Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 50

Cambridge Encyclopedia

Maurice

Stadtholder of the United Provinces of the Netherlands, born in Dillenburg, the son of William the Silent. He was elected stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland (1587) and later (1589) of Utrecht, Overyssel, and Gelderland, also becoming captain-general of the armies of the United Provinces during their War of Independence from Spain. He checked the Spanish advance, and by his steady offensive (1590–…

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Maurice (Bernard) Sendak - Partial bibliography, Partial bibliography of illustrations for other authors

Illustrator and writer of children's books, born in New York City, USA. He trained at the Art Students' League, worked as a window-dresser, encountered classic illustrators in a toy store, and was commissioned by a publisher to illustrate The Wonderful Farm (1951) by Marcel Aymé. For A Hole Is To Dig (1952) he produced humorous, unsentimental drawings, and in 1956 came Kenny's Window, the first b…

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Maurice (Brazil) Prendergast - Maurice Prendergast gallery

Painter, born in St John's, Newfoundland, Canada. He arrived in Boston (1861) and was apprenticed to a show-card painter when young, and later he studied at the Académie Julien, Paris (1891–5) and returned to Boston where he set up an art studio (1897). As his reputation grew he made sporadic trips to Europe and became a member of the Eight (1908), though his water colours and oils did not refle…

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Maurice (Hugh Frederick) Wilkins - DNA

Biophysicist, born in Pongaroa, New Zealand. He studied at Birmingham and Cambridge universities, carried out wartime research into uranium isotope separation in California, then joined the Medical Research Council's Biophysics Research Unit at King's College, London in 1946, becoming deputy-director (1955) and director (1970–2). His X-ray diffraction studies of DNA helped Crick and Watson determ…

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Maurice (Polydore Marie Bernard) Maeterlinck - Biography, Maeterlinck in Music, Partial bibliography

Playwright, born in Ghent, NW Belgium. He studied law at Ghent University, became a disciple of the Symbolist movement, and in 1889 produced his first volume of poetry, Les Serres chaudes (Hot House Blooms). His masterpiece was the prose-play Pelléas et Mélisande (1892), on which Debussy based his opera. He wrote many other plays, which have been widely translated, and was awarded the Nobel Priz…

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Maurice Abravanel - Sources

Conductor, born in Thessaloníki, Greece. After conducting in Europe and at the Metropolitan Opera (1936–8), he began a highly successful tenure with the Utah Symphony (1947–79), where he became known for performing works of American and other contemporary composers. Maurice Abravanel, (January 6, 1903 – September 22, 1993), was a Greek-born Swiss conductor. Abravanel was bo…

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Maurice Allais - Notable quotes

Economist and engineer, born in Paris, France. He was professor of economic analysis at the Ecole Nationale Superieure des Mines (from 1944) and director of a research unit at the Centre de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) (from 1946). His primary contributions have been in the reformulation of the theories of general economic equilibrium and maximum efficiency, and in the development of new conce…

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Maurice Barrymore

Stage actor, born in Fort Agra, India. The father of Ethel, John, and Lionel Barrymore, he gave up a possible law career to try acting in London in 1872. Moving to New York in 1875 he became an instant success and went on to star in a variety of roles over the next 25 years. In 1876 he married Georgiana Drew, actress-daughter of the famous British-American actors, John and Louisa Lane Drew, thus f…

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Maurice Chevalier - Early life, World War I, Hollywood, World War II, After the war, Final years, Famous songs

Film and vaudeville actor, born in Paris, France. He began as a child singer and dancer in small cafes, then danced at the Folies Bergères (1909–13). He often appeared with the revue singer and dancer Mistinguett. His first Hollywood film was The Innocents of Paris (1929), and 30 years later his individual, straw-hatted, bon-viveur personality, with his distinctive French accent, was still much …

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Maurice de Vlaminck

Artist, born in Paris, France. He was largely self-taught, worked with Derain, and came to be influenced by van Gogh. By 1905 he was one of the leaders of the Fauves, using typically brilliant colour, then painted more Realist landscapes under the influence of Cézanne (1908–14), and later developed a more sombre Expressionism. Maurice de Vlaminck (April 4, 1876 – October 11, 1958) was a…

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Maurice Druon - Bibliography

Novelist, playwright, and politician, born in France. He wrote works of historical fiction, including Chant des partisans (1941), Les Grandes familles (Prix Goncourt, 1948), La Chute des corps (1950), and Rois Maudits (7 vols, 1955–77) which was adapted for television. Among his plays are Mégarée (1942) and La Contessa (1961). Involved in politics, he was minister of cultural affairs (1973–4),…

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Maurice Emmanuel - Reference

Composer and musicologist, born in Bar-sur-Aube, EC France. He entered the Conservatoire in 1880 and was a pupil of Bourgault-Ducoudray, whom he later succeeded. He was excluded by Delibes from the competition for the Prix de Rome. He was master of the chapel at Sainte-Clotilde (1904–7). His ‘Sonate pour clarinette, flûte et piano’ (1907) is typical of his classical culture. His extraordinary …

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Maurice Goldhaber

Physicist, born in Lemberg, Austria. As a fellow at Cambridge University, he discovered the nuclear photodisintegration effect with colleague James Chadwick (1934). He went to the USA to join the University of Illinois (1938–50), where he and his wife, Gertrude Scharff-Goldhaber, demonstrated the identity of beta rays with electrons. At Brookhaven National Laboratory, he continued to make major c…

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Maurice Herzog - Ascent of Annapurna, Controversy over his account of the ascent, Other achievements

Mountaineer and politician, born in Lyon, SC France. He studied law in Paris and returned to Lyon to study science. In 1950 he headed the French expedition to the Himalayas and became the first to reach the summit of Mount Annapurna I (3 Jun). He later served as secretary of state for youth and sport (1958–66), became Mayor of Chamonix (1968–77), and was elected a member of the International Oly…

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Maurice Leblanc - Selected bibliography

Novelist, born in Rouen, NW France. He became known with his crime novels, creating the ‘gentleman burglar’ Arsène Lupin in 1907. His famous adventures featured in L'Aiguille Creuse (1909) and 20 more successful titles which were later adapted for cinema and television. Maurice Leblanc Maurice-Marie-Emile Leblanc (11 December 1864 - 6 November 1941) was a French novelist and writer of sh…

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Maurice Merleau-Ponty - Life, Work, Thematic overview of his works, Contemporary influence, Bibliography

Philosopher, born in Rochefort-sur-mer, W France. He studied in Paris, taught in various lycées, and served as an army officer in World War 2, before holding professorships at Lyon (1948) and Paris (from 1949). He helped Sartre and de Beauvoir found the journal Les Temps Modernes in 1945, and was a fellow-traveller with Sartre in the Communist Party in the early post-war years. His two main philo…

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Maurice Ohana

Composer and pianist, born in Casablanca, Morocco. He took French nationality and was nicknamed by Gide ‘le Joseph Conrad Français’. He studied at the Conservatoire, Beaux-Arts, and Schola Cantorum with Daniel-Lesur, fought in the British Army, then founded the group Zodiaque on his return in 1947. He worked with Dutilleux (ORTF) and Schaeffer, and was teacher at the Ecole Normale de Musique. H…

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Maurice Quentin de La Tour

Pastellist and portrait painter, born in St Quentin, N France. He settled in Paris, where he became immensely popular, and was made portraitist to Louis XV (1750–73). His best works include portraits of Madame de Pompadour, Voltaire, and Rousseau. Maurice Quentin de La Tour (1704-1788) was a French portrait painter of the Rococo style, who worked primarily with pastels. He was …

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Maurice Ravel - Biography, Musical style, Musical Influence, Notable compositions, Media

Composer, born in Ciboure, SW France. He studied under Fauré at the Paris Conservatoire, and won recognition with the Pavane pour une infante défunte (1899, Pavane for a Dead Princess). He wrote several successful piano pieces, Rapsodie espagnole (1908, Spanish Rhapsody), and the music for the Diaghilev ballet Daphnis et Chloé (first performed, 1912). After World War 1, in which he saw active s…

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Maurice Utrillo

Painter, born in Paris, France, the illegitimate son of Suzanne Valadon. Despite acute alcoholism, he was a prolific artist, producing picture-postcard views of the streets of Paris, particularly old Montmartre. Maurice Utrillo, born Maurice Valadon, (December 25, 1883 - November 5, 1955) was a French painter who specialized in cityscapes. Born on Christmas Day in the Montmartre…

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Maurists

A French Benedictine congregation of St Maur, founded in the early 17th-c. The monks were chiefly noted for their literary and historical work. Suspected of being influenced by Jansenism, they were eventually dissolved in 1818. Maurists were a congregation of French Benedictines called after Saint Maurus (died 565), a disciple of St. Benedict and the legendary introducer of the Benedictine …

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Mauritania - History, Politics, Administrative Divisions, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Culture, Trivia, Miscellaneous topics

Official name Islamic Republic of Mauritania, Fr République Islamique de Mauritanie Mauritania (Arabic: موريتانية Mūrītāniyyah), officially the Islamic Republic of Mauritania, is a country in northwest Africa. From the 5th to 7th centuries, the migration of Berber tribes from North Africa displaced the Bafours, the original inhabitants of present-day Mauritania and …

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Mauritius - History, Politics, Administrative divisions, Geography, Economy, Culture, Images of Mauritius, Notes and references, Further reading

Local name Mauritius Mauritius (pronounced: IPA: [məˈɹɪʃəs]; In addition to the island of Mauritius, the republic includes the islands of St. Brandon, Rodrigues and the Agalega Islands. Mauritius is part of the Mascarene Islands, with the French island of Réunion 200 kilometers (125?mi) to the southwest. Some historians believe that the Phoenicians visited Mauritius…

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Mauritz Stiller

Film director, born in Helsinki, Finland. He settled in Sweden in 1909 and, though trained as an actor, began directing films for Svenska Bio in 1912. He adapted the novels of Selma Lagerlöf (1858–1940), notably Herr Arnes Pengar (1919, Sir Arne's Treasure), which won him international acclaim, Gunnar Hedes Saga (1922), and Gösta Berlings Saga (1924). His versatility is shown in Erotikon (1920)…

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Mavis Gallant - Biography, Critical assessment, Major works, Current life, Selected bibliography

Short-story writer and novelist, born in Montreal, Quebec, SE Canada. Educated bilingually, she has lived mainly in Paris since 1950, contributing regularly to The New Yorker. Now recognized as one of Canada's foremost short-story writers, she was not widely read in Canada until publication of From the Fifteenth District (1979). Among later works are Home Truths (1981), Overhead in a Balloon (1985…

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Max (Ferdinand) Perutz - Books

Biochemist, born in Vienna, Austria. He studied at Vienna and Cambridge, and worked at the Cavendish Laboratory on the molecular stucture of haemoglobin, using the technique of X-ray diffraction. He became director of the Medical Research Council's unit for molecular biology, shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1962, and was awarded the Order of Merit in 1988. Max Ferdinand Perutz, OM (…

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Max (Forrester) Eastman - Selected works by Max Eastman

Journalist and writer, born in Canandaigua, New York, USA. The editor of two prominent left-wing publications, The Masses (1913–17) and The Liberator (1918–22), he later became a critic of Marxism in his writings, lectures, and broadcasts. Max Forrester Eastman (January 4, 1883–March 25, 1969) was a socialist American writer and patron of the Harlem Renaissance, later famous as an anti-…

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Max (Johann Sigismund) Schultze

Zoologist, born in Freiburg, SW Germany. He studied at Greifswald and Berlin, and taught zoology at Bonn from 1859. His best-known work is on unicellular organisms. In 1861 he argued that cells in general contain a nucleus and protoplasm as ‘the basis of life’ and that a boundary membrane is not always present. His duplicity theory of vision of 1866, based on his study of the retina of birds, as…

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Max (Karl Ernst Ludwig) Planck

Theoretical physicist, born in Kiel, N Germany. He studied at Munich and Berlin, where he became professor of theoretical physics (1889–1926). His work on thermodynamics and black body radiation led him to abandon classical principles and introduce the quantum theory (1900), for which he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1918. Several research institutes now carry his name. …

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Max (Machgielis) Euwe - Biography, Notable chess games, Quotes

Dutch mathematician and chess grand master (the only amateur to win the world championship in the chess history), born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He was world champion from 1935, when he had a surprise victory over Alekhine, until 1937, when Alekhine, who had adopted a regime of rigid self-discipline, won the return match. Euwe then went back to lecturing on mathematics and mechanics, and in 1…

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Max (Rudolf) Frisch - Life, List of works, Further reading

Playwright and novelist, born in Zürich, N Switzerland. He became a newspaper correspondent and a student of architecture, while developing his literary career. His novels include Stiller (1954), a satire on the Swiss way of life, Homo Faber (1957), and Bluebeard (1983). His plays, modern morality pieces, include Nun singen sie wieder (1945, Now They Sing Again), Andorra (1962), and Triptych (198…

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Max (Theordor Felix) von Laue

Physicist, born near Koblenz, W Germany. As professor of physics at Zürich (1912), he worked on X-ray diffraction in crystals, leading to the use of X-rays to study the atomic structure of matter. He supported Einstein's theory of relativity, and investigated quantum theory and the Compton effect. He was appointed director of the Institute for Theoretical Physics in 1919, and director of the Max …

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Max (Wall George Lorimer) Wall

Actor and comedian, born in London, UK. He made his stage debut at 14 in pantomime, and built a reputation as one of the finest British comics of his time in music hall and radio performances with a laconic comedy routine. In 1966 he appeared as Père Ubu in Jarry's Ubu Roi, and subsequently developed a special affinity for the plays of Samuel Beckett. He also appeared as a solo artist, and presen…

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Max (Walter) Bygraves - Life, Trivia, Catch phrases, UK chart singles, Film parts, Autobiography

Entertainer, born in Rotherhithe, SE Greater London, UK. Educated there, he worked for an advertising agency before joining the RAF (1940–5), where he became involved in entertainment for the troops. A professional entertainer since 1946, he has performed all over the world, and is among the best-selling recording artists. His catchphrase, ‘I wanna tell you a story’, is also the title of his au…

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Max Beckmann - Life, Themes and techniques, Beckmann's legacy, Books

