Cambridge Encyclopedia Vol. 56

Cambridge Encyclopedia

Oswald Mbuyiseni Mtshali

Poet, born in Vryheid, E South Africa. He was one of the wave of ‘township poets’ whose angry verse in the 1970s broke a decade of black creative silence. He published Sounds of a Cowhide Drum in 1971. These poems, in forceful everyday language, conveyed the harshness and emotions of ghetto life to a stunned white readership. Later works include Fireflames (1980). Mtshali worked as a mess…

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Oswald Spengler - Biography, Spengler's works, Further reading

Philosopher of history, born in Blankenburg, C Germany. He studied at Halle, Munich, and Berlin, and taught mathematics before devoting himself entirely to the morbidly prophetic Der Untergang des Abendlandes (2 vols, 1918–22, The Decline of the West), which argues that all cultures are subject to the same cycle of growth and decay in accordance with predetermined ‘historical destiny’. His view…

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Oswald Veblen

Mathematician, born in Brooklin, Maine, USA, the nephew of Thorstein Veblen. Known for developing the school of mathematics at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton (1932–50), he had considerable influence on many mathematicians including Robert Lee Moore, Joseph Wedderburn, Alonzo Church, and J H C Whitehead. His greatest contribution to mathematics was to geometry. Oswald Veblen (2…

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Oswald von Wolkenstein

Poet, born in the castle of Schöneck-Pustertal, Tyrol. A Minnesänger of noble birth, he led a picaresque life, from the age of 10 travelling throughout Europe in such diverse guises as cook and minstrel. He twice served King Sigismund as a diplomat to various European courts (1415, 1431–4), and in the intervening period was imprisoned by the knight Martin Jäger (over an inheritance dispute - h…

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Otis Chandler

Journalist and newspaper publisher, born in Los Angeles, California, USA. Born into a wealthy business family, he studied at Stanford University and then embarked on a career in journalism, starting as a junior pressman and finishing as general manager of the Los Angeles Mirror News after a 7-year apprenticeship. Although having gained a reputation for fast living, in 1960 he took over from his fa…

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Otis D(udley) Duncan

Sociologist, born in Nocona, Texas, USA. He taught at the universities of Chicago (1951–62), Michigan (1962–73), Arizona (1973–83), and California, Santa Barbara (1983–7). Collaborating regularly with his wife Beverly Duncan, his many works on population, demographics, and urban sociology include The American Occupational Structure (co-authored, 1967) and Notes on Social Measurement (1984). …

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Otis Redding - Biography, Sample, Discography

Soul singer, born in Dawson, Georgia, USA. As a high-school student in Macon, GA, he was so impressed by the success of the local luminary, Little Richard, that he decided to become a full-time performer. His early work, including ‘Shout Bamalama’ (1960), was heavily influenced by Richard's frantic style. An appearance at the Monterey pop festival in 1967 secured his popularity, but he died in a…

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Otis Rush - Career, Discography

Blues musician, born in Philadelphia, Mississippi, USA. A guitarist and singer, he moved to Chicago (1948) and began playing in local clubs (1953). In 1956 his debut recording, ‘I Can't Quit You, Baby’, was a major rhythm-and-blues hit, and over the next four years he produced a body of recorded work that is among the greatest in blues history. His playing became inconsistent and his touring sch…

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Otl Aicher

Graphic artist and designer, born in Ulm, S Germany. From 1968 to 1972 he exercised creative supervision of preparations for the Munich Olympic Games. Director of the Hochschule für Gestaltung in Ulm (1968–72), through media such as pictograms and typography he made a significant contribution to visual communications. Otl Aicher, also known as Otto Aicher (May 13, 1922 - September 1, 1991…

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Ottawa - History, Geography and climate, Transportation, Primary industries, Sports, Politics

45°25N 75°43W, pop (2000e) 351 300. Capital of Canada, in E Ontario, Canada, on the Ottawa R at its junction with the Rideau Canal and R; founded as Bytown, 1826; present name, 1854; capital of United Provinces, 1858; national capital, 1867; two-thirds English-speaking, one-third French; airport; railway; two universities (1848, 1942); pulp and paper, aluminium, steel, bronze, clothing, food p…

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Ottawa River - History

Canadian river, the largest tributary of the St Lawrence; rises in the Canadian Shield, flows W, then S and SE to the St Lawrence SW of Montreal; length 1270 km/780 mi; forms the Ontario–Quebec border for most of its course; hydroelectric power; connected to L Ontario via the Rideau Canal; its river valley was an important early travel route. The Ottawa River (French: Rivière des Outaou…

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otter - Physical characteristics, Diet, Species, Otters in mythology, Otters in literature, List of species, Gallery

A mammal of family Mustelidae; streamlined, with a flattened muzzle; brown with paler underparts; tail thick at base; feet usually webbed; inhabits streams and lakes; eats fish and invertebrates; 12 species in genera Lutra (river otters), Aonyx (clawless otters), and Pteronura (the giant otter). The aquatic (sometimes marine) carnivorous mammals known as otters form part of the large and di…

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Ottmar Mergenthaler

Inventor of the Linotype machine, born in Hachtel, SW Germany. Apprenticed to a watchmaker, his interest was in engineering, which he learned through evening classes. After emigrating to the USA in 1872, he worked in a machine shop belonging to a relative, where he developed the famous Linotype typesetting machine in 1886, and worked on many other inventions. Ottmar Mergenthaler (May 10, 18…

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Otto (Heinrich) Warburg

Biochemist, born in Freiburg Baden, SW Germany. He studied at Berlin and Heidelberg universities, worked in the Kaiser Wilhelm (later Max Planck) Institute from 1913, and became director in 1953. Much of his work was on cellular respiration, for which he devised the Warburg manometer to measure oxygen uptake of living tissue. He was awarded the 1931 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. O…

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Otto Behaghel - Works

Germanist, born in Karlsruhe, SW Germany. A leading neo-grammarian, he wrote several works on the history of the language and on syntax: Die deutsche Sprache (1886), Geschichte der deutschen Sprache (1889), and Deutsche Syntax (4 vols, 1923–32). …

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Otto Braun

German politician, born in Königsberg, Prussia (now Kaliningrad, Russia). A member of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands Vorstand from 1911, he became member of the Prussian House of Deputies (1913) and the Weimar Nationalversammlung (1919–20). He was a member of the Reichstag and held the office of Prussian prime minister (1920–33, except 1921 and 1925), when he was known as the Red T…

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Otto Diels

Chemist, born in Hamburg, N Germany. He studied at Berlin and became professor of chemistry at Kiel University (1916–48). With his pupil Kurt Alder he demonstrated in 1928 the ‘diene synthesis’ (Diels–Alder reaction), which is of far-reaching importance, especially in the plastics and petrochemicals industry. They shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1950. Otto Paul Hermann Diels (Ja…

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Otto Dietrich

Journalist and politician, born in Essen, W Germany. He was appointed press chief of the Nationalsozialistiche Deutsche Arbeiterpartei (NSDAP) in 1931, and from 1938 press chief of the NS-Government. During the war he headed the press department in the Führerhauptquartier. In 1949 he was sentenced to seven years imprisonment, but was pardoned in 1950. Dr. Otto Dietrich (August 31, 1897 in …

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Otto Dix

Realist painter, born in Gera-Untermhaus, EC Germany. He is best known for his etchings and paintings of World War 1 casualties, portrayed with biting realism, and of Berlin prostitutes in the decadent post-war period. A brilliant and savage portraitist and social commentator, his work was regarded as unwholesome by the Nazis, who included it in the famous exhibition of Degenerate Art. After World…

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Otto Erich Hartleben - Works

Writer, born in Clausthal, C Germany. A member of a circle of Naturalist writers including Strindberg, Dehmel, and the Hart brothers, his works, such as the short story Die Geschichte vom abgerissen Knopfe (1891) or the socially critical comedy Hanna Jagert (1893), show the influence of Maupassant. His well-crafted plays, notably Rosenmontag (1900), are ironic and socially critical. He also wrote …

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Otto Fritz Meyerhof

Physiologist, born in Hanover, NC Germany. He studied at Heidelberg, and became professor at Kiel (1918–24), director of the physiology department at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Biology (1924–9), and professor at Heidelberg (1930–8). He shared the 1922 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his work on the metabolism of muscles. Forced to leave Nazi Germany in 1938, he continued his wo…

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Otto Georg Thierack

German politician and lawyer, born in Wurzen, E Germany. As president of the Volksgerichtshof (1936–42) and Reichsjustizminister (1942–5) he was instrumental in bending justice to the requirements of the NS regime. He committed suicide in 1946. Otto Georg Thierack (born 19 April 1889 in Wurzen, Saxony; Thierack took part in the First World War from 1914 to 1918 as a volunteer,…

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Otto Grotewohl

German politician, born in Braunschweig, NC Germany. A printer by trade, from 1912 he was a member of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (SPD) and of the Unabhängige Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands (USPD) from 1918–22. He held various ministerial posts in Braunschweig (1920–4), was a Reichstag member (1925–33), and was elected chairman of the central committee of the SPD in Be…

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Otto Hahn - Biography, Opinions

Physical chemist, born in Frankfurt, WC Germany. He studied at the University of Marburg, and lectured in Berlin from 1907, becoming director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute there in 1927. With Meitner he discovered the radioactive element protactinium (1917), and in 1938 bombarded uranium with neutrons to find the first chemical evidence of nuclear fission products. He was awarded the Nobel Prize…

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Otto Harbach

Librettist and lyricist, born in Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. He studied at Knox College, then taught English and worked as a journalist and advertising copywriter. He made his Broadway debut as lyricist for Three Twins (1908) and went on during the next decade to write musicals with composers such as Karl Hoschns and Rudolf Friml. After 1920 some of his best work was in collaboration with Oscar Ham…

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Otto Julius Bierbaum - Works

Writer and journalist, born in Grünberg, Silesia. Highly versatile in output, he was a literary critic and editor/publisher of the journals Die freie Bühne, Die Insel and Moderner Musenalmanach. His poems range in style from anacreontics and ‘Minnesang’ to Romanticism, and include Erlebte Gedichte (1892) and Nemt, Frouwe, disen Kranz (1894). Among his novels are Pankrazius Grauner (1895), Prin…

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Otto Klemperer - Career, Further reading, Discography

Conductor, born in Wroc?aw, SW Poland (formerly Breslau, Prussia). He studied at Frankfurt and Berlin, first appeared as a conductor in 1906, made a name as a champion of modern music, and was appointed director of the Kroll Opera in Berlin (1927–31). Nazism drove him to the USA, where he became director of the Los Angeles Symphony Orchestra (1933–9). In his later years, he concentrated mainly o…

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Otto Laporte

Physicist, born in Mainz, Germany. He went to the USA on a postgraduate fellowship to work for the National Bureau of Standards (1924–6), then became a professor at Michigan (1926–71). A pioneer in plasma physics and atomic spectroscopy, he was also a visiting professor in Japan (1928, 1937), and a science attaché with the American Embassy in Tokyo (1960–3). Laporte was born in Mainz, G…

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Otto Lilienthal - In fiction

Aeronautical inventor and pioneer of gliders, born in Anklam, NE Germany. After graduating from the Berlin Trade Academy, he studied bird flight in order to build heavier-than-air flying machines resembling the birdman designs of Leonardo da Vinci. He made hundreds of short flights in his gliders, but crashed to his death near Berlin. Otto Lilienthal (23 May 1848 – 10 August 1896), the Ge…

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Otto Loewi - Research, Biography

Pharmacologist, born in Frankfurt, WC Germany. He studied at Strasbourg and Munich, and was professor of pharmacology at Graz (1909–38). Forced to leave Nazi Germany in 1938, he became research professor at New York University College of Medicine from 1940. In 1936 he shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for his work on nerve impulses and their chemical transmission. Otto Loew…

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Otto Ludwig

Writer and academic, born in Eisfeld, SC Germany. Living a secluded life in Dresden, the originator of the term ‘Poetischer Realismus’, he is known for his contributions to the theory of literary history and to a broader public for his novellas, which blended Romantic elements with Realism. In particular, he was instrumental in establishing the genre of ‘Dorfgeschichten’, modest tales of villa…

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Otto Messmer

Animator, born in New Jersey, USA. He contributed joke cartoons to Life magazine (1914), and entered animation in 1916, scripting and animating many films, including the Charlie Chaplin cartoons (1917). In 1920 he created Feline Follies, making Felix the Cat the first cartoon film star to win international fame; one of the many spin-offs was a comic strip for newspaper syndication (1923) which he …

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Otto Neurath - Life, Philosophy of science and language, By Neurath, About Neurath

Philosopher and social theorist, born in Vienna, Austria. A member of the influential ‘Vienna Circle’, he was particularly associated with ‘physicalism’, which aimed to establish an entirely materialist foundation of knowledge. His best philosophical work was published in the group's journal Erkenntnis, but he also wrote books on sociology, education, and social policy, including International…

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Otto Preminger - Filmography

Film director and producer, born in Vienna, Austria. He abandoned a career as a lawyer to act and work in the theatre with Max Reinhardt, and he directed his first film in 1931. Coming to the USA (1933) to direct Libel on Broadway, he moved to Hollywood but quarrelled with Darryl Zanuck, who prevented him from directing films. During World War 2, with Zanuck away, he took the opportunity to act (p…

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Otto Robert Frisch

Physicist, born in Vienna, Austria. He studied at Vienna, and in 1945 became head of the nuclear physics division at Harwell. He and Meitner (his aunt) first described ‘nuclear fission’ in 1939 to explain Hahn's results with uranium and neutrons. He moved to Birmingham in 1939, and worked with Peierls on uranium fission and associated neutron emission, then became involved in the atomic bomb pro…

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Otto Skorzeny - Biography

Soldier, born in Vienna, Austria. He joined the Nazi Party in 1930, was mobilized into the SS, and fought in France, Serbia, and Russia (1939–43). He was noted for his commando-style operations in World War 2. He freed Mussolini from internment in a mountain hotel on the Gran Sasso Range (1943), and abducted Horthy, the Regent of Hungary (1944), but failed to capture Tito. During the German count…

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Otto Stern

Physicist, born in Zary, W Poland (formerly Sorau, Germany). After completing his graduate work in physical chemistry at the University of Breslau (now Wroc?aw) in 1912, he worked with Albert Einstein at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin. In 1919 he went to work with Max Born at the Institute for Theoretical Physics in Frankfurt, Germany, and in 1920 carried out an experiment with Walter Gerl…

