Monday, May 31, 2010

Goliath Tiger Fish

Goliath Tiger Fish on Animal Planet “River Monsters”; Goliath Tiger Fish is the really typically best-known fish of S.Africa. Congo River is the fruitful land of the Goliath Tiger Fish. Goliath Tiger Fish has the biggest population among almost all other specie of the very tiger fish. Tiger fish makes out sec as long as the teemingness of the specie is related to. Tiger fish is got in the Zambezi and in the far-famed and greatest lakes specified Lake Kariba of Zambia and in different big lakes of the area.

The Goliath tigerfish is believed to be the counterpart of another gruesome-looking Piranha that can be found in the jungle of South America. Although the two belong to different families they share similar razor-sharp teeth attributes and both are aggressive hunters.

The Goliath Tigerfish caught between dawn and nightfall. The Goliath is a difficult fish to catch. A 30-40 pound fish is considered a great catch, while 50-60 pounders would be a monster. Goliath Tigerfish is the world’s largest member of the Characins which includes of all of the fish in the following families tetras, dollars, pencilfish, and piranhas.

oliath Tiger Fish:This has got to be the most exciting opportunity to go for a seriously toothy creature, the Goliath Tiger fish, awesome fighters, with incredible surges and jumps, for a big fish they are extremely acrobatic, generally taken trolling or dead/live bait fishing, no one has seriously gone after them with a fly rod and the world record is waiting for an adventurer to take. The legendary Goliath Tiger fish is ranked by ‘In Fisherman’ magazine as one of the top 10 hardest-fighting freshwater fish on the planet.

When your name is Goliath, you’d better be one humongous, ferocious creature, and the Goliath (Hydrocynus goliath) definitely lives up to its moniker.
Tiger fish is the common name for a variety of species from several different families of fish, usually on account of their colouration or otherwise fearsome appearance.

The Congo river and her tributaries including the Sangha where we base this new safari are a maze of sand banks and recently discovered deep water trenches which snakes its way between great rain forest trees that scream with the sounds of Cicadas and a myriad of birds, away from the edge the forest is impenetrable yet home to many thousands of mammals including the only rarely studied Forrest Elephant and the simply wonderful western
And it outclasses other African game fish in speed and power.

Tiger fish can be considered Africa.s equivalent of the South American piranha, though they belong to a completely different family.

Tiger fish Camp is situated on the Congo River, about 25 miles upsteam from Brazzaville.

A native of the Congo River basin, the Lualaba River, Lake Upemba and Lake Tanganyika in Africa, it’s the largest member of the tiger fish clan, a genus of fierce predators with protruding, daggerlike teeth.
A school of juveniles can tackle animal of almost any size, including any land animals that stray too close to the water edge.

Spotlighting around the camp and from the boat to find some of the more unusual nocturnal species like Galago, Potto, Gennet, Civit, Golden Cat, Hammer-Bat and a number of owls.

The two most common species and probably most recognisable in Southern Africa are the Goliath Tiger (Hydrocynus goliath) which is found in the Congo River system being the largest of the family.

No wonder one fishing safari promoter requires clients read a cautionary treatise on the Goliath before agreeing to a fishing trip. Ergo, every one you release helps ensure that the monsters remain in adequate numbers to keep the ecosystem in stasis.

The few anglers that have battled these monsters are awestruck by the fish’s ferocious strikes, long runs and spectacular jumps.

Solofa Fatu Rikishi

solofa F. Fatu Jr. (born October 11, 1965) is an American professional wrestler, best known under the ring name Rikishi. He is known by his work at the World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment. Fatu is a member of the extensive Samoan Anoa'i wrestling family and the nephew of the Wild Samoans, Afa and Sika, who trained him in the 1980s.

He is the brother of the late Eddie Fatu, better known as Umaga, and The Tonga Kid, who was part of The Islanders, a tag team with Haku in the WWF. Fatu teamed with his cousin Samu, the son of Afa, as The Samoan Swat Team. The Swat Team wrestled mainly in the south, winning titles in the Dallas-based World Class Wrestling Association. The team later worked for the World Wrestling Federation as the Headshrinkers before Fatu embarked on a singles career.

Professional wrestling career

The Samoan Swat Team

Solofa Fatu, Jr. first got the fans attention in 1985 as he worked for Gino Brito and Dino Bravo’s “International Wrestling" territory based in Montreal. While in Montreal, Fatu worked as Prince Alofa, a high flying babyface often working as a team with the territory’s top faces. While working in Montreal, Solofa hung out with his cousin Samula Anoa'i who was working in the area as the heel "The Great Samu". When the Montreal territory closed up, the two cousins signed with the World Wrestling Council in Puerto Rico and became The Samoan Swat Team (Samu & Fatu). The team adopted the “Samoan savage" gimmick that had made their fathers so well known and feared throughout the wrestling world, working barefoot and never speaking English on camera. The team became the first ever WWC Caribbean Tag Team Champions on November 7, 1987 when they beat Invader I and Invader III. The duo held the title for just over a month before dropping them to Mark and Chris Youngblood before leaving the promotion.

Samu and Fatu next appeared in Texas, working for Fritz Von Erich’s World Class Championship Wrestling promotion. The storyline was that Buddy Roberts brought the team in to fight his fights against the Von Erich family and former Fabulous Freebirds partner Michael Hayes. The SST was given a big push right away; presented as an unstoppable force, the team was even allowed to beat hometown heroes Kerry and Kevin Von Erich for the WCCW Tag Team Titles on August 12, 1988. The Samoans remained undefeated in WCCW until they came up against Roberts’ former partner Michael Hayes and Hayes new partner, “Do It To It" Steve Cox on September 12. The duo was not without the gold for long as they recaptured the titles only four days later. Hayes and Cox beat the Samoan Swat Team for the titles once again on October 15, but this time they only held the gold for two days before they lost it back to the SST. On September 12, 1988, The Samoan Swat Team become double champions as they beat "Hollywood" John Tatum and Jimmy Jack Funk for the WCWA Texas Tag Team Championship. The Samoan Swat Team made their pay-per-view debut at AWA SuperClash III, the first (and only) PPV that the American Wrestling Association ever presented. The Samoans successfully defended their WCCW Tag-Team titles against Michael Hayes and Steve Cox. In the beginning of 1989, the Samoans left WCCW, forcing both tag team titles to be vacated due to the sudden departure.

The Samoan Swat Team signed with Jim Crockett Promotions and was brought in as manager Paul E. Dangerously’s replacements for the "Original" Midnight Express who had left the promotion. The Samoans also took over the "Original" Midnight Express’ feud with the Midnight Express, winning at Clash of the Champions VI on April 2, 1989. The Samoans teamed with former rival Michael Hayes, Terry Gordy, and Jimmy Garvin at the 1989 Great American Bash, losing a WarGames match to the Road Warriors, the Midnight Express, and Steve Williams. In the fall of 1989, Paul E. Dangerously was phased out and the Samoans were given a new manager: "The Big Kahuna" Oliver Humperdink. Their ranks were also bolstered by the addition of The Samoan Savage, who is Fatu’s brother. The Samoans started to lose more and more matches as 1989 drew to a close, but their fortunes appeared to be changing due to the injury to Sid Vicious. Because Vicious was injured, the Skyscrapers had to pull out of the "Iron Team Tournament" at Starrcade 1989 and the Samoan Swat Team were chosen to be their replacements. Fatu and the Samoan Savage participated while no explanation was given as to why the more experienced Samu was not chosen. For the remainder of the Samoan Swat Team’s time in WCW, Fatu and the Samoan Savage competed under the name while Samu made a few singles appearances.

After leaving WCW in the summer of 1990, the Samoan Swat Team worked for a number of independent promotions in the US, Europe, and Japan, often teaming up with family member Rodney Anoa'i who competed as "Kokina Maximus". The family worked for the Universal Wrestling Association in 1991 with Fatu, Kokina, and The Samoan Savage winning the UWA Trios Tag-Team titles and holding it for just under two months. They also made a headline appearance on the UWA’s 16th anniversary show losing to Dos Caras, El Canek, and Mil Máscaras.

World Wrestling Federation/Entertainment (1992-2004)
In 1992, Samu and Fatu signed with the World Wrestling Federation (WWF), managed by Samu’s father Afa. The team changed their name to the Headshrinkers, but their gimmick of Samoan wildmen remained the same. Rodney Anoa'i also signed with the WWF but he was repackaged as "Yokozuna" and the family ties between him and the Samoans were not mentioned on air. The team first made their presence known when they helped Money Inc. beat the Natural Disasters to win the WWF Tag Team Championship. Early in their run with the WWF, the Headshrinkers feuded with the Natural Disasters and the recently formed High Energy.

Between 1992 and the early parts of 1994, the Headshrinkers maintained a position in the middle of the tag team division. They occasionally challenged for the titles and made sporadic PPV appearances feuding with teams like The Smoking Gunns and Men on a Mission. The Headshrinkers assisted their relative Yokozuna in a casket match against The Undertaker at the Royal Rumble. In April, the Headshrinkers turned face and challenged then tag team champions The Quebecers; with the addition of manager Lou Albano the team won the gold on April 26. At King of the Ring on June 19, the Headshrinkers successfully defended their tag team titles against Yokozuna and Crush. Their run with the titles came to an end on an untelevised card on August 28 where they lost the titles to Shawn Michaels and Diesel. The title change happened just one day before they were scheduled to defend against Irwin R. Schyster and Bam Bam Bigelow. Soon after the title change, Samu left the WWF to recover from injuries and was replaced by Sionne, who formed the "New Headshrinkers" with Fatu.

