Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Travel is the change in location of people on a trip through the means of transport from one location to another. Travel is most commonly for recreation (as part of tourism or to visit friends and family), for business or for commuting; but may be for numerous other reasons, such as migration, fleeing war, etc. Travel may occur by walking or human-powered mode, or through mechanical vehicles, either as private or public transport.

Travel may be local, regional, national or international. In some countries, non-local internal travel may require an internal passport, while international travel typically requires a passport and visa.

The word originates from the Middle English word travailen ("to toil"), which comes from the Anglo-French word travailler ("travail")[1]. A person who travels is called a traveler (US) or traveller (UK).

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Anglo America
Anglo-America is a term used to describe those parts of the Americas in which English is the main language, or having significant historical, ethnic, linguistic, and cultural links to England/United Kingdom or the British Isles in general. Alternatively, Anglo-America is the American portion of the Anglosphere. Anglo-America is distinct from Latin America, a region of the Americas where Romance languages derived from Latin (namely, French, Spanish and Portuguese) are prevalent.
Anglo-America includes the United States and Canada in North America, and the term is frequently used in reference to the two countries together. In Middle and South America, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, and several other Caribbean territories may also be included, as is Bermuda (a British possession 1000 kilometres east of the American mainland); when referring to this broader group, the term Anglophone America is sometimes used. Suriname is not a part of Anglo-America because Dutch is the official language there, like in the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba. English is also the official language of the Falkland Islands.
The adjective Anglo-American is used in the following ways:
As a noun, Anglo-American can refer to an English speaking European American, sometimes shortened to Anglo. This usage occurs most frequently in the discussion of the history of English-speaking people of the United States and the Spanish-speaking people residing in the western U.S. during the Mexican-American War. This usage generally ignores the distinctions between English Americans, German Americans, Irish Americans, and other northern European descent peoples, comprising the majority of English-speaking Europeans in the United States.

to denote the cultural sphere shared by the United Kingdom, the United States, and sometimes English Canada. For example, "Anglo-American culture is different from French culture." Political leaders including Sir Winston Churchill, Franklin Roosevelt, and Ronald Reagan have utilized the term to discuss the "special relationship" between the United States and the United Kingdom.
to describe relations between the United Kingdom on one hand and the Americas, in particular the United States, on the other. For example, "Anglo-American relations were tense before the War of 1812." Sources

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Bas C. van Fraassen
Bastiaan Cornelis van Fraassen (born Goes, the Netherlands, 5 April 1941) is a member of the Princeton University Philosophy department, currently in phased retirement. He will finish his phased retirement at the end of the 2007-08 academic year and will then take up a tenured post at San Francisco State University . He previously taught at Yale University, the University of Southern California (USC), and the University of Toronto. He coined the term constructive empiricism in his 1980 book The Scientific Image. Van Fraassen earned his B.A. (1963) from the University of Alberta and his M.A. (1964) and Ph.D. (1966, under the direction of Adolf Grünbaum) from the University of Pittsburgh.
A philosopher of science, van Fraassen's 1989 book Laws and Symmetry attempted to lay the ground-work for explaining physical phenomena without using the assumption that such phenomena are caused by rules or laws which can be said to cause or govern their behavior. Van Fraassen has also done work on the philosophy of quantum mechanics, philosophical logic, and epistemology.
Paul M. Churchland is a vocal critic of van Fraassen, who in his essay "The Anti-Realist Epistemology of Bas van Fraassen's The Scientific Image ", contrasted van Fraassen's idea of unobservable phenomena with the idea of merely unobserved phenomena, among other theories.
Van Fraassen is also known for his pioneering work in philosophical logic.
He is the laureate of the 1986 Lakatos Award for his contributions to the philosophy of science.
Van Fraassen is an adult convert to the Roman Catholic Church. [in: New Blackfriars Vol. 80, No. 938, 1999]

Published books

The Empirical Stance, Yale University Press, 2002.
Quantum Mechanics: An Empiricist View, Oxford University Press, 1991.
Laws and Symmetry, Oxford University Press 1989.

