Monday, December 31, 2007

Michael Timmins
Michael Timmins (born April 21, 1959) is a Canadian musician. He is the guitarist and primary songwriter for the band Cowboy Junkies.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Scheme may refer to:
Scheme may also refer to some particular organizational plan or plot, including:

Scheme (programming language), a minimalist, multi-paradigm dialect of Lisp
Scheme (mathematics), an important concept in algebraic geometry
Color scheme, a set of colors chosen to be used together in some media
URI scheme, the outermost part of internet URIs
Numbering scheme, an agreed-upon method of assigning nominal numbers to entities
Rhyme scheme, the pattern of rhyming lines in poems and lyrics
Council House, in Scotland, a council housing estate
Get-rich-quick scheme, a usually flawed or fraudulent scheme for earning money with low risk
Pyramid scheme, a non-sustainable business model involving the exchange of money primarily for enrolling other people

Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Mark I was a development of Little Willie, the experimental tank built for the Landships Committee by Lieutenant Walter Wilson and William Tritton in the summer of 1915. Working on problems discovered with Willie, the Mark I was designed by Wilson. A gun turret above the hull would have made the centre of gravity too high, so the guns were put in sponsons. The prototype Mark I, ready in December 1915, was called "Mother". 150 were built. See history of the tank for a fuller story.

Production history
A requirement was found for two types of armament, so Mark Is were armed either with 6 pounder guns and four machine guns and called "Male" (75) or two Vickers machine guns instead of the 6 pounders and called "Female" (75).
To aid steering, a pair of large wheels were added behind the tank. These were not as effective as hoped and were subsequently dropped.
The subsequent Mark II, III, IV and V and later tanks all bear a strong resemblance to their 'Mother'.

The Gun Carrier Mark I was largely produced with parts identical to those used to build the Mark I.

Crew: 8
Combat Weight

  • Male: 28 tons (28.4 tonne)
    Female: 27 tons (27.4 tonne)
    Armour: .23-.47 in (6-12 mm)

    • Male: two 6-pounder QF, four 8 mm Hotchkiss Machine Guns
      Female: four .303 Vickers Machine Guns, two 8 mm Hotchkiss Machine Guns Mark I
      Unhardened armour. Built from December 1916 for training only, but used in the Battle of Arras in April 1917 because of delays in the production of the Mark IV. 50 built. Five Mark IIs were used to test transmission types for the new Mark IV.

      Mark II
      The Mark III was a training tank, which used Lewis machine guns and a smaller sponson for the females. Fifty were built. It was originally intended that the Mark III have all the proposed new design features of the Mark IV. This is why there were two distinct training types, the Mark II being little more than a slightly improved Mark I. Development of the new features was so slow however, that the change from the Mark II was very gradual only. The last two Mark III's were melted down in World War II.

      Mark III
      An up-armoured version of the Mark I with all fuel stored in a single external tank (located between the rear track horns) in an attempt to improve crew safety. The sponsons could be pushed in to reduce the width of the tank for rail transportation. Rails on the roof carried an unditching beam. 1220 were built: 420 Males, 595 Females and 205 Tank Tenders which were supply tanks.
      The director of the Tank Supply Department, Albert Gerald Stern, first intended to fit the Mark IV with a new engine and transmission. Production of battle tanks was halted until the new design was ready, necessitating the Mark II and III as interim training tanks. He failed however to complete development soon enough to start production in time to have 200 tanks ready for the promised date of 1 April 1917. He was ultimately forced to take a Mark IV in production in May 1917 that was only slightly different from the Mark I.
      The Mark IV Male carried 4 Lewis machine guns as well as the two sponson guns (now with shorter barrels). The Female had six machine guns. Two of the machine guns were operated by the gun loaders.

      Crew: 8
      Combat Weight
      Male: 28 tons (28.4 tonnes), Female: 27 tons (27.4 tonnes)
      Armour: .25-.47 in (6.1 - 12 mm)

      • Two MG (Male), Six .303 Lewis MG (Female)
        Ammo storage

        • 6 pounder: 180 HE rounds and remainder Case Mark IV

          Mark V series
          The Mark V was first to be a completely new design. When however in December 1917 the desired new engine and transmission became available, this design was abandoned and the designation switched to an improved version of the Mark IV, in fact a Mark IV as it was originally intended: more power (150 bhp) with a new Ricardo engine, improved steering mechanism and epicyclical transmission, only one driver was needed. Cabin for machine-gunner on the roof. 400 were built, 200 each of Males and Females. Several were converted to Hermaphrodites by swapping sponsons to give a single 6 pounder gun for each.

          Mark V
          Sir William Tritton in 1917 developed the Tadpole Tail: an extension of the tracks to be fitted to the back of a tank to improve trench crossing abilities. This was necessary because the Hindenburg Line had 3.5 metre wide trenches to stop the British tanks. When Major Philip Johnson of Central Tank Corps Workshops heard of this project, he immediately understood that the weight of the heavy girders strengthening the attachment might be put to a better use by creating a larger tank. He cut a Mark IV in half and stretched the hull, lengthening it by six feet. When details had been forgotten it has for a long time been assumed that most Mark V* had been field conversions made by Johnson. We now know that they were all factory-built. It had a larger 'turret' on the roof and doors in the side of the hull. The weight was 33 tons. 645 were built out of an order for 500 Males and 200 Females.
          The extra section was also designed to house a squad of infantry. This was the first ever purpose designed tracked armoured personnel carrier (APC), it was also the first APC to be significantly armed, as some earlier conversions of tanks into supply carriers lacked any armament. It could operate as a tank as well as carrying troops, and it was not until the post World War II era Merkava that a tank that could also carry troops under protection was produced.

          Mark V*
          Because the Mark V* had been lengthened, its original length-width ratio had been spoiled. Lateral forces in a turn now became unacceptably high causing thrown tracks and an enormous turn circle. Therefore Major Wilson redesigned the track in May 1918, with a stronger curve reducing ground contact (but increasing ground pressure as a trade-off). An uprated 225 hp Ricardo engine was fitted. The cabin for the driver was combined with the roof cabin; there now was a separate machine gun position in the back. 197 were built out of an order for 750 Males and 150 Females.

