Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Master of the United College
The Master of the United College is a senior academic at the University of St Andrews in St Andrews, Scotland who is charged with carrying out duties as required by the Academic Senate of that University. The post was created to head the United College of St Salvator and St Leonard, one of the colleges of the University, the other college being St Mary's College, headed by the Principal of St Mary's College.
Neither post should be confused with the Principal of the University who is the chief executive and Vice-Chancellor. See Governance of the University of St Andrews.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

American Idol
American Idol is an annual American televised singing competition, which began its first season on June 11, 2002. Part of the Idol franchise, it originated from the British reality program Pop Idol.
The program seeks to discover the best young singer in the country, through a series of nationwide auditions. The outcomes of the latter stages of this competition are determined by public voting by phone. The format features three judges who critique the contestants' performances in order to facilitate the voting: record producer and bass player Randy Jackson; former pop star Paula Abdul; and music executive Simon Cowell. The show is hosted by former children's game show emcee and television personality Ryan Seacrest; and comedian Brian Dunkleman (Season 1 only).
The show usually airs on Tuesday and Wednesday nights. In its six seasons, its six winners have been, in order of their season, Kelly Clarkson, Ruben Studdard, Fantasia Barrino, Carrie Underwood, Taylor Hicks, and Jordin Sparks. The first five American Idols are from the Southern United States of America (U.S) and the sixth, Jordin Sparks, is from the Southwest. Hicks was the oldest winner at 29, Sparks the youngest at just 17.
American Idol is televised on Fox in the United States and on Fox and CTV in Canada. The Idol series was first created by Simon Fuller (manager of the Spice Girls and S Club 7) and developed by Simon Jones of FremantleMedia. The directors are Bruce Gowers (director of Queen's original "Bohemian Rhapsody" video), Nigel Lythgoe (a judge on So You Think You Can Dance) and Ken Warwick (Gladiators and Grudge Match).

Damir Kovacevic is the lead director of the Fox television show American Idol. Contestants are not permitted to have any current record deals or talent management agreements (though they may have had one at some point in the past). Contestants must be U.S. citizens eligible to work full-time and, for the first three seasons, had to be 16 to 24 years of age on October 19 of the year of audition. Since the fourth season, the upper age limit was raised to 28 with an earlier cutoff date, August 4, to attract more mature and diverse contestants.
Auditioning contestants must bring with them to the audition a valid proof of age and citizenship, such as a birth certificate, driver's license or a passport, and minors under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. All auditioning contestants are required to sign on to the Web at and print out a copy of the release form to fill out and turn in at the audition in order to grant permission to be seen and heard by the producers' cameras. Contestants who were found out to have given false information are disqualified. It should be noted that after auditioning - regardless of the outcome (even if eliminated on the very first cut) - contestants are under contract with the show until three months after the final episode.
America's Got Talent
America's Most Talented Kid
American Juniors
American popular music
Canadian Idol
Idol Camp
Idol series
Idol Gives Back
Indian Idol
List of American Idol spin-offs
Latin American Idol
Music of the United States
Music competitions
Nouvelle Star
Objetivo Fama
Pop Idol
Star Search
Superstar USA
Teen idol
Ted Mack's Original Amateur Hour
The X-Factor
Star Academy
You're A Star
American Idol Official Website (owned by Fox Interactive Media)
American Idol SMS Voting Statistics
On 'Idol,' the South Rises Again ... and Again Producer Shop Talk With Exec Producer Nigel Lythoe
Unofficial Contestant Ranker on AOL Television
Jim Verraros Interview
American Idol TV Listings on
Vote For The Worst web site
Radar Online: American Idols - Worthy of Worship?
Infoplease/TIME magazine 2006 Almanac of Bestselling Albums by American Idol Alumni

Monday, October 29, 2007

Zambia (IPA: [ˈzæmbɪə]), officially the Republic of Zambia, is a landlocked country in Southern Africa. It borders the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the north, Tanzania to the north-east, Malawi to the east, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Botswana, and Namibia to the south, and Angola to the west. Formerly Northern Rhodesia, the country's name reflects the Zambezi river.

In the 1st century, technologically-advanced migrating tribes began to displace or absorb the indigenous Khoisan hunter-gatherer occupants. In the 12th century, major waves of Bantu-speaking immigrants arrived during the Bantu expansion. Among them, the Tonga people (also called Batonga) were first to settle in Zambia and are believed to have come from the far east near the "big sea." The Nkoya people had also come early in the expansion, with some suggesting that they were the first of the expansion into today's Zambia, having come from the Luba-Lunda kingdoms in the north.
In the late 17th and early 19th centuries, other groups followed with the greatest influx coming between . These later migrants also came primarily from the Luba-Lunda tribes of southern Democratic Republic of Congo and northern Angola but in the 19th century the Ngoni peoples from the south joined them. By the later part of the 19th century, most of the various peoples of Zambia were largely established in the areas they currently occupy. In the early 18th century, the (Nsokolo People) under the leadership of Joe Nsokolo Chupa, also known as Elvin, settled in Mbala district in Northern province .

European colonial era
A two-stage election held in October and December 1962 resulted in an African majority in the legislative council and an uneasy coalition between the two African nationalist parties. The council passed resolutions calling for Northern Rhodesia's secession from the federation and demanding full internal self-government under a new constitution and a new National Assembly based on a broader, more democratic franchise. Led by Kenneth Kaunda, on 31 December 1963, the federation was dissolved, and Northern Rhodesia became the Republic of Zambia on 24 October 1964. At that time, Kaunda became the country's first president.
At independence, despite its considerable mineral wealth, Zambia faced major challenges. Domestically, there were few trained and educated Zambians capable of running the government, and the economy was largely dependent on foreign expertise. Abroad, three of its neighbours – Southern Rhodesia and the Portuguese colonies of Mozambique and Angola – remained under white-dominated rule. Southern Rhodesia's white-ruled government unilaterally declared independence in November, 1965. In addition, Zambia shared a border with South African-controlled South-West Africa (now Namibia).

