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The North America Portal

Location North America.svg

North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere. It can also be described as a northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea, and to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean.

North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers (9,540,000 square miles), about 16.5% of the Earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third-largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, and the fourth by population after Asia, Africa, and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands (most notably around the Caribbean) are included.

North America was reached by its first human populations during the last glacial period, via crossing the Bering land bridge approximately 40,000 to 17,000 years ago. The so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago (the beginning of the Archaic or Meso-Indian period). The classic stage spans roughly the 6th to 13th centuries. The pre-Columbian era ended in 1492, with the beginning of the transatlantic migrations of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the early modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves, immigrants, and the descendants of these groups.

Owing to Europe's colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak European languages such as English, Spanish or French, and their states' cultures commonly reflect Western traditions.

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Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg

The National Flag of Canada (French: le Drapeau national du Canada [lə dʁapo nɑsjɔnal dy kanada]), often simply referred to as the Canadian flag, or unofficially as the Maple Leaf or l'Unifolié (French: [l‿ynifɔlje]; lit. 'the one-leafed'), consists of a red field with a white square at its centre in the ratio of 1:2:1, in the middle of which is featured a stylized, red, 11-pointed maple leaf charged in the centre. It is the first flag to have been adopted by both houses of Parliament and officially proclaimed by the Canadian monarch as the country's official national flag.

In 1964, Prime Minister Lester B. Pearson formed a committee to resolve the ongoing issue of the lack of an official Canadian flag, sparking a serious debate about a flag change to replace the Union Flag. Out of three choices, the maple leaf design by George Stanley, based on the flag of the Royal Military College of Canada, was selected. The flag made its first official appearance on February 15, 1965; the date is now celebrated annually as National Flag of Canada Day. Read more...

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Hurricane Felix
Credit: Expedition 15 astronaut (NASA)
A view of Hurricane Felix from the International Space Station. At the time of the photo, Felix was south of Kingston, Jamaica with winds of 165 mph (266 km/h) with higher gusts making it a category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale. One hundred and thirty fatalities were directly associated with this storm.

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Stelmach in 2009

Edward Michael Stelmach (/ˈstɛlmæk/; born May 11, 1951) is a Canadian politician and served as the 13th Premier of Alberta, Canada, from 2006 to 2011. The grandson of Ukrainian immigrants, Stelmach was born and raised on a farm near Lamont and speaks fluent Ukrainian. He spent his entire pre-political adult life as a farmer, except for some time spent studying at the University of Alberta. His first foray into politics was a 1986 municipal election, when he was elected to Lamont County council. A year into his term, he was appointed reeve. He continued in this position until his entry into provincial politics.

In the 1993 provincial election, Stelmach was elected as the Member of the Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Vegreville-Viking (later Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville). A Progressive Conservative, he served in the cabinets of Ralph Klein—at various times holding the portfolios of Intergovernmental Relations, Transportation, Infrastructure, and Agriculture, Food, and Rural Development—where he developed a reputation as a low-key politician who avoided the limelight. When Klein resigned the party's leadership in 2006, Stelmach was among the first to present his candidature to replace him. After a third-place finish on the first ballot of the leadership race, he won an upset second ballot victory over former provincial treasurer Jim Dinning. Read more...

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A pyramid on the 5th terrace of the Acropolis at Toniná.
A pyramid on the 5th terrace of the Acropolis at Toniná.

Tonina (or Toniná in Spanish orthography) is a pre-Columbian archaeological site and ruined city of the Maya civilization located in what is now the Mexican state of Chiapas, some 13 km (8.1 mi) east of the town of Ocosingo.

The site is medium to large, with groups of temple-pyramids set on terraces rising some 71 metres (233 ft) above a plaza, a large court for playing the Mesoamerican ballgame, and over 100 carved monuments, most dating from the 6th century through the 9th centuries AD, during the Classic period. Toniná is distinguished by its well preserved stucco sculptures and particularly by its in-the-round carved monuments, produced to an extent not seen in Mesoamerica since the end of the much earlier Olmec civilization. Toniná possesses one of the largest pyramids in Mexico; at 74 metres (243 ft) in height, it is taller than the Pyramid of the Sun at Teotihuacan. Read more...
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Pewee Valley Confederate Cemetery

Selected panorama

Skyline Boulevard in winter
Credit: Jawed Karim
Skyline Boulevard runs through the Santa Cruz Mountains, here near Palo Alto, California. The Santa Cruz Mountains, part of the Coast Ranges, are a mountain range in central California.

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