Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 44

Cambridge Encyclopedia

kinkajou

A nocturnal mammal (Potos flavus) native to Central and South America; superficially monkey-like, with a round head, small rounded ears, short face, large eyes, and long clasping tail; eats mainly fruit; also known as honey bear or potto. (Family: Procyonidae.) The Kinkajou (Potos flavus), also known as the Honey Bear, is a nocturnal rainforest mammal related to the ringtail and the raccoon…

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kinnor

A musical instrument of the ancient Hebrews - a type of lyre plucked with the fingers or a plectrum. The word is also the modern Hebrew name for the violin. Kinnor is the Hebrew name for an ancient stringed instrument, the first mentioned in the Bible (Gen. The identification of the instrument has been much discussed, but, from the standpoint of the history of musical instruments, the…

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Kinshasa - Geography, Buildings and institutions, History, Media, Transport

4°18S 15°18E, pop (2000e) 4 221 600. River-port capital of Democratic Republic of Congo; on the R Congo opposite Brazzaville; founded by Stanley, 1887; capital of Belgian colony, 1926; US troops stationed here during World War 2; airport; railway; university (1954); commerce, food processing, textiles, chemicals, brewing. Kinshasa (formerly Léopoldville) is the capital and largest cit…

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kinship - Bibliography

Relationships between people which follow upon descent from a common ancestor. In every human society common descent (consanguinity) is thought to mark off a special category of kin, relationships with whom are different in kind from relationships with non-kin. Further significant distinctions may be made between relatives traced through the father and through the mother, between closer and more d…

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Kintyre - Towns and villages in Kintyre, Transport, Places of historic interest, Prehistoric sites, Associated Peerage Titles

Peninsula in Argyll and Bute, SWC Scotland, UK; bounded by the North Channel and the Atlantic Ocean (W) and the Firth of Clyde (E); runs S to the Mull of Kintyre from a narrow isthmus; 64 km/40 mi long; average width 13 km/8 mi; chief town, Campbeltown. Kintyre (Ceann Tìre in Gaelic) is a peninsula in western Scotland, in the south-west of Argyll and Bute. Geographically, t…

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Kip(choge) Keino

Athlete, born in Kipsamo, Kenya. Concentrating on middle-distance events, his most effective range lay between 1500 m and 5000 m. At the 1968 Mexico City Olympics he won the 1500 m, and at Munich in 1972 he won the gold medal for the 3000  steeplechase. He won Commonwealth Games titles at the mile and three miles in 1966 and at 1500 m in 1970. In 1965 he established new world records for the …

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Kirby Puckett - Early life, Early career - 1982-1990, Late career - 1991-1995

Baseball player, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. When playing for Bradley University and Triton College in Illinois, he was scouted and drafted by the MLB team Minnesota Twins in 1982, remaining with them for the whole of his career. A popular player, he became a 10-time All-Star outfielder who helped the Twins to two World Series wins (1987, 1991). Problems with glaucoma brought his retirement in…

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Kiribati - Geography, Miscellaneous topics

Official name Republic of Kiribati, formerly Gilbert Islands Kiribati, officially the Republic of Kiribati, is an island nation located in the central tropical Pacific Ocean. Its name is pronounced ['kiribas] and is a Kiribati language rendering of "Gilberts", the English name for the main group of islands: the former Gilbert Islands. That is why the Pacific Island known as Christmas …

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Kiritimati - Geography, History, Trivia

2°00N 157°30W, pop (2000e) 3000; area 390 km²/150 sq mi. Largest atoll in the world, one of the Line Is, Kiribati, C Pacific Ocean, 2000 km/1250 mi S of Honolulu; indented on the E by the Bay of Wrecks; visited by Captain Cook, 1777; annexed by the British, 1888; used as an air base; nuclear testing site in late 1950s; coconut plantations. Coordinates: 1°53′00″N, 157°24′00

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Kirk Douglas - Early life, Career, Filmography, Bibliography

Film actor, born in Amsterdam, New York, USA. He made his Broadway debut in 1941, served in the US Navy, and embarked on a screen career in 1946. His films include Champion (1949), The Bad and the Beautiful (1952), Lust for Life (1956), and Spartacus (1960), and from the 1970s he also worked as a director. His son, Michael Douglas, also became an actor. Kirk Douglas (born December 9, 1916) …

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Kirkcaldy - High Schools, Primary Schools, Churches, Church associations

56º07N 3º10W, pop (1999e) 45 000. Town in Fife, E Scotland, UK; on the N shore of the Firth of Forth, 17 km/10 mi N of Edinburgh; birthplace of Robert Adam, Henry Balnaves, Adam Smith, David Steel; railway; Ravenscraig Castle (15th-c); linoleum, engineering. Kirkcaldy (pronounced kir-kawdy) is the largest town in Fife, Scotland. Its town centre was designated a conservation area in 19…

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Kirkpatrick Macmillan - Devout External Links

Blacksmith, born near Thornhill, Dumfries and Galloway, SW Scotland, UK. In 1837 he built a ‘dandy’ horse - a kind of bicycle on which the rider pushed himself along with his feet. Three years later he had applied the crank to his machine to make the world's first pedal cycle, with wooden frame and iron-tyred wheels. His invention was never patented, and for many years it was credited to one of …

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Kirkwall - Parliamentary burgh

58°59N 2°58W, pop (2000e) 6800. Port capital of Orkney, N Scotland, UK; on island of Mainland, between Wide Firth (N) and Scapa Flow (S); airport; fishing, textiles, tourism, oil; Earl Patrick's palace (1607), St Magnus Cathedral (1137–1200), Tankerness House (1574), museum of Orkney life. Kirkwall is the largest town and capital of the Orkney Islands, off the coast of northern Scotland…

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Kirlian photography - Research, Explanations, In popular culture

A technique in which a very high voltage (30 000–50 000 volts) creates a high intensity electric field which can be recorded on a photographic plate as a form of electrical interference. The phenomenon was discovered by Russian engineer Semyon Kirlian and his wife Valentina during the 1950s. Materials which are good conductors give an image of the surface of the object; poor conductors show det…

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Kirriemuir

56º41N 3º01W, pop (2000e) 5700. Town and burgh in Angus, E Scotland; on the slopes of the Grampian hills, 8 km/5 mi W of Forfar; birthplace of J M Barrie and David Niven; restored home of J M Barrie. Kirriemuir, sometimes called Kirrie, is a burgh in Angus, Scotland. …

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Kirsten Flagstad - Early life and career, Illustrious career at the Metropolitan and elsewhere

Soprano, born in Hamar, E Norway. She studied in Stockholm and Oslo, where she made her operatic debut in 1913. She excelled in Wagnerian roles, and was acclaimed in most of the world's major opera houses. In 1958 she was made director of the Norwegian State Opera. The Norwegian opera singer Kirsten Målfrid Flagstad (July 12, 1895 – December 7, 1962) is considered one of the greatest Wag…

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Kisangani - History

0°33N 25°14E, pop (2000e) 426 600. Capital of Haut-Zaïre region, NC Democratic Republic of Congo; on the R Congo, 1250 km/775 mi NE of Kinshasa; founded by Stanley, 1882; airport; university (1963); agricultural trade, textiles, brewing, furniture. Kisangani, formerly Stanleyville, (population 500,000) is a city in the Democratic Republic of the Congo in Central Africa. H…

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Kit Carson - Early life, Military service, Colorado, Reputation, Popular culture, Museum and place names

Frontiersman, born in Madison Co, Kentucky, USA. His father died when he was nine and he received no schooling. Apprenticed to a saddlemaker (1825), he ran away to join an expedition to Sante Fe, NM. He became an experienced trapper and Indian fighter, and c.1836 married an Arapaho woman he called Alice. After her death, he met John C Frémont and served as guide for his first two expeditions (184…

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Kit-Cat Club

A political and literary club that flourished in London during 1700–20. Its membership comprised leading Whig politicians, writers, and painters, and included Robert Walpole, Joseph Addison, William Congreve, Richard Steele, John Vanbrugh, and artist Godfrey Kneller - who painted portraits of the members. The Kit-Cat Club (sometimes Kit-Kat Club) was an early 18th century English club in L…

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kite (ornithology) - History, Technology, Types of Kites, Safety issues

A hawk of the subfamily Milvinae (true kites) or subfamily Elaninae (white-tailed kites), found worldwide; the most varied and diverse group of hawks; eats insects, snails, and small vertebrates, or scavenges. (Family: Accipitridae, c.27 species.) The history of kites can be traced back thousands of years to when kites first originated in China. Today, in addition to kites that …

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kite (recreation) - History, Technology, Types of Kites, Safety issues

A frame covered with a light fabric or paper, flown on a long string. It was first documented in China (AD 549) in relation to military communications. Kites spread to Europe via the Arabs, and were first used in Italy in 1589. They continue to be popular as a leisure activity, and have practical applications in meteorology and surveying. The history of kites can be traced back thousands of…

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Kitt Peak National Observatory - General information

An observatory near Tucson, Arizona, USA, site of the largest collection of optical telescopes in the world. The largest is the 4-m/158-in Mayall reflector (1973). Kitt Peak is part of the National Optical Astronomy Observatories, which also includes the Cerro Tololo Inter-American Observatory in Chile, operating a similar 4-m reflector to that at Kitt Peak, and the National Solar Observatory, whi…

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kittiwake

Either of two species of marine bird of the genus Rissa: the black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) from N areas of the N oceans; and the red-legged kittiwake (Rissa brevirostris) from the Bering Sea. They spend much time at sea, and nest on cliffs in large numbers. (Family: Laridae.) The Kittiwakes (genus Rissa) are two closely related seabird species in the gull family Laridae. As occa…

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Kitty Wells - Discography

Country music singer and songwriter, born in Nashville, Tennessee, USA. In the 1930s and 1940s she sang on several radio programmes, and in 1952 she joined the ‘Grand Ole Opry’ and recorded her first hit songs for Decca (later MCA), ‘It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels’ was her first number one song. By 1963 she had released 461 singles and 43 albums. Her songs address such social problem…

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kiva

A subterranean circular room c.5–14 m/16–46 ft in diameter and 2·5 m/8 ft high, with a ceiling hatch and access ladder, used by the prehistoric Anasazi Indians of the American SW for meetings, rituals, storytelling, weaving, and crafts. Inside is a firepit and sipapu, a small hole in the floor symbolizing the point at which the ancestral Anasazi emerged from the underworld. A kiva is…

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kiwi - Species, Discovery and documentation, Food

A flightless nocturnal bird, native to New Zealand; small eyes; acute sense of smell (rare in birds); long curved bill with nostrils at tip; strong legs; tail and wings not visible through thick, shaggy plumage; usually inhabits woodland; eats worms, other invertebrates, and berries; nests in burrow. Its egg is the largest, relative to body size, of any bird (25% of the female's weight). (Genus: A…

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Kjeld Abell

Radical playwright, born in Ribe, SW Denmark. He was known for his innovative stage designs and effects. His plays include Melodien der blev væk (1935, The Melody That Got Lost), Anna Sophie Hedvig (1939), and Silkeborg (1946). Kjeld Abell (25 August 1901–5 March 1961) was a Danish playwright and theatrical designer. Born in Ribe, Denmark, Abell's first designs were seen in ballets direc…

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Klagenfurt - History, Main sights, Famous people, Twinnings

46º38N 14º20E, pop (2001e) 90 300. Capital of Kärnten state, S Austria; industrial and commercial town on the R Glan; founded (1161) as a market village; granted a municipal charter, 1252; birthplace of Ingeborg Bachmann, Robert Musil, Hanns A Rauter; university; many 16th–17th-c arcades and courtyards have been restored; Landhaus (1574–90), Dragon Fountain (1590), cathedral (16th-c); summe…

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Klaus (Emil Julius) Fuchs - Early life, Wartime work and espionage, Value of Fuchs' data to the Soviet project

Physicist and atom spy, born in Rüsselsheim, WC Germany. He studied at Kiel and Leipzig, and escaped from Nazi persecution to Britain in 1933. Interned on the outbreak of World War 2, he was released and naturalized in 1942. From 1943 he worked in the USA on the atom bomb, and in 1946 became head of the theoretical physics division at Harwell, UK. In 1950 he was sentenced to 14 years' imprisonmen…

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Klaus Barbie - Life, Trial, Cultural references, Further reading

Nazi leader, born in Bad Godesberg, W Germany. He joined the Hitler Youth in 1931, graduating to the SS, and worked for the Gestapo in the Netherlands, Russia, and finally Lyon, where he sent thousands of people to Auschwitz. After the War, he fled to South America with his family under an assumed name, but was traced by Nazi hunters, and extradited from Bolivia in 1983. He was tried in France on …

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Klaus Kinski - Life, Reputation, Books

Film actor, born in Sopot, N Poland. In the 1930s his family moved to Germany, where he joined the army in 1942. Soon captured, he spent the rest of the War in a British concentration camp, where he first went on stage. He later played many minor parts in films such as spaghetti Westerns (including Clint Eastwood's For a Few Dollars More), then became known for his leading roles in the films of We…

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Klaus von Dohnanyi

German politician, the son of Hans von Dohnanyi. A member of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD), he served as Bundesminister für Bildung und Wissenschaft (1972–4), Staatsminister im Auswärtigen Amt (1976–81), and Erster Bürgermeister of Hamburg (1981–8). Dr Klaus von Dohnanyi (born 23 June 1928 in Hamburg) is a German politician and a member of the Social Democratic Par…

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Kleine Luyden - Types of Little People in Mythology

In The Netherlands, a term for the movement among lower-middle-class Protestants for social, political, and religious emancipation in the second half of the 19th-c. They represented the orthodox wing of the Dutch Reformed Church and favoured ‘free’ churches and ‘free’ schools. They formed a virtual political party, led by Abraham Kuyper, based on the ideas of Groen van Prinsterer, producing th…

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Klement Gottwald

Czechoslovakian prime minister (1946–8) and president (1948–53), born in Dadice, S Czech Republic (formerly Moravia). He joined the Communist Party, becoming secretary-general in 1927. He gained prominence by opposing the Munich Agreement of 1938, and as a Communist leader, became vice-premier in the Czech provisional government in 1945. Prime minister in 1946, in February 1948 he carried out th…

