Hubei (Chinese: 湖北) is a province of the People’s Republic of China, located in the Central China region. The name of the province means „north of the lake“, referring to its position north of Dongting Lake. The provincial capital is Wuhan, a major transportation thoroughfare and the political, cultural, and economic hub of Central China.

Hubei is officially abbreviated to „“ (È), an ancient name associated with the eastern part of the province since the Qin dynasty, while a popular name for Hubei is „“ (Chǔ), after the powerful State of Chu that existed here during the Eastern Zhou dynasty. It borders Henan to the north, Anhui to the east, Jiangxi to the southeast, Hunan to the south, Chongqing to the west, and Shaanxi to the northwest. The high-profile Three Gorges Dam is located at Yichang, in the west of the province.

The Hubei region was home to sophisticated Neolithic cultures. By the Spring and Autumn Period (770–476 BC), the territory of today’s Hubei was part of the powerful State of Chu. Chu was nominally a tributary state of the Zhou dynasty, and it was itself an extension of the Chinese civilization that had emerged some centuries before in the north; but it was also a culturally unique blend of northern and southern culture, and was a powerful state that held onto much of the middle and lower Yangtze River, with power extending northwards into the North China Plain.

During the Warring States period (475–221 BC) Chu became the major adversary of the upstart State of Qin to the northwest (in what is now Shaanxi province), which began to assert itself by outward expansionism. As wars between Qin and Chu ensued, Chu lost more and more land: first its dominance over the Sichuan Basin, then (in 278 BC) its heartland, which correspond to modern Hubei. In 223 BC Qin chased down the remnants of the Chu regime, which had fled eastwards, as part of Qin’s bid for the conquest of all China.

Qin founded the Qin dynasty in 221 BC, the first unified state in the region. Qin was succeeded by the Han dynasty in 206 BC, which established the province (zhou) of Jingzhou in what is now Hubei and Hunan. The Qin and Han played an active role in the agricultural colonization of Hubei, maintaining a system of river dikes to protect farmland from summer floods. Towards the end of the Han Dynasty in the beginning of the 3rd century, Jingzhou was ruled by regional warlord Liu Biao. After his death, Liu Biao’s realm was surrendered by his successors to Cao Cao, a powerful warlord who had conquered nearly all of north China; but in the Battle of Red Cliffs, warlords Liu Bei and Sun Quan drove Cao Cao out of Jingzhou. Liu Bei then took control of Jingzhou; he went on to conquer Yizhou (the Sichuan Basin), but lost Jingzhou to Sun Quan; for the next few decades Jingzhou was controlled by the Wu Kingdom, ruled by Sun Quan and his successors.

The incursion of northern nomadic peoples into the region at the beginning of the 4th century began nearly three centuries of division into a nomad-ruled (but increasingly Sinicized) north and a Han Chinese-ruled south. Hubei, to the South, remained under southern rule for this entire period, until the unification of China by the Sui dynasty in 589. In 617 the Tang dynasty replaced Sui, and later on the Tang dynasty placed what is now Hubei under several circuits: Jiangnanxi Circuit in the south; Shannandong Circuit in the west, and Huainan Circuit in the east. After the Tang dynasty disintegrated in the 10th century, Hubei came under the control of several regional regimes: Jingnan in the center, Wu (later Southern Tang) to the east, and the Five Dynasties to the north.

The Song dynasty reunified the region in 982 and placed most of Hubei into Jinghubei Circuit, a longer version of Hubei’s current name. Mongols conquered the region in 1279, and under their rule the province of Huguang was established, covering Hubei, Hunan, and parts of Guangdong and Guangxi. During the Mongol rule, in 1334, Hubei was devastated by an outbreak of the Black Death, which according to Chinese sources spread during the following three centuries to decimate populations throughout Eurasia.

The Ming dynasty drove out the Mongols in 1368. Their version of Huguang province was smaller, and corresponded almost entirely to the modern provinces of Hubei and Hunan combined. While Hubei was geographically removed from the centers of the Ming power. During the last years of the Ming, today’s Hubei was ravaged several times by the rebel armies of Zhang Xianzhong and Li Zicheng. The Manchu Qing dynasty which had much of the region in 1644, soon split Huguang into the modern provinces of Hubei and Hunan. The Qing dynasty, however, continued to maintain a Viceroy of Huguang, one of the most well-known being Zhang Zhidong, whose modernizing reforms made Hubei (especially Wuhan) into a prosperous center of commerce and industry. The Huangshi/Daye area, south-east of Wuhan, became an important center of mining and metallurgy.

In 1911 the Wuchang Uprising took place in modern-day Wuhan, overthrowing the Qing dynasty and establishing the Republic of China. In 1927 Wuhan became the seat of a government established by left-wing elements of the Kuomintang, led by Wang Jingwei; this government was later merged into Chiang Kai-shek’s government in Nanjing. During World War II the eastern parts of Hubei were conquered and occupied by Japan while the western parts remained under Chinese control.

During the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, Wuhan saw fighting between rival Red Guard factions.

As the fears of a nuclear war increased during the time of Sino-Soviet border conflicts in the late 1960s, the Xianning prefecture of Hubei was chosen as the site of Project 131, an underground military command headquarters.

The province—and Wuhan in particular—suffered severely from the 1954 Yangtze River Floods. Large scale dam construction followed, with the Gezhouba Dam on the Yangtze River near Yichang started in 1970 and completed in 1988; the construction of the Three Gorges Dam, further upstream, began in 1993. In the following years, authorities resettled millions of people from western Hubei to make way for the construction of the dam. A number of smaller dams have been constructed on the Yangtze’s tributaries as well.

The Jianghan Plain takes up most of central and southern Hubei, while the west and the peripheries are more mountainous, with ranges such as the Wudang Mountains, the Jing Mountains, the Daba Mountains, and the Wu Mountains (in rough north-to-south order). The Dabie Mountains lie to the northeast of the Janghan Plain, on the border with Henan and Anhui; the Tongbai Mountains lie to the north on the border with Henan; to the southeast, the Mufu Mountains form the border with Jiangxi. The highest peak in Hubei is Shennong Peak, found in the Daba Mountains and in the forestry area of Shennongjia; it has an altitude of 3105 m.

