A&M Records was an American record label founded as an independent company by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss in 1962. Due to the success of the discography A&M released, the label garnered interest and was acquired by PolyGram in 1989 and began distributing releases from Polydor Ltd. from the UK. Throughout its operations, A&M housed well-known acts such as Joe Cocker, Procol Harum, Captain & Tennille, Sting, Sergio Mendes, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Supertramp, Bryan Adams, Burt Bacharach, Liza Minnelli, The Carpenters, Paul Williams, Janet Jackson, Cat Stevens, Peter Frampton, Elkie Brooks, Carole King, Styx, Extreme, Amy Grant, Joan Baez, the Human League, The Police, CeCe Peniston, Blues Traveler, Soundgarden, Duffy and Sheryl Crow.
PolyGram was acquired by Seagram and dissolved into Universal Music Group in 1998, and A&M's operations were ceased in January 1999 when it was merged with Geffen Records and Interscope Records to form the record company Interscope Geffen A&M Records. In 2007, Interscope Geffen A&M announced that A&M was revived as trademark and brand and was to be merged with Octone Records to form A&M Octone Records, which operated until 2013, when A&M Octone was folded into Interscope. Today, A&M's catalog releases are managed by Verve Records, Universal Music Enterprises and Interscope.
|Parent company||Universal Music Group|
|Distributor(s)||Interscope Geffen A&M Records|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location||Santa Monica, California, United States|
|Official website||Official website|
A&M Records was formed in 1962 by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss. Their first choice for a name was Carnival Records, under which they released two singles before discovering that another label had already taken the Carnival name. The company was subsequently renamed A&M, after Alpert's and Moss's initials. From 1966 to 1999, the company's headquarters were on the grounds of the historic Charlie Chaplin Studios at 1416 North La Brea Avenue, near Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood.
Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, A&M had such acts as Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, Baja Marimba Band, Burt Bacharach, Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66, the Sandpipers, Boyce & Hart, We Five, the Carpenters, Chris Montez, Elkie Brooks, Lee Michaels, Captain and Tennille, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Quincy Jones, Lucille Starr, Stealers Wheel, Gallagher and Lyle, Barry DeVorzon, Perry Botkin, Jr., Marc Benno, Liza Minnelli, Rita Coolidge, Gino Vannelli, Wes Montgomery, Paul Desmond, Bobby Tench, Hummingbird, Toni Basil, and Paul Williams. Folk artists Joan Baez, Phil Ochs and Gene Clark also recorded for the label during the 1970s. Billy Preston joined the label in 1971, followed by Andre Popp and Herb Ohta in 1973.
In the late 1960s, through direct signing and licensing agreements, A&M added several British artists to its roster, including Cat Stevens, Joe Cocker, Procol Harum, Humble Pie, Fairport Convention, Free, the Move, Strawbs and Spooky Tooth. In the 1970s, under its manufacturing and distribution agreement with Ode Records, A&M released albums by Carole King and the comedy duo Cheech & Chong. Other notable acts of the time included Nazareth, Y&T, the Tubes, Styx, Supertramp, Joan Armatrading, Bell and James, Chris de Burgh (who went on to greater mainstream success in the 1980s), Rick Wakeman, the Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Chuck Mangione, Squeeze, and Peter Frampton. On March 10, 1977, A&M signed the Sex Pistols after the band had been dropped by EMI. However, A&M dropped the band within a week. A&M sustained its success during the 1980s with a roster of noted acts that included Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Henry Badowski, Janet Jackson, the Police, Sting, the Brothers Johnson, Falco, Atlantic Starr, the Go-Go's, Bryan Adams, Suzanne Vega, Righeira, Brenda Russell, Jeffrey Osborne, Oingo Boingo, the Human League, Ozark Mountain Daredevils, Sharon, Lois & Bram, Annabel Lamb, Jim Diamond, Vital Signs, Joe Jackson, and Scottish rock band Gun. They also, through a deal with Christian music label Myrrh, distributed back catalog recordings of Amy Grant as well as her new recordings, starting with 1985's Unguarded, to the mainstream marketplace, a vital component in her subsequent breakthrough as a mainstream artist.
Within a decade of its inception, A&M became the world's largest independent record company. A&M releases were initially issued in the United Kingdom by EMI's Stateside Records label, and then under its own name by Pye Records, who released the first Herb Alpert records on the Pye International label before issuing the records on the A&M label until 1967. From 1969, A&M set up its own UK base appointing John Deacon (not to be confused with Queen's bass guitarist of the same name) as General Manager - a post he held until 1979. Several A&R men were recruited including Larry Yaskiel and Derek Green and major UK acts such as the Police, Supertramp, Rick Wakeman, Squeeze, Gallagher & Lyle, Elkie Brooks, the Strawbs and Peter Frampton as well as many others were all signed to the UK label. A&M releases were also issued in Australia through Festival Records until 1989. A&M Records Ltd. was established in 1970, with distribution handled by other labels with a presence in Europe. A&M Records of Canada Ltd. was also formed in 1970, and A&M Records of Europe in 1977. In 1979, A&M entered a distribution agreement with RCA Records in the US, and with CBS Records in many other countries.