          Mark V**
          See: Mark X.

          Mark V***

          Main article: Mark VI (tank) Mark VI
          One of the Mark IIs used as test vehicles had had a hydraulic transmission. In October 1917 Brown Brothers in Edinburgh were granted a contract to develop this line of research further. In July 1918 the prototype was ready. Its drive system was very complex. The Ricardo engine drove into Variable Speed Gear pumps that in turn powered two (Williams-Janney) hydraulic motors, moving one track each by means of several chains. To ward off the obvious danger of overheating there were many fans, louvres and radiators. Steering was easy and gradual however and the version was taken into production to equip one tank battalion. Three were built out of an order for 74 when war ended. The hull was slightly lengthened in comparison with the Mark V. No Mark VIIs survive.

          Mark VII

          Main article: Mark VIII (tank) Mark VIII

          Main article: Mark IX tank Mark IX
          Paper only project to improve the Mark V, originally known as Mark V***. This was basically a contingency plan in case the Mark VIII project would fail (if so a production of 2000 was foreseen for 1919), trying to produce a tank with as many parts of the Mark V as possible but with improved manoeuvrability and crew comfort.

          Mark X
          The first tanks were added, as 'Heavy Branch', to the Machine Gun Corps until a separate Tank Corps was formed on 28 July 1917 by Royal Warrant. A small number of Mark I tanks took part in the battle of the Somme during the Battle of Flers-Courcelette in September 1916. Although many broke down or became stuck, almost a third that attacked made it across no mans land, and their effect on the enemy was noted leading to a request by the British C-in-C Douglas Haig for a thousand more. This came as a bit of a surprise: William Tritton had already started the development of a heavier tank: the Flying Elephant. Unfortunately for the Allies, it also gave the Germans time to develop a specifically designed anti-tank weapon for the infantry, an armour-piercing 7.92 mm bullet. Mark IV tanks were used at the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) in mid-1917, but without great success due to the mud. Nearly 460 Mark IV tanks were used during the Battle of Cambrai in November 1917, showing that a large concentration of tanks could quickly overcome even the most sophisticated trench system. About forty captured Mark IVs were employed by the Germans as Beutepanzer with a crew of twelve. During the Battle of Amiens in August 1918, Mark V tanks with the new Whippet tank penetrated the German lines in a foretaste of modern armoured warfare. The first tank-to-tank battle was between Mk IV tanks and German A7Vs (see that entry for details).
          Mark V and Whippet tanks were supplied by the British to the White movement during the Russian Civil War; some were subsequently captured by the Red Army. Mark Vs were also delivered to the French, Canadian and American army.
          A Mark V tank can be seen in several photographs taken in Berlin in 1945 in front of the Berliner Dom (Berlin Cathedral). It has been suggested this was a museum piece that had been previously displayed at the Lustgarten and it had been used as a static pillbox to help bolster the city's defences during Nazi Germany's final days. However, there is no evidence this was the case and it is not clear what role (if any) it played in the Battle of Berlin.

          Combat history
          A list of preserved tanks:

          Surviving vehicles

          Little Willie survives at the Bovington Tank Museum; it was saved from being scrapped in 1940 — many other prototypes were melted down during the Invasion Scare — on the pretext it was helping to defend Bovington base against possible German attacks. Little Willie

          Male - Clan Leslie. This is the only surviving Mark I and the world's oldest surviving combat tank. It is part of the collection at the Bovington Tank Museum. Little is known of its wartime history, but there are indications it may have served as a driver-training tank. Between 1919 and 1970, it was sited in the grounds of Hatfield House to commemorate the fact this was a testing site for tanks during their earliest development. Mark I

          Mark II Female, F53 - The Flying Scotsman, is also at the Bovington Tank Museum. This tank still has battle damage sustained at Battle of Arras in April 1917. Mark II

          A Mark IV Female, F4 - Flirt II, which fought at the Battle of Cambrai, is at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life, Lincoln, England. A local company, William Foster & Co., manufactured the first tanks.
          A Mark IV Male, Excellent, is displayed at Bovington.
          A Mark IV Female is preserved at Ashford in Kent. This is one of many that were presented for display to towns and cities in Britain after the war. Most were scrapped in the 1920s and 1930's.
          The Royal Museum of the Army in Brussels has a Male Mark IV tank, the Lodestar III, still in original colours.
          A Mark IV Female, Grit, is displayed in the ANZAC hall at the Australian War Memorial.
          In 1999, a Mark IV Female, D51 - Deborah, was excavated at the village of Flesquières in France. It had been knocked out by shell-fire at the Battle of Cambrai (1917) and subsequently buried when used to fill a crater. Work is underway on its restoration see Mark I tank Mark IV

          The Bovington Tank Museum displays a Mark V Male, Number 9199, the only British World War I tank still in working order (several French tanks from that period are still in running condition). It was in action at the Battle of Amiens where its commander was awarded the Military Cross.
          A Mark V** Female - Ol'Faithfull, is also preserved at Bovington.
          A heavily restored Mark V Male, Devil, survives at the London Imperial War Museum.
          Mark V Female - United States Army Ordnance Museum, Aberdeen, Maryland.
          Mark V* Female - Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armor, Fort Knox, Kentucky.
          Mark V - Kubinka Tank Museum, Russia.
          A Mark V serves as memorial in Arkhangelsk. This was originally used by British forces during the Allied Intervention in the Russian Civil War.
          Two preserved Mark Vs, a Male and a Female, form part of an outdoor memorial at Luhansk in the Ukraine; two more are in storage.
          Mark V Female - Kharkiv Historical Museum, Ukraine. Mark V

          A modified Liberty tank is preserved at Fort Mead, Maryland.
          A British Mark VIII is at Bovington. Mark VIII/Liberty
          The Bovington Mark II Female tank.
          Mark IV tank at the Museum of Lincolnshire Life.
          Mark IV tank at the Australian War Memorial.
          The Bovington Mark V tank; still in working order.
          The Luhanks Mark V Male tank.
          The Luhanks Mark V Female tank.
          Mark V Male tank at the London Imperial War Museum.

