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Sunday, February 13, 2011

Nepal is a country in South Asia.Nepal is a landlocked country between India and China.Kathmandu is the capital and largest city of Nepal.Nepal is a country of highly diverse and rich geography, culture.the deepest in the world canyon Kali Gandaki.The mountainous north has eight of the world's ten. Nepal is the world's 93rd largest country by land mass.There are a great many- out of all of the cities in a country, only one is the national capital.Certain areas of the southern flatlands have been declared as National.Nepal's real GDP at producer prices grew by 4.7 per cent.Most Hindus accept Buddha, even if they do not accept all Buddhist teachings.Many Nepali do not distinguish between Hinduism and Buddhism and follow both religious traditions.Nepal
Officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked country in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India. With an area of 147,181 square kilometres and a population of approximately 30 million, Nepal is the world's 93rd largest country by land mass and the 41st most populous country. Kathmandu is the nation's capital and the country's largest metropolis.

Nepal has a rich geography. The mountainous north has eight of the world's ten tallest mountains, including the highest point on Earth, Mount Everest, called Sagarmatha in Nepali. It contains more than 240 peaks over 20,000 ft
above sea level. The fertile and humid south is heavily urbanized.

By some measures, Hinduism is practised by a larger majority of people in Nepal than in any other nation. Buddhism, though a minority faith in the country, is linked historically with Nepal as the birthplace of the Buddha. Many Nepali do not distinguish between Hinduism and Buddhism and follow both religious traditions. There are 3 different buddhist traditions: Himalayan Buddhism, Buddhism of Kathmandu Valley and also the Theravada Buddhism.

A monarchy throughout most of its history, Nepal was ruled by the Shah dynasty of kings from 1768, when Prithvi Narayan Shah unified its many small kingdoms. In 2006, however, a decade-long Civil War by the Communist Party of Nepal (Maoist) along with several weeks of mass protests by all major political parties of Nepal culminated in a peace accord, and the ensuing elections for the constituent assembly voted overwhelmingly in favor of the abdication of the last Nepali monarch Gyanendra Shah and the establishment of a federal democratic republic in 28 May 2008.[9] The first President of Nepal, Ram Baran Yadav, was sworn in on 23 July 2008.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


In the year 4 B.C., Rome was flourishing in the golden age of Caesar Augustus. Though not yet expanded to its fullest extent, the Empire included all the Mediterranean lands, including Palestine. Indeed, Palestine had been benefiting from the Pax Romana for more than half a century, and though the Jews had once or twice tried to throw off the Roman yoke, they had not succeeded.

A proud and active people, they chafed under the rule of Roman Governors, but they were not unaware of their limitations, and at this time, probably more than any other, they were looking forward to the appearance among them of a miraculous king, a Messiah, who would free them from the bondage of Rome.
Such a king had been a part of Jewish religious belief for several centuries, for the Romans had not been the first foreign power to subjugate them. They held that one of their great prophets, Isaiah, had foretold the coming of such a king.
Isaiah had lived in the eighth century B.C. at the very time that the city of Rome was being founded, and he had foretold the subjugation of the Jews by Babylon, which occurred some two hundred years after his death. From the time of the Babylonian captivity (586 B.C.) the Jews suffered from succeeding foreign conquerors, and during all this time they had consoled themselves with the hope of the Messiah.
In religion, the Jews had long been distinguished from most of their ancient contemporaries by believing in and worshipping one God, as compared with the many gods of the Greeks, the Romans and the Assyrians, for example. This God, Jehovah, was all-powerful, a jealous God who punished if his commands were not implicitly obeyed. The Jewish prophets presented world history as the moral judgment of God on mankind.
This conception of God naturally regulated the Jewish attitude to life. Jehovah demanded that Man should live in righteousness. Goodness is the road to God, and by the same road God sends happiness in exchange.
From this they developed the view that the exchange is not Man’s right, but comes to him by the favour of Jehovah, and that this favour can only be obtained by Man obeying God’s commands implicitly; that is, by serving God.
Jewish national life was controlled by these beliefs, and it is interesting to notice that throughout their long history of subjugation by foreign powers they struggled not for political freedom but for the right to worship in their own way. This right was almost always accorded to them.
In practising their religion they had gradually built up a strict code of religious observances, in which ritual and ceremonial played a great part. The central point, the focus, of the religion was the Temple in Jerusalem. The destruction of the Temple which happened several times in Jewish history was always regarded as the most severe of all punishments which God could inflict.
The Temple and the local synagogues were administered by the priests. The priests constituted a special class in the community, and for many centuries they were drawn from one clan only, the Levites, the office being passed down from father to son. About 500 B.C., when certain reforms were undertaken, a higher order of priests was introduced, with a high priest at the head of them. This higher order of priests administered the Temple, and had a far more powerful influence in the lives of the people than their political leaders.

