Wednesday, March 31, 2004

Czernin, Ottokar, Count

Czernin, born into the Czech aristocracy, entered the Austro-Hungarian diplomatic service in the

Tuesday, March 30, 2004

Ruysdael, Salomon Van

Originally named de Goyer, as was his brother Isaak (also a painter and the father of Jacob van Ruisdael), Salomon entered the Haarlem Guild of St. Luke in 1628. His first dated pictures are from 1627. He spent his whole life in Haarlem,

Monday, March 29, 2004

Buddhism, All Souls festival

The importance of the virtues of filial piety and the reverence of ancestors in China and Japan have established Ullambana, or All Souls Day, as one of the major Buddhist festivals in those countries. In China, worshipers in Buddhist temples make �boats of the law� ( fa-ch'uan) out of paper, some very large, which are then burned in the evening. The purpose of the celebration

Sunday, March 28, 2004

Top Moss

Common species of urn moss (q.v.).

Friday, March 26, 2004

Mindanao River

Also called �R�o Grande De Mindanao, or Cotabato River, � main river of the Cotabato lowland, central Mindanao, Philippines. It rises in the central highlands of northeastern Mindanao (island) as the Pulangi and then flows south to where it joins the Kabacan to form the Mindanao. It meanders northwest through the Libungan Marsh and Liguasan Swamp, which is the habitat of crocodiles. At Datu Piang the river turns to enter Illana

Thursday, March 25, 2004

Ashur

In Mesopotamian religion, city god of Ashur and national god of Assyria. In the beginning he was perhaps only a local deity of the city that shared his name. From about 1800 BC onward, however, there appear to have been strong tendencies to identify him with the Sumerian Enlil (Akkadian: Bel), while under the Assyrian king Sargon II (reigned 721 - 705 BC), there were tendencies to identify Ashur

Wednesday, March 24, 2004

Cond�, Henri Ii De Bourbon, 3e Prince De (3rd Prince Of)

His mother, the princess de Cond� (La Tr�moille), was accused of having poisoned her husband, and doubts were even cast on the paternity of Henri II de Bourbon. Henry IV of

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Aleardi, Aleardo, Conte

Brought up in Verona, then controlled by Austria, he studied law at the University of Padua. His love lyrics, Le lettere a Maria (1846; �The Letters

Monday, March 22, 2004

Nervous System, Axon

The axon arises from the soma at a region called the axon hillock, or initial segment. This is the region where the plasma membrane generates nerve impulses; the axon conducts these impulses away from the soma or dendrites toward other neurons. Large axons acquire an insulating myelin sheath and are known as myelinated, or medullated, fibres. Myelin is composed of

Sunday, March 21, 2004

Cilea, Francesco

While studying at the Naples Conservatory, Cilea produced an opera, Gina, which secured for him a commission from a publisher. His first important work, L'Arlesiana (1897), after Alphonse Daudet, was the vehicle for the tenor Enrico Caruso's first success. Cilea's

Saturday, March 20, 2004

Van Fleet, Jo

U.S. actress who played bold, matronly women on stage and screen, notably in Elia Kazan films, beginning with her role as the mother of James Dean's character in East of Eden (1955), for which she won an Academy Award (b. Dec. 30, 1919--d. June 10, 1996).

Friday, March 19, 2004

Ardashir Ii

King of the Sasanian empire in ancient Persia (reigned AD 379 - 383). During the reign of his brother Shapur II, he had been king of Adiabene (now a region of northeast Iraq), where he took part in the persecution of Christians. After Shapur's death, he was set on the throne by the nobles, presumably at an advanced age. His investiture is commemorated in a rock carving at Taq-e Bostan. His attempts

Thursday, March 18, 2004

China

Officially �People's Republic of China, �Chinese (Wade-Giles) �Chung-hua �or �Chung-hua Jen-min Kung-ho-kuo, �(Pinyin) �Zhonghua �or �Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo � country of East Asia. It is the largest of all Asian countries and has the largest population of any country in the world. Occupying nearly the entire East Asian landmass, it stretches for about 3,100 miles (5,000 km) from east to west and 3,400 miles from north to south and covers an area of about 3,696,100 square miles (9,572,900 square km), which is approximately one-fourteenth of the land area of the Earth.

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

Alaska, University Of

State university system consisting of three campuses (regional university centres) in Fairbanks (main campus), Anchorage, and Juneau (known as the University of Alaska Southeast). All campuses are coeducational and offer bachelor's and master's degree programs in business and education; the Fairbanks and Anchorage campuses include schools of engineering and arts

Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Iliad

Epic poem on the Trojan War traditionally attributed to the ancient Greek poet Homer.

