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#1651 2023-01-29 21:20:08

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1554) Checkers

Checkers (American English), also known as draughts (British English), is a group of strategy board games for two players which involve diagonal moves of uniform game pieces and mandatory captures by jumping over opponent pieces. Checkers is developed from alquerque. The term "checkers" derives from the checkered board which the game is played on, whereas "draughts" derives from the verb "to draw" or "to move".

The most popular forms of checkers in Anglophone countries are American checkers (also called English draughts), which is played on an 8×8 checkerboard; Russian draughts, Turkish draughts both on an 8x8 board, and International draughts, played on a 10×10 board – the latter is widely played in many countries worldwide. There are many other variants played on 8×8 boards. Canadian checkers and Singaporean/Malaysian checkers (also locally known as dum) are played on a 12×12 board.

American checkers was weakly solved in 2007 by a team of Canadian computer scientists led by Jonathan Schaeffer. From the standard starting position, perfect play by each side would result in a draw.

General rules

Checkers is played by two opponents on opposite sides of the game board. One player has dark pieces (usually black); the other has light pieces (usually white or red). Players alternate turns. A player cannot move an opponent's pieces. A move consists of moving a piece diagonally to an adjacent unoccupied square. If the adjacent square contains an opponent's piece, and the square immediately beyond it is vacant, the piece may be captured (and removed from the game) by jumping over it.

Only the dark squares of the checkerboard are used. A piece can only move diagonally into an unoccupied square. When capturing an opponent's piece is possible, capturing is mandatory in most official rules. If the player does not capture, the other player can remove the opponent's piece as a penalty (or muffin), and where there are two or more such positions the player forfeits pieces that cannot be moved (although some rule variations make capturing optional). In almost all variants, the player without pieces remaining, or who cannot move due to being blocked, loses the game.

Pieces:

Man

An uncrowned piece (man) moves one step diagonally forwards and captures an adjacent opponent's piece by jumping over it and landing on the next square. Multiple enemy pieces can be captured in a single turn provided this is done by successive jumps made by a single piece; the jumps do not need to be in the same line and may "zigzag" (change diagonal direction). In American checkers, men can jump only forwards; in international draughts and Russian draughts, men can jump both forwards and backwards.

King

When a man reaches the farthest row forward, known as the kings row or crown head, it becomes a king. It is marked by placing an additional piece on top of, or crowning, the first man. The king has additional powers, including the ability to move backwards and, in variants where men cannot already do so, capture backwards. Like a man, a king can make successive jumps in a single turn, provided that each jump captures an enemy piece.

In international draughts, kings (also called flying kings) move any distance along unblocked diagonals. They may capture an opposing man any distance away by jumping to any of the unoccupied squares immediately beyond it. Because jumped pieces remain on the board until the turn is complete, it is possible to reach a position in a multi-jump move where the flying king is blocked from capturing further by a piece already jumped.

Flying kings are not used in American checkers; a king's only advantage over a man is the additional ability to move and capture backwards.

Naming

In most non-English languages (except those that acquired the game from English speakers), checkers is called dame, dames, damas, or a similar term that refers to ladies. The pieces are usually called men, stones, "peón" (pawn) or a similar term; men promoted to kings are called dames or ladies. In these languages, the queen in chess or in card games is usually called by the same term as the kings in checkers. A case in point includes the Greek terminology, in which checkers is called "ντάμα" (dama), which is also one term for the queen in chess.

History:

Ancient games

Similar games have been played for millennia. A board resembling a checkers board was found in Ur dating from 3000 BC. In the British Museum are specimens of ancient Egyptian checkerboards, found with their pieces in burial chambers, and the game was played by the pharaoh Hatshepsut. Plato mentioned a game, πεττεία or petteia, as being of Egyptian origin,[5] and Homer also mentions it. The method of capture was placing two pieces on either side of the opponent's piece. It was said to have been played during the Trojan War. The Romans played a derivation of petteia called latrunculi, or the game of the Little Soldiers. The pieces, and sporadically the game itself, were called calculi (pebbles).

Alquerque

An Arabic game called Quirkat or al-qirq, with similar play to modern checkers, was played on a 5×5 board. It is mentioned in the tenth-century work Kitab al-Aghani.[4] Al qirq was also the name for the game that is now called nine men's morris. Al qirq was brought to Spain by the Moors, where it became known as Alquerque, the Spanish derivation of the Arabic name. The rules are given in the 13th-century book Libro de los juegos. In about 1100, probably in the south of France, the game of Alquerque was adapted using backgammon pieces on a chessboard. Each piece was called a "fers", the same name as the chess queen, as the move of the two pieces was the same at the time.

Crowning

The rule of crowning was used by the 13th century, as it is mentioned in the Philippe Mouskés's Chronique in 1243 when the game was known as Fierges, the name used for the chess queen (derived from the Persian ferz, meaning royal counsellor or vizier). The pieces became known as "dames" when that name was also adopted for the chess queen. The rule forcing players to take whenever possible was introduced in France in around 1535, at which point the game became known as Jeu forcé, identical to modern American checkers. The game without forced capture became known as Le jeu plaisant de dames, the precursor of international checkers.

The 18th-century English author Samuel Johnson wrote a foreword to a 1756 book about checkers by William Payne, the earliest book in English about the game.

Additional Information

Checkers, also called draughts, is a board game, one of the world’s oldest games. Checkers is played by two persons who oppose each other across a board of 64 light and dark squares, the same as a chessboard. The 24 playing pieces are disk-shaped and of contrasting colours (whatever their colours, they are identified as black and white). At the start of the game, each contestant has 12 pieces arranged on the board. While the actual playing is always done on the dark squares, the board is often shown in reverse for clarity. The notation used in describing the game is based on numbering the squares on the board. The black pieces always occupy squares 1 to 12, and the white pieces invariably rest on squares 21 to 32.

Play consists of advancing a piece diagonally forward to an adjoining vacant square. Black moves first. If an opponent’s piece is in such an adjoining vacant square, with a vacant space beyond, it must be captured and removed by jumping over it to the empty square. If this square presents the same situation, successive jumps forward in a straight or zigzag direction must be completed in the same play. When there is more than one way to jump, the player has a choice. When a piece first enters the king row, the opponent’s back row, it must be crowned by the opponent, who places another piece of the same colour on it. The piece, now called a king, has the added privilege of moving and jumping backward; if it moved to the last row with a capture, it must continue capturing backward if possible. A win is scored when an opponent’s pieces are all captured or blocked so that they cannot move. When neither side can force a victory and the trend of play becomes repetitious, a draw game is declared.

Games similar to checkers were played in the days of the early Egyptian pharaohs (c. 1600 BC) and were mentioned in the works of the Greek writers Homer and Plato. About the 12th century AD an early form of the game was adapted to the 64-square chessboard, and by the 16th century the rule compelling capture had been added, producing a game essentially the same as modern checkers.

At first all expert play was unrestricted, or go-as-you-please, with the opening moves left entirely to the discretion of the individual. Lengthy series of drawn games between overcautious experts in tournament play, however, led to the introduction of methods of forcing more varied and daring styles of play. In the two-move restriction, the first move of each side is chosen by lot from 47 playable combinations. The three-move, or American, restriction is an extension of the two-move to black’s second move, with about 300 prescribed openings. Eleven-man ballot is a less popular method, in which one piece is removed by lot from each side before the start of a game. The original game of go-as-you-please has remained the most popular method of informal play. There are a number of variations on the game.

At least since 1934, when restricted opening play began, most players suspected that a game of checkers would end in a draw with best play—a belief fortified by the often-proved ability of top players to draw at will in games contested with unrestricted opening play. In 2007 the long-held belief that checkers must end in a draw with best play was confirmed. Credit for the proof belongs to Jonathan Schaeffer, a Canadian computer scientist, who had earlier developed the first computer program, named Chinook, to win a world championship from a human at any game. Chinook lost its first championship challenge match in 1990 to the American mathematician Marion Tinsley, with two wins against four losses. In a 1994 rematch their first six games ended in draws, at which point Tinsley resigned the world championship match for health reasons. After Chinook won a subsequent match with a human challenger, Schaeffer withdrew it from tournament and match play. Over the following decade, Schaeffer used Chinook to explore some 39 trillion positions, which occupied more than 200 gigabytes (billions of bytes) of data storage. Although his database did not include every possible checker position—a task that would require many more decades at current computer computational speeds and a vast expansion in the size of his database—Schaeffer did succeed in fully calculating all of the possible checker positions starting from 19 of the 300 sanctioned tournament opening sequences. As many of the other opening sequences have been shown to transpose into one of the 19 or to lead to mirror images of them, most experts concurred that Schaeffer had succeeded in finally solving checkers.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1652 2023-01-30 22:51:49

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1555) United Nations Research Institute for Social Development

The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) is "an autonomous research institute within the United Nations that undertakes multidisciplinary research and policy analysis on the social dimensions of contemporary development issues". UNRISD was established in 1963 with the mandate of conducting policy-relevant research on social development that is pertinent to the work of the United Nations Secretariat, regional commissions and specialized agencies, and national institutions.

A small team of researchers coordinates UNRISD's research programmes, which focus primarily on the developing world, working in collaboration with national research teams from local universities and research institutes. The Institute's work takes a holistic, multidisciplinary and political economy approach. UNRISD's location at the United Nations Office at Geneva gives researchers access to channels of policy influence through active participation in events, meetings, conferences and working groups.

History

UNRISD was established in 1963 "to conduct research into problems and policies of social development, and relationships between various types of social development and economic development".[4] It was originally set up with a grant from the Government of the Netherlands, and its first Board Chair was the eminent economist Jan Tinbergen, who received the first-ever Nobel prize for economics in 1969.

UNRISD's initial research focused on the design of indicators to measure development not just in terms of economic growth but also social factors, such as nutrition, health and education. As such, it employed many statisticians in its early years. Another early project focused on cooperatives as a tool for development, which produced some controversial results.

In the 1970s, global population growth made food production, supply and eventually food systems into a key topic in development. UNRISD's work on the so-called Green Revolution (the introduction of newly bred high-yield grain seeds to increase food production) took a typically critical view. It highlighted the fact that the quantity of food available was only one factor in ensuring populations in developing countries were not subject to hunger. Power inequalities impacting on the distribution of foodstuffs played a key role in determining who got enough to eat and who didn't.

By the 1980s, UNRISD was growing in size, in terms of both funding and staffing. Its remit diversified to cover popular participation and refugee issues, gradually leaving some of its early preoccupation with statistics behind.

In the 1990s UNRISD thrived. A wide range of topics were addressed, ranging from political violence to the socioeconomic impact of illicit drugs. Globalization in the modern era and structural adjustment programmes in developing countries brought about social crises which UNRISD researched and criticized, arguing that unregulated markets required a healthy public sector and stable governance to function properly.

Environmental issues took firm root in development debates during this decade. UNRISD's take was typically critical: whatever the benefits of conservation, it was often happening at the expense of social justice and the livelihoods of minorities.

In the 2000s, as globalization continued apace and social dimensions began to be re-introduced in the face of the sometimes catastrophic impacts of wide-ranging economic liberalization, UNRISD criticized a narrow social policy focus on safety nets and the targeting of vulnerable groups, arguing instead in favour of universal transformative social policy.

In the 2010s, the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development by UN member states in 2015 established new global roadmap for development. UNRISD continued to work on social policy, often in conjunction with questions related to the 2030 Agenda. It also took up the new issue of the social and solidarity economy (SSE) and its contribution to sustainable development. Output on gender issues since 2016 fell due to a lack of gender capacity in-house following staff restructuring. Environmental issues are re-emerging as a key area of work, especially as they relate to social policy and climate justice.

Details

The United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) is an autonomous research institute within the UN system that undertakes interdisciplinary research and policy analysis on the social dimensions of contemporary development issues.

Through its work, UNRISD aims to ensure that social equity, inclusion and justice are central to development thinking, policy and practice. UNRISD focuses on the often neglected social content and impacts of development processes and the role of social institutions, relations and actors in shaping development policies and pathways; engages researchers, policy makers and civil society actors from around the world in generating and sharing knowledge, in order to shape policy within and beyond the UN system; mobilizes and strengthen the research capacity of individuals and institutions in developing countries through collaborative inquiry; and provides a space for the exchange of ideas, giving prominence to marginalized viewpoints, often challenging mainstream development thinking and offering alternative policy options.

The UNRISD programme on Social Dimensions of Sustainable Development focuses on understanding, analysing and engaging with processes of policy change that can tackle unsustainable practices, climate change and inequalities. The work entails attention to the intersectionality of social, environmental and economic issues at different levels of governance, in support of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Additional Information

United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) is an autonomous United Nations body established in 1963 to conduct research into the problems and policies of social and economic development. UNRISD is dependent on voluntary contributions from governments, from other UN organizations, and from various national and international agencies because it does not receive monies from the regular UN budget; it has been supported by 15, primarily European, governments.

As a research organ, UNRISD investigates the relations between social and economic change during varying phases of economic growth. UNRISD’s autonomous position frees it to conduct research using and interpreting its own data, to question internationally fashionable assumptions, and to propose alternatives. Focusing on the practical issues of developing countries, UNRISD conducts systematic field studies and comparative analyses of social and economic development.

UNRISD%20Colour%20Logo%20RGB.png


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1653 2023-01-31 20:57:03

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1556) Dart

Summary

Darts is an indoor target game played by throwing feathered darts at a circular board with numbered spaces. The game became popular in English inns and taverns in the 19th century and increasingly so in the 20th.

The board, commonly made of sisal (known familiarly as “bristle”) but sometimes made of cork or elmwood, is divided into 20 sectors valued at points from 1 to 20. Six rings determine the scoring: an inner bull’s-eye worth 50 points, an outer bull’s-eye worth 25 points, a wide single-scoring ring, a narrow triple-scoring ring, another wide single-scoring ring, and, outermost, a narrow double-scoring ring. Throwing is free-style. The recognized standard length is 7 feet 9.25 inches (2.37 metres), though traditional distances vary up to 9 feet. The centre of the board is posted 5 feet 8 inches (1.73 metres) above the floor. (These and other rules may vary slightly in countries outside the British Isles.)

In the organized game, each player has three weighted and feathered darts, generally about 16 cm (6 inches) long. The player usually begins with any double score (dart thrown into the double ring). He subtracts this and subsequent scores from a previously chosen number, usually 301 or 501. The winner must reach exactly zero on his last throw. In informal pub games, players usually total up their scores from the start and declare the player who first reaches a predetermined number the winner.

Variations of the game include “cricket,” a game for two teams in which the players alternate between scoring inner bull’s-eyes and points; “football,” a game for two players in which the first player to hit the inner bull’seye scores as many “goals” as he can by throwing doubles until his opponent scores an inner bull’s-eye; and “round the clock,” a singles game for any number of players, which requires that, after a starting double, each player must throw one dart into each of the sectors, in order, from 1 to 20.

A form of darts was a training game for English archers in the Middle Ages. The game was popular with Tudor monarchs from Henry VIII. In its modern form in Britain, the game is ordinarily played in the public house, or pub (tavern), or in a club, rather than in the home. Of an estimated 5 million players in the British Isles, about 25,000 are represented by the British Darts Organisation (BDO; founded 1973). The BDO is the founder member of the World Darts Federation (WDF), which represents more than 500,000 darts players in 50 countries. The major championships are the Winmau World Masters, the WDF World Cup, and the Embassy World Professional Darts Championship.

Beginning in the 1980s, coin-operated electronic darts machines, which feature a perforated plastic board and darts made entirely from plastic, gained widespread popularity in the United States. The American Darts Organization represents around 50,000 players.

Details

Darts or dart-throwing is a competitive sport in which two or more players bare-handedly throw small sharp-pointed missiles known as darts at a round target known as a dartboard.

Points can be scored by hitting specific marked areas of the board, though unlike in sports such as archery, these areas are distributed all across the board and do not follow a principle of points increasing towards the centre of the board. Though a number of similar games using various boards and rules exist, the term "darts" usually now refers to a standardised game involving a specific board design and set of rules.

Darts is both a professional shooting sport and a traditional pub game. Darts is commonly played in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland, and recreationally enjoyed around the world.

History:

Dartboard

The original target in the game is likely to have been a section of a tree trunk, its circular shape and concentric rings giving rise to the standard dartboard pattern in use today. An older name for a dartboard is "butt"; the word comes from the French word but, meaning "target" or "goal".

The standard numbered point system is attributed to Lancashire carpenter Brian Gamlin, who devised it in 1896 to penalise inaccuracy, though this is disputed. Many configurations have been used, varying by time and location. In particular, the Yorkshire and Manchester Log End boards differ from the standard board in that they have no triple, only double and bullseye. The Manchester board is smaller than the standard, with a playing area of only 25 cm (9.8 in) across, with double and bull areas measuring just 4 mm (0.16 in). The London Fives board is another variation, with only 12 equal segments, with the doubles and trebles being a quarter of an inch (6.35 mm) wide.

Mathematically, removing the rotational symmetry by placing the "20" at the top, there are 19!, or 121,645,100,408,832,000 possible dartboards. Many different layouts would penalise a player more than the current setup; however, the current setup actually does the job rather efficiently. There have been several mathematical papers published that consider the "optimal" dartboard.

Before World War I, pubs in the United Kingdom had dartboards made from solid blocks of wood, usually elm. But darts pocked the surface of elm such that it was common for a hole to develop around the treble twenty. The other problem was that elm wood needed periodic soaking to keep the wood soft.

In 1935, chemist Ted Leggatt and pub owner Frank Dabbs began using the century plant, a type of agave, to make dartboards. Small bundles of sisal fibres of the same length were bundled together. The bundles were then compressed into a disk and bound with a metal ring. This new dartboard was an instant success. It was more durable and required little maintenance. Furthermore, darts did little or no damage to the board; they simply parted the packed fibres when they entered the board.

Darts

The earliest darts were stubs of arrows or crossbow bolts. The first purpose-made darts were manufactured from solid wood, wrapped with a strip of lead for weight and fitted with flights made from split turkey feathers. These darts were mainly produced in France and became known as French darts. Metal barrels were patented in 1906, but wood continued to be used into the 1950s.

The first metal barrels were made from brass which was relatively cheap and easy to work. The wooden shafts, threaded to fit the tapped barrel, were either fletched as before or designed to take a paper flight. This type of dart continued to be used into the 1970s. With the widespread use of plastic, the shaft and flight came to be manufactured separately, although one-piece moulded plastic shaft and flight darts were also available.

Equipment:

Dartboard

According to the Darts Regulation Authority, a regulation board is 451 mm (17+3⁄4 in) in diameter and is divided into 20 radial sections. Each section is separated with metal wire or a thin band of sheet metal.

Quality dartboards are still made of sisal fibres from East Africa, Brazil, or China; less expensive boards are sometimes made of cork or coiled paper.

Playing darts:

Darts

Modern darts are made up of four components: the points, the barrels, the shafts and the flights.

The points come in two common lengths, 32 and 41 mm (1+1⁄4 and 1+5⁄8 in) and are sometimes knurled or coated to improve players' grip. Others are designed to retract slightly on impact to lessen the chance of the dart bouncing out.

The barrels come in a variety of weights and are usually constructed from brass, silver-nickel, or a tungsten alloy. Brass is cheap but light and therefore brass barrels tend to be very bulky. Tungsten, on the other hand, is twice as dense as brass; thus a tungsten barrel of equivalent weight could be thirty percent smaller in diameter than a brass one. Pure tungsten is very brittle, however, so an alloy is commonly used, with between 80 and 95 percent tungsten and the remainder usually nickel, iron, or copper. Silver-nickel darts offer a compromise between density and cost. Barrels come in three basic shapes: cylindrical, ton, or torpedo.

* Cylindrical barrels are the same diameter along their entire length and so tend to be long and thin. Their slenderness makes them better for grouping, but because they are long, the centre of gravity is further back.

* Ton-shaped barrels are thin at either end and bulge in the middle. This makes them fatter than a cylindrical barrel of equivalent weight but the centre of gravity is further forward and so theoretically easier to throw.

* Torpedo-shaped barrels are widest at the pointed end and taper towards the rear. This shape keeps the bulk of the weight as far forward as possible but, like the ton, gives it a larger diameter than the cylinder.

The shafts are manufactured in various lengths, and some are designed to be cut to length. Shafts are generally made from plastics, nylon polymers, or metals such as aluminium and titanium; and can be rigid or flexible. Longer shafts provide greater stability and allow a reduction in flight size which in turn can lead to closer grouping; but, they also shift the weight towards the rear causing the dart to tilt backwards during flight, requiring a harder, faster throw.

The flight stabilizes the dart by producing drag, thus preventing the rear of the dart from overtaking the point. Modern flights are generally made from plastic, nylon, or foil and are available in a range of shapes and sizes. The three most common shapes in order of size are the standard, the kite, and the smaller pear shape. The less surface area, the less stability but larger flights hamper close grouping. Some manufacturers have sought to solve this by making a flight long and thin but this, in turn, creates other problems such as changing the dart's centre of gravity. Generally speaking, a heavier dart will require a larger flight.

The choice of barrel, shaft, and flight will depend a great deal on the individual player's throwing style. For competitive purposes, a dart cannot weigh more than 50 g (1+3⁄4 oz) including the shaft and flight and cannot exceed a total length of 300 mm (11+3⁄4 in).

Playing dimensions

According to international regulation, the dartboard center should be placed 1.73 meters from the floor, with a horizontal distance of 2.37 meters from the back of the throwing line (Oche) to the face of the dartboard.

The World Darts Federation uses the following standards for play:

* Height: the dartboard is hung so that the centre of the bull's eye is 1.73 m (5 ft 8 in) from the floor. This is considered eye-level for a 6-foot (1.83 m) tall person.
* Distance: the oche (line behind which the thrower must stand) should be 2.37 m (7 ft 9+1⁄4 in) from the face of the board. If the face projects outward from the wall, due to the thickness of the board and/or a cabinet in which it is mounted, the oche must be moved back appropriately to maintain the required distance.