Over the years, A&M added specialty imprints: Almo International for middle of the road; Omen Records (1964–1966) for soul; Horizon Records for jazz (1974–1978); AyM Discos for Latin-American; Vendetta Records for dance music (1988–1990); and Tuff Break Records for hip-hop music (1993–1995).
A&M was bought by PolyGram in 1989. Alpert and Moss continued to manage the label until 1993. In 1998, Alpert and Moss sued PolyGram for breach of the integrity clause, eventually settling for an additional $200 million payment.
In 1991, A&M launched Perspective Records as a joint venture with producing team Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Jam and Lewis stepped down as CEOs of the imprint in 1997, but they remained on as consultants. In 1999, the label was absorbed into A&M. In the mid-1990s, A&M began distributing its PolyGram sister label Polydor Records in the US.
During the 1990s, the company continued to release albums by Soundgarden, Extreme, Amy Grant, John Hiatt, Sting, Blues Traveler, Barry White, and Aaron Neville, as well as material from new artists Sheryl Crow, Monster Magnet, Therapy?, CeCe Peniston, Intelligent Hoodlum, Dred Scott, Ridel High and the Gin Blossoms. The company released the soundtracks Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, The Three Musketeers, Sabrina, The Living Sea, Demolition Man, and Lethal Weapon 3.
In 1998, PolyGram was bought by Seagram and merged into Universal Music Group, which was formed in 1996 as the successor to MCA Music Entertainment Group, of which MCA Records had been the flagship. A&M was subsequently merged into Universal Music Group's then newly formed Interscope Geffen A&M label group. Its Canadian division was absorbed into Universal Music Canada at that time, which included Jann Arden alongside other artists from Canada.
The A&M lot on La Brea Avenue was shut down in January 1999. During the farewell celebration, the company's staff placed a black band over the A&M sign above the main entrance, indicating the death of the company. The old A&M studios and executive offices are now the home of the Jim Henson Company, which operates Henson Recording Studios. Most of the company's workforce, some of whom had been with the company for a decade or more, were let go while many of its artists were dropped. The label's more prominent acts such as Sting, Sheryl Crow, Bryan Adams and Chris Cornell, however would remain on its roster.
In response to the down-sourcing, Al Cafaro stated,
A&M catalog albums that didn't fit the current pop music format (which also includes rock, rap and R&B) of their new parent division were transferred to other Universal divisions for management - for example, Verve Records now manages A&M's jazz catalog, not including Herb Alpert's recorded output which Alpert acquired in the settlement with Universal Music (however, Verve does manage the Horizon Records catalog). 
Despite the shutdown, the A&M name continued to be used on albums from artists like Snow Patrol, the Black Eyed Peas and Keyshia Cole—a result of Alpert and Moss's 1998 lawsuit—until February 2007, when Interscope-Geffen-A&M partnered with Octone Records to relaunch the A&M label fully. Now headed by James Diener and called A&M/Octone Records with worldwide distribution handled by parent Universal Music Group, the existing Octone roster was transferred to the A&M/Octone label and all newer artist signings were made under the A&M/Octone joint venture.  Acts that were already signed to the label before the merger with Octone, however, would remain on the main A&M label.
After six successful years of operation, in September 2013, Octone initiated its buy/sell rights in the joint venture, resulting in Interscope-Geffen-A&M purchasing Octone Records' 50% interest in A&M/Octone, absorbing and restructuring the artist roster into Interscope operations in 2014 as announced. 
A (named , plural As, A's, as, a's or aes) is the first letter and the first vowel of the modern English alphabet and the ISO basic Latin alphabet. It is similar to the Ancient Greek letter alpha, from which it derives. The uppercase version consists of the two slanting sides of a triangle, crossed in the middle by a horizontal bar. The lowercase version can be written in two forms: the double-storey a and single-storey ɑ. The latter is commonly used in handwriting and fonts based on it, especially fonts intended to be read by children, and is also found in italic type.
In English grammar, "a", and its variant "an", is an indefinite article.A. R. Rahman
Allahrakka Rahman (pronunciation ; born A. S. Dileep Kumar) known professionally as A. R. Rahman, is an Indian music director, composer, musician, singer and music producer. A. R. Rahman's works are noted for integrating Indian classical music with electronic music, world music and traditional orchestral arrangements. Among his awards are six National Film Awards, two Academy Awards, two Grammy Awards, a BAFTA Award, a Golden Globe Award, fifteen Filmfare Awards and seventeen Filmfare Awards South. He has been awarded the Padma Bhushan, the third highest civilian award, in 2010 by the Government of India.
