Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 45

Cambridge Encyclopedia

Laurel and Hardy - History, Trivia, Laurel and Hardy in other languages, Bibliography, Compare to

Comedians who formed the first Hollywood film comedy team. The ‘thin one’, Stan Laurel (1890–1965), originally Arthur Stanley Jefferson, was born in Ulverston, Lancashire, NW England, UK. Laurel had been on stage in England and was Charlie Chaplin's understudy when his troupe toured the USA (1910, 1912), and began making silent films with Nuts in May (1917). The ‘fat one’, Oliver (Norvell) Ha…

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Lauren Bacall - Career, Private life, Trivia, Quotes, Filmography, Selected stage appearances, Television work, Books by Lauren Bacall

Actress, born in New York City, USA. A student at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, she made her stage debut in 1942. She married her co-star Humphrey Bogart in 1945, appearing with him in such thrillers as The Big Sleep (1946) and Key Largo (1948). After Bogart's death in 1957, she turned to the stage, her Broadway successes including the musical Applause! (1970–2), for which she received a…

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Laurence Eusden - Life, Poetry and Criticism

Poet, born in Spofforth, North Yorkshire, N England, UK. He became poet laureate in 1718, by the customary patronage prevalent at the time. He was lampooned as ‘L. E.’ by Pope, and in Swift's treatise on bathos. He died as rector of Coningsby, Lincolnshire. Laurence Eusden was born in Spofforth in North Yorkshire in 1688 (date unknown) to the Rev. Eusden, who was thirty years-…

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Laurence Gronlund - Works

Lawyer, writer, and lecturer, born in Denmark. Emigrating to the USA (1867), he practised law for a number of years. Originally influenced by Pascal, he turned to Socialism and wrote the widely-read Cooperative Commonwealth (1884), a blend of Marxism and Christian idealism that called for the end of capitalism. Lecturing throughout the country on this theme, he edited a Socialist paper, briefly he…

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Laurence Housman

Writer and playwright, born in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, WC England, UK, the brother of A E Housman. He studied art at Lambeth and South Kensington, and attracted attention by his illustrations of Meredith's poem, ‘Jump-to-Glory Jane’. He is best known for his Little Plays of St Francis (1922) and his Victorian biographical ‘chamber plays’, such as Angels and Ministers (1921) and Victoria Re…

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Laurence Hutton - Publications

Bibliophile, editor, and writer, born in New York City, New York, USA. Left with a modest legacy, he devoted himself to amassing a fine rare book collection and writing on travel, the theatre, and other congenial topics. He was literary editor of McClure's Magazine (1886–93) and a lecturer at Princeton University (1901–4). Laurence Hutton (1843-1904) was an American essayist and critic, b…

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Laurence Sterne - Biography, Works

Novelist, born in Clonmel, Co Tipperary, SC Ireland. He studied at Cambridge, was ordained in 1738, and appointed to a living in Yorkshire. In 1759 he wrote the first two volumes of his eccentric and influential comic novel The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, which was very well received in London, the remaining volumes appearing between 1761 and 1767. From 1762 he lived mainly abroad for he…

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Laurens Perseus Hickok

Clergyman and philosopher, born in Bethel, Connecticut, USA. Ordained a Presbyterian minister in 1823, he was a pastor in Connecticut for 13 years, taught theology at Western Reserve College (1836–44) and Auburn Theological Seminary (1844–52), and was associated with Union College (Schenectady, NY) as philosophy professor (1836–68) and president (1866–8). His works, including Rational Psycholo…

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Laurens Pieter van de Spiegel

Dutch statesman, born in Middelburg, SW Netherlands. He became Grand Pensionary of Zeeland in 1785 and of Holland (1787–95). A supporter of the House of Orange, he consistently opposed the French and arranged alliances with England and Prussia. The spy Etta Palm kept him provided with information on France during 1788–92. He remained in The Netherlands when the Stadtholder and his family left in…

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Laurent Blanc

Football player, born in Arles, SE France. He began his career as a defender with Montpellier in 1983, and made his international debut for France against Ireland in 1989. He joined Italian club Napoli for a season (1991–2), before returning to France where he played successively for Nimes, St Etienne, and Auxerre. In 1996 he had a successful spell with Barcelona, and then moved to Olympique Mars…

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Laurent Fabius - Fabius's Ministry, 19 July 1984 - 20 March 1986

French statesman and prime minister (1984–6), born in Paris, France. He studied at the Ecole Normale Supérieure and the Ecole Nationale d'Administration, joined the Council of State as an auditor in 1973, and became economic adviser to the Socialist Party (PS) leader, François Mitterrand, in 1976. Elected to the National Assembly in 1978, he was appointed budget minister when the PS gained powe…

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Laurent Fignon - Retirement, Significant victories by year

French cyclist. He was world number one in his sport from July 1989 until June 1990. He won the Giro D'Italia (1989), la Flèche Wallonne (1986), Milan San Rémo (1988, 1989), and the Critérium International (1982, 1990). He was French Champion in 1984, and won the Tour de France in 1983 and 1984. Laurent Fignon (born August 12, 1960 in Paris, France) is a French former professional cyclis…

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Laurent Jalabert - Grand tours, One-day races, Palmarès

French cyclist. His achievements include best sprinter (1994, 1995), winner of the Flèche-Wallonne (1995, 1997), runner up in the road racing world championships (1992), and overall points winner (green jersey) in the Tour de France (1992, 1995). He became world number one in September 1995. Laurent Jalabert (born November 30, 1968) is a French former professional cyclist, from 1989 to 200…

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Lauretta Bender - The Bender-Gestalt Test

Psychiatrist, born in Butte, Montana, USA. She received her MD from the State University of Iowa in 1926. A senior psychiatrist at New York City's Bellevue Hospital (1930–56), she did important research in childhood schizophrenia and brain injury, and devised the Bender Visual Motor Gestalt Test. In 1936 she married her colleague Paul F Schilder, a highly regarded psychoanalyst who had practised …

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Laurie Lee - Early life and works, Poetry, Other work and awards, Final years

Writer, born in Stroud, Gloucestershire, SWC England, UK. He was educated at the village school at Slad, where the family had moved, and worked as a scriptwriter for documentary films during the 1940s. His poetic works included The Sun My Monument (1944) and My Many-Coated Man (1955). His books Cider With Rosie (1959), As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning (1969), and I Can't Stay Long (1975) are …

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Lauris Norstad - World War II, SHAPE Leadership

Aviator, born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA. Commissioned into the cavalry after graduation from West Point (1930), he transferred to the Air Corps the following year, and by August 1942 had risen to the post of deputy chief-of-staff of the 12th Air Force in North Africa. Returning to Washington (1944), he had direct responsibility for planning the atomic-bomb missions. He later commanded US air …

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Lauritz (Lebrecht Hommel) Melchior - Bibliography

Tenor, born in Copenhagen, Denmark. His career began as a baritone (in Pagliacci, 1913), then from 1918 he appeared as a tenor, making his Covent Garden debut in 1924. One of the foremost Wagnerian singers of the century, he sang at Bayreuth (1924–31) and regularly at the New York Metropolitan (1926–50). Lauritz Lebrecht Hommel Melchior - often misspelled Melchoir - (March 20, 1890 – Ma…

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Lausanne - Transport, Culture, Notable people, Photos of Lausanne

46°32N 6°39E, pop (2000e) 129 000. Tourist resort, convention centre, and capital of Vaud canton, W Switzerland; seat of the Federal Supreme Court; on N shore of L Geneva, 51 km/32 mi NE of Geneva; railway junction; university (1891); clothing, confectionery, printing, leather; seat of the International Olympic Committee; Mon Repos Park, with Olympic Museum; cathedral (1275), town hall (17th…

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lava - Lava composition, Volcanic Morphologies, Lava landforms, Composition of volcanic rocks, Unusual lavas, Hazards

Hot molten rock erupted onto the Earth's surface from a volcano. On solidification it forms volcanic igneous rocks such as rhyolite, andesite, or basalt. Lava temperature and viscosity depends on its chemical composition, with the more silica-rich lava being cooler (around 900°C) and more viscous than basic lavas (temperature up to 1100°C), which flow more freely, forming volcanoes with gentle s…

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lavender - Cultivation and uses

A small aromatic shrub, native mainly to Mediterranean regions and Atlantic islands, typical of dry scrub; young stems square; leaves narrow, sometimes deeply lobed, greyish, in opposite pairs; flowers 2-lipped, lavender or mauve, in dense spikes. It is widely cultivated for ornament, and as the source of oil of lavender for the perfume industry and for potpourri. (Genus: Lavandula, 28 species. Fa…

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law - History of law, Legal systems, Branches of law, Legal theory, Institutions, Further reading

Specifically, a rule of conduct laid down by a controlling authority; generally, the whole body of such rules, recognized and enforced by society in the courts by sanctions. Laws are made by the body recognized as having the constitutional authority to make them, ie in most countries, the legislature. In common law systems, the courts are particularly influential in developing the law; although th…

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Law Commission - Similar bodies

A body established by the Law Commissions Act (1965) for England and Wales (with a separate commission for Scotland), appointed from the judiciary and from practising and academic lawyers. Its function is to examine the law with a view to its systematic development, reform, and codification, and to suggest the removal of obsolete and anomalous rules. While influential, it has no power to change th…

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Law Society - See also

The professional body for solicitors in England and Wales; a separate Law Society exists for Scotland and another for Northern Ireland. The Law Societies have disciplinary powers relating to solicitors' conduct, and prescribe the rules governing their admission to practice. More generally, the Societies promote the interests of the profession as a whole, as seen in their attempts to secure greater…

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Lawrence - Geography, Education, Christianity, Politics, Artistry, Military, Music, American community founding, Business

42º43N 71º10W, pop (2000e) 72 000. City in Essex Co, NE Massachusetts, USA; located on the R Merrimack in the Merrimack Valley, 40 km/25 mi N of Boston; gained city status, 1853; birthplace of Leonard Bernstein and Ernest Lawrence Thayer; railway; historic mill buildings along the river; textiles, paper, plastics, rubber, leather. Lawrence may refer to: …

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Lawrence (Dale) Bell - Namesakes

Aircraft designer and constructor, born in Mentone, Indiana, USA. In 1935 he formed the Bell Aircraft Corporation, and among its more notable productions was the P-59 Airacomet, the first US jet-propelled aircraft (1942). From 1941 he produced a famous line of helicopters and in 1947 the first rocket-propelled aeroplane, the Bell X-1, the first manned aircraft to exceed the speed of sound. …

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Lawrence (Edward Grace) Oates - Background, Terra Nova Expedition, Trivia

Explorer, born in London, UK. He was educated at Eton, joined the army, and served in South Africa. In 1910 he joined Scott's Antarctic Expedition in charge of the ponies, and was one of the party of five to reach the South Pole in 1912. On the return journey the explorers became weatherbound. Lamed by severe frostbite, and convinced that his condition would fatally handicap his companions' prospe…

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Lawrence (George) Durrell - Life and work, Major works

British novelist and poet, born in Darjeeling, NE India. He studied at Canterbury, and eloped with his future wife to Paris, where he met Henry Miller and began to write novels. He taught English in Athens, then served in the Foreign Office in Cairo, Athens, and Belgrade, settling in Cyprus (1953). He first made his name with Prospero's Cell (1945), followed by the cosmopolitan multi-love story co…

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Lawrence (Monsanto) Ferlinghetti - Biography, Bibliography, Discography, Further reading

Poet, born in New York City, USA. He studied at the universities of North Carolina, Columbia, and the Sorbonne (1948–51), then settled in San Francisco. He taught French (1951–3), and was a founder of City Lights (1952), a bookstore and publishing house. Regarded as a founder of the Beat poetry movement, as seen in A Coney Island of the Mind (1958), he was also a playwright and novelist. Later b…

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Lawrence (Robert) Klein - Development of business forecasting model, Return to America at Wharton, Later career, Publications

Economist, born in Omaha, Nebraska, USA. After teaching at the universities of Chicago (1944–7) and Michigan (1949–54), he became a professor at the University of Pennsylvania (1958). He is noted for the development of large multi-equation econometric models used to forecast the performance of an economy. These mathematical models simultaneously estimate hundreds of equations regarding economic …

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Lawrence Gilman - Works

Music critic, born in Flushing, New York, USA. He studied art but then gravitated to music, teaching himself the fundamentals and taking up criticism. He wrote for a number of periodicals, among them Harper's Weekly (1901–13), North American Review (1915–23), and the New York Herald Tribune (1923–39). From 1923 he also wrote programme notes for the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orc…

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Lawrence Halprin - Awards, Publications

Landscape architect and writer, born in New York City, New York, USA. A disciple of Thomas Church, he founded his West Coast firm in 1949. He focused on people's ‘spatial experience’ of open areas, and redesigned urban spaces such as Ghiradelli Square in San Francisco to attract pedestrians, using multiple levels and fountains. Following an apprenticeship with landscape architect Thomas D…

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Lawrence Hargrave - Career, Honors and memorials

Aeronautical pioneer, born in Greenwich, EC Greater London, UK. He arrived in Sydney in 1865, and spent five years exploring in New Guinea before being appointed to a post at the Sydney Observatory (1878). He resigned five years later to devote his time to aeronautical experiments. In 1893 he developed the box-kite to produce a wing form used in early aircraft, and in 1894 four tethered kites succ…

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Lawrence J(oseph) Henderson

Biochemist and physiologist, born in Lynn, Massachusetts, USA. He spent his career as a research physician at Harvard (1904–42). His quantitative measurements of bodily buffer systems (1907–10) were expanded logarithmically by Danish biochemist K A Hasselbach to produce the Henderson–Hasselbach equation describing acid-base equilibria. He founded the department of physical chemistry at Harvard …

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Lawrence Kasdan

Film director, born in Miami Beach, Florida, USA. He studied at the University of Michigan and gained a co -writer credit on The Empire Strikes Back (1980) before becoming a director with Body Heat (1981). Later films include The Accidental Tourist (1989), Wyatt Earp (1994), French Kiss (1995), Mumford (1999), and Dreamcatcher (2003). Lawrence Kasdan (born 14 January 1949, Miami, Florida) i…

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Lawrence Kohlberg - Early life, Death

Psychologist, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He taught education and social psychology at the University of Chicago and at Harvard (1968–87). His research posited a series of stages in the formation of conscience from early childhood into adulthood, and he set forth his ideas in The Philosophy of Moral Development (1981). Lawrence Kohlberg (October 25, 1927 – January 19, 1987) was b…

