History of Iris Str - History

History of Iris Str - History


(Str: t. 388, 1.146' d.; b. 27'; dr. 9'9"; cpl. 70;
a. 1 32-psr.)

The first Iris was a wooden steamer propelled by radial paddle wheels built at New York in 1847 and purchased there by the Navy in the same year. She commissioned at New York Navy Yard 25 October 1847, Oomdr. Stephen B. Wilson in command.

The next dav Iris departed New York Harbor for Vera Cruz, NIexico, where she arrived 11 December. With the exception of a brief visit to AIobile, Ala., in February 1S48 nnd a voyage to Pensacola, Fla., in September, Iris remained on duty in the vicinity of Vera Cruz for the next year. During the closing months of the Mexican War, she assisted in maintaining the blockade of the coast of Mexico and protected the Army's water communications. Thereafter she vigilantly protected United States interests in that volatile area lest trouble break out anew.

Iris departed Vera Cruz 8 November and arrived Norfolk 16 December. She decommissioned there 16 December and was sold soon thereafter. She redocumented as Osprey 9 March 1849, being destroyed by fire at Kingston, Jamaica, 18 April 1856.

History of Iris Str - History

Up to about 1910 the Iris in American gardens were loosely known as Flags or German Iris. The word German came from the plant Linnaeus had named Iris germanica, because it had been sent to him from a German garden. It was to be seen in many gardens blooming in mid-May along with Florentina and a purple self similar to what we now know as Kochii. In early June in New England there were to be seen such varieties as Albert Victor, Flavescens, Aurea, Honorabile, Mme. Chereau, Victorine, Neglecta, Sambucina and Jacquesiana.

Most of the persons who had these in their gardens did not know these names or their origin. They were just “flags” and they bloomed year after year with little attention.

Between 1910 and 1920, new varieties began to appear in European and American catalogs. The few American gardeners who tried them were astounded at their color range and at the size of their flowers. They became so enthusiastic that through letters to nurserymen and articles in magazines they came to know each other and this in turn led to the formation of the American Iris Society in 1920.

Today when several thousand members of this Society in all parts of the world know each other, or of each other, it is hard to realize how isolated the Iris growers and breeders of the early part of the century were, how little they knew about Iris varieties, about their wild origin or hybrid parentage, or about what other Iris breeders, either in distant places or nearby, were doing or trying to do.

Through the American Iris Society and the Iris Society of England, the scattered literature on Iris was assembled. Iris history, past and present, was recorded, meetings and shows were held in various parts of the country and breeders were encouraged to make further strides in the improvement of the flower. As a result, we have the magnificent varieties of today.

It is true, of course, that not all the breeders’ “geese” are “swans”. Many seedlings of little distinction are introduced each year. Much more careful testing and rigid appraisal is needed.

It may be useful for the more recent converts to the cult of the Iris to pause and consider the status of Iris growing in the first two decades of the century. Some hundreds of varieties were listed in catalogs. Through the work of W. R. Dykes and A. J. Bliss, we know that nearly all of these were hybrids of the blue Iris pallida of Italy and the yellow and brown Iris variegata of Hungary and Bulgaria. At that time, however, they were grouped not only under these species, but also under the supposed species (really hybrids) amoena, plicata, neglecta, and squalens.

There was a wide color range, but the flowers were small, often of poor form and of poor substance, and were nearly always badly crowded on the stem.

The first novelties of the first decade of the century which began to whet the appetite of Iris growers were also of this parentage. A set from the German firm of Goos and Koeneman included the white and purple bicolor Rhein Nixe and the yellow bicolors Iris King, Loreley, Gajus and Princess Victoria Louise. Then came the first American seedlings, Glory of Reading, Mt. Penn, Quaker Lady, Windham and Wyomissing raised by Bertrand H. Farr of Wyomissing, near Reading, Pennsylvania. To these were soon added the new hybrids which were to revolutionize the Iris. They sprang from the pallida-variegata hybrids crossed with new large flowered species or forms from Asia Minor.

About 1880 an English amateur gardener, Professor (later Sir) Michael Foster had wanted to produce large flowered Iris. He asked missionaries in Asia Minor to look for wild plants bearing unusually large flowers. For nearly 20 years he received such plants identified only by place names. He used them for breeding and gave many of them to friends before they were named or carefully described. As a result, we do not know to this day the exact parentage of all of the new large flowered Iris.

