User:Wiki User 68/My Portal

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Wiki User 68/My Portal

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English Coat of arms
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Wiki User 68 hails from the Great British Isles specifically England About this sound /ˈɪŋɡlənd/  which is a country that is part of the United Kingdom.[1][2][3] Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population,[4] whilst its mainland territory occupies most of the southern two-thirds of the island of Great Britain. England shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west and elsewhere is bordered by the North Sea, Irish Sea, Celtic Sea, Bristol Channel and English Channel. The capital is London, the largest urban area in Great Britain, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most, but not all, measures.[5]

England became a unified state in the year 927 and takes its name from the Angles, one of the Germanic tribes who settled there during the 5th and 6th centuries. It has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world[6] being the place of origin of the English language, the Church of England, and English law, which forms the basis of the common law legal systems of countries around the world. In addition, England was the birth place of the Industrial Revolution and the first country in the world to industrialise.[7] It is home to the Royal Society, which laid the foundations of modern experimental science.[8] England is the world's oldest parliamentary system[9] and consequently constitutional, governmental and legal innovations that had their origin in England have been widely adopted by other nations.

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Selected Panorama

The Cairngorms from Càrn Liath in the Grampians

Selected Article

Featherstone Castle in 2005

Featherstone Castle, a Grade I listed building, is a large Gothic style country mansion situated on the bank of the River South Tyne approximately three miles southwest of the town of Haltwhistle in Northumberland (grid reference NY674610).

In the 11th century AD the manor house on this site belonged to the Featherstonehaugh family. It has played an important role in the battles between the English and the Scots. Originally a 13th century hall house, a square three storey pele tower was added in 1330 by Thomas de Featherstonehaugh. A survey from the year 1541 reported the property to be a tower in good repair occupied by Thomas Featherstonehaugh.

The earliest recorded history of this area derives from the Roman occupation period; in 122 AD, the Romans erected Hadrian's Wall, the course of which lies several kilometres to the north of Featherstone Castle.

Selected Picture

Hong Kong sunset c. 1992 after the eruption of Mount Pinatubo.

Selected Natural History

A ship stranded by the retreat and desertification of the Aral Sea

Desertification is the degradation of land in arid and dry sub-humid areas, resulting primarily from natural activities and influenced by climatic variations. It is also a failure of the ecological succession process. A major impact of desertification is biodiversity loss and loss of productive capacity, for example, by transition from land dominated by shrublands to non-native grasslands. In the semi-arid regions of southern California, many coastal sage scrub and chaparral ecosystems have been replaced by non-native, invasive grasses due to the shortening of fire return intervals. This can create a monoculture of annual grass that cannot support the wide range of animals once found in the original ecosystem. In Madagascar's central highland plateau, 10% of the entire country has been lost to desertification due to slash and burn agriculture by indigenous peoples. In Africa, if current trends of soil degradation continue, the continent will be able to feed only 25% of its population by 2025, according to UNU's Ghana-based Institute for Natural Resources in Africa.[10] Globally, desertification claims a Nebraska-sized area of productive capacity each year.[11]

Selected Technology

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The Seawater Greenhouse is an established technology with the potential to create surplus fresh water from seawater, using a novel form of greenhouse that also provides suitable food-growing conditions in arid regions. Three such units have been built so far. The technique is applicable to only a very limited number of world sites due to the topographic elements essential to the process. The technology won the Tech Museum Award for a 2006 project in Oman,[12] and was a finalist in the 2007 St Andrews Prize for the Environment.[13]

Proposals for the Seawater Greenhouse include the Sahara Forest Project[14][15][16], a scheme that aims to provide fresh water, food and renewable energy in hot arid regions as well as re-vegetating areas of uninhabited desert. This ambitious proposal combines the Seawater Greenhouse and concentrating solar power (CSP) to achieve highly efficient synergies. CSP is increasingly seen as a promising form of renewable energy, producing electricity from sunlight at a fraction of the cost of photovoltaics. By combining these technologies there is huge commercial potential to create a sustainable source of energy, food and water.

The scheme is proposed at a significant scale such that very large quantities of seawater can be evaporated. By using a location that lies below sea level, this can be achieved without pumping and there is an opportunity to capture some of the substantial volumes of residual humidity that leave the greenhouses. A 20,000 hectare area of Seawater Greenhouses will evaporate a million tonnes of seawater per day. If the scheme were located upwind of higher terrain then the air carrying this ‘lost’ humidity would rise and contribute to forming mist, cloud and dew. It would then be possible to harvest this precipitate using fog-nets that can supply tree saplings with water and thereby reverse the process of desertification, returning barren land to forest[17].

The scheme was first publicly proposed to a group of energy specialists at the third Claverton Energy GroupConference held at the Headquarters of Wessex Water Plc on April 13 2008 updated [18]

In the news

Selected Biography

In 1881 Darwin was an eminent figure, still working on his contributions to evolutionary thought that had had an enormous effect on many fields of science.