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Lawrence Martin

Geographer, born in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, USA. He specialized in physiography prior to World War 1, teaching at the University of Wisconsin (1906–19), then turned his attention to political and historical geography. In 1924–46 he was chief of the division of maps in the Library of Congress. His knowledge of the history of cartography and Antarctic exploration was remarkable for its thoroug…

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Lawrence Sheriff - Reference

Philanthropist, born in Rugby, Warwickshire, C England, UK. A grocer in London, he became the founder of Rugby School (1567), by his bequest and endowment of estates, including his own house. The school became the model public (fee-paying) school for boys for many generations afterwards. The game of rugby football originated there. Lawrence Sheriff or Lawrence Sheriffe (c1510-1567) was an E…

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Lawrence Tibbett

Baritone, born in Bakersfield, California, USA. After experience as an actor and in light opera, he studied voice in New York and made his Metropolitan Opera debut in 1923, going on to be a favourite there until his retirement in 1950. He was admired both for his roles in Italian classics and in new operas, and also appeared in films and recitals, and on radio. Lawrence Mervil Tibbett (Nove…

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Lawrence Welk - Beginnings, Early career, The Lawrence Welk Show, Personal life, Later years, Legacy, Facts, Books

Bandleader, born in Strasburg, North Dakota, USA. In the 1920s he developed what he called a sweet-sounding ‘champagne music’ with his orchestra. He toured and appeared on radio in the 1930s and 1940s and began hosting his own television show (1951). Carried on network television until 1971, the show featured such traditional forms as tap and ballroom dancing, ragtime piano, and a variety of sin…

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laxative - Bulk-producing agents, Stool softeners / Surfactants, Lubricants / Emollient, Hydrating agents (osmotics)

A drug which causes emptying of the bowels; also known as a purgative. Laxatives are overused for the treatment of constipation, which is usually cured by a high fibre diet. Except when medically recommended, authorities believe, they do more harm than good. Examples include castor oil and diphenylmethane. Laxatives are often abused by bulimics or anorexics (nervosa). There are …

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Layamon - Bibliography

Poet and priest, thought to have lived at Areley Kings, Worcestershire, WC England, UK. He wrote (c.1200) an alliterative verse chronicle, Brut, a mythical history of England from the landing of Brutus to the final Saxon victory in 689. His source was Wace's Brut d'Angleterre, and Brut was important in English versification as the first considerable poem written in Middle English. It is also notab…

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layering - Ground layering

A means of propagating plants by burying a stem in the soil while it is still attached to the plant. The buried portion forms roots, and eventually a separate plant. Layering is a technique for plant propagation in which a portion of an aerial stem is encouraged to grow roots while still attached to the parent plant and then removed and planted as an independent plant. This is done in…

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Lazare (Nicolas Marguerite) Carnot - Life, Famous offspring

French statesman, known as ‘the organizer of victory’ during the Revolutionary Wars, born in Nolay, E France. He entered the army as an engineer, and became a member of the Legislative Assembly (1791). He survived the Terror, and became one of the Directors (1795), but in 1797, suspected of Royalist sympathies, he escaped to Germany. Back in Paris, he became minister of war (1800), and helped to…

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Lazarists

A religious order, founded in France at the priory of St Lazare, Paris, in 1625 by St Vincent de Paul; properly known as the Congregation of the Mission (CM); also called the Vincentians. Originally missionaries to rural districts and educators of the clergy, they now have foundations worldwide. Lazarites (Lazarists or Lazarians, or, in English-speaking countries, Vincentians) are the popul…

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Le Corbusier - Early life and education, 1887-1913

Architect and artist, born in La Chaux-de-Fonds, W Switzerland. He left school at age 13 to learn the trade of engraving watch faces. Encouraged by a local art teacher he taught himself architecture, travelling throughout Europe to observe architectural styles. Settling in Paris in 1917, he met Ozenfant, who introduced him to Purism, and with whom he collaborated in writing several articles under …

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Le Duc Tho - Paris Peace Accords

Vietnamese politician, born in Ninh Province, Vietnam. He joined the Communist Party of Indo-China (1929), was exiled by the French (1930–7), and re-arrested and imprisoned (1939–44). After World War 2, he worked for the Communist Party of Vietnam (CPV), entering its Politburo in 1955. For his actions as leader of the Vietnamese delegation to the Paris Conference on Indo-China (1968–73), he was…

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Le Havre - Main sights, Miscellaneous

49°30N 0°06E, pop (2000e) 205 000. Commercial seaport in Seine-Maritime department, NW France; on the English Channel, on N side of R Seine estuary, 176 km/109 mi NW of Paris; naval base under Napoleon I; Allied base in World War 1; largely rebuilt since heavy damage in World War 2; chief French port for transatlantic passenger liners; ferry service to UK; machinery, cars; trade in tropical …

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Le Mans - Sport

48°00N 0°10E, pop (2000e) 152 000. Commercial city and capital of Sarthe department, NW France; on R Sarthe, 187 km/116 mi SW of Paris; ancient capital of Maine; fortified by the Romans, 3rd–4th-c; railway junction; centre of commerce and agricultural trade; motor vehicles; cathedral (11th–15th-c), Notre-Dame-de-la-Coutore (11th-c); annual 24-hour motor race (Jun). Le Mans (pronounc…

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Le Nain - External links and sources

A family of French painters: three brothers, Antoine (c.1588–1648), Louis (c.1593–1648), and Mathieu (c.1607–77). All were born in Laon, but worked in Paris from c.1630, and all were foundation members of the Académie in 1648. Louis is considered the best, with his large genre-scenes and groups of peasants painted in beautiful greyish greens and browns. ‘The Forge’ (Louvre) may have been pai…

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lead

Pb (from Lat plumbum) element 82, a soft, dense (11·5 g/cm3) metal, melting point 328°C. Its main natural source is the sulphide (PbS). Its good corrosion resistance and easy workability led to its early use in plumbing and for containers for corrosive liquids. These uses had considerable toxic effects, as lead is slowly oxidized in the presence of air and water. It is used in quantity for the …

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lead poisoning - History, Symptoms and effects, Biological role, Occurrence, Measurement, Treatment, Famous cases of lead poisoning

A disorder of children acquired by swallowing or inhaling lead, which is present in the environment in paint, car exhaust fumes, and air and water contaminated with industrial waste. High levels of lead in the blood result in brain, liver, and kidney damage, and lead is deposited in the bones, affecting their growth. There is mounting evidence that even low levels of lead can impair childhood deve…

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leaf - Leaf anatomy, Leaf morphology, Leaf terminology, Adaptations

The main photosynthetic organ of green plants, divided into a blade (lamina) and a stalk (petiole). The lamina is usually broad and thin, to present maximum surface area to sunlight and allow easy diffusion of gases and water vapour to and from the leaf. It is composed of several distinct layers of tissues: the epidermis protects the inner tissues - the palisade layer, which is the primary site of…

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leaf beetle

A robust, often brightly coloured beetle; most are surface feeders on plant leaves; larvae grub-like, feeding on leaves, or are root and stem borers; species include the Colorado potato beetle. (Order: Coleoptera. Family: Chrysomelidae, c.35 000 species.) …

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leafcutter ant

A fungus-feeding ant; foraging workers cut leaves to provide the basic material for a fungus garden inside their soil nest; workers harvest fungus to feed larvae; mostly found in the New World tropics. (Order: Hymenoptera. Family: Formicidae, c.200 species.) Leafcutter ants are social insects found in warmer regions of Central and South America. …

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League of Nations - Symbols, Languages, Structure, Members, Mandates, Successes, General weaknesses, Specific failures, Demise and legacy, Bibliography

An international organization whose constitution was drafted at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, and incorporated into the peace treaties. The main aims were to preserve international peace and security by the prevention or speedy settlement of disputes and the promotion of disarmament through open diplomacy. It operated through a Council, which met several times a year, and an annual Assembly,…

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League of Nobles - Setting

In Dutch history (1565), a league of aristocrats, referred to as ‘the Compromise’ at first in the S Netherlands, but quickly gaining support from the N. They came together initially to protest against Philip II's ‘letters from Segovia’, the introduction of the Inquisition, and the ‘placards’ (plakkaten), ordering the persecution of heretics. Both Catholics and Protestants were worried by the…

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Leaning Tower - Other leaning towers

Marble belltower in Pisa, W Italy, 54 m/177 ft high, begun in 1173, completed in 1372. The ground beneath the tower began to sink after three storeys had been built, and the tower was 5·2 m/17 ft out of line in 1997. Closed to visitors in 1990, a programme of strengthening work stopped the process of tilting by 2000, and it was reopened in December 2001. …

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leap year - Gregorian calendar, Julian, Coptic and Ethiopian Calendars, Revised Julian Calendar, Chinese calendar

In the Gregorian calendar, a year of 366 days, with a day added to the month of February. Any year whose date is a number exactly divisible by four is a leap year, except years ending in 00, which must be divisible by 400 to be leap years. The extra day is added every 4 years to allow for the difference between a year of 365 days and the actual time it takes the Earth to circle the Sun (approximat…

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Lear - Surname

A legendary king of Britain, first recorded in Geoffrey of Monmouth, though his name resembles that of the Celtic god of the sea. The son of Bladud, he reigned for 60 years. In his old age two of his daughters, Goneril and Regan, conspired against him, but the third daughter, Cordelia, saved him and became queen after his death. (The story is changed by Shakespeare, so that she dies.) Leicester is…

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learning - Learning - Neuroscience, Basic learning processes, Learning methods, Learning which alternative methods exist

The acquisition of knowledge and/or behavioural tendencies as a result of specific experiences in an individual's life. It is distinguished from behavioural changes due to motivation (an individual's varying physiological state, needs, desires) or maturation (the growth and development of body structures and functions, such as the appearance of sexual responsiveness at puberty). Imprinting, habitu…

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leather - Forms of leather, Preservation and conditioning of leather, Working with leather, Main manufactures, Cordwain

Animal skin rendered durable and resistant to wear and degeneration by tanning. The skin is limed to remove hair, cleaned of flesh, and then soaked in solutions of extracts of bark, galls, or other vegetable products which contain tannins (tannic acids widely distributed in nature) or chrome salts. It is finished mechanically according to use. The properties of leather are due to its fibrous and p…

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Lebanese Civil War - Formation of militias, The PLO and regional conflict

(1975–1990) A war sparked by the killing of 27 Palestinians in a bus passing through a Christian neighbourhood in April 1975. Its roots lay in a distribution of government office by sectarian community which many believed gave Christians a disproportionate share of political power. In its first phase alone (1975–6) 30 000 died before an Arab peace-keeping force separated the combatants. The war…

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Lebanon - Etymology, Geography and climate, Administrative divisions, Demographics, Economy, Education, Culture, People, Politics, History, Recent events

Official name Republic of Lebanon, Arabic Al-Jumhouriya al-Lubnaniya Lebanon, officially the Lebanese Republic (Arabic: الجمهورية اللبنانية ), is a small, largely mountainous country in the Middle East, located at the eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea. Lebanon is bordered by Syria to the north and east, and Israel to the south. The flag of Lebanon features the Le…

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Lebanon (Connecticut) - Etymology, Geography and climate, Administrative divisions, Demographics, Economy, Education, Culture, People, Politics, History, Recent events

41º38N 72º13W, pop (2000e) 6900. Historic town in New London Co, EC Connecticut, USA; settled in late 1600s; town was incorporated in 1700 by uniting lands granted by the Connecticut Colony and areas purchased from the Pequot Indians; agricultural and farming region; Jonathan Trumbull House (1735–40); Jonathan Trumble (Jr) House Museum; Revolutionary War Office building; Dr William Beaumont Ho…

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Lebensraum

A slogan adopted by German nationalists (especially Nazis) in the 1920s and 1930s to justify the need for German territorial expansion into E Europe. They argued that Germany was overpopulated, and needed more agriculturally productive land to guarantee future food supplies for an expanded German population. The slogan Drang nach Osten (‘drive towards the East’) was used to convey the same messa…

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Leda (mythology)

In Greek mythology, the wife of Tyndareus, and mother, either by him or Zeus, of Castor and Pollux, Helen, and Clytemnestra. A frequent subject in art is Zeus courting Leda in the form of a swan; Helen was believed to have been hatched from an egg, preserved at Sparta into historic times. In Greek mythology, Leda was the daughter of the Aetolian king Thestius, and the wife of Tyndareus, the…

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Lee - Etymology, British geography, American geography, Fictional Characters, Music, Television and film, Science, Education, Other

42º19N 73º15W, pop (2000e) 6000. Rural town in Berkshire Co, W Massachusetts, USA; in the Housatonic R valley; first settled, 1760; incorporated, 1777; named for General Charles Lee; birthplace of Francis Ayer; paper mills active in 19th-c; famous for its marble quarries; Beartown State Forest to the S; Memorial Hall (1874); Romanesque Congregational church (1857); Founder's Weekend festival (O…

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Lee (Buck) Trevino - Results in major championships

Golfer, born in Dallas, Texas, USA. He won his first US Open in 1968, and in 1971 established a golfing record by winning three Open championships (US, Canadian, British) in the same year, retaining his British title the following year. In 1975, while playing in the Western Open, he had a remarkable escape from death when he was struck by lightning. In 1984, he won the PGA Championship at the age …

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Lee (O) Lawrie - Commissions related to Goodhue, Other Commissions, Photographs

Sculptor, born in Rixdorf, Germany. When very young he and his family emigrated to Chicago. He became an assistant to Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1894) and attended Yale (1910 BFA), where he later taught (1908–18). He was based in Easton, MD and became known for his many architectural sculptures, such as the bronze ‘Atlas’ at the International Building, Radio City, NY (c.1939). Lee Oscar Law…

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Lee De Forest - Early years, Marriages, Middle years, Later years, Quotes, Trivia

Electrical engineer and inventor, born in Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA. He studied theoretical mathematical physics and electricity at Yale (1899 PhD), and while working for Western Electric Co he made the first of his inventions. He started a radio broadcasting company (1902) and made the first broadcast of live opera, Enrico Caruso singing at the Metropolitan Opera (1910). Although he invented a nu…

