Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Bureau of the European Parliament is responsible for matters relating to the budget, administration, organisation and staff. It is composed of the President of the European Parliament along with all 14 Vice-Presidents and the 6 Quaestors (in a consultive capacity). They are elected for two and a half years (renewable term) with the President holding a deciding vote. Elections are usually held at the start, and at the mid-point, of each Parliamentary term.

Bureau (European Parliament) Current members

Hans-Gert Pöttering: President
Rodi Kratsa-Tsagaropoulou: Vice-President
Alejo Vidal-Quadras Roca: Vice-President
Gérard Onesta: Vice-President
Edward McMillan-Scott: Vice-President
Mario Mauro: Vice-President
Miguel Angel Martínez Martínez: Vice-President
Luigi Cocilovo: Vice-President
Mechtild Rothe: Vice-President
Luisa Morgantini: Vice-President
Pierre Moscovici: Vice-President
Manuel António dos Santos: Vice-President
Diana Wallis: Vice-President
Marek Siwiec: Vice-President
Adam Bielan: Vice-President
James Nicholson: Quaestor
Astrid Lulling: Quaestor
Mia De Vits: Quaestor
Ingo Friedrich: Quaestor
Szabolcs Fazakas: Quaestor
Jan Mulder: Quaestor

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Piotr Skarga
Piotr Skarga (February 2, 1536 [1]September 27, 1612 [2]; actual name: Piotr Powęski; referred to in some English sources as Peter Skarga) was a Polish Jesuit, preacher, hagiographer, polemicist, and leading figure of the Counter-reformation in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. He was called the "Polish Bossuet" due to his oratorical abilities.
Educated at Grójec and Kraków, he began life as a tutor to the family of Andrew Tenczynski, castellan of Kraków, and, some years later, after a visit to Vienna, took orders, and from 1563 was attached to the cathedral church of Lwów. His oratory was so successful that he determined to become a missionary-preacher among the people, in order the better to combat the social and political evils of the day. By way of preparation he studied theology in Italy from 1568 to 1570, and finally entered the Society of Jesus. On his return he preached successively at Pultusk, Jaroslaw, and Plock under the powerful protection of Queen Anna Jagiellon. During a subsequent mission to Lithuania he converted numerous noble families, including the Radziwills.
He became the first rector of the Vilnius Academy in 1579, where he wrote the Lives of the Saints (Żywoty świętych), which is still popular reading today. In 1584 he was transferred to the new Jesuit College at Kraków, and in 1588 he became court preacher to King Sigismund III Vasa (a position he would hold until 1611), and thus sometimes preached to the Sejm (parliament). The nobility (Polish: szlachta) ascribed to him a great (and baleful: he advocated strong royal authority) influence on King Sigismund.
Skarga is remembered by Poles as a vigorous early advocate of reforms to the Polish-Lithuanian polity and as a critic of the Commonwealth's governing classes. He advocated the strengthening of the monarch's power at the expense of Sejm, magnates and szlachta.
His name "Skarga", which in Polish means, "accusation", is likely because of this career as a reformer and critic. The loose translation of his name would therefore be "Peter the Accuser".
He established or enlarged many Catholic charitable societies and Jesuit schools.

Piotr Skarga Prominent writings

Lives of the Saints (Żywoty świętych, 1579, 8 editions in his lifetime).
Sejm Sermons (Kazania sejmowe, 1597, published posthumously).
Soldiers' Devotions (Żołnierskie nabożeństwo, 1618).