The regulations came about due to the United Kingdom and the rest of the world playing at different lengths, with 2.37 m (7 ft 9+1⁄4 in) being the compromise length.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1654 2023-02-01 22:39:45

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1557) Alzheimer's disease

Summary

Alzheimer disease is a degenerative brain disorder that develops in mid-to-late adulthood. It results in a progressive and irreversible decline in memory and a deterioration of various other cognitive abilities. The disease is characterized by the destruction of nerve cells and neural connections in the cerebral cortex of the brain and by a significant loss of brain mass.

The disease was first described in 1906 by German neuropathologist Alois Alzheimer. By the early 21st century it was recognized as the most common form of dementia among older persons. An estimated 47.5 million people worldwide were living with dementia in 2016; that figure was expected to increase to 75.6 million by 2030.

Stages of the disease

There are three recognized stages of Alzheimer disease: preclinical, mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer dementia. For clinical diagnosis the two most relevant stages are MCI and dementia. Recognition of the preclinical stage acknowledges that the Alzheimer disease process begins before symptoms are apparent and anticipates advances in diagnostic testing that may eventually enable diagnosis at the preclinical stage.

MCI often is subdivided into different types, namely amnestic and nonamnestic. One of the first symptom’s marking the transition from normal aging to Alzheimer disease is forgetfulness. This transitional stage represents amnestic MCI and is characterized by noticeable dysfunction in memory with retention of normal cognitive ability in judgment, reasoning, and perception. In nonamnestic MCI, impairments in cognitive functions related to attention, perception, and language predominate over deficits in memory. However, as MCI progresses to Alzheimer disease, memory loss becomes more severe, and language, perceptual, and motor skills deteriorate. Mood becomes unstable, and the individual tends to become irritable and more sensitive to stress and may become intermittently angry, anxious, or depressed. Those changes mark the transition to Alzheimer dementia, which in its advanced stages is characterized by unresponsiveness and loss of mobility and control of body functions; death ensues after a disease course lasting from 2 to 20 years.

About 10 percent of those who develop the disease are younger than 60 years of age. These cases, referred to as early-onset familial Alzheimer disease, appear to result from an inherited genetic mutation. The majority of cases of Alzheimer disease, however, develop after age 60 (late-onset) and usually occur sporadically—i.e., in individuals with no family history of the disease—although a genetic factor has been identified that is thought to predispose some of these individuals to the disorder. Rosacea, a chronic inflammatory condition of the skin, is also associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer disease, particularly among individuals age 60 or older.

Neuropathology:

Neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles

The presence of neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles in the brain are used to diagnose Alzheimer disease in autopsy. Neuritic plaques—also called senile, dendritic, or amyloid plaques—consist of deteriorating neuronal material surrounding deposits of a sticky protein called amyloid beta (or beta-amyloid). This protein is derived from a larger molecule called amyloid precursor protein, which is a normal component of nerve cells. Neurofibrillary tangles are twisted protein fibres located within nerve cells. These fibres consist of a protein, called tau, that normally occurs in neurons. When incorrectly processed, tau molecules clump together and form tangles.

Both neuritic plaques and neurofibrillary tangles, which also may be found in smaller amounts in the brains of healthy elderly persons, are thought to interfere in some way with normal cellular functioning. However, it is not known whether the plaques and tangles are a cause or a consequence of the disease. Research in animals suggests that amyloid-beta plaques form naturally in the brain in response to infection, serving to entrap microorganisms. The idea that amyloid beta serves as a natural antibiotic implies that Alzheimer disease may be in some way linked to brain infection, plaque formation being either excessive in older individuals or abnormal in some other way in persons who eventually develop Alzheimer disease.

Other features have been noted in the brains of many persons with Alzheimer disease. One of these features is a deficiency of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine; neurons containing acetylcholine play an important role in memory.

Hyperinsulinemia

Abnormal insulin signaling in the brain has been associated with Alzheimer disease. Under normal conditions, insulin binds to insulin receptors, which are expressed in great numbers on the membranes of neurons, to facilitate neuronal uptake of glucose, which the brain depends upon to carry out its many functions. However, neurons in the brains of patients with Alzheimer disease have very few, if any, insulin receptors and therefore are resistant to the actions of insulin. As a result of the inability of insulin to bind to the neurons, it accumulates in the blood serum, leading to a condition known as hyperinsulinemia (abnormally high serum levels of insulin). Hyperinsulinemia in the brain is suspected to stimulate inflammation that in turn stimulates the formation of neuritic plaques. Abnormal insulin signaling in the brain has also been associated with nerve cell dysfunction and death, decreased levels of acetylcholine, and decreased levels of transthyretin, a protein that normally binds to and transports amyloid-beta proteins out of the brain.

Genetic variants

Underlying genetic defects have been identified for both late- and early-onset cases of Alzheimer disease. The identification and characterization of these defects has provided important insight into the pathology of Alzheimer disease and has informed the development of new approaches to diagnosis and treatment.

A defect in a gene known as APP, which codes for amyloid precursor protein, may increase the production or deposition of amyloid beta, which forms the core of neuritic plaques. This gene, however, is thought to be responsible for only a very small percentage of all early-onset cases of the disease.

A defect in the gene that directs production of apolipoprotein E (ApoE), which is involved in cholesterol transport, may be a factor in the majority of late-onset Alzheimer cases. There are three forms of this gene—APOE2, APOE3, and APOE4—two of which, APOE3 and APOE4, are associated with an increased risk of disease and influence the age of onset of disease.

Studies employing functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have shown that individuals between ages 20 and 35 who carry the APOE4 variant frequently have increased activity in the hippocampus of the brain. This region plays a central role in the formation and recall of memories and is involved in the production of emotions. Scientists suspect that in some APOE4 carriers hyperactivity of the hippocampus early in life leads to this region’s later dysfunction, which contributes to the development of Alzheimer disease. Brain imaging using fMRI in young APOE4 carriers may be useful for identifying those carriers at greatest risk of disease.

Genetic screening to determine the status of a gene known as TOMM40 (translocase of outer mitochondrial membrane 40 homolog [yeast]) can be used to provide additional information about the risk of Alzheimer disease and to predict the age of onset. There are several forms of this gene, which differ in their length due to variations that influence the number of repeats of a specific base-pair segment within the gene sequence. In persons who have inherited variants of TOMM40, the occurrence of a long form of the gene, in conjunction with either APOE3 or APOE4, correlates with onset of the disease before age 80. In contrast, short forms of TOMM40 were found to correlate with onset of the disease after age 80.

Several other genes have been implicated in Alzheimer disease. Examples include CD33, which encodes a cell surface protein of the same name; PICALM, which encodes a protein involved in endocytosis (the cellular uptake of substances); and CD2AP, which encodes a protein that interacts with the cell membrane and may have a role in endocytosis.

Treatment

There is no cure for Alzheimer disease. However, there are several therapeutic agents that can be used to slow disease progression or to alleviate symptoms. In roughly 50 percent of patients, the progression of amnestic MCI can be delayed for about one year by drugs called acetylcholinesterase inhibitors (or anticholinesterases). These drugs, which include galantamine, donepezil, and rivastigmine, work by slowing the breakdown of acetylcholine. Common side effects of acetylcholinesterase inhibitors include nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea. Symptoms of Alzheimer disease can be reduced in some patients by the drug memantine, which decreases abnormal brain activity by blocking the binding of glutamate (an excitatory neurotransmitter) to certain receptors in the brain. While this drug can improve cognition and enable patients to become more engaged in daily activities, it may cause certain patients to become unusually agitated or delusional. Other treatments aim to control the depression, behavioral problems, and insomnia that often accompany the disease.

There are also a number of experimental drugs for Alzheimer disease in early- and late-stage clinical trials. One drug that has demonstrated some success is methylthioninium chloride (Rember), more commonly known as methylene blue (an organic dye), targets the tau protein of neurofibrillary tangles. In clinical trials, methylthioninium chloride either stopped or significantly slowed the progression of cognitive decline in patients with Alzheimer disease. It is the first drug capable of dissolving tau protein fibres and preventing the formation of neurofibrillary tangles.

Another example of an experimental therapy is the monoclonal antibody lecanemab, which has the ability to clear away as well as block the formation of amyloid deposits. In clinical trials lecanemab was found to slow disease progression in human patients with early-stage Alzheimer disease; the drug was approved in 2023 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of early-stage Alzheimer disease. In animal studies, a derivative of the naturally occurring flavonoid fisetin, found particularly in onions, cucumbers, and fruits such as strawberries and apples, demonstrated potential for reversing memory loss in individuals symptomatic for Alzheimer disease.

Early detection

Improved detection and treatments for Alzheimer disease are areas of concentrated scientific investigation. Progress in early detection has been of special significance, underlying important changes in diagnostic guidelines for Alzheimer disease. The first guidelines, implemented in 1984, restricted clinical diagnosis to the final stage of dementia, generally with diagnosis confirmed on autopsy. However, in 2011, as a result of improvements in diagnostic methods and in scientists’ understanding of the pathophysiology of Alzheimer disease, new guidelines that accommodated diagnosis at three different stages of the disease (preclinical, MCI, and dementia) were developed, allowing for more rapid incorporation of new or experimental diagnostic technologies and for earlier disease detection.

Early detection of Alzheimer disease is based largely on advances in diagnostic imaging, on the discovery of biomarkers (physiological changes specific to and indicative of a disease), and on the development of methods sensitive enough to measure those biomarkers. Several detection methods being developed for Alzheimer disease include blood tests to measure increased expression of a protein present in certain white blood cells and positron emission tomography to detect increased levels of an enzyme in cerebrospinal fluid.

A test designed to analyze spinal fluid for certain biomarker signatures indicative of Alzheimer disease has shown promise in early detection of the disease. Fluid for the test is collected via lumbar puncture (spinal tap). The sensitivity of the test is such that it can identify persons who are affected by mild cognitive impairment and hence are at the greatest risk of later developing the disease, thereby providing time for intervention strategies to delay its onset.

Lifestyle factors and prevention

A number of lifestyle factors that benefit cardiovascular health are associated with decreased risk of dementia and Alzheimer disease. Examples of such factors include regular physical exercise, a healthy diet, and low stress. In contrast, in persons genetically predisposed to Alzheimer disease, diets high in fat and sugar are suspected to negatively affect the brain by facilitating the development of neuritic plaques.

Dietary substances such as vitamin B, caffeine, and alcohol also have been implicated in reducing the risk of Alzheimer disease. For example, a clinical trial involving a small number of subjects found that vitamin B12 can slow the rate of brain atrophy in some persons with MCI. This effect is attributed to the ability of vitamin B12 to control blood levels of an amino acid known as homocysteine. Unusually high levels of homocysteine have been associated with an increased risk for Alzheimer disease. In studies of Alzheimer mice, intake of caffeine at concentrations equivalent to five cups of coffee in humans resulted in decreased levels of amyloid-beta proteins in the brain and blood. The effects of caffeine were strongest in mice displaying MCI. The substance also was found to improve memory significantly in these animals. In persons aged 75 and older who have normal cognitive function, the consumption of moderate amounts of alcohol, defined as being between 8 and 14 drinks per week (one drink equals 0.5 ounce of 100 percent alcohol), has been shown to reduce the risk of dementia by nearly 40 percent. However, in persons in the transitional stage to Alzheimer disease, who have symptoms of MCI, alcohol consumption is linked to accelerated progression toward dementia.

Another factor associated with a decreased risk for Alzheimer disease is rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic inflammatory disease of the connective tissues of the body. A protein known as GM-CSF (granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor), which is present in arthritis patients, is thought to stimulate the production of immune cells that destroy the amyloid-beta proteins. In studies of mice affected by cognitive impairment mimicking Alzheimer disease in humans, treatment with GM-CSF reduced the burden of amyloid plaques in the brain and was associated with improved performance on memory and learning tests. A form of GM-CSF known as sargramostim, which is used in the treatment of patients with acute myelogenous leukemia, has been investigated as a form of treatment for persons with Alzheimer disease.

Alzheimer disease risk may be linked to periodontitis, a form of gum disease. Research has shown that persons with chronic periodontitis have a significantly higher risk of developing Alzheimer disease compared with persons without gum disease. Scientists have also found Porphyromonas gingivalis, a bacterium associated with gum disease, in the brains of patients with Alzheimer disease. P. gingivalis secretes a protein known as gingipain, which is toxic to neurons and is associated with increased amyloid beta production in the brain. Whether periodontitis and the entry of P. gingivalis into the brain causes or is a consequence of Alzheimer disease remains unclear, however.

Details

Alzheimer's disease (AD) is a neurodegenerative disease that usually starts slowly and progressively worsens. It is the cause of 60–70% of cases of dementia. The most common early symptom is difficulty in remembering recent events. As the disease advances, symptoms can include problems with language, disorientation (including easily getting lost), mood swings, loss of motivation, self-neglect, and behavioral issues. As a person's condition declines, they often withdraw from family and society. Gradually, bodily functions are lost, ultimately leading to death. Although the speed of progression can vary, the typical life expectancy following diagnosis is three to nine years.

The cause of Alzheimer's disease is poorly understood. There are many environmental and genetic risk factors associated with its development. The strongest genetic risk factor is from an allele of APOE. Other risk factors include a history of head injury, clinical depression, and high blood pressure. The disease process is largely associated with amyloid plaques, neurofibrillary tangles, and loss of neuronal connections in the brain. A probable diagnosis is based on the history of the illness and cognitive testing with medical imaging and blood tests to rule out other possible causes. Initial symptoms are often mistaken for normal aging. Examination of brain tissue is needed for a definite diagnosis, but this can only take place after death. Good nutrition, physical activity, and engaging socially are known to be of benefit generally in aging, and these may help in reducing the risk of cognitive decline and Alzheimer's; in 2019 clinical trials were underway to look at these possibilities. There are no medications or supplements that have been shown to decrease risk.

No treatments stop or reverse its progression, though some may temporarily improve symptoms. Affected people increasingly rely on others for assistance, often placing a burden on the caregiver. The pressures can include social, psychological, physical, and economic elements. Exercise programs may be beneficial with respect to activities of daily living and can potentially improve outcomes. Behavioral problems or psychosis due to dementia are often treated with antipsychotics, but this is not usually recommended, as there is little benefit and an increased risk of early death.

As of 2020, there were approximately 50 million people worldwide with Alzheimer's disease. It most often begins in people over 65 years of age, although up to 10% of cases are early-onset affecting those in their 30s to mid-60s. It affects about 6% of people 65 years and older, and women more often than men. The disease is named after German psychiatrist and pathologist Alois Alzheimer, who first described it in 1906. Alzheimer's financial burden on society is large, with an estimated global annual cost of US$1 trillion. Alzheimer's disease is currently ranked as the seventh leading cause of death in the United States.

Signs and symptoms

The course of Alzheimer's is generally described in three stages, with a progressive pattern of cognitive and functional impairment. The three stages are described as early or mild, middle or moderate, and late or severe. The disease is known to target the hippocampus which is associated with memory, and this is responsible for the first symptoms of memory impairment. As the disease progresses so does the degree of memory impairment.

First symptoms

The first symptoms are often mistakenly attributed to aging or stress. Detailed neuropsychological testing can reveal mild cognitive difficulties up to eight years before a person fulfills the clinical criteria for diagnosis of Alzheimer's disease. These early symptoms can affect the most complex activities of daily living. The most noticeable deficit is short term memory loss, which shows up as difficulty in remembering recently learned facts and inability to acquire new information.

Subtle problems with the executive functions of attentiveness, planning, flexibility, and abstract thinking, or impairments in semantic memory (memory of meanings, and concept relationships) can also be symptomatic of the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. Apathy and depression can be seen at this stage, with apathy remaining as the most persistent symptom throughout the course of the disease. Mild cognitive impairment (MCI) is often found to be a transitional stage between normal aging and dementia. MCI can present with a variety of symptoms, and when memory loss is the predominant symptom, it is termed amnestic MCI and is frequently seen as a prodromal stage of Alzheimer's disease. Amnestic MCI has a greater than 90% likelihood of being associated with Alzheimer's.

Early stage

In people with Alzheimer's disease, the increasing impairment of learning and memory eventually leads to a definitive diagnosis. In a small percentage, difficulties with language, executive functions, perception (agnosia), or execution of movements (apraxia) are more prominent than memory problems. Alzheimer's disease does not affect all memory capacities equally. Older memories of the person's life (episodic memory), facts learned (semantic memory), and implicit memory (the memory of the body on how to do things, such as using a fork to eat or how to drink from a glass) are affected to a lesser degree than new facts or memories.

Language problems are mainly characterised by a shrinking vocabulary and decreased word fluency, leading to a general impoverishment of oral and written language. In this stage, the person with Alzheimer's is usually capable of communicating basic ideas adequately. While performing fine motor tasks such as writing, drawing, or dressing, certain movement coordination and planning difficulties (apraxia) may be present, but they are commonly unnoticed. As the disease progresses, people with Alzheimer's disease can often continue to perform many tasks independently, but may need assistance or supervision with the most cognitively demanding activities.

Middle stage

Progressive deterioration eventually hinders independence, with subjects being unable to perform most common activities of daily living. Speech difficulties become evident due to an inability to recall vocabulary, which leads to frequent incorrect word substitutions (paraphasias). Reading and writing skills are also progressively lost. Complex motor sequences become less coordinated as time passes and Alzheimer's disease progresses, so the risk of falling increases. During this phase, memory problems worsen, and the person may fail to recognise close relatives. Long-term memory, which was previously intact, becomes impaired.

Behavioral and neuropsychiatric changes become more prevalent. Common manifestations are wandering, irritability and emotional lability, leading to crying, outbursts of unpremeditated aggression, or resistance to caregiving. Sundowning can also appear. Approximately 30% of people with Alzheimer's disease develop illusionary misidentifications and other delusional symptoms. Subjects also lose insight of their disease process and limitations (anosognosia). Urinary incontinence can develop. These symptoms create stress for relatives and caregivers, which can be reduced by moving the person from home care to other long-term care facilities.

Late stage

During the final stage, known as the late-stage or severe stage, there is complete dependence on caregivers. Language is reduced to simple phrases or even single words, eventually leading to complete loss of speech. Despite the loss of verbal language abilities, people can often understand and return emotional signals. Although aggressiveness can still be present, extreme apathy and exhaustion are much more common symptoms. People with Alzheimer's disease will ultimately not be able to perform even the simplest tasks independently; muscle mass and mobility deteriorates to the point where they are bedridden and unable to feed themselves. The cause of death is usually an external factor, such as infection of pressure ulcers or pneumonia, not the disease itself.

Additional Information

Alzheimer’s disease is a degenerative brain disease that causes significant memory loss and impairs a person’s ability to carry out daily tasks. Scientists have not found a cure for the disease, and experts continue to research what causes the disorder and how to prevent it. But researchers have identified some potential risk factors as well as medications and lifestyle changes that may help patients manage behavior problems and slow progression of the disease.

Experts believe more than 5.5 million Americans are living with the disorder, according to the National Institute on Aging. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, projects this number to nearly triple to 14 million by the year 2060.

The disease most commonly affects people who are over 60 years old. Even though a person’s risk of developing the disease increases with age, the disorder is not a normal part of aging.

Scientists believe many different genetic, health, lifestyle and environmental factors may influence when and how the disease develops.

There is currently no cure for Alzheimer’s disease. People who suffer from the disorder eventually require full-time care.

What Is Alzheimer’s Disease?

Alzheimer’s disease is a brain disorder that gradually destroys thinking and memory and ultimately prevents a person from doing their normal daily activities.

The decline associated with the disease usually worsens slowly over a time. The resulting memory loss and thinking impairment are irreversible.

Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia among older people.

There are two different types of Alzheimer’s disease: early- onset and late-onset. Late-onset Alzheimer’s is the more common of the two and symptoms usually begin appearing in a person’s mid-60s. Signs of early-onset Alzheimer’s begin to appear between a person’s 30s and mid-60s.

Effects on the Brain

Very subtle changes happen in the brain long before the first signs of memory loss related to Alzheimer’s disease appear. Researchers believe damage to the brain begins a decade or more before its effects are apparent.

“During this preclinical stage of Alzheimer’s disease, people seem to be symptom-free, but toxic changes are taking place in the brain,” according to the National Institute on Aging.

Abnormal levels of beta-amyloid, a naturally occurring protein, build up in the brain and form plaques between nerve cells. Another naturally occurring protein, tau, collects inside nerve cells and creates neurofibrillary tangles, or twisted fibers.

These toxic buildups of protein prevent the nerve cells, or neurons, from transmitting information as they otherwise would. They lose connections with other nerve cells and die over time.

Brain damage related to Alzheimer’s disease seems to start in the hippocampus, which is the area of the brain responsible for forming memories.

As the disease progresses, other areas of the brain are also affected and begin to shrink. By the disease’s final stage, the damage is widespread and brain tissue has radically shrunk.

With severe Alzheimer’s disease, brain tissue shrinks significantly.

Diagnosis

Doctors use a cognitive assessment to help diagnose Alzheimer’s disease. A person must have gradual memory loss and progressive cognitive impairment to be diagnosed with the disease. Symptoms of the condition must be severe enough to interfere with a person’s usual daily activities.

Other types of dementia, such as Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, or other conditions such as depression, can be ruled out using various medical tests. Doctors may order blood and urine tests and perform brain scans to discount other possible causes for a person’s symptoms. They will also want to know the patient’s medical history and a list of all the drugs, vitamins and supplements the patient takes.

Doctors cannot definitely diagnose a person with Alzheimer’s disease until an autopsy can be performed after death. But on occasion, doctors can use a living person’s biomarkers, or measures of what’s going on in the body, to diagnose the disease.

People who suffer from memory problems should see their doctor once or twice a year, the National Institute on Aging says. A primary care physician may refer a patient to one or more specialists, such as a geriatrician or a neurologist.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1655 2023-02-02 20:31:04

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1558) World Food Programme

Summary

The World Food Programme (WFP) is an international organization within the United Nations that provides food assistance worldwide. It is the world's largest humanitarian organization and the leading provider of school meals. Founded in 1961, WFP is headquartered in Rome and has offices in 80 countries. As of 2021, it supported over 128 million people across more than 120 countries and territories.

