Sunday, September 30, 2007

Lakeland, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area
The Lakeland, Florida Metropolitan Statistical Area is a Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) consisting of Polk County in the state of Florida in the USA. The principal city in the MSA is Lakeland. In 2005 the population of the MSA was 541,840.
Growth in Polk County is driven by nearness to both the Tampa and Orlando metropolitan areas along the Interstate 4 corridor. Recent growth has been heaviest in Lakeland (closest to Tampa) and the Northeast areas near Haines City(nearest to Orlando). From 1990-2000, unincorporated areas grew 25%, while incorporated areas grew only 11%. In addition to developing cottage communities for commuters, there is evidence in Haines City of suburban sprawl into unincorporated areas.
Polk County is the headquarters of Publix Supermarkets, a regional grocery chain and Polk's top private employer, as well as W. S. Babcock Corporation, Watkins Motor Lines, Saddle Creek Corporation, and IMC Agrico. Polk's location along the I-4 corridor is attracting warehouse and fulfillment center development in the north part of the county.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Gulf of Cadiz
The Gulf of Cádiz (in Spanish: Golfo de Cádiz) is the arm of the Atlantic Ocean between Cape St. Vincent (Cabo de São Vicente) in Portugal and Cape Trafalgar (Cabo Trafalgar) at the western end of the Strait of Gibraltar. Two major rivers, the Guadalquivir and the Guadiana, as well as smaller rivers, like the Odiel, the Tinto, and the Guadalete, reach the sea here.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Elmer L. Andersen
Elmer Lee Andersen
Elmer Lee Andersen (June 17, 1909November 15, 2004) was an American businessman, philanthropist, and the 30th governor of Minnesota, serving a single term from January 2, 1961 to March 25, 1963 as a Republican. At the time, the governor's term was only two years.
Born in 1909 in Chicago, Illinois, he lost his bid for re-election in the closest statewide race in Minnesota history. The election was held on November 6, 1962 but the results were not known until March 21, 1963. After recounts and court challenges, it was determined that then-Lieutenant Governor Karl Rolvaag had defeated Andersen by 91 votes out of nearly 1.3 million cast. Rolvaag collected 619,842 votes to Andersen's 619,751.
Before entering politics he rose from salesman to owner and president of the HB Fuller Company. After retiring, he published local newspapers. He also served as a University of Minnesota regent from 1967 to 1975. During his tenure as Regent, Anderson, as a regent, was sued for denying employment to James Michael "Mike" McConnell on the basis of McConell's sexuality in McConnell v. Anderson. McConnell, the partner of Jack Baker, a litigant in Baker v. Nelson, was fired from his job as librarian because "his personal conduct . . . is not consistent with the best interests of the university" (J. Murdoch and D. Price, Courting Justice, Basic Books, New York, 2001, p 166.) The Eight Circuit court of appeals eventually sided with Andersen and the regents in October 1971 and allowed the University of Minnesota to fire McConnell. A lifelong book collector, he donated over 12,500 volumes, some quite rare, to the university, which built a new library and named it after him. He wrote two books of his own, a 2000 autobiography called A Man's Reach, and a collection of newspaper articles titled Views from the Publisher's Desk,.
Andersen remained in the Republican Party for the rest of his life, but he became unhappy about how conservative the party had become. Even in the 1960s, his views were in the minority of the party. In a 2003 interview with the Saint Paul Pioneer Press he said, "I remind people I want to be known as a liberal Republican. If that's a dirty word, so be it." In 2004, he broke with party ranks to endorse John Kerry in his bid to unseat George W. Bush as president of the United States. He was so disenchanted with the Bush administration that he wrote a commentary in the Minneapolis Star Tribune claiming that President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney "spew outright untruths with evangelistic fervor" and calling Cheney an evil man who was the real decision maker in the administration. [1] He died in 2004 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Another similarly-named Minnesota governor was C. Elmer Anderson.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The International Baseball League of Australia was a baseball league which existed from 1999 to 2002.
The league was created by David Nilsson after he purchased the rights to the Australian Baseball League in 1999 when it was near financial collapse. The International Baseball League lasted for 3 seasons before Nilsson handed the rights back over to the Australian Baseball Federation in 2002. Since this time there has been no national league in Australia except the yearly Claxton Shield held in January.
There are unofficial reports of an Australian Baseball League part owned by Major League Baseball and the Australian Baseball Federation starting up in late 2007.

International Baseball League of Australia Teams

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Oxford University Press (OUP) is a publishing house and a department of the University of Oxford in England. It has branches all over the world including India, Pakistan, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Singapore, Nigeria and the Republic of South Africa. OUP USA, established circa 1891 and incorporated in 1896, is a private limited company affiliated to the parent body and was the Press's first international venture. The Indian Branch, set up in 1912, was the second. OUP as a whole is managed by a body of elected representatives called the Delegates of the Press, who are all members of Oxford University. Today it has two main imprints: Oxford University Press, under which the bulk of its reference, educational, and scholarly publications appear, and the Clarendon Press, which is its "prestige" scholarly imprint. Most of the major branches function as local publishers as well as distributing and selling titles from OUP headquarters.
OUP was first exempted from US Corporation Tax in 1972 and from UK Corporation Tax in 1978. As a department of a charity, OUP is exempt from income tax and corporate tax in most countries, but may pay sales and other commercial taxes on its products. The Press today transfers 30% of its annual surplus to the rest of the University, with a commitment to a minimum transfer of £12 million per annum. OUP is the largest university press in the world by the number of publications, publishing more than 4,500 new books every year and employing some 4,000 people. OUP publishes many reference, professional, and academic works including the Oxford English Dictionary, the Concise Oxford English Dictionary, the Oxford World's Classics and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. A number of its most important titles are now available electronically in a package called "Oxford Reference Online", and are offered free to holders of a reader's card from many public libraries in the UK.
In 1990 in the UK Court of Appeal OUP lost a legal action brought by philosopher Andrew Malcolm over its breach of a 1985 contract to publish his book Making Names. In 1998 OUP closed down the much-loved Oxford Poets series. In 2001 OUP acquired UK law publisher Blackstone. In 2003, OUP acquired from Macmillan Publishers the Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians and the Dictionary of Art. In 2005 OUP acquired US law publisher Oceana Publications In 2006 OUP acquired UK publisher Richmond Law & Tax.
Books published by Oxford have International Standard Book Numbers that begin with 0-19, making the Press one of a tiny number of publishers who have two-digit identification numbers in the ISBN system.

