Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 55

Cambridge Encyclopedia

oarfish - Life history, Species

Very long, ribbon-shaped fish (Regalecus glesne) widespread in tropical and warm temperate seas; length up to 7 m/23 ft; body extremely slender, compressed, tapering posteriorly; dorsal fin extending full length of body, tail fin absent, pelvis reduced to long filaments. (Family: Regalecidae.) Oarfish are large, greatly elongated, pelagic Lampriform fish comprising the small family Regale…

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OAS (Algeria) - History, Trivia

Abbreviation of Organisation de l'Armée Secrète (‘Secret Army Organization’), the clandestine organization of French Algerians, led by rebel army generals Jouhaud and Salan, active (1960–2) in resisting Algerian independence. It caused considerable violence in Algeria and metropolitan France until thrown into rapid decline by the Franco-Algerian ceasefire (Mar 1962), Salan's capture (Apr 1962…

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Oasis - Examples

British pop group, formed in 1992 with five members, all but one from Manchester, NW England, UK: Liam Gallagher (1972– , vocals), Noel Gallagher (1967– , lead guitar, backing vocals, songwriter), Paul ‘Bonehead’ Arthurs (1965– , rhythm guitar), replaced in 1999 by Gem Archer, Paul ‘Guigsy’ McGuigan (1971– , bass guitar), replaced in 1999 by Andy Bell, and Tony McCarroll (drums), replaced …

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oath - Pledges, Oaths, and Vows, Legal oaths and affirmations, Religious opposition, Famous oaths

A solemn expression from a person giving evidence in court or making a sworn written statement. The traditional wording is ‘I swear by Almighty God that the evidence which I shall give shall be the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth’. Alternatively, it is possible to affirm, that is to solemnly promise to tell the truth. Other traditional or religious practices are often recognize…

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Obadiah - Prophet Obadiah in rabbinic tradition

One of the 12 so-called ‘minor’ prophets of the Old Testament. Nothing is known of him except for his name, which means ‘servant of God’. His prohecies are contained in the shortest book of the Old Testament. The work may have originated soon after the fall of Jerusalem in 587/6 BC, but it is not always seen as a unified composition deriving from one time. It prophesies the fall of Edom in ret…

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obelisk - Ancient obelisks, Modern obelisks

A tall pillar, usually made of granite, square in section, tapering upwards, and ending in a small pyramid. Obelisks were common in ancient Egypt, being used for commemorative or religious purposes. Well-known examples are Cleopatra's Needles (c.1475 BC), one of which is now located on the Victoria Embankment, London, the other in Central Park, New York City. In 1911, Encyclopædia Britanni…

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Oberammergau Passion Play - Origins, Alleged anti-Semitism

A dramatization every 10 years of the Passion of Christ, performed by villagers of Oberammergau in Bavaria, S Germany. It is performed in fulfilment of a vow made in 1663, when the village was saved from plague. Oberammergau Passion Play is a passion play performed since 1634 as a tradition, by the inhabitants of the village of Oberammergau in Bavaria (now in Germany). The town …

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Oberon (astronomy)

The second-largest satellite of Uranus, discovered in 1787 by William Herschel; distance from the planet 583 500 km/362 600 mi; diameter 1524 km/947 mi. Oberon can mean: …

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Oberon (mythology) - Merovingian legend, French heroic song, Other historical references

In European literature, the name of the king of the fairies, as in Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream and Wieland's Oberon. Oberon, also Auberon, King of the Fairies, is most famous as a character in William Shakespeare's play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, written in the mid-1590s. Oberon gives his wife, Titania, a potion that causes her to fall in love with Bottom in order to get …

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obesity - Definition, Causes, Complications, Therapy, Cultural and social significance, Public health and policy

Extreme overweight, with an excessive amount of body fat; the most common nutritional disease in affluent societies. It is associated with a high mortality, and predisposes to serious diseases, including diabetes mellitis, hypertension, and coronary heart disease. It may be related to genetic factors, or to hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism, or Cushing's syndrome. However the majority of c…

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objective test

A test which is scored according to strict rules, rather than on the subjective judgment of the tester. The scorer usually operates to a marking system based on predetermined acceptable answers. Often the test will be scored by someone other than the person who gave it, for even greater objectivity. Objective tests are different from obtrusive tests, because objective tests are not projecti…

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oboe - The instrument, Other members of the oboe family, Classical works featuring the oboe

A musical instrument made of wood in three jointed sections, opening to a small bell; it is fitted with a double reed. It first appeared in recognizable form in the mid-17th-c and was widely used in the 18th-c. Since then its mechanism has been developed, particularly by the addition of keys. In the orchestra it is normally the oboe that sets the pitch for the other instruments. A lower-pitched in…

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observatory - The oldest observatories in the world, Observatories still in use

The instruments and associated buildings for conducting astronomical research. This broad definition includes the structures of native proto-astronomers, such as the builders of Stonehenge and Meso-American pyramids, the great mountain observatories of professionals in Hawaii, Australia, and Chile, the backyard shed of the keen amateur, and satellites carrying telescopes far above the atmosphere. …

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obstetrics - Antenatal care, Signs, Maternal physiology, Prenatal care, Complications, Induction, Labour, Emergencies in obstetrics

The medical and surgical care of pregnancy and childbirth. It involves the prenatal care and assessment of the woman's ability to undergo labour, the assessment of the size and health of the fetus in the womb, the detection of diseases related to pregnancy (eg eclampsia), the diagnosis of the position of the fetus in the uterus, and the conduct of the delivery via the vagina. In special circumstan…

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ocarina - History, Classification, Musical performance, Types of ocarina, Ocarina Tab, Ocarina in Budrio, Appearance in works

A simple, egg-shaped musical instrument belonging to the flute family, with a protruding mouthpiece, six fingerholes, and two thumbholes. It is made from terracotta, and is played by children, and also as a folk instrument. The ocarina is a very old family of instruments, believed to date back some 12,000 years. Its common use in the Western countries dates to the 19th century, …

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occasionalism

A philosophical theory, associated particularly with Malebranche and Geulincx, which espouses Descartes' dualism of mind and body but tries to explain all causal interaction between them by God's direct intervention. God ‘occasions’ all processes and events, and mind and body operate in a separate but perfectly synchronized way, like two clocks. Occasionalism is a philosophical theory abo…

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occultation

An astronomical phenomenon observed when a planet or moon passes across the line of sight to another body. It is useful for getting information on the position, size, and atmosphere of the body causing the occultation. The rings around Uranus were detected when the planet occulted light from a star. These events are not visible everywhere the occulting body and the occulted body are above t…

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occupational therapy - History of occupational therapy, Occupational therapy practitioners, Philosophy of occupational therapy, Benefits of occupational therapy

A range of treatments designed to minimise the impact of physical and psychiatric conditions on life in order to help people reach their maximum level of function and independence in all aspects of daily living. It includes provision of physical aids, such as stair rails, and activities such as vocationally orientated workshops and arts and crafts classes. Information from the American Occu…

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ocean - Physical properties, Exploration, Regions, Climate, Ecology, Economy, Ancient oceans, Extraterrestrial oceans, Mythology

The continuous expanse of salt water that covers about 70 per cent of the Earth's surface and surrounds the contintental land masses. The ocean formed very early in the history of the Earth, probably as soon as the planet had cooled enough for water to become liquid, about 4 thousand million years ago. The salt came from chemicals released by crustal rocks or from deeper processes, such as those a…

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ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) - History of OTEC, How OTEC works, Some proposed projects, Other related technologies, Political Concerns

A technique for converting difference in ocean temperature between warm surface waters and cold deeper waters into a usable energy resource. A typical OTEC plant might use tropical ocean surface water to evaporate ammonia, which would cause a turbine to generate electricity. Cold deep water would be used to condense the ammonia to start the cycle again. Part of the electrical power is used to oper…

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Oceania

A general name applied to the isles of the Pacific Ocean, including Polynesia, Melanesia, Micronesia, Australasia, and sometimes the Malaysian islands. Notes: …

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oceanography - Branches, History, Ocean and atmosphere connections, Further reading

The study of the oceans, also referred to as oceanology. It is usually divided into four sub-disciplines. Geological oceanography deals with the structure and origin of the ocean floor, the processes which operate along the shoreline, the sediments which cover the ocean floor, and the origin and distribution of marine mineral resources. Chemical oceanography deals with the chemical properties of s…

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Oceanus - In cosmography, External links

In Greek mythology, a Titan, the son of Uranus and Gaia. He is a benign god who personifies the stream of Ocean which was assumed to surround the world, as known to the Greeks. In the Greek and Roman world-view, Oceanus (Greek Ὠκεανός, Okeanos), was the world-ocean, which they believed to be an enormous river encircling the world. Some scholars believe that Oceanus origi…

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ochre - Pigment, Industry

Earth consisting of a mixture of hydrated iron oxides and clay, light yellow to brown in colour. It is ground to a powder and used as a pigment. Ochre or Ocher (pronounced /'əʊk.ə/, from the Greek ochros, yellow) is a color, usually described as golden-yellow or light yellow brown. As a painting pigment it exists in at least four forms: For further information, se…

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Octans

An inconspicuous S constellation, containing the S celestial pole. The nearest naked-eye star to the S celestial pole is Sigma Octantis. …

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Octave (-Henri-Marie) Mirbeau - Biography, Works, Quotations

Novelist and playwright, born in Trévières, NW France. He became known with his stories, Lettres de ma chaumière (1886) and La Calvaire (1887). His novels, Le Jardin des supplices (1899), Le Journal d'une femme de chambre (1900), and Dingo (1913), were bitter social satires, and Les Affaires sont les affaires (1903) was his most successful play. He was one of the 10 original members of the Acad…

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Octave Chanute - Railroad Engineering, Aviation, Timeline

Aerial navigator, born in Paris, France. He went to the USA when his family emigrated in 1838, and went on to a successful career as a civil engineer, building iron railroad bridges. His favourite pastime was the study of aerial navigation, and he conducted the first scientific experiments in America on gliding (1896–7). He constructed a biplane glider which the Wright Brothers used as a model fo…

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Octave Feuillet - Overview, Academie, Reference

Novelist and playwright, born in Saint-Lô, NW France. His novels include Le Roman d'un jeune homme pauvre (1858) and Histoire d'une Parisienne (1881). He also wrote plays, such as Le Sphynx (1874), and memoirs. He married his cousin Valérie Marie Elvire Dubois (1832–1906). Octave Feuillet (August 11, 1821 - December 29, 1890), French novelist and dramatist, was born at Saint-Lô, Manche.…

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Octavia

Sister of the emperor Augustus, distinguished for her beauty and virtue. On the death of her first husband, Marcellus, in 40 BC she consented to marry Mark Antony to reconcile him and her brother; but in 32 BC Antony divorced her and forsook her for Cleopatra. Octavia was the name of three women, two of the Julio-Claudian dynasty of ancient Rome: Other uses of Octavia include: …

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Octavia Hill

Housing reformer and founder of the National Trust, born in Wisbech, Cambridgeshire, EC England, UK. She worked among the London poor, and in 1864, supported by Ruskin, commenced her project to improve the homes of people in the slums - methods which were imitated in Europe and the USA. In 1869 she helped to found the Charity Organization Society. A leader of the open-space movement, she was a co-…

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Octavien de Saint-Gelais

Writer, born in Cognac, W France. He became Bishop of Angoulême (1494), and made his reputation as a poet, without publishing in his lifetime. He translated Virgil (L'Enéide) and Ovid (Héroïdes), and co-wrote a long allegorical poem on the temptations of youth, Le Séjour d'Honneur, published in 1519 and 1521. Octavien de Saint-Gelais (1468-1502) was a French churchman, poet, and transl…

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Octavio Paz - Early life and writings, Later life, Writings, Bibliography

Poet, born in Mexico City, Mexico. He studied at the National University of Mexico, and fought on the Republican side in the Spanish Civil War. A career diplomat, he served as the Mexican ambassador to India (1962–8), and taught at Texas, Harvard, and Cambridge universities. He was a writer of great energy and versatility, with 30 volumes from 1933; his Collected Poems (1957–87), in Spanish and …

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Octavius Brooks Frothingham

Religious leader and writer, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He graduated from Harvard (1843), studied divinity there and was pastor of North Church, Salem, MA for eight years before leaving in a dispute over his anti-slavery activities. In 1859 he became pastor of the Third Congregational Unitarian Society in New York City. A theological liberal, he founded the Boston Free Religious Associati…

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October Revolution - Causes, Events, Outcomes

(1917) The overthrow of the Russian provisional government by Bolshevik-led armed workers (Red Guards), soldiers, and sailors (25–26 Oct 1917). The revolution was organized by the Military Revolutionary Committee of the Petrograd Soviet. The members of the provisional government were arrested and replaced by the Soviet of People's Commissars (Sovnarkom), chaired by Lenin - the first Soviet govern…

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octopus - Physiology, Terminology, Relationship to humans, Classification

A carnivorous marine mollusc with a short, sac-like body and eight arms largely connected by webbing; reaches 5·4 m/18 ft in length, and with a maximum outstretched arm-span of nearly 9 m/30 ft; shell usually absent; contains a funnel, used for swimming by jet propulsion; prey caught using suckers on arms; when alarmed, may eject a cloud of ink. (Class: Cephalopoda. Order: Octopoda.) …

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Oda Nobunaga - Life, Policies, Oda Nobunaga in Fiction, The festival in Japan

The first of the three great historical unifiers of Japan, followed by Hideyoshi and Tokugawa, born into a noble family near Nagoya, EC japan. He became a general, and was invited by the emperor to establish order in the old capital, Kyoto (1568), destroying the power of the Buddhist Church, and favouring Christianity as a counter-balance. He built Azuchi Castle, near Kyoto, as his headquarters. H…

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Odd Hassel

Physical chemist, born in Oslo, Norway. He studied there and in Berlin, and spent his career in Oslo as professor of chemistry (1934–64). In 1943, independently of Sir Derek Barton, he developed the basic ideas of chemical conformational analysis (the study of the three-dimensional geometric structure of molecules), for which he shared with Barton the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1969. Has…

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ode - Ode in Continental Europe, English ode, Ode in music

A lyric poem, usually of some length and formal complexity. The form of the ode is not prescribed, but determined in each case by the theme, subject, and situation. Pindar in Greek, Horace in Latin, Milton and Keats in English, and Ronsard, Leopaldi, Schiller, and Claudel were notable practitioners. Ode (Classical Greek: ὠδὴ) is a form of stately and elaborate lyrical verse. A classic …

