Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 4

Cambridge Encyclopedia

Alcide de Gasperi - Biography

Italian statesman and prime minister (1945–53), born in Trentino, N Italy. He studied at Innsbruck and Vienna, entered politics in 1911 as a deputy for the Catholic ‘Unione politica popolare trentina’ in the Austrian parliament, and became a deputy in the Italian parliament in 1921. In 1927 he was imprisoned by Mussolini as an anti-Facist. From 1929 he worked in the Vatican library until he bec…

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Alcmaeon (mythology)

In Greek mythology, the son of Amphiaraus. To avenge his father's death, he killed his mother, and was pursued by the Furies until he came to a land which had not seen the Sun at the time of his mother's death; he found this recently-emerged land at the mouth of the R Achelous. He was commanded by Apollo to lead the expedition of the Epigoni against Thebes. Alcmaeon was the last kin…

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Alcmaeon (of Croton)

Greek physician and philosopher from Croton (modern Crotone), S Italy. The first recorded anatomist, he was the true discoverer of the Eustachian tubes, and a pioneer of embryology through anatomical dissection. Alcmaeon was the last king of Athens. An ancient Greek (c. Alcmaeon wrote Concerning Nature which might be the earliest example of Greek medical literature. …

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Alcman - Biography, Text, Content, Literature

Greek lyric poet, probably born in Sardis, Lydia. The first to write erotic poetry, he composed in Doric dialect the Parthenia (songs sung by choruses of virgins), bridal hymns, and verses in praise of love and wine. Alcman (also Alkman, Greek Ἀλκμάν) (7th century BC) was an Ancient Greek choral lyric poet from Sparta. The name of Alcman's mother is not known but his fath…

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Alcmene - Popular Culture

In Greek mythology, the wife of Amphitryon and mother of twins Iphicles and Heracles. Iphicles was the son of Alcmene's mortal husband, Amphitryon, while Heracles was the son of Zeus, who had tricked Alcmene by impersonating her husband. The goddess Hera, wife of Zeus, was jealous of her husband's infidelity and delayed Alcmeme's delivery of Heracles so that his cousin, Eurystheus, became king of …

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Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) - History and development, How the A.A. program works, Beliefs about alcoholism, Structure

A self-help group for alcoholics trying to stop drinking. Founded in the USA in 1935 by ‘Bill W’ (William Griffith Wilson, 1895–1971) and ‘Dr Bob S’ (Robert Holbrook Smith, 1879–1950), it consists of local groups where members (identified by first names only) meet to give each other support. There are more than 2 million members in over 150 countries. In the early 1990s it influenced the dev…

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alcoholism - Terminology, Epidemiology, Identification and diagnosis, Effects, Treatments, Societal impact

An ambiguous term, for some implying a disease, for others a severe form of alcohol dependence. It is also used as a term of opprobrium relating to anyone who has continuing difficulties associated with excessive alcohol consumption. A major limitation of the term is that it suggests a dichotomy between abstinence and moderate drinking, on the one hand, and excessive and uncontrolled drinking, on …

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Alcuin - Biography, As Carolingian Renaissance figure, Further reading

Scholar and adviser to the emperor Charlemagne, born in York, North Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at the cloister school, of which he became master in 778. In 781, he met Charlemagne at Parma, and joined the court at Aix-la-Chapelle (Aachen). Here he devoted himself first to the education of the royal family, but through his influence the court became a school of culture for the Frankish em…

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Aldeburgh - The Scallop

52º09N 1º35E, pop (1999e) 2700. Coastal town in Suffolk, E England, UK; developed on the site of a mediaeval fishing centre; received royal charter, 1598; birthplace of Millicent Fawcett and George Crabbe; home of Elizabeth Garrett Anderson; Moot Hall (16th-c), Martello Tower (19th-c); famous for its annual music festival (Jun) founded in 1948; Maltings promenade concerts (Aug), poetry festival…

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alder

A small, deciduous N temperate tree, often growing by water or in wet soils; leaves oval or rounded; male and female flowers on separate plants; male catkins long, pendulous; females short, erect, becoming woody and cone-like in fruit. (Genus: Alnus, 35 species. Family: Betulaceae.) …

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Alderney

pop (2000e) 2300; area 8 km²/3 sq mi. Third largest of the Channel Is, off the coast of French Normandy, W of Cherbourg; separated from France by the Race of Alderney; in the Bailiwick of Guernsey, with its own legislative assembly; chief town, Saint Anne; tourism, dairy farming. …

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Aldershot - Geography, Landmarks, Transport and communications, Shopping in Aldershot, Education, Leisure and recreation, Sport, Media, Politics

51º15N 0º47W, pop (2001e) 51 000. Town in Rushmoor district, Hampshire, S England, UK; 13 km/8 mi W of Guildford; large military camp; birthplace of Claude Auchinleck, Terry Hands, Maud MacBride, Ian McEwan; railway; bricks, engineering, electrical goods. Aldershot is a town in the English county of Hampshire, located on heathland approximately 55 km (35 miles) southwest of London. …

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Aldo Moro - Early career, Kidnapping and death

Italian statesman and prime minister (1963–4, 1964–6, 1966–8, 1974–6, 1976), born in Maglie, SE Italy. He was professor of law at the University of Bari, and published several books on legal subjects. After World War 2 he was elected deputy to the Constituent Assembly and to the Legislature and held various cabinet posts. He took office as secretary of the Christian Democrats (1959) and, altho…

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aldosterone - Aldosterone and the kidney

A type of hormone (a mineralocorticoid) secreted from the adrenal cortex into the blood. Its primary role in humans is to stimulate sodium reabsorption and potassium excretion by the kidneys, in order to maintain electrolyte and water balance. Excessive secretion is known as aldosteronism, indicated by potassium depletion, sodium retention, and hypertension. Aldosterone is a steroid hormone…

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Aldous (Leonard) Huxley

Novelist and essayist, born in Godalming, Surrey, SE England, UK, the grandson of T H Huxley. He studied at Oxford, lived mainly in Italy in the 1920s, (where he met and befriended D H Lawrence) and moved to California in 1937. His early writing included poetry, short stories, and literary journalism, but his reputation was made with his satirical novels Crome Yellow (1921) and Antic Hay (1923). L…

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Aldus Manutius - Biography, Notes and references, Progetto Manuzio

Scholar and printer, born in Sermoneta, Latium, Italy. He was the founder of the Aldine Press, which produced the first printed editions of many Greek and Roman classics. He had beautiful founts of Greek and Latin type made, and was the first to use italics on a large scale. Aldus Manutius (1449/50 - February 6, 1515), the Latin form of Aldo Manuzio (born Teobaldo Mannucci; sometimes called…

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ale - History of ale, Modern ale, Varieties of ale

An alcoholic beverage brewed from barley which has been malted (ie softened in water and allowed to germinate). It was a popular drink prior to the introduction of hops as a flavouring agent, thus creating beer. However, the term ale is still used to describe the hops-flavoured brew, while beer has a broader international interpretation at present, and includes lager and stouts. Ale is a be…

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Alec (James) Stewart - Honours

Cricketer, born in Merton, Greater London. He began playing for Surrey in 1981, made his Test debut in 1990, and by the end of the 2003 season had played in a record 133 Tests, scoring 8463 runs and 15 centuries, and making 273 dismissals (a wicket-keeping record). Undaunted by his already weighty responsibilities as opening batsman and wicketkeeper, he took over as England captain (1998–9), lead…

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Alec Issigonis - Some of his cars

Automobile designer, born in Smyrna, W Turkey. He settled in Britain in 1923 and studied at Battersea Polytechnic. His early fascination for cars led him to use his talents in the motor industry. He is best known as the designer of the Morris Minor (1948–71), and the revolutionary British Motor Corporation Mini, launched in 1959. He became a royal designer for industry in 1967. Sir Alexand…

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Alec Waugh

Novelist and travel writer, born in London, UK, the brother of Evelyn Waugh. He was educated at Sherborne School, Dorset, which provided the background for his precocious first novel, The Loom of Youth (1917). This enjoyed some success, partly on account of its treatment of public school homosexuality. Later works include various travel books, notably Island in the Sun (1956), and autobiographical…

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Alec Wilder

Composer and arranger, born in Rochester, New York, USA. He began songwriting and arranging in New York in the 1930s for such artists as Cab Calloway, Bing Crosby, Ethel Waters, and Mabel Mercer. In 1939 he composed a series of innovative octets that combined classical and popular musical forms. He began writing chamber and orchestral music and opera (1950s), and in the 1970s he hosted a series of…

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Aleister Crowley - Early years, The Golden Dawn, 1904 and after, Argenteum Astrum and Ordo Templi Orientis

British writer and ‘magician’, born in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, C England. He became interested in the occult while an undergraduate at Cambridge, and was initiated into the occult society of the Golden Dawn (1898). He travelled widely, settling for some years in Sicily with a group of disciples at the Abbey of Thelema, near Cefalù. Rumours of drugs, orgies, and magical ceremonies led to h…

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alejandrino - Syllabic verse, Accentual verse

Originating in the 13th-c, a Spanish verse form consisting of two hemistichs with seven syllables each. This is not to be confused with the French alexandrine, a line of twelve syllables, nor with the Portuguese alexandrine, a line of thirteen. The Spanish alejandrino derives its name from Alexander the Great, whose epic and legendary deeds were celebrated in this metre in the Libro de Alejandre. …

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Alejo Carpentier - Bibliography

Writer, born in Havana, Cuba. For many years he lived in France and Venezuela, but returned to Cuba after the revolution and served in several official government posts. A musicologist, he was professor of music history at the National Conservatory. One of the major Latin-American writers of the 20th-c, his numerous books include El siglo de las luces (1962, trans Explosion in the Cathedral), El r…

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Aleksis Kivi

Playwright and novelist, born in Nurmijärvi, S Finland. He wrote penetratingly of Finnish peasant life, notably in Seitseman Veljesta (1870, Seven Brothers), and is now recognized as one of his country's greatest writers. He died insane, poverty-stricken, and unrecognized. Aleksis Kivi, born Alexis Stenvall, (October 10, 1834 – December 31, 1872) was a Finnish author who wrote th…

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Alentejo - Geography, Nature, Economy, Trivia, Subregions

Sparsely populated agricultural area of SEC Portugal, SE of the R Tagus (the name is from Portuguese, ‘beyond’); divided in 1936 into the two provinces of Alto Alentejo and Baixo Alentejo; low-lying plain with cork tree forests, heaths, maquis; prehistoric standing stones and chambered cairns; chief towns, Evora, Beja; corn, cattle, pigs; noted for the Alter Real breed of horse. It is one…

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Aleppo - History, Design, Population and religion, Notable people

36°12N 37°10E, pop (2000e) 1 853 000. Capital city of Halab governorate, NW Syria; 350 km/217 mi N of Damascus; chief commercial and industrial centre of N Syria; airport; road and rail junction; university (1960); industrial refrigeration plant; old city, a world heritage site; Cotton Festival (Sep). Aleppo (or Halab Arabic: حلب‎ meaning "he milked", 36°13′N 37°10′E) is a…

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Alessandria - History, Visiting Alessandria, People born in Alessandria

44º55N 8º37E, pop (2001e) 90 200. Town in Piedmont, NW Italy; on the R Tanaro, NW of Genoa; birthplace of Sibilla Aleramo, Walter Audisio, Umberto Eco, Urbano Rattazzi; railway; wine, engineering. Alessandria (Lisandria in Piedmontese) is a city in Piedmont, Italy, and the capital of the Province of Alessandria. Alessandria was founded in 1168 upon a preexisting urban nucleu…

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Alessandro (Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio) Volta - Biography, Honors

Physicist, born in Como, N Italy. He invented the electrophorus, a device to generate static electricity (1775), discovered methane gas (1778), and was appointed professor of natural philosophy at Pavia (1778–1804). Inspired by the work of his friend Luigi Galvani, Volta found that electric current is generated when two dissimilar metals come into contact, and developed the first electric battery…

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Alessandro Algardi - Biography, Critical assessment and legacy

Sculptor, born in Bologna, N Italy. His chief work is in St Peter's, Rome, a colossal relief showing Pope Leo I restraining Attila from marching on the city. Alessandro Algardi (July 31, 1598 – June 10, 1654) was an Italian Baroque sculptor, the major rival of Bernini in his field. Algardi was born in Bologna. After a short residence in Venice, he went to Rome in 1…

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Alessandro Allori

Florentine Mannerist painter, adopted and trained by Bronzino, whose name he and his son, Cristofano (1577–1621), later adopted. They both were portrait painters at the Medici court, and executed religious works for the churches of Florence. Alessandro di Cristofano di Lorenzo del Bronzino Allori (May 31, 1535 - September 22, 1607) was an Italian portrait painter of the late Mannerist Flor…

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Alessandro Baricco - Career, Works

Writer, born in Turin, Piedmont, NW Italy. His books present an enchanted atmoshphere, a feeling of vitality, and a wealth of detail. His works include Il genio in fuga (1988), Castelli di rabbia (1991), winner of the prestigious Prix Medicis and Campiello literary prizes, Oceano mare (1993) which was awarded the Viareggio prize, and Seta (1996), a widely acclaimed story of adventure and sexual en…

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Alessandro Fortis

Italian politician and prime minister (1905–6), born in Forlì, Emilia-Romagna, N Italy. He took part in a number of military ventures with Garibaldi and then became a leading member of the Republican Party. He served as a deputy (1880), agriculture minister, and prime minister (1905–6). Alessandro Fortis (September 16, 1842 – December 4, 1909) in Forlì, Papal States was an Italian pol…

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Alessandro Manzoni

Novelist and poet, born in Milan, N Italy. He published his first poems in 1806. Anticlerical at first, he converted to Catholicism in 1810, soon marrying Enrichetta Blondel, and spent the next few years writing sacred lyrics and a treatise on the religious basis of morality. The work which gave him European fame is his historical novel, I promessi sposi (1825–7, The Betrothed), one of the most n…

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Alessandro Pavolini - Early life and career, Prominence