In 2009, Rahman was included on the Time 100 list of the world's most influential people. The UK-based world-music magazine Songlines named him one of "Tomorrow's World Music Icons" in August 2011. He is nicknamed "The Mozart of Madras" and "Isai Puyal" (English: the Musical Storm) in Tamil.With an in-house studio (Panchathan Record Inn in Chennai), Rahman's film-scoring career began during the early 1990s with the Tamil film Roja. Working in India's film industries, international cinema, and theatre, Rahman is one of the best-selling recording artists, with an estimated 200 million units sold worldwide. Rahman has also become a notable humanitarian and philanthropist, donating and raising money for a number of causes and charities.
In 2017, Rahman made his debut as a director and writer for the film Le Musk. His fans call themselves 'Rahmaniac'.A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream is a comedy written by William Shakespeare in 1595/96. It portrays the events surrounding the marriage of Theseus, the Duke of Athens, to Hippolyta (the former queen of the Amazons). These include the adventures of four young Athenian lovers and a group of six amateur actors (the mechanicals) who are controlled and manipulated by the fairies who inhabit the forest in which most of the play is set. The play is one of Shakespeare's most popular works for the stage and is widely performed across the world.A Song of Ice and Fire
A Song of Ice and Fire is a series of epic fantasy novels by the American novelist and screenwriter George R. R. Martin. He began the first volume of the series, A Game of Thrones, in 1991, and it was published in 1996. Martin, who initially envisioned the series as a trilogy, has published five out of a planned seven volumes. The fifth and most recent volume of the series published in 2011, A Dance with Dragons, took Martin six years to write. He is currently writing the sixth novel, The Winds of Winter.
A Song of Ice and Fire takes place on the fictional continents Westeros and Essos. The point of view of each chapter in the story is a limited perspective of a range of characters growing from nine, in the first novel, to 31 characters by the fifth novel. Three main stories interweave: a dynastic war among several families for control of Westeros, the rising threat of the supernatural Others in the northernmost reaches of Westeros, and the ambition of Daenerys Targaryen, the deposed king's exiled daughter, to assume the Iron Throne.
Martin's inspirations included the Wars of the Roses and the French historical novels The Accursed Kings by Maurice Druon. A Song of Ice and Fire received praise for its diverse portrayal of women and religion, as well as its realism. An assortment of disparate and subjective points of view confronts the reader, and the success or survival of point of view characters is never assured. Within the often morally ambiguous world of A Song of Ice and Fire, questions concerning loyalty, pride, human sexuality, piety, and the morality of violence frequently arise.
As of August 2016, the books have sold more than 70 million copies worldwide and, as of January 2017, have been translated into 47 languages. The fourth and fifth volumes reached the top of The New York Times Best Seller lists upon their releases. Among the many derived works are several prequel novellas, a TV series, a comic book adaptation, and several card, board, and video games.Bachelor of Arts
A Bachelor of Arts (BA or AB—often styled B.A.; from the Latin baccalaureus artium or artium baccalaureus) is a bachelor's degree awarded for an undergraduate course or program in either the liberal arts, sciences, or both. Bachelor of Arts programs generally take three to four years depending on the country, institution, and specific specializations, majors, or minors. The word baccalaureus (from the Latin bacca, a berry, and laureus, "of the bay laurel") should not be confused with baccalaureatus (translatable as "gold-plated scepter" by using the Latina bacum and aureatus), which refers to the one- to two-year postgraduate Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree (Baccalaureatus in Artibus Cum Honore) in some countries.
Diplomas generally give the name of the institution, signatures of officials of the institution (generally the president or rector of the university as well as the secretary or dean of the component college), type of degree conferred, conferring authority, and location at which the degree is conferred. Diplomas generally are printed on high-quality paper or parchment; individual institutions set the preferred abbreviation for their degrees.
The Bachelor of Arts is usually attained in four years in Afghanistan, Lebanon, Armenia, Kenya, Canada, Greece, Bangladesh, Azerbaijan, Egypt, Iran, Japan, Kazakhstan, Lithuania, Nigeria, Serbia, Spain, Pakistan, the Philippines, Thailand, Russia, Ireland, South Korea, Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey, Hong Kong, the United States, and most of the Americas.