Monday, December 3, 2007

Russian history, 1682–1796


  • Russian Revolution
    Civil War
    1985–1991 Russian history, 1682–1796 The era of Russian palace revolutions
    Catherine II's reign featured imperial expansion, which brought the empire huge new territories in the south and west; and internal consolidation. Following the outbreak of the Russo-Turkish War with the Ottoman Empire in 1768, the parties agreed to the Treaty of Kuchuk-Kainarji in 1774. By that treaty, Russia acquired an outlet to the Black Sea, and the Crimean Tatars became independent of the Ottomans. In 1783, Catherine annexed the Crimea, helping to spark the next Russo-Turkish War with the Ottoman Empire, which began in 1787. By the Treaty of Jassy in 1792, Russia expanded southward to the Dniestr river. The terms of the treaty fell far short of the goals of Catherine's reputed "Greek project" - the expulsion of the Ottomans from Europe and the renewal of a Byzantine Empire under Russian control. The Ottoman Empire no longer posed a serious threat to Russia, however, and had to tolerate an increasing Russian influence over the Balkans.
    Russia's westward expansion under Catherine resulted from the partitioning of Poland. As Poland became increasingly weak in the eighteenth century, each of its neighbors--Russia, Prussia, and Austria - tried to place its own candidate on the Polish throne. In 1772 the three agreed on an initial partition of Polish territory, by which Russia received parts of Belarus and Livonia. After the partition, Poland initiated an extensive reform program, which included a democratic constitution that alarmed reactionary factions in Poland and in Russia. Using the danger of radicalism as an excuse, the same three powers abrogated the constitution and in 1793 again stripped Poland of territory. This time Russia obtained most of Belarus and Ukraine west of the Dnieper river. The 1793 partition led to Kościuszko Uprising in Poland, which ended with the third partition in 1795. As a result Poland disappeared from the international political map.
    Although the partitioning of Poland greatly added to Russia's territory and prestige, it also created new difficulties. Having lost Poland as a buffer, Russia now had to share borders with both Prussia and Austria. In addition, the empire became more ethnically heterogeneous as it absorbed large numbers of Poles, Ukrainians, Belarusians, and Jews. The fate of the Ukrainians and Belarusians, who primarily worked as serfs, changed little at first under Russian rule. Roman Catholic Poles resented their loss of independence, however, proved difficult to control, staging several uprisings against the occupation. Russia had barred Jews from the empire in 1742 and viewed them as an alien population. A decree of January 3, 1792, formally initiated the Pale of Settlement, which permitted Jews to live only in the western part of the empire, thereby setting the stage for anti-Jewish discrimination in later periods. At the same time, Russia abolished the autonomy of Ukraine east of the Dnepr, the Baltic territories, and various Cossack areas. With her emphasis on a uniformly administered empire, Catherine presaged the policy of Russification that later tsars and their successors would practice.
    Historians have debated Catherine's sincerity as an enlightened monarch, but few have doubted that she believed in government activism aimed at developing the empire's resources and making its administration more effective. Initially, Catherine attempted to rationalize government procedures through law. In 1767, she created the Legislative Commission, drawn from nobles, townsmen, and others, to codify Russia's laws. Although the commission did not formulate a new law code, Catherine's Instruction to the Commission introduced some Russians to Western political and legal thinking.
    During the 1768-1774 war with the Ottoman Empire, Russia experienced a major social upheaval, the Pugachev Uprising. In 1773, a Don Cossack, Emel'yan Pugachev, declared himself as the re-emergent tsar Peter III. Other Cossacks, various Turkic tribes that felt the impingement of the Russian centralizing state, and industrial workers in the Ural Mountains, as well as peasants hoping to escape serfdom, all joined in the rebellion. Russia's preoccupation with the war enabled Pugachev to take control of a part of the Volga area, but the regular army crushed the rebellion in 1774.
    The Pugachev Uprising bolstered Catherine's determination to reorganize Russia's provincial administration. In 1775, she divided Russia into provinces and districts according to population statistics. She then gave each province an expanded administrative, police, and judicial apparatus. Nobles no longer had to serve the central government, as the law had required since Peter the Great's time, and many of them received significant roles in administering provincial governments.
    Catherine also attempted to organize society into well-defined social groups, or estates. In 1785, she issued charters to nobles and townsmen. The Charter to the Nobility confirmed the liberation of the nobles from compulsory service and gave them rights that not even the autocracy could infringe. The Charter to the Towns proved complicated and ultimately less successful than the one issued to the nobles. Failure to issue a similar charter to state peasants, or to ameliorate the conditions of serfdom, left Catherine's social reforms incomplete in some eyes.
    The "westernization" of Russia continued during Catherine's reign. An increase in the number of books and periodicals also brought forth intellectual debates and social criticism of the Russian Enlightenment. In 1790, Aleksandr Nikolaevich Radishchev published his Journey from St. Petersburg to Moscow, a fierce attack on serfdom and on the autocracy. Catherine, already frightened by the French Revolution, had Radishchev arrested and banished to Siberia. Radishchev later gained recognition as the father of Russian radicalism.
    Catherine brought many of the policies of Peter the Great to fruition and set the foundation for the 19th century empire. Russia became a power capable of competing with its European neighbors in the military, political, and diplomatic spheres. Russia's elite became culturally more like the elites of Central and West European countries. The organization of society and the government system, from Peter the Great's central institutions to Catherine's provincial administration, remained basically unchanged until the emancipation of the serfs in 1861 and, in some respects, until the fall of the monarchy in 1917. Catherine's push to the south, including the establishment of Odessa as a Russian port on the Black Sea, provided the basis for Russia's nineteenth-century grain trade.
    Despite such accomplishments, the empire that Peter I and Catherine II had built remained beset with fundamental problems. A small Europeanized elite, alienated from the mass of ordinary Russians, raised questions about the very essence of Russia's history, culture, and identity. Russia achieved its military pre-eminence by reliance on coercion and on a primitive command economy based on serfdom. Although Russia's economic development almost sufficed for its 18th century needs, it remained no match for the transformation the Industrial Revolution was causing in Western countries. Catherine's attempt at organizing society into corporate estates early faced the challenge of the French Revolution, which emphasized individual citizenship. Russia's territorial expansion and the incorporation of an increasing number of non-Russians into the empire set the stage for the future nationalities problem. Finally, the first questioning of serfdom and autocracy on moral grounds foreshadowed the conflict between the state and the intelligentsia that would become dominant in the nineteenth century.
    During the early nineteenth century, Russia's population, resources, international diplomacy, and military forces made it one of the most powerful states in the world. Its power enabled it to play an increasingly assertive role in Europe's affairs. This role drew the empire into a series of wars against Napoleon, which had far-reaching consequences for Russia and the rest of Europe. After a period of enlightenment, Russia became an active opponent of liberalizing trends in Central and Western Europe.
    Internally, Russia's population had grown more diverse with each territorial acquisition. The population included Lutheran Finns, Baltic Germans, Estonians, and some Latvians; Roman Catholic Lithuanians, Poles, and some Latvians; Orthodox and Uniate Belarusians and Ukrainians; Muslim peoples along the empire's southern border and in the East; Orthodox Greeks and Georgians; and members of the Armenian Apostolic Church. As Western influence and opposition to Russian autocracy mounted, the regime reacted by creating a secret police and increasing censorship in order to curtail the activities of persons advocating change. The regime remained committed to its serf-based economy as the means of supporting the upper classes, the government, and the military forces. But Russia's backwardness and inherent weakness stood revealed in the middle of the century, when major European powers forced the surrender of a Russian fortress in the Crimea.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Market Square, Victoria
Market Square is one of Victoria, British Columbia's oldest landmarks and also one of its most visited tourist attractions.
There are more than 35 shops, restaurants, and clubs in the square. It is home to many concerts, festivals, and other events.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

