Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Baghdad, Districts

The city extends along both banks of the Tigris. The east-bank settlement is known as Rusafah, the west-bank as Al-Karkh. A series of bridges, including one railroad trestle, link the two banks. From a built-up area of about 4 square miles (10 square km) at the beginning of the 20th century, Baghdad has expanded into a bustling metropolis with suburbs spreading north and south along

Ubi Sunt

A verse form in which the poem or its stanzas begin with the Latin words ubi sunt (“where are ”) or their equivalent in another language and which has as a principal theme the transitory nature of all things. A well-known example is François Villon's “Ballade des dames du temps jadis” (“Ballade of the Ladies of Bygone Times”), with its refrain “Mais où sont les neiges d'antan?'' (“But where


Pinyin  Jining , conventional  Tsining  city in southwestern Shantung sheng (province), China. In early times the seat of the state of Jen, it later became a part of the state of Ch'i, which flourished in the Chou period (c. 1122–221 BC). It underwent many changes of name and administrative status. The present name, Chi-ning, first appeared under Mongol rule in AD 1271. In early times the city was usually subordinated to Yen-chou, about 20 miles

Monday, March 29, 2004

Ear Disease

The air-filled middle-ear cavity and the air cells in the mastoid bone that extend backward from it are supplied with air by the eustachian tube that extends from the upper part of the pharynx to the middle-ear cavity. The brain cavity lies just above and behind the middle ear and mastoid air spaces, separated from them only by thin plates of bone. The nerve that supplies

Ocean, The subtropical gyres

These are anticyclonic circulation features. The Ekman transport within these gyres forces surface water to sink, giving rise to the subtropical convergence near 20°–30° latitude. The centre of the subtropical gyre is shifted to the west. This westward intensification of ocean currents was explained by the American meteorologist and oceanographer Henry M. Stommel

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Platt, Orville Hitchcock

Platt began the practice of law in Meriden, Conn., in 1850 and was active in Connecticut politics, serving as secretary of state (1857), state senator (1861–62), and member of the

Arts, Central Asian, Folk music

Generally characterized by a scarcity of musicians and musical instruments, folk music of this region is predominantly a matter of solo playing and singing, small ensembles, and a complete lack of musical notation or codified musical theory. In their general types, the musical instruments are closely related to those of Persia and the Middle East, but specific

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Shensi, Industry

The major industrial area in Shensi is that centred around Sian. Principal industries in this area include cotton and other textiles, electrical equipment, engineering and chemical manufacturing, and iron and steel production. There are minor centres of industry at Pao-chi and at Shih-ch'üan in the Han Valley, near An-k'ang, and Yao-hsien, near T'ung-ch'uan, has a large and


Genus of rod-shaped, usually gram-positive bacteria, members of which are found in soil, water, and the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals. Most species grow only in the complete absence of oxygen. Dormant cells are highly resistant to heat, dessication, and toxic chemicals and detergents. The species are variable in size. A typical species, C. butyricum, ranges

Ikhwan As-safa'

Neither the identity nor the period of the Ikhwan as-Safa' has been definitively established, but the

Friday, March 26, 2004

Yermak Timofeyevich

In 1579 the merchant and factory-owning Stroganov family enlisted the assistance of Yermak and a band of Cossacks to defend its possessions against attacks by Siberian tribesmen. Yermak set out with an expeditionary

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Wagner, Richard

Wagner's single-handed creation of his own type of musical drama was a fantastic accomplishment, considering the scale and scope of his art. His method was to condense the confused mass of material at his disposal—the innumerable conflicting versions of the legend chosen as a basis—into a taut dramatic scheme. In this scheme, as in his model, the Oresteia of Aeschylus,

Fair-trade Law

In the United States, any law allowing manufacturers of branded or trademarked goods (or in some instances distributors of such products) to fix the actual or minimum resale prices of these goods by resellers. The designation “fair-trade law” is peculiar to the United States; the practice described in them is known elsewhere as price maintenance (q.v.) or resale price

Wednesday, March 24, 2004


After the fall of the emperor Charles III the Fat, Berengar was elected king of Italy

Tuesday, March 23, 2004


Edward ascended the throne upon his father's death in October 899, and in a battle in 902 his forces killed a rival claimant,

Keaton, Buster

The son of vaudevillians, Keaton is said to have earned his famous nickname when, at age 18 months, he fell down a staircase; magician