Zambia's sympathies lay with forces opposing colonial or white-dominated rule, particularly in Southern Rhodesia. During the next decade, it actively supported movements such as the National Union for Total Independence of Angola (UNITA); the Zimbabwe African People's Union (ZAPU); the African National Congress of South Africa (ANC); and the South-West Africa People's Organization (SWAPO).
Conflicts with Rhodesia (so renamed from Southern Rhodesia) resulted in the closing of Zambia's borders with that country and severe problems with international transport and power supply. However, the Kariba hydroelectric station on the Zambezi River provided sufficient capacity to satisfy the country's requirements for electricity (despite the fact that the hydro control centre was on the Rhodesian side of the border). A railway to the Tanzanian port of Dar es Salaam, built with Chinese assistance, reduced Zambian dependence on railway lines south to South Africa and west through an increasingly troubled Angola. Until the completion of the railway, however, Zambia's major artery for imports and the critical export of copper was along the TanZam Road, running from Zambia to the port cities in Tanzania. Also a pipeline for oil was built from Dar-es-Salaam to Ndola in Zambia.
By the late 1970s, Mozambique and Angola had attained independence from Portugal. Zimbabwe achieved independence in accordance with the 1979 Lancaster House Agreement, however Zambia's problems were not solved. Civil war in the former Portuguese colonies generated an influx of refugees and caused continuing transportation problems. The Benguela railway, which extended west through Angola, was essentially closed to traffic from Zambia by the late 1970s. Zambia's strong support for the ANC, which had its external headquarters in Lusaka, created security problems as South Africa raided ANC targets in Zambia.
In the mid-1970s, the price of copper, Zambia's principal export, suffered a severe decline worldwide. In Zambia's situation, the cost of transporting the copper great distances to market was an additional strain. Zambia turned to foreign and international lenders for relief, but, as copper prices remained depressed, it became increasingly difficult to service its growing debt. By the mid-1990s, despite limited debt relief, Zambia's per capita foreign debt remained among the highest in the world.


Main article: Politics of ZambiaZambia Politics

Main articles: Provinces of Zambia and Districts of Zambia Administrative divisions
The official language is English, used to conduct official business and is the medium of instruction in schools. Commonly-spoken indigenous languages include the 7 major languages: Chibemba, Chinyanja, Lunda, Chitonga, Kaonde, Silozi and Luvale. These 7 languages are taught in schools and broadcast on national radio and television. The Ethnologue report on Zambia lists 42 languages and many more dialects spoken in Zambia. A Zambian languages website lists 78 languages. Some of the difference may be attributed to dialects in the Ethnologue list being counted as languages in the second list.
A number of the indigenous languages have altered quite dramatically during the process of urbanisation, Zambia being one of the most urbanised countries in Africa. Languages have assimilated words from other indigenous languages and English to such an extent that urban dwellers will often differentiate between the urban and rural dialects of the same language by prefixing the rural languages with 'deep'. E.g. a Bemba speaker might say "I don't know that word it is deep Bemba."


Main articles: Education in Zambia and List of schools in Zambia Education
Schooling usually falls into three levels: Primary (years 1 to 7), Junior Secondary (years 8 to 9) and Upper Secondary (years 10 to 12). So-called "basic schools" teach years 1 to 9, as year 9 is considered to be a decent level of schooling for the majority of children; however, schooling is only free up to year 7, and Unesco estimated that 80% of children of primary school age in 2002 were enrolled. Most children drop out after year 7 when fees are payable.
Both government and private schools exist in Zambia. The private school system began largely as a result of Christian mission efforts during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Amongst famous private schools are the Roman Catholic run St Mary's Seminary located in the Msupadzi area, south of Chipata, Eastern Province and Simba International School close to Ndola, Copperbelt Province. Private schools operate under either the British or American way of schooling, but also offer curricula approved by the Examinations Council of Zambia.

Lower education
Educational opportunities beyond secondary school are limited in Zambia. After secondary school, most students study at the various colleges, around the country.
There are two main universities: University of Zambia (UNZA) and Copperbelt University (CBU). They normally select or invite the brightest students to pursue courses there and competition to get in is very tight. The introduction of fees in the late 1990s has made the pursuing of an university level eductaion quite hard for some, although bursaries do exist from the state. In the late 1970s Copperbelt University (CBU) opened on the copperbelt, taking over most of what previously was the Zambia Institute of Technology (ZIT) site in Kitwe.
Other places of learning include NIPA (Public Administrations College), NORTEC (Northern Technical College), NRDC (National Resources Development College),Evelyn Hone College, ZIBSIP, ZCAS, ZAMIM etc.
Several teacher training colleges offer two-year programmes beyond high school, missionary hospitals dotted around the country offer high quality training of an internationally acceptable standard to nurses and several Christian schools offer seminary-level training.