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Lee Friedlander - Career

Photographer, born in Aberdeen, Washington, USA. An East Coast free-lance commercial photographer and teacher, he used snapshot style photographs to capture surrealistic qualities in everyday life in the 1960s and 1970s. Lee Friedlander (born July 14, 1934) is an influential American photographer and artist, born in Aberdeen, Washington. Friedlander studied photography at the Ar…

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Lee Harvey Oswald - Early life and Marine Corps service, Life in the Soviet Union, Dallas

Alleged killer of President John F Kennedy, born in New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. A Marxist and former US marine, he lived for a while in the USSR (1959–62). He was arrested some hours after Kennedy's assassination (22 November 1963) on a charge of murdering a police officer in another incident. The following day he was also charged with the murder of President Kennedy. Before he could come to tri…

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Lee Iacocca - Early life, Ford, Chrysler, Other work and activities, "Return" to Chrysler

Businessman, born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, USA. He worked for the Ford Motor Company (1946–78), at first in sales, rising to become president in 1970. In 1978 he joined Chrysler Corporation as president and chief executive officer when the company was in serious financial difficulties, and steered the company back to profitability. He published a best-selling autobiography (with William Kovak)…

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Lee Konitz

Saxophonist, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. A pupil of Lennie Tristano, he became part of the avant-garde school of ‘cool jazz’ during the 1950s, along with Stan Getz, Gerry Mulligan, and Jimmy Giuffre. In the latter part of the decade he produced a series of acclaimed albums, beginning with Inside Hi-Fi (1956), later recordings including Lone-Lee (1974) and Art of the Duo (1983). Lee Ko…

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Lee Kuan Yew - Family background, Early life, Early political career – 1951 to 1959

Singaporean statesman and prime minister (1959–90), born in Singapore City. He studied law at Cambridge and qualified as a barrister in London before returning to Singapore in 1951 to practise. He founded the moderate, anti-Communist People's Action Party in 1954, and entered the Singapore Legislative Assembly in 1955. He became the country's first prime minister in 1959, remained in power for 31…

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Lee Shubert

Producer and theatre manager, born in Shervient, Lithuania. He and his brothers Sam and Jacob Shubert broke the Theatrical Syndicate's monopoly in New York City to become the nation's biggest theatre owners and producers. Levi "Lee" Shubert (March 25, 1871 – December 25, 1953) was a Polish-born American theatre owner/operator and producer and a member of the Shubert family. Bo…

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Lee Strasberg - Career, Personal life

Actor, director, and teacher, born in Budanov, W Ukraine (formerly Budzanow, Austria). He emigrated to the USA in 1909, and gained a reputation with the Theater Guild of New York. In 1931 he was involved in the formation of the Group Theater, with which he worked as a teacher, evolving a technique (influenced by Stanislavsky) which became known everywhere as ‘method acting’. He exercised great i…

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Lee Teng-hui - Early life and education, Rise to power, Presidency, Taiwan localization movement, Lee's positions

Taiwanese politician and president (1988–2000), born in Tamsui, N Taiwan. He studied at universities in the USA and Japan, taught economics at the National Taiwan University, and became Mayor of Taipei in 1979. A member of the ruling Kuomintang party, and a protégé of Jiang Jingguo, he became vice-president of Taiwan in 1984, and state president and Kuomintang leader on Jiang's death in 1988. H…

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leech

A specialized ringed worm related to the earthworms; body highly contractile, usually with a sucker at each end; many are blood-feeders on vertebrate hosts, others are predators of invertebrates; found in aquatic and damp terrestrial habitats. One species was used in early medicine for ‘bleeding’ patients suffering from various illnesses. (Phylum: Annelida. Subclass: Hirudinea.) …

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Leeds - History, Industry and economy, Development, Areas of the City, Tourism, Culture, People from Leeds

53°50N 1°35W, urban area pop (2001e) 715 400. City in West Yorkshire, N England, UK; on the R Aire, 315 km/196 mi NW of London; ford across the R Aire in Roman times; in the 18th-c became an important centre of cloth manufacture; birthplace of Lord Darnley (Temple Newsam); incorporated by Charles I in 1626; canals link to Liverpool, Goole; railway (important early freight and passenger centr…

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leek

A perennial with strap-shaped, sheathing leaves in two rows, and white flowers sometimes mixed with bulbils. Its origin is unknown, but it is probably derived from the wild leek of Europe (Allium ampeloprasum), and is now cultivated as a vegetable (Allium porrum). (Family: Liliaceae.) The leek (Allium ampeloprasum var. The leek is also sometimes classified as Allium porrum (L.) …

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Leeuwarden - The city of Leeuwarden, Transport

53°12N 5°48E, pop (2000e) 90 000. Capital city of Friesland province, N Netherlands, on the R Ee; railway; canal junction; economic and cultural capital of Friesland; major cattle market; dairy products, flour milling, glass, tourism; former centre for gold and silverware; Grote Kerk (13th–16th-c), Frisian museum. Coordinates: 53.20°?N 5.79°?E Leeuwarden (pronunciation (h…

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Leeward Islands (Caribbean) - List of the Leeward Islands, British colonial entity

Island group of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean Sea, N of the Windward Is; from the Virgin Is (N) to Dominica (S); sheltered from the NE prevailing winds; the name was formerly used by the Spanish to include the Greater Antilles; also formerly the name of a British colony comprising Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, British Virgin Is, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis. The division between t…

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Leeward Islands (French Polynesia) - List of the Leeward Islands, British colonial entity

pop (2000e) 29 200; area 507 km²/196 sq mi. Island group of the Society Is, French Polynesia; comprises the volcanic islands of Huahine, Raiatea, Tahaa, Bora-Bora, and Maupiti, with four small uninhabited atolls; chief town, Uturoa (Raiatea); copra, vanilla, pearls. The division between the Windward and Leeward Islands is different in English than it is in some other languages, notabl…

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leg - The human leg

A term commonly used to refer to the whole of the lower limb, primarily used for support and movement; more precisely, in anatomy, the region between the knee and ankle joints, distinguished from the thigh (between the hip and knee joints) and the foot (beyond the ankle joint). It articulates with the trunk via the pelvic girdle (the hip bones and sacrum). The bones are the femur in the thigh, the…

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Lega Nord

A political association headed by Umberto Bossi, and comprising the regional movements that had emerged in N Italy during the 1970s, such as Lega Lombarda (Lombard League) and Liga Veneta (Venetian League). It was born from general dissatisfaction with the central government's inefficiency and corruption, and advocated a federalist solution. It formed an alliance with Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Ita…

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Legacy

In Australia, an organization (called at first the Remembrance Club) founded in 1922 by Major-General Sir John Gellibrand. It cares for the families of servicemen who have died as a result of war. In the computing industry: Legacy may also be: …

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Legal Aid - Legal aid in the U.S., Legal aid in Scotland, Legal aid in Australia

A statutary scheme in the UK which provides for the payment out of public funds of legal costs to those with limited financial means for advice; assistance and mediation in family matters from solicitors and, if necessary, barristers or advocates; and the costs of litigation including appeals, with representation at civil and criminal trials and at certain tribunals. Civil legal aid is administere…

1 minute read

legal tender - Legal tender in Australia, Legal tender in Canada, Legal tender in the Eurozone

Forms of money that a creditor is bound to accept in settlement of a debt. Some money, such as coin or small denomination notes, may be legal tender only for amounts up to a limit. Other money, such as large denomination notes, is not legal tender for smaller amounts, as nobody is legally required to give change. The point of having a definition of legal tender is to avoid uncertainty as to when a…

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legend - Examples, Related concepts, Some famous legends

A vague term, either referring to stories of ancient heroes, saints, or ordinary men and women which have been handed down by oral or written tradition; or simply to fairy stories. It is usually, but not always, distinguished from myth, which deals with gods; and opposed to history, which is subject to critical judgment. Nevertheless, because ancient peoples were not given to fiction, in the moder…

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legislature - List of titles of legislatures

The institution recognized as having the power to pass laws. In the UK the legislature is the Monarch-in-Parliament, comprising the monarch, the House of Lords, and the House of Commons. The role of the monarch in this respect is now purely formal. In the USA, the President has a qualified and limited power of veto over bills from Congress which is comprised of the House of Representatives and the…

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legitimacy

The legal status of a child at birth. A child is legitimate if born when its parents are validly married to each other, and the child is the biological issue of the couple, though most jurisdictions presume legitimacy where the child is born to a married woman living with her husband who is not impotent. A person born illegitimate may be legitimized by the subsequent marriage of his or her parents…

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legume

A dry, 1–many-seeded fruit of the pea family (Leguminosae). When ripe it splits into two valves, each bearing alternate seeds. The splitting may be explosive, or the valves may twist to help scatter the seeds. Many kinds are eaten as vegetables. The term legume has two closely related meanings in botany, a situation encountered with many botanical common names of useful plants, whereby an …

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Leicester - General information, History, Coat of Arms, Politics, Education, Arts, Sport, Areas, Places of Interest and Landmarks

52°38N 1°05W, pop (2001e) 279 900. City and county town of Leicestershire, C England, UK; unitary authority from 1997; 160 km/100 mi N of London; an important royal residence in mediaeval times; charter granted by Elizabeth I (1589); university (1957); De Montfort University (1992, formerly Leicester Polytechnic); railway; hosiery, knitwear, footwear, engineering; many Roman remains; 14th-c …

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Leicestershire

pop (2001e) 609 600; area 2553 km²/986 sq mi. County of C England, UK; Leicester and Rutland new unitary authorities from 1997; drained by the R Soar; administrative centre, Leicester; chief towns include Market Harborough, Loughborough; agriculture, livestock, cheese (Stilton), coal mining, limestone, engineering, hosiery, footwear; Charnwood Forest, Vale of Belvoir. Leicestershire (…

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Leinster - Cities, Large Towns, Leinster: the Name and Early History, Borders of Leinster

pop (2000e) 1 884 000; area 19 633 km²/7578 sq mi. Province in E Ireland; comprises the counties of Louth, Meath, Westmeath, Longford, Offaly, Kildare, Dublin, Laoighis, Wicklow, Carlow, Kilkenny, and Wexford; capital, Dublin. In ancient times Leinster was occupied by five major Fir-Bolg tribes, of which the tribe of Laigin rose to dominance and gave Leinster its name. The tribes of…

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Leipzig - History, Education, Economy, Main sights, Transportation, Quotations, Sister cities, Notable residents

51°20N 12°23E, pop (2000e) 528 000. Capital of Leipzig county, E Germany; second largest city of former East Germany; airport; railway; Karl Marx University (1409); college of technology; commercial centre, mechanical engineering, machine tools, furs, printing and publishing; St Thomas's Church, museum of fine art, Battle of the Nations monument, Renaissance town hall, Lenin Memorial, Dimitrov…

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leishmaniasis - Geography and epidemiology, Life cycle, Signs and symptoms, Treatment, Leishmaniosis as part of the CVBDs

A group of conditions caused by the protozoan Leishmania, conveyed by sandflies, occurring on the Mediterranean shores, Africa, and S Asia; also known as kala-azar. The skin form of the disease occurs as pimples (papules) at the site of the bite, which enlarge and ulcerate. The visceral form is a generalized febrile disease affecting the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes. Leishmaniasis is a di…

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leitmotif - Usage in classical music, Movies and television, Popular music, Literature, Drama

A short musical motif associated with a character, object, or attribute, which returns at appropriate places in an opera or oratorio. The use of the device is particularly associated with Wagner. The word is usually used when talking about dramatic works, especially operas, although leitmotifs are also used in other musical genres, such as instrumental pieces, cinema, and video game m…

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Leland Olds

Economist and public official, born in Rochester, New York, USA. He was an industrial editor for the Federated Press news service (1922–9), became Head of the New York State Power Authority (1931–9) and the Federal Power Commission (1939–49), and drafted utility regulations. Poised to reduce natural gas prices, he was denied reappointment by pro-oil senators who cited his ‘leftist’ writings o…

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Lelio Basso - Early life, In the Resistance and the early Italian Republic, PSI-PSIUP split, As lawyer

Italian politician, born in Varazze, Liguria, NW Italy. He opposed the Fascists and became secretary of the PSI (Italian Socialist Party) in 1948–9, switching to the more radical PSIUP (Italian Socialist Party of Proletarian Unity) in 1964. A deputy of the Italian parliament from 1946, he headed the Russell tribunal against repression in Latin America in 1973 and established the ‘Basso Foundatio…

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lemming - Population fluctuations, Classification, Popular culture

A mouse-like rodent of the tribe: Lemmini (9 species); large powerful head, long fur, short tail; prone to large fluctuations in numbers. The Norway lemming (Lemmus lemmus) undergoes a population ‘explosion’ every 3–4 years. When this happens there is a mass migration, thought to be a response to overcrowding (not food shortage). The direction of migration appears random, and sometimes groups r…

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Lemnos - Mythic Lemnos, Historical Lemnos, Modern Lemnos, Municipalities, Communities, Reference

pop (2000e) 17 000; area 476 km²/184 sq mi. Greek island in the N Aegean Sea, off the NW coast of Turkey; length 40 km/25 mi; rises to 430 m/1411 ft; airfield; capital, Kastron; several Neolithic remains. Lemnos (mod. In ancient times the island was sacred to Hephaestus, who— as he tells himself in Iliad I.590ff— fell on Lemnos when his father Zeus hurled him headl…

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lemon - Lemon battery, Lemon Alternatives, Gallery

A citrus fruit (Citrus limoni) 6–12·5 cm/2½–4¾ in diameter; ovoid, with thick, bright yellow rind and sour pulp. (Family: Rutaceae.) Both lemons and limes are regularly served as lemonade or limeade, its equivalent, or as a garnish for drinks such as iced tea or a soft drink, with a slice either inside or on the rim of the glass. A common school experiment involving…

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lemon sole

Common European flatfish (Microstomus kitt) found in shelf waters from N Norway to the Bay of Biscay; body oval, length up to 65 cm/26 in; mouth small; brown with a mosaic of yellow and green patches; feeds mainly on polychaetes; valuable food fish taken by trawl and nets (seines). (Family: Pleuronectidae.) …

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lemon verbena

A deciduous shrub native to Chile (Lippia citriodora); lemon-scented foliage; heads of small, 2-lipped, purplish flowers. (Family: Verbenaceae.) …

