Monday, February 28, 2005


Reduction in the exchange value of a country's monetary unit in terms of gold, silver, or foreign monetary units. Devaluation is employed to eliminate persistent balance-of-payments deficits, because devaluation has the effect of decreasing prices of the home country's exports in terms of the importer's currency and, at the same time, increasing prices of imports

Vail, Theodore Newton

After a highly successful career in the railway postal service, Vail was persuaded in 1878 to join Bell Telephone as general manager. During his active tenure in this

Kachin Hills

Heavily forested group of highlands situated in the northeasternmost section of Myanmar (Burma). They range north-south and are bordered on the northwest by Arunachal Pradesh state of India, on the north by the Tibet autonomous region of China, and on the east by Yunnan province of China. The hills blend with the Kumon Range to the west. The Kachin Hills are drained by

Sunday, February 27, 2005

Olson, Charles (john)

Olson was educated at Wesleyan University, where he earned an M.A. in 1933. He taught at Clark University, Harvard University, and Radcliffe College, but his real influence began in the late 1940s as an instructor and then as rector (1951–56) at Black

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Yamaga Soko

Original name  Yamaga Takasuke , also called  Jingozaemon  military strategist and Confucian philosopher who set forth the first systematic exposition of the missions and obligations of the samurai (warrior) class and who made major contributions to Japanese military science. Yamaga's thought became the central core of what later came to be known as Bushido (Code of Warriors),


Town, southeastern Saskatchewan, Canada. It lies in the Qu'Appelle River valley, 132 miles (212 km) east of Regina. It is named after Count Paul Otto d'Esterházy (1830–1912), a French-Hungarian nobleman who promoted settlement in the area. Esterhazy is a marketing town for a mixed-farming (especially wheat) and stock-raising region and has flour-milling and dairying industries. Since 1962, however,

Indian National Congress

Byname  Congress Party  broadly based political party of India. Formed in 1885, the Indian National Congress dominated the Indian movement for independence from Great Britain and formed most of India's governments from the time of independence through the mid-1990s.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Venini, Paolo

Italian glassmaker and designer and manufacturer of glassware, whose works are outstanding for their combination of traditional technique and modern form. His glass factory in Murano contributed to a revival of art-glass manufacture in the 1930s and '40s and employed some of the finest designers of the period, among them Gio Ponti and Tyra

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Chou Tun-i

Chou was born into a highly influential official

Athanasian Creed

Also called  Quicumque Vult (from the opening words in Latin)  a Christian profession of faith in about 40 verses. It is regarded as authoritative in the Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches. It has two sections, one dealing with the Trinity and the other with the Incarnation; and it begins and ends with stern warnings that unswerving adherence to such truths is indispensable to salvation. The virulence of these damnatory

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Land Snail

Any of the approximately 22,000 species of snails adapted to life away from water. Most are members of the subclass Pulmonata (class Gastropoda); a few are members of the subclass Prosobranchia. Typically, land snails live on or near the ground, feed on decaying plant matter, and lay their eggs in the soil. They are most common on tropical islands but occur also

Permafrost, Study of permafrost

Although the existence of permafrost had been known to the inhabitants of Siberia for centuries, scientists of the Western world did not take seriously the isolated reports of a great thickness of frozen ground existing under northern forest and grasslands until 1836. Then, Alexander Theodor von Middendorff measured temperatures to depths of approximately 100 metres

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Agnihotri, Shiv Narayan

At the age of 16 Agnihotri entered the government-sponsored Thompson Engineering College in Roorkee and in 1873 took a position as a drawing master in the Government School of Lahore. He and his wife became active members of the Brahmo Samaj (literally, “Society

Monday, February 21, 2005

Hei River

Wade–Giles romanization  Hei Ho , Pinyin  Hei He  river rising in central Kansu province, China, and flowing into the western Ala Shan Desert in western Inner Mongolia autonomous region. The river is formed by a series of small glacier-fed rivers flowing north from the Nan and Ch'i-lien mountain ranges in Kansu, between Chang-yeh and Chiu-ch'üan. It then flows northward across the desert into a depression filled with