DaimlerChrysler AG (ISIN: DE0007100000) is a German car corporation and the world's fifth largest car manufacturer. As well as automobiles, DaimlerChrysler manufactures trucks and provides financial services through its DaimlerChrysler Financial Services arm. The company also owns a major stake in aerospace group EADS.
DaimlerChrysler was formed in 1998 when Mercedes-Benz manufacturer Daimler-Benz of Stuttgart, Germany merged with US-based Chrysler Corporation. However, the merger failed to produce the trans-Atlantic automotive powerhouse dealmakers had hoped for, and DaimlerChrysler announced on 14 May 2007 that it would sell Chrysler to Cerberus Capital Management of New York, a private equity firm that specializes in restructuring troubled companies, effectively unwinding the original transaction. The US company adopted the name Chrysler Holding LLC when the sale completed on 3 August 2007.
DaimlerChrysler produces cars and trucks under the brands of Mercedes-Benz, Maybach, Smart, Freightliner, GEM and many others.

Chrysler operations
DaimlerChrysler was reportedly in negotiations with other carmakers and investment groups since early 2007 to sell Chrysler. General Motors was reported to be a suitor while Volkswagen, the Renault-Nissan auto alliance, and Hyundai Motor Company had said that they weren't interested in buying the company.
On August 3, 2007, DaimlerChysler completed the sale of Chrysler Group to Cerberus Capital Management. The original agreement stated that Cerberus would take an 80.1 percent stake in the new company, Chrysler Holding LLC. DaimlerChrysler will change its name to Daimler AG and retain the remaining 19.9% stake in the separated Chrysler.[1]
The terms will see Daimler pay Cerberus US$650 million to take Chrysler and associated liabilities off its hands. This is a remarkable reverse in fortunes on the US$36 billion paid to acquire Chrysler in 1998. Of the US$7.4 billion, purchase price, Cerberus Capital Management will invest US$5 billion in Chrysler Holdings and US$1.05 billion in Chrysler's financial unit. The de-merged Daimler AG will receive US$1.35 billion directly from Cerberus but will invest US$2 billion in Chrysler itself.

Sale of Chrysler
Dieter Zetsche has been the Chairman of DaimlerChrysler and the President and CEO of Mercedes Car Group since January 1, 2006. The former President and CEO of the Chrysler Group, he is best known in the United States as Dr. Z from a Chrysler advertising campaign.
Current members of the supervisory board of DaimlerChrysler are: Heinrich Flegel, Nate Gooden, Earl Graves, Thomas Klebe, Erich Klemm, Hilmar Kopper, Arnaud Lagardère, Jürgen Langer, Robert Lanigan, Helmut Lense, Peter Magowan, William Owens, Gerd Rheude, Udo Richter, Wolf Röder, Manfred Schneider, Stefan Schwaab, Bernhard Walter, Lynton Wilson, and Mark Wössner.

The largest voting shareholder DaimlerChrysler is the State of Kuwait, with 7.1% (as at 31 December 2006). Deutsche Bank, with 4.35% (as at 2 May 2007). United Arab Emirates, with 2.0% (as at 31 December 2005).

43.6% Germany
30.9% Other Europe
17.2% USA
8.3% Rest of world DaimlerChrysler shareholders
DaimlerChrysler sells automobiles under the following marques worldwide:

Mercedes Car Group

  • Maybach
    Commercial Vehicle Brands

    • Freightliner

      • Thomas Built Buses
        Sterling Trucks
        Western Star
        Mercedes-Benz (truck group)
        Mitsubishi Fuso
        Orion Bus Industries
        Global Electric Motorcars (GEM)
        Financial Services:

        • DaimlerChrysler Financial Services

Friday, November 30, 2007

USS Nimitz (CVN-68) is a supercarrier in the United States Navy, the lead ship of its class. It is one of the largest warships in the world. It was laid down, launched and commissioned as CVAN-68, but was redesignated CVN-68 (nuclear-powered multimission aircraft carrier) on 30 June 1975 as part of the fleet realignment of that year.
The keel of Nimitz was laid down 22 June 1968 by Newport News Shipbuilding in Newport News, Virginia, and she was commissioned 3 May 1975 by President Gerald Ford. The ship was named for Fleet Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, who commanded the Pacific fleet in World War II. Captain Michael Manazir assumed command of the Nimitz on 16 March 2007.

Ship's History
The USS Nimitz is part of Carrier Strike Group 11 (CSG-11) with Carrier Air Wing 11 embarked, with Nimitz as the flagship of the battle group and is the home of the commander of Destroyer Squadron 23.