Expressionist painter, draughtsman, and printmaker, born in Leipzig, EC Germany. He trained at Weimar, and in 1904 moved to Berlin where he began painting large-scale, dramatic works. The suffering he witnessed as a hospital orderly in World War 1 led him to develop a highly individual style influenced by Gothic art, which he used to give voice to the disillusionment he saw around him in post-war …

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Max Bill

Swiss politician, artist and teacher, born in Winterthur, N Switzerland. He trained at the Zürich School of Arts and Crafts (1924–7) and at the Bauhaus in Dessau (1927–9), later becoming director of the Institute for Design, Ulm (1951–6) and professor of enivonmental design at the Institute for Fine Arts, Hamburg (1967–74). Working as an architect as well as a painter, sculptor, and product d…

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Max Born - Early life and education, Career, Published works, Awards and Honors, Bibliography

Physicist, born in Wroc?aw, SW Poland (formerly Breslau, Prussia). He became professor of theoretical physics at Göttingen (1921–33), lecturer at Cambridge (1933–6), and professor of natural philosophy at Edinburgh (1936–53). In 1954 he shared the Nobel Prize for Physics with Walther Bothe for work in the field of quantum physics. Max Born (December 11, 1882 in Breslau – January 5, 19…

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Max Brod - Works, Further reading

Jewish writer and cultural philosopher, born in Prague, Czech Republic. A committed Zionist, he emigrated to Palestine in 1939. Previously he had worked as a civil servant and literary critic, championing the work of his friends Kafka and Werfel. His wide-ranging prose harks back to Austrian as well as Jewish traditions, and favoured subjects are history, religion, and love. His novels include the…

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Max Bruch

Composer, born in Cologne, W Germany. He became musical director at Koblenz in 1865, and conducted the Liverpool Philharmonic Society (1880–3), introducing many of his choral works. He is best known for his violin concerto in G minor, the Kol Nidrei variations in which he employs the idioms of Hebrew and Celtic traditional melodies, and the Konzertstück. Max Christian Friedrich Bruch (Col…

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Max Fleischer

Cartoonist, inventor, and animated film producer, born in Vienna, Austria. He was taken to New York City at the age of four. He developed the rotoscope (1917), a device still used for transferring live action film into animated cartoon via tracing. With his brother Dave (1894–1979) he produced many Out Of The Inkwell films, which combined live action with animation. The brothers also created the …

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Max Horkheimer - Biography, Philosophy and writings

Philosopher and social theorist, born in Stuttgart, SW Germany. He studied at Frankfurt, where he was director of the Institute for Social Research (1930–3) (the ‘Frankfurt school’). He moved with the school to New York City when the Nazis came to power, and returned to Frankfurt in 1950 as professor at the university. He published a series of influential articles in the 1930s, collected in two…

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Max Immelmann

German airman. He laid the foundation of German fighter tactics in World War 1, and originated the Immelmann turn - a half-loop followed by a half-roll. He was killed in action. Max Immelmann (September 21, 1890 - June 18, 1916) was a German World War I Flying ace. He was born in Dresden, the son of a paper board container factory owner. When World War I started, Imm…

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Max Jacob

Poet, born in Quimper, NW France. After a children's book, he published a religious text Saint Matorel (1909), then Oeuvres mystiques et burlesques du Frère Matorel mort au Couvent de Barcelone (1911), and Breton songs La Côte (1913). He mixed novels and poetry in a style which was the precursor of Dadaism. Later works include a collection of prose poems in the Surrealist manner, Le Cornet à d

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Max Klinger

Painter and sculptor, born in Leipzig, EC Germany. He studied in Karlsruhe, Brussels, and Paris, and excited hostility as well as admiration by his pen drawings and etchings, which were audaciously original in concept and often imbued with macabre realism. Later he turned to painting, and did much work in coloured sculpture, including Beethoven (1902), and an unfinished monument to Richard Wagner.…

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Max Liebermann

Painter and etcher, born in Berlin, Germany. He studied at Weimar and in Paris, where he first won fame as ‘disciple of the ugly’. In Germany from 1878, he painted open-air studies and scenes of humble life which were often sentimental. Later, however, his work became more colourful and romantic and, influenced by the French Impressionists, he became the leading painter of that school in his own…

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Max Pechstein

Painter and print-maker, born in Zwickau, E Germany. He studied in Dresden, where he joined the avant-garde Die Brücke group in 1906. From 1908 he helped found the rival Neue Sezession in Berlin, and developed a colourful style indebted to Matisse and to the Fauvists. He taught at the Berlin Academy from 1923 until he was dismissed by the Nazis in 1933. He was reinstated in 1945. Max Herma…

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Max Reger - Life, Works

Composer, born in Brand, SC Germany. He studied at Weiden, taught music at Wiesbaden and Munich, and became director of music at Leipzig University (1907), then professor (1908). He composed organ music, piano concertos, choral works, and songs. Johann Baptist Joseph Maximilian Reger (March 19, 1873 – May 11, 1916) was a German composer, organist, pianist and teacher. Born in …

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Max Rudolf

Conductor, born in Frankfurt, Germany. After an active German career, he went to the USA in 1940, where he conducted much at the Metropolitan Opera, and led the Cincinnati Symphony (1958–70). After his tenure in Cincinnati, he served as conductor of the Dallas Symphony for a season (1973-74), artistic advisor of the New Jersey Symphony (1976-77), as well as regular engagements with m…

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Max Scheler - Philosophical contributions, Biographical Data, Primary references (English translations)

Philosopher and social theorist, born in Munich, SE Germany. He taught at the universities of Jena (1900–6), Munich (1907–10), Cologne (1919–27), and Frankfurt (1928). Influenced by Husserl, he developed a distinctive version of phenomenology which he set out in his major work, Der Formalismus in der Ethik und die materiale Wertethik (1921, Formalism in Ethics and the Material Value Ethics). He…

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Max Theiler

Bacteriologist, born in Pretoria, South Africa. He settled in the USA in 1922, and worked at Harvard Medical School (1922–30) and the Rockefeller Institute, New York City (1930–64), and became professor at Yale Medical School (1964–7). He was awarded the 1951 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his research on yellow fever, for which he discovered the vaccine 17-D in 1939. Max The…

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Max Tishler - Honors

Chemist and inventor, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He studied at Tufts and Harvard, and in the late 1930s developed a synthesis of riboflavin that made the large-scale production of vitamin B2 economical. The practical synthesis of other vitamins resulted from this breakthrough. After a long career as a research chemist, he became a professor of chemistry at Wesleyan University, Connecticut…

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Max Uhle

German archaeologist, whose pioneering work in Peru and Bolivia (1892–1912) revolutionized the archaeology of South America. Trained as a philologist, he became interested in Peru while a curator at Dresden Museum, and undertook excavations at Pachacamac, near the coast of Peru, and on Mochica and Chimu sites. He later extended his work into the highlands and to Bolivia, Ecuador, and Chile, makin…

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Max van der Stoel

Dutch politician and lawyer, born in Voorschoten, W Netherlands. He studied law at Leiden and worked in 1953–8 for the Wiardi Beckman Stichting (academic office of the Partij van de Arbeid (PvdA)). In 1960 he entered the Upper House for the PvdA, in 1963 the Lower House, and became secretary of state for Foreign Affairs (1965–6), and twice minister of foreign affairs (1973–7, 1981–2). He was a…

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Max von Sydow - Early life, Awards, Filmography

Actor, born in Lund, S Sweden. He studied at the Royal Dramatic Theatre School, Stockholm (1948–51). Following his film debut in 1949, he began a long professional association with the director Ingmar Bergman at the Municipal Theatre of Malmö. Sydow's aloof presence well suited the brooding characterizations portrayed in such Bergman films as The Seventh Seal (1957) and Through a Glass Darkly (1…

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Max Weber - Life and career, Achievements

Painter and sculptor, born in Bia?ystok, NE Poland. Emigrating with his family to Brooklyn (1891), he studied at the Pratt Institute (1898–1900), in Paris with Matisse (1908), then settled in New York (1909). His paintings and sculptures were influenced by Expressionism, as seen in ‘The Geranium’ (1911), and by Cubism, as in ‘Chinese Restaurant’ (1915). He moved to Garden City, Long Island (1…

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Max Weber - Life and career, Achievements

Sociologist and economist, born in Erfurt, C Germany. He studied at Heidelberg and Berlin universities, and held posts at Berlin (1893), Freiberg (1894), Heidelberg (1897), and Munich (1919). His best known work is Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus (1904, The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism), which was a major influence on sociological theory. He helped to draf…

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Max Wertheimer

Psychologist and philosopher, born in Prague, Czech Republic. He studied law in Prague, then psychology at Berlin and Würzburg universities. In 1912 he conducted experiments in perception with Koffka and Köhler which led to the founding of the Gestalt school of psychology. He was professor at Berlin and Frankfurt, but left Germany for the USA in 1933 at the Nazi assumption of power, and taught a…

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Maxim (Maximovich) Litvinov

Russian politician and diplomat, born in Bialystok, NE Poland. He joined the Russian Social Democratic Party (1898), was exiled to Siberia (1903), but escaped. At the Revolution he was appointed Bolshevik ambassador in London (1917–8). He became deputy people's commissar for foreign affairs in 1921, then commissar (1930–9), achieving US recognition of Soviet Russia (1934). He was dismissed in 19…

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Maxim Gorky - Life, Selected works, Works about Gorky

Novelist and playwright, born in Nizhni Novgorod, W Russia. He held a variety of menial posts before becoming a writer, producing several Romantic short stories, then social novels and plays, notably the drama Na dne (1902, The Lower Depths). At first he modelled his plays on Chekhov. An autobiographical trilogy (1915–23) contains his best writing. Involved in strikes and imprisoned in 1905, he w…

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Maxime du Camp

Poet, novelist, art critic, and traveller, born in Paris, France, the son of the famous surgeon Theodore Du Camp (1792–1823). He published memoirs of his many travels, particularly in the Orient, such as Egypte, Nubie, Palestine et Syrie (1852). His Expédition des deux-Siciles (1861) recounted his experiences as a volunteer with Garibaldi. He was elected to the Académie Française in 1880. …

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Maxime Weygand - Early years, Weygand during World War I, Inter-war period, Weygand in World War II

French soldier, born in Brussels, Belgium. He trained at St Cyr and became an instructor. As chief-of-staff to Foch (1914–23), he rendered admirable service, but as chief-of-staff of the French army (1931–5) he was handicapped by his lack of experience as a field commander. In 1940 his employment of an outmoded linear defence to hold a penetration in depth completed the rout of the French army. …

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Maximilien S

French soldier, born in Ham, N France. He entered the army in 1791, by 1808 was a brigadier general, and retired after the defeat of Napoleon (1815). He was elected to the Chamber of Deputies (1819) where he led the Liberal Opposition, and was a constant advocate of constitutional liberty. Maximilien Sébastien Foy (February 3, 1775 – November 28, 1825) was a French military leader, state…

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Maxine (Ting Ting) Hong Kingston - Selected works

Writer, born in Stockton, California, USA. She studied at the University of California, Berkeley (1962 BA, teaching certificate 1965). She married Earll Kingston (1962), and taught at a variety of high schools in Hawaii and California (1965–9) and at the college level (1970). She divided her time between Hawaii and Studio City, CA. In her books she often blended legend and autobiography, as in Th…

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Maxine Kumin - Life, Career, Trivia, Bibliography

Poet and writer, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. She studied at Radcliffe (1946 BA; 1948 MA), and married in 1946. She taught at Tufts (1958–61, 1965–8), Princeton (1977, 1979, 1981–2), and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1984) among other institutions. A writer of fiction, children's books, essays, and poetry, she was named poetry consultant to the Library of Congress (1981…

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Maxwell (Evarts) Perkins - External links

Editor and publisher, born in New York City, USA. He joined Charles Scribner's as an editor in 1914, later holding various corporate offices there. He showed a genius for recognizing and fostering talent, publishing early works by F Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Wolfe, Ernest Hemingway, and others. Maxwell Evarts Perkins (September 20, 1884 – June 17, 1947) was the famous editor of novelists F…

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Maxwell Bodenheim - Selected works

Writer, born in Hermanville, Mississippi, USA. He lived in Chicago from 1902 and, after being expelled from high school (1908), mixed with the literary figures of Chicago before moving to New York City (1915). He published Minna and Myself (1918), the first of his 11 volumes of poetry; he also published novels, including Replenishing Jessica (1925), which were considered cynical and indecent. As t…

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May Fourth Movement - Background, Outbreak and course of the May Fourth Movement, Historical significance and the New Cultural Movement

A 5000-student demonstration in Beijing on 4 May 1919 against the Western powers' Versailles decision granting Japan rights over Shandong (Shantung). The protest crystallized nationwide aspirations for a new China, and inspired both revolutionary and gradualist strands in the New Culture Movement. The May Fourth Movement (Traditional Chinese: 五四運動, Simplified Chinese: 五四运动, …

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May Hill Arbuthnot - The Arbuthnot Prize, The Arbuthnot Honor Lecture

Educator, born in Mason City, Iowa, USA. While she was principal of the Cleveland, OH Kindergarten-Primary Training School (1922–7), the school was made a department of elementary education at Western Reserve University and she became associate professor. She established the first nursery schools in Ohio, and founded the Western Reserve Nursery School, which became a nationally known centre for t…

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Maya (Mikhaylovna) Plisetskaya - Early life, Career

Ballerina, born in Moscow, Russia. The niece of Asaf Messerer, she trained at the Bolshoi School, and was made a principal immediately on joining the company in 1943. Celebrated for her classical roles, she came to represent the epitome of the Bolshoi style. Best known for the role Alberto Alonso created for her in Carmen Suite (1967), she also danced in Roland Petit's company in La Rose malade (1…

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Maya (Ying) Lin - Quotes

Landscape architect and sculptor, born in Athens, Ohio, USA. At age 21 as a graduate student at Yale's School of Architecture, she was the centre of a major controversy when her design for a memorial to those who died in Vietnam was chosen to be erected in Washington, DC. In 1990 her memorial to the civil-rights movement was dedicated in Montgomery, AL. She later opened her own design studio in Ne…

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Maya Angelou - Background, Works, Film and television, Poetry works, XM Radio