The New Headshrinkers (1994–1995)

The storyline reason given for Samu’s departure was that he was not coping well with manager Lou Albano’s attempts to civilize the Headshrinkers, especially wearing boots. For the first time ever, one half of the Samoan Swat Team/Headshrinkers was not a member of the Anoa'i family nor a Samoan, as Sionne was from the island of Tonga. The New Headshrinkers made only one PPV appearance as a team which was at the Survivor Series where they were quickly eliminated. They were also both participants in the Royal Rumble. The only other notable appearance of the New Headshrinkers was as part of the tournament to crown new WWF tag team champions in late 1994/early 1995. The New Headshrinkers lost to Bam Bam Bigelow and Tatanka in the Semi-Finals. By July, the New Headshrinkers ended as Sionne signed with WCW. By the time Sionne left the WWF, the team was used to put over new teams such as Jacob & Eli Blu.

Starting out single (1995–1997)
Fatu became a singles wrestler in 1995; the WWF repackaged Fatu by dropping the “savage" gimmick and revealing that Fatu could speak English and was raised in the US. Fatu became a "man of the streets" who spoke about growing up in the hood and being shot during a real-life drive-by. During this time he was referred to as “Make a Difference" Fatu. After a short while, two men started to show up whenever Fatu was in the ring: Samu and his brother Lloyd Anoa'i, also known as "The Samoan Gangster Party". The Samoan Gangster Party, however, never got in the ring or confronted Fatu before he was repackaged and the whole angle was dropped.

The WWF then decided to give Fatu a total change, as he became a stereotypical “Middle Eastern" known as The Sultan, complete with a face mask to hide who was playing the gimmick. In storyline The Sultan's tongue was removed thus he never spoke in promos. He was also managed by the Iron Sheik and Bob Backlund. He was given a shot at Rocky Maivia’s Intercontinental Title at WrestleMania 13 but failed to win the gold. The Sultan gimmick was dropped before 1997 was over.

Rikishi (1999–2004)
Fatu left the spotlight when the Sultan gimmick was canned, working on the independent circuit. He returned on the November 13, 1999 episode of Metal as Rikishi Phatu; the name was eventually shortened to just Rikishi when he started teaming with Too Cool. He had gained a great deal of weight, bleached his hair blonde, and exchanged his long trousers for a thong. Rikishi had a brief feud with Viscera before aligning with Too Cool, which consisted of Grand Master Sexay and Scotty 2 Hotty. It was at this point that Rikishi's popularity began to soar as their post-match dance routine became popular with fans. During the 2000 Royal Rumble, Rikishi eliminated seven opponents in the Royal Rumble match; he was eliminated by six wrestlers working together. Two of those seven were Too Cool themselves, whom Rikishi eliminated after they performed their dance routine in the middle of the match.

Rikishi became famous for giving wrestlers the Stink Face, as his butt was rubbed in the face of an opposing wrestler. This move became very popular with the fans. In May 2000, Rikishi and Too Cool feuded with Edge, Christian, and Kurt Angle, culminating in a victory at Judgment Day. After winning the Intercontinental Championship on the June 22 episode of SmackDown! from Chris Benoit, Rikishi qualified for the 2000 King of the Ring tournament. On June 25 he defeated Benoit and Val Venis in the quarter and semi-finals respectively, but both his opponents hit him with a steel chair after losing, weakening his shoulder and helping Kurt Angle defeat him in the finals. Stemming from Venis's attack at King of the Ring, Rikishi faced Venis on July 6 and lost his title after Tazz hit him with a television camera. Rikishi faced Venis in a Steel Cage rematch at Fully Loaded. In the course of the match, Rikishi ascended the cage and, in a move reminiscent of Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, leapt from the top, splashing Venis. Rikishi was defeated by Venis shortly after when Tazz once again hit him with a television camera.

On October 9, Commissioner Mick Foley used a slip of the tongue from Scotty 2 Hotty to implicate Rikishi as the person who had run over Stone Cold Steve Austin at Survivor Series, as Scotty stated that he had been hanging out that night with Grand Master Sexay and Rikishi. However, Foley stated later that night in the ring that Rikishi at that point had not debuted yet. In actuality, this is not true, as Rikishi had debuted on the Saturday night before the '99 Survivor Series on WWF Jakked. Rikishi admitted injuring Austin, claiming that he had done so in order to allow his cousin The Rock to achieve stardom, insisting that Buddy Rogers, Bruno Sammartino, Bob Backlund, Hulk Hogan, and Austin - "The Great White Hope" - had always been pushed over Samoan performers such as High Chief Peter Maivia and Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka, who he believed had been held back, this turned Rikishi heel in the coming weeks. Austin immediately set out to obtain revenge, facing Rikishi in a No Holds Barred match at No Mercy. The match went to a no contest when Austin dragged Rikishi to the parking lot and attempted to run him over, but a police car drove in front of Austin's car, saving Rikishi. Though Austin was arrested, he had badly injured Rikishi, inflicting numerous cuts and bruises to his face. Later that night, Rikishi attempted to help The Rock retain the WWF Championship in a match against Kurt Angle, but "accidentally" kicked and crushed The Rock, allowing Angle to Angle Slam both men and win the title. After a number of instances where Austin was attacked backstage by an unseen assailant, it became clear that Rikishi had an accomplice. During a handicap match pitting Rikishi and Kurt Angle against Austin, Triple H came to the ring, seemingly to aid Austin, but swerved the audience by attacking Austin with a sledgehammer. This led to Triple H revealing that he had masterminded the assault, relegating Rikishi to his hired muscle. Rikishi never reclaimed the popularity he enjoyed throughout his initial run as Rikishi.

Rikishi lost to The Rock at Survivor Series. He then participated in the six-man Hell in a Cell match at Armageddon for the WWF Championship, during which Vince McMahon drove a flatbed truck to ringside in an effort to dismantle the cage and stop the match. However, Rikishi was chokeslammed from the top of the cell into the truck bed by the Undertaker. He won a match entitling him to enter the 2001 Royal Rumble at number 30. He even eliminated the Undertaker but he did not last long in the Rumble match before being eliminated by The Rock.

After the return of Haku at the same event, Rikishi and Haku formed a tag team, and feuded with Kane and The Undertaker. The team split when Rikishi was sidelined with an eardrum injury, and Haku was later released. Rikishi returned from injury on May 7, 2001 and was urged by Foley to become a good guy again. He wrestled for several weeks before suffering a shoulder injury which caused him to miss much of 2001. Rikishi returned on December 6, 2001, delivering a Stink Face to Vince McMahon and solidifying his face status. Upon the WWE Brand Extension, Rikishi was drafted to SmackDown!. At Judgment Day, he faced Billy and Chuck in a "secret partner" match. His partner turned out to be Rico, Billy and Chuck's stylist. Despite Rico's best efforts to unfairly help Billy and Chuck, Rikishi and he won the match and became the Tag Team Champions. Rico would later cost his partner to lose the titles in a rematch.

Rikishi was not featured much in late 2002 and early-2003. He feuded with John Cena, Bill DeMott, and the Full Blooded Italians on SmackDown!. The return of "Rowdy" Roddy Piper led Rikishi to challenge him as Piper had hit Jimmy Snuka with a coconut years ago on Piper's Pit. At Backlash 2003, Piper's protege Sean O'Haire defeated Rikishi after Piper got hit with a coconut by Rikishi giving O'Haire time to hit the Widowmaker on Rikishi. Rikishi eventually formed a tag team with Scotty 2 Hotty, and the duo defeated the Basham Brothers for the WWE Tag Team Championship on February 5, 2004, holding them for two and a half months before losing them to Charlie Haas and Rico. Fatu, however, was released by WWE on July 16, 2004, following repeated requests from WWE to lose weight.

After WWE
Fatu continued to wrestle on the independent circuit. In October 2005, he shortened his ring name to Kishi after being notified by WWE legal representatives that WWE owned a trademark on the name "Rikishi". Fatu, as Kishi, would go on to operate Nu-Wrestling Evolution, a professional wrestling promotion based in Italy. On February 17, 2007, Fatu competed as SUMO RIKISHI in a tag team contest at an All Japan Pro Wrestling event, as he was brought in by Keiji Mutoh to feud with Akebono. On August 12, 2007, Fatu competed in an 8-man tag, as Rikishi, at Asistencia Asesoría y Administración's TripleMania event. On August 23, Fatu competed in a Triple Threat match against Samoa Joe and Sterling James Keenan at Ballpark Brawl VIII in Buffalo, New York. On November 17, wrestling as Rikishi once again, Fatu defeated Mike Rollins at a Heavy on Wrestling event in Duluth, Minnesota.

Total Nonstop Action Wrestling (2007)

On the September 13, 2007, edition of Impact!, Fatu debuted in Total Nonstop Action Wrestling under the ring name Junior Fatu. Fatu faced Christian Cage on the September 20 edition of Impact! in his first match, which he lost due to a distraction by Christian's partner A.J. Styles. On the October 25 edition of Impact!, Fatu faced Robert Roode in a Fight for the Right Tournament match, which he won due to interference by Samoa Joe. On October 30, however, it was reported that Fatu had been released from TNA, due to he and TNA management failing to reach an agreement about a pay raise. Chris Harris took Fatu's spot in the Fight for the Right semifinal match.

Post TNA

On March 28, 2009, Fatu debuted in Revolución Lucha Libre, a Chile based promotion, under the ring name "Kishi". In his first show, he faced Ariki Toa for the Absolute International Championship, RLL's major title. Kishi defeated Toa by pinfall with a Banzai Drop to win the title. After the match, Savio Vega assaulted Kishi. On November 21, 2009, Kishi reunited with Grand Master Sexay, and the duo defeated Orlando Jordan and Umaga in a tag team match on the Hulkamania Tour of Australia in Melbourne.

