Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Romanian national football team is the national football team of Romania and is controlled by the Romanian Football Federation.
Romania is one of only four national teams (the other three being Brazil, France, and Belgium) to participate in the first three World Cups. However, they then qualified only once between the 1950 and 1986 editions. Romania then had a solid run through the 1990s, advancing to the second round or better in three consecutive World Cups. The period was highlighted by the 1994 World Cup where Romania, led by Gheorghe Hagi, reached the quarterfinals and defeated Argentina 3-2 before losing to Sweden on penalty kicks. In Euro 2000 they drew 1-1 with Germany and defeated England 3-2 to advance to the quarterfinals before falling to eventual runners-up Italy.
The team has had less success since 2001, narrowly missing qualification for the 2002 and 2006 World Cups and also missing out on Euro 2004. Romania are drawn with the Netherlands, Bulgaria, Slovenia, Belarus, Luxembourg and Albania in Group G of Euro 2008 qualification.

World Cup record

1960 to 1980 - Did not qualify
1984 - Round 1
1988 to 1992 - Did not qualify
1996 - Round 1
2000 - Quarterfinals
2004 - Did not qualify
2008 - Did qualify European Championship record

Romania played their first international match on 8th June 1922, a 2-1 win over Yugoslavia in Belgrade, coached by Teofil Moraru.
Several temporary coaches were employed, before Moraru resumed control in August 1924, managing the side for nearly four years. Romania enjoyed some success during the 1930s; manager Costel Rădulescu took them to the first three FIFA World Cup tournaments, a feat matched only by Brazil and Belgium.

World Cups in the 1930s
Between 1938 and 1970 Romania failed to qualify for any major international tournaments.

International Wilderness
Participation in the World Cup was finally achieved once again in 1970 in Mexico, although qualification came on the back of a 3-0 thrashing by Portugal in Lisbon and two unconvincing draws against unfancied Greece. Angelo Niculescu's promising were given the toughest of draws, in Group 3 with holders England, giants Brazil and Czechoslovakia.
A Geoff Hurst goal gave England a narrow victory in Romania's first match at the Estadio Jalisco in Guadalajara. Chances were improved with a 2-1 win over the Czechs. Despite going behind early to a Ladislav Petráš goal, Romania turned it around after half-time with Alexandru Neagu and Florea Dumitrache scoring to give them two vital points. Even then, only a win over the excellent Brazilians would take them into the Quarter Finals.
There were rumours before the match that Brazil might prefer Romania to progress than World Champions England; Despite beating them 1-0 in their previous match in Guadalajara, the South American giants still viewed England as one of their biggest obstacles to tournament victory. But Brazil played some of the best football of the competition, with Pelé scoring twice and a Jairzinho goal in between. Romania battled bravely; Dumitrache pulled the score back to 2-1 before the break and a late Emerich Dembrowski goal made it 3-2, but they were out.

1970 World Cup
On 26th September 1973, under new coach Valentin Stanculescu, Romania suffered a significant defeat to East Germany in Leipzig. The East Germans won 2-0 to effectively seal their first ever qualification for the World Cup, which would be held over the border in West Germany. With East Germany scoring a predictable 4-1 win in Albania, Romania were out, despite a huge 9-0 win over Finland in Bucharest.
Romania continued to suffer poor form in the UEFA European Championship. In their qualifying group for the 1976 European Football Championship, they were out-qualified by Spain, despite an impressive 1-1 draw in the away match. Romania failed to win matches, drawing twice with Scotland and Spain and dropping points in Denmark with a dismal goalless draw.
Romania were again beat by Spain for a place in the 1978 World Cup in Argentina. Despite a 1-0 win in Bucharest, Romania lost a bizarre match at home to Yugoslavia 6-4 having led 3-2 at half time. Spain won 1-0 in Belgrade to seal passage to South America.

Romania's sole successful qualifying campaign was for the European Championships in 1984 in France. At the finals, Romania were drawn with regular rivals Spain, holders West Germany and dark horses Portugal. Under head coach Mircea Lucescu, an encouraging opening game in Saint-Étienne saw them draw with the Spanish. Francisco José Carrasco opened the scoring from the penalty spot but Romania equalized before half time with a goal from Laszlo Bölöni.
Against the Germans in Lens, Marcel Coras scored an equalizer in the first minute of the second half in response to Rudi Völler's opener, but Völler would score a winning goal. Their last match in Nantes was a must-win match, but Nené's late winner meant Portugal progressed with Spain, who netted a dramatic late winner against West Germany at the Parc des Princes in Paris.
Romania stuttered throughout the rest of the decade, but a stronger squad at the end of the decade saw them qualify for their fifth World Cup at Italia 90. A win over Denmark in their last match took took Emerich Jenei's side to the finals for the first time in twenty years.

