JSTOR

JSTOR (/ˈdʒeɪstɔːr/;[3] short for Journal Storage) is a digital library founded in 1995. Originally containing digitized back issues of academic journals, it now also includes books and other primary sources, and current issues of journals.[4] It provides full-text searches of almost 2,000 journals. As of 2013, more than 8,000 institutions in more than 160 countries had access to JSTOR;[5] most access is by subscription, but some of the site's public domain and open access content is available at no cost to anyone.[6] JSTOR's revenue was $86 million in 2015.[7]

JSTOR
JSTOR vector logo
Screenshot
Screenshot of JSTOR
The JSTOR front page
Type of site
Digital library
Available inEnglish (includes content in other languages)
OwnerITHAKA[1]
Created byAndrew W. Mellon Foundation
Websitejstor.org
Alexa rankIncrease 1,778 (February 2017)[2]
RegistrationYes
Launched1995
Current statusActive
OCLC number46609535

History

William G. Bowen, president of Princeton University from 1972 to 1988,[8] founded JSTOR in 1995. JSTOR originally was conceived as a solution to one of the problems faced by libraries, especially research and university libraries, due to the increasing number of academic journals in existence. Most libraries found it prohibitively expensive in terms of cost and space to maintain a comprehensive collection of journals. By digitizing many journal titles, JSTOR allowed libraries to outsource the storage of journals with the confidence that they would remain available long-term. Online access and full-text search ability improved access dramatically.

Bowen initially considered using CD-ROMs for distribution.[9] However, Ira Fuchs, Princeton University's vice-president for Computing and Information Technology, convinced Bowen that CD-ROM was becoming an increasingly outdated technology and that network distribution could eliminate redundancy and increase accessibility. (For example, all Princeton's administrative and academic buildings were networked by 1989; the student dormitory network was completed in 1994; and campus networks like the one at Princeton were, in turn, linked to larger networks such as BITNET and the Internet.) JSTOR was initiated in 1995 at seven different library sites, and originally encompassed ten economics and history journals. JSTOR access improved based on feedback from its initial sites, and it became a fully searchable index accessible from any ordinary web browser. Special software was put in place to make pictures and graphs clear and readable.[10]

With the success of this limited project, Bowen and Kevin Guthrie, then-president of JSTOR, wanted to expand the number of participating journals. They met with representatives of the Royal Society of London and an agreement was made to digitize the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society dating from its beginning in 1665. The work of adding these volumes to JSTOR was completed by December 2000.[10]

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation funded JSTOR initially. Until January 2009 JSTOR operated as an independent, self-sustaining nonprofit organization with offices in New York City and in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Then JSTOR merged with the nonprofit Ithaka Harbors, Inc.[11]—a nonprofit organization founded in 2003 and "dedicated to helping the academic community take full advantage of rapidly advancing information and networking technologies".[1]

Content

JSTOR content is provided by more than 900 publishers.[5] The database contains more than 1,900 journal titles,[5] in more than 50 disciplines. Each object is uniquely identified by an integer value, starting at 1.

In addition to the main site, the JSTOR labs group operates an open service that allows access to the contents of the archives for the purposes of corpus analysis at its Data for Research service.[12] This site offers a search facility with graphical indication of the article coverage and loose integration into the main JSTOR site. Users may create focused sets of articles and then request a dataset containing word and n-gram frequencies and basic metadata. They are notified when the dataset is ready and may download it in either XML or CSV formats. The service does not offer full-text, although academics may request that from JSTOR, subject to a non-disclosure agreement.

JSTOR Plant Science[13] is available in addition to the main site. JSTOR Plant Science provides access to content such as plant type specimens, taxonomic structures, scientific literature, and related materials and aimed at those researching, teaching, or studying botany, biology, ecology, environmental, and conservation studies. The materials on JSTOR Plant Science are contributed through the Global Plants Initiative (GPI)[14] and are accessible only to JSTOR and GPI members. Two partner networks are contributing to this: the African Plants Initiative, which focuses on plants from Africa, and the Latin American Plants Initiative, which contributes plants from Latin America.

JSTOR launched its Books at JSTOR program in November 2012, adding 15,000 current and backlist books to its site. The books are linked with reviews and from citations in journal articles.[15]

In September 2014, JSTOR launched JSTOR Daily, an online magazine meant to bring academic research to a broader audience. Posted articles are generally based on JSTOR entries, and some entries provide the backstory to current events.[16]

Access

JSTOR is licensed mainly to academic institutions, public libraries, research institutions, museums, and schools. More than 7,000 institutions in more than 150 countries have access.[4] JSTOR has been running a pilot program of allowing subscribing institutions to provide access to their alumni, in addition to current students and staff. The Alumni Access Program officially launched in January 2013.[17] Individual subscriptions also are available to certain journal titles through the journal publisher.[18] Every year, JSTOR blocks 150 million attempts by non-subscribers to read articles.[19]

Inquiries have been made about the possibility of making JSTOR open access. According to Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig, JSTOR had been asked "how much would it cost to make this available to the whole world, how much would we need to pay you? The answer was $250 million".[20]

Aaron Swartz incident

In late 2010 and early 2011, Internet activist Aaron Swartz used MIT's data network to bulk-download a substantial portion of JSTOR's collection of academic journal articles.[21][22] When the bulk-download was discovered, a video camera was placed in the room to film the mysterious visitor and the relevant computer was left untouched. Once video was captured of the visitor, the download was stopped and Swartz was identified. Rather than pursue a civil lawsuit against him, in June 2011 they reached a settlement wherein he surrendered the downloaded data.[21][22]

The following month, federal authorities charged Swartz with several "data theft"–related crimes, including wire fraud, computer fraud, unlawfully obtaining information from a protected computer, and recklessly damaging a protected computer.[23][24] Prosecutors in the case claimed that Swartz acted with the intention of making the papers available on P2P file-sharing sites.[22][25]

Swartz surrendered to authorities, pleaded not guilty to all counts, and was released on $100,000 bail. In September 2012, U.S. attorneys increased the number of charges against Swartz from four to thirteen, with a possible penalty of 35 years in prison and $1 million in fines.[26][27] The case still was pending when Swartz committed suicide in January 2013.[28] Prosecutors dropped the charges after his suicide.[29]

Limitations

The availability of most journals on JSTOR is controlled by a "moving wall", which is an agreed-upon delay between the current volume of the journal and the latest volume available on JSTOR. This time period is specified by agreement between JSTOR and the publisher of the journal, which usually is three to five years. Publishers may request that the period of a "moving wall" be changed or request discontinuation of coverage. Formerly, publishers also could request that the "moving wall" be changed to a "fixed wall"—a specified date after which JSTOR would not add new volumes to its database. As of November 2010, "fixed wall" agreements were still in effect with three publishers of 29 journals made available online through sites controlled by the publishers.[30]

In 2010, JSTOR started adding current issues of certain journals through its Current Scholarship Program.[31]

