Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Lower Saxony

German  Niedersachsen,   constituent Land (state) of Germany. The second largest Land in size, it occupies an important band of territory across the northwestern part of the nation. Lower Saxony stretches from The Netherlands border in the west to the border of Mecklenburg–West Pomerania and Saxony-Anhalt Länder in the east. The neck of land occupied by Schleswig-Holstein, Hamburg, and, farther

Monday, November 29, 2004

Hojo Family

Family of hereditary regents to the shogunate of Japan who exercised actual rule from 1199 to 1333. During that period, nine successive members of the family held the regency. The Hojo took their name from their small estate in the Kanogawa Valley in Izu Province.

Bloc National

Right-wing coalition elected to the French Chamber of Deputies (lower house of the legislature) on a wave of nationalist sentiment at the end of World War I; it controlled the French government until 1924. The Bloc gained about three-fourths of the seats in the elections of November 1919, one of the largest conservative majorities in the history of the Third Republic (1870–1940). The Chamber

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Nigeria

A republic and suspended member of the Commonwealth, Nigeria is located in West Africa, on the Gulf of Guinea. Area: 923,768 sq km (356,669 sq mi). Pop. (1995 est.): 95,434,000. Cap.: Abuja. Monetary unit: naira, with (Oct. 6, 1995) an official par value of 22 naira to U.S. $1 (free rate of 34.78 naira = £ 1 sterling); a truer value of the naira was on the free market, where 86.10 naira = U.S. $1 (136.11 naira = £ 1 sterling). Chairman of the Provisional Ruling Council in 1995, Gen. Sani

Ghent

One of Belgium's oldest cities and the historic capital of Flanders, Ghent was powerful, well-organized in its wealthy trade

Friday, November 26, 2004

Middle West

Also called  Midwest, or North Central States,   region, northern and central United States, lying midway between the Appalachian and Rocky mountains and north of the Ohio River and the 37th parallel. The Middle West, as defined by the federal government, comprises the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, and Wisconsin. Actually composed of

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Biblical Literature, The tripartite canon

The threefold nature of the Hebrew Bible (the Law, the Prophets, and the Writings) is reflected in the literature of the period of the Second Temple (6th–1st centuries BCE) and soon after it. The earliest reference is that of the Jewish wisdom writer Ben Sira (flourished 180–175 BCE), who speaks of “the law of the Most High . . . the wisdom of all the ancients and . . . prophecies.” His grandson (c. 132 BCE) in the prologue

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Branagh, Kenneth

At the age of nine, Branagh moved with his family from Northern Ireland to London. He began acting in school plays and graduated from the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in 1981. Six weeks later he made his professional

Monday, November 22, 2004

Gray, Harold (lincoln)

After graduating from Purdue University, Lafayette, Ind., in 1917, Gray joined the staff of the Chicago Tribune, to which he returned after brief service in the U.S. Army. After leaving the Tribune in 1919, he did commercial art and for a five-year period

Berg

In the 11th century the counts of Berg came into possession of Westphalian lands east of Cologne. From 1161 these were divided between the senior branch of Berg and the junior branch of Altena (later Mark), which acquired the countship

Saturday, November 20, 2004

T'ien Ming

The continuation of the mandate was believed to be conditioned by the personal behaviour of the ruler, who was expected to possess i (“righteousness”) and jen (“benevolence

Príbram

Príbram's other

Thursday, November 18, 2004

World War I, The German invasion

For the smooth working of their plan for the invasion of France, the Germans had preliminarily to reduce the ring fortress of Liège, which commanded the route prescribed for their 1st and 2nd armies and which was the foremost stronghold of the Belgian defenses. German troops crossed the frontier into Belgium on the morning of August 4. Thanks to the resolution of a middle-aged

Bruce (of Melbourne), Stanley Melbourne Bruce, Viscount

Bruce studied at the University of Cambridge and then practiced law in England. After serving in the British army during World War I, he entered the Australian Parliament in

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Apponyi, Albert, Gróf (count)

Born into an ancient and famous family, he was the son of Count György Apponyi, who was leader of the Progressive Conservatives and chancellor from 1846 to 1848. Entering the Hungarian Parliament in 1872, Apponyi remained