The two major rivers of Hubei are the Yangtze and its left tributary, the Hanshui; they lend their names to the Jianghan Plain. The Yangtze River enters Hubei from the west via the Three Gorges; the eastern half of the Three Gorges (Xiling Gorge and part of Wu Gorge) lie in western Hubei, while the western half is in neighbouring Chongqing. The Hanshui enters the province from the northwest. After crossing most of the province, the two great rivers meet at Wuhan, the provincial capital.

Among the notable tributaries of the Yangtze within the province are the Shen Nong Stream (a small northern tributary, severely affected by the Three Gorges Dam project); the Qing, a major waterway of southwestern Hubei; the Huangbo near Yichang; and the Fushui in the southeast.

Thousands of lakes dot the landscape of Hubei’s Jianghan Plain, giving Hubei the name of „Province of Lakes“; the largest of these lakes are Lake Liangzi and Hong Lake. The numerous hydrodams have created a number of large reservoirs, the largest of which is the Danjiangkou Reservoir on the Hanshui, on the border between Hubei and Henan.

Hubei has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa or Cwa under the Köppen climate classification), with four distinct seasons. Winters are cool to cold, with average temperatures of 1 to 6 °C (34 to 43 °F) in January, while summers are hot and humid, with average temperatures of 24 to 30 °C (75 to 86 °F) in July; punishing temperatures of 40 °C (104 °F) or above are widely associated with Wuhan, the provincial capital. The mountainous districts of western Hubei, in particular Shennongjia, with their cooler summers, attract numerous visitors from Wuhan and other lowland cities.

Besides the capital Wuhan, other important cities are Jingmen; Shiyan, a center of automotive industry and the gateway to the Wudang Mountains; Yichang, the main base for the gigantic hydroelectric projects of southwestern Hubei; and Shashi.

Hubei is divided into thirteen prefecture-level divisions (of which there are twelve prefecture-level cities (including a sub-provincial city) and one autonomous prefecture), as well as three directly-administered county-level cities (all sub-prefecture-level cities) and one directly-administered county-level forestry area.

* – including Forestry district
** – Directly administered county-level divisions

The thirteen prefecture-level divisions and four directly administered county-level divisions of Hubei are subdivided into 103 county-level divisions (39 districts, 24 county-level cities, 37 counties, 2 autonomous counties, 1 forestry district; the directly-administered county-level divisions are included here). Those are in turn divided into 1234 township-level divisions (737 towns, 215 townships, nine ethnic townships, and 273 subdistricts).

Secretaries of the CPC Hubei Committee:

Governors of Hubei:

Hubei is often called the „Land of Fish and Rice“ (鱼米之乡). Important agricultural products in Hubei include cotton, rice, wheat, and tea, while industries include automobiles, metallurgy, machinery, power generation, textiles, foodstuffs and high-tech commodities.

Mineral resources that can be found in Hubei in significant quantities include borax, hongshiite, wollastonite, garnet, marlstone, iron, phosphorus, copper, gypsum, rutile, rock salt, gold amalgam, manganese and vanadium. The province’s recoverable reserves of coal stand at 548 million tons, which is modest compared to other Chinese provinces. Hubei is well known for its mines of fine turquoise and green faustite.

Once completed, the Three Gorges Dam in western Hubei will provide plentiful hydroelectricity, with an estimated annual power production of 84,700 Gwh. Existing hydroelectric stations include Gezhouba, Danjiangkou, Geheyan, Hanjiang, Duhe, Huanglongtan, Bailianhe, Lushui and Fushui.

Hubei’s economy ranks 11th in the country and its nominal GDP for 2011 was 1.959 trillion yuan (311 billion USD) and a per capita of 21,566 RMB (2,863 USD). The government of Hubei hopes to keep the GDP growth rate above 10% annually and double per capita GDP by 2020.

Han Chinese form the dominant ethnic group in Hubei. A considerable Miao and Tujia population live in the southwestern part of the province, especially in Enshi Tujia and Miao Autonomous Prefecture.

On October 18, 2009, Chinese officials began to relocate 330,000 residents from the Hubei and Henan provinces that will be affected by the Danjiangkou Reservoir on the Han river. The reservoir is part of the larger South-North Water Transfer Project.

Religion in Hubei

The predominant religions in Hubei are Chinese folk religions, Taoist traditions and Chinese Buddhism. According to surveys conducted in 2007 and 2009, 6.5% of the population believes and is involved in cults of ancestors, while 0.58% of the population identifies as Christian, declining from 0.83% in 2004.

The reports didn’t give figures for other types of religion; 92.92% of the population may be either irreligious or involved in worship of nature deities, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, folk religious sects, and small minorities of Muslims.

People in Hubei speak Mandarin dialects; most of these dialects are classified as Southwestern Mandarin dialects, a group that also encompasses the Mandarin dialects of most of southwestern China.

Perhaps the most celebrated element of Hubei cuisine is the Wuchang fish, a freshwater bream that is commonly steamed.

Types of traditional Chinese opera popular in Hubei include Hanju (simplified Chinese: 汉剧; traditional Chinese: 漢劇; pinyin: Hàn Jù) and Chuju (楚剧; Chǔ Jù).

The Shennongjia area is the alleged home of the Yeren, a wild undiscovered hominid that lives in the forested hills.

The people of Hubei are given the uncomplimentary nickname „Nine-headed Birds“ by other Chinese, from a mythological creature said to be very aggressive and hard to kill. „In the sky live nine-headed birds. On the earth live Hubei people.“ (天上九头鸟,地上湖北佬; Tiānshàng jiǔ tóu niǎo, dìshàng Húběi lǎo)

Wuhan is one of the major culture centers in China.

Hubei is thought to be the province that originated the card game of Dou Di Zhu.

The premier Wuhan University (founded in 1893) and many other institutions in Wuhan makes it a hub of higher education and research in China.

Prior to the construction of China’s national railway network, the Yangtze and Hanshui Rivers had been the main transportation arteries of Hubei for many centuries, and still continue to play an important transport role.