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Odense - History, Famous residents of Odense, Business, Population statistics, Trivia

55°24N 10°25E, pop (2000e) 182 600. Port and chief town on Fyn I, Denmark; third largest city of Denmark; railway; university (1964); engineering, foodstuffs, textiles, timber; St Knud's Church (reconstructed 13th-c), 18th-c palace; birthplace of Hans Andersen. Odense [ˈoð̞ˀn̩sə] is the third largest city in Denmark, with 145,554 inhabitants (Odense city January 1, 2004), and the …

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Odessa - Overview, History, Geography and features, Culture

46°30N 30°46E, pop (2000e) 1 095 000. Seaport capital of Odesskaya oblast, Ukraine, on NW shore of the Black Sea; centre of the battleship Potemkin mutiny in the 1905 Revolution; railway; university (1865); naval base and home port for a fishing and Antarctic whaling fleet; leading Black Sea port, trading in grain, sugar, machinery, coal, oil products, cement, metals, jute, timber; icebreaker…

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Odetta

Singer and guitarist, born in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. During the folk revival of the 1950s and 1960s, she was known for her performances of African-American folk music, and for her albums with their repertory of spirtuals, blues, and children's songs. She toured the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in 1974 and appeared in films, stage musicals, and on television. …

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Odilon Redon - Analysis of his work, Other works

Artist, born in Bordeaux, SW France. He is usually regarded as a pioneer Surrealist, because of his use of dream images in his work. He made many charcoal drawings and lithographs, but after 1900 painted, especially in pastel, pictures of flowers and portraits in intense colour. The mystery and the evocation of the drawings are best described by Huysmans in the following passage: …

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Odin - Characteristics, Origins, Blót, Edda, Odin and Jesus, Persisting beliefs in Odin

In Norse mythology, the All-Father, the god of poetry and the dead; also known as Woden (English) or Wotan (German). He gave one eye to the Giant Mimir in exchange for wisdom. He rides the eight-legged horse Sleipnir, and keeps two ravens to bring him news. Often he wanders the world as a hooded one-eyed old man. Odin (Old Norse Óðinn) is considered the chief god in Norse mythology and No…

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Odissi - Introduction, Dance Vocabulary and Repertoire, Artists

A soft, lyrical and erotic style of classical dance for women, found in E India. It is characterized by the sensuous movement of the dancers, abruptly frozen into sculptured poses. Representations of these may be seen in the carvings of the great temples of Orissa, EC India. The classical dance style of Orissa - the land of temples, the land of sculptures. The flowing movements and graceful…

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Odo - Overview, Mirror Universe, Trivia

Anglo-Norman clergyman, Bishop of Bayeux, and half-brother of William I. He fought at the Battle of Hastings (1066) and was created Earl of Kent. He played a conspicuous part under William in English history, and was regent during his absences in Normandy, but left England after rebelling against William II. He rebuilt Bayeux Cathedral, and may have commissioned the Bayeux tapestry. "Consta…

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Odoacer - Early life, Leader of the foederati, King of Italy

Germanic warrior who destroyed the W Roman empire, and became the first barbarian king of Italy (476–93). An able ruler, he was challenged and overthrown by the Ostrogothic King Theodoric (489–93) at the instigation of the E Roman Emperor, Zeno. Odoacer (435–493), also known as Odovacar (Germanic Audawakrs, meaning watchful of wealth), was King of Italy (476-493), and deposed the last W…

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Odysseus - Before the Trojan War, Odysseus reaches Ithaca, Other stories

A Greek hero, known in Latin as Ulixes, from which Ulysses is derived. The son of Laertes, King of Ithaca, he took part in the Trojan War, where he was respected for his intelligence. In later writers he is made cunning and devious. He took ten years to return from Troy, encountering many romantic adventures, described in Homer's Odyssey. Eventually he returned to Ithaca, slaughtered the suitors w…

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Oedipus - Oedipus The King, Oedipus At Colonus and Antigone, In popular culture

In Greek legend, a Theban hero of whom it was foretold that he would kill his father and marry his mother. He was exposed at birth, and lamed with a spike through his feet (his name means ‘swell-foot’). Brought up in Corinth, he fled from his adoptive parents when an oracle revealed his destiny. On the way to Thebes he killed his father Laius by chance, and, having guessed the riddle of the sphi…

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Oedipus complex - Theory of the Oedipal complex, Critiques of the Oedipus Complex, Philosophy and the Oedipus Complex

A psychoanalytic term describing the erotic feelings of a son for his mother, and an associated sense of competitiveness towards the father. The female equivalent is the Electra complex, describing a daughter's jealousy of her mother, love for her father, and blame for the mother's depriving her of a penis. Both terms were coined by Freud to understand phases of normal child development. Th…

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Offa's Dyke - Historical evidence, Cultural references, Bibliography, On-line

An interrupted linear earthwork 130 km/80 mi long - the gaps originally thick forest - linking the R Dee near Prestatyn, N Wales, UK, with the Severn Estuary at Chepstow. Erected in the late 8th-c AD by Offa, King of Mercia, to define the W boundary of his kingdom, it marks the traditional boundary between England and Wales. Offa's Dyke Path, opened in 1971, follows most of its course. Th…

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offal - Offal as food, by region, Food safety issues, See Also

All the organs of slaughtered animals other than muscles and bones. Several of these organs (such as the liver and kidneys) are eaten; others (such as the gut) are usually discarded. Offal is the entrails and internal organs of a butchered animal. Offal not used directly for human or animal food is often processed in a rendering plant, producing material that is used for animal feed, …

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office automation - References, Further reading

The use of computers for the performance of conventional office tasks, such as document preparation, diary management, and simple file management. Frequently computers in individual offices are connected through a local area network, which enables documents to be shared between offices, and meetings within departments to be organized. Office automation refers to the varied computer machiner…

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Office of Fair Trading (OFT) - OFT activities, Structure, The OFT and Wintel Monopoly, The OFT and credit card charges

A non-ministerial government department in England and Wales, headed by the Director-General of Fair Trading. It keeps under review commercial activities which supply goods or services to the consumer, and collects information about these activities. The Fair Trading Act (1993) set up the office, and laid down a framework of law to eliminate or control unfair consumer practices. Action in the cour…

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Ogaden - History

Geographical area in SE Ethiopia; dry plateau intermittently watered by Fafen Shet and Jerer Rivers; part of Abyssinia, 1890; part of Italian East Africa, 1936–41; largely inhabited by Somali-speaking nomads; area claimed by Somalia in 1960s; Somali invasion in 1977 repulsed by Ethiopian forces; fighting continued throughout the 1980s. Ogaden (pronounced and often spelled "Ogadēn") is a p…

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Ogbomosho

8°05N 4°11E, pop (2000e) 804 000. Market town in Oyo state, W Nigeria, 88 km/55 mi NNE of Ibadan; third largest city in Nigeria; agricultural trade, crafts, cloth, shoes, tobacco; festivals of Ebo Oba Ijeru (Feb), Egungun (Jul), and Ashun (Aug). Ogbomoso City (also spelled Ogbomosho) is located in the present day Oyo state in south west Nigeria, and was founded in the 17th century by …

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Ogden - Places

41º13N 111º58W, pop (2002e) 77 200. Seat of Weber Co, N Utah, USA; located at the junction of the Ogden and Weber rivers, 50 km/30 mi N of Salt Lake City; settled by Mormons in 1847; birthplace of Fawn M Brodie, John Moses Browning, Bernard DeVoto, S S Stevens; railway; aerospace industries; Hill Aerospace Museum; Union Station Museum; Fort Buenaventura cabin (1846); Golden Spike National Hi…

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Ogdensburg Agreement

A pact signed in August 1940 between US President Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King. It established the means for developing continental economic and military planning through the Permanent Joint Board on Defence, and marked a loosening of ties between Canada and Britain. The Permanent Joint Board on Defence is the senior advisory body on continental security and is compo…

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Ohio - Law and government, Political demographics and history, Education, Professional sports teams, Transportation, State symbols

pop (2000e) 11 353 000; area 107 040 km²/41 330 sq mi. State in E USA, divided into 88 counties; the ‘Buckeye State’; visited by La Salle in 1669 and settled by fur traders from 1685; 17th state to join the Union, 1803; capital, Columbus; other chief cities, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Toledo, Akron, Dayton; part of the Allegheny plateau; drained by the Muskingum, Scioto, and Great Miami Riv…

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Ohio Company (1749)) - Formation, French and Indian War, Grand Ohio Company

Virginia-based speculators who acquired a Crown grant of 200 000 acres (80 000 ha) in 1749 in the area between the Ohio R, Great Kanawha R, and Allegheny Mts. The Ohio Company, more formally known as the Ohio Company of Virginia, was a land speculation company organized for the colonization of the Ohio Country. In the mid 18th century, many within the British Empire viewed th…

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Ohio Company (1786)) - Formation, French and Indian War, Grand Ohio Company

An organization of speculators in 1786 who used depreciated currency and securities to acquire large amounts of Ohio land. They were indirectly responsible for the passage of the Ordinance of 1787, establishing a political basis for Westward expansion. The Ohio Company, more formally known as the Ohio Company of Virginia, was a land speculation company organized for the colonization of the …

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Ohio River - History, Cities and towns

River in EC USA; formed at Pittsburgh by the union of the Monongahela and Allegheny Rivers; flows generally SW for 1578 km/980 mi to join the Mississippi at Cairo, Illinois; forms the state boundary between Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois (N) and West Virginia and Kentucky (S); chief tributaries the Kanawha, Licking, Kentucky, Tennessee (left); the Scioto, Miami, Wabash (right); navigable all the wa…

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ohm - Definition, Origin, Explanation, Conversions

SI unit of electrical resistance; symbol ?; a resistance of 1 ohm exists between two points of a conductor if a potential difference of 1 volt causes a current of 1 amp to flow between them; named after Georg Ohm; commonly used as kilohms (k?, 103 ohms) and megohms (M?, 106 ohms). In 1990 the von Klitzing constant, RK-90, became the international standard of resistance measurement. The ohm…

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Ohm's law - Physics, How electrical and electronic engineers use Ohm's law, Temperature effects

In electrical circuits, the result that potential difference U and current I satisfy U = IR for resistance R; for alternating current circuits, U = IZ, where Z is impedance; stated by Georg Ohm in 1827. Ohm's law states that, in an electrical circuit, the current passing through a conductor is directly proportional to the potential difference applied across them provided all physical …

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ohmmeter

A small portable instrument for measuring resistances in an electrical circuit. It consists of an ammeter together with one variable and one fixed resistance. The unknown resistance is found by measuring the difference in current flow between closed circuit conditions and when the unknown resistance is introduced between the connectors of the ohmmeter. An Ohmmeter is an electrical measuring…

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Ohrid - Name, History, Places in the Ohrid district, Gallery, Sources and External links

41°06N 20°49E, pop (2000e) 69 000. Town in the SW of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; on the shores of L Ohrid; airfield; tourism, fishing, agriculture; old town, a world heritage site; Cathedral of St Sophia, St Clement's Church (13th-c), castle; old town festival (May, Aug), Balkan folk festival (Jul), summer festival (Jul–Aug). Ohrid is a city on the eastern shore of Lake …

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oil (botany) - Types, Examples, Applications

A fluid secreted by special glands in many plants, often forming food reserves in fruits and seeds such as olives, palms, rape, and flax. Volatile essential oils are produced by aromatic plants, especially in dry regions, and may help reduce transpiration or provide protection against animals. Edible oils are obtained from many plants, including soy beans, maize, olives, sunflowers, coconut, and r…

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oil (earth sciences) - Types, Examples, Applications

A fossil fuel that is chemically a complex mixture of hydrocarbons, formed from organic remains by the action of heat and pressure over millions of years; known as natural or crude oil. It occupies the pore spaces between grains in sedimentary rock, and accumulates when its upward migration is trapped by a suitable impervious ‘cap’ rock. It occurs together with natural gas and solid hydrocarbons…

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oil painting - Process of oil painting

A method of painting which employs drying oils (such as linseed oil) in the medium. In use since Roman times for decorating shields, etc, the technique was perfected and adapted to painting pictures in the 15th-c. Oil painting is done on surfaces with pigments that are ground and mixed into a medium of oil — especially in early modern Europe, linseed oil. Other oils occasionally used incl…

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oil palm - Cultivation, External links and references

A tree (Elaeis guineensis) reaching 15 m/50 ft, native to tropical Africa; leaves 4·5 m/15 ft, feathery. The numerous oval, orange fruits are rendered down for oil. (Family: Palmae.) The oil palms (Elaeis) comprise two species of the Arecaceae, or palm family. The African Oil Palm Elaeis guineensis is native to west Africa, occurring between Angola and Gambia, while the American …

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oilbird

A nightjar-like bird (Steatornis caripensis) native to N South America and Trinidad; roosts in caves; uses echolocation; eats fruit picked in flight; also known as the guacharo, or diablotin. It is the only nocturnal fruit-eating bird. Its fledglings are very fat, and were formerly boiled to extract oil, used for cooking. (Family: Steatornithidae.) The Oilbird (Steatornis caripensis) is a s…

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Oireachtas - Composition, Role, Committees, History, Northern Ireland representation

An annual Irish gathering organized, on the lines of the Welsh eisteddfod, by the Gaelic League; first held in 1898. The Oireachtas is the "national parliament" or legislature of the Republic of Ireland, sometimes referred to as Oireachtas Éireann. The Oireachtas consists of the President of Ireland and two houses; Dáil Éireann, the lower house, is directly electe…

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Ojibwa - Language, Culture, Bands and First Nations of Ojibwe people

An Algonkin North American Indian group originally concentrated around L Superior and L Huron; called Chippewa by the Europeans; c.150 000 (2000 census). Hunters and nomads, they were impoverished following the decline of the fur trade. The Ojibwa, Aanishanabe or Chippewa (also Ojibwe, Ojibway, Chippeway, Anishinaabe, or Anishinabek) are the largest group of Native Americans/First Na…