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Otto Struve - Honors

Astronomer, the great-grandson of Friedrich Struve, born in Kharkov, E Ukraine. His studies at Kharkov University were interrupted by the Revolution, when he joined the Imperial Russian army. He emigrated to the USA in 1921, and joined the staff of Yerkes Observatory, WI, where he became director in 1932. He is best known for his work in stellar spectroscopy, and for establishing the presence of h…

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Otto von Guericke - Biography, Death and afterwards, Literature

Physicist, born in Magdeburg, EC Germany. An engineer in the Swedish army, he later defended his home town in the Thirty Years' War, resulting in his election as one of its four burgomasters in 1646. He improved a water pump (1650) so that it would exhaust air from a container, and was able with this air pump to give dramatic demonstrations of pressure reduction (the Magdeburg hemispheres). He als…

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Otto Wagner - Major works

Architect and teacher, born in Penzing, NE Austria. Professor at the Vienna Academy (1894–1912), he was the founder of the Vienna School, his pupils including Josef Hoffmann and Josef Olbrich. Though for many years a classical revivalist, he became an important advocate of purely functional architecture. His most influential work, produced at the end of his career, includes several stations in Vi…

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Ottoman Empire - History, Society, Culture, Lifestyle, Law, Military

A Muslim empire founded c.1300 by Sultan Osman I (1259–1326), and originating in Asia Minor. Ottoman forces entered Europe in 1345, conquered Constantinople in 1453, and by 1520 controlled most of SE Europe (including part of Hungary), the Middle East, and N Africa. Following the ‘golden age’ of Sulaiman the Magnificent, the empire began a protracted decline. During the 19th-c and early 20th-c,…

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Ottonian art - Background

Art of the 10th–11th-c in Germany, named after the Holy Roman Emperors Otto I–III. Carolingian elements are combined with early Christian and Byzantine motifs. The bronze doors of Hildesheim Cathedral (1015), with their expressive biblical scenes, attest to the high standards achieved. After the decline of the Carolignian Empire, the Holy Roman Empire was re-established under the Saxon Ot…

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Ottorino Respighi - Biography, Elsa Respighi, Selected works, Selected Recordings, Biographical Sources

Composer, born in Bologna, N Italy. He studied at Bologna and St Petersburg, and in 1913 became professor of composition at the St Cecilia Academy in Rome. His works include nine operas, the symphonic poems Fontane di Roma (1916, Fountains of Rome) and Pini di Roma (1924, Pines of Rome), and the ballet La Boutique fantasque, produced by Diaghilev in 1919. Ottorino Respighi (Bologna, July 9,…

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Ouagadougou - History, Geography, Government, Climate, Tourism, Social life and education, Practical information, Sister cities

12°20N 1°40W, pop (2000e) 725 300. Capital of Burkina Faso, W Africa; part of the Ivory Coast until 1947; capital of Mossi empire from 15th-c; captured by French, 1896; airfield; terminus of railway line from Abidjan (Nigeria); university (1969); textiles, soap, vegetable oil; trade in groundnuts, millet, livestock; neo-romanesque cathedral; palace of Moro Naba (Mossi Emperor). …

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Oudenaarde - History, Twin cities

50°50N 3°37E, pop (2000e) 27 400. Town in East Flanders province, W Belgium; site of defeat of French by Marlborough and Prince Eugene (1708); railway; traditional centre for carpet-weaving and tapestries; town hall (1526–37), Church of Onze Lieve Vrouw Pamele (begun 1235). Oudenaarde (French Audenarde, English sometimes Oudenarde) is a municipality in the province of East Flanders, Fl…

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Ouida - Bibliography

Novelist, born in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk, E England, UK. Her pen-name was a childish mispronunciation of Louise. She studied in Paris, settled in London, and began contributing stories to magazines. Her first novel was Held in Bondage (1863), followed by Strathmore (1865), and she was soon established as a best-selling writer of hot-house romances with powerful narratives. She spent much time in…

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Ouija board - Racing Career, The Oaks, 2005, 2006, Ouija's finest moment, Future Plans, Pedigree

A board bearing letters, words, and numbers, upon which an indicator such as an upturned glass is placed. Several people rest their fingers on the indicator, which then moves without their conscious volition across the board. It can then purportedly spell out messages which provide information about events or situations unknown to the people present. It is alleged that information may also be rece…

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Oujda - Town twinning

34º41N 1º45W, pop (2002e) 342 900. Capital of Oujda prefecture, Oriental province, NE Morocco, N Africa; located close to the Algerian border, SE of Melilla; birthplace of Hafid Bouazza; university; railway; airfield; wool, grain, fruit, wine. Oujda (Arabic: وجدة‎) is a city in eastern Morocco with an estimated population of half a million inhabitants. Oujda is home to…

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Oulipo - History, Oulipian works, Constraints, Members

A French literary movement of the 1970s. Under the influence of Raymond Queneau and Alfred Jarry, an atelier of writers sought a new way of expression through word-play and other experiments with language. Oulipo stands for "Ouvroir de littérature potentielle", which translates roughly as "workshop of potential literature". The group defines the term 'littérature potentielle' …

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Oulu - Transportation, Sports

65°00N 25°26E, pop (2000e) 104 000. Seaport and capital of Oulu province, W Finland, on the Gulf of Bothnia, at mouth of R Oulu; established, 1605; destroyed by fire, 1822; airfield; railway; university (1958); shipbuilding, timber; Tar Ski Race, cross-country ski race founded in 1889; Oulu Music Summer (Jul–Aug). This article is about the Finnish city; for other uses see Oulu (disambi…

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Ourense - Location and Climate, History, Sightseeing, Industry, Barellete

421°20N 7°51W, pop (2000e) 108 000. City in NW Spain, in Galicia, capital of the province and of the administrative area of the same name; in the valley of the Miño; commercial centre and agricultural market; railway; cathedral, Old Bridge. Ourense (Galician: Ourense;Spanish: Orense) is a city in northwestern Spain, the capital of the province of Ourense in Galicia. The anc…

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Ouro Pr - Important Data, History, The Economy, The University and the "Republics", Miscellaneous

Town founded in 1711 in Minas Gerais, the mining area of NE Brazil; declared national monument, 1933; a world heritage site; centre of gold and diamond trading during the colonial era, with wealth reflected in its architecture; showcase of the work of the sculptor Antônio Francisco (Aleijadinho) Lisboa (1738–1814); on 24 June Ouro Preto becomes capital of Minas Gerais for that day only. V…

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ouzo - History, Name, How ouzo is made, Aperitif drink, Appearance

A traditional Greek spirit flavoured with aniseed, and usually drunk with water. The history of ouzo is somewhat murky, but some claim it may date back in one form or another to ancient times. Modern ouzo distillation largely took off in the 19th century following Greek independence, with much production centered on the island of Lesbos, which claims to be the originator of the …

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Ovamboland

Region in N Namibia, extending W along the Namibia–Angola frontier from the Okavango R; Etosha national park in the S; chief indigenous peoples, the Ovambo; area of conflict during 1970s and 1980s between SWAPO guerrilla forces based in S Angola and South African forces. During the First World War South African troops conquered the German colony of South West Africa in 1915, and took contr…

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ovarian follicle - Development of oocytes in ovarian follicles, Additional images

A structure within the mammalian ovary, part of which may develop into a mature ovum to be released at ovulation; also known as a Graafian follicle [grahfian], after the Dutch physiologist, Reinier de Graaf (1641–73). Each follicle consists of a primordial germ cell (ovum), surrounded by epithelial cells. At birth the human female may have as many as 400 000 follicles contained within the ovarie…

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ovary - Mammalian ovary, Human anatomy, Additional images

The reproductive organ in a female animal in which the eggs are produced, and which may also produce hormones. Ovaries are typically paired, and release their eggs down oviducts or uterine tubes. In plants the hollow base of the carpel, containing the ovules, is termed the ovary. Its wall contributes to the fruit containing the seeds. Ovaries are part of the vertebrate female reproductive s…

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Overijssel - Geography, Municipalities

Dutch province N of the Ijssel between Gelderland and Drenthe, with Zwolle as the provincial capital. In prehistoric times it was occupied by people of the Beaker culture, who left the monuments known as Hunebedden. In written history it was the territory of the Chamavi, Bructeri, and Tubantes. After the break-up of the Carolingian empire, it officially became part of the bishopric of Utrecht and …

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overpopulation - Introduction, Malthus' theory, Population as a function of food availability, The demographic transition

A density of population such that the available resources of an area are unable to support the resident people; contrasted with underpopulation, where the area is able to support a greater density. It is impossible to derive a precise figure for overpopulation, as the concept is subjective and rarely related to any agreed minimum standard of living. It is important to take account of the area unde…

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overture - History, The Overture and the Symphonic Poem, Trivia

An orchestral prelude to an opera or other work, or (since the early 19th-c) an independent, usually descriptive, concert piece of similar length. The ‘French overture’ of the 17th–18th-c consisted of a slow section followed by a quick one, often ending with a partial return of the opening material; the contemporary ‘Italian overture’ was on the pattern fast–slow–fast. The notion of …

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Oveta Culp Hobby

Public official, born in Killeen, Texas, USA. A lawyer and journalist, she took charge of the Women's Auxiliary Army Corps in October 1942. Some 100 000 women served under her leadership as clerks, cooks, and chauffeurs. A postwar publisher of The Houston Post, she was active in Texas Republican politics and became the first secretary of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare (1953–5).…

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Ovid - Life and work, Works, Works and artists inspired by Ovid

Latin poet, born in Sulmo, Italy. He trained as a lawyer, but devoted himself to poetry, and visited Athens. His first success was the tragedy Medea, followed by Heroides, love letters from legendary heroines to their lords. His major poems are the three-book Ars amatoria (Art of Love) and the 15-book Metamorphoses (Transformations), written in hexameters and imitated by Goethe and Pushkin. With i…

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Ovide Mercredi

Canadian aboriginal affairs activist, born in Grand Rapids, Manitoba, C Canada. A Cree Indian, he studied law at the University of Manitoba, and practised as a criminal lawyer. A leading advocate of native people's rights, he supported a policy of nonviolent civil activism, and became National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations in 1991. His book, In the Rapids: Navigating the Future of First N…

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Oviedo - Sports, Feast and Traditions, Other cities in the municipality, Twin cities

43°25N 5°50W, pop (2000e) 197 000. Capital of Oviedo province, Asturias, NW Spain, 451 km/280 mi NW of Madrid; bishopric; airport; railway; university (1608); former capital of Asturias; commerce, cement, pharmaceuticals, domestic appliances, metal products; cathedral (14th-c); Fiesta of La Ascension (May), Fiesta of San Mateo (Sep). Oviedo (Asturian: Uviéu, Latin: Ovetus) is the cap…

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ovule

The female sex-cell of seed plants which, after fertilization, forms the seed. In gymnosperms the ovules lie exposed on the scales of the female cone; in flowering plants they are enclosed within an ovary. An ovule is a structure found in seed plants that develops into a seed after fertilization. In Angiosperms, (the flowering plants, meaning enclosed seed), the ovule is found within …

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Owain Arwel Hughes

Conductor, born in Cardiff, S Wales, UK. He studied at University College, Cardiff, and the Royal College of Music, London, and became associate conductor of the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra (1980–6) and the Philharmonia Orchestra, London (1985–90), musical director of the Huddersfield Choral Society (1980–6), and founding artistic director and conductor of the Annual Welsh Proms (1986– ). In …

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Owen Chamberlain

Physicist, born in San Francisco, California, USA. He studied at Dartmouth College (1941) and then entered graduate school in physics at the University of California, Berkeley, but his studies were interrupted by World War 2 and he finally gained his doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1949. He worked on the Manhattan atomic bomb project (1942–6) and at the Argonne National Laboratory, then…

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Owen Davis

Playwright, born in Portland, Maine, USA. He achieved critical acclaim with The Detour (1921) and was awarded a Pulitzer Prize for Icebound (1923), but most of his career was devoted to writing financially rewarding melodramas. …

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Owen J(osephus) Roberts

Judge, born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. He gained prominence when President Calvin Coolidge appointed him to prosecute in the Teapot Dome oil scandal (1924). President Herbert Hoover named him to the US Supreme Court (1930–45). On retiring from the court he became dean of the University of Pennsylvania Law School (1948–51). Owen Josephus Roberts (May 2, 1875 – May 17, 1955) was …

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Owen Lattimore - Early life, WWII period, and after, Accusations, Later life

Sinologist and defender of civil liberties, born in Washington, District of Columbia, USA. He studied at Harvard before being sent to China to do research. He published narratives of his journeys, notably Inner Asian Frontiers of China (1940). He was made political adviser to Jiang Jieshi by Franklin D Roosevelt (1941–2), and became director of Pacific operations in the office of war information.…

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Owen Lovejoy

Abolitionist and US statesman, born in Albion, Maine, USA. Preparing for the Presbyterian ministry under his minister and editor brother, Elijah, he was there the night that Elijah was killed by an anti-abolitionist mob in Alton, IL, while defending his printing press. Vowing to fight slavery to vindicate his brother, he spoke fearlessly for this cause (1840–50) despite an Illinois law prohibitin…

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Owen Wister - External links and references

Writer, born in Germantown, Pennsylvania, USA. He graduated from Harvard (1882) before studying music composition in Paris (1882–4). Suffering from ill health, he spent summers in the American West, and these visits profoundly affected his future writing. He studied law at Harvard (1885–8), and settled in Philadelphia, where he practised law. By 1891 he devoted himself to writing biographies, es…

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owl - External appearance, Species, Myth, lore, and popular culture, The Elusive White Owl

A predatory nocturnal bird, found worldwide; large head and broad flat face; forwardly directed eyes; acute sight and hearing; kills prey with talons and swallows whole, regurgitating bones, fur, etc as pellets. There are two families: typical owls (Strigidae, c.120 species) and barn owls, grass owls, and bay owls (Tytonidae, 11 species). Tytonidae differ in having smaller eyes, long slender legs,…

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oxalic acid - Preparation, Occurrence in nature, Safety, Tests for oxalic acid