Monday, November 15, 2004

Middle Rhine Highlands

Also called  Rhenish Slate Mountains , German  Rheinisches Schiefergebirge  mountainous highlands lying mainly in northwestern Germany but also extending westward as the Ardennes through southeastern Belgium and northern Luxembourg, with an overlap into eastern France beyond the Meuse River. The Highlands form a greatly varied plateau with areas of rugged relief, as in the Eifel and the Rothaargebirge in the region of Sauerland, though

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Heian Period

In Japanese history, the period between 794 and 1185, named for the location of the Imperial capital, which was moved from Nara to Heian-kyo (Kyoto) in 794. The Chinese pattern of centralized government that was first adopted in the Nara period (710–784) gradually changed as the growth of private estates (shoen), exempt from taxation, encroached upon the public domain and reduced the substance

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Thompson, Lucky

Thompson played tenor saxophone in the early 1940s with Lionel Hampton, the legendary Billy Eckstine band, and Count Basie before a highly active period in Los Angeles working with Dizzy

Hale Telescope

In full  George Ellery Hale Telescope,  one of the world's largest and most powerful reflecting telescopes, located at the Palomar Observatory, Mount Palomar, Calif. Having a diameter of 5 m (200 inches), it is second only to the 6-metre (236-inch) reflector of the Special Astrophysical Observatory, Zelenchukskaya, Russia. Financed by the Rockefeller Foundation, the telescope at Palomar was completed in 1948 and named in honour

Thursday, November 11, 2004

China, Buddhism

The spokesmen of Chinese Buddhism under the early Mongol rulers came from the Ch'an sect (meditation Buddhism). Their high intellectuality and refined aestheticism, however, did not appeal to the Mongols, who felt more attracted by the mixture of magic practices, rather nebulous metaphysics, and impressive symbolism in the visual arts of Tibetan Buddhism. Kublai

Arabian Sea, Resources

High levels of inorganic nutrients, such as phosphate concentrate, which produce a rich fish life, have been observed in the western Arabian Sea and off the southeastern coast of the Arabian Peninsula. Occurring in the euphotic zone (zone of light, which is found in the upper 450 feet of the sea), this fertilizing effect undoubtedly is attributable in part to coastal upwelling,

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Ovary

In zoology, female reproductive organ in which sex cells (eggs or ova) are produced. The usually paired ovaries of female vertebrates produce both the sex cells and the hormones necessary for reproduction. In some invertebrate groups such as coelenterates, formation of ovaries is associated with the seasons. Many invertebrates

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Karadjordjevic Dynasty

The first prince, Alexander (son of Karadjordje), reigned from 1842 to 1858. Thereafter, for

Matsushita Electric Industrial Company, Ltd.

The company was founded in 1918 by Matsushita Konosuke to manufacture and market the electric lamp sockets and plugs he designed. It was incorporated in 1935, when it took its present name, and began expanding rapidly into a number of varied electrical

Friday, November 05, 2004

France, History Of, The Franco-German War

Napoleon, meanwhile, had become uncomfortably involved in a diplomatic poker game with Bismarck. Prussian victories over Denmark (1864) and Austria (1866) indicated a serious shift in the European balance of power. Napoleon, aware that he faced a severe challenge, set out to strengthen his armed forces; he proposed a tighter conscription law that would increase the size of the

Marquette

City, seat (1851) of Marquette county, Upper Peninsula of Michigan, U.S., on Lake Superior, overlooked by Sugar Loaf Mountain (north), 66 mi (106 km) north-northwest of Escanaba. Founded in 1849 as Worcester and renamed for Jacques Marquette, it became an important iron ore and lumber port. Manufactures include foundry and wood products and mining machinery. Other economic factors are the

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Celestine I, Saint

He was a Roman deacon when elected on Sept. 10, 422, to succeed Boniface I. His pontificate is noted for its vigorous attack on Nestorianism, the unorthodox teaching of Patriarch Nestorius of Constantinople, which stressed that Christ's human and divine natures were independent and which denounced

Mandalay

Mandalay was built mainly in 1857–59 by King Mindon to replace Amarapura as his capital. It was the last capital of the Myanmar kingdom and

Monday, November 01, 2004

Norm

Also called  Social Norm,   rule or standard of behaviour shared by members of a social group. Norms may be internalized—i.e., incorporated within the individual so that there is conformity without external rewards or punishments, or they may be enforced by positive or negative sanctions from without. The social unit sharing particular norms may be small (e.g., a clique of friends) or may include