In addition to emergency food relief, WFP offers technical and development assistance, such as building capacity for emergency preparedness and response, managing supply chains and logistics, promoting social safety programs, and strengthening resilience against climate change. It also a major provider of direct cash assistance and medical supplies, and provides passenger services for humanitarian workers.

WFP is an executive member of the United Nations Sustainable Development Group, a consortium of UN entities that aims to fulfil the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), with a priority on achieving SDG 2 for "zero hunger" by 2030.

The World Food Programme was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020 for its efforts to provide food assistance in areas of conflict, and to prevent the use of food as a weapon of war and conflict.

History

WFP was established in 1961 after the 1960 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) Conference, when George McGovern, director of the US Food for Peace Programmes, proposed establishing a multilateral food aid programme. WFP launched its first programmes in 1963 by the FAO and the United Nations General Assembly on a three-year experimental basis, supporting the Nubian population at Wadi Halfa in Sudan. In 1965, the programme was extended to a continuing basis.

Background

WFP works across a broad spectrum of Sustainable Development Goals, owing to the fact that food shortages, hunger, malnutrition and foodborne illness cause poor health, which subsequently impacts other areas of sustainable development, such as education, employment and poverty (Sustainable Development Goals Four, Eight and One respectively).

Funding

WFP operations are funded by voluntary donations principally from governments of the world, and also from corporations and private donors. In 2021, funding was a record USD 9.6 billion – 15 percent higher than in 2020 – against a funding need of USD 14.8 billion. That year, the United States was the largest donor.

Details

The World Food Programme is the world’s largest humanitarian organization saving lives in emergencies and using food assistance to build a pathway to peace, stability and prosperity, for people recovering from conflict, disasters and the impact of climate change.

In a world of plenty, where enough food is produced to feed everyone on the planet, hunger should be a thing of the past. However, conflict, climate change, disasters, inequality and – most recently – the COVID-19 pandemic mean one in nine people globally is still going to bed hungry and famine looms for millions.

Powered by the passion, dedication and professionalism of almost 21,000 staff worldwide, the World Food Programme (WFP) works in over 120 countries and territories to bring life-saving food to people displaced by conflict and made destitute by disasters, and help individuals and communities find life-changing solutions to the multiple challenges they face in building better futures.

We work to enhance nutrition in women and children, support smallholder farmers in improving productivity and reducing losses, help countries and communities prepare for and cope with climate-related shocks, and boost human capital through school feeding programmes.

In conflict situations, we bring relief to exhausted populations and use food assistance to build pathways to peace and stability – work for which WFP was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2020.

For millions of people worldwide, WFP assistance is what makes the difference between life and death. Our timely intervention at times of heightened crisis has helped pull people back from the brink of starvation. Our work to build resilience, adapt to a changing climate, promote good nutrition and improve food systems is helping lay the foundations for a more prosperous future for millions.

A member of the UN family, WFP is governed by an Executive Board consisting of 36 Member States, which provides intergovernmental support, direction and supervision of WFP’s activities. The organization is headed by an Executive Director, who is appointed jointly by the UN Secretary-General and the Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Feeding millions of the world’s hungriest people and helping millions more cope with the effects of conflict, climate change and entrenched poverty requires billions of dollars every year – our funding requirement for 2022 stands at US$22.2 billion to reach 160 million people.

Our operations are entirely funded through the generous voluntary contributions of donor governments, institutions, corporations and individuals. A total 93.5 percent of all government contributions go directly to supporting life-saving and life-changing operations.

Agenda 2030 clearly states that sustainable development will only be possible through effective partnerships. True to its spirit, WFP works with governments, other UN agencies, NGOs, private companies and others to mobilize resources, find innovative solutions and reach vulnerable communities with the assistance they need, when they need it.

WFP holds itself and its staff to the highest standards of integrity and behaviour. We are committed to full transparency and accountability to the people we serve and to the donors who generously fund our operations.

We carry out objective and independent audits, as well as investigations and inspections into suspected wrongdoing, misconduct and fraud, as well as sexual exploitation or abuse.

To ensure that we are fit for purpose, and that we remain so in a constantly and rapidly changing environment, we carry out periodic independent evaluations that provide donors and partners with greater detail about the effectiveness, efficiency, relevance, impact and sustainability of our work, and that help us to continue improving.

Additional Information

World Food Programme (WFP) is an organization established in 1961 by the United Nations (UN) to help alleviate world hunger. Its headquarters are in Rome, Italy. In 2020 the World Food Programme (WFP) was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace “for its efforts to combat hunger, for its contribution to bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas and for acting as a driving force in efforts to prevent the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict.”

The WFP’s programs are aimed at helping the nearly 11 percent of the world’s population that does not have enough to eat. The organization works to achieve the second of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals, Zero Hunger, which pledges to end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture worldwide. The WFP aids victims of both natural and human-made disasters by collecting and transporting food to crisis areas. It helps people affected by wars and other conflicts, epidemics and pandemics, crop failures, and disasters such as floods, droughts, earthquakes, and storms. In addition to distributing food aid in emergencies, the WFP provides food assistance to meet longer-term needs. The WFP focuses particularly on assisting vulnerable groups such as children, pregnant and nursing women, and the elderly. To stimulate their economies, the WFP purchases more goods and services from developing countries than any other UN agency.

The WFP’s Executive Board consists of 36 states, half elected by the UN’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and half elected by the council of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1656 2023-02-03 21:01:22

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1559) Food and Agriculture Organization

Summary

Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is the oldest permanent specialized agency of the United Nations, established in October 1945 with the objective of eliminating hunger and improving nutrition and standards of living by increasing agricultural productivity.

The FAO coordinates the efforts of governments and technical agencies in programs for developing agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and land and water resources. It also carries out research; provides technical assistance on projects in individual countries; operates educational programs through seminars and training centres; maintains information and support services, including keeping statistics on world production, trade, and consumption of agricultural commodities; and publishes a number of periodicals, yearbooks, and research bulletins.

Headquartered in Rome, Italy, the FAO maintains offices throughout the world. The organization, which has more than 180 members, is governed by the biennial FAO conference, in which each member country, as well as the European Union, is represented. The conference elects a 49-member Council, which serves as its executive organ. In the late 20th century the FAO gradually became more decentralized, with about half its personnel working in field offices.

During the 1960s the FAO concentrated on programs for the development of high-yield strains of grain, the elimination of protein deficiencies, the provision of rural employment, and the promotion of agricultural exports. In 1969 the organization published An Indicative World Plan for Agricultural Development, which analyzed the main problems in world agriculture and suggested strategies for solving them. The 1974 World Food Conference, held in Rome during a period of food shortages in the southern Sahara, prompted the FAO to promote programs relating to world food security, including helping small farmers implement low-cost projects to enhance productivity. In the 1980s and ’90s, FAO programs for sustainable agriculture and rural development emphasized strategies that were economically feasible, environmentally sound, and technologically appropriate to the skill level of the host country.

Details

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is an international organization that leads international efforts to defeat hunger and improve nutrition and food security. Its Latin motto, fiat panis, translates to "let there be bread." It was founded on 16 October 1945.

The FAO comprises 195 members (including 194 countries and the European Union). Their headquarters is in Rome, Italy, and the FAO maintains regional and field offices worldwide, operating in over 130 countries. It helps governments and development agencies coordinate their activities to improve and develop agriculture, forestry, fisheries, and land and water resources. It also conducts research, provides technical assistance to projects, operates educational and training programs, and collects agricultural output, production, and development data.

The FAO is governed by a biennial conference representing each member country and the European Union, which elects a 49-member executive council. The Director-General, currently Qu Dongyu of China, serves as the chief administrative officer. Various committees govern matters such as finance, programs, agriculture, and fisheries.

History

The idea of an international organization for food and agriculture emerged in the late 19th and early 20th century, advanced primarily by Polish-born American agriculturalist and activist David Lubin. In May–June 1905, an international conference was held in Rome, Italy, which led to the creation of the International Institute of Agriculture (IIA) by the King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III.

The IIA was the first intergovernmental organization to deal with the problems and challenges of agriculture on a global scale. It worked primarily to collect, compile, and publish data on agriculture, ranging from output statistics to a catalog of crop diseases. Among its achievements was the publication of the first agricultural census in 1930.

World War II effectively ended the IIA. During the war, in 1943, United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt called a League of Nations Conference on Food and Agriculture, which brought representatives from forty-four governments to The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia, from 18 May to 3 June. The main impetus for the conference was British-born Australian economist Frank L. McDougall, who since 1935 had advocated for an international forum to address hunger and malnutrition.

The Conference ended with a commitment to establish a permanent organization for food and agriculture, which was achieved on 16 October 1945 in Quebec City, Canada, following the Constitution of the Food and Agriculture Organization. The First Session of the FAO Conference was held immediately afterward in the Château Frontenac in Quebec City from 16 October to 1 November 1945.

After the war, the IIA was officially dissolved by resolution of its Permanent Committee on 27 February 1948. Its functions, facilities, and mandate were then transferred to the newly established FAO, which maintained its headquarters in Rome.

The FAO's initial functions supported agricultural and nutrition research and provided technical assistance to member countries to boost production in agriculture, fishery, and forestry. Beginning in the 1960s, it focused on efforts to develop high-yield strains of grain, eliminate protein deficiency, promote rural employment, and increases agricultural exports. The FAO recognized the decrease of these resources as an urgent problem in 1961 and created a joint collaboration with the International Biological Program (IBP) in 1967. To that end, it joined the UN General Assembly in creating the UN World Food Programme, the largest humanitarian organization addressing hunger and promoting food security.

The FAO launched what would become the FAO Money and Medals Programme (MMP) in 1968. FAO issued collector art medals in various series to bring attention to FAO's goals and missions. This program was responsible for over a hundred medal designs issued to the collecting public. A thirtieth anniversary medal of the MMP was issued in 1998.

In 1974, in response to famine in Africa, the FAO convened the first World Food Summit to address widespread hunger, malnutrition, and food insecurity. The meeting resulted in a proclamation that "every man, woman, and child has the inalienable right to be free from hunger and malnutrition to develop their physical and mental faculties" and a global commitment to eradicate these issues within a decade. A subsequent summit in 1996 addressed the shortcomings in achieving this goal while establishing a strategic plan for eliminating hunger and malnutrition into the 21st century.

Structure and finance

In 1951, the FAO's headquarters were moved from Washington, D.C., United States, to Rome, Italy. The agency is directed by the Conference of Member Nations, which meets every two years to review the work carried out by the organization and to Work and Budget for the next two-year period. The Conference elects a council of 49 member states (serve three-year rotating terms) that acts as an interim governing body, and the Director-General, who heads the agency.

The FAO is composed of eight departments: Agriculture and Consumer Protection, Climate, Biodiversity, Land and Water Department, Economic and Social Development, Fisheries and Aquaculture, Forestry, Corporate Services and Technical Cooperation and Programme Management.

Beginning in 1994, the FAO underwent the most significant restructuring since its founding, to decentralize operations, streamline procedures and reduce costs. As a result, savings of about US$50 million, €43 million a year were realized.

Budget

The FAO's Regular Programme budget is funded by its members, through contributions set at the FAO Conference. This budget covers core technical work, cooperation and partnerships including the Technical Cooperation Programme, knowledge exchange, policy and advocacy, direction and administration, governance and security.

The total FAO Budget planned for 2018–2019 is US$1,005.6 million. The voluntary contributions provided by members and other partners support mechanical and emergency (including rehabilitation) assistance to governments for clearly defined purposes linked to the results framework, as well as direct support to FAO's core work. The voluntary contributions are expected to reach approximately US$1.6 billion in 2016–2017.

This overall budget covers core technical work, cooperation and partnerships, leading to Food and Agriculture Outcomes at 71 percent; Core Functions at 11 percent; the Country Office Network – 5 percent; Capital and Security Expenditure – 2 percent; Administration – 6 percent; and Technical and Cooperation Program – 5 percent.

Additional Information

FAO: Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations

Achieving food security for all is at the heart of FAO’s efforts – to make sure people have regular access to enough high-quality food to lead active, healthy lives.

Our mandate is to improve nutrition, increase agricultural productivity, raise the standard of living in rural populations and contribute to global economic growth.

To meet the demands posed by major global trends in agricultural development and challenges faced by member nations, FAO has identified key priorities on which it is best placed to intervene. A comprehensive review of the Organization’s comparative advantages was undertaken which enabled strategic objectives to be set, representing the main areas of work on which FAO will concentrate its efforts in striving to achieve its vision and global goals.

Help eliminate hunger, food insecurity and malnutrition

FAO’s challenge: there is sufficient capacity in the world to produce enough food to feed everyone adequately; nevertheless, in spite of progress made over the last two decades, 870 million people still suffer from chronic hunger. Among children, it is estimated that 171 million under five years of age are chronically malnourished (stunted), almost 104 million are underweight, and about 55 million are acutely malnourished (wasted).

Make agriculture more productive and sustainable

The world’s population is predicted to increase to 9 billion people by 2050. Some of the world’s highest rates of population growth are predicted to occur in areas that are highly dependent on the agriculture sector (crops. Livestock, forestry and fisheries) and have high rates of food insecurity. Growth in the agriculture sector is one of the most effective means of reducing poverty and achieving food security.

Reduce rural poverty

Most of the world’s poor live in rural areas. Hunger and food insecurity above all are expressions of rural poverty. Reducing rural poverty, therefore, is central to FAO’s mission. Many living in rural areas have been lifted out of poverty in recent decades. In 1990, 54% of those living in rural areas in developing countries lived on less than $1.25 a day and were considered extremely poor. By 2010, this share had dropped to 35%. Rural poverty remains widespread especially in South Asia and Africa. These regions have also seen least progress in improving rural livelihoods.

Ensure inclusive and efficient agricultural and food systems

With increasing globalization, agriculture as an independent sector will cease to exist, becoming instead, just one part of an integrated value chain. The value chain exits both upstream and downstream, or from production through to processing and sales, in which the whole is now highly concentrated, integrated and globalized. This poses a huge challenge for smallholder farmers and agricultural producers in many developing countries where even the most economically valid smallholders can easily be excluded from important parts of the value chain.

Protect livelihoods from disasters

Each year, millions of people who depend on the production, marketing and consumption of crops, livestock, fish, forests and other natural resources are confronted by disasters and crises. They can strike suddenly – like an earthquake or a violent coup d’état – or unfold slowly – like drought-flood cycles. They can occur as a single event, one can trigger another,or multiple events can converge and interact simultaneously with cascading and magnified effects. These emergencies threaten the production of, and access to, food at local, national and, at times, regional and global levels.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1657 2023-02-04 22:59:53

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1560) Colloid

Summary

A colloid is a mixture in which one substance consisting of microscopically dispersed insoluble particles is suspended throughout another substance. Some definitions specify that the particles must be dispersed in a liquid, while others extend the definition to include substances like aerosols and gels. The term colloidal suspension refers unambiguously to the overall mixture (although a narrower sense of the word suspension is distinguished from colloids by larger particle size). A colloid has a dispersed phase (the suspended particles) and a continuous phase (the medium of suspension). The dispersed phase particles have a diameter of approximately 1 nanometre to 1 micrometre.

Some colloids are translucent because of the Tyndall effect, which is the scattering of light by particles in the colloid. Other colloids may be opaque or have a slight color.

Colloidal suspensions are the subject of interface and colloid science. This field of study was introduced in 1845 by Italian chemist Francesco Selmi and further investigated since 1861 by Scottish scientist Thomas Graham.

Details

A colloid is any substance consisting of particles substantially larger than atoms or ordinary molecules but too small to be visible to the unaided eye; more broadly, any substance, including thin films and fibres, having at least one dimension in this general size range, which encompasses about {10}^{-7} to {10}^{-3} cm. Colloidal systems may exist as dispersions of one substance in another—for example, smoke particles in air—or as single materials, such as rubber or the membrane of a biological cell.

Colloids are generally classified into two systems, reversible and irreversible. In a reversible system the products of a physical or chemical reaction may be induced to interact so as to reproduce the original components. In a system of this kind, the colloidal material may have a high molecular weight, with single molecules of colloidal size, as in polymers, polyelectrolytes, and proteins, or substances with small molecular weights may associate spontaneously to form particles (e.g., micelles, microemulsion droplets, and liposomes) of colloidal size, as in soaps, detergents, some dyes, and aqueous mixtures of lipids. An irreversible system is one in which the products of a reaction are so stable or are removed so effectively from the system that its original components cannot be reproduced. Examples of irreversible systems include sols (dilute suspensions), pastes (concentrated suspensions), emulsions, foams, and certain varieties of gels. The size of the particles of these colloids is greatly dependent on the method of preparation employed.

All colloidal systems can be either generated or eliminated by nature as well as by industrial and technological processes. The colloids prepared in living organisms by biological processes are vital to the existence of the organism. Those produced with inorganic compounds in Earth and its waters and atmosphere are also of crucial importance to the well-being of life-forms.

The scientific study of colloids dates from the early 19th century. Among the first notable investigations was that of the British botanist Robert Brown. During the late 1820s Brown discovered, with the aid of a microscope, that minute particles suspended in a liquid are in continual, random motion. This phenomenon, which was later designated Brownian motion, was found to result from the irregular bombardment of colloidal particles by the molecules of the surrounding fluid. Francesco Selmi, an Italian chemist, published the first systematic study of inorganic colloids. Selmi demonstrated that salts would coagulate such colloidal materials as silver chloride and Prussian blue and that they differed in their precipitating power. The Scottish chemist Thomas Graham, who is generally regarded as the founder of modern colloid science, delineated the colloidal state and its distinguishing properties. In several works published during the 1860s, Graham observed that low diffusivity, the absence of crystallinity, and the lack of ordinary chemical relations were some of the most salient characteristics of colloids and that they resulted from the large size of the constituent particles.

The early years of the 20th century witnessed various key developments in physics and chemistry, a number of which bore directly on colloids. These included advances in the knowledge of the electronic structure of atoms, in the concepts of molecular size and shape, and in insights into the nature of solutions. Moreover, efficient methods for studying the size and configuration of colloidal particles were soon developed—for example, ultracentrifugal analysis, electrophoresis, diffusion, and the scattering of visible light and X-rays. More recently, biological and industrial research on colloidal systems has yielded much information on dyes, detergents, polymers, proteins, and other substances important to everyday life.

Additional Information

What is a colloid ? A colloid is a mixture is two or more substances mixed together but not chemically combined (they can be separated). They are a special type of mixture where tiny particles of one substance are scattered through another substance. Cream is a colloid as it’s made up of tiny particles of fat dispersed in water.

The particles making up a colloid are smaller than those in a suspension.

What is a colloid ? A colloid is a mixture is two or more substances mixed together but not chemically combined (they can be separated). They are a special type of mixture where tiny particles of one substance are scattered through another substance. Cream is a colloid as it’s made up of tiny particles of fat dispersed in water.

The particles making up a colloid are smaller than those in a suspension.

If you put cream in a jar and shake for a about 10 minutes the fat molecules stick together, making butter and a liquid called buttermilk. Butter is also a colloid as there are water molecules trapped in between the fat.

The Tyndall effect happens when light is scattered by particles of in its path to create a beam of light.

Colloids exhibit the Tyndall effect. When a light is shone through a colloidal dispersion the light beam becomes visible as a column of light. The Tyndall Effect also makes clear substances containing tiny particles to appear slightly blue. This is because blue visible light (which has the shortest wavelength) is scattered by the particles, while longer wavelengths of light are not scattered. It is this effect that makes a blue iris look blue, not pigment!

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1658 2023-02-05 21:26:03

Jai Ganesh
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Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1561) International Civil Aviation Organization

Summary

The International Civil Aviation Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations that coordinates the principles and techniques of international air navigation, and fosters the planning and development of international air transport to ensure safe and orderly growth. ICAO headquarters are located in the Quartier International of Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

The ICAO Council adopts standards and recommended practices concerning air navigation, its infrastructure, flight inspection, prevention of unlawful interference, and facilitation of border-crossing procedures for international civil aviation. ICAO defines the protocols for air accident investigation that are followed by transport safety authorities in countries signatory to the Chicago Convention on International Civil Aviation.

The Air Navigation Commission (ANC) is the technical body within ICAO. The commission is composed of 19 commissioners, nominated by the ICAO's contracting states and appointed by the ICAO Council. Commissioners serve as independent experts, who although nominated by their states, do not serve as state or political representatives. International Standards And Recommended Practices are developed under the direction of the ANC through the formal process of ICAO Panels. Once approved by the commission, standards are sent to the council, the political body of ICAO, for consultation and coordination with the member states before final adoption.

ICAO is distinct from other international air transport organizations, particularly because it alone is vested with international authority (among signatory states): other organizations include the International Air Transport Association (IATA), a trade association representing airlines; the Civil Air Navigation Services Organization (CANSO), an organization for Air navigation service providers (ANSPs); and the Airports Council International, a trade association of airport authorities.

Details

International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), is an intergovernmental specialized agency associated with the United Nations (UN). Established in 1947 by the Convention on International Civil Aviation (1944), which had been signed by 52 states three years earlier in Chicago, the ICAO is dedicated to developing safe and efficient international air transport for peaceful purposes and ensuring a reasonable opportunity for every state to operate international airlines. The organization’s permanent headquarters are in Montreal.

The ICAO, whose membership includes virtually every state in the world, has several component bodies: (1) an Assembly of delegates from all member countries that meets every three years, (2) a Council of representatives from 33 member states, elected by and responsible to the Assembly, that sits in continuous session at ICAO headquarters, (3) an Air Navigation Commission appointed by the Council for addressing technical matters, and (4) various standing committees, including a Committee on Joint Support of Air Navigation Services and a Finance Committee. The ICAO’s Secretariat is headed by a secretary-general selected by the Council for a three-year term. The five main sections of the Secretariat—the Air Navigation Bureau, the Air Transport Bureau, the Technical Co-operation Bureau, the Legal Bureau, and the Bureau of Administration and Services—provide technical and administrative assistance to the various national representatives.