Historically, Hubei’s overland transport network was hampered by the lack of bridges across the Yangtze River, which divides the province into northern and southern regions. The first bridge across the Yangtze in Hubei, the Wuhan Yangtze River Bridge was completed in 1957, followed by the Zhicheng Bridge in 1971. As of October 2014, Hubei had 23 bridges and tunnels across the Yangtze River, including nine bridges and three tunnels in Wuhan.

The railway from Beijing reached Wuhan in 1905, and was later extended to Guangzhou, becoming the first north-to-south railway mainline to cross China. A number of other lines crossed the province later on, including the Jiaozuo-Liuzhou Railway and Beijing-Kowloon Railway, respectively, in the western and eastern part of the province.

The first decade of the 21st century has seen a large number of new railway construction in Hubei. The Wuhan–Guangzhou High-Speed Railway, roughly parallel to the original Wuhan-Guangzhou line, opened in late 2009, and is currently being extended to the north, towards Beijing. A new east-west high-speed corridor connecting major cities along the Yangtze (the Huhanrong Passenger Dedicated Line) is being constructed as well: the Hefei-Wuhan section, which opened in 2009, has enabled fast service between Wuhan and Shanghai, while the Wuhan-Yuchang and Yichang-Wanzhou sections are (as of 2010) under construction.

Hubei’s main airport is Wuhan Tianhe International Airport. Yichang Sanxia Airport serves the Three Gorges region. There are also passenger airports in Xiangyang, Enshi, and Jingzhou (Shashi Airport, named after the city’s Shashi District).

The province’s best-known natural attraction (shared with the adjacent Chongqing municipality) is the scenic area of the Three Gorges of the Yangtze. Located in the far west of the province, the gorges can be conveniently visited by one of the numerous tourist boats (or regular passenger boats) that travel up the Yangtze from Yichang through the Three Gorges and into the neighboring Chongqing municipality.

The mountains of western Hubei, in particular in Shennongjia District, offer a welcome respite from Wuhan’s and Yichang’s summer heat, as well as skiing opportunities in winter. The tourist facilities in that area concentrate around Muyu in the southern part of Shennongjia, the gateway to Shennongjia National Nature Reserve (神农架国家自然保护区). Closer to the provincial capital, Wuhan, is the Mount Jiugong (Jiugongshan) national park, in Tongshan County near the border with Jiangxi.

A particular important site of both natural and cultural significance is Mount Wudang (Wudangshan) in the northwest of the province. Originally created early in the Ming Dynasty, its building complex has been listed by UNESCO since 1994 as a World Heritage Site.

Other historic attractions in Hubei include:

The province also has historical sites connected with China’s more recent history, such as the Wuchang Uprising Memorial in Wuhan, Project 131 site (a Cultural-Revolution-era underground military command center) in Xianning, and the National Mining Park (国家矿山公园) in Huangshi.

Professional sports teams in Hubei include:

In 2005, Hubei province signed a twinning agreement with Telemark county of Norway, and a „Norway-Hubei Week“ was held in 2007.


Martougin was een chocoladefabriek uit Borgerhout, in 1907 opgericht door Alfred Martougin (1875-1952). Hij vestigde zijn „chocolaterie modèle“ in een voormalige leerlooierij op de hoek van de Helmstraat en de Schapenstraat in Borgerhout. Martougin bracht chocoladerepen in velerlei smaken op de markt met merknamen als Jemma, Laita, Galba, Minerva, Olympia, Titania … BLOC waren grote chocoladeblokken, die banketbakkers en chocolatiers gebruikten voor hun specialiteiten.

Naast zijn bedrijf was Alfred Martougin ook actief in de wielersport. Hij was vanaf 1906 voorzitter van de Antwerpse afdeling van de Belgische Wielrijdersbond (BWB) en in de jaren 1930 algemeen voorzitter van de BWB. In 1930 was hij tevens voorzitter van het Uitvoerend Comité van de Wereldtentoonstelling in Antwerpen. Hiervoor werd hij onderscheiden met het ereteken van commandeur in de Kroonorde.

Alfred Martougin stierf in 1952. In 1966 werd zijn bedrijf gekocht door het Nederlandse Van Houten, die de fabriek in Borgerhout sloot.

Mike Paradinas

Michael Paradinas (born 26 September 1971), better known by his stage name μ-Ziq (pronounced ‚music‘), is an English electronic musician from Wimbledon, London. He is one of the pioneering IDM electronic music acts during the 90’s, alongside Aphex Twin, Autechre, and The Orb. He is also the founder of the record label Planet Mu.

His critically acclaimed 1997 album, Lunatic Harness, helped defined the drill ’n‘ bass subgenre and was also his most successful release, selling over 100,000 copies.

Paradinas was born in Charing Cross and began playing keyboards during the early 1980s and listened to new wave bands like The Human League and Heaven 17. He joined a few bands in the mid-1980s, then spent eight years on keyboards for the group Blue Innocence.

During this period, Paradinas had been recording on his own as well with synthesizers and a four-track recorder. In 1995, following a performance at „The Orange“ in London, Blue Innocence broke up. Paradinas and the bass player, Francis Naughton, bought sequencing software and re-recorded some of Paradinas’s older tracks. After the material was played for Mark Pritchard and Tom Middleton — the duo behind Global Communication and the heads of Evolution Records — it was to be released; however, recording commitments later forced Pritchard and Middleton to withdraw their agreement. Fortunately for Paradinas, Richard D. James (aka Aphex Twin) had also heard the tracks and agreed to release their music on Rephlex Records under the alias μ-Ziq.

Naughton then left μ-Ziq to start Rocket Goldstar. A second album Bluff Limbo was scheduled to be released in mid-1994, though only 1000 copies were published. It was re-issued by Rephlex in 1996 after Paradinas served papers on the label.[citation needed] Paradinas’s first major-label release came later in 1994, after he undertook a remix project for Virgin Records: the remix EP The Auteurs Vs μ-Ziq for the britpop band the Auteurs. The remixes Paradinas offered sounded nothing like the original song, a familiar practice for many experimental electronic musicians in those times.