Personal life

Fatu and his wife Talisua Fuavai have five children. He rubs his nose twice en route to the ring to tell his children that he loves them. Fatu is a member of the famous Anoa'i wrestling family. He is the father of the Samoan Soldiers; his twin sons Jonathan Solofa and Joshua Sammy (born August 22, 1985). The pair are currently known as Jimmy and Jules Uso in WWE developmental territory FCW and the WWE's Raw brand. Fatu also has a daughter Thavana Monalisa (born June 12, 1984) and two younger sons: Jeremiah Peniata (born August 30, 1986) and Joseph (born 1994). Fatu is also the brother of Eddie Fatu (Umaga/Jamal) and Sam Fatu (The Tonga Kid); cousin to Dwayne Johnson (The Rock), Rodney Anoa'i (Yokozuna), Samula Anoa'i (Headshrinker Samu), and Matt Anoa'i (Rosey); and the nephew of "Soulman" Rocky Johnson and the Wild Samoans (Sika & Afa).

Fatu was arrested without resistance by U.S. Marshals on September 25, 2006 in Escambia County, Florida while enroute to his home in Pensacola, Florida for failing to appear at a court hearing in America during a time when he was touring with NWE in Italy. Fatu was remanded to Escambia County Jail until his hearing in federal court. The indictment against Fatu was dismissed on February 1, 2008. Fatu's brother Eddie "Umaga" Fatu died of a heart attack on December 4, 2009.

Guatemala Sinkhole

Guatemala Sinkhole appears, the said cause for the sinkhole was the overwhelming tropical storm Agatha. Here is a photo that had been posted by the Guatemalan Government showing the “hundimiento” – a spontaneous sinkhole. According to scientists, this occurrence happens from time to time when major storms come. It is due to the unstable geology. This happened just yesterday, May 31,2010. The picture is not edited and sadly it is real. According to the news, more than a hundred people died due to the intense weather. Some sources said that a security guard was kiled by the crater as it was opening widely. The opening of the crater was said to be rare for this kind of a natural depression. The normal process would entail the crater to open slowly and not what had happened where the Guatemala sinkhole suddenly opened. A sinkhole is a natural depression or hole in the surface topography caused by the removal of soil and or bedrock caused by water.

Guatemalan President Alvaro Colom said last Sunday during the Nation Address that there were nearly 112,000 have been evacuatedand 29,000 are living at temporary shelters. The Pacaya Volcano eruption distressed Guatemala greatly and was further extensified by the tropical storm Agatha and later on the Guatemala Sinkhole. Reports say that there were at least 92 deaths, 54 missing and 59 injured.

This is a very devastating moment for the people who live there. We hope and pray that everyone will recover from this tragedy.

Sinkholes are a natural gorge on the outer layer or crust of the earth. These are cause when the soil is removed and/or base by water. They may as well diverge in range as well as depth, from below a meter up to numerous hundred meters. Their construction has also a wide deviation, from soil-lined bowls to bedrock-edged fissures. Sinkholes are discovered in different part of the world that may develop slowly or unexpectedly.

In the case in Guatemala, the hole crack opens abruptly. A sinkhole like the current giant sinkhole in Guatemela as well appeared a couple of years ago near the territory. While the speculation regarding the faulty underground sewage drainage system might prove to be real in the current case, it may not be the solely rationality. It may as well have something to do with the type as well as humidity level of the soil that this place has. In addition, the amount of weight on top of the deep section of the ground may have as well stimulated the formation of this giant sinkhole.

The storm battered Guatemala along with the other cities of Central America a couple of days ago and brought tremendous flood of water. It stopped on Sunday, however, left numerous of destroyed houses and killed more or less than a hundred individuals.

Sinkholes have also appeared in several places like in Florida. Most of the time they are slight holes, nevertheless, this extremely giant sinkhole appears to be exceedingly deep.

A sinkhole, also known as a sink, shake hole, swallow hole, swallet, doline or cenote, is a natural depression or hole in the surface topography caused by the removal of soil or bedrock, often both, by water. Sinkholes may vary in size from less than a metre to several hundred metres both in diameter and depth, and vary in form from soil-lined bowls to bedrock-edged chasms. They may be formed gradually or suddenly, and are found worldwide. These terms are often used interchangeably though many will distinguish between those features into which a surface stream flows and those which have no such input. Only the former would be described as sinks, swallow holes or swallets. A sinkhole on a glacier is termed a moulin or glacier mill.


Sinkholes may capture surface drainage for running or standing water, but may also form in currently high and dry locations. The state of Florida in the USA is known for having frequent sinkholes, especially in the central part of the state. The Murge area in southern Italy also has numerous sinkholes. Sinkholes can be formed in retention ponds from large amounts of rain.

Sinkholes are usually but not always linked with karst landscapes. In such regions, there may be hundreds or even thousands of sinkholes in a small area so that the surface as seen from the air looks pock-marked, and there are no surface streams because all drainage occurs sub-surface.
Sinkholes have been used for centuries as disposal sites for various forms of waste. A consequence of this is the pollution of groundwater resources, with serious health implications in such areas. In contrast, the Maya civilization sometimes used sinkholes in the Yucatán Peninsula (known as cenotes) as places to deposit precious items and sacrifices.

Sinkholes also form from human activity, such as the rare but still occasional collapse of abandoned mines in places like West Virginia, USA. More commonly, sinkholes occur in urban areas due to water main breaks or sewer collapses when old pipes give way. They can also occur from the overpumping and extraction of groundwater and subsurface fluids.

Many sinkholes are found in Northern Michigan. These are prominent in Alpena County in Northeast Michigan. In Lachine, Michigan there are five sinkholes that are found to be very deep , and within two miles of each other. Alpena's visitor information cites their sinkholes as an attraction for visitors to the area. In August 1998 a 16 year old Alpena boy survived a 200+ ft fall in an open sinkhole 3/4 a mile off of Leer road in Lachine, Michigan (The Alpena News 8-21-1998). A majority of sinkholes in Alpena are also found underwater. Many divers explore these on a regular basis.

When sinkholes are very deep or connected to caves, they may offer challenges for experienced cavers or, when water-filled, divers. Some of the most spectacular are the Zacatón cenote in Mexico (the world's deepest water-filled sinkhole), the Boesmansgat sinkhole in South Africa, Sarisariñama tepuy in Venezuela, and in the town of Mount Gambier, South Australia. Sinkholes that form in coral reefs and islands that collapse to enormous depths are known as Blue Holes, and often become popular diving spots.
In the United States, the most damage from sinkholes tends to occur in Florida, Texas, Alabama, Missouri, Kentucky, Tennessee, and Pennsylvania. Palmyra, Pennsylvania is the sinkhole capital of America.

The overburden sediments that cover buried cavities in the aquifer systems are delicately balanced by groundwater fluid pressure. The water below ground is actually helping to keep the surface soil in place. Groundwater pumping for urban water supply and for irrigation can produce new sinkholes in sinkhole-prone areas. If pumping results in a lowering of groundwater levels, then underground structural failure, and thus, sinkholes, can occur.

Gettysburg Address

The Gettysburg Address is a speech by U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and is one of the best-known speeches in United States history.[1] It was delivered by Lincoln during the American Civil War, on the afternoon of Thursday, November 19, 1863, at the dedication of the Soldiers' National Cemetery in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, four and a half months after the Union armies defeated those of the Confederacy at the decisive Battle of Gettysburg.

Abraham Lincoln's carefully crafted address, secondary to other presentations that day, came to be regarded as one of the greatest speeches in American history. In just over two minutes, Lincoln invoked the principles of human equality espoused by the Declaration of Independence and redefined the Civil War as a struggle not merely for the Union, but as "a new birth of freedom" that would bring true equality to all of its citizens, and that would also create a unified nation in which states' rights were no longer dominant.

Beginning with the now-iconic phrase "Four score and seven years ago," referring to the American Revolution of 1776, Lincoln examined the founding principles of the United States in the context of the Civil War, and used the ceremony at Gettysburg as an opportunity not only to consecrate the grounds of a cemetery, but also to exhort the listeners to ensure the survival of America's representative democracy, that the "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."

Despite the speech's prominent place in the history and popular culture of the United States, the exact wording of the speech is disputed. The five known manuscripts of the Gettysburg Address differ in a number of details and also differ from contemporary newspaper reprints of the speech.

From July 1–3, 1863, 172,000 American soldiers clashed in the Battle of Gettysburg, in what would prove to be a turning point of the Civil War. The battle also had a major impact on the town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, which numbered only 2,400 inhabitants. The battlefield was left with the bodies of more than 7,500 soldiers and 5,000 horses of the Army of the Potomac and the Confederacy's Army of Northern Virginia, and the stench of rotting bodies in the humid July air was overpowering.

Interring the dead in a dignified and orderly manner became a high priority for the few thousand residents of Gettysburg. Initially, the town planned to buy land for a cemetery and then ask the families of the dead to pay for their burial. However, David Wills, a wealthy 32-year-old attorney, objected to this idea and wrote to the Governor of Pennsylvania, Andrew Gregg Curtin, suggesting instead a National Cemetery to be funded by the states. Wills was authorized to purchase 17 acres (69,000 m²) for a cemetery to honor those lost in the battle, paying $2,475.87 for the land.

Wills originally planned to dedicate this new cemetery on Wednesday, October 23, and invited Edward Everett, who had served as Secretary of State, U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative, Governor of Massachusetts, president of Harvard University, and Vice Presidential candidate, to be the main speaker. At that time, Everett was a widely famed orator. In reply, Everett told Wills and his organizing committee that he would be unable to prepare an appropriate speech in such a short period of time, and requested that the date be postponed. The committee agreed, and the dedication was postponed until Thursday, November 19.