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Oka - Surname, Car, Food, Geography, History, Metrics, Military, Music, Aviation, Lifestyles

pop (2000e) 1860. A town W of Montreal, Quebec, Canada. It was the scene of violence and an armed stand-off between Canadian troops and Mohawk people, July–September 1990. It stimulated renewed public concern to resolve outstanding aboriginal issues. Oka may refer to: There is also a company based in Western Australia which makes a variety of very large 4x4 vehicles under the …

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okapi - History, Etymology, Trivia, Media

A mammal of the giraffe family (Okapia johnstoni) native to Democratic Republic of Congo; reddish-brown with long neck, large ears, and extremely long tongue (can lick its own eyes); face and lower legs pale; upper legs and hindquarters with thin horizontal stripes; male with two blunt ‘horns’; inhabits dense wet forest; eats leaves and fruit. The okapi (Okapia johnstoni) is a mammal of t…

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Okefenokee Swamp - Location and history, Wildlife, Trivia

Area of swamp land in SE Georgia and NE Florida, USA; drained SW by the Suwannee R; important wildlife refuge; tourist centre. It is the largest peat-based "blackwater" swamp in North America. The Suwannee River originates as stream channels in the heart of Okefenokee Swamp and drains at least 90% of the swamp's watershed southwest towards the Gulf of Mexico. The St. Marys River, whic…

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Oklahoma - Geography, History, Law and Government, Transportation, Important Cities and Metropolitan Areas, Demographics

pop (2000e) 3 450 700; area 181 083 km²/69 919 sq mi. State in SW USA, divided into 77 counties; the ‘Sooner State’; mostly acquired by the USA in the Louisiana Purchase, 1803; Indians forced to move here in the 1830s (Indian Territory); Allem Wright, a Choctaw chief, coined the name to describe the land held by his people; Indians then lost the W region to whites (Oklahoma Territory, 1…

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okra - Cultivation and uses, Nutrients, Extras

A vegetable crop (Hibiscus esculentis), originating in tropical Africa, and producing cylindrical edible fruits up to 20 cm/8 in long which are eaten immature, either cooked or fresh; also known as ladies' fingers or gumbo. The crop is widely cultivated in the tropics and sub-tropics. (Family: Malvaceae.) Okra, or lady's finger, is a flowering plant in the mallow family Malvaceae,…

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Olara (A) Otunnu

Ugandan statesman, human rights activist, and UN special representative for children in armed conflict, born in Mucwini, N Uganda. He studied at Makerere, Oxford, and Harvard, where he was a Fulbright scholar. He taught law at Albany Law School (USA) then acted as secretary-general of the Ugandan Freedom Union, where he played a leading role in the resistance against the Amin regime. Elected a mem…

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Olav Duun - Bibliography

Novelist, born in Namsdal, Norway. He worked as a teacher from 1904 to 1926. An important representative of new Norwegian writing in Landsmål (‘national language’) between the two World Wars, he made his reputation with a major series of saga-like novels about four generations of peasant landholders in Namsdal in Juvikfolke (6 vols, 1918–23, The People of Juvik). …

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Olbers' paradox - Assumptions, Explanations

A paradox expressed in 1826 by German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers (1758–1840): why is the sky dark at night? In an infinitely large, unchanging, universe populated uniformly with stars and galaxies, the sky would be dazzling bright, which is not the case. This simple observation implies that the universe is not an infinite static arrangement of stars. In fact, modern cosmology postulates a…

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Old Bailey - In popular culture

A street in the City of London, and, by association, the Central Criminal Court located there. The first courthouse was erected in 1539. The present building dates from 1907; the bronze statue of Justice surmounting its dome is a notable London landmark. The Central Criminal Court, commonly known as the Old Bailey (a bailey being part of a castle), is a Crown Court centre (higher criminal c…

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Old Believers - The reforms of Patriarch Nikon, Modern situation, Old Believer Denominations, Edinovertsy

Russian Orthodox traditionalists who rejected the reforms instituted in 1666. Although persecuted, they survived, established their own hierarchy in 1848, and were recognized by the state in 1881. In the context of Russian Orthodox church history, the Old Believers (Russian: старове́ры or старообря́дцы) separated after 1666 - 1667 from the hierarchy of the Russian …

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Old English sheepdog - Care, Miscellaneous

A breed of dog, developed in Britain in the 18th-c to protect cattle; large with hindquarters higher than shoulder; covered in long, untidy coat, often hiding ears and eyes; usually white with large dark patches; short tail. An Old English Sheepdog is a breed of dog formerly used for herding livestock, and now primarily kept as a pet. AKC and British show breed regulations require showing o…

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Old Testament - Canon of the Old Testament, Historicity of the Old Testament, Naming of the Old Testament

The sacred literature of Judaism, in which the corpus of writings is known simply as the Jewish Scriptures or Hebrew Bible, or even sometimes the Torah; it was also adopted by Christians as part of their sacred writings, and they began to call it the ‘Old Testament’ as distinct from the Christian writings that constitute the ‘New Testament’. The Old Testament writings span stories from Creatio…

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Old World monkey

A monkey of family Cercopithecidae (76 species); nostrils close together and opening downwards or forwards (unlike New World monkeys); tails never grasping, sometimes short; buttocks may have naked patches of skin; some species ground-dwelling. The Old World monkeys or Cercopithecidae are a group of primates, falling in the superfamily Cercopithecoidea in the clade Catarrhini. …

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Oldenburg - Demography, Economy and Infrastructure

Former German state, successively a countship, a duchy, a grand duchy, and a state before it became an administrative district of Niedersachsen in Germany in 1946. Coordinates: 53°8′N 8°13′E Oldenburg (Low German: Ollnborg) is an Independent City in Lower Saxony, Germany. This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publi…

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Olduvai Gorge

2°58S 35°22E. A gorge within the Ngorongoro conservation area of the Rift Valley, N Tanzania. It is an important hominid site, with deposits extending from just under 2 million years ago down to recent. It was excavated by Louis and Mary Leakey, who recovered much archaeological and faunal material as well as important fossils of Australopithecus boisei, Homo habilis, and Homo erectus. Besides t…

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oleander - Cultivation and uses, Toxicity

An evergreen shrub (Nerium oleander) growing to 5 m/16 ft, native to the Mediterranean region; leaves lance-shaped, leathery; flowers 4 cm/1½ in diameter, in terminal clusters, tubular with five spreading lobes, pink or white. It is widely cultivated in warm regions as an ornamental; all parts are poisonous. Cultivars have larger (often double) flowers, ranging from white to crimson or purple…

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Oleg Cassini - Early life, Career, First marriage, Second marriage, Death

Fashion designer, born in Paris, France. The son of an emigré Russian countess, he moved to the USA in 1936. He began by designing costumes for Hollywood movies before establishing his own New York City firm in 1950. His trademarks included provocative sheaths, cocktail dresses, and, in the early 1960s, his widely copied ‘Jackie Kennedy’ look. His dashing good looks, urbane manner, and associat…

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Oleg Grabar - Bibliography

Art historian, born in Strasbourg, France. He emigrated to the USA (1948) and studied at Harvard (1950 BA), the University of Paris (1950), and Princeton University (1955 PhD). He taught at the University of Michigan (1954–69) and at Harvard (1969), and is known for his critical works on Islamic art and archaeology. Oleg Grabar is a historian and archeologist, specializing in the field of …

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Olga Korbut - Early life, The Olympics, The Legacy, Trivia

Gymnast, born in Grodno, W Belarus. She captivated the world at the 1972 Olympics at Munich with her lithe grace, and gave gymnastics a new lease of life as a sport. She won a gold medal as a member of the winning Soviet team, as well as individual golds in the beam and floor exercises and silver for the parallel bars. She won a fourth gold medal at the 1976 Olympics in Montreal. After retiring in…

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oligarchy - Oligarchy, Aristocracy, and Plutocracy, Examples of oligarchies, "The Iron Law of Oligarchy"

In ancient Greece, the term applied to city-states such as Corinth and Thebes, where political power was in the hands of a minority of its male citizens. They contrasted with democracies such as Athens and Argos, where power was held by the majority. Oligarchy (Greek Ὀλιγαρχία, Oligarkhía) is a form of government where political power effectively rests with a small, elite segment…

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oligopoly

An economic situation where an industry is dominated by a few suppliers. In economic theory, it constitutes one type of imperfect competition. Oligopolists may have monopoly power and the ability to affect prices and to make above-normal profits. Many of the former communist states such as Russia have adopted a crude form of capitalism, which is open to abuse by oligopolists. An oli…

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Olin (Levi) Warner

Sculptor, born in Suffield, Connecticut, USA. He studied in Paris (1869–72), settled in New York City (1872), and was one of the founders of the Society of American Artists (1877). He travelled in the Northwest Territory (1889) and died in New York after a bicycle accident. He is known for his portrait medallions and busts, such as ‘J Alden Weir’ (1880). Olin Levi Warner (April 9, 1844 -…

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olingo

A nocturnal mammal, native to C and N South America; superficially resembles the lemur; pale brown with small rounded ears, large eyes and very long, darkly banded tail; inhabits trees; eats mainly fruit. (Genus: Bassaricyon, 5 species. Family: Procyonidae.) …

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olive

A long-lived evergreen tree (Olea europaea) native to the Mediterranean region, growing to 15 m/50 ft; trunk silvery, gnarled with numerous cavities; leaves opposite, narrow, pointed, leathery, dark green above, pale beneath; flowers small, white, four petals; fruit succulent, oily, green, ripening over one year to black. The wild form (variety sylvestris) is bushy with spiny branches and small …

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Olive (Emilie Albertina) Schreiner

Writer, born in Wittebergen, South Africa. Largely self-educated, she went to England (1881–9), working as a governess, while she wrote her successful The Story of an African Farm (1883), the first sustained, imaginative work in English to come from Africa. In her later work she became a passionate propagandist for women's rights, pro-Boer loyalty, and pacifism, as in Woman and Labour (1911). …

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olive shell

A carnivorous or scavenging marine snail found in warm seas; usually active at night, moving around at a depth of 1–2 cm/0·4–0·8 in below the surface of the sediment; prey caught using a large muscular foot. (Class: Gastropoda. Order: Neogastropoda.) Olive Shells (Olividae) are a family of Gastropods found mostly in warm tropical seas. …

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Oliver (Edwin) Baker

Geographer, born in Tiffin, Ohio, USA. Much of his career was spent with the US Department of Agriculture (1912–42). In 1942 he established the department of geography at the University of Maryland. The authority on agricultural land utilization in North America, he also had a keen interest in China. He is especially noted for the Atlas of World Agriculture (1917), which he co-wrote with V C Finc…

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Oliver (Fisher) Winchester - Birth and marriage, Career

Manufacturer, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He worked at various jobs until 1837, when he opened a men's clothing store in Baltimore that manufactured and sold shirts. He moved to New York City (1847) where he and a partner made men's shirts by a new method Winchester had patented, and business was so successful that in 1850 they opened a factory in New Haven, CT (1850). By 1856 he had becom…

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Oliver (Hazard Perry) La Farge - Personal life

Anthropologist and writer, born in New York City, New York, USA. An architect's son, he graduated from Harvard in 1924. With a background of three field trips into Navajo country, he became an assistant in ethnology at Tulane (1925), and co-wrote Tribes and Temples (1927), an ethnology of the Guatemalan Indians. A prolific writer, his novel Laughing Boy won a Pulitzer Prize in 1929. He headed the …

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Oliver (Lemuel) Smith - Awards

Set designer, born in Waupun, Wisconsin, USA. The winner of many awards including seven Tonys and the Sam S Shubert Award for Achievement in the Theatre, his designs span all aspects of performance - drama, opera, ballet, and film. He began his Broadway career in 1942 with Rosalinda, followed by designs for Brigadoon (1947), My Fair Lady (1956), West Side Story (1957), and The Odd Couple (1965). …

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Oliver (Wolf) Sacks - Biography, Books, Essays

Neurologist and writer, born in London, UK. Educated at Oxford, he went to the USA in 1960, and after completing advanced studies at the University of California, Los Angeles (1960–5), he joined the neurology faculty at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Bronx, NY) (1965), and also became a consultant neurologist at various New York hospitals. Even in his first book, Migraine: Evolution of …

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Oliver Cromwell - Family, Early years: 1599-1640

English soldier and statesman, born in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire, EC England, UK. Educated at Huntingdon and Cambridge, he studied law in London. A convinced Puritan, he sat in both the Short and the Long Parliaments (1640), and when war broke out (1642) fought for the parliament at Edgehill. He formed his unconquerable Ironsides, combining rigid discipline with strict morality, and it was his ca…

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Oliver Ellsworth - Service during the Revolutionary War, Work on the United States Constitution, Achievements as a legislator

Public official and jurist, born in Windsor, Connecticut, USA. A lawyer prominent in Connecticut politics, he served in the Continental Congress (1777–83) and was a major figure at the Constitutional Convention in 1787, contributing to the Connecticut Compromise, under which the Senate represents states and the House represents population. As one of Connecticut's first two senators (1789–96), he…

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Oliver Evans - The Oruktor Amphibolos, Death, Tributes

Inventor and manufacturer, born near Newport, Delaware, USA. Self-taught, a natural mechanic, he invented a high-speed machine for carding wool in 1777. By 1785, despite a chronic shortage of funds, he had designed and built automatic machinery that made it possible to mill grain in one continuous process. He became America's first steam-engine builder, improving on James Watt's invention with sev…

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Oliver Goldsmith

Playwright, novelist, and poet, born in Kildare, E Ireland. He studied erratically at Dublin, tried law at London then medicine at Edinburgh, drifted to Leyden, and returned penniless in 1756. He practised as a physician in London, held several temporary posts, and took up writing and translating. The Vicar of Wakefield (1766) secured his reputation as a novelist, ‘The Deserted Village’ (1770) a…

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Oliver Hazard Perry

US naval officer, born in South Kingston, Rhode Island, USA. He became a lieutenant (1807) and commanded coastal gunboats (1807–9) and the USS Revenge on the S Atlantic coast (1809–11). Promoted to master commandant (1812), he went to Presque Isle (now Erie), PA to build an American fleet for use on L Erie during the War of 1812. Leading the fleet against the British (Sep 1813), he won the battl…

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Oliver Heaviside - Biography, Innovations and discoveries

Physicist, born in London, UK. A telegrapher by training, he had to retire because of deafness in 1874, and spent much of his life investigating electricity. He predicted the existence of an ionized gaseous layer (the ionosphere) capable of reflecting radio waves, at the same time as, but independently of, the American Arthur E Kennelly, and made important contributions to the theory of electrical…

