Friday, December 31, 2004

Van De Graaff, Robert Jemison

After working for a time as an engineer with the Alabama Power Company,

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Akiba Ben Joseph

The subject of numerous popular legends, Akiba is said to have been an illiterate shepherd who

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


City, seat (1854) of Vermilion parish, southern Louisiana, U.S., on the Vermilion River, 20 miles (32 km) south-southwest of Lafayette. It was founded in 1843 by a Capuchin missionary, P�re Antoine Desire M�gret, who patterned it on a French Proven�al village. First called La Chapelle and settled by Acadians from Nova Scotia and Mediterranean immigrants, it was later named Abbeville (�Priest's

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


Town, eastern C�te d'Ivoire, situated at the intersection of roads from Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Abidjan, the national capital. An early trade centre of the Kulango (Koulango, Pakhalla, N'Gora) people, Bondoukou was captured in the late 15th century by the Brong (Abron), an Akan people from the west. The Brong were converted to Islam by Dyula traders from the north, who founded a

Monday, December 27, 2004

Wad Madani

City, east-central Sudan. Wad Madani lies on the west bank of the Blue Nile, 85 miles (136 km) southeast of Khartoum, at an elevation of 1,348 feet (411 m). It owes its recent growth to the irrigated lands of the Jazirah (Gezira) irrigation scheme and is the commercial centre of the al-Jazirah cotton-growing area. Peanuts (groundnuts) and wheat are also grown in the area. The University of al-Jazirah

Sunday, December 26, 2004


Town (�parish�), Sevenoaks district, administrative and historic county of Kent, England, south of London near the Surrey border, on the River Eden. It was enlarged after 1970 to accommodate overspill population from London, and light industries have been introduced. Nearby Hever Castle is a moated mansion of the 15th and 16th centuries, associated with the family of Anne Boleyn,

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Luray Caverns

Series of limestone caves in Page county, northwestern Virginia, U.S., near the town of Luray (headquarters of Shenandoah National Park). Covering 64 acres (26 hectares), the caverns, discovered in 1878, were formed millions of years ago by underground rivers and seepage of acid-bearing water through layers of limestone and clay. In time the clay was washed away, leaving only the limestone

Friday, December 24, 2004

Sabre-toothed Cat

Any of the extinct carnivores forming the subfamily Machairodontinae of the cat family, Felidae. Sabre-toothed cats are named for the pair of elongated, bladelike canine teeth they possessed in the upper jaw. They are often called sabre-toothed tigers or sabre-toothed lions, although the lion and tiger are of a different subfamily of felids, the true cats

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Race, India's caste system

India has a huge population encompassing many obvious physical variations, from light skins to some of the darkest in the world, from straight coarse hair to frizzled and crinkly hair, and a wide variety of facial features. In addition, the Hindu sociocultural system is divided into castes that are exclusive, hereditary, and endogamous. They are also ranked and unequal

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

9to5, National Association Of Working Women

The group had its origins in 9to5 News, a newsletter that was first published in December 1972. About a year later, the newsletter's publishers announced the formation of Boston 9to5, a grassroots collective for women office

Tuesday, December 21, 2004


City, seat (1796) of Randolph county, central North Carolina, U.S. It lies in the forested Uwharrie Mountains about 25 miles (40 km) south of Greensboro. Asheboro (originally Asheborough) was founded in 1796 on land that was once the home of Keyauwee Indians; a prehistoric Native American burial ground nearby was excavated in 1936. The name honours North Carolina Governor Samuel Ashe (1725 - 1813). The community

Monday, December 20, 2004

Han T'o-chou

Pinyin �Han Tuozhou � minister to the Chinese emperor Ning Tsung (reigned 1194 - 1224) of the Sung dynasty (960 - 1279). Han tried to recover territory in northern China that had been taken from the Sung several generations earlier by the Juchen tribes of Inner Asia. The ensuing war proved disastrous. More Sung territory was lost and a large indemnity was demanded by the

Sunday, December 19, 2004


Distrito (�district�), southern Portugal. It is the largest district in Portugal and produces olives, olive oil, wheat, rye, cork, dairy products, and leather goods. There is mining for copper, silver, lead, and zinc near Beja city at the Castro Verde project. In 1974 the Portuguese government initiated an agrarian reform program by which most of the estate holdings of the district

Saturday, December 18, 2004


Town, Bundesland Steiermark (federal province of Styria), Austria, in the Erzbach Valley, at the northern foot of the Erzberg (Ore Mountain; 5,033 ft [1,534 m]), northwest of Leoben. Iron has been mined on the Erzberg by terraced open-pit methods since Roman times, and Eisenerz (�iron ore�) is the principal centre of Austrian iron mining, supplying most of the nation's total output. Notable