IUPAC ethanedioic acid, HOOC–COOH, commonly occurs as the colourless crystalline dihydrate, melting point 101°C. It occurs in many plants, especially rhubarb, and is poisonous. It is a moderately strong acid, partially neutralized solutions having a pH of about 2·5. Its salts, oxalates, form chelates with transition metals, and are thus useful in removing rust and blood stains from clothing. …

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oxalis

A perennial, sometimes an annual, found almost everywhere, but many native to South America and S Africa; leaves clover-like with three (sometimes more) leaflets, often folding up at night; flowers 5-petalled, funnel-shaped; fruits with catapult mechanism for dispersing seeds. Some species are grown as ornamentals. Several are serious weeds. (Genus: Oxalis, 800 species. Family: Oxalidaceae.) …

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OXFAM - Shops, Funding, Fundraising, Oxfam's work, Criticism

A British charity based in Oxford, dedicated to alleviating poverty and distress throughout the world; an abbreviated form of Oxford Committee for Famine Relief. Founded in 1942, most of its funds are now used to provide long-term development aid to Third World countries. Oxfam International now works in over 80 countries. The 13 Oxfam organizations are based in: Australia, Belgium, Canada,…

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Oxford (UK) - Transport, Tourist attractions, Media and press, Literature in Oxford, Geography, Politics in Oxford

51°46N 1°15W, pop (2001e) 134 200. County town of Oxfordshire, SC England, UK; on Thames and Cherwell Rivers, 80 km/50 mi NW of London; 12th-c university, granted its first official privileges in 1214; Oxford Brookes University (1992, formerly Oxford Polytechnic); Royalist headquarters in Civil War; airfield; railway; industry located in the suburb of Cowley (notably vehicles); steel product…

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Oxford (USA) - Transport, Tourist attractions, Media and press, Literature in Oxford, Geography, Politics in Oxford

42º07N 71º51W, pop (2000e) 13 400. Town in Worcester Co, Massachusetts, USA; 22 km/14 mi S of Worcester and 82 km/51 mi SW of Boston; named in 1683 and settled by 30 families of planters; incorporated, 1713; birthplace of Harry A Allard, Clara Barton, Elliott P Joslin, Richard Olney; Clara Barton birthplace museum. Oxford is a city and local government district in Oxfordshire, Engla…

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Oxford Movement - Early movement, Converts to Roman Catholicism

A movement within the Church of England, beginning in 1833 at Oxford, which sought the revival of high doctrine and ceremonial; also known as Tractarianism. Initiated by ‘tracts’ written by Keble, Newman, and Pusey, it opposed liberal tendencies in the Church and certain Reformation emphases. It led to Anglo-Catholicism and ritualism, and has remained influential in certain quarters of Anglicani…

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Oxfordshire - History, Towns and cities, Economy, Further reading

pop (2001e) 605 500; area 2608 km²/1007 sq mi. County in the S Midlands of England; Cotswold Hills to the NW, Chiltern Hills to the SW; county town, Oxford; agriculture, vehicles, paper, textiles; River Thames, Vale of the White Horse; Atomic Energy Authority laboratories at Culham. Oxfordshire (abbreviated Oxon, from the Latinised form Oxonia) is a county in south-east England, borde…

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oxidizing agent - Alternate meanings, Common oxidizing agents, Common oxidizing agents and their products

A substance which oxidizes another in a chemical reaction, being itself reduced in the process. The most important is oxygen gas (O2), which is reduced to O2?, OH?, or H2O when it oxidizes a metal. Because the process of oxidation is so widespread (explosives, chemical synthesis, corrosion), the term oxidizing agent has acquired multiple meanings. There are many other oxidizing …

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oxpecker

An African bird of the starling family; narrow but deep bill, short legs, and stiff tail; inhabits grassland; clings to large mammals, especially ungulates; eats flies and ticks from host's skin; also known as tickbird. (Genus: Buphagus, 2 species.) …

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oxygen - Applications, Compounds, Isotopes

O, element 8, boiling point ?183°C. By far the commonest element in the Earth's crust, of which it makes up nearly 50% in various combined forms. It also constitutes 21% of the atmosphere as diatomic molecules (O2). Although this is very reactive, it is constantly replenished by photosynthesis. All higher forms of life depend on oxygen. The element boils at 13°C higher than nitrogen, and is isol…

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oxygen cycle - Ozone

The dynamic system of changes in the nature of oxygen-containing compounds circulating between the atmosphere, the soil, and living organisms. The oxygen cycle is interwoven with other cycles, such as the nitrogen cycle and the global water cycle. The main biological phase involves the use of gaseous oxygen during respiration in animals and plants, with the consequent production of water and carbo…

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oxytocin - Synthesis, storage and release, Actions, Uses

A hormone (a peptide) present in the rear part of the pituitary gland (the neurohypophysis) of many vertebrates. In humans, it is produced in the hypothalamus, but stored in and released from the pituitary gland. In lactating females it is released when the newborn suckle, thereby promoting milk-ejection. It also induces contractions of the uterus during labour. Its role in males is unknown. …

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oyster - True oysters, Pearl oysters, Dermo, Other molluscs named "oyster", Other uses of the word oyster

Bivalve mollusc with unequal valves, the left valve typically being cemented to a hard substrate; shell valves closed by a single muscle; often cultured for human consumption, regarded as a delicacy. Some species used for the production of pearls. (Class: Pelecypoda. Order: Ostreoida.) The name oyster is used for a number of different groups of molluscs which grow for the most part in marin…

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oystercatcher

A large plover-like bird, inhabiting coasts worldwide (except mid-ocean and polar regions) and cultivated areas; black or black-and-white; long reddish bill and legs; eats invertebrates, especially bivalve shellfish; also known as the sea pie. (Genus: Haematopus, 4 species. Family: Haematopodidae.) …

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ozone - Physical properties, Chemistry, Ozone in Earth's atmosphere, Ozone and health, Artificial production, Applications

A form of oxygen having molecules O3. It is formed by the action of ultraviolet radiation on ordinary oxygen, and is a gas, boiling point ?112°C. It is unstable and a strong oxidizing agent, with bacteriocidal properties, but is corrosive to humans in any but very low concentration. Its presence in the upper atmosphere is important in protecting the Earth from excessive ultraviolet radiation. …

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ozone layer - Origin of ozone, Ultraviolet light and ozone, Distribution of ozone in the stratosphere, Ozone depletion

The part of the stratosphere at a height of c.22 km/14 mi in which the gas ozone (O3) is most concentrated. It is produced by the action of ultraviolet light from the Sun on oxygen (O2) in the air. The ozone layer shields the Earth from the harmful effects of solar ultraviolet radiation, but can be decomposed by complex chemical reactions, notably involving chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), used as th…

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Ozzie Smith - At odds with current management

Baseball player, born in Mobile, Alabama, USA. In a career that began in 1978, he established himself as a fielding shortstop, playing for the San Diego Padres and the St Louis Cardinals. He was inducted into the baseball Hall of Fame in 2002. Ozzie Smith (born Osborne Earl Smith on December 26, 1954 in Mobile, Alabama), is a former shortstop in Major League Baseball, a 13-time Gold Glove A…

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P(ieter) W(illem) Botha - Early life, Parliamentary career, State President, Apartheid regime, Botha's downfall, Retirement, Personal life

South African statesman, prime minister (1978–84), and first state president (1984–9), born in Paul Roux, Orange Free State, C South Africa. He began study at the University of the Orange Free State but left in 1935 to become a National Party organiser. He entered the South African Assembly in 1948, and in his 14 years as minister of defence (1966–80) he presided over the controversial military…

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Paavo (Johannes) Nurmi - "A professional"

Athlete, born in Turku, SW Finland. He won nine gold medals at three Olympic Games (1920–8), and set 22 world records at distances ranging from 1500 m to 10 000 m. His first world record was in 1921, when he clocked 30 min 40·2 sec for the 10 000 m. He retired from racing in 1933. His statue stands outside the Helsinki Olympic Stadium. Paavo Johannes Nurmi (June 13, 1897 – Octobe…

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Paavo (Tapio) Lipponen

Finnish prime minister (1995– ), born in Turtola, NW Finland. He was a reporter for the Finnish Broadcasting Company before working for the Social Democratic Party (SDP) (1967–79) and then as a special political adviser to the prime minister (1979–82). An MP on two separate occasions (1983–7, 1991– ), he also served as a member of the Helsinki City Council (1985–95) and as chairman of the SD…

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Pablo Casals - Early years, International career, Later years, Legacy, Quotations, Further reading

Cellist, conductor, and composer, born in Vendrell, NE Spain. He studied at the Royal Conservatory, Madrid, became professor of cello at Barcelona, and in 1899 began to appear as a soloist. In 1919 he founded the Barcelona Orchestra, which he conducted until he left Spain at the outbreak of the Civil War (1936). In 1950 he founded an annual festival of classical chamber music in Prades, France. Hi…

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Pablo Neruda - Life, Trivia, Bibliography

Poet, born in Parral, C Chile. He studied at Santiago, and made his name with Veinte poemas de amor y una canción desesperada (1924, Twenty Love Poems and a Song of Despair). From 1927 he held diplomatic posts in various East Asian and European countries. Returning to Chile (1943), he joined the Communist Party, and was elected to the Senate (1945). He travelled in Russia and China (1948–52), an…

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Pablo Picasso - Career, Picasso's work, Awards, Anecdotes and trivia, Children, Lists of works

Artist, the dominating figure of early 20th-c art, born in Málaga, S Spain. He studied at Barcelona and Madrid, and in 1901 set up a studio in Montmartre, Paris. His ‘blue period’ (1902–4), a series of striking studies of the poor in haunting attitudes of despair and gloom, gave way to the gay, life-affirming ‘pink period’ (1904–6), full of harlequins, acrobats, and the incidents of circus …

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pacarana

A rare cavy-like rodent (Dinomys branickii); resembles the paca, but has a short bushy tail; also known as false paca or Branick's paca. (Family: Dinomyidae.) …

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pacemaker

A cell or object that determines the rhythm at which certain events occur. In vertebrates, pacemaker cells are present in the heart and in the longitudinal muscle of the stomach and ureter. Such cells depolarize and repolarize spontaneously at basic rhythms (which can be modified by the autonomic nervous system), thereby establishing the rate of contraction. In patients with heart block (a malfunc…

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pachinko - Basics, Underworld links, Smoking

The Japanese game of pinball, the word coming from the sound of a steel ball running round a pinball machine. Many pachinko halls are found in all Japanese towns, with bright lighting, neon signs, and loud music. They have row upon row of vertically installed machines, with facing seats for customers. Pachinko (パチンコ, Pachinko) is a device used for amusement and prizes and is related…

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Pacific Ocean - Water characteristics, Geology, Landmasses, History and economy, Major ports and harbours, Further reading

area c.181 300 000 km²/70 000 000 sq mi. Ocean extending from the Arctic to the Antarctic, between North and South America (E) and Asia and Oceania (W); covers a third of the Earth and almost half the total water surface area; S part sometimes known as the South Sea; chief arms, the Bering, Ross, Okhotsk, Japan, Yellow, E China, S China, Philippine, Coral, Tasman, Arafura, and Celebes Seas…

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Pacific Scandal

Funds of c.$350 000 supplied by railroad promoters to the Conservative Party of Canada during the general election of 1872. The discovery of widespread attempts to use the money for bribing the electorate led to the resignation of the Macdonald government in 1873. Two groups competed for the charter to build the railway, Hugh Allan's Canadian Pacific Railway Company and the Inter-Ocean Rai…

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pacifism - History, Pragmatic pacifism, Principled or radical pacifism, Pacifism and international aggressions, Pacifism and religion

The doctrine of opposition to all wars, including civil wars. Its most obvious feature is the personal commitment to non-participation in wars, except possibly in a non-combatant role. Pacifists also advocate efforts to maintain peace and support disarmament, especially through the strengthening of international organizations and law. They have long been associated with Christian sects, but in the…

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pack rat

A rat native to Central and North America; grey-brown with pale undersides; tail may be bushy or naked; builds nests with whatever is available, including man-made items; also known as trade rat or wood rat. (Genus: Neotoma, 20 species.) …

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packet switching - Packet routing, Packet switching in the networks, History of packet switching

A service provided by Posts, Telegraph and Telephones Authorities which allows one computer to send a message to a second computer in the form of a set of packets which are transmitted over specially dedicated telephone lines. Packets from different subscribers are all sent down the same line in sequence. This removes the need for the telephone line to be dedicated to the two computers for the who…

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Padania - Languages, National anthem (as proposed by the Northern League), Popular support for independence

Area in N Italy declared to be an independent republic by the secessionist Northern League (led by Umberto Bossi) in 1996. It comprises over a third of the country, including all the land around the R Po, and extending to the S of Florence, from coast to coast. The declaration received widespread publicity, but limited support, and was condemned by the Italian government. Padania is an alte…

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paddlefish

Archaic, sturgeon-like, freshwater fish of family Polyodontidae, with only two living representatives; Polyodon spathula (length up to 2 m/6½ ft), found in the Mississippi basin, USA; Psephurus gladius (length up to 7 m/23 ft), from the Yangtze R, China; head produced into a long snout; known as fossils from the Eocene and Upper Cretaceous periods. …

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Paddy Ashdown - Biography, Personal life

British politician, born in New Delhi, India. After a childhood and youth spent in India and Ulster, he joined the Royal Marines, serving in the Special Boat Service. He then studied Mandarin at Hong Kong University, and spent five years in the diplomatic service. He overturned a large Conservative majority in his constituency of Yeovil and entered the House of Commons as a Liberal in 1983. In 198…

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Paddy Chayefsky

Stage and television playwright, born in New York City, USA. He studied at the City College of New York, and after army service in World War 2 began writing for radio and television. Best known for Marty (1953) and The Bachelor Party (1954), he received three Oscars for his film writing. Sidney Aaron Chayefsky (January 29, 1923 – August 1, 1981) known as Paddy Chayefsky was an acclaimed d…

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Padraic Colum - Early life, Early poetry and plays, Later life and work, Selected works

Poet and playwright, born in Co Longford, C Ireland. He studied at Trinity College, Dublin, and was a leader of the Irish literary revival. He wrote several plays for the Abbey Theatre, and helped to found the Irish Review (1911). From 1914 he lived in the USA, and published two studies on Hawaiian folklore (1924, 1926). He wrote several volumes of poetry, and also children's stories. Padra…