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Oliver Hudson Kelley

Farmer, and founder of the Grange, born in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. He worked in Illinois and Iowa before moving to Minnesota (1840), where he traded with Dakota Sioux and farmed. In 1864 he became a clerk in the Bureau of Agriculture, and undertook the Bureau's survey of agriculture conditions in Minnesota (1865). In 1867 he and six other men founded the National Grange of the Patrons of Husba…

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Oliver Kahn - Club career, International career, Trivia, Honours

Footballer, born in Karlsruhe, SW Germany. He began playing with Karlsruhe FC's youth team in 1977, and made his debut for the Bundesliga (German Football League) in 1990. He joined Bayern Munich for the 1994–5 season for ?2·5 million, a record fee for a goalkeeper at the time. He went on to win many honours at domestic and international level, and in 2000 was voted German Footballer of the Year…

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Oliver North - Iran-Contra affair, Later life and career, Political and historical legacy, Trivia

US soldier, born in San Antonio, Texas, USA. He trained at the US Naval College, Annapolis, and during the Vietnam War led a counter-insurgency marines platoon, winning a Silver Star and Purple Heart. Appointed a deputy-director of the National Security Council by President Reagan in 1981, he played a key role in a series of controversial military and security actions. Implicated in the Irangate s…

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Oliver Stone - Biography, Controversy, Other work, Recent work, Bibliographies

Film director, producer, and screenwriter, born in New York City, New York, USA. Dropping out of Yale in 1965, he taught English and history in Saigon, Vietnam, as a civilian. He returned to Vietnam with the US Army (1967–8) and was wounded in combat. He studied at the film school of New York University and had written numerous unfilmed scripts before he made his directorial debut with the Canadi…

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Oliver Tambo

South African politician, born in Bizana, E South Africa. He studied at Fort Hare University, and began a teacher's diploma course, but was expelled for organizing a student protest. In 1944 he joined the African National Congress (ANC), and was appointed vice-president of its youth league. He attempted to join the priesthood, but in 1956 was imprisoned, and released the following year. When the A…

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Oliver Wolcott

US governor and cabinet member, born in Litchfield, Connecticut, USA. A lawyer, he became a US treasury auditor (1789–91) and US comptroller (1791–5). He won the support of Alexander Hamilton, whom he succeeded as secretary of the treasury (1795–1800), but caught between the machinations of his friend Hamilton and other Federalists, and frustrated by his inability to improve the nation's financ…

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Olivia (Mary) De Havilland - Early life, Career, Private life, Academy Awards, Selected Filmography, Television work

Actress, born in Tokyo, Japan. Brought up in the USA, she made her stage debut in 1933, and joined Warner Brothers (1935–42). She received Best Supporting Actress nominations for her performances in Gone With the Wind (1939) and Hold Back The Dawn (1941). She won Oscars for To Each His Own (1946) and The Heiress (1949). She later played many television roles, and published an autobiography, Every…

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Olivia (Mary) Manning - Sources

Novelist, born in Portsmouth, Hampshire, S England, UK. She trained at art school, then went to London, publishing her first novel, The Wind Changes, in 1937. She married in 1939, and went abroad with her husband, British Council lecturer, then BBC producer Reginald Donald Smith. Her experiences formed the basis of her ‘Balkan Trilogy’, comprising The Great Fortune (1960), The Spoilt City (1962)…

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Olivier (Eug - Biography, Music, Works, Published during his lifetime, Published posthumously

Composer and organist, born in Avignon, SE France. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire, where his teachers included Paul Dukas. He became professor at the Schola Cantorum (1936–9) and (after a period of war-time imprisonment) professor of harmony at the Paris Conservatoire in 1941. He composed extensively for organ, orchestra, voice, and piano, and made frequent use of new instruments. His musi…

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Olivier Panis

French racing driver. He was champion of Formula 3 in 1993. He has raced in 56 Formula One Grand Prix for Ligier (1994–6), and joined Prost-Mugen-Honda in 1997, gaining 54 points. He won the Monaco Grand Prix in 1996. He was injured at the Canadian Grand Prix in 1997. (key) …

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olivine - Identification and paragenesis, Crystal structure, High pressure polymorphs and phase diagram

A silicate mineral ranging in composition from Fe2SiO4 (fayalite) to Mg2SiO4 (forsterite); glassy, hard, and typically olive-green in colour. It is important in rocks poor in silica, and is a primary constituent of the upper mantle of the Earth. Its gem quality crystals are termed peridot. The mineral olivine is a magnesium iron silicate with the formula (Mg,Fe)2SiO4. Compositions of olivin…

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Olof von Dalin

Writer and historian, born in Vinberg, SW Sweden. He was the most influential literary figure of the Swedish Enlightenment. He published anonymously Sweden's first moralizing periodical, Then Svänska Argus (1732–4, The Swedish Argus), which is regarded as the foundation stone of modern Swedish prose, and compiled a monumental history of Sweden (1747–62). Among his many varied works were a verse…

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Olympia Brown

Suffragist and Universalist minister, born in Prairie Ronde, Michigan, USA. Encouraged by her feminist mother, she studied at Antioch College and the Universalist divinity school at St Lawrence University. After ordination (1863), she served for 24 years in churches in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Wisconsin, combining pastoral duties with a militant suffrage activism. She served as president of…

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Olympias - Life, Olympias in the modern world

Wife of Philip II of Macedon, mother of Alexander the Great, and daughter of Neoptolemus of Epirus. When Philip married Cleopatra, niece of Attalus, she left Macedon and ruled Epirus by herself, and is said to have murdered Cleopatra after Philip was assassinated (336 BC). Alexander died in 323 BC, and she returned to Macedon, where she secured the death of his half-brother and successor, and made…

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Olympic Games - Ancient Olympics, Revival of the Olympic Games, Olympic Movement, Use of podia, Olympic symbols, Olympic sports

A sports gathering held every 4 years by athletes from all over the world, each celebration taking place at a different venue. They evolved from the ancient Greek games, held at Olympia, which go back at least to the 8th-c BC. They were banned in AD 393 by the Christian Emperor Theodosius I, probably because of their pagan practices, and were revived in 1896 by French educator Pierre de Fredi, Bar…

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Olympic National Park - Natural history, Human history, Recreation

National park in the Olympic Mountains, Washington, USA; area 3678 km²/1420 sq mi; a world heritage area; noted for the variety of its scenery, which includes glaciers and a stretch of the Pacific coastline, and as a refuge for the rare Roosevelt elk; also many rare varieties of flowers. Olympic National Park is located in the U.S. state of Washington, in the far northwestern part of th…

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Olympus Mons - General description, Volcanism, Early observations and naming, Surroundings

A huge volcanic mountain on Mars, lying on the edge of a region of intense Martian volcanism (‘Tharsis’), a broad upwarp in the crust. It is enormous by terrestrial standards, with a summit 27 km/17 mi high, and a diameter of 700 km/435 mi. It was discovered by Mariner 9 orbiter in 1972, and extensively studied by Viking orbiters, but was previously known to astronomers as a region of persis…

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Olynthus - Modern Olynthos

In antiquity, the chief city-state on the Chalcidic peninsula in the N Aegean. It was destroyed in 348 BC by its former ally, Philip II of Macedon, for deserting his cause and throwing in its lot with Athens. Olynthus, an ancient city of Chalcidice, situated in a fertile plain at the head of the Gulf of Torone, near the neck of the peninsula of Pallene, at some little distance from the sea,…

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Omagh - History, Climate, Communication, Religion, Electoral wards/Neighbourhoods, People

54°36N 7°18W, pop (2000e) 18 100. Town in Omagh district, Tyrone, WC Northern Ireland, UK, on R Strule; administrative centre of the district of Omagh, pop (2000e) 46 600; footwear, engineering, salmon fishing, dairy produce, tourism; inside the 19th-c Catholic parish church is the Black Bell of Drumragh (9th-c); town centre badly damaged by bomb-attack (Aug 1998), which killed 29, the worst…

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Omaha (Indians)

A Siouan-speaking North American Plains Indian group, originally from the Atlantic seaboard, who migrated to Minnesota in response to European colonial settlement. In the late 17th-c the Dakotas, who had obtained guns through trade, pushed them into Nebraska, where they farmed and hunted buffalo. In 1854 they sold most of their land to white settlers, but were granted some land by the government i…

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Omaha (Nebraska)

41°17N 96°01W, pop (2000e) 390 000. Seat of Douglas Co, E Nebraska, USA; a port on the Missouri R; fur-trading post established here, 1812; city status, 1867; largest city in the state; airport; railway; two universities (1878, 1908); major livestock market and meat-processing centre; farm machinery, electrical equipment, fertilizers; centre for medical treatment and research; air force base; …

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Oman - History, Subdivisions, Geography, Economy, Demographics, Culture

Official name Sultanate of Oman The Sultanate of Oman (Standard Arabic: سلطنة عُمان , Saltanat ˤUmān) is a country in Southwest Asia, on the southeast coast of the Arabian Peninsula. The coast is formed by the Arabian Sea in the south and east, and the Gulf of Oman in the northeast. The Sultanate of Oman was once known by its Sumerian name Magan. By…

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Omar (Nelson) Bradley - World War II, Summary of service

US soldier, born in Clark, Missouri, USA. The son of a schoolteacher, he trained at West Point (1915) and rose slowly through the ranks in the peacetime army. A protégé of the army chief-of-staff, George C Marshall, he succeeded George C Patton in command of the II Corps (1943) and led it in the Tunisia and Sicily campaigns. He commanded the US 1st Army in the Normandy landings (6 Jun 1944). On …

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Omar Bongo - Trivia

Gabonese president (1967– ), born in Lewai, Gabon. In 1960 he joined the civil service, then moved into the political arena and succeeded President M'ba in 1967. The following year he created a one-party state based on the Gabonese Democratic Party, and in 1973 announced his conversion to Islam, adopting the name Omar. In 1986 he was re-elected for the third time. Following the discovery of a cou…

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Omar Sharif - Biography, Sharif and Gaming, Filmography

Film actor, born in Alexandria, N Egypt. He made his Egyptian film debut in 1953, becoming a top male star in the country, before attracting international attention for his role in Lawrence of Arabia (1962). Later films include Doctor Zhivago (1965, Golden Globe), Funny Girl (1968), The Tamarind Seed (1974), Return to Eden (1982), The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996), and One Night With the King (2005)…

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ombudsman - Ombudsman in politics, Organizational ombudsman, News ombudsman, Legislative/Classical ombudsman, Fictional ombudsmen, External links

An official who investigates complaints regarding administrative action by governments - so-called ‘mal-administration’. The complaint may not necessarily be confined to illegal action, but can cover broader injustices in administrative decisions. Most ombudsmen's powers are of necessity widely defined, but they normally do not investigate issues that can be considered by the courts or tribunals…

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Omdurman - History, Arts, Education, Shopping and Recreation, Hospitals, Sports, Communication and Mass Transit

15°37N 32°29E, pop (2000e) 816 000. Major suburb of Khartoum, C Sudan; connected to the main city by a tramline bridge over the White Nile; military headquarters of Mohammed Ahmed, 1884; captured by the British, 1898; university (1961); agricultural trade, textiles, crafts; ruins of the Mahdi's tomb. Omdurman or Omdur (Standard Arabic Umm Durmān أم درمان) is the largest city in …

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omnivore - Description, As food, Species of omnivorous animals

Any animal, or human, whose diet includes both the flesh of animals and vegetable material; there may be specialized teeth to deal with the varied foodstuffs. The term contrasts with carnivore (a flesh-eater, such as the lion) and herbivore (a plant-eater, such as the cow). The teeth of omnivorous animals are less specialized than those of herbivores and carnivores. Being an omnivorous spec…

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Omri - The Omride Dynasty, Omri in archaeological sources, Attitude in contemporary Israel

King of Israel (c.886 BC–c.875 BC). An army commander, he was made king after Zimri assassinated Elah and seized the throne. He is the first Israelite monarch found to be mentioned in historical records other than the Bible itself. The Moabite Stone states that ‘Omri, king of Israel, oppressed Moab many days and his sons after him’. Omri founded the city of Samaria on a hill and was buried ther…

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Omsk - History, Landmarks, Metro, Sports, Education, Sister cities, Trivia

55°00N 73°22E, pop (2000e) 1 161 000. River-port capital of Omskaya oblast, W Siberian Russia; at the confluence of the Irtysh and Om Rivers; founded as a fortress, 1716; the greenest city in Siberia with 25 km²/10 sq mi of boulevards and gardens; airport; on the Trans-Siberian Railway; university (1974); oil refining, chemicals, engineering, clothing, footwear. Omsk (Russian: Ом…

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oncogene - Proto-oncogene, Oncogene

A gene involved in the control of cell division, whose abnormal function may cause a normal cell to develop into a cancerous cell. Oncogene dysfunction may result from chromosomal re-arrangement, so that in its new location it escapes the control mechanisms previously present, and is actively transcribed. In Burkitt's lymphoma, for example, the common translocation brings the oncogene c-myc on chr…

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oncology - Diagnosis, Therapy, Follow-up, Palliative care, Ethical issues, Progress and research in oncology

The branch of medicine concerned with the nature and origin of tumours, including the study of their natural history and response to treatment by drugs, surgery, or ionizing radiation (radioactive substances or X-rays). Oncology is the medical subspecialty dealing with the study and treatment of cancer. Oncologists may be divided on the basis of the type of treatment provided. M…

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ondes Martenot

An electronic musical instrument invented in 1928 by Maurice Martenot; the name derives from Fr ondes ‘[musical] waves’. A keyboard, capable of producing a vibrato, is played by the right hand; the left operates the controls for timbre and dynamics. The sound is heard through loudspeakers, often of unusual design. The instrument has been used especially by French composers, including Messiaen an…

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Oneida

An Iroquoian-speaking North American Indian agricultural group, the smallest tribe of the Iroquois League, originally based in C New York State. They supported the colonists during the American Revolution and were attacked by pro-British Iroquois. They later divided into factions settling in Ontario, Wisconsin, and New York. Oneida is the name of several places in the United States of Ameri…

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Onesimus

Slave and servant, probably born in Africa. He was first a slave (1706–16) and then a servant (1716–?) to the Puritan minister, Cotton Mather. When Boston had an epidemic of smallpox (1721), Onesimus told Mather of a form of inoculation practised by his people, the Guramantese. This knowledge, combined with information regarding inoculation that was being done in Constantinople, convinced Mather…

