KryssTal Contents Page

Select an area of interest below:

Languages: Language Families, The English Language, Borrowed Words, Origins of Words and Names, Writing and the Evolution of Scripts, UK and USA English, Cockney Slang, Grammar, Communicating on the Internet Travel and Photography: Country Photos, Religion Photos, Natural History Photos, People Photos, Scenery Photos, Travel Photodiaries Democracy: Acts of the Democracies, Western Media, World Trade, The War on Terror, Why The USA?, Boycott USA, Why Regime Change in Iraq? Eclipses: Introduction to Eclipses, Total Eclipses Seen, Lunar Eclipses, Transits and Occultations, Eclipse Chasers' Web Ring
London: Tourist Guide, Place Names, The Piccadilly Line, Arsenal Football Club, Kings and Queens Astronomy: Extraterrestial Life, Evolution of Stars, History of Astronomy, The Calendar, The Scale of the Universe, The Brightest Stars, The Solar System, Astronomy and Astrology, Coordinate Systems, Measuring the Stars, Gravity, The Monthly Sky Mathematics: Numbers, Algebra, Pascal's Triangle, Trigonometry, Logarithms, Graphs, Trigonometric Equations, Calculus (Differentiation), Spherical Trigonometry, Further Algebra, Fun With Formulas Physics: Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Sub-Atomic Particles, Electromagnetic Spectrum, States of Matter, The Metric System
Chemistry: The Elements, Chemical Reactions, Molecular Bonding, Organic Chemistry, Acids Bases & Salts English Football: League Champions, FA Cup Winners, League Cup Winners, European Club Competitions, Trophies Won, Since Last Trophy, Consecutive Trophies, Doubles and Trebles, Club Records, Scottish Club Football Fantasy Television: Dr Who, Star Trek, Buffy The Vampire Slayer Other (Miscellaneous): Inventions, Rain, Bible Contradictions, Religions of the World, The Animal Kingdom, Cookery, Biography Page, Music

Feedback from readers of KryssTal (and KryssTal responses) Opinions expressed by KryssTal to various organisations


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A collection of essays, tables, scripts and facts about the study of language.

Language Families shows how groups of languages are related. This includes tables showing many of the families. Unusual grammars are discussed and samples of languages shown. As examples, the Indian language, Hindi, is related to English and Spanish while the Basque language is unrelated to other European languages.

30 Most Spoken Languages in the World is a table.

The English Language discusses the origin and history of the language with vocabulary and gramatical examples and a historical diagram.

Borrowed Words looks at the large number of words borrowed into English from other languages. The list includes languages from Afrikaans to Zuni. For example: "chocolate" is from the Nahuatl language spoken by the Aztecs, "algebra" means "bringing together broken parts" in Arabic, "Checkmate" means "the king is dead" in Farsi, the language of Iran and Western Afghanistan. A search engine allows for sophisticated searches by word, language, continent, language family or type of word (colours, biology, mathematics, music, sport, etc)

The Origin of Words and Names is discussed in detail. Topics covered include the changes in meaning of words through history, some interesting word origins, a large section on the origin and meaning of first (given) names, a brief look at family names (surnames). There is a table showing the origin of parts of English place names (like ones ending in -bury, -wich, -ham).

Writing came after the spoken language. This series of essays describe the development, history and evolution of the world's scripts and specifically of the Latin Alphabet used in English and other major languages. There are numerous samples of pictograms, alphabets and syllabaries. Some examples: Arabic, Greek, Hindi and Korean.

UK and US English shows some of the amusing (or embarrassing) differences in the meaning of certain words on each side of the Atlantic. Words that are different include vest, thong, pants, suspenders, bill, mad, mean, rubber and jelly.

Cockney Rhyming Slang is slang used in parts of London. Phrases like "Have a butchers" and "do you like the whistle, me old china?" are explained.

London Place Names tabulates boroughs and districts in London explaining the name and indicating the date of first usage. Many of these names travelled to other English speaking countries (eg. Richmond and Greenwich).

An Introduction to Grammar has definitions and explanations based mainly on European languages but with examples taken from other languages from around the world. Ideal for beginners to this complex subject.

Communicating on the Internet is an essay on writing on the web without making assumptions about your readers. Is your web site WORLD Wide Web compliant? Do you talk about "the holiday season" when each country has a different set of holidays? Do you talk about "the beginning of spring" when the world has two hemispheres? Do you talk about "foreign destinations" without defining the home country of your site? Do you write your dates as 11/09/2004? (This is read as 11 September in Europe and Latin America but 9 November in the USA.) Do you use gallons and pints? (These have a different value in the UK and USA and are unknown in Europe, Latin America, Africa or Asia.)