To maintain this influence, they insisted on the strict observance of religious rites and festivals—the Law and the Prophets, as laid down in the Scriptures. The festivals punctuated the Jewish year to mark historical events, such as the Passover, which celebrated the exodus from bondage in Egypt, and so on. With the reforms of 500 B.C., however, a new festival was introduced. Called the Day of Atonement (the seeking of divine forgiveness for sins) and now familiarly known as Yom Kippur, it is thought to commemorate the day on which Moses came down from Mount Sinai with the Tables of the Law and proclaimed forgiveness for worshipping the Golden Calf. (The story of this can be found in the Old Testament, the Book of Exodus chapter 32 and chapter 34.)
At the time of the great festivals, the priests required as many Jews as possible to make a pilgrimage to the Temple. Those who made such a pilgrimage and performed certain sacrifices when they reached the Temple could have a greater hope of forgiveness than those who did not.
These rules and regulations, like every other, were designed to give to the priests a greater power over the people than they might otherwise have achieved. It must be stressed that in their belief that Jehovah was the only One True God, the Jews held that all who did not worship Him could not hope for salvation; and that salvation could only come to the Jews if they obeyed the Law and the priests.
This, then, was the religious situation when in 4 B.C. there was born in the village of Bethlehem, about five miles south-west of Jerusalem, a boy who was given the common Jewish name, Jesus.
According to the accounts of the birth, life and teaching of Jesus contained in four short documents known as the Gospels “good news” the birth of the boy was accompanied by certain miraculous events.
His mother was Mary, wife of a carpenter called Joseph, who lived at Nazareth. Shortly before they were married, Mary had been visited by an angel who had told her that the Holy Ghost would come to her and she would conceive; and though she came to Joseph a virgin, she was actually pregnant when they were married.
Shortly before the birth of Mary’s baby was due, the Emperor Augustus decreed that a census of all the inhabitants of his Empire should be taken. For this purpose, every man was to return to his birthplace to be counted.
Joseph’s birthplace was Bethlehem, and he set out from Nazareth with his wife. When they arrived at Bethlehem, they found that all the public accommodation had already been taken and that the only place that could be offered them was a stable at the inn. Here the baby was born.
The birth was accompanied by a number of supernatural happenings: the appearance, to a party of local shepherds, of a choir of angels, and the arrival of wise men from the East who had been led to Bethlehem by a moving star. The latter had been told in dreams that a king was to be born in Bethlehem who would lead the Jews out of their present bondage, a declaration which they interpreted literally, though the actual meaning was symbolic that He would lead the Jews out of their rigid religious bondage to a state of spiritual salvation.
According to the author of Matthew’s gospel, Herod, the King of Judaea, also heard this news of the birth of a King. To avoid trouble in the future he first tried by a ruse to have the baby brought to him. But when Joseph heard that Herod was searching for the boy, he fled with his wife and the child to Egypt, and remained there until Herod died; while Herod, determined to rid himself of this threat to his throne, ordered the massacre of all the male children in Bethlehem who were two years and under, hoping thereby to include Jesus.
The next we hear of Jesus is on His achieving the status of manhood at the age of twelve. Following religious custom, Joseph went up to Jerusalem at feast-time to worship in the Temple. On the journey home, they found the boy missing, and on hurrying back to Jerusalem discovered Him in the Temple arguing with the theologians there.
When Joseph rebuked the boy for not staying with the family, Jesus replied, “Did you not realize that I must be about my Father’s business?” thereby demonstrating that from infancy He was conscious of having been sent into the world from God to accomplish some specific task.
For the next eighteen years, however, He lived in Nazareth in obscurity, working as a carpenter. After the death of Joseph it is probable that as head of the family He supported His mother and brothers and sisters.
When He was not quite thirty, His cousin John began to make a name for himself in Judaea as a prophet. John’s preaching foretold the coming of a saviour, of a Messiah, of the Messiah as preached by Isaiah five hundred years earlier.
It seems that Jesus realized now that John was referring to Him, and that He must begin the special work for which He had been born. So He went to John, and was baptized by His cousin in the river Jordan.
Gathering round Him a few young disciples, He began at Capernaum, on the Lake of Tiberias, in Galilee, a ministry of teaching and healing.
The main theme of His preaching was the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth. In parables winch attracted both attention and curiosity, He described the nature of this kingdom or rule of God which He had come to initiate. At the same time by restoring the sick to health, by feeding the hungry and raising the dead to life, He demonstrated the divine mercy which was so different from the jealous and awful judgments which Jehovah passed on those who did not obey His commands.
The true God was a God of mercy and forgiveness; and His own role was that of the Saviour of mankind from the results of their sins.
The essence of His teaching is to be found in what we now call the Sermon on the Mount. Beginning with the nine Beatitudes (Blessed are the meek, the poor in spirit, they that mourn, that seek righteousness, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, the merciful and those who are persecuted for the faith) and including the Lord’s Prayer, the Sermon sets out clearly Christ’s moral code, which may be summed up as: Love your enemies, tolerance, honesty, simplicity, meekness.
This teaching, if not in direct conflict with the teaching of the priests, was so different from it and so appealing in its freshness of concept that God is Love that people were drawn to Him and collected in great crowds wherever He went. This naturally brought Him into collision with the religious authorities who recognized that if His influence spread it could mean the end of their own doctrinaire teaching and destroy the privileges which the ancient system granted them; in other words, it threatened their authority over the people.
From the early days of His ministry, therefore, the religious leaders determined to put Jesus to death.
For His part, Jesus recognized that only through death could He accomplish His task, the seed must fall into the ground and die in order to live.
He had always made a practice of going to Jerusalem for all the festivals, and visited the Temple for the Passover in the third year of His ministry He was conscious that the end was very near. By raising Lazarus from the dead and by cleansing the defiled Temple, He deliberately provoked the priests to action against Him.
Through the treachery of one of His disciples, Judas Iscariot, He was quietly arrested after praying in the Garden of Gethsemane; an illegal trial was hurriedly held during the night; and on the morning of the Feast the religious authorities demanded that the Roman Procurator, Pontius Pilate, should authorize the crucifixion of their victim.
The Roman sense of justice at first rebelled against this application to have murder judicially approved and permitted, for Pilate had seen behind the arguments put forward by the religious authorities and had observed that they were not valid. However, when the High Priests threatened to denounce Pilate to his jealous and suspicious Emperor, Tiberius, Pilate agreed, though he made a show of refusing responsibility for the judgment. So Jesus was crucified on Mount Calvary probably in A.D. 29 or 30.
This is the full extent of the historical life of Jesus as we know it. His disciples claimed, however, that after His body had been three days in the tomb, He rose again, and the Gospels give accounts of several appearances which He made to several of His followers. The last of these appearances occurred forty days after the crucifixion.
On this occasion He appeared to the eleven disciples as they were meeting together in Jerusalem. After talking with them for a time, He asked them to go out with Him; and He went with them as far as Bethany, two miles east of Jerusalem, to the Mount of Olives. While He blessed them there, “he was taken up to heaven”.
Though the religious leaders imagined that with the death of Jesus they would remove the threat to their own authority, they quickly discovered that they were wrong.
Obeying Jesus’ command, His followers, after a short period of frightened disorganization, began to preach the faith which He had preached. It was the beginning of a mission which has lasted throughout the intervening two thousand years and which has spread to every corner of the world. No other religion has had so great an influence on the personal lives of so many people. Christians outnumber Hindus three to one, Muslims more than three to one and Buddhists four to one.
Christianity recognizes Man’s claim to a highest good, and promises blessings which constitute a full salvation for the individual. By his very nature, Man is conscious of his imperfections, especially in the realms of moral rectitude. Christianity offers release from the guilt and the penalties of sin for the individual, and holds out hope of final salvation for the individual. It is, in fact, this stress upon the individual’s relationship with God in which Christianity differs from other religions.
The principles of the Good Life as laid down by Jesus are without doubt the best rules which a man can follow to achieve the greatest spiritual fulfilment, whether he accepts Christianity as a faith, or whether he has no faith at all.


