Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 52

Cambridge Encyclopedia

mole (physics)

Base SI unit of amount of substance; symbol mol; defined as the amount of substance of a system which contains as many elementary entities as there are atoms in 0·012 kg of carbon-12. Mole may mean: Mole may also refer to: …

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mole (zoology)

A mammal native to lowlands in Europe, Asia, and North America; an insectivore; dark with minute eyes, short tail; enlarged forelimbs used for digging; most moles feed in their burrows; star-nosed mole catches food in water; shrew moles feed above ground. (Family: Talpidae, 27 species.) Mole may mean: Mole may also refer to: …

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mole cricket

A burrowing, grasshopper-like insect; body large, to 48 mm/2 in, and heavily armoured; forelegs powerful, spade-like, used for digging; digs galleries underground; feeds on insects, seedlings and tubers; c.50 species, all of which produce sound by vibration (stridulation). (Order: Orthoptera. Family: Gryllotalpidae.) The mole crickets comprise a family (Gryllotalpidae) of thick-bodied ins…

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molecular beam epitaxy

A method of producing thin crystal films, in which the film composition can be carefully controlled. It relies on a number of heated sources, each of a different element, from which beams of atoms pass through an evacuated chamber and strike a crystalline target. The precise composition of the atomic layers built up on the crystal is controlled by source temperatures and systems of shutters. The m…

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molecular biology - Relationship to other "molecular-scale" biological sciences, Techniques of molecular biology, History

The study of the structure and function of the large organic molecules associated with living organisms, especially the nucleic acids (DNA and RNA) and proteins. Molecular biology is the study of biology at a molecular level. The field overlaps with other areas of biology and chemistry, particularly genetics and biochemistry. Molecular biology chiefly concerns itself with understandin…

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molecular cloud - Occurrence, Types of Molecular Cloud, Processes

An interstellar nebula, unusually rich in molecules (as opposed to atoms), detected from microwave radiation. The Galactic centre and Orion Nebula have very rich clouds of this sort. A molecular cloud is a type of interstellar cloud whose density and size permits the formation of molecules, most commonly molecular hydrogen (H2). Within our own Galaxy molecular gas accounts for l…

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molecule - History, Molecule overview, Molecular size, Molecular formula, Molecular geometry, Molecular spectroscopy

A finite group of two or more atoms, which is the smallest unit of a substance having the properties of that substance. Molecular compounds include water, most organic compounds, globular proteins, and viruses. Non-molecular compounds include metals, ionic compounds, and diamond. In chemistry, a molecule is an aggregate of two or more atoms in a definite arrangement held together by chemica…

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molly - Female First Name

Small, colourful, freshwater fish (Poecilia sphenops) found in rivers and lakes of Central America; length up to 12 cm/4¾ in; greenish-brown above, rows of orange spots along sides, dorsal fin with orange and black markings; popular amongst aquarists; many varieties produced through captive breeding. (Family: Poeciliidae.) Molly (plural Mollies) may mean: Molly is a female ni…

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Molly Keane

Writer, born in Co Kildare, E Ireland. She wrote her first book at the age of 17 under the pseudonym M J Farrell, and wrote 10 novels in the period 1928–52, including The Rising Tide (1937), Two Days in Aragon (1941), and Loving Without Tears (1951), drawing her material from the foibles of her own class. She also wrote plays, such as Spring Meeting (1938), Ducks and Drakes (1942), and Dazzling P…

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Molly Maguires - Mollys in USA, In popular culture

A secret organization of (primarily Irish) miners, involved in industrial disputes in Pennsylvania during the 1870s. The prosecution of their leaders led to hangings and imprisonments, which crushed the group. The Molly Maguires originated in Ireland, where their semi-legendary vigilante organization fought Irish landlords for tenant's rights. The group's name supposedly came from a widow …

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Moloch - Ba'al, Forms and grammar, Biblical texts, Traditional accounts and theories

In the Bible, a god of the Canaanites and other peoples, in whose cult children were sacrificed by fire. He is a rebel angel in Milton's Paradise Lost. The name is used for any excessive and cruel religion. Moloch or Molech or Molekh representing Hebrew מלך mlk is either the name of a god or the name of a particular kind of sacrifice associated historically with Phoenician and rela…

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moloch - Ba'al, Forms and grammar, Biblical texts, Traditional accounts and theories

An agamid lizard (Moloch horridus) native to W Australia; entire body covered with large thorn-like spines; spiky tail shorter than head and body; inhabits deserts; eats ants; also known as thorny devil or horny devil. Moloch or Molech or Molekh representing Hebrew מלך mlk is either the name of a god or the name of a particular kind of sacrifice associated historically with Phoenic…

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Molokai - Geography, Culture, External links

area 670 km²/260 sq mi. Island of the US state of Hawaii, in Maui Co; Kalaupapa leper settlement (pop 130) on the N coast; cattle. Molokaʻi (also Molokai) is the fifth largest island of the Hawaiian archipelago. The lights of Honolulu are visible at night from the west end of Molokaʻi, while nearby Lānaʻi and Maui are clearly visible from anywhere along the south shore…

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molybdenum

Mo, element 42, density 10·2 g/cm3, melting point 2610°C. A grey metal, occurring most commonly as the disulphide, MoS2; it is roasted in air to give MoO3, which is then reduced with hydrogen. It is an ingredient of several steel alloys, and MoS2 is important as a high temperature lubricant. …

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Mombasa - Description, History, Townships/Areas, Transportation, Outside Mombasa, Miscellaneous

4°04S 39°40E, pop (2000e) 697 000. Seaport in Coast province, SE Kenya; Kenya's main port; on Mombasa I, connected to mainland by Mukapa causeway; Kilindini harbour; capital of British East Africa Protectorate, 1888–1907; used as a British naval base in World War 2; airport; railway terminus; car assembly, oil refining, tourism; Fort Jesus (1593), now a museum. Mombasa is the second la…

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moment of inertia - Scalar moment of inertia

In mechanics, the notion that, for a rotating object, the turning force required to make the object turn faster depends on how the object's mass is distributed about the axis of rotation; symbol I, units kg.m2. For example, the force needed to spin a disc more quickly about its centre will be greater if the disc's mass is concentrated towards its rim. For a uniform disc of radius r and mass m spin…

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momentum - Momentum in Newtonian mechanics, Momentum for a system

The product of mass and velocity; symbol p, units kg.m/s; a vector quantity. ‘Force equals the rate of change of momentum with time’ is the proper statement of Newton's second law. For a closed system on which no forces act, momentum is conserved - an essential principle in physics. In general the momentum of an object can be conceptually thought of as the tendency for an object to contin…

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Mon

An agricultural people of Burma and Thailand, thought to have come originally from W China, establishing a kingdom in Burma in about the 9th-c. They introduced Buddhism and Indian Pali writing into Burma, and were subjugated by the Burmese in the 18th-c. They speak an Austro-Asiatic language, also known as Tailang. …

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Monaghan (county) - Town Layout, History, Today, Coat of arms

pop (2000e) 52 000; area 1290 km²/498 sq mi. County in Ulster province, Ireland; bounded N by N Ireland; watered by R Finn; capital, Monaghan pop (2000e) 6300; cattle, oats, potatoes; fiddler of Orie festival (Jul). Monaghan (Muineachán in Irish) is a town in the Republic of Ireland, the administrative capital of County Monaghan. The centre of the town is made up of four…

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monarch butterfly - Migration, Metamorphosis, Reproduction, Defense against predators, Popularity, Threats, Popular culture

A large, colourful butterfly; wings brownish orange, marked with black patterns; slow fliers, migrating over great distances, from Mexico to Canada. (Order: Lepidoptera. Family: Nymphalidae.) The Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) is a well-known North American butterfly. Monarchs are especially noted for their lengthy annual migration. Female Monarchs deposit eggs for the nex…

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monarchy - Current subnational traditional monarchies

A political system in which a single person is a political ruler, whose position normally rests on the basis of divine authority, backed by tradition. The position is usually hereditary, passing through the male line. In Europe, the democratic revolutions of the 18th–20th-c saw an end to what was until then the most widely known form of government. A number of countries, however, maintained the p…

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monasticism - Buddhist monasticism, Christian monasticism, Hindu monasticism, Islamic monasticism, Jain monasticism, Monasticism in other religions, Further reading

A form of religious life found in both Christianity (mostly in Roman Catholic and Orthodox circles) and Buddhism, emphasizing the perfection of the individual either through a solitary ascetic existence or more often through life in a consecrated community. Members of such communities are known as monks. In Christianity the movement is often traced back to Antony and Pachomius of Egypt (late 3rd-c…

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monazite

A phosphate mineral containing rare-earth metals (lanthanides) such as lanthanum, cerium, yttrium, and thorium, and important as the major source of these metals. It occurs in granitic rocks and placer deposits. In geology, the mineral monazite is a reddish-brown phosphate containing rare earth metals and an important source of thorium, lanthanum, and cerium. There are actually at least fou…

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Moncure Daniel Conway

Clergyman and abolitionist, born in Stafford Co, Virginia, USA. A Methodist turned Unitarian preacher, he lectured in England on the Civil War, and became a pastor in London (1864–97). He was active in the cause to abolish slavery, and in 1862 became co-editor of an anti-slavery newspaper, Commonwealth. Moncure Daniel Conway (March 17, 1832 - November 5, 1907), was an American clergyman an…

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monetarism - The rise of monetarism, Monetarism in practice, The current state of monetary theory

An economic policy based on the control of a country's money supply. It assumes that the quantity of money in an economy determines its economic activity, and particularly its rate of inflation. If the money supply is allowed to rise too quickly, prices will rise, resulting in inflation. To curb inflationary pressures, governments therefore need to reduce the supply of money and raise interest rat…

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money - History, Essential characteristics, Desirable features, Modern forms, Credit, Economics, Future, Supply

A generally acceptable and convenient medium of exchange, in order to avoid the problems of barter; also a representation of value and a means of storing value. It is usually in the form of coins or notes, but it can be any generally accepted object. Originally coins of gold or silver had an intrinsic value of their own; today, the intrinsic value of coins is virtually nothing. Until the 1920s, mo…

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money market - Common money market instruments

In economic terms, the supply of and demand for money. In a free market, the increasing demand for money leads to pressure to raise interest rates. If the monetary authorities then raise these rates (in the UK through the Bank of England; in the USA, through the Federal Reserve Bank), the demand falls. The term also refers to the place where money is traded - banks, discount houses, and foreign ex…

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money supply - Scope, Link with inflation, The Central Bank, Bank reserves at Central Bank, Arguments and criticism

The amount of money in circulation in an economy. The notion plays an important role in economic theory. Money is used in all transactions, and forms a major part of the wealth of individuals and firms. Monetarists believe that changes in the money supply are important signals of use in economic forecasting, and that the control of the money supply is vital to economic policy. This theory is diffi…

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Mongane Wally Serote

Poet and novelist, born in Sophiatown, NE South Africa. An influential figure in the ‘politics of culture’ in South Africa, he became one of the ‘township poets’ of the 1970s, whose angry verse broke a decade of African creative silence. His first volume of verse, Yakhal ’inkomo (1972), was followed by four others, and in 1981 he published a novel, To Every Birth Its Blood. He lived in exile …

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Mongo - Geographic, Real and fictional people, Other uses

A cluster of Bantu-speaking peoples of forested regions of C Democratic Republic of Congo, organized into many small chiefdoms. They live by farming, hunting, and gathering, and have a rich oral and music tradition. Mongo may refer to subjects within the following categories: …

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Mongolia - History, Government and politics, Foreign relations and military, Geography and climate, Administrative divisions, Economy, Demographics, Culture

Local name Mongol Ard Uls Mongolia (Mongolian: Монгол Улс) is the largest fully landlocked country typically classified as being a part of East Asia, though it is sometimes considered as being a part of Central Asia instead. Mongolia was the center of the Mongol Empire in the thirteenth century and was later ruled by China during the Manchu Qing Dynasty from the e…

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Mongols - Earlier history, Modern history

Mongolian and S Siberian tribes who created the largest empire in ancient history (including C Asia, China, Korea, Russia, and Persia), of key importance in the process of cultural diffusion. It probably facilitated movement to Europe of Chinese printing, porcelain, explosives, and other technology, and the importation of new plants to China. Expansion began c.1200 under Genghis Khan, and culminat…

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mongoose - Herpestinae, In popular culture, Classification, Gallery

A carnivorous mammal, native to S and SE Asia and Africa (introduced elsewhere); adept at killing snakes and rats, and often introduced to areas for this purpose (usually disastrously, as they also eat other mammals, birds, and birds' eggs). (Family: Viverridae, 36 species.) A mongoose is a family of small cat-like carnivores. edwardsii, the Indian mongoose, are popularly known for their ab…

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Monica Lewinsky - Early life, Scandal, After the scandal

Former White House intern, born in San Francisco, California, USA. She graduated from Lewis & Clark College at Oregon, and joined the White House in 1995, moving to the Pentagon the following year. She became known in 1998 during the official investigation into claims of sexual harassment made by Paula Jones against President Clinton (a claim later dismissed). In 1999 she was called to give eviden…

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Monica Seles - Grand Slam singles finals, Titles (59), WTA Tour career earnings, Trivia

Tennis player, born in Novi Sad, Serbia and Montenegro (former Yugoslavia). In 1990 she became the youngest woman to win a ‘Grand Slam’ singles title in the 20th-c, winning the French Championship at 16 years 169 days (a record broken by Hingis in 1997). She was also the youngest player to win the Australian Open in 1991, and before she reached 18 she had won three out of four Grand Slam singles…

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monism - Theological growth and breadth, Philosophical monism, Monism, Pantheism, and Panentheism

In philosophy, the metaphysical doctrine either that only one substantial thing really exists in the universe, as in the systems of Parmenides, Spinoza, and Hegel, and thus opposed to pluralism; or that there is only one kind of thing, as in materialism (matter) and idealism (mind). Monism is the metaphysical and theological view that all is of one essence, principle, substance or energy. …

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monitor (navy) - Roles or positions

A floating gun platform, lying low above the waterline, moving at slow speed. It achieved relatively high fire-power while offering a small target silhouette. Used mainly for coastal bombardment, modern weapons have made it obsolete. The name derives from the USS Monitor, built by the Unionists in the American Civil War (1861–5), which fought a famous but inconclusive action against CSS Virginia …