Italian politician, born in Florence, Tuscany, NC Italy. He joined the Fascist movement at a young age and became an organizer of the Fascist squads. A member of the national directorate, he served as minister for popular culture (1939–43), and after 8 September he set up the ‘black brigades’ to pursue the partisans. He was caught with Mussolini while trying to escape, and executed. Ales…

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Alessandro Piccolomini - Sources

Scholar and writer, born in Siena, Tuscany, C Italy. He lectured in moral philosophy in Padua, then took holy orders and was Archbishop of Patras from 1574. He wrote Annotazioni alla ‘Poetica’ di Aristotele (1575), the treatise La Raffaella, dialogo della bella creanza delle donne (1539), and licentious plays, such as L'amor costante (1536). The treatises Sfera del mondo e Delle stelle fi…

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Alessandro Stradella - References and further reading

Composer, born in Monfestino, C Italy. One of the finest composers of chamber music, he wrote more than 200 cantatas, notably the Christmas Cantata. Legend has it that he eloped with the fiancée of a Venetian senator, who sent assassins to murder him in 1677. Documents show that he was indeed murdered in 1682. Numerous operas and at least one novel (Stradella, by Marion Crawford, 1909) have grown…

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Alessandro Tassoni - The work

Writer, born in Modena, Emilia-Romagna, N Italy. He spent some time at the Savoy court, than at Modena. A highly anticonformist mind, he argued in favour of literature's renewal in Considerazioni sopra le rime del Petrarca (1609), and attacked Spanish domination in Filippiche (1615). His most successful work remains La secchia rapita, a mock-heroic poem in which the abduction of a bucket and the e…

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Aletschhorn

46º28N 8º00E, mountain in the Bernese Alps, Valais canton, Switzerland; 8 km/5 mi SSE of the Jungfrau; height 4195 m/13 762 ft. The Aletschhorn is a 4192 m high, glaciated mountain peak in the Swiss canton of Valais of the Jungfrau-Aletsch-Bietschhorn region, which has been acknowledged by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. …

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Aleut - Location, History, Culture and technology

Peoples of the Aleutian Is and W Alaska, who are physically, linguistically, and culturally similar to the Eskimo. In the past, they lived in villages and hunted seals, walruses, whales, and bears. Community life and culture were disrupted by Russian occupation of the area in the 18th–19th-c, and the population has since declined to c.4000 in the 2000 census. The Aleuts (self-denomination:…

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Aleutian Islands - Geography, Climate, Economy, Demographics, History, Miscellaneous

pop (2000e) 14 500; area 18 000 km²/7000 sq mi. Group of c.150 islands stretching c.1600 km/1000 mi from the Alaskan Peninsula, USA; chief islands Attu, Andreanof, Rat, Umnak, Unimak, Unalaska (chief town, Dutch Harbor); many volcanic peaks over 1000 m/3000 ft; discovered by Russian explorers in 18th-c; purchased by USA, 1867; several military bases; wildlife refuge. The Aleutian…

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alewife

Deep-bodied, herring-like fish (Alosa pseudoharengus), locally abundant along the American Atlantic seaboard; length up to 40 cm/16 in; migrates into rivers (Mar/Apr) to spawn in slow backwaters; commercially fished using traps and nets (seines). (Family: Clupeidae.) The alewife (Alosa pseudoharengus) is a species of small shad. …

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Alex Katz

Painter, born in New York City, USA. He studied painting at Cooper Union, New York City, and at Skowhegan School, ME. From 1959 he began making portraits of his friends in a deliberately gauche, naive style, simplifying forms and using a limited palette. These large-scale portraits, which have a directness bordering on kitsch, have been likened to cinematic images of film idols. Alex Katz (…

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Alex La Guma

Novelist, born in Cape Town, SW South Africa. He became one of the best-known literary opponents of apartheid. He grew up in the community known as ‘Coloured’, and from 1956 until 1966 (when he went into exile) was charged with treason, detained several times, placed under house arrest, and banned under the Suppression of Communism Act. His first novel, A Walk in the Night (1962), like his subse…

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Alex North - Work on Broadway

Film composer, born in Chester, Pennsylvania, USA. After studies at Curtis and Juilliard, he began his screen career scoring A Streetcar Named Desire (1952). Later credits include Spartacus (1960) and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966). Alex North (December 4, 1910 - September 8, 1991) was an American composer responsible for the first jazz based film score (A Streetcar Named Desire) an…

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Alex Toth - Biography

Graphic artist, born in Manhattan, New York City, New York, USA. He studied illustration at the High School of Industrial Arts, and later joined DC comics in New York (1947–52) and Standard Comics in San José, CA. After army service in World War 2, he joined Dell Comics in Los Angeles as a comic-book artist, and produced such action-hero series as Bravo for Adventure, which was also syndicated i…

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Alexander (Archer) Vandegrift

US marine officer, born in Charlottesville, Virginia, USA. He commanded the First Marine Division at Guadalcanal (Aug 1942) in America's first large-scale offensive against Japan, and won the Medal of Honor for directing a brilliant defence against repeated enemy counter-attacks. Alexander Archer Vandegrift (March 13, 1887 – May 8, 1973) was a general in the United States Marine Corps. …

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Alexander (Konstantinovich) Glazunov

Composer, born in St Petersburg, NW Russia. He studied under Rimsky-Korsakov, and was director of the Conservatory at St Petersburg (1906–17), when he was given the title of ‘People's Artist of the Republic’. Among his compositions are eight symphonies, and works in every branch except opera. In 1928 he emigrated to Paris. …

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Alexander (Marshall) Grant

Dancer and director, born in Wellington, New Zealand. A scholarship took him to London and the Royal Ballet, Covent Garden, where he was to spend his entire dancing career. A soloist by 1949, he became best known for such character roles as Bottom in Frederick Ashton's The Dream (1964). He was director of the Royal Ballet's offshoot, Ballet For All (1971–5), and director of the National Ballet of…

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Alexander (Martin) Lippisch - Other Aircraft Designed by Lippisch

Aeronautical engineer, born in Munich, Germany. Developer of the first delta-wing aircraft (1931), the Messerschmitt-163A fighter plane, and the Me-163B, a rocket interceptor, he pioneered supersonic flight. Emigrating to the USA as a Defence Department consultant (1946), he founded Lippisch Research Corp (1965) and developed a wingless aircraft called the aerodyne. He also assisted in the creatio…

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Alexander (McCarrell) Patch

US soldier, born in Fort Huachuca, Arizona, USA. The son of an army officer, he trained at West Point (1913), commanded a battalion in France (1918), and between the wars held a series of posts at army educational institutions and unit commands. After Pearl Harbor, he was given command of a task force to help the French defend New Caledonia, and in 1943 he led the American forces that crushed Japa…

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Alexander (Meigs) Haig - Education, Korea, MacArthur and Vietnam

US army officer and statesman, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He trained at West Point, studied at Georgetown University, and joined the US army in 1947, serving in Korea (1950–1) and in the Vietnam War (1966–7), and becoming a general in 1973. He then retired from the army to become White House chief-of-staff during the last days of the Nixon presidency. Returning to active duty, he w…

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Alexander (Mitchell) Palmer - Attorney General, Multimedia, Sources

Lawyer, US representative, and cabinet member, born in Moosehead, Pennsylvania, USA. A Quaker lawyer, he was a reformer in the House of Representatives (Democrat, Pennsylvania, 1909–15). As Alien Property Custodian (1917–19), he confiscated property worth millions of dollars from non-citizens, and as US attorney general (1919–21), he launched the notorious Palmer's raids to deport aliens and ra…

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Alexander (Sandy) Mackendrick - Filmography

Film director, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. His family emigrated to Scotland soon after he was born. He directed many successful comedy films for Ealing Studios in London, including Whisky Galore (1948), The Man in the White Suit (1951), and The Ladykillers (1955). Other films include Mandy (1952) and The Sweet Smell of Success (1956). Alexander Mackendrick (September 8, 1912 - Decem…

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Alexander Alexandrovich Goldenweiser - Biography

Cultural anthropologist, born in Kiev, Russia. The son of a lawyer who brought his family to the USA in 1900, he graduated from Columbia University in 1902, studied with Franz Boas, and received a PhD in 1910. He helped launch the multi-volume Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences, and lectured and wrote on race, sex, cultural diffusion, and psychoanalysis, but he never held a full-time academic pos…

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Alexander Archipelago

Group of 1100 mountainous islands SE of Alaska, USA; chief islands Chichagof, Baranof (Sitka naval base and national monument), Admiralty, Kupreanof, Kuiu, and Prince of Wales. The Alexander Archipelago is an archipelago, or group of islands, stretching about three hundred miles off the southeastern coast of Alaska. It contains about 1,100 islands, which are the tops of the submerged …

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Alexander Bain - Biography

Empirical philosopher and psychologist, born in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, NE Scotland, UK. He became professor of logic at Aberdeen University (1860–81), and founded the journal Mind in 1876. His psychology was firmly based on physiology, and he sought to explain mind through a physical theory of the association of ideas. Alexander Bain (June 11, 1818 – September 18, 1903) was a Scottish …

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Alexander Barclay

Poet and writer, probably born in Scotland, UK. In 1508 he was chaplain of Ottery St Mary, Devon, and perhaps c.1511 became a monk at Ely. His famous poem, The Shyp of Folys of the Worlde (1509), is partly a translation and partly an imitation of the German Das Narrenschiff (1494, The Ship of Fools) by Sebastian Brant. In it, Barclay paints a picture of contemporary English life and condemns vario…

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Alexander Berkman - Early years, The Attentat, Rockefeller Bombing, War Opposition, Final years

Anarchist and writer, born in Vilnius, E Lithuania. After being influenced by Russian nihilists, he emigrated to the USA. He became involved with radical Jewish labour groups in New York City and in 1879 began his personal and professional liaison with Emma Goldman that would last all his life. He gained international attention with his attempted assassination of Henry C Frick (1892), for which he…

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Alexander Calder - Monumental Sculptures and Public Works, Bibliography

Sculptor and painter, born in Lawnton, Pennsylvania, USA. The son of Alexander Stirling Calder, he studied at Stevens Institute of Technology (1915–19), the Art Students League, New York City (1923–6), and in Paris, where he began his famous circus menagerie, Le Cirque Calder (1926–61), and the first of his wire sculptures, ‘Josephine Baker’ (1926). By 1927 he was based in New York City and R…

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Alexander Campbell

Leader of the ‘Disciples of Christ’, otherwise known as Campbellites, born near Ballymena, Antrim, NE Northern Ireland. He emigrated to the USA with his father in 1809, in 1813 succeeding him as pastor of an independent Church at Brush Run, PA. He advocated a return to the simple Church of New Testament times, and in 1826 published a translation of the New Testament. In 1841 he founded Bethany C…

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Alexander Cruden - Concordances, Life, Biography

Scholar and bookseller, born in Aberdeen, NE Scotland, UK. He worked as a tutor, then started as a bookseller in London. In 1737 appeared his Concordance of the Holy Scriptures. He suffered from bouts of insanity and, assuming the title of ‘Alexander the Corrector’, from 1755 went through the country reproving Sabbath-breaking and profanity. Alexander Cruden (June 8, 1699 – 1 November 1…

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Alexander Gordon Laing

Explorer, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. He served with the British army in the West Indies before becoming the first European to reach the ancient city of Timbuktu (1826), while searching for the source of the R Niger in W Africa. After leaving Timbuktu, he was murdered by local tribesmen. Alexander Gordon Laing (December 27, 1793–September 26, 1826) was a Scottish explorer and the …

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Alexander Graham Bell - Biography, Eugenics, Tributes

Inventor and educator, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. The son of an elocution teacher and an authority on vocal physiology, he worked as his father's assistant at University College London, where he pursued research in the techniques of teaching speech to the deaf. His family emigrated to Canada (1870) and he went to Boston, MA (1871), obtaining a professorship at Boston University two years …

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Alexander Hamilton - Early years, Education, Military career, Under the Confederation, Constitution and the Federalist Papers

US statesman and political thinker, born in Nevis, British West Indies. The son of a Scottish merchant and a French Huguenot mother who died when he was 11, he went to work in a store that same year because his father's business was failing. He showed an early talent for writing and an ambition to gain an education, so aunts sent him to America (1772), and he entered King's College (now Columbia U…

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Alexander Herrmann

Magician, born in Paris, France. A success in Europe and the USA, where he emigrated as an adult, he created the popular image of a magician, elegantly dressed with dark goatee beard. Alexander Herrmann (February 11, 1844 – December 11, 1896) was a German magician, better known as The Great Herrmann. Alexander was born in Paris to Carl Herrmann, a physician who occasionally pe…

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Alexander (of Russia) I

Tsar of Russia (1801–25), born in St Petersburg, NW Russia, the grandson of Catherine the Great. The early years of his reign were marked by the promise of liberal constitutional reforms and the pursuit of a vigorous foreign policy. His wars with Turkey (1806–12) and Persia (1804–13) brought territorial gains, including the acquisition of Georgia. In 1805 Russia joined the coalition against Nap…

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Alexander (of Russia) II - Early life, Emperor, Emancipation of the serfs, Other reforms, Marriages and children, Suppression of national movements

Tsar of Russia from 1855, born in St Petersburg, NW Russia, the son of Nicholas I. He succeeded to the throne during the Crimean War, and signed the Treaty of Paris which ended it in 1856. A determined reformer, the great achievement of his reign was the emancipation of the serfs in 1861 (hence his byname), followed by reform of the legal and administrative systems, and the establishment of electe…

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Alexander (of Scotland) II

King of Scots, born in Haddington, East Lothian, E Scotland, UK, who succeeded his father, William I, in 1214. He allied with the disaffected English barons and made an incursion as far S as Dover. The accession of Henry III of England allowed a rapprochement, cemented by his marriage in 1221 to Henry's sister, Joan, and the frontier question was settled by the Treaty of York (1237). Her death wit…

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Alexander (of Russia) III - Early life, Rise to Power, Education, Foreign Relations, Anti-reforms, Issue