Romania's squad was entirely domestic based, despite an increasing trend for the major sides in Italy and Spain buying up the best foreign talent. Midfielder Ilie Dumitrescu, striker Florin Răducioiu and genius playmaker Gheorghe Hagi, then of Steaua Bucharest, were in the squad, but it was forward Gavril Balint who would prove the hero in the first round.
With World Champions Argentina stunned by Cameroon in the tournament's opening match, Romania did their chances no harm with a convincing win over the USSR at the San Nicola in Bari, with Marius Lăcătuş scoring in either half. The result was all the more impressive given the absence of Hagi. There was controversy, however, as Lăcătus's second was a penalty given for a handball by Vagiz Khidiatulin that television replays clearly showed to be some way outside the penalty area.
Romania were the next victims of Cameroon in Bari. Cult hero Roger Milla, 38 years of age, came on as a substitute for Emmanuel Maboang Kessack and scored twice, before Balint pulled one back. Romania needed a point in their last match against improving Argentina at the San Paolo in Naples. Pedro Monzón gave Argentina the lead after an hour, but Balint quickly equalized and Romania held on to reach Round 2.
Against Jack Charlton's Ireland side in Genoa, Romania didn't have the quality to break down a defensive opposition. Daniel Timofte was the only player to miss in the penalty shoot-out - his kick saved by Packie Bonner - and Romania were out. In the process, Ireland became the smallest country ever to progress that far in a FIFA World Cup.

Italia 90
Romania missed out on Euro 92. Scotland qualified after Romania drew a must-win last match in Sofia against Bulgaria, with Nasko Sirakov's equalizer sealing their fate.
They were successful, though, in reaching another World Cup in the United States in 1994. Despite losing in Belgium and suffering a heavy 5-2 defeat in Czechoslovakia, Romania went into their last match at Cardiff Arms Park with Wales needing a win to pip them to a place in the finals. Goals from Gheorghe Hagi and Dean Saunders meant the game was finely balanced, before Wales were awarded a penalty. Paul Bodin of Swindon Town stepped up but hit the woodwork and Romania went on to win 2-1, Răducioiu's late goal proving unnecessary as Czechoslovakia dropped a point in Belgium and were knocked out.
At the finals, Romania were one of the most entertaining teams in the early stages with Hagi, Răducioiu and Dumitrescu on form. Romania beat Colombia - dark horses and Pelé's tip for the tournament - at the Pasadena Rose Bowl in Los Angeles 3-1. Răducioiu opened the scoring before Hagi scored a spectacular second from wide on the left touchline. Adolfo Valencia shredded their nerves with a headed goal just before half-time, but Romania held on and Răducioiu sealed the win with a late third.
In Detroit's Pontiac Silverdome, the temperature soared due to the greenhouse effect in the indoor arena. Switzerland, acclimatized after having already played the hosts there, outran Romania in the second half and turned a 1-1 half time score into a surprising 4-1 win. Romania responded by beating the hosts 1-0 in Pasadena with an early Dan Petrescu goal.
In Round 2 they faced Argentina, who were shorn of Diego Maradona who was thrown out of the tournament for taking drugs. Răducioiu, suspended, was hardly missed, as coach Anghel Iordănescu pushed Dumitrescu forward to play as a striker and the player responded by scoring twice in the first twenty minutes, one a superbly subtle left foot flick from a right-wing Hagi cross slotted between the Argentine defenders. In between, Gabriel Batistuta scored a penalty, but after half-time Romania netted a superb third on the counter attack, with Hagi beating goalkeeper Luis Islas. Abel Balbo pulled one back, but Romania held on for a shock win.
Romania would suffer penalty heartbreak again, in the Quarter Final against Sweden. With just thirteen minutes to go, a tight match opened up as Sweden's Thomas Brolin scored from a clever free-kick move, the ball passed outside the Romanian wall by Håkan Mild for Brolin to smash in. Iordănescu threw caution to the wind and the returning Răducioiu found a late equalizer, again from a free-kick move but this time down to a deflection and a failure of the Swedes to clear. In extra time Răducioiu scored again after a mistake by Patrik Andersson, but Sweden then scored their own late equalizer as giant striker Kennet Andersson climbed above goalkeeper Florin Prunea to head home a long ball. Prunea had come in after two matches to replace Bogdan Stelea, whose confidence was shattered by the 4-1 loss to the Swiss. In the shoot-out, Petrescu and Miodrag Belodedici had their kicks saved by Thomas Ravelli and Sweden went through.