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monitor lizard

A lizard native to Africa, S and SE Asia, and Australia; long pointed head and long neck; long tail which cannot voluntarily be shed; long claws; long forked tongue; teeth narrow with sharp cutting edges. (Genus: Varanus, 31 species. Family: Varanidae.) …

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monitorial system

A concept of early 19th-c British education, developed by British educationists Andrew Bell (1753–1832) and Joseph Lancaster (1778–1838), to train young school leavers to act as teachers' assistants or ‘monitors’. It involved only a few hours' training. The Bell-Lancaster method (also known as "mutual instruction" or the "monitorial system"), named after the British educators Dr Andrew …

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monkey - Characteristics, Name, Monkeys in captivity, Classification, Monkeys in culture

A primate of the group Anthropoidea; two subgroups: the Platyrrhine or flat-nosed monkeys from the New World (includes New World monkeys and marmosets), and the Catarrhine or downward-nosed monkeys from the Old World. Monkeys range in size from the Pygmy Marmoset, at 14-16 cm (5-6 inch) long (plus tail) and 120-140 g (4-5 oz) in weight, to the male Mandrill, almost 1 metre (3 ft) long and w…

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monkfish

Largest of the angelsharks (Squatina squatina) common in the E North Atlantic and Mediterranean; length up to 1·8 m/6 ft; body shape intermediate between sharks and rays; head flattened, mouth anterior, gill openings lateral, pectoral fins very broad, tail slender; also called angelfish. (Family: Squatinidae.) Monkfish is the common name of a number of different species of fish. …

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Monmouthshire - Historic county, The principal area

pop (2001e) 84 900; area 851 km²/328 sq mi. County (unitary authority from 1996) in SE Wales, UK; drained by R Wye and R Usk; Brecon Beacons in NW; administrative centre, Cwmbran; other chief towns, Abergavenny, Monmouth, Chepstow; agriculture; tourism, especially in Wye Valley; castles at Abergavenny, Caldicott, Chepstow, Monmouth, Raglan, Usk; Tintern Abbey (12th-c). Monmouthshire (…

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Monoceros - History, Stars

A N constellation in the Milky Way, next to Orion, containing several clusters and nebulae. Monoceros (IPA: /məˈnɒsərəs/, Greek: unicorn) is a faint constellation on the winter night sky, surrounded by Orion to the west, Gemini to the north, Canis Major to the south and Hydra to the east. Monoceros is a modern constellation, generally supposed to be named by the Dutch…

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monoculture - Land Use, Sociology, Computer science

The growing of one type of crop on the same land over a period of years with hardly any crop rotation. Such systems are widespread in the developed world because they respond well to fertilizers and to weed control using selective herbicides, and because mechanical field operations such as harvesting are greatly simplified. However, it has been shown that monocultural cultivation is more susceptib…

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monody - Main composers of monody, References and further reading

In music, a single vocal or instrumental line, in contrast to polyphony. Gregorian chant and unaccompanied folksong are both examples of monody, but the term is often applied more specifically (though perhaps less accurately) to the continuo-accompanied solo vocal music of the early 17th-c. In music, monody is a solo vocal style distinguished by having a single melodic line and instrumental…

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monomer

A simple molecule which can add to or condense with itself to form a polymer. An amino acid is a monomer of a protein; ethylene (CH2=CH2) is the monomer of polyethylene (–CH2–CH2–)n. In chemistry, a monomer (from Greek mono "one" and meros "part") is a small molecule that may become chemically bonded to other monomers to form a polymer. Here hydrocarbon monomers such as phenylethen…

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monopoly - Forms of monopoly, Economic analysis

A business situation where there is only one supplier of a good or service. This is unusual except where there is only one possible source of supply (natural monopoly) or the state excludes competition (eg in postal services). In economics, the term refers to a lack of competition. Monopoly is often opposed, as it is believed to result in excessive prices, either to boost profits or because of a l…

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monopsony - Overview, Static monopsony in a labour market, Dynamic problems, Empirical problems, Monopsony in product markets

A business situation where there is only one buyer - a ‘buyer's monopoly’. It is very rare on any significant scale. In economics, a monopsony is a market form with only one buyer, called "monopsonist," facing many sellers. The term "monopsony power", in a manner similar to "monopoly power" is used by economists as a short hand reference to buyers who face an upwardly sloping supply…

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monorail - Types and technical aspects, Advantages and disadvantages, Partial list of monorail systems

A railway using a single rail for the support of the train. The rail may be above or below the train, and the train may be stabilized if necessary by guide wheels and gyroscopes. The rail may be made of steel or concrete. Considerable research has gone into investigating non-wheeled methods of support, such as using air cushions and magnetic levitation. Monorails are used almost exclusively for pu…

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monosaccharide - Monosaccharide Nomenclature, List of monosaccharides, Reactions

A simple sugar, the monomer of a polysaccharide, formed from it by condensation polymerization. Most monosaccharides form cyclic structures, which predominate in aqueous solution, by forming hemiacetals or hemiketals (depending on whether they are aldoses or ketoses) between an alcohol and the carbonyl group of the same sugar. In Haworth projection, the α-isomer has the O…

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monosodium glutamate (MSG) - Umami, Sources of glutamate, Discovery, Commercialization, Scientific review, Health concerns, Location of Health Issues, Ingredient listing

A flavouring agent used to enhance the meat flavour of many processed foods containing meat or meat extracts. It is commonly associated with the ‘Chinese Restaurant Syndrome’, an array of symptoms associated with eating a Chinese meal in which excess MSG has been used. All objective studies suggest that sensitivity to MSG is extremely rare. MSG is absorbed as glutamic acid, and since this is the…

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monotheism - Ancient religions, Abrahamic religions, Dharmic religions, The development of monotheism, Other types of monotheism

The belief that only one God exists. It developed within the Jewish faith, and remains a feature of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It is opposed to both polytheism and pantheism. Christian belief in the Trinity is thought by Muslims and Jews to deny monotheism. In theology, monotheism (in Greek μόνος = single and θεός = God) is the belief in the existence of one deity or God, or…

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monotreme - General characteristics, Physiology, Fossil monotremes

An egg-laying mammal; lays soft-shelled eggs which hatch after 10 days; suckles young for 3–6 months; no teeth as adults. (Order: Monotremata, 3 species.) Monotremes (monos, single + trema, hole; Like other mammals, monotremes are warm-blooded with a high metabolic rate (though not as high as other mammals, see below); It is still sometimes thought, for example, that the monotr…

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Monroe Doctrine - Background, Legacy, Main Points, Criticism, The Cold War, Reference

A major statement of American foreign policy, proclaimed in 1823, attributed to President James Monroe, but written by secretary of state John Quincy Adams. The doctrine was issued after renewed interest in the Americas by European powers, especially Britain and Russia, following the Spanish-American revolutions for independence. It announced (1) the existence of a separate political system in the…

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Monrovia - History, Government, Geography, Culture and media, Education, Infrastructure

6°20N 10°46W, pop (2000e) 741 000. Seaport capital of Liberia, W Africa; 362 km/225 mi SSE of Freetown (Sierra Leone); on an area divided by lagoons into islands and peninsulas; main port and industrial sector on Bushrod Island; founded by the American Colonization Society, 1822; original name Christopolis, changed to Monrovia after the US president; airport; railway terminus; university (18…

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Mons - History, Education, Sports, People born in Mons, Twin cities

50°28N 3°58E, pop (2000e) 93 800. Commercial and cultural city, capital of Hainaut province, S Belgium; inland harbour, handling mostly coal from the Borinage, major mining region; built on site of one of Caesar's camps; often a battlefield, notably in World War 1 (Aug 1914); railway; university (1965); textiles, leather, pharmaceuticals, metal processing, aluminium products; Gothic cathedral,…

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monstera

A tall climber or liane (Monstera deliciosa) native to tropical America; stems with tough aerial roots; leaves large, heart-shaped, entire when young, developing deep notches and sometimes holes as tissue between veins ceases to grow; spadix surrounded by a large, coloured spathe; also called Swiss cheese plant. A popular house plant, the flowers and edible fruits rarely appear when grown indoors.…

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monstrance

A liturgical vessel, usually of gold or silver frame with a glass window, used to display the Eucharistic host or consecrated bread. It enables the host to be venerated by worshippers. Monstrance is the vessel used in the Roman Catholic, Old Catholic, and Anglo-Catholic Churches to display the consecrated Eucharistic Host, during Eucharistic adoration or Benediction. In the Cath…

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Mont Blanc - History of Mont Blanc, The altitude of Mont Blanc, Mont Blanc climbing routes

Highest alpine massif of SE France, SW Switzerland, and NW Italy; 25 peaks over 4000 m/13 000 ft; highest peak, Mont Blanc (4807 m/15 771 ft); frontiers of France, Switzerland, and Italy meet at Mt Dolent (3823 m/12 542 ft); road tunnel (12 km/7½ mi long) connects France and Italy; closed by fire which killed over 40 people, March 1999, reopened in 2002; first climbed in 1786 by J Balm…

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Mont Saint-Michel - Formation, Tidal island, Design, Tides, Administration, In popular culture, Miscellaneous

A rocky isle off the coast of Normandy, NW France, famous for its Gothic abbey; a world heritage site. A Benedictine settlement was first established here in the 8th-c, but the most impressive elements of the abbey date from the early 13th-c. Mont Saint-Michel (English: Mount Saint Michael) is a small rocky tidal island in Normandy, roughly one kilometre from the north coast of France at th…

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montage (cinema)

In film editing, a sequence containing a series of rapidly changing images, often dissolving together or superimposed to convey a visually dramatic effect. Pioneered by D W Griffith in his film The Avenging Conscience (1914), early examples of montage can be seen in Franz Borzage's Seventh Heaven (1927), Sergey Eisenstein's The Battleship Potemkin (1925), October (1928), and The General Line (1929…

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Montana - Geography, History, Demographics, Economy, Transportation, Law and government, Important cities and towns, Education, Professional sports teams

pop (2000e) 902 200; area 380 834 km²/147 046 sq mi. State in NW USA, divided into 56 counties; the ‘Treasure State’; most of the state acquired by the Louisiana Purchase, 1803; border with Canada settled by the Oregon Treaty, 1846; became the Territory of Montana, 1864; gold rush after 1858 discoveries; ranchers moved into the area in 1866, taking over Indian land; conflict with the Sio…

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Montanism - History, Differences between Montanism and orthodox Christianity, Sources, Further reading

A popular Christian movement derived from Montanus of Phrygia (AD c.170) and two women, Prisca and Maximilla, whose ecstatic prophecies and literal expectation of the imminent end of the age won a wide following of churches in Asia Minor. These features and its austere ethical and spiritual ideals were opposed by the Catholic Church, which defended the importance of the institutional ministry and …

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Montauban - Reference

44º01N 1º21E, pop (2001e) 51 900. Capital of Tarn-et-Garonne department, Midi-Pyrénées region, SW France; at the confluence of the Tarn and Tescou rivers; located 50 km/30 mi N of Toulouse; ancient capital of Quercy; founded (12th-c) by the counts of Toulouse; built mainly of pink brick; birthplace of Antoine Bourdelle and Ingres; 17th-c episcopal palace became the Musée Ingres (mid-19th-…

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Monte Carlo - Casino

43°46N 7°23E. Resort town on a rocky promontory of the Mediterranean Riviera, in Monaco, on the N side of the harbour opposite the town of Monaco; famous Casino, providing c.4% of national revenue, built in 1878; Palais des Congrès (Les Spélugues); annual car rally, world championship Grand Prix motor race. Monte Carlo is home to most of the Circuit de Monaco, on which the Formula One M…

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Monte Ward

Baseball player and lawyer, born in Bellefonte, Pennsylvania, USA. A pitcher and infielder for 17 years (1878–94), mostly with the New York Giants, he led an unsuccessful effort to repeal baseball's reserve clause, which bound a player to a team through a self-renewing contract. After retiring from baseball, he became an attorney and frequently represented players in their grievances against majo…

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Montego Bay - Twin Cities

18°27N 77°56W, pop (2000e) 89 000. Port and capital city of St James parish, Cornwall county, NW coast of Jamaica; free port and principal tourist centre of the island; airport; railway; trade in bananas, sugar; Rose Hall Great House (1770), old British fort, 18th-c church. Montego Bay is a city in Jamaica that contains Jamaica's largest airport, the Sir Donald Sangster International Ai…

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Montenegro - Reference, Further reading

Local name Crna Gora Albania · Andorra · Armenia · Austria · Azerbaijan · Belarus · Belgium · Bosnia and Herzegovina · Bulgaria · Croatia · Cyprus · Czech Republic · Denmark · Estonia · Finland · France · Georgia · Germany · Greece · Hungary · Iceland · Ireland · Italy · Kazakhstan · Latvia · Liechtenstein · Lithuania · Luxembourg · Republic of…

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Montevideo - Population, Location/climate, History, Growth/economy, Neighborhoods, Education, Sports, Sites of interest, Sister cities

34°55S 56°10W, pop (2000e) 1 374 500. Federal and provincial capital of Uruguay, on the R Plate; founded, 1726; capital, 1830; airport; railway; university (1849); meat packing, food processing, tanning, footwear, soap, matches, trade in meat, skins, wool; cathedral (1790–1804), Cabildo (1808), several museums and parks, sports stadium (Estadio Centenario), fort on Cerro hill; the German bat…

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Montgolfier brothers - Early years, Initial experiments, Public demonstrations, Human flight, Following years, Revival of the hot air balloon

Aeronautical inventors: Joseph Michel Montgolfier (1740–1810) and Jacques Etienne Montgolfier (1745–99), born in Annonay, SC France. In 1782 they constructed a balloon whose bag was lifted by lighting a cauldron of paper beneath it, thus heating and rarifying the air it contained. A flight of 9 km/5½ mi, at 3000 ft, carrying Pilatre de Rozier and the Marquis d'Arlandes, was achieved in 1783 …

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Montgomery (Alabama) - Places, People

32°23N 86°19W, pop (2000e) 201 600. Capital of state in Montgomery Co, C Alabama, USA, on the Alabama R; state capital, 1847; the Confederate States of America formed here, 1861; occupied by Federal troops, 1865; railway; university (1874); important market centre for farming produce; cotton, livestock, dairy products; diverse industries, including machinery, glass, textiles, furniture, foods,…

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month - Calendrical consequences, Months in various calendars