Wills and the event committee then invited President Lincoln to participate in the ceremony. Wills's letter stated, "It is the desire that, after the Oration, you, as Chief Executive of the nation, formally set apart these grounds to their sacred use by a few appropriate remarks." Lincoln received formal notice of his invitation to participate only seventeen days before the ceremony, whereas Everett had been invited 40 days earlier: "Although there is some evidence Lincoln expected Wills's letter, its late date makes the author appear presumptuous...Seventeen days was extraordinarily short notice for presidential participation even by nineteenth-century standards. Furthermore, Wills's letter "made it equally clear to the president that he would have only a small part in the ceremonies", perhaps akin to the modern tradition of inviting a noted public figure to do a ribbon-cutting at a grand opening.

Lincoln arrived by train in Gettysburg on November 18, and spent the night as a guest in Wills's house on the Gettysburg town square, where he put the finishing touches on the speech he had written in Washington, D.C. Contrary to a common myth, Lincoln neither completed his address while on the train nor wrote it on the back of an envelope. This story is at odds with the existence of several early drafts on Executive Mansion stationery as well as the reports of Lincoln's final editing while a guest of David Wills in Gettysburg. On the morning of November 19 at 9:30 a.m., Lincoln, astride a chestnut bay horse and riding between Secretary of State William H. Seward and Secretary of the Treasury Salmon P. Chase, joined in a procession with the assembled dignitaries, townspeople, and widows marching out to the grounds to be dedicated.

Approximately 15,000 people are estimated to have attended the ceremony, including the sitting governors of six of the 24 Union states: Andrew Gregg Curtin of Pennsylvania, Augustus Bradford of Maryland, Oliver P. Morton of Indiana, Horatio Seymour of New York, Joel Parker of New Jersey, and David Tod of Ohio. Canadian politician William McDougall attended as Lincoln's guest. The precise location of the program within the grounds of the cemetery is disputed. Reinterment of the bodies buried from field graves into the cemetery, which had begun within months of the battle, was less than half complete on the day of the ceremony.

Political significance

By August 1863, the casualty lists from Civil War battles included a quarter of a million names. As a result, anti-war and anti-Lincoln sentiments grew in the North. Peace Democrats known as Copperheads were eager to oust Lincoln in the 1864 election in order to end the war through concessions to the Confederacy, and Lincoln's 1863 drafts were highly unpopular. Hatred for Lincoln's draft climaxed just ten days after the Battle of Gettysburg with the New York Draft Riots. In September 1863, Pennsylvania's Governor Curtin warned Lincoln that political sentiments were turning against the war effort

If the election were to occur now, the result would be extremely doubtful, and although most of our discreet friends are sanguine of the result, my impression is, the chances would be against us. The draft is very odious in the State... the Democratic leaders have succeeded in exciting prejudice and passion, and have infused their poison into the minds of the people to a very large extent, and the changes are against us.

The following year the Presidential election would be held, and Lincoln was quite concerned that the Copperheads might prevail. Well into the summer of 1864, Lincoln remained convinced that the opposition would oust him. In the fall of 1863, one of Lincoln's principal concerns was to sustain the Union's spirits toward the war effort. That goal was the chief aim of Lincoln's Address at Gettysburg.

Text of Gettysburg Address
Shortly after Everett's well-received remarks, Lincoln spoke for two or three minutes. Lincoln's "few appropriate remarks" summarized the war in ten sentences.

Despite the historical significance of Lincoln's speech, modern scholars disagree as to its exact wording, and contemporary transcriptions published in newspaper accounts of the event and even handwritten copies by Lincoln himself differ in their wording, punctuation, and structure. Of these versions, the Bliss version, written well after the speech as a favor for a friend, is viewed by many as the standard text. Its text differs, however, from the written versions prepared by Lincoln before and after his speech. It is the only version to which Lincoln affixed his signature, and the last he is known to have written.

“ Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.

Lincoln's sources
In Lincoln at Gettysburg, Garry Wills notes the parallels between Lincoln's speech and Pericles's Funeral Oration during the Peloponnesian War as described by Thucydides. (James McPherson notes this connection in his review of Wills's book. Gore Vidal also draws attention to this link in a BBC documentary about oration.) Pericles' speech, like Lincoln's, begins with an acknowledgment of revered predecessors: "I shall begin with our ancestors: it is both just and proper that they should have the honour of the first mention on an occasion like the present"; then praises the uniqueness of the State's commitment to democracy: "If we look to the laws, they afford equal justice to all in their private differences"; honors the sacrifice of the slain, "Thus choosing to die resisting, rather than to live submitting, they fled only from dishonour, but met danger face to face"; and exhorts the living to continue the struggle: "You, their survivors, must determine to have as unfaltering a resolution in the field, though you may pray that it may have a happier issue. In contrast, writer Adam Gopnik, in The New Yorker, notes that while Everett's Oration was explicitly neoclassical, referring directly to Marathon and Pericles, "Lincoln’s rhetoric is, instead, deliberately Biblical. (It is difficult to find a single obviously classical reference in all of his speeches.) Lincoln had mastered the sound of the King James Bible so completely that he could recast abstract issues of constitutional law in Biblical terms, making the proposition that Texas and New Hampshire should be forever bound by a single post office sound like something right out of Genesis.

Several theories have been advanced by Lincoln scholars to explain the provenance of Lincoln's famous phrase "government of the people, by the people, for the people." In a discussion "A more probable origin of a famous Lincoln phrase,"[34] in The American Monthly Review of Reviews, Albert Shaw credits a correspondent with pointing out the writings of William Herndon, Lincoln's law partner, who wrote in the 1888 work Abraham Lincoln: The True Story of A Great Life that he had brought to Lincoln some of the sermons of abolitionist minister Theodore Parker, of Massachusetts, and that Lincoln was moved by Parker's use of this idea:

I brought with me additional sermons and lectures of Theodore Parker, who was warm in his commendation of Lincoln. One of these was a lecture on 'The Effect of Slavery on the American People'...which I gave to Lincoln, who read and returned it. He liked especially the following expression, which he marked with a pencil, and which he in substance afterwards used in his Gettysburg Address: 'Democracy is direct self-government, over all the people, for all the people, by all the people.'

Craig R. Smith, in "Criticism of Political Rhetoric and Disciplinary Integrity", suggested Lincoln's view of the government as expressed in the Gettysburg Address was influenced by the noted speech of Massachusetts Senator Daniel Webster, the "Second Reply to Hayne", in which Webster famously thundered "Liberty and Union, now and forever, one and inseparable!" Specifically, in this January 26, 1830 speech before the United States Senate, Webster described the Federal Government as: "made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people," foreshadowing Lincoln's "government of the people, by the people, for the people." Webster also noted, "This government, Sir, is the independent offspring of the popular will. It is not the creature of State legislatures; nay, more, if the whole truth must be told, the people brought it into existence, established it, and have hitherto supported it, for the very purpose, amongst others, of imposing certain salutary restraints on State sovereignties."

Wills observed Lincoln's usage of the imagery of birth, life, and death in reference to a nation "brought forth," "conceived," and that shall not "perish." Others, including Allen C. Guelzo, the director of Civil War Era studies at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, suggested that Lincoln's formulation "four score and seven" was an allusion to the King James Version of the Bible's Psalms 90:10, in which man's lifespan is given as "threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years."

Five manuscripts
The five known manuscript copies of the Gettysburg Address are each named for the associated person who received it from Lincoln. Lincoln gave a copy to each of his private secretaries, John Nicolay and John Hay. Both of these drafts were written around the time of his November 19 address, while the other three copies of the address, the Everett, Bancroft, and Bliss copies, were written by Lincoln for charitable purposes well after November 19.] In part because Lincoln provided a title and signed and dated the Bliss Copy, it has become the standard text of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

The two earliest drafts of the Address are associated with some confusion and controversy regarding their existence and provenance. Nicolay and Hay were appointed custodians of Lincoln's papers by Lincoln's son Robert Todd Lincoln in 1874. After appearing in facsimile in an article written by John Nicolay in 1894, the Nicolay Copy was presumably among the papers passed to Hay by Nicolay's daughter Helen upon Nicolay's death in 1901. Robert Lincoln began a search for the original copy in 1908, which resulted in the discovery of a handwritten copy of the Gettysburg Address among the bound papers of John Hay—a copy now known as the "Hay Draft."

The Hay Draft differed from the version of the Gettysburg Address published by John Nicolay in 1894 in a number of significant ways: it was written on a different type of paper, had a different number of words per line and number of lines, and contained editorial revisions in Lincoln's hand.

Both the Hay and Nicolay copies of the Address are within the Library of Congress, encased in specially designed, temperature-controlled, sealed containers with argon gas in order to protect the documents from oxidation and continued deterioration.

