Friday, December 31, 2004

Performing Arts, Australia.

Several directors looked critically at the recent history of Aboriginal Australians. Philip Noyce's Rabbit-Proof Fence recalled the true story of three young girls who fled from incarceration under the official policy of the first three-quarters of the 20th century of seizing quarter- and half-caste children from their Aboriginal families so they could be �civilized

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Burckhardt, Jacob (christopher)

Jacob Christopher also spelled �Jakob Christoph � one of the first great historians of art and culture, whose Die Kultur der Renaissance in Italien (1860; The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy, 1878, reprinted 1945) became a model for the treatment of cultural history in general.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Berenice Iii

Daughter of either Cleopatra Selene or Cleopatra IV, Berenice first married her uncle, Ptolemy X, sometime before 101. After the death in 101 of the dowager queen, Cleopatra III, the widow of Ptolemy VIII, Berenice became full queen. In 87 Ptolemy

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


(from the Greek meaning �known life�), condition of life in which only known kinds of organisms are present. Gnotobiotic organisms are of two major types: germfree, that is, free of all known contaminants; and gnotophoric, bearing a single known contaminant, usually administered as part of an experiment. The term �germfree,� however, is often used loosely to indicate all organisms

Monday, December 27, 2004


It is probable that prehistoric

Sunday, December 26, 2004


On special occasions the snake was asked to the table to share the family meal from their

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Gaulle, Charles De

In full �Charles Andr� Joseph Marie de Gaulle� French soldier, writer, statesman, and architect of France's Fifth Republic.

Friday, December 24, 2004

West Chester

Borough (town), seat (1786) of Chester county, southeastern Pennsylvania, U.S. It lies 27 miles (43 km) west of Philadelphia. Settlement began in the early 1700s, and Turk's Head Inn was established there in 1761; but the town's growth was delayed by a prolonged dispute with Chester (now in Delaware county) over the permanent location of the county seat. During the American Revolution, the Battle

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Huysum, Jan Van

He was the eldest son of Justus van Huysum, a versatile painter whose subjects included landscapes, seascapes, battle scenes, portraits, and flowers. Jan van Huysum studied under his father but soon surpassed him in skill. He specialized in exquisitely detailed, dramatically

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Claudius, Matthias

After studying at Jena, Claudius held a series of editorial and minor official positions until in 1788 he acquired a sinecure in the Schleswig-Holstein bank. He edited the Wandsbecker Bote (1771 - 75), popular not only

Monday, December 20, 2004

Christensen, Harold

Christensen studied dancing with the famous choreographer George Balanchine and appeared with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet (1934), Ballet Caravan (1936 - 40), San Francisco Opera Ballet (1942), and San

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Ahmad Ibn Hanbal

For bibliography and information pertaining to Ibn Hanbal's works, see Fuat Sezgin, Geschichte des arabischen Schrifttums, vol. 1 (1967); for his life and works generally, see W.M. Patton, Ahmed ibn Hanbal and the Mihna (1897); and H. Laoust, �Le Hanbalisme sous le califat de Bagdad,� in Revue des �tudes Islamiques (1959); and the Encyclopaedia of Islam, vol. 1 (1960). On Sufism in the Hanbali school of thought, see G. Makdisi, �L'Isnad initiatique soufi de Muwaffaq ad-Din Ibn Qudama,� in L'Herne: Louis Massignon (1970).

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Amin, Idi

Ugandan military officer and president (b. 1924/25, near Koboko, Uganda British Protectorate - d. Aug. 16, 2003, Jiddah, Saudi Arabia), took control of Uganda in a military coup in 1971 and for eight years ruled with despotic power until he was overthrown by Ugandan nationalists supported by Tanzanian troops. Amin's often arbitrary and capricious rule of Uganda was characterized by fierce

Friday, December 17, 2004


Any of a number of prose commentaries attached to the Vedas, the most ancient Hindu sacred literature, explaining the significance of the Vedas as used in the ritual sacrifices and the symbolic import of the priests' actions. The word brahmana may mean either the utterance of a Brahman (priest) or an exposition on the meaning of the sacred word; the latter is more commonly

Thursday, December 16, 2004


Also called �Debir�, or �Lo-debar�, modern �Tall Bayt Mirsham� ancient town of Palestine, located near Hebron (in the Israeli-occupied West Bank). According to the Bible, the town was taken from the Canaanites either by Caleb's son-in-law Othniel or by Joshua himself. Tall Bayt Mirsham (Tell Beit Mirsim) was excavated (1926 - 32) by W.F. Albright, who uncovered exceptionally clear stratification from which he was able to give the first comprehensive