The ICAO’s activities have included establishing and reviewing international technical standards for aircraft operation and design, crash investigation, the licensing of personnel, telecommunications, meteorology, air navigation equipment, ground facilities for air transport, and search-and-rescue missions. The organization also promotes regional and international agreements aimed at liberalizing aviation markets, helps to establish legal standards to ensure that the growth of aviation does not compromise safety, and encourages the development of other aspects of international aviation law.

Additional Information

About ICAO

ICAO is funded and directed by 193 national governments to support their diplomacy and cooperation in air transport as signatory states to the Chicago Convention (1944).

Its core function is to maintain an administrative and expert bureaucracy (the ICAO Secretariat) supporting these diplomatic interactions, and to research new air transport policy and standardization innovations as directed and endorsed by governments through the ICAO Assembly, or by the ICAO Council which the assembly elects.

Industry and civil society groups, and other concerned regional and international organizations, also participate in the exploration and development of new standards at ICAO in their capacity as ‘Invited Organizations’.

As new priorities are identified by these stakeholders, the ICAO secretariat convenes panels, task forces, conferences and seminars to explore their technical, political, socio-economic and other aspects. It then provides governments with the best results and advice possible as they collectively and diplomatically establish new international standards and recommended practices for civil aviation internationally.

Once governments achieve diplomatic consensus around a new standard’s scope and details, it is then adopted by those same 193 countries in order to bring worldwide alignment to their national regulations, helping to realize safe, secure and sustainable air operations on a truly global basis.

In addition to these core diplomatic and research capabilities, ICAO also serves as a critical coordination platform in civil aviation through its seven Regional Offices.

It also conducts educational outreach, develops coalitions, and conducts auditing, training, and capacity building activities worldwide per the needs and priorities governments identify and formalize.

Not a global regulator

The stipulations ICAO standards contain never supersede the primacy of national regulatory requirements. It is always the local, national regulations which are enforced in, and by, sovereign states, and which must be legally adhered to by air operators making use of applicable airspace and airports.

Contrary to many dramatic and media portrayals of UN agencies, they do not have any authority over national governments in the areas of international priority they are established for. Critiques of the UN are often rooted in allegations founded on fantastical capabilities and authorities which sovereign states would never assign to a multilateral organization.

ICAO is therefore not an international aviation regulator, just as INTERPOL is not an international police force. We cannot arbitrarily close or restrict a country’s airspace, shut down routes, or condemn airports or airlines for poor safety performance or customer service.

Should a country transgress a given international standard adopted through our organization, ICAO’s function in such circumstances, consistent with our core diplomatic capabilities and role, is to help countries conduct any discussions, condemnations, sanctions, etc., they may wish to pursue, consistent with the Chicago Convention and the Articles and Annexes it contains under international law.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1659 2023-02-06 19:36:19

Jai Ganesh
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Re: Miscellany

1562) Cone

Summary

A cone, in mathematics, is the surface traced by a moving straight line (the generatrix) that always passes through a fixed point (the vertex). The path, to be definite, is directed by some closed plane curve (the directrix), along which the line always glides. In a right circular cone, the directrix is a circle, and the cone is a surface of revolution. The axis of this cone is a line through the vertex and the centre of the circle, the line being perpendicular to the plane of the circle. In an oblique circular cone, the angle that the axis makes with the circle is other than 90°. The directrix of a cone need not be a circle; and if the cone is right, planes parallel to the plane of the directrix produce intersections with the cone that take the shape, but not the size, of the directrix. For such a plane, if the directrix is an ellipse, the intersection is an ellipse.

The generatrix of a cone is assumed to be infinite in length, extending in both directions from the vertex. The cone so generated, therefore, has two parts, called nappes or sheets, that extend infinitely. A finite cone has a finite, but not necessarily fixed, base, the surface enclosed by the directrix, and a finite, but not necessarily fixed, length of generatrix, called an element.

Details

A cone is a three-dimensional geometric shape that tapers smoothly from a flat base (frequently, though not necessarily, circular) to a point called the apex or vertex.

A cone is formed by a set of line segments, half-lines, or lines connecting a common point, the apex, to all of the points on a base that is in a plane that does not contain the apex. Depending on the author, the base may be restricted to be a circle, any one-dimensional quadratic form in the plane, any closed one-dimensional figure, or any of the above plus all the enclosed points. If the enclosed points are included in the base, the cone is a solid object; otherwise it is a two-dimensional object in three-dimensional space. In the case of a solid object, the boundary formed by these lines or partial lines is called the lateral surface; if the lateral surface is unbounded, it is a conical surface.

In the case of line segments, the cone does not extend beyond the base, while in the case of half-lines, it extends infinitely far. In the case of lines, the cone extends infinitely far in both directions from the apex, in which case it is sometimes called a double cone. Either half of a double cone on one side of the apex is called a nappe.

The axis of a cone is the straight line (if any), passing through the apex, about which the base (and the whole cone) has a circular symmetry.

In common usage in elementary geometry, cones are assumed to be right circular, where circular means that the base is a circle and right means that the axis passes through the centre of the base at right angles to its plane. If the cone is right circular the intersection of a plane with the lateral surface is a conic section. In general, however, the base may be any shape and the apex may lie anywhere (though it is usually assumed that the base is bounded and therefore has finite area, and that the apex lies outside the plane of the base). Contrasted with right cones are oblique cones, in which the axis passes through the centre of the base non-perpendicularly.

A cone with a polygonal base is called a pyramid.

Depending on the context, "cone" may also mean specifically a convex cone or a projective cone.

Cones can also be generalized to higher dimensions.

Additional Information

Cone: A cone is a three-dimensional solid geometrical object having a circular base and a pointed edge at the top called the apex or vertex. It has one curved surface and one circular base, one vertex, and one edge.

What is the Shape of Cone?

A cone is a shape formed by using a set of line segments that connect a common point, called the vertex, to all the points of a circular base. The distance from the vertex of the cone to the base is the height h of the cone. The circular base has a radius r. The length of the cone from apex to any point on the circumference of the base is the slant height l.

Let r be the radius, l slant height.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1660 2023-02-07 21:15:52

Jai Ganesh
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Re: Miscellany

1563) International Fund for Agricultural Development

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD; French: Fonds international de développement agricole (FIDA)) is an international financial institution and a specialised agency of the United Nations that works to address poverty and hunger in rural areas of developing countries. It is the only multilateral development organization that focuses solely on rural economies and food security.

Headquartered in Rome, IFAD is involved in over 200 projects across nearly 100 countries. It funds and sponsors initiatives that improve land and water management, develop rural infrastructure, train and educate farmers in more efficient technologies, build up resilience against climate change, enhancing market accessibility, and more.

IFAD has 177 member states and works in partnership with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and members of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Since its foundation in 1977, IFAD has provided US$22.4 billion in loans and grants and coordinated an addition US$31 billion in international and domestic co-financing.

Details

International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) is a United Nations (UN) specialized agency that supports increased food production in poor communities. Partly in response to severe famines in the southern Sahara in the early 1970s, the 1974 World Food Conference adopted a resolution that established IFAD in November 1977. The organization is headquartered in Rome, Italy.

IFAD’s mandate is to provide funding and other resources for programs that help poor farmers and pastoralists as well as landless and indigenous peoples in rural areas. Its Governing Council, consisting of representatives of more than 160 member states, is the principal decision-making body, and its 18-member Executive Board oversees daily operations. Over the last decades of the 20th century, IFAD funded more than 500 projects in more than 100 countries.

Additional Information

The International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), is an international organization whose objective of to improve agricultural development and livelihoods in developing countries. Its projects and programmes are carried out in remote and environmentally fragile locations, including least developed countries and small island developing States. The IFAD assists vulnerable groups such as smallholder farmers, pastoralists, foresters, fishers and small-scale entrepreneurs in rural areas by providing, among others, access to weather information, disaster preparedness, social learning and technology transfer that enables farmers to feed growing populations and increase the climate resilience of rural farming systems.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1661 2023-02-08 21:59:37

Jai Ganesh
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Re: Miscellany

1564) Resin

Summary

Resin is any natural or synthetic organic compound consisting of a noncrystalline or viscous liquid substance. Natural resins are typically fusible and flammable organic substances that are transparent or translucent and are yellowish to brown in colour. They are formed in plant secretions and are soluble in various organic liquids but not in water. Synthetic resins comprise a large class of synthetic products that have some of the physical properties of natural resins but are different chemically. Synthetic resins are not clearly differentiated from plastics.

Most natural resins are exuded from trees, especially pines and firs. Resin formation occurs as a result of injury to the bark from wind, fire, lightning, or other cause. The fluid secretion ordinarily loses some of its more volatile components by evaporation, leaving a soft residue at first readily soluble but becoming insoluble as it ages. The ancient Chinese, Japanese, Egyptians, and others used resins in preparation of lacquers and varnishes.

Natural resins may be classified as spirit-soluble and oil-soluble. Among the former are balsams, long popular as a healing agent; turpentines used as solvents; and mastics, dragon’s blood, dammar, sandarac, and the lacs, all used as components of varnishes. The oil-soluble resins include rosin, derived along with turpentine from the long-leaf pine and long used for a variety of applications, including soapmaking; copals, used in varnishes; amber, the hardest natural resin, fabricated into jewelry; Oriental lacquer, derived from a tree native to China; and cashew-nutshell oil, derived from cashew nuts.

In modern industry natural resins have been almost entirely replaced by synthetic resins, which are divided into two classes, thermoplastic resins, which remain plastic after heat treatment, and thermosetting resins, which become insoluble and infusible on heating.

Details

In polymer chemistry and materials science, a resin is a solid or highly viscous substance of plant or synthetic origin that is typically convertible into polymers. Resins are usually mixtures of organic compounds. This article focuses on naturally occurring resins.

Plants secrete resins for their protective benefits in response to injury. The resin protects the plant from insects and pathogens. Resins confound a wide range of herbivores, insects, and pathogens, while the volatile phenolic compounds may attract benefactors such as parasitoids or predators of the herbivores that attack the plant.

Composition

Most plant resins are composed of terpenes. Specific components are alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, delta-3 carene, and sabinene, the monocyclic terpenes limonene and terpinolene, and smaller amounts of the tricyclic sesquiterpenes, longifolene, caryophyllene, and delta-cadinene. Some resins also contain a high proportion of resin acids. Rosins on the other hand are less volatile and consist of diterpenes among other compounds.

Examples

Examples of plant resins include amber, Balm of Gilead, balsam, Canada balsam, copal from trees of Protium copal and Hymenaea courbaril, dammar gum from trees of the family Dipterocarpaceae, dragon's blood from the dragon trees (Dracaena species), elemi, frankincense from Boswellia sacra, galbanum from Ferula gummosa, gum guaiacum from the lignum vitae trees of the genus Guaiacum, kauri gum from trees of Agathis australis, hashish (Cannabis resin) from Cannabis indica, labdanum from mediterranean species of Cistus, mastic (plant resin) from the mastic tree Pistacia lentiscus, myrrh from shrubs of Commiphora, sandarac resin from Tetraclinis articulata, the national tree of Malta, styrax (a Benzoin resin from various Styrax species) and spinifex resin from Australian grasses.

Amber is fossil resin (also called resinite) from coniferous and other tree species. Copal, kauri gum, dammar and other resins may also be found as subfossil deposits. Subfossil copal can be distinguished from genuine fossil amber because it becomes tacky when a drop of a solvent such as acetone or chloroform is placed on it. African copal and the kauri gum of New Zealand are also procured in a semi-fossil condition.

Rosin

Rosin is a solidified resin from which the volatile terpenes have been removed by distillation. Typical rosin is a transparent or translucent mass, with a vitreous fracture and a faintly yellow or brown colour, non-odorous or having only a slight turpentine odour and taste. Rosin is insoluble in water, mostly soluble in alcohol, essential oils, ether, and hot fatty oils. Rosin softens and melts when heated and burns with a bright but smoky flame.

Rosin consists of a complex mixture of different substances including organic acids named the resin acids. Related to the terpenes, resin acid is oxidized terpenes. Resin acids dissolve in alkalis to form resin soaps, from which the resin acids are regenerated upon treatment with acids. Examples of resin acids are abietic acid (sylvic acid), C20H30O2, plicatic acid contained in cedar, and pimaric acid, C20H30O2, a constituent of galipot resin. Abietic acid can also be extracted from rosin by means of hot alcohol. Pimaric acid closely resembles abietic acid into which it passes when distilled in a vacuum; it has been supposed to consist of three isomers.

Rosin is obtained from pines and some other plants, mostly conifers. Plant resins are generally produced as stem secretions, but in some Central and South American species of Dalechampia and Clusia they are produced as pollination rewards, and used by some stingless bee species in nest construction. Propolis, consisting largely of resins collected from plants such as poplars and conifers, is used by honey bees to seal small gaps in their hives, while larger gaps are filled with beeswax.

Petroleum- and insect-derived resins

Shellac is an example of an insect-derived resin.

Asphaltite and Utah resin are petroleum bitumens.

History and etymology

Human use of plant resins has a very long history that was documented in ancient Greece by Theophrastus, in ancient Rome by Pliny the Elder, and especially in the resins known as frankincense and myrrh, prized in ancient Egypt. These were highly prized substances, and required as incense in some religious rites.

The word resin comes from French resine, from Latin resina "resin", which either derives from or is a cognate of the Greek "resin of the pine", of unknown earlier origin, though probably non-Indo-European.

The word "resin" has been applied in the modern world to nearly any component of a liquid that will set into a hard lacquer or enamel-like finish. An example is nail polish. Certain "casting resins" and synthetic resins (such as epoxy resin) have also been given the name "resin".

Some naturally-derived resins, when soft, are known as 'oleoresins', and when containing benzoic acid or cinnamic acid they are called balsams. Oleoresins are naturally-occurring mixtures of an oil and a resin; they can be extracted from various plants. Other resinous products in their natural condition are a mix with gum or mucilaginous substances and known as gum resins. Several natural resins are used as ingredients in perfumes, e.g., balsams of Peru and tolu, elemi, styrax, and certain turpentines.

Non-resinous exudates

Other liquid compounds found inside plants or exuded by plants, such as sap, latex, or mucilage, are sometimes confused with resin but are not the same. Saps, in particular, serve a nutritive function that resins do not.

Uses:

Plant resins

Plant resins are valued for the production of varnishes, adhesives, and food glazing agents. They are also prized as raw materials for the synthesis of other organic compounds and provide constituents of incense and perfume. The oldest known use of plant resin comes from the late Middle Stone Age in Southern Africa where it was used as an adhesive for hafting stone tools.

The hard transparent resins, such as the copals, dammars, mastic, and sandarac, are principally used for varnishes and adhesives, while the softer odoriferous oleo-resins (frankincense, elemi, turpentine, copaiba), and gum resins containing essential oils (ammoniacum, asafoetida, gamboge, myrrh, and scammony) are more used for therapeutic purposes, food and incense. The resin of the Aleppo Pine is used to flavour retsina, a Greek resinated wine.

Synthetic resins

Many materials are produced via the conversion of synthetic resins to solids. Important examples are bisphenol A diglycidyl ether, which is a resin converted to epoxy glue upon the addition of a hardener. Silicones are often prepared from silicone resins via room temperature vulcanization. Alkyd resins are used in paints and varnishes and harden or cure by exposure to oxygen in the air.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1662 2023-02-09 21:20:03

Jai Ganesh
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Re: Miscellany

1565) International Labour Organization

Summary

International Labour Organization (ILO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) dedicated to improving labour conditions and living standards throughout the world. Established in 1919 by the Treaty of Versailles as an affiliated agency of the League of Nations, the ILO became the first affiliated specialized agency of the United Nations in 1946. In recognition of its activities, the ILO was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1969.

The functions of the ILO include the development and promotion of standards for national legislation to protect and improve working conditions and standards of living. The ILO also provides technical assistance in social policy and administration and in workforce training; fosters cooperative organizations and rural industries; compiles labour statistics and conducts research on the social problems of international competition, unemployment and underemployment, labour and industrial relations, and technological change (including automation); and helps to protect the rights of international migrants and organized labour.

In its first decade the ILO was primarily concerned with legislative and research efforts, with defining and promoting proper minimum standards of labour legislation for adoption by member states, and with arranging for collaboration among workers, employers, government delegates, and ILO professional staff. During the worldwide economic depression of the 1930s the ILO sought ways to combat widespread unemployment. With the postwar breakup of the European colonial empires and the expansion of ILO membership to include poorer and less developed countries, the ILO addressed itself to new issues, including the social problems created by the liberalization of international trade, the problem of child labour, and the relationship between working conditions and the environment.

Among intergovernmental organizations the ILO is unique in that its approximately 175 member states are represented not only by delegates of their governments but also by delegates of those states’ employers and workers, especially trade unions. National representatives meet annually at the International Labour Conference. The ILO’s executive authority is vested in a 56-member Governing Body, which is elected by the Conference. The International Labour Office in Geneva, Switzerland, composed of the permanent Secretariat and professional staff, handles day-to-day operations under the supervision of an appointed director general. The ILO has international civil servants and technical-assistance experts working in countries throughout the world. Among the ILO’s many publications are the International Labour Review and the Year Book of Labour Statistics.

Details

The International Labour Organization (ILO) is a United Nations agency whose mandate is to advance social and economic justice by setting international labour standards. Founded in October 1919 under the League of Nations, it is the first and oldest specialised agency of the UN. The ILO has 187 member states: 186 out of 193 UN member states plus the Cook Islands. It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, with around 40 field offices around the world, and employs some 3,381 staff across 107 nations, of whom 1,698 work in technical cooperation programmes and projects.

The ILO's standards are aimed at ensuring accessible, productive, and sustainable work worldwide in conditions of freedom, equity, security and dignity. They are set forth in 189 conventions and treaties, of which eight are classified as fundamental according to the 1998 Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work; together they protect freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining, the elimination of forced or compulsory labour, the abolition of child labour, and the elimination of discrimination in respect of employment and occupation. The ILO is a major contributor to international labour law.

Within the UN system the organization has a unique tripartite structure: all standards, policies, and programmes require discussion and approval from the representatives of governments, employers, and workers. This framework is maintained in the ILO's three main bodies: The International Labour Conference, which meets annually to formulate international labour standards; the Governing Body, which serves as the executive council and decides the agency's policy and budget; and the International Labour Office, the permanent secretariat that administers the organization and implements activities. The secretariat is led by the Director-General, Guy Ryder of the United Kingdom, who was elected by the Governing Body in 2012.

In 1969, the ILO received the Nobel Peace Prize for improving fraternity and peace among nations, pursuing decent work and justice for workers, and providing technical assistance to other developing nations. In 2019, the organization convened the Global Commission on the Future of Work, whose report made ten recommendations for governments to meet the challenges of the 21st century labour environment; these include a universal labour guarantee, social protection from birth to old age and an entitlement to lifelong learning. With its focus on international development, it is a member of the United Nations Development Group, a coalition of UN organizations aimed at helping meet the Sustainable Development Goals.

Governance, organization, and membership

Unlike other United Nations specialized agencies, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has a tripartite governing structure that brings together governments, employers, and workers of 187 member States, to set labour standards, develop policies and devise programmes promoting decent work for all women and men. The structure is intended to ensure the views of all three groups are reflected in ILO labour standards, policies, and programmes, though governments have twice as many representatives as the other two groups.

Governing body

The Governing Body is the executive body of the International Labour Organization. It meets three times a year, in March, June and November. It takes decisions on ILO policy, decides the agenda of the International Labour Conference, adopts the draft Programme and Budget of the Organization for submission to the Conference, elects the Director-General, requests information from the member states concerning labour matters, appoints commissions of inquiry and supervises the work of the International Labour Office.

The Governing Body is composed of 56 titular members (28 governments, 14 employers and 14 workers) and 66 deputy members (28 governments, 19 employers and 19 workers).

Ten of the titular government seats are permanently held by States of chief industrial importance: Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, the Russian Federation, the United Kingdom and the United States. The other Government members are elected by the Conference every three years (the last elections were held in June 2017). The Employer and Worker members are elected in their individual capacity.

India assumed the Chairmanship of the Governing Body of International Labour Organization in 2020. Apurva Chandra, Secretary (Labour and Employment) has been elected as the Chairperson of the Governing Body of the ILO for the period October 2020-June 2021.

Additional Information

The International Labor Organization (ILO) is devoted to promoting social justice and internationally recognized human and labour rights, pursuing its founding mission that labour peace is essential to prosperity. Today, the ILO helps advance the creation of decent work and the economic and working conditions that give working people and business people a stake in lasting peace, prosperity and progress.

The ILO was created in 1919, as part of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I, to reflect the belief that universal and lasting peace can be accomplished only if it’s based on social justice. In 1946, the ILO became a specialized agency of the United Nations.Its unique tripartite structure gives an equal voice to workers, employers and governments providing a unique platform for promoting decent work for all women and men.

The ILO has four strategic objectives

– Promote and realize standards and fundamental principles and rights at work
– Create greater opportunities for women and men to decent employment and income
– Enhance the coverage and effectiveness of social protection for all, and
– Strengthen tripartism and social dialogue

In support of its goals, the ILO offers expertise and knowledge about the world of work, acquired over more than 90 years of responding to the needs of people everywhere for decent work, livelihoods and dignity. It serves its tripartite constituents -and society as a whole- in a variety of ways, including:

– Formulation of international policies and programmes to promote basic human rights, improve working and living conditions, and enhance employment opportunities
– Creation of international labour standards backed by a unique system to supervise their application
– An extensive programme of international technical cooperation formulated and implemented in an active partnership with constituents, to help countries put these policies into practice in an effective manner
– Training, education and research activities to help advance all of these efforts.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1663 2023-02-10 19:53:04

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1566) Ivan the Great Bell Tower

Summary

Ivan the Great Bell-Tower can be considered as a church tower that is located inside the Moscow Kremlin Complex with a height of about 81 meters. It is the tallest tower of the Kremlin. The tower was constructed in 1508 on the Cathedral Square for the three primary Russian Orthodox Cathedrals.