Nicolay Copy

The Nicolay Copy is often called the "first draft" because it is believed to be the earliest copy that exists. Scholars disagree over whether the Nicolay Copy was actually the reading copy Lincoln held at Gettysburg on November 19. In an 1894 article that included a facsimile of this copy, Nicolay, who had become the custodian of Lincoln's papers, wrote that Lincoln had brought to Gettysburg the first part of the speech written in ink on Executive Mansion stationery, and that he had written the second page in pencil on lined paper before the dedication on November 19. Matching folds are still evident on the two pages, suggesting it could be the copy that eyewitnesses say Lincoln took from his coat pocket and read at the ceremony. Others believe that the delivery text has been lost, because some of the words and phrases of the Nicolay Copy do not match contemporary transcriptions of Lincoln's original speech. The words "under God", for example, are missing in this copy from the phrase "that this nation (under God) shall have a new birth of freedom..." In order for the Nicolay draft to have been the reading copy, either the contemporary transcriptions were inaccurate, or Lincoln would have had to depart from his written text in several instances. This copy of the Gettysburg Address apparently remained in John Nicolay's possession until his death in 1901, when it passed to his friend and colleague John Hay. It is on permanent display as part of the American Treasures exhibition of the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

Everett Copy

The Everett Copy,[c] also known as the "Everett-Keyes Copy," was sent by President Lincoln to Edward Everett in early 1864, at Everett's request. Everett was collecting the speeches at the Gettysburg dedication into one bound volume to sell for the benefit of stricken soldiers at New York's Sanitary Commission Fair. The draft Lincoln sent became the third autograph copy, and is now in the possession of the Illinois State Historical Library in Springfield, Illinois,[52] where it is currently on display in the Treasures Gallery of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
[edit] Bancroft Copy

The Bancroft Copy[d] of the Gettysburg Address was written out by President Lincoln in February 1864 at the request of George Bancroft, the famed historian and former Secretary of the Navy whose comprehensive ten volume History of the United States later led him to be known as the "father of American History." Bancroft planned to include this copy in Autograph Leaves of Our Country's Authors, which he planned to sell at a Soldiers' and Sailors' Sanitary Fair in Baltimore. As this fourth copy was written on both sides of the paper, it proved unusable for this purpose, and Bancroft was allowed to keep it. This manuscript is the only one accompanied both by a letter from Lincoln transmitting the manuscript and by the original envelope addressed and franked by Lincoln. This copy remained in the Bancroft family for many years, was sold to various dealers and purchased by Nicholas and Marguerite Lilly Noyes, who donated the manuscript to Cornell in 1949. It is now held by the Division of Rare and Manuscript Collections in the Carl A. Kroch Library at Cornell University. It is the only one of the five copies to be privately owned.

Bliss Copy

Discovering that his fourth written copy could not be used, Lincoln then wrote a fifth draft, which was accepted for the purpose requested. The Bliss Copy,[e] named for Colonel Alexander Bliss, Bancroft's stepson and publisher of Autograph Leaves, is the only draft to which Lincoln affixed his signature. Lincoln is not known to have made any further copies of the Gettysburg Address. Because of the apparent care in its preparation, and in part because Lincoln provided a title and signed and dated this copy, it has become the standard version of the address and the source for most facsimile reproductions of Lincoln's Gettysburg Address.

This draft now hangs in the Lincoln Room of the White House, a gift of Oscar B. Cintas, former Cuban Ambassador to the United States. Cintas, a wealthy collector of art and manuscripts, purchased the Bliss Copy at a public auction in 1949 for $54,000, at that time the highest price ever paid for a document at public auction. Cintas' properties were claimed by the Castro government after the Cuban Revolution in 1959, but Cintas, who died in 1957, willed the Gettysburg Address to the American people, provided it would be kept at the White House, where it was transferred in 1959.

Garry Wills concluded the Bliss Copy "is stylistically preferable to others in one significant way: Lincoln removed 'here' from 'that cause for which they (here) gave...' The seventh 'here' is in all other versions of the speech." Wills noted the fact that Lincoln "was still making such improvements," suggesting Lincoln was more concerned with a perfected text than with an 'original' one.


Another contemporary source of the text is the Associated Press dispatch, transcribed from the shorthand notes taken by reporter Joseph L. Gilbert. It also differs from the drafted text in a number of minor ways.

Contemporary sources and reaction
Eyewitness reports vary as to their view of Lincoln's performance. In 1931, the printed recollections of 87-year-old Mrs. Sarah A. Cooke Myers, who at the age of 19 was present, suggest a dignified silence followed Lincoln's speech: "I was close to the President and heard all of the Address, but it seemed short. Then there was an impressive silence like our Menallen Friends Meeting. There was no applause when he stopped speaking." According to historian Shelby Foote, after Lincoln's presentation, the applause was delayed, scattered, and "barely polite." In contrast, Pennsylvania Governor Curtin maintained, "He pronounced that speech in a voice that all the multitude heard. The crowd was hushed into silence because the President stood before them...It was so Impressive! It was the common remark of everybody. Such a speech, as they said it was!"

In an oft-repeated legend, Lincoln is said to have turned to his bodyguard Ward Hill Lamon and remarked that his speech, like a bad plow, "won't scour." According to Garry Wills, this statement has no basis in fact and largely originates from the unreliable recollections of Lamon. In Garry Wills's view, "[Lincoln] had done what he wanted to do [at Gettysburg]."

In a letter to Lincoln written the following day, Everett praised the President for his eloquent and concise speech, saying, "I should be glad if I could flatter myself that I came as near to the central idea of the occasion, in two hours, as you did in two minutes." Lincoln replied that he was glad to know the speech was not a "total failure".

Other public reaction to the speech was divided along partisan lines. The next day the Democratic-leaning Chicago Times observed, "The cheek of every American must tingle with shame as he reads the silly, flat and dishwatery utterances of the man who has to be pointed out to intelligent foreigners as the President of the United States." In contrast, the Republican-oriented New York Times was complimentary.[17] The Springfield, Ma. Republican newspaper printed the entire speech, calling it "a perfect gem" that was "deep in feeling, compact in thought and expression, and tasteful and elegant in every word and comma." The Republican predicted that Lincoln's brief remarks would "repay further study as the model speech"[66]

Audio recollections

William R. Rathvon is the only known eyewitness of both Lincoln's arrival at Gettysburg and the address itself to have left an audio recording of his recollections. One year before his death in 1939, Rathvon's reminiscences were recorded on February 12, 1938 at the Boston studios of radio station WRUL, including his reading the address, itself, and a 78 rpm record was pressed. The title of the 78 record was "I Heard Lincoln That Day - William R. Rathvon, TR Productions." A copy wound up at National Public Radio (NPR) during a "Quest for Sound" project in 1999. NPR continues to air them around Lincoln's birthday.


The only known and confirmed photograph of Lincoln at Gettysburg, taken by photographer David Bachrach was identified in the Mathew Brady collection of photographic plates in the National Archives and Records Administration in 1952. While Lincoln's speech was short and may have precluded multiple pictures of him while speaking, he and the other dignitaries sat for hours during the rest of the program. Given the length of Everett's speech and the length of time it took for 19th century photographers to get "set up" before taking a picture, it is quite plausible that the photographers were ill prepared for the brevity of Lincoln's remarks.

In 2006, Civil War enthusiast John Richter was credited with identifying two additional photographs in the Library of Congress collection that potentially show President Lincoln in the procession at Gettysburg.

Usage of "under God"

The words "under God" do not appear in the Nicolay and Hay drafts but are included in the three later copies (Everett, Bancroft, and Bliss). Accordingly, some skeptics maintain that Lincoln did not utter the words "under God" at Gettysburg. However, at least three reporters telegraphed the text of Lincoln's speech on the day the Address was given with the words "under God" included. Historian William E. Barton argues that

"Every stenographic report, good, bad and indifferent, says 'that the nation shall, under God, have a new birth of freedom.' There was no common source from which all the reporters could have obtained those words but from Lincoln's own lips at the time of delivery. It will not do to say that [Secretary of War] Stanton suggested those words after Lincoln's return to Washington, for the words were telegraphed by at least three reporters on the afternoon of the delivery."

The reporters present included Joseph Gilbert, from the Associated Press; Charles Hale, from the Boston Advertiser; John R. Young (who later became the Librarian of Congress), from the Philadelphia Press; and reporters from the Cincinnati Commercial, New York Tribune, and New York Times. Charles Hale "had notebook and pencil in hand, [and] took down the slow-spoken words of the President". "He took down what he declared was the exact language of Lincoln's address, and his declaration was as good as the oath of a court stenographer. His associates confirmed his testimony, which was received, as it deserved to be at its face value." The most logical explanation is that Lincoln deviated from his prepared text and inserted the phrase when he spoke.

The importance of the Gettysburg Address in the history of the United States is underscored by its enduring presence in American culture. In addition to its prominent place carved into a stone cella on the south wall of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the Gettysburg Address is frequently referred to in works of popular culture, with the implicit expectation that contemporary audiences will be familiar with Lincoln's words.

In the many generations that have passed since the Address, it has remained among the most famous speeches in American history. Lincoln's Gettysburg Address is itself referenced in another of those famed orations, Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech. Standing on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August 1963, King began with a reference to President Lincoln and his enduring words: "Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon light of hope to millions of Negro slaves who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice."

The Constitution of France (under the Fifth Republic established in 1958) states that the principle of the Republic of France is "gouvernement du peuple, par le peuple et pour le peuple" ("government of the people, by the people, and for the people,") a literal translation of Lincoln's words.[82]

The address has become a part of patriotic American tradition, e.g. a staple for memorization in schools, and extolled by many writers and poets, including Carl Sandburg.

Quebec Fires

Around 50 wildfires are burning in the Quebec area of Canada and the wind is helping them spread to New England.

The forest fire protection agency of Quebec, SOPFEU, said in the morning that the number of wildfires in the Quebec area was 52, some of this fires are still totally out of control.

The majority of the fires is concentrated in the St. Lawrence Valley zone, which is a heavily populated zone, however the central Quebec area is not safe eighter.Because of the heavy winds new wildfires are beginning and the smoke from the existing ones is steered into New England and St. Lawrence Valley.

That smoky haze in the air around North Grenville this morning isn’t from a local fire.Forest fires in northern Quebec are the cause of the light haze, said Kemptville OPP Const. Cathy Lindsey.

“It’s pretty strong. It is in the air,” Lindsey told the Recorder and Times about 9 a.m. today.Portland polices said that they started to receive smoke alarm calls from midday. It is hoped for Monday afternoon that the wind will shift, steering the smoke away from New England and St. Lawrence Valley.