The time for the Moon to orbit the Earth, relative to a reference point. Lunar motion is very complex. The Moon orbits the Earth in 27·32 days (relative to the stars), passing through the familiar cycle of lunar phases. The lunar month of 29·53 days is the interval between successive new Moons. Twelve lunar months is less than one solar year, so the calendar months are arbitrarily longer than lu…

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Montoneros - From 1970 to Videla's military junta, Under Jorge Videla's junta

Argentine urban guerrillas claiming allegiance to Peronism and (from 1970) staging terrorist actions against the military regime then in power. Repudiated by Juan Domingo Perón himself (1974), the Montoneros renewed their attacks on the regime installed in 1976, meeting with severe repression. The Montonero Peronist Movement (Spanish: Movimiento Peronista Montonero) was an Argentine radica…

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Montpelier

44°16N 72°35W, pop (2000e) 8000. Capital of Vermont, USA; in Washington Co, N Vermont, on the Winooski R; settled, 1780; state capital, 1805; railway; Vermont College (1834); notable skiing areas nearby at Pinnacle Mt, Judgement Ridge, Glen Ellen, Bolton Valley, Sugarbush Valley, Mad River Glen; birthplace of Admiral George Dewey; textiles, machinery, wood products, granite quarrying, printing.…

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Montpellier - History, University, Famous inhabitants of Montpellier, Facilities, Twin cities, Sources and references

43°37N 3°52E, pop (2000e) 217 000. Industrial and commercial city, and capital of Hérault department, S France; 123 km/76 mi NW of Marseille; founded around a Benedictine abbey, 8th-c; airport; railway; bishopric; university (1289); wine trade, textiles, printing, concrete, machinery, wood products; birthplace of Comte; Gothic Cathedral of St Pierre (1364), many 17th–18th-c patricians' and…

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Montreal - Geography, Demographics, Administration, Culture, Sports, Education, Downtown Montreal, Sister cities

45°30N 73°36W, pop (2000e) 1 139 000. River-port city in S Quebec province, Canada; on Montreal I, on the St Lawrence R (ice-free May–Nov); second largest city in Canada, and second largest French-speaking city in the world; first visited by Cartier, 1535; fort, 1611; founded as Ville-Marie (1642) by Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve; developed as a fur-trading centre; surrendered to British, …

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Montreal Canadiens

Canadian ice hockey team, the only remaining original member of the inaugural six-team National Hockey League (first season 1917–18). They dominated the sport for three decades with a record 23 Stanley Cup wins (1916 [pre-NHL formation], 1924, 1930–1, 1944, 1946, 1953, 1956–60, 1965–6, 1968–9, 1971, 1973, 1976-9, 1986). …

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Montreux - History and geography, Culture

46°27N 6°55E, pop (2000e) 20 200. Winter sports centre and resort town in Vaud canton, SW Switzerland; at E end of L Geneva, SE of Lausanne; railway; figs, vines, walnuts, tourism; casino; 13th-c Château de Chillon nearby; Golden Rose Television Festival (spring), International Jazz Festival (Jun–Jul), Music Festival (Sep). Coordinates: 46°26′N 6°55′E Montreux is a r…

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Montrose

56º43N 2º29W, pop (2002e) Historic port town in Angus district, E Scotland, UK; located on the E coast, 42 km/26 mi NE of Dundee; popular sailing centre with fine beach; to the W of the town is Montrose Basin, a large tidal lagoon; migrant wading birds over-winter on shores, including pink-footed geese; birthplace of Robert Brown and Joseph Hume; railway; pharmaceuticals, food processing, dis…

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Montserrat - History, Politics, Parishes, Geography, Economy, Famous Montserratians, Demographics, Culture, Miscellaneous topics, Operation Montserrat

(UK British Overseas Territory) Montserrat is one relatively few colonies still in the British Empire. Montserrat was populated by Arawak and Carib peoples when it was claimed by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage for Spain in 1493, naming the island 'Santa María de Montserrat'. With the advent of Beatles producer George Martin’s AIR Studios Montserrat in t…

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Monty Python - Before Monty Python, Flying Circus and the Python style, Life after the Flying Circus, The Pythons

An anarchic satirical series, shown on BBC television between 1969 and 1974, starring Graham Chapman (1941–89), John Cleese, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin. The series changed the face of British television humour, with its inspired lunacy, surreal comedy, and animated graphics (by Terry Gilliam), and generated a cult following which was eventually international. The troupe later colla…

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Moon - The two sides of the Moon, Orbit and relationship to Earth, Origin and geologic evolution

The Earth's only natural satellite, lacking any atmosphere; about a quarter the size of the Earth, and treated as one of the family of terrestrial planets. It has the following characteristics: mass 0·073 × 1027 g; radius 1738 km/1080 mi; mean density 3·34 g/cm3; equatorial gravity 162 cm/s; rotational period 27·3 days; orbital period 27·3 days; average distance from Earth 384 400 …

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Moonies

A derisive name applied to members of the religious movement founded in 1954 by Korean evangelist Sun Myung Moon (1920– ). Known as the Unification Church (in full, the Holy Spirit Association for the Unification of World Christianity), and more recently the Association of Families for Unification and World Peace, the organization was founded in 1954 in South Korea, and moved to Tarrytown, NY, in…

1 minute read

moonstone

A semi-precious gemstone variety of the mineral potassium feldspar. It has a pale opalescent lustre because of its fine-scale oriented microstructure, which diffracts light. Moonstone may refer to: …

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moorhen

Either of two species of rail of the genus Gallinula, especially the moorhen, common gallinule, or Florida gallinule (Gallinula chloropus), found worldwide; also the lesser or little moorhen (Gallinula angulata), found in sub-Saharan Africa; long legs and toes; inhabit water margins; related to coots. The moorhens are medium-sized water birds which are members of the rail family Rallidae. …

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moorish idol - Physical description, Habitat and diet, Behaviour and reproduction, Pop culture, Aquarium life

Colourful marine fish (Zanclus cornutus) widespread on shallow reefs in the Indo-Pacific region; length to 18 cm/7 in; body deep with tall dorsal and anal fins; mouth tubular; coloration very bold in broad black and white bands with some yellow shading. (Family: Acanthuridae.) The Moorish Idol (Zanclus cornutus) is a small perciform marine fish, the sole representative of the family Zancl…

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Moors - History, Origins, Etymology, Human population genetics, Historical images, Other Moors in history, Present-day Moors

A nomadic people of the N seaboard of Africa, originally the inhabitants of Mauritania. They were chiefly of Berber and Arab descent. In the 8th-c the Moors were converted to Islam. Under Tariq ibn Ziyad they crossed to Gibraltar (711) and overran the Spanish Visigoth kingdom of Roderick (r.710–?711). They spread beyond the Pyrenees into France, where they were turned back at Tours by Charles Mar…

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moped - History, Local definitions, Derestriction and Performance Tuning, Moped culture, Moped safety

A small, lightweight motorcycle fitted with pedals, and capable of being pedalled if necessary. It was established as a means of personal transport before World War 2, but it was not until after the War that its economy made it attractive. This economy was achieved by lightness of design and the application of the two-stroke engine. The dividing line between a moped and a light motorcycle is very …

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Moral Majority - History, Pop culture references, The Moral Majority Coalition

A US political action committee founded in 1979 which has played a leading part in the revival of the New Right. It campaigns for the election of morally conservative politicians and for changes to public policy in such areas as abortion, homosexuality, and school prayers. It is associated with Christian fundamentalists, who in the 1980s came to play a prominent role in US politics. Moral M…

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morality play

A play which dramatizes a moral argument, presenting the opposition between good and evil, often with characters who personify virtues, vices, diseases, and temptations. The genre derived its technique from the miracle and mystery play, and its subject matter from sermons. It was popular in England, Scotland, France, and The Netherlands in the 15th-c and early 16th-c. Unlike the mystery play, it w…

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Morarji (Ranchhodji) Desai - Early life, Post-Independence, Split of 1969, Janata, Prime Minister, National Security Compromise

Indian statesman and prime minister (1977–9), born in Gujarat, W India. He studied at Bombay University, became a civil servant, and entered politics in 1930. After various ministerial posts, he was a candidate for the premiership in 1964 and 1966, but was defeated by Indira Gandhi. He became deputy prime minister in 1969 to lead the Opposition Congress Party. Detained during the state of emergen…

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Moravia - Geography, Economy, History, People, Other

Historic province of the Czech Republic; separated from Slovakia by the Little and White Carpathian Mts; corridor (the Moravian Gate) provides communication link (N–S); chief towns include Brno, Ostrava, Olomouc; chief rivers include the Morava, Oder, Opava, Dyje; early mediaeval kingdom (Great Moravia), 9th-c; part of Bohemia, 1029; under Habsburg rule from early 16th-c; province of Czechoslovak…

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moray eel - Species

Any of the family Muraenidae of marine eels, widespread in tropical and warm temperate seas; dorsal and anal fins continuous, pelvics and pectorals absent; teeth well-developed; largest species may exceed 3 m/10 ft in length; includes Muraena helena, found in the Mediterranean and E Atlantic; length up to 1·3 m/4·3 ft; mottled brown and yellow; may be extremely aggressive. Moray eels …

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Mordecai - His life and deeds, The name

Biblical hero. He is described in the Book of Esther as a Jew in exile in Persia, who cared for his orphaned cousin Esther and gained the favour of King Xerxes after uncovering a plot against him. He used his subsequent influence to protect Jews from an edict issued against them. The event is commemorated by the annual Jewish feast of Purim. Mordecai or Mordechai (מָרְדֳּכַי, Stan…

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Mordecai (Menahem) Kaplan

Rabbi and educator, born in Swenziany, Lithuania. He went to the USA in 1889, and became dean (1909), and later professor, at the Teacher's Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary. He founded the Reconstructionist Movement (1935), which holds that Judaism is an entire civilization, not just a religion. He was chairman of the editorial board of the Reconstructionist (1935–59), and in 1922 he …

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Mordecai Manuel Noah

Playwright and journalist, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He started out as a reporter in Harrisburg, PA and wrote several plays during 1802–22. In 1813 he was sent to Tunis as consul to negotiate for the release of Americans held by pirates there. In 1817 he became editor of the National Advocate in New York. In 1825 he unsuccessfully tried to found a Jewish refuge on an island in the …

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Mordecai Richler - Bibliography, Film scripts

Writer, born in Montreal, Quebec, SE Canada. He was brought up in Montreal's Jewish ghetto, attended university in Montreal, then lived in Paris (1951–2). His best-known novel is The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1959), which was later filmed, although St Urbain's Horseman (1971) is a more ambitious work. Later books include Solomon Gursky was Here (1990) and Barney's Version (1997). He wrote …

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morel

An edible fungus (Morchella esculenta); fruiting body consists of a pale stalk (stipe) and brownish, egg-shaped head with a pitted or ridged surface; found singly, sometimes in rings, in rich alkaline soils in woods, pastures, and bonfire sites. (Subdivision: Ascomycetes. Order: Pezizales.) …

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Morgan - As a first name, Places, Other uses of the name

A breed of strong horse, developed in the 19th-c in the USA; descended from one stallion called Justin Morgan (originally called Figure); height, 14–15½ hands/1·4–1·6 m/4½–5¼ ft; brown or black; good riding or carriage horse. United Kingdom USA There are also: Australia …

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Morgan Freeman - Selected filmography, Awards

Actor, born in Memphis, Tennessee, USA. The son of a barber and a schoolteacher, he was raised in Chicago and Mississippi. He served in the air force, attended Los Angeles City College, and made his Broadway debut in 1967 in an all-black production of Hello, Dolly. His film credits include Street Smart (1987, Oscar nomination) and Glory (1989), and he received acclaim for his role as Hoke Colburn,…

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Morgan le Fay - Morgan in later medieval literature, Modern appearances of Morgan

In Arthurian legend, an enchantress, ‘Morgan the Fairy’, King Arthur's sister, and generally hostile towards him. She was one of the three queens who received him at his death. In Arthurian legend, Morgan le Fay, alternatively known as Morgaine, Morgain, Morgana and a slew of related name variants, is a powerful sorceress and sometime antagonist of King Arthur and Guinevere. …

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Moritz Schlick

Philosopher, one of the leaders of the Vienna Circle of logical positivists, born in Berlin, Germany. He studied physics at Heidelberg, Lausanne, and Berlin, taught at Rostock and Kiel, and from 1922 was professor of inductive sciences at Vienna. An early exponent of Einstein's relativity theories, his major works include Allgemeine Erkenntnislehre (1918, General Theory of Knowledge) and Fragen de…

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Morley (Edward) Callaghan - Bibliography, Unpublished Plays, Further reading

Novelist, short-story writer, and memoirist, born in Toronto, Ontario, SE Canada. He studied at Toronto University, and was befriended by Hemingway. He was called to the bar in 1928, but while in Paris Hemingway encouraged him to give up law for literature, and helped him get some of his stories published in expatriate literary magazines. His first novel was Strange Fugitive (1928) and his first c…

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morning glory - Culinary use, Recreational use, Gallery

An annual (Ipomoea tricolor) growing to 3 m/10 ft, native to tropical America; climbing by means of twining stems; leaves oval to heart-shaped; flowers up to 12·5 cm/5 in diameter, funnel-shaped, blue with yellow throat, sometimes purple or red. It is a relative of the sweet potato and bindweeds, and a popular ornamental. (Family: Convolvulaceae.) Morning glory is a common name for a n…

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morning sickness - When it occurs, Causes, Treatments, Associations with miscarriage risk

Nausea and vomiting during the first three months of pregnancy, which affects c.50% of women. It tends to subside thereafter, and is believed to result from associated hormonal changes. Morning sickness, also called "nausea and vomiting of pregnancy" (NVP) or pregnancy sickness, affects between 50 and 95 percent of all pregnant women. Morning sickness is not confined to the morn…

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Morocco - Name, History, Politics, Administrative divisions, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Culture, International rankings, Affliations, Bilateral and multilateral agreements

Official name The Kingdom of Morocco, Arabic al-Mamlakah al-Maghribiyah The Kingdom of Morocco (Arabic: المملكة المغربية) is a country in North Africa. There are also two Spanish exclaves bordering Morocco to the north. Morocco claims ownership of Western Sahara and has administered most of the territory since 1975. Morocco, a constitutional monarchy, is the…