At the present time, it is a part of the Moscow Kremlin Museums which is one of the popular tourist places in Moscow.

Details

The Ivan the Great Bell Tower is a church tower inside the Moscow Kremlin complex. With a total height of 81 metres (266 ft), it is the tallest tower and structure of the Kremlin. It was built in 1508 on Cathedral Square for the three Russian Orthodox cathedrals, namely the Assumption (closest to the tower), the Archangel and the Annunciation, which do not have their own belfries. It serves as a part of Moscow Kremlin Museums.

History

From 1329, Moscow's first stone bell tower stood on this site, affiliated with the Church of St. Ivan of the Ladder-under-the Bell, hence the name "Ivan" in the title. This church was erected by Grand Duke Ivan Kalita, and was one of the first to be built in Moscow out of stone, rather than wood. During Grand Duke Ivan III’s major renovation of the Kremlin, he hired an Italian architect to replace this church. Construction was begun in 1505, the year of Ivan’s death, and was completed three years later under his son Vasily III. Vasilly also ordered that a new and unprecedentedly large tower be erected on the foundations of the old tower as a monument to honour his father.

The new bell tower, completed in 1508, originally had two belfries on different levels and a height of around 60 meters. Because of its height, the tower also served as an observation point against fires and the approach of enemies.

There's a popular yet disputable legend, that when Napoleon captured Moscow in 1812 after the Battle of Borodino, he heard that the cross on the central dome of the Annunciation Cathedral had been cast in solid gold, and immediately gave orders that it should be taken down. But he confused the cathedral with the Ivan the Great Bell Tower, which only had a gilded iron cross. This cross resisted all attempts of French equipment and engineers to remove it from the tower. It was only after a Russian peasant volunteered to climb up to the dome that the cross was lowered on a rope. When he went up to Napoleon seeking a reward, the latter had him shot out of hand as a traitor to his fatherland.

Architecture

The Ivan the Great Bell Tower is an ensemble with three components. All of the buildings are made of brick, and are whitewashed in accord with the neighboring buildings of Cathedral Square.

Bells

The Ivan the Great Bell Tower today contains 22 bells. Of these, 18 small bells hang in the base and in the middle of the bell tower.

Additional Information

It has remained the tallest landmark in Moscow for many centuries. Its slender silhouette is the first thing that catches the eye when admiring the panoramic view of the Kremlin – one of the most famous attractions in Moscow. The Bell Tower took its definite shape in the early 17th century during the reign of Boris Godunovwas elected tsar of Muscovy (reigning 1598–1605) after the extinction of the Rurik dynasty, when it reached a height of 81 metres and became the main bell tower of the Cathedral Square church. For a long time after that, it remained the tallest building in Moscow- indeed, all of Russia. Ivan the Great Bell Tower and the belfry feature 22 bells. The oldest of these, Medved (Bear), dates back to 1501. In summertime, you can go up to the observation gallery at an elevation of 25 metres, or have a look at the bells and visit the museum exhibition devoted to the history of the Kremlin’s architecture. The bell tower’s belfry serves as an exhibition venue, with different exhibitions appearing regularly, representing different countries and epochs.

HISTORY OF THE CHURCH AND THE BELL TOWER

Built in 1508 and consecrated to the saint patron of Tsar Ivan III, known as the #gatherer of the Rus' lands#, he ruled from 1462 until 1505, hence its name. Saint Ioann Lestvichnik (6th century A.D) is known as the author of Lestvitsa rayskaya, a treaty on spiritual purification and the soul’s ascension to God. The Italian architect Bon Fryazin preserved the basic concept of the original 14th-century church and designed a new stone bell tower with sufficient space for services. Bon Fryazin was well versed in erecting tower-like buildings, because campaniles (detached belfries) were scattered throughout Italy in the Middle Ages.

Between 1532 and 1543, another Italian architect named Petrok Maly built a belfry for the Bell Tower. Today, the belfry has the largest bell in Moscow, the 64-ton Uspensky bell. In the 17th century, an annex named after Patriarch Filbert was added. This annex is a particularly fine example of 17th century architecture.

In 1600, a Russian architect named Fyodor Kon completed the architectural structure by adding height to the bell tower. It is remarkable that he managed to do this without interfering with Fryazin’s concept of design. The commissioner, Tsar Boris Godunov, decided to embellish the Kremlin in order to perpetuate his own name. And so he did, quite literally – he had an inscription put right under the dome saying: ‘By the grace of the Holy Trinity and on the orders of Tsar and Grand Prince Boris Fyodorovich, autocrat of all Russia and his son Faithful Tsarevich Prince Fyodor Borisovich of all Russia, this church was built and gilded in the second year of their reign’. This is a unique example of how an inscription became an integral part of architecture.

STRUCTURE OF THE BELL TOWER

The building turned out to be quite slender-looking with its elongated octagonal drums narrowing towards the top, made visually lighter by means of arched openings at the level of the bell chambers. The three-tiered bell tower’s walls are up to 5 metres thick. The upper tier merges into the round drum decorated with a belt of beautiful kokoshniks a traditional Russian headdress worn by women and girls, featuring blind windows in the form of niches. The structure stands on a white stone foundation resting on numerous wooden piles. The Tower extends down to 6 meters underground.

SIGNIFICANCE OF THE BELL TOWER

The Ivan the Great Bell Tower has long remained Moscow’s tallest building. When Alexander Menshikov, Peter the Great ruled from 1682 until 1725’s closest associate, commissioned an 84.4-metre-tall Church of St. Gabriel the Archangel (surpassing Ivan the Great by more than 3 metres), this caused a lot of discontent among Muscovites. Therefore, when that church, also known as Menshikov Tower, was struck by lightning which burned its upper wooden structure, everyone saw it as God’s punishment for questioning the authority of the Kremlin’s shrine. The bell tower still boasts a lovely view of the historic centre of Moscow. In previous centuries, when buildings were smaller and more numerous here, the top of the bell tower, accessible by walking up its 429 steps, provided a view of up to 30 km away. Russian poets Alexander Pushkin and Mikhail Lermontov are known to have gone up the bell tower.

Aside from its defensive significance from a military perspective, the Ivan the Great Bell Tower has always been Moscow’s main belfry. It is here that the first strike of the bell signaled the start of bell-ringing throughout Moscow on Orthodox holidays. This tradition resumed in the 1990s, and today, you can hear this bell-tower bells ring on Easter, for instance. The bell-ringing is really worth listening to. The bell tower is also one of the Kremlin’s museums, displaying pieces of original stone décor and sculptures that once decorated the Kremlin’s palaces.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1664 2023-02-11 21:41:50

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1567) International Maritime Organization

Summary

The International Maritime Organization (IMO, French: Organisation maritime internationale) is a specialised agency of the United Nations responsible for regulating shipping. The IMO was established following agreement at a UN conference held in Geneva in 1948 and the IMO came into existence ten years later, meeting for the first time in 1959. Headquartered in London, United Kingdom, IMO currently has 175 Member States and three Associate Members.

The IMO's primary purpose is to develop and maintain a comprehensive regulatory framework for shipping and its remit today includes maritime safety, environmental concerns, legal matters, technical co-operation, maritime security and the efficiency of shipping. IMO is governed by an assembly of members which meets every two years. Its finance and organization is administered by a council of 40 members elected from the assembly. The work of IMO is conducted through five committees and these are supported by technical subcommittees. Other UN organisations may observe the proceedings of the IMO. Observer status is granted to qualified non-governmental organisations.

IMO is supported by a permanent secretariat of employees who are representative of the organisation's members. The secretariat is composed of a Secretary-General who is periodically elected by the assembly, and various divisions such as those for marine safety, environmental protection and a conference section.

Details

International Maritime Organization (IMO), formerly (1948–82) Inter-governmental Maritime Consultative Organization, is a United Nations (UN) specialized agency created to develop international treaties and other mechanisms on maritime safety; to discourage discriminatory and restrictive practices in international trade and unfair practices by shipping concerns; and to reduce maritime pollution. The IMO has also been involved in maritime-related liability and compensation cases. Headquartered in London, the IMO was created by a convention adopted at the UN Maritime Conference in 1948. The convention came into force on March 17, 1958, after it was ratified by 21 countries—seven of which were required to have at least one million gross tons of shipping. Its current name was adopted in 1982.

The IMO has more than 170 members and is headed by a secretary-general, who serves a four-year term and oversees a Secretariat staff of approximately 300—one of the smallest UN agency staffs. All members are represented in the Assembly, the IMO’s primary policy-making body, which meets once every two years. The Council, consisting of 40 members, meets twice annually and is responsible for governing the organization between Assembly sessions. Membership on the Council is divided among three groups: (1) the 8 countries with the “largest interest” in providing international shipping services; (2) the 8 countries with the largest interest in providing international seaborne trade; and (3) 16 countries with a “special interest” in maritime transport, selected to ensure equitable geographic representation. Safety proposals are submitted to the Assembly by the Maritime Safety Committee, which meets annually. There are a number of other committees and subcommittees dealing with specific issues, such as the environment, legal issues, the transport of dangerous goods, radio communications, fire protection, ship design and equipment, lifesaving appliances, and cargoes and containers. The IMO’s Global Maritime Distress and Safety System, an integrated communications system using satellites and terrestrial radio communications to provide aid to ships in distress even in cases where the crew is unable to send a manual distress signal, was established in 1992 and became fully operational in 1999.

In the first decade of the 21st century, the IMO adopted several new conventions related to the maritime environment, including one prohibiting the use of harmful chemicals in antifouling systems (2001), which prevent the accumulation of barnacles and other marine growth on ship hulls, and another aimed at ballast-water management (2004). Following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, in the United States, the IMO increased its efforts in the area of maritime security. In 2002 it adopted several amendments to the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea, deemed the most important international maritime-safety treaty, and in 2004 it enforced a new international shipping security regime. In the following year the IMO amended the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts Against the Safety of Maritime Navigation by enhancing the boarding and extradition rights of member states.

Additional Information

The International Maritime Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations which is responsible for measures to improve the safety and security of international shipping and to prevent pollution from ships. It has an integral role in meeting the targets set out in United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.

It is also involved in legal matters, including liability and compensation issues and the facilitation of international maritime traffic.

It was established by means of a Convention adopted under the auspices of the United Nations in Geneva on 17 March 1948 and met for the first time in January 1959. It currently has 174 Member States.

IMO, has promoted the adoption of some 50 conventions and protocols and adopted more than 1000 codes and recommendations concerning maritime safety and security, the prevention of pollution from shipping and other related matters.

With regard to the protection of the marine environment, a series of conventions and other instruments, which are periodically updated and amended, have been adopted to address the prevention of pollution, preparedness and response to marine pollution incidents and compensation for pollution damage.

Regional Seas and IMO

IMO continues to support and is actively involved within the Regional Seas programmes. Examples of initiatives, projects and programmes include:

* The Regional Marine Pollution Emergency Response Centre for the Mediterranean Sea (REMPEC) is administered by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) in cooperation with the United-Nations Environment Programme / Mediterranean Action Plan (UNEP/MAP).
* IMO has cooperated with UNEP in facilitating the application of the Nairobi Convention and its Emergency Protocol and has assisted Governments of the Eastern African region in the development of national contingency plans as well as in the training of personnel.
* South Asia Co-operative Environment Programme (SACEP) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) have signed MoU (2012 and 2019) to enhance regional cooperation and preparedness in the event of an oil or chemical spill in the South Asian region. The MoU’s have supported the development and update of National and Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plans.
* CPPS is currently partnering with the Global Environmental Facility /UN Development Programme/International Maritime Organization-IMO on the GloFouling Partnerships a global initiative bringing together keypartners to respond to a global environmental problem, namely invasive aquatic species introduced via biofouling.
* IMO is the Secretariat for the International Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Cooperation Convention (OPRC 90), and has assisted the NOWPAP Marine Environmental Emergency Preparedness and Response Regional Activity Centre (MERRAC) and NOWPAP Member States in the development of a NOWPAP Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan and an associated regional MoU as well as other activities which belong to the scope of MERRAC.
* IMO has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the OSPAR Commission on the promotion of the London Convention and London Protocol.
* Other regional seas Conventions which have established close working relations and collaboration with IMO include HELCOM, PERSGA, PAME, the Wider Caribbean region, COBSEA and the Black Sea Commission.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1665 2023-02-12 19:24:22

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1568) Stone tool

Summary

Stone tool industry is any of several assemblages of artifacts displaying humanity’s earliest technology, beginning more than 2 million years ago. These stone tools have survived in great quantities and now serve as the major means to determine the activities of hominids. Archaeologists have classified distinct stone tool industries on the basis of style and use.

The earliest stone industry was found by paleoanthropologists L.S.B. Leakey and Mary Douglas Leakey in the Olduvai Gorge in what is now Tanzania in the 1930s. Called the Oldowan industry, it dates from about 1.8 to 1.2 million years ago, in the Pleistocene Epoch, and consisted of what the Leakeys called choppers, shaped by hitting one stone against another until a sharpened edge was achieved. This could be used for cutting or sawing, while the unflaked end could be used for smashing or crushing. The variety and numbers of choppers found at the site led the Leakeys to identify the people who lived there as Homo habilis, implying “able man.” Remains of the Oldowan industry were also found in North Africa and Europe.

Many early sites unearthed by paleoanthropologists show a more-advanced tool industry, beginning with the Acheulean, which is dated from as early as 1.4 million years ago at Olduvai Gorge. The technique for making tools in the Acheulean industry was a development of the earlier technique, namely striking one stone against another, but the choice of stone was refined. Where flint, which was the ideal toolmaking material, was not available, quartz, quartzite, and other rocks were used.

As the Acheulean industry progressed, so did the skill with which tools were made. A bifacial cutting implement emerged, called a hand axe, that had longer, straighter, sharper edges than the earlier chopper. The earliest hand axes were made with a hard hammer. More-advanced techniques, however, began about 1 million years ago; rather than simply smashing the rock against a boulder, a soft hammer (usually antler) began to be used. In all, 18 different types of implements have been discovered for the Acheulean industry—including chisels, awls, anvils, scrapers, hammer-stones, and round balls. The evidence indicates that the industry was sufficiently developed to enable early humans to adapt to local conditions and seasonality, as in the temperate forest, temperate grasslands, or subtropics.

The Acheulean industry was followed by the Mousterian, a flake tool rather than core tool industry associated with Neanderthal peoples and others living north of the Sahara and eastward to Asia. In addition to the Mousterian industry, two other distinct industries were found in Africa south of the Sahara—the Fauresmith and the Sangoan. In these the flake tool was improved to become a blade, which is at least two times as long as it is wide.

In the Late Paleolithic Period, tools became even more sophisticated. As many as 80 different types of implements have been unearthed for what are called the Perigordian and Aurignacian industries in Europe. It is believed that these tools were used for hunting and butchering, clothes making, and a great variety of other tasks that moved early humankind closer to modern life. In all, hundreds of highly complex tools have been found, some of which are the prototypes for modern tools.

By 40,000 years ago humans created tools with bone and antler handles that gave them much more leverage. Still later, Cro-Magnons created bone tools with engravings that were probably used only for artistic or ritualistic purposes. The Solutrean Period produced laurel leaf and willow leaf knives that are today valued as works of art.

Details

A stone tool is, in the most general sense, any tool made either partially or entirely out of stone. Although stone tool-dependent societies and cultures still exist today, most stone tools are associated with prehistoric (particularly Stone Age) cultures that have become extinct. Archaeologists often study such prehistoric societies, and refer to the study of stone tools as lithic analysis. Ethnoarchaeology has been a valuable research field in order to further the understanding and cultural implications of stone tool use and manufacture.

Stone has been used to make a wide variety of different tools throughout history, including arrowheads, spearheads, hand axes, and querns. Stone tools may be made of either ground stone or knapped stone, the latter fashioned by a flintknapper.

Knapped stone tools are made from cryptocrystalline materials such as chert or flint, radiolarite, chalcedony, obsidian, basalt, and quartzite via a process known as lithic reduction. One simple form of reduction is to strike stone flakes from a nucleus (core) of material using a hammerstone or similar hard hammer fabricator. If the goal of the reduction strategy is to produce flakes, the remnant lithic core may be discarded once it has become too small to use. In some strategies, however, a flintknapper reduces the core to a rough unifacial, or bifacial preform, which is further reduced using soft hammer flaking techniques or by pressure flaking the edges.

More complex forms of reduction include the production of highly standardized blades, which can then be fashioned into a variety of tools such as scrapers, knives, sickles, and microliths. In general terms, Knapped stone tools are nearly ubiquitous in all pre-metal-using societies because they are easily manufactured, the tool stone is usually plentiful, and they are easy to transport and sharpen.

Modern uses

Stone tools are still one of the most successful technologies used by humans.

The invention of the flintlock gun mechanism in the sixteenth century produced a demand for specially shaped gunflints. The gunflint industry survived until the middle of the twentieth century in some places, including in the English town of Brandon.

Threshing boards with lithic flakes are used in agriculture from Neolithic, and are still used today in the regions where agriculture has not been mechanized and industrialized.

Glassy stones (flint, quartz, jasper, agate) were used with a variety of iron pyrite or marcasite stones as percussion fire starter tools. That was the most common method of producing fire in pre-industrial societies. Stones were later superseded by use of steel, ferrocerium and matches.

For specialist purposes glass knives are still made and used today, particularly for cutting thin sections for electron microscopy in a technique known as microtomy. Freshly cut blades are always used since the sharpness of the edge is very great. These knives are made from high-quality manufactured glass, however, not from natural raw materials such as chert or obsidian. Surgical knives made from obsidian are still used in some delicate surgeries, as they cause less damage to tissues than surgical knives and the resulting wounds heal more quickly. In 1975, American archaeologist Don Crabtree manufactured obsidian scalpels which were used for surgery on his own body.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1666 2023-02-13 20:16:15

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1569) United Nations Industrial Development Organization

Summary

The United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) (French: Organisation des Nations unies pour le développement industriel; French/Spanish acronym: ONUDI) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that assists countries in economic and industrial development. It is headquartered at the UN Office in Vienna, Austria, with a permanent presence in over 60 countries. As of April 2019, UNIDO comprises 170 member states, which together set the organization's policies, programs, and principles through the biannual General Conference.

UNIDO was established in 1966 by the UN General Assembly to promote and accelerate the industrialization of developing countries, which were emerging from decolonization in record numbers and with little to no industrial base. In 1979 it became one of the 15 specialized agencies of the UN, with its new constitution coming into force in 1985. Since its founding, the organization has restructured and reformed several times; the 2013 Lima Declaration expanded its mission to include promoting "inclusive and sustainable industrial development" (ISID), defined as benefiting greater numbers of people while safeguarding the environment. UNIDO is a member of the United Nations Development Group, a coalition of UN entities aimed at fulfilling the Sustainable Development Goals.

On 25 July 2016, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/70/293, proclaiming the period 2016-2025 as the Third Industrial Development Decade for Africa (IDDA III). UNIDO was called upon to lead the initiative in collaboration with a range of partners. These include the African Union Commission, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development, the Economic Commission for Africa, etc.

From 2018 to 2021, UNIDO's strategic priorities include creating shared prosperity; advancing economic competitiveness; safeguarding the environment; and strengthening knowledge and institutions. Each of these goals is to be achieved through technical cooperation, policy advice, analysis and research, the development of uniform standards and quality control, and partnerships for knowledge transfer, networking and industrial cooperation.

UNIDO employs some 670 staff and draws on the services of some 2,800 international and national experts—approximately half from developing countries—annually, who work in project assignments throughout the world.

Details

UNIDO is the specialized agency of the United Nations with a unique mandate to promote and accelerate sustainable industrial development.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is the overarching global framework for our work. UNIDO plays a crucial role in accelerating the achievement of Sustainable Development Goal 9, along with all other industry-related goals of the 2030 Agenda.

First established in 1966 and transformed into a specialized UN agency in 1985, UNIDO’s 171 Member States guide the Organization through the Policymaking organs. The Lima Declaration of 2013 and the Abu Dhabi Declaration of 2019 are recent milestone declarations that reaffirm the Organization’s mandate.

The UNIDO Secretariat is currently composed of approximately 680 staff members, as well as 1,700 consultants from 135 countries. Gerd Müller was appointed as Director General of UNIDO by the General Conference in November 2021.

In addition to its headquarters in Vienna, Austria, UNIDO has liaison offices in Brussels, Geneva and New York. The UNIDO field network consists of 48 regional and country offices. UNIDO also maintains ten Investment and Technology Promotion Offices.

UNIDO provides its support through four mandated functions: technical cooperation; action-oriented research and policy-advisory services; normative standards-related activities; and fostering partnerships for knowledge and technology transfer.

UNIDO recognizes the role of sustainable industrial development in achieving gender equality and the economic empowerment of women.

Additional Information

United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is an international UN development agency, based in Vienna, that was established by the General Assembly on January 1, 1967. UNIDO’s governing body, the General Conference, meets every two years and determines policy and approves the budget. It also elects the director-general and the Industrial Development Board, which is composed of representatives from 53 member states; the board reviews the various programs and makes recommendations on policy matters.

UNIDO aims to assist in the industrialization of the developing countries by coordinating other UN organizations devoted to this end. Its activities help to formulate industrial development policies and programs by providing advisers and other assistance, mostly in terms of information, education, and research. A network of Investment and Technology Promotion offices in countries such as Bahrain, China, Italy, Japan, Greece, and Russia publicize investment opportunities and provide information to potential investors. UNIDO also maintains liaison offices in Geneva and New York City and has other field offices around the world.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1667 2023-02-14 20:50:09

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1570) Turpentine

Summary

Turpentine is the resinous exudate or extract obtained from coniferous trees, particularly those of the genus Pinus. Turpentines are semifluid substances consisting of resins dissolved in a volatile oil; this mixture is separable by various distillation techniques into a volatile portion called oil (or spirit) of turpentine and a nonvolatile portion called rosin. Although the term turpentine originally referred to the whole oleoresinous exudate, it now commonly refers to its volatile turpentine fraction only, which has various uses in industry and the visual arts.