Euro 92 and USA 94
In England, Romania arrived as a highly tought-of and popular team but had a nightmare. Iordănescu's side were based in the north east, with their first two games at St James' Park in Newcastle. Against France, they lost to a Christophe Dugarry header reminiscent of Kennet Andersson's two years earlier, beating the goalkeeper to a lofted through ball. A brilliant early solo goal by Hristo Stoichkov saw Bulgaria knock out their neighbours, although Romania claimed they should have had a goal awarded when the ball struck the bar and bounced behind the goal-line. They finally scored in their last game, Florin Răducioiu equalizing an early goal by Spain's Javier Manjarín. Spain had to win to qualify with France at the expence of Bulgaria and did so when Guillermo Amor stooped to head a late winner. Romania exited with no points and little to cheer.

Euro 96
Despite a dreadful Euro 96, Romania were seeded when they qualified for the 1998 World Cup with an impressive record in qualifying, finishing ten points clear of Ireland. Despite being drawn in a group with England, getting through it was perceived to be easy work with a waning Colombia and minnows Tunisia.
Adrian Ilie scored the only goal with a fine chip in their first match against Colombia at Lyon's Stade Gerland. In Toulouse, they met an England side starting with prodigal striker Michael Owen on the bench, with Teddy Sheringham preferred alongside Alan Shearer. A mistake by Tony Adams was punished by Viorel Moldovan, who played for Coventry City, before Owen came on to claim an equalizer. But Romania won with a wonderful late goal from Dan Petrescu, also playing in England with Chelsea, fighting off his club mate Graeme le Saux and nutmegging goalkeeper David Seaman.
Having already qualified, Romania bizarrely decided to bleach their hair before their last match against Tunisia. Despite England v Colombia being the more decisive game, the Stade de France in Paris was an 80,000 sell out and the crowd were nearly rewarded with a shock as Skander Souayeh scored an early penalty to give the north Africans the lead. Romania needed a point to win the group and, crucially, avoid Argentina in Round 2, and got it when Moldovan volleyed a late equalizer. It did them little good, however, as in the Round of 16 match at Bordeaux, Davor Šuker scored a twice-taken penalty in a poor match and Romania were out.

Romania national football team France 98
Romania were not expected to progress through a group containing Portugal, England and Germany. Hagi's powers were waning, Dumitrescu and Rǎducioiu were no longer on the scene and hopes were pinned on young Internazionale forward Adrian Mutu. Romania started brightly against the Germans in Liège, with Moldovan scoring from close range. A long-range Mehmet Scholl equalizer meant they had to be content with a point and their position looked shaky after Costinha headed a last minute winner for Portugal in their second match.
Emerich Jenei, back as coach, threw caution to the wind in the last match in Charleroi against England, a match which Romania had to win. Defender Cristian Chivu's cross went in off the post in the 22nd minute but, despite Romania dominating, England led at half-time through an Alan Shearer penalty and a late Michael Owen goal after he rounded Bogdan Stelea to score a tap-in, both in the last five minutes of the half. Romania attacked after the break and were quickly rewarded; Dorinel Munteanu punishing a poor punch from Nigel Martyn, a late replacement for the injured Seaman to equalize three minutes after the re-start. England cracked under the pressure. Unable to retain possession or pose an attacking threat, they fell deep and late on Phil Neville, playing out of position at left-back, conceded a penalty scored by Ioan Ganea in the 89th minute.
Romania's relief was tempered by tough opposition in the last eight, and Italy, who would end up seconds from being crowned European champions in an agonizing final, comfortably saw them off 2-0 in Brussels. Francesco Totti and Filippo Inzaghi scoring towards the end of the first half. After the break Hagi, in his final international tournament, hit the woodwork with goalkeeper Francesco Toldo stranded off his line and was magnanimously sent off for diving. Romania's tournament was over and Jenei, an ethnic Hungarian as were many of Romania's players of his generation, left his job as coach again.