Early history
From the 1850s onward the University of Oxford underwent a protracted and painful programme of modernisation, under the aegis of William Gladstone among others. The Delegacy of the Press ceased to be 'perpetual' in 1856. It now had five perpetual and five junior posts filled by appointment from the University, with the Vice Chancellor a Delegate ex officio.
As the reform of the University got under way, the Delegates were split into two groups. One, epitomized by Mark Pattison, a classicist whom Mrs Humphrey Ward once described as looking 'like a discontented lizard with a cold',

Reorganisation in the nineteenth century
Frowde had no doubt that the Press's business in London could be very largely increased and was appointed on contract with a commission on sales. Seven years later, as Publisher to the University, Frowde was using his own name as an imprint as well as 'Oxford University Press'. This style persisted till recent times, with two kinds of imprints emenating from the Press's London offices. The last man to be known as 'Publisher to the University' was John Brown, known to his colleagues as 'Bruno'.
The distinctions implied by the imprints were subtle but important. Books which were issued by London on commission (paid for by their authors of by some learned body) were styled 'Henry Frowde', or 'Humphrey Milford' with no mention of OUP, as if the Publisher were issuing them himself, while books that the Publisher issued under the rubric of the University bore the imprint 'Oxford University Press'. Both these categories were mostly handled by London, while Oxford (in practice the Secretary) looked after the Clarendon Press books. Commission books were intended to be cash cows to fund the London Business's overheads, since the Press did not lay aside any resources for this purpose. Nevertheless Frowde was especially careful to see that all commission books he published met with the Delegates' approval. This was not an uncommon arrangement for scholarly or antiquarian presses.
Frowde regularly remitted money back to Oxford, but he privately felt that the business was undercapitalized and would pretty soon become a serious drain on the university's resources unless put on a sound commercial footing. He himself was authorized to invest money up to a limit in the business but was prevented from doing so by family troubles. Hence his interest in overseas sales, for by the 1880s and 1890s there was money to be made in India, while the European book market was in the doldrums. But Frowde's distance from the Press's decision-making meant he was incapable of influencing policy unless a Delegate spoke for him. Most of the time Frowde did whatever he could within the mandate given him by the Delegates. In 1905 when applying for a pension he wrote to J.R. Magrath, the then Vice Chancellor, that during the seven years when he had served as manager of the Bible Warehouse the sales of the London Business had averaged about £20,000 and the profits £1,887 per year. By 1905, under his management as Publisher, the sales had risen to upwards of £200,000 per year and the profits in that 29 years of service averaged £8,242 per year.

The London business
Price, trying in his own way to modernize the Press against the resistance of its own historical inertia, had become overworked and by 1883 was so exhausted as to want to retire. Benjamin Jowett had become Vice Chancellor of the University in 1882. Impatient of the endless committees that would no doubt attend the appointment of a successor to Price, Jowett extracted what could be interpreted as permission from the Delegates and headhunted Philip Lyttelton Gell, a former student acolyte of his, to be the next Secretary to the Delegates. Gell was making a name for himself at the publishing firm of Cassell, Petter and Galpin, a firm regarded as scandalously commercial by the Delegates. Gell himself was a patrician who was unhappy with his work, where he saw himself as catering to the taste of 'one class: the lower middle', and he grasped at the chance of working with the kind of texts and readerships OUP attracted.
Jowett promised Gell golden opportunities, little of which he actually had the authority to deliver. He timed Gell's appointment to coincide with both the Long Vacation (from June to September) and the death of Mark Pattison, so potential opposition was prevented from attending the crucial meetings. Jowett knew the primary reason why Gell would attract hostility was that he had never worked for the Press nor been a Delegate, and he had sullied himself in the City with raw commerce. His fears were borne out. Gell immediately proposed a thorough modernising of the Press with a marked lack of tact, and earned himself enduring enemies. Nevertheless he was able to do a lot in tandem with Frowde, and expanded the publishing programmes and the reach of OUP until about 1898. Then his health broke down under the impossible work conditions he was being forced to endure by the Delegates' non-cooperation. The Delegates then served him with a notice of termination of service that violated his contract. However, he was persuaded not to file suit and to go quietly.
The Delegates were not opposed primarily to his initiatives, but to his manner of executing them and his lack of sympathy with the academic way of life. In their view the Press was, and always would be, an association of scholars. Gell's idea of 'efficiency' appeared to violate that culture, although subsequently a very similar programme of reform was put into practice from the inside.

Oxford University Press Conflict over the Secretaryship
Charles Cannan, who had been instrumental in Gell's removal, succeeded Gell in 1900, and Humphrey S. Milford, his younger colleague, effectively succeeded Frowde in 1907. Both were Oxford men who knew the system inside out, and the close collaboration with which they worked was a function of their shared background and worldview. Cannan was known for terrifying silences, and Milford had an uncanny ability, testified to by Amen House employees, to 'disappear' in a room rather like a Cheshire cat, from which obscurity he would suddenly address his subordinates and make them jump. Whatever their reasons for their style of working, both Cannan and Milford had a very hardnosed view of what needed to be done, and they proceeded to do it. Indeed Frowde knew within a few weeks of Milford's entering the London office in [1904] that he would be replaced. Milford, however, always treated Frowde with courtesy, and Frowde remained in an advisory capacity till 1913. Milford rapidly teamed up with J.E. Hodder Williams of Hodder and Stoughton, setting up what was known as the Joint Account for the issue of a wide range of books in education, science, medicine and also fiction. Milford began putting in practice a number of initiatives, including the foundations of most of the Press's global branches.