Tsar of Russia (1881–94), born in St Petersburg, NW Russia, the younger son of Alexander II. He followed a repressive policy in home affairs, especially in the persecution of Jews (the ‘pogroms’), thousands of whom emigrated to the UK and USA. Abroad, he consolidated Russia's hold on C Asia to the frontier of Afghanistan, provoking a crisis with Britain (1885). Alexander III (March 10, 1…

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Alexander (of Scotland) III

King of Scots (1249–86), the son of Alexander II. In 1251 he married Margaret (1240–75), the eldest daughter of Henry III of England. He completed the consolidation of the W part of the kingdom by annexing the Hebrides and the Isle of Man, after defeating Haakon IV of Norway at Largs in 1263. The period between 1266 and the death of Queen Margaret in 1275 has often been seen as a golden age for …

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Alexander J(ackson) Davis

Architect, born in New York City, New York, USA. Trained as an architectural illustrator, he collaborated with Ithiel Town (1829–43) and then worked independently in New York. He promoted a picturesque romanticism in a wide range of buildings and styles, but favoured Neoclassical styles with his signature multi-storey windows for public buildings. In the 1830s he designed a number of state capito…

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Alexander John Ellis

British philologist. He studied at Cambridge, wrote much on mathematical, musical, and philological questions, and did more than any other scholar to advance the scientific study of phonetics, of early English pronunciation, and of existing English dialects. He arranged, with Sir Isaac Pitman, a system of printing called phonotype, which aimed at the accurate representation of sounds in print, and…

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Alexander Kluge - Cinematic Works, Literary Works

Writer, born in Halberstadt, C Germany. He became an attorney and novelist, and gained fame for his work as a director and scriptwriter with Abschied von Gestern (1966), Zirkuskuppel - ratlos (1968), the award-winning Deutschland im Herbst (1978), and Der Kandidat (1980). He tackles contemporary problems and those of recent German history, as in Schlachtbeschreibung (1964) about Stalingrad. He was…

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Alexander Kohut - Early Training, Talmud Dictionary, New York

Rabbi and scholar, born in Félegyháza, Hungary. Called to New York as rabbi of Congregation Ahavath Chesed (1885), he soon launched a series of sermons against Reform Judaism. He helped found and taught at the conservative Jewish Theological Seminary of America. A respected scholar, he worked for years on the modernizing of an 11th-c rabbinical dictionary. George Alexander Kohut (April 22…

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Alexander Lowen

Psychiatrist, born in New York City, New York, USA. He studied law at Brooklyn Law School (1934) and received the MD from the University of Geneva, Switzerland (1951). In 1954 he became executive director of the Institute for Bio-Energetic Analysis in New York City. He wrote extensively on the mind and body relationship, including The Betrayal of the Body (1967) and The Language of the Body (1971)…

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Alexander Lyman Holley

Mechanical engineer and metallurgist, born in Lakeville, Connecticut, USA. While still in college he devised improvements for steam locomotives, and after working in locomotive plants he published Holley's Railroad Advocate (1855–7) and wrote many technical articles, usually under the name Tubal Cain. In 1863 he went to England to purchase the American rights to the Bessemer process, and then sup…

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Alexander McDougall - Early life, Privateer to merchant, Prelude to revolution

Revolutionary agitator, soldier, and politician, born in Islay, Inner Hebrides, NW Scotland, UK. Emigrating to America with his family (1738), he commanded two privateers (1756–63). He was an educated merchant and came to public attention by issuing a broadside attacking the New York General Assembly (1769), was sued for libel, and then jailed (1770–1), attracting a major radical following. As a…

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Alexander McGillivray

Creek leader and trader, born along the Coosa R in present-day Alabama, USA. The son of a Scottish merchant and an Indian, he was raised among the Creek, but his father saw that he was also educated in some of the white people's ways. With the outbreak of the American Revolution, he was appointed a colonel by the British and he encouraged Indian attacks on American settlements. After the Revolutio…

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Alexander Meiklejohn - List of writings, Reference

Educator and philosopher, born in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, NW England, UK. A childhood immigrant to the USA, he greatly improved the academic quality of Amherst College during his turbulent presidency (1912–23). He directed a short-lived experimental college at the University of Wisconsin (1927–32), and in retirement pioneered adult education in San Francisco. Alexander Meiklejohn (F…

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Alexander Melville Bell

Educationist, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK, the father of Alexander Graham Bell. A teacher of elocution at Edinburgh University and University College London, he moved to Canada in 1870, then settled in Washington, DC. In 1867 he published Visible Speech, a system showing the position of the vocal organs for each sound. He studied under and became the principal assistant of his father…

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Alexander of Hales

English theologian and philosopher, born in Hales, Gloucestershire, SWC England, UK. He became a professor of philosophy and theology in Paris, and later entered the Franciscan order. He is known chiefly from the major work ascribed to him, the Summa theologica. Alexander Hales (also Halensis, Alensis, Halesius, Alesius; He was born at Hales, Gloucestershire, England, and died in Paris on A…

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Alexander Parkes

Chemist and inventor, born in Birmingham, West Midlands, C England, UK. He was noted for his inventions in connection with electroplating, in the course of which he even electroplated a spider's web. He invented xylonite (a form of celluloid), first patented in 1855. Alexander Parkes (December 29, 1813 - June 29, 1890) was a metallurgist and inventor from Birmingham, England. Th…

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Alexander Parris - Reference

Architect, born in Hebron, Maine, USA. Based in Boston, he became known for his Neoclassical designs and monumental masonry, such as the governor's residence, Richmond, VA (1812). He is also credited with a number of coastal engineering works. Alexander Parris (November 24, 1780 - June 16, 1852) was a prominent American architect-engineer. Parris was born in Halifax, Massachuset…

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Alexander Phimister Proctor - Images, Further reading

Sculptor, born in Bozanquit, Ontario, Canada. He studied in New York City at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League (1887), worked with Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1894), and lived in Connecticut and the Western states. He was known for his Western subjects, such as Bronco Buster (1918). Alexander Phimister Proctor (September 27, 1860 – September 4, 1950) was an American s…

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Alexander Pope - Early life, Early literary career, The middle years: Homer and Shakespeare, Literary legacy, Trivia

Poet, born in London, UK, to a Roman Catholic family in the year of the Protestant Revolution. In 1700 the family settled at Binfield, Bracknell Forest. Debarred from university because of his religion, and largely self-taught, he suffered from poor health caused by tuberculosis, and asthma, and had a curvature of the spine, his resulting diminutive stature (4 ft 6 in) providing a target for cri…

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Alexander Samsonov

Russian soldier. He commanded a force in the Russo–Japanese War (1904–5), and in World War 1 commanded the army which invaded East Prussia in August 1914. He was decisively defeated by Hindenburg at the Battle of Tannenburg, and committed suicide. Aleksandr Vassilievich Samsonov (November 2, 1859 – August 29, 1914) served as a Russian military commander during World War I. After this wa…

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Alexander Selkirk - Biography, The Juan Fernández Islands, Archeological finding of the camp of Selkirk

Sailor whose story suggested that of Defoe's Robinson Crusoe, born in Largo, Fife, E Scotland, UK. He joined the South Sea buccaneers, quarrelled with his captain, and at his own request was put ashore on Juan Fernández I, off the coast of Chile (1704). He lived there alone until 1709, when he was discovered and brought back to Britain. He returned to Largo in 1712, before returning to a life at …

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Alexander Severus - Life, Marriage

Roman emperor (221–35), the cousin and adopted son of Heliogabalus, whom he succeeded. A weak ruler, under the influence of others (especially his mother), he failed to control the military. Though successful against the Sassanid Ardashir I, he was murdered by mutinous troops during a campaign against the Germans. Marcus Aurelius Severus Alexandrus (October 1, 208–March 18, 235), commonl…

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Alexander Smith

Physical chemist and educator, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. He emigrated to the USA in 1894 and became affiliated with the department of chemistry at the University of Chicago (1894–1911). During that period, he carried out important studies on sulphur and on the formation of solid and liquid forms of sulphur. He also developed methods of measuring vapour pressure at high temperatures. He …

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Alexander Spotswood

Colonial official, born in Tangier, Morocco. He was the lieutenant-governor of Virginia (1710–22). Identified with frontier expansion, he led several expeditions to the Blue Ridge Mountains area, and negotiated a treaty with the Iroquois Indians to protect Virginia from Iroquois raids. Alexander Spotswood (c. 1676 - 6 June 1740) Lieutenant-Colonel and Lieutenant Governor of Virginia …

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Alexander technique - History, The Technique, Learning and Teaching

A method of releasing unwanted physical and mental tension from the body by encouraging posture training and self-awareness, developed by the Australian actor Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869–1955). Patients are taught to improve their self-awareness, particularly of bad posture and tension in the neck. Re-educating the muscle system to relax these tensions is said to result not only in a light…

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Alexander the Great - Early life, Period of conquests, Death, Alexander's testament, Personal life

King of Macedonia (336–323 BC), born at Pella, the son of Philip II and Olympias. He was tutored by Aristotle, and ascended the throne when less than 20 years old. After crushing all opposition at home, he set out to conquer Greece's hereditary enemy, Achaemenid Persia. This he achieved with great rapidity in a series of famous battles: Granicus (334 BC), Issus (333 BC), and Gaugmela (331 BC). By…

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Alexander Thom

British engineer and archaeo-astronomer, born in Scotland, UK. He studied at Glasgow University, returned as a lecturer (1922–39), and became professor of engineering science at Oxford University (1945–61). From 1934 he was engaged on a detailed study of stone circles, and published two major works, Megalithic Sites in Britain (1967) and Megalithic Lunar Observatories (1971). His discovery of th…

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Alexander von Zemlinsky - Early life, Middle Years, Last Years, His Music, List of selected Works

Composer and conductor, born in Vienna, Austria. He studied at the Vienna Conservatory, and conducted in Vienna (1906–11), Prague (1911–27), and Berlin (1927–32). His compositions, in post-Romantic style, include seven complete and six incomplete operas, orchestral works, chamber music, choral works, and songs. In 1934 he emigrated to the USA. Zemlinsky was born in Vienna to a highly mul…

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Alexander Wiley

US senator, born in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, USA. A lawyer, he was elected to the US Senate (Republican, Wisconsin, 1939–63), where he rose to be chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the Judiciary Committee. He was a sponsor of the GI Bill. Originally an isolationist, he embraced internationalist policies after World War 2, supporting foreign aid, the United Nations, and disar…

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Alexander William Doniphan

Lawyer and soldier, born in Mason Co, Kentucky, USA. A successful lawyer, he served as militia commander and led a Missouri brigade in a skirmish with Mormons, but refused to carry out an order (that was later rescinded) to execute the prophet Joseph Smith and others captured with him. He commanded a Missouri militia regiment in the Mexican War, arriving at Chihuahua after an epic 12-month, 3 000…

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Alexander Wilson

Ornithologist, born in Paisley, Renfrewshire, W Scotland, UK. He worked as a weaver from the age of 13, and was jailed for a libellous poem against the mill-owners (1792). He emigrated to the USA in 1794 and became a schoolteacher, studying art and ornithology in his spare time. Encouraged by a neighbour, the naturalist William Bartram, he devoted himself to ornithology, and made several journeys …

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Alexandre Despatie

Diver, born in Laval, Québec, SE Canada. He first rose to prominence by winning the gold medal in the 10 m platform event at the 1998 Commonwealth Games at Kuala Lumpur aged 13 years, becoming the youngest champion in the Games history. In 1999 in the Junior World Championships he was first in the 1 m springboard and the 3 m springboard events. He went on to win gold medals in these events at …

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Alexandria - History, Geography, Ancient remains, Antiquities, Modern Alexandria, Former royal family Palaces, Sports, Transportation, Shopping in Alexandria

31º18N 92º27W, pop (2000e) 46 300. Resort and parish seat of Rapides parish, C Louisiana, USA; located on the Red R, 155 km/96 mi NW of Baton Rouge; the city was burned to the gound (1864) by Federal troops during the Civil War; birthplace of Arna Bontemps and Ellen Stewart; university; railway; airfield; agriculture, valves, lumber, paper, soaps; Plantation Homes. Alexandria (Greek: …

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Alexandria - History, Geography, Ancient remains, Antiquities, Modern Alexandria, Former royal family Palaces, Sports, Transportation, Shopping in Alexandria

31°13N 29°55E, pop (2000e) 3 958 000. Seaport capital of Alexandria governorate, N Egypt; on the Mediterranean coast, 180 km/112 mi NW of Cairo; second largest city of Egypt and the country's main port; founded in 332 BC by Alexander the Great; capital of the Ptolemies 304–30 BC; former centre of Hellenistic and Jewish culture; noted for its famous royal libraries; airport; railway; univer…

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alexandrine - Syllabic verse, Accentual verse

A French term for a line of verse consisting of 12 syllables; known as tétramètre. First used in the 12th-c chansons de geste, it has been the standard verse-form of French poetry since the 16th-c. The line was divided into two groups of six syllables in Racine's time, but in the 19th-c this was changed to three groups of four syllables, under the influence of Victor Hugo and other poets. In Eng…

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Alexis

Prince, born in Moscow, Russia, the eldest son of Peter I. Having opposed the tsar's reforms, he was excluded from the succession, and escaped to Vienna, and thence to Naples. Induced to return to Russia, he was condemned to death, then pardoned, but died in prison a few days after. His son became tsar as Peter II (r.1727–30). Alexis (ca. 275 BC) was a Greek comic poet of the Middle Comedy…

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Alexis (Charles Henri Maurice Cl - Colonialism and the French conquest of Algeria

Historian and political scientist, born in Verneuil, NC France. He became a lawyer (1825), and in 1831 went to the USA to report on the prison system. On his return, he published a penetrating political study, De la Démocratie en Amerique (1835, Democracy in America), which gave him a European reputation. The book is required reading on political science courses in the USA. He became a member of …

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Alexis Carrel - Biography, Contributions to science, Relation to eugenics and fascism, Sources

Biologist, born in Ste Foy-lès-Lyon, France. He studied at Lyon University, and moved to the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York City in 1906. He discovered a method of suturing blood-vessels which made it possible to replace arteries, and was awarded the 1912 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. He did much research on the prolongation of the life of tissues, and helped Hen…