Increasing public access

Beginning September 6, 2011, JSTOR made public domain content available at no charge to the public.[32][33] This "Early Journal Content" program constitutes about 6% of JSTOR's total content, and includes over 500,000 documents from more than 200 journals that were published before 1923 in the United States, and before 1870 in other countries.[32][33][34] JSTOR stated that it had been working on making this material free for some time. The Swartz controversy and Greg Maxwell's protest torrent of the same content led JSTOR to "press ahead" with the initiative.[32][33] As of 2017, JSTOR does not have plans to extend it to other public domain content, stating that "We do not believe that just because something is in the public domain, it can always be provided for free".[35]

In January 2012, JSTOR started a pilot program, "Register & Read", offering limited no-cost access (not open access) to archived articles for individuals who register for the service. At the conclusion of the pilot, in January 2013, JSTOR expanded Register & Read from an initial 76 publishers to include about 1,200 journals from over 700 publishers.[36] Registered readers may read up to six articles online every calendar month, but may not print or download PDFs.[37]

JSTOR is conducting a pilot program with Wikipedia, whereby established editors are given reading privileges through the Wikipedia Library, as with a university library.[38][39]

Use

In 2012, JSTOR users performed nearly 152 million searches, with more than 113 million article views and 73.5 million article downloads.[5] JSTOR has been used as a resource for linguistics research to investigate trends in language use over time and also to analyze gender differences and inequities in scholarly publishing, revealing that in certain fields, men predominate in the prestigious first and last author positions and that women are significantly underrepresented as authors of single-authored papers.[40][41][42]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "About". Ithaka. Retrieved 2009-10-25.
  2. ^ "Jstor.org Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2016-10-03.
  3. ^ "JSTOR Videos". YouTube. Retrieved 16 December 2012.
  4. ^ a b Genicot, Léopold (February 13, 2012). "At a glance". Études Rurales (PDF) (45): 131–133. JSTOR 20120213.
  5. ^ a b c d "Annual Summary" (PDF). JSTOR. 19 March 2013. Retrieved 13 April 2013.
  6. ^ "Register and read beta".
  7. ^ "Ithaka Harbors, Inc". Nonprofit Explorer. ProPublica. Retrieved 2018-04-24.
  8. ^ Leitch, Alexander. "Bowen, William Gordon". Princeton University Press.
  9. ^ "JSTOR, A History" by Roger C. Schonfeld, Princeton University Press, 2003
  10. ^ a b Taylor, John (2001). "JSTOR: An Electronic Archive from 1665". Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London. 55 (1): 179–81. doi:10.1098/rsnr.2001.0135. JSTOR 532157.
  11. ^ "About". JSTOR. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  12. ^ Data for Research. JSTOR.
  13. ^ JSTOR Plant Science. JSTOR.
  14. ^ Global Plants Initiative. JSTOR.
  15. ^ "A new chapter begins: Books at JSTOR launches". JSTOR. November 12, 2012. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  16. ^ Lichterman, Joseph. "Opening up the archives: JSTOR wants to tie a library to the news". Nieman Lab. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  17. ^ "Access for alumni". JSTOR. Retrieved December 1, 2012. (subscription required)
  18. ^ "Individual subscriptions". JSTOR. Retrieved December 1, 2012. (subscription required)
  19. ^ Every Year, JSTOR Turns Away 150 Million Attempts to Read Journal Articles. The Atlantic. Retrieved 29 January 2013.
  20. ^ Lessig on "Aaron's Laws—Law and Justice in a Digital Age". YouTube (2013-02-20). Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
  21. ^ a b "JSTOR Statement: Misuse Incident and Criminal Case". JSTOR. 2011-07-19.
  22. ^ a b c Carter, Zach; Grim, Ryan; Reilly, Ryan J. (2013-01-12). "Aaron Swartz, Internet Pioneer, Found Dead Amid Prosecutor 'Bullying' In Unconventional Case". Huffington Post. The Huffington Post.
  23. ^ Bilton, Nick (July 19, 2011). "Internet activist charged in M.I.T. data theft". Bits Blog, The New York Times. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  24. ^ Schwartz, John (July 19, 2011). "Open-Access Advocate Is Arrested for Huge Download". New York Times. Retrieved July 19, 2011.
  25. ^ Lindsay, Jay (July 19, 2011). "Feds: Harvard fellow hacked millions of papers". Associated Press. Retrieved July 20, 2011.
  26. ^ Ortiz, Carmen (2011-07-19). "Alleged Hacker Charged with Stealing over Four Million Documents from MIT Network". The United States Attorney's Office". Archived from the original on 2011-07-24.
  27. ^ Kravets, David (2012-09-18). "Feds Charge Activist with 13 Felonies for Rogue Downloading of Academic Articles". Wired.
  28. ^ "Aaron Swartz, internet freedom activist, dies aged 26", BBC News
  29. ^ "Aaron Swartz's father: He'd be alive today if he was never arrested", money.cnn.com
  30. ^ "Moving wall". JSTOR.
  31. ^ "About current journals". JSTOR. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  32. ^ a b c Brown, Laura (September 7, 2011). "JSTOR–free access to early journal content and serving 'unaffiliated' users", JSTOR. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  33. ^ a b c Rapp, David (2011-09-07). "JSTOR Announces Free Access to 500K Public Domain Journal Articles". Library Journal.
  34. ^ "Early journal content". JSTOR. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
  35. ^ "About JSTOR: Frequently Asked Questions". JSTOR. Archived from the original on 2017-05-11. Retrieved 2017-05-18.
  36. ^ Tilsley, Alexandra (January 9, 2013). "Journal Archive Opens Up (Some)". Inside Higher Ed. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  37. ^ "My JSTOR Read Online Free". JSTOR. Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  38. ^ Orlowitz, Jake; Earley, Patrick (January 25, 2014). "Librarypedia: The Future of Libraries and Wikipedia". The Digital Shift. Library Journal. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  39. ^ Price, Gary (June 22, 2014). "Wikipedia Library Program Expands With More Accounts from JSTOR, Credo, and Other Database Providers". INFOdocket. Library Journal. Retrieved 20 December 2014.
  40. ^ Shapiro, Fred R. (1998). "A Study in Computer-Assisted Lexicology: Evidence on the Emergence of Hopefully as a Sentence Adverb from the JSTOR Journal Archive and Other Electronic Resources". American Speech. 73 (3): 279–296. doi:10.2307/455826. JSTOR 455826.
  41. ^ Wilson, Robin (October 22, 2012). "Scholarly Publishing's Gender Gap". The Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 6 January 2015.
  42. ^ West, Jevin D.; Jacquet, Jennifer; King, Molly M.; Correll, Shelley J.; Bergstrom, Carl T. (2013-07-22). "The Role of Gender in Scholarly Authorship". PLoS ONE. 8 (7): e66212. arXiv:1211.1759. Bibcode:2013PLoSO...866212W. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066212. ISSN 1932-6203. PMC 3718784. PMID 23894278.