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onion - Types of onion (Allium cepa), In Language

Any of several species of the genus Allium, probably originating in Asia, and all grown as vegetables. The ordinary onion (Allium cepa) has solitary, globular, or flask-shaped bulbs, often of great size; flattened, tubular leaves semi-circular in cross-section; and inflated stalks bearing white flowers. Spanish onion is a variety with white-skinned bulbs; the shallot a variety with clusters of sma…

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onomastics

The study of the history, development, and geographical distribution of proper names. All categories of names are included, such as people's first names and surnames, place names, home names, and the names of boats, trains, and pets. Onomastics or onomatology is the study of proper names of all kinds and the origins of names. In others, a single personal name may be insufficient, requiring …

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onomatopoeia - Examples and uses of onomatopoeia

The imitation of a natural (or mechanical) sound in language. This may be found in single words (screech, babble, tick-tock) or in longer units. It is especially heard in poetry, where Pope said that ‘The sound must give an echo to the sense’; for example, ‘the slithering and grumble/as the mason mixed his mortar’ (Seamus Heaney). Different languages have different potential in this respect. J…

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onsen - Onsen Characteristics, Onsen etiquette, Infections, Selected Onsen, References and Notes

A Japanese hot spring. The country's volcanic geography means there are many hot spring resorts, or spas, a favourite destination of private or company excursions. Onsen hotels can have public baths as large as swimming pools. An onsen (温泉) is a Japanese hot spring bath. The onsen is a Japanese public bathhouse (sento) with natural hot spring water. The onsen plays a…

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Ontario - Geography, Demographics, Climate, Economy, Transportation, Professional sports, Agriculture, Government

pop (2000e) 11 293 000; area 1 068 580 km²/412 578 sq mi. Province in SE Canada; boundaries include Hudson Bay (N), James Bay (NE), and USA (S), largely across the Great Lakes; rocky Canadian Shield in N, with clay belt suitable for farming; several rivers flow into Hudson and James Bays, the St Lawrence, and the Great Lakes; many lakes; N area sparsely populated, densely wooded; capital…

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ontological argument - Anselm's argument, A modern description of the argument, Criticisms and Objections, Revisionists

One of the traditional arguments for the existence of God, first developed by Anselm. God is defined as the being than which nothing greater can be conceived; something which exists must be greater than something which does not; therefore God must exist. In theology and the philosophy of religion, an ontological argument for the existence of God is an argument that God's existence can be pr…

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ontology - Some basic questions, Concepts, Early history of ontology, Subject, relationship, object, Body and environment

A central part of metaphysics: the theory of what sorts of things really exist. A materialist, for example, will argue that matter is the only fundamental existent, in terms of which everything else must be explained. In philosophy, ontology (from the Greek ὄν, genitive ὄντος: of being (part. It seeks to describe or posit the basic categories and relationships of being or existence…

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Oodgeroo Noonuccal - Publications

Poet and Aboriginal rights activist, born in Brisbane, Queensland, NE Australia. She was brought up with the Noonuccal tribe on Stradbroke I, Queensland, where many of the old Aboriginal customs survived. She became the first Aboriginal writer to be published in English, with her collection of poems We Are Going (1964), followed by The Dawn is at Hand (1966). She published a book of stories in tra…

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oolite

A limestone composed of ooliths, ie rounded grains made of concentric layers of radiating fibres of carbonate, usually aragonite or calcite. It is formed by the precipitation and growth of consecutive layers of carbonate on a nucleus of a sand or shell fragment, as it is moved about on a warm, shallow sea floor. Coarser oolites ( > 3 mm/? in diameter) are termed pisolites. Ooids are mos…

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Oort cloud - Oort cloud objects

A hypothesized source of the long-period comets; a spherical ‘halo’ about the Sun at a distance of c.50 000 AU; named after Dutch astronomer Jan Hendrik Oort (1900–92), who first noted the clustering of aphelia of new comets in this region. It is at the boundary of the Sun's gravitational sphere of influence, about a third of the distance to the nearest star. Comets are believed to have origi…

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Op Art - Historical Context, Origin of "Op", Exhibitions, Photographic Op art

An abbreviation for Optical Art, a modern art movement of the 1960s which exploited the illusionistic effects of abstract spiral or wavy patterns, stripes, spots, etc. Hungarian-born French painter Victor Vasarely (1908–97) and British painter Bridget Riley (1931– ) were leading exponents. Op art, also known as optical art, is used to describe some paintings and other works of art which u…

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opal - Precious opal, Common opal, Other varieties of opal, Sources of opal, Synthetic opal

A natural form of amorphous (non-crystalline) silica (SiO2), containing varying amounts of water, and formed at relatively low temperatures from solutions associated with igneous activity and supersaturated in silica. It is usually white, but gems have a characteristic play of rainbow colours. The best occurrences are in Australia. The mineraloid opal is amorphous SiO2·nH2O; Op…

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OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries)

An international economic organization set up in 1960 with its headquarters in Vienna; the longest-surviving major cartel, originally consisting of 13 oil-producing countries (now 11). The founder members were Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela; and they were later joined by Algeria, Ecuador (withdrew, 1992), Gabon (withdrew, 1996), Indonesia, Libya, Nigeria, Qatar, and the United Ara…

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open cluster - Historical observations, Formation, Morphology and classification, Numbers and distribution, Stellar composition, Eventual fate, Studying stellar evolution

A family of a few dozen to a few hundred relatively young stars (typically no more than a few hundred million years old) formed simultaneously and still physically close together; also called a galactic cluster. There are c.1000 in our Galaxy. Pleiades and Hyades are examples visible to the naked eye. An open cluster is a group of up to a few thousand stars that were formed from the same gi…

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open government - Quote, Trivia

A demand made by several groups in the 1970s and 1980s, particularly in the UK, for less secrecy in policy making. Such groups pressed for reform of the ‘catch-all’ Section 2 of the Official Secrets Act, and the introduction of a Freedom of Information Act. The UK government introduced reform proposals in the late 1980s, but critics argued that these were likely to prove even more restrictive. T…

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open systems interconnection (OSI)

An international standard for the definition of connections between computers, which allows computers of different makes and architectures to communicate with each other for the transfer of data. The organization committed to the establishment of software and standards to enable computers to fulfil these requirements is the Open Software Foundation (OSF). The Open Systems Interconnection (u…

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Open University - Aims, Foundation, Students, Teaching methods, Degrees, Business school, Research, Degree ceremonies, Notable current and former academics

An institution of higher education, such as has been established in a number of countries, which enables students to study for a degree without attendance. Courses are usually based on a credit system, and the student graduates when sufficient credits have been amassed. The teaching is frequently carried out through correspondence units and broadcast or taped supporting programmes, though often wi…

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opera - Operatic terminology, History, Operatic voices

A stage work in which music plays a continuous or substantial role. The genre originated in Chinese musical plays from the 10th-c, and in Europe at Florence c.1600, and was well established throughout Italy by the end of the 17th-c; by the middle of the 18th-c it had conquered most of W Europe. In Italy, opera, whether serious or comic, has usually been sung throughout; elsewhere other types have …

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operating system - Introduction, History, Today

A computer program which supervises the running of all other programs on a computer. Common microprocessor operating systems are CP/M, MS-DOS, and Microsoft Windows. Modern general-purpose computers, including personal computers and mainframes, have an operating system (a general purpose operating system) to run other programs, such as application software. Examples of operating syste…

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operetta - History

Light opera, with spoken dialogue and usually dancing, exemplified in the stage works of Offenbach, Strauss, and Sullivan. Operetta (literally, "little opera") is a performance art-form similar to opera, though it generally deals with less serious topics. Instead of moving from one musical number (literally so indicated in the scores) to another, the performers in operetta intersperse…

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operon - The operon as a unit of transcription, Promoter, Operator, Operon gene regulation, The lac operon

A group of closely linked genes which affect different steps in a single metabolic sequence and which function as an integrated unit. The term was introduced by the French geneticist, François Jacob, in 1960. An operon is a group of key nucleotide sequences including an operator, a common promoter, and one or more structural genes that are controlled as a unit to produce messenger RNA (mRN…

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Ophir - In fiction, Extenal Links

A land of unknown location, mentioned in the Bible as famous for its resources of gold; 1 Kings 9–10, 22 suggest that it was reached from Palestine by ship, so it is variously placed in Arabia, India, or E Africa. Solomon is said to have sent a fleet there from Ezion-Geber, but the fame of the ‘gold of Ophir’ is known also from archaeological inscriptions. Ophir (Hebrew: אוֹפִיר, …

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Ophiuchus - Notable features, Notable deep-sky objects, Astrology, Stars

A large constellation on the celestial equator, including several globular clusters and the nearby object, Barnard's star. Ophiuchus (IPA: /ˌəʊfiˈjuːkəs, ˌɒf-/), sometimes refered to as Serpentarius, is one of the 88 constellations, and was also one of the 48 listed by Ptolemy. The brightest stars in Ophiuchus include α Ophiuchi, called Rasalhague, at the figure's head;…

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ophthalmology - History of ophthalmology, Professional requirements, Sub-specialities, Ophthalmic surgery, Famous ophthalmologists

The branch of medical practice concerned with disorders and diseases of the eyes. It includes general or systemic diseases that may affect the eye, and their medical or surgical treatment. Ophthalmology is the branch of medicine which deals with the diseases and surgery of the visual pathways, including the eye and brain. The eye, including its structure and mechanism, has fasci…

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opinion poll - History of opinion polls, Potential for inaccuracy, Polling organizations, The influence of opinion polls

The taking of opinions from a sample of the electorate regarding their voting intentions, their views of political leaders, and wider political attitudes. They are also used to assess consumer preferences. Polls originated in the USA in the 1930s, and today are commonplace both at and between elections. Although based on small samples, if the sample is systematically drawn and representative of th…

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opium - Harvesting opium, Opium preparation, Chemical properties and physiological effects, Production today, History of opium, Medicinal uses

The dried extract of the unripe seed capsules of the opium poppy, Papaver somniferum, which contains several narcotic alkaloids, including morphine. It was used by many ancient cultures including the Babylonians, Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans for its properties of relieving pain, inducing sleep, and promoting psychological effects of peace and well-being. Opium is still occasionally used as an ant…

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opium poppy - Use as food, History, Photos

A bluish or greyish-green annual (Papaver somniferum) growing to 1 m/3¼ ft, native to Europe and Asia; leaves oblong, shallowly lobed, clasping stem; flowers 4-petalled; capsule pepper-pot shaped, with a ring of pores around the rim. In the garden form (subspecies hortense), the flowers are mauve with a dark centre; in the drug-producing form (subspecies somniferum), the flowers are white. Opiu…

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Opium Wars - The Growth of the Opium Trade (1650–1773), The East India Company (1773–1833)

Two wars (1839–42, 1856–60) between China and the Western powers, especially Britain, fought over the question of commercial rights in China, specifically relating to the opium trade. Imports of opium from Bengal were dominated by the British East India Company, and Chinese payments in silver helped to finance British India. When the Chinese attempted to stop the imports (1839), a British force …

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opposition (astronomy) - Superior and inferior

The moment when a planet is opposite the Sun, as observed in our sky. The planet crosses the meridian at local midnight, which is therefore the best time for observing. Opposition is a term used in positional astronomy and astrology to indicate when one celestial body is on the opposite side of the sky when viewed from a particular place (usually the Earth). A planet (or a…

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opposition (politics)

The right of parties and political movements not holding government office to criticize the government and seek to replace it by offering alternative policies. In democratic systems the Opposition normally consists of those parties which oppose the government through parliamentary channels, their activities being regarded as a necessary activity, and recognized in parliamentary and electoral proce…

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Oprah (Gail) Winfrey - Early life, Career and success, Personal life, Oprah's Legends Weekend, Wealth, Philanthropy, Influence

Television talk-show host, actor, and producer, born in Kosciusko, Mississippi, USA. After an unsettled childhood, she moved to Nashville and studied at Tennessee State University, beginning work as a radio reporter. She hosted her first TV chat-show in Baltimore in 1978, moving to Chicago in 1984, where she launched the highly successful Oprah Winfrey Show (1986– ), winner of 38 Emmy awards by 2…

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Ops

The Roman goddess of plenty, the consort of Saturn, identified with Rhea. OPS can also refer to a baseball term, On-base plus slugging. Ops (Latin: "Plenty") was a fertility deity and earth-goddess in Roman mythology of Sabine origin. Just as Saturn was identified with the Greek deity Cronus, Ops was identified with Rhea, Cronus' wife. In her statues and coins, Ops…

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optics - Classical optics, Modern optics, Other optical fields, Everyday optics, Wikibooks modules

The study of light and of instruments using light. The subject has a long history. Mirrors were used by the ancient Egyptians c.2000 BC, and Greek philosophers developed simple theories of light (the law of reflection being stated by Euclid in 300 BC). The Greeks also knew of lenses (burning glasses) and studied refraction. Optics was studied at the Chinese Imperial Medical College from AD 620. Th…

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optimum currency area - Criteria

The best area to have a common currency. Historically, most countries have had independent currencies, apart from a few exceptions such as Belgium and Luxembourg. It is however possible for countries to have a common currency, as is currently being introduced in parts of Europe. The merit of having a single currency in a wide area is that it makes trade, travel, and investment simpler, cheaper, an…

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optoelectronics - External Links

The study of the production and control of light by electronic devices, such as semiconductor lasers, liquid crystals, and light-emitting diodes. It provides the technology for electronic displays in watches and calculators, and the interconversion of optical and electronic signals in optical fibre communications. Electro-optics is often erroneously used as a synonym, but is in fact a wider…

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optometry - Optometric work, Licensing and education, Sub-specialities

The assessment of the function of the eye, with special reference to errors of refraction, and the provision of appropriate corrective lenses and spectacles. It also now includes the specialized examination of the eye to diagnose a wide range of defects, such as disorders of fields of vision; disorders affecting the lens, aqueous humour, and retina, as revealed by ophthalmoscopic examination; and …

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opuntia

A large genus of cacti with stems made up of flattened, spiny, pear-shaped segments; native to the Americas, but widely introduced elsewhere. They spread easily, forming impenetrable thickets and often becoming troublesome weeds. They are sometimes cultivated for their juicy fruits, or grown as hedging plants and ornamentals. Opuntia cochenillifera is a food plant for cochineal insects. (Genus: Op…