The twentieth century
Milford took responsibility for overseas trade almost at once, and by 1906 he was making plans to send a traveller to India and the Far East jointly with Hodder and Stoughton. N. Graydon (first name unknown) was the first such traveller in 1907, and again in 1908 when he represented OUP exclusively in India, the Straits and the Far East. A.H. Cobb replaced him in 1909, and in 1910 Cobb functioned as a travelling manager semi-permanently stationed in India. In 1911 E.V. Rieu went out to East Asia via the Trans-Siberian Railway, had several adventures in China and Russia, then came south to India and spent most of the year meeting educationists and officials all over India. In 1912, he arrived again in Bombay, now known as Mumbai. There he rented an office in the dockside area and set up the first overseas Branch.
In 1914 Europe was plunged into turmoil. The first effects of the war were paper shortages and losses and disturbances in shipping, then quickly a dire lack of hands as the staff were called up and went to serve on the field. Many of the staff including two of the pioneers of the Indian branch were killed in action. Curiously, sales through the years 1914 to 1917 were good and it was only towards the end of the war that conditions really began pinching.
Rather than bringing relief from shortages the 1920s saw skyrocketing prices of both materials and labour. Paper especially was hard to come by and had to be imported from South America through trading companies. Economies and markets slowly recovered as the 1920s progressed. In 1928 the Press's imprint read 'London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leipzig, Toronto, Melbourne, Cape Town, Bombay, Calcutta, Madras and Shanghai'. Not all of these were full-fledged branches: in Leipzig there was a depot run by H. Bohun Beet, and In Canada and Australia there were small, functional depots in the cities and an army of educational representatives penetrating the rural fastnesses to sell the Press's stock as well as books published by firms whose agencies were held by the Press, very often including fiction and light reading. In India, the Branch depots in Bombay, Madras, and Calcutta were imposing establishments with sizable stock inventories, for the Presidencies themselves were large markets, and the educational representatives there dealt mostly with upcountry trade. The Depression of 1929 dried profits from the Americas to a trickle, and India became 'the one bright spot' in an otherwise dismal picture. Bombay was the nodal point for distribution to the africas and onward sale to Australasia, and people who trained at the three major depots moved later on to pioneer branches in Africa and South East Asia. The Press has evolved since then to be one of the largest players in a globally expanding scholarly and reference book market.

Development of overseas trade
When OUP arrived on Indian shores, it was preceded by the immense prestige of the Sacred Books of the East, edited by Friedrich Max Müller, which had at last reached completion in 50 ponderous volumes. While actual purchase of this series was beyond most Indians, libraries usually had a set, generously provided by the government of India, available on open reference shelves, and the books had been widely discussed in the Indian media. Although there had been plenty of criticism of them, the general feeling was that Max Müller had done India a favour by popularising ancient Asian (Persian, Arabic, Indian and Sinic) philosophy in the West. In Madras, there was never a formal branch in the same sense as Bombay and Calcutta, as the management of the depot there seems to have rested in the hands of two local academics.

The Indian branch
OUP's interaction with this area was part of their mission to India, since many of their travellers took in East and South East Asia on their way out to or back from India. Graydon on his first trip in 1907 had travelled the 'Straits Settlements' (largely the Federated Malay States and Singapore), China, and Japan, but was not able to do much. In 1909 A. H. Cobb visited teachers and booksellers in Shanghai, and found that the main competition there was cheap books from America, often straight reprints of British books.
Japan was a much less well-known market to OUP, and a small volume of trade was carried out largely through intermediaries. The Maruzen company was by far the largest customer, and had a special arrangement regarding terms. Other business was routed through H.L. Griffiths, a professional publishers' representative based in Sannomiya, Kobe. Griffiths travelled for the Press to major Japanese schools and bookshops and took a 10 percent commission. Edmund Blunden had been briefly at the University of Tokyo and put the Press in touch with the University booksellers, Fukumoto Stroin.
One important acquisition did come from Japan, however: A. S. Hornby's Advanced Learner's Dictionary.

East and South East Asia
The North American branch was established in 1896 at 91 Fifth Avenue in New York City to facilitate the sale of Oxford Bibles in the United States. Subsequently, it took over marketing of all books of its parent from Macmillan. This office grew in sales between 1928 and 1936, eventually becoming one of the leading University Presses in the United States. It is focused on scholarly and referential books, Bibles, and college and medical textbooks. In the 1990s, this office moved from its original home to 198 Madison Avenue, which was the former B. Altman Company headquarters.

North America
In December 1909 Cobb returned and rendered his accounts for his Asia trip that year. Cobb then proposed to Milford that the Press join a combination of firms to send commercial travellers around South America, to which Milford in principle agreed. Cobb obtained the services of a man called Steer (first name unknown) to travel through Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and possibly other countries as well, with Cobb to be responsible for Steer. Hodder & Stoughton opted out of this venture, but OUP went ahead and contributed to it.
Steer's trip was a disaster, and Milford remarked gloomily that it 'bid fair to be the most costly and least productive on record' of all traveller's trips. Steer returned before he had covered more than half of his itinerary, and on returning failed to have his customs payments refunded, with the result that a hefty sum of £210 was lost to the Press. The Press was obliged to disburse 80 percent of the value of the books he had carried as 'incidental expenses', so even if they had got substantial orders they would still have made a loss. Few orders did in fact come out of the trip, and when Steer's box of samples returned, the London office found that they had not been opened further down than the second layer.

South America
Some trade with East Africa passed through Bombay.


Important series and titles

Oxford English Dictionary
Concise Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography
Advanced Learner's Dictionary Dictionaries

The Religious Books of the Sikhs
Sacred Books of the East
Rulers of India
The Early History of India Indology

Scriptorum Classicorum Bibliotheca Oxoniensis, also know as the Oxford Classical Texts History
OUP has also been a major publisher of academic journals, both in the sciences and the humanities. It has been noted as one of the first university presses to publish an open access journal (Nucleic Acids Research), and probably the first to introduce Hybrid open access journals.