Further reading

  • Gauger, Barbara J; Kacena, Carolyn (2006). "JSTOR usage data and what it can tell us about ourselves: is there predictability based on historical use by libraries of similar size?". OCLC Systems & Services. 22 (1): 43–55. doi:10.1108/10650750610640801.
  • Schonfeld, Roger C (2003). JSTOR: A History. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press. ISBN 978-0-691-11531-3.
  • Seeds, Robert S (November 2002). "Impact of a digital archive (JSTOR) on print collection use". Collection Building. 21 (3): 120–22. doi:10.1108/01604950210434551.
  • Spinella, Michael P (2007). "JSTOR". Journal of Library Administration. 46 (2): 55–78. doi:10.1300/J111v46n02_05.
  • Spinella, Michael (2008). "JSTOR and the changing digital landscape". Interlending & Document Supply. 36 (2): 79–85. doi:10.1108/02641610810878549.

External links

Aaron Swartz

Aaron Hillel Swartz (November 8, 1986 – January 11, 2013) was an American computer programmer, entrepreneur, writer, political organizer, and Internet hacktivist. He was involved in the development of the web feed format RSS and the Markdown publishing format, the organization Creative Commons, and the website framework web.py, and was a co-founder of the social news site Reddit. He was given the title of co-founder by Y Combinator owner Paul Graham after the formation of Not a Bug, Inc. (a merger of Swartz's project Infogami and a company run by Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman).

Swartz's work also focused on civic awareness and activism. He helped launch the Progressive Change Campaign Committee in 2009 to learn more about effective online activism. In 2010, he became a research fellow at Harvard University's Safra Research Lab on Institutional Corruption, directed by Lawrence Lessig. He founded the online group Demand Progress, known for its campaign against the Stop Online Piracy Act.

In 2011, Swartz was arrested by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) police on state breaking-and-entering charges, after connecting a computer to the MIT network in an unmarked and unlocked closet, and setting it to download academic journal articles systematically from JSTOR using a guest user account issued to him by MIT. Federal prosecutors later charged him with two counts of wire fraud and eleven violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, carrying a cumulative maximum penalty of $1 million in fines, 35 years in prison, asset forfeiture, restitution, and supervised release.Swartz declined a plea bargain under which he would have served six months in federal prison. Two days after the prosecution rejected a counter-offer by Swartz, he was found dead in his Brooklyn apartment, where he had hanged himself.In 2013, Swartz was inducted posthumously into the Internet Hall of Fame.

Amphibian

Amphibians are ectothermic, tetrapod vertebrates of the class Amphibia. Modern amphibians are all Lissamphibia. They inhabit a wide variety of habitats, with most species living within terrestrial, fossorial, arboreal or freshwater aquatic ecosystems. Thus amphibians typically start out as larvae living in water, but some species have developed behavioural adaptations to bypass this. The young generally undergo metamorphosis from larva with gills to an adult air-breathing form with lungs. Amphibians use their skin as a secondary respiratory surface and some small terrestrial salamanders and frogs lack lungs and rely entirely on their skin. They are superficially similar to lizards but, along with mammals and birds, reptiles are amniotes and do not require water bodies in which to breed. With their complex reproductive needs and permeable skins, amphibians are often ecological indicators; in recent decades there has been a dramatic decline in amphibian populations for many species around the globe.

The earliest amphibians evolved in the Devonian period from sarcopterygian fish with lungs and bony-limbed fins, features that were helpful in adapting to dry land. They diversified and became dominant during the Carboniferous and Permian periods, but were later displaced by reptiles and other vertebrates. Over time, amphibians shrank in size and decreased in diversity, leaving only the modern subclass Lissamphibia.

The three modern orders of amphibians are Anura (the frogs and toads), Urodela (the salamanders), and Apoda (the caecilians). The number of known amphibian species is approximately 8,000, of which nearly 90% are frogs. The smallest amphibian (and vertebrate) in the world is a frog from New Guinea (Paedophryne amauensis) with a length of just 7.7 mm (0.30 in). The largest living amphibian is the 1.8 m (5 ft 11 in) Chinese giant salamander (Andrias davidianus), but this is dwarfed by the extinct 9 m (30 ft) Prionosuchus from the middle Permian of Brazil. The study of amphibians is called batrachology, while the study of both reptiles and amphibians is called herpetology.

Bird

Birds, also known as Aves, are a group of endothermic vertebrates, characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a strong yet lightweight skeleton. Birds live worldwide and range in size from the 5 cm (2 in) bee hummingbird to the 2.75 m (9 ft) ostrich. They rank as the world's most numerically-successful class of tetrapods, with approximately ten thousand living species, more than half of these being passerines, sometimes known as perching birds. Birds have wings which are more or less developed depending on the species; the only known groups without wings are the extinct moa and elephant birds. Wings, which evolved from forelimbs, gave birds the ability to fly, although further evolution has led to the loss of flight in flightless birds, including ratites, penguins, and diverse endemic island species of birds. The digestive and respiratory systems of birds are also uniquely adapted for flight. Some bird species of aquatic environments, particularly seabirds and some waterbirds, have further evolved for swimming.

The fossil record demonstrates that birds are modern feathered dinosaurs, having evolved from earlier feathered dinosaurs within the theropod group, which are traditionally placed within the saurischian dinosaurs. The closest living relatives of birds are the crocodilians. Primitive bird-like dinosaurs that lie outside class Aves proper, in the broader group Avialae, have been found dating back to the mid-Jurassic period, around 170 million years ago. Many of these early "stem-birds", such as Archaeopteryx, retained primitive characteristics such as teeth and long bony tails. DNA-based evidence finds that birds diversified dramatically around the time of the Cretaceous–Palaeogene extinction event 66 million years ago, which killed off the pterosaurs and all the non-avian dinosaur lineages. But birds, especially those in the southern continents, survived this event and then migrated to other parts of the world while diversifying during periods of global cooling. This makes them the sole surviving dinosaurs according to cladistics.

Some birds, especially corvids and parrots, are among the most intelligent animals; several bird species make and use tools, and many social species pass on knowledge across generations, which is considered a form of culture. Many species annually migrate great distances. Birds are social, communicating with visual signals, calls, and bird songs, and participating in such social behaviours as cooperative breeding and hunting, flocking, and mobbing of predators. The vast majority of bird species are socially monogamous (referring to social living arrangement, distinct from genetic monogamy), usually for one breeding season at a time, sometimes for years, but rarely for life. Other species have breeding systems that are polygynous (arrangement of one male with many females) or, rarely, polyandrous (arrangement of one female with many males). Birds produce offspring by laying eggs which are fertilised through sexual reproduction. They are usually laid in a nest and incubated by the parents. Most birds have an extended period of parental care after hatching. Some birds, such as hens, lay eggs even when not fertilised, though unfertilised eggs do not produce offspring.