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Alexis Piron

Playwright, born in Dijon, E France, the son of the Burgundian poet Aimé Piron (1640–1727). He studied law, went to Paris in 1719, and worked as a copyist. He gained success with Arlequin-Deucalion and other pieces written for the popular Théâtres de la Foire. The comedy La Métromanie (1738) remains his best play, and was revived at the Comédie-Française until well into the 19th-c. King Lou…

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Alf Landon - Political life, Later life

Businessman and politician, born in West Middlesex, Pennsylvania, USA. In 1912 he founded A M Landon & Co to produce oil, and had become a millionaire by 1929. As Republican Governor of Kansas (1933–7), he supported the New Deal, but opposed labour unions. After losing the 1936 presidential election, he returned to his oil firm. Alfred Mossman "Alf" Landon (September 9, 1887 – October 12…

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Alfonsina Storni - Biography, Work

Feminist and poet, born in Sala Capriasca, S Switzerland. Starting young as an actress with a travelling theatrical company, she later became a teacher in Argentina. Her poetry is largely concerned with her ambivalent feelings towards men, but a desire for love and sexual passion. Her books include La inquietud del rosal (1916, The Inquietude of the Rosebush), El dulce daño (1918, The Sweet Injur…

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Alfonso Reyes

Literary scholar, poet, and diplomat, born in Monterrey, NE Mexico. He studied law, entered the diplomatic sevice (1913), served in Spain (1920–7), and was periodically ambassador to Argentina and Brazil. Over the years he established himself as a literary scholar of great authority, producing both academic and creative works including Visión de Anáhuac (1917, Vision of Anáhuac), El plano obli…

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Alfred - Resources

King of Wessex (871–99), born in Wantage, Oxfordshire, SC England, UK, the fifth son of King Ethelwulf. When he came to the throne, the Danes had already conquered much of Northumbria, parts of Mercia, and East Anglia, and threatened to subdue Wessex itself. He inflicted on them their first major reverse at the Battle of Edington, Wiltshire (878), and began to win back Danish-occupied territory b…

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Alfred (Charles) Kinsey - Biography, Career, Controversy, Kinsey in the media

Entomologist and sexuality researcher, born in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA. He joined the faculty of Indiana University (1920), where he remained throughout his career, earning a reputation as the world's leading expert on the gall wasp (1919–36). In 1938 students at the university petitioned for a course on marriage, which he volunteered to help organize. Soon realizing that there was little sound …

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Alfred (David) Lunt - Lunt the actor, "The Lunts", Ten Chimneys

Stage actor, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. Although he played some serious parts, he is best known for his roles in sophisticated modern comedies. After his 1912 debut in Boston, his first success was in the title role of Booth Tarkington's Clarence in 1919. In 1922 he married Lynn Fontanne, after which the two usually appeared together, beginning with Sweet Nell of Old Drury. Performing with…

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Alfred (Friedrich) von Tirpitz

German admiral, born in Kostrzyn, W Poland (formerly Küstrin, Prussia). He joined the Prussian navy in 1865, was ennobled in 1900, and rose to be Lord High Admiral (1911). As secretary of state for the imperial navy (1897–1916), he raised a fleet to challenge British supremacy of the seas, and acted as its commander (1914–16). He advocated unrestricted submarine warfare, and resigned when this …

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Alfred (George) Deller

Countertenor, born in Margate, Kent, SE England, UK. A church chorister from the age of 11, he began a full-time musical career in 1947. He made many recordings of early English songs, notably those of Dowland and Purcell, and in 1950 formed the Deller Consort, devoted to the authentic performance of early music. In 1963 he founded the Stour Music Festival. Alfred Deller (31 May 1912 – 16…

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Alfred (Habdank Skarbek) Korzybski - Early life and career, General semantics, Korzybski and to be, Anecdote about Korzybski, Criticisms, Impact

Scholar and philosopher of language, born in Warsaw, Poland. He was sent to the USA in 1915 on a Russian military mission, and remained there after World War 1, becoming a US citizen in 1940. He is best known as the originator of a system of linguistic philosophy and expression (general semantics, now written officially as general-semantics to stress its status as a unitary term), and he became fo…

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Alfred (Henry) Maurer

Painter, born in New York City, New York, USA. He worked as a lithographer, travelled to Paris (1897), and was influenced by Matisse. He returned to New York and worked in an Expressionist and Cubist style, as seen in ‘Still Life with Doily’ (c.1930), and is considered one of the first Modernists working in America. Alfred Henry Maurer (1868 – August 4, 1932) was an American painter bor…

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Alfred (Hermann) Fried - Life

Pacifist, born in Vienna, Austria. In 1892 he became founder-member of the Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft and worked towards the creation of an international peace organization. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1911. Alfred Hermann Fried (November 11, 1864 in Vienna, Austria- May 5, 1921 in Vienna), was an Austrian Jewish pacifist, publicist, journalist, co-founder of the German peace…

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Alfred (Lothar) Wegener - Career, Continental Drift, Awards and honors

Explorer and geophysicist, originator of the theory of continental drift, born in Berlin, Germany. He was professor of meteorology at Hamburg (1919), and of geophysics and meteorology at Graz (1924). His theory is named after him (Wegener's hypothesis), and is the subject of his main publications. His ideas first met with great hostility, but by the 1960s plate tectonics was established as a major…

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Alfred (Marston) Tozzer

Anthropologist, born in Lynn, Massachusetts, USA. He earned undergraduate and graduate degrees from Harvard, where he taught for over 40 years. His most important works on the Maya include Maya Grammar (1921) and Chichén Itzá and its Center of Sacrifice (1957), a major synthesis of American prehistory. Alfred Marston Tozzer (4 July 1877 - 5 October 1954) was an American anthropologist, ar…

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Alfred Adler - Education and studies, Early career, Adler's approach to human personality, On homosexuality

Pioneer psychiatrist, born in Vienna, Austria. He trained in Vienna, and first practised as an ophthalmologist, but later turned to mental disease and became a prominent member of the psychoanalytical group which formed around Sigmund Freud in 1900. His most widely referenced work, Studie über Minderwertigkeit von Organen (1907, trans Study of Organ Inferiority and its Psychical Compensation), ar…

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Alfred Andersch - Life, Themes, Works

Writer, born in Munich, SE Germany. His output, ranging from novels and short stories to essays and radio drama, was concerned above all with the attainment of freedom. This included the autobiographical Die Kirschen der Freiheit (1952), the novel Sansibar, oder der letzte Grund (1957), and the short story Der Vater eines Mörders (1980). Alfred Hellmuth Andersch (February 4, 1914 — Febru…

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Alfred Austin - Life, Poetry, A Poem -- To England

Poet, born in Leeds, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at the University of London, and was called to the bar in 1857, but then abandoned law for literature. His works include The Season: a Satire (1861), The Human Tragedy (1862), and an autobiography (1911). He became poet laureate in 1896. Alfred Austin (May 3, 1835 – 1913) was an English poet, who was appointed Poet Laureate in…

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Alfred Binet - Binet and chess

Psychologist, the founder of intelligence tests, born in Nice, SE France. Director of physiological psychology at the Sorbonne from 1892, his first tests were used on his children; later, with Théodore Simon, he expanded the tests (1905) to encompass the measurement of relative intelligence amongst deprived children (the Binet–Simon tests). Alfred Binet (July 8, 1857 – October 18, 1911)…

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Alfred Blalock - Vanderbilt University, Johns Hopkins

Surgeon, born in Culloden, Georgia, USA. He studied at Johns Hopkins University and Vanderbilt University Hospital, and joined the staff at Vanderbilt (1925–41) and Johns Hopkins (1941–64), where he pioneered the surgical treatment of various congenital defects of the heart. He performed the first ‘blue baby’ operation with the paediatrician Helen Taussig. Alfred Blalock (April 5, 1899 …

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Alfred Brendel

Pianist, born in Wiesenberg, NE Czech Republic. He began studying the piano aged six and later studied piano, composition and conducting. He further studied piano under Edwin Fischer, Paul Baumgartner and Edward Steuermann, gave his debut recital in Graz in 1948, and continued to perform widely throughout Austria where he lived, settling in London in 1971. An international concert performer best k…

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Alfred Cortot - Bibliography

Pianist and conductor, born in Nyon, SW Switzerland, of French parents. After winning the first prize for piano-playing at the Paris Conservatoire in 1896, he became known in France as an outstanding player of Beethoven's concertos. In 1905, with Jacques Thibaud and Pablo Casals, he founded a trio whose chamber music performances won great renown. He was professor of the pianoforte at the Paris Co…

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Alfred Deakin - Early life, Victorian politics and the road to Federation, Federal politics, Journalism, Legacy, Further reading

Australian statesman and prime minister (1903–4, 1905–8, 1909–10), born in Melbourne, Victoria, SE Australia. He became minister of public works and water supply, and solicitor general of Victoria; then, under the Commonwealth, attorney general (1901) and prime minister. One of the architects of federation, he established the industrial arbitration system and the first protective tariff, outlin…

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Alfred Dreyfus - Trivia

French Jewish army officer, born in Mulhouse, NE France. An artillery captain on the General Staff, he was falsely charged with delivering defence secrets to the Germans (1894). He was court-martialled and transported to Devil's I, French Guiana. The efforts of his wife and friends to prove him innocent provoked a vigorous response from militarists and anti-Semites, and deeply divided the French i…

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Alfred E(manuel) Smith - Early life, Later life, Namesake, Trivia

Political leader, born in New York City, New York, USA. Leaving school at age 12, he worked for the local Democratic organization and with its help was elected to the state assembly (1903), became assembly speaker (1913), and was elected governor of New York (1918). Losing his first re-election bid, he won back the state house for the next three two-year terms, and proved an able administrator, su…

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Alfred Einstein - Possible relationship to Albert, Einstein in Popular Culture, References and further reading

Musicologist, born in Munich, SE Germany. In 1933 he fled the Nazi régime and went to live in Florence and London. He collaborated in several well-known musical reference books, including Eaglefield's Dictionary of Modern Music, but is perhaps best remembered for his work on Mozart, especially the revision of Köchel's catalogue. He was a cousin of the physicist Albert Einstein. His posthumous Es…

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Alfred Eisenstaedt

Photojournalist, born in Tczew, N Poland (formerly Dirschau, Germany). He started freelancing as a photojournalist in the 1920s, and emigrated to the USA in 1935, where he became one of the original photographers working on Life (1936–72). Voted Photographer of the Year in 1951, his worldwide assignments and telling photo essays made him one of the outstanding practitioners of the 20th-c. His pub…

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Alfred Hugenberg

German politician and publisher, born in Hanover, NC Germany. Co-founder of the Alldeutscher Verband, he became president of the Krupp board (1909–18). He was influential through the Hugenberg press and film corporation, and became a member of the Reichstag (1920) and opponent of the Weimar Republic. He took over Ufa in 1927. As president of Deutschnationale Volkspartei (DNVP) he stood for a radi…

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Alfred Irving Hallowell - Works

Cultural anthropologist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He graduated from Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Finance and was a social worker before turning to the study of anthropology. An authority on the Northern Ojibwa Indians, he published many studies of the tribes and made important contributions to culture-and-personality theory. His Culture and Experience appeared in 1955. A…

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Alfred Jarry - Biography and works, Selected Jarry works

Writer, born in Laval, NW France. Educated at Rennes, his satirical play, Ubu-Roi, was first written when he was 15; later rewritten as a marionette play, it was given its first live stage performance in 1896. Now considered the founding play of the avant-garde theatre, it was a seminal influence on French Surrealism and on the Theatre of the Absurd. Many of the marionette elements in the play bec…

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Alfred Jodl - Early Career, Mature Career

German general, born in Aachen, W Germany. An artillery subaltern in World War 1, he became general of artillery in 1940, the planning genius of the German High Command and Hitler's chief adviser. He was found guilty of war crimes at Nuremberg (1946), and executed. Alfred Jodl (May 10, 1890 – October 16, 1946) was a German military (Wehrmacht) commander, attaining the position of Chief of…

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Alfred Kastler - Laboratoire Kastler-Brossel

Physicist, born in Guebwiller, E France (formerly Germany). He studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris, and worked at Bordeaux, Clermont-Ferrand, and Louvain before returning to the Ecole Normale (1941–68), becoming professor there and director of the physics laboratory. He discovered and developed methods of observing Hertzian resonances in atoms, leading to the development of the maser …

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Alfred Kazin - Bibliography

Literary critic and autobiographer, born in New York City, New York, USA. He was educated at City College and Columbia University, and with Irving Howe belonged in the 1940s to the ‘New York Intellectuals’. Kazin became famous for On Native Grounds (1942), his classic study of modern American prose, a literature he would reinterpret in An American Procession (1982). He taught and lectured widely…

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Alfred Kreymborg - Early life and associations, 1920s, 1930's and later, Critical views, Works

Poet, editor, and dramatist, born in New York City, New York, USA. He had little schooling, was a chess prodigy, travelled often, and became a journalist and editor based in New York City. He is known as an initiator of the ‘little’ literary magazine and, among other ventures, he founded The Glebe (1913–14), a publication showcasing the Imagists, and Others (1915–19), an experimental periodica…

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Alfred Moore - Family and early education, Political career, Supreme Court Justice

Judge, born in New Hanover Co, North Carolina, USA. He fought in the American Revolution (1776–81) and served as North Carolina's attorney general (1782–91), and on the state legislature (1782) before President John Adams named him to the US Supreme Court (1799–1804). Alfred Moore (May 21, 1755 - October 15, 1810) was a distinguished North Carolina judge who became a justice of the Supre…

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Alfred Newman

Film composer, born in New Haven, Connecticut, USA. From 1930 he scored some 200 films including Arrowsmith (1931), Wuthering Heights (1939), All About Eve (1950), and Airport (1970). During his career he won eight Oscars. He married Martha Louis(1920 - 2005), née Montgomery, former actress and Goldwyn Girl, and they had five children. He was the head of a family of major Holly…

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Alfred Noyes

Poet, born in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, C England, UK. His first book of poetry was completed while studying at Oxford, which he left without taking a degree. His most successful work deals with the sea and the Elizabethan tradition, notably the epic Drake (2 vols, 1908). Having married an American, he travelled in the USA, and became visiting professor of poetry at Princeton (1914–23). In 19…