Monday, March 22, 2004

Wilkins, Maurice


Thompson, Jim

The son of a wealthy textile manufacturer, Thompson graduated from Princeton University

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Guzmán Fernández, (silvestre) Antonio

At the age of 15, Guzmán was working in his family's textile store. By age 17 he was already managing stores for the Curaçao Trading Company. He invested in land and started growing rice, soon expanding into other agricultural exports. Guzmán was

Saturday, March 20, 2004


Breton  Kemper  town, capital of Finistère département, Bretagne region, France, and a port at the estuarine confluence of the Odet and Steir rivers. Once the ancient capital of the countship Cornouaille, it is associated with the legendary (5th century) king Gradlon, who came from Cornwall in Britain. The countship was united with the duchy of Brittany in the 11th century; but the town suffered

Arnaud, Henri

After studying theology in Switzerland, Arnaud returned to Piedmont and established himself as pastor at Torre Pellice (1685), where he


In Greek mythology, daughter of Pasiphae and the Cretan king Minos. She fell in love with the Athenian hero Theseus and, with a thread or glittering jewels, helped him escape the Labyrinth after he slew the Minotaur, a beast half bull and half man that Minos kept in the Labyrinth. Here the legends diverge: she was abandoned by Theseus and hanged herself; Theseus carried

Friday, March 19, 2004


Also spelled  Cham,  historically, the ruler or monarch of a Mongol tribe (ulus). At the time of Genghis Khan (early 13th century) a distinction was made between the title of khan and that of khakan, which was the title Genghis assumed as Great Khan, or supreme ruler of the Mongols. The term khan was subsequently adopted by many Muslim societies. Among the Seljuqs and the Khwarezm-Shahs of Central and

Cullen, William

After attending the University of Glasgow and the new medical school at Edinburgh, Cullen returned to Hamilton. He spent eight years in private clinical practice, attending without fee those too poor to


In the early 12th century the Norman Henry de Newburgh built a castle there, which was later destroyed by the Welsh rebel Owen Glendower. Up to the early 18th century Swansea

Thursday, March 18, 2004

Uffizi Gallery

Italian  Galleria Degli Uffizi,   art museum in Florence that has the world's finest collection of Italian Renaissance painting, particularly of the Florentine school. It also has antiques, sculpture, and more than 100,000 drawings and prints. In 1559 the grand duke of Tuscany, Cosimo I de' Medici, engaged the painter-architect Giorgio Vasari to plan a building for the offices (uffizi) of the government judiciary.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Duchesne, André

Duchesne was educated at Loudun and Paris and devoted his early years to studies in history and geography. His first work, Egregiarum seu Selectarum Lectionum et Antiquitatum

Zoroastrianism, Post-Islamic Iranian Zoroastrianism

Islam won a decisive victory at al-Qadisiyah in 635 over the armies of Yazdegerd III, the last Sasanid. Islam, in principle, tolerated the ancient religion, but conversions by persuasion or force were massive in many provinces. Zoroastrianism fomented rebellion and brought persecutions upon itself. There were pockets of survival, notably in Persis, the ancient centre of the

Andaman And Nicobar Islands, The people

The Nicobarese probably descend from both Malay and Myanmar (Mon or Talaing) peoples. Their dialects belong to the Mon-Khmer language group; English, Burmese, and Hindustani also are spoken. Most of the population is Hindu, although Christianity has been widely adopted and there is also a significant Muslim minority. The coconut and betel nut are major crops, and yams

Arabian Sea

To medieval Arabs the Arabian Sea was known as the Sea of India or as part of the “Great Sea,” from which smaller gulfs such as the Sea of Faris (Persian Gulf) or Sea of Kolzum (Red Sea) were distinguished. From about the 8th or 9th century onward, Arab and Persian seafarers learned to use the surface currents propelled by the summer and winter monsoon winds. Detailed navigational

Monday, March 15, 2004


The U-2 was replaced in U.S. service in the mid-1960s by the

Sangallo Family

Giuliano da Sangallo (1445?–1516) was an architect, sculptor, and military


A settlement at the site dates from the 3rd millennium BC. Rayy is featured in the Avesta (the original document of Zoroastrianism, an Iranian religion) as a sacred place, and it is