Many species of birds are economically important as food for human consumption and raw material in manufacturing, with domesticated and undomesticated birds (poultry and game) being important sources of eggs, meat, and feathers. Songbirds, parrots, and other species are popular as pets. Guano (bird excrement) is harvested for use as a fertiliser. Birds prominently figure throughout human culture. About 120–130 species have become extinct due to human activity since the 17th century, and hundreds more before then. Human activity threatens about 1,200 bird species with extinction, though efforts are underway to protect them. Recreational birdwatching is an important part of the ecotourism industry.

Brown bear

The brown bear (Ursus arctos) is a bear that is found across much of northern Eurasia and North America. In North America the population of brown bears are often called grizzly bears. It is one of the largest living terrestrial members of the order Carnivora, rivaled in size only by its closest relative, the polar bear (Ursus maritimus), which is much less variable in size and slightly larger on average.The brown bear's principal range includes parts of Russia, Central Asia, China, Canada, the United States, Scandinavia and the Carpathian region, especially Romania, Anatolia and the Caucasus. The brown bear is recognized as a national and state animal in several European countries.While the brown bear's range has shrunk and it has faced local extinctions, it remains listed as a least concern species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) with a total population of approximately 200,000. As of 2012, this and the American black bear are the only bear species not classified as threatened by the IUCN. However, the California, North African and Mexican subspecies were hunted to extinction in the 19th and early 20th centuries and many of the southern Asian subspecies are highly endangered. One of the smaller-bodied subspecies, the Himalayan brown bear, is critically endangered, occupying only 2% of its former range and threatened by uncontrolled poaching for its body parts. The Marsican brown bear of central Italy is one of several currently isolated populations of the Eurasian brown bear, and believed to have a population of just 40 to 50 bears.

Chi-squared test

A chi-squared test, also written as χ2 test, is any statistical hypothesis test where the sampling distribution of the test statistic is a chi-squared distribution when the null hypothesis is true. Without other qualification, 'chi-squared test' often is used as short for Pearson's chi-squared test. The chi-squared test is used to determine whether there is a significant difference between the expected frequencies and the observed frequencies in one or more categories.

In the standard applications of this test, the observations are classified into mutually exclusive classes, and there is some theory, or say null hypothesis, which gives the probability that any observation falls into the corresponding class. The purpose of the test is to evaluate how likely the observations that are made would be, assuming the null hypothesis is true.

Chi-squared tests are often constructed from a sum of squared errors, or through the sample variance. Test statistics that follow a chi-squared distribution arise from an assumption of independent normally distributed data, which is valid in many cases due to the central limit theorem. A chi-squared test can be used to attempt rejection of the null hypothesis that the data are independent.

Also considered a chi-squared test is a test in which this is asymptotically true, meaning that the sampling distribution (if the null hypothesis is true) can be made to approximate a chi-squared distribution as closely as desired by making the sample size large enough.

Ecology

Ecology (from Greek: οἶκος, "house", or "environment"; -λογία, "study of") is the branch of biology which studies the interactions among organisms and their environment. Objects of study include interactions of organisms that include biotic and abiotic components of their environment. Topics of interest include the biodiversity, distribution, biomass, and populations of organisms, as well as cooperation and competition within and between species. Ecosystems are dynamically interacting systems of organisms, the communities they make up, and the non-living components of their environment. Ecosystem processes, such as primary production, pedogenesis, nutrient cycling, and niche construction, regulate the flux of energy and matter through an environment. These processes are sustained by organisms with specific life history traits. Biodiversity means the varieties of species, genes, and ecosystems, enhances certain ecosystem services.

Ecology is not synonymous with environmentalism, natural history, or environmental science. It overlaps with the closely related sciences of evolutionary biology, genetics, and ethology. An important focus for ecologists is to improve the understanding of how biodiversity affects ecological function. Ecologists seek to explain:

Life processes, interactions, and adaptations

The movement of materials and energy through living communities

The successional development of ecosystems

The abundance and distribution of organisms and biodiversity in the context of the environment.Ecology has practical applications in conservation biology, wetland management, natural resource management (agroecology, agriculture, forestry, agroforestry, fisheries), city planning (urban ecology), community health, economics, basic and applied science, and human social interaction (human ecology). For example, the Circles of Sustainability approach treats ecology as more than the environment 'out there'. It is not treated as separate from humans. Organisms (including humans) and resources compose ecosystems which, in turn, maintain biophysical feedback mechanisms that moderate processes acting on living (biotic) and non-living (abiotic) components of the planet. Ecosystems sustain life-supporting functions and produce natural capital like biomass production (food, fuel, fiber, and medicine), the regulation of climate, global biogeochemical cycles, water filtration, soil formation, erosion control, flood protection, and many other natural features of scientific, historical, economic, or intrinsic value.

The word "ecology" ("Ökologie") was coined in 1866 by the German scientist Ernst Haeckel. Ecological thought is derivative of established currents in philosophy, particularly from ethics and politics. Ancient Greek philosophers such as Hippocrates and Aristotle laid the foundations of ecology in their studies on natural history. Modern ecology became a much more rigorous science in the late 19th century. Evolutionary concepts relating to adaptation and natural selection became the cornerstones of modern ecological theory.

Economics

Economics () is the social science that studies the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.Economics focuses on the behaviour and interactions of economic agents and how economies work. Microeconomics analyzes basic elements in the economy, including individual agents and markets, their interactions, and the outcomes of interactions. Individual agents may include, for example, households, firms, buyers, and sellers. Macroeconomics analyzes the entire economy (meaning aggregated production, consumption, saving, and investment) and issues affecting it, including unemployment of resources (labour, capital, and land), inflation, economic growth, and the public policies that address these issues (monetary, fiscal, and other policies). See glossary of economics.

Other broad distinctions within economics include those between positive economics, describing "what is", and normative economics, advocating "what ought to be"; between economic theory and applied economics; between rational and behavioural economics; and between mainstream economics and heterodox economics.Economic analysis can be applied throughout society, in business, finance, health care, and government. Economic analysis is sometimes also applied to such diverse subjects as crime, education, the family, law, politics, religion, social institutions, war, science, and the environment.

Gini coefficient

In economics, the Gini coefficient ( JEE-nee), sometimes called Gini index, or Gini ratio, is a measure of statistical dispersion intended to represent the income or wealth distribution of a nation's residents, and is the most commonly used measurement of inequality. It was developed by the Italian statistician and sociologist Corrado Gini and published in his 1912 paper Variability and Mutability (Italian: Variabilità e mutabilità).The Gini coefficient measures the inequality among values of a frequency distribution (for example, levels of income). A Gini coefficient of zero expresses perfect equality, where all values are the same (for example, where everyone has the same income). A Gini coefficient of 1 (or 100%) expresses maximal inequality among values (e.g., for a large number of people, where only one person has all the income or consumption, and all others have none, the Gini coefficient will be very nearly one). However, a value greater than one may occur if some persons represent negative contribution to the total (for example, having negative income or wealth). For larger groups, values close to or above 1 are very unlikely in practice. Given the normalization of both the cumulative population and the cumulative share of income used to calculate the Gini coefficient, the measure is not overly sensitive to the specifics of the income distribution, but rather only on how incomes vary relative to the other members of a population. The exception to this is in the redistribution of income resulting in a minimum income for all people. When the population is sorted, if their income distribution were to approximate a well-known function, then some representative values could be calculated.