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Moroni

11°40S 43°16E, pop (2000e) 26 300. Capital of Comoros, and chief town of Njazidja (formerly Grande Comore I); airport; vanilla, coffee, cacao, soft drinks, metal and wood products; several mosques; pilgrimage centre at Chiouanda. Moroni may mean: …

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Morpheus

In Roman mythology, one of the sons of Somnus (‘sleep’) who sends or impersonates images of people in the dreamer's mind. Later, as in Spenser, he is the god of sleep. Morpheus may mean: …

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morphine - Pharmacology, Legal classification, History and abuse

A drug derived from opium, used to ease severe pain. Because of its addictive potential, its use is controlled. In overdoses it causes death by suppressing respiration. It is also used in anti-diarrhoeal preparations. Morphine (INN) (IPA: [ˈmɔ(ɹ)fin]) is an extremely powerful opiate analgesic drug and is the principal active agent in opium. The word "morphine" is derived from…

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morphology (linguistics) - History, Fundamental concepts, Models of morphology, Morphological typology

In linguistics, the study of morphemes, the smallest indivisible units of meaning in the structure of a word (eg anti-lock-ing, un-worthi-ness, horse-s). It recognizes such notions as roots, inflections, prefixes, suffixes, and compound words, and tries to establish the rules governing the way words are formed and inter-related within specific languages and language in general. In linguisti…

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Morris (Langlo) West - Bibliography, Further reading

Novelist, born in Melbourne, Victoria, NE Australia. He studied at the University of Melbourne and joined a Catholic teaching order, but resigned in 1940 before taking vows. He worked in politics, journalism, and broadcasting before moving to Italy in 1955. His first major work, Children of the Sun, about the homeless children of Naples, was published in that year. Many successful novels followed,…

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Morris Carnovsky - Early stage career, Film career, Hollywood blacklist

Stage and film actor, born in St Louis, Missouri, USA. Primarily a stage performer, he was a founding member of The Group Theatre. After 1956 he mainly performed Shakespearean roles. Morris Carnovsky (September 5, 1897–September 1, 1992) was an American stage and film actor born in St. Louis, Missouri. At age 39, he made his New York City stage debut in The God of Vengeance. T…

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morris dance - History in England, Styles, Terminology

A form of traditional dance dating back to the 15th-c, found in England, but with continental European equivalents. Its distinctive features are stamping and hopping performed by rows or circles of performers usually dressed in white and always carrying some prop - a stick, handkerchief, or garland, and traditionally a hobby-horse or inflated pig's bladder. Some wear bells, and hats brightly decor…

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Morris Hillquit

Lawyer, writer, and reformer, born in Riga, Latvia. He emigrated to the USA in 1886, dropped out of high school to go to work, and helped found the United Hebrew Trades (1888). In 1891 he graduated from New York University Law School, helped found the Socialist Party of America (1900), and afterwards defended many Socialists, including those prosecuted in 1917–18 for anti-war activities. He faile…

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Morris R(aphael) Cohen

Philosopher, born in Minsk, Belarus (formerly, Russia). Emigrating to the USA in 1892, he studied at City College of New York (1900), earned a Harvard doctorate (1906), and taught at City College (1912–38) and the University of Chicago (1938–41). A magnetic teacher, he exhibited his naturalism and pragmatism in such works as Reason and Nature (1931) and made contributions to legal, political, an…

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Morris Swadesh

Linguist, born in Holyoke, Massachusetts, USA. The child of immigrant Russian Jews, he grew up knowing Russian and Yiddish. He took his BA and MA at the University of Chicago under Edward Sapir, who brought Swadesh with him to Yale (1931), where he took his PhD (1933). He spent part of every year throughout the 1930s doing fieldwork with Native Americans, and became familiar with many of their lan…

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Morse code - Modern International Morse Code, Morse code as an assistive technology

A binary code for the transmission of verbal messages, devised during the 1830s by Samuel Morse. Each letter of the alphabet, numeral, and punctuation mark was assigned a distinctive combination of (short) dots and (long) dashes. Thus the distress call SOS was rendered · · · - - - · · ·. An improved version, known as the International Morse Code, was devised at a European conference in 1851.…

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Mort Walker

Cartoonist, born in El Dorado, Kansas, USA. In 1940 he created the popular newspaper comic strip, Beetle Bailey, featuring a shiftless soldier and his friends. He also created and wrote Hi and Lois, Fitz's Flats, and Boner's Ark. Addison Morton Walker (born September 3, 1923), more popularly known as Mort Walker, is an American comic artist, best known for creating the newspaper comic strip…

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mortar and pestle - Gallery

A device known in various forms since ancient times for grinding granular material into powder. The mortar is a bowl of hard material. The pestle is a conical piece of similar material with a rounded end, with which the material to be ground is forced against the bowl. Simple forms are used in the kitchen or in simple pharmacy. Modern sophisticated mechanized versions are used in industry. …

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mortgage - Other Terminologies, Legal Aspects, History, Repaying the capital, Mortgages in the United States

An arrangement whereby a lender (the mortgagee) lends money to a borrower (the mortgagor), the loan being secured on the mortgagor's assets (commonly land or buildings). Mortgages have played a significant role in permitting the spread of home ownership. However, mortgages are not confined to loans used to buy homes or land. Mortgages of chattels are possible, but the complexity of the relevant la…

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Morton Gould - Work on Broadway

Composer, conductor, and pianist, born in Richmond Hill, New York, USA. He studied at the New York Institute of Musical Art. His music is national in style, and exploits the various aspects of popular music from both North and South America. He has composed symphonies and a variety of works in more popular style, and been a guest conductor for many orchestras. Morton Gould (December 10, 191…

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mosaic - Use, Mosaic technique, Mathematics, Digital imaging

The technique of making decorative designs or pictures by arranging small pieces (tesserae) of coloured glass, marble, or ceramic in a bed of cement. It was much used by the Romans for pavements, by the early Christians and Byzantines for murals in churches, and also by Islamic artists. Interest in mosaic revived in Italy in the later 19th-c. Mosaic is the art of decoration with small piece…

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Moscow - History, Government, Climate, City layout, Architecture, Culture, Education, Science and research, Transport, Economy, Future development, Demographics

55°45N 37°42E, pop (2000e) 9 400 000. Capital and largest city of Russia, on the R Moskva; linked by canal to the R Volga; known from the 12th-c; capital of the principality of Muscovy, 13th-c; invaded by Napoleon, 1812; capital of the Russian SFSR, 1918; capital of the USSR, 1922; airport; railway; underground; universities (1755, 1960); Academy of Sciences; solar research, clothing, footwea…

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Moscow Art Theatre - Outside links:

Now one of the most prestigious of Russian theatrical institutions, which began in 1898 as a company of student and amateur actors. Its fame rests on its founders - Stanislavsky and Nemirovich-Danchenko - and their determined advocacy of theatre as a serious and important art; on its meticulous and innovative productions of Chekhov and Gorki; and on its studios, established from 1913 onwards for t…

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Moses - Moses in the Bible, Moses in Jewish thought, Moses in Christian thought, Moses in Muslim Thought

Major character of Israelite history, portrayed in the Book of Exodus as the leader of the deliverance of Hebrew slaves from Egypt and the recipient of the Ten Commandments at Mt Sinai. In Exodus, stories about his early life depict his escape from death as an infant by being hidden in the bulrushes, his upbringing in the Egyptian court, his flight to Midian, and his divine call to lead the Hebrew…

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Moses (Eugene) Malone - High school and ABA, NBA career, Career accomplishments and trivia

Basketball player, born in Petersburg, Virginia, USA. He came out of high school straight into professional basketball at age 19. After playing two years in the American Basketball Association (1974–5), he played centre for the National Basketball Association (NBA) Houston Rockets, Philadelphia 76ers, Washington Bullets, Atlanta Hawks, and Milwaukee Bucks, and won the Most Valuable Player award t…

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Moses Asch - Music, Politics, Sports, Others

Record producer, born in Warsaw, Poland. The son of novelist Sholem Asch, he went with his family to the USA (1909) and grew up in Brooklyn, NY. He studied engineering in Koblenz, Germany, and back in the USA one of his first jobs was installing sound equipment in Yiddish theatres. He founded Asch Records (1939) to record his father's stories, but he soon turned to recording folk singers such as J…

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Moses Austin - Early life, Businessman

Merchant and colonist, born in Durham, Connecticut, USA. He managed lead mines in Virginia and Missouri. Following the Depression of 1819, he applied for and received a permit from Spanish authorities to settle 300 American families in Texas (1821), but died soon after. Moses Austin (October 4, 1761–June 10, 1821) is best known for his efforts in the American lead industry and as the fath…

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Moses Brown - References and external links

Manufacturer and philanthropist, born in Providence, Rhode Island, USA. He was a member of one of colonial America's most successful merchant families. In 1774 he became a Quaker, freed his slaves, and helped to start the Rhode Island Abolition Society. He was among the first cotton manufacturers in America, and he induced Samuel Slater to set up Arkwright spinning machines in Rhode Island. …

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Moses Fleetwood Walker - Baseball career, Life after baseball, Baseball history, External links

Baseball player, businessman, and civil-rights pioneer, born in Mt Pleasant, Ohio, USA. Along with his brother, Welday Wilberforce Walker (1860–1937), born in Steubenville, Ohio, USA, he helped organize and played on the Oberlin College varsity baseball team. In 1883 ‘Fleet’ played on Toledo's Northwestern League team, and when Toledo was accepted in the American Association (1884), he became t…

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Moses Gomberg

Organic chemist, born in Elisavetgrad, Russia. He emigrated to Chicago, USA (1884) and was associated with the chemistry department of the University of Michigan (1893–1936). He created the first stable free radical, triphenylmethyl (1900), and carried on studies of organometallic compounds. During World War 1 he worked on gases for chemical warfare, and on high explosives and smokeless powder. …

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Moses Mendelssohn - Youth, Prominence in philosophy and criticism, Support for Judaism, Later years and legacy, Bibliography

Philosopher, literary critic, and biblical scholar, born in Dessau, EC Germany. He studied at Berlin and became the partner to a silk manufacturer. A zealous defender of enlightened monotheism, he was an apostle of deism. His major works include Phädon (1767), on the immortality of the soul; Jerusalem (1783), which advocates Judaism as the religion of reason; and Morgenstunden (1785) which argues…

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Moses Stuart

Protestant clergyman and educator, born in Wilton, Connecticut, USA. A farmer's son, studious as a child, he graduated from Yale (1799) at the head of his class. He was pastor of a New Haven Congregational church (1806–10), and became professor of sacred literature at Andover Theological Seminary (1810–48), where he learned Hebrew and published the first Hebrew grammar in America. He also public…

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Moses Taylor

Banker, born in New York City, New York , USA. He began as a clerk at an importing house in the City, and by 1832, with $15 000, opened his own business handling the Cuban sugar trade. In 1855 he became president of City Bank in New York, where his policy was to hold large cash reserves. He dabbled in railroads and public utilities, and helped the Lincoln administration to finance the Civil War. …

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Moshe Dayan - Early life, World War II, Military commander, Politician, Six Day War (1967)

Israeli general and statesman, born in Deganya, Palestine. During the 1930s he joined the illegal Jewish defence organization, Haganah, and was imprisoned by the British (1939–41), then released to fight with the Allies in World War 2 (when he lost his left eye, thereafter wearing his distinctive black eye patch). He became chief-of-staff (1953–8), joined the Knesset as a Labour member in 1959, …

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Moshe Feinstein - Biography, Death, Works

Rabbi, born in Uzda, Russia. He studied and was ordained in Russia, and went to the USA in 1937. He was dean of Mesifta Tifereth Jerusalem in New York (1938–86), which became a leading yeshiva under his guidance. He was president of the Union of Orthodox Rabbis of the USA and Canada (1968–86), and published many books on Jewish jurisprudence and Talmudic analysis. Rabbi Moshe Feinstein (1…

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mosquito

A small, slender fly with a piercing proboscis; females feed on blood, males on plant juices; eggs laid in water; larvae aquatic, feeding by filtering plankton from water; pupa comma-shaped, active, lives beneath surface film, suspended by its breathing tube; blood-feeding females act as intermediate hosts of malaria, yellow fever, filariasis, dengue, and other disease organisms; worldwide. (Order…

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Mosquito Coast - Sources and references

Undeveloped lowland area in E Honduras and E Nicaragua, Central America, following the Caribbean coast in a 65 km/40 mi-wide strip of tropical forest, lagoons, and swamp; inhabited by Black Creoles and the Miskito, Sumo, and Rama Indians; controlled by the British, 1665–1860; timber, bananas. The Caribbean Mosquito Coast historically consisted of an area along the Atlantic coast of prese…

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moss - Classification of mosses, Habitat, Cultivation, Commercial use

A small, spore-bearing, non-vascular plant of the Class Musci, related to liverworts and hornworts. Mat- or cushion-forming, the visible plant is the gametophyte which begins as an undifferentiated body (thallus) or, more usually, a threadlike structure (protonema) reminiscent of a green alga. This develops into the more familiar plant with stems, simple, delicate leaves, and multicellular rhizoid…

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Moss Hart - Sexuality

Playwright and director, born in New York City, USA. An office boy to a theatrical producer, his first play, written at 18, was a flop. He then wrote Once in a Lifetime (1929) which, fine-tuned by George S Kaufman, became a hit, and started his career as one of the most successful US playwrights. Other works in collaboration with Kaufman include Merrily We Roll Along (1934), You Can't Take It With…

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Mossi - History, Organization of Mossi society, Language and cultural values, Traditional and Cultural holidays and events

A Gur-speaking people of Burkina Faso. They are sedentary farmers, comprising several chiefdoms united under a powerful paramount chief, the Morho Naba of Ouagadougou, who rules a feudally organized kingdom. Mossi (sing. The Mossi are the largest ethnic group in Burkina Faso, constituting 40% of the population, or about 6.2 million people.. The Mossi speak the More language Acco…

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Mosul - Name, People, Language, Maslawi, History, Historical Places in Mosul

36°21N 43°08E, pop (2000e) 884 000. Capital town of Neineva governorate, NW Iraq, on W bank of R Tigris, 352 km/218 mi NW of Baghdad; chief town of N Mesopotamia, 8th–13th-c; airfield; railway; university (1967); agricultural market centre; power generation, oil refining, cement, textiles; ruins of ancient Nineveh nearby. Coordinates: 36°22′0″N, 43°07′0″E Mosul …

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motet - Medieval motets, Renaissance motets, Baroque motets, The motet since Bach