Even though the EP was hardly a high sales success, Virgin signed up Paradinas and gave him his own sublabel, Planet Mu, to release his own work and to develop similar-minded artists. (Paradinas later broke with Virgin and in 1998 established Planet Mu as his own independent label.) Written into his own contract was a provision for unlimited recording under different names, and during 1995 Paradinas unveiled three aliases and released many albums within less than a year. The neo-electro music label Clear released his debut single under the alias Tusken Raiders (named after the Star Wars species) early in the year. Clear Records also released the first Paradinas alias full-length album, Jake Slazenger MakesARacket, later in 1995. Although they were still audible, the LP ignored the electro influences in favour of some synthesizer figures and the previously unheard influence of jazz-funk. Paradinas continued to release solo albums under the above-mentioned names as well as Gary Moscheles, and a one-time collaboration with Aphex Twin under the Mike & Rich moniker.

In 1997 Paradinas made a style change again, mixing experimental electronic music with drum’n’bass, a similar aesthetic path taken by Squarepusher and Aphex Twin. During this year he was also touring with popular musician Björk. Björk inspired the 1999 album Royal Astronomy, with its mixture of unusual vocals, strings and breakbeat. All of his albums until 2003 were released in the USA on the more mainstream label, Astralwerks.

Paradinas is the owner of the Planet Mu label, which hosts cult favourite[citation needed] electronic musicians such as Venetian Snares, Capitol K, Datach’i and Luke Vibert.

Tweed (tessuto)

Il tweed è un tipo di tessuto in lana originario della Scozia. Il nome sarebbe derivato, secondo la leggenda, da una cattiva interpretazione di twill (o tweel, stando alla pronuncia scozzese), che significa armatura a saia, armatura che dà come risultato un tessuto con rigatura diagonale o disegni ricavati da varie combinazioni come la lisca di pesce.

Poiché questo metodo era usato nei centri tessili dell’Ottocento lungo il fiume Tweed, che rappresenta il confine storico fra Scozia e Inghilterra, ciò spiegherebbe la confusione.

Il tweed è famoso in tutto il mondo per la sua consistenza solida che ne garantisce la durata per anni. All’inizio si usavano filati grigi e neri e il motivo classico era quello spigato. Oggi viene prodotto in molti colori e motivi tra cui l’houndstooth (pied de poule), checked (quadretto), overchecked (finestrato). Esistono anche tweed nei colori dei classici tartan scozzesi.

L‘harris tweed (in gaelico Clò mòr) è una qualità particolare resa celebre dalla contessa di Dunmore che lo promosse presso i fabbricanti di tweed delle isole Lewis e Harris, Uist e Barra, nell’arcipelago delle Ebridi. L’etichetta Harris Tweed garantiva la pura lana vergine, cardata, tessuta, filata e tinta a mano con sostanze vegetali dagli abitanti di quelle isole. Oggi non è più un tessuto artigianale, ma lo si produce in circa 600 stabilimenti in una quantità di quasi tre milioni di metri all’anno. Di ottima qualità, dal caratteristico disegno chiaro-scuro, soprattutto spigato, e con una vasta gamma di colori, si differenzia dal tweed normale perché più ruvido. Harris Tweed diventa marchio registrato nel 1909 e il logo, un mappamondo, è ripreso dallo stemma dei conti di Dunmore.

Il Donegal (o irish tweed) è un altro tipo di tweed, originario della contea di Donegal in Irlanda, è caratterizzato da bottoni (puntolini) di colore contrastante con i colori di fondo.

Con il tweed vengono confezionati anche eleganti tailleur.

Altri progetti

John Fisher

John Fisher (c. 19 October 1469 – 22 June 1535), venerated by Roman Catholics as Saint John Fisher, was an English Catholic bishop and theologian. He was a man of learning, associated with the intellectuals and political leaders of his day, and eventually became Chancellor of the University of Cambridge.

Fisher was executed by order of Henry VIII during the English Reformation for refusing to accept the king as Supreme Head of the Church of England and for upholding the Catholic Church’s doctrine of papal primacy. He was named a cardinal shortly before his death. He is honoured as a martyr and saint by the Catholic Church. He shares his feast day with St Thomas More on 22 June in the Roman Catholic calendar of saints and on 6 July in that of the Church of England.

John Fisher was born in Beverley, Yorkshire, in 1469, the eldest son of Robert Fisher, a modestly prosperous merchant of Beverley, and Agnes, his wife. He was one of four children. His father died when John was eight. His mother remarried and had five more children by her second husband, William White. Fisher seems to have had close contacts with his extended family all his life. Fisher’s early education was probably received in the school attached to the collegiate church in his home town. He attended Beverley Grammar School, an old foundation claiming to date from the year 700. In the present day, one of the houses at the school is named in Fisher’s honour.

Fisher studied at the University of Cambridge from 1484, where at Michaelhouse he came under the influence of William Melton, a pastorally-minded theologian open to the new current of reform in studies arising from the Renaissance. Fisher earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1487 and in 1491, proceeded to a Master of Arts degree. Also in 1491 Fisher received a papal dispensation to enter the priesthood despite being under canonical age. Fisher was ordained into the Catholic priesthood on 17 December 1491 – the same year that he was elected a fellow of his college. He was also made Vicar of Northallerton, Yorkshire. In 1494 he resigned his benefice to become proctor of the university and three years later was appointed master debator, about which date he also became chaplain and confessor to Margaret Beaufort, Countess of Richmond and Derby, mother of King Henry VII. On 5 July 1501, he became a doctor of sacred theology and 10 days later was elected Vice-Chancellor of the University. Under Fisher’s guidance, his patroness Lady Margaret founded St John’s and Christ’s Colleges at Cambridge, and a Lady Margaret Professorship of Divinity at each of the two universities at Oxford and Cambridge, Fisher himself becoming the first occupant of the Cambridge chair. In the years from 1505 to 1508 he was also the President of Queens‘ College. At the end of July 1516 he was at Cambridge for the opening of St John’s College and consecrated the chapel.