Scholarly journals
Printer to the University Horace Hart. It has lent its name to the Oxford comma.

OUP's contribution to typography and presswork
Since 2001, Oxford University Press has financially supported the Clarendon Bursaries, which are graduate scholarships open to Oxford University students liable to pay tuition fees at the overseas rate. About 100 awards are made annually.

Clarendon Bursaries


Hart's Rules for Compositors and Readers at the University Press, Oxford
Books associated with Oxford

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Kelvin-Helmholtz mechanism
The Kelvin-Helmholtz mechanism is an astronomical event that occurs when the surface of a star or a planet cools. As a result of this cooling, the pressure drops, and the star or planet compresses to compensate. This compression, in turn, heats up the core of the star/planet. This mechanism is evident on Jupiter and Saturn. It is estimated that Jupiter and Saturn each radiate more energy through this mechanism than each receives from the Sun.
The mechanism was originally proposed by Kelvin and Helmholtz in the late 1800s to explain the source of energy of the sun. It was recognized by Sir Arthur Eddington among others that the amount of energy generated by the Kelvin-Helmholtz mechanism is far too low to power the sun, and the true source of the Sun's energy remained uncertain until it was shown to be nuclear fusion by Hans Bethe.

Monday, September 24, 2007

This article serves as an overview of the customs and culture of the United States. For the popular culture of the United States, see arts and entertainment in the United States.
The Culture of the United States is a Western culture, and has been developing since long before the United States became a country. Today the United States is a diverse and multi-cultural nation.
Further information: Cultural history of the United States

What is culture?
Variations in the majority traditions occur due to class, ancestral, religious, regional and other groups of people. Cultural differences in the various regions of the United States are explored in New England, Mid-Atlantic States, Southern United States, Midwestern United States, Southwest United States, Western United States and Pacific Northwestern United States pages. The western coast of the continental US consisting of California, Oregon, and the state of Washington is also sometimes referred to as the Left Coast, indicating its political orientation and tendency towards liberal norms, folkways and values. Strong cultural differences have a long history in the US with the southern slave society in the antebellum period serving as a prime example. Not only social, but also economic tensions between the Northern and Southern states were so severe that they eventually caused the South to declare itself an independent nation, the Confederate States of America; thus provoking the American civil war.

In terms of body contact and personal space the United States shows considerable similarities to northern and central European regions, such as Germany, the Benelux, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom. The main difference is, however, that Americans like to keep more open space in between themselves and their conversation partners (roughly 4 feet compared to 2 to 3 feet in Europe). As these marriages deviated too far from the majority sentiment at the time, however, the issuing of gay marriage licenses was stopped through court order. These events in early 2003 illustrate the great differences in what is acceptable in different parts of the United States.

Intimate distance: extends roughly 18 inches (45.7 cm) from the individual and is reserved for family, pets and very close friends. Displays of affection and comforting are commonly conducted within this space. The only strangers an individual typically accepts within his or her intimate space are health care professionals.
Personal distance: extends 4 to 5 feet (1.2 - 1.5 meters) is reserved for friends and acquaintances. A handshake will typically place strangers at least 2 to 4 feet apart, preserving the personal distance.
Social distance: extends from about 4 to 12 feet (1.2 - 3.7 meters) and is used for formal, business and other impersonal interactions such as meeting a client.
Public Space: extends more than 12 feet (3.7 meters) and is not guarded. Secret Service agents will commonly attempt to ensure 12 feet of open space around dignitaries and high ranking officials. Body contact and personal expression

Main article: Social structure of the United States Social class
Further information: Household income in the United StatesPersonal income in the United States, and Educational attainment in the United States
Income remains one of the main indicators of class, as it commonly reflects high educational attainment as well as a prestigious occupation.

Class factors and politics
Income also had a significant impact on health as those with higher incomes had better access to health care facilities, higher life expectancy, lower infant mortality rate and increased health consciousness. While the United States lacks socialized medicine similar to that found in many other post-industrialized developed nations across Europe and Asia, 85% of the US population were insured in 2005. Yet, discrepancies seem to remain beyond the difference between insured and uninsured. In 2006 Harvard researchers divided the US into "eight Americas." One does of course, need to note than any statements or research connecting health consciousness and income are generalizations, as are most other statements made in regards to the diverse culture of the United States.

Health and income
Residents of the United States of America commonly refer to themselves and each other as Americans, and to their country as either the United States, the US, USA, US of A, or simply America. However, the terms "America" and "American" may also be applied to those living on the American continents outside the United States. The phrase is also occasionally used in contemporary discussions of American federalism and states' rights. Immediately after the American Civil War and for a generation afterward, the entire country was then referred to as "the Republic". This nineteenth century usage has since declined, except when invoking issues of civics and governance, such as in the Pledge of Allegiance uttered by school children and in town meetings.
Other ways of self-referencing may be used among certain sub-cultural groups within the United States. African Americans for example have exhibited a tendency to emphasize their racial heritage when referring to one another. Doing so may represent a strong collective group identity.

Further information: Demographics of the United StatesRacism in the United States, and Civil rights
Race in the United States is based on the physical characteristics of skin color and has played an essential part in shaping American society even before the nation's conception.

As the United States is a very diverse nation, it is home to numerous organization and social groups and individuals may derive their group affiliated identity from a variety of sources. Many Americans, especially white collar professionals belong to professional organizations such as the APA, ASA or ATFLC, although books like Bowling Alone indicate that Americans affiliate with these sorts of groups less often than they did in the 1950s and 1960s. Today, Americans derive a great deal of their identity through their work and professional affiliation, especially among individuals higher on the economic ladder. Recently professional identification has led to many clerical and low-level employees giving their occupations new, more respectable titles, such as "Sanitation service engineer" instead of "Janitor."