A sacred musical work, originating in the 13th-c and cultivated (especially at Vespers) during the Renaissance as an unaccompanied polyphonic piece, reaching its highest point of development in the works of such composers as Desprez, Lassus, Palestrina, and Byrd. After 1600, motets often included instrumental accompaniment, notably the grands motets of Marc-Antoine Charpentier (1634–1704), Laland…

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moth - Economic significance of moths, Attraction to light, Notable moth species

An insect belonging to the order Lepidoptera, which comprises the butterflies and moths. Moths are distinguished from butterflies by being active mostly at night, by folding their wings flat over the body when at rest, and by having complex comb-like tips to their antennae; but there are exceptions. A moth is an insect closely related to the butterfly. the study of butterflies is known as b…

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Mother Joseph

Nun, architect, and pioneer, born in St Elzear, Quebec, Canada. She joined the Sisters of Charity of Providence (1843) and was sent to Vancouver, Canada (1856). She had learned carpentry from her father, who was a carriage-maker, and became an all-purpose architect in the creation of 11 hospitals, seven academies, five Indian schools, and two orphanages. She travelled throughout the Rocky Mts into…

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Mother Teresa (of Calcutta) - Early years in Skopje, The Beginnings of the Missionaries of Charity, Deteriorating health and death

Christian missionary in India, born in Skopje, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. She went to India in 1928, and taught at a convent school in Calcutta, taking her final vows in 1937. She became principal of the school, but in 1948 left the convent to work alone in the slums. After medical training in Paris, she opened some classrooms for destitute children in Calcutta. She was gradually joine…

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Mother's Day - History, Mother's Days in various parts of the world

A day set apart in honour of mothers: in the UK, Mothering Sunday, the fourth Sunday of Lent; in Australia, Canada, and the USA, the second Sunday in May. Mother's Day is a holiday honouring mothers, celebrated (on various days) in many places around the world. Different countries celebrate Mother's Day on various days of the year because the day has a number of different origin…

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Motherwell - Strathclyde Park, Local government district

55°48N 4°00W, pop (2000e) 29 600. Administrative centre of North Lanarkshire, C Scotland, UK; 20 km/12 mi SE of Glasgow; united with Wishaw burgh in 1920; railway; engineering; pilgrimages to Grotto of Our Lady of Lourdes at Carfin, 3 km/1¾ mi N. Motherwell (Tobar na Màthar in Gaelic) is a large town and former burgh in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, south east of Glasgow. …

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Motilal Nehru - Early life, Political career, Nehru report, Death and legacy, Family and descendants

Nationalist leader of India, lawyer, and journalist, born in Delhi, India, the father of Jawaharlal Nehru. He became a follower of Mahatma Gandhi in 1919, founded the Independent of Allahabad, and became the first president of the reconstructed Indian National Congress. Motilal Nehru (May 6, 1861 – February 6, 1931) was an early Indian independence activist and leader of the Indian Nation…

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motmot

A bird native to the New World tropics; related to kingfishers; tail feathers long, usually with barbless zone near tip; inhabits deep forest; eats insects, lizards, and fruit. (Family: Motmotidae, 8 species.) The motmots or Momotidae are a family of tropical birds in the order Coraciiformes, which also includes the kingfishers, bee-eaters and rollers. …

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motor neurone disease - Forms, Terminology, Signs and symptoms, Diagnosis, Prognosis, Pathology, Emotional lability / pseudobulbar affect

A rare disorder of the central nervous system in which the nerve cells responsible for muscular movement slowly degenerate. Affected persons have progressive difficulty in speaking, swallowing, moving the limbs, and eventually breathing. Occasionally there are associated psychological symptoms or dementia. The cause is unknown, and there is no effective remedy. The motor neurone diseases (o…

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motorcycle - History, Technical Aspects, Social aspects, Types of motorcycles

A two-wheeled vehicle designed to carry a rider and frequently a passenger for transport and pleasure, using a two- or four-stroke internal combustion engine to drive the rear wheel, with steering being accomplished by the rider turning the front wheel. The first such vehicle, a motor tricyle, was built in England in 1884, and in Germany in 1885 Gottlieb Daimler and Wilhelm Maybach used their petr…

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motorcycle racing - Tarmac, "Off Road"

The racing of motorcycles, first organized by the Automobile Club de France in 1906, from Paris to Nantes and back. The most famous races are held on the roads of the Isle of Man each June, and are known as the TT (Tourist Trophy) races; first held in 1907. A season-long grand prix world championship takes place each year, and a series of races is held for each of the following engine-size categor…

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motorcycle trials - World Trials Champions

One of the oldest forms of motorcycle competition. Trials riding is a severe test of the machine's durability, held over tough predetermined courses normally 50–60 km/30–40 mi in length. The Scottish Six Days Trial is the toughest trial in the world. The test calls for all the riders' skills of balance, as well as speed, because they must remain on their machines over rugged undulating surface…

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mouflon

A wild sheep with a short tail and thick curling horns; short dark fleece with white legs and underparts; two species: Asiatic mouflon or red sheep (Ovis orientalis), the ancestor of domestic sheep, from the mountains of SW Asia; and the mouflon or European mouflon (Ovis musimon) from Corsica and Sardinia (introduced elsewhere). …

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Moulins

46º35N 3º19E, pop (2001e) 21 600. Capital city of Allier department, Auvergne region, C France; on the R Allier, 93 km/58 mi SE of Bourges; old quarter with cobbled streets and famous bell-tower; birthplace of Théodore de Banville, James Berwick, Antoine Meillet, Claude Villars; road and rail junction; agricultural market; manufacturing, leather, clothing; Gothic cathedral (15th-c); stone b…

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Mount Athos - List of settlements, History, Administration and organization, Culture and life in the Hagion Oros

pop (2000e) 1620; area 336 km²/130 sq mi. Autonomous administration in Macedonia region, Greece; Mt Athos, rising to 1956 m/6417 ft, is the ‘Holy Mountain’ of the Greek Church, associated with the monastic order of St Basil since the 9th-c; declared a theocratic republic in 1927. Mount Athos (Greek: Όρος Άθως) is a mountain and a peninsula in Macedonia, northern Greece, cal…

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Mount Graham International Observatory

An astronomical observatory on Mt Graham near Safford, Arizona, USA, the site of the 1·8 m/71 in Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope and the 10 m/33 ft Heinrich Hertz Submillimeter Telesecope. Under construction is the Large Binocular Telescope, a reflector with twin 8·4 m/330 in mirrors on a common mounting, due to begin operation in 2002. Mount Graham International Observatory (…

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Mount Vernon

The family home of George Washington, on the Potomac R in Virginia. The 18th-c building and its gardens were purchased by the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association in 1858, and furnished and decorated as in Washington's time. Washington and his wife, Martha, are buried there. …

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Mount Wilson Observatory - 60 inch (1.5 m) Hale telescope

Observatory on Mt Wilson, near Pasadena, California, USA, established in 1904 by the Carnegie Institution, Washington DC. The main telescope of 2·5 m/100 in (1917) contributed to our knowledge of the distant galaxies in the early 20th-c; its observations in the 1920s established that the universe is expanding. Observing conditions have been severely affected by the night sky brightness of the W…

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mountain - Heights, Characteristics, Geology, Local definitions

A very high, steep natural prominence, often of bare rock, commonly forming part of a chain. Mountains have various origins. All the major mountain chains involve folding of the Earth's crust, but many mountains result from other geological processes. Some are cones built up from volcanoes; some are the result of plateau erosion; some are individual mounds of intrusive igneous rock; some are produ…

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mountain beaver - Characteristics, Habits and distribution, Spelling and etymology, Subspecies, Closest relatives

A squirrel-like rodent (Aplodontia rufa) native to the Pacific coast of North America; not a true beaver; the most primitive living rodent; stocky with a minute hairy tail; white spot under each ear; inhabits burrows in cool moist regions (not necessarily mountains); also known as sewellel, boomer, or whistler. (Family: Aplodontidae.) The Mountain Beaver (Aplodontia rufa) is a primitive rod…

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mountaineering - Hazards

The skill of climbing a mountain aided by ropes and other accessories, such as crampons. It is a very dangerous pastime if undertaken with the wrong pre-approach and equipment. Its forms include rock climbing, practised especially in countries with relatively low peaks, and snow and ice climbing, practised on the higher peaks of the world. For tall peaks, the climb can take weeks, and often assist…

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Mourning Dove - Taxonomy and distribution, Physical description, Reproduction, Ecology and behaviour, Conservation status

Okanogan and Colville writer and activist, born in Bonner's Ferry, Idaho, USA. A migrant worker in Washington most of her adult life, she wrote one of the few early novels by a Native American woman, Cogewea, the Half-Blood (1927), as well as Coyote Stories (1933). She also co-founded the Colville Indian Council (1930) and in 1935 became the first woman elected to the Colville Tribal Council. …

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mourning dove - Taxonomy and distribution, Physical description, Reproduction, Ecology and behaviour, Conservation status

A dove (Zenaida macroura) native to North America and the Caribbean; short legs, thin bill, and long tail; inhabits woodland, semi-desert, and town outskirts; eats seeds and invertebrates; nests in trees, buildings, or on ground. (Family: Columbidae.) The Mourning Dove (Zenaida macroura) is a member of the bird family Columbidae with five subspecies. In many areas, the Mourning Dove is hunt…

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mouse (computing) - Mice, Accessories, Mice in the marketplace, Applications of mice in user interfaces, Mice in gaming

A computer input device which can be moved around on a flat surface causing a cursor to move around the computer screen in response. It usually has at least one selection button, and can be used to choose options pointed to on the screen. In the context of computing, a mouse (plural (generally): mice, also mouses) consists of a hand-held pointing device, designed to sit under one hand of th…

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mouse (zoology) - Taxonomy of the genus Mus, Laboratory mice, Mice as feeder animals, Mice as pets

A name used for many small unrelated species in the rodent family, found worldwide, especially for members of genus Mus (36 species throughout Old World); house mouse (Mus musculus), from Asia, has dispersed globally in association with humans; spreads some diseases, but is not as guilty as rats; the white laboratory mouse is a form of Mus musculus. (Family: Muridae.) A mouse (Plural mice) …

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mouth - Mouths of animals, The human mouth, People and characters famous for their mouth

The first part of the gastro-intestinal tract; the space bounded by the lips, cheeks, and palate, lined with mucous membrane, and containing the teeth, the tongue, salivary glands, nerves, and blood vessels. In mammals one of its characteristic features is the movable muscular lips and cheeks, which are intimately related to chewing, and in humans to speech and the expression of emotion. It is con…

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mouthbrooder - Families of mouthbrooding fish, Mouthbrooding behaviour, Brood parasites, Crocodiles

Freshwater fish (Sarotherodon niloticus) widespread in C Africa and along the Nile; length up to 50 cm/20 in; body deep, compressed; feeds on a variety of aquatic invertebrates; female broods eggs in mouth; an important food fish in some areas. (Family: Cichlidae.) Mouthbrooding, also known as oral incubation and buccal incubation, is the care extended by some groups of animals to their o…

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movement

In music, a self-contained section of a longer work, such as a concerto or symphony. It may be linked to the movement that precedes or follows it, with which it is usually contrasted in tempo or key (often both). Movement may refer to: In music: In social studies: In politics: …

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Movimento Sociale Italiano (MSI) - MSI, a creation of the fascist “Italian Social Republic”, Involvement in Gladio’s strategia della tensione

The party founded by supporters of the old Fascist Party and veterans of the Repubblica Sociale Italiana (Italian Social Republic). Its first leader was Arturo Michelini (1954–69), followed by Giorgio Almirante (1969–87). It was always in opposition, except for a few months in 1960 when its support of the Tambroni government caused its fall. In 1972 it absorbed the miniscule Monarchist Party or …

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moxibustion - Terminology, Theory and practice, Parallel uses of mugwort, Trivia

Local heat applied directly or indirectly to an acupuncture point. Direct application of heat is usually accomplished by the burning of moxa, made from the dried leaves of the plant Artemisia vulgaris (of the chrysanthemum family). It is available in the form of sticks, cones, and as ‘punk’, a wool-like product which can be rolled and fastened to acupuncture needles. The technique is thought to …

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Mozambique - History, Administrative divisions, Geography, Politics, Economy, Demographics, Culture, Miscellaneous, Books

Official name (from 1991) Republic of Mozambique, Port República de Moçambique Mozambique, officially the Republic of Mozambique (Portuguese: Moçambique or República de Moçambique, pron. Mozambique's first inhabitants were San hunters and gatherers, ancestors of the Khoisani peoples. When Portuguese explorers reached Mozambique in 1498, Arab commercial and slave…

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Mpumalanga - Geography, Fauna and flora, Law and government, Subdivisions, Economy, Major cities and towns

One of the nine new provinces established by the South African constitution of 1994, in NE South Africa, situated largely on high plateau grasslands; formerly constituted part of Transvaal; borders Mozambique and Swaziland in the E; capital, Nelspruit, pop (2000e) 2 784 000; area 81 816 km²/31 581 sq mi; chief languages, Siswati (40%), Zulu (28%), Afrikaans; tourism (game reserves, inclu…

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Mrs Cibber

Actress and singer, born in London, UK, the sister of the composer Thomas Arne. A fine contralto, she made her stage debut in her brother's Rosamund (1733), and the following year married Theophilus Cibber (1703–58, the son of Colley Cibber); from then on she was known as ‘Mrs Cibber’. Handel wrote parts for her in his Messiah and Samson. Thereafter she turned to drama, and played opposite Davi…

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Mrs Patrick Campbell - Early life and marriages, Stage career

Actress, born in London, UK. She married in 1884, and went on the stage in 1888. Though her mercurial temperament made her the terror of managers, she possessed outstanding charm and talent, and leapt to fame in The Second Mrs Tanqueray (1893). She played Eliza in Shaw's Pygmalion (1914), and formed a long friendship with the author. Mrs Patrick Campbell (February 9, 1865 – April 9, 1940)…

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MS-DOS - History, Competition, End of MS-DOS, Legal issues, User interface, Windows NT

An operating system developed by Microsoft for the IBM personal computer; it is a registered trade mark. This system has contributed largely to the success of the IBM product. MS-DOS (for Microsoft Disk Operating System) is an operating system commercialized by Microsoft. MS-DOS was originally released in 1981 and had eight major versions released before Microsoft stopped develo…