The authors of this web site (Kryss and Talaat) both enjoy travelling. Many photos are taken on these trips.

Not including the home country of this web site (the UK), Kryss has visited 92 countries and Talaat has visited 67. These include Malaysia, Burma, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru, India, Cambodia, Syria, Egypt, Tanzania, Nepal, Poland, Croatia, Namibia and Brazil. These trips have included 11 Total Eclipses of the Sun for Kryss and 8 for Talaat.

In this section there are several photograph galleries. They are tabulated with thumb images which can be clicked to show a larger version of the picture. Each picture is described with a brief caption.

107 Country Photos is a gallery containing a single photo of each country visited by Kryss.
85 Country Photos is a gallery containing a single photo of each country visited by Talaat.
World Religion Photos is a gallery featuring religious buildings, shrines and rituals from around the world.
People Photos is a gallery containing photos of people from around the world.
Scenery Photos is a gallery containing photos of stunning scenery from around the world.
Natural History Photos is a gallery of plants and animals.
Historical Site Photos is a collection of photographs of the world's historical and archeological sites and structures.
Cities and Towns Photos is a collection of photographs of the world's great cities and towns.

There are a number of photo-diaries. These pages may take a little time to load due to the number of photographs. The pages contain a detailed day by day account of the journey, sights seen, people met and food enjoyed. The text is interspaced with photographs.

Sagarmatha is of a one month trek in the Everest region of the Himalayas in 1990.
Land of Saladin is an overland journey through the archaeological and cultural sites of Syria in 1986.
The Mekong Delta is a trip through southern Vietnam and Cambodia in 1992.
Empire of the Incas is a trip through northern Bolivia and Peru in 1995.

Future Trips is a table of outline plans for trips that we would like to do (given time and money!).


This large, political section looks at how the democratic countries of the world violate their own standards of freedom, self determination and human rights in their dealings with other peoples and countries around the world. Due to the large amount of information, the history covered is only from the end of World War II.

Search Acts of the Democracies is a powerful search engine that allows the data to be displayed by a number of criteria either individually or combined. The criteria are:

A single year or a range of years (eg, 1948, 1973, 2001, 1954 to 1975),
Victim country (eg Iraq, Vietnam, Palestine, Algeria),
Region (eg Central America, Middle East),
Perpetrator Country (eg USA, UK, France, South Africa, Israel),
Topic (Crimes Against Civilians, Economic Warfare, Invasion, Support For Dictatorship).

Time Saving Links has direct links to some of the most popular and interesting searches.

Why The USA? attempts to explain why there is so much resentment for the USA around the world. This section includes tables of USA actions around the world and the real reasons behind them (eg oil, minerals, military bases) as compared to the reasons given to the population of the USA (communism, terrorism, democracy):

USA Backed Coups lists the changes of government that have been supported, planned or financed by the USA (with or without allies) in countries as diverse as Iran, Guatemala, Vietnam, Chile, Granada and Haiti.
USA Interventions covers invasions (and other active military actions both overt and secret), military support against elected governments, election funding of favoured parties or candidates, bombing and economic warfare.
USA UN Vetoes tabulates the vetoes used by the USA in the United Nations when its vote represented a minority against the overwhelming majority of the world's countries. Most of these votes have been to protect apartheid South Africa and Israel and to avoid changes to economic, social, political or military policy that would not be in the interests of the USA or its companies. The USA has used its veto more than any other veto-bearing country.
USA Companies looks at how USA companies take advantage of legal situations in places with unelected governments to make profits.
USA Nuclear, Biological Chemical tabulates the use of these weapons secretly and overtly, testing, and violations of treaties designed to curb the use of these types of weapons.
USA Victims of Foreign Policy attempts to list the number of civilians that have died as a direct result of USA foreign policy.

Boycott of USA is a search engine of UK brands owned by USA companies. Boycotts of USA products is a growing phenomenon around the world as even democratic governments ignore their own populations to support unpopular USA foreign policies.
USA An Outside View looks at the USA as one of the 200 countries in the world: its great points, its good points, its bad points and the things that upset large parts of the non-USA world.

Western Media looks at why so much is unreported in the so-called "free press" including a section on the use of language to obscure facts.
World Trade looks at how trade rules work without the language of obscurity. Examples include tariffs and subsidies, coercive economic diplomacy (economic warfare), international trade bodies, support for authoritarian governments for business reasons, aid and debt.
What is Democracy? examines the concept and the practice with examples from around the world.