The Gini coefficient was proposed by Gini as a measure of inequality of income or wealth. For OECD countries, in the late 20th century, considering the effect of taxes and transfer payments, the income Gini coefficient ranged between 0.24 and 0.49, with Slovenia being the lowest and Chile the highest. African countries had the highest pre-tax Gini coefficients in 2008–2009, with South Africa the world's highest, variously estimated to be 0.63 to 0.7, although this figure drops to 0.52 after social assistance is taken into account, and drops again to 0.47 after taxation. The global income Gini coefficient in 2005 has been estimated to be between 0.61 and 0.68 by various sources.There are some issues in interpreting a Gini coefficient. The same value may result from many different distribution curves. The demographic structure should be taken into account. Countries with an aging population, or with a baby boom, experience an increasing pre-tax Gini coefficient even if real income distribution for working adults remains constant. Scholars have devised over a dozen variants of the Gini coefficient.

Honduras

Honduras ( (listen), ; Spanish: [onˈduɾas]), officially the Republic of Honduras (Spanish: República de Honduras), is a country in Central America. In the past, it was sometimes referred to as "Spanish Honduras" to differentiate it from British Honduras, which later became modern-day Belize. The republic of Honduras is bordered to the west by Guatemala, to the southwest by El Salvador, to the southeast by Nicaragua, to the south by the Pacific Ocean at the Gulf of Fonseca, and to the north by the Gulf of Honduras, a large inlet of the Caribbean Sea.

Honduras was home to several important Mesoamerican cultures, most notably the Maya, before the Spanish invaded in the sixteenth century. The Spanish introduced Roman Catholicism and the now predominant Spanish language, along with numerous customs that have blended with the indigenous culture. Honduras became independent in 1821 and has since been a republic, although it has consistently endured much social strife and political instability, and remains one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. In 1960, the northern part of what was the Mosquito Coast was transferred from Nicaragua to Honduras by the International Court of Justice.The nation's economy is primarily agricultural, making it especially vulnerable to natural disasters such as Hurricane Mitch in 1998. The lower class is primarily agriculturally based while wealth is concentrated in the country's urban centers. Honduras has a Human Development Index of 0.625, classifying it as a nation with medium development. When the Index is adjusted for income inequality, its Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index is 0.443.Honduran society is predominantly Mestizo; however, American Indian, black and white individuals also live in Honduras (2017). The nation had a relatively high political stability until its 2009 coup and again with the 2017 presidential election. Honduras has the world's highest murder rate and high levels of sexual violence.Honduras spans about 112,492 km2 (43,433 sq mi) and has a population exceeding 9 million. Its northern portions are part of the Western Caribbean Zone, as reflected in the area's demographics and culture. Honduras is known for its rich natural resources, including minerals, coffee, tropical fruit, and sugar cane, as well as for its growing textiles industry, which serves the international market.

Macbeth

Macbeth (; full title The Tragedy of Macbeth) is a tragedy by William Shakespeare; it is thought to have been first performed in 1606. It dramatises the damaging physical and psychological effects of political ambition on those who seek power for its own sake. Of all the plays that Shakespeare wrote during the reign of James I, who was patron of Shakespeare's acting company, Macbeth most clearly reflects the playwright's relationship with his sovereign. It was first published in the Folio of 1623, possibly from a prompt book, and is Shakespeare's shortest tragedy.A brave Scottish general named Macbeth receives a prophecy from a trio of witches that one day he will become King of Scotland. Consumed by ambition and spurred to action by his wife, Macbeth murders King Duncan and takes the Scottish throne for himself. He is then wracked with guilt and paranoia. Forced to commit more and more murders to protect himself from enmity and suspicion, he soon becomes a tyrannical ruler. The bloodbath and consequent civil war swiftly take Macbeth and Lady Macbeth into the realms of madness and death.

Shakespeare's source for the story is the account of Macbeth, King of Scotland; Macduff; and Duncan in Holinshed's Chronicles (1587), a history of England, Scotland, and Ireland familiar to Shakespeare and his contemporaries, although the events in the play differ extensively from the history of the real Macbeth. The events of the tragedy are usually associated with the execution of Henry Garnet for complicity in the Gunpowder Plot of 1605.In the backstage world of theatre, some believe that the play is cursed, and will not mention its title aloud, referring to it instead as "The Scottish Play". Over the course of many centuries, the play has attracted some of the most renowned actors to the roles of Macbeth and Lady Macbeth. It has been adapted to film, television, opera, novels, comics, and other media.

Maya civilization

The Maya civilization () was a Mesoamerican civilization developed by the Maya peoples, and noted for its logosyllabic script—the most sophisticated and highly developed writing system in pre-Columbian Americas—as well as for its art, architecture, mathematics, calendar, and astronomical system. The Maya civilization developed in an area that encompasses southeastern Mexico, all of Guatemala and Belize, and the western portions of Honduras and El Salvador. This region consists of the northern lowlands encompassing the Yucatán Peninsula, and the highlands of the Sierra Madre, running from the Mexican state of Chiapas, across southern Guatemala and onwards into El Salvador, and the southern lowlands of the Pacific littoral plain.

The Archaic period, prior to 2000 BC, saw the first developments in agriculture and the earliest villages. The Preclassic period (c. 2000 BC to 250 AD) saw the establishment of the first complex societies in the Maya region, and the cultivation of the staple crops of the Maya diet, including maize, beans, squashes, and chili peppers. The first Maya cities developed around 750 BC, and by 500 BC these cities possessed monumental architecture, including large temples with elaborate stucco façades. Hieroglyphic writing was being used in the Maya region by the 3rd century BC. In the Late Preclassic a number of large cities developed in the Petén Basin, and the city of Kaminaljuyu rose to prominence in the Guatemalan Highlands. Beginning around 250 AD, the Classic period is largely defined as when the Maya were raising sculpted monuments with Long Count dates. This period saw the Maya civilization develop a large number of city-states linked by a complex trade network. In the Maya Lowlands two great rivals, the cities of Tikal and Calakmul, became powerful. The Classic period also saw the intrusive intervention of the central Mexican city of Teotihuacan in Maya dynastic politics. In the 9th century, there was a widespread political collapse in the central Maya region, resulting in internecine warfare, the abandonment of cities, and a northward shift of population. The Postclassic period saw the rise of Chichen Itza in the north, and the expansion of the aggressive Kʼicheʼ kingdom in the Guatemalan Highlands. In the 16th century, the Spanish Empire colonised the Mesoamerican region, and a lengthy series of campaigns saw the fall of Nojpetén, the last Maya city, in 1697.