          A single vehicle survives at Bovington. It has just been restored. Popular culture

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

William Waldorf Astor, 1st Viscount Astor
William Waldorf Astor, 1st Viscount Astor (March 31, 1848October 18, 1919) was a financier and statesman and a member of the prominent Astor family.
William Astor was born in New York City, the only child of John Jacob Astor III (1822-1890) and Charlotte Augusta Gibbes (c.1825 -1887). He was educated in Germany and in Italy before studying at Columbia Law School. He worked shortly in law practice and in the management of his father's estate. In 1878 he married Mary Dahlgren Paul (1858-1894) and went into politics, serving as a New York state assemblyman and senator. He was twice defeated in his bids for a seat in the United States Congress. In 1882, President Chester A. Arthur appointed Astor Minister to Italy, a post he held until 1885. ("Go and enjoy yourself, my dear boy," the president told Astor.) While living in Rome, Astor developed a life-long passion for art and sculpture.
Upon the death of his father in early 1890, William Waldorf Astor inherited a personal fortune that made him the richest man in America. On November 7, 1890, plans were filed with the New York City Building Department to construct a new hotel on the site of William Astor's residence. In 1891, after a family feud with his aunt Caroline Webster Schermerhorn Astor over matters of social seniority, Astor and his family moved to England, a decision that was published throughout all the major newspapers. Although the owner of the Waldorf Hotel built where his home had stood, William Astor visited it only once in his lifetime. In 1897, his cousin, John Jacob Astor IV (1864-1912) built the Astoria Hotel adjoining the Waldorf, and the complex then became known as the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
Arriving in England, at first Astor rented Lansdowne House in London until 1893 when he purchased a country estate at Cliveden-on-Thames in Taplow, Buckinghamshire from Hugh Lupus Grosvenor, 1st Duke of Westminster. In 1899 Astor became a British subject and in 1903 acquired Hever Castle near Edenbridge, Kent about 30 miles south of London. The huge estate, built in 1270 was where Anne Boleyn lived as a child. William Waldorf Astor invested a great deal of time and money to restore the castle, building what is known as the "Tudor Village" and creating a lake and lavish gardens. In 1905 he gave his son William Waldorf Astor II and his new daughter-in-law, the former Nancy Langhorne, the Cliveden estate as a wedding present.
With ambitions to be part of the literary world, Astor wrote two novels, became the owner of the Pall Mall Gazette and Pall Mall Magazine, and in 1911 purchased the London Sunday Observer. In 1915 Astor relinquished his holdings, giving them to his son Waldorf Astor who sold them soon thereafter. An avid lover of thoroughbred horse racing, he acquired a large stable of horses that won a number of important British races.
As a British citizen, William Waldorf Astor used his great wealth for numerous public causes, especially during World War I for which King George V rewarded him with a barony, as Baron Astor in 1916 and a year later was raised to a viscountcy. He died of congestive heart failure in the lavatory of his Brighton, Sussex, England home. His ashes were buried under the marble floor of the chapel at Cliveden.


Waldorf Astor, 2nd Viscount Astor ( 1879-1952) married Nancy Langhorne (1879-1964)
Pauline (1880-1972)
John Rudolph (1881-1881)
John Jacob Astor, 1st Baron Astor of Hever (1886-1971)
Gwendolyn Enid (1889-1902)

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

San Diego Wildcats
The San Diego Wildcats are an American Basketball Association (ABA) expansion team who will play in a venue yet to be announced in San Diego, California in their 2006-2007 innagural season. The Wildcats will compete with other western teams in the league's Red Conference.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Marion County, Georgia
Marion County is a county located in the state of Georgia, USA. It was created on December 14, 1827. It is part of the Columbus, Georgia-Alabama Metropolitan Statistical Area. As of 2000, the population is 7,144. The 2005 Census Estimate shows a population of 7,244 [1]. The county seat is Buena Vista, Georgia. The art site of Pasaquan is located in Marion County.