Foster’s own large flowered seedlings were not sent into commerce until long after his death in 1907. They included Caterina, Crusader and Lady Foster – and were said to be hybrids of cypriana. (Various plants under the name cypriana were later identified as mesopotamica and trojana.) Foster’s friend, George Yeld, introduced a similar strain which included Lord of June, Halo and Neptune. They are now called hybrids of Amas which is not usually regarded as a true species, but were at one time regarded as trojana hybrids.

In France the nursery firm of Vilmorin had used what it had under the name of Amas and introduced first Oriflamme, then Alcazar and finally Ambassadeur, Ballerine and Magnifica, the last being reputed to have also Ricardi in its parentage. Ricardi which was widely used by the amateur, Ferdinand Denis, in Southern France, is now regarded as a form of mesopotamica. Denis’ seedlings included Mlle. Schwartz which was for a time popular in California but not reliably hardy in the east. That was true also of Magnifica, of Caterina and Lady Foster, and of the later introductions of Foster’s friend, Sir Arthur Hort (which are said to trace back to Caterina).

A third Frenchman and near neighbor of Vilmorin introduced during this same period the remarkable Souv. de Mme. Gaudichau with parentage first given as pallida dalmatica, but now generally supposed to have been Amas or something close to it.

Now we come to A. J. Bliss of Devonshire. Dykes had interested him early in the century in the controversy about the authenticity of the supposed species amoena, plicata, neglecta and squalens and set him to Iris breeding. From a plant he had under the name of Asiatica (and which he later lost) (it is now believed to have been Amas), he produced a deep purple seedling that he was sure was the greatest Iris in the whole world. It had a stout stiff stalk, a large flower of great substance, flaring almost horizontal velvety falls and wonderful texture. He named it Dominion. His boasts brought the nurseryman R. W. Wallace (who had just introduced Foster’s seedlings) to see it. He also thought it was the finest iris in the world and said so in his catalog, and to be sure that his customers would be properly impressed, he asked for it in 1917 not the usual 4 or 5 shillings, but 5 pounds!

It was this Iris, plus those I have just mentioned, that precipitated the Iris furore in Europe, and the flood of introductions from Bliss, Perry, Vilmorin, Millet, Denis and Cayeux and others in the decade 1920 to 1930.

Meanwhile, in America, Farr was introducing such varieties as Pocahontas and Anna Farr and his many seedlings were being widely grown and creating great Iris enthusiasm. E. B. Williamson, an Indiana banker, and later vice-president of the American Iris Society, used Amas in his crossing and introduced Lent A. Williamson. J. Marion Shull of the U. S. Dept. of Agriculture crossed this with trojana and introduced Morning Splendor. He became convinced that the five Iris, Dominion, Ambassadeur, Souv. de Mme. Gaudichau, Lent A. Williamson and Morning Splendor, raised by five different breeders in three different countries, all had the same or very closely related ancestry. A sixth breeder, Clarence Connell of Nashville, was soon to follow in this same pattern with Dauntless. Still another, Mr. Wareham of Cincinnati, was actively breeding with Dominion before 1920, and producing outstanding seedlings which, however, were not introduced until 15 or 20 years later when they were no longer unique. To all of these varieties the term “Dominion Race” was loosely applied, although the term was invented by Bliss to cover merely his varieties Bruno, Cardinal, Duke of Bedford, Moa, Titan, and one or two others.

In New England a totally different development was taking place. Miss Grace Sturtevant in Wellesley Farms was working with one or more forms of pallida (sometimes pallida dalmatica is mentioned, sometimes Celeste) (in the early days there was a good deal of confusion about pallida dalmatica and many people had Albert Victor, Celeste, Odoratissima, and Tineae under that name). This she crossed with Aurea and raised some charming blends such as Palaurea and Afterglow. One of these seedlings crossed with Celeste produced Hope, a variety of little importance, but from it in the next generation the variety Shekinah was produced. This was the most important yellow Iris of its day, but it was much more than that. It was the first yellow of known pallida parentage, and the first yellow to succeed in the warm climate of Southern California. Nearly every Iris breeder who has since worked with yellows has used it somewhere in the family tree.

The breeders I have mentioned laid the framework for the modern Iris of today. Modern breeders should recognize their important work and should be familiar with their most important varieties in order to more fully understand the varieties of today which are their progeny. A good collection of well grown old varieties is also often an eye-opener in showing to the complacent breeder that some of his seedlings are duplicates or near duplicates of their ancestors. My interest in the old varieties has led me to assemble on the grounds of Swarthmore College about 100 of them in an historical collection arranged chronologically. There is a similar collection in the Presby Memorial Garden in Montclair. I hope that New England Iris growers will visit both these collections and see for themselves how interesting they are.