Classic period rule was centred on the concept of the "divine king", who acted as a mediator between mortals and the supernatural realm. Kingship was patrilineal, and power would normally pass to the eldest son. A prospective king was also expected to be a successful war leader. Maya politics was dominated by a closed system of patronage, although the exact political make-up of a kingdom varied from city-state to city-state. By the Late Classic, the aristocracy had greatly increased, resulting in the corresponding reduction in the exclusive power of the divine king. The Maya civilization developed highly sophisticated artforms, and the Maya created art using both perishable and non-perishable materials, including wood, jade, obsidian, ceramics, sculpted stone monuments, stucco, and finely painted murals.

Maya cities tended to expand haphazardly, and the city centre would be occupied by ceremonial and administrative complexes, surrounded by an irregular sprawl of residential districts. Different parts of a city would often be linked by causeways. The principal architecture of the city consisted of palaces, pyramid-temples, ceremonial ballcourts, and structures aligned for astronomical observation. The Maya elite were literate, and developed a complex system of hieroglyphic writing that was the most advanced in the pre-Columbian Americas. The Maya recorded their history and ritual knowledge in screenfold books, of which only three uncontested examples remain, the rest having been destroyed by the Spanish. There are also a great many examples of Maya text found on stelae and ceramics. The Maya developed a highly complex series of interlocking ritual calendars, and employed mathematics that included one of the earliest instances of the explicit zero in the world. As a part of their religion, the Maya practised human sacrifice.

Mughal Empire

The Mughal Empire (Persian: گورکانیان‎, translit. Gūrkāniyān; Urdu: مغلیہ سلطنت‎, translit. Mughliyah Saltanat) or Mogul Empire was an empire in the Indian subcontinent, founded in 1526. It was established and ruled by the Timurid dynasty, with Turco-Mongol Chagatai roots from Central Asia, claiming direct descent from both Genghis Khan (through his son Chagatai Khan) and Timur, and with significant Indian Rajput and Persian ancestry through marriage alliances; the first two Mughal emperors had both parents of Central Asian ancestry, while successive emperors were of predominantly Persian and some Rajput ancestry. The dynasty was Indo-Persian in culture, combining Persianate culture with local Indian cultural influences visible in its court culture and administrative customs.The beginning of the empire is conventionally dated to the victory by its founder Babur over Ibrahim Lodi, the last ruler of the Delhi Sultanate, in the First Battle of Panipat (1526). During the reign of Humayun, the successor of Babur, the empire was briefly interrupted by the Sur Empire established by Sher Shah Suri. The "classic period" of the Mughal Empire began in 1556, with the ascension of Akbar to the throne. Some Rajput kingdoms continued to pose a significant threat to the Mughal dominance of northwestern India, but most of them were subdued by Akbar. All Mughal emperors were Muslims; Akbar, however, propounded a syncretic religion in the latter part of his life called Dīn-i Ilāhī, as recorded in historical books like Ain-i-Akbari and Dabistān-i Mazāhib. The Mughal Empire did not try to intervene in native societies during most of its existence, rather co-opting and pacifying them through concilliatory administrative practices and a syncretic, inclusive ruling elite, leading to more systematic, centralized and uniform rule. Traditional and newly coherent social groups in northern and western India, such as the Marathas, the Rajputs, the Pashtuns, the Hindu Jats and the Sikhs, gained military and governing ambitions during Mughal rule which, through collaboration or adversity, gave them both recognition and military experience.Internal dissatisfaction arose due to the weakness of the empire's administrative and economic systems, leading to its break-up and declarations of independence of its former provinces by the Nawab of Bengal, the Nawab of Awadh, the Nizam of Hyderabad and other small states. In 1739, the Mughals were crushingly defeated in the Battle of Karnal by the forces of Nader Shah, the founder of the Afsharid dynasty in Persia, and Delhi was sacked and looted, drastically accelerating their decline. By the mid-18th century, the Marathas had routed Mughal armies and won over several Mughal provinces from the Punjab to Bengal. During the following century Mughal power had become severely limited, and the last emperor, Bahadur Shah II, had authority over only the city of Shahjahanabad. Bahadur issued a firman supporting the Indian Rebellion of 1857. Consequent to the rebellion's defeat he was tried by the British East India Company for treason, imprisoned, and exiled to Rangoon. The last remnants of the empire were formally taken over by the British, and the British Parliament passed the Government of India Act 1858 to enable the Crown formally to displace the rights of the East India Company and assume direct control of India in the form of the new British Raj.

At its height, the Mughal Empire stretched from Kabul, Afghanistan in the west to Arakan, Myanmar in the east, and from Kashmir in the north to the Deccan Plateau in the south, extending over nearly all of the Indian subcontinent. It was the third largest empire in the Indian subcontinent (behind the Maurya Empire and the British Raj), spanning approximately four million square kilometers at its zenith, 122% of the size of the modern Republic of India. The maximum expansion was reached during the reign of Aurangzeb, who ruled over more than 150 million subjects, nearly 25% of the world's population at the time. The Mughal Empire also ushered in a period of proto-industrialization, and around the 17th century, Mughal India became the world's largest economic and manufacturing power, responsible for 25% of global industrial output until the 18th century. The Mughal Empire is considered "India's last golden age" and one of the three Islamic Gunpowder Empires (along with the Ottoman Empire and Safavid Iran). The reign of Shah Jahan (1628–1658) represented the height of Mughal architecture, with famous monuments such as the Taj Mahal, Moti Masjid, Red Fort, Jama Masjid and Lahore Fort being constructed during his reign.

Phylogenetics

In biology, phylogenetics (Greek: φυλή, φῦλον – phylé, phylon = tribe, clan, race + γενετικός – genetikós = origin, source, birth) is the study of the evolutionary history and relationships among individuals or groups of organisms (e.g. species, or populations). These relationships are discovered through phylogenetic inference methods that evaluate observed heritable traits, such as DNA sequences or morphology under a model of evolution of these traits. The result of these analyses is a phylogeny (also known as a phylogenetic tree) – a diagrammatic hypothesis about the history of the evolutionary relationships of a group of organisms. The tips of a phylogenetic tree can be living organisms or fossils, and represent the "end", or the present, in an evolutionary lineage. Phylogenetic analyses have become central to understanding biodiversity, evolution, ecology, and genomes.

Taxonomy is the identification, naming and classification of organisms. It is usually richly informed by phylogenetics, but remains a methodologically and logically distinct discipline. The degree to which taxonomies depend on phylogenies (or classification depends on evolutionary development) differs depending on the school of taxonomy: phenetics ignores phylogeny altogether, trying to represent the similarity between organisms instead; cladistics (phylogenetic systematics) tries to reproduce phylogeny in its classification without loss of information; evolutionary taxonomy tries to find a compromise between them.