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Lemony Snicket

Writer, born in San Francisco, California, USA. He became well known for his series of novels for children entitled A Series of Unfortunate Events, featuring the Baudelaire siblings, Violet, Klaus and Sunny. Books in the series include The Bad Beginning (1999), The Vile Village (2001), The Slippery Slope (2003), The Grim Grotto (2004), The Penultimate Peril (2005), and The End (2006). A film, Lemo…

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Lemuel Shaw

Judge, born in Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA. The son of a Congregational minister, he was educated at home and worked as a journalist while he read law. Admitted to the bar in 1804, he established a lucrative practice in Boston. As chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court (1830–60), his rulings on railroad, utility, and other commercial cases had a major impact on the development of the…

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lemur

A primitive primate from Madagascar; large eyes and pointed snout; most species with long tail; 27 species in three families: lemur (Lemuridae), mouse (or dwarf) lemur (Cheirogaleidae), and leaping lemur (Indriidae). Lemurs are members of a class of primates known as prosimians and make up the infraorder Lemuriformes. The two flying lemur species are not lemurs, nor are they even primates. …

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Len Deighton - Selected bibliography

Thriller writer, born in London, UK. He became, variously, an art student, a railway platemaker, and an air-steward. His first novel, The Ipcress File (1962), was written when he was 33, and became a best seller, as have almost all his books. A leading author of spy novels, notable titles are Funeral in Berlin (1964), Only When I Larf (1968) and the trilogy Berlin Game (1984), Mexico Set (1985), a…

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Len Hutton

Cricketer, born in Fulneck, West Yorkshire, N England, UK. He was the inspiration of England after World War 2, and skipper of the team which regained the Ashes in 1953 after 19 years of Australian domination. England's first professional captain, he never captained his county, Yorkshire. Playing for England against Australia at the Oval in 1938, he scored a world record 364 runs. Between 1937 and…

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Lena Horne - Early career, Changes of direction, Tributes and re-releases, Personal life, Albums

Singer and actress, born in Brooklyn, New York, USA. Raised by her actress mother, by the age of 16 she was dancing at Harlem's Cotton Club, becoming a popular singer with bands such as those of Noble Sissle and Teddy Wilson. She performed in the musical Blackbirds of 1939, and went into film, becoming the first African-American to be signed to a long-term contract (although her scenes were someti…

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Lena Levine - Life, Views

Psychiatrist and gynaecologist, born in New York City, New York, USA. An early advocate in the 1920s and 1930s of family planning, she promoted sex education, egalitarian marriages, and contraception. A Freudian from the early 1940s, she counselled women in New York City and wrote widely on such subjects as menopause, frigidity, and sexual relations in marriage. Lena ("Lee") Levine (May 17,…

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lender of last resort - Origin, Purpose, Retail lending, Criticisms

An institution, usually a central bank, willing and able to lend to banks unable to borrow money elsewhere to meet their liabilities. The point of having a lender of last resort is to avoid financial collapse during a general financial panic, in which everybody tries to hold cash and refuses to lend. If any bank is in financial trouble, the lender of last resort has to decide whether or not to res…

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Leni Riefenstahl - Biography, World War II, After World War II, Death, Works, Bibliographies

Film-maker, born in Berlin, Germany. After acting in several films she formed her own company, and made Triumph des Willens (1935, Triumph of the Will), a compelling record of a Nazi rally at Nuremberg. It vividly illustrated Hitler's charismatic appeal, but tainted her career, prompting criticism that she had glorified the event. Olympiad (1938), her epic two-part documentary of the 1936 Berlin O…

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Lennart Nilsson - Biography, Awards and honors, Works

Photographer, born in Strängnäs, E Sweden. He worked as a freelance press photographer, and gained respect for several portraits such as Sweden in Profiles (1954), but went on to pioneer microfilm showing the anatomy of plants and animals. He is best known for his microbiological and medical photography, notably combining the techniques of endoscopy and photography to film inside the human body,…

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Lennie Tristano

Jazz musician, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Blind from childhood, he was a conservatory-trained pianist, leader of his own small groups in New York from 1946, and a strong influence on Bill Evans. As a music teacher and theorist, he developed a small but distinguished following among musicians. Leonard Joseph Tristano (1919 - 1978) was a jazz pianist and composer. He remains a somewhat o…

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Lennox Lewis - Biography, Life outside the ring

Heavyweight boxer, born in Stratford, London, UK. He moved to Canada with his mother in 1977 and won the super-heavyweight gold for Canada in the 1988 Olympic Games. He then returned to the UK, beginning his professional career in 1989. Awarded the World Boxing Council (WBC) heavyweight title in 1993, he lost it in 1994 to Oliver McCall, but regained the title from McCall in 1997. In 1999 he drew …

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Lenny Bruce - Career, Legal troubles, Last years, Death, Posthumous credits and legacy, Books by or about Bruce, Trivia

Comedian, born in Mineola, New York, USA. He joined the navy at age 16 and served during World War 2 until 1946. He held various jobs while studying acting in New York. An appearance on the Arthur Godfrey television show brought him national attention. A stand-up nightclub entertainer, his scatalogical language and outrageous, sardonic humour was alternately called obscene or ‘radically relevant

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Lenny Henry - Early life, Recent work, Personal life, Biography, Filmography

Comedian and actor, born in Dudley, West Midlands, C England, UK. He won the New Faces Talent Show in 1975, joined the children's television show Tiswas, was one of Three of a Kind (1981–3), and went on to star in his own BBC television comedy series the Lenny Henry Show (1984–95) and Chef (3 series, from 1992). He also hosts the annual BBC Comic Relief telethon. He appeared in the film True Ide…

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Lenore Tawney

Weaver, born in Lorain, Ohio, USA. After studying sculpture, she began weaving in 1948, and left Chicago for New York (1957). Her 1950s work influenced by abstract expressionism gave way to figurative pieces with religious themes, then to sculptural shapes in the 1960s, and then again in the 1970s to the exploration of new materials such as paper and feathers, and assemblage techniques. Her weavin…

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lens

A transparent optical element comprising two refracting surfaces, at least one of which is curved; parallel light rays passing through the lens may converge (and focus at a point) or diverge, depending on the lens shape. Lenses are characterized by their focal length (the distance at which the image of a distant object is most sharply defined) and their aperture or f-number (the light transmission…

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Lent - Origin, Customs during Lent, Holy Days, Reference

In the Christian Church, the weeks before Easter, observed as a period of prayer, penance, and abstinence in commemoration of Christ's 40-day fast in the wilderness (Matt 4.2); in the Western Churches, Lent begins on Ash Wednesday, 40 days before Easter; in the Eastern Churches, it begins eight weeks before Easter, but excludes Saturdays and Sundays. In Western Christianity, Lent is the per…

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lentil

An annual growing to c.40 cm/15 in (Lens culinaris); leaves pinnate with 3–8 pairs of oblong leaflets, and terminating in a tendril; pea-flowers white, veined with lilac, borne 1–3 on a long stalk; pods rectangular with 1–2 disc-shaped seeds. It is of unknown origin, but has been cultivated since ancient times as a food plant. Its seeds (lentils) are rich in protein. (Family: Leguminosae.) …

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lentivirus - Genome Organization and Replication, Physicochemical and Physical Properties

A virus which resembles other members of the retrovirus family, Retroviridae, both chemically and morphologically, but does not induce tumour formation. Many lentiviruses have been linked to the causation of chronic diseases, such as arthritis, progressive pneumonia, and slow neurological diseases. Lentivirus (lenti-, Latin for "slow") is a genus of slow viruses of the Retroviridae family, …

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Lenz's law - Definition, Explanation

A law in physics: in electromagnetic induction, any induced current always flows in a direction so as to oppose its source; formulated in 1833 by German physicist Heinrich Lenz (1804–65). Were this not so, perpetual motion machines could be built. The law is responsible for speed self-regulation in electric motors. Lenz's law (pronounced (IPA) [ˈlɛntsəz lɔ]) was formulated by German ph…

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Leo (Daniel) Stein - Biography, Publications

Art collector and critic, born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA. The brother of Gertrude Stein, he studied at Harvard (1892–4) and Johns Hopkins (1897), and then moved to Paris (1902). Gertrude lived with him (from 1903), and they began collecting paintings by such contemporary artists as Cézanne, Matisse, and Picasso. By 1912 they parted company and he returned to America to work as a journalist…

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Leo (Ernest) Durocher

Baseball player and manager, born in West Springfield, Massachusetts, USA. As a major league shortstop for 17 seasons (1925–45), he played in two World Series and was an integral member of the St Louis Cardinals' ‘Gas House’ teams of the 1930s. During his 24-year career as a manager (1939–73), he managed the Brooklyn Dodgers, New York Giants, Chicago Cubs, and Houston Astros. (He was forced to…

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Leo (Hendrik) Baekeland - The invention of Bakelite, Later life, Decline and death, Name

Chemist and inventor, born near Ghent, Belgium. Apprenticed to a shoemaker at age 13, he disliked the trade, left, and obtained a place to study science at the University of Ghent. He taught chemistry at Ghent and Bruges before emigrating to the USA (1890), where he pursued research in synthetic resins and plastics. He invented Velox paper for photographic prints, founded a firm that manufactured …

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Leo Africanus

Traveller and geographer, born in Granada, S Spain. He studied at Fés in Morocco, and travelled in N Africa and Asia Minor on commercial and diplomatic missions. Falling into the hands of Venetian corsairs, he was sent to Pope Leo X in Rome, where he lived for 20 years, and accepted Christianity, but later returned to Africa. He wrote Descrittione dell'Africa (1550, trans A Geographical Historie …

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Leo Baeck

Jewish religious leader, born in Lissa, Prussia (now Leszno, Poland). He was rabbi (1912–42) in Berlin, and was the political leader of German Jewry when the Nazis came to power. He was imprisoned in the Theresienstadt concentration camp (1942–5), and after the war became a lecturer in Britain. Rabbi Leo Baeck (May 23, 1873 – November 2, 1956) was an outstanding 20th century German-Jewi…

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Leo Burnett - Biography

Advertising executive, born in St Johns, Michigan, USA. After working on the creative side of midwestern advertising agencies, he founded and chaired his own Chicago agency, Leo Burnett Co, Inc (1935–67), which became the fifth largest in the world. His books include Communications of an Advertising Man (1961). This is a biographical article about Leo Burnett. For information on the compan…

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Leo Castelli

Art dealer, born in Trieste, Italy. He adopted his mother's maiden name of Castelli in 1919, graduated from the University of Milan, emigrated to New York City, and studied at Columbia University (1941–3). From 1957 he was the owner and director of the Leo Castelli Gallery and Castelli Graphics. He specialized in avant-garde American paintings, sculptures, and graphics, and was an important force…

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Leo Esaki - List of books available in English

Physicist, born in Osaka, C Japan. He studied physics at Tokyo, and in 1957, working for the Sony Corporation, developed the Esaki diode (or tunnel diode), a semiconductor device with widespread uses in electronic computers and microwave systems. In 1960 he moved to the IBM Research Center in New York City where he pioneered quantum well devices and superlattices. He shared the Nobel Prize for Phy…

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Leo Ornstein

Composer, born in Kremenchug, C Ukraine. A child prodigy at the piano, his parents settled in the USA in 1906, and he made his US debut at 16. In the years following 1915, he composed much music that placed him among the avant garde, and he has had considerable influence upon younger American composers, with renewed interest in his work in the 1970s. His later works, which include a symphony and v…

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Leo Robin - Work on Broadway

Lyricist, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. He studied drama in college and was a reporter before writing lyrics for the Broadway musical, Hit the Deck (1927). In 1928 he moved to Hollywood where for three decades he wrote songs for over 100 films with such composers as Jerome Kern and Harold Arlen. With Jule Styne he collaborated on the musical Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1949) and the televis…

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Leo Sowerby - Selected works

Composer and organist, born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA He studied in Chicago and Rome, and became a teacher at the American Conservatory of Music in Chicago. His music, which includes a wide range of symphonies, concertos, and choral works, employs a traditional European style in works often evocative of American scenes, such as Prairie (1929), an orchestral tone poem. Leo Sowerby (May …

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Leo Steinberg

Art historian, born in Moscow, Russia. He studied at the Slade School, London (1940), and emigrated to New York City to study at New York University (1960 PhD). He taught at Hunter College (1961–75) and the University of Pennsylvania (1975). A noted critic as well as scholar, he specialized in Renaissance, Baroque, and contemporary art. Leo Steinberg (born 1920) is an American art historia…

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Leo Strauss - Biography, Philosophy, Strauss on reading, Strauss on politics, Strauss in the Public View

Political scientist, born in Kirchhain (Hesse), Germany. Educated in Germany, he emigrated to the USA in 1938. He taught at the New School for Social Research until 1949, then at the University of Chicago (1949–67). Known for his fierce allegiance to the study of classical political philosophy, he shunned the new behavioural and quantitative approaches to political science. Leo Strauss (Se…

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Leo X

Pope (1513–21), born in Florence, NC Italy. It is as a patron of learning and art that he is best remembered. He founded a Greek college in Rome and established a Greek press. His vast project for the rebuilding of St Peter's, and his permitting the preaching of an indulgence in order to raise funds, provoked Luther's Reformation. There were many Medici known as Giovanni de' Medici: …

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Leominster - History

42º32N 71º46W, pop (2000e) 41 300. City in Worcester Co, C Massachusetts, USA; 29 km/18 mi NNE of Worcester; incorporated, 1740; gained city status, 1915; plastics industry developed during the 20th-c and town became known as ‘Plastic City’; birthplace of John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed) and Harold Black; railway; furniture, plastics, paper; Plastics Museum. For the city of Leominste…

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Leon (Albert) Golub - Selected Public Collections, Selected Private Foundations, Selected Private Collections

Painter, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He was a cartographer with the US army in Europe during World War 2, learning much about the reality of war and persecution, themes which constantly pervaded his later work. He studied at the Chicago Art Institute (1949–50), and became a painter of mythological subjects, rejecting the abstract painting of the era. Much of his work revolves around human vio…

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Leon (Howard) Sullivan

Civil-rights activist and Baptist minister, born in Charleston, West Virginia, USA. Ordained in 1939 while still in high school, and encouraged by Adam Clayton Powell Jr, he studied at the Union Theological Seminary (1943–5) and then Columbia University (Master's in Religion 1947). He joined the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem and supported the ‘Don't buy where you can't work’ boycott. As p…

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Leon (Marcus) Uris - Life, Trivia, Selected titles