Fisher’s strategy was to assemble funds and attract to Cambridge leading scholars from Europe, promoting the study not only of Classical Latin and Greek authors, but of Hebrew. He placed great weight upon pastoral commitment, above all popular preaching by the endowed staff. Fisher’s foundations were also dedicated to prayer for the dead, especially through chantry foundations. Fisher had a vision to which he dedicated all his personal resources and energies. A scholar and a priest, humble and conscientious, he managed despite occasional opposition to administer a whole university, one of only two in England. He conceived and saw through long-term projects.

A stern and austere man, Fisher was known to place a human skull on the altar during mass and on the table during meals.

Erasmus said of John Fisher: „He is the one man at this time who is incomparable for uprightness of life, for learning and for greatness of soul.“

By Papal Bull dated 14 October 1504, Fisher was appointed the Bishop of Rochester at the personal insistence of Henry VII. Rochester was then the poorest diocese in England and usually seen as a first step on an ecclesiastical career. Nonetheless, Fisher stayed there, presumably by his own choice, for the remaining 31 years of his life. At the same time, like any English bishop of his day, Fisher had certain state duties. In particular, he maintained a passionate interest in the University of Cambridge. In 1504 he was elected the university’s chancellor. Re-elected annually for 10 years, Fisher ultimately received a lifetime appointment. At this date he is also said to have acted as tutor to Prince Henry, afterwards King Henry VIII. As a preacher his reputation was so great that Fisher was appointed to preach the funeral oration for King Henry VII and the Lady Margaret, both of whom died in 1509, the texts being extant. Besides his share in the Lady Margaret’s foundations, Fisher gave further proof of his zeal for learning by inducing Erasmus to visit Cambridge. The latter attributes it („Epistulae“ 6:2) to Fisher’s protection that the study of Greek was allowed to proceed at Cambridge without the active molestation that it encountered at Oxford.

Despite his fame and eloquence, it was not long before Fisher came into conflict with the new king, his former pupil. The dispute arose over funds left by the Lady Margaret, the King’s grandmother, for financing foundations at Cambridge.

In 1512 Fisher was nominated as one of the English representatives at the Fifth Council of the Lateran, then sitting, but his journey to Rome was postponed, and finally abandoned.

Fisher has also been named, though without any real proof, as the true author of the royal treatise against Martin Luther entitled „Assertio septem sacramentorum“ (Defence of the Seven Sacraments), published in 1521, which won for King Henry VIII the title „Fidei Defensor“ (Defender of the Faith). Prior to this date Fisher had denounced various abuses in the church, urging the need for disciplinary reforms. On about 11 February 1526, at the King’s command, he preached a famous sermon against Luther at St Paul’s Cross, the open-air pulpit outside St Paul’s Cathedral in London. This was in the wake of numerous other controversial writings; the battle against heterodox teachings increasingly occupied Fisher’s later years. In 1529 Fisher ordered the arrest of Thomas Hitton, a follower of William Tyndale, and subsequently interrogated him. Hitton was tortured and executed at the stake for heresy.

When Henry tried to divorce Queen Catherine of Aragon, Fisher became the Queen’s chief supporter. As such, he appeared on the Queen’s behalf in the legates‘ court, where he startled the audience by the directness of his language and by declaring that, like St John the Baptist, he was ready to die on behalf of the indissolubility of marriage. Henry VIII, upon hearing this, grew so enraged by it that he composed a long Latin address to the legates in answer to the bishop’s speech. Fisher’s copy of this still exists, with his manuscript annotations in the margin which show how little he feared the royal anger. The removal of the cause to Rome brought Fisher’s personal involvement to an end, but the king never forgave him for what he had done.

In November 1529, the „Long Parliament“ of Henry’s reign began encroaching on the Catholic Church’s prerogatives. Fisher, as a member of the upper house, the House of Lords, at once warned Parliament that such acts could only end in the utter destruction of the Catholic Church in England. The Commons, through their speaker, complained to the king that Fisher had disparaged Parliament, presumably with Henry prompting them behind the scenes. The opportunity was not lost. Henry summoned Fisher before him, demanding an explanation. This being given, Henry declared himself satisfied, leaving it to the Commons to declare that the explanation was inadequate, so that he appeared as a magnanimous sovereign, instead of Fisher’s enemy.

This yere was a coke boylyd in a cauderne in Smythfeld for he wolde a powsyned the bishop of Rochester Fycher with dyvers of hys servanttes, and he was lockyd in a chayne and pullyd up and downe with a gybbyt at dyvers tymes tyll he was dede.

A year later, in 1530, the continued encroachments on the Church moved Fisher, as Bishop of Rochester, along with the Bishops of Bath and Ely, to appeal to the Holy See. This gave the King his opportunity and an edict forbidding such appeals was immediately issued, and the three bishops were arrested. Their imprisonment, however, must have lasted only a few months for in February 1531, Convocation met, and Fisher was present. This was the occasion when the clergy were forced, at a cost of 100,000 pounds, to purchase the king’s pardon for having recognized Cardinal Wolsey’s authority as legate of the pope; and at the same time to acknowledge Henry as Supreme Head of the Church in England, to which phrase the addition of the clause „so far as God’s law permits“ was made through Fisher’s efforts.

A few days later, several of Fisher’s servants were taken ill after eating some porridge served to the household and two died. A cook, Richard Roose, was executed by boiling alive for attempted poisoning.

Fisher also engaged in secret activities to overthrow Henry. As early as 1531 he began secretly communicating with foreign diplomats. In September 1533 communicating secretly through the imperial ambassador Eustace Chapuys he encouraged Holy Roman Emperor Charles V to invade England and depose Henry in combination with a domestic uprising.

