Friday, November 30, 2007

Countess Lisl von Schlaf Countess Lisl von Schlaf is a fictional character from the 1981 James Bond film For Your Eyes Only, portrayed by Cassandra Harris, coincidentally the late wife of later Bond star Pierce Brosnan.
The Countess is the mistress of Milos Columbo. At the casino, Lisl "dumps" Columbo, giving Bond an opportunity to meet her. The Contessa invites Bond to share champagne and oysters with her. Later on a beach, Aristotle Kristatos's henchman Emile Locque mows Lisl down with a beach buggy. James screams her name out but Lisl is dead. Bond avenges Lisl by pushing Locque and his car off a jagged cliff into the sharp rocks below. Columbo seemed not to care too much about Lisl when he learned of her death, although he described her saying, "I would laugh if my heart were not so heavy about my poor Lisl."

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Washington Square Arch New York Herald Building Savoyard Centre - Detroit
Stanford White (November 9, 1853June 25, 1906) was an American architect and partner in the architectural firm of McKim, Mead, and White, the frontrunner among Beaux-Arts firms. He designed a long series of houses for the rich and the very rich, and various public, institutional, and religious buildings, some of which can be found to this day in places like Sea Gate, Brooklyn. His design principles embodied the "American Renaissance". In 1906 White was murdered by millionaire Harry K. Thaw, leading to a widely-reported trial.

Stanford White's architectural career began as the principal assistant to Henry Hobson Richardson, the greatest American architect of the day, creator of a style recognized today as "Richardsonian Romanesque." In 1878, White embarked for a year and a half in Europe, and when he returned to New York in September 1879, he joined Charles Follen McKim and William Rutherford Mead to form McKim, Mead and White.
White designed the second Madison Square Garden (1890; demolished in 1925), The Cable Building—the Broadway cable car power station (611 Broadway, 1892), Madison Square Presbyterian Church, the New York Herald Building (1894; demolished), the First Bowery Savings Bank, at the Bowery and Grand Street, 1894, Washington Square Arch (1889), Judson Memorial Church on Washington Square, and the Century Club, all in New York City. He helped develop Tesla's Wardenclyffe Tower (his last design). White designed the First Methodist Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland (1887), now Lovely Lane United Methodist Church. He also built Cocke, Rouss, and Old Cabell Halls at the University of Virginia and rebuilt The Rotunda (University of Virginia) in 1898 after it burned down three years earlier (his re-creation was later reverted back to Thomas Jefferson's original design for the United States Bicentennial in 1976).
McKim, Mead and White also designed the American Academy in Rome, which crowns the Gianicolo hill, and looks across the city to the Villa Medici and the Borghese gardens. An imposing edifice, the American Academy is built in the style of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the north and south wings of which McKim, Mead, and White designed in 1911.

McKim, Mead and White
In the division of projects within the firm, the social and gregarious White landed the majority of commissions for private houses. His fluent draftsmanship was highly convincing to clients who might not get much visceral understanding from a floorplan, and his intuition and facility caught the mood. White's Long Island houses have survived well, despite the loss of Harbor Hill in 1947, originally set on 688 acres in Roslyn. White's homes are of three types, depending on their locations: Gold Coast chateaux, neo-Colonial structures in the neighborhood of his own house at "Box Hill" in Smithtown (White's wife was a Smith), and the South Fork houses from Southampton to Montauk Point.
Among his Newport "cottages", Rosecliff (for Mrs. Hermann Oelrichs, 1898-1902) adapted Mansart's Grand Trianon, but provided this house built for receptions, dinners and dances with fluent spatial planning and well-contrived dramatic internal views en filade.
In his "informal" shingled cottages, there were usually double corridors for separate circulation, (illustration, left) so that a guest never bumped into a laundress with a basket of bed linens. Bedrooms were characteristically separated from hallways by a dressing-room foyer lined with closets, so that an inner door and an outer door give superb privacy (still the mark of a really good hotel). White lived the same life as his clients, not quite so lavishly perhaps, and he knew how the house had to perform: like a first-rate hotel, theater foyer, or a theater set with appropriate historical references. White was an apt designer, who was ready to do a cover for Scribner's Magazine or design a pedestal for his friend Augustus Saint-Gaudens' sculpture. He extended the limits of architectural services to include interior decoration, dealing in art and antiques, and even planning and designing parties. He collected paintings, pottery, and tapestries. If White could not procure the right antiques for his interiors, he would sketch neo-Georgian standing electroliers or a Renaissance library table. Outgoing and social, he possessed a large circle of friends and acquaintances, many of whom became clients. White had a major influence in the "Shingle Style" of the 1880s, on Neo-Colonial style, and the Newport cottages for which he is celebrated.
Mansions and social clubs
During the suggestive chorus song, "I Could Love a Million Girls," at the premiere performance of the musical revue Mam'zelle Champagne at the Madison Square Roof Garden (a building that he had designed 15 years previously), White was shot point blank in the face and killed by Harry K. Thaw. Thaw was the jealous millionaire husband of Evelyn Nesbit, a popular actress and artist's model, whom White had seduced when she was 16. The initial reaction was one of good cheer as elaborate party tricks amongst the upper echelon of New York Society were common at the time. However, when it became apparent that White was dead, hysteria ensued. William Randolph Hearst's newspapers sensationalized the murder, and it became known as the Trial of the Century. Years later, White's son, Lawrence Grant White would write bitterly, "On the night of June 25th, 1906, while attending a performance at Madison Square Garden, Stanford White was shot from behind [by] a crazed profligate whose great wealth was used to besmirch his victim's memory during the series of notorious trials that ensued."