Ships of DESRON-23

Strike Fighter Squadron 14 (VFA-14) "Tophatters"
Strike Fighter Squadron 41 (VFA-41) "Black Aces"
Strike Fighter Squadron 81 (VFA-81)"Sunliners"
Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 232 (VMFA-232) "Red Devils"
Electronic Attack Squadron 135 (VAQ-135) "Black Ravens"
Carrier Airborne Early Warning Squadron 117 (VAW-117)"Wallbangers"
Helicopter Antisubmarine Squadron 6 (HS-6) "Indians"
Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 30 Detachment 4 (VRC 30)"Providers" USS Nimitz (CVN-68)USS Nimitz (CVN-68) Nimitz in popular culture

Thursday, November 29, 2007

SpringSummer • • AutumnWinter • • Dry season • • Wet season
ThunderstormTornadoSeasonsTropical Cyclone (Hurricane)SeasonsWinter stormBlizzard
FogDrizzleRain • • Freezing rainSleet • • HailSnow
Meteorology • • Weather forecasting • • ClimateAir pollution
A season is one of the major divisions of the year, generally based on yearly periodic changes in weather.
In temperate and polar regions generally four seasons are recognized: spring, summer, autumn (fall), and winter.
In some tropical and subtropical regions it is more common to speak of the rainy (or wet, or monsoon) season versus the dry season, as the amount of precipitation may vary more dramatically than the average temperature.
In other tropical areas a three-way division into hot, rainy and cool season is used. In some parts of the world, special "seasons" are loosely defined based upon important events such as a hurricane season, tornado season or a wildfire season.

The seasons result from the Earth's axis being tilted to its orbital plane; it deviates by an angle of approximately 23.44 degrees. Thus, at any given time during summer or winter, one part of the planet is more directly exposed to the rays of the Sun (see Fig. 1). This exposure alternates as the Earth revolves in its orbit. At any given time, regardless of season, the northern and southern hemispheres experience opposite seasons (see Fig. 2 and Month ranges of seasons (below) and Effect of sun angle on climate).
Seasonal weather fluctuations also depend on factors such as proximity to oceans or other large bodies of water, currents in those oceans, El Niño/ENSO and other oceanic cycles, and prevailing winds.
In the temperate and polar regions, seasons are marked by changes in the amount of sunlight, which in turn often causes cycles of dormancy in plants and hibernation in animals. These effects vary with latitude, and with proximity to bodies of water. For example, the South Pole is in the middle of the continent of Antarctica, and therefore a considerable distance from the moderating influence of the southern oceans. The North Pole is in the Arctic Ocean, and thus its temperature extremes are buffered by the presence of all that water. The result is that the South Pole is consistently colder during the southern winter than the North Pole during the northern winter.
The cycle of seasons in the polar and temperate zones of one hemisphere is opposite to that in the other. When it is summer in the Northern hemisphere, it is winter in the Southern hemisphere, and vice versa, and when it is spring in the Northern hemisphere it is autumn in the Southern hemisphere, and vice versa.
In the tropics, there is no noticeable change in the amount of sunlight. However, many regions (famously the northern Indian Ocean) are subject to monsoon rain and wind cycles. Curiously, a study of temperature records over the past 300 years (David Thomson, Science, April 1995) shows that the climatic seasons, and thus the seasonal year, are governed by the anomalistic year rather than the tropical year.
In meteorological terms, the winter solstice and summer solstice (or the date maximum/minimum insolation) do not fall in the middle of winter and summer respectively. The heights of these seasons occur up to a month later due to seasonal lag. Seasons though, are not always defined in meteorological terms; see reckoning
Compared to axial tilt, other factors contribute little to seasonal temperature changes. It's a common misconception that the seasons are the result of the variation in Earth's distance to the sun due to its elliptical orbit.

In astronomical reckoning, the seasons begin at the solstices and equinoxes. The cross-quarter days are considered seasonal midpoints. The length of these seasons is not uniform because of the elliptical orbit of the earth and its different speeds along that orbit (see Kepler's laws).
In the conventional United States calendar:
Because of the differences in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres (see Meteorological below), it is no longer considered appropriate to use the old northern-seasonal designations for the astronomical quarter days. The modern convention for them is:

Meteorological seasons are reckoned by temperature, with summer being the hottest quarter of the year, and winter the coldest quarter of the year.
Using this reckoning, the Ancient Roman calendar began the year and the spring season on the first of March, with each season occupying three months. This reckoning is also used in Denmark, the former USSR, and Australia. In modern United Kingdom and Ireland there are no hard and fast rules about seasons, and informally many people use this reckoning.
So, in meteorology for the Northern hemisphere:
Conversely, for the Southern hemisphere:

Traditional seasons are reckoned by insolation, with summer being the quarter of the year with the greatest insolation, and winter the quarter with the least. These seasons begin about 4 weeks earlier than the Meteorological seasons, and 7 weeks earlier than the Astronomical seasons.
In Traditional reckoning, the seasons begin at the cross-quarter days. The solstices and equinoxes are the midpoints of these seasons. For example, the days of greatest and least insolation are considered the "midsummer" and "midwinter" respectively.
This reckoning is used by various traditional cultures in the Northern Hemisphere, including East Asian and Irish cultures.
So, according to Traditional reckoning,
And, the middle of each season is considered,

In Australia, the aboriginal people defined the seasons by what was happening to the plants, animals and weather around them. This led to each separate tribal group have different seasons, some with up to 8 seasons a year. However, most modern Aboriginal Australians follow the Meteorological Seasons, as is conventional amongst non-Aboriginal Australians.

In hemiboreal and temperate climates:
In winter, the plant can't hold the leaves without Chloryphyll.
In spring, the plants produce Chloryphyll and start to grow again.
In summer, the plants grow. Usually at this time the plants completely mature.
In autumn, the trees stop making Chloryphyll and turn yellow or shades of orange and red then drop their leaves.