Greek  Chrysorrhoas,   river of western Syria. It rises in the Anti-Lebanon Mountains and flows southward for 52 miles (84 km) through Damascus to intermittent Lake Al-'Utaybah and its marshes. The Barada sets out peacefully on its course only to become within 20 miles a raging torrent, its volume almost doubled by the Fijah Spring (this spring has been tapped to bring drinking water to Damascus). Without

Wieland, Christoph Martin

Wieland was the son of a Pietist parson, and his early writings from the 1750s were sanctimonious and strongly devotional. During the

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Frescobaldi, Girolamo

Italian organist and one of the first great masters of organ composition. He strongly influenced the German Baroque school through the work of his pupils, J.J. Froberger and Franz Tunder. Frescobaldi began his public career as organist at the church of Sta. Maria in Trastevere in Rome, in 1607. He travelled to the Netherlands the

Zirkel, Ferdinand

Zirkel became professor of mineralogy at Lemberg University in 1863. The first edition of his famous Lehrbuch der Petrographie (1866; “Manual of Petrography”) was written before

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Offa Of Angel

According to the Old English poem “Widsith,” Offa saved his aged father, King Wermund, from falling under Saxon domination by defeating a Saxon king's son in single combat. Later Offa became ruler of the large kingdom of Angel, and he is said to have established Fifldor

Paper Wasp

(Polistes), any of a worldwide genus of insects of the family Vespidae (order Hymenoptera). A striking-looking wasp, about 16 millimetres long, it has orange antennae, wings, and tarsi; the body is jet black with narrow yellow bands and paired segmental spots. The sting is painful but less toxic to humans than that of the more familiar species of wasps and hornets (Vespa,

Friday, February 18, 2005

Shidehara Kijuro, Danshaku

Shidehara entered the diplomatic service in 1899 and served in Korea, London, Washington, and The

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Fairfax, Edward

English poet whose Godfrey of Bulloigne or the Recoverie of Jerusalem (1600), a translation of Gerusalemme liberata, an epic poem by his Italian contemporary Torquato Tasso, won fame and was praised by John Dryden. Although translating stanza by stanza, Fairfax freely altered poetic detail. The poem influenced the development of the couplet.


In the 13th century the conductus was one of three genres that dominated French polyphonic music. Unlike the organum and the motet, however, which were based on preexisting chants,

Allen, William

Educated at the University of Oxford, Allen became principal of St. Mary's Hall there in 1556. After the accession of Queen Elizabeth

Wednesday, February 16, 2005


Argentina's varied geography can be grouped into four major regions: the Andes, the North, the Pampas, and Patagonia. The Andean region extends some 2,300 miles (3,700 km) along the western edge of the country from Bolivia to southern Patagonia, forming most of the natural boundary with Chile. It is commonly subdivided into two parts: the Northwest and the Patagonian Andes, the latter

Builth Wells

Welsh  Llanfair ym Muallt  market town, Powys county, historic county of Brecknockshire (Sir Frycheiniog), Wales, in the upper Wye valley. The Normans made the surrounding district of Buellt a marcher lordship (i.e., part of the political buffer zone between Wales and England) and constructed a fine motte-and-bailey castle at Builth. But the town and castle suffered severely from Welsh attacks, notably

Libertarianism, Nonaggression axiom

According to the principle that libertarians call the nonaggression axiom, all acts of aggression against the rights of others—whether committed by individuals or by governments—are unjust. Indeed, libertarians believe that the primary purpose of government is to protect citizens from the illegitimate use of force. Accordingly, governments may not use force

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Clark, Mark

A graduate (1917) of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., Clark served overseas in World War I. Early in 1942 he became chief of staff of army ground forces. Later that year, as deputy commander in chief

Monday, February 14, 2005


Extremely thin sheet of rich-coloured wood (such as mahogany, ebony, or rosewood) or precious materials (such as ivory or tortoiseshell) cut in decorative patterns and applied to the surface area of a piece of furniture. It is to be distinguished from two allied processes: inlay, in which cutout pieces of decorative wood or other materials—such as metal, leather, or

Furniture, Mesopotamia

The furniture of Mesopotamia and neighbouring ancient civilizations of the Middle East had beds, stools, chairs, and boxes as principal forms. Documentary evidence is provided chiefly by relief carvings. The forms were constructed in the same manner as Egyptian furniture except that members were heavier, curves were less frequent, and joints were more abrupt.