Adjacent Counties
As of the census of 2000, there were 7,144 people, 2,668 households, and 1,912 families residing in the county. The population density was 8/km² (20/mi²). There were 3,130 housing units at an average density of 3/km² (8/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 60.85% White, 34.07% Black or African American, 0.36% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 0.17% Pacific Islander, 2.95% from other races, and 1.41% from two or more races. 5.78% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 2,668 households out of which 35.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.60% were married couples living together, 15.10% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.30% were non-families. 24.30% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.50% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.65 and the average family size was 3.12.
In the county the population was spread out with 28.30% under the age of 18, 8.60% from 18 to 24, 28.80% from 25 to 44, 23.70% from 45 to 64, and 10.50% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 97.00 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.80 males.
The median income for a household in the county was $29,145, and the median income for a family was $31,928. Males had a median income of $27,118 versus $21,211 for females. The per capita income for the county was $14,044. About 17.80% of families and 22.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 31.20% of those under age 18 and 25.10% of those age 65 or over.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The Swabian League was an association of German cities, principalities and knights principally in the territory which had formed the old duchy of Swabia. The name is not applicable to several earlier leagues (e.g. those of 1331, 1376), since those leagues were City Leagues only. Their intention being a defensive league against the principalities, mainly Württemberg and the knights. Whereas in The Swabian League these former adverseries cooperated towards new ends: The keeping of the imperial peace and at least in the beginning curbing the expansionist Bavarian dukes.
The Swabian cities had attained great prosperity under the protection of the Hohenstaufen emperors, but the extinction of that house in 1268 was followed by disintegration. Cities and nobles alike, now owing allegiance to none but the emperor, who was seldom able to defend them, were exposed to the aggression of ambitious princes.
In 1331, 22 Swabian cities, including Ulm, Augsburg, Reutlingen and Heilbronn, formed a league at the instance of Emperor Louis the Bavarian, who in return for their support promised not to mortgage any of them to a vassal. The count of Württemberg was induced to join in 1340. Under Charles IV, the lesser Swabian nobles began to combine against the cities, and formed the Schleglerbund (from Schlegel, a maul). Civil war ensuing in 1367, the emperor, jealous of the growing power of the cities, endeavoured to set up a league under his own control, for the maintenance of public peace (Landfriedensbund, 1370). The defeat of the city league by Eberhard II of Württemberg in 1372, the murder of the captain of the league, and the breach of his obligations by Charles IV, led to the formation of a new league of fourteen Swabian cities led by Ulm in 1376. This league triumphed over the count of Württemberg at Reutlingen in 1377, and the emperor having removed his ban, it set up an arbitration court, and was rapidly extended over the Rhineland, Bavaria, and Franconia. However, Württemberg struck back and defeated the league in 1388.
In 1488 a new Swabian league was formed, at Esslingen, not only of 22 imperial cities but also of the Swabian knights' League of St. George's Shield, bishops, and princes (Ansbach, Baden, Bavaria, Bayreuth, Hesse, Mainz, the Palatinate, Trier, Tyrol, and Württemberg). The league was governed by a federal council of three colleges of princes, cities, and knights calling upon an army of 13,000 men. It aided in the rescue of the future emperor Maximilian I, Frederick III's son, held prisoner in the Low Countries, and later was his main support in southern Germany. In 1519, the League conquered Württemberg and sold it to Charles V after its count Ulrich attempted to seize the city of Reutlingen. It helped to suppress the Peasants' Revolt (1524–25). The Reformation caused the league to be disbanded in 1534.
Swabian League

Saturday, December 22, 2007

End-of-season championships

In 1950, 1951, and 1952, the league's two divisions (Eastern and Western) were renamed the American and National Conferences, respectively. In 1953, the conferences were renamed the Eastern and Western Conferences.
Between 1966 and the merger in 1970, the NFL champions would go on to play the AFL champions in Super Bowls I, II, III, and IV.
The site at Wisconsin State Fair Park where the Packers played their two games a year was the infield of The Milwaukee Mile. NFL Championships

List of NFL champions Records

List of Super Bowl champions
National Football League championships history
NFL lore

Friday, December 21, 2007

ATSC Standards document a digital television format intended to replace (in the United States) the analog NTSC television system (NTSC is used mostly in North America and Japan). It was developed by the Advanced Television Systems Committee.
The high definition television standards defined by the ATSC produce wide screen 16:9 images up to 1920×1080 pixels in size — more than six times the display resolution of the earlier standard. However, a host of different image sizes are also supported, so that up to six standard-definition "virtual channels" can be broadcast on a single TV station using the existing 6 MHz channel.
ATSC also boasts "theater quality" audio because it uses the Dolby Digital AC-3 format to provide 5.1-channel surround sound. Numerous auxiliary datacasting services can also be provided.
Broadcasters who use ATSC and want to retain an analog signal must broadcast on two separate channels, as the ATSC system requires the use of an entire channel. Virtual channels allow channel numbers to be remapped from their physical RF channel to any other number 1 to 99, so that ATSC stations can either be associated with the related NTSC channel numbers, or all stations on a network can use the same number. There is also a standard for distributed transmission (DTx) which allows for booster stations.
ATSC standards are marked A/x (x is the standard number) and can be downloaded freely from ATSC website (see External Links).
Many aspects of ATSC are patented, including elements of the MPEG video coding, the AC-3 audio coding, and the 8VSB modulation[1]. As with other systems, ATSC depends on numerous interwoven standards, e.g. the EIA-708 standard for digital closed captioning, leading to variations in implementation.

The ATSC system supports a number of different display resolutions, aspect ratios, and frame rates. The formats are listed here by resolution, form of scanning (progressive or interlaced), and number of frames (or fields) per second (see also the TV resolution overview below):
The different resolutions can operate in progressive scan or interlaced mode, although the highest 1080-line system cannot display progressive images at the rate of 59.94 or 60 frames per second. (Such technology was seen as too advanced at the time, plus the image quality was deemed to be too poor considering the amount of data that can be transmitted.) A terrestrial (over-the-air) transmission carries 19.39 megabits of data per second, compared to a maximum possible bitrate of 10.08 Mbit/s allowed in the DVD standard.
"EDTV" displays can reproduce progressive scan content and frequently have a 16:9 wide screen format. Such resolutions are 720×480 in NTSC or 720×576 in PAL, allowing 60 progressive frames per second in NTSC or 50 in PAL.
There are three basic display sizes for ATSC. Basic and enhanced NTSC and PAL image sizes are at the bottom level at 480 or 576 lines. Medium-sized images have 720 lines of resolution and are 960 or 1280 pixels wide (for 4:3, traditional version, and 16:9, wide screen version, aspect ratio respectively). The top tier has 1080 lines either 1440 or 1920 pixels wide (here, too, for 4:3 and 16:9 aspect ratio respectively). 1080-line video is actually encoded with 1920×1088 pixel frames, but the last eight lines are discarded prior to display. This is due to a restriction of the MPEG-2 video format, which requires the number of coded luma samples (i.e., pixels) to be divisible by 16.

ATSC Standards Resolution
For transport, ATSC uses the MPEG-2 systems specification, known as transport stream, to encapsulate data, subject to certain constraints. ATSC uses 188-byte MPEG transport stream packets to carry data. Before decoding of audio and video takes place, the receiver must demodulate and apply error correction to the signal. Then, the transport stream may be demultiplexed into its constituent streams.
MPEG-2 video is used as the video codec, also with certain constraints.
Dolby Digital AC-3 is used as the audio codec, though it was officially standardized as A/52 by the ATSC. It allows the transport of up to five channels of sound with a sixth channel for low-frequency effects (the so-called "5.1" configuration). In contrast, Japanese ISDB HDTV broadcasts use MPEG's Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) as the audio codec, which also allows 5.1 audio output. DVB (see below) allows both.

