sensation" the collection of work by young British Artists owned by Charles Saatchi. The show created controversy for including a painting of Myra Hindley that was vandalised while on display.
The Academy also hosts an annual Royal Academy summer exhibition of new art, which is a well known event on the London social calendar. It is not as fashionable as was the case in earlier centuries, and has been largely ignored by the trendy Brit Artists and their patrons; however Tracey Emin exhibited in the 2005 show. In March 2007 this relationship developed further when Tracey Emin accepted the Academy's invitation to become a Royal Academician, commenting in her weekly newspaper column that, "It doesn't mean that I have become more conformist; it means that the Royal Academy has become more open, which is healthy and brilliant."
The Academy has received many gifts and bequests of objects and money. Many of these gifts were used to establish Trust Funds to support the work of the Royal Academy Schools by providing "Premiums" to students displaying excellence in various artistic genre. The rapid changes that pulsed through 20th century art have left some of the older prize funds looking somewhat anachronistic. But efforts are still made to award each prize to a student producing work that bears a relation to the intentions of the original benefactor.

The Academy runs a postgraduate art school and a research library. The Royal Academy Schools, the country's oldest art school, is based in Burlington House. There are generally two exhibitions every year of work by Academy students.

Royal Academy Schools
Full membership of the academy is limited to 80 Academicians or "RAs", who may be painters, printmakers, sculptors, or architects, and must be "professionally active in Britain".
The Academy's rules are that there must always be at least 14 sculptors, 12 architects, and 8 printmakers; the balance being made up of 46 painters. New Academicians are elected by the existing RAs, and originally had to enter a Diploma Work representative of their œuvre.
Apart from kudos of being elected, full members of the Academy may expect to serve for a time on the governing council of the Academy, and to take part in various committees. Each room in the Summer Exhibition is generally hung by a different R.A.
In common with certain other Royal societies, election as President of the Royal Academy (P.R.A.) practically guarantees a knighthood, if the President is not already of that rank.
A larger number of Associates of the Royal Academy (designated "A.R.A.") are also elected, but being an A.R.A. is not a prerequisite to full membership.
Members of the public can also join the Royal Academy as "Friends" by making a financial donation; outside of public exhibitions, this is one of the RA's main sources of income.

Royal Academy Membership
(incomplete list)