Charles Robert Darwin FRS (12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) was an English naturalist[I] who realised and presented compelling evidence that all species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors,[19][20] through the process he called natural selection. The fact that evolution occurs became accepted by the scientific community and much of the general public in his lifetime, while his theory of natural selection came to be widely seen as the primary explanation of the process of evolution in the 1930s,[21] and now forms the basis of modern evolutionary theory. In modified form, Darwin’s scientific discovery is the unifying theory of the life sciences, providing logical explanation for the diversity of life.[22][23]

At Edinburgh University Darwin neglected medical studies to investigate marine invertebrates, then the University of Cambridge encouraged a passion for natural science.[24] His five-year voyage on HMS Beagle established him as an eminent geologist whose observations and theories supported Charles Lyell’s uniformitarian ideas, and publication of his journal of the voyage made him famous as a popular author. Puzzled by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected on the voyage, Darwin investigated the transmutation of species and conceived his theory of natural selection in 1838.[25] Although he discussed his ideas with several naturalists, he needed time for extensive research and his geological work had priority.[26] He was writing up his theory in 1858 when Alfred Russel Wallace sent him an essay which described the same idea, prompting immediate joint publication of both of their theories.[27]

His 1859 book On the Origin of Species established evolutionary descent with modification as the dominant scientific explanation of diversification in nature.[21] He examined human evolution and sexual selection in The Descent of Man, and Selection in Relation to Sex, followed by The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals. His research on plants was published in a series of books, and in his final book, he examined earthworms and their effect on soil.[28]

In recognition of Darwin’s pre-eminence, he was one of only five 19th-century UK non-royal personages to be honoured by a state funeral,[29] and was buried in Westminster Abbey, close to John Herschel and Isaac Newton.[30]

Selected Geography

Mount Erebus

Bouvet Island is located at 54°26′S 3°24′E. It is 49 km² in area, 93% of which is covered by glaciers which block the south and east coasts.[1]

Bouvet Island is the most remote island in the world. The nearest land is Queen Maud Land, Antarctica, over 1,600 km (1,000 miles) away to the south, which is itself uninhabited.

It has no ports or harbours, only offshore anchorages, and is therefore difficult to approach. Wave action has created a very steep coast. The easiest way to access the island is with a helicopter from a ship. The glaciers form a thick ice layer falling in high cliffs into the sea or onto the black beaches of volcanic sand. The 29.6 km (18.4 miles) of coastline are often surrounded by an ice pack. The highest point on the island is called Olavtoppen, whose peak is 780 m (2,559 ft) above sea level. A lava shelf on the island's west coast, which appeared between 1955 and 1958, provides a nesting site for birds.

Because of the harsh climate and ice-bound terrain, vegetation is limited to lichens and mosses. Seals, seabirds and penguins are the only fauna.

Despite being uninhabited, Bouvet Island has the Internet country code top-level domain (ccTLD) .bv, though it is not used.[2] A handful of amateur radio expeditions have gone to this remote location (call signs used here begin with 3Y). There is no telephone country code or area code, and no telephone connection (except by satellite, but there is nothing installed). There is no postal code and no postal distribution. Ships approaching the Bouvet Island fall within the UTC Z time zone. There is a Norwegian law [3] saying that the time zone of Norway is UTC+1, except for a part of year (daylight saving time). This suggests that the legal time zone for the Bouvet Island also should be UTC+1. However, since this law does not apply for the Norwegian Antarctic territories (Bouvet Island, Peter I Island, Queen Maud Land), UTC Z is the proper time zone for Bouvet Island.

Categories

Selected quote

Primeval man stumbled along with peering eyes, and slow, uncertain footsteps. Now we walk briskly towards our unknown goal.

Sir Arthur Ignatius Conan Doyle
(22nd May 1859 - 7th July 1930).
The Stark Munro Letters, 1894.

Did you know?

  • ...that optimistic estimations of peak oil production forecast the global decline will begin by 2020 or later, and assume major investments in alternatives will occur before a crisis, without requiring major changes in the lifestyle of heavily oil-consuming nations. These models show the price of oil at first escalating and then retreating as other types of fuel and energy sources are used.[31]
  • ...that if the Greenland ice-sheet melted through global warming, it would raise the global sea level by 7 meters, or 22 feet.

Topics

Cities: AmsterdamBangkokBarcelonaBrusselsCalcuttaCologneFlorenceGibraltarLas VegasLisbonLos AngelesLondonMaastrichtMarbellaMarrakechMumbaiOttawaPaphosSan FranciscoTokyoTorontoYokohama

Climate change: Global warmingGlobal dimmingFossil fuelsSea level riseGreenhouse gas

Conservation: The British IslesSpecies extinctionPollinator declineCoral bleachingHolocene extinction eventInvasive speciesPoachingEndangered species

Computer science: Artificial intelligenceCompilersComputer programmingCryptographyOperating systemsProgramming languages

Geography: GeologyClimateOceansIslandsRivers

History: Prehistoric BritainRoman BritainAnglo-Saxon EnglandHouse of LancasterHouse of Stuart

Linguistics: Anthropological linguisticsEurolinguisticsWriting systems

Resource depletion: Acid mine drainageClearcuttingConsumerismOver-consumptionBlast fishingBottom trawlingCyanide fishingDeforestationGhost netsIllegal loggingIllegal, unreported and unregulated fishingLoggingMountaintop removal miningOverfishingShark finningWhaling

Science: AstronomyBiologyChemistryFormal scienceGeologyMathmaticsPhysics

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Things to do

Things you can do!
  • Keep finishing off the various Portals that need creating/completing and start writing content on the relevant interested issues.
  • Be bold. Wikipedia is for the people, by the people and needs YOU as a contributor to spread global knowledge.