Friday, December 17, 2004

Moray, Thomas Randolph, 1st Earl Of

Randolph was the son of one of Robert's sisters. When Robert revolted against the English and claimed the

Thursday, December 16, 2004

General Council Of Congregational Christian Churches

The Congregational churches developed from the churches established by the settlers at Plymouth,

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


The city, administrative headquarters of the district, lies on the most northerly hill of the Ganjo Takkar ridge, just east of the Indus River. The third largest city in Pakistan, it is a communications centre, connected by rail with Peshawar and Karachi and with Indian railways via the border towns of Khokhropar and

Monday, December 13, 2004


Capital, Alagoas estado (�state�), northeastern Brazil. It is situated below low bluffs on a level strip of land between the Atlantic Ocean and the Norte (or Munda�) Lagoon, a shallow body of water extending inward for several miles. Formerly called Macayo, the city dates from 1815, when a small settlement there was made a villa. In 1839 it became capital of Alagoas (then a provincia) and

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Welles, Gideon

Born into a wealthy family, Welles was educated at private schools. He studied law but in 1826 became cofounder and editor of the Hartford Times. The next year, he became the youngest member of the Connecticut legislature and served there until 1835. An ardent

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Osler-rendu-weber Disease

Also called �Rendu-osler-weber Disease, or Hereditary Hemorrhagic Telangiectasia, � a hereditary disorder causing bleeding from local capillary lesions. The disorder is classed as a type of purpura. In the disease, capillaries (minute blood vessels) in the fingertips and around the oral and nasal cavities are enlarged and have unusually thin walls; they fill with bright red (well-oxygenated) blood and are easily broken by accidental bumping or jarring,

Friday, December 10, 2004

Roberti, Ercole (grandi D'antonio) De'

Roberti is believed to have studied with Cosm� Tura, a court painter to the Este family of Ferrara, and he is known to have studied with Tura's student Francesco del Cossa. Although his early paintings are influenced

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Earth Sciences, Knowledge of Earth composition and structure

The oldest known treatise on rocks and minerals is the De lapidibus (�On Stones�) of the Greek philosopher Theophrastus (c. 372 - c. 287 BC). Written probably in the early years of the 3rd century, this work remained the best study of mineral substances for almost 2,000 years. Although reference is made to some 70 different materials, the work is more an effort at classification than systematic

Wednesday, December 08, 2004


Hydrated calcium aluminosilicate mineral present in hot-spring deposits, notably those at Wairakei, New Zealand, and Onikobe, Japan. Like analcite, wairakite has been assigned to two mineral families: it is regarded as a feldspathoid because of its chemical properties, molecular structure, and mode of formation but as a zeolite because of its ion-exchange and reversible

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Most actuaries are

Monday, December 06, 2004


Homophony does

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Syria, The state of the arts

Following World War I, drawing was taught in the schools, and talented artists began to emerge. There is a faculty of fine arts

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Chatham Islands

Island group in the South Pacific Ocean, about 500 miles (800 km) east of New Zealand. Composed of 10 islands, with a total land area of 372 square miles (963 square km), they are primarily of volcanic formation, but areas of limestone indicate that they may once have been part of New Zealand. Chatham Island, the largest (347 square miles [900 square km]), rises to 942 feet (287 m); more than 20 percent of its poorly drained

Friday, December 03, 2004

Don Quixote

Spanish �in full El Ingenioso Hidalgo Don Quijote De La Mancha, � novel published in two parts (Part I, 1605; Part II, 1615) by Miguel de Cervantes, one of the most widely read classics of Western literature. Originally conceived as a comic satire against the chivalric romances then in literary vogue, it describes realistically what befalls an elderly knight who, his head bemused by reading romances, sets out on his old horse Rosinante, with his

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Biblical Literature, The documentary hypothesis

Beyond these obvious discrepancies, modern literary analysis and criticism of the texts has pointed up significant differences in style, vocabulary, and content, apparently indicating a variety of original sources for the first four books, as well as an independent origin for Deuteronomy. According to this view, the Tetrateuch is a redaction primarily of three

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Eisenhower Doctrine

(Jan. 5, 1957), in the Cold War period after World War II, U.S. foreign-policy pronouncement by President Dwight D. Eisenhower promising military or economic aid to any Middle Eastern country needing help in resisting communist aggression. The doctrine was intended to check increased Soviet influence in the Middle East, which had resulted from the supply of arms to Egypt by