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Winchell, Walter

Winchell was raised in New York City, and when he was 13 he left school to go into vaudeville with Eddie Cantor and George Jessel. Then he teamed with

Military Affairs

The movement against live-fire military training gained momentum during the year. President Bush announced that the U.S. Navy would cease using the island of Vieques, off the coast of Puerto Rico, for bombing exercises by 2003. A group of islanders had filed a $100 million lawsuit claiming that the bombing caused significant damage to the environment and public health. The

Saturday, February 12, 2005


By the 5th century BC the Gauls had migrated south from the Rhine River valley to the Mediterranean coast. By the middle of the 4th century

Wolf, Hugo

Wolf studied at the Vienna Conservatory (1875–77) but had a moody and irascible temperament and was expelled from the conservatory following his outspoken criticism of his masters. In 1875 he met the composer Richard

Furniture, Renaissance and later

(Italy): George Leland Hunter, Italian Furniture and Interiors, 2 vol. (1918), mostly illustrations; William M. Odom, A History of Italian Furniture from the 4th to the Early 19th Centuries, 2 vol. (1918–19). (Spain): Arthur Byne and Mildred Stapley, Spanish Interiors and Furniture (1921), profusely illustrated with scale drawings and photographs. (Germany): Heinrich Kreisel, Die Kunst des deutschen Möbels, 2 vol. (1968–70), thorough, illustrated history of German furniture. (France): Pierre Verlet, Le Mobilier royal français, 2 vol. (1945–55); Les Meubles français du XVIIIe siecle, 2 vol. (1956), a learned treatise on French furniture. (England and the colonies): Percy Macquoeo and Ralph Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture from the Middle Ages to the Late Georgian Period, 2nd ed., 3 vol. (1954), documented survey of English and American furniture; Ralph Fastenedge, English Furniture Styles from 1500 to 1830 (1962), an excellent elementary introduction to the study of English furniture; Anthony Coleridge, Chippendale Furniture (1968), illustrated study of Chippendale and his contemporaries; Clifford Musgrave, Adam and Hepplewhite and Other NeoClassical Furniture (1966), written by one of the best informed students of the Neoclassical English style of furniture; Charles F. Montgomery, American Furniture (1966), a survey of Federal period furniture. See also Berry B. Tracy, The Federal Furniture and Decorative Arts at Boscobel (1981); Charles Santore, The Windsor Style in America (1981); John T. Kirk, American Furniture and the British Tradition to 1830 (1983).

Dickinson, Emily

Dickinson was the second of three children. The three remained close throughout their adult lives: her younger sister, Lavinia, stayed in the family home and did not marry,

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Graziani, Rodolfo, Marquess Di Neghelli

After service in Eritrea and Libya before World War I and in Macedonia and Tripolitania subsequently, Graziani became commander in chief of Italian forces in Libya (1930–34), governor of Italian Somaliland (1935–36), viceroy of Ethiopia (1936–37), and honorary governor of Italian East Africa

Wednesday, February 09, 2005


Any member of the family Suidae, hoofed mammals, order Artiodactyla, including the wild and domestic pigs. Suids are stout animals with small eyes and coarse, sometimes sparse, hair. All have muzzles ending in a rounded cartilage disk used to dig for food. Some species have tusks. Suids are omnivorous and usually gregarious. Females bear

Poland, History Of

History of the area from the 10th century to the present.

Boston, Continuous park system

When the Back Bay was nearing completion during the 1880s, the American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted (1822–1903) developed an imaginative and large-scale design for the city's parks. It linked the Common, Public Garden, and Commonwealth Avenue with Franklin Park in West Roxbury by way of an open park known as the Fenway, which followed the Muddy River off to Brookline

Tuesday, February 08, 2005


County of east-central Wales, bordering on England. Powys county is by far the largest in Wales. It covers a rugged landscape of valleys and mountains, including most of Brecon Beacons National Park, and it encompasses the entire historic counties of Montgomeryshire and Radnorshire, most of Brecknockshire, and the southern edge of the historic county of Denbighshire

Monday, February 07, 2005


A localized collection of pus in a cavity formed from tissues that have been broken down by infectious bacteria. An abscess is caused when such bacteria as staphylococci or streptococci gain access to solid tissue (e.g., by means of a small wound on the skin). The toxins released by these multiplying bacteria destroy cells and thus trigger an acute inflammation at the