Euro 2000
Romania failed to qualify for the next three major tournaments. They drew Slovenia, who had been surprise qualifiers for Euro 2000 in a playoff for a place in the 2002 World Cup in South Korea and Japan. A narrow 2-1 deficit - having led through a Marius Niculae goal - after the first leg in Ljubljana was not irretrievable. With fans' hero Gheorghe Hagi now coaching the side they were confident of getting the win they needed in Bucharest against the Balkan upstarts, but Slovenia took the lead before the hour through Mladen Rudonja. Right wing-back Cosmin Contra quickly equalized but Romania could not find the goal they needed to force extra time and Slovenia, with maverick manager Srečko Katanec, were in a major tournament again.
Romania were confident of qualifying for Euro 2004 in Portugal, drawn in Group 2 with seeds Denmark, Norway, Bosnia-Herzegovina and minnows Luxembourg. Despite a good start - a 3-0 win away to Bosnia in Sarajevo, Romania stuttered. Steffen Iversen's late goal gave Norway a surprise win in Bucharest and they were stunned at home by the Danes, 5-2, with Thomas Gravesen scoring a spectacular goal from around fifty yards out, despite leading twice. They recovered slightly, completing a double over the Bosnians and getting a point in Oslo, but conceded a cutting injury time equalizer in Denmark to draw 2-2. It was decisive, as they now required Norway to fail to win at home to Luxembourg to stand any realistic chance of qualifying. Eventually, the Danes got a point in Bosnia to scrape through a tight group, with Norway going to a play-off with Spain.
Romania were put in a massive group for the qualifying tournament for the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany. Holland and Czech Republic were favourite to qualify, then ranked first and second in Europe. Early wins over Finland and Macedonia were unconvincing, and they were some way behind the two leaders by the time they earned a good 2-0 home win over the Czechs. They finished third behind the Dutch and the Czechs and missed out on another major tournament.

2000s - Near Misses

Teofil Moraru 1922 - 1923
Costel Rădulescu 1923
Adrian Suciu 1923 - 1924
Teofil Moraru 1924 - 1928
Costel Rădulescu 1923 - 1934
Josef Uridil 1934
Alexandru Săvulescu 1934 - 1935
Costel Rădulescu 1935 - 1938
Alexandru Săvulescu 1938
Liviu Iuga 1938 - 1939
Virgil Economu 1939 - 1940
Liviu Iuga 1940
Virgil Economu 1941 - 1942
Jean Lăpuşneanu 1942 - 1943
Emerich Vogl 1942 - 1943
Coloman Braun-Bogdan 1945
Virgil Economu 1946
Colea Vâlcov 1947
Emerich Vogl 1947
Francisc Ronnay 1947
Emerich Vogl 1947
Colea Vâlcov 1948
Petre Steinbach 1948
Iuliu Baratky 1948
Emerich Vogl 1948
Colea Vâlcov 1949
Emerich Vogl 1949
Ion Mihăilescu 1949
Gheorghe Albu 1950
Volodea Vâlcov 1950
Emerich Vogl 1950 - 1951
Gheorghe Popescu I 1951 - 1957
Augustin Botescu 1958 - 1960
Gheorghe Popescu I 1961
Constantin Teaşcă 1962
Gheorghe Popescu I 1962
Silviu Ploeşteanu 1962 - 1964
Valentin Stănescu 1964
Silviu Ploeşteanu 1964
Ilie Oană 1965 - 1966
Valentin Stănescu 1967
Ilie Oană 1967
Angelo Niculescu 1967
Constantin Teaşcă 1967
Angelo Niculescu 1967 - 1970
Valentin Stănescu 1971
Angelo Niculescu 1971
Valentin Stănescu 1971
Angelo Niculescu 1971
Valentin Stănescu 1971
Angelo Niculescu 1971
Gheorghe Ola 1972
Angelo Niculescu 1972
Gheorghe Ola 1972
Angelo Niculescu 1972
Gheorghe Ola 1972
Valentin Stănescu 1973 - 1975
Cornel Drăguşin 1975
Stefan Kovacs 1976 - 1979
Florin Halagian 1979
Stefan Kovacs 1979
Constantin Cernăianu 1979
Stefan Kovacs 1980
Constantin Cernăianu 1980
Stefan Kovacs 1980
Valentin Stănescu 1980 - 1981
Mircea Lucescu 1981 - 1986
Emerich Jenei 1986 - 1990
Gheorghe Constantin 1990
Mircea Rădulescu 1990 - 1992
Cornel Dinu 1992 - 1993
Anghel Iordănescu 1993 - 1998
Victor Piţurcă 1998 - 1999
Emerich Jenei 2000
Ladislau Bölöni 2000 - 2001
Anghel Iordănescu 2002 - 2004
Victor Piţurcă 2005 - Past managers