Oil of turpentine is a colourless, oily, odorous, flammable, water-immiscible liquid with a hot, disagreeable taste. It is a good solvent for sulphur, phosphorus, resins, waxes, oils, and natural rubber. It hardens upon exposure to air. Chemically, oil of turpentine is a mixture of cyclic monoterpene hydrocarbons, the predominant constituent being pinene.

Formerly, the largest use for turpentine oil was as a paint and varnish solvent. Oil painters generally prefer it as a paint thinner and brush cleaner to petroleum solvents (mineral spirits), even though the latter are less expensive. But the largest use of turpentine oil is now in the chemical industry, as a raw material in the synthesis of resins, insecticides, oil additives, and synthetic pine oil and camphor. Turpentine oil is also used as a rubber solvent in the manufacture of plastics.

Turpentine oil is generally produced in countries that have vast tracts of pine trees. The principal European turpentines are derived from the cluster pine (P. pinaster) and the Scotch pine (P. sylvestris), while the main sources of turpentine in the United States are the longleaf pine (P. palustris) and the slash pine (P. caribaea).

Turpentine oil is classified according to the way it is produced. Sulfate turpentine, used widely in the chemicals industry, is obtained as a by-product of the kraft, or sulfate, process of cooking wood pulp in the course of the manufacture of kraft paper. Wood turpentine is obtained by the steam distillation of dead, shredded bits of pine wood, while gum turpentine results from the distillation of the exudate of the living pine tree obtained by tapping. Crude turpentine obtained from the living pine by tapping typically contains 65 percent gum rosin and 18 percent gum turpentine.

Various other oleoresins (solutions of resins dispersed in essential oils) are known as turpentines. Venice turpentine, for example, is a pale green, viscous liquid that is collected from the larch (Larix decidua, or L. europea). It is used for lithographic work and in sealing wax and varnishes. See also balsam; Canada balsam.

Crude turpentine is one of a group of pine-tree derivatives that are known as naval stores.

Details

Turpentine (which is also called spirit of turpentine, oil of turpentine, terebenthene, terebinthine and (colloquially) turps) is a fluid obtained by the distillation of resin harvested from living trees, mainly pines. Mainly used as a specialized solvent, it is also a source of material for organic syntheses.

Turpentine is composed of terpenes, primarily the monoterpenes alpha- and beta-pinene, with lesser amounts of carene, camphene, dipentene, and terpinolene. Mineral turpentine or other petroleum distillates are used to replace turpentine – although the constituent chemicals are very different.

Etymology

The word turpentine derives (via French and Latin) from the Greek word terebinthine, in turn the feminine form (to conform to the feminine gender of the Greek word, which means "resin") of an adjective derived from the Greek noun for the terebinth tree.

Although the word originally referred to the resinous exudate of terebinth trees (e.g. Chios turpentine, Cyprus turpentine, and Persian turpentine), it now refers to that of coniferous trees, namely crude turpentine (e.g. Venice turpentine is the oleoresin of larch), or the volatile oil part thereof, namely oil (spirit) of turpentine; the later usage is much more common today.

Source trees

Important pines for turpentine production include: maritime pine (Pinus pinaster), Aleppo pine (Pinus halepensis), Masson's pine (Pinus massoniana), Sumatran pine (Pinus merkusii), longleaf pine (Pinus palustris), loblolly pine (Pinus taeda), slash pine (Pinus elliottii), and ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa).

To tap into the sap producing layers of the tree, turpentiners used a combination of hacks to remove the pine bark. Once debarked, pine trees secrete crude turpentine (oleoresin) onto the surface of the wound as a protective measure to seal the opening, resist exposure to micro-organisms and insects, and prevent vital sap loss. Turpentiners wounded trees in V-shaped streaks down the length of the trunks to channel the crude turpentine into containers. It was then collected and processed into spirits of turpentine. Crude turpentine yield may be increased by as much as 40% by applying paraquat herbicides to the exposed wood.

The V-shaped cuts are called "catfaces" for their resemblance to a cat's whiskers. These marks on a pine tree signify it was used to collect resin for turpentine production.

Converting crude turpentine to oil of turpentine

Crude turpentine collected from the trees may be evaporated by steam distillation in a copper still. Molten rosin remains in the still bottoms after turpentine has been distilled out. Such turpentine is called gum turpentine. The term gum turpentine may also refer to crude turpentine, which may cause some confusion.

Turpentine may alternatively be extracted from destructive distillation of pine wood, such as shredded pine stumps, roots, and slash, using the light end of the heavy naphtha fraction (boiling between 90 and 115 °C or 195 and 240 °F) from a crude oil refinery. Such turpentine is called wood turpentine. Multi-stage counter-current extraction is commonly used so fresh naphtha first contacts wood leached in previous stages and naphtha laden with turpentine from previous stages contacts fresh wood before vacuum distillation to recover naphtha from the turpentine. Leached wood is steamed for additional naphtha recovery prior to burning for energy recovery.

Sulfate turpentine

When producing chemical wood pulp from pines or other coniferous trees, sulfate turpentine may be condensed from the gas generated in Kraft process pulp digesters. The average yield of crude sulfate turpentine is 5–10 kg/t pulp. Unless burned at the mill for energy production, sulfate turpentine may require additional treatment measures to remove traces of sulfur compounds.

Industrial and other end uses:

Solvent

As a solvent, turpentine is used for thinning oil-based paints, for producing varnishes, and as a raw material for the chemical industry. Its use as a solvent in industrialized nations has largely been replaced by the much cheaper turpentine substitutes obtained from petroleum such as white spirit. A solution of turpentine and beeswax or carnauba wax has long been used as a furniture wax.

Source of organic compounds

Turpentine is also used as a source of raw materials in the synthesis of fragrant chemical compounds. Commercially used camphor, linalool, alpha-terpineol, and geraniol are all usually produced from alpha-pinene and beta-pinene, which are two of the chief chemical components of turpentine. These pinenes are separated and purified by distillation. The mixture of diterpenes and triterpenes that is left as residue after turpentine distillation is sold as rosin.

Medicinal elixir

Turpentine and petroleum distillates such as coal oil and kerosene have been used medicinally since ancient times, as topical and sometimes internal home remedies. Topically, it has been used for abrasions and wounds, as a treatment for lice, and when mixed with animal fat it has been used as a chest rub, or inhaler for nasal and throat ailments. Vicks chest rubs still contain turpentine in their formulations, although not as an active ingredient.

Turpentine, now understood to be dangerous for consumption, was a common medicine among seamen during the Age of Discovery. It was one of several products carried aboard Ferdinand Magellan's fleet during the first circumnavigation of the globe. Taken internally it was used as a treatment for intestinal parasites. This is dangerous, due to the chemical's toxicity.

Turpentine enemas, a very harsh purgative, had formerly been used for stubborn constipation or impaction. Turpentine enemas were also given punitively to political dissenters in post-independence Argentina.

Niche uses

* Turpentine is also added to many cleaning and sanitary products due to its antiseptic properties and its "clean scent".

* In early 19th-century America, turpentine was sometimes burned in lamps as a cheap alternative to whale oil. It was most commonly used for outdoor lighting, due to its strong odour. A blend of ethanol and turpentine called camphine served as the dominant lamp fuel replacing whale oil until the advent of kerosene.

* In 1946, Soichiro Honda fueled the first Honda motorcycles with a blend of gasoline and turpentine to cover the smell of gasoline, due to the scarcity of gasoline in Japan following World War II.

* In his book If Only They Could Talk, veterinarian and author James Herriot describes the use of the reaction of turpentine with resublimed iodine to "drive the iodine into the tissue" - or perhaps just impress the watching customer with a spectacular treatment (a dense cloud of purple smoke).

* Turpentine was added extensively into gin during the Gin Craze.

Hazards

As an organic solvent, its vapour can irritate the skin and eyes, damage the lungs and respiratory system, as well as the central nervous system when inhaled, and cause damage to the renal system when ingested, among other things. Ingestion can cause burning sensations, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, confusion, convulsions, diarrhea, tachycardia, unconsciousness, respiratory failure, and chemical pneumonia.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set the legal limit (permissible exposure limit) for turpentine exposure in the workplace as 100 ppm (560 mg/m^3) over an 8-hour workday. The same threshold was adopted by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) as the recommended exposure limit (REL). At levels of 800 ppm (4480 mg/m^3), turpentine is immediately dangerous to life and health.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1668 2023-02-15 16:51:54

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1571) Universal Postal Union

Summary

Established in 1874, the Universal Postal Union (UPU), with its headquarters in the Swiss capital Berne, is the second oldest international organization worldwide.

With its 192 member countries, the UPU is the primary forum for cooperation between postal sector players. It helps to ensure a truly universal network of up-to-date products and services.

In this way, the organization fulfils an advisory, mediating and liaison role, and provides technical assistance where needed. It sets the rules for international mail exchanges and makes recommendations to stimulate growth in mail, parcel and financial services volumes and improve quality of service for customers.

Our member countries

Any member country of the United Nations may become a member of the UPU.

Any non-member country of the United Nations may become a UPU member provided that its request is approved by at least two-thirds of the member countries of the UPU. The UPU has now 192 member countries.

Details

Universal Postal Union (UPU) is a specialized agency of the United Nations that aims to organize and improve postal service throughout the world and to ensure international collaboration in this area. Among the principles governing its operation as set forth in the Universal Postal Convention and the General Regulations, two of the most important were the formation of a single territory by all signatory nations for the purposes of postal communication and uniformity of postal rates and units of weight. The original agreement adopted in 1875 applied only to letter mail; other postal services, such as parcel post and international money orders, have been regulated by supplementary agreements that are binding only on signing members.

A first attempt to establish some general principles governing international postal service was made at an international conference in Paris in 1863; previously, international postal exchange had been regulated by a plethora of bilateral agreements. At the first International Postal Congress 11 years later, representatives of 22 countries adopted the Bern Treaty, creating the General Postal Union. The union actually came into effect on July 1, 1875; the name was changed to Universal Postal Union at the second congress in 1878. In 1948 the UPU became a specialized agency of the United Nations.

The Universal Postal Congress is the legislative body and meets every five years. The Executive Council, which consists of 40 representative countries elected by the congress, ensures the continuity of the work of the UPU and meets annually. The International Bureau is maintained at Bern and acts as a secretariat in carrying out the daily operations.

Additional Information

The Universal Postal Union (UPU, French: Union postale universelle), established by the Treaty of Bern of 1874, is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) that coordinates postal policies among member nations, in addition to the worldwide postal system. The UPU contains four bodies consisting of the Congress, the Council of Administration (CA), the Postal Operations Council (POC) and the International Bureau (IB). It also oversees the Telematics and Express Mail Service (EMS) cooperatives. Each member agrees to the same terms for conducting international postal duties. The UPU's headquarters are located in Bern, Switzerland.

Every four years representatives from the Universal Postal Union’s 192 member countries come together at the Universal Postal Congress to make changes to the UPU’s rules and decide its strategy and priorities for the next four-year work cycle.

An Extraordinary Congress may be requested between regular Congresses with the support of at least two-thirds of the UPU’s member countries. The first time this occurred was in 1900 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the UPU in Berne, Switzerland.

During the 26th Universal Postal Congress in Istanbul in 2016, member countries decided to meet for a second Extraordinary Congress. It was called to take decisions on issues that member countries determined needed further study, but which were too important to the development of the postal sector and the sustainability of the UPU to delay until the next Universal Postal Congress in 2020.

More specifically, the Second Extraordinary Congress is being convened as part of ongoing efforts to reform the UPU, with a view to improving and speeding up decision-making processes within the organization and ensuring its financial sustainability.

Topics to be examined by the Second Extraordinary Congress

Following the relevant decisions taken by the bodies of the UPU, a number of key topics will be examined by the Second Extraordinary Congress:

* Implementation of the UPU’s Integrated Product Plan and the Integrated Remuneration Plan
* Reform of the UPU
* Reform of the system applied to contributions by UPU member countries
* Sustainability of the UPU Provident Scheme

UPU Ministerial Strategy Conference 2018

During the Second Extraordinary Congress, there will be a Ministerial Strategy Conference on 6–7 September 2018. During this conference, government ministers and other senior decision-makers will discuss how postal operators and the postal sector in general can better serve nations and citizens, help grow the economy and drive development. Speakers at the conference will also include senior officials from other intergovernmental organizations. The conference will, at the same time, review the implementation of the UPU World Postal Strategy adopted at Istanbul in 2016.

UPU-Logo-PP2.jpg


It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1669 2023-02-16 21:34:17

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1572) Acid rain

Gist

Acid rain, or acid deposition, is a broad term that includes any form of precipitation with acidic components, such as sulfuric or nitric acid that fall to the ground from the atmosphere in wet or dry forms. This can include rain, snow, fog, hail or even dust that is acidic.

Details

Acid rain is rain or any other form of precipitation that is unusually acidic, meaning that it has elevated levels of hydrogen ions (low pH). Most water, including drinking water, has a neutral pH that exists between 6.5 and 8.5, but acid rain has a pH level lower than this and ranges from 4–5 on average. The more acidic the acid rain is, the lower its pH is. Acid rain can have harmful effects on plants, aquatic animals, and infrastructure. Acid rain is caused by emissions of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, which react with the water molecules in the atmosphere to produce acids.

Acid rain has been shown to have adverse impacts on forests, freshwaters, soils, microbes, insects and aquatic life-forms. In ecosystems, persistent acid rain reduces tree bark durability, leaving flora more susceptible to environmental stressors such as drought, heat/cold and pest infestation. Acid rain is also capable of detrimenting soil composition by stripping it of nutrients such as calcium and magnesium which play a role in plant growth and maintaining healthy soil. In terms of human infrastructure, acid rain also causes paint to peel, corrosion of steel structures such as bridges, and weathering of stone buildings and statues as well as having impacts on human health.

Some governments, including those in Europe and North America, have made efforts since the 1970s to reduce the release of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide into the atmosphere through air pollution regulations. These efforts have had positive results due to the widespread research on acid rain starting in the 1960s and the publicized information on its harmful effects. The main source of sulfur and nitrogen compounds that result in acid rain are anthropogenic, but nitrogen oxides can also be produced naturally by lightning strikes and sulphur dioxide is produced by volcanic eruptions.

Acid rain is caused when acid gases rise into the sky and mix with the clouds, this causes the clouds ‘absorb’ the acid gasses and when the clouds produce rain, it falls with a higher than normal level of acidity.
Rain is naturally acidic, but acid gasses make it even more acidic. Acid gasses are mainly caused by humans burning fossil fuels like coal and oil; but nature also creates these gasses with volcanoes.

The opposites of acid are alkalis; for example, toothpaste and baking powder are both alkalis. Strong alkalis can also be dangerous, such as ammonia and bleach.

The ph scale is used to measures the strength of acids and alkalis. A low ph number lets us know that a substance is acid; a high number lets us know that a substance is alkali.

Rain is normally a bit acidic, with a ph of around 5.5, if the ph of rain is below 5.5, then the rain is most likely contaminated by acid gases.

Gasses that cause acid rain are sulphur and nitrogen. When these gasses mix with the oxygen and water vapour in the air it causes sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide to be formed. Most of the sulphur released into the atmosphere comes from power stations; volcanoes also produce lots of sulphur when they erupt. Most of the nitrogen oxides come from the vehicles people around the world travel in daily, from planes, cars and trucks.

Acid rain is a problem all over the world, when acid gases are released, they go up in the sky, and then they are carried by strong winds. Acid rain in Scandinavian countries is caused by air pollution in Britain and other countries of Europe. In the USA, winds blow the air pollution to certain areas in Canada.

When rain is acidic, it affects trees, lakes, buildings and agricultural land. Sometimes rain is not very acidic and does not cause a lot of problems, but when it is acidic, it can be very harmful to the environment.

The acid in acid rain drains important minerals from the leaves and the soil, and is very bad for plants, trees and agricultural land. If the soil is alkaline; when acid rain falls on it the acid becomes neutral and so the plants are not hugely affected, but it the soil is slightly acidic, it can be disastrous. When sufficient acid rain falls in to lakes and rivers, life can all but die out in a relatively short period of time depending on the mass of water.

Humans are affected when we breathe in air pollution, this can cause breathing problems, and even cancer. Drinking water which has been contaminated with acid rain can cause brain damage over time.

Acid rain also eats into stone and metal, so buildings can be affected by erosion over time, especially sandstone and limestone which are examples of soft stones.

Definition

"Acid rain" is a popular term referring to the deposition of a mixture from wet (rain, snow, sleet, fog, cloudwater, and dew) and dry (acidifying particles and gases) acidic components. Distilled water, once carbon dioxide is removed, has a neutral pH of 7. Liquids with a pH less than 7 are acidic, and those with a pH greater than 7 are alkaline. "Clean" or unpolluted rain has an acidic pH, but usually no lower than 5.7, because carbon dioxide and water in the air react together to form carbonic acid, a weak acid.

Additional Information

Acid rain describes any form of precipitation that contains high levels of nitric and sulfuric acids. It can also occur in the form of snow, fog, and tiny bits of dry material that settle to Earth. Normal rain is slightly acidic, with a pH of 5.6, while acid rain generally has a pH between 4.2 and 4.4.

Causes of acid rain

Rotting vegetation and erupting volcanoes release some chemicals that can cause acid rain, but most acid rain is a product of human activities. The biggest sources are coal-burning power plants, factories, and automobiles.

When humans burn fossil fuels, sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) are released into the atmosphere. Those air pollutants react with water, oxygen, and other substances to form airborne sulfuric and nitric acid. Winds may spread these acidic compounds through the atmosphere and over hundreds of miles. When acid rain reaches Earth, it flows across the surface in runoff water, enters water systems, and sinks into the soil.

A virtual tree graveyard of Norway spruce in Poland bears the scars of acid rain. Caused when rain droplets absorb air pollution like sulfur and nitrogen oxides, acid rain weakens trees by dissolving nutrients in the soil before plants can use them.

Effects of acid rain

Sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxides are not primary greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming, one of the main effects of climate change; in fact, sulfur dioxide has a cooling effect on the atmosphere. But nitrogen oxides contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone, a major pollutant that can be harmful to people. Both gases cause environmental and health concerns because they can spread easily via air pollution and acid rain.

Acid rain has many ecological effects, especially on lakes, streams, wetlands, and other aquatic environments. Acid rain makes such waters more acidic, which results in more aluminum absorption from soil, which is carried into lakes and streams. That combination makes waters toxic to crayfish, clams, fish, and other aquatic animals. (Learn more about the effects of water pollution.)

Some species can tolerate acidic waters better than others. However, in an interconnected ecosystem, what affects some species eventually affects many more throughout the food chain, including non-aquatic species such as birds.

Acid rain and fog also damage forests, especially those at higher elevations. The acid deposits rob the soil of essential nutrients such as calcium and cause aluminum to be released in the soil, which makes it hard for trees to take up water. Trees' leaves and needles are also harmed by acids.

The effects of acid rain, combined with other environmental stressors, leave trees and plants less healthy, more vulnerable to cold temperatures, insects, and disease. The pollutants may also inhibit trees' ability to reproduce. Some soils are better able to neutralize acids than others. But in areas where the soil's "buffering capacity" is low, such as parts of the U.S. Northeast, the harmful effects of acid rain are much greater.

Acid deposits damage physical structures such as limestone buildings and cars. And when it takes the form of inhalable fog, acid precipitation can cause health problems including eye irritation and asthma.

What can be done?

The only way to fight acid rain is by curbing the release of the pollutants that cause it. This means burning fewer fossil fuels and setting air-quality standards.

In the U.S., the Clean Air Act of 1990 targeted acid rain, putting in place pollution limits that helped cut sulfur dioxide emissions 88 percent between 1990 and 2017. Air-quality standards have also driven U.S. emissions of nitrogen dioxide down 50 percent in the same time period. These trends have helped red spruce forests in New England and some fish populations, for example, recover from acid rain damage. But recovery takes time, and soils in the northeastern U.S. and eastern Canada have only recently shown signs of stabilizing nutrients.

Acid rain problems will persist as long as fossil fuel use does, and countries such as China that have relied heavily on coal for electricity and steel production are grappling with those effects. One study found that acid rain in China may have even contributed to a deadly 2009 landslide.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1670 2023-02-17 20:27:20

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1573) World Intellectual Property Organization

Summary

What is WIPO?

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is the global forum for intellectual property (IP) services, policy, information and cooperation. We are a self-funding agency of the United Nations, with 193 member states.

Our mission is to lead the development of a balanced and effective international IP system that enables innovation and creativity for the benefit of all. Our mandate, governing bodies and procedures are set out in the WIPO Convention, which established WIPO in 1967.

Details

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO; French: Organisation mondiale de la propriété intellectuelle (OMPI)) is one of the 15 specialized agencies of the United Nations (UN). Pursuant to the 1967 Convention Establishing the World Intellectual Property Organization, WIPO was created to promote and protect intellectual property (IP) across the world by cooperating with countries as well as international organizations. It began operations on 26 April 1970 when the convention entered into force. The current Director General is Singaporean Daren Tang, former head of the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore, who began his term on 1 October 2020.

WIPO's activities include hosting forums to discuss and shape international IP rules and policies, providing global services that register and protect IP in different countries, resolving transboundary IP disputes, helping connect IP systems through uniform standards and infrastructure, and serving as a general reference database on all IP matters; this includes providing reports and statistics on the state of IP protection or innovation both globally and in specific countries. WIPO also works with governments, nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), and individuals to utilize IP for socioeconomic development.

WIPO administers 26 international treaties that concern a wide variety of intellectual property issues, ranging from the protection of audiovisual works to establishing international patent classification. It is governed by the General Assembly and the Coordination Committee, which together set policy and serve as the main decision making bodies. The General Assembly also elects WIPO's chief administrator, the Director General, currently Daren Tang of Singapore, who took office on 1 October 2020. WIPO is administered by a Secretariat that helps carry out its day-to-day activities.

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, WIPO has "external offices" around the world, including in Algiers (Algeria); Rio de Janeiro (Brazil); Beijing (China), Tokyo (Japan); Abuja (Nigeria); Moscow (Russia); and Singapore (Singapore). Unlike most UN organizations, WIPO does not rely heavily on assessed or voluntary contributions from member states; 95 percent of its budget comes from fees related to its global services.