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Opus Dei - History, mission, and name, Catholic Church and Opus Dei, Opus Dei in society

The title of a Roman Catholic society, founded in 1928, to promote the exercise of Christian virtues by individuals in secular society. In some countries and at certain periods (eg Spain in the mid-20th-c) it acquired a measure of political power. The term was formerly used by the Benedictines, referring to the divine office, to express the duty of prayer. The Prelature of the Holy Cross an…

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oracle

Divine prophetic declarations about unknown or future events, or the places (such as Delphi) or inspired individuals (such as the Sibyls) through which such communications occur. In ancient Greek stories, these revelations were usually given in response to questions put to the gods. In Biblical traditions, however, oracles are sometimes distinguished from ‘prophecies’, in that the latter are uns…

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Oracle (computing)

A computer package for implementing relational databases, offering query-languages and CASE tools; also, the name of a company which markets the Oracle database and associated software. Oracles were common in many civilizations of antiquity. In China, the use of oracle bones dates as far back as the Shang Dynasty, (1600 BC - 1046 BC). The I Ching, or "Book of Changes", is a collection…

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Oracle (telecommunications)

The teletext system operated by the UK Independent Broadcasting Association (later, the Independent Television Commission) as a commercial service since 1981. The name is an acronym for Optional Reception of Announcements by Coded Line Electronics. In 1993 it was renamed Teletext on 3, and later became known as ITV-text or just Teletext. Oracles were common in many civilizations of antiquit…

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oral history - Usage, Polybiography

The means of discovering information about the past by interviewing subjects, a technique increasingly used since the 1970s by social historians and anthropologists to augment the written record, especially in areas where ‘orthodox’ sources are deficient or unobtainable. Some argue that oral history is now a discipline in its own right, rather than simply a means of acquiring information. …

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Oran - History, Oran today, Culture, Fiction

35°45N 0°38W, pop (2000e) 850 900. Seaport in Oran department, N Algeria, N Africa; 355 km/221 mi W of Algiers; founded 8th-c; first ruled by Arabs, then Spaniards (1509–1708), Turks (1708–32), and French (1831–1962); landing point for Allied forces in World War 2; former French naval base nearby at Mers el Kabir; university (1965); airport; railway; iron, textiles, food processing, footw…

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Oran Page

Jazz musician, born in Dallas, Texas, USA. He was a trumpeter and blues singer who appeared with Walter Page, Bennie Moten, and Count Basie before leading his own New York-based orchestra (1937–8). In 1941–2 he was a featured sideman with Artie Shaw, and he freelanced afterwards. Oran Thaddeus Page (Dallas, Texas, 27 January 1908 – 4 November 1954 in New York City) jazz trumpeter, singe…

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orange

A citrus fruit 7–10 cm/2¾–4 in diameter, globular with thick, often rough rind. The familiar edible fruit is the sweet orange (Citrus sinensis). The Seville orange (Citrus aurantium) has sour fruits, and is cooked for marmalade. Bergamot orange (Citrus bergamia) is grown as a source of bergamot oil, obtained from the rind of the yellow fruit, and oil of Neroli from the flowers. (Genus: Citrus…

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Orange (France)

44°08N 4°48E, pop (2000e) 29 400. Town in Vaucluse department, SE France, on the R Rhône, N of Avignon; market centre, glass, food processing; developed around a group of Roman monuments, now a world heritage site; vast well-preserved theatre, with 4 m/12 ft statue of Augustus (probably late 1st-c BC); 18 m/60 ft-high triumphal arch, commemorating Julius Caesar's victories over local Gaul…

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Orange (Massachusetts)

42º35N 72º20W, pop (2000e) 7500. Town in Franklin Co, Massachusetts, USA; founded, 1783; incorporated, 1810; named for William, Prince of Orange; birthplace of Robert N Anthony; mainly a farming town (1780–1840) until various industries were founded along the banks of the Millers R, including the New Home Sewing Machine Co (late 1800s) and the first automobile factory in the US (1900). …

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Orange (New Jersey)

40º46N 74º14W, pop (2000e) 32 900. Town in Essex Co, NE New Jersey, USA; residential suburb, located 6 km/4 mi WNW of Newark; birthplace of Kenneth H Blanchard, Carl N Degler, Henry Steel Olcott, Dickinson W Richards; railway. In business: In Dutch nobility: In sports: In American geography: In South African geography In othe…

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Orange River - Geography, Water catchment, Miscellaneous

River in Lesotho, South Africa, and Namibia; rises in the Drakensberg Mts in NE Lesotho, and flows S into South Africa, then generally W and NW, following the border between South Africa and Namibia, to enter the Atlantic Ocean at Alexander Bay; length 2100 km/1300 mi; dammed in several places as part of the Orange River Project (begun 1963) to provide irrigation and power. The Orange Riv…

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oratorio - Subject, Structure, List of notable oratorios

A non-liturgical, quasi-dramatic sacred work, usually for solo voices, chorus, and orchestra. It takes its name from the Italian ‘prayer-hall’ in which the earliest oratorios were performed in the mid-17th-c, but until c.1750 it existed also in secular settings as an alternative to the serenata and opera, especially during Lent. Handel's oratorios, originally performed in the London theatres, re…

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oratory - Speech, Place of worship

The art and practice of public speaking. Effective oratory requires that the choice of language, its style, and mode of delivery should be appropriate for a given audience, location, and occasion. Its major forms (legal, political, ceremonial) can be traced back to earliest times, notably to the Greek orators of the 4th-c BC (eg Demosthenes), and the Roman orators of the 1st-c BC (eg Cicero). Othe…

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Orazio Gentileschi - Biography, Works

Painter, born in Pisa, W Italy. He settled in England in 1626, the first Italian painter called to England by Charles I, having been patronized by the Vatican and the Medicis in Genoa. He was responsible for the decoration of the Queen's House at Greenwich (partly transferred to Marlborough House), and painted ‘The Discovery of Moses’ (Madrid), ‘The Flight into Egypt’ (Louvre), and ‘Joseph an…

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orchestra - Instrumentation and proportions, Organization, History of the orchestra, Conductorless orchestras, Multiple Conductors, Other meanings

Originally the name for the semi-circular space in front of a stage, later extended to the body of instrumentalists that performed there. Large instrumental ensembles were often used in the Renaissance period, but these were not orchestras in the modern sense of a regular constituted body of string players, with additional woodwind, brass, and percussion as required. Opera ‘orchestras’ in the mi…

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orchestration - Orchestration, arrangement and instrumentation, Dedicated orchestrators, Posthumous Orchestration, Bibliography

The scoring of a piece of music for the instruments of the orchestra. The study of orchestration as a discipline separate from composition originated in the 19th-c, when one of the most influential treatises was written on the subject by Berlioz (1843). Orchestration is the study and practice of adapting music for an orchestra or musical ensemble. According to the Harvard Dictionary of Musi…

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Orde (Charles) Wingate - Beginnings, Palestine and the Special Night Squads, Abyssinia and the Gideon Force, Burma and the Chindits

British general, born in Naini Tal, NE India. He trained at Woolwich, was commisioned in 1922, and served in the Sudan (1928–33) and Palestine (1936–9), where he helped create a Jewish defence force. In the Burma theatre (1942) he organized the Chindits - specially trained jungle-fighters drawn from British, Ghurka, and Burmese forces, who were supplied by air, and thrust far behind the enemy li…

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Order of Merit (OM) - Current members

In the UK, a decoration for those who have provided pre-eminent service to the country; the letters OM may be used after their name. Instituted by Edward VII in 1902 and limited to 24 members, it comprises a military and a civil class. The ribbon is blue and scarlet. The Order of Merit is a British and Commonwealth Order bestowed by the Monarch. As of November 2006 there are three vacancies…

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order of reaction

The dependence of a rate of reaction on the concentration of a reactant. If a rate of reaction varies directly with the concentration of one reactant, the reaction is said to be first order; if with the square of the concentration, second order; and so on. The overall order of reaction is the sum of the orders with respect to each reactant. The Order of reaction with respect to a certain re…

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Ordnance Datum (OD)

The mean sea level in the UK, used as a fixed reference from which the elevations of all points in the country are surveyed. It was determined by hourly measurements of sea level made between 1915 and 1921 at Newlyn, Cornwall. The equivalent in the USA is the Sea Level Datum, calculated from the mean sea level for the whole US coastal area. In the British Isles, an Ordnance Datum or OD is a…

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ore - Important ore minerals

A mineral deposit from which metallic and non-metallic constituents can be extracted. Ores may be formed directly from crystallizing magma, or precipitated from hydrothermal fluids associated with igneous activity or concentrated in alluvial deposits after weathering. An ore is a volume of rock containing components or minerals in a mode of occurrence which renders it valuable for mining. H…

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Oregon - History, Geography, Law and government, Economy, Demographics, Education, Professional sports teams, State symbols, Notes and references

pop (2000e) 3 421 400; area 251 409 km²/97 073 sq mi. State in NW USA, divided into 36 counties; the ‘Beaver State’; established as a fur-trading post on the site of the present town of Astoria, 1811; occupied by both Britain and the USA, 1818–46, when the international boundary was settled on the 49th parallel; became a territory, 1848; joined the Union as the 33rd state, 1859; popula…

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Oregon boundary dispute - Joint occupation, Election of 1844, Slogans and war crisis, Resolution and treaty, Historical maps

A disagreement between the British and US governments over the frontier between respective possessions on the W coast of North America. Britain claimed the NW drainage of the Columbia R to its mouth at Fort Vancouver, while the US sought a much more northerly boundary. The Oregon Treaty (1846) settled on the 49th parallel, dipping S at Juan de Fuca Strait to maintain British claims to Vancouver Is…

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Oregon Trail - History, Routes, Landmarks, Travel equipment, Music, Trivia, Historical Literature

The main route for emigration to the far W of the USA in the 1840s. The trail began at Independence, Missouri, crossed the Rockies at South Pass in Wyoming, and terminated at the mouth of the Columbia R. The Oregon Trail was one of the key overland migration routes on which pioneers traveled across the North American continent in wagons in order to settle new parts of the United States …

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Orel

52º58N 36º04E, pop (2001e) 344 100. Capital city of Orel province, W Russia; fertile region at the confluence of the rivers Oka and Orlik, 382 km/237 mi SW of Moscow; founded (1556) as a fortress; became centre of Orel province (1778); during 1860s it served as a place of exile for Polish insurgents, and later a jail was built to house prisoners on their way to Siberia; birthplace of Ivan Tu…

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Oreste Baratieri - Early career

Italian general, born in Condino, Trentino, N Italy. He fought with Garibaldi, then served in the Italian army in Africa from 1887, becoming first commander-in-chief and then governor of Eritrea (1892). He was defeated at Amba Alagi (1895), Macallè (1896), and Adua (1896) for which he was court martialled but acquitted. In 1898 he published Memorie d'Africa 1892–1896. Oreste Baratieri (n

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Orestes (Augustus) Brownson

Writer and religious thinker, born in Stockbridge, Vermont, USA. Largely self-educated and zealously devoted to social and religious reform, he was successively a Presbyterian, a Universalist minister, and a Unitarian pastor, before founding his own sect (1836), and was also associated with the transcendentalist movement. In 1838 he founded and became editor of the Boston (later Brownson's ) Quart…

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organ

The name of various types of musical instruments, but without further qualification referring to an instrument in which air from a windchest, fed by bellows, is released under pressure into metal or wooden pipes of various lengths and bores by the action of keys operated by the player's fingers or feet. The ranks of pipes, which vary in pitch, volume, and timbre according to their length, material…

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organic architecture

A conception of architecture in which elements are placed in harmony rather than in juxtaposition with each other. It usually involves the rejection of classical notions of a given set of rules or solutions, and instead treats form as something latently present in the problem at hand. In particular, it is concerned with the relation of human beings and the building to the rest of nature. Stylistic…

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organic chemistry - Historic highlights, Classification of organic substances, Characteristics of organic substances, Molecular structure elucidation, Organic reactions

That part of chemistry which deals specifically with the structures and reactions of the compounds of carbon. Since carbon has a tendency to form chains and rings to a far greater extent than other elements, its compounds are much more numerous than those of the other elements. Organic chemistry is a specific discipline within the subject of chemistry. It is the scientific study of the stru…

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organic farming - Overview, History, Methods, Productivity, Issues, The future

Farming without synthetic chemical fertilizers, sprays, or pharmaceuticals. Fertility is maintained through the addition of animal manures and composts, and through rotations which include nitrogen-fixing plants such as clover. Weeds and diseases are controlled through rotations and cultivations, including hand weeding. In some countries there is a premium market for certified organic produce, inc…

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Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE)

A political grouping first established in 1975 and which came to prominence after the European political revolution of 1989–90. Its purpose is conflict prevention, crisis management, and post-conflict rehabilitation. It embraces Europe, USA, and Canada (with Albania the only European non-participant). Its secretariat opened in Prague in 1991. There were 55 members in 2006. The Chairman in …

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Organization of American States (OAS) - History, Goals and purpose, Membership and adhesions

A regional agency established in 1948 for the purpose of co-ordinating the work of a variety of inter-American agencies, recognized within the terms of the United Nations Charter. The organization operates through the Inter-American Conference, which meets every 5 years to decide issues of policy; consultative meetings of foreign ministers, which decide on more pressing matters; a council of repre…

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Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OAPEC)

An organization formed under the umbrella of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) in 1968 by Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Libya, with its headquarters in Kuwait. By 1972 all the Arab oil producers had joined. The Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries or OAPEC is a multi-governmental organization headquartered in Kuwait which coordinates energy policies in Arab …

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Organization of Central American States

An agency established in 1951 by Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua (Panama refused to join) to promote economic, social, and cultural co-operation. In 1965 this was extended to include political and educational co-operation. The organization has also been involved in legal reform. The Organization of Central American States Spanish: Organización de Estados Centroa…

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organum - History, References and further reading

An early type of mediaeval polyphony in which one or more parts were added to a plainchant, moving mainly in parallel intervals with it. The first document to describe organum specifically, and give rules for its performance, was the Musica enchiriadis (c. This kind of organum is now usually called parallel organum, although terms such as sinfonia were used in early treatises. S…