Writer, singer, dancer, and African-American activist, born in St Louis, Missouri, USA. She has had a variety of occupations in what she describes as ‘a roller-coaster life’. She toured Europe and Africa in the musical Porgy and Bess, and in New York City joined the Harlem Writers Guild. In the 1960s she was involved in black struggles, then spent several years in Ghana as editor of African Revi…

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Mayfair - Streets and squares, Nearest places

A district in London, UK where throughout the 17th-c a fair was held in May. It became a fashionable residential area in the late 19th-c and early 20th-c, but is now largely given over to offices. It lies between Piccadilly and Oxford St to the N and S, and between Hyde Park and Regent St to the E and W. Mayfair is an area in the City of Westminster in London, named after the annual…

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mayfly - Trivia

A winged insect with a short adult life. Mayflies live as aquatic larvae for up to four years, then emerge as non-feeding, flying adults that survive only 2–72 hours, during which time mating takes place. (Order: Ephemeroptera, c.2000 species.) The mayflies belong to the order Ephemeroptera (Ephemeroptera: Greek Ephemeros - short-lived, pteron - wing, referring to the short life span of ad…

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Maynooth - History, Bond Bridge Redevelopment

53º23N 6º35W, pop (2001e) 10 000. Historic town in Co Kildare, E Ireland; located 25 km/15 mi W of Dublin; birthplace of George Barrington; railway; university; Maynooth College (1795) training seminary for priests; castle (1175) was home of the Fitzgeralds (earls of Kildare) and the political capital of the country during 15th–16th-c; St Mary's Church (originally 13th-c); rapidly growing c…

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Mayo - Places, People's names

pop (2000e) 112 000; area 5398 km²/2084 sq mi. County in Connacht province, W Ireland; bounded N and W by the Atlantic Ocean; drained by R Moy (noted for salmon fishing); Achill I lies off W coast; Nephin Beg Range to the NW; capital, Castlebar; sheep and cattle farming, potatoes, oats; Knock, scene of apparition of Virgin Mary in 1879, major place of pilgrimage, served by new airport; Croag…

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mayor - Municipal Mayoral types and titles, Multi-tier local government

The political head of a town or city government. The name is used in a vast range of political systems, but the role and to some extent the status of mayors vary considerably. In some cases the mayor can have significant executive powers of decision-making and appointment, while in others the position is one of chairing local councils while enjoying few special powers; in a few instances the role …

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Mayotte

pop (2000e) 156 900; area 374 km²/144 sq mi. Small island group of volcanic origin, E of the Comoros Is at the N end of the Mozambique Channel, W Indian Ocean; administered by France; two main islands; Grande Terre (area 360 km²/140 sq mi), rising to 660 m/2165 ft at Mt Benara; La Petite Terre or Ilot de Pamandzi (area 14 km²/5 sq mi); capital, Dzaoudzi; chief languages, French, Ma…

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maypole - Regional traditions, Symbolism, Modern popular culture

Traditionally in Britain and continental Europe, a tall pole decorated with vegetation and ribbons on the first of May, and the focus of festivities on that day to welcome Spring and ensure fertility. Since the later 19th-c a shorter pole is sometimes substituted, around which adults or children perform a plaited-ribbon dance at many open-air festivities (such as village weddings or the traditiona…

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Mazo de la Roche - Biography

Novelist, born in Newmarket, Ontario, SE Canada. She wrote Jalna (1927), the first of a series of novels about the Whiteoak family. Whiteoaks (1929) was dramatized with considerable success. She also wrote children's stories and travel books. Mazo de la Roche (January 15, 1879 – July 12, 1961), born Mazo Louise Roche in Newmarket, Ontario, Canada, was the author of the Jalna novels, one o…

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mazurka - Media

A quick Polish dance in triple metre, with a strong accent on the second or third beat. Chopin wrote numerous examples for piano. The mazurka (Polish: mazurek, probably named after Poland's Masuria district) is a Polish folk dance in triple metre with a lively tempo, containing a heavy accent on the third or second beat. Several classical composers have written mazurkas, w…

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MCC - Non-Profit Organizations, Sports

Abbreviation of Marylebone Cricket Club, whose headquarters are at Lord's Cricket Ground, N London. It was founded in 1787 by a group of noblemen headed by the Earl of Winchilsea, Lord Charles Lennox, the Duke of York, and the Duke of Dorset. It retained responsibility for the running of the game until 1968, and is still custodian of the laws. M.C.C. may refer to: …

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McDonald Observatory - History

The astronomical observatory of the University of Texas, in the Davis Mountains near Fort Davis, TX. Its largest instrument is the 9·2 m/360 in Hobby-Eberly Telescope, designed for the spectroscopic analysis of starlight. Other instruments include reflectors of 2·7 m/107 in and 2·1 m/82 in aperture. The McDonald Observatory is located in the Davis Mountains, 450 miles west of Austi…

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McGeorge Bundy - See also, Further reading

US government administrator, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He studied at Yale, and became a junior fellow at Harvard (1941). After working in intelligence during World War 2, he joined Harvard as dean of arts and sciences (1953). He is remembered for his major role in foreign policy decisions during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations, notably in the Vietnam War. After resigning (1966), …

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mead - History of mead, Varieties of mead, Mead in Contemporary Religious Worship

An alcoholic beverage derived from fermented honey. It was widely drunk in Anglo-Saxon England, and was known as hydromel by the Romans. Mead is a fermented alcoholic beverage made of honey, water, and yeast. Mead is also known as "honey wine," even if it is considered a separate and distinct type of alcoholic beverage. A mead that also contains spices (like cloves, cinnamon or …

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Meade (Anderson) Lewis

Musician, born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. Originally a violin student, he worked as a pianist in Chicago nightclubs for many years. His recording of ‘Honky Tonk Train Blues’ (1929) was belatedly very successful (1936), and he became a leading exponent of the boogie-woogie piano during the late 1930s. Meade Anderson "Lux" Lewis (1905 - 1964) was a United States pianist and composer noted f…

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meadowlark

A bird native to the New World; plumage streaked and mottled on back; inhabits grassland and cultivation; eats insects and seeds; nests on ground. (Genus: Sturnella, 5 species. Family: Icteridae.) …

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mealworm

The larva of a darkling ground beetle, Tenebrio molitor, which feeds on stored flour; a cylindrical larva up to 25 mm/1 in long, well-adapted to life in very arid conditions. (Order: Coleoptera. Family: Tenebrionidae.) Mealworms are the larval form of the mealworm beetle, Tenebrio molitor, a species of darkling beetle. …

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mealybug

A scale insect that infests all parts of its host plants; adult female flattened, males enclosed in cocoon-like sac; can lay eggs or bear live young; worldwide, including many pests of cultivated plants. (Order: Homoptera. Family: Pseudococcidae, c.1100 species.) Mealybug is the common name of insects in Pseudococcidae, a family of unarmored scale insects found in moist, warm climates. Howe…

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mean - Examples of means, Properties

In mathematics, the sum of n scores, divided by n; colloquially called the ‘average’. The arithmetic mean is obtained by adding a set of scores and dividing the total by the number of scores; for example, the arithmetic mean of the scores 6, 2, 8, 4 is 5 (6 + 2 + 8 + 4 = 20; 20 ÷ 4 = 5). If the scores are x1, x2, x3,...xn, the mean m is , written . The geometric mean of n scores is …

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mean free path - Derivation, Examples

The average distance travelled by some atom or molecule before colliding with another, typically about 60 nm in gases; symbol l, units m (metre). It is important in understanding the properties of gases, such as diffusion, and the movement of such particles as electrons and neutrons through solids. In physics and kinetic theory, the mean free path of a particle, such as a molecule, is the …

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means test

A method of assessing an individual or family's eligibility for some kind of financial assistance, used by government agencies and local authorities. The ‘means’ refers to a person's income and other sources of money. Aid is given on a sliding scale, and above a certain level no help is given. The expression is used infrequently nowadays, because of its emotive overtones, and has largely been re…

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measles - Symptoms, Complications, Public health, MMR Eradication

A viral childhood disease spread by airborne infected droplets. It begins with a cough and runny nose, followed by a generalized blotchy red rash and fever. Complications include pneumonia and secondary bacterial middle-ear infection. Diffuse viral infection of the brain (encephalitis) also occurs rarely and can result in permanent brain damage. The incidence of the illness in developed countries …

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meat - Methods of preparation, Abstention from meat, In vitro and imitation meat, Notes and references

The edible muscle of animals, the most common forms including beef, pork, bacon, lamb, and poultry. The flesh of many other species is also eaten as meat, including the horse, buffalo, camel, dog, deer, rabbit, and monkey, though cultural practices vary. Meat is rich in protein, iron, and zinc. The amount of fat in meat is determined by age, the method of husbandry, and butchering method. M…

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Mecca - Etymology, History, Current status, Importance, Non-Muslims and Mecca, Spelling

21°30N 39°54E, pop (2000e) 1 005 000. Islamic holy city in Mecca province, WC Saudi Arabia; 64 km/40 mi E of its Red Sea port, Jedda; birthplace of Mohammed and site of the Kaba, the chief shrine of Muslim pilgrimage; between 1·5 and 2 million pilgrims visit Mecca annually; city closed to non-Muslims; large bazaars, al-Harram Mosque with the Kaba and sacred Black Stone. Mecca IPA: […

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mechanical advantage - Mechanical advantage, Type of mechanical advantage, Example, graphically shown

The ratio of the resistance or load to the applied force or effort of a machine; for example, the weight lifted by a lever divided by the effort required. It is an essential property of a machine, which can be less than, equal to, or greater than 1. The actual mechanical advantage of a working machine is always less than that predicted because some extra effort is always needed to overcome frictio…

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mechanical engineering - Development of mechanical engineering, Education, Process of Mechanical Engineering, Tools and Work, Subdisciplines

The branch of engineering concerned with the design, construction, and operation of machines of all types. It is also concerned with the production and application of mechanical power. Hence mechanical engineers design, operate, and test engines that produce power from steam, petrol, nuclear energy, and other sources, and a wide range of associated equipment. The field became a separate branch of …

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mechanics - Significance, Types of Mechanical Bodies, Sub-disciplines in mechanics, Professional Organizations

The study of the motion of objects as a result of the forces acting on them. Motion in a straight line is called linear or rectilinear motion, and is described using mass m, velocity v, acceleration a, momentum p, and force F; rotational motion is described using moment of inertia I, angular velocity ?, angular acceleration ?, angular momentum L, and torque ?. Quantum mechanics governs objects the…

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mechanization - Military usage

The use of machines wholly or partly to replace the human operator. Unlike automation, in which there is no reference to the operator at all, mechanization requires some input from people, in terms of feeding in data and giving instructions. Early mechanization replaced the craftsman by the machine operator, and involved the use of machines such as levers and pulleys. Computers are the major examp…

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Mecklenburg - History, Coat of arms of the duchies of Mecklenburg, People from Mecklenburg

Former German state and historical region located along the Baltic Sea coastal plain; today comprises the Rostock, Schwerin, and Neubrandenburg districts of Germany. The name "Mecklenburg" derives from a castle named "Mikilenburg" (Old German: "big castle"), located between the cities of Schwerin and Wismar. Mecklenburg is the site of many prehistoric dolmen tombs. The 11th cent…

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Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence - The Declaration

(1775) Resolutions adopted in Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, during the American Revolution, denying all British authority. The resolutions were ignored by the Continental Congress, which at that point was much more interested in reconciliation with Britain than in independence from it. The Mecklenburg Declaration of Independence is a resolution allegedly proclaimed at Charlotte, North…

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medal - Orders, Decorations and Medals, Table medals, Competition Medals, Artist's Medals

A piece of metal, often in the form of a coin or cross, bearing a device or inscription, struck or cast in commemoration of an event or as a reward for merit. Medals may be awarded for personal bravery (eg Victoria Cross, Medal of Honor), for participation in an event or battle (eg Victoria Medal, awarded to soldiers of all Allied nations in World War 1), or for sports (eg Olympic gold, silver, an…

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MOH) Medal of Honor (MH - Awarding the medal, Authority and privileges, Similar decorations

In the USA, the highest decoration awarded for heroism, instituted in 1861; it is worn on a blue ribbon decorated with white stars. The Medal of Honor is the highest military decoration awarded by the United States. Members of all branches of the U.S. military are eligible to receive the medal, and each service has a unique design (although the Marine Corps uses the Navy's medal…

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Medea - Medea and Jason, Music, Cinema and television, Medea in popular culture

In Greek mythology, a witch, the daughter of Aeetes, the King of Colchis, who assisted Jason in obtaining the Golden Fleece. On their return to Iolcos, she renewed the youth of an aged ram by boiling it in a cauldron, and tricked the daughters of Pelias into performing a similar ritual, so that they destroyed their own father. When deserted by Jason at Corinth, she fled in her aerial chariot after…

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Medes - The six Mede tribes in Herodotus, Early historical references to Medes, Mede Empire

An ancient people living to the SW of the Caspian Sea, often wrongly identified with the Persians. At their peak in the 7th-c and 6th-c BC, they conquered Urartu and Assyria, and extended their power as far west as C Turkey. In the E they ruled most of Iran. Their empire passed to the Persians c.550 BC. The Medes (Kurdish Medya, Mêdî or Mad, Modern Persian مادها, Mādḥā) were an a…

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media

The means of producing and disseminating news, information, and entertainment to a universal audience, typically through the press (both tabloid and broadsheet), magazines, cinema, radio and television, and even paperback publishing and pornography. Developing historically with industrialization and urbanization, the mass media have come to play an influential role in every nation's economic, poli…

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median - Popular explanation, Non-uniqueness, Measures of statistical dispersion, Medians of probability distributions

In mathematics, the middle score, when the scores are arranged in order of size; for example, the scores 1, 5, 3, 7, 2 are re-arranged 1, 2, 3, 5, 7, and the middle score is 3. If we have an even number of scores, the median is the mean of the two middle scores; thus for 1, 4, 5, 2, the median is ½(2 + 4), ie 3. For a continuous distribution, the median M is such that half the scores…

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medical ethics - Death and dying, Reproductive medicine, Medical research, Distribution and utilization of research and care

The branch of medicine that deals with the incorporation of an individual's interests, societal values, legal issues, and moral arguments into medical practice. Examples of the areas covered include consent to treatment, confidentiality, research on human subjects, contraception and abortion, rationing of health care, and the prolonging of life in the event of serious irreversible brain damage. …