Ioan Andone
Alexandru Apolzan
Iuliu Baratky
Silviu Bindea
Iuliu Bodola
Ilie Balaci
Miodrag Belodedici
László Bölöni
Rodion Cămătaru
Cristian Chivu (*)
Cosmin Contra (*)
Ştefan Dobay
Nicolae Dobrin
Cornel Dinu
Florea Dumitrache
Ion Dumitru
Ilie Dumitrescu
Emerich Dembrovschi
Ionel Ganea
Gheorghe Hagi
Adrian Ilie
Anghel Iordănescu
Michael Klein
Viorel Moldovan
Marius Lăcătuş
Bogdan Lobonţ (*)
Mircea Lucescu
Ioan Lupescu
Silviu Lung
Bazil Marian
Dorin Mateuţ
Dorinel Munteanu (*)
Adrian Mutu (*)
Titus Ozon
Dan Petrescu
Gheorghe Popescu
Iosif Petschovsky
Daniel Prodan
Marcel Răducanu
Necula Răducanu
Florin Răducioiu
Mircea Rednic
Ioan Ovidiu Sabău
Bogdan Stelea
Costică Ştefănescu
Nicolae Ungureanu
Ion Vladoiu
(*) - still active Famous players
The following players were named for the Euro 2008 qualifier against The Netherlands on 13 October 2007.
Caps and goals correct as of 12 September 2007, up to and including the match against Germany.

Current squad

Coaching staff
The following players played at least one UEFA Euro 2008 Qualifying match, but were not named for the qualifier against against Belarus on September 8 and the friendly against Germany on September 12.

Other important players of the squad
The following players were named for at least one UEFA Euro 2008 Qualifying match, but have not played in the qualifiers.
| Adrian Cristea || || Flag of Romania Dinamo Bucuresti || Midfielder || 5 (2) ||

Other players
As of February 12, 2007, the ten players with the most caps for Romania are:

(*) - still active Top goalscorers

The Austrian Josef Uridil is the only foreign manager who coached Romania

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Lister Sinclair
Lister Sheddon Sinclair, OC, MA, LL.D. (January 9, 1921 - October 16, 2006) was a Canadian broadcaster, playwright and polymath. Sinclair was born in Bombay, India to Scottish parents. His father, William Sheddon Sinclair, was a chemical engineer. He was sent to live with an aunt in London when he was 18 months old and did not see his parents again until he was seven.
He taught himself to read at the age of five and began his formal education at Colet Court. Though at the bottom of his class, he was gifted at mathematics and won a scholarship to St Paul's School in London. Assured by a travel agency that there would be no war, he visited North America with his mother in 1939 to attend the World's Fair in New York City. He was visiting Niagara Falls, Ontario when World War II broke out. Due to a back injury as a teenager, Sinclair walked with a limp and used a cane until well into his twenties and was unfit for military service. He and his mother found themselves stranded on the continent and settled in Vancouver where his mother had friends. He enrolled at the University of British Columbia where he earned a Bachelor of Arts in math and physics and began a lifelong friendship with classmate Pierre Berton. He also joined the Player's Club on campus. In 1942 he moved to Toronto to study towards a Master of Arts from the University of Toronto supporting himself by lecturing in mathematics to undergraduates.