Richard Ansdell
Francesco Bartolozzi (1768)
Agostino Carlini (1768)
Mason Chamberlin (1768)
Sir William Chambers (1768)
Giovanni Battista Cipriani (1768)
Richard Cosway (1768)
Francis Cotes (1768)
George Dance the Younger (1768; Academy professor of architecture 1798-1805)
Nathaniel Dance-Holland (1768)
Thomas Gainsborough (1768)
John Gwynn (1768)
Francis Hayman (1768; 1st Academy librarian)
Nathaniel Hone (1768)
William Hunter (1768; 1st Academy professor of anatomy)
Angelica Kauffmann (1768)
George Michael Moser (1768; 1st Academy Keeper)
Mary Moser (1768)
Joseph Nollekens (1768)
Thomas Pingo (1768)
Sir Joshua Reynolds (1768; President 1768–1792)
John Inigo Richards (1768; Academy secretary 1788–1810)
Paul Sandby (1768)
Thomas Sandby (1768; 1st Academy professor of architecture)
Dominic Serres (1768; Academy librarian 1792–1793)
Benjamin West (1768; President 1792–1805, 1806–1820)
Richard Wilson (1768)
Joseph Wilton (1768; 3rd Academy Keeper)
Johann Zoffany (1768)
Francesco Zuccarelli (1768)
Thomas Hardwick (1768-69) (silver medal winner)
Philip James de Loutherbourg (1781)
Joseph Wright (1784)
Thomas Banks (1785)
James Northcote (1787)
John Opie (1788)
John Russell (1788)
Henry Fuseli (1790; Academy professor of painting 1799–1803, 1810–1824; Academy Keeper 1803–1810?)
Ozias Humphrey (1791)
Robert Smirke (1793)
Thomas Kirk (1794)
Sir Thomas Lawrence (1794; President 1820–1830)
Richard Westall (1794)
Thomas Stothard (1794)
John Hoppner (1795)
John Flaxman (1800; Professor of Sculpture 1810–1826)
Martin Archer Shee (1800; President 1830–1850)
Sir John Soane (1802; Academy professor of architecture 1806–1837)
J. M. W. Turner (1802)
Thomas Phillips (1808; Academy professor of painting 1824–1832)
David Wilkie (1811)
Sir Richard Westmacott (1811; Professor of Sculpture 1827–1856)
Robert Smirke (1811)
William Theed (1813)
John Jackson (1817)
Edward Hodges Baily (1821)
Sir Charles Lock Eastlake (1827; President 1850–1865)
John Constable (1829)
Edwin Henry Landseer (1831)
William Clarkson Stanfield (1835)
Frederick Richard Lee (1838)
Daniel Maclise (1840)
David Roberts (1841)
William Dyce (1848)
Richard Westmacott (1849; Professor of Sculpture 1857–1868)
Sir Francis Grant (1851)
Richard Redgrave (1851)
William Powell Frith (1852)
Sydney Smirke (1859; Academy professor of architecture 1860–1865)
John Everett Millais (1863; President 1896)
Thomas Sidney Cooper (1867)
Edward Middleton Barry (1869)
James Sant (1869)
Edward Armitage (1872)
Thomas Woolner (1875; professor of sculpture 1877–1879)
Edward Poynter (1876; President 1896–1918)
William Quiller Orchardson (1877)
Henry Hugh Armstead (1880)
Edwin Long (1881)
Alfred Waterhouse (1885)
Sir Thomas Graham Jackson (1892) architect
John William Waterhouse (1895)
George Frederic Watts (1897)
Edwin Austin Abbey (1898)
Benjamin Williams Leader (1898)
Albert Chevallier Tayler (1899?)
Sir Aston Webb (1903)
Sir George Clausen (1906)
William Lionel Wyllie (1907)
James Jebusa Shannon (1909)
Henry Scott Tuke (1914)
Edwin Landseer Lutyens (1921)
Augustus John (1928)
Sir William Reid Dick (1928)
George Spencer Watson (1932)
Wilfrid de Glehn (1932)
Sir William Russell Flint (1933)
Francis Dodd (1935)
Laura Knight (1936)
Harold Knight (1937)
Vincent Harris (1942)
John Aldridge 1963
William Roberts (1966)
Eric Schilsky (1968)
Hugh Casson (1970)
Edward Ardizzone (1970)
Norman Adams (1972)
Fred Cuming (1974)
Bryan Kneale (1974)
Sir Kyffin Williams (1974)
Olwyn Bowey (1975)
Elizabeth Blackadder (1976)
Anthony Green (1977)
Eduardo Paolozzi (1979)
David Tindle (1979)
Peter Blake (1981)
William Bowyer (1981)
Tom Phillips (1984)
Donald Hamilton Fraser (1985)
Michael Kenny (1986)
Norman Ackroyd (1988)
Craigie Aitchison (1988)
Ann Christopher (1989)
Gillian Ayres (1991)
John Bellany (1991)
Kenneth Draper (1991)
David Hockney (1991)
Bill Jacklin (1991)
R B Kitaj (1991)
Joe Tilson (1991)
Sir Terry Frost (1992)
Brendan Neiland (1992)
Sir Nicholas Grimshaw (1994)
Christopher Orr (1995)
Patrick Procktor (1996)
Eva Jiřičná (1997)
Alison Wilding (1999)
Maurice Cockrill (1999)
David Nash (1999)
Gary Hume (2001)
Ian McKeever (2003)
Tracey Emin (2007)
Tony Bevan (2007) List of RAs

Other posts

The Arts Club
Royal West of England Academy