Writer, born in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. He studied at local public schools, delivered newspapers by truck for the San Francisco Call-Bulletin, and served in the Marine Corps (1942–5). Eventually settling in Aspen, CO, he wrote popular best-sellers such as Exodus (1957) and Mila 18 (1961), and also many screenplays including Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (1957). Among his later novels were QB VII …

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Le - Places, People

21°06N 101°41W, pop (2000e) 1 050 000. City in Guanajuato state, SC Mexico; 200 km/124 mi N of Morelia; altitude, 1804 m/5919 ft; railway; commercial centre, shoes, leather work, including decorated saddles. Leon or Léon or León may refer to: Leon is a name in several Germanic languages meaning "thunder," and is used as both a given name and a surname. 590-560 BC Leon…

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Le - Places, People

42°38N 5°34W, pop (2000e) 146 000. Capital of León province, Castilla-León, NW Spain; at the junction of the Torio and Bernesga Rivers, 333 km/207 mi NW of Madrid; bishopric; capital of a mediaeval kingdom; railway; anthracite, glass, leather, iron, timber; cathedral (13th–14th-c), town walls, San Isidore, Monastery of St Mark; Fiestas of St John and St Peter (Jun), Foro and Oferta pagean…

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Leon Czolgosz - Early life, Anarchy and Emma Goldman, September 1901, Miscellany

Assassin, born in Detroit, Michigan, USA. The fourth child of Polish immigrants, he worked in a wire mill and attended socialist meetings. Following a mental breakdown in 1898, he shot President William McKinley in Buffalo, New York (1901) and was electrocuted that same year. Leon Frank Czołgosz (1873 – October 29, 1901) was the assassin of U.S. President William McKinley. On…

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Leon de Winter - Early life, Writing career, Criticism

Novelist, born in Den Bosch, S Netherlands. He made his debut in 1976 with Over de leegte in de wereld (About the World's Emptiness). His early work is related to the Revisor prose in that it deals with the problematic relation between human thought and language on the one hand, and reality on the other. With the novel Kaplan (1986) he left this postmodernist dilemma behind and turned to a traditi…

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Leon Festinger - Cognitive dissonance from disconfirmed expectancies

Psychologist, born in New York City, USA. He studied at the State University of Iowa, then taught at several universities, moving in 1968 to the New School for Social Research in New York City. His work centred on the introduction and development of the concept of ‘cognitive dissonance’. According to the theory, people are unable to tolerate conflicting cognitions (beliefs, thoughts, perceptions…

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Leon Jaworski

Lawyer, born in Waco, Texas, USA. A child of Polish and Austrian immigrants, he became the youngest person ever admitted to the Texas bar (1925), and in 1931 he joined the Houston firm that became Fulbright & Jaworski. During and after World War 2, he was chief of the war crimes trial section of the Judge Advocate General's Corps, and prosecuted Nazi war criminals. He headed many organizations, in…

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Leon Kirchner

Composer, born in New York City, New York, USA. A student of Roger Sessions and Schoenberg among others, he taught at Harvard from 1961. His music is Modernist in a German vein but nonetheless personal and intensely expressive. …

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Leon Spinks - Amateur Career, Trivia

Boxer, born in St Louis, Missouri, USA. He won a gold medal in the light heavyweight division at the 1976 Olympic Games, and went on to briefly hold the world heavyweight title in a split decision over Muhammad Ali in 1978. His brother Michael Spinks (1956– ) also won the heavyweight title (1983), making them the only brothers to hold world boxing titles. Leon's son, Cory Spinks (1978– ), became…

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Leon Trotsky - Before the 1917 Revolution, After the Russian Revolution, Last exile (1929-1940)

Russian Jewish revolutionary, born in Yanovka, S Ukraine. He studied at Odessa, and in 1898 was arrested as a Marxist and exiled to Siberia. He escaped in 1902, joined Lenin in London, and in the abortive 1905 revolution was president of the St Petersburg Soviet. He then worked as a revolutionary journalist in the West, returning to Russia in 1917, when he joined the Bolsheviks and played a major …

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Leona (Mindy) Helmsley - Early life, Business success and controversy, 1980s, Film adaptations

Business executive, born in New York City, New York, USA. Herself a real-estate executive, she married real-estate tycoon Harry Helmsley (1972), who owned hotels, apartment buildings, and commercial properties. She became president of Helmsley Hotels (1980) and appeared as the ‘Queen’ in high-profile, high-ego advertising campaigns. She was convicted of tax evasion, received a four-year sentence…

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Leonard (Alfred George) Strong - Career, Publications: verse, Publications: fiction, Publications: belles lettres

Novelist and poet, born in Plymouth, Devon, SW England, UK. He studied at Oxford, and took up school teaching until he established a reputation as a lyric poet with Dublin Days (1921), The Lowery Road (1923), and other volumes. He also wrote novels, including Dewer Rides (1929), a macabre novel set in Dartmoor, and Deliverance (1955). His collection of short stories, Travellers (1945), won the Jam…

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Leonard (Augustus) Jones

Legal scholar, born in Templeton, Massachusetts, USA. A prolific writer, his many works remain standard texts of law, respected for their clarity and continued pertinence. He practised law privately and served as a judge on the Massachusetts Land Court (1898–1909). Jones was elected to Moncton City Council in 1957, and was voted mayor in 1963. He is best remembered for his opposition to th…

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Leonard (Eugene) Dickson - Life, Work, The algebraist, The number theorist

Mathematician, born in Independence, Iowa, USA. He studied at the University of Texas, and taught at Chicago for most of his life. He did important work in group theory, finite fields, and linear associative algebras, and his encyclopedic History of the Theory of Numbers (1919–23) is the definitive work on the subject. Leonard Eugene Dickson (22 January 1874, Independence, Iowa – 17 Janu…

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Leonard (Sidney) Woolf - Works, Autobiographical Works, Biographical Works on Woolf

Publisher and writer, born in London, UK. He studied at Cambridge, then worked in the Ceylon Civil Service (1904–11). With his wife, Virginia Woolf, he founded the Hogarth Press (1917), and they became the centre of the Bloomsbury Group. His works include Socialism and Co-operation (1921), After the Deluge (1931, 1939), and Principia Politica (1953). His major work was a five-volume autobiography…

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Leonard Bacon

Protestant clergyman, born in Detroit, Michigan, USA. The son of a missionary, he studied at Yale (1820), then spent three years at Andover Theological Seminary and was ordained in 1824. He had planned to return to the W frontier as a missionary, but the First Church of New Haven offered him the position of minister, which he accepted, and remained there for 41 years. An opponent of slavery, in 18…

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Leonard Baskin - History and accomplishments, Awards, Trivia

Graphic artist and sculptor, born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA. He studied at New York University and Yale, and later in France and Italy. His sculptures, begun in the 1950s, show his dedication to social humanism, as seen in the wood, bronze, and stone series ‘Dead Men’, ‘Birdmen’, and ‘Oppressed Men’. His etchings, woodblocks, and graphics exhibit his elegiac and technically sophistic…

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Leonard Bernstein - Biography, Awards and recognitions, Principal works with first performance dates, Quotes

Conductor and composer, born in Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA. He played piano from childhood, and studied at Harvard and the Curtis Institute of Music, Philadelphia. As a Tanglewood conducting student (1940–1), he became a protégé of Koussevitsky. He was named assistant conductor of the New York Philharmonic and in 1943 made a sensation stepping in at the last minute for the indisposed Bruno Wa…

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Leonard Bloomfield

Linguist, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He studied at Harvard, Wisconsin, and Chicago universities. After holding several university posts, he was appointed professor of German and linguistics at Ohio State University (1921), becoming professor of Germanic philology at Chicago University in 1927, and professor of linguistics at Yale in 1940. He played a major part in making linguistics an indepe…

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Leonard Calvert

Colonial governor, born in England, UK. The son of George Calvert, the first Lord Baltimore, he arrived in Maryland with the first colonists in 1634 and served as its first governor (1637–47). Leonard Calvert (1606 - 1647) was the younger son of George Calvert, 1st Baron Baltimore. On the female line, he had some blood of Plantagenet Kings of England (Plantagenet - Mortimer - Wroth -…

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Leonard Chess

Recording executive, born in Poland. The founder of Chess Records, he was raised in Chicago, where his immigrant family settled in 1928. In 1939 he and his brother Phil Chess opened the Macombo Lounge, a nightclub catering for African-American patrons on Chicago's South Side. In 1946, the brothers formed Aristocrat Records and recorded several local blues artists, notably Muddy Waters. In 1950 Ari…

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Leonard Cohen - Biography, Themes, Titles and honours, Works

Poet, novelist, songwriter, and singer, born in Montreal, Quebec, SE Canada. He published his first book of poetry Let us Compare Mythologies (1956), soon after graduating from McGill University. A highly popular poet and songwriter, he is also the author of several novels, notably Beautiful Losers (1966). The first of his many song albums was Songs of Leonard Cohen (1967). In 1983 he completed an…

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Leonard Digges

English applied mathematician. He became known for his valuable work in surveying, navigation, and ballistics, and is credited with inventing the theodolite and pioneering the construction of the telescope. He was probably self-educated, but his books on surveying and navigation went through many editions in the 16th-c. He took part in Thomas Wyatt's rebellion in 1554, was condemned to death, but …

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Leonard Nimoy - Life, Career, Filmography, Discography

Actor, director, producer, and writer, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He studied at Boston College, moved to Los Angeles and joined a theatre group. His film work began in 1951, with Queen for a Day, but he eventually came to be identified in the public mind with the half-Vulcan/half-human character of Spock in the Star Trek series (1966–9). When the series was reprised as feature films (197…

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Leonard Peltier - Early life, Murder conviction, Shootout at Jumping Bull Ranch, Post-trial debate and developments

Ojibwa-Lakota activist, born in Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA. Growing up poor, he was moved to action by the abuse and suffering of his people. He participated in the Trail of Broken Treaties (1972) as a member of the American Indian Movement. He was arrested (1976) and convicted (1977) and sentenced to two life terms in prison for the murder of two FBI agents in a shoot-out near Pine Ridge, SD.…

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Leonard Rose - Awards and Recognitions

Cellist, born in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. After studies at the Curtis Institute of Music, he played in the NBC Symphony under Arturo Toscanini (1938–9) and was first cellist in the Cleveland Orchestra (1939–43) and New York Philharmonic (1943–51) before becoming an outstanding solo recitalist, teacher, and member of the Istomin-Stern-Rose trio. He taught at Curtis in 1951–62. …

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Leonard Rossiter

Actor, born in Liverpool, Merseyside, NW England, UK. Originally an insurance clerk, he first appeared on stage in Preston, made his London debut in 1957, and his Broadway debut in 1963. His film debut was in A Kind of Loving (1962), and he subsequently appeared in Billy Liar (1963), and King Rat (1965). His theatre work included Banana Box (1973), which was adapted as the television series Rising…

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Leonard Slatkin - Trivia

Conductor, born in Los Angeles, California, USA. The son of the Hollywood conductor Felix Slatkin, he became an assistant at the St Louis Symphony (1968) and music director there (1979). He became known for his performances of the milder moderns. He was appointed chief conductor of the BBC Symphony Orchestra in the year 2000. Leonard Slatkin (born September 1, 1944) is an American conductor…

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Leonard Warren

Baritone, born in New York City, New York, USA. After studies in the USA and Milan, he made his Metropolitan debut in 1939 and became an acclaimed Verdi interpreter. He died while performing in Verdi's La forza del destino at the Metropolitan. The American opera singer Leonard Warren (April 21, 1911 - March 4, 1960) was a famous baritone who was associated for many years with the Metropolit…

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Leonard Wood - Army Chief of Staff, Legacy

US soldier and physician, born in Winchester, New Hampshire, USA. A Harvard medical graduate (1884), he participated in the campaign against Geronimo (1886), served as President McKinley's physician and, with Theodore Roosevelt, organized the first US Volunteer Cavalry, known as the Rough Riders, for action against the Spanish in Cuba (1898). He rose to army chief-of-staff (1910) but was passed ov…

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Leonardo Boff

Franciscan liberation theologian, born in Concordia, NW Brazil. He was ordained in Brazil in 1964, studied at Würzburg, Louvain, Oxford, and Munich, and became professor of systematic theology in Petrópolis, Rio. His best-known work, Jesus-Christ Liberator (1972), offers hope and justice for the oppressed rather than religious support of the status quo in Church and society. He has written sever…

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Leonardo Bruni - Biography, Significance, Bibliography

Humanist and politician, born in Arezzo, NC Italy. He was chancellor of the republic of Florence (1427–44) and translator of Plato and Aristotle. He was a great supporter of the vernacular, which he used to write Vite di Dante e Petrarca (1436). A leading historian of his time, he wrote Historiarum florentini populi libri XII (1414–15) charting the origins of the republic until 1404. Born…

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Leonardo da Vinci - Professional life, Selected works, Science and engineering, Personal life, Johannite heresy

Painter, sculptor, architect, and engineer, born in Vinci, NC Italy. About 1470 he entered the studio of Andrea del Verrocchio, and in 1482 settled in Milan, where he painted his ‘Last Supper’ (1498) on the refectory wall of Santa Maria delle Grazie. In 1500 he entered the service of Cesare Borgia in Florence as architect and engineer, and with Michelangelo decorated the Sala del Consiglio in th…

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Leonardo Dati

Humanist and poet, born in Florence, Tuscany, NC Italy. He was bishop of Massa, and wrote a number of works, mainly in Latin, among them epistles, poems (Trophaeum Anglarium), tragedies (Hiempsal), and the drama De amicitia, in the vernacular. Leonardo Dati (1360–16 March 1425) was an Italian friar and humanist. He was a Prior of Santa Maria Novella from 1401, and took part in…

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Leonardo DiCaprio

Film actor, born in Los Angeles. He began his acting career in television at the age of 14, moved into films, and became known after his Oscar-nominated role for Best Supporting Actor in What's Eating Gilbert Grape? (1993). Later films include Romeo + Juliet (1996), Titanic (1997), The Beach (2000), Gangs of New York (2002), The Aviator (2004, Golden Globe Best Actor; Best Actor Oscar nomination),…

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Leonardo Sciascia - Notable Works

Novelist, born in Racalmuto, Sicily, S Italy. A teacher and politician, he took Sicily for the focus of his writing, and his themes embrace its society past and present, which he saw as exemplifying the political, social, and spiritual tensions to be found on the wider stage of Europe. His novels include Le parrocchie di Regalpetra (1956, trans Salt in the Wound), Candido (1977), Il Consiglio d'Eg…