History of Iris Str - History

Depicting original sketches, photographs and colorful new imagery, this poster captures the major milestones of the development in the field of seismology. Seismology's rich history begins with Robert Hooke's 1676 paper titled "True Theory of Elasticity or Springness" and continues through the 1830 discovery of P and S waves, the 1930's discovery of the inner core by Inge Lehman, and includes recent innovations such as shake maps, real-time collections of maps depicting shaking intensity within seconds of an earthquake.


  • Seismology is a relatively young science that has developed as a result of both men and women, technology, and earthquakes.

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Who were the major supporters of plate-tectonic theory?

This animation gives an overview of the most-recognized proponents (and opponents) of Plate Tectonics Theory up into the 1960's, with the discoveries that helped form the theories.

In the year 1596 cartographer Abraham Ortelius noted that the coastlines of Africa and South America appeared to fit together, compelling him to propose that the continents had once been joined but were pulled apart by "earthquakes and floods."

And yet, the theory of plate tectonics represents a fairly young science. The "Father of Plate Tectonics", Alfred Wegener proposed "Continental Drift" in 1912, but was ridiculed by fellow scientists. It would take another 50 years for the concept to be accepted.

CLOSED CAPTIONING: A .srt file is included with the downloiad. Use appropriate media player to utilize captioning.

The history of Ireland: 11 milestone moments

An island people the Irish may be, yet the history of Ireland has never been insular or inward-looking. Instead, it is a story of a people profoundly aware of the wider world – its threats, its possibilities and its advantages.

In addition, while the English and British connection will always remain key to any reading of Irish history, an array of other powers, including Spain, France, the papacy and the United States, have left their mark on the nation. In its turn, Ireland has reached out to influence the world: playing a part in Europe’s bitter power struggles influencing the evolution of British parliamentary democracy and helping to shape the growth of the United States into a global superpower.

Here are just a few key moments that have helped to define the course of Irish history…

The coming of the gospel to Ireland

The spread of Christianity in fifth-century Ireland is inextricably linked in the public mind with the iconic figure of Saint Patrick: miracle-working missionary, canny politician and snake-banishing national saint. Yet the historical facts are rather different – for Christianity had in fact taken root in Ireland well in advance of Patrick’s mission. The Irish were in the habit of plundering the long western seaboard of Roman Britain in search of booty – and the first Christians in Ireland, therefore, were most likely Britons carried across the sea as slaves.

In AD 431, Rome dispatched a bishop to minister to these “Irish believing in Christ” – and this was not Patrick but the shadowy Palladius, an aristocratic Briton or Gaul who has been elbowed by Patrician hagiographers out of the Irish story.

The development of Christianity was fundamental to the evolution of an Irish cultural identity, led to the creation of such glories of early Irish art as the Book of Kells and the Ardagh Chalice, and helped to maintain the flame of learning and education in Europe during the chaotic centuries that followed the fall of Rome.

Listen: Professor Jane Ohlmeyer discusses a new multi-volume history of Ireland and explains how the past continues to affect Anglo-Irish relations today, on this episode of the HistoryExtra podcast:

The arrival of Henry Plantagenet in Ireland

In the summer of 1167, a small band of Anglo-Norman adventurers sailed from Pembrokeshire and landed on the County Wexford coast. Within two years, the Norse ports of Wexford, Waterford and Dublin had fallen and the Gaelic Irish were mustering against these potent newcomers on the Irish political scene.

In October 1171, Henry Plantagenet – King Henry II – himself arrived in Ireland, anxious to underscore his authority, and to add this promising new dominion to his extensive Anglo-French empire.

It was a seismic moment in Irish history, marking the establishment of the Lordship of Ireland: in effect, the first English colony. Three decades later, Henry’s successor King John lost control of Normandy – after which the attention of the English crown became even more focused on its Irish possessions.

The Lordship itself survived for almost 400 years – in the process enduring the ravages of a Scots invasion, the Black Death and an indigenous Irish resurgence – until Henry VIII proclaimed himself king in 1541, thus formally uniting England and Ireland under one crown.

The Plantation of Ulster

In the spring of 1606, a wave of Scots settlers – farmers, craftsmen, artisans – crossed the narrow waters of the North Channel and came ashore at the port of Donaghadee in County Down. This was the beginning of the Plantation of Ulster: a systematic British and Protestant settlement of the northern half of Ireland – which until this point had remained the most obdurately Gaelic and Catholic part of the country.