Degree attainment generally takes three years in nearly all of the European Union and Albania, Australia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, India, Israel, New Zealand, Iceland, Norway, Singapore, the Caribbean, South Africa, Switzerland, and the Canadian province of Quebec. In Pakistan, the Bachelor of Arts can also be attained within two years as an external degree.Badminton
Badminton is a racquet sport played using racquets to hit a shuttlecock across a net. Although it may be played with larger teams, the most common forms of the game are "singles" (with one player per side) and "doubles" (with two players per side). Badminton is often played as a casual outdoor activity in a yard or on a beach; formal games are played on a rectangular indoor court. Points are scored by striking the shuttlecock with the racquet and landing it within the opposing side's half of the court.
Each side may only strike the shuttlecock once before it passes over the net. Play ends once the shuttlecock has struck the floor or if a fault has been called by the umpire, service judge, or (in their absence) the opposing side.The shuttlecock is a feathered or (in informal matches) plastic projectile which flies differently from the balls used in many other sports. In particular, the feathers create much higher drag, causing the shuttlecock to decelerate more rapidly. Shuttlecocks also have a high top speed compared to the balls in other racquet sports. The flight of the shuttlecock gives the sport its distinctive nature.
The game developed in British India from the earlier game of battledore and shuttlecock. European play came to be dominated by Denmark but the game has become very popular in Asia, with recent competitions dominated by China. Since 1992, badminton has been a Summer Olympic sport with four events: men's singles, women's singles, men's doubles, and women's doubles, with mixed doubles added four years later. At high levels of play, the sport demands excellent fitness: players require aerobic stamina, agility, strength, speed, and precision. It is also a technical sport, requiring good motor coordination and the development of sophisticated racquet movements.Black hole
A black hole is a region of spacetime exhibiting such strong gravitational effects that nothing—not even particles and electromagnetic radiation such as light—can escape from inside it. The theory of general relativity predicts that a sufficiently compact mass can deform spacetime to form a black hole. The boundary of the region from which no escape is possible is called the event horizon. Although the event horizon has an enormous effect on the fate and circumstances of an object crossing it, no locally detectable features appear to be observed. In many ways, a black hole acts like an ideal black body, as it reflects no light. Moreover, quantum field theory in curved spacetime predicts that event horizons emit Hawking radiation, with the same spectrum as a black body of a temperature inversely proportional to its mass. This temperature is on the order of billionths of a kelvin for black holes of stellar mass, making it essentially impossible to observe.
Objects whose gravitational fields are too strong for light to escape were first considered in the 18th century by John Michell and Pierre-Simon Laplace. The first modern solution of general relativity that would characterize a black hole was found by Karl Schwarzschild in 1916, although its interpretation as a region of space from which nothing can escape was first published by David Finkelstein in 1958. Black holes were long considered a mathematical curiosity; it was during the 1960s that theoretical work showed they were a generic prediction of general relativity. The discovery of neutron stars by Jocelyn Bell Burnell in 1967 sparked interest in gravitationally collapsed compact objects as a possible astrophysical reality.
Black holes of stellar mass are expected to form when very massive stars collapse at the end of their life cycle. After a black hole has formed, it can continue to grow by absorbing mass from its surroundings. By absorbing other stars and merging with other black holes, supermassive black holes of millions of solar masses (M☉) may form. There is general consensus that supermassive black holes exist in the centers of most galaxies.
Despite its invisible interior, the presence of a black hole can be inferred through its interaction with other matter and with electromagnetic radiation such as visible light. Matter that falls onto a black hole can form an external accretion disk heated by friction, forming some of the brightest objects in the universe. If there are other stars orbiting a black hole, their orbits can be used to determine the black hole's mass and location. Such observations can be used to exclude possible alternatives such as neutron stars. In this way, astronomers have identified numerous stellar black hole candidates in binary systems, and established that the radio source known as Sagittarius A*, at the core of the Milky Way galaxy, contains a supermassive black hole of about 4.3 million solar masses.
On 11 February 2016, the LIGO collaboration announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves, which also represented the first observation of a black hole merger. As of December 2018, eleven gravitational wave events have been observed that originated from ten merging black holes (along with one binary neutron star merger). On 10 April 2019, the first ever direct image of a black hole and its vicinity was published, following observations made by the Event Horizon Telescope in 2017 of the supermassive black hole in Messier 87's galactic centre.Brand
A brand is an overall experience of a customer that distinguishes an organization or product from its rivals in the eyes of the customer. Brands are used in business, marketing, and advertising. Name brands are sometimes distinguished from generic or store brands.
The practice of branding is thought to have begun with the ancient Egyptians, who were known to have engaged in livestock branding as early as 2,700 BCE. Branding was used to differentiate one person’s cattle from another's by means of a distinctive symbol burned into the animal’s skin with a hot branding iron. If a person stole any of the cattle, anyone else who saw the symbol could deduce the actual owner. However, the term has been extended to mean a strategic personality for a product or company, so that ‘brand’ now suggests the values and promises that a consumer may perceive and buy into. Over time, the practice of branding objects extended to a broader range of packaging and goods offered for sale including oil, wine, cosmetics and fish sauce. Branding in terms of painting a cow with symbols or colours at flea markets was considered to be one of the oldest forms of the practice.