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Leonardo Sinisgalli

Poet, born in Montemurro, Basilicata, S Italy. An engineer, he was involved in different fields, including architecture and advertising. His first works of poetry were influenced by hermetism, as in Cuore (1927) and Campi Elisi (1939), then became prose-like in I nuovi Campi Elisi (1947), and finally dry and concise for Dimenticatoio (1978). His essays analyse the relationship between art and tech…

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Leone Ginzburg - Early life and career, Persecution and internal exile, Capture and murder

Scholar and politician, born in Odessa, S Ukraine. A lecturer in Russian literature, he was active in the anti-Fascist movement. He helped set up Giustizia e Libertà (Justice and Freedom) and was one of publisher Einaudi's leading contributors. He was jailed (1934–6) and then interned in Abruzzo (1940–3). A member of the Partito d'Azione, he took part in the Roman resistance and died in jail af…

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Leonhard Euler - Biography, Contributions to mathematics, Philosophy and religious beliefs, Selected bibliography, Further reading

Mathematician, born in Basel, N Switzerland. He studied mathematics there under Jean Bernoulli, and became professor of physics (1731) and then of mathematics (1733) at the St Petersburg Academy of Sciences. In 1738 he lost the sight of one eye. In 1741 he moved to Berlin as director of mathematics and physics in the Berlin Academy, but returned to St Petersburg in 1766, soon afterwards losing the…

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Leonid (Danilovich) Kuchma - Early life, Political career, Post-Presidency, Policiticians closely associated with Kuchma, Related Literature

Ukrainian prime minister (1992–3) and president (1994–2004), born in Chernigov Region, N Ukraine. Educated at Dniepropetrovsk, he worked as an engineer and designer before becoming a Communist party official and director-general of production at a machine factory (1960–92). He was prime minister and a people's deputy before being elected president. Leonid Danylovych Kuchma (Ukrainian: Л…

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Leonidas Polk - Early life, Civil War, In memoriam, Polk's effects, Recent controversy

US soldier and bishop, born in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA, a cousin of James K Polk. He trained at West Point, and held a commission in the artillery. He was ordained in the Protestant Episcopal Church (1831), consecrated Bishop of Arkansas (1838), and from 1841 until his death was Bishop of Louisiana. He founded the University of the South in 1860. A major-general in the Civil War (1861–5), he…

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Leonids - Meteor Shower, History

A meteor shower due around 17 November each year that is spectacular at 33-year intervals, when thousands can be seen per hour. Particularly spectacular sightings occurred in 1966 and 2001. The Leonids are a prolific meteor shower associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle. The meteor shower is visible every year around November 17, plus or minus a week, when the Earth moves throug…

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Leonor Michaelis

Biochemist, born in Berlin, Germany. He was professor at Berlin (1908–22) and the Nagoya Medical School in Japan (1922–6), then went to the USA to Johns Hopkins University (1926–9) and the Rockefeller Institute (1929–40). He made early deductions on enzyme action, and is especially known for the Michaelis–Menten equation on enzyme-catalysed reactions. Leonor Michaelis (January 16, 1875…

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Leonora O'Reilly

Labour leader and social reformer, born in New York City, New York, USA. A factory worker, union organizer, socialist, and suffragist, she was active in reform activity in New York City, including the Henry Street Settlement House, the Women's Trade Union League, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. Daughter of John O'Reilly, a printer and member of the Knight…

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leopard - Description, Distribution and conservation, Behaviour and predation, Taxonomy, King Leopard, Heraldry, In media

A member of the cat family (Panthera pardus), found from Siberia to Africa; solitary; inhabits diverse habitats; reddish- or yellowish-brown with small empty rings of dark blotches; black individuals (black panthers) sometimes found in dense forests; eats mainly small grazing mammals and monkeys; stores carcasses in trees. The leopard (Panthera pardus) is one of the four 'big cats' of the g…

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leopard cat - Subspecies

A member of the cat family (Felis bengalensis), native to E Asia and offshore islands (the most common wild cat in SE Asia); pale with dark bars and spots; inhabits woodland; eats small mammals, birds, reptiles, fish; swims well. The Leopard Cat (Felis bengalensis) is a small wild cat of Southeast Asia. The Japanese island subspecies are of special interest. …

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Leopold Damrosch - Biography, Works

Conductor and composer, born in Poznan, WC Poland (formerly Posen, Prussia). He was leader (1857–9) of the Weimar court orchestra under Liszt, and conductor at Wroc?aw, Poland (formerly Breslau, Prussia) (1859–60, 1862–71)), before emigrating to New York City. He ultimately became conductor at the Metropolitan Opera House, and did much to popularize Wagner in the USA. Damrosch was born i…

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Leopold Godowsky

Pianist and composer, born in Soshly, E Lithuania. He studied briefly in Berlin when aged 14, then went to the USA, becoming a US citizen in 1891. He worked at the Chicago Conservatory of Music (1895–1900) and was professor at Vienna (1909–14). A master of the keyboard, he also wrote over 400 compositions and transcriptions, including Triakontameron (1920). Leopold Godowsky (Leopold Godow…

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Leopold (of Belgium) I

First king of Belgium (1831–65), born in Coburg, EC Germany, the son of Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg, and uncle of Queen Victoria. In 1816 he married Charlotte, daughter of the future George IV of England, and lived in England after her death in 1817. He declined the crown of Greece (1830), but in 1831 he was elected King of the Belgians. His second marriage, to Marie Louise of Orléans, daughter…

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Leopold (of Belgium) II - Private colonialism, Leopold and the Belgians, Writings about Leopold, Miscellaneous

King of Belgium (1865–1909), born in Brussels, Belgium, the eldest son of Leopold I. He married Maria Henrietta, daughter of the Austrian Archduke Joseph in 1853. In 1885 he became king of the newly-independent Congo Free State, which became a Belgian colony in 1908. He proceeded to amass great personal wealth from its rubber and ivory trade at enormous cost of Congolese lives. His mistreatment o…

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Leopold Kohr - Kohr's philosophy, Works

Austrian economist and writer. His book Breakdown of Nations (1957) advocated a move towards smaller national and industrial groupings at a time most others were proposing larger and larger units. Leopold Kohr rehabilitates anarchism as a political theory. For Kohr, anarchism is the non-violent form of living together, and because of rationality every human being has the ability to treat …

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Leopold Stokowski - Early life, Professional career, Personal life, Bibliography, Notable premieres

Conductor, born in London, UK. After musical studies in London, Paris, and Germany, he went to the USA in 1905, and four years later was named conductor of the Cincinnati Symphony. He left that post (1912) for a long and celebrated tenure as conductor of the Philadelphia Orchestra, in which he cultivated a popular but later dated creaminess of sound. He became the great matinee idol of conductors …

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Leopold von Ranke - Overview, Selected works, Online works

Historian, born in Wiehe, EC Germany. He studied at Halle and Berlin, and became a teacher. A work on the Romance and Teutonic peoples in the Reformation period, and another criticizing contemporary historians, procured his call to Berlin as a professor of history (1825–71). A prolific writer on many aspects of European history, his major work was History of the Popes in the 16th and 17th Centuri…

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Leopold von Sacher-Masoch - Venus in Furs, Influence

Lawyer and writer, born in Lemberg, Galicia, Austria-Hungary (part of modern Poland). He wrote many short stories and novels, including Der Don Juan von Kolomea (1866), depicting the life of small-town Polish Jews. The term masochism was coined for the form of eroticism he describes in his later works. Leopold Ritter von Sacher-Masoch (January 27, 1836–March 9, 1895), writer and journalis…

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Leopoldo (Fortunato) Galtieri

Argentinian soldier and junta president (1981–2), born in Caseras, Buenos Aires. Trained at the National Military College, he progressed to the rank of lieutenant-general (1979), when he joined the ruling junta, becoming its president. To deflect attention from a worsening national economy he ordered the invasion of the long-disputed Malvinas (Falkland) Is in 1982. Their recovery by Britain, afte…

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Lepidoptera - Characteristics of Lepidoptera, Families of Lepidoptera, Evolution

A large order of insects comprising the 165 000 species of butterflies and moths; adults have two pairs of membranous wings covered with scales; forewings and hindwings coupled together; mouthparts typically modified as a slender sucking proboscis; caterpillar larvae usually plant feeders with chewing mouthparts. The order Lepidoptera is the second largest order in the class insecta and in…

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leprechaun - Etymology, Mythology, Appearance, Related creatures, In politics, Popular culture

A fairy of Irish folklore, traditionally a tiny old man in green occupying himself with cobbling, and the possessor of a crock of gold whose whereabouts he could be persuaded to reveal by threats of violence. In Irish mythology, a leprechaun (Modern Irish: leipreachán) is a type of male faerie said to inhabit the island of Ireland. Leprechauns and other creatures of Irish mytho…

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lepton - Table of the leptons, Etymology

In particle physics, a collective term for all those particles of half integer spin (ie fermions) not affected by strong interactions. The leptons are electrons, muons, and taus, and their respective neutrinos. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the name "lepton" (from Greek leptos) was first used by physicist Léon Rosenfeld in 1948: The name originates from before the…

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Leroy (Randle) Grumman - Early life, Work, Grumman Company, Late in life

Engineer and aircraft pioneer, born in Huntington, New York, USA. He studied engineering at Cornell University, and served as a navy pilot in World War 1. He became general manager of the Loening Aeronautical Corporation (1921–9), thereafter forming his own company. He produced a series of successful navy aircraft which played vital roles in the naval battles in World War 2, and jet fighters afte…

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LeRoy Neiman - Trivia

Illustrator, born in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA. He studied at the Art Institute of Chicago (1946–50) and the University of Illinois (1951). Based in New York City, he specialized as a sports artist, and in 1972 was named the official artist for the Olympic Games. He was given the Olympic Artist of the Century Award in 1979. LeRoy Neiman (born June 8, 1927) is an American artist known for hi…

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Lerwick

60°09N 1°09W, pop (2000e) 8100. Capital of Shetland, N Scotland, UK; on E Mainland, by Bressay Sound; airfield; ferry terminus from Scottish mainland; fishing, oil supply services, woollens; museum; Fort Charlotte (1665), Clickhimin Broch (Iron Age); Up-Helly-Aa festival (Jan). Lerwick is the only burgh and main port of the Shetland Islands, found more than 160?km (100 miles) off the nor…

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Les Paul - Trivia, Discography

Musician, and inventor of the solid-body electric guitar, born in Waukesha, Wisconsin, USA. Well known as a jazz guitarist, he took his design to the Gibson Guitar Company in 1947. The ‘Gibson Les Paul’ became a firm favourite of rock band musicians, and originals are highly prized possessions. He pioneered over-dubbing, multi-tracking (as on Lover, 1948), and built the first eight-track tape re…

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Lesley Garrett - Music career, Radio, Television, Trivia

Soprano, born in Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England, UK. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music and the National Opera Studio, winning the Kathleen Ferrier Memorial Competition in 1979. In 1984 she joined the English National Opera as principal soprano and has won wide acclaim for her portrayals of both comic and serious roles, making her US debut tour in 1995. Her television work includes two…

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Leslie (Aaron) Fiedler - Life, Quotes

Literary critic and educator, born in Newark, New Jersey, USA. His trilogy beginning with the influential Love and Death in the American Novel (1960) analysed American fiction in terms of its embodied archetypes and cultural myths; his later work located such myths in popular art. He also published many essays on popular culture as well as collections of short stories and two novels. A University …

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Leslie (Cornelius) Arends - House Leadership

US representative, born in Melvin, Illinois, USA. He studied at Oberlin College, and was a World War 1 navy veteran. He worked for the county farm bureau before going to the US House of Representatives (Republican, Illinois, 1935–74), and was minority whip (1939–53) and majority leader (1957–63). During his first years in office, Arends voted in line with his fellow midwestern conservati…

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Leslie Charteris - Bibliography

Crime-story writer, born in Singapore. He studied at Cambridge, then worked in a wide variety of jobs, changed his name in 1928, and settled in the USA (1932), working as a Hollywood screenwriter. He became a US citizen in 1941. He is especially known as the creator of Simon Templar, ‘the Saint’. Charteris was born Leslie Charles Bowyer-Yin to a Chinese father and an English mother. Chart…

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Leslie Silko

Writer and poet, born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. Born of Laguna Indian, Mexican, and Anglo-American heritage, she was raised on a Pueblo Indian Reservation, and studied at the University of Mexico (1969 BA). She became a teacher and wrote poetry, short stories, and novels, most of which draw on her Laguna heritage. The novel, Ceremony (1977), established her reputation as an important writer…

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Lesotho - Politics, Administrative divisions, Geography, Economy, HIV/AIDS, Foreign relations

Official name Kingdom of Lesotho Lesotho (pronounced [lɪˈsuːtu]), officially the Kingdom of Lesotho, is a land-locked country, entirely surrounded by the Republic of South Africa. The BCP began a rebellion and then received training in Libya for its Lesotho Liberation Army (LLA) under the pretence of being Azanian People's Liberation Army (APLA) soldiers of the Pan Afri…

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lesser celandine

A perennial species of buttercup (Ranunculus ficaria), common in damp woods and meadows throughout Europe and W Asia; leaves heart-shaped, glossy dark-green; flowers with 8–12 golden-yellow petals which turn white as they fade. (Family: Ranunculaceae.) …

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Lester (Carl) Thurow

Economist, born in Livingston, Montana, USA. A Rhodes scholar (1960–2), he earned his PhD at Harvard (1964), taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) (1968), and was an economic adviser to Democratic presidential nominee George McGovern (1972). He gained wide exposure in both the print and sound media. In The Zero-Sum Society (1980), he argued that the USA was losing ground again…

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Lester (Garfield) Maddox - Early life, Life and career, Retirement

US governor, born in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. A high-school dropout, he ran the Pickrick Restaurant in Atlanta (1947–64), closing it rather than serving African-Americans. As Democratic governor of Georgia (1967–71), he instituted early prison release and fought against school desegregation. While lieutenant-governor (1971–5), he thwarted Governor Jimmy Carter's government reform measures, openin…

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Lester (Halbert) Germer

Physicist, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. He studied at Columbia University, then joined the research staff of the Western Electric Co (1917–53). He worked with Clinton Davisson on experiments that demonstrated the diffraction of electrons by crystals (1927), confirming the wave nature of electrons proposed by Louis-Victor de Broglie. Germer was a fighter pilot in World War I. …