With the defeat of a Spanish expeditionary force at Kinsale in County Cork at Christmas 1601 came the definitive victory of English military power in Ireland – a fact emphasised by the ‘Flight of the Earls’ in 1607, when a large proportion of Ulster’s Gaelic aristocracy fled Ireland for the continent. The Plantation set the seal on this new order: by 1640, some 30,000 colonists had arrived in Ulster and many of the remaining Gaelic landowning families had been expelled from their lands.

The Plantation represented the onset of a cultural cataclysm for Gaelic society, and marked the beginning of a chaotic and violent century in Ireland. Most significantly, sectarian tensions became an intrinsic aspect of life in Ulster – with consequences that continue to be felt to this day.

The sack of Drogheda

In August 1649, Oliver Cromwell and his New Model Army landed at Dublin. The Civil War in England had come to an end with the execution of Charles I, and Cromwell was eager now to settle affairs in Ireland, where anarchy reigned and the royalist faction retained significant support.

Cromwell marched 30 miles north along the coast to the royalist-held port of Drogheda. By 10 September, the town was surrounded on the next day, its walls were breached, and there followed the dreadful sack of Drogheda, in which much of the town’s population – Catholics and Protestants, English and Irish – were indiscriminately put to the sword.

Later, the town of Wexford was similarly sacked, and by 1660, up to a quarter of the Irish population had died from the effects of war and disease. The events of these years help to explain why Cromwell, viewed in English history as a democrat, is remembered in Ireland as a genocidal maniac. One Englishman, however, fully understood the profound impact of the siege of Drogheda. Winston Churchill remarked that it “cut new gulfs between the nations and the creeds. Upon all of us there still lies the curse of Cromwell.”

The battle of Aughrim

The Battle of Aughrim was fought on the flat landscapes of County Galway in July 1691. It epitomised the final defeat of Catholic Ireland, and the beginning of an uncontested Protestant ascendancy in Ireland. The battle, however, was also part of a much larger geopolitical process that encompassed a ferocious struggle for supremacy in Europe between the French crown and a grand alliance of England, Holland and a cluster of other powers. William of Orange had usurped the British crown in 1689, forcing his father-in-law, James II, to flee to France and on to Ireland. As a result, Ireland became the scene of a series of battles, the ripples from which would be felt across Britain and Europe.

The Williamite Wars were fought at Derry/Londonderry, Enniskillen and on the fords of the river Boyne, where William emerged victorious in a clash with James. But it was at Aughrim that Ireland’s remaining Catholic elite, together with its French allies, was cut down in the boggy fields. Here, both the fate of the country and William’s hold on the throne were settled, once and for all.

An Argument on Behalf of the Catholics of Ireland

Wolfe Tone stands as one of Ireland’s most compelling and charismatic national leaders. Born in Dublin in 1763, his political vision was sharpened as he watched revolutionary events unfold first in America and then France. He dreamt of a radical, non-sectarian Irish republic – and his 1791 pamphlet An Argument on Behalf of the Catholics of Ireland was envisaged as a necessary first step, calling as it did for the emancipation of Ireland’s disenfranchised Catholic majority.

The pamphlet drew the attention of many: soon, the Society of United Irishmen was established in Belfast by a group of (equally disenfranchised) Presbyterian merchants and manufacturers who thrilled to Tone’s revolutionary vision. This was a moment when disparate elements in Irish society looked beyond the confines of sectarian politics and towards the politics of a wider world. Yet the failure of the Rising of 1798 – and the sectarian element that once more rose to the surface during that violent Irish summer – ensured that such a vision never became a reality.

Tone himself committed suicide in November 1798, while held in military custody. Two years later, the Act of Union bound Britain and Ireland even closer together.

Daniel O’Connell and Catholic Emancipation

By the 1830s, a new leader had emerged onto the national stage. Daniel O’Connell was as Catholic as Wolfe Tone had been atheist. His vision was of an Ireland in which Catholicism and national identity were folded into one and he understood the importance of enlisting the mass of the population as a means of achieving his vision of the repeal of the Act of Union.

O’Connell probed the limits of constitutionality, appreciating how the threat of popular unrest could be deployed to achieve his ends. His Catholic Association, for example, rapidly became a disciplined mass movement working towards the initial goal of Catholic Emancipation. This duly came about in 1829, as the British government recognised the possibility of anarchy in Ireland – and took fright.

And yet O’Connell never achieved his dream of repeal. His legacy instead lies in the lessons he presented on the possibilities inherent in mass politics – lessons absorbed by observers abroad as well as at home. Furthermore, he never forgot the opportunities offered by a modern media and a shrinking world. After O’Connell, the Irish Question was debated not only in Ireland and in Britain – but with passion too in America.