University of Zambia
Copperbelt University Higher education

Main article: Geography of Zambia Geography
In the Zambezi River basin, there are four major rivers that either run through Zambia or form the country's borders: the Kafue, the Luangwa, the Kwando and the Zambezi. The last three form part of Zambia's southern borders. The Kwando River forms Zambia's south-western border with Angola, then it runs easterly along the northern boundary of Namibia's Caprivi Strip before spreading into the Linyanti Marshes, which finally drain eastwardly into the Zambezi. From its confluence with the Kwando, the Zambezi flows east, forming the whole of Zambia's border with Zimbabwe.
The other two rivers, the Kafue and the Luangwa, lie entirely within Zambia and are major tributaries of the Zambezi. Their confluences with the Zambezi are on Zambia's Zimbabwean border at Chirundu and Luangwa town respectively. Before its confluence, the Luangwa River forms part of Zambia's border with Mozambique. From Luangwa town, the Zambezi leaves Zambia and flows into Mozambique, and eventually into the Indian Ocean's Mozambique Channel.
The Zambezi falls 100 m (360 feet) over the 1.6 km (1mile) wide Victoria Falls, located in the south-western corner of the country, subsequently flowing into Lake Kariba.
The Zambezi Valley, running along the southern border, is both deep and wide. Moving northwards the terrain shifts into a high plateau of 900 to 1,200 m (3000 to 4000 ft) to over 1,800 m (6000 ft) in the northern area of the Copperbelt. In the east, the Luangwa Valley curves southwards with hills on either side until it enters the Zambezi. In the west, large plains are a key geographic feature, flooding the western plains during the annual rainy season (typically October to April).

Zambezi River basin
Zambia hosts two major rivers from the Congo River basin: the Chambeshi and the Luapula. The latter forms part of Zambia's border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Chambeshi lies entirely within Zambia and is the furthest headstream of the Congo River. It flows into the Bangweulu Swamps, which provide the waters that form the Luapula River. The Luapula flows south then west before it turns north until it enters Lake Mweru. The lake's other major tributary is the Kalungwishi River, which flows into it from the east. The Luvua River drains Lake Mweru, flowing out of the northern end.
Lake Tanganyika is the other major hydrographic feature that belongs to the Congo River basin. Its south-eastern end receives water from the Kalambo River, which forms part of Zambia's border with Tanzania. This river has Africa's second highest uninterrupted waterfall, the Kalambo Falls. (The continent's highest waterfalls is the Tugela Falls in South Africa.)

Congo River basin

Main article: Economy of Zambia Economy

Main article: Demographics of Zambia Demographics and ethnicity
See also: History of Church activities in Zambia

Zambia's constitution identifies the country as a Christian nation, but a variety of religious traditions exist. Traditional religious thought blends easily with Christian beliefs in many of the country's syncretic churches. Islam also has a visible presence especially in urban settings.
Within the Christian community, a variety of denominations can be found: Roman Catholic, Anglican, Pentecostal, New Apostolic Church, Lutheran, Seventh-day Adventist, Jehovah's Witness and a variety of Evangelical denominations. These grew, adjusted and prospered from the original missionary settlements (Portuguese and Catholicism in the east from Mozambique) and Anglican (English and Scottish influences) from the south. Except for some technical positions (e.g. physicians), western missionary roles have been assumed by native believers. After Frederick Chiluba (a Pentecostal Christian) became President in 1991, Pentecostal congregations sprouted around the country. Further information on the growth of Christianity can be found at the History of Church activities in Zambia
Zambian-born Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo was a high-ranking Bishop at the Vatican until he left to marry Maria Sung, a 43-year-old Korean acupuncturist, at a ceremony officiated by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon in New York (May, 2001). He was ex-communicated by the Roman Catholic Church in September, 2006 for conducting a consecration of 4 married men as bishops.

Islam in Zambia constitutes about 5% of the population. run by the Baha'i community is particularly active in areas such as literacy and primary health care.

Art and Culture

List of Zambia-related topics
List of Zambians
List of national parks of Zambia
History of Zambia
Monuments and Historic Sites of Zambia
Communications in Zambia
History of Church activities in Zambia
Transport in Zambia
Foreign relations of Zambia
Military of Zambia
Zambia Scouts Association
Zambia Medical Mission
Project Zambia

Sunday, October 28, 2007

This article is part of the series: Politics and government of the European Union
President José Manuel Barroso Barroso Commission
President Hans-Gert Pöttering MEPs (2004-09 term)
Presidency: Portugal (Luís Amado) High Representative · Voting
Court of Justice · Court of Auditors Central Bank · European Council
A directive is a legislative act of the European Union which requires member states to achieve a particular result without dictating the means of achieving that result. It can be distinguished from European Union regulations which are self-executing and do not require any implementing measures. Directives normally leave member states with a certain amount of leeway as to the exact rules to be adopted. Directives can be adopted by means of a variety of legislative procedures depending on its subject matter.

Legal basis
Directives are only binding on the member states to whom they are addressed, which can be just one member state or a group of them. In practice however, with the exception of directives related to the Common Agricultural Policy, directives are addressed to all member states.

EU directives Direct Effect

List of European Union directives
European Union law

Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Russian Empire (Pre-reform Russian: Pоссiйская Имперiя, Modern Russian: Российская империя, translit: Rossiyskaya Imperiya) was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia, and the predecessor of the Soviet Union. It was one of the largest empires the world had seen. At one point in 1866, it stretched from eastern Europe, across northern Asia, and into North America. At the beginning of the 20th century, only the British Empire rivaled its size, and its ruler, the Russian Tsar, was the only absolute monarch left in Europe.