Group affiliations

Main article: Cuisine of the United States Food
In the United States occupation is one of the prime factors of social class and is closely linked to an individual's identity. The average work week in the US for those employed full-time was 42.9 hours long with 30% of the population working more than 40 hours a week.

It is important to bear in mind that the United States of America is highly diverse. It is difficult to identify a single American attitude, or American style for the simple reason that the country is so complex.
The United States was founded in the late 18th century and as such, a great deal of American culture is couched in the ideals of the Enlightenment. Examples of this influence are reflected in the following: the Declaration of Independence's mission statement, which secures life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; the French Revolution's ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity; and the national motto, E pluribus unum ("From many, one").
Another primary influence on American culture is the ongoing influx of new immigrants, many of whom have fled persecution or oppression in their home countries, and are seeking freedom (including religious freedom) and economic opportunity. This leads to the rejection of totalitarian practices, another widespread American attitude. By and large, Americans value the ideals of individual liberty, individualism, self-sufficiency, altruism, equality of opportunity, free markets, a republican form of government, democracy, populism, pluralism, feminism, and patriotism.

Political attitudes
As mentioned above, the United States features stronger free market tendencies than many other developed nations, and historically has been hostile towards socialism. America's animosity towards communism intensified during the Cold War, as symbolized by the McCarthy trials in the 1950s. While a small minority of Americans today favor the adoption of socialist practices such as "universal health care", economic attitudes generally favor minimizing regulation and other government intrusions. The American tradition of free-market capitalism has led the populace (and representative leaders) generally to accept the continuous alterations to society that an evolving economy implies, despite the accompanying social and economic displacement.

Economic outlook
Americans also tend to travel to other countries less than citizens of European countries. This partly results from intercontinental travel entailing much further distances than Europeans. The average American worker has fewer vacation days than the average European (10-15 rather than the European average of around 20). America's vast size allows its citizens to go great distances, and see a variety of places, without leaving the country. For example, one can travel within the continental United States from a near-tropical climate (e.g. Southern Florida) to a mid-continental climate (Minnesota). California alone offers a large coastline, snow-capped mountains, prairies, and deserts within a single state. Lifestyles, food, and culture also tend to differ within the different regions.

Relationship to other countries/cultures

Main article: Arts and entertainment in the United States Popular culture

Main article: United States technological and industrial historyAmerican culture Technology and gadgets

Main article: Passenger vehicles in the United States Automobiles
The drug culture of the United States is distinguished sharply between legal, illegal and prescription drugs. The three main legal drugs are alcohol, tobacco and caffeine. The use and sale of illegal drugs such as marijuana, heroin and cocaine carries heavy penalties (see Controlled Substances Act); the U.S. expends significant resources in combating the enterprises that produce and import such commodities, in what is termed the War on Drugs. Antidepressant drugs are widely prescribed, as are stimulants such as Ritalin, a methylphenidate used to improve concentration. Today there is considerable debate over the regulation and government policy towards the control over certain substances such as marijuana; some states and counties have decriminalized the use of marijuana, although this is still illegal under federal statutes. Age limits, varying by state, regulate the sale of alcohol and tobacco. Tobacco use has declined significantly in recent decades with many "Big Tobacco" companies being at the losing end of many costly law suites. Caffeine, if considered a drug, would be the nation's most popular drug.


Main article: Sports in the United States Sports
Dress norms in the United States are generally consistent with those of other post-industrial western nations and has become largely informal since the mid 20 century. Clothing in the United States also depends on a variety of factors including location, venue, and demographic factors such as ethnicity. Blue jeans are a consistent fashion trend among all classes. The western states are commonly noted for being more informal in their manner of dress than those closer to the eastern seaboard. Furthermore, individuals belonging to certain ethnic groups such as some Native American tribal members and individuals of Scottish descent may wear clothing to represent their ethnic identity at certain events. Conspicuous consumption and a desire for quality have also lead to a strong preference for designer label clothing among many in the middle and upper classes.
Fashion norms have changed greatly from decade to decade. The United States has generally followed and in some cases led trends in the history of Western fashion. It has some unique regional clothing styles, such as western wear.


Main articles: Education in the United States and Educational attainment in the United States Education
Public education in the United States is provided by the individual states, not by the federal government (except in the limited circumstances of public schools on military bases, provided for the dependents of members of the armed services, and Federal territories, e.g. the District of Columbia). All states provide public school education from kindergarten through Senior year of high school (12th grade) free of charge (except for 15 school districts in New Hampshire which do not offer kindergarten); further, the federal government does not establish a standard nationwide curriculum. Rather, the curriculum is typically established by state educational departments or local school districts, and teachers in many districts may have wide discretion to determine what is taught in the classroom.
Most states have adopted reforms based on the Outcome-based education movement. Rather than the traditional approach that all students would be expected to achieve at different levels, the focus of education would be to increase achievement, and insure through testing that all graduates must achieve one high standard, though some critics argue such a goal is not realistic. As of 2005, there is increasing state and federal pressure to quantify teaching efficacy using results from standards-based tests (cf. No Child Left Behind), which tends to lead to a more uniform curriculum. This trend toward educational standardization, which has been attributed with a concomitant decline in flexibility in teaching, and other reforms—such as the use of whole language methodology for teaching reading in primary school, instead of the more traditional phonics-based approach—promoted in recent years have been controversial. Another controversy has arisen over the adoption of new math standards which many critics charge has largely omitted the teaching of basic arithmetic as it has been understood over history rather than merely improve understanding. Other criticisms of recent educational trends include an increasing lack of post-secondary scholarships and subsidies.
Funding of the public school systems is most often provided primarily at the local level, with money obtained from county or city property taxes used to fund the public schools (in conjunction with additional funds from the state and federal governments).