Matters now moved rapidly. In May 1532, Sir Thomas More resigned the chancellorship and, in June, Fisher preached publicly against the divorce. In August, William Warham, Archbishop of Canterbury, died and Thomas Cranmer was at once proposed by Henry to the Pope as his successor. In January of the next year, Henry secretly went through a form of marriage with Anne Boleyn. Cranmer’s consecration as a bishop took place in March 1533, and, a week later, Fisher was arrested. It seems that the purpose of this arrest was to prevent him from opposing the sentence of divorce which Cranmer pronounced in May, or the coronation of Anne Boleyn which followed on 1 June, for Fisher was set at liberty again within a fortnight of the latter event, no charge being made against him. In the autumn of 1533, various arrests were made in connection with the so-called revelations of the Holy Maid of Kent, Elizabeth Barton, but as Fisher was taken seriously ill in December, proceedings against him were postponed for a time. However, in March 1534, a special Bill of Attainder against Fisher and others for complicity in the matter of the Maid of Kent was introduced in Parliament and passed. By this, Fisher was condemned to forfeit all his personal estate and to be imprisoned during the king’s pleasure. Subsequently a pardon was granted him on payment of a fine of 300 pounds.

The same session of Parliament passed the First Succession Act, by which all who should be called upon to do so were compelled to take an oath of succession, acknowledging the issue of Henry and Anne as legitimate heirs to the throne, under pain of being guilty of misprision of treason. Fisher refused the oath and was imprisoned in the Tower of London on 26 April 1534. Several efforts were made to induce him to submit, but without effect, and in November he was attained of misprision of treason a second time, his goods being forfeited as from the previous 1 March, and the See of Rochester being declared vacant as of 2 June following. He was to remain in the Tower for over a year, and while he was allowed food and drink sent by friends, and a servant, he was not allowed a priest, even to the very end. A long letter exists, written from the Tower by Fisher to Thomas Cromwell, speaking of the severity of his conditions of imprisonment.

Like Thomas More, Bishop Fisher believed that because the statute condemned only those speaking maliciously against the King’s new title, there was safety in silence. However, on 7 May he fell into a trap laid for him by Richard Rich, who was to perjure himself to obtain Thomas More’s conviction. Rich told Fisher that for his own conscience’s sake the King wished to know, in strict secrecy, Fisher’s real opinion. Fisher, once again, declared that the king was not supreme head of the Church.

In May 1535, the newly elected Pope Paul III created Fisher Cardinal Priest of San Vitale, apparently in the hope of inducing Henry to ease Fisher’s treatment. The effect was precisely the reverse: Henry forbade the cardinal’s hat to be brought into England, declaring that he would send the head to Rome instead. In June a special commission for Fisher’s trial was issued, and on Thursday, 17 June, he was arraigned in Westminster Hall before a court of seventeen, including Thomas Cromwell, Anne Boleyn’s father, and ten justices. The charge was treason, in that he denied that the king was the Supreme Head of the Church of England. Since he had been deprived of his position of Bishop of Rochester by the Act of Attainder, he was treated as a commoner, and tried by jury. The only testimony was that of Richard Rich. John Fisher was found guilty and condemned to be hanged, drawn, and quartered at Tyburn.

However, a public outcry was brewing among the London populace who saw a sinister irony in the parallels between the conviction of Fisher and that of his patronal namesake, Saint John the Baptist, who was executed by King Herod Antipas for challenging the validity of Herod’s marriage to his brother’s divorcée Herodias. For fear of John Fisher’s living through his patronal feast day, that of the Nativity of St John the Baptist on 24 June, and of attracting too much public sympathy, King Henry commuted the sentence to that of beheading, to be accomplished before 23 June, the Vigil of the feast of the Nativity of St John the Baptist. He was executed on Tower Hill on 22 June 1535. The execution had the opposite effect from that which King Henry VIII intended as it created yet another parallel with that of the martyrdom of St John the Baptist who was also beheaded; his death also happened on the feast day of Saint Alban, the first martyr of Britain.

Fisher’s last moments were in keeping with his life. He met death with a calm dignified courage which profoundly impressed those present. His body was treated with particular rancour, apparently on Henry’s orders, being stripped and left on the scaffold until the evening, when it was taken on pikes and thrown naked into a rough grave in the churchyard of All Hallows‘ Barking, also known as All Hallows-by-the-Tower. There was no funeral prayer. A fortnight later, his body was laid beside that of Sir Thomas More in the chapel of St Peter ad Vincula within the Tower of London. Fisher’s head was stuck upon a pole on London Bridge but its ruddy and lifelike appearance excited so much attention that, after a fortnight, it was thrown into the Thames, its place being taken by that of Sir Thomas More, whose martyrdom, also at Tower Hill, occurred on 6 July.

Fisher was a figure universally esteemed throughout Europe and notwithstanding the subsequent efforts of the English government, was to remain so. In the Decree of Beatification issued on 29 December 1886 by Pope Leo XIII, when 54 English martyrs were beatified, the greatest place was given to Fisher. He was later canonised, on 19 May 1935, by Pope Pius XI along with Thomas More, after the presentation of a petition by English Catholics.

Fisher was beatified by Pope Leo XIII with Thomas More and 52 other English Martyrs on 29 December 1886 and canonised, with Thomas More, on 19 May 1935 by Pope Pius XI. His feast day, for celebration jointly with St Thomas More, is on 22 June (the date of Fisher’s execution). In 1980, despite being an opponent of the English Reformation, Fisher was added to the Church of England’s calendar of Saints and Heroes of the Christian Church, jointly with Thomas More, to be commemorated every 6 July (the date of More’s execution) as „Thomas More, Scholar, and John Fisher, Bishop of Rochester, Reformation Martyrs, 1535“.

In addition to his above-mentioned listing by the Church of England, he is also listed along with Thomas More in the calendar of saints of some of the other Churches of the Anglican Communion, like The Anglican Church of Australia.

Several portraits of Fisher exist, the most prominent being by Hans Holbein the Younger in the Royal Collection; and a few secondary relics are extant.

Fisher’s walking-staff is in the possession of the Eyston family of East Hendred, in Oxfordshire (formerly Berkshire).

John Fisher was portrayed by veteran actor Joseph O’Conor in the film Anne of the Thousand Days (1969), by Bosco Hogan in the miniseries The Tudors, and by Geoffrey Lewis in the 1971 miniseries The Six Wives of Henry VIII.