Main article: Russian history, 1682-1796 The eighteenth century

Main article: Russian history, 1796-1855 Second half of the nineteenth century

Main article: Russian history, 1892-1917 Early twentieth century

The administrative boundaries of European Russia, apart from Finland, coincided broadly with the natural limits of the East-European plains. In the North it met the Arctic Ocean; the islands of Novaya Zemlya, Kolguyev and Vaigach also belonged to it, but the Kara Sea was reckoned to Siberia. To the East it had the Asiatic dominions of the empire, Siberia and the Kyrgyz steppes, from both of which it was separated by the Ural Mountains, the Ural River and the Caspian Sea — the administrative boundary, however, partly extending into Asia on the Siberian slope of the Urals. To the South it had the Black Sea and Caucasus, being separated from the latter by the Manych depression, which in Post-Pliocene times connected the Sea of Azov with the Caspian. The West boundary was purely conventional: it crossed the peninsula of Kola from the Varangerfjord to the Gulf of Bothnia; thence it ran to the Kurisches Haff in the southern Baltic, and thence to the mouth of the Danube, taking a great circular sweep to the West to embrace Poland, and separating Russia from Prussia, Austrian Galicia and Romania.
It is a special feature of Russia that it has no free outlet to the open sea except on the ice-bound shores of the Arctic Ocean. Even the White Sea is merely a gulf of that ocean. The deep indentations of the gulfs of Bothnia and Finland were surrounded by what is ethnological Finnish territory, and it is only at the very head of the latter gulf that the Russians had taken firm foothold by erecting their capital at the mouth of the Neva. The Gulf of Riga and the Baltic belong also to territory which was not inhabited by Slavs, but by Finnish peoples and by Germans. The East coast of the Black Sea belonged properly to Transcaucasia, a great chain of mountains separating it from Russia. But even this sheet of water is an inland sea, the only outlet of which, the Bosphorus, was in foreign hands, while the Caspian, an immense shallow lake, mostly bordered by deserts, possessed more importance as a link between Russia and her Asiatic settlements than as a channel for intercourse with other countries.


  • Russian Revolution
    Civil War
    1985–1991 Boundaries

    Main article: Geography of Russia Geography
    In addition to modern Russia, prior to 1917 the Russian Empire included most of Ukraine (Dnieper Ukraine and Crimea), Belarus, Moldova (Bessarabia), Finland (Grand Duchy of Finland), Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, the Central Asian states of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan (Russian Turkestan), most of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia (Baltic provinces), as well as a significant portions of Poland (Kingdom of Poland) and Ardahan, Artvin, Iğdır, and Kars from Turkey. Between 1742 and 1867 the Russian Empire claimed Alaska as its colony.
    Following the Swedish defeat in the Finnish War and the signing of the Treaty of Fredrikshamn on September 17, 1809, Finland was incorporated into the Russian Empire as an autonomous grand duchy. The Tsar ruled the Grand Duchy of Finland as a constitutional monarch through his governor and a native Finnish Senate appointed by him.

    Territory development
    According to the 1st article of the Organic law, the Russian Empire was one indivisible state. In addition, the 26th article stated that "With the Imperial Russian throne are indivisible the Kingdom of Poland and Grand Duchy of Finland". Relations with the Grand Duchy of Finland were also regulated by the 2nd article, "The Grand Duchy of Finland, constituted an indivisible part of the Russian state, in its internal affairs governed by special regulations at the base of special laws" and the law of 10 June 1910.
    In 1744–1867 the empire also controlled the so-called Russian America. With the exception of this territory (modern day Alaska), the Russian Empire was a contiguous landmass spanning Europe and Asia. In this it differed from contemporary, colonial-style empires. The result of this was that whilst the British and French Empire declined in the 20th century, the Russian Empire kept a large proportion of its territory, firstly as the Communist Soviet Union, and latterly as part of the present-day Russian Federation.
    Furthermore, the empire at times controlled concession territories, notably the port of Kwantung and the Chinese Eastern Railway Zone, both conceded by imperial China, as well as a concession in Tientsin. See for these periods of extraterritorial control the relations between the Empire of Japan and the Russian Empire.

    Imperial external territories
    Russia was described in the Almanach de Gotha for 1910 as "a constitutional monarchy under an autocratic tsar." This obvious contradiction in terms well illustrates the difficulty of defining in a single formula the system, essentially transitional and meanwhile sui generis, established in the Russian empire since October 1905. Before this date the fundamental laws of Russia described the power of the emperor as "autocratic and unlimited." The imperial style is still "Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias"; but in the fundamental laws as remodeled between the October Manifesto and the opening of the first Imperial Duma on 27 April 1906, while the name and principle of autocracy was jealously preserved, the word "unlimited" vanished. Not that the regime in Russia had become in any true sense constitutional, far less parliamentary; but the "unlimited autocracy" had given place to a "self-limited autocracy," whether permanently so limited, or only at the discretion of the autocrat, remaining a subject of heated controversy between conflicting parties in the state. Provisionally, then, the Russian governmental system may perhaps be best defined as "a limited monarchy under an autocratic emperor."

    Tsarist Russia Government and administration

    Main article: Tsar#Russia The emperor

    Main article: State Council of Imperial Russia Imperial Council

    Main article: State Duma of the Russian Empire The Duma and electoral system

    Main article: Russian Council of Ministers Council of Ministers

    Main article: Most Holy Synod Most Holy Synod

    Main article: Governing Senate Senate
    Further information: History of the administrative division of Russia
    For purposes of provincial administration Russia was divided (as of 1914) into 81 provinces (guberniyas) and 20 regions (oblasts) and 1 district (okrug). Vassals and protectorates of the Russian Empire included the Emirate of Bukhara, the Khanate of Khiva and, after 1914, Tuva (Uriankhai). Of these 11 Governorates, 17 provinces and 1 district (Sakhalin) belonged to Asiatic Russia. Of the rest 8 Governorates were in Finland, 10 in Poland. European Russia thus embraced 59 governments and 1 province (that of the Don). The Don province was under the direct jurisdiction of the ministry of war; the rest have each a governor and deputy-governor, the latter presiding over the administrative council. In addition there were governors-general, generally placed over several governments and armed with more extensive powers usually including the command of the troops within the limits of their jurisdiction. In 1906 there were governors-general in Finland, Warsaw, Vilna, Kiev, Moscow and Riga. The larger cities (St Petersburg, Moscow, Odessa, Sevastopol, Kerch, Nikolayev, Rostov) have an administrative system of their own, independent of the governments; in these the chief of police acts as governor.