Quebec authorities are hoping that on Tuesday morning a heavy spread rain will begin over the Quebec area, this could help the firefighters efforts, how ever it very well could spark new fires with lightnings. It also may happen that the much needed rain will keep away from Quebec, Canada. That smoky haze in the air around North Grenville this morning isn't from a local fire.Forest fires in northern Quebec are the cause of the light haze, said Kemptville OPP Const. Cathy Lindsey.

"It's pretty strong. It is in the air," Lindsey told the Recorder and Times about 9 a.m. today. She said the smoke is being blown toward the area by a southeast wind. It is noticeable, but doesn't hamper visibility for motorists, she said.

"It's not interfering with visibility and there have been no incidents related to the smoke."However, the haze and smell of smoke leave the impression there is a local fire when that isn't the case, said Lindsey. She said the smoky haze was evident in Kemptville and throughout northern Grenville County as far south as Merrickville.

Close to 60 forest fires, including 11 that were declared out of control, were raging across 65,000 hectares of forest in the north and central parts of Quebec on Sunday, according to news reports.Much of the activity is located about 300 kilometres north of Trois Rivieres, but thick smoke forced the evacuation of 1,000 residents of Manawan in the Laurentians.

New York City

New York is the most populous city in the United States, and the center of the New York metropolitan area, which is one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. A leading global city, New York exerts a powerful influence over global commerce, finance, media, culture, art, fashion, research, education, and entertainment. As host of the United Nations Headquarters, it is also an important center for international affairs. The city is often referred to as New York City or the City of New York to distinguish it from the state of New York, of which it is a part.

Located on a large natural harbor on the Atlantic coast of the Northeastern United States, the city consists of five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island. The city's 2008 estimated population exceeds 8.3 million, and with a land area of 305 square miles (790 km2), New York City is the most densely populated major city in the United States. The New York metropolitan area's population is also the nation's largest, estimated at 19.1 million people over 6,720 square miles (17,400 km2). Furthermore, the Combined Statistical Area containing the greater New York metropolitan area contained 22.2 million people as of 2009 Census estimates, also the largest in the United States.

New York was founded as a commercial trading post by the Dutch in 1624. The settlement was called New Amsterdam until 1664 when the colony came under English control. New York served as the capital of the United States from 1785 until 1790. It has been the country's largest city since 1790. As many as 800 languages are spoken in New York City, making it the most linguistically diverse city in the world.

Many districts and landmarks in the city have become well known to outsiders. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they came to America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Times Square, iconified as "The Crossroads of the World", is the brightly illuminated hub of the Broadway theater district, one of the world's busiest pedestrian intersections, and a major center of the world's entertainment industry. Anchored by Wall Street, in Lower Manhattan, New York City is the financial capital of the world and is home to the New York Stock Exchange, the world's largest stock exchange by market capitalization of its listed companies. The original Manhattan Chinatown attracts throngs of tourists to its bustling sidewalks and retail establishments. World-class research universities such as Columbia University and New York University also reside in New York City.

The region was inhabited by about 5,000 Lenape Native Americans at the time of its European discovery in 1524 by Giovanni da Verrazzano, an Italian explorer in the service of the French crown, who called it "Nouvelle Angoulême" (New Angoulême). European settlement began with the founding of a Dutch fur trading settlement, later called "Nieuw Amsterdam" (New Amsterdam), on the southern tip of Manhattan in 1614. Dutch colonial Director-General Peter Minuit purchased the island of Manhattan from the Lenape in 1626 for a value of 60 guilders (about $1000 in 2006) a disproved legend says that Manhattan was purchased for $24 worth of glass beads.

In 1664, the city was surrendered to the English and renamed "New York" after the English Duke of York and Albany. At the end of the Second Anglo-Dutch War the Dutch gained control of Run (then a much more valuable asset) in exchange for the English controlling New Amsterdam (New York) in North America. Several intertribal wars among the Native Americans and some epidemics brought on by the arrival of the Europeans caused sizable population losses for the Lenape between the years 1660 and 1670. By 1700, the Lenape population had diminished to 200. In 1702, city lost 10% of its population to yellow fever. New York underwent no less than seven important yellow fever epidemics from 1702 to 1800.

New York City grew in importance as a trading port while under British rule. The city hosted the influential John Peter Zenger trial in 1735, helping to establish the freedom of the press in North America. In 1754, Columbia University was founded under charter by George II of Great Britain as King's College in Lower Manhattan. The Stamp Act Congress met in New York in October of 1765 as the Sons of Liberty organized in the city, skirmishing over the next ten years with British troops stationed there.

During the American Revolutionary War, the area emerged as the theater for a series of crucial battles known as the New York Campaign. After the upper Manhattan Battle of Fort Washington in 1776 the city became the British military and political base of operations in North America, and a haven for Loyalist refugees, until military occupation ended in 1783. A major fire during the occupation led to the destruction of about a quarter of the city. The assembly of the Congress of the Confederation made New York City the national capital shortly after the war: the Constitution of the United States was ratified and in 1789 the first President of the United States, George Washington, was inaugurated; the first United States Congress and the United States Supreme Court each assembled for the first time in 1789, and the United States Bill of Rights drafted, all at Federal Hall on Wall Street. By 1790, New York City had surpassed Philadelphia as the largest city in the United States.

In the 19th century, the city was transformed by immigration and development. A visionary development proposal, the Commissioners' Plan of 1811, expanded the city street grid to encompass all of Manhattan, and the 1819 opening of the Erie Canal connected the Atlantic port to the vast agricultural markets of the North American interior. Local politics fell under the domination of Tammany Hall, a political machine supported by Irish immigrants. Public-minded members of the old merchant aristocracy lobbied for the establishment of Central Park, which became the first landscaped park in an American city in 1857. A significant free-black population also existed in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Slaves had been held in New York through 1827, but during the 1830s New York became a center of interracial abolitionist activism in the North. New York's black population was over 16,000 in 1840. The Great Irish Famine brought a large influx of Irish immigrants, and by 1860, one in four New Yorkers – over 200,000 – had been born in Ireland.

Anger at military conscription during the American Civil War (1861–1865) led to the Draft Riots of 1863, one of the worst incidents of civil unrest in American history.

n 1898, the modern City of New York was formed with the consolidation of Brooklyn (until then a separate city), the County of New York (which then included parts of the Bronx), the County of Richmond, and the western portion of the County of Queens. The opening of the New York City Subway in 1904 helped bind the new city together. Throughout the first half of the 20th century, the city became a world center for industry, commerce, and communication. However, this development did not come without a price. In 1904, the steamship General Slocum caught fire in the East River, killing 1,021 people on board.

In 1911, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire, the city's worst industrial disaster, took the lives of 146 garment workers and spurred the growth of the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union and major improvements in factory safety standards.

New York's nonwhite population was 36,620 in 1890. In the 1920s, New York City was a prime destination for African Americans during the Great Migration from the American South. By 1916, New York City was home to the largest urban African diaspora in North America. The Harlem Renaissance flourished during the era of Prohibition, coincident with a larger economic boom that saw the skyline develop with the construction of competing skyscrapers.

New York City became the most populous urbanized area in the world in early 1920s, overtaking London, and the metropolitan area surpassed the 10 million mark in early 1930s becoming the first megacity in human history. The difficult years of the Great Depression saw the election of reformer Fiorello LaGuardia as mayor and the fall of Tammany Hall after eighty years of political dominance.

Returning World War II veterans created a postwar economic boom and the development of large housing tracts in eastern Queens. New York emerged from the war unscathed and the leading city of the world, with Wall Street leading America's ascendance as the world's dominant economic power, the United Nations headquarters (completed in 1950) emphasizing New York's political influence, and the rise of abstract expressionism in the city precipitating New York's displacement of Paris as the center of the art world.

In the 1960s, New York suffered from economic problems, rising crime rates, which reached a peak in the 1970s. In the 1980s, resurgence in the financial industry improved the city's economic health. By the 1990s, crime rates dropped dramatically, many American transplants and waves of new immigrants arrived from Asia and Latin America. Important new sectors, such as Silicon Alley, emerged in the city's economy and New York's population reached an all-time high in the 2000 census.

The city was one of the sites of the September 11, 2001 attacks, when nearly 3,000 people died in the destruction of the World Trade Center. A new 1 World Trade Center (previously known as the Freedom Tower), along with a memorial and three other office towers, will be built on the site and is scheduled for completion in 2013.

On December 19, 2006, the first steel columns were installed in the building's foundation. Three other high-rise office buildings are planned for the site along Greenwich Street, and they will surround the World Trade Center Memorial, which is under construction. The area will also be home to a museum dedicated to the history of the site.

February 2007 estimates put the cost for construction of 1 WTC at $3 billion, or $1,150 per square foot ($12,380 per square meter). Approximately $1 billion of insurance money recouped by Silverstein is slated for construction of the Freedom Tower.

The State of New York is expected to provide $250 million toward construction costs, and the Port Authority would finance another $1 billion for 1 WTC, through bonds.

New York City is located in the Northeastern United States, in southeastern New York State, approximately halfway between Washington, D.C. and Boston. The location at the mouth of the Hudson River, which feeds into a naturally sheltered harbor and then into the Atlantic Ocean, has helped the city grow in significance as a trading city. Much of New York is built on the three islands of Manhattan, Staten Island, and Long Island, making land scarce and encouraging a high population density.

The Hudson River flows through the Hudson Valley into New York Bay. Between New York City and Troy, New York, the river is an estuary. The Hudson separates the city from New Jersey. The East River – a tidal strait – flows from Long Island Sound and separates the Bronx and Manhattan from Long Island. The Harlem River, another tidal strait between the East and Hudson Rivers, separates Manhattan from the Bronx.