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Medici - Notable members, Medici family tree (1360 – 1675)

A banking family which virtually ruled Florence from 1434 to 1494, though without holding formal office. They were overthrown by the republic in 1494, but restored to power in 1512, and from 1537 became hereditary dukes of Florence, and from 1569 Grand Dukes of Tuscany. They produced three popes (Leo X, Clement VII, and Leo XI), two queens of France (Catherine de' Medici and Marie de' Medici), and…

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medicine - Overview, History of medicine, Practice of medicine, Branches of medicine, Midlevel Practitioner, Veterinary Medicine, Medical education

The science and practice of preventing, alleviating, and curing human illness. From the earliest times, trial-and-error revealed plants and parts of animals to be poisonous, edible, or useful in disease; this led to medical folklore and herbal remedies. Prior to the scientific revolution of the 19th-c, attempts to cope with serious disease were frustrated by the lack of a satisfactory theory of di…

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Medina - History, Skirmish in Rabigh — 623

24°35N 39°52E, pop (2000e) 813 000. Islamic holy city in Medina province, Saudi Arabia; 336 km/209 mi N of Mecca; second most important holy city of Islam (after Mecca), containing the tomb of Mohammed; after his flight from Mecca, Mohammed sought refuge here; important pilgrimage trade, served by the Red Sea port of Yanbu al-Bahr; city closed to non-Muslims; airfield; Islamic university (19…

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Medina del Campo - Highlights, Medina in the Middle Ages, Medina, city of Fairs

41°18N 4°55W. Spanish township in the province of Valladolid; cereals, vines, pig and sheep farming; noted for its dairy products, wood products, and chemical industry; important fairs were the key to its financial success in the wool trade with Antwerp. Medina del Campo is a small town located in the middle of the Spanish Meseta Central, in Castile-Leon autonomous region. Med…

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meditation - Overview, Types of meditation, Meditation in context, Physical postures, Purposes and effects of meditation

Devout and continuous reflection on a particular religious theme, practised in many religions and serving a variety of aims, such as deepening spiritual insight, or achieving union with the divine will. Some religions hold that disciplined breathing, posture, and ordering of thoughts deepen meditation. The term Meditation describes a variety of practices with a variety of goals. Med…

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Mediterranean Sea - History, Geography and Climate, Oceanography, Bordering countries, Subdivisions, Geology, Ecology

area 2 516 000 km²/971 000 sq mi. World's largest inland sea, lying between Africa, Asia, and Europe; connected with the Atlantic by the 14·5 km/9 mi-wide Straits of Gibraltar, with the Black Sea by the Dardanelles, Sea of Marmara, and Bosporus, and with the Indian Ocean by the Suez Canal and Red Sea; subdivided into the Ligurian, Adriatic, Aegean, Ionian, and Tyrrhenian Seas; length, 38…

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medium (art)

The liquid into which pigment is mixed to make paint. Its purpose is to enable the pigment to be spread on the surface of the picture, and to stick. Various substances have been used for this, including oil, glue, size, egg, vegetable gum, and wax. Medium may refer to: In general, a medium is a material that is either itself undergoing a process that is being studied or used (e.…

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medium (parapsychology)

Especially in spiritualism, a person through whom spirits of the dead are claimed to demonstrate their presence by means of spoken or written messages, or apparently paranormal physical effects. Medium may refer to: In general, a medium is a material that is either itself undergoing a process that is being studied or used (e.g. Specific examples include the following: …

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medlar

A small deciduous tree or shrub (Mespilus germanica), growing to 6 m/20 ft, native to SE Europe, and cultivated and naturalized elsewhere; leaves oblong, yellowish; flowers solitary, 3–6 cm/1¼–2½ in diameter, white; sepals leafy, longer than petals; fruit 2–3 cm/¾–1¼ in, brown, becoming soft and edible when over-ripe. (Family: Rosaceae.) Medlar (Mespilus) is a genus of two spe…

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medulla oblongata - Blood supply, Additional images

The lower part of the brain stem, continuous with the pons above and the spinal cord below. It contains the ‘vital centres’ (so-called because damage to them is often fatal) concerned with the reflex control of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems. It also helps to govern swallowing, sneezing, coughing, and vomiting. The medulla is often thought of as being in two parts, an open par…

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medusa - Medusa in art and legend, Medusa as a sexual image, Medusa in popular culture

The free-swimming phase in the life-cycle of a coelenterate. The body is typically discoid or bell-shaped, usually radially symmetrical, with marginal tentacles and a centrally located mouth on the underside. The medusa contains the reproductive organs, and is the sexual phase in the coelenterate life cycle. In a late version of the Medusa tale (related by the Roman poet Ovid) Medusa was or…

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Medusa - Medusa in art and legend, Medusa as a sexual image, Medusa in popular culture

In Greek mythology, the name of one of the Gorgons, whose head is portrayed with staring eyes and snakes for hair. In a late version of the Medusa tale (related by the Roman poet Ovid) Medusa was originally a beautiful woman, but she lived in a country where the sun never shone. Medusa asked goddess Athene to transport her to another country, but Athene denied her request. Medusa then…

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Meech Lake Accord - The agreement, Opposition, Compromise and agreement, Aftermath

A Canadian constitutional package, put together by the government of Brian Mulroney in 1987 at a conference at Meech L, N of Ottawa. It proposed a fresh federal structure for Canada, giving the provinces more authority, and recognized Quebec as a ‘distinct society’. The Accord died after it failed to receive the support of all 10 Provinces and First Nations leaders in 1990. The Meech Lake…

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meerkat - Anatomy, Reproduction, Behavior, Habitat, Media, Meerkats in popular culture

A mongoose native to S Africa; three species: the suricate or slender-tailed meerkat (Suricata suricata); the yellow or thick-tailed meerkat, or yellow mongoose (Cynictis penicillata); and the gray meerkat or Selous mongoose (Paracynictis selousi). The meerkat or suricate is a small mammal and a member of the mongoose family. A group of meerkats is called a "mob" or "gang". Acco…

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meerschaum

A hydrated magnesium silicate mineral, which forms fine, fibrous masses like white clay and is easily carved. It is porous when dry, and is used for pipe bowls. Asia Minor is the main source. Meerschaum is a soft white mineral sometimes found floating on the Black Sea, and rather suggestive of sea-foam (German: Meerschaum), whence also the French name for the same substance, ecume de …

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Meg Ryan - Biography, Parkinson appearance, Filmography

Film actress, born in Fairfield, Connecticut, USA. After roles on stage and in television soaps, she appeared in Top Gun (1985), and became well known for her performance in When Harry Met Sally (1989). Later films include Sleepless in Seattle (1993), French Kiss (1995), which she also co-produced, City of Angels (1998), Proof of Life (2000), and Against the Ropes (2004). Meg Ryan (born Mar…

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megalith - Distribution of megaliths, Types of megalithic structures, Examples of megaliths

In European prehistory, a monument built of large, roughly-dressed stone slabs; sometimes anachronistically called a cromlech. Most are of Neolithic date. Outside Europe, comparable (though unrelated) megalithic monuments are found in S India, Tibet, SE Asia, Japan, and Oceania. A megalith is a large stone which has been used to construct a structure or monument either alone or with other s…

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megalomania - In fiction, Links

An extremely inflated view of one's own significance and abilities. This may take on a delusional quality in which, for example, the individual may believe himself to be Jesus Christ. In this situation the description of the thoughts is referred to as delusions of grandeur. There is a 19th century stereotype of megalomaniacs deluding themselves into believing they are Napoleon. …

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megavitamin therapy - Background, Usage of therapy, Criticism, Side effects, Historical References

A form of nutritional therapy based on the work of Linus Pauling, who believed that very large doses of vitamin C could cure or prevent the common cold by having a direct anti-viral effect and also by enhancing the effect of the immune system. Large doses of various vitamins have been used in psychiatry to treat patients with a wide variety of disorders, such as schizophrenia, depression, and hype…

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Meghnad Saha

Astrophysicist, born near Dacca, W Bangladesh (formerly India). He studied at Presidency College, Calcutta, visited Europe on a travelling scholarship, became professor at Allahabad University (1923), and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1927. He worked on the thermal ionization that occurs in the extremely hot atmosphere of stars, and in 1920 demonstrated that elements in stars are io…

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Megiddo

In antiquity, an important town in N Palestine controlling the main route from Egypt to Syria. Under Israelite control from around 1000 BC, it was rebuilt by Solomon (c.970–933 BC) as a military and administrative centre. Among its most impressive remains are the 9th-c stables of the Israelite kings. Megiddo could refer to: …

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Meiji Restoration (1868)) - Effects, Related links, Reference and further reading

An important point in Japanese history, when the last shogun was overthrown in a short civil war, and the position of the emperor (Mutsuhito, who ruled until 1912) was restored to political importance. Powerful new leaders set about making Japan into an industrial state. The four hereditary classes of Tokugawa Japan were abolished. New technology and technical experts were brought from the West. …

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Meiji Shrine

An important pilgrimage centre in Tokyo. The shrine was completed in 1920 and dedicated to Emperor Meiji. The present building is a reconstruction of the original which was destroyed in World War 2. Meiji Jingu (明治神宮), located in Tokyo, Japan near Harajuku Station is the Shinto shrine dedicated to the souls of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. The shrine ground…

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Meindert Hobbema - Reference

Landscape painter, probably born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. He studied under Ruysdael, but lacked his master's genius and range, contenting himself with florid, placid, and charming watermill scenes. Nevertheless his masterpiece, ‘The Avenue, Middelharnis’ (1689, National Gallery, London) is a striking exception, and has greatly influenced modern landscape artists. Meindert Hobbema (b…

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meiosis - History, Occurrence of meiosis in eukaryotic life cycles, Process, Significance of meiosis, Nondisjunction, Meiosis in humans

One of the principal mechanisms of nuclear division in living organisms, resulting in the formation of gametes (in animals) or sexual spores (in plants). During meiosis a diploid nucleus (ie one possessing a double set of chromosomes) undergoes two successive divisions. This results in the production of four cells, each receiving only one member of each chromosome pair. The halving of chromosome n…

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Meir Kahane - Early life, Ideology, Israel, Assassination, Political legacy, Son murdered

Rabbi and Jewish activist, born in New York City, New York, USA. At age 15, he was arrested in a protest against the British policy on Jewish immigration to Palestine. Ordained as an Orthodox rabbi, he earned a law degree from New York University, and became a synagogue rabbi and editor of the Jewish Press. In the 1960s he founded the Jewish Defense League, which advocated the use of violence to d…

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Meissen porcelain - Beginnings, Early Work, Famous trademark, Artistic development, Tableware patterns, Ownership, Personalities

Porcelain made at Meissen, near Dresden; the first factory in Europe to make true hard-paste porcelain. The secret was discovered in 1708 by Johann Friedrich Böttger (1682–1719). The factory, founded in 1710, was the most influential in Europe, and is still in production. Meissen porcelain is the first European porcelain. However after his untimely death Johann Friedrich Böttger who cont…

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Meissner effect

In superconductivity, the exclusion of magnetic fields from the body of the superconducting material; discovered by German physicist Walther Meissner in 1933. If a block of metal is placed in a magnetic field, the field will exist throughout the material. When the temperature is lowered to below a certain substance-dependent critical temperature, the field vanishes from inside the material, being …

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Mekn

33°53N 5°37W, pop (2000e) 465 000. City in Centre-Sud province, N Morocco; in the Moyen Atlas, 50 km/31 mi SW of Fez; one of Morocco's four imperial cities, founded in the 12th-c; several palaces built under Moulay Ismail (1672–1727) to rival the Versailles of Louis XIV; capital until 1728; railway; leather, wine, carpets, pottery; Musée des Arts Marocains, Bou Inania Médersa (14th-c, rel…

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Mel Allen - Early life and career, Return to baseball, This Week in Baseball, Computer games

Sports broadcaster, born in Birmingham, Alabama. USA. He was the broadcaster of New York Yankees games for many years (1939–64), during which time his mellow drawl gained him his nickname. He was elected to baseball's Hall of Fame in 1978. To this day - years after his death - he is still identified as the Voice of the Yankees, for his long tenure as the New York Yankees' principal play-by…

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Mel Blanc - List of characters and the year he first voiced them, Trivia

Entertainer, born in Los Angeles, California, USA. For over fifty years he provided the voices for some of the most famous cartoon characters including Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Sylvester, and Tweety Pie. In 1933 he had his own radio show Cobwebs and Nuts, and because of cash constraints provided most of the character voices himself. He took over the voice of the stammering Porky Pig (‘Th-th-th-tha…

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Mel Brooks - Biography, Works, Selected quotes, External links and references

Film actor and director, born in New York City, USA. After some years as a gag-writer and comic, he turned to film-making with The Producers (1967), following this with a number of zany comedies satirizing established movie styles, among them Blazing Saddles (1974) and Silent Movie (1976). He usually writes the script, and acts in his productions, as well as directing them. Other films include Hig…

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Mel Gibson

Film actor and director, born in Peekskill, New York, USA. In 1968 his family emigrated to Australia, where he trained as an actor at the National Institute of Dramatic Art in Sydney, he made several stage appearances before making his film debut in Summer City (1977). He became an international star following his leading role in the trio of action-packed Mad Max films (1979, 1981, 1985) and the h…

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Mel Ott

Baseball player, born in Gretna, Louisiana, USA. He was a player and later manager with the New York Giants in the National League for 22 years (1926–48). In that time he played 2732 games and hit 511 home runs. After arriving at the club at 17, he went on to play in three World Series (1933, 1936, 1937) and twice scored six runs in a single game (1934 and 1944). He became manager of New York in …

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Melanesia - People, Location

One of the three broad geographical–cultural areas of the Pacific. It includes the islands of New Guinea, the Solomons, Vanuatu, and New Caledonia. (Fiji is more usefully included in Polynesia, on account of the authority it accords hereditary chiefs.) The peoples of Melanesia typically have dark skin, kinky hair, large jaws, and a high incidence of blood group B. Numerous languages are spoken am…

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Melanie Griffith - Filmography, External links

Actress, born in New York City, USA. The daughter of Hitchcock actress Tippi Hedren, she made her screen debut in Night Moves (1975). She appeared in a number of films as a teenager, then after a gap of four years her adult career commenced with Body Double (1984). Later films include Bonfire of the Vanities (1990), Born Yesterday (1993), Lolita (1997), Crazy in Alabama (1999), and Tempo (2003). …

