Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Malan, François Stephanus

Malan was a leader of the Afrikaner Bond (a political party of Dutch South Africans) and editor (1895) of its newspaper. He was originally antagonistic to

Monday, June 28, 2004

Bothnia, Gulf Of

Swedish  Bottniska Viken,  Finnish  Pohjan Lahti,   northern arm of the Baltic Sea, between Sweden (west) and Finland (east). Covering an area of about 45,200 square miles (117,000 square km), the gulf extends for 450 miles (725 km) from north to south but only 50 to 150 miles (80 to 240 km) from east to west; it is nearly closed off by the Åland (Ahvenanmaa) Islands (south). Its maximum depth is 965 feet (295 m) in the west-central portion; its average depth is only about 200 feet (60 m). Because

Arenig Series

Also called  Arenigian Series,   the second of six divisions (in ascending order) constituting the Ordovician System, representing all those rocks deposited worldwide during the Arenigian Age (488 to 478 million years ago). The series' name is derived from the Arenig mountains in Gwynedd county in North Wales, which serve as the type area in Great Britain for rocks of this age. Welsh rock strata belonging

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Switzerland, History

Historical overviews are provided by Handbuch der schweizer Geschichte, 2 vol. (1972–77); Peter Dürrenmatt, Schweizer Geschichte (1957, reissued in 2 vol., 1976); Edgar Bonjour, H.S. Offler, and G.R. Potter, A Short History of Switzerland (1952, reprinted 1985); Georg Thürer, Free and Swiss: The Story of Switzerland (1970; originally published in German, 3rd ed., 1964); Marc-R. Sauter, Switzerland, from Earliest Times to the Roman Conquest (1976); and William Martin, Switzerland: From Roman Times to the Present (1971; originally published in French, 6th ed., 1966). Hektor Ammann and Karl Schib (eds.), Historischen Atlas der Schweiz, 2nd ed. (1958), is an excellent atlas of Swiss history.

Saturday, June 26, 2004


Chief city of Washington, U.S., on a neck of land between Elliott Bay (Puget Sound) and Lake Washington (a 24-mile [39-kilometre] stretch of freshwater), seat (1853) of King county and the largest metropolis of the Pacific Northwest. A port of entry and gateway to the Orient and Alaska, it is surrounded by areas of great natural beauty; to the west, the Olympic Mountains provide protection

Friday, June 25, 2004

Italian Literature, The “return to order”

The end of World War I saw a longing for the revival of tradition, summed up in the aims of the review La Ronda, founded in 1919 by the poet Vincenzo Cardarelli and others, which advocated a return to classical stylistic values. This led to an excessive cult of form in the narrow sense—as exemplified by the elegant but somewhat bloodless essays (elzeviri) published in Italian

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Earth, Isostasy

The general concept that higher portions of the Earth's crust are lighter and are maintained in position by correspondingly light roots beneath is very old. The quantitative description of this “compensation” of the Earth's topographic features dates from the geodetic triangulation of India in which the effect of the attraction of the Himalayas on the deflection

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Beast Fable

A prose or verse fable or short story that usually has a moral. In beast fables animal characters are represented as acting with human feelings and motives. Among the best-known examples in Western literature are those attributed to the legendary Greek author Aesop. The best-known Asian collection of beast fables is the Pañca-tantra of India.

Monday, June 21, 2004


Saladin was born into a prominent Kurdish

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Maupin, Armistead

Maupin was reared in North Carolina. He showed an early interest in film and theatre. His adolescent years were complicated by his growing awareness of his homosexuality. Graduating from the University of North Carolina in 1966, Maupin worked for a time under the future senator Jesse Helms

Ford, Ford Madox

The son of a German music critic, Francis Hueffer, and a grandson of Ford Madox Brown, one of the Pre-Raphaelite painters, Ford grew up in a cultured, artistic environment. At 18 he wrote his first novel, The Shifting of Fire (1892). His acquaintance

Friday, June 18, 2004

Silk Spider

Also called  Golden Silk Spider  (Nephila), any of a genus of the class Arachnida (phylum Arthropoda), so named because of the great strength of their silk and the golden colour of their huge orb webs. These webs often measure one metre (about three feet) or more in diameter and are suspended between trees by guy lines. About 60 species are known to live in the warmer regions of the world. Adult females are very


Officially  Islamic Republic of Mauritania , Arabic  Muritaniya , or  al-Jumhuriyah al-Islamiyah al-Muritaniyah , French  Mauritanie , or  République Islamique de Mauritanie  state in northwestern Africa. With an area of 398,000 square miles (1,030,700 square kilometres), it has the shape of an indented rectangle measuring about 930 miles (1,500 kilometres) from north to south and about 680 miles from east to west. It is bordered to the northwest by the Western Sahara (formerly Spanish Sahara), to the northeast by Algeria, to the east and southeast by Mali, and to the southwest