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Paestum - History, Overview, Historic buildings

An ancient Greek town in SW Italy in the region of Naples, founded c.600 BC by Sybaris. It was renowned in antiquity for its magnificent Doric temples, impressive remains of which still survive. Paestum is the classical Roman name of a major Graeco-Roman city in the Campania region of Italy. Founded around the start of the 7th century BCE by Greek colonists, and originally known…

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pager - Functionality

A small radio receiver used in one-way communication to alert an individual or deliver a short message; not normally used with voice transmission. A radio-paging system has three parts: a pager, a radio transmitter, and an encoder. It works within a small area using one low-power transmitter, or over larger areas using multiple transmitters. A pager is an electronic device used to contact p…

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pagoda - Height records, Functions of pagodas, Some famous pagodas, Reference

Originally, a Buddhist reliquary cairn or mound (stupa), now a shrine or memorial building. Modified by Chinese architectural principles, it developed over time into the stone, brick, and wooden pagodas found throughout E Asia. It is a multi-storied tower, with each storey having a roof of glazed tiles. The modern pagoda is an evolution of the Indian stupa, a tomb-like structure where sacre…

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Pahang - Geography, Economy, History, Government

pop (2000e) 1 313 000; area 35 965 km²/13 882 sq mi. State in E Peninsular Malaysia, bounded E by the South China Sea; watered by R Pahang; formerly part of the kingdom of Malacca; capital, Kuantan; timber, rubber, tin, rice, tourism. Pahang (Jawi: ڨهڠ) is the largest state on Peninsular Malaysia, occupying the huge Pahang River river basin. Its state capital is Kuan…

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Pahari

An Indo-Aryan-speaking agricultural people of Nepal and the adjoining Himalayan region of India. They are predominantly Hindu, but with a less elaborate caste system than most other Hindus. Population c.10 million. Pahari (also known as Pahaari), is a general term for various dialects spoken in the Indian part of the central Himalayan range. Pahari dialects are found in the Indian states of…

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pain - Types of pain, Selected common and serious causes of pain by region, Physiology, Survival benefit

An unpleasant sensation - in the simplest case, the stimulation of nerve endings by a strong stimulus, such as heat, cold, pressure, or tissue damage. Pain receptors are located over most of the body surface and at many internal sites. When stimulated, they initiate reflex responses within the spinal cord, and convey information to the brain, where pain is perceived. The degree of pain is determin…

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paint - Components, Art, Application, Product variants

A colouring substance consisting of two basic elements, pigment and medium, used as a decorative and protective coating for architectural and constructed surfaces, and also as an artistic medium. Pigments have been derived from earths (eg yellow ochre), minerals (eg malachite), and dyes (organic and, since the mid-19th-c, synthetic). These are reduced to powder, and dispersed in whatever medium (e…

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painted lady

A medium-sized butterfly; wings brick-red with black patches, and white patches on point of forewings; caterpillar blackish green, with branching spikes, up to 50 mm/2 in long. (Order: Lepidoptera. Family: Nymphalidae.) The Painted Lady (Vanessa cardui) is a well-known colourful butterfly, known in North America as the Cosmopolite. …

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painting - History of painting, Aesthetics and theory of painting, Painting media, Popular painting styles, Common painting idioms

An art which originated in prehistoric times; but the modern sense of the word, the skilful arrangement of colours on a surface to create an independent work, has been current only since the Renaissance. In many societies, including that of mediaeval Europe, painting has been devoted largely to religious ends; but the Romans decorated their houses with secular murals, and from the 15th-c onwards v…

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pair production

The production of an electron-positron pair from a high energy X-ray or gamma ray photon, in which the photon loses energy equivalent to at least double the mass of an electron. It occurs in the passage of gamma rays through matter, and is the principal mechanism of high-energy gamma ray absorption. Pair production refers to the creation of an elementary particle and its antiparticle, usual…

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Paisley - Etymology, History, Industry, Architecture, Education, Culture and Leisure, Sport, Transport, Areas of Paisley

55°50N 4°26W, pop (2000e) 84 500. Administrative centre of Renfrewshire, W Scotland, UK; 11 km/7 mi W of Glasgow; railway; University of Paisley (1992, formerly Paisley College of Technology); sugar refining, distilling, engineering, jam, chemicals, textiles (especially Paisley shawls); observatory, museum, art gallery; Paisley abbey (1163, restored 20th-c). The town of Paisley (Also …

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Paiute - Northern Paiute, Southern Paiute, Pah Ute War

Two separate Numic-speaking American Indian groups, traditionally hunter-gatherers, divided into the S Paiute (Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California) and the N Paiute (California, Nevada, Oregon). The S Paiute, who had relatively peaceful relations with whites, were put into reservations in the 19th-c. The N group fought intermittently with white prospectors and farmers until 1874, when the US governm…

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Pakistan - Government and politics, Administrative divisions, Geography and climate, Flora and fauna, Economy, Demographics, Society and culture

Official name Islamic Republic of Pakistan Pakistan, officially the Islamic Republic of Pakistan (Urdu: اسلامی جمہوریۂ پاکستان‎), is a country located in South Asia that overlaps with the Greater Middle East. PAKISTAN SUCKS FUCKEN BALLS!!!!!!!! Pakistan is the sixth most populous country in the world and is the second most populous Muslim country. Since independe…

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PAL

Acronym for Phase Alternating Line, the coding system for colour television developed in Germany and the UK from 1965, and widely adopted for 625-line 50 Hz transmission in Europe and many other parts of the world. To overcome the critical phase relation of the colour difference signals in the NTSC system, their phase is reversed line by line so that small differences are cancelled out; no hue co…

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pala - Places, History

An altarpiece consisting of a single large picture, instead of several small ones; also known as a pala d'altare. The type first appeared in Florence c.1430. The word Pala can refer to many different things: …

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palate

A structure forming the roof of the mouth and the floor of the nasal cavity. A complete palate is a characteristic of mammals, being associated with the ability to suck. It is divided into the hard palate, towards the front (formed by bone) and the mobile fibro-muscular soft palate, towards the back (which is continuous with the hard palate). The soft palate hangs downwards into the pharynx (separ…

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Palawan - People and culture, Economy, Geography, Region, History, Is Famous For

pop (2000e) 467 000; area 11 780 km²/4547 sq mi; Island of the W Philippines; long, narrow, with a mountain chain running almost the whole length; Mindoro I to the NE, separated by Mindoro Strait; bounded by the Sulu Sea (E) and South China Sea (W); rises in the S to 2054 m/6739 ft at Mt Mantalingajan; chief town, Puerto Princesa; timber, chromite, fishing. Palawan is an island pro…

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Pale - Beyond the pale

The ‘land of peace’ where English rule prevailed in late mediaeval times on the edges of English territory around Calais (until its loss in 1558), Scotland, and a large part of E Ireland. The phrase ‘beyond the pale’ has been used to imply something is outside the boundaries of normal behaviour - that is, being beyond the extent of English law. In Ireland, the Pale shrank under Elizabeth I bec…

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Palencia

42°201N 4°32W, pop (2000e) 82 000. City in Spain, in the province of Castilla-León, capital of the province and of the administrative area of the same name; in the far E of the Tierra de Campos, adjacent to the R Carrión; administrative and commercial centre; food, textiles (wool fabrics), metal goods; bishopric; Cave of St Antolín, Hospital of Sts Antolín and Barnaby. Palencia is a…

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Palenque - The name, The Maya Classic city, Rulers, Modern examinations of Palenque

A Mayan city of AD 600–800 on the slopes of the Chiapas Mts, S Mexico, celebrated for its beauty and distinctive architecture: a world heritage site. Its monuments include a labyrinthine palace complex; temple pyramids of the Sun, Cross, and Foliate Cross; and the Temple of Inscriptions, built to house the tomb of Pacal, ruler of Palenque 615–84. Palenque is a Maya archeological site near…

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Palermo - History, Demographics, Main sights, Sports, Patron saints, Transport

38°08N 13°23E, pop (2000e) 733 000. Seaport and capital of Palermo province, on N coast of Sicily, S Italy; founded by Phoenicians, 7th–8th-c BC; archbishopric; airport; railway; ferries; university (1777); construction, shipbuilding, steel, glass, chemicals, furniture, service industries, food processing, tourism; trade in fruit, wine, olive oil; cathedral (12th-c), Church of San Cataldo (12…

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Palestine (Middle East) - The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem:1917-1988, Demographics

A country in the Middle East whose boundaries were transformed by political considerations across the 20th-c. Following the break-up of the Ottoman Empire in the settlement after World War 1, Palestine was created as a British mandate in 1922. Britain had pledged its support for Zionist national aspirations in the 1917 Balfour Declaration, prior to the formation of Palestine and in disregard of th…

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Palestine (USA) - The Origins and Evolution of the Palestine Problem:1917-1988, Demographics

31º75N 95º64W, pop (2000e) 17 600. Seat of Anderson Co, E Texas, USA; on the Trinity R, 174 km/108 mi SE of Dallas; founded, 1846; birthplace of Jessie Daniel Ames; railway. During the Israelite Period (or Iron Age), the Kingdom of Israel of the United Monarchy reigned from Jerusalem over an area approximating modern Israel with the Palestinian Territories but extending farther …

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palette

In art, a term with two main senses: 1 A flat wooden plate, oval or rectangular, on which painters arrange their colours. 2 The range of colours used by an artist. Thus, Rembrandt's palette was occasionally restricted to just four or five basic colours, while an Impressionist might use a dozen. By extension, this sense has come to be used in computing, referring to the range of colours available u…

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palindrome - History, Palindromes in languages with different writing systems, Types of palindrome, In fiction, Long palindromes

A word or phrase which reads the same backwards as forwards, such as ‘madam’, ‘radar’, and ‘Draw, o coward!’. Longer sequences are usually nonsensical, but there are exceptions, as in: ‘Doc, note, I dissent. A fast never prevents a fatness. I diet on cod’. Palindromes date back at least to 79 A.D., as the palindromic Latin word square "Sator Arepo Tenet Opera Rotas" was found as a g…

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Palladium

In Greek legend, an image of Pallas Athene which fell from heaven, and became ‘the luck of Troy’. Odysseus and Diomedes stole it, and it was supposed to have reached Argos, Athens, or Sparta. The Romans believed Aeneas had brought it to Rome. Palladium (IPA: /pəˈleɪdiəm/) is a chemical element with symbol Pd and atomic number 46. …

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Pallas

The second asteroid to be found (1802), discovered by the German astronomer and physician, Wilhelm Olbers, 540 km/335 mi across. It was named after Pallas Athene, the goddess of wisdom. One Pallas was an epithet for Athena. According to some sources, Pallas was the playmate of Athena, a daughter of the god Triton (or Tritonis), her foster-father. One day, while Pallas and Athena wer…

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palm

A woody plant found throughout the tropics, typical of and prominent on oceanic islands, with a few species reaching warm temperate regions. Palms are monocotyledons, and display the typical characters of parallel-veined leaves and floral parts arranged in whorls of three, or multiples of three. Some species are climbers, but most are trees and, as is typical in monocots, lack secondary growth fro…

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palm oil - History, Chemical composition, Nutrition, Environmental and cultural impact, Palm Oil as Biodiesel, Health

A major edible oil, obtained from the flesh of the fruit of several types of palm tree. It is produced in large quantities, and widely used for the manufacture of margarine, as well as in soap, candles, and lubricating grease. Palm oil is a form of edible vegetable oil obtained from the fruit of the oil palm tree. It is the second-most widely produced edible oil, after soybean oil. However,…

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Palm Sunday - In the New Testament, Day of Week, Observation in the Liturgy, Tradition, Compare

In the Christian Church, the Sunday before Easter, commemorating the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, when the crowd spread palm branches in front of him (Mark 11, John 13). Palm Sunday is a moveable feast in the church calendar observed by Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant Christians. The difficulty of procuring palms for that day's ceremonies in unfavorable climates for p…

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Palma (de Mallorca)

39°35N 2°39E, pop (2000e) 300 000. Seaport and chief city of Majorca I, Balearic Is; bishopric; airport; university (1967); shipyard, footwear, metalwork, beer, clothes, pottery, tourism; Bellver Castle (14th-c), Church of St Francis, cathedral (13th–16th-c), Spanish Pueblo open-air museum. Geographical places Palma can also refer to other things: …

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Palmerston North - Geography, Physical environment, The city, Sports teams, Secondary schools in Palmerston North

40°20S 175°39E, pop (2000e) 77 000. City in North Island, New Zealand, NE of Wellington; airfield; railway; university (1926); agricultural research centre; dairy products, pharmaceuticals, textiles, electrical goods; Manawatu rugby museum. Palmerston North is a city in the Manawatu-Wanganui region of the North Island of New Zealand. The city is situated about 140 km north o…

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Palmiro Togliatti - Biography, Overview

Italian politician, born in Genoa, Liguria, NW Italy. He met Gramsci while at university in Turin and they both joined the socialist youth movement. With others he founded L'Ordine Nuovo in 1919 and engineered the split from the PSI (Partito Socialista Italiano) which led to the founding of the Italian Communist Party or PCI (Partito Comunista Italiano) in 1921. He became leader of the party after…

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palmitic acid

C15H31COOH, IUPAC hexadecanoic acid, a saturated fatty acid, melting point 63°C. It is obtained from many animal and plant sources, especially milk and palm oil (from which the name is derived). Palmitic acid, or hexadecanoic acid in IUPAC nomenclature, is one of the most common saturated fatty acids found in animals and plants. Palmitate is a term for the salts or esters of pa…

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Palmyra (Pacific Ocean) - History, Further excavations, Gallery

5°52N 162°05W. Uninhabited atoll enclosing 50 small islets in the Pacific Ocean 1600 km/1000 mi S of Honolulu; annexed by USA, 1912; important air transport base in World War 2; since 1962 under jurisdiction of US Department of the Interior; site for nuclear waste disposal since 1986. Palmyra was in the ancient times an important city of central Syria, located in an oasis 215 km northea…

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Palmyra (Roman history) - History, Further excavations, Gallery

In Roman times, a flourishing oasis town on the E fringe of the Empire, whose wealth came from controlling the desert trade routes between N Syria and Babylonia. At the height of its power in the 3rd-c AD, it briefly gained independence before being brought to heel and destroyed by the Romans in 273. Palmyra was in the ancient times an important city of central Syria, located in an oasis 21…