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Melanie Klein - Literature

Austrian child psychoanalyst. She studied under Sigmund Freud, and opened a practice in London. She was the first to use the content and style of children's play to understand their mental processes, a technique now widely used to help troubled children. Melanie Klein (March 30, 1882 – September 22, 1960) was an Austrian-born British psychoanalyst, who devised therapeutic techniqu…

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melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH) - Structure of MSH

A hormone (a polypeptide) present in the intermediate lobe of the pituitary gland of vertebrates; also known as intermedin. It stimulates the synthesis and dispersion of melanins. The melanocyte-stimulating hormones (collectively referred to as MSH) are a class of peptide hormones produced by cells in the intermediate lobe of the pituitary gland. The pigment cells are called melanopho…

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melanoma - History, Epidemiology and causes, Genetics, Diagnosis

A pigmented tumour due to overgrowth of melanin-producing cells in the basal cell layer of the skin. Increasingly in recent years a proportion are becoming malignant, enlarge rapidly, and spread to other parts of the body (malignant melanoma). Prevention is by protecting the skin from bright sunlight. Melanoma is a malignant tumor of melanocytes and, less frequently, of retinal pigment epit…

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melatonin - Role in the biological clock, Role as an antioxidant, Role in immune system, Medical applications

A hormone produced from serotonin, mainly within the pineal gland. Little is known about its precise function. Its secretion from the pineal gland and its concentration within blood both fluctuate, being highest during darkness. In humans it may be associated with the synchronization of circadian rhythms. Many biological effects of melatonin are produced through activation of melatonin rece…

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Melbourne - History, Geography, Government, Economy, Demographics, Education, Society and culture, Infrastructure, Sister cities, Notes and references

37°45S 144°58E, pop (2000e) 3 339 000. Port and state capital in Victoria, Australia; on the Yarra R, at the head of Port Phillip Bay; founded in 1835, named after the British prime minister, Lord Melbourne; state capital, 1851; capital of Australia when federal parliament sat here, 1901–27; Melbourne statistical division contains 56 local government areas; many large parks and fine 19th-c b…

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Melbourne Cricket Ground - Sporting events, Parade of Champions

An Australian sporting venue since 1853, popularly known as MCG. It is the grounds of the Victoria state team and of the Melbourne Cricket Club (the ruling body of the Australian game until 1912). The MCG staged the first cricket Test match in 1877, the first one-day international in 1971, the highest ever first-class score (1107, Victoria v. New South Wales in 1926–7), and the largest Test match…

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Melbourne Cup - Attendance, History, Recent Years, Trophy, Handicap, Past winners

Australia's principal horse race, first run in 1861, for 3-year-olds and upwards. It is now run over 3200 m (2 mi) of the Flemington Park racecourse in Victoria. Held on the first Tuesday in November, Melbourne Cup day is a social occasion like Royal Ascot. The Melbourne Cup is Australia's major annual thoroughbred horse race. The race was originally held over two miles, about…

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Meleager

Greek poet and epigrammatist, from Gadara, Syria. He was the author of 128 short elegiac poems, and many epigrams, contained in his anthology Stephanos (Garland). They comprise the core of the large collection of Greek writings known as the Greek Anthology. In Greek mythology, Meleager (Greek: Μελέαγρος) was the son of Althaea and Oeneus and, according to some accounts father of Pa…

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Meleager

A Greek hero, at whose birth the Moerae appeared and prophesied that he would die when the brand then on the fire had burnt away. His mother, Althaea, removed it and kept it. When the quarrel over the Calydonian boar took place and her brothers were killed by Meleager, she threw the brand onto the fire, so that he died. In Greek mythology, Meleager (Greek: Μελέαγρος) was the son of…

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Melilla - Political status, History, Architecture, Immigration

35°21N 2°57W, pop (2000e) 67 000. Free port and modern commercial city on N African coast of Morocco; with Ceuta, forms a region of Spain; founded as a port by the Phoenicians; free port since 1863; re-occupied by Spain in 1926; airport; car ferries to Málaga; trade in iron ore; naval shipyard; old town, Church of the Purisima Concepción (16th-c). Melilla is a Spanish city on the Medi…

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melilot

Typically an annual or biennial, native to Europe, Asia, and N Africa, often smelling strongly of new-mown hay on drying; leaves with three toothed leaflets; pea-flowers small, yellow or white, in long, narrow, spike-like inflorescences. Several species are grown for fodder, and it is also used for flavouring cheeses. (Genus: Melilotus, 20 species. Family: Leguminosae.) …

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Melina Mercouri - Early Life, Actress, Singer, Politician, Death

Film actress and politician, born in Athens, Greece. She studied drama at the National Theatre in Athens, made her stage debut in 1944, and established her reputation as Blanche in Tennessee Williams' A Streetcar Named Desire (1949). She began in films in 1955, and found international fame in 1960 in Never on Sunday. Always politically involved, she was exiled from Greece (1967–74), during which …

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melodrama - Victorian Stage Melodrama, Melodrama in opera and song, Melodrama in 1950s cinema, Current use

A theatrical genre in vogue after the French Revolution and popularized by Pixerécourt (1773–1884), which became a mass entertainment in Europe and the USA throughout the 19th-c. Originating in London in operatic theatre, melodrama is a style which emphasizes the depiction of story, the creation of suspense, and the use of sensational episodes. Well-known examples are Douglas Jerrold's Black-Eye…

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melody - What melody does, Elements, Examples

A basic constituent of music, being a succession of pitches arranged in some intelligible order. In Western music, melody is found independently of music's other basic elements (harmony and rhythm) only in plainchant and some folksong. Between c.1675 and 1925, melodic inspiration (a gift for composing ‘good tunes’) became more and more highly prized as the token of a composer's originality. Sinc…

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melon

A trailing or climbing vine (Cucumis melo) with tendrils, probably native to Africa, but cultivated from early times; leaves heart-shaped, palmately-lobed; male and female flowers yellow, c.3 cm/1¼ in diameter, funnel-shaped; fruit up to 25 cm/10 in long, round or ovoid; rind green or yellow, leathery, sometimes with a net pattern; edible flesh thick, sweet, surrounding numerous seeds. The ty…

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Melos - Geography, Natural resources, Villages, towns and notable landmarks, History, Historical population

area 151 km²/58 sq mi. Southwesternmost island of the Cyclades, Greece, in the S Aegean Sea; main town, Plaka; minerals, fruit, olives, cotton, tourism; ‘Venus de Milo’ sculpture (Louvre, Paris) discovered here in 1820. Coordinates: 36°44′N 24°25′E Milos (formerly Melos, and before the Athenian genocide at 415 B.C. see also List of traditional Greek place names, Gree…

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Melrose - Places:

42º27N 71º04W, pop (2000e) 27 100. Town in Middlesex Co, E Massachusetts, USA; residential suburb, 11 km/7 mi N of Boston; birthplace of Brooks Atkinson, David H Souter, Sewall Wright. Melrose, Scotland, (the original Melrose) is a town in the Scottish Borders. Melrose is also a neighborhood in the borough of The Bronx in New York City. (This is different from Melrose, New…

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melting point

The temperature at which a solid becomes liquid. If heat is applied to a solid, its temperature rises until the melting point is reached, when heat energy is then absorbed to form liquid from the solid. Temperature continues to rise once the melting is complete. The melting point of a crystalline solid is the temperature at which it changes state from solid to liquid. For most s…

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Melun - External links and references

48º32N 2º39E, pop (2001e) 35 400. Market town and capital of Seine-et-Marne department, Ile-de-France region, NC France; on the R Seine, 46 km/29 mi SSE of Paris and 6 km/4 mi SW of Vaux; birthplace of Jacques Amyot; conquered by Romans in 53 BC; taken by English (1420) and retaken by Joan of Arc (1430); railway; Romanesque church (11th-c) on an island in the middle of the river; agricultu…

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Melvil (Louis Kossuth) Dewey

Librarian and cataloguer, born in Adams Center, New York, USA. He studied at Amherst College (1874 AB), and his experience as a student working in the college library led him to propose his decimal-based system of classifying books. He published this as A Classification and Subject Index for Cataloguing and Arranging... a Library (1876). He was a founding member of the American Library Association…

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Melvin Calvin

Chemist, born in St Paul, Minnesota, USA. He studied at the universities of Minnesota and Manchester (UK), then became professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley (1947–71) and head of the Lawrence Radiation Laboratory there (1963–80). He was best known for his research into the role of chlorophyll in photosynthesis, for which he received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 196…

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Melvin Schwartz

Physicist, born in New York City, New York, USA. After completing all his university work at Columbia, including his PhD (1958), he worked at Brookhaven National Laboratory (1956–8), taught at Columbia (1958–66), then moved to Stanford as a physics professor (1966–83). Meanwhile, in 1970 he had founded a company, Digital Pathways, Inc, to produce systems that secured computers from outside tamp…

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membrane potential - Graded membrane potential, The Ionic Basis of the resting potential, Equilibrium potentials

The voltage differential maintained across the plasma membranes of most living cells, with the inside of the cell being negatively charged with respect to the outside; also known as transmembrane potential. Its magnitude is determined by differences in the concentrations of ions on the two sides of the membrane, varying from about ?9 to ?100 mv according to the nature of the cell. …

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membranophone

Any musical instrument in which the sound is generated by the vibrations of a stretched membrane. The most important are the various kinds of drum. Membranophones form one of the main categories in the standard classification of Hornbostel and Sachs (1914). A membranophone is any musical instrument which produces sound primarily by way of a vibrating stretched membrane. Hornbostel-Sachs div…

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Memnon

In Greek mythology, a prince from Ethiopia, the son of Eos and Tithonus, who was killed at Troy by Achilles. The Greeks thought that one of the gigantic statues at Thebes represented him; it gave out a musical sound at sunrise. Memnon may refer to: …

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Memorial Day - History, In literature and music

A national holiday in the USA, held on the last Monday in May in honour of American war dead; originally instituted as Decoration Day in 1868 in honour of soldiers killed in the American Civil War. Memorial Day is a United States federal holiday that is observed on the last Monday of May (most recently observed May 29, 2006). In addition to remembrance, Memorial Day is also a ti…

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memory - Classification by duration, Classification by information type, Classification by temporal direction, Physiology, Disorders, Memorization

The ability to access information in the mind relating to past events or experiences. Theories of memory deal with the causes of forgetting (pure decay or interference from other material), and the possibility that there may be two or more distinct stores from which information is forgotten at different rates (short-term and long-term memory). They also analyse the distinction between episodic mem…

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men's health - See Also

A recent branch of medicine that deals with preventing and treating illnesses that particularly affect men. It involves health promotion to increase awareness of diseases such as testicular and prostatic cancer, and to encourage healthy lifestyles including exercise, good diet, and sensible alcohol consumption. It also includes measures to prevent accidents and suicides, a major cause of death amo…

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Menachem (Wolfovitch) Begin - In the British Mandate of Palestine, Enters Israeli politics, Prime Minister of Israel

Israeli statesman and prime minister (1977–83), born in Brest-Litovsk, SW Belarus. He studied law at Warsaw University, and as an active Zionist became head of the Betar Zionist movement in Poland in 1931. At the invasion of Poland in 1939 he fled to Lithuania, where he was arrested by the Russians. Released in 1941, he enlisted in the Free Polish Army in exile, and was sent to British-mandated P…

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Menaechmus

Greek mathematician. One of the tutors of Alexander the Great, he was the first to investigate conics as sections of a cone. Menaechmus (380 – 320 BC) was a Greek mathematician and geometer born in Alopeconnesus (within modern-day Turkey), who was known for his friendship with the renowned philosopher Plato and for his apparent discovery of conic sections and his solution to the the…

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Menai Strait - Tidal effects, Ecology, Places on the Strait

Channel separating Anglesey from the mainland of NW Wales, UK; length 24 km/15 mi; width varies from 175 m/575 ft to 3·2 km/2 mi; crossed by the Menai Suspension Bridge, built by Telford (1819–26), length 176 m/580 ft, and the Britannia railway/road bridge (1980), rebuilt after fire in 1970 seriously damaged the original tubular railway bridge of Robert Stephenson (1846–9). The s…

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Menander - Works

Greek comic playwright, born in Athens, Greece. He wrote more than 100 comedies, but only a few fragments of his work were known until 1906, when a papyrus containing 1328 lines from four different plays was discovered in Egypt. In 1957, however, the complete text of the comedy Dyskolos (‘The Bad-Tempered Man’) was brought to light in Geneva. Menander was the author of more than a hundred…

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menarche - Physiologic aspects, Changes over time in the average age of menarche, Cultural aspects of menarche

The first menstrual bleeding of the human female, which occurs during puberty (10 to 15 years of age depending on genetic, nutritional, and emotional status). It signifies the approach of reproductive maturity, but does not indicate the attainment of full fertility, which is delayed until the adult pattern of pituitary and gonadal hormone secretion is established, and menstrual cycles become both …

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Mencius - Life and philosophy

Philosopher and sage, born in Shantung, E China. He founded a school modelled on that of Confucius, and travelled China for some 20 years searching for a ruler to implement Confucian moral and political ideals. The search was unsuccessful, but his conversations with rulers, disciples, and others are recorded in a book of sayings compiled after his death (Book of Meng-tzu). His ethical system was b…

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Mendicant Orders - Christian mendicant orders, Non-Christian mendicant orders

Religious Orders in which friars were not permitted to hold property, either personally or in common. Such Orders were able to survive only through the charity of others. The mendicant orders are religious orders which depend directly on begging, or the charity of the people for their livelihood. Christian mendicant orders spend their time preaching the Gospel and serving the po…

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Mendip Hills - Etymology, Government and politics, Geology, Ecology, Climate, History, Sport and leisure

Hill range in SW England, UK; extending 37 km/23 mi NW–SE from Weston-super-Mare to near Shepton Mallet; rises to 326 m/1069 ft at Blackdown; includes limestone caves of Cheddar Gorge; traces of former Roman lead mines. The Mendip Hills are a range of limestone hills (karst) situated to the south of Bristol and Bath in north Somerset, England. The hills are bounded by the Somerset Leve…

