Monday, February 28, 2005

Stair-step Moss

(Hylocomium splendens), plant of the order Bryales that covers areas of coniferous forest floor of the Northern Hemisphere and also occurs on dunes, ledges, and tundra. The fernlike shoots have many branches and reddish, glossy caulids (stems) with phyllids (leaves) up to 3 mm (0.12 inch) long. The capsules (spore cases) of the female plant are borne on setae (stalks) about 2 cm (0.8 inch)

Sunday, February 27, 2005


In ancient times the country was part of Limousin, from which it was detached in the middle of the 10th century to form a separate frontier countship (march) to protect Poitou and the rest of the duchy of

Saturday, February 26, 2005

Art, African, Ibibio

Among the oldest sculptures of tropical Africa are several hundred ancestor figures, called ekpu, of the Ibibio coastal trade centre of Oron, some of which are thought to date from the late 18th century. They are bearded figures 3 to 4 feet (90 to 120 cm) high and are so individual as to suggest portraiture, despite their schematic style. Oron is one group of Ibibio-speaking villages.

Claudius Pulcher, Publius

Son of Appius Claudius Caecus and commander of the fleet that suffered the only serious Roman naval defeat of the First Punic War (264–241 BC). The setback occurred in 249, when Claudius was consul. He attacked the Carthaginian fleet in the harbour of Drepanum (modern Trapani, Sicily) and lost 93 of his 123 vessels. It was popularly believed that Claudius failed because he had committed

Thursday, February 24, 2005

Iron Curtain

The political, military, and ideological barrier erected by the Soviet Union after World War II to seal off itself and its dependent eastern European allies from open contact with the West and other noncommunist areas. The term Iron Curtain had been in occasional and varied use as a metaphor since the 19th century, but it only came to prominence after it was used by the

Tuesday, February 22, 2005


(Proteus anguinus), blind salamander belonging to the family Proteidae (order Caudata) and found in caves of the Carpathian Mountains in southeastern Europe. It grows to about 30 cm (12 inches) long and has a normally white (unpigmented) body, tiny limbs, red gill plumes, narrow head, and a blunt snout. The olm's vestigial but light-sensitive eyes are covered with skin. It usually

Monday, February 21, 2005

Cygnaeus, Uno

Graduating from the gymnasium (secondary school) at Tavastehus in 1827, Cygnaeus attended the University of Helsingfors, becoming Filosofie Magister there in 1836. He then spent two years as assistant pastor and prison chaplain at Viborg, simultaneously teaching in a private

Saturday, February 19, 2005


City, seat (1878) of Taylor county, northern West Virginia, U.S., on the Tygart Valley River, north of Tygart Lake. Settled in 1852 by construction crews of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, it is thought to be named for the “graftin' on” (junction) point for branch rail lines. It was chartered in 1856. During the American Civil War it was a key rail centre and was occupied by both Confederate and

Friday, February 18, 2005


The sport or pastime of cruising or racing in a sailboat or, more generally, in any large craft propelled by either sail or motor. See yacht.

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Hooker, Richard

Theologian who created a distinctive Anglican theology, and a master of English prose and legal philosophy. In his masterpiece, Of the lawes of ecclesiasticall politie, which was incomplete at the time of his death, Hooker defended the Church of England against both Roman Catholics and Puritans

Tuesday, February 15, 2005


Kobe is situated at the eastern end of the Inland Sea on Osaka Bay, about 20 miles (32 km) west of Osaka. The city is confined to a narrow shelf of land

Austin, John Langshaw

After receiving early education at Shrewsbury School and Balliol College, Oxford, he became a fellow at All Souls College (1933) and Magdalen College (1935), where he studied traditional Greco-Roman

Monday, February 14, 2005

Austin, John Langshaw

The amount of oxygen used by microorganisms in the process of breaking down organic matter in water. The more organic matter there is (e.g., in sewage), the greater the number of microbes. The more microbes there are, the greater the need of oxygen to support them; consequently, less oxygen is available for higher animals such as fishes. The BOD is therefore a reliable gauge

Sunday, February 13, 2005


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

Friday, February 11, 2005


Mountainous terrains have certain unifying characteristics. Such terrains have higher elevations than do surrounding areas. Moreover, high relief exists within mountain belts and ranges. Individual mountains, mountain ranges, and mountain belts that have been created by different tectonic processes, however, are often characterized by different

Shiga Naoya

Born into an aristocratic samurai family, Shiga was taken by his parents to live with his paternal grandparents in Tokyo in 1885. In his youth he was influenced by the Christian educator Uchimura Kanzo, but Christianity

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Pole, Reginald

His father, Sir Richard Pole, was a cousin of King Henry VII, and his mother, Margaret, countess of Salisbury, was a niece of Edward

Follen, Karl

Graduated from the University of Giessen as a doctor of civil and canonical law (1818), Follen taught there and in the

Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Lutheran Synodical Conference

Cooperative agency organized in 1872 by several conservative U.S. Lutheran groups. Its members accepted strict conservative interpretations of the Bible and the Lutheran confessions and insisted that fellowship among Lutheran groups could take place only after agreement was reached on doctrine and church practices. Over the years some of the original members

Lak-dargin Languages

Also called  Lak-dargwa,  two related languages spoken in central Dagestan in the Caucasus—Lak and Dargin. Both are written languages. The dialects of Dargin differ considerably from one another and are considered by some scholars to be separate languages. The Lak-Dargin languages are often placed in the Dagestanian group of the Nakho-Dagestanian (Northeast Caucasian) languages, together

Sunday, February 06, 2005

Bedmar, Alonso De La Cueva, Marqués De

Nominated by Philip III of Spain as ambassador to the Venetian Republic (1607), he was made marqués de Bedmar in 1614. He used his diplomatic privileges to promote the plans of the Spanish viceroys of Naples and Milan and to increase Spanish power in Italy. Resolutely opposed

Saturday, February 05, 2005

Gagern, Maximilian (joseph Ludwig) Freiherr Von (baron Of)

Gagern, like his two prominent brothers, a nationalist

Friday, February 04, 2005

Kuba Carpet

Any of several types of antique floor coverings of the Caucasus, many of which are of considerable length, but narrow. Rather than the town of Kuba (now Quba, Azerbaijan), which was founded about 1750 in Dagestan, the original source was probably the districts of Karabakh and Shirvan in Southern Caucasia, where rug workshops were operated under the sponsorship of the Iranian

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Spanish Civil War

(1936–39), military revolt against the Republican government of Spain, supported by conservative elements within the country. When an initial military coup failed to win control of the entire country, a bloody civil war ensued, fought with great ferocity on both sides. The Nationalists, as the rebels were called, received aid from fascist Italy and Nazi Germany. The Republicans

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Agrippina The Younger

Agrippina was the daughter of the elder Agrippina, sister of the emperor Gaius, or Caligula (37–41), and wife of the emperor Claudius (41–54). She had been exiled in 39 for taking part in a conspiracy against Gaius but was allowed to return to Rome in 41. Her first husband, Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus,


Town, southeastern Côte d'Ivoire, on the Ébrié Lagoon. Named for Captain Louis-Gustave Binger, first governor of the French Ivory Coast colony, the town was the colonial capital from 1900 to 1934. Formerly a trade centre among the Ebrie (Kyama) people, it is now the site of agricultural research stations for oil palm, coffee and cacao, and livestock. Pineapples and avocados are among