Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Ice age
An ice age is a period of long-term downturn in the temperature of Earth's climate, resulting in an expansion of the continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and mountain glaciers. Glaciologically, ice age is often used to mean a period of ice sheets in the northern and southern hemispheres; by this definition we are still in an ice. More colloquially, when speaking of the last few million years, ice age is used to refer to colder periods with extensive ice sheets over the North American and Eurasian continents: in this sense, the last ice age ended about 10,000 years ago. This article will use the term ice age in the former, glaciological, sense; and use the term glacial periods for colder periods during ice ages and interglacial for the warmer periods.

Many glacial periods have occurred during the last few million years, initially at 40,000-year frequency but more recently at 100,000-year frequencies. These are the best studied. There have been four major ice ages in the further past.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

History of India
Stone Age rock shelters with paintings at Bhimbetka in the state of Madhya Pradesh are the earliest known traces of human life in India. The first known permanent settlements appeared over 9,000 years ago and gradually developed into the Indus Valley Civilization, dating back to 3300 BCE in western India. It was followed by the Vedic Civilization which laid the foundations of Hinduism and other cultural aspects of early Indian society. From around 550 BCE, many independent kingdoms and republics known as the Mahajanapadas were established across the country laying the foundations of ancient India.

The empire built by the Maurya dynasty under Emperor Ashoka the Great united most of modern Southern Asia except the Dravidian kingdoms in the south. From 180 BCE, a series of invasions from Central Asia followed including the Indo-Greeks, Indo-Scythians, Indo-Parthians and Kushans in the north-western Indian Subcontinent. From the third century CE, the Gupta dynasty oversaw the period referred to as ancient India's "Golden Age." While the north had larger, fewer kingdoms, in the south there were several dynasties such as the Chalukyas, Rashtrakutas, Hoysalas, Cheras, Cholas, Pallavas and Pandyas in different times and regions.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

In marginalist economic theory, the price level is determined by the marginal cost and marginal utility. The price of all goods will be the cost of making the last one that people will purchase, and the price of all the employees in a company will be the cost of hiring the last one the business needs. Marginalism looks at decisions based on "the margins", what the cost to produce the next unit is, versus how much it is expected to return in profit. When the marginal return of an action reaches zero, the action stops. Marginal utility is how much more happiness or use a person receives from a purchase in contrast with buying less. Marginal rewards are often subject to diminishing returns: Less reward is obtained from more production or consumption. For example, the 10th bar of chocolate that a person consumes does not taste as good as the first, and so brings less marginal utility.

Marginalism became increasingly important in economic theory in the late 19th century, and is a tool which is used to analyze how economic systems will react. Marginal cost of production divides costs into "fixed" costs which must be paid regardless of how many of a commodity are produced, and "variable costs". The marginal cost is the variable cost of the last unit. Marginalism states that when the profit from the next unit will be zero, that unit will not be produced. This is often termed the marginal revolution in economic thought.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Charlie Chaplin
Charles Spencer Chaplin Jr. KBE, April 16, 1889 – December 25, 1977, better known as Charlie Chaplin, was an English comedy actor, becoming the most famous actor in the untimely to mid Hollywood cinema era, and also a notable director.

Chaplin was one of the most imaginative and influential personalities in the silent film era: he acted in, directed, scripted, produced, and eventually even scored his own films. His working life in entertainment span over 70 years, from the British Victorian stage and music hall in England as a child actor, almost until his death at the age of 88. He led one of the most remarkable and colorful lives of the 20th century, from a Dickens-like London childhood to the pinnacle of world fame in the film industry and as a cultural icon.

His principal character was "The Tramp": a vagrant with the superior manners and dignity of a gentleman who wears a tight coat, oversized trousers and shoes, a bowler hat, a bamboo cane, and his autograph toothbrush moustache. Chaplin's high-profile public and private life encompassed highs and lows of both adulation and controversy.