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Alfred Piccaver

Tenor, born in Long Sutton, Somerset, SW England, UK. He studied in New York, made his debut in Prague (1907), and was the leading tenor at Vienna (1910–37), singing Beethoven, Wagner, Verdi, and Puccini roles. He taught in Vienna from 1955. Alfred Piccaver (February 24, 1894 - September 23, 1958) was a British-American operatic tenor particularly noted for his performance as Rodolpho in G…

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Alfred Rosenberg - Early career, Racial theories, Religious theories, Wartime activities, Nazi Policy and Rosenberg's Views

German politician, born in Tallin, Estonia. An avid supporter of National Socialism, he joined the Party in 1920, edited Nazi journals, for a time directed the Party's foreign policy (1933), and in 1934 was given control of its cultural and political education policy. In The Myth of the 20th Century (1930) he expounded the extreme Nazi doctrines which he later put into practice in E Europe, for wh…

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Alfred Russel Wallace - Early life, Exploration and study of the natural world, Theory of evolution

Naturalist, born in Usk, Monmouthshire, SE Wales, UK. He travelled and collected plant samples in the Amazon (1842–52) and the Malay Archipelago (1854–62), and propounded a theory of evolution by natural selection independently of Darwin. His memoir, sent to Darwin in 1858 from the Moluccas, formed an important part of the Linnaean Society meeting which first promulgated the theory, modifying an…

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Alfred Schnittke - Biography, Operas, Further reading

Composer, born near Saratov, W Russia. He studied composition at Moscow Conservatory (1953–8), and taught there from 1962 to 1972. His prolific output attracted more Western attention than any Soviet composer since Shostakovich. It is characterized by bold eclectic flair, and frequent reference to music of the past and to popular styles such as jazz. His compositions include four symphonies, conc…

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Alfred Sisley - Biography, Well-known works

Impressionist painter and etcher, born in Paris, France, of English ancestry. After training in Paris, he painted landscapes almost exclusively, particularly in the valleys of the Seine, Loire, and Thames, and was noted for his subtle treatment of skies. His works began to sell only after his death. Alfred Sisley (October 30, 1839 – January 29, 1899) was a British Impressionist landscape …

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Alfred Stieglitz

Photographer and curator, born in Hoboken, New Jersey, USA. He travelled to Berlin in Germany (1881) to study mechanical engineering and returned to New York in 1890. A photographer and admirer of avant-garde art, he became a partner in a photogravure business (1890–5), continued taking photographs, and edited Camera Notes for the Camera Club (1897–1902). In 1902 he left to found the photo-seces…

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Alfred Tarski - Life, Mathematician, Logician, Truth in formalized languages, Logical consequence

Mathematical logician, born in Warsaw, Poland. Fleeing Nazism, he eventually settled at the University of California, Berkeley (1942), where he was an inspiring teacher. A member of the National Academy of Science, he discovered interconnections between logic, algebra, set theory, and measure theory. He also brought clarity to the semantics of mathematical logic, legitimizing semantic concepts suc…

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Alfred Thayer Mahan - Early life and service, Naval War College and writings, Works

Naval officer and writer, born in West Point, New York, USA. He served in the Civil War and carried out 20 years of routine sea duty before becoming a lecturer at the new Naval War College (1885). He twice served as the College's president (1886–9, 1892–3), and published numerous influential books, such as The Influence of Sea Power upon History: 1660–1783 (1890). He was publicly honoured by th…

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Alfred Waterhouse - Early life, London practice, Recognition, Later life

Architect, born in Liverpool, Merseyside, NW England, UK. He studied at Manchester, where he designed the town hall and assize courts, then built the romanesque Natural History Museum in London (1873–81). He also designed many educational buildings, and from his great use of red bricks came the name red-brick university. Alfred Waterhouse (July 19, 1830 – August 22, 1905) was an English …

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Alfredo Casella

Composer and musician, born in Turin, Piedmont, NW Italy. He studied piano at the Paris Conservatoire and first came to notice as a composer in 1908. His work was varied but mainly Neoclassical in character, and includes three operas, two symphonies, and concertos for cello, violin, and organ, as well as chamber music, many piano pieces, and songs. He also produced some noteworthy editions of clas…

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Alfredo Kraus

Tenor, born in Las Palmas, Gran Canaria. He made his debút in Turin in 1956 and from 1961 performed in the principal theatres of Europe. From 1965 he was official artiste of the Metropolitan in New York. In a carefully selected repertoire, he shone in French opera (Faust, Manon, Romeo and Juliet, Tales from Hoffmann) and in Italian belcanto (La favorita, Lucia de Lammermoor, La Traviata and Rigol…

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Alfredo Landa

Actor, born in Pamplona, N Spain. The son of a captain in the Guardia Civil, he started his career on stage with the play La felicidad no lleva impuesto de lujo (1961). He gained immediate recognition, and made his film debut co-starring in Atraco a las tres (1962, director José Mª Forqué). Among his most popular films are Ninette y un señor de Murcia (1965, director Fernando Fernán-Gómez), …

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Alfredo Stroessner - Early life, Presidency, Downfall

Paraguayan dictator, born in Encarnación, SE Paraguay. He took up a military career at age 17, fought (1932–5) in the Chaco War, and rose quickly through the ranks, becoming brigadier general by 1948. He took over as president of Paraguay in 1954 following a military coup which toppled the government of Federico Chavez (c.1881–1978). He was re-elected eight consecutive times before being himsel…

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algae - Introduction, Classification, Forms of algae, Algae and symbioses, Uses of algae, History of Phycology

An informal grouping of primitive, mainly aquatic plants that have chlorophyll a as their primary photosynthetic pigment; body (thallus) not organized into root, stem, and leaf; no true vascular system; reproductive organs not surrounded by a layer of sterile cells; range in form from simple unicellular plant plankton to massive seaweeds many metres in length. Algae (singular alga) encompas…

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Algarve - History, Tourism in the Algarve

area 5072 km²/1958 sq mi. Region and former province of S Portugal, bounded W and S by the Atlantic Ocean; Moorish kingdom, 1140; capital, Faro; figs, almonds, fishing, fish canning, tourism; Costa do Algarve is the S Atlantic coast of Portugal from Cape St Vincent (W) to R Guadiana on the Spanish border; the most popular tourist resort area in Portugal, with resorts at Praia da Luz, Praia da …

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algebra - Classification, Elementary algebra, Algebras, History

A branch of mathematics in which unknown quantities are represented by letters or other symbols. It was developed and brought to Europe by the Arabs, from whose word al-jabr the name of the subject is derived. In classical algebra (or arithmetic algebra), the operations in use are those of arithmetic; whereas in abstract algebra, developed in the 19th–20th-c, different operations are defined. In …

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algebraic geometry - Zeros of simultaneous polynomials, Affine varieties, Regular functions, The category of affine varieties, Projective space

The study of geometry by algebraic means. Originally it was the study of curves and surfaces from their equations using algebraic methods, and often avoiding the calculus (thus contrasting it with differential geometry). The subject became part of projective geometry, and once complex numbers were admitted during the 19th-c, deep connections were found by Riemann and Poincaré to complex function …

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Algeciras - Demographics, Economy

36°09N 5°28W, pop (2000e) 103 000. Seaport and resort in Cádiz province, Andalusia, SW Spain; on W side of Algeciras Bay, opposite Gibraltar; founded by the Moors, 713; largely destroyed, 14th-c; rebuilt, 18th-c; scene of Algeciras Conference (over the future of Morocco), 1906; railway; car ferries to Canary Is, Melilla, Tangier, Gibraltar; paper, tourism, trade in oranges, cork; Old Algecira…

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Alger Hiss - Early life, Accusation of espionage, Perjury trial and conviction, Later evidence, pro and con

Lawyer and government official, born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. A lawyer who had clerked with Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, he went to work for President Roosevelt's New Deal, eventually joining the State Department. He rose rapidly in the State Department (1936–45), going with President Roosevelt to Yalta. He was President of the Carnegie Endowment for Peace (1945–9) when Whittaker Chambers …

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Algeria - History, Politics, Military, Administrative divisions, Economy, Demographics, Culture, Miscellaneous topics

Official name The Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, Arabic al-Jumhuriya al-Jazairiya Algeria (Arabic: الجزائر IPA [ɛlʤɛˈzɛːʔir], Berber (Tamazight): Lz̦ayer [ldzæjər]), officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria is the largest country on the African continent after Sudan. The name Algeria is derived from the name of the city of Algiers (French Al…

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Alghero - Main sights

Since 1355, an enclave in Sardinia in which Catalan was the official language until 1720, when the House of Savoy took control of the island. Catalan was used unofficially long afterwards. Alghero poets and writers included Jacint Lluis Soffi (1742–1816), the brothers Domènec (1758–1829) and Mateu Lluís (1761–1818), and Joan Francesc Simon (1761–1819). Alghero (L'Alguer in Catalan and…

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Algiers - History, Local architecture, Sister relationships, Algiers Communes and Dairas

36°50N 3°00E, pop (2000e) 3 545 000. Seaport capital of Algeria, N Africa; 805 km/500 mi SW of Marseille (France); founded 10th-c by Berbers on the site of Roman Icosium; Turkish rule established by Barbarossa, 1518; taken by the French, 1830; Allied headquarters and seat of de Gaulle's provisional government in World War 2; University of Algeria (1879); university of sciences and technolog…

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Algol - History, Star system

An eclipsing binary star in Perseus, the prototype of the Algol-type variable stars. English astronomer John Goodricke suggested in 1782 that the variations were due to an unseen companion revolving around the star with immense velocity, a theory confirmed by spectroscopy in 1889. There is also a third star in orbit. Distance: 28·5 parsec. Algol (β Per / Beta Persei) is a bright star in t…

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ALGOL - History, Star system

Acronym for ALGOrithmic Language, a high-level programming computer language developed in Europe in the late 1950s for mathematical and scientific use at approximately the same time as FORTRAN was being developed in the USA. Algol (β Per / Beta Persei) is a bright star in the constellation Perseus. It is one of the best known eclipsing binaries, the first such star to be discovered, and al…

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Algonkin - History, Economy, Algonkin communities

Scattered small groups of American Indians speaking Algonkian (Algonquian) languages, living in forest regions around the Ottawa R in Canada. Most were slaughtered by the Iroquois or died from European diseases: only c.2000 survive. They work mainly as trappers, hunters' guides, and market gardeners. The Algonquins (or Algonkins) are an aboriginal North American people speaking Algonquin, a…

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algorithm - Etymology, Why algorithms are necessary: an informal definition, Formalization of algorithms, Example, Classes, Legal issues

A set of explicit, finite, and precisely determined rules, the step-by-step application of which to a complex problem will yield a solution or optimal results. The set of rules for doing simple multiplication is an algorithm. Because they are precise and can be applied without judgment, algorithms can be programmed into computers. In mathematics and computing, an algorithm is a procedure (a…

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Alhambra - Overview, History, Setting, A tour of the Alhambra, Miscellaneous

The palace-fortress of the Moorish kings, built at Granada, S Spain, in the 13th–14th-c; a world heritage site. It was partially demolished and rebuilt by Charles V in the 16th-c, but retains many beautiful halls and gardens characteristic of mediaeval Islamic architecture. The Alhambra (Arabic: الحمراء = Al Ħamrā'; literally "The Red Castle") is an ancient mosque, palace and fort…

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Ali - Birth, Early life, Ali in Medina, The death of Muhammad, Inheritance, Caliphate, Death, Grave of Ali

Fourth caliph (656–61), the cousin and son-in-law of Mohammed. He converted to Islam when still a boy, and married the prophet's daughter, Fatima. He withdrew, or was excluded from government during the caliphates of Abu-Bakr and Omar, and disagreed with Uthman in the interpretation of the Qur'an. Opposition to his caliphate, led by Muawiyah, began a major division within Islam between Sunni and …

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Ali Abdullah Saleh

North Yemeni soldier and president (1978–90), and president of the Republic of Yemen (1990– ). A colonel in the army of the Yemen Arab Republic, he took part in the 1974 coup when Colonel Ibrahim al-Hamadi seized power, with rumours that the monarchy was to be restored. Hamadi was assassinated in 1977 and Colonel Hussein al-Ghashmi took over, only to be killed by a South Yemen terrorist bomb in …

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Ali Bacher

Cricketer and sports administrator, born in Roodepoort, NE South Africa. His career was deeply intertwined with South Africa's exclusion from and subsequent return to international sport. He captained Transvaal and South Africa with great success, but his Test career was cut short by international sports boycotts of South African teams. He was a leading figure in organizing the ‘rebel’ tours to …

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Ali Pasha - The rise of Ali Pasha, Ali Pasha as ruler, The downfall of Ali Pasha, Further reading

Turkish leader. An Albanian brigand and assassin, he became Pasha of Tríkkala in 1787 and Janina (now Ioánnina) in Greece in 1788, and in 1803 became Governor of Rumili. At Janina he maintained a barbarous but cultured court often visited by European travellers, among them Lord Byron. He intrigued with France and Britain, but was deposed in 1820 and put to death. Tepedelenli Ali Paşa in …

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Ali

River in W Macedonia region, N Greece; rises near the Albanian border, flows SE then NE to enter the Gulf of Salonika; longest river in Greece; length 297 km/185 mi. The Haliacmon (Attic Ἁλιάκμων Haliákmōn, Ionic Aliákmōn, modern Greek Αλιάκμονας Aliákmonas, South Slavic Бистрица Bistritsa, Turkish İnce Karasu) is the longest river in Greece, with a …

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alibi

A type of defence to a criminal charge: the defendant claims that at the time of the crime he or she was not at the place at which the crime was committed but at another specified location. In English law, details of an alibi defence have to be given within seven days of committal; usually an alibi defence cannot be ‘sprung’ upon a criminal court unless there is a good reason. Most US jurisdicti…