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Mendoza (province) - History, Geography and climate, Economy, Political division

pop (2001e) 1 413 000; area 150 839 km²/58 224 sq mi. Province in Andina region, W Argentina; bordered W by the Andes and Chile, S by the Rio Barrancas, N and E by the Rio Desaguadero and Rio Salado; Mt Cerro Aconcagua; capital Mendoza; chief town San Rafael; trans-Andean railway (1887–1910) runs to Chile via the Uspallata Pass; area was part of Chile until 1776; major wine-producing are…

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menhir - Prominent menhirs, Menhirs in modern thought, Partial list of menhirs

In European prehistory, a single standing stone or megalith. A striking example is the tapering granite pillar at Locmariaquer near Carnac, Brittany, known as ‘Le Grand Menhir Brisé’; now lying in four pieces, this formerly stood 20 m/67 ft high and weighed an estimated 256 tonnes. A menhir is a large, single upright standing stone (monolith or megalith), of prehistoric European origin…

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meningitis - Pathophysiology, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Vaccination, History

An infection of the membranes (pia and arachnoid) covering the brain. It may be caused by bacteria (eg Neisseria meningitidis, pneumococci, haemophilus, tuberculosis, or other species), viruses, or more rarely by fungi (eg Cryptococcus). The infectious agent enters through the nose or bloodstream. Viral meningitis is usually short-lived and harmless; bacterial meningitis is more serious and may ca…

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Menno Simons - Birth to priesthood, Theological efforts, Quotes

Anabaptist leader, born in Witmarsum, The Netherlands. Ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1524, he withdrew from the Church under the influence of Lutheran thought in 1536. He was made an elder at Groningen in 1537, and organized Anabaptist groups in N Europe that were persecuted by Catholics and Protestants alike. The evangelical Mennonite sect was named after him. Menno Simons (1496–15…

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Menno ter Braak - Early career, Forum movement, Political involvement, Later writing, Bibliography

Writer and cultural critic, born in Eibergen, E Netherlands. He studied history in Amsterdam and gained his PhD in 1928. While a student he became an editor of the literary magazine De Vrije Bladen, then founded his own magazine Forum with E Du Perron in 1932. An engaged freethinker and follower of Nietzsche, he turned against every form of historical authority, whether religion, education, art, s…

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Menno van Coehoorn

Dutch fortification engineer, born in Britsum, N Netherlands. Second in reputation only to Vauban in his own lifetime, among his inventions was the Coehoorn mortar, used from 1674 up to the 20th-c. He was made a baron by the king of Spain for services in the Nine Year War (War of the League of Augsburg, 1688–97). The States-General appointed him Director-General of Fortifications in 1695, and Mas…

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menopause - Overview, Perimenopause, Symptoms, Treatment of symptoms

Strictly defined as the cessation of menstruation, but more commonly used to refer to the period of time (up to eight years prior to the cessation of menstruation) when the menstrual cycle becomes less regular, due to the loss of responsiveness of the ovaries to gonadotrophins; also known as climacteric. Even though menstruation may be irregular, reproductive capacity is not lost. The complete ces…

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menorah - Ancient use, Hanukkah, Origin, Fate, Modern use

A candelabrum of seven branches, with three curving upwards on each side of a central shaft, an ancient symbol of Judaism, and the official symbol of the modern State of Israel. In the Bible, it was originally part of the furnishings of the Tabernacle in the wilderness, and eventually of the Jerusalem Temple. The Hanukkah candleholder has eight arms, and in many synagogues the arms number other th…

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Mensa International - Background information, Mensa's goals, Organizational structure, Gatherings, Members of Mensa

An organization of people whose members are admitted only after they ‘have established by some standard intelligence test, that their intelligence is higher than 98% of the population’. Founded in England in 1945, branches now exist in around 100 countries. Mensa International is the largest, oldest, and most well-known high IQ society in the world. Roland Berrill, an Australi…

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Menstrie

56º09N 3º52W, pop (1998e) 2200. Town in Clackmannanshire, C Scotland, UK, situated W of the Ochils between Alva and Blairlogie; the Menstrie Burn falls to meet the R Devon here; former centre for weaving and woollens; main industry is the Glenochil Distillery (1760) and yeast products; 16th-c Menstrie Castle; birthplace of Ralph Abercromby. Menstrie is one of the Hillfoots Villages villa…

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menthol

C10H20O, a terpene alcohol, melting point 43°C. A waxy solid, the main constituent of oil of peppermint, it is used as a flavouring, a mild antiseptic, a decongestant, and a local anaesthetic. Its structure is closely related to that of camphor. Menthol is a covalent organic compound made synthetically or obtained from peppermint or other mint oils. In Europe it tends to appear as a gel or…

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menu (computing)

A set of options presented to the user by a computer program. A program which communicates with the user solely by providing choices from interlinked menus is said to be menu-driven. The menu facility is used extensively, in addition to icons, in graphic user interfaces. In computing and telecommunications, a menu is a list of commands presented to an operator by a computer or communication…

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Mercalli intensity scale - Bibliography

A scale of 12 points, devised by Italian seismologist Giuseppe Mercalli (1850–1914), for measuring the intensity of an earthquake. The scale is based on the damage done, rather than on the total energy released, and so varies from place to place. It has been superseded by the Richter scale. The Mercalli intensity scale is one of many scales used to classify the intensity of an earthquake b…

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mercantilism - Theory, Criticisms, Legacy

The view that exports add to a country's wealth, and imports detract from it. This is allied to the view of international trade as a zero-sum game, in which one country's gain is another country's loss. This school of thought has led to protectionist policies in the past, and is by no means extinct. It contrasts with the free-traders' view that exports are a cost to an economy and imports a benefi…

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Merce Cunningham - Biography

Dancer, choreographer, teacher, and director, born in Centralia, Washington, USA. He experienced a range of dance forms before attending the Bennington School of Dance to study modern dance. He danced with the Martha Graham Company (1939–45), and started his own company in 1952. He is one of the major figures in the development of a concern with form and abstraction in modern dance and has receiv…

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merchant bank - History, Modern practices

A UK bank specializing in trading and company financial matters; similar to a US investment bank. The term is traditionally used to describe members of the Accepting Houses Committee, dealing primarily with bills of exchange. Its functions include financing overseas trade; raising new finance for companies; helping exporters hedge against currency fluctuations; advising companies on mergers and ta…

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Merchant Navy

The commercial ships of a nation, a term first used by King George V in a speech in 1922. The mercantile marine was classed as an armed service throughout World War 2, and developed a highly efficient manning and recruiting service which was reconstituted for peace time. The US Merchant Marine Academy, for example, is a training institution for the US merchant fleet. In recent years the amount of …

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Mercia

A kingdom of the Anglo-Saxon heptarchy, with its main centres at Tamworth, Lichfield, and Repton. Settled by Angles in c.500, Mercian supremacy over the other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms reached its height under Offa, whom Charlemagne treated as an equal. He had the great Offa's Dyke built to protect W Mercia from the Welsh. In 874 Mercia succumbed to the invading Danish army, and ultimately the E part b…

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Mercosur - Membership, Role and potential, FTA with third parties

A common market agreement, signed in 1991 between Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, which aimed to introduce free movement of goods and services; inaugurated on 1 January 1995. Venezuela joined in 2006. Its secretariat is in Montevideo, Uruguay. Chile and Bolivia joined as associate members in 1996. It is the world's fourth largest free trade grouping, with over 200 million people. In 1999…

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Mercury (astronomy) - Science, Culture, Technology, Places, Business

The innermost major planet of the Solar System; an airless, lunar-like body with the following characteristics: mass 3·30 × 1023 kg; radius 2439 km/1516 mi; mean density 5·4 g/cm3; rotational period 58·65 days; orbital period 88 days; obliquity ?0°; orbital eccentricity 0·206; mean distance from the Sun 57·9 × 106 km/36·0 × 106 mi. It has a relatively high orbital ellipticity…

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mercury (chemistry) - Science, Culture, Technology, Places, Business

Hg (from Lat hydrargyrum), element 80, melting point ?39°C, boiling point 357°C. Silver in colour, unique among metals by being a liquid at normal temperatures; also known as quicksilver. A relatively unreactive metal, it is found free in nature, but is much more common as the sulphide (HgS), called vermilion when used as a pigment. This is roasted in air to give the metal directly: HgS + O2 …

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Mercury (mythology) - Worship, Syncretism, Mercury and modern occultism, Names and epithets

A Roman god, principally of trading, who was identifed with Hermes, and inherited his mythology. In Roman mythology, Mercury (IPA: /ˈmɜːkjəri/, Latin: Mercurius listen?(help·info)) was a major god of trade, profit and commerce, the son of Maia Maiestas and Jupiter. Mercury has influenced the name of a number of things in a variety of scientific fields, such as the planet Me…

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Mercy Otis Warren - Links

Historian and poet, born in Barnstable, Massachusetts, USA, the sister of James Otis. In addition to her poetry and plays, she published historical works, including Observations on the New Constitution (1788) and History of the Rise, Progress, and Termination of the American Revolution (1805). She corresponded at length with Abigail and John Adams, and other leading political figures, and was argu…

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Meredith Monk - Life and work, Works, Discography

Dancer, choreographer, and musician, born in Lima, Peru. Born while her American mother, a singer, was on tour, she grew up in a musical household. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College, she joined the Judson Dance Theater (New York City) in the mid-1960s, later founding her own performing arts group, The House (1968). She was a leading member of the ‘next wave’ dance movement, and her mu…

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Meredith Willson

Composer and lyricist, born in Mason City, Iowa, USA. He studied in New York City for a career in serious music, and after touring with the John Philip Sousa band (1921–3) he became the principal flautist of the New York Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra (1924–9). In the 1930s and 1940s he was music director of several radio programmes including The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show. He also comp…

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M

38°55N 6°20W, pop (2000e) 51 000. City in Spain, in the province of Badajoz, capital of the autonomous community of Extremadura, and of the township and administrative area of the same name; in the Vegas Altas of the Guadiana; crops from dry farming (vines, olives) and irrigation (garden produce, cotton, tobacco); sheep and pig farms, textile and cork industries, materials for construction, me…

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Meridel Le Sueur

Writer, born in Murray, Iowa, USA. Adopted by her stepfather, Alfred Le Sueur, she attended high school in Fort Scott, KS, and studied at the American Academy of Dramatic Art. She worked in Hollywood as a stuntwoman and actress, then returned to the Midwest. She then worked as a journalist, labour reporter, and as a writing instructor at the University of Minnesota. A social and cultural activist,…

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meridian circle - History, Structure

A telescope specially designed to observe celestial objects only when they cross the meridian; also called a transit circle. On a fixed E–W axis which can swing only N–S, it is used for timing the passage of stars across the local meridian. In the past of crucial importance for determining star positions, it is now used for tracking the irregular rotation of the Earth. The excellent instrument a…

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merino - Wool, Regions of merino husbandry, History, Animal welfare developments, Etymology

A breed of sheep which produce a heavy thick white fleece of very high quality. Originating in Spain, and developed primarily in Australia over the past 200 years, merinos are now found in many parts of the world, being well adapted to hot climates. Australia is by far the largest producer of merino wool. The merino is the most numerous breed of sheep in the world. It is a breed prized for …

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meristem - Meristematic Zones, Indeterminate Growth of Meristems, Cloning

A region of growth or potential growth in a plant, such as the tips of shoots and roots, or buds. It consists of actively dividing cells (the initials) and their undifferentiated daughter-cells which will form the new tissues. A meristem is a tissue in plants consisting of undifferentiated cells (meristematic cells) and found in zones of the plant where growth can take place - the roots and…

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Meriwether Lewis - Life, Legacy

Explorer, born in Charlotteville, Virginia, USA. He grew up in the wilderness, served in the army, and in 1801 became personal secretary to President Thomas Jefferson. He was invited with his long-time friend William Clark to lead an expedition (1804–6) to explore the lands to the W of the Mississippi, and to keep a detailed journal of his experiences. It was the first overland journey by America…

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Merlene (Joyce) Ottey - Biography and sprinting career, Slovenia, Records and achievements

Athlete, born in Jamaica. She has been ranked in the world's top ten women sprinters each year since 1980. She won 73 successive sprint finals and 15 heats during 1989–91, and three Commonwealth Games titles - 200 m in 1982 and 100 m and 200 m in 1990. She has set seven Commonwealth records at 200 m and five at 100 m. She won her eighth Olympic medal in Sydney in 2000, where she was anchor r…

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merlin - Merlin Ambrosius, Myrddin Emrys, Fiction about Merlin

A small falcon native to the N hemisphere (Falco columbarius); lacks white cheeks of other falcons; inhabits open country, hills, and desert; eats mainly birds (some small mammals and insects); nests on ground or in abandoned nests of other species in trees; also known as pigeon hawk. (Family: Falconidae.) Merlin is best known as the mighty wizard featured in Arthurian legend. Later writers…

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Merlin - Merlin Ambrosius, Myrddin Emrys, Fiction about Merlin

In the Arthurian legends, a good wizard or sage whose magic was used to help King Arthur. He was the son of an incubus and a mortal woman, and therefore indestructible; but he was finally entrapped by Vivien, the Lady of the Lake, and bound under a rock for ever. He was famous for his prophecies. Merlin is best known as the mighty wizard featured in Arthurian legend. Later writers produced …

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Merneptah

King of Egypt (1236–1223 BC), the son of Rameses II. He is famous principally for his great victory near Memphis over the Libyans and Sea Peoples (1209 BC). Merneptah (occasionally: Merenptah) was the fourth ruler of the 19th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. …

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Merritt L(yndon) Fernald

Botanist, born in Orono, Maine, USA. He spent his career at Harvard (1891–1947), serving as curator and director of their Gray Herbarium (1935–47) and as professor of botany. A major contributor to systematic botany, he wrote over 900 monographs and scientific papers on the geographical relationship of the plants of temperate North America. He proposed the controversial ‘nunatak theory’ which …

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Merseyside - Identity, History, Towns and villages, Places of interest

pop (2001e) 1 362 000; area 652 km²/252 sq mi. County of NW England, UK created in 1974 from parts of Lancashire and Cheshire; metropolitan council abolished in 1986; on both sides of the R Mersey estuary; chemicals, vehicles, electrical equipment; chief town, Liverpool; Prescot Museum, Croxteth Hall and Country Park, Speke Hall. Merseyside is a county, located in the North West of E…