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Palomar Observatory - The Hale Telescope, Palomar Observatory Sky Survey, Current research, Public access

An observatory on Mount Palomar near San Diego, California, USA, owned by the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). It is the site of the 5 m/200 in Hale reflector telescope (1948), which has made numerous contributions to observational astronomy and cosmology. The 1·2 m/48 in Schmidt telescope at this observatory is used to survey the sky photographically. The first Palomar Observato…

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palomino

A horse with a distinctive type of colouring, found in various breeds, and actively selected by some breeders, especially in the USA; pale golden brown with white mane and tail (occasionally white on face or legs); also known as California sorrel. Palomino is a coat color in horses, consisting of a gold coat and white or flaxen mane and tail. While the breed standard states the ideal color …

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palynology - Methods of study, Applications

The analysis of pollen grains preserved in ancient sediments and soils to reconstruct variations in vegetation over time; blanket bog, acid moorland podzols, and lake deposits provide particularly good data. The impact of prehistoric peoples and early agriculture on the natural environment is a subject of much contemporary interest. Palynology is the science that studies contemporary and fo…

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Pam Gems

Playwright, born in Hampshire, S England, UK. After bringing up four children she turned to playwriting, and was involved with the Women's Theatre Season at the Almost Free (1975). Her first great West End success came with a feminist study of four girls rooming together in a London flat: Dusa, Fish, Stas and Vi (1977). She is best known for her work with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), most …

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Pamela Frankau - Works

British novelist. Her early novels, such as The Marriage of Harlequin, epitomized the era of the ‘bright young things’. Her later novels were more serious in intent. Typical are The Willow Cabin (1949) and A Wreath for the Enemy (1954). The Offshore Light (1952) was written under her pseudonym. Pamela Frankau (1908-1967) was a popular British novelist. …

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Pamela Hansford Johnson - Career, Works

Writer, born in London, UK. Best known for her portrayal of her native post-war London, her books include An Avenue of Stone (1947), The Unspeakable Skipton (1958), A Bonfire (1981), and a play The Rehearsal (1961). She also wrote several works of non-fiction, such as her study of the Moors murders, On Iniquity (1967). In 1950 she married the novelist C P Snow. Pamela Hansford Johnson, Baro…

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pampa(s)

The extensive grassland (prairie) region of Argentina and Uruguay around the R Plate estuary. It is a major centre for cattle ranching. The Pampas (from Quechua, meaning "plain") are the fertile South American lowlands that include the Argentine provinces of Buenos Aires, La Pampa, Santa Fe, and Córdoba, most of Uruguay, and the southernmost end of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul, covering…

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pampas grass

A large perennial grass (Cortaderia selloana) forming dense tufts of arching bluish leaves and tall, erect stems 3 m/10 ft high, bearing silvery-white, sometimes pink, plume-like panicles. Native to Brazil, Argentina, and Chile, it is widely grown as an ornamental. (Family: Gramineae.) …

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Pamplona - History, Demography, Sports

42°48N 1°38W, pop (2000e) 182 000. Capital of Navarre province, N Spain; on R Arga, 407 km/253 mi N of Madrid; archbishopric; capital of the Kingdom of Navarre, 10th-c; airport; railway; university (1952); agricultural centre, paper, rope, pottery, chemicals, kitchenware; cathedral (14th–15th-c), museum; Fiesta of San Fermin (Jul), with bull-running in the streets; Chiquita (Sep). Pa…

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Pamporovo

41°43N 24°39E. International ski resort in Smolyan province, S Bulgaria; 15 km/9 mi N of Smolyan in the Rhodopi Mts; altitude 1650 m/5413 ft; on Snezhanka (‘Snow White’) Peak there are several ski runs up to 3800 m/12 500 ft in length. Pamporovo (Bulgarian: Пампорово) is a popular mountain resort in southern Bulgaria, one of the best-known in Southeastern Europe. It is a…

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Pan (astronomy)

The 18th natural satellite of Saturn, discovered in 1990 from photographs taken nine years earlier by the Voyager 2 space probe; distance from the centre of Saturn 133 600 km/83 000 mi; diameter 20 km/12 mi; orbital period 0·58 days. …

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Pan (mythology) - Origins, Worship, Mythology, History and accounts, Faunus, Pan in fiction, Note

A Greek god, the ‘nourisher’ of flocks and herds, originally a rural goat-god from Arcadia, depicted with goat-like ears, horns, and legs. His pan-pipe is made of reeds, and he can cause groups of people to be seized with uncontrollable fear (‘panic’). Pan (Greek Πάν, genitive Πανός) is the Greek god who watches over shepherds and their flocks. The parentage of Pan i…

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Pan-Africanism - Concept, Pan-African Banner, Branches of Pan-Africanism, Africentric Pan-Africanism, Criticism

A movement founded by US and W Indian blacks to promote the interests of black people everywhere. It held meetings in 1900, 1919 (in association with the Peace Conference at Versailles), and 1945, and influenced the intellectual development of nationalism in Africa. Nasser made Cairo a centre of Pan-African influence, a role subsequently taken over by Addis Ababa. Pan-Africanism - promotion…

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Pan-American Highway - Pan-American Highway system overview, The Darién Gap, North of the Darién Gap

A network of designated roads extending 27 000 km/17 000 mi across the Americas from Alaska to Chile. The proposal, which was put to the 5th International Conference of American States in 1923, was originally for a single route, but several alternative routes have since been designated. The Pan-American Highway system is mostly complete and extends from Fairbanks, Alaska in North Americ…

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Panaetius

Stoic philosopher, from Rhodes, Greece. He taught in Athens and Rome, and became head of the Stoa in Athens (129 BC). His writings are now lost, but he was an important figure in the popularization of Stoicism in Rome. He was a friend of the younger Scipio, and his ethical and political works were an important source for Cicero's influential treatise, De officiis. …

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Panama - Etymology, History, Politics, Administrative divisions, Geography, Economy, Sources

Official name Republic of Panama, Span República de Panamá Panama, officially the Republic of Panama (Spanish: República de Panamá, IPA [re'puβlika ðe pana'ma]), is the southernmost and most developed country of Central America. There are various stories about the etymology of Panama's name. Much of Panama's domestic politics and international diplomacy in the …

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Panama Canal - Layout, History, Tolls, Current issues, Future

A canal bisecting the Isthmus of Panama and linking the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. It is 82 km/51 mi long, and 150 m/490 ft wide in most places; built by the US Corps of Engineers (1904–14). In 1979, US control of the Panama Canal Zone (8 km/5 mi of land flanking the canal, formerly the site of a US military installation) was passed to the Republic of Panama, which guaranteed the neutrali…

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Panama City - Brief history, Panama city as a tourist destination, Nature, Transportation, Education

8°57N 79°30W, pop (2000e) 713 000. Capital city of Panama, on the N shore of the Gulf of Panama, near the Pacific end of the Panama Canal; founded, 1673; airport; railway; two universities (1935, 1965); industrial and transportation centre of Panama; on the Pan-American Highway; Church of San José; historic district and Salón Bolivar, a world heritage site. Panama City (Spanish: Ciuda…

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Panchen Lama

A spiritual leader and teacher in Tibetan Buddhism, second in importance to the Dalai Lama, and said to be the reincarnation of the Buddha Amitabha. The late Panchen Lama (1938–89), the 10th reincarnation, became the ward of the Chinese in his childhood, and some Tibetans disputed his status. Remarks: ¹ The title Panchen Lama was conferred posthumously on the first two Panchen…

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Pancho Gonzales - Career, Place among the all-time great tennis players

Tennis player, born in Los Angeles, California, USA. From an impoverished background, and largely self-taught, he rose to the top in tennis, winning the US singles in 1948 and 1949, and the doubles at both Wimbledon and France in 1949, after which he turned professional. In 1969 he took part in the longest-ever men's singles match at Wimbledon, playing 112 games to defeat fellow-American, Charlie …

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Pancho Villa - The revolt against Diaz, Orozco's counterrevolution against Madero

Mexican revolutionary, born in Hacienda de Río Grande, Mexico. He lived his early life as a fugitive before joining Francisco Madero's successful uprising against the Mexican dictator, Porfirio Díaz (1909). He fled to the USA in 1912, and after the assassination of Madero the following year formed the ‘Division del Norte’ (Division of the North). Together with Venustiano Carranza (1859–1920),…

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pancreas - Anatomy, Function, Edibility, Diseases of the pancreas, History

A soft gland made up of small lobes (lobules) associated with the alimentary canal of vertebrates with jaws, and producing both exocrine and endocrine secretions. It consists of the secretory alveoli (the exocrine part) and the islets of Langerhans (the endocrine part). In humans it is c.12–15 cm/4·5–6 in long, and lies on the rear abdominal wall in front of the upper two lumbar vertebrae, ex…

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panda

A mammal of family Ailuropodidae, related to raccoons and bears; inhabits bamboo forests in mountains; two species: giant panda (Ailuropoda melanoleuca) from China; bear-like with large round head; white with black legs, shoulders, chest, ears, and area around eyes; front paw with elongated wrist bone which acts like a sixth digit; grasps bamboo shoots between this extra ‘thumb’ and the first an…

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Pandarus

In Homer's Iliad, a Trojan prince, killed by Diomedes. In later developments of the story of Troilus and Cressida, he became her uncle and their ‘go-between’ (hence ‘pander’). In Homer's Iliad, Pandarus or Pandaros is the son of Lycaon and a famous archer. Pandarus is also the name of a companion of Aeneas in Virgil's Aeneid. In Geoffrey Chaucer’s poem Troilus …

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Pandora - Problems and Mistranslation, Interpretations, Pandora as depicted by the vase-painters

In Greek mythology, the first woman, made by Hephaestus, and adorned by the gods with special qualities; she was sent to be the wife of Epimetheus. Zeus gave her a box (or she found a storage-jar) from which all the evils which plague mankind came out; only Hope was left in the bottom of the box. The name means ‘all gifts’. In Greek mythology, Pandora ("all gifted") was the first woman, f…

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Pandurang Shastri Athavale - Youth

Hindu leader, born in Roha, near Mumbai, India. His father was a Brahmin scholar who founded the Shrimad Bhagavad Gita Pathashala, a seat of Vedic learning. Under the guidance of his grandfather, he learned Sanskrit and Hindi, English, comparative religions, and Eastern and Western philosophy. He became founder and leader of the Bhagavad Gita-based self-study known as swadhyaya, a movement that en…

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panegyric - Relation to Panegyrist

A speech, poem, or song of praise addressed to an individual, group, or institution. Examples include Pliny's eulogy of Trajan, and Mark Antony's oration on Caesar in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. Less creditable instances are addresses by authors to patrons, and periodic tributes to royalty by the English poets laureate. A panegyric is a formal public speech, or (in later use) written verse…

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Pangaea - Geography, Formation of Pangaea, Rifting and break-up of Pangaea, Earlier supercontinents

The name given to the hypothesized ‘supercontinent’ comprising Gondwanaland and Laurasia which made up the Earth's continental crust before the Jurassic period. It then began to split, as a result of continental drift, eventually forming the present-day distribution of the continents. Pangaea or Pangea (derived from Παγγαία, Greek meaning 'all earth') is the name given to the super…

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pangolin - Physical description and behavior, Diet, Taxonomy

A mammal native to Africa and S and SE Asia; pointed head with small eyes; long broad tail; long tongue and no teeth; eats ants and termites; covered in large overlapping horny plates (resembles a tiled roof); curls into an armoured ball; the only member of order Pholidota; also known as scaly anteater. (Genus: Manis, 7 species.) Pangolins (pronounced /ˈpæŋgəlɪn/) or scaly anteaters ar…

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pangram - Other languages, Self-enumerating pangrams, Pangrammatic windows, Perfect pangrams from restricted sets

A meaningful sentence which contains all the letters of the alphabet, ideally only once each. A familiar example, though with duplications, is the typists' test sentence The quick brown fox jumped over the lazy dog. A 26-letter English pangram (albeit with rather obscure words) is Veldt jynx grimps waqf zho buck. A pangram (Greek: pan gramma, "every letter"), or holoalphabetic sentence, is …

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Panhandle - Panhandles outside the United States

Any territory comprising a narrow strip of land running out from a large area in the shape of a pan handle; in the USA, applied to areas in (1) NW Texas (the Texas Panhandle), (2) NW Oklahoma, (3) N Idaho, (4) NE West Virginia (Eastern Panhandle), (5) N West Virginia, (6) SE Alaska, (7) Nebraska, and (8) an extension of the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Panhandles in the United States:…

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panicle

A branched, racemose type of inflorescence. The term is often used for any complexly-branched inflorescence. A panicle is a compound raceme, a loose, much-branched indeterminate inflorescence with pedicellate flowers (and fruit) attached along the secondary branches (in other words, a branched cluster of flowers in which the branches are racemes). Note that botanists use the term pani…

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panorama

In art, a painting of a landscape which is too large to be viewed all at once but which is either unrolled before the spectator, bit by bit, or displayed all around a room, which may be circular in plan. The huge panorama of Scheveningen by Hendrik Willem Mesdag (1831–1915) is one of the tourist attractions of The Hague. In its most general sense, a panorama is any wide view of a physical …

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pansy - Cultivation, breeding and life cycle, Anatomy, Diseases and pests, Cultivars, Name origin and significance

Any of several species or varieties of violet, in which the flat, 5-petalled flowers are held in a vertical plane and often resemble a face, the effect being heightened by honey-guide markings on the petals. The cultivated pansy, developed as a cottage garden flower c.1830, has large flowers with overlapping petals in a wider range of colours. (Genus: Viola. Family: Violaceae.) The Pansy or…

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pantheism - History, Varieties of pantheism, Methods of explanation, Debate, Related concepts, Pantheistic concepts in religion, Ethics, Quotations

The belief that God and the universe are ultimately identical. It may equate the world with God or deny the reality of the world, maintaining that only the divine is real and that sense experience is illusory. It is a characteristic feature of Hinduism and certain schools of Buddhism. Pantheism (Greek: πάν ( 'pan' ) = all and θεός ( 'theos' ) = God) literally means "God is All" and "…

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pantheon - Buildings, Other meanings

A temple in Rome dedicated to all the gods, begun by Agrippa in 27 BC and rebuilt by Hadrian (AD 100–125), and now S Maria Rotonda. The name is also used for many derivatives of the original, and more generally for any burial place of heroes or Temple of Fame. Pantheon may refer to: …