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Alicante - History

38°23N 0°30W, pop (2000e) 264 000. Seaport and capital of Alicante province, Valencia, SE Spain; 422 km/262 mi SE of Madrid; artificial port, centre for the province's agricultural exports; airport; railway; car ferries to Marseille, Oran, Ibiza, Palma de Mallorca; popular winter resort; metal products, textiles, paper, tobacco, fertilizer, trade in fruit and wine, tourism; university; prome…

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Alice (Christiana Gertrude) Meynell - Works

Essayist and poet, born in London, UK. She spent her childhood on the mainland of Europe, and became a convert to Catholicism. Her volumes of essays include The Colour of Life (1896) and Hearts of Controversy (1917). She published several collections of her own poems, starting in 1875 with Preludes. In 1877 she married Wilfrid Meynell (1852–1948), author and journalist, with whom she launched the…

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Alice (Malsenior) Walker - Early life, Written work and topics, Political work and activism, Awards and other recognition

Novelist and poet, born in Eatonton, Georgia, USA. She studied at Spelman College, Atlanta, and Sarah Lawrence College, then worked as a social worker, teacher, and lecturer. An accomplished poet, she is best known for her novels, notably The Color Purple (1982, Pulitzer), later made into a successful film, which tells the story of two black sisters in the segregated world of the Deep South. Later…

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Alice (Mitchell) Rivlin

Economist and government official, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The daughter of a nuclear physicist, she graduated from Bryn Mawr (1952) and earned a PhD from Radcliffe (1958). She became a staff member of the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC (1957), was deputy assistant at the Department of Health, Education and Welfare (1966–9), and then became the first director of the Congr…

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Alice Cunningham Fletcher

Ethnologist and humanitarian, born in Havana, Cuba. Beginning with an interest in the archaeology of American Indians, from 1876 she became active in working for better treatment of the living Indians of the West. This led to her becoming the first and best informed student of American Indian music. Her major scholarly work was The Omaha Tribe (1911), but her most popular work was Indian Story and…

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Alice Elvira Palmer - Places named Freeman, People named Freeman, Fictional characters named Freeman

Educator, born in Colesville, New York, USA. During her tenure as president (1882–7), she turned Wellesley College from a finishing school into a serious college, improving the quality of the curriculum, faculty, and students. She helped found the precursor of the Association of American University Women (1882). In 1887 she married the Harvard philosopher George Herbert Palmer. Freeman, Vi…

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Alice Hamilton - Further reading

Physician and social reformer, born in Fort Wayne, Indiana, USA, the sister of Edith Hamilton. A pioneer in industrial toxicology and a nonconformist who valued personal liberty above all else, she became a leading American authority on lead poisoning and one of the handful of worldwide specialists on industrial diseases by 1916. Her reports on lead, and later on rubber and munitions, led to impro…

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Alice James - Life, The diary

Writer, born in New York City, New York, USA. The sister of Henry and William James, she had little formal schooling, lived in Europe when young, and settled in Cambridge, MA with her parents. A neurasthenic, she moved to England (1884) with her friend Katharine Loving after the death of her parents. Much of her brief life was as an invalid, and she is known for her personal reflections in Journal…

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Alice Munro - Biography, Writing style, Bibliography, Awards and honours

Short-story writer and novelist, born in Wingham, Ontario, SE Canada. She studied at the University of Western Ontario, and wrote short stories from an early age. Her novel, Lives of Girls and Women, appeared in 1971. Her short stories, published for many years without being collected, are recognized as among the finest of the day. Often set in rural and semi-rural Ontario, the landscape of her ch…

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Alice Paul

Social reformer and lawyer, born in Moorestown, New Jersey, USA. Influenced by her Quaker family, she studied at Swarthmore (1905) and went on to do graduate work in New York City and England. While in London (1906–9) she worked in a settlement house, and was jailed on three occasions for suffragist actions. She took her PhD from the University of Pennsylvania (1912), the same year she became cha…

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Alice Spencer Lloyd - Places

Educator, born in Athol, Massachusetts, USA. A Massachusetts newspaper editor, lecturer, and freelance writer, she became disabled by spinal meningitis. Her brief marriage having failed, she moved in 1916 to impoverished Knott County, KY. With her mother she founded many elementary and secondary schools, and the tuition-free Carey Junior College (later Alice Lloyd College) (1922), many of whose gr…

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Alice Springs - People, Places, Fictional characters, Other

23°42S 133°52E, pop (2000e) 22 600. Urban centre in Northern Territory, C Australia; administrative and supply centre for the settlements and cattle stations of the Outback; established, 1890; airfield; railway terminus; Flying Doctor Service regional headquarters; tourist centre for the region; aviation museum; Camel Cup camel races (May); Bangtail Muster with rodeos, parades, and cattle roun…

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Alicia Alonso - Biography, Awards (selected)

Dancer and choreographer, born in Havana, Cuba. She launched her career in the USA where she studied and performed with the School of American Ballet and George Balanchine. In 1948 she returned to Cuba to form the Alicia Alonso Company, which grew into a national ballet company for Cuba. As a dancer she was famed for several roles, particularly the title role in Giselle. Alicia Ernestina de…

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Alicia de Larrocha

Pianist, born in Barcelona, NE Spain. From her debut at the age of six in the Universal Exhibition in Barcelona, she had a brilliant career which brought her international fame. Awards include the Premio Nacional de Música (1985) and the Premio Príncipe de Asturias de las Artes (1994). She became a member of the Real Academia de Bellas Artes de San Fernando in 1988. Alicia de Larrocha y d…

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alien

A person who is not a citizen of a state. A citizen of country X is usually an alien in country Y and vice versa. In the UK, for example, aliens may hold most kinds of property, but may not vote or hold a public office. The US constitution prohibits discrimination against aliens in jobs that do not require state security. Aliens may acquire citizenship of a country by naturalization or, in some ca…

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Alien and Sedition Acts - Component laws, Background, Constitutionality, Elections of 1800, Modern developments, Full titles

(1798) US laws passed to crush political opposition, led by Thomas Jefferson, then vice-president. Two Alien Acts gave the president great power over foreigners. The Sedition Act authorized fining and imprisonment for public criticism of the government. They lapsed or were repealed during the period 1800–2. The Alien and Sedition Acts were a series of laws passed by the Federalists in 1798…

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Alison Lurie

Novelist, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. She studied at Radcliff College, and from 1968 taught at Cornell University, specializing in children's literature. She won a Pulitzer Prize for her novel Foreign Affairs (1985). Other novels include Imaginary Friends (1967), The War Between the Tates (1974), The Truth About Lorin Jones (1988), The Last Resort (1998), and Truth and Consequences (2005). …

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Alison Steadman

Actress, born in Liverpool, NW England, UK. After training at East 15 Theatre School (1966–9) her debut performance was The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie (1969) at the Theatre Royal, Lincoln. She is probably best known for her portrayal of Beverley in Abigail's Party (Best Actress, Evening Standard Awards), a role which she created at the Hampstead Theatre in 1977. Other theatre work includes Uncle V…

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Alison Uttley

Writer of children's stories, born at Castle Top Farm, near Cromford, Derbyshire, C England, UK. She was widowed in 1930, and turned to writing to support herself and her young son. The Country Child (1931) was followed by a series of books, mainly for children, which revealed her knowledge of the countryside. Many were in the Beatrix Potter tradition, featuring much-loved characters such as ‘Lit…

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Alistair Maclean - Life, Style of writing, Notes on the books

Writer, born in Glasgow, W Scotland, UK. He studied at Glasgow University, served in the Royal Navy (1941–46) and, while a schoolteacher, won a short-story competition held by the Glasgow Herald. At the suggestion of William Collins, the publishers, he produced a full-length novel, HMS Ulysses (1955), and this epic story of wartime bravery became an immediate best seller. He followed it with The …

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aliyah - Recent Trends

The name given to the waves of Jewish migration to Palestine. The different waves were inspired by the push of persecution and the pull of Zionism, and drew Jews from Russia, C Europe, and the Middle East. The first two waves, spanning the years 1882–1914, were in response to pogroms in Russia and C Europe as well as the encouragement of the World Zionist Organization, and brought an estimated 60…

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alkali - Common properties of alkalis, Confusion between base and alkali, Alkali salts, Etymology

A strong base, especially sodium and potassium hydroxides. Solutions of alkalis have high values of pH, and are used as cleaning materials, as they dissolve fats. The alkali metals are Group I of the periodic table: lithium, sodium, potassium, rubidium, and caesium. They are all characterized by being readily oxidized to compounds in which they exist as singly charged cations, and by having hydrox…

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alkanet

The name given to several plants of the borage family. True alkanet (Alkanna tinctoria) is a bristly perennial growing to 15 cm/6 in; leaves oblong; flowers with a red tube and blue lobes; native to S Europe. The roots yield a red dye of the same name. (Family: Boraginaceae.) …

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Alkmaar - History, Population centres, Local government, Transport, Sports, Born in Alkmaar

52º38N 4º44E, pop (2001e) 93 400. City and municipality in Noord Holland province, W Netherlands; on the Noord Holland Canal, 8 km/5 mi from the North Sea coast and 32 km/20 mi NNW of Amsterdam; founded, 10th-c; received charter, 1254; scene of the Siege of Alkmaar (1573); town hall (16th–17th-c); Church of St Laurens (15th-c); many 16th–18th-c guild and burgher houses; railway; engineer…

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alkyl

A group CnH2n+1–, derived from an alkane, such as methyl (CH3–), ethyl (C2H5–), and propyl (C3H7–). An alkyl is a univalent radical containing only carbon and hydrogen atoms arranged in a chain. For example, this is the structure of methyl, the smallest alkyl: Alkyls are radicals since only three out of four valency electrons are used in bonding on one of the carbon atoms. …

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All Blacks - History, All Black jersey, Record, Upcoming fixtures, 2006 All Blacks, Some notable All Blacks

The New Zealand national rugby union football team. The term was first applied to the team that toured Britain in 1905. All Blacks is the name of New Zealand's international rugby union team. Rugby union is New Zealand's national sport and hence All Blacks selection is considered a high honour. Rugby was introduced to New Zealand by Charles Monro in the late 1860s, M…

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Alla Nazimova - Filmography

Actress, born in Yalta, S Ukraine. She studied in Moscow under Stanislavsky, and made her debut with the Paul Orleneff Company in St Petersburg in 1904, with whom she visited the USA. Such was the impression she made that she was asked to learn English to appear in New York City as Hedda Gabler in 1905. In 1910 she rechristened the 39th Street Theatre ‘The Nazimova’, and became a highly popular …

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Allah - Etymology, Typography, History, Debates in popular media

The Islamic name for God. Prior to Mohammed, Allah was the supreme but not the sole deity in Arabia. It was Mohammed's mission to proclaim Allah as the sole God, the creator and sustainer of all things, who in the last days will judge all of humanity. Allah is known to human beings through the revelation of his will in the Qur'an which he delivered piecemeal to his Prophet Mohammed. Allah i…

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Allahabad - History, Geography, Demography, Climate, Kumbha and Magh Mela, Literary past, Sports and recreation, Passenger transportation

25°25N 81°58E, pop (2000e) 947 000. City in Uttar Pradesh, NE India; on N bank of R Yamuna where it joins the R Ganges, 560 km/348 mi SE of New Delhi; founded, 1583; ceded to the British, 1801; airfield; railway; cotton, sugar; centre of Hindi literature; Great Mosque, Sultan Khossor's caravanserai, fort containing the Asoka pillar (240 BC); Hindu religious festival (Kumbh Mela), held every …

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Allan (Aubrey) Boesak - Theologian, cleric and activist, Controversies

Clergyman, born in Kakamas, W South Africa. Lecturer and student chaplain at Western Cape University, president of the alliance of Black Reformed Christians in South Africa (1981), and president of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (1982–97), he sees the Christian Gospel in terms of liberation of the oppressed. An outspoken opponent of apartheid, he is leader of the coloured (mixed-race) co…

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Allan (Fletcher) Gibbard

Philosopher, born in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. After earning a Harvard doctorate (1971), he taught at the University of Chicago (1969–77) and (from 1977) at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, specializing in metaphysics, ethics, and social choice theory. Allan Gibbard has made several important contributions to contemporary ethical theory, in particular metaethics. Gib…

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Allan (Robert) Border - World records held at the time of his retirement, Reference

Cricketer, born in Sydney, New South Wales, SE Australia. Educated in Sydney, he became a professional cricketer in 1977, made his Test debut against England in 1978–9, and was captain 1984–94. The Australian team regained much of its lustre under his leadership, regaining the Ashes in 1989 and retaining them in 1990–1 and 1993. A left-hander, he was Australia's most prolific batsman since Don …

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Allan (Wipper) Wells

Athlete, born in Edinburgh, EC Scotland, UK. Although in his first season of athletics in 1970 he won the Scottish junior triple jump title, he only took up sprinting seriously six years later at the age of 24. He won a record six medals at the Commonwealth Games, including gold in the 200 m and sprint relay in 1978, and gold at both 100 m and 200 m in 1982, tying with Mike McFarlane (England) …

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Allan Kaprow - Quotes

Avant-garde artist and theorist, born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA. He studied art under the influential painter and theorist Hans Hofmann, and music under John Cage. Rejecting such traditional values as craftsmanship and permanence, he instead promoted ‘happenings’, involving spectator participation, and welcoming unplanned developments. His first such work, ‘Eighteen Happenings in Six Pa…

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Allan Marquand

Art historian, born in New York City, New York, USA. He graduated from Princeton (1874), studied theology, then attended the University of Berlin (1877–8) and Johns Hopkins (1880 PhD). He taught at Princeton (from 1881), and specialized in cataloguing the works of the Della Robbia family of Italy. Allan Marquand (1853-1924) was an art historian at Princeton University and a curator of the …

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Allan Pinkerton - In popular culture, Books by Allan Pinkerton

Detective and Union secret service chief, born in Glasgow, W Scotland, UK. The son of a policeman, he became a barrel-maker before emigrating to the USA (1842) and settling in Illinois. His abolitionist sympathies led him to aid the ‘underground railroad’ for escaping slaves. After helping to capture a gang of counterfeiters, he was elected a deputy sheriff of his county (1846), and in 1850 he m…