Stanford White Death
White's extensive professional outgoing correspondence and a small body of architectural drawings for his own residences are held by the Drawings and Archives Department of Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University. The major archive for his firm, McKim, Mead & White, is held by the New-York Historical Society.

Sculpture in Madison Square.
Plaque at the base of the sculpture in Madison Square,
New York American on June 25, 1906.
Stanford White
Photo gallery
A fictionalized Thaw also appears in Jed Rubenfeld's 2006 novel The Interpretation Of Murder.

The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing (1955 movie)
The 1975 historical fiction novel Ragtime by E. L. Doctorow was adapted into the two below works:

  • The film Ragtime.
    The musical Ragtime.
    "Dementia Americana" - A long narrative poem by Keith Maillard (1994)
    My Sweetheart's the Man in the Moon – play by Don Nigro
    La fille coupée en deux – movie by Claude Chabrol (2007) Fictional works based at least in part on the Thaw/White murder

    The "White Literature"

    Samuel G. White, with Jonathan Wallen (photographer), The Houses of McKim, Mead and White 1998. Lavish illustrations.
    Wayne Craven, Stanford White: Decorator in Opulence and Dealer in Antiquities, 2005. Stanford White as an interior decorator and a dealer in the fine and decorative arts

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Halifax Regional Council is the governing body for the Halifax Regional Municipality in Nova Scotia.
In April 1996 the councils for the City of Halifax, City of Dartmouth, Town of Bedford, and Municipality of the County of Halifax were dissolved when those municipalities were amalgamated into the new Halifax Regional Municipality. The Halifax Regional Council was formed at the time of the HRM's incorporation and consists of twenty-three councillors and one mayor. Elections are held every four years on leap years. By-elections for council seats have been held in 1998, 1999, 2003 and 2006 after some regional councillors were elected to the provincial legislature.
An examination of boundaries took place throughout 2003/04 upon which there was a redistribution of districts. the 2004 municipal election saw the combination of two districts into one in Cole Harbour, as well as the creation of a new district in Clayton Park West.

Halifax Regional CouncilHalifax Regional Council Members

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Camilo Cienfuegos Gorriarán (February 6, 1932 - October 28, 1959) was a Cuban revolutionary born in Calabazar de Sagua. He was active in underground activities against the Cuban President Fulgencio Batista and played an important role in the Cuban Revolution. Along with Fidel Castro, Che Guevara and Raúl Castro, he was one of the primary leaders of the revolution.

Camilo Cienfuegos Politics and death

"The rebel army is the people in uniform."

Monday, November 26, 2007

Jaigarh Fort
Jaigarh Fort, located around 15 km from Jaipur is one of the most spectacular forts in India, with almost all its original facilities intact. While Jaigarh Fort is on top of the hill, Amber Fort is at the bottom. Both the forts are connected through well guarded passages. Many consider the two together as one complex.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Disambiguation: other uses of the term Logging
Logging is the process in which trees are sawed down usually as part of a timber harvest. Timber is harvested to supply raw material for the wood products industry including logs for sawmills and pulp wood for the pulp and paper industry. Logging can also remove wood for forest management goals. Logging is controversial due to its perceived environmental and aesthetic impacts. Well planned and well managed logging operations often have very low impact on the environment.

Use of the term logging in Forestry
The two main stakeholders in most logging operations are the landowner and the logging contractor. Prior to a large harvest a landowner will often hire a consulting forester. Owners of large industrial tracts may employ their own foresters. During planning for the harvest the forester will determine how best to meet the landowner's objectives, including the silvicultural system to be used, even-aged or uneven-aged management, layout of roads and landings. If a selection cut is planned the forester will mark the trees intended to be cut or if a clear cut which blocks are to be harvested. A well-managed forest will be harvested according to a forest management plan. This plan should include areas off-limits to cutting such as sensitive habitat, vernal pools and riparian zones.
A logging contractor may get paid according to the volume of wood harvested. There are over 320,000 jobs that have to do with the logging industry in Canada.