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Mstislav (Vsevoldvich) Keldysh - Family, Biography, Awards, Quotations

Mathematician and space programme leader, born in Riga, Latvia. He studied at Moscow, and conducted aeronautical research at Zhukovskii Aero-Hydrodynamics Institute (from 1934) and at Steklow Mathematics Institute (from 1939). He was a leading figure in the development of the theory of rocketry and in the emergence of the USSR in space exploration. Mstislav Vsevolodovich Keldysh FRSE (Мс

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Muawiyah I - Early life, Governor of Syria, Conflict with Ali, Rule, Legacy, Sunni view of Muawiyah

First Umayyad caliph (661–80). He opposed the Prophet Mohammed until the conquest of Mecca in 630, then became his secretary. Under the second caliph, Omar, he took part in the conquest of Syria and was made governor in 640. He rebelled against the fourth caliph, Ali, for the murder of his kinsman, the caliph Uthman, and fought him at the indecisive Battle of Siffin (657). With the help of Amr ib…

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mucous membrane - Components, Types of mucosa (incomplete)

A sheet of fibrous tissue that lines every cavity or canal of the body which opens to the exterior (eg the alimentary and urogenital tracts). It consists of a surface layer of epithelium, and an underlying connective tissue layer (the lamina propria). The surface may contain simple glands. It provides a barrier between the cells that form the body and the external environment. Body cavities…

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Muddy Waters - Life and Career, Influence, Discography

Musician, born in Rolling Fork, Mississippi, USA. One of the last of the great country blues singers and a primary innovator of modern Chicago blues, he was raised on the Stovall Plantation in Clarksdale, MS, where he began playing harmonica and guitar while working as a sharecropper. During 1941–2 he was recorded by Alan Lomax, the folklorist of the Library of Congress, and emboldened by this ex…

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mudlark

Either of two species of bird of the genus Grallina, also known as mudnester or mudnest builder: the black-and-white magpie lark (Grallina cyanoleuca) from open woodland in Australia; and the torrent lark (Grallina bruijni) from mountain streams in New Guinea. They build nests from mud, hence the name. (Family: Grallinidae.) A Mudlark is someone who scavenges in river mud for items of value…

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mudpuppy

A salamander from North America (Fecturus maculosus); spends entire life in water; brown-grey with feathery gills; limbs with four toes; deep narrow tail; inhabits diverse waterbodies; eats invertebrates and fish. (Family: Proteidae.) The Mudpuppies or Waterdogs are a family of aquatic salamanders. …

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muesli - Dry muesli, Fresh muesli, Health benefits

A popular breakfast cereal now available in a wide variety of mixtures, which include cereals, nuts, and fruits. These mixtures have been developed from the raw food diet of Dr Max Birchner-Brenner (1867–1939), which included oatmeal, grated apples, berries, and milk, and which was high in fibre and low in fat. Muesli ['mju:z li] (originally (Bircher)müesli ['myə̯s li] in Swiss German, …

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muezzin

In Islam, an official of the mosque who issues the call to prayer to the faithful. The name means ‘announcer’. The muezzin (in Arabic: مؤذن mu’adhdhin) is a chosen person at the mosque who leads the call (adhan) to Friday service and the five daily prayers (also known as the salat) from one of the mosque's minarets (in most modern mosques, electronic amplification aids the mue…

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mufti - Role of a Mufti in governments, The Authority of the Mufti

In Islamic religion, a man trained in the Sharia, or Muslim divine law, and who can give a legal opinion (fatwa) on questions concerning Islamic practice. In theocracies like Saudi Arabia and Iran, and in some countries where the constitution is based on sharia law, such as Egypt, the Grand Mufti rules if capital punishment is in accord with Islamic jurisprudence and the sharia and so…

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mugwump - Patronage and politics, Historical appraisals, Noteworthy Mugwumps, Origin of the term

A name for Independent Republicans in the US election of 1884 who preferred reform to party discipline, particularly on the question of ending the spoils system. They included journalist E L Godkin (1831–1902), author and leader of civil service reform George William Curtis (1824–92), journalist Carl Schurz (1829–1906), and lawyer and businessman Charles Francis Adams (1807–86). The Mug…

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Muhammad Ali - Biography, Personal life, Radio, Books, Ali onscreen

Boxer, born in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. As an amateur boxer (1954–60), winning 100 of 108 matches, he became the 1960 Olympic light-heavyweight champion. Financed by a group of Louisville businessmen, he turned professional, and by 1963 had won his first 19 fights. He won the world heavyweight title in 1964, defeating the purportedly invincible Sonny Liston when he retired at the end of the six…

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Muhammad Ali Jinnah - Early life, Early political career, Fourteen points and "exile", Leader of the Muslim League

Muslim politician and founder of Pakistan, born in Karachi, SE Pakistan (formerly India). He studied in Bombay and London, was called to the bar in 1897, and practised in Bombay. He became a member of the Indian National Congress (1906) and the Muslim League (1913), and supported Hindu–Muslim unity until 1930, when he resigned from the Congress in opposition to Gandhi's policy of civil disobedien…

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Muhammad Yunus - Childhood and family, Education and early career, Yunus and Bangladesh Liberation War, Founding the Grameen Bank

Banker and economist, born in Bathua, Chittagong, Bangladesh. He studied at Dhaka University (1957–61) and joined Chittagong College as a lecturer in economics, later gaining a Fulbright scholarship to study at Vanderbilt University, USA, where he gained his doctorate (1969). From 1969 to 1972 he was an assistant professor of economics at Middle Tennessee State University before moving back to Ba…

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Muharram - Fasting During Muharram, Islamic Events

The first month of the Muslim year; also used as the name of the religious celebration culminating in Ashura. Muharram (Arabic: محرم ) is the first month of the Islamic calendar. The first day of Muharram is the start of the Islamic New Year. The commemoration reaches its climax on the tenth day of Muharram, known as Ashurah. This day is related to the time of Mo…

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Mujahideen - Word history, Afghan Mujahideen, Mujahideen in Bosnia, Pakistan/Kashmiri mujahideen, Other Uses, Sources and References

Muslim guerrillas who resisted the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan after the invasion (Dec 1979). Based in Iran and Pakistan, they formed various armed bands united by their common aim of defeating the invaders, and the conflict was proclaimed a jihad (‘holy war’). The Soviets withdrew from Afghanistan in 1989, and the Mujahideen subsequently experienced much internal dissent over their role in…

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Mulad

A term referring to any Christian convert to Islam who lived among Muslims in S Spain after the overthrow of Rodrigo, the last of the Gothic kings of Spain (711–12). Muladíes (sg.: muladí) were an ethnic group that lived in the Iberian Peninsula in the Middle Ages. The basic meaning of muwallad is a person of mixed ancestry, especially a descendant of an Arab and a non-Arab parent,…

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mulberry

A deciduous tree, of oriental origin, but long cultivated; heart-shaped, toothed leaves; male and female flowers in separate catkin-like spikes; individual fruits juicy, coalescing so that the whole spike forms the ‘berry’. The black mulberry (Morus nigra) has purplish fruits. The leaves of the white mulberry (Morus alba) are food for silkworms. (Genus: Morus, 10 species. Family: Moraceae.) …

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mule (textiles) - Characteristics, History, Fertile mules

A spinning frame invented by Samuel Crompton in 1779, which fully mechanized the hand spinning process. It was regarded as a hybrid of two previous inventions, hence its name. Initially used for cotton, it was adapted for merino and other fibres. Because it is an intermittent (rather than continuous process) it is now superseded. In its common modern meaning, a mule is the offspring of a ma…

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mule (zoology) - Characteristics, History, Fertile mules

An animal produced from the mating of a male donkey with a female horse. If a male horse mates with a female donkey the result is a hinny. Both are usually sterile, and have the front end resembling the father and the rear end resembling the mother. In its common modern meaning, a mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse. The term "mule" (Latin mulus) was formerly applied t…

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Mulhouse - Principal economic activities, Transport, Miscellaneous

47°45N 7°21E, pop (2000e) 114 000. Industrial and commercial river port in Haut-Rhin department, NE France; on R Ill and Rhine–Rhône Canal, 35 km/22 mi S of Colmar; second largest town in Alsace; imperial free city from 1308; allied with the Swiss, 1515–1648; independent republic until 1798, then voted to become French; under German rule in 1871, reverting to France in 1918; railway; univ…

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Mulk Raj Anand - Life and work

Novelist, critic, and man of letters, born in Peshawar, modern Pakistan. He studied at Amritsar, Punjab, NW India, then moved to Britain to study at Cambridge and London. He wrote several books on South Asian culture including Persian Painting (1930) and The Hindu View of Art (1933), before his first novel, Untouchable was published in 1935 with the support of Mahatma Gandhi, and with a preface by…

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mullah

In Islam, a scholar, teacher, or man of religious piety and learning. It is also a title of respect given to those performing duties related to Islamic Law. Mullahs (Persian: ملا) are Islamic clergy. However, uneducated villagers often recognise a literate Muslim with a less than complete Islamic training as their "mullah" or religious cleric. Mullahs with varying levels of trainin…

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Mullingar - Transport, Commerce, Tourism, Sporting Organisations, Notable citizens and buildings

53°32N 7°20W, pop (2000e) 12 000. Market town and capital of Westmeath county, Leinster, E Ireland; on the Royal Canal, WNW of Dublin; railway; cattle trade; cathedral. Mullingar (An Muileann gCearr in Irish, meaning "the left-handed mill") is the administrative centre of County Westmeath, Ireland and the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Meath, as well as having a town counci…

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Multan - History, Geography and climate, Demographics, Economy, Educational institutions, Tourism, Sites of interest

30°10N 71°36E, pop (2000e) 1 193 000. City in Punjab province, Pakistan, 314 km/195 mi SW of Lahore; ruled by the emperors of Delhi 1526–1779, and by the Afghans until 1818, when the city was seized by the Sikhs; under British rule, 1849; airfield; railway; trade in grain, cotton, wool, fruits; 14th-c tombs of Muslim saints. Multan (Urdu: ملتان) is a city in the Punjab Province…

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Multatuli - Biography, Further reading

Writer, born in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. At the age of 18, he moved to the Dutch Indies, where he made a career in colonial administration, serving in various places and positions. In 1856 he was appointed assistant resident in Lebak, West Java, a troubled area where the local prince, in the position of regent, oppressed the population. Dekker, who was personally appointed by the governor-gener…

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multilateralism - History

In economics, a system where a group of countries negotiate trade and payments arrangements, rather than dealing bilaterally. In trade, multilateralism is summed up by the ‘most favoured nation’ clause, whereby imports from any member country are to be treated no less favourably than those from any other member. The extreme form of this is a free trade area. In payments, multilateral settlement …

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multimedia (computing) - Categorization, Features, Usage in Various Fields and Areas, References, Sources, and Notes

The tools and techniques used in computing to allow computer programs to handle sound, picture, and video components. In a multimedia system one could use the computer to select extracts from a piece of music which could then be broadcast with a full video picture of the orchestra and hi-fi sound, or could be broadcast in sound only with the video displaying the score. The computer would control t…

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multimedia (projection) - Categorization, Features, Usage in Various Fields and Areas, References, Sources, and Notes

The audio-visual presentation from groups of slide projectors programmed to show a complex sequence of images on a very wide screen with accompanying sound from tape recording. The pictures can be separate or blended together to fill the whole screen, with fast or slow dissolves between successive images and superimposed effects. Multimedia may be broadly divided into linear and non-linear …

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multiple sclerosis

A disease in which the normal coating of neurones (myelin) in the brain and spinal cord is lost. This affects the transmission of impulses along the nerves, impairing the function of the body systems that they control. It is found in 1 in 2000 people and is more common in women than men. The cause is uncertain, but it may be related to an auto-immune process. Clinical features are diverse, and inc…

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multiplexer - Digital demultiplexers

A device in data communications which enables the inputs from a number of communication lines to be concentrated and fed down a single line. A 2-to-1 multipler has a boolean equation where A and B are the two inputs, S is the selector input, and C is the output: Which can be expressed as a truth table: This truth table should make it quite clear that when S = 0 then …

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Mumbai - Name, History, Geography, Climate, Economy, Transport, Utility services, Demographics, People and culture, Media, Education

18°55N 72°50E, pop (2000e) 12 500 000. Port capital of Maharashtra, W India; India's largest city, and the only natural deep-water harbour on the W coast; built on a group of islands linked by causeways; ceded to Portugal, 1534; ceded to Britain, 1661; headquarters of the East India Company, 1685–1708; airport; railway; two universities (1916, 1957); textiles, carpets, machinery, chemicals, …

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mumps - Causes and risks, Complications, Prevention, Current outbreaks

A viral infection spread by droplets, especially common among children and young adults. A characteristic feature is pain and swelling of one or both parotid glands near the angle of the jaw; the testes, pancreas, meninges, and ovaries may also be affected. The parotid gland swelling usually subsides in a few days, but complications may occur including deafness, meningitis, and infertility. A vacc…

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Munda

An Austroasiatic-speaking people settled in hilly and forested regions of E and C India. Physically indistinguishable from Indians, and culturally similar to other Indians, they have retained a separate identity and religion. The term Munda is used in a variety of contexts: …

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mung bean

A bushy annual (Vigna radiata) growing to 90 cm/3 ft or more, native to tropical Asia; leaves with three hairy leaflets; pea-flowers yellow, in small stalked clusters; pods slender, up to 15-seeded. It is widely cultivated, especially in the Orient for the edible pods and nutritious seeds eaten boiled, or germinated to produce ‘bean sprouts’. (Family: Leguminosae.) …

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Munich - Geography, History, Politics, Subdivisions, Main sights and culture, Lifestyle, Economy, Transportation, Sports, Colleges and universities

48°08N 11°35E, pop (2000e) 1 270 000. Capital of Bavaria province, S Germany, on the R Isar; third largest city in Germany; founded, 1158; capital of Bavaria, from 1506; home of the Nazi movement, 1920s; badly bombed in World War 2; railway; university (1471); technical university (1868); chemicals, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, rubber, precision engineering, machinery, vehicles, aircraft, defe…

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Munich Agreement - Sudetenland Crisis, Resolution, Reactions, Invasion of the remainder of Czechoslovakia, End of the agreement