Public education
Private school education in the United States at the primary and secondary levels generally receives little or no governmental support in the form of direct funding or subsidies, although non-profit bodies running private schools may receive favorable tax status. Conversely, because of the constitutional prohibition regarding governmental establishment of religion, most private religious schools are in fact barred from such direct governmental support.
Most of the private institutions have traditionally been religious institutions funded by, for example, Catholic, Protestant, and Jewish communities. Some private secular schools, military schools, and multi-lingual schools also exist. Private secular and multi-lingual elementary and secondary education may cost $10,000 to $20,000 per year per student in large metropolitan areas, placing these schools out of reach of all but the wealthiest of middle- and upper-class families. However, many of these schools provide academic scholarships and need-based assistance. Religious schools vary in price, from nearly free to costs on par with private secular schools. Poorer families may send their children to these lower-priced schools for a religious education, or because they consider the schools better than the available public schools. Homeschooling is allowed in all states (with varying degrees of regulation) and is an alternative for a small minority of households. The motivation for home schooling is often religious or political.

Private education

Main article: Languages in the United States Language

Main article: Religion in the United States Religion
Immediately after World War II, Americans began living in increasing numbers in the suburbs, belts around major cities with higher density than rural areas, but much lower than urban areas. This move has been attributed to many factors such as the automobile, the availability of large tracts of land, the convenience of more and longer paved roads, the increasing violence in urban centers (see white flight), and the cheapness of housing. These new single-family houses were usually one or two stories tall, and often were part of large contracts of homes built by a single developer. The resulting low-density development has been given the pejorative label "urban sprawl." This is changing, however. "White flight" is reversing, with many Yuppies and upper-middle-class, empty nest Baby Boomers returning to urban living, usually in condominiums, such as in New York City's Lower East Side, and Chicago's South Loop. The result has been the displacement of many poorer, inner-city residents. (see gentrification). American cities with housing prices near the national median have also been losing the middle income neighborhoods, those with median income between 80% and 120% of the metropolitan area's median household income. Here, the more affluent members of the middle class, who are also often referred to as being professional or upper middle class, have left in search of larger homes in more exclusive suburbs. This trend is largely attributed to the so called "Middle class squeeze," which has caused a starker distinction between the statistical middle class and the more privileged members of the middle class.

Couples often meet through religious institutions, work, school, or friends. "Dating services," services that are geared to assist people in finding partners, are popular both on and offline. The trend over the past few decades has been for more and more couples deciding to cohabit before, or instead of, getting married. The 2000 Census reported 9.7 million different-sex partners living together and about 1.3 million same-sex partners living together. These cohabitation arrangements have not been the subject of many laws regulating them, though some states now have domestic partner statutes and judge-made palimony doctrines that confer some legal support for unmarried couples.
Marriage laws are established by individual states. Same-sex marriage is currently legal only in Massachusetts. Three other states, Connecticut and Vermont, and recently New Jersey (as of December 2006, resulting from an earlier decision by the New Jersey Supreme court on October 25, 2006 in Lewis vs. Harris), allow same-sex couples access to state-level marriage benefits with parallel civil unions. New Hampshire has recently legislated civil unions, which will be issued beginning January 1, 2008. In many states, it is illegal to cross state lines to obtain a marriage that would be illegal in the home state. Married couples typically reside in their own dwelling.

Romantic relationships
The typical wedding involves a couple proclaiming their commitment to one another in front of their close relatives and friends and presided over by a religious figure such as a minister, priest, or rabbi, depending upon the faith of the couple. In traditional Christian ceremonies, the bride's father will "give away" (hand off) the bride to the groom. Secular weddings are also common, often presided over by a judge, Justice of the Peace, or other municipal official.

Marriage ceremonies
Divorce, like marriage, is the province of the state governments, not the federal government. Divorce laws vary from state to state, but no-fault divorce on the grounds of "irreconcilable differences" is now available in all states except New York (whose nearest equivalent requires a one-year separation).
"Married adults now divorce two-and-a-half times as often as adults did 20 years ago and four times as often as they did 50 years ago... between 40% and 60% of new marriages will eventually end in divorce. The probability within... the first five years is 20%, and the probabilty of its ending within the first 10 years is 33%... Perhaps 25% of children ages 16 and under live with a stepparent." -Brian K. Williams, Stacy C. Sawyer, Carl M. Wahlstrom, Marriages, Families & Intimate Relationships', 2005
Prior to the 1970s, divorcing spouses had to allege that the other spouse was guilty of a crime or sin like abandonment or adultery; when spouses simply could not get along, lawyers were forced to manufacture "uncontested" divorces. The no-fault divorce revolution began in 1969 in California; South Dakota was the last state to allow no-fault divorce, in 1985. State law provides for child support where children are involved, and sometimes for alimony. The median length for a marriage in the US today is 11 years with 90% of all divorces being settled out of court.


Main article: Funerals in contemporary North America Gender roles
Today, family arrangements in the United States reflect the diverse and dynamic nature of contemporary American society. Although for a relatively brief period of time in the 20
Other changes to the landscape of American family arrangements include dual-income earner households and delayed independence among American youths. Whereas most families in the 1950s and 1960s relied on one income earner, most commonly the husband, the vast majority of family households now have two-income earners. Another change is the ever-increasing age at which young Americans leave their parental home. Traditionally, a person past "college age" who lived with their parent(s) was viewed negatively, but today it is not uncommon for children to live with their parents until their mid-twenties. This trend can be mostly attributed to rising living costs that far exceed those in decades past. Thus, many young adults now remain with their parents well past their mid-20s. This topic was a cover article of TIME magazine in 2005. Exceptions to the custom of leaving home in one's mid-20s can occur especially among Italian and Hispanic Americans, and in expensive urban real estate markets such as New York City [1], California [2], and Honolulu [3], where monthly rents commonly exceed $1000 a month.
Single-parent households are households consisting of a single adult (most often a woman) and one or more children. In the single-parent household, one parent typically raises the children with little to no help from the other. This parent is the sole "breadwinner" of the family and thus these households are particularly vulnerable economically. They have higher rates of poverty, and children of these households are more likely to have educational problems.