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Merthyr Tydfil - Pre-history, The Roman invasion, The coming of Christianity, Local legends, The Normans arrive

pop (2001e) 56 000; area 111 km²/43 sq mi. County (unitary authority from 1996) in S Wales, UK; administrative centre, Merthyr Tydfil. Merthyr Tydfil (Welsh: Merthyr Tudful) is a town and county borough in Wales, with a population of about 55,000. Various peoples, migrants from Europe, had lived in the area for more than three thousand years, dating back to the Bronze age.…

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Mervyn (Laurence) Peake - Biography, Dramatic adaptations of Peake's work, Bibliography, Quotes about Peake

Writer and artist, born in Kuling, EC China, where his father was a missionary. Educated in China and Kent, he became a painter, and taught at the Westminster School of Art. He is best known for his Gothic fantasy trilogy of novels, Titus Groan (1946), Gormenghast (1950, televised 2000), and Titus Alone (1959), and for the novel Mr Pye (1953). He also published books of verse, and illustrated seve…

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Mervyn (Thomas) Wood - Biography, Rowing Record

Rower, born in Sydney, Australia. He joined the Australian police force and began his Olympic career aged 19, when he took his place in the police rowing eight team that represented Australia in the 1936 Berlin Games. He competed in four Olympic Games to 1956, and is the only athlete ever to carry the Australian flag at two Olympic opening ceremonies (1952, 1956). He won a gold medal in the single…

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Meryl (Louise) Streep

Actress, born in Summit, New Jersey, USA. She studied at Vassar College and Yale Drama School, making her New York stage debut in 1969, and her film debut in 1977. Kramer vs. Kramer (1979, Oscar) established her as a first-rank star, and she has since consistently underlined her range, showing sensitivity and a facility with accents in a series of acclaimed characterizations, including The French …

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mesa

An area of high, flat land (tableland) with steep escarpments formed by the remnants of horizontal resistant rocks, and underlain by softer rock. Further erosion forms buttes. A mesa (Spanish for "table") is an elevated area of land with a flat top and sides that are usually steep cliffs. It is a characteristic landform of arid environments, particularly the south-western United…

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mescaline - Usage and history, Effects and side effects, Famous users

A hallucinogenic drug from the Mexican cactus Lophophora williamsi, also known as Anhalonium lewinii. Having been used for centuries for its ability to cause hallucinations, it was made famous in the 1950s by Aldous Huxley in The Doors of Perception, and was widely used during the ‘psychedelic era’ of the 1960s. Mescaline (3,4,5-trimethoxyphenethylamine) is a hallucinogenic alkaloid of th…

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mesh - Uses of meshes

A topology for a computer network in which each computer is linked directly to every other computer in the network. Although it could be used as a topology for a local area network, this rarely happens; a mesh topology is normally appropriate only for a metropolitan area or wide area network. Meshes are often used to screen out unwanted things, such as insects. Wire screens on windows and m…

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Mesoamerican ballgame - Origins, Significance, Versions of the game, Ball game in art

A ritual athletic contest of notable brutality, widespread in Mexico from c.1000 BC to the Spanish Conquest in 1519. Played with a large, solid rubber ball by two opposing teams on a purpose-built court - at Chichén Itzá 83 m/272 ft by 61 m/200 ft with walls 8 m/27 ft high - the ball represented the Sun, the court the cosmos. Post-game ceremonies included the sacrifice of the losers. …

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Mesolithic - Mesolithic sites, Note

The Middle Stone Age, the epoch of hunter-gatherers (c.12 000–8000 years ago) that followed the Palaeolithic at the end of the last ice age, and in Europe and W Asia preceded the Neolithic. Archaeologically it is characterized by small stone tools called microliths. The Mesolithic (Greek mesos=middle and lithos=stone or the 'Middle Stone Age' ) was a period in the development of human tec…

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meson

In particle physics, a collective term for strongly interacting subatomic particles having integer spin, each comprising a quark–antiquark pair. Mesons, especially pi-mesons (pions), are responsible for holding together protons and neutrons in atomic nuclei. In particle physics, a meson is a strongly interacting boson, that is, it is a hadron with integral spin. Notes: …

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Mesopotamia - History, Language and writing, Science and technology, Religion, Culture, Agriculture, Government, Architecture, Economy, More recent history

Literally, ‘the land between the rivers’; the name in antiquity for the area between the Tigris and Euphrates. It was conventionally divided into two: Lower Mesopotamia, the home of the Sumerian and Babylonian civilizations, stretched from the alluvial plain at the head of the Persian Gulf to Baghdad (C Iraq); Upper Mesopotamia, the home of the Assyrians, extended from Baghdad to the foothills o…

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mesosphere

A region of the atmosphere from c.50–80 km/30–50 mi, separated from the stratosphere below by the stratopause, and from the thermosphere above by the mesopause. It is characterized by rapidly falling temperature with height, from around 0°C to ?100°C. Pressure is very low, from c.1 mb at 50 km/30 mi to 0·01 mb at 80 km/50 mi. The mesosphere (from the Greek words mesos = middle …

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Mesozoa

A small phylum of multicellular animals found as internal parasites of marine invertebrates such as cephalopod molluscs; covered by hair-like cilia; body organized into two layers, not differentiated into tissues. The two main mesozoan groups are the Rhombozoa and Orthonectida. Rhombozoa, or dicyemid mesozoans, are found in the kidneys of cephalopods. They range from a few milli…

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Messenia - Population, Communications, Municipalities and communities, Islands

In ancient Greece, the SW part of the Peloponnese. Conquered by the Spartans in the 8th-c and 7th-c BC, its inhabitants were reduced to a state of serfdom called helotry. They regained their independence in 369 BC with Theban help. Messenia (Greek: Μεσσηνία, in Modern Greek Messinia; Greek National Road 9, NW, W, SW Greek National Road 9A, NW, N Greek National Road 82, SW, Cen., E …

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Messiah - In the Hebrew Bible, Traditional and contemporary Judaism, Christian view

In Jewish writings from c.2nd-c BC onwards, one who would help deliver Israel from its enemies, aid in its restoration, and establish a worldwide kingdom. Many different representations of this figure can be discovered in early Judaism and Christianity. In Christian thought, the role is interpreted as fulfilled in Jesus of Nazareth: ‘Christ’ is derived from the Greek rendering of the Hebrew word…

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messianism - Christianity, Polish, Judaism, Zionism, Islam, Adventism, Other forms

Jewish movements expressing the hope for a new and perfected age. Jewish Orthodoxy reflects this through traditional beliefs in the coming of a personal Messiah who would re-establish the Temple in Jerusalem and from there rule over a redeemed world. Reformed Judaism anticipates the world's perfection by the example of Judaism in human achievements such as social reforms and justice, though still …

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metabolism - Other "abolisms", History

The complete range of biochemical processes taking place within living organisms. It comprises those processes which produce complex substances from simpler components, with a consequent use of energy (anabolism), and those which break down complex food molecules, thus liberating energy (catabolism). In the context of nutrition, it refers to the process by which cells catabolize food substances to…

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Metabolism - Other "abolisms", History

A Japanese architectural concept and group originally founded in 1960 by Kiyonori Kikutake, Kisho Kurokawa, and Noboru Kawazoe. It is characterized by the use of forms strongly reminiscent of science fiction, and by the synthesis of the public realm with private spaces. The latter often consist of minimal, high-technology capsules. Other --abolisms include catabolism, which is the exact opo…

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metal - Occurrence, Chemical properties, Physical properties, Alloys, Base metal, Precious metal, Astronomy

An element whose solid phase is characterized by high thermal and electrical conductivities. Pure metals are all lustrous, opaque, cold to the touch, and more or less malleable. The large majority of the elements are metals, and metallic properties increase from lighter to heavier elements in each group of the periodic table and from right to left in each row. In chemistry, a metal (Greek: …

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metal fatigue - Characteristics of fatigue failures, Timeline of early fatigue history, High-cycle fatigue

A weakness which develops in a metal structure that has been subjected to many repeated stresses, even though they may be intermittent. As a result, the structure may fail under a load which it could initially have sustained without fracture. The condition was known and studied in the late 19th-c, but it became a subject of particularly serious study after the Comet aircraft disaster of 1954. The …

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metallography - Preparing Metallographic Samples, Analysis, Quantitative Metallograpy

The study of the structure of metals, usually implying the use of microscopy or X-ray diffraction. A metal has several kinds of structure, arising from grain, crystalline structure, and the inclusion of impurities. Many types of examination may be made. In microscopic methods, pioneered in Sheffield in the 1860s by English chemist Henry Clifton Sorby (1826–1908), a polished etched surface is exam…

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metallurgy - Extractive metallurgy, Metallurgy in production engineering, Production engineering of metals, Electrical and electronic engineering, Metallurgical techniques

The technique and science of extracting metals from their ores, converting them (often as alloys with other metals) into useful forms, and establishing the conditions for their fabrication. Metallurgy is one of the most ancient arts. Traditional methods were transformed in the latter half of the 19th-c by the application of chemistry, physics, and microscopy. The changes undergone by metals during…

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metamorphic rock - Metamorphic minerals, Foliation, Types of metamorphism, Metamorphic rock textures

Rock formed by the alteration of pre-existing rock by intense heat and/or pressure, and often accompanied by the action of hot fluids in the Earth's crust. The changes characteristically involve the growth of new minerals that are stable under these conditions, and a change of texture. Contact metamorphism is localized, and produced by the heat of an igneous intrusion. Regional metamorphism is ass…

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metamorphosis - Stages, Insect metamorphosis

In biology, an abrupt structural change, as seen in the marked changes during the development of an organism, especially the transformation from larva to adult, or from one larval stage to the next. Metamorphosis may be progressive, such as the transformation of tadpole into frog, or may involve an intermediate quiescent phase within a cocoon or chrysalis, during which tissue reorganization takes …

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metaphor - Aspects of metaphor, Metaphors in literature and language

A figurative device in language where something is referred to, implicitly, in terms of something else: the Moon is a goddess, life a dark wood, the world a stage. An explicit comparison (‘Life, like a dome of many-coloured glass’) is a simile. Language is inherently metaphorical, making different aspects of experience intelligible in terms of each other. It is for this reason that metaphor is c…

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metaphysics - History of metaphysics, Central questions of metaphysics, Criticism, Metaphysical subdisciplines, Metaphysical topics and problems, Metaphysicians

A traditional branch of philosophy which deals at the most general level with the nature of existence - what it is, what sorts of things exist, of what categories, and in what structure. The term is popularly used to refer to the suprasensible, beyond the realm of experience. The origin of the term is a reference to the text Aristotle wrote ‘after the Physics’. Metaphysics (from Greek: μ…

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metastasis - Factors involved, Metastasis and primary cancer, Common sites of origin, Diagnosis of primary and secondary tumors

The occurrence of tumour tissue in organs distant from the site of the primary tumour. It is characteristic of malignant tumours, where cancer cells are transported by way of the blood stream or lymphatics. Metastasis (Greek: change of the state) is the spread of cancer from its primary site to other places in the body (e.g., brain, liver). Cancer cells can break away from a pri…

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meteor - Definitions, Ionization trails

A piece of dust or rock which gives off a streak of light seen when it burns up in the Earth's atmosphere; popularly known as a shooting star. A meteor shower can be seen when the Earth passes through a trail of dust left by a comet in interplanetary space. An unusual number of meteors (dozens per hour) can then be seen emanating from one part of the sky (the radiant). A meteor is the visib…

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Meteora

39°44N 21°38E. Rock formations in Trikala department, N Greece, rising to 300 m/1000 ft from the Pinios plain; site of monasteries, first settled 9th-c AD. The Meteora (Greek: Μετέωρα, "suspended rocks" or "suspended in the air") is the largest and most important complex of monasteries in all of Greece, second only to Mount Athos. The monasteries are built on spectacular na…

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meteorite - Meteorite types, Meteorite recovery, Meteorites in history, Notable meteorites

A lump of interplanetary debris that survives a high-speed passage through the atmosphere and hits the ground. Meteorites mostly derive from asteroids, with a few from the Moon and some even from Mars. The types are stony, iron, and stony-iron; some stony meteorites have intriguing inclusions of organic material. They often show clear signs of heat abrasion. The biggest known (60 tonnes) is an iro…

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meteorology - History of meteorology, Weather forecasting, Meteorology and climatology, Meteorological topics and phenomena

The scientific study of global atmospheric processes: the receipt of solar radiation, evaporation, evapotranspiration, and precipitation, and the determination of, and changes in, atmospheric pressure (and, therefore, wind). Meteorology is generally concerned with the short-term processes (ie hours and days rather than months and seasons) operating in the troposphere and mesosphere, which are the …

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methane - Properties, Uses, Sources of methane, Methane in Earth's atmosphere, Extraterrestrial methane

CH4. The simplest of the alkane or paraffin hydrocarbons; the tetrahedral shape of methane is fundamental to all organic compounds. Formed by the anaerobic decomposition of organic matter, it is the main constituent of natural gas, and was originally called marsh gas. The principal component of natural gas, methane is a significant and plentiful fuel. Burning one molecule of methane in the …

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methanol - History, Uses

CH3OH, also called methyl or wood alcohol, boiling point 65°C. A colourless liquid, originally produced by the dry distillation of wood, but now synthesized from hydrogen and carbon monoxide. It is an important starting chemical in synthesis, a solvent, and a denaturing agent for ethyl alcohol. It is poisonous, causing blindness and eventually death when drunk. Methanol, also known as meth…

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Methodism - The Wesleyan revival, Missions to America, Theology and liturgy, Methodism in Britain

A Christian denomination founded in 1739 by John Wesley as an evangelical movement within the Church of England, becoming a separate body in 1795. The movement spread rapidly as he travelled the country on horseback and sent other evangelical leaders to the American colonies, where the movement flourished. In the 19th-c, doctrinal disputes caused divisions both in Britain and the USA. These were h…

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Methuselah - Biblical mentions, Lifespan

The eighth and longest-lived of the Hebrew patriarchs, who lived before the Flood. His supposed 969 years makes him the paragon of longevity. Methuselah or Metushélach (Hebrew: מְתוּשֶׁלַח / מְתוּשָׁלַח, Standard?Mətušélaḥ / Mətušálaḥ Tiberian?Məṯûšélaḥ / Məṯûšālaḥ?; According to the Book of Genesis 5:27: "And all the days of Methuselah…