In the year 563 B.C., the principal religion of India was Brahminism. Brahminism was a modified version of an older religion still, Vedism, whose “scriptures” are considered to have been the work of poets living between 2000 and 1000 B.C., and came into being round about the year 1000 B.C. as the result of the increasing number and the growing influence of the Brahmins, or priests.
Vedism was a religion which provided for the worship of a very-large numbers of gods, for, strictly speaking, every aspect of Indian life and every act performed by a man was considered to be religious, and had to be accompanied by a prayer of religious right. Nevertheless, all the different gods were regarded each as one aspect of the one Supreme Being.

Vishnu with Lakshmi, on the serpent Ananta Shesha, as Brahma emerges from a lotus risen from Vishnu's navel
The gods of Vedism were chiefly personifications of natural objects and forces, and while Brahminism retained the concept of the one supreme God, the One All Brahma, worshipped in all his many forms, the great difference between the ancient religion and Brahminism was a striking one.
In Vedism the gods were worshipped, feared and conciliated by prayers and sacrifices; while in Brahminism they were considered to be controlled by the sacrifices offered or by hymns chanted by the Brahmins.
This was a very important distinction, and one that was chiefly responsible for the development of the religion, for, as will be seen, those who wielded the supreme power were no longer the gods, but the Brahmins who controlled the gods. On the proper performance of the Brahmins’ priestly duties everything, even the acts of the gods themselves, depended.
The principal teaching of the religion was that it was a Way of Life. The good man was the virtuous, upright, honest man, who achieved this state by the strict observance of religious rites and ceremonies. But the Brahmins also taught that these rites and ceremonies had to be performed according to stringent regulations, which were so intricate that only the priests could perform them properly and therefore effectively. So the ordinary man had to engage the services of a priest if he was to attain the Way of Life. The priest was absolutely essential as the channel of communication between men and the gods, and from this it followed that the priests attained a power scarcely before or since acquired by the priesthood of any religion.
This priestly superiority over ordinary men was established even more firmly by the introduction of a caste system, in which the priests represented the highest caste.
The teaching of Brahminism was based on two classes of religious literature, one regarded as inspired, the other as uninspired. The inspired literature embraces the Mantras, or Vedic hymns, and the Brahamanas. The latter are prose or liturgical treatises intended primarily as manuals for the Brahmins, and they lay principal stress on ritual, not, as do the Vedas, on theology and ethics.

Adi Shankara Bhagavadpada, expounder of Advaita Vedanta and commentator (bhashya) on the Upanishads
Attached to the Brahamanas are theosophic discourses called Aranyakas, and also Upanishads. The Upanishads are collections of philosophical obiter dicta uttered by many men living at different times, and they constitute for Brahminists (and for modern Hindus) the principal authority in philosophical matters. They conceive Brahma, the Supreme Entity, as
(I) an absolute impersonal being,
(II) as the ground of being,
(III) as the personal God, the one creator and ruler.
On the whole, it is the first conception that predominates, the second following it at no great distance.
The uninspired writings include the code of Manu, which teaches Brahminic doctrine. This code, besides containing a system of theology and philosophy, gives minute directions for the regulation of the individual life from the cradle to the grave.
Others are the two great epics, the Mahabharata and the Rama-Yana, in which the outstanding doctrines of Brahminism are taught. Embedded in the Mahabharata, the Iliad of India, it has been called, is a poem in praise of Krishna, one of the chief Hindu gods, called the Bhagavad-Gita, the Holy Song, generally regarded as one of the most exquisite specimens of religious poetry.
Such then was the religious situation in India when, round about 563 B.C. a certain Maya, while on a journey from Kapilavastu, the capital of the Kshatriya caste of the Sakya clan, whose country lay along the southern edge of Nepal, gave birth to a son in the Lumbini Garden of Nepal.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Coin Collection