The Great Famine

In September 1845, as the first potatoes were being lifted in fields across Ireland, word began to spread of a disease affecting the new crop. The potatoes were coming out of the ground rotten and putrid. Blight was spreading across the countryside. The famine would continue until 1849 – and its effects upon Irish society were cataclysmic.

Of a pre-famine population of some eight million, over a million died of hunger and famine-related diseases – and for Irish nationalists, it became a truism that “the Almighty sent the potato blight but the English created the famine”.

It was perhaps inevitable that the collective trauma brought about by the years of hunger would be distilled and heaped, in rage and grief, onto the heads of the British government. The truth was that government inaction, willfulness and incomprehension did indeed exacerbate the effects of the famine – although these facts did not, as claimed by many Irish nationalists, imply an intention to create famine in order to diminish Ireland.

A century later, the Irish population was still in decline. Emigration was a wound that simply could not be staunched, and the consequent growth of a vast Irish diaspora abroad changed for ever the relationship between Ireland and the rest of the world.

Fifteen leaders of the Easter Rising are executed

In the course of nine days in May 1916, 15 men were escorted from their dank cells at Dublin’s Kilmainham Gaol to the stonebreakers’ yard on the edge of the prison to be executed by firing squad.

The men were leaders of the Easter Rising, which had exploded across central Dublin in late April. One of them, the labour activist James Connolly, had had his ankle injured by a sniper’s bullet and was executed while being strapped to a chair. The Rising had been defeated in a matter of days. Much of central Dublin was left shattered by fire, gunfire and bombardment, and most of the casualties of the fighting were civilians.

As a result, public opinion was not especially supportive of the rebels – but the decision of the British authorities to execute the ringleaders proved decisive, altering the public mood overnight. The 15 men became heroes and political opinion was radicalised. The scene was now set for five tumultuous years that resulted in the end of British rule across most of Ireland, and the establishment in 1922 of the Irish Free State.

Bloody Sunday

On 30 January 1972, a civil rights march was winding slowly from the western suburbs of Derry towards the Guildhall Square in the city centre. Such marches were commonplace: since 1968, Northern Ireland had become accustomed to the sight of public demonstrations demanding equal rights for the province’s Catholic minority and an end to Unionist-majority rule. On this day, however, the march ended in tragedy as British soldiers opened fire on the crowd. Soon, 13 men lay dead a 14th died later of his injuries.

The army claimed that IRA operatives in the crowd had fired first, and the resulting public inquiry accepted this version of events. Bloody Sunday was by no means the most violent day of the Northern Ireland Troubles – but the fact that the 14 men had been killed by the forces of the state itself lent a ghastly distinction to the event. The effects of Bloody Sunday continued to be felt for years. Catholic public opinion was inflamed, and support for the IRA and other terrorist groups grew apace.

Thirty eight years would pass before a new British government inquiry exonerated the victims, finding that the army’s actions had been “unjustified and unjustifiable”.

The Good Friday Agreement

For many, a solution to Northern Ireland’s 20th‑century Troubles seemed impossible. The taproots of the conflict appeared sunk too deeply into a history of sectarian bitterness and economic rivalry, political differences were insurmountably great, and the wider context of grievance between the British and Irish states added yet further layers of difficulty to an already fraught situation.

Throughout the years of the Troubles, however, conversation and negotiation had continued – usually under deeply unprepossessing circumstances – and ultimately a political solution was indeed found. In April 1998, the Belfast or ‘Good Friday’ Agreement was signed, setting out a framework for future political progress in Northern Ireland. The key to progress had been the internationalisation of the discussions – and in particular the close involvement of the Bill Clinton White House in the protracted negotiations.

The political process in Northern Ireland has continued to be dogged by failures of trust, communication and negotiation. But there is a sense that the past is now definitively past, and that there can be no return to the years of violence.

Neil Hegarty is the author of Story of Ireland (BBC Books, 2011) and Dublin: A View from the Ground (Piatkus, 2008).