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Lester (Keith) Piggott - Major winners

Flat racing jockey, born in Wantage, Oxfordshire, SC England, UK. He rode his first winner at the age of 12, and his first Epsom Derby winner, Never Say Die, in 1954. He subsequently rode a record nine winners of the race, and a record 29 Classic winners between 1954 and 1985. During his career he rode 4493 winners in Britain (1948–85), a figure bettered only by Gordon Richards, and was champion …

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Lester (Willis) Young - Early life and career, Eccentric icon, Army induction and its effects, Final years

Tenor saxophonist, born in Woodville, Mississippi, USA. He first played alto saxophone in a family band, but changed to tenor saxophone in 1927 and worked with a succession of bands in the mid-west, before joining the newly-formed Count Basie Orchestra in 1934 for a spell, rejoining it in 1936. The band's rise to national prominence in the late 1930s brought him recognition as an innovative solois…

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Lester del Rey - Career, Selected works

Writer and editor, born in Clydesdale, Minnesota, USA. He studied at George Washington University (1931–3) and during World War 2 was a sheet-metal worker for McDonnell Aircraft Corp (1942–4). He moved to New York City and became well-known as a writer of fantasy and science fiction. Very prolific, he used many pen names including John Alvarez, Cameron Hall, Marion Henry, and Philip James, and s…

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Lester Frank Ward - Quotes, Literature, Major works

Sociologist and geologist, born in Joliet, Illinois, USA. Raised on the frontier, he briefly attended the Susquehanna Collegiate Institute in Towanda, PA before serving in the Union army during the Civil War (1862–4). While working for the US Treasury Department (1865–81), he earned three degrees at Columbian College (now George Washington University), and then worked for the US Geological Surve…

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Leszno - Sport, Education, Politics, People

51º51N 16º35E, pop (2001e) 63 100. Town in Leszno province, W Poland; on the railway between Wroc?aw and Pozna?; birthplace of Ottomar Anschütz, Leo Baeck, Haym Salomon; historic town with several Baroque houses and churches; Central Gliding School hosts international gliding competitions; engineering, distilling, tobacco. Leszno (listen?(help·info)), German Lissa, is a town in centra…

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Lethbridge - Neighbourhoods, Economy, Major attractions, Education, Transportation, Government, Sister cities, Police Services, Local media, Trivia

49º43N 112º48W, pop (2001e) 69 600. Town in S Alberta, Canada; on the Oldman R, in the foothills of the Rocky Mts; settled before 1867 when Fort Whoop-Up was built as a trading post; the traders left with the arrival of the Mounted Police (1874); the last great Indian battle in Canada (1870) was fought nearby between the Blackfoot and the Cree; birthplace of Bertram N Brockhouse; railway, airf…

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Lethe - References to Lethe in later culture

In the Greek and Roman Underworld, the name of a slow-moving river. When the souls of the dead drank from it, they forgot their lives on Earth. The word means ‘forgetfulness’, ie oblivion. In Greek mythology, Lethe is one of the several rivers of Hades. Lethe was also a naiad, the daughter of Eris ('Strife' in Hesiod's Theogony). The Myth of Er at the end of Plato'…

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Letitia Tyler - Usage of the word

US first lady (1841–2), born in New Kent Co, Virginia, USA. She married John Tyler in 1813. A quiet, modest person, she died after a stroke, the first president's wife to die in the White House. A Christian is a follower of Jesus of Nazareth, referred to as Christ. Christians believe Jesus to be the Son of God, who lived a life befitting that of the creator of the universe, free of s…

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Leto - Birth of Artemis and Apollo, Witnesses at the birth of Apollo, The Lycian Peasants

In Greek mythology, a Titan, the mother by Zeus of the twins Apollo and Artemis. They were born at Delos, because in her jealousy Hera would allow no land to harbour Leto; luckily, at that time Delos was a floating island. In Greek mythology Lētṓ (Greek: Λητώ, Lato in Dorian Greek, the "hidden one") is a daughter of the Titans Coeus and Phoebe, and in the Olympian scheme of things, Z…

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letter of credit - How it works, Other information

A document issued by a bank or other body in which the issuer undertakes to substitute its financial strength for that of the beneficiary, when presented with a draft (bill of exchange) or other demand for payment along with other specified documents. They are especially used abroad, as a means of paying for foreign goods. A confirmed letter of credit is one which a party other than the issuer com…

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letters patent

In the UK, a document conferring certain privileges on an individual, normally the right to exclusive benefit from an invention. This is usually simply called a patent, and the fuller term tends to be used only for the document which confers the privileges of the peerage on a new peer. Letters patent are a type of legal instrument in the form of an open letter issued by a monarch or governm…

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lettuce - Cultivars

An annual or perennial, very widespread but mostly N temperate; leaves often with prickly margins; flower heads small, often in clusters, yellow or blue. The well-known garden lettuce (Lactuca sativa) is of uncertain origin, and unknown in the wild, but has a long history of cultivation. It is an important salad plant, its numerous cultivars being divided into two main groups: cos, with upright he…

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Leucippus - Overview, Quotes, Sources

Philosopher, born in Miletus, Asia Minor. He was the originator of the atomistic cosmology which Democritus later developed, and which is most fully expounded in Lucretius's great poem ‘De rerum natura’. Leucippus is usually credited with two books, The Great World System and On the Mind, but his theories and writings are not reliably separable from those of Democritus. There are no exist…

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Leuven - History, Miscellanea, Gallery

50°53N 4°42E, pop (2000e) 87 000. University town in Brabant province, C Belgium, on both banks of the R Dijle; old town, circular in shape, once surrounded by moats; centre of cloth trade in Middle Ages; largely destroyed in World War 1; Catholic University (1425), reorganized into French- and Flemish-speaking divisions since 1970; railway; beer and soft drinks, fertilizers, animal feedstuffs…

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Lev (Ivanovich) Ivanov

Choreographer, teacher, and dancer, born in Moscow, Russia. After studying in Moscow and St Petersburg, he joined the Imperial Ballet (1852), becoming principal dancer in 1869. Appointed rehearsal director by Marius Petipa in 1882, he became second ballet master under Petipa in 1885, the year of his choreographic debut, with a new version of La Fille mal gardée. His two most celebrated works are …

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Lev Yashin - Statistics, Awards

Footballer, born in Moscow, Russia. An outstanding goalkeeper noted for his agility, he played for Moscow Dynamo (1949–71) throughout his career, winning five league championships and three cup championships. Famous for his all-black strip, he represented the Soviet Union between 1954–71 making 78 appearances, and took part in three World Cup tournaments. In 1956 he was a member of the Soviet te…

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The Levant - Etymology

A general name formerly given to the E shores of the Mediterranean Sea, from W Greece to Egypt. The Levant States were Syria and Lebanon, during the period of their French mandate (1920–41). The Levant is an imprecise geographical term historically referring to a large area in the Middle East south of the Taurus Mountains, bounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the west, and by the nort…

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Levellers - Brief history, Timeline, Other usage, Further reading

A radical political movement during the English Civil War and the Commonwealth. It called for the extension of manhood franchise to all but the poorest, religious toleration, and the abolition of the monarchy and the House of Lords. Led by John Lilburne (c.1614–57), Richard Overton (c.1631–64), and William Walwyn (1600–80), it was supported by ‘agitators’ in the parliamentary army 1647–9, an…

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Leverett Saltonstall

US senator and governor, born in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA. A member of the Massachusetts legislature (Republican, 1923–36) and Speaker (from 1929), he was elected governor (1939–45). He served in the US Senate (1945–67) and was Republican whip (1949–57). He also served as chairman of the armed services committee. Part of the Boston Brahmin Saltonstall family, he was able to tra…

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Levi - Background, Descendants

Biblical character, the third son of Jacob by his wife Leah. It is debated whether his descendants ever formed one of the 12 tribes of Israel descended from Jacob's sons. Although they were called a tribe, no territory was apparently allocated to them (Josh 13.14), and they seem to have been a kind of priestly class. Moses is later depicted as a descendant of Levi. The Bible describes Levi …

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Levi Strauss

Clothing manufacturer, born in Bavaria, Germany. He went to New York City in 1847 and worked as a pedlar before moving to San Francisco (1850) when gold was discovered in California. He began to sell cloth and soon opened a dry goods store with supplies shipped in by his brothers in New York. When miners wanted a sturdy pair of trousers, he tried making them out of tent canvas, and then shifted to…

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Levi Woodbury

Judge and cabinet member, born in Francestown, New Hampshire, USA. He served as a New Hampshire Superior Court judge (1817–23), as governor (1823–4), and in the US Senate (NH, 1825–31, 1841–5). He served presidents Jackson and Van Buren as secretary of the navy (1831–4) and secretary of the treasury (1834–41). President Polk named him to the US Supreme Court (1845–51). …

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Leviathan - Judaism, Christianity, Leviathan as an animal, Leviathan in literature and other media

A rare Hebrew loan-word of uncertain derivation, apparently used to refer to a kind of sea or river monster (Psalms 104.26; also Isa 27.1; Psalms 74.14). In Job 41, it seems nearer a crocodile; but Ugaritic parallels suggest it may have been a mythical supernatural figure, a sea dragon, perhaps symbolic of chaos or evil. Leviathan (לִוְיָתָן "Twisted; The word leviathan…

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Lewes - History, Politics, Sport, Twin towns

50º52N 0º01E, pop (2001e) 92 200. County town of East Sussex, SE England, UK; located on the R Ouse, 13 km/8 mi NE of Brighton; birthplace of George Baxter; site of the Battle of Lewes (1264); railway; light engineering, brewing, printing; churches of St Anne (12th-c) and St John the Baptist (12th-c–18th-c). Lewes is a town in the Lewes district of East Sussex in South East England. …

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Lewis (Blaine) Hershey - Early life, Military, Retirement, Quotations, Awards and decorations

US soldier, born near Angola, Indiana, USA. A serving officer during 1917–73, he directed the Selective Service System (1941–70), the agency that drafted millions of American young men into military service during the 1940s, 1950s, and 1960s. Lewis Blaine Hershey (September 12, 1893 - May 20, 1977) was the second Director of the Selective Service System, the means by which the United Stat…

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Lewis (Lichtenstein) Strauss

Banker and US cabinet member, born in Charleston, West Virginia, USA. After working on Belgian relief with Herbert Hoover (1917–19), he joined New York investment bankers Kuhn, Loeb & Co (1929–45). A reservist, he was appointed naval rear-admiral for distinguished service in 1945. He became an Atomic Energy Commission member (1946–50), later chairman (1953–8), championing the hydrogen bomb and…

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Lewis (Roberts) Binford - Works

US archaeologist, pioneer of the anthropologically-oriented ‘processual’ school of archaeology (‘New Archaeology’). He studied at Michigan University and taught at Ann Arbor, Chicago, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles before becoming professor of anthropology at the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque. His original manifesto New Perspectives in Archaeology (1968, with Sally R Binford) has subse…

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Lewis (Wickes) Hine

Photographer, born in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, USA. He studied sociology at Chicago and New York universities, making a photographic study of Ellis Island immigrants as an expression of his social concern. In 1909 he published the first of his many photo stories, such as ‘Little Spinner in Carolina Cotton Mill’, depicting children as young as eight in dangerous work. During World War 1 he documented …

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Lewis Carroll - Early life, Character and appearance, Dodgson the artist, The later years, Controversies and mysteries

Writer, mathematician, and photographer, born in Daresbury, Cheshire, NWC England, UK. He studied at Oxford, took orders in 1861, and became a lecturer in mathematics (1855–81). His nursery tale, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (1865), and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass (1872), both describe a child's dream adventures, and quickly became classics. ‘Alice’, to whom the surreal and satiri…

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Lewis Cass - Political life

US soldier, senator, and public official, born in Exeter, New Hampshire, USA. He practised law in Ohio and served with distinction in the War of 1812, rising to brigadier-general. He became military and civil governor of the Michigan Territory (1813–31) and secretary of war to President Andrew Jackson (1831–6), and in both offices spent much time dealing with native Americans. He was appointed a…

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Lewis Grassic Gibbon - Bibliography

Writer, born in Auchterless, Aberdeenshire, NE Scotland, UK. Educated at Stonehaven Academy, he worked as a journalist in Aberdeen, and served in the RAF until 1929. He published the historical novels Three Go Back (1932) and Spartacus (1933) under his own name, but the three novels Sunset Song (1932), Cloud Howe (1933), and Grey Granite (1934), which form the trilogy A Scots Quair appeared under …

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Lewis Mumford - Life, Ideas, Writing style, Influence, Works, Reference

Social thinker, and writer, born in Flushing, New York, USA. A student at both City and Columbia Universities (1912–18) who never graduated, he wrote for New Republic and Harper's in the 1920s before publishing his first book, Sticks and Bones (1924). A charter member of the Regional Planning Association of America (1924), he became architectural critic for the New Yorker in the 1930s. He produce…

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Lewis Thomas - Parallels to Gaia Theory, Books

Physician, writer, and educator, born in Flushing, New York, USA. A surgeon's son, he studied at Princeton (1933) and Harvard Medical School (1937), and taught medicine at Johns Hopkins, Tulane, the University of Minnesota, New York University, and Yale, before becoming a professor of medicine at the Medical School of Cornell in New York City (1973). He served as chief executive officer of the Slo…

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Lewis with Harris

area 2134 km²/824 sq mi. Island in the Western Isles, NW Scotland, UK; largest and northernmost of the Hebrides; separated from the mainland (W) by the North Minch; Lewis (N) linked to Harris (S) by a narrow isthmus; chief towns, Stornoway, Tarbert; fishing, crofting, tweeds. Lewis and Harris (Scottish Gaelic: Leodhas is na Hearadh) make up the largest island in the Outer Hebrides in Sc…

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lexeme

The basic unit in the meaning system of a language. It represents the constant semantic element in a set of related forms (eg think, thinks, thought, thinking), independently of the grammatical variations possible in the language. Lexicology is the study of a language's vocabulary, investigating the structure of word sets and relationships, and determining the structural similarities and differenc…

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Lexington (Virginia) - People with the given name Lexington