A list of Fisher’s writings is found in Joseph Gillow’s Bibliographical Dictionary of the English Catholics (London, s.d.), II, 262–270. There are twenty-six works in all, printed and manuscript, mostly ascetical or controversial treatises, several of which have been reprinted many times. The original editions are very rare and valuable. The principal are:

Due to his status as the Bishop of Rochester, Fisher has been adopted as a patron of several institutions in other cities named „Rochester“ including St. John Fisher College and Saint John of Rochester Catholic Church in the Rochester, New York area, and Saint John Fisher Catholic Church near Rochester, Michigan.

Artondale, Washington

Artondale is a census-designated place (CDP) in Pierce County, Washington, United States. The population was 12,653 at the 2010 census.

Based on per capita income, one of the more reliable measures of affluence, Artondale ranks 82nd of 522 areas in the state of Washington to be ranked.

Artondale is located at (47.300052, -122.629242).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the CDP has a total area of 13.8 square miles (35.8 km²), of which, 13.6 square miles (35.2 km²) of it is land and 0.25 square miles (0.7 km²) of it (1.82%) is water.

As of the census of 2000, there were 8,630 people, 3,006 households, and 2,522 families residing in the CDP. The population density was 855.1 people per square mile (330.2/km²). There were 3,087 housing units at an average density of 305.9/sq mi (118.1/km²). The racial makeup of the CDP was 92.69% White, 0.76% African American, 0.56% Native American, 1.55% Asian, 0.28% Pacific Islander, 0.82% from other races, and 3.34% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.15% of the population.

Artondale had 3,006 households out of which 44.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 71.8% were married couples living together, 8.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.1% were non-families. 13.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 3.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.14.

In the CDP the population was spread out with 30.3% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 28.5% from 45 to 64, and 7.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 97.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.4 males.

The median income for a household in the CDP was $63,500, and the median income for a family was $66,533. Males had a median income of $52,261 versus $35,992 for females. The per capita income for the CDP was $25,539. About 1.3% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.2% of those under age 18 and none of those age 65 or over.

Antignano (Livorno)


Antignano è un quartiere di Livorno, precisamente il più meridionale: infatti è solo nel corso del XX secolo che, da località a sé stante, viene inglobato nel tessuto urbano della città labronica.

L’abitato si trova a sud del quartiere di Ardenza a pochi chilometri dalla frazione di Quercianella, dalla quale è separato da un suggestivo tratto di costa a strapiombo sul Mar Ligure e dove sorgono alcune torri d’avvistamento. A partire dall’anno 2007, per la qualità dei servizi e delle acque di balneazione, il quartiere ha ricevuto la Bandiera Blu.

Nelle vicinanze si trovano cave di pietra che furono usate per la costruzione delle mura cittadine e per lastricare le strade (pietra d’Antignano).

Le origini dell’abitato sono remote poiché si ritiene che il nome di Antignano derivi da quello di un Antinius o Antonius (Antenius, secondo Pieri), un gentilizio romano proprietario dell’area sulla quale poi sorgerà il primo villaggio. Secondo altri potrebbe derivare da Ante Ignem, ovvero la località posta prima dei fuochi di segnalazione per le navi dirette a Porto Pisano (Ardenza, da Ardens).

I primi documenti che attestano l’esistenza di questo borgo assieme ad una chiesa risalgono al XII secolo, ma la zona era abitata sin da epoche remote, come mostrano numerosi ritrovamenti archeologici rinvenuti tra lo stesso villaggio e il borgo storico di Ardenza. Nel 1370 si ha notizia della costruzione di una nuova chiesa, consacrata a Santa Lucia e successivamente inglobata all’interno di un fortilizio (XVI secolo) voluto da Cosimo I de‘ Medici, signore di Livorno. Nel 1737 il forte, munito di 4 cannoni di bronzo e diverse spingarde, fu dismesso e adibito ad altre destinazioni, fino ad ospitare un albergo (Albergo Cremoni) alla fine del XIX secolo.

Infatti Antignano conobbe un intenso sviluppo legato al turismo balneare che, a partire da Livorno, aveva portato alla realizzazione di molti stabilimenti lungo il litorale. L’apertura del nuovo viale a mare fino alla Rotonda d’Ardenza e l’entrata in servizio, nel 1899, di una nuova linea tramviaria elettrificata, portarono alla costruzione di numerose ed eleganti ville (tra cui quella del compositore Pietro Mascagni), in cui ancor oggi è possibile osservare chiari riferimenti all’Art Nouveau, all’Eclettismo e persino al Razionalismo, come nel caso della Villa Baiocchi. Peraltro, già nel 1855, lo sviluppo urbanistico della località rese necessario trasferire il piccolo cimitero, allora prossimo alla chiesa di Santa Lucia, in un’area più periferica, a breve distanza dal Castello del Boccale.

Un’ulteriore espansione dell’abitato si è avuta solo negli ultimi anni del Novecento, con l’urbanizzazione della zona di Banditella, un tempo luogo di ispirazione per i pittori Macchiaioli.

Oltre ad essere servito regolarmente dalle linee di autobus urbane, Antignano è dotato di una propria stazione ferroviaria, inaugurata a seguito dell’apertura della nuova linea Tirrenica, nel 1910. Curiosamente la stazione porta esclusivamente il nome del quartiere, anziché essere preceduto dal nome della città.

Inoltre, davanti all’antico castello mediceo, si apre un piccolo porticciolo per imbarcazioni da diporto di modeste dimensioni.

Fra il 1897, anno in cui fu inaugurata la tranvia elettrica San Marco-Antignano con diramazione per Ardenza Mare, e l’inizio degli anni trenta, Antignano rappresentò uno dei capilinea della rete tranviaria di Livorno la quale nel 1908 si arricchì della linea delle pianacce Antignano-Montenero, realizzata a cura di un’altra società rispetto al gestore della rete ma subito integrata nella stessa.

Altri progetti


Nördlicher Elektrischer Sterngucker (Astroscopus guttatus)

Die Himmelsgucker oder Sterngucker (Uranoscopidae (Gr.: „ourannos“ = Himmel, + „skopein“ = beobachten)) sind eine Fischfamilie aus der Gruppe der Barschverwandten, die in Meeren mit tropischem und gemäßigtem Klima am Meeresboden in bis zu 500 m Tiefe vorkommt.