IRIS (Iris), a daughter of Thaumas (whence she is called Thaumantias, Virg. Aen. ix. 5) and Electra, and sister of the Harpies. (Hes. Theog. 266, 780 Apollod. i. 2. § 6 Plat. Theaet. p. 155. d Plut. de Plac. Philos. iii. 5.) In the Homeric poems she appears as the minister of the Olympian gods, who carries messages from Ida to Olympus, from gods to gods, and from gods to men. (Il. xv. 144, xxiv. 78, 95, ii. 787, xviii. 168, Hymn. in Apoll. Del. 102, &c.) In accordance with these functions of Iris, her name is commonly derived from erô eirô so that Iris would mean "the speaker or messenger:" but it is not impossible that it may be connected with eirô, "I join," whence eirênê so that Iris, the goddess of the rainbow, would be the joiner or conciliator, or the messenger of heaven, who restores peace in nature. In the Homeric poems, it is true, Iris does not appear as the goddess of the rainbow, but the rainbow itself is called iris (Il xi. 27, xvii. 547): and this brilliant phenomenon in tile skies, which vanishes as quickly as it appears, was regarded as the swift minister of the gods. Her genealogy too supports the opinion that Iris was originally the personification of the rainbow. In the earlier poets, and even in Theocritus (xvii. 134) and Virgil (Aen. v. 610) Iris appears as a virgin goddess but according to later writers, she was married to Zephyrus, and became by him the mother of Eros. (Eustath. ad Hom. pp. 391, 555 Plut. Amat. 20.) With regard to her functions, which we have above briefly described, we may further observe, that the Odyssey never mentions Iris, but only Hermes as the messenger of the gods: in the Iliad, on the other hand, she appears most frequently, and on the most different occasions. She is principally engaged in the service of Zeus, but also in that of Hera, and even serves Achilles in calling the winds to his assistance. (Il. xxiii. 199.) She further performs her services not only when commanded, but she sometimes advises and assists of her own accord (iii. 122, xv. 201. xviii. 197. xxiv. 74, &c.). In later poets she appears on the whole in the same capacity as in the Iliad, but she occurs gradually more and more exclusively in the service of Hera, both in the later Greek and Latin poets. (Callim. Hymn. in Del. 232 Virg. Aen. v. 606 Apollon. Rhod. ii. 288, 432 Ov. Met. xiv. 830, &c.) Some poets describe Iris actually as the rainbow itself, but Servius (ad Aen v. 610) states that the rainbow is only the road on which Iris travels, and which therefore appears whenever the goddess wants it, and vanishes when it is no longer needed: and it would seem that this latter notion was the more prevalent one in antiquity. Respecting the worship of Iris very few traces have come down to us, and we only know that the Delians offered to her on the island of Hecate cakes made of wheat and honey and dried figs. (Athen. xiv. p. 645 comp. Müller, Aegin. p. 170.) No statues of Iris have been preserved, but we find her frequently represented on vases and in bas-reliefs, either standing and dressed in a long and wide tunic, over which hangs a light upper garment, with wings attached to her shoulders, and carrying the herald's staff in her left hand or she appears flying with wings attached to her shoulders and sandals, with the staff and a pitcher in her hands.

AELLOPUS (Aellopous), a surname of Iris, the messenger of the gods, by which she is described as swift-footed like a storm-wind. Homer uses the form aellopos. (Il. 409.)

Source: Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology.


Based on Fisher's linear discriminant model, this data set became a typical test case for many statistical classification techniques in machine learning such as support vector machines. [5]

The use of this data set in cluster analysis however is not common, since the data set only contains two clusters with rather obvious separation. One of the clusters contains Iris setosa, while the other cluster contains both Iris virginica and Iris versicolor and is not separable without the species information Fisher used. This makes the data set a good example to explain the difference between supervised and unsupervised techniques in data mining: Fisher's linear discriminant model can only be obtained when the object species are known: class labels and clusters are not necessarily the same. [6]

Nevertheless, all three species of Iris are separable in the projection on the nonlinear and branching principal component. [7] The data set is approximated by the closest tree with some penalty for the excessive number of nodes, bending and stretching. Then the so-called "metro map" is constructed. [4] The data points are projected into the closest node. For each node the pie diagram of the projected points is prepared. The area of the pie is proportional to the number of the projected points. It is clear from the diagram (left) that the absolute majority of the samples of the different Iris species belong to the different nodes. Only a small fraction of Iris-virginica is mixed with Iris-versicolor (the mixed blue-green nodes in the diagram). Therefore, the three species of Iris (Iris setosa, Iris virginica and Iris versicolor) are separable by the unsupervising procedures of nonlinear principal component analysis. To discriminate them, it is sufficient just to select the corresponding nodes on the principal tree.

The Humble Stew

Recipes based on the stewing method of cooking have been traced back as far as the days of the Roman Empire and Apicius de re Coquinaria, thought to be the oldest known cookbook in existence. Though the Romans had long outgrown it by then, stewing came to prominence in Ireland during the early 19th century, during a period of economic turmoil that led to mass poverty. With only a hanging pot, an open fire and a few fairly easily attainable ingredients, even poor families were able to survive on Irish stew.