Household arrangements
See also: List of regions of the United States

Regional distinctions
The population of rural areas has been declining over time as more and more people migrate to cities for work and entertainment. The great exodus from the farms came in the 1940s; in recent years fewer than 2% of the population lives on farms (though others live in the countryside and commute to work). Electricity and telephone, and sometimes cable and Internet services are available to all but the most remote regions. As in the cities, children attend school up to and including high school and only help with farming during the summer months or after school.

Rural living patterns
About half of Americans now live in what is known as the suburbs. The suburban nuclear family has been identified as part of the "American dream": a married couple with children owning a house in the suburbs. This archetype is reinforced by mass media, religious practices, and government policies and is based on traditions from Anglo-Saxon cultures.
One of the biggest differences in suburban living is the housing occupied by the families. The suburbs are filled with single-family homes separated from retail districts, industrial areas, and sometimes even public schools. However, many American suburbs are incorporating these districts on smaller scales, attracting more people to these communities.

Suburban living patterns
Aside from housing, which may include more apartments and semi-attached homes than in the suburbs or small towns, the major difference from suburban living is the density and diversity of many different subcultures, as well as retail and manufacturing buildings mixed with housing. Urban residents are also more likely to travel by mass transit, and children are more likely to walk or bicycle rather than being driven by their parents.

See also

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Nongbua Lamphu Province Geography
Nong Bua Lam Phu was traditionally given as appendage to the crown prince of Lan Xang. Chao Anou designated Phagna Narin the governor of this place in 1827, famous in history for being the spot where the King-Liberator of Siam, Naresuam, came in the sixteenth century to learn the outcome of the war between the Lao and the Burmese in the Vientiane region. Nong Bua Lam Phu was a Lao stronghold, where the birth place of the principal wife of Siribunyasan, last independent King of Vientiane.
The province was originally 5 Amphoe (districts) in the province Udon Thani. In 1993 this province was decentralized and the new province Nong Bua Lamphu was created. It is thus one of the three youngest provinces of Thailand, together with Amnat Charoen and Sa Kaeo.

The province is subdivided into 6 districts (Amphoe). The districts are further subdivided into 59 sub-districts (tambon) and 636 villages (muban).

Mueang Nongbua Lamphu
Na Klang
Non Sang
Si Bun Rueang
Na Wang

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Chongqing (Simplified Chinese: 重庆; Traditional Chinese: 重慶; Pinyin: Chóngqìng; Postal map spelling: Chungking; Wade-Giles: Ch'ung-ch'ing) is the largest and most populous of the People's Republic of China's four provincial-level municipalities, and the only one in the less densely populated western half of China. Formerly (until 14 March 1997) a provincial city within Sichuan Province, the municipality of Chongqing has a registered population of 31,442,300 (2005), with most of them living outside the urban area of Chongqing proper, over hundreds of square kilometres of farmland. The population of the urban area of Chongqing proper was 4.1 million in 2005.
The municipal abbreviation, 渝 (Yú), was approved by the State Council on 18 April 1997. Chongqing was also a municipality of the old Republic of China. Its abbreviated name is derived from the old name of a part of the Jialing River that runs through Chongqing and feeds the Yangtze River.
The urban area of Chongqing proper (重庆市区) includes the following districts:

Yuzhong (渝中区, or "Central Chongqing District"), the central and most densely populated district, where government offices are located
Nan'an (南岸区, or "Southern Bank District")
Jiangbei (江北区, or "North of the River District")
Shapingba (沙坪坝区)
Jiulongpo (九龙坡区)
Dadukou (大渡口区) History
Chongqing Municipality is divided into forty county-level subdivisions (three abolished in 1997), consisting of nineteen districts, seventeen counties, and four autonomous counties.
Indicates with which district the division was associated below prior to the merging of Chongqing, Fuling, Wanxian (now Wanzhou) and Qianjiang in 1997.

Administrative divisions
105°17'-110°11' East, 28°10'-32°13' North
18°C (64°F)
0 C - 43 C (32 F - 109 F)
1000 to 1200
1000 to 1400 mm (39 in - 47 in)
Hubei (east), Hunan (east), Guizhou (south), Sichuan (west), Shaanxi (north)
Located on the edge of the Yungui Plateau, Chongqing is intersected by the Jialing River and the upper reaches of the Yangtze. It contains Daba Shan in the north, Wu Shan in the east, Wuling Shan in the southeast, and Dalou Mountain to the south.
The city is very hilly and is the only major metropolitan area in China without significant numbers of bicycles.

Historically, Chongqing has been a major trading inland port, transporting goods from the southwestern provinces to eastern China. During the Sino-Japanese War (1937-1945), Chongqing was transformed into a heavy industrial city, especially the military industry which continued to thrive for decades after 1949. Since the 1980s, many of these military industry enterprises have undergone reforms and turned from producing military goods to mostly civilian products for survival and growth. [2]
Chongqing is rich in natural resources, with more than forty kinds of minerals. Its coal reserves are estimated to be 4.8 billion tonnes. The Chuandong Natural Gas Field in Chongqing is China's largest inland production base of natural gas, with deposits of 270 billion m³, accounting for more than one-fifth of China's total. Chongqing also contains China's largest reserve of strontium, and China has the second largest reserve of the mineral in the world. Important industries in Chongqing include mining, iron, steel, aluminum, military, auto, motorcycle, chemical, textiles, machinery, electronics, building materials, food processing, retail, and tourism [3] [4]. Chongqing is also home to Asia's largest aluminum plant, South West Aluminium, which rolled out 213,000 tonnes of finished products in 2004 for companies engaged in building materials, printing, electrical appliances, aerospace, packaging, and vehicle production [5]. Manganese mining is the most important industry in the Xiushan area, but has been criticised for wasting resources, ruining the local environment and causing industrial accidents.A survey in 2005 by China's State Environmental Protection Administration (SEPA) found 13 firms in the manganese triangle had breached targets on the release of hexavalent chromium and ammonia-nitrogen – in the worst case, by a factor of 180. Clea-up costs ordered by SEPA resulted in firms closing and the expenditure of 280million yuan.
Chongqing's agricultural sector still employs a significant portion of the population. Other than rice, fruits especially oranges are important sources of income for the farmers. In the past twenty-five years, surplus labor resulted a huge number of farmers to migrate to the relatively more developed industrial centers of southern and eastern China for employment opportunities, thus making Chongqing one of the biggest labor export areas in China.
The central government has recently embarked on an economic policy that is aimed to develop western China: the China Western Development strategy. As part of this new plan, the central government has heavily invested in Chongqing's infrastructure and has made a plan for Chongqing to become the "Gateway to the West". Located at the head of the reservoir behind the Three Gorges Dam, Chongqing is planned to be the beachhead for the development of the western part of the country. With the completion of the Three Gorges project, its reservoir will bring ocean going ships to the quays of Chongqing. The hope is that this gritty fogbound megalopolis may become a Chinese Chicago, opening up the interior, shifting the country's centre of gravity west, and kick-starting the economy – as did Chicago in the United States of the nineteenth century. Massive public works are currently under way in the city, including overhead and surface commuter rail lines connecting the many districts of the city. Foreign investment in the city is growing at a fast pace. Chongqing is enlarging its commercial sector. New development zones such as the Chongqing New North Zone (CNNZ) located north of the downtown district have been established to form Chongqing's modern twenty-first century industrial base. [6]
In 2005, the nominal GDP of Chongqing municipality was 310 billion yuan (US$38.75 billion), a rise of 11.5% year-on-year. Its per capita GDP was 11,068 yuan (US$1,383). The primary, secondary, and tertiary industries of Chongqing were worth 46.342 billion yuan, 125.832 billion yuan, and 134.736 billion yuan, respectively. [7]