Logging methods
A timber harvest can consist of the following operations, although not necessarily in the following order.
Planning - Identifying optimal timing, access, and layout of harvest.
Permitting - Regulatory review can include public notification, environmental assessment, taxes, and fees.
Sale - Many timberland owners employ their own loggers, while others hire or sell the right to log to a logging company.
Accessing - Logging roads, logging camps, and weighing stations are built or repaired as needed.
Marking - The area or individual trees to be harvested are clearly identified.
Measuring - Assessing the volume of timber that will be produced by the harvest.
Marketing - Arranging supply contracts with timber customers, this may be undertaken through competitive sale methods or as part of a negotiation with preferred customers.
Felling - The standing tree is cut down or felled by chainsaw, harvester, or feller buncher.
Processing - The tree is turned into logs by removing the limbs (delimbing) and cutting it into logs of optimal length (bucking).
Stump to landing - The felled tree or logs are moved from the stump to the landing. Ground vehicles can pull, carry, or shovel the logs. Cable systems can pull logs to the landing. Logs can also be flown to the landing by helicopter.
Landing to mill - The logs are commonly transported to the mill or port by truck, but in the past, this has been done by train, by driving the logs downstream, or by pulling them as a floating log raft.
Burning - Burning logging debris and other woody material on the site can reduce future fire risk and release nutrients.
Herbicide - Eliminating competing seedlings and brush to speed growth of the planted seedlings
Ground preparation - Cultivation of the soil to create suitable planting positions. This operation may include some element of land drainage in wet areas if soil saturation affects seedling survival / growth potential.
Replanting - Dropping seeds or manual planting of seedlings
Road deconstruction - Subsequent erosion and landsliding from old roads can be reduced by installing waterbars, pulling fill from stream crossings, and putting excavated materials back to reform the original topography.

Logging is by some measures a dangerous occupation. Loggers work with heavy, moving weights and the use of tools such as chainsaws and heavy equipment on uneven and sometimes unstable terrain. Loggers also deal with severe environmental conditions such as inclement weather and severe heat or cold. An injured logger is often far from professional emergency treatment. The risks experienced in logging operations can be somewhat reduced, where conditions permit, by the use of mechanical tree harvesters and forwarders.

Logging and safety
The many impacts of logging on the environment can be divided into two broad categories, the timber harvest itself, that is, the removal of trees from the forest, and secondly the impact caused by logging operations such as felling or dragging trees and operation of machinery in the forest.

Timber industry Logging and the environment
Removal of trees alters species composition, the structure of the forest, and can cause nutrient depletion. This may provide opportunities for some species while creating a loss of opportunity for others. Trees providing midday shade to streams may alter stream temperature either by preventing the sun from shining on the water by day, or by preventing the water from radiating the heat back at night.

Impact of Tree Harvesting
Modern ground based logging operations require the use of heavy machinery in the forest. In some areas roads must be built which often causes habitat fragmentation and increased edge effect. The use of heavy machinery in a forest can cause soil compaction. Harvesting on steep slopes can lead to soil erosion, landslides, and water turbidity. Logging on saturated soils can cause ruts and change drainage patterns. Harvest activity near wetlands or vernal pools can degrade the habitat. Forest machines use oils which, if not handled carefully, can cause pollution. Roadbuilding for access to timber in frontier forests often opens up areas previously not accessible, which facilitates further development such as farming.

Impact of logging operations
These problems can be mitigated by using low-impact logging and best management practices, which set standards for reducing erosion from roads. Damage to streams and lakes can be reduced by not harvesting riparian strips. Ecologically important lands are sometimes set aside as reserves. Technological advances in logging equipment are reducing ruts and soil disturbance. Processors and Forwarders with Caterpillar tracks or other designs to lower ground pressure help to reduce machine impact . + * Harvesting Systems


Cable logging
Chain Saw
Illegal logging
Log bucking
Log Scaler
Salvage logging
Shovel logging
Skyline logging
Underwater logging
The Lorax

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Christianity Protestant Reformation Roman Catholicism Martin Luther Philipp Melanchthon Frederick the Wise Martin Chemnitz Johann Sebastian Bach Henry Melchior Muhlenberg Lars Levi Læstadius C. F. W. Walther Augsburg Confession Apology of the Augsburg Confession Smalcald Articles Treatise on the Power and Primacy of the Pope Luther's Large Catechism Luther's Small Catechism Formula of Concord 95 Theses Sacramental union Law and Gospel Sola scriptura Sola gratia Sola fide The Eucharist Holy Baptism Divine Service Lutheran Liturgical Calendar Lutheran World Federation International Lutheran Council Evangelical Lutheran Free Church Confessional Evangelical Conference Laestadianism List of Lutheran Denominations Lutheranism is a major branch of Protestant Christianity that follows the teachings of the sixteenth-century German reformer Martin Luther. Luther's efforts to reform the theology and practice of the Church launched the Protestant Reformation and, though it was not his intention, left Western Christianity divided. can trace their tradition, at least in part, back to Luther's reforming work.