Needing to further supplement his income, Sinclair found employment as an actor with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation playing a German in the 1942 pro-Allied broadcast, Nazi Eyes on Canada, which starred Helen Hayes.
He was subsequently cast in the series Fighting Navy playing the captain of a German U-Boat (source: Ideas, Thank you, Mister Sinclair, part 1, October 16, 2006) and performed in various other radio plays. He began writing radio plays for the network in 1944 and would go on to write more than 400 plays, many of them for the radio series Stage ([1]).
In 1945, Sinclair wrote a radio speech that Ontario Co-operative Commonwealth Federation leader Ted Jolliffe delivered during the 1945 provincial election campaign. The speech accused Premier of Ontario George Drew of running a political gestapo unit out of the Ontario Provincial Police. The accusations were denied by Drew, and may have hurt the CCF's credibility with voters. However, the charge was proven true in the 1970s by archival documents uncovered by a researcher ([2]).
Sinclair's radio play, Hilda Morgan, broadcast on February 12, 1950, resulted in an uproar in the Canadian House of Commons over its then-taboo subject matter of a pregnant, unmarried woman considering abortion after her fiance is killed in an accident though the word abortion was never used. He was referred to as "easily the foremost in Canada's array of postwar playwrights" by critic Nathan Cohen. He began to appear on the new CBC Television service in 1955 appearing on programs such as Front Page Challenge and Assignment as well as the Wayne & Shuster comedy show.
After his appearances in wartime propaganda films, Sinclair would go on to spend over six decades with the CBC in various capacities. In addition to playwright he was a radio and then television personality, writer, actor, panelist, producer, lecturer, commentator and, for a brief period in the 1970s, network executive. Sinclair was a panelist on the show Court of Opinion for twenty-four years, hosted Man at the Centre and was the first host of The Nature of Things as well as a frequent contributor to Morningside when Don Harron was host but he was best known for presenting the CBC Radio program Ideas beginning in 1983. Sinclair retired from hosting Ideas in 1999 after presenting over 2,000 installments, including several hundred produced or written by himself. He continued to contribute to the programme until shortly before his death.
In 1972, CBC president Laurent Picard made Sinclair the CBC's executive vice-president of English-language services as part of an effort to bring creative people into administration. The experiment was unsuccessful and proved frustrating to both Sinclair and CBC administration in Ottawa. He was demoted to a more junior position as vice president of program policy and development in 1974 and returned to Toronto to his former role as a producer and writer in 1976.
Sinclair served as vice-president of the Canadian Conference of the Arts in the 1980s. He also helped form the Alliance of Canadian Cinema, Television and Radio Artists (ACTRA).
He was awarded the Order of Canada in 1985.
In 2002, Lister Sinclair became a MasterWorks honouree for Hilda Morgan and his body of work by the ([3]) Audio-Visual Preservation Trust of Canada.
He was hospitalized in September 2006 due to a pulmonary embolism ([4]) and died there on the morning of October 16, 2006, aged 85
Bernie Lucht, a longtime friend of Sinclair's, said of the broadcaster "My lasting memory is the enormous privilege it was to have been able to touch a compassionate genius."
"He was simply a remarkable man,"' said Lucht. "He was brilliant, compassionate, had a wide-ranging mind with an expertise in everything from poetry, to mathematics, to music, to literature, to culture.
"He felt that the job of humanity was to find out what it was about, what we were about and what our surroundings, the universe into which we had been born, were about."
Former governor general and CBC broadcaster Adrienne Clarkson, who shared an office with Sinclair when she joined the broadcaster in the 1960s, remembered him upon his death. "You were the beneficiary of Lister knowing a lot," she said. "He was not only a polymath; he was a prodigy" ([5]).
Lister Sinclair had a difficult family life. He was estranged from one of his sons for some years, and has said that he did not enjoy his family life terribly much, but that he would have liked to.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Early years
When Civil War broke out, Buford returned to the East from his post in Utah. He was regarded as a man who drove himself too hard, which might have contributed to his success. He had relatives who fought for the South, and upon receiving an offer of a commission in the Confederate Army, legend has it he crumpled it up and threw it on the ground, declaring that he would "Live and die under the flag of the Union." In the Gettysburg Campaign, Buford, who had been promoted to command of the 1st Division, is credited with selecting the field of battle at Gettysburg. Buford's division was the first to arrive at Gettysburg and successfully held off Maj. Gen. Henry Heth's Confederate division so that Maj. Gen. John F. Reynolds's I Corps could hold the high ground west of town. Afterwards, Buford's tired troopers were sent by Pleasonton to Emmitsburg, Maryland, to resupply and refit, an ill-advised decision that uncovered the Union left flank. They saw no more action at the eventual Gettysburg victory, of which Buford had been a key component.
Buford pursued the Confederates to Warrenton and was afterward engaged in many operations in central Virginia, rendering a particularly valuable service in covering Maj. Gen. George Meade's retrograde movement in the October 1863 Bristoe Campaign.
"The hero at Oak Ridge was John Buford... he not only showed the rarest tenacity, but his personal capacity made his cavalry accomplish marvels, and rival infantry in their steadfastness... Glorious John Buford!"

John Buford Civil War
Buford was stricken with typhoid fever (brought on by his wounds and exposure) and died in Maj. Gen. George Stoneman's home at Washington, D.C. He was promoted to major general on his deathbed, but effective July 1, 1863, the day he fought so effectively at Gettysburg.
In 1866, a military fort established on the Missouri-Yellowstone confluence in what is now North Dakota, was named Fort Buford after the general.
In 1895, a bronze statue of Buford designed by artist James E. Kelly was dedicated on the Gettysburg Battlefield.