The decade between 1834 and 1844 was the beginning of the modern era at the United States mint. The second half of this decade was especially interesting. A number of experiments and acts of legislation provided some of most attractive and popular issues in the history of American coinage.
A combination of factors occurred in the early to mid 1830’s that led to these design changes and the introduction of new mints and new denominations. Large quantities of gold were discovered in North Georgia and western North Carolina in the early 1830’s. This led to the establishment, in 1834, of branch mints in Charlotte, New Orleans and Dahlonega. These mints opened in 1838 and by the end of the 1830’s, all three were producing gold coins.
An important technological advance was the introduction of the steam press in 1836. Coins were now able to be struck using a close collar which allowed for a thicker edge and a more precise diameter and sophisticated designs. It also meant that the quaint, “folk art” designs of John Reich were to be replaced with more modern, technologically savvy renderings.
Christian Gobrecht was named the new Mint Engraver in 1835, after the exodus of John Reich. Gobrecht was a talented artisan whose skill enabled the Mint to modernize its gold coinage. Beginning in 1838, he attempted to create a uniform Liberty Head design for all three of the current gold denominations. This design would remain, with minor changes, until 1907.
One of the first assignments that Gobrecht was given was to design a new gold dollar. A small number of experimental pieces were produced in gold (Judd-67) as well as in a gold alloy, silver and copper. Despite an attractive design, this experiment did not produce any immediate results and the gold dollar denomination was shelved until 1849.
As more and more gold was discovered in the south, the importance of the yellow metal in coinage increased. Conversely, large discoveries of silver in Mexico and South America meant that the price of gold bullion rose. The Classic Head quarter eagle was introduced in 1834 and it featured a design by William Kneass and John Reich. The weight of these quarter eagles was reduced to 258 grains (from 270) and the diameter was lessened from nineteen millimeters to 17.5. Most importantly, mintage figures rose dramatically. Between 1829 and 1834 around 25,000 quarter eagles were struck. In 1834 alone, over 112,000 of the new Classic Head pieces were produced.
Gobrecht’s experimentation with the Classic Head design began in 1835 when the head was made taller. In 1836, there are no less than three variations of the head: the original design of 1834, the taller head of 1835 (based on Kneass’ original design) and the head of 1837 (with the hair distant from the sixth star) which was actually executed by Gobrecht.
Gobrecht’s experimentation went a step further in 1838. The Philadelphia quarter eagles of this year are noticeably different in appearance than those dated 1835-1837. The 1838 issues have a very broad obverse border, smaller stars and a new variation of the Classic Head portrait that is modeled on the original Kneass design of 1834 but with a taller, differently positioned head.
Production at the branch mints began in 1838 with the striking of 7,880 quarter eagles at the Charlotte mint. The design of the head was similar to that seen on the Philadelphia quarter eagles of this year. The most notable overall difference is a very pronounced doubled obverse rim that is different from that seen on any other quarter eagle of this era. The Mint made the decision to place the mintmark on the obverse and on the 1838-C it is prominently doubled.
In 1839, the head was redesigned–yet again–on the Philadelphia issues. The back and upper curls are different in shape and the stars are larger. In addition, the obverse denticles are longer and finely defined. The reverse is the same as seen on 1836.
Three branch mints coined quarter eagles in 1839. The 1839-C coins are found with an 1839/8 overdate and an 1839/39 repunched date. The mintmark is still prominently displayed on the obverse but it is further to the left than on the 1838-C. In addition, the denticles are much longer and finer in 1839.
Both the 1839-D and 1839-O issues have a distinctive appearance. The former has very long, boldly detailed denticles on the obverse and reverse. The latter has a more narrow border with much smaller, more rounded denticles. The 1839-O is found with two major varieties. One has a high date with a widely spaced fraction on the reverse while the other has a low date with a closely spaced fraction.
Why are there so many varieties known? Part of the reason may have to do with the Mint’s embrace of new technology. The steam press and close collar were complicated to use and it took a while to learn how to best employ them. And the original Kneass Classic Head design did not strike very well. Most Classic Head quarter eagles show weakness at the centers, due to the fact that the high point of the obverse was opposite the high point on the reverse. The mint was constantly tweaking this design in order to get better struck coins. As evidenced by the results through 1839, this did not work and the fact that Classic Head gold coins are nearly always poorly struck was probably the major reason why the Liberty Head design was introduced.
The new Christian Gobrecht Liberty Head design was first used on eagles in 1838. It made its way to half eagles in 1839 and quarter eagles in 1840.
A very noticeable change was the moving of the mintmark to the reverse. It is not known whether this was done for aesthetic reasons or to facilitate better striking.