    Provincial administration

    Main article: Judicial system of the Russian Empire Judicial system
    Alongside the local organs of the central government in Russia there are three classes of local elected bodies charged with administrative functions:

    the peasant assemblies in the mir and the volost;
    the zemstvos in the 34 Governorates of Russia;
    the municipal dumas. Local administration
    Since 1870 the municipalities in European Russia have had institutions like those of the zemstvos. All owners of houses, and tax-paying merchants, artisans and workmen are enrolled on lists in a descending order according to their assessed wealth. The total valuation is then divided into three equal parts, representing three groups of electors very unequal in number, each of which elects an equal number of delegates to the municipal duma. The executive is in the hands of an elective mayor and an uprava, which consists of several members elected by the duma. Under Alexander III, however, by laws promulgated in 1892 and 1894, the municipal dumas were subordinated to the governors in the same way as the zemstvos. In 1894 municipal institutions, with still more restricted powers, were granted to several towns in Siberia, and in 1895 to some in Caucasia.

    Municipal dumas

    Main article: Baltic governorates Baltic provinces
    The state religion of the Russian Empire was that of the Russian Orthodox Christianity. Its head is the tsar; but although he makes and annuls all appointments, he does not determine questions of dogmatic theology. The principal ecclesiastical authority was the Holy Synod, the head of which, the Procurator, is one of the council of ministers and exercises very wide powers in ecclesiastical matters. In theory all religions may be freely professed, except that certain restrictions, such as domicile, are laid upon the Jews; but in actual fact the dissenting sects are more or less severely treated. According to returns published in 1905, based of the Russian Empire Census of 1897, the adherents of the different religious communities in the whole of the Russian empire numbered approximately as follows, though the heading Orthodox includes a very great many Raskolniks or Dissenters.
    The ecclesiastical heads of the national Russian Orthodox Church consist of three metropolitans (St Petersburg, Moscow, Kiev), fourteen archbishops and fifty bishops, all drawn from the ranks of the monastic (celibate) clergy. The parochial clergy must be married when appointed, but if left widowers may not marry again.

    Subjects of the Russian Empire were segregated into sosloviyes, or social estates (classes) such as nobility (dvoryanstvo), clergy, merchants, cossacks and peasants. Native people of Siberia and Central Asia were officially registered as a category called inorodtsy (non-Slavic, literally: "people of another origin").
    The great mass of the people, 81.6%, belonged to the peasant order, the others were: nobility, 1.3%; clergy, 0.9%; the burghers and merchants, 9.3%; and military, 6.1%. Thus more than 88 millions of the Russians were peasants. Half of them were formerly serfs (10,447,149 males in 1858) – the remainder being " state peasants " (9,194,891 males in 1858, exclusive of the Archangel Governorate) and " domain peasants " (842,740 males the same year).


    Main article: Serfdom in Russia Serfdom
    After the Emancipation reform one quarter of peasants have received allotments of only 2.9 acres per male, and one-half less than 8.5 to 11.4 acres – the normal size of the allotment necessary to the subsistence of a family under the three-fields system being estimated at 28 to 42 acres. Land must thus of necessity be rented from the landlords at fabulous prices. The aggregate value of the redemption and land taxes often reaches 185 to 275% of the normal rental value of the allotments, not to speak of taxes for recruiting purposes, the church, roads, local administration and so on, chiefly levied from the peasants. The arrears increase every year; one-fifth of the inhabitants have left their houses; cattle are disappearing. Every year more than half the adult males (in some districts three-fourths of the men and one-third of the women) quit their homes and wander throughout Russia in search of labor. In the governments of the Black Earth Area the state of matters is hardly better. Many peasants took the "gratuitous allotments," whose amount was about one-eighth of the normal allotments.
    The average allotment in Kherson was only 0.90 acre, and for allotments from 2.9 to 5.8 acres the peasants pay 5 to 10 rubles of redemption tax. The state peasants were better off, but still they were emigrating in masses. It was only in the steppe governments that the situation was more hopeful. In Little Russia, where the allotments were personal (the mir existing only among state peasants), the state of affairs does not differ for the better, on account of the high redemption taxes. In the West provinces, where the land was valued cheaper and the allotments somewhat increased after the Polish insurrection, the general situation was better. Finally, in the Baltic provinces nearly all the land belonged to the German landlords, who either farmed the land themselves, with hired laborers, or let it in small farms. Only one quarter of the peasants were farmers, the remainder were mere laborers.

    Tsarist Russia Peasants
    The situation of the former serf-proprietors was also unsatisfactory. Accustomed to the use of compulsory labor, they have failed to accommodate themselves to the new conditions. The millions of rubles of redemption money received from the crown have been spent without any real or lasting agricultural improvements having been affected. The forests have been sold, and only those landlords are prospering who exact rack-rents for the land without which the peasants could not live upon their allotments. During the years 1861 to 1892 the land owned by the nobles decreased 30%, or from 210,000,000 to 150,000,000 acres (610,000 km²); during the following four years an additional 2,119,500 acres (8,577 km²) were sold; and since then the sales have gone on at an accelerated rate, until in 1903 alone close upon 2,000,000 acres (8,000 km²) passed out of their hands. On the other hand, since 1861, and more especially since 1882, when the Peasant Land Bank was founded for making advances to peasants who were desirous of purchasing land, the former serfs, or rather their descendants, have between 1883 and 1904 bought about 19,500,000 acres (78,900 km²) from their former masters. There has been an increase of wealth among the few, but along with this a general impoverishment of the mass of the people, and the peculiar institution of the mir, framed on the principle of community of ownership and occupation of the land, was not conducive to the growth of individual effort. In November 1906, however, the emperor Nicholas II promulgated a provisional ukaz permitting the peasants to become freeholders of allotments made at the time of emancipation, all redemption dues being remitted. This measure, which was endorsed by the third Duma in an act passed on the 21 December 1908, is calculated to have far-reaching and profound effects upon the rural economy of Russia. Thirteen years previously the government had endeavored to secure greater fixity and permanence of tenure by providing that at least twelve years must elapse between every two redistributions of the land belonging to a mir amongst those entitled to share in it. The ukaz of November 1906 had provided that the various strips of land held by each peasant should be merged into a single holding; the Duma, however, on the advice of the government, left this to the future, as an ideal that could only gradually be realized.