The History of Iris

After four years Rolland and Heidi left the church they had planted to enroll in graduate theological studies at the University of London. While in England they planted another church, Believer’s Centre, and continued to work especially with homeless street-sleepers, along with university students, lawyers and businesspeople. It was a small but beautiful cross-section of the Body of Christ, and all worshiped together as close brothers and sisters in the Lord.

In 1995 Rolland and Heidi came to Mozambique, Africa, where they have concentrated their ministry ever since. Their U.S. administrative offices are in Redding, California, USA, but Iris has expanded to Iris Canada, Iris UK, etc., as charities in many countries. Iris missionaries are founding new bases on mission fields around the world, and one-third of the time Rolland and Heidi travel and minister at churches and conferences wherever the Holy Spirit leads them.

Chihango to Machava

Upon arriving in Mozambique, the Bakers &ndash along with a small team of Iris staff from England and South Africa &ndash were offered charge of the Chihango center, a previously government-run children’s center forty minutes from the capital of Maputo. Conditions were bleak. Over thirty years of warfare within the nation’s borders left an enormous population of orphans, with countless others living in extreme poverty. Government aid was nearly nonexistent. At Chihango &ndash which represented the government’s best effort to care for homeless children &ndash food was scarce, living quarters stark and medical care all but absent. The most “incorrigible” children from street gangs were often brought there as a last resort. Physical and sexual abuse were common. A very large proportion of the children were infected with STDs. Thievery was to be expected, especially from the officials in charge. Efforts at education were insignificant.

On one of Heidi’s first visits to the children’s center, she gave away an open bag of potato chips from her truck window as she prepared to leave. This began a miniature riot. Children instantly attacked one another, tearing at the bag. They bit and clawed in the dust for the last of the chips. In the mostly empty buildings, roofs had collapsed onto bare concrete floors. Chihango displayed all the most terrible realities of the developing world, but Iris had also found what it had sought, a place where it could make the greatest possible difference in the day-to-day lives of those who had lived as the unwanted.

God provided more than enough food, every day &ndash which at times required various miracles of finance, unsolicited aid from strangers and occasionally of supernatural multiplication.

Upon Iris’s takeover of the center, there were about eighty children resident. Conditions began to improve quickly. A local church was planted. The spiritual response from the children and many in the community was enormously enthusiastic. Dilapidated buildings began to be renovated. God provided more than enough food, every day &ndash which at times required various miracles of finance, unsolicited aid from strangers and occasionally of supernatural multiplication. The Iris staff began to take in more children from the streets, and after a year there were three hundred twenty at Chihango. Despite story after story of extreme neglect, most of the children began to show a remarkable joy in short order. They worshiped and prayed with all their hearts. Many were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to manifest healings, visions and many other spiritual gifts.

While all these things occurred, witch doctors often chanted curses around bonfires at the property’s edges at night, and the echoing sounds of AK47 fire, both far and near, were heard daily. Electricity was sporadic, and maintaining access to clean drinking water was difficult. Many thousands of dollars worth of goods were stolen over the passing months. Bureaucrats obstructed paperwork in an attempt to acquire bribes. Corrupt police and displaced ex-soldiers stopped vehicles constantly, extorting bribes for trivial or invented violations. Burglars broke into the property repeatedly. The staff at Iris underwent many muggings, and some were supernaturally rescued from lethal threats. These were relatively small difficulties compared to what was coming.

As Iris was to discover, the former administrators of the Chihango center had been removed unwillingly from their post. Prior to the U.N.-mediated ceasefire and elections in the early nineties, Mozambique’s government had been Marxist, and elements of the old paradigm &ndash explicitly anti-religious, and insisting on centralized control &ndash still survived among a few officials. The former administrators had met with some of these middling officials and convinced them to try to oust Iris, despite previous agreements.

One day men came to the center with legal documents mandating that Iris cease all of its religious activities, as well as any “unauthorized” distributions of food, clothing and medicine. Two days were given for all Iris staff to vacate the center, should these conditions not be accepted. Any property remaining after that time would be confiscated. Heidi was informed that she personally could not re-enter the property. It was also said around the community that a contract had been put out to kill her (for twenty U.S. dollars).