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Aalto, Alvar

Aalto, whose work exemplifies the best of 20th-century Scandinavian architecture, was one of the first to depart from the stiffly geometric designs common to the early period of the modern movement and to stress informality and personal expression. His style is regarded as both romantic and regional. He used complex forms and varied materials, acknowledged the character

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Madagascar, Flag Of

Possibly based on traditions in Indonesia, the original home of the Malagasy, the predominant flag colours of Madagascar have always been white and red. In the mid-17th century, for example, those colours were chosen by the Sakalava dynasty when it came to power. They named their country the kingdom of Menabé, which means “great red.” In the late 17th century the Merina (Hova)

Monday, June 14, 2004

Cancer And Capricorn, Tropics Of

Latitudes approximately 23°27¢ N and 23°27¢ S of the terrestrial Equator, respectively. These latitudes correspond to the northernmost and southernmost declinations of the Sun's ecliptic (q.v.) to the celestial equator. At the summer solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere), around June 21, the Sun attains its greatest declination north and is directly over the Tropic of Cancer. At that

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Fibrous Dysplasia

Also called  Mccune-Albright syndrome  rare congenital developmental disorder beginning in childhood, characterized by cyst formation and replacement of solid, calcified bone with fibrous tissue, often only on one side of the body, in the long bones and pelvis. Other signs include unilateral (one-sided) enlargement of the bones of the face and base of the skull, café au lait (pale brown) spots on the skin, and

Saturday, June 12, 2004


Capital of the state of South Australia. Situated at the base of the Mount Lofty Ranges, 9 miles (14 km) inland from the centre of the eastern shore of the Gulf St. Vincent, it has a Mediterranean climate with hot summers (February mean temperature 74° F [23° C]), mild winters (July mean 54° F [12° C]), and an average annual rainfall of 21 inches (530 mm). The site, chosen in 1836 by William Light (the colony's first surveyor

Friday, June 11, 2004


The Qur'an (Islamic scripture) stresses in many verses that God does not share his powers with any partner (sharik). It warns those who believe their idols will intercede for them that they, together with the idols, will become fuel for hellfire on the Day of Judgment


Common intuition previously supposed no connection between space and time. Physical space was held to be a flat, three-dimensional continuum—i.e., an arrangement of all possible point locations—to which Euclidean postulates

Thursday, June 10, 2004


In astronomy, originally the nonuniform (anomalous) apparent motions of the planets. In present usage, three kinds of anomaly are distinguished to describe the position in the orbit of a planet, a satellite, or a star (in a binary system) around the centre of mass. The following text relates to the orbit of a planet. True anomaly is the angle, V, between lines drawn

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


Latin  catacumba , Italian  catacomba  subterranean cemetery composed of galleries or passages with side recesses for tombs. The term, of unknown origin, seems to have been applied first to the subterranean cemetery under the Basilica of San Sebastiano (located on the Appian Way near Rome), which was reputed to have been the temporary resting place of the bodies of Saints Peter and Paul in the last half


Also called  Naga Dumka  town, east-central Bihar state, northeastern India, east of the Mor River. It is a road junction and major agricultural-trade centre. A weekly cattle mart is held. There is a college affiliated with Bhagalpur University. Dumka was constituted a municipality in 1903. Pop. (1981) 31,068.

Sunday, June 06, 2004


Roman goddess, the deification of good faith and honesty. Many of the oldest Roman deities were embodiments of high ideals (e.g., Honos, Libertas); it was the function of Fides to oversee the moral integrity of the Romans. Closely associated with Jupiter, Fides was honoured with a temple built near his on the Capitoline Hill in 254 BC. In symbolic recognition of the secret, inviolable


Relations between the French

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Overbeck, Johann Friedrich

In 1806 Overbeck entered the Academy of Vienna, where, disappointed in the academic approach to teaching, he and Franz Pforr in 1809 founded the Lucas Brotherhood. They sought to revive

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Atkinson, Sir Harry

Atkinson left England for Taranaki province, N.Z., in 1853 and attained distinction as a soldier in the wars of 1860 and 1863 against the native Maoris. As minister of defense (1864–65) in the administration

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Kamehameha Ii

In 1820 he admitted the first company of missionaries (from New England), who, within two years, had learned the language, reduced it to writing, and printed the first textbook. Kamehameha resisted conversion to Christianity, allegedly because he refused to give up four of his five wives as well as rum

Trianon, Treaty Of

The Allies' presentation of their terms for peace with Hungary was delayed first by their reluctance to treat with Béla Kun's communist regime in that country and subsequently by the obvious

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Xia Gui

For a time after his death, Xia may have suffered the same low esteem as other Southern Song academy painters in the eyes of proponents of the new literati, or scholar-amateur, school of painting, for whom professionalism was equated with empty technique and academicism. Zhuang Su wrote in 1298 in Huaji Buyi:He painted landscapes and figures, all very vulgar and debased.