37º47N 79º26W, pop (2000e) 6900. Historic town in Rockbridge Co, Virginia, USA; birthplace of Sam Houston, Pat Robertson, Cy Twombly; Washington and Lee university; Virginia Military Institute houses the George C Marshall Museum; Stonewall Jackson House; Virginia Horse Centre. Lexington may refer to: Lexington may also be: …

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Lexington-Fayette - People with the given name Lexington

38º03N 84º30W, pop (2000e) 260 500. Seat of Fayette Co, NC Kentucky, USA; located 35 km/22 mi ESE of Frankfort; founded in 1779 and named to commemorate the Battle of Lexington (1775); birthplace of Sophonisba Preston Breckenridge, William Wells Brown, George Clooney, Mary Lincoln, Thomas Hunt Morgan; university (1865); railway; a noted centre for the raising of thoroughbred horses; major ma…

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Leyden - History, Leiden or Leyden, Rivers, canals and parks, Buildings of interest, Town twinning, Miscellaneous, Railway

52°09N 4°30E, pop (2000e) 118 000. University city in South Holland province, W Netherlands, on the R Oude Rijn; charter, 1266; famous for its weaving, 14th-c; besieged for a year by the Spaniards (1573), relieved when William the Silent ordered the dykes to be cut enabling the Dutch fleet to sail to the city walls; as a reward for their bravery the citizens were given Holland's first universi…

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Leyden jar - Description, Circuit theory, The "dissectible Leyden jar" myth

The earliest device for storing electric charge, named after the University of Leyden, where it was invented in 1746. A glass jar was coated inside and outside with metal foils, which were connected by a rod passing the insulating stopper. The jar was usually charged from an electrostatic generator, and was an early form of capacitor. The Leyden jar was the original capacitor, invented in 1…

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leyland cypress

An inter-generic hybrid ( × Cupressocyparis leylandii) of garden origin between the false cypress and the cypress. Its appearance depends on which species is the female parent, but it is always columnar in outline, hardy and vigorous. Clones with grey or green foliage are the most common. First raised in 1888, it is much used nowadays for fast-growing hedges. (Family: Cupressaceae.) The …

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Lhasa - Administration, Geography, Demographics, Culture, Lhasa in entertainment

29°41N 91°10E, pop (2000e) 156 000, administrative region 403 000. Capital of Tibet (Xizang), SW China; altitude 3600 m/11 800 ft; airfield; light industry, crafts; ancient centre of Tibetan Buddhism, with many temples and holy sites; closed to foreigners in 19th-c; Chinese occupation, 1951; many monks fled (including the Dalai Lama), especially after uprising in 1959; Potala Palace (17th-…

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Lhasa apso - Temperament, History, Miscellaneous

A toy breed of dog developed in Tibet; small with dense coat of stiff straight hair parted along spine; usually golden (but other colours possible); head with mass of hair covering eyes; ears pendulous. The Lhasa Apso is a small breed of dog originally from Tibet. Having been bred to be sentinel or watch dogs, Lhasa Apsos tend to be alert and have a keen sense of hearing with a …

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Li Dazhao

One of the founders of the Chinese Communist Party, whose interpretation of Marxism as applied to China had a profound influence on Mao Zedong. Appointed head librarian of Beijing University and professor of history (1918), he had the young Mao as a library assistant, and founded one of the first of the Communist study circles which in 1921 were to form the Communist Party. In 1927, when the Manch…

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Li Lisan - Early years, Beginning career, Reign of Xiang, Aftermath

Chinese politician, and effective head of the Communist Party (1928–30), born in Hunan province, SEC China. He enforced what has since become known as the ‘Li Lisan line’, in which the Party's weak and undeveloped military forces were used in futile attempts to capture cities. His authoritarian methods alienated his fellow leaders. He was demoted in 1930, and lived in the Soviet Union until 194…

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Li Peng - Personal background, Rise to power, Premiership, Legacy

Chinese politician and prime minister (1987– 98), born in Chengdu, SWC China. He trained as a hydro-electric engineer, and was appointed minister of the electric power industry in 1981. He became a vice premier (1983), was elevated to the Politburo (1985), and made prime minister. He sought to retain firm control of the economy, favoured improved relations with the Soviet Union, and took a strong…

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Liam Cosgrave - Early life, Opposition, Fine Gael Leader, Taoiseach, Overview, Government, Political career

Irish statesman and prime minister (1973–7) born in Templeogue, Co Dublin, E Ireland, the son of William Cosgrave. Educated at St Vincent's College, Dublin, he was called to the bar in 1943, and became a member of the Dail (1943–81). He was minister for external affairs (1954–7) before becoming leader of the Fine Gael Party (1965–77). Liam Cosgrave (Irish name: Liam Mac Cosgair) (born 1…

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Liam Neeson - Filmography

Film actor, born in Ballymena, NE Northern Ireland, UK. He performed with the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, and the Lyric Players Theatre, Belfast, making his film debut in Excalibur (1981). He received an Oscar nomination for his role as Schindler in Schindler's List (1993), and went on to play the title roles in Rob Roy (1995) and Michael Collins (1996). Later films include Star Wars Episode 1: The Pha…

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Liam O'Flaherty - Early years, Political views, Work, Death, Works

Writer, born on Inishmore in the Aran Is, Co Galway, W Ireland. He studied at Rockwell College, Tipperary, and University College, Dublin, and fought in the British army during World War 1, and with the Republicans in the Irish Civil War. He went to London in 1922 to become a writer, and published his first novels, Thy Neighbour's Wife (1923) and The Black Soul (1924). The Informer (1925) won the …

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liane

A woody climber growing from the ground to the top of the tree canopy, where it branches out and produces flowers. Many reach considerable heights, especially in tropical forests, where they are abundant. Lianas are useful navigation tools for arboreal species such as lemurs. For example, in the eastern rainforests of Madagascar, many prosimians achieve higher mobility from the web of liana…

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Liang Qichao - Contributions to Journalism, Literary Career, See Also

Chinese reformer. He travelled in the West, was prominent in China's late 19th-c reform movement, and fled to Japan in 1898. He published the journal Renovated Citizen, seeking to reappraise Confucianism in the light of Western liberal democracy. Though an influential intellectual, his gradualism was overtaken by events. He opposed Sun Yixian's Socialism, and founded (1913) the anti-Guomindang Dem…

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Libbie (Henrietta) Hyman

Zoologist, born in Des Moines, Iowa, USA. She performed research on lower invertebrates such as hydra and planaria, while working for the celebrated biologist Charles Manning Child at the University of Chicago (1916–31), and wrote the widely used Laboratory Manual for Elementary Zoology (1919) and A Laboratory Manual for Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy (1922). She preferred working with invertebra…

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Liberace - Early life and stage name, Television, Recordings, Films, Lawsuits, Later career, Death, References in popular culture

Entertainer, born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA. He appeared as a soloist with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at 14, and earned a living under his stage name. Over the years he developed an act of popular piano classics performed with a lavish sense of showmanship. His television series, The Liberace Show (1952–7), won him an Emmy as Best Male Personality, and he broke all box-office records at Ra…

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Liberal Party (Australia) - Defunct parties of the name, In combination

Australia's largest conservative political party, formed by R G Menzies in 1944 from existing conservative groups. It built up a mass following in the late 1940s, and was victorious in 1949. It stayed in power until 1966, and was then in coalition with the Country Party until 1972 and again in 1975–83. Under Menzies (prime minister, 1949–66), the party followed policies of economic growth and co…

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Liberal Party (Canada) - Defunct parties of the name, In combination

A Canadian national and provincial political organization that grew out of 19th-c reformism. At the federal level, it was the most successful party in the 20th-c, regaining power in the general election of 1993. The term Liberal is also used in combination with: …

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liberalism - The nature and origins of liberalism, Development of liberal thought, Contemporary liberalism

A political philosophy developed largely in the 18th–19th-c associated with the rise of the new middle classes, challenging the traditional monarchical, aristocratic, or religious views of the state. Liberals sought political power to match economic power, and argued for secular, constitutional, and parliamentary governments. Classical liberalism argues for limited government, and the values trad…

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liberalization - Liberalization and privatization, Liberalization vs Democratization

The process of reducing government controls and moving towards a market economy. This has occurred in countries converting from centrally planning, and in developing countries reacting against highly state-controlled governments. Liberalization takes a variety of forms. Discretionary controls on foreign trade may be replaced by published tariffs, and tariffs may be replaced by currency depreciatio…

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liberation theology - Overview, History: CELAM, López, liberation and the Vatican, The Vatican's reaction

A style of theology originating in Latin America in the 1960s, and later becoming popular in many developing countries. Accepting a Marxist analysis of society, it stresses the role and mission of the Church to the poor and oppressed in society, of which Christ is understood as liberator. Its sympathy for revolutionary movements led to clashes with established secular and religious authorities. …

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

Official name Republic of Liberia Liberia, officially the Republic of Liberia, is a country on the west coast of Africa, bordered by Sierra Leone, Guinea, and Côte d'Ivoire. Liberia, which means "Land of the Free," was founded as an independent nation by free-born and formerly enslaved African Americans. The history of Liberia as a political entity begins with the arrival…

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libertarianism (philosophy) - Principles, Libertarian policy, History, Politics of libertarian parties, The Libertarian Movement, Criticism of libertarianism

The theory, opposed to determinism, that not all human actions are causally explicable, and that there is therefore both free will and moral responsibility. Libertarianism is a political philosophy advocating that individuals should be free to do whatever they wish with their person or property, as long as they do not infringe on the same liberty of others. There are two types of libe…

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libertarianism (politics) - Principles, Libertarian policy, History, Politics of libertarian parties, The Libertarian Movement, Criticism of libertarianism

The theory that society and the state should place the minimum restraints on individual freedom of action. As an ideology it has been influential chiefly in the USA, where the Libertarian Party has polled over 1 million votes in post-World War 2 elections. Robert Nozick (1938– ) in his book Anarchy, State and Utopia (1974) offers a defence of the minimal state position. Libertarianism is a…

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Liberty Hyde (Jr) Bailey - Some selected works

Botanist and horticulturist, born in South Haven, Michigan, USA. He assisted Asa Gray at Harvard (1882–3), became an authority on the hybridization of apples, squashes, and grasses at Michigan Agricultural College (1885–8), then taught at Cornell (1888–1913), where he developed horticulture into a science, and published Cyclopedia of American Agriculture (4 vols, 1907–9) and Cyclopedia of Hort…

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library - History, Types of libraries, Description, Library use, Library management, Funding problems, Some famous libraries

A building or room containing a collection of books, records, photographs, etc, organized to facilitate consultation or borrowing by private individuals or the public; also, the collection itself. Libraries date from the earliest recorded times, being known in several ancient countries of the Middle East, such as Babylonia, Egypt, and Mesopotamia. There were famous libraries at Alexandria, Athens,…

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Library of Congress - History, Holdings, Using the Library, Standards

The US depository and the largest library in the world, founded in 1800 in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. The library provides bibliographical and cataloguing services for libraries throughout the world, but its main function is the provision of reference materials for the US Congress. It has holdings of some 18 million books and over 100 million manuscripts, maps, photographs, film, audio…

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library science - Subdisciplines, Types of Library Science Professionals, Librarians in different types of libraries, Theory and Practice

The study of all aspects of library functions. It covers such topics as selection and acquisition policy, classification systems, and cataloguing, as well as bibliography and administration. As a discipline in its own right, library science, or librarianship, is a late 19th-c development. Library science or library and information science (abbreviated LIS) is the study of issues related to …

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libration

A slight irregularity in the motion of the Moon which makes it look as if it is oscillating. The phenomenon is useful to observers on Earth, because it lets them see around the limb, or outer edge, of the Moon as it runs ahead or behind in its orbit. These librations mean that, over a period of time, 59% of the Moon is visible from Earth. Although the Moon's rotation on its axis is synchron…

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Libreville - Geography, Transport, Culture and education

0°30N 9°25E, pop (2000e) 448 000. Capital of Gabon, W Africa, at the mouth of R Gabon, 520 km/325 mi NW of Brazzaville; founded in 1849 as a refuge for slaves freed by the French; occupied by the British and Free French, 1940; airport; railway; university (1970); commercial and administrative centre; timber, cement, ceramics, food and drink processing, oil exploration; Cathedral of Sainte-Ma…

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Libya - History of Libya, Politics, Administrative Divisions, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Culture, International rankings

Official name Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Libya (Arabic: ليبيا‎, Lībiyā; Bordering the Mediterranean Sea to the north, Libya lies between Egypt to the east, Sudan to the southeast, Chad and Niger to the south, and Algeria and Tunisia to the west. With an area of almost 1.8 million square kilometres (700,000?sq?mi), 90% of which is desert, Libya is the fourth lar…

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lichen - Reproduction, Ecology, Growth form

A type of composite organism formed as an association between a fungus (the mycobiont) and an alga or blue-green bacterium (the phycobiont). The body (thallus) may be encrusting, scale-like, leafy, or even shrubby, according to species. The fungal partner typically belongs to the Ascomycetes. Many lichens are very sensitive to atmospheric pollution and can be used as indicators. Lichens are…

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Lichfield - History, Economy, Famous Lichfeldians, Places of interest, Other items of interest, Twinnings, Transport, Energy policy

52 42N 1 48W, pop (2000e) 29 300. City in Lichfield district, Staffordshire, C England, UK; railway; cathedral; engineering; birthplace of Elias Ashmole and Samuel Johnson; Johnson museum; Staffordshire regiment museum; Garrick Theatre (2003), annual festival (Jul). Lichfield (Welsh: Caerlwytgoed) is a small city and civil parish in Staffordshire, 110 miles northwest of London and 14 mi…

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Lick Observatory - Early history, Significant discoveries, Equipment

The observatory of the University of California, on Mount Hamilton near San Jose, California, USA. Its main telescopes are a 91 cm/36 in refractor (1888), at the base of which the observatory's benefactor James Lick (1796–1876) is buried, and a 3 m/120 in reflector (1959). To meet Wikipedia's style guidelines and conform to our policies regarding neutral point of view, original researc…

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lie detector - Testing Procedure, 2003 National Academy of Sciences Report, Admissibility of polygraphs in Court

An instrument supposed to indicate whether a person to which it is applied is responding truthfully to questions; also known as a polygraph. Involuntary physiological reactions detected by electrodes attached to the subject's skin indicate stresses. Its validity is not universally acknowledged nor accepted judicially. A polygraph (commonly referred to as a lie detector) is a device that mea…

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