Himmelsgucker sind begehrte feinfleischige Speisefische.

Himmelsgucker haben ein bulliges Äußeres, einen leicht dorsoventral abgeplatteten Körper und einen großen, breiten und stark verknöcherten Kopf. Das Maul ist extrem oberständig, die Lippen fransig. Ihr Name kommt daher, dass sie meistens im sandigen oder schlammigen Boden vergraben lauern und nur die kleinen Augen an der Oberseite des Kopfes sichtbar sind. Hinter dem Kiemendeckel liegt ein kräftiger Giftstachel. Der Kiemendeckelsaum ist lang, gekerbt, und ermöglicht so die Ausatmung im Sediment. Der Körper ist mit sehr kleinen Schuppen bedeckt oder schuppenlos. Das Seitenlinienorgan liegt weit oben, in Rückennähe. Die Bauchflossen sind kehlständig und liegen nah zusammen, sie haben einen Hart- und fünf Weichstrahlen. Die erste, kleine, hartstrahlige Rückenflosse ist immer von der zweiten, langgestreckten getrennt. Einigen Arten fehlt die erste Rückenflosse. Die lange Afterflosse hat 12 bis 18 Weichstrahlen. Die Schwanzflosse schließt gerade ab oder ist leicht eingebuchtet. Einige Arten besitzen mehr oder weniger starke elektrische Organe (entstanden aus Augenmuskeln). Als Köder zum Anlocken von Beutetieren dient einigen Arten ein wurmartiger Fortsatz innen am Unterkiefer (Mandibular-Valve). Zum Packen der Beute wird der Kopf stark angehoben, wozu die vordersten Wirbel entsprechend differenziert sind.

Es gibt acht Gattungen mit etwa 50 Arten:

Cups (game)

Cups was one of several games invented in 1965 by father and son Arthur Amberstone and Wald Amberstone who were both cofounders of the New York Gamers Association (N.Y.G.A.). They also invented Power, and High Deck, a card game based on medieval society. At the time both were working as basket makers as well as game designers in New York City. This game was first published in A Gamut of Games by Sid Sackson in 1969. Wald Amberstone co-founded the Tarot School in 1995 along with his wife Ruth Amberstone. The game Cups is a contemporary two-ranked single-lap member of the ancient game family of Mancala.

The Cups board is constructed from ten containers: eight small containers called cups and two large containers called pots. In addition to these, 80 beans are needed. Traditionally, the game is played with odds and ends, jars, drinking cups and assorted items serving as the beans.

Each player has four cups in front of him and a pot at the end of each row on the farthest right. Each of the player’s four cups is aligned adjacent to one of the other player’s four cups. Each player receives forty beans as his stock and sits across from the other player.

Lower player begins by sowing four beans from his stock left to right.

Higher player sows three beans from his stock right to left and captures a bean.

Lower player sows the bean closest to his pot into his pot.

Players only play on their own four cups. At the beginning of a player’s turn the player has the option of doing one of two things.

If the player chooses option one and the last bean lands in an empty cup a capture may take place. In a capture the opponent’s cup adjacent to the formerly empty cup is emptied and placed into the capturing player’s pot, unless the opponents cup is empty.

A blocked cup is one that contains more beans than would be needed to perform option two, sowing the beans into the pot. Generally, it is unwise to block one’s cups because it makes sowing from that cup impossible.

The object of Cups is to have more beans in one’s pot than one’s opponent. The game ends when neither player can make a move: a turn is always made if one is possible.

This game can also be played with any even number of cups. The cups are arranged in the same manner as above were each cup has one of the opponent’s cup adjacent to it and a pot on each end. Ten beans are added to a player’s stock for each extra cup he has. For example, if a player has ten cups he would have 100 beans and the board would consist of 22 containers.

Alexander Taneyev

Alexander Sergeyevich Taneyev (Russian: Алекса́ндр Серге́евич Тане́ев, also transliterated as Taneiev, Tanaiev, Taneieff, and Taneyeff in English; January 17, 1850, Saint Petersburg – February 7, 1918, Petrograd) was a Russian state official and composer of the late Romantic era, specifically of the nationalist school. Among his better-known works were three string quartets, believed to have been composed between 1898–1900.

Alexander Taneyev is not well known outside Russia. His name is often confused with that of his distant cousin Sergei Taneyev (1856–1915).

A member of Russian aristocracy, Taneyev was a high-ranking state official, serving for 22 years as the head of His Imperial Majesty’s Own Chancellery. His daughter Anna Vyrubova was a lady in waiting and best friend of Tsarina Alexandra. Vyrubova is best known for her friendship with the Romanov family and with the starets Grigori Rasputin.

Alexander Taneyev inherited an enthusiasm for music from his parents. He was dissuaded from pursuing a career as a musician due to his position in the Russian upper class. After studying at university, he entered the Russian civil service, succeeding his father as Director of the Imperial Chancellery. After 1900 he was the head of the folksong collection project of the Russian Geographical Society. Several of the songs collected during this period were later arranged and published by Anatoly Lyadov.

Taneyev pursued musical studies in Germany and later in Petersburg, where he became a student of Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Taneyev’s situation at this time bore similarities to that of fellow composer Alexander Borodin. Both were composers whose main occupation was not in music (Borodin was a chemistry professor; Taneyev held a bureaucratic post). It was rumored that Taneyev kept a score that he was working on hidden beneath official documents so that he might pen a few notes between appointments.

Taneyev’s compositional output was large: two operas, four symphonies, several pieces for orchestra, numerous choral works, and a considerable amount of chamber music including three string quartets. The influence on his work of the other Russian composers, such as Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakirev and Lyadov, is often noted.

Taneyev married Nadezhda Illarionovna Tolstoy (1860-1937). They had three children: Anna Vyrubova (1884-1964); Sergei Alexandrovich (1886-1975); and Alexandra Alexandrovna (1888-1968), who married Alexander Erikovich von Pistohlkors, the stepson of Grand Duke Paul Alexandrovich of Russia.