Lutheranism as a movement traces its origin to the work of Martin Luther, a German monk and theologian who sought to reform the practices of the Roman Catholic Church in the 16th century. The symbolic beginning of the Reformation occurred on October 31, 1517, which Lutherans and other Protestants regard as Reformation Day, when Doctor Luther posted an open invitation to debate his 95 theses concerning the "power and efficacy of indulgences": the idea that time in purgatory could be reduced by making donations to the church.
Luther's insights are generally held to have been a major foundation of the Protestant movement. The relationship between Lutheranism and the Protestant tradition is, however, ambiguous: some Lutherans consider Lutheranism to be outside the Protestant tradition, while some see it as part of this tradition.
Between 1517 and 1520, Luther preached and published his criticisms of what he considered false doctrine of the church of his day in books and pamphlets. His ideas were supported by many other Christian theologians, and they also had a certain populist appeal. As a result, Luther gained many supporters and followers from all levels of society, from peasants who considered him a folk hero, to knights who swore to protect him, to rulers of German lands who wanted more independence from papal interference in their domestic policies. Luther also gained some powerful enemies, including the Pope in Rome and the youthful Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.
Concerned about the "problem" of Luther, the Pope and Roman officials decided to send representatives to Luther to discuss his concerns and to persuade him to retract his challenges to papal authority. The effort was largely unsuccessful. Luther continued to discover new areas in need of reform. Finally, the papal bull called the Exsurge Domine was issued in 1520, calling on Luther to condemn and abandon his ideas. Luther replied by burning the bull and volumes of canon law in a bonfire at Wittenberg. Finally, a new bull excommunicating Luther and those who agreed with him was issued, Decet Romanum Pontificem (January, 1521).
Charles V wanted to outlaw the now excommunicated Luther and his followers, but he was warned by advisors that doing so outright would cause a revolt, since Luther had become so popular. More importantly, the ruler of Luther's land, Elector Frederick the Wise, refused to allow any of his subjects to be condemned without trial. So instead, Luther was to be summoned to appear before the Diet of Worms. Luther went to Worms, but when called upon by imperial and papal officials to retract his ideas, Luther replied: "I cannot submit my faith either to the Pope or to the Councils, because it is clear as day they have frequently erred and contradicted each other. Unless therefore, I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture and plain reason ... I cannot and will not recant ..." --Martin Luther, April 16, 1521
The emperor had granted Luther a promise of safe conduct to travel to and from his trial, but remembering how a similar promise had been violated in the case of Jan Hus, Luther's supporters prevailed upon him to escape from Worms in the dark of night, before he too could be seized and executed. Luther remained in hiding for some time at the Wartburg Castle in Eisenach, all the while continuing to write and develop his ideas. Shortly after Luther escaped, Charles V issued the Edict of Worms, which outlawed Luther and his followers, declared Luther and his followers heretics, and banned Luther's writings and teachings.

Religious war
Luther and his followers began a large exodus from the Roman Catholic Church known as the Protestant Reformation. In the years and decades following Luther's posting of the 95 theses on the door of the Wittenberg church, large numbers of Europeans left the Roman Church, including the majority of German speakers (the only German speaking areas where the population remained mostly in the Catholic church were those under the domain or influence of Catholic Austria and Bavaria or the electoral archbishops of Mainz, Cologne, and Trier). Because Luther sparked this mass movement, he is known as the father of the Protestant Reformation, and the father of Protestantism in general.
Today, approximately 82.6 million people call themselves Lutheran, while there are an estimated 2.1 billion Christians. Thus, about 1 in 25 Christians are Lutheran.

Results of the Lutheran Reformation

Lutherans believe that the Bible, as a divinely inspired book, is the source of all revealed divine knowledge. Scripture alone (Sola scriptura) is the formal principle of the faith, the final authority for all matters of faith and doctrine.
The Book of Concord, published in 1580, contains ten documents which Lutherans believe are authoritative explanations of Holy Scripture. Besides the three Ecumenical Creeds, which date to Roman times, the Book of Concord contains seven credal documents articulating Lutheran theology in the Reformation era. Traditionally, Lutheran pastors, congregations, and church bodies agree to teach in harmony with the Lutheran Confessions. Some Lutheran church bodies require this pledge to be unconditional, while others allow their congregations to do so "insofar as" the Confessions are in agreement with the Bible.
Lutherans have understood the Bible as containing two distinct types of content, termed Law and Gospel (or Law and Promises). Beginning in the nineteenth century, Lutheran confessionalism emphasized a stricter adherence to the authority of the Bible and the Lutheran Confessions as expressed in the Book of Concord. Today, Lutheran groups vary on the nature and limits of biblical inerrancy, with each group claiming to represent the true Reformation position. Conservative groups tend to stress biblical inerrancy, confessionalism, and the orthodoxy of 17th century Lutheranism, while liberal groups seek to make use of the higher criticism method of biblical interpretation.

The Bible and the Lutheran Confessions
The key doctrine, or material principle, of Lutheranism is the doctrine of justification. Lutherans believe that humans are saved from their sins by God's grace alone (Sola Gratia), through faith alone (Sola Fide). Lutherans believe that this grace is granted for the sake of Christ's merit alone (Solus Christus). Traditional Lutheran theology holds that God made the world, including humanity, perfect, holy and sinless. However, Adam and Eve chose to disobey God, trusting in their own strength, knowledge, and wisdom. Lutherans do not believe in any sort of earthly millennial kingdom of Christ either before or after his second coming on the last day (John 18:36).[6]
Although Lutherans believe that good works do not satisfy God's wrath, this is not to say that they hold good works to play no role in the Christian life (Tit. 2:14). Good works are the fruit of saving faith (John 15:5), and always and in every instance spring spontaneously from true faith (2 Cor. 9:8). Any true good works have their true origin in God (Phil 2:13), not in the fallen human heart or in human striving (Rom. 7:18, Heb 11:6); their absence would demonstrate that faith, too, is absent (Mat. 7:15–16, Tit. 1:16). [7]