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klipspringer

A dwarf antelope (Oreotragus oreotragus) native to Africa S of the Sahara; thick yellow-grey speckled coat; black feet; stands on points of small peg-like hooves; short vertical horns; rounded ears with dark radiating lines; inhabits rock outcrops in scrubland. The Klipspringer (literally "rock jumper" in Afrikaans), Oreotragus oreotragus, also known colloquially as a mvundla (from Xhosa "u…

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Klondike gold rush - Discovery, Stampede begins, A hard life, Cultural legacy, Further reading

A flood of prospectors (largely US) when gold was discovered in Canada's Yukon Territory in 1896. The rush lasted for five years, generated an estimated $50 million in gold, established the town of Dawson, and invigorated the economies of British Columbia, Alberta, Alaska, and Washington State. The Klondike Gold Rush was a frenzy of gold rush immigration to and gold prospecting along the Kl…

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Klosterneuburg

48º19N 16º20E, pop (2001e) 24 700. Town in Niederösterreich state, NE Austria; fertile region on the R Kierlingbach, separated from the R Danube by a broad belt of meadowland, 12 km/7 mi N of Vienna; birthplace of Johann Georg Albrechtsberger; Augustinian abbey (1108); important wine producing region; federal college of wine-making. Klosterneuburg is a city in Lower Austria with a po…

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knee - Human anatomy

Commonly used to refer to the region around the knee-cap (patella); more specifically, in anatomy, the largest joint in the human body, being the articulation between the femoral projections (condyles) and the tibial plateaux, and including the joint between the patella and the femur. It allows a wide range of movement, yet still retains a high degree of stability, because of the presence and arra…

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Knesset

The Israeli parliament and state legislature. It is a unicameral body of 120 members elected under a system of proportional representation. Its term of office is four years, and the country's president is elected by the Knesset for five years. All citizens of 18 and over are entitled to vote. …

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knight - Etymology, Origins of European knighthood, The medieval institution, Becoming a knight, Knighthood and the feudal system

In the UK, a title of honour granted as a reward for services, permitting the use of Sir with one's name; originally (in the Middle Ages) men who formed an elite cavalry (Fr Chevalier, Ger Ritter). The ideal of knighthood involved the maintenance of personal honour, religious devotion, and loyalty to one's lord. This ideal was most nearly achieved at the time of the Crusades (11th–13th-c). …

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knight bachelor (KB)

In the UK, the lowest, but most ancient, form of knighthood, originating in the reign of Henry III. A KB is not a member of any order of chivalry. The Imperial Society of Knights Bachelor was founded for the maintenance and consolidation of the Dignity of Knights Bachelor in 1908, and obtained official recognition from the Sovereign in 1912. The Society keeps records of all Knights Ba…

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Knights of Labor - Structure and membership, In decline, Further reading

(1878–93) A US industrial union that tried to organize all workers in support of a large-scale political and social programme, regardless of age, race, and sex. The knights reached a membership of 700 000 in 1886, but then declined. The Knights of Labor was a labor union founded as a fraternal organization in December 1866, by Uriah S. Originally called The Noble and Holy Orde…

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knitting - History and culture, Properties of knit fabrics, Process, Industrial applications

An ancient craft used for making fabric by linking together loops of yarn using two, three, or four hand-held needles. The first knitting machine was invented in England by William Lee (c.1550–c.1610). Machines are now used to produce complex knitted garments and fabrics of many kinds, but they cannot create all the intricate designs that are commonly produced by skilled hand knitters. The manufa…

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Knossos - Name, Discovery and excavation, Legend, Art and architecture, Society, Sources

An Aegean Bronze Age town at Kephala, NC Crete, noted for the sophistication of its art and architecture. Flourishing c.1900–1400 BC, the settlement covered c.50 ha/125 acres, its mansions and houses linked by paved roads and dominated by the 19 000 sq m/4·7 acre Minoan palace discovered in 1899, and later partly reconstructed by Sir Arthur Evans. The traditional association with Minos, the…

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knot (ornithology) - Usage, Properties, Categories

Either of two species of sandpiper; the widespread knot or red knot (Calidris canutus); and the eastern knot or great knot (Calidris tenuirostris) from E regions of the Old World. There is a large variety of knots and each knot has specific properties and suitability for a range of tasks. Some knots are well-adapted to attach to particular objects such as another rope, cleat, ring, or…

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knot (physics) - Usage, Properties, Categories

A unit of speed equivalent to one nautical mile (1·85 km) per hour. It is used especially of ships, aircraft, and winds. There is a large variety of knots and each knot has specific properties and suitability for a range of tasks. Some knots are well-adapted to attach to particular objects such as another rope, cleat, ring, or stake. Choosing the correct knot for the job at hand is …

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Knud (Johan Victor) Rasmussen

Explorer and ethnologist, born in Jacobshavn, Greenland. From 1902 onwards he directed several expeditions to Greenland in support of the theory that the Inuit and the North American Indians were both descended from migratory tribes from Asia. In 1910 he established Thule base on Cape York, and crossed by dog-sledge from Greenland to the Bering Strait (1921–4). Knud Johan Victor Rasmussen …

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Knut Hamsun - Books about Hamsun

Novelist, born in Lom, SC Norway. Raised on the Lofoten Is with little education, he worked at various odd jobs, and twice visited the USA (1882–4, 1886–8), where he worked as a streetcar attendant in Chicago and a farmhand in North Dakota. He sprang to fame with his novel Sult (1890, Hunger), followed by Mysterier (1892, Mysteries) and the lyrical Pan (1894). His masterpiece is considered Marke…

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Knute (Kenneth) Rockne - Early life, Notre Dame coach, Plane crash, Legacy

Coach of American football, born in Voss, Norway. His family went to the USA in 1893, and he worked as a night clerk (1905–10) to earn money for college. An end whose pass receiving helped Notre Dame beat Army in 1913, he became coach at his alma mater (1918) and served until his death, producing six national championships and five perfect-record teams. Perhaps football's most famous coach, and o…

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Kobe - Orientation

34°40N 135°12E, pop (2000e) 1 500 000. Port capital of Hyogo prefecture, C Honshu, Japan, W of Osaka; Japan's leading international commercial port; continuing land reclamation on seaward side of the city; railway; 15 universities; badly damaged by earthquake, January 1995; food industry, machinery, electronics, shipbuilding, iron and steel, chemicals, saké; harbour and naval museum, Museum …

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Koblenz - Description, History of Koblenz, Deutsches Eck and its Monument, Twinning

50°21N 7°36E, pop (2000e) 113 000. Capital of Koblenz district, W Germany; at confluence of Mosel and Rhine Rivers, 80 km/50 mi SE of Cologne; seat of Frankish kings, 6th-c; badly bombed in World War 2; largest garrison town in former West Germany; railway; major centre of Rhine wine trade; hygienic tissues, furniture, pianos, clothing; birthplace of Metternich; St Castor's church (836), for…

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Kobo Abe - Biography, Summaries of selected works, List of books available in English, Prizes

Novelist and playwright, born in Tokyo, Japan. He trained as a doctor, but turned to literature after graduating. Recognition in Japan came with the award of the Akutagawa Prize for The Wall in 1951. His predominant theme of alienation was explored in a series of works, his novels including The Woman in the Dunes (1965), Inter Ice Age Four (1971), and Secret Rendezvous (1980). Kobo Abe (安…

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Kodiak Island

57°20N 153°40W, pop (2002e) 12 000. Island in the Gulf of Alaska, USA; 160 km/100 mi long; scene of the first settlement in Alaska (by the Russians, 1784); till 1804 the centre for Russian interests in the USA and of the fur trade; dairying, cattle and sheep raising, fur trapping, fishing, farming, tourism; home of the Kodiak brown bear (grizzly), the largest living carnivore; Kodiak Nationa…

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Kofi (Atta) Annan - Early years and family, Education, Early career, Secretary-General of the United Nations

UN secretary-general (1997–2006), born in Kumasi, SC Ghana. He studied in the USA and Switzerland, joining the UN in 1962, and held posts in the High Commission for Refugees and the World Health Organization. After joining the UN secretariat, he became (1993) under-secretary-general for peacekeeping operations. He replaced Boutros Boutros-Ghali to become the first secretary-general from sub-Sahar…

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Kofun - Topography, Development

The burial-mounds characteristic of early historic Japan, which have given their name to the archaeological period AD c.300–710. The most spectacular, keyhole-shaped and moated like that of the Emperor Suinin in the Nara Basin, measure over 400 m/1300 ft in length. Large hollow clay haniwa models of heavily armed warriors were often placed on top or inside. The kofun tumuli have taken va…

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Koh-i-noor - Origins and early history, Stone of the emperors, The diamond passes out of India

A famous Indian diamond with a history dating back to the 14th-c. It was presented to Queen Victoria in 1850, and is now among the British crown jewels. Like all significant jewels, the Kohinoor has its share of legends. It is likely that the Kohinoor originated in Golconda, in Hyderabad state of Andhra Pradesh, one of the worlds earliest established diamond producing regions. I…

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kohlrabi

A variety of cabbage (Brassica oleracea, variety caulorapa) with a very short, swollen, green or purple stem resembling a turnip. It is eaten as a vegetable. (Family: Crucifereae.) Kohlrabi (Brassica oleracea Gongylodes Group) is a low, stout cultivar of the cabbage which has been selected for its swollen, nearly spherical, Sputnik-like shape. Hamburg Township, Michigan has titl…

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Koichi Tanaka

Chemist, born in Toyama, N Honshu, Japan. He studied at Tohoku University (BEng 1983), later joining the Shimadzu Corporation. He shared the 2002 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for the development of soft desorption ionization methods for mass spectrometric analyses of biological macromolecules. Koichi Tanaka (田中 耕一, born August 3, 1959) is a Japanese scientist who won the Nobel Prize in…

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Kola Peninsula - Trivia

Peninsula in Murmanskaya oblast, NW European Russia, forming the NE extension of Scandinavia; length, 400 km/250 mi; width, 240 km/150 mi; separates the Barents Sea (N) from the White Sea (S); numerous rivers and small lakes; NE is tundra-covered while the SW is forested; road and rail transport confined to the W; rich mineral deposits. The Kola Peninsula (Кольский полуос

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Kolhapur - History, Culture, Places of interest in and around Kolhapur, Entertainment, Shopping, Climate, Educational Institutes

Former princely state in present-day Maharashtra, W India; from 1700 the capital town of Kolhapur was ruled by a branch of the Bhonsla dynasty, descendants of the Maratha King Shivaji of Satara; early centre of Buddhism; seat of the British residency for Deccan states; became part of India, 1949. Kolhapur pronunciation?(help·info) (Marathi:कोल्हापूर ) is a city situated i…

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Kolyma

A gold-producing area around the valley of the R Kolyma which leads to the Arctic Ocean. Used in Stalin's time as a forced labour camp, it is estimated that up to 4 million people died there as a result of the conditions. The Kolyma (pronounced kah-lee-MAH) region is located in the far northeastern area of Russia. The region gets its name from the Kolyma River and mountain range that run th…

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Komodo dragon - Ecology and behavior, Diet and feeding, Conservation status, In captivity, Media

A rare SE Asian monitor lizard (Varanus komodoensis), native to the islands of Komodo, Flores, Pintja, and Padar (Indonesia); the world's largest lizard (length, up to 3 m/10 ft); climbs and swims well; inhabits grassland; often kills pigs and deer; capable of killing an adult water buffalo; occasionally attacks and kills people; also known as Komodo lizard or ora. The Komodo dragon or Ko…

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Komsomol

The All-Union Leninist Communist League of Youth, founded in 1918, incorporating almost all persons between the ages of 14 and 28. Its purpose being the socialization of youth in the thought and ways of the Communist Party, it served as a recruiting ground for party membership. It was disbanded in 1991. Komsomol (Комсомол) is a syllabic abbreviation word, from the Russian Kommunisti…

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Kongo

An African kingdom situated to the S of the R Congo which by the late 15th-c had a coastline of 250 km/150 mi and reached inland for 400 km/250 mi. It was already involved in trade in ivory, copper, and slaves when the Portuguese arrived in the area in 1482. Some of its kings accepted Christianity, but it was disrupted by the stepping up of the slave trade, and declined during the 18th-c when …

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Konrad (Emil) Bloch - Biography

Biochemist, born in Neisse, Germany (now Nyasa, SW Poland). He studied at the Technische Hochschule, Munich, and Columbia University, and emigrated to the USA in 1936. In 1954 he was appointed the first professor of biochemistry at Harvard University, a post he held until his retirement in 1982. He shared the 1964 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for work on the mechanism of cholesterol and …

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Konrad (Zacharias) Lorenz - Politics, Contributions and legacy, Works

Zoologist and ethologist, born in Vienna, Austria. He studied medicine at Vienna, and became professor at the Albertus University in Königsberg, headed the Institute of Comparative Ethology at Altenberg, established a comparative ethology department in the Max Planck Institute, and became its co-director in 1954. The founder of ethology, his studies have led to a deeper understanding of behaviour…

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Konrad Adenauer - Biography, Adenauer's First Ministry, September 20, 1949 - October 20, 1953

German statesman, born in Cologne, W Germany. He studied at Freiburg, Munich, and Bonn, before practising law in Cologne, where he became lord mayor in 1917. A member of the Centre Party under the Weimar Republic, he became a member of the Provincial Diet and of the Prussian State Council (president 1920–33). In 1933, he was dismissed from all his offices by the Nazis, and imprisoned in 1934 and …

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Konrad Henlein - Leader of SdP

German politician, born near Liberec, N Czech Republic. He was the leader in the agitation on the eve of World War 2 leading in 1938 to Germany's seizure of Sudetenland from Czechoslovakia, and in 1939 to the institution of the German protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia and the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. Gauleiter of Sudetenland (1938) and civil commissioner for Bohemia (1939–45), on Germany'…

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Konrad I - Royalty, Surnames

German king (911–18), a member of the Franconian dynasty the Konradiner, in succession to Louis the Child (Ludwig IV, das Kind), the last of the East Frankish Carolingians. He failed in his attempts to uphold the traditions of Carolingian kingship against the powerful Saxon, Bavarian, and Swabian dukes, and is said to have proposed his opponent, the Liudolfing Henry of Saxony, as his successor. …

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Konrad II - Royalty, Surnames