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Allart van Everdingen

Landscape painter and etcher, born in Alkmaar, The Netherlands. He is best known for his Scandinavian landscapes, and for the etchings of animals he made to illustrate Reynard the Fox by Hendrick van Alcmar. Allart van Everdingen (bapt. Jun 18, 1621 Alkmaar - buried Nov 8, 1675, Amsterdam), was a Dutch painter and engraver. Van Everdingen was the son of a government clerk at Alk…

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Alldeutscher Verband

A suprapolitical association formed in 1894 for the purpose of constructing a common naval and colonial strategy for Germany, focusing on expansion towards Eastern Europe and, during World War 1, an annexation policy aimed at the extension and security of the German Lebensraum. After 1918 it attacked the Weimar democracy, Weimarer Demokratie, promoted the concept of a national dictatorship and, by…

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Alleanza Nazionale (AN) - Politics, Business, Books

A political group established in 1994 by members of the Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI) which merged with it at the Fiuggi Congress in 1995. The MSI's former leader, Gianfranco Fini, was elected president. It obtained good results at the 1994 elections and participated in the Berlusconi government. This series is linked to the Politics and Elections series The National Alliance…

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Allegheny Mountains - Geography, History, See Also

Mountain range in E USA; W part of the Appalachian Mts; extends over 800 km/500 mi from N Pennsylvania SSW through Maryland, West Virginia, and Virginia; forms the watershed between the Atlantic and the Mississippi R; highest point Spruce Knob, 1481 m/4859 ft; rich in timber, coal, iron, and limestone. The Allegheny Mountain Range (also spelled Alleghany and Allegany) -- informally, the…

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allegory - Examples

A literary device from the Greek allégoria, ‘speaking otherwise’, by which another level of meaning is concealed within what is usually a story of some kind; also, the story itself. Myth and fable are both allegorical. Allegory may therefore be understood as extended metaphor, or a continuous figure of speech. The form allows (indeed, invites) interpretation; it has often been used for works wi…

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Allegra Kent

Ballet dancer, born in Santa Monica, California, USA. On her toes at the early age of 11, at age 13 she moved to New York City for scholarship study at the School of American Ballet, where she attracted George Balanchine's attention. In 1953 she joined the New York City Ballet and became a principal dancer at age 18. One of six ballerinas known for their ‘Balanchine style’, for the next three de…

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allele - Equations

One of the alternative forms of a gene which can occur at a given point on a chromosome (a locus). Alleles at a given locus controlling a particular character may vary in their effect, and there may be two, three, or more such alleles available in a population, of which each individual carries two - one from the father and one from the mother. The term, introduced in 1902 to apply to Mendelian inh…

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allemande

A dance originating in the 16th-c, probably in Germany. In the 17th-c it became a standard movement in the suite for lute or keyboard. It is in 4/4 time and moderate tempo, and usually begins with a short note before the first main beat. An allemande (also spelled allemanda, almain, or alman) (from the French word for "German") is one of the most popular instrumental dance forms in Baroque …

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Allen Ginsberg - Life, Controversial political activism, Career, Popular culture

Poet of the ‘beat’ movement, born in Newark, New Jersey, USA. He studied at Columbia University, where he became friendly with Jack Kerouac, William Burroughs, and others of the movement. Howl (1956), his epic poem, was a significant success, and launched him on a high profile career as a public speaker against authoritarianism. Other collections include Kaddish and Other Poems (1961), Reality S…

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Allen W(elsh) Dulles - Family, Background in Intelligence, Director of CIA, Death, Books by Dulles, Further reading

Intelligence officer, born in Washington, District of Columbia, USA, the brother of John Foster Dulles. He studied at Princeton, and entered the US diplomatic service, serving in Vienna, Bern, Paris, Berlin, and Istanbul. He was chief of Division of Near Eastern Affairs, Department of State (1922–6), worked for a law firm (1926–42), then served in Europe with the US Office of Strategic Services …

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Allen Walker Read

Linguist and lexicographer, born in Winnebago, Minnesota, USA. A Rhodes scholar at Oxford (1928–31), he taught at the University of Missouri (1926–8, 1931–2) and at the University of Chicago (1932), then joined (1934) the staff of the Dictionary of American English on Historical Principles. His four-year stint on this work, modelled on the Oxford English Dictionary, gave him an insider's view o…

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allergy - History, Signs and symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Basis of the allergic response, Basis of increasing prevalence

An immune reaction to contact with certain foreign substances that are normally harmless and do not provoke a reponse in normal individuals. These substances are called allergens. In sensitive individuals they react with antibodies produced within the body by cells of the immune system. The reaction between the allergen and antibodies results in the liberation of substances that damage body cells …

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Alliance for Progress - Origin and goals, US aid to Latin America, Business lobbying, Success and failures of the plan

A 10-year programme of modernization and reform for countries in Latin America, sponsored by the US government in 1961 on the initiative of President Kennedy. Few of its aims were achieved, despite numerous specific development projects. The Alliance for Progress initiated by U.S. President John F. In March 1961, President Kennedy proposed a ten-year plan for Latin America: …

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Allianz f

An electoral alliance between the Christlich Demokratische Union (CDU), the Deutsche Soziale Union (DSU), and the Demokratischer Aufbruch (DA) for the Volkskammer elections in the German Democratic Republic (18 Mar 1990). The Alliance for Germany (German: Allianz für Deutschland) was an opposition coalition in East Germany. …

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Allies

The term generally applied to the nations that fought the ‘Axis’ powers during World War 2. By 1942 the combatant countries comprising the Allies included Great Britain and the British Commonwealth, USA, Soviet Union, France, and China, while Costa Rica, Cuba, Brazil, and Mexico had also declared war on Germany and Japan. By March 1945 they had been joined by Bulgaria, Finland, Hungary, Italy (w…

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alligator - Description, Habitat, Behavior, Diet, Farming

A crocodile-like reptile of family Alligatoridae; short broad snout; fourth tooth from the front on each side of the lower jaw is hidden when the jaws are closed (unlike the crocodile); two species: American alligator (Alligator mississippiensis) from SE USA, and the rare Chinese alligator (Alligator chinensis). An alligator is a crocodilian in the genus Alligator of the family Alligatorida…

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Alliierte Hohe Kommission (AHK)

The highest executive authority of West Germany and West Berlin, under the jurisdiction of the high commissioners of the three Allied powers (France, Great Britain, USA) during the term of validity of the Occupation Statute (21 Sep 1949 to 5 May 1955). Its seat was Petersberg near Königswinter. The Allied High Commission (in German "Alliierte Hohe Kommission", "AHK") was established by the…

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alliteration - Examples

The repetition of a consonantal sound or sounds; to be distinguished from assonance, the repetition of a vowel sound. Both are illustrated in these lines by Keats: ‘Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn/Among the river sallows, borne aloft/Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies’. The dominant consonants here are l, m/n, and w; an example of assonance is the link between small, mourn,…

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allium

A member of a large genus of perennials, all with a strong, distinctive onion smell, native to the N hemisphere; most form bulbs with a brown papery skin; leaves usually tubular, sometimes elliptical or strap-shaped; flowers with six perianth-segments, bell- or star-shaped, in dense umbels. In many species the flowers are mixed with, or completely replaced by bulbils, which allow the plant to repr…

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Alloa - Churches

56º07N 3º49W, pop (1998e) 13 300. Burgh in Clackmannanshire, C Scotland, UK; on N bank of R Forth, 10 km/6 mi E of Stirling; birthplace of David Allan; bricks, glass, textiles, brewing. Alloa is a small burgh in Clackmannanshire, Scotland, 6 miles to the east of Stirling, on the north bank of the River Forth. Alloa is currently served by three parish churches in the Church…

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alloy

A blend of a metal with one or more other metals or with a non-metallic substance. Most pure metals lack the properties needed to make them practically useful, and are nearly always used as some alloy. The properties of the alloy may differ considerably from those of any of the constituents, and vary with the proportions used, as with brass. Alloys known since ancient times include bronze (copper …

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allspice - Flavour, Preparation/Form, Uses, Cultivation

An evergreen tree (Pimenta dioica) native to tropical America and the West Indies; leaves elliptical; flowers creamy; fruit small, round; also known as pimento or Jamaican pepper. Spice made from its dried, unripe fruits has a flavour like that of cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg combined, hence the name. (Family: Myrtaceae.) Allspice, also called Jamaica pepper, Myrtle pepper, pimento …

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alluvium

A geological term for unconsolidated material deposited by a river. The material ranges in size from clay, through silt and sand, to gravel. Alluvium is generally well sorted (ie deposits are of a uniform or narrow size range), and the material is rounded. Alluvium (from the Latin, alluvius, from alluere, "to wash against") is soil or sediments deposited by a river or other running water. …

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Almaty - Universities of Almaty, Sister cities

43°15N 76°57E, pop (2000e) 1 192 000. Former capital city of Kazakhstan (to 1997, now Astana); in the N foothills of the Zailiyskiy Alatau range, c.300 km/185 mi from the Chinese frontier; established in 1854 as a military fortress and trading centre; destroyed by earthquake, 1887; airport; railway; university (1934); Academy of Sciences (1968); engineering, printing, film-making, foodstuff…

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Almor

A 9th-c Muslim sect and ruling dynasty of NW Africa. They expanded as far S as the Sudan, and founded Marrakesh in 1080. At the request of the Spanish Muslims, they entered Spain in 1086 under Yusuf ibn Tashfin to re-establish the political unity of Islam, winning the important battles of Sagrajas (1086) and Uclés (1108). Their dynasty declined and was overrun by the Almohades in 1148. It was dur…

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Aloysius Bertrand

Poet, born in Ceva, Piémont, NE France. The son of a soldier, he was too poor to live in the literary circles which attracted him from the age of 20, and he died prematurely from tuberculosis. His series of prose pictures, Gaspard de la nuit, appeared posthumously (1842). The hero symbolizes mysterious and fantastic forces. The text, difficult at first, was rescued from oblivion by Baudelaire and…

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alpaca

A domesticated member of the camel family, from Peru and Bolivia (Lama pacos); resembles a long-haired llama, but with a shorter face, neck, and legs; kept mainly for wool; sheared every two years; two breeds: huacaya and suri. It may be cross-bred with the vicuña (to produce the finer-woolled paco-vicuña) or with the llama. …

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alpha decay

A naturally occurring radioactive decay process in which the atomic nucleus breaks up into a lighter nucleus and an alpha particle, which is ejected. It is governed by the strong nuclear force. Lead-210 is an alpha particle source with a half-life of 21 years. Alpha decay is a form of radioactive decay in which an atomic nucleus ejects an alpha particle through the electromagnetic force and…

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alpha particle

A particle emitted in alpha decay. It is composed of two neutrons plus two protons, the same as the helium nucleus, and was identified as such by Ernest Rutherford in 1906; charge +2. It typically travels a few centimetres in the air before being brought to rest by collisions with air molecules. It causes the production of many ions, and in living tissue substantial biological damage. Alpha…

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alphabet - Linguistic definition and context, History, Types, Spelling, The Alphabet effect

The most economical and versatile form of writing system yet devised, because it breaks words down into their phonic components, assigning letters or combinations of letters to represent speech sounds. Thus, in English, the letter (or grapheme) m represents the sound (or phoneme) [m] in such words as mat; less obviously, the series o...e represents the long [ou] vowel sound in such words as bone. …

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Alpheus

In Greek mythology, the god of the Alpheus River that runs between Elis and Arcadia in the Peloponnese. Various legends tell of his attempts to seduce Artemis but she resisted his advances. He also loved one of her followers, Arethusa, and turned himself into a hunter in order to follow her. She fled to Syracuse and Ortygia and was changed into a spring. In Greek mythology Alpheus, or Alphe…

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Alphonse (Marie Louis) de Lamartine - Bibliography

Poet, statesman, and historian, born in Mâcon, EC France. His best-known work was his first volume of lyrical poems, Méditations poétiques (1820, Poetic Meditations). He became a diplomat at Naples and Florence, a member of the provisional government in the 1848 revolution, and acted as minister of foreign affairs, finally devoting himself to literature. Among his later works are the Histoire d…

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Alphonse Allais - Principal works

Humorist, born in Honfleur, Normandy, NW France. Son of a chemist, he studied colour photography with Charles Cros. His first literary works, published in newspapers, were collected in À se tordre (1891), Vive la Vie (1892), and Amours, délices et orgues (1898), together with Le Parapluie de l'Escouade (1894) which brought him widespread success. His sense of humour and of the absurd betrayed a …

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Alphonse Bertillon

Police officer, born in Paris, France. As chief of the identification bureau in Paris, in 1882 he devised a system of identifying criminals by anthropometric measurements (later superseded by fingerprints). Alphonse Bertillon (April 23, 1853–February 13, 1914) was a French law enforcement officer and biometrics researcher, who created anthropometry, an identification system based on …

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Alphonse Daudet - Early life, Literary career, Works include

Writer, born in Nîmes, S France. He moved to Paris in 1857, where he devoted himself to literature. He wrote a book of poems and several theatrical pieces, including L'Arlésienne, for which Bizet composed incidental music. Some of his best work appears in the journals, notably his sketches of Provençal subjects, collected as Lettres de mon moulin (1866, Letters from My Mill), and the extravagan…

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Alphonse Legros - Works

Painter and etcher, born in Dijon, E France. Influenced by Courbet, he was associated with the early Impressionists and exhibited at the Salon des Refusés (1863). In that year he moved permanently to London and became Slade professor at University College London (1876–92), where he exercised a strong traditional influence. He abandoned Impressionism and became an important graphic artist. He pro…

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alphorn - Music for Alphorn

A musical instrument found in rural communities, particularly in the Swiss Alps. Most alphorns are about 1·8 m/6 ft long, made of wood, and can sound the first five or six harmonics; but examples up to twice that length are not uncommon. The alphorn is a wind instrument, consisting of a natural wooden horn of conical bore, having a cup-shaped mouthpiece, used by mountain dwellers in Swit…