Other changes can be seen on quarter eagles from the 1840 to 1843 era but they are more subtle. From 1840 to 1842, date sizes from all four mints are tiny. In 1843, large and small date varieties are found on Charlotte and New Orleans strikings. Philadelphia quarter eagles from this year are found with only a large date while Dahlonega quarter eagles are seen only with a small date. Mintmark sizes vary in 1843 as well with large and small punches seen on all three branch mint issues.
Beginning in 1844, the quarter eagle design becomes more settled. Date and mintmark sizes are more consistent. Why did the wholesale changes of the first four years suddenly stop? One would have to suspect this was due to the Mint finally being satisfied with the designs and reaching the decision that these were the most suitable for producing good strikes and were the most difficult to counterfeit.
There are a number of varieties seen on the Classic Head half eagles but not as many as on the quarter eagles. In 1834 there are two distinct head design and the 4 in the date is seen with both plain and crosslet varieties. In 1835 there are three varieties of head and both large and small dates. When Gobrecht became more involved in the design process in 1836, three distinct head types can be seen. The design becomes more uniform in 1837 and stays the same through 1838.
The Mint was more successful in striking the half eagle of this design than the quarter eagle. While most Classic Head half eagles show some weakness at the centers, they are much better detailed than their smaller counterparts. The fact that the mint was able to successfully strike this design in the larger format suggests that this may have been part of the motivation behind the constant tinkering with the quarter eagle.
Branch mint half eagles were struck at Charlotte and Dahlonega in 1838. These issues each have a very distinctive appearance and both show the mintmark on the obverse. The 1838-C has very narrow borders with tiny denticles, weakness at the centers and a loss of detail on the eagle’s feathers due to over-lapping of the dies. The 1838-D has a broader border with distinctive denticles, sharper detail at the centers and more complete feathers on the reverse.
In 1839 Gobrecht’s coronet head design began on the half eagle denomination. It featured a liberty head with a very curved neck truncation and the mintmark displayed prominently on the obverse. This design was deliberately made to be similar to the 1838 eagle, as it was planned that all three gold denominations would ultimately have a similar appearance.
The design was modified in 1840. The truncation of Liberty’s neck was no longer so curved and the mintmark was moved to the reverse. The mint experimented considerably with diameter and date size in 1840. Some issues are seen with a so-called Broad Mill which has a diameter that is approximately 23 millimeters. Others have a Narrow Mill that is around 21 millimeters. The edge reeding has different varieties as well with some showing a very fine configuration and others more coarse in shape.
The next areas of experimentation seen on half eagles are date and lettering size. In 1842, half eagles from three of the four mints (all except New Orleans) have large date and small date varieties. The Philadelphia and Dahlonega coins dated 1842 also have small and large letter varieties on the reverse. This continued into 1843 when New Orleans experimented with date and letter size variations. In 1844, the mint decided that date and letter sizes would be large.
Again, we can assume that these experiments from the 1840’s were done primarily to decide what would be the best design to enable half eagles to be well struck and hard to counterfeit. The design that was adapted in 1844 went basically unchanged (with the exception of the motto IN GOD WE TRUST being added in 1866) until 1907.
After being discontinued in 1804, the eagle was resurrected in 1838. This was the “crown jewel” of gold denominations which is why it was the first to be completely redesigned by Christian Gobrecht. His initial design featured a Liberty Head with an extremely curved neck truncation on the obverse with the left side of the neck placed over the 18 and the right side just past the right side of the final star. The reverse had large letters. This design was continued for part of 1839 but was changed.
The new design featured a less curved neck and a differently positioned head. The left side of the neck was now far to the left of the date while the right side was well to the left of the final star. The date shows a slight curve. The reverse lettering was reduced in size.
The design found on 1838 and the first group of 1839 eagles did strike well so it cannot be argued that the change was made to facilitate quality. My guess is the decision was aesthetic in nature as the shape of Liberty’s neck and its position relative to the date and stars appears “odd.” The reconfiguration made in 1839 makes the obverse look more balanced but not perfectly so.
A final, subtle change to the eagle design was made in 1840. The date was made straight while slight variations can be seen on the neck curls. Small and Large Date varieties are found on the 1842 eagles from Philadelphia but there are no other changes during this era.
I regard the 1834-44 decade as one of the most interesting and under-researched eras of American numismatics. The collector who wishes to focus on types has a number of options while the variety collector has access to an almost unlimited group. Most importantly, this is extremely fertile ground. There has been little research done on gold coins from this era and many new discoveries are, no doubt, waiting the dedicated collector.