WIPO currently has 193 member states, including 190 UN member states and the Cook Islands, Holy See and Niue; Palestine has permanent observer status. The only non-members, among the countries recognised by the UN are the Federated States of Micronesia, Palau and South Sudan.

Additional Information

The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an organization designed to promote the worldwide protection of both industrial property (inventions, trademarks, and designs) and copyrighted materials (literary, musical, photographic, and other artistic works); established by a convention signed in Stockholm in 1967; came into force in 1970; became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1974; headquarters in Geneva; conference meets every 3 years.

World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) is an international organization designed to promote the worldwide protection of both industrial property (inventions, trademarks, and designs) and copyrighted materials (literary, musical, photographic, and other artistic works). The organization, established by a convention signed in Stockholm in 1967, began operations in 1970 and became a specialized agency of the United Nations in December 1974. It is headquartered in Geneva.

The origins of WIPO can be traced to 1883, when 14 countries signed the Paris Convention for the Protection of Industrial Property, which created intellectual-property protections for inventions, trademarks, and industrial designs. The convention helped inventors gain protection for their works outside their native countries. In 1886 the Berne Convention required member countries to provide automatic protection for works that were produced in other member countries. The two organizations, which had established separate secretariats to enforce their respective treaties, merged in 1893 to become the United International Bureau for the Protection of Intellectual Property (BIRPI), which was based in Bern, Switzerland.

In 1960 BIRPI moved its headquarters to Geneva. The aims of WIPO are twofold. First, through international cooperation, WIPO promotes the protection of intellectual property. The organization now administers more than 20 intellectual-property treaties. Second, WIPO supervises administrative cooperation between the Paris, Berne, and other intellectual unions regarding agreements on trademarks, patents, and the protection of artistic and literary works. WIPO’s role in enforcing intellectual-property protections increased in the mid 1990s, when it signed a cooperation agreement with the World Trade Organization. As electronic commerce grew through the development of the Internet, WIPO was charged with helping to resolve disputes over the use of Internet domain names.

WIPO’s membership consists of more than 180 countries. Its main policy-making body is the General Assembly, which convenes every two years. WIPO also holds a biennial conference, which determines the organization’s budget and programs. More than 170 nongovernmental organizations maintain observer status.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1671 2023-02-18 22:36:25

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1574) Cataract surgery

Summary

Cataract surgery, also called lens replacement surgery, is the removal of the natural lens of the eye (also called "crystalline lens") that has developed an opacification, which is referred to as a cataract, and usually its replacement with an artificial intraocular lens.

Metabolic changes of the crystalline lens fibers over time lead to the development of the cataract, causing impairment or loss of vision. Some infants are born with congenital cataracts, and certain environmental factors may also lead to cataract formation. Early symptoms may include strong glare from lights and small light sources at night, and reduced visual acuity at low light levels.

During cataract surgery, the cloudy natural lens is removed, either by emulsification in place or by cutting it out. An artificial intraocular lens (IOL) is usually implanted in its place. Cataract surgery is generally performed by an ophthalmologist in an out-patient setting at a surgical center or hospital rather than an in-patient setting. Local anesthesia is normally used, and the procedure usually causes little or no pain and minor discomfort to the patient.

Well over 90% of operations are successful in restoring useful vision, with a low complication rate. Day care, high volume, minimally invasive, small incision phacoemulsification with quick post-operative recovery has become the standard of care in cataract surgery all over the developed world.

Manual small incision cataract surgery (MSICS) is popular in the developing world, as it is considerably more economical in time, capital equipment and consumables, while providing comparable results.

Details:

Overview

Cataract surgery is a procedure to remove the lens of your eye and, in most cases, replace it with an artificial lens. Normally, the lens of your eye is clear. A cataract causes the lens to become cloudy, which eventually affects your vision.

Cataract surgery is performed by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) on an outpatient basis, which means you don't have to stay in the hospital after the surgery. Cataract surgery is very common and is generally a safe procedure.

Why it's done

Cataract surgery is performed to treat cataracts. Cataracts can cause blurry vision and increase the glare from lights. If a cataract makes it difficult for you to carry out your normal activities, your doctor may suggest cataract surgery.

When a cataract interferes with the treatment of another eye problem, cataract surgery may be recommended. For example, doctors may recommend cataract surgery if a cataract makes it difficult for your eye doctor to examine the back of your eye to monitor or treat other eye problems, such as age-related macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy.

In most cases, waiting to have cataract surgery won't harm your eye, so you have time to consider your options. If your vision is still quite good, you may not need cataract surgery for many years, if ever.

When considering cataract surgery, keep these questions in mind:

* Can you see to safely do your job and to drive?
* Do you have problems reading or watching television?
* Is it difficult to cook, shop, do yardwork, climb stairs or take medications?
* Do vision problems affect your level of independence?
* Do bright lights make it more difficult to see?

Risks

Complications after cataract surgery are uncommon, and most can be treated successfully.

Cataract surgery risks include:

* Inflammation
* Infection
* Bleeding
* Swelling
* Drooping eyelid
* Dislocation of artificial lens
* Retinal detachment
* Glaucoma
* Secondary cataract
* Loss of vision

Your risk of complications is greater if you have another eye disease or a serious medical condition. Occasionally, cataract surgery fails to improve vision because of underlying eye damage from other conditions, such as glaucoma or macular degeneration. If possible, it may be beneficial to evaluate and treat other eye problems before making the decision to have cataract surgery.

How you prepare

Food and medications

You may be instructed not to eat or drink anything 12 hours before cataract surgery. Your doctor may also advise you to temporarily stop taking any medication that could increase your risk of bleeding during the procedure. Let your doctor know if you take any medications for prostate problems, as some of these drugs can interfere with cataract surgery.

Antibiotic eyedrops may be prescribed for use one or two days before the surgery.

Other precautions

Normally you can go home on the same day as your surgery, but you won't be able to drive, so arrange for a ride home. Also arrange for help around home, if necessary, because your doctor may limit activities, such as bending and lifting, for about a week after your surgery.

What you can expect

Before the procedure

A week or so before your surgery, your doctor performs a painless ultrasound test to measure the size and shape of your eye. This helps determine the right type of lens implant (intraocular lens, or IOL).

Nearly everyone who has cataract surgery will be given IOLs. These lenses improve your vision by focusing light on the back of your eye. You won't be able to see or feel the lens. It requires no care and becomes a permanent part of your eye.

A variety of IOLs with different features are available. Before surgery, you and your eye doctor will discuss which type of IOL might work best for you and your lifestyle. Cost may also be a factor, as insurance companies may not pay for all types of lenses.

IOLs are made of plastic, acrylic or silicone. Some IOLs block ultraviolet light. Some IOLs are rigid plastic and implanted through an incision that requires several stitches (sutures) to close.

However, many IOLs are flexible, allowing a smaller incision that requires few or no stitches. The surgeon folds this type of lens and inserts it into the empty capsule where the natural lens used to be. Once inside the eye, the folded IOL unfolds, filling the empty capsule.

Some of the types of lenses available include:

* Fixed-focus monofocal. This type of lens has a single focus strength for distance vision. Reading will generally require the use of reading glasses.
* Accommodating-focus monofocal. Although these lenses only have a single focusing strength, they can respond to eye muscle movements and shift focus to near or distant objects.
* Multifocal. These lenses are similar to glasses with bifocal or progressive lenses. Different areas of the lens have different focusing strengths, allowing for near, medium and far vision.
* Astigmatism correction (toric). If you have a significant astigmatism, a toric lens can help correct your vision.

Discuss the benefits and risks of the different types of IOLs with your eye surgeon to determine what's best for you.

During the procedure

Two of the steps in cataract surgery

Cataract surgery, usually an outpatient procedure, takes an hour or less to perform.

First, your doctor will place eyedrops in your eye to dilate your pupil. You'll receive local anesthetics to numb the area, and you may be given a sedative to help you relax. If you're given a sedative, you may remain awake, but groggy, during surgery.

During cataract surgery, the clouded lens is removed, and a clear artificial lens is usually implanted. In some cases, however, a cataract may be removed without implanting an artificial lens.

Surgical methods used to remove cataracts include:

Using an ultrasound probe to break up the lens for removal. During a procedure called phacoemulsification (fak-o-e-mul-sih-fih-KAY-shun), your surgeon makes a tiny incision in the front of your eye (cornea) and inserts a needle-thin probe into the lens substance where the cataract has formed.

Your surgeon then uses the probe, which transmits ultrasound waves, to break up (emulsify) the cataract and suction out the fragments. The very back of your lens (the lens capsule) is left intact to serve as a place for the artificial lens to rest. Stitches may be used to close the tiny incision in your cornea at the completion of the procedure.

Making an incision in the eye and removing the lens in one piece. A less frequently used procedure called extracapsular cataract extraction requires a larger incision than that used for phacoemulsification. Through this larger incision your surgeon uses surgical tools to remove the front capsule of the lens and the cloudy lens comprising the cataract. The very back capsule of your lens is left in place to serve as a place for the artificial lens to rest.

This procedure may be performed if you have certain eye complications. With the larger incision, stitches are required.

Once the cataract has been removed by either phacoemulsification or extracapsular extraction, the artificial lens is implanted into the empty lens capsule.

After the procedure

After cataract surgery, expect your vision to begin improving within a few days. Your vision may be blurry at first as your eye heals and adjusts.

Colors may seem brighter after your surgery because you are looking through a new, clear lens. A cataract is usually yellow- or brown-tinted before surgery, muting the look of colors.

You'll usually see your eye doctor a day or two after your surgery, the following week, and then again after about a month to monitor healing.

It's normal to feel itching and mild discomfort for a couple of days after surgery. Avoid rubbing or pushing on your eye.

Your doctor may ask you to wear an eye patch or protective shield the day of surgery. Your doctor may also recommend wearing the eye patch for a few days after your surgery and the protective shield when you sleep during the recovery period.

Your doctor may prescribe eyedrops or other medication to prevent infection, reduce inflammation and control eye pressure. Sometimes, these medications can be injected into the eye at the time of surgery.

After a couple of days, most of the discomfort should disappear. Often, complete healing occurs within eight weeks.

Contact your doctor immediately if you experience any of the following:

* Vision loss
* Pain that persists despite the use of over-the-counter pain medications
* Increased eye redness
* Eyelid swelling
* Light flashes or multiple new spots (floaters) in front of your eye

Most people need glasses, at least some of the time, after cataract surgery. Your doctor will let you know when your eyes have healed enough for you to get a final prescription for eyeglasses. This is usually between one and three months after surgery.

If you have cataracts in both eyes, your doctor usually schedules the second surgery after the first eye has healed.

Results

Cataract surgery successfully restores vision in the majority of people who have the procedure.

People who've had cataract surgery may develop a secondary cataract. The medical term for this common complication is known as posterior capsule opacification (PCO). This happens when the back of the lens capsule — the part of the lens that wasn't removed during surgery and that now supports the lens implant — becomes cloudy and impairs your vision.

PCO is treated with a painless, five-minute outpatient procedure called yttrium-aluminum-garnet (YAG) laser capsulotomy. In YAG laser capsulotomy, a laser beam is used to make a small opening in the clouded capsule to provide a clear path through which the light can pass.

After the procedure, you usually stay in the doctor's office for about an hour to make sure your eye pressure doesn't rise. Other complications are rare but can include increased eye pressure and retinal detachment.

Additional Information

Cataract is opacity of the crystalline lens of the eye. Cataracts occur in 50 percent of people between the ages of 65 and 74 and in 70 percent of people over the age of 75. Typical age-related cataracts can cause cloudy vision, glare, colour vision problems, changes in eyeglass prescription, and, rarely, double vision (only in the affected eye). Usually, these types of cataracts are bilateral, although one eye may be more affected than the other.

The three common types of cataract are nuclear sclerotic cataracts, cortical cataracts, and posterior subcapsular cataracts. These cataracts can exist in isolation or in any combination with each other, and each can cause a wide spectrum of vision problems, from unnoticeable to blinding. Nuclear cataracts cause a slow, progressive yellowing or browning of the central core of the lens as it undergoes compression and hardening. Cortical cataracts are spokelike opacities that extend from the lens periphery toward the centre. Advanced cortical cataracts can cause the lens to appear white, a so-called mature cataract. Posterior subcapsular cataracts are located near the very back of the lens and, if present in a troublesome location, can cause vision difficulties even at a relatively small size. In contrast to nuclear or cortical cataracts, posterior subcapsular cataracts tend to occur in younger people and can result from steroid use, exposure to radiation, or trauma. In addition to age-related lens changes, some systemic diseases can promote cataract formation, most notably diabetes mellitus. Management of symptomatic cataracts is surgical, requiring removal of the offending lens and placement of an artificial lens within the eye, if possible. Such implants, known as intraocular lenses, may be monofocal (set for near, far, or intermediate vision) or multifocal, which can be moved by the eye muscles to accommodate focused vision at different distances; the latter type of implant reduces the need for contact lenses or eyeglasses.

Cataracts present at birth are termed congenital cataracts, whereas those that are evident within the first year of life are called infantile cataracts. They can affect one or both eyes and can produce severe visual impairment and amblyopia. They can occur by themselves; in association with genetic and metabolic diseases, in utero maternal infections, or toxin exposure; or in combination with other congenital eye problems. Treatment involves surgical removal of the cataractous lens if it interferes with vision. However, placement of an artificial lens within the eye requires special considerations and may not be appropriate, depending on the child’s age. Eyeglasses or contact lenses are commonly used postoperatively to improve vision, and occlusion patching of the unaffected eye is often necessary to treat associated amblyopia.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1672 2023-02-19 18:48:37

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1575) World Meteorological Organization

Gist

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 193 Member States and Territories. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), the roots of which were planted at the 1873 Vienna International Meteorological Congress. Established by the ratification of the WMO Convention on 23 March 1950, WMO became the specialised agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences a year later. The Secretariat, headquartered in Geneva, is headed by the Secretary-General. Its  supreme body is the World Meteorological Congress.

Summary

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations responsible for promoting international cooperation on atmospheric science, climatology, hydrology and geophysics.

The WMO originated from the International Meteorological Organization, a nongovernmental organization founded in 1873 as a forum for exchanging weather data and research. Proposals to reform the status and structure of the IMO culminated in the World Meteorological Convention of 1947, which formally established the World Meteorological Organization. The Convention entered into force on 23 March 1950, and the following year the WMO began operations as an intergovernmental organization within the UN system.

The WMO is made up of 193 countries and territories, and facilitates the "free and unrestricted" exchange of data, information, and research between the respective meteorological and hydrological institutions of its members. It also collaborates with nongovernmental partners and other international organizations on matters related to environmental protection, climate change, resource management, and socioeconomic development.

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the WMO is governed by the World Meteorological Congress, composed of member states, which meets every four years to set policies and priorities. The Congress is led by an Executive Council led by the President, currently Gerhard Adrian of Germany.

Details

World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) created to promote the establishment of a worldwide meteorological observation system, the application of meteorology to other fields, and the development of national meteorological services in less-developed countries. The WMO was preceded by the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), a nongovernmental organization of the heads of various national weather services founded in 1873. The WMO was created by the World Meteorological Convention, which was adopted at the 12th director’s conference of the IMO in 1947. Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the WMO began operations in 1951.

The World Meteorological Congress, which consists of representatives of all 185 members, meets at least every four years to set general policy and adopt regulations. A 36-member Executive Council meets annually and implements policy. The Secretariat, headed by a secretary-general appointed by the congress for a four-year term, serves as the administrative centre of the organization. Six regional associations (Africa, Asia, South America, North and Central America, South-West Pacific, and Europe) address problems peculiar to their regions, and eight technical commissions (aeronautical meteorology, agricultural meteorology, atmospheric sciences, basic systems, climatology, hydrology, instruments and methods of observation, and marine meteorology) meet every four years.

Among WMO’s major programs are World Weather Watch, a system of satellites and telecommunication networks connecting land and sea sites for monitoring weather conditions; the World Climate Programme, which monitors climate change, including global warming; and the Atmospheric Research and Environment Programme, which was designed to promote research on issues such as ozone depletion.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1673 2023-02-20 19:43:30

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1576) Lithotripsy

Summary

Lithotripsy treats kidney stones by sending focused ultrasonic energy or shock waves directly to the stone first located with fluoroscopy (a type of X-ray “movie”) or ultrasound (high frequency sound waves). The shock waves break a large stone into smaller stones that will pass through the urinary system.

Details

What is extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy?

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy is a technique for treating stones in the kidney and ureter that does not require surgery. Instead, high energy shock waves are passed through the body and used to break stones into pieces as small as grains of sand. Because of their small size, these pieces can pass from the body along with the urine.

What does the treatment involve?

There are two ways to remove stones using shock wave treatment. In one method, the patient is placed in a tub of lukewarm water. Using x-rays or ultrasound to pinpoint the location of the stones, the body is positioned so that the stones are targeted precisely. In the second, more common method, the patient lies on top of a soft cushion or membrane through which the waves pass. About 1-2 thousand shock waves are needed to crush the stones. The complete treatment takes about 45 to 60 minutes.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of this treatment?

The main advantage of this treatment is that many patients may be treated for kidney stones without surgery. As a result, complications, hospital stays, costs and recovery time are reduced. Unfortunately, not all types of kidney stones can be treated this way. In addition, stone fragments are occasionally left in the body and additional treatments are needed.

Does the patient need anesthesia?

In general, some type of anesthesia--either local, regional or general--is used to help the patient remain still and to reduce any discomfort.

Does the patient need to be hospitalized?

Usually, patients are hospitalized for a day or two. In some cases, lithotripsy may be done on an outpatient basis.

What can the patient expect after treatment?

After treatment is complete, the patient can move about almost at once. Many people can fully resume daily activities within one to two days. Special diets are not required, but drinking plenty of water helps the stone fragments pass. Some pain may occur when the fragments pass, which begins soon after treatment and may last for up to four to eight weeks. Oral pain medication and drinking lots of water will help relieve symptoms.

What are some complications or side effects?

Most patients have some blood in the urine for a few days. The shattered stone fragments may cause discomfort as they pass through the urinary tract. Sometimes, the stone is not completely shattered, and additional treatments may be needed.

Can all kidney stone patients have this kind of treatment?

No. The size, number, location and composition of the stones are factors that must be taken into account when exploring treatment options. Patient size may limit use of the water bath method, but patients of many sizes can be treated with the water cushion method.

Also the stones must be clearly viewed by the x-ray monitor so the shock waves can be targeted accurately. If anatomical abnormalities prevent this, other methods of stone removal may have to be considered. Through examination, x-ray and other tests, the doctor can decide whether this is the best treatment for the patient. In some cases, extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy may be combined with other forms of treatment.

How successful is extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy?

In those patients who are thought to be good candidates for this treatment, about 70 to 90 percent are found to be free of stones within three months of treatment. The highest success rates seem to be in those patients with mobile stones that are located in the upper portions of the urinary tract (kidney and upper ureter). After treatment, some patients may still have stone fragments that are too large to be passed. These can be treated again if symptoms persist.

What other treatment choices are available?

About 90 percent of stones pass through the urinary system without treatment. In cases where this does not occur, treatment to remove stones may be needed. Some stones may be dissolved by medicines. In other cases, one of the following methods of stone removal may be needed:

Percutaneous Stone Removal

When stones are quite large (more than 2 cm) or in a location that does not allow effective lithotripsy, a technique called percutaneous stone removal may be used. In this method, the surgeon makes a small incision in the back and creates a tunnel directly into the kidney. A tube is inserted and the stone is removed through this tube.

Ureteroscopic Stone Removal

For stones found in the lower part of the urinary tract, the doctor may pass a ureteroscope (a hollow tube-like device) up into the bladder and ureter. A basket-like device may be passed through the tube to grasp and withdraw the stone.

How much does lithotripsy cost?

The cost of lithotripsy varies. Check with your urologist or your local medical center for information about current costs. If you are considering this procedure, contact your insurance company to make sure that costs are covered.

Where can patients receive this type of treatment?

Treatment is available at many hospitals, outpatient centers and sometimes even in mobile units. For information about where to have lithotripsy done in your area, contact your doctor, local hospital or health care facility.

Can kidney stones be prevented?

Yes. Kidney stones affect more than one million Americans each year. People who have had more than one kidney stone are likely to form another. To determine the possible cause of stones, the patient may be asked to collect a 24-hour urine sample. Once the cause is found, the doctor may recommend drinking more liquids, dietary changes and medication.

Additional Information

Lithotripsy is a procedure that uses shock waves to break up stones in the kidney and parts of the ureter (tube that carries urine from your kidneys to your bladder). After the procedure, the tiny pieces of stones pass out of your body in your urine.

Description

Extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) is the most common type of lithotripsy. "Extracorporeal" means outside the body.

To get ready for the procedure, you will put on a hospital gown and lie on an exam table on top of a soft, water-filled cushion. You will not get wet.

You will be given medicine for pain or to help you relax before the procedure starts. You will also be given antibiotics.

When you have the procedure, you may be given general anesthesia for the procedure. You will be asleep and pain-free.

High-energy shock waves, also called sound waves, guided by x-ray or ultrasound, will pass through your body until they hit the kidney stones. If you are awake, you may feel a tapping feeling when this starts. The waves break the stones into tiny pieces.

The lithotripsy procedure should take about 45 minutes to 1 hour.

A tube called a stent may be placed through your back or bladder into your kidney. This tube will drain urine from your kidney until all the small pieces of stone pass out of your body. This may be done before or after your lithotripsy treatment.

More Details

Lithotripsy is a type of medical procedure. It uses shock waves or a laser to break down stones in the kidney, gallbladder, or ureters.

The remaining particles of small stones will exit the body when the person urinates.

In this article, learn more about what to expect during lithotripsy, how to prepare for the procedure, and the success rate.

What is lithotripsy?

It is common to develop stones in the kidneys, gallbladder, or ureters.