Central doctrines
Although they decried the division of the Church, early Lutherans tended to avoid ecumenical fellowship with other Churches, believing that churches should not share Communion and exchange pastors if they do not agree upon doctrine.
In 1817, King Frederick William III of Prussia ordered the Lutheran and Reformed churches in his territory to unite, forming the Evangelical Church of the Prussian Union. The unification of the two branches of German Protestantism sparked a great deal of controversy. Many Lutherans, termed Old Lutherans, chose to leave the established churches and form independent church bodies. Many left for America and Australia. The dispute over ecumenism overshadowed other controversies within German Lutheranism.

Ecumenism with other Christians
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The largest organizations of Lutheran churches around the world are the Lutheran World Federation, the International Lutheran Council, and the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference. These organizations together include the great majority of Lutheran denominations around the globe.
The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) aligned churches do not believe that one church is singularly true in its teachings. According to this belief, Lutheranism is a reform movement rather than a movement into doctrinal correctness. For that reason, a number of doctrinally diverse LWF denominations, now largely separated from state control, are declaring fellowship and joint statements of agreement with other Lutheran and non-Lutheran Christian denominations.
By contrast, the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference and International Lutheran Council as well as many unaffiliated denominations such as the Church of the Lutheran Confession (CLC) maintain that that the orthodox confessional Lutheran churches are the only churches with completely correct doctrine. They teach that while other Christian churches teach partially orthodox doctrine and have true Christians as members, the doctrines of those churches contain significant errors. More conservative Lutherans strive to maintain historical distinctiveness while emphasizing doctrinal purity alongside Gospel-motivated outreach. They state that LWF Lutherans are practicing fake ecumenism by desiring church fellowship outside of actual unity of teaching.

Ecumenism among Lutherans
Many Lutherans place great emphasis on a liturgical approach to worship services; although there have always been substantial non-liturgical minorities (Hauge Lutherans from Norway, contemporary-worship oriented Lutherans today—see paragraph below). Music forms a large part of a traditional Lutheran service. Lutheran hymns are sometimes known as chorales, and Luther himself composed hymns and hymn tunes, perhaps the most famous of which is "A Mighty Fortress is Our God" ("Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott"). Lutheran hymnody is reputed for its doctrinal, didactic, and musical riches. Many Lutheran churches are active musically with choirs, handbell choirs, children's choirs, and sometimes carillon societies (to ring bells in a bell tower). Johann Sebastian Bach, a devout Lutheran, composed music for the Lutheran church.
Many Lutherans also preserve a liturgical approach to the celebration of Communion (or the Lord's Supper), emphasizing the sacrament as the central act of Christian worship. Lutherans believe that Jesus' actual body and blood are present in, with and under the bread and the wine. This belief is called Real Presence or Sacramental Union and is different than consubstantiation and transubstantiation. Additionally Lutherans reject the idea that communion is a mere symbol or memorial. They confess in the Apology of the Augsburg Confession:

"...we do not abolish the Mass but religiously keep and defend it. Among us the Mass is celebrated every Lord's Day and on other festivals, when the Sacrament is made available to those who wish to partake of it, after they have been examined and absolved. We also keep traditional liturgical forms, such as the order of readings, prayers, vestments, and other similar things." (Apology of the Augsburg Confession, Article XXIV.1)
In the 1970s, many Lutheran churches began holding "contemporary" worship services for the purpose of evangelical outreach. These services were in a variety of styles, depending on the preferences of the congregation. Often they were held alongside a traditional service, to cater to those who were not comfortable with the more liturgical forms. As the Lutheran church enters the 21st century, some Lutheran congregations are holding "Contemporary Worship" services as their sole form of worship. Outreach is no longer given as the primary motivation, rather this form of worship is seen as more in keeping with the desires of individual congregations. Because Luther contemporized the worship service for his community, these congregations see their position as in keeping with "Confessional Lutheranism". Principle examples of this in the ELCA include Family of God, Cape Coral FL., The Well, Charlotte NC, and Church of the Apostles, Seattle WA.. The Lutheran World Federation, the largest federation of international Lutheran Churches has in fact strongly recommended in the Nairobe Statement on Worship and Culture that Lutherans of the world make every effort to bring their services into a more contextually sensitive position.
"A given culture's values and patterns, insofar as they are consonant with the values of the Gospel, can be used to express the meaning and purpose of Christian worship. Contextualization is a necessary task for the Church's mission in the world, so that the Gospel can be ever more deeply rooted in diverse local cultures." The Nairobe Statement
Catechism, especially children's, is considered fundamental in most Lutheran churches. Almost all maintain Sunday Schools, and some host or maintain private nursery schools, primary schools, regional high schools and universities.
Life-long catechesis, since Martin Luther's day, was intended for all ages so that the abuses of the Church of that day would not recur. Reference: preface to Luther's Large and preface to Luther's Small Catechism. With the emphasis on proper life-long catechesis, the Lutheran Church has a heritage rich in theology and doctrine.
Pastors usually teach in the common language of the parish. In the U.S., some congregations and synods traditionally taught in German, Finnish, or Norwegian, but this custom, which attracted unfavorable attention during World War I, has been in significant decline since the early/middle 20th century.
Pastors almost always have substantial theological educations, including Greek and Hebrew so that they can refer directly to the canonical Christian scriptures in the original language. Lutheran pastors may marry and have families. Some Lutheran denominations allow female pastors.
While not an issue in the majority of Lutheran church bodies, a few of them forbid membership in Freemasonry. A 1958 report from the publishing house of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod states that, "Masonry is guilty of idolatry. Its worship and prayers are idol worship. The Masons may not with their hands have made an idol out of gold, silver, wood or stone, but they created one with their own mind and reason out of purely human thoughts and ideas. The latter is an idol no less than the former."
Lutheran Churches in the United States use a number of hymnals as well as electronic projection media. The most widely used are: The Lutheran Book of Worship (1978) and The Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006, ELCA and ELCIC), Lutheran Worship (1982, LCMS), Christian Worship (WELS), and The Lutheran Hymnal (1941, LCMS, WELS & CLC). In 2006, both the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and the LCMS, the two largest Lutheran denominations, released new hymnals: Evangelical Lutheran Worship (ELCA) and Lutheran Service Book (LCMS).