    See also

    Friday, October 26, 2007

    Folkestone and Hythe (UK Parliament constituency) Boundaries
    Following their review of parliamentary representation in Kent, the Boundary Commission for England has made major changes to the constituency boundaries in the county as a consequence of population changes.
    The entire district of Shepway and the Ashford electoral ward of Saxon Shore are brought together to form this modified constituency.

    Folkestone and Hythe (UK Parliament constituency) Members of Parliament

    Thursday, October 25, 2007

    An estuary is a semi-enclosed coastal body of water with one or more rivers or streams flowing into it, and with a free connection to the open sea. Estuaries are often associated with high rates of biological productivity. An estuary is where the river meets the sea.
    An estuary is typically the tidal mouth of a river (aestus is Latin for tide), and estuaries are often characterized by sedimentation or silt carried in from terrestrial runoff and, frequently, from offshore. They are made up of brackish water. Estuaries are more likely to occur on submerged coasts, where the sea level has risen in relation to the land; this process floods valleys to form rias and fjords. These can become estuaries if there is a stream or river flowing into them. Large estuaries, like Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound often have many streams flowing into them and can have complex shapes. Estuaries are often given names like bay, sound, fjord, etc. The terms are not mutually exclusive. Where an enormous volume of river water enters the sea (as, for example, from the Amazon into the South Atlantic) its estuary could be considered to extend well beyond the coast.
    Estuarine circulation is common in estuaries; this occurs when fresh or brackish water flows out near the surface, while denser saline water flows inward near the bottom. Anti-estuarine flow is its opposite, in which dense water flows out near the bottom and less dense water circulates inward at the surface. These two terms, however, have a broader oceanographic application that extends beyond estuaries proper, such as in describing the circulation of nearly-closed ocean basins. Estuaries are marine environments, whose pH, salinity, and water level are varying, depending on the river that feeds the estuary and the ocean from which it derives its salinity (oceans and seas have different salinity levels).

    EstuariesEstuaries Classes of estuary
    Grouped by circulation, there are several types of estuary:
    River output greatly exceeds marine input; there is little mixing, and thus a sharp contrast between fresh surface water and saline bottom water.
    River output and marine input are more even, with river flow still dominant; turbulence induces more mixing of salt water upward than the reverse.
    River output is less than the marine input. Here, turbulence causes mixing of the whole water column, such that salinity varies more longitudinally rather than vertically.
    River output is much less than marine input, such that the freshwater contribution is negligible; longitudinal salinity variation only.
    Located in regions with high evaporation, there is no freshwater input and in fact salinity increases inland; overall flow is inward at the surface, downwells at the inland terminus, and flows outward subsurface.
    Estuary type varies dramatically depending on freshwater input, and is capable of changing from a wholly marine embayment to any of the other estuary types.

    Wednesday, October 24, 2007

    Gerda Steinhoff (January 29, 1922July 4, 1946) was a Nazi prison camp overseer born in Danzig-Langfuhr.

    Gerda SteinhoffGerda Steinhoff SS career
    In 1939, Steinhoff became a cook, got married and had one child. In 1944, because of the call for new guards, she joined the camp staff at Stutthof. On October 1, 1944, she became a Blockleiterin in Stutthof women's camp SK-III. There, she took part in selections of prisoners to the gas chambers. On October 31, 1944, the young matron was promoted to SS-Oberaufseherin and was assigned to the Danzig-Holm subcamp. On December 1, 1944 she was reassigned to the Bydgoszcz subcamp of Stutthof located near Danzig. There on January 25, 1945, she received a medal for her loyalty and service to the Third Reich. She was devoted to her job in the camps and was known as a very ruthless overseer. Soon before the end of World War II, she fled the camp and went back home.

    Tuesday, October 23, 2007

    The Space Coast is a region in the U.S. state of Florida around Kennedy Space Center, where the U.S. Air Force and NASA frequently launch rockets and shuttles into space. Cities in the area include Titusville, Cocoa, Merritt Island (unincorporated), Cocoa Beach, Melbourne and Palm Bay; and most of the area lies within Brevard County.
    It is bounded on the south by the Treasure Coast. It is not only bounded on the west and north by the Central Florida region, it is often included in that region, as well. It is bounded on the east by the Atlantic Ocean.

    Space Coast Space-named landmarks (outside NASA and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station)

    Alan Shepard Park, Cocoa Beach
    Apollo Boulevard, Melbourne
    Apollo Elementary School, Titusville
    Armstrong Drive, Titusville
    Astronaut Boulevard, Cape Canaveral
    Astronaut High School, Titusville
    Atlantis Elementary School, Port St. John
    Challenger Memorial Parkway, (Florida State Road 407), Titusville
    Challenger 7 Elementary School, Port St. John
    Chaffee Drive, Titusville
    Christa McAuliffe drawbridge, Merritt Island
    Christa McAuliffe Elementary School, Palm Bay
    Columbia Boulevard (Florida State Road 405), Titusville
    Columbia Elementary School, Palm Bay
    Discovery Elementary School, Palm Bay
    Endeavour Elementary Magnet school, Cocoa
    Enterprise Elementary School, Cocoa
    Freedom 7 Elementary School, Cocoa Beach
    Gemini Elementary School, Melbourne Beach
    Grissom Parkway, Cocoa
    John F. Kennedy Middle School, Rockledge
    Jupiter Boulevard, Palm Bay
    Jupiter Elementary School, Palm Bay
    Kennedy Point Park, Titusville
    Ronald McNair Middle Magnet School, Rockledge
    MILA Elementary School, Merritt Island
    Minuteman Causeway, Cocoa Beach
    NASA Boulevard (Florida State Road 508), Melbourne
    Satellite Beach, Florida
    Satellite Boulevard, Cocoa
    Satellite High School, Satellite Beach
    Saturn Elementary School, Cocoa
    Shepard Drive, Titusville
    Space Coast Academy, Melbourne
    Space View Park, Titusville
    White Drive, Titusville