Catch up

This week saw Samsung take a swipe at the iPhone 4's reception problems with a new ad for the Galaxy S while Microsoft defended the price of Kinect – which some have been criticising as high.
We also posted our wishlist of 10 things Google should change for Android 3.0, and also in the Android world, HTC confirmed that the 2.2 Froyo upgrade is being rolled out to Desire owners.
Hot reviews included Motorola Milestone XT720, the Samsung Galaxy Apollo and our hands-on with the Apple Magic Trackpad.

Thursday, July 1, 2010


What is Depression?
Clinical depression is more than just the "blues," being "down in the dumps," or experiencing temporary feelings of sadness we all have from time to time in our lives. It is a serious condition that affects a person's mind and body. It impacts all aspects of everyday life including eating, sleeping, working, relationships, and how a person thinks about himself/herself. People who are clinically depressed cannot simply will themselves to feel better or just "snap out of it." If they do not receive appropriate treatment their symptoms can continue for weeks, months, or years.

The good news is that very effective treatments are available to help those who are depressed. However, only about one-third of those who are depressed actually receive treatment. This is unfortunate since upwards of 80-90% of those who do seek treatment can feel better within just a few weeks. Many people do not seek treatment for depression for a variety of reasons. Some believe that depression is the result of a personal weakness or character flaw. This is simply not true. Like diabetes, heart disease, or any other medical condition, clinical depression is an illness that should be treated by a mental health professional or physician. Another reason why many people do not seek help for depression is that they simply do not recognize the signs or symptoms that something may be wrong.

