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  • Iain Banks

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    Iain Banks (16 February 1954 – 9 June 2013) was a Scottish author. He wrote mainstream fiction under the name Iain Banks and science fiction as Iain M. Banks, including the initial of his adopted middle name Menzies (). After the publication and success of The Wasp Factory (1984), Banks began to write on a full-time basis. His first science fiction book, Consider Phlebas, was released in 1987, marking the start of the Culture series. His books have been adapted for theatre, radio and television. In 2008, The Times named Banks in their list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945". In April 2013, Banks announced that he had inoperable cancer and was unlikely to live beyond a year. He died on 9 June 2013.

  • Christmas and holiday season

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    The Christmas season, also called the festive season, or the holiday season (mainly in the U.S. and Canada; often simply called the holidays), is an annually recurring period recognized in many Western and Western-influenced countries that is generally considered to run from late November to early January. It is defined as incorporating at least Christmas, and usually New Year, and sometimes various other holidays and festivals. It also is associated with a period of shopping which comprises a peak season for the retail sector (the "Christmas (or holiday) shopping season"), and a period of sales at the end of the season (the "January sales"). Christmas window displays and Christmas tree lighting ceremonies when trees decorated with ornaments and light bulbs are illuminated are traditions in many areas. In the denominations of Western Christianity, the term "Christmas season" is considered synonymous with Christmastide, which runs from December 25 (Christmas Day) to January 5 (Twelfth Night or Epiphany Eve), popularly known as the 12 Days of Christmas.

  • Joseph Barrell (merchant)

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    Portrait of Joseph Barrell, ca.1767, by J.S. Copley (courtesy Worcester Art Museum)Joseph Barrell (1739-1804) was a merchant in Boston, Massachusetts in the 18th century. During the American Revolution he owned ships commissioned as privateers, such as the Vengeance, ca.1779. In 1792 Barrell was "elected to the board" of Massachusetts branch of the newly established Bank of the United States, along with "George Cabot, Jonathan Mason Jr., ... and Fisher Ames."

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