Temperate: Spring · Summer · Autumn/Fall · Winter Tropical: Dry season · Wet season
Winter (89 days) begins on 21-22 Dec, the winter solstice
Spring (92 days) on 20-21 Mar, the spring equinox
Summer (93 days) on 20-21 June, the summer solstice
Autumn (90 days) on 22-23 Sept, the autumn equinox
The March Equinox
The June Solstice
The September Equinox
The December Solstice
spring begins on March 1,
summer on June 1,
autumn on September 1, and
winter on December 1.
summer begins on December 1,
autumn on March 1,
winter on June 1, and
spring on September 1.
Winter begins on 5-10 Nov, Samhain, 立冬 (lìdōng),
Spring on 2-7 Feb, Imbolc, 立春 (lìchūn),
Summer on 4-10 May, Beltane, 立夏 (lìxià), and
Autumn on 3-10 Aug, Lughnasadh, 立秋 (lìqiū).
Mid-winter: 20-23 Dec, winter solstice, 冬至 (dōngzhì)
Mid-spring: 19-22 Mar, spring equinox, 春分 (chūnfēn)
Mid-summer: 19-23 June, summer solstice, 夏至 (xiàzhì)
Mid-autumn: 21-24 Sept, autumn equinox, 秋分 (qiūfēn)
Perennial tea ceremony
Sports season
Australian Weather and Seasons
When do the Seasons Begin? (from the Bad Astronomer)
Solstice does not signal season's start (from The Straight Dope)
Why the Earth has seasons article on h2g2.
Aboriginal seasons of Kakadu
Indigenous seasons (Australian Bureau of Meteorology)
Mt Stirling Seasons
The Lost Seasons
Melbourne's six seasons
The Lengths of the Seasons (numerical integration analysis)

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

In linguistics, a basilect is a register of a creole language that is considerably different from an acrolect, or standard, "educated", variety. A basilect and acrolect of the same language may eventually reach mutual unintelligibility.
William Stewart, in 1965, proposed that the terms acrolect and basilect be the sociolinguistic labels for the boundaries of a post-creole speech continuum. In certain speech communities, a continuum exists between speakers of a creole language and a related standard language.

See also


Tuesday, November 27, 2007

In the contexts of real estate and lodging, amenities are any tangible or intangible benefits of a property, especially those which increase the attractiveness or value of the property or which contribute to its comfort or convenience.
Tangible amenities might include parks, swimming pools, health club facilities, party rooms, bike paths, community centers, doormen, or garages, for example. Intangible benefits might include a "pleasant view" or aspect, low crime rates, or a "sun-lit living room", which all add to the living comforts of the property.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Green building is the practice of increasing the efficiency of buildings and their use of energy, water, and materials, and reducing building impacts on human health and the environment, through better siting, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and removal — the complete building life cycle.
A similar concept is natural building, which is usually on a smaller scale and tends to focus on the use of natural materials that are available locally. Other commonly used terms include sustainable design and green architecture; however, while good design is essential to green building, the actual operation, maintenance, and ultimate disposal or deconstruction of the building also have very significant effects on buildings' overall environmental impact.
The related concepts of sustainable development and sustainability are integral to green building. Effective green building can lead to 1) reduced operating costs by increasing productivity and using less energy and water, 2) improved public and occupant health due to improved indoor air quality, and 3) reduced environmental impacts by, for example, lessening storm water runoff and the heat island effect. Practitioners of green building often seek to achieve not only ecological but aesthetic harmony between a structure and its surrounding natural and built environment. The appearance and style of sustainable homes and buildings can be nearly indistinguishable from their less sustainable counterparts.
Green building is increasingly governed and driven by standards, such as the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system developed by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Air pollution control
Air pollution dispersion modeling
Alternative energy
Conservation biology
Conservation ethic
Energy conservation
Energy development
Environmental design
Environmental impact assessment
Environmental preservation
Green building
Hydrogen technologies
Industrial wastewater treatment
Natural building
Renewable energy
Renewable energy development
Solid waste treatment
Sustainable architecture
Sustainable energy
Sustainable development
Waste water treatment
Water purification
Waste management The environmental impact of buildings
Green building brings together a vast array of practices and techniques to reduce and ultimately eliminate the impacts of buildings on the environment. On the aesthetic side of green architecture or sustainable design is the philosophy of designing a building that is in harmony with the natural features and resources surrounding the site. There are several key steps in designing sustainable buildings: specify 'green' building materials from local sources, reduce loads, optimize systems, and generate on-site renewable energy.
Building materials typically considered to be 'green' include rapidly renewable plant materials like bamboo and straw, lumber from forests certified to be sustainably managed, stone, recycled metal, and other products that are non-toxic, reusable, renewable, and/or recyclable. Building materials should be extracted and manufactured locally to the building site to minimize the energy embedded in their transportation.
Low-impact building materials are used wherever feasible: for example, insulation may be made from low VOC (volatile organic compound)-emitting materials such as recycled denim, rather than the insulation materials that may contain carcinogenic or toxic materials such as formaldehyde. To discourage insect damage, these alternate insulation materials may be treated with boric acid. Organic or milk-based paints may be used.
Architectural salvage and reclaimed materials are used when appropriate as well. When older buildings are demolished, frequently any good wood is reclaimed, renewed, and sold as flooring. Many other parts are reused as well, such as doors, windows, mantels, and hardware, thus reducing the consumption of new goods. When new materials are employed, green designers look for materials that are rapidly replenished, such as bamboo, which can be harvested for commercial use after only 6 years of growth, or cork oak, in which only the outer bark is removed for use, thus preserving the tree. When possible, building materials may be gleaned from the site itself; for example, if a new structure is being constructed in a wooded area, wood from the trees which were cut to make room for the building would be re-used as part of the building itself.
To minimize the energy loads within and on the structure, it is critical to orient the building to take advantage of cooling breezes and sunlight. Daylighting with ample windows will eliminate the need to turn on electric lights during the day (and provide great views outside too). Passive Solar can warm a building in the winter - but care needs to be taken to provide shade in the summer time to prevent overheating. Prevailing breezes and convection currents can passively cool the building in the summer. Thermal mass stores heat gained during the day and releases it at night minimizing the swings in temperature. Thermal mass can both heat the building in winter and cool it during the summer. Insulation is the final step to optimizing the structure. Well-insulated windows, doors, and walls help reduce energy loss, thereby reducing energy usage. These design features don't cost much money to construct and significantly reduce the energy needed to make the building comfortable.
Optimizing the heating and cooling systems through installing energy efficient machinery, commissioning, and heat recovery is the next step. Compared to optimizing the passive heating and cooling features through design, the gains made by engineering are relatively expensive and can add significantly to the projects cost. However, thoughtful integrated design can reduce costs -- for example, once a building has been designed to be more energy-efficient, it may be possible to downsize heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) equipment, leading to substantial savings. To further address energy loss hot water heat recycling is used to reduce energy usage for domestic water heating. Ground source heat pumps are more energy efficient then other forms of heating and cooling until you factor in the energy lost during generation and transmission if the project is on the grid.
Finally, onsite generation of renewable energy through solar power, wind power, hydro power, or biomass can significantly reduce the environmental impact of the building. Power generation is the most expensive feature to add to a building.
Good green architecture also reduces waste, of energy, water and materials. During the construction phase, one goal should be to reduce the amount of material going to landfills. Well-designed buildings also help reduce the amount of waste generated by the occupants as well, by providing onsite solutions such as compost bins to reduce matter going to landfills.
To reduce the impact on wells or water treatment plants, several options exist. "Greywater", wastewater from sources such as dishwashing or washing machines, can be used for non-potable purposes, e.g., to flush toilets, water lawns, and wash cars. Rainwater collectors are used for similar purposes, and some homes use specially designed rainwater collectors to gather rainwater for all water use, including drinking water.
Green building often emphasizes taking advantage of renewable resources, e.g., using sunlight through passive solar, active solar, and photovoltaic techniques and using plants and trees through green roofs, rain gardens, and for reduction of rainwater run-off. Many other techniques, such as using packed gravel for parking lots instead of concrete or asphalt to enhance replenishment of ground water, are used as well.