The city's land has been altered substantially by human intervention, with considerable land reclamation along the waterfronts since Dutch colonial times. Reclamation is most prominent in Lower Manhattan, with developments such as Battery Park City in the 1970s and 1980s. Some of the natural variations in topography have been evened out, especially in Manhattan.

The city's land area is estimated at 304.8 square miles (789 km2). Its total area is 468.9 square miles (1,214 km2). 164.1 square miles (425 km2) of this are water and 304.8 square miles (789 km2) is land. The highest point in the city is Todt Hill on Staten Island, which, at 409.8 feet (124.9 m) above sea level, is the highest point on the Eastern Seaboard south of Maine. The summit of the ridge is mostly covered in woodlands as part of the Staten Island Greenbelt.


New York has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen Cfa), and using the 0 °C standard, it is the northernmost major city in North America with this type of climate. The area averages 234 days with at least some sunshine annually, for an average of 2680 hours of bright sunshine per year .

Winters are cold, and prevailing wind patterns that blow offshore minimizes the effect of the Atlantic Ocean. Yet, the Atlantic Ocean keeps the city warmer in the winter than inland North American cities located at similar latitudes such as Chicago, Pittsburgh and Cincinnati. The average temperature in January, the area's coldest month, is 32.1 °F (0.1 °C). However temperatures in winter could for few days be as low as 10 °F (−12 °C) and as high as the 50s °F (10-15 °C).[53] Spring and autumn are unpredictable, and can range from chilly to warm, although they are usually pleasantly mild with low humidity. Summers are typically hot and humid with a July average high of 84.2 °F (29.0 °C) and low of 68.8 °F (20.4 °C). Nighttime conditions are often exacerbated by the urban heat island phenomenon, and temperatures exceed 90 °F (32 °C) on average of 16 – 19 days each summer and can exceed 100 °F (38 °C) every 4–6 years.[54]

New York City receives 49.7 inches (1,260 mm) of precipitation annually, which is fairly spread throughout the year. Average winter snowfall is about 28.1 inches (71 cm), but this usually varies considerably from year to year, and snow cover usually remains little. Hurricanes and tropical storms are rare in the New York area, but are not unheard of and always have the potential to strike the area.


Mass transit use in New York City is the highest in the United States, and gasoline consumption in the city is the same rate as the national average in the 1920s. New York City's high level of mass transit use saved 1.8 billion gallons of oil in 2006; New York saves half of all the oil saved by transit nationwide. The city's population density, low automobile use and high transit utility make it among the most energy efficient cities in the United States. New York City's greenhouse gas emissions are 7.1 metric tons per person compared with the national average of 24.5. New Yorkers are collectively responsible for one percent of the nation's greenhouse gas emissions though they comprise 2.7% of the nation's population. The average New Yorker consumes less than half the electricity used by a resident of San Francisco and nearly one-quarter the electricity consumed by a resident of Dallas.

In recent years, the city has focused on reducing its environmental impact. Large amounts of concentrated pollution in New York City led to a high incidence of asthma and other respiratory conditions among the city's residents. The city government is required to purchase only the most energy-efficient equipment for use in city offices and public housing. New York has the largest clean air diesel-hybrid and compressed natural gas bus fleet in the country, and some of the first hybrid taxis. The city government was a petitioner in the landmark Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency Supreme Court case forcing the EPA to regulate greenhouse gases as pollutants. The city is also a leader in the construction of energy-efficient green office buildings, including the Hearst Tower among others.

New York City is supplied with drinking water by the protected Catskill Mountains watershed. As a result of the watershed's integrity and undisturbed natural water filtration system, New York is one of only four major cities in the United States with drinking water pure enough not to require purification by water treatment plants.

The building design most closely associated with New York City is the skyscraper, whose introduction and widespread adoption saw New York buildings shift from the low-scale European convention to the vertical rise of business districts.

As of August 2008, New York City has 5,538 highrise buildings, with 50 completed skyscrapers taller than 656 feet (200 m). This is more than any other city in United States, and second in the world behind Hong Kong.

New York has architecturally noteworthy buildings in a wide range of styles. These include the Woolworth Building (1913), an early gothic revival skyscraper built with massively scaled gothic detailing able to be read from street level several hundred feet below. The 1916 Zoning Resolution required setback in new buildings, and restricted towers to a percentage of the lot size, to allow sunlight to reach the streets below.

Manhattan's architectural skyline is universally recognized, and the city has been home to several of the tallest buildings in the world. The original Chinatown in Lower Manhattan is one of the most prominent ethnic Chinese enclaves outside of Asia and draws throngs of tourists to its bustling sidewalks, restaurants, and discount retail establishments.

The Art Deco style of the Chrysler Building (1930), with its tapered top and steel spire, reflected the zoning requirements. The building is considered by many historians and architects to be New York's finest building, with its distinctive ornamentation such as replicas at the corners of the 61st floor of the 1928 Chrysler eagle hood ornaments and V-shaped lighting inserts capped by a steel spire at the tower's crown.

A highly influential example of the international style in the United States is the Seagram Building (1957), distinctive for its facade using visible bronze-toned I-beams to evoke the building's structure. The Condé Nast Building (2000) is an prominent example of green design in American skyscrapers.

New York's large residential districts are often defined by the classic brownstone rowhouses, townhouses, and shabby tenements that were built during a period of rapid growth from 1870 to 1930. Stone and brick became the city's building materials of choice after the construction of wood-frame houses was limited in the aftermath of the Great Fire of 1835.

Unlike Paris, which for centuries was built from its own limestone bedrock, New York has always drawn its building stone from a far-flung network of quarries and its stone buildings contain a variety of textures and hues.

A distinctive feature of many of the city's buildings is the wooden roof-mounted water towers. In the 1800s, the city required their installation on buildings higher than six stories to prevent the need for excessively high water pressures at lower elevations, which could break municipal water pipes.

Garden apartments became popular during the 1920s in outlying areas, including Jackson Heights in Queens, which became more accessible with expansion of the subway.

New York City has over 28,000 acres (110 km2) of municipal parkland and 14 miles (23 km) of public beaches. This parkland is augmented by thousands of acres of Gateway National Recreation Area, part of the National Park system, that lie within city boundaries.

The Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, the only wildlife refuge in the National Park System, alone is over 9,000 acres (36 km2) of wetland islands and water taking up most of Jamaica Bay.
Manhattan's Central Park, designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, is the most visited city park in the United States with 30 million visitors each year. While much of the park looks natural, it is almost entirely landscaped.

It contains several natural-looking lakes and ponds, extensive walking tracks, bridle paths, two ice-skating rinks one of which is a swimming pool in July and August, the Central Park Zoo, the Central Park Conservatory Garden, a wildlife sanctuary, a large expanse of natural woods, a 106-acre (43 ha) billion gallon reservoir with an encircling running track, and an outdoor amphitheater called the Delacorte Theater which hosts the "Shakespeare in the Park" summer festivals. Indoor attractions include Belvedere Castle with its nature center, the Swedish Cottage Marionette Theatre, and the historic Carousel.

In addition there are numerous major and minor grassy areas. Some are used for informal or team sports, some are set aside as quiet areas, and some are enclosed as playgrounds for children. The park has its own wildlife and serves as an oasis for migrating birds, especially in the fall and the spring, making it a significant attraction for bird watchers; 200 species of birds are regularly seen. The 6 miles (10 km) of drives within the park are used by joggers, bicyclists and inline skaters, especially on weekends, and in the evenings after 7:00 p.m., when automobile traffic is banned. Prospect Park in Brooklyn, also designed by Olmsted and Vaux, has a 90-acre (360,000 m2) meadow.

Flushing Meadows–Corona Park in Queens, the city's third largest, was the setting for the 1939 World's Fair and the 1964 World's Fair.

Over a fifth of the Bronx's area, 7,000 acres (28 km2), is given over to open space and parks, including Van Cortlandt Park, Pelham Bay Park, the Bronx Zoo and the New York Botanical Gardens.

The city's public school system, managed by the New York City Department of Education, is the largest in the United States. About 1.1 million students are taught in more than 1,200 separate primary and secondary schools. Charter schools, which are partly publicly-funded, include Harlem Success Academy. There are approximately 900 additional privately run secular and religious schools in the city. Though it is not often thought of as a college town, there are about 594,000 university students in New York City, the highest number of any city in the United States. In 2005, three out of five Manhattan residents were college graduates and one out of four had advanced degrees, forming one of the highest concentrations of highly educated people in any American city.

New York City is home to such notable private universities as Barnard College, Columbia University, Cooper Union, Fordham University, New York University, The New School, and Yeshiva University. The city has dozens of other smaller private colleges and universities, including many religious and special-purpose institutions, such as St. John's University, The Juilliard School, The College of Mount Saint Vincent, and The School of Visual Arts.

Much of the scientific research in the city is done in medicine and the life sciences. New York City has the most post-graduate life sciences degrees awarded annually in the United States, 40,000 licensed physicians, and 127 Nobel laureates with roots in local institutions. The city receives the second-highest amount of annual funding from the National Institutes of Health among all U.S. cities. Major biomedical research institutions include Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, Rockefeller University, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine and Weill Cornell Medical College.

The New York Public Library, which has the largest collection of any public library system in the country, serves Manhattan, The Bronx, and Staten Island. Queens is served by the Queens Borough Public Library, which is the nation's second largest public library system, and Brooklyn Public Library serves Brooklyn. The New York Public Library has several research libraries, including the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

New York City private schools include Brearley School, Dalton School, Spence School, Browning School, The Chapin School, Nightingale-Bamford School, and Convent of the Sacred Heart on the Upper East Side of Manhattan; Collegiate School and Trinity School on the Upper West Side of Manhattan; Horace Mann School, Ethical Culture Fieldston School, and Riverdale Country School in Riverdale, Bronx; and The Packer Collegiate Institute and Saint Ann's School in Brooklyn Heights, Brooklyn.