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panther

A member of the cat family, but not a distinct species. The name is used for the black form of the leopard (especially in the combination black panther) or as an alternative name for the cougar. In politics: In the military: In sports: In geography: In video games: In media: …

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pantomime - Origin, Today, Pantomime in Australia, Pantomime in Canada, Pantomime in the United States of America

In most European languages the term denotes what in English is usually referred to as a mime. In England the term signifies a specific form of entertainment developed from the harlequinade in the 19th-c. It is performed during the Christmas season as a mixture of songs, dances, slapstick, topical jokes, male and female impersonations, magic, and spectacle, with a storyline that is loosely connecte…

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pantothenic acid - Sources, Daily Requirement, Deficiency, Disputed Uses

A B vitamin which acts as a co-factor in several enzyme reactions. Because it is found so widely in nature, a deficiency in humans has not yet been recorded. Pantothenic acid, also called vitamin B5, is a water-soluble vitamin required to sustain life. Pantothenic acid is needed to form coenzyme-A (CoA), and is critical in the metabolism and synthesis of carbohydrates, proteins, and f…

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Panzer - German panzers, Other uses

A term used in the German armed forces, applied to warships (Panzerschiffe, ‘armoured ship’) but more particularly to armoured fighting vehicles. The Panzer divisions (essentially tank forces) were the most important component of the German army's fighting strength during World War 2. Panzer refers to an armoured tank or other vehicle, usually a Second World War German model. Panzer also …

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Paolo Maldini

Footballer, born in Milan, Italy, son of Cesare Maldini, who played for AC Milan and Italy in the 1960s before becoming the national team coach. Paolo made his debut for AC Milan in 1985 at the age of 16 and has remained with the club throughout his career. His many honours include five Italian championship medals, three Cup Winners' Cup medals, two FIFA Club World Championship medals, and three E…

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Paolo Savi

Naturalist and zoologist, born in Pisa, W Italy. He studied physics and natural science at Pisa, and soon became professor of natural history (zoology from 1840) at Pisa University, and also director of the Pisa Museum. He extended the museum considerably, and became a senator in 1862. His great work, Ornitologia Italiana, was published posthumously (1873–6). Savi's warbler is named after him. …

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Paolo Uccello - Life, Works, Further reading

Painter, born in Pratovecchio, NC Italy. He trained under Ghiberti, worked in Venice as a mosaicist (1425–31), then settled in Florence. He applied the principles of perspective to his paintings, as seen in ‘The Flood’ (1447–8, Florence), where his use of perspective and foreshortening gives a sternly realistic effect. Uccello (born Paolo di Dono) (Florence, 1397 – d.1475) was a Flore…

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Paolo Veronese - Famous works

Venetian decorative painter, born in Verona, N Italy. He worked at Verona and Mantua, then settled in Venice (1555), where he came to rank with Titian and Tintoretto. The Church of San Sebastiano in Venice contains many pictures of the period before his visit to Rome (1560). His major paintings include ‘The Marriage Feast at Cana’ (1562–3, Louvre), ‘The Adoration of the Magi’ (1573, National …

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Papakura - History, Facilities

37º04S 174º59E, pop (2001e) 42 700. Town in NW North Island, New Zealand; located between Manukau Harbour and the Hunua ranges, SW of Auckland; birthplace of Fleur Adcock; railway; aerodrome; international athletic track; horse market; flower growing area. The Papakura District (informally just Papakura, or Kura) in New Zealand is one of the several recognized districts in the Greater A…

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Papal States - The Donation of Peppin and the Holy Roman Empire, The Renaissance

The ‘States of the Church’, straddling rural, mountainous areas of C Italy, comprising territories (the modern-day Romagna, Marche, Umbria and Latium) received by treaties and donations in the Middle Ages. The papal government was often ineffective, and relied upon local lords (Malatesta of Rimini, Montefeltro of Urbino, Este of Ferrara) who were appointed as ‘vicars in temporal matters’. Roma…

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Papeete - Arrival and departure

17°32S 149°34W, pop (2000e) 99 300. Capital and chief port of French Polynesia, on NW coast of Tahiti; airport; copra, vanilla, mother-of-pearl. Coordinates: 17°32′S 149°34′W Papeete (translation to English means "water from a basket", see footnote for variant spelling) (pronounced /papeʔete/) is the capital of French Polynesia, an overseas territory of France i…

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paper - Manufacturing, Applications, Types, History, The future of paper

Material in sheet form used for a wide range of functions, notably writing, drawing, printing, and packaging. Invented in China in AD 105, it was originally produced from pulped rags or plant fibres. It came quickly into common use in China; in 143 a scholar apologized for no longer writing on silk; toilet-paper was produced in 590 - its use noted with disgust by Arab merchants; and paper money wa…

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Paphos - Founding myth, History and archaeology, Interesting sites, Sports

34°45N 32°23E, pop (2000e) 31 700. Holiday resort and capital town of Paphos district, SW Cyprus, on the Mediterranean Sea; capital of Cyprus during Roman times; old city founded probably in Mycenaean period, a world heritage site; remains of Roman villa (House of Dionysos), 7th-c Byzantine castle, 3rd-c BC ‘Tombs of the Kings’, Saranda Kolones (remains of Byzantine castle), Chrysopolitissa …

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Pappus of Alexandria - His work, Theorems, Reference

Greek mathematician, whose eight-book Synagoge (Collection) is extant in an incomplete form. Some of our knowledge of ancient Greek mathematics derives exclusively from his work. Pappus of Alexandria (Greek Πάππος ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς) is one of the most important Hellenistic mathematicians of antiquity, known for his work Synagoge or Collection (c. Synagoge, his be…

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Pappy Boyington - Early life, Military career, Medal of Honor citation, Later life, University of Washington Boyington Memorial

Marine aviator, born in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, USA. He led the famous Black Sheep Squadron (Marine Corps Fighter Squadron 214) in the Pacific Theatre during World War 2. The group consisted of pilots awaiting assignments, casuals, replacements, and new pilots. A television series based on the exploits of the squadron was aired by NBC between 1976–8. Colonel Gregory "Pappy" Boyington, USMC, …

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Papua New Guinea - History, Law, Politics, Administrative divisions, Geography, Ecology, Economy, Land tenure, Demographics, Culture, Sport, Religion, Miscellaneous

Official name Independent State of Papua New Guinea Papua New Guinea (PNG), officially the Independent State of Papua New Guinea, is a country in Oceania, occupying the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and numerous offshore islands (the western portion of the island is occupied by the Indonesian provinces of Papua and West Irian Jaya). The country is also one of the world's le…

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papyrus - Etymology, Manufacture and Use

An aquatic perennial (Cyperus papyrus) native to N Africa; stems growing to 4 m/13 ft, triangular in cross-section; leaves grass-like; flowers tiny, yellowish, lacking perianth, in spikelets forming large spherical heads. The ancients made paper by pressing wet strips of the pithy stems side by side. (Family: Cyperaceae.) Papyrus is an early form of paper made from the pith of the papyrus…

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parable

A metaphor in narrative form (although sometimes considered a simile) with the purpose not so much of imparting propositional truths or general moral lessons as challenging the perspective of the hearer. In the Bible, parables are frequently used by Jesus in his preaching about the kingdom of God, and include well-known stories about the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal Son, the Sower, and many others…

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parabola - Definitions and overview

In mathematics, the locus of a point whose distance from a fixed point S (the focus) is equal to its distance from a fixed line l (the directrix). It is one of the classical conic sections. The parabola has the property that the tangent at any point P is equally inclined to the line PS, and the line through P parallel to the x-axis of the parabola. Thus rays emitted from S and reflected by the cur…

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Paracelsus - Biography, Contributions to toxicology

Alchemist and physician, born in Einsiedeln, NC Switzerland. He travelled widely in Europe and the Middle East, learning about alchemy, and acquiring great fame as a medical practitioner (1526) introducing laudanum, sulphur, lead, and mercury into Western therapeutics. He became town physician and lecturer at Basel (1527), but his controversial views caused his exile in 1538. He travelled through …

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paracetamol - History, Mechanism of action, Metabolism, Comparison with NSAIDs, Toxicity, Danger to animals

A mild painkiller commonly used for headache, menstrual pain, etc. It will also reduce body temperature during fever. Although very safe, overdose leads to irreversible liver damage, and can be fatal. Paracetamol (INN) (IPA: [pærəˈsitəmɒl, -moʊl, -ˈsɛtə-]) or acetaminophen (USAN), is a common analgesic and antipyretic drug that is used for the relief of fever, headaches, and …

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parachuting - Procedure, Skills, Safety, Types, Training, Parachute Deployment, Variations, Parachuting organizations

The act of jumping out of an aircraft and eventually landing with the aid of a parachute. As a sport, the competitor free-falls for a few thousand feet before opening the chute, normally at approximately 750 m/2500 ft. In competition, the object is to land within a predetermined target area. Parachuting first became popular as a variety act. French aeronaut André-Jacques Garnerin (1769–1823) m…

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Paradise

A term, probably of Persian origin, referring to a walled garden or park; in the Bible, applied variously to the Garden of Eden (Gen 2–3, in the Septuagint only) and to forests, but only later to a blessed, future heavenly state and place of bliss (2 Cor 12.4; Rev 2.7). In ancient and modern thought, Paradise has been visualized not only as gardens, but also as mountains and islands. The w…

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paradox - Examples, Etymology, Common themes, Types of paradoxes

In logic, a contradictory or implausible conclusion which seems to follow by valid argument from true premisses. ‘This sentence is false’ appears to be true if false, and false if true. Such self-referential paradoxes played an important role in the work of Russell and Frege on the foundations of mathematical logic. A paradox (Gk: παράδοξος, "aside belief") is an apparently true …

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Paraguay - Politics, Administrative divisions, Geography, Economy

Official name Republic of Paraguay, Span República del Paraguay Paraguay, officially the Republic of Paraguay (Spanish: República del Paraguay, pron. Paraguay's history has been characterized by long periods of authoritarian governments, political instability and infighting, and devastating wars with its neighbors. Francisco Solano Lopez governments 1865 - 1870: The War …

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River Paraguay - People, Music, Business, Technology, Politics, Fiction

River in C South America; a chief tributary of the R Paraná; rises in Brazil (Mato Grosso), flows S, forming part of Brazil–Bolivia, Brazil–Paraguay, and Paraguay–Argentina borders, flowing into the Paraná above Corrientes, Argentina; length 2300 km/1450 mi; used widely by local river traffic. …

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paraldehyde - Medical applications, Industrial applications

(C2H4O)3. An oligomer containing three molecules of acetaldehdyde; a liquid boiling at 128°C. Acetaldehyde is conveniently stored in this form, from which it is regenerated by heating with acid. Paraldehyde was introduced into clinical practice in the UK by the Italian physician Vincenzo Cervello in 1882. Today, paraldehyde is used to treat status epilepticus. Since the dose ma…

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parallax - Introduction, Use in distance measurement, Parallax and measurement instruments, Photogrammetric parallax, Lunar parallax, Solar parallax

In astronomy, an apparent displacement in the position of any celestial object caused by a change in the position of the observer; specifically, a change because of the motion of the Earth around the Sun. It is often loosely used by astronomers to be synonymous with distance, because it is inversely proportional to distance. Parallax, or more accurately motion parallax (Greek: παραλλ

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parallel processing

The use of two or more processors simultaneously to carry out a single computing task, each processor being assigned a particular part of the task at any given time. This differs from conventional single-processor computing, where the whole task is carried out sequentially by the one processor. Parallel processing does have inherent programming and supervisory difficulties, but promises greatly in…

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paralysis - Paralysis in the animal world

Loss of movement resulting from interference with the nerve supply to a muscle or muscles. It may arise from destruction of the motor nerve cells in the brain (eg hemiplegia, following a stroke in which muscles on one side of the body are affected), or in the spinal cord (eg poliomyelitis). Paraplegia refers to the loss of muscle power affecting both lower limbs, and is usually caused by injury to…

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paramagnetism - Introduction, Curie's law, Types of paramagnetism

A magnetic effect present in many materials (eg aluminium and oxygen at room temperature) in which individual atoms' magnetic moments align in support of an applied magnetic field, the material being attracted towards the source of the applied field. It is characterized by positive magnetic susceptibility, and exploited in magnetic cooling. Paramagnetism is a form of magnetism which only oc…

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Paramaribo - History, Economy, Culture, Football (soccer) and Paramaribo, Points of interest, Travel

5°54N 55°14W, pop (2000e) 261 000. Federal capital of Suriname; chief port and only large town of Suriname, on the R Suriname; capital of British Suriname, 1651; under Dutch rule, 1814–1975; airport; university (1968); trade in bauxite, coffee, timber, fruit; People's Palace (former Governor's Mansion), Fort Zeelandia; cathedral (1885) built entirely of wood, said to be largest wooden buildin…

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paramedic - Skills Performed by Paramedics

A medical specialist responsible for collecting injured or unwell people (eg from the site of an accident), administering life-saving procedures where necessary, and initiating emergency treatment while transporting the casualty to a hospital, usually in an ambulance or helicopter. A paramedic is an Emergency medical technician certified to the highest level of training and responds to medi…

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Paran - People, Music, Business, Technology, Politics, Fiction

Major river of South America; forms with its tributaries (notably the Paraguay) and the R Uruguay South America's second largest drainage system; rises in SEC Brazil and flows generally S along Paraguay's E and S border into Argentina, where it joins the Uruguay after 3300 km/2000 mi to form the R Plate estuary on the Atlantic; dammed at various points for hydroelectricity, with a major scheme a…

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paranoia - Use in psychiatry, Paranoia depicted in popular culture

An excessive tendency to suspiciousness and sensitivity to being rebuffed. Paranoid individuals may presume by merely seeing a police car that there is an elaborate plot to put them in jail, and that the plot has been directed by an unknown authority. This definition is of a symptom, but in addition the term has been used to describe a syndrome, and in this sense it was brought into common usage b…

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paranormal - Belief in the Paranormal, Relation to Perinormal, Paranormal Subjects

Beyond the bounds of what can be explained in terms of currently held scientific knowledge. Thus, to describe an event as paranormal requires that all other possible explanations for the event, based on known principles, be ruled out. However, the use of the term does not imply that the eventual explanation, as science discovers more about allegedly paranormal events, will be non-physical; it allo…