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Athanasius, Saint

The great Benedictine edition of the works of Athanasius (1698), reprinted in J.P. Migne, Patrologia Graeca, vol. 25–28 (1857), is being replaced by that begun by H.G. Opitz (Athanasius Werke) in 1934; major works are translated in the “Post-Nicene Fathers,” Series 2, vol. 4, Select Writings and Letters of Athanasius (1892)—the “Prolegomena” to this volume by A. Robertson remains the most complete life. For later discoveries and studies, see H.I. Bell (ed.), Jews and Christians in Egypt (1924); and the brilliant summary by F.L. Cross, The Study of St. Athanasius (1945). There are useful sketches in G.L. Prestige, Fathers and Heretics (1940, reprinted 1963); and in R.W. Thomson's edition of Contra Gentes and De Incarnatione (1971). For further references, see E.R. Hardy (ed.), Christology of the Later Fathers (1954); and J. Quasten, Patrology, vol. 3, pp. 20–79 (1960).

Saturday, March 13, 2004


Capital of Ancona provincia and of Marche regione, in central Italy, on the Adriatic Sea on the farthest branch of the promontory that descends from the Conero massif. Founded by Syracusan colonists in about 390 BC, it was taken by Rome in the 2nd century BC and became a flourishing port, particularly favoured by the Roman emperor Trajan, who enlarged the harbour. Attacked by

Vision Quest

Among the American Indian hunters of the eastern woodlands and the Great Plains, an essential part of a young boy's (or, more rarely, a girl's) initiation into adulthood. The youth was sent out from the camp on a solitary vigil involving fasting and prayer in order to gain some sign of the presence and nature of his guardian spirit (q.v.). The specific techniques varied from

Permafrost, Origins

The origin of ground ice was first studied in Siberia, and discussions in print of the origin of large ground-ice masses in perennially frozen ground of North America have gone on since Otto von Kotzebue recorded ground ice in 1816 at a spot now called Elephant's Point in Eschscholtz Bay of Seward Peninsula. The theory for the origin of ice wedges now generally accepted

Kirchner, Néstor

Kirchner studied law at the National University of La Plata, where he was a member of the Peronist Youth organization. In 1975 he married Cristina Fernández, a fellow law student. Following graduation in 1976, the couple returned to Santa Cruz, where they established

Thursday, March 11, 2004


Little is known of the history of the settlement prior to the Muslim period. Hindu legend attributes the founding of Lahore to Lava, or Loh, son of Rama, for whom it is said to have been named Lohawar. The city

Macdonagh, Donagh

MacDonagh was the son of Thomas MacDonagh, a poet and leader of the Easter Rising (1916). After attending the National University of Ireland, Dublin, MacDonagh practiced law (1936–46) and was a district judge (1946–68). His varied literary career includes comedies such

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Atmosphere, Ionospheric variations

The ionosphere is variable in space and time. Some of the changes are chemical in origin and can be readily understood on the basis of the general considerations outlined above. There is a systematic variation, for example, as a function of time of day. In the early morning the Sun is relatively low in the sky. Radiation must penetrate a large column of air before reaching

Cambrai, League Of

An alliance of Pope Julius II, the Holy Roman emperor Maximilian I, Louis XII of France, and Ferdinand II of Aragon, formed Dec. 10, 1508, ostensibly against the Turks but actually to attack the Republic of Venice and divide its possessions among the allies. Mantua and Ferrara, both of which had lost possessions to Venice, were included in the league and were promised that their

Tuesday, March 09, 2004


In full  Fresnillo De González Echeverría,   city, central Zacatecas state, north central Mexico. It lies on an interior plateau more than 7,000 ft (2,100 m) above sea level and northwest of Zacatecas city, the state capital. It was founded in 1554 and has been an important silver-mining centre since 1569. Limited quantities of gold, copper, lead, and zinc are also produced. Irrigation has increased grain and vegetable production in the

Adams, John

The election of 1800 again pitted Adams against Jefferson. Adams ran ahead of the Federalist candidates for Congress, who were swept from office in a Republican landslide. However, thanks to the deft maneuvering of Aaron Burr, all 12 of New York's electoral votes went to Jefferson, giving the tandem of Jefferson and Burr the electoral victory (73–65). Jefferson was eventually elected president by the House of Representatives, which chose him over Burr on the 36th ballot. In his last weeks in office, Adams made several Federalist appointments to the judiciary, including John Marshall as chief justice of the United States. These “midnight judges” offended Jefferson, who resented the encroachment on his own presidential prerogatives. Adams, the first president to reside in the presidential mansion (later called the White House) in Washington, D.C., was also the first—and one of the very few—presidents not to attend the inauguration of his successor. On March 4, 1801, he was already on the road back to Quincy.