Chongqing is served by the Chongqing People's Broadcast Station, a television station.

Chongqing is the biggest inland river port in western China. Historically, most of its transportation, especially to eastern China, is via the Yangtze River.
Chongqing is also now linked to other parts of the country through several railways and highways, including:
Also, Chongqing Jiangbei International Airport, located north of Chongqing provides links to most parts of China and to other countries and regions such as Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, and Thailand.
Meanwhile, the transportation system in the metropolitan area is also being developed to modern standards. Due to its hilly geography and Yangtze and Jialing rivers which run through it, ground transportation in the city requires an unusual number of bridges and tunnels, which increases cost dramatically. As a result, public transportation in the city is vulnerable to lapses in safety, also owing to the fact that the public transportation system is semi-privatized with little regulation. However, the highway network around the city and to nearby satellite towns is almost completed. One unique form of transportation in the city are the cable cars which are suspended over the rivers. Recently, the Chongqing Metro was completed and entered service in January 2005.

Chongqing-Chengdu (Sichuan province) railway
Chongqing-Guiyang (Guizhou province) railway
Chongqing-Xiangfan (Hubei province) railway
Chongqing-Huaihua (Hunan province) railway
Chongqing-Suining (Sichuan province) express railway
Wanzhou-Yichang (Hubei province) railway (under construction)
Chongqing-Lanzhou (Gansu province) railway (under construction)
Chongqing-Chengdu highway
Chongqing-Wanxian highway
Chongqing-Guiyang highway Climate
Chongqing and surrounding areas are full of tourism resources. The most famous is the Three Gorges, a scenic area along Yangtze river. The 200-km long area is the most visited canyon in China. Besides its gorgeous natural scene, it is also a culturally rich area. Other tourism sites include Dazu Rock Carvings, mainly Buddhist themes, it was carved from the Tang Dynasty, now belongs to UNESCO World Heritage.
City sightseeing is also part of Chongqing tourism, with historic World War II sites located in the metropolitan area. Outside the city, Fishing Town marks where the Mongol prince Mongke Khan was defeated in 1243, stopping the Mongol expansion toward Europe and Africa.
According to a Reuters press release, in 2005 Chinese tourism authorities started a project to build a "women's town" in the Shuangqiao district of Chongqing municipality as a tourist attraction. The motto of Longshuihu village is "women never make mistakes, and men can never refuse women's requests." According to one official (surname Li), "Traditional women dominate and men have to be obedient in the areas of Sichuan province and Chongqing, and now we are using it as an idea to attract tourists and boost tourism." The tourism bureau is investing between 200 million yuan ($26 million) and 300 million yuan in infrastructure, roads and buildings for the 2.3-square-km village and is seeking outside investors as well. The project is expected to be completed in 2008-2010.

The previous total solar eclipse as seen from downtown Chongqing was the solar eclipse of 26 June 1824. The next will be the solar eclipse of 22 July 2009.

Astronomical phenomena

The city is home to one of the largest public assembly buildings in China, the Great Hall of the People, built in modern times but emulating traditional architectural styles. This is adjacent to the densely populated and hilly central district, with narrow streets and pedestrian only walkways.
There is a museum at the World War II headquarters of General "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell.
A giant ferris wheel offers spectacular views of the metropolitan area, although it is currently out of action.
A modern and well stocked zoo exhibits many national and regional animals, including the Giant Panda and the extremely rare South China Tiger.
The People's Liberation Monument is located in the center of ChongQing city, and it attracts a lot of tourists, and also it is surrounded by a few shopping centers.
Red Rock Village Museum is a place to attract a lot of people, it is the home of Communist Party Leaders Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai stayed there for negotiation with Kuomintang on coalition between two parties.
In July 2007, the city built a bathroom with 1,000 toilets spread out over 32,290 square feet. Some urinals are uniquely shaped, including ones inside open crocodile mouths and several that are topped by the bust of a woman resembling the Virgin Mary. Officials submitted an application to Guinness World Records to have the free four-story public bathroom listed as the world's largest. Landmarks

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The city's tree is the evergreen magnolia (magnolia delavayi) abundant in street plantings, with the tulip-like shape of its mature unopened blooms repeated in street lights.

City tree
Institutions without full-time bachelor programs are not listed.

See also
Professional sports teams in Chongqing include:

Chinese Football Association Super League

  • Chongqing Lifan
    Chinese Basketball Association

    • None