John Buford In popular media

Bielakowski, Alexander M., "John Buford", Encyclopedia of the American Civil War: A Political, Social, and Military History, Heidler, David S., and Heidler, Jeanne T., eds., W. W. Norton & Company, 2000, ISBN 0-393-04758-X.
Eicher, John H., & Eicher, David J., Civil War High Commands, Stanford University Press, 2001, ISBN 0-8047-3641-3.
Longacre, Edward G., General John Buford: A Military Biography, Combined Publishing, 1995, ISBN 0-938289-46-2.
Petruzzi, J. David, "Buford's Boys" website
Petruzzi, J. David, "John Buford: By the Book," America's Civil War Magazine, July 2005.
Petruzzi, J. David, "Opening the Ball at Gettysburg: The Shot That Rang for Fifty Years," America's Civil War Magazine, July 2006.
Petruzzi, J. David, "The Fleeting Fame of Alfred Pleasonton," America's Civil War Magazine, March 2005.
Proceedings of the Buford Memorial Association (New York, 1895)
History of the Civil War in America (volume iii, p.545)
This article incorporates text from an edition of the New International Encyclopedia that is in the public domain.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape
The Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape is a World Heritage Site which includes select mining landscapes across Cornwall and west Devon in the south west of the United Kingdom. The Site was added to the World Heritage List during the 30th Session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee in Vilnius, July 2006. The landscapes of Cornwall and west Devon were radically reshaped during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by deep-lode mining for copper and tin. The underground mines, engine houses, foundries, new towns, smallholdings, ports, harbours, and ancillary industries together reflect prolific innovation which, in the early nineteenth century, enabled the region to produce two-thirds of the world's supply of copper. During the late 1800s, arsenic production came into ascendancy with mines in the east of Cornwall and west Devon supplying half the world's demand. The early nineteenth century also saw a revolution in steam technology which was to radically transform hard-rock mining fortunes. The high-pressure expansively operated beam pumping engine developed by the engineer Richard Trevithick enabled mining at much greater depths than had been possible hitherto. Cornish-design beam engines and other mining machinery was to be exported from major engineering foundries in Hayle, Perranarworthal, Tavistock and elsewhere to mining fields around the world throughout the century. Commencing in the early 1800s, significant numbers of mine workers migrated to live and work in mining communities based on Cornish traditions, this flow reaching its zenith at the end of the nineteenth century. Today numerous migrant-descended Cornish communities flourish around the world and distinctive Cornish-design engine houses can be seen in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Mexico, the British Virgin Islands, Spain, and in the mining fields of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the Channel Islands, and the Isle of Man. A much reduced mining industry continued in Cornwall after the copper crash of the 1860s with production mainly focused on tin. Metalliferous mining finally ceased in Cornwall in 1998 with the closure of South Crofty Mine, Pool, the last tin mine to operate in Europe.

Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape Areas

Stannary Courts and Parliaments
Mining in Cornwall
Revived Cornish Stannary Parliament
Wheel Wreck

Saturday, December 1, 2007

PGF (Progressive Graphics File) is a wavelet-based bitmapped image format that employs lossless and lossy data compression. PGF was created to improve upon and replace the JPEG format. It was developed at the same time as JPEG 2000 but with a different focus: speed over compression ratio.
PGF can operate at higher compression ratios without taking more encoding/decoding time and without generating the characteristic 'blocky and blurry' artifacts of the original DCT-based JPEG standard . It also allows more sophisticated progressive downloads.

The aim of PGF is not only improved compression quality over JPEG but also adding (or improving) features such as scalability. In fact, PGF's improvement in compression performance relative to the original JPEG standard is actually rather modest and should not ordinarily be the primary consideration for evaluating the design. Moreover, very low and very high compression rates (including lossless compression) are also supported in PGF. In fact, the graceful ability of the design to handle a very large range of effective bit rates is one of the strengths of PGF. For example, to reduce the number of bits for a picture below a certain amount, the advisable thing to do with the first JPEG standard is to reduce the resolution of the input image before encoding it — something that is ordinarily not necessary for that purpose when using PGF because of its wavelet scalability properties.
The PGF process chain contains the following four steps:

Color space transform (in case of color images)
Discrete Wavelet Transform
Quantization (in case of lossy data compression)
Hierarchical bit-plane run-length encoding Technical discussion
Initially, images have to be transformed from the RGB color space to another color space, leading to three components that are handled separately. PGF uses a fully reversible modified YUV color transform. The transformation matrices are:
<br /> begin{bmatrix}<br /> Y_r  U_r  V_r<br /> end{bmatrix} <br /> = begin{bmatrix}<br /> frac{1}{4} & frac{1}{2} & frac{1}{4} <br /> 1 & -1 & 0 <br /> 0 & -1 & 1<br /> end{bmatrix}<br /> begin{bmatrix}<br /> R  G  B<br /> end{bmatrix}; qquad qquad<br /> begin{bmatrix}<br /> R  G  B<br /> end{bmatrix} <br /> = begin{bmatrix}<br /> 1 & frac{3}{4} & -frac{1}{4} <br /> 1 & -frac{1}{4} & -frac{1}{4} <br /> 1 & -frac{1}{4} & frac{3}{4}<br /> end{bmatrix}<br /> begin{bmatrix}<br /> Y_r  U_r  V_r<br /> end{bmatrix}<br />
The chrominance components can be, but do not necessarily have to be, down-scaled in resolution.