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parapsychology - Types of parapsychological phenomena, History and claims, Status of the field, Noted parapsychologists, Critics of parapsychology

The scientific study of certain aspects of the paranormal, primarily those in which an organism appears (i) to receive information from its environment through some means not presently understood (also known as extrasensory perception, or ESP), or (ii) to exert an influence on its environment through some means not presently understood (also known as psychokinesis, or PK), in the laboratory or in …

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parasitic plant - Host range, Plants parasitic on fungi

A plant which obtains some or all of its food and/or shelter from another plant. The arrangement may be temporary or permanent. Obligate parasites can survive only by this means; facultative parasites are more flexible, and under certain conditions are able to survive without the host, for example by changing to a saprophytic lifestyle. Many fungi and some plants have adopted this lifestyle. Among…

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parasitology - Fields

The study of organisms which live on and at the expense of another living creature (the host) and of their interactions. Strictly these organisms include both harmless and disease-producing viruses and bacteria, but common usage restricts the study to (1) Protozoa such as Amoeba, Giardia, Trichomonas, Trypanosoma, Leishmania, and Toxoplasma, (2) worms such as round and flat worms, tapeworms, Trich…

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parathyroid hormone - Functions, Syndromes, Measurements

A hormone (a polypeptide) synthesized and secreted by the chief cells of the parathyroid glands, released in response to lowered blood calcium levels; also known as parathormone. It has the opposite effect to calcitonin: it raises extracellular calcium levels by stimulating the removal of calcium from bone and from the renal tubule into the blood, and it promotes the conversion of vitamin D to an …

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Paray-le-Monial

46º27N 4º07E, pop (2001e) 11 000. Town in Burgundy, EC France; much visited place of pilgrimage; most venerated spot is the Chapel of the Visitation, reputed site of apparitions to St Marguerite Marie Alacoque; Basilica of the Sacred Heart (10th–11th-c). Paray-le-Monial is a town and commune of northeastern France, in the region of Burgundy, in the Saône-et-Loire département. …

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Parc des Princes

An open-air stadium, venue of some of the largest sporting events in France. Reconstructed in 1972, it can seat up to 50 000 people. Situated in the Auteuil district of Paris, it is also home to the Paris-St-Germain football team. The Parc des Princes (translation: Princes' Park) is a 48,527-seat stadium in the 16th arrondissement of Paris, France. It is the home of football team Paris Sai…

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parchment - History, Cooking parchment

A prepared but untanned animal skin, usually of a sheep, goat, or calf, developed by the Greeks c.2nd-c BC as a medium of writing. In mediaeval Europe, before the introduction of paper, parchment was used for manuscripts and later for printed books. Nowadays, its use is reserved for commemorative and other important documents. A high quality, fine-grained parchment is known as vellum. Parch…

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Pare Lorentz - Filmography, Externel Links

Documentary film-maker, born in Clarksburg, West Virginia, USA. A journalist and film critic, he became the film adviser to the US Resettlement Administration under President Franklin Roosevelt, for which he wrote and directed two classic documentaries, The Plow that Broke the Plains (1936) and The River (1937). As head of the new US Film Service, he made The Fight for Life (1940), and in 1941 he …

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Paris (France) - History, Geography, Cityscape, Demography, Economy, Administration, Transport, Culture, Sister cities

48°50N 2°20E, pop (2000e) 2 251 000. Capital of France and of Ville de Paris department, on R Seine; originally a Roman settlement; capital of Frankish kingdom, 6th-c; established as capital, 987; R Seine spanned here by 37 bridges, oldest the Pont Neuf (1578–1604), Pont Simone de Beauvoir opened in 2006; tourist river boats (‘bateaux mouches’); bounded by Bois de Boulogne (W), Bois de Vin…

1 minute read

Paris (mythology) - Paris' childhood, The Judgment of Paris, Paris and the Trojan War, Paris in the arts

In Greek mythology, a prince of Troy, the son of Priam and Hecuba; also called Alexander. Because of a prophecy, he was exposed at birth on Mt Ida, where he was loved by Oenone, a nymph. There he also chose Aphrodite as the fairest of three goddesses (‘the judgment of Paris’). She offered him Helen, the most beautiful woman in the world; he abducted Helen, and so caused the Trojan War. He was wo…

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Paris Bordone - Biography

Painter of the Venetian school, born in Treviso, NE Italy. He worked there and in Vicenza, Venice, and Paris. He was strongly influenced by his greater contemporary, Titian, his most celebrated work being ‘Fisherman presenting the Ring of St Mark to the Doge’ (1540, Venice Academia). Bordone was born at Treviso, and entered the bottega of Titian. Vasari, to whom we are indebted for nearly…

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Paris Gibson

Montana pioneer and US senator, born in Brownfield, Maine, USA. He moved to Montana in 1879 and raised the first large flock of sheep there. He planned the city of Great Falls and was deeply connected with the waterpower, coal mining, and railroad development in the town. He was a US Senator (Democrat, Montana, 1901–5). Paris Gibson (July 1, 1830 in Brownfield, Oxford County, Maine–Decem…

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Paris Op

The oldest national ballet company in the world. It was established in France in 1661 by Louis XIV as the Académie Royale de Danse, and amalgamated with the Académie Royale de Musique in 1672. Its first great director was Lully, who pioneered the opera-ballet form in which dancers became as important a part of the performance as the virtuoso singers. As part of the Théâtre National de l'Opéra…

1 minute read

parish council - England

The smallest unit of local elective government in the UK, dating from the 16th-c and originally based on an area covered by one church. It is not normally elected along party political lines, but has close links with the local community. Councils of this kind have various names in different countries, such as community councils, townships, rural communes, and (in India) panchayats. Main art…

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parity (economics)

A term used when central banks undertake to limit fluctuations in exchange rate; abbreviated as par; the par rate is that around which the margin of fluctuation is measured. A security stands at par if its market price is equal to its face value. Parity has also been used in US agricultural policy as the name for a notional fair price for certain crops. …

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parity (physics) - Classical mechanics, Effect of spatial inversion on some variables of classical physics, Quantum mechanics

In quantum mechanics, a quantity which monitors the behaviour of a system under change from left- to right-handed co-ordinates; symbol P. A multiplicative parity quantum number can be ascribed to quantum systems and particles, and is conserved by electromagnetic and strong nuclear forces but not by weak nuclear force. Weak radioactive decays have an overall handedness; neutrinos are described as l…

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Parkinson's disease - History, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Descriptive epidemiology, Related diseases, Pathology, Causes of Parkinson's disease, Treatment, Prognosis

A disorder of the central nervous system, named after British physician James Parkinson (1755–1824); also known as paralysis agitans. It affects the basal ganglia, the part of the brain that controls the co-ordination of movements. Neurones in this area become depleted of dopamine, the chemical that they use to transmit nerve impulses. Muscles become rigid, and it is difficult to initiate movemen…

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parliament - Parliamentary government, Origins of parliamentary government, Parliament of the United Kingdom, List of parliaments

The general term in most English-speaking countries for the national legislative body, normally elected by popular vote. Its role is to pass legislation and keep a check on the activities of the government or executive. In a parliamentary governmental system it is also responsible for choosing and sustaining a government, though the individual members of the government will be chosen by the prime …

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Parma - History, Districts, Food, Sister cities, Sport, Miscellaneous

44°48N 10°19E, pop (2000e) 181 000. Capital city of Parma province, Emilia-Romagna, N Italy; on R Parma, 126 km/78 mi SE of Milan; major cultural centre in Middle Ages; railway; university (13th-c); agricultural trade, oil refining, ham, salami, pasta, cheese (Parmesan), food processing, glass, fertilizers, textiles, perfume; birthplace of Toscanini; baptistery (12th–13th-c), cathedral (12t…

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Parmenides - Overview, Interpretations of Parmenides, Arguments by Parmenides, Perception vs. Logos

The most influential of the Presocratic philosophers, a native of the Greek settlement of Elea in S Italy, and founder of the Eleatic school. He is the first philosopher to insist on a distinction between the world of appearances and reality, and his remarkable poem, ‘On Nature’, foreshadows the dualism of Plato's metaphysics. Parmenides of Elea (Greek: Παρμενίδης ὁ Ἐλεά

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Parmigianino - Early Years, Work in Fontanellato and Travel to Rome, Return to Bologna and Parma, Works

Painter of the Lombard school, born in Parma, N Italy. He began to paint in Parma, moving to Rome in 1523, but was forced to flee to Bologna when the city was sacked in 1527. At Bologna he painted his famous Madonna altarpiece for the nuns of St Margaret before returning to Parma in 1531. Girolamo Francesco Maria Mazzola (11 January 1503- 24 August 1540), also known as Francesco Mazzola or …

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parody - Use in classical music, Modernist and post-modernist parody, Reputation, Film parodies film, Copyright issues

An imitation of a work of art, or convention, often for comic and satirical purposes. Examples include Cervantes' Don Quixote (1606–16) and Pope's Rape of the Lock (1714). Parody also serves the evolution of art through the exposure of outworn styles, as in Shakespeare's parody of Petrarchanism (‘My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun’) or Jane Austen's parody of the Gothic novel in Northan…

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parole - Criminal justice

A conditional release given to a prisoner who still has part of a sentence left to serve. In England and Wales, parole has now been abolished for prisoners serving four years or less. They are automatically released on licence after serving one half of their sentence. Prisoners with longer sentences, except life sentences, must be paroled after serving two thirds of their sentences, and may be giv…

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Paros - History, Communities, Islands of Paros, Other

area 195 km²/75 sq mi; pop (2000e) 8470. Third largest island of the Cyclades, Greece, in the S Aegean Sea, W of Naxos; chief town, Parikia; beaches at Drios, Alikes, Pisso Livadi; famous for its marble and churches. Coordinates: 37°5′N 25°9′E Paros is an island of Greece in the Aegean, one of the largest of the group of the Cyclades. The island is composed of marble,…

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parrot - Parrots and humans

A colourful bird, native to warm regions worldwide; bill large, hooked; nostrils on fleshy band (cere); inhabits forests or open country; eats mainly fruit and seeds (some insects); manipulates food with foot; good at mimicking human voice. (Family: Psittacidae, c.330 species.) Parrots or Psittacines (order Psittaciformes) includes about 353 species of bird which are generally grouped into …

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parrotfish

Colourful fish belonging to the family Scaridae (4 genera), in which jaw teeth are fused into a parrot-like beak used for scraping algal and coral growth from reefs; flat grinding teeth; body compressed, length 20–100 cm/8–40 in. The name is also used for the Indo-Pacific family Oplegnathidae. Parrotfishes are mostly tropical, perciform marine fish of the family Scaridae. Abundant on sh…

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parsec - History, Usage and Measurement, Distances in parsecs

A unit of length, used for distances beyond the Solar System. The term is a contraction of parallax second, and is the distance at which the astronomical unit (AU) subtends one second of arc; it equals 206 265 AU, 3·086 × 1013 km/1·918 × 1013 mi, 3·26 light years. (The light year is never used in professional astronomy.) The larger units kiloparsec (kpc) and megaparsec (Mpc) for 1000 …

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parsing - Human languages, Programming languages, Types of parsers, Examples of parsers

The analysing and labelling of the grammatical components of a sentence, according to their function within some grammatical framework, such as ‘subject’, ‘verb’, and ‘object’. Thus, in one widely used system, a sentence such as The cat sat on the dog would be parsed as Subject + Predicate, with the Predicate parsed into Verb + Adverb Phrase, viz. The cat + sat + on the dog. Further …

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parsley - Gallery

A biennial or perennial (Petroselinum crispum), growing to 75 cm/30 in, but usually smaller; leaves triangular, shining, divided into wedge-shaped segments, lobed and also often curly in cultivated varieties; flowers yellowish, in long-stemmed, flat-topped umbels up to 5 cm/2 in across, petals notched; fruit ovoid. Its origin is uncertain, but it is widely cultivated as a flavouring. (Family: …

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parsnip

A biennial growing to 1·5 m/5 ft, but usually smaller, native to Europe and W Asia, and introduced in North and South America and Australasia; leaves divided into oblong-oval toothed segments up to 10 cm/4 in long; flowers yellow, without sepals, in umbels 3–10 cm/1¼–4 in across; fruit ellipsoid, broadly winged. It is grown commercially for the sweet, fleshy tap-roots, which are eaten as…

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parthenogenesis - Asexual reproduction versus sexual reproduction, Parthenogenesis, Gynogenesis, Hybridogenesis

The development of an individual from an egg without fertilization by a male gamete (sperm). Eggs that develop parthenogenetically are usually diploid (possessing two chromosome sets) and genetically identical with the mother. Many organisms (eg water fleas) pass through several parthenogenetic generations consisting only of females, but will produce males and reproduce sexually at the onset of ad…

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Parthenon - Design and construction, Sculptural decoration, Treasury or temple?, Later history, Reconstruction, Pollution hazards

The principal building of the Athenian Acropolis, a Doric temple of Pentelic marble dedicated to Athena Parthenos (‘the Maiden’); a world heritage site. It was built 447–433 BC to the plans of Ictinus and Callicrates under the supervision of Phidias, the sculptor responsible for its 9 m/30 ft-high gold and ivory cult statue. Converted subsequently into a church, then a mosque, it was reduced …

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participant observation

A research technique in social science in which the researcher observes social action directly by becoming a member of the group under observation. Such membership may be overt (ie the observer tells the group that he/she is a researcher) or covert (ie the observer adopts a role in the group to disguise this fact). Participant observation is a set of research strategies which aim to gain a …

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particle physics - Subatomic particles, History, The Standard Model, Experiment, Theory, Reductionism, Public policy, The future

The study of the fundamental components of matter and the forces between them; also called high energy physics or elementary particle physics. Most particle physics experiments involve the use of large particle accelerators, necessary to force particles close enough together to produce interactions. All theories in particle physics are quantum theories, in which symmetry is of central importance. …

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partita - Source

In music of the Baroque period, one of a set of instrumental variations (partite), such as Bach's Partite diverse on the chorale melody ‘O Gott, du frommer Gott’; or a set of instrumental dances, such as Bach's three partitas for violin and six for keyboard. Partita was originally the name for a single instrumental piece of music (16th and 17th centuries), but Johann Kuhnau and later Germ…

