Friday, December 31, 2004


No ancient texts speak of Ligurians in southern Gaul as nations or attribute definite racial characteristics to them. They were apparently an indigenous collection

Thursday, December 30, 2004


City in Gauteng province and administrative capital of the Republic of South Africa. Pretoria stretches along both sides of the Apies River and extends into the western foothills of the Magaliesberg on the east. Founded in 1855 by Marthinus, son of Andries Pretorius, the Boer statesman for whom the city was named, it became the capital of the Transvaal in 1860, administrative

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Ancient Greek city situated on the Chalcidice Peninsula of northwestern Greece. It lay about 1.5 miles (2.5 km) inland from the Gulf of Torone of the Adriatic Sea. A Thracian people called the Bottiaeans inhabited Olynthus until 479 BC, when Persian forces killed them and handed the town over to local Greeks from Chalcidice. Though dominated for a time thereafter by Athens, Olynthus

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Kulhwch And Olwen

Welsh �Culhwch Ac Olwen � (c. 1100), Welsh prose work that is one of the earliest-known Arthurian romances. It is a lighthearted tale that skillfully incorporates themes from mythology, folk literature, and history. The earliest form of the story survives in an early 14th-century manuscript called The White Book of Rhydderch, and the first translation of the story into modern English was made by Lady

Monday, December 27, 2004


Also spelled �Buchara�, or �Bokhara� oblast (province), central Uzbekistan, with an area of 15,200 square miles (39,400 square km). The oblast was constituted in 1938, but in 1982 much of its territory in the north and east was transferred to a newly formed Navoi oblast. Bukhara oblast mainly comprises the Kimirekkum Desert, with the lower reaches of the Zeravshan River in the southwest. The climate is continental, with cold winters

Sunday, December 26, 2004

�rp�d Dynasty

Rulers of Hungary from the late 9th century until 1301, under whom the Hungarian nation was transformed from a confederation of Hungarian tribes into a powerful state of east-central Europe. The dynasty was named after �rp�d (d. 907), who was chosen by seven Hungarian tribes to lead them westward from their dwelling place on the Don River (889). Having crossed the Carpathian Mountains

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Great Malvern

Also known as �Malvern� town, Malvern Hills district, administrative and historic county of Worcestershire, England. Great Malvern was formerly the largest of several villages and hamlets on the eastern slopes of the Malvern Hills but has since grown to incorporate them. Malvern Chase, a medieval administrative entity, was granted to the earl of Gloucester by Edward I (reigned 1272 - 1307). Little

Friday, December 24, 2004


(family Cervidae), any of the ruminant mammals (order Artiodactyla) having two large and two small hooves on each foot and having antlers in the males of most species and in the females of some species. Indeed, the feature most commonly associated with deer is the presence of antlers. Deer occur mainly in forests but may be found in habitats as diverse as deserts, tundra,

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Kidney Function Test

Any clinical and laboratory procedure designed to evaluate various aspects of renal (kidney) capacity and efficiency and to aid in the diagnosis of kidney disorders. Such tests can be divided into several categories, which include (1) clearance tests that give an estimate of the filtration rate of the glomeruli, the principal filtering structures of the kidneys

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Philadelphia Centennial Exposition

Ten years in the planning, the Centennial Exposition cost more than $11 million and covered more than 450 acres (180 hectares) of Philadelphia's Fairmount Park. President Ulysses S. Grant opened the exposition on May 10, 1876, and

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Rachmaninoff, Sergey

In full �Sergey Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff�, Rachmaninoff also spelled �Rakhmaninov�, or �Rachmaninov� composer who was the last great figure of the tradition of Russian Romanticism and a leading piano virtuoso of his time. He is especially known for his piano concerti and the piece for piano and orchestra entitled Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini (1954). (Click here for an

Monday, December 20, 2004

Drame Bourgeois

Type of play that enjoyed brief popularity in France in the late 18th century. Written for and about the middle class and based upon the theories of the French essayist and encyclopaedist Denis Diderot (1713 - 84), the drame bourgeois was conceived of as occupying a place between tragedy and comedy; it was designed as a serious depiction of middle-class problems, especially social

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Rhys, Si�n Dafydd

Rhys spent some time at Oxford then earned a degree in medicine from the University of Siena, Italy. He practiced as a physician at Cardiff,

Saturday, December 18, 2004


Sanskrit �Anatman, � in Buddhism, the doctrine that there is in humans no permanent, underlying substance that can be called the soul. Instead, the individual is compounded of five factors of consciousness (Pali: khandha; Sanskrit: skandha) that are constantly changing. The concept of anatta, or anatman, is a departure from the Hindu belief in atman (�the self�). The absence of a self, anicca (the impermanence