Branding is a set of marketing and communication methods that help to distinguish a company or products from competitors, aiming to create a lasting impression in the minds of customers. The key components that form a brand's toolbox include a brand’s identity, brand communication (such as by logos and trademarks), brand awareness, brand loyalty, and various branding (brand management) strategies. Many companies believe that there is often little to differentiate between several types of products in the 21st century, and therefore branding is one of a few remaining forms of product differentiation.Brand equity is the measurable totality of a brand's worth and is validated by assessing the effectiveness of these branding components. As markets become increasingly dynamic and fluctuating, brand equity is a marketing technique to increase customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, with side effects like reduced price sensitivity. A brand is, in essence, a promise to its customers of what they can expect from products and may include emotional as well as functional benefits. When a customer is familiar with a brand, or favours it incomparably to its competitors, this is when a corporation has reached a high level of brand equity. Special accounting standards have been devised to assess brand equity. In accounting, a brand defined as an intangible asset, is often the most valuable asset on a corporation’s balance sheet. Brand owners manage their brands carefully to create shareholder value, and brand valuation is an important management technique that ascribes a monetary value to a brand, and allows marketing investment to be managed (e.g.: prioritized across a portfolio of brands) to maximize shareholder value. Although only acquired brands appear on a company's balance sheet, the notion of putting a value on a brand forces marketing leaders to be focused on long term stewardship of the brand and managing for value.
The word ‘brand’ is often used as a metonym referring to the company that is strongly identified with a brand. Marque or make are often used to denote a brand of motor vehicle, which may be distinguished from a car model. A concept brand is a brand that is associated with an abstract concept, like breast cancer awareness or environmentalism, rather than a specific product, service, or business. A commodity brand is a brand associated with a commodity.Company
A company, abbreviated as co., is a legal entity made up of an association of people, be they natural, legal, or a mixture of both, for carrying on a commercial or industrial enterprise. Company members share a common purpose, and unite to focus their various talents and organize their collectively available skills or resources to achieve specific, declared goals. Companies take various forms, such as:
voluntary associations, which may include nonprofit organizations
business entities with an aim of gaining a profit
financial entities and banksA company or association of persons can be created at law as a legal person so that the company in itself can accept limited liability for civil responsibility and taxation incurred as members perform (or fail to discharge) their duty within the publicly declared "birth certificate" or published policy.
Companies as legal persons may associate and register themselves collectively as other companies – often known as a corporate group. When a company closes, it may need a "death certificate" to avoid further legal obligations.Drum kit
A drum kit — also called a drum set, trap set (a term using a contraction of the word, "contraption"), or simply drums — is a collection of drums and other percussion instruments, typically cymbals, which are set up on stands to be played by a single player, with drumsticks held in both hands, and the feet operating pedals that control the hi-hat cymbal and the beater for the bass drum. A drum kit consists of a mix of drums (categorized classically as membranophones, Hornbostel-Sachs high-level classification 2) and idiophones – most significantly cymbals, but can also include the woodblock and cowbell (classified as Hornbostel-Sachs high-level classification 1). In the 2000s, some kits also include electronic instruments (Hornbostel-Sachs classification 53). Also, both hybrid (mixing acoustic instruments and electronic drums) and entirely electronic kits are used.
A standard modern kit (for a right-handed player), as used in popular music and taught in music schools, contains:
A snare drum, mounted on a stand, placed between the player's knees and played with drum sticks (which may include rutes or brushes)
A bass drum, played by a pedal operated by the right foot, which moves a felt-covered beater
One or more toms, played with sticks or brushes (usually three toms: rack tom 1 and 2, and floor tom)
A hi-hat (two cymbals mounted on a stand), played with the sticks, opened and closed with left foot pedal (it can also produce sound with the foot alone)
One or more cymbals, mounted on stands, played with the sticksAll of these are classified as non-pitched percussion, allowing the music to be scored using percussion notation, for which a loose semi-standardized form exists for both the drum kit and electronic drums. The drum kit is usually played while seated on a stool known as a throne. While many instruments like the guitar or piano are capable of performing melodies and chords, most drum kits are unable to achieve this as they produce sounds of indeterminate pitch. The drum kit is a part of the standard rhythm section, used in many types of popular and traditional music styles, ranging from rock and pop to blues and jazz. Other standard instruments used in the rhythm section include the piano, electric guitar, electric bass, and keyboards.