Green building practices

Green building worldwide
Many countries have developed their own standards of energy efficiency for buildings.

Code for Sustainable Homes, United Kingdom
BREEAM, United Kingdom
EnerGuide for Houses, Canada (energy retrofits & up-grades)
EnerGuide for New Houses, Canada (new construction)
Gold & Silver Energy Standards, United Kingdom
Green Building Council of Australia's Green Star
Haute Qualité Environnementale, France
House Energy Rating, Australia
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), USA and Canada
Green Globes, USA, Canada and United Kingdom
Minergie, Switzerland
National Association of Home Builders Green Building Guidelines, USA
New Zealand Green Building Council Green Star
Passivhaus, Germany, Austria, United Kingdom
EEWH, Taiwan Standards and ratings
There is a system in place in Australia called First Rate designed to increase energy efficiency of residential buildings. The Green Building Council of Australia (GBCA) has developed a green building standard known as Green Star..
In Adelaide, South Australia, there are at least two different projects that incorporate the principles of Green building. The Eco-City development is located in Adelaide's city centre and the Aldinga Arts Eco Village is located in Aldinga. Guidelines for building developments in each project are outlined in the bylaws. The bylaws include grey water reuse, reuse of stormwater, capture of rainwater, use of solar panels for electricity and hotwater, solar passive building design and community gardens and landscaping.
Melbourne has a rapidly growing environmental consciousness, many government subsidies and rebates are available for water tanks, water efficient products (such as shower heads) and solar hot water systems. The city is home to many examples of green buildings and sustainable development such as the CERES Environmental Park. Two of the most prominent examples of green commercial buildings in Australia are located in Melbourne - 60L and Council House 2 (also known as CH2).

Canada has implemented "R-2000" guidelines for new buildings built after the year 2000. Incentives are offered to builders to meet the R-2000 standard in an effort to increase energy efficiency and promote sustainability.
A progression of the R-2000 home program is the EnerGuide for New Houses service. This service is available across Canada and is designed to allow home builders and home buyers to build homes that use significantly less energy than the average homes being built. Some Canadian provinces are considering mandatory use of the service for all new homes.
In December 2002, Canada formed the Canada Green Building Council and in July 2003 obtained an exclusive licence from the US Green Building Council to adapt the LEED rating system to Canadian circumstances.

Beamish-Munro Hall at Queen's University features sustainable construction methods such as high fly-ash concrete, triple-glazed windows, dimmable fluorescent lights and a grid-tied photovoltaic array.
Gene H. Kruger Pavilion at Laval University uses largely non polluting, non toxic, recycled and renewable materials as well as advanced bioclimatic concepts that reduce energy consumption by 25% compared with a concrete building of the same dimensions. The structure of the building is made entirely out of wood products, thus further reducing the environmental impact of the building. Canada
German developments that employ green building techniques include:

The Solarsiedlung (Solar Village) in Freiburg, Germany, which features energy-plus houses.
The Vauban development, also in Freiburg.
Houses designed by Baufritz, incorporating passive solar design, heavily insulated walls, triple-glaze doors and windows, non-toxic paints and finishes, summer shading, heat recovery ventilation, and greywater treatment systems.
The new Reichstag building in Berlin, which produces its own energy. Germany
Main article: Energy efficient buildings in India
The Confederation of Indian Industry plays an active role in promoting sustainability in the Indian construction sector. There are many energy efficient buildings in India, situated in a variety of climatic zones.