    Monday, October 22, 2007

    Alexandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn (Russian: Алекса́ндр Иса́евич Солжени́цын, IPA: [ʌlʲɪˈksandr ɘˈsaə̟vʲə̟ʨ səlʐɘˈnʲitsən] ; born December 11, 1918) is a Russian novelist, dramatist and historian. Through his writings, he made the world aware of the Gulag, the Soviet labor camp system, and, for these efforts, Solzhenitsyn was both awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1970 and exiled from the Soviet Union in 1974. He returned to Russia in 1994. In 1994, he was elected as a member of Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts in the Department of Language and Literature.

    While in the Soviet Union
    Solzhenitsyn became something of a cause célèbre in the West, earning him the enmity of Soviet regime. He could have emigrated at any time, but always expressed the desire to stay in his motherland and work for change from within. During this period, he was sheltered by the cellist Mstislav Rostropovich, who suffered considerably for his support of Solzhenitsyn and was eventually forced into exile himself.
    However, on February 13, 1974, Solzhenitsyn was deported from the Soviet Union to West Germany and stripped of his Soviet citizenship. The KGB had found the manuscript for the first part of The Gulag Archipelago. Less than a week later, the Soviets carried out reprisals against Yevgeny Yevtushenko for his support of Solzhenitsyn.
    After a time in Switzerland, Solzhenitsyn was invited to Stanford University in the United States to "facilitate [your] work, and to accommodate you and your family." He stayed on the 11th floor of the Hoover Tower, part of the Hoover Institution. Solzhenitsyn moved to Cavendish, Vermont in 1976. He was given an honorary Literary Degree from Harvard University in 1978 and on Thursday, June 8, 1978 he gave his Commencement Address condemning modern western culture.
    Over the next 17 years, Solzhenitsyn worked hard on his historical cycle of the Russian Revolution of 1917 The Red Wheel, four "knots" (parts of the whole) of which had been completed by 1992, and outside of this, several shorter works.
    Despite an enthusiastic welcome on his first arrival in America, followed by respect for his privacy, he had never been comfortable outside his homeland. He did not become fluent in spoken English despite spending two decades in the United States; he has read works in English since his teens however, something his mother encouraged him to do. More important, he resented the idea of becoming a media star and of tempering his ideas or ways of talking to fit television.
    Solzhenitsyn's warnings about the dangers of Communist aggression and the weakening of the moral fiber of the West were generally well received in conservative circles in the West, and fit very well with the toughening-up of foreign policy under Reagan. But liberals and secularists were increasingly critical of what they perceived as his reactionary preference for Russian patriotism and the Russian Orthodox religion. He also harshly criticised what he saw as the ugliness and spiritual vapidity of the dominant pop culture of the modern West, including television and rock music: "…the human soul longs for things higher, warmer and purer than those offered by today's mass living habits … by TV stupor and by intolerable music."

    In the West
    In 1990, his Soviet citizenship was restored, and, in 1994, he returned to Russia with his wife, Natalia, who had become a United States citizen. Their sons stayed behind in the United States (later, his oldest son Ermolay returned to Russia, to work for the Moscow office of a leading management consultancy firm). Since then, he has lived with his wife in a dacha in Troitse-Lykovo (Троице-Лыково) in west Moscow between the dachas of Mikhail Suslov and Konstantin Chernenko.
    Since returning to Russia in 1994, Solzhenitsyn has published eight two-part short stories, a series of contemplative "miniatures" or prose poems, a literary memoir on his years in the West (The Grain Between the Millstones) and a two-volume work on the history of Russian-Jewish relations (Two Hundred Years Together 2001, 2002). In it, Solzhenitsyn emphatically repudiates the idea that the Russian revolutions of 1905 and 1917 were the work of a "Jewish conspiracy" (see chapters 9, 14, and 15 of that work). At the same time, he calls on both Russians and Jews to come to terms with the members of their peoples who acted in complicity with the Communist regime.
    The reception of this work confirms that Solzhenitsyn remains a polarizing figure both at home and abroad. According to his critics, the book confirmed Solzhenitsyn's anti-semitic views as well as his ideas of Russian supremacy to other nations. Professor Robert Service of Oxford University has defended Solzhenitsyn as being "absolutely right", noting that Trotsky himself claimed Jews were disproportionately represented in the Soviet bureaucracy.
    Another famous Russian dissident writer, Vladimir Voinovich, wrote a polemic study "A Portrait Against the Background of a Myth" ("Портрет на фоне мифа", 2002.), in which he had tried to prove Solzhenitsyn's egoism, anti-semitism and lack of writing skills. Voinovich had already mocked Solzhenitsyn in his novel Moscow 2042, portraying him by the self-centered ego-maniac Sim Simich Karnavalov, an extreme and brutal dictatorial writer who tries to destroy the Soviet Union and, eventually, to become the king of Russia. Using a more subtle line of argument, Joseph Brodsky in his essay Catastrophes in the Air (in Less than One) argued that Solzhenitsyn, while a hero in showing up the brutalities of Soviet Communism, failed to discern that the historical crimes he unearthed might be the outcome of authoritarian traits that were really part of the heritage of Old Russia and of "the severe spirit of Orthodoxy" (lionized by Solzhenitsyn) and not so much to do with political ideology.
    In his recent political writings, such as Rebuilding Russia (1990) and Russia in Collapse (1998)' Solzhenitsyn has criticized the oligarchic excesses of the new Russian 'democracy' while opposing any nostalgia for Soviet communism. He has defended moderate and self-critical patriotism (as opposed to extreme nationalism), argued for the indispensability of local self-government to a free Russia, and expressed concerns for the fate of 25 million ethnic Russians in the "near abroad" of the former Soviet Union. He has also sought to "protect" the national character of the Russian Orthodox church and fought against the admission of Catholic priests and Protestant pastors to Russia from other countries. For a brief period, he had his own TV show where he freely expressed his views. The show was cancelled because of low ratings, but Solzhenitsyn continued to maintain a relatively high profile in the media.
    All of Solzhenitsyn's sons became U.S. citizens. One, Ignat, has achieved acclaim as a pianist and conductor in the United States.
    Since the death of Naguib Mahfouz in 2006, Solzhenitsyn is the oldest living Nobel laureate in literature.
    The most complete 30-volume edition of Solzhenitsyn's selected works is soon to be published in Russia. The presentation of its first three published volumes has recently taken place in Moscow.
    On June 5, 2007, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree which conferred an award for Solzhenitsyn. President Putin personally visited the writer at his home on June 12, 2007 to give the award.