German king (1024–39), King of the Langobards (Italy) (1026), and Holy Roman Emperor (1027–39), the son of the Duke of Franconia. He founded the Salian dynasty and was successor of the Liudolfing Henry II. In 1026 he crossed the Alps, crushed a rebellion in Italy, was crowned at Milan. He was soon recalled to Germany to put down four revolts, which he achieved by 1033, and in the same year was c…

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Konrad III - Royalty, Surnames

The first king of the Staufer (Hohenstaufen) dynasty, the son of Frederick of Swabia. In 1125 he unsuccessfully contested the crown of Italy with Emperor Lothar III; when the emperor died, the princes of Germany offered Konrad the throne, and he was crowned at Aachen (7 Mar 1138). His reign saw the beginning of the conflict between Welfen and Staufer dynasties. When St Bernard of Clairvaux preache…

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Konrad IV - Royalty, Surnames

Mediaeval German ruler, the son of Frederick II. As Konrad III he became Duke of Swabia (1235) and was elected Roman King (1237). After the ban on his father (1245), he was greatly troubled by various anti-kings. The name Conrad can refer to many different people, including: …

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Konrad Witz

Painter, born in Rottweil, SW Germany. He joined the Basel guild of painters in 1434, and spent most of his life in what is now Switzerland. His extremely realistic style suggests that he was aware of the work of his contemporary Jan van Eyck. The only signed and dated painting of his which survives is a late work, ‘Christ Walking on the Water’ (1444, Geneva), remarkable because it is set on L G…

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Konrad Zuse - Pre-WWII work and the Z1, Zuse the entrepreneur

Computer pioneer, born in Berlin, Germany. He studied at the Berlin Institute of Technology before joining the Henschel Aircraft Co in 1935. In the following year he began building a calculating machine in his spare time, a task which occupied him until 1945. He built a number of prototypes, the most historic of which was the Z3, the first operational general-purpose program-controlled calculator.…

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Konstantin Fehrenbach - Cabinet, June 1920 - May 1921

German politician, born in Wellendingen, Baden, NE Austria. He became president of the Reichstag (1918), president of the Weimarer Nationalversammlung (1919–20), and Reichskanzler (1920–1). Konstantin Fehrenbach (January 11, 1852 – March 26, 1926) was a German Catholic politician who was one of the major leaders of the Centre Party. Konstantin Fehrenbach (Chancellor, Z)?| …

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Konstantin Rokossovsky - Biography

Soviet military commander, born in Velikiye Lukie, W Russia. He served in World War 1, and joined the Red Guards in 1917. In World War 2 he defended Moscow, played a leading part in the Battle of Stalingrad (1943), recaptured Orel and Warsaw, and led the Russian race for Berlin. Promoted to marshal of the Soviet Union (1944), he was appointed Polish minister of defence (1949), but was forced to re…

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Konya

37°51N 32°30E, pop (2000e) 618 000. Holy city and capital of Konya province, SC Turkey, 260 km/162 mi S of Ankara; visited by St Paul; order of the Whirling Dervishes founded here by Islamic mystical poet, Jalal al-Din Rumi, known as Mevlana (‘our lord’); airfield; railway; trade centre of a rich agricultural and livestock-raising region; carpets, textiles, leather; notable Seljuk architec…

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kookaburra

Either of two species of bird of the kingfisher family: the laughing kookaburra or laughing jackass (Dacelo novaeguinae) from Australia; and the blue-winged kookaburra or howling jackass (Dacelo leachii) from Australia and New Guinea. They inhabit dry forest and savannah, eat insects and small vertebrates, and have loud laugh-like cries. (Family: Alcedinidae.) Kookaburras are very large ter…

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Korczak Ziolkowski - Sources

Sculptor, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He was assistant to sculptor Gutzon Borglum in the creation of the National Monument at Mount Rushmore. In 1948 Ziolkowski began his own life-work, the carving out of a granite mountain (near Custer, SD), a 563 ft high statue of Sioux warrior Crazy Horse, as a memorial to the American Indians. It was intended to surpass Mt Rushmore (22 mi away) in si…

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Korean War - Historical background, Korean War (1950–1953), Characteristics, Legacy, Depictions, Bibliography

(1950–3) A war between Communist and non-Communist forces in Korea, which had been partitioned along the 38th parallel in 1945 after Japan's defeat. US troops occupied South Korea after World War 2. The Communist North invaded the South in 1950 after a series of border clashes, and a United Nations force intervened, under MacArthur's command, driving the invaders back to the Chinese frontier. Chi…

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Kornelia Ender

Swimmer, born in Bitterfeld, EC Germany. Representing East Germany, she won three Olympic silver medals in 1972, aged 13, and between 1973 and 1976 broke 23 world records (the most by a woman under modern conditions). At the 1973 and 1975 World Championships she won 10 medals, including a record eight golds. In 1976 she became the first woman to win four gold medals at one Olympic Games: the 100 …

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Koror - Tourism

7°21N 134°31E, pop (2000e) 12 900. Capital town of Belau, W Pacific Ocean, on Koror I; airport on neighbouring island of Babeldoab; tuna, copra, boatbuilding; Belau National Museum. Koror is the state comprising the main commercial center of the country of Palau. The state of Koror (population 14,000 as of 2004) contains about 90% of the population of the country. …

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Kosovo - Geography, History, Kosovo Politics and Governance, Economy, Demographics, Subdivisions, Cities, Culture, List of Presidents

pop (2002e) 2 400 000; area 10 887 km²/4200 sq mi. Province of S Serbia; capital, Pristina; 90% of population Albanian (Kosovars, mostly Muslim); agricultural region; central part of Serbian kingdom, 11th–14th-c; Kosovo Polje the site of a famous battle between Serbs and Turks (1389); under Ottoman rule, 14th-c–1912; annexed by Serbia, 1912; incorporated into Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, an…

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Kosrae

pop (2000e) 8900; area 100 km²/40 sq mi. Island group, one of the Federated States of Micronesia, W Pacific; capital, Lelu; part of the Trust Territory of the Pacific Is until 1977; airport on Kosrae I; tourism. Kosrae (pronounced [koʊˈʃɹaɪ] in English), also known as Kusaie, is an island in Micronesia. It is a state of the Federated States of Micronesia with a population of 7,317…

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Kotor - History, Population, Tourism, Transport

A region of both natural and culturo-historical interest, located on the Gulf of Kotor on the Montenegrin coast; a world heritage site. The area is noted for its plant and marine life, and for its historic settlements, which have played a decisive role in the cultural and artistic development of the Balkans. Kotor (Cyrillic: Котор; The old Mediterranean port of Kotor, surro…

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Kourou - Geography, Economy

5°09N 52°39W, pop (2000e) 9300. Port in French Guiana, 56 km/35 mi W of Cayenne; stretches c.30 km/20 mi along coast; bisected by R Kouron; main French Space Centre (Centre Spatial Guyanais), used for European Space Agency's Ariane programme; tourism. Kourou is a town and commune in French Guiana. Some 60 km northwest of the capital Cayenne at the mouth of the Kourou rive…

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Kowloon - Administration, Politics, History

area 11 km²/4 sq mi. Peninsula and region of Hong Kong; one of the most densely populated areas in the world (28 500 people per km² in 1981); railway link to Guangzhou (Canton); site of Hong Kong's airport, to the E; Victoria Harbour lies between the peninsula and Hong Kong I. In modern day Hong Kong, Kowloon refers to the urban area made up of Kowloon Peninsula and New Kowloon, borde…

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Kozhikode

11°15N 75°43E, pop (2000e) 941 000. Port city in Kerala, SW India; on the Malabar Coast of the Arabian Sea, 530 km²/329 sq mi; SW of Chennai (Madras); trade centre since the 14th-c; Vasco da Gama's first Indian port of call, 1498; railway; university (1968); textiles, trade in timber, spices, tea, coffee, cashew nuts; gave its name to calico cotton. …

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kraft process

A paper pulp-making process, which uses sodium hydroxide and sodium sulphate instead of sulphite. The pulp is stronger and less crude than that made by the sulphite process. The name derives from Swedish kraft ‘strong’. The Kraft process (also known as Kraft pulping or sulfate process) is used in production of paper pulp and involves the use of caustic sodium hydroxide and sodium sulfide …

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Krajina - Political regions

Serbian enclave in SW Croatia; proclaimed autonomy as Serbian Autonomous Region (SAR), 1990; administrative base, Knin; unilaterally declared status as republic, 1991; united with SARs of Slavonia, Baranja & Western Srem (Croatia), and Bosanska Krajina (Bosnia and Herzegovina), 1991; conflict between Croats and Serbs for possession of strategic Maslenica bridge brought serious structural damage to…

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Krakatoa - Origin and spelling of the name, Before 1883, The 1883 eruption, Legacy of the 1883 eruption

Volcanic island in the Sunda Strait between Java and Sumatra. Active for the last million years, it erupted catastrophically in 1883. Activity began on 20 May 1883 culminating in an explosion on 27 August which ejected ash to a height of 80 km/50 mi and which was heard 3200 km/2000 mi away in Australia; several tsunamis were generated and responsible for the deaths of 36 000 people in the coa…

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Krasnoyarsk - Urban structure, Demographics, Architecture, Culture, Education, Tourism

56°08N 93°00E, pop (2000e) 918 000. Fast-growing river-port capital of Krasnoyarskiy kray, W Siberian Russia, on the R Yenisey; founded as a fortress, 1628; grew rapidly after discovery of gold in the area, 19th-c; airport; on the Trans-Siberian Railway; university (1969); heavy machinery, grain harvesters, electrical goods, steel, aluminium. Krasnoyarsk (Russian: Красноя́рск…

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Krefeld - Historical population of Krefeld, Mayors of Krefeld from 1848, City counsellors 1946 until 1999, Transportation

51º20N 6º32E, pop (2002e) 238 200. Industrial river port in W Nordrhein-Westfalen province, W Germany; located on the R Rhine, 30 km/19 mi WSW of Essen; birthplace of Joseph Beuys, Heinrich Campendonck, Rudiger Dornbusch; railway; chemicals, rail cars, textiles, hydraulic presses, steel. Coordinates: 51°20′N 6°34′E Krefeld is a city in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany…

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Kremlin - List of Russian cities and towns with kremlins

The mediaeval citadel of a Russian town, generally used with reference to the Kremlin at Moscow, which occupies a wedge-shaped 36 ha/90 acre site by the Moscow R. The Moscow Kremlin was built of wood in the 12th-c, subsequently rebuilt in brick in the 14th-c, and altered and embellished so that its palaces and cathedrals reflect a variety of architectural styles. It was the residence of the tsar…

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krill

A typically oceanic, shrimp-like crustacean, length up to 50 mm/2 in; gills exposed beneath margins of its hard covering (carapace); feeds on minute plant plankton; often migrates to surface, massing into vast aggregations that form the main food source of baleen whales. (Class: Malacostraca. Order: Euphausiacea.) …

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Krishna - The name "Krishna", Literary sources, The life of Krishna, Early historical references, The Bhakti tradition

According to Hindu tradition, the eighth incarnation, in human form, of the deity Vishnu. A great hero and ruler, the Mahabharata tells the story of his youthful amorous adventures, which is understood to symbolize the intimacy between the devotee and God. His story reaches its climax when, disguised as a charioteer in an eve-of-battle dialogue with Arjuna, he delivers the great moral discourse of…

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Kriss (Kezie Uche-Chukwu Duru) Akabusi

Athlete, born in London, UK. He joined the army in 1975, and went on to become one of the leading athletes of the 1990s. His achievements include gold medals in the 4 x 100 m relay at the 1986 European Championships and Commonwealth Games (1986), the 400 m hurdles at the 1990 European Championships (also breaking a 22-year world record) and Commonwealth Games, the 4 x 400 m relay at the 199…

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Kristallnacht - Terminology, Background, The events, Contemporary German response, Contemporary foreign response, Importance, Modern response, Bibliography

In German history, a term presumably created because of the many glass windows broken by the Nazis during the night of 9–10 November 1938 when 250 synagogues and many shops and homes of Jewish citizens were destroyed or looted. The pretext was the murder of E vom Rath, secretary at the German Embassy in Paris, by the Polish Jew Herschel Grynszpan on 7 November 1938. 91 Jewish citizens were killed…

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Kristian Birkeland - Quotes

Physicist, born in Oslo, Norway. Professor of physics at the university there, he demonstrated the electromagnetic nature of the aurora borealis, and in 1903 developed a method for obtaining nitrogen from the air. The scale of Birkeland's research enterprises was such that the time-honored matter of funding became an overwhelming obstacle. This was the first failure of any of the launchers …

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Kristianstad - Geography, History, Industry

56°02N 14°10E, pop (2000e) 75 000. Seaport and capital of Kristianstad county, S Sweden, on R Helge; founded by Denmark, 1614; ceded to Sweden, 1658; taken by the Danes, 1676–8; earliest example of Renaissance town-planning in N Europe; engineering, textiles, sugar. Kristianstad IPA: [kri'ɧansta] is a Swedish city situated at 56°02′N 14°11′E in Scania in southernmost Sweden. …

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Krisztina Egerszegi

Swimmer, born in Budapest, Hungary. Her achievements include several world and European titles, and seven Olympic medals. Aged only 14 at the Seoul Olympics (1988), in the backstroke event she won 200 m gold and 100 m silver. Four years later in Barcelona she won three gold medals: 100 m and 200 m backstroke, and 400 m individual medley. In Atlanta (1996) she ended her career with gold in the…

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Kruger National Park - History, Flora and fauna, Accommodation

A game reserve in South Africa. Founded in 1898 as the Sabi Game Reserve, in 1926 it was renamed in honour of Paul Kruger. The sanctuary covers about 20 700 km²/8000 sq mi, and is one of the largest national parks in the world. Kruger National Park is the largest game reserve in South Africa. To the west and south of the Kruger National Park are the two South African provin…

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Krugerrand

A gold coin of the Republic of South Africa, 1 ounce in weight, named after the Boer statesman Paul Kruger (the rand being the unit of South African currency). Krugerrands are minted for issue overseas, and are bought for investment. They are not part of the everyday currency of South Africa. A Krugerrand is a South African gold coin, first minted in 1967 in order to help market South Afric…

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krypton

Kr, element 36, the fourth of the noble gases. It liquefies at ?150°C, and makes up about 0·0001% of the atmosphere. It forms few compounds, the most stable being a fluoride, KrF4. Krypton (IPA: /ˈkrɪptən/ or /ˈkrɪptan/) is a chemical element with the symbol Kr and atomic number 36. …