Sometimes, stones are small enough to leave the body during urination without a person noticing. However, large kidney or ureter stones can cause pain and block the flow of urine.

If stones do not pass, they can damage the kidneys and urinary tract. When medications do not help, a lithotripsy procedure can break the stones down into smaller pieces so that they can come out in the urine.

The two main types of lithotripsy are extracorporeal shock wave lithotripsy (ESWL) and laser lithotripsy. Laser lithotripsy is sometimes known as flexible ureteroscopy and laser lithotripsy (FURSL) because doctors use a tool called a ureteroscope.

Both procedures can help eliminate bothersome stones quickly and effectively. The type of treatment a doctor recommends will depend on a range of factors, such as the type of stones the person has and their overall health.

ESWL

During this procedure, a doctor will use a machine called a lithotripter to aim sound waves directly at the stones through the body.

The sound waves break down the stones into small pieces. They are designed to affect the stone, but they can also harm other tissues in the body if the doctor does not carefully administer and monitor them.

The procedure takes about 1 hour and usually happens in a hospital. In most cases, a person can go home the same day. After the treatment, they should pass the stone particles over several days or weeks through urination.

It is important to note that there can be complications with this treatment. One complication can be bleeding due to damage to the kidney.

FURSL

This procedure involves using an endoscope to treat stones in the ureter. An endoscope is a flexible tube with a light and camera attached that helps a doctor see inside an organ or body cavity.

The doctor can see the stones using the ureteroscope and use a laser to break them down. The procedure takes about 30 minutes, and most people can go home the same day.

However, the procedure may take up to 2 hours depending on the number of stones the doctor needs to remove and their hardness.

The broken stone fragments should pass easily through urine in the days and weeks following the procedure.

Success rates

The success of any one method will depend on stone composition, density, size, and location.

One systematic review found that FURSL had a success rate of 93.7%Trusted Source for stones around 2.5 centimeters in size. The study reported that 10.1% of people experienced some complications, however.

How to prepare

Before the lithotripsy procedure, a doctor will run tests to determine the number of stones a person has, as well as their size and location.

It is likely that the doctor will use a non-contrast CT scan to diagnose kidney stones because this test is highly sensitive and specific.

They will also use a standard abdominal X-ray known as a kidney, ureters, bladders (KUB) to find calcium-containing stones.

A person should let the doctor know if they are taking any medications in advance. Before the procedure, they may need to stop taking certain medications, including blood thinners and over-the-counter pain relievers such as aspirin and ibuprofen. This is because these can interfere with the ability of the blood to clot.

Blood clotting is essential to stop any bleeding that might occur during or after the procedure.

Lithotripsy usually takes place under general anesthetics, which means that the person will be asleep and will not feel any pain. Typically, people will need to fast for 8–12 hours before receiving anesthetics.

Anyone who is undergoing lithotripsy should also plan to have someone drive them home, as anesthetics can cause drowsiness and nausea for several hours after the procedure.

What to expect

Once in the procedure room, the doctor will place an intravenous line in the person’s arm to administer anesthetics and provide pain medication.

For ESWL, the person will lie on the table with the lithotripter positioned to target the location of the stones.

The doctor will pass a water-filled cushion between the body and the lithotripter to conduct the shock waves properly. The shock waves are not painful.

The doctor may also place a stent in the ureter to help the broken stones pass.

For FURSL, a doctor will insert a ureteroscope into the bladder and up into the ureter and kidney if necessary. They will then use a laser to break down any stones they see.

Recovery

After the person has woken up from the anesthetics, the doctor will monitor them for at least 1 hour to confirm that they are comfortable and stable enough to go home. The doctor will provide care instructions and pain medications before discharging them.

It may take a few weeks for the person to pass all the stone fragments, and it is not unusual for them to see blood in the urine for the first few days after the procedure.

It is also common to experience pain in the back and flank, but pain medications can reduce the severity of this pain. Some people may also experience mild bruising on the skin where the shock waves entered the body.

It may be over a week before a person feels able to return to work following a ureteroscopic procedure.

Side effects tend to be minor due to ureteroscopy. Source such as smaller cameras and more precise lasers. In fact, some people could return to work within 1–2 days of the procedure.

However, full recovery may take longer than this for some people.

Risks and side effects

People often experience bruising and soreness after shock wave lithotripsy.

Fever or chills may occur after ureteroscopy and shock wave lithotripsy. These may indicate an infection, so a person should speak with a doctor if they experience fever or chills.

Heavy bleeding after lithotripsy is uncommon.

If stone fragments get stuck, there may be a blockage in the ureter. If this is the case, a doctor may perform an additional procedure with a ureteroscope to remove the fragments.

Prolonged pain may also indicate a blockage. If a person has severe pain or does not get relief from taking pain medications, they should contact a doctor.

Limitations

Lithotripsy procedures cannot treat large or hard stones.

Also, ESWL may not benefit people obesity, as the shock waves may not be able to reach the stones.

Doctors do not recommend lithotripsy procedures for pregnant people, as they may pose a risk to the fetus.

Some stones will require more than one procedure, and, in some cases, a doctor may need to place a stent and remove it once the stone fragments have passed.

Summary

Lithotripsy uses shock waves or a laser to break down stones in the kidney, gallbladder, or ureters. There are two main types of lithotripsy — ESWL and FURSL — and the procedure usually lasts between 30 minutes and 2 hours.

If a person experiences fever or chills after undergoing ureteroscopy or shock wave lithotripsy, they should contact a doctor. These may indicate infection.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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#1674 2023-02-21 18:52:20

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1577) Baby transport

Summary

Transportation is a general word for all the methods people use to move themselves and their goods from one place to another. Just as they have for thousands of years, people today rely on walking to travel short distances. For longer distances, people depend on animals, bicycles, automobiles, trucks, railroads, ships, and airplanes.

Reasons for Transportation

The world’s economy depends on transportation. Raw materials must be moved from where they are produced to factories, where they are processed. Food, minerals, and wood often travel by truck, railroad, or ship. Oil and gas often travel by pipeline. Next, manufactured products must be moved from factories to stores. They may travel by truck, railroad, ship, or airplane.

People need transportation to get from home to work, too. Many people drive cars to work. Others take public transportation, including buses and trains. People also take cars, trains, ships, and airplanes to get to vacation spots and to visit family and friends.

History

Early Transportation

Walking was the main method of transportation until humans domesticated, or tamed, animals. Camels, horses, and cattle then carried goods and people. More than 5,000 years ago people invented the wheel. This allowed animals to pull carts. Ancient peoples also traveled by water, at first with simple dugout canoes and rafts.

The Persians built a system of roads in the 500s bce. The ancient Egyptians, Indians, and Chinese also built roads. By the 200s ce the Romans had built roads across Europe.

Transportation by water expanded in the Middle Ages (500–1500 ce). New ships were built with multiple sails. They were able to travel farther and faster than earlier ships that were powered by rowing. Improvements in navigation made it possible to sail farther from land. Voyages of discovery in the 1400s and 1500s opened up trade routes between distant points.

Modern Transportation

The invention of the steam engine in the 1700s was an important event in transportation history. Steam-powered boats could easily travel upriver. Steam-powered ships could cross oceans without wind. On land, inventors used steam engines to power locomotives. This led to the growth of railroads. By 1869 a railroad ran across the United States, and steamships regularly crossed the Atlantic Ocean. Trips that had taken weeks now took days.

Builders of canals made some ocean trips much shorter. The Suez Canal in Egypt shortened the trip between Europe and Asia. The Panama Canal in Panama shortened the trip between the East and West coasts of North America.

The late 1800s saw the first successful bicycles and automobiles. They made quick and easy transportation available to more people than ever before. People who bought cars demanded more and better roads.

In 1903 Wilbur and Orville Wright flew the world’s first airplane. The invention of the jet engine in the 1940s made air travel the fastest transportation in history.

Transportation Problems

Advances in transportation have led to problems, however. Cars and trucks cause traffic jams, accidents, and air pollution. These vehicles also use oil for fuel. The supply of oil is limited and controlled by a few countries. To ease crowded roads, governments have worked to improve public transportation. To fight pollution, scientists are developing vehicles that run on different types of fuel.

Details

Various methods of transporting children have been used in different cultures and times. These methods include baby carriages (prams in British English), infant car seats, portable bassinets (carrycots), strollers (pushchairs), slings, backpacks, baskets and bicycle carriers.

The large, heavy prams (short for perambulator), which had become popular during the Victorian era, were replaced by lighter designs during the latter half of the 1900s.

Baskets, slings and backpacks

Infant carrying likely emerged early in human evolution as the emergence of bipedalism would have necessitated some means of carrying babies who could no longer cling to their mothers and/or simply sit on top of their mother's back. On-the-body carriers are designed in various forms such as baby sling, backpack carriers, and soft front or hip carriers, with varying materials and degrees of rigidity, decoration, support and confinement of the child. Slings, soft front carriers, and "baby carriages" are typically used for infants who lack the ability to sit or to hold their head up. Frame backpack carriers (a modification of the frame backpack), hip carriers, slings, mei tais and a variety of other soft carriers are used for older children.

Images of children being carried in slings can be seen in Egyptian artwork dating back to the time of the Pharaohs, and have been used in many indigenous cultures. One of the earliest European artworks showing baby wearing is a fresco by Giotto painted in around 1306 AD, which depicts Mary carrying Jesus in a sling. Baby wearing in a sling was well known in Europe in medieval times, but was mainly seen as a practice of marginalised groups such as beggars and Romani people. A cradleboard is a Native American baby carrier used to keep babies secure and comfortable and at the same time allowing the mothers freedom to work and travel. The cradleboards were attached to the mother's back straps from the shoulder or the head. For travel, cradleboards could be hung on a saddle or travois. Ethnographic tradition indicates that it was common practice to cradleboard newborn children until they were able to walk, although many mothers continued to swaddle their children well past the first birthday. Bound and wrapped on a cradleboard, a baby can feel safe and secure. Soft materials such as lichens, moss and shredded bark were used for cushioning and diapers. Cradleboards were either cut from flat pieces of wood or woven from flexible twigs like willow and hazel, and cushioned with soft, absorbent materials. The design of most cradleboards is a flat surface with the child wrapped tightly to it. It is usually only able to move its head.

On-the-body baby carrying started being known in western countries in the 1960s, with the advent of the structured soft pack in the mid-1960s. Around the same time, the frame backpack quickly became a popular way to carry older babies and toddlers. In the early 1970s, the wrap was reintroduced in Germany. The two ringed sling was invented by Rayner and Fonda Garner in 1981 and popularized by Dr William Sears starting in around 1985. In the early 1990s, the modern pouch carrier was created in Hawaii. While the Chinese mei tai has been around in one form or another for centuries, it did not become popular in the west until it was modernized with padding and other adjustments. It first became popular and well known in mid-2003.

Portable cradles, including cradleboards, baskets, and bassinets, have been used by many cultures to carry young infants.

Wheeled transport methods

Wheeled devices are generally divided into prams, used for newborn babies in which the infant normally lies down facing the pusher, and the strollers, which are used for the small child up to about three years old in a sitting position facing forward.

History

William Kent developed an early stroller in 1733. In 1733, the Duke of Devonshire asked Kent to build a means of transport that would carry his children. Kent obliged by constructing a shell shaped basket on wheels that the children could sit in. This was richly decorated and meant to be pulled by a goat or small pony. Benjamin Potter Crandall sold baby carriages in the US in the 1830s which have been described as the "first baby carriages manufactured in the US" Another early development was F.A. Whitney Carriage Company. His son, Jesse Armour Crandall was issued a number of patents for improvements and additions to the standard models. These included adding a brake to carriages, a model which folded, designs for parasols and an umbrella hanger. By 1840, the baby carriage became extremely popular. Queen Victoria bought three carriages from Hitchings Baby Store.

The carriages of those days were built of wood or wicker and held together by expensive brass joints. These sometimes became heavily ornamented works of art. Models were also named after royalty: Princess and Duchess being popular names, as well as Balmoral and Windsor.

In June 1889, an African American man named William H. Richardson patented his idea of the first reversible stroller. The bassinet was designed so it could face out or in towards the parent. He also made structural changes to the carriage. Until then the axle did not allow each wheel to move separately. Richardson's design allowed this, which increased maneuverability of the carriages. As the 1920s began, prams were now available to all families and were becoming safer, with larger wheels, brakes, deeper prams, and lower, sturdier frames.

In 1965, Owen Maclaren, an aeronautical engineer, worked on complaints his daughter made about travelling from England to America with her heavy pram. Using his knowledge of aeroplanes, Maclaren designed a stroller with an aluminium frame and created the first true umbrella stroller. He then went on to found Maclaren, which manufactured and sold his new design. The design took off and soon "strollers" were easier to transport and used everywhere.

In the 1970s, however, the trend was more towards a more basic version, not fully sprung, and with a detachable body known as a "carrycot". Now, prams are very rarely used, being large and expensive when compared with "buggies" (see below). One of the longer lived and better known brands in the UK is Silver Cross, first manufactured in Hunslet, Leeds, in 1877, and later Guiseley from 1936 until 2002 when the factory closed. Silver Cross was then bought by the toy company David Halsall and Sons who relocated the head office to Skipton and expanded into a range of new, modern baby products including pushchairs and "travel systems". They continue to sell the traditional Silver Cross coach prams which are manufactured at a factory in Bingley in Yorkshire.

Since the 1980s, the stroller industry has developed with new features, safer construction and more accessories.

Prams

Larger and heavier prams, or perambulators, had been used since their introduction in the Victorian era; prams were also used for infants, often sitting up. The term carrycot became more common in the UK after the introduction of lighter units with detachable baby carriers in the 1970s.

As they developed through the years suspension was added, making the ride smoother for both the baby and the person pushing it.

The word pram is etymologically a shortening of its now less common synonym perambulator.

Strollers

'Strollers' or 'pushchairs/buggies' (British English), are used for small children up to about three years old in a sitting position facing forward.

"Pushchair" was the popularly used term in the UK between its invention and the early 1980s, when a more compact design known as a "buggy" became the trend, popularised by the conveniently collapsible aluminium-framed Maclaren buggy designed and patented by the British aeronautical designer Owen Maclaren in 1965. "Buggy" is the usual term in the UK (sometimes "pushchair"); in American English, buggy usually refers to a four-wheeled vehicle known as a quad or quad bike in the UK. "Stroller" is the usual term in the USA. Newer versions can be configured to carry a baby lying down like a low pram and then be reconfigured to carry the child in the forward-facing position.

A variety of twin pushchairs are manufactured, some designed for babies of a similar age (such as twins) and some for those with a small age gap. Triple pushchairs are a fairly recent addition, due to the number of multiple births being on the increase. Safety guidelines for standard pushchairs apply. Most triple buggies have a weight limit of 50 kg and recommended use for children up to the age of 4 years.

A travel system is typically a set consisting of a chassis with a detachable baby seat and/or carrycot. Thus a travel system can be switched between a pushchair and a pram. Another benefit of a travel system is that the detached chassis (generally an umbrella closing chassis) when folded will usually be smaller than other types, to transport it in a car trunk or boot. Also, the baby seat will snap into a base meant to stay in an automobile, becoming a car seat. This allows undisturbed movement of the baby into or out of a car and a reduced chance of waking a sleeping baby.

Another modern design showcases a stroller that includes the possibility for the lower body to be elongated, thereby transforming the stroller into a kick scooter. Steering occurs by leaning towards either side. Depending on the model, it can be equipped with a foot- and/or handbrake. Speeds up to 15 km/h (10 mph) can be reached. The first stroller of this kind was the so-called "Roller Buggy", developed by industrial designer Valentin Vodev in 2005. In 2012 the manufacturer Quinny became interested in the concept and teamed up with a Belgian studio to design another model.

The modern infant car seat is a relative latecomer. It is used to carry a child within a car. Such car seats are required by law in many countries to safely transport young children.

In contemporary culture with four-figure systems or sleek jogging strollers common in some circles, strollers often serve as not only an infant transport device but also a highly visible symbol of everything from class to parenting philosophy.

Others

Bicycles can be fitted with a bicycle trailer or a children's bicycle seat to carry small children. An older child can ride on a one-wheel trailer bike with an integrated seat and handle bars.

A "travel system" includes a car seat base, an infant car seat, and a baby stroller. The car seat base is installed in a car. The infant car seat snaps into the car seat base when traveling with a baby. From the car, the infant car seat can be hand carried and snapped onto the stroller.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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#1675 2023-02-22 20:47:29

Jai Ganesh
Administrator
Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Re: Miscellany

1578) International Bank for Reconstruction and Development

Summary

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is a global development cooperative owned by 189 member countries. As the largest development bank in the world, it supports the World Bank Group’s mission by providing loans, guarantees, risk management products, and advisory services to middle-income and creditworthy low-income countries, as well as by coordinating responses to regional and global challenges.

Created in 1944 to help Europe rebuild after World War II, IBRD joins with IDA, our fund for the poorest countries, to form the World Bank.  They work closely with all institutions of the World Bank Group and the public and private sectors in developing countries to reduce poverty and build shared prosperity.

Details

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) is an international financial institution, established in 1944 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., United States, that is the lending arm of World Bank Group. The IBRD offers loans to middle-income developing countries. The IBRD is the first of five member institutions that compose the World Bank Group. The initial mission of the IBRD in 1944, was to finance the reconstruction of European nations devastated by World War II. The IBRD and its concessional lending arm, the International Development Association (IDA), are collectively known as the World Bank as they share the same leadership and staff.

Following the reconstruction of Europe, the Bank's mandate expanded to advancing worldwide economic development and eradicating poverty. The IBRD provides commercial-grade or concessional financing to sovereign states to fund projects that seek to improve transportation and infrastructure, education, domestic policy, environmental consciousness, energy investments, healthcare, access to food and potable water, and access to improved sanitation.

The IBRD is owned and governed by its 189 member states, with each country represented on the Board of Governors. The IBRD has its executive leadership and staff which conduct its normal business operations. The Bank's member governments are shareholders which contribute and have the right to vote on its matters. In addition to contributions from its member nations, the IBRD acquires most of its capital by borrowing on international capital markets through bond issues at a preferred rate because of its AAA credit rating.

In 2011, it raised US$29 billion in capital from bond issues made in 26 different currencies. The Bank offers several financial services and products, including flexible loans, grants, risk guarantees, financial derivatives, and catastrophic risk financing. It reported lending commitments of $26.7 billion made to 132 projects in 2011.

Governance

There are five "closely associated institutions" that each have a "distinct role" and together form the World Bank—the IBRD, the International Development Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), that "invests in private firms and promotes entrepreneurship", the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), that guarantees loans, and the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). Their mission is to "fight poverty and improve living standards for people in the developing world." By 2018, the World Bank Group was "one of the world's largest sources of funding and knowledge for developing countries." Of the five institutions, the IBRD and the IDA are the World Bank's two largest units. When a country reaches a GDP per person over US$1,145, they are no longer eligible for IDA financial support. For example, of the BRIC countries, China was no longer eligible in 1999 and by 2014, neither was India.

The IBRD is governed by the World Bank's Board of Governors which meets annually and consists of one governor per member country (most often the country's finance minister or treasury secretary). The Board of Governors delegates most of its authority over daily matters such as lending and operations to the board of directors. The Board of Directors consists of 25 executive directors and is chaired by the President of the World Bank Group. The executive directors collectively represent all 189 member states of the World Bank. The president oversees the IBRD's overall direction and daily operations.

The Bank and IDA operate with a staff of approximately 10,000 employees.

On 9 April 2019, United States President Donald Trump nominated David Malpass as the World Bank Group's president. Malpass had served as one of President Trump's economic advisers and as a senior official in the United States Treasury Department. The IBRD member nations did not sponsor a "rival candidate" and Malpass became president, in spite of the fact that he is critical of the role of the IBRD.

Additional Information

International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), is a Main component organization of the World Bank. The IBRD lends money to middle-income and creditworthy poorer countries. Most of its funds come from sales of bonds in international capital markets. More than 180 countries are members of the IBRD. Each member’s voting power is linked to its capital subscription; the U.S., with some one-sixth of the shares in the IBRD, has veto power over any proposed changes to the bank.

A Partner to Middle-Income Countries

The World Bank Group engages with middle-income countries (MICs) both as clients and shareholders. These countries are major drivers of global growth, home to major infrastructure investments, and recipients of a large share of exports from advanced economies and poorer countries. Many are making rapid economic and social progress, and they play an ever larger role in finding solutions to global challenges. 

But MICs also have more than 70% of the world’s poor people, often in remote areas. And limited access to private finance makes these countries vulnerable to economic shocks and the crises that cross borders, including climate change, forced migration, and pandemics. The World Bank is an essential partner to MICs, which represent more than 60% of IBRD’s portfolio.

* We provide a combination of financial resources, knowledge, and technical services.
* Our strategic advice helps governments reform to improve services, encourage more private investment, and innovate and share solutions. 
* We partner with countries as challenges emerge and evolve, through innovative financial products and a wide range of global forums.

Above all, we help ensure that progress in reducing poverty and broadening prosperity can be sustained. We place special emphasis on supporting lower-middle-income countries as they move up the economic chain, graduating from IDA to become clients of IBRD. We are also expanding capacity to help countries dealing with fragility and conflict situations. And as a long-term partner, we step up our support to all MICs in times of crisis.

IBRD’s Services

Through our partnership with MICs and creditworthy poorer countries, IBRD offers innovative financial solutions, including financial products (loans, guarantees, and risk management products) and knowledge and advisory services (including on a reimbursable basis) to governments at the national and subnational levels.

IBRD finances investments across all sectors and provides technical support and expertise at each stage of a project.  IBRD’s resources not only supply borrowing countries with needed financing, but also serve as a vehicle for global knowledge transfer and technical assistance. 

Advisory services in public debt and asset management help governments, official sector institutions, and development organizations build institutional capacity to protect and expand financial resources.

IBRD supports government efforts to strengthen public financial management as well as improve the investment climate, address service delivery bottlenecks, and strengthen policies and institutions.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

Nothing is better than reading and gaining more and more knowledge - Stephen William Hawking.

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