Many drummers extend their kits from this basic configuration, adding more drums, more cymbals, and many other instruments including pitched percussion. In some styles of music, particular extensions are normal. For example, some rock and heavy metal drummers make use of double bass drums, which can be achieved with either a second bass drum or a remote double foot pedal. Some progressive drummers may include orchestral percussion such as gongs and tubular bells in their rig. Some performers, such as some rockabilly drummers, play small kits that omit elements from the basic setup.Glossary of professional wrestling terms
Professional wrestling has accrued a considerable nomenclature throughout its existence. Much of it stems from the industry's origins in the days of carnivals and circuses. In the past, professional wrestlers used such terms in the presence of fans so as not to reveal the worked nature of the business. In recent years, widespread discussion on the Internet has popularized these terms. Many of the terms refer to the financial aspects of professional wrestling in addition to in-ring terms.Home
A home, or domicile, is a living space used as a permanent or semi-permanent residence for an individual, family, household or several families in a tribe. It is often a house, apartment, or other building, or alternatively a mobile home, houseboat, yurt or any other portable shelter. A principle of constitutional law in many countries, related to the right to privacy enshrined in article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is the inviolability of the home as an individual's place of shelter and refuge.
Homes typically provide areas and facilities for sleeping, preparing food, eating and hygiene. Larger groups may live in a nursing home, children's home, convent or any similar institution. A homestead also includes agricultural land and facilities for domesticated animals. Where more secure dwellings are not available, people may live in the informal and sometimes illegal shacks found in slums and shanty towns. More generally, "home" may be considered to be a geographic area, such as a town, village, suburb, city, or country.List of sovereign states
The following is a list providing an overview of sovereign states around the world, with information on their status and recognition of their sovereignty.
The 206 listed states can be divided into three categories based on membership within the United Nations system: 193 member states, two observer states and 11 other states. The sovereignty dispute column indicates states whose sovereignty is undisputed (190 states) and states whose sovereignty is disputed (16 states, of which there are six member states, one observer state and nine other states).
Compiling a list such as this can be a difficult and controversial process, as there is no definition that is binding on all the members of the community of nations concerning the criteria for statehood. For more information on the criteria used to determine the contents of this list, please see the criteria for inclusion section below. The list is intended to include entities that have been recognised as having de facto status as sovereign states, and inclusion should not be seen as an endorsement of any specific claim to statehood in legal terms.Minor League Baseball
Minor League Baseball is a hierarchy of professional baseball leagues in the Americas that compete at levels below Major League Baseball (MLB) and provide opportunities for player development and a way to prepare for the major leagues. All of the minor leagues are operated as independent businesses. Most are members of the umbrella organization known as Minor League Baseball (MiLB), which operates under the Commissioner of Baseball within the scope of organized baseball. Several leagues, known as independent baseball leagues, do not have any official links to Major League Baseball.
Except for the Mexican League, teams in the organized minor leagues are generally independently owned and operated but are directly affiliated with one major league team through a standardized Player Development Contract (PDC). These leagues also go by the nicknames the "farm system", "farm club", or "farm team(s)" because of a joke passed around by major league players in the 1930s when St. Louis Cardinals general manager Branch Rickey formalized the system, and teams in small towns were "growing players down on the farm like corn".
Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball teams may enter into a PDC for a two- or four-year term. At the expiration of a PDC term, teams may renew their affiliation, or sign new PDCs with different clubs, though many relationships are renewed and endure for extended time periods. For example, the Omaha Storm Chasers (formerly the Omaha Royals and Omaha Golden Spikes) have been the Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals since the Royals joined the American League in 1969, but the Columbus Clippers changed affiliations, after being associated with the New York Yankees from 1979, to the Washington Nationals in 2007, and have been affiliated with the Cleveland Indians since 2009.
A few minor league teams are directly owned by their major league parent club, such as the Springfield Cardinals, owned by the St. Louis Cardinals, and all of the Atlanta Braves' affiliates except the Florida Fire Frogs. Minor League teams that are owned directly by the major league club do not have PDCs with the parent club and are typically not part of the reaffiliation shuffles that occur each year.
Today, there are 14 MLB-affiliated minor leagues with a total of 160 revenue-generating teams, located in large, medium, and small cities and suburbs across the United States and Canada, and there are three MLB-affiliated rookie leagues with a total of 80 teams, located in Arizona, Florida, and the Dominican Republic, though these teams do not generate revenue. The Mexican League, with 16 teams, is independent but closely tied with MLB. Several more independent leagues operate in the United States and Canada.Once Upon a Time (TV series)
Once Upon a Time is an American fantasy drama television series on ABC which debuted on October 23, 2011, and concluded on May 18, 2018. The first six seasons are largely set in the fictitious seaside town of Storybrooke, Maine, with the characters of Emma Swan and Regina Mills serving as the leads, while the seventh and final season takes place in Seattle, Washington, in the fictitious neighborhood of Hyperion Heights, with a new main narrative led by Mills, and Swan and Mills' son, Henry Mills. The show borrows elements and characters from the Disney universe and popular Western literature, folklore, and fairy tales.