Wikimedia

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  1. ^ The Countries of the UK statistics.gov.uk, accessed 10 October, 2008
  2. ^ "Countries within a country". 10 Downing Street. Retrieved 2007-09-10. The United Kingdom is made up of four countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland 
  3. ^ "ISO 3166-2 Newsletter Date: 2007-11-28 No I-9. "Changes in the list of subdivision names and code elements" (Page 11)" (PDF). International Organisation for Standardisation codes for the representation of names of countries and their subdivisions -- Part 2: Country subdivision codes. Retrieved 2008-05-31. ENG England country 
  4. ^ National Statistics Online - Population Estimates. Retrieved 6 June 2007.
  5. ^ The official definition of LUZ (Larger Urban Zone) is used by the European Statistical Agency (Eurostat) when describing conurbations and areas of high population. This definition ranks London highest, above Paris (see Larger Urban Zones (LUZ) in the European Union); and a ranking of population within municipal boundaries also puts London on top (see Largest cities of the European Union by population within city limits). However, research by the University of Avignon in France ranks Paris first and London second when including the whole urban area and hinterland, that is the outlying cities as well (see Largest urban areas of the European Union).
  6. ^ England - Culture. Britain USA. Retrieved 12 September 2006.
  7. ^ "Industrial Revolution". Retrieved 2008-04-27. 
  8. ^ "History of the Royal Society". The Royal Society. Retrieved 2008-09-03. 
  9. ^ "Country profile: United Kingdom". BBC News. Retrieved 2009-04-27. 
  10. ^ Africa may be able to feed only 25% of its population by 2025
  11. ^ Environmental failure: a case for a new green politics
  12. ^ Tech Museum Award 2006
  13. ^ St Andrews Prize for the Environment
  14. ^ The Sahara Forest Project http://www.exploration-architecture.com/section.php?xSec=35
  15. ^ "Seawater greenhouses to bring life to the desert". The Guardian. 2008-08-03. 
  16. ^ Fourth World Conference on the Future of Science "Food and Water for Life" - Venice, September 24-27, 2008
  17. ^ The Sahara Forest Project - food, water, biomass from the uninhabited Sahara Desert http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/waterenergygroup/message/48
  18. ^ http://www.claverton-energy.com/the-sahara-forest-project-%E2%80%93-a-new-source-of-fresh-water-food-and-energy.html
  19. ^ Prothero, Donald R (2007). Evolution: What the Fossils Say. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 113. ISBN 978-0-231-13962-5. ...the fossil record provides...the strongest piece of evidence for evolution. ...lines of evidence that Darwin mustered in 1859. 
  20. ^ Glass, Bentley (1959). Forerunners of Darwin. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. p. iv. ISBN 0801802229. Darwin's solution is a magnificent synthesis of evidence...a synthesis...compelling in honesty and comprehensiveness 
  21. ^ a b van Wyhe 2008
  22. ^ The Complete Works of Darwin Online - Biography. darwin-online.org.uk. Retrieved on 2006-12-15
    Dobzhansky 1973
  23. ^ As Darwinian scholar Joseph Carroll of the University of Missouri–St. Louis puts it in his introduction to a modern reprint of Darwin's work: "The Origin of Species has special claims on our attention. It is one of the two or three most significant works of all time—one of those works that fundamentally and permanently alter our vision of the world....It is argued with a singularly rigorous consistency but it is also eloquent, imaginatively evocative, and rhetorically compelling." Carroll, Joseph, ed. (2003). On the origin of species by means of natural selection. Peterborough, Ontario: Broadview. p. 15. ISBN 1551113376. 
  24. ^ Leff 2000, About Charles Darwin
  25. ^ Desmond & Moore 1991, pp. 210, 263–274, 284–285
  26. ^ van Wyhe 2007, pp. 184, 187
  27. ^ Darwin - At last. American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved on 2007-03-21
  28. ^ Freeman 1977
  29. ^ "BBC NEWS : Politics : Thatcher state funeral undecided". 2008-08-02. Retrieved 2008-08-10. 
  30. ^ Leff 2000, Darwin's Burial
  31. ^ "CERA says peak oil theory is faulty". Cambridge Energy Research Associates (CERA). 2006-11-14. Retrieved 2008-07-27.