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Metis

A tiny natural satellite of Jupiter, discovered in 1979; distance from the planet 128 000 km/79 000 mi; diameter 40 km/25 mi. There are also: …

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M

The mixed blood offspring of primarily French-Canadian and native Indian marriages; in the west, the descendants of the coureurs de bois. There are also: …

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metonymy - Metonymy as a rhetorical strategy, Metonymy and Synecdoche

The substitution of an attribute of something for the thing itself, such as the stage for the theatrical profession, the crown for the monarchy. It can be compared with synechdoche (Gr ‘taking up together’), where the part stands for the whole: hand for man, head for cattle. In rhetoric, metonymy (from Greek μετά- beyond/changed and -ωνυμία, a suffix used to name figures of spee…

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metric

In mathematics, a rule for measuring distance along curves and angles between curves in some space, and containing information on the curvature of the space. It is central to general relativity, which establishes equations relating the metric (and hence curvature) to matter distribution. Metric may refer to: …

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metronome

A device for indicating and determining the tempo of a musical work. The type in common use, patented in 1815 by Johann Nepomuk Maelzel (1770–1838), works like a pendulum clock; its rate of swing, and therefore of ‘tick’ also, is controlled by an adjustable weight on the upper extension of the pendulum arm, visible outside the wooden box which encloses the rest. There are now electronic models.…

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metropolitan area network (MAN)

A computer network which serves an area roughly equal to a city or large town, and thus falls between a local area network and a wide area network. An example of a MAN is a cable TV network, which could be used also for two-way data transmission. Metropolitan Area Networks or MANs are large computer networks usually spanning a city. The IEEE 802-2001 standard describes a…

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Metropolitan Museum of Art - History, Departments, Acquisitions and Deaccessioning at the Met, Trivia, Gallery of some works on display

A museum opened in New York City, USA in 1872. It houses a vast and comprehensive collection displaying the artistic achievements of many cultures, ancient and modern. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, often referred to simply as The Met, is one of the world's largest and most important art museums. The Met's permanent collection contains more than two million works of art from ar…

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Metz - History, Sights, Miscellaneous, External links and reference

49°08N 6°10E, pop (2000e) 125 000. Fortified town and capital of Moselle department, NE France; on R Moselle near German border, 285 km/177 mi NE of Paris; strategic focus of crossroads; residence of Merovingian kings, 6th-c; later, part of Holy Roman Empire; taken by France, 1552; part of Germany from 1871 until after World War 1; scene of major German defence in 1944 invasion; World War 1 …

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Mexicali - Economy, Housing, Silicon Border, Natural Resources, Sports, People from Mexicali, Sister Cities

32º36N 115º30W, pop (2001e) 600 900. Resort capital of Baja California Norte, NW Mexico; 160 km/100 mi E of San Diego (USA); adjacent to Calexico on the border with the state of California; modern city founded in 1903; university (1957); airport; railway; cottonseed oil, soap; Fiesta del Sol (Oct). Mexicali is the capital of the state of Baja California, Mexico as well as the capital …

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Mexico - History, Administrative divisions, Economy, Demographics

Official name United Mexican States, Span Estados Unidos Mexicanos The United Mexican States (Spanish: Estados Unidos Mexicanos?(help·info)), generally known as Mexico (Spanish: México?(help·info)) is a country located in North America, bordered at the north by the United States, and at the south by Guatemala and Belize, in Central America. The site of advanced Mesoamer…

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Mexico City - History, Colonias (neighborhoods), Attractions, Sports, Transportation, Demographics, Economy, Urban Problems, Education, Politics, Nickname

19°25N 99°10W, pop (2000e) 11 431 000; ‘Metromex’ region, pop (2000e) 26 000 000. Federal district and capital of Mexico; in C Mexico, altitude 2200 m/7200 ft, in intermontane basin, area 50 km²/20 sq mi; largest city in the world; oldest capital in continental America; built on the site of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlán; city centre a world heritage site; capital of the Viceroya…

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Meyer Guggenheim

Financier, born in Langnau, WC Switzerland. He emigrated to the USA in 1848, where he began as a manufacturer of stove polish, then turned to importing and selling Swiss needlework with his own firm. By 1888 he had shifted his interest to the mining and smelting of metals, forming the Philadelphia Smelting and Refining Co. He had seven sons, who carried on his tradition of business success and gen…

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Meyer London

Lawyer, politician, and public official, born in Suwalki, Poland. He emigrated to New York City (1891), and through working by day and studying at night he earned admission to the bar (1898). A specialist in labour law, he became active in leftist politics and helped found the Socialist Party of America. Elected to the US House of Representatives as a Socialist (New York, 1915–19, 1921–3), he fo…

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Meyer Schapiro - Marxist Art History, Works

Art historian, born in Shavly, Russia. His family emigrated to the USA in 1907, and he studied at Columbia University (1924 BA; 1926 MA; 1929 PhD), where he taught for many years from 1928. He also held concurrent positions as a lecturer at other institutions in America and abroad. Specializing in early mediaeval and modern art, he published several theoretical texts on the symbolic content of art…

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Mezzogiorno - Geography, History, Culture

pop (2000e) 20 383 000. Geographical region of S Italy comprising Abruzzo, Molise, Campania, Basilicata, Apulia, Calabria, and the islands of Sicily and Sardinia; contains 35% of population of Italy, with much emigration; name (‘midday’) refers to the heat of the region; oil refining and petrochemicals; a largely agricultural area; devastated by earthquake (1980). Southern Italy, often…

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mezzotint - Mezzotint Engravers

A technique of engraving which gives tonal rather than linear effects, and which was therefore very suitable for reproducing oil paintings. Invented c.1640, it was rendered obsolete by photography in the 19th-c. Mezzotint is a printing process of the intaglio family, in which the surface of a metal plate is roughened evenly; the image is then brought out by smoothing the surface, creating t…

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Mia Farrow - Biography, Selected filmography

Film actress, born in Los Angeles, California, USA. She made her stage debut off-Broadway in 1963, and had a 2-year role (as Alison Mackenzie) in the TV soap Peyton Place. Her film roles include Rosemary's Baby (1968), The Great Gatsby (1973), and several Woody Allen films, notably The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985), Hannah and Her Sisters (1986), and Husbands and Wives (1992). Later films include Wi…

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Micah

One of the 12 so-called ‘minor’ prophets of the Hebrew Bible, a native of Moresheth Gath in SW Judah. He prophesied during the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, being a younger contemporary of Isaiah, Hosea, and Amos. His writings attack social injustices against the poorer classes, and he is known for predicting the punishment of Samaria and Jerusalem because of the sins of their people. …

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Michael (angel) - Short form and other versions, Notable European royalty named Michael, Popular culture

An angel described as the guardian of Israel (Dan 10, 12). He appears as a great patron, intercessor, and warrior in later Jewish non-canonical works (eg 1 Enoch, the Ascension of Isaiah, the War Scroll at Qumran). In Jude 9, he is depicted as an ‘archangel’ disputing with the Devil over Moses' body, and in Rev 12.7 as warring against ‘the dragon’. In the later Christian Church, the benefits o…

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Michael (astronaut) Collins

Astronaut, born in Rome, Italy. He performed two space walks on the Gemini 10 mission (1966) and piloted the Apollo 11 command module, which circled the Moon as the first manned vehicle landed there. He later became director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum (1971–8), and vice-president of LTV Aerospace and Defense Co (1980–5), founding his own firm in 1985. He publi…

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Michael (de Courcy Fraser) Holroyd

Biographer, born in London, UK. He was educated at Eton. His first book was Hugh Kingsmill: a critical biography (1964). His two-volume life of Lytton Strachey, The Unknown Years (1967) and The Year of Achievement (1968), is recognized as a landmark in biographical writing. He has written the official biography of George Bernard Shaw, in five volumes: The Search for Love (1988), The Pursuit of Pow…

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Michael (Denzil Xavier) Portillo - In government, In opposition, Media Personality, References and further reading, Offices Held

British Conservative statesman, born in London, England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and became an MP in 1984. After several appointments as a special adviser to government departments, he became minister of state for transport (1988–90) and the environment (1990–2), chief secretary for the Treasury (1992–4), secretary of state for employment (1994–5), and defence secretary (1995–7). He lost…

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Michael (Duncan) Buerk

Television journalist and presenter, born in Solihull, West Midlands, C England, UK. He began his career with the Daily Mail and joined the BBC in 1970. His posts have included special correspondent (1981–2) and Africa correspondent (1983–7). Since 1990 he has presented Radio 4's The Moral Maze, and for television 999 (from 1993), the new format Ten O'Clock News (2000–2), and The Hand of God (2…

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Michael (Edward) Palin - Early life and career, Monty Python, Other performances, Travel documentaries, Bibliography, Selected filmography, Television

Scriptwriter and actor, born in Sheffield, Yorkshire, N England, UK. He studied at Oxford, then joined the BBC team writing and acting in Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969–74). He was also involved in Ripping Yarns (1976–80), and he co-wrote and acted in the Monty Python films, such as The Meaning of Life (1982). He won a BAFTA award for his acting in A Fish Called Wanda (1988) and appeared in …

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Michael (Fitzhardinge) Berkeley

British composer, the son of Lennox Berkeley. He studied at the Royal Academy of Music, London, and with Richard Rodney Bennett. He has composed concertos, orchestral, chamber, and choral works, including a powerful plea for peace in a nuclear age, the oratorio Or Shall We Die? (1983, text by Ian McEwan). He is well known for his introductions to music on radio and television. Michael Berke…

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Michael (George Francis) Ventris - Linear B

Linguist, born in Wheathampstead, Hertfordshire, SE England, UK. As a teenager he heard Arthur Evans lecture on the undeciphered Minoan scripts found on tablets excavated at palace sites in Crete (Linear B), and determined to solve the puzzle. Although an architect by training, after World War 2 he devoted much of his time to analysis of the texts, and in 1952 announced that the language of Linear…

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Michael (Hugh) Meacher - Beginnings, In Parliament, Outside Parliament

British statesman, born in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, SE England, UK. Educated at Oxford and the London School of Economics, he was a university lecturer before being elected Labour MP for Oldham West and Royton (1970–97) and Oldham West (1997– ). Under prime ministers Wilson and Callaghan, he held junior posts in the ministries of industry (1974–5), health and social security (1975–6), a…

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Michael (Ivanovitch) Rostovtzeff

Historian, born in Kiev, Ukraine. His career divides almost evenly between his years at the University of St Petersburg, and then, after the Russian Revolution, at the University of Wisconsin and Yale (1925–52). One of the first historians to use archaeological evidence, he was director of the Yale excavation at Dura-Europus on the Euphrates (1928–38). He concentrated on economic history with a …

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Michael (James) Owen - Career, Personal Life, Statistics, Career honours, Individual honours

Footballer, born in Chester, Cheshire, NWC England, UK. A centreforward, he joined Liverpool FC in 1996, and rapidly established a reputation, becoming FA Young Player of the Year in 1997–8. In February 1998 he became the youngest player in the 20th-c to receive an England cap. By mid-1998 he had won five caps for his country, and was a member of the 1998 World Cup team, scoring one of the tourna…

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Michael (Jeffrey) Jordan - Early years, NBA career, After retiring as a player, The Olympics, Jordan's legacy

Basketball player, born in New York City, USA. He played with the Chicago Bulls from 1984, and was named as the National Basketball Association's Most Valuable Player in 1988, 1991, 1992, 1996, and 1997. A member of the USA Olympic gold medal-winning team in 1984 and 1992, he holds the record for most points in an NBA play-off game (63), against Boston in 1986, and scored over 50 points in a game …

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Michael (John) Dibdin - Bibliography

Novelist, born in Chichester, West Sussex, England, UK. He studied at the universities of Sussex and Alberta, launching his career as an author with The Last Sherlock Holmes Story (1978). In 1988 he won the Crime Writer's Award, the Gold Dagger, for Ratking. Later books include Dirty Tricks (1991), Cosi Fan Tutti (1996), And Then You Die (2001), Medusa (2003), and Back to Bologna (2005), the 10th …

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Michael (John) Novak - The Tiber Was Silver, Harvard Years, The Second Vatican Council, Stanford years, SUNY Old Westbury

Lay Roman Catholic theologian, economist, and political philosopher, born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania, USA. He studied at the Holy Cross Seminary at the University of Notre Dame, MA, and the Gregorian University in Rome, but left the Congregation of Holy Cross in 1960 soon after his ordination to the priesthood, and was accepted into Harvard on a graduate fellowship later that year. He later taught…

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Michael (Kirk) Douglas - Professional, Personal

US film actor and producer, born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, USA, the son of Kirk Douglas. He studied at the University of California, and achieved recognition in the television police series The Streets of San Francisco (1972–5), but left to co-produce One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), which won five Academy Awards, including one for Best Picture. He starred in and produced Romancing the…

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Michael (Mackintosh) Foot - Early life, Star polemicist, Leader of the left, In government, Labour leader, After 1983

British statesman, born in Plymouth, Devon, SW England, UK, the brother of Dingle and Hugh Foot. He studied at Oxford, and joined the staff of the Tribune in 1937, becoming editor (1948–52, 1955–60). He was also acting editor of the Evening Standard (1942–4) and a political columnist on the Daily Herald (1944–64). He became a Labour MP in 1945, and was secretary of state for employment (1974–…

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Michael (Norman) Manley - Reforms, Diplomacy, Violence, Opposition, Re-election, Retirement and death, Sources

Jamaican politician and prime minister (1972–80, 1989–92), born in Kingston, Jamaica. He served in the Royal Canadian air force, studied at the London School of Economics, and spent some time as a journalist before returning to Jamaica. In the 1950s he became a leader of the National Workers' Union, sat in the Senate (1962–7), was elected to the House of Representatives, and became leader of th…

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Michael (of Romania) - Short form and other versions, Notable European royalty named Michael, Popular culture

King of Romania (1927–30, 1940–7), born in Sinaia, C Romania, the son of Carol II. He first succeeded to the throne on the death of his grandfather Ferdinand I, his father having renounced his own claims in 1925. In 1930 he was supplanted by his father (reigned 1930–40), but was again made king in 1940 when the Germans gained control of Romania. In 1944 he played a considerable part in the over…

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