Photographic and Map Galleries is a collection of photographs and maps found throught the site: Included are the "Turkey Shoot" in the 1991 war in Iraq and little publicised maps like the location of Israeli Settlements in Palestine. Warning: some of the photographs are shocking.

Current questions are examined in essays:

Why Did The USA Want Regime Change in Iraq? examines the propaganda and the facts of this current issue. There is a separate page of quotes (including from the Project For The New American Century.
War on Terror looks at the conflict between the West and the Arab and Muslim regions of the world from its origins in 1916 when the Sykes-Picot Agreement secretly divided up Arab lands between the UK and France after World War I.
Iran and the USA and UK tabulates what the USA and / or the UK on the one hand and Iran on the other, have done to each other since World War I.


Eclipses, Occultations and Transits are astronomical phenomena that are described in this section.

Total Eclipses of the Sun looks at one of nature's most spectacular phenomena. Kryss has experienced eleven around the world between 1983 to 2008. Talaat has been to eight between 1991 and 2008. There are accounts of the ten eclipses with photographs and anecdotes:

Java (1983) in a small village on the northern coast of the island.
Philippines (1988) in the south of the country on the roof of city hall.
Mexico (1991) on a desert ridge in Baja California.
Chile (1994) on a hill in the Andes surrounded by snow capped volcanos.
India (1995) in a small village south of Agra.
Venezuela (1998) on the beach in the Paraguana Peninsula.
England (1999) under cloudy skies in Cornwall.
Zimbabwe (2001) by a river in a small village in the far north.
Botswana (2002) in the bush near a deserted main road.
Turkey (2006) by the Temple of Apollo at Side.
Russia (2008) at the beach at Berdsk.
China (2009) at the beach near Shanghai.
Australia (2012) at the beach near Cairns.

For the future there are maps and summaries of the next ten total eclipses of the Sun.

Lunar Eclipses, or eclipses of the Moon are also introduced along with a table of eclipses seen by Kryss.

Occultations and Transits describes Occultations (planets or the Moon covering other planets or stars) and Transits (the appearance of an inner planet in front of the Sun. Two transits are described with photographs:

2003 Transit of Mercury seen in a garden in East London.
2004 Transit of Venus observed with friends at Alexandra Palace in North London.


London, the largest city in Europe, a settlement dating back over 2000 years. This is the home city of Kryss and Talaat. It is a city of history, culture, food from around the world, music, theatre, and stunning museums. It is made up of a number of villages that have fused to form a grand metropolis. There are links to help visitors to London.

London's Place Names looks at the origin of the names of boroughs and districts in London.

Cockney Slang is the strange usage of English spoken in the East End of the city.

The Piccadilly Line looks at one of the lines on London's underground or metro system (called the tube). A brief history of the other lines is given.

Arsenal Football Club is one of the most famous football (soccer) clubs in England. This is a potted history with records.

Tourist Guide is aimed at visitors from the American continent. There are useful tips about the city, sightseeing, using transport and eating out (especially the Indian curry).

Kings and Queens lists the monarchs of England.


This section contains a number of essays on astronomy, the study of the Universe.

Extraterrestrial Life studies the conditions necessary for the existence of life outside the Earth using our current knowledge of biology and astronomy. There is a brief discussion of UFOs.

We Are Stardust (The Evolution of the Stars) looks at how different types of stars develop, produce their energy and die and how this process affects us on Earth.

History of Astronomy is a fast moving summary of the key moments of human understanding about our place in the Universe.

The Calendar contains discussions about the day, week , month and year and briefly looks at different calendars around the world.

Scale of the Universe explains the enormous times and distances used in astronomy in everyday terms. Distance is converted to how long light takes to travel. The time since the Big Bang is converted to an Earth year.

The Brightest Stars is a table of the 20 brightest stars with explanations of all the terms used.

The Solar System (made up of the Sun, Earth, Moon, planets and satellites) is a collection of tables about these objects with explanations of the terms used.

Astronomy and Astrology looks at the differences between these two subjects. One is a science; the other is a superstition.

Coordinate Systems explains terms like longitude, latitude, altitude, azimuth, right ascension and declination.

Measuring The Stars looks at how the various properties of stars can be measured by studying starlight.

Gravity discusses the ideas of Kepler and Newton in simple mathematical terms.

Monthly Sky is a monthly section on planets, eclipses and other celestial phenomena visible from the UK (Northern Hemisphere). There is an accompanying glossary explaining terms like conjunction and twilight as well as describing the motions of the Sun, Moon and planets as seen from the Earth.