The former administrators, knowing that Iris would have to refuse these demands, were already positioned to resume control of the center &ndash along with the many improvements that had been made in their absence. No one could say what would happen to the now greatly increased population of children who would be left without foreign resources and subject to greedy, corrupt guardians. With no other options, the Bakers and the rest of Iris’s staff were forced to pack and move out immediately. They left exhausted and in great anguish. The children were immediately forbidden to pray or sing any of the worship songs they had learned. Many more of the activities they had enjoyed came to a sudden stop. They missed their friends at Iris, the long-term staff and the short-term visitors. They greatly missed Papa Rolland and Mama Aida. So when they next entered the big dining room, which had also been used as for church meetings on Sundays, they simply began to sing praise and worship songs at the top of their lungs. They were beaten and chastised for this, but in the end they absolutely refused to accept the changes. They would take their chances on the streets rather than live under such rules.

One by one at first, and later in groups, almost all of them left Chihango and began to hitchhike and even walk the many hot miles back to the city. Since arriving in Mozambique, the Bakers had been renting a small, single-story house in Maputo, where relatively stable power and access to the post office and other government buildings made for a workable administrative center. Staying there now, uncertain of their future in Mozambique, the Bakers suddenly found themselves surrounded by a swelling crowd of children who wanted to stay with them and worship God, no matter what. There was no space for so many, but it was unthinkable to turn them away. Dozens began to camp at the house, cheek-to-jowl out into the little concrete yard under tarps, and their numbers were growing fast. Iris’s people began scrambling to find some sort of emergency location for the children to stay. Two small Christian missions heard about what had happened, and volunteered to keep groups of children in some of their unused buildings for up to three months. Their offer came just in time. Everyone who had fled from Chihango found shelter, by a slim margin.

At one point during the week after this exodus, with more than fifty children still packed in at the Baker’s house, food had run begun to run low. Nelda, a friend from the U.S. embassy, came to visit the Bakers, bringing a pot of chili for the immediate family. “I have a big family,” Heidi replied. Nelda protested that she had only brought enough for the Bakers, but Heidi gave thanks for the food and immediately began serving it to the encamped kids. The pot, brought to feed four, was not empty until everyone had eaten!

The situation continued to appear desperate for some time, but as the three months were coming to an end, Iris was donated undeveloped land in the neaby town of Machava by sympathetic officials. Some old army tents &ndash and one big circus tent &ndash were provided, and practically overnight a new village of children sprang up where a week before there had been only grass and trees. It was even more basic than Chihango had been, but it would do for the time being &ndash and the children were overjoyed. Iris’s little community had prayed long and hard for water, both in spirit and in the natural. Very soon, a new well was dug at Machava, yielding fresh, clean water. Iris now had an abundance of both kinds of water.

Ancient bones reveal Irish are not Celts after all

In 2006, Bertie Currie was clearing land to make a driveway for McCuaig's Bar on Rathlin Island off Antrim when he noticed a large, flat stone buried beneath the surface.

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Currie realized that there was a large gap underneath the stone and investigated further.

"I shot the torch in and saw the gentleman, well, his skull and bones," Currie told the Washington Post in March 2016.

He eventually found the remains of three humans and immediately called the police.

The police arrived on the scene and discovered that this was not a crime scene but an ancient burial site.

It turned out to be a hugely significant ancient burial site as well that, with DNA analysis, could completely alter the perception that Irish people are descended from Celts.

A number of prominent professors at esteemed universities in Ireland and Britain analyzed the bones and said that the discovery could rewrite Irish history and ancestry.

DNA researchers found that the three skeletons found under Currie's pub are the ancestors of modern Irish people and predate the Celts' arrival on Irish shores by around 1,000 years.

Essentially, Irish DNA existed in Ireland before the Celts ever set foot on the island.

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Instead, Irish ancestors may have come to Ireland from the Bible lands in the Middle East. They might have arrived in Ireland from the South Meditteranean and would have brought cattle, cereal, and ceramics with them.

The Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS) said in 2015 that the bones strikingly resembled those of contemporary Irish, Scottish, and Welsh people.

A retired archaeology professor at the highly-renowned University of Oxford said that the discovery could completely change the perception of Irish ancestry.

“The DNA evidence based on those bones completely upends the traditional view,” said Barry Cunliffe, an emeritus professor of archaeology at Oxford.

Radiocarbon dating at Currie's McCuaig's Bar found that the ancient bones date back to at least 2,000 BC, which is hundreds of years older than the oldest known Celtic artifacts anywhere in the world.

Dan Bradley, a genetics professor at Trinity College, said in 2016 that the discovery could challenge the popular belief that Irish people are related to Celts.

“The genomes of the contemporary people in Ireland are older — much older — than we previously thought,” he said.

*Originally published in March 2016, last updated in December 2020.

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