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Krzysztof Penderecki - Career

Composer, born in Debica, SE Poland. He studied at Kraków Conservatory, and became a leading composer of the Polish avant garde, exercising considerable influence as a teacher. He first attracted international attention with his Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima (1960). Later works include the opera The Devils of Loudun (1969), two further operas, a St Luke Passion, and several other orchestr…

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Ku Klux Klan - The first Ku Klux Klan, The second Klan, Later Ku Klux Klans

The name of successive terrorist organizations in the USA, thought to derive from Greek kyklos ‘circle’. The first was founded after the Civil War (1861–5) to oppose Reconstruction and the new rights being granted to blacks: the members, disguised in robes and hoods, terrorized blacks and their sympathizers in the country areas of the South. It faded after Federal measures were passed against i…

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Kuala Belait - Location, History, Kampongs, Oil and Gas, Tourist attractions, Schools

4º38N 114º58E, pop (2002e) 27 200. Town in Belait district, E Brunei, SE Asia; located at the mouth of Sungai Belait R, 17 km/10 mi from Seria; important administration centre for Belait district; a centre of the Brunei oil and gas industry; port serves Seria oilfields; ferry to Kampong Sungai Teraban; town is connected to Tutong and Bandar Seri Begawan by main highway; Istana Mangelela (a r…

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Kuala Lumpur - History, Geography, Climate, Mayors of Kuala Lumpur, Arts, Media, Transportation, Places of interest, Gallery, Sister cities

3°08N 101°42E, pop (2000e) 1 534 000. Capital of Malaysia, E Peninsular Malaysia; large Chinese and Indian population; former capital of Selangor; capital of Federated Malay States, 1895; designated a Federal Territory, 1974; airport; railway; university (1962); technical university (1954); commercial centre; trade in rubber, tin; Petronas Twin Towers (1996), in 2000 tallest building in the w…

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Kublai Khan - Early Years, Mongol Empire, Emperor of Yuan, Dadu, Later Life

Mongol emperor of China (1279–94), the grandson of Genghis Khan. He was acclaimed Great Khan in 1260, with suzerainty from the Pacific to the Black Sea. An energetic prince, he suppressed his rivals, adopted the Chinese mode of civilization, encouraged mathematicians and men of letters, and made Buddhism the state religion. He established himself at Cambaluc (modern Beijing), the first foreigner …

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Kufa - History, People related to Kufa, Bibliography

A former city in Mesopotamia, near the R Euphrates, 177 km/110 mi S of Baghdad. Founded in 638, it soon rivaled Basra in size and became a major centre of Arab learning. It was the seat of the Abbasid caliphate and Ali, the fourth caliph, was murdered here. Repeatedly attacked in the 10th-c, it lost its importance and is now an uninhabited desert ruin. Along with Samarra, Karbala, and Naj…

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Kuiper Belt - Discoveries thus far, Classification and Distribution, Notes and references

A region in the Solar System beyond the planet Neptune where a swarm of icy asteroids orbits the Sun. Its existence was predicted in 1951 by Dutch-born US astronomer Gerard Kuiper; the first was found in 1992. A billion of these objects a few hundred kilometres in diameter and smaller could exist. The Kuiper Belt is thought to be the source of most comets with orbital periods shorter than a centur…

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Kulturkampf - Overview, Notes and references

In the German Second Empire, a ‘cultural conflict’ between the Prussian state, headed by Bismarck, and the Roman Catholic Church. It was inspired by Bismarck's suspicion of Catholics' extra-German loyalties, and involved discriminatory legislation against the Church's position within Prussia. Most intense during 1870–8, Bismarck subsequently repealed many of the anti-clerical laws in the hope o…

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Kumasi - Transport

6°45N 1°35W, pop (2000e) 537 000. Capital of Ashanti region, SC Ghana, 180 km/112 mi NW of Accra; second largest city in Ghana; centre of the Ashanti kingdom since the 17th-c; birthplace of Kofi Annan; centre of Ghanaian transport network; airfield; railway; university (1951); National Cultural Centre, including zoo, art gallery, open-air theatre; nearby Bonwire, woodcarving and cloth centre…

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Kuril Islands

area 15 600 km²/6000 sq mi. Archipelago off the N Japanese coast, between the N Pacific Ocean (E) and the Sea of Okhotsk (W); extends c.1200 km/750 mi from the S tip of Kamchatka Peninsula to the NE coast of Hokkaido I, Japan; rises to 2339 m/7674 ft; over 50 islands, actively volcanic, with hot springs; visited in 1634 by the Dutch; divided between Russia and Japan, 18th-c; all ceded to …

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Kurt (Ernst Karl) Schumacher

German statesman, born in Kulm, SEC Germany. He studied law and political science at the universities of Leipzig and Berlin, and from 1930 to 1933 was a member of the Reichstag and of the executive of the Social Democratic parliamentary group. An outspoken opponent of National Socialism, he spent 10 years in Nazi concentration camps (1933–43), where he showed outstanding courage. In 1946 he becam…

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Kurt (Jr) Vonnegut - Education and early years, Writing career, Design career, Personal life, Politics, Pop culture trivia

Writer, born in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. He studied at Cornell (1940–2), the Carnegie Institute of Technology (1943), and the University of Chicago (1945–7; 1971 MA). He served in the US Army (1942–5), and his experiences as a prisoner-of-war in Dresden, Germany, influenced his future work, specifically his novel, Slaughterhouse-Five (1969). He was a police reporter in Chicago (1947), worked…

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Kurt (Lidell) Schmoke

Lawyer, mayor, and public official, born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Appointed by President Jimmy Carter to the White House domestic policy staff (1977–8), he served as the US Attorney for the District of Maryland (1978–82), Maryland's state attorney (1982–7), and as Baltimore's mayor (1988). He founded the Baltimore Community Development Financing Corp in 1988. After graduating from Ya…

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Kurt (Matthias Robert Martin) Hahn

Educationist, born in Berlin, Germany. He studied at the universities of Berlin, Heidelberg, Freiburg, and Göttingen, fled from Nazi Germany in 1933, and established Gordonstoun School in Moray (Scotland) in 1934, emphasizing physical rather than intellectual activities in education. His ideas influenced the development of such establishments as the Outward Bound Schools (1941) and the Atlantic C…

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Kurt Alder

Organic chemist, born in Chorzow, S Poland (formerly Königshütte, Germany). With Otto Diels he discovered in 1928 the Diels–Alder diene reaction, valuable in organic synthesis, and they shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1950. Kurt Alder (10 July 1902 – 20 June 1958) was a German chemist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry jointly with Otto Paul Hermann Diels in 1950. Forced to l…

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Kurt Beck

German politician, born in Bad Bergzabern, SW Germany. An electrician by profession, he entered politics and in 1979 became a member of the Landtag (regional parliament) for the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) in Rheinland-Pfalz. He was chairman of the SPD parliamentary group there (1991–3) and then held the post of the party's regional chairman. In 1994 he was appointed premier of Rheinland…

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Kurt Biedenkopf - Biography

German politician, born in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, SW Germany. An expert in economic law and professor in Bochum (1964–70), he was secretary-general of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) (1973–7). A member of the Bundestag (1976–80) and again after 1987, he was also a deputy in the Landtag (regional parliament) in North Rhine-Westphalia (1980–8). He became chairman of the CDU Land association…

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Kurt Eisner - Early activism, Prominence

German politician, born in Berlin, Germany. At first a member of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD), he later joined the Unabhängige Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (USPD), and was a leader in the Munich November revolution of 1918. He was Bavarian Ministerpräsident until his assassination by Graf Arco auf Valley, which precipitated the declaration of the Münchener Räter…

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Kurt Georg Kiesinger - Kiesinger's Ministry

German statesman and chancellor (1966–9), born in Ebingen, SW Germany. He studied at Berlin and Tübingen, practised as a lawyer (1935–40), and served during World War 2 at the Foreign Office on radio propaganda. Interned after the war until 1947, he was exonerated of Nazi crimes. In 1949 he became a Conservative member of the Bundestag, and succeeded Erhard as chancellor. Long a convinced suppo…

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Kurt Huber

German resistance fighter, born in Chur, Germany. A philosopher, psychologist, and musicologist, he became professor in Munich (1926) and director of the folksong archive in Berlin (1937–8). He was a member of the Weiße Rose (1942), and was executed in Munich in 1943. Kurt Huber (October 24, 1893–July 13, 1943) was a member of the White Rose group, which carried out resistance against N…

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Kurt Jooss

Dancer, choreographer, teacher, and director, born in Wasseralfingen, SWC Germany. He studied ballet before meeting Laban, with whom he then worked. He was appointed director of the dance department at the Essen Folkwang School in 1927, from which the dance theatre company developed. His best-known work, The Green Table, was created in 1932. He left Germany in 1933 for England, where he formed a n…

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Kurt Lewin - Biography, Influenced

Psychologist, born in Mogilno, Poland (formerly Prussia). Part of the German Gestalt psychology movement, his particular interests were group dynamics and memory. He emigrated to the USA (1932), and taught at Cornell (1933–5), the University of Iowa (1935–44), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1944–7), where he also directed the research centre for group dynamics. He attempted to a…

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Kurt Russell - Biography, Filmography

Film actor, born in Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. A child performer, he appeared in a number of television and film roles before deciding to play professional baseball. After an injury he returned to the screen in a television film Elvis (1979), and had his first feature role in Escape From New York (1981). Later films include Backdraft (1991), Stargate (1994), Soldier (1998), Dark Blue (2003),…

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Kurt Schwitters - Biography and art, Marlborough Gallery Controversy, Archival and Forgeries, Legacy

Artist, born in Hanover, NC Germany. He studied at the Dresden Academy, and painted abstract pictures before joining the Dadaists. His best-known contribution to the movement was ‘Merz’, a name he gave to a form of collage using everyday detritus, such as broken glass, tram tickets, and scraps of paper picked up in the street. From 1920 onwards he slowly built from bits and pieces of rubbish a t…

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Kurt Tucholsky - Tucholsky's life, First successes as a writer, English editions and books

Writer, born in Berlin, Germany. He studied law, then served in World War 1, after which he worked on the periodical Schaubühne (later Die Weltbühne), which evolved from a theatre magazine to a political one under his editorship. His prose and poetry is full of bitter satire directed at the weaknesses of the Weimar Republic, and among his best-known works are Fromme Gesänge (1919), Ein Pyranäe…

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Kurt von Schleicher - Schleicher's Cabinet, December 1932 - January 1933

German soldier and politician, the chief enemy of Hitler, born in Brandenburg, EC Germany. He was on the general staff during World War 1. As minister of war in von Papen's government of 1932, he succeeded him as chancellor, but his failure to obtain dictatorial control provided Hitler with his opportunity to seize power in 1933, and Schleicher and his wife were murdered. Kurt von Schleiche…

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Kurt Waldheim - Early life, Nazi Party and SA affiliations, Military career, Diplomatic career

Austrian statesman and president (1986–92), born near Vienna. He served on the Russian front, but was wounded and discharged (1942), then studied at Vienna, and entered the Austrian foreign service (1945). He became minister and then ambassador to Canada (1955–60), director of political affairs at the ministry (1960–4), Austrian representative at the UN (1964–8, 1970–1), foreign minister (196…

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Kurt Weill - Life and Work, List of selected works

Composer, born in Dessau, EC Germany. He studied and worked at Berlin, became a composer of instrumental works, then collaborated with Brecht, achieving fame with Die Dreigroschenoper (1928, The Threepenny Opera), its best-known song, ‘Mack the Knife’, becoming an international classic. A refugee from the Nazis, he settled with his actress wife Lotte Lenya in the USA in 1935. His Broadway works …

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Kush - Origins, Napata, Move to Meroë, Decline, In the Bible

An independent kingdom on the Nile which emerged from the Egyptian province of Nubia in the 11th-c BC, with its capital at Napata. In the 8th-c BC Kush conquered Egypt and established the XXVth dynasty, which ruled until the Assyrian conquest in 671–666 BC. The Kush kings became Egyptianized, but after their withdrawal from Egypt in the 7th-c BC they moved to the more southerly capital of Meroe, …

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Kuwait - History, Politics, Geography and climate, Administrative Divisions, Economy, Demographics, Infrastructure, Education, Mass media, Culture, Miscellaneous topics

Official name State of Kuwait The State of Kuwait (Arabic: الكويت‎) is a small constitutional monarchy on the coast of the Persian Gulf, enclosed by Saudi Arabia in the south and Iraq in the north. Kuwait was established in the 16th century when several clans met in the area now known as "the Kuwait Bay". Oil later transformed Kuwait into one of the richest countries in …

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Kuwait City - Suburbs, History, Economy, Links

29°20N 48°00E, pop (2000e) 45 000. Capital city of Kuwait, on S shore of Kuwait Bay, at head of Persian Gulf; developed in the late 1940s after discovery of oil; suburban port of Shuwaikh, SW; airport; ferry service to Failaka I; university (1966); centre for communications, banking, investment centre; shipbuilding; severely damaged during the Gulf War (1991). Kuwait City (also Al-Kuwai…

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Kwakiutl

A N Pacific Coast American Indian group living on the coast of British Columbia as fishermen and traders. They were famed for their woodwork, frequently painted in bright colours, including masks, totem poles, war canoes, whale hunting vessels, and decorative boxes. Art is still produced, much of it for the tourist trade. They also had elaborate dances and ceremonies, including the recently revive…

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Kwame Nkrumah - Early life and education, Return to the Gold Coast, Independence, Politics, Economics, Decline and Fall

Ghanaian statesman, prime minister (1957–60), and president (1960–6), born in Nkroful, SW Ghana (formerly Gold Coast). He studied in both the USA (Lincoln University) and the UK (London School of Economics), returning to the Gold Coast in 1947, and in 1949 formed the nationalist Convention People's Party. In 1950 he was imprisoned, but elected to parliament while still in jail. Released in 1951,…

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Kwang-Chih Chang - Early Years, Professional Career, Select bibliography

Anthropologist and archaeologist, born in Beijing, China. He went to the USA in 1955, earned a PhD at Harvard, and taught at Yale (1961–77) and Harvard (1977). A specialist in Far East Asian prehistory, he wrote important works including The Archaeology of Ancient China (1963, frequently revised), The Chinese Bronze Age (2 vols, 1983–90), and Shang Civilization (1980). Kwang-chih Chang (