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Orhan Pamuk - Biography, Nobel Prize, Criminal case, Bibliography in Turkish, Awards

Novelist and writer, born in Istanbul, Turkey. Born into a wealthy industrialist family, he studied architecture at the Istanbul Technical University but left to join the University of Istanbul Institute of Journalism, graduating in 1976. His first novel, Cevdet Bey and His Sons (1982), is the story of three generations of a wealthy Istanbul family living in Nisantasi, his own home district. He be…

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Oriana Fallaci - Career, Controversy, Awards, Books by Oriana Fallaci

Journalist and writer, born in Florence, Tuscany, NC Italy. She studied at Colombia College in Chicago, and later lectured there and at other US universities. She wrote for a number of leading newspapers and was for many years a special correspondent for the political magazine L'Europeo. Her literary reputation was established with the novels Lettera a un bambino mai nato (1975, Letter to a Child …

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orienteering - History, Basics, Map and control details, Equipment and clothing, Race types, Mountain bike orienteering, Ski orienteering

A form of cross-country running with the aid of a map and compass. The sport was devised by Swedish youth leader Ernst Killander in 1918, and based on military training techniques. Popular in the Nordic countries, it developed as an international sport in the 1960s. Competitors have to reach specifically designated control points on the course by using their map and compass, and skill in using the…

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origami - History, Paper and other materials, Mathematics of origami, Technical origami, Authors of books about origami

The art of making models of animals or other objects by folding sheets of paper into shapes with the minimum use of scissors or other implements. It originated in the 10th-c AD in Japan, where it is widely practised. In many countries, it is used primarily as an educational aid for young children. Origami (Japanese: 折り紙 ori, to fold, and kami, paper lit. "folding paper") is the art of…

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Origen - Life, Works, Views, Character, Origen's influence on the later Church, Reference

Christian biblical scholar and theologian of Alexandria, N Egypt, who became head of the catechetical school in Alexandria. He was a layman until c.230, when he was ordained in Palestine. Exiled from Alexandria by Bishop Demetrius, he established a new school in Caesarea. He was imprisoned and tortured during the persecution under Decius in 250. His writings were prolific, but his views on the uni…

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original sin - The original sin (the Fall), Disputes concerning original sin, Original sin (Christian doctrine)

The traditional Christian doctrine that, by virtue of the Fall, every human being inherits a ‘flawed’ or ‘tainted’ nature in need of regeneration and with a disposition to sinful conduct. There have been various interpretations of the Fall and humanity's sinful condition, ranging from the literal to various symbolic accounts. According to Christian tradition, original sin is the general…

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oriole - Species

A bird of the Old World family Oriolidae (Old World orioles, 28 species) or the New World family Icteridae (American orioles, c.90 species). The name is also used for the oriole finch (Family: Fringillidae). Orioles are colourful Old World passerine birds in the family Oriolidae. …

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Orion (astronomy) - Composing Stars

Perhaps the most conspicuous of all constellations, although only 26th in size. Equatorial, and thus visible in both hemispheres, it is a dominant sight in the mid-winter sky of the N hemisphere. Its brightest stars are Rigel, the seventh-brightest star in our sky, one of the most luminous of all stars (distance 237 parsec), and Betelgeuse, a red supergiant, somewhat variable in luminosity, over 5…

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Orion (mythology) - Modern interpretations, Ancestry, origins, birth, Orion and Merope, Orion at Lemnos, Orion and Eos

In Greek mythology, a gigantic hunter, beloved by Eos and killed by Artemis. He was changed into a constellation, and this generated further astronomical stories - for example, that he pursues the Pleiades. The gigantic figure of Orion (Greek Ὠρίων) of Greek mythology, provided the archetype of the primordial hunter in Greek culture. Orion was beloved of Eos, the Dawn, and was slain …

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Orissa - Geography, Culture, History, Ancient names of Orissa, Key historic and prehistoric sites, Prehistoric cave painting sites

pop (2001e) 36 706 900; area 155 782 km²/60 132 sq mi. State in E India, bounded E by the Bay of Bengal; ceded to the Marathas, 1751; taken by the British, 1803; subdivision of Bengal until 1912, when province of Bihar and Orissa created; separate province, 1936; became a state, 1950; capital, Bhubaneswar; governed by a 147-member Legislative Assembly; R Mahanadi dammed to form the Hiraka…

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Orlando

28°33N 81°23W, pop (2000e) 186 000. Seat of Orange Co, C Florida, USA; settled c.1844; airfield; railway; tourism, aerospace, and electronic industries, trade in citrus fruit and vegetables; Walt Disney World. Orlando may refer to: …

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Orlando Bloom - Selected filmography

Actor, born in Canterbury, Kent, SE England, UK. He studied at the British American Drama Academy in London and the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, and went on to gain small parts on television and an appearance in the 1997 film Wilde. He became well known following his film role as the warrior elf Legolas Greenleaf in The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–3). Other films include Black Hawk Do…

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Orlando Gibbons

Composer, born in Oxford, Oxfordshire, SC England, UK. He studied at Cambridge, and c.1615 was appointed organist of the Chapel Royal, London, and in 1623 of Westminster Abbey. His compositions include services, anthems, and madrigals (notably The Silver Swan), and also hymns, fantasies for viols, and music for virginals. Orlando Gibbons (baptised December 25, 1583 – June 5, 1625) was an …

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Ornette Coleman - Early career, The Shape of Jazz to Come, Free Jazz, 1960s, Later career, Legacy

Jazz musician, born in Fort Worth, Texas, USA. An iconoclastic saxophonist and composer, his experiments in free-form improvization sharply divided the jazz establishment upon his emergence in 1959. Largely self-taught, he played in rhythm-and-blues bands before settling in Los Angeles (1951), where he gradually formed a quartet of musicians who were receptive to his unorthodox ideas. He first rec…

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ornithology - History of ornithology, National associations and societies, Publications and magazines, People, Other Meanings

The study of birds. It includes observations on the evolutionary relationships of the different groups, the distribution of species and populations, ecology, conservation, migration, behaviour of individuals, birdsong, anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, and genetics. More than most other scientific disciplines, ornithology has benefited from the enthusiastic involvement of amateurs and the co-ordi…

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orogeny - Physiography

A period of mountain-building involving intense deformation and subsequent uplift of rocks when crustal plates collide. The plate boundaries define an orogenic belt which forms a fold-mountain chain. Metamorphism and igneous intrusion take place at depth in the orogenic belt. Examples include the Pacific belt, where the continental crust collides with the oceanic crust, and the Himalayas, which re…

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Oromo - History, Notable Oromos, Further reading

A cluster of Cushitic-speaking peoples of Ethiopia and N Kenya; the largest group in Ethiopia, their former name Galla (Amharic: ‘slave’) is no longer in official use. Traditionally pastoralists, the groups in N Ethiopia are farmers, while the S Oromo are still cattle herders. The S Oromo have preserved much of their traditional social organization and religion; the N Oromo have mostly become Ch…

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Orpheus - Overview, Genealogy, The Argonautic expedition, Death of Eurydice, Death of Orpheus, Orphic poems and rites

A legendary Greek poet from Thrace, able to charm beasts and even stones with the music of his lyre. In this way he obtained the release of his wife Eurydice from Hades. He was killed by the maenads, and his head, still singing, floated to Lesbos. In Greek legend, Orpheus (Greek: Ὀρφεύς) was the chief representative of the arts of song and the lyre, and of great importance in the rel…

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Orseolo

An aristocratic Venetian family that produced four doges. Pietro I (doge from 976), who became a saint. Pietro II (doge from 991), who conquered Dalmatia in 1000. The family's influence petered out with Ottone (doge from 1009), who defeated the patriarch of Aquileia, but was exiled in 1026. Domenico was doge for just a day. Orseolo, the name of a Venetian family, three members of which fill…

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orthoclase

A form of the mineral potassium feldspar; usually pink and a primary constituent of granite. …

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orthographic projection - First-angle projection, Third-angle projection, Additional information, Multiviews without rotation

A system of related two-dimensional views of an object with all lines drawn to scale. The object is considered to be enclosed within a glass box, and the drawing consists of the three views observed through (or projected onto) the top, front, and side of the box, which is then unfolded to give a flat sheet containing the three views. The view through (or on) the top of the box is known as the plan…

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Orthoptera

An order of medium to large insects found in all terrestrial habitats, from soil burrows to tree canopies; hindlegs usually modified for jumping; forewings leathery or parchment-like; many produce sound by rubbing their limbs or wings (stridulation). The Orthoptera are an order of insects with incomplete metamorphosis, including the grasshoppers, crickets and locusts. …

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oryx

A grazing antelope with very long slender horns; pale with striking white and dark markings on face and underparts; three species: the oryx (also known as the Cape oryx, beisa oryx, fringe-eared oryx, or gemsbok) (Oryx gazella) and the scimitar or white oryx (Oryx dammah), both from Africa; and the Arabian or white oryx (Oryx leucoryx) from the Middle East. An Oryx is one of three or four l…

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Osaka - History, Attractions, Transport, Wards, Demographics, Economy, Major companies based in Osaka, Education, Culture

34°40N 135°30E, pop (2000e) 2 672 000. Port capital of Osaka prefecture, S Honshu, Japan, on NE shore of Osaka-wan Bay; one of the power centres of Hideyoshi, and then during the Tokugawa shogunate, 17th–19th-c; major shipping and trade developments from 18th-c; leading centre for traditional puppet theatre (bunraku); focus of abortive peasant revolt, 1837; city almost completely destroyed i…

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Osama bin Laden - Family and childhood, Appearance and manner, Military and militant activity, Criminal charges and attempted extradition

Wealthy Saudi guerrilla leader, born in Riyadh of a Yemeni family. After succeeding in business he moved to Afghanistan, where he supported and supplied the Mujahideen fighting against the Soviet occupation. He then founded al-Qaeda and called for a jihad against the ‘Judao-Christian alliance occupying Islamic sacred land in Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula’. In 1991 he moved to the Sudan, fr…

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Osami Nagano

Admiral of the Japanese navy, born in Kochi, S Japan. He studied law at Harvard, and served as naval attaché in Washington (1920–3). Promoted rear-admiral in 1928, he was superintendent of the Naval Academy (1928–9). As head of the Japanese delegation to the 2nd London Naval Conference (1935–6), he advocated the expansion of Japanese naval power. He was navy minister (1936–7), commander-in-ch…

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Osborne Reynolds - Achievements

Engineer, born in Belfast, NE Northern Ireland, UK. He studied at Cambridge, became the first professor of engineering at Manchester (1868), and a Royal Society gold medallist (1888). Best known for his work in hydrodynamics and hydraulics, he greatly improved centrifugal pumps. The Reynolds number, a dimensionless ratio characterizing the dynamic state of a fluid, takes its name from him. …

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Oscar

The familiar name for the statuette awarded annually by the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for outstanding performances and creative and technical achievement in films shown during the preceding year. There are many accounts of the origin of the name, all speculative: in one account, it arose when a secretary at the Academy said that the figure reminded her of her Uncle Oscar…

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Oscar (Emmanuel) Peterson - Awards and recognitions, Quotes, Trivia, Discography

Jazz pianist and composer, born in Montreal, Quebec, SE Canada. He could already play the piano when he began formal studies at six, his extraordinary keyboard facility winning him numerous awards and making him a local celebrity. In 1949 he became an international star when he joined a concert tour called ‘Jazz at the Philharmonic’ in New York. He travels globally, and has probably recorded mor…

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Oscar (Fingal O'Flahertie Wills) Wilde - Biography, Biographies, Oscar Wilde in modern popular culture, Bibliography

Writer, born in Dublin, Ireland, the son of Sir William Wilde. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and at Oxford, and established himself among the social and literary circles in London. He was celebrated for his wit and flamboyant manner, and became a leading member of the ‘art for art's sake’ movement. His early work included Poems (1881), the novel The Picture of Dorian Gray (1891), and se…

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Oscar (Luigi) Scalfaro

Italian politician and president (1992–9), born in Novara, Piedmont, Italy. He was a leader of the Azione Cattolica (Catholic Action) movement, a member of the Constituent Assembly (1946), then a deputy. He served as minister for transport (1966–8, 1972), education (1972–3), and the interior (1983–7), before becoming president. Baron Oscar Luigi Scàlfaro ['skalfaro] (born in Novara, Se…

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Oscar (Theodore) Broneer - Biography

Archaeologist, born in Backebo, Sweden. In 1913 he emigrated to the USA where he earned his PhD in 1931. His dissertation was a study of the Roman Odeum at Corinth. A professor of archaeology at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens (1940–52), and at the University of Chicago (1949–60), he spent much of his career at Corinth and his study of Corinthian terracotta lamps produced the …

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Oscar (Wilder) Underwood

US representative and senator, born in Louisville, Kentucky, USA. He practised law in Birmingham before serving as a Democrat in the US House of Representatives (1897–1915). His fight with William Jennings Bryan over tariff reductions in 1911 cost him the critical votes in the 1912 presidential convention. In the US Senate (1915–27) he masterminded wartime appropriations. A second bid for the pr…

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Oscar de la Renta - Early Years, Clothing Line, Awards, Honors, Philanthropic Endeavors, Citizenship, Marriages

Fashion designer, born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. After studying art in Santo Domingo and Madrid, he worked at Balenciaga's couture house in Madrid. He joined the house of Lanvin-Castille in Paris in 1961, but after two years went to Elizabeth Arden in New York City. In 1965 he started his own company. He has a reputation for opulent, ornately trimmed clothes, particularly evening dress…

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Oscar Handlin - Works

Historian, born in New York City, New York, USA. He taught at Harvard University (1938), and his doctoral thesis, Boston's Immigrants 1790–1865 (1941), updated as The Uprooted (1951), won a Pulitzer Prize and established him as an authority on immigration. With his wife, sociologist Mary Flug Handlin, he wrote Commonwealth (1947). Other works include Race and Nationality in American Life (1957) a…

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Oscar Howe

Yankton Sioux painter, born in Joe Creek, South Dakota, USA. He served as art director at the Pierre Indian School (1953–7) in South Dakota, and as professor and artist-in-residence at the University of South Dakota (1957–81). His many exhibitions and illustrated books won numerous wards, and in 1960 he was named South Dakota Artist Laureate. During the 1930s he was employed by the Works …

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Oscar Levant - Life, Filmography, Memoirs, Quotes, Work on Broadway