The three largest international Lutheran bodies are the Lutheran World Federation (LWF), which contains 140 member church bodies in 78 countries representing 66.2 million of the world's 69.7 million Lutherans; and the International Lutheran Council (ILC), of which the LCMS and the LCC are members; and the Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference (CELC), of which the WELS and ELS are members. The Lutheran World Federation supports the activities of Lutheran World Relief, a relief and development agency active in more than 50 countries.
Many Lutheran churches exist throughout the world which are not affiliated with the LWF, the ILC or the CELC, such as those affiliated with Augsburg Lutheran Churches or Church of the Lutheran Confession which are especially active in Africa and India; and those affiliated with the Church of the Lutheran Brethren, which are especially active elsewhere in Asia.

International bodies

Main article: Lutheranism by region Throughout the world

List of Lutherans
Lutheran views of homosexuality
List of Lutheran denominations
Lutheran World Federation
International Lutheran Council
Porvoo Communion
Lutheran Orthodoxy
High Church Lutheranism
Confessional Lutheran
Old Lutherans
Lutheran Catholic Evangelical Print sources

Friday, November 23, 2007

Conrad II
See also: Salian Franks and Salic law
Conrad II (c. 990June 4, 1039) was the son of a mid-level nobleman in Franconia, Count Henry of Speyer and Adelheid of Alsace, who inherited the titles the Salian Count of Speyer and of Worms as an infant when Henry died at age twenty. From his power base in Worms and Speyer as he matured he came to be well known by many noblemen in Germany, and when the Saxon line died off and the elected monarchy for the Eastern German realm was up for grabs, he was elected King of Germany in 1024 at the respectably old age of thirty-four years and crowned emperor of the Holy Roman Empire on March 26, 1027, becoming the first of four kings and emperors of the Salian Dynasty—a term applied both to the imperial and royal dignities.

Last years
The Basilica of Aquileia (northern Italy) contains an apse fresco (c. 1031) showing emperor Conrad II, his wife Gisela of Swabia and Patriarch Poppone of Aquileia.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Relativity may refer to:

Relativity Popular culture

Relativity (M. C. Escher), a lithograph print by the Dutch artist M. C. Escher
Relativity Theory (The Outer Limits), 1988 The Outer Limits episode
Relativity (TV series), mid-1990s American drama series
Relativity (Voyager episode), 1999 fifth-season episode of Star Trek: Voyager

  • USS Relativity, the Wells class starship featured in that episode
    Relativity, 2001 Farscape episode
    Relativity Records, record label
    Relativity (band), a band founded by Scottish folk musician Phil Cunningham and other members of Silly Wizard