    Return to Russia

    Historical and political views
    During his years in the west, Solzhenitsyn was very active in the historical debate, discussing the history of Russia, the Soviet Union and communism. He tried to correct what he considered to be western misconceptions.

    Historical views
    It is a popular view that the October revolution of 1917 resulting in a violent totalitarian regime was closely connected to Russia's earlier history of tsarism and culture, especially that of Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great. Solzhenitsyn claims that this is fundamentally wrong and has famously denounced the work of Richard Pipes as "the Polish version of Russian history". Solzhenitsyn argues that Tsarist Russia did not have the same violent tendencies as the Soviet Union. For instance, in Solzhenitsyn's view, Imperial Russia did not practise censorship; political prisoners were not forced into labour camps and in Tsarist Russia numbered only one ten-thousandth of those in the Soviet Union; the Tsar's secret service was only present in the three largest cities, and not at all in the army. The violence of the Communist regime was in no way comparable to the lesser violence of the tsars.
    He considered it far fetched to blame the catastrophes of the 20th century on one 16th century and one 18th century tsar, when there were many other examples of violence that could have inspired the Bolshevik in other countries earlier in time, especially mentioning similarities with the Jacobins of the Reign of Terror of France.
    Instead of blaming Russian conditions, he blamed the teachings of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, arguing that Marxism itself is violent. His conclusion is that Communism will always be totalitarian and violent, wherever it is practiced. There was nothing special in the Russian conditions that affected the outcome.
    He also criticized the view that the Soviet Union was Russian in any way. He argued that Communism was international and only cared for nationalism as a tool to use when getting into power, or for fooling the people. Once in power, Communism tried to wipe clean every nation, destroying its culture and oppressing its people.
    According to Solzhenitsyn, the Russian culture and people were not the ruling national culture in the Soviet Union. In fact, there was no ruling national culture. All national cultures were oppressed in favour of an atheistic Soviet culture. In Solzhenitsyn's opinion, Russian culture was even more oppressed than the smaller minority cultures, since the regime was less afraid of ethnic uprisings among these. Therefore, Russian nationalism and the Orthodox Church should not be regarded as a threat by the west, but rather as allies that should be encouraged..

    Communism, Russia and nationalism
    Solzhenitsyn criticized the Allies for not opening a new front against Nazi Germany in the west earlier in World War II. This resulted in Soviet domination and oppression of the nations of Eastern Europe. Solzhenitsyn claimed the western democracies apparently cared little about how many died in the east, as long as they could end the war as quickly and painlessly for themselves in the west.

    World War II
    He also rejected the view that Stalin created the totalitarian state, while Lenin (and Trotsky) had been a "true communist". In proof of this, he argued that Lenin started the mass executions, wrecked the economy, founded the Cheka that would later be turned into the KGB, and started the Gulag even though it did not have the same name at that time. Solzhenitsyn's negative views of Lenin and Trotsky have been proved true by the opening of the Soviet era archives in the 1990s.

    In his commencement address at Harvard University in 1978 (A World Split Apart), Solzhenitsyn alleges that many in the U.S. did not understand the Vietnam War. He argues that although many antiwar proponents were sincere about stopping all wars as soon as possible, they "became accomplices … in the genocide and the suffering today imposed on thirty million people there." He rhetorically asks if the American antiwar proponents now realize the effects that their actions had on Vietnam by inquiring, "Do these convinced pacifists now hear the moans coming from their Vietnam?"
    During his time in the West, Solzhenitsyn made a few surprising public statements: notably, he characterized Daniel Ellsberg as a traitor.

    Solzhenitsyn has strongly condemned the 1999 NATO bombing in Yugoslavia, saying that "there is no difference between NATO and Hitler".

    Kosovo War
    from a BBC Address 26th March 1979

    Alexander Solzhenitsyn The West
    He described the problems of both East and West as "a disaster" rooted in agnosticism and atheism. He referred to it as "the calamity of an autonomous, irreligious humanistic consciousness."
    It has made man the measure of all things on earth—imperfect man, who is never free of pride, self-interest, envy, vanity, and dozens of other defects. We are now paying for the mistakes which were not properly appraised at the beginning of the journey. On the way from the Renaissance to our days we have enriched our experience, but we have lost the concept of a Supreme Complete Entity which used to restrain our passions and our irresponsibility.

    Modern world

    Mask of Sorrow
    Anne Applebaum
    Alexander Galich Published works and speeches