This section contains a number of easy-to-understand essays on mathematics. There are examples that are worked through. The sequence of the essays develops the subject logically.

Introduction to Numbers describes the different types of numbers: integers, positive and negative, rational, irrational, transcendental, imaginary and complex. The essay looks at sums of integers, sums of squares, perfect, amicable and prime numbers.

Introduction to Algebra introduces the useful tool, algebra. After covering rules and notation we examine how to solve various equations, simple (or linear), simultaneous, quadratic, biquadratic and some simple cubics. Complex roots of equations are introduced.

Pascal's Triangle looks at the Chinese triangle of numbers named after a French mathematician. Its applications include probability (selections and combinations) and the Binomial Theorem which allows the expansion of algebraic functions and extraction of roots.

Trigonometry introduces the triangle (especially the right angle triangle) and calculations involving the trigonometric functions (sine, cosine and tangent), the sine and cosine rules, and series for the trigonometric functions.

Look At Logarithms examines indices and logarithms (including series) showing how they can be used in calculations and to solve equations with the unknown in the index.

Graphs is about the visual appearance of algebraic functions. The most common types of curves are displayed along with their equations in the Cartesian coordinate system.

Trigonometric Equations looks at how we can solve equations containing the trigonometric functions. A number of trigonometric identities are introduced: relationships between sines and cosines and double angles.

Calculus: Differentiation is a brief introduction to the differential calculus which looks at slopes of graphs or rates of change. There are derivatives of common functions (with examples). Calculus can be used to find approximate solutions to equations that cannot be solved algebraically.

Spherical Trigonometry is the trigonometry of triangles drawn on a sphere. It has many uses in navigation, map making and in setting up sundials.

Further Algebra examines determinants (for solving simultaneous equations), partial fractions and limits (including differentiation from first principles and L'Hôpital's Rule).

Fun With Formulas is a descriptive essay where we tell the stories behind several famous formulas in science.


This section contains a number of essays on physics, the study of matter and energy.

It's Relative is an introductory essay to Einstein's Theory of Relativity in easy to understand terms with examples.

Quantum Mechanics covers the hard to believe ideas of the atom and of energy at the level of the very small.

Sub-Atomic Particles presents an introduction to the Greek alphabet soup world of particles smaller than atoms.

The Electromagnetic Spectrum covers light, ultra-violet, infra-red, X-rays, radio waves and gamma rays. Their uses in astronomy are also explained.

States of Matter looks at solid, liquid and gas and the differences between them on a molecular level.

The Metric System is a tabular reference to the world standard system of measurement. Includes definitions and conversions into other units.


This section contains a number of essays on chemistry, the study of the interaction between different substances.

The Elements introduces a brief description of a number of selected chemical elements, including their properties, uses, and origin of their names.

Chemical Reactions looks at how atoms and molecules interact to form new substances. Balancing chemical equations and calculations involving relative molecular masses.

Organic Chemistry introduces the chemistry of carbon compounds with examples, general formulas and an explanation of isomerism. Hydrocarbons, Carbohydrates and compounds with Nitrogen are discussed.

Chemical Bonding explains how atoms link together to form molecules. Topics discussed include atomic electron shells, the concept of valency, as well as covalent and electrovalent bonds.

Acids, Bases and Salts introduces these three very important types of compound with definitions (including pH) and examples. Oxides are also discussed.

We Are Stardust looks at the creation of the elements from an astronomical point of view.


A site containing lots of football (also called "soccer", especially in the USA) facts and figures. This section covers Top division English club football, European club football and a summary of Scottish domestic competitions.

There are sections on the English domestic club competitions:

FA Cup tabulates the winners of the world's oldest football tournament from 1872.
League Championship tabulates the League Champions from 1889 and has some trivia about the league, including periods spent by clubs in the Top Division.
League Cup looks at the third English trophy (in its many guises) which began in 1961.

For each year since 1889, there is an English Top Division league table, a summary of the domestic cup finals and details of the European club finals along with interesting trivia, statistics and history. Check out some sample classic years, one from each decade of League football:

1889, 1894, 1903, 1913, 1926, 1937, 1949, 1958, 1961 1972, 1984, 1999, 2004.

Club League History is a search engine for listing the Top Division history of each English club that has spent at least one season in the Top Division.

The European club competitions are covered:

European Champions Cup which began in 1956.
UEFA Cup (originally the Fairs Cup) which started in 1958.
Cup Winners' Cup the now defunct third European trophy (1961 - 1999).