Main articles: 8VSB, QAM_tuner
ATSC signals are designed to use the same 6 MHz bandwidth as NTSC television channels (the interference requirements of A/53 DTV standards with adjacent NTSC or other DTV channels are very strict). Once the video and audio signals have been compressed and multiplexed, the transport stream can be modulated in different ways depending on the method of transmission.
In recent years, cable operators have become accustomed to compressing standard-resolution video for digital cable systems, making it harder to find duplicate 6 MHz channels for local broadcasters on uncompressed "basic" cable.
Currently, the Federal Communications Commission requires cable operators in the United States to carry the analog or digital transmission of a terrestrial broadcaster (but not both), when so requested by the broadcaster (the "must-carry rule"). The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission in Canada has similar rules in force with respect to carrying ATSC signals.
However, cable operators in the US (and to a lesser extent Canada) can determine their own method of modulation for their plants.
There is also a standard for transmitting ATSC via satellite; however, this is only used by TV networks. Very few teleports outside the US support the ATSC satellite transmission standard, but teleport support for the standard is improving.

Terrestrial (local) broadcasters use 8VSB modulation that can transfer at a maximum rate of 19.39 Mbit/s, sufficient to carry several video and audio programs and metadata.
Cable television stations can generally operate at a higher signal-to-noise ratio and can use 16VSB or 256-QAM to achieve a throughput of 38.78 Mbit/s, using the same 6 MHz channel.
Consequently, most North American cable operators have added 256-QAM to the 16VSB standard originally used.
Cable operators have still been slow to add ATSC channels to their lineups for legal, regulatory, and plant & equipment related reasons.
256 QAM is a cable standard, not an ATSC standard; however, over time it is expected to be included in the ATSC standard
The ATSC satellite transmission system is not used for direct broadcast satellite systems, which in North America have long used a system similar to DVB-S. Modulation and transmission
A majority of the world's nations have chosen to adopt the DVB standard, as can be seen on the status list on the DVB Project website.
ATSC coexists with the DVB-T standard, and with ISDB-T being implemented in Japan. (ISDB modulation also serves as a basis of the SBTVD-T standard in Brazil.) A similar standard called ADTB was developed for use as part of China's new DMB-T/H dual standard. While China has officially chosen a dual standard, there is no requirement that a receiver work with both standards and there is no support for the ADTB modulation from broadcasters or equipment and receiver manufacturers. Taiwan (Republic of China) has chosen DVB-T COFDM as its official modulation. This was a direct result of broadcaster dissatisfaction with 8-VSB.
Because of potential use outside of existing NTSC areas, the ATSC system includes the capability to carry PAL and SECAM formatted video (576 displayable lines, 50 fields or 25 frames per second) along with NTSC (486 displayable lines, 60 x 1000/1001 fields or 30 x 1000/1001 frames per second) and film (24 frames per second).

Other systems
While the ATSC system has been criticized as being complicated and expensive to implement and use, both broadcasting and receiving equipment are now comparable in cost with that of DVB.
The ATSC signal is definitely more susceptible to changes in radio propagation conditions than DVB-T and ISDB-T. If ATSC were able to dynamically change its error correction modes, code rates, interleaver mode, and randomizer, the signal could be more robust even if the modulation itself did not change. It also lacks true hierarchical modulation, which allows the SDTV part of an HDTV signal to be received even in fringe areas where signal strength is low. For this reason, an additional modulation mode, enhanced-VSB (E-VSB) has been introduced, allowing for a similar benefit.
In spite of ATSC's fixed transmission mode, it is still a robust signal under various conditions. 8VSB was chosen over COFDM in part because many areas of North America are rural and have a much lower population density, thereby requiring larger transmitters and resulting in large fringe areas. In these areas, 8VSB was shown to perform better than other systems.
COFDM is used in both DVB-T and ISDB-T, and for ISDB-H, as well as DVB-H and HD Radio in the United States. In metropolitan areas, where the great and increasing majority of North Americans live, COFDM is said to be better at handling multipath. While ATSC is also incapable of true single-frequency network (SFN) operation, the distributed transmission mode, using on-channel repeaters, has been shown to improve reception under similar conditions. Thus, it may not require more spectrum allocation than DVB-T using SFNs.

Because the FCC forced broadcasters to use 8VSB modulation instead of COFDM, mobile reception of digital stations has (up till now) been difficult to impossible, especially when moving at vehicle speeds. To overcome this, there are now at least three standards which claim to improve mobile reception: Samsung's A-VSB, Harris and LG's MPH, and now the ATSC's own ATSC-M/H. This is in addition to other proprietary standards like MediaFLO, and worldwide open standards like DVB-H and DMB-T. Like DVB-H and ISDB 1seg, the proposed ATSC mobile standards are backward-compatible with existing tuners, despite being added to the standard well after the original standard was in wide use. Mobile reception of some stations will still be more difficult because the FCC sold-off the rights to 18 of the UHF channels, forcing several broadcasters to stay on VHF. This band requires larger antennas for reception, and is more prone to electromagnetic interference from engines and rapidly-changing multipath conditions, areas where ATSC's 8VSB is inferior to the COFDM of other standards.

ATSC Standards Mobile TV
Later 10/26/06
Argentina did reconsider its choice of 8VSB, but has been sitting on the fence for a number of years. On November 17, 2006, the three standards (DVB, ATSC and ISDB) were presented to Argentinian Government officials, but no decision to change the standard has been made. Brazil has now chosen ISDB-T and this decision may influence other Central and South American countries to follow their lead.

