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Although the use of various devices to signify individuals and groups goes back to antiquity , both the form and use of such devices varied widely, and the concept of regular, hereditary designs, constituting the distinguishing feature of heraldry, did not develop until the High Middle Ages. [5] The use of helmets with face guards during this period made it difficult to recognize one's commanders in the field when large armies were gathered together for extended periods, necessitating the development of heraldry as a symbolic language. [5] [6]

The beauty and pageantry of heraldic designs allowed them to survive the gradual abandonment of armour on the battlefield during the seventeenth century. Heraldry has been described poetically as "the handmaid of history", [7] "the shorthand of history", [8] and "the floral border in the garden of history". [9] In modern times, heraldry is used by individuals, public and private organizations, corporations, cities, towns, and regions to symbolize their heritage, achievements, and aspirations. [10]

The medieval heralds also devised arms for various knights and lords from history and literature. Notable examples include the toads attributed to Pharamond , the cross and martlets of Edward the Confessor , and the various arms attributed to the Nine Worthies and the Knights of the Round Table. These too are now regarded as a fanciful invention, rather than evidence of the antiquity of heraldry.

Outline proposals are invited for a new funding opportunity as part of the Science for Humanitarian Emergencies & Resilience (SHEAR) research programme, funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) and NERC.

Proposals are invited for a new £8 million research programme on Unconventional Hydrocarbons in the UK Energy System: Environmental & socio-economic impacts & processes.

The Research Councils UK are pleased to invite expressions of interest to participate in a joint workshop (20-24 November 2017, Shanghai) to explore opportunities for UK-China collaboration in the area of antibacterial resistance.

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This week, a security flaw within Instagram allowed hackers to assemble a database of what appeared to be verified users’ contact information—some of those affected purportedly being  celebrities and politicians. According to the Verge , Instagram now says the known scope of the breach has expanded to include at least some unverified Instagrammers.

“. We recently discovered a bug on Instagram that could be used to access some people’s email address and phone number even if they were not public,” Instagram CTO Mike Krieger wrote in a blog post. “No passwords or other Instagram activity was revealed. We quickly fixed the bug, and have been working with law enforcement on the matter. Although we cannot determine which specific accounts may have been impacted, we believe it was a low percentage of Instagram accounts.”

As the Daily Beast reported last week, the unknown hackers behind the breach claim to have compromised six million accounts and set up a website called “Doxagram,” which allegedly offered access to phone numbers, email addresses or both for 1,000 Instagram accounts at $10 a search.

Heraldry (/ ˈ h ɛ r ə l d r i /) is a broad term, encompassing the design, display, and study of armorial bearings (known as armory), as well as related.