An administrative division of the English counties of York, Lincoln, Leicester, Nottingham, Derby, and Rutland, first clearly referred to at the end of the 10th century and corresponding to the “hundred” in other parts of England. The term wapentake is of Scandinavian origin and meant the taking of weapons; it later signified the clash of arms by which the people assembled

Hsiung Shih-li

Hsiung was an anti-Manchu revolutionary in early youth, but after the age of 30 he devoted himself wholly to philosophy. He first studied metaphysical idealism in the

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Berle, Milton

Berle first appeared on the vaudeville stage at age 10. With his mother's encouragement, he continued in vaudeville throughout his youth, and he also acted in more than 50 silent films.

Texas, The people

Texas has long been a huge reservoir for diverse streams of races and cultures. For the bands of prehistoric hunters, for the waves of Indian tribes, for the Spanish and Mexicans pushing northward, for the Anglo-Americans from the North and East, and for colonizers who came to Texas directly from Europe, there was more than enough room for settlement and for the opportunity

Arnulf Of Metz, Saint

A Frankish noble, Arnulf gave distinguished service at the Austrasian court under Theudebert II (595–612). In 613, however, with Pippin, he led the aristocratic opposition to Brunhild that led to her downfall and to the reunification of Frankish

Saturday, February 05, 2005

China, KMT opposition to radicals

The two parties competed for direction of nationalist policy, control of mass organizations, and recruitment of new members. Under Comintern coaching, the Communist strategy was to try to split the KMT, drive out its conservative members, and turn it to an ever more radical course. In August 1925, KMT conservatives in Canton tried to stop the leftward trend. One of the strongest

Friday, February 04, 2005

Biblical Literature, Additions to Daniel and Esther

Two of the Old Testament Hagiographa (Ketuvim; see above The Hebrew canon)—Daniel and Esther—contain, in their Greek translations, numerous additions.

Kindi, Ya'qub Ibn Ishaq As-sabah, Al-

Al-Kindi was born of noble Arabic descent and flourished in Iraq under the caliphs al-Ma'mun (813–833) and al-Mu'tasim (833–842). He concerned himself not only with those philosophical questions that had been treated by the Aristotelian Neoplatonists of Alexandria but also with such miscellaneous subjects

Thursday, February 03, 2005


Also called  Quiché Maya,   Mayan Indians living in the midwestern highlands of Guatemala. The Quiché Maya had an advanced civilization in pre-Columbian times, with a high level of political and social organization. Archaeological remains show large population centres and a complex class structure. Written records of Quiché history and mythology are preserved in the Popol Vuh, written

Floral Decoration, Other cultures

Outside the West and the Far East, the arranging of plant materials was more a casual part of everyday life than a formally recognized medium of artistic expression. The elaborate stylistic traditions evolved and formulated in the West and Far East through centuries of sophisticated creative activity are rarely found, therefore, in other cultures. In the Islamic

Wednesday, February 02, 2005


Also called  Saint Bart's,   island at the northern end of the Windward group of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea. It constitutes a commune and, together with Saint Martin, forms an arrondissement of Guadeloupe, an overseas département of France. The island is 120 miles (200 km) north of Guadeloupe island. It is 11 miles (17.5 km) long and 2.5 miles (4 km) wide, with an area of 8 square miles (21 square km). The island is both


Malay  Urang Padang (People of Padang)  largest ethnic group on the island of Sumatra, Indonesia, whose traditional homeland is the west central highlands. Their numbers have been variously estimated at between 2,000,000 and 5,000,000. Although Muslim, the Minangkabau are matrilineal—i.e., they trace descent and inheritance through the female line. Traditionally, the wife remained with her maternal relatives after marriage,

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


City, Abia state, southern Nigeria. It lies along the west bank of the Aba River, at the intersection of roads from Port Harcourt, Owerri, Umuahia, Ikot Ekpene, and Ikot Abasi (Opobo). Aba was a traditional market town for the Igbo (Ibo) people of the tropical rainforest before the establishment of a British military post there in 1901. With the construction of the railway in 1915 from

Korean Art

A number of artifacts, including pottery and bronze and iron objects, indicate the early influence of China on Korean art. There is also evidence that Scythian, Siberian, and other non-Chinese cultures had an effect on the design and decoration