Sunday, February 29, 2004

Ob-ugric Languages

Division of the Finno-Ugric branch of the Uralic language family, comprising the Mansi (Vogul) and Khanty (Ostyak) languages; they are most closely related to Hungarian, with which they make up the Ugric branch of Finno-Ugric. The Ob-Ugric languages are spoken in the region of the Ob and Irtysh rivers in central Russia. They had no written tradition or literary language

Saturday, February 28, 2004


By the 8th century BC Priene was a member of the Ionian League, whose central shrine, the Panionion, lay within the city's territory. Priene

Friday, February 27, 2004

Shield-backed Katydid

Any orthopteran of the insect subfamily Decticinae, within the long-horned grasshopper (or katydid) family Tettigoniidae. They are cricketlike in appearance, are more than 2.5 cm (1 inch) long, and are brown or black in colour. They have a pronotum (dorsal surface of the prothorax) that extends back to the abdomen. Most species have short wings, and some species are

Thursday, February 26, 2004

Arai Hakuseki

Born into an impoverished samurai, or warrior, family, Arai educated himself under conditions of extreme hardship. He found employment in 1682 under Hotta Masatoshi (1634 - 84), a top government official. When Hotta died two years later,

Wednesday, February 25, 2004

1945--a Watershed Year

The Test.--The first atomic bomb in the history of mankind was exploded at 5:30 A.M. on July 16, 1945, at the Alamogordo air base in the desert 120 mi. southeast of Albuquerque, N.M. The bomb had been placed on a tall steel tower while scientists and military experts occupied

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

France, History Of, The Great Depression and political crises

France at the end of the 1920s had apparently recovered its prewar stability, prosperity, and self-confidence. For a time it even seemed immune to the economic crisis that spread through Europe beginning in 1929; France went serenely on behind its high-tariff barrier, a healthy island in a chaotic world. By 1931, however, France in its turn succumbed to the effects of the depression,

Monday, February 23, 2004

Australia, Overall characteristics

Australia is a land of vast plains. Only 6 percent of the island continent is above 2,000 feet (600 metres) in elevation. Its highest peak, Mount Kosciusko, rises to only 7,310 feet (2,228 metres). This situation stems in part from the long periods of geologic time during which Australia has been subject to weathering and erosion and in part from Australia's position at the edge of a zone of significant

Sunday, February 22, 2004


First production-model nuclear-powered attack submarine of the U.S. Navy. Launched and commissioned in 1957, it was similar to the first nuclear-powered submarine, the Nautilus, but smaller, displacing only 2,360 tons. Like the Nautilus, the Skate and the three other boats in its class incorporated nuclear propulsion into a streamlined �Guppy�-style hull that had been adapted

Saturday, February 21, 2004

Block Book

Book printed from wooden blocks on which the text and illustration for each page had to be painstakingly cut by hand. Such books were distinct from printed books after the invention of movable type, in which words were made up of individual letters each of which could be reused as often as necessary and in which only illustrations and special devices,

Friday, February 20, 2004


City, southeastern corner of British Columbia, Canada. It lies in the Kootenay River valley on the western edge of the Rocky Mountain Trench. The region was first settled about 1863 by gold prospectors. Cranbrook was probably named for a town near the farm home in Kent, Eng., of one of the settlers, Colonel James Baker. The Canadian Pacific Railroad's Crowsnest branch line reached

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Jiang Qing

Third wife of Chinese Communist leader Mao Zedong and the most influential woman in the People's Republic of China until her downfall in 1976, after Mao's death. As a member of the Gang of Four (q.v.) she was convicted in 1981 of �counter-revolutionary crimes� and

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Black Hundreds

Russian �Chernosotentsy, � reactionary, antirevolutionary, and anti-Semitic groups formed in Russia during and after the Russian Revolution of 1905. The most important of these groups were the League of the Russian People (Soyuz Russkogo Naroda), League of the Archangel Michael (Soyuz Mikhaila Arkhangela), and Council of United Nobility (Soviet Obedinennogo Dvoryanstva). The Black Hundreds were

Tuesday, February 17, 2004


Ceramic products or components employed in medical and dental applications, mainly as implants and replacements. This article briefly describes the principal ceramic materials and surveys the uses to which they are put in medical and dental applications. For an explanation of important issues in biomedical uses of all materials (including ceramics), see the

Monday, February 16, 2004


Born into a large Italian-American family, Madonna studied dance at the University of Michigan and with the Alvin Ailey American Dance

Sunday, February 15, 2004

Edgar The Aetheling

Anglo-Saxon prince, who, at the age of about 15, was proposed as king of England after the death of Harold II in the Battle of Hastings (Oct. 14, 1066) but instead served the first two Norman kings, William I, Harold's conqueror, and William II. His title of aetheling (an Anglo-Saxon prince, especially the heir apparent) indicates he was a prince of the royal family; he was a grandson