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kwashiorkor

A nutritional disorder of young children, stemming from an inadequate intake of protein in the diet, usually with an adequate calorie intake. In Africa, it frequently begins after weaning. Failure to thrive, apathy, oedema, anaemia, and diarrhoea are characteristic. Kwashiorkor is a type of childhood malnutrition with controversial causes, but commonly believed to be caused by insufficient …

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Kylie Minogue - Childhood and beginning, Recording and performing career, Film career, Image and celebrity status, Breast cancer, Discography

Singer and actress, born in Melbourne, Victoria, NE Australia. She began acting in TV at age 12 in the soap opera Skyways, but later achieved worldwide fame for her role in the soap opera Neighbours. In 1987 she began a successful recording career, and her 1988 single ‘I Should Be So Lucky’, had huge sales. Numerous hit singles in Europe, Australia, and Japan followed. All 15 of the singles she …

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Kyogen - History, Elements of Kyogen

Comic plays often performed between Japanese Noh plays. Kyogen is thought to derive from a form of Chinese entertainment that was brought to Japan around the 8th century. By the 14th century, these forms of sarugaku had become known as noh and kyogen, respectively. Kyogen provided a major influence on the later development of kabuki theater. After the earlier, more ribald …

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Kyoto - History, Geography, Wards, Demographics, Culture, Economy, Colleges and universities, Transportation, Sports, Sister cities

35°02N 135°45E, pop (2000e) 1 491 000. Capital of Kyoto prefecture, C Honshu, Japan; SW of Lake Biwa; founded, 8th-c; capital of Japan, 794–1868, and one of the Tokugawa Shogunate power centres from 1603; railway; 22 universities, including university of industrial arts and textiles (1949); electrical goods, machinery, silk, crafts; over 2000 temples and shrines; Nijo-jo Castle (1603), conta…

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Kyoto Protocol - Description, Objectives, Status of the agreement, Details of the agreement, Current positions of governments

An addendum to the 1992 Rio Earth Summit agreement on climate change, initiated when delegates from the world's industrialized nations met in Kyoto in December 1997 and agreed to reduce their combined emissions by about 5 per cent between 1990 and 2012. Despite fears that the Protocol would not survive, progress was made at a meeting in Bonn in July 2001 when 178 countries agreed to a compromise i…

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Kyrgyzstan - History, Politics, Administrative divisions, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Culture, Miscellaneous topics, Further reading

Official name Republic of Kyrgyzstan, also spelled Kirgizstan, Kyrgyz Kyrgyz Respublikasy, Russ Kirgiziya Kyrgyzstan (Kyrgyz and Russian: Кыргызстан, variously transliterated), officially the Kyrgyz Republic, is a country in Central Asia. Kyrgyzstan means the "Land of the Kyrgyz". The earliest ancestors of the Kyrgyz people, who are believed to be of mixed Mongol and K…

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Kyung-Wha Chung - Biography, Early Years, America, Juilliard, Career

Violinist, born in Seoul, South Korea. She moved to New York City in 1960 and studied at the Juilliard School, New York City, until 1967, when she made her debut with the New York Philharmonic. Her sister Myung-Wha Chung (1944– ) is a distinguished cellist, and her brother Myung-Whung Chung (1953– ) a pianist and conductor who in 1989 was appointed music director of the new Bastille Opera, Paris…

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L(ouis) L(eon) Thurstone - Background and history, Factor analysis and work on intelligence, Contributions to measurement

Psychologist, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He studied at Cornell and Chicago universities, taught at the Carnegie Institute of Technology (1915–23) and Chicago University (1927–52), and became director of the Psychometric Laboratory at North Carolina University (1952–5). His academic work was devoted to the theory and practice of intelligence testing and to the development of statistical tec…

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L(ucy) M(aud) Montgomery - Biography, Short story collections, Poetry, Non-fiction, Autobiography

Novelist, raised in Cavendish, Prince Edward Island, E Canada. She was earning money as a writer by the 1890s. Her first book was the phenomenally successful Anne of Green Gables (1908), after which she published several sequels. Her works are sometimes highly satirical; at her best she captures memorably the mysteries and terrors of early childhood, as in Magic for Marigold (1929). She married th…

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La Argentina

Dancer, born in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She moved to Spain with her parents, both Spanish dancers, when she was two, becoming prima ballerina of the Madrid Opera at 11. She later devoted herself to Spanish traditional dance, for which she became internationally renowned. Antonia Mercé y Luque, known by her stage name as La Argentina, was a flamenco dancer. A talented young dan…

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La Chaux-de-Fonds - Culture, Economy, Transport, Notable people

47º07N 6º51E, pop (2001e) 37 200. Town in Neuchâtel canton, NW Switzerland; lies in a valley in the Jura Mts, high above L Neuchâtel, close to the French border; built to a grid pattern in the early 19th-c after a fire; the Saut-du-Doubs waterfall and gorges are nearby on the French border; centre of watch-making industry; birthplace of Pierre Auber, Le Corbusier, Louis Chevrolet; railway ju…

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La Paz - History

16°30S 68°10W, pop (2000e) 1 244 000. Regional capital and government capital of Bolivia, La Paz department, W Bolivia; highest capital in the world, altitude 3636 m/11 929 ft in centre; Mt Illimani (6402 m/21 004 ft) towers above the city to the SE; founded by Spanish, 1548; airport (Kennedy International, referred to as El Alto); railway; university (1826); copper, wool, alpaca; cathe…

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La Plata - Climate, Sister City

34°52S 57°55W, pop (2000e) 610 200. Port and capital of Buenos Aires province; on the R Plate, SE of Buenos Aires; founded in 1882; three universities (1884, 1965, 1968); named Eva Perón (1946–55); railway; main outlet for produce from the pampas; trade in refrigerated meat, grain, oil; oil refining (pipeline to Buenos Aires); museum of natural history; zoological gardens; observatory; Garde…

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La Scala - Recent developments, Principal conductors/Music directors of La Scala

The world's most famous opera house, built (1776–8) by architect Giuseppe Piermarini on the site of the Church of Santa Maria della Scala in Milan, N Italy. It was severely damaged by bombing in World War 2, and reopened in 1947. It closed in 2001 for extensive renovations and reopened in December 2004. The Teatro alla Scala (or La Scala, as it is known), in Milan, Italy, is one of the wor…

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La Venta - Overview, Major features of La Venta, Monumental artifacts at La Venta, Social structure, Discovery and excavation

An Olmec ceremonial centre in Tabasco province, Mexico, occupied c.900–400 BC, but now destroyed by oil operations. Supported by an estimated hinterland population of c.18 000, its linear complex of platforms, plazas, and 34 m/112 ft high Great Pyramid covered 5 km²/2 sq mi. Of particular note are its carved stone pillars, pavements, colossal heads, and votive figurines of basalt, serpenti…

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Labour Party (UK) - Party constitution and structure, History, John Major and a fourth successive defeat, New Labour

A socialist/social democratic political party in Britain, originally formed in 1900 as the Labour Representation Committee to represent trade unions and socialist societies as a distinct group in Parliament. In 1906, 26 MPs were elected, and the name was changed to the Labour Party. In 1922 it overtook the Liberals as the main opposition party, and the first minority Labour government was elected …

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Labrador - Modern Labrador, The Labrador boundary dispute, Demographics

area 285 000 km²/110 000 sq mi. Mainland part of Newfoundland, Canada; bounded E by the Labrador Sea; separated from Newfoundland by the Strait of Belle Isle; mainly a barren plateau, part of Canadian Shield; heavily indented E coast; many lakes; fishing, iron ore, hydroelectric power; interior region awarded to Newfoundland, 1927, disputed by Quebec. Labrador (also Coast of Labrador)…

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Labrador retriever - History, Temperament and activities, Health, Labrador Colors

A breed of dog, developed in Britain from imported Newfoundland dogs and local breeds; large, with muscular legs and body; long tail and muzzle; short, pendulous ears; thick fawn or black (occasionally brown) coat; also known as labrador. The Labrador Retriever Canis familiaris ("Labrador" or "Lab" for short), is one of several kinds of retriever, and is the most popular breed of dog (by re…

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Labrador Sea

Arm of the Atlantic Ocean between Newfoundland and Greenland; depths fall from the continental shelves below 3200 m/10 500 ft towards the Mid-Oceanic Canyon; cold SE-flowing Labrador Current brings icebergs, while warm NW-flowing W Greenland Current helps modify the climate of the SW shore of Greenland. Labrador Sea (French: mer du Labrador) (60°00'N, 55°00'W) is an arm of the North At…

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laburnum

A deciduous tree (Laburnum anagyroides) growing to 7 m/23 ft, native to S and C Europe, and commonly planted as an ornamental; leaves divided into three leaflets; pea-flowers yellow, numerous, in pendent leafy clusters; pods up to 6 cm/2½ in long, hairy when young; seeds black; also called golden rain or golden chain. All parts but especially the seeds are extremely poisonous. Garden plants a…

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lace

An ornamental fabric in which a large number of separate threads are twisted together into a decorative network. Lace is often used for the edges of items of clothing or furnishing, such as collars, cuffs, tablecloths, and altar cloths, but whole garments or covers (eg curtains) can be made in this way. Hand-made lace is still widely produced, but machines have been used for making lace since 1808…

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Lacedaemon

The official name in antiquity for the Spartan state. It comprised the districts of Laconia and Messenia. Homer and Herodotus use only the former, and in some passages seems to denote by it the Achaean citadel, the Therapnae of later times, in contrast to the lower town Sparta. The Lakedaimonians were the only full-time army in ancient Greece. In Greek mythology, Lac…

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Lacerta

A smallish, faint N constellation. It includes the object BL Lacertae, the prototype of a class of quasar-like objects. …

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Lachine

45º27N 73º41W, pop (2000e) 35 900. Town in S Quebec, SE Canada; on the S shore of Montreal Is, at the E end of L St Louis; named ‘Chine’ by Cartier in 1535 in the belief that he had reached China; founded, 1667; scene of the worst-ever Indian raid suffered by the French (1689); W terminus of the Lachine Canal (built 1821–5), the first canal along the St Lawrence; also W terminus of the pres…

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Lachlan (Keith) Murdoch - Quotes, Speeches

Media executive, born in London, UK, the son of Rupert Murdoch. He graduated in philosophy from Princeton University, and became general manager of Queensland Newspapers, part of News Limited, the Australian company which itself is the original arm of the News Corporation empire. In 1995 he became publisher of The Australian newspaper, and his meteoric rise continued, so that by 1997 he was the ex…

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Lachlan Macquarie - Early Life and Career, As Governor, As reformer and explorer

Soldier and colonial administrator, born on the I of Ulva, Argyll and Bute, W Scotland, UK. He joined the Black Watch in 1777, and after service in North America, India, and Egypt, was appointed Governor of New South Wales in 1810 following the deposition of Bligh. The colony, populated largely by convicts, and exploited by monopolists, was raised by his administration to a state of prosperity. In…

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Lachlan River - History

River in New South Wales, Australia; rises in the Great Dividing Range, N of Canberra; flows 1484 km/922 mi to join the Murrumbidgee R. The Lachlan River is a significant river in central New South Wales, Australia. Its major headwaters, the Carcoar River, the Belubula River and the Abercrombie River converge near the town of Cowra. However, the Lachlan, unlike the Murrumbidgee Rive…

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lacquer - Urushiol-based lacquers, Nitrocellulose lacquers, Acrylic lacquers, Water-based lacquers, Japanning

A hard waterproof substance made from the resin of the Rhus vernicifera tree. An ancient Chinese invention, it can be coloured, polished, carved, and used to decorate wooden vessels and furniture. Chinese black, gold, green, red, and silver lacquers were popular in late 17th-c Europe. In a general sense, lacquer is a clear or coloured coating, that dries by solvent evaporation and often a c…

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lacquer tree

A deciduous tree (Rhus vernicifera) growing to c.9 m/30 ft, native to China and Japan; leaves pinnate, leaflets oval; flowers tiny, 5-petalled, yellowish, in drooping clusters; also called varnish tree. A resin obtained from cuts in the stem is a major constituent of Chinese and Japanese lacquer. (Family: Anacardiaceae.) Lacquer Tree (Toxicodendron vernicifluum or Rhus verniciflua), also …

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lacrosse - Evolution of the game, Field lacrosse, Rules, Box lacrosse, Women's lacrosse, International lacrosse

A stick-and-ball field game derived from the North American Indian game of baggataway. Because the stick resembled a bishop's crozier, French settlers called the game La Crosse. Played since the 15th-c, the game spread to Europe in the early part of the 19th-c, and to Britain in 1867. It is especially popular in Canada and the USA, where it is widely represented in colleges. It is a team game play…

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Lactantius - Works

Christian apologist, brought up in North Africa. His principal work is his Divinarum Institutionum libri vii, a systematic account of Christian attitudes. He settled as a teacher of rhetoric in Nicomedia, Bithynia, where he witnessed the constancy of the Christian martyrs under the persecution of Diocletian. Lucius Caelius (or Caecilius?) Firmianus Lactantius was an early Christian author (…

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lactic acid - Exercise and lactate, Lactic acid in food, Lactic acid as a polymer precursor

CH3–CH(OH)–COOH, IUPAC 2-hydroxypropanoic acid. An acid which takes its name from milk, in which it is formed on souring. It is an important stage in the breakdown of carbohydrates during respiration. It has two enantiomeric forms, both found in nature. Lactic acid is chiral and has two optical isomers. One is known as L-(+)-lactic acid or (S)-lactic acid and the other, its mirror image, …

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lactose - Digestion of lactose

C12H22O11. A sugar occurring in the milk of all mammals. It is a disaccharide, a combination of glucose and galactose, and only slightly sweet-tasting. Infant mammals are fed on milk by their mothers. To digest it an enzyme called lactase (β1-4 disaccharidase) is secreted by the intestinal villi, and this enzyme cleaves the molecule into its two subunits for absorption. S…

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lactose intolerance - Biology, Aetiology, Diagnosis, Managing lactose intolerance, History of diagnosis

A condition arising from inadequate amounts of lactase in the lining of the intestine, an enzyme that is responsible for digesting lactose, a protein found in milk. It leads to abdominal distension, cramps, and diarrhoea. The disorder is common and not serious. Symptoms can be relieved by avoiding milk products. Lactose intolerance is the condition in which lactase, an enzyme needed for pro…