Depression affects approximately 19 million Americans, or 9.5% of the population in any given one-year period. At some point in their lives, 10%-25% of women and 5%-12% of men will likely become clinically depressed. In fact, it affects so many people that it is often referred to as the "common cold" of mental illness. It is estimated that depression exacts an economic cost of over $30 billion each year, but the cost of human suffering cannot be measured. Depression not only causes suffering to those who are depressed, but it also causes great difficulty for their family and friends who often do not know how to help.

Types of Depression
Major Depressive Disorder
This illness impairs a person's ability to work, sleep, eat, and function as he or she normally would. It keeps people from enjoying activities that were once pleasurable, and causes them to think about themselves and the world in negative ways. Major depression is often disabling and may occur several times in a person's lifetime.

Dysthymic Disorder
A milder yet more enduring type of major depression. People with dysthymia may appear to be chronically mildly depressed to the point that it seems to be a part of their personality. When a person finally seeks treatment for dysthymia, it is not uncommon that he/she has struggled with this condition for a number of years.

Bipolar Disorder
Also known as manic-depression or manic-depressive disorder. This condition is characterized by mood that alternates between periods of depression and periods of elation and excitable behavior known as mania (see symptoms below). For people who have bipolar disorder, the depressions can be severe and the mania can seriously impair one's normal judgment. When manic, a person is prone towards reckless and inappropriate behavior such as engaging in wild spending sprees or having promiscuous sex. He or she may not be able to realize the harm of his/her behavior and may even lose touch with reality.

Cyclothymic Disorder
A milder yet more enduring type of bipolar disorder. A person's mood alternates between a less severe mania (known as hypomania) and a less severe depression. (For more information go to Diagnosis: Cyclothymic Disorder)
Mood Disorder Due to a General Medical ConditionDepression may be caused or precipitated by a known or unknown physical medical condition such as hypothyroidism. (For more information go to Diagnosis: Mood Disorder Due to...
Substance-Induced Mood DisorderDepression may be caused or precipitated by the use or abuse of substances such as drugs, alcohol, medications, or toxins.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
This condition affects people during specific times or seasons of the year. During the winter months individuals feel depressed and lethargic, but during other months their moods may be normal

Postpartum Depression
A rare form of depression occurring in women within approximately one week to six months after giving birth to a child.

Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
This is an uncommon type of depression affecting a small percentage of menstruating women. It is a cyclical condition in which women may feel depressed and irritable for one or two weeks before their menstrual period each month.

Symptoms of Depression
People who are depressed or manic may not experience all of the following symptoms. Some will have many symptoms, others will have just a few. The severity of the symptoms may also be different for every person and even vary over time. If you are experiencing some of these symptoms or if you have questions about whether you may be depressed or manic, you should consult with your physician or a qualified mental health professional. If you or someone you know is considering suicide, or has made plans to do so, you should seek the help of a mental health professional or physician immediately.

-Sadness, anxiety, or "empty" feelings
-Decreased energy, fatigue, being "slowed down"
-Loss of interest or pleasure in activities that were once enjoyed, including sex
-Insomnia, oversleeping, or waking much earlier than usual
-Loss of weight or appetite, or overeating and weight gain
-Feelings of hopelessness and pessimism
-Feelings of helplessness, guilt, and worthlessness
-Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
-Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, or remembering
-Restlessness, irritability or excessive crying
-Chronic aches and pains or physical problems that do not respond to treatment
-Symptoms of Mania
-Abnormal or excessive elation
-Unusual irritability
-Decreased need for sleep
-Grandiose notions
-Increased talking
-Racing thoughts
-Increased sexual desire -Markedly increased ene-rgy
-Poor judgment