Countries and territories using ATSC

Flag of Argentina Argentina (experimental)
Flag of the Bahamas Bahamas
Flag of Canada Canada
Flag of Colombia Colombia (experimental)
Flag of Guatemala Guatemala (experimental)
Flag of Honduras Honduras
Flag of Mexico Mexico
Flag of the United States United States

  • Flag of Puerto Rico Puerto Rico
    Flag of the United States Virgin Islands U.S. Virgin Islands Asia/Pacific

    Advanced Television Systems Committee
    ATSC tuner
    List of ATSC standards
    broadcast flag
    DVB - European digital television standard

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Commune of La Rochelle Location and Coat of arms

La Rochelle is a city and commune of western France, and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean (population 78,000 in 2004). It is the préfecture (capital) of the Charente-Maritime département(17). The city is connected to the Île de Ré (island) by a 2.9 km bridge, completed in 1988. Its harbour opens into a protected strait, the Pertuis d'Antioche.

The area of La Rochelle was occupied in Antiquity by the Gaul tribe of the Santones, who gave their name to the nearby region of Saintonge and the city of Saintes. The Romans then occupied the area, where they developed salt production along the coast as well as wine production, which was then reexported throughout the Empire. Roman villas were found at Saint-Éloi and at Les Minimes, as well as salt evaporation ponds dating to the same period.

La Rochelle was founded during the 10th century, and became an important harbour from the 12th century. In 1137, Guillaume X, Duke of Aquitaine essentially made La Rochelle a free port and gave it the right to establish itself as a commune. Fifty years later Eleanor of Aquitaine upheld the communal charter promulgated by her father, and for the first time in France, a city mayor was named for La Rochelle, Guillaume de Montmirail. Guillaume was assisted in his responsibilities by 24 municipal magistrates, and 75 notables who had jurisdiction over the inhabitants. Under the communal charter, the city obtained many privileges, such as the right to mint its own coins, and to operate some businesses free of royal taxes, dispositions which would favour the development of the entrepreuneurial middle-class (bourgeoisie).
The main activities of the city were in the areas of maritime commerce and trade, especially with England, the Netherlands and Spain. In 1196, wealthy bourgeois named Alexandre Auffredi sent a fleet of seven ships to Africa to tap the riches of the continent. He went bankrupt and went into poverty as he waited for the return of his ships, but they finally returned seven years later filled with riches.
Until the 15th century, La Rochelle was to be the largest French harbour on the Atlantic coast, dealing mainly in wine and salt.

The naval Battle of La Rochelle took place on 22 June 1372 during the Hundred Years War between a Castilian-French and an English fleet. The Spanish had 60 ships and the English 40. They also had more knights and men than the English. The French and Castilians decisively defeated the English, securing French control of the Channel for the first time since the Battle of Sluys in 1340.

La Rochelle Hundred Years War
During the Renaissance, La Rochelle adopted Protestant ideas, and from 1568 became a centre for the Huguenots. The city was besieged during the French Wars of Religion: Siege of La Rochelle (1572-1573). Under Henry IV the city enjoyed a certain freedom and prosperity until the 1620s, but the city entered in conflict with the central authority of the King Louis XIII, when cannon shots were exchanged on September 10, 1627 with Royal troops. This resulted in the Siege of La Rochelle in which Cardinal Richelieu blockaded the city for 14 months, until the city surrendered and lost its mayor and its privileges. The growing persecution of the Huguenots culminated with the revocation of the Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV. Many Huguenots emigrated, founding such cities as New Rochelle in the vicinity of today's New York in 1689.

Sieges of La Rochelle
The following period was a prosperous one, marked by intense exchanges with the New World (Nouvelle France in Canada, and the Antilles). La Rochelle became very active in triangular trade with the New World, dealing in the slave trade with Africa, sugar trade with plantations of the Antilles, and fur trade with Canada. This was a period of high artistic, cultural and architectural achievements for the city.
The city eventually lost its trade and prominence during the decades spanning the Seven Years' War, the French revolution and the Napoleonic Wars. During that period France lost many of the territorial possessions it had in the new World, and also saw a strong decrease in its sea power in the continuing conflicts with Britain, ultimately diminishing the role of such harbours as La Rochelle.

La Rochelle and the New World
In 1864, the harbour of La Rochelle (area of the "Bassin à flot" behind the water locks), was the site for the maiden dive experiments of the first mechanically-powered submarine in the World, Plongeur, commanded by Marie-Joseph-Camille Doré, a native of La Rochelle.

19th century
During the Second World War, Germany established a submarine naval base at La Pallice (the main port of La Rochelle), which became the setting for the movie Das Boot. The U-Boat scenes in the movie Raiders of the Lost Ark were also shot in La Rochelle.
A German stronghold, La Rochelle was the last French city to be freed at the end of the War. A siege took place between September 12, 1944, and May 7, 1945, in which the stronghold, including the islands of and Oléron, was held by 20,000 German troops under a German vice-admiral. Following negotiations by the French Navy frigate captain Meyer, and the general German capitulation on May 7th, French troops entered La Rochelle on May 8th.

Second World War

The bedrock of La Rochelle and surrounding areas is composed of layers of limestone dating back to the Sequanian stage (upper Oxfordian stage) of the Jurassic period (circa 160 million years ago), when a large part of France was submerged. These rocks were formed by the accumulation of organisms falling on the seabed, where they solidified. This happened at the time dinosaurs were roaming the earth.
Many of these layers are visible in the white cliffs that border the sea, which encapsulate many small marine fossils. Layers of thick white rocks, formed during period of relatively warm seas, alternate with highly friable layers containing sands and remains of mud, formed during colder periods, and with layers containing various corals, that were formed during warmer, tropical times.
The limestone thus formed is of course traditionally used as the main building material throughout the region.
The area of La Pointe du Chay, about 5 kilometers from La Rochelle is a popular cliff area for leisurely archaeological surveys.

Although at the same latitude as Montreal in Canada or the Kuril islands in Russia, the area is quite warm throughout the year due to the influence of the Gulf Stream waters, and insolation is remarkably high, on a par with the French Riviera on the Mediterranean Southern coast of France.