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Lady Abigail Masham - Terminology, Formation, Historical significance, Military significance

Queen Anne's confidante, the cousin of Sarah Churchill, Duchess of Marlborough, through whose influence she entered the royal household. In 1707 she married Samuel (later Baron) Masham. A subtle intriguer and strongly Tory, she gradually turned the queen against the Marlboroughs, and in 1710 superseded her cousin as the queen's confidante and the power behind the throne. The distinction bet…

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Lady Antonia Fraser

British writer. She studied at Oxford, and as a writer became active in several arts and literary associations, chairing the Society of Authors (1974–5). She is best known for her books about important historical figures, such as Mary Queen of Scots (1969, James Tait Black), Kings and Queens of England (1975, 1988), The Six Wives of Henry VIII (1992), The Gunpowder Plot: Terror and Faith in 1605 …

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Lady Bird Johnson - Early life, Marriage and family, First Lady of the United States, Later life, In popular culture

US first lady (1963–9), born in Karnack, Texas, USA. She studied journalism before she married Lyndon Johnson in 1934. She borrowed from her inheritance to help finance his first election campaign. As first lady, she supported the ‘war on poverty’, the Headstart Programme, and worked for the ‘beautification’ of Washington, DC. Following the presidency, she wrote White House Diary and remained…

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Lady chapel

A chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary. It is usually built behind the main altar, and forms an extension to the main building. A Lady chapel is a chapel inside a cathedral or large church dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary. Traditionally, a Lady chapel is the largest chapel of a cathedral. Generally the chapel was built eastward of the high altar and formed a projection from t…

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Lady Godiva - The historical figure, The legend, Popular culture

An English lady and religious benefactress, who, according to tradition, rode naked through the market place at Coventry, in order to obtain the remission of a heavy tax imposed by her husband, Leofric, Earl of Chester (d.1057), upon the townsfolk (1040). The story first occurs in the Chronica of Roger of Wendover (1235). The related story of Peeping Tom, who looked through the closed shutters, di…

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Lady Grizel Baillie

Poet, born in Borders, Scotland, SE Scotland, UK, the daughter of the Scottish Covenanter, Sir Patrick Hume (1641–1724). In 1684 she supplied him with food during his concealment in the vault beneath Polwarth Church near Duns, Scottish Borders, and helped shelter the Covenanting scholar, Robert Baillie of Jerviswood, whose son she married in 1692. She is remembered for her songs. Hume is t…

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Lady Jane Grey - Early life and education, Claim to the throne, Deposal, Execution, Lady Jane Grey in culture, Bibliography

Queen of England for nine days in 1553, born in Bradgate, Leicestershire, the eldest daughter of Henry Grey, Marquess of Dorset, and great-granddaughter of Henry VII. In 1553 the Duke of Northumberland, foreseeing the death of Edward VI, aimed to secure the succession by marrying Jane (against her wish) to his fourth son, Lord Guildford Dudley. Three days after Edward's death she was named as his …

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Lady Mary Wortley Montagu - Life, Bibliography

Writer, born in London, UK. The daughter of the Duke of Kingston, she married Edward Wortley Montague in 1712, and lived in London. A poet and essayist as well as a feminist and a beauty, she gained a brilliant reputation among literary figures. While in Constantinople with her husband, she wrote her entertaining Letters, published in 1763 after her death, describing Eastern life. She also brought…

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Bridget Hortia Lady Plowden - Schools and universities, People

British educationist. She was educated at Downe House, and in 1933 married Edwin Noel Plowden (1907–2001), who was created Baron Plowden in 1959. The first woman to chair the Central Advisory Council for Education (1963–6), she also chaired the Independent Broadcasting Authority (1975–80) and the Training Commission (1983–8). Her government report, Children and their Primary Schools (1967), ar…

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lady's slipper

A N temperate orchid in which the lower lip (labellum) of the flower is sac-like; also called moccasin flower. Insects visiting the flower enter the labellum, but can leave only via a hole at the base, squeezing past both stigma and anthers, and thus pollinating the flower. (Genus: Cypripedium, 35 species. Family: Orchidaceae.) …

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Laetoli

Fossil site in Tanzania, 50 km/30 mi S of Olduvai Gorge. It is renowned for the discovery by Mary Leakey in 1978 of three trails of hominid footprints fossilized in volcanic ash which showed unequivocally that our ancestors already walked upright 3·6 million years ago. The Plio-Pleistocene site of Laetoli in Tanzania is famous for its hominid footprints, preserved in volcanic ash (Site G…

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Lafayette McLaws - Early life, Civil War, Postbellum

US soldier, born in Augusta, Georgia, USA. A West Point graduate (1842), he served in the Mexican War and in the West. He went over to the Confederate army (1861), and as a regimental, brigade, and finally division commander, he fought at Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, and Gettysburg. He was relieved of command and court-martialled for his failure to relieve Knoxville, TN (Nov 1863) b…

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lagoon

A shallow body of sea water separated from the open sea by island barriers. Coastal lagoons occur in regions where little surface run-off enters the sea. Organic reefs may also form lagoons, as is the case at coral atolls and barrier reefs. A lagoon is a body of comparatively shallow salt water separated from the deeper sea by a shallow or exposed sandbank, coral reef, or similar feature. T…

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Lagos - History, Climate, Geography, Law and Government, Economy, Demographics, Neighborhoods, Education, Colleges and Universities, Notes and references

6°27N 3°28E, pop (2000e) 1 642 000. Chief port and former capital (to 1982) of Nigeria, 120 km/75 mi SW of Ibadan; on Lagos I (8 km/5 mi long and 1·6 km/1 mi wide), connected to the mainland by two bridges; port facilities at Apapa and Tin Can I; settled c.1700; slave trade centre until the mid-19th-c; occupied by the British, 1851; colony of Lagos, 1862; part of the S Nigeria protecto…

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lagrangian - An example from classical mechanics, Lagrangians and Lagrangian densities in field theory, Electromagnetic Lagrangian

The difference between kinetic energy K and potential energy V; symbol L, units J (joule); L = K ? V; after Joseph Lagrange. It is the fundamental expression of the properties of a mechanical system, from which equations of motion can be derived using Euler–Lagrange equations. A Lagrangian of a dynamical system, named after Joseph Louis Lagrange, is a function of the dynamical variable…

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Lahore - History, Geography and climate, Government, Demographics, Economy, Culture, Educational institutions, Sites of interest, Transport, Sister Cities

31°34N 74°22E, pop (2000e) 4 777 000. City in Punjab province, Pakistan, between the Ravi and the Sutlej Rivers, 1030 km/640 mi from Karachi; second largest city in Pakistan; taken in 1849 by the British, who made it the capital of Punjab; railway; two universities (1882, 1961); trade and communications centre; textiles, carpets, footwear, electrical goods, railway engineering, metal goods;…

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laissez-faire - Economic theory, Laissez-faire today, Comparative economic systems

An economic doctrine advocating that commerce and trade should be permitted to operate free of controls of any kind. It was a popular view in the mid-19th-c. The term was originally employed by the French physiocrats in the 18th-c, who maintained that society should be governed according to an inherent natural order and that the soil is the only source of wealth and proper object of taxation. It w…

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Laius - Abduction of Chrysippus, Later misfortunes, Spoken-word myths - audio files

In Greek legend, a king of Thebes, son of Labdacus and father of Oedipus; he married Jocasta, and was warned by an oracle that their son would destroy him. This happened when Oedipus, assumed to be dead, returned from Corinth and accidentally killed Laius during a quarrel on the road. While Laius was still young, Amphion and Zethus usurped the throne of Thebes. Some Thebans, wishing to see …

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Lajos Kossuth - Family, Early years, Entry into national politics, Journalist and political leader, Regent-President of Hungary

Hungarian statesman, a leader of the 1848 Hungarian Revolution, born in Monok, N Hungary. He practised law, and became a political journalist, for which he was imprisoned (1837–40). In 1847, he became Leader of the Opposition in the Diet, and in 1848 demanded an independent government for Hungary. At the head of the Committee of National Defence, he was appointed provisional governor of Hungary (…

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lake - Origin of natural lakes, Types of lakes, Characteristics, Limnology, How lakes disappear, Extraterrestrial lakes, Notable lakes

A body of water surrounded by land, and lying in a hollow which may be caused by Earth movement, as in rift valleys, or by glaciation, volcanic craters, or the collapse of the roof of limestone caves. Saltwater lakes may be parts of seas or oceans cut off by Earth movement, or formed in areas of low rainfall where mineral salts can accumulate due to evaporation. The term lake is also used t…

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Lake District - Geography, Geology, Climate, Wildlife, Industry and agriculture, Development of tourism, Literature, Nomenclature

Part of Cumbria, NW England, UK; area of c.1800 km²/700 sq mi noted for its scenery; a system of glaciated valleys and ribbon lakes; lakes include Windermere, Derwent Water, Ullswater, Bassenthwaite, Thirlmere, Buttermere, and Coniston Water; L Windermere, largest lake in England; mountains include Scafell (highest peak in England), Skiddaw, Helvellyn; chief towns include Keswick, Windermere, …

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Lakshmi - Origins, Names of Lakshmi, Iconography, Celebration in Hindu Society, Worship, Further reading

The Hindu goddess of prosperity and good fortune, the consort of Vishnu, sometimes called ‘the lotus-goddess’. She is associated with Diwali, the autumn festival of lights. For South Indian actress, see Laxmi (actress). Goddess Lakshmi's origins are found in the great Sri Sukta ("Hymn to Sri") that was added to the Rig-Veda sometime between 1000 and 500 B.C.E. The …

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Lal (Bahadur) Shastri - Early life and freedom struggle, Political career, Rise to premiership, War with Pakistan, Tashkent, Memorial, Quotes

Indian statesman and prime minister (1964–6), born in Mughalsarai, Uttar Pradesh, NC India. He joined the independence movement at 16, and was often imprisoned by the British. He excelled as a Congress Party official, and in Nehru's cabinet became minister of transport (1957), commerce (1958), and home affairs (1960). He succeeded Nehru as premier, but died in office from a heart attack, the day …

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Lale Andersen - Lili Marleen and the war years, Career after World War II, Further reading

Chanson singer and actress, born in Lehe, N Germany. She attained international fame through the song ‘Lili Marlen’, which was composed in 1938 and popularized by the German forces' broadcasting station Belgrad in 1941. Lale Andersen (March 23, 1905 – August 29, 1972) was a German chanson singer-songwriter born in Bremerhaven, Germany. She is best known for her interpretation of the son…

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Lambert Simnel

Pretender to the throne, the son of a joiner. Exploited by Roger Simon, a priest from Oxford, because of his resemblance to Edward IV, he was coached to impersonate one of his sons imprisoned in the Tower. He was set up in Ireland in 1487 as, first, a son of Edward IV, and then as the Duke of Clarence's son, Edward, Earl of Warwick (1475–99). He had some success among Yorkist adherents, and was c…

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Lamberto Dini - Early life and Berlusconi cabinet

Italian politician, prime minister (1995–6), and economist, born in Florence, Tuscany, NC Italy. Governor of the Bank of Italy (1979–94), he resigned to take charge of the treasury in the Berlusconi government. He then became prime minister in 1995, heading a cabinet of specialists until April 1996. In 1996 he became foreign affairs minister in the Prodi government. Lamberto Dini?(help·i…

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Lambeth Conferences - Origin, Timeline

Gatherings of bishops of the Anglican Communion throughout the world at the personal invitation of the Archbishop of Canterbury for consultations, but without legislative powers. The first conference was held at the instigation of the Provincial Synod of the Church of Canada in 1867 at Lambeth Palace, the London house of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and although the interval between conferences h…

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Lamian War

(323–322 BC) The unsuccessful revolt of the Greek states from Macedon after the death of Alexander the Great. The Lamian war (323–322 BC) was a war in Greece between Athens, along with her allied city-states in mainland Greece, against Macedonian supreme rule and Antipater, regent in Macedonia and Greece. It was the last war in which the Athenians played a central part, and after t…

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Lammas

In the UK, a former church festival (1 Aug); its name derives from Old English hlaf-maesse ‘loaf-mass’, the festival originally being held in thanksgiving for the harvest, with the consecration of loaves made of flour from the newly harvested wheat. It is a quarter-day in Scotland. In English-speaking countries, August 1 is Lammas Day (loaf-mass day), the festival of the first wheat harve…

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lamprey - Physical description, Fossil lampreys, Relation to humans, Trivia

Primitive, jawless fish (Petromyzon marinus) found in marine and adjacent fresh waters of the N Atlantic; length up to 90 cm/36 in; mouth sucker-like with rasping teeth; adults feed on body fluids of other fish; may be a serious pest to local fisheries. (Family: Petromyzonidae.) A lamprey (sometimes also called lamprey eel) is a jawless fish with a toothed, funnel-like sucking mouth, with…

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Lanai - Tourism

pop (2000e) 3200; area 365 km²/140 sq mi. Island of the US state of Hawaii; part of Maui county; chief town, Lanai City; pineapples. Lānaʻi (IPA: [l?? In 1922, James Dole, the president of Hawaiian Pineapple Company later the Dole Food Company, bought the entire island of Lānaʻi, and developed a large portion of it into the world's largest pineapple plantation. …

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Lancashire - Divisions and environs, Lancashire County Council, Physical geography, History, Local identity, Transport, Demographics, Settlements, Sport, Cuisine

pop (2001e) 1 135 000; area 3063 km²/1182 sq mi. County of NW England, UK; bounded W by the Irish Sea; Pennines in the E; drained by the Lune and Ribble Rivers; county town, Preston; other chief towns include Blackpool, Blackburn (both unitary authorities from 1998), Lancaster, Burnley; ports at Heysham, Fleetwood; world centre for cotton manufacture in 19th-c; textiles, footwear, fishing, …

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Lancaster (UK)

54°03N 2°48W, pop (2001e) 133 900. Town in Lancashire, NW England, UK; on R Lune, 32 km/20 mi N of Preston; chartered 1193; city status 1937; port trade declined with river silting; university (1964); railway; paper, textiles, plastics, chemicals; 12th-c castle, on site of Roman fort; Priory Church of St Mary (15th-c). Lancaster can refer to: In the United Kingdom: …

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Lancaster House Agreement - United Kingdom delegation, Mr Mugabe, Mr Nkomo and delegation, Bishop Muzorewa and delegation