Once Upon a Time was created by Lost and Tron: Legacy writers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz. A spin-off series, Once Upon a Time in Wonderland, consisting of 13 episodes which followed the titular character from Alice in Wonderland, premiered on October 10, 2013 and concluded on April 3, 2014.Portmanteau
A portmanteau ( (listen), ) or portmanteau word is a linguistic blend of words, in which parts of multiple words or their phones (sounds) are combined into a new word,
as in smog, coined by blending smoke and fog, or motel, from motor and hotel. In linguistics, a portmanteau is defined as a single morph that represents two or more morphemes.The definition overlaps with the grammatical term contraction, but contractions are formed from words that would otherwise appear together in sequence, such as do and not to make don't, whereas a portmanteau word is formed by combining two or more existing words that all relate to a singular concept. A portmanteau also differs from a compound, which does not involve the truncation of parts of the stems of the blended words. For instance, starfish is a compound, not a portmanteau, of star and fish; whereas a hypothetical portmanteau of star and fish might be stish.Serie A
Serie A (Italian pronunciation: [ˈsɛːrje ˈa]), also called Serie A TIM due to sponsorship by TIM, is a professional league competition for football clubs located at the top of the Italian football league system and the winner is awarded the Coppa Campioni d'Italia. It has been operating for over eighty years since the 1929–30 season. It had been organized by Lega Calcio until 2010, when the Lega Serie A was created for the 2010–11 season.
Serie A is regarded as one of the best football leagues in the world and it is often depicted as the most tactical national league. Serie A was the world's second-strongest national league in 2014 according to IFFHSand has produced the highest number of European Cup finalists: Italian clubs have reached the final of the competition on 27 occasions, winning the title 12 times. Serie A is ranked third among European leagues according to UEFA's league coefficient, behind La Liga, Premier League, and ahead of Bundesliga and Ligue 1, which is based on the performance of Italian clubs in the Champions League and the Europa League during the last five years. Serie A led the UEFA ranking from 1986 to 1988 and from 1990 to 1999.In its current format, the Italian Football Championship was revised from having regional and interregional rounds, to a single-tier league from the 1929–30 season onwards. The championship titles won prior to 1929 are officially recognised by FIGC with the same weighting as titles that were subsequently awarded. However, the 1945–46 season, when the league was played over two geographical groups due to the ravages of WWII, is not statistically considered, even if its title is fully official. All the winning teams are recognised with the title of Campione d'Italia ("Champion of Italy"), which is ratified by the Lega Serie A before the start of the next edition of the championship.
The league hosts three of the world's most famous clubs as Juventus, Milan and Internazionale, all founding members of the G-14, a group which represented the largest and most prestigious European football clubs from 2000 to 2008, being the first two cited also founding members of its successive organisation, European Club Association (ECA). More players have won the coveted Ballon d'Or award while playing at a Serie A club than any league in the world other than Spain's La Liga. – although Spain's La Liga has the highest total number of Ballon d'Or winners. Juventus, Italy's most successful club of the 20th century and the most successful Italian team, is tied for fourth in Europe and eighth in the world with the most official international titles. The club is also the only one in the world to have won all possible official confederation competitions. Milan is joint third club for official international titles won in the world, with 18. Internazionale, following their achievements in the 2009–10 season, became the first Italian team to have achieved a treble. Inter are also the only team in Italian football history to have never been relegated. Juventus, Milan and Inter, along with Roma, Fiorentina, Lazio and Napoli, are known as the Seven Sisters of Italian football.Serie A is one of the most storied football leagues in the world. Of the 100 greatest footballers in history chosen by FourFourTwo magazine in 2017, 42 players have played in Serie A, more than any other league in the world. Juventus is the team that has produced the most World Cup champions (25), with Inter (19), Roma (15) and Milan (10), being respectively third, fourth and ninth in that ranking.To Kill a Mockingbird
To Kill a Mockingbird is a novel by Harper Lee published in 1960. Instantly successful, widely read in high schools and middle schools in the United States, it has become a classic of modern American literature winning the Pulitzer Prize. The plot and characters are loosely based on Lee's observations of her family, her neighbors and an event that occurred near her hometown of Monroeville, Alabama, in 1936, when she was 10 years old.
