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The portal of portals


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.

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Comparison between normal and portal axles

Portal axles (or portal gear) are an offroad technology where the axle tube is above the center of the wheel hub. Compared to normal layout, this enables the vehicle to gain a higher ground clearance, as both the axle tube and differential casing are tucked up higher under the vehicle.

Due to the gear reduction at the wheel which lessens the torque on all the other drivetrain components, the size of the differential casing can be reduced to gain even more ground clearance. Additionally, all drivetrain elements, in particular the transfer gearbox and driveshafts can be built lighter. This can be of use in reducing the centre of gravity for a given ground clearance.

As it requires a heavier and more complex hub assembly, however, these systems can result in an increased unsprung weight and require robust axle control elements to give predictable handling. In addition, at higher speeds the hub assembly can overheat.

Selected biography

Antoine Portal

Baron Antoine Portal (January 5, 1742-July 23, 1832) was a French anatomist, doctor, medical historian and founding president of the Académie Nationale de Médecine. Born in Gaillac, he was the eldest among 12 siblings. He studied medicine in Albi, Toulouse and Montpellier and started his career as a teacher of anatomy.

In 1766, Portal moved to Paris to take up a similar post, and was appointed to the prestigious position of professor of anatomy to the Jardin du Roi. Louis XVIII named him the first Doctor to the King, a post he also served in under Charles X. His close relationship with King Louis led in 1820 to the creation of what became the Académie Nationale de Médecine, of which he was lifelong president.

In 1803 Portal published "Cours d'anatomie médicale", a 5-volume work on medical history. He was probably the first to describe amyloid in liver in 1789 when he noted a lard-like substance in an elderly woman's liver, and the first to describe bleeding due to esophageal varices. He also published article on clinical features of epilepsy.

Portal died in 1832 at the age of 90 and was buried in Saint Pierre de Montmartre.

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Current events on Wikinews


  • 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

Portal physics.svg

The conservation of speed (but not directionality) in Portal.

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.

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O ye who sit in bondage and continually seek and pant for freedom, seek only for love.
Love is peace in itself and peace which gives complete satisfaction.
I am the key that opens the portal to the rarely discovered land where contentment alone is found.

Leo Tolstoy, A Letter to a Hindu

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