An agreement which ended the war in Zimbabwe and created a new constitution under which the country would be given independence in April 1980. An election, held under British supervision, was won by the Zimbabwe African National Union under the leadership of Robert Mugabe. The Lancaster House Agreement was the independence agreement for Rhodesia, now known as Zimbabwe. it was signed between…

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Lance Armstrong - Career, Reasons for success, Family and personal life, Political possibilities, Teams and victories, Personal Statistics, Quotes

Racing cyclist, born in Plano, Texas, USA. He gained the World Championship title in 1993 and was ranked world number one in 1996 when he became ill with cancer. He later made a remarkable comeback, his achievements including a record-breaking seven times winner of the Tour de France (1999–2005) and a bronze medal in the time trial at the Sydney Olympics (2000). He established the Lance Armstrong…

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Lancelot Andrewes - Early life, education, and ordination, Career during Elizabeth's reign

Anglican clergyman and scholar, born in Barking, Essex, SE England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, took orders in 1580, and rose to become Dean of Westminster in 1601. He attended the Hampton Court Conference, and took part in the translation of the Authorized Version of the Bible (1607). In 1605 he was consecrated Bishop of Chichester; in 1609 he was translated to Ely, and in 1618 to Winchester. A …

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Lancelot Brown - Gardens and Parks

Landscape gardener, born in Kirkharle, Northumberland, NE England, UK. He established a purely English style of garden lay-out, using simple artifices to produce natural effects, as in the laid-out gardens at Blenheim, Kew, Stowe, Warwick Castle, and others. He acquired his nickname from telling clients that their gardens had excellent ‘capabilities’. Lancelot Brown (1716 – 6 February 1…

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Lancelot Hogben - Works

Physiologist and writer, born in Southsea, Hampshire, S England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and held academic appointments in zoology in England, Scotland, Canada, and South Africa before becoming professor of zoology at Birmingham (1941–7), and then professor of medical statistics (1947–61). He wrote several popular books on scientific subjects, including Mathematics for the Million (1936) an…

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land registration - National systems

A legal procedure in which ownership of land (title) is officially registered. In England and Wales, for example, this is with the Land Registry. Registration is now compulsory in all areas on transfer, though there is no compulsion on existing owners to register. It simplifies the procedure whereby land is transferred from vendor to purchaser. The registered proprietor (the owner) proves his or h…

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landing craft - Types, Special purpose craft

Small warships configured for the landing of troops and vehicles on hostile shorelines. They are typically flat-bottomed boats with a bow ramp from which infantry and armour can go directly into the assault. Landing craft are boats and seagoing vehicles used to convey a landing force (infantry and vehicles) from the sea to the shore during an amphibious assault. In the days of s…

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landrace - Examples

A type of domestic pig; long, pale body with large pendulous ears; bred mainly for bacon; three varieties: Scandinavian (reared indoors) and the hardier British lop (or long white national lop-eared) and Welsh. For example, landrace dogs are very different depending on their origins and purpose; Border Collies were a landrace breed in Scotland, where their primary characteristics had to do …

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landsheerlijkheid - Notion, A brief history of the concept of sovereignty, Different views of sovereignties, Territorial sovereignty

In the Low Countries (c.1000–1581), feudal sovereignties, of which the holder was not subject to higher secular authority. It was based on the power to administer the ‘high justice’, but carried many other rights with it. In The Netherlands the modern provinces are mostly based on old sovereignties. Sovereignty is the exclusive right to exercise supreme political (e.g. The so…

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Landwirtschaftliche Produktionsgenossenschaft (LPG)

Collective organizations within the agricultural economy of former East Germany, based on Soviet models. The German expression Landwirtschaftliche Produktionsgenossenschaft (phonetically: "lahnd-weird-shaft-lee-che pro-duct-eonz-gae-noss-an-shaft"), or — more common — its acronym LPG was the official designation for large, collectivised farms in the former East Germany. …

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Lanford Wilson - Plays

Playwright, born in Lebanon, Missouri, USA. A founder of the Circle Repertory Company in New York City in 1969, he had several of his plays performed there, including The Hot l Baltimore (1972), which earned the off-Broadway record of 1166 performances for a non-musical. The Fifth of July (1978) and Tally's Folly (1979, Pulitzer) depict the post-Vietnam War world of the same Southern family. Later…

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Lanfranc - Biography, Path to sainthood

Clergyman, born in Pavia, N Italy. Originally a lawyer, he founded a school in Normandy, became a Benedictine monk at Bec, and was later prior there. In 1062 William made him prior of St Stephen's Abbey at Caen, and in 1070 Archbishop of Canterbury. Lanfranc (d. He was born in the early years of the 11th century at Pavia, where later tradition held that his father, Hanbald, held…

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Langdon Cheves

US representative, born in Rocky River, South Carolina, USA. Educated at home, he became a lawyer in Charleston in 1797. He was the South Carolina attorney general (1808–10) before being appointed to the US House of Representatives (1810–15), and succeeded Henry Clay as Republican Speaker of the House (1812–15). He declined cabinet and Supreme Court appointments to become president of the Bank …

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language - Properties of language, Human languages, The study of language, Non-human languages, Formal languages

1 A species-specific communicative ability, restricted to humans, which involves the use of sounds, grammar, and vocabulary, according to a system of rules. Though other animals can communicate vocally and by gesture, they are restricted to a particular set of messages, genetically given, which cannot be creatively varied. 2 An individual manifestation of 1, found within a particular community. Th…

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Languedoc - The question of the limits of Languedoc, Area and location of Languedoc

Former province between the R Rhône, Mediterranean, and Guyenne and Gascogne, S France; Cévennes Mts in the E; name derived from the local variety of language, langue d'oc (Provençal); centre of wine production. Languedoc (pronounced /lɑ̃gdɔk/) (Lengadòc in Occitan) is a former province of France, now continued in the modern-day régions of Languedoc-Roussillon and Midi-Pyrénées in…

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lanolin

A waxy material occurring naturally in wool. It is a mixture of esters of cholesterol with stearic, palmitic, and oleic acids. It forms strong emulsions with water, and is used in toilet preparations and ointments. Lanolin, also called, Adeps Lanae, wool wax, wool fat, or wool grease, a greasy yellow substance from wool-bearing animals, acts as a skin ointment, water-proofing wax, and…

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Lansing

42°44N 84°33W, pop (2000e) 119 100. Capital of state in Ingham Co, SC Michigan, USA, on the Grand R; railway; car and truck manufacturing centre; machinery and fabricated metals. Lansing may be: …

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lanternfish - Physical description, Ecology, Reproduction

Any of the small deep-sea fishes of family Myctophidae (6 genera), widely abundant in the world's oceans, typically at depths of 500–1000 m/1600–3300 ft, but may migrate to the surface at night; length up to 15 cm/6 in; head blunt, eyes large, body with numerous light organs in characteristic patterns. Lanternfishes (or myctophids, from the Greek mykter, "nose" and ophis, "serpent") a…

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Lanzarote - Geography, Climate, Flora and fauna, History, Notables

pop (2000e) 88 500; area 861 km²/332 sq mi. Island of Spain, part of the Canaries archipelago; dry farming agriculture (maize, potatoes, vegetables, garden produce,vines); fishing and by-product industries (shipyards, canned foods, fish-meal) and tourism are the main source of income; chief town, Arrecife. Lanzarote, a Spanish island, is the easternmost of the Canary Islands, in the A…

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Lanzhou - Demographics, Economy, Places of interest, Media, Culture, Colleges and universities

36°01N 103°19E, pop (2000e) 1 803 000, administrative region 2 926 000. Capital of Gansu province, NC China, on the upper Yellow R; airfield; railway; university (1946); centre for China's atomic energy industry since 1960; trade in wheat, millet, tobacco, sorghum, melons; oil refining, metallurgy, light engineering, textiles; Gansu Province Museum. Lanzhou (Simplified Chinese: 兰

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Lao She

Writer, born in Beijing, China. He lectured in Britain, USA, and China, and was influenced by Western writers including Dickens and Swift. His earlier work on humorous stories was later replaced by social concerns. His major novel Rickshaw Boy (1937) sympathetically recounted rickshawmen's lives in the early 20th-c and exposed the dismal existence of republican China's masses. Cat City (influenced…

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Laos - Terminology, History, Politics, Administrative Divisions, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Culture, Media, Miscellaneous topics, Ethnic Minority Nationalist Leaders

Official name Lao People's Democratic Republic, Lao Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxôn Lao Laos, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked socialist republic communist state in southeast Asia, bordered by Myanmar (Burma) and the People's Republic of China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south, and Thailand to the west. The country's ethnic…

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Laozi - His life, Taoism, Influences, Names

The legendary founder of Chinese Taoism (Daoism). Nothing is known of his life: the oldest biography (c.100 BC) claims he held official rank. He was first mentioned by Zhuangzi. Taoist tradition attributes their classic text, the Daodejing (Tao Te Ching) to Laozi, but it was written in the 3rd-c BC. By the 2nd-c AD, Taoists claimed he had lived more than once and had travelled to India, where he b…

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lapis lazuli

A deep-blue ornamental stone, principally lazurite (a silicate of sodium and aluminium), found in metamorphosed limestones. It was formerly the source of the blue pigment ultramarine, now made synthetically. …

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Lapland - Name, Flag, People, Sami Parliament

pop (2000e) 207 000, area 98 938 km²/38 190 sq mi. Province of N Finland, bounded W by Sweden, NW by Norway, and E by Russia; mainly within Arctic Circle; largely tundra (N), forest (S), and mountains (W); occupies c.30% of total area of Finland; Mt Haltia on frontier with Norway; provincial capital, Rovaniemi; considerable emigration to the S in recent years; chromium, iron mining; farmin…

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lapwing - List of species in taxonomic order

A plover, especially the common lapwing (Vanellus vanellus); inhabits grassland, cultivation, water edges, and swamps. (Genus: Vanellus, 10 species. Family: Charadriidae.) Lapwings are medium-sized wading birds belonging to the subfamily Vanellinae of the family Charadriidae, which also includes the plovers and dotterels. Only Northern, Sociable, White-tailed Lapwing, Grey-heade…

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Laramie - Places, People, Other

41º20N 105º38W, pop (2000e) 27 200. Seat of Albany Co, SE Wyoming, USA; settled, 1866; birthplace of Thurman Arnold, Sheridan Downey, Gerry Spence; railway; regional airport; centre for cattle; timber, engineering; noted for its many antique shops. Laramie can mean one of several things: …

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larch

A deciduous conifer native to colder parts of the N hemisphere; long shoots rough-textured with persistent bases of fallen leaves; short shoots with tufts of needles. It tolerates intense cold, but needs full light to grow well. Often dominant in N forests, it is widely planted for timber. (Genus: Larix, 10–12 species. Family: Pinaceae.) …

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lard - History and cultural use, Culinary use, Source, Nutritional information

A fat produced from pigs, widely used in cooking and baking, and also in the preparation of certain perfumes and ointments. Lard oil is used as a lubricant and in soap manufacture. Lard is an animal fat produced from rendering the fat portions of the pig. Lard was a commonly used cooking oil though its use in contemporary cuisine has diminished because of health concerns posed by satu…

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Lares - House spirits in other cultures

Minor Roman deities. Normally associated with the household was the guardian of the hearth (lar familiaris), but there were also guardians of crossroads (lares viales) and of the State (lares praestites). Lares (pl.) (also called Genii loci or, more archaically, Lases) were Roman deities protecting the house and the family - household gods. Lares are presumed sons of Hermes and …

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lark - Species list, Reference

A small, dull-coloured songbird, found mainly in the Old World, especially Africa; inhabits open country; eats seeds and insects; nests on ground. The name is also used for the lark quail (Family: Turnicidae); the meadowlark (Family: Icteridae); and the mudlark (Family: Grallinidae). (Family: Alaudidae, 75 species.) Larks are passerine birds of the predominantly Old World family Alaudidae. …

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Larnaca - History, As a Tourist Resort, Places of interest, Twinning, Source

34°55N 33°36E, pop (2000e) 68 400. Port and capital town of Larnaca district, S Cyprus, on Larnaca Bay; SW of Dhekelia British base; airport; old Turkish fort (1625), now a museum. Coordinates: 34°55′N 33°38′E Larnaca, or Larnaka (Greek: Λάρνακα) (also colloquially Skala or Iskele), is a city on the southeast coast of Cyprus. The major international airp…

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Larry (Jeff) McMurtry - Books, novels and films

Writer, bookseller, and academic, born in Wichita Falls, Texas, USA. He studied at North Texas State College (now University) (1958 BA), Rice University (1960 MA), and at Stanford (1960). He then taught at several institutions and was co-owner of a book store in Washington, DC (1970), where he lived. His first novel Horseman, Pass By (1961, Jesse H Jones Award in 1962) was filmed as the Academy Aw…

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Larry (Joe) Bird - Biography, Bird's legacy, Memorable moments, Memorable games

Basketball player, born in French Lick, Indiana, USA. A college player of the year at Indiana State University (1979), he joined the Boston Celtics (1979) and was a perennial All-NBA (National Basketball Association) first team selection at forward. He led the Celtics to three NBA championships (1981, 1984, 1986), and three times was named the league's Most Valuable Player (1984–6). After playing…

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Larry Adler - Biography

Musician and self-taught virtuoso on the harmonica, born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. He studied at Baltimore City College, and began his show business career in New York City at the age of 14. He played as a soloist with some of the world's leading symphony orchestras, and wrote the music for several films, including Genevieve (1954). He emigrated to Britain after being blacklisted in the USA for…

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Larry Holmes - Boxing Career

Boxer, born in Cuthbert, Georgia, USA. He beat Ken Norton for the World Boxing Council heavyweight title in 1978, retained it 16 times, gave it up in 1984, was named International Boxing Federation champion that year, and held the title until 1985, when he finally lost to Michael Spinks in his 49th contest, just one short of Rocky Marciano's record. He lost the return contest with Spinks, and in 1…

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Larry King - Early life, Miami radio, Legal and financial troubles, Comeback to radio and TV, 1987 heart attack

Talk-show host, born in New York City, USA. After leaving school he joined a Florida radio station, and in the 1960s hosted local talk-shows. He wrote entertainment columns for the Miami Herald in the 1970s and in 1978 began a national late-night radio show on the Mutual Network. He joined CNN in 1985, taking Larry King Live to the top of the ratings by 1992, widely watched for its commentary and …