Pornography

Pornography (often abbreviated porn) is the portrayal of sexual subject matter for the exclusive purpose of sexual arousal. Pornography may be presented in a variety of media, including books, magazines, postcards, photographs, sculpture, drawing, painting, animation, sound recording, writing, film, video, and video games. The term applies to the depiction of the act rather than the act itself, and so does not include live exhibitions like sex shows and striptease. The primary subjects of present-day pornographic depictions are pornographic models, who pose for still photographs, and pornographic actors or "porn stars", who perform in pornographic films. If dramatic skills are not involved, a performer in pornographic media may also be called a model.

Various groups within society have considered depictions of a sexual nature immoral, addictive, and noxious, labeling them pornographic, and attempting to have them suppressed under obscenity and other laws, with varying degrees of success. Such works have also often been subject to censorship and other legal restraints to publication, display, or possession, leading in many cases to their loss. Such grounds, and even the definition of pornography, have differed in various historical, cultural, and national contexts.Social attitudes towards the discussion and presentation of sexuality have become more tolerant in Western countries, and legal definitions of obscenity have become more limited, notably beginning in 1969 with Blue Movie by Andy Warhol, the first adult erotic film depicting explicit sex to receive wide theatrical release in the United States, and the subsequent Golden Age of Porn (1969-1984), leading to an industry for the production and consumption of pornography in the latter half of the 20th century. The introduction of home video and the Internet saw a boom in the worldwide porn industry that generates billions of dollars annually. Commercialized pornography accounts for over US$2.5 billion in the United States alone, including the production of various media and associated products and services. The general porn industry is between $10-$12 billion in the U.S. In 2006, the world pornography revenue was 97 billion dollars. This industry employs thousands of performers along with support and production staff. It is also followed by dedicated industry publications and trade groups as well as the mainstream press, private organizations (watchdog groups), government agencies, and political organizations. More recently, sites such as Pornhub, RedTube, and YouPorn, in addition to much pirated porn posted by individuals, have served as repositories for home-made or semi-professional pornography, made available free by its creators (who could be called exhibitionists). They present a significant challenge to the commercial pornographic film industry.

Irrespective of the legal or social view of pornography, it has been used in a number of contexts. It is used, for example, at fertility clinics to stimulate sperm donors. Some couples use pornography at times for variety and to create a sexual interest or as part of foreplay. There is also some evidence that pornography can be used to treat voyeurism.

Rastafari

Rastafari, sometimes termed Rastafarianism, is an Abrahamic religion that developed in Jamaica during the 1930s. Scholars of religion and related fields have classified it as both a new religious movement and a social movement. There is no central authority in control of the movement and much diversity exists among practitioners, who are known as Rastafari, Rastafarians, or Rastas.

Rastas refer to their beliefs, which are based on a specific interpretation of the Bible, as "Rastalogy". Central is a monotheistic belief in a single God—referred to as Jah—who partially resides within each individual. Haile Selassie, the Emperor of Ethiopia between 1930 and 1974, is given central importance. Many Rastas regard him as an incarnation of Jah on Earth and as the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, another figure whom practitioners revere. Other Rastas regard Haile Selassie not as Jah incarnate but as a human prophet who fully recognized the inner divinity in every individual. Rastafari is Afrocentric and focuses its attention on the African diaspora, which it believes is oppressed within Western society, or "Babylon". Many Rastas call for the resettlement of the African diaspora in either Ethiopia or Africa more widely, referring to this continent as the Promised Land of "Zion". Rastas refer to their practices as "livity". Communal meetings are known as "groundations", and are typified by music, chanting, discussions, and the smoking of cannabis, the latter being regarded as a sacrament with beneficial properties. Rastas place emphasis on what they regard as living "naturally", adhering to ital dietary requirements, twisting their hair into dreadlocks, and following patriarchal gender roles.

Rastafari originated among impoverished and socially disenfranchised Afro-Jamaican communities in 1930s Jamaica. Its Afrocentric ideology was largely a reaction against Jamaica's then-dominant British colonial culture. It was influenced by both Ethiopianism and the Back-to-Africa movement promoted by black nationalist figures like Marcus Garvey. The movement developed after several Christian clergymen, most notably Leonard Howell, proclaimed that Haile Selassie's crowning as emperor in 1930 fulfilled a Biblical prophecy. By the 1950s, Rastafari's counter-cultural stance had brought the movement into conflict with wider Jamaican society, including violent clashes with law enforcement. In the 1960s and 1970s it gained increased respectability within Jamaica and greater visibility abroad through the popularity of Rasta-inspired reggae musicians like Bob Marley. Enthusiasm for Rastafari declined in the 1980s, following the deaths of Haile Selassie and Marley, but the movement survived and has a presence in many parts of the world.

The Rasta movement is decentralised and organised on a largely cellular basis. There are several denominations, or "Mansions of Rastafari", the most prominent of which are the Nyahbinghi, Bobo Ashanti, and the Twelve Tribes of Israel, each offering a different interpretation of Rasta belief. There are an estimated 700,000 to 1 million Rastas across the world; the largest population is in Jamaica, although communities can be found in most of the world's major population centres. The majority of practitioners are of black African descent, although a minority come from other ethnic groups.

Roman Empire

The Roman Empire (Latin: Imperium Rōmānum, Classical Latin: [ɪmˈpɛ.ri.ũː roːˈmaː.nũː]; Koine and Medieval Greek: Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, tr. Basileia tōn Rhōmaiōn) was the post-Roman Republic period of the ancient Roman civilization. Ruled by emperors, it had large territorial holdings around the Mediterranean Sea in Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and the Caucasus. From the constitutional reforms of Augustus to the military anarchy of the third century, the Empire was a principate ruled from the city of Rome (27 BC – 285 AD). The Roman Empire was then ruled by multiple emperors and divided in a Western Roman Empire, based in Milan and later Ravenna, and an Eastern Roman Empire, based in Nicomedia and later Constantinople. Rome remained the nominal capital of both parts until 476 AD, when Odoacer deposed Romulus Augustus after capturing Ravenna and the Roman Senate sent the imperial regalia to Constantinople (Byzantium in Ancient Greek). The fall of the Western Roman Empire to barbarian kings, along with the hellenization of the Eastern Roman Empire into the Byzantine Empire, is conventionally used to mark the end of Ancient Rome and the beginning of the Middle Ages.

The previous Republic, which had replaced Rome's monarchy in the 6th century BC, became severely destabilized in a series of civil wars and political conflict. In the mid-1st century BC Julius Caesar was appointed as perpetual dictator and then assassinated in 44 BC. Civil wars and proscriptions continued, culminating in the victory of Octavian, Caesar's adopted son, over Mark Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium in 31 BC. The following year Octavian conquered Ptolemaic Egypt, ending the Hellenistic period that had begun with the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedon in the 4th century BC. Octavian's power was then unassailable and in 27 BC the Roman Senate formally granted him overarching power and the new title Augustus, effectively making him the first emperor.