Saturday, February 14, 2004

Mulaydah, Battle Of Al-

The Wahhabi prince 'Abd Allah lost many of the territories that his father, Faysal (reigned 1834 - 65), had acquired by conquest

Friday, February 13, 2004


Town (�parish�), West Somerset district, administrative and historic county of Somerset, England. The town owes its origin and growth to its harbour. Minehead was first incorporated in 1558. Its older buildings include St. Michael's Church (1450), the almshouses (1630), the old manor office, and the 17th-century cottages along Quay Street. The present harbour was built in 1616. Minehead's trade with

Thursday, February 12, 2004


Zirconium dioxide, an industrially important compound of zirconium and oxygen usually derived from the mineral zircon (see zirconium).

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

Cumberland Islands

Archipelago in the Great Barrier Reef, off the eastern coast of Queensland, Australia. The group comprises more than 70 inner continental islands (land, not coral), including Whitsunday, Lindeman, Brampton, Molle, Long, Hook, Dent, and Hayman. The high-cliffed wooded chain, once inhabited by squatters and timber cutters, is now a reserve area. Discovered in 1770 by Captain James

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Plains Indian

The Indians of the North American Great Plains are popularly regarded as the typical American Indians. They were essentially big-game hunters, the buffalo being a primary source of food and equally important as a source of materials for clothing,

Monday, February 09, 2004

Arabian Desert, Animal life

The animal life is varied and unique. Desert insects include the fly, the malaria-carrying Anopheles mosquito, fleas, lice, roaches, ants, termites, beetles, and mantids (predatory insects that camouflage themselves as leaves, twigs, or pebbles). Also found are the scavenging dung beetle, myriads of butterflies, moths, and caterpillars, and the pestiferous locust that

Sunday, February 08, 2004


City, Fukui ken (prefecture), Honshu, Japan. It faces Tsuruga Bay of the Sea of Japan. A flourishing port since early historic times, it was one of the main centres of communication with the Asian mainland and a major shipment centre for the former national capitals of Nara and Kyoto. Tsuruga's industrial base was developed after World War II with factories producing synthetic

Saturday, February 07, 2004

Alfonso V

Byname �Alfonso the Magnanimous�, Spanish �Alfonso el Magn�nimo� king of Aragon (1416 - 58) and king of Naples (as Alfonso I, 1442 - 58), whose military campaigns in Italy and elsewhere in the central Mediterranean made him one of the most famous men of his day. After conquering Naples, he transferred his court there.

Friday, February 06, 2004

China, Y�an China and the West

As mentioned above, Mongol rulers favoured trade in all their dominions. In China, too, they eliminated state trade controls that had existed under the Sung and Chin, so that internal and external trade reached unprecedented proportions. It seems, however, that China's transcontinental trade with the Middle East and Europe was in the hands of non-Chinese (Persians,

Thursday, February 05, 2004


Town (�parish�), Kennet district, administrative and historical county of Wiltshire, England. It lies along the disused Kennet and Avon Canal, at the edge of Roundway Down. It was the site of a Roman fortification, Castrum Divisarum; and Roger, bishop of Salisbury, built a castle there about 1132. The name Devizes possibly came from a medieval Latin reference to the castle ad

Wednesday, February 04, 2004


Greek �Kir�nia, �Turkish �Girne, � city, situated along the northern coast of Cyprus, in the Turkish Cypriot-administered area. Founded by the Achaeans, ancient Greek colonists, and fortified by the Byzantines, Franks, and Venetians, the city was the administrative headquarters of the Kyrenia district of the Republic of Cyprus until the Turkish intervention in 1974. Kyrenia city is a market centre and

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Dipteran, Annotated classification

Characterized by large squamae (calypters that join base of wing to thorax); Scatophagidae

Monday, February 02, 2004


Any member of the genus Trifolium, of the pea family (Fabaceae), comprising 300 or more annual and perennial species, occurring in most temperate and subtropical regions (except Southeast Asia and Australia). The alternate leaves are compound, usually with three toothed leaflets. The very small, fragrant flowers are crowded into dense heads, or spikes. The small,

Sunday, February 01, 2004


In Sikhism, any of the first 10 leaders of the Sikh religion of northern India. The word Sikh is derived from the Sanskrit sisya (�disciple�), and all Sikhs are disciples of the Guru (spiritual guide, or teacher). The first Sikh Guru, Nanak, established the practice of naming his successor before his death (1539), and from the time of Ram Das, the fourth to reign, the Gurus all came from one family.