Friday, December 17, 2004

Japanese Yew

Also called �spreading yew (Taxus cuspidata)� an ornamental evergreen shrub or tree of the yew family (Taxaceae), native to Japan and widely cultivated in the Northern Hemisphere. Rising to a height of 16 m (about 52 feet), it resembles the English yew but is hardier and faster-growing. Each leaf has two distinct, yellowish bands on its underside. There are many horticultural varieties of Japanese yew. Plants

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Cole, Johnnetta

Among Cole's early influences in education were her mother, who taught college English, pioneering educator Mary MacLeod Bethune, and writer Arna Bontemps, who was the school librarian at Fisk University when Cole matriculated at age 15. She

Monday, December 13, 2004


Greek �Tyrannos� a cruel and oppressive ruler or, in ancient Greece, a ruler who seized power unconstitutionally or inherited such power. In the 10th and 9th centuries BC, monarchy had been the usual form of government in the Greek states; the aristocratic regimes that had replaced monarchy were by the 7th century BC themselves unpopular. Thus the opportunity arose for ambitious men to seize

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Gaboriau, �mile

Gaboriau's prolific imagination and acute observation generated 21 novels (originally published in serial form) in 13 years. He made his reputation with the publication in 1866 of L'Affaire

Saturday, December 11, 2004


City, in southeastern Punjab state, northwestern India. The city was founded in the 17th century and became the capital of the former independent state of Jind. In 1948 it became part of India. Sangrur is an agricultural market with some light industry, including handloom weaving and handicrafts. There are good road and rail connections with the rest of Punjab and with neighbouring

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Hydaspes, Battle Of The

(326 BC), fourth and last pitched battle fought by Alexander the Great during his campaign of conquest in Asia. It took place after Alexander's conquest of the Achaemenidian Empire and immediately before his army began the journey homeward to Macedonia. Porus, the Indian ruler of the territory between the Jhelum and the Chenab rivers (in modern Pakistan), was his opponent. After

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Corbusier, Le

Byname of �Charles-�douard Jeanneret� internationally influential Swiss architect and city planner, whose designs combine the functionalism of the modern movement with a bold, sculptural expressionism. He belonged to the first generation of the so-called International school of architecture and was their most able propagandist

Tuesday, December 07, 2004


Any member of the order Carnivora, literally �meat eaters.� The order includes 10 families of living mammals: Canidae (dogs, wolves, jackals, and foxes), Ursidae (bears), Procyonidae (raccoons), Mustelidae (skunks, mink, weasels, badgers, and otters), Viverridae (civets and mongooses), Hyaenidae (hyenas), Felidae (cats), Otariidae (eared seals), Odobenidae (walrus), and Phocidae (earless seals).

Monday, December 06, 2004

Indian Tobacco

The Indian tobacco's leafy flower spike, about 1 m (3 feet) tall, begins blooming at the bottom

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Fusion Reactor

A fusion reaction occurs when two lighter atomic nuclei combine to form the nucleus of a heavier element. When the two nuclei fuse, a small amount of mass is converted into a large amount of energy. For a fusion reaction to occur, the two nuclei must be moving at high speed in

Saturday, December 04, 2004


City, central Panama, just northeast of Balboa city. It is a residential and medical centre. As Balboa and Panama City have grown, Anc�n has become virtually a suburb of the latter. It is noted for the Gorgas Hospital for tropical diseases, named after Colonel William Crawford Gorgas, a U.S. Army surgeon who eradicated yellow fever from the Canal Zone. Anc�n is also the site

Friday, December 03, 2004

Antarctica, The �heroic era� of exploration

During the first two decades of the 20th century, commonly called the �heroic era� of Antarctic exploration, great advances were made in not only geographic but also scientific knowledge of the continent. The Englishmen Robert F. Scott and Ernest Henry Shackleton led three expeditions between 1901 and 1913, pioneering routes into the interior and making important geologic,

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Alaska, The economy

The Alaskan economy is conditioned strongly by the state's frontier stage of development, but its formerly inadequate tax base for state and municipal growth ended with the development of the North Slope oil fields. High costs of labour and transportation and complicated environmental and land-use constraints still tend to discourage outside investment. Nonetheless,

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Hafiz Ibrahim, Muhammad

Hafiz was a lawyer and later a lieutenant in the Egyptian army, from which he retired in 1901. During the next 10 years he wrote his well-known odes denouncing imperialism and wrote his nationalistic poems. His superb skill as a reciter of poetry won him a prominent place in society, and he became director of literature