This section contains tables about English club football. A major trophy is one of the three domestic or three European trophies.

Running Total is a table of all the major trophies won by each club that has one at least one trophy.
Multiple Trophy Winners is a listing of all the clubs that have won more than a single trophy in a season. It is a list of doubles and trebbles. A table shows clubs with nearly won the Domestic Double.
Consecutive Trophy Winners looks at runs of trophy winning when clubs have won trophies in consecutive seasons.
Since Last Trophy Won is a table of the last time each club that has won a trophy, won a trophy.
English Clubs in Europe lists appearances in European finals and tabulates European qualification for clubs.

Club Records summarises the histories of all English clubs that have won a major trophy or have been runners up.

Scotland contains a summary of the three domestic competitions in Scotland.

A table lists the hosts, winners and runners up of the World Cup.


This section looks at fantasy television from the UK and USA:

Dr Who is the World's longest running TV sci-fi series. The series ran on BBC Television from 1963 to 1989. The eponymous Doctor is an alien time traveller exiled from his world, Gallifrey. His craft, the TARDIS, is disguised as a British police telephone box of the 1960's. It should change its appearance to blend in with its surroundings but its Chameleon Circuit is broken. It is trans-dimensional (bigger on the inside than out). The Doctor is a Time Lord. When a Time Lord dies his body regenerates into a new form and the Doctor displays a new appearance and personality. On the TV series, there have been seven Doctors, played by different actors.

A one-off film was made in 1996 that featured the eighth Doctor. A new TV series begins in 2005 with the ninth Doctor.

William Hartnell, the First Doctor.
Patrick Troughton, the Second Doctor.
Jon Pertwee, the Third Doctor.
Tom Baker, the Fourth Doctor.
Peter Davison, the Fifth Doctor.
Colin Baker, the Sixth Doctor.
Sylvester McCoy, the Seventh Doctor.

Paul McGann, the Eighth Doctor.
Christopher Eccleston, the Ninth Doctor.
David Tennant, the Tenth Doctor.
Matt Smith, the Eleventh Doctor.

The Companions contains details of the people who travelled with the Doctor.

Star Trek was contemporary with Dr Who. Star Trek ran on USA television between and 1969. It is set in the future when interstellar travel is commonplace. The United Star Ship (USS) Enterprise is on a five year mission to explore space and make contact with new life forms. The crew are a mixture consisting mainly of people from Earth as well as other planets. Politically, the future Earth is part of the United Federation of Planets. Interstellar travel is accomplished by the use of warp drive which sends the ship at faster than light speed. The ship never lands on planets. It goes into orbit and crew members beam down to the surface using a transporter. The weapons are called phasers and the recording instruments are called tricorders.

Season One
Season Two
Season Three

Buffy, The Vampire Slayer is a USA series with British subtlety and a super hero with the angst of a Marvel Comics character. This is a world of vampires, demons and magic. Buffy Summers is the Vampire Slayer, a girl called to the task and who has great strength, fighting skills and powers of recovery. Rupert Giles is her Watcher, who guides her through the battles with the monsters. She lives in Sunnydale, a USA city in California that is the centre of the hell mouth and hence the source of many creatures of evil. With a group of school friends Buffy fights the forces of evil while worrying about growing up.

Season One
Season Two
Season Three
Season Four
Season Five
Season Six
Season Seven


Essays on other topics not covered by previous sections: social, cultural, historical, religious, biological, geographical.

Inventions tabulates the time and location of humanity's greatest inventions.

Evolution looks at the overwhelming evidence for evolution.

Religions of the World describes the world's major religions and includes Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and others with tables and evolution.

Biblical Contradictions contains a short table of contradictions in the Bible.

Animal Kingdom lists the numbers of species of animals by the main divisions of phylum, class, and order.

Rain explains how different types of rain are caused with diagrams.

Countries lists the world's countries, including dates, previous names, capitals, form of government and main languages.

Talaat Qureshi's Cookery Page features exotic and unusual recipes from around the world. The emphasis is on the less well known, regional and village recipes. Items include khadi, drahana, gajaralla, afelia, keema, and kofta. There is a strong Asian and Middle Eastern bias.

Food Origins is a list of different plant based foods and their places of origin.

The Biography Page contains biographical summaries of people from around the world and throughout history.

Music has music samples from around the world.


The KryssTal web site receives many emails with suggestions, additions, corrections, questions, criticisms and (sometimes) abuse. Read the best of this correspondence here.


This section contains correspondence and emails sent by the authors of the KryssTal web site to various organisations expressing personal opinions along with any responses received. Most recent ones first.