The city has beautifully maintained its past architecture, making it one of the most picturesque and historically rich cities on the Atlantic coast. This helped develop a strong tourism industry.
La Rochelle possesses a commercial harbour in deep water, named La Pallice. The large submarine bunker built during World War II still stands there, although it is not being used. La Pallice is equipped with oil unloading equipment, and mainly handles tropical wood. It is also the location of the fishing fleet, which was moved from the old harbour at the center of the city during the 1980s.
La Rochelle also maintains strong links with the sea by harbouring the largest marina for pleasure boats in Europe at Les Minimes, and a rather rich boat-building industry.
La Rochelle has a very big aquarium.
The Calypso, the ship used by Jacques-Yves Cousteau as a mobile laboratory for oceanography, and which was sunk after a collision in the port of Singapore (1996) is now displayed (sadly rotting) at the Maritime Museum of La Rochelle.
One of the biggest music festivals in France, "FrancoFolies," takes place each summer in La Rochelle, where Francophone musicians come together for a week of concerts and celebration. 2004 marked the 20th anniversary of this event.
La Rochelle is the setting for the best-selling series of French language textbooks in the UK, titled Tricolore. The central character, Martine Domme, lives with her family at the fictional address of 12, Rue de la République.

La Rochelle's main feature is the "Vieux Port" ("Old Harbour"), which is at the heart of the city, picturesque and lined with seafood restaurants. The city walls are open to an evening promenade. The old town has been well-preserved. From the harbour, boating trips can be taken to the Île d'Aix and Fort Boyard (home to the internationally famous tv show of the same name). Nearby Île de Ré is a short drive to the North. The countryside of the surrounding Charente-Maritime is very rural and full of history (Saintes). To the North is Venise Verte, a marshy area of country, criss-crossed with tiny canals and a popular resort for inland boating. Inland is the country of Cognac and Pineau.


Aimé Bonpland (1773-1858), botanist.
Alexandre Aufrédy (11??-1220).
Amos Barbot de Buzay (1566-1625), magistrate, deputy, historian, writer of Archives historiques de la Saintonge et de l'Aunis de 1199 à en 1575, Pair de France.
Antoine Albeau (born in 1972), windsurfing French champion, freestyle world champion in 2001, and Formula Windsurfing world champion in 2004.
Arthur Verdier (1835-1898), captain.
Bernard Giraudeau (born in 1947), actor, movie and play director.
Charles Édouard Beltremieux (1825 - 1897), politician, naturalist, and mayor.
Damien Touya (born in 1975), fencer who won a gold medail of the Athens 2004 Olympic games, and fencing world champion in 1999.
Eugène Fromentin (1820-1876), writer-painter.
Fabrice Neaud (born in 1968), artist, cartoonist.
François Tallemant (1620-1693), membre of the Académie française.
Gabrielle-Suzanne de Villeneuve (1695-1755), a 18th century French writer.
Gédéon Tallemant des Réaux (1619-1692), a 17th century French writer.
Georges Rignoux.
Guy Laroche (1923-1989), fashion designer.
Guy-Victor Duperré (1775-1846), admiral, Pair de France, burrier in the Invalides. His name is listed on the inside walls of the Arc de Triomphe.
Jacques Grollet, explorer of the Mississippi.
Jacques Nicolas Billaud-Varenne (1756-1819), politician and revolutionary.
Jean Chaudrier (1323-1392), mayor.
Jean Duvignaud (1921-2007), French writer.
Jean Guiton (1585-1654), mayor during the Siege of La Rochelle.
Jean-Louis Foulquier (born in 1943), actor.
Jean-Loup Chrétien (born in 1938), the first non-American/non-Soviet cosmonaut to walk in space.
Jean-Baptiste Élissalde (born in 1977), son of Jean-Pierre Élissalde, rugbyman, playing as a scrumhalf in the Stade Toulousain and in the French XV
Jean-Pierre Élissalde (born in 1953), former rugbyman, French international, former coach of the Japanese national rugby team
Jean-Pierre Favreau, photographer.
John Theophilus Desaguliers (1683-1744), physician, mathematician, Isaac Newton's friend and assistant, member of the Royal Society.
Léon Robert de L'Astran (1767-1861), naturalist and scientist.
Louis Gargoulleau, captain and mayor.
Marie Madeleine Sophie Armant (1778-1819).
Marie-Joseph Camille Doré, captain of the Plongeur in 1863-1864.
Melissa Lauren, porn star.
Nicolas Gargot de La Rochette (1619-1664), captain, corsair, governor of Placentia.
Paul Ramadier (1888-1961), politician and member of the French Resistance.
Pierre Doriole (1407-1485), mayor and Chancelier de France.
René Dorin (1891-1969), French singer.
René-Antoine Ferchault de Réaumur (1683-1757), one of the great scientists of the 18th century.
William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905), 19th century painter.
Winshluss (born in 1970), artist, cartoonist.
Yohan Ploquin (born in 1978), goalkeeper of the French Handball team. Famous people born in La Rochelle

Alcide d'Orbigny, 18th century botanist.
Oscar Dahl, uncle of author Roald Dahl, who owned a fishing business
Fanny Violeau, freestyle roller slalom skater.
Colette Besson, former sprinter and Olympic gold medal winner
David McGowan, Irish Rugby Player Famous people who lived in La Rochelle

Atlantique Stade Rochelais - rugby union team Sport

See also
La Rochelle, entrance to the harbour, Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot, 1851.
La Grosse Horloge
Tour de la Lanterne
Phare du Bout du Monde
The train station
Entrance to Les Minimes harbour
Old town and harbour
Tour St. Nicolas (from the Tour de la Chaine)
La Rochelle