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alpine

A botanical term for vegetation growing in mountains above the tree-line; also used for plants naturally occurring in such regions. Alpines are typically low-growing or dome-shaped perennials, adapted to withstand high levels of solar radiation and drought as well as cold. Alpine may also refer to: Places named Alpine include: In Canada: In the United Sta…

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Alps - Geography, Climate, Geology, Political history, Exploration, Fauna

Principal mountain range of Europe, covering 259 000 km²/100 000 sq mi in Switzerland, France, Germany, Austria, Liechtenstein, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia and Montenegro; a series of parallel chains over 1000 km/600 mi SW–NE; originally formed by collision of African and European tectonic plates; source of many great European rivers, notably the Rhine, Po, and Rhône; Western Al…

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Alsace - Geography, History, Politics, Economy, Demographics, Transport, Culture, Symbolism, Tourism, Administration, Notable Alsatians, Cities

pop (2000e) 1 699 000; area 8280 km²/3196 sq mi. Region of NE France, comprising the departments of Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin, part of Upper Rhine Plain on frontier with Germany; crossed S–N by Rhine and Ill Rivers; traditional scene of Franco–German conflict; formerly part of Lorraine before becoming part of German Empire; Treaty of Westphalia (1648) returned most of Alsace to France; ceded…

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Altamira

43°18N 4°08E. A Palaeolithic limestone cave of c.13 500 BC on the N Spanish coast near Santander, celebrated for its vivid ceiling paintings of game animals (principally bison, bulls, horses, hinds, and boars), some over 2 m/6½ ft long. Though discovered in 1879 by local landowner Marcelino de Sautuola, its authenticity was not established before 1902. It is now a world heritage site. …

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altarpiece

In a Christian church, a carved or painted screen placed above the altar facing the congregation; known as an ancona (Ital), retable (Fr), or reredos (Eng). The earliest examples appeared in the 10th–11th-c. The pala d'oro (gold altarpiece) in St Mark's, Venice, commissioned 1105, consists of gold and enamel-work, as well as sculptured figures, and includes images of Christ in Majesty with angels…

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Altavilla

A Norman family named after the feudal territory of Hauteville-le-Guichard (or Guiscard). Two of Tancred's twelve sons, Guillaume and Drogo, went to Italy as mercenaries (1033) and established a domain in Byzantine territory in Puglia. Umfred conquered some territories in Calabria, placing in charge of them his brother, Robert ‘le Guichard’ (or ‘le Guiscard’), who was later appointed Duke of P…

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alternating current (AC) - Transmission, distribution, and domestic power supply, AC power supply frequencies, Effects at high frequencies

An electrical current whose direction of flow reverses periodically; the alternative is direct current (DC), where the flow is in a single direction only. The variation of current with time is usually sinusoidal, as produced naturally by rotating coils in magnetic fields (generators). Household current is AC, with frequencies varying to some extent between countries, eg 50 Hz (UK), 60 Hz (USA). …

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alternation of generations - Distinctions, Fungi, Protists, Plants

The progression of the life-cycle of a plant through two reproductive forms. The sexual generation or gametophyte produces haploid gametes. These fuse and give rise to a diploid sporophyte, which produces haploid spores from which grow new gametophytes (asexual generation). In algae, the gametophyte is the dominant generation, occupying the major portion of the life-cycle, although the two generat…

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alternative fuel - Alternatives to oil

A fuel other than petrol for powering motor vehicles. These fuels include ethanol, methanol, and biofuels derived from organic material, such as biodiesel, obtained from various kinds of vegetable oil, and rape methyl esters (RME) from rape-oil. Such fuels are said to be environmentally friendly, but debate continues over whether they are as pollution-free as is claimed, and whether the land devot…

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alternative medicine

Approaches to the treatment of illness using procedures other than those recommended by orthodox medical science; also known as complementary medicine. The demand for such treatment has increased in recent years, as individuals who have not been relieved of their complaints by orthodox methods have become more inclined to look elsewhere for treatment. There are many different approaches, and a rec…

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Althea Gibson - Grand Slam Titles, Grand Slam singles tournament timeline

Tennis player, born in Silver City, South Carolina, USA. The first black to compete at the US Open, she was the first African-American player to achieve success at the highest levels of the game, winning the French and Italian singles championships in 1956, and the British and US titles in 1957 and 1958. She turned professional in 1959, and won the professional singles title in 1960. Her autobiogr…

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Altichiero

Painter and possible founder of the Veronese School, born near Verona, N Italy. He worked in Verona and also in Padua, where he painted frescoes (1372–9) in the Basilica of S Antonio, which include a Crucifixion and scenes from the life of St James, and in the Oratory of S Giorgio (1377–84), which depict scenes from the lives of St George and other saints. This work combines the solid Realism of…

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Altiero Spinelli - Ventotene Manifesto, European politician

Italian politician, born in Rome, Latium, Italy. He was opposed to Fascism and a strong supporter of European unity. He founded (1943) the Movimento Federalista Europeo in Italia (European Federalist Movement in Italy) of which he was general secretary from 1947 to 1963. Altiero Spinelli (August 29, 1907—May 23, 1986) was an Italian citizen and advocate of European federalism; sometimes r…

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altimeter - Scientific Uses

A device carried by an aircraft to measure its height above the ground. The usual type operates by sending out a radio signal, and measuring the time taken by the signal to return, since the speed at which the radio signal travels is known. When the ground rises below the aircraft, and the aircraft maintains level flight, the altimeter registers a drop in altitude. An altimeter is an active…

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Altiplano

The arid plateau of W Bolivia and S Peru between the W and E cordilleras; elevation 3000–5000 m/9800–16 400 ft. It is covered by widespread alluvial and glacial deposits, and the rivers and streams of the plateau drain into L Titicaca (Bolivia/Peru) and L Poopó (Bolivia). Both are closed lake basins, ie they do not drain to the sea. The Altiplano (Spanish for high plain), where the An…

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altitude sickness - Introduction, Signs and symptoms, Severe cases, Altitude acclimatisation

Adverse effects experienced by individuals travelling to high altitudes, usually beginning at c.2500 m/8000 ft above sea level and getting worse with increasing elevation. The amount of oxygen in the air decreases with altitude, leading to shortness of breath and hyperventilation (rapid breathing). High altitudes also disturb the body's fluid balance and the blood is maintained at a more concent…

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altruism - Altruism in ethics, Altruism in ethology and evolutionary biology, Altruism in politics

The philosophical thesis that people sometimes do or should intentionally promote the interests of others to the detriment of their own interests. It is usually contrasted with egoism, which asserts that all actions are really self-interested. Sociobiologists have recently studied how apparently altruistic behaviour in animals can be adaptive for the species. Altruism is unselfish concern f…

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alum - Alchemical and later discoveries and uses, Pliny's writings, Early uses in industry

Usually KAl(SO4)2.12H2O. Hydrated potassium aluminium sulphate, common alum. Other alums have Al substituted by Fe (iron alum) or Cr (chrome alum). All form large, octahedral crystals. Common alum hydrolyzes in water to give gelatinous Al(OH)3, and can be used as a coagulant in water clarification. Potassium alum is the common alum of commerce, although both soda alum and ammonium alum are …

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aluminium - Properties, Applications, History, Aluminium separation, Isotopes, Precautions, Chemistry

Al, element 13, melting-point 660°C, density 2·7 g/cm3. A silvery metal, the third most abundant element in the Earth's crust, occurring mostly as aluminosilicates. It is extracted mainly by electrolysis of alumina from bauxite fused with cryolite (Na3AlF6). Although the metal is strongly electropositive, it forms a tough oxide coating and is then passive to further oxidation. Its cheapness, li…

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Alun (Davies) Owen

Playwright, born in Liverpool, Merseyside, NW England, UK. He began as an actor in Birmingham, then became a prolific writer for television and radio. His works include The Rough and Ready Lot (1958), Progress to the Park (1959), and a musical collaboration with Lionel Bart, Maggie May (1964). Alun Owen (November 24, 1925 – December 6, 1994) was a British screenwriter, predominantly activ…

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Alun Hoddinott - Bibliography

Composer, born in Bargoed, Caerphilly, S Wales, UK. He studied in Cardiff, and taught at the College of Music and Drama there before joining the music staff at University College, Cardiff in 1959, becoming professor (1967–87, now emeritus). In 1967 he was co-founder of the Cardiff Festival, serving as artistic director (1967–89) and president (1990– ). He is a prolific composer of operas, symph…

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Alun Lewis

Writer, born in Cwmaman, Rhondda Cynon Taff, S Wales, UK. He studied at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth, and at Manchester. A lieutenant in the army, his first work, a volume of short stories about army life, was The Last Inspection (1942), followed by a volume of poetry. He died of gunshot wounds at Chittagong during the Burma campaign. Another volume of verse, Ha! Ha! Among the Trum…

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Alun Richards

Novelist, short-story writer, and playwright, born in Pontypridd, Rhondda Cynon Taff, S Wales, UK. He studied at University College, Swansea, and worked as a probation officer, sailor, and teacher. Following serious illness with tuberculosis, he began writing and became a frequent contributor of plays to ITV's Armchair Theatre. His novels established him as a chronicler of South Wales valley life …

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Alva (Erskine Smith Vanderbilt) Belmont

Socialite, suffragist, and reformer, born in Mobile, Alabama, USA. Born into a moderately wealthy Southern family, she was educated in France, where her family moved after the Civil War. Returning to the USA with her mother and sisters (early 1870s), they settled in New York City, and in 1875 she married William K Vanderbilt, grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt. She immediately set about to advance t…

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Alva Myrdal

Sociologist, stateswoman, and peace reformer, born in Uppsala, E Sweden. She studied at the universities of Uppsala, Stockholm, and Geneva, and married Gunnar Myrdal. She was director of the UN department of social sciences (1950–6), and Swedish ambassador to India, Burma, and Ceylon (1955–61). Elected to parliament in 1962, she acted as Swedish representative on the UN Disarmament Committee (19…

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Alvan Clark

Astronomer, born in Ashfield, Massachusetts, USA. A moderately successful portrait painter and engraver, he developed an interest in optics at age 40 when his son George was studying engineering. This led to the founding, with his sons George Bassett Clark (1827–91) and Alvan Graham Clark (1832–97) of Alvan Clark & Sons, makers of optical lenses for telescopes, some of unsurpassed quality. His c…

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alvar - European alvar locations, North American alvar locations

A particularly fervent devotional Hindu saint of the Vaishava tradition. The word means ‘diver’, and is attributed to one who enters into the depth of mystical experience. Alvars are closely associated with the Tamils of S India. An alvar or pavement barren is a limestone plain with thin or no soil and, as a result, sparse vegetation. Alvars can be found in southern Sweden, northwest Esto…

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Alvin (Cullum) York - Early life, World War I, Post-war life, Legacy

US soldier and popular hero, born in Pall Mall, Tennessee, USA. His fundamentalist Christian religion taught him to disapprove of war, but he resolved his doubts after joining the army in 1917. While in France, he led a small detachment against a German machine-gun emplacement, in which he killed 25 of the enemy, inducing 132 Germans to surrender. The greatest US hero of World War 1, he was awarde…

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Alvin Adams

Businessman, born in Andover, Vermont, USA. Orphaned as a child, at age 16 he began working at odd jobs. In New York City he formed Adams & Co (1840), an express package business between Boston and New York City. The company prospered, buying routes in New England (1841) and in the W and S as far as St Louis (1842), eventually opening 35 offices in California (1849). In 1854 the Adams Express Co i…

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Alvin Ailey - The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater

Dancer and choreographer, born in Rogers, Texas, USA. He became a member of Lester Horton's company in 1950, then in New York City trained with Martha Graham and others. He retired from the stage in 1965 to devote himself to the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, a hugely popular, multi-racial modern dance ensemble he formed in 1958. His most famous dance is Revelations (1960), a celebratory stud…

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Alvin Plantinga - Education, Bibliography

Philosopher of religion, born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. A professor at Calvin College, Grand Rapids (1963–82) and the University of Notre Dame, IN (1982– ), his works include God, Freedom and Evil (1974) and Does God have a Nature? (1980). He argues that God's existence is no less probable than our own, that it can be supported by the ontological argument, and that belief in His goodness is t…

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Alvise Vivarini

Painter, born in Venice, NE Italy, the son of Antonio Vivarini. He was possibly a pupil of both his father and his uncle, Bartolommeo. Influenced by Antonello da Messina and Bellini, his works include portrait busts and altarpieces, especially a ‘Madonna and Six Saints’ (1480) in the Academy, Venice. It has sometimes been supposed that, besides the Luigi who was the latest of this pictori…

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Alwin Nikolais

Choreographer, born in Southington, Connecticut, USA. A puppeteer, and a pianist for silent films, he turned to dance, studying with Hanya Holm. Moving to New York City in 1948, he founded his own dance company, the Nikolais Dance Theater, in 1951. His style was idiosyncratic, and uninhibited by conventional artistic boundaries. He designed his own sets and became, in 1963, the first artist to use…

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alyssum

An annual to perennial, mat-forming or bushy but low-growing, native to Europe and Asia; leaves narrow; flowers cross-shaped, white, blue, or yellow. Golden alyssum, a grey-leaved, yellow-flowered perennial, is often grown in gardens, but the popular white garden annual commonly called alyssum is a different, though related, plant. (Genus: Alyssum, 150 species. Family: Cruciferae.) …

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Alzheimer's disease - History, Clinical features, Diagnosis, Pathology, Epidemiology and prevention, Treatment, Social issues, Notable cases

A common form of generalized cerebral atrophy which results in slowly progressive dementia affecting all aspects of brain function. It leads to memory loss, mood swings, confusion, and ultimately to total disintegration of the personality and loss of independence. The disease was first described in 1906 by German neurologist, Alois Alzheimer. Current theories as to its cause include a slow viral i…

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Amadeo Bordiga - Biography

Italian politician, born in Resina, Campania, NE Italy. A socialist, he edited Il Soviet , a newspaper devoted to spreading Soviet revolutionary principles (1918–22). A founder of the Italian Communist Party and its first secretary, he was critical of the Third International, and was marginalized by Togliatti and Gramsci at the Lyon Congress in 1926. He was arrested and forced to live on Ponza by…

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