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Your Guide To Festival Essentials As Central Virginia families plan for the upcoming Labor Day weekend, there are a lot of possibilities. For hundreds of local families, this will be a somber holiday weekend. Taking Woodstock: Rated R for graphic nudity, some sexual content, drug use and language. 120 mins. A comedy based on the real-life story of Elliot Tiber (Demetri Martin), whose family was involved in making the Woodstock Music and Arts Festival happen. The bank is about to foreclose on the family motel and Elliot moves back home to help his parents. When he learns the permit for the festival wristbands in a neighboring town has been cancelled, he contacts the producers and tries to drum up some business for the motel. Three weeks later half a million people are on their way to his neighbor"s farm and his life will be forever changed. It is common for hosts to choose a theme based upon the time of year such as children"s clothing for back-to-school and toys for Christmas, or upon the needs of their family. Since the point of the party is to keep costs down, it is important to not go crazy with refreshments or decorations. When having a Swap Party, it is acceptable to do potluck if you want food at it. For some, it is more of a "get in and get out" event wristbands where items are put out for the taking, and as choices are made, people leave with their "new" items. There is a special "Holiday Wishes" fireworks show and our family favorite "Mickey"s Once Upon a Christmastime" parade, which are both spectacular. The only time you will be able to see these shows are during the Christmas Party and between the extremely busy and extremely expensive Christmas week. That week between Christmas and New Years is the busiest of the year for the Magic Kingdom, and often closes due to capacity not long after opening in the morning! AB: We had written three or four songs, and we decided - let"s not repeat ourselves. Let"s stop if it starts sounding like anything we"ve done. On the fourth song, there"s a line [talks about the canyon/fire] -that"s a San Fernando Valley reference; that"s where we"re from. There"s really no bands coming out of the Valley, so this was kind of like our love letter to the Valley. I think the record feels like where we"re from. It reflects who we are as musicians, not looking back, but looking forward. KEN STRINGFELLOW: I would have it sell a bajillion copies, like, tomorrow. I know it"s a great album, but I also know we"ll have to work hard to convince people it"s something to listen to. We"re not the latest, shiniest flavor. But we"re sport wristbands the tastiest. This I know! After numerous years of member changes and stylistic growth, The Posies are back to a basic success formula of creating damn good tunes. Frontmen and founders Jon Auer and Ken Stringfellow"s took the time to do a Q & A while on the road in SPAIN to discuss their new release Blood/Candy... Wherever your Labor Day weekend plans take you, be careful on the road. Holiday traffic will be heavy and there"s construction around town and across the state.

File photo of the vessel Chih Yuen. [Photo/Xinhua]

The Chih Yuen marked Beiyang Fleet"s glory days and sudden fall

Although the Chih Yuen was one of China"s shortest-lived battleships, it remains one of the country"s best-known symbols of bravery and patriotism.

The 2,300-ton vessel was completed by the Armstrong Shipbuilding Co in Newcastle upon Tyne, England, on Oct 20, 1885. One year later, it joined the Beiyang Fleet of the Imperial Chinese Navy of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) as one of its major battleships.

A Chinese crew trained in Newcastle upon Tyne and sailed the ship to Xiamen, Fujian province, with three other vessels´╝Źone built at the Armstrong plant, and the other two by Bremer Vulkan, a shipbuilder in Germany.

During a five-hour battle in the Sino-Japanese War (1894-95) on Sept 17, 1894, the Chih Yuen and three other battleships of the Beiyang Fleet were sunk by the Imperial Japanese Navy in the Yellow Sea off Dandong, Liaoning province.

But the Chih Yuen has attracted more attention than the other three because of its attack on the Japanese flagship Yoshino before the Chinese vessel sank after a boiler explosion. Only seven of the crew of about 250 were rescued.

The Beiyang Fleet included 105 ships of various types, including at least 10 world-class cruisers and battleships. It heralded not only the start of China"s modern navy, but also ranked ninth globally in terms of tonnage.

The Sino-Japanese War, in which the entire Beiyang Fleet was lost, marked a turning point that diverted the nation"s attention on national defense from the land to the sea.

The Chih Yuen, as the "pearl" of the Beiyang Fleet, became a focal point for both its glory days and sudden fall.

Historians said that under orders from the vessel"s captain, Deng Shichang, who became a national hero, the Chih Yuen attempted to ram the Yoshino at full speed while coming under heavy fire. The Japanese ship was damaged in the same battle.

But their account has been challenged by recent discoveries from the wreck of the Chih Yuen, which lies about 20 meters below the surface of the ocean near Dalu Island off the coast of Dandong.

The investigation uncovered some 120 items from the shipwrecks as well as other sunken ships. It was organized by the National Cultural Heritage Administration"s Underwater Cultural Heritage Protection Center and the Liaoning Institute of Cultural Relics and Archaeology.

The discoveries included damaged weapons, items for daily use and a broken porcelain plate bearing the name Chih Yuen in both roman lettering and Chinese characters. This has been viewed as direct evidence proving the identity of the wrecked ship.

The underwater recovery operation was led by Zhou Chunshui, a researcher at the Underwater Cultural Heritage Protection Center in Beijing. He said that parts of the Chih Yuen"s boiler lay scattered in the muddy depths over a large area, indicating an explosion had occurred before the vessel sank.

Many parts of the ship, most of them buried in 3 meters of mud, were distended and damaged, and it appeared that a large fire had been extinguished suddenly.

Zhou said, "Unexpectedly, we found a torpedo with its detonator, indicating that the Chih Yuen had not lost its combat ability as historians claimed. Planting the detonator meant the torpedo was ready to be launched at any time."


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