  • French translation and introduction by C. Chevalley. Paris: Vrin, 1994.
    The Scientific Image, Oxford University Press 1980.

    • Co-winner, Franklin J. Matchette Prize for Philosophical Books, 1982.
      Co-winner, Imre Lakatos Award for 1986.
      Italian Edition, with new preface, Bologna 1985.
      Japanese Edition, with new preface, Tokyo 1987.
      Spanish Edition, Mexico, 1995.
      Chinese Edition, Shanghai, 2002
      Derivation and Counterexample: An Introduction to Philosophical Logic (with Karel Lambert), Dickenson Publishing Company, Inc. 1972.
      Formal Semantics and Logic, Macmillan, New York 1971

      • Spanish Translation, Mexico (Universitat Nacional Autonoma de Mexico), tr. J.A. Robles, 1987.
        An Introduction to the Philosophy of Time and Space, Random House, New York 1970.

        • Spanish Translation, Barcelona (Editorial Labor, S.A.), tr. J-P.A. Goicoechea, 1978.
          Second edition, with new preface and postscript. Columbia University Press, 1985.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Morris Canal
The Morris Canal was an anthracite-carrying canal that incorporated a series of water-driven inclined planes in its course across northern New Jersey in the United States. It was in existence for about a century -- from the late 1820s to the 1920s.
The Morris Canal stretched from Phillipsburg on the Delaware River at its western end to Jersey City on the Hudson River at its eastern end. Completed to Newark in 1831, the canal was extended eastward to Jersey City between 1834 and 1836. It greatly facilitated the transportation of anthracite coal from Pennsylvania's Lehigh Valley to northern New Jersey's growing iron industry and other developing industries in New Jersey and the New York City area. It also carried iron ore westward through New Jersey to iron furnaces in western New Jersey and eastern Pennsylvania, until the development of Great Lakes iron ore caused them to decline. By the 1850s, the canal began to be eclipsed by the construction of railroads, although it remained in heavy use throughout the 1860s. It was leased to the Lehigh Valley Railroad in 1871, taken over by the state of New Jersey late in 1922, and formally abandoned in 1924. Although it was largely dismantled in the following five years, portions of the canal and its accompanying feeders and ponds are preserved in places across northern New Jersey. It was considered a technical marvel because of its extensive use of inclined planes to overcome the large elevation changes necessary to cross the northern New Jersey hills.

On the canal's western end, at Phillipsburg, a cable ferry allowed Morris Canal boats to cross the Delaware River westward to Easton, Pennsylvania, and travel up the Lehigh Canal to Mauch Chunk, in the anthracite coal regions, to receive their cargoes from the mines. From Phillipsburg, the Morris Canal ran eastward through the valley of the Musconetcong River, which it roughly paralleled upstream to its source at Lake Hopatcong, New Jersey's largest lake. From the lake the canal descended through the valley of the Rockaway River to Boonton, eventually around the northern end of Paterson's Garret Mountain, and south to its 1831 terminus at Newark, on the Passaic River. From there it continued eastward across Kearny Point and through Jersey City to the Hudson River. The extension through Jersey City was at sea level and was supplied with water from the lower Hackensack River.
With its two navigable feeders, the canal was 107 mi (172 km) long. Its ascent eastward from Phillipsburg to its feeder from Lake Hopatcong was 760 ft (232 m), and the descent from there to tidewater was 914 ft (279 m). The surmounting of the height difference was considered a major engineering feat of its day, accomplished through 23 locks and 23 inclined planes. The planes were essentially short railways that allowed canal boats to be carried in open cars uphill and downhill, the plane cars being driven by a water-powered winch. The use of such devices had advantages over locks for large elevation changes in that they did not require the large amount of water needed by a "staircase" of locks and required less time to travel the vertical distance.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Burning of Washington
The Burning of Washington is the name given to the burning of Washington, D.C., by British forces in 1814, during the War of 1812. Strict discipline and the British commander's orders to burn only public buildings are credited with preserving most residences, and as a result the facilities of the U.S. government, including the White House, were largely destroyed. The attack was in retaliation for the U.S. invasion of York, Upper Canada (now Toronto, Ontario, Canada), at the Battle of York in 1813, in which U.S. forces looted and burned the city, including the Parliament Buildings of Upper Canada.
Only the exterior walls remained, and they had to be torn down and mostly reconstructed due to weakening from the fire and subsequent exposure to the elements, except for portions of the south wall. A legend emerged that during the rebuilding of the structure white paint was applied to mask the burn damage it had suffered, giving the building its namesake hue. This is unfounded as the building had been painted white since its construction in 1798. Of the numerous spoils taken from the White House when it was ransacked by British troops, only two have been recovered — a painting of George Washington, rescued by then-first lady Dolley Madison, and a jewelry box returned to President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in 1939 by a Canadian man who said his grandfather had taken it from Washington. Most of the spoils were lost when a convoy of British ships led by HMS Fantome sank en route to Halifax off Prospect during a storm on the night of November 24, 1814.