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Partition of Ireland

(1949) The division of Ireland between an independent Irish Republic and Northern Ireland (Ulster), where the Protestant majority wanted to remain British. The Ulster Plantation in the 17th-c had established a Protestant ascendancy over the native Catholic population. A partition movement arose during the 1880s series of Home Rule Bills. Increased support for Sinn Féin followed the Easter Rising …

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Partito Comunista Italiano (PCI)

Italian political party, founded with the name Partito comunista d'Italia in 1921 following a split within the Socialist Party at the Livorno Congress. Its first leader was Amadeo Bordiga. The party's structure was clarified at the Lyon Congress in 1926, when Antonio Gramsci's ideas triumphed. After the Fascists arrested many of its leaders, among them Gramsci and Terracini, the party maintained a…

1 minute read

Partito d'Azione - History, Prominent Members, Sources

The name of two Italian political parties. The first was founded by Giuseppe Mazzini in 1853. Its aim was to achieve an independent, republican, and united Italy by way of a popular war. Its decline was due to the failure of the revolts planned by Mazzini, and the success of Cavour's policies. The name was resurrected in 1942 and given to the coalition formed by the republicans and the liberal-soc…

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Partito Democratico della Sinistra (PDS)

Italian political party, founded in 1991 by the majority of the Italian Communist Party after it was dissolved. Its first leader was Achille Occhetto, and the party supported the Segni referendum campaign and the Ciampi government economic reorganization programme. Allied with other progressive movements, it obtained considerable success in the 1993 local elections. Massimo d'Alema succeeded Ocche…

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Partito Liberale Italiano (PLI) - Re-foundation of the party

Italian political party, founded in 1922. Its members included Giovanni Giolitti, Vittorio Emanuele Orlando, Antonio Salandra, and Benedetto Croce. Dissolved in 1925, it re-formed in 1943 and took part in the CLN (National Liberation Committee). It participated in all the centrist governments, and from 1972 almost all the coalition governments. Its longest-serving leader was Giovanni Malagodi (195…

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Partito Radicale (PR)

Italian political party, founded as Partito Liberale Democratico in 1956 by the left wing of the Liberal Party, which included the group around the Il Mondo review. It was a progressive and lay movement with a limited following until Marco Pannella took over. Under him, the party led the way in the campaign for the referenda that led to the divorce (1974) and abortion (1980) laws. See Itali…

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Partito Repubblicano Italiano (PRI)

Italian political party, founded in 1895 in Milan on principles such as a lay state, local autonomy, and social reforms. With the advent of Fascism, members worked mainly abroad, founding the Mazzini Society in the USA. After the War, the party was re-formed by Ferruccio Parri and Ugo La Malfa, attracting many former members of the Partito d'Azione (Action Party), and was moderately successful at …

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Partito Socialista Italiano (PSI) - Founding to World War I, After World War I, "Golden years", Decline, Craxi's successors

Italian political party, founded in 1892 at the Congress of Genoa under the name Partito dei Lavoratori Italiani (Italian Workers' Party). Its growth was obstructed by the Crispi and di Rudinì's governments, but it thrived under Giolitti. Led by the reformist Turati and Treves, the party established a network of union bodies and cooperatives. The reformists led by Bissolati and Bonomi were expell…

1 minute read

Partito Socialista Italiano di Unit - History, Secretaries

In Italian politics, a temporary name the Socialist Party adopted from 1942 to 1947, resurrected by the current on the left that, opposed to the centro-sinistra, in 1964 split from the PSI (Partito Socialista Italiano). It appealed mainly to intellectuals and radical youths, and never achieved widespread support. Dissolved in 1972, its members either joined the PCI (Partito Comunista Italiano) or …

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partnership - Australian Partnerships under the Partnership Act 1958 (Vic), United Kingdom Limited Partnership Formation

A form of business organization where the owners share all the profits - or take all the losses - according to some predetermined formula. Liability is normally unlimited, but sometimes a ‘limited partnership’ is set up. There are usually not more than 20 partners, though larger partnerships do exist, as in the case of solicitors and firms of chartered accountants. A partnership is a type…

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partridge - Species list, The partridge in culture

A drab, plump, short-tailed bird of the pheasant family; found from Europe to SE Asia, and in Africa; inhabits open country (sometimes tropical rainforest); eats insects when young, plant material as adult. (Family: Phasianidae, 84 species.) Partridges are birds in the pheasant family, Phasianidae. The partridge is also the subject of a popular English Christmas song, the Twelve…

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parvovirus - Structure, Parvovirus Replication, Diseases, Further reading

A group of small, single-stranded DNA viruses that can infect animals or humans. Animal parvoviruses are responsible for commonly occurring blood disorders in cats and dogs, and a type of parvovirus designated B19 causes disease in humans. Infection of young children leads to an illness known as erythema infectiosum or fifth disease; fever, cough, and headache are accompanied by a rash affecting t…

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PASCAL

A high-level computer programming language, named after the French mathematician, Blaise Pascal, which was developed from ALGOL in the late 1960s. It has become a popular language in the educational field, and is widely used with microcomputers. Versions of the language have been generated to incorporate the object-oriented paradigm. Pascal may refer to: The following are named …

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pascal

SI unit of pressure; symbol Pa; named after Blaise Pascal; defined as the pressure due to a force of 1 newton acting on an area of 1 square metre. Pascal may refer to: The following are named after Blaise Pascal: Other uses: …

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Pascal Dusapin

Composer, born in Nancy, NE France. A prolific composer, he found his sources of inspiration in literary domains, writing his first opera (chamber) To be Sung (1992–3) after Gertrude Stein. Other works include ballets with François Raffinot including Hommage (to Dominique Bagouet), music for small ensembles under the influence of the group Accroche, notes, pieces for solo instruments whose title…

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Pascale Ogier - Filmography

Actress, born in Paris, France, the daughter of Bulle Ogier. She won the best actress prize at Venice for Les Nuits de la Pleine Lune in 1984 (director E Rohmer). Her promising career was tragically cut short by a heart attack shortly afterwards. Pascale Ogier (26 October 1958–25 October 1984) was a French actress. Born in Paris, she was the daughter of musician and actress Bu…

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Pascual de Gayangos y Arce

Arabist and historian, born in Sevilla, SW Spain. He was educated in France, studied Arabic under Silvestre de Sacy, and entered the Spanish government service as an interpreter in 1831. He lived in Britain for several years, contributing to many journals, including Westminster Review and Edinburgh Review. He abridged al-Makhari's History of Muslim Spain and Ticknor's History of Spanish Literature…

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Pasquale Stanislao Mancini - Biography

Italian politician and jurist, born in Castel Baronia, Campania, SW Italy. A law lecturer at Naples University, he went into exile after the 1848 risings and became a deputy of the Piedmontese, and then Italian, parliament. In 1862–85 he served as education, justice, and foreign affairs minister. He concluded the Triple Alliance Treaty in 1882 and was responsible for the decision to occupy Massau…

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Pasquier Quesnel

Theologian, born in Paris, France. Of noble birth, he studied philosophy and theology at the Sorbonne became an Oratorian in 1657, and was director of the Paris Oratory in 1662. His teachings and works, notably his Réflexions morales (1671, later condemned by the papal bull Unigenitus, 1713) favoured the views of the Jansenists. He also wrote Nouveau Testament en français avec des réflexions mo…

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passacaglia - Origins and features, Composers, Modern examples

A musical structure in which a continuously repeated bass line or harmonic progression provides the basis for a set of uninterrupted variations. Bach's Passacaglia in C Minor for organ is a well-known example. Originally a slow Italian or Spanish dance in 3/4 time, the passacaglia denotes a musical work in 3/4 based on a ground bass pattern (that is, a melodic fragment (usually 4, 6 or 8 ba…

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passenger pigeon - Life and extinction, Martha, Popular Culture

An extinct long-tailed pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) from E North America; formed flocks of millions of birds; inhabited forests; nested in trees; migrated; hunted to extinction in the wild by 1894. The last specimen died in Cincinnati Zoo (1 Sep 1914, at 1 pm). The Passenger Pigeon (Ectopistes migratorius) is an extinct species of pigeon that was once probably the most common bird in th…

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passerine - Characteristics, Origin

Any bird of the worldwide order Passeriformes (‘perching birds’); includes the songbirds (suborder: Oscines); comprises more than half the living species of birds; four toes, one pointing backwards and opposing the others; wing has 9–10 primary feathers; tail usually with 12 main feathers. They are land birds, crossing seas only when migrating. A passerine is a bird of the giant order Pa…

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passion flower - Medical and entheogenic uses

A member of a large genus of climbers with twining tendrils, native to America, a few to Asia and Australia; leaves oval, crescent-shaped or deeply palmately-lobed; flowers large, showy, with five coloured sepals alternating with five petals, said to symbolize the crucifixion, with the inner corona of filaments representing the crown of thorns, and the styles the cross and nails; yellow or purple …

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passive smoking - Short-term effects, Long-term effects, Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Particulate Matter Emission, Controversy

Inhalation by non-smokers of tobacco smoke introduced into the atmosphere by smokers. It increases the risk of lung cancer and coronary heart disease. Passive smoking (also known as involuntary smoking, secondhand smoking, or exposure to environmental tobacco smoke - or ETS exposure) occurs when the smoke from one person's burning tobacco product (or the smoker's exhalation) is inhale…

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Passover

An annual Jewish festival, occurring in March or April (15–22 Nisan), commemorating the exodus of the Israelites from Egypt; named from God's passing over the houses of the Israelites when he killed the first-born children of the Egyptians (Ex 13); also known as Pesach [paysakh]. It is marked by a special meal including unleavened bread and bitter herbs. …

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pasta - History, Accompaniments, Pasta varieties

A mixture of water, durum wheat flour (hard), and occasionally egg, originating in Italy. The dough is extruded through dies of various shapes, and dried to provide a wide variety of types (eg cannelloni, farfalle, fettucine, fusilli, lasagne, macaroni, noodles, ravioli, spaghetti, tagliatelle, tortellini, and vermicelli). Pastas are rich in starch, and are often served with a meat-based sauce. …

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pastel - Pastel Media, Manufacture, Pastel Supports, Protection of Pastel artwork, Pastel Societies, Pastel Artists

Powdered pigment mixed with a little gum or resin and shaped into sticks like crayons. The artist works directly onto the paper, which may be slightly tinted, without using a medium of any sort. Pastel painting enjoyed a considerable vogue in the 18th-c, especially in France. "Pastel" is also used: Pastel sticks or crayons consist of pure powdered pigment combined with an inert …

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pasteurization - Milk pasteurization, Alternative milk pasteurization standards, Raw milk, Are current milk pasteurization standards adequate?

A mild heat treatment used to kill micro-organisms in milk. The process heats the milk at 63–66°C for 30 minutes or 72°C for 15 seconds. This destroys pathogenic bacteria, and somewhat aids the shelf-life of the milk. It was discovered by the French chemist, Louis Pasteur, after whom it was named. Pasteurization (or pasteurisation) is the process of heating food for the purpose of killin…

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Paston Letters - History of the collection, Chronology, Family tree, BBC adaptation

An invaluable collection of over 500 letters of a 15th-c gentry family from Norfolk, England, providing pictures of family life, estate management, local feuds, and national politics during the Wars of the Roses (1455–87). They are particularly valuable because the Pastons were of middling rank and, therefore, were more typical of landed society than the great lords dominant on the national scene…

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pastoral - Pastoral art

A poem or other work expressing love of and longing for an idealized rural existence. Deriving from Theocritus, whose faithful lovers Daphnis and Chloe have become proverbial, the pastoral mode has been much imitated and adapted. Other forms include the pastoral romance and drama. Pastoral refers to the lifestyle of shepherds and pastoralists, moving livestock around larger areas of land ac…

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pastoralism - Origins, Resources, Resource management, Disruption of management strategies, Social organisation, Examples of pastoralist societies, Bibliography

A way of life characterized by keeping herds of animals, such as cattle, sheep, camels, reindeer, goats, or llamas. It is common in dry, mountainous, or severely cold climates not suitable for agriculture, although some groups combine pastoralism with agriculture. Many pastoralists are nomadic, having to move around in search of good grazing ground, but the amount of nomadism varies considerably, …

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Pat Metheny - Pat Metheny Group, Side Projects, Guitar Contributions, Influences

Guitarist and composer, born in Lee's Summit, Kansas City, Missouri, USA. He formed his own group, producing an album a year over a decade, beginning with Bright Size Life (1976). He also wrote the score for the John Schlesinger film The Falcon And The Snowman (1985). Patrick Bruce Metheny (born August 12, 1954 in Lee's Summit, Missouri) is a world renowned American jazz guitarist and leade…

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Pat Nixon - Early life, College student, film extra, teacher and economist, Marriage and family

US first lady (1969–74), born in Ely, Nevada, USA. Following a difficult childhood, she taught in a California high school before marrying Richard Nixon in 1940. She felt the strain of being a political wife acutely and she was not an active first lady. Patricia Ryan Nixon (March 16, 1912 – June 22, 1993) was the wife of Richard Nixon and the First Lady of the United States from 1969 to …

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Pat Robertson - Life and career, Global Warming, Political activism, Controversies and Criticisms

Religious broadcaster and politician, born in Lexington, Virginia, USA. He studied at Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA, Yale Law School, and the New York Theological Seminary. He founded the Christian Broadcast Network in 1960 and began his popular religious talk show, the ‘700 Club’, in 1968. He realized early the possibilities of cable television for reaching a targeted audience, a…

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Pat Weaver

Television executive, born in Los Angeles, California, USA, the father of Sigourney Weaver. A radio writer and producer, he served as a Young & Rubicam advertising manager in the 1940s. Joining National Broadcasting Company (1949), he became president (1953–5) and later chairman, creating the Today and Tonight shows. In 1956 he returned to advertising, later founding Subscription Television in Lo…

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Patagonia - Population and land area, Physical geography, Climate, Vegetation, Fauna, History, 20th century Patagonia, Economy

area 489 541 km²/188 963 sq mi. Region of S Argentina, comprising the provinces of Chubut, Rio Negro, Santa Cruz, and the territory of Tierra del Fuego; name sometimes applied to the whole of the S part of South America, including Chilean territory; in 1520 Magellan sailed along the Patagonian coast, passing through the strait now bearing his name; a semi-arid tableland rising in terraces fr…

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