Monday, March 08, 2004

Automobile Racing

Two Canadians, Jacques Villeneuve (see BIOGRAPHIES) and Scott Goodyear, figured in another astonishing finish at the 1995 Indianapolis 500. Goodyear, in a Reynard-Honda, was in the lead when he passed the Chevrolet Corvette pace car illegally just after the 190th lap of the 200-lap race; officials stopped scoring his laps on the 196th, and Goodyear finished 14th. Ironically, Villeneuve earlier


Difficulty or pain in swallowing, caused by lesions or stricture of the upper digestive tract, obstruction of the upper digestive tract by tumours or foreign bodies, or disturbances in the nervous or muscular control of swallowing. Obstruction of the esophagus is the most common cause of dysphagia. People with dysphagia may experience a sensation that food or

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Pesne, Antoine

His father, the painter Thomas Pesne, and his maternal great-uncle, Charles de La Fosse, were probably his first teachers. While studying in Paris, he was influenced by the leading French

Saturday, March 06, 2004


The great period of the orangery,

Brunei, Flag Of

Although a few countries have half of their national flag in yellow, Brunei alone has a yellow background. The avoidance of yellow in other flags may in part be due to the association of the colour with royalty, as in the former imperial flags of Austria and Russia, and with disease (yellow flags are internationally recognized as symbols of quarantine). Among the smaller


Also called  Netsonde,   in commercial fishing, high-frequency sonar device for locating schools of fish. It transmits sound waves downward and receives echoes from the bottom of the sea, or from intervening schools of fish, also indicating distance from ship to fish. Two different types are used, one of which is a simple “echo sounder” that points directly downward from the ship and indicates

Friday, March 05, 2004

Rama Iii

Rama III was the eldest son of King Rama II by a royal concubine, and in his youth he was given responsibility for overseeing foreign trade and relations. On his father's


Crude drag-stone mill for pulverizing ores such as those containing silver or gold or their compounds. See patio process.

Thursday, March 04, 2004


Also spelled  Qazvin   city, Markazi (Tehran) ostan (province), north-central Iran, in a wide, fertile plain at the southern foot of the Elburz Mountains. Originally called Shad Shahpur, it was founded by the Sasanian king Shapur I about AD 250. It flourished in early Muslim times (7th century), serving as a base for Islamization, and was surrounded by strong fortifications by Harun al-Rashid. Genghis Khan laid waste the

Animal Magnetism

A presumed intangible or mysterious force that is said to influence human beings. The term was applied by the German physician Franz Anton Mesmer to the hypnotism that he used in the treatment of patients. He believed that it was an occult force or invisible fluid emanating from his body and that, more generally, the force permeated the universe, deriving especially

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Arts, Native American, Wind instruments: aerophones

In North America, flutes are limited to courtship, except for a whistle in an Iroquois medicine rite and in a gens (kinship-group) ceremony of the Meskwaki. In Mexico and southward, wind instruments provide colour and symbolic significance. At least two dances feature a one-man drummer-flutist who holds a flute in his left hand and plays a drum with his right. These are


City, Saxony Land (state), eastern Germany, on the Lausitzer Neisse River, near the frontiers of Poland and the Czech Republic. Originating as the Slav settlement of Sitowir, it was mentioned in 1230 and chartered in 1255, when it belonged to Bohemia. Zittau joined the federation of Lusatian towns in 1346 and fell to Saxony in 1635. Four 13th- and 15th-century churches still remain. There are training

Rocky Mountains, Animal life

The fauna of the Rockies is varied and abundant. Among the large mammals emblematic of the rugged backcountry are the black bear, grizzly bear, mountain lion, and wolverine. Bighorn sheep and mountain goats inhabit the high crags in summer and migrate to the lower slopes for the winter months (see photograph). Members of the deer family, such as the

Tuesday, March 02, 2004


A sodium amalgam is formed during the

Monday, March 01, 2004


In India, a holder or occupier (dar) of land (zamin). The root words were Persian, and the resulting name was widely used wherever Persian influence was spread by the Mughals or other Indian Muslim dynasties. The meanings attached to it were various. In Bengal the word denoted a hereditary tax collector who could retain 10 percent of the revenue he collected. In the late 18th century