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Gustaw Herling-Grudzinski
Gustaw Herling-Grudziński (May 20, 1919 Kielce, Poland - July 4, 2000 Naples, Italy) was one of the greatest Polish essayists and thinkers. He is best known for writing a personal account of life in the Soviet gulag - A World Apart.
He was born in Kielce into a Jewish family. His studies of Polish literature at Warsaw University were interrupted by the outbreak of the Second World War. During the Fall of 1939 he co-founded an underground resistance organization "Polska Ludowa Akcja Niepodległościowa, PLAN". As the organization's courier he traveled to then Soviet occupied Lvov, but was arrested in March 1940 by the NKVD and sentenced on fabricated espionage charges. Imprisoned in Vitsebsk and a gulag in Arkhangelsk region for 2 years, he was released in 1942 under the Sikorski-Mayski Agreement. He joined Gen. Wladyslaw Anders' Army (Polish II Corps) and later fought in Italy at Monte Cassino. For his valor in combat he has been decorated with the Virtuti Militari cross, Poland's highest military decoration.
In 1947 he co-founded and initially co-edited the political and cultural magazine Kultura, then published in Rome. When the magazine moved to Paris he settled first in London and finally in Naples, Italy.
He was the winner of many literary prizes: Kultura (1958), Jurzykowski (1964), Kościelskis (1966), The News (1981), the Italian Premio Viareggio prize, the international Prix Gutenberg, and French Pen-Club. In 1998 he was awarded the Order of the White Eagle.
His most famous book, A World Apart, was translated into English by Andrzej Ciolkosz and published with an introduction by Bertrand Russell in 1951 (the 2005 edition would feature an introduction by Anne Applebaum). By describing life in the gulag in a harrowing personal account, it provides an in-depth, original analysis of the nature of the Soviet communist system. Written 10 years before Alexander Solzhenitsyn's One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, it brought him an international acclaim but also opposition. The French translation of the book wasn't publish until 1995, the Italian one until 1994.
The selection from Journal Written at Night, a journal he was writing for 30 years, was translated by Ronald Strom and published as Volcano and Miracle (1997). A collection of his short stories The Noonday Cemetery and Other Stories, (2003) was translated by Bill Johnston.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Ruth Ellis (October 9, 1926July 13, 1955) was a British murderess who was the last woman to be executed in the UK. She was convicted of the murder of her lover, David Blakely, and hanged at London's Holloway Prison.

David Blakely
The hanging of Ruth Ellis strengthened public support for the abolition of the death penalty, which was halted in practice for murder in Britain ten years later. Reprieve was by then commonplace. It was becoming clear to many that capital punishment was arbitrary: political, rather than judicial considerations determined which of the condemned would pay the supreme penalty.
Of the 145 women in Britain convicted of murder and sentenced to death in the 20th century, only 14 were hanged, a reprieve rate of over 90 per cent. Factors that counted against Ruth Ellis included her appearance, her lifestyle, her supposed lack of remorse, the fact that a passer-by was slightly wounded and the sensational aspects of the case. Unfortunately, the murder and Ruth's arraignment also occurred during the 1955 General Election campaign, which was won by the Conservatives on a strongly pro-death-penalty platform. It may be that the publicity and furore surrounding the case was counter-productive to Ruth Ellis's cause, and the newly elected Home Secretary could not be seen to bow to a section of public opinion in exercising the Royal Prerogative of mercy.
In his book Anthony Eden, published in 1986, Robert Rhodes James states that Eden, who was the British prime minister at the time, makes no reference whatever to this matter in his memoirs and there is nothing in his papers about the case. Eden accepted that the decision was the responsibility of the Home Secretary, but there are indications that he was troubled about it.
The execution brought worldwide condemnation. Foreign newspapers observed that the concept of the crime passionnel seemed foreign to the British. One French reporter wrote: "Passion in England, except for cricket and betting, is always regarded as a shameful disease."
The tragedy of David Blakely and Ruth Ellis was not confined to them. Within weeks of her execution, Ruth's 18-year-old sister died suddenly, allegedly of a broken heart. Ruth's husband, George Ellis, descended into alcoholism and hanged himself in 1958.
Her son, Andy, who was 11 at the time of his mother's hanging, suffered irreparable psychological damage and committed suicide in a squalid bedsit in 1982. It is said that the trial judge, Sir Cecil Havers, had sent money every year for Andy's upkeep. Christmas Humphreys, the prosecution counsel at Ruth's trial, paid for his funeral.
The case continues to have a strong grip on the British imagination and was referred back to the Court of Appeal by the Criminal Cases Review Commission. The Court firmly rejected the appeal, although it made clear that it ruled only on the conviction based on the law as it stood in 1955, not on whether she should have been executed.
On May 21st 2005, The Mirror newspaper published an exclusive story, No Pardon for Ellis: "Fifty years on, government turns down reprieve for hanged Ruth Ellis. - Hanged killer Ruth Ellis has been secretly denied a pardon by the government, documents reveal. The decision has been kept under wraps for fear of unleashing protests which could embarrass ministers.".
In July 2007 a petition was published on the 10 Downing Street website. Prime Minister Gordon Brown is being asked to reconsider the Ruth Ellis case and grant a free pardon in light of new evidence that the Old Bailey jury in 1955 was not asked to consider.[1]

Legacy of The Ellis Case
The body of Ruth Ellis was buried in an unmarked grave within the walls of Holloway Prison, as was customary. In the early 1970s the prison underwent an extensive programme of rebuilding, during which the bodies of all the executed women were exhumed. All were reburied in Brookwood Cemetery with the exception of Ruth Ellis, who was reburied in Saint Mary Churchyard in Amersham, Buckinghamshire. The headstone in the churchyard was inscribed Ruth Hornby 1926–1955. In 1982 Ruth's son Andy (Andrea) destroyed the headstone shortly before he committed suicide. The grave is now overgrown with yew trees.