The Standards and Industrial Research Institute of Malaysia (SIRIM) promotes green building techniques. Malaysian architect Ken Yeang is a prominent voice in the area of ecological design.

The New Zealand Green Building Council has been in formation since July 2005. An establishment board was formed later in 2005 and with formal organisational status granted on 1st February 2006. That month Jane Henley was appointed as the CEO and activity to gain membership of the World GBC began. In July 2006 the first full board was appointed with 12 members reflecting wide industry involvement. The several major milestones were achieved in 2006/2007; becoming a member of the World GBC, the launch of the Green Star NZ - Office Design Tool, and welcoming our member companies.

Green building New Zealand

Main article: Energy efficiency in British housing United Kingdom
The United States Green Building Council (USGBC) has developed The Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Green Building Rating System™, which is the nationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction, and operation of high performance green buildings. LEED gives building owners and operators the tools they need to have an immediate and measurable impact on their buildings' performance. LEED promotes a whole-building approach to sustainability by recognizing performance in five key areas of human and environmental health: sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality. They have developed specific versions of the LEED rating system to assist specific building types in achieving certification. Some of the commercially available systems are:
Other versions that will soon be released for public consumption are:
The Green Building Initiative
LEED-CI: Commercial Interiors
LEED-CS: Core/Shell)
LEED-EB: Existing Buildings
LEED-ND: Neighborhood Developments
LEED for Schools
LEED for Healthcare
LEED for Labs
LEED for Retail
20% annual savings in energy costs
20% reduction in water costs
38% reduction in waste water production
22% reduction in construction waste United States

Architectural engineering
Arcology - High density ecological structures
Active solar
BedZED - Zero-carbon building in the UK
Brise soleil
Deconstruction (building)
Ecological living
Environmental planning
Green technology
Hot water heat recycling
International Initiative for a Sustainable Built Environment (iiSBE)
Low-energy house
Metal Roofing Alliance
Natural Capital Center Green redevelopment of a building on the National Register
Paragon Space Development Green building engineering
Passive house
Passive solar
Sustainable habitat
Zero-energy building See also

J. Baldwin
Steve Baer
Tom Bender
Peter Calthorpe
ESB Solar Homes
Eric Corey Freed
Buckminster Fuller
William McDonough
Glenn Murcutt
Rocky Mountain Institute
Natural Resources Defense Council
Sim Van der Ryn
Walter Segal
Michael Sorkin
Brenda and Robert Vale
Robert K. Watson
James Wines
Laurie Baker
Ken Yeang
Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum
Rod Percival
Paul Herring Designers and builders


Living Smart Sustainable living on the Sunshine Coast, Australia
Greenlivingpedia Wiki on sustainable building and housing in Australia Canada

New Zealand Green Building Council Official website
Smarter Homes Creating healthy homes, New Zealand New Zealand

National organizations

California's Green Building Action Plan
Green Building Checklists Simple checklists created by the Colorado AIA Committee on the Environment
Cascadia Region Green Building Council
Common Fire Foundation - comprehensive overview of green building & "Greenest Building in the Eastern US" (non-profit)
Solar Energy International Green Building Program

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A software license comprises the permissions, rights and restrictions imposed on software (whether a component or a free-standing program). Use of software without a license could constitute infringement of the owner's exclusive rights under copyright or, occasionally, patent law and allow the owner to sue the infringer.
Under a software license, the licensee is permitted to use the licensed software in compliance with the specific terms of the license. If there is a breach of the license, depending on the license it may result in termination of the license, and potentially the right of the owner to sue.
A software vendor may offer a software license unilaterally (without giving the licensee the opportunity to negotiate for more favorable terms) such as in a shrink wrap contract, or even as part of a software license agreement with another party. Virtually all mass produced proprietary software is sold under some form or fashion of software license agreement. One off, or custom software is often licensed under terms of which are specifically negotiated between the licensee and licensor.
In addition to granting rights and imposing restrictions on use of the software, software licenses typically contain provisions which allocate liability and responsibility between the parties. In enterprise and commercial software transactions these terms (such as limitations of liability, warranties and warranty disclaimers, and indemnity if the software infringes intellectual property rights of others) are often negotiated by attorneys specialized in software licensing. The legal field has seen the growth of this specialized practice area due to unique legal issues with software licenses, and the desire of software companies to protect assets which, if licensed improperly, could diminish their value.