Pianist and actor, born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA. He studied composition with Schoenberg, but his close friendship with Gershwin was the determining factor in his career, becoming as a pianist one of the foremost Gershwin interpreters. At the same time, he had an active career as a screen and radio humorist and author, his films including An American in Paris (1951), and his books includin…

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Oscar Micheaux - Bibliography, Filmography

Film producer, born in Metropolis, Illinois, USA. He worked as a Pullman porter, farmer, and rancher and wrote novels before he produced the first motion pictures for African-American audiences (from 1919). During the 1920s he produced Within Our Gates, a treatment of the Leo Frank lynching in Atlanta, GA; The Brute, featuring the black boxer Sam Langford; The Symbol of the Unconquered, an indictm…

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Oscar Niemeyer - Early life, First works, The Pampulha project, The 1940s and 1950s, Brasília, Exile and projects overseas

Architect, born in Rio de Janeiro, SE Brazil. He studied at the National School of Fine Arts in Brazil and began work in the office of Lucio Costa (1935). From 1936 to 1943 he joined Costa and others to design the ministry of education and public health buildings in Rio, including a period with Le Corbusier as consultant architect. With Costa he designed the Brazilian Pavilion at the New York Worl…

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Oscar Robertson - The 1960 Olympics, Professional career

Basketball player, born in Charlotte, Tennessee USA. A three-time college player of the year at the University of Cincinnati (1958–60), he co-captained the 1960 US Olympic team to a gold medal. He played guard for the Cincinnati Royals (1960–70) and Milwaukee Bucks (1970–4), where he was a nine-time All-NBA (National Basketball Association) first-team selection. His total of 9887 lifetime assis…

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Oscar Stanton De Priest

US representative, born in Florence, Alabama, USA. The son of freed slaves, he moved north as a boy after a neighbour was lynched. Working as a painter in Chicago at 17, he had his own decorating firm by 1905. A Republican realtor, he became the first black member of the City Council (1915–17), resigning because of alleged mob connections. A shrewd politician, he fought against Jim Crow laws in t…

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Oscar Zariski - Education, Johns Hopkins University years, Harvard University years, Awards and recognition, Sources

Mathematician, born in Kobrin, Belarus (formerly, Russia). Emigrating to the USA to teach at Johns Hopkins (1927), he later joined the Harvard faculty (1969) and specialized in algebraic geometry, modern algebra, and topology. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, he received the National Medal of Science (1965) and the Cole Prize. Oscar Zariski (24 April 1899 - 4 July 1986) was a B…

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Osceola - Birth and early life, Resistance and war leader, Captured by deceit, Relics of Osceola, In literature

Seminole Indian leader, born in Georgia, USA. Although not a chief, he took the lead in opposing all efforts to remove the Seminole from their Florida homeland. His warriors' killing of a US agent in 1835 touched off the second Seminole War, and he led his people in actively resisting the Federal forces. He was seized under a flag of truce and imprisoned in Fort Moultrie, South Carolina, where he …

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oscillation - Simple systems, Damped, driven and self-induced oscillations, Coupled oscillations, Continuous systems - waves

A repetitive periodic change. Electrical currents in radio receivers oscillate, for example. Mechanical oscillations, such as those in a building caused by passing traffic or in a plucked guitar string, are usually called vibrations. The simplest mechanical oscillating system is a mass, subject to the force of gravity, attached to a linear spring. The specific dynamics of this s…

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Osiris - Early mythology, Mystery religion, Osiris in popular culture

Ancient Egyptian god, the husband of Isis. Originally he was the king of Egypt; his brother Seth murdered him and scattered the pieces of his body. These were collected by Isis; and Osiris, given renewed life, was made the king of the Underworld. After the cult of the dead was developed during the Middle Kingdom, Osiris was seen as the judge of the soul after death. For other uses, see Osir…

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Oskar Kokoschka

Artist and writer, born in Pöchlarn, NC Austria. He studied at Vienna, and taught at the Dresden Academy of Art (1919–24). He travelled widely, and painted many Expressionist landscapes in Europe. In 1938 he fled to England, and became naturalized in 1947. From 1953 he lived in Switzerland. Oskar Kokoschka (March 1, 1886-February 22, 1980) was an Austrian artist and poet of Czech origin, …

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Oskar Lafontaine - Political rise, Chancellor candidacy, Political comeback, Minister of Finance

West German politician, born in Saarlouis, SW Germany. He studied at Bonn University, became leader of the Saar regional branch of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) in 1977, and served as Mayor of Saarbrücken (1976–85). He was elected as minister-president of the Saarland State Assembly in 1985, and in 1987 was appointed a deputy chairman of the SPD's federal organization and chairman in 1995. I…

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Oskar Maria Graf - Life, Works

Writer born in Berg, near Starnberg, S Germany. A conscientious objector in World War 1 and a participant in the Bavarian Revolution, he emigrated to the USA in 1938, becoming naturalized in 1958. His writing, some of which is in dialect, concentrates on life in the Bavarian countryside, and includes Kalender-Geschichten (2 vols, 1929, 1957). Far from idealizing country life, he seeks rather to at…

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Oskar Schlemmer

Painter, sculptor, designer, dancer, and theorist, born in Stuttgart, SW Germany. He was on the faculty of the Bauhaus (1919–33), where he developed his notions of theatre as a mix of colour, light, form, space, and motion. Using puppet-like human figures as the centrepiece, he called his experimental productions ‘architectonic dances’. The best-known was ‘Triadic Ballet’ (three versions: 191…

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Oslo - Name, History, Geography and climate, Main sights, Shopping, Politics and government, Administrative divisions, Economy

59°55N 10°45E, pop (2000e) 483 000. Capital city of Norway, at the head of Oslo Fjord, SE Norway; founded, 11th-c; under the influence of the Hanseatic League, 14th-c; destroyed by fire, 1624; rebuilt by Christian IV of Denmark and Norway and renamed Christiania; cultural revival, 19th-c; capital, 1905; renamed Oslo, 1925; bishopric; airports; railway; university (1811); metalworking, foodstuf…

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Osman I - Reference

Founder of the Ottoman Turkish empire, born in Bithynia. The son of a border chief, he founded a small Turkish state in Asia Minor called Osmanli (Ottoman). On the overthrow of the Seljuk sultanate of Iconium in 1299 by the Mongols, he gradually subdued a great part of Asia Minor. Osman I (1258–1326) (Ottoman: عثمان بن أرطغرل) was born in 1258 and inherited the title bey (chi…

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osmotic pressure - Applications

The pressure that must be exerted on a solution containing a given concentration of solute separated from a sample of the pure solvent by a membrane permeable only to the solvent, in order to prevent the solvent's passage through the membrane from solvent to solution. It is usually directly proportional to the concentration, and thus may be used to determine the molecular weights of unknown solute…

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osprey - Description, Classification, Behaviour, Conservation, Popular culture

A large bird of prey (Pandion haliaetus), inhabiting sea coasts or inland waters worldwide, also known as fish hawk or fish eagle; dives on fish, grasping them in its talons; soles of feet have spines to aid grip. (Family: Pandionidae.) The Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) is a medium large raptor which is a specialist fish-eater with a worldwide distribution. An unusual bird with no …

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Ossie Davis - Filmography

Actor, playwright, and director, born in Cogdell, Georgia, USA. Interested in literature from an early age, he finished school at the height of the Depression, and although offered scholarships to Savannah State College and Tuskegee Institute in Alabama he was unable to accept. Later he was able to take up a place at Howard University in Washington (1935) where he began acting with a Harlem theatr…

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Ossip (Solomonovitch) Gabrilowitsch - Works, Media

Pianist and conductor, born in St Petersburg, Russia. After a solo career in Europe and America, he became conductor of the Detroit Symphony (1918), but is mainly remembered as a matinee-idol pianist. Ossip Gabrilowitsch (Осип Соломонович Габрилович, Osip Salomonovich Gabrilovich; 26 January/n.s 7 February 1878 – 14 September 1936) was a Russian-born American pian…

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Ossip Zadkine

Sculptor, born in Smolensk, W Russia. He settled in Paris in 1909, and developed an individual Cubist style, making effective use of the play of light on concave surfaces, as in ‘The Three Musicians’ (1926), ‘Orpheus’ (1940), and the war memorial in Rotterdam, entitled ‘The Destroyed City’ (1952). Ossip Zadkine (July 14, 1890 – November 25, 1967) was an artist and sculptor. …

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Ostend - History, Famous citizens of Ostend, Sport clubs

51°13N 2°55E, pop (2000e) 69 700. Seaport in West Flanders province, W Belgium, on the North Sea coast; principal ferry port for UK (Dover and Folkestone); most important seaport and largest seaside resort in Belgium; headquarters of the Belgian fishing fleet; railway; shipbuilding, fish processing, soap; spa resort, promenade, casino, racecourse, Chalet Royal; Blessing of the Sea (Jul). …

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osteoarthritis - Signs and symptoms, Causes of osteoarthritis, Treatment, Prognosis

A common disease of joints of humans and other animals; also known as osteoarthrosis. Over 80% of those over middle age are affected. The condition is a primary degeneration and disintegration of the articular cartilage, which tends to affect the weight-bearing joints such as the hips; but no joint is immune. The cause is unknown, though wear and tear is often invoked. Osteoarthritis may occur at …

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osteology - Methods, Applications

The scientific study of bone and bones, involving both their microscopic and macroscopic structure. It is used in anthropology for species identification and carbon dating, in clinical medicine for the assessment of development and nutritional status of the individual, and in forensic medicine for the reconstruction and sexing of victims. A typical analysis will include: Osteolo…

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osteomalacia - Causes, Clinical features

A metabolic disorder of bone caused by a lack of vitamin D. In children and adolescents, normal growth is retarded, and the condition is called rickets. In adults, the bones become demineralized and often show small fractures at points of stress, such as in the pelvis. Generalized bone and muscle pain are common symptoms. Immigrants and 'Osteomalacia' (pronounced /ˌɑstioməˈleɪʃiə/) i…

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osteomyelitis - Presentation, Treatment, Causes

Infection within bone. It arises either as a result of blood-borne infection or, less commonly, following direct injury. It causes local pain and fever, and if untreated leads to bone destruction. A variety of micro-organisms may be responsible, most commonly Staphylococci. Osteomyelitis is an infection of bone, usually caused by pyogenic bacteria or mycobacteria. Generally micr…

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osteopathy - History, Osteopathic principles, Techniques of Osteopathic Manual Medicine (OMM), Osteopathic medicine around the world

A system of treatment originally based on the belief that abnormalities in the skeletal system are responsible for a wide range of diseases by interfering with the blood and nerve supply to the region affected. Today less ambitious claims are made, and osteopaths concentrate on the treatment of backache, and pains in the legs, neck, and head. Like chiropractors they use massage and manipulation, s…

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osteoporosis - Signs and symptoms, Diagnosis, Pathogenesis, Epidemiology, Treatment, Prognosis, History

Thinning and weakening of bones because of a loss of tissue substance. It is obvious on X-rays as a reduction in bone density. It is common in elderly women, and is related to a reduction in the level of sex hormones. Affected women develop a characteristic stooping posture due to collapse of the vertebrae, and are prone to fractures, especially of the hip. Sex hormone replacement therapy can prev…

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Ostia - History, Photos

The ancient town situated at the mouth of the Tiber in W Italy. It was Rome's main naval base during the Punic Wars. Under the Roman empire, it was the main port; here the precious grain cargoes were unloaded and warehoused before being taken up the Tiber to the capital. Ostia or Ostia Antica is a large neighborhood in the commune of Rome, Italy, on the coast facing the Tyrrhenian Sea. …

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ostracism - Procedure, Distinction from other Athenian democratic processes, Period of operation, Purpose of ostracism, Fall into disuse

In ancient Athens, the means whereby unpopular citizens could be banished for up to 10 years without loss of property or citizenship. Votes were cast by writing on ostraka (potsherds) the names of the citizens to be banished. Ostracism (Greek ὀστρακισμός ostrakismos) was a procedure under the Athenian democracy in which a prominent citizen could be expelled from the city-state o…

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ostracod - Morphology

A small, short-bodied crustacean with a hinged bivalved shell that completely encloses the body; legs typically adapted for walking over substrate; over 10 000 fossil species and 5700 living species known from marine, freshwater, and occasionally terrestrial habitats. (Class: Ostracoda.) Ostracoda is a class of the Crustacea, sometimes known as the seed shrimp because of their appearance. …

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Ostrava - History of Ostrava, Geography and climate, People and demographics, Industry and coal mines, Karolina, Culture, Universities

49°50N 18°13E, pop (2000e) 333 000. Industrial capital of Severomoravský region, Czech Republic; near junction of Oder and Ostravice Rivers; important strategic position in mediaeval times; airport; railway; metal industries, coal mining, chemicals, machinery, rolling stock. Coordinates: 49°50′N 18°16′E Ostrava (listen?(help·info)) (IPA: [ˈɔstrava]) (German: Ostrau…

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ostrich - Description, Systematics and distribution, Behaviour, Reproduction, Ostriches and humans, Gallery, Sources

The largest living bird (Struthio camelus) (height up to 2·75 m/9 ft); unable to fly; fastest animal on two legs (c.70 kph/45 mph); largest egg of any living bird (the same volume as 40 hen's eggs); inhabits dry areas of Africa; eats plants and some lizards. The American ostrich is an obsolete name for the rhea. (Family: Struthionidae.) The ostrich (Struthio camelus) is a flightless bi…

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Ostsiedlung - Background, Historical development of a few marches and regions, Lesser Poland, Bohemia and Moravia

The colonization by Germans in the Middle Ages of the areas in the E and SE of the Holy Roman Empire, sparsely inhabited by Slavs, Avars, and Hungarians. The first moves towards the Danube Plain and the E Alps started from Bavaria in the 8th-c. The NE part of the empire was not colonized until the 12th-c. The Slav population was partly moved out but mainly integrated, and the intermingling between…

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Oswald Garrison Villard - Sources

Journalist, born in Wiesbaden, Germany. In 1900 he became owner and editor of the New York Post, inherited from his father, Henry Villard. His pacifist position later adversely affected circulation and he sold the newspaper in 1918, but retained the Nation, which he edited until 1932. Oswald Garrison Villard (March 13, 1872 – October 1, 1949) was a U.S. journalist. Osward Garr…

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