Burial and Reburial
Ruth Ellis was 5' 2" tall, and at the time of the murder of David Blakely weighed 7 stone. She had small hands, and her left hand was gnarled as a result of contracting rheumatic fever as a teenager.
It is clear from a Holloway hospital case paper, opened since 2005 at The National Archive, fifty years after Ruth's death by hanging, that her condition was known.
On May 27th 1955, Mr W. Mackenzie, medical registrar at St Giles hospital in London, prepared a report for Ruth's solicitor Mr Bickford. Referring to the rheumatic fever for which Ruth had been admitted to the hospital as a teenager, he said bones in her left hand ring finger had been destroyed by septic arthritis. In a postscript he added, "I should be interested to know, from a medical point of view, the present state of her joints."
Mackenzie wrote the report six weeks after Ruth shot her lover, aiming and firing six times with a heavy Smith and Wesson revolver.
On 11th April 1955 the prison medical officer at Holloway prison noted that, as a teenager, she had "contracted rheumatic fever, which was followed with arthritis in the fingers of the left hand and of the ankles."
In a recently opened file at The National Archive, the statement that Lewis Charles Nickolls, Director of the Metropolitan Police Laboratory in 1955, can be studied. He stated in a police statement and again at the magistrates court hearing prior to the Old Bailey trial: "On receipt the Smith and Wesson revolver was in working order, and during the course of firing in the Laboratory, the cylinder catch broke as the result of a long standing crack in the shank...The trigger pull is 9.5 to 10lbs uncocked...These are normal figures for this type of weapon...In order to fire these 6 cartridges, it is necessary to cock the trigger six times, as in the case of a revolver pulling the trigger only fires one shot. To pull a trigger of 10lbs requires a definite and deliberate muscular effort."
Two months later, none of this evidence about the gun was presented to the jurors at the Old Bailey. When questioned, Nickolls merely stated, "To fire each shot, the trigger has to be pulled as a separate operation."

Ruth Ellis In Film

It is obvious that when I shot him, I intended to kill him. — Ruth Ellis, on the stand at the Old Bailey, 20 June 1955 (this was in answer to the only question put to her by Christmas Humphreys for the Prosecution 'When you fired the gun, did you mean to kill?')

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Superior Software
Superior Software is a software publisher whose titles are mainly computer and video games. It was established in 1982 by Richard Hanson and John Dyson, two graduates of the University of Leeds, England. They had previously programmed software published by Micro Power, and they wrote Superior's first four game releases: three were written by Hanson and one by Dyson.
Describing the early days, Hanson commented:
"We set up Superior Software with just £100 – John and I each put £50 into a company bank account; and we placed a small black-and-white advertisement in one of the early home computer magazines ... £100 was the most money that we would lose from the Superior Software venture if it had not worked out. Anyway we received a very good response to our first advertisement, and the software sales which it generated covered the cost of the advertisement several times over. We started to place larger advertisements in a few magazines, and invited other programmers to send their software to us for evaluation and possible marketing by us."
Superior initially focussed on the machines of Acorn Computers Ltd; and key management personnel have included Steve Botterill, Chris Payne and Steve Hanson.
Major software developers Peter Johnson, Tim Tyler, Martin Edmondson, Nicholas Chamberlain, Kevin Edwards, David Hoskins, Matthew Atkinson, Chris Roberts, Tony Oakden, Peter Scott, Gary Partis, Peter Irvin, Jeremy Smith, David Braben, Ian Bell, Geoff Crammond, Jonathan Griffiths and Nick Pelling have all produced software published by Superior, sometimes released under the joint Superior Software / Acornsoft brandname.
Superior, under the brandname Superior Interactive, now mainly develops and publishes software for computers running Microsoft Windows; and they have released several updated versions of their popular 1980s hits for that operating system.
Their most well-known games are the Repton series of games, which have sold over 125,000 units in total:
Other notable Superior Software games include Overdrive, Galaforce, Ravenskull, Pipeline, Citadel, Palace of Magic, Exile, Quest, Stryker's Run, Codename: Droid (sequel to Stryker's Run), Ricochet. Superior Interactive has published rereleases Galaforce Worlds, Ravenskull, Pipeline Plus, Ricochet and new game Solid Spheres Deluxe. They have also produced an additional expansion pack of levels for all three modern Repton versions, named Repton Spectacular.
Superior also published a number of educational and utility software titles.
See also: Superior Software games

Repton (retitled Repton 1 for the Windows rerelease)
Repton 2
Repton 3 and its extra levels expansions (all included under the Repton 3 name in rereleases):

  • Around the World in 40 Screens
    The Life of Repton
    Repton Thru Time
    Repton Infinity (not (yet) re-released)

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Michel Bélanger
Michel Bélanger (1929December 1, 1997) was a Canadian businessman and banker.
He was an economic adviser to René Lévesque and helped to nationalize electricity. He was the first Francophone to become president of the Montreal stock exchange.
From 1976 until 1979, he was President of the Provincial Bank of Canada. After the Provincial Bank of Canada merged with Banque canadienne nationale to form the National Bank of Canada, he became the first President of the merged organization.
As a federalist, he was co-chairman of the Commission on the Political and Constitutional Future of Quebec, known as the Belanger-Campeau Commission.
In 1976 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Companion in 1993.