An agreement endorsed (29 Sep 1938) at a conference in Munich by the British prime minister Chamberlain, the French prime minister Daladier, Mussolini, and Hitler. In return for the secession of the Sudeten area of Czechoslovakia to Germany, the rest of Czechoslovakia was to be guaranteed against unprovoked aggression. Poland and Hungary also seized long-desired areas of Czech territory in Moravia…

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Munsell Color System

A system for measuring and naming colours, devised by US painter Albert H Munsell (?–1918). The Munsell Book of Color contains 1200 samples grouped according to minimum discriminable intervals of hue, saturation, and brilliance. In colorimetry, the Munsell color system is a color system that specifies colors based on three color dimensions, hue, lightness (called Value by Munsell), and Chr…

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Munster - Cities, Large Towns, Economy, Munster Media, Munster Stadia

pop (2000e) 1 022 000; area 24 127 km²/9313 sq mi. Province in S Ireland; bounded S and W by the Atlantic Ocean; comprises the counties of Clare, Cork, Kerry, Limerick, Tipperary (N and S Ridings), and Waterford; a former kingdom. In 1841 before the Great Famine, there was just under 3 million people living in the province of Munster, but the population had dropped devastatingly low…

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M - Cities, Large Towns, Economy, Munster Media, Munster Stadia

51°58N 7°37E, pop (2000e) 268 000. Capital city of Münster district, W Germany; on the R Aa and the Dortmund–Ems Canal, 125 km/78 mi NE of Cologne; member of the Hanseatic League; capital of former province of Westphalia; Treaty of Westphalia (1648) signed here; bishopric; railway; university (1780); service industries, civil engineering, gases; cathedral (1225–65). In 1841 before …

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muon - Muon sources, Muon decays, Muonic atoms

A fundamental particle, produced in weak radioactive decays of pions; symbol ?; mass 106 MeV; charge ?1; spin ½. It behaves like a heavy electron, but decays to an electron, a neutrino, and an antineutrino. It was discovered in 1937 by Carl Anderson in cosmic ray experiments. The muon (from the letter mu (μ) used to represent it) is an elementary particle with negative electric charge an…

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mural - Significance of murals, Unique Murals, Murals and politics

A painting or carving on a wall. Murals, representing human and animal motifs as well as pure pattern, have existed since prehistoric times, and various techniques have been used. A great deal of impressive wall decoration survives from the Ancient Near East: the Egyptians, for instance, used distemper or gouache for decorating their tombs, while the Babylonians and Assyrians made extensive use of…

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Murcia - History, Sights and Monuments, Festivals, Economy, Education, People from Murcia, Sport Teams, Twin cities

37°59N 1°07W, pop (2000e) 339 000. City in Spain, capital of the autonomous community and of the administrative area of the same name; in the C of the Murcian pre-littoral depression on the banks of the Segura; administrative functions; bishopric; university; rich irrigated region; food (mainly canned vegetables); Gothic cathedral built over the earlier Arab mosque, Convent of Santa Clara. …

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Murcia (region) - History, Sights and Monuments, Festivals, Economy, Education, People from Murcia, Sport Teams, Twin cities

pop (2000e) 1 046 000; area 11 313 km²/4367 sq mi. Region and province of SE Spain; thinly populated, except in the river valleys; oranges, lemons, dates, coastal tourism, lead, zinc, iron; capital, Murcia, pop (2000e) 323 000, on R Segura; former capital of Moorish kingdom; bishopric; airport; railway; university (1915); agricultural market, silk, textiles, flour, pharmaceuticals, tinne…

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murder - Murder and related terms, Year-and-a-day rule, Murder demographics

Unlawful homicide other than manslaughter, infanticide (where separately recognized, as in England and Wales), or causing death by reckless driving. In England and Wales, a person can be convicted of murder only where the crime was committed with malice aforethought (mens rea, Lat ‘guilty mind’); also the victim must have died within a year and a day of the commission of the crime. Murder is sub…

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murex

A carnivorous marine snail, characterized by its elaborate shell bearing spiny outgrowths; many species feed on bivalve molluscs, forcing the valves apart and eating the contents; species of Mediterranean murex are the principal source of Royal Purple dye. (Class: Gastropoda. Order: Neogastropoda.) …

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Muriel Rukeyser - Early life, Activism and writing, Further reading

Writer, born in New York City, USA. She studied at Vassar College and Columbia University (1930–2), taught at Sarah Lawrence (1946, 1956–67), and became a social activist and feminist poet, themes expressed in The Collected Poems of Muriel Rukeyser (1979). She also wrote screenplays, and was a playwright, translator, and a writer of children's books. Muriel Rukeyser (December 15, 1913–F…

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Murmansk - History, Murmansk in fiction, Sister cities

68°59N 33°08E, pop (2000e) 470 000. Seaport capital of Murmanskaya oblast, Russia; on the E coast of Kola Bay, 50 km/31 mi from the open sea; founded, 1916; most important Russian fishing port (ice-free); airfield; railway; fishing, fish processing, shipbuilding and repairing, tourism. Murmansk (Russian: Му́рманск, Sami: Murmanska) is a city in the extreme northwest of Russia…

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Murray cod

Large, freshwater fish (Maccullochella macquariensis) found in rivers and lakes of Australia; length up to 1·8 m/6–10 ft; body robust with large head and powerful jaws; dark green mottled with blue; good sport fish. (Family: Serranidae.) …

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Murray Gell-Mann - Miscellany, References and further reading

Theoretical physicist, born in New York City, USA. He studied at Yale and the Massachussets Institute of Technology, becoming professor of theoretical physics at the California Institute of Technology in 1956. At 24 he made a major contribution by introducing the concept of strangeness into the theory of elemental particles. This allowed new classifications and predictions, outlined by Gell-Mann a…

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Murray Perahia - Career, Awards and Recognitions, Videography

Pianist, born in New York City, USA. He won the prestigious Leeds International Competition in 1972, and soon entered the highest ranks of international soloists. He is especially admired for his Mozart performances. In 1981–9 he was co-artistic director of the Aldeburgh Festival. Perahia was born in New York City of Sephardic Jewish origin, and began playing the piano at four but he didn'…

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Murray River - Geography, River Life, Ancient History, Murray Mouth, Mythology, Exploration, River transport, River crossings

Longest river in Australia; rises in the Australian Alps near Mt Kosciuszko; length 2570 km/1600 mi; enters the Southern Ocean at Encounter Bay SE of Adelaide; forms the border between New South Wales and Victoria for 1930 km/1200 mi; receives the Darling R 640 km/400 mi from its mouth (the Murray–Darling is 3750 km/2330 mi long); the river system extends into four states, covering a seve…

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Murree - Description, History, 1857 War of Independence, Culture of Murree hills, Dhond Abbasi Tribe, Karhral, Sati

33º55N 73º26E. Resort town in Punjab province, N Pakistan; altitude 2286 m/7500 ft above sea level; 64 km/40 mi NE of Rawalpindi; founded as a hill station by the British (1851); birthplace of Bruce Bairnsfather and Sir Francis Younghusband; thriving summer resort for nearby Pakistan capital of Islamabad; shawls, furs, fruits, pistachio nuts. Murree (hills and City) (Urdu: مری) is …

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Murrumbidgee River - Flow, Wetlands, Major tributaries, Population centres, River crossings

River in New South Wales, Australia; rises in the Snowy Mts; flows 1759 km/1093 mi N through Australian Capital Territory, then W to join the Murray R on the Victoria border; major tributary the Lachlan R; floodplain irrigates a large agricultural basin. The Murrumbidgee River is a major river in the state of New South Wales, Australia. Seasonally, this river system used to ha…

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Musaceae

A small family of Zingiberales comprising c.35 species of coarse, tree-like perennial herbs dying back to the ground after flowering; confined to tropical and subtropical regions of the Old World; includes bananas and plantains; leaves with an expanded simple blade; flowers strongly nectar-producing and adapted for pollination by birds and bats, producing a fleshy fruit; flowers finger-shaped, arr…

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Musca

A small S constellation near Crux. Musca (IPA: /ˈmʊskə/, Latin: fly) is one of the minor southern constellations. μ Mus 4.75 …

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muscarine

A substance isolated from the poisonous mushroom Amanita muscaria. Peoples of E Siberia used dried mushrooms for their intoxicating effects. In W Europe, extracts were used as fly-killing agents (the common name for the mushroom is fly agaric). Purified muscarine has been formative in constructing the theory of information transmission in nerves. Muscarine, L-(+)-muscarine, or muscarin is a…

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muscle - Types, Anatomy, Physiology, Nervous control, Role in health and disease, The strongest human muscle, Efficiency

A contractile tissue consisting of fibres bound together by connective tissue and specialized to convert chemical energy into mechanical energy for movement. It is traditionally classified as skeletal, smooth, and cardiac, depending on certain characteristics, but recently myoepithelial cells (of sweat glands) have become recognized as a type of muscle. Skeletal muscle is generally attached to bon…

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muscular dystrophy - Genetic cause, Treatment, Types of muscular dystrophy

A group of genetically determined disorders in which muscle fibres undergo progressive degeneration and are replaced by fibrous tissue (fibrosis). The nervous system is not involved. The condition appears early in life, and causes symmetrical weakness and wasting of groups of muscles, such as those of the lower limbs, shoulder, girdle, and face. The most common form of the disease (Duchenne type),…

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musette

A Parisian type of music for popular dances, which developed after 1900 and was played on the traditional accordion. The famous performers born shortly after World War 1 were Joe Privat (1919–96), Andre Verchuren (b.1920), A Pluchart (1922–97, known as ‘Aimable’), Marcel Azzola (b.1927), Yvette Horner, and the Belgian Hector Delfosse (d.1988) who wrote the famous ‘Danse des Canards’. …

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Museum of Modern Art (New York City) - History, Artworks, Renovation, Gallery of some works on display, Further reading

Museum founded (1929) in New York City, USA by three private citizens, Lillie P Bliss, Mary Quinn Sullivan, and Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, as the first US museum to devote its collections entirely to the modern art movement. It houses more than 100 000 works divided into six areas: architecture and design, drawings, film and video, painting and sculpture, photography, and prints and illustrated bo…

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Musgrave Ranges

Mountain ranges in South Australia, close to the Northern Territory border; extend 80 km/50 mi; rise to 1440 m/4724 ft at Mt Woodroffe, highest point in the state. Musgrave Ranges is a mountain range in Central Australia, straddling the boundary of South Australia and the Northern Territory, extending into Western Australia. In an historic decision freehold title to the South Aust…

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mushroom - Types, Structure, Chemical properties, In popular culture, Gallery, Further reading

The cultivated mushroom (Agaricus bisporus); fruiting body comprises a short white stalk (stipe) and rounded cap with brownish gills on the underside; also used as a general name for any similar-shaped fungus. (Subdivision: Basidiomycetes. Order: Agaricales.) The main types of mushrooms are agarics (the button mushroom, the most common mushroom eaten in many western countries), boletes, cha…

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music - Definition, History, Aspects, Production, Reception and audition, Media and Technology, Education, Use in therapy

An orderly succession of sounds of definite pitch, whose constituents are melody, harmony, and rhythm. Almost as fundamental to a perception of the nature of music, however, is articulation, which embraces not only the phrasing, dynamics, etc that breathe life into a musical performance, but also the composer's creative use of silence. Music, even when it is imagined silently without an interprete…

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music hall - Origins and Development, History of the songs, Music hall songwriters, Music hall comedy, Speciality acts

Mass entertainment of the Victorian era which developed in the music rooms of London taverns. After Charles Morton organized a building specifically for this purpose alongside his tavern in 1849, such special ‘halls’ were opened throughout the country, ‘worked’ by itinerant performers who perfected short turns with stage business and comic songs to suit their individual style. With the advent …

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musical notation - History, Western Standard notation described, Other notation systems, Musical notation in ethnomusicology, Computer music notation

The modern method of notating music on five-line staves (staff notation) is a development of a mediaeval system for the preservation and uniform dissemination of plainchant. Until the 13th-c only the pitch, and not the length, of notes was indicated, but the development of polyphony in the later Middle Ages necessitated the invention of some form of notation showing note length. Other ways of nota…

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musicology - Critiques of musicology

The scientific and scholarly study of music, embracing the recovery and evaluation of source material, the study of music's historical context, the analysis of particular works and repertories, and several other disciplines. Modern musicology may be said to have originated in the Enlightenment, with the compilation of dictionaries (such as J G Walther's Musikalisches Lexikon, 1732; J-J Rousseau's …

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musk

A species of mimulus (Mimulus moschatus) with yellow flowers, native to North America from British Columbia to the California region. It was formerly cultivated for the musky scent given off by sticky hairs on all parts of the plant, but this characteristic has been lost, and the plants are nowadays scentless. (Family: Scrophulariaceae.) Musk is the name originally given to a perfume obtain…

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musk deer

A deer native to wet mountain forests in E Asia; rear legs longer than front legs; kangaroo-like head has no antlers; male with long canine teeth and gland on abdomen, producing a pungent oily jelly (musk); musk collected and used in perfumes to make the scent longer-lasting. (Genus: Moschus, 3 species. Family: Moschidae.) The four species of musk deer make up the family Moschidae. …

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muskeg

The poorly drained sphagnum moss peat bog and marshland found in the tundra and taiga areas of N Canada. It is underlain by permafrost, the upper surfaces of which partially thaw in summer, providing good breeding conditions for mosquitoes. Muskeg is wet, acidic, and relatively infertile which prevents large trees from growing, although stunted Shore Pine, Cottonwood, some species of Willow…

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muskellunge - Overview, Subspecies and Hybrids

Largest of the pike fishes (Esox masquinongy) confined to well-weeded habitats in the Great Lakes of North America and associated rivers; length up to 2·4 m/8 ft; an agile predator, much prized by anglers as a sport fish. (Family: Esocidae.) Muskellunge or muskie (Esox masquinongy) are large, relatively rare freshwater fish of North America. Muskellunge are found in the Great…

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musket - Etymology, Development, Loading and Firing, Tactics, Obsolescence and replacement by the rifle, Outside Europe

A heavy firearm, the most important infantry weapon from the late 17th-c to the mid-19th-c, dominant particularly in the Napoleonic era. Smooth-bored and muzzle-loading, the musket required a high degree of training to operate. It was inaccurate, requiring massed ranks of infantrymen firing their muskets in volleys at short range to prove effective. A musket is a muzzle-loaded, smoothbore l…

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muskrat - Natural habitat, Muskrat as an exogenous species in Europe, Adaptations