Color components transformation
The color components are then wavelet transformed to an arbitrary depth, in contrast to JPEG 1992 which uses an 8x8 block-size discrete cosine transform. PGF uses one reversible wavelet transform: a rounded version of the biorthogonal CDF 5/3 wavelet transform. This wavelet filter bank is exacetly the same as the reversible wavelet used in JPEG 2000. It uses only integer coefficients, so the output does not require rounding (quantization) and so it does not introduce any quantization noise.

Wavelet transform
After the wavelet transform, the coefficients are scalar-quantized to reduce the amount of bits to represent them, at the expense of a loss of quality. The output is a set of integer numbers which have to be encoded bit-by-bit. The parameter that can be changed to set the final quality is the quantization step: the greater the step, the greater is the compression and the loss of quality. With a quantization step that equals 1, no quantization is performed (it is used in lossless compression). In contrast to JPEG 2000 PGF uses only powers of two, therefore the parameter value i represents a quantization step of 2. Just using powers of two makes no need of integer multiplication and division operations.

The result of the previous process is a collection of sub-bands which represent several approximation scales. A sub-band is a set of coefficientsinteger numbers which represent aspects of the image associated with a certain frequency range as well as a spatial area of the image.
The quantized sub-bands are split further into blocks, rectangular regions in the wavelet domain. They are typically selected in a way that the coefficients within them across the sub-bands form approximately spatial blocks in the (reconstructed) image domain and collected in a fixed size macroblock.
The encoder has to encode the bits of all quantized coefficients of a macroblock, starting with the most significant bits and progressing to less significant bits. In this encoding process, each bit-plane of the macroblock gets encoded in two so-called coding passes, first encoding bits of significant coefficients, then refinement bits of significant coefficients. Clearly, in lossless mode all bit-planes have to be encoded, and no bit-planes can be dropped.
Only significant coefficients are compressed with an adaptive run-length/Rice (RLR) coder, because they contain long runs of zeros. The RLR coder with parameter k (logarithmic length of a run of zeros) is also known as the elementary Golomb code of order 2.

Progressive Graphics File Coding

Comparison with other File Formats
The JPEG 2000 is slightly more space-efficient in the case of natural images. The PSNR for the same compression ratio is on average 3% better than the PSNR of PGF. Its small advantage in compression ratio is paid with a clearly higher encoding and decoding time.
The original PGF source code is open (not patented) and available under LGPL.


Comparison of graphics file formats
Related graphics file formats

  • JPEG 2000
    Image file formats
    Image compression

Friday, November 30, 2007

Millburn, Inverness
Millburn is an area in Inverness in the Scottish Highlands. Millburn Academy is situated in the area. The area is also known, as the name suggests, for the Mill Burn which runs through the area. Millburn Road which runs parallel to the school is one of the main access roads into the centre of Inverness. The area is also famous for Millburn Whisky which used to be distilled in the area. The actual site of the distillery though has now been converted into a commmercial restaurant attached to a chain hotel. There is a comprehensive school called Millburn Academy.
The Aird · Ballifeary · Balloch · Balnafettack · Beechwood · Bught · Carse · Castle Heather · Clachnaharry · Cradlehall · Crown · Croy · Culcabock · Culduthel · Culloden · Dalneigh · Drakies · Drummond · Haugh · Hilton · Holm · Inshes · Kinmylies · Leachkin · Lochardil · Longman · Merkinch · Millburn · Milton · Milton of Leys · Muirtown · Ness Castle · Ness-Side · Raigmore · Scorguie · Seafield · Slackbuie · Smithton · South Kessock · Torvean · Westhill
Coordinates: 58°35′N, 4°02′W

Thursday, November 29, 2007

List of islands by highest point
This is a list of islands in the world ordered by their highest point. It includes all islands with peaks higher than 2,000 m. Non-insular (continental) landmasses are included for comparison.
Countries listed are those containing the highest point; other countries on the same landmass are in parentheses.

Other notable island mountains - majority of information about mountain heights comes from here. [1] - this site contains the highest mountain of each country in the world. [2] - this is a site about the highest mountains in the world (over 3,500 m). Times Atlas of the World and Merriam-Webster's Geographical Dictionary are important sources.