The novel is renowned for its warmth and humor, despite dealing with the serious issues of rape and racial inequality. The narrator's father, Atticus Finch, has served as a moral hero for many readers and as a model of integrity for lawyers. Historian, J Crespino explains, "In the twentieth century, To Kill a Mockingbird is probably the most widely read book dealing with race in America, and its protagonist, Atticus Finch, the most enduring fictional image of racial heroism."As a Southern Gothic and Bildungsroman novel, the primary themes of To Kill a Mockingbird involve racial injustice and the destruction of innocence. Scholars have noted that Lee also addresses issues of class, courage, compassion, and gender roles in the American Deep South. The book is widely taught in schools in the United States with lessons that emphasize tolerance and decry prejudice. Despite its themes, To Kill a Mockingbird has been subject to campaigns for removal from public classrooms, often challenged for its use of racial epithets.
Reaction to the novel varied widely upon publication. Despite the number of copies sold and its widespread use in education, literary analysis of it is sparse. Author Mary McDonough Murphy, who collected individual impressions of To Kill a Mockingbird by several authors and public figures, calls the book "an astonishing phenomenon". In 2006, British librarians ranked the book ahead of the Bible as one "every adult should read before they die". It was adapted into an Academy Award-winning film in 1962 by director Robert Mulligan, with a screenplay by Horton Foote. Since 1990, a play based on the novel has been performed annually in Harper Lee's hometown.
To Kill a Mockingbird was Lee's only published book until Go Set a Watchman, an earlier draft of To Kill a Mockingbird, was published on July 14, 2015. Lee continued to respond to her work's impact until her death in February 2016, although she had refused any personal publicity for herself or the novel since 1964.Two and a Half Men
Two and a Half Men is an American television sitcom that originally aired on CBS for twelve seasons from September 22, 2003, to February 19, 2015. Originally starring Charlie Sheen, Jon Cryer, and Angus T. Jones, the series was about a hedonistic jingle writer, Charlie Harper, his uptight brother, Alan, and Alan's troublesome son, Jake. After Alan divorces, he and Jake move into Charlie's beachfront Malibu house and complicate Charlie's freewheeling life.
In 2010, CBS and Warner Bros. Television reached a multiyear broadcasting agreement for the series, renewing it through at least the 2011–12 season. In February 2011, however, CBS and Warner Bros. decided to end production for the rest of the eighth season after Sheen entered drug rehabilitation and made "disparaging comments" about the series' creator and executive producer Chuck Lorre. Sheen's contract was terminated the following month and he was confirmed not to be returning to the series. Ashton Kutcher was hired to replace him the following season as Walden Schmidt, a billionaire who buys Charlie's house after his death.
In April 2013, CBS renewed the series for an eleventh season after closing one-year deals with Kutcher and Cryer. Jones, who was attending college, was relegated to recurring status for season 11 but did not make an appearance until the series finale. He was replaced by Jenny (Amber Tamblyn), Charlie's previously unknown daughter. In March 2014, CBS renewed the series for a twelfth season, which was later announced to be the series' last. The season began airing in October 2014 and concluded in February 2015 with the 40-minute series finale "Of Course He's Dead". The success of the series led to it being the fourth-highest revenue-generating program for 2012, earning $3.24 million an episode.Website
A website or Web site is a collection of related network web resources, such as web pages, multimedia content, which are typically identified with a common domain name, and published on at least one web server. Notable examples are wikipedia.org, google.com, and amazon.com.
Websites can be accessed via a public Internet Protocol (IP) network, such as the Internet, or a private local area network (LAN), by a uniform resource locator (URL) that identifies the site.
Websites can have many functions and can be used in various fashions; a website can be a personal website, a corporate website for a company, a government website, an organization website, etc. Websites are typically dedicated to a particular topic or purpose, ranging from entertainment and social networking to providing news and education. All publicly accessible websites collectively constitute the World Wide Web, while private websites, such as a company's website for its employees, are typically part of an intranet.
Web pages, which are the building blocks of websites, are documents, typically composed in plain text interspersed with formatting instructions of Hypertext Markup Language (HTML, XHTML). They may incorporate elements from other websites with suitable markup anchors. Web pages are accessed and transported with the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP), which may optionally employ encryption (HTTP Secure, HTTPS) to provide security and privacy for the user. The user's application, often a web browser, renders the page content according to its HTML markup instructions onto a display terminal.
Hyperlinking between web pages conveys to the reader the site structure and guides the navigation of the site, which often starts with a home page containing a directory of the site web content. Some websites require user registration or subscription to access content. Examples of subscription websites include many business sites, news websites, academic journal websites, gaming websites, file-sharing websites, message boards, web-based email, social networking websites, websites providing real-time stock market data, as well as sites providing various other services. End users can access websites on a range of devices, including desktop and laptop computers, tablet computers, smartphones and smart TVs.