New York City's public secondary schools include: Bard High School Early College, Bronx High School of Science, Brooklyn Technical High School, Hunter College High School, LaGuardia High School, Stuyvesant High School, and Townsend Harris High School. The city is home to the largest Roman Catholic high school in the U.S., St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows, Queens, and the only official Italian-American school in the country, La Scuola d'Italia on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Since its consolidation in 1898, New York City has been a metropolitan municipality with a "strong" mayor-council form of government. The government of New York is more centralized than that of most other U.S. cities. In New York City, the central government is responsible for public education, correctional institutions, libraries, public safety, recreational facilities, sanitation, water supply and welfare services. The mayor and councillors are elected to four-year terms. The New York City Council is a unicameral body consisting of 51 Council members whose districts are defined by geographic population boundaries. The mayor and councilors are limited to three consecutive four-year terms but can run again after a four year break.

The present mayor is Michael Bloomberg, a former Democrat, former Republican (2001–2008) and current political independent elected on the Republican and Independence Party tickets against opponents supported by the Democratic and Working Families Parties in 2001 (50.3% of the vote to 47.9%), 2005 (58.4% to 39%) and 2009 (50.6% to 46%). He is known for taking control of the city's education system from the state, rezoning and economic development, sound fiscal management, and aggressive public health policy. In his second term he has made school reform, poverty reduction, and strict gun control central priorities of his administration. Together with Boston mayor Thomas Menino, in 2006 he founded the Mayors Against Illegal Guns Coalition, an organization with the goal of "making the public safer by getting illegal guns off the streets. The Democratic Party holds the majority of public offices. As of November 2008, 67% of registered voters in the city are Democrats. New York City has not been carried by a Republican in a statewide or presidential election since 1924. Party platforms center on affordable housing, education and economic development, and labor politics are of importance in the city.

New York is the most important source of political fundraising in the United States, as four of the top five ZIP codes in the nation for political contributions are in Manhattan. The top zip code, 10021 on the Upper East Side, generated the most money for the 2004 presidential campaigns of George W. Bush and John Kerry. The city has a strong imbalance of payments with the national and state governments. It receives 83 cents in services for every $1 it sends to the federal government in taxes (or annually sends $11.4 billion more than it receives back). The city also sends an additional $11 billion more each year to the state of New York than it receives back.

Each borough is coextensive with a judicial district of the New York Supreme Court and hosts other state and city courts. Manhattan also hosts the Supreme Court Appellate Division, First Department, while Brooklyn hosts the Appellate Division, Second Department. Federal courts located near City Hall include the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and the Court of International Trade. Brooklyn hosts the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

New York City has teams in the four major North American professional sports leagues, and has won 43 championships in these leagues, as of May 2010.
There have been fourteen World Series championship series between New York City teams, in matchups called Subway Series. New York is one of only five metro areas (Chicago, Washington-Baltimore, Los Angeles and the San Francisco Bay Area being the others) to have two baseball teams. The city's two current Major League Baseball teams are the New York Yankees and the New York Mets, who compete in six games every regular season. The Yankees have enjoyed 27 championships, while the Mets have won the World Series on two occasions. The city also was once home to the New York Giants (now the San Francisco Giants) and the Brooklyn Dodgers (now the Los Angeles Dodgers). Both teams moved to California in 1958. There are also two minor league baseball teams in the city, the Staten Island Yankees and Brooklyn Cyclones.

The city is represented in the National Football League by the New York Jets and New York Giants (officially the New York Football Giants), although both teams play their home games at Meadowlands Stadium in nearby East Rutherford, New Jersey. Meadowlands Stadium will host Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014.

The New York Rangers represent the city in the National Hockey League. Within the metro area are two other teams, the New Jersey Devils and the New York Islanders, who play on Long Island. This is the only instance of a metro area having 3 teams within one of the 4 major North American professional sports leagues.

The city's National Basketball Association team is the New York Knicks and the city's Women's National Basketball Association team is the New York Liberty. Also within the metro area is the NBA team New Jersey Nets Who will move to nearby Brooklyn to the Barclays Center as early as 2012. The first national college-level basketball championship, the National Invitation Tournament, was held in New York in 1938 and remains in the city. Rucker Park in Harlem is a celebrated court where many professional athletes play in the summer league.

In soccer, New York is represented by the Major League Soccer side, Red Bull New York. The "Red Bulls" play their home games at Red Bull Arena in New Jersey.

As a global city, New York supports many events outside these sports. Queens is host of the U.S. Tennis Open, one of the four Grand Slam tournaments. The New York City Marathon is one of the world's largest, and the 2004–2006 runnings hold the top three places in the marathons with the largest number of finishers, including 37,866 finishers in 2006. The Millrose Games is an annual track and field meet whose featured event is the Wanamaker Mile. Boxing is also a prominent part of the city's sporting scene, with events like the Amateur Boxing Golden Gloves being held at Madison Square Garden each year.

Many sports are associated with New York's immigrant communities. Stickball, a street version of baseball, was popularized by youths in working class Italian, German, and Irish neighborhoods in the 1930s. Stickball is still commonly played, as a street in The Bronx has been renamed Stickball Blvd. as tribute to New York's most known street sport. In recent years several amateur cricket leagues have emerged with the arrival of immigrants from South Asia and the Caribbean. Street hockey, football, and baseball are also commonly seen being played on the streets of New York. New York City is often called "The World's Biggest Urban Playground," as street sports are commonly played by people of all ages

New York city's rugby league team the New York Knights play in the AMNRL. They won the 2009 AMNRL Championship Final against the Jacksonville Axemen 32-12.

Mass transit in New York City, most of which runs 24 hours a day, is the most complex and extensive in North America. About one in every three users of mass transit in the United States and two-thirds of the nation's rail riders live in New York and its suburbs. The iconic New York City Subway system is the busiest in the Western Hemisphere, while Grand Central Terminal, also popularly referred to as "Grand Central Station", is the world's largest railway station by number of platforms. New York's airspace is one of the world's busiest air transportation corridors. The George Washington Bridge is the world's busiest motor vehicle bridge.

Public transit is New York City's most popular mode of transit. 54.6% of New Yorkers commuted to work in 2005 using mass transit. This is in contrast to the rest of the United States, where about 90% of commuters drive automobiles to their workplace. According to the US Census Bureau, New York City residents spend an average of 38.4 minutes a day getting to work, the longest commute time in the nation among large cities.

New York City is served by Amtrak, which uses Pennsylvania Station. Amtrak provides connections to Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. along the Northeast Corridor and long-distance train service to cities such as Chicago, New Orleans, Miami, Toronto and Montreal. The Port Authority Bus Terminal, the main intercity bus terminal of the city, serves 7,000 buses and 200,000 commuters daily, making it the busiest bus station in the world.

The New York City Subway is the largest rapid transit system in the world when measured by stations in operation, with 468. It is the third-largest when measured by annual ridership (1.5 billion passenger trips in 2006). New York's subway is also notable because nearly all the system remains open 24 hours a day, in contrast to the overnight shutdown common to systems in most cities, including London, Paris, Montreal, Washington, Madrid and Tokyo. The transportation system in New York City is extensive and complex. It includes the longest suspension bridge in North America, the world's first mechanically ventilated vehicular tunnel, more than 12,000 yellow cabs, an aerial tramway that transports commuters between Roosevelt Island and Manhattan, and a ferry system connecting Manhattan to various locales within and outside the city. The busiest ferry in the United States is the Staten Island Ferry, which annually carries over 19 million passengers on the 5.2-mile (8.4 km) run between Staten Island and Lower Manhattan. The Staten Island Railway rapid transit system solely serves Staten Island. The "PATH" train (short for Port Authority Trans-Hudson) links the New York City subway to points in northeast New Jersey.

New York City's public bus fleet and commuter rail network are the largest in North America. The rail network, connecting the suburbs in the tri-state region to the city, consists of the Long Island Rail Road, Metro-North Railroad and New Jersey Transit. The combined systems converge at Grand Central Terminal and Pennsylvania Station and contain more than 250 stations and 20 rail lines.

New York City is the top international air passenger gateway to the United States. The area is served by three major airports, John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia, with plans for a fourth airport, Stewart International Airport near Newburgh, NY, to be taken over and enlarged by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (which administers the other three airports), as a "reliever" airport to help cope with increasing passenger volume. 100 million travelers used the three airports in 2005 and the city's airspace is the busiest in the nation. Outbound international travel from JFK and Newark accounted for about a quarter of all U.S. travelers who went overseas in 2004.

New York's high rate of public transit use, 120,000 daily cyclists and many pedestrian commuters makes it the most energy-efficient major city in the United States. Walk and bicycle modes of travel account for 21% of all modes for trips in the city; nationally the rate for metro regions is about 8%.

To complement New York's vast mass transit network, the city also has an extensive web of expressways and parkways, that link New York City to northern New Jersey, Westchester County, Long Island, and southwest Connecticut through various bridges and tunnels. Because these highways serve millions of suburban residents who commute into New York, it is quite common for motorists to be stranded for hours in traffic jams that are a daily occurrence, particularly during rush hour. The George Washington Bridge is the world's busiest bridge in terms of vehicle traffic.

Despite New York's reliance on public transit, roads are a defining feature of the city. Manhattan's street grid plan greatly influenced the city's physical development. Several of the city's streets and avenues, like Broadway, Wall Street and Madison Avenue are also used as shorthand in the American vernacular for national industries located there: the theater, finance, and advertising organizations, respectively.