A large nocturnal water rat (Ondatra zibethicus) native to North America; tail flattened from side to side; thick fur exploited commercially; has a musky smell; inhabits wetlands; builds ‘houses’ (large domes of vegetation and mud); also known as musquash. The name round-tailed muskrat is used for the Florida water rat. (Neofiber alleni). The Muskrat or Musquash (Ondatra zibethicus), the …

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Muslim Brotherhood - Egypt, Afghanistan, Bahrain, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Kurdistan, US, Maldives

An Islamic movement, founded in Egypt in 1928 by an Egyptian schoolteacher, Hasan al-Banna, its original goal being the reform of Islamic society by eliminating Western influences and other decadent accretions. In the early 1980s the Muslim Brotherhood was revived in Egypt, its members attacking government buildings and personnel. In Syria in 1980–2 it led an armed revolt against the secular Baat…

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mussel - Cultivation, Mussels as food, External links and references

A sedentary bivalve mollusc found in estuaries and shallow seas, attached to a substrate by means of tough filaments (byssus threads); feeds by filtering particles of matter from water passing over gills; commonly used for human consumption. (Class: Pelecypoda. Order: Mytiloida.) The term mussel is used for several families of bivalve mollusks inhabiting lakes, rivers, and creeks, as well a…

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mustang

A breed of horse, developed naturally in North America as a wild horse; descended from Spanish horses introduced by the Conquistadors; first horses used by American Indians; height, 14–15 hands/1·4–1·5 m/4 ft 8 in; used for riding. Mustang can refer to: …

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mustard

An erect annual growing to 1 m/3¼ ft; deeply lobed leaves; yellow, cross-shaped flowers. Commercial mustard is produced from ground seeds of two species cultivated on a large scale: white mustard (Brassica alba) is native to Europe; seeds milled to produce fine powder, or wet-milled to form paste; commercial production mainly in Canada, E Europe, E England; black mustard (Brassica nigra), origi…

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Mustelidae - Variety, Characteristics, Family

A family of carnivorous mammals (67 species), found worldwide except in Australasia and Madagascar; usually with long thin body, short legs, long tail. Mustelidae (from Latin mustela, weasel) is a family of carnivorous mammals. Mustelids range from the Least weasel, not much larger than a mouse, which can live in the high Arctic; Several members of the family are aqu…

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mutation - Classification, Mutation and disease, Mutagenesis

An abrupt change in the genetic characteristic of an organism. In chromosomal mutations, there is a deletion, breakage, or re-arrangement of large amounts of chromosomal material. In molecular mutation, there is an alteration in the DNA sequence of a gene which can adversely affect one or more codons, or the splicing of the primary transcript, or the non-coding genetic control elements (eg promote…

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mute swan - Appearance, Trivia

The largest swan (Cygnus olor) up to 15 kg/33 lb, native to Europe and Asia, and introduced in the USA; inhabits lakes, often near habitation; eats water plants; orange bill with black swelling at base; does not ‘honk’ when flying; feet black. One form with pink feet is called the Polish swan. (Family: Anatidae.) The Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) is a common Eurasian member of the duck, goose…

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mutualism

An association between two different species of organisms in which both species benefit from the relationship. Usage is sometimes restricted to those obligatory relationships where neither species can survive in the absence of the other. The relationship between termites and the protozoans living in their gut is mutualistic: the protozoans digest the cellulose in wood and make its nutrients availa…

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Muzio Clementi - Music

Composer and pianist, born in Rome, Italy. In 1766 he was brought to England, where he conducted the Italian Opera in London (1777–80), toured as a virtuoso pianist (1781), and went into the piano-manufacturing business. He wrote the Gradus ad Parnassum (1817–26), on which subsequent piano methods have been based. He composed mainly piano and chamber music. Muzio Clementi (January 24, 175…

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Myall Creek massacre - The massacre, The trials, Consequences

In Australian history, the massacre of 28 Aborigines in NE New South Wales (1838) by a party of assigned convicts for an alleged attack on cattle. Seven of the men charged with the massacre were found guilty and hanged. The accused attracted considerable support from other colonists, who regarded Aborigines as less than human; thereafter the murder of Aborigines was carefully concealed. The…

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Myanmar - Etymology, History, Politics, Foreign relations and military, Administrative divisions, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Culture

Official nameUnion of Myanmar Myanmar, officially the Union of Myanmar (pronounced [pjìdàunzṵ mjəmà nàinŋàndɔ̀]) is the largest country by geographical area in mainland Southeast Asia. Also known as Burma or the Union of Burma by bodies and states which do not recognize the ruling military junta, it is bordered by the People's Republic of China on the north, Laos on the eas…

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myasthenia gravis

A condition characterized by the inability to sustain a contraction of voluntary (somatic) muscles. It results from the presence of an auto-antibody which blocks the action of motor nerve impulses that initiate muscle contraction. The muscles become rapidly fatigued, but recover temporarily after a period of rest. …

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Mycenae - Name, Prehistory, Mycenae in mythology, Excavation, Tourism

A fortified town in the Argolid, associated in Greek tradition with Agamemnon, the conqueror of Troy. While its extensive Bronze Age remains do indicate that Mycenae was the seat of a powerful warrior chieftain in the 16th-c BC, this is no longer thought to be that of Agamemnon himself. Mycenae (ancient Greek: Μυκῆναι, IPA, /myˈkɛːnai/, in modern Greek: Μυκήνες, /miˈkinɛ…

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mycetoma

A painless mass arising from a fungal infection produced when the fungus grows within the body and becomes matted together with the body's tissues. Fungi such as Actinomyces can enter the skin through wounds. The lesion commonly affects the lower limbs, and is also known as Madura foot. There may be deeply penetrating chronic abscesses, and the discharge of pus. Another fungus, Aspergillus, can gr…

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mycology - Background

The study of fungi, including the identification, description, and classification of the great diversity of fungi. Fungi are usually identifiable only when they are fruiting, as their vegetative bodies consist of a mass of filamentous threads (hyphae), and are similar in appearance in the majority of species. Mycology (from the Greek mykes, meaning "fungus") is the study of fungi, their gen…

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mycorrhiza - Early evidence of mycorrhizal associations, Types of mycorrhizae

A common symbiotic association formed between a fungus and the roots of a plant. In ectotrophic mycorrhiza, found in many trees, the fungus grows mainly outside the root, forming a sheath and replacing the root hairs; in endotrophic mycorrhiza, found in orchids and heaths, the fungus grows within and between the cells of the root. Mycorrhizal systems have enhanced absorption abilities, and infecte…

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myelin - Composition of myelin, Function of myelin layer, Demyelination

A soft, white substance (a complex of protein lipids) forming a multilayered insulating sheath around the large-diameter axons of vertebrate and crustacean neurones. This increases the speed of conduction of the action potential along the axon. The progressive breakdown of the sheath is associated with the disruption of normal neurone conduction (as in human multiple sclerosis). Myelin is a…

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Myles Standish - Early life, In America

Colonist, probably born in Ormskirk, Lancashire, NW England, UK. After serving in Holland, he sailed with the Mayflower in 1620, and became military head of the first American settlement at Plymouth, and treasurer of the colony (1644–9). Myles Standish (c. He was also one of the founders of the town of Duxbury, Massachusetts (named after Duxbury Woods, Chorley) in 1632. Myles S…

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myocardial infarction - Classification, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Pathophysiology, Causes, Epidemiology, First aid, Treatment, Complications, Legal implications

The death of muscle cells of the heart, occurring when they are deprived of oxygen. It may be preceded by attacks of angina pectoris. The cardinal symptom is severe pain over the chest, which unlike that of angina does not subside with rest but persists for several hours. It is often accompanied by shortness of breath, sweating, and vomiting. Diagnostic changes are seen on an electrocardiogram. Ef…

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Myra Bradwell - Early life, Career, Death, Interesting facts

Lawyer and editor, born in Manchester, Vermont, USA. After marrying a lawyer, James B Bradwell, she studied law, originally to help her husband, but when she passed the bar exam (1869) she was denied admission. In 1868 she established the pioneer weekly Chicago Legal News. She successfully campaigned to persuade Illinois to grant everyone, irrespective of sex, access to professions (1882), and she…

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Myriapoda

A diverse group of terrestrial arthropods containing the millipedes (class: Diplopoda), centipedes (class: Chilopoda), and two small classes, Symphyla and Pauropoda. All have a segmented trunk that is not differentiated into thorax and abdomen. Four groups of arthropods—the centipedes, millipedes, pauropods, and symphylans—share a number of common features such as a similar body plan co…

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Myrmidons - Myth of the repopulation of Aegina, Modern Myrmidons, References and external links

In Greek legend, a band of warriors from Thessaly who went to the Trojan War with Achilles. The Myrmidons (or Μυρμιδόνες, the name literally means "ant-people") were an ancient nation of Greek mythology. Initially, the Myrmidons were simple worker ants on the island of Aegina. Hera, queen of the gods, sent a plague to kill all the human inhabitants of Aegina because th…

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Myrna Loy - Early life, Career rise, Later career, Personal life, Filmography, Television work

Actress, born in Raidersburg, Montana, USA. She began her film career as an exotic vamp, but her gift for comedy emerged in The Thin Man (1934). By 1936 she was the top female box-office draw, and she was awarded an honorary Oscar in 1991. Offscreen she was never associated with the world of Hollywood glamour and scandal, but she did have a lively social conscience, and during the McCarthy era she…

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Myron

Sculptor, born in Eleutherae, Greece. A contemporary of Phidias, he lived mostly in Athens. He worked in bronze, and is best known for his studies of athletes in action, particularly the celebrated ‘Discobolos’ and ‘Marsyas’. Myron (Greek Μύρων) was a sculptor from the middle 5th century BCE. He worked almost exclusively in bronze: and though he made some statues of god…

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myrrh (shrub)

A spiny, deciduous shrub, native to Africa and W Asia; leaves oval or widest above the middle; flowers tiny, males and females on separate plants. Several species from E Africa and Arabia exude the aromatic resin myrrh used in incense and perfume. (Genus: Commiphora, 185 species. Family: Burseraceae.) Myrrh is currently used in some liniments, healing salves that may be applied to abrasions…

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myrtle

An evergreen shrub of the family Myrtaceae, found mainly in South America, but also in Australia, New Zealand, the Mediterranean, and warm parts of N Europe and North America; common myrtle grows to over 5 m/16 ft; leaves thick, oil-bearing; solitary white flowers, c.1·8 cm/0·7 in long; purple-black berries; oil formerly used as an antiseptic. (Genus: Myrtus, c.16 species.) The Myrtle…

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Mysore - Origin of name, History, Climate, Government and Politics, Transport, Demographics, Education, Media, Sports, Sources

12°17N 76°41E, pop (2000e) 564 000. City in Karnataka state, SW India; 850 km/528 mi SE of Mumbai; formerly the dynastic capital of Mysore state; founded, 16th-c; railway; university (1916); textiles, food processing, chemicals; known as ‘the garden city of India’ because of its wide streets and numerous parks; maharaja's palace, within an ancient fort (rebuilt, 18th-c); statue of Nandi (s…

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mystery play - English mystery plays

A mediaeval play based upon a Biblical episode. Cycles of plays (notably, those of York, Chester, and Wakefield) tell a continuous story, often portraying the Christian vision from the Creation to the Day of Judgment. They were performed in towns across Europe, and various episodes were presented by trade guilds (then known as ‘mysteries’). These plays, and the later miracle plays on the Virgin …

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mysticism - Overview, Beliefs, Understanding the mystical perspective, The relation of mystical thought to philosophy

The spiritual quest in any religion for the most direct experience of God. Characteristically, mysticism, widely practised in Eastern religions, concentrates on prayer, meditation, contemplation, and fasting, so as to produce the attitude necessary for what is believed to be a direct encounter with God. Christian mysticism tends to focus on the person and sufferings of Christ, attempting to move b…

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mythology - Classifications, Other concepts, Formation of myths, Religion and mythology, Myths as depictions of historical events

The traditional stories of a people, often orally transmitted. They usually tell of unbelievable things in a deliberate manner, so that a ‘myth’ can mean both ‘an untrue story’, and ‘a story containing religious truth’. The subject-matter of myths is either the gods and their relations with human or other beings, or complex explanations of physical phenomena. Until recently mythology meant G…

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myxomatosis - Effects of the disease, Spread of the disease, Use of vaccine, Natural resistance

A contagious viral disease of rabbits, characterized by the presence of jelly-like tumours (myxomata); harmless to cottontails (occurs naturally in the South American forest rabbit, or tapiti (Sylvilagus brasiliensis), but is fatal to European rabbits); introduced to Australia in 1951 to control the vast population of introduced rabbits; devastated wild rabbit populations in Europe in the 1950s. …

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Naas - Amenities, History, Places of Interest

53°13N 6°39W, pop (2000e) 11 300. Market town and capital of Kildare county, Leinster, EC Ireland; on branch of the Grand Canal, SW of Dublin; former capital of the kings of Leinster; noted horse-racing area. Naas town ('Nás na Riogh') as it was called in Irish is the "Meeting Place of Kings" because of its ancient location as a cross-roads to and from Dublin, and its traditional locat…

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Nabih Berri

Lebanese soldier and statesman, born in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He studied law at Beirut University and the Sorbonne, and in 1978 became leader of Amal (‘Hope’), a branch of the Shiite nationalist movement founded by Iman Musa Sadr. Backed by Syria, it became the main Shiite military force in West Beirut and Southern Lebanon during the country's civil wars, until its defeat in 1988. He joined th…

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Nablus - Features, Geography, Demographics, History, Nāblus and the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Politics, Twinning

32°13N 35°16E, pop (2000e) 120 000. Capital town of Nablus governorate, Israeli-occupied West Bank, NW Jordan; 48 km/30 mi N of Jerusalem; market centre for the surrounding agricultural region; wheat, olives, sheep, goats; Great Mosque (rebuilt, 1167, as Crusader church); Jacob's Well nearby. Nāblus is the site of An-Najah National University, the largest Palestinian university. The …

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Nadia Boulanger - Ancestors, Biography, Students

Composer, born in Paris, France. She studied at the Conservatoire (1897–1904), where she won several prizes, and went on to write many vocal and instrumental works, winning second prize at the Grand Prix de Rome in 1908 for her cantata, La Sirène (The Siren). After 1918 she devoted herself to teaching, first at home, and later at the Conservatoire and the Ecole Normale de Musique, where she had …

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