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Larry Rivers - Link

Painter and sculptor, born in New York City, USA. A professional musician, he studied at the Juilliard School of Music (1944–5) before studying art with Hans Hoffmann (1947–8). Based in Southampton, Long Island, since 1953, he became a teacher at several schools. Known for ironic historical works such as ‘Washington Crossing the Delaware’ (1953, New York City), and realistic paintings such as …

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Larry Sitsky

Composer, pianist, and teacher, born in Tientsin, E China. He emigrated to Australia with his parents at 17, and engaged in postgraduate studies at the New South Wales Conservatory, Sydney (1956–8) and the San Francisco Conservatory (1959–61). After a period in Queensland, he joined the Canberra School of Music in 1966, where he became head of keyboard studies, then head of the Department of Com…

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Lars Onsager - His life before moving to the United States, At Johns Hopkins, At Brown, At Yale

Physical chemist, born in Oslo (formerly Christiania), Norway. He studied at the Norwegian Institute of Technology and under Debye at Zürich, and in 1928 he went to Yale, where he studied and then taught for the rest of his career (1934–72). He became a US citizen in 1945. His researches in solution chemistry and in chemical thermodynamics led to him receiving the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 19…

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larva

A general term for a stage in an animal's development between hatching and the attainment of the adult form, or maturity. Larval stages are often typical of the group, such as the caterpillar larva of butterflies, the nauplius larva of crustaceans, and the cercaria larva of digenetic flukes. Larvae often occupy a different habitat from the adults, and serve as a dispersal stage in the life cycle. …

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laryngitis - Causes, Treatments

Acute or chronic inflammation of the larynx, with swelling of the vocal cords. It often accompanies infection elsewhere in the respiratory tract, such as common cold or bronchitis. Laryngitis is an inflammation of the larynx. Generally speaking, laryngitis is inflammation of the voicebox regardless of cause. Laryngitis may also be caused by a viral or by bacterial infection. Fun…

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larynx - Function, Innervation, Muscles, Descended larynx, Additional images

That part of the air passage lying in humans between the trachea below and the laryngopharynx above, situated in the middle of the front of the neck; also called the ‘voice box’, because it contains the vocal folds or cords, responsible for the production of sounds. It consists of a framework of cartilages joined together by a number of ligaments and capable of movement with respect to each othe…

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Las Palmas (de Gran Canaria) - Historical population, Sites of interest, Transportation

pop (2000e) 760 000; area 4072 km²/1572 sq mi. Spanish province in the Canary Is, comprising the islands of Gran Canaria, Lanzarote, and Fuerteventura; tourism, shipyards, mineral water, cement, livestock, textiles, fruit and vegetables, metal products, food processing; capital, Las Palmas (de Gran Canaria), pop (2000e) 347 000, resort and seaport (Puerto de la Luz); airport; tourism, trad…

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Lascaux - Caves of Lascaux, History, Replica

A small, richly-decorated Palaeolithic cave of c.15 000 BC near Montignac, Dordogne, SW France, renowned for its naturalistic mural paintings and engravings of animals - cows, bulls, horses, bison, ibex, musk-ox, and reindeer. Found by schoolboys in 1940 and opened to the public in 1947, it was closed permanently in 1963 when humidity changes threatened the paintings. A replica was opened nearby …

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Lascelles Abercrombie

Poet and critic, born in Ashton-upon-Mersey, Greater Manchester, NW England, UK. He studied at Malvern College and Victoria University, Manchester, became professor of English at Leeds (1922) and London (1929), and reader at Oxford (1935). His works include The Idea of Great Poetry (1925) and Principles of Literary Criticism (1932). Lascelles Abercrombie (also known as the Georgian Laureate…

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laser - Physics, History, Uses, Laser safety, Categories by type, Fictional predictions

A device which produces light, infrared, or ultraviolet radiation with special properties, for example using a system of excited atoms; the name is an acronym of light amplification by the stimulated emission of radiation. The first laser was built in 1960 in the USA by physicist Theodore Maiman, following theoretical work by Charles Townes and Arthur Schawlow. In Russia similar independent work w…

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laser cooling - Limitations, Configurations

A technique for reducing the velocity of atoms or ions by bombardment with laser light; used in atom and ion traps. When a laser photon strikes an oncoming atom, the photon is absorbed and subsequently re-emitted in some random direction, reducing the atom's velocity. Many such cycles allow atom velocity to be reduced from hundreds to tens of metres per second in a thousandth of a second. The atom…

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laser printer - Overview, History, How it works, Steganographic anti-counterfeiting ("secret") marks

A type of printer which uses a small laser to generate characters. It generally operates using xerographic principles, and is capable of producing very high quality typescript and graphics. Early laser printers were relatively expensive, but decreasing costs are establishing them as an economic means of fast, quiet printing. Colour laser printers are now available at a price acceptable to a small …

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laser scanning - Material processing and production

1 Causing a laser beam to scan, ie move in such a way as to point in all directions in succession. The direction of the beam may need to be varied for some uses (eg in ladar or laser radar). This can be done by electro-acoustic methods (using the vibration of a medium at or near the source), or by electro-optical methods (such as electrically modifying the effect on a polarized beam of some transp…

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Lassa fever - The virus and epidemiology, The disease, Virus Replication, Lab tests, Prevention, Treatment, Prognosis

An infectious disease caused by a virus confined at the present time to sub-Saharan W Africa. It is highly contagious, and causes fever, vomiting, chest pain, and haemorrhage. It carries a high mortality. Lassa fever is an acute viral hemorrhagic fever first described in 1969 in the Nigerian town of Lassa in the Yedseram River valley. Outbreaks of the disease have been observed in the …

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Last Supper - In the New Testament, Last Supper Remembrances

In the New Testament Gospels, the last meal of Jesus with his disciples on the eve of his arrest and crucifixion. In the three synoptic gospels, this is considered a Passover meal, and is significant for Jesus's words over the bread and cup of wine, where he declares ‘This is my body’ and ‘This is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many’ (Mark 14.22–4). John's gospel dates the m…

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Lata Mangeshkar - Childhood, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1990s, 2000s, Rivalry with Asha Bhosle, Awards and recognitions

Indian singer. She became a singer as a child to help support her family when her father died. In 1948 she was engaged to provide the singing voice of actresses in Indian musical films, and had made over 30 000 recordings for more than 2000 films by the time she retired in 1984. She made several visits to London in the 1980s, performing to sell-out audiences in Wembley Stadium. Lata Manges…

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latent heat

Heat absorbed or released when a substance undergoes a change of state at a constant temperature, such as solid to liquid (latent heat of fusion) or liquid to gas (latent heat of vaporization); symbol L, units J (joule). For ice at 0°C, the latent heat of fusion is 3·35 × 105J/kg; for water, heat of vaporization at 100°C is 2·26 × 106J/kg. For example, in the atmosphere wh…

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latent image

The invisible image formed in a photographic emulsion by its exposure to light. It is made visible by development when the light-affected silver halide grains are converted to black metallic silver. In photography a latent image is formed when light (or in radiography, X-rays) acts on a photographic emulsion. The action of the light with the silver halide grains within the emuls…

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laterite

Tropical soil in which seasonal fluctuations of groundwater have concentrated aluminium and iron oxide, forming a thick, hard, reddish layer. It is often used as roadstone. Laterite is a surface formation in hot and wet tropical areas which is enriched in iron and aluminum and develops by intensive and long lasting weathering of the underlying parent rock. Laterites consist main…

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latex - Sources, Function and usage

A milky fluid found in special cells or ducts (lactifers) and present in many different plants. It is usually white, but can be colourless, yellow, orange, or red, and contains various substances in solution or suspension, such as starch, sugars, alkaloids, and rubber. In some cases it may be involved with nutrition of the plant or represent waste products, but the exact function is unknown. …

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lathe - Examples of work produced from a lathe, Major categories of lathes, Parts of a lathe, Varieties

A common machine tool used to shape workpieces of various materials. These are held in the jaws of the lathe's chuck, and rotated under power. The tools for boring, threading, cutting, or facing the workpiece are brought into contact with it either manually or under machine control. A lathe is a tool which spins a block of material to perform various operations such as cutting, sanding, knu…

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lathyrism - Symptoms, Prevalence, Causes, Prevention, Historical occurrence, Modern occurrence, Related conditions

A permanent paralysis, caused by excessive intake of a vetch crop (Lathyrus sativus). The crop is sown together with wheat in many parts of Africa and Asia, so that if dry weather prevents wheat growth, the vetch will provide an alternative harvest. Lathyrism or Neurolathyrism is a neurological disease of humans and domestic animals, caused by eating certain legumes of the genus Lathyrus. …

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Latin America - Definition, History, Political divisions, Population, Economy, Cultural diversity

The 18 Spanish-speaking republics of the W hemisphere, together with Portuguese-speaking Brazil (the largest Latin-American country) and French-speaking Haiti. The name first came into use in France just before 1860. Latin America Latin America (Portuguese/Spanish: América Latina) is the region of the Americas where Romance languages — those derived from Latin — are officia…

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Latin literature - Early Latin literature, Classical Latin, Latin Literature in the Late Antique period, Medieval Latin literature

Oratory was respected from the earliest days of republican Rome (from 500 BC), and hymns and songs graced popular festivals; but Latin literature emerged in the pre-Classical period (250–85 BC), when many experiments were made on Greek models. The most significant writers of this time were the comic dramatists Plautus and Terence, the poet Ennius, who introduced the hexameter, and the satirist Lu…

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Latinus - Greek mythology, Roman mythology

In legends of early Rome, the ancestor and eponymous King of the Latins. He was either descended from Circe (according to Hesiod) or from Faunus (according to Virgil). In the Aeneid, Latinus gives his daughter Lavinia to Aeneas. Latinus or Latinos was a figure in Greek and Roman mythology. In Hesiod's Theogony, he was the son of Odysseus and Circe who ruled the Tyrsenoi, that is…

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Latium - Etymology, History

In antiquity, the area SE of Rome between the Apennine Mts and the sea. It was the territory of the Latini, Latin-speaking peoples of whom the Romans are the most famous. Densely populated in early Roman times, by the imperial period it had become the recreation area of the Roman rich, who filled it with luxurious villas. The name of the region also survives in the tribal designation of the…

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lattice energy - Calculation

The energy required to convert one mole of an ionic solid to gaseous ions. Its value can be estimated reasonably for many compounds, and used to calculate other energies. The lattice energy of an ionic solid is the amount of energy required to separate one mole of solid ionic compound into gaseous ions What might change the lattice energy is the ionic charge and the ionic radius…

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Latvia - History, Politics, Administrative divisions, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Language, Culture, Sports, International rankings, Topics of Interest

Local name Latvija (Latvian) Latvia, officially the Republic of Latvia (Latvian: Latvija or Latvijas Republika, Livonian: Lețmō), is a country in Northern Europe. Latvia shares land borders with two fellow Baltic states – Estonia to the north and Lithuania to the south – and both Russia and Belarus to the east. In the west, Latvia shares a maritime border with Sweden…

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laudanum - Today's status

A preparation of opium introduced by Paracelsus in the early 16th-c. Addiction to laudanum was socially acceptable until the early 19th-c, when the invention of the hypodermic syringe and needle made narcotic addiction more serious. Laudanum is an opium tincture, sometimes sweetened with sugar and also called wine of opium. He decided that its medical (analgesic) value was of such magnitude…

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launch window

The time during a given day when a spacecraft may be launched on its desired trajectory. It can last from minutes to more than an hour, depending on the mission and, for interplanetary launches, on an exact date within the launch opportunity. There are two windows during each 24-hour period, one of which may be impractical because of other factors, such as launch safety for night launches. …

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Laura (Dewey) Bridgman

First blind deaf-mute to be successfully educated, born in Hanover, New Hampshire, USA. Scarlet fever left her blind and deaf at age two. She was rescued from total isolation by a dimwitted but gentle handyman, Asa Tenney, who communicated with her by his own system of touch signs. Starting in 1837, Samuel Gridley Howe taught her to read and write at the Perkins Institution (where she remained unt…

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Laura Ashley - Career, Personal life, Foundation

Fashion designer, born in Merthyr Tydfil, S Wales, UK. She married Bernard Ashley in 1949, and they started a business manufacturing furnishing materials and wallpapers with patterns based upon document sources mainly from the 19th-c. When she gave up work to have a baby, she experimented with designing and making clothes, and this transformed the business into an international chain of boutiques …

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Laura Riding - Further reading

Poet, critic, novelist, and polemicist, born in New York City, USA. She studied at Cornell, and published her first collection of verse, The Close Chaplet, in 1926. She was associated with Robert Graves, with whom she collaborated on several projects, including A Survey of Modernist Poetry (1927). In 1941 she married Schuyler B Jackson, editor of Time, and signed herself Laura (Riding) Jackson. He…

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Laura Wilder - People, Other

Children's writer, born in Pepin, Wisconsin, USA. She edited a rural magazine for many years, and when she was in her 60s her daughter suggested that she write down her childhood memories of the American West. The result was a series of successful books which were popularized as the Little House on the Prairie television series in the 1970s. Her titles included Little House in the Big Woods (1932)…

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Laurasia - Origin, Break Up and Reformation, Final split

The name given to the N ‘supercontinent’ comprising present-day North America, Europe, and Asia, excluding India, which began to break away from the single land mass Pangaea about 200 million years ago. The S supercontinent was Gondwanaland. Although Laurasia is known as a Mesozoic phenomenon, today it is believed that the same continents that formed the later Laurasia also existed as a c…

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Laurel - Botany, Honors, Coins, People, Places

31º41N 89º07W, pop (2000e) 18 400. Seat of Jones Co, SE Mississippi, USA; located on Tallahala Creek, 88 km/55 mi SW of Meridian and 45 km/28 mi NE of Hattiesburg; founded in the 1880s and named for the abundance of wild laurels in the area; birthplace of Ralph Boston and Leontyne Price; town prospered in the early 20th-c due to successful lumber industry; oil industry expanded during the …

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laurel - Botany, Honors, Coins, People, Places

A name applied to various unrelated trees and shrubs which have glossy, leathery, evergreen leaves, but mainly to members of the large family Lauraceae in which the tissues contain numerous oil cavities and are aromatic. Laurel may refer to: Other unrelated plants: In the Philippines: In the United States: …

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