The first two centuries of the Empire were a period of unprecedented stability and prosperity known as the Pax Romana ("Roman Peace"). It reached its greatest territorial expanse during the reign of Trajan (98–117 AD). A period of increasing trouble and decline began with the reign of Commodus. In the 3rd century, the Empire underwent a crisis that threatened its existence, but was reunified under Aurelian. In an effort to stabilize the Empire, Diocletian set up two different imperial courts in the Greek East and Latin West. Christians rose to power in the 4th century following the Edict of Milan in 313 and the Edict of Thessalonica in 380. Shortly after, the Migration Period involving large invasions by Germanic peoples and the Huns of Attila led to the decline of the Western Roman Empire. With the fall of Ravenna to the Germanic Herulians and the deposition of Romulus Augustulus in 476 AD by Odoacer, the Western Roman Empire finally collapsed and it was formally abolished by emperor Zeno in 480 AD. The Eastern Roman Empire, known in the post-Roman West as the Byzantine Empire, collapsed when Constantinople fell to the Ottoman Turks of Mehmed II in 1453.

Due to the Roman Empire's vast extent and long endurance, the institutions and culture of Rome had a profound and lasting influence on the development of language, religion, architecture, philosophy, law, and forms of government in the territory it governed, particularly Europe. The Latin language of the Romans evolved into the Romance languages of the medieval and modern world, while Medieval Greek became the language of the Eastern Roman Empire. Its adoption of Christianity led to the formation of Christendom during the Middle Ages. Greek and Roman art had a profound impact on the late medieval Italian Renaissance, while Rome's republican institutions influenced the political development of later republics such as the United States and France. The corpus of Roman law has its descendants in many legal systems of the world today, such as the Napoleonic Code. Rome's architectural tradition served as the basis for Neoclassical architecture.

Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet is a tragedy written by William Shakespeare early in his career about two young star-crossed lovers whose deaths ultimately reconcile their feuding families. It was among Shakespeare's most popular plays during his lifetime and along with Hamlet, is one of his most frequently performed plays. Today, the title characters are regarded as archetypal young lovers.

Romeo and Juliet belongs to a tradition of tragic romances stretching back to antiquity. The plot is based on an Italian tale translated into verse as The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet by Arthur Brooke in 1562 and retold in prose in Palace of Pleasure by William Painter in 1567. Shakespeare borrowed heavily from both but expanded the plot by developing a number of supporting characters, particularly Mercutio and Paris. Believed to have been written between 1591 and 1595, the play was first published in a quarto version in 1597. The text of the first quarto version was of poor quality, however, and later editions corrected the text to conform more closely with Shakespeare's original.

Shakespeare's use of his poetic dramatic structure (especially effects such as switching between comedy and tragedy to heighten tension, his expansion of minor characters, and his use of sub-plots to embellish the story) has been praised as an early sign of his dramatic skill. The play ascribes different poetic forms to different characters, sometimes changing the form as the character develops. Romeo, for example, grows more adept at the sonnet over the course of the play.

Romeo and Juliet has been adapted numerous times for stage, film, musical, and opera venues. During the English Restoration, it was revived and heavily revised by William Davenant. David Garrick's 18th-century version also modified several scenes, removing material then considered indecent, and Georg Benda's Romeo und Julie omitted much of the action and added a happy ending. Performances in the 19th century, including Charlotte Cushman's, restored the original text and focused on greater realism. John Gielgud's 1935 version kept very close to Shakespeare's text and used Elizabethan costumes and staging to enhance the drama. In the 20th and into the 21st century, the play has been adapted in versions as diverse as George Cukor's 1936 film Romeo and Juliet, Franco Zeffirelli's 1968 version Romeo and Juliet, and Baz Luhrmann's 1996 MTV-inspired Romeo + Juliet.

Shōgun

The Shōgun (将軍, Japanese: [ɕoːɡɯɴ] (listen); English: SHOH-gun) was the military dictator of Japan during the period from 1185 to 1868 (with exceptions). The shogunate (English: SHOH-gə-nayt) was their administration or government. In most of this period, the shōguns were the de facto rulers of the country, although nominally they were appointed by the Emperor as a ceremonial formality. The shōguns held almost absolute power over territories through military means. Nevertheless, an unusual situation occurred in the Kamakura period (1199–1333) upon the death of the first shōgun, whereby the Hōjō clan's hereditary titles of shikken (1199–1256) and tokusō (1256–1333) dominated the shogunate as dictatorial positions, collectively known as the Regent Rule (執権政治). The shōguns during this 134-year period met the same fate as the Emperor and were reduced to figurehead status until a coup d'état in 1333, when the shōgun was restored to power in the name of the Emperor.Shōgun is the short form of Sei-i Taishōgun (征夷大将軍, "Commander-in-Chief of the Expeditionary Force Against the Barbarians"), the individual governing the country at various times in the history of Japan, ending when Tokugawa Yoshinobu relinquished the office to Emperor Meiji in 1867. The tent symbolized the field commander but also denoted that such an office was meant to be temporary. The shōgun's officials were collectively the bakufu, and were those who carried out the actual duties of administration, while the imperial court retained only nominal authority. In this context, the office of the shōgun had a status equivalent to that of a viceroy or governor-general, but in reality, shōguns dictated orders to everyone including the reigning Emperor. In contemporary terms, the role of the shōgun was roughly equivalent to that of a generalissimo.

Utilitarianism

Utilitarianism is a family of consequentialist ethical theories. Although different varieties of utilitarianism admit different characterizations, the basic idea behind all of them is to in some sense maximize utility, which is often defined in terms of well-being or related concepts. For instance, Jeremy Bentham, the founder of utilitarianism, described utility as

that property in any object, whereby it tends to produce benefit, advantage, pleasure, good, or happiness...[or] to prevent the happening of mischief, pain, evil, or unhappiness to the party whose interest is considered.Utilitarianism is a version of consequentialism, which states that the consequences of any action are the only standard of right and wrong. Unlike other forms of consequentialism, such as egoism and altruism, utilitarianism considers the interests of all beings equally.

Proponents of utilitarianism have disagreed on a number of points, such as whether actions should be chosen based on their likely results (act utilitarianism) or whether agents should conform to rules that maximize utility (rule utilitarianism). There is also disagreement as to whether total (total utilitarianism), average (average utilitarianism) or minimum utility should be maximized.

Though the seeds of the theory can be found in the hedonists Aristippus and Epicurus, who viewed happiness as the only good, the tradition of utilitarianism properly began with Bentham, and has included John Stuart Mill, Henry Sidgwick, R. M. Hare, David Braybrooke, and Peter Singer. It has been applied to social welfare economics, the crisis of global poverty, the ethics of raising animals for food and the importance of avoiding existential risks to humanity.

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