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Television coverage of the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ was the most extensive to date with 376 channels showing the event compared to 232 in 2002. What is more, the 2006 event was aired in a total 43,600 broadcasts across 214 countries and territories in 2006, generating total coverage of 73,072 hours - an increase of 76 percent on the 2002 event (41,435 hfours) and a 148 percent increase on 1998. This means that if all the 2006 coverage were shown on just one channel, it would take over eight years to broadcast non-stop.
The 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany had a total cumulative television audience of 26.29 billion (24.2 billion in-home and 2.1 billion out-of-home viewers). This is on a par with the 1998 event, which like 2006 was also staged in Europe, but a little below the 26.4 billion in-home viewers noted for the 2002 FIFA World Cup in Korea and Japan. Unsurprisingly, the most-watched match was the final Italy - France with a global cumulative audience of 715.1 million viewers.
This 2006 report was commissioned by FIFA's television partner, Infront Sports & Media, and compiled by Sponsorship Intelligence, a subsidiary of Publicis Groupe. It confirms the competition's status as the world's most popular event that has sustained robust worldwide viewing levels at a time when most programme genres are suffering a downturn in market share. FIFA has adopted a more rigorous approach as regards the compilation of TV figures and this report is consequently based on more audited data than ever before.
Asia was once again the region to contribute the highest share of television audience with its 8.28 billion in-home viewers accounting for 32.2% of the global total. However, the total cumulative audience fell by 25.7 percent in 2006. This decline in viewer numbers is not surprising when viewed in the correct context. The 2002 event was staged in two Asian territories (Japan and South Korea) and kick-off times for live matches were consequently during prime viewing hours across most of the region whereas live matches in 2006 were shown mostly after midnight. Secondly, China - which accounts for approximately one-fifth of the total global audience - qualified for the finals for a historic first time in 2002 but failed to qualify in 2006.
These circumstances explain the nine percent fall in the global cumulative audience in 2006.
By contrast Europe - where the matches were broadcast during prime time viewing - registered a 29.6% increase in viewers over 2002. While this undoubtedly reflects the more accessible timing of matches for the European audience compared to 2002, it nevertheless confirms the unparalleled stature of the event in this highly developed and media-saturated region.
The United States produced some very encouraging scores that underline football's growing popularity in the country. The cumulative audience jumped 38.9% over 2002, coverage surged 221% to 1,889 hours and the number of broadcasters doubled to 13 in 2006. Univision's broadcast of Argentina v Mexico was the most-viewed sports telecast in the history of U.S. Spanish-language television with 6.7 million viewers.
Key findings at a glance
TV coverage in 214 countries generated over 73,000 hours of dedicated programming, a significant 76.4% increase over 2002.

The 2006 FIFA World Cup produced 43,600 dedicated television broadcasts worldwide.
An increasingly fragmented TV market saw 2006 FIFA World Cup broadcasts on 376 channels, a vast increase over the 232 broadcasting channels in 2002.

The increased fragmentation of television broadcasting has also lead to a shift in the proportion of overall coverage represented by each of the broadcast types. In 2002, almost 70% of all TV coverage was of live action whereas just over half of all coverage of 2006 FIFA World Cup was live.

A cumulative audience, in-home and out-of-home, of 26.29 billion viewers.

Asia contributed the highest share of the overall cumulative television audience, 8.28 billion in-home viewers, 34.2% of the global total.

The largest single market contributor was China, which accounted for 3.98 billion viewers, followed by Brazil, Vietnam and Germany.

European cumulative audience was 5.33 billion in 2006, up 29.6%, with host Germany and winner Italy accounting for 31.5% of the region's total.

2006 FIFA World Cup coverage across Africa saw a massive 131.5% increase over 2002, up from 7,475 hours to 17,301.

The Final between Italy and France was followed by 0.8 million more French viewers than watched France triumph in 1998.

In Europe there were 76.3% more broadcast hours than in 2002.

Total hours of 2006 FIFA World Cup coverage increased over 2002 in all regions, most significantly across Africa, Oceania, Asia and Europe.

Each of the 64 matches received on average 858 hours of dedicated coverage and drew an audience of 259.9 million viewers.

The top match, in terms of coverage and audience, was the Final between Italy and France, totalling 1,882 hours of coverage and 607.9 million in-home viewers.

The highest television rating, of 56.6%, was recorded in the Netherlands for their national side's defeat to Portugal in the Round of 16.

The highest single audience was recorded in China at 71.5 million viewers, for the group match between Japan and Croatia.

Hosts of the next FIFA World Cup, South Africa, enjoyed more 2006 FIFA World Cup Germany coverage than any other African market, with the cable/satellite network, SuperSport, showing a total of 1,627 hours of coverage on its five channels.

The cumulative audience in Brazil increased from 1.35 billion in 2002 to 1.72 billion in 2006 (+27.8%) despite the fact that the 2002 FIFA World Cup was won by Brazil and 2006 the national team were knocked out in the quarter final stages.

In Northern America & Caribbean there was 39.1% more coverage - 10,580 hours in 2006 versus 7,605 hours in 2002.

The cumulative audience in Northern America & Caribbean was 829.1 million viewers - this represents a 76.8% increase over the 2002 total.