Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Rio De Janeiro

The name was given to the city's original site by Portuguese navigators who arrived at the port on Jan. 1, 1502, and mistook the entrance of the bay for the mouth of a river (rio is the Portuguese word for �river� and janeiro

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Sz�kesfeh�rv�

A Roman settlement, Herculea, superseded an earlier Celtic village on the site; in the 10th century it was chosen by Stephen I, king of Hungary, as capital of the Hungarian kingdom, which it remained until the 16th century. Then known as Alba Regia,

Monday, June 28, 2004

Goodall, Jane

Goodall, who was interested in animal behaviour from an early age, left school at age 18. She worked as a secretary and as a film production assistant until she gained passage to Africa. Once there, Goodall

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Dow, Neal

His Quaker parents and his own observations as Portland city overseer of the poor, as well as the excess of drunkenness that was then commonplace, influenced his attitude toward liquor. He organized the Maine Temperance

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Iran, Ancient, Xerxes I

Xerxes (reigned 486 - 465 BC), Darius's eldest son by Queen Atossa, was born after his father had come to the throne; he had been designated official heir perhaps as early as 498, and while crown prince he had ruled as the king's governor in Babylon. The new king quickly suppressed the revolt in Egypt in a single campaign in 484. Xerxes then broke with the policy followed by Cyrus and Darius of

Friday, June 25, 2004

Th�k�ly, Imre

The scion of a rich Protestant family, Th�k�ly moved to Transylvania after his father was executed for having had a role in the Hungarian magnates' conspiracy against the Habsburg emperor Leopold

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Amadeus Viii

The sudden death of Amadeus VII in 1391 left his eight-year-old son

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Baumgarten, Alexander Gottlieb

As a student at Halle, Baumgarten was strongly influenced by the works of G.W. Leibniz and by Christian Wolff, a professor and systematic philosopher. He was appointed

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Aerobatics

Maneuvers in which an aircraft is flown under precise control in unusual attitudes (the position of an aircraft determined by the relationship between its axes and a reference such as the horizon). A myriad of aerobatic maneuvers exist, some of the better-known being rolls, loops, stall turns (hammerheads), and tailslides. The term aerobatics came into use in early 1914 after

Monday, June 21, 2004

Biblical Literature, The translation of Symmachus

Still another Greek translation was made toward the end of the same century by Symmachus, an otherwise unknown scholar, who made use of his predecessors. His influence was small despite the superior elegance of his work. Jerome did utilize Symmachus for his Vulgate, but other than that, his translation is known largely through fragments of the Hexapla.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

China, The decline of feudalism

The most obvious change in political institutions was the replacement of the old feudal structure by systems of incipient bureaucracy under monarchy. The decline of feudalism took its course in the Ch'un-ch'iu period, and the rise of the new order may be seen in the Chan-kuo period. The Chou feudalism suffered from a continual dilution of authority. As a state expanded,

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Alder

An alder may be distinguished from a birch by its usually stalked winter buds and by cones that remain on the branches

Friday, June 18, 2004

Argentina, The radical regime, 1916 - 30

The Radical front was a coalition of heterogeneous social groups, whose competing interests slowed the passage of reforms, despite urgent calls for economic and social change. Not surprisingly, Irigoyen preferred to concentrate on the political ills he had inherited from the conservative regime. The most urgent measure involved political patronage, which

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Catastasis

Plural� catastases� the dramatic complication that immediately precedes the climax of a play or that occurs during the climax of a play. Compare catastrophe.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

India, The Deccan

In the Deccan, the Vakataka dynasty was closely tied to the Guptas. With a nucleus in Vidarbha, the founder of the dynasty, Vindhyasakti, extended his power northward as far as Vidisa (near Ujjain). At the end of the 4th century, a collateral line of the Vakatakas was established by Sarvasena in Vatsagulma (Basim, in Akola district), and the northern line helped the southern to conquer

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Holbach, Paul-henri Dietrich, Baron D'

French encyclopaedist and philosopher, a celebrated exponent of atheism and Materialism, whose inherited wealth allowed him to entertain many of the noted philosophers of the day, some of whom (Comte de Buffon, J.-J. Rousseau, d'Alembert) reportedly withdrew from his gatherings, frightened by the audacity

Monday, June 14, 2004

Lens Dislocation

Abnormal position of the crystalline lens of the eye. The dislocation, which may be congenital or acquired, has as its immediate cause weakness or loss of a portion of the ligaments that anchor the lens to the ciliary muscle.

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Bah�a Blanca

Explorers in the 18th century named the area Bah�a Blanca (�White Bay�), but the settlement that grew up around a military outpost,

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Charpak, Georges

Charpak's family moved from Poland to Paris when he was seven years old. During World War II Charpak served in the resistance and was imprisoned by Vichy authorities in 1943. In 1944 he was deported

Friday, June 11, 2004

Incidental Music

Music written to accompany or point up the action or mood of a dramatic performance on stage, film, radio, television, or recording; to serve as a transition between parts of the action; or to introduce or close the performance. Because it is written to enhance a nonmusical medium, most incidental music makes little impression on public taste. But some incidental music

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Nobel Prizes

Chinese �migr� writer Gao Xingjian was awarded the 2000 Nobel Prize for Literature for �an oeuvre of universal validity, bitter insights and linguistic ingenuity, which has opened new paths for the Chinese novel and drama.� Gao, the first Chinese-language writer to win the award, was a respected novelist, playwright, translator, and critic whose works had been banned in

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Switzerland, Precipitation

Since rainfall tends to increase in direct proportion to altitude, the precipitation map corresponds very closely to the relief map; and, because of the marked variation in reliefs, differences in precipitation within short linear distances are often very great. For example, St. Gall (Sankt Gallen), at 2,556 feet, has an average annual precipitation of 52 inches (1,318 mm), while that

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Anorthoclase

Any member of a continuous series of feldspar minerals related to sanidine (q.v.).

Monday, June 07, 2004

Mellon, Andrew W.

After completing his studies at Western University (now the University of Pittsburgh), Mellon entered

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Thompson, Dorothy

The daughter of a Methodist minister, Thompson attended the Lewis Institute in Chicago and Syracuse University in New York (A.B., 1914), where she became ardently committed to woman suffrage. After World War I she went to Europe as a freelance correspondent

Saturday, June 05, 2004

Strambotto

Plural �strambotti� one of the oldest Italian verse forms, composed of a single stanza of either six or eight hendecasyllabic (11-syllable) lines. Strambotti were particularly popular in Renaissance Sicily and Tuscany, and the origin of the form in either region is still uncertain. Variations of the eight-line strambotto include the Sicilian octave (ottava siciliana), with the rhyme scheme

Friday, June 04, 2004

Economic Planning

By the late 1960s the majority of the world's countries conducted

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Philastre, Paul-louis-f�lix

French administrator and diplomat who, in the formative years of colonialism in French Indochina, played a crucial role in mitigating relations between the European colonialists and the French administration, on the one hand, and the indigenous population and its royal court at Hue, in central Vietnam. He was considered

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Mahavira

All that is known about Mahavira's life is that he was a Jain (he perhaps took his name to honour the great Jainism reformer Mahavira [c. 599 - 527 BCE]) and that he wrote Ganitasarasangraha (�Compendium of the Essence of Mathematics�) during the reign of Amoghavarsha (c. 814 - 878) of the Rashtrakuta

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Dworkin, Andrea

Dworkin began writing at an early age. During her undergraduate years at Vermont's Bennington College (B.A., 1968), she became involved with the student demonstrations against the Vietnam War. Her experience in the New