The thick sandstone walls of the White House survived, although scarred with smoke and scorch marks. Reconstruction of the Capitol did not begin until 1815, and it was completed in 1864. Of Britain's four objectives in its retaliatory invasion of the United States—Lake Champlain, New Orleans, Baltimore, and Washington, D.C.—this was the only successful attack. The British had successfully diverted the attention of Washington away from the war and prevented further American incursions into Canada, and had landed a humiliating blow to the Americans. The attack was not as demoralizing as Cockburn intended, but it did contribute to the signing of the Treaty of Ghent next year.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Hawaiian dollar
The dollar or dala was the currency of Hawaii between 1847 and 1898. It was equal to the US dollar and was divided into 100 cents or keneta. Only sporadic issues were made which circulated alongside US currency.
Hawaii's first coins were issued in 1847. They were copper cents bearing the portrait of King Kamehameha III. The coins proved unpopular due to the poor quality portrait of the king and the misspelling of the denomination (hapa haneri instead of hapa heneli).
In 1883, silver coins were issued in denominations of one dime (umi keneta in Hawaiian), quarter dollar (hapaha), half dollar (hapalua) and one dollar (akahi dala). These coins, which pictured the then-King David Kalakaua, were minted in San Francisco to the same specifications as the US coins and circulated beyond the US annexation in 1898. Eventually, many of these coins were melted down and they are consequently rare today.
In 1895, the newly formed Republic of Hawaii issued both gold and silver coin deposit certificates for $5, $10, $20, $50 and $100. These were the last Hawaiian notes and all are extremely rare today.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Mohammed Atef
Mohammed Atef (Arabic: محمد عاطف ) (also transliterated as Muhammad Atef, Muhammed Atef, Muhammad 'Āṭif and several other ways) (1944-2001) was the alleged military chief of the international terrorist organization al-Qaida.
Among his known aliases are Abu Hafez, Abu Hafs, Abu Hafs al-Masri, Abu Hafs El-Masry El-Khabir, Taysir, Sheikh Taysir Abdullah, and Abu Khadijah.
Atef was a police officer in his native Egypt and a member of the group Egyptian Islamic Jihad before he joined Al-Qaeda.
U.S. prosecutors claim that he instigated the attacks on U.S. forces in Somalia in 1993. However, he first became wanted by the U.S. government after the 1998 U.S. embassy bombings, when he was indicted for having directly planned that attack. The FBI offered a five million dollar bounty for his capture.
In January, 2001 in Kandahar, Afghanistan, Atef's daughter married Mohammed bin Laden, son of Osama bin Laden.
Following the September 11, 2001 attacks, and still a fugitive from his U.S. indictment in the 1998 Embassy bombings, Atef appeared on the initial list of the FBI's top 22 Most Wanted Terrorists, which was released to the public by President Bush on October 10, 2001.
Atef was killed when a U.S. air-strike struck his home near Kabul during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan on November 16, 2001. His death was confirmed when the ambassador of the Taliban, Abd Al-Salam Dhaif said three days later, "Abu Hafs al-Masri died from injuries he suffered after US warplanes bombed his house near Kabul."
He appeared in a video released in September 2006, that showed the planning of the September 11th attacks.[1]