Portal:Portal

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The portal of portals

Portal

A portal is an opening in the walls of a building, gate or fortification, and especially a grand entrance to an important structure. Doors, metal gates or portcullis in the opening can be used to control entry or exit. The surface surrounding the opening may be made of simple building materials or decorated with ornamentation. Elements of a portal can include the voussoir, tympanum, an ornamented mullion or trumeau between doors, and columns with carvings of saints in the westwork of a church.

Portals in science fiction allow rapid travel between distant locations, often originating from some combination of natural phenomenon and technological device. These fictional devices are required for most stories on an inter-solar scale, otherwise transit time would be excessive for storytelling purposes. An advantage of portal technology over a faster-than-light drive is that it can be imagined to work instantly, and can travel to the past or future. In other forms of fiction, a portal may be magical, and connect to an alternate universe or plane of existence.

Selected article

Portal frame construction is a method of building and designing simple structures, primarily using steel or steel-reinforced precast concrete, although they can also be constructed using laminated timber such as glulam. The connections between the columns and the rafters are designed to be moment-resistant, i.e. they can carry bending forces.

Because of these very strong and rigid joints some of the bending moment in the rafters is transferred to the columns. This means that the size of the rafters can be reduced or the span can be increased for the same size rafters. This makes portal frames a very efficient construction technique to use for wide span buildings.

Portal frame construction is therefore typically seen in warehouses, barns and other places where large, open spaces are required at low cost and a pitched roof is acceptable.

Selected biography

Portal at the Air Ministry in London

Charles Frederick Algernon Portal, 1st Viscount Portal of Hungerford KG GCB OM DSO & Bar MC (21 May 1893 - 22 April 1971) was a senior Royal Air Force officer and an advocate of strategic bombing. He was the British Chief of the Air Staff during most of the Second World War.

Born in Hungerford, Portal was educated at Winchester College and Christ Church, Oxford, but left undergraduate life prematurely to enlist as a private soldier in 1914. Joining the British Army as a dispatch rider in the motorcycle section of the Royal Engineers on the Western Front, he was given command of all riders in the 1st Corps Headquarters Signals Company in December 1914.

In 1915 Portal transferred to the Royal Flying Corps, serving first as an observer and eventually a flying officer. He reached the rank of lieutenant colonel and earned the Military Cross. After the war, he took over No. 7 Squadron RAF and concentrated on improving bombing accuracy. By 1939 Portal was Director of Organization in the Air Ministry.

At the outbreak of World War II, Portal was made Acting Air Marshal and later commander-in-chief of RAF Bomber Command. Winston Churchill was impressed with Portal's strategy of area bombing (which resulted in the Luftwaffe bombing London instead of British airfields) and knighted Portal in July 1940. He was appointed Air Chief Marshal in October 1940, and Marshal of the Royal Air Force in June 1944.

After the war, Portal retired from the RAF and was created Baron Portal of Hungerford (later Viscount Portal). After a 5-year period at the Ministry of Supply, he was elected Chairman of British Aluminium and fought a hostile takeover bid by Sir Ivan Stedeford, Chairman & CEO of Tube Investments. Losing to Stedeford, he was elected chairman of the British Aircraft Corporation in 1960, and died in 1971, aged 77.

In the news

In the news
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  • Entrepreneur's RFID chip implant to open doors, start car
Current events on Wikinews

Categories

  • Doors — panels or barriers used to cover an opening
  • Gates — entry points to an enclosed space
  • Portals — focus pages which highlight a particular subject
  • Portals on Wikimedia Commons - images of portals

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Selected picture

Moscow July 2011-3a.jpg


Portal of the Dormition Cathedral in Moscow.

Selected geography

Location of El Portal, Miami-Dade County, Florida

El Portal is a village in Miami-Dade County, Florida, USA. The village name is derived from the Spanish phrase for "the gate", after two wooden gates that once stood as a gateway to the village. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 2,468.

A small, diverse enclave between Miami Shores and Miami, El Portal was incorporated on December 7, 1937, by residents eager for strict zoning that would ensure tidiness. Three small subdivisions (now neighborhoods), included Sherwood Forest, El Jardin (Spanish for "The Garden"), and El Portal merged into the Village of El Portal.

El Portal has been designated as a bird sanctuary for more than 50 years.

Selected quote

Beyond that portal lies the dungeon of deceit, which I alone have mastered.
But those of you who cross the boundaries of time, must master it also.

Hugo Myatt (as Treguard), Knightmare

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