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Romanov Dynasty

Rulers of Russia from 1613 until the Russian Revolution of February 1917. Descendants of Andrey Ivanovich Kobyla (Kambila), a Muscovite boyar who lived during the reign of the grand prince of Moscow Ivan I Kalita (reigned 1328 - 41), the Romanovs acquired their name from Roman Yurev (d. 1543), whose daughter Anastasiya Romanovna Zakharina-Yureva was the first wife of Ivan IV the Terrible (reigned

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Carnivore, Importance to humans

The raccoon is the only procyonid of major economic significance. Raccoon hunting has been a sport of substantial importance in the United States, and in some parts of the United States many people own dogs trained to hunt raccoons. The coatimundi also is hunted with dogs and its flesh is also eaten. Meat of the raccoon is in more demand as food than that of any other

Monday, December 13, 2004

Hancock, Joy Bright

Joy Bright enlisted in the Naval Reserve after graduating from the Pierce School of Business Administration in Philadelphia in 1918. From 1919 she worked as a civilian for the U.S. Navy at various stations and at the Department of the Navy in Washington, D.C.

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Robert Ii

The son of Hugh Capet, founder of the Capetian dynasty, and Adelaide of Aquitaine, Robert was educated at the episcopal school of Reims under Gerbert of Aurillac, later Pope Sylvester II. Soon after his own coronation (July 987), Hugh prudently arranged the election and coronation (December 987) of

Saturday, December 11, 2004


Also spelled �Carat, � a measure of the fineness (i.e., purity) of gold. It is spelled carat outside the United States but should not be confused with the unit used to measure the weight of gems, also called carat. A gold karat is 1/24 part, or 4.1667 percent, of the whole, and the purity of a gold alloy is expressed as the number of these parts of gold it contains. Thus, an object that contains 16 parts gold and 8 parts alloying

Friday, December 10, 2004


Hydrated sodium, potassium, and calcium aluminosilicate mineral (Na2,K2,Ca) Al2Si10O24�7H2O, in the zeolite family. It is one of the most abundant zeolites in altered volcanic deposits, and it commonly occurs as white, glassy needles filling veins and cavities in igneous rocks. It is also found in marine sediments, as in the Ural Mountains and in dikes where water has attacked and

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Pauls Valley

City, seat (1907) of Garvin county, south-central Oklahoma, U.S. The area, on the Washita River, was first settled by white North Carolinian Smith Paul, who arrived with a group of relocated Chickasaw Indians in 1837. He began to cultivate the fertile bottomland in 1857, and when the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad reached the settlement in 1887 it designated the area Smith Paul's Valley,

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Mammal, Territoriality

That area covered by an individual in his general activity is frequently termed the home range. A territory is a part of the home range defended against other members of the same species. As a generalization it may be said that territoriality is more important in the behavior of birds than of mammals, but data for the latter are available primarily for diurnal species.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Computers, The Analytical Engine

The Analytical

Monday, December 06, 2004


Town in the unitary authority of Halton, historic county of Lancashire, England. It is situated on the north bank of the River Mersey at its lowest bridging point and on the southern periphery of the Liverpool metropolitan region. The modern town is a result of 19th-century industrial expansion and is a principal centre of the British chemical industry, largely because

Sunday, December 05, 2004

Atherton, Gertrude

Gertrude Horn grew up in a prosperous neighbourhood of her native San Francisco until her parents' divorce and thereafter mainly on the San Jose ranch of her maternal grandfather, under whose stern discipline she was introduced to serious literature.

Saturday, December 04, 2004


Feminine �ogress� a hideous giant represented in fairy tales and folklore as feeding on human beings. The word gained popularity from its use in the late 17th century by Charles Perrault, the author of Contes de ma m�re l'oye (Tales of Mother Goose). Since then, ogres have appeared in many works, including �Tom Thumb�; �Hansel and Gretel,� where the witch is a type of ogre because she intends to eat

Friday, December 03, 2004

India, The Bangladesh war

In December 1970 Pakistan held general elections, its first since independence. The Awami League, headed by East Pakistan's popular Bengali leader Mujibur Rahman (Sheikh Mujib; 1920 - 75), won a majority of seats in the new assembly, but West Pakistan's chief martial law administrator and president, General Agha Mohammad Yahya Khan, refused to honour the democratic choice of his

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Rabemananjara, Jacques

Rabemananjara began writing in the early 1940s and published his first volume of verse, Sur les marches du soir (�On the Edges of Evening�), in 1942. A death sentence imposed on him for his alleged participation in the 1947 revolt in Madagascar embittered him, despite a later reprieve, and the poems of Antidote, written

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Hisdai Ibn Shaprut

After becoming court physician to the powerful Umayyad caliph 'Abd ar-Rahman III, Hisdai gradually gained eminence in the Arab world, acting as