Software licensing See also


Saturday, November 24, 2007


Ange-Félix Patassé Political career
Patassé joined the Central African civil service in 1959, shortly before independence. He became an agricultural engineer and agricultural inspector in the Ministry of Agriculture on 1 July 1963, under President David Dacko. In December 1965, Dacko appointed him Director of Agriculture and Minister of Development. In 1966, Jean-Bédel Bokassa took power in a coup d'état. Patassé was the "cousin" of President Bokassa's principal wife, Catherine Denguiade. Patassé gained the confidence of the new president and he served in almost all the many governments formed by Bokassa (exceptions including short periods of several months in 1974 and 1976). He served as Minister of Development (1 January 1966 - 5 April 1968), Minister of Transport and Energy (5 April 1968 - 17 September 1969), Minister of State for Development, Tourism, Transport and Energy (17 September 1969 - 4 February 1970), Minister of State for Agriculture, Animal Husbandry, Waters, Forests, Hunting, Tourism and Transport (4 February 1970 - 25 June 1970), Minister of State for Development (25 June 1970 - 19 August 1970), Minister of State for Transport and Commerce (19 August 1970 - 25 November 1970), Minister of State for the Organization of Transport by Roads, Rivers and Air (25 November 1970 - 19 October 1971), Minister of State for Civil Aviation (19 October 1971 - 13 May 1972), Minister of State for delegated by the President of the Republic for Rural Development (13 May 1972 - 20 March 1973), Minister of State for Public Health and Social Affairs (20 March 1973 - 16 October 1973), Minister of State delegated by the President of the Republic for Missions? (16 October 1973 - 1 February 1974 [at which point he left the government briefly for health reasons], Minister of State for Tourism, Waters, Forests, Hunting and Fishing (15 June 1974 - 4 April 1976), Minister of State serving as Agricultural Councilor for the Head of State (10 April 1976 -24 May 1976), Minister of State for Tourism, Water, Forests, Hunting and Fishing (24 May 1976 - 4 September 1976). After Bokassa's creation of the Council for the Central African Revolution (in imitation of Libya's government council), Patassé was named a member of the Council of the Revolution with the rank of Prime Minister in charge of Posts and Communications, Tourism, Water, Forests, Hunting and Fishing, as well as Custodian of the Seats?? of State (4 September 1976 - 14 December 1976). During this period Patassé followed Bokassa in briefly becoming a convert to Islam (October 1976 - January 1977) and changed his name to Mustafa Patassé. After Bokassa became Emperor Bokassa I, Patassé was named (7 December 1976) Prime Minister and Head of the first Imperial Government. He remained in this position until 14 July 1978, when a public announcement was made that Patassé had stepped down from office due to health problems. Patassé then left for France, where he remained in exile until the overthrow of Bokassa in September 1979. Shortly before Bokassa's overthrow, Patassé announced his opposition to the Emperor and founded the Front for the Liberation of the Central African People (Front de Libération du Peuple Centrafricain) or FLPC.
Emperor Bokassa was overthrown and President David Dacko restored to power by the French in 1979. Dacko ordered Patassé to be put under house arrest. Patassé attempted to escape to the Republic of Chad, but failed and was arrested again. He was later released due to alleged health problems.

1960s-1970s: Rise to power
Patassé returned to the CAR to present himself as a candidate for the presidential election of 15 March 1981, after which it was announced that Patassé gained 38% of the votes and thus came in second, after President Dacko. Patassé denounced the election results as rigged, which they clearly were. Several months later, on 1 September 1981, General André Kolingba overthrew Dacko in a bloodless coup and took power, after which he forbade political activity in the country. Patassé felt obliged to leave the CAR to live in exile once again, but on 27 February 1982, Patassé returned to the CAR and participated in an unsuccessful coup d'état against General Kolingba with the help of a few military officers such as General François Bozize. Four days later, having failed to gain the support of the military forces, Patassé went in disguise to the French Embassy in order to seek refuge. After heated negotiations between President Kolingba and the French, Patassé was allowed to leave for exile in Togo. After remaining abroad for almost a decade, of which several years were spent in France, Patassé returned to the CAR in 1992 to participate in presidential elections as head of the Movement for the Liberation of the Central African People (MLPC). The donor community, with the fall of the Soviet Union, saw no need to prop up the Kolingba regime and so had pressed for change helping to organise elections with some help from the UN Electoral Assistance Unit and with logistical support from the French army.

1990s: Return to power
Patassé left the country for a conference in Niger in 2003, and in his absence Bozizé seized Bangui on March 15. Although the coup was internationally condemned, no attempt was made to depose the new leader. Patassé is now living in exile in Togo.
Although nominated as his party's presidential candidate in November 2004, on December 30 Patassé was barred from running in the election due to what the constitutional court considered problems with his birth certificate and land title. He was one of seven candidates barred, while five, including Bozizé, were permitted to stand. After an agreement signed in Libreville, Gabon on January 22, 2005, all barred presidential candidates were permitted to stand in the March 13 election except for Patassé, on the grounds that he is the subject of judicial proceedings. Patassé's party backed his last prime minister, Martin Ziguélé, for president in preference to Patassé.
Patassé was accused of stealing 70 billion Central African francs from the country's treasury. He denied this and in an interview with Agence France-Presse on December 21, 2004, he stated that he had no idea where he could have found so much money to steal in a country with a budget of only 90-100 billion francs. He was also accused of war crimes in connection with the violence that followed a failed 2002 coup attempt, in which rebels from the northern Democratic Republic of the Congo came to Patassé's assistance, but were accused of committing many atrocities in the process. Patassé, the Congolese rebel leader Jean-Pierre Bemba (now the Vice-President) and three others were charged in September 2004. [2] However, the government of CAR was unable to arrest them, so the courts referred the matter in April 2006 to the International Criminal Court.
In March 2006, the Central African government accused Patassé of recruiting rebels and foreign mercenaries, establishing a training camp for them on the Sudanese border, and planning to destabilize the country. [3] [4]
At an extraordinary congress of the MLPC in June 2006, Patassé was suspended from the party for one year, while Ziguélé was elected as President of the MPLC. [5] In August 2006 a court in the Central African Republic sentenced Patassé in absentia to 20 years of hard labor after a trial over the financial misconduct charges. [6] At the MLPC's third ordinary congress in June 2007, Patassé was suspended from the party for three years, until the next party congress, with the threat of being expelled from the party altogether if he speaks on its behalf without approval while he is suspended. [7]