Monday, March 15, 2004

Bean

Seed or pod of certain leguminous plants of the family Fabaceae, originally of Vicia faba, an Old World species called broad bean, or fava bean. The mature seeds of the principal beans used for food, except soybeans (q.v.), are rather similar in composition, although they differ widely in eating quality. Rich in protein and providing moderate amounts

Sunday, March 14, 2004

Burgess, Guy; And Maclean, Donald (duart)

At the University of Cambridge in the 1930s Burgess and Maclean were part of a group of relatively privileged young men who shared a fashionable disdain for capitalist democracy. Recruited

Saturday, March 13, 2004

�lvsborg

Former l�n (county) of southwestern Sweden, located to the west and south of Lake V�nern. Formed as a county in 1634, it was merged with the counties of G�teborg och Bohus and Skaraborg in 1998 to form the county of V�stra G�taland.

Friday, March 12, 2004

Macarius The Egyptian

About the age of 30 Macarius retired to the desert of Scete, where for 60 years

Thursday, March 11, 2004

Amasya

Historically �Amaseia�, or �Amasia� city, capital of Amasya il (province), northern Turkey, on the Yesil River, also called the Iris River. Capital of the kings of Pontus until about 183 BC, it was made a free city and the administrative centre of a large territory by Pompey in 65 BC. In the 2nd century AD, it received the titles �metropolis� and �first city� under the Romans. It was the capital of the Turkmen Danismend emirs until annexed

Wednesday, March 10, 2004

Arcturus

Also called �Alpha Bo�tis� one of the five brightest stars in the night sky, and the brightest star in the northern constellation Bo�tes, with an apparent visual magnitude of 0.00. It is an orange-coloured giant star about 40 light-years from the Earth. It lies in an almost direct line with the tail of Ursa Major (the Great Bear); hence its name, derived from the Greek words for �bear guard.�

Tuesday, March 09, 2004

Avignon School

A body of late Gothic painting, not necessarily of a single stylistic evolution, produced in and around the city of Avignon in southeastern France from the second half of the 14th century into the second half of the 15th. Subject to both Italian and Flemish influences - in contrast to the contemporary art of northern France, which was entirely Flemish in character - the art

Monday, March 08, 2004

Qatar

Little is known of Qatar's history before the 18th century, when the region's population consisted largely of transient nomads and a few small fishing villages. Qatar's modern history begins conventionally in 1766 with the migration to the peninsula of families from Kuwait, notably the Al Khalifahs. Their settlement at the new town of Az-Zubarah grew into a small pearl-diving

Sunday, March 07, 2004

Aegirine

A pyroxene mineral, sodium and iron silicate (NaFe 3Si2O6), that is commonly found in alkaline igneous rocks, particularly in syenites and syenite pegmatites. It also occurs in crystalline schists. Aegirine forms a continuous chemical series with aegirinaugite, in which calcium replaces sodium, and magnesium and aluminum replace iron. In this series, the name acmite

Saturday, March 06, 2004

Levon I

Byname �Levon The Great � king of Armenia (reigned 1199 - 1219), who rallied the Armenians after their dispersion by the Seljuq Turks and consolidated the kingdom in Cilicia, southeastern Asia Minor. Through his friendly relations with the German emperors Frederick I Barbarossa and Henry VI, he was crowned by Pope Celestine III's legate, Cardinal Conrad von Wittelsbach, and allied Lesser

Friday, March 05, 2004

Chiang K'ang-hu

Born into a scholar-official family, Chiang studied at home and briefly in Japan before returning to China in 1901 to take charge of the compilation of elementary-school textbooks for the schools of five northern

Thursday, March 04, 2004

Pythagoras

Pythagoras migrated in his youth to Rhegium. He made a statue of Philoctetes, noted for the physical

Wednesday, March 03, 2004

Insurance

A system under which the insurer, for a consideration usually agreed upon in advance, promises to reimburse the insured or to render services to the insured in the event that certain accidental occurrences result in losses during a given period. It thus is a method of coping with risk. Its primary function is to substitute certainty for uncertainty as regards the

Tuesday, March 02, 2004

Neoregelia

Neoregelia leaves are often mottled, marbled,

Monday, March 01, 2004

Chandler, Seth Carlo

Chandler initially worked for the U.S. Coast Survey (1864 - 70). He then worked as an actuary until he joined the Harvard University Observatory in 1881. From 1896 to 1909 he edited