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Roxy Music History
In the winter of 1970/1971, ceramics teacher and aspiring rock musician Bryan Ferry advertised for a keyboard player to collaborate with him and Graham Simpson, a bass player he knew from his art college band, "The Gas Board." Earlier in 1970 Ferry had auditioned as lead singer for King Crimson (who were seeking a replacement for departed vocalist Greg Lake) and although Robert Fripp and Pete Sinfield decided that Ferry's voice was unsuitable for King Crimson's material, they were greatly impressed by his talent and they subsequently helped the fledgling Roxy Music to obtain a contract with E.G. Records.
Andy MacKay replied to Ferry's advertisement, not as a keyboard player but as a saxophonist and oboist; however, he did possess a VCS3 synthesiser. Andy met Brian Eno during university days, as both were interested in avant-garde and electronic music. It was some time later that they met again; although Eno was a self-confessed non-musician, he could operate a synthesizer and owned a Revox reel-to-reel tape machine, so Mackay convinced him to join the fledgling band as a technical adviser. It wasn't long before Eno was a performing member of the group. After Dexter Lloyd, a classically-trained timpanist, left the band the group placed an ad in Melody Maker magazine saying wonder drummer wanted for an avante rock group.. Soon after "Virginia Plain", Rik Kenton departed the band.
The next album, For Your Pleasure (recorded with guest bass player John Porter) was released in March 1973. Although initial reviews were lukewarm, the LP was influential and went on to be recognized as one of the most original and enduring progressive rock recordings of the early 1970s. It also marked the beginning of the band's long, successful collaboration with producer Chris Thomas and recording engineer Bill Price, who worked on all of the group's classic albums and singles in the 1970s. The album was promoted with the non-album single Pyjamarama, but no album track was released as a single. At the time, Ferry was dating French model Amanda Lear, who was photographed with a black jaguar for the cover of For Your Pleasure (Ferry appears on the back cover as a dapper driver standing in front of a limousine).

Formation and first two albums (1970–73)
Soon after recording For Your Pleasure, Brian Eno left the band amidst increasing differences with Ferry over the direction and running of the group (and as some have contended, over a personal feud that developed between the two). Their fifth album, Siren, contained their only US hit, "Love is the Drug" (Ferry said the song came to him while kicking the leaves during a walk through Hyde Park). At this time Ferry was involved in a high profile relationship with Texas-born supermodel Jerry Hall. Hall had a major impact on the group, being the subject of the influential Roxy song "Prairie Rose" (from Country Life), a song that directly inspired the Talking Heads' song "The Big Country". Hall is also featured on the cover of the Siren LP and in the video for Ferry's 1976 international solo hit, a cover of Wilbert Harrison's "Let's Stick Together".
Following the concert tours in support of Siren in 1976, Roxy Music disbanded. During this time Ferry released two solo records on which Manzanera and Thompson performed, and Manzanera reunited with Eno on the critically acclaimed one-off 801 Live album.

Stranded, Country Life, Siren and solo projects (1974–77)
Roxy Music reunited in 1978 to record a new album, Manifesto, but with a reshuffled line-up. Jobson was not present (reportedly not contacted for the reunion) as Ferry decided to perform keyboards himself. After the tour and prior to the recording of the next album, Flesh + Blood, Thompson broke his thumb in a motorcycle mishap and took a leave from the band (and soon after left permanently). The three remaining members were supplemented by a variety of session players over the next few years, including Andy Newmark, Neil Hubbard and Alan Spenner.
The changed line-up reflected a distinct change in Roxy's musical approach. Gone were the jagged and unpredictable elements of the group's sound, giving way to smoother musical arrangements (some would say blander arrangements; Rolling Stone panned Manifesto, "Roxy Music has not gone disco. Roxy Music has not particularly gone anywhere else either" Later, with more sombre and carefully-sculpted soundscapes, the band's eighth and (until their 21st Century reunion) final album Avalon in 1982, was a major commercial success and restored the group's critical reputation (Rolling Stone: "Avalon takes a long time to kick in, but it finally does, and it's a good one.") The trio toured extensively until 1983, when Bryan Ferry dissolved the band and band members devoted themselves full time to solo careers (see below).

Final albums and break-up (1978–83)
Ferry, Manzanera, Mackay, and Thompson re-formed in 2001 to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the band and toured extensively for a couple of years. Absent was Brian Eno, who criticized the motives of the band's reunion. "I just don't like the idea," Eno explained, "It leaves a bad taste."

Reunion and new album (2001–present)

Main articles: Bryan Ferry, Andy Mackay, Phil Manzanera, and Paul Thompson (musician) Solo work
Roxy Music was one of the first rock groups who created and maintained a carefully crafted 'look' and style that included their stage presentation, music videos, album and single cover designs and promotional materials such as posters and badges. Legendary critic Lester Bangs went so far as to say that Roxy represented "the triumph of artifice." standing in a forest. As a result, in many areas of the United States the album was sold in an opaque plastic wrapper because retailers refused to display the cover.
Roxy Music were a significant influence on the early English punk movement, as well as providing a model for many "New Wave" acts and the subsequent New Romantic and experimental electronic groups of the early 1980s. Ferry and co-founding member Brian Eno have also had broadly influential solo careers, and Eno in particular has emerged one of the most significant record producers of the late 20th century, with credits including landmark albums by Devo, Talking Heads and U2.

Style and legacy

Main article: Roxy Music discography Discography

Roxy Music (July 1972)
For Your Pleasure (April 1973)
Stranded (December 1973)
Country Life (November 1974)
Siren (November 1975)
Manifesto (April 1979)
Flesh and Blood (May 1980)
Avalon (June 1982) Studio albums

Viva! (July 1976)
Heart Still Beating (October 1990)
2001 World Tour Live CD (Double Album) (June 2003) Live albums

Band members

Bryan Ferryvocals, keyboards (1971-1983; 2001-)
Phil Manzaneraguitar (1972-1983; 2001-)
Andy Mackaysaxophone, oboe (1971-1983; 2001-) Core members

Brian Enosynthesizer, "treatments" (1971-1973)
Paul Thompsondrums (1971-1980; 2001-